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Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines



Truthdig, a Web magazine that provides expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.



Published: 2017-02-27T00:51:25+00:00

 



The Return of American Race Laws

2017-02-27T00:51:25+00:00Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:51:25 +0000

The campaign to deport millions is a first step toward the clash of civilizations that the white supremacists in the White House believe is inevitable at home and abroad.



White House Power Player Jared Kushner Is Keeping Parts of His Real Estate Empire

2017-02-26T21:26:20+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:26:20 +0000

By Justin Elliot and Al Shaw / ProPublica Given Kushner’s vast portfolio as an adviser to his father-in-law, the president, it’s not clear how he’s going to avoid issues that could affect his bank account.



Religious Leaders in Southern California Creating Network to Help the Undocumented

2017-02-26T13:33:01+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:33:01 +0000

      After being deported, a man says goodbyes through a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico. (BBC World Service / CC BY-NC 2.0) A group of religious leaders in Southern California called the Rapid Response Team is preparing a network of private homes to provide refuge for people who lack required documents as President Trump’s immigration crackdown broadens. From CNN: The [network’s] intent is to shelter hundreds, possibly thousands of undocumented people in safe houses across Southern California. The goal is to offer another sanctuary beyond religious buildings or schools, ones that require federal authorities to obtain warrants before entering the homes. ... The idea is not necessarily a new one, according to Reverend Zach Hoover, executive director of the interfaith community organization LA Voice. Hoover, 37, wasn’t an active member during the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s when US congregations across faiths resisted federal law and provided shelter for Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries. Many congregations offered direct sanctuary, housing the undocumented immigrants, while others offered food and legal assistance. The Rapid Response Team mirrors that structure, but goes one step further by also incorporating private homes, which offer a higher level of constitutional protection than houses of worship and an ability to make it harder for federal agents to find undocumented immigrants. Read more. — Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata



Solar Industry Now Provides Twice as Many Jobs as Coal

2017-02-26T12:35:37+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 12:35:37 +0000

Shutterstock Despite President Trump’s promises to American coal miners, the case for bringing back their jobs continues to weaken. Earlier this month, the nonprofit Solar Foundation released a report showing how the solar power industry is churning out jobs at an incredible rate. From Fast Company Magazine: As solar power keeps getting cheaper—and more and more of it is built as a result—the industry is also an increasingly important source of new jobs, adding workers at a rate nearly 17 times faster than the overall economy. Twice as many people now work in solar than in the coal industry, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Solar Foundation. While 40 coal plants were retired in the U.S. in 2016, and no new coal plants were built, the solar industry broke records for new installations, with 14,000 megawatts of new installed power. Many of the jobs came from constructing massive solar plants like the Springbok Solar Farm, which is being built on a site that sprawls over 12 miles in the Mojave Desert. ... Sales, manufacturing, and other solar industry jobs are also growing throughout the country. Overall, 44 of 50 states doubled (or more than doubled) the number of solar jobs in 2016, according to the report. One in 50 new jobs in the country last year was in solar. Many of the jobs are also accessible to people who might otherwise struggle to find well-paying jobs. An entry-level worker without a degree can conceivably double their salary within a year, from $10-$12 an hour for simple manual labor to $20-$23 an hour. The median wage posted for solar installer jobs in 2016 was $26 an hour. Read more. — Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata



Big Pharma Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-a-Day Drugs

2017-02-26T11:03:04+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 11:03:04 +0000

By Annie Waldman / ProPublica As it readies for battle with President Trump over drug prices, the pharmaceutical industry is deploying economists and health care experts from top universities.



How to Be Both a Political Activist and a Consumer Activist (Video)

2017-02-26T10:06:56+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:06:56 +0000

Let’s make it unprofitable to work with Donald Trump.



Spurned Reporters Should Dump Trump Briefings and Turn to Investigative Journalism

2017-02-26T09:14:18+00:00Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:14:18 +0000

By Juan Cole / Informed Comment The president’s petty attacks on the media are deeply worrisome to Americans sensitive to the danger of a spiral into authoritarian rule.



Watch: Democratic National Committee Chooses Tom Perez as New Chair

2017-02-25T21:16:12+00:00Sat, 25 Feb 2017 21:16:12 +0000

In his first move, the former labor secretary named rival Keith Ellison as his deputy.



Truthdigger of the Week: José Santos Sevilla, Slain Champion of Indigenous Hondurans

2017-02-25T21:07:20+00:00Sat, 25 Feb 2017 21:07:20 +0000

Tolupans have been struggling to save ancestral lands from miners and loggers since a U.S.-supported junta took control of the country.



Why Did Establishment Democrats Nominate Tom Perez for Party Chair?

2017-02-25T20:35:23+00:00Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:35:23 +0000

    Haim Saban, founder of the Saban Capital Group and a major donor to the Democratic Party. (Nati Harnik / AP) Editor’s note: Tom Perez won the Democratic National Committee chair race Saturday. He beat fellow contender Keith Ellison in a 235-200 vote. Perez quickly appointed Ellison deputy chair of the DNC. Barack Obama’s White House pushed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez to challenge Rep. Keith Ellison in the race for the Democratic Party chair to satisfy the Israel-American billionaire Haim Saban and other party donors, according to Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept. The Democratic Party will elect its new chair Saturday. Ellison is seen as an outsider whose election would foster a sense of empowerment among the party’s Bernie Sanders supporters, while Perez is seen as loyal to the party’s Clinton/Obama wing. Noting that Perez’s backers argue that he and Ellison are virtually identical ideologically, Greenwald probed into why establishment Democrats would bother nominating Perez at all. Just over two weeks after Ellison announced, the largest single funder of both the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign – the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban – launched an incredibly toxic attack on Ellison, designed to signal his veto. “He is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” pronounced Saban about the African-American Muslim Congressman, adding: “Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.” Saban has a long history not only of fanatical support for Israel – “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” he told The New York Times in 2004 about himself – but also an ugly track record of animus toward Muslims. As The Forward gently put it, he is prone to “a bit of anti-Muslim bigotry,” including when he said Muslims deserve “more scrutiny,” and “also called for profiling and broader surveillance.” In 2014, he teamed up with right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson to push a pro-Israel agenda. In that notorious NYT profile, he attacked the ACLU for opposing Bush/Cheney civil liberties assaults and said: “On the issues of security and terrorism I am a total hawk.” There’s no evidence that Saban’s attack on Ellison is what motivated the White House to recruit an opponent. But one would have to be indescribably naïve about the ways of Washington to believe that such a vicious denunciation by one of the party’s most influential billionaire funders had no effect at all. … The DNC headquarters was built with Saban’s largesse: he donated $7 million to build that building, and he previously served as chairman of the Party’s capital-expenditure campaign. Here’s how Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll, in a November profile, described the influence Saban wields within elite Democratic circles: No single political patron has done more for the Clintons over the span of their careers. In the past 20 years, Saban and his wife have donated $2.4 million to the Clintons’ various campaigns and at least $15 million to the Clinton Foundation, where Cheryl Saban serves as a board member. Haim Saban prides himself on his top-giver status: “If I’m not No. 1, I’m going to cut my balls off,” he once remarked on the eve of a Hillary fundraiser. The Sabans have given more than $10 million to Priorities USA, making them among the largest funders of the pro-Hillary super-PAC. In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential campaign, he vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to elect her. . . . “There is no case for Perez that cannot be made for Ellison, while Ellison is able to energize progressives in ways that Perez cannot,” Greenwald wrote. “The question that will be answered on Saturday is whether Democrats have more urgent priorities than denying power to the left.” Read more here. —Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly