Showing posts from February 11, 2016

Ferguson Refuses To Make Police Reforms Proposed By The DOJ

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["...this would effectively undermine the fundamental purpose of the reforms... By failing to accept some of the terms of the decree, Ferguson may now be slapped with a federal lawsuit." *RON*]
By Carimah Townes, Think Progress, 10 February 2016
Eighteen months after Mike Brown was shot and killed, the Ferguson City Council unanimously voted against many of the Department of Justice’s proposed changes to the city’s unconstitutional law enforcement practices. The vote came after the release of four scathing reports about the city’s policing and court system, as well as months of negotiations about specific reforms.

On Tuesday night, the council conditionally approved the 131-page decree released last month, rejecting seven of its provisions. It denounced some of the salary and staffing requirements for police officers and jails, and asked for a $1 million cap on the amount of money the city has to pay federal monitors.

The council also pus…

Justice Department Fails to Criminally Prosecute a Big Bank -- Again

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["The Justice Department’s modus operandi in dealing with the banks that were behind the most egregious misconduct on Wall Street before the market crash has been to reach out-of-court civil settlements with headline-grabbing penalties and promises of better behavior."It's not equal justice when someone hooked on opioids gets locked up for buying pills on the street, but bank executives get off scot-free for laundering nearly a billion dollars of drug cartel money." Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren *RON*]
By Justin Miller,, 9 February 2016
Last week, the Justice Department announced that it had reached a $470 million settlement with mega-bank HSBC related to mortgage lending and foreclosure fraud that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

“This settlement illustrates the department’s continuing commitment to ensure responsible mortgage servicing,” Benjamin Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Divi…

Canada Should Not Be Intimidated Into Ratifying The TPP

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["Even Democratic contender Hilary Clinton... is backing away from the TPP... That's the kind of thinking we should apply to our own assessment of the TPP -- is it good for Canadian workers? Will our families benefit? Does it help us to build the equal and caring society, with opportunities for our young people that we want? If not, why ratify it? British Columbia Premier Christy Clark would have us rush into signing the deal. But this is the same panicked thinking that put the Harper government in a position of weakness when it was negotiating the deal -- begging to be let in and giving away the store just to be part of the club." *RON*]
Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor, Huffington Post, 10 February 2016

Now that the Trans Pacific Partnership has been signed, maybe we can have the honest, open and transparent debate that Canadians were denied during the federal election -- and which the new Liberal government in Ottawa has pro…

Austerity Ireland: Europe open your eyes

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[Europe must stop lauding Ireland as a success story and instead recognise the damage done to Irish society by the harsh austerity politics inflicted upon her. "...a 25% increase in overall homelessness... In Dublin in particular, 70 to 80 families lose their homes every month, with rent supplements lagging behind a 20% increase in rents since 2013 and Ireland exposing the highest number of households in late-stage mortgage arrears in Europe." *RON*]

Silke Trommer, Open Democracy, 9 February 2016
On a wet and windy winter evening in December 2015, a crowd of 1,000 people gathers around a doorstep in Dublin’s city centre, a stone’s throw from the Irish parliament. A representative of the Irish traveling community, a group of under 65,000 people that has long been fighting unsuccessfully for official recognition as an ethnic minority, enters the stage. The woman reluctantly explains that she is not a good public speaker. The crowd nonethe…

Robin Hood in a Time of Austerity

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["In characterising ‘hardworking people’ as the conceptual poor, no matter how technically rich they might be, right-wing polemicists evoke a class of people who are not hardworking. Why are they not hardworking? We are invited to speculate. Perhaps they are lazy. Perhaps they came from a poor country, attracted by the bounties and luxury houses the government offers foreigners. Perhaps they belong to a trade union, an organisation that exists, as Osborne likes to explain, to stop people working hard by badgering them to go on strike... They are idle, they are well-off, and they live off the hard work of others: thus are those who would once have been numbered among the poor transformed into the despised rich." *RON*]
James Meek, London Review of Books, Vol. 38 No. 4 · 18 February 2016

Myth is a story that can be retold by anyone, with infinite variation, and still be recognisable as itself. The outline of surviving myth is re-recognised…

PM's Mum Signs Austerity Cuts Petition

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[Anti-austerity campaigners say "even David Cameron's mum's had enough" after she signs a petition over cuts in his constituency. *RON*]

Sky News, 9 February 2016
David Cameron's mother has signed a petition against cuts to "invaluable" children's services driven by the Government's austerity measures.

Mary Cameron, 81, has joined the fight to stop dozens of children's centres being closed by the Conservative-run Oxfordshire County Council – which covers Mr Cameron's own Witney constituency.

Both Mrs Cameron and the Prime Minister's aunt, Clare Currie, have signed to try to stop the council from shutting down 44 centres in the county as part of annual budget cuts.

Mrs Cameron, a retired magistrate who lives in Berkshire, told the Oxford Mail: "Where children's centres are needed, they are invaluable."

Conservative council leader Ian Hudspeth has said the cuts, which will save around £8…

Italy PM demands EU change course on 'deadly' austerity

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[Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi: "The countries that have had growth in Europe have achieved it only because they broke the deficit rules... If a remedy is not working after eight years I think you can call it pointless treatment... Because if austerity is all you have, you die." *RON*] 11 Feb 2016
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has compared Europe's recent economic policies to administering drugs to artificially prolong the life of a terminally ill patient.

A regular critic of the European Union's budget deficit rules, Renzi said in an open letter published by La Repubblica on Thursday that austerity economics had resulted in Europe being left behind by the United States.

"The countries that have had growth in Europe have achieved it only because they broke the deficit rules," he wrote, citing Britain and Spain, currently growing but running respective deficits at five and six percent of their GD…

Disbelief as Egyptian president rolls out four kilometre red carpet for austerity press conference

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["It gives a kind of joy and assurance to the Egyptian citizen that our people and our land and our armed forces are always capable of organizing anything in a proper manner. It is laid out in a way to beautify the general area, so it gives a good impression of the celebration that is being broadcast to the whole world." *RON*]

Maram Mazen, Associated Press / National Post, 9 February 2016

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is facing criticism after a massive red carpet was laid over public roads for his motorcade during a trip to open a social housing project in a Cairo suburb, where he preached austerity.

Images of the giant red carpet prompted a wave of ridicule on social media, with a hashtag mocking the carpet trending in Arabic. A local newspaper devoted much of its front page Monday to the incident.