Archive for category 2016 Elections

Allan Lichtenstein: ‘The rich get richer, the rest get poorer’

Wealth and Income Share of the Top 1%, 1913-2012

Wealth and income share of the top 1 percent

Via Truthout:

At one of the many high-dollar fundraisers Hillary Clinton held during the month of August, a personal-check donation of $100,000 would get an attendee a photo with Hillary, according to a recent New York Times article. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paul McCartney at a waterfront Hampton’s estate fund-raiser, Hillary “joined in a sing-a-long finale to ‘Hey Jude’.”

…Since the late-1970s, the top one percent of families have been steadily accumulating a larger share of the nation’s wealth (total assets people own net of their debts), recessions notwithstanding. In 2012 (the most recent available data), the top one percent of families (1.6 million families, each with at least $4 million in assets in 2012) held about 42 percent of all the wealth. Although still below the 1928 peak of 51 percent, the growth has been spectacular, almost doubling in close to 40 years.

“We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Louis Brandeis

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Mike Weinholtz Takes On Governor Herbert In First Debate

weinholtz-ad

I took the liberty of modifying the only known recording of this important event by cropping a citizens cell phone recording and amplifying the sound. This one-on-one debate nearly didn’t happen. Herbert only agreed to debate Weinholtz once on September 26th, but changed his mind at the last minute. I guess you could call this a flash debate.

I wanted people to see what a great leader Weinholtz would be for Utah. He really did a great job!

Original debate video can be found at Mike Weinholtz’s webpage.

4 Comments

Jill Stein: Pardon Edward Snowden, Now

Jill Stein advocates an immediate presidential pardon of Edward Snowden, American hero.

Pardon Edward Snowden, now

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.

More info:
The Guardian: Edward Snowden makes ‘moral’ case for presidential pardon
ACLU: PardonSnowden.org

8 Comments

Here’s Why You Can Fear Trump

Our public lands

If you are looking for a reason to fear a Donald Trump administration, then take a look at his economic plan (emphasis added).

WASHINGTON: At a private meeting of conservatives in Cleveland this summer, Donald Trump’s senior economic adviser, Stephen Moore, said the candidate planned to pay for his costly proposals by eliminating the departments of Commerce, Energy and Education; lifting all restrictions on mining, drilling and fracking; ending Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, and offering rust-belt factory workers new jobs on oil rigs and steel mills.

Of course, federal restrictions are not stopping the development of fossil fuels at all. The only check on the industry is the current slump in prices.

On the contrary, our public lands (that we own!) are wide open to corporate oil & gas exploration, coal mining, you name it. What is needed is a leasing ban for public lands – but Hillary Clinton refuses to propose such a ban, and she has long since abandoned an earlier promise to phase out coal.

If coal, oil and natural gas didn’t get subsidized, renewable energy would be recognized as being incomparably cheaper than fossil fuels. Why are the major-party presidential candidates not proposing to create jobs with nationwide programs for solar and wind energy? Remember candidate Obama’s 2008 promise of a “green economy” before he became the fracker-in-chief?

The only candidate with an economic program that will help us instead of the corporations is Jill Stein, who proposes “a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

UPDATE:
CNBC Debunks Industry-Backed Study Behind Trump’s Dirty Energy Plan

More info:
Behind Closed Doors, Donald Trump’s Adviser Explains His Real Economic Plan
Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton ‘Sold Fracking to the World’

23 Comments

Hillary Emerges From Hiding, Says Nothing

I know there is plenty of speculation that Donald Trump is deliberately trying to lose the presidential election, but what about Hillary Clinton?

Clinton unveiled her plane, a Boeing 737-800 informally dubbed “Hill Force One,” and allowed press to fly with her for the first time during her campaign.

Hillary has been dropping in the polls, and the latest IBD/TIPP Poll indicates a tie with Trump.

Clinton and Trump are tied at 39% each in a four-way matchup that includes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who gets 12% support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who gets 3%.

Hillary hasn’t held a press conference since Dec. 5, 2015. She has been largely absent from the campaign trail for weeks, instead attending private fundraisers with the 1 Percent at hedge fund mansions.

Today Hillary appeared in Cleveland, Ohio in her new campaign plane, which parked next to Donald Trump’s plane. She delivered a speech that began with a massive coughing fit, and continued in a hoarse voice while MSNBC and CNN cut away (C-SPAN stayed with live coverage). The message: “Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump.” Um, what about the issues? Is there any reason at all for average non-rich Americans to vote for Hillary?

Trump plane Clinton plane
Trump’s Boeing 757 parked near Clinton’s leased 737 today in Cleveland, OH

UPDATE:
CNN/ORC poll has Trump leading within the margin of error, 45% to 43%.

