Showing posts from November 13, 2015

Poll Shocker: Bernie Sanders Leads Trump and Bush by Double Digits

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[Sanders outpolls GOP frontrunner Trump and establishment candidate Bush. *RON*]
By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet, 12 November 2015

When Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for the presidency, many wondered whether a democratic socialist could really gain traction in a political system hostile to the left. After nearly six months on the campaign trail, it appears that his campaign has gained enough steam to make the candidate a viable presidential contender.

In the latest McClatchy-Marist poll, Sanders outpolls GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and establishment candidate Jeb Bush. Against Trump, Sanders leads 53 to 41. Against Bush, Sanders leads by 10 points, 51 to 41.

The Vermont senator's lead is particularly large among voters 18 to 29; there, he leads Bush 57 to 38. Even among some of the most conservative voters in the country, in the South, he leads Bush 46 to 45.

Many of Sanders' supporters have long theorized that his most difficult challeng…

Abandoned Houses: One Block in Detroit

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[Houses on Detroit's East Side are left to crumble, rot, and burn. There are 45,000 abandoned houses in Detroit. *RON*]

—By Danny Wilcox Frazier, Mother Jones, November/December 2010 Issue

Pictured here are abandoned homes found on one block on Detroit's East Side. Some 45,000 abandoned houses pock Detroit, and the city only demolishes only 500 a year, thanks to concerns over lawsuits and environmental hazards, as well as lack of funding. The resulting rot and arson help pull the city further and further down. As Charlie LeDuff writes in his piece What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones: "Detroit has been synonymous with arson since the '80s, when the city burst into flames in a pre-Halloween orgy of fire and destruction known as Devil's Night. At its peak popularity, 810 fires were set in a three-day span. Devil's Night is no longer the big deal it used to be, topping out last year at around 65 arsons. That's good news until…

DOE: Former deputy negotiated for several outside jobs

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[Regulatory capture and the environment, or, Through the revolving door at full tilt. Longtime Department of Energy second-in-command Daniel Poneman started talking to potential employers two years before leaving the agency. He eventually negotiated for nine different jobs before leaving his post to work for a company that operates nuclear power plants and a company building a liquefied natural gas facility. In whose interests were his decisions during these years? *RON*]

Kevin Bogardus and Hannah Northey, E&E News, 12 November 2015

The longest-serving deputy secretary at the Department of Energy was a popular man when it came to his job hunt.

Daniel Poneman, who served as DOE's No. 2 from 2009 to 2014, filed nine different notifications with the department saying he was negotiating for employment outside the government.

The documents, obtained by Greenwire under the Freedom of Information Act, show that Poneman was considering his next ste…

Collapsing Greenland glacier could raise sea levels by half a metre, say scientists

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[Huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier has begun to break up, starting a rapid retreat that could continue to raise sea levels for decades to come. "...from 2002 to 2014 the area of the glacier’s floating shelf shrank by a massive 95%, according to a report in the journal Science. The glacier has now become detached from a stabilising sill and is losing ice at a rate of 4.5bn tonnes a year." *RON*]
Ian Sample, The Guardian, 13 November 2015
A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say.

The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed.

The calving of the glacier into chunks of floating ice will set in train a rise in sea levels that will continue for decades to come, the US team warns.

“Even i…

Justin Trudeau To Push Growth, Spending Message At APEC, G20 Summits

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[Sounds nice, but note this bit buried right near the end, about Canadian-US interests: "Clearly, Canada is also a country where we have enormous overlapping interests, including the TPP..." *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 12 November 2015

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will push his spending and growth agenda when he meets leaders from the G20 and Asia-Pacific on his first trip abroad.

Trudeau departs on his first foreign trip on Friday when he travels to Turkey for a gathering of G20 leaders before moving on to the Philippines next week for the APEC summit.

Trudeau, whose successful election campaign was based on a plan to help Canada's middle class by stimulating growth, said that commitment will be the focus of his discussions with world leaders at both meetings.

During the campaign, Trudeau distinguished himself from his Conservative and NDP opponents by promising to run modest deficits over the cour…

Can Trudeau undo Harper's pattern of payouts to fossil fuels?

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[Can Trudeau kick Canada's $3 billion fossil fuel habit? A scathing new report blows the lid on the Harper government's support for fossil fuels - and the mess is now Trudeau's to fix. *RON*]

By Fram Dinshaw, National Observer, 12 November 2015

A damning new report has blown the lid on Canada’s support for fossil fuel industries, totalling nearly $3 billion per year, flying in the face of a G20 pledge to phase such subsidies out six years ago.

In 2013-14, federal support for fossil fuels under the previous Stephen Harper government amounted to at least $1.7 billion. A further $1.3 billion in provincial subsidies was kicked into the industry, according to a Nov. 12 report titled Empty Promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal productionco-published by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International.

“Why is it time to phase out subsidies to last century’s high-carbon energy? Because, as Prime Minister Trudeau said last…

10 Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency

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[Quite the set of graphs from Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice. *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 13 November 2015

Yves here. I’m old enough to regard the idea of Sanders being called an “insurgent” for his political views to be hard to fathom. They are middle of the road circa 1980. And polls consistently show ideas the press has chosen to label as “progressive” like preserving or better yet strengthening Social Security, taxing the rich, more butter and less guns, to have had and continue to have majority support. So Sanders’ continuing to take ground is proof of how cloistered and self-interested our elites have become.

By Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York. His latest book is Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice (Chelsea Green, 2015). Originally published at Alternet

Why are so many drawn to the Sanders message? It’s not because he’s a political outsider. (He’s a …