• In defense of Sally Ann Gonzales for LD3, an experienced Yaqui female legislator being silenced for speaking Truth to Power

  • Complaints against harassment by the TUSD Desegregation Fisher “Plaintiff” continue

    The following open letter to TUSD was posted on this recently posted article’s comment section.

    TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

    August 6, 2018

    Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

    I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior. read more

  • Tax Havens Are a Threat to Oceans and Rainforests

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Alex Kirby / Climate News Network.

    Tax havens have provided more than two-thirds of the foreign capital known to be linked to Amazon deforestation and pirate fishing, a new study says.

    The researchers say 70% of known vessels involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are or have been flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction. On average, they report, 68% of all investigated foreign capital (US$18.4bn of a total $26.9bn) which went to sectors associated with Amazon  deforestation between 2000 and 2011 was transferred through tax havens.

    The report is the work of a team of researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphereprogramme (GEDB), who say it is the first study to show how tax havens are linked to economic sectors with the potential to cause serious global environmental damage.

    They say the release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers exposed how multinationals, politicians and the rich use offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth and money flows, and to reduce their exposure to tax. Accepting that the term “tax haven” is contested, their report uses a definition proposed in a report prepared for the US Congress.

    The study’s lead author, Victor Galaz, deputy director of the SRC, says: “Our analysis shows that the use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one. While the use of tax haven jurisdictions is not illegal in itself, financial secrecy hampers the ability to analyse how financial flows affect economic activities on the ground, and their environmental impacts.”

    The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, is part of an on-going research project, Earth System Finance: New perspectives on financial markets and sustainability, led by GEDB and the Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Future Earth.

    Systematic approach

    The researchers say most previous analyses of the environmental impacts of tax havens are the work of investigative journalists focusing on a few locations. The new study, in contrast, takes a more systematic approach to analyse how the havens influence the sustainability of the ocean and the Amazon rainforest, two examples of the global environmental commons.

    The Amazon forest is critical for stabilising the Earth’s climate system, and the oceans provide protein and income for millions of people worldwide, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries.

    “The absence of a more systemic view is not surprising considering the chronic lack of data resulting from the financial opaqueness created by the use of these jurisdictions,” says co-author Beatrice Crona, GEDB’s executive director.

    The study says lack of transparency hides how tax havens are linked to the degradation of environmental commons that are crucial for both people and planet at global scales.

    “The use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one”

    It includes the first calculation of the foreign capital that flows into the beef and soya sectors operating in the Brazilian Amazon, both linked to deforestation.

    The Cayman Islands proved to be the largest governmental source of transfers for foreign capital to both sectors. Well-known as a tax haven, the Islands provide three benefits to investors: legal efficiency, tax minimisation, and secrecy.

    The study also includes a systematic analysis of tax havens’ role in global IUU fishing. With 70% of the vessels found to carry out or support IUU fishing, and for which flag information is available, flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction now or in the past, Belize and Panama are frequently mentioned.

    Many of these tax havens are also so-called flags of convenience states, countries with limited monitoring and enforcement capacity that do not penalise vessels sailing under their flag even if they are identified as operating in violation of international law.

    Dual identities

    This combination of tax havens and flags of convenience allows companies to operate fishing vessels with dual identities, one used for legal and the other for illegal fishing.

    “The global nature of fisheries value chains, complex ownership structures and limited governance capacities of many coastal nations, make the sector susceptible to the use of tax havens,” says co-author Henrik Österblom, SRC  deputy science director.

    Among issues which the researchers suggest should be central to future research and to the governance of tax havens is the loss of tax revenue the havens cause. This, they argue, should be seen as an indirect subsidy to economic activities which damage the global commons, and organisations like UN Environment should assess the environmental costs involved.

    And they argue that the international community should view tax evasion and aggressive tax planning as not only a socio-political problem, but also an environmental one. Putting tax havens on the global sustainability agenda, they say, is key to protecting the environment and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  • As waters rise, coastal megacities like Mumbai face catastrophe

    Read more of this story here from Latest Headlines | Science News by Katy Daigle, Maanvi Singh.

