‘It Will Be Everywhere’: David Wallace-Wells on Climate Change and Hard-Won Optimism | Pacific Standard


It’s true that The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming—Wallace-Wells’ new book, which reports on what life will look like under two to four degrees Celsius of warming—is a difficult, sometimes terrifying read.

But that doesn’t mean that general readers should avoid the book.

In fact, Wallace-Wells argues that fear is necessary as a motivator—because with a crisis this serious, every sort of motivator is necessary. As Wallace-Wells tells Pacific Standard, he takes a “let all flowers bloom approach.” Fear may drive some readers away, but it could also inspire others to take action.

Source: ‘It Will Be Everywhere’: David Wallace-Wells on Climate Change and Hard-Won Optimism – Pacific Standard

German juggernaut may face economic jam as tariffs and Brexit loom | Reuters


Germany faces the risk of steep U.S. tariffs on cars and a no-deal Brexit, a double whammy which could bring a golden decade of growth in Europe’s powerhouse economy to an end.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers are working behind the scenes to mitigate the impact should the worst-case scenario come to pass.

A stagnating German economy or even a recession would hold back the euro zone as a whole and cast uncertainty over the European Central Bank’s planned exit from its loose monetary policy.

Source: German juggernaut may face economic jam as tariffs and Brexit loom | Reuters

Some 2,000 travelers still stranded in Bangkok after flights disrupted | Reuters

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Thai Airways International canceled more than a dozen flights to European cities — including London, Paris, Milan, Zurich and Frankfurt — after Pakistan closed its airspace on Wednesday amid rising tensions with India.

Nearly 5,000 passengers – most of them flying on Thai Airways and Taiwan’s EVA Airways – scrambled to find alternative flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport after Pakistan closed its airspace on Wednesday.

Source: Some 2,000 travelers still stranded in Bangkok after flights disrupted | Reuters

Back home from Hanoi, Trump faces more political headwinds | Reuters


Now, he is just back from a Hanoi summit with North Korea that collapsed and the cloud has grown darker.

While Trump’s much-hyped meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un broke up in disagreement over sanctions linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, testimony from his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who accused him of breaking the law while in office, represented a potentially damaging development for the president at home.

Trump faced challenges on other fronts: sensitive talks with China over a trade deal, a slow-rolling crisis in Venezuela, tensions between India and Pakistan and an attempt in Congress to kill his emergency declaration aimed at securing funding for a wall on the border with Mexico.

Source: Back home from Hanoi, Trump faces more political headwinds | Reuters

The unbearable unrealism of the present | Social Europe

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What characterizes the present moment in history is a pervasive sense of unrealism among elites.

Official discourses are no longer used as guides to action, laws are not applied and regulations are ignored.

The ultimate symbol of the unrealism in the world is contained in two graphs. The first is the projection by the United States’ Congressional Budget Office of the ratio of debt to gross domestic product until 2048.

Source: The unbearable unrealism of the present • Social Europe

India and Pakistan at the Brink, Foreign Policy Heads Into the Unknown in South Asia | Council on Foreign Relations


Between these two official accounts lies a significant gap.

Exactly how far into Pakistani territory did the Indian Air Force jets reach, and for how long?

What was hit and what was the damage?

How many people were killed?

We may never fully know what transpired.

What exactly do we know?

Source: India and Pakistan at the Brink, Foreign Policy Heads Into the Unknown in South Asia | Council on Foreign Relations

Did Trump team miss signals about Hanoi summit’s chance for success? | TheHill


Diplomacy did not begin with Donald Trump (though let’s hope it doesn’t end with him either). Typically, a decision to send the president on a roundtrip 20,000-mile journey would depend on whether a deal is at hand, not a long shot. It is true that in international negotiations, often a country’s negotiators resist making the concessions needed to conclude a deal and kick those up to the summit level.

But this pattern usually is accompanied by signals, subtly but clearly conveyed, that a summit-level meeting will be successful.

Maybe the North Korean and U.S. negotiators gave each other these signals and, in so doing, got out ahead of their bosses, but that is rare — especially for North Korean negotiators, for whom such errors of judgment can be life-threatening.

Source: Did Trump team miss signals about Hanoi summit’s chance for success? | TheHill

Trump CFO Weisselberg emerges as key person of interest for Dems | TheHill

The spotlight is shining brightly on the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer following explosive testimony this week from Michael Cohen, who repeatedly pointed to Allen Weisselberg as someone who could tell Congress all it wants to know about the president’s business.

Weisselberg reportedly has an immunity deal with federal prosecutors in New York, who Cohen said Wednesday are investigating other alleged illegal acts involving Trump.

Source: Trump CFO Weisselberg emerges as key person of interest for Dems | TheHill

Why Cohen’s Revelations Likely Won’t Lead to Trump’s Impeachment | US News


The two alleged acts, if true, would appear to amount to a violation of campaign finance law and bank fraud, respectively, allegations that Cohen supported by presenting checks allegedly signed by Trump reimbursing Cohen for the payments, and financial statements allegedly given to Deutsche Bank showing a $4 billion swing in Trump’s purported net-worth.

Cohen further testified Wednesday that he at one point secretly recorded Trump, and that the payments were carried out at Trump’s behest.

“That’s all a crime,” says Nick Akerman. On the hush-money payment in particular, he continues, “you’ve got witnesses … you’ve got documents, you’ve got Trump’s signature all over this stuff, you’ve got tape. They got him solid.”

For anyone other than a sitting president, “give me that case and I could convict him in a couple days on that. It’s a very prosecutable case,” Akerman says.

Sitting presidents, though, face little risk of prosecution.

Source: Why Cohen’s Revelations Likely Won’t Lead to Trump’s Impeachment | Politics | US News

Team Trump’s Big Win This Week: Republican Loyalty | US News


.. those setbacks also reveal a significant win for Trump, who fiercely prizes fealty to himself and to his brand: He has managed to turn national debates into tests of loyalty to him.

Whether it’s Russia, executive power or even the allegation that he broke the law by paying hush money to an adult film actress, Trump has reframed the debate in very simple and simplistic terms, analysts say – you’re either on Team Trump, or you’re not.

And few sitting GOP members of Congress appear willing to bench themselves.

“This is where we are with [political] polarization. You would not see this voluntarily blind following in a less polarized environment,” says Javier Corrales, a political science professor at Amherst College and an expert on democracy, authoritarian regimes and executive power.

“The Republican Party has turned into a Leninist party in terms of discipline and support for their leader. It almost feels like this is not a [small-d] democratic party anymore,” Corrales says.

Source: Team Trump’s Big Win This Week: Republican Loyalty | The Civic Report | US News