A cause for celebration, and disgust: "Deepest ever dive finds plastic bag at bottom of Mariana Trench"

Francesca Street, at CNN:

An American undersea explorer has completed what is claimed to be the deepest manned sea dive ever recorded -- returning to the surface with the depressing news that there's plastic trash down there.

Victor Vescovo journeyed 10,927 meters (35,853 feet) to the bottom of the Challenger Deep , the southern end of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, as part of a mission to chart the world's deepest underwater places. 

Making multiple trips nearly 11 kilometers, or seven miles, to the ocean floor -- one of them four hours in duration -- Vescovo set a record for the deepest solo dive in history, his team said. The previous record was held by "Titanic" director James Cameron in 2012

As well as four new species that could offer clues about the origins of life on Earth, Vescovo observed a plastic bag and candy wrappers at the deepest point on the planet…

Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care — the Human Caravan You Haven’t Heard About

It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the US fleeing violence and poverty, much of it caused by destructive US trade policy over the course of decades. But there’s another massive “border crossing” phenomenon afoot — and Trump has not said a word about it. We’re talking about thousands of US citizens crossing the border each day in search of affordable health care.

At just one checkpoint in Yuma, Arizona, up to 6,000 Americans cross the border every day and enter the bustling Mexican town of Los Algodones, seeking heath care.

Unlike the Trump administration that seeks to build a wall between the countries, Los Algodones welcomes Americans seeking dental care with open arms.

Los Algodones has to be seen to believed. There are more dentists per capita than anywhere else in the world. It seems like every square foot of public space wall is covered with advertisements promising quality and affordable dental care, vision care and prescription drugs. The community’s economy is built to serve the flood of “dental refugees” — mostly senior citizens from the US and Canada seeking major dental care they cannot afford in their own countries, even with insurance.

On the morality of billionaires...

Democrats' Impeachment Panic is Endangering the Country

Brian Beutler, in Crooked:

At some point soon, Democratic leaders will have to reckon with the fact that the founders created the impeachment power for precisely this moment. That impeachment is their basic obligation. On a practical level, there’s simply too much time between now and the election for them to avoid the confrontation altogether with stalling tactics. But more importantly if they try to run out the clock, or settle on the claim that impeachment just isn’t worth it, they will do incalculable damage to themselves and the country.

This is not principally an argument about what constitutes sound political strategy—about what approach will galvanize whose base more. My biases tell me that impeaching Trump would inspire Democratic voters, and bog Republicans down with endless recitations of their party’s hideous corruption. My biases tells me that running scared from the impeachment question would deflate many Democratic activists, by signaling to them that the party doesn’t really consider Trump’s presidency to be an emergency after all, and will refuse to hold his regime accountable for its crimes even if the next election goes well. But that could be wrong.

The real importance of impeachment at this point is to shelter the country from what Trump and his allies will do if Democrats remain aimless. Democrats aren’t really buying time for themselves. They are buying time for Trump to get the GOP back on its horribly dishonest but unified message that he has been exonerated and that the investigation itself was criminal. If Democrats don’t pull the country into a debate about impeachment, we won’t get a draw. We will get a debate about investigating the investigators and jailing Trump’s critics. Cowardice creates a void that Trump will fill with autocratic ambition, and his crooked attorney general will be there to help.

William Barr has already threatened the FBI officials who launched the Russia investigation with recriminations. Two of Trump’s most clownish but ubiquitous propagandists told the White House counsel in a semi-public forum that they should counteract the Mueller report by charging Hillary Clinton with a crime.

The combination of impunity from prosecution, a faithless attorney general, and a Congress that says impeachment isn’t worth it is a bit like hanging a flashing sign outside Trump’s bedroom window that screams “YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW.” It tells him that no one with any power will discourage him from colluding with Russia (or the Saudis or his new best friend Kim Jong Un) to win the election just as he did in 2016. The “politically cautious” move is actually an invitation to him—to work in tandem with the next authoritarian regime that’s willing to criminally sabotage the Democrats’ eventual nominee.

"The Time for Impeachment Is Here"

Jamil Smith, in Rolling Stone:

Think about what happened here, about what is described in that report. The country’s elections were attacked by a foreign power. Russia is a vote suppressor. Understanding that, what motivation would this President have to move a finger to stop them? Or the Republican Party, for that matter? The only hope for accountability, perhaps before a court of law after Trump is no longer President, is the Democratic Party that has the power to start impeachment proceedings. 

Should Democrats take impeachment off the table, they would let Trump get away with it. It is that elementary. There is no guarantee that he will not repeat the very same encouragement of those Russian efforts, all the while playing dumb so as to avoid legal culpability.

If Democrats were smarter, they would understand that initiating the impeachment of Trump might actually galvanize their base because it would demonstrate that leadership was willing to take the obvious, the logical and the constitutional step once presented with such an abundance of evidence. They would grasp that the visual of their party standing up to a president wedded equally to corruption and to his assortment of bigotries would be appealing to an electorate where black voters are increasingly driving the conversation. Democrats would seize upon the Mueller Report as a flashpoint for organization and recruitment, rather than take the task of prosecution that the Constitution assigned to Congress, hand it off to voters and call that “democracy.”…

A stake in childbirth...