    For coastal megacities like Mumbai, rising seas and weather chaos linked with climate change threaten economic and social disaster.
  • Why sea level rise varies from place to place

    Read more of this story here from Latest Headlines | Science News by Katy Daigle, Carolyn Gramling.

    The impact of global sea level rise varies regionally, thanks to these factors.
  • Vermont Nominates 1st U.S. Transgender Candidate for Governor

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by WILSON RING / The Associated Press.

    MONTPELIER, Vt. — A former Vermont utility executive on Tuesday became the first transgender candidate from a major political party to be nominated for governor, and she’ll face the Republican incumbent, who survived a bitter backlash from his base over gun restrictions he supported.

    GOP Gov. Phil Scott defeated a challenge from Springfield businessman Keith Stern in his quest to win a second term. He will face Christine Hallquist, who won the Democratic primary to run for the state’s highest office in November, when she would become the nation’s first transgender governor if elected.

    Scott said he expected the race to be closer than it was.

    “I know there are some who are still upset with me who may not welcome tonight’s result but there’s so much more that unites us than sets us apart,” Scott said. “And no one agrees with their friends all the time, but as our success shows we can make a lot of good progress when we have clear priorities and we pull in the same direction.”

    Hallquist said her campaign would focus on improving the state’s economy, yet she acknowledged the symbolism of being an openly transgender candidate.

    “The whole world is looking at this as a historic moment for a transgender candidate, but that’s not what Vermont looked at,” Hallquist said. “Vermonters looked at, ‘What’s Christine and her team going to do for Vermont?'”

    “Look to Vermont,” she said. “We continue to demonstrate leadership in civil rights and how to honor and work with each other. We can be a beacon for the rest of the world.”

    Scott, first elected in 2016, faced a rebellion from his base due to his support for a series of gun restrictions that, while mild by national standards, angered many members of Vermont’s avid hunting community. The restrictions, which Scott signed into law in April, came after the arrest of a teenager on charges he was plotting a school shooting.

    They included raising the age to buy firearms from 18 to 21, restricting the size of gun magazines and requiring background checks for most private gun sales.

    Scott will seek re-election by continuing his pledge to make the state more affordable, not raise taxes or fees, foster a better environment for businesses and attract newcomers to the state.

    Hallquist defeated environmental activist James Ehlers; dance festival organizer Brenda Siegel; and 14-year-old student Ethan Sonneborn, who was on the ballot because a quirk in state law doesn’t require candidates to be of voting age.

    Democratic state Sen. John Rodgers, from Vermont’s remote and conservative Northeast Kingdom, failed in his bid for a grassroots write-in campaign, largely motivated by his displeasure with firearms restrictions.

  • Trump Wouldn’t Have Let Her in the Country, but She’ll Likely Join Congress

    Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Juan Cole / Informed Comment.

    Ilhan Omar, a refugee and a Somali-heritage Muslim woman who veils, has won the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s Fifth District congressional seat, hoping to succeed Keith Ellison. The district, which includes Minneapolis, typically votes heavily Democratic, so she has a good shot at winning the seat.

    Somalia is one of five Muslim-majority countries from which immigration is currently banned, though immigration is restricted from Venezuela (a few officials) and North Korea, as well. The actual targets of the ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

    Under Trump administration policy, in other words, Ilhan Omar would not have been allowed to enter the country as an immigrant. Under Trump, she also would have been highly unlikely to be granted refugee status and asylum in the US. In 2016, the US admitted some 85,000 refugees, about evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Based on the first five months of this year, it is likely that the US will admit only 45,000 refugees in 2018, and that only 17% of them will be Muslim. The open racism and bigotry of this administration is already being enshrined in our immigration statistics. Legal immigration is on track to be cut 12% from Obama’s last year in office, and the number of Muslim immigrants has fallen by 33%– nearly three times as much as over-all immigration. European immigrants are slightly up, though still dwarfed by Asia and Latin America. It is remarkable that for all his rhetoric, Trump hasn’t managed substantially to cut legal immigration, and his own Republican Congress has rebuffed the bills he submitted to abolish certain kinds of immigrant visas.

    But African immigration is down, and Muslim immigration is down, and Ilhan Omar is precisely the demographic that Trump (and his horrid mini-me Stephen Miller) have targeted.

