Usher’s News & Analysis for June 26, 2020

Air quality from parts of Texas into Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups on Friday, according to

Massive Saharan Dust Plume Will Spread Into the U.S. This Weekend As It Completes Its 5,000-Mile Journey From Africa

You know why this next linked-article doesn’t even mention economic sanctions. It states the following but nothing about the sanctions:

Many blame the lack of clean water and Venezuela’s other woes on the years of mismanagement and corruption under President Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.

My ideology is truth. If I find out something I thought was true is actually false, I change rather than cling to the falsehood. I let the truth take me wherever it will. Those who do the opposite are the problem.

Truth: Every measure of poverty went down under Chavez. Only high oil-prices caused problems with that. Venezuela has some of the heaviest oil in the world. It costs much more to refine. Chavez should have moved Venezuela to renewable energy as quickly as possible, but he wanted to use the profits from oil to benefit the poor right away. The CIA attempted a coup against him and failed. The same pressures, only more, have been put on Maduro, who did win a fair election against fascists out to take over. Views opposing what I’ve just written here are false propaganda. Also, there is something called lying by omission. Omitting that Venezuela is under some of the heaviest sanctions in the world designed to end democracy in Venezuela and to restore the fascists to power, is lying by omission unless the author or speaker is simply ignorant. Is The Weather Channel simply ignorant?

President Nicolas Maduro’s government accuses political foes of sabotaging pump stations. As an answer, officials recently celebrated buying a fleet of 1,000 “super tanker” trucks from China to deliver water to residents.

Bad, greedy US foreign policy simply drives Venezuela into the arms of Xi, who truly is a totalitarian dictator. The US could have worked directly with Maduro so Venezuela’s mixed economy could work with the US mixed economy. So what if the Venezuelan’s want to own more collectively, to have more nationalized sectors of their economy. If they vote for that, that’s democracy. Even when Venezuela allows more and more laissez-faire capitalism, which it has been doing under Maduro, the US still won’t let up. Greedy interests in the US want to strip the wealth of Venezuela for themselves. The greedy ones want to leave as little as possible for the poor of Venezuela.

Desperate Venezuelans Go To Extremes To Get Clean Water

As for COVID-19, there’s tons of news showing the lockdowns were lifted wildly prematurely. I’ll not be linking to much of it. I’ll try to wait for a dramatic shift in national, state, and local governments to a sensible approach. It will be much harder now that the virus has been foolishly allowed to spread.

Perhaps we’ll get a vaccines that’s both safe enough and effective enough, but I’ll be extremely shocked if it happens within years.

Prevention, including properly boosting the immune system the natural, non-vaccine, way and using effective treatments, many of which ought to include inexpensive, natural methods, is probably the approach deserving more hope and plenty of effort.

Which side did you listen to, the side calling for no lockdowns or lifting right away or the one calling for tight lockdowns to be lifted only when the all-clear is sounded? Whom do you trust to run the show, to call the shots for the nation and world?

Good update (except concerning hydroxychloroquine because the results of better clinical trials that use hydroxychloroquine with zinc, among other things, are not yet in): Special Report: As world approaches 10 million coronavirus cases, doctors see hope in new treatments

Concerning the two Koreas, Trump got everyone smiling, shaking hands, crossing borders in friendship, ready to make major changes for the better, and then attention deficit on steroids showed up on the US side. Things are actually worse now than before Trump started down his road.

I think the Kim family is failing to take proper advantage, but more of the blame falls on Trump. The Kims could open up with other nations, especially South Korea. The North should get the South to make decisions for the betterment of Korea in total and with a strong eye toward unification rather than only doing what the US tells it to do. Both the North and South could leave the door open for an attentive and reasonable Trump but should go it without him if necessary.

