Is A Global Crash Just Around The Corner? Central Banks Are Cutting At The Fastest Rate Since The Financial Crisis – Activist Post
And so, while helping us understand what has been the fuel for the market’s recent blow-off top meltup, the Fed’s emergency intervention does beg the question: is there something amiss more than just the repo market, and is Powell telegraphing that a far more serious crisis may be looming?
It’s not just Powell, however. It’s everyone.
As Bank of America’s Michael Hartnett notes in his latest Flows and Liquidity weekly, global monetary policy has flipped from Quantitative Tightening (net 42 hikes & $650bn liquidity removed in 2018) to aggressive Quantitative Easing (net 53 cuts) and represents that fastest pace of central bank cuts since the financial crisis.
Bernie Sanders Defines Democratic Socialism, Says When The 99% Stand Up Against the 1% We Can Transform Society | Video | RealClearPolitics
While President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism,” Sanders plans to say in the speech, according to CNN. “They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people, but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires.”
“We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights,” the speech continues, according to CNN. “This is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
Trump’s Defense Can’t Save Him – The Atlantic
Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC this weekend, Representative Matt Gaetz—one of President Donald Trump’s most relentlessly enthusiastic congressional supporters—had an unexpected suggestion for how the president should proceed in the impeachment inquiry. Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting White House chief of staff, should testify before Congress, Gaetz argued—along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and perhaps even the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. All three men have so far refused to cooperate with House requests for information. But, said Gaetz, “I think it would inure to the president’s advantage to have people testify who could exculpate him.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders Draw Largest Iowa Crowd of Democratic Primary So Far with Call for ‘Solidarity’ Over Unity | Common Dreams News
As they did last month at a rally in Queens, where Ocasio-Cortez officially endorsed the Vermont Independent senator, the two progressives centered the event on a call for solidarity with people of diverse races, class backgrounds, and life experiences.
One key to “expanding the electorate,” Ocasio-Cortez suggested, is to inspire voters to vote to improve the lives of people they may never meet in person.
“Solidarity means, I fight for you and you fight for me,” the freshman congresswoman told the crowd before introducing Sanders.
“Iowa, you’re the first in the nation, baby,” she added. “You need to set the tone. I need to go back home to the Bronx and tell my community in the Bronx, ‘We need to fight for Iowa.'”
The Big Wobble: Fish all gone! Gulf of Alaska fishery to close for the first time ever: No more cod: Salmon all but gone: Millions of small sea birds died since 2015
Extremely low cod numbers have lead feds to close the Gulf of Alaska fishery for the first time ever. In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season. It’s a decision that came as little surprise, but it’s the first time the fishery was closed due to concerns of low stock.
Last month The Big Wobble reported more misery for Alaskan pink salmon fisheries. Prince William Sound Science Center field season was marked by a low flow and high pre-spawn mortality. This year, virtually no rain led to extremely low flows and field crews observed unprecedented pre-spawning die-offs and unusually late migration into the streams
The precise toll is unclear. The new die-off follows a massive loss of common murres in 2015 and 2016, 2017 and 2018, the biggest murre die-off on record in Alaska, and a precursor to near-total reproductive failures for murres in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering. It also follows the deaths of thousands of puffins found last fall on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs and, prior to that, mass deaths of murres and auklets along the U.S. West Coast.
The Big Wobble: Another tipping point breached: Salmon have disappeared in Scotland: Not a single salmon caught during the entire season.
It used to be the best salmon fishing in the world
Some beats on famous rivers like the Spey and the Nith recorded not a single salmon caught during the entire season. Just two salmon were caught on the River Fyne in Argyll this year, where once more than 700 were caught each season. The number of fish caught by anglers has been so low that some estates have stopped selling permits for once-popular beats because there is no fish to catch.
In January 2017, the collapse of Alaska’s salmon fishing caught the headlines. The federal government issued a disaster declaration for Alaska’s pink salmon fishery and several other salmon and crab fisheries along the West Coast.
Almasirah English – Shocking Figures of Saudi Losses in its War Against Yemen
The magazine published in its report some fine details, for example, it spoke about the costs of two warships followed by six accompanying frigates, indicating that the ship’s rent is $ 150 million per day, that is, “300” million dollars per day for the two warships and their dependencies. The warship carries 6,000 soldiers with their equipment, 450 aircraft with their pilots and also has long-range cannons and missiles, meaning that the total costs of the two ships with their accessories amounted to 54 billion dollars within 6 months.
