Progressive News Digest

News


| Commentary | Events |

Brazil: Rousseff urges vote against “coup” in Senate trial

Business Times [Singapore]

"Suspended Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff told senators in emotional, combative testimony at her trial Monday that voting for her impeachment would amount to a "coup d'etat.' ... Brazil's first woman president is accused of having taken illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, to mask the country's problems as it slid into its deepest recession in decades. Momentum to push her out of office is also fueled by deep anger at months of political paralysis and a vast corruption scandal centered on state oil giant Petrobras." (088/19/16)

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/brazils-rousseff-urges-vote-against-coup-in-senate-trial

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Apple could be hit with Irish tax bill in the billions

USA Today USA Today

"Apple could face a billion-dollar tax bill in Ireland if the European Union rules its tax deal there is illegal. The European Union is expected to release a decision as early as Tuesday. It has long contended deals made by EU-member Ireland with multinational companies such as Apple constitute illegal state aid. The European Commission is expected to argue that the country, which has become a tech hub, provided Apple a sweetheart deal in exchange for creating jobs there, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the decision. The Commission will recommend the amount of back taxes owed and leave it to Irish authorities to calculate the exact amount, a person with knowledge of the situation told Reuters. Irish authorities have vowed to fight the finding." (08/29/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/08/29/apple-could-hit-irish-tax-bill-millions/89548370

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Trump’s campaign disavows David Duke robocall

Politico

"Donald Trump’s campaign disavowed a robocall from Louisiana Senate candidate David Duke in which the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard urged voters to 'stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate.' 'Mr. Trump has continued to denounce David Duke and any group or individual associated with a message of hate,' the Trump campaign said in a statement to POLITICO." (08/29/16)

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/david-duke-trump-robocall-227510

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AR: Two medical cannabis measures, a loss for patients

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth

"A pair of dueling initiatives competing for the honor of legalizing medical marijuana in Arkansas may end up canceling out each others efforts. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA) and the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (AMCA) could possibly contend with one another at the ballot this November, reports Arkansas Online. While the AMCA has already been certified for ballots since July, officials for the AMMA initiative are confident that their proposal will also be approved. The possibility of dueling measures could end up undermining the effort to legalize medical cannabis altogether, however." (08/29/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/08/29/two-medical-marijuana-measures-on-arkansas-ballot-a-loss-for-patients

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MN: Gun buyback program a dud, say legal owners

Fox News Fox News

"A Minneapolis gun buyback program targeting weapons used in street crimes may be shooting blanks, as detractors said a Saturday collection mostly took in antiquated, unused or homemade arms from legal owners and did little to thin the firearm supply actually available to dangerous criminals. Two Minneapolis locations collected about 150 firearms Saturday, but both exchanges were forced to shut down several hours early when officials ran out of Visa gift cards -- $25,000 worth, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. And at least some of that money helped finance the purchase of even more guns. One anonymous gun owner told WCCO he received $200 in gift cards that he planned to use to buy a new firearm. That man said he didn’t think the program was serving its intended purpose." (08/29/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/29/minnesota-gun-buyback-program-dud-some-legal-owners-say.html

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EpiPen maker to sell cheaper generic version

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"The maker of the EpiPen will start selling a generic version in the wake of criticism about steep price increases. Mylan said it expected to start selling a cheaper generic product 'in several weeks' at a list price of $300. That is about half the list price of the existing product, which is used in emergencies for severe food and insect allergies. The cost of EpiPens in the US has risen by 500% in less than a decade. Mylan said the generic version would be identical to the branded EpiPen, which costs $600 for two doses. Allergy sufferers often have several pens -- one to keep at home, as well as others at school or work, or in the car. They also expire after 12 months." [editor's note: Let's review ... price went from $100 to $600 (for two), mainly because FDA outlawed competition with Mylan; now it goes to $300 each, and this is a price-cut?- SAT] (08/29/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37215189

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John Lennon’s killer denied parole for the ninth time

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"John Lennon's killer will remain behind bars after being denied parole for the ninth time. The New York state Board of Parole on Monday announced that it has again denied parole to Mark David Chapman, who on Dec. 8, 1980, shot and killed the former Beatle outside his luxury Manhattan apartment. The 61-year-old Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a sentence of 20-years to life in Wende Correctional Facility in western New York. In a description of its decision, the parole board noted that Chapman has since described the murder as 'selfish and evil.' The board concluded that the factors supporting Chapman's parole were outweighed by the premeditated and 'celebrity-seeking' nature of the crime." (08/29/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Parole-denied-again-for-John-Lennon-s-killer-9191191.php

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White House says it sees a path to approval of Pacific trade deal

Reuters Reuters

"The White House said on Monday it could still win congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact before President Barack Obama leaves office, and warned that failing to do so would undermine U.S. leadership in the region. 'The president is going to make a strong case that we have made progress and there is a path for us to get this done before the president leaves office,' White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news briefing ahead of Obama's trip to Asia this week. Obama has made the 12-nation free trade deal the centerpiece of a diplomatic 'pivot' to Asia, but the prospects for congressional approval have looked increasingly dim, with both major presidential candidates (Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump) standing opposed. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday the Senate would not vote on the pact this year, punting it to the next president, who will take office in January." (08/29/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-idUSKCN11423V

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NY: Judge dismisses Citizens United challenge to state donor rules

