A recent, very good post at Naked Capitalism by Clive, suggests:
. . . Dear readers, you may think that writing to your elected representative, commenting negatively on articles you read in the mainstream media about the TPP and generally kicking up a bit of a fuss, making some noise, is a waste of effort. That is not so. The world does watch what goes on in the US. If popular sentiment is against something, the US government has a much harder job of convincing foreigners that it’s just them being awkward and reactionary and not getting the big, progressive, reform-minded, modernising picture.
I agree that this is a good proposal for one way the American public could register its objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with foreign leaders. But, I think that such letters ought also to point out that even if the TPP were railroaded successfully in the next few months, then it is unlikely to stick. After all, it is only a Treaty. Wouldn’t an electoral victory here by a movement dedicated to overturning corporate control of the political system, result in withdrawal from the TPP before any concrete legislation likely to conflict with it was passed by Congress? Read more about The TPP: A Dangerous Proposal Whose Time Has Gone
Andre Damon in “US Congress passes bipartisan austerity budget” runs down details of the 1,582-page budget that was overwhelmingly accepted by both houses. In fact, it had a fast-tracked approval process Monday through Thursday in the Senate, suggesting that most of the senators never even read it.
Damon labels the new budget “reactionary” and “anti-working class in character” and points out that it reduces discretionary social spending to its lowest percentage since the 1950s. Read more about The New 1,582-page Bipartisan-Sell-Out Austerity Budget
Business Insider reporter Hayley Peterson discusses briefing materials Walmart uses to train its managers to deal with unionizing efforts. Read more about A Peek Inside Walmart's Anti-Union Playbook
What is this really about? Charles Pierce:
Today, someone from the chop shop took to the pages of Tiger Beat On The Potomac to make the case that, because politics are icky and people are mean, what the country needs is a bipartisan figurehead about whom we can all feel nicey-nice.
So Obama stood up at his year-end press conference on Friday and gave “an Orwellian defense of unrestrained US spying” according to Bill Van Auken in “Latest Snowden revelations expose Obama’s lies on NSA spy programs”.
“I have confidence that the NSA is not engaging in domestic surveillance and snooping around…”
Last week’s Politico Magazine ran a story quoting Wall Street executives who have become saddened and bewildered by how little pull they have in Washington:
Fred Klonsky has been all over the proposed pension theft scheme in Illinois. All these Illinois Democrats were elected by teachers, firefighters, police, et al. Why do public employees, or anyone else vote for Illinois Democrats?
Or Detroit, which just elected someone noted for the privatization experience. Why did they elect someone they knew would pillage their city?
I really do not understand it, what will take in order for people to learn that the Democratic party is irredeemably corrupt? Read more about People who vote against their own interests
Come the revolution we will need stronger laws to protect us from this trash. Read more about In case you weren't paranoid enough
Charlie Pierce, (not for the first time) is consumed with iration. The cause of his irritation: the threat by Inifinito Gold (love that name...) to sue the Country of Costa Rica for $1 Billion (U.S.).
Infinito is aggrieved to the point of litigation by Costa Rican objections to consuming the cyanide byproducts of its open pit mining operation. Read more about National sovereignty is dead--get over it. (Also, amend the UN Charter...)
Lately, I've had the feeling that “progressive” journalists and commentators too often pull their punches in calling attention to social problems, by underestimating the magnitude of problem-related statistics such as the unemployment rate and the number of fatalities due to lack of health insurance in the United States. My theory about this is that “progressives” are being defensive in their approach and bending over backwards to give the right wing the benefit of the doubt by understating numbers out of an abundance of caution. Read more about Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated? Update
Kate Randall in “Obamacare exposed: The gutting of health care for workers” contends that affordable, quality health care will not be provided by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Read more about That Popping Noise? The Obamacare Bubble!
I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.
Sirota’s answer for that is simple. BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”
I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party. Read more about Sirota: ‘Liberal Washing’ -- the Enabling of Plutocratic Exploitation
Despite all the Team Dem 24/7 media propaganda, what Obama’s “counter”-reform Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will do is shift most of the financial burden of medical care profoundly on average American families by callously raising costs at the same time assuring substandard care, and as if that weren’t enough, it will penalize those who choose not to register for said substandard care.
Kind of lose/lose for the American people. Buy health-jeopardizing cut rate insurance or pay for not purchasing cut rate insurance. Read more about Obamacare - Each Day Another Fresh Hell!
Lately, I've had the feeling that “progressive” journalists and commentators too often pull their punches in calling attention to social problems, by underestimating the magnitude of problem-related statistics such as the unemployment rate and the number of fatalities due to lack of health insurance in the United States. My theory about this is that “progressives” are being defensive in their approach and bending over backwards to give the right wing the benefit of the doubt by understating numbers out of an abundance of caution.
If this is right, then my reply is that underestimating problem-related numbers is just as bad as over-estimating them, and that what people ought to do is try to provide the best estimates they can and let the critical chips fall where they may. In this post, I want to raise a question about the accuracy of the numerical estimates of US deaths due to lack of health insurance often seen in articles and blogs authored by people, like myself, who favor eliminating insurance coverage shortfalls by passing Medicare for All. Read more about Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated?