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Monthly Archives: August 2015

At some point hopefully in the near future we will observe the phenomena of responsible people running for office. At this time we have 17 +   candidates attempting to get the nod  for a run at being President of the U.S.  We are in the doldrums of politics, we have candidates running for office who spend millions to win while trashing the other folks, government and hiding their own flaws. It is easy to pot shot the status quo but the status quo will never change until these runners own up to their own frailties. The lowest income, minorities and underprivileged are the targets of these people but to listen to them they are friends of the people. It has been proven that a well informed person can make informed decisions but these bozo’s have spent millions on spin doctors who control the media for the benefit of their bosses. Politics has never been a clean business but in recent years it has become an absolute mud hole of innuendo and misrepresentation. The onus is on the voters to  remain above the dirt and understand who they are really putting in office. Someday  we may have people of integrity vying for office, someone we can really trust (as far as politicians can be trusted) . Someday we may be able to see through the smoke and mirrors, ignore the rhetoric that is considered truth but is only thinly veiled lies that serve only the speakers of the lie and their handlers. Someday we may have the solidarity we had in 1941 and lost in the 50’s, recovered somewhat in the late 60’s but started to back pedal in the late 70’s and on until now. Someday the radicals on both sides will be swept out by the real Americans who understand that we either stand together or fall separately. Someday.

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My Caconyms:

Political parties:” Dupublicans and Scamocrats”
Media Outlet: “Faux News”
Governing Method: “Politricking”

Surveying the political scene and the assorted aspirants brings to mind the thought of what’s next for us? We have strayed far from what the Framers of the constitution had in mind. Many cite the Constitution (especially the politicians) but only for their own benefit. We the people (we do know who we are) have for a long time forgotten to trust ourselves. Our elected officials have let us down for many years and we have just begun to get that message. We should now turn off Jerry Springer, Maury, the Judges and especially the “Faux News”! It is unfortunate that w e have become addicted to entertainment news and have forgotten how to pay attention to the people we elect and the ones who want to be elected. The campaigners have staffers whose sole purpose is to influence our vote by using specific points to sway us (much like the advertisers who want us to buy their products). Almost all of the old sayings and adages apply here: “all that glitters is not gold”, “if its looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”, I think you get the point. This is why we all need to beware of what our political leaders and candidates aspiring to leadership are up to.

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I am wondering how or why the voters of America would elect anyone seeking the Presidency who is Bat Crap crazy? We have 15 plus people who believe through their purple haze that they can do a good job for us. If some these folks ( who are already in Congress and running states) get their way, we will have no affordable health care, no voting rights (again) and  some Americans will lose the rights they have been denied for years. Aside from these points the unions are under attack, remember many of us have parents, children and friends who are union members which enabled them to make a good life for their families. Simply put, be careful who you vote for!  It is inconceivable for me to understand how and why these folks ever got in the office anyway  yet they did and some several times. Some of these runners have weighed in on the ACA, voters rights and who should marry who but not as a potential leader. Not one of them has any  thing good in store for us.

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I am trying to figure out what the many candidates vying for the Privilege (?) of running for President are actually doing or talking about. Apparently this every four-year ritual has become no more than a political slam than an opportunity to show off ones abilities and capabilities.  Each aspirant is at once making their case and trashing the other runners. Then we have the added input and spin by the media according to their core and owners beliefs. Somewhere in the mix is the truth but it usually forever lost in the entertainment of these races. Now we have the federal government investigating the past Clintons e-mails! You would think that this issue would have been addressed after she stopped being Secretary of State but as many Federal government actions too little too late or too much too soon with corrections coming later. One example is the Department of veterans affairs “fix” for the Medical facilities problems, first attempt was a cookie cutter approach which exacerbated the situation and messed up the areas which had no problems, now there is a fix for the fix going into effect in November this year. Recently China had an economic  hiccup and the world staggered for a moment. Some the Dupublican  candidates are blaming President Obama  for the China economic problems, asserting failed economic policies. Remember these are the  folks whose handlers have bought and paid for them along with the manipulative actions which caused the High court to OK the unlimited and hidden sources of funding for these candidates. Our system was not perfect before but now it is broken almost to the point of no return. Our  only choice as voters is to elect people who are really in the game for us and not the ultra conservative money lenders whose sole purpose is to keep the lower and middle classes “in their place”!

