Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

No single market access for UK after Brexit, Wolfgang Schäuble says

Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has slammed the door on Britain retaining access to the single market if it votes to the leave the European Union.

In an interview in a Brexit-themed issue of German weekly Der Spiegel, the influential veteran politician ruled out the possibility of the UK following a Swiss or Norwegian model where it could enjoy the benefits of the single market without being an EU member.

Donald Trump is no fool: The dangerous demagogue knows exactly what he’s saying

Donald Trump’s speaking style is said to be off the cuff and spontaneous. Far from it. He’s actually using a very sophisticated doublespeak.

One of the obligations of a candidate is to commit to policy solutions. You review a public problem, decide what you will do when in office, and report in detail how you will address the problem. You make yourself accountable for your position.

Our Neoliberal Nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Why the Wealthy Win Every Time

Over the last fifteen years, editors often asked me not to mention the word "neoliberalism," because I was told readers wouldn't comprehend the "jargon." This has begun to change recently, as the terminology has come into wider usage, though it remains shrouded in great mystery.

People throw the term around loosely, as they do with "fascism," with the same confounding results. Imagine living under fascism or communism, or earlier, classical liberalism, and not being allowed to acknowledge that particular frame of reference to understand economic and social issues. Imagine living under Stalin and never using the communist framework but focusing only on personality clashes between his lieutenants, or likewise for Hitler or Mussolini or Mao or Franco and their ideological systems! But this curious silence, this looking away from ideology, is exactly what has been happening for a quarter century, since neoliberalism, already under way since the early 1970s, got turbocharged by the Democratic party under the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and Bill Clinton. We live under an ideology that has not been widely named or defined!

Israel and the real 'new anti-Semitism'

By now anyone even vaguely aware of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has heard the phrase "the new anti-Semitism." It is a clever propaganda piece created by the pro-Israel lobby and aimed at anyone who dares criticize Israel for its illegal occupation of the West Bank and its continued brutalization of Palestinians in Gaza. It is reinforced by another designation used to intimidate critics: any Jew who dares criticize Israel is a "Jew-hating Jew."

Hydropower Dams Are Creating Wildlife Wastelands

Hydropower generates carbon-free electricity for millions of people around the world. But growing evidence indicates that hydropower dams can also cause dramatic drop-offs in the number and variety of wild plant and animal species around them.

Two new studies, published in the July issue of the journal Biological Conservation, have looked at the islands created after hydroelectric dams blocked rivers and flooded the areas behind them to create huge reservoirs. Dam developers consider these islands—previously the tops of tall hills—to be potential wildlife refuges where species can thrive despite the reduction in their original habitat.

UN: Israeli Freeze On Palestinian Permits After Attack May Be Collective Punishment

GENEVA, June 10 (Reuters) - Israel‘s cancellation of entry permits for Palestinians following a deadly attack in Tel Aviv may amount to collective punishment, which is banned under international law, the United Nations’ top human rights official said on Friday.

Responding to the criticism, Israel defended its actions as “legitimate steps in order to defend its citizens from terrorists.”

Hillary Clinton Used Leadership PAC as “Slush Fund” in 2008-09

The Bernie Sanders campaign in April accused Hillary Clinton of “looting” her joint fundraising committee to fund her presidential campaign, effectively circumventing rules that cap donations at $5,400 per person.

Clinton’s joint committee, called the Hillary Victory Fund, can raise $358,500 per person because it’s supposed to share money with the Democratic National Committee and state parties.

Nevada’s Largest Paper Used To Support Marijuana Legalization. Then Sheldon Adelson Bought It.

Last summer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an editorial proclaiming that the paper’s editorial page “has long supporting the decriminalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of currently illegal drugs,” including marijuana. It was on record as supporting an effort to legalize marijuana in the state that will go before voters this November, and as recently as late last year called for all presidential candidates to champion “removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.”

