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Established 1973 — Last updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:52 PM
Aggregated news for a better world – we raise awareness of what corporate media ignores and suppresses
Today's posts in bigger type—>
Prior 2/3 days in little type.
Obama's ACA didn't fix this:
The U.S. wastes $1.6 Trillion/yr on bloated health care spending compared with the 2013 OECD per capita average of advanced countries, which becomes extra cost overhead on U.S.exports—resulting in offshoring manufacturing and jobs. Let's end price gouging and adopt efficient practices instead of cutting Medicare and Medicaid coverage as part of some "Grand Bargain"
In 2015 US total per capita health care spending was $9451, $5044 more per person than in France without better results.

Lastly, importantly, health worker pay is NOT the problem.

Tim Peacock
Tim Peacock

Until recently, China and India have been cast as obstacles, at the very least reluctant conscripts, in the battle against climate change. That reputation looks very much out-of-date now that both countries have greatly accelerated their investments in cost-effective renewable energy sources — and reduced their reliance on fossil fuels. It’s America — Donald Trump’s America — that now looks like the laggard.

According to research released last week at a United Nations climate meeting in Germany, China and India should easily exceed the targets they set for themselves in the 2015 Paris Agreement signed by more than 190 countries. China’s emissions of carbon dioxide appear to have peaked more than 10 years sooner than its government had said they would. And India is now expected to obtain 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule.

Every one of the Paris signatories will have to reduce emissions to ward off the worst consequences of global warming — devastating droughts, melting glaciers and unstoppable sea level rise. But the tangible progress by the world’s number one producer of greenhouse gases (China) and its number three (India) are astonishing nonetheless, and worth celebrating.

There is also a lesson here for the United States. Piece by piece, agency by agency, the Trump administration seems determined to destroy or undermine every initiative on which President Obama based his pledge in Paris to substantially reduce America’s greenhouse gases: his plan to close old, coal-fired power plants, his proposals to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas wells, his mandates for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The excuse given in every case is that these rules would cost jobs and damage the economy — the same bogus argument once used by Vice President Dick Cheney to persuade President George W. Bush to renege on his campaign promise to combat global warming.

China and India are finding that doing right by the planet need not carry a big economic cost and can actually be beneficial. By investing heavily in solar and wind, they and others like Germany have helped drive down the cost of those technologies to a point where, in many places, renewable sources can generate electricity more cheaply than dirtier sources of energy like coal. In a recent auction in India, developers of solar farms offered to sell electricity to the grid for 2.44 rupees per kilowatt-hour (or 3.79 cents). That is about 50 percent less than what solar farms bid a year earlier and about 24 percent less than the average price for energy generated by coal-fired power plants.

The shift from fossil fuels has thus been much faster and more pronounced than most experts expected. China has reduced coal use for three years in a row and recently scrapped plans to build more than 100 coal power plants. Indian officials have estimated that country might no longer need to build new coal plants beyond those that are already under construction. One other heartening fact: Electric vehicle sales in China jumped 70 percent last year, thanks in large part to generous government incentives. India is much further behind in this area, but the country’s minister of power said last month that all cars sold in the country should be electric by 2030.

THE EDITORIAL BOARD | The New York Times
What does it say about the Trump administration that the president was fooled by a dumb, long-debunked climate myth?

As Politico reported, Trump’s deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland gave him a fake 1970s Time magazine cover warning of a coming ice age. The Photoshopped magazine cover circulated around the internet several years ago, but was debunked in 2013. Four years later, McFarland put the fake document in President Trump’s hands, and he reportedly “quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy ... Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it.”

Dana Nuccitelli | The Guardian

Organizations representing most of the health care industry — along with attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia — took desperate steps Friday in a last-ditch attempt to keep President Trump from blowing up the Affordable Care Act.

Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times | Chicago Tribune
Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and airborne particles affects sleep efficiency, says medical professor
Nicola Davis | The Guardian
New legislation streamlines the more than two dozen requirements previously needed to launch facilities, which offer supervision and sterileequipment

....“Solid evidence shows that, when properly set up and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives, and they do it without increasing drug use or crime in the neighbourhood,” Jane Philpott, Canada’s health minister, told parliament this week.

