Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Last Friday, Brazilian unions ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer Last Friday, Brazilian unions ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer with a nationwide general strike that closed schools, disrupted transport networks and led to clashes with public security in several cities. Thirty-five million Brazilians took part in the strike out of 208 million. Now if only we could get US citizens so united against the massive corruption of both major political parties and the corrupt US government.

Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo blocked key roads with barricades of burning tires on. Riot police used teargas and percussion grenades to try to disperse the crowds and open the routes.

Brazilian media reported protests in 26 states and strikes by teachers, bus drivers, healthcare providers, oil industry workers and public servants.

As night fell on Friday, there were multiple clashes in central Rio between protesters, who set fire to a bus, and riot police, who fired dozens of rounds of tear gas.

The reason for the protests is simple. The corrupt Brazilian government wants to redistribute income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent by cutting pensions and new labor laws that weakened workers rights. This is called a policy of austerity, which is well known to be a failure at economic stimulus. Since austerity is a proven failure, there is no reason to attempt such a remedy of the economic downturn Brazil has fallen into.

According to the Guardian, “Many voters are furious that politicians are insisting on the need for cuts in benefits and public services even as evidence grows that they benefited personally from illegal kickbacks on overinflated contracts.”

Cutting pensions and benefits will only make the economic downturn worse, and this President Temer must know, otherwise he is ignorant, stupid or corrupt. Obviously, we’re looking at “corrupt.”

The Guardian went on, “Eight cabinet ministers have been implicated in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation into corruption at the country’s two biggest companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht. Temer’s approval ratings have slipped into single digits, similar to the level of his predecessor, Rousseff, when she was impeached last year.”


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More than 200,000 people took to the streets in Washington, DC, Saturday April 29th for the People’s Climate March. Tens of thousands more joined via sister marches across the globe, including Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and more.

In the U.S., more than 370 marches in nearly all 50 states took place, from the town of Dutch Harbor in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to the streets of Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major American cities.

A coalition of communities, faith leaders, labor activists, civil rights champions and climate justice advocates led the march while demanding commonsense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of the vulnerable communities who have the most to lose under President Trump’s administration.

The battle over climate change is a sticky one. The fossil fuel industry which own plenty of politicians in both major political parties spends millions of dollars a year denying it’s happening, but my rhododendron is now blooming in early December. Twenty-five years ago, it began blooming in late March and early April. Fifteen years ago, it began blooming in January. I also have roses blooming in snowy December, and that is something that never happened in the forty years I’ve lived in this house.

Quite naturally, the war over climate change is a battle over ever increasing profits and share prices. Major corporations and their shareholders, as well as Wall Street (which controls the Democratic Establishment like puppets), want ever increasing profits because this produces ever increasing share prices and dividends. Getting rid of fossil fuels will force the oil corporations out of business, and cut into the profits and share prices of other manufacturers.

This means the battle over climate change is a battle between ultra rich shareholders and millionaire and billionaire CEO’s on the one hand, and the rest of the world’s people on the other. Naturally, the rich and their corporations fund bogus studies showing global warming in not real in order to influence the voters of the 99 percent to believe climate change is a communist plot to destroy the American way of life, when it is really the rich destroying the US middle class way of life. My roses and rhododendron tell me climate change is real, but then, so is the class warfare the rich are waging on the rest of us.

I should point out that the folks at Exxon now admit fossil fuels are causing global warming. The company denied it for decades, but knew as early as the middle of the 1970s that it was happening.

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The fastest growing food segment is organic. More and more people are buying organic foods. That’s because they’re healthier than the GMO garbage the major food companies are selling you.

Costco has been crowned the new king of organic groceries. The company’s sales of organic foods increased by a whopping $1 billion in just 6 months. It’s mind boggling. If that’s not enough, Costco is committed to continue the expansion of their organic offerings. Costco has been quietly beefing up its offerings of organic foods for years.

