Showing posts from April 3, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump: If China doesn't deal with North Korea, we will, Al Jazeera [Bloody dangerous idiot.]

Did the U.S. just pull out of a global anti-corruption group?, New Yorker [Contrast with Documents reveal how much Ivanka and Kushner are worth, New York Post]

Sisi-Trump Meeting Shows Mutual Contempt for Rights, Human Rights Watch [Strong words for this group]

Donald Trump interview: ‘I don’t regret anything’, Irish Times

My conversations with Russians about Donald Trump, Vox [Interesting read.]

Birth of the Biggest Lie, New York Times

Oroville Dam documents kept secret by state, federal officials

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[How do they get away with hiding information like this? *RON*]

Ryan Sabalow & Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee, 31 March 2017

It all started here: Dramatic video captured break at Oroville Dam spillway as concrete chunks sent flying 0:44. In February 2017, Oroville Dam's main and emergency spillways were significantly damaged, eventually prompting the evacuation of more than 180,000 people living downstream along the Feather River. The beginning of the crisis was caught early on in this citizen's video. Along with the water, chunks of concrete can be seen flying around the 18-second mark. Beth Bello elfenvine YouTube channel
Citing potential security risks, state and federal officials are blocking the public’s ability to review documents that could shed light on repair plans and safety issues at crippled Oroville Dam.

One of the secret reports is a memo from an independent panel of experts brought in to guide state officials’ repair plans.…

Caterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800

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[Not a good sign as Caterpillar is widely taken to be a bellwether for the industrial economy in general. *RON*]

Gayathree Ganesan & Akankshita Mukhopadhyay, Reuters, 2 April 2017
Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) said on Friday it will shut its Aurora, Illinois, plant, costing about 800 employees their jobs as the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker shifts production to other U.S. facilities.

Caterpillar was among companies that met with President Donald Trump in February to talk about job creation, at a time when about 2,300 U.S. workers at five major manufacturing companies stand to lose their jobs within the next two years as a result of offshoring.

The company said it will transition its large wheel loaders and compactors to its plant in Decatur, Illinois, and medium wheel loaders to North Little Rock, Arkansas.

"Out of about 800 production positions, about 500 positions would likely be added to Decatur and about 150 posi…

B.C. government ad spending to come under scrutiny

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[Watch this short video first for a priceless contrast. Christy Clark in April 1999:

See also: Prosecuting the B.C. Liberals. BC ELECTION 2017!!! *RON*]
Mike Hager, Globe and Mail, 26 March 2017

British Columbia’s Auditor-General plans to meet with the minister in charge of government advertising soon to figure out why the budget for such taxpayer-funded publicity often swings wildly from year to year and appears to spike in years before voters head to the polls.
Carol Bellringer says she’s looking forward to meeting with Andrew Wilkinson, the minister in charge of government advertising, some time in the next two weeks to discuss why spending on government ads has appeared to climb significantly ahead of each of the past three provincial elections, before free-falling the year or two following the vote.

“The advertising on public services should remain stable, regardless of whether it’s an election year or not,” Ms. Bellringer told The Globe an…

Are the Irvings Canada's biggest corporate welfare bums?

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[Excellent reportage. There is, also, an interesting and informative reader comment at the end of the original article. *RON*]

Bruce Livesey, National Observer, 30 March 2017
“Do you see, it’s over there,” said Gerry Lowe, pointing out across the cove as we stood on the shores of the Bay of Fundy on the outskirts of Saint John, New Brunswick, gazing into the distance towards the Canaport LNG terminal – its three enormous grey concrete storage tanks and jetty just visible in the midday gloom. It was a bitterly-cold overcast day in January of last year and Lowe, a garrulous 73-year-old Saint John city councilor, was giving me a guided tour of New Brunswick’s largest city in his black Ford sedan. I’d come to this hardscrabble burgh to research the Irvings – Canada’s seventh-richest family.

It was no accident Lowe had driven me out to have a look at the LNG terminal – which unloads natural gas from tankers that steam into Saint John’s port. The termi…

Chechnya police arrest 100 men suspected of being gay, 3 killed: report

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[I wonder about any story that begins "A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information..." but am including this since it is noteworthy and has been widely reproduced. *RON*]
Associated Press, Global News, 2 April 2017

A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.

The Saturday report in Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government, but gave no details.

The report was denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman, who suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region. Ali Karimov said, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti, “it’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.”

The Kremlin-backed Kadyrov is widely accused of extensive human rights vi…