Quotes: In the Service of the Public

Anne Applebaum writes that both the American Republicans and the British Conservatives are unable to govern just now.

In the U.S. the government has been shut down by the grandstanding of the leader of the Republican party and is only provisionally back open for the moment, pending his desire to revisit his deathwish. In the U.K., as Applebaum puts it,

“The government cannot pass the Brexit deal it has negotiated. The opposition cannot unseat the government.”

She writes that they all “have stopped thinking about the good of the nation and can focus only on what’s good for the party — or for themselves.”

In this light, a company that prominent Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg helped to found just happens to have recently established an investment fund in Ireland – outside the City of London financial district – ahead of the UK leaving the European Union. According to Mr. Rees-Mogg,

“The decision to launch the fund was nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit.”

Quotes: On Migrant Labor

From In the Valley of Fear by Michael Greenberg in The New York Review of Books, on migrant labor in the San Joaquin Valley:

“Tomato picking is “stoop labor,” the most wearying and painful kind. But the Oaxacans went at it with dizzying speed. The pay was 73 cents for every five-gallon bucket they could fill, which workers prefer to the alternative of $11 per hour, California’s minimum wage. Younger workers filled two buckets at a time, yanking supersized green tomatoes from their plants, flicking off the stems, dropping them into the bucket, then racing to deliver them to the packing trailer hitched to a tractor fifty or sixty yards away at the end of the section. They then ran back to the harvest row, calling and shouting to one another like soldiers to keep up their spirits and pace. In five hours, a skilled picker could earn between $75 and $85.”

Quotes: The American President on Pollution

“You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean. But when you look at China and you look at parts of Asia and you look at South America, and when you look at many other places in this world, including Russia, including many other places, the air is incredibly dirty, and when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over. I mean we take thousands of tons of garbage off our beaches all the time that comes over from Asia. It just flows right down the Pacific. It flows and we say, ‘Where does this come from?’ And it takes many people, to start off with.”

From an interview with Donald Trump in The Washington Post.