It’s Time To Talk to North Korea Again

by Daniel Larison

“North Korea may be preparing to conduct a new nuclear test in the near future, and if that happens there will be an outpouring of predictable hawkish demands that the United States take some punitive action in response. The Biden administration should ignore what the hawks want, but it should also revise its policy towards North Korea and make a serious effort to revive negotiations with Pyongyang. The appointment of a former nuclear negotiator, Choe Son Hui, as North Korea’s new foreign minister suggests that there could be an opening for renewed engagement if the US and South Korea are willing to respond constructively. The alternative to a new diplomatic initiative is to keep North Korea policy on its current mindless course until there is an accident or miscalculation that creates a new crisis.” (06/29/22)

Ecuador: Lasso survives impeachment vote, ends talks with indigenous leader

Source: France 24 [French state media]

“Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso survived an attempt by opposition lawmakers to oust him on Tuesday after he insisted his government will not negotiate further with an indigenous leader to end more than two weeks of protests. The protests have been linked to eight deaths and have led to food and medicine shortages and slashed oil output. ‘We will not return to dialogue with Leonidas Iza, who only defends his political interests and not those of his base,’ Lasso said, referring to the indigenous leader. ‘To our indigenous brothers — you deserve more than an opportunist for a leader.’ Largely indigenous demonstrators have been marching to protest against high fuel and food prices since June 13 and at least eight people have died in connection with the marches, including a soldier killed early on Tuesday.” (06/29/22)

Dangers Faced by Illegal [sic] Migrants are Caused by Immigration Restrictions

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Ilya Somin

“The recent tragic deaths of some 50 undocumented migrants in a truck in Texas highlight the perils of illegal migration. Republicans such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have rushed to blame President Biden’s ‘open border policies.’ The truth is the exact opposite. Most of the dangers of illegal migration arise precisely because it is illegal. If the US actually had an ‘open border’ policy, these 50 people would almost certainly be alive today. They would not have had to rely on shady smugglers to secretly cross into the United States. They could have just done so openly, using conventional modes of transportation.” (06/28/22)

SCOTUS just quietly slashed your Sixth Amendment rights

Source: The Hill
by Emily Galvin-Almanza

“The Supreme Court’s recent assault on our rights has gone far beyond Roe and Dobbs. The Supreme Court quietly issued a 6-3 ruling recently on Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, siding against two Arizonans on death row who sought to challenge their convictions in federal court after receiving shoddy legal support. The majority’s rationale, which was based on a 1996 federal law, was that state sovereignty and legal expediency must be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, those costs are clear. The Court’s ruling slashed Americans’ constitutional right to effective counsel by eviscerating the life-saving accountability mechanism that allows people to appeal unjust rulings. The six conservative justices have plainly prioritized the legal system’s power to convict and kill over our human right to live.” (06/29/22)

TX: Two Mexican nationals living in US hit with weapons charges in tractor-trailer migrant deaths

Source: Fox News

“Two Mexican nationals living in the U.S. illegally [sic] have been charged with firearm offenses after dozens of migrants were found dead in an abandoned semi-truck in Texas earlier this week. Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez, who both allegedly overstayed B-2 visas, have been charged through separate criminal complaints as illegal [sic] immigrants in possession of firearms, according to court documents filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas. Federal prosecutors have asked that both men be held without bond, The Hill reported. They could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the current charges. A third man, believed to be the big rig’s driver, was also reportedly arrested and charged with human smuggling.” (06/29/22)

Sri Lanka’s Death by National Debt

Source: Independent Institute
by Craig Eyermann

“The nation of Sri Lanka was many things. A beautiful country, international tourism was a major industry. A fertile land, it grew enough rice to feed all its people. Prosperous, it earned its place as an upper-middle income nation. Then it all went to hell. … Politicians set on increasing spending without having the tax revenues to cover the cost get the money they want by borrowing it. Sri Lanka’s national debt ballooned as it increasingly borrowed from foreign lenders to fund Rajapaksa’s spending. But in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic devastated the country’s economy, especially its large tourism industry, a major source of foreign currency. Without that foreign currency coming in, Sri Lanka’s government was soon starved of the money it was counting on to pay its loans. Rajapaksa’s response to that shortage of cash drove the next stage of Sri Lanka’s economic collapse.” (06/28/22)

CO: Indicted Election Denier Loses Primary; Denies She Lost

Source: The Daily Beast

“Tina Peters, the Colorado county clerk who flogged election conspiracy theories and was then indicted for allegedly breaching her own voting machines, lost her primary bid to become the secretary of state. And then she did exactly what you would expect: She denied she lost, cried fraud, and vowed to keep fighting. ‘It’s not over,’ Peters reportedly told supporters at her watch party, while she was 15 points behind the actual winner, Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk. ‘I’m sorry we had faith in the system once again.’ … The trouncing comes three months after Peters was indicted by a grand jury on 10 misdemeanor and felony charges stemming from her role in the breaching of election machines in Mesa following the 2020 election.” (06/29/22)

Head of household filing status is a flawed way to help children

Source: Niskanen Center
by Robert Orr

“HoH filing status lowers the tax liability of unmarried individuals who care for a dependent. Prominent voices on the left and right have called for the filing status to be scrapped as part of a broader overhaul of child benefits. The broad ideological appeal stems from the poor design of the HoH status. It not only disproportionately benefits the rich and fails to account for the number of children in a home, but also discourages marriage and needlessly increases the tax system’s complexity. Head of household filing status reflects outdated policy design principles.” (06/28/22)