PND Commentary

A most bizarre misuse

June 27, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Increasingly, folks in government balk at the commonsense requirement for transparency. They don't like the basic idea of a republic, apparently -- that we have rights; folks in government have duties. They are bound to serve us. And allow us to oversee their work. The latest bizarre attempt to wiggle out of transparency comes from California. A proposed bit of legislation, AB-2880, seeks to grant state employees copyright protection -- for their everyday work as public servants." (06/27/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/06/27/a-most-bizarre-misuse/  

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Feds shake down FedEx — and fail

June 27, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Showtime's 'Billions' is probably 2016's most intriguing dramatic series, precisely because its nastiest villain is Chuck Rhoades, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Played by actor Paul Giamatti, Rhoades is a ruthless bully who wants to bury hedge fund big shots, whether he has the goods on them or not. Rhoades is so righteous about upholding the law that he is willing to break it to destroy his prey. A version of 'Billions' played out at the federal courthouse in San Francisco this month as the Justice Department pursued a 2014 criminal indictment against FedEx that could have cost the overnight-delivery giant $1.6 billion in fines. Except, FedEx shocked the legal world by fighting back. Even better, FedEx won because, as U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer observed, the corporation was 'factually innocent' and had operated without criminal intent." (06/23/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/06/23/feds-shake-down-fedex--and-fail-n2182436  

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Britain still torn between nationalism and global leadership

June 27, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Harold Evans  

"Political forecasters are smart about everything except the future. At 7.30 a.m. on the not-so-bright Brexit morning, the polling site Populus had 55 percent of Britons planning to cast their ballots for continued union with Europe -- 10 percent more than those predicted to be quitters. YouGov predicted a European margin of 4 percent. The betting markets had been on a binge for Remain. Now please estimate how many Remain voters, seeing their side so far ahead and weather nasty in places, decided to take a rain check. Then consider the effect of the same Thursday morning polls on Leavers who felt impelled to get out their umbrellas and vote down the Europeans and the 'faceless bureaucrats' and refugee 'hordes' of Daily Mail phantasmorgia." (06/25/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-leave-commentary-idUSKCN0ZB05Y  

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Paul Krugman’s Democratic Party

June 27, 2016
posted by

John C. Goodman Town Hall
by John C Goodman  

"Paul Krugman may understand the Democratic Party better than most Democrats do. The New York Times editorial writer describes Democrats as a 'coalition of social groups, from teachers’ unions to Planned Parenthood, seeking specific benefits from government action.' More often than not, what these groups want from government is at someone else’s expense. That isn’t just a characteristic of the party. That’s what the Democratic Party is." [editor's note: Please feel free to pass this along to your intelligent "progressive" friends; we all have them! - SAT] (06/25/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/johncgoodman/2016/06/25/paul-krugmans-democratic-party-n2183273  

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Party’s over, quarter billion dollars on Bernie, now what?

June 26, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by David Swanson  

"Well meaning people just spent a quarter billion dollars on the Bernie Sanders campaign which continues operations while its candidate says he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president. Let's put that in a little perspective. Iraqis fleeing Fallujah yet again, as wars that Hillary Clinton pushed for roll on, are in need, according to the United Nations, of $17.5 million for survival. I work for an organization opposing war, called World Beyond War, which runs on less than $50,000 a year. Many good organizations pursuing just what this world needs run on less than that, but you could fund 5,000 organizations at the level of World Beyond War's current funding for what's been spent on Bernie. Has Sanders for President been a wise investment or not?" (06/26/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Party-s-Over-Quarter-Bill-by-David-Swanson-Bernie-Or-Bust_Bernie-Sanders_Bernie-Sanders_Bernie-Sanders-2016-Presidential-Candidate-160626-375.html  

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Britain’s exit is a good thing for everyone

June 26, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Nile Gardiner  

"Thursday's Brexit vote is a momentous step for the British people. For the first time in more than 40 years, they will be able to shape their own destiny as a world power. Brexit frees Great Britain from the shackles of the supra-national European Union, which has evolved into a big-government super-state -- one that restricts and constrains the sovereignty and freedom of individual nation-states. This is a political earthquake that will send shockwaves across Europe and across the Atlantic. Brexit will lead to other EU members holding their own referendums. Indeed, this could be the beginning of the end for the European Project. Throughout Europe, there are growing calls for greater sovereignty and decentralization of political power. Brexit is just the start of sweeping changes across Europe." (06/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/06/24/brexit-great-britain-nato-editorials-and-debates/86335202  

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Corporate “free trade” IS zero-sum

June 26, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"A global corporation uses its patents and trademarks to contract out actual production to independent firms, but retains a legal monopoly on disposal of the product. As a result it can bargain unilaterally with foreign sweatshops on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, and sell the finished goods in Western domestic markets at a markup many times the actual cost of production. And it can use the same 'intellectual property' to prevent indigenous Third World producers from manufacturing identical goods for their own domestic market at a price near actual production cost. That is a ZERO-SUM game in which the corporations benefit at the expense of both Third World workers and American consumers." (06/25/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45463  

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A blow for peace and democracy: Why the British said no to Europe

June 26, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by John Pilger  

"The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media. This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralised by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the 'Remain' campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain." (06/24/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/24/a-blow-for-peace-and-democracy-why-the-british-said-no-to-europe/  

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Betraying Progressives: DNC Platform backs fracking, TPP, Israel occupation

June 26, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Lauren McCauley  

"Despite its claims to want to unify voters ahead of November's election, the Democratic party appears to be pushing for an agenda that critics say ignores basic progressive policies, 'staying true' to their Corporate donors above all else. During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, members of the DNC's platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have come out against the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At the same time, proposals to support a carbon tax, Single Payer healthcare, and a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation were also disregarded." [editor's note: Please feel free to pass this along to your "progressive" friends; we all have them - SAT] (06/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19247/betraying-progressives-dnc-platform-backs-fracking-tpp-and-israel-occupatio  

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Brexit and the new global rebellion

June 26, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Things are changing. A major crack has appeared in the edifice of globalization, and the neoliberal order that has dominated the world’s economy since the end of World War II is now in danger. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by any means. But poisonous weeds are just as likely as green shoots to grow up through those cracks. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Those who make constructive evolution impossible may be making destructive devolution inevitable. We now know that Great Britain, itself an amalgam of older nations, is divided. England and Wales voted to leave Europe, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and ethnically diverse London voted to remain. This vote was a stunning rejection of Great Britain’s political establishment. 'Leave' prevailed, despite opposition from all three major political parties. ... The uprising has begun. The question now is, who will lead it going forward?" (06/24/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160624/brexit-and-the-new-global-rebellion  

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Britain’s long, tortured relationship With Europe

June 26, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"If Great Britain leaves the European Union, it will be the end of a particularly tormented relationship, one bedeviled by passive-aggressive hostility. Britain has never really loved the EU. As the European Union was forming in the 1950s, Britain looked on from the outside as an arrogant and ambivalent partner. It ultimately found itself forced by circumstances to join a club it felt it was too good for. The roots of Britain's wariness of Europe are manifold. It is an island nation at the periphery of the continent with a historical mythology that emphasizes thwarting continental invasions, from the Spanish Armada to Napoleon to Hitler. Britain has never really thought of itself as being a part of Europe. Major British holidays, notably Guy Fawkes Day, celebrate the resisting of continental plots against the island’s splendid freedom." (06/24/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/134642/britains-long-tortured-relationship-europe  

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Reboot the world

June 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Paul Ford  

"First a refresher: Ashley Madison is a web site that helps you have affairs. You enter your personal information and the site lets you look at other people who have also entered their information. Then you can make arrangements to have sex with these other people. And because it is digital, it felt anonymous, which meant you could structure the social interactions so that no one in your immediate vicinity (spouse, children) would ever know. Ashley Madison is a heavily advertised digital product, and until the leak it was doing pretty well. Roughly 35 million people had signed up, and presumably more than one of them had sexual intercourse without the knowledge of their spouses (by which I mean wives -- the users were overwhelmingly men). Then it all went pear-shaped. One day last summer, an individual or individuals known as 'The Impact Team' determined that all of the information in the Ashley Madison database should be made public." (06/22/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133889/reboot-world  

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Trump’s vote-winning strategy: Attack Muslims

June 23, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Mohamad Bazzi  

"Donald Trump prides himself on not backing down from any fight or controversial position. Hours after the Orlando nightclub mass shooting on June 12, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee doubled down on his plan to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. He also renewed his call for U.S. law enforcement agencies to use greater racial profiling, especially of Muslim Americans. ... In December, Trump shocked the world when he called for the ban on all Muslim travelers entering the United States -- until American leaders 'can figure out what the hell is going on.' Throughout the campaign, Trump has advocated increased surveillance of Muslim American communities and mosques. He also said he would consider registering Muslim Americans in a database, or requiring Muslims to carry special identification cards." (06/22/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-islam-commentary-idUSKCN0Z82H4  

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Will Bernie Sanders voters support Hillary Clinton?

