Usher’s News & Analysis for May 21, 2020

In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic. In 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 300 million tons of plastic. These staggering figures, cited by the United Nations, have devastating implications for wildlife, marine life, and the Earth.

Single use plastic is like poison to the environment. Scientists have quickly discovered alarming amounts of not only plastic but also microplastic— pieces of plastic smaller than 5 millimeters— in the most remote parts of the oceans. With 300 million tons of plastic produced from fossil fuels annually, and plastic taking centuries to decompose, at this point, plastic can be found on every single beach in the world and negatively affects sea life.

A New Plant-Based Plastic Will Degrade in a Year


The law, which is expected to ban sedition, secession and subversion of the central government in Beijing ….

… it has taken three years for the national anthem bill to receive a second reading indicates the type of delaying tactics and fierce opposition any attempt to introduce Article 23 via the legislature would bring. However, the Basic Law also permits the Hong Kong government to simply promulgate the law, bypassing lawmakers altogether. While this would be hugely controversial, and may face legal challenges, constitutionally it remains an option.

China to propose hugely controversial national security law in Hong Kong


The British government, along with the US government and dozens more worldwide, recognizes Guaidó, rather than Maduro, as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. Venezuela’s political turmoil stems from presidential elections in 2018, in which Maduro secured another six-year term in a process widely viewed as a sham.

“… widely viewed as a sham” by whom? By neoliberals, who covet everyone else’s raw materials, etc. Everyone else knows the election was legitimate.

Venezuela says Bank of England is refusing to release gold it needs to fight Covid-19


Please notice the absence of any discussion about anyone stealing anyone else’s land. Regardless of what many in the US think, might does not make right. Neither does it last.

Abbas, Cornered by Israeli Annexation, Opts for ‘Judgment Day’ Scenario


Xi knows this:

… under the terms of the diplomatic agreement with China — and under U.S. law — Washington is required to take any threat to the island seriously, and “make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”

Unfortunately, the US only supports those democracies that when doing so, serves the greedy interests of the US plutocracy. Democracies that want to put their people before US plutocrats don’t get supported when those democracies can’t be used to increase US economic imperialism.

Ever-friendlier U.S.-Taiwan ties draw “firm opposition” from China


McConnell has questioned the need for more immediate federal spending. He has said he wants to first see how effective the more than $2.5 trillion already passed is in combating the crisis. Some Senate Republicans have argued the enhanced unemployment insurance could deter work because, in certain cases, individuals receive more money than they otherwise would have made at their jobs.

But failing to extend the benefit could leave millions of Americans facing a sudden income cliff in August in an economy where employers may still be unable or reluctant to hire. While “there is some concern” the additional payments could discourage people from looking for work, many people likely will not have job options as the economy slowly recovers, said Demetra Nightingale, an institute fellow at the Urban Institute.

“… some concern’ the additional payments could discourage people from looking for work” is only concerning to those who don’t understand how unemployment works. Once the government starts requiring people to start looking again, they have to actually actively look or lose the benefits.

Mitch McConnell says next coronavirus bill will not extend enhanced unemployment benefits

Mitch McConnell is anti-People, anti-worker. His priority is the rich keeping as much wealth, power, and control as possible. Why the people of his state have kept reelecting him defies intelligence.


A stay-at-home order, he said as late as March 18, wasn’t warranted. “The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus,” he told The Daily podcast.

De Blasio first began seeking more testing capacity from the federal government as early as January, but he too downplayed the threat of the disease, encouraging New Yorkers to go to restaurants and use the subways in early March.

Yes, they were both dead wrong. Here’s what got me about how many were reacting. They were incorrectly thinking that shutting down meant overreacting, panicking. One can shut down without panicking. I was for a total lockdown with no panicking, just a calm, level-headed approach to stopping the spread of the virus at the earliest possible date — well before Trump stopped international travel.

Cuomo, de Blasio blame ignorance, but not themselves, in wake of damning report


Good:

A federal appeals court ordered the judge handling the criminal case of President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, to respond to a request by Flynn’s lawyers to dismiss the case.

Flynn did nothing wrong. The FBI, and everyone else in a position of power and who knew there was no evidence, showed utter corruption at heart.

Appeals court orders Michael Flynn judge to respond to demand for dismissal of case against ex-Trump advisor


Half of California’s days with 2,000 or more new cases of COVID-19 have come in the past eight days, but so has significantly ramped-up testing for the deadly new disease.

Coronavirus: More new cases than ever in California


Whether Democrats like it or not, it will all come down to whether Shokin was doing his job. If he was, then Uncle Joe got him fired for it. Ukraine has the legal evidence that he was doing his job and doing it too well to suit Joe.

Engel threatens subpoena over Pompeo’s handling of GOP Hunter Biden probe


The love of money over the love of people:

New Mexico’s governor blasts state GOP for ‘reckless demand’ to reopen