Big Pharma Feels the Bern

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] < Ever since Reagan, conservatives have been telling us about "welfare queens." The way they put it, there are thousands of undeserving poor people in this country right now bilking taxpayers for all they're worth, all while you and I are sweating out a hard day's work. And here's the thing: conservatives are right. There are a lot of undeserving people getting rich off the commons and the working class. But they don't fit the racist and classist stereotypes of popular conservative mythology -- far from it. The entities that are really getting rich off the commons are the corporations and corporate executives who, with the help of sellout Republicans, have turned our economy and tax system into their very own get-rich-quick scheme. Case in point: Big Pharma. While big drug companies like to talk...

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Paul Krugman: Don’t believe his hype — Trump wants to kill the middle class...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016 05:32 AM PDT “Is Mr Trump for any of these things” that will help the middle class? “Not as far as anyone can tell” Scott Eric Kaufman SALON.COM   Paul Krugman (Credit: AP/Heribert Proepper) In his most recent New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman ripped into the notion that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is in any way, shape, or form “on the side of the American worker.” His campaign “pos[es] as populist, claiming that getting tough on foreigners and ripping up our trade agreements will bring back the well-paying jobs America has lost,” but it’s all empty rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute, which Trump likes to site, “is having none of it”: Lawrence Mishel, the think tank’s president, put out a derisive reply to what...

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BETRAYED AGAIN, THIS TIME BY UNCONVINCING ARGUMENTS FOR THE TPP...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Thomas Palley   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE Voters of all stripes have recognized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as another betrayal of working people, and they have resoundingly rejected it. Despite that, President Obama continues to push it, to the extent of possibly seeking passage in a “lame duck” session of Congress. President Obama’s pushing of the TPP is recklessly irresponsible politics that benefits Donald Trump, who is the outsider candidate running for the Republican nomination. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is the insider who has touted her links to President Obama, and she still lacks credibility regarding her TPP opposition because of her past endorsement. In the current dangerous political climate, there is no room for error. Yet, that is what we have. Clinton has refused to condemn the TPP in...

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Elizabeth Warren’s Kick-Ass Speech Tells It Like It Is: What Should Hillary Do?...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Heading into the Democratic Convention, the senator from Massachusetts offers the best analysis of our failed monopolistic economy. By Don Hazen / AlterNet   Elizabeth Warren speaking at Carroll Manor, Takoma Park, Maryland, April 21, 2012 Photo Credit: Edward Kimmel/Flickr CC In the Sanders/Clinton battle for the presidential nomination, Elizabeth Warren stayed on the perimeter.  She wasn’t quiet, that’s for sure. But she was the only woman in the Senate not to endorse Hillary, no doubt frustrating many women. She didn’t endorse Bernie, either, making many in the Bern crowd angry. She was threading the needle, as few can do. Warren has now embraced Hillary, which seems appropriate, and is campaigning aggressively with her. This is accompanied by considerable speculation about whether Hillary has the vision, and perhaps the chutzpah, to step out of...

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DEAR TONY BLAIR: IT’S NOT THE PITCH, IT’S THE PRODUCT...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Richard Eskow   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair …” If Tony Blair’s op-ed on Brexit is mournful and even elegiac in tone, that’s understandable. Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was, after all, a repudiation of his legacy as prime minister. And if it isn’t as mournful as it might have been – well, Blair has done quite well for himself since leaving office, which must provide some consolation for his errors. The people of Great Britain won’t be so lucky. Neither will Americans, if they follow the British path. One thing is clear: Although Tony Blair laments the failure of the “political center,” this didn’t happen because he and his colleagues failed. It happened because they succeeded. Why “Leave” Won It’s impossible to discuss...

