Democracy

The GOP Tax Plan Tells Us Everything About Who Matters In American Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Flanked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform legislation during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee in the Cabinet Room at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Thursday, Republican lawmakers unveiled their plans for a massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Your boss, not you. The United States is the richest country in the history of the world. Last year, the genius and muscle of the American people generated more than $18.6 trillion in wealth. Zach Carter  HuffPost This year, our brains and brawn will combine to create well over $19 trillion. Despite all the debt theatrics of the Republican Party during the Obama presidency, we owe just $6.2 trillion to other countries ― less than four months of our collective ... Read More »

Will exodus of firms from Catalonia economically influence voters?

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Damage to Catalan economy’s credibility and investor confidence may persist for years The secessionist process initiated by Catalonia’s regional government has prompted companies to relocate in other Spanish regions to ensure continued free-market access to the rest of Spain and the European Union. José Guimón The Irish Times Over 1,300 companies have now moved their headquarters outside Cataloniain the three weeks following Catalonia’s illegal referendum for independence of October 1st. The traditional concern that multinational affiliates are “footloose” applies equally to local companies. ... Read More »

Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’

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If President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency, its “worse than Watergate,” journalist Carl Bernstein says. Kim Janssen Chicago Tribune Bernstein’s views on the matter were of great interest to a standing room-only crowd in Hyde Park on Wednesday night. Along with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein, of course, broke the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories about the Watergate break-in that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Now 73, Bernstein waxed lyrical about the parallels between ... Read More »

How the Politics of the Left Lost Its Way

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One hundred years ago, the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia and set up the first long-lasting Marxist government. Geoffrey M Hodgson  The Russian Revolution’s impact was wide-ranging. Quillette One important – and overlooked – effect was how it changed the idea of the term “Left” in political terminology. Following the Bolshevik takeover, the term Left became more strongly associated with collectivism and public ownership. But originally the term Left meant something quite different. Indeed, collectivism or public ownership are not ... Read More »

What To Do When Racists Try To Hijack Your Religion

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White supremacists are coopting Norse heathen symbols. Should the heathens ignore them? Protest them? Sigal Samuel Create a new theology? The Atlantic As white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, the high priest of a pagan religion looked on with horror from Reykjavik, Iceland. It wasn’t just their racist message that bothered him. It was that their banners bore the symbols of his religion: Ásatrú, also known as heathenry. “I think it’s obscene,” the high priest, Hilmar Hilmarsson, said of the way ... Read More »

Australian Corporate Accountability Network Launches

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A group of civil society organisations, academics and individuals working to promote accountability and respect for human rights by Australian businesses, has launched the Australian Corporate Accountability Network. PBA – Lina Caneva The ACAN network, funded by an RMIT University grant as part of the university’s commitment to fostering responsible business, had its official launch in Melbourne last week. Keren Adams, director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, which is supporting the network’s establishment, told Pro Bono News the ... Read More »

Moves to curb democratic fracking protests in the UK ‘extremely worrying’

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Green MP Caroline Lucas criticises attempts by chemicals multinational Ineos to impose a sweeping injunction against anti-fracking campaigners Rob Evans The Guardian <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/064de39e9029c914e0445713b1fb5737/content.css”/> The chemicals multinational Ineos is facing criticism for seeking to curb democratic protests against fracking in a move described by Green MP Caroline Lucas as “extremely worrying”. On Tuesday Ineos began its latest legal move to impose a sweeping injunction against all campaigners protesting over its fracking operations. Any campaigner may be jailed, fined ... Read More »

Did the World Get Aung San Suu Kyi Wrong?

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WASHINGTON — This is not the happy ending we were led to expect. When Myanmar elected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to power in 2015, she was widely portrayed as a sort of political saint, an icon who had endured great suffering to guide her people from dictatorship to democracy. Amanda Taub and Max Fisher The Interpreter The New York Times President Barack Obama praised her. Hillary Clinton embraced her in public. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, once ... Read More »

What Killed the Democratic Party?

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A new report offers a bracing autopsy of the 2016 election—and lays out a plan for revitalization The Democratic Party lost just about everything in 2016, but so far it has offered only evasive regrets and mild apologies. William Greider The Nation Instead of acknowledging gross failure and astounding errors, the party’s leaders and campaign professionals wallowed in self-pity and righteous indignation. The true villains, they insisted, were the wily Russians and the odious Donald Trump, who together intruded on ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce farce another reason why we need to rip up our failed constitution

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Twenty-five years ago I received the same news Barnaby Joyce heard on Friday In an astounding High Court decision I’d been ruled ineligible to sit in the Parliament and told I was no longer the independent member for the prized seat of Wills, Bob Hawke’s old seat, which I’d won eight months earlier in an exhilarating byelection. Phil Cleary The Canberra Times The euphoria of our victory party in Coburg that night was put into stark relief by the High Court decision. By day’s end I was told to ... Read More »

Corbyn to skip Balfour centennial dinner with Netanyahu

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Emily Thornberry to attend event in Labour leader’s absence; Israeli envoy to UK brands opponents of declaration ‘extremists’ Alexander Fulbright The Times of Israel UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly declined to attend a dinner in London this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which pledged Britain’s support for a Jewish national… Although no reason was given for Corbyn’s decision to skip the event, which was reported by the Sunday ... Read More »

Scottish economy ‘fundamentally strong and ready to face Brexit’

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Scotland’s economy is “fundamentally strong” and ready to meet the challenges of Brexit, the Economy Secretary has said Lucinda Cameron Keith Brown told the Unite conference on Saturday that the economy is growing while the number of people in employment has risen and unemployment has fallen. The Scotsman However he said withdrawal from the EU posed some “serious headwinds” and warned that a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic”. He said Scotland would lose an estimated £11 billion a year by ... Read More »

Catalonia: Spain’s deputy prime minister takes charge

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has delegated the powers of the Catalan presidency to his deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. Deutsche Welle  Meanwhile, the dismissed Catalan government said it will keep working for independence. After imposing direct rule on Catalonia from Madrid, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has put his deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, in charge of administering the region. Saenz de Santamaria was expected to meet central government ministry undersecretaries – assistants to ministers –  who are expected to ... Read More »

Madrid imposes direct rule on Catalonia just 40 minutes after the region FINALLY declared independence as Spanish Prime Minister calls for ‘calm’ amid fears of violence on streets

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Daily Mail Online <link href=”http://scripts.dailymail.co.uk/static/mol-fe/static/mol-fe-async-bundle//1.14.0/articleDefer.css” rel=”stylesheet” /> <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://scripts.dailymail.co.uk/static/gunther/8.0.0/rc-main–.css”> <style>img[data-src]{display: none;}</style> <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://scripts.dailymail.co.uk/static/videoplayer//2.44.1/styles/mol-fe-videoplayer.min.css”> The Catalan parliament has voted 70 to 10 – with two blank ballots – to declare its independence from Spain In response, the Spanish senate in Madrid has dismantled Catalonia’s autonomy by invoking article 155 Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said he wanted to ‘shut down’ the Catalan regional parliament in a speech today Catalan MPs opposed to the region’s independence stormed out of parliament before ... Read More »

Breaking neutrality, Spanish Jews come out against Catalan independence

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‘As Spanish Jews we wholly support the Spanish Constitution’ Despite umbrella body statement, Jews living in the secessionist region appear divided over the crisis that is roiling the country JTA The Times of Israel Breaking with its policy of neutrality on Catalan independence, the main umbrella group of Spanish Jews on Friday blamed separatists for the kingdom’s crisis and declared allegiance to the constitution. The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, or FCJE, did this in a statement released hours ... Read More »

John F Kennedy files, though incomplete, are a treasure trove for answer seekers

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Dallas: Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump ordered some of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to remain sealed for at least another 180… The Sydney Morning Herald – New York Times, Dallas Morning News, agencies The CIA and FBI objected to release of the material, much of it 54 years old, and the President said he “had no choice” but to agree that the concerns raised justify a delay because the risk of irreversible harm outweighs the public ... Read More »