Dave Lindorff explains, at some length, exactly why our current Administration is headed for disaster with North Korea and Iran. You should read the whole thing, because it covers just about everything, but long story short: our Administration will fail because they think they can bully their way to get whatever they want from these two nations. Long story somewhat longer: they've also subscribed, rather uncritically, to an American tradition of "negotiation" that demands that the other side give them everything they want before "negotiations" even begin. Of course, if you've ever heard, from anyone, that actual negotiations have to be win-win, this way of "negotiating" will seem strange to you.
It took me a minute to sort out exactly why I can't stand the "liberal" media's absurd habit of blaming right-wing excesses, particularly those coming from our President and his votaries, on "liberal smugness," but here goes: blaming the President on his opponents's "smugness" is a way of trying to silence criticism of the President, calling the President's opponents "smug" is a way of trying to keep us from shaming the President and his votaries when they deserve it, and why do we blame liberals for what right-wingers do in the first place? And why do we never right-wingers called "smug" when they shame people? I suppose pointing to the "smugness" of liberal critics is also a way of saying you can't win the argument on the merits.
National Democratic politicians suddenly release a plan to deal with governmental corruption, the "Better Deal for Our Democracy" -- and it's not at all bad. I mean, it has plenty of good proposals, but they also divide neatly into three categories (voting rights, ethics, campaign finance) that have broad support across the ideological spectrum. Question is: will they run on it? I mean, these are Democrats we're talking about, obsessed with polishing their civility trophies and appearing "bipartisan." They could fumble away this opportunity like they've fumbled away so many others. So we gotta stay on them.
Ho hum, Harley-Davidson makes big bucks from the Republican tax "reform" bill, then closes a heavily-unionized plant in Kansas City, displacing 800 workers, and announces a close-to-$700 million stock buyback. It gets worse: their York, PA plant will add 450 workers, many of whom will be temps and other contract workers, for a net loss of 350 well-paid, highly-skilled, permanent workers. It gets even worse! Harley will also open up a plant in Bangkok, Thailand, later this year -- not to outsource jobs, they assure us, but to avoid paying taxes in the United States. No, they said it out loud! Maybe whomever runs against noted Harley-rider Scott Walker in Wisconsin can tie all of this nastiness to him?
Finally, a Pennsylvania state Senate committee unanimously passes the famous anti-gerrymandering bill, SB 22, with the full Senate about to take it up presently. But the Senate State Government Committee did amend the bill, and not for the better: if the Commission can't approve a new redistricting map, for example, the legislature, not the state Supreme Court, gets next crack at it (though the hurdle for approving that map is still high at both points -- 7 of 11 Commissioners, then two-thirds of the legislature). But it's still worth your support -- at least until Daryl Metcalfe gets a hold of it and makes a grotesque mockery of it, like he did with those other two redistricting bills earlier this year.