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Showing posts from May 9, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy in last-ditch attempt to sustain public services

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[Experts applaud decision that could protect vulnerable and return public debt of more than $70bn to manageable levels, but creditors cry foul. *RON*]

Kate Hodal, The Guardian, 6 May 2017

Puerto Rico has filed for a form of bankruptcy in a desperate bid to stave off creditors and maintain essential services to its 3.4 million citizens, nearly half of whom live in poverty.

Analysts lauded the decision by the insolvent US territory, which owes more than $70bn (£54bn) in public debt, as a way for the island to “bring the debt back to sustainable levels, protect vulnerable communities and promote transparency”.

But others – including Donald Trump, the US president – have deemed it little more than a bailout, with numerous Republicans in Congress demanding to know what went so wrong.

“If Puerto Rico were a country, it would be the 13th most indebted country in the world,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, an NGO that focuses on debt …

Canadians spend $33B annually to care for aging parents: study

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[And the population of seniors is projected to rise by 29% over the next decade! *RON*]
Canadian Press, Global News, 8 May 2017

TORONTO – Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year in direct out-of-pocket expenses and time off work, a new study by CIBC says.

The report also says that number will only increase over the next decade, as the share of Canadians aged 65 and older grows from its current level of 17 per cent to roughly 22 per cent.

Findings from the poll suggest close to two million Canadians, or 14 per cent of those with parents over the age of 65, incur care-related out-of pocket costs of $3,300 per year – translating into an annual cost of just over $6 billion.

READ MORE: Is Canada’s health-care system ready for our rapidly greying population?

But direct costs pale in comparison to labour-related costs, in which close to 30 per cent of workers with parents over the age of 65 sacrifice about 450 working hours annually – a…

Over half of Canadians are $200 or less away from not being able to pay bills

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[And, as the kicker, by all reports, we are actually doing better than the Americans are! *RON*]

Erica Alini, Global News, 8 May 2017

More than half of Canadians are living within $200 per month of not being able to pay all their bills or meet their debt obligations, according to a recent Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of accounting firm MNP.

“With such a small amount of wiggle room, any kind of unanticipated hardship, such as a job loss or even a car repair, could send an already struggling family into financial despair,” said Grant Bazian, president of MNP’s personal insolvency practice, which is one of the largest in Canada.

For 10 per cent of Canadians, the margin of error when it comes to household finances is even thinner, at $100 or less.

But those with anything at all left at the end of the month were in better shape than many: A whopping 31 per cent of respondents said they already don’t make enough to meet all their financial obligation…

GOP Rep: Education Should Be a ‘Privilege’, Not a Right

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[ *RON*]

Samantha Layne, Reverb Press, 2 May 2017

We Don’t Need No Education
With the installation of uber-wealthy Republican donor Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Conservatives have been growing more open in their disdain of the entire premise of public schooling.

You know, the crazy idea that every child in this country has the right to a free, appropriate public education.

From the current (and disastrous) system of vouchers being touted to the idea that the entire Department of Education should be abolished, the Republican party is getting more comfortable in publicly embracing the idea that they don’t believe schooling should be accessible to everyone – particularly the poor, the minorities, and the disabled.

Just as Attorney General Jeff Sessions what he thinks about allowing children with special needs into the classroom.

But Arizona Republican Representative Paul Mosley finally openly stated what many other Republicans have tiptoed aro…

Missouri Rep. Calls Pregnancy By Rape God’s ‘Silver Lining’

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[The American Taliban. From the same journal: GOP Senate Candidate: God Wants Christians ‘To Rule Over Us’. *RON*]

Michael Stone, Progressive Secular Humanist / Patheos, 5 May 2017

A Republican lawmaker in Missouri claims pregnancy by rape is a gift from God.

Speaking on proposed legislation that would grant fetuses constitutional rights, Rep. Tila Hubrecht called pregnancy that results from rape a gift from God, while arguing that abortion should be illegal, even in the case of rape and incest.

During debate on a ballot measure that would effectively make abortion illegal in the state of Missouri, Hubrecht said:
It is not up to us to say ‘no just because there was a rape, they cannot exist.’ Sometimes bad things happen — horrible things, but sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child. When God gives life, he does so because there’s a reason, no matter what. I’ve met and talked with the different people who have been …