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    Daily Digest 5/1 – HI Votes To Raise Minimum Wage, Effects Of Ocean Acidification

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, May 1, 2014, 3:05 PM


Criminal Charges Against Banks Risk Sparking Crisis (June C.)

Bank clients — including trustees, fiduciaries and pension funds — could be forced to cut ties with a financial institution labeled a criminal enterprise, the lawyers and bankers said, asking not to be named because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly. Counterparties also might think twice before entering into billion-dollar transactions with such firms. Damaging a bank’s business could lead to broader fallout across the financial industry, just as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse in 2008 prompted investors to withdraw from other firms on concern its exit would set off a wave of losses.

Hawaii lawmakers vote to increase hourly minimum wage to $10.10 (jdargis)

Much of the Hawaii wage debate has centered on tips. Under the measure, employers of tipped workers making less than $17.10 per hour with tips would be required to pay the minimum of $10.10 per hour. For workers making more than $17.10 per hour, employers can deduct a $.75 tip credit from the wage.

Under the current $7.25 hourly rate, the tip credit is $.25 per hour for those workers making at least $7.75 an hour.

One Of The Greatest Threats Facing The World Today (pinecarr)

So this is a real danger that’s confronting us as a society because when you start looking at the numbers, there is not enough food or fish to feed the planet in a very short number of years. Take, for example, China: They don’t have enough agricultural land to feed their population. Now you are looking at a depletion of aquatic life in the ocean, with all this garbage and pollutants being dumped into it, there is going to be a fish shortage.

Larry Summers to Elizabeth Warren in 2009: “Insiders Don’t Criticize Other Insiders” (June C.)

What is so incredible about the quote above is that it essentially proves correct everything I and many others have been saying about how “things work” in America these days. The statements above describe a petty, childish oligarchy of arrogant fools. This small club of people call all the shots and do not listen to “outside” ideas whatsoever. This is why nothing changes. This is why the same people are recycled through positions of power over and over again no matter how badly they screw up and how many millions of lives they ruin. This is why there is a two-tiered justice system in which the rich and connected never go to jail, while the average citizen can have his home raided by police for a parody Twitter account. This is why the 0.01% have been able to loot all of the nation’s wealth while median inflation adjusted wages have been declining for 40 years.

Obama Administration Argues in Favor of Right to Fire Public Employees Who Testify at Corruption Trials (June C.)

The Justice Department imagines that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Lane they will not be able to judge or evaluate the performance of employees because those employees could claim their First Amendment rights were violated. But there is something called the “Pickering balance,” which would still remain in effect making it possible to fire an employee if he or she was incompetent, disorderly or displayed poor judgment when testifying.

Half in Illinois and Connecticut Want to Move Elsewhere (jdargis)

Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so. Maryland is a close third, at 47%. By contrast, in Montana, Hawaii, and Maine, just 23% say they would like to relocate. Nearly as few — 24% — feel this way in Oregon, New Hampshire, and Texas.

Interest In Ocean Wave Energy Growing (James S.)

Advancements in solar and wind technologies have been well covered in the media, but developments in the pursuit of capturing the potential energy from powerful ocean waves have failed to garner the same degree of interest. Decades after solar and wind power became viable renewable energy sources, wave power still lags behind.

Sea Change: Ocean acidification (RW)

This is the broadest and most detailed indication ever that acidification is already damaging native creatures in the wild. It raises many new questions about whether other sea life, too, might already be harmed — directly by acidifying seas, or by subtle shifts in parts of the food chain.

“These changes are happening years earlier than we had projected,” said Nina Bednarsek, a research fellow with NOAA who inspected the pteropods to identify shell scarring. “It is really a first indication of what is going on in our ecosystem.”

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