Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


peppertree's Journal
peppertree's Journal
December 1, 2018

Lopez Obrador sworn in as Mexico's president

Source: The Hill

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was officially sworn in Saturday, becoming the country’s first leftist president in more than 70 years.

López Obrador pledged “a peaceful and orderly transition, but one that is deep and radical ... because we will end the corruption and impunity that prevent Mexico’s rebirth,” according to the Associated Press.

The 65-year-old political veteran has vowed to transform Mexico and reboot the country’s sluggish economy. A left-leaning populist, he has said that he intends to build more state-owned oil refineries and encourage Mexicans to consume more domestic products during his administration.

“Mexico’s crisis originated not only with the failure of the neoliberal policies applied over the last 36 years,” he said in his inaugural speech, “but also in the prevalence of the filthiest corruption.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/americas/419275-lopez-obrador-sworn-in-as-mexicos-president

A new beginning? Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his inaugural address earlier today.
November 30, 2018

Rare earthquake, magnitude 3.8, recorded outside Buenos Aires

As G-20 leaders and officials gather in Buenos Aires, an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale was recorded outside of the city.

The quake, with an epicenter some 32 km (20 mi) southwest of downtown Buenos Aires, was relatively shallow (20 km, 12 mi deep) and was felt throughout the metro area and in neighboring La Plata.

It however caused only minor damage and resulted in no recorded injuries.

While seismic waves from the Andes region in western Argentina are felt from time to time in the Buenos Aires region (in the eastern end of the country), this was reportedly the first seismic event to have originated near Buenos Aires itself since a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in 1888.

Today's tremor, at 10:27 a.m. local time, was likely felt by G-20 attendees, which total over 8,000 between dignitaries, officials, journalists, and other guests. It however did not interrupt any of the myriad meetings scheduled for today.

At: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6446941/Earthquake-hits-Buenos-Aires-world-leaders-gather-city-G20.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

The Buenos Aires suburb of Canning, 20 mi southwest of the city, where the epicenter of today's eathquake was registered.

No injuries or serious damage was recorded; but the symbolism of its occurrence during this year's contentious G-20 Summit was not lost on local commentators.
November 30, 2018

Leaders gather for G20 Buenos Aires talks amid rising tensions

World leaders are meeting in Argentina for their annual G20 summit amid new tension with Russia over Ukraine and a US trade row with China.

Mr Trump initially said he would not meet Mr Putin because the three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors seized by Russia in the Black Sea near Crimea had not been returned. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said this morning that the two would have a “brief, impromptu” meeting.

But ahead of the summit's official start Mr Trump signed a trade deal with the Mexican and Canadian leaders. Speaking before the signing of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) - to replace NAFTA - Mr Trump described it as "probably the greatest trade deal ever."

Leaders are gathering now for opening remarks and an afternoon plenary session. There will be any number of bilateral get-togethers on the sidelines.

The most notable absence was that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose arrival at the summit has been delayed by a technical fault in her plane.

Differences over climate change could be one of the biggest obstacles to an agreed joint communiqué when the summit ends on Saturday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would refuse to sign a trade deal with South America's Mercosur bloc if Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro withdrew from the Paris climate accord.

The summit is also a diplomatic test for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid questions about his possible involvement in the murder last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Trade war impasse

Hopes of progress over tariffs in Mr Trump's expected talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping have been meanwhile dampened. The two economic giants are locked in a trade war, which may possibly even escalate.

President Trump said recently that current tariff levels on $200bn of Chinese imports would rise as planned. He also threatened tariffs on $267bn of other Chinese exports to the US.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said that while China was interested in striking a deal, "I don't know if I want to do it" and "I like the deal we have now."

Host woes

The 2018 summit, the first to be hosted by Argentina, comes amid the most serious economic crisis in the host nation since its 2001-02 collapse.

A $100 bn debt bubble during President Mauricio Macri's first two years in office (2016-17) collapsed in April, leading to $30 bn in capital flight, a halving of the peso's value, and prime rates of nearly 70% in an effort to shore up the peso.

GDP was down 5.8% from the same time last year, while inflation has risen to 55% (the highest in 27 years).

"Argentina was asked to host the G-20 summit two years ago, when foreign media coverage of Macri was almost universally positive," former Ambassador to the U.S. Jorge Argüello noted.

"Were the decision to have been taken this year, I doubt Argentina would have been chosen."

