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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,208

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More Trouble in Coal Country: Health Care at Risk for 12,000 Retired Miners and Their Families

"Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal company, is seeking release from a pledge to pay into a health insurance fund.

John R. Leach worked for Peabody Energy Corp. in western Kentucky for 23 years. When he retired, he and his wife Rhonda relied on his pension and health benefits not only for themselves but to care for two severely disabled adult children. So when Peabody notified them in 2007 that their benefits were now the responsibility of a spinoff called Patriot Coal, they had a worrisome premonition.

“We said, ‘There’s something going on here that’s not right,’” Rhonda Leach said.

The family’s worries were justified. When Patriot filed for bankruptcy two years ago, retiree benefits for thousands of mining families were put at risk. While Peabody eventually agreed to pay for some of those costs, Patriot is now back in financial trouble. This time around, Peabody is quietly seeking to get out of paying for any of its remaining agreed-upon obligations to its retirees.

“All I could think is, you dirty, low-down rotten scoundrels. How could anyone with a conscience do something like this?” Rhonda Leach said. "


“Does anyone have a plan?” Here’s how we fix decades of overseas neo-conservative adventurism

Author: Patrick Smith is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist. A longtime correspondent abroad, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, he is also an essayist, critic and editor. His most recent books are “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale, 2013) and Somebody Else’s Century: East and West in a Post-Western World (Pantheon, 2010).

"We have accepted the horrors of American exceptionalism for too long. Here's a progressive foreign policy blueprint

“Tell me, what exactly is ‘an authentically progressive foreign policy.’”

That is the request of a reader responding to last week’s column in the comment thread that follows it. The reference is to my observation that any such policy would probably prompt the policy cliques—the deep state in the column’s terms—to subvert the political candidate who dared advance it.

I do not think this is a reasonable request. Nor do I think Mark Twain and the other anti-imperialists who rose against the Spanish-American War would. I am certain the late Chalmers Johnson would not: His final book was “Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope.” Or William Appleman Williams, who titled his last book “Empire as a Way of Life.” Or the late Gabriel Kolko, the leading revisionist among Cold War historians. Or the late William Pfaff, the distinguished columnist and author of—his last book—“The Tragedy of Manifest Destiny.”
And it is a lot more important to do so. Any progressive foreign policy worthy of the designation must, must, must be anti-imperialist, know itself as such and let all others know it as such, too.

The reasoning here is simple.

First is definition. No foreign policy that does not take America’s withdrawal from its now-preposterous imperial overreach as its starting point can possibly compute out as progressive. Shutting down the empire is the sine qua non—the foundation stone on which all else rests. All the talk of the reluctant imperialists, “If not us, who?” Forget it: self-justifying rubbish.

“However ambitious President Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch,” Chalmers Johnson wrote in “Dismantling,” a few months after Obama took office. “Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it.”

Substitute any name you wish for Obama’s and the point stands.

Second is the power of language. Naming the gorilla is transforming. Listen to Bernie Sanders, whether or not you like him. When he says “socialism” or “universal health care” he changes the conversation. There are two fewer taboos to turn public discourse into cotton wool. It is the same in the case of foreign policy."


Don't think we live in a propaganda bubble pushing for a new cold war?

I like to post news articles about different countries to illustrate that the entire world in not consumed by war and militarism. I use google, of course, and usually cast a broad net by searching on things like "Brazil news", as an example. I then select what I think is an interesting non-war mongering story and post it here to DU.

Well... I was struck this morning that when I googled on "Russia news", Virtually, NO, make that literally all you get back are articles on war, threats of war and insanity like "Is Russia threatening to cut the internet" stuff. Good Lord. I gave up after looking at 4-5 pages of search results like that.

The only source of non-war articles related to Russia are from Russia's own media sources, and god knows that we can't use those as "reliable sources" since its all state run propaganda, right? Unlike our corporate media...

Look for yourself -- google "russia news". EVERYTHING is wall to wall fear and war mongering from our reputable news sources. Googling "china news" isn't so bad -- yet -- but the drum beat of stories about "man made Chinese island bases" is starting to heat up too.

Honestly, you would think someone actually WANTS to start WWIII, or at least a new and expensive cold war.

Yemen hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres hit by Saudi-led air strike, group says

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A Yemeni hospital run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has been bombed in a Saudi-led air strike, wrecking the facility and wounding several people, the hospital director says.

"The MSF facility in Saada, (north) Yemen was hit by several air strikes last night with patients and staff inside the facility," MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said in a tweet.

A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen's civil war in March to try to restore its government after it was toppled by Houthi forces.

Yemen's state news agency Saba, run by the Iran-allied Houthis, quoted the Heedan hospital director as saying several people were injured in the attack, which occurred in Houthi-controlled north.

"The air raids resulted in the destruction of the entire hospital with all that was inside — devices and medical supplies — and the moderate wounding of several people," Ali Mughli said.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-27/yemen-hospital-hit-by-saudi-led-air-strike/6890732

Open season on Hospitals, it seems. First the US, then Russia, now the Kingdom(re dictatorship) of Saudi Arabia. The use of force in the middle east as a means of achieving political ends must stop; it's continuation will only result in more senseless carnage and civilian deaths.

