Second Place is First Place
July 10, 2019
In Thursday’s (7/11) Daily Pnut we will release the results of Daily Pnut’s Presidential Straw Poll we ran on Monday. The number of responses has plateaued at over 1,275. We find the results to be fascinating in what they reveal about Daily Pnut readers and who they support.
“Poverty only tries men’s souls. It is loneliness that breaks the heart.” – Sam Rayburn
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” – Susan Sontag
Sunday: London’s Daily Mail prints leaked diplomatic telegrams revealing that UK Ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch called President Trump “inept.” “insecure,” “incompetent,” and the administration “dysfunctional” and “unpredictable.”
Monday: Trump tweets a series of insults at Theresa May, saying her Brexit plan was a disaster because she ignored his advice. Also: “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US…. We will no longer deal with him.” (Actually Trump has met Darroch several times including on his recent trip to the UK.)
Tuesday: Trump tweets a fresh volley of insults at May and Darroch, writing: “I told her how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way…. A disaster!” And: “The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy.” And again: “I don’t know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool.” Trump wants Darroch gone.
Rebuttal tweets from UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt say since everyone’s being frank he will be too: “[Trump’s] comments are disrespectful and wrong to our prime minister and my country. Your diplomats give their private opinions to [the US secretary of state], and so do ours! You said the UK/US alliance was the greatest in history and I agree but allies need to treat each other with respect….” If Hunt becomes PM, Darroch stays.
Global Drug Dealers: Get Em Hooked, Then Raise The Prices
- A new report, published in June by the Center for Global Development, shows that as poorer countries move up the economic development ladder, it becomes harder for their government agencies, hospitals and health care companies to buy drugs at reasonable prices. The high cost is primarily why at least one-third of the world population doesn’t have regular access to medicines.
- The report, which compares the range of prices that seven low- and middle-income countries pay for 25 medicines, reveals a huge discrepancy in costs among countries, with some countries paying 20 to 30 times as much as others for the same drugs. (NPR)
Don’t Drink And Scoot
- A DUI in America is driving under the influence. So what’s an SUI in Denmark? Scootering under the influence. Riding electric scooters has become a very popular transport mode in downtown Copenhagen, among other European capitals.
- Fans see scooters as a quick and cheap way to get around — the dockless devices can be unlocked with a phone app, and at the end of the ride, they can be left anywhere. But critics say they pose a safety risk for users and pedestrians alike.
Police have really been cracking down on the worst offenders — drinkers and stoners who go scootering. Last weekend officers arrested 28 people for riding the devices under the influence of cannabis or/and alcohol. (Guardian)
Tai-want To Buy Arms
- The Pentagon said Monday that the State Department has agreed to sell Taiwan $2.2 billion in arms, including 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, related equipment and support.
- Congress has been notified about the potential deal; lawmakers have 30 days to object to the sale, but are unlikely to do so. The same cannot be said of Beijing. (Guardian)
Additional World News
- Predator Free 2050: New Zealand ramps up plan to purge all pests: “Wake up in paradise” is New Zealand’s proud boast. It has a rightful swagger: its turquoise glacial lakes are ringed by untouched mountain ranges, while historic Māori sites speak of a people at one with the natural world. (BBC)
- Conflict and insecurity driving spread of diseases like Ebola, WHO chief warns: Deadly outbreak is ‘global wake-up call’, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells Guardian (The Guardian)
- Global Recession Risks Are Up, and Central Banks Aren’t Ready (NYT, $)
- A Billionaire’s Fall Spotlights Child Sexual Abuse in China (NYT, $)
- Decades ago, he stole a tree branch. Now he is the Durian King (LA Times, $)
- 5 ways to keep your Android apps from spying on you: Over 1,000 Android apps grab your data even if you tell them no. (CNET)
The Pros And Cons Of Getting By
- The Congressional Budget Office released its study on raising the federal minimum wage Monday. The study suggests raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025 would increase the pay of at least 17 million people; it could also boost the wages of another 10 million workers, and lift 1.3 million Americans out of poverty.
- However, the CBO predicts the increase would put 1.3 million Americans out of work. The House of Representatives votes next week to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024; House Democrats predict much lower job losses than the CBO. The current federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, was last increased 10 years ago. (NPR)
RIP Ross Perot
- Feisty Texas billionaire and two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot died Tuesday at his Dallas home after a battle with leukemia. He was a wiry, outspoken, impetuous gadfly who made a fortune in computer services. He conducted bold paramilitary missions to Vietnam and Iran, and ran for president in 1992 and 1996 with populist talk of restoring Norman Rockwell’s America.
- Perot was a product of the Great Depression, World War II, and the exuberant postwar years. He prided himself on never giving up once he’d put his mind to something, and he had many accomplishments: Eagle Scout, Annapolis naval officer, top IBM salesman, founder of inordinately successful data processing enterprises, a crusader for education and against drugs, a billionaire philanthropist.
- He was also stiff-necked, somewhat cantankerous, and given to homespun epigrams that encapsulated how he felt about Washington red-tape and waste: “If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes.” Perot was 89. (NYT)
Additional USA News
- Equal Pay For Equal Play; The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Tackles Its Next Quest (NPR)
- Trump Touts ‘Environmental Leadership,’ Even As D.C. Has Floods And Critics Pounce (NPR)
- HHS Inspector General Finds Serious Flaws In 20% Of U.S. Hospice Programs (NPR)
- The Affordable Care Act Is Back In Court: 5 Facts You Need To Know (NPR)
- What Middle-Class Families Want Politicians to Know: Leaders all want to help “everyday Americans.” But do they really understand what it takes? (NYT, $) And Elite Kid Justice: Are Privileged Teenagers More Likely to Get a Slap on the Wrist? (NYT, $)
- Not a hyperbole: 2020 will define America for much of the 21st century
- Trump and R.N.C. Raised $105 Million in 2nd Quarter, a Sign He Will Have Far More Money Than in 2016 (NYT, $)
- Democrats are learning the wrong lesson from Donald Trump: He ran as a moderate — and it worked. (Vox)
- Haunted by the Reagan era: Past defeats still scare older Democratic leaders — but not the younger generation (WaPo, $)
- Imagining Post-Trump Nationalism: The small conservative magazine First Things aims to reclaim what has become a dirty word in the Trump era. (The Atlantic)
- Trump has referred to his Wharton degree as ‘super genius stuff.’ An admissions officer recalls it differently. (WaPo, $)
If At First You Don’t Succeed, You Will
- A unique investigation into the roots of athletic success, undertaken by the British governing body responsible for investing in elite sport, looked at what exceptional achievers have in common. From in-depth interviews with 85 elite athletes and coaches UK Sport found that most athletes suffer a significant setback early in their career, but some react differently than others.
- For the truly exceptional athletes, who went on to win Olympic medals, the setback enhanced their motivation; for those athletes who were just “good,” the near miss was discouraging.
- An economist at the University of Virginia assembled a database of medal winners in Olympic track and field events, between 1846 and 1948, and looked at what happened to their lives after they had won a medal. He found that Silver medalists were more ambitious in their post-sport careers, found better paying jobs, and lived longer than gold medalists. The takeaway? Suffering a traumatic defeat or setback, for some, is just the fuel they need to spur them on for life. (BBC)