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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Wyden’

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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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On February 17 2017, the US senate will resume its duties; one of which will be to confirm or reject Neil Gorsuch as President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next US Supreme Court Justice.

Several days ago, the Guardian reported Trump had urged Wall Street Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to eliminate Democrats potential use of the filibuster to stop Gorsuch, which is the so-called nuclear option.

Gorsuch needs sixty out of 100 possible senate votes in order to be confirmed to the post. The nuclear option would eliminate the sixty vote threshold, by instituting a fifty-one vote threshold. The Republicans hold fifty-two seats in the US senate, while the Democrats hold forty-eight. That means eight Democrats must vote to sustain Gorsuch’s nomination, or the candidate will fail. If Gorsuch fails to get sixty votes, the Democrats can filibuster his nomination, putting an end to it, unless the so-called nuclear option is used by Republicans. That’s not going to happen.

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The nuclear option would mean the end of the filibuster in the US senate. The filibuster has been used to ensure a sixty vote majority is always needed to pass any legislation. The result has been years of gridlock. Politicians of both major political parties have abused the filibuster over the years, so as to ensure they can fail to solve the problems that have perplexed the nation, and have a ready made excuse for the folks back home.

Once the sixty vote threshold is eliminated, however temporarily, a simple up and down vote for Gorsuch can take place. However, Republican voters might get a bit angry the nuclear option isn’t being used for their issues. The Republican Party establishment, with control over the white house and both houses of congress, could easily end legalized abortion. That’s what their base wants them to do.

However, doing so would eliminate abortion rights as a wedge issue with which to manipulate the emotions of grassroots Republicans, and divert their attention from other things, such as passing trade treaties that make it easy for US corporations to export US jobs overseas, and redistribute the difference between the older higher US pay and the new lower foreign wages to the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, share prices and surging dividends.

Likewise, the Democratic establishment will not want the nuclear option used. Then they’d need to please the grassroots of their base for a simple up and down vote can occur over numerous issues that conveniently cannot reach the sixty vote threshold. This includes a vote for amnesty of undocumented immigrants. A vote for the Dream Act can occur. A vote for a renegotiated NAFTA can take place. A vote to raise tariffs on US goods manufactured overseas and exported to the United States can occur. A vote to raise the minimum wage would be a great opportunity. A vote to rein in the excesses of Wall Street can be had. A vote to tie CEO compensation to corporate crimes can take place, such as corporate money laundering of Mexican drug cartel money.

The Republican and Democratic establishments, which are the major corporations, Wall Street executives, and billionaire investors who control the politicians of both political parties, will not want to see an aroused Republican base demanding simple majority votes on issues dear to their hearts, and which have been carefully cultivated by the corporate media. That would be against the financial interests of the establishment members. So, too, would the nuclear option be against their interests.

Like the conservative news media outlets, these issues are things the Guardian editors dare not mention. The Guardian is regarded as a liberal newspaper, and so the aim of the story is to raise the interest of liberal readers. However, the first duty of any editor is to edit and omit all news stories with a view to what the news ought to be, and that is closely related to the second duty of an editor, which is to never offend advertisers. The advertisers in major media news outlets are largely politically and financially powerful corporations. The loss of their advertising dollars would be a sharp blow to any news media outlet, such as the Guardian. The Guardian editors must walk a tightrope; keep liberals reading, while pleasing major corporate advertisers.

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So expect the Democratic establishment to come up with at least eight Wall Street senators willing to vote for Gorsuch to avoid the nuclear option. Expect Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden to be the first to cross the aisle on behalf of Gorsuch to avoid raising the hopes of Democratic and Republican voters everywhere once the nuclear option appears.

 

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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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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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“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” ~Alice Walker

People Power Works! More and more people are fed up with the corruption of the Republican and Democratic establishments. Those two establishments have corrupted government at all levels in the United States to such an extent that the US federal government is now the most corrupt in the industrial world, and by a wide margin. And so more people than ever before are taking to the streets and voting against the candidates backed by Wall Street.

In 2016, the grassroots destroyed the plans of Wall Street executives and billionaire investors to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent a number of times.

1. A grassroots campaign turned Bernie Sanders into serious candidate for US presidency, and likely will send him or Elizabeth Warren into the White House in 2020.

2. A tenacious cross-border, cross-sector progressive movement of movements stopped the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) corporate power grab led by Wall Street drones Barack Obama, as well as Wall Street senators Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

3. Indigenous water protectors used nonviolent direct action to interrupt the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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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.

President Obama was no Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but he did take office during an economic crisis greater than any since the Great Depression, a mess helped along by the worst and one of the most corrupt presidents of all time, George W. Bush. I don’t consider Obama to be a great president. I don’t think we’ve had one since Harry Truman. That being said, I think he’ll be remembered fondly even though he was largely a puppet of Wall Street.

1. Obama actually accomplished quite a bit despite the fact the Republican Party leadership fought against almost everything he wanted tooth and nail even if it meant sending the United States down the tubes. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said, “Our top political priority over the next two years is to deny President Obama a second term.”

2, Got us out of the illegal and costly occupation of Iraq.

3. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). This became the first time in US history the government could tax us for not buying something, which is not a good sign since now the government can tax you on anything you choose to not purchase. This legislation also drove up health care costs for everybody, increased deductibles and co-pays.

3. Ended the trade embargo against Iran, which put Iranian oil back on the market and helped drive down the cost of oil and gasoline.

4. Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for seven years, creating 12 million new private-sector jobs. However, it should be pointed out that on a per month basis this growth was worst than that which occurred under President Jimmy Carter. On the other hand, monthly job growth of all of the presidents since Carter have been worst than what happened under Jimmy.

Worst Action?

Along with Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, President Obama continuously groveled at the feet of Wall Street and other big corporate executives, which is why he mightily tried to secretly ram through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Obama promised an open and honest administration, but he was extremely secretive about the TPP, most likely because it would’ve exported millions of US jobs and redistributed trillions of dollars from working folks to Wall Street and other corporate executives and rich shareholders.

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How could Hillary have lost? Maybe she lacked credibility? She is a noted jobs exporter with intensely close personal and financial ties to Wall Street, which benefits from exporting jobs. Maybe those folks in the rust belt were sending a message to the Wall Street controlled Democratic Party by voting for Trump. Maybe enough of those folks in the rust belt were tired of seeing their jobs, as well as their friends and neighbors jobs, exported to Mexico and China and Vietnam and India.

When a job is exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower Chinese wages and non-existent benefits goes straight into the already fat wallets of the super rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends and surging share prices.

Like many Republican lawmakers, Hillary and President Obama and Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden are noted job exporters, which means they like to redistribute income from hard working people to politically and financially powerful people.

As a member of the Wall Street Democratic Establishment, Hillary Clinton lacks credibility as a woman of the people. So does the Democratic Party Establishment.

In poll after poll during the presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders defeated Donald Trump by much wider margins than did Hillary. Why? Because the public perceived Bernie as being far more honest than Hillary or Donald Trump, and he has a history of fighting hard for the 99 percent against the rapacity of Wall Street and hedge fund CEOs.

My take is simple. Hillary lost because she lacked the history of fighting for working people, and had a long history of fighting to redistribute income from working people to the rich and powerful, and she was correctly perceived as less honest.

This suggest that the Democratic Party Establishment, which is owned lock, stock and barrel by Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds, is as out of touch with its base as is the Republican Party Establishment out of touch with its base.

Perhaps the two bases should unite and throw the bums out.

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