PNN - 7/12/15
RWS News Director
Brook Hines Political Columnist
Emine Dilek Co-Publisher & Managing Editor Progressive Press
& Inanna Mardokh Assyrian Refugee
& Inanna Mardokh Assyrian Refugee
Dezeray Palestinian Peace Activist
Robin Frisella 2006 Teacher of the Year Orange County, Florida
0. End of the Coal Industry as we know it
welcome to YOUR CLEAN UP BILL Coming Due
The Big Bonding Days are over
1. waste from fracked operation –
underground injection wells- concerned rogersville shale western counties
/deeper shale Huntington -
robin blakeman [ovec] west virginia
2. BAD NEIGHBOR POWER
CLEWISTON — Maintaining its vision to build a plant in Southern Hendry County, Florida Power and Light (FPL) is asking the county to amend its comprehensive plan.
The prospective site encompasses roughly 3,000 acres of land abutting the northern border of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation off of County Road 833.
FPL has had its sights on this piece of land for years. In 2011, the county changed its ordinance to allow FPL to build a solar and gas-powered electrical generation plant on the site, which was then zoned for agricultural use.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida, citing fears of environmental and cultural destruction, took the county to court over the ordinance change, saying the new ordinance was contradictory to the county’s comprehensive plan.
The case eventually went to trial in 2014 and Judge Donald Mason ruled in the tribe’s favor.
According to the ruling, a power plant could not be built on the specified land because the land was included under the comprehensive plan’s Agricultural Future Land Use category. Judge Mason concluded the land must be included under the plan’s Industrial Future Land Use category.
Roughly 10 months after the ruling, FPL went before the Hendry County Planning and Zoning Department on July 1 to propose amendments to the comprehensive plan that would allow the plant to be built on the contested land.
FPL proposed the county add a new future land use category to its plan, called Electrical Generating Facility, and amend the text within the Industrial Future Land Use category to clarify which types of electrical generating plants are permitted in the category.
If the amendments are approved, FPL could apply to build a plant at the same site blocked by Judge Mason last year.
The amendments go before commissioners in a public hearing on July 14 at Clewiston City Hall. Commissioners will vote whether or not to allow the amendments to be transmitted for review by the state. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.
Staff writer Melissa Beltz can be reached at 863-983-9148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. 3 MuckRakers Podcast
4. Subject: Fla Dem party leadership - shocked
SO MANY ARE HARPING ON the Terms :
LEFTISTS & SOCIALISM - I must ask -
WHAT DOES ECONOMIC FAIRNESS
have to do with LEFT/RIGHT?
It seems to me to be the forces of DIVISION keep harping on LEFT & Socialism...
Whats Socialist about getting corporations to pay fair tax rates????
Whats left/right about WAR PROFITEERING - If being for FAIRNESS is a LEFTY VALUE - THEN I'll leave the right wing behind
If it's socialism to be more concerned about the health of people and less concerned about the wealth of corporations then SIGN ME UP!
Re party opposition to Democrats with Democratic Values.
Of course "party leadership" opposes Congressman Grayson" when was the last time they supported an outspoken liberal voice?
Look at the candidates they've supported again and again?
Sink? Crist? Moderate Country club republican, and of course temporary part time dem Murphy. ( he opposes partisanship) except at campaign time.
Positions opposed to gouging students? Too radical!
Calling out racists in the tea party, do they actually think that loses dem voters?
In the 2008 campaign launch in Denver the party's official stance was for Universal Healthcare - is it a problem that Grayson remembers?
Oh no, Candidate Grayson notices Income Inequality - geez Madame Secretary notices it too, whenever she steps away from her Wall Street paymasters.
Oh, their republic-lite candidates don't poll well against a real DEMOCRAT? Aww -
I suppose they'll opt on a strategy of character assassination - oh yeah, their trolls have been at it for weeks already!
5. Pope asks for forgiveness from Indigenous people
and condemns capitalism as satan’s poop
By Al Jazeera - Pope Francis cast himself as the spiritual and political leader of the world's oppressed on Thursday evening with a remarkable mea culpa for the sins and crimes of the Catholic Church against the indigenous peoples during the colonial conquest of the Americas. Francis “humbly” begged forgiveness at a gathering of indigenous leaders in Bolivia in the presence of Bolivia's first-ever indigenous president, Evo Morales, the climactic high of Francis' weeklong South American tour. In the speech, Francis noted that Latin American church leaders in the past had acknowledged that “grave sins were committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God.” St. John Paul II, for his part, apologized to the continent's indigenous for the “pain and suffering” caused during the 500 years of the church's presence in the Americas during a 1992 visit to the Dominican Republic. -more-
6. ten one - Health Care for All
A Call to a National Day of Action on October 1: Why Students Should Join the Fight for Universal, Single-Payer Health Care
(Image: Health care via Shutterstock)
For most of us in medicine, helping people live healthy, happy lives is at the heart of why we chose this career. We expound upon this in application essays, talk about it during interviews, and start medical school with this “calling” fresh in our minds.
