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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
May 31, 2019

Media Release: Nature's Dangerous Decline 'Unprecedented'; Species Extinction Rates 'Accelerating'

( A big fucking deal if ya ask me )

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Media Release
(Cliquez ici pour le texte en Français)

Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’
Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’
Current global response insufficient;
‘Transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature;
Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good
Most comprehensive assessment of its kind;
1,000,000 species threatened with extinction

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris.

“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

“The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” he said. “Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.”

“The member States of IPBES Plenary have now acknowledged that, by its very nature, transformative change can expect opposition from those with interests vested in the status quo, but also that such opposition can be overcome for the broader public good,” Watson said.


May 29, 2019

Elizabeth Warren to campaign in two Michigan cities next week

Updated May 28, 4:40 PM; Posted May 28, 4:35 PM

By Malachi Barrett | mbarret1@mlive.com

Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is planning two campaign stops in Michigan next week.

Warren will make her first appearance in the Great Lakes State on Tuesday, June 4 for a “community conversation” at Focus: HOPE in Detroit at 1:30 p.m., followed by a 6:45 p.m. town hall at Lansing Community College. The 69-year-old senior senator is the latest candidate to come through Michigan, recognized as a key 2020 battleground after President Donald Trump won by a narrow 10,704 votes in 2016.

Warren, 69, is focusing her campaign on economic issues and ending corruption in Washington. She pledged to “shut the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.” Her campaign website includes promises to permanently ban members of Congress from trading stocks while in office and from becoming lobbyists when they retire.

She proposed an “ultra-millionaire tax” on the 75,000 wealthiest American families to partially fund universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and her “Medicare for All” plan.

Warren’s abortion rights platform, released after several state legislatures passed laws restricting women’s ability to terminate pregnancies, urges Congress to pass laws protecting access to reproductive care.

The plan includes federal laws to prohibit states from interfering in a person’s ability to receive abortion services and guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage, among other things.


May 29, 2019

Opinion: Amazon Government contracts become Amazon's new target market

( ugh )

Companies complain that the tech giant may take their business as it has in retail

Rana Foroohar
May 26, 2019

Should Amazon be the US government’s Everything Store? It’s a question being raised as a small but seismic tweak has made its way into the legislation governing how the federal government buys its annual $50bn-worth of commercial goods — from machinery, to potato chips, to toilet paper.

Thanks to what has become informally known as the “Amazon Amendment” to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, government officials must come up with an ecommerce solution for all purchasing — and wholesalers are complaining it will allow Amazon to eat their lunch, just as it has in retail.

Amazon started courting government business a few years ago, and in 2017 signed a lucrative deal with 1,500 local public agencies, which was criticised by non-profit advocacy groups like the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, alleging that the deal would leave the public sector paying more, rather than less, for goods. Last year, Amazon almost nabbed a $10bn Pentagon cloud computing contract before the deal was squashed, in part due to complaints from competitors that Amazon had hijacked the bidding process. It is now a run off between Microsoft and Amazon.

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, a group that represents the biggest companies in a sector worth $5.6tn in sales a year, is waging a public relations war to try and ensure that its members don’t lose government contracts to Amazon. In particular the trade group is upset that the General Services Administration, the part of the government tasked with figuring out which ecommerce model to use, is piloting only an “e-marketplace” version that they, and a number of others, including ILSR, believe will favour a single player. Other ecommerce options, such as a government-managed portal for multiple suppliers, were discarded.

“By designating one, and only one, channel to reach the government customer, core antitrust and broad competitive precepts are assailed,” wrote NAW president Dirk Van Dongen in a February letter to lawmakers. His members’ businesses could be under threat, too. The GSA has said nothing about capping the fees Amazon could charge sellers. Wholesalers and the ILSR worry that sellers could be hit with as much as a 15 per cent fee on the value of goods sold. Amazon would not confirm or deny that number, saying that “fees vary”.


May 29, 2019

Opinion: Nurses Know the Human Costs of Care.That's Why Many Want 'Medicare for All.'

( Please share on social media )

Critics say universal health care will penalize providers the most. These nurses are undeterred.

By Jeneen Interlandi

Ms. Interlandi is a member of the editorial board.

May 27, 2019

The experiences that have turned the members of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union for nurses, into vocal advocates for a universal, government-run health care system are numerous and horrific.

Renelsa Caudill, a Washington, D.C.-area cardiac nurse, remembers being forced to pull a cardiac patient out of the CT scanner before the procedure was complete. The woman had suffered a heart attack earlier that year and was having chest pains. The doctor wanted the scan to help him decide if she needed a potentially risky catheterization, but the woman’s insurance, inexplicably, had refused to cover the test.

Melissa Johnson-Camacho, an oncology nurse in Northern California, remembers a mother who had to ration the special bags that were helping to keep her daughter’s lungs clear. The bags were supposed to be changed every day, so that the daughter did not drown in her own fluids, but they cost $550 each.