"The air raids resulted in the destruction of the entire hospital with all that was inside — devices and medical supplies — and the moderate wounding of several people," Ali Mughli said.

Huh -- "moderate wounding" indeed -- that's a new coinage for civilian casualties.

Poll Shows Voters Reject Presidential Candidates in Brazil

Source: Rio Times Online (Brazil)

The recent political and economic crisis in Brazil have taken their toll on Brazilians voters, leaving them weary of politicians in general. A poll released on Monday, October 26th, shows a growing rejection by voters of all the current possible presidential candidates for the 2018 election.

According to polling company, Ibope, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received the highest rejection rate of all, 55 percent. According to analysts the increase in rejection is a clear sign of the on-going corruption scandals which have left the Rousseff Administration in shambles. In May of 2014 Lula’s rejection was at its historical average of thirty-three.

The latest poll, however, also shows that former presidential candidates who may try to run again, like PSDB’s Aecio Neves, Geraldo Alckmin and Jose Serra, and Rede’s Marina Silva also registered a growing rejection by Brazilian voters.

Read more: http://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-politics/voters-reject-possible-presidential-candidates-in-brazil/

Ah, somethings are universal, eh?

Exclusive: Freedom Caucus of U.S. House envisions honeymoon with Ryan

Source: Reuters

Leading hard-line conservatives in the House of Representatives said they could imagine a peaceful honeymoon with Paul Ryan if he becomes speaker of the House, as expected, provided he takes steps they favor to decentralize House power.

In a group interview with Reuters, three of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus said that while they had constantly battled with outgoing Speaker John Boehner, Ryan understands that individual lawmakers need to help develop the legislative agenda.

"With that (approach) there would be less conflict, hopefully, because it would be member driven," said Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a second-term lawmaker and sponsor of a July motion that sought to oust Boehner.

Meadows' motion was never voted on, but it created much of the friction leading up to Boehner's decision to leave, which he announced last month, stunning Washington and thrusting the Freedom Caucus onto Capitol Hill's center stage.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/27/us-usa-congress-freedom-idUSKCN0SL00720151027

Freedom Caucus? Do these nut bag's re-name themselves when they sully their old brand-name too much? These are just the old Tea Party causes idiots, right?

U.S. budget deal would sell 58 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves

Source: Reuters

Congressional leaders proposed to sell 58 million barrels of oil from U.S. emergency reserves over six years starting in fiscal 2018 to help pay for a budget deal that ends mandatory spending cuts, according to a copy of the bill posted to a congressional website.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds more than 695 million barrels of crude in Texas and Louisiana, a bounty that U.S. lawmakers have eyed a few times this year to pay for a new drug program and highway maintenance.

Economists have said reducing SPR stocks is the right idea at the wrong time, given low crude oil prices.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/27/us-usa-fiscal-oil-idUSKCN0SL1FE20151027

Alibaba revenue rises 32 percent, beating expectations

Source: Reuters

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) reported a 32 percent rise in second-quarter revenue, beating analyst estimates, even as the value of goods transacted on its platforms grew at a slower pace.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/27/us-alibaba-results-idUSKCN0SL16H20151027

Why post stories like this, you might be asking?

To inject more non-military news articles into LBN and lower the fear/war mongering by showing a more well rounded perspective of the world.

White House urges Congress to pass budget compromise reached by leaders

Source: Reuters

The White House said on Tuesday it urged members of Congress from both parties to pass a budget based on an agreement reached on Monday night by congressional leaders that would lift mandatory sequestration cuts on both defense and domestic spending.

A White House official said the compromise deal would protect Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries from cuts.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/27/us-usa-fiscal-white-house-idUSKCN0SL1CH20151027

Germany's 2006 World Cup organising team should not have paid FIFA, says bid organiser Franz Beckenb

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Germany's 2006 World Cup organising team should not have paid FIFA, says bid organiser Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer, who headed Germany's 2006 World Cup organising committee, says a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($10.2 million) to FIFA in 2005 was a mistake, but rejected claims it was a return of a loan to buy votes in favour of the country's World Cup bid.

In a brief statement, the former World Cup-winning player and coach, who is a key figure in an affair involving an alleged slush fund used to bribe FIFA voting members back in 2000 to award the tournament to Germany, again said the Germans never bought votes.

"In order to get a subsidy from FIFA (for the organisation of the 2006 World Cup) those involved went ahead with a proposal from the FIFA finance commission that in today's eyes should have been rejected," the statement read.

"I, as president of the then organising committee, bear the responsibility of this mistake. But he said any claims of a votes-for-cash deal were not true.

"There were no votes bought in order to get the nod for the 2006 World Cup," Beckenbauer, 70, said.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-27/fifa-transfer-for-2006-world-cup-a-mistake-franz-beckenbauer/6887200

Uh huh. Sure.

Does this mean Russia is off the hook now for bribing FIFA to get the 2018 World Cup? lol
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