Showing posts from April 13, 2016
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["I want to make sure that the listeners understand how chilling it is that a leading presidential candidate in the United States would say this was not a coup… She’s baldly lying when she says we never called it a coup." *RON*]

Amy Goodman and Dana Frank, Democracy Now! 13 April 2016

GUESTS. DANA FRANK professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an expert on human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras. Her piece forForeign Policy is called "Just Like Old Times in Central America."

As Hillary Clinton seeks to defend her role in the 2009 Honduras coup, we speak with Dana Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras. "This is breathtaking that she’d say these things. I think we’re all kind of reeling that she would both defend the coup and defend her own role in supporting its stabilization in the aftermath," Frank says. "I want to make sure that the listeners un…

As oil deflates Alberta's swagger, it's time to face some harmful economic myths

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[Oil, not ideology, was what propped Alberta up. Now they're on welfare along with the Newfies, but their zombie ideologists are still cranking out the neoliberal party line, beyond all hope. *RON*]
By Ralph Sureet,, 12 April 2016
Now that the "swagger" is gone out of Alberta, as the news reports say, and Albertans are getting on pogey as the oil economy has collapsed, you'd think we'd at least be spared the lectures about how economically virtuous Albertans are as compared to us bedraggled Maritimers.

Let's recap the argument as thumped out regularly by the cross-country profusion of right-wing think-tanks and other neo-con commentators: Alberta (and Saskatchewan) is rich because of its low-tax regime and its entrepreneurial spirit. Nothing to do with oil. I've read entire reports to that effect that never mentioned oil once. The corollary being that if the Maritimes cut taxes and got entrepreneurial Albert…

The GOP Is Now Openly Bragging About Suppressing Voters

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[Home of the Free, bastion of democracy and all that. "The Voting Rights Act is under siege; we need a constitutional amendment to protect it." *RON*]

By Thom HartmannAlterNet, 7 April 2016

Voting, Thomas Paine once said, "is the beating heart of democracy." It's what makes our democracy possible. Without it, Paine said, "man would be reduced to slavery."

It's for this very reason, of course, that conservatives have worked since the founding of our republic to make it harder or downright impossible for people who are not part of the political and economic elite to vote.

This conservative war on voting has taken on a number of different forms, Jim Crow being just the most obvious example, but it has always been based on one simple idea: conservatives lose elections when more people vote, and win elections when fewer people vote.

Bank of Canada's enviable problems include sunken loonie and threat of inflation

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[Oops! Compare this 'breaking your arm patting yourself on the back' piece that predicts "At this week's meeting of the International Monetary Fund Finance Minister Bill Morneau should earn a gold star from IMF chief Christine Lagarde" with this one: IMF downgrades forecast for Canada's economy in 2016 and 2017. *RON*]
By Don Pittis, CBC News, 12 Apr 2016
In an upside-down world it suddenly seems as if Canada's problems have become advantages.

The country's commodities economy has been hit hard by crashing prices. Its currency has been plunging. Now a tightening job market and surging GDP seem to signal that inflation could be around the corner.

In another era those would have seemed like nothing but headaches for Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz, but as he makes his monetary policy statement on Wednesday, other central bankers only wish they had his problems.

Just four months ago Stephen Poloz surprised the w…

Syria war crimes investigators amass strongest evidence 'since Nuremberg' against Bashar al-Assad

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[See also 'Bite on this so you don't scream': The 'Assad Files' offer a new glimpse into systematic torture in Syria, and Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco. *RON*]

David Blair, Telegraph, 12 April 2016
International investigators have amassed the strongest evidence “since Nuremberg” for the prosecution of Bashar al-Assad and his allies for war crimes, smuggling 600,000 pages of official documents out of Syria.

This trove - weighing several tons - includes the records of a secret committee of security chiefs placed in charge of crushing the revolt. Another 500,000 pages are still inside Syria, awaiting safe transit out of the country.

The evidence is being held in an undisclosed European city by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, an organisation of lawyers and investigators partly funded by the British Government.

Concentrated Power Drives Extreme Income Inequality and Slows Economic Growth

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[No big surprise: "corporate concentration exacerbates income inequality, while trade union power alleviates it... The American corporate sector has been spending more money than ever, but instead of ploughing resources into job creation and fixed asset investment, historically unprecedented resources are flowing into mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and stock repurchase, the combined effect of which has been slower growth and rising inequality (a finding which also applies to Canada—see here and here)." Equally unsurprising, snarky comments to the original article by neolibs. *RON*]

By Jordan Brennan, Evonomics, 2016 April 11

The emergence of economic inequality as a public policy issue grew out of the wreckage of the Great Recession. And while it was protest movements like Occupy Wall Street that brought visibility to America’s glaring income gap, academic economists have had a near monopoly on diagnosing why it is that inequality ha…