Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: August 28, 2021 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Afghanistan drone strike, Afghanistan terrorist attack, caturday, Enhanced unemployment ends, Evictions, Hurricane Ida, hurricane katrina, ISIS-K, Joe Biden, Louisiana, Major Biden, NBC clickbait, New Orleans, SCOTUS, U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan 27 Comments
Hurricane Ida is bearing down on Louisiana on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, the seawall protections are better now and Joe Biden is president instead of George W. Bush.
AP News: Ida aims to hit Louisiana on Hurricane Katrina anniversary.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida struck Cuba on Friday and threatened to slam into Louisiana with devastating force over the weekend, prompting evacuations in New Orleans and across the coastal region.
Ida intensified rapidly Friday from a tropical storm to a hurricane with top winds of 80 mph (128 kph) as it crossed western Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center predicted Ida would strengthen into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 140 mph (225 kph) before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday.
“This will be a life-altering storm for those who aren’t prepared,” National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott said during a Friday news conference with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The governor urged residents to quickly prepare, saying: “By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to be to ride out the storm.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered a mandatory evacuation for a small area of the city outside the levee system. But with the storm intensifying so much over a short time, she said it wasn’t possible to do so for the entire city. That generally calls for using all lanes of some highways to leave the city.
“The city cannot order a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time,” Cantrell said.
City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours.
Other areas across the coastal region were under a mix of voluntary and mandatory evacuations. The storm is expected to make landfall on the exact date Hurricane Katrina devastated a large swath of the Gulf Coast exactly 16 years earlier.
More from CNN: Gulf Coast braces for Sunday arrival of Hurricane Ida, potentially a Category 4 storm.
Ida is anticipated to reach at least Category 4 strength before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said, maintaining its earlier forecast.
“Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday,” National Hurricane Center forecasters said Saturday morning. At 8 a.m. ET, the storm sustained winds of 85 mph.
Officials throughout the state implored people to evacuate, with some issuing mandatory orders to do so.
A dangerous storm surge of 10 to 15 feet is expected from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the mouth of the Mississippi River on Sunday as Ida makes landfall, the NHC said.
Hurricane conditions are likely in areas along the northern Gulf Coast beginning Sunday, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin by late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. These conditions will spread inland over portions of Louisiana and Mississippi Sunday night and Monday.
Rainfall can amount to 8 to 16 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 20 inches possible across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi through Monday– which will likely lead to significant flash and river flooding impacts.
A hurricane warning remains in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the mouth of the Pearl River and includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.
In Louisiana, a hurricane watch is in effect from Cameron to west of Intracoastal City and the mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi-Alabama border. Tropical storm warnings and watches are also issued stretching east to the Alabama-Florida border.
The city is anticipating impacts from damaging winds of up to 110 mph, according to Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
I found this article at Yahoo News interesting: EXPLAINER: Is New Orleans protected from a hurricane?
New Orleans finds itself in the path of Hurricane Ida 16 years to the day after floodwalls collapsed and levees were overtopped by a storm surge driven by Hurricane Katrina. That flooding killed more than 1,000 people and caused billions in damage. But Ida arrives at the doorstep of a region transformed since 2005 by a giant civil works project and closer attention to flood control.
The system already has been tested by multiple storms, including 2012’s Isaac, with little damage to the areas it protects….
The federal government spent $14.5 billion on levees, pumps, seawalls, floodgates and drainage that provides enhanced protection from storm surge and flooding in New Orleans and surrounding suburbs south of Lake Pontchartrain. With the exception of three drainage projects, that work is complete.
“The post-Katrina system is so different than what was in place before,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Matt Roe.
Starting with a giant surge barrier east of the city, the system is a 130-mile (210-kilometer) ring built to hold out storm surge of about 30 feet (9 meters). The National Hurricane Center on Friday projected Ida would bring a surge of 10 feet to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) on the west bank.
At that level, it could come over the levees in some areas, said emergency manager Heath Jones of the Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District.
“They’re designed to overtop in places” with protections against worse damage, including armoring, splash pads and pumps with backup generators, he said.
“We’ve built all that since Katrina,” and they’re designed for a worse storm than the Ida is expected to be, he said.
Governments as of Friday were not ordering people protected by the levees to evacuate, showing their confidence in the system.
A number of floodgates are being closed as the storm approaches. That includes massive gates that ships can normally sail through, such as ones that close off the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal near the Lower 9th Ward. That has reduced the risk of flooding in an area long viewed as among the city’s most exposed. At least one smaller floodgate on land has been removed for maintenance, though, with officials planning to close the gap with sandbags.
Read more at the Yahoo link.
The Guardian: Afghanistan drone strike targeted Islamic State ‘planner’ in car, US says.
The US drone strike in Afghanistan targeted a mid-level “planner” from the Islamic State’s local affiliate who was travelling in a car with one other person near the eastern city of Jalalabad, US official sources said on Saturday.
The strike came two days after Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport, as western forces running the airlift braced for more attacks.
The US president, Joe Biden, has promised to hunt down those responsible, striking in a place and time of his choosing.
The drone strike is likely to be in part aimed at reassuring a shaken US public that its government’s counter-terrorist capabilities in Afghanistan remain intact despite the chaotic withdrawal.
There is no indication that the target of the drone was involved in Thursday’s blast, which killed around 180 people, including 13 US marines.
The attack focused attention on ISKP, which had previously been seen as only a minor actor in Afghanistan and one of the weaker IS affiliates around the world.
The group was founded in 2014 by a few dozen disaffected Taliban commanders and defectors from other militants from the region and made early gains in districts close to the border with Pakistan in the eastern Nangarhar province, where the drone strike occurred around midnight on Friday night. The name Khorasan was given by medieval Islamic imperial rulers to a region including modern Afghanistan.
Read more about ISKP at the Guardian link.
The Washington Post: The 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul airport attack: What we know so far.
What’s happening in your neck of the woods? If you’re in the path of Ida, please stay safe!
Labor Day Monday ReadsPosted: September 2, 2019 Filed under: just because | Tags: Hurricane Dorian, hurricane katrina, Labor Day, Lazy good for nothing Trump, Southern Decadence 20 Comments
Happy Labor Day Sky Dancers!
