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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 35386 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #75 on: July 01, 2015, 07:55:48 pm »
Global Debt Time Bomb Ticks – Puerto Rico Is Next
Yep. The Oppenheimer Hedge fund/mutual fund (owner of 90% of those bonds) wants 100 cents on the dollar. The Governor has said that ain't gonna happen. The bond holders will be lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar.

The thing is that, according to the New York Times, MOST of that debt is IN mutual funds held by investors IN THE CONTINENTAL USA, NOT PUERTO RICO.

And here's the kicker. MOST OF THOSE mutual funds are packaged with other funds inside of 401ks or IRAs or whatever inside a hedge fund manager's bag of tricks. So a whole bunch of Americans that don't know anyhting about Puerto Rican bonds (and could care less about them) ACTUALLY ARE HOLDING THE BAG on this debt, thanks to the dude running their investments that has been chasing yield (using a risk IGNORING  algorithm). 

But never mind the ignoring of risk, the method to this risk management technique is to asset strip the target by MORE than the haircut you will be forced to eat. And, of course, only a few greed balls will actually profit (both setting up the bond scam and then grabbing lucrative properties when the scam goes belly up) while the rest of the suckers, most of them middle class and/or moderately wealthy NON-Puerto Rican investors, will get the shaft.

All the while, the poor and middle class of Puerto Rico, who didn't have anything to do with this and bought none of these bonds, are already getting the austerity polka with a 17% sales tax and a DOUBLING in property taxes in the last two years.   

As usual (see Greece), the "greedy, lazy, shiftless, irresponsible, fiscally brain dead, etc." Puerto Ricans will be blamed. But, just like the Greece deal, the bond thing was a scam for the moneyed elite FROM THE START.

The end game here (see Obama requesting Congress pass a law to allow Puerto Rico to declare Bankruptcy Chapter 9 - i. e. Detroit on a state level  :evil4:) is for the SAME hedge fund hyenas screaming for 100 cents on the dollar to end up picking up lucrative beach properties, tropical rain forest, coffee growing land owned by the government (and buildings, toll roads, ETC.)  for a song.

IOW, it's the GREECE asset stripping on behalf of the banker elite outside AND inside the government mens rea modus operandi ALL OVER AGAIN.   

A person made a comment in regard to the elite created Greek situation AND our bank bailout in 2008, which applies equally to Puerto Rico,  that pretty well summed up this Empathy Deficit Disorder based type of "economics".

Quote
Courtenay Smith ·  Top Commenter · Renton, Washington

The question here is where did the money go? Was this essentially the same Ponzi scheme the American financial institutions perpetrated at the end of the Bush Administration? Then banks used loans with no hope of repayment to generate bonds sold to investors assured of their value by a corrupt insurance group, except in this case it was the Greek treasury that was unsound?

It seems to me that some in the European community was colluding to create this disaster with no hope or thought of a positive result except for a small group that made off with the loot. It looks like someone was selling seats at a dinner table and when the dish was served the meal was found to be no more than well stirred mud.

 The similarity of what is happening in Greece and what is beginning to reoccur in America is unmistakable. The set may be a bit different but strangely the actors are the same. Financial Three Card Monte dealers.

You will notice that exactly the same solutions have been demanded by right wing politicians as were unsuccessfully demanded by the Republican'ts during our own Great Recession and that our right wing fiscal idiots are still pushing the same agenda with one new twist, crippling trade agreement that benefit no one but the corporate sector


From the article:


It is hard to avoid the sense that at work here is a plantation mentality. The overseers are dismayed that the serfs are not producing enough to repay their investments. Beatings are ordered; rations are cut. But the beatings and shortages lead only to less productivity, and less return on investment. So the overseers order more of the same. The beatings have failed. The beatings will continue. Greece’s agonies are Europe’s shame.


With a few word substitutions, it's just rinse and reDUMP on the poor of Puerto Rico for the benefit of the rich who are running this asset stripping scam both outside and inside Puerto Rico.

Of course, in Puerto Rico's case, the racist bigots will populate the comments in financial news with "reasonable, prudent, measured, etc." explanations for why this is happening in Puerto Rico...  ::)

If you don't believe me, just go to Yahoo or Zero Hedge.  :P

http://ourfuture.org/20150701/greeces-agonies-europes-shame
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2015, 07:33:30 pm »
Quote
But the New Deal was bigger than just a collection of acts and agencies. What made it so important in the long run was that it created the preconditions for an American middle-class.

