1. Data show huge increase in US storms, floods  
      Environmental Defense Fund

      disaster
      After examining the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster declaration records from the past 40 years, we found that four times as many counties were hit by disaster-scale hurricanes, storms and floods between 1997 and 2016, than during the two decades before that.
    2. Motel 6: We’ll stop sending guests names to the Feds, honest
      The Hill

      Following last evening’s headline:
      <> Motel 6 reporting ALL names of guests to immigration cops
      Phoenix New Times
      >>> Don’t have to worry about leaving the light on for me anymore. I’ll sleep in my car before a motel 6.
      1-0 Squad on Twitter.
    3. Another data breach shows sloppy Equifax security BBC
      Login: Admin   Password: Admin … Nah, no hacker’s ever going to guess that.
      <> Massachusetts first state to sue Equifax over data breach CNN
      <> What you can do about the credit breach Krebs on Security
    4. IT’S A WORLD OF TRUMP-FUSION
      GOP confusion, outrage Politico
      But wait, there’s more: DACA deal’s on again NYT
      Trump’s latest contradiction as spewed to the Failing New York Times.
      White House flips out, tries to welch on DACA deal Politico

      … These contradictions follow the original story:
      Trump, Dems agree: Dreamers can stay,
      and to hell with The Wall
       AP
      > The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump’s long-sought border wall.
      > The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren’t invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.
      >>> ” … Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.” Iowa rep. Steve King
      >>> “No to DACA and build the wall Mr President. Please stay away from Pelosi and Schumer as they are contagious.” Chad on Twitter.
    5. <> Top wildlife photographer: “I wish we didn’t have to see this beautiful wildlife mixed in with all of our waste.”
      see story on USA Today

      Justin-Hofmans-seahorse-and-q-tip

    6. Chinese rebuff Jared and Ivanka as envoys,
      tell US to send someone serious

      South China Morning Post
      “Channels need to be maintained by responsible and accountable officials.”
    7. Mystery of Cuba “sonic assault” deepens Stars & Stripes
      > The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed in a Havana hotel. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. Inexplicably, the agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room.
      > Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 U.S. victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. The top U.S. diplomat has called them “health attacks.” New details learned by The Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling U.S. officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up.
      > “None of this has a reasonable explanation,” said Fulton Armstrong, a former CIA official who served in Havana long before America re-opened an embassy there. “It’s just mystery after mystery after mystery.
    8. Porn searchers favorite word: Lesbian AlterNet
      It’s hard to argue with data from a site that gets 75 million views a day.
    9. “Big Bev” fooling beer drinkers around the world. The Independent> Clever marketing tactics and lax labeling restrictions mean that global brewers are still able to market these beers as locally produced even when they are no longer made by the original brewer.>“Brewing changes under new ownership – whether this is due to long-term contracts with suppliers leading to grain or hop substitutions, or because production methods are changed to maximize profits at the expense of taste.”

    OPINION AND COMMENTARY

    angry trumpThe Unhappy States of Donald Trump 

    One organization’s list of the least happy American states correlates perfectly with the 2016 election. Every one of the bottom ten went for Trump, sometimes in a big way …


    <>COMMENTARY<>

    THE EQUIFAX MESS
    > Where are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren when you need them? They should be screaming about this. The credit reporting agencies have gotten away forever with treating consumers like bothersome children: screwing up their credit records, ruining their lives, making it deliberately difficult and expensive to lock accounts, and making money off the whole thing by offering “insurance” against problems that they themselves cause.
    > Someone in Congress who allegedly cares about ordinary working folks should introduce a bill to regulate the hell out of these folks. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s hard to think of any industry that more richly deserves it.
    — Kevin Drum, commenting at Mother Jones

    It’s not just a flood.
    It’s the beginning of the end. 

