Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bloomberg’

One of the big lies about Bernie Sanders is that he cannot win against President Trump in the general election and that the Democrats need to choose a so-called moderate candidate in order to defeat the president in the general election. The DNC and the billionaire controlled corporate news media know this is a lie. Anybody can look at the polls and discover this claim is false.

By moderate candidate, the DNC and the corporate news media mean a Wall Street/billionaire controlled Democratic Party candidate. Quite naturally, a self-made capitalist millionaire like Bernie is labeled by the corporate press as a hardline Stalinist Communist who wants to burn all churches, put every citizen on farm communes, and burn all billionaires at the stake, rather than as the person who wants to restore and reinvigorate the middle class with such policies as Medicare for all, which every advanced capitalist nation has except for the USA.

So how do the preferred Wall Street candidates stack up against Trump in the latest poll?

In the latest Quinnipiac poll, released last week, Joe Biden defeats Trump by 7 percent, Pete Buttigieg wins by 4, Amy Klobuchar is up by 6, and the heavily advertised former Republicon mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, beats the president by 9 percent.

Bernie defeats the president by 8 percent. Sanders beats Trump by a greater margin than all the rest except for Bloomberg. In other words, a billionaire/Wall Street controlled candidate is less likely to defeat the president than Bernie. By the way, the candidate who has positioned herself as being between Bernie and the Wall Street Democrats on public policy, Elizabeth Warren, beats Trump by 4 percent.

I can read the polls as easily as anybody else. Don’t let the DNC and the billionaire controlled corporate propaganda machine (so-called news media) tell you what to think. You can check out most of the latest polls at realclearpolitics.com. Just click on the polls link in the upper left-hand corner.

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Eight billionaires possess the same amount of wealth, and probably more, as the lower half of the world’s population, according to an analysis from the charity Oxfam released last Sunday.

Six of these billionaires, from Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, are American entrepreneurs: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Rounding out the list are Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon, and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of a retail conglomerate that includes clothing chain Zara. Together their net wealth ― assets minus debts ― amounts to $426 billion.

“Left unchecked, growing inequality threatens to pull our societies apart,” Oxfam writes in its report, citing Brexit, the rise of President Donald Trump and a rise in the widespread disillusionment with the absolute corruption of mainstream politics, which has been provided by, and benefitted, the rich at the expense of everybody else.

In 2016, the richest 1 percent of the world held slightly more than half of the wealth of the entire planet, Oxfam noted. While the 1,810 billionaires on Forbes’s list, 89 percent male, hold $6.5 trillion, as much wealth as 70 percent of humanity.

In other words, 70 percent of the world’s population is fighting among themselves over crumbs the rich have yet to scoop up.

All of the corruption is used to tilt the economic game in favor of the billionaires allowing them via the government to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 percent to themselves. Some of the corruption in the United States have included the successful negotiation of trade agreements with an eye toward lowering wages worldwide, suppression of federal minimum wage increases, Supreme Court decisions that have nearly eliminated 100+ years of campaign finance laws, the war against labor unions waged by the rich via their helpful federal government and their corrupt United States Supreme Court, lowering the tax rates of the rich to the point where billionaires now pay a lower rate than middle-class income earners. and the privatization of public services.

Last year, when Oxfam did its report, it took 62 billionaires to equal the bottom half of the world. The change this year seems drastic because of improvements in the quality of the data Credit Suisse was able to get. If Oxfam had used that improved data last year, it would’ve taken just 9 billionaires to reach parity with the world’s bottom half, Kripke said.

Rising inequality causes more than a sense of moral outrage and the election of reality TV stars. There’s a wide body of research that shows inequality adversely affects the health of those at the bottom, raising the risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing suicide rates and shortening lifespans. Some attribute the rise in the death rate of white people and the heroin epidemic to inequality.

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Big Money didn’t win all the time on Tuesday election. In fact, big money lost 15 times against progressive policies and candidates. For example, Bill de Blasio won the New York City’s mayor race “on a platform of reducing inequality and halting NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ program, he’ll also govern with a more progressive city council, as the 21 new members of the 51-seat body are expected to double the council’s progressive caucus after aggressive campaigning by labor groups and the Working Families Party.”

Check out the story below from Moyers and company.

Under the radar progressive wins of the 2013 election–Bill Moyers and Company

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Click the link below for the broadcast.

Keith Olberman Attacks NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg\'s Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street

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New York police on Tuesday demolished the Manhattan camp of the anti-Wall Street protests in a surprise raid which threw the two-month-old movement into crisis.