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:08 AM PST

A Republican explains what’s wrong with the Republican party in just 14 words

by Barbara Morrill


In the coming months, Republican lawmakers will be fighting tooth and nail against the agenda President Obama laid out during Tuesday’s inaugural address: his call to action on equality, immigration reform, reducing gun violence, protecting social programs, addressing climate change and more.And Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan neatly explains why the upcoming fights might be a problem for the GOP:

The public is not behind us, and that’s a real problem for our party.

Unfortunately, Republicans don’t give a damn what the public wants. And that’s a real problem for the country.

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics and Daily Kos.

We can look forward to 1 year of mind-boggling and exasperating rhetoric and politispeak. We have 17 plus candidates aspiring be a candidate for the Presidency of these we must choose who we deem to be the best option. If we really pay attention to what is being said rather than the entertainment value of their words and actions we would quickly see that none of them really have any idea of what is needed by the 99% of us. Their focus is to do what ever they can for the 1% (who are their handlers). Take one item that is out there: dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with ?. Change social security by raising the retirement age, cut benefits for higher income seniors (what ever that is), means test benefits and revive the privatization plan for the program. Just looking at these two important issues, who do you think these people will represent if elected. If you take into account the Pundits on “Faux News”  (whose incomes certainly preclude their having to live hand to mouth when they retire) and other media outlets are all touting one faction or another rather than covering  the issues as the (news) should. The modern day election cycles are all about who can trash the other side the most and get the most attention even if their messages can be rated from suspect  to outright lies. The real changes in government is in the hands of the voters not entertainers or politicians but we have ceded that power to the people we elect.

Mon Aug 17, 2015 at 10:37 AM PDT

by DartagnanFollow

Historically speaking, politicians who have attacked Social Security (oft-described as the “Third Rail” in American politics) have not fared well with the American people. The program, originally designed to provide supplemental retirement security for all Americans, is actually a critical financial lifeline for millions. Many elderly people would either be pushed into squalid, poorly equipped nursing homes, forced to live with their children (assuming they have them) or cast out into the streets without the modest monthly income most paid taxes for all their lives to support and ensure. When George W. Bush began to push to “privatize” Social Security into accounts dependent on the stock market, his efforts were quickly squelched by Democrats and even some Republicans who responded to the public’s overwhelming disapproval of such measures. In retrospect this probably saved millions of older Americans from becoming destitute when the Bush economy crashed in 2007-2008, wiping out billions in stock values.

It seems, however, that the near-universal popularity of Social Security has failed to make much of an impression on nearly all of the current Republican candidates for President, who have publicly announced their intent to impose cuts in benefits, privatization, or other drastic reductions to a program that is neither “insolvent” nor in any financial peril:

Thus, Jeb Bush says that the retirement age should be pushed back to “68 or 70”. Scott Walker has echoed that position. Marco Rubio wants both to raise the retirement age and to cut benefits for higher-income seniors. Rand Paul wants to raise the retirement age to 70 and means-test benefits. Ted Cruz wants to revive the Bush privatization plan.

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times, thinks he knows why the new and prevailing Republican line is so completely contrary to what the vast majority of Americans want–it’s the simple fact that these GOP candidates do not represent the vast majority of Americans. In fact, they only represent a tiny, miniscule sliver of Americans, barely enough to fit into a skybox at a professional football game. That is the entirety of the American electorate to whom these candidates are beholden to.  And that tiny group wants to get rid of Social Security:

The answer, I’d suggest, is that it’s all about the big money.Wealthy individuals have long played a disproportionate role in politics, but we’ve never seen anything like what’s happening now: domination of campaign finance, especially on the Republican side, by a tiny group of immensely wealthy donors. Indeed, more than half the funds raised by Republican candidates through June came from just 130 families.

And while most Americans love Social Security, the wealthy don’t. Two years ago a pioneering study of the policy preferences of the very wealthy found many contrasts with the views of the general public; as you might expect, the rich are politically different from you and me. But nowhere are they as different as they are on the matter of Social Security. By a very wide margin, ordinary Americans want to see Social Security expanded. But by an even wider margin, Americans in the top 1 percent want to see it cut.

