Interesting & Important News & Analysis, August 16, 2019

Plenty of Hondurans have been at the border of the US trying to gain entry here as refugees from Honduran right-wing, extremist, political violence that wouldn’t even exist were it not for the US-orchestrated coup in Honduras and the US officially recognizing Hernandez as President there, even though the Honduran constitution expressly forbid him from another term and even though Hernandez clearly stole the election via gross fraud.

So, where is the US-mainstream media concerning these unfolding revelations about the US-backed dictatorship of Honduras? Crickets.

Protests In Honduras Intensify as President Is Implicated in Drug Trafficking

Adrienne Pine and Jesse Freeston discuss Hondurans’ demand that President Juan Orlando Hernandez resign and the repressive, violent police response to protesters

I’m not on the defensive for Bernie Sanders versus the Washington Post. The fact is that the WaPo has been in panic mode (right along with all the other US-corporate-mainstream media) at the prospect of being further exposed for what they do, which is to support the corporatocracy/plutocracy (which feeds them) against the People in general. It’s not debatable.

The Washington Post’s Well-Documented Bias Against Bernie Sanders

While the cited remarks of Sanders and his campaign manager may come off as oversimple, they fall within the framework of the “propaganda model” that Herman and Chomsky outline well before Trump was doing anything more than losing money as a failing real estate tycoon.

A day after his remarks prompted a backlash among the pundit class, Sanders insisted this was not a “conspiracy theory.”

“We are taking on corporate America. Large corporations own the media in America, by and large, and I think there is a framework, about how the corporate media focuses on politics. That is my concern. It’s not that Jeff Bezos is on the phone every day; he’s not,” Sanders clarified.
Dozens Of Examples Of Corporate Media Bias
Bernie Sanders (Photo: Michael Stokes)

During the 2016 presidential election and the 2020 presidential primary, the Washington Post has published plenty of articles that feature bias against Sanders.

Bezos recognized the media organization needs to gear itself toward appealing to affluent consumers because those are the people with the most discretionary income available to subscribe to the newspaper. This partially explains the constant stream of class warfare both in defense of elites and on behalf of elites, who the Washington Post sees as part of the solutions and not the problems routinely emphasized by Sanders.

This makes negative interest rates clearer for those who didn’t understand them. Most people always only talked about being charged to save money in a bank. However, here’s the bank paying people to borrow. I’ve tried to explain this before, but it just never seemed to catch on in the mainstream. Now it will.

The point is to get the economy moving by increasing the circulation of money. That part is not explained in the article. While interest rates are negative, passive saving is not as fruitful as active borrowing to invest in things that earn more than they cost. A negative-interest-rate savings account doesn’t do that. The banks can’t make enough money investing the savings themselves either. All of this does, in theory (if the people grasp it and act on it), ramp up speculation, but people can still be conservative concerning what they choose to invest in.

Danish bank launches world’s first negative interest rate mortgage

Høegh said Jyske Bank is able to go into money markets and borrow from institutional investors at a negative rate, and is simply passing this on to its customers.

It’s a central-bank move to ramp up the economy. If people don’t take proper advantage of it, it won’t work. If they don’t know how to use it, it won’t work. It’s always been up to the banks to explain to the people what to do to make it work. The banks haven’t done that.

Will Argentinians be foolish enough to fall for it?

Macri Reverts to Handouts in Bid to Change Tide in Argentina [cached]

Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who has spent years lambasting the populist, free-spending ways of his predecessor, is opening the purse strings to try to claw his way back into contention ahead of the Oct. 27 presidential elections.

His policies have been a total disaster. Why trust him? Why reward him?

The more advanced the tax-evasion scheme, the more it’s disproportionately the rich who are not paying.

Report: US government losing billions in corporate tax revenue from IRS budget cuts

They estimated the government could have collected an additional $34.3 billion in taxes from those filings if they’d had $13.7 billion in additional resources.

And that estimate of lost revenue is potentially only a fraction of what the amount would have been if the study had included audit data from other businesses, individuals and foreign taxpayers.

I will be glad when children will do the right things because adults will know how to get them to without resorting to coercion. We need to figure it out and disseminate it.

Children are safer in countries that have banned smacking

… a growing body of analytical work linking smacking to aggression, problems of self esteem and anti-social behaviour through adolescence and into adulthood. Slapping children has also been linked to restricted cognitive development and academic problems.

City seeks to crack down on ‘bad landlords’ who abuse vacate orders

Lower Manhattan councilmember Margaret Chin, who resurrected the bill after it initially stalled under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, says that vacate orders are used by savvy landlords who allow their buildings to fall into disrepair or create hazardous conditions. This forces the city to step in and issue a vacate order until repairs are made.

Tenants are then faced with a dilemma: find a new home, or surf around friends’ and relatives’ homes indefinitely while waiting for their building to be habitable again. Those who don’t have the means to find temporary lodging will find themselves in the city’s shelter system.

From Sears to Seniors: Mixed-Use Project Will Turn Mall Into Senior Housing, Care Site

With the senior population and demand for senior housing guaranteed to grow over the next 20 years, yesterday’s offices, hotels, schools and commercial buildings can be repurposed into the senior housing of tomorrow.

‘BioSolar Leaves’ are better at cleaning the air than trees, say the technology’s developers

… Arborea, claims that biosolar leaves grown on panels taking up the surface area of a single tree can clean the air at the same rate as 100 trees.

They also produce organic biomass which can be made into ingredients for sustainable, plant-based food products.

Africa is set to get its first vertical forest

Vertical forests pack thousands of square metres of greenery into just a few hundred square metres of urban space, providing shade and creating habitats for birds and insects, according to Boeri.

The trees, shrubs and plants absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and filter dust from the air.

Inflation Data Shows Tariffs Are Not a Tax on Consumers but on Foreign & US Corporations

Corporate America just received a large income-tax cut. And companies didn’t pass those tax cuts on to consumers. Tariffs are the opposite, but on a smaller scale: They’re a tax increase on corporations, both US importers and foreign companies exporting to the US.

How Can Access to ADU Construction Be Expanded in DC?

… improving the availability of information on the rent generated by ADUs ….

A new assessment of the role of offshoring in the decline in US manufacturing employment

… US multinational firms, defined as those US-headquartered firms with foreign-owned plants, contributed disproportionally to the decline in US manufacturing employment. While 33.3% of 1993 employment was in multinational-owned establishments, this group directly accounted for 41% of the subsequent decline.

FHA Updates Condo Approval Rule

Dow tanks 800 points in worst day of 2019 after bond market sends recession warning

Investors are increasingly worried about a global economic slowdown as weaker-than-expected data in China deepened the gloom in the world’s second-largest economy. Official data published Wednesday showed growth of China’s industrial output slowed to 4.8% in July from a year earlier, the weakest growth in 17 years.

Adding to the fears on Wednesday was Germany’s negative GDP print, which raised the risk that Europe’s largest economy is on the verge of falling into a recession. Euro zone GDP also grew by just 0.2% quarter on quarter, a significant slowdown from the 0.4% growth in the first quarter.

Why doesn’t Donald Trump push hard for fiscal spending on infrastructure? Our infrastructure is falling apart in many places and needs to be repaired or replaced. Plus, we need new infrastructure where we’ve never had it.

He’s said the noise from wind turbines causes cancer, therefore, we shouldn’t have them but rather burn more toxic coal. He also has said that when the wind stops, the lights go out. One shouldn’t expect much good to come from him.