Author Archive

Trump’s “infrastructure plan” really just a privatization [sic] scam

November 22, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"In a democracy We the People pitch in and build public infrastructure that We the People all get to use equally. So when people talk about our country’s infrastructure, they usually mean our public roads, bridges, mass transit, water and sewer systems. All of these are good for all of us and our economy. We share in the investment and we share in the return on that investment. Likewise, when people think of infrastructure projects, they think of government projects hiring people, purchasing supplies and building or maintaining something. They think of lots of good, union jobs with good benefits and lots of good, local American construction companies and American suppliers getting contracts. This is what Republicans have obstructed since they got enough votes in the senate to obstruct with." [editor's note: As has been noted elsewhere, when "privatization" is merely moving to favored crony-corporatist "friends of the King's Court" it is mercantilist cartelization, not a move to free markets - SAT] (11/21/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161121/trumps-infrastructure-plan-is-really-just-a-privatization-scam  

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The greatest grift of all

November 21, 2016
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"As he stands in his gold-plated apartment in Trump Tower gazing out over Manhattan, Donald Trump has no doubt marveled at how in becoming president he has finally achieved the power and influence he so richly deserves. He always knew he was smarter than everyone else and more of a winner than all those nobodies who would carp and criticize, when they don't even have their own planes or are so weak they're still married to their first wives. He showed them all. And now, it's time to really cash in. He's got the greatest business opportunity he's ever had, and he's not going to let it pass him by. Surely you weren't naïve enough to believe him when Trump said his network of businesses and partnerships didn't pose any conflict-of-interest problems, because his grown children will run the business while he's president and he'll be completely focused on making America great. That was just something to tell the rubes, no more true than the promises a Trump University instructor would make to a mark as he browbeat them into maxing out their credit cards to move up to the Gold Elite seminar where the real investment secrets would be revealed." (11/21/16)

http://prospect.org/article/greatest-grift-all  

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Mylan declines Senate committee request to testify about EpiPen

November 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Mylan NV has declined a U.S. Senate committee request to testify about a $465 million pending settlement to resolve charges the company underpaid government healthcare programs by misclassifying its the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment. In a Nov. 18 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee released on Monday, Mylan said the company would not attend since government agencies had also refused to testify. Senator Chuck Grassley, who chairs the committee and had scheduled the hearing for Nov. 30, said in a statement on Monday that Mylan was 'ducking responsibility.' Mylan has come under fire for raising the price of a pair of EpiPens to $600 from $100 in 2008 and listing it with Medicaid as a generic product even though it is listed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a branded product. Companies pay smaller rebates to Medicaid for generics." (11/21/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mylan-nl-epipen-hearing-idUSKBN13G28P  

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ND: Police fire water cannon at pipeline protesters

November 21, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Police in North Dakota have used water cannon against demonstrators protesting against an oil pipeline. Morton County Sheriff's Department said protesters, who had gathered on a closed bridge near the Standing Rock reservation, had started fires. Sioux tribes and allies have been protesting for weeks amid fears the pipeline will pollute water supplies. Demonstrators said rubber bullets were also fired, but police did not confirm those reports. One person was arrested. This latest clash involved an estimated 400 demonstrators at Backwater Bridge, which has been closed by local authorities since late October." (11/21/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38049535  

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Trump presents an unprecedented conflict of interest

November 21, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office on Jan. 21 he may bring with him the greatest potential for business and financial conflicts of interest of any US president, ever. That’s not just because he’s wealthy. Yes, Mr. Trump boasts that he’s a billionaire, but many other White House occupants have been very rich. It’s not just because he employs his kids. Other presidents have had family connection issues. It’s the combination of those things, added to a third: Trump’s a dealmaker who’s still dealing. Other presidents have had extensive land holdings or been the beneficiary of established family fortunes. The nation’s 45th chief executive is still out there in the marketplace at the moment." (11/21/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/1121/Why-Trump-presents-an-unprecedented-conflict-of-interest  

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Billionaire Carl Icahn weighs official role with Trump

November 21, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox Business News    

"Billionaire financier Carl Icahn is weighing whether he will take a position with the new administration as an adviser on economic matters, the FOX Business Network has learned. It’s unclear if Icahn, an early Donald Trump supporter, would take an official position with the incoming Trump White House or remain an informal adviser on economic matters as he has done through the President-elect’s campaign, according to two sources with direct knowledge of Icahn’s thinking. Still, Icahn’s decision to seek some national policy-making role with the new administration is significant. The 80-year-old financier known for his brash commentary on finance and economics has never served in government, and has long communicated to Trump and to the media he is not interested in becoming Treasury Secretary. But in recent weeks ... Icahn has made it clear that he is increasingly interested in playing a more formal role in development of economic policy." (11/21/16)

http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/11/21/billionaire-carl-icahn-weighs-official-role-with-trump.html  

