ZipDialog Roundup for Thursday, September 21

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ Puerto Rico: direct hit by Cat 4 hurricane. Massive damage, whole Island without power

An overview of the impact (New York Times)  

The NYT is providing live updates here.

Mexico’s massive 7.1 earthquake. Death total already 245, likely to rise  (Washington Post)

The saddest stories are coming from K-12 schools, where parents await the fate of children. A lot of interest is focused on one hope story of a child trapped alive.

 As the Democratic party shifts left and makes Bernie Sanders’ single-payer healthcare a vital issue, centrist Dems face 2018 problems (Fox News)

If Democrats in purple or red states go with single-payer, they will pay the price in the general election.

If they reject it, though, they could face a primary opponent from the left (mirroring the Tea Party attacks on centrist Republicans).

Comment: There is one piece of good news for Democrats, however. Their general election opponents are Republicans, who have a woeful record on Capitol Hill this session.

Big Deal: Chinese banks reportedly cut ties to North Korea (Fox News)

This is huge since China is the conduit for all North Korea’s international trade.

The bad news is that South Korea is providing a small “humanitarian” gift to North Korea at the same time.

Comment: Good as humanitarian aid sounds, it always gives leverage to dictatorships, which use the money for themselves and their favorites.

I assume that North Korea will turn to Russia and Iran for financing, but they would face financial peril themselves if they provide it.

Trump praises China’s new sanctions against North Korea and ratchets up US sanctions (CNN)

Comment: The US measures show it has not run out of “non-kinetic” options.

China’s measures show both that it is frustrated with North Korea’s reckless, autonomous actions and that it fears what the US might do.

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