Despite launching a swift legal challenge to the dismantling of their tent camp in Zuccotti Park, a judge backed a ban on pitching tents in the private area, ruling the demonstrators could gather but not camp or sleep there.

Throughout the day, protestors played a game of cat-and-mouse with authorities as they sought to re-establish their camp a stone’s throw from Wall Street, the symbolic epicenter of a movement protesting alleged corporate greed which has spawned copy-cats in other US cities and abroad.

But in the evening, police reopened the park and let the demonstrators back in one-by-one, stressing they would not be allowed to stay there for the night.

“No one will be denied entry,” a police officer said at the gate, as people began to wander back in again. Once inside, the crowd began to chant: “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street.”

Both sides were claiming a victory of sorts after judge Michael Stallman ruled that the owners of the park and the authorities were not denying protesters their constitutional right to freedom of speech by banning them from camping.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement that “the city has the ultimate responsibility to protect public health and safety and we will continue to ensure that everyone can express themselves in New York City.

“Zuccotti Park will remain open to all who want to enjoy it, as long as they abide by the park’s rules,” Bloomberg added in his statement.

The judge’s ruling “vindicates our position that First Amendment rights do not include the right to endanger the public or infringe on the rights of others by taking over a public space with tents and tarps,” Bloomberg said.

But protesters were also elated that they were allowed back into the park, owned by Brookfield Properties, which they have been occupying since mid-September.

“The police don’t have too much choice. It’s a victory even if this movement is not about sleeping here”, said Mike Reilly, 29, from Philadelphia.

“The movement will survive in one way or another,” he added.

Dallas Carter, 32, said the protestors “have to go back to court to get the tents and sleeping bags again. But it’s still a victory.”

New York police had moved in at about 1:00 am (0600 GMT) Tuesday with bright lights, overwhelming numbers of helmeted officers, and an army of sanitation workers.

About 200 people were arrested during the operation, which saw only sporadic violence and ended well before dawn, leaving cleaning crews to cart off piles of tents and other gear, then scrub the square clean.

For eight weeks, the park — a short walk from the New York Stock Exchange and the site of the World Trade Center — sheltered the birthplace of the anti-Wall Street movement.

The decision by Bloomberg to end the occupation followed crackdowns in other US cities, and spurred officials in London to resume legal action against a camp outside Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

Small business owners in the area had complained about the noise and unsanitary conditions in the camp, accusing the demonstrators of trashing their store bathrooms and driving away customers.

Pressure had been mounting on Bloomberg to resolve the situation in a neighborhood already strained by years of disruption from the World Trade Center rebuilding project.

On Monday riot police dismantled a similar protest camp in Oakland, California arresting more than 30 protesters. Some 50 protesters were arrested in Portland, also on the West Coast, on Sunday. A protest in Denver was also recently broken up.

Tuesday’s development left the Occupy DC protest in Washington as one of the last significant permanent camps created by the movement.

“I don’t think there’s any plan on leaving,” said Marc Smith, a spokesman. “There’s really not too much concern at this point.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama was “aware” of the situation but maintained that “each municipality has to make its own decisions about how to handle these issues.”

“We would hope and want that… a balance is sought between the long tradition of freedom of assembly (and) freedom of speech in this country.”

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Written by Danny Schechter. Originally published at Al Jeezer.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is talking tough again, darkly hinting that he may have to take action to shut down Occupy Wall Street. He now claims that the community in Lower Manhattan is upset by the occupation of Zuccotti Park and he must heed their wishes.

The problems: there have been cases of urination and defecation. The drumming is too loud. There is a seeming fear of violence from the street people and homeless the park seems to be attracting.

So it appears that his honour has found a new pretext to send the police in to clear the park. He has already sent his cops to arrest alleged law breakers in the encampment, accompanied by headlines urging “get tough”.

In the eyes of much of the press, the endgame is in sight because the protesters just don’t know how to act, how to be responsible. The New York Times reports in a Friday page one report: “Demonstrators Test Mayor, a Backer of Wall Street and Free Speech.” Even some Democrats have joined in calls for a crackdown in the name of keeping the upper class neighbours safe and sound.

As in many stories, however, what’s not said is often what’s most important.

First, after the last merry-go-round with a top city official who claims to support free speech – but perhaps in some other city – Occupy Wall Street met with community groups. They cleaned the park thoroughly. They cut back the hours of drumming to two. They set up a liaison to respond to complaints and enunciated a “Good Neighbour Policy”.