You, middle-classes are not "natural" in a deregulated capitalist economy. They have to be created, created with regulations, unions, and smart trade policy.

In its natural state, capitalism is a lot like feudalism. There is a small sliver of superrich who rule over everyone else, followed by a slightly larger class of middle-managers and professionals. The vast majority of people, though, fall into the category of working poor, and they're basically serfs who have no power whatsoever.

This is what American society looked like before FDR became president. But after FDR's time in office, American society was totally different.

Read more at link.

Bernie Sanders Could be the Next FDR
http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2015/07/bernie-sanders-could-be-next-fdr
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #77 on: July 04, 2015, 08:00:09 pm »
agelbert • 1 day 22 hours ago #4
Quote
This isn’t some radical socialist idea, either. It’s what guided American society from the 1930s until the 1980s. It’s what works. And as President, Bernie Sanders would make it our number one priority once again.

Thom,
 Agreed. In fact, the Supreme Court FDR was saddled with was just like the one President Sanders would have to deal with. I would CERTAINLY be in favor of President Sanders PACKING THE PRESENT WORTHLESS, OLIGARCHY SUPPORTING, CORRUPT Supreme Court. With our vast increase in population in the last century, it would be a reasonable argument to claim we needed, for example, 31 Supreme Court justices, not nine.

Of course the crooks running our fossil fuel fascist government would scream bloody murder. SO WHAT? The argument is sound. And we should use it before THEY do.  ;D


- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2015/07/bernie-sanders-could-be-next-fdr#comment-325848
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #78 on: July 14, 2015, 08:23:47 pm »
Quote
To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible.

But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.



Quote
The corporate dismantling of civil society is nearly complete in Greece. It is far advanced in the United States. We, like the Greeks, are undergoing a political war waged by the world’s oligarchs. No one elected them. They ignore public opinion. And, as in Greece, if a government defies the international banking community it is targeted for execution. The banks do not play by the rules of democracy. 
 
Our politicians are corporate employees. And if you get dewy-eyed about the possibility of the U.S. having its first woman president, remember that it was Hillary Clinton’s husband who decimated manufacturing jobs with the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and then went on to destroy welfare with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which halted federal cash aid programs and imposed time-limited, restrictive state block grants. Under President Bill Clinton, most welfare recipients—and 70 percent of those recipients were children—were dropped from the rolls.

The prison-industrial complex exploded in size as its private corporations swallowed up surplus, unemployed labor, making $40,000 or more a year from each person held in a cage. The population of federal and state prisons combined rose by 673,000 under Clinton. He, along with Ronald Reagan, set the foundations for the Greecification of the United States.

Quote
The economic and political ideology that convinced us that organized human behavior should be determined by the dictates of the global marketplace was a con game.

Quote
Corrupt governments, ignoring the common good and the consent of the governed, abetted this pillage. The fossil fuel industry was licensed to ravage the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species, while being handed lavish government subsidies. None of this makes sense.


We Are All Greeks Now

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 By Chris Hedges

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/we_are_all_greeks_now_20150712
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2015, 07:37:46 pm »
Evidence of police dishonesty leads to overturned convictions nationwide

VTD Editor Jul. 19 2015, 6:53 pm

EXCELLENT COMMENTS:

Quote

jason wells
July 20, 2015 at 8:37 am

And the beat goes on. Just a few days ago I was fighting a bogus traffic ticket in the St. Johnsbury court after the Officer realized he was on the loosing end out came the lies and excuses. Thankfully I had brought photographic evidence that proved he was lying. So damming were the photos that there were a few gasps and chuckles in the courtroom about his bogus testimony. But guess what? I was found guilty anyways by the “judge” whom I found out after was not really a judge but just a local attorney paid to act as a judge in traffic court.

Traffic tickets or murder cases it is all the same they almost always lie and no one holds them accountable.


robert bristow-johnson 
July 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

it may be considered less serious than lying cops, but lying DCF social workers also cause miscarriages of justice in Vermont courts. families are destroyed.

and they are not held accountable.


Rama Schneider 
July 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

I’m still waiting for all the good police to start helping protect us from all the bad police.

Lengthy, accurate and revealing article at link.

http://vtdigger.org/2015/07/19/evidence-of-police-dishonesty-leads-to-overturned-convictions-in-arizona-massachusetts/
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #80 on: August 03, 2015, 06:24:28 pm »
“