Down here in New Orleans we’re celebrating Southern Decadence!! It’s a very big party with a lot of everything where every one has fun while being yelled at by the usual crowd of angry, bitter judgy white men.
Meanwhile, the some times occupier of the White House is playing golf at his Virginia club all on the Tax Payer’s Dime. And, a million US citizens are facing evacuation for the monster hurricane Dorian. This is from the Weather Channel. I can only imagine the hell that is pounding the northernmost Bahamas today.
Dorian’s forward speed has slowed to a virtual stall.
Unfortunately, that means the northwest Bahamas, in particular Grand Bahama Island, are taking an extended pummeling.
Wind gusts of up to 200 mph are possible on Grand Bahama Island, including Freeport, according to the National Hurricane Center, along with life-threatening storm surge. Bahamas Press reported Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport was under 5 feet of water early Monday morning.
Squalls from the outer periphery of Dorian have also reached the southern Florida Peninsula. A wind gust to 47 mph was reported at Juno Beach, Florida, early Monday morning.
A hurricane warning has been posted along the east coast of Florida from Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County line. A storm surge warning has also been issued from Lantana to the Volusia/Brevard County line. These warnings include Melbourne.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas, including Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Hurricane warnings mean that hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected somewhere within the warning area, generally within 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Storm surge warnings mean there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, within the watch area during the next 36 hours. If you live in an area prone to storm surge, be sure to follow the advice of local officials if evacuations are ordered.
A hurricane watch has been posted along Florida’s east coast from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet and from the Volusia/Brevard County line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River. A storm surge watch has also been posted from north of Deerfield Beach to Lantana and from the Volusia/Brevard County line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River. These watches include Jacksonville.
It’s hard to imagine what a storm of this size has down, can do, and will do. ABC already reports the hurricane has brought ‘historic’ destruction to the Bahamas which is described as it “laying waster” to the nation of a chain of low lying islands. The other provided description is “pure hell”.
Winds are currently blowing at a sustained 165 MPH — the same strength that Hurricane Andrew had when it hit parts of the Miami metro area in 1992.
The eye of the storm made a second landfall at 2 p.m. on the island near Marsh Harbour, and a third landfall an hour before midnight on the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island.
Francis Charles, who rode out the storm in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, called the island “a wreck” late Sunday.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” Jenise Fernandez, reporter with Miami ABC affiliate WPLG, told the station during their broadcast.
ABC News correspondent Marcus Moore, who is on the ground in Marsh Harbour, described the scene as “pure hell.”
“I have seen utter devastation here in Marsh Harbour. We are surrounded by water with no way out,” Moore said. “Absolute devastation, there really are no words it is pure hell here on Marsh Harbour on Avoca Island in the northern part of the Bahamas.”
A local doctor commissioned a statue to recognize and celebrate the role of Latino Workers in helping the city of New orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the levees 14 years ago.
Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana. The 2005 storm was one of the deadliest, and in the aftermath, Black and brown communities felt abandoned by the US government. One of the things we saw as a result of the hurricane was many Latinos who arrived in the city to help rebuilt. Unfortunately, it meant workers cramming into small living spaces and because of the Bush Administration, it also meant they weren’t always paid at the minimum federal rate. All the while, their contributions went largely ignored. On Saturday, a new statue in New Orleans honored the workers, most of whom are Latino and Latin American, for their work.
A local doctor commissioned the statue, made of bronze and marble, but it’s clear that the Crescent Park monument means something to many others. Council member Helen Moreno told 4WWL, “We watched the destruction that happened because of the storm, and we wondered, ‘how in the world are we ever gonna come back?’ But thanks to so many people who came and helped us and the influx of Latino workers that we had in our city, we were able to come back, and not only New Orleans, but surrounding parishes as well.”
E.J Dionne wrote this very moving column today in WAPO on “Remembering the legacy of Labor Day”.
We have also lost the sense of solidarity that originally inspired Labor Day. Greenhouse recounts a conversation with his then-86-year-old mother when he was in Wisconsin covering Republican then-Gov. Scott Walker’s offensive to gut collective bargaining and cut public employee benefits.
“When I was growing up,” she told him, “people used to say, ‘Look at the good wages and benefits that people in a union have. I want to join a union.’ Now, people say, ‘Look at the good wages and benefits that union members have. They’re getting more than I get. That’s not fair. Let’s take away some of what they have.’ ”
How did we get to this point? In another must-read book for our moment, “The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society,” Binyamin Appelbaum argues that the growing role of professional economists since the late 1960s fundamentally altered popular understandings about how the world should work.
We have moved, Appelbaum argues, from a healthy respect for what markets can accomplish in their proper sphere to a “single-minded embrace of markets” that “has come at the expense of economic equality, of the health of liberal democracy, and of future generations.”
“In the pursuit of efficiency,” Appelbaum writes, “policy makers subsumed the interests of Americans as producers to the interests of Americans as consumers, trading well-paid jobs for low cost electronics.”
Appelbaum, who writes about economics and business for the New York Times editorial page, values what economists do, but the ones he respects most are those who understand the limits of a purely material understanding of what matters. He quotes the brilliant Amartya Sen: “Economic growth cannot sensibly be treated as an end in itself. Development has to be more concerned with enhancing the lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy.”
So, that’s it from me today. The very thought and sight of that Hurricane has me quite triggered so I’m staying home with the TV off as much as possible.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Friday Reads: The Year of Aging Faster than your DogPosted: September 1, 2017 Filed under: Afternoon Reads | Tags: Foreign Aid to US under America First, Hurricane Harvey, hurricane katrina 29 Comments
Howdy Sky Dancers!
Welcome to that point in history where Americans age more rapidly than their Presidents usually do! Yes, a 2015 study concluded that Presidents and Prime Ministers age faster and die sooner. This year, however, my experience is that we’re the ones aging faster. I’m also pretty certain if any of his policies actually pass we’ll all die a lot sooner too.
Leading a country comes with extraordinary privileges but also, apparently, a price: new research suggests that political leaders age faster than normal and that the stress of the job may shave almost three years off their life expectancy.
Doctors analysed how long presidents and prime ministers in 17 countries – including Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the US – survived after leaving office, compared to the losing candidates. They also observed the number of years that heads of state lived versus what was expected for someone of the same age and gender.