Very early in our medical careers – on the wards and in the classroom – we learn that inequality, preventable illness, and death are an inherent part of our current private, for-profit-oriented health insurance system.
We see patients receive preventable amputations due to untreated diabetes. We see people permanently disabled by stroke because they were unable to afford their medications. College funds emptied out to pay for $100,000-a-year cancer treatments. Families bankrupted and lives destroyed.
We learn that, although the United States is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, we are also the only developed nation that does not provide health care to all of its citizens. We learn that we spend over 17% of our GDP – more than any country in the world – on this non-universal coverage. We learn that medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
We learn that, despite its title, the Affordable Care Act is not truly affordable. Even after the ACA, tens of millions of people are still unable to afford insurance, and tens of thousands die every year because of uninsurance.
All of which leads most reasonable medical students to ask, what can we do about this?
Just as the problem is clearly mapped out, so is the solution.
There is an excellent model for universal health care – one that covers everyone, leads to better health outcomes, and costs taxpayers far less than the current U.S. system – implemented in dozens of countries around the world, including our next door neighbor, Canada. This model is called single-payer health care.
Implementing a single-payer system in the United States would be far from revolutionary. As part of its fragmented, multi-payer system, the U.S. also has a single-payer-like subdivision, which we call Medicare. It is efficient, cost-effective, and has stood the test of time, providing health insurance to all American seniors for the past 50 years. By improving and expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, we can use this existing infrastructure to achieve universal coverage, better health outcomes, and better physician working conditions.
Medical students across the country have already joined the fight for universal, single-payer health care. Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) currently has 650 members in over 40 chapters across the country. On Thursday, October 1, we will join together in a day of action to demand a more just system through the institution of a single-payer, universal, “Medicare-for-All” system. SNaHP chapters at medical schools will hold teach-ins, rallies, and an evening candlelight vigil to bring national attention to our failing health care system. Today, we are asking you – our classmates and friends – to join us in this fight.
As future medical professionals, and as compassionate people who plan to devote our lives to caring for others, we cannot acquiesce to this unjust, senseless loss of life.
We have to do something about it.
Please join us for the #TenOne Medicare-for-All National Day of Action and help advocate for a more just system in which physicians can uphold our profession with integrity, compassion, and dignity.
7. Germany Won't Spare Greeks Pain - It Wants to Break Us
reece’s financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief. Why, against common sense, against the IMF’s verdict and against the everyday practices of bankers facing stressed debtors, do they resist a debt restructure? The answer cannot be found in economics because it resides deep in Europe’s labyrinthine politics.
In 2010, the Greek state became insolvent. Two options consistent with continuing membership of the eurozone presented themselves: the sensible one, that any decent banker would recommend – restructuring the debt and reforming the economy; and the toxic option – extending new loans to a bankrupt entity while pretending that it remains solvent.
Our government was elected on a mandate to end this doom loop; to demand debt restructuring and an end to crippling austerity. Negotiations have reached their much publicised impasse for a simple reason: our creditors continue to rule out any tangible debt restructuring while insisting that our unpayable debt be repaid “parametrically” by the weakest of Greeks, their children and their grandchildren.
In my first week as minister for finance I was visited by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup (the eurozone finance ministers), who put a stark choice to me: accept the bailout’s “logic” and drop any demands for debt restructuring or your loan agreement will “crash” – the unsaid repercussion being that Greece’s banks would be boarded up.
Five months of negotiations ensued under conditions of monetary asphyxiation and an induced bank-run supervised and administered by the European Central Bank. The writing was on the wall: unless we capitulated, we would soon be facing capital controls, quasi-functioning cash machines, a prolonged bank holiday and, ultimately, Grexit.
The threat of Grexit has had a brief rollercoaster of a history. In 2010 it put the fear of God in financiers’ hearts and minds as their banks were replete with Greek debt. Even in 2012, when Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, decided that Grexit’s costs were a worthwhile “investment” as a way of disciplining France et al, the prospect continued to scare the living daylights out of almost everyone else.
