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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

Journal Archives

Hillary: 12 Wall Street speeches, $2.9 million




Published on Apr 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton has received a significant amount of criticism for not releasing the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches. They’re not the only financial institution she’s given speeches to. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down



Is the Democratic Party in Danger of Losing the Next Generation of Voters?


Is the Democratic Party in Danger of Losing the Next Generation of Voters?

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 00:00
By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed



[font size="1"]Supporters cheer for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders during a campaign event at W.L. Zorn Arena in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, April 2, 2016. (Photo: Eric Thayer / The New York Times)[/font]

The Democratic Party is facing a serious existential question. And if the party doesn't make the right moves in 2016 -- if it doesn't hang onto the Independent voters and first-time voters who are turning out in droves to vote for Bernie Sanders and other progressive challengers to the Democratic National Committee establishment -- the Democratic Party seriously risks alienating an entire generation of voters.

A full 42 percent of Americans identify as Independents, according to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, as opposed to only 29 percent of Americans who identify as Democrats and 26 percent of Americans who identify as Republicans, marking the fifth year in a row that more than four in 10 adults identified as political Independents.

Those Independents are playing a huge role in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. They're turning out in record numbers to cast votes in open primary states, and many of them are re-registering to vote as Democrats in states with closed primaries.

So why are certain members of the Democratic establishment implying that Bernie Sanders doesn't deserve to be the Democratic nominee, just because he's been a long-registered Independent?

.....(snip).....

But the reality is that the people who are turning out to vote for Sanders -- the people who seem to endlessly share Sanders memes online, the people who are turning out by the tens of thousands just to hear him speak -- are mostly average, hard-working American men and women of all races and ethnic and economic backgrounds who are sick and tired of a rigged political system and a rigged economy. .................(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35516-is-the-democratic-party-in-danger-of-losing-the-next-generation-of-voters




The Police Force: America’s New Gangsters




Published on Apr 1, 2016

America’s Lawyer, Mike Papantonio, and RT’s Ed Schultz discuss the DOJ’s reinstitution of the civil asset forfeiture program, which allows police officer to seize cash and property related to a crime. Police can then keep those assets even if never convicted of a crime.


Nashville Voted To Give Poor People, Locals New Construction Jobs. But the State GOP Blocked It.


(In These Times) Last summer, with the backing of regional labor leaders and community groups, the city of Nashville approved an ordinance requiring large, municipally funded construction projects to devote 10 percent of their hiring to low-income residents. The ballot initiative, which also stipulated that 40 percent of such hires should reside in Nashville’s Davidson County, came amid an historic surge in building projects in the city’s downtown area.

Last year, the New York Times reported that more than $2 billion worth of construction projects that developers have initiated in the city are poised to reshape Nashville’s skyline. The local hire ordinance, known as Amendment 3, sought to make sure that the city’s poorest residents saw some benefit portions of the city’s building boom by leveraging the Nashville’s government’s contracts with private businesses in an attempt to reduce local poverty, which stands at nearly 20 percent for adults and at roughly 30 percent for children in the Nashville area.

Yet within weeks of the ordinance passing into law, Republicans in the state legislature introduced a bill to roll back Nashville’s new law and prevent other cities in the state from implementing anything like it.

In September, a Republican representative also requested that the state’s Republican attorney general issue an opinion on whether the city law was legal in the first place. After the attorney general’s office asserted that the local-hire rule indeed violated a state law that governs licensing, the bill to invalidate Nashville’s new law moved steadily through the legislature. .............(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19009/republican_prohibition_on_nashville_municipal_local_hires




This Shows Why Consumers Are Bogged Down


This Shows Why Consumers Are Bogged Down
by Wolf Richter • April 4, 2016


[font color="blue"]The stagnation zone[/font]

Our ever exuberant US consumers spent on average $89 a day in March on “discretionary” items, according to Gallup’s Daily Tracking survey. That was up five bucks from February, which is within the typical range of seasonal increases. It matched the previous high for a month of March since the Financial Crisis: March 2013. In March 2014 and 2015, consumers spent less: $87 and $86 respectively. Flat for the past four years!

But March is a peculiar month, with strong predictive qualities for the entire year. Gallup:

For each of the past six years, the spending average for March has been a rough bellwether for that year’s spending, coming within $3 of the annual average. The months of April, June and October have come within this same range of the yearly averages since 2010. This did not hold true in March 2008 and March 2009, however — years in which the recession and the financial crisis dealt their immediate blows.


And just how flat have the past years been?

This chart shows the monthly averages going back to 2008, when the survey began. The plunge and spike in 2008 was followed by the collapse as the Financial Crisis hit home. Then spending gradually recovered until 2013, when, at lower levels than 2008, it became range-bound — a spending pattern that Gallup calls euphemistically, “fairly consistent since then.” The stagnation zone:



.....(snip).....

Many people have felt this way. They’re not making more, and they can’t spend any more on discretionary items because that’s all they’ve got. So rent goes up and health care goes up, and they shell out more money for tuition or the payment on their new car, but they have to make cuts elsewhere. Gas gets cheaper, so they can spend a little more on groceries or they might save up some to be able to pay the deductible and copay and go to the doctor. It just gets shifted around. Nip and tuck. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/04/this-shows-why-consumers-feel-and-are-bogged-down/




Panama's Bank-Secrecy Bedfellow: The U.S.


(Bloomberg) Panama and the U.S. have at least one thing in common: Neither has agreed to new international standards to make it harder for tax evaders and money launderers to hide their money.

Over the past several years, amid increased scrutiny by journalists, regulators and law enforcers, the global tax-haven landscape has shifted. In an effort to catch tax dodgers, almost 100 countries and other jurisdictions have agreed since 2014 to impose new disclosure requirements for bank accounts, trusts and some other investments held by international customers -- standards issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a government-funded international policy group.

Places like Switzerland and Bermuda are agreeing, at least in principle, to share bank account information with tax authorities in other countries. Only a handful of nations have declined to sign on. The most prominent is the U.S. Another, Panama, is at the center of a storm over tax evasion and global cash flight that broke out over the weekend.

A law firm there helped set up tens of thousands of shell companies, according to a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. ICIJ and other news organizations published reports they said showed global efforts to hide wealth, undertaken by global politicians and the ultra-rich, with the aid of banks and lawyers. The central tool: shell companies that people used to shield the identity of the owners’ assets. While such structures can be legal, they can also support efforts to avoid taxes. ................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-05/panama-has-company-as-bank-secrecy-holdout-as-u-s-offers-haven




Mississauga (Ontario) Moves to Make Transit Competitive With the Car




(Toronto Star) Mississauga is moving its meandering MiWay buses out of the suburbs and onto a grid that will feed the city’s new transitway and, eventually, the Hurontario LRT.

It means some riders will have to walk farther to the nearest bus stop. But the payoff will be quicker, more reliable trips and longer service hours.

“Straightening” of the routes is part of a five-year plan, developed after research showed residents want shorter bus trips, more frequent service and more buses on the weekends and evenings.

The first phase of the transition begins with about half a dozen route changes on April 11. Ultimately, about 45 of MiWay’s 85 routes will be affected, said transit director Geoff Marinoff.

.....(snip).....

Like many of the communities surrounding Toronto, Mississauga was built for the car. But evolving commuting patterns, millennial lifestyles, technology and environmental concerns are forcing a rethink. .................(more)

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2016/04/03/mississauga-moves-to-make-transit-competitive-with-the-car.html




Gas Pipeline Uses 160 Eminent Domain Suits To Get People’s Property In 3 States


Gas Pipeline Uses 160 Eminent Domain Suits To Get People’s Property In 3 States
by Irina Slav • April 2, 2016


[font color="blue"]There are those who believe that any opposition will be crushed.[/font]
By Irina Slav, Oilprice.com:

Eminent domain is a tough pill to swallow for Americans who take their property rights very seriously, and the aggressive moves by Sabal Trail to seize property for a natural gas pipeline running through three southern states is turning into a drama of immense proportions.

Sabal Trail, the joint venture planning to build a 500-mile natural gas pipeline through Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, has gone to court in order to secure the right of way through the land where the pipeline should pass.

So far, Sabal Trail has filed 160 eminent domain suits and more are expected, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel. The company is desperately trying to get the right of way through 346 more properties, though it says it has already secured the agreement of 1,248 landowners in the area along the route.

But it’s doubtful that any of these will be allowed by the respective courts to reach the stage of contestation and litigation due to the stated regional importance of the pipeline project. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/02/gas-pipeline-uses-160-eminent-domain-suits-to-get-peoples-property-in-3-states/




The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone


The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone
by Pim Beaart • April 3, 2016


[font color="blue"]Trouble brewing in the Netherlands[/font]

By Pim Beaart, Netherlands, economics & politics editor at Veren Of Lood:


The referendum in the Netherlands on April 6th is going to cause a lot of trouble, possibly axing the strong Dutch commitment to the European project.

The plebiscite is about the Association Treaty between EU and Ukraine, into which the EU inserted some curious clauses about military cooperation and such. It is not a trading treaty per se, since those are the sole responsibility of the European Commission and would not require ratification by the member states.

Another fact that points toward bigger issues at stake is the last-minute involvement of the US government that recently urged Dutch voters to vote YES.

Although Parliament already ratified the Ukraine Treaty, it did so under the provision that under Dutch Law it might be open to a challenge by a plebiscite. The road to such a plebiscite is so difficult that it obviously was never meant to be possible. But the immensely popular Dutch anarcho-liberal blog Geen Stijl managed to gather 470,000 signatures, way more than the 350,000 required by law. A lot of signatures in a country with a total population of 17 million!

And it forced the government to organize the plebiscite. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/03/the-eu-has-bigger-political-trouble-than-brexit-alone/




The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone



The EU Has Bigger Trouble than Brexit alone
by Pim Beaart • April 3, 2016


[font color="blue"]Trouble brewing in the Netherlands[/font]

By Pim Beaart, Netherlands, economics & politics editor at Veren Of Lood:


The referendum in the Netherlands on April 6th is going to cause a lot of trouble, possibly axing the strong Dutch commitment to the European project.

The plebiscite is about the Association Treaty between EU and Ukraine, into which the EU inserted some curious clauses about military cooperation and such. It is not a trading treaty per se, since those are the sole responsibility of the European Commission and would not require ratification by the member states.

Another fact that points toward bigger issues at stake is the last-minute involvement of the US government that recently urged Dutch voters to vote YES.

Although Parliament already ratified the Ukraine Treaty, it did so under the provision that under Dutch Law it might be open to a challenge by a plebiscite. The road to such a plebiscite is so difficult that it obviously was never meant to be possible. But the immensely popular Dutch anarcho-liberal blog Geen Stijl managed to gather 470,000 signatures, way more than the 350,000 required by law. A lot of signatures in a country with a total population of 17 million!

And it forced the government to organize the plebiscite. ................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/04/03/the-eu-has-bigger-political-trouble-than-brexit-alone/





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