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BERNIE SANDERS ISSUES A STERN WARNING: EUROPE’S POPULIST REVOLT COULD HAPPEN HERE...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Leave campaign showed what’s possible when a democratic system stops functioning democratically Sean Illing  SALON.COM Bernie Sanders (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young) The populist revolt in Britain and much of Western Europe isn’t reducible to a single variable, but it’s partly a reaction against a globalized economy that has failed the masses. It’s a frenzied, myopic reaction to be sure, but the underlying grievances are real. Mark Blyth, a political economist at Brown University, summed up the Brexit fiasco about as well as anyone could in a recent interview with AthensLive: “This is Trumpism. Everybody’s got a version of it. Here’s what I mean by Trumpism. For the past 25 years, particularly the center-left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution in their countries the following story: Globalization’s good for you…We’re going...

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ANOTHER CORPORATION SUING OUR GOVERNMENT THANKS TO TRADE AGREEMENTS...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dave Johnson  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA‘S FUTURE A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China. They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses. Because They Can TransCanada Corporation is suing the U.S. government (us) for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules. The company wanted to build the Keystone pipeline all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico so they could ship oil to...

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HOW BREXIT COULD AFFECT YOUR WALLET...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Jonnelle Marte  THE WASHINGTON POST What Brexit means for Americans’ mortgages and travel plans, in 60 seconds Here are three big ways that Britain leaving the E.U. might affect Americans. (Daron Taylor,Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post) Global stock markets plunged to their lowest levels in months Friday after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, making an immediate dent in Americans’ 401(k) accounts and sparking concerns about other financial impacts for the average U.S. consumer. In the near-term, the ripple effects of the Brexit may be felt beyond retirement accounts in the form of lower mortgage rates and a stronger dollar that boosts Americans’ purchasing power. But in other ways, the events taking place across the pond may not lead to much change for consumers who are already used to struggling with paltry...

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FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES IMPOSE MORE IN CLIMATE COSTS THAN THEY MAKE IN PROFITS...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  by David Roberts   VOX (Shutterstock) It is fairly well understood by now that releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere imposes an economic cost, in the form of climate change impacts. In most cases, however, those responsible for carbon emissions are not required to pay that cost. Instead, it’s borne mainly by the world’s poor and low-lying countries, and of course by future generations, as many of the worst impacts of climate change will emerge years after the emissions that drive them. People sometimes refer to the unpaid cost of carbon pollution as a subsidy, or an “implicit subsidy,” to polluting businesses. The IMF recently issued a report saying that total worldwide subsidies to energy, mainly fossil fuel energy, amounted to $5.2 trillion a year. The reason that number is...

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OBAMA AND WALL STREET PUSH FOR PASSAGE OF TPP DURING “LAME DUCK” SESSION...

Jun 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future | Op-Ed   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. Those who...

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CLIMATE CHANGE, FOSSIL FUELS ARE HURTING OUR KIDS...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Children under 5 bear the brunt of disease and problems from climate change and fossil-fuel combustion. It’s time to do something about it. By Frederica Perera | BILL MOYERS.COM A child in an area affected by a drought in the southern outskirts of Tegucigalpa on April 22, 2016. (Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at Environmental Health News. Editor’s note: The following opinion piece written for EHN accompanies Perera’s commentary on fossil fuels and children’s health published June 21 in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.  Children suffer the most from fossil-fuel burning. Fossil-fuel combustion and associated air pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) is the root cause of much of children’s ill health today, as well as their uncertain future. There are strong scientific arguments, as well persuasive economic ones,...

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WALL STREET IS SITTING ON BILLIONS MEANT FOR AMERICAN CHARITIES...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] e By Ana Swanson THE WASHINGTON POST AP Photo Compared with many other wealthy countries, the United States relies a lot on charity. In the U.S., private donors help feed and house the poor, finance orchestras and museums, fund scholarships and universities – social functions that, in many countries, are paid for by governments and tax dollars. In return, the U.S. government offers generous tax breaks on the income that Americans donate to charity. But some experts believe that changes in the financial industry are putting this longtime relationship at risk. In an article published Tuesday in The New York Review of Books, Ray Madoff, a law professor at Boston College, and Lewis Cullman, a 97-year-old philanthropist who has given much of his wealth to charity, argue that the rapid growth of a type of fund...

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THE 13 DEMOCRATS WHO JUST DID WALL STREET’S DIRTY WORK...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Richard Eskow   CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE 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...

