“Begging for War,” The Swamp Re-convenes

Winds of War: Kim Jong-un “is begging for war,” UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said yesterday during an emergency meeting of the Security Council. “We have kicked the can down the road long enough,” Haley told the Council. “There is no more road left.”

The meeting was called after North Korea exploded its most powerful bomb yet, following its launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan into the Pacific.

Other major countries chimed in. French ambassador François Delattre, said, “It is no longer a virtual threat, it is an imminent threat. It is no longer a serious threat, it is an existential threat.”

South Korea has been conducting air and naval exercises to demonstrate its military power.

The Chinese ambassador said, Beijing would “never allow chaos and war” on the Korean Peninsula, but the North seems beyond everyone’s control. There is still a bag of economic and cyber punishments to dig into, but it’s getting close to the bottom.

Swamp Thing: Congress returns to work today with a daunting agenda for the fall. They have to pass a Hurricane Harvey relief bill, avoid a default on the national debt, and pass a spending bill to keep the federal government running.

Add to that the goals of passing tax reform and a national infrastructure rebuilding bill. Their promise to repeal Obamacare also lurks in the wings.

There are a lot of hazards in the way. Both the Democrats and the Republican far right can block just about anything. Failure to raise the debt ceiling so the government can pay its bills could cause a stock market dive and turbulence in the economy.

President Trump has backed off his threat to shut down the government if he doesn’t get money for his border wall, but he needs some kind of legislative win. He’s the first President in 40 years who has not steered the passage of a major piece of legislation in his first seven months in office.

At the Pump: Gasoline prices may have topped out and begun to go down after their post-Harvey spike of 20 cents a gallon. Texas oil refineries are coming back online and gasoline futures have dipped.

Pre-Owned Vehicles: Hurricane Harvey may have damaged or destroyed as many as one million cars and motor vehicles, according to the data firm Black Book. About 300,000 to 500,000 of those are privately owned.

Houston is a car-intensive city with about 1.8 cars for every household. Dealers expect a rush of new car sales, but among the cars destroyed were those sitting on dealer lots.

And Here Comes Irma: Puerto Rico has declared an emergency in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a storm now rated at a Category 4 after spinning around out in the Atlantic.

Irma is expected to touch US territory sometime tomorrow and could hit Florida by Friday.

Ink: The Daily News, New York’s 100-year-old tabloid, has been sold to Tronc, the soullessly-named company that owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

The News has been the voice of New York’s working class as well as its rich owner, the real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman. But the paper has been ground down by a tabloid war with Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and the general decline of the newspaper industry. Circulation peaked at two million in the 1940s and is now in the low hundred-thousands.

The News is known for its screaming cover headlines. Today’s; “STOP THE KIMSANITY.”

Immigration Reform: Andy Borowitz writes in The New Yorker that, “According to a new survey by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, the American people hold the nation’s billionaires in lower esteem than ever before, and a majority would like to see new laws enacted to deport them.

‘They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,’ one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

‘They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,’ another said.”

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"One of the things that actually Trump has benefited from is that, on a daily if not hourly basis, there are things he says that you could never have imagined any other American president -- left, right, up or down -- saying, and they kind of bleed into each other. And you sort of forget, 'Oh, yes, 72 hours ago, he said this...'"

-Jeff Greenfield on CNN’s "Reliable Sources"

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