The costs of the expenses of two satellites for military purposes of one hour is one million dollars. With a simple calculation, we find that the cost of the two satellites per day is 48 million dollars, or one billion and 440 million dollars during one month. If you multiply it by six months it will cost 8 billion and 640 million dollars. Analyzing, displaying and extracting information from the images and data of the military satellites would cost $ 5 million per day for the satellite, or $ 10 million per day, or $ 300 million per month, bringing the amount to one billion and 800 million dollars within six months.
The cost of the AWACS aircraft is $ 250,000 in an hour, or $ 6 million per day, equivalent to $ 180 million per month, or one billion and $ 80 million within six months.
Governments Need to Face Reality — the Fossil Fuel Industry Is Collapsing | The Tyee
Around the world there is early evidence of a seismic shift. Capital is moving away from fossil fuels, and regions that have let their economies become dependent on oil revenues are showing signs of authoritarian abuses of power. (Sound familiar Alberta?)
Saudi Arabia, for example, planned to sell up to five per cent of state-owned oil company Aramco in what was supposed to be the largest IPO in history, raising $100 billion to improve services and diversify the economy.
Instead, the sale has been scaled back. Only 1.5 per cent of the company will be sold, and the share offering may only raise $25 billion — enough to cover the Saudi government deficit for about six months.
New app predicts water-related conflict up to year in advance – Japan Today
They said the “groundbreaking” early warning tool, which has also predicted risks in Iran, Nigeria and Pakistan, could spot the likelihood of conflicts – including water-related violence – up to 12 months in advance.
Climate change, increasing populations, rapid urbanization, economic growth and expanding agriculture are compounding pressures on the world’s limited water supplies.
U.N. data shows a quarter of the globe is using water faster than natural sources can be replenished.
The Impacts of Relying on Desalination for Water – Scientific American
Beyond the links to climate problems, marine biologists warn that widespread desalinization could take a heavy toll on ocean biodiversity; as such facilities’ intake pipes essentially vacuum up and inadvertently kill millions of plankton, fish eggs, fish larvae and other microbial organisms that constitute the base layer of the marine food chain. And, according to Jeffrey Graham of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, the salty sludge leftover after desalinization for every gallon of freshwater produced, another gallon of doubly concentrated salt water must be disposed of can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems if dumped willy-nilly offshore. For some desalinization operations, says Graham, it is thought that the disappearance of some organisms from discharge areas may be related to the salty outflow.
Of course, as supplies of fresh water dwindle, the economic cost of desalinization‚ especially in coastal areas with easy access to ocean water‚ begins to look competitive with traditional water sourcing. To date there are about 300 desalinization plants in the United States, with 120 in Florida and less than 40 each in Texas and California. Some 20 additional plants are planned for the coast of California in the coming years, unless environmentalists extolling the virtues of conservation and wielding low-flow shower heads and toilets prevail.
Desalination Breakthrough: Saving the Sea from Salt – Scientific American
The secret is a variant of the Solvay process, a 150-year-old, seven-step chemical conversion method that is widely used to produce sodium carbonate for industrial applications, and that many chemists are working to refine. Benyahia has simplified the process in part by aiming for sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) rather than sodium carbonate, thus reducing the needed chemical conversion steps to just two. In the presence of ammonia he reacts pure carbon dioxide with the waste brine from desalination, creating solid baking soda and ammonium chloride solution. In a second step he reacts the ammonium chloride solution with calcium oxide to produce calcium chloride solution and ammonia gas. Recovering the ammonia allows him to reuse it in the first step, reducing the cost of the process.
Benyahia’s process is unusual in that it reduces the need for brine disposal by nearly 100 percent, ending up with sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride and ammonia for reuse in the first step. It also uses pure CO2, whereas other similar processes use flue gas from power plants—which is about 10 percent CO2 and contains other gases. Using flue gas adds a step of separating out the pure CO2, making the process more expensive. Qatar already has natural gas processing plants venting pure CO2 close to brine disposal stations, making Benyahia’s solution potentially cost-effective, at least in places with similar infrastructure.
Brine disposal is a big problem in much of the Middle East. The gulf, along with the Red and Mediterranean seas, are turning saltier because of desalination by-products—and the region is the epicenter of desalination worldwide, with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman making up 45 percent of global desalination capacity. This brine is typically twice as salty as seawater, and advanced desalination plants still produce approximately two cubic meters of waste brine for every one cubic meter of clean water.
Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here – Scientific American
Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth, and much of that learning is happening at the Zuckerberg Institute, where researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. They have developed resilient well systems for African villages and biological digesters than can halve the water usage of most homes.
The institute’s original mission was to improve life in Israel’s bone-dry Negev Desert, but the lessons look increasingly applicable to the entire Fertile Crescent. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.”
That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.
Historical documents show Japanese gov’t role in providing sex slaves – Japan Today
Japan’s army during World War II asked the government to provide one sex slave for every 70 soldiers, according to historical documents reviewed by Kyodo News service that highlight the state role in the so-called “comfort women” system.
The 23 documents were gathered by Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat between April 2017 and March 2019, including 13 classified dispatches from the Japanese consulates in China to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo dating back to 1938, according to Kyodo.
The sex slaves issue has been a source of a painful dispute between South Korea and Japan. The women were from Korea, Taiwan and Australia, the Philippines as well as Japan.
Vowing to Deliver High-Speed Broadband for All, Sanders Plan Would Enshrine Internet as Public Utility | Common Dreams News
Vowing to take on the telecom giants that have monopolized the web for private profit, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday unveiled a $150 billion plan to make the internet a public utility, break up and tightly regulate corporate behemoths like Verizon and AT&T, and provide high-speed broadband for everyone in the United States.
“Our tax dollars built the internet. It should be a public good for all, not another price-gouging profit machine for Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
“It is outrageous that across the country millions of Americans and so many of our communities do not have access to affordable high-speed internet,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement. “Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all.”
Sanders vowed that, if elected president in 2020, he will ensure that every American household has affordable and high-speed internet by the end of his first term.
“Just as President Roosevelt fundamentally made America more equal by bringing electricity to every farm and rural community over 80 years ago, as president, I will do the same with high-speed internet,” Sanders said.
‘Now Let’s Do This Everywhere’: Kansas City, Missouri Approves Free Public Transit for All | Common Dreams News
Lawmakers in Kansas City, Missouri took a “visionary step” on Thursday by unanimously voting to make public transportation in the city free of charge, setting the stage for it to be the first major U.S. city to have free public transit.
The Kansas City Council voted to direct the city manager to set aside $8 million to eliminate the $1.50 per ride fare that currently applies to the city’s bus system.
Some frequent riders could save about $1,000 per year under the new plan, according to KCUR, the city’s public radio station.
“It’d help me out a lot,” college student Michael Mumford, who rides the city’s buses at least once per day, told the station. “Put some change in my pocket…buy some books for class.”
‘Impeach Trump for This’: Video Shows Final Hours of Teen’s Horrible Death in US Immigration Detention Center | Common Dreams News
Footage from an immigrant detention center in Texas obtained by Pro Publica and published online Thursday shows the final hours of 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez—who died from complications of the flu while in custody—but also strongly indicates the border patrol agents responsible for his care lied about what happened that night.
“As immigration authorities sat by, a child lay dying from the flu on a slab of concrete in a pool of his own vomit next to a toilet.”
—Jess Morales Rocketto, Families Belong Together
Carlos, according to the news outlet,
was seriously ill when immigration agents put him in a small South Texas holding cell with another sick boy on the afternoon of May 19.
A few hours earlier, a nurse practitioner at the Border Patrol’s dangerously overcrowded processing center in McAllen had diagnosed him with the flu and measured his fever at 103 degrees. She said that he should be checked again in two hours and taken to the emergency room if his condition worsened.
Nuclear explosion in Kharkov region
Then the countdown began, and at exactly 10.00 the earth shuddered, and then roared and hummed. Everything around was mixed up. Explosion. From the crater of a gas volcano to a height of more than a kilometer, a huge dirty-brown radioactive mushroom shot up and slowly sailed towards Sanzhar (Poltava region). His shadow fell to the ground, covering the sun. Eyewitnesses recall: it seemed to everyone as if the end of the world had come. What used to be upright fell. From the movement of the earth, people were thrown into the air several times.
Then – dead silence. People breathed a sigh of relief, confident that the attempt to hammer a gas well into the molten rock was a success. But after 20 seconds, everything suddenly buzzed and crackled: the crater of a gas volcano unexpectedly came to its full strength. A powerful kilometer-long gas stream mixed with rock burst upward.
