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Posts Tagged ‘tea party’

tpp-protest-oct-2015

A liberal met up with her conservative neighbor and discussed politics. Needless to say, they parted ways disgusted with each other. Here’s what I have to say to both of them.

“We’ve been divided sliced and diced by the major political parties, think tanks of the 1 percent, corporate propaganda machines, and the corporate news media for over thirty-five years. Your experience with your neighbor is the result. Bear in mind that if you think they’re boorish and completely wrong in their positions, that they many think the same about you. Find common ground in your political discussions instead of opposition.

I’ve seen people from the John Birch Society and Black Lives Matter find common ground in opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is heavily backed by the Republican Party and Corporate Democrats like Barack Obama. The TPP is Obama’s baby, but it’s what the Republicans want, because it will redistribute trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent on a yearly basis. Obama knows this too, and his connections to Wall Street are heavy, which is why he supports it. Hillary Clinton publicly stated her support for the TPP 45 times before Bernie Sanders began his run for the Democratic nomination, even going so far as to call the TPP “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Will the real Hillary please stand up?”

I’ve also talked with conservative Republicans who have voiced sympathy for Black Lives Matter because the police can be quick on the trigger. I’ve met Republicans who agree that Wall Street should be more heavily regulated, and have voiced support for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. A decade ago, a Republican Party member was opposed to the US occupation of Iraq. I’ve met a Tea Party member who believes income had become too unequal in favor of the rich, and that international trade agreements are the primary cause of this. Note that person knows the Democrats are a primary force behind these agreements.

I’ve met liberals who are New Deal Democrats and gun owners. I’ve met liberals who were against undocumented immigration, and lower government regulations on home builders. I’ve met liberals who stand together with conservatives in protests against the TPP. I’ve met liberals who are hunters and fishermen and environmentalists.

I’ve met conservatives and liberals who can drive you to frustration because they believe things they want to believe, even if they can’t cite their source of information, or even if they don’t make sense, except to themselves.

That frustration is precisely what the 1 percent and their corporate media want you to feel just to keep us divided. Don’t fall for it. Find common grounds in your political discussions with your neighbors. It’s easy.

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A friend on the political right wrote me about my support for Bernie Sanders for US president. My friend had some objections about Senator Sanders positions. So I wrote the response below. I should also like to point out that Bernie is a US senator from Vermont, where large pockets of conservatism flourish, and Republicans are elected to statewide offices. Yet Bernie continues to win election after election, campaigning mainly on bread and butter issues.

Anyway, below is my reason why everybody should vote for Bernie, regardless of their political ideology.

“…the Democratic and Republican Party leaderships, and the big money that controls them, also controls the levers of political power. I am against any candidate supported by the leadership of either major political party. That’s why over the years I’ve been a supporter of such diverse independent minded politicians as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. Besides, it doesn’t matter what Bernie wants, what matters it what he can achieve as president. If Bernie becomes president, with both houses of congress likely to be controlled by the twin party leadership, Bernie will likely only be able to limit their damage to the middle class in terms of economics.”

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With the help of the corporate news media, which can better be described as the corporate propaganda machine, the Democratic and the Republican leadership rip the grassroots of both parties apart and against each other by inventing social issues, while raping the grassroots of both parties financially on behalf their billionaire and millionaire benefactors.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Fast Track Authority are classic examples of how the leadership of both political parties team together in their financial rape of the 99 percent.The Federal Reserve estimates the TPP will cost four to five million US jobs. The difference between the old higher US wages, and the new lower overseas wages, will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. That money will be stolen straight out of the pockets of working Americans and redistributed into the already fat bank accounts of the 1 percent, much of which will find its way into the pockets and campaigns of the Democratic and Republican party leadership. The local and state tax dollars paid by the jobs losers will no longer support schools, police, fire, road maintenance and much more. In other words, the TPP will rape our schools and other public services.

The TPP will also steal money that should go to the social security trust fund because the rich only pay social security taxes on the first $118,000 of their income. Worse yet, the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is already the case, costing the US millions more jobs than the Federal Reserve estimates. This manipulation of currency will compel US corporations to ship more jobs overseas because Chinese currency manipulation increases the profits of those who manufacture in China. (See Four Graphs that Will Make You Boiling Mad About the Trans Pacific Partnership–Or Why President Obama, along with executives from Nike, Microsoft, Apple and other US corporations Steadfastly Support China’s Currency Manipulations–JohnHively.wordpress.com).