After considering the fates of 279 heads of state and 261 runners-up, they concluded former leaders lived for almost three fewer years than expected. The study was published online on Monday in the medical journal, The BMJ.
So, enjoy the pictures of some of the Presidents that did themselves in leading us instead of the other way around!
Speaking of leading, the feisty Cajun leader that saved many of my neighbors’ lives after the failure of the levees is criticizing the Harvey response. General Russell Honore argues that the state and federal government are leaving citizens in danger. Using a rag tag bunch of citizens supported by inadequate government forces is an equation for death and destruction. “Hurricane Katrina commander shames the military for its ‘amateur hour’ response to Harvey and says the ‘big dogs’ should have been called in from the start to save residents ‘who are hanging by a thread’.”
In a blistering interview, Russell L. Honore described the military’s treatment of the catastrophe as ‘amateur hour’ and said those at the top needed to take control of recovery missions rather than leave them in the hands of overstretched local authorities.
There are only 73 helicopters in Texas carrying out search and rescue missions over huge portions of the state.
100 high water vehicles are out searching for survivors, 8 para-rescue teams have been mobilized along with three C130 propeller planes and hundreds of boats. On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked for another 10,000 Texas National Guard troops to be deployed, bringing the total to 24,000.
It is an increase the original contributions. Since Harvey made landfall on Friday, it has set the pace for military deployment.
Gradually over the weekend and at the beginning of the week, more resources were deployed by the military and civil agencies. One official at the Department of Defense told DailyMail.com that the same growth was mirrored by other agencies including FEMA and Border Patrol.
Katrina Military Cmdr. criticizes federal response to #Harvey: “We have a lot of citizens hanging on by a thread” https://t.co/WZlepit1Cu
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) August 30, 2017
‘The level of support has been evolving and increasing across the board,’ the unnamed official said.
But Honore, who is credited with saving thousands of lives in New Orleans, said this was a fundamental flaw and that more help should have been sent when the first warning signs came.
‘The American people have put too much confidence in us. We have been too successful overseas to come out in amateur hour and incrementally deploy the force.
‘Something is seriously wrong with our control and command. There comes a point in time with the mission that it is too big for the state national guard and they need to get the hell over it and bring in the big dogs when you’ve got a big mission.
‘In Katrina we had 40,000 national guard, 240 helicopters in the first 4 days. They just got 100 helicopters in Texas,’ he told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday.
Honore is in Texas helping with rescue efforts. He has been warning the government to ‘scale up’ its response to the disaster – which has so far wiped out 48,000 homes – for days.
Needless to say, fly by Donnie thinks it’s all just totally duckie. You can see the numbers to date at this link at the Weather Channel. You may also check out Irma which is barreling its way west. It is expected to be at least a category 4 and they’re not sure where it’s going to wind up yet. The majority of models are taking it into the Gulf and/or up the Atlantic coast of the US. This is the next one and it’s likely US territories and the US itself will be hammered some time next week.
The most interesting thing to read this morning is the interaction between our nation’s friends and neighbors and donations to help Harvey survivors. I always have to remind people how all nations came to the rescue of New Orleans after Katrina/Rita/levee failures. My favorite example is the huge box of household goods that each FEMA Trailer recipient got from the people of Saudi Arabia. But, this disaster seems to be going a bit differently in the day of “America First” and reactionary rather than mainstream Republicans like the Bushies. The only country’s aid that was offered and refused back then was that of a group of Cuban Doctors coming with medical aid.
A lot of the world is not rushing to help the US. Oddly enough, both Venezuela and Mexico–two countries treated harshly and badly by Kremlin Caligula–are offering up help. So is Canada, but it seems Texas turned Quebec down. I’ve got some links here that how far we’ve fallen in terms of treating other nation’s like friends and equals since the White Supremacist in the office started destroying our reputation around the world and how it’s contributing to a reluctance to help us. I love Mexico and Mexicans. There is no way my city could’ve cleaned up and rebuilt without them. Plus, we have Taco Trucks and Tex Mex restaurants now. We really weren’t known for that back in the day.
First up,a Politico lede states ” World in no rush to offer Trump help post-Harvey. After Katrina, countries around the globe offered to help the U.S. After Harvey, only a few — Mexico and troubled Venezuela among them — have volunteered aid.”
As soon as Hurricane Harvey hit, Mexico — a country described by President Donald Trump as a source of rapists and drugs — stepped up to offer boats, food and other aid to the United States.
Another offer of help came from Venezuela, a country in severe political and economic crisis that has been repeatedly sanctioned by the Trump administration. It said it could give $5 million in aid.
The European Union has proudly noted that it is sharing its satellite mapping with U.S. emergency responders dealing the Harvey’s devastation. This despite Trump’s chastisement of European countries he views as overly dependent on the U.S. military.
Then there’s tiny Taiwan, which has reportedly offered $800,000 in aid — a number likely calculated to annoy China as much as to curry favor with Trump.
But compared with past crises, the list of foreign governments lining up to help the United States this time is relatively short for now. And the few countries that have raised their hand may get more out of it — politically, at least — than the U.S.
The relative dearth of global goodwill, some analysts say, may stem from anger at Trump over his “America First” approach to the world, which has irked even staunch U.S. allies.
The Miami Herald has the analysis.
Natural disasters know no political boundaries. And that’s why international humanitarian relief flows so quickly, and in such great and humbling quantities, when hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis strike.
But today, with Houston suffering as Mother Nature’s latest victim, will the world’s giving nations step-up and step-in to help American relief efforts?
Questioning the world’s appetite to help Trump’s America at this moment is a serious question.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans tragedy that followed, the world was tripping over itself to help George W. Bush and Louisiana. The relief efforts ranged from offers of Afghan cash to deployment of Thai doctors and nurses. The Spanish sent crude oil, electric generators and food rations and Swedes airlifted over an emergency mobile phone network. The outpouring of help was overwhelming.
The downside was the United States was unable to accept and distribute the aid offered by 151 countries. Only $40 million of the $850 million offered in Katrina relief was used, $400 million worth of oil aid sat untouched. It turns out that while America was once pretty good at handing out aid around the world, a Heritage Foundation report made clear the USA is woefully unprepared and unable to accept help from others.