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A NATION OF HEALERS

Jun 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] David Brooks NYTIMES I’ve been traveling around to the most economically stressed parts of this country. You see a lot of dislocation on a trip like this. In New Mexico, for example, I met some kids who lost their parents — to drugs, death, deportation or something else. They get run through a bunch of systems, including homeless shelter, foster care, mental health and often juvenile justice. They’re like any kids — they turn hungrily to any beam of friendship. But for these kids, life has been a series of temporary stops at impersonal places. They sometimes have only the vaguest idea where they are going next month. “I’m going back into the foster care system,” one teenager told me, without affect either way. You meet people who are uncomfortable with the basics...

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Endless War, Endless Greed: The Pentagon Is Lining Its Pockets with Taxpayer Dollars...

Jun 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] World A military plan focused not on peace but profitable production contracts for our weapons-making cartels. By Andrew Cockburn / TomDispatch  VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: U.S. Army/Flickr Creative Commons These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies bemoans the “lack of a viable and public strategy.” Andrew Bacevich suggests that “there is no strategy. None. Zilch.” After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, U.S. military operations certainly deserve such obloquy. But the pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant...

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WHY I WAS WRONG ABOUT WELFARE REFORM...

Jun 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof   N YTIMES   Photo Bobbie Ingraham and her granddaughter, Hailey, sit outside their home in Tulsa, OK. Credit Shane Brown for The New York Times TULSA, Okla. — IN 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a controversial compromise bill for welfare reform, promising to “end welfare as we know it.” I was sympathetic to that goal at the time, but I’ve decided that I was wrong. What I’ve found in my reporting over the years is that welfare “reform” is a misnomer and that cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute. Every year I hold a “win a trip” contest to choose a university student to accompany me on a reporting trip to cover global poverty in places like Congo or Myanmar. This year we decided to...

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5 Surprising Cities Where Gentrification Is Displacing Poor People...

Jun 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Wages can’t keep up with housing costs. By Larry Schwartz / AlterNet   Photo Credit: MsSaraKelly / Flickr Walk down once-gritty neighborhood streets in many American cities and the telltale signs may be all around you. The coffee bar on the corner selling $5 latte macchiatos. The high-rise luxury condo building going up at record speed. The cocktail bar, the artisan pastry shop. This is urban gentrification in action, the process by which middle- and upper-middle-class populations move into formerly lower-income neighborhoods, attracted by cheaper housing (and fleeing expensive housing in more affluent areas), transforming the area, driving costs up and forcing lower-income residents out. Nationwide, the percentage of rental increases have been double the percentage of wage increases, and according to a Macarthur Foundation report, renters are compensating by taking second jobs or...

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SANDERS’ SUCCESS: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM GOES MAINSTREAM...

Jun 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  THE PROGRESSIVE Roger Bybee Image courtesy of Hotvideogames. Hillary Clinton’s capture of the Democratic presidential nomination—an historic milestone for women—should not obscure the significant long-term opportunities created by democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s sustained and scorching attack on a “rigged” economy and an increasingly undemocratic political system. A January 2016 poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa found that 43 percent described themselves as “socialist.” Fully 56 percent of registered Democrats, including 52 percent of Clinton supporters, view socialism favorably according to a recent NY Times/CBS News poll. These poll results signal the emergence of democratic socialism as a mainstream idea—at least in the Democratic Party. Until now, democratic socialism as an electoral force had been condemned to the margins by America’s confining rules. America’s political system has, since its inception, systematically favored just...

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CAN PHILOSOPHY STOP BANKERS FROM STEALING?...

Jun 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  By Lynn Parramore, Institute for New Economic Thinking  Does the question of morality have a place in the realm of banking and regulation? That it feels awkward to even raise the issue is convenient for bankers who engage in reckless and harmful activities every day without fear of punishment. Ed Kane, Professor of Finance at Boston College, believes it’s vital to discuss moral questions, in plain English, without abstractions. Following his own advice, he is blunt in characterizing some of the behavior in the banking industry in recent years: “Theft is a forced taking of other people’s resources,” he says. ‘That’s what’s going on here.” Kane urges a deep inquiry into our culture to understand why bankers so commonly get away with crimes in the United States. In 2007, just before the housing...

