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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Here is what the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know. What is really odd about the Keystone pipeline is that this Canadian corporation is using eminent domain to dispossess US citizens of their property in order to expand it. The only mention of eminent domain in the US constitution is for “public purposes,” whereas the Keystone Pipeline is clearly a private profit-making venture. Your government is allowing US investors who are heavily invested in the Keystone Pipeline to dispossess less financially endowed US citizens of their property. That’s how corrupt your government is, and especially the corporate wing of the US Supreme Court.

As for the pipeline leak the news media doesn’t want you to know about.

About 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of oil leaked Thursday from TransCanada’s Keystone oil pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota, drawing fierce outcry from pipeline opponents, and meek coverage by the corporate news media.

The leak, the largest spill to date in South Dakota, comes just days before Nebraska regulators decide on whether its controversial sister project—the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline—will go forward.

“Enough is enough. Pipelines leak—it’s not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when.’ The pending permit for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline should be flatly rejected by Nebraska’s Public Service Commission (PSC), but know that no matter what the outcome, the fight’s not over yet,” said Scott Parkin, Rainforest Action Network’s Organizing Director. “We need to stop all expansion of extreme fossil fuels such as tar sands oil—and we need the finance community to stop funding these preventable climate disasters—disasters for the climate, the environment, and Indigenous rights.”

President Obama had rejected the Keystone Pipeline expansion, mainly because billionaire Warren Buffett likely told him in gentle terms to do so. Buffett owns BNSF railroad, which is the largest carrier of oil in the United States. Had the pipeline expansion gone through, BNSF’s profits would have suffered, and Uncle Warren didn’t want that.

President Trump reinstated the Keystone Pipeline because the Koch Brothers and other oil investors that invest heavily in the Republican Party made him do it. It’s that simple. The Koch’s, for example, are heavily invested in the pipeline as well as the Canadian tar sands, which produces the oil that will flow through the pipeline.

As for the oil spill, Dave Flute, tribal chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, said. “We are concerned that the oil spill is close to our treaty land, but we are trying to stay positive that they are getting the spill contained and that they will share any environmental assessments with the tribal agency.” If Flute really believes management at Keystone will share any honest “environmental assessments with the tribal agency,” he is an idiot and a fool.

According to TransCanada, the Keystone pipeline system delivers Canadian and U.S. crude oil supplies to markets around North America, stretching 4,324 kilometers (2,687 miles) in length. It starts from Hardisty, Alta., east into Manitoba where it turns south and crosses the border into North Dakota. It then runs south through South Dakota to Steele City, Neb., where it splits. One arm goes east through Missouri for deliveries into Wood River and Patoka, Ill., and the other runs south through Oklahoma to Cushing and onward to Port Arthur and Houston, Texas.

The proposed KXL would add to the massive Keystone system, with its line starting in Hardisty, Alberta and ending in Steele City. Nebraka’s government needs to issue permits in order to construct the pipeline, and public discussion begins soon.

 

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We can pretty much see from the graph above what the Trump tax plan does. It raises taxes on those couples earning less than $80,000 a year, and reduces taxes on those earning more, until you get to the million dollar couples.

However, beyond the graph is something more illuminating, and both the liberal and corporate so-called news media won’t mention this because they don’t want you to know.

Income and wealth inequality will increase under Trump’s tax plan. In the United States, the top 1 percent already steal via legislation and trade treaties about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to just 8 percent in 1980. In addition, wealth inequality, already the most unequal in US history, will increase under Trump’s plan.

Do you know why? Because that’s what the Republicans and some Democrats like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden want to do!

Trump’s tax cut proposal will also reduce corporate tax rates, which will, quite naturally, result in higher corporate after-tax profits, which will then be redistributed to rich shareholders and bigwig corporate officers in the form of surging share prices and rising dividends. It will also help bid up the price of corporate bonds since corporations will be able to offer the rich higher rates of return with corporate tax cuts. Trump’s tax plan is really a plan to redistribute more money to himself and rich Democrats and affluent Republicans from the rest of us.

