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Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

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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The economic and political game is clearly rigged in favor of wealthy, and its getting worse. This is a recipe for economic disaster, and which has been closely followed by major Wall Street politicians, such as Ron Wyden, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and George W. Bush.

The richest are getting richer, and their doing so quickly, and at the expense of the rest of us. For the most part, control of the levers of political power is how they have gained their money. It’s that simple. The rich control the Republican and Democratic parties, and with them, they control all three branches of the federal government, as well as most state and local governments. And that’s just in the USA.

In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just eight men had the same wealth as the world’s bottom half. Based on the same methodology and data sources used by Oxfam, that number is now down to six.

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There is a reason why the rich, and in particular the super rich, continue to get richer. The politicians of both major political parties work as agents on behalf of their billionaire benefactors, whether its Republicans such as Mitch McConnell, or Democrats like Ron Wyden.

This is why the poorest half (and more) of the world has continued to lose wealth; and the very richest individuals—especially the top thousand or so—continue to add billions of dollars to their massive fortunes. Inequality deniers and apologists say the Oxfam methodology is flawed, but they’re missing the big picture. Whether it’s six individuals or 62 or 1,000 doesn’t really matter. The data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (GWD) and the Forbes Billionaire List provide the best available tools to make it clear that inequality is extreme and pathological and getting worse every year.

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As of Feb. 17 of 2017, the world’s six richest individuals (all men) had $412 billion. Just a year ago, on March 1, 2016, the world’s six richest men had $343 billion. They’re the same men today, although slightly rearranged as they play “king of the hill”: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim Helu (with Larry Ellison jockeying for position). The wealth of these six men increased by $69 billion in just one year.

According to a new report, which can be accessed below, the poorest 50 percent of the population has seen their share of wealth decline. And the richest 500 people own more wealth that the bottom 70 percent.

Six Men Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 50 Percent of the World’s Population–EcoWatch.org

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President Trump signed his newest executive order, rolling back the insanely weak Wall Street regulations balled up in a piece of legislation called Dodd-Frank.

This legislation does almost nothing to regulate Wall Street. However, no doubt, protests will erupt around the globe over essentially nothing. That’s because the big banks are merely acting as front companies for their much larger hedge funds, which are nearly completely unregulated investment companies. So yes, the front companies are weakly regulated by Dodd-Frank.

Have no fear! Like many executive orders, this one is illegal. It takes an act of congress to repeal Dodd-Frank. Then the president can sign the legislation repealing the law. Apparently, Trump doesn’t know this. He’s beginning to appear as ignorant on constitutional matters as President George W. Bush (the worst president in US history, and most likely the most corrupt and dumbest, as well) and the childlike naivety of President Ronald Reagan, who may have been suffering from Alzheimer disease during much of his presidency, at least according to his son, Ronald. I could also point out that when Reagan came on national television about trading arms for hostages with Iran he could say, “I don’t remember.” He sounded like a liar, or a person suffering from the disease. Anyway, back to the main point.

We’ve been played by both major political parties on the authenticity and legality of executive orders. They are not mentioned in the US constitution, so no president has such powers. But the leaders of both major parties make certain not to let the public know this.

So don’t blow too much steam over Trump. He’s either foolish, or he’s playing a role to maintain the support of those who put him in office. He’s big on theatrics, so it’s possibly the latter.

Look to the future. Trump is a one-term president because he’s coming along at the wrong time and the wrong place in history.

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Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This is the second in a series of the accomplishments and the worst of President Obama. Click here for Part 1.

1. Obama normalized relations with Cuba after sixty years of trade embargo. Now Cuba can upgrade its economy, and the US has a new trading partner. There are a ton of people who opposed this move, but those are the same corporate hacks who support exporting US jobs to Mexico, China, Vietnam and elsewhere. I had a friend a long time ago who said he opposed the Vietnam War. This was back in 1980 or so. “If we hadn’t gone in there,” he said, “they’d be capitalists by now.”

2. Obama authorized the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. He announced the terrorist leader’s death in a live speech to the country saying, “Last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action and authorized an operation to get Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice.” The Republican president before Obama was such an incompetent he couldn’t figure out where Bin Laden was, much less kill him.

3. He helped stimulate the auto industry after the financial crisis. Chrysler and GM have created 250,000 jobs since then. Of course, many of these new jobs are in Mexico.

