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Tag: liberal

Trump’s Treasury Pick Will Further Rig the System

Donald Trump ran for president claiming he would end a rigged economic system that works against working people. But Trump’s pick of Steven Mnuchin to run his economic program–including tax policy–shows his real plan is to slant the system even more in favor of billionaires like himself, Mnuchin and their pals on Wall Street. Mnuchin, Trump’s choice for Treasury Secretary, has said his top priority will be pushing Trump’s $6 trillion tax giveaway that mostly benefits the wealthy and corporations. It’s a bonanza for the rich that will require cutting lifelines for working families and retirees like Medicare, Medicaid, school funding, nutrition programs and housing. It’s not surprising that Mnuchin’s focus will be on further enriching the already wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. It’s practically in his genes and been the guiding principal of his career. During his campaign, Trump attacked the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs for controlling his political opponents and looting America’s working families. But Trump’s Treasury pick is part of a Goldman Sachs dynasty: Mnuchin’s father spent his entire working life there, his brother worked at the bank, and Steve was there 17 years, eventually becoming a partner after joining the…

The Violent Face Of Grand Corruption

Exposing corruption has always been a dangerous job. It’s about to become even more dangerous, especially for those of us targeting one of the most corrupt industries – oil, gas and mining. A high-stakes sector, it is prone to opaqueness, vested economic interests and unscrupulous activities. At the same time, it’s an industry that can – when well managed – be an engine for growth and poverty eradication in many poor nations. Citizens working to foster transparency of the extractive sector are under attack. As liberal and democratic values recede worldwide and the unbridled hunger for natural resources continues, those calling out corrupt practices are facing harassment, legal and extralegal obstacles and, in worst case scenarios, death. Fighting for a more equitable and sustainable management of natural resources has never been as treacherous, as testified by Publish What You Pay (PWYP) members on the ground in a new publication documenting cases of repression around the world. In Niger, Ali Idrissa, a transparency activist and member of the PWYP Board of Directors, has weathered several discretionary arrests in 2014, surveillance and, most recently, attempts to discredit his call for an accountable management of Niger’s uranium reserves in the form of vicious smear campaigns….

The Coming Immigration Wars In Trump’s America

This story originally appeared in Capital & Main. Sign up for email alerts from Capital & Main. Maria Elena Durazo knows about immigrant workers, labor and civil rights. She has been the hospitality union UNITE HERE’s General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity since 2014. Before that she was the first woman executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which represents 600,000 workers, many of whom are immigrants and Latinos. She became a force for labor and living standards in the nation’s second-largest city—and a thought-leader for the rest of the nation.
When she was growing up, Durazo’s farm-worker family picked crops up and down the West Coast. Recalling that time, she told film maker Jesús Treviño, “As migrant farm workers, my dad would load us up on a flatbed truck and we would go from town to town and pick whatever crop was coming up. I think of my dad when he had to negotiate with contratistas [contractors]. I knew we worked so hard and the contratistas were chiseling us down to pennies. What was pennies to them meant food on the table for us.”
Durazo spoke with Capital & Main about the threats…

World’s First Gay Country Musician Finds Hope While Touring The Heartland

Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina. Over the past year, Patrick Haggerty ― frontman of Lavender Country, the first band to perform openly gay country music ― has been gallivanting across Trump country.
The band’s most popular song, “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears,” might make those who voted for the new president-elect uncomfortable. It’s a bluntly sung story about the pain of living as a gay man in America in the early 1970s. The song was first written and recorded in Seattle, Washington, where Haggerty lived at the time. This doesn’t dissuade Haggerty from spreading his message across America’s landlocked states. In an interview with The Huffington Post, he said, “The progressive communities in the heartland are so welcoming, so loving, so tightly knit, so committed, so inspiring. It’s really a delight to see that aspect of what’s happening.” He’s alluding to the results of 2016’s election, which blindsided many progressives, himself included. Haggerty’s happy to hear his music resonate with far-flung communities. In fact, he’s thankful that people are listening to his decades-old album at all; he never expected his addition to the country canon to catch fire in his lifetime. Lavender Country’s self-titled debut was the band’s only release, garnering a following of mostly…

Asking Trump Voters, Does Truthfulness Matter?

This piece will be appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional district (VA-06). ***************** Liberals are debating how to understand the millions of Americans who voted for Trump. Since many of us see Trump – putting aside the usual liberal/conservative issues – as having demonstrated clearly that he is a dangerously defective person, it seems important to understand what his supporters did or didn’t see about him, or did or didn’t care about. So while one concern is whether a Trump presidency will be as disastrous for America as we fear, the other big worry concerns the millions of our fellow citizens who supported Trump. What do their votes tell us about them? One question centers on bigotry. Clearly, Trump expressed bigotry in a way we haven’t heard at center stage of American politics in more than half a century. People are debating: for how many was Trump’s expression of bigotry part of his appeal? And how many supported him in spite of the bigotry? My biggest concern lies elsewhere. I’m wondering: Is truthfulness something Trump voters care about? A propos of which, let me ask you: Was the election rigged against Trump? On those many occasions that Mr. Trump made that accusation, did you believe him? Did…

