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Showing posts from December 25, 2016

Today's Trumpery

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New study finds North Carolina is no longer a democracy

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[The 2016 election was so fraught, the state ranks alongside countries like Cuba, Indonesia, and Iran. See also: North Carolina legislature attempting virtual coup of new Democratic governor. *RON*]

Adam Peck, ThinkProgress, 23 December 2016

Here’s a quick recap of some news from North Carolina: Republican legislators reneged on a deal to repeal HB2, a deeply unpopular and discriminatory bill targeting the state’s LGBTQ residents. Outgoing Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded the election after he unsuccessfully tried to disenfranchise minority voters. Republicans, dismayed by the results of the election, staged a virtual coup, stripping incoming Democratic governor Roy Cooper of some of his authority.

DOJ Bestows 'Early Christmas Present' to Financial Giant Deutsche Bank

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['Some folks are going to prison, right? Oh wait, that's just in the movies.'  The way your world is structured pre-determines its winners and losers. This has little to do with free markets or democracy. *RON*]

Deirdre FultonCommon Dreams, 23 December 2016

German lender Deutsche Bank "got off easy" on Friday, having reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over sales of mortgage-backed securities that fueled the financial crisis.

Of the $7.2 billion, just $3.1 billion is a cash penalty—the remaining $4.1 billion, economist Yves Smith explained at Naked Capitalism, is "promised 'consumer relief' as in 'stuff maybe we'll do in the future.'" Regardless, the amount is far less than the $14 billion originally requested by DOJ investigators.

This Week in History, 1921: Mass arrests at Kwakwaka'wakw potlatch took place Christmas Day

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[Back in the good old days of ethnic cleansing when practicing your traditions landed you in jail for six months. *RON*]
Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun, 23 December 2016
In the 1920s, chiefs in B.C. such as Dan Cranmer virtually ignored the federal law banning potlatches. Since 1884, anyone caught taking part in a potlatch could be charged under the Criminal Code and sentenced to up to six months in jail. Based on previous judicial decisions, Cranmer and others felt that the wording was so vague that it wouldn’t hold up in court.

Unpacking Kinder Morgan's employment promises

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[Four dozen jobs and a small increase in GDP offset by known environmental damages and spill risks with potentially catastrophic costs. *RON*]
Marc Lee, rabble.ca, 24 December 2016


After the federal approval of Kinder Morgan's controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX), Alberta Premier Rachel Notley came to B.C. to sell the pipeline's economic benefits. She claims B.C. will get a $1 billion per year boost in GDP as a result of the pipeline, as well as thousands of jobs in both construction and operations once the pipeline is built.


Merry Catsmas and Happy Hanukat! :-)

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[Season's greetings, one and all! *RON*]