In other words, the TPP has been negotiated specifically to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and since 2009, the 1 percent has stolen 95 percent of all US income growth. Their share of the total national income has risen from 8 percent in 1980, to 21 percent in 2008, to 37 percent in 2015.

The TPP has also been negotiated to undermine US laws and democracy.

Hillary Clinton has stated publicly on 45 occasions that she is for the TPP. All of the Republican candidates are for it. Bernie would veto the TPP if he was president. Ergo, damage to the vast majority of US citizens would be limited.

Here’s something to think about. Opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership brought together unusual allies, such as the John Birch Society, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the AFL-CIO. We need more, not less, of that kind of cooperation among US citizens. Bernie understands this, and his candidacy is encouraging this. That’s precisely what the leadership of both political parties and their billionaire benefactors don’t want: Americans of all colors and political persuasions united together in opposition to the billionaire class and their complete corruption of the US government for their own ends.

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Thank you grassroots progressives, grassroots tea party members, labor unions, church groups, environmental organizations, and so many more for the fight of the century you put up.

Today, in the US House of Representatives, Democrats and some Republicans responded to twitters, emails, letters and phone calls from the 99 percent, and these things defeated Wall Street Investors, large corporations, and their President Obama, by rejecting Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). US House Democrats refused to give President Obama Fast Track Authority that will allow for easy passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership without first giving workers trade adjustment assistance (TAA).

The president offered TAA, which offers government assistance for workers whose jobs are shipped overseas because of trade treaties, but he intended to fund it with money from Medicare, and it would still be underfunded, leaving millions of workers who will lose their jobs with TPP in poverty and without hope.

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a top House Democrat from New York, said she would not vote for TAA because she doesn’t want “this trade bill (TPP) to go through.”

“TAA has always been an absolute admission to me that there is going to be lots of lost jobs,” Slaughter said.

The TPP is Obama’s gift to Wall Street, but many Democrats see it as the end of their party since the base is so riled up against it.

We know from leaked documents the TPP will:

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here. See how-the-trans-pacific-partnership-will-destroy-american-jobs-by-destroying-us-exports–Johnhively.wordpress.com .

* TPP will raise pharmaceutical prices by extending patents forcing the 99 percent to pay more for big pharma’s products.

* TPP will override Wall Street regulations, as if the mostly ineffective US regulations inhibit Wall Street profits and illegal activities.

Stunningly, Democrats such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden support doing all of the above to the American people. And these things are only a few things we know about. Why are these negotiations so secret? US Senator Elizabeth Warren says it best below.

As for Fast Track Authority, if passed by congress, it will mean there be limited debate in congress when the TPP comes up for a vote. Fast track will also prohibit any amendments to the TPP and eliminate any means to filibuster it in the senate. In other words, fast track rigs the political and economic game against the 99 percent and for the 1 percent.

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In a move that elicited a collective groan from virtually all of progressive America, the Obama administration and congressional Republicans reached a deal on April 16 on so-called “fast track” trade authority. This is the legislation needed to ram new trade agreements through the US Congress with limited debate and no amendments. While it was a gut kick to the progressive movement, it was also a gut kick to grass roots Tea Party Republicans, and the entire middle class.

Fast Track is another way to rig the economic and political game against the 99 percent. Fast Track was championed by class warriors and Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell.

It was a gut-kick for labor unions and environmental, consumer, human rights and other groups that have long called for a change of course on US trade policy. Instead, the fast track legislation shows we’re still stuck in the same old failed model of the 1990s. The bill lays out trade policy objectives that elevate the narrow interests of large corporations and undercut efforts to support good jobs, the environment and financial stability.

Read the rest of this story by clicking on the link below.
Fast-Track: A Gut-Kick to the Progressive Movement.

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At a recent protest in front of Democratic Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden’s Portland Oregon office, a gentleman from the Tea Party clapped his hands and cheered with the rest of us as the speaker from Black Lives Matter said, “We’ve got to stop President Obama and Senator Wyden from pushing through Fast Track Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” These two issues embody what’s wrong with our political system and major political parties, and what’s right about them.

