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R.J. Matson | Trump Was Richer Than Richie Rich

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Don't thank Bezos for giving Amazon workers a much-needed raise.

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‘The harm induced by Amazon is very real.’ Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Jeff Bezos runs a powerful monopoly that causes him to exert huge power and control. We shouldn’t be praising him but tackling his power.
  • Related: Amazon Is Used to Promote White Supremacist Merchandise and Views.

Matt Stoller, the Guardian

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In solidarity,
Dave & the Crew


Thu 4 Oct 2018 | Watching the cheering of Amazon warehouse workers after being told they were getting a raise of $15/hour, it would be easy to see the wage bump as a great victory for working people. Senator Bernie Sanders thanked Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, profusely, “What Mr Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be a shot heard around the world.” He encouraged companies like McDonald’s and Walmart to follow Amazon’s lead.

With these expressions of gratitude, Senator Sanders made the case that the problem at play isn’t the power of Jeff Bezos, but that Bezos underpays his workers. For sure, this is a problem, but it is not the central challenge of Amazon. The real problem with Amazon is that Jeff Bezos controls essential infrastructure upon which nearly all American citizens rely, and he uses it to serve himself.

Matt Stoller is fellow at the Open Markets Institute, where he is researching the history of the relationship between concentrated financial power and the Democratic party in the 20th century.

Full story …

Related:

Amazon Is Used to Promote White Supremacist Merchandise and Views, Report Says. Mihir Zaveri, New York (NY) Times

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Inside%20an%20Amazon%20Warehouse.jpgAmazon, which reported a net income of more than $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, is facing criticism that hate groups use it to sell merchandise and promote their ideas.Credit: Bryan Anselm for the New York Times

  • Amazon is helping to line the pockets of hate groups.
  • “This is a conversation about morals and ethics and their own terms of service,” said Danielle Citron, a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and author of the book “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.”
  • Related: How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives?
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Central Banks Have Gone Rogue; The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself.

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  • Part 1: Ten Years After The Financial Crisis, The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself.
  • Tim Geithner, BenBernankeand Hank Paulson dealt a catastrophic blow to public faith in American institutions.
     
  • Part 2: Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk.
  • It is time to curb central bank independence.Iftheirpowerful tools are going to be put to work, it should be in the service of the public and the economy.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Ten Years After The Financial Crisis, The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself.

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5b9d80ca2500003500367c9a.jpeg?cache=ux943pagyc&ops=crop_17_40_2983_1234,scalefit_970_noupscaleBen Bernanke (right) and Timothy Geithner (background) say they did what they had to do to “prevent the collapse of the financial system and avoid another Great Depression.” But what they really did was teach middle-class families a grim lesson. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson dealt a catastrophic blow to public faith in American institutions.


Zach Carter, Huff Post

09/15/2018 | By the time Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in American history on Sept. 15, 2008, the country had been navigating stormy global financial waters for more than a year. Bear Stearns had been rescued in a bailout-facilitated merger with JPMorgan Chase, and the government had nationalized housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For anyone paying attention to the financial system, the situation had been quite dire for a long time.

And yet throughout the mess, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury had been permitting the largest banks in the country to funnel as much cash as they wanted to their shareholders ― even as it became clear those same banks could not pay their debts. Lehman itself had increased its dividend and announced a $100 million stock buyback at the beginning of 2008. Insurance giant AIG paid its highest dividend in company history on Sept. 19, 2008 ― three days after the Federal Reserve handed the insurance giant $85 billion in emergency funds. According to Stanford University Business School Professor Anat Admati, the 19 biggest American banks passed out $80 billion in dividends between the summer of 2007 and the close of 2008. They drew $160 billion in bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury, and untold billions from the Fed’s $7.7 trillion in emergency lending.

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/55a538cb1b0000c6022802c2.png?ops=100_100Zach Carter, Senior Reporter, HuffPost

Full story …



Part 2: Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk.

 

https://www.truthdig.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/208364955_bd1c4e4673_z.jpgIt is time to curb central bank independence. If their powerful tools are going to be put to work, it should be in the service of the public and the economy.

Ellen Brown, Truthdig.com

September 13, 2018 | Excluding institutions such as Blackrock and Vanguard, which are composed of multiple investors, the largest single players in global equity markets are now thought to be central banks themselves. An estimated 30 to 40 central banks are invested in the stock market, either directly or through their investment vehicles (sovereign wealth funds). According to David Haggith at Zero Hedge:

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Open%20Quotes.jpg"Central banks buying stocks are effectively nationalizing U.S. corporations just to maintain the illusion that their “recovery” plan is working. … At first, their novel entry into the stock market was only intended to rescue imperiled corporations, such as General Motors during the first plunge into the Great Recession, but recently their efforts have shifted to propping up the entire stock market via major purchases of the most healthy companies on the market."

