Thurs. July 19

Did George Orwell predict Trump?
Russian Putin is our friend.
The American Press is our enemy.

Putin is our friend. The Press is our enemy.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
And we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.
— thanks to “Stonekettle” on Twitter.

More young Americans dying of booze
Courthouse News Service
— More young people in America are drinking themselves to death, according to a new study from the British Medical Journal.
— Deaths from liver disease rose in all but one state from 1996 to 2016, with most of the increases in deaths attributed to young adults, the study says. Overall the deaths increased 65 percent, with alcohol cited as the leading cause of death in liver disease.
— Most of the fatalities occurred in adults ages 24 to 34, according to the study, with the highest levels of deaths in whites, American Indians and Hispanics.

Purge at Veterans Admin: Don’t like Trump, you’re demoted
The Hill
— Officials within the Department of Veterans Affairs have moved to root out staffers who are believed to be disloyal to President Trump and his agenda, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
… more than a dozen people have been reassigned from leadership positions ahead of Robert Wilkie’s likely installment to lead the agency. Some of those recently reassigned employees had been with the department for decades, while others were Trump appointees.

Small biz group pushed for Trump’s health plan
and guess what — surprise! — it sucks
√ Nobody seems capable of learning that you can’t deal with this jackass.

— Trump falsely claimed during rallies in recent weeks that “millions” are signing up, though the new health plans can’t be sold until Sept. 1. And the health plans are worthless anyway.

Family banned from YouTube
after “pranks” perceived as child abuse

NY Post
mike-heather-martin-familyofive-youtubers-suspended— In many of the “FamilyOFive” videos, the Martin children can be seen wrestling with one another and making each other cry. One clip shows a boy getting hit in the crotch with a ball.

Doctors, hospitals winning lawsuits
vs. patients who give bad reviews

USA Today

Study involving 112,000 says:
forget the Omega-3 supplements

The Guardian

Maria Butina’s “ridiculous” story fooled many in right wing
— She headed a “ridiculous front organization with the purpose of infiltrating American groups and forging cooperation with the NRA.”
>>> Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker: Maria who?
>>> (Raw Story) “And anyone who was in Paul Erickson’s rolodex, including Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Wayne LaPierre and Scott Walker (R-WI) is right now shaking in his boots waiting for Mueller to come knocking.”
>>> Meet Paul Erickson, the link between Russkie femme fatale and GOP
(Talking Points Memo)
>>> NRA’s deep ties to accused spy Butina

Illustration: Dana Verkouteren / AP

Poll: Huge GOP majority loves Trump’s handling of Putin
√ It’s an online pole, so some skepticism warranted
— This poll foreshadows the coming national drama. Every piece of data, and virtually every public action of elected Republican officials, shows Trump will have overwhelming and probably unbreakable party support, regardless of what Robert Mueller finds with his Russia probe.

√ Sure! Fine! Let’s turn over US diplomats for Russian interrogation. Why the fuck not? Everything else Trump does is okay with his cultists.

Homeland Security Chief (a proven liar)
says US will prepare for more Russian cyber assaults

Oh those sneaky Russkies! Brit police ID nerve agent spies
The Guardian
>>> Sputnik: Brit accusations “Ill-informed, wild speculation.”
√ Since Sputnik is a Russkie propaganda outfit, you can be pretty sure the Brits are on to something. 

Putin: Meeting with American idiot led to “useful agreements”
Vice News
√ Stalin had his useful idiots. Putin has Trump.

Israel passes Jewish nation-state law
— Israel passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” sparking outrage from Israel’s Arab community and provoking concern from the international community.

Forget politics: the US is richer for trade with Europe
By Greg Wright,
Assistant Professor of Economics,

University of California, Merced
The Conversation
…  international trade between equals increases the overall size of the economic pie. And no pie has ever grown larger than the combined economies of the U.S. and Europe, which now constitute half of global GDP.
… gains to the U.S.
from new foreign product varieties and lower prices over the period 1992 to 2005 were equal to about one percent of U.S. GDP – or about $100 billion.

Why workers are losing the power struggle with corporations
By Jared Bernstein, senior fellow,
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

… increased concentration of companies and their unchecked ability to collude against workers, through anti-poaching and mandatory arbitration agreements that preclude worker-based class actions. And it’s evident in a federal government that refuses to consider improved labor standards like higher minimum wages and updated overtime rules.

New Zealand company tried 4-day workweek, loved the results
NY Times
— Employees “ worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter, not harder.”
— … “staff were more creative, their attendance was better, they were on time, and they didn’t leave early or take long breaks. Their actual job performance didn’t change when doing it over four days instead of five.”

Life in the Dogpound:
Immigrants tell of harsh detention in US
— A nursing mother named Serafin, who said she fled Mexico after a cartel member threatened to rape her and kill her baby, said she was given too little food at a facility in San Ysidro, California.
— “I am not producing enough breast milk to feed my baby because I am not eating enough,” she said in her statement. “My daughter cries a lot because she is hungry.”

Judges: Proposal to split California in 3 won’t make ballot
The Guardian
— The justices ordered the secretary of state not to put the ballot initiative before voters, saying significant questions have been raised about its validity. The court will now consider the merits of a challenge brought by an environmental group.


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