Showing posts from September 18, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

The First White President, The Atlantic [Excellent piece by Ta-Nahisi Coates]

Trump Says Jump. His Supporters Ask, How High?, New York Times [On White Evangelicals]

The Trump trade is coming back from the dead as investors anticipate a tax cut plan, Business Insider

Here’s What Trump’s EPA Boss Was Up to While Disasters Struck, Mother Jones [Business as usual: blasting the Obama administration, denying science, and rolling back regulations.]

Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West, Times-Colonist [Plus other changes to several others]

Sen. Patty Murray bypasses Ivanka Trump with child care proposal for working families, KIRO 7 News [Ivanka's flat-rate tax cut is far more regressive than the percent of income proposed by the democrats - it sounds likely that neither will succeed]

90 Companies Helped Cause the Climate Crisis—They Should Pay for It

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[Privatized gains and socialized losses: thanks for nothing Saudi Aramco, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Gazprom. The companies responsible for the climate crisis should cover the costs of fighting wildfires and recovering from hurricanes. Here's where these data come from: The rise in global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, and sea level from emissions traced to major carbon producers. *RON*]
Sarah van Gelder, Yes! Magazine, 13 September 2017

Pacific Northwest forests are on fire. Several blazes are out of control, threatening rural towns, jumping rivers and highways, and covering Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and other cities in smoke and falling ash. Temperatures this summer are an average of 3.6 degrees higher than the last half of the 20th century, according to the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group analysis published in The Seattle Times.

Fire crews have been battling fires for months. In spite of all the effort, though, officials …

UN report attacks austerity budgets for growing inequality

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[Class wars. Study says spending cuts have encouraged rise of robots and AI and heightened job insecurity, particularly for women. *RON*]

Phillip Inman, The Guardian, 15 September 2017

Austerity budgets adopted by governments across the world since the 2008 financial crash are to blame for undermining the job security of millions of workers and threatening the progress made by women in the workplace, according to a UN report.

The threat to jobs from the growing use of robots and artificial intelligence has been exacerbated by a lack of government investment and lack of state support for skills training, the report also said.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said in its annual report, Beyond Austerity – Towards a Global New Deal, that the contraction of government spending meant that “the increasingly limited availability of good jobs” were going to men rather than women.

“Excluding women from good jobs deepens overall i…

Should Corporate Social Responsibility be Voluntary or Binding? Germany’s Next Government Will Decide

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[Who should be served foremost by democracy, people or corporations? Whatever their many political problems, Germany still remains a bastion of progressive politics compared with the rest of the developed world. *RON*]

Juliane Kippenberg, Human Rights Watch, 18 September 2017

Mobile phones, clothes, or food: these products and others we use every day can be produced through processes that don’t respect rights. Human Rights Watch has documented the catastrophic things that can happen in leather tanneries in Bangladesh, clothes factories in Cambodia, and gold mines in the Philippines.

At the end of 2016, the German government adopted a National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights, urging German businesses to commit to human rights due diligence – safeguards to make sure they are respecting rights – across their entire supply chains. The Action Plan is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, considered the standard fo…

World Hunger on the Rise Again

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["increasing conflicts have been a key driver" Yet, while hunger now affects 11 percent of the world population, see also: Food waste is main cause of global hunger, says UN agency official - "Food loss and wastage affects 40 percent or more of the total amount of food produced" Also, check out: Vancouver's Sole Food Street Farms Takes On Poverty With Urban Agriculture. *RON*]
Baher Kamal, Inter Press Service, 15 September 2017 Exacerbated by climate-related shocks, increasing conflicts have been a key driver of severe food crisis and recently re-emerged famines, a major United Nations joint report has just revealed.

Hunger and under nutrition are significantly worse where conflicts are prolonged and institutional capacities weak, on 15 September warned the first-ever UN report measuring progress on meeting new international goals pegged to eradicating hunger and malnutrition by 2030. “After steadily declining for over a …

How Corporate Capitalism Looted Democracy

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[It's all about the corporatocracy - it has nothing to do with party politics. "From Clinton to Obama, Democratic administrations took their cues from Wall Street financiers and the multinational corporations that were gutting US jobs and wages." Democrats not only colluded with Republicans in the robbery — some may now be willing to allow corporations to evade hundreds of billions they owe in back taxes.

William Greider, Bill Moyers and Company, 18 September 2017

This post originally appeared at The Nation.

The party of Trump is being torn to pieces by its own crackpot, bigoted leader, and Democrats are eagerly feeding on the carcass. But we can already see that the Democratic Party is astride its own contradictions.

One problem for Democrats is they can’t tell the truth about their own past. Despite bleeding-heart rhetoric, the party has been directly complicit with corporate capitalism in generating the retrograde policie…