Showing posts from November 13, 2018

Today's Trumpery

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

Trump ramps up Macron spat by mocking France in world wars, The Guardian

As Trump mulls Nielsen’s dismissal, immigrant detention hits record high, Think Progress [May just be a backdoor method of getting rid of Kelly]

Whitaker will consult with ethics officials over recusal, CTV News [Basically says "I will go though whatever motions I am forced to by law"]

Another Delay in Children’s Climate Lawsuit, Days After U.S. Supreme Court Allowed It to Proceed, Inside Climate News [This took less than a week]

Texas man explodes with rage at Confederate monument protestors: Jesus 'f*cking hates you!' AlterNet

7-Eleven accused of weaponizing ICE raids to shed troublesome franchisees, Boingboing

Record Share Buybacks Should Be Raising Alarms

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[Billions are being spent on stock instead of long-term investments. This does NOTHING to improve the productive capacity of companies. All it does is mechanically boost the worth of the shares, leading to more money in the pockets of CEOs. When even the Financial Times says this, you know it has to be problematic. *RON*]

The Editorial Board, Financial Times, 7 November 2018

When even the Sage of Omaha is doing it, the trend for companies to buy back their own shares seems unstoppable. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported at the weekend that it repurchased $928m of its own stock in the third quarter. That is a drop in the bucket compared to total buybacks by S&P 500 companies, set to reach a new record of almost $900bn this year.

This is a record not to be celebrated. Berkshire Hathaway’s own repurchases may be among the rare cases where such activity is defensible. Mr Buffett has argued that buybacks — which reduce the shares in …

Comcast should be investigated for antitrust violations, say small cable companies

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[Trump routinely attacks corporations, then does nothing about it. We live in an age of monopolies and oligopolies, which are the polar opposite of the 'free markets' that corporate shills and their political mouthpieces shout about. *RON*]

Adi Robertson, The Verge, 12 November 2018

An industry group wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The American Cable Association (ACA), which represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, has asked US Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to “immediately” open an investigation into Comcast’s practices. Comcast denied that the claims have merit, and the Justice Department hasn’t publicly responded. But the ACA has found a potential supporter in President Donald Trump — who tweeted about its claims this afternoon.

The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the US c…

HOW TO VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS, according to liberals PARODY

[Hang in there with this one - it's only 5 minutes, and it's worth watching. *RON*]

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal

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[On local governments and corporate welfare queens. Every year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution. "In a starkly divided country, corporate pandering is the last bastion of bipartisanship, an activity enjoyed by both Democrats and Republicans at every level of government. Corporate America is getting all the help it doesn’t need. You and I may not like it. But executives such as Jeff Bezos have no reason to care. They are winning by the rules of a broken game." *RON*]
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, 12 November 2018

The Amazon HQ2 saga had all the hallmarks of the gaudiest reality TV. It was an absurd spectacle, concluding with a plot twist, which revealed a deep and dark truth about the modern world.

Fourteen months ago, Amazon announced a national beauty contest, in which North American cities could apply to win the hono…

B.C. premier lauds health-care workers as discriminatory labour laws repealed

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[This is a good move. But it doesn't get the jobs back for the thousands of, largely, women of colour whose jobs were privatized out of existence by this BC Liberal legislation. And I don't hear him saying he's ending the existing contracts when they lapse and giving the jobs back to unions. Or, at least, putting them back up for bid and allowing unions to compete. *RON*]

Kim Elliott & Tania Ehret,, 12 November 2018

It isn’t every day that a labour convention witnesses history being made – but it happened at the Hospital Employees Union’s convention in downtown Vancouver last week as two regressive Gordon Campbell-era laws that stripped health-care workers of job-security provisions and protection under provincial labour laws were repealed.

In an emotional statement last Friday British Columbia Premier John Horgan explained how, effective early next year, Bill 47, the Health Sector Statutes Repeal Act, will repeal Bills 29…