The law builds on Canada’s previous success in this field. In 2003, health authorities in Vancouver launched Insite– the first supervised injection facility in North America – to address an epidemic of HIV and hepatitis C in the city’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

By 2015, Insite had logged more than 3 million visits and had safely treated nearly 5,000 overdoses – without one death. It had earned accolades around the world for the critical role it plays in saving lives and preventing the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, while research suggested those who visited the clinic were more likely to pursue detox programs.

But the program clashed with the then-federal Conservative government and their tough-on-crime approach. After losing a bid at the Supreme Court to close Insite, the Conservatives hit back withlegislation – described by one health authority as “unduly onerous”– aimed at muddying the process of opening safe injection sites.

Ashifa Kassam | The Guardian
Kanai First Nation, one of Canada’s largest, takes action to keepout drugs such as fentanyl as community grapples with overdoses: ‘This is about saving lives’

One of Canada’s largest First Nations communities has passed a bylaw forbidding non-members from entering the reserve without a permit, in hopes of gaining control overa street drug that has ravaged the community.

The past few years have seen fentanyl – an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin – tighten its grip on the reserve, said Rick Tailfeathers, a spokesperson for the Kainai First Nation located in southern Alberta. “We’ve lost a lot of people in the past two years. And it’s totally preventable.”

Home to some 13,000 people, the First Nation declared a state of emergency in March 2015. Distraught leaders said 20 people had died and another 60 overdoses had been treated in the six months prior.

Police on the reserve sprung into action, launching a tip line to report traffickers and forming a special unit aimed at curbing the sale of the pills. Two years later, the drug continues its hold on some in the community, said Tailfeathers. “It’sall over Vancouver, Alberta, but somehow it got to our reserve first.”

In April of 2016 – one year after fentanyl-linked drugs began to take a deadly toll on the Kainai First Nation – the province of British Colombia echoed the First Nation’s concern, declaring the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency. Across the province, the number of overdoses had soared from 80 in 1990 to 922 in2016.

Ashifa Kassam | The Guardian
'Having a strong economy does not guarantee good healthcare'

Americans are dying at a shockingly high rate from preventable causes, found a first-of-its-kind global health study published late Thursday.

The new research demonstrates that despite the fact that the U.S. has the largesteconomy in the world, healthcare for many of its residents is woefully inadequate. The U.S. was tied with Estonia and Montenegro, far below other wealthy nations such as Norway, Canada, and Australia, in the study's ranking of 195 countries.

"America's ranking is an embarrassment, especially considering the U.S. spends more than $9,000 per person on healthcare annually, more than any other country," said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. "Anyone with a stake in the current healthcare debate, including elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels, should take a look at where the U.S. is falling short."

Progressives have long pointed out that the U.S. is one of the only wealthy nationsnot to provide some form of government-mandated healthcare, exacerbating inequality in health care outcomes.

The study published in the Lancet created a Healthcare Access and Quality(HAQ) Index, "a summary measure based on 32 causes, that in the presence of high-quality healthcare, should not result in death," the researchers wrote.

"Using deaths that could be avoided as a measure of the quality of a health system is not new but what makes this study so important is its scope, drawing on the vast dataresources assembled by the Global Burden of Disease team to go beyond earlier work in rich countries to cover the entire world in great detail, as well as the development of ameans to assess what a country should be able to achieve," said Professor Martin McKee ofthe London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who participated in the study.

Nika Knight, staff writer | CommonDreams
Energy Transfer Partners’ Rover Pipeline construction spill mucks up Ohio wetlands

Ohioans are experiencing a little taste of Standing Rock, right at home. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the Texas company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project in North Dakota, has spilled about two million of gallons of drilling materials in two separate accidents into two of Ohio’s few remaining wetlands in a rush to complete its Rover natural gas pipeline.