By the time Syriza won power last January, and as if to confirm our claim that the “bailouts” had nothing to do with rescuing Greece (and everything to do with ringfencing northern Europe), a large majority within the Eurogroup – under the tutelage of Schäuble – had adopted Grexit either as their preferred outcome or weapon of choice against our government.
Greeks, rightly, shiver at the thought of amputation from monetary union. Exiting a common currency is nothing like severing a peg, as Britain did in 1992, when Norman Lamont famously sang in the shower the morning sterling quit the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM). Alas, Greece does not have a currency whose peg with the euro can be cut. It has the euro – a foreign currency fully administered by a creditor inimical to restructuring our nation’s unsustainable debt.
To exit, we would have to create a new currency from scratch. In occupied Iraq, the introduction of new paper money took almost a year, 20 or so Boeing 747s, the mobilisation of the US military’s might, three printing firms and hundreds of trucks. In the absence of such support, Grexit would be the equivalent of announcing a large devaluation more than 18 months in advance: a recipe for liquidating all Greek capital stock and transferring it abroad by any means available.
With Grexit reinforcing the ECB-induced bank run, our attempts to put debt restructuring back on the negotiating table fell on deaf ears. Time and again we were told that this was a matter for an unspecified future that would follow the “programme’s successful completion” – a stupendous Catch-22 since the “programme” could never succeed without a debt restructure.
This weekend brings the climax of the talks as Euclid Tsakalotos, my successor, strives, again, to put the horse before the cart – to convince a hostile Eurogroup that debt restructuring is a prerequisite of success for reforming Greece, not an ex-post reward for it. Why is this so hard to get across? I see three reasons.
One is that institutional inertia is hard to beat. A second, that unsustainable debt gives creditors immense power over debtors – and power, as we know, corrupts even the finest. But it is the third which seems to me more pertinent and, indeed, more interesting.
The euro is a hybrid of a fixed exchange-rate regime, like the 1980s ERM, or the 1930s gold standard, and a state currency. The former relies on the fear of expulsion to hold together, while state money involves mechanisms for recycling surpluses between member states (for instance, a federal budget, common bonds). The eurozone falls between these stools – it is more than an exchange-rate regime and less than a state.
And there’s the rub. After the crisis of 2008/9, Europe didn’t know how to respond. Should it prepare the ground for at least one expulsion (that is, Grexit) to strengthen discipline? Or move to a federation? So far it has done neither, its existentialist angst forever rising. Schäuble is convinced that as things stand, he needs a Grexit to clear the air, one way or another. Suddenly, a permanently unsustainable Greek public debt, without which the risk of Grexit would fade, has acquired a new usefulness for Schauble.
What do I mean by that? Based on months of negotiation, my conviction is that the German finance minister wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian eurozone.
8. Lying About Wire Taps
he government published its latest Wiretap Report on July 1. The headline finding was that encryption wasn't foiling federal and state law enforcement officials, despite a growing chorus of people suggesting that we're all gonna die unless the tech sector builds backdoor access into their products to enable government access.
In all, the federal agency that oversees the courts reported to Congress that there were 3,554 wiretaps in 2014, about 1 percent less than the year prior. Of the total, only four were thwarted via encryption.
But the reported number of wiretaps by the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) simply doesn't add up. That's according to Albert Gidari, one of the nation's top privacy lawyers. He says "there is a bigger story" that calls into question the AO's accounting:
Since the Snowden revelations, more and more companies have started publishing “transparency reports” about the number and nature of government demands to access their users’ data. AT&T,Verizon, and Sprint published data for 2014 earlier this year and T-Mobile published its first transparency report on the same day the AO released the Wiretap Report. In aggregate, the four companies state that they implemented 10,712 wiretaps, a threefold difference over the total number reported by the AO. Note that the 10,712 number is only for the four companies listed above and does not reflect wiretap orders received by other telephone carriers or online providers, so the discrepancy actually is larger.
How can that be? Even taking into account some accounting complexities, Gidari says, "the numbers are still off by more than twofold" in one scenario.
"Are wiretaps being consistently underreported to Congress and the public?" he asks. "Based on the data reported by the four major carriers for 2013 and 2014, it certainly would appear to be the case." In an e-mail to Ars, he said "we are still off by 30 percent" even if "all four carriers got the same order and it covered multiple devices."
Charles Hall, an AO spokesman, told Ars in an e-mail that the agency was investigating the discrepancy.
9. Bernie Party in Boca
What: We Want BERNIE Party
When: Wednesday, July 15 - 7:00 p.m.
Where: Starbucks - 2200 West Glades Rd.
Boca Raton - RSVP here.