How ‘Students For Trump’ Terrorized Portland State University

When Portland State University student Alyssa Pagan woke up on Friday, April 8, she found that she had 500 updates on her phone. Ranging from death threats to racist, transphobic harassment, the messages she received through social media came directly from the “alt-right,” a marginal overlapping sector of men’s rights activism, libertarianism, and white nationalism.

At Romney summit, anti-Trump Republicans in exile ponder their party’s future

PARK CITY, Utah — At this time four years ago, Mitt Romney ­summoned the leading figures in the Republican Party to this mountain resort at the start of his general-election campaign. He was then the standard-bearer of a party united and seemingly confident about its future.

U.N. Chief Admits He Removed Saudi Arabia From Child-Killer List Due to Extortion

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly acknowledged Thursday that he removed the Saudi-led coalition currently bombing Yemen from a blacklist of child killers — 72 hours after it was published — due to a financial threat to defund United Nations programs.

The secretary-general didn’t name the source of the threat, but news reports have indicated it came directly from the Saudi government.

Tel Aviv Attack Prompts Israeli Military To Send Hundreds Of Troops To West Bank

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military on Thursday revoked permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian shooting attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault by the two gunmen on Wednesday in a trendy shopping and dining market near Israel’s Defence Ministry, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups were quick to praise it.

Toxic Landslides Raise Alarms about Fracking, Site C

Toxic heavy metals including arsenic, barium, cadmium, lithium, and lead are flowing into the Peace River following a series of unusual landslides that may be linked to natural gas industry fracking operations.

The landslides began nearly two years ago and show no sign of stopping. So far, they have killed all fish along several kilometres of Brenot and Lynx creeks just downstream from the community of Hudson's Hope.

BC Hydro Disconnections Spiked Significantly after Smart Meters Installed

In the years following the introduction of smart meters, BC Hydro disconnected about six times as many customers for not paying their electricity bills as it had previously in British Columbia.

"What we're seeing reflected is Liberal energy policy, which is making things way harder for people," said Adrian Dix, the NDP critic for BC Hydro. "It's because inequality is growing, people are struggling, and hydro rates because of Liberal energy policies have gone up a significant amount."

House Democrats Call Out Marsha Blackburn For ‘Reckless Disregard’ After Unredacted Memo Goes Public

In March, the House investigation into Planned Parenthood took a dark turn, subpoenaing a list of names of doctors and researchers involved in fetal tissue research. At the time, Democrats on the committee likened it to a witch hunt.

Now, Democrats are calling out Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) for her “reckless disregard” for the privacy and safety of those medical professionals — following the public, unredacted release of the some of their names.

Bernie Sanders’s Post-California Choice

“You all know it is more than Bernie,” Senator Bernie Sanders said late on Tuesday night, in Santa Monica, to thousands of supporters who were shouting his name. It would be unfair to suggest that they didn’t know that: for one thing, they cheered even louder when Sanders thanked them for taking part in a “political revolution.” And nobody could really know, at that point, if Sanders had lost California, the state that had seemed essential to the idea that the race against Hillary Clinton would undergo a late-life alchemical transformation. (Clinton won by a significant margin, but those votes were counted hours later.) Still, it was common knowledge, in this crowd and across the country, that Clinton, after winning the New Jersey primary earlier in the evening, had declared victory in the race for the Democratic nomination, a day after the Associated Press did it for her. As Sanders’s speech began, the people in the crowd didn’t know if he would agree with her, and with the inescapable delegate math. Many of them clearly hoped that he wouldn’t. And he didn’t. Sanders wasn’t ready to say that the campaign against Donald Trump, at least, was now more about Hillary Clinton than about him.

Koch's team to meet Trump's camp, but industrialist remains skeptical

WICHITA, Kan. — Top officials within Charles Koch’s powerful policy network plan to meet with aides to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, the industrialist told USA TODAY on Wednesday.

The meeting comes at the request of the Trump team, Koch said. No date has been set for the gathering, which has not been publicly disclosed before.

A Top Republican Senator’s Ridiculous Defense Of Donald Trump’s Racism

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s racist claim that a federal judge cannot be trusted to remain impartial because of his “Mexican heritage” is no big deal, according to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump spent much of the last two weeks under fire for repeatedly claiming that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge hearing a lawsuit alleging that Trump University scammed many of its students, has a conflict of interest because Curiel’s parents immigrated from Mexico and Trump wants to build a wall at the Mexican border. The former reality show host’s attacks on the judge were widely denounced by leading Republicans, including the two highest ranking elected Republicans in the nation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called Trump’s comments “outrageous and unacceptable.” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called them “sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.” (Both men, however, still intend to vote for Trump.)

We Can’t Allow Nationalism To Keep Spreading Across Europe

On Sunday, May 29, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande attended an event commemorating the Battle of Verdun’s 100-year anniversary. It was an opportunity to acknowledge the immense loss of life incurred during World War I (1914-1918).

It’s all a con: Trump’s presidential campaign is as big a scam as Trump University

There is no longer any doubt that Donald Trump’s defunct real estate school, Trump University, was one big scam that operated to swindle credulous people out of their money. As Ronald Schnackenberg, a former sales manager at the for-profit venture (who was once reprimanded for not pushing hard enough to sell a $35,000 “elite program” to a couple who had “no money to pay for the program” and would have had to take out an equity loan on their apartment and used disability income) wrote in his testimony:

    “I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

How 107 Superdelegates Robbed 11 Million Democratic Voters

The Associated Press (AP) has prematurely called the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton, despite some 11 million Democrats still waiting to vote in six states and one territory, based off the opinion of superdelegates who have yet to vote.

The dominant media narrative is that Sanders is asking superdelegates to thwart the will of the public in order to win the Democratic nomination. But the AP came to their conclusion by a phone survey of the 712 superdelegates, meaning Clinton was declared the winner due to private conversations between reporters and a relatively small handful of Democratic party bosses who won’t actually vote for a nominee until the end of July.

Tory Cuts To Disabled Student Funding Will Hit Poor, Women And Ethnic Minorities

Poorer disabled students will be cast “adrift” if the Conservatives plough ahead with planned cuts to the specialist assistance they need at university, ministers have been told.

A government impact assessment seen by The Huffington Post reveals the “negative” consequences for disabled people if universities do not step into fill the funding gap

From September, universities will be expected to provide some of the money currently given out by the government in the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA).

Uber and Deregulated Hypercapitalism Increasingly Leave Americans Unprotected

Last week in San Diego, Calif., an Uber driver was charged with 20 counts of sexual assault-related charges stretching back several years, only months after he allegedly raped an intoxicated young woman who sought a ride home. (Uber immediately fired the driver after that incident last winter.) The attack, which was rare but not unprecedented, prompted Uber’s competition, the traditional taxi industry, to demand the Golden State require ride-share drivers undergo police-conducted fingerprinting and criminal background checks—which Uber has fervently opposed.

Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media

Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

After Living in Norway, America Feels Backward. Here’s Why.

Some years ago, I faced up to the futility of reporting true things about America’s disastrous wars and so I left Afghanistan for another remote mountainous country far away. It was the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the family.

It’s true that they didn’t work much, not by American standards anyway. In the US, full-time salaried workers supposedly laboring 40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20 percent clocking more than 60. These people, on the other hand, worked only about 37 hours a week, when they weren’t away on long paid vacations. At the end of the work day, about four in the afternoon (perhaps three in the summer), they had time to enjoy a hike in the forest or a swim with the kids or a beer with friends — which helps explain why, unlike so many Americans, they are pleased with their jobs.

Trump University Documents Reveal Trump’s Scary Approach To Schooling

Newly released documents from Trump University have inspired another round of questions about the company’s dubious business practices. But the documents also shed light on how presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump views education — and what education policies he might roll out if he wins the election.

Over the past few years, Trump U has been the subject of multiple class action lawsuits, including in California and New York, as dissatisfied former students accuse Trump of fraud. Some wrote checks for as much as $35,000 for classes that turned out to be “worthless.” Last week, District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel demanded that documents from the case be released, including so-called “playbooks,” or guides for Trump U sales staff and employees.

Bill Clinton’s Legacy of Denial

Editor’s note: This column was originally published on June 21, 2011, and is being reposted, says Truthdig Editor in Chief Scheer, “as a cautionary tale, given that Hillary Clinton has promised to turn over the task of job creation to her husband if she is elected president.”

Does Bill Clinton still not grasp that the current economic crisis is in large measure his legacy? Obviously that’s the case, or he wouldn’t have had the temerity to write a 14-point memo for Newsweek on how to fix the economy that never once refers to the home mortgage collapse and other manifestations of Wall Street greed that he enabled as president.

Declassified Documents Confirm That Edward Snowden Tried to Tell the NSA About Surveillance Concerns

Hundreds of internal NSA documents obtained by Vice News under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit “show that the agency did not tell the public the whole story about Snowden’s contacts with oversight authorities before he became the most celebrated and vilified whistleblower in US history.”

On death and dying in the Red Chamber

You can take senators out of politics, but you can’t take politics out of the Senate – even if you’re Justin Trudeau.

This Tuesday, the government’s proposed law on doctor-assisted suicide, Bill C-14, will return to the Senate floor from committee and go through third reading and a vote in the Red Chamber by Wednesday. Strangely enough, no one really knows what will happen, despite the fact that this vote is epical — on a par according to some senators with titanic past votes on issues like capital punishment.

Alberto Gonzales Offers The Worst Defense Of Trump’s Racism

During an interview with CNN on Friday, Donald Trump repeatedly insisted that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Latino heritage is a legitimate reason why he’s unfit to preside over a Trump University fraud case.

Curiel is an American — he was born in Indiana. His parents are from Mexico.

Blatter, Valcke and Kattner awarded themselves £55m, say Fifa lawyers

The spectacular scale of greed at the top of Fifa was revealed on Friday when lawyers said that three high-ranking former officials – Sepp Blatter, Jérôme Valcke and Markus Kattner – had secretly given themselves pay rises and massive World Cup bonuses totalling 79m Swiss francs (£55m).

The lawyers acting for Fifa said the contracted payments were made during the officials’ last five years in office. They appeared to violate Swiss law. Evidence will now be given to the US justice department and to Swiss federal prosecutors who are investigating the financial scandal engulfing the world football body.

What happened to Hunter Tootoo?

Canadians need to know what happened to Hunter Tootoo. More than that, they have the right to know. They’re his real bosses, right?

So far, this is what is known publicly about the former minister’s exit from both cabinet and caucus, as recounted by the prime minister this week:

After some sort of “very difficult situation”, Tootoo himself decided to step away from public life to seek treatment for alcohol addiction. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that the decision to resign and leave caucus was Tootoo’s and Tootoo’s alone. Sources confirmed the PM’s statement, telling iPolitics that Tootoo made his request in a letter to Trudeau that caught everyone “off-guard.”

Stephane Dion Chastised For Staying Silent As Chinese Minister 'Berated' Canadian Journalist

Opposition MPs have called out Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion for keeping quiet as his Chinese counterpart publicly admonished a Canadian journalist after she asked about the country's human rights record.

At a joint press conference with Dion at the Global Affairs headquarters in Ottawa on Wednesday, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called iPolitics journalist Amanda Connolly "irresponsible" for asking about the imprisonment of Canadian citizen Kevin Garratt on espionage charges.

Despite Economic Growth, Middle-Income Americans Have Less Than They Did 40 Years Ago

Over the past 40 years, the US economy has boomed. But what does that mean for the "American dream"? While the top 1% has had enormous gains, average US households aren't any better off today. In fact, they're falling further behind.

We crunched numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusting them for inflation, and found that during the past 40 years, middle-income households have seen their income decrease 13 percent, and the number that really matters -- discretionary income -- has decreased even more, by almost 30 percent. This was true for all households, not just married households.

Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’

Charles Koch is known for being CEO of industrial giant Koch Industries and a chief financier of the massive conservative political operation he runs with his brother David. In recent years, student activists and investigative journalists have exposed another of Koch’s hats: mega-donor to hundreds of colleges and universities, often funding free-market-focused academic centers housed at public and private schools alike. One Koch-funded program is advocating cutthroat economics to grade school students, even sacrificing lives for profits.

America’s real terror threat: Domestic extremists pose a greater danger than ISIS ever will

Take America back from those who have stolen it.

Protect America from those who want to destroy it.

Restore the principles that these usurpers betrayed.

These are the messages that have defined the GOP presidential race. They have been used for the past eight years to justify obstruction of the Obama administration, and are now being used to paint the democratic candidates as dangerous. In the late stages of the GOP primary as the rhetoric became increasingly xenophobic, they were applied to increasingly broad swaths of the American population as well.

Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie Sanders Happened.

President Barack Obama endorsed an expansion of Social Security for the first time on Wednesday.

“We can’t afford to weaken Social Security,” he said during a speech on economic policy in Elkhart, Indiana. “We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned.”

Paul Ryan Endorses Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — In an unceremonious op-ed in his local paper, Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) ended his dithering on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and said he would vote for Donald Trump in November.

Ryan, who had been holding out on endorsing Trump, said the focus of his conversations with the real estate mogul were on the House’s policy agenda.

Trump Delegate Says Current US Leaders May Need to Be "Killed"

Last December, Donald Trump's presidential campaign approved David Riden to be a delegate candidate on the Tennessee ballot, and when the state held its primary in March, voters selected Riden to go to the Republican National Convention. When Riden represents Trump there in July, it will not be his first time as a delegate to a political gathering. Seven years ago in Illinois he attended the so-called "Continental Congress of 2009," where he and other delegates put forth "Articles of Freedom" that called for abolishing all federal firearms laws, replacing the Department of Homeland Security with citizen militias, and, if necessary, launching an insurrection against the federal government.

Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe Took $120K From a Chinese Billionaire — but the Crime Is That It Was Legal

When news broke that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was under investigation by the Justice Department and that his campaign had taken $120,000 directly from a Chinese-owned business, it may have seemed like an open-and-shut case.

But federal law doesn’t preclude foreign-owned businesses from making political donations, and Virginia law doesn’t limit their size. So amazingly enough, if there was something illegal here, that wasn’t it.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Says Trump University Was ‘Straight Up Fraud’

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday took aim at the now-defunct Trump University, which has been accused of being a scam.

“In New York, we have laws against business fraud, we have laws against consumer fraud,” Schneiderman said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” “We have a law against running an illegal, unlicensed university. This never was a university. The fraud started with the name of the organization, and you can’t just go around saying this is the George Stephanopoulos Law Firm/Hospital/University without actually qualifying and registering, so it was really a fraud from beginning to end.”

The FBI Wants to Exempt Massive Biometric Database From the Privacy Act

A broad coalition of 45 signatories, including civil liberties, racial justice, human rights, and privacy organizations, published a letter Tuesday strongly condemning a proposal by the FBI to exempt its massive biometric database from certain provisions of the Privacy Act. Known as the Next Generation Identification system, or NGI, the FBI database houses the world’s largest collection of fingerprints, DNA profiles, palm prints, face images, and other biometric identifiers. The letter, signed by groups such as La Raza, Color of Change, Amnesty International, National LGBTQ Task Force, as well as the companies Uber and Lyft, criticized the agency’s May 5 proposal on the grounds that the “system uses some of the most advanced surveillance technologies known to humankind, including facial recognition, iris scans, and fingerprint recognition.”

Uber Raises $3.5 Billion From Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Uber [UBER.UL] has raised $3.5 billion (£2.4 billion) from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the U.S. ride-hailing service said on Wednesday, the largest single investment ever made in a private company.

The investment from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund was part of Uber’s most recent financing round that valued the company at $62.5 billion, Uber said, making it the most highly valued venture capital-backed company in the world.

'France can change': PM Manuel Valls vows to push on with labour reforms

The French government will not back down in the face of strike action against its contested overhaul of labour laws and intends to prove to the world that reforming the country is not impossible, Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, has said.

Valls is increasingly concerned that images of striking oil refinery workers around burning tyres, rail disruptions and petrol panic-buying have tarnished France’s image abroad, put visitors off coming to the showpiece Euro 2016 football tournament and threatened to damage a fragile tourism industry still reeling from November’s Paris terror attacks.

The Legacy of the Obama Administration: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

Anyone looking attentively at contemporary developments in the United States will surely notice that the country is undergoing a profound crisis of purpose and institutional legitimacy under a neoliberal regime in overdrive. And this is occurring less than eight years after the election of Barack Obama, whose political campaign raised hopes for a shift away from the neoconservative fallacies and imperial crimes that characterized the administration of George W. Bush.

New Report Knocks Down Pro-Pipelines 'Fantasies'

Politicians who advocate for more bitumen pipelines and LNG exports are making a "have your cake and eat it too argument" because there is no way Canada can meet its climate change commitments under such a scenario says David Hughes, one of the nation's top energy experts.

Even building just one LNG terminal coupled with modest oil sands growth would increase oil and gas emissions from 26 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 to 45 per cent by 2030.

The perils of proportional representation

If the Liberals keep their promise and introduce some type of electoral reform before the next election — and if that reform includes proportional representation — Canadians had better get used to the idea of occasionally having no national government for months on end.

That’s what happened in Spain, where no group of parties has been able to form a governing coalition since elections were last held on December 20. A desperate King Felipe VI has dissolved parliament and called for a new election on June 26.

Gun Lobbyist Warns Gun Owners Could Resort To ‘Bullet Box’ If They Don’t Like Election Results

Gun lobbyist Larry Pratt took to the airwaves over the weekend to make some incendiary remarks about the coming election.

Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, said that if his supporters don’t like the results of the ballot box and how it changes the Supreme Court in the coming years, they could always “resort to the bullet box.” He also warned that “it may not be pretty.”

Bill Clinton Gave a Six-Figure Speech to a Controversial Vulture Fund as His Wife Ran for President

On May 12, 2015, the private equity firm Apollo Global Management announced it was unloading the remainder of its stake in Noranda Aluminum. Apollo had gained control of the Tennessee-based company in a 2007 leveraged buyout and had subsequently followed a familiar playbook in the cutthroat world of corporate takeovers: It saddled Noranda with the debt it had used to buy the company and then extracted large dividends. As Noranda struggled to stay solvent, Apollo eventually cashed out of the firm. In early 2016, the debt-riddled aluminum company declared bankruptcy, shut down its largest smelting plant in Missouri, and laid off hundreds of employees.

Pro-austerity organization finds austerity increases inequality

In the June issue of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) publication Finance and Development, Jonathan D. Ostry, Deputy Head of the IMF Research Department, and two co-authors examine two main tenets of the neoliberal doctrine, and find them wanting.

Does it make sense to pay down debt? When the evidence is assessed it turns out this fiscal consolidation -- code language for austerity -- increases inequality.

Power Bills Rising, 'My Clients Are Panicking'

Advocates who work closely with people surviving on low incomes have testified to the British Columbia Utilities Commission that it is increasingly common for their clients to struggle to pay the rising cost of electricity, often with severe consequences.

"My clients are aware of the recent and upcoming rate increases, and they are panicking," said Stacey Tyers, the manager of counselling support services at the Terrace and District Community Services Society.

Throughout 12 years of anti-poverty work Tyers has seen clients with trouble paying their electricity bills, she said. "It is definitely getting worse though," said Tyers, who also is a Terrace city councillor. "We are now seeing a much larger number of people with BC Hydro issues."