At: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-46395758

The now iconic 'Baby Trump' balloon makes its way in front of the Argentine Congress.

Trump's presence at the 2018 G-20 Summit is second only to that of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in its controversy.
November 28, 2018

Republican Hyde-Smith beats Democrat Espy in Mississippi Senate race

Source: NBC News

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democrat Mike Espy in Tuesday night's special Senate election in Mississippi, a contest tainted by race-related controversies, NBC News projects.

With 78% of votes being reported, Hyde-Smith had 55.2%, or 363,567 votes, to 44.8%, or 296,254 votes, for Espy, according to NBC News.

Hyde-Smith, who becomes the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi, will serve out the remaining two years of former GOP Sen. Thad Cochran's term, whom she was appointed to replace earlier this year after he resigned.

With her win, Republicans will start the new Congress in January with a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/hyde-smith-espy-mississippi-senate-runoff-election-results-n940811

Mike Espy and Cindy Hyde-Smith: an uphill fight for Democrats and a noble effort.
November 27, 2018

40 years after the assassination of Harvey Milk, LGBTQ candidates find success

In this month's midterm elections, Colorado elected the nation's first openly gay governor. Voters across the country sent a record number of LGBT candidates to Congress.

These victories come 40 years after the assassination of the first openly gay elected official in California — Harvey Milk.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. In 1978, under his urging, the city council passed a gay rights ordinance that protected gay people from being fired from their jobs. His advocacy angered many.

On Nov. 27, 1978, Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a former police officer and former city supervisor who had clashed with Milk over LGBTQ issues.

Milk's murder transformed national politics.

The success of LGBTQ candidates in the midterm elections would have been hard to imagine four decades ago when Milk first won office. In California at that time, a conservative state senator named John Briggs was pushing a statewide ballot measure, Proposition 6, to ban gay and lesbian teachers.

Harvey Milk led the fight against the proposition, debating Briggs around the state. That November, voters overwhelmingly defeated the Briggs initiative. Briggs himself, now 88, later renounced his position.

But three weeks later, Moscone and Milk were dead.

It was a kind of political awakening for many who came of age in the years that followed. Today, the seat Milk held when he was killed is occupied by another openly gay man, Rafael Mandelman.

"As someone who was 5 years old when he was shot," says Mandelman, "I am continually grateful not just for Harvey but for the folks of that generation who really did change the world."

At: http://www.cpr.org/news/npr-story/40-years-after-the-assassination-of-harvey-milk-lgbt-candidates-find-success

San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Havey Milk during their brief tenures.

Their murder, 40 years ago today, at the hands of an opponent helped lead to much of the political change Milk had sought in life.
November 27, 2018

Democrat Cox now leading Valadao after Kern County update

Fresno Democrat T.J. Cox has overtaken incumbent David Valadao in their race for California’s 21st Congressional District seat.

Cox now holds a 438-vote over the Hanford Republican – 55,650 votes to 55,212. This is Cox’s first lead in the race.

The 21st is the last contested Congressional race in the country.

Kern County processed about 8,000 uncounted ballots – nearly 1,900 of which were in the 21st – in Monday’s update. A little under 3,000 ballots remain in Kern, where Cox has secured 61 percent of the vote to date.

The lead is far from set in stone, as Valadao-favoring Kings County and Fresno County – which has broken almost dead even – have thousands of outstanding ballots to be counted in the next few days.

But it appears Cox is on his way to delivering Democrats their 40th flipped seat – one that analysts and news media called for Valadao on election night.

At: https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/election/local-election/article222204075.html

And then there were 40: GOP incumbent David Valadao and Democratic challenger T.J. Cox.

Cox has now pulled ahead of Valadao in the nation's last undecided House race, though thousands of votes remain to be counted.
November 27, 2018

Argentina's G-20 week marked by labor strikes, soccer fiasco

Four days before Buenos Aires prepares to host this year's G-20 Summit, a wave of labor strikes and the cancellation of two major football (soccer) championships due to violence have cast a pall over over the Argentine capital.

Workers for Argentina’s largest airline, Aerolíneas Argentinas, went on strike on Monday, grounding some 371 flights and 40,000 passengers, over the airline's refusal to honor wage hikes agreed to in September.

Public transit workers in Buenos Aires likewise announced a three-hour strike Tuesday, shutting down subway and bus service.

Violence later erupted over the weekend after the final game of Copa Libertadores, the South American championship, which had to be twice postponed after hooligans attacked players.

Another game between arch rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate - the Superclásico (considered the world's Nº1 derby by Britain's Daily Mirror) - was cancelled and has yet to be rescheduled after a Boca Juniors team bus was attacked with bricks.

Buenos Aires Security Minister Martín Ocampo resigned on Monday. National Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who has reaped criticism from the IACHR and Amnesty International for "excessive and indiscriminate" use of force against protests, had dismissed concerns.

"We're hosting the G-20, so the Boca-River match is pretty minor," she had said.

The strikes and soccer fiasco raise questions about the city’s preparedness to handle an expected 8,000 visitors for the G-20 summit as delegations begin to arrive.

The disruption also doesn’t bode well for President Mauricio Macri, whose approval ratings (24%) are at the lowest point since taking office three years ago after Argentina was rocked this year by a debt and currency crisis that dragged the economy into recession.

GDP was down 5.8% from the same time last year - the most severe downturn since the country's 2001-02 collapse - while inflation has risen to 55% (the highest in 27 years).

At: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-26/airline-strike-soccer-fiasco-mark-argentina-s-week-as-g-20-host

Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, President Mauricio Macri, and Justice Minister Germán Garavano in a press conference following the two cancelled soccer championships.

"This is a joke," a fan told the press. "They want to hold a G-20 summit but can't guard a bus?"
November 26, 2018

Human Rights Watch asks Saudi crown prince be detained in upcoming G20 summit

Days before the upcoming G20 summit, which begins in Buenos Aires this Friday, the U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch asked Argentine Federal Judge Ariel Lijo for the arrest of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

The request was in response to the brutal, October 2 murder of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey, among other accusations.

Crown Prince bin Salman, 33, will arrive in Argentina in the coming days as head of the Saudi delegation that will participate in the G20 summit to be held November 30 and December 1.

The judge forwarded the complaint to the public prosecutor Ramiro González, who will decide whether to open an investigation and if it is within Argentine jurisdiction to prosecute a murder committed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Jurisdictional obstacles, however, are compounded by political ones, as Argentine President Mauricio Macri is close to U.S. President Donald Trump and has remained silent over the Khashoggi murder.

Asked if he would meet the Saudi prince in Buenos Aires, Trump replied: “I don’t know that he’s going to be there; but if he is, I will.”

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Fg20-pidieron-la-detencion-uno-los-representantes-que-vendra-la-cumbre-n52563&edit-text=

Trump and Netanyahoo admire a murderous bin Salman in a cartoon published by progressive Jewish activists Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz.

Argentina's Macri has sought closer ties with all three, making real action by Argentine prosecutors all the more unlikely.
November 26, 2018

Oprah Winfrey's mom Vernita Lee dies on Thanksgiving at age 83

Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, died at her Milwaukee home last week, her family announced Monday.

Lee was 18 when she gave birth to her first child in rural Mississippi, naming her "Orpah" after a woman mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Ruth, but many mispronounced it as Oprah and the name stuck.

She died this Thanksgiving at the age of 83.

Lee was a lifetime member of the NAACP and her daughter joked at the dinner that Lee had been asking her for years to come to Waukesha County to speak at the Freedom Fund event.

She is survived by her daughters Winfrey and Lee, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

At: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/obituaries/2018/11/26/oprahs-mother-vernita-lee-dies-her-milwaukee-home/2113618002/

Vernita Lee, 1935-2018.
November 25, 2018

Trump adviser admits there's a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' against the Clintons

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the former deputy campaign manager of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run admitted that conservatives engaged in a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to undermine the Clintons just as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charged.

Speaking with host Chris Wallace, David Bossie was describing Trump’s enemies when he made the admission.

“A vast left-wing conspiracy, very similar to what Hillary Clinton called the vast right-wing conspiracy,” he added as host Wallace interrupted him by saying, “Which incidentally didn’t turn out to be true.”

No, it was true,” Bossie corrected the Fox News host. “Chris, there was an effort by the conservative movement to undermine President Clinton.”

David Bossie, it should be noted, was behind the Citizens United case, which was based on a movie attacking Hillary Clinton.

At: https://www.alternet.org/watch-trump-adviser-stuns-fox-news-chris-wallace-admitting-theres-vast-right-wing-conspiracy-against

Hardly news to Democratic ears. But it's nice to hear it from the horse's mouth once in a while.

Profile Information

Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
Number of posts: 21,090

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»peppertree's Journal