    Ilhan Omar did not win because she compromised but because she boldly took stances approved by the public, even if the class of cranky rich old white people thinks them utopian or too costly (something they never say about the Pentagon budget or our forever wars).

    She is for medicare for all. She endorses abolishing ICE, which was only created in 2004.

    Minneapolis is about 64% white, 5 percent Asian, and only 18% African-American, so Ms. Omar’s victory was in no way based on identity politics. She was largely elected by Protestants, Catholics and agnostics of European heritage.

    Some voters interviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune said that they voted for her because they saw in her the vigor and the forcefulness to take on Trump.

    Ilhan Omar is humane where Trump is selfish. Ilhan Omar is high-minded where Trump is in the gutter. Ilhan Omar stands for American unity across races and religions. Trump stands for a hierarchy, with white northern European Christians at the top and everyone else a second-class citizen or worse.

    Ilhan Omar is the future of America. Trump is the last gasp of the 19th century Know-Nothing bigots.

    —-

  • Transgender Candidate Makes History In Vermont Gubernatorial Primary

    Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


    Watch Video

    Christine Hallquist is now the first transgender candidate for governor to be nominated by a major political party. 

    She won Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday with just over 40 percent of the vote. 

    The former energy company CEO's platform includes expanding internet access to rural areas, support for paid family leave, and increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    Hallquist is one of more than 400 LGBTQ candidates running for office in 2018. 

    She'll next face off against Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott in November. 

  • How Young Hispanics May Have The Deciding Vote In Future Elections

    Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


    Watch Video

    A few key statistics make it clear: The political power of the Hispanic electorate is big, and it's going to get bigger. 

    In the 1996 presidential election, 4.7 percent of voters were Hispanic. In 2016, 9.2 percent. And Latinos are the nation's youngest ethnic group with a median age 27 years, more than a decade younger than non-Latinos at 42 years.

    SEE MORE: Booming Asian-American Migration May Impact Midterm Elections

    Minorities 10 and under now outnumber whites 10 and under. It's the first truly majority minority generation — what a Brookings analysis labeled "Generation Z-Plus."

    Twenty-six percent of the group is Hispanic. There are far fewer Black, Asian and mixed race Americans. That means Hispanics will account for 40 percent of growth in eligible voters by 2030, according to Pew Hispanic Center projections

    This matters because Hispanics have long leaned hard toward the Democratic Party, at times by more than a two-to-one ratio, or 63 percent to 28 percent. 

    A few examples: Al Gore vs. George Bush earned 62 percent and 35 percent of the Hispanic vote, respectively in 2000. The vote was split pretty much the same between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016 at 66 percent vs. 28 percent.

    And politicians who assume that the most important political issue for Hispanics is immigration are likely to be disappointed, because they're wrong. In 2017, Hispanic priorities for President Trump and Congress were led by education. It was a top item of concern for 73 percent of those polled. Sixty-nine percent said defending the country from future terrorist attacks was also a top issue, and 66 percent said strengthening the economy was also on their mind.

    The lowest-priority issue among those questioned in a Pew survey: Immigration, with only 46 percent saying it should be a top concern. The question is, as younger Hispanics enter the electorate, will those priorities shift? Will party allegiances remain the same? 

    Democrats have maintained a big edge. But Hispanics will soon account for 40 million votes; that's a big opportunity, and concern, for both parties. 

  • US Sen. Bernie Sanders Clinches Vermont’s Senate Democratic Nomination

    Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


    Watch Video

    U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders easily won the Democratic Senate primary in Vermont on Tuesday. 

    The Associated Press called the race with Sanders holding about 94 percent of the vote. 

    But the senator is expected to turn down the nomination. 

    That's because Sanders is already on the November ballot as an independent, and in Vermont, candidates cannot appear on ballots under more than one party. 

    Sanders also declined the Democratic nomination in his previous Senate races in 2006 and 2012 but accepted a formal endorsement from the party. 

Tax Havens Are a Threat to Oceans and Rainforests

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Alex Kirby / Climate News Network.

Tax havens have provided more than two-thirds of the foreign capital known to be linked to Amazon deforestation and pirate fishing, a new study says.