GMO foods have been linked to a number of health issues, such as tumors and allergies. They’ve also been linked with autism, obesity and a variety of cancers. So more people are making the choice to eat healthy, and Costco is leading the way.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved allowing GMO’s into the US food chain back in the mid 1990s even though they’d been tested a whopping three months for safe human consumption. That is how corrupt your government was back then, and it’s even more corrupt nowadays.


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On Sunday April 23, Bernie Sanders said, “The Democratic Party’s model is failing,” and if voter turnout doesn’t grow “there is no future forward for the Democratic Party.”

Now how about that? The Democratic Party is controlled by billionaires and the grassroots is drifting away. They ran Walmart/Wall Street candidate Hillary Clinton for US president and lost to an outsider who said outrageous and pretty stupid stuff in 2016. Of course, Donald Trump also kicked the crud out of 16 other contenders for the Republican Party nomination, so maybe the Republican grassroots are tired of the other billionaires that control their political party.

“Well,” Sanders said. “I think what is clear to anyone who looks at where the Democratic Party today is that the model of the Democratic Party is failing,” Sanders said on “Face the Nation.” “We have a Republican president who ran as a candidate as the most unpopular candidate in the modern history of this country. Republicans control the House, the Senate, two thirds of governors’ chairs.”

“And in the last eight years, they have picked up 900 legislative seats,” Sanders continued. “Clearly the Democratic Party has got to change. And in my view what it has got to become is a grassroots party. A party which makes decisions from the bottom on up. A party which is more dependent on small donations than large donations. A party… that speaks to the pain of the working class in this country.”

Sanders, who ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, is on a “unity” tour across the country with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez to reinvigorate the Democratic base. The Vermont senator said the party must “take the lead” on issues that matter to the working class to increase voter turnout and “regain control of the United States Congress.” He failed to mention this is unlikely to occur with the billionaires in control of the party.

“So what we have got to do and what Democrats have got to do is go all over this country, start getting into those red states which have been ignored for decades, start growing the voter turnout,” Sanders said. “Having an agenda which brings people together to say that, ‘In the richest country in the history of the world, yeah. You know what? We can have health care for all people as a right. We can raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. No, Donald Trump is not right. Climate change is not a hoax. It is a major planetary crisis.’”

Of course, none of this is going to happen until the next recession begins this summer because the billionaires don’t want it to occur. After the brunt of the recession begins to hit in earnest some months later, voters of the Democratic Party will hopefully chase out the billionaires because a series of grassroots movements has already formed though they have not coalesced except to be anti-Trump. This, of course, means these movements against Trump have a striking resemblance to the Tea Party that dogged President Obama during his eight years. The Koch Brothers primarily fund the Tea Party and exercise significant control over its leadership.

The problem with many of the grassroots who are involved in the Democratic resistance to President Trump is what also ails Tea Party grassroots members, which was an attitude of “Obama bad, anything Republican good.” Many members of the Democratic grassroots resistance follow a similar small minded path, only it’s “Hillary good: Trump bad,” and “Democratic Party run by billionaires good; Republican Party run by different bunch of billionaires bad.”

Too few of these people don’t realize they need to kick the billionaires and millionaires and their plutocrats like Hillary and Bill Clinton out of the Democratic Party. If they fail to achieve this, they will simply be used by the billionaires who control the Democratic Party to defeat Donald Trump in the next presidential election rather than cleaning their own house. The corruption in both major political parties stinks like two pigsties.

When Tom Perez became Chairman of the Democratic Party by defeating Democratic Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison the grassroots lost to the billionaires, and many of them didn’t even know it. This means the grassroots resistance has yet to influence the Democratic Party in any meaningful way. This suggests that if the Democratic Party bosses successfully use the grassroots resistance to unseat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s still going to be business and corruption as usual.


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How things have changed! Back in the 1960’s, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring warned about the human health dangers caused by insecticides. Industrial pollution ensured that US lakes and rivers caught fire. In 1970, conservative Republican US President Richard Nixon signed the legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s job was to clean up the pollution. The result is that much of that US industrial pollution has been exported to China, India and elsewhere.

