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Postal Banks Are People’s Banks

6 Things You Need To Know About Postal Banking

Matt Stannard, Occupy.com

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http://www.occupy.com/sites/default/files/medialibrary/postal-savings-system-200-note-series-of-1917-9.gif.jpeg  Tue, 10/27/2015 | It’s being called “Bernie’s Brilliant Idea,”, and Bernie Sanders’s embrace of postal banking is indeed brilliant, both in timing and substance. But while his insurgent presidential campaign may give a credible boost to USPS financial services, Sanders’s endorsement is far from sufficient. To make postal banking happen requires a broad, mass coalition willing to keep pushing the issue regardless of the outcome of the 2016 elections. If you want to be part of that movement, or already are, keep these six things in mind:

1. Postal banking has a long, strong history.

Nations all over the world have postal savings banks, and the United States had a successful postal bank from 1911 to 1967. At one time, as many as 10% of Americans used postal banks; unsurprisingly, it was lobbying from big banks that shut the program down by urging Congress to stop allowing postal banks to offer competitive interest rates. The emergence of postal banking as a 2016 electoral issue stems from a campaign that began early last year with a short, persuasive piece written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who cited a report by the Postal Inspector General recommending that the USPS offer financial services – from check cashing and small loans to financial counseling and bill paying – as both a public service and business opportunity for the U.S. Post Office. Soon after, a large coalition of unions and economic justice groups – including the organization I co-founded, Commonomics USA – coalesced around the demand for postal banking. We strategized, pushed the message, hosted conference calls, forums and Q&As on postal banking, and waited.

Matt Stannard is policy director at Commonomics USA and a member of the board of the Public Banking Institute.

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Pharma Biggie Hit With $125M Penalty For Illegal Kickbacks To Doctors, Falsified Insurance Forms

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  • While the company won’t be going to jail, former Warner Chilcott President W. Carl Reichel might be. The erstwhile exec was arrested today in Boston, and according to a newly unsealed indictment [PDF] has been charged with conspiring to pay kickbacks to physicians.
  • From the Archives | Chris Hedges: The Real Health Care Debate

Chris Morran, Consumerist

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Your%20Health%20Insurance%20Company.jpg  October 29, 2015 | A subsidiary of multibillion-dollar international pharmaceuticals company Allergan has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of healthcare fraud and pay $125 million to close the books on criminal and civil liability claims tied to the subsidiary’s illegal marketing activities for seven different name-brand prescription drugs.

Warner Chilcott USA Sales LLC (whose connection to Allergen we’ll get to later) has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to felony criminal charges of paying kickbacks to physicians to get them to prescribe the company’s drugs. Warner Chilcott was also caught manipulating prior authorizations to induce insurance companies to pay for prescriptions of osteoporosis drug Atelvia that the insurers may not have otherwise paid for. To top it all of, the company also made unsubstantiated marketing claims on another osteo med, Actonel.

Chris Morran is the Deputy Executive Editor of Consumerist

Related:

From the Archives | Chris Hedges: The Real Health Care Debate, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

“It is not necessary to force Americans to buy private health insurance to achieve universal coverage,” said Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. “There is a proven alternative that Congress didn’t seriously consider, and that alternative is a single payer national health insurance system. Congress could have taken seriously evidence presented by these single payer medical doctors that a single payer system is the only way to both control costs and cover everyone.”

 

Concerns About the ‘Pat Tillman’ Military-Themed Sports Uniforms

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  • Given the code with which Pat Tillman lived and the way that he died, the new Tillman-themed shirts and sneakers by Adidas are very troubling.
  • Football and the Military: The NFL's Mercenary Marriage of Patriotism and Violence

Dave Zirin, the Nation

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Chante Wolf for this contribution.

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http://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/pattillman_ap_img.jpg Former Arizona Cardinal and US Army Ranger Pat Tillman. (AP / Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions)

October 29, 2015 | When former NFL-player-turned-Army-Ranger Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan by US troops, the Department of Defense deceived his family about how he died. It has still not offered full disclosure about what took place on that tragic day when Tillman was felled by “friendly fire.” Now Adidas, in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Foundation and Pat’s alma mater, Arizona State University, is producing camouflage shirts and sneakers in honor of the late Mr. Tillman. They are all part of Arizona State’s “Salute to Service” unis to be worn this Thursday night, yet their appearance and design raise serious concerns for those still inspired by the person Pat Tillman was, and troubled by the manner of his death.