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Here’s the Real Economic Impact of New Shipping Routes Created by the Melting Arctic...

Jun 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Dreamers and schemers may want to think twice about the long-term promise of the so-called Northern Sea Route. By Mary Hoff / Ensia  VIA ALTERNET Walruses in the arctic water near Svalbard with a ship in a background Photo Credit: Katiekk/Shutterstock Editor’s note: This piece was produced in collaboration with the academic journal Elementa. It is based on “Melting Ice, Growing Trade?”, published May 20 at Elementa. Visions of safe passage for cargo ships across the Arctic between Europe and Asia have sprung up in recent years as ice-free zones have appeared along the northern coasts of Russia and Canada. Some shipping companies already have begun taking advantage of the change. But dreamers and schemers may want to think twice about the long-term promise of the so-called Northern Sea Route for boosting trade, caution scientists from...

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FREE TRADE WILL KILL PROGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE, 450 GROUPS WARN CONGRESS...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nika Knight, Common Dreams   ECO-WATCH  \Warning against dangers to “workers, communities and our environment,” more than 450 environmental advocacy groups called on Congress to reject the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Specifically warning against the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which allow multinational corporations sue nations in private, clandestine tribunals for passing laws they don’t like, the groups sent a letter Monday that stated: “We strongly urge you to stand up for healthy communities, clean air and water, Indigenous peoples, property rights and a stable climate by committing to vote no on the TPP and asking the U.S. Trade Representative to remove from TTIP any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals.” “By empowering many more firms to launch ISDS cases against the U.S.,” environmental...

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DECADES AGO, ROBERT KENNEDY EXPLAINED SOMETHING THAT TRUMP STILL DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT THE ECONOMY...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Climate by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Abbie Rowe, National Park Service   Donald Trump is running on the erroneous belief that ending regulations, particularly environmental ones, is the key to faster economic growth. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY), who was assassinated June 6, 1968, explained just how misguided that view was just weeks before he was killed. U.S. economic growth has emerged as a major issue in the presidential campaign. Donald Trump has many untenable ideas, as the Washington Post explained in an April piece headlined, “There is math, there is fantasy math, and then there’s Donald Trump’s economic math.” Ganymede (via NASA) That article quoted an economist at the Tax Foundation (who helped model Trump’s tax plan) saying, “It’s not consistent with historical experience. It’s more consistent with a world where...

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Bill Moyers in Conversation: How Our Winner-Take-All Political System Has Divided America...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Inequality Bill revisits a conversation with political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson that explains how Washington and big business colluded to make the rich richer and abandoned the rest of us.   To Our Readers: Here’s what the 2016 election should be about: Winner-Take-All Politics — How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. It’s a groundbreaking account of how our political system was hijacked by the super rich and engineered to work for them at the expense of everyone else. Two of our top political scientists – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson – published it four years ago to wide acclaim. Robert Solow, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics, said of it: “This book is a wake-up call. Read it and wake up.”...

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Jim Hightower: Before We Bring Back Bill Clinton to Run the Economy, Let’s Remember What He Did...

Jun 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Hillary promises her husband will be put “in charge of revitalizing the economy.” Good grief! By Jim Hightower / AlterNet   Photo Credit: stocklight / Shutterstock.com What’s past, as Shakespeare has told us, is prologue. 2016 has been a wild political season. This year, despite the unnerving presidential freak show the Republicans are putting on, Hillary Clinton is the one who recently stunned me. Attempting to convince very wary working class families that she will stand against the abuses of her Wall Street financial backers, while also lifting up the poor and shoring up the middle class, Clinton made this horrifying, spine-tingling declaration: She’ll Bring Back Bill! Specifically, Hillary promises that her former-president husband will be put “in charge of revitalizing the economy.” Good grief! Isn’t Bill the big galoot who turned his...

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Noam Chomsky Blows the Lid Off the Latest Corporate Trade Deal (Video)...

