Saturday, July 11, 2020
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@SMRU_Consulting / Twitter WOW 55 blue whales sighted around 1584046292.jpg...

New evidence suggests that blue whales are making a comeback

Before humans began hunting whales, scientists believe that there were around 250,000 blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere. By 1967, when a ban on hunting the blue whale was introduced, that number was down to around 1,500....
Victor Leonardi Blondet / Flickr Donald Trump amp Kim Jong Un...

Trump’s BFF Little Rocket Man Shoots Off Missile

It will be interesting to see what Donald Trump says about this, since he and Kim Jong Un “fell on love” and all nuclear proliferation stopped — according to him. The truth is probably closer to Kim Jong Un had a great laugh over the whole thing and today he’s laughing even harder. Little Rocket Man launched a missile from North Korea in the early hours of Monday, local time. CNBC: Pyongyang has repeatedly fired projectiles over the past year and bragged about developing a new strategic weapon as relations with the Trump administration have soured. North Korea and the U.S. failed to restart talks at the end of last year, after Washington refused to respond to Kim Jong-Un’s demands for concessions. President Donald Trump has sought to convince the North to give up its nuclear arsenal, banking on a personal relationship he has tried to develop with Kim as well as pressure through sanctions. Trump has held two summits with Kim and met him at the de-militarized zone between the North and South. However, Washington and Pyongyang have proven unable to strike a deal, with the North refusing to give up its nuclear arsenal and the U.S. refusing to roll back sanctions. It’s going to take more than a photo op to set this one straight. Trump starting war with North Korea has always topped my list of Trump phuque ups. Which is not to say that those of you who are thinking that his withdrawal from the Paris agreement, or his dismantling the nuclear deal with Iran, or his screwing with NATO, or any of the business with Russia are wrong if those are your favorites. Korea is mine, because it was such a spectacular flop. But you know what has crossed my mind? i’m wondering about the timing of this. I’m wondering if Kim doesn’t want to mess with Trump’s mind, or if launching the missile right when the coronavirus is exploding, and Trump is due to start his reelection campaign in earnest on Monday, is simply coincidence. Hard to say.

“So-Called ‪’Peace Deal’ Is Anything But”: Critics Warn US-Taliban Deal Exposes Fallacies of Endless...

While President Donald Trump bragged Saturday about an agreement signed by the U.S. government and the Taliban as a milestone towards ending the war in Afghanistan that has raged now for the nearly two...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr soldiers afghanistan...

After 18 bloody years, U.S. signs deal to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. It’s...

After nearly a year of on-again, off-again discussions, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement Saturday in Doha, Qatar. If it succeeds, it will mean the complete withdrawal of all U.S. and other...
Barack Obama / Flickr Joe Biden in Blacksburg August 15th...

I am all in for Joe and I will tell you why.

We are in one huge mess.   We have to have someone ready to take the reins from day #1.  It will be one heck of a job.  We have had enough drama since 2017....
Doordarshan National / YouTube PM Narendra Modi and US President 1582634121.jpg...

‘The Worst Kind of Fascists’: Trump Visits Modi’s India and Announces $3 Billion Arms...

U.S. President Donald Trump got a warm welcome from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to kick off a whirlwind 36-hour tour of the world's largest democracy and announced the two countries were finalizing a...

Stock Market Plunges Amidst Fears Of Coronavirus Pandemic

The Dow Jones plummeted 900 points, over 3% on Monday, which was one of it’s biggest drops in years. The S&P 500 dropped 100 points, also three percent as fear spreads from the mounting death toll from the coronavirus world wide. Nobody knows how to contain the virus and the scenario has gotten scary enough to where comparisons are being made to the book by Michael Crichton, “Andromeda Strain.” The Hill: The declines follow reports that countries beyond China are now struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus. South Korea raised its alert level to the highest level as infections topped 830, while Italian officials worked to contain an outbreak of 220 cases and Iranian officials confirmed 61 cases. The vast majority of the 78,000 cases of the virus are in China, where more than 2,400 people have died from the illness. Steps to contain the virus have disrupted air travel and some businesses dependent on Chinese manufacturing, including supply chains for electronics. Last week, a Goldman Sachs analysis warned that investors weren’t taking the coronavirus seriously enough, and that markets were due for a correction. Some economists have predicted the virus will weaken growth in the near term, but also expect markets and the global economy to bounce back quickly when the spread of the virus is under control. That’s the big “if” right now, is when will the spread of the virus be under control. So far, the strain has proven itself to be virulent and elusive. Do not look for international travel to go back to anything resembling normal any time soon.
Washington Post / YouTube Trump holds rally in Ohio...

‘Meant to Hide the Poor’: Trump Gets His Wall—In India—Ahead of Monday Visit

When President Donald Trump arrives in Ahmedabad, India on Monday, he's expected to be greeted by roughly 100,000 cheering Indians along a sparkling clean route to the world's largest cricket stadium where another crowd...