In contrast, the response to Harvey is near deafening silence. Maybe a distracted State Department experiencing attrition is unable to process foreign offers and aid. But it might also be that Trump actively alienates American friends and allies, boasts he is cutting USAID, and makes clear that America First translates into an aid policy of every nation for itself.
If they are so disinclined to help us right now in our time of need, imagine what they will do if we need their military help anywhere. There’s more on this development out there in the media. This is the result of the cult of American-style ChristoFascism creeping into our Government that has more to do with being greedy than following the beatitudes or any other teaching attributed to the biblical jesus. “Texas Secretary of State Turns Down Hurricane Harvey Aid From Canada and Asks for Prayers Instead: Report” Seriously?
As reports continue to roll in estimating the damage that Hurricane Harvey has caused to parts of Texas, the news that Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos reportedly turned down help from our friends in Canada is beyond troubling.
According to Pathos, Quebec Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre called Pablos to offer blankets, beds, pillows, hygienic products and electricians, which were also given to the U.S. during Hurricane Katrina, and this dumbass turned down help that the people of Texas actually need and instead asked only for prayers.
“It was a conversation about how devastating the situation is and we want to express our support to the people of Texas,” the minister told CBC News, according to Pathos. “.… Pablos declined the aid, asking only for ‘prayers from the people of Quebec.’ He was very touched by the fact we called him.”
Canada is shipping aid to those directly impacted by the storm and the resultant flooding. “Canada to help U.S. by shipping supplies to Harvey victims. Canadian government sending baby bottles, formula, cribs and other supplies to help the displaced“.
Canada has received an official request from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency for pediatric hygiene kits along with pediatric pillows, towels and other linens in response to needs arising from Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath.
The request came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the offer to U.S. President Donald Trump during a telephone call Thursday.
“President Trump thanked Prime Minister Trudeau and the people of Canada for their offer of assistance and underscored the close ties between our two nations,” said a White House statement released after the phone call.
I’ll just wait here while we all sigh and wax adoringly on Justin Trudeau.
Meanwhile, the scapegoats of Trump’s racism showed themselves to be better than the US President. From WAPO: Flooding trapped workers at a Mexican bakery for two days. They spent it baking for Harvey victims.
As Hurricane Harvey approached Texas last week, the bakers at El Bolillo Bakery in Houston worked overtime, knowing people would be eager to stock up on food.
By Saturday evening, the Mexican bakery’s Wayside location, on the southeast side of the city, had sold out of just about every piece of bread it had.
“We were trying to open up late and trying to make enough bread for everybody. We knew we get absolutely slammed busy during these days,” Brian Alvarado, the manager of the bakery, told The Washington Post. “We didn’t think it was going to rain for that long and that badly.
Mexico was first with its aid offer.
Despite poor relations between the U.S. and Mexico, Texas’ neighbor to the south is offering vehicles, food, medicine and water. The State Department thanked Mexico for its “very generous” offer.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday the state is accepting Mexico’s offer to help with recovery efforts from historic flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
“We had a list of aid and assistance that they have offered to provide that we are accepting,” Abbott told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
The assistance will start arriving in Texas within days, Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the consul general in Austin, told the Dallas Morning News. “Mexico looks forward to doing its share,” he added.
The assistance includes vehicles, boats and food, part of a long list of items included in a diplomatic note the Mexican government delivered on Tuesday, the governor’s press office told Univision.
Mexican officials say they are also prepared to offer troops, medicine, portable showers and water. It was unclear if Mexican troops would accompany the relief aid, as occured during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mexico’s military has specialized civil protection units that could be mobilized, according to experts.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso after a meeting at the State Department in Washington, saying “It was very generous of Mexico to offer their help at a very, very challenging time for our citizens back in Texas.”
Venezuela even stepped up despite the sanctions imposed on them by the Trump Regime of Racism and Xenophobia.
The United States and Venezuela are not on good terms.
Since President Trump took office, he’s sanctioned the country four times (and threatened military action too), taking Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to task for his increasingly autocratic tendencies.
But that bad blood didn’t stop Venezuela from offering $5 million in aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
As Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza explained on state television, the money would come from Citgo Petroleum, the government-run oil company with a refinery in Corpus Christi, Tex. Arreaza said the aid will be directed to local mayors and be aimed at the construction of homes and shelters around Houston. “We express our solidarity with the Americans affected by the hurricane,” he said, according to Reuters. “When an American fills his tank at a Citgo gas station, he’ll be contributing to the rebuilding of the affected communities.”
So, last night, it was apparent that no one is holding their breath and thinking, Gee the Orange Toddler is writing a check for $1 million dollars out of his own pocket to help with recovery and rebuilding. Most of us think he’ll either regift donations to his foundations or conveniently forget the pledge. He also hopes we’ll forget it too.
President Donald Trump, a billionaire who while campaigning bragged that he was “really rich,” announced Thursday that he would donate $1 million to relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas and Louisiana this week. But according to Tony Schwartz, the man who ghostwrote Trump’s 1987 book The Art of the Deal, that’s not going to happen.
Schwartz tweeted Friday morning that there was “no way” Trump would send storm victims $1 million of his own money.
“He only promises to give,” Schwartz wrote. “Never actually does.”
Skepticism around Trump’s intended donation has been mounting ever since White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed the president planned to “join in the efforts that a lot of the people that we’ve seen across this country do” in the wake of the deadly storm. Details are scarce—Sanders couldn’t provide reporters with information on when Trump would donate the money, who he would donate it to or where it was coming from, according to the New York Times.
Later that day, first son Eric Trump tweeted that he bet CNN and the mainstream media wouldn’t cover his dad’s “incredible generosity.” His post came three hours after the network published a story about it, according to The Hill.
This isn’t the first time the president’s charitable giving, or lack thereof, has made headlines.
He’ll probably hold a fundraiser at one of his properties, pocket the profits from that, and regift the access money at best.
Meanwhile, the death toll from Harvey is rising. At least 46 deaths are now expected to have resulted from the storm.
Flooding along the Texas-Louisiana border remains severe. Several towns are still in immediate crisis. These towns are part of the energy coast. This is hampering the shipment of gas. Gas prices around the country are increasing and the availability of gas is iffy in some places because of road and pipe closures. It took six weeks for gas production and shipment to return to normal after Katrina/Rita.