US business leaders have long chafed under the chains of the EPA. The more pollution these folks are allowed to create, the more profits their corporations earn, the higher corporate share and bond prices rise. So big business has conspired to takeover the EPA, so as to bend the rules to their favor.

Scott Pruitt, a loyal servant of the profit needs of big oil now heads the EPA. President Franklin Roosevelt once said that businessmen had made certain that government had become an appendage of their profit making before he took office. Pruitt is now in position to ensure the EPA does not do its job in the USA. So expect human health considerations to be shunt aside in favor of the profit desires of big oil and Koch Industries, because as Attorney General of Oklahoma, that is precisely how he defined his job, as you can see from the video above.

Most of the politicians governing the US today are among the most corrupt in world history, and that includes US corporate apparatchiks, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden.

Think about this. Nixon is considered to have been one of the most corrupt president’s in US history. He was a man who’s crimes were considered so great that he was forced to resign from his office. Yet he ignored the advice and bribes of his corporate sponsors to create the EPA. And the crimes he committed pale in comparison to President Bush lying us into war, or to embroil us in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the USA since Nixon. Crimes are committed by people in high office, and there is no concern for punishment, because the criminals are in charge of the white house, the senate, the US house of representatives, and the US supreme court. There’s no one to answer to for ones crimes in government nowadays. The US government is rotten through the core with corruption.

Yet, there is an economic hurricane just around the corner. When that hits, we’ll be able to clean house, like FDR did in 1933. Get ready.


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As President-elect Donald Trump takes office today, January 20, 2017. the Pew Research Center reports “the public has starkly different expectations about which groups in society will gain influence – and those that will lose influence – under his administration.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say wealthy people will gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Just 8% say they will lose influence, while 27% expect the wealthy will not be affected.”

I agree with the 27 percent who say the wealthy will not be affected. The reason is simple. The rich already control both major political parties, and through them, the rich control the federal government, virtually all state governments, and most big city governments, as well as a lot of local governments.

The wealthy are not going to improve upon that score a whole lot under Trump. Control of the legislative process has been the primary means by which the 1 percent has methodically increased its share of wealth and income of the United States year after year for the last thirty-five years.

That’s why the 64 percent who say wealthy people will gain influence are wrong inasmuch as wealthy people have so much power they can’t possibly gain anymore.

The difference is that those rich folks who use the Democratic Party as a vehicle to control the mechanisms of government and to profit via those mechanisms, have lost influence. Think Warren Buffett, George Soros, Bill Gates and other Democratic Party billionaires. Their rivals who control the Republican Party will gain influence at their expense.

Those Republican billionaires include Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump, Charles and David Koch, hedge fund managerz Paul Singer and Robert Mercer, and a lot of other Wall Street investors.

Together, the billionaire Democrats and billionaire Republicans form a kind of good old boy network with some rivalries among them. They also control the media in such a way as to ensure we don’t see this, although it’s pretty obvious.


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20150224_problemThe financial collapse of 2008 was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Give President Obama and his administration credit for saving the economy from the depredations of Wall Street despite massive Republic resistance to resuscitating it, which they did solely for political gain. However, this historically weak recovery masks a startling reality.

Only one perpetrator of Wall Street crimes was ever brought to justice, and he wasn’t a big figure in the massive corruption going on. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders and said, “I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you.”

Only one banker from that era was prosecuted. That was Bernie Madoff, and the only reason he was carted off to prison was because he stole from rich people. And not one other Wall Street criminal executive went to jail after stealing billions via fraud, money laundering of Mexican drug cartel profits, and numerous other crimes. Many became his financial advisers, which meant Obama pursued policies to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent for eight long years.

At all times, Obama refused to bite the hand that funded his past, present and future, as well as funding much of the Republican and Democratic Parties. In other words, Obama was largely, if not completely, in the back pocket of Wall Street as were President Bill Clinton, both President’s Bush, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

Obama operated in a cesspool corruption. He was part of the problem, not the solution.


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