Category Archives: USA Politics and Economy

Opinion: It’s Been Six Months Since Biden Took Office. Here’s How He Stands.

Jennifer Rubin | The Washington Post 

President Joe Biden

PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS BEEN IN OFFICE FOR SIX MONTHS. Despite right-wing media’s effort to portray him as a doddering socialist – If he is so feeble, is there really a socialist threat? – his approval ratings remain strong – 58 percent in the most recent CBS/YouGov poll. THERE IS GOOD REASON FOR THE HIGH MARKS. 

Biden has exceeded expectations among progressives, more centrist Democrats and many non-MAGA Republicans on several fronts. Despite the emergence of the delta variant, his management of the vaccination program was commendable and arguably the most “whole of government” response to a crisis outside wartime in decades. We are now mostly down to the willfully unvaccinated. That success in turn has allowed the economy to begin roaring back, albeit with a flash of inflation.          Continue reading

HAITI: President Moïse’s killing leaves Haiti less stable but as elitist as ever – Opinion

Any reform after the assassination of Jovenel Moïse will depend on the US re-evaluating its interests in the country
A photo of Jovenel Moise, at his memorial ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 20 July 2021.
‘Moïse’s assassination is the latest crisis for the most economically disparate country in Latin America and the Caribbean.’ Photograph: Matias Delacroix/AP
The assassination of Jovenel Moïse, Haiti’s president, marks another point in the years-long power struggle that pitted his loyalists against activists and working-class families, exhausted by years of social strife and gang violence. On Saturday, his wife Martine Moïse, injured in the attack, returned home to the Caribbean state to face speculation about her own political career. Meanwhile, the authorities still search for the motive for her husband’s killing.             

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WATCH: New Rule: ‘LOSING TO CHINA’ | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

New Rule: Losing to China | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Bill warns Americans that while they’re busy obsessing over silly culture wars, China is overtaking them on the world stage.

A very sobering message, especially to politicians in Washington. “Real Time” host, Bill Maher, closed his show Friday night by sounding the alarm on China’s growing dominance over the United States. “You’re not going to win the battle for the 21st century if you are a silly people. And Americans are a silly people,” Maher began the monologue, alluding to a “Lawrence of Arabia” quote        Continue reading

USA: To Trump’s Hard-Core Supporter; His Rallies Weren’t Politics. They Were Life.

What 2020 looked like from the front row on the campaign trail

Michael C. Bender | The Washington Post

Donald Trump soaked in the adoration as he commanded a rally stage inside a massive central Florida arena. I stewed in my seat and stopped taking notes.

It was the third summer of Trump’s presidency, and the event had been billed as the official kickoff of his re-election campaign. What unfolded, however, was effectively the same rally I’d already covered at least 50 times since 2016 as a White House and political reporter for the Wall Street Journal.          Continue reading

FINANCE: Why China wants to undermine bitcoin – Currency and control – Opinion

Beijing’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has captured headlines, while behind the scenes its reserve bank set up its own digital currency

Thu 8 Jul 2021 20.38 EDT – THE GUARDIAN. UK

Few would dispute that China’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining has contributed to the recent plunge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptos.

But while the argument rages about whether the volatility of cryptos is a sign of fundamental weakness or merely a bump along the road, the initiatives coming out of Beijing are being seen by experts as a sign of China’s attempts to incubate its own fledgling e-currency and reboot the international financial system.          Continue reading

USA: Democratic candidate Eric Adams poised to be New York’s next mayor

Adams’ victory a ‘major step forward’: Brooklyn Dems chair

Brooklyn Borough President and a Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams (Right), greets NYPD officers as participants gather for a march through the financial district during a parade honoring essential workers for their efforts in getting New York City through the COVID-19 pandemic, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in New York.
Adams bested a large Democratic field in New York’s first major race to use ranked choice voting. Results from the latest tabulations showed him leading former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia.     
Associated Press/John Minchillo

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USA: California Faces Extreme to Exceptional Drought…Yet Again – by Rosaliene Bacchus

New post on Three Worlds One Vision

I was so consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic that I paid no attention to the lack of rainfall in the early months of 2020 and 2021. To tell the truth, I enjoyed the dry winter months. I got to spend more time gardening. Cold and damp days kill the joy of being outdoors. Then, on May 10, California Governor Newsom grabbed my attention when he placed 41 counties, 30 percent of our state’s population, under a drought state of emergency.

READ MORE: http://rosalienebacchus.blog/2021/06/27/california-faces-extreme-to-exceptional-droughtyet-again/

USA Politics: Trump Is Preparing for the Worst – By David Frum | The Atlantic  

Watch for early indications that the legal process may end badly for the former president. 

By David Frum | The Atlantic

  • “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
  • “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
  • “What brought it on?”
  • “Friends,” said Mike. “I had a lot of friends.”

— Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Like Hemingway’s Mike Campbell, the Trump Organization is confronting troubles that accumulated gradually and have coalesced suddenly. And once again, friends are at the bottom of it.          Continue reading

USA: FOURTH OF JULY: The pandemic will deter few Americans from their typical celebrations

By  James Fransham – Data correspondent – The ECONOMIST

After a gruelling 16 months of pandemic restrictions, for many Americans this weekend’s celebrations of the Fourth of July will be more heartfelt—and poignant—than for many years. President Joe Biden will mark the occasion by hosting thousands of key workers and military folk on the South Lawn of the White House in what is being billed as “independence from the virus”. 

Even so, for a lot of people this July 4th weekend may be much like any other. Our latest weekly poll from YouGov asked Americans whether they plan to celebrate more or less than usual this year. Fully 73% said they will be celebrating about the same as usual; only 8% said more than normal. Around 20% said they would do less than usual. That tallies broadly with our new “normalcy index”, which we launched in this week’s Graphic Detail section. From data on eight areas of life, from flights to movie-going, we find that activity in America is still about 25% below its pre-pandemic norm.          Continue reading

THE VIEW FROM EUROPE: Difficult choices for the Caribbean – By David Jessop

By David Jessop

Can the Caribbean avoid being caught up in the accelerating east-west struggle for global influence? Is the region likely to find itself in a bidding war, ‘dancing to the rhythm of dollar diplomacy’, as Jamaica’s former prime minister, Bruce Golding, has suggested?

Reading the communiqué from the recently held G7 summit, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the consensus arrived at by wealthy western nations on relations with China and Russia, the promotion of shared values, and investment in post-pandemic economic recovery, will not be used to attempt to seduce the region.

Although the meeting held in England’s far Southwest touched on multiple issues, it is the future approach agreed towards China and its Belt and Road Initiative, and on corporate taxation which will likely become the most complex future issues that Caribbean governments must now respond to.            Continue reading