Anyway, keep an eye on the Atlantic.
Don’t be a Donald … here are some places to actually give help instead of lip service.
Have a good weekend!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Monday Reads: A Reptile DysfunctionPosted: August 29, 2016 Filed under: just because, morning reads | Tags: Colin Kaepernick, hurricane katrina, nagas, nagginis, radical christianists terrorists, the national anthem is racist 31 Comments
Eleven years ago, Honey, Karma, Miles and I were sharing a small pink futon on the floor of a Lake Charles motel between the beds of a Chinese and Japanese Graduate student from UNO. I had told all of our foreign grad students in our doctorate program to get hotel rooms and get the heck out of Dodge about 5 days before. I was going to stick it out but didn’t and wound up be very thankful to join them. There’s was nothing to do but to watch CNN and hook up the internet.
It was a day that changed many lives including mine. Honey and Karma, my French Quarter Dogs, have since crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Miles and I are a little worse for the wear and frankly, so is the Kat House. My insurance company never really did pony up enough money to cover the damages and I never took the Road Home Funds because I had–and still have–survivor guilt. My house didn’t flood. But, one of the residuals is that I have a $10,000 deductible for named storms and live in constant fear of anything with a name on it now. Then, of course, we’re still reeling from the post-hurricane damage of 8 years of Bobby Jindal and the continued encroachment on the wetlands by oil companies and housing developers. The last set of floods is just the most recent display of what happens when you really don’t take care of your Mother Earth.
At least this year, I don’t have to hear the word resilient.
Here’s some linky goodness and badness from me, the dakini of the swamps. I’m in wrathful form today so enjoy some pictures of Naginis.
Here’s a wonderful and ominous post recommended by General Russell Honore about the issues with our Louisiana Wetlands. I hope you can take some time to read it all.
We need a massive reforestation of Louisiana. Mature, native, water-loving trees like Live Oaks and Bald Cypress drink up to 1,000 gallons of water per day and should be as common and beloved a site in our urban and rural landscapes as Saints bumper stickers. One huge impetus behind founding SOUL is the very large goal of replanting New Orleans, the most deforested city in the U.S.! But rural Louisiana suffers from deforestation as well, largely due to short-sighted development of subdivisions and commercial areas that raze the forest and level the land before construction. Trees are essential to our resilience as they absorb stormwater into their root systems and transpire it back into the air. A mature tree produces enough oxygen for ten people, and can lower our air temperatures by up to two degrees. The benefits of trees are endless, and our futures rely on them.
It’s time to respect the gravity of gravity. It there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s that water will always travel downhill. Thus, it is vital that water has an unobstructed path to its nearest floodplain or basin. Rural Louisiana has many flood plains and small water bodies like creeks that are bisected by roads. During heavy rains these spots turn into dams and cause massive flooding as water seeks a lower point of gravity.
New construction should be raised to a level accommodating a 2,000-year storm.Considering how quickly our disasters are growing in intensity and frequency, it only makes sense that we should build new homes and businesses according to future storm levels. We’re recovering from a 1,000-year flood, so let’s rebuild to a 2,000-year disaster this time. Many of the structures that were damaged were built at grade on slab. Cities must stop allowing development that ignores our hydrology and natural history, for the sake of developers maximizing their profits.
We need to integrate “green infrastructure” into every aspect of our lives. If you’re not already familiar with this term, it refers to infrastructure that mimics natural systems and harnesses stormwater at its source. Essentially its goal is to get water back into the ground and into the water table.
There’s a developing tropical storm that’s due to enter the Gulf. It’s supposed to turn back on Florida at this point. However, you never know and we would be on the wet side if it gets too close for comfort. People south of us already have a lot on their plate and any kind of drenching of the area would be really bad. Thankfully, the winds aloft are not particularly friendly atm. I just hope it doesn’t get a name if it pours on the Kat House and that it misses the folks in the flooded area completely.
So, onward with today’s theme of snaky people.
A white male radical christianist was plotting a ” mass shooting to protect 2nd Amendment from ‘f*ggots’.” This guy sounds like a good Trump supporter, doesn’t he?
Bryce Cuellar, 24, was arrested by Las Vegas police after they were notified by Interpol in July about Cuellar’s video. In the video, Cuellar stated that he is tired of the government trying to take away his First and Second Amendment rights and planned to go on a killing spree.
Calling himself a “Christian warrior,” Cuellar bragged that he would use his weapons as the Founding Fathers intended, killing,” gays, faggots, lesbians and satanists.”
According to Las Vegas police, Cuellar reportedly beat his wife hours after posting the video on YouTube, where he displayed his weapons while wearing a Kevlar vest and sporting night-vision goggles.
A review of Cuellar’s YouTube page reveal a collection of conspiracy-minded videos including ones that question what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, support for the Bundy family’s war on the government, the threat of the Illuminati and proof that angels and demons are real. Investigators say the timeline of his videos suggest that he has sunk deeper in the world of conspiracy mongering over the past three years.
This is pretty scary. Foreign hackers have gotten into the state election databases according to the FBI.
The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.
The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.
Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department’s help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cyber security experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a “readout” of the call released by the department.
Johnson emphasized in the call that Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” to the election, officials said. But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, entitled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. “It was an eye opener,” one senior law enforcement official said of the bureau’s discovery of the intrusions. “We believe it’s kind of serious, and we’re investigating.”
The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for ten days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. The Arizona attack was more limited, involving malicious software that was introduced into its voter registration system but no successful exfiltration of data, a state official said.
A huge amount of hoopla has surrounded the 49ers Quarterback who has refused to stand for the pre-game playing of our national anthem. My 10 year old self would actually have a crush on this guy. I refused to say the pledge in classroom at that ripe old age, was nearly kicked out of Girl Scouts and was asked why by the Principal who couldn’t understand why mass symbolic recitations of anti-communist loyalty shows would disturb me. I basically said it was pretty meaningless and why didn’t we just read the preamble to the Constitution instead. Actually, the District wound up taking this activity out of the daily classroom and never said another word to me. I think it was because the Constitution was behind me and the District Lawyer figured it out. I never heard back why but was relieved to not have to go through a rote, meaningless exercise every day to prove I wasn’t a communist. I am not nor have I ever been a communist or a member of the communist party. Now, can I quit the loyalty oath shit?