What’s right with one of the most corrupt political systems in the world in the USA?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Fast Track Authority (FTA) have united much of the grassroots of both parties against the leadership of both parties: Tea Party Republicans, right wing Christian groups, anti-abortion groups, National Rifle Association members, and John Birch Society associates are teaming up with progressive Democrats, labor union leaders and members, Sierra Club members, left wing Christian groups, gay rights organizations, and Black Lives Matter to stop Fast Track and the TPP.

Unfortunately, a large segment of the grass roots of both parties are behind the eight ball on these issues, and that’s one of the things that embodies what’s wrong with our political system, and what’s rotten to the core about the Democratic and Republican parties, especially on the national level.

There are the people who remain ignorant of the issues. They vote Democratic or Republican via name recognition and party affiliation mostly, but these people can be educated to understand the political duopoly controlled by Wall Street currently ruling the USA. Unfortunately, there are the political party patriots.

For example, Josh Winter Bookseller lives somewhere in Illinois. He has a Facebook page and enjoys writing that Tea Party members are stupid, are racists, and vote against their interests. Bookseller would never in his right mind be seen hobnobbing with Ben Carson, although a lot of Tea Party members would love to shake Carson’s hand, but Josh doesn’t consider himself racist. Josh also posts news about the evils of right to work for less laws, and the evil that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker embodies.

No doubt Josh is correct about some members of the Tea Party, but those certainly are not the Tea Party people who were cheering on the speaker from Black Lives Matter.

Josh also likes to post things about the evils of only white racism, the great wonderful Democratic Party, the awesomeness of labor unions, and he will never say a bad word about President Obama.

Because of these emotional predilections, or you could say pig-headiness, Josh will not mention on Facebook the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Fast Track, or the fact that labor union leaders are livid over President Obama about the TPP and Fast Track. Josh doesn’t want his Facebook followers to know this stuff. In fact, Josh can’t believe the lies of the right-wing media that Obama would do such a thing via the treaty as;

1. Take away his right to vote on state and local levels when it comes to health, food and safety laws.
2. Ship away hundreds of thousands of jobs, perhaps millions, many of them labor union jobs.
3. Raise the prices of pharmaceutical medicine.
4. And a myriad of other negative things.

In other words, Josh is the mirror image of the stereotypical Tea Party members he rants against on Facebook because he votes and posts against his own interests, making himself look stupid, by his own definition. He’s not only supporting President Obama on the TPP and Fast Track, he’s also siding with arch Republicans such as Wall Street Senators Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell. Josh must be confused and can’t figure out life.

Josh is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He’s a cheerleader, “Go Democrats! Go! Get them Republicans!” Or more simply put, based on his Facebook timeline going back a few years, his attitude is simple; Democrats good, Republican’s bad.

There are plenty of Republicans who have the same attitude; Republicans good, Democrats bad.

Josh insults anybody who tries to entice him to see beyond the false labels of Democrat and Republican, and to write something about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “You’re stupid,” he’ll tell you.

Republican and Democratic Party? Those labels are meaningless because Wall Street investment banks and other rich businesses and individuals control the leadership and most of the representatives and senators of both parties in Washington D.C., and increasingly so on state and local levels.

Like some Republicans, Mr. Bookseller worships an empty shell of a political party, as well as the leader of that party, even as his team pushes the TPP.

Still, there is hope. Despite Josh and his kind, Americans are coming together as US citizens and in sizeable numbers for the first time since 9-11. I’ve been standing with it all around me at protests against the TPP and Fast Track. Dividers and haters like Josh Bookseller on both sides of the political aisles will always exist, but they will be overcome.

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Originally published 2.14.2015

From the Economic Policy Institute:

“Labor unions both sustained prosperity, and ensured that it was shared. The impact of all of this on wage or income inequality is a complex question (shaped by skill, occupation, education, and demographics) but the bottom line is clear: There is a demonstrable wage premium for union workers. In addition, this wage premium is more pronounced for lesser skilled workers, and even spills over and benefits non-union workers. The wage effect alone underestimates the union contribution to shared prosperity. Unions at midcentury also exerted considerable political clout, sustaining other political and economic choices (minimum wage, job-based health benefits, Social Security, high marginal tax rates, etc.) that dampened inequality. And unions not only raise the wage floor but can also lower the ceiling; union bargaining power has been shown to moderate the compensation of executives at unionized firms.”

