Tag Archives: Economics

Brazil’s Indigenous peoples survived Bolsonaro. Now Lula has won, what next?

Bolsonaro’s genocidal policies devastated Indigenous communities. After four years of trauma, they can breathe again

By Sarah Shenker.  Published 2-3-2023 by openDemocracy.

Indigenous women in Brazil have led protests during Bolsonaro’s rule.. Photo: Survival International

The news broke on 28 October 2018. Through the crackle and hiss of the radio, we made out one sentence: “Jair Bolsonaro has been elected president of Brazil.”

It was a long way from Brasília to Maçaranduba, an Indigenous community in the Amazon rainforest, but the significance of the news was clear. Some of our Awá and Tenetehar friends paced up and down, others held their heads in their hands. One let out a visceral scream, before reaching for a bottle of sugarcane spirit. Continue reading

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Wife of Chief Justice Causes Latest Ethics Concerns at US Supreme Court

“It’s clear that the ultraconservative justices in particular cannot be trusted to hold themselves to the same ethical standard as other federal judges,” said one advocate, calling for congressional action.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 1-31-2023 by Common Dreams

Swearing in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: White House

Fresh calls for federal lawmakers to pass new ethics rules for the U.S. Supreme Court mounted after The New York Times on Tuesday revealed that a former colleague of Chief Justice John Roberts’ wife raised concerns to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.

After her husband joined the nation’s top court, Jane Sullivan Roberts left her job as a law firm partner to work as a legal recruiter. Though Roberts is now the managing partner of the Washington office of Macrae Inc., she and Kendal Price, the author of a letter obtained by the Times, worked as recruiters for the global firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. Continue reading

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GOP House Puts Big Oil’s Revolving Door Into High Gear

These lobbyists are not getting hired to advocate for American energy consumers—they will push an agenda that benefits the new majority’s donors no matter what it costs taxpayers.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 1-27-2023 by Common Dreams.

Nancy Peele, chief of staff to House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), is a former fossil fuel lobbyist for companies responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. (Photo: Nancy Peele/LinkedIn)

An analysis published Friday by the nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US revealed that numerous former fossil fuel lobbyists are being hired to work for the Republican-controlled 118th Congress, including in high-level positions on the House Natural Resources Committee.

“As the Republicans majority begins the new Congress, former oil industry lobbyists will have new and growing influence as top staffers for congressmen on key committees,” the analysis states. Continue reading

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Iowa Republicans Push ‘Profoundly Cruel and Petty’ Food Benefit Restrictions

Under the new legislation, Iowans would no longer be allowed to purchase fresh meat, white grains, nuts, canned fruits, American cheese, and other foods with SNAP benefits.

By Jake Johnson  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, right, speaks during a committee hearing on January 18, 2023. (Photo: Pat Grassley/Facebook)

Republicans in the Iowa House introduced legislation this month that would impose a slew of fresh restrictions on the kinds of food people can purchase using SNAP benefits, sparking outrage among local groups who say the measure would exacerbate hunger in the GOP-dominated state.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), an interfaith group that operates the largest food pantry network in Iowa, noted in a statement earlier this week that if the bill passes, “Iowans could no longer use their SNAP benefits to purchase meat, nuts, and seeds; flour, butter, cooking oil, soup, canned fruits, and vegetables; frozen prepared foods, snack foods, herbs, spices—not even salt or pepper.” Continue reading

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Biden Admin Still Pushing Trump-Era Legal Positions After Two Years in White House

“As the previous administration violated legal and ethical norms at every turn, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s choice of continuity with the Trump DOJ’s positions erodes the integrity of the very institution he is determined to protect,” said one researcher.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Merrick Garland and Chuck Schumer in 2016 Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/CC

Two years after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, his administration continues to advance Trump-era legal positions in dozens of court cases, a progressive watchdog group revealed Friday.

