1. Ten Trump Administration Atrocities Going Under-Reported Amid Russia Hysteria via Medium
What follows is not a complete list of Trump’s misdeeds, but of those which don’t get enough airplay. Trump’s demagoguery, rudeness and ridiculous North Korean brinkmanship all play well on TV — his continuation and expansion of the evils of his corporatist predecessors, not so much.
2. Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria Uncounted Deaths? via CNN
We surveyed 112 Puerto Rican funeral homes to check the accuracy of the hurricane death toll. This is what we found. ‘The official count is 55.’
Those funeral homes identified 499 deaths in the month after the storm — September 20 to October 19 — which they say were related to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. That’s nine times the official death toll. And, again, it represents only about half of funeral homes.
3. FCC just repealed a 42-year-old rule blocking broadcast media mergers via Washington Post
A major beneficiary of the deregulatory moves, analysts say, is Sinclair, a conservative broadcasting company that is seeking to buy up Tribune media for $3.9 billion.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and other lawmakers wrote in a letter. The letter added that Pai has “signaled his clear receptiveness to approving the Sinclair-Tribune transaction and in fact paved the way for its consummation.”
4. The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Ground Game via VOX
Democrats were concerned throughout the campaign that Clinton was not assembling the “army of volunteers” necessary to get out the vote, and that worry may have been well founded. Clinton had 537 offices around the country, much fewer than Obama in 2008 (947 offices) or 2012 (789) across the map and particularly in battleground states.
5. Donald Trump nominates man whose firm tripled price of insulin to regulate drug companies via The Nation
Donald Trump’s pick for health secretary, Alex Azar, was previously an executive at a pharmaceutical company that repeatedly raised the prices of its drugs and tripled the cost of its top-selling insulin over the five years he served as a company president, it has emerged.
In fact, price gouging from Eli Lilly and other insulin manufacturers has already had deadly consequences. Shane Patrick Boyle, a founder of Zine Fest Houston, died on March 18 after his GoFundMe campaign to pay for insulin came up $50 short. Alec Raeshawn Smith, age 26, was found dead in his apartment on June 27. He was rationing his insulin after he aged out of his parent’s insurance coverage. The sad fact is more people would be alive today if insulin was affordable for all Americans.
6. Ice Apocalypse: Rapid collapse of Antarctic glaciers could flood coastal cities by the end of this century via Grist
Instead of a three-foot increase in ocean levels by the end of the century, six feet was more likely, according to DeConto and Pollard’s findings. But if carbon emissions continue to track on something resembling a worst-case scenario, the full 11 feet of ice locked in West Antarctica might be freed up, their study showed.
At six feet, though, around 12 million people in the United States would be displaced, and the world’s most vulnerable megacities, like Shanghai, Mumbai, and Ho Chi Minh City, could be wiped off the map.
At 11 feet, land currently inhabited by hundreds of millions of people worldwide would wind up underwater. South Florida would be largely uninhabitable; floods on the scale of Hurricane Sandy would strike twice a month in New York and New Jersey, as the tug of the moon alone would be enough to send tidewaters into homes and buildings.
7. Zinke’s new sage grouse plans ignore years of work via High Country News
Somehow, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke needs to recognize that the greatest threat to economic development in sage grouse territory is not the existing sage grouse conservation plans, but the threat of losing the “regulatory certainty” that they provide. Lose the predictability necessary to encourage investment in the sagebrush landscape, and its communities are likely to become endangered along with the greater sage grouse.
8. Republicans are going back to their dream: Cutting Social Security and Medicare via Salon
The pay-as-you-go law requires that legislation that adds to the federal deficit be paid for with spending cuts or other offsets. If that does not happen, automatic cuts to programs like Medicare kick in. The Medicare cuts, which are capped at 4 percent of the program’s annual spending, could reach almost a half trillion dollars over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
9. How CEO Stock Buybacks Parasitize the Economy via Evonomics
The monster of economic waste—over $7 trillion of dictated stock buybacks since 2003 by the self-enriching CEOs of large corporations—started with a little noticed change in 1982 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Ronald Reagan. That was when SEC Chairman John Shad, a former Wall Street CEO, redefined unlawful ‘stock manipulation’ to exclude stock buybacks.
10. Senate Panel Votes to Turn Blogger Without Trial Experience Into a Federal Judge via Slate
The Senate Judiciary Committee seemed to prove this week that it will rubberstamp any judicial nominee President Donald Trump sends over, no matter how unqualified. On a party-line vote, the panel said this past week that Brett J. Talley should have a lifetime appointment to the federal bench in Alabama, reports the Los Angeles Times. It apparently made no difference to the Republicans on the panel that Talley, 36, never tried a single case and has been a lawyer for only three years. What qualifies him for the job? Maybe several incendiary blog posts, in which he denounced “Hillary Rotten Clinton.”