The Wrongologist

Geopolitics, Power and Political Economy

Monday Wake Up Call – July 9, 2018

The Daily Escape:

Turkeys on the Fields of Wrong – June 2018 photo by Wrongo

We wake up this Monday in an America that seems unlike what it should be, or what it was a few years ago. Two quick stories. First, this action by the Trumpistas encapsulates everything horrible about the Trump administration’s approach to the world: (emphasis by Wrongo)

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly…. Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

More from the NYT:

When that failed, they turned to threats…Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

They scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, most of them in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation.

The Russians ultimately introduced the measure — and, no surprise, the American delegation did not threaten them. From Booman:

The Trump administration demonstrated almost every flaw they have here. They put the interests of corporate lobbyists ahead of the health of babies. They showed a complete contempt for science and the consensus of the international community. They abused their power and threatened well-meaning and innocent nations simply because they could.

The message is clear: If a country needs to stand up to America, they should go running to the Godfather, Russia, who will do the right thing. And for America? Another horrible outcome brought to you by Donald Trump.

Second, Politico reported that Trump is obstructing the plan to build a new Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey:

The obstacle is not the usual red tape that delays US infrastructure….the environmental review for the new Hudson tunnel was fast-tracked and forwarded to the Transportation Department for approval in an unusually speedy two years. The obstacle is the Trump administration, which vowed in its infrastructure plan to accelerate the permits process, but has been sitting on this one without explanation. “I wouldn’t say we’re slow-walking it,” one administration official told me, before laughing. “OK, maybe a little.”

Ha-ha. The truth is that Trump is trying to force Chuck Schumer to vote for Trump’s Wall in order to get money for the Tunnel. Here’s the NYT: (brackets and edits by Wrongo)

President Donald Trump was in an unusually bipartisan mood on September 7, when he convened a White House meeting about a massive project to build a rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

The politicians in attendance thought [they had a deal]…. “Ask anyone on either side of the aisle. It was very upbeat, total agreement this needs to get done,” Christie told me. King describes the meeting as a love-in: “Not a single negative word, great body language, everybody on the same page.”

After the meeting, though, Trump asked Schumer to stay behind. He bluntly offered another deal, an offer suggesting he had a rather different conception of Gateway’s larger importance: Schumer could have his tunnel if Trump got his border wall with Mexico.

Schumer said he couldn’t make that trade. And ever since, the Trump administration has been doing just about everything in its power to derail the Gateway project. In March, the president threatened to veto an entire $1.2 trillion government spending bill if it included anything at all for Gateway.

It always comes back to his F*king Wall. He’s promised something he can’t deliver, so the only thing he knows how to do is try to take hostages.

This will simply get worse if we fail to turn out in massive numbers in November, and try to re-take the Senate, and absolutely take back the House of Representatives. To help you wake up today, here is John Prine’s “Long Monday” from his 2005 “Fair and Square” album, which won the Grammy for best Contemporary Folk Album:

There are a host of great musicians on the album, including Jerry Douglas, Allison Krauss and Dan Tyminski. Mindy Smith sings harmony on Long Monday.

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