The Final Solution:The Sunny Side of a Republican Controlled Congress

If those who wanted Hillary to win had gotten what they wished for, they would have simply gone back to everyday life, with its petty insults, snubs and petty defeats. Now they are bonded together against the threat to all the things they hold dear whether it be the Supreme Court, the dream of universal health care, subsidized college education or globalization. So there’s good in the bad. One door closes and another opens. The glass may have been emptied, but it’s still half full. There’s a sunny side of the street that occurs when you share a struggle with somebody. Soldiers in the trenches all have one thing in common: the adversary. Talk to anyone who attends AA meetings. People have their differences but they’re united in one cause which transcends all their other woes, the desire to stop drinking. “Our primary purpose it to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety,” reads the AA preamble. So now that the initial shock has passed and Democrats face the depressing reality of a Republican controlled congress and executive, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that rests in the prospect of comradery with fellow sufferers. Instead of hatred and frustration why not enjoy the strength that can come in unity? It’s one of the reasons people like to congregate at houses of worship, whether they be temples, churches, mosques or simply sports stadiums or concert venues. “So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin” or just mediate.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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Wednesday’s Morning Email: Trump Announces He’s Completely Stepping Away From His Company


TRUMP ANNOUNCES HE’S OFFICIALLY STEPPING AWAY FROM HIS COMPANY Turns out being the president is a full-time job. [Reuters]

INSIDE DONALD TRUMP’S PICKS FOR COMMERCE AND TREASURY Trump is going with hedge fund titan Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary and second-generation Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. And the internet cannot get enough of the awkward photo of Trump and Mitt Romney at dinner Tuesday night talking about that potential, ever-elusive secretary of state job. [Ben Walsh, HuffPost]

TENNESSEE FIRES GLIMPSE INTO ‘VISION OF HELL’ The photos andvideo of the massive wildfire that has killed three and ravaged Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are unbelievable. [Ed Mazza and Hayley Miller, HuffPost]

ISLAMIC STATE: OSU ATTACKER WAS A ‘SOLDIER’ The terrorist group’s statement does not indicate that Ohio State University student Abdul Razak Ali Artan was directly in contact with the group. [USA Today]

‘CONGRESS IS ABOUT TO PASS A BILL THAT SHOWS CONGRESS AT ITS WORST ― AND MAY FIX THE OPIOD CRISIS AND CURE CANCER’ “The 21st Century Cures Act has some incredible upsides to go along with a shady underbelly. There’s a reason lawmakers both love and hate it.” [Sam Stein, Matt Fuller and Ryan Grim, HuffPost]

NORTH KOREAN PRISON CAMPS APPEAR TO BE EXPANDING The gulags, which North Korea denies exist and have been compared to Nazi concentration camps, appear to be growing. [CNN]

LOOKS LIKE THE DRAFT WON’T BE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE WOMEN AFTER ALL The issue is being sent back to perpetual limbo ― Congress has commissioned a study. [Jenifer Bendery, HuffPost]

A HISTORY OF SPORTS TEAMS’ HORRIFIC PLANE CRASHES The crash Tuesday that killed almost the entire Chapecoense Brazilian soccer team is one of many that has wiped out whole athletic teams. [NYT]


THE END OF REDDIT? “Reddit, in its goal to be a laissez-faire haven of (relatively) free expression, has been overrun by nationalist trolls. Its staff of volunteer moderators is losing hope in the site’s future.” [Gizmodo]

WE LOVE THIS YEAR’S PIRELLI CALENDAR And its “feminist flair” photographs featuring top actresses of all ages without makeup.  [HuffPost]

‘HOW I ENDED UP IN A PYSCH WARD ON ELECTION NIGHT’ A Hillary Clinton supporter talks about his nervous breakdown. [HuffPost]

BECAUSE LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA KNOWS NO BOUNDS He’s now developing a fantasy series about a wizard with the talent for magic andmusic. [Vulture]

‘KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS’ WON’T STOP FILMING AFTER ALL Previous reports stated production had been halted in light of Kanye West’s hospitalization. [HuffPost]

TALK ABOUT A MASTER CLASS Tom Hanks and Viola Davis open up about their craft. [Variety


~ There have been 900 hate incidents since Trump was elected president.

~ This is not an Onion headline: Two grandmas ended up in a shootoutafter arguing in a Texas Walmart parking lot.

~ Anderson Cooper’s takedown of Trump’s latest Twitter freakout is life. And The New York Times addresses the “quandary” of a Tweeter-in-Chief.

~ This is what a whale looks like in the Hudson River. Yes, this actually happened.

~ Congrats to Amanda Seyfried, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Thomas Sadowski. 

~ Ivanka Trump’s lemonade stand had a bit of a different clientele than yours did. 

~ We are vaguely creeped out by the passage of time (and you know, our own mortality) watching this gif of President Barack Obama aging.

~ This year’s top Oscar contenders talk their toughest scenes.

~ We love that these newlyweds made the best of being stuck in traffic on the way to their reception by having their first dance on the highway

~ Could “Moonlight” win all of the Oscars?

~ This is what it looks like to rock your 117th birthday.

~ And you thought your holiday decorations were snazzy? Check out the Obamas’ final Christmas decor in the White House.



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