The experimental animals lay as inanimate. The chickens fell to one side, and the roosters rolled upside down. Bees flew out of the hives and fell nearby. In the huts, glass blasted, chimneys and stoves collapsed, and the walls cracked. Around in full swing summer, nature shines, and the villages resembled deserted ruins
via news.pn Nuclear explosion in Kharkov region
Inside the Organized Crime Syndicate known as the CIA: an Interview with Douglas Valentine – CovertAction Magazine
Douglas Valentine: Well, it meant that the Phoenix program was targeted against civilians, the civilians who managed the insurgency in South Vietnam, not soldiers, not even guerrillas or terrorists. But these were civilians who were working undercover in political positions, generally speaking. We managed the insurgency in South Vietnam and their names could be put on blacklists. And once their name was on a list—once somebody had been informed about them, and once they were a member of a list a that was called the Vietcong infrastructure, the insurgency—the CIA and its forces could go out and kidnap them, put them in interrogation centers, kill them along with their families, and do anything they wanted to try and suppress them. And the problem was that lots of innocent civilians got their names put on these blacklists. In fact, one of the ways that the CIA and its forces, the South Vietnamese Special Police and its mercenary army, one of the ways that they got people to inform on the members of the Vietcong insurgency was by threatening to put their names on blacklists. So therefore, it became a blackmail scheme.
So, if you were just an average citizen and you did not support the government of South Vietnam, you could find your name on a blacklist and your whole family could be wiped out. So, it became a way of not just attacking the members of this Vietcong infrastructure, but a way of population control, a way of terrorizing everybody in South Vietnam and bringing them all into line following government policies. And the minute you stepped out of line, you could find your name on a blacklist.
Michael Steven Smith: A common theme is the CIA’s ability to deceive and propagandize the American public through its impenetrable government-sanctioned shield of official secrecy and plausible deniability. Can you give us some examples of this please, Doug?
The Essence of Huachuma Cactus – Openhearted Rebellion
Anyone who has experienced a well-made Huachuma brew would testify that the essence of their experience is Love. And it truly is. Pure, unconditional, divine love. This extraordinary but real experience is deeply healing on every level. It is simply self-evident, experiential truth. This medicine is a map for inner treasure, that very treasure that the mystics and the sages of antiquity knew about and some of whom possessed.
Living in the modern world is different, as illustrated in the film The Matrix. The modern Matrix appears wide open and promises total freedom. Yet it is a very constricted space for the soul, where spiritually mature people feel suffocated and claustrophobic. In modern society there is simply no time or space for the Spirit. I know this for a fact.
I am from there. And the fast-paced world is accelerating, driving its habitants deeper into darkness and madness. For some, it is already a reality. Suppose you are already angry, frustrated and tired of waking up early on a cold, rainy day to drive to a job that you hate, which is supervised by someone you don’t like. It is already depressing as it is…….
The US Is Spending $1.25 Trillion Annually on War
Intelligence Budget total: $80 billion
Running tally (still): $1.0979 trillion
Defense Share of Interest on the National Debt: The interest on the national debt is well on its way to becoming one of the most expensive items in the federal budget. Within a decade, it is projected to exceed the Pentagon’s regular budget in size. For now, of the more than $500 billion in interest taxpayers fork over to service the government’s debt each year, about $156 billion can be attributed to Pentagon spending.
Defense Share of National Debt total: $156.3 billion
Final tally: $1.2542 trillion
So, our final annual tally for war, preparations for war, and the impact of war comes to more than $1.25 trillion — more than double the Pentagon’s base budget. If the average taxpayer were aware that this amount was being spent in the name of national defense — with much of it wasted, misguided, or simply counterproductive — it might be far harder for the national security state to consume ever-growing sums with minimal public pushback. For now, however, the gravy train is running full speed ahead and its main beneficiaries — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and their cohorts — are laughing all the way to the bank.
via Truthout The US Is Spending $1.25 Trillion Annually on War
China Braces For December D-Day: The “Unprecedented” Default Of A Massive State-Owned Enterprise | Zero Hedge
Three days after we described the self-destructive doom loop that is tearing apart China’s smaller banks, where a second bank run took place in just two weeks – an unprecedented event for a country where until earlier this year not a single bank was allowed to fail publicly and has now had no less than five bank high profile nationalizations/bailouts/runs so far this year – the Chinese bond market is bracing itself for an unprecedented shock: a major, Fortune 500 Chinese commodity trader is poised to become the biggest and highest profile state-owned enterprise to default in the dollar bond market in over two decades.
