The G.O.P.’s War on the Poor

Four years ago, on the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, House Republicans led by Paul Ryan issued a report declaring that war a failure. Poverty, they asserted, hadn’t fallen. Therefore, they concluded, we must slash spending on the poor.

..  it calls for the widespread imposition of work requirements for Medicaid, food stamps and other programs. But that would have the effect of sharply reducing those programs’ coverage.

.. This decline in coverage wouldn’t be the result of large numbers of people earning their way out of poverty. Instead, many poor Americans would, for a variety of reasons — poor health, job instability for low-wage workers, daunting paperwork imposed on those least able to deal with it — find it impossible to meet the requirements, and be denied aid despite remaining poor.

.. whatever the evidence, Republicans always reach the same policy conclusion. Was the war on poverty a failure? Let’s stop helping the poor. Was it a success? Let’s stop helping the poor.

.. And let’s be clear: We’re talking about the whole party, not just the Trump administration. In particular, Republican governors are fanatical about cutting benefits for their lower-income residents.

.. In Maine, voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But Gov. Paul LePage has refused to implement the expansion — a vast majority of which would be paid for with federal funds — despite a court order, and has declared that he’s willing to go to jail rather than see his constituents get health care.

Stateless and Poor, Some Boys in Thai Cave Had Already Beaten Long Odds

It was Adul, the stateless descendant of a Wa ethnic tribal branch once known for headhunting, who played a critical role in the rescue, acting as interpreter for the British divers.

.. Proficient in English, Thai, Burmese, Mandarin and Wa, Adul politely communicated to the British divers his squad’s greatest needs: food and clarity on just how long they had stayed alive.

.. the Wild Boars’ 18-day ordeal came to an end. In a three-day rescue mission, Adul and 12 others were safely extracted from the cave by a team of dozens of divers, doctors and support staff.

.. Located not far from where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet in the Golden Triangle

.. The Golden Triangle is a smuggling center, and a sanctuary for members of various ethnic militias that have spent decades pushing for autonomy from a government in Myanmar that routinely represses them.

.. Three of the trapped soccer players, as well as their coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, are stateless ethnic minorities, accustomed to slipping across the border to Myanmar one day and returning for a soccer game in Thailand the next.

.. Their presence undercuts a Thai sense of nationhood that is girded by a triumvirate of institutions: the military, the monarchy and the Buddhist monastery.

.. With the English he used to communicate with the British divers on July 2, Adul was crucial in ensuring the safety of the Wild Boars. He is the top student in his class at the Ban Wiang Phan School in Mae Sai. His academic record and sporting prowess have earned him free tuition and daily lunch.

.. “Stateless children have a fighting spirit that makes them want to excel,” he said. “Adul is the best of the best.”

.. At least 440,000 stateless people live in Thailand, many of whom are victims of Myanmar’s long years of ethnic strife, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Human rights groups say the true number could be as high as 3 million — in a nation of nearly 70 million — even though the Thai government has refused to ratify the United Nations convention guaranteeing rights for refugees.

.. A stateless member of the ethnic Shan minority, Mr. Ekkapol has long experience caring for children. After his parents died in Myanmar when he was a young boy, he entered the Buddhist monkhood in Thailand for nearly a decade, a common option for orphans untethered from financial support.

 

Cardi B: American Rapper (wikipedia)

Belcalis Almanzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper.

 

.. Upon being fired from the supermarket, her former manager recommended she work at a strip club. She has said she became a stripper to escape poverty and domestic violence, having been in an abusive relationship at the time.[21] Cardi B has also said becoming a stripper was positive for her life in many ways: “It really saved me from a lot of things. When I started stripping I went back to school.”[22][23][24] She says stripping was her only way out, a way to earn enough money to escape her dire situation and get an education. Nonetheless, she eventually dropped out of college.[3]

In 2013, Cardi B began to gain publicity due to several of her videos going viral on social media, on Vine and her official Instagram page.[5]

 

Cardi B identifies as a feminist.[95][96] The New York Times wrote “on Love & Hip Hop: New York some viewers saw her as a hero of female empowerment, as she made pronouncements like

‘Ever since I started using guys, I feel so much better about myself. I feel so damn powerful.'”[97]

When commenting on her rise to stardom The Fader wrote “one video in particular tipped her popularity over the edge. It was a 13-second clip that doubles as a neat précis of her ethos:

‘People be asking me, ‘What do you does? Are you a model? Are you, like, a comedian or something?’ Nah, I ain’t none of that. I’m a hoe. I’m a stripper hoe. I’m about this shmoney.'”[20][98]

Cardi B’s logo

Cardi B was a member of the Bloods, and has said she became a gang member at the age of 16.[15][16] However, she since has stated that she would not encourage joining a gang.[99]

I Think I’m Going to Kathmandu, Say the Chinese

If things go as planned, one day soon Chinese trains will pull into Kathmandu, Nepal, on a new railroad built to lessen the landlocked Himalayan country’s dependence on India.

.. It’s time to acknowledge that in raw economic terms China has comprehensively outpaced India. If winning regional influence depends on building ports and railroads abroad, or dazzling visitors with skyscrapers and broad boulevards at home, then India’s prospects look bleak.

Compared with China, however, India remains a bastion of free speech, minority rights and judicial independence. New Delhi ought to play to these traditional strengths by deepening them.

..  On Monday, China blocked HBO.com after comedian John Oliver ran a segment that discussed Mr. Xi’s alleged touchiness about his purported resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.

..  it wasn’t always a certainty that China would pull ahead. According to the World Bank, as recently as 1990 India’s per capita income ($364) was higher than China’s ($318). Paradoxically, China’s communists unleashed market forces more effectively than their democratically elected counterparts in India.

.. Four years ago, Mr. Modi looked set to enact the sweeping reforms India needs to eradicate poverty and catch up with China. But despite a few successes, such as a national goods and services tax and a bankruptcy law that makes it easier to exit a failed business, the Indian prime minister disappointed. He more resembles his lackluster socialist predecessors than a market-friendly East Asian leader.

.. India’s archaic labor laws suppress job growth by making it extremely hard to fire workers during a downturn.

.. With a per capita income of $8,100, the average Chinese is nearly five times as rich as the average Indian. The gap has widened over the past 10 years.

..  48 of the world’s 100 tallest buildings are in China. None are in India.

.. the ruling Bharatiya has earned a reputation for intimidating reporters with massive lawsuits, pressuring media barons to sack unfriendly editors, and using lap-dog television channels and a vicious troll army to smear political opponents.

.. India’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, but Mr. Modi often remains distressingly silent when Hindu mobs lynch innocent Muslims on suspicion of killing a cow.
..  But the government has taken to stalling the appointment of senior judges it does not approve of, raising fears that it will chip away at judicial autonomy.