Showing posts from May 31, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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

Trump said just 6 false things in the last 10 days, his least dishonest stretch as president, The Star [from a running tally of 250 lies so far]
Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies, Washington Post
Trump has reportedly decided to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, Business Insider
While Congress Obsesses Over Russia, Americans Being 'Left Behind', Common Dreams
Six Things Trump's FCC Chairman Doesn't Want You to Know About Net Neutrality, Truthout
Awakening from the Trump Nightmare, Moyers & Company [In post-modern democracies, there is one and only one boss: public opinion. And the signs of public disgust are mounting.]

Canada's Income Inequality ‘Surged Under Harper': Analysis

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[Unsurprising, perhaps, but useful documentation to counter the 'alternative facts' crowd. It will be interesting to track this during the Trudeau administration. *RON*]
Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 29 May 2017
Poverty and income inequality increased in Canada during the Harper era — but whether or not the policies of the previous Conservative government are to blame remains an open question.

Between 2006 and 2015, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in power, after-tax earnings among Canadians grew from a median of $62,700 to $69,100 — an increase of 10.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada data released on Friday.

“But the gains were very unfairly distributed,” wrote economist Andrew Jackson in a blog post asserting that inequality "surged under Harper."

Crunching StatsCan's numbers, Jackson — a former economist at the Canadian Labour Congress and now a senior policy advisor at the Broadbent Institute — determined…

Planned border cellphone, social media password searches for visitors to U.S. causing concern

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[More headaches and delays in the offing. *RON*]
Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press / Global News 30 May 2017

Canadian privacy could be imperiled by apparent U.S. plans to demand cellphone and social media passwords from foreign visitors, a federal watchdog says.

In a letter to the House of Commons public safety committee, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien warns the recent pronouncements from the Trump administration could mean intrusive searches – even at preclearance facilities in Canada.

READ MORE: What you need to know about digital searches at the border

In February, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested at a hearing that American officials could ask people entering the U.S. about the Internet sites they visit as well as passwords to help assess their online activities.

Kelly’s proposal prompted an American coalition of human rights and civil liberties organizations and experts in security, technology and the law to express “deep…

Kinder Morgan Canada shares fall in debut amid political uncertainty in B.C.

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[B.C. NDP and Greens, poised to take power, oppose the pipeline expansion. Kinder-Morgan shares opened below their IPO. See also: Pipeline 'facts and evidence do not change,' PM says as B.C. poised for new government. *RON*]

The Canadian Press Posted: May 30, 2017 10:03 AM ET Last Updated: May 30, 2017 5:51 PM ET Shares in Kinder Morgan Canada fell in their debut Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange as political uncertainty swirled around the company's flagship Trans Mountain expansion project.

The newly listed shares dipped to as low as $15.75 before recovering to close at $16.24, but still below the $17 they were priced at in their initial public offering.

At $1.75 billion, the IPO was on track to be the fourth largest in the Toronto Stock Exchange's history. Kinder Morgan said it fulfilled the final requirement for it to proceed with the Trans Mountain expansion.

The Houston-based company had originally set a higher target price …

Tobacco kills 7 million a year, wreaks environmental havoc: WHO

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[As Canadians know, the WHO statement that jacking up prices and taxes is an effective control measure is only true within sharp limits. *RON*]
AFP, CTV News, 30 May 2017
Smoking and other tobacco use kills more than seven million people each year, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, also warning of the dire environmental impact of tobacco production, distribution and waste.

The UN agency said tougher measures were needed to rein in tobacco use, urging countries to ban smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces, outlaw marketing of tobacco products and hike cigarette prices.

"Tobacco threatens us all," WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a statement.

"Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air," she said.

In a report released ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, WHO warned that the annual death toll of seven million people had j…

Rep. Adrian Smith On Farm Subsidies And Food Stamps

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[US Taliban. Christian Congressman is not sure all Americans are entitled to eat. And while we're at it: Baptist Pastor Defends Slavery As Beneficial And Biblical. *RON*]

Scott Simon, National Public Radio, 27 May 2017

Scott Simon speaks to Rep. Adrian Smith, a Republican representing a vast rural district in Nebraska, about his views on the Trump administration's proposed cuts to food stamps and farm subsidies.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The proposed budget the Trump administration released this week proposes major cuts to many social services, including food stamps and disability programs. We asked listeners to tell us what programs they rely on.

ANGIE SCHULDIES: My oldest daughter was born with hearing loss. And because she's on Medicaid, we've had all the services that she's ever needed. And if Medicaid is cut back too far, then I don't know how we'll afford another surgery.

GWEN VALCOURT: We foster kiddos. And if WIC wa…