Your Host: Terry Shane
10. PEACE WITH IRAN
CODEPINK protesters at Congressional hearing on Iran. (Photo: CODEPINK)
A nuclear deal with Iran could be a game changer for US foreign policy and for the Middle East. The P5+1 (the U.S., China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, plus Germany) and Iran have been developing a comprehensive agreement that would freeze Iran’s ability to create a nuclear weapon and start the process of sanctions relief.
If it succeeds, this deal would dramatically decrease the probability of another costly war in the Middle East and could usher in an historic rapprochement between the US and Iran after 34 years of hostilities. US-Iranian collaboration against extremist groups from ISIL to Al Qaeda could help damp down the fires raging across the Middle East.
Key US allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, oppose the deal. Both nations harbor long-standing hostilities toward Iran and both want to preserve their preferential relationship with the US. But the American people, frustrated by over a decade of US involvement in Middle East wars, support the initiative. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 6 in 10 Americans support a plan to lift international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.
Democrats back the agreement by an overwhelming majority of five to one, but even a plurality of Republican voters support the Iran nuclear deal. Why, then, will there be such a tough battle in Congress to approve a deal that the Obama administration has worked so hard to achieve and is supported by most Americans?
Some Republicans have a knee-jerk reaction to anything the Obama administration puts forth. And certain Republican and Democrat Congress members fundamentally distrust Iran, believe it is sponsoring militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and think a deal will strengthen Iran to the detriment of Israel.
But the most compelling reason that so many elected officials will oppose the deal is the power of lobby groups and think tanks, backed by hawkish billionaires who are determined to quash a deal they see as bad for Israel.
Little known to the public, here are some of the groups:
United Against Nuclear Iran: Founded in 2008, UANI boasts a bipartisan powerhouse advisory board of former politicians, intelligence officials and policy experts. Cofounders Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross, and its president Gary Samore, have all worked in Obama’s White House. In June, UANI announced a multimillion-dollar TV, print, radio, and digital campaign with the message that “America Can’t Trust Iran, Concessions have gone too far.” Mark Wallace, UANI’s chairman and George Bush’s US ambassador to the UN, said, “We have a multi-million-dollar budget and we are in it for the long haul. Money continues to pour in.”
Secure America Now: Founded in 2011 by pollsters John McLaughlin and Pat Cadell, it is linked to right-wing pro-Israel factions in the US and abroad. The Advisory Board includes Col. Richard Kemp, who denounces the “global conspiracy of propaganda aimed at the total de-legitimization of the state of Israel” and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, who insists that “the biggest threat to our national security is sitting in the White House.”
The group labels Iran “the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism” and recently launched its own $1 million ad campaign against the nuclear deal. One ad features an American woman saying her father was killed by an IED in Iraq, followed by a menacing voice claiming “Iran has single-handedly supplied thousands of IEDs that have killed or maimed America’s troops overseas. Today, negotiators are pushing for a nuclear deal with Iran that would give them access to nuclear weapons.” It tells Americans to call their Senators and “speak out against a bad deal.”
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: Founded just after the 9/11 attacks, this neoconservative think tank pushes for an aggressive military response in the Middle East and also follows a hawkish pro-Israel line. It advocates for crippling sanctions on Iran, including medicines, as a way to cause domestic hardship and internal turmoil and its experts are leading advocates for a US military strike on Iran.
American Security Initiative: This is a new group, also bipartisan, formed in 2015 by three former senators: Norm Coleman, Evan Bayh and Saxby Chambliss. In 2014 Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, became a registered lobbyist for the repressive Saudi regime, providing the Saudis with legal services on issues including “policy developments involving Iran.”
Its first campaign was a successful effort to pass the Corker-Menendez bill, which forces President Obama to submit the agreement to Congress before signing it. In March, the group launched a $1.4 million ad campaign aimed at Senator Schumer and other key senators with the message that the deal (which had not even been released) is “great for Iran, and dangerous for us.” One over-the-top, fear-mongering ad showed a suicide-bombing truck driver in an American city detonating a nuclear bomb, apparently on behalf of Iran. The message, albeit a crazy one, is that if Iran is allowed to get a nuclear weapon, it will attack the US.
AIPAC: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the largest pro-Israel lobby group. AIPAC, too, has been pushing sanctions and opposing the nuclear deal. It claims that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability. AIPAC spends millions of dollars lobbying but its real financial clout lies with the pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs) it is tied to.
In addition to lobbying against a deal in Washington, over the past several years AIPAC has also been promoting state-level bills mandating divestment of public funds from foreign companies doing business with Iran.