Raw Story Raw Story

"A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit in which Citizens United sought to block New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from enforcing rules requiring the conservative group to disclose more information about its donors. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan said the attorney general did not violate Citizens United’s First Amendment rights by requiring registered charitable organizations to disclose names, addresses and contributions of big donors before soliciting funds in the state. Citizens United is perhaps best known as the plaintiff in the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case that allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions in election campaigns. The nonprofit group, which advocates for limited government, free enterprise and strong families, had argued that its donors would 'reasonably fear public backlash, financial harm, and worse' should their support be disclosed." [editor's note: Open disclosure of who is funding a political lobbying group should be a given - SAT] (08/29/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/judge-dismisses-citizens-united-challenge-to-new-york-donor-rules

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IL: Former official sentenced to 10 years in red light camera bribery case

Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune

"John Bills, the central figure in a massive corruption scheme at City Hall, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for taking up to $2 million in bribes and gifts in return for steering tens of millions of dollars in red light camera contracts to an Arizona company. ... According to testimony, Bills began scheming almost immediately after he was handed the responsibility of overseeing the red-light camera pilot project, hatching a plot to steer traffic camera contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., an Arizona-based firm. ... In return, Redflex showered Bills with more than $560,000 in cash bribes, including up to $2,000 for each of the 384 red-light cameras installed under his watch. The company also lavished hundreds of thousands of dollars more in gifts -- including car, a condominium, lavish hotel stays and vacations." (08/29/16)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/redlight/ct-red-light-cameras-john-bills-sentencing-20160828-story.html

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Australia: Plan for marriage plebiscite hits stumbling block

New York Times

"The government's plan to hold a popular vote on whether Australia should allow same-sex marriage has suffered a setback when a political party announced it will not support the proposed plebiscite. The Nick Xenophon Team supports marriage equality, but the party says its senators will not support legislation to authorize the plebiscite. The party says it would effectively become an opinion poll without legal weight. Another party that favors gay marriage, the Greens, announced last week that it would also oppose the plebiscite." (08/28/16)

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/08/28/world/asia/ap-as-australia-gay-marriage.html

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Gary Johnson: Election cycle so “crazy” he might win

USA Today USA Today

"Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has his sights set on qualifying for the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y., but in an interview with Fox News Sunday, he made clear he thinks he can do much more than that in this unpredictable campaign. As his interview wrapped up, Johnson told host Chris Wallace: 'You know how crazy this election cycle is. I might be the next president. You know that, right?' Few would argue with the former New Mexico governor's assessment of the election, but his path to the White House is a steep one, nonetheless -- to say the least. In the most recent rolling average of polls from RealClearPolitics, Johnson is at 8%, well behind Democrat Hillary Clinton at 42% and Republican Donald Trump at 38%. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is at 3%." (08/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/08/28/gary-johnson-election-fox-news-sunday/89508628

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Court: Cops can’t pull over cars licensed from legal cannabis states

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth

"Cops are not allowed to pull over out-of-state motorists from states with legal weed, a federal appeals court rules. In a 2-1 decision, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that it’s unconstitutional for law enforcement officials to profile motorists based on their license plates, reports the Associated Press. The ruling was handed in a case dealing with a lawsuit filed by Colorado resident Peter Vasquez, who was detained by two Kansas Highway Patrol officers while driving on Interstate 70." (08/25/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/08/25/cops-cant-pull-over-cars-licensed-from-legal-marijuana-states-court-rules

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France: Paris restaurant “refuses to serve Muslim women”

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"A video showing a restaurateur in a Paris suburb apparently refusing to serve two Muslim women has sparked anger in France and calls for protest. In the video, widely shared on social media, the man tells the hijab-wearing women: 'Terrorists are Muslims and all Muslims are terrorists.' The incident took place at Le Cenacle restaurant in Tremblay-en-France on Saturday night. On Sunday, the man apologised to a group who had gathered outside. He said he had 'got out of hand' due to the current tensions around the issue of wearing burkinis on French beaches, but also because he had a friend who had died at the Bataclan concert centre attack last November, Le Parisien reported (in French). The local prosecutors' office told the paper that it had opened an investigation into racial discrimination." (08/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37209605

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Poll: Half of Germany against Merkel serving fourth term

Reuters Reuters

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel's domestic popularity has declined, a poll showed on Sunday, with 50 percent of Germans against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year. Support for Merkel has weakened after a string of violent attacks on civilians in July, three of which were carried out by asylum seekers. Of those, two were claimed by Islamic State. This has raised opposition to Merkel's open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year. Half of the 501 people questioned in the Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper were against Merkel staying in office beyond the 2017 election, with 42 percent wanting her to remain. In November, the last time Bild am Sonntag commissioned a survey on the issue, 45 percent had been in favor of Merkel serving a fourth term, with 48 percent against." (08/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-merkel-idUSKCN11306L?il=0

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CA: USPS employees accused of hoarding parcels, stealing veterans’ medication

Raw Story Raw Story

"Several authorities have charged dozens of Southern California postal workers and their associates with mail theft, embezzlement and an array of other crimes as part of a sweeping investigation into criminal activity at the U.S. Postal Service. A total of 33 defendants were charged in 28 cases, including one individual who was found to have had had tens of thousands of pieces of mail in her possession, according to a statement released Friday by the United States attorney's office for the Central District of California. Arrest warrants were issued for six of the 33 defendants, officials said. In addition to mail theft and embezzlement by postal workers and contractors, some of the cases involve bank fraud and false statements; a few allege crimes by people who are not USPS employees." (08/28/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/usps-employees-accused-of-hoarding-parcels-and-stealing-veterans-medication

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New study should have Coke and Pepsi terrified

