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Member since: Thu Feb 15, 2018, 12:16 PM
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A Swedish fashion brand trolls Russia with a blockchain-powered 'marriage' service for gay people

The platform lets people send “Will you Marry Me” proposals to their special someone.


Swedish fashion brand Björn Borg is throwing shade at the Russian government's attitude towards gay people. The company has set up "Marriage Unblocked", a platform that lets gay couples get married on the blockchain. The first couple to get “married” through the platform is from Switzerland.

Björn Borg has devised a campaign to call out Russia and other countries that haven't legalized gay marriage. ‘Marriage Unblocked’ is a digital platform the company has built to allow anyone “to exchange vows and get married on the blockchain, anonymously or proudly in public,” the company says in a press release.

That the launch coincides with the opening of the World Cup in Russia this week is “no coincidence”, a Björn Borg representative said to BI Nordic. Indeed, already when the fashion house expanded to Russia in 2013, it trolled Putin's government with a rainbow-colored ad that said: "Björn Borg says da!”.


New book: Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? by Robert Kuttner

Brilliantly brings together two strands of thought: explaining both the economics and politics of global capitalism and how our society has abandoned core principles of fairness and equality… Kuttner reminds us of the urgency with which we need to get back to a more just society.”

—Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Robert Kuttner, a leading social critic and founder of The American Prospect, masterfully recounts managed capitalism’s finest hour and shows how it might again be achieved in Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? Tracing a path through the twentieth century, Kuttner lays out the events that led to the post-war miracle and charts its dissolution all the way to Trump, Brexit and the tenuous state of the EU in its present incarnation.

In Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?, Kuttner examines the connection between the rise of ultra-nationalism and the collapse of a decent form of managed capitalism. As Kuttner explains, the postwar era was a splendid anomaly in the history of capitalism, the result of both fortuitous circumstances and deliberate design. Both the far right and the libertarian right had been discredited by depression and war. The center and the democratic left both pursued policies of full employment and social support, to avoid a repeat of the 1930s and to compete with communism. The tight regulation of financial capital and the empowerment of labor were key to both the politics and the policies of the era.

Moving to the latter half of the twentieth century, Kuttner demonstrates how all of this unraveled in the 1970s and 1980s when a power shift occurred in which financial regulations were rolled back, taxes were cut, inequality worsened and disheartened voters turned to far-right, faux populism.

So is today’s poisonous alliance of reckless finance and ultra-nationalism inevitable? Or can democracy find a way to survive?

Kuttner writes:

“If democracy is to survive, this cycle will need to be reversed. This will require much stronger democratic institutions and a radical transformation of capitalism into a more social economy. It will require different global rules, to allow more space for national policy. Conversely, if the current brand of capitalism survives, it is likely to become even more concentrated, corrupt, and undemocratic. So the emerging system will either be more autocratic and more controlled by capital—or more democratic and less capitalist.”

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In Brexit showdown, British PM May faces issue of 'meaningful vote'


LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown on Tuesday with lawmakers who want power to force her government to go back to the negotiating table if they reject a Brexit deal, testing her plans for leaving the European Union.

On the first day of votes that could further complicate her tortured negotiations to quit the EU, parliament will debate a demand for a “meaningful vote” on any agreement May negotiates with Brussels before leaving the bloc next March. Such a vote would give the lower house of parliament more power to set the government’s “direction” if lawmakers reject the agreement, which could mean sending May back into negotiations with EU officials just months before Britain is due to leave.

May says her Brexit blueprint, or EU withdrawal bill, offers lawmakers a meaningful vote on a final deal when they can either accept or reject it, which would see Britain crash out. Beyond that, her Brexit minister David Davis told BBC radio the government would never allow lawmakers to reverse Brexit. “Whatever we do, we’re not going to reverse that,” Davis said. “A meaningful vote is not the ability to reverse the decision of the referendum.”

Conservative Party officials have been frantically lobbying lawmakers to support the government in a series of votes on amendments handed down from the upper house of parliament on the EU withdrawal bill, which will sever ties with the EU by copying and pasting the bloc’s laws.


video at the link

How Did the Supreme Court Give a Green Light to Massive Voter Suppression? Two words: Neil Gorsuch.


When Neil Gorsuch appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 to make a case for his confirmation to serve a life term on the US Supreme Court, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy observed that, “unless we were asking about fishing or basketball, Judge Gorsuch stonewalled and avoided any substantive response. He was excruciatingly evasive. His sworn testimony and his approach to complying with this Committee’s historic role in the confirmation process have been patronizing. That is a disservice to the American people. And it is a blight on this confirmation process.”

Leahy said the nominee’s evasiveness was a particular concern on the voting-rights issues that were raised during the hearing. Gorsuch, said the chamber’s senior senator, “provided no answer at all to questions regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County to gut the Voting Rights Act.” The same went for questions from Leahy and a his fellow senators regarding democracy issues. The questions were asked, but Gorsuch did not answer.

