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Archive for December, 2014

Is Iran Really a Problem to the People of the United States?

The answer of course is no, Iran is not a threat to the United States. Hell, Iran got its ass kicked by Iraq, while the USA dusted off Iraq via a first round knockout, not once, but twice. However, the parasites of the 0.01 percent that rule the USA need a bad guy they can divert the attention of the 99 percent to while they direct their two political parties to adopt legislation to financially redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

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Sound confusing? War sometimes is, but it’s always profitable.

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According the good economists at the Economic Policy Institute, “Despite a falling unemployment rate and a stepped-up pace of job growth in 2014, the economy remains far from fully recovered. This is illustrated by the sharp slowdown in nominal wage growth (wages unadjusted for inflation) that has persisted in the recovery from the Great Recession. Given trend productivity growth (1.5–2 percent) and the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target, hourly wage growth could be twice as fast—around 4 percent—without spurring inflation. And wages could grow significantly faster than this for an extended period of time—say, 6 percent for six years—before they hit the healthy wage target set by 4 percent growth since 2007.”

That $3.16 cents per hour that should be going into the pockets of the 99 percent have instead been redistributed by the Republican and Democratic Parties via legislation into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent, who are their financial masters.

95 percent of all income growth has been funneled by corrupt politicians to the 1 percent since 2009, a record by a whopping margin. The wage gap is suppressing demand, curbing job and wage growth, and diverting more of the 99 percent’s income to the 1 percent, which suppresses growth by diminishing the demand for goods and services. That’s why we are

This shows how corrupt both political parties have become, and how corrupt they have made the federal government, which includes all three branches. So long as this corruption continues to hollow out our government, we will never have a full recovery, not by any historical standards. The economic and political games were rigged against the middle class decades ago by the big boys with money.

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After the Republicans shellacked the Democratic Party candidates in the November elections, the Corporate Democratic Establishment appears to have coordinated a series of attacks against the Republican Party, which it should have done a long time ago. So why is the Democratic Establishment doing this now?

The purpose for these attacks may not be to smear Republicans with their gruesome corruption; one can rightly suspect that it is to entice the growing number of grassroots Democrats who have abandoned the party into returning to the polls and voting for candidates of the Wall Street Democratic Party.

One can rightly suspect that the November elections showed the Democratic Establishment that its base was drifting away, and so the establishment is attempting to reestablish its credibility as a party of the people. These are a series of slick public relations stunts to fool its own base into returning to the polls and voting Democratic next time. Since the elections:

1. The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the Bush torture system, excoriating the ex-president and his white house advisers as the war criminals thugs they are. Most of us knew this more than ten years ago.

2. The New York Times followed that up with an editorial demanding these people be brought to justice.

The establishment is trying to show its liberal base that there exists a difference between the completely bankrupt Republican Party and itself. In the matter of war crimes, however, there is virtually no difference between the two parties. During the first year of his presidency, President Obama squashed an attempt by a Spanish judge to prosecute war crimes against members of the Bush administration. In addition, if the Democratic Establishment and the Obama administration really wanted to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes, which would include such top dogs as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the White House could order its justice department to prepare extradition hearings for those accused. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the head of the United Nations demanded the USA do precisely this. The Obama administration refuses to follow through despite the fact that the US is a signatory to international law governing war crimes and is required to do this.

3. President Obama signed a so-called executive order granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The big question here, if the president can constitutionally do this, which is debatable, why then does he not issue an executive order granting amnesty to the other 6 million undocumented immigrants in the USA, or those that cross the border illegally tomorrow or next year? This action, of course, will appeal to Hispanic voters, so the establishment hopes.

4. The president negotiated a treaty with the Chinese curbing CO2 emissions. The Establishment hopes this will appeal to its waning environmental base.

5. The president opened the door to normalize relations with Cuba. The establishment hopes those of the far left, which isn’t very far left of center during this contemporary period, will return to the party.

6. MSNB created a documentary broadcast via Rachel Maddox showing that oil and not weapons of mass destruction was the reason the President George W. Bush pursued war in Iraq. Most knowledgeable people knew this more than ten years ago. This should appeal to the disillusioned anti-war faction that has seen the Obama administration continue to wage war for profits throughout the world.

Here’s what the Establishment doesn’t want the grassroots to see. The problem is that more and more of the grassroots know what’s going on.

1. The Democratic Establishment is trying to pass the greatest income redistribution treaty of all time: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If the treaty passes through congress President Obama has promised to sign it. Trillions of dollars of income will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via this treaty.

The secretive TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. It’s an attack on the middle class.

2. President Obama and the Establishment have worked overtime to see that 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the 1 percent.

3. The battle over the omnibus spending bill in December 2014 proves an important point.

Referring to the Democratic Party meltdown in allowing a provision sneakily put in the latest budget bill (by corrupt Wall Street Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas) that allows Wall Street investment banks to gamble with taxpayer money and expect to be bailed out if their gamble fails, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote on December 13;

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts? But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real (political) party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical”…”single furiously-money-collecting/favor-churning oligarchical Beltway party…cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.”

4. The budget battle of December 2014 proved a particularly gruesome point; both political parties have been totally corrupted by big money unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts, as well as other tax cuts, and the politicians of the US government are absolutely corrupt, with few exceptions, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Alan Grayson, and perhaps David Vitter. That’s why the political and economic game is totally rigged against the 99 percent.

5. The White House coordinated the crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street.

The Democrats, exactly like the Republicans, are all about redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

That’s why the Democratic base is leaving the Democratic Party because the Party Establishment left the base behind two decades ago, and continues to favor the rich and powerful over working families, just like the Republican Party. In this respect there is no difference between the twin parties of corruption. And no slick public relations campaign is going to keep the grassroots in line.