The government will experience greater budget deficits, which will mean reducing federal funds for Social Security, Medicaid, Aid to Needy Children, Food Stamps, etc…while, of course, maintaining or increasing funding for the military (which benefits only the rich).

Trump’s tax plan essentially calls for continued inflating of the current stock market bubble. Historically, the bigger the bubble, the greater will be the shock to the rest of the economy.

Naturally, one can look at the Republican created stock market bubble of the 1920s, and the income and wealth inequality that fueled that bubble, which led directly to the Great Depression. Then there was the Reagan bubble, and after a short blip of a recession in 1991 that cost President George H.W. Bush the presidency, the bubble renewed under the vigorous presidency of Wall Street’s very much owned Bill Clinton.

Under Clinton, there was a tech bubble, a telecommunications bubble (Bill signed the legislation guaranteeing it), a housing bubble (Bill refused to sign the legislation that would have prevented this), and, of course, all of these helped to fuel a stock market bubble (also fueled by exporting jobs to Mexico thanks to Clinton’s NAFTA). When the bubbles burst in 2001, the economy became a shambles.

Sure, the incompetent, corrupt and worst president in US history, President George W. Bush, followed the incompetent and corrupt President Bill Clinton into office, and did some really stupid things, like passing a tax cut for the rich that helped to create negative job growth in his eight years. However, to some degree, the economy under George W never recovered from the Clinton bubbles. It still has not, and likely never will, not without a major shift in political power from the billionaires who control both major political parties to people who will represent working folks, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Trump’s proposed tax cuts for the rich shows who is in control. It isn’t Trump, and it isn’t congress. A handful of billionaires need the bubble to continue to expand. Otherwise, they will lose trillions of imaginary dollars when it bursts, like back in 2008.

The best evidence of this collusion is Trump himself. When Trump was running for president he verbally assaulted in the most vicious of ways Chinese currency manipulation. The president has made certain not to mention this since shortly after he became president. This suggests one or more billionaires grabbed him by the lapels and told him if he mentioned Chinese currency manipulation again the billionaire’s club would take him behind the woodshed and give him a good political beating. Why would they do that?

When the Chinese manipulate their currency, it increases the profits of US corporations that manufacture in China and export those products to the US, and this, as you might suspect, fuels the stock market bubble.

As a senator, former President Obama also viciously attacked Chinese currency manipulation. However, once he became president Obama never mentioned the issue again, at least not in public. This suggests the same billionaires also threatened to take President Obama behind the political woodshed if he ever mentioned the subject again.

This suggests the same billionaires control both major political parties. Or, more than likely, there are two groups of billionaires, each in control over a major political party. However, it also suggests both groups close ranks when they have a common goal, such as making certain the public doesn’t know about how Chinese currency manipulation enriches them at the expense of everybody else, just like Trump’s tax cuts will.

 

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Former President George W. Bush recently came out in a public speech with veiled criticism of President Donald Trump. I remember Bush as president really well. Bush shouldn’t be allowed to criticise Trump since Trump hasn’t lied us into a war, nor has he ignored the warnings of his own intelligence agencies and those of several other nations of an impending attack on the United States, like Bush did. While Trump may turn out to be the 2nd worst US president in US history, (Trump haters can rejoice at that possibility), it would take more than stupid tweets for him to overcome the corruption and or complete incompetence of President George W. Bush.

Below is a list of some of President Bush’s finest accomplishments as President of the United States. As I look at them, it makes me realize Bush is the worst and most corrupt US president in history, even more so than President Herbert Hoover. Let’s face it. Trump has a long way to fall to overcome our worse US president.

