Archive for March, 2015

A Detailed Look at the Dishonesty in the New Republican Budget

  The One Percent
Read and remember :  In his New York Times Opinion “Trillion Dollar Fraudsters”, Paul Krugman examines the “monstrous con-job … the current GOP budget”.  His summary of that budget is best described in his words: “What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer.”  We cannot continue to look the other way at these flagrant political moves.  We must remember, get angry and vote accordingly.
 
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GMOs, A Shocking Video About the Worldwide MONSANTO Plague

 GMO - No Thanks
Watch this and become angry:  The chemical company Monsanto is actively spreading (legally forcing) the use of its’ favorite chemical glyphosate everywhere it can.  In an article on http://www.addictinginfo.org/ by Jameson Parker, reports that Monsanto “recently made headlines once again when a World Health Organization report found that the ingredient glyphosate was likely posing considerable risk to people.”  The legal methods by which it is able to force itself on people in the United States is unbelievable, but what it is able to do in less developed countries should make us all outraged.  This film gives you an overall feel for legal corporate monstrosities running amuck worldwide.  Watch and listen to experts in many fields who have been fighting Monsanto and other companies often to their own dismay.
 

 

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Reality is: A Strong Social Safety Set Actually Increases Entrepreneurship

 Safety Net - For those who need it
Read this: The “Right” continues to say just the opposite but studies are showing that a “strong social safety net increases entrepreneurship”.  Expansion of food stamp program, Children’s Health Insurance Program and other programs actually helps and often without the program actually dishing out the money.  For those entrepreneurs thinking about taking a chance, often “simply knowing that they could fall back on food stamps if their venture failed was enough to make them more likely to take risks.”
 

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Democracy Requires A Little Participation – Here’s A Start.

 Democracy -
Read this:  This Moyers & Company article notes that “that a majority of Americans are fed up with the way big money is distorting our politics”.   The problem is that we don’t do much about it and the ones in power know it.  The most visible way to participate in our Democracy is to vote and yet in 2014 midterm elections results were “decided with the lowest turnout in over 70 years”.  The wealthy seem to buy, run and write the laws for every part of our government and we either don’t realize it or just don’t seem to know what to do.  Well, Moyer’s staff came up with a list of suggestions worth thinking about.  They list and expand on 8  “campaigns they’re working on that you can get involved in to get money out of politics”, though there are many more.  But, this may be a good starting point for both thought and action.  As Thom Hartman says each day regarding participating and practicing democracy as he ends his show, “TAG, YOU’RE IT“.
 

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Urge your senators to oppose harmful budget amendments.

 Tax cuts - Don't help
Sign the Petition:  This is one of the ways real and often transparent damage is done in the name of creating a federal budget.  “Literally hundreds of proposals — many of which have nothing to do with funding the government — have been introduced by senators trying to sneak corporate giveaways past their constituents and the media.”  This whole process will seldom make the nightly news.  “This rapid-fire “vote-o-rama” — with senators raising their hands to support gutting consumer protections, undermining the public’s constitutional rights and blocking progress — is more like an auction than a functioning democratic process.”
“Here are a few examples of the regressive ideas:
    • Deregulatory schemes that would obstruct federal agencies from protecting consumers and holding reckless corporations accountable.
    • Policies that would block Environmental Protection Agency pollution controls, stymie penalties for corporate polluters and derail U.S. participation in international agreements to confront climate change.
    • Wall Street-pandering maneuvers to defang and defund hard-won, commonsense reforms designed to prevent future financial crises and predatory rip-offs.
The vote-o-rama’s playlist is exactly the kind of corporate-lobbyist-conceived legislative nonsense we have come to expect since Citizens United-enabled election spending has filled Congress with even more puppets of Big Business.”
 