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Stay out of Mosul

November 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)  

"In 1899, Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem called The White Man's Burden, urging America to bring 'civilization' to the Philippines. The results were 250,000 deaths, war crimes, and denial of Philippine independence for half a century. Haven't we learned anything? U.S. forces occupied Iraq for nine years, until the Iraqis insisted that we leave. The results were more than 600,000 deaths, a cost of $4 trillion (8% of our national net worth), and a Sunni vacuum that the Islamic State terror group has filled. Haven't we learned anything?" (11/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/11/20/mosul-iraq-isil-alan-grayson-editorials-debates/93812120  

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Why I’m optimistic about Trump

November 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by John Lloyd  

"I'm a Donald Trump optimist. Like the many who don't support him, I am alarmed that he won. But I don't believe he will be as bad as the worst fears. It's a very modest definition of optimism, but I think it's the best liberals can come up with. The worst fears are widespread, serious, and may yet prove to be well founded. Still, my main reason for 'optimism' is America's tradition of liberty, its ineradicable pluralism -- and (to sound a populist note) the American people. Those who view a Trump presidency pessimistically believe his election to be 'nothing less than a tragedy.' Some see a fascist in the making. The Russian-American writer Masha Gessen, drawing on her experience of Vladimir Putin, wrote that rule one of survival under authoritarian rule is to 'Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.' ... I'm more than a little scared, but also an optimist for the following reasons." [editor's note: This actually does present some hope, even for the most terrified "progressive" - SAT] (11/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lloyd-trump-commentary-idUSKBN13C2U0  

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Fake news isn’t the problem

November 21, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"Just a few days before the election, President Barack Obama and his political director David Simas got into a heated discussion about the proliferation of 'fake news' and the way it might be shaping American politics. According to a profile in The New Yorker, 'Obama and Simas talked almost obsessively about an article in BuzzFeed that described how the Macedonian town of Veles had experienced a 'digital gold rush' when a small group of young people there published more than a hundred pro-Trump Web sites, with hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers.'" [editor's note: Right for all the wrong reasons; fake news was just as much the province of the mainstream media as the the fringes - SAT] (11/20/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/138851/fake-news-isnt-problem  

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What student protests tell us about America under Trump

November 21, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"While it may be President Obama's job to ease the country through the change in leadership to a President Donald Trump administration, the rest of the country doesn't have to go along with it. At least, that's the message coming from a massive show of protest and resistance in cities and towns across the nation. An outpouring of opposition coming from students in k-12 public schools and college campuses is especially significant. Why? Public schools have long been the frontline of many of the nation's most important societal battlegrounds. Much for the class conflict that ignited during the Great Depression and spawned the New Deal was foretold by the challenges schools faced in educating the massive influx of poor, uneducated immigrant children into the country in the early decades of the 20th century." [editor's note: What I learned from their outcries is the importance of overturning the Second Amendment that the NRA imposed on us - SAT] (11/18/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161118/what-student-protests-tell-us-about-america-under-trump  

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High health insurance costs prompt tough choices

November 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The post-election confusion over the fate of Obamacare has only complicated the already difficult choices faced by middle class consumers who are worried they can't afford their health insurance options this fall. Premiums and deductibles soared in many parts of the country after the departure of several large insurers from the Affordable Care Act exchanges for 2017. That's led many to fret about how to either afford insurance or how to get by without it." (11/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/11/20/high-health-insurance-costs-prompt-tough-choices/93978956  

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Orders for Trump Voodoo dolls surge

November 21, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Sally Noedel, a small-business owner in the Pacific Northwest, looked forward to Election Night, relieved that after months, she could finally quit making satirical Donald Trump voodoo dolls. On Nov. 9, she woke up to an inbox of full of new orders. Business hasn't slowed since. 'I got out my sewing machine and started sewing again,' Noedel said, adding that she had to unpack her shelved supplies and enlist a friend to help make enough voodoo dolls to meet post-Election demand. 'I have a feeling this is going to continue to be a staple item in my product line for another four years -- I hope not eight years!' Noedel's online website advertises the voodoo dolls in English and Spanish alike. She calls the dolls, which are made in the U.S.A., 'the bipartisan solution to political gift giving.'" (11/20/16)

http://heatst.com/politics/orders-for-trump-voodoo-dolls-surge/  

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“Sanctuary” means career criminals can run and hide