 Bush’s Greatest Accomplishments

*Bush presided over the worst attack on the US by ignoring repeated warnings from his own Counterterrorism Chief Richard Clarke, CIA Director, FBI Director, Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s M16, and others, and instead of responding to the warnings, went on one of the longest presidential vacations in US history. The incompetence and or stupidity of Bush made it appear he wanted that attack to happen. This is why many people believe Bush—

  • Attacked the wrong country in retaliation, but it had lots of oil.
  • Only president in US history to launch a sado-sexual torture program in violation of the US Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations, and Christian beliefs.
  • Only US president who, along with most members of his cabinet and former Vice President Dick Cheney, cannot travel to Europe, South America and most nations of Asia for fear of being apprehended and tried as a war criminal.
  • Attacked and took over two other countries.
  • Began the NSA program allowing for the unwarranted spying and breakin’s of US households and businesses in violation of the US Constitution, a policy continued by president’s Obama and Trump.
  • Spent the Clinton surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
  • Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
  • Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
  • His economic policies produced the first negative US private sector job growth in any eight-year period in US history.
  • Presided over the biggest housing bubble in US history and didn’t do anything about it.
  • His economic policies redistributed more income and wealth from working Americans to the super rich more than any president, with the exception of President Bill Clinton.
  • Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
  • First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
  • First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
  • First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history.
  • Set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips than any other president in US history.
  • c84ca8017328b6a84a026399e1deff66In his first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their jobs.
  • Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in US history.
  • Set the all-time record for most home foreclosures in a 12 month period.

* Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
* Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
* Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history.
* Presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed. (Think Enron and the California energy shortage)

* Presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
* Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
* Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest him (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of humankind.
* Dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
* His presidency was the most secretive and un-accountable of any in US history until President Barack Obama came along.
* Members of his cabinet were the richest of any administration in US history up to its time. (the ‘poorest’ multi-millionaire, Condoleeza Rice has an Exxon oil tanker named after her). Trump’s cabinet has beaten that record.
* Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world. (He hated regulations and they had to be dispensed with)
* First president in US history to order a US attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.
* Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
* Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the human rights commission.

* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the elections monitoring board.
* Removed more checks and balances, and had the least amount of congressional oversight of any presidential administration in US history.
* Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
* Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
* Refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default no longer abided by the Geneva Conventions.
* First president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US elections).
* All-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations. This has since likely been beaten by Obama, Hillary and Trump.
* His biggest life-time campaign contributor presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
* Spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to unilaterally attack a sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
* First president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
* First US president to establish a secret shadow government.
* Took the biggest world sympathy for the US after 9-11, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
* With a policy of ‘dis-engagement’ created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
* First US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view his presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
* First US president in history to have the people of South Korea feel more threatened by the US than their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
* Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

* Set all-time record for the number of administration appointees who violated US law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
* Failed to fulfill his pledge to get Osama Bin Laden ‘dead or alive’.* Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the United States Capital building. Many people think those attacks were secretly ordered by Bush or his Vice President Richard Cheney.
* In the 18 months following the 9-11 attacks, he successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
* Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
* In a little over two years created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided the US has ever been since the civil war.
* Entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than two years turned every single economic category straight down, and wound up with negative and wage job growth.
* Bush and Trump’s lack of response to Hurricane Katrina and the hurricane that leveled Puerto Rico and pretty much about the same.
* Only president in US history that cannot travel to South America and European nations because he will be arrested and tried for war crimes the moment he steps on their soil.

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Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened shows she is completely out of touch with reality and voter’s anxieties over the economic policies that have redistributed trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent. These policies were championed by her, former President Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, and a host of other Republicans and Democrats, such as Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Wall Street’s favorite brown-noser, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

In her book, Clinton blames Bernie Sanders for her defeat in the presidential election. She claims Sanders candidacy split the progressive vote. Hogwash! Hillary lost the presidential election because she is a gold plated pawn of Wall Street. Voters were tired of their jobs and tax dollars being exported to Mexico, China, and Vietnam. Clinton supported the policies that did this. Wall Street loved her support for these policies.

