Showing posts from July 31, 2016

Trump Said He Would Bring Jobs Back To The Country. He Just Quietly Hired 78 Foreign Workers.

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[There's a lot out there just now on the general insanity of right-wing economics. Here's how the job creators are fixing things: Microsoft profit rises into the cloud combined with Microsoft to cut 2,850 more jobs. And, in case you think things are better in Canada: Conservative MP: God wants conservatives to abolish all taxes forever. *RON*]
By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Think Progress, 28 July 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to bring jobs back to the country and force American companies to hire more domestic workers. Just don’t expect him to apply that to his own business: instead he is bringing 78 foreign workers to work two of his properties in Florida.

Earlier this month, Trump filed temporary visa applications for 78 positions for servers, housekeepers, and cooks to staff his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, citing an inability to find Americans who can fill …

Despite Objections, Pentagon Takes Step Toward Buying New Nuclear Weapons

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[Well this is creepy. Particularly when it comes less than two weeks after this UK story: MPs vote to renew Trident weapons system. I haven't seen anyone out there connecting the dots between these stories. Add this to the saber-rattling concerning Putin and the abysmal alternatives for the next president. The favorite go-to in the neoliberal playbook once they realize they have screwed things up royally has always been to start another war. *RON*]
By Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One, 29 July 2016

The U.S. Air Force has asked defense firms to bid to supply new ICBMs and controversial nuclear cruise missiles.

The U.S. Air Force took a first step toward buying controversial new nuclear weapons Friday, asking defense companies to submit bids to design and build cruise missiles and ICBMs.

The move comes amid the highest tension with Russia since the end of the Cold War and flies in the face of senators who have called on the Obama administration t…

The Seattle Minimum Wage Experiment: Mixed Results So Far

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[These results are preliminary, but pretty typical. The business community has seizures, screams "Armageddon!" and promises the world will end. The actual results are pretty innocuous. Wages went up (naturally), very low wage jobs decreased (naturally), the number of permanent jobs decreased slightly (but dropped more in areas that didn't have the wage increase), and there was no change in the number of business closures (Cassandra-like prophecies of the business community to the contrary). *RON*]

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, 29 July 2016

I've mentioned before—only half jokingly—that I'm happy to see other people experiment with a $15 minimum wage. It's the best of all worlds: it provides us with test beds to see what happens, but if it's a disaster it won't affect me personally.

Seattle was one of the first to do this, and as a first step they raised their minimum wage to $11 about 18 months ago. It's probably st…

US Government Mucks up Money-Laundering in Real Estate, Puts Luxury Housing Bubbles at Risk

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[This article says that, in the US, rich foreign home buyers paying in cash are often hiding behind shell companies as a means of money laundering the proceeds of crime. The closest I could some to seeing if this happens in Vancouver was an article noting that the BC government was trying to stop people from buying homes through shell companies. But they said this was to prevent tax evasion, not for money laundering. Does anyone know if this law was ever passed here? I couldn't find out. *RON*]
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 27 July 2016

Manhattan and Miami already get mauled. Now expanding to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Southern California, even Texas!

Cash sales of homes – mostly the domain of foreign and affluent buyers – fell to 32% of total home sales in April, down 2.8 percentage points from a year ago, according to a new report from CoreLogic. For the first four months, cash sales dropped to 34%, the lowest since 2008.

In Florida, the n…

Christy Clark skipped human rights vote for a secret fundraiser, but went to the photo op anyway

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[The title says it all. Smile while you can. See also: 5 jobs paying less money than what Christy Clark gets for going to BC Liberal fundraisers (including teachers and residential care workers). *RON*]
Press Progress, 28 July 2016
Did BC Premier Christy Clark try to take credit for something she didn't actually do?

On Monday, Clark bailed on voting for an important bill recognizing "gender identity or expression" in the province's Human Rights Code.

Where did she go? According to the premier's office, Clark missed the vote because she had to go to Vancouver for a secret BC Liberal fundraiser.

But if you want more details, you're out of luck – the BC Liberals won't say where the fundraiser took place or who Clark was hitting up for money, telling reporters they'll need to wait until next year to find out:
BC Liberal Party says info on @christyclarkbc fundraiser she attended instead of transgender vote to be released…

Trudeau Just Broke His Promise to Canada's First Nations

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[Click here to email Trudeau to Stop Site C. See also: Trudeau’s strange non-battle with fossil fuels (and Site C rubber stamp), and Site C Project Far From Clean and Green, Finds New UBC Report. *RON*]
By Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Blog, 29 July 2016
Justin Trudeau’s government has quietly issued its first batch of permits for the Site C dam — allowing construction to move forward on the $8.8 billion BC Hydro project despite ongoing legal challenges by two First Nations.

The federal-provincial review panel’s report on Site C found the 1,100 megawatt dam will result in significant andirreversible adverse impacts on Treaty 8 First Nations.

Caleb Behn, who is from West Moberly First Nation, one of the nations taking the federal government to court, says Trudeau has broken his promise.

“It’s 19th century technology being permitted with 19th century thinking and I expected more from the Trudeau government,” he said. “These permits were our last best hope to…