On the issue of Black Lives Matter (BLM), let’s be honest. The BLM Movement is not a Bolshevik movement, a Marxist movement, or an anarchist movement. It is simply a movement against racism towards Blacks, especially police harassment of Blacks, police brutality against Blacks, and with particular emphasis against police murder of Blacks. Black people and people of other “colors” and of varying ideological persuasions make up the BLM Movement.

When Israel illegally annexes portions of the already occupied West Bank, which nations will stand up and sever diplomatic relations with Israel and place sanctions on them? Who’ll walk all the talk about international law?

Trump undecided on support for West Bank annexation as U.S. envoys arrive in Israel for talks

It sure was looking like there wouldn’t be a second stimulus check, but things have definitely changed in ways that will likely force Trump’s hand.

These 3 Factors Will Determine If You Get A Second Stimulus Check

Some scholars also trace the sheriffs’ refusal to enforce laws they disagree with back to more sinister roots: from the Ku Klux Klan to the far-right Posse Comitatus movement of the 1980s and eventually the quiet founding of a group for hundreds of sheriffs who refuse to enforce all laws they find unconstitutional.

Since his speech Tuesday, Snaza clarified that he wants to take the mask order on a case-by-case basis — while getting people to think, too.

“Just because I said ‘don’t be sheep’ does not mean that I’m outwardly saying I want you to violate the orders,” Snaza told OPB.

Well, not enforcing unconstitutional laws and orders is not a wrong thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. However, Inslee’s order IS constitutional.

‘Don’t be a sheep’: Sheriffs rebel against new statewide mask requirements

I agree with her.

Holmes Norton says she’s well aware of the history of the statues she’s fighting to take down.

The “Emancipation Memorial,” which sits in Lincoln Park near the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol, depicts a heroic Abraham Lincoln with his hand symbolically giving the blessing of freedom over a kneeling newly freed slave.

She doesn’t have an issue with Lincoln himself, who ended slavery, but with the way the statue was created and the power relationship depicted, saying it was “controversial from the start” and that it belongs in a museum instead.

“Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input, and it shows. The statue fails to note in any way how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation. Understandably, they were only recently liberated from slavery and were grateful for any recognition of their freedom,” she said.

She notes that Frederick Douglass, in his keynote address at the statue’s unveiling, also expressed his displeasure.

“She doesn’t have an issue with Lincoln ….”

DC delegate in showdown with Trump over removing Lincoln, Jackson statues

The charter states there has to be a police department. The proposed amendment replaces that with “a department of community safety and violence prevention” that will take “a holistic, public-health-oriented approach.” It also provides for a law enforcement division with licensed officers.

“Of course we still have to have emergency response for those situations that are difficult to de-escalate, but I think that it’s important for us to keep in perspective that most of what police do is not respond to violent situations,” Ellison said.

Those who do respond to violent situations need to be highly specialized and highly trained. They need to be given non-lethal tools. Those tools need to be incapable of inflicting sadistic pain.

Minneapolis City Council members taking first step toward disbanding city’s police department

Rebuffing strong opposition from industry, California on Thursday adopted a landmark rule requiring more than half of all trucks sold in the state to be zero-emissions by 2035 ….

It should be 100% by then for sure. Also, where will the electricity come from. If it’s not also clean, it will simply be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

New Rule in California Will Require Zero-Emissions Trucks

“I think most people think that when the $600 gets cut off that if they’re not unemployed, it’s not going to affect them. But when 30 million people are no longer getting $600 extra dollars, that’s going to have a multiplier effect on the whole economy,” Evermore says.

In fact, in a recent Congressional testimony economist, Jason Furman estimated that the extra $600 unemployment benefit will boost GDP by 2.8% and support just under three million jobs.

“Letting this extra $600 in unemployment insurance benefit expire at the end of July would by itself cause more job loss than was seen in either of the recessions of the early 1990s or early 2000s,” writes Josh Bivens, director of research for the Economic Policy Institute.

Going forward, Bivens predicts that extending the $600 unemployment benefits through the middle of next year would provide an average GDP quarterly boost of 3.7% and employment of 5.1 million workers.

The extra $600 unemployment benefits will end before July 31

House Democrats unveil green tax package

The total number of loans in forbearance neared 4.7 million.

Delayed mortgage payments increase by 79,000

… it’ll take time for the “phenomenal” jump in savings to trickle into higher investment and spending, she said in a webinar on Friday. The recovery will also be “incomplete” as trade is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels and productivity may be weaker.

ECB’s Lagarde Warns of Complicated, Transformational Recovery

Some countries want a little here and little there while China claims the whole damned thing.

Amid pandemic, SE Asian nations warn of ‘alarming’ South China Sea incidents

Labour anti-Semitism row: Long-Bailey allies urge Starmer to reinstate her

Is everyone backing Israel’s “annexation” of Palestinian lands also to be fired? If not, why not? The Palestinian Arabs consider the threatened taking of their lands, they call theft, to be an ethnically bigoted move by the Israelis.

Why is hyper-sensitivity concerning anti-Jewishness (incorrectly termed anti-Semitism) held to be so much more important than sensitivity concerning anti-Palestinianism if not due to invidious discrimination against Palestinian Arabs?

Long-Bailey linked to an interview with Peake, who says, “tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.” Whether American police learned it that way or not, the statement is not, repeat not, inherently anti-Jew. It was a statement against the Israeli regime hellbent on illegally taking Palestinian land. It was not against being Jewish, per se. Plenty of Jews oppose the move to steal more Palestinian land. Those Jews are not anti-Jew. They’re anti-theft.

The worst numbers are in the Miami area, where, incredibly, almost half (49%) of renters feel that they can’t make July’s payment. In New York, Atlanta, Houston and Detroit, it’s more than a third.

A handful of metro areas have percentages that are closer to Seattle’s. In San Francisco, 19% doubt they can make next month’s rent, almost the same as the Seattle number.

It should be noted that with so many renters unable to make their payments, this crisis also hits many landlords hard — in particular, those smaller “mom-and-pop” landlords.

Nearly 1 in 5 Seattle-area renters doubt they can make July’s rent

New Black-led group at CHOP says protesters will decide how long they’ll stay

Friday is the deadline for Mayor Jenny Durkan and the city to document its CHOP planning or face an injunction threatened in a federal lawsuit brought by a group of Pike/Pine and 12th Ave area property owners and a small set of neighborhood businesses.

Responding to neighborhood concerns, Miller said “we appreciate your patience,” but “as Black People, Indigenous people, and people of color, we feel an intense burden every moment of our lives that I would say the burden of owning a business doesn’t compare to the struggles of living in a nation that is built on anti-Black racism.”

“We hear you business owners, we’re doing our best,” Miller said. “We are dealing with trauma always.”

Friday’s clearance effort follows an erosion of the sprawling protest camp as a weekend bout of deadly gun violence pushed Mayor Durkan to join SPD Chief Carmen Best in calling for an end of the occupation and the return of police to the East Precinct headquarters. It is time for demonstrators to “go home” and “time to restore order and eliminate the violence on Capitol Hill,” Durkan said. Durkan and Best have made it clear they believe it is too dangerous to march police in to retake the zone. Community outreach, social services, and time, so far, have helped.

Some occupiers make a stand, others prepare for exit from CHOP as city moves in to clear parts of Capitol Hill protest zone

Durkan said the city would work with CHOP organizers to dismantle the protest zone after two weeks of occupation, because the violence was distracting from the message of addressing racial inequality.

Man injured in third Capitol Hill shooting since Saturday

NYC shootings skyrocket for first time in 2 decades – YouTube

Krystal and Saagar: Harry Reid’s claims with NO EVIDENCE Russia manipulated votes in 2016

Krystal and Saagar discuss Harry Reid’s comments where he says there’s ‘no question’ in his mind that hackers altered the 2016 vote count.