Here's an interesting story in the Guardian, ostensibly about offshore wealth, but more about wealth, and especially the wealthy.
The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.
James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.
$21 trillion?! Even today, that's a lot of money! And capital doesn't "disappear" into the "cracks in the financial system" (indeed, one might even think the whole purpose of the financial system is to have such cracks). The capital goes somewhere and is invested in something by someone. The article doesn't say any of that -- in fact, the tax havens obfuscate capital flows -- but it does have other interesting things to say. For one thing, the Gini co-efficient that measures inequality, bad as it seems now, isn't nearly bad enough: Read more about How few of the 0.01% there really are
I am putting the names in bold: Tom Nides and Robert Hormats.
The person expressing "angst" about Hormats and Nides influencing a possible Hillary Clinton presidency is a Neil Sroka, spokesman for "progressive advocacy group Democracy in America." [Where has Sroka been during President Wall Street Obama's reign?] Read more about Outing Hillary's Wall Street Lackeys: Tom Nides and Robert Hormats
I'm counting 17 plant species that I know, and 7 mystery plants I do not know, all in view from my desk. (Of course, there are many others elsewhere!)
Here's a legend for the color coding: Read more about In the garden: Biophilia at the office (with mystery plants)
The trade agreements currently being negotiated by the Obama Administration are potentially enormously important in their possible impact on the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated by 12 Asian-Pacific nations, and, if agreed to by Congress could be expanded in membership later on under the President's sole authority. Read more about Declarations of Dependence: A New e-Book on the Neoliberal Nation-Subjugating “Trade Deals”
As usual, Bruce Dixon lays it on the line:
The first thing to know about the #BlackLivesMatter confrontation with Democratic presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders is that it didn't happen on the street or some neutral setting, it didn't happen at some random campaign appearance. It happened at the annual NetRootsNation gathering, this year in Phoenix. ....
If you're a black Democratic party activist like I was for 25 years, even if like me, you never called yourself that, you go to NetRoots to connect with other Democratic party activists, and hopefully, with the people who will be handing out grassroots money, among other things, to get out the Big Black Vote in November, without which Democrats on every level have no hope of winning.
High ranking Democrats who hand out money, whether through partisan campaigns or to ostensibly nonpartisan and/or nonprofit organizations are always on the lookout for new activist blood with catchy new hooks, for activists who'll say the things they will not say in the effort to turn out the black masses for that Big Black Vote. So if you're a black activist at NetRoots you really NEED to stand out, to get noticed by the people who can give you fellowships, grants, jobs, funding of all kinds, and a career.
Since Hillary is the all but inevitable Democratic nominee, confronting two minor white male candidates, demanding they “say her name” and come up with solutions that address white supremacy, structural racism and the runaway police state is pretty much a foolproof strategy to get noticed, and as Hillary did not attend NetRoots, they got to do it without antagonizing the Clinton camp. Hillary wisely covered her own ass by releasing a tweet that unequivocally said “black lives DO matter.”
But all in all, the NetRootsNation confrontation wasn't the stirring of black women activists “taking their rightful place at the front of the progressive movement,” as one breathless tweet called it. It didn't tell us anything we didn't know about O'Malley or Sanders, or about hypocritical Hillary.
It was about flying the #BlackLivesMatter flag to jockey for positions inside the machinery that is the Democratic party and its affiliates.
So, I guess we won't be seeing #BlackLivesMatter activists -- the "top" ones, anyhow -- confronting Democrats with real power anytime soon, then? (I've given one very obvious approach for such a confrontation here). Read more about Democrats, #BlackLivesMatter, Netroots Nation, kayfabe, and ka-ching
Last Friday during an MSNBC interview retired General Wesley Clark called for “disloyal” Americans to be put into internment camps according to Thomas Gaist.
Apparently this was prompted by the recent “lone wolf” Chattanooga, TN shooting at a recruiting station.
Wesley Clark on MSNBC:
We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,
In an e-mail circulated among Ohio news reporters, Ruvolo said he was “appalled” that Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week that Sittenfeld — a Cincinnati city councilman — should focus more on curbing crime in Cincinnati.
Central Florida Congressman Alan Grayson derides the bank.
“Well it’s the clearest case of corporate welfare you’re going to find anywhere in the U.S. budget. We are literally paying foreigners to compete against U.S. workers and take away our jobs so good riddance.” Grayson says.
Grayson goes on to say he could support a completely revamped form of the bank, but in its current form he says it’s a nonstarter.
Interesting story in WaPo today: Why Hillary Clinton and her rivals are struggling to grasp Black Lives Matter. Just in case they buried the lead, I started reading at the end:
[Clinton's] post drew some praise from activists online. [@deray] Mckesson, the organizer who had been invited to attend Clinton’s announcement speech, told his Twitter followers that it was “solid.”
But he added a dose of skepticism: Compared with her rivals, after all, she got off easy.
“She also had time to craft it,” Mckesson wrote. “She should’ve been at Netroots.”
And Clinton wasn't at Netroots. Did she not care? Perhaps not, given 2008. Or was she warned? Say, by the Netroots leadership or the chair of the panel that #BlackLivesMatter disrupted*? It will be interesting to see if any Clinton events are actually disrupted over the next few news cycles, as in activists storming the stage. If nothing like that happens... Read more about The Democratic nomenklatura and #BlackLivesMatter