Showing posts from September 20, 2016

How-To Discover Pay-to-Play Appointment Pricing

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[Welcome to the United Plutocracy of America. What will it cost you to be appointed US Chief of Mission to Monaco? $130,711. Concurrent Ambassador to both France and Monaco? $637,609.71. *RON*]
Patrick Durusau, Another Word For It, 16 September 2016

You have seen one or more variations on:
This Is How Much It ‘Costs’ To Get An Ambassadorship: Guccifer 2.0 Leaks DNC ‘Pay-To-Play’ Donor ListDNC Leak Exposes Pay to Play Politics, How the Clinton’s REALLY Feel About ObamaCORRUPTION! Obama caught up in Pay for Play Scandal, sold every job within his power to sell. You may be wondering why CNN, the New York Time and the Washington Post aren’t all over this story?

While selling public offices surprises some authors, whose names I omitted out of courtesy to their families, selling offices is a regularized activity in the United States.

The Secret Tribunals That Corporations Use to Sue Countries

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[These ad hoc courts are a main reason why so many politicians and activists are against trade agreements like the TPP. They rob us of our sovereignty and democracy. Looks like it should be a good book (it comes out next week). *RON*]

By Haley Edwards, Bill Moyers & Company, 19 September 2016

This is an excerpt from the newly published book Shadow Courts: The Tribunals that Rule Global Trade by Haley Edwards.

The environmental activist Jane Kleeb was driving down Highway 281 near Lincoln, Nebraska, on a gray day in January 2016, when she got a call from a reporter.

Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

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[Let the Trudeau government know you want nothing to do with electronic voting machines. Spare us the pain of the American experience with these easily hacked monstrosities. But you can express your opinions and preferences on a wide range of electoral reform issues by responding to the government questionnaire here. *RON*]
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, 18 September 2016

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections."

US companies are 'hoarding' a record $2.5 trillion in cash overseas

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[The trickle-nowhere economy.


Bob Bryan, Business Insider, 19 September 2016

The recent fight among Apple, Ireland, and the European Union has once again shined a spotlight on the growing trend of US companies storing cash overseas to avoid taxes.

In fact, the amount of cash held by US-based companies in foreign countries hit a record $2.5 trillion in 2015, which is roughly 14% of the US's total GDP, according to Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics, who described the increase as companies "hoarding" cash overseas.

Hunter notes that many firms are keeping the cash abroad to avoid the US's 35% corporate tax rate (though to be fair, companies are paying much less than that), which is the highest among developed market countries.

Not all US firms are taking part in the shift, however, as the foreign cash is concentrated, for the most part, in a small group of firms in a small group of sectors. Here's Hunter (e…

Canada will lose 23,000 jobs under CETA: study

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[So, Trudeau is avidly pursuing this because why again? *RON*]
Media Release, Council of Canadians, 19 September 2016

Ottawa – Canada would lose 23,000 jobs between now and 2023 under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), according to a new study from the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute. The Council of Canadians is now questioning why the government continues to push the Harper-era deal. Today, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Wolfsburg, Germany to promote the deal at the German social democratic convention (SPD) where a divisive vote will determine their position on CETA.

“There are a lot of myths about free trade and CETA. Here’s an independent study that suggests that there aren’t economic gains – only job losses, inequality, and the erosion of the public sector,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “But that’s only the economic part. We…

Doctors urge feds to assess health impact of Pacific Northwest LNG project

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[Good for them! A know a few of these people - Paola Ardiles is so ardent that she's down here twice! Say, where's my GP? *RON*]

By National Observer in Opinion, Energy | September 18th 2016 The Canadian Association of Physicians is calling on the Trudeau government to hold off on the Pacific Northwest LNG project until possible human health impacts are addressed.

The controversial project has attracted widespread criticism, in part due to its proposed location at Lelu Island in northern B.C., which is at the mouth of B.C.'s second-largest salmon bearing river. Although some First Nations approve of the project, led by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, others have signed a declaration against it, warning that it could wipe out salmon in part of the province, and harm harbour porpoises while damaging the ecosystem on the Flora Bank.

If constructed in its present state, it could also account for up to 87 per cent of all emissions allowed u…