Special coverage in the Trump Era

From Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency site: "44 Trump administration officials have close ties to the Koch brothers and their network of political groups, particularly Vice President Mike Pence, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney."

Dark Money author Jane Mayer on The Dangers of President Pence, New Yorker, Oct. 23 issue on-line

Can Time Inc. Survive the Kochs? November 28, 2017 By
..."This year, among the Kochs’ aims is to spend a projected four hundred million dollars in contributions from themselves and a small group of allied conservative donors they have assembled, to insure Republican victories in the 2018 midterm elections. Ordinarily, political reporters for Time magazine would chronicle this blatant attempt by the Kochs and their allies to buy political influence in the coming election cycle. Will they feel as free to do so now?"...

"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- new version

Local Futures offers a free, shortened version of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. This 19-minute abridged version "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

What's New?

October 17, 2017

Pope Francis on World Hunger Day

"Pope Francis says addressing armed conflicts and the effects of climate change are "prerequisites" for ending global hunger."

For Abandoning Climate Accord, Pope Swipes Trump on World Food Day

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer
Published on Monday, October 16, 2017 by Common Dreams

"Pope Francis seemed to take a jab at the United States and President Donald Trump on Monday, while speaking at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Rome headquarters for World Food Day.

The pope called on the global community to work together to solve the related issues of hunger, climate change, and the refugee crisis.

"We see consequences of climate change every day," he said. "Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how we have to confront the problem and the international community has also worked out the legal methods, such as the Paris Accord, which sadly, some have abandoned," he added, with an apparent reference to the Trump administration's commitment to withdrawing from the 2015 agreement.

"We are called to propose a change in lifestyle and the use of resources," he said. "We can't be satisfied by saying 'someone else will do it.'"

Pope Francis condemned "negligence toward the delicate equilibriums of the ecosystems, the presumption of manipulating and controlling the limited resources of the planet, and the greed for profit."

"The yoke of poverty caused by the often tragic movement of migrants can be removed by prevention," he declared, "consisting of development projects that create jobs and offer the capacity to respond to climactic and environmental changes."

He specifically emphasized that ending armed conflicts and limiting the effects of climate change are "prerequisites" for addressing global hunger. His comments align with a U.N. report published last month that found worldwide hunger, fueled by conflict and climate change, is on the rise for the first time in more than a decade.

The report found that in 2016, malnutrition and food insecurity affected 815 million people, or 11 percent of the global population, up from 777 million the previous year. It also raised concerns that the global communitiy will fail to reach the U.N. sustainable development goal of eradicating world hunger by 2030.

"The biggest problem we have today is war, man-made conflict," said David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP). "Eighty percent of the expenditure of WFP—over 6 billion dollars—is in man-made conflict zones like Syria, like Iraq, like Somalia.... We will never achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 until we end conflict."
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