Archive for category American People
The dismal Trump inauguration has been eclipsed by today’s demonstrations against Trump. The crowd was estimated at 500,000 in Washington DC, while a total of 2.6 million came out in hundreds of marches in cities in all 50 states and around the world. A record-setting example of People Power. Chelsea Handler led a march with 8,000 people in Park City.
I am encouraged because the spirit of the demonstrations has been festive and optimistic. Our Democracy isn’t finished yet! What a contrast to Trump’s “carnage” speech yesterday.
Being brave in the “home of the brave”, is a tiny bit less of a crime today as Obama pardons Chelsea Manning for doing what was right and informing the American people of grave failures in some very bad military mission procedures of the recent past. This will probably not clean up Obama’s poor stewardship of the concept of whistle blower protections, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
I couldn’t find the most recent list of pardons, but another I would like to see is of former governor Don Siegelman. A documentary will shortly be released about this American political prisoner, entitled “Atticus v. The Architect”. The Architect, in this instance, being poster boy of a justice and election system gone mad, Karl Rove. Architect is much to kind of a word to describe this destructive animal.
Another pardon I’d like to see would be Edward Snowden, but that one is very unlikely despite reports that no security threats to America came as a result of his acknowledged vital disclosures of the dramatic overreaching of Americas vast and dangerous surveillance complex.
The presidential debates should be an opportunity to focus on the most important issues of the day. Unfortunately, the producers of the second debate failed miserably at this goal, because of their selection of which questions to ask.
Prior to the debate, the producers agreed to consider the top thirty questions voted on by the public at Open Debates. The question with the third largest number of votes, posed by Ellen Pleasant from North Carolina in the video below, was “Do you support expanding, and not cutting, Social Security’s modest benefits?”
That straightforward question was voted third, out of more than 12,000 questions on which to vote. Over 45,000 Americans voted for Ellen’s question. With poll after poll showing that retirement insecurity is a top financial concern of most Americans and with the reality that Social Security is likely to be even more important in the future, the voting is no surprise.
But the moderators did not ask it – or any of the other questions in the top thirty…
Why not ask such an obvious question? David Dayen explains: Debate Moderators Under the Spell of Deficit-Obsessed Billionaire Pete Peterson.
Who is Peter G. Peterson? He is a former Nixon cabinet official and private equity billionaire who has been demanding cuts to programs he’s too rich to rely upon since the early 1980s. Peterson was the inspiration behind President Obama’s failed Catfood Commission and many phony “grassroots” groups calling for austerity budgets, and ending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
If you watch cable TV, you have seen the scary Peter G. Peterson ads warning us of impending economic collapse unless the Washington politicians come up with more tax cuts for the rich and benefits cuts for the 99 Percent.
Everybody in America totally rejects Peterson’s austerity plans. Everybody, that is, except the 1 Percenters and their bipartisan representatives in the nation’s capital. Even if Peterson remains unsuccessful in his quest to destroy our social safety net, his relentless propaganda helps stifle the debate about EXPANDING Social Security and other programs – which is what we ought to do.
A government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the opposite of what Peterson and his political allies such as Hillary Clinton want to achieve.
Did anyone notice in the last debate when Hillary pledged she would “not add a penny to the Debt?” That was Peter G. Peterson talking.
Jill Stein advocates an immediate presidential pardon of Edward Snowden, American hero.
Snowden’s whistleblowing was among the most important in US history. It showed us that the relationship between the people of the United States and the government has gone off track and needs a major course correction.
The fourth amendment of the constitution provides that a court must find probable cause that an individual has committed a crime before issuing a warrant, and forbids systematic spying on the American people. The requirement of individualized suspicion should prohibit this type of dragnet surveillance. Spying on whole populations is not necessary, and is actually counterproductive.
If elected president I will immediately pardon Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou for their important work in exposing the massive, systematic violation of our constitutional rights. I would invite them to the White House to publicly acknowledge their heroism, and create a role for them in the Stein-Baraka Green party administration to help us create a modern framework that protects personal privacy while still conducting effective investigations where warranted.
The American people have a right to privacy. My hope is that Obama uses his power to pardon Snowden now. The debate he began must be continued so we find a resolution that protects the freedom of press, association, religion and speech as well as the privacy of people in the United States and around the world.