November 21, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Donald Trump understood something that many Washington insiders missed. Many Americans and some naturalized citizens bristle at elected officials constantly defending the rights of non-Americans to migrate here illegally -- and to be rewarded for breaking the law with a path to citizenship. Toward that end, and in deference to his campaign promises, Trump seems primed to deport undocumented immigrants and withhold some federal funds from sanctuary cities like San Francisco. Trump has dispensed with some of his magical thinking. For example, Trump has ditched his one-time (but impossible to fulfill) promise to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Now he says he would focus on 2 million or more undocumented immigrants with criminal histories. That is, his focus now is on mainstream ideas that the news media can brand as extreme only at the peril of their credibility." (11/20/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/11/20/sanctuary-means-career-criminals-can-run-and-hide-n2247793  

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France: Sarkozy knocked out of centre-right presidential primary

November 21, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been knocked out of a primary to choose the presidential candidate of the centre-right Republican party. Admitting defeat, Mr Sarkozy endorsed Francois Fillon, a moderate who finished first in Sunday's first round, according to near-complete results. Alain Juppe, who like Mr Fillon is an ex-prime minister, finished second. They will face each other in a run-off next Sunday. The winner will compete in next year's presidential election. The winner of the Republican primary is likely to make the presidential run-off, where he or she will probably face far-right leader Marine Le Pen." (11/20/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38047046  

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Haiti: Presidential redo goes well, long vote count begins

November 21, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Haiti's repeatedly derailed presidential election finally went off relatively smoothly Sunday as the troubled nation tries to get its shaky democracy on a firmer foundation after nearly a year of being led by a provisional government. Polls closed late in the afternoon, and election workers set to work on an archaic and time-consuming process of counting paper ballots in front of political party monitors. The schools serving as voting centers where they gathered were lit by lanterns, candles and flashlights. No official results were expected to be issued for eight days, and Provisional Electoral Council executive director Uder Antoine has said it might take longer than that." (11/20/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/After-lengthy-drift-Haiti-votes-for-new-leader-10626017.php  

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Catholic bishops apologize for role in Rwanda genocide

November 21, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The Catholic Church in Rwanda has apologised for its role in the 1994 genocide, saying it regrets the actions of those who participated in the massacres. A church statement acknowledged on Sunday its members planned, aided, and executed the genocide, in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu hardliners. 'We apologise for all the wrongs the church committed. We apologise on behalf of all Christians for all forms of wrongs we committed. We regret that church members violated [their] oath of allegiance to God's commandments,' said the statement by the Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was read out in parishes across the country." (11/20/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/catholic-bishops-apologise-for-role-in-rwanda-genocide  

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South Korea: Opposition parties move toward President Park impeachment

November 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"South Korea's opposition People's Party will start collecting signatures for an impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye, while the main opposition Democratic Party will review the conditions for impeachment, party spokesmen said on Monday. South Korean prosecutors said on Sunday they believe Park was an accomplice in an influence-peddling scandal that has rocked her administration. Park's close friend Choi Soon-sil and former presidential aide An Chong-bum have been charged with abuse of power by pressuring companies to contribute funds to foundations at the center of the scandal. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Seoul on Saturday in the fourth straight weekend of protests against Park, in the biggest public demonstrations the country has seen since the 1980s. Park, whose five-year term ends in February 2018, has resisted calls to resign but has apologized twice, saying she only sought to benefit the economy not herself, but acknowledges carelessness in her ties with Choi." (11/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-idUSKBN13G0BE  

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Trump’s victory a wake-up call to the left

November 21, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Lynn Koh  

"There is simply no other way to put it: The election of Donald Trump was a disaster for the Left and for all those struggling against exploitation and oppression in the United States. We face an energized white nationalist movement, a right-wing-controlled legislature and executive branch, and soon, a Supreme Court hostile to labor and progressive causes. One of the things we desperately need at this moment is hope. Real hope. As in, 'we're going to freaking win' hope. And there is a lot of fodder for hope, despite what we will be up against in the next four years. Millions of people, including many who have never attended a protest, are asking what they can do to change our country's politics." [editor's note: Right for all the wrong reasons; if this awakens the peace movement it may have been a blessing - SAT] (11/18/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19648/a-call-to-the-left  

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US House votes to destroy American aerospace jobs