The attacks on labor were intended to redistribute income from working people to rich shareholders and CEOs. This is precisely why attacks on labor unions began, the conservatives, the Republicans, the news media, and eventually many Democrats joined in the great feeding frenzy. Numerous policies were used to weaken and destroy labor unions; most important of these tools were the alleged free trade agreements, which shipped good paying jobs overseas, and placed the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent.

This massive income redistribution scam via a series of international income redistribution agreements falsely labeled as free trade agreements fueled the rise of the stock markets from 1983 to the current day. Twenty-eight million jobs were exported from the US between 1989 and 2011, according the US Federal Reserve Bank. Millions more have been exported since then. That’s why the Dow Jones Industrials has been surging for three decades, except during periods of recessions (See graph below).

Rising income and wealth inequality is also why the negative impacts of recessions, such as high unemployment rates, last longer and longer. As more and more money is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, the demand for goods and services weakens. The last recession officially ended almost six years ago, and yet, many of the effects of that recession are still with us.

You will notice in the two graphs above the linked demise of labor unions, the rise of inequality, and the remarkable surge in a major stock market, the Dow Jones Industrials, during the period in US history which might be called the free trade epoch. Income and wealth inequality fueled the rise of the Dow Jones, and these fed off the carcasses of slain labor unions, exported jobs, and other vile acts of government on behalf of the 1 percent.

And now President Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden are teaming up with most of the Republican congressional delegation to redistribute more and more income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the president and Wyden falsely label an international trade agreement, but which really is a massive income and political power redistribution scam.

Currently, the 1 percent steal about 36.6 percent of all income produced in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980. See the-rich-are-now-getting-more-than-36-percent-of-the-total-income-produced-in-the-united-states–JohnHively.Wordpress.com. If the TPP is enacted by congress, that 36 percent will become 40 percent, the Dow Jones will go higher, more jobs will be exported and at faster rates, and labor union membership will go down. Schools, fire, police and other public services will see a decline in tax revenue on the state and local levels, along with other social safety nets.

This month, President Obama and the corporate Republican Party leaders are going to push for legislation called Fast Track. They are opposed by progressive Democrats and Tea Party Republicans. See Left and Right United–New York Times.

If passed, Fast Track will allow only limited debate, no amendments, and no filibuster in the senate on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The key is most likely the filibuster. The TPP will export millions of US jobs, redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the process, eliminate your voting rights on health, safety and labeling issues on the state and local levels, and lots more, and none of it good for you or the environment. That’s only a few things we know about the agreement because it is the most secretive trade agreement in US history. Call your congressional representatives and tell them to represent you in the issue of Fast Track. Tell them to vote no. You can discover your US house and senate representatives and their numbers at ContactingtheCongress.org .

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President Obama is now fighting against his own party, by allying himself with the corporate wing of the Republican Party, in his fight to destroy the American middle class. The president does have a few Democratic allies, such as Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, the only US senator ever called a “useful idiot” by a Nobel Prize economist.

The president is waging war against the middle class with an Income and Political Power Redistribution Scam that he falsely labels a free trade agreement, called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The president has made certain the TPP is the most secretive scheme ever called a free trade agreement in US history.

This month, President Obama and the corporate Republican Party leaders are going to push for legislation called Fast Track. They are opposed by progressive Democrats and Tea Party Republicans. See Left and Right United–New York Times.

If passed, Fast Track will allow only limited debate, no amendments, and no filibuster in the senate on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The key is most likely the filibuster. The TPP will export millions of US jobs, redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the process, eliminate your voting rights on health, safety and labeling issues on the state and local levels, and lots more, and none of it good for you or the environment. That’s only a few things we know about the agreement because it is the most secretive trade agreement in US history. Call your congressional representatives and tell them to represent you in the issue of Fast Track. Tell them to vote no. You can discover your US house and senate representatives and their numbers at ContactingtheCongress.org .

We know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA. When the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent).

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

In other words, the TPP has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s about taking away your money, your voting rights, and giving them to the 1 percent.

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