Showing posts from June 20, 2016

Wall Street’s worst vulture hedge funds are making a killing by undermining the global economy

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[A good illustration of the moral bankruptcy of finance and how democracy comes undone under corporate control. What they are doing is legal - but the corporations shape the laws that make their egregious behavior possible. *RON*]

Martin Guzman, Quartz, 17 June 2016
Recently, a resonant legal victory of hedge funds over Argentina has captured the attention of the global community. The hedge funds in this case aren’t run of the mill investment shops, however. Popularly known as vulture funds, their modus operandi is to buy up the debt of countries suffering crises at bargain prices, only to fiercely litigate with them afterwards. They attempt to claim full payment—principal and interest—employing a variety of tactics (including hiring lobbyists) to put pressure on the distressed debtors to satisfy their claims. And in the wake of Argentina’s loss, Puerto Rico may be in their crosshairs next.

It may not seem to matter whether a sovereign debt crisis …

Kumbaya over: Bernie Sanders NJ Chair Wisniewski summarily dropped as DNC member

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[This system needs to be changed to something more closely resembling a democracy. Diving back into realpolitik after the friendly 10-second sound-bites. See also: DNC Comes Out of Closet-- Goes Public, Handing Reins Over to Clinton Campaign. *RON*]

Rosi Efthim, Blue Jersey, 18 June 2016

Less than an hour after the Kumbaya first meeting of the NJ Delegation to the Democratic Convention, the pretty speeches about unity, and State Chair John Currie’s flattering words for Bernie Sanders’ NJ chair John Wisniewski, Wisniewski was summarily removed as a Jersey member of the DNC. This was by vote of the state committee, which met as soon as the delegates left the room; one meeting over, the next beginning.

Hard not to see that as an insult to every Sanders member of the NJ Delegation to see our campaign chair treated so disrespectfully – particularly after all the pretty reminders that despite all differences we come together as Democrats.

It’s the Hillar…

If Facts Don’t Matter, What Does?

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[On values, communication and politics. "To be an effective communicator get clear on your values and start using the language of values. Drop the language of policy. 'People do not necessarily vote their self-interest. They vote their identity. They vote their values.' He believes so-called inaction and apathy should warn progressives that the conservatives are winning the communications battle between moral imperatives: 'It’s time to decide, either we are all in this together or it’s every man for himself.'" *RON*]

By James Hoggan, DeSmog Blog, 18 June 2016
This is an excerpt from DeSmog founder Jim Hoggan’s latest book, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse, published by New Society Publishers.

I first began reading the works of linguist and cognitive scientist George Lakoff about 15 years ago and I was struck by the Berkeley professor’s now famous ideas about what he calls frames. In publi…

Why Is the Killer of British MP Jo Cox Not Being Called a “Terrorist”?

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["Does anyone have any doubt at all that if Cox’s suspected killer had been Muslim, yelling 'Allah Akbar' instead of 'Britain First,' then every media outlet on the planet would be describing him forever as a 'terrorist'? The fact that they are not doing so here sheds great light into what this word really is." *RON*]
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 17 June 2016

BRITISH LABOUR MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered yesterday. Although the motive is not yet proven, there is mounting evidence that the detained suspect, 52-year-old white male Thomas Mair, was motivated by political ideology. Cox was an outspoken advocate for refugees. At least two witnesses say Mair, as he carried out the attack, yelled “Britain First,” the name of a virulently right-wing anti-immigrant party. He has years of affiliation with neo-Nazi groups: what Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “a long history with white nationalism.” The U.K. is …

Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, The FBI Tried To 'Lure' Him Into A Terror Plot

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[Could this shocking FBI attempt at entrapment have been what pushed Mateen over the edge? See also what his ex-wife is saying about having words put in her mouth by the press and FBI: Noor Zahi Salman: Everything You're Hearing About Me Is a Lie. *RON*]

By Max Blumenthal, Sarah LazareAlterNet, 19 June 2016

Before Omar Mateen gunned down 49 patrons at the LGBTQ Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the FBI attempted to induce his participation in a terror plot. Sheriff Ken Mascara of Florida’s St. Lucie County told the Vero Beach Press Journal that after Mateen threatened a courthouse deputy in 2013 by claiming he could order Al Qaeda operatives to kill his family, the FBI dispatched an informant to "lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite."

While self-styled terror experts and former counter-terror officials havecriticized the FBI for failing to stop Mateen before he committed a massacre, the new revelation raises the questi…

House rejects effort to ban illegal immigrants from military service

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[It suddenly occurred to the politicians that they might have to send their own sons and daughters off to war if they don't import their cannon fodder. *RON*]

By Cristina Marcos, The Hill, 16 June 2016

In a break from previous votes on the issue, the House on Thursday rejected two GOP proposals to prevent the Obama administration from enlisting young illegal immigrants to serve in the military.

Lawmakers voted down two measures offered by immigration hard-liners Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) that would have prohibited the use of federal money to enlist young illegal immigrants who have been granted work permits under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

More than 30 Republicans with more centrist views on immigration joined all Democrats in opposing the two amendments offered to a Defense Department spending bill. The amendments failed narrowly with votes of 207-214 and 210-211, respec…