And Karla Diederich, also from California, remembers saying a final goodbye to her friend and fellow intensive care nurse Nelly Yap in their hospital’s parking lot. Ms. Yap was dying of metastatic cancer. She was scheduled for another round of chemotherapy, but the hospital had changed owners while she was on sick leave and she’d lost her job — and insurance — as a result. “Nelly spent most of her life taking care of other people,” Ms. Diederich says. “And when she needed that care herself, it was not there.”


May 29, 2019

Six Children Have Died While in ICE Custody - Why?

May 29, 2019

Undocumented immigrants seeking asylum are being separated from their children and detained in prison camps as more restrictive racist policies are being imposed by Trump. We discuss the policy with ACLU attorney Astrid Dominguez


May 29, 2019

( Justice Fighter ) Sen. Warren intervenes in North Liberty mobile home dispute over rent spike

Aimee Breaux, Iowa City Press-Citizen Published 5:20 p.m. CT May 28, 2019 | Updated 7:03 p.m. CT May 28, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren weighed in on a local dispute between residents of a North Liberty mobile home park and a new out-of-state landlord imposing rent hikes of up to 58%.

The presidential hopeful and Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack, sent a letter to Havenpark Capital Tuesday. The company acquired Golfview Mobile Home Court in March. Upon hearing news of their rent increasing, residents formed an association to advocate against what they call price gouging.

Warren's letter cited reports of residents having to choose between basic necessities and abandoning their homes after investment firms, like Havenpark, have purchased manufactured housing communities, like the one in North Liberty.

It was one of several notes on Congress of the United States letterhead sent to various investment firms who own mobile homes across the nation. The senator posed the same list of questions, including “what was the rationale for those rent increases?” and a derivative of “how many manufactured homes have been abandoned since Havenpark Capital took over the community?”


May 28, 2019

100,000s of Kids Hold School Strike for Climate Action

( Our future leaders, leading now. )

May 24, 2019

Students from 2,300 schools across 150 countries held their second global climate strike. Next time, they want adults to join in

May 15, 2019

The Making of a Medical Insurance Spin Doctor - RAI with Wendell Potter (3/7)

( If you use social media, please share.)

May 10, 2019

Wendell Potter, author of ‘Deadly Spin: How Corporate PR is Killing Healthcare and Deceiving Americans’, traces his life from growing up poor and Republican in Tennessee, to radicalization during the Vietnam War, to cynical journalist who just wanted to make money - on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay


Part 4

Medical Insurance Companies Can Decide Who Lives and Dies – RAI with Wendell Potter (4/7)

May 15, 2019

Whistleblower Wendell Potter says the death of a young woman denied care by the insurance company he worked for was a turning point in his life; he says these practices are still taking place under the Affordable Care Act - on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay


May 8, 2019

Trump and Mnuchin Break the Law By Refusing to Release President's Tax Records

May 8, 2019

White collar criminologist Bill Black explains how the administration's stance on Trump'’ taxes is illegal and what the possible consequences could be—or should be

MARC STEINER Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us. So here we go. Congress wants Trump’s tax returns. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal requested them all, or six specific things, but then Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, sent this letter in response. As he’s saying, no deal. You’re not going to get that from the IRS. The IRS, of course, now being run by Charles Rettig, who is one of the nation’s leading attorneys for people some people might call “tax cheats,” will not turn over Trump’s tax returns, writing that the committee’s request is unprecedented, is constitutionally questionable, and may have lasting negative effects for taxpayers countrywide. Yet, the 1924 Anti-Corruption Act says that Congress can ask for anyone’s tax returns at any time. Now this may go immediately to the Supreme Court or wind its way up to the Supreme Court. We don’t know what that means, so what gives here? Well our guest, who has been a financial regulator and is a Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, should know something about all this and can shed some light. Of course, we’re talking about Bill Black. Good to have you with us, Bill. Welcome back.

BILL BLACK Thank you.

MARC STEINER I should also say the title of his book because I love the title of this book, The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One. That is one of the best titles in American history, I think. So let me just start with this. So both the chairman of the committee in trying to get some tax returns from Trump, and Secretary Mnuchin, talk about Section 6103—both using that as a defense why they should get the tax returns legally and the secretary saying, no you shouldn’t have these tax returns because this is politicized, and you don’t have a legitimate reason. So what is this Section 6103, and what does it mean?

BILL BLACK Well, it means that Democrats win, is the short answer. I was also litigation director of a major federal agency, you know, and I’m a law prof as well. So, what it says in the statute is while—it isn’t all of Congress that can request. It’s the key committee chairs in the House and the Senate. This is the appropriate one in the House. So this is one of the consequences of the Democrats getting control of the House, that they’re now in a position to make this request. And while the word I’m using is request, the statute is mandatory, it’s not discretionary. It says when you receive this request, you shall provide those documents to the committee chair. So the Democrats have a clean winner. What’s the origins of the statute? The origins of the statute are in the Teapot Dome Scandal. And so, in history there used to be a debate about the most corrupt administration in the United States, whether it was the Grant administration or the Harding administration.


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