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Ellen%20Brown_0.jpgEllen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including "Web of Debt" and "The Public Bank Solution."

Read more …

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This Sort of Spineless Corporate Pandering Is Why Democrats Keep Losing

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, standing next to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking in Berryville, Virginia on July 24, 2017, as they unveiled the Democrats' new "Better Deal" agenda. (Photo: AP/Cliff Owen)

  • The DNC's vote to reverse a ban on fossil fuel industry giving is a deplorable step backward for the party.
  • Related: American Politicians' Shameful Pandering to Israel

Jamie Henn, Common Dreams

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Monday, August 13, 2018 | When we were fighting the Keystone XL pipeline back during the Obama Administration, I learned to watch out for Friday afternoons. That was the Administration’s favorite time to put out a news dump, whether it was a faulty environmental impact statement or some sort of waffling delay of the project. We knew the Obama team was conflicted about the pipeline and increasingly realized that it undid all of their rhetorical commitment to climate action. But instead of showing the political courage to finally say “no” to the pipeline, they strung out the decision for years with these quiet Friday afternoon announcements, trying to bury the news at the end of a long week.



"It’s absolutely vital that the DNC and the climate movement stand with labor and workers across the country, but this is the wrong way to do it."



Saying “no” to the fossil fuel industry clearly still comes hard for Democrats, which is why on Friday afternoon, at 5:00pm ET the Democratic National Committee voted to reverse a decision they made two months ago to not take political contributions for the fossil fuel industry. This had to be one of the quickest flip-flops in DNC history, and if it hadn’t been for some attentive journalists (credit to Alexander Kaufman over at Huffington Post who broke the news) and addicted Twitter users, the Committee may have succeeded in burying it. 

Jamie Henn <> is co-founder of 350.org and currently serves as Director of Strategic Communications for 350 Action.

Read more …

Related:

American Politicians' Shameful Pandering to Israel, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Almost every single elected official in Washington has come out in full support of Israel over the past three weeks as the Israeli military pressed a bloody offensive across Gaza that has killed well over 1,500 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands more.
  • Part 1: 10 Most Shameless Ways American Politicians Are Pandering to Israel
  • Part 2: Even Left-Wing Politicians Can’t Quit Israel
  • Israeli Lobby Takes Control of US Foreign Policy

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Priced Out of Health Insurance, Americans Rig Their Own Safety Nets

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  • Consumers frustrated by high costs are bypassing the bureaucracy with patchwork plans.
  • “It’s not like I’m trying to say, just go without insurance… . “You have to find something that’s going to work for you.”
  • Related: The GOP’s New Pre-Existing Conditions Promise Is A Fraud.

John Tozzi, Bloomberg

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August 22, 2018 | When their son Sky was born four years ago, Lindsie and Chris Bergevin were hit with a big surprise: $7,000 in bills for the birth that their health plan didn’t cover. Sky was two when the couple jettisoned their medical insurance, which helped them eventually pay off the debt.

Now that they’re ready to have a second child, they’re not going back to their old coverage, with its premiums of more than $350 a month. Instead, they’ve patched together an alternative through a religious group and a primary-care doctor whom they can visit anytime for a monthly fee.

John Tozzi: news, political analysis, commentary, long-form features, polling, original video, interactive graphics, and more.

Full story …

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The GOP’s New Pre-Existing Conditions Promise Is A Fraud. Jeffrey Young, HuffPost

Senate Republicans claim their bill will protect people with pre-existing conditions. It won’t — unlike Obamacare, which does.
 

 


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What If Banks Were Publicly Owned? In LA, This May Soon Be A Reality.

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  • Voters will decide in November whether to take city money out of the hands of big banks.
  • Related: From the Archives | Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks.

David Dayen, HuffPost


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08/18/2018 | York congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 33-year-old activist and organizer thundered, “We are witnessing the emergence of a solution, from profit and greed to collective prosperity. We can empower our community from the ground up. It’s time to take our power back.”

Tran’s organization, Public Bank LA, is leading the revival of an idea that had largely been discarded until the financial crisis. In November, Los Angeles voters will have the opportunity to approve a public bank for the city. If the measure passes, it would become the first government-owned bank developed in the United States since 1919.

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/57c490a11600000908bff395.jpeg?ops=100_100David Dayen is an investigative fellow with In These Times and contributes to the Intercept, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud, winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize.

Full story …

Related:

From the Archives | Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks. Ellen Brown, Web of Debt / Truthdig

https://can2-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/letters/photos/000/043/508/original/open-uri20170927-15241-12yci3zGerman public banks (Sparkassen) are triply profitable: as revenue-generating assets for their government owners, as lucrative sources of taxes, and as a stable funding mechanism for small and medium-sized businesses (a funding mechanism sorely lacking in the US today).
 