But, Colin Kaepernick has stated his reason as a protest of national oppression of racial minorities. The NFL is actually giving him quiet consent. I say more power to him.
San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Sunday defended his decision not to stand for the national anthem at a game two days earlier, saying he is protesting on behalf of people oppressed because of their race.
“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it’s not happening for all right now,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick did not stand as the national anthem played before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The move sparked criticism, and some fans posted videos of themselves burning Kaepernick jerseys and other apparel.
Actually, if you read the real history of this anthem and the racist who wrote it and an abhorrent additional verse that is totally racist, you’d be asking them to switch our anthem to something like America the Beautiful where I could substitute something creative for the current head nod to the angry sky fairy.
The story, as most of us are told, is that Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on a British ship during the War of 1812 and wrote this poem while watching the American troops battle back the invading British in Baltimore. That—as is the case with 99 percent of history that is taught in public schools and regurgitated by the mainstream press—is less than half the story.
To understand the full “Star-Spangled Banner” story, you have to understand the author. Key was an aristocrat and city prosecutor in Washington, D.C. He was, like most enlightened men at the time, not against slavery; he just thought that since blacks were mentally inferior, masters should treat them with more Christian kindness. He supported sending free blacks (not slaves) back to Africa and, with a few exceptions, was about as pro-slavery, anti-black and anti-abolitionist as you could get at the time.
Of particular note was Key’s opposition to the idea of the Colonial Marines. The Marines were a battalion of runaway slaves who joined with the British Royal Army in exchange for their freedom. The Marines were not only a terrifying example of what slaves would do if given the chance, but also a repudiation of the white superiority that men like Key were so invested in.
All of these ideas and concepts came together around Aug. 24, 1815, at the Battle of Bladensburg, where Key, who was serving as a lieutenant at the time, ran into a battalion of Colonial Marines. His troops were taken to the woodshed by the very black folks he disdained, and he fled back to his home in Georgetown to lick his wounds. The British troops, emboldened by their victory in Bladensburg, then marched into Washington, D.C., burning the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building and the White House. You can imagine that Key was very much in his feelings seeing black soldiers trampling on the city he so desperately loved.
A few weeks later, in September of 1815, far from being a captive, Key was on a British boat begging for the release of one of his friends, a doctor named William Beanes. Key was on the boat waiting to see if the British would release his friend when he observed the bloody battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore on Sept. 13, 1815. America lost the battle but managed to inflict heavy casualties on the British in the process. This inspired Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” right then and there, but no one remembers that he wrote a full third stanza decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army:
Read the comments there to fully embrace the number of white folks that want the revisionist version of history and their comments. It’s pretty revealing of a few nasty natures. Speaking of which, RUN HUMA RUN. Anthony Weiner has done it again. Huma actually has decided to separate from the man now so evidently, he’s worked her last nerve.
Just two weeks ago, when he was asked if his sexting days were behind him, he seemed to deflect. And now we know why: On Sunday night, the New York Post reported that Weiner had recently been sexting with a woman who is not his wife. Making the story even more cringe-worthy, the New York Post reports that Weiner sent a suggestive photo of himself while his toddler son was in the bed next to him.
Weiner didn’t deny any of this. He told the New York Post that he and the woman “have been friends for some time.”
“She has asked me not to comment except to say that our conversations were private, often included pictures of her nieces and nephews and my son and were always appropriate,” he said. By Monday morning, Weiner had deleted his Twitter account. By Monday afternoon, his wife, Huma Abedin, announced the two were separating.
At least he’s not shooting up malls of innocents but wow, the dude has major issues. He had so much going for him. What accounts for such self-destructive behavior?
Is it just me or is the entire national discourse today turning into some display of things that require medication and the help of a a good psychiatrist/psychologist? One more story about the nation’s top pathological liar and I’m going to make more coffee and listen to some nice music. Trump has turned into a whirling dervish on the immigration issue.
The real reason Trump is now shifting away from mass deportations is almost too obvious to restate: It is probably alienating the college educated whites and white women — swing constituencies — that he simply must improve among if he is to have a chance at winning. And so, Trump is now downplaying this goal, by saying that his priority is to remove “criminal” illegal immigrants. The game here is to sound more reasonable to swing voters who are horrified by mass deportations and generally support mass assimilation, by projecting a recognition that not all of them are full blown criminals. He compassionately understands that many of them are “good ones,” believe me! But in so doing, Trump is still preserving his underlying stance that all the 11 million generally remain targets for removal. He eventold CNN that there’s a “very good chance” that all the rest would be deported later. This isn’t as crazy as vowing proactive, immediate mass deportations. But it still is not an actual solution. At best, it is tantamount to leaving them all in the shadows for an indefinite period, or a reversion to Mitt Romney’s absurd “self deportation” stance. In reality it probably means they’ll all have to go.
And this leads to the ultimate point: Donald Trump’s deportation problem is the GOP’s deportation problem. Many Republican lawmakers — including GOP leaders — generally support the goal of legalization. They recognize that the most realistic solution for the 11 million — the one that would best serve the national interest — is some kind of path to assimilation, combined with penalties and increased border security. They also recognize that long term demographic and political realities compel this stance.
But the party has refrained from embracing that solution, because the base won’t allow it. For years, that forced many Republicans to continue saying the 11 million should be subject to removal, but when pressed, they tended to fudge on whether this means they all should be deported right way, since that’s politically and substantively untenable. Instead they took refuge in the platitude that we should merely “enforce the law,” without saying exactly what that should mean. What it really means is, leave most of them in the shadows indefinitely.
Trump is now being forced to sever himself from his explicit mass deportations pledge. And this is forcing him to adopt the GOP’s platitudinous “enforce the law” position. We’ve come full circle: On deportations, the GOP nominee is now pretty much where most Republicans have publicly been. Thus, in his speech, he will probably revert to a vow to target criminals first while more generally promising to “enforce the law” to deal with the rest. But Trump — as the GOP nominee and as someone whose entire campaign is built on the idea that illegal immigrants are nothing more than criminal invaders — is facing a much higher level of media scrutiny on this issue than GOP lawmakers have to date, rendering that long-held GOP position untenable for him in a way it wasn’t for other Republicans.