Fox News AOL News

"People in Berkeley, California significantly cut back on soda after the city introduced a tax on sugary beverages. That's according to a study of two low-income neighborhoods that was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Tuesday. The study found that soda consumption dropped an impressive 22% after Berkeley imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The city's tax passed in 2014 and went into effect in May 2015. The new tax made a 20-ounce bottle of Coke 20 cents more expensive for distributors, or stores. This extra cost is passed on to consumers. Researchers tracked changes in soda consumption after the tax went into effect, comparing surveys of Berkeley residents' reported beverage consumption from April to July of 2014 against survey results from April to August of 2015." (08/28/16)

http://www.aol.com/article/2016/08/25/a-new-study-should-have-coke-and-pepsi-terrified/21458776

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Assange: WikiLeaks will release “thousands” more Clinton documents before US election

Wikileaks International Business Times

"Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks, has promised another batch of 'significant' documents relating to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be released before the US election on 8 November. ... In July, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails reportedly hacked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which resulted in a number of high-profile resignations including the group's chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz." (08/25/16)

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/assange-wikileaks-will-release-thousands-more-clinton-documents-before-us-election-1577986

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As central bankers gather, some at Fed make rate hike case

Reuters Reuters

"As central bankers converge on this mountain resort Thursday for an annual conference on monetary policy, a couple of top Federal Reserve officials took the chance to renew a push for interest-rate hikes, citing improvement in employment and inflation. 'The case is strengthening' for a rate hike, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told CNBC, whose open-air studio here overlooks the craggy peaks of the Grand Teton National Park. 'And you should conclude from that in the not-too-distant future ... I think we're moving toward being able to take another step.' Kansas City Fed President Esther George, whose bank has hosted the conference here since 1978, had an even stronger message. 'I think it's time to move,' she told Bloomberg TV." (08/25/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-fiscal-idUSKCN1100BJ

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University of Chicago: “We do not support so-called trigger warnings”

Time Time

"In their acceptance letter, the incoming class at the University of Chicago were given a strong mandate by the institution they have elected to join: 'Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.' One way to ensure this, writes Dean of Students Jay Ellison in the letter obtained by Intellectual Takeout, is to eliminate 'trigger warnings' and 'safe spaces,' two topics of frequent discussion in recent years." (08/25/16)

http://time.com/4466021/uchicago-trigger-warnings/

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South Africa: Archbishop Desmond Tutu admitted to hospital

Fox News Fox News

"South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has admitted himself to a Cape Town hospital for treatment of a recurring infection, according to his family foundation. The 84-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to remain in the hospital for a week or two, said the statement issued by the foundation late Wednesday. Tutu underwent similar treatment last year, when he was hospitalized several times." (08/25/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/08/25/south-african-archbishop-desmond-tutu-admitted-to-hospital.html

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AR: Lawsuit claims judge created debtors’ prison

Raw Story Raw Story

"A judge in Sherwood, Arkansas is accused of running a 'modern-day debtors' prison' that victimized a 44-year-old cancer patient, among others, the Huffington Post reported. ... [Sherwood District Court Judge Milas 'Butch'] Hale sentenced Lee Robertson to 90 days in jail for owing the court $3,054.51. Robertson has been living with pancreatic cancer since 2009, which has affected his ability to pay back past debts. But according to the suit, Robertson and his fellow defendants unknowingly sign away their right to an attorney in order to be let into the courtroom. The court also bars defendants' family and friends from witnessing the proceedings, and no transcripts are kept of the hearings." (08/25/16)

https://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/arkansas-judges-debtors-prison-court-jailed-cancer-patient-over-unpaid-bills-lawsuit/

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Ex-pharma CEO Martin Shkreli defends EpiPen price increase

USA Today USA Today

"Pharmaceutical firebrand Martin Shkreli has injected himself into the debate over the skyrocketing price of a life-saving allergy treatment, arguing that the manufacturer of EpiPen doesn't make much money and instead blaming insurers for not covering the tab. Shkreli -- who famously insulted members of Congress earlier this year but refused to testify officially over his own decision to increase the price of a life-saving pill -- is now hopping at the chance to defend generic drug manufacturer Mylan." (08/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/08/25/martin-shkreli-heather-bresch-mylan-epipen/89334136

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New Yorker: President Obama should declare end to “War on Drugs”

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth

"President Obama should formally declare an end to the $55 billion per year war on drugs as a coda to late-term efforts to reverse one of America’s most disastrous domestic policies, says The New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb in this weekend’s issue. 'The armchair forecast holds that the President’s legacy will be anchored by his handling of two wars abroad. But history may have equal regard for the means by which he handles the one he inherited at home,' Cobb writes. He notes that -- unlike America’s 'wars' on cancer, pornography or terror -- the War on Drugs included 'military-style armaments, random violence, and significant numbers of people taken prisoner. It has been prosecuted throughout eight Administrations and has had the type of social and cultural impact that few things short of real warfare do.'" (08/24/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/08/24/new-yorker-president-obama-should-declare-end-to-war-on-drugs

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NC: Man exonerated after 24 years in prison awarded $3.25 million

WNCN

"A North Carolina man who served 24 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit has been awarded $3.25 million in a settlement with the city of Hickory. In a special meeting held Wednesday, Hickory City Council voted unanimously to approve a settlement agreement with Willie Grimes in the amount of $3,250,000. Grimes was convicted in 1988 of raping a 69-year-old Hickory woman and sentenced to life plus nine years. ... His claim of innocence was investigated by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which found finger prints from the case did not match Grimes'[s] prints. That same year, the commission decided enough credible evidence of innocence existed to refer Grimes'[s] case to a three-judge panel, which then exonerated him." (08/25/16)

http://wncn.com/2016/08/25/nc-man-awarded-3-25m-after-serving-24-years-for-rape-he-didnt-commit/

