Showing posts from July 4, 2016

Massey Tunnel replacement bridge could come with high cost to taxpayers: Metro Vancouver

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[Definitely see also: Seven reasons why it's time to hit pause on the Massey tunnel replacement project. The key reason, in my opinion, is that (environmental impacts aside) it is really being built to prop up the (rightfully) dying coal industry at the behest of the Port of Vancouver. *RON*]

By Sonia Aslam, News 1130, 2 July 2016

Metro Vancouver is asking the federal government for an environmental assessment

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If the province moves forward with building a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel between Richmond and Delta, it could potentially cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. At least that’s what the agency overseeing our region believes.

Metro Vancouver has a few beefs with the government’s plan and one of the key ones surrounds the environment.

Metro Vancouver Utilities Chair Darrell Mussatto fears regional utilities would be greatly impacted if it’s decided the Fraser River is dredged. “We have some very sign…

Wow. Americans Really, Really Don't Like Trump or Clinton

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[I've almost given up following this. We might as well face it: it's going to be a horrible four years no matter who wins. New Gallup poll shows the two as among the worst rated presidential candidates. Just to beat a dead horse, see also: This is what scares me most about a Hillary Clinton presidency, and Fact Checkers Prove That 91% of the Things Donald Trump Says Are False. *RON*]

By Andrea GermanosCommon Dreams, 1 July 2016

Via a new Gallup poll, more evidence comes Friday that the nation's electorate really doesn't like this year's leading presidential candidates.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has the dubious distinction of being the most unfavorably viewed of any candidate over the past seven decades—displacing 1964 Republican candidate Barry Goldwater from the bottom spot.

The poll offers no smug moment for Clinton: her scores put her among the bottom four presidential candidates, with scores barely bet…

In New York, Republicans and Democrats Join Forces to Overturn "Citizens United"

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[It's good to see that this is even being contemplated. But I agree with the "Free Speech For People" comments that this is highly unlikely to pass and that additional, alternative approaches are also needed. *RON*]

By Lynsi Burton, YES! Magazine, 3 July 2016
In June, the United States came one step closer to enacting its first constitutional amendment in 24 years.

A bipartisan majority of New York's Senate and Assembly issued letters to Congress on June 15 calling for a 28th amendment. Both Republican and Democratic versions of the letter demand the new amendment say that corporations "are not entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons under the Constitution," which moves the country toward overturning the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United.

That decision has resulted in a great expansion of "outside spending," meaning spending by political action committees and nonprofit…

Business Leaders Have Abandoned the Middle Class

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[Brexit and the class wars. "There will come a point when abandoned people are willing to see the whole playing field burn down, so that it can be level again. And they might burn you down with it." *RON*]

Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review, 27 June 2016

Brexit seems to have finally woken the political and economic elites on both sides of the Atlantic to a reality they’ve been trying desperately, for years, to ignore: the middle class is suffering, and terribly.

In both the UK and the U.S., median incomes have been stagnant for decades. Meanwhile, people are experiencing a kind of vulnerability and insecurity without precedent in the modern history of rich nations. In the UK, living standards have fallen for all but the wealthiest. In the U.S., the majority of public school kids are now in poverty, the middle class is for the first time a demographic minority, and life expectancy is flat overall and actually fell for whites.

There’s n…

The Ones We’ve Lost: The Student Loan Debt Suicides

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[More victims of neoliberalism. The banks themselves simply get bailed out. *RON*]
C. Cryn Johannsen, Huffington Post Blogs, 2 July 2016

This story was produced by the independent Economic Hardship Reporting Project, co-edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Gary Rivlin.

One evening in 2007, Jan Yoder of Normal, Illinois noticed that her son Jason seemed more despondent than usual. Yoder had been a graduate student in organic chemistry at Illinois State University but after incurring $100,000 in student loan debt, he struggled to find a job in his field. Later that night, Jason, 35, left the family’s mobile home. Concerned about her son’s mood, Jan Yoder decided in the early morning hours to go look for him on campus, where a professor she ran into joined her in the search. The two of them discovered his body in one of the labs on campus and called campus police at 8:30AM. 32 minutes later, Jason was declared dead due to nitrogen asphyxiation.

When the st…

Elizabeth Warren's Kick-Ass Speech Tells It Like It Is: What Should Hillary Do?

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[An excellent speech on corporate oligopoly. Heading into the Democratic Convention, the senator from Massachusetts offers the best analysis of our failed economy. *RON*]
By Don HazenAlterNet, 2 July 2016

In the Sanders/Clinton battle for the presidential nomination, Elizabeth Warren stayed on the perimeter. She wasn't quiet, that's for sure. But she was the only woman in the Senate not to endorse Hillary, no doubt frustrating many women. She didn't endorse Bernie, either, making many in the Bern crowd angry. She was threading the needle, as few can do.

Warren has now embraced Hillary, which seems appropriate, and is campaigning aggressively with her. This is accompanied by considerable speculation about whether Hillary has the vision, and perhaps the chutzpah, to step out of her cautiousness and tap Warren to be her vice-president. And Warren has been the chief Twitter thorn in Trump's side—an important job these days.