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Archive for July, 2016

tpp-protest-oct-2015

A liberal met up with her conservative neighbor and discussed politics. Needless to say, they parted ways disgusted with each other. Here’s what I have to say to both of them.

“We’ve been divided sliced and diced by the major political parties, think tanks of the 1 percent, corporate propaganda machines, and the corporate news media for over thirty-five years. Your experience with your neighbor is the result. Bear in mind that if you think they’re boorish and completely wrong in their positions, that they many think the same about you. Find common ground in your political discussions instead of opposition.

I’ve seen people from the John Birch Society and Black Lives Matter find common ground in opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is heavily backed by the Republican Party and Corporate Democrats like Barack Obama. The TPP is Obama’s baby, but it’s what the Republicans want, because it will redistribute trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent on a yearly basis. Obama knows this too, and his connections to Wall Street are heavy, which is why he supports it. Hillary Clinton publicly stated her support for the TPP 45 times before Bernie Sanders began his run for the Democratic nomination, even going so far as to call the TPP “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Will the real Hillary please stand up?”

I’ve also talked with conservative Republicans who have voiced sympathy for Black Lives Matter because the police can be quick on the trigger. I’ve met Republicans who agree that Wall Street should be more heavily regulated, and have voiced support for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. A decade ago, a Republican Party member was opposed to the US occupation of Iraq. I’ve met a Tea Party member who believes income had become too unequal in favor of the rich, and that international trade agreements are the primary cause of this. Note that person knows the Democrats are a primary force behind these agreements.

I’ve met liberals who are New Deal Democrats and gun owners. I’ve met liberals who were against undocumented immigration, and lower government regulations on home builders. I’ve met liberals who stand together with conservatives in protests against the TPP. I’ve met liberals who are hunters and fishermen and environmentalists.

I’ve met conservatives and liberals who can drive you to frustration because they believe things they want to believe, even if they can’t cite their source of information, or even if they don’t make sense, except to themselves.

That frustration is precisely what the 1 percent and their corporate media want you to feel just to keep us divided. Don’t fall for it. Find common grounds in your political discussions with your neighbors. It’s easy.

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The Great Contraction, the last recession, which happened to be the worse recession since the Great Depression, left a lot of damage in its wake. Jobs, for example.

Since the recession ended, people have had to create their own jobs. More than ever before, we see people earning extra cash via Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, and starting their own coffee shops, or food carts, as their main means of income. Forty years ago, in my neighborhood in Portland Oregon, we didn’t have a single coffee shop within twenty blocks.

Now we have four within ten blocks, and that’s only to the East of me, and that doesn’t count the food carts that serve only coffee.

We didn’t have more than a few food carts operating in the area. Now we have quite a few. You need to do something for a living. These food cart folks, and most of the coffee shop owners, and the folks I know working as Uber drivers, aren’t making a lot of money.

That’s because these folks, along with the rest of us, are battling it out among themselves for fewer and fewer dollars. The 1 percent is now stealing 37 percent of all US income, compared to 8 percent back in 1980. That means the rest of us are battling it out to get a piece of that 63 percent of yearly income, compared to 92 percent back in 1980, back when the economy was producing way more jobs than nowadays, with rising real wages, and with an economy and population much smaller than today.

Where’d are jobs go? They’ve been exported to China, Pakistan, India, Mexico, Vietnam and elsewhere thanks to international income redistribution agreements, which are falsely marketed as international trade agreements. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower overseas wages goes straight into the already fat wallets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

And that folks is precisely why the rich are now stealing 37 percent of all the yearly income produced in the United States, and why more and more people are thrust into poverty, and why thousands upon thousands of US citizens are now working for peanuts at coffee shops and for Uber and Lyft and other made up jobs.

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TOO BIG TO Fail: There Is No Such Thing

lehman-brothers-collapse

Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail. That’s all you need to know. Lehman was one of the largest investment banks in the world. And yet, when push came to shove, the government allowed the company to die. It didn’t impact me or you one bit, unless you were heavily invested in the company.

