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      The Amazon goes, we go. This map doesn’t make it seem like it’s in danger, though it’s bad, but… So many #Climate emergencies worldwide, it’s hard to keep up. But #AmazonRainforest burning is stand-out global disaster. Every red dot below represents a significant fire pic.twitter.com/AZ6IaOO1Pv — John Gibbons (@think_or_swim) August 21, 2019 The Intercept ha […]
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Before Obama takes credit for the end of Qaddafi’s reign in Libya…

Let’s remember who had to drag Obama kicking and screaming to enforce a no-fly zone to keep up the momentum of the Arab Spring uprisings:

.As the United States and allies began their airstrike against Libya over the weekend, several news outlets reported on the growing tension between Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was allegedly annoyed that the president had been taking so long to commit to a plan in Libya. “Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a friend of madame secretary told The Daily’s Josh Hersh, whose delicious March 17 piece on Clinton’s frustrations is a must-read. The source continued, “And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”Clinton’s allies in her push toward action in Libya were, among others, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and security adviser Samantha Power.According to this morning’s Playbook, “the front page of today’s Times of London, [contains] the tease, ‘The three women who persuaded the President to take action,’” accompanied by photos of Clinton, Rice, and Power.

According to Josh Hersh’s account of the tension between Obama and Hillary, Obama wasn’t above sarcastic remarks that smack of the same kind of s^%* you hear from a typical male who pisses you off:

Obama himself made light of her strong feelings for supporting the opposition in a speech last week at the Gridiron Club Dinner, an annual gathering that traditionally features a stand-up comedy act by the president.

“I’ve dispatched Hillary to the Middle East to talk about how these countries can transition to new leaders — though, I’ve got to be honest, she’s gotten a little passionate about the subject,” Obama said to laughter from the audience.

“These past few weeks it’s been tough falling asleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue shouting, throwing rocks at the window.”

Who knows if the rest of that article is true but the GridIron Club presumably records these events so we can probably assume that he really did say that.

I’m guessing it went something like this:

Let’s hear it for the girls.

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They’re all like that, Atrios

Atrios marks Hershey as the worst company in America today for hiring foreign students and then paying them subsistence wages and charging them more for rent.

But Hershey is hardly an exception. This is the way more and more corporations are operating. The goal is to meet quarterly earnings so costs must be cut. That usually means labor costs are minimized. So, the company lets go of expensive full time workers with benefits and hires them back as inexpensive contractors. They do it through an official blessed vendor. That vendor hires contractors based on the company’s needs. Sometimes, when there is a special request, the vendor subcontracts the hiring process. Everyone makes out in the process except the worker, who usually ends up footing the bill for all the benefits he/she has lost. With every intervening middle man, there’s a cut off the top of the worker’s wages.

Now, you might think that only low level, unskilled labor would be subject to this scheme. But the truth is that there are large international pharma companies that operate this way now. The industry as a whole has lopped a huge number of scientists off their payrolls recently and can now hire them back as contractors at vastly reduced salaries and no bennies. The big company doesn’t have to deal with the sausage making. It’s the vendor that takes care of that. And the big vendor doesn’t have any control over what the little vendor does. So, the cost of labor decreases and no one is responsible.

Corporations are necessary. I wish the left would come to terms with this fact. They’re not inherently evil. Certainly, the people who work for them are not. But the people who run them have had the rules rewritten in their favor in recent decades so they can get away with just about anything these days. Since we need corporations, it’s important that we change the rule makers if we want to make life fairer for all of us. Right now, they’re like adolescents who have very lax parents. This is not necessarily a good thing because so much of the business has been sacrificed to feed the shareholders, and their 401ks, that productivity is no longer optimized. Shredding the workforce will catch up to them. And having a bunch of under compensated highly skilled workers at your site means they will only do what they are paid to do and no more. That is a waste for both the employer and employee.

The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act was struck down in an appeals court last week. I suspected that the mandate gave businesses an excuse to lay off even more people because as long as employees had to pay for their own health insurance in the future, the company was off the ethical hook to offer it to them. But the blessed vendor scheme is just picking up steam. Expect more stories like Hershey’s to come to a workplace near you.