More and more grassroots Democrats are leaving the rotted ship called the Democratic Party because the Establishment can no longer direct their attention away from economic issues by appealing to social issues, which is what the latest wave of Democratic Establishment actions are intended to do. These actions may be the last gasp of a sinking skip.

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Social Security and the Rich

The social security cap is most likely a direct violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

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By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

26 December 14

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be one of Barack Obama’s biggest fans. In the six years he’s been president, Obama has managed to turn our country’s economy, at its worst point since the Great Depression, into one booming along with the greatest quarterly GDP growth in 11 years. The Dow Jones closed above 18,000 this week – the highest ever. And yet, despite an apparently surging economy, 95 percent of income gains since 2009 have gone to the richest 1 percent. Not even Ronald Reagan’s economic policies created inequality on that scale.

Since his first inauguration, President Obama has masterfully steered the benefits of the recovery to only the wealthy, while the net worth of average working Americans has dropped by 40 percent since before the recession. Today’s middle class is actually poorer than it was in 1989, when Reagan left the White House. Even though the most recent unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, most of the new jobs that have been created since the recession have been in low-paying sectors, like retail and fast food. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which most workers in those industries earn, has less buying power than the minimum wage in 1968.

According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, if the minimum wage had kept up with worker productivity since then, it would be $16.54 an hour today. This means Americans are working harder than ever, but aren’t getting a penny ahead. When you use that data to paint a picture with the most recent quarterly GDP growth surge and the new record-high closing on the Dow Jones, the image is actually quite ugly. The insane growth our economy is experiencing, combined with the fact that 99 percent of Americans aren’t seeing 95 percent of the income gains from that rapid economic surge, means that our hard work is simply feathering the nest of the ownership class. Income inequality hasn’t been this severe since right before the crash that caused the Great Depression.

President Obama could be pushing for the pitifully-low minimum wage for tipped workers to be increased from $2.13 an hour, where it has stayed since 1991. He could sign executive orders to pay all federal workers $15 an hour, to allow government contracts to go only to model employers who pay a living wage, and to allow all government workers to have the right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions. He could be investing billions of tax dollars into in creating public sector jobs aimed at rejuvenating American infrastructure – which American engineers have given a D+ in their most recent assessment – rather than lowering the deficit with cruel austerity like the continued budget sequester.

At the very least, President Obama could have vetoed the federal budget “cromnibus” bill that was recently passed, sparing low-income women, infants, and children from another $93 million in cuts to their food assistance. But we’re talking about the president who already approved $8.7 billion in cuts to food stamps in the latest farm bill. Even the last lifelines of help for the most desperate Americans have been slashed to pieces and put on hold by the Obama administration. Even if Republicans are singlehandedly holding social safety nets like food stamps and unemployment extensions for the long-term jobless hostage, the fact that President Obama hasn’t even fought that hard for these programs speaks volumes. Republicans applauded Clinton when he cut welfare in the 1990s, but there’s been nothing but silence from today’s crop of Congressional Republicans for Obama’s cuts to the welfare state.

Instead of fortifying his legacy with economic populism, Obama has presided over an economic “recovery” where only the rich have benefited – the first “recovery” of its kind. If Obama were a Republican instead of a Democrat, Republicans would be singing his praises. Instead, liberals and partisan Democrats are celebrating the news of growth they don’t benefit from, and are the first to shout from mountaintops about lower deficit numbers. In terms of economic policy, Obama and his most diehard supporters are Reagan Republicans. But despite their similarities in economic policy, Reagan would be even more proud of Obama for his foreign policy.

As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, President Obama has extended George W. Bush’s War on Terror from just Iraq and Afghanistan to Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Libya, and even the Philippines. The U.S. military has more of a presence than ever in the Middle East since Obama took office, with the Iraq War alone costing as much as $4 trillion. Obama has been just as steadfast a supporter of Israel as any of his predecessors – standing by them even as they bombed civilian targets in Gaza earlier this year. He recently signed off on supplying the Israeli weapons stockpile with another $200 million infusion; this is the same stockpile that Israel used to bomb Gaza. And thanks to Obama’s signature, Israel will now have the capability to refuel fighter jets in mid-air, which would be necessary if Israel wanted to launch airstrikes in Iran.

It speaks volumes that President Obama agreed to cut food stamps by $8.7 billion and WIC by $93 million, but committed to spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years to upgrade our nuclear weapons stockpile. Even while Obama has supported the idea of equipping police officers with body cameras, his defense department stands by the Pentagon’s 1033 program that allows military equipment like grenade launchers, sniper rifles, and apache helicopters to flow to local and county police departments. And despite his historic move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, Obama is still stuck in a cold war mentality of the U.S. having to command the widest array of nuclear weapons. Obama’s record on foreign policy and the military-industrial complex puts Reagan’s to shame. The ludicrous “Star Wars” program and the 1983 invasion of Grenada don’t hold a candle to the current administration’s imperialist worldview.

From a policy standpoint, it makes no logical sense for Republicans to hate Obama as much as they do. He’s simultaneously expanded the worst economic policies we saw under Reagan and the worst foreign policy we saw under George W. Bush. The rich are richer than ever before, the middle class is becoming poorer, and the poor have had their already razor-thin social safety nets cut to the barest of margins. On top of all of that, the U.S. military is engaged in permanent wars all over the Middle East, and the cold war mentality that drove Reagan and George H. Bush is still very much alive in the current White House. The only reasonable explanation left for Republicans’ fervent opposition to everything Obama says and does is that he’s black.

Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary “We’re Not Broke,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at carl@rsnorg.org, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reprinted with permission from Readersupportednews,org.

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