What would’ve happened if Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan/Chase had been allowed to die? Nothing, except several of their hedge funds and a lot of superrich people would’ve been allowed to fail with them. Tens of billions of dollars would’ve evaporated with the implosion of these corporations that  have gone to corrupting government and both major political parties. Had they been allowed to fail, that probably would’ve been a good thing for 99.9 percent of all American citizens. Democracy would’ve been a little less corrupted.

The slogan “Too Big to Fail” should be changed to “Too Big to Exist.” If anybody thinks they’re too big to be allowed to fail, then the logical thing is that they should be broken up into more competitive pieces, which is what the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is supposed to do, if it were seriously enforced by the US government, which won’t do this because the politicians have been under the intoxicating influence of the billions of dollars of the big banks give them.

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The Democratic Party has been under control of Wall Street investment bankers since the Bill Clinton presidency. They also control the current Democratic presidential candidate.

Bernie Sanders has created a movement that will likely take over the helm of the Democratic Party within the next four years. In other words, a movement is being built for FDR Democrats to retake the party from the investment bankers.

“We have a political revolution to transform America,” Bernie said during his Democratic National Convention last night. The time is close at hand for this revolution to succeed. We have a Great Depression rumbling down the road at full throttle (See The Coming Recession: It’s Going to be a BIG ONE–JohnHively.wordpress.com.

The Republican Party leadership will, quite naturally, insist on more trickle-down economics as a means to remedy the disastrous Depression that trickle-down economics got us in to in the first place. Trickle-down has produced the greatest income and wealth inequality of any major industrialized nation of the last two hundred years. It’s created the most corrupt government in modern US history.

This Depression will hit the United States somewhere between October 2016 and June 2017. And when it arrives, a vast political change will occur over a period of many months that has not been seen since Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president by becoming a traitor to his class. And it will be through the Democratic Party that this political revolution will bare fruit, just as it happened in 1932-33.

It is “not sustainable,” Bernie said last night, “that the top 1/10th of 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.” He is correct. It is not sustainable. Let’s be correct about one thing.

The idle rich will not give up their political and economic power easily. It’ll be a fight to the finish, but a growing movement has formed around Bernie Sanders that will reestablish the tradition that the power of the US government, and the gains from the US economy, are going to go to those who earn it. This battle will not be won overnight, but it will be won.

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On Friday July 22, Wikileaks released leaked emails showing how the Wall Street Democratic National Convention attempted to discredit and lie about the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a tried and true patriot of Wall Street, announced today that she is stepping down as DNC Chair, no doubt because the emails made it all too obvious that she and the Democratic Party leadership are political pawns of Wall Street investment banks, at least as much as their
Republican Party counterparts; and that they did every thing in their power to derail the Sanders campaign, while doing everything they could to bolster the presidential ambitions of Wall Street presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The emails made what was obvious a little more clear; the political game was rigged against the candidate of the people, Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced today that Wasserman-Schultz will not be allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention today. Perhaps it’s likely Bernie Sanders and his supporters insisted on this under certain favorable conditions.

Needless to say, Clinton defeated Sanders partly due to the shenanigans of the DNC and massive voter fraud.

For more on the story click NBC News-Wasserman-Schultz Gets the Boot

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Wall Street Senator Tim Kaine is a supporter of the Wall Street agenda, which means redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. So in picking Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton made certain Wall Street understood where she stands on the issues, no matter what she is forced to say in public. Today, Saturday 7/23/2016, Kaine came out against the TPP, after saying as late as two days ago (Thursday) that he was for it. Anybody believe he’s against it?

Before Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic primary race last summer, Hillary had publicly voiced support for the Trans Pacific Partnership 45 times (TPP), and she never expressed a doubt about it, going so far as to call it “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Bernie Sanders entered the race, mentioned how it would result in the loss of millions of jobs, just like NAFTA (which Hillary supported), and Wall Street’s candidate was forced to say she was against the TPP, even though she never was against it, and likely still isn’t. She’s just making stuff up to get elected.

But Mrs. Clinton had to give Wall Street a clear signal that she was still their political pawn, regardless of what lies she felt she needed to say on the campaign trail, so she made another Wall Street politician her running mate. Wall Street Senator Kaine is as much a pawn of Wall Street in the investment bankers war against the 99 percent, as is Hillary Clinton.