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Commentary


| News | Events |

Free speech should not be big news

USA Today USA Today
by Jonathan Turley

"The University of Chicago last week promised incoming students something that is increasingly rare in the United States: an unfettered and uncensored education. While most schools are actively curtailing free speech, its letter warned the students that they will not be protected against ideas or given 'safe spaces.' Instead, they will be educated in an open and free environment where they will be challenged by a range of different views -- ideas that will at times thrill and at times outrage them. Where a campus was once viewed as a free-speech zone by definition, many schools now designate isolated spaces for free speech while guaranteeing students 'safety zones' to protect them against opposing views." (08/29/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/29/free-speech-university-of-chicago-trigger-safe-space-censorship-diversity-microaggressions-jonathan-turley/89515984

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Marijuana legalization: Give peace a chance

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

"For at least 5,000 years, probably much longer, humans used marijuana without a great deal of fanfare. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were marijuana farmers. Queen Victoria, the living symbol of moral rectitude in an era obsessed with same, drank marijuana tea for her menstrual cramps. That 5,000 years of uncontroversial and beneficial use have given way to nearly a century of war -- characterized as a war on drugs in general, and often as a war on marijuana in particular, but in truth a war on people." (08/29/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7420

1 Comment »

New GDP numbers terrible, no wonder Hillary won’t talk about economy

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Steve Moore

"No wonder Hillary doesn't want to talk about the economy. ‎We got revised GDP numbers from the Commerce Department on Friday and the economy actually did slightly WORSE than originally estimated. Growth was 1.1 percent in the second quarter of this year and less than 1 percent for the first six months of 2016. The business sector of the economy has sunk recession territory. Profits are shrinking (down 2.4 percent last quarter) so how long can the stock market rise? The consumer is keeping the economy out of negative territory, but that's only because we are spending more than we are earning. How long can that go on? About as long as the housing bubble could inflate without bursting." (08/26/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/08/26/new-gdp-numbers-are-terrible-no-wonder-hillary-won-t-talk-about-economy.html

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Is Europe overreacting to terror?

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Apps

"The streets of France have been subdued this summer. Tourism is down. Public events have been canceled or curtailed. Red-bereted paratroopers patrol through crowded streets, assault rifles held at their sides. The soldiers are unmistakably ready for trouble. Many wear armored gloves in the mid-summer heat, ready to grapple with any knife-wielding attacker. Body armor and webbing pouches are stuffed with ammunition-heavy magazines. It’s now well over a month since the July 14 Bastille Day truck attack in Nice killed 86 people (and there is a clear sense of relief that Europe has been spared an attack on that scale since. Still, the continent remains distinctly on edge) and in the background, what feels like a never-ending series of smaller attacks unsettle populations and continue to destabilize already messy politics." (08/29/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-commentary-europe-apps-idUSKCN11402U

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The “people’s Fed” and the oracles of Jackson Hole

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"When William Greider wrote his 1989 book about the Federal Reserve, it’s not hard to understand why he called it Secrets of the Temple. The Fed’s proclamations can make it seem as mysterious as the Oracle of Delphi. (To be fair, nobody has speculated that hallucinogens are involved, as seems to have been the case in Delphi.) The Fed’s oracular sages gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week for the central bank’s annual retreat. But this year’s meeting was different: For perhaps the first time in history, some of the Fed’s leaders met with activists who are fighting to change it. Actually, the Fed’s not as mysterious as it seems. Some of its behavior can be explained by its hybrid nature as a publicly created, but partly private, entity." [editor's note: If there is one thing we libertarians share with the "progressives" it's this issue, even if it's not always for the same reasons -- audit the Fed, then end it! - SAT] (08/29/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160829/the-peoples-fed-and-the-oracles-of-jackson-hole

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Why Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on basic economic facts

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ian Anson

"Back in 1992, Democratic strategist James Carville uttered his famous recommendation to Bill Clinton ahead of the 1992 election: 'It’s the economy, stupid!' Political scientists beat Carville to the punch, though: As far back as the 1950’s, scholars were uncovering evidence that presidential candidates of the incumbent party tend to win when the economy is strong on Election Day. Presiding over a gloomy economy, in contrast, will guarantee a tortuous uphill climb for parties vying to maintain their place in the White House. ... The central findings should be apparent to anyone who remembers the last time their fiercely Republican aunt sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with her staunchly Democratic brother-in-law. Heading into the 2016 election, Aunt Reba the Republican is convinced the economy is in utter shambles, while Denny the Democrat is steadfast in his economic optimism." (08/29/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136408/republicans-democrats-cant-agree-basic-economic-facts

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Using American power prudently

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Lawrence Korb

"New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman argues that the next president must read Michael Mandelbaum’s latest book, Mission Failure: America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era, to avoid mistakes of the last several years and have a more successful national-security policy. Our next president should also read Andrew Bacevich’s latest book, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Between them, Mandelbaum and Bacevich have written more than 20 books on U.S. national-security policy. While these authors often overstate their case, they offer useful insights. Taking their critiques seriously will help prevent our next chief executive from reflexively following the advice of the foreign-policy establishment that Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, refers to as the Blob." (08/29/16)

http://prospect.org/article/using-american-power-prudently

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Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s political rot

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Eric Draitser

"Hillary Clinton may be enjoying a comfortable lead in national polls, but she is far from enjoying a comfortable night's sleep given the ever-widening maelstrom of scandals engulfing her presidential bid. And while Clinton delights in bloviating about a decades-long 'vast, right wing conspiracy' against her, the fact is that it's the Clinton political machine's long and storied track record of criminality, duplicity, and corruption that haunts her like Lincoln's ghost silently skulking through White House bedrooms." (08/29/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/29/hillary-and-the-clinton-foundation-exemplars-of-americas-political-rot/

