Thursday, October 10th 2019

News Review I

Where to begin. Planting trees. Endless drought. Impeachment proceedings. U.S. retreats from Syria and Turkey invades.
Plant more trees and save the planet
Plant more trees and save the planet


L.A.'s green new deal: Los Angeles joins countries around the world in the effort to plant more trees (among many other measures) to offset carbon emissions. Some trees can sequester one hundred pounds of carbon per year. Los Angeles joins other major U.S. cities like New York in an effort to add a lot of green to their streets and surrounding areas. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg saw great success with his Million Trees NYC initiative in 2007. Read the article

Changing tones on Australia's drought: For more than 8 years, Australia has experienced the worst drought on record. At current rates, Sydney will run out of water in two years. The water resources minister recently announced he accepted that the drought was linked to climate change. Weeks before, he told the Guardian he was not sure if climate change was man made and then later clarified he had always accepted the science on humanity's role in climate change. Read the article


The impeachment effort's unexpected ally: During a Fox News interview, Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) denied the existence of a quid pro quo surrounding Trump's request that Ukraine investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. The July 25th call during which Trump requested Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Biden discussed a White House meeting and $391,000,000 in Javelin missiles ('military aid') meant to help fight Russian invasion. Responding to the Congressman's denial, Fox News' Chris Wallace read texts between diplomats directly involved in the call that substantiated the U.S. assistance being contingent on an investigation into Trump's likely challenger. The Congressman replied "It's just not true." Read the article

Obstructing the Kangaroo Court: The State Department blocked U.S. Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, from testifying before Congress. Sondland was a participant in the very same texts read to Congressman Chris Stewart during his Fox News interview with Chris Wallace. Read the article

A new front line in national defense: Interviews with officers, generals, and Pentagon employees reveal a 'new front line in national defense:' the White House Situation Room. Read the article

Just what we do: Building favor with the United States means investigating the president's political opponents. “This is what we do,” Mr Pompeo told reporters, when asked if other countries might be pressured by the president. Read the article

From 'under audit' to 'presidential immunity': Federal judge rejects Trump lawyers' claim of immunity from all criminal proceedings in order to keep his tax returns secret. The case now heads to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the article

Thank you Colin Powell: Fox News reports on former Secretary of State Colin Powell's assessment of foreign policy and the GOP at large. Refreshing rationality that is difficult to find today. Read the article

Tax Rates: A study of Americans' effective tax rates since the 1960s found that in 2018 the wealthiest 400 families paid a lower total tax rate than any other income group—just 23.0%. Read the article

The Constitution is what I say it is: White House counsel decried the impeachment process as illegitimate. Framing the impeachment process as outlined in the constitution as unconstitutional is an extraordinary measure to force the conversation away from potentially impeachable offenses. Read the article

Whiplash: How do you get the American people to forget about a fire? Light another one. Trump announced the withdrawal of all troops in Syria, leaving allied Kurdish forces to fight off Turkish invasion and guard thousands of IS prisoners all at once. Read the article

All Kurds left behind: Trump greenlit an October 9th invasion of Kurdish land in Syria by Turkish forces. The Kurds have been a close U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria. After abandoning the Kurdish fighters, Trump stated that Turkey is now responsible for defeating IS in the region, drawing bipartisan criticism in Congress. Read the article