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

HuffPo: Lucy: Why I’m Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen

•August 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’ve often wondered if White people get as irritated as I do about Hollywood’s obvious obsession with White supremacy. Republican-esque in its attempts to rewrite history and change the future by simply rewriting it, producers on screens, large and small, seem incapable of including people of color as equals in an abundant happy world. If Blacks, Latinos, or Asians are included at all, 99.9% of the time, they’re relegated to some stereotypical role. The potential damage to the self-perceptions of young minds of color is obvious, much less the young White minds expected to hold up a false narrative of superiority? An endeavor that brings about its own insanity which has been disturbingly apparent after the election of the first Black president.

This article is a resounding YES to this question, though it will take many more combined voices to change these perverse traditions of Hollywood. Like the author, I too love film. But theaters have gotten fewer of my dollars over the years because of this persistent, imbalanced focus. What we see on film informs what we wear, eat, drink, think … how we see ourselves, no matter how much we might want to deny it. Imagine what good could come about if this wonderful medium was more reflective of reality. From the looks of things, this old commitment to the pretense is driving us all a bit mad. Some more than others.


Lucy: Why I’m Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen

LUCY SCARLET

I’m tired of seeing white people on the silver screen.

First, let me note that I am white. I am a white woman who goes to the theater to see probably a dozen films (if not more) in a given year, a white woman who readily consumes TV shows and series and often blogs/tweets about them. I love film. I love what Hollywood could be, but I must say that I don’t love what it is, and that is a machine generating story after story in which the audience is asked to root for a white (usually male) hero over and over and over (and over) again. I’m tired. I’m tired of directors pretending that white actors are the default and that people of color are a distraction when it comes to filmmaking. I’m tired of black women in Hollywood being relegated to roles of slaves and “the help” over and over again. I’m tired of films convincing themselves that they are taking on something fresh and new, the likes of which the world has never seen, but in actuality adhering to tired tropes and stereotypes.

One example that comes to mind is Avatar, a “groundbreaking” film about aliens and humanity, which, underneath it all, is the same old White Savior story. But more recently is Lucy, the film starring Scarlett Johansson

Read full story here

Mitch Has Got to Go

•July 18, 2014 • 3 Comments

Mitch McConnell is on the ropes and has dropped in the polls against challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky. I called him as “toast” last year and I hold to that. He is done, imo. But as always, it’s up to We, The People to show up!

Mrs. Grimes out-raised the corporate-owned McConnell this past Wednesday by a million dollars and if Mitch stays true to form (and we know he will), he’ll help to do himself in come election day

Vote!


 

mitchgottogo

Punish Them In November

•July 14, 2014 • 2 Comments

Vote!!!

repubspending

Best President EVER!!!

•July 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

In a recent visit to Austin Texas to speak on the economy, President Obama lays it down with real talk.

You would think folks would’ve figured it out by now. Do not come for he  :)

Here are a couple of  gems

 


 

Ted Cruz Launches Senate Fight to Auction Off America’s Public Lands

•July 11, 2014 • 2 Comments

Today’s Republican Party won’t rest until we’re living in a Mad Max world. In spite of their best efforts, I feel they’re fighting a losing battle. But we have to be committed in order to stop them and show up at the polls come November.

Vote!


 

dystopia

By Claire Moser, Guest Contributor – Think Progress July 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

After a busy few months trying to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder, increase carbon pollution, and wipe out limits on campaign contributions, Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is now working to sell off America’s national forests, parks, and other public lands.

On Tuesday, Cruz filed an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363) to force the federal government to sell off a significant portion of the country’s most prized lands in the West. The amendment would prohibit the federal government from owning more than 50 percent of any land within one state, and requires the government to transfer the excess land to the states or sell it to the highest bidder.

Read full post here

 
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