Dozens of states have passed such bills, and many are likely to stay in place even after a nuclear deal, complicating the federal sanctions relief that is a key element of the negotiations.
What is the source of the millions of dollars now being poured into the effort to squash the nuclear deal? Most comes from a handful of super-wealthy individuals. Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus gave over $10 million to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Other multimillion donors are hedge fund billionaire and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs board member Paul Singer, and Charles Bronfman of the Seagram liquor empire and board chair of Koor Industries, one of Israel’s largest investment holding companies.
The largest donor is Sheldon Adelson, a casino and business magnate who contributed almost $100 million to conservative candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign, outspending any other individual or organization. He publicly advocated for the Obama administration to bomb Iran. Peter Beinart, a contributing editor at The Atlantic, said “Every Republican politician knows that Adelson conditions his checks on their Iran vote.”
Congress has 30 days from the day the deal is introduced to vote in support or opposition (or 60 days if the negotiations are delayed). To block the deal, Congress needs a veto-proof majority, which is precisely what these groups and individuals are attempting to buy.
“I’ve been around this town for about 30 years now and I’ve never seen foreign policy debate that is being so profoundly affected by the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars in the American political system,” said former six-term Congressman Jim Slattery.
Congresspeople face a dilemma: they fear a backlash by the billionaires if they vote for the deal, but most of their constituents support the deal. The pathetic irony is that the democratic move of giving Congress a say in the Iran deal (instead of leaving the administration with the authority to seal the agreement), the billionaires have a better shot at drowning out the voices of the American people.
© 2015 Telesur
11. If the park doesn’t make money,
if the student doesn’t make money
if the student doesn’t make money
if the street doesn’t make money - ALL BRIDGES , become TOLL BRIDGES
ALL ROADS become TOLL ROADS… all street lights become PLAY TO PLAY
If you are hooked to a SEWER SYSTEM - you must purchase a COIN OPERATED TOILET THAT COSTS 2 Dollars for Number 2 and 1 Dollar Number 1 - and women pay double - but... no.... new.... taxes (WINK WINK)
Every car must have it mileage dongle updated yearly - its mandatory
12. Enbridge Stuffs Provision into Wisconsin Budget to Expedite Controversial Piece of "Keystone XL Clone"
On Thursday, July 3 on the eve of a long Fourth of July holiday weekend, Canadian pipeline company giant Enbridge landed a sweetheart deal: a provision in the 2015 Wisconsin Budget that will serve to expedite permitting for its controversial proposed Line 61 tar sands pipeline expansion project.
Line 61 cuts diagonally across Wisconsin and goes into north-central Illinois, beginning in Superior, Wisconsin and terminating in Flanagan, Illinois. The Wisconsin Gazette refers to the pipeline as the “XXL” pipeline because it is bigger in size and has higher carrying capacity than the more well known tar sands pipeline cousin, TransCanada's Keystone XL, and is “buried beneath every major waterway” in the state.
Further, Line 61 is a key piece of what DeSmog has coined Enbridge's “Keystone XL Clone” pipeline system, connecting at the north to the proposed Alberta Clipper pipeline expansion project and to the south to the already-functional Flanagan South pipeline. Flanagan South then connects to the Seaway Twin pipeline, which flows to the Gulf coast refineries and the global export market, like the southern leg of Keystone XL.
Dane County Insurance
At the center of the story is Dane County, home to the capitol city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin, situated as the “last man standing” in the way of Enbridge opening Line 61 for business.
The Dane County Board of Supervisors told Enbridge on April 14 it cannot pump higher amounts of tar sands product through Dane County until it buys insurance in case of a spill. Put another way, the local government body told Enbridge it refuses to foot the bill for spills, notable given the company's track record of responsibility for the biggest tar sands pipeline spill in U.S.history.
Image Credit: Wisconsin State Assembly
Enbridge appealed the Board of Supervisors' decision on May 4. It remains unclear whether that appeal will become a moot point if the Enbridge provision remains part of Wisconsin's budget, set to be debated soon by both chambers of the state legislature.
PNN the Womens Wisdom
Join News Director Rick Spisak and our political commentator Brook Hines as we welcome four very wise women.
We welcome Emine Dilek co-Publisher and Managing Editor of Progressive News and her guest Iraqi Refugee Ms Inanna Yasmin Mardokh who will discuss Iraq, and the issue of refugees
Human Rights activist Dezeray will discuss her work with refugees in Palestine.
Orange County 2006 Teacher of the Year Robin Frisella will discuss the Education System from the perspective of a teacher who works with the disadvantaged
TUNE IN Sunday July 12th - 7pm Eastern for the Live Show or Anytime