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The twilight of Fox News

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Derek Thompson

"October 7, 2016, will be the 20th birthday of the Fox News Channel, and at the moment, the network is experiencing the soap-operatic highs and lows typical of any teenager on television. In many ways, the summer of 2016 may go down in Fox News history as the company's nadir. Its founder and leader Roger Ailes has been dishonorably dispatched, the remaining executives are dealing with a flurry of sexual harassment lawsuits, and one of its most public faces, Sean Hannity, has ignominiously remodeled himself as a gutless Trump whisperer. And yet Fox News'[s] fortunes are ascendant, at least in the most quantifiable sense. The network's annual profit in 2015 soared by about 20 percent." (08/29/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/the-twilight-of-fox-news/497684/

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Clinton campaign: Controversy versus corruption

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney

"This summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials. Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards, such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors. The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts." (08/25/16)

http://prospect.org/article/controversy-versus-corruption

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The revolution is NOT in Bernie’s hands

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen

"When Bernie Sanders stepped to the stage on Wednesday to announce the launching of 'Our Revolution,' a political organization dedicated to keeping the momentum of his presidential campaign going by supporting candidates at all levels of government, he inadvertently admitted that it wouldn’t do much good. 'Real change never ever takes place from the top on down. It’s not some guy signing a bill,' Sanders said at the live-streamed launch event. 'It always takes place from the bottom up when millions of people come together and demand fundamental change in the country.' Sanders surely knows that a revolution of the kind he deems necessary isn’t likely to unfold through independent-expenditure TV ads on behalf of down-ballot candidates." (08/26/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136352/revolution-not-bernies-hands

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Crisis and opportunity

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Rob Urie

"Left unstated in the competitive lesser-evilism of Party politics is the incapacity for political resolution in any relevant dimension. Donald Trump is 'dangerous' only by overlooking how dangerous the American political leadership has been for the last one and one-half centuries. So the question becomes: dangerous to whom? Without the most murderous military in the world, public institutions like the IMF dedicated to economic subjugation and predatory corporations that wield the 'free-choices' of mandated consumption, how dangerous would any politicians really be? And with them, how not-dangerous have liberal Democrats actually been? Candidates for political office are but manifestations of class interests put forward as systemic intent." (08/26/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/26/crisis-and-opportunity/

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Can Assange and Denton revive the Wikileaks-Gawker revolution?

Reuters Reuters
by John Lloyd

"Two of journalism’s most radical figures are now silenced, or shunned. Nick Denton, the Brit whose Gawker website has whipped away the lace curtains that covered (mainly) sexual privacy since 2002, has been bankrupted by vengeful and wealthy men. Julian Assange, the Australian whose Wikileaks organization has revealed (mainly) U.S. secrets, has been left alone and friendless. dropped even by one-time allies after dumping troves of unredacted information taken from the files of U.S. and Turkish political parties. Both men tried to create new standards for investigative journalism; both have failed so far." (08/26/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-commentary-wikileaks-lloyd-idUSKCN11106B

1 Comment »

Right to protest also means freedom from militarized police

USA Today USA Today
by Lindsey Allen, Annie Leonard & Erich Pica

"On Aug. 1, the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 50 groups, released a sweeping and comprehensive platform that many news organizations and policy networks are still digesting. This Vision For Black Lives arrived almost two years to the day that a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., sparked a newly framed national conversation about race and police-community relations in America. One of the earliest policy impacts of that movement was a May 2015 federal ban on transferring certain militarized equipment to local police departments. The ban largely began in response to startling images of police officers with weapons raised confronting unarmed protesters. Those images shocked not only the general public but military experts as well." (08/25/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2016/08/25/right-protest-also-means-freedom-militarized-police-column/89365026

1 Comment »

You used to be able to take them to court

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"If a company does something bad to you, you can sue them, right? Actually, thinking that is so 1970s. These days, gimmicks called 'arbitration clauses' in contracts you are forced to sign basically let companies do what they want and keep you from taking them to court. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a new rule to protect us from forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts. These days, before you can use an electronic device or software, get a loan or credit card, or do so many other basic things of modern life, you are handed (or have to click on) what seems like a 300-page contract. You have to because if you don’t agree to the terms (written in incomprehensible language that no one has time to read) you can’t get the loan, download the software or use the product." [editor's note: The concept of "forced arbitration" can be a good thing, IF you have as say in who the arbitrator is - SAT] (08/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160826/you-used-to-be-able-to-take-them-to-court

1 Comment »

Don’t kill the death penalty in California

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra . Saunders

"Opponents of California's death penalty have been highly successful at thwarting executions since the state resumed executions in 1992 after a 20-year hiatus. Their latest ploy is Proposition 62, which would repeal the death penalty and resentence death row inmates to life without parole. Measure sponsors argue that capital punishment presents the risk of executing an innocent person, but also state that California's death penalty is 'simply unworkable.' That's a cheeky stand, coming from the corner that has been throwing monkey wrenches into the criminal justice system to subvert death penalty law. Over the years, appellate attorneys have introduced endless time-sucking, frivolous appeals that have jammed the courts, largely on technical grounds that have nothing to do with guilt or innocence (e.g., the trial lawyer wasn't top-drawer; the defendant's parents were abusive; lethal injection may not be painless, etc.)." [editor's note: Ms. Saunders might consider some of the many times convicted criminals have later been found not guilty via forensic or DNA evidence; the State is notorious for these "errors" - SAT] (08/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/08/28/dont-kill-the-death-penalty-in-california-n2210701

