Showing posts from December 9, 2015

German chancellor Angela Merkel named ‘Person of the Year’ by Time

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[The mainstream media IS the 1%. Bernie Sanders crushed everyone else in the Reader's Polls. Sanders was not even selected as one of the eight finalists by Time Magazine, yet Donald Trump was - though Trump received less than one tenth of the votes that Sanders did. Merkel, poster-girl for austerity, gets selected Person of the Year instead. *RON*]

Reuters, Globe & Mail, 9 December 2015

Time magazine named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its 2015 “Person of the Year” on Wednesday, noting her resilience and leadership when faced with the Syrian refugee crisis and turmoil in the European Union over its currency this year.
In a statement explaining the magazine’s choice, managing editor Nancy Gibbs said despite crises in the region that caused “reason to wonder whether Europe could continue to exist,” Merkel, 61, emerged as an “indispensable player.”

“For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against…

Dow Chemical and DuPont Are Said to Be in Merger Talks

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["The economic defense of capitalism is premised on the ubiquity of competitive markets, providing for the rational allocation of scarce resources and justifying the existing distribution of incomes. The political defense of capitalism is that economic power is diffuse and cannot be aggregated in such a manner as to have undue influence over the democratic state. Both of these core claims for capitalism are demolished if monopoly, rather than competition, is the rule." From Foster et al, Monopoly and Competition in Twenty-First Century Capitalism. *RON*]

By Leslie Picker and Michael J. de la Merced, New York Times 8 December 2015
Dow Chemical and DuPont, two of the biggest and oldest companies in the American chemical industry, are in talks to merge in what would be one of the largest transactions in a year full of huge deals, people briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.

Under the terms being discussed, a merger of the two companies — ea…

Walmart’s Imports From China Displaced 400,000 Jobs, a Study Says

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[Walmart says it is raising its purchases of US-made products, but this is only because wages are beginning to rise in China and they are applying all the force of their powerful supply chain to drive down American wages to match Chinese wages. *RON*]

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, 9 December 2015

Imports from China by Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and biggest importer, eliminated or displaced over 400,000 jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2013, according to an estimate by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive research group that has long targeted Walmart’s policies.

The jobs, mostly in manufacturing, represent about 13 percent of the 3.2 million jobs displaced over those same years that the study attributes to the United States’ goods trade deficit with China. Walmart’s Chinese imports amounted to at least $49 billion in 2013, according to the study, which was based on trade and labor data. Over all, the United States…

'Racist', 'fascist', 'utterly repellent': What the world said about Donald Trump

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[And yet, His assembled fans were "cheering and almost giddy," The New Yorker reported. "No-one here we spoke with had a problem with the plan," said a CNN reporter. See also: Trump is a symptom not the disease. *RON*]

BBC Global News, 9 December 2015

Donald Trump's call for a "shutdown" on Muslims entering the United States has provoked a chorus of disapproval.

World leaders, leading newspapers, and celebrities have used unprecedented language to describe a possible future president: "Racist", "repellent", "ignorant".

For what must have been the first time in history, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination for the US presidency was openly called a fascist by a Democratic contender.

Some, of course, defended Mr Trump. Here are the reactions of some of those he could in theory find himself governing and working alongside in a year's time.
What they said …

Commodities rout deepens as Chinese trade data signal weaker demand

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[More bad news for the 'hewers of wood and drawers of water' view of Canada - time for a deep economic change. Figures suggest continued weak domestic demand from the world’s biggest energy user, driving the price of oil, iron ore and other metals lower. *RON*]
Staff and agencies, The Guardian, 8 December 2015

The accelerating rout in commodity prices has piled pressure on energy and resources shares in Asia Pacific amid more signs of slowing demand from China.

Although oil prices pushed back on Tuesday from seven-year lows, stock markets around the region felt the pain from uncertainty about global growth and the likely rise in US interest rates later this month.

The Nikkei index in Japan was down almost 1% on Tuesday and the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng indices were down more 0.9% and 1.6% respectively. In resource-rich Australia, the ASX/S&P200 benchmark had a volaltile day but bears had the upper hand by the afternoon with the …

Nevada Republican lawmaker shares Christmas card featuring fully armed family

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[These people are essentially Wild West-style anarchists. From the End-Times Department. *RON*]

By Jen Hayden, The Daily Kos, 4 December 2015

Nothing says happy birthday, baby Jesus like a cache of weapons. In between news of mass shootings, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is drawing outrage after posting a Christmas card featuring the entire family fully armed on her Facebook page with the message:

It's up to Americans to protect America. We're just your ordinary American family.-With love & liberty, Michele

Because nothing says let’s celebrate the Prince of Peace more than posing with a cache of high-powered weapons designed to kill. She’s a big fan of the Second Amendment and responded to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino thusly:

Front National's election triumph leaves mainstream parties reeling

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[A potentially ominous story that is not getting the coverage it deserves in North America. The National Front is a radically right wing political group. "Socialists say they will withdraw candidates and urge tactical voting to see off Marine Le Pen’s party, but Les Républicains rule out alliances." These are regional elections and France is, very much, a centrally run nation. So this does not automatically translate into "Le Pen for President" but it is still a bad sign. *RON*]

Kim Willsher, The Guardian, 8 December 2015.

French mainstream politicians have struggled to come up with a response to what one analyst described as the “major hangover” of a historic victory by the Front National in the first round of regional elections.

While the far-right had been predicted to do well, the FN’s record score of almost 28% of the national vote and first place in six of the country’s 13 regions by Sunday night left the traditional pa…

Trudeau’s Canada, Again

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[Via my friend Peter. It's a big of a hagiography but, really, it's hard not to feel good about some of the very Canadian things Trudeau says. "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada," he claimed. "There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state." See also: Government announces new funding, restored health care for refugees. *RON*]
By Guy Lawson, New York Times, 8 December 2015
On Tuesday, Nov. 10, six days after Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, was sworn in as prime minister of Canada, I was shown into his office on the third floor of the Parliament building in Ottawa. A dark oak-paneled room, it contained a jumble of outsize furniture chosen by the previous occupant, Stephen Harper, whose Conservative Party was in power for a decade. …