Showing posts from June 19, 2016

Market Capitalism is Broken: Why Adam Smith Would be Outraged by Modern Finance

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[An economy run on the basis of finance has nothing to do with entrepreneurship. She makes one great point, which we often forget: "We made up these rules, and we can change them." *RON*]
By John Battelle, Evonomics, 15 June 2016
  Every so often a book comes along that works its way into a majority of the interesting conversations you have with both friends and colleagues. Such is the case with Rana Foroohar’s Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and The Fall of American Business. Foroohar was kind enough to send me an early draft to read several months ago, and I found myself quoting from it in nearly everything I subsequently wrote, in every talk I gave, and even in various Slack channels at work. Makers and Takersis that rare work of journalism that both appears at a fortuitous moment in history, and captures the essence of that moment’s core narrative.

Bolivia Doesn't Want Thousands of Chickens from Bill Gates

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[You can't make this stuff up. "I find it rude," Bolivia's Rural Development Minister said of Gates's plan. A page from the plutocrat's "Let Them Eat Cake Chicken" manual, aka International Aid for Rich Idiots. *RON*]
By Cara Giaimo, Atlas Obscura, 17 June 2016

Earlier this month, the Gates Foundation and Heifer International announced a new antipoverty initiative. The campaign, which they're calling "Coop Dreams," would donate 100,000 chickens to a variety of developing nations, including Bolivia.

There's just one problem—Bolivia doesn't want them. "I find it rude," said Cesar Cocarico, Bolivia's Rural Development Minister, according to Agence France-Presse. "We don't depend on chickens. We've advanced. Our people have dignity and they know how to work."

Gates explained the initiative in a blog post titled 'Why I Would Raise Chickens.' "If I were…

This Primary Season, Clinton Won States With Highest Income Inequality

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[No surprise here, really, although the cleanness of the correlation is somewhat shocking. Truly a nation divided. Meanwhile, if you haven't seen this one already, you might want to tie your jaw in place before reading it: The Clinton Foundation Timeline. *RON*]
Danielle Kurtzeben, National Public Radio, 16 June 2016
Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.

Now that the primaries are over, we decided to look again. The trend held relatively well, as it turns out: With her win in the District of Columbia primary on Tuesday, Clinton won the most-unequal place in the nation, according to the Gini index. Sanders, meanwhile, t…

Exxon Sues a Second Attorney General To Fight Off Climate Fraud Probe

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[Exxon believes its constitutional right to free speech as a 'person' should allow a corporation to lie freely to the public. Trudeau, meanwhile, apparently considers this kind of horrifyingly, egregious nonsense to be part of some delicate balancing act: Pipelines are all about ‘trade-offs,’ Trudeau says: ‘You don’t ever hope for total 100% unanimity’ *RON*]

By David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News, 16 June 2016

ExxonMobil has sued to derail a second attorney general's investigation of the oil giant's climate record.

The company filed a complaint in federal district court in Fort Worth on Wednesday against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Her office subpoenaed Exxon records going back 40 years in an investigation of whether the company committed consumer or securities fraud by misrepresenting its knowledge of climate change.

Congresswoman Who Used To Receive Welfare Wants To Drug Test Rich People Who Get Tax Breaks

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[Corporate welfare queens and the War on Drugs! "I would love to see some hedge fund manager on Wall Street who might be sniffing a little cocaine here and there to stay awake realizing that he can’t get his $150,000 worth of deductions unless he submits to a drug test." Hahahaha! I'll try to get serious again this morning... *RON*]
By Bryce Covert, Think Progress, 16 June 2016
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has had enough of the growing movement to drug test poor people who need government assistance. So on Tuesday, she’s introducing a bill that she says will make things fairer.

Her “Top 1% Accountability Act” would require anyone claiming itemized tax deductions of over $150,000 in a given year to submit a clean drug test. If a filer doesn’t submit a clean test within three months of filing, he won’t be able to take advantage of tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction or health insurance tax breaks. Instead he would have to mak…

Eyeless catfish discovered in Texas cave may have come from Mexico

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[Donald Trump needs to build a wall! Those darned catfish can live for 60 years - these 'handicapped' 'wetbacks' could be a drain on the US medical system for decades to come!! ;-) *RON*]
Alan Yuhas, The Guardian, 19 June 2016
Eyeless catfish have been discovered deep inside a cave in Texas, an entirely new area for a rare species and a finding scientists say could mean underground caverns link the US to Mexico.

The albescent pink fish were found swimming in a limestone cave at the Amistad National Recreation Area, near Del Rio in southern Texas. The tiny, 3in-long fish, identified as the Mexican blindcat, were collected by a team in May and reported this week by the University of Texas Austin.

“Since the 1960s there have been rumors of sightings of blind, white catfishes in that area, but this is the first confirmation,” ichthyologist Dean Hendrickson said in a statement. “I’ve seen more of these things than anybody, and these specimen…