The researchers say 70% of known vessels involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are or have been flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction. On average, they report, 68% of all investigated foreign capital (US$18.4bn of a total $26.9bn) which went to sectors associated with Amazon  deforestation between 2000 and 2011 was transferred through tax havens.

The report is the work of a team of researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphereprogramme (GEDB), who say it is the first study to show how tax havens are linked to economic sectors with the potential to cause serious global environmental damage.

They say the release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers exposed how multinationals, politicians and the rich use offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth and money flows, and to reduce their exposure to tax. Accepting that the term “tax haven” is contested, their report uses a definition proposed in a report prepared for the US Congress.

The study’s lead author, Victor Galaz, deputy director of the SRC, says: “Our analysis shows that the use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one. While the use of tax haven jurisdictions is not illegal in itself, financial secrecy hampers the ability to analyse how financial flows affect economic activities on the ground, and their environmental impacts.”

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, is part of an on-going research project, Earth System Finance: New perspectives on financial markets and sustainability, led by GEDB and the Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Future Earth.

Systematic approach

The researchers say most previous analyses of the environmental impacts of tax havens are the work of investigative journalists focusing on a few locations. The new study, in contrast, takes a more systematic approach to analyse how the havens influence the sustainability of the ocean and the Amazon rainforest, two examples of the global environmental commons.

The Amazon forest is critical for stabilising the Earth’s climate system, and the oceans provide protein and income for millions of people worldwide, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries.

“The absence of a more systemic view is not surprising considering the chronic lack of data resulting from the financial opaqueness created by the use of these jurisdictions,” says co-author Beatrice Crona, GEDB’s executive director.

The study says lack of transparency hides how tax havens are linked to the degradation of environmental commons that are crucial for both people and planet at global scales.

“The use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one”

It includes the first calculation of the foreign capital that flows into the beef and soya sectors operating in the Brazilian Amazon, both linked to deforestation.

The Cayman Islands proved to be the largest governmental source of transfers for foreign capital to both sectors. Well-known as a tax haven, the Islands provide three benefits to investors: legal efficiency, tax minimisation, and secrecy.

The study also includes a systematic analysis of tax havens’ role in global IUU fishing. With 70% of the vessels found to carry out or support IUU fishing, and for which flag information is available, flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction now or in the past, Belize and Panama are frequently mentioned.

Many of these tax havens are also so-called flags of convenience states, countries with limited monitoring and enforcement capacity that do not penalise vessels sailing under their flag even if they are identified as operating in violation of international law.

Dual identities

This combination of tax havens and flags of convenience allows companies to operate fishing vessels with dual identities, one used for legal and the other for illegal fishing.

“The global nature of fisheries value chains, complex ownership structures and limited governance capacities of many coastal nations, make the sector susceptible to the use of tax havens,” says co-author Henrik Österblom, SRC  deputy science director.

Among issues which the researchers suggest should be central to future research and to the governance of tax havens is the loss of tax revenue the havens cause. This, they argue, should be seen as an indirect subsidy to economic activities which damage the global commons, and organisations like UN Environment should assess the environmental costs involved.

And they argue that the international community should view tax evasion and aggressive tax planning as not only a socio-political problem, but also an environmental one. Putting tax havens on the global sustainability agenda, they say, is key to protecting the environment and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more

Native Liberation Conference Albuquerque, Sun. Aug. 12, 2018

Read more of this story here from CENSORED NEWS by Brenda Norrell.

LIVE: Liberation Conference Albuquerque, Sun. Aug. 12, 2018 Native Liberation Conference AgendaAugust 11-12, 2018Health Leadership High School 1900 Randolph Rd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 Download the full Native Liberation Conference Agenda here. We live in difficult times. The US settler government has committed atrocities against poor and colonized people across the world. But Read more

In defense of Sally Ann Gonzales for LD3, an experienced Yaqui female legislator being silenced for speaking Truth to Power

Friends,

Its election time again. I am sick and tired of irresponsible, corrupt politicians and I am doing something about it! The following message took a lot of thinking and soul searching for me, but there comes a time when we need to stand up and tell it like it is no matter who it is! If you agree, vote for my choice if you don’t, we all have choices. If you like, please share.