The CEOs of Wall Street, other major corporations, and billionaire investors rewarded her and her husband with $150 million in speaking fees from 2001 to 2016, at $225,000 a pop. Progressive voters knew that yes big money had gotten her to change her mind on legislation cutting back on the abilities of working folks to declare bankruptcy on behalf of the big banks who had purchased her lock, stock and barrel (See video above). Progressives knew the mind boggling millions of jobs that would have been exported from the United States to China with the Trans Pacific Partnership, which she called the “gold plated standard” for trade agreements. Then, of course, there was her support as Secretary of State for the coup that overthrew the lawful government of Honduras and resulted in the death of hundreds. You could go on and on about why progressives could not and would not support Candidate Clinton, but you cannot blame Bernie Sanders.

Hillary is completely out of touch with reality, but the book suggests she might want to run for president again.

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For the past several years, US job growth has been weaker on a monthly average than when Jimmy Carter was US president. There’s a reason for this and a lot has to do with US corporations exporting jobs. Click here for that story. This brings us to former President Obama.

As a United States senator, Barack Obama demanded President George W. Bush do something to counter Chinese currency manipulation. As president, Obama mentioned Chinese currency manipulation one time. Then some politically powerful billionaires likely placed their arms over Obama’s shoulder and probably said something like, “Don’t mention that again, or we’ll take you behind the wood shed.”

Notice President Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation as a candidate and hasn’t said a word about it as president. It’s likely some of his fellow billionaires threatened to take him behind the woodshed too if he ever mentioned the issue again.

This is because millions of US jobs have been exported to China; and US corporations have created millions of jobs over there rather than here thanks to President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, both of whom gave China “most favored nation trade status,” and which allowed US corporations to export US jobs and create jobs in China rather than here.

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar, it increases the profit margins of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the US, while simultaneously decreasing the profit margins of companies manufacturing in the US and exporting their goods to China. This is why all those Nike, Dell, Apple, Treetop, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other things are made nowadays in China and exported to the US rather than in the United States. See the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This is one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality has grown so great during the last thirty-five years. In the US, the top 1 percent own more wealth nowadays than the 90 percent lowest Americans, and that gap is growing.

The Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury could easily counter Chinese currency manipulation, but those organizations work for the billionaires and not for the rest of us. In the meantime, the US economy weakens over the long haul. That’s because workers wages now represent a smaller portion of US gross domestic product since 1947. That’s because when jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower foreign wages with no benefits goes straight into the fat wallets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Trade agreements, nice scams huh?

This is precisely why the rich are now stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent when Carter was president in 1980. This is why job growth was greater under Carter on a per monthly basis than nowadays even though the US economy was only about 40 percent the size of today’s US economy, and the population was only 60 percent the size of today’s US population.

This is something to reflect on when some Wall Street US Senator like Ron Wyden says we need more trade agreements to create more jobs. When Wyden, or Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell says crap like this, you know it’s a lie.

 

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Several decades ago Professor Mark Naison, eventual chair of the African-American studies department at Fordham University, wrote something to the effect that the corporate press divides us along racial lines by boldly reporting on the negative encounters among people of different races that happen now and then while ignoring the tens of thousands of positive encounters that happen every day in the United States among people of different races.

By stressing our differences, and ignoring the positive encounters, the corporate news media keeps us divided as a people, and our eyes and attention off of the financial issues the 99 percent have in common; 1 percent of US citizens now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans (an historic record), and the 1 percent now steals roughly 37 percent of all income (another record) produced in the USA every year compared to 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 percent now earn about 62 percent of all income produced in the United States compared to 92 percent in 1980. You bet they don’t want us to know this stuff, or to ever think about it.

Instead, the corporate news media wants us to think as intensely as possible about racism, guns, violence, bad police officers, public bathrooms and transgender folks, and anything except income and wealth inequality and what brings this about.

So here are a few things to think about in the violent encounter that occurred in Charlottesville.