The study Dr. Krugman refers to was conducted by Northwestern University and is titled Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans. As far as academic studies go it’s fascinating stuff, a one-of-a kind window into the mind of the one percent highest wage earners in the country. One of the marked findings of the study was how politically active wealthy Americans are–vastly more active compared to the rest of the population.  And these folks think they know what’s best for the rest of us, particularly with regard to Social Security:

We have seen that our wealthy respondentsin sharp contrast to the general public—tilted toward cutting rather than expanding Social Security.The SESA survey did not explore precisely how such cuts would be made. But the proposals for doing so that have been put forward by various experts, politicians, and deficit-reduction commissions—raising the retirement age at which benefits can be received, slowing cost-of-living adjustments, and the like—mostly appear to be opposed by majorities of the general public.

But in reality the 130 or so families who are now effectively in charge of the Republican Party are not even the “1%”. They are a much tinier sliver, and it is they who are entirely calling the shots for these candidates. As the study notes, these people are far more conservative, overall, than even the top 1%:

Variation within this wealthy group suggests that the top one-tenth of 1 percent of wealthholders (people with $40 million or more in net worth) may tend to hold still more conservative views that are even more distinct from those of the general public.

As a result, the Republican candidates, beholden to these ultra-conservative Billionaire donors, must mold their policy positions to accommodate their desires.  And this is how and why the Republican Party functions–not as a vehicle for the needs of their actual constituents–the folks who keep marching into the voting booth and pulling the “R” lever because they’ve been brainwashed by the NRA gun-industry lobby into believing Obama will take their guns away– but as a means for their donors to ultimately privatize–and profit off of–the vast amounts of money that go into the Social Security system through our payroll taxes.  This despite the fact that 80% of Americans oppose raising the retirement age, which most see as a prelude to more and more cuts.  It doesn’t matter to them, for example, that lifting the payroll cap of $118,500 would resolve Social Security’s funding issues in an instant. The fact is that the abolition or privatization of Social Security has been a longterm goal for decades by those who now control the Republican Party:

In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.” Thirty-four years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of 1 percent of the American people. Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that “entitlement reform” is absolutely necessary.

It’s important to recognize that the desire to transform or eliminate Social Security at the behest of these Billionaires is not limited to these particular candidates. The Republican Congress and Senate are just as much under the control of the Kochs and their ilk. As a result a Republican in the White House would encounter little if any resistance to implementing these cuts from the very institution that would vote them into existence. Krugman concludes by describing the implications this has for the rest of us:

What this means, in turn, is that the eventual Republican nominee … will be committed not just to a renewed attack on Social Security but to a broader plutocratic agenda. Whatever the rhetoric, the GOP is on track to nominate someone who has won over the big money by promising government by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent.

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Interesting post from Daily KOS.

Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 05:59 AM PST

Republicans are not conservative: They are Radical Fundamentalists

by stonedoubtFollow

I am tired of letting Republicans and Tea Party supporters co-opt the term “conservative”. Republicans are not conservatives… they are radical fundamentalists and we should be referring to them as such.

From the Dictionary: conservative

con·serv·a·tive [kuhn-sur-vuh-tiv]
1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2. cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.
4. ( often initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to the Conservative party.
5. ( initial capital letter ) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.

By their own definition… they are fundamentalists.
From Conservapedia

A conservative is someone who adheres to principles of personal responsibility, moral values, and limited government, agreeing with George Washington’s Farewell Address that “religion and morality are indispensable supports” to political prosperity.

From the Dictionary: fundamentalism

1: often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b : the beliefs of this movement c : adherence to such beliefs2: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

From the Dictionary: radical

d: advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs

The current platform of the Republican Party and the prescribed changes presented by the Tea Party cannot be construed as conservative… it is purely radical fundamentalism.Can we please stop calling them conservatives and start referring to them by their proper label?

UPDATE: I want to make it clear that I am not generalizing individuals who call themselves Republican. I am framing the Republican Party… which continues a platform of radical fundamentalism. The Republican mainstream ideology is radical fundamentalism, currently. It is not just the leadership. Pretty much every issue poll and candidacy poll in recent memory paints a picture of majority support for radical fundamentalism within the party.