1 Comment »

Start Making Sense, 08/24/16

The Nation The Nation
by

"Amnesty for Edward Snowden. ACLU attorney Ben Wizner argues that President Obama should do the right thing in view of the NSA whistle-blower's contributions to freedom and democracy." [various formats] (08/25/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-wont-the-us-grant-edward-snowden-amnesty

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Walking while black: Encounters with police in New York City

In These Times In These Times
by Garnette Cadogan

"My love for walking started in childhood, out of necessity. No thanks to a stepfather with heavy hands, I found every reason to stay away from home and was usually out (at some friend’s house or at a street party where no minor should be) until it was too late to get public transportation. So I walked. The streets of Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1980s were often terrifying; you could, for instance, get killed if a political henchman thought you came from the wrong neighborhood, or even if you wore the wrong color. Wearing orange showed affiliation with one political party and green with the other. No wonder, then, that my friends and the rare nocturnal passerby declared me crazy for my long late-night treks that traversed warring political zones." (08/25/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19352/walking-while-black

1 Comment »

The forgotten Millennials

The New Republic The New Republic
by Rebecca Nelson

"At a Democratic primary debate in January, a 23-year-old voter named Connor Franta posed a question to the candidates via YouTube. 'Getting my generation’s vote should be a priority for any presidential candidate,' he said. 'How are all of you planning on engaging us further in this election?' Hillary Clinton went in for what should have been an easy layup. 'Look,' she began, 'this election is mostly about the future. And therefore it is of greatest urgency for young people.' But then, instead of talking about all 'young people' -- the 75 million Americans aged 18 to 35 -- she narrowed her focus. ... When Clinton talks about millennials, she tends to use the word interchangeably with 'college students.' But millennials with university degrees don’t represent their entire generation, just those with the greatest economic and educational advantages. A full 40 percent of young people never made it past high school." [editor's note: Don't any progressive pundits read oout side their cocooons? Polls already show Millennials planning to vote for neither war party wing - SAT] (08/25/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135729/forgotten-millennials

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How the Washington Post sells the politics of fear

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Sam Husseini

"[Dana] Milbank ends his column with the words: 'If opposing Trump is subscribing to the politics of fear, then put me down for a lifetime subscription.' Indeed. That's what the emissaries of the establishment want: Just a lifetime of servitude. How troublesome is that, really? It's just your life and your political freedom. Why shouldn't you fork that over without troubling your pretty little head about possible ways out? All this is exactly what VotePact.org is designed to over come. It's what Milbank -- as well unfortunately as Chomsky and even Stein and Nader -- have all ignored: Is there an actual solution to the 'spoiler' problem?" (08/25/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/25/how-the-washington-post-sells-the-politics-of-fear/

1 Comment »

Why Syria’s war may be about to get even worse

Reuters Reuters
by Colin P. Clarke & Chad C Serena

"How important is a name to a terrorist group’s identity? When the militant organization Nusra Front announced recently that it was calling itself something else, analysts had good reason to be skeptical about whether the new label really did signal a genuine break from its parent organization al Qaeda. In fact, it probably doesn’t matter. Even if symbolic, the mere rebranding of Nusra could be enough to prolong Syria’s civil war. The worst-case scenario is that the group, now known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), or Front for the Conquest of the Levant, could embed itself within the Syrian rebel opposition and emulate the staying power that Hezbollah has demonstrated in neighboring Lebanon. The likely motive behind JFS announcing such a split, whether real or simply a feint, is an attempt to unite the disparate Syrian rebel groups into a more coherent force and allow JFS to further ingratiate itself within the broader rebel movement." (08/25/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/commentary-nusra-clarke-idUSKCN1101UX

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Why Democrats keep winning presidential elections

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Ronald Brownstein

"Since the 1828 election of Andrew Jackson that historians consider the birth of the modern two-party system, no party has ever won the presidential popular vote six times over seven elections. Even the nation's most successful political figures have fallen short of that standard. Throughout American history, a partisan advantage that lasts across so many presidential elections doesn't happen by accident, or simply because one side nominates more attractive candidates or develops better campaign techniques. Instead, parties have established the kind of lasting presidential edge Democrats have enjoyed since 1992 only by cementing the allegiance of critical -- and usually growing -- voting blocs in the electorate." (08/25/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/why-democrats-keep-winning-presidential-elections/497345/

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First Thiel, now the Trumps: How billionaires threaten free speech

OpEdNews
by Trevor Timm

"Less than 24 hours after Gawker.com was killed by billionaire Peter Thiel's legal crusade against it, another billionaire couple -- Donald and Melania Trump -- is already using the same law firm Thiel did to threaten more media organizations into silence. And this time, it could have a direct effect on the presidential election. The Guardian reported late on Monday night that Melania Trump's lawyers have sent threatening letters and are considering filing lawsuits against a variety of media organizations -- including the Daily Mail, Politico and the Week -- for reporting on rumors of Melania Trump's past, including her alleged immigration status when she came to the United States." (08/25/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/First-Thiel-now-the-Trump-by-Trevor-Timm-Billionaires_First-Amendment-Speech_Gawker_Journalism-160824-454.html

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MN: GOP in “total confusion” after Trump left off state ballot

Raw Story Raw Story
by

"Donald Trump is reportedly not on the Minnesota state ballot. So, as of today, the GOP doesn't have a presidential candidate on the state's ballot at all, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's site. It's unclear if there was an accident on the part of the state or a catastrophic misstep on behalf of the campaign, but it will cause an electoral crisis if nothing can be done. ... According to Minnesota PR and communications guru Michael Brodkorb, a former Republican operative, the process for a candidate to be on the ballot isn't complicated." [editor's note: - SAT] (08/25/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/minnesota-gop-descends-into-total-confusion-after-trump-left-off-state-ballot