One has to wonder why Hillary felt so strongly about Kaine that she likely lost most of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Those are the Democrats that Donald Trump began wooing with his opposition to the TPP, and his vow that he will renegotiate NAFTA or exit it.

Obviously, Clinton felt she needed Wall Street money more than progressive votes. Sure Donald Trump has lied and exaggerated during the campaign, but Hillary has lied throughout her career. Most recently she knowingly gave many false statements to FBI agents in the email scandal, and each lie is a criminal offence. So Hillary can’t be trusted any more than Trump.

What’s a workin’ stiff to do in this election?

According to Wikileaks, “Making false statements (18 U.S.C. ยง 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial.”

With these two candidates, the US hasn’t sunk this low in quality in a presidential election perhaps in its history.

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From the Citizen’s Trade Campaign:

TPP - Investor State Dispute Settlement

TPP – Investor State Dispute Settlement

The TPP covers 40 percent of the global economy, yet it was negotiated in secret with hundreds of corporate advisors while the public was locked out. The key provision in TPP grants new rights to thousands of foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of 3 corporate lawyers. These lawyers can award the corporations unlimited sums to be paid by America’s taxpayers, including for the loss of expected future profits. These foreign corporations need only convince the lawyers that a U.S. law or safety regulation violates their TPP rights. Their decisions are not subject to appeal and the amount awarded has no limit. This agreement is not good for American taxpayers. It means higher drug prices. It makes it easier to send jobs overseas, means fewer jobs and lower wages, and a government that doesn’t work for us. It’s also unconstitutional, and should not be upheld in a legal challenge. Italics mine

Shameless and valueless Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this illegal international trade agreement because it will lower US wages by pitting Americans against workers making 65 cents an hour in countries like Vietnam. Wyden also wants us to import food that does not meet U.S. safety standards, limit policies to combat climate change, and raise drug prices. This TPP trade agreement is not good for American taxpayers and workers. That’s why Wyden, Obama, and the entire Republican leadership supports it. Mainly the TPP will redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Wyden and the rest of its supporters know this.

The TPP means that government will not work for working families and the middle class.

The most impactful arguments against the TPP in order of voter opposition generated:

FOOD SAFETY: The U.S. currently rejects a significant portion of food imports from TPP countries like Vietnam and Malaysia as unsafe, but TPP would require us to accept food imports that do not meet U.S. safety standards.

ISDS LAWYERS: TPP will allow foreign corporations to sue the U.S. government in private tribunals/ corporate courts run by three corporate lawyers who rotate between judging these cases and representing corporations, which is a conflict of interest, and there is no outside appeal

ISDS FUTURE PROFITS: Under TPP, the American taxpayers could be forced to pay foreign corporations compensation for any American law or safety rule. They can sue for their current losses but also future expected profits, and there is no limit to the amount they can win from U.S. taxpayers. This clause will likely eliminate your voting rights on state and local issues if it conflicts with foreign corporations, such as food labeling laws. I should point out that many of these foreign companies have US investors, which means they’re circumventing US laws using the TPP. Wall Street Ronnie Wyden knows this all too well.

LOWER WAGES/FEWER JOBS: TPP will pit American workers against workers in Vietnam making less than 65 cents an hour. Economists who have looked at this deal say it will lower wages for 90 percent of Americans and gives corporations more incentives to move American jobs overseas

ISDS CORPORATE RIGHTS: TPP gives foreign corporations that come to the U.S. even more rights and privileges than the American people and our businesses, and elevates foreign corporations to the status of the U.S. government by allowing them to sue our country in special tribunals/corporate courts.

SECRET CORPORATE NEGOTIATIONS: The terms of the new TPP trade agreement were negotiated in secret with over 500 corporate advisors, but the people, the press, and even the U.S. Congress were shut out so it favors corporations, not working families.

BIPARTISAN DISAPPROVAL: For the first time, the presidential nominees of both parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, oppose this new trade agreement because it does nothing to stop currency manipulation, will hurt U.S. wages and jobs, and means higher drug prices

BAD FOR CLIMATE: All of the countries in the world are working to combat climate change, but TPP would forbid many of the policies we need to stop the climate crisis.

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