I realize that you can’t put everyone in that box… Andrew Sullivan and David Frum are a couple of “conservative” pundits that come to mind that I wouldn’t necessarily paint as radical fundamentalists. I am sure that there are many people who call themselves Republican that share their moderate views about conservatism in general.

Originally posted to stonedoubt

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With a little bit of thought we could have better representation in Congress. Listening to the Presidential aspirants, the messages are essentially the same. They all want to repeal something, kill something or change something without offering any details as to how and what effect if any their actions will have. All of this in our names and without our consent tacit or written. What we have is a group of people who are looking for votes by creating headlines that get our attention but usually have no true viable substance. Unfortunately these messages appeal to some of us but could affect all of us if we are not prudent in thinking and voting. Keep in mind we already have a dysfunctional Congress and the candidates from one Major party are also following suit. The voting public as I see it should be living in this century and not the last, the time of mudslinging and innuendo is over yet too many of us still want that old-time method of politicking as a way of selecting a candidate. The real way to select is to increase your knowledge of the candidates beyond the “entertainment value” by looking and listening to their message  then ask your self does this make sense? Some candidates have stated that they would defund or dismantle “Obama care” ( Affordable Care Act) but offering no alternative and not considering how many Americans would be left without any medical care. Then there are the ones who want to dismantle the recent Iran agreement (which was created with several other countries including  Russia and China). The worst  part is  they have not read the agreement! If you are looking to be entertained then perhaps you should look and listen to the jokes and gags being bandied around as political truth(?). It is well to note that politics and truth are like oil and water they do not mix (even with the addition of detergent). We should be listening for what we need to hear rather than what want to hear (which is what is being espoused by the candidates) and if what we need is not being presented then consider giving your vote to someone else even if it is across party lines. Unfortunately we have the misfortune  (or good fortune) to have witnessed the real Congress when President Obama was elected, these folks (some of them) showed their true “colors” but have done nothing related to the reasons we elected them in the first place. It notable that their messages to us have been essentially the same each time they are up for election but sprinkled with seeds of malcontent to keep the populace divided. When the people are united the politicians lose!

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This was posted in The Huffington Post by Investigative historian Eric Zuesse. 

On July 28th, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an aftethought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. … At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell.”

He was then cut off by the program, though that statement by Carter should have been the start of the program, not its end. (And the program didn’t end with an invitation for him to return to discuss this crucial matter in depth — something for which he’s qualified.)

So: was this former president’s provocative allegation merely his opinion? Or was it actually lots more than that? It was lots more than that.

Only a single empirical study has actually been done in the social sciences regarding whether the historical record shows that the United States has been, during the survey’s period, which in that case was between 1981 and 2002, a democracy (a nation whose leaders represent the public-at-large), or instead an aristocracy (or ‘oligarchy’) — a nation in which only the desires of the richest citizens end up being reflected in governmental actions. This study was titled “Testing Theories of American Politics,” and it was published by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page in the journal Perspectives on Politics, issued by the American Political Science Association in September 2014. I had summarized it earlier, on 14 April 2014, while the article was still awaiting its publication.

The headline of my summary-article was “U.S. Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy Says Scientific Study.” I reported: “The clear finding is that the U.S. is an oligarchy, no democratic country, at all. American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it’s pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation’s ‘news’ media).” I then quoted the authors’ own summary: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

The scientific study closed by saying: “In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule–at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.” A few other tolerably clear sentences managed to make their ways into this well-researched, but, sadly, atrociously written, paper, such as: “The preferences of economic elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of ‘affluent’ citizens) have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.” In other words, they found: The rich rule the U.S.

Their study investigated specifically “1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002 in which a national survey of the general public asked a favor/oppose question about a proposed policy change,” and then the policy-follow-ups, of whether or not the polled public preferences had been turned into polices, or, alternatively, whether the relevant corporate-lobbied positions had instead become public policy on the given matter, irrespective of what the public had wanted concerning it.

The study period, 1981-2002, covered the wake of the landmark 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Buckley v. Valeo, which had started the aristocratic assault on American democracy, and which seminal (and bipartisan) pro-aristocratic court decision is described as follows by wikipedia: It “struck down on First Amendment grounds several provisions in the 1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. The most prominent portions of the case struck down limits on spending in campaigns, but upheld the provision limiting the size of individual contributions to campaigns. The Court also narrowed, and then upheld, the Act’s disclosure provisions, and struck down (on separation of powers grounds) the make-up of the Federal Election Commission, which as written allowed Congress to directly appoint members of the Commission, an executive agency.”