The accidents occurred on April 13 and 14 as workers employed the same drilling technique used to bore beneath the Missouri River to place pipeline for the DAPL. According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the spill covered about 500,000square feet and was caused by pressure during drilling. Incidents such as these are whatfuel pipeline resistance, as environmentalists and tribal members pointed out.

“Energy Transfer Partners has dumped millions of gallons of amilkshake-like substance into pristine wetlands,” said Jenn Miller, director of the Sierra Club of Ohio. “This will have massive impacts on the plant, fish and amphibian species there.”

One-third of Ohio’s endangered species rely on wetlands for habitat and survival, Miller said.

Mary Annette Pember | Indian Country Today
No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide fail safe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change

....It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s mostprecious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter,sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a millionpackets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008,the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide“failsafe”protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.

Damian Carrington | TheGuardian
China claims break through in mining 'flammable ice' [might greater release of methane to our atmosphere become a larger problem?]
China has for the first time extracted gas from an ice-like substanceunder the South China Sea considered key to future global energy supply.

Chinese authorities have described the success as a major breakthrough.

Methane hydrates, also called "flammable ice", hold vast reserves of natural gas.

Many countries including the US and Japan are working on how to tap those reserves, but mining and extracting are extremely difficult.

staff | BBC News
Ships belch out most of their sulphurous toxins far from land, but they could still be responsible for 60,000 deaths each year
Jeremy Plester | The Guardian
Recent innovations in hydrogen generation, storage, transport and usecould transform it into the ultimate source of clean energy
Bianca Nogrady | The Guardian

Reference:
dryriver | SlashDot

....Researchers, Eicke Latz at the University of Bonn and colleagues, followed up onthe parents’ hypothesis and found that in mice, cyclodextrin indeed blocked plaque formation, melted away plaques that had already formed in arteries, reduced atherosclerosis-associated inflammation, and revved up cholesterol metabolism—even in rodents fed cholesterol-rich diets.

Beth Mole | ars technica | Ref.
Though it won't 'cure' Alzheimer's, tests show compound, similar to that found in energy drinks, clears amyloid beta plaques, whichbuild up in the brain in early stages of Alzheimer’s
Ian Sample | Guardian | Ref.
JOE ROMM | ClimateProgress | Ref.
Phys.org | Ref.
Green buildings and better infrastructure would notonly spur economic growth but also cut carbon emissions equal to India’s annualoutput
Suzanne Goldenberg | Guardian |Ref.

A growing body of evidence suggests pollution can do a number on thebrain. The July/AugustMother Jones cover story chronicled the research connectingneurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to the dirtyair we breathe; studies have found that pollution may also age the brain prematurely. And according to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution's damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed toexhaust emissions, researchers found, don't do as well in school as their peers whobreathe cleaner air.

Gabrielle Canon | Mother Jones| Ref.
Janet Redman / Foreign Policy in Focus | Informed Comment | Ref.
Though Canada's system is the second most expensive in the world percapita, it would save America $1.3 Trillion/yr and cover everyone
OLGA KHAZAN | Atlantic | Ref.
Lesley Stahl discovers the shock and anxiety of a cancer diagnosis can be followed by a second jolt: the astronomical price of cancer drugs
[All the other OECD countries negotiate much lower drug &medical procedure costs]
CBS News | Ref.
Elisabeth Rosenthal in New YorkTimes | Ref.


icon



Unprofessional journalists are 'roasted'.
BOB SOMERBY in The DailyHowler | EVERY DAY
More than one in three Indiana households cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care and transportation, despite working 40 or more hours a week.

Poverty is such a challenge; a citizen working two or three jobs just to put food on the table doesn’t have much time or energy left over for civic engagement and the exercise of the franchise. In my state of Indiana, and an increasing number of other states, that’s a lot of people.

In 2014, the United Ways of Indiana took a hard look at “ALICE” families. ALICE is an acronym—the letters stand for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE families are households with income above the federal poverty level, but below what it actually costs to live.

The report was eye-opening.

  • More than one in three Hoosier households cannot afford the basics of housing, food, health care and transportation, despite working 40 or more hours a week.
  • In Indiana, 37% of households live below the Alice threshold, with some 14% below the poverty level and another 23% above poverty but below the cost of living.
  • These families and individuals have jobs, and most do not qualify for social services or support.
Sheila Kennedy | Common Dreams
While we're mesmerized by Trump, shady groups are pushing corporate-friendly legislation in statehouses all over the country.

It’s easy to become mesmerized by The Donald Show in this year’s political circus.

But a lot of the real action is in the outer rings, where the Koch brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and their corporate cohorts have laid siege to our state governments.

It’s no coincidence that such a large flock of corporatists and right-wing ideologues now roost in state offices, nor that they keep pushing exactly the same anti-people rhetoric and tactics. Nor is their lockstep embrace of identical corporation-enthroning proposals the result of small minds thinking alike.

More than a firefight here or an ambush there, the Koch-ALEC cabal have launched a massive, coordinated maneuver to conquer the countryside.

If you doubt that the strategy has gone local, consider this fact: Even though the Kochs didn’t back a presidential campaign last year — they said they were concentrating on only half a dozen Senate races — they deployed 1,600 paid political staffers into 38 states to drive elections and policy campaigns.

We have to confront and defeat the Kochheads in our states.

This is why we must pay attention: Donald Trump isn’t the only — or even the biggest — danger to our democratic republic. As Arn Pearson, general counsel of Center for Media Democracy, warns: “There are a lot of different parts of the Koch machine pulling on this oar. From their think tanks up through their elected officials, they’re pushing on it. Hard.”

You might think this is madness, but madness — spurred by plutocratic greed — is the new American political reality. Just being progressive won’t stop it. We have to confront and defeat the Kochheads in our states.

Rolling back the effects of the continuing decades-long attack on America’s ideal of the common good will take some work. To get started, check out Center for Media Democracy at www.prwatch.org/cmd.

Jim Hightower | Common Dreams

State Democrats’ three-day convention had a raucous start Friday, as liberal activists booed and heckled Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez after marching from the state Capitol to promote a universal heath care program.

The leader of the nurses’ union that opposed Perez’s recent election hadjust warned California Democrats that they would put up primary election challengers against lawmakers if they don’t support a bill to create public-funded, universal healthcare.

“They cannot be in denial anymore that this is a movement that can primary them,” RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, told hundreds of nurses and health care advocates gathered for a rally at the Capitol.

“Vote them out,” the crowd chanted back, referring to Democrats in theLegislature wavering on whether to support their cause.

....The showdown over health care exposed deep rifts within the party that may havescabbed over, but have not healed, since last year’s primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a favorite of the nurses union, which also backed Perez’s opponent in the chair’s race, Rep. Keith Ellison.

Sanders has called for a national single-payer system, and earlier this month called on Californians to adopt the model at a speech in Los Angeles.

DeMoro argued the Republican health care bill that passed the House has generated anger and fear among people from across the political spectrum, and many have turned their attention to the issue of health care because they fear losing coverage. Law makers have expressed skepticism over its projected steep cost.

“There’s been a seismic shift because of Donald Trump,” she said in an interview.

CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO AND ANGELA HART | The Sacramento Bee
El Cenizo is battling a ‘show me your papers’ law that banssanctuary cities and empowers police officers to ask the immigration status of anyonethey detain

When Texas passed a law this month banning so-called sanctuary cities and empowering police officers to ask the immigration status of anyone they detain, protests rippled throughthe state’s major cities. Politicians and activists vowed legal action.

The first place to sue was not liberal Austin, the hub of the fightback, but tiny ElCenizo, a city of 3,800 that nestles along a bend in the Rio Grande and faces Mexico tothe north, west and south.

Here, where 99% of residents are Hispanic and 15% to 20% are undocumented, a“safe haven” ordinance has been in place since 1999, forbidding local authorities from making immigration inquiries. When the new state law goes into effect in September, the failure of Texas officials to cooperate with immigration authorities will become a criminal offence also punishable byfines.

The lawsuit argues that the Texas bill, known as SB4, unconstitutionally inserts the state into the federal government’s job of immigration enforcement. SB4 is the mosthard-line immigration law passed by a state since Arizona introduced SB 1070, a ruledubbed “show me your papers” by detractors that has largely been neutered bylitigation from civil rights groups.

While the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, claims SB4 promotes law and orderand keeping dangerous criminals off the streets, it was opposed by sheriffs and police chiefs in the state’s major cities, who worry that it will erode community trustand discourage the reporting of crimes. Critics of the law also worry that giving individual officers the option to pose immigration questions invites racial profiling and will turn routine traffic stops into preludes to deportation.

El Cenizo is now back in the national news, 18 years after a flurry of attention when it decided to make life easier for most of its residents by holding city meetings inSpanish, generating criticism from conservative groups who felt that not using English was unAmerican.

The timing is unfortunate for the 33-year-old mayor, Raul Reyes. In the week of 8 May,when the suit was filed, he was studying for his finals for a master’s degree in public administration. He also runs two businesses; being mayor pays only $100 a month.

Tom Dart | The Guardian

Reference:
Various | Google News
Leaked policies guiding moderators on what content to allow are likely to fuel debate about social media giant’s ethics

Facebook’s secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2 billion users can post on the site are revealed for the first time in a Guardian investigation that will fuel the global debate about the role and ethics of the social media giant.

The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts that give unprecedented insight into the blueprints Facebook has used to moderate issues such as violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm.

There are even guidelines on match-fixing and cannibalism.

The Facebook Files give the first view of the codes and rules formulated by the site, which is under huge political pressure in Europe and the US.

They illustrate difficulties faced by executives scrabbling to react to new challenges such as “revenge porn” – and the challenges for moderators, who say they are overwhelmed by the volume of work, which means they often have “just 10 seconds” to make a decision.

“Facebook cannot keep control of its content,” said one source. “It has grown too big, too quickly.”

Many moderators are said to have concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies. Those on sexual content, for example, are said to be the most complex and confusing.

....A report by British MPs published on 1 May said “the biggest and richest social media companies are shamefully far from taking sufficient action to tackle illegal or dangerous content, to implement proper community standards or to keep their users safe”.

Sarah T Roberts, an expert on content moderation, said: “It’s one thing when you’re a small online community with a group of people who share principles and values, but when you have a large percentage of the world’s population and say ‘share yourself’, you are going to be in quite a muddle.

“Then when you monetise that practice you are entering a disaster situation.”

Nick Hopkins | The Guardian
ABIGAIL MILLER | Daily Mail
Zakir Musa, a highly influential commander, distances himself from 70-year-old separatist movement and aligns himself with ideals of al-Qaida
Michael Safi | The Guardian
Norwegian Refugee Council report reveals extent of the hidden crisis that forced 31 million people – one every second – to flee within their countries last year
Rebecca Ratcliffe | The Guardian
Country has seen nearly a million incomers from South Sudan alone
Hannah Summers | The Guardian
THE LIGHTS ARE GOING OUT IN THE MIDDLE EAST [we suggest enticing a solar panel and battery manufacturers to locate in your countries to diversify economies and create jobs. Use solar to empower yourselves...]
Robin Wright | The New Yorker
The Saudis will be appalled that a (comparatively) reasonable Iranianhas won a (comparatively) free election that almost none of the 50 dictators gathering to meet Trump in Riyadh would ever dare to hold
Robert Fisk | Independent
The Italian is one of the finest chefs in the world. But his greatest achievement is Food for Soul, his project to feed the poor and cut food waste, now about to open in London
Tim Adams | The Guardian
Budget analysis shows some Australian women hit with effective marginal tax rates of 100% ["conservatives" are cruel to the poor and desperate everywhere, to protect themselves from higher taxes]
Exclusive: Medicare levy increase, freezing of family tax benefits and student loan repayments ‘particularly harsh for women’
Katharine Murphy | The Guardian
UK needs more immigrants to 'avoid Brexit catastrophe' [who benefits from bad "conservative" policy?]
Ageing population, labour shortages and low productivity mean UK needsnet inward migration of 200,000 a year, says think tank
Patrick Wintour | The Guardian
Britain’s food production depends on seasonal migrant labour fromthe EU. What will happen to those workers after Brexit? And how will it change the industry?
Jay Rayner | The Guardian
Venezuela: 50th day of protests brings central Caracas to a standstill [who does interventions for countries? could the UN help more?]
Venezuelans take to the streets, furious about shortages, rocketing inflation and human rights crackdowns, demanding President Maduro hold elections
Agencies | The Guardian

Reference:
Disintermediating nation-states

How can we best avoid dangers of “bad change of government results” from coup d'état, wars, economic crises, elections, etc.: do away with physical nation-states.

Virtual Nations might best be visualized by imagining different colored spice sprinkled upon the earth, the color of each tiny dot representing a person/family designating which virtual nation they are contracting with for administration of citizen services this year. If one switches virtual nation, his/her escrow for Social Security and Medicare must be transfered to their new virtual nation. This obviates the need for national-level politics.

Marc Cherbonnier | The Baltimore Chronicle | Ref.
Student loan defaults are a bonanza for the debt collection industry.

The federal government has, in recent years, paid debt collectors close to $1 billion annually to help distressed borrowers climb out of default and scrounge up regular monthly payments. New government figures suggest much of that money may have been wasted.

Nearly half of defaulted student-loan borrowers who worked with debt collectors to return to good standing on their loans defaulted again within three years, according to an analysis by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For their work, debt collectors receive up to $1,710 in payment from the U.S. Department of Education each time a borrower makes good on soured debt through a process known as rehabilitation. They keep those funds even if borrowers subsequently default again, contracts show. The department has earmarked more than $4.2 billion for payments to its debt collectors since the start of the 2013 fiscal year, federal spending data show.

Shahien Nasiripour | Bloomberg

The Mediterranean republic of Malta operates a tax system where companies pay the lowest tax on profits in the EU - only five per cent.

Over the last three months, journalistic network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) dug into over 150,000 documents that show how international companies take advantage of this system, using Malta as a pirate base for tax avoidance in the EU.

Although benefiting from the advantages of EU membership, Malta also welcomes large companies and wealthy private clients looking to dodge taxes in their home countries.

This has made Malta a target for firms linked to the Italian mafia, Russian loansharks and the highest echelons of the Turkish elite.

This damages the budgets of other EU countries, and reveals a weakness in the union, which allows member states sovereign rights over their taxation.

The research was undertaken by the EIC, which has brought together 12 media and over 40 journalists in 16 countries.

This is how the scheme works:...

European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) | The Black Sea

Reference:
How to Hide$400 Million [("Ideal," thinks Trump.) Tax-shelters have evolved into a distributed, international system of deregulation loopholes enabling vast worldwide corruption]
When a wealthy businessman set out to divorce his wife, their fortune vanished. The quest to find it would reveal the depths of an offshore financial system bigger than the U.S. economy.
NICHOLAS CONFESSORE | The New York Times Magazine | Ref.

The Financial Times headline is uncharacteristically dramatic: America’s Middle Class Meltdown: core shrinks to half of US homes.

YVES SMITH | Naked Capitalism | Ref.
We're tracking where taxpayer money has gone in the ongoing bailout ofthe financial system. Our database accounts for both the broader $700 billion bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
ProPublica | Ref.
SARAH ANDERSON in CounterPunch| Ref.
ANDREW HACKER in The New York Review of Books | Ref.

Robert Mueller, who was recently appointed as a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the Presidential election, has the authority to clear up the picture. Mueller was given an expansive brief to investigate any links between “anyone associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and the Russian government as well as, basically, anything fishy he might turn up along the way. It seems reasonable to expect that the investigation will take a careful look at Trump’s business history. During the campaign and over the several years before it, Trump had businessdeals with several figures who are close to the Kremlin. To discover if there was collusion in 2015 and 2016, an investigator would surely want to better understand these earlier business relationships.

Adam Davidson | The New Yorker
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