Sanitation issues

As for the expulsion of bodily waste, the Occupation has offered to rent “porta-potties”, those mobile toilets that are used in all public events. The City and the real estate company that owns the park has said no. Don’t you think they know what happens when people have nowhere to go, as the weather gets colder? Maybe they feel the need to encourage more waste and chaos?

The Occupation also suggested that the City Sanitation Department move some dumpsters into place in the park. Again, the answer was no.

So two of the most cited problems have solutions that officials reject.

As for homeless people, Occupy Wall Street security has reported that city correctional officials and some welfare officers have actively encouraged homeless people to go to a park where they will be fed and can sleep.

Occupy Wall Street has strict rules against drug use and alcohol use. But they can’t always enforce them against people who have been encouraged to go to the park to, among other things, cause trouble.

In other words, city officials, who are expressing so much agitation are actually exacerbating the problems, and then pointing to them as a reason the occupation must be forced to end. The cops also have spies in the park and are monitoring developments closely. They had repeatedly refused to protect the park from the presence of predators – who they now blame on the protest.

Unfortunately, many media outlets are not interested in probing for the causes of problems and just focus on the effects.

Fox News is hostile to the protests, and so can be counted on to throw out every negative they can find. Earlier efforts to stigmatise the protests as anti-Semitic failed. Now they are stoking fears of more chaos.

Politics is what is driving the increasingly hard-line opposition, not pride in civic improvement.

Forced to take drastic ‘action’

A day before the mayor indicated that he may just have to “take action”, he criticised the protesters for focusing on Wall Street. Congress is to blame, he insisted, politicians not financiers. Few media outlets noted that Bloomberg made his fortune on Wall Street and his news company serves its customers. This conflict of interest is blatant, but rarely noted.

That the one per cent which protesters are denouncing are sticking together is not surprising. The mayor is demonstrably on their side.

An earlier mayor, Ed Koch, who has turned more conservative in his later years than even the Republican Bloomberg, is not quite so willing to let Wall Street off the hook.

The NY Daily News reported him saying: “I do believe in punishment.” Koch then went on to blast the SEC for only fining Wall Street titans such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup for their financial misconduct. “What the hell do they care? That’s the cost of doing business,” Koch said of the banks. “I want to see somebody – some CEO, some CFO – punished criminally.”

The reason Bloomberg doesn’t like Occupy Wall Street is because he likes Wall Street (especially while his police are occupying the place).

He believes in punishment too – punishing protesters.

“I want to see somebody – some CEO, some CFO – punished criminally.”

– Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York City

Fox News carried a complaint about the excessive (and expensive) police uber-presence there because a restaurant owner says it is keeping business away and forcing him to close. Fox went on, of course, to blame the occupiers for the restaurant’s decision to lay off workers.

After all, you couldn’t have so many cops, if there weren’t so many protesters.

And around and around we go

Many New Yorkers seem obsessed with the protests. As the comedy channels satirise it, a New York Times business editor noted that an article the newspaper carried on the latest financial fraud drew ten comments from readers before anyone tried to blame the problem on Occupy Wall Street – the latest whipping boy in the financial crisis.

In other cities, there have been violent attacks on the Occupy Movement. Activists in Oakland, California, called for a general strike to defend their right to peacefully and non-violently protest.

Musician Boots Riley who is part of the organising effort said: “We’re ushering in a new phase in organising. It’s a one-day general strike. It’s a warning shot. It’s beyond saying that ‘we are the 99 per cent’. This is showing that the 99 per cent can be organised, that we won’t be limited to the rules and regulations that unions have confined themselves to in the last 60 years.”

The general strike, as a tactic, has not been that successful in the United States – because it requires a major organising effort, far more than appeals on the internet or in press releases. Noam Chomsky was sympathetic but cautioned protesters “to build and educate first, strike later”.

Many in the Occupy movement are criticising violent incidents in Oakland that counteract their policies of non-violence.

If the Occupy movement had not been as successful as it has been in broadening the national conversation to include the issues of economic equality, it would not be drawing as much hostile flack from the press or politicians.

Many Democrats fear an activist movement can hurt their re-election prospects by focusing on unsolved problems. Others see it as a direct challenge to months of debate on the need to cut deficits and impose austerity.

To date, this movement has survived snowstorms and police attacks. Its tougher challenges may have just begun.

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