Basically, the Buckley decision, and subsequent (increasingly partisan Republican) Supreme Court decisions, have allowed aristocrats to buy and control politicians.

Already, the major ‘news’ media were owned and controlled by the aristocracy, and ‘freedom of the press’ was really just freedom of aristocrats to control the ‘news’ — to frame public issues in the ways the owners want. The media managers who are appointed by those owners select, in turn, the editors who, in their turn, hire only reporters who produce the propaganda that’s within the acceptable range for the owners, to be ‘the news’ as the public comes to know it.

But, now, in the post-Buckley-v.-Valeo world, from Reagan on (and the resulting study-period of 1981-2002), aristocrats became almost totally free to buy also the political candidates they wanted. The ‘right’ candidates, plus the ‘right’ ‘news’-reporting about them, has thus bought the ‘right’ people to ‘represent’ the public, in the new American ‘democracy,’ which Jimmy Carter now aptly calls “subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”

Carter — who had entered office in 1977, at the very start of that entire era of transition into an aristocratically controlled United States (and he left office in 1981, just as the study-period was starting) — expressed his opinion that, in the wake now of the two most extreme pro-aristocratic U.S. Supreme Court decisions ever (which are Citizens United in 2010, and McCutcheon in 2014), American democracy is really only past tense, not present tense at all — no longer a reality.

He is saying, in effect, that, no matter how much the U.S. was a dictatorship by the rich during 1981-2002 (the Gilens-Page study era), it’s far worse now.

Apparently, Carter is correct: The New York Times front page on Sunday 2 August 2015 bannered, “Small Pool of Rich Donors Dominates Election Giving,” and reported that:

“A New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission reports and Internal Revenue Service records shows that the fund-raising arms race has made most of the presidential hopefuls deeply dependent on a small pool of the richest Americans. The concentration of donors is greatest on the Republican side, according to the Times analysis, where consultants and lawyers have pushed more aggressively to exploit the looser fund-raising rules that have fueled the rise of super PACs. Just 130 or so families and their businesses provided more than half the money raised through June by Republican candidates and their super PACs.”

The Times study shows that the Republican Party is overwhelmingly advantaged by the recent unleashing of big-corporate money power. All of the evidence suggests that though different aristocrats compete against each other for the biggest chunks of whatever the given nation has to offer, they all compete on the same side against the public, in order to lower the wages of their workers, and to lower the standards for consumers’ safety and welfare so as to increase their own profits (transfer their costs and investment-losses onto others); and, so, now, the U.S. is soaring again toward Gilded Age economic inequality, perhaps to surpass the earlier era of unrestrained robber barons. And, the Times study shows: even in the Democratic Party, the mega-donations are going to only the most conservative (pro-corporate, anti-public) Democrats. Grass-roots politics could be vestigial, or even dead, in the new America.

The question has become whether the unrestrained power of the aristocracy is locked in this time even more permanently than it was in that earlier era. Or: will there be yet another FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) to restore a democracy that once was? Or: is a president like that any longer even possible in America?

As for today’s political incumbents: they now have their careers for as long as they want and are willing to do the biddings of their masters. And, then, they retire to become, themselves, new members of the aristocracy, such as the Clintons have done, and such as the Obamas will do. (Of course, the Bushes have been aristocrats since early in the last century.)

Furthermore, the new age of aristocratic control is not merely national but international in scope; so, the global aristocracy have probably found the formula that will keep them in control until they destroy the entire world. What’s especially interesting is that, with all of the many tax-exempt, ‘non-profit’ ‘charities,’ which aristocrats have established, none of them is warring to defeat the aristocracy itself — to defeat the aristocrats’ system of exploitation of the public. It’s the one thing they won’t create a ‘charity’ for; none of them will go to war against the expoitative interests of themselves and of their own exploitative peers. They’re all in this together, even though they do compete amongst themselves for dominance, as to which ones of them will lead against the public. And the public seem to accept this modern form of debt-bondage, perhaps because of the ‘news’ they see, and because of the news they don’t see (such as this).


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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