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John Oliver slams charter schools, critics totally miss the point

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

"Sometimes it takes a funnyman to make sense. Earlier this week, British comedian John Oliver devoted a 'Back to School' segment on his HBO program 'Last Week Tonight' to examining the rapidly growing charter school industry and what these schools are doing with our tax dollars. The Washington Post's education blogger Valerie Strauss watched the segment and reports that while Oliver declined to address whether or not charters provide high quality education, he focused mostly on how often these schools are 'terribly (and sometimes criminally) operated.' ... Editors at Rolling Stone watched Oliver’s broadcast as well and reported Oliver focused much of his attention on three states (Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) that have 'especially depressing charter track records -- including negligence in the approval process and school executives embezzling funds.'" [editor's note: I saw the Oliver piece, and was alternately amused and disgusted; most of his challenges were quite legit - SAT] (08/25/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160825/john-oliver-slams-charter-schools-and-his-critics-totally-miss-the-point

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Trump is a vanity project run amok

USA Today USA Today
by Paul Brandus

"The dust of history takes many years to settle, but if he loses in November, here is how Donald Trump will likely be remembered 50 or 100 years from now. He’ll be seen by historians as a vanity project run amok; an outlier nominee, an old man with a lifelong flair for hucksterism and unparalleled conceit. Dropped into a vat of bubbling economic and cultural uncertainty and stirred by ratings-starved television executives, the result was a noxious stew that sickened much of the country. He’ll be remembered as having less in common with earlier Republican nominees who fell short, like John McCain and Bob Dole (war heroes who devoted themselves to a lifetime of public service) than with flat-out eccentrics who wormed their way into the system." (08/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/22/trump-donald-legacy-fame-reality-tv-entertainment-republican-history-column/89082144

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Election Demons

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ani Kokobobo

"As a professor of Russian literature, I’ve come to realize that it’s never a good sign when real life resembles a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, with its riotous rhetoric and steady stream of scandals, calls to mind Dostoevsky’s most political novel, Demons

https://newrepublic.com/article/136237/election-demons

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Another stupid capitalist propaganda meme

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"[C]apitalism -- in the sense of the actual historic system of political economy that succeeded feudalism five or six hundred years ago -- had its origins in massive robbery and enclosure of most of the earth's land and mineral resources, and continues to get the overwhelming bulk of its profits from rents on state-enforced monopolies, entry barriers, enclosures and subsidies. The present system, both in its origins and its present structure, in no way even remotely approximates a free market. It is a system of massive state subsidies and massive state-enforced monopolies, all in defense of enormous concentrations of stolen property and continuing guaranteed returns on that stolen property. So St Onge and those of their ilk are left with one of two options. Either 1) All that robbery and continued state-enabled wealth extraction is an essential prerequisite of economic progress; or 2) There has been a reduction in poverty DESPITE the capitalist extraction framework, from all the productivity it DIDN'T manage to enclose and rob." (08/25/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/46069

1 Comment »

Punishing the messenger: Israel’s war on NGOs takes a worrying turn

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Ramzy Baroud

"Israel is, no doubt, feeling embattled. Its carefully carved brand -- that it is an oasis of democracy in an arid authoritarian desert -- is now full of holes. Its occupation, wars and siege in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and the dissemination of images and information about such conduct throughout the Internet and social media platforms is making it impossible for Israel to sustain its official hasbara. Thus, the angry backlash. The Israeli Knesset has been busy passing laws and proposing bills aimed at restricting the work of its own rights groups, or any independent civil society organization that seems, in any way, critical of the government and sympathetic towards the Palestinians." (08/25/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/ramzy-baroud/2016/08/24/punishing-messenger-israels-war-ngos-takes-worrying-turn/

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On feeling the Johnson

Steve Trinward Steemit
by Steve Trinward

"As a longtime, fairly hardcore libertarian, this year I have felt like I'm stuck between Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand, I am supposed to be horrified that once again the Libertarian Party has picked an ex-Republican (and this time, another one as his running mate) to represent to the public what libertarianism means. On the other hand, I feel like promoting this ticket to my progressive friends, as a clear alternative to the presumed 'choice' between a neocon warmonger and a raving-lunatic crony corporatist! (I also expect to be accused of attempting to 'polish a turd' -- a metaphor all too familiar to my fellow songwriters. Oh well ... !)" (08/24/16)

https://steemit.com/libertarian/@wordmaker7/on-feeling-the-johnson

1 Comment »

Will America finally stop privatizing [sic] everything?

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen

"Is this the beginning of the end of the three-decade-long project of privatizing public functions? Ronald Reagan started us down the privatization path in the 1980s, championing the myth that private enterprise is always and forever more efficient than the government. Last week’s Justice Department decision to not renew 13 contracts with companies managing incarceration facilities for the Bureau of Prisons (and phase out of all federal private prisons over time) has cracked that foundation, perhaps irreparably. Thirteen contracts may seem like too small a disruption to threaten the entire private corrections industry and its $629 million in annual profits. But DOJ’s repudiation has already spurred demands to close other privatized facilities." [editor's note: Like far too many "progressive" pundits, this one confuses cartelization with favored corporate interests with "privatization" - SAT] (08/24/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136256/will-america-finally-stop-privatizing-everything

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Public option would fix health insurance marketplace [sic]

