People Reject Neoliberalism’s Return, But Challenges Remain in Ecuador | By William K. Black | Common Dreams

Ecuador has just staged another successful democratic election—as even the Wall Street Journal now reports, based on international election observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) that have no love for the Ecuadorian party that won the election. Most of the foreign reportage on the election focuses on Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London. But what are the real problems that Lenin Moreno and the people of Ecuador will face when he becomes President?

Ecuador’s oligarchs have run the country for most of its existence, crippling economic development and producing high rates of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. The neo-liberal policies that became synonymous with the “Washington Consensus” led to extreme financial deregulation and privatization that produced the typical wave of “control fraud.” The nation’s leading bankers led that epidemic of fraud by seemingly legitimate banks. The fraud epidemic led to one of the many banking crises of the late 1990s that swept through Latin America. The banking crisis drove a serious recession, led to exceptional levels of emigration from Ecuador, produced extreme political instability in Ecuador—and set the stage for the election of the reformist Rafael Correa. Correa and his supporters created the Alianza Pais (AP). Correa became president in 2007. The AP has a majority holds a majority of the seats in Ecuador’s unicameral legislature.

The election of Correa and AP supporters, and the discrediting of the oligarchs based on their economic and political malfeasance and thefts, created the political space for dramatic changes in Ecuador’s public policies that have broad support among the people of Ecuador. Hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians have “voted with their feet” to return from emigration to work and live in Ecuador. Poverty, unemployment, and inequality all fell under President Correa.

Undercover NYPD officers infiltrated and surveilled Black Live Matters protests in 2014 and 2015 – Salon.com

After a grand jury decided against indicting the officers involved in the death of Eric Garner, undercover New York Police Department officers infiltrated the ensuing protests organized by Black Lives Matter at Grand Central Terminal. Court documents obtained by the Guardian reveal that officers posed as protestors and even gained the confidence of organizers so that they could access the group’s private text messages.

The documents contained emails between undercover officers and other NYPD officials, the Guardian reported, in addition to surveillance photos. The undercover officers apparently had substantial access to the protestors’ plans and whereabouts. In one email, an NYPD official confirmed that an undercover officer had been successfully embedded within a group at the station — the site of numerous protests following Garner’s death.

Worked to Death | Jacobin

he state of the American retirement system is not good. Pension funds are constantly being whittled away, workers who are lucky enough to have funds increasingly receive 401(k) plans that are subject to the wild fluctuations of the market, and free-market vultures continue to circle around the social security system — a terrifying prospect in a country where 45 percent of households don’t have any retirement savings at all.

Tent City, infamous home of inmates who wear pink underwear and major piece of Arpaio’s legacy, is closing

Tent City, Maricopa County’s open-air jail notorious for hosting inmates wearing pink underwear in the blistering summer heat, will shut down, according to Sheriff Paul Penzone.

Penzone made the announcement Tuesday based on the recommendation of an advisory committee that he appointed after taking office in January.

The tents served as a prominent symbol of Penzone’s predecessor, Joe Arpaio, who erected the facility in 1993, his first year in office, and held it up as an inexpensive solution to overcrowded jails. Penzone defeated Arpaio in last year’s general election, ending his 24-year span as sheriff.

At an afternoon press conference Tuesday, Penzone said Tent City has become the preferred location for inmates and a liability for understaffed detention officers. Shuttering the facility will save the county approximately $4.5 million a year, he said.

Trump’s Defence Secretary urged to overturn appointment of ‘ungodly’ lesbian Air Force chief · PinkNews

An extreme conservative group founded by Alabama’s former Chief Justice has attacked the nomination of an “ungodly” lesbian to head the US Air Force Academy.
It was announced last week that Col. Kristin Goodwin, who has a wife and two kids, has been named as commandant of the US Air Force Academy.
Her nomination as Brigadier General and appointment to the role did not attract a wide amount of controversy – but anti-LGBT activists are now demanding Trump’s Defence Secretary James Mattis reverse the decision.
In a letter to Mattis, the Foundation for Moral Law – founded by Alabama’s disgraced Chief Justice Roy Moore – claimed Col. Goodwin should not be allowed to take the role because she “does not set a proper moral example for youth.”