The Funniest Person on the Internet | An Unlucky Generation | A Dragon Reawakes
May 29, 2020
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
America Prioritizing The Wrong Kind Of Green
The Trump administration forges ahead with dire environmental policy changes despite the pandemic. Last month the Bureau of Land Management canceled in-person meetings and held eight Zoom sessions on a plan to develop some 250 oil wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Opponents complained the Zoom hearing format was unfair; one man’s microphone was simply cut off as he spoke.
Environmentalists, state regulators and lawmakers were unsuccessful in asking the administration to delay changes. November’s election is driving the momentum; policies finalized too late could be overturned easier if the president should lose re-election or Democrats gain control of the Senate.
- GOP operatives worry Trump will lose both the presidency and Senate majority (CNN)
- 2020 Senate races: The seats Democrats and Republicans are hoping to flip (CBS News)
The administration already rolled back regulations for fuel efficiency in cars and trucks, air pollution coming from power plants, and water pollution in streams and wetlands. It’s now moving on localized policies, including expanded logging and oil drilling in Alaska — and the heinous Pebble Mine project, the vast open-pit gold and copper mine planned for the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed.
The project would destroy thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of salmon streams that produce half the world’s sockeye salmon. At grave risk are the local fishing industry with its 14,000 jobs, and brown bears that not only feed on the fish, but whose habitat would be dissected by miles of a transportation and infrastructure corridor to the mine.
In 2014 the EPA determined the Pebble Mine would significantly harm fish populations and streams in the region. But after a mining company secretly collaborated with Alaska’s Republican governor to lobby the Trump administration, the agency reversed its position. This week Trump’s National Park Service will reverse Obama-era regulations, allowing hunters in Alaska’s national preserves to shoot bears and wolves, and their babies, in their dens.
Image via Getty Images
A Dragon Reawakes and Begins Flexing
- Tensions are escalating between China and India in a disputed area along the Himalayan border. China has moved thousands of its troops into sensitive areas along the eastern Ladakh border, setting up tents and stationing vehicles and heavy machinery in what India considers to be its territory. In response, the Indian army moved several battalions from an infantry division usually based in the Ladakh city of Leh to “operational alert areas” along the border, and brought in reinforcement troops as well.
- The aggressive military posturing follows two skirmishes in the contested areas earlier in May. At that time more than 100 soldiers from both sides were injured. A former Indian ambassador to China characterized Beijing’s recent incursions and border aggressions as “far from routine occurrences.”
- In describing the escalation as serious, he cautioned: “China’s behaviour is more aggressive this time, backed up by a fairly large number of troops, which is not typical of this border where troop levels tend to be low on both sides. It could be a territorial claim or part of a wider messaging to India that they need to be more mindful of China on sensitive geopolitical issues.”
- President Trump said Wednesday he had “informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute.” (Guardian)
- Previous conflicts between the two largest countries in the world by population size: Sino-Indian War of 1962
- China says wants ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan (Reuters)
- What To Know About Hong Kong’s Special Status And What Happens If The U.S. Removes It (NPR)
- The Latest U.S. Blow To China’s Huawei Could Knock Out Its Global 5G Plans (NPR)
- Beijing Hardens Resolve to Defy U.S., Even While Calling for Cooperation (NYT, $)
- Trump’s China press conference could mark the end of his cautious approach to Beijing (CNBC)
“Nukes, Uh, Find A Way”
- On Thursday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment, filed last February, accusing 28 North Koreans and five Chinese of using a web of more than 250 shell companies to launder over $2.5 billion in assets through the international banking system. The indictment alleges the money laundering scheme was to help fund the North’s nuclear weapons program.
- The charges are tacit acknowledgement that the US has been unable to stop North Korea from building nuclear weapons, either by imposing economic sanctions, or through President Trump’s efforts to reach an agreement with the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
- Trump said earlier this year he didn’t want to meet with Kim prior to the election in November. The administration has been understandably reluctant to provide any reminders of its several failed attempts to rein in Pyongyang. The New York Times reported that Kim had met this week with his nation’s top military governing body to discuss “new policies for further increasing” the North’s nuclear abilities. (NYT)
- The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus (NYT)
- Antibody Tests Point To Lower Death Rate For The Coronavirus Than First Thought (NPR)
- Will coronavirus end? Covid-19 may become endemic and last years (WaPo, $)
- Patients share beds as coronavirus cases overwhelm Mumbai’s hospitals (Guardian)
- French Take Their Apéros to the Streets, Testing Lockdown Limits (NYT)
- Coronavirus: The human cost of virus misinformation (BBC)
- US government is funding website spreading Covid-19 disinformation (Guardian)
- America’s response to coronavirus pandemic is ‘incomprehensibly incoherent,’ says historian who studied the 1918 flu (WaPo, $)
- ‘It’s the Death Towers’: How the Bronx Became New York’s Virus Hot Spot (NYT)
COVID-19 & Money
- Exclusive: U.S. taxpayers’ virus relief went to firms that avoided U.S. taxes (Reuters)
- Pence Chief Of Staff Owns Stocks That Could Conflict With Coronavirus Response (NPR)
- Get Ready to Buy a Rental Car for Dirt Cheap (Two Cents)
- Working from home means you’re stuck in place while you jump from call to call. As a result moving just a few feet from your bed to your computer makes it hard to fully wake up and feel energized throughout the day.
