The World has lost confidence in American Leadership Since Trump was made president

❝ Ever since President Donald Trump was voted into office, global confidence in U.S. leadership has plummeted. That’s according to this year’s Global Peace Index.

❝ The 2019 Global Peace Index…showed that while global approval of leadership in Germany, China and Russia has been steadily on the rise since 2016, approval of U.S. leadership has seen a dramatic decline.

In 2016, confidence in U.S. leadership was at 45 percent, but fell below 35 percent by 2017. Since then, Steve Killelea (founder of the institute…which produces the Global Peace Index) said, approval has started to plateau, seeing a subtle uptick. However, confidence levels in U.S. leadership still sit below approval of leadership in both China and Germany.

RTFA for a bit more detail, chronology. There’s also a link to the report itself.

Barr’s Playbook on honesty, memos, press conferences


“I’ve summarized the principal conclusions”

❝ On Friday the thirteenth October 1989…news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in “unusual secrecy” and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The…implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time…appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama’s leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

❝ Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that “summarizes the principal conclusions.” Sound familiar?…

Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions…When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr’s summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion’s principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr’s summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That’s because the “summary” took the form of 13 pages of written testimony…this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

He’s certainly had beaucoup practice prior to everything he’s done so far as Attorney General to protect the scumbag playing at Fake President in the White House.

I’ll be going about my usual day…the highest priority being fitness and sound nutrition. Even old leftwing geezers need to keep the physical plant in shape if the engine is going to offer useful products over a long period of time. 🙂

Over the day, I’ll catch up with the news. I doubt we’ll get to see the report as constructed by those entrusted with the research, analysis and conclusions until some time after this fake president and his obedient pimps are long gone. Yes, I’m cynical as ever about the American electorate as currently constituted and manipulated by thugs slightly sharper than the average mid-level drug dealer. If circumstances aid the cause and course of honesty in the months before the next election, that may come about sooner.

I ain’t holding my breath.

Office Depot rigged malware scans to sell you tech support


OFFICE DEPOT’S PHONY WARNING

❝ Office Depot and a partner company tricked customers into buying unneeded tech support services by offering PC scans that gave fake results, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers paid up to $300 each for unnecessary services.

❝ Office Depot and its software supplier, Support.com, have agreed to pay a total of $35 million in settlements with the agency. Office Depot agreed to pay $25 million while Support.com will pay the other $10 million. The FTC said it intends to use the money to provide refunds to wronged consumers…

❝ “Defendants bilked unsuspecting consumers out of tens of millions of dollars from their use of the PC Health Check program to sell costly diagnostic and repair services,” the FTC alleged in a complaint that accuses both companies of violating the FTC Act’s prohibition against deceptive practices. As part of the settlements, neither company admitted or denied the FTC’s allegations.

Office Depot is considered one of the best of their peers. Kinds makes you wonder what some of their competitors might be up to. Or not.

Trump’s “modern…new trade agreement” isn’t even NAFTA 2.0


Reuters/Leah Mills — edited

❝ Two months after signing the United States–Mexico–Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trump administration has submitted to Congress a list of the changes in US law that are needed to comply with its terms. As expected, the January 29 notification reinforced the perception that what President Trump called “the largest, most significant modern and balanced trade agreement in history” requires very few changes in US law because much of the new accord replicates or closely parallels NAFTA and other recent US trade pacts…

❝ The US Trade Representative (USTR) notification, due 60 days after the pact was signed on November 30, 2018, is one of the requirements set by Congress to expedite implementing legislation for US trade agreements. The most important changes in the submission involve increased restrictions on US auto imports and decreased US barriers to farm goods shipped from Canada.

That’s it, folks. I’d suggest reading the article. There are six topics out of a meager six pages covering this “new, significant” report to Congress – as required by law. Nothing that wouldn’t have been covered by a normal update to a treaty like NAFTA. Most of which was already laid out in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that went into force recently – signed by Mexico and Canada and ignored by our fake president.

I’d call it NAFTA 1.1…

EU glyphosate approval was based on plagiarised Monsanto text


Click to enlargeSean Gallup/Getty Images

❝ EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment plagiarised from industry reports, according to a report for the European parliament.

A crossparty group of MEPs commissioned an investigation into claims, revealed by the Guardian, that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment…copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies…

❝ The authors said they found “clear evidence of BfR’s deliberate pretence of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.”

Really pisses me off. I’ve read and referenced that report in the past – and accepted it as legitimate. Just another example of the lengths corporate profiteers will go in corrupt practices to make a buck.

Criminal!