Europe Has Given Up On U.S. and Mike Pompeo Is ‘Dumbfounded’

Living in a bubble is a very dangerous thing. Unfortunately the deaf, dumb and blindness of the current administration is affecting us all in ways which will have a profound effect on the future of this country, and not in a positive way. The latest example of this trend was graphically illustrated this weekend at the Munich Security Conference, which in better days, served as an affirmation of the powerful bond between members of the western alliance. This year’s meeting only pointed up the widening chasm of interests between France and Germany, and the United States. Politico: The two sides aren’t just far apart on the big questions facing the West (threats from Russia, Iran, China), they’re in parallel universes. Most alarming: The biggest disconnect concerns the U.S. commitment to Europe, the very essence of the transatlantic alliance itself. In speech after speech, whether in public or private, European leaders lamented what they perceive as the U.S.’s disengagement from both the region and the world at large. If you weren’t following the news this weekend, both the president of France, Emmanuel Macron and the president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that the U.S. was “rejecting the idea of the international community” and that “what Europe wants is not quite the same as the U.S.” Mike Pompeo found these words insulting, apparently, because he went on record stating, “I’m here to tell you the facts. Those statements do not reflect reality.” No, they do reflect reality. They just don’t reflect an endorsement of his wingnut talking point, “The West is winning and we’re winning together.” That might be a great line to drop to the rubes at a rally, or to please Pompeo’s real audience, which is Trump, but the people in attendance at Munich are anything but fools. They see through the Trump mis-administration like glass and they know what a disaster the past three years have been. But Pompeo forged ahead, convinced, again apparently, that if you just spin the lie enough different ways people will believe eventually. “Is this an America that rejects responsibility?” he asked. “Let’s be straight up: The U.S. is out there fighting for sovereignty and our friends.” Aside from representatives from Poland and the Baltics, who consider the U.S. the guarantor of their sovereignty, few of the Europeans in the room seemed open to being convinced. After the speech, a consensus formed among the Germans and French that Pompeo’s audience wasn’t the Europeans in the room, but Donald Trump. Pompeo’s insistence that the “West is winning, we’re collectively winning,” was registered by many attendees as “the U.S. is winning.” The reaction to Pompeo reflects the toll Trump’s aggressive, often abusive, rhetoric toward European allies has taken on the relationship. Even when confronted with facts that disprove the narrative of American disengagement, European officials simply don’t believe it. In private, U.S. representatives tell their European counterparts to “ignore the tweets,” but that’s proved to be a tall order. The likes of Jared Kushner may take to the airwaves and sneer derisively about how he and the other know-nothings in this administration have a “fresh approach” and “new ideas” for foreign policy. So far, all that adolescent hyperbole has devolved into nothing but embarrassment and an erosion of key alliances, not in some brave new world solutions […]

Macron and Pompeo Cross Swords In Munich Over How the U.S. Has Abandoned...

Mike Pompeo is not exactly knockin’ ’em dead in Munich at the Security Conference this week. He had already given the usual Trump economy sound bite, where unemployment is non existent, a lobster in every pot and a Mercedes in every driveway — to hear him tell it — and that was met by stone silence. Then it went downhill from there. Agence France-Presse via Raw Story: Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Pompeo sought to assuage European anxiety over the transatlantic bond under an unpredictable President Donald Trump, saying: “The West is winning and we’re winning together.” But he was immediately contradicted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who warned of “a weakening of the West”. Other countries are not run by compete fools — ours is. And the speeches at the conference were grounded in the new reality of international relations and world order since Donald Trump has disgraced the world stage. In his opening speech a day earlier, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggested that the United States rejected “even the idea of an international community” and was acting “at the expense of neighbours and partners”. “Those statements don’t reflect reality,” Pompeo retorted. “I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly over-exaggerated,” he added, paraphrasing a famous Mark Twain quote. Pompeo went on to say that the U.S. is keeping Europe safe by reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank bordering with Russia, which is an interesting perspective, considering that Trump selling out our Syrian allies had the net effect of not only adding to the destabilization of the region but resulted in giving Vladimir Putin another warm water port to play with. And  President Macron had a few more words. The US was undergoing “a rethink of its relationship with Europe”, Macron said, strengthening his belief that the continent had to take charge of its own destiny. “We need a European strategy that renews us and turn us into a strategic political power,” he said. The thought process in Europe is that it’s time to make contingency plans because our allies can no longer rely on the United States. And if Donald Trump gets reelected, that concept will end up cemented in stone and decades of work, if not the past two and a half centuries of international diplomacy, will be undone. This is how corrosive an effect the incompetent Trump regime has had in the world. It takes a long time to build something, but to destroy the same thing takes very little time.  

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