In the wake of her supposed "victory" in the first round of Democratic presidential debates, US Senator Kamala Harris rose from fifth place to a tie for third place (with fellow US Sen Elizabeth Warren) in a Morning Consult poll of her party's primary voters. Her gain came mainly at the expense of  the front-runner, former vice-president Joe Biden. More interesting than Harris's sudden ascent is how she managed it: By ripping a page out of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign playbook.

"The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border," US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pointed out in an Instagram video on June 18.

On June 21, President Donald Trump informed the world (via tweet) that, after getting US forces "cocked and loaded" to carry out strikes on Iranian targets the night before, he had canceled those strikes at the last minute rather than prospectively kill 150 people. "Not proportionate," he wrote, "to [Iranian forces] shooting down an unmanned drone" earlier that week.

In mid-June, Facebook — in cahoots with 28 partners in  the financial and tech sectors — announced plans to introduce Libra, a blockchain-based virtual currency.

The world's governments and central banks reacted quickly with calls for investigation and regulation. Their concerns are quite understandable, but, unfortunately, already addressed in Libra's planned structure.

The problem for governments and central banks:

On June 14 — "Flag Day" in the United States — US Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and US Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) proposed a constitutional amendment: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States." President Donald Trump promptly indicated his support for the amendment via Twitter, calling it a "no-brainer."

In a June 12 interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, President Donald Trump freely admitted that he would listen to foreigners offering him "dirt" on his political opponents: "I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening .... Somebody comes up and says, 'hey, I have information on your opponent,' do you call the FBI?"

"We can't arrest our way out of this. We can't shelter our way out of this. We have to house our way out of this," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said last year while campaigning for a measure to spend $1.2 billion in tax-payer money over ten years on housing for his city's homeless population.

Last year, Florida attorney and philanthropist Hugh Culverhouse Jr donated $26.5 million to the University of Alabama. The university, grateful for its largest private contribution ever, reciprocated by naming its law school after him. Hugh and UA, sittin' in a tree ...

On June 7, the UA's board of trustees voted to return his donation (and presumably rename the school). Love-hate relationship, I guess.

On June 5, former vice-president Joe Biden's presidential campaign confirmed to The Hill that Biden still supports the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal tax-payer funds for abortions (with exceptions). His opponents instantly piled on, hoping to erase his commanding lead in the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential primary polls.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describes the Trump administration's plan for peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs as "unexecutable." President Trump says Pompeo "may be right."

Good! As addiction counselors say, the first step is admitting you have a problem. With addiction, the way out is not "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." It's admitting that the thing you're addicted to will never solve your problems, and then giving up that thing.

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