Former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power,” the Revolving Door Project (RDP) noted in the latest release of its long-running litigation tracker. Continue reading

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OSHA Fines Amazon ‘Roughly 0.000013%’ of Annual Revenue for Worker Safety Hazards

For serious injuries linked to the company’s insistence that employees maintain a relentless pace of work, Amazon was fined $60,000—the amount it made “every four seconds in 2022.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 1-19-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon Warehouse. Photo: Jaimie Wilson/flickr/CC

A paltry $60,000 fine for failing to keep employees safe at one of the world’s richest companies offered the latest evidence, according to one critic, that the system ostensibly meant to protect workers “is so broken.”

That was the assessment of Paris Marx, host of the podcast “Tech Won’t Save Us,” after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Wednesday it had issued a citation to Amazon for worker safety violations at three of its warehouses in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York. Continue reading

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Because Congress ‘Won’t Act,’ Lawmakers in Seven States Team Up to Introduce Wealth Tax Bills

“States are stepping up to make billionaires pay their fair share, and it’s time for Congress to take action too,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Jake Johnson.  Published 1-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Frustrated with federal inaction in the face of soaring inequality, Democratic lawmakers in seven states across the U.S. are teaming up this week to simultaneously introduce wealth tax bills targeting the fortunes of billionaires and other rich individuals who have seen their net worth explode in recent years.

Officially launching on Thursday, the first-of-its-kind effort is led by state lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, and Washington—collectively home to around 60% of the country’s wealth. Continue reading

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Eating One Freshwater Fish Equals a Month of Drinking Water With ‘Forever Chemicals’: Study

“The extent that PFAS has contaminated fish is staggering,” said the lead researcher, advocating for “a single health protective fish consumption advisory for freshwater fish across the country.”

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 1-17-2023 by Common Dreams

Yet another study on Tuesday raised the alarm about the dangers of “forever chemicals,” revealing that eating just one locally caught freshwater fish in the continental United States can be equivalent to drinking contaminated water for a month.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely called forever chemicals because they persist in the human body and environment for long periods. Despite public health concerns, the manufactured chemicals have been used in products ranging from firefighting foam and waterproof clothing to nonstick pans and food packaging. Continue reading

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‘Deeply Sinister’: Emails Reveal Big Pharma Pushed Twitter to Silence Vaccine Equity Voices

“At a time when online mobilizations were one of the few forms of protest available to the public, Twitter was seemingly asked to shield the powerful from criticism,” said one campaigner. “That should worry all those who care about accountability.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-16-2023 by Common Dreams

lobal Justice Now and The People’s Vaccine projection campaigning for global vaccine equality in London on March 8, 2021. (Photo: Jess Hurd/Global Justice Now via Flickr)

Drugmaker BioNTech and the German government pushed Twitter to “hide” posts by activists calling on Big Pharma to temporarily lift patents on Covid-19 vaccines—a move which would have given people the Global South greater access to the lifesaving inoculations, a report published Monday by The Intercept revealed.

Twitter lobbyist Nina Morschhaeuser “flagged the corporate accounts of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca for her colleagues to monitor and shield from activists,” according to The Intercept‘s Lee Fang. An email from Morschhaeuser said the German Federal Office for Information Security also contacted Twitter on behalf of BioNTech, whose spokesperson, Jasmina Alatovic, asked the social media giant to “hide” activist tweets targeting her company’s account for two days. Continue reading

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Why America has a debt ceiling: 5 questions answered

The sky’s not always the limit.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

 

Steven Pressman, The New School

Republicans and Democrats are again preparing to play a game of chicken over the U.S. debt ceiling – with the nation’s financial stability at stake.

The Treasury Department on Jan. 13, 2023, said it expects the U.S. to hit the current debt limit of US$31.38 trillion on Jan. 19. After that, the government will take “extraordinary measures” – which could extend the deadline until May or June – to avoid default.

But it’s not clear whether Republicans in the House will agree to lifting the debt ceiling without strings attached – strings that President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have vowed to reject. Right-wing Republicans demanded that, in exchange for voting for Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, he would seek steep government spending cuts as a condition of raising the borrowing limit. Continue reading

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