 

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Out With Reid and In With – Oh Please, A Strong Progressive

 Senate - Seal
Read this: This Mother Jones article, by Patrick Caldwell, discusses a couple of possible replacements for Harry Reid since he announced “he will give up his leadership post and retire in 2016”.  The two possibilities mentioned here are New York Sen. Chuck Schumer who is maybe too sympathetic to Wall Street than the rest of his caucus.  The other Senator mentioned is “Washington’s Patty Murray”, who may be “a pragmatic progressive who will push for the most liberal policies she can pass while still being willing to forge compromise with the centrists in her party”.  Many feel “Murray certainly has the résumé to compete for the job” and a plus is that as a progressive, she would be the “be the first woman to serve as a party leader in the US Senate.”  Whether Murray can defeat Schumer or others get into the mix will be soon determined.  I for one would welcome a strong, maybe even stubborn progressive.
 

 

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A Candidate With Some Different Ideas – Not Bad!

 Good Luck
Read this:  OK, this article in The Nation, by Michael Moore, is a bit of a reach and yes lots of people don’t particularly like him (why I have no idea), but he brings up several really desirable policy changes.  Of course, since it is Michael Moore there is always nested sarcasm, but several of his ideas would be great as talking points in all of the 2016 presidential debates.  I would love to see Hillary forced to seriously deal with many of these, and can you imagine seeing the Republican Oligarchy lovers discussing them?  Although this is obviously just an entertaining article it seriously emphasizes the fact that the real issues / policies that could help average Americans and maybe help turn our priorities around are probably not going to be discussed during the upcoming debates and even if mentioned, have little chance of becoming policy.  I would love to see Michael Moore at the table.  Let’s make it a real Progressive event.  How about Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ralph Nader, Robert Redford, Jerry Brown, Dennis Kucinich and others.  BRING IT ON GANG!  While we are at it, let’s change the format of the debates so there can be real discussions and no reiterations of talking points.
 

 

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Science Museums Urged to Cut Ties With Fossil Fuel Donors

 Science - Ideas
Read this: This article from Inside Climate News, by Kathering Bagley, discusses a “letter from Nobel laureates and other scientists goes to 330 institutions urging them to cut ties with the industry responsible for climate misinformation.”  This is fantastic, but will not happen easily as they are being asked to cut ties with many of their largest benefactors.  As stated: “Museums, even unintentionally, are unlikely to bite the hand that feeds them. There is a threat of self-censorship where the philanthropy serves to make museums more reticent to offend the donor, or certainly to critique the practices of the donor.”  With monetary influence coming from people like the Koch brothers, we must ask “Why would a science museum have a science denier, who is actively aiding and abetting denial, in a position of power?”  “Climate change and other issues are based on evidence and facts,” said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and a signatory of the letter. “All too often, vested interests come in and cast doubt where it should not exist and ideology rears its head.”
 

 

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Free Trade Agreements like TPP Threaten Democratic Decision-making

 TPP - NO
Read this: This article from The Nation magazine, by Mike Konczal, takes a look at what is really at stake in “Free Trade” agreements like TPP.  We are told by implication and direct statements that these agreements are about “Free Trade”, but instead, they “are about which bureaucrats make decisions about markets that operate between countries.”  They are about something known as “investor-state dispute settlement”.  “Investor-state dispute settlement is a method of private arbitration by which private companies operating in foreign countries can bring lawsuits if that country violates the terms of agreed-upon trade.”  This new type of bureaucracy is essentially a method for large corporations to circumvent democracy by overriding laws and regulations put in place by a country or state.  “These bureaucratic organizations are far more accountable to the interest of corporate investors, and don’t have to balance their interests against those of public health or stability.”
 

 

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What Fossil Fuel Disasters You Ask – Well Here’s An Interactive Map To Help You.

 Fossil Fuel Industry - Bad Business Model
Check this out: Celebrating the 26th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska is probably not mentioned in most TV news shows.  It, along with the BP  disaster in the gulf are the main ones most of us think of.  Guess what.  Even concentrating on “major accidents only” they are but a drop in the bucket of our “Fossil Fuel Disasters”.  “The Sierra Club’s new interactive map shows some of the worst fossil fuel disasters in the last ten years — driving home how important it is that these dirty and dangerous fuels stay in the ground.”  It is hard to say much besides “WOW” after looking at some of these.
 

 

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