Despite excessive media coverage of the Sikh Temple massacre in Wisconsin on Sunday, August 5, 2012, perpetrated by veteran Wade Michael Page, according to Eric London at wsws our corporate media once again missed the critical element of the story, “the close connections between the US Armed Forces and various fascistic and white supremacist organizations."
US Armed Forces recruiters, officers and high-ranking executive branch officials have quietly provided fascist organizations with opportunities to recruit soldiers into the ranks of the National Socialist Movement, Hammerskins, White Military Men and National AllianceRead below the fold...
Dean Baker recently posted on the closed door meetings some prominent CEOs are having on shaping austerity budgets to be used after the election to pressure Congress to arrive at a bi-partisan compromise that will cut spending much more than it raises taxes and “put us on the road to fiscal sustainability and fiscal responsibility.” Dean rightly points out that these concerns are greatly overblown since the most important problem we are facing now is growing the economy and providing for full or near-full employment. In particular, he's very opposed to entitlement cuts and is opposed to the current bipartisan impulse to sacrifice entitlements on the altar of fiscal sustainability/responsibility. He then says:
”The question is how to make it so that popular sentiment overrides the big bucks of the corporate chieftains. The obvious answer would be to make the protection of these programs central issues in the election. Members of Congress and candidates for seats should be pressed to indicate where they stand on the proposed cuts to these programs.
“That means getting them to answer specific questions, like whether they support reducing the annual cost-of-living adjustment or raising the normal retirement age for Social Security or the age of eligibility for Medicare. These are among the most important issues in people's lives and voters should not have to go to the polls not knowing where the candidates for the House, the Senate or the presidency stand on them.
“People should also be aware that politicians are true masters of evasion on these questions. A response like, "I support Social Security and Medicare," should be taken to mean that they are prepared to support cuts for these programs. All of the people running for office are smart enough to know how to say that they oppose the cuts being put on the table, and they undoubtedly would say that they oppose the cuts, if it is true.
“Similarly, a statement like, "I oppose the privatization of Social Security and Medicare" should also be taken to mean that they are prepared to support cuts to these programs. Again, they are not being asked about privatization, it's not immediately on the table, why would they give an answer about privatization except to avoid admitting their support for cuts?
“The news media should also be pressed into service in this effort. It is their job to tell us the candidates' positions on important issues and there are few issues more important to voters than Social Security and Medicare. People should harangue their local newspapers and television stations to ask candidates their positions on cuts to these programs. This is far more important than most of the gossip about the campaigns that dominates news coverage.
“The whole effort here must be focused on smoking out politicians on where they stand on cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The CEOs want to do this behind closed doors because they know that politicians who have to answer to their constituencies will never be able to get away with these cuts. The key is to force the debate into the sunlight.”
While I very much agree with the idea that we must force this debate into the sunlight and should focus on getting our Representatives, Senators, and even Presidential candidates to take a “no entitlement cuts under any circumstances position,” I also think that the methods outlined above by Dean are unlikely to be enough to carry the day. Read below the fold...
For me this is simple. We have a giant problem in this country. It's the elephant in the room! We're a Democracy on the edge. We're in great danger of transitioning to a plutocracy: a society, economy and polity controlled by the rich. Read below the fold...
The 25th summit of NATO was held in Chicago.
What did it mean? I mean REALLY mean for us bottom and captive 99 percenters in the U.S. and in the world at large?
The propaganda paint job of the Obama regime is that NATO countries are doing mutual strategizing particularly to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan. Read below the fold...
Patrick Martin of wsws has posted a provocative article on Barack Obama’s campaign use of the “take out” of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Martin:
There is something particularly degrading about the use of a state killing—in which dozens of heavily armed special ops troops mowed down the fugitive in front of his wives and children—to promote a political campaign. Obama presents himself, not so much even as commander-in-chief, but as “hitman-in-chief,” appealing to the worst social instincts.
