Showing posts from May 4, 2018

Today's Trumpery

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

Trump's new 'Stormy' story stuns many in West Wing, CTV News  [White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she first learned that Trump had repaid the hush money from Giuliani's interview on "Hannity." No debt to Cohen was listed on Trump's personal financial disclosure form, which was certified on June 16, 2017. Asked if Trump had filed a fraudulent form, Sanders said: "I don't know."]

Trump voters hurt most by Trump policies, new study finds, Think Progress

Hey Trump! The 1930s Called, They Want Their Trade Policy Back. Reason [More than 1,000 economists (including Nobel Prize winners) have penned an open letter to the White House, warning not to repeat mistakes of the past.]

New executive order aims to protect religious liberty from government overreach, Religion News Service [American Taliban]

World Press Freedom Day: United States falls two …

I Know Which Country the U.S. Will Invade Next

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[Interesting piece that draws a direct line between banking interests, dropping the US dollar, and US invasion. *RON*]

Lee Camp, Truth Dig, 2 May 2018

By the end of this column, it will be clear which country the United States will invade and topple next. Or failing that, it will be clear which country our military-intelligence-industrial complex will be aching to invade next.

We all want to know why America does what it does. And I don’t mean why Americans do what we do. I think that question still will be pondered eons from now by a future professor showing his students a video mind-meld of present-day UFC fighters booting each other in the head while thrilled onlookers cheer (not for either of the fighters but rather for more booting in the head).

But we all seem to assume that America—the entity, the corporation—has some sort of larger reasoning behind the actions it takes, the actions put forward by the ruling elite. And almost all of us know t…

Tesla shares, bonds drop as CEO Musk bites hand of Wall Street

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[He called questions about his finances "boring" and "boneheaded." The head of one private equity firm called it "the single greatest CEO meltdown in American car history," though another said, "We like Elon Musk and because he gets frustrated it only makes him human." *RON*]

Supantha Mukherjee, Reuters, 3 May 2018

Tesla chief Elon Musk's refusal to answer "boring" Wall Street questions about finances sent the electric vehicle maker's shares down as much as 7 percent on Thursday, jarring investors and raising concerns about its ability to raise money in the future.

Tesla's bonds followed the shares lower and, with at least three brokerages cutting price targets for the stock, several wondered what it would now cost the company to raise more funds this year if need be.

In a conference call on Wednesday, Musk refused to answer questions from analysts on Tesla's capital requirements, say…

Protests in Spain as five men cleared of teenager's gang rape

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[Five men accused of the gang rape two years ago of a teenager during a festival in Pamplona were found guilty of sexual abuse, but not rape. Under Spanish law, sexual abuse differs from rape in that it does not involve violence. So, because they didn't hit or kill her, she wasn't raped. What about the fact that she was drunk and didn't consent? And what about the videos of the attack in which she was immobile, with her eyes shut? Instead, the judges accepted into evidence a report by a private detective hired by the defendants – one of them a member of the national police force. The detective followed the victim and took pictures of her smiling with her friends, to prove she wasn't traumatized. *RON*]

Sam Jones, The Guardian, 26 Apr 2018

Protests are being held across Spain after five men accused of the gang rape of a teenager during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona were found guilty of the lesser offence of sexual ab…

Offshore secrecy: inside the movement to crack it open

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[The UK’s decision to force overseas territories to abolish corporate secrecy is a big step in the effort to end money laundering. "The more data we can link, the fewer places there are left for money launderers to hide." As Oliver Bullough says, kleptocracy is enabled by anonymous companies, which strip the fingerprints off stolen money and, having done so, hide it under the cover of supposedly respectable corporations. *RON*]
Oliver Bullough, The Guardian, 2 May 2018

When British MPs moved this week to force Britain’s Overseas Territories to abolish corporate secrecy by the end of the decade, it was a big moment for anti-corruption campaigners everywhere.

But for one group working towards building a vast, open, global register of who owns what, it was just the beginning.

Open Ownership was created in late 2016 by seven anti-corruption organisations. Although it is small and not-for-profit, it has large ambitions: it wants to open up the …

Justin Trudeau is waging a phony war against inequality

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["The disjuncture between Trudeau’s rhetorical flourishes and his actions speaks volumes" See also: Justin Trudeau deploys the politics of hype. Jeremy Corbyn offers politics of hope. *RON*]

Luke Savage, The Guardian, 4 May 2018

Last month, in a speech to France’s National Assembly, Justin Trudeau raised one of his favourite themes: inequality. This, he declared, was “eroding not only the standard of living of the middle class, but also the confidence of the population in world trade, international cooperation and liberal democracy”.

It wasn’t the first time Canada’s 23rd prime minister had raised these issues with an international audience. Last year Trudeau made similar remarks to a dinner for civic and business leaders in Hamburg. “When companies post record profits on the backs of workers consistently refused full-time work – and the job security that comes with it – people get defeated,” he said. “And when governments serve special i…