The Guardian: Edward Snowden makes ‘moral’ case for presidential pardon
After the Bush administration presided over the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, American households lost about $16.4 trillion of net worth. The value of real estate alone dropped by $6 trillion.
Instead of making the big banks eat these losses, our government decided to let the middle class pay for Wall Street’s mistakes – even if it meant circumventing the law. “Rocket dockets” (up to 1,000 cases per day) and “robo-signing” (the mass production of false affidavits) enabled the biggest robbery of all time. Some homeowners faced court-ordered foreclosure even though they never took out a mortgage!
David Dayen has laid it all out in a new book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud
Example of “robo-signing”
Political analysts still manage to wonder why people are angry in a time of economic recovery, without ever even hinting recognition of the scarring impact of the foreclosure disaster. More than 9.3 million American families gave up their home between 2006 and 2014, either in a foreclosure or a short sale or some other transaction. That translates to about 14 million people, all of whom have family and friends and colleagues who at least know of the pain caused by the foreclosure crisis. There have been more since then.
It didn’t have to turn out that way. All of the losses didn’t have to be placed upon homeowners. Somebody could have been held responsible. We could have enforced the simple rule that you can’t take a person’s home with false evidence. This bare minimum would have engendered some faith that the system works, that justice still burns somewhere in America.
“Somebody could have been held responsible.” Instead, the Obama administration looked the other way during the “fraudclosure” crisis. They did the same thing on U.S. war crimes, on CIA torture, and on widespread warrantless surveillance of Americans. Only the truth-tellers went to federal prison, never the criminals.
As Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” Because the corporate media coverage of the presidential race is barely mentioning the issues that affect you and me.
Lately all over cable TV they are vociferously debating whether Donald Trump is paying enough respect to the family of a U.S. Army captain who died heroically 12 years ago during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq (that Hillary voted for as a senator), after the father of said fallen warrior aimed a gratuitous insult at the notoriously thin-skinned Trump in a partisan DNC speech.
Most likely, this is a picture of the 2016 presidential campaign for the next 100 days. Hillary using surrogates to get Trump to say something that dominates the news cycle, or trying to get Trump to lose his temper during a debate. Anything Trump says is automatically news. Hillary has not held a press conference since last year.
What could the candidates talk about? Well, here is one suggestion. There is another recession coming, sooner rather than later. How will Hillary and Trump deal with the consequences?
Instead of ending the world of banks that are “too big to fail” and preventing banks from operating in ways that could again sink the economy, we have guaranteed them that the taxpayers are ready and waiting when they make another catastrophic mistake.
The Dodd-Frank regulations are not completely written yet, and probably won’t be in effect when the Wall Street billionaires crash our financial sector again. Is the American middle class about to take another big hit? Can somebody offer a plan to help us? We haven’t even recovered from the last time.
Hillary is going to have to offer much more than her current “OMG Trump!” campaign.
‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011
“Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.”
— Michael Moore
According to economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, the Gini coefficient in this country is now the highest it has ever been. “We went from one of the most egalitarian places in the world to one of the least,” Williamson told the Washington Post. “What happened?”
In his chronicle of the young United States in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that “nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people.”
The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality in which 0 is perfect equality and 100 would mean perfect inequality, or one person owning all the wealth. A recent study by the financial services corporation Allianz found that the U.S. had the most extreme wealth inequality in the world, with a score of 80.56 – the highest concentration of overall wealth in the hands of the proportionately fewest people.
Didn’t want anybody to miss this very well done YouTube creation, utilizing America’s pioneering situation comedy, “The Honeymooners”.
Snopes.com confirms: Toddlers killed more Americans than terrorists in 2015.
There were 58 total toddler-involved shootings in 2015, including 21 fatal shootings. In comparison, 19 Americans were killed in instances of suspected, reported, or potential Islamic terrorism in 2015. If you count an American victim of the Paris attacks, that number rose to 20.
In addition, there were 45 school shootings in the USA during 2015.
Not counted in the statistics is the tragic death of Veronica Rutledge, shot in the head by her 2-year-old son in Wal-Mart just after Christmas 2014. He found the handgun in her brand-new gun purse, a gift from her husband.
The most recent story involved a 4-year-old who picked up a gun in the rear seat of a car and shot his mom in the back while she was driving. Fortunately both of them survived. The mom has been described as “a fierce gun advocate and Ted Cruz supporter.”