More info:
A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, rarely seen, rarely heard
Where Has Hillary Clinton Been? Ask the Ultrarich
Hillary Clinton Starts Speech With Massive Coughing Fit: “Every Time I Think About Trump I Get Allergic”

16 Comments

1 Percenters Celebrate Anniversary of Clinton’s ‘Welfare Reform’

Via The Intercept: 20 Years Later, Poverty Is Up, But Architects of “Welfare Reform” Have No Regrets

A gathering Monday in Washington, D.C., featured a bipartisan group of former government officials agreeing on the benefits of slashing the nation’s safety net.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of “welfare reform,” the 1996 law passed by Congress and administered by President Bill Clinton that strictly limited the amount of federal cash assistance that the poorest Americans can receive — transforming the Aid for Families with Dependent Children program into the more restrictive Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

One of the main impacts of the law was to help double the number of American households living in extreme poverty in America – defined as living on less than $2 a day.

The Capitol Hill event, hosted by the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and the Progressive Policy Institute, which has been referred to as President Bill Clinton’s “idea mill,” celebrated the 20th anniversary of the law. Its architects said they had no regrets about its passage.

Former Michigan Republican governor John Engler, who pioneered state-level welfare cutbacks and who today serves as the head of the corporate lobbying group the Business Roundtable, recounted how Bill Clinton’s support helped make national welfare reform possible.

“It was pretty stunning in 1992 to have a Democratic candidate for president, albeit a 12-year veteran in the governor’s office talking about ending ‘welfare as we know it,’” he said. “That was a pretty decisive moment.” …

…At the conclusion of the event, the speakers and audience were treated to a reception featuring alcoholic drinks, cheesecake squares, specialty meats, and gourmet cheese.

The U.S. poverty rate has been increasing since 2000. The 2015 Census Bureau statistics have not been released yet, but in 2014 46.7 million Americans (14.8 percent) were in poverty. Only 4.1 million receive assistance from TANF.

4 Comments

When Your Society Fails, Does It Make a Sound on the Radio?

rush 1I guess we’ll see. I’d be very surprised to see the rest of the “news” spewers like Limbaugh, even mention that an influential, local right wing radio host from Wisconsin has realized his job hasn’t exactly been helping his society at large.

Charlie Sykes is finally, man enough to admit he, and those like him created Trump, but it goes much deeper then that, because an entire generation of Americans have been hidden from any kind of interesting debate, in favor of a verbal wresting match where any earnest man always gets disqualified from even participating by the corporate interests who own our airwaves. Sometimes the paid talkers get bored and let somebody on who can actually bring facts into the conversation, before they turn his mic off, or try to make him lose his composure.

This obvious controversy has been let out of the box much too late for Fox-like-viewers to have their minds changed in the midst of a train wreak election, but I guess we can hope for a scrap of justice to fall our way. It got reported on by the media-omnipresent “Talking Points Memo”. (sarcasm).

Conservative Pundit Owns Up To Role In Trump’s Rise: We ‘Created This Monster’

Don’t miss the important part of the TPM article. Charlie Sykes really seems to be tiring of his miserable, influential, corporate job. This part of an interview with him is SPOT ON!

darcy tweet 2

Nothing will happen. We live in an oligarchy.

12 Comments

Michael Moore: Donald Trump Doesn’t Want to be President

Donald Trump

Michael Moore, today on HuffPo: Trump Is Self-Sabotaging His Campaign Because He Never Really Wanted The Job In The First Place

Assuming Moore knows what he is talking about, this is both incredible and not really surprising. Donald Trump, after all, is not a politician. He never actually ran for political office before, and it’s possible that he didn’t originally intend to seriously run this year either! But NBC fired him after he claimed to be in the race, and there was no going back.

Donald Trump never actually wanted to be president of the United States. I know this for a fact. I’m not going to say how I know it…

…And then something happened. And to be honest, if it happened to you, you might have reacted the same way. Trump, to his own surprise, ignited the country, especially among people who were the opposite of billionaires. He went straight to #1 in the polls of Republican voters. Up to 30,000 boisterous supporters started showing up to his rallies. TV ate it up. He became the first American celebrity to be able to book himself on any show he wanted to be on — and then NOT show up to the studio! From “Face the Nation” to “The Today Show” to Anderson Cooper, he was able to simply phone in and they’d put him on the air live. He could’ve been sitting on his golden toilet in Trump Tower for all we knew — and the media had no problem with any of that. In fact, CBS head Les Moonves famously admitted that Trump was very good for TV ratings and selling ads — music to the ears the NBC-spurned narcissist.