The sneakers are called “Dark Ops” and are made partially of Kevlar, a material most closely associated with bulletproof vests. A glowing article about the sneakers made this unfortunate on-the-nose description: “All throughout the cleats, you’ll find helpings of Kevlar that help to make this year’s lineup of cleats some of the most battle-ready yet.” It then quotes the “senior sneaker designer” Thomas Hartings, who said, “Kevlar really brings it home for me, and ties to the soldiers and the real sacrifice that goes on in the military. Bringing that story into footwear is a pretty big deal.”

Dave Zirin is the sports editor of the Nation.

Full story … 

Related:

http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/uncle-sam-paying-millions-to-nfl-to-promote-warfare-state.jpgFootball and the Military: The NFL's Mercenary Marriage of Patriotism and Violence, Jeb Lund, the Guardian / Alternet 

  • September 13, 2015 | As season kicks off, the NFL love affair with the military is front and center and they charge for it.
  • Why Are We Paying the NFL to Help the Pentagon Recruit Troops?
  • Football is immoral. Time to get rid of it.

That's it: To hell with these guys

  • I am sick of these gargantuan corporations — along with their entitled, grotesquely wealthy CEOs and their bought-and-sold political puppets — fighting even modest attempts by We the People to protect ourselves as they just take more and more and more from us.

Robert Weissman, Public Citizen

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October 10, 2015 | You’ll want to read this note all the way through.

From 2002 to 2008, the five biggest U.S. banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley — collectively raked in profits at an average rate of over $25 billion a year.

But then they nearly destroyed the global economy.

And we all learned about the sham of “too big to fail.”

Robert Weissman is President of Public Citizen, a non-profit organization serving as the people’s voice before Congress, the executive branch agencies and the courts, successfully challenging the abusive practices of the pharmaceutical, nuclear and automobile industries, and many others. We are leading the charge against undemocratic trade agreements that advance the interests of mega-corporations at the expense of citizens worldwide.

Full story … 

Rupert Murdoch's beloved audience of idiots is drifting away.

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Drew Angerer/NYTimes/Redux

  • News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch tweeted last week that he'd like to see "a real black President" in office. 
  • (His audience is) beginning to suspect the truth about him, i.e. that he isn't really one of them: They may finally sense that he's a foreigner, that he wouldn't be caught dead eating pork rinds, that he knows what the word "naïf" means.
  • Part 1: Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum
  • Part 2: How Roger Ailes Built the Fox Propaganda Machine

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum

For Murdoch and Fox, the chickens might be coming home to roost.

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploaded/o--keefe-54611-20110316-3.jpgOctober 13, 2015 | It all comes back to Rupert Murdoch. As multiple recent news stories have proven, the 2016 presidential race is fast becoming a referendum on the News Corp CEO and reigning media gorgon.

The two top candidates in the Republican field are a Fox News contributor (Ben Carson opened his Fox career two years ago comparing Obama to Lenin) and a onetime Fox favorite who is fast becoming the network's archenemy: Donald Trump is the fallen angel in the Fox story, a traitor who's trying to tempt away Murdoch's lovingly nurtured stable of idiot viewers by denouncing their favorite "news" network as a false conservative God.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

Full story … 



Part 2: How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Propaganda Machine and Fear Factory

How Roger Ailes – onetime Nixon operative, brilliant master of political dirty tricks, true-believing wingnut – built the most powerful propaganda machine in history.

Julian BrookesRolling Stone

http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/blog_entry/2593136a3077f4c2326defe834367c571b99f2ac.jpgMay 25, 2011 | New at Rollingstone.com, how Roger Ailes – onetime Nixon operative, brilliant master of political dirty tricks, true-believing wingnut – built the most powerful propaganda machine in history: Fox News. A major theme of Tim Dickinson's definitive profile is that Ailes, who likes to say he quit politics when he took the helm at Fox, in 1996, only shifted to playing politics by other means – making himself into the all-powerful Don Corleone of the conservative movement by molding his TV network into a stunningly effective political message machine. As former Bush speechwriter David Frum tells Dickinson, "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us. Now we’re discovering that we work for Fox."

From the piece:

[Fox News] plays a leading role in defining Republican talking points and advancing the agenda of the far right. Fox News tilted the electoral balance to George W. Bush in 2000, prematurely declaring him president in a move that prompted every other network to follow suit. It helped create the Tea Party, transforming it from the butt of late-night jokes into a nationwide insurgency capable of electing U.S. senators. Fox News turbocharged the Republican takeover of the House last fall, and even helped elect former Fox News host John Kasich as the union-busting governor of Ohio – with the help of $1.26 million in campaign contributions from News Corp. And by incubating a host of potential GOP contenders on the Fox News payroll– including Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum – Ailes seems determined to add a fifth presidential notch to his belt in 2012. "Everything Roger wanted to do when he started out in politics, he’s now doing 24/7 with his network," says a former News Corp. executive. "It’s come full circle."

Julian Brookes is the media director for the US program at Human Rights Watch. His writing has appeared in Mother Jones, Rolling Stone and Salon.

Full story … 

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John Oliver Urges Us to Wake Up to How Big Oil Is Killing People and Destroying North Dakota

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  • John Oliver explains why North Dakota Is far too nice to big oil
  • When are people going to stop picking on the very responsible, well-to-do oil industry??
  • Dethroning fossil fuels: rise of the New Abolitionists

Natasha Hakimi Zapata, Truthdig 

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/avboothuploads/jolnorthdakota_360.jpg Oct 12, 2015 | In another informative and funny segment of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver explores what has happened to North Dakota since the start of its oil boom.

On Sunday, John Oliver addressed the kind and polite people of North Dakota, a state that has had a recent oil boom so large that it's cut the nation's dependence on foreign oil dramatically. Unfortunately, as you might deduce from the very clean and spotless record of the oil industry, it has not come without its drawbacks.

Natasha Hakimi Zapata: Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor, Truthdig

Full story … 

Related:

Dethroning fossil fuels: rise of the New Abolitionists, Jim Conn, Capital & Main / Peoples World 

  • If we continue to extract fossil fuels - coal, oil, gas - at the current pace, we will not be able to live on the planet by mid-century.
  • The Economics of the Environment

 

Making Money from Misery? Disaster Capitalism from the Migrant Crisis to Afghanistan and Haiti

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For three years, I’ve investigated what happens after the spotlight fades from disasters in developing countries. What comes when the money and goodwill ends?

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Democracy%20Now%21%20%7C%20Making%20Money%20from%20Disasters%20illus.jpgFriday, October 9, 2015 | When disaster strikes, who profits? That’s the question asked by journalist Antony Loewenstein in his new book, “Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe.” Traveling across the globe, Loewenstein examines how companies such as G4S, Serco and Halliburton are cashing in on calamity, and describes how they are deploying for-profit private contractors to war zones and building for-profit private detention facilities to warehouse refugees, prisoners and asylum seekers. Recently, Loewenstein teamed up with filmmaker Thor Neureiter for a documentary by the same name that chronicles how international aid and investment has impacted communities in Haiti, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Amy Goodman: This is Democracy Now!, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. When disaster strikes, who profits? That’s the question asked by journalist Antony Loewenstein in his new book, Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe. Traveling across the globe, Antony examines how companies, such as G4S, Serco, Halliburton, are cashing in on calamity. He describes how they’re deploying for-profit private contractors to war zones and building for-profit private detention facilities to warehouse refugees, prisoners, asylum seekers. Now Loewenstein has teamed up with filmmaker Thor Neureiter for an upcoming documentary by the same name that chronicles how international aid and investment has impacted communities from Haiti to Afghanistan to Papua New Guinea and beyond. This is the trailer.

Amy Goodman is an American award-winning broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman's investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria.

Full story … 

TPP: It’s Not a Deal, It’s Not a Trade Deal, and It’s Not a Done Deal

Despite the success of the negotiations, the deal still has to be ratified by lawmakers in each country.

Lambert Strether, Corrente / Naked Capitalism 

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http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/stopp-tppa.jpgOctober 6, 2015 | Press coverage of the climax of the Atlanta ministerial meeting on TPP was as  herd-like as  the Corbyn 5 minutes of hate in the UK. Here are just a few of the headlines; you can see how very much alike they are, in tone and content:

Of course, nothing has been “signed,” and the deal has neither been “reached”, “sealed,” “struck,” or “agreed.” At best, what we have is a deal to try to make a deal; these headlines, and the mentality of the writers and editors, are all profoundly anti-democratic. As the BBC sheepishly admits:

Despite the success of the negotiations, the deal still has to be ratified by lawmakers in each country.

Lambert Strether is a contributing author at Naked Capitalism and blogs at Corrente.

Full story … 

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