PND Commentary

Clinton’s best defense

May 27, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney  

"As a well-funded constellation of conservative groups swings into action to attack Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner is fighting fire with fire. From day one of her campaign, Clinton has made no bones about her need to raise big money, and lots of it. A big chunk of the $1 billion Clinton and her allies have set out to collect will go toward defending her against the scorched-earth assaults of what she once dubbed the 'vast, right-wing conspiracy.' The pro-Clinton group Correct the Record, which has raised $5 million to date under the leadership of hard-charging political operative David Brock, has no purpose other than to defend Clinton 'from baseless attacks,' as its website states." (05/26/16)

http://prospect.org/article/clintons-best-defense  

1 Comment »

Spotify’s next investors may face the music

May 27, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jeffrey Goldfarb  

"Spotify’s latest figures are both impressive and worrisome. The Swedish streaming-music service increased revenue 80 percent last year, to 1.9 billion euros, or about $2.1 billion. Its number of users swelled from 60 million in 2014 to nearly 90 million. And the 28 million paying subscribers it has signed up represent over 40 percent of the total streaming market. Even assuming generous growth and operating leverage in the future, though, it may be hard to justify a higher valuation than its most recent one. The 10-year-old company led by cofounder Daniel Ek is confronting a common problem for digital music startups. A substantial portion of sales goes toward royalties and distribution fees." [editor's note: YOu could not prove that by the songwriters who wrote the songs; they are all getting screwed! - SAT] (05/26/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/05/26/spotifys-next-investors-may-face-the-music  

No Comments »

Democratic unity: Harder in 2016 than in 2008

May 27, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"If you divide the world of liberal politics into two groups of people (those prone to panic, and those who are sanguine about the coming election) you’ll hear two different stories about the state of the Democratic primary. Former Harry Reid aide Jim Manley spoke for the former group when he told CNN, 'I am increasingly concerned that even if Senator [Bernie] Sanders would come around and support a [Hillary] Clinton nomination that things become so polarized that not all of the supporters would agree to do so. I am afraid he has made this internal debate so polarized that even if he comes around, far too many of his supporters would just be so disgusted with the process that they won’t come out in the numbers needed.'” (05/26/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133752/democratic-unity-will-harder-2016-2008  

No Comments »

Health insurers find back door to limit choice

May 27, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Jeff Stier  

"Lost in the noise of political posturing over health care, there’s one widely accepted principle: the importance of the doctor-patient relationship in medical decision-making. Yet we’ve all heard stories where insurance companies won’t fully cover a drug that both the doctor and patient believe is the right medical choice. Why not? It’s pretty simple: the insurance companies don’t want to pay. As cutting edge drugs come to market, insurance companies are scrambling to find ways to justify not paying for them." (05/26/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/26/health-insurance-coverage-prescriptions-drugs-icer-comparative-effectiveness-column/83868108  

No Comments »

How charter schools heighten the politicization Of education

May 27, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future Blog
by Jeff Bryant  

"Last year a breakthrough policy brief from the National Education Policy Center exposed some of the financial machinations charter schools engage in to further the interests of profit-seeking entrepreneurs. But what about the political machinations? The politics of charter schools are less quantifiable that their financials but are troubling nevertheless, and the expansion of these schools will no doubt lead to increased politicization of education in local communities. Consider the following anecdotes." (05/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160526/how-charter-schools-heighten-the-politicization-of-education  

No Comments »

Bill Cosby, from victimizer to victim

May 26, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J. Saunders  

"There is no doubt in my mind that Bill Cosby did a great deal of what his female accusers say he did -- i.e., drug and sexually assault them. There are dozens of accusers with similar stories, and the tales go back for decades. I confess, I didn't pay much attention to the story until one night, while channel surfing, I caught Cosby doing his comedy act and felt a cold brace of certainty that this man really hates women. Stars can have their pick of willing females; Cosby perversely preferred to trick, dope and violate unwitting victims. His goal was not his own satisfaction so much as their debasement. ... Still, I think the prosecution of Cosby in a Norristown, Pennsylvania, court for the alleged 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand, then 30, goes too far." (05/26/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/26/bill-cosby-from-victimizer-to-victim-n2169109  

No Comments »