June 23, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Clare Foran  

"Democratic Party power brokers are rallying around Hillary Clinton, calling for unity and a focus on defeating Donald Trump. Are Bernie Sanders supporters willing to do the same? A Bloomberg article published Wednesday warns that 'nearly half of Sanders supporters won't support Clinton.'" [editor's note: I'm surprised that more than half WILL support her - TLK] (06/23/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/bernie-or-bust-clinton/488276/  

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Clinton e-mail on Libyan conquest: We came, we saw, we got oil

June 23, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ann Garrison  

"Most anyone paying serious attention knew that there was a lot of blood for oil involved in the NATO War on Libya but now we have confirmation in the Wikileaks searchable database of Hillary Clinton's private e-mails, which were made available in response to a Freedom of Information Act request." (06/23/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/23/clinton-e-mail-on-libyan-conquest-we-came-we-saw-we-got-oil/  

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Trump, Guns & Lies, Incorporated

June 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan  

"In the aftermath of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it shouldn't surprise us that Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, responded with a lie. Or two, depending how you measure. After all, Trump’s entire campaign is built on lies, whether about the number of undocumented immigrants (11 million, not 34 million, as Trump claims), his Democratic opponent's position on the Second Amendment or the reaction of Jersey City Muslims to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In fact, it could be said that Trump's 2016 campaign began with his Big Lie in 2011, when he threw in with the birthers who claim, against copious evidence to the contrary, that Barack Obama was not born in the United States." (06/22/16)

http://prospect.org/article/trump-guns-and-lies-incorporated  

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You can’t polish a Trump

June 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"With his long-touted anti-Clinton speech on Wednesday morning, Donald Trump came closer than ever to becoming the polished and restrained candidate that the Republican elite have been longing for. What the world saw was, if not a new Trump, at least a more restrained Trump, sticking to the prepared remarks with occasional ad-libs (which often amounted to just repeating some key words for emphasis.) Thematically, the script was tight. It hit hard on the argument that Hillary Clinton 'may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.' The recycled allegations of corruption (Benghazi, email, Chinese money) were deftly linked to a populist nationalist message about how America is being betrayed by the corporate elite through trade deals that hurt workers." (06/22/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/134549/cant-polish-trump  

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The 13 Democrats who just did Wall Street’s dirty work

June 23, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"A 'D' beside a politician’s name doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fighting for the public’s interests. In fact, 13 Democratic members of Congress recently joined Republicans in voting to protect private equity and hedge funds. This vote demonstrates the corrupting force of money in politics. If the media were doing a better job, it would be a national scandal. Democrats like these need to be encouraged to find new jobs. But don’t expect the party establishment to do it. In fact, one of these 13 representatives is running in the Florida Senate primary as the Democratic National Committee’s hand-picked candidate. Patrick Murphy, a fiscal conservative and former Republican, has been a favorite of the DNC since he first switched parties to run for Congress. Since then Murphy has voted to establish the committee investigating Benghazi, supported the Keystone XL pipeline, and backed a Republican-sponsored bill to weaken the already-inadequate Affordable Care Act." [editor's note: And at the same time, Dems in the House are sitting in to push thru bills that even the ACLU hates! - SAT] (06/22/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160622/the-13-democrats-who-just-did-wall-streets-dirty-work  

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Supreme Court ruling is admissible evidence of police state

June 23, 2016
posted by

Kelly Vee Center for a Stateless Society
by Kelly Vee  

"On Monday, June 20, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence police find during illegal stops is admissible in court. As long as the officer can find some outstanding warrant in your name, the court will excuse the officer's illegal stop. The Supreme Court's decision would be disappointing if you expected the Supreme Court to do anything other than serve itself." (06/23/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45423  

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How union contracts shield police departments from DOJ reforms

