Showing posts from January 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton Gets $13 Million From Health Industry, Now Says Single-Payer Will "Never, Ever Come To Pass"

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[Share this one with your friends. *RON*]
By David Sirota, International Business Times, 30 January 2016

Closing out her Iowa campaign, Hillary Clinton on Friday declared that the Medicare-for-all proposal pushed by her Democratic primary opponent and many liberalgroups will “never, ever come to pass.” The statement came weeks after a new poll showed most Americans support the idea. Her declaration was a reversal of her position two decades ago — which came before she received millions of dollars of campaign cash from the health industry.

Clinton’s comments, which were made during anappearance at Grand View University in Iowa, were aimed at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long championed the kind of government administered health care system used by many major industrialized nations. Of Sanders’ proposal, Clinton said on Friday: "People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better i…

The Big-Oil Bailouts Begin

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[Here it comes: the hundred-billion-dollar question. The IMF and World Bank have dispatched a team to "Azerbaijan to negotiate a possible $4 billion emergency loan package." The Brazilian "government has refused to rule out bailing out Petrobras." "The government of Mexico just announced that it quietly injected 50 billion pesos ($2.7 billion) of public funds into the coffers of state-owned oil company Pemex." Et cetera. See also: Oil price crash: Saudis told to embrace austerity as debt defaults loom*RON*]
By Don Quijones, Wolf Street, 30 January 2016

Despite a bounce this week, low oil prices continue to sow fear, uncertainty, and mayhem across the emerging market complex. On Wednesday, it was leaked that the IMF and World Bank would dispatch a team to oil and gas-dependent Azerbaijan to negotiate a possible $4 billion emergency loan package in what threatens to become the first of a series of global bailouts st…

Uncomfortable Question for Ted Cruz on Obamacare Silences the Room

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[Mr. Cruz said 'millions of Americans' had lost their jobs and their doctors as a result of the law, and that many had 'seen their premiums skyrocket.' ... 'My question is, what are you going to replace it with?' Mr. Valde said. *RON*]
By Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, 30 January 2016.
HUBBARD, Iowa — Senator Ted Cruz is often asked about doing away with President Obama’s health care law. He is rarely pressed by voters on what will replace it.

But at a middle school cafeteria here, a man, Mike Valde, presented him with a tragic tale. His brother-in-law Mark was a barber — “a small-business man,” he said. He had never had a paid vacation day. He received health insurance at last because of the Affordable Care Act. He began to feel sick and went to a doctor.

“He had never been to a doctor for years,” Mr. Valde, 63, of Coralville, Iowa, said. “Multiple tumors behind his heart, his liver, his pancreas. And they said, ‘We’re…

10,000 refugee children are missing, says Europol

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[The EU’s criminal intelligence agency warns pan-European gangs are targeting minors for sex work and slavery. *RON*]
Mark Townsend, The Guardian, 31 January 2016
At least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees have disappeared after arriving in Europe, according to the EU’s criminal intelligence agency. Many are feared to have fallen into the hands of organised trafficking syndicates.

In the first attempt by law enforcement agencies to quantify one of the most worrying aspects of the migrant crisis, Europol’s chief of staff told the Observerthat thousands of vulnerable minors had vanished after registering with state authorities.

Brian Donald said 5,000 children had disappeared in Italy alone, while another 1,000 were unaccounted for in Sweden. He warned that a sophisticated pan-European “criminal infrastructure” was now targeting refugees. “It’s not unreasonable to say that we’re looking at 10,000-plus children. Not all of them will be criminally ex…

Tories lobbying to protect Google’s £30bn island tax haven

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["The mask has finally slipped." Naked corporatocracy. Opposition figures react angrily to news that government has objected to EU’s proposed blacklisting of Bermuda as 'unhelpful.' *RON*]
Daniel Boffey, The Guardian, 31 January 2016
Britain has been privately lobbying the EU to remove from an official blacklist the tax haven through which Google funnels billions of pounds of profits, the Observer can reveal.

Treasury ministers have told the European commission that they are “strongly opposed” to proposed sanctions against Bermuda, a favoured shelter for Google’s profits and one of 30 tax jurisdictions in Brussels’ sights.

The disclosure is made in a memorandum circulated among Tory MEPs in Brussels that describes potential “countermeasures” against blacklisted tax havens as “unhelpful”.

Google is expected to announce on Monday that it has amassed £30bn of profits from non-US sales in Bermuda, where companies are not liable to pay …

Europe’s immigration bind: how to act morally while heeding the will of its people

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[Part of the problem is that politicians have become accustomed to governing by polls and actively avoid articulating well thought-out positions of their own. I agree with this author that gaining support for an equitable and workable migration policy will take time, eloquence and courage. In other words, we need real statesmen and stateswomen, not more Donald Trumps. See also: Germany's Merkel now says refugees must return home once war is over. *RON*]
Kenan Malik, The Guardian, 31 January 2016
Europe faces a migrant crisis, but not the one we imagine. The dilemma it faces is this: on the one hand, any moral and workable immigration policy will not, at least for the moment, possess a democratic mandate; on the other, any policy that has popular support is likely to be immoral and unworkable.

This dilemma exists not because European populations are particularly drawn to immoral or unworkable policies but because of the way that the immigration…

Reforming Bill C-51 Can't Wait Another Year

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[Where will we be in another year? "Goodale has said that reforms on C-51 won't likely be introduced until the fall at the earliest. Sadly, in the meantime, Canadians' rights are being violated everyday C-51 remains in place." *RON*]
Laura Tribe, Huffington Post, 30 January 2016

It's been one year. Saturday marked exactly 365 days since the former Conservative government introduced Bill C-51, with its controversial spy powers that experts warn are shredding our basic constitutional rights.

So, where do things stand now? After intense debate, C-51 was pushed through Parliament and is now law, but its many opponents are making progress.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen positive signs from the new federal government, as it has finally promised to meet calls for public consultation from Canadians, civil society and experts.

Ralph Goodale, Canada's minister of public safety, has said that consultations will be extended to t…

Seeds of Peace: Ayman Odeh’s unlikely crusade.

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[A sad piece, sent to me by my friend Harry. As Harry notes, it illustrates how the Israelis treat Arab Israelis with the same condescension and contempt as the Germans treated Jews in the decades leading up to the Holocaust. *RON*]

By David Remnick, New Yorker, 25 January 2016 Issue

What is required of a saint is a radiant reflection of the holy and a capacity for miracles. What is required of a political saint is an intimate familiarity with the interrogation room. Ayman Odeh, the foremost leader of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, has read deeply in the lives of the political saints—Martin Luther King, Jr., especially—and he is not shy about suggesting comparisons, if only as a matter of aspiration. The Shin Bet, the Israeli internal intelligence agency, first pulled him in for questioning when he was a kaffiyeh-wearing teen-ager in the thick of an uprising. He is now a middle-aged politician in a suit, a legislator preaching the coexistence of…