On the Black Agenda Report website Jemima Pierre writes:
Clearly, and methodically, “the US government is preparing for domestic insurrection.”
.... In only three years, the Obama administration and its enablers have established, legitimized, and normalized a national security state apparatus that removes any doubt that domestic policing is a prelude to a totalitarian police state. This apparatus has surpassed the Bush administration’s attempts to expand executive power by crushing the civil liberties of US citizens. And it has done so boldly, with only a few prominent critics, and without so much as a whimper from so-called leftists.Read below the fold...
Well, the legislation implementing “The Buffett Rule” has been voted down in Congress as we all knew it would be. But so what? The Federal Government doesn't really need your money, since it can generate all the money it needs to pay off the national debt and also close any gap between tax revenues and Federal spending that Congress may want to legislate for the foreseeable future.
There's no problem of Federal solvency. There hasn't been since 1971, when the US went off the Gold Standard! The idea that we risk insolvency is just a fantasy of people who won't acknowledge that the US Government is the monopoly supplier of fiat currency to the non-Government sector of the economy, including all of the private sector.
However, even though your money isn't needed by the Government, it is very badly needed to help fund two things, I'll describe below. But, before I do that, since your patriotism has moved you to advocate for higher taxes for yourselves, I hope and expect that you will be motivated to spend the same amount in the two areas of activity where your money is most needed and would be much more effective in bringing the United States back to the state of a healthy democracy, than it would be if you and and other similarly situated patriots paid it to the Government in taxes.
I know you've frequently heard the Republican response to your proposals for higher taxes on very wealthy people like yourselves, namely that if you're so sure that higher taxes on the very wealthy are the right thing to do, then you can always contribute the additional money to the government, if you really want to. Well, my view is that you can equally well, and with much greater effect on restoring fair and effective functioning to our democracy, contribute that money directly to activities that will change key background conditions that are driving our democracy towards plutocracy right now. Here are the two areas of activity. Read below the fold...
The nation’s first Black President has taken us on the final descent into international barbarity with his drone offensive. It is a joy stick to Hell. Glen Ford
How can Obamacrats continue to ignore, minimize or even justify Obama’s ever escalating ILLEGITIMATE drone warfare?
Illegitimate war waging is the HIGHEST war crime. Read below the fold...
Manning’s case has become a waning sideshow, kept alive only at the periphery of our mainstream attention span by a very vocal support network, and not surprisingly, the foreign audience. But as Madar points out, "ignorance is not just a matter of information supply, but of demand." Today’s Americans care less about "the truth," much preferring celluloid rebels and the formulaic black and white tension of The Lorax and The Hunger Games to the ethical and moral complexities associated with flesh ’n blood risk takers and truth-seekers.Read below the fold...
Linn Washington, Jr. writes:
The mass disenfranchisement of thousands of blacks by Florida election officials during the 2000 presidential election allegedly won but actually stolen by George W. Bush remains a stinging point among blacks.
Florida’s then Governor Jeb Bush, George’s brother, later acknowledged his role in the voter suppression that handed the White House to his brother. Jeb Bush enthusiastically backed passage of the “Stand Your Ground “ law, calling it a “good, common-sense anti-crime measure.”Read below the fold...
According to Michael Klare, Obama has now launched a “military-first” policy in Asia. Or what any sane person would call it, a LOSE/LOSE policy. During his Nov. 19, 2011 visit to Australia, in Canberra Obama declared:
"After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region."
Klare paints the realpolitik, large, geo-political picture: Read below the fold...
What the FISA abuse vote, and the Robo-forgery settlement mean is that we have no law in the US. If you are big enough you can commit any crime and victims have no justice.
The criminal justice system is merely a way of keeping poor people in their place and creating a pool of low wage labor for Koch Industries.
The Democrats are part of this and anyone who votes for them is complicit in their crimes. It is not 2000 anymore, it is not even 2004. Our elites hold us in contempt and don't even pretend anymore.
We are way past the lesser evil. Read below the fold...