The Real Abusers

•September 21, 2014 • 2 Comments

Thanks to Jonathan Stewart on fb

realabusers

Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

•September 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Just a few short months ago, U.S. citizens overwhelming opposed our heavy-handed policy of engaging in other peoples’ problems worldwide. Americans were weary of political and military hawks’ fear-mongering about the dangers of the next terrorist threat. Folks were waking up and deciding to let other countries handle their own business, without our “help”. 

But the recent brutal beheadings of American journalists in Iraq turned the tide of public opinion at breakneck speeds, as if these horrific acts could be balanced by another war. What has changed that makes one think that we’ll fare better in that region than we did the last time? It’s a history doomed to repeat itself.

There’s always an agenda for war among those who profit from it. Billion dollar profits for “war contractors” is what really should be getting our attention. But, the strategies of fear and distraction, smoke-and-mirrors, has won, once again, taking gullible American minds down the primrose path to another conflict in the Middle East.

IS is not knocking at your door. But the greedy bastards are huffing and puffing and blowing that bitch down while you’re distracted by all the chicken-hawks running around screaming that the sky is falling.

If you really want to understand all the fervor, it’s simple.  Just follow the money …


 

The Nation – Lee Fang

Talking heads like former General Jack Keane are all over the news media fanning fears of IS. Shouldn’t the public know about their links to Pentagon contractors?

Retired General Anthony Zinni, retired General Jack Keane and former Bush administration official Fran Townsend

If you read enough news and watch enough cable television about the threat of the Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim militia group better known simply as IS, you will inevitably encounter a parade of retired generals demanding an increased US military presence in the region. They will say that our government should deploy, as retired General Anthony Zinni demanded, up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle IS. Or as in retired General Jack Keane’s case, they will make more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region.

But what you won’t learn from media coverage of IS is that many of these former Pentagon officials have skin in the game as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry.

Continue reading here

Countdown 2014: Only 48 Days Until Election Day

•September 16, 2014 • 2 Comments

By Katrina Taylor

We’re in the midst of a vital election season, the results of which will determine the direction of the nation for some time to come. So many people struggling with low wages, high costs and debt makes the choice clear. In an unprecedented move, Republicans have done nothing to help the country since the economic crisis five years ago. They chose a strategy of “NO’ when their constituents and the nation needed them most and have taken the obstruction of government to heights before unknown. I call it treasonous for elected officials to so blatantly seek to sabotage us all but that’s considered “extreme”.

Right.

President Obama and the Democrats have still managed to turn the ship away from the ruin we were heading towards, even in the face of tea party madness. The idiots who say we’re “worse off” now have no understanding of what worse means. Worse would be breadlines at this point since we were losing 700,000 jobs a month back then. Remember that? We stand now at fifty-four consecutive months of job growth. That’s called “better”.

It’s a small sacrifice to take a little time to go to the polls on November 4. I consider it a duty.

unpatriots

I get that the electorate has been kneaded and plied by so much nonsense, faux noise, intentional misinformation, poisoned panels, and corporate-owned perspectives, hope can be difficult to muster. But the greedy bastards never sleep. It’s their plan to wear you out with bullshit. With every positive step taken on behalf of the American people, corporate lobbyists and their cronies in congress have doubled-down against it. Now, we have Citizens’s United and crappy for-profit “colleges” sinking the next generation into massive debt before they even get a job. Politics may be a game and to be in it you gotta play it. But the Republican and Democratic parties have diametrically opposed visions for our future and we can’t afford to forget it. Remember when you’re feeling uninspired that women’s rights, civil rights, labor rights, basic human rights wouldn’t exist here left to our Republican legislators. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Your vote matters.

Our democracy is once again on the line and the choice, once again, is in our hands. The facts speak for themselves. When We, The People show up, there’s no stopping us.

The arc of justice bends towards truth and the majority tends towards what’s right for the whole, whether or not the whole sees it.

We just need to show up.

The general meme in Washington these days is that people don’t pay attention to the midterms but these are unprecedented times. It’s up to us to get the job done. The “Trickle Down Theory” has been a long, painful, epic fail. Enough already! It can only continue with our consent. Stop rewarding bad behavior.

VOTE!

 

Thanks MoveOn.org on fb for the graphic.

The Punditry vs. The Presidency

•September 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

How the constant chorus of ‘do something’ Obama foreign policy critics gets it wrong

BY MICHAEL COHEN - NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Sunday, August 31, 2014, 4:30 AM

obamatoreigntansuit

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

Its appeal is not hard to understand; it’s so easy to play.