Nikki Haley: Confederate Flag Was About ‘Heritage’ Until Dylann Roof ‘Hijacked’ It | HuffPost
Continuing, she then asserted that, until the 2015 massacre, the flag — which many associate with the legacy of slavery — represented “service and sacrifice and heritage,” but that after Roof’s murders, “there was no way to overcome it.”
While the flag is defended as a symbol of Southern pride in some states, it is also embraced as a tribute to the “lost cause” of the Civil War, was waved at Ku Klux Klan lynchings, and used as a sign of resistance against desegregation.
After the Charleston shooting, photos surfaced of Roof posing with Confederate flags, and his racist screed confirmed that the violence was committed in the name of white supremacy.
Stephen King Nails The Big Problem With Republicans’ Argument Against Impeachment | HuffPost
Author Stephen King on Thursday dismantled a key Republican talking point against the impeachment of President Donald Trump with a blunt reminder about the 2016 election.
“I get a kick out of the Republicans saying impeachment is an effort to overturn the will of the American people when Hilary (sic) beat the dumbbell by 3 million votes,” the horror novelist tweeted. “He won because of the antiquated electoral college, a 2-mule wagon in a jet plane world.”
Trump and his followers are trying to stuff the dead and rotting corpse of slavery, sexism, racism, plus the worst of everything fundamentalist from the Middle Ages onto people who have long since moved on.
This will end VERY badly unless he and other racists are removed from the scene of the crime.
Senate Confirms Another Trump Court Pick Rated ‘Not Qualified’ To Serve | HuffPost
WASHINGTON ― Senate Republicans voted Thursday to confirm Justin Walker to a lifetime seat on a federal court, despite the fact that he earned a rare and embarrassing “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.
Every Republican present voted to put Walker, 37, onto the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. Every Democrat present voted no. The full vote tally is here.
Crimes against Humanity: US Sanctions Harm One Third of World’s People
Sanctions and economic blockades against Venezuela, Cuba and Iran are well known. But the devastating impacts of U.S. sanctions on occupied Palestine — or on already impoverished countries such as Mali, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Fiji, Nicaragua and Laos — are not even on the radar screen of human rights groups.
Most sanctions are intentionally hidden; they don’t generate even a line of news. Some sanctions are quickly passed after a sudden news article about an alleged atrocity. The civilians who will suffer have nothing to do with whatever crime the corporate media use as an excuse. What are never mentioned are the economic or political concessions the U.S. government or corporations are seeking.
Sanctions cannot be posed as an alternative to war. They are in fact the most brutal form of warfare, deliberately targeting the most defenseless civilians — youth, the elderly, sick and disabled people. In a period of human history when hunger and disease are scientifically solvable, depriving hundreds of millions from getting basic necessities is a crime against humanity.
International law and conventions, including the Geneva and Nuremberg Conventions, United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, explicitly prohibit the targeting of defenseless civilians, especially in times of war.
Huge chaos again in France as nationwide general strike bites on second day
A nationwide general strike has hit France for a second day in a row over planned pension reforms by the government, causing chaos across the country.
Schools remained closed on Friday and hospitals were understaffed. Reports said the cancellation of rush-hour trains into Paris has caused a huge traffic jam around the capital.
According to traffic app Styadin, traffic jams totaling more than 350 kilometers clogged the main roads in and around the capital as many commuters took to their cars.
Part of the growth of fascism requires austerity measures, in order to drive people into voting FOR a dictator, who promises to solve all of the problems caused by fascism.
15 Signs You’re Experiencing a Spiritual Emergency ⋆ LonerWolf
Cosmic love is absolutely ruthless and highly indifferent; it teaches its lessons whether you like/dislike them or not.
– John Lilly
If you’re going through a spiritual emergency, you have my love and support. This is probably one of the most painful, disorienting, and scary experiences you will ever go through – but please know that it does end, and it is worth going through. (I’ll explore why later.)
Below, you’ll find fifteen signs commonly experienced during spiritual emergencies:
You find it impossible to cope with everyday tasks (like going shopping, showering, cooking, keeping up with the bills, etc.)