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

 

 


 

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Amazon Is Used to Promote White Supremacist Merchandise and Views, Report Says

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Amazon, which reported a net income of more than $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, is facing criticism that hate groups use it to sell merchandise and promote their ideas. Credit Bryan Anselm for the New York (NY)Times

  • Amazon is helping to line the pockets of hate groups.
  • “This is a conversation about morals and ethics and their own terms of service,” said Danielle Citron, a professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and author of the book “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.”
  • Related: How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives?

Mihir Zaveri, New York (NY) Times

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July 8, 2018 | Two nonprofits are criticizing Amazon for allowing its platforms to spread white supremacy and racism, identifying in a report how shoppers can buy onesies for babies stamped with alt-right images, Nazi-themed action figures and anti-Semitic books and music.

The report, which was released on Friday by the Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race and the Economy, said Amazon’s policies allow it to bar hateful or offensive merchandise and content, but the policies are “weak and inadequately enforced” and allow hate groups to “generate revenue, propagate their ideas and grow their movements.”

Mihir Zaveri covers breaking news for The New York (NY) Times. He was previously a reporter for the Houston (TX) Chronicle, where he was part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for their coverage of Hurricane Harvey.

Full story …

Related:

How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives? Felicity Lawrence, the Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/3dca1becd453c80b0595537f6d7b189ed3ba0495/0_0_3047_1829/master/3047.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=ba37133958faa19d6a6fc15a7a2afe87Illustration by Thomas Pullin

  • Society abhors exploitation but we are complicit. The cheap goods and services consumers expectmakes exploitation inevitable.
  • Related: Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all.


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Sen. Smith’s PolyMet amendment: Corporate welfare? Pandering? Or just a reasonable deal?

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  • Part 1: Sen. Tina Smith gets behind PolyMet land exchange
  • Democratic U.S.senatorsponsorsamendment to codify Iron Range deal. 
  • Part 2: Sen. Smith’s PolyMet amendment: Corporate welfare? Pandering? Or just a reasonable deal?
  • The heated debate over the role of mining in northern Minnesota has become full of political landmines for Democratic politicians.
  • Minnesotans - Stop the Proposed PolyMet Mine.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Sen. Tina Smith gets behind PolyMet land exchange.

 

http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_152910442257794.jpg?w=525U.S. Sen. Tina Smith spoke at the DFL State Convention in June. Smith has gotten behind a land swap to accomodate construction of a copper-nickel mine on Minnesota's Iron Range. Anthony Souffle - Star Tribune file

Democratic U.S. senator sponsors amendment to codify Iron Range deal. 

Maya Rao, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Submitted by Evergreene Digest <http://evergreenedigest.org> Contributing Editor Lydia Howell.

June 15, 2018 | U.S. Sen. Tina Smith is joining other Minnesota elected officials in supporting a land exchange to enable a proposed copper-nickel mine on the Iron Range, a move that aligns her with many other of the state's top DFLers but has faced strong pushback from environmentalists.

Smith is sponsoring a Senate measure to codify the land swap, already underway by the U.S. Forest Service, to make way for PolyMet Mining's long-in-the-works project. It would also nullify four lawsuits seeking to block the move.

Maya Rao, Reporter, Washington Bureau, wrote for The Press of Atlantic City and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to Minnesota in January 2012.

Full story …



Part 2: Sen. Smith’s PolyMet amendment: Corporate welfare? Pandering? Or just a reasonable deal?

The heated debate over the role of mining in northern Minnesota has become full of political landmines for Democratic politicians.

Business North / MinnPost

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/PolyMet%20NorthMet%20Mine.jpgJun 13, 2018 | The heated debate over the role of mining in northern Minnesota has become full of political landmines for Democratic politicians, not only in local races like the one in the 8th Congressional District, but also in statewide contests.

At the same time, Smith has not yet been elected to this seat, and she has worked since taking office in January to build a legislative record she can run on in November. That now includes some definitive action on mining: last week, she and Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to the annual federal defense spending bill to expedite an exchange of Minnesota land between the federal government and the mining company PolyMet.

Full story …

Related:

Minnesotans - Stop the Proposed PolyMet Mine. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Minnesotans: Stop the proposed PolyMet mine
  • We can do better thanendangeringourground water, rivers, and Lake Superior. Do the right thing!
  • Part 2: Duty to Warn - A Sampling of 16 Earthen Dam Failures
  • Not mentioning the hundreds of leaky tailings dams or the potential catastrophic breaches that will likely occur.

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  • E-mail This Story to a Friend
  • Help expand your impact by forwarding this story to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.

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