  1. Out of 310 million people, about 500 showed up in the largest white supremacist gathering in decades, and that’s after six months of publicity.
  2. The thousand people opposed to the white supremacist meeting were multiracial.
  3. Tens of millions of people went to church the next day, many in multi-racial congregations, and prayed to the same God.
  4. Tens of millions US citizens went to work the following Monday and collaborated with their co-workers of different races, ethnicities, and religions.
  5.  Tens of millions of US citizens gather together in small and often diverse groups and cheer on the same sports teams.
  6. Tens of millions of Americans of all races will come together to cheer on the US Olympic team.
  7.  Thousands of people in interracial groups build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
  8. Tens of thousands of people of all colors, sexual orientations and political persuasions, from Tea Party and John Birch Society members to labor unions and Black Lives Matter, came together to successfully fight the massive income redistribution scam known as The Trans Pacific Partnership, which was championed by the first African-American president and some of the most politically and financially powerful members of society.
  9. No, the corporate news media doesn’t want you to know about this stuff.

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On behalf of the Wall Street Democratic Party, hundreds of thousands of people have called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and some of them called for impeachment even before he was sworn into office. Here’s what I think of them; Sore losers and misguided Wall Street pawns being used by the Wall Street Democratic Gold Plated Leadership.

The Democratic Party abandoned working people decades ago.

Several thousand of us fought on the front lines in the battles against the massive income redistribution scam promoted by a Democratic president and called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This scam would have exported millions of jobs and redistributed trillions of dollars of income from the 99 to the 1 percent while most of those now calling for Trump’s impeachment stood on the sidelines and shouted hooray for their team on social issues.

For the past 40 years, the Democratic Party as a national organization has systematically abandoned its historic representation of the working class in favor of a wholesale embrace of Wall Street’s and other corporate principles that squash workers’ representation at all levels of political and workplace engagement, and enhance the power of the wealthy few to govern all aspects of our lives.

It was a Democratic president supported by the Republican Party who unleashed Wall Street by signing legislation repealing Glass-Steagal, legislation which had forced a separation of commercial and investment banking and had protected the US economy for sixty years.

It was a Democratic president supported by the Republican Party who signed the Telecommunications Act which allowed the monopolization of the supposed news you receive. Nowadays, six major corporations control 90 percent of the supposed news we absorb, and much of it is Republican and Democratic Party propaganda.

It was a Democratic president who signed a free trade pact that allowed Mexico to officially swallow almost two million US jobs, and most likely much more. The difference between the old US wages and the new lower Mexican wages goes straight into the pockets of the already super-rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends, and rising share prices. This is called income redistribution. Thank you, Bill and Hillary!

It was a Wall Street Democratic president (with Republican support) who acquiesced to demands to gut welfare programs that had for decades helped workers build their lives without an ax of abject poverty constantly hanging over their heads.

Wall Street Democrats watched (and frequently voted for) the gutting of pensions, the wars we were lied into which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings, the ability of the executive branch to assassinate US citizens without trial, the militarization of police, the fall of worker wages and skyrocketing compensation for the wealthy, the deregulation of Wall Street, and the ongoing privatization of public education. In effect, Wall Street Democrats such as Ron Wyden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama led the charge to create the still growing massive income and wealth inequality we experience today, as well as override the US Constitution in the process.

Eric Ethington, writing the Salt Lake City Tribune, perhaps said it best.

“The idea that Trump is somehow unique, or distinctly worse than other conservatives in his policies is laughable. If Trump were to be impeached today, the same agenda would continue rolling forward without a moment’s pause, because for all the posturing of House Speaker Paul Ryan, or Sen. Orrin Hatch or Rep. Mia Love, the ideas Trump is pushing is exactly what they have been advocating for years — albeit with much more disguised and sophisticated rhetoric. The only difference seems to be the more overtly authoritarian, racist and sexist rhetoric Trump uses and the boneheaded clumsiness of his incompetent staff.”

“What good is getting rid of one bombastic fool if there’s no legitimate voice of the workers to step in? Pretending everything was fine before Trump is lunacy.”

Stop allowing yourself to be mad at Trump. We all know the Republican Party is the party of the rich folks, and nothing has changed with Trump at its helm. The real enemy of the people is the Democratic leadership which fought tooth and nail to ensure Bernie Sanders, the people’s representative, did not get the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016, so that the Wall Street representative named Hillary Clinton would.

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