You can’t hold down a job due to your intense sensitivity
It feels like your whole world is crumbling around you
You struggle to sleep properly and may experience night terrors
Your inner and outer world blur confusingly
You experience a rollercoaster of emotions
You may experience strange hallucinations (e.g., images, sounds, physical impressions)
Your grasp on the real and logical is weak (resulting in psychotic-like symptoms)
Huge global corporations have been making record profits, and CEO pay is obscenely high in the US, compared to all other countries. The national debt is sky high. What would be the logical and common sense thing to do at this time of year? Wouldn’t you agree that this would be the time to give all workers a PERMANENT raise, plus a PERMANENT tax cut, but only for those workers in the middle class and below, who are the ones who actually create the wealth that these huge corporations are hiding overseas, or refusing to pay taxes on?
via TrumpTheGrinch Christmas Story, How Trump The Grinch And Huge Greedy Corporations Plus Billionaires Stole Medicare, Christmas, Christianity And Core American Values, Christmas Cancelled In Nazareth, Birth Place of Christ | A Green Road Journal
A 70% tax on the super-rich is more popular than Trump’s tax cuts – Business Insider
After Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez floated a plan to hike marginal tax rates on the super-rich, conservatives said the proposal would be political suicide for Democrats.
But, according to an INSIDER poll, a plurality of Americans support a 70% tax rate on income over $10 million.
In fact, support for Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal is higher than support for last year’s Republican tax cuts.
Bernie Sanders unveils ‘High-Speed Internet for All’ plan – UPI.com
Dec. 6 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced a plan Friday to spread broadband Internet to rural areas of the United States and break up large service providers.
Promising that every U.S. household will have affordable, high-speed Internet by the end of his first term in the White House, Sanders said the push is part of his overall vision to improve the domestic economy and decrease corporate power.
Senate Democrats Join GOP to Back ‘Automatic Austerity’ Bill That Would Gut Social Programs, Hamstring Bold Policies | Common Dreams News
A handful of Senate Democrats joined forces with Republicans last week to advance sweeping budget legislation that would establish an “automatic deficit-reduction process” that could trigger trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs—and potentially hobble the agenda of the next president.
The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act (S.2765), authored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), passed out of the Senate Budget Committee on November 6. The legislation is co-sponsored by five members of the Senate Democratic caucus: Whitehouse, Mark Warner (Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Angus King (I-Maine).
“If a Democrat wants to extend free public college to all Americans, or move toward a universal health care system, or amass resources to fight the climate crisis, they’re going to run into the deficit scolds.”
—David Dayen, The American Prospect
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, issued a statement last week opposing the legislation and warning it “could be used by Republicans to unilaterally cut programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and nutrition assistance—all supposedly to reduce the deficit.”
Sanders’s ‘Secret Weapon:’ Strong Latino Support
[T]here are signs Hispanics may prove a kind of secret weapon for Sanders. In a recent Fox News poll of Nevada, Hispanics there preferred Sanders over Biden by 7 percentage points. Sanders also led Biden with them by 9 points in a recent Latino Decisions poll of California and doubled the former vice president’s vote among them in the University of Texas at Tyler poll. Sanders narrowly led Biden with Hispanics in a New York Times/Siena poll of Florida, and the two ran even in Arizona, according to the OH Predictive Insights survey.
The evidence of Sanders’s strength among Latinos is everywhere, most recently in a University of California IGS survey of the Golden State, where Sanders led the field, in no small part because of his 32 percent showing (Biden is second at 19 percent) among Latinos.
Brownstein notes that Sanders did well among younger Latinos in 2016, but quotes his pollster to the effect that Bernie is now exhibiting “more appeal across generations” in this demographic group. Perhaps — though cross tabs from Morning Consult’s most recent tracking poll show Sanders leading Biden 40/16 (with Warren at 11) among under-35 Latinos and 24/18 (with Warren at 16) among Latinos aged 34–44. But among Latinos aged 45–65, Biden leads Sanders 35/16 (Warren is at 12) and among Latino seniors Biden’s lead balloons to 45/10 (with Warren at 9). Sanders has an overall 29/23 lead over Biden (with Warren at 12) in this demographic because Latinos are an unusually young ethnic group.
EIGHTH Russian Connected To Trump Found Dead | Crooks and Liars
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Russian operative with ties to Donald Trump dies.
It’s not an unusual story. In fact, it’s happened seven times in the last year.
It’s hard out there for a potentially compromising conduit between Trump and Vladmir Putin.