Serpent Cults have been a part of human history for some time. Many religious myths embrace the serpent concept as symbolic of a number of things. As I look at the many stories I’ve gathered today, I can only think of our folksy renderings of calling a man a ‘snake in the grass’. We also have the imagine of woman as a siren or mermaid or woman turned temptress by snakes and apples. It strikes me that we never really truly forget our ancient mythos and their identification of the many aspects of our human nature.
In mythology, the serpent symbolises fertility and procreation, wisdom, death, and resurrection (due to the shedding of its skin, which is not akin to rebirth), and in the earliest schools of mysticism, the symbol of ‘The Word’ was the serpent. The ‘light’ that appeared was metaphorically defined as a serpent called ‘Kundalini’, coiled at the base of the spine to remain dormant in an unawakened person. Divinity or awakening one’s Godhood and latent abilities came with the rituals and teachings brought by the serpent people.
To understand them, we must look at the original ‘serpents’. In China, it was a male and female pair with human heads and serpent bodies named Fu Xi and Nu Wa who created humans. In Sumer, it was the Annunaki Nin-Khursag and her husband Enki who were given the task of creating workers. Enki is known to us as the serpent in Genesis—the one who gave us the ability to think and reason and so was cursed by his brother Enlil for it. To the Hindus, it was the cosmic serpent Ananta who created us. So, if, at the dawn of man’s creation we have a pair of serpent-like beings who created us, then those of the serpent cult must have been their direct descendants, either by blood or by spirit.
Government has been designed with the idea that you can punish or circumvent aspects of human nature with the rule of law and the force of the will of the many. Still, we get Snake Oil Salesmen like Donald Trump and guys that can’t get past their basic anatomy and their urge to think with their littlest head or use other phallic symbols like missiles and killing projectiles to take out the creative and intelligent forces that stymie them which, mostly tend to be women and small children when you think about it. The Trump CEO–Steven Bannon–is like the walking symbol of all things snaky. Here’s the latest op research his life of evil doing.
Donald Trump’s campaign CEO fired a new mother suffering from multiple sclerosis while she was on maternity leave, according to a lawsuit obtained exclusively by The Post.
“Julia Panely-Pacetti, a new mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was terminated by defendants from her position as head of public relations and corporate marketing because of her sex and her disability,” states the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court in September 2005.
I wish there was a better tradition of snake handling in this country. Maybe we could learn something from the ancients. Maybe that medieval guy with the bow has the right idea.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Monday Reads: The Adulting BluesPosted: August 24, 2015 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: economy, Huckabee, hurricane katrina, New Orleans, Racism, Resilience lab, Stock Market, Trump 17 Comments
Well, today’s the kind’ve day that makes me want to hide under the covers and have my mother do all my laundry and cooking. Well, actually my Dad used to do all the cooking but you know what I mean. It’s been like that for at least a few days as my car’s battery gave out in a very inconvenient location on Thursday night and my bills are bigger than my latest paycheck. A lot of my ennui and accompanying stress has to do with the uberhype of the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which for a lot of us is an ongoing process of things becoming more undone than they were before.
Then, there’s just the constant barrage of news–none of which is particularly good–which includes ISIS destroying an ancient wonder. You know what an armchair archaeology buff I am. It’s just so easy to deal with dead civilizations rather than live ones. Trump continues to belittle any one in his path, and every one in the Republican primary is unleashing misogyny and racism. I’m going to focus on the racism today because I think both BB and JJ have given the current misogyny binge complete justice.
My friend Peter has actually written exactly what I’m feeling on this dreadful week where they’re actually pulling out parades and doing “resilience tours” to hype the city and its survival. Like I said, we may have survived Katrina, but I still have my doubts about our surviving the hipsters, the gentrification, and our elected overseers who have forced us to privatize things that weren’t working before but now are worse and to capitalize on things that turn us into a Disaster Minstrel Show. Again, this is not my writing but Peter’s but I could’ve written it word for word except I obviously don’t have his wife!
I am dreading the influx of disaster tourists who will surely be showing up in town this week. Some of them will be sincerely motivated and others will be of the “I volunteered once with Habitat for Humanity after Katrina so I know what it was like” variety. No, you don’t. You don’t know what it’s like to be barred from your home for 6 weeks and have to sneak in like Dr. A and I did. You don’t know what it’s like to have a bad case of survivor’s guilt because you didn’t fare as badly as other people in town. You don’t know what it’s like to have to re-tell your “Katrina story” over and over again. You don’t know what it’s like to be having dinner and have do-gooders burst in to save your pets because you didn’t, or couldn’t, wash the marks off your front door. Actually, neither do I but it happened to some friends of mine. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase putting on the dog…
The aftermath of the storm was a very painful period in the lives of New Orleanians. We’ve lived it day-in and day-out for 10 years at varying levels of intensity. That’s why I’m not enthusiastic about rehashing those days regardless of whether it’s done by resilience tour types or the krewe of “we’ve gone to hell in a designer handbag.” I wish they’d all piss off and leave me alone. I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Yes. I feel that way. Piss off and leave me alone. Unfortunately, my neighborhood has turned into the mini-Quarter and I can’t even walk the dog around the block or have a beer without either bumping into seven bridesmaids giggling, six film crews taping, and five fucking Air BnB parasites.
This headline from WAPO actually made me scream: A ‘resilience lab’. They’ve obviously bought into the Mayor’s hype. This is the paragraph that’s described my reality. Every day I walk out of my house and feel like screaming “WTF are you doing here? Why don’t you go back to the hell realm you came from instead of bringing it here to me?” No east coast newspaper article on New Orleans is complete these days without telling people that the place to be is my freaking neighborhood, the Bywater. I have fewer and fewer neighbors all the time. My neighborhood has been completely overrun with people hoping to redefine and cash in on cool.
He smiled at first. It looked so charming, all those people driving slowly down Burgundy Street through the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, pointing cameras.
Then it dawned on Keith Weldon Medley: These folks weren’t tourists or architecture buffs. They were shoppers. And on their shopping list was almost everything that could be had in these neighborhoods, a collection of Creole cottages, shotgun doubles, warehouses and small manufacturers at a humpback bend of the Mississippi River.