Trump fell in love with himself all over again, and he soon forgot his mission to get a good deal for a TV show. A TV show? Are you kidding — that’s for losers like Chris Harrison, whoever that is (host of “The Bachelorette”). He was no longer king of the dealmakers — he was King of the World! His tiniest musings would be discussed and dissected everywhere by everybody for days, weeks, months! THAT never happened on “The Apprentice”! Host a TV show? He was the star of EVERY TV SHOW — and, soon, winning nearly every primary!

…Soon, though, his karma caught up with him. Calling Mexicans “rapists” should have disqualified him on Day One (or for saying Obama wasn’t born here, as he did in 2011). No, it took 13 months of racist, sexist, stupid comments before he finally undid himself with the trifecta of attacking the family of a slain soldier, ridiculing the Purple Heart and suggesting that the pro-gun crowd assassinate Hillary Clinton. By this past weekend, the look on his face said it all — “I hate this! I want my show back!” But it was too late. He was damaged goods, his brand beyond repair, a worldwide laughing stock — and worse, a soon-to-be loser.

The Tea-GOP is on the verge of really going down hard in this election. It’s not entirely Trump’s fault, because the Faux News Channel created this base of millions of misinformed and bigoted primary voters and right-wing politicians have pandered to them for years.

From the comments on Moore’s article:

He wanted a higher Q rating so he could get more TV money, it was obvious from the start. He knew the Republican base was stupid enough to get him some attention, he just didn’t realize how stupid they are.

13 Comments

Thomas Frank Warns Us Not To Trust The Less Trustworthy Candidate

Obama 2008

I’m not sure we actually have to be reminded never to trust a Clinton, however recently some have praised Hillary Clinton’s economic policy speech as if it mattered. I suspect her REAL economic views can be found in the Goldman Sachs speech transcripts that we’ll never see.

What matters are the polls showing she is the less trustworthy of the two major-party candidates. Which is amazing, considering that she is running against the guy who invented “Trump University.”

Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian, reiterates the fact that Hillary hasn’t changed.

As leading Republicans desert the sinking ship of Trump’s GOP, America’s two-party system itself has temporarily become a one-party system. And within that one party, the political process bears a striking resemblance to dynastic succession. Party office-holders selected Clinton as their candidate long ago, apparently determined to elevate her despite every possible objection, every potential legal problem. The Democratic National Committee helped out, too, as WikiLeaks tells us. So did President Barack Obama, that former paladin for openness, who in the past several years did nearly everything in his power to suppress challenges to Clinton and thus ensure she would continue his legacy of tepid, bank-friendly neoliberalism.

My leftist friends persuaded themselves that this stuff didn’t really matter, that Clinton’s many concessions to Sanders’ supporters were permanent concessions. But with the convention over and the struggle with Sanders behind her, headlines show Clinton triangulating to the right, scooping up the dollars and the endorsements, and the elites shaken loose in the great Republican wreck.

She is reaching out to the foreign policy establishment and the neocons. She is reaching out to Republican office-holders. She is reaching out to Silicon Valley. And, of course, she is reaching out to Wall Street

Don’t expect Hillary to follow through on her progressive promises if elected. She is the status quo candidate.

25 Comments

New Jill Stein Ad Pitches To Bernie Backers: Don’t Choose The Lesser Evil

“It’s time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good – like our lives depend on it. Because they do.”

–Dr. Jill Stein

Hopefully the Green Party will be on the ballot in Utah this year.

More info: www.jill2016.com

UPDATE:
Clinton’s third-party headache

Here’s why Democrats should be concerned: As Trump’s support has dwindled in recent days — leaving the GOP nominee with just his fervent supporters — some soft voters might be moving into Clinton’s camp when asked on a two-way ballot, but defecting to a third candidate when given other options.

“Trump voters are mainly Trump voters, but Clinton voters are still not quite happy that they’re going to end up voting for her,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, who has studied the role of third-party candidates in pre-election polls.

20 Comments

Can We Talk?

Convince me

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?

Get out your wallets, America: It might not be long before we’re bailing out “too big to fail” banks again

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.

16 Comments

Cenk Uygur: ‘I Need You Guys to Buckle Up’

This convention is likely to be a thousand times more raucous than the Republican Convention, more divided, and so it’s about to start in a little bit and I need you guys to buckle up because there could be a lot more action here than there was last week. Remember the Republicans by their nature are authoritarian. They will fall in line, because that’s what they do — they’re conservatives. Whereas liberals do not agree. And so they don’t agree with the corporate control, they don’t agree with the money in politics, and Hillary Clinton is never going to give it up. So, that dissension is super real, and you are about to see it the next four days.

The Young Turks – Live From the DNC

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