June 23, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Adeshina Emmanuel  

"Few were surprised on Dec. 7, 2015, when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The city had recently released a dash cam video of officer Jason Van Dyke killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Graphic footage showed the officer firing a hail of bullets at the black teen as he walked away. Forty-eight hours after Lynch’s announcement, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Dean Angelo boarded a plane to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Department of Justice (DOJ). In the wake of McDonald's death, the union has faced growing public scrutiny over its alleged role in shielding his killer." [editor's note: Nice to see a "progressive" site noting how public employee unions can be just as neofeudalist as the crony-corporatist "usual suspects" - SAT] (06/22/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/police-killings-union-contracts.html  

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The damn-the-torpedos allure of “Brexit”

June 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David A Andelman  

"'Brexit' might well be the end of the world as we know it. That’s certainly the view from this sun-washed Adriatic paradise in the south of Europe and indeed on much of the rest of the continent of the choice facing British voters. On Thursday, they will go to the polls to decide whether to remain in the European Union or exit it, the first binding stay-or-leave vote by a member nation since the creation of a single boundary-free continent more than three decades ago. The debate has taken on existential overtones on this side of the Atlantic, and the powerful emotions it raises could well produce ripples that affect America’s own future in the world. At its heart, Brexit is all about the question of who’s ruling whom." (06/22/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/06/22/brexit-european-union-uk-vote-marchionne-david-andelman/86137958  

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Reintroducing Bobby Kennedy and his legacy

June 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Larry Tye  

"In her frantic search for an antidote to Donald Trump’s racial and ethnic demagoguery, Hillary Clinton would do well to look back at Robert F. Kennedy’s spirited bid for the White House half a century ago. That crusade later inspired not just the liberal Barack Obama but the third-wayer Bill Clinton. It reached a crescendo on the night of Bobby’s momentous victory in the California primary, when he seemed on the verge of becoming the tough liberal (or perhaps tender conservative) who could stitch back together a divided land. His murder in June 1968, at the moment of his triumph, symbolized what we had lost and what we still might become." (06/21/16)

http://prospect.org/article/reintroducing-bobby-kennedy-and-his-legacy  

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“Brexit” could push Europe deeper into scapegoating and xenophobia

June 23, 2016
posted by

Murtaza Hussain The Intercept
by Murtaza Hussain  

"On Thursday, millions of Britons will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that could see Britain exit the EU, or 'Brexit.' Not only would such a move deal a serious economic blow to the European Union, depriving it of its second largest economy and likely triggering an immediate recession, it could also set a dangerously compelling example for other anti-EU political parties on the continent, most of which are associated with the political far-right." (06/22/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/22/brexit-could-push-europe-deeper-into-scapegoating-and-xenophobia/  

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The TPP “lame duck” push insults democracy

June 23, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"In the United States 'We the People' are supposed to have a say in how we are governed, right? So shouldn’t we have a say in how we are governed? President Obama, Wall Street and the giant, multinational corporations are pushing (and pushing hard) for a vote in Congress in the 'lame duck' congressional session after the election, to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The most recent pitch by Obama was on Monday at a summit of business leaders in Washington, where he said the TPP 'will do even more to lower the cost of exporting, eliminating taxes and custom duties, and raising intellectual property standards that protect data and ideas and jobs.' Here is why the push is on. The so-called 'lame duck' session of Congress is particularly unaccountable." (06/21/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160621/tpp-lame-duck-push-insults-democracy  

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The real reason Congress can’t change gun laws

June 22, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Adam Skaggs  

"On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled again that the Constitution does not stand in the way of addressing gun violence. The court refused to hear a challenge to a Connecticut law that broadly restricts access to the kind of semi-automatic rifles used in the 2014 Sandy Hook shooting and, more recently, in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida. That lets the law stand. It was the latest confirmation that the Second Amendment does not impede most laws designed to reduce gun violence. The Supreme Court’s landmark Heller decision in 2008 established that a broad range of gun regulations are 'presumptively lawful.' The court has driven this point home repeatedly, leaving in place dozens of lower court decisions upholding a wide range of gun laws. Yet, just hours after the court’s action, the Senate reaffirmed another truth about American democracy: The likelihood of this Congress passing meaningful gun reform is close to zero." [editor's note: Go ahead, find a way to "pass meaningful gun reform" that does not abrogate the right to self-defense, and we're all willing to listen! - SAT] (06/21/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-shooting-guns-senate-commenta-idUSKCN0Z71K6  

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