Step 1: Pick a foreign crisis that touches even slightly on U.S. national security interests. This shouldn’t be hard, because the United States defines practically everything in the world as being an American interest.

Step 2: Make clear that this is no garden-variety problem but rather “the defining crisis of [OBAMA'S] presidency,” or a threat to the “very foundations of global order” or the answer to the question, “is this how World War III begins.”

Step 3: Bemoan the lack of “leadership,” “strategy,” “attention” or “fortitude” from the commander in chief. Note that the President is “weirdly detached” and “emotionally disengaged” (bonus points for a Churchill reference).

Make corny jokes about how Obama’s focus on golf is “turning into ‘a real handicap.'” Ask snarky questions like “what would it look like if America actually had a Middle East strategy” that wasn’t defined by “inaction” and the lack of a “clear vision.” Even suggest that if only a Russian strongman were running America, those terrorists would finally get their due.

Step 4: Insist that everything would be better if something had been done differently a few years ago (bonus points if you made that suggestion at the time).

Say things like:

“We should have ____ (“bombed Syria” or “supported the moderate rebels” or “bombed Syria and supported the rebels”)…

“If only we had ____ (“pressured Maliki” or “kept troops in Iraq” or “pressured Maliki and kept the troops in Iraq”)…

Continue reading here

Continue reading ‘The Punditry vs. The Presidency’

A Canadian’s View On Our Disrespect Of President Obama’s Presidency

•August 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

katrinataylor44:

“America, you know not what you have …”

Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

EgbertoWillies.com

America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake!

By William Thomas

There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm.

Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become the glaring exception to that unwritten, patriotic rule.

Four days before President Obama’s inauguration, before he officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Of course, when the president fails the country flounders. Wishing harm upon…

View original 909 more words

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

•August 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 By  Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont

Huffington Post 6/17/14

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors’ mansions and the presidency of the United States. These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough. Now, they want to own the United States government as well.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court handed down the 5-4 ruling in Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission. A few weeks ago, they announced another horrendous campaign finance decision in McCutcheon vs. FEC giving even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further. In the name of “free speech,” they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending — a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon — and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Importantly, as a means of being able to exercise unprecedented power over the political process, this has been the position of the Koch brothers for at least the last 34 years.

The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry. According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the “anti-business”, “socialist” and “oppressive” Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.

Continue reading here

NYT: Obama’s Other Success

•August 6, 2014 • 1 Comment

It’s amazing what the Obama administration has accomplished, in spite of the unprecedented obstruction of the party of NO. The President deftly bobs and weaves between the continuous, often irrational criticisms hurled from the right and left and actually gets stuff done. One can only imagine the state of the nation’s affairs were every elected official so committed to doing their jobs.

Slow and steady, steady and slow. The skills that have earned Barack Obama the presidency, twice, continue to work for the nation while Republicans remain stuck in the mire of their own fabrications. Obamacare is proving to be another feather in the President’s cap as the number of uninsured citizens rapidly drops along with projected costs. While Mitch McConnell continues to rant about the “disaster” of the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians have signed up, bringing that red state’s uninsured rate from 20.4% last year to 11.9% presently. 

Just keep talking, Mitch. See you out in November …

Financial reform has gotten even worse press than healthcare but an honest look at those numbers tells a similar tale. 

Forget about the haters. Let’s keep our focus forward.

President Obama got this, not that I ever had a doubt


Obama’s Other Success

obamashadesDodd-Frank Financial Reform Is Working

AUG. 3, 2014

Although the enemies of health reform will never admit it, the Affordable Care Act is looking more and more like a big success. Costs are coming in below predictions, while the number of uninsured Americans is dropping fast, especially in states that haven’t tried to sabotage the program. Obamacare is working.

But what about the administration’s other big push, financial reform? The Dodd-Frank reform bill has, if anything, received even worse press than Obamacare, derided by the right as anti-business and by the left as hopelessly inadequate. And like Obamacare, it’s certainly not the reform you would have devised in the absence of political constraints.

But also like Obamacare, financial reform is working a lot better than anyone listening to the news media would imagine. Let’s talk, in particular, about two important pieces of Dodd-Frank: creation of an agency protecting consumers from misleading or fraudulent financial sales pitches, and efforts to end “too big to fail.”

The decision to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shouldn’t have been controversial, given what happened during the housing boom. As Edward M. Gramlich, a Federal Reserve official who warned prophetically of problems in subprime lending, asked, “Why are the most risky loan products sold to the least sophisticated borrowers?” He went on, “The question answers itself — the least sophisticated borrowers are probably duped into taking these products.” The need for more protection was obvious.

Continuing reading here

 
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