Jun 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Does free trade even exist? Chomsky breaks it down. By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet Noam Chomsky Photo Credit: Luis Astudillo C./Cancillería del Ecuador/Flickr CC Two weeks after Greenpeace released 280 pages on the TTIP trade agreement, Noam Chomsky spoke with Channel 4 about why he believes the new agreement has nothing to do with reducing tariffs, calling it “pretty extreme.” According to Greenpeace: “Whether you care about environmental issues, animal welfare, labor rights or internet privacy, you should be concerned about what is in these leaked documents. They underline the strong objections civil society and millions of people around the world have voiced: TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business.” “From an environmental and consumer protection point of view four aspects are of serious concern,” said Sylvia...

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BURNING ISSUES: CHOOSING PEACE-BUILDING OVER MILITARY ENGAGEMENT...

Jun 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Burning Issues Video  CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE The next president needs to take on the imbalance between what the nation spends on military engagement and our spending on peace-building and conflict prevention, says Theo Sitther, director of the peace-building program at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, in this Burning Issues video. “It saves resources and it saves lives,” he says. There are programs funded by the U.S. government that are effective tools for preventing or resolving conflicts. “When you listen to candidates speak, listen to what foot they want to put forward,” he says. “Do they want a militaristic U.S. foreign policy, or is it one that is going to bring more peace and stability to the world?” Posted by Burning Issues Video...

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THE SOUP KITCHENS OF ATHENS

Jun 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By YANIS VAROUFAKIS  NY TIMES Photo Greek pensioners demonstrating against pension cuts in front of the the Greek Parliament in Athens. Credit Angelos Tzortzinis for The New York Times ATHENS — After last summer, when the clash between Greece’s Syriza government and the insolvent state’s creditors ended, the world’s media moved on. Greece’s rebellion against the austerity measures imposed on it was snuffed out in July 2015 when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras folded. Greece’s disappearance from the financial headlines since then has been seen as a sign that its economy has stabilized. Sadly, it has not. Lest we forget, Greece had by 2015 already endured years of austerity. By 2013, more than a third of Greeks were living below the poverty line. By 2014, government wages and pensions had been cut 12 times...

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THE COSTLY TRUTH OF EMERGENCY SPENDING IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN...

May 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Eight years ago, when America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still raging at full force, the Pentagon’s annual budget for those conflicts amounted to $1 million for each troop who was actually fighting.  But today, even as the Obama Administration continues to wind those wars down, the newest proposed Pentagon war-fighting budget would spend $5.9 million per deployed troop, a reflection, critics say, of sleight of hand that puts unrelated spending into a budget that’s supposed to be only for waging war. The figures come from a new report by the Stimson Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank based in Washington D.C. The report highlights the amount of spending in the special war-fighting account that authors argue should instead be part of the basic year-to-year budgeting for the Defense Department. The Obama administration has...

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EMAILS SHOW ‘COLLUSION’ BETWEEN BIG BANKS AND OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC TRADE PACT...

May 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams     “Denying our industry the same rights as enjoyed by every other sector would be terribly unfortunate,” one of the email reads. (SumOfUs / flickr / cc) This piece first appeared at Common Dreams. A series of emails released Friday show what activists describe as “collusion” between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Wall Street executives to push for the passage the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The emails (pdf), obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the group Rootstrikers, which organizes against money in politics, include a message to Froman from a managing director at Goldman Sachs urging him to push for “robust commitments” on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions—which allow private corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits—to be included...

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The Defense Department Is Ruining America: Big Budgets, Militarization and the Real Story Behind Our Asia Pivot...

May 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] “Our defense contractors await your business.” That was the message behind Obama and Carter’s visits to Asia. By Patrick Smith / Salon   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: By Monica King/US Department of Defense [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons You have to tip the cap to Defense Secretary Carter. People in Washington spin things as a matter of course, as Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, just explained in that New York Times profile considered in this space a few weeks ago. The spin is the thing. But never mind all that. Ashton Carter spins aircraft carriers, and right before your eyes. There he was last month, a few weeks before Obama’s current swing through Asia, on the flight deck of the John C. Stennis as it passed through a narrow strait in...

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