State Representative Sally Ann Gonzales is running for the vacant State Senate seat in Legislative District 3. Sally Ann has a proud history of standing up for women’s rights and the disadvantaged. An independent thinker, Sally Ann has stood up to the establishment. read more

Read more

Complaints against harassment by the TUSD Desegregation Fisher “Plaintiff” continue

The following open letter to TUSD was posted on this recently posted article’s comment section.

TS and Readers: The following was sent to Board and Supt. today.

August 6, 2018

Dear TUSD Governing Board and Dr. Gabriel Trujillo:

I was very glad to see what the Whistleblowers reported about Gloria Copeland in Three Sonorans. Good and brave of the Whistleblowers! In reaction to the Whistleblowers’ 72nd letter, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo is saying that Gloria Copeland, Fisher plaintiffs’ representative (or whatever her role is) has the same rights to visit schools as any other “citizen.” This immediately shows how oblivious he is about Gloria Copeland’s behavior throughout the District and his lack of power or willingness to protect TUSD employees from Gloria’s out-of-bounds behavior at the schools. Maybe he believes Gloria’s bluff that she has two or three Board members “in-pocket.” (She throws Michael Hick’s name around all of the time and suggests that she speaks to Mark Stegeman regularly and she throws in that when she spoke with Rachael Sedgewick she said this and she said that so that people will know that she is also in contact with her.) It is one of her intimidation tricks. Basically, she is constantly dropping their names. I refuse to believe that any of these three Board members condone what Gloria is doing in the schools or other TUSD offices and I challenge each board member and Dr. Trujillo to condone her conduct or to denounce it. Remaining silent actually condones Gloria’s behavior and it allows her to continue with her awful disrespectful and disruptive behavior. read more

Read more

Tax Havens Are a Threat to Oceans and Rainforests

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Alex Kirby / Climate News Network.

Tax havens have provided more than two-thirds of the foreign capital known to be linked to Amazon deforestation and pirate fishing, a new study says.

The researchers say 70% of known vessels involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are or have been flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction. On average, they report, 68% of all investigated foreign capital (US$18.4bn of a total $26.9bn) which went to sectors associated with Amazon  deforestation between 2000 and 2011 was transferred through tax havens.

The report is the work of a team of researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphereprogramme (GEDB), who say it is the first study to show how tax havens are linked to economic sectors with the potential to cause serious global environmental damage.

They say the release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers exposed how multinationals, politicians and the rich use offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth and money flows, and to reduce their exposure to tax. Accepting that the term “tax haven” is contested, their report uses a definition proposed in a report prepared for the US Congress.

The study’s lead author, Victor Galaz, deputy director of the SRC, says: “Our analysis shows that the use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one. While the use of tax haven jurisdictions is not illegal in itself, financial secrecy hampers the ability to analyse how financial flows affect economic activities on the ground, and their environmental impacts.”

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, is part of an on-going research project, Earth System Finance: New perspectives on financial markets and sustainability, led by GEDB and the Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Future Earth.

Systematic approach

The researchers say most previous analyses of the environmental impacts of tax havens are the work of investigative journalists focusing on a few locations. The new study, in contrast, takes a more systematic approach to analyse how the havens influence the sustainability of the ocean and the Amazon rainforest, two examples of the global environmental commons.

The Amazon forest is critical for stabilising the Earth’s climate system, and the oceans provide protein and income for millions of people worldwide, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries.

“The absence of a more systemic view is not surprising considering the chronic lack of data resulting from the financial opaqueness created by the use of these jurisdictions,” says co-author Beatrice Crona, GEDB’s executive director.

The study says lack of transparency hides how tax havens are linked to the degradation of environmental commons that are crucial for both people and planet at global scales.

“The use of tax havens is not only a socio-political and economic challenge, but also an environmental one”

It includes the first calculation of the foreign capital that flows into the beef and soya sectors operating in the Brazilian Amazon, both linked to deforestation.

The Cayman Islands proved to be the largest governmental source of transfers for foreign capital to both sectors. Well-known as a tax haven, the Islands provide three benefits to investors: legal efficiency, tax minimisation, and secrecy.