In the evolution of post-Katrina New Orleans, few phenomena have been more striking than the dramatic demographic shift of places such as Bywater from majority black to majority white. One census block group in Bywater dropped from 51 percent African American before Katrina to just 17 percent afterward; the largest went from 63 percent to 32, according to a Washington Post analysis of U.S. census data.
“You saw all these white people. Obviously they were displacing black people who were here before,” said Medley, a historian who lives in the house where he grew up in the Marigny.
My daily mantra is “I see fucking stupid White People.”
So, I really don’t intend for this to be my Katrina post. I’ve been there and done that. Let me post a few more things that are pissing me off today.
There’s an obvious asset bubble bubbling away here so the market’s correcting and the Fed is going to start bringing up interest rates. This blog has an interesting take on what’s going on which is particularly relevant to my field of research as a currency bloc and international economist.
Global stock markets are in a 2008ish kind of crash today and I really don’t much time to write this, but I just want to share my take on it.
To me this is fundamentally about the in-optimal currency union between the US and China. From 1995 until 2005 the Chinese renminbi was more or less completely pegged to the US dollar and then from 2005 until recently the People’s Bank of China implemented a gradual managed appreciation of RMB against the dollar.
This was going well as long as supply side factors – the opening of the Chinese economy and the catching up process – helped Chinese growth.
Hence, China went through one long continues positive supply shock that lasted from the mid-1990s and until 2006 when Chinese trend growth started to slow. With a pegged exchange rate a positive supply causes areal appreciation of the currency. However, as RMB has been (quasi)pegged to the dollar this appreciation had to happen through domestic monetary easing and higher inflation and higher nominal GDP growth. This process was accelerated when China joined WTO in 2001.
As a consequence of the dollar peg and the long, gradual positive supply shock Chinese nominal GDP growth accelerated dramatically from 2000 until 2008.
However, underlying something was happening – Chinese trend growth was slowing due to negative supply side headwinds primarily less catch-up potential and the beginning impact of negative labour force growth and the financial markets have long ago realized that Chinese potential growth is going to slow rather dramatically in the coming decades.
As a consequence the potential for real appreciation of the renminbi is much smaller. In fact there might be good arguments for real depreciation as Chinese growth is fast falling below trend growth, while trend itself is slowing.
The market has rebounded but the financial markets are obviously still shaky. China is the world’s largest economy now so anything that happens there is bound to ripple around the world.
The global whiplash underscored investors’ shaken confidence in China’s slowing economy and central bank. The world’s second-largest economy is now reeling over what China’s state media is calling “Black Monday,” during which its markets just recorded their biggest one-day nosedive in eight years.
But the mid-morning bounce off deep trading lows led some analysts to question whether financial markets had already finished their fall. Tech giant Apple, which begun the morning down 13 percent and dipping below $100, was trading 2 percent higher by the afternoon, at about $107.
The dismal opening marked a worrying continuation of last week’s free fall. The Dow’s blue-chip index plunged more than 500 points on Friday, capping its worst week since 2011 and entering what Wall Street calls a correction, having tumbled 10 percent from its May peak.
The sell-off bruised every industry, wiping out gains in rapid order after a year of mostly steady trading. Some of America’s biggest companies shed tens of billions of dollars in market value in only a few days, and the markets’ early gains have yet to restore those losses.
S&P 500 companies lost more than $1 trillion in market value last week, and the Dow and other indices are on track to record their dreariest month since February 2009.
On Friday, China reported its worst manufacturing results since the global financial crisis, following shortly after Beijing earlier this month surprised investors by announcing it would devalue the nation’s currency.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index has fallen by nearly 40 percent since June, after soaring more than 140 percent last year. Markets in Europe also plummeted, and Asian shares on Monday hit a three-year low.
Economist gadfly and miserable human being Larry Summers is pearl clutching about the rate hikes. He seems to be on a search to be relevant again but on a very wrong path. This article alone ought to make you very glad that he’s not the Fed Chairman since he seems completely oblivious to the asset bubbles that I see in assets around the country including houses once again.
Like most major central banks the Fed has put its price stability objective into practice by adopting a 2 per cent inflation target. The biggest risk is that inflation will be lower than this — a risk that would be exacerbated by tightening policy. More than half the components of the consumer price index have declined in the past six months — the first time this has happened in more than a decade. CPI inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices and difficult-to-measure housing, is less than 1 per cent. Market-based measures of expectations suggest that, over the next 10 years, inflation will be well under 2 per cent. If the currencies of China and other emerging markets depreciate further, US inflation will be even more subdued.
Tightening policy will adversely affect employment levels because higher interest rates make holding on to cash more attractive than investing it. Higher interest rates will also increase the value of the dollar, making US producers less competitive and pressuring the economies of our trading partners.
Please check out housing and stock prices Lala and then try again.
Republicans continue to show they have no idea about the reality of black people in this country. Trump attacked Martin O’Malley for sensitivity to the Black Lives Matter Campaign.
Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, Donald Trump admitted to being completely ignorant about the Black Lives Matter movement. “I know nothing about it,” the billionaire real estate developer said.
Of course, his lack of knowledge didn’t prevent him from harshly criticizing the effort. Trump said that he’s “seeing lot of bad stuff about it right now.” He said Martin O’Malley, a contender for the Democratic nomination, was a “disgusting little weak pathetic baby” for apologizing to Black Lives Matter activists earlier this year.
Huckabee played the MLK card and completely confused King’s Son.
Martin Luther King III, the son of the late civil rights leader, said he was “perplexed” by GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s comments last week suggesting that his father would be “appalled” by the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think dad would be very proud of young people standing up to promote truth, justice and equality,” King said during an interview on SiriusXM radio. “I was perplexed by the comments, but people attempt to use dad for everything.”
King’s comments come in response to a CNN interview last week in which the former Arkansas governor spoke out against the Black Lives Matter movement, saying racism is “more of a sin problem than a skin problem.”
If you look at the picture of flooded New Orleans and the view over the flooded lower ninth ward towards city, you’ll see a cluster of white tallish buildings sitting right on the river in the middle of that photo. Just a hair to the right is where my house still stands and where I’m there right now with a pillow pulled over my head trying to block out the world of adults. I don’t want to be one of them at the moment.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?