Now Justice Gorsuch has answered. On Monday, the Court released its ruling in the case of Hustad v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, an essential test of the Court’s stance regarding voting rights. With the critical 2018 election just months away, the Court’s activist majority gave Republican secretaries of state a go-ahead to resume the antidemocratic practice of purging fully qualified voters from registration rolls.

It was a 5-4 decision. Had Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated by President Obama to serve on the Court but was then refused a confirmation hearing as part of the machinations by Senate Republican that eventually landed Gorsuch on the high court, it almost certainly would have been different. There is good reason to believe that a Justice Garland would have refused to send the signal that Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president Kristen Clarke warns is likely to be interpreted “as a green light to purge the registration rolls of legitimately registered voters.”


Why The Only Answer Is To Break Up The Biggest Wall Street Banks by Robert Reich


On Wednesday 30th of May, Federal bank regulators proposed to allow Wall Street more freedom to make riskier bets with federally-insured bank deposits – such as the money in your checking and savings accounts. The proposal waters down the so-called “Volcker Rule” (named after former Fed chair Paul Volcker, who proposed it). The Volcker Rule was part of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed after the near meltdown of Wall Street in 2008 in order to prevent future near meltdowns.

The Volcker Rule was itself a watered-down version of the 1930s Glass-Steagall Act, enacted in response to the Great Crash of 1929. Glass-Steagall forced banks to choose between being commercial banks, taking in regular deposits and lending them out, or being investment banks that traded on their own capital.

Glass-Steagall’s key principle was to keep risky assets away from insured deposits. It worked well for more than half century. Then Wall Street saw opportunities to make lots of money by betting on stocks, bonds, and derivatives (bets on bets) – and in 1999 persuaded Bill Clinton and a Republican congress to repeal it.

Nine years later, Wall Street had to be bailed out, and millions of Americans lost their savings, their jobs, and their homes.

Why didn’t America simply reinstate Glass-Steagall after the last financial crisis? Because too much money was at stake. Wall Street was intent on keeping the door open to making bets with commercial deposits. So instead of Glass-Steagall, we got the Volcker Rule – almost 300 pages of regulatory mumbo-jumbo, riddled with exemptions and loopholes.


Jeff Bezos Is Already $40 Billion Richer This Year,While the Typical Amazon Worker Made Just $12,000


Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had a pretty amazing 2017: Bezos became the world’s richest man when his net worth, which is based mostly on the soaring price of Amazon stock, rose $40 billion through the course of the year. (His base salary is actually quite modest: $81,840 a year.)

Yet 2018 is shaping up to be an even better year for Jeff Bezos’s fortune. On Tuesday, while the stock market pushed Amazon shares to yet another record high, Jeff Bezos’s net worth crossed the $140 billion mark for the first time, according to Forbes. Bezos started 2018 with a net worth around $100 billion, so he is up more than $40 billion so far this year. In other words, Jeff Bezos’s wealth has increased as much in slightly over five months as it did for all 12 months of 2017.

Jeff Bezos’s net worth has climbed in rapid-fire fashion as Amazon stock prices have soared, rising from roughly $1,200 at the start of 2018 to nearly $1,700 per share in intraday trading today—an increase of about 40%. Bezos’s wealth theoretically increased $10 billion within the first two weeks of the year, and he was up $30 billion by early March—at which point, according to our calculations, Bezos was making an insane $230,000 per minute.

Meanwhile, the median Amazon employee’s salary in 2017 was $28,446. During the first five months of this year—when, again, Jeff Bezos saw his net worth rise $40 billion—that median-earning Amazon worker worldwide has made around $12,000 before taxes, assuming salaries have stayed more or less the same this year.


Update in CA-48 (Rohrabacher seat) Hans Keirstead has regained lead v Rouda as counting continues

He is now up by 129 votes (Rouda had surged passed him when all the same day regular ballots were counted).
This was probably the nastiest Democratic primary in the nation, and now with this dragging out (both have claimed victory) it is going to become even more of a challenge to unite our party behind the eventual winner. I have no idea how many ballots are left to be counted, probably thousands. If someone knows more please feel free to share with us!

Disclosure: I support Rouda, I think he has a better chance at beating the Russian errand-boy Rohrabacher in the general.


CA-10, 100% in, Harder holds onto 2nd! so NO, ZERO, NADA lockouts!!!


We ran the gauntlet!!!!!!!

CA-48 415 of 415 precincts in, Rouda over Keirstead for 2nd Place by 79 votes


Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) advances v Duncan Hunter (R). DCCC's preferred candidate, Josh Butner 4th atm


Ammar Campa-Najjar is a hottie! LOL, and I am a lesbi. Yes, it is superficial but he really is (IMHO)

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