The study also includes a systematic analysis of tax havens’ role in global IUU fishing. With 70% of the vessels found to carry out or support IUU fishing, and for which flag information is available, flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction now or in the past, Belize and Panama are frequently mentioned.

Many of these tax havens are also so-called flags of convenience states, countries with limited monitoring and enforcement capacity that do not penalise vessels sailing under their flag even if they are identified as operating in violation of international law.

Dual identities

This combination of tax havens and flags of convenience allows companies to operate fishing vessels with dual identities, one used for legal and the other for illegal fishing.

“The global nature of fisheries value chains, complex ownership structures and limited governance capacities of many coastal nations, make the sector susceptible to the use of tax havens,” says co-author Henrik Österblom, SRC  deputy science director.

Among issues which the researchers suggest should be central to future research and to the governance of tax havens is the loss of tax revenue the havens cause. This, they argue, should be seen as an indirect subsidy to economic activities which damage the global commons, and organisations like UN Environment should assess the environmental costs involved.

And they argue that the international community should view tax evasion and aggressive tax planning as not only a socio-political problem, but also an environmental one. Putting tax havens on the global sustainability agenda, they say, is key to protecting the environment and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more

Vermont Nominates 1st U.S. Transgender Candidate for Governor

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by WILSON RING / The Associated Press.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — A former Vermont utility executive on Tuesday became the first transgender candidate from a major political party to be nominated for governor, and she’ll face the Republican incumbent, who survived a bitter backlash from his base over gun restrictions he supported.

GOP Gov. Phil Scott defeated a challenge from Springfield businessman Keith Stern in his quest to win a second term. He will face Christine Hallquist, who won the Democratic primary to run for the state’s highest office in November, when she would become the nation’s first transgender governor if elected.

Scott said he expected the race to be closer than it was.

“I know there are some who are still upset with me who may not welcome tonight’s result but there’s so much more that unites us than sets us apart,” Scott said. “And no one agrees with their friends all the time, but as our success shows we can make a lot of good progress when we have clear priorities and we pull in the same direction.”

Hallquist said her campaign would focus on improving the state’s economy, yet she acknowledged the symbolism of being an openly transgender candidate.

“The whole world is looking at this as a historic moment for a transgender candidate, but that’s not what Vermont looked at,” Hallquist said. “Vermonters looked at, ‘What’s Christine and her team going to do for Vermont?'”

“Look to Vermont,” she said. “We continue to demonstrate leadership in civil rights and how to honor and work with each other. We can be a beacon for the rest of the world.”

Scott, first elected in 2016, faced a rebellion from his base due to his support for a series of gun restrictions that, while mild by national standards, angered many members of Vermont’s avid hunting community. The restrictions, which Scott signed into law in April, came after the arrest of a teenager on charges he was plotting a school shooting.

They included raising the age to buy firearms from 18 to 21, restricting the size of gun magazines and requiring background checks for most private gun sales.

Scott will seek re-election by continuing his pledge to make the state more affordable, not raise taxes or fees, foster a better environment for businesses and attract newcomers to the state.

Hallquist defeated environmental activist James Ehlers; dance festival organizer Brenda Siegel; and 14-year-old student Ethan Sonneborn, who was on the ballot because a quirk in state law doesn’t require candidates to be of voting age.

Democratic state Sen. John Rodgers, from Vermont’s remote and conservative Northeast Kingdom, failed in his bid for a grassroots write-in campaign, largely motivated by his displeasure with firearms restrictions.

Read more

Trump Wouldn’t Have Let Her in the Country, but She’ll Likely Join Congress

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Juan Cole / Informed Comment.

Ilhan Omar, a refugee and a Somali-heritage Muslim woman who veils, has won the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s Fifth District congressional seat, hoping to succeed Keith Ellison. The district, which includes Minneapolis, typically votes heavily Democratic, so she has a good shot at winning the seat.

Somalia is one of five Muslim-majority countries from which immigration is currently banned, though immigration is restricted from Venezuela (a few officials) and North Korea, as well. The actual targets of the ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Under Trump administration policy, in other words, Ilhan Omar would not have been allowed to enter the country as an immigrant. Under Trump, she also would have been highly unlikely to be granted refugee status and asylum in the US. In 2016, the US admitted some 85,000 refugees, about evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Based on the first five months of this year, it is likely that the US will admit only 45,000 refugees in 2018, and that only 17% of them will be Muslim. The open racism and bigotry of this administration is already being enshrined in our immigration statistics. Legal immigration is on track to be cut 12% from Obama’s last year in office, and the number of Muslim immigrants has fallen by 33%– nearly three times as much as over-all immigration. European immigrants are slightly up, though still dwarfed by Asia and Latin America. It is remarkable that for all his rhetoric, Trump hasn’t managed substantially to cut legal immigration, and his own Republican Congress has rebuffed the bills he submitted to abolish certain kinds of immigrant visas.

But African immigration is down, and Muslim immigration is down, and Ilhan Omar is precisely the demographic that Trump (and his horrid mini-me Stephen Miller) have targeted.

Ilhan Omar did not win because she compromised but because she boldly took stances approved by the public, even if the class of cranky rich old white people thinks them utopian or too costly (something they never say about the Pentagon budget or our forever wars).

She is for medicare for all. She endorses abolishing ICE, which was only created in 2004.

Minneapolis is about 64% white, 5 percent Asian, and only 18% African-American, so Ms. Omar’s victory was in no way based on identity politics. She was largely elected by Protestants, Catholics and agnostics of European heritage.

Some voters interviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune said that they voted for her because they saw in her the vigor and the forcefulness to take on Trump.

Ilhan Omar is humane where Trump is selfish. Ilhan Omar is high-minded where Trump is in the gutter. Ilhan Omar stands for American unity across races and religions. Trump stands for a hierarchy, with white northern European Christians at the top and everyone else a second-class citizen or worse.

Ilhan Omar is the future of America. Trump is the last gasp of the 19th century Know-Nothing bigots.

—-

Read more

Transgender Candidate Makes History In Vermont Gubernatorial Primary

Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


Watch Video

Christine Hallquist is now the first transgender candidate for governor to be nominated by a major political party. 

She won Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday with just over 40 percent of the vote. 

The former energy company CEO's platform includes expanding internet access to rural areas, support for paid family leave, and increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Hallquist is one of more than 400 LGBTQ candidates running for office in 2018. 

She'll next face off against Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott in November. 

Read more

How Young Hispanics May Have The Deciding Vote In Future Elections

Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


Watch Video

A few key statistics make it clear: The political power of the Hispanic electorate is big, and it's going to get bigger. 

In the 1996 presidential election, 4.7 percent of voters were Hispanic. In 2016, 9.2 percent. And Latinos are the nation's youngest ethnic group with a median age 27 years, more than a decade younger than non-Latinos at 42 years.

SEE MORE: Booming Asian-American Migration May Impact Midterm Elections

Minorities 10 and under now outnumber whites 10 and under. It's the first truly majority minority generation — what a Brookings analysis labeled "Generation Z-Plus."

Twenty-six percent of the group is Hispanic. There are far fewer Black, Asian and mixed race Americans. That means Hispanics will account for 40 percent of growth in eligible voters by 2030, according to Pew Hispanic Center projections

This matters because Hispanics have long leaned hard toward the Democratic Party, at times by more than a two-to-one ratio, or 63 percent to 28 percent. 

A few examples: Al Gore vs. George Bush earned 62 percent and 35 percent of the Hispanic vote, respectively in 2000. The vote was split pretty much the same between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016 at 66 percent vs. 28 percent.

And politicians who assume that the most important political issue for Hispanics is immigration are likely to be disappointed, because they're wrong. In 2017, Hispanic priorities for President Trump and Congress were led by education. It was a top item of concern for 73 percent of those polled. Sixty-nine percent said defending the country from future terrorist attacks was also a top issue, and 66 percent said strengthening the economy was also on their mind.

The lowest-priority issue among those questioned in a Pew survey: Immigration, with only 46 percent saying it should be a top concern. The question is, as younger Hispanics enter the electorate, will those priorities shift? Will party allegiances remain the same? 

Democrats have maintained a big edge. But Hispanics will soon account for 40 million votes; that's a big opportunity, and concern, for both parties. 