- Our secret weapon? Verb Energy Bars. Each one has as much caffeine as an espresso, but it comes from organic green tea. This means the energy boost is smooth and long-lasting. We’ve tried them as a team at Daily Pnut and found that unlike other bars they are tasty and delicious. They’re also only 90 calories and a great way to combine a cup of coffee and a snack into one convenient treat.
- Here’s good news for all of us that are tired of the quarantine life: Verb is letting Daily Pnuters try their four top flavors – including Coconut Chai and Vanilla Latte – for free, just cover shipping.
Breaking The Economy Gets You 15 Years Of Bad Luck
- Millennials, people born between 1981 and 1996, belong to what is arguably the unluckiest generation in US history. More than any other, their generation has been shaped by recession. At the beginning of 2019, Millennials became the largest generation in America’s full-time workforce, surpassing Gen X (1965-1980). But the coronavirus crisis has hit them disproportionately.
- Millennial employment plunged by 16 percent in March and April this year, faster than either Gen X (12 percent) or Baby Boomers (1946-1964), whose employment went down 13 percent. As young workers just entering their prime working years, Millennials were pushed down the wage ladder by the Great Recession (2008-2009). The average Millennial lost about 13 percent of their earnings between 2005 and 2017.
- Research shows older colleagues regained all the ground they’d lost in the recession, but Millennials never completely recovered. Now it’s happening again to many of those same young workers. In fact, after accounting for the present crisis, the average Millennial has experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation.
- And what’s even sadder, they will bear these economic scars the rest of their lives, in the form of lower earnings, lower wealth, and delayed milestones like homeownership. (WaPo)
- Additional song: The Naked And Famous – Young Blood, “We’re only young and naïve still; We require certain skills; The mood it changes like the wind; Hard to control when it begins.”
- A pandemic that strikes all generations: Old People Have Never Been So Powerful, Or Now So Vulnerable (The Cut)
- Older and immunocompromised people don’t deserve to be second-class citizens (Vox)
Additional USA News
- Civil unrest rages in Minneapolis over racially charged killing by police (Reuters)
- Animal feedlots are a likely threat to drinking water in Minnesota, says report (Guardian)
- House Pulls Surveillance Measure After Trump Tells Republicans to Vote No (NYT, $)
- Biden vs. Trump on Coronavirus Testing (NYT)
The Nose Knows How To Breathe
- Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day, often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths so often taken for granted.
- While researching the science and culture of breathing for a new book, journalist James Nestor participated in a study in which his nose was completely plugged for 10 days, forcing him to breathe solely through his mouth. The forced mouth-breathing resulted in rising stress levels, snoring for hours each night, and developing sleep apnea. That’s bad.
- On the other hand, the nose filters, heats and treats raw air. Inhaling through the nose can trigger different hormones to flood the body, lowering blood pressure, stabilizing heart rate, even helping restore memories. That’s good.
- Slowly inhaling deep breaths through the nose, then slowly exhaling, relaxes the body. Extending those inhales and exhales, moving the diaphragm up and down a little more, and doing it until it becomes a habit, can have a profoundly beneficial effect on blood pressure and mental state. Through the nose — it’s the way your body was meant to breathe. (NPR)
- At times we feel our possessions own us more than we own them: I Don’t Feel Like Buying Stuff Anymore (Buzzfeed News)
- In Daily Pnut’s eyes, homelessness is easily a top 10 critical issue that America needs to address as soon as possible and we are surprised by how infrequently it is discussed by the candidates running for president:
- The Housing Vultures (NY Books) &
- A Window Onto an American Nightmare (New Yorker, $)
- An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters (NYT)
We are so glad the world is seeing how funny Sarah Cooper is with her Trump impersonations. We think she’s the funniest person on the internet. Full stop. If I was a Hollywood agent I would try to sign her immediately. Given how her videos have exploded maybe she’s already signed a lucrative deal. Her fame is well deserved.
Our claim to humorous fame is we actually spoke with her over a call several years back when she was creating humorous essays & drawings. These drawings and essays reveal the depth and range of her wit and ability to strike at truth via humor:
- 36 Signs You Pulled This Presentation Together at the Last Minute
- Meeting Achievement Stickers
- How to Say No Without Ever Saying No
- 9 Tricks to Appear Smart in Brainstorming Meetings
- Toddler vs CEO
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