The era of rogue justice after 9/11

May 25, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Karen J Greenberg  

"As Barack Obama’s presidency draws to a close, the flames of the counterterrorism frenzy that were ignited fifteen years ago have begun to die down. Neither civil liberties nor the rule of law was consumed. Instead, what lie in the ashes are the most egregious violations of them: torture, mass surveillance, indefinite detention, extrajudicial trials, and indiscriminate drone killings, all of which, after bruising battles, have been reined in, if not abolished. This might not have been the case had the handful of officials who first objected to these policies at the end of George W. Bush’s first presidential term not worked hard, quietly and without fanfare, to change them." (05/25/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/the-era-of-rogue-justice-after-911  

No Comments »

A five-point plan for Sanders

May 25, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier  

"When Bernie Sanders announced a year ago that he was running for president, few of his supporters (and probably not even Sanders himself) expected that he would actually win. It appeared that Sanders, like his hero Eugene Debs (who ran for president five times in the early 1900s on the Socialist Party ticket) was running mainly to inject progressive issues into the national debate and to help build a movement for radical change. Debs never captured more than 6 percent of the popular vote (in 1912), but his campaigns played an important role in shaping Americans’ views." [editor's note: Yes, I know, we libertarians have our own stuff to deal with; doesn't mean we might not learn from others how to leverage our issues to higher awareness - SAT] (05/25/16)

http://prospect.org/article/five-point-plan-sanders  

No Comments »

The hustle continues: Why the Feds haven’t nailed the big banks

May 25, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"Americans still want to see some measure of justice for the misconduct that precipitated the financial crisis. But Monday’s decision by an appeals court to throw out a $1.27 billion civil penalty against Bank of America will surely generate some despair. So few cases have even been attempted that when a successful one gets reversed, it can raise questions about whether there were any good ones to make in the first place. The truth is that there were cases out there—but the Department of Justice chose not to pursue them. The Bank of America case, though promising at first glance, wasn’t the most fertile ground for true accountability. When DoJ decided in the wake of the crisis to take the path of least resistance by engaging in this inadequate enforcement, what they really did was take a path to letting big banks and their executives off the hook." [editor's note: This is one issue we libwertarians clearly share with the "leftists" -- be it the Berners ... or pundits like this one who even have half a clue - SAT] (05/26/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133716/hustle-continues-feds-havent-nailed-big-banks  

No Comments »

Why it’s funny Republicans are upset with Facebook

May 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Dan Gillmor  

"America’s right wing is in a froth about allegations that Facebook has tweaked its 'trending news' feed to reduce the visibility of conservative news sites. It’s not clear if the allegations, from a Gizmodo report based on anonymous sources, are true and Facebook denies them. But the deeper problem is undeniably real: Facebook is the dominant member of a small number of giant entities (corporate and governmental) that are gaining control over news, freedom of expression and much of our digital lives. The irony is that the conservatives and business-backed Republicans in Congress who howl about Facebook are the same people who have thwarted policies that would encourage the competition we need to challenge that increasingly centralized control. Almost no one wants to address the fact that Facebook is becoming a monopoly in the antitrust sense of the word. Along with Google, it dominates online advertising; Facebook especially does so on mobile devices, which are the way many people connect to the Internet." [editor's note: I was all set to poke fun at this writer, but then realised he had it right - SAT] (05/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/25/facebook-censoring-conservative-groups-anti-trust-regulation-column/84849964  

No Comments »

Republicans demand Flint-like solution to Puerto Rico debt

May 25, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"In 2008 Wall Street got in over its head, and the U.S. government and Federal Reserve stepped in with trillions of dollars to bail them out. Now Puerto Rico has debt that it cannot pay. Instead of helping, though, Republicans in Congress are demanding increased austerity and an unelected 'oversight board' that sets aside democratic governance -- the same way Republicans imposed unelected government on Michigan cities like Flint. (We know how that turned out.)" (05/24/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160524/republicans-demand-flint-like-solution-to-puerto-rico-debt  

No Comments »

The fight for public control of land in the Bronx

May 25, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Raven Rakia  

"The community group South Bronx Unite (SBU) has battled for four years to stop the grocery store FreshDirect from building a trucking facility. The distribution center would be the latest highly polluting operation in a neighborhood with childhood asthma rates eight times the national average. Time is running out: The facility is slated to open later this year. But in the process, SBU has shaken up New York politics and pioneered a model for public control of neighborhood land." (05/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19100/south-bronx-residents-fight-for-their-shorelines-against-corporate-land-gra  

No Comments »

Gary Johnson is having a good day

May 25, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Nora Kelly  

"If Gary Johnson wants to make it onto a primetime presidential-debate stage as the Libertarian Party's nominee, he needs to qualify by polling above 15 percent. If he wants to be the nominee, he needs a strong showing at the party's convention this weekend. And if he wants a strong showing at the convention, he needs to demonstrate to delegates that he’s their party's ideal standard-bearer -- a candidate who can be even a little competitive in a three-way matchup with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Johnson just got good news: A poll released Tuesday morning shows the candidate with 10 percent of the national vote." [editor's note: "Competitive" is important, but it doesn't top the list of required characteristics. It comes after "libertarian" and "honest/trustworthy," and perhaps some others - TLK] (05/24/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/gary-johnson-libertarian-polls/484151/  

No Comments »

Invisible in life, invisible in death: How information becomes useless

May 25, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Susan Babbitt  

"The documentary, Who is Dayani Cristal? shows illegal immigrants found dead in US deserts. Acclaimed actor, Gael Garcia Bernal, tells one man's story. He leaves his Honduran family, crowds onto the top of trains, reaches a border he can't cross, enters a country that doesn't want him, and dies in the desert, alone. US officials mostly fail to identify corpses. One refers sadly to people 'invisible in life, invisible in death.' To say people are invisible is to say they don't count. It's to say that whether they are visible or invisible doesn't matter." (05/25/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/25/invisible-in-life-invisible-in-death-how-information-becomes-useless/  

No Comments »

War profiteering poisons American soldiers

May 25, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Renee Babcock and Grace Novak  

"During the Iraq War, several corporations made billions in government contracts, as more and more of the military's operations relied on private contractors. And while the public is told that these wars will protect us, all too many American service members have faced unspeakable abuses over seas at the hands of these careless war profiteers." ()5/25/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/War-Profiteering-Poisons-A-by-Move-to-Amend-Corporate-Constitutional-Rights_Corporate-Personhood_Corporations-Military-Industrial-Complex_Military-Industrial-Complex-160524-884.html  

No Comments »

This Memorial Day, remember the victims of democide

May 25, 2016
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"I suppose there's something to be said for the contraction of the holiday into just another weekend of shopping and recreation. War is horrible to contemplate and there's a strong case for the proposition that long weekends are really for the living. But to be honest, I'd rather expand the holiday back to its original purpose -- mourning and remembering all those killed in war and by state violence, not just those in uniform. And, furthermore, resolving to put a stop to the carnage." (05/24/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/5955  

No Comments »

Will Libertarians help elect Hillary Clinton?

May 25, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Two former Republican governors are running for [sic] president and vice president on the Libertarian line. They are Gary Johnson, 63, former New Mexico governor, and William Weld, 70, former governor of Massachusetts. The Libertarian Party holds its nominating convention in Orlando, Florida, over Memorial Day weekend. The Libertarian Party could play the spoiler role in 2016 for Donald Trump, just as Ralph Nader did in 2000, but this time helping to tip the election to the Democrat. ... Unlike the typical third party candidates, Johnson and Weld are experienced mainstream politicians. Johnson, a former construction company entrepreneur, served two terms from 1994 to 2002, winning both elections by ten points. Weld was a highly popular and moderate governor of the Bay State. He won re-election by the largest margin in state history in 1994." [editor's note: The reality is, none of this might take place, but isn't it fascinating how quick these "progressives" are to throw in the towel in a fight for change? - SAT] (05/24/16)

http://prospect.org/article/will-libertarians-help-elect-hillary-clinton  

No Comments »

The other European referendum to fret over

May 25, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"Investors are understandably obsessing over Britain’s vote next month on whether to leave the European Union. Yet even as that heady question gets answered, another binary ballot will loom with potentially bigger financial risks for the European economy and global capital markets. In October, Italians will be asked to give a simple 'sì' or 'no' on a series of reforms to the republic’s constitution. It could have been a relatively parochial affair, of marginal interest outside Italy, except that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decided to make it a plebiscite on his leadership. He has told voters that if the changes his administration has championed are rejected, 'I will return to being a free citizen. If I lose, I will resign the next day.' Making the vote personal is a dangerous gambit, with consequences that could reverberate beyond the Alps." (05/24/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/05/24/cox-the-other-european-referendum-to-fret-over  

No Comments »

Bad government often at root of humanitarian crisis

May 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Sean Callahan  

"Imagine if one in five Americans were forced to flee the country because of violence and war. That’s the reality for 60 million people around the globe today. This week, United Nations, national governments and other humanitarian actors are meeting to improve the global humanitarian response for these people at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit. A few days later, many of the same leaders will discuss pressing crises at the G7 Summit. As they convene, let’s push them to address the reason these 60 million people -- men, women, and millions of children -- are on the move: Stop man-made disasters." (05/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/24/blame-bad-government--humanitarian-crises-refugees-haiti-ethiopia-katrina-column/84813724  

No Comments »

Ferguson effect by the Bay

May 25, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"'It's as hard right now to be a cop maybe as it's ever been,' San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to The Chronicle Editorial Board Tuesday. At the time, Suhr was resisting calls demanding that he resign. Five local protesters had given up their hunger strike to force his departure to atone for officer-involved shootings of four minority men in the previous two years. Four supervisors had jumped onto that bandwagon, but Suhr enjoyed Mayor Ed Lee's support. Until Thursday, that is, when a San Francisco cop shot and killed Jessica Williams, 29, an unarmed auto theft suspect in The Bayview. By the end of the day, Suhr had met with the mayor and resigned. It's as hard right now to be a police chief in a major American city as it has ever been." (05/24/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/24/ferguson-effect-by-the-bay-n2167723  

No Comments »

Trump’s trade con

May 25, 2016
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Donald Trump was riffing on trade, sounding very populists by shrugging off concerns about sparking a 'trade war' with China, when he said: 'My trade deal is very simple, I am going to make great deals for our country. It might be free, it might not be free.' Well, which is it? The difference is a big deal. A 'free trade' deal would have little to no rules governing trade. Progressive populist critics of such deals argue free trade deals create a “race to the bottom” in which countries keep wages low and labor and environmental protections light to maximize competitiveness. A 'fair trade' deal seeks to codify a level playing field, so America regulations on wages, worker rights and environment rules can’t easily but undercut by other nations looking to keep the cost of production low. The idea is to lift up standards across the world so workers everywhere benefit." (05/24/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160524/trumps-trade-con  

No Comments »

Will Sanders demand veto power over Clinton’s cabinet picks?

May 24, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"On CNN Monday, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said Bernie Sanders is likely to hold out for some enormous concessions from Hillary Clinton before he takes steps to unify the Democratic Party. ... This sounds less definitive than CNN made it seem with its headline ('Reporter: Sanders wants say over Clinton cabinet picks'). But it’s been hanging out there for a full day, and the campaign hasn’t knocked it down. So assuming for the sake of argument that this is where the Sanders brain trust is, it’s worth considering whether this would cross a line between 'driving a hard bargain' and being destructively spiteful." (05/24/16)

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/133696/will-sanders-demand-veto-power-clintons-cabinet-picks  

No Comments »

Top 12 reasons the Good War was bad: Hiroshima in context

May 24, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by David Swanson  

"No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you've advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question. Of course this belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there's a good war next year, even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there's general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me." (05/24/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Top-12-Reasons-the-Good-Wa-by-David-Swanson-Obama_Obama_War_War-160524-223.html  

No Comments »

Why I am #NeverHillary

May 24, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ted Rall  

"It's one hell of a choice. The more I delve into Donald Trump and his past (to research my biography, which comes out in June), the more scared I get. Nevertheless, there is no way I'll vote for Hillary. I won't vote for her if she stops shaking down rich right-wing Republicans for donations. I won't vote for her if she adopts Bernie's platform. I won't vote for her if she names Bernie her vice president. I won't even vote for her if Bernie invites me to spend the summer with him and Jane in Vermont. #NeverHillary. That's me. There are millions of us." (05/24/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/24/why-i-am-neverhillary/  

No Comments »

Why legislate when judges will do it for you?

May 24, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps  

"America's ongoing political crisis is often described as producing 'system paralysis.' The term 'spasm' might be more useful. As poison spreads through the body politic, the affected limbs are lashing out more or less randomly in the attempt to function, with predictably chaotic results. Last week's order in Zubik v. Burwell -- in which the U.S. Supreme Court vacated seven decisions, all favoring the government, and sent them back to lower courts with instructions to do something undefined about them that would make everybody happy and keep the noise down -- was just such a judicial spasm. But it's not just the high Court that is affected. The failure of the political system hasn't reduced the overall power of the U.S. government." (05/24/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/why-legislate-when-judges-will-do-it-for-you/483938/  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors