Monday, October 09, 2017



Image result for Getting evicted in BostonGETTING EVICTED IN BOSTON MIGHT GET A BIT HARDER
Boston’s City Council overwhelmingly approved a set of regulations Wednesday that could make it harder for landlords to evict tenants without just cause, while giving city officials better ways to track how many housing evictions are occurring and where.
Called the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act — named after the late social justice advocate — the measure would require landlords to notify the city whenever they move to evict a tenant, for whatever reason. The city and landlord would then have to alert the tenant to his or her housing rights, such as the ability to appeal to a state Housing Court, and the tenant could be directed to advocacy groups…  The Home Rule Petition was passed by a 10 to 3 vote, with Councilors Bill Linehan, Sal LaMattina, and Timothy McCarthy dissenting. Linehan said he opposed the measure because the state already has laws that govern evictions.
[the NO votes represent Charlestown, E.Boston, North End; Hyde Park/ Roslindale; South Boston/South End]    More

Steve Meacham of City Life/Vida Urbana writes:
WE WON!! Yesterday, Boston City Council voted 10 to 3 in favor of the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act! Read the coverage from WBUR or The Boston Globe. This victory is a beginning, not an end. And in the spirit of the late Jim Brooks, we're hitting the street TOMORROW to show solidarity with low-income renters fighting a building-wide mass-eviction.

“Today’s vote on the People’s Budget marks the closest Congress has come to passing a budget that was truly designed to represent the values and needs of the American people. With over half the Democrats voting for the People’s Budget and key leaders like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-WA) it’s clear the party supports smart reductions in Pentagon bloat and wise investments in diplomacy which will make Americans safer…  The People’s Budget would help step America back from its endless war footing in the Middle East by prohibiting any expansion of U.S. combat troops in Syria, reducing Pentagon spending, and getting rid of the shadowy Pentagon slush fund, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget. Planning for a proactive and just foreign policy, it would also invest in robust diplomatic and humanitarian strategies needed to address current conflicts and prevent new ones.   More

All Mass Reps voted for the People’s Budget except Keating, Moulton and Tsongas.

Here’s How Much of Your Taxes Have Gone To Wars
The average American taxpayer will have paid nearly $7,500 to fund the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since the 9/11 attacks, according to previously unreported Pentagon budget data sent to Congress this summer. This fiscal year, each U.S. taxpayers will pay about $289 for both wars, according to the Defense Department data. Next year — fiscal 2018 — that number would drop to $281 per taxpayer, if Congress were to pass the White House’s spending request unchanged, which won’t happen. And there’s another reason that number is likely to change: the Trump administration’s plan to send more American troops to Afghanistan  But that number is far from the total cost of the wars. For one thing, the figures do not include classified amounts spent on the wars by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But when other, far greater costs are included — such as medical and disability payments to veterans over the next 40 years, and war-related funding for the State Department and other federal departments — the total post-9/11 bill approaches $5 trillion, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.   More

Rev. Barber: Racialized Voter Suppression is the "Election Hacking" the U.S. Must Address
Yeah, I’m very concerned that while we should focus on the Russian hacking, but that we’re missing that the greatest hacking of our system was racialized voter suppression. Let me give you some numbers for your audience.  Eight hundred and sixty-eight. That’s the number of—the number fewer, that we had 868 fewer voting sites in the black and brown community in 2016, black, brown and poor community.  Twenty-two. Twenty-two states passed voter suppression laws since 2010. That’s where 44 senators were represented, over nearly 50 percent of the United States House of Representatives. And at least 16 or 17 seats in the Senate—rather, in the House, probably would not be where they are partisan, if it was not for voter suppression.    More

Image result for “Shock Doctrine” in Puerto RicoVulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rico Prey
When Congress established Puerto Rico’s civil government in 1917 it decreed that any bonds issued by its government would be free from taxation. In addition, it is written into the 1952 constitution that the repayment of any kind of public debt must take priority over financing public services. In 1952, when Puerto Rican politicians tried to convince Puerto Ricans that they were no longer a colony, and they convinced the United Nations to take Puerto Rico off the list of non-self-governing societies, this constitution was put into place and one of its founding principles was that Puerto Rico was going to be a site for US economic investment…  it’s only going to get worse because of the PROMESA Act [NB: Passed by Congress to deal with the financial crisis and bankruptcy]. Some critics have dared to describe it as a kind of bailout or aid package, but that’s not so. There is absolutely no transfer of money from the federal government to Puerto Rico as part of the PROMESA Act…  Clearly the only solution being imagined for Puerto Rico’s economic future is permanent and sustained indebtment.    More

Boston Billionaire is One Of The Largest Holders Of Puerto Rican Debt
For years, the identity of the owner of one of the largest holdings of Puerto Rican debts has been a mystery.
That mystery has finally been solved, with the help of the The Baupost Group, who unmasked themselves to The Intercept. The Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund managed by billionaire Seth Klarman, owns nearly a billion dollars of Puerto Rican debt, purchased under a shell company subsidiary and hidden from public scrutiny. Baupost acquired the debt through an on-paper Delaware-based corporation named Decagon Holdings LLC, whose beneficial owner had been unknown until now…  He is known as the top campaign contributor in New England, and has been a major donor in Republican politics in Massachusetts, including largely secret support for 2016’s Question 2, an ultimately unsuccessful effort to lift a state cap on charter schools. Klarman supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, calling Trump “completely unqualified for the highest office in the land.”     More   

He’s also a mega-funder of rightwing pro-Israel causes

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