September 2017

USDA chief scientist nomination -- more Trump HOGWASH

The Hill
Dems prep for major fight over Trump USDA science pick
Timothy Cama
President Trump’s pick to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) chief scientist is on track to face one of the rougher confirmation battles of the administration. 

Rep. Devin Nunes: a study in obstruction

 You get some of these boys too far from their mamas' cooking, put them in suits, give them some money and send them to Washington DC, and it's like they get Obstruction on the brain. First, being beloved-tools-for-a-season of San Joaquin Valley agribusiness, they develop the hubris required to imagine stopping the flows of whole rivers, damming, channeling, diverting flows for the greater good of fewer and fewer, larger and larger agricultural enterprises. 

Oakdale, a well feathered nest for some

 In these curious times, let us all take a moment to laugh out loud at Oakdale, home of one of the oldest, most corrupt irrigation districts in California1.; Oakdale, which sat back and watched a juvenile delinquent hedge fund steal its groundwater for miles around, replacing some of the richest seasonal pasture in the country for more nuts2.; Oakdale, once the Ladino Clover Capital of World, once the Cowboy Capitol of the World, now just another nut-case town without identity, with water problems, and represented by a passel of Republicans at the state and federal lev

Death toll at 90 from Mexican earthquake

Death toll now at 90 as aftershocks rattle southern Mexico
Christopher Sherman Associated Press
Life for many has moved outdoors in the quake-shocked city of Juchitan, where a third of the homes are reported uninhabitable and repeated aftershocks have scared people away from many structures still standing.

Westlands board votes to not support the Delta Fix

“They’ve put two conditions [on the project] that can’t possibly be met,” said Patricia Schifferle of Pacific Advocates, an environmental group.
“They're saying, we’ll participate if you make others pay and give us a free ride on environmental protections. That is a nonstarter.” -- Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 19, 2017

Another perspective on the Korean Peninsula: Trade rather than nuclear war

 Pepe Escobar, one of the top foreign correspondents writing in English, lives in Hong Kong and has been covering Asia, with particular attention to its economic development, for several decades.
We brought together three of his recent columns that focus in part or wholly on the Korean Peninsula for the purpose of providing a perspective that appears to be totally beyond the worldview of American media at the moment Trump and his supports are trying very hard to freeze our minds, which makes it doubly important for us to reach beyond their imperial sphere for news and perspective.

Black and Blue

 Black and Blue
Fats Waller, lyrics by Harry Brooks, Andy Razaf, from Broadway musical Hot Chocolates, 1929


Out in the street, shufflin' feet
Couples passin' two by two
While here am I, left high and dry
Black, and 'cause I'm black I'm blue

Browns and yellers, all have fellers
Gentlemen prefer them light
Wish I could fade, can't make the grade
Nothing but dark days in sight

Cold, empty bed, springs hard as lead
Pains in my head, feel like old Ned
What did I do to be so black and blue?

Why cometh the truant officer?

How fondly we remember Carole Tomlinson-Keasey, the first chancellor of UC Merced, telling all us locals that, although they couldn't exactly measure it, they found it, nonetheless, universally true that proximity to a UC campus made people more intelligent.

Master grifter meets his match at Livingston Happy Food Mart

But, even though the man, apparently an illegal immigrant (though from what country is one mystery) with more than 40 alias, apparently conned the local McClatchy Co. outlet into believing he at least recently came from a place called Stenton, another mystery. We never heard of it and either has Google. But the Sun-Star may have its zip code.
Who knows?
At least the suspect is calling himself Alvarez and not Alvernaz, and he has not apparently claimed any relationship to Sweet Potato Joe. 

Please spare us more psychobabble over Puerto Rico

 As ideologies right and left contend on the mainland airwaves for the best response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, and the president with his genius for fanning the flames of resentment has managed once again to outrage decency, let us for a moment look for some other explanation than the "fragile ego" or similar psychobabble hornswoggle.
Another hypothesis: the delay is a Wall Street shakedown.
-- blj