November 17, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, a bid to stop sales by Boeing and Airbus that have already been approved by President Barack Obama's administration. The bill passed the Republican-led House by 243-174 largely along party lines. Eight Democrats joined Republicans in favor. All 174 'no' votes were from Democrats. The measure would bar U.S. Treasury Department from issuing licenses that U.S. banks would need to finance sales of commercial aircraft, the latest in a series of efforts by congressional Republicans to counteract the international nuclear deal between Iran, the United States and other world powers. The deals by Airbus and Boeing to sell or lease over 200 jets to IranAir would help modernize and expand the country's elderly fleet, held together by smuggled or improvised parts after years of sanctions." [editor's note: Not sure why this was necessary; restraint of "free trade?" - SAT] (11/17/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-aviation-usa-idUSKBN13C2MJ  

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Today’s broken Trump promise: “I won’t cut Medicare”

November 17, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"President-elect Donald Trump made a number of promises to his voters. Here is today’s post about a promise that he has already broken. This is already becoming a regular series. Donald Trump campaigned on a promise not to cut Social Security or Medicare. Because who would campaign by saying they’re going to cut or change those incredibly popular and successful programs? During the primaries Trump said, 'Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years.'" [editor's note: Yet another complete distortion of this issue - SAT] (11/17/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161117/todays-broken-trump-promise-i-wont-cut-medicare  

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Report: Trump considering Romney for Secretary of State

November 17, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is considering Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, for secretary of state, NBC News reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is due to meet Trump on Sunday to discuss the position, NBC News said." [editor's note: If it helps stop Bolton, I'm in favor it - SAT] (11/17/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/trump-considering-mitt-romney-for-secretary-of-state-nbc-news  

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End of Trump’s reign could be sooner than you think

November 17, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Robert Evans  

"So that election sure was pretty crazy, huh? There are lots and lots and lots of really pissed-off people right now, and since we've said quite a bit on the subject, I won't add more to that here. What I will tell you is that you absolutely have a real-world, tangible way to fight. ... See, right now, unless you're a member of Congress, the most effective thing you can do to fight Donald Trump is to pull up your calendar, flip ahead to November 6, 2018. ... That's the date on which 33 senate seats, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and 14 governorships currently held by Republicans will be up for reelection. ... Remember, folks: Trump didn't win because most of America wanted him as their president. He won because around 30 percent of America loved him, and most of the rest of us didn't vote. Voter turnout in this election was the lowest it's been in 20 years. Stopping Trump is as simple as showing up, voting against his fellow Republicans in Congress, and then roasting marshmallows over the smoldering ashes of his backbone." (11/17/16)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-surefire-way-to-fight-back-against-trump-presidency  

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Media failing to explain Trump’s recklessness [sic]

November 17, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"On Tuesday night, Donald Trump committed a huge no-no. This was nothing trivial like empowering white hate groups or waging public and legal vendettas against his enemies—he’s been doing those things all along. For the first time since winning the presidency last week, he sneaked away from the pool of reporters tasked with knowing his whereabouts all day every day to dine at a fancy Manhattan steak house. This may sound like a minor infraction, but it is actually a matter of incredible importance, as many journalists have explained in the hours since. Trump had traduced yet another vital norm, except instead of simply noting an objection to the violation, and assuming the importance of the broken protocol, reporters have been at pains to defend it. Pool duty isn’t the most glamorous assignment, but it is some of the most vital work political reporters do, because when someone is vested the power of the presidency, history is always at his fingertips." [editor's note: Give it a rest; going to dinner with your family and avoiding the paparazzi is NOT a crime - SAT] (11/17/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/138814/media-failing-explain-trumps-recklessness  

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Congress flirts with ending earmark ban

November 17, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Let’s start with the definition of a congressional 'earmark.' Clause 9(e) of House Rule XXI characterizes an earmark as 'a provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator providing, authorizing or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure with or to an entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula driven or competitive award process.' In other words, if an individual lawmaker stipulates that Congress spend a specific amount of money on a designated project, it’s an earmark." (11/17/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/17/this-should-get-interesting-lawmakers-flirt-with-ending-earmark-ban.html  

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President Trump just what private prison industry ordered

November 17, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Charles Davis  

"President-elect Donald Trump was typically vague, but to those who profit from mass incarceration the message was unambiguous: Under a Trump administration you will profit even more. 'I do think,' Trump said at a town hall this spring, 'we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons. It seems to work a lot better.' But on August 18, Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was going the other way, issuing a memo arguing that private prisons 'do not save substantially on costs' and 'do not maintain the same level of safety and security.' They should, therefore, be phased out. The private prison industry, dominated by just two firms, was shaken." [editor's note: End war on some drugs; prisons become only for violent and dangerous criminals; problem msotly solved - SAT] (11/17/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19640/president-donald-trump-private-prison-industry-cca-geo-banks-wells-fargo  

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