4. He signed the Dodd-Frank Act, which holds Wall Street accountable a little bit in the event of another financial crisis. In reality, the Dodd-Frank Act doesn’t regulate hedge funds even a little, and the act was heavily watered down by Wall Street lobbyists. So Dodd-Frank wasn’t much of anything, except that it included a provision for the establishment of the Consumer Protection Agency, which Wall Street executives and billionaire investors feared because it meant they couldn’t cheat and lie to the common folk as easily as before.

5. Obama backed down like a whipped dog when Wall Street billionaires and executives demanded he not appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Protection Agency. This turned out to be a good thing, even if by accident. Warren later became a US senator and is likely to be the next president of the United States in 2020.

Among Obama’s worst decisions:

He appointed Arne Duncan to be US Secretary of Education. Duncan is a firm believer in using every child possible to enhance the profits of the testing industry, especially Pearson Limited, a long time financial sponsor of the Democratic Party. When Duncan announced his resignation the president of the AFT teachers union said, “there’s no question that the Department of Education’s fixation on charter schools and high-stakes testing has not worked.” US K-12 public education students are the most tested in the world, and by a wide margin. It’s all about the money folks, that’s what US educational reform means. Obama’s education policy was a complete, or nearly complete, failure.

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The US government is possibly the most corrupt among the major industrialized nations, and probably more corrupt than many third world nations. This is because there is little difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, and the rich people who manipulate them like puppets. So, quite naturally, one can be suspicious of US election results at just about any level of government. And yet the leaders of both parties want us to believe such corruption does not dirty our elections. They’re wrong.

So now Donald Trump must go through the agony of recounts in three states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. This recount effort is spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but the Clinton camp has decided to help ensure the accuracy of the recounts.

Exit polls showed Clinton winning all three states. Clinton, by the way, may not have defeated Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary without the use of electoral fraud; her wins in Arizona and New York come readily to mind.

Donald Trump, who told us of such election fraud, is not happy about these recounts. No Republican has become US president without a high degree of electoral fraud during the last 28 years. George W. Bush became president in 2000 with the use of voter suppression, and a number of other dubious tricks. His win over challenger John Kerry in 2004 was filled with corruption.

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The reports of corruption in 2004 were especially dramatic in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush’s victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged 190.000 Democratic voters from the rolls between the primary and the general election and didn’t notify any of the voters.

Ohio officials also failed to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency.

A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

There were serious problems throughout the nation on November 2, 2004. What is most glaring about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush.

So bring on the recount. Besides, what does Donald Trump have to fear?

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How equal should income in the United States be? The corollary question should be, What is an Economy for? Let’s begin with the later question.

In the USA, from 1933 until 1981, the laws and regulations the US government enacted were intended to increase gross domestic product and spur demand so that a vast majority of Americans experienced rising standards of living.

So with that out of the way, we can determine roughly how equal income and wealth distribution should be in the United States. But first, a little lesson. The United States government determines the distribution of income and wealth via legislation and trade treaties. Since 1981, the rich have been in control of our government. He who has the gold makes the rules.

So if a rising economic tide lifts most boats, and gives most everybody a better future, then that’s about what we want.

The current business expansion (the current rising tide) is leaving everybody behind since the 1 percent have been taking 99 percent of all income growth since 2009. Today, that translates into the 1 percent stealing 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. The economy lifted a lot more people upward back in 1980. As a nation, we were all better off then than now.

In four years under President Jimmy Carter, 1977-81, the US gained more than nine million private sector jobs, and with rising average real wage rates. That’s better per year than job growth under President Ronald Reagan and President Bill Clinton. And Carter did this as the US experienced two recessions. In addition, the US gross domestic product was only 40 percent of what the US produces today, and the population was 60 percent of what it is today.

More jobs were created under Jimmy Carter than under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama combined. Under the later two, family income dropped $7,000 a year because they focused (along with Reagan, the first Bush and Bill Clinton) mostly on passing legislation that redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as Wall Street deregulation scams and free trade schemes.

Meanwhile, during the thirteen years under Obama and Bush, out of pocket health care costs soared 85 percent, tuition and fees at colleges and universities rocketed 86 percent, child care costs rose 37 percent, housing jumped 28 percent, and the median net worth of middle class families has fallen 17 percent since 2010.

Yes, 8 percent of all income going to the 1 percent sounds about right, for starters.

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