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Showing posts from May 13, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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


Donald Trump After Hours, Time [You get one scoop of ice cream, The Donald gets two]
‘Looking Like a Liar or a Fool’: What It Means to Work for Trump, New York Times
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issues sweeping new policy targeting lesser drug charges, National Post [because jail is where poor people belong. See also: Even Conservatives Know Jeff Sessions Won't Win the War on Drugs, Vice]
Reversing Obama, Trump EPA reaches deal with Pebble mine developer, Alaska Daily News [see also: Scientists Quit EPA Advisory Board In Protest]
Blankenship wants Trump MSHA to re-examine UBB report, Charleston Gazette Mail [29 dead miners; Blankenship wants a re-review once Trump has got "the union mindset out of there"]
Trump considers appointing former campaign official to oversee FBI investigation of his campaign, Think Progress [What could possibly go wrong?]

The Huge Potential Of Investing In Products For America’s Neediest

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[Poverty and corporatocracy: milking the impoverished for profit. "Propel–an app that helps manage food stamps–just got investment from big venture capitalists. Are investors starting to realize there’s business in offering products for low-income Americans?" *RON*]
Ben Schiller, Fast Company, 10 May 2017

When a hard-nosed venture capital firm like Andreessen Horowitz puts money into your startup, you know you have money-making potential. Brooklyn fintech startup Propel has long had users for its app aimed at food stamp recipients. But, after its latest $4 million funding round, it’s sure the product is a bona fide commercial proposition as well as one helpful for low-income Americans.

“It’s a strong piece of commercial validation for a company like ours that operates in a somewhat non-traditional space,” says CEO Jimmy Chen in an interview. “If you talk to Andreessen Horowitz, they would tell you they don’t see this as a . . . special…

People Don’t Trust Scientific Research When Companies Are Involved

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[Corporatocratic pseudoscience. Corporate 'research' is spin-doctoring, marketing and public relations. That which doesn't create profit doesn't get funded. *RON*]
John C. BesleyAaron M. McCrightKevin Elliott, and Nagwan Zahry of Michigan State University and Joseph D. Martin of University of Leeds, DeSmog Blog, 12 May 2017
A soda company sponsoring nutrition research. An oil conglomerate helping fund a climate-related research meeting. Does the public care who’s paying for science?

In a word, yes. When industry funds science, credibility suffers. And this does not bode well for the types of public-private research partnerships that appear to be becoming more prevalent as government funding for research and development lags.

The recurring topic of conflict of interest has made headlines in recent weeks. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has revised its conflict of interest guidelines following questi…

Ohio pipeline spill raises broader questions about oversight

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[Oh how I'd enjoy dumping a ton of sludge on the front lawn of the mewling corporate spin-doctor they quote here! *RON*]

Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwestern Energy News, 12 May 2017

Releases of more than two million gallons of drilling mud triggered federal and state agency actions against the developer of Ohio’s Rover Pipeline this month, and advocates suggest those incidents may be part of a bigger problem in the rush to develop Ohio’s shale oil and gas.

“I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ted Auch at FracTracker Alliance, with many other problems, he and others suspect, going undetected. “How many little spills are there?”

In April, construction activities for the Rover Pipeline led to “inadvertent” releases of a total of more than two million gallons of drilling fluid at and near Ohio rivers and wetlands. Now a May 5 enforcement letter from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency seeks $431,000 and other actions from Texas-b…

How local governments keep poor people in jail just because they’re poor

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[Class wars: the corporatized police state and the politically abetted peonage of the poor: "a week ago a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional to detain people for low-level offenses just because they can’t afford to post bail." *RON*]

Rare POV, 8 May 2017

Imagine you’re homeless, you get arrested for sleeping under a bridge, and a judge sets your bail at $5000. You probably don’t have many dollars to your name, much less thousands, if you don’t have a home. Nor can you afford legal representation.

So you just sit in jail.

This is what happened to Edward Hysquierdo last year.

“You got to sleep under a bridge. Poor gentleman can’t afford a lawyer, that’s for sure,” said the judge during Hysquierdo’s hearing after asking if he needed a court-appointed attorney.

RELATED: This Louisiana judge explained why the drug war isn’t fiscally conservative

Loetha McGruder was pregnant, had a 4-year-old with Down syndrome and a 10-month old infa…

For-Profit Colleges Are Reinventing Themselves to Profit Off Low-Income Students

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[Class wars and politically abetted predatory capitalism. See also: Betsy DeVos Ethics Report Reveals Ties to Student Debt Collection FirmStudent Loans Just Got More Expensive; and College Bubble Threatens the American Dream. *RON*]
Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout, 12 May 2017

Since the mid-1990s, enrollment at for-profit trade schools and colleges has grown by 225 percent. In 2010, 12 percent of those in post-secondary programs attended a proprietary program, getting a Bachelor's or Master's degree or taking courses in fields like cosmetology, medical testing or computer or automotive repair. Today, roughly 1.4 million men and women are enrolled, and it's easy to see why. Ads on Facebook and testimonials on YouTube tout flexible schedules, year-round enrollment, online options and generous financial assistance -- provisions that working adults, returning veterans and single parents need if they are going to complete a certificate or de…