Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: January 13, 2017

Daily Clips: January 13, 2017

Chicago police regularly engage in excessive force, says Loretta Lynch In a scathing review, investigators with the justice department found that police violated both the fourth amendment of the constitution and department policy in the use of deadly force. Investigators faulted poor training and accountability systems for contributing to the department’s unconstitutional policing practices. Truth and politics But Trump’s latest remarks demonstrate the malleable boundaries of the charge, leading even establishment outlets to take umbrage now they’ve been forced to defend themselves — not against other journalists, but the president-elect of the United States. Amazon to Create More Than 100,000 New Jobs in U.S. in 18 Months Tweet of the day Black youths in Chicago told DOJ that officers called them "nigger," "animal," "piece of shit."Chicago officers told DOJ that this is true. pic.twitter.com/HklJ8OdmKF — Brad Heath (@bradheath) January 13, 2017

Daily Clips: January 11 2017

Daily Clips: January 11 2017

Thomas Piketty finds half of the American population hasn’t shared in economic growth since the 1970s   A young scientist compared gun deaths to other leading causes, and found a billion dollar research deficit “To me as a physician and as a research scientist, the idea that knowledge dissemination and knowledge generation was being systematically prevented, that was a pretty strong statement,” Stark recalled. Paul Ryan blocked Planned Parenthood signature gatherers from delivering 87,000 petitions Barack Obama gives a farewell address for the ages Not sure I agree with this piece, but it’s worth a read. I was frustrated with Obama’s perma-optimism. It’s his greatest strength but also his greatest weakness. It makes him appear disconnected from lived experiences. Again, we saw that he touted the stock market and job creation, but only vaguely admitted “we still have work to do.” That’s not good enough, in my opinion.

Daily Clips: January 10, 2017

Daily Clips: January 10, 2017

Tweet of the week (I’m already calling it). It’s really that amazing.  Facebook nitwit celebrating Obamacare repeal finds out Obamacare is another name for the ACA he depends on. pic.twitter.com/ehStqChXqq — Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) January 9, 2017 Mexico again says they will not pay for the wall Many mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. We need to start focusing on this. Small business optimism shoots up Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election. The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.

My Dentist, the Free Market, and Moral Cavities

My Dentist, the Free Market, and Moral Cavities

When my dentist handed me a teeth-whitening pamphlet before I had even reclined in the dental chair, I thought of Michael Sandel. Not because the Harvard professor has particularly memorable choppers, but because Sandel has spent a considerable amount of time questioning pursuits like this. Specifically, highlighting the drawbacks of a society where market values infect all areas of our life. “Today,” Sandel writes, “the logic of buying and selling no longer applies to material goods alone. It increasingly governs the whole of life.” My experience with the dentist is a perfect example. There is something deeply troubling about medical professionals treating patients, first and foremost, as consumers. This runs counter to the very promise made in The Dentist’s Pledge , the dental version of the Hippocratic Oath, whose first point reads: …Let each come to me safe in the knowledge that their total health and well-being is my first consideration. Yet, in that dentist’s office, dentistry’s primary responsibility had been displaced by profit motive. The norms of the profession have been commercialized—health isn’t the primary goal anymore; rather, making money drives all decisions. While “ economists often assume that markets are inert: that they do not affect the goods they exchange ,” this assumption is naive. Market values are some of the most powerful forces on earth. They most certainly reconfigure priorities, and to my mind, they often do so in suboptimal and intangible ways, as dentistry proves. When there is no respite from being sold something, people are forced to doubt the true motivations behind everything. Intent, from politicians to the dentist, becomes questioned. That’s an undesirable way to live. Furthermore, in a market society, “ where everything is for sale, life is harder for those of modest means .” Inequality is exacerbated, as money becomes the “ sole value on which all choices are based .” And in 2017, that reality hits too close to home for most Americans—the majority of whom  have less than $1,000 in savings . When you perceive the world through this lens, you begin to understand why both political parties endlessly spoke about the economy
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Daily Clips: January 9, 2017

Daily Clips: January 9, 2017

Ft. Lauderdale mass shooting shows need for guns in airports, GOP lawmaker says The sloooooow collapse of imperial republics For the next four, maybe eight, years, we will have a president who half the country thinks is the Manchurian Candidate, Russian-born. I can’t think of a greater symptom of the weird fever dream that is the American empire, whereby the most powerful state on earth imagines, over a twelve to sixteen year period, that its elected leaders hail from the far reaches of its various antagonisms. How to stop short-term thinking in American companies Short-termism has been called, “the tyranny of shareholder value” and our boss, Nick Hanauer, thinks that this myopic vision plays a huge role in our current economic malaise. Here is a blog post which deals with this pervasive financial perspective. Trumponomics=trickle down In other words, we will re-run a version of the economic experiment previously conducted in the 1980s under Reagan and again under George W. Bush.

Daily Clips: January 6, 2017

Daily Clips: January 6, 2017

Tweet of the day Private sector job growth, final tally… Under W Bush: ↓ 396,000 Under Obama: ↑ 11,606,000 — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 6, 2017 In a critical time in American history, David Brooks uses his NYT column to discuss…the psychology of buying a home. Brooks retreat from sticky political questions continues to astonish me. Trump is going to double-down on trickle-down economics US is paying for border wall because Mexico will pay ‘later’, Trump says

Daily Clips: January 5, 2017

Daily Clips: January 5, 2017

January 5, 2017 Nick Cassella
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How to not make America great again Bringing back the widely-shared prosperity of the time when America was Trumpianally Great requires a great deal more than bringing back a factory or two or 200 or 2000—even if those factories aren’t as automated as nearly every factory is these days. It requires giving workers the right to demand their fair share of the revenues they produce. It requires a tax code that rewards work rather than speculation. American won’t be “great again” until ordinary Americans regain the power that Trump and the Republicans are determined to keep far from their grasp. Obama: ‘We simply cannot afford to spend $80 billion annually on incarceration’ While I understand the call to action, I wish he would’ve complained more about this issue…I dunno…when he wasn’t a lame duck. The sanctuary solution Sanctuary cities could provide “one of the strongest bulwarks against Trump’s inhumane immigration agenda.” I have no more news stories to add. Frankly, it’s depressing out there. Breathe in, breathe out.

Daily Clips: January 4, 2017

Daily Clips: January 4, 2017

Gun violence should be treated as a public health crisis, study says 30+ thousand people a year are killed from guns. If that doesn’t demand a public health approach, I don’t know what does. Poverty and inequality pervasive in two-fifths of US counties This is according to Population Reference Bureau (which admittedly I had never heard of before this morning). Their analysis is convincing, however their prescription is incredibly vague. Listen to this: It’s important to close these gaps to put the next generation of workers and their children on a path to succeed in the labor force and advance the U.S. economy. Yeah…no s***. Rising inequality is far from inevitable Excellent piece from Robert Kuttner over at The American Prospect. AG Bob Ferguson urges state lawmakers to ‘step up’ on assault rifle ban “A bill like this, that’s obviously controversial, is going to be uphill,” Ferguson said Tuesday during an appearance on “Q13 News This Morning.” “I just really felt strongly and feel strongly that I need to step up and legislators need to step up and be counted.””

Daily Clips: January 3, 2017

Daily Clips: January 3, 2017

After a little hiatus, Daily Clips are back on the web. I cannot comprehend how anyone was able to keep up with the news without my words of wisdom. David Brooks shows his elitism Listen to this ridiculous sentence which illustrates how far Brooks is up his own a**: To read Trump correctly, it’s probably best to dig up old French deconstructionists like Jean Baudrillard, who treated words not as things that have meanings in themselves but as displays in an oppositional power struggle. Yeah, I’m sure Jean Baudrillard is exactly who comes to mind to the *average* American when they see Trump. Three steps for progressive resistance and rebuilding as Trump era launches Ultimately, the party’s fortunes will depend on recruiting a new generation of progressive leaders, especially women and people of color, who can harness the power of social movements and drive it into electoral politics — everywhere in the country, at every level of government. Can anyone say, Pramila Jayapal? “The Constitution has strangled American democracy for long enough.” What’s going on? The answer is that, after more than two centuries, America’s pre-democratic constitutional machinery is spitting out increasingly undemocratic results with catastrophic consequences. Instead of government of, by, and for the people, it’s giving the people government they don’t want but can do nothing about. Ford cancels $1.6 billion Mexican plant On the face of it, this looks like a huge win for Trump. According to Reuters, “Ford Motor Co ( F.N ) said Tuesday it will cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and will invest $700 million at a Michigan factory as it expands its electric vehicle and hybrid offerings.” The GOP’s Ethics Disaster Nothing to add. Our federal government is an embarrassment.

Daily Clips: December 7, 2016

Daily Clips: December 7, 2016

TIME magazine names Donald Trump “Person of the Year” Predictable. Thomas Friedman finds optimism in Trump’s meeting with Gore As long as Trump is open to learning on the environment, we have to push our best and brightest through the doors of Trump Tower to constructively engage him. The more the better. I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised and supportive of any turns to the positive. But the minute his door closes to learning and evolving, man the barricades. American Prospect debuts their new feature, “Trickle Downers” What a beautiful sight! There will now be a devoted vertical on trickle-down economics, calling out tax cuts for the rich, deregulation for the powerful, and wage suppression for the 99%. Justin Miller kicks things off with his first ever ‘ Trickle Downer of the Week “: Steve Mnuchin. Experts on the left and right agree: Trump’s tax plan —which Mnuchin helped  craft—is a massive giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent, leaving middle-class and low-income Americans with the crumbs. Sounds like trickle down to me. Tweet of the day At this moment 75 years ago, the United States of America comes under attack by the Empire of Japan. #PearlHarbor75 — USS Arizona (@USSArizona) December 7, 2016