Read more

US Sen. Bernie Sanders Clinches Vermont’s Senate Democratic Nomination

Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


Watch Video

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders easily won the Democratic Senate primary in Vermont on Tuesday. 

The Associated Press called the race with Sanders holding about 94 percent of the vote. 

But the senator is expected to turn down the nomination. 

That's because Sanders is already on the November ballot as an independent, and in Vermont, candidates cannot appear on ballots under more than one party. 

Sanders also declined the Democratic nomination in his previous Senate races in 2006 and 2012 but accepted a formal endorsement from the party. 

Read more

No, Trump Voters, Your Wages Aren’t Going Up

Read more of this story here from DCReport.org by David Crook.

Unless You Were Already Making More than $1 Million a Year

David Cay Johnston

We’ve got some disappointing news for all those people who voted for Donald Trump because he promised rising wages.

While Trump keeps saying wages are rising the official government data show that’s just not true.

Consider a worker paid the median wage, half make more and half less, of $600 a week in round numbers. If she got the average 2.8% raise on July 1, her gross pay rose by a bit under $17.

This article is the first in a series in which David Cay Johnston will examine the real effects of Trumponomics. Future articles will look at taxes and trade.

Now consider inflation since her last raise a year earlier. Inflation ran 2.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That means our model worker is actually making less in real wages. Its only 60-cents less each week, not that she’d notice, but less is less and most definitely is not more no matter how often Trump says otherwise.

Back in January, during his State of the Union address, Trump declared that “after years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”  Trump and the White House have repeated that claim over and over ever since.

PolitiFact rated that mostly false “because…wage growth began under President Barack Obama.”

Indeed, I reported two years ago that the government’s best wage data showed that, after considering inflation, the median wage was lower in 2012 than in 2000. For the bottom half of workers, pay increases are rare.

As Obama’s second term began, however, the median wage began to not just outpace inflation, but to grow at a rapidly accelerating pace.

In 2013 the median wage increased by only a little, about $2 a week above inflation. The next year the increase tripled. In 2015 it more than tripled again. Together three years of increasing wages raised median pay by $30 a week.

No matter how you slice it, less is less.

More is more, in that case, a lot more—and it was all on Obama’s watch. In contrast, 20 months into Trump’s watch, real wages are down slightly. No matter how you slice it, less is less, not the more that Trump promised.

For the past 38 years, most wage hikes have gone to workers making more than this, especially workers at the top.

Think of a money pie filled with all the wages and salaries earned by everyone from janitors to CEOs. The slice of pay pie going to high-end workers more than tripled over those two decades, as the table accompanying this column shows.

Consider workers make more than $1 million a year in 1995 and, with an adjustment for inflation, two decades later.

There were six times as many highly paid workers in 2015 as in 1995. And thanks to rising wages, their combined pay grew even more, as the table here shows.

When the data for 2018  becomes available you can be sure it will show that most wage growth benefitted higher paid workers, not those toiling at the median wage of about $600 a week.

For the millions of people who believed Trump the master con artist when he insisted that he alone could save them, that he would bring about higher real wages, here’s the question:

Who are you going to believe? Trump or your paycheck?

Read more

Following Electronics Boycott, Turkey Increases Tariffs On US Imports

Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


Watch Video

Turkey announced it's increasing tariffs on some U.S. products Wednesday. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised tariffs on American cars to 120 percent and on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent. He also imposed extra tariffs on other products like cosmetics, coal and rice.

Turkey's vice president said the retaliatory tariffs are a response to "the deliberate attack of the U.S. administration on [Turkey's] economy."

President Donald Trump recently announced plans to double tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey. Those taxes are now 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. 

The two sides are at somewhat of a standoff over the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who's been detained in Turkey for nearly two years now. Turkey claims Brunson has connections to two groups the country considers terrorist organizations — something Brunson denies. 

National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly told the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. on Monday that until Brunson is freed, the U.S. has no plans to negotiate any further. 

Turkey's tariff announcement comes one day after Erdogan said the country would boycott U.S. electronics. He specifically called out Apple as an example. "If [the U.S. has] the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere," he said. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

Read more