Showing posts from August 12, 2016

The Most Harrowing Findings In The DOJ’s Report On Baltimore Police

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[Repulsive: a culture of racism, violence, and cover-ups is flourishing. No wonder guys like this one think they can kill with impunity: Self-Proclaimed Neighborhood Watchman Kills Unarmed Black Man. *RON*]
Alan Pyke and Aviva Shen, Think Progress, 10 August 2016

The Department of Justice released an extensive report Wednesday describing a culture of lawlessness, racism, and secrecy within the Baltimore Police Department. Baltimore policing practices attracted national scrutiny after police killed Freddie Gray last year. Prosecutors dropped charges against the officers involved in Gray’s death after a slew of acquittals, but the police department as a whole is now facing tougher federal oversight known as a consent decree.

The federal crackdown will try to achieve what department leaders themselves could not in recent years. Baltimore has theoretically been walking back its longstanding “zero tolerance” policies toward low-level offenses since ab…

Why is recovery taking so long—and who’s to blame?

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[On the failure of ideologically driven economics. A lengthy piece, but it does a good job of demonstrating the failure of austerity and of the lack of government spending stimulus. *RON*]

By Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute, 11 August 2016

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Introduction and key findings

This fall’s presidential campaign will offer conflicting narratives about how the U.S. economy is faring and how well incumbent policymakers have managed the recovery from the Great Recession. But we already know the story. We are enduring one of the slowest economic recoveries in recent history, and the pace can be entirely explained by the fiscal austerity, particularly with regard to spending, imposed by Republican policymakers, members of Congress primarily but also legislators and governors at the state level. Key findings of this brief are:
Since the recovery’s trough in June 2009, employment took longer (51 months) to reach its pre-recession peak than in any…

Is There a Cure for High Drug Prices?

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[Excellent article by consumer reports describing what government, drug companies and consumers can do about drug prices. "The cost of prescription drugs for tens of millions of Americans rose $2 billion last year, and all signs point to a continued rise. At stake is nothing less than the ability of Americans to afford the medicines they need. Can we stop the madness?" *RON*]
By Consumer Reports, Last updated: July 29, 2016

Last August, Martin Shkreli, then the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, did something considered so reprehensible that he was dubbed “the most hated man in America.” What caused the outrage? He increased the price of a little-known but important drug called Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Daraprim is the best treatment for toxoplasmosis, an infection to which those with HIV/AIDs or cancer are susceptible.

The story went viral, and calls came from around the country, including from U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md…

The Pentagon Money Pit

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[American junta. A report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General says the US Army had $6.5 trillion in unaccountable expenditures for which there is simply no paper trail. "Enough! I don’t want to hear another complaint about government spending on welfare, education, environment, health care subsidies, immigrant benefits or whatever, until the Pentagon has to report on, account for and audit every dollar that it is spending on war." *RON*]

by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, 11 August 2016

What if the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services were to report that $6.5 billion in spending by that federal agency was unaccounted for and untraceable? You can imagine the headlines, right? What if it was $65 billion? The headlines would be as big as for the first moon landing or for troops landing on Omaha Beach in World War II.

But how about a report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General saying that the US …

Enron and the power boys played Ralph Klein's government as suckers

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[Now, who does this remind you of? Perhaps this woman: Christy Clark holds fast to market fundamentalism as LNG dreams crumble. Played like a sucka. Oh no, wait! It's all about housing now - I forgot... *RON*]
By David Climenhaga,, 10 August 2016

The release over the weekend by Alberta's NDP government of an exchange of mails 16 years ago between Enron's head office in Houston and the now disgraced and defunct company's chief Canadian lobbyist contain bad news for both the Progressive Conservative Party and the Wildrose Opposition.

The emails reveal the PC government led by Ralph Klein in 2000, when Enron successfully manipulated the Tories into the deal the NDP is now asking the courts to overturn, was both crookedly inclined and easily suckered.

But then, as any grafter will tell you, it helps draw the suckers in if the deal on offer appeals to their worst instincts.

The emails reveal it wasn't much work at all for Enr…

VIDEO: Does Canada's Justice Minister still think Site C violates 'aboriginal treaty rights'?

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[Oh, how soon they change! See also: National Energy Board’s credibility as an independent agency at stake: Hébert. *RON*]

Press Progress, 10 August 2016

Does Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould still think the Site C dam runs "roughshod" over "Aboriginal title and rights, including treaty rights"?

That's a question worth asking after Wilson-Raybould's Liberal government quietly approved the controversial Site C hydro project earlier this month.

But before becoming Canada's Justice Minister, Wilson-Raybould definitely sounded pretty firmly on the "no" side when it came to Site C:
GC Stewart, RC Jody & Tim Raybould Paddling for the Peace-tremendously beautiful valley (T8 territory) No to Site C!!— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) July 13, 2013 The Liberal government's approval of Site C triggered a sharp reaction from the president of the Union of British Columbia Indian…