    By Chris Hedges
    On BillMoyers.Com
    How many times will we rebuild Florida’s cities, Houston, coastal New Jersey, New Orleans and other population centers ravaged by storms lethally intensified by global warming? At what point, surveying the devastation and knowing more is inevitable, will we walk away, leaving behind vast coastal dead zones? Will we retreat even further into magical thinking to cope with the fury we have unleashed from the natural world? Or will we respond rationally and radically alter our relationship to this earth that gives us life?

    Why the North Korean nuclear crisis is largely illusion
    By John Mecklin, editor in chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
    (Via Reuters)
    Clearly, North Korean nuclear bomb and ballistic missile tests are important events that the international news media must report. But the urgency that world news media are imparting to the “crisis” is, actually, a factor in extending it, thereby creating opportunities for miscalculation and war.

    Bernie Sanders’ “medicare for all” plan is right … well, half right.
    Universal catastrophic coverage would save society money, cover all Americans and respond to market forces.
    By Dana Goldman, Ph.D., director of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California.

    Flying coach is so cramped it could be a death trap The Daily Beast
    cabin-sketch
    > The tests carried out to ensure that all the passengers can safely exit a cabin in an emergency are dangerously outdated and do not reflect how densely packed coach class seating has become—or how the size of passengers has simultaneously increased;
    No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency;
    > Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737.
    <–>Sleep pods may be coming to an airport near you Bloomberg


    Tax reform?
    No matter what any politician claims,
    US is NOT a highly-taxed nation.

    — American Enterprise Institute.tax


    OPINION: Take Elon Musk seriously on Russian AI threat 
    By Leonid Bershidsky via Bloomberg
    Nations will be killing with AI long before the technology can cause mass unemployment. In this sense, Musk’s alarmism — and Putin’s words about AI-based global dominance — should be taken seriously.

    TODAY’S FEATURES

    “Hillbillie Hotties” sue city over barista-in-bikini ban AP
    cowgirls-espresso-slide2SEATTLE (AP) — Seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of the coffee stands called “Hillbilly Hotties” sued the city of Everett, Washington, on Monday, saying two recently passed ordinances banning bare skin violate their right to free expression.

    > The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, says the ordinances passed by the Everett City Council deny bikini-stand employees the ability to communicate through their attire, are vague and confusing, and unlawfully target women

    A self-described revolutionary
    leads Mississippi’s biggest city

    The Guardian
    miss“The citizens of Jackson have demonstrated overwhelmingly a readiness to be a progressive city and not only to correct the ills as we see them, but to be a model for the nation of what progressive leadership and collective genius can accomplish.”

    charlie-dent-da588450493425a1The job of Congress is to “fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default. Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos.”
    — GOP Congressman Charlie Dent, on why he’s quitting. 

          • Woman mentioned as Putin challenger … but …
            Moscow TimesKsenia+Sobchak+Vladimir+Ashurkov+Conversation+jjAdZaSRGvgx…> Source names journalist and socialite Ksenia Sobchak as an “ideal” entrant to run against Putin in spring, 2018. … “a smart, young, interesting modern Russian woman.”

            …> Sobchak, however, was not enthusiastic. “I don’t know who talks about what in the higher corridors of power, but I’ve been following the political landscape closely for a long time.  I have just one diagnosis: Your politics today, gentlemen, are a dismal pile of crap.”

      • WITH GUNS ON CAMPUS,
        U/KANSAS PROF. TEACHES
        IN BULLETPROOF VEST

        — KansasCity.com
        willmott> If students are going to pack hidden heat, one professor is going to wear a bulletproof vest.
        > That professor is Kevin Willmott, the director of noted films including “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America,” who is raising both eyebrows and continued debate at the University of Kansas for teaching all classes this semester with the black protective vest strapped over his torso.
        > The Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act, which took effect July 1, allows concealed handguns to be carried on more than 30 two-year and four-year colleges in the state. Here’s what you need to know. Eric Adler and Neil Nakahodo The Kansas City Star
        > “Try to forget I’m wearing a bulletproof vest and I’ll try to forget that you could be packing a .44 Magnum,” the professor told students Tuesday morning when he showed up for his basic screenwriting course, his first class of the semester.