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Rex Tillerson could be America’s most dangerous Secretary of State

January 25, 2017 Antonia Juhasz

Source: In These Times

On January 1, Rex Tillerson retired from oil giant Exxon Mobil after 41 years, the last 10 as CEO and chairman of the board. When he appears in January before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil will be preparing to appear before a jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, just blocks away. There, the company will face allegations that security forces under its employ engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment. The complaint specifically names Rex Tillerson.

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Throw Sand in the Gears of Everything

January 20, 2017 Frances Fox Piven

Source: The Nation

As many are saying, we woke from a nightmare to find it was our new reality. A gaggle of inflated far-right self-promoters and operatives, big businessmen and their toadies, and homegrown fascists will control the presidency and determine the Supreme Court majority, maybe for a generation or more. The Congress is firmly in Republican hands, save for the uncertain possibility that Senate Democrats will muster the gumption to filibuster. And that possibility could also evaporate with the 2018 midterm elections, when as many as 20 or more Democrats will have to defend their seats. No wonder that everyone I speak with searches for someone to blame—Clinton or Comey or white women or the white working class or the Bernie troops—and then asks plaintively: What do we do now?

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Why Did the US Drop 26,171 Bombs on the World Last Year?

January 16, 2017 Greg Grandin

Source: The Nation

Our endless wars have destroyed nations and warped our own political culture.

The United States started bombing Iraq on January 16, 1991, and, except for a few brief intervals, hasn’t stopped since. Twenty-six years this Monday, more than a quarter of a century, and four US presidents, all of whom have bombed Iraq. Last year, the rate of bombing increased over 20,105. The lion’s share of the 26,171 bombs dropped by the United States on the world was split evenly between Iraq and Syria, though we did reserve a dollop for Yemen. And the United States dropped more on Libya, about 500, in 2016, than in 2015. Trump, and Trumpism, is a symptom of the sickness, not the source.

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World’s eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

January 16, 2017 Larry Elliott

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

The world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population, according to a charity warning of an ever-increasing and dangerous concentration of wealth.

In a report published to coincide with the start of the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam said it was “beyond grotesque” that a handful of rich men headed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates are worth $426bn (£350bn), equivalent to the wealth of 3.6 billion people.

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The Forgotten US Interventions

January 16, 2017 Julian Emiridge

Source: Jacobin Magazine

The long history of US intervention in other countries’ elections has been omitted from discussions of Russia’s alleged meddling.

The collective hysteria over fake news, Russia’s alleged role in the DNC hack, and the unsubstantiated kompramat that supposedly links Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin has reached a fever pitch. But mainstream cable news and the Washington intelligentsia have somehow neglected to connect it to a crucial piece of the US history: its long-standing tradition, euphemistically known as the Truman Doctrine, of intervening in democratic elections abroad to promote its commercial and ideological interests.

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Now Is the Time for ‘Nobodies’: Mutual Aid and Resistance in the Trump Era

January 12, 2017 Sarah Lazare

Source: Alternet

With less than a month to go until Donald Trump and his bevy of far-right appointees take the White House, communities across the United States are preparing for a potential escalation in immigration raids, police repression, Islamophobic targeting, corporate exploitation and climate chaos. Many of those taking to the streets to protest fascism and preparing mutual defense plans in their neighborhoods were also actively organizing throughout the Obama years, which saw a record number of deportations, open-ended wars and the highest levels of imprisonment in the world.

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