This one strikes particularly close to home. Alex Oronov was found dead, according to a Facebook post by Andrii Artemenko, an Ukrainian MP. Oronov was apparently quite successful in agribusiness. He had an interest in an ethanol business set up by Michael and Bryan Cohen in the Ukraine. Michael Cohen is Donald Trump’s attorney. Bryan, in addition to being Michael’s brother, is Oronov’s son-in-law. With Artemenko and others, Oronov had organized a “peace plan,” which was described by The New York Times as a back-channel opportunity for the Trump administration:
Trump Administration Ends Food Stamps For 700,000 Unemployed Americans | Michael Stone
Because nothing restores “the dignity of work” like going hungry.
The move is despicable, but not surprising. Republicans have always wanted to cut food stamps for the poor and unemployed. Last year House Republicans tried to impose similar restrictions, but were stopped by Democrats in the Senate.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, and the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, railed against the new rule, declaring:
This Administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part time jobs with unreliable hours. Seasonal holiday workers, workers in Northern Michigan’s tourism industry, and workers with unreliable hours like waiters and waitresses are the kinds of workers hurt by this proposal.
Akka, Haifa, Tabaria, are all cities with a rich Arab history which Daher made into thriving towns, and yet little memory of him existents thanks to enormous efforts put forward by the state of Israel to control the historical narrative.
December 02nd, 2019
The history of Palestine, even its very recent history, has been all but forgotten. It was pushed out by a new version of history, a narrative that is based on faith and has very little to do with history. One striking example is that of the 18th-century Palestinian leader and unifier, Daher Al-Umar. For most people, neither the man or the period in which he ruled Palestine is known.
Here is what Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah writes about Daher Al-Umar:
This matchless character has long been worthy of the attention of novelists and film and television producers, who could have made him a…
View original post 1,285 more words
THE LATEST COUP IN BOLIVIA & “OPERATION CONDOR”
“Do you think Bolivia’s government—or any government in South America—can be changed without your government and mine being aware of it?”
When Levine asked why that affected the planned DEA investigation, the Argentine answered, “Because the same people being named as drug dealers are the people who we are helping to rid Bolivia of leftists.”
Three weeks later, Levine met with a Bolivian drug trafficker who outlined plans for the new government in which his niece, Sonia Atala, a major cocaine supplier, would “be in a very strong position.”
(Barry Seal worked with Sonia Atala.)
The masked paramilitary thugs in the coup turned out not to even be Bolivians, but spoke French, Italian and German, and Spanish with Argentine accents.
Their presence in Bolivia would later be ascribed to the CIA—and Operation Condor.
General Luis Garcia Meza was in control. His first act was to release drug traffickers from jail and destroy police records of trafficking. He had brought in the neo-fascist paramilitary squads wearing swastika armbands, calling themselves the “Fiancés of death.”
Garza immediately put the Interior Ministry under the control of the nephew of Roberto Suarez, the Bolivian kingpin who went on to become exactly what he styled himself as… the King of Cocaine.
via madcowprod THE LATEST COUP IN BOLIVIA & “OPERATION CONDOR” — MadCow
China’s Gene-Edited Baby Experiment Created Unintended Mutations
First, despite claiming in the abstract of their unpublished article that they reproduced the human CCR5 mutation, in reality the team tried to modify CCR5 close to the Δ32 mutation.
As a result, they generated different mutations, of which the effects are unknown. It may or may not confer HIV resistance, and may or may not have other consequences.
Worryingly, they did not test any of this, and went ahead with implanting the embryos. This is unjustifiable.
The Mosaic Effect
A second source of errors could have been that the editing was not perfectly efficient. This means that not all cells in the embryos were necessarily edited.
When an organism has a mixture of edited and unedited cells, it is called a “mosaic”. While the available data are still limited, it seems that both Lulu and Nana are mosaic.
This makes it even less likely that the gene-edited babies would be resistant to HIV infection. The risk of mosaicism should have been another reason not to implant the embryos.
via themindunleashed China’s Gene-Edited Baby Experiment Created Unintended Mutations
Half-Million Hermit Crabs Killed by Plastic Waste on Remote Islands
(TMU) — Over half a million tiny hermit crabs have been trapped and killed by the massive amounts of plastic debris on two remote island chains in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The tragic mass mortality event has researchers fearing the worst on a global scale.
The discovery of 570,000 dead hermit crabs in the Indian Ocean’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Pacific Ocean’s Henderson Island is just the latest sign of the growing crisis of plastic waste polluting our oceans, posing a grave threat to wildlife.
The first-of-its-kind study, published in Journal of Hazardous Materials, revealed that 508,000 crabs died in the Cocos archipelago along with 61,000 on Henderson Island. The crabs’ lives were likely claimed by the massive amount of plastic containers littering the area, whose openings are sloped upward in a manner that prevented them from climbing out once they had gone in.
via themindunleashed Half-Million Hermit Crabs Killed by Plastic Waste on Remote Islands
5 Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
Jaundice: This yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes is caused by the buildup of bilirubin, a dark yellow-brown substance made by the liver. Cancers starting in the head of the pancreas are near the common bile duct, according to the ACS. This type of cancer may press on the duct and cause jaundice, which could lead to finding the tumors at an early stage. But cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas don’t press on the duct until after they have already spread through the pancreas and possibly beyond. Dark urine, too, can be a sign of jaundice, and bilirubin buildup can also lead to itchiness on the skin.
Light-colored or greasy stools: Bilirubin helps give stools their brown color, so when the bile duct is blocked, stools may be gray or pale. Pancreatic cancer can also make it difficult for the intestines to help break down fats, so stools may become greasy and float in the toilet.
Belly pain: Pain in the abdomen (belly) or back is common with pancreatic cancer. “Cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas can grow fairly large and start to press on other nearby organs, causing pain,” the ACS says. “The cancer may also spread to the nerves surrounding the pancreas, which often causes back pain. Of course, pain in the abdomen or back is fairly common and is most often caused by something other than pancreatic cancer.”
Loss of appetite and weight loss: Unintended weight loss and loss of appetite can be warning signs of pancreatic cancer.
Nausea and vomiting: The cancer can press on the far end of the stomach and partially block it, making it hard for food to pass. This may cause nausea, vomiting and pain after eating.
A more detailed list of symptoms is available from ACS.
via AARP 5 Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
Friday, 06 December 2019
Hundreds of thousands of strikers paralyzed the transport system on the first day of industrial action which prompted closure of schools across the nation.
According to union leaders, more than 1.5 million people turned out across the country, with police using tear gas to disperse them.
Just in Paris alone, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, while more than 6,000 police officers were deployed with a decree to forbid the protesters from gathering on the Champs-Élysées or at police stations.
Police in riot gear used tear gas and truncheons to disperse protesters near the Place de la Republique. The judiciary 57 people were detained on Thursday.
Strikers on Friday were set to continue a similar pattern across the country, with widespread rail cancellations and disruption to flights expected across the nation.
French riot police clash with protesters during a demonstration in Paris, on…
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This week’s news has largely focused on the impeachment inquiry and the NATO conference in London, both of them crazy. Corrupt GOP Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to impeach President Obama—who left the office almost three years ago—for wiretapping Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) which didn’t happen. DDT pretends he’s in charge of the impeachment and tweeted, “Do it now, fast …. We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify.”
When the House Judiciary Committee entered the impeachment inquiry yesterday, three of the constitutional experts were selected by Democrats, and Republicans picked the fourth, Jonathan Turley who had already written op-eds opposing the impeachment. His weak arguments against impeachment included Democrats are acting only out of anger and moving too fast. Turley testified for Bill Clinton’s impeachment because he was a “perjurer” but now finds insufficient evidence despite DDT’s refusal to allow executive employees to comply…
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Enset – Gastro Obscura
It looks like a banana plant, harvests like a root vegetable, and tastes like flatbread. Though the enset is a technical cousin of the banana, this tree offers a food that is much more potato-like. English-speakers—feeling betrayed by the enset’s misleading appearance—decided to call it “the false banana.” Its vaguely banana-like pods are short, thick, and filled with seeds, but it’s not the fruit that makes enset worth planting.
Unlike plucking bananas, harvesting from the enset requires prying the entire plant from the ground. Its pseudo-stem contains a starchy pith that can be pulped and fermented into a calorie-dense carbohydrate. This can be acquired throughout the year, which provides a buffer against famine when seasonal crops fail.
Once the pith is collected using a bamboo scraper, it gets pulped, combined with yeast, and bundled. The mixture is placed into an enset leaf–lined pit, covered by leaves and rocks, and then left to ferment for up to two years. After a minimum of three months of subterranean fermenting, enset can be used to make a dense, bread-like staple called kocho. Kocho is thought to taste better with age, going from green to white and acquiring a cheese smell as it ripens.
via atlasobscura Enset – Gastro Obscura