Free Rein

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Nick Anderson)

In other news, cyber security researchers say North Korea has likely stolen hundreds of million of dollars to finance their nuclear weapons program by hacking banks across the globe in a campaign that began in 2014 and continues to this day.

Meanwhile, infamous warmonger John Bolton says the Trump regime is reviewing all international agreements that may fall under the jurisdiction of international courts.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday the administration was reviewing all international agreements that could expose it to binding decisions by the International Court of Justice calling the United Nations’ organ politicized and ineffective.

His announcement came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was terminating a treaty of amity with Tehran, after the court ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.

I think it's impossible to overstate what kind of message this sends to dictators and oppressive regimes around the world. If the United States says international courts are illegitimate, why should they care what courts say?

Finally, the retail business lobby says they expect holiday spending will grow by about 4 percent this year, but consumer spending will be lower than it was last year because the effect of the GOP's tax cuts has faded. The lobby is also waiting to see what happens with Trump's trade war.

“Last year’s strong results were thanks to growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence, complemented by anticipation of tax cuts that led consumers to spend more than expected,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. [...]

The trade body also said there are continued concerns about an escalating trade war with China but it is optimistic about consumers’ propensity to spend.

If you're a regular reader, please consider donating during this week's fundraiser. Thank you in advance.

  • Badgerite

    I suspect the reason that there is only one copy of the FBI report on Kavanaugh for 100 Senators and it must be reviewed in a “secure room” is that they don’t want anyone coming forward who might contradict what is in it in terms of veracity or accuracy. Can’t think of any other reason for the TOP HUSH conditions. They don’t want anyone to really know what’s in it. You cannot contradict something that is not available to the public. Cover up, Part II.

  • Badgerite

    Lindsey Graham. OMG. James Carville’s comment about dragging a “ten dollar bill through a trailer park” was actually directed at the Paula Jones lawsuit which, FYI, was a summary judgement ( Bush appointed judge) in favor of Bill Clinton meaning no jury when presented with the evidence could have reasonably ruled in favor of Paula Jones. What the judge didn’t say but what was true is because the evidence gathered was so ridiculous as to be the product of a frivolous lawsuit which should have gotten the lawyers on that sanctioned.
    Paula Jones, early on, did a No Excuses Jeans commercial for $50,000 which she said would go to charity. Of course it didn’t. The person with no case ended up a millionaire as people paid her just to go away and not appeal.
    She later did a turn on Celebrity Boxing. Her wages as a lower level clerical worker for the State of Arkansas was $6.54 an hour. After putting the Bill Clinton, a sitting president of the United States, under oath as to all of his private relationships, the evidence presented to the judge of sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace against her was that on returning from maternity leave she was given lighter duties with “less responsibility” ( she was put at a receptionist desk as opposed to data entry- oh the humanity) and that she did not receive flowers on Secretary’s Day. Carville did not make that comment with respect to anyone but her. He was not referring to Kathleen Wiley or to Juanita Broadrick. And with respect to Paul Jones, that comment was born out. And then some.
    Paula Jones had no legal fees. There was no judgement ever issued in her favor.
    She has never had to work a day in her life again.

  • Badgerite

    Maggie Haberman@maggieNYT
    Several moments after trump describers Kavanaugh’s treatment as “abuse” and decries guilty until proven innocent, the crowd goes into “Lock her up!”

    Of course they do. Hammerheads sounds about right.

  • katanahamon

    It’s now only a matter of time before the repercussions of allowing a narcissistic imbecile to vent his frustrations by playing with the US and world economy become apparent..meaning “we are screwed.” I still can’t understand why people can’t see the entire FBI Kavanaugh plot was orchestrated beforehand. Welcome to banana republic USA.

  • Aynwrong

    Even if we can get a Democrat back into the White House in 2020, the rest of the world would be 100% justified in wondering/asking,
    “Yeah, but what happens when the stupid party is in power again?”

    Any consumer who was willing to spend more because of the Trump tax cut scam is either very wealthy, very stupid or both.

    • Badgerite

      Or…..partying like it’s 1999,