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Scott Lemieux

"Last week's announcement by Aetna that it would stop selling health insurance in 11 of the 15 states where it offers coverage through public exchanges is not a death blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it’s certainly not good news for President Obama’s signature health-care law. Aetna maintained it was losing hundreds of millions of dollars on the health law’s marketplaces, and the company is one of more than a dozen major insurers that have announced plans to bail out of the exchanges. The failure of the marketplaces to generate robust competition, as Obama had predicted, should focus liberal attention on what many on the left now regard as a major policy objective: establishing a public option for the health insurance exchanges." [editor's note: Only if the word "fix" being used as you would when neutering a pet; also note the oxymoronic "health insurance marketplace" - SAT] (08/24/16)

http://prospect.org/article/public-option-would-fix-health-insurance-marketplace

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Mothball the Clinton Foundation

USA Today USA Today
by staff

"On Monday, former president Bill Clinton belatedly announced plans to tighten the ethical safeguards for the Clinton Foundation, the family charity, to eliminate 'legitimate concerns about potential conflicts of interest.' The plans range from the laughable to the laudable, and they are woefully incomplete. Changing the foundation’s name from the 'Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation' to the 'Clinton Foundation' will convince precisely zero people that everything is on the up and up. Taking Bill off the board and ending his official fundraising role won’t stop people from trying to buy access through the foundation. Ending foreign and corporate contributions is a good step, but allowing them to continue at least through the first week of November looks more like an influence-peddling fire sale (Give while you still can!) than a newfound commitment to clean government." (08/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/23/hillary-clinton-foundation-donald-trump-editorials-debates/89226920

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Hulk Hogan’s Gawker smackdown hurts press freedom

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"Nine years ago, Gawker ran a blog post headlined 'Peter Thiel Is Totally Gay, People.' The item rankled Thiel, a billionaire who had co-founded Paypal and invested early in Facebook but had not yet gotten around to publicly acknowledging his sexual orientation, although he had told people close to him. This week Thiel finally got his revenge as Gawker ceased operations, driven out of business by an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit he financed. Whether or not you mourn the loss of Gawker, a website known for its snarky blend of gossip and journalism, its death does not bode well for freedom of the press." (08/24/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/08/24/hulk-hogans-gawker-smackdown-threatens-p

3 Comments »

The Trump campaign: A white revolt against “neoliberal multiculturalism”

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Alycee Lane

"When pressed to explain why they are backing their candidate, some of Donald Trump's white supporters often answer with a critique -- one that Trump himself articulates -- in which they couple America’s multiculturalism and growing multicultural population with, for example, trade agreements like NAFTA, corporate relocation of American manufacturing jobs overseas, and business reliance on cheap immigrant labor. Not surprisingly, this coupling has been routinely analyzed and condemned as racist scapegoating of people of color -- primarily African Americans and Hispanics -- for economic problems not of their own making. Yet the fact that these Trump supporters interweave neoliberal policies and practices into their frequent invectives against multiculturalism indicates that something else is at work." (08/24/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/24/the-trump-campaign-a-white-revolt-against-neoliberal-multiculturalism/

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Events


| News | Commentary |

Standard Model goes pear-shaped in CERN experiment

The Register [UK]

"It's only a small thing, but it could be big news: researchers at CERN have turned up the first evidence of exotic (and short-lived) atoms with pear-shaped nuclei. The reasons the boffins are excited is they believe the eccentric nuclei can help them probe one of physics' official Big Questions: how come there's something instead of nothing?" (05/09/13)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/09/pear_shaped_exotic_nuclei/

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FDA issues warning for over-the-counter diarrhea drug

Fox News

"The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use an over-the-counter drug called Intestinomicina because the anti-diarrhea treatment contains a drug linked to life-threatening injuries. The El Salvador-manufactured drug comes in pills and liquid forms and is sold as a treatment for infectious diarrhea at international grocery stores and specialty stores in the U.S. Regulators say Intestinomicina contains the drug chloramphenicol, which can interfere with the production of red and white blood cells. People with anemia and other low blood cell counts are at greater risk of injury or death from using the drug." (09/19/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8t3oo49

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Egypt: Push strengthens for blasphemy clause in constitution

Christian Science Monitor

"Last week's protests in reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube clip have led to Egyptian demands that the US prosecute the filmmakers and may give a decisive push to an effort to enshrine in the Egyptian constitution the criminalization of blasphemy, or insulting religious figures. While the US-based filmmakers are protected under the First Amendment in the US, in some parts of the Middle East they could be prosecuted under laws that criminalize disparaging religion. In Egypt, the backlash could bolster a preexisting effort to insert a clause banning religious insults into Egypt’s new constitution." [editor's note: Yes, that's surely why constitutions were created ... NOT! - SAT] (09/16/12)

http://tinyurl.com/9zodrvb

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In unusual “snub,” Obama wont be meeting Netanyahu

Reuters

"In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday President Barack Obama would not meet Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli prime minister's U.S. visit later this month. The apparent snub, coupled with Netanyahu's sharpened demands for a tougher U.S. line against Iran, threatened to plunge U.S.-Israeli relations into crisis and add pressure on Obama in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign." [editor's note: I changed their headline to indicate the reality; two world leaders both happen to be speaking at the U.N. ... on different days - SAT] (09/12/12)

http://tinyurl.com/96g2uqw

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Report: In Nigeria, a concrete get-rich scheme

Reuters

"Aliko Dangote has always liked making things to sell. As a child he boiled up sugar to make sweets he sold around town; these days he cooks up limestone in factories that produce millions of tonnes of cement. Dangote's entrepreneurial skills have helped make him Africa's richest person, with cement plants opened or under construction everywhere from Senegal to Ethiopia to South Africa. He dreams of owning the largest cement firm on the planet. By 2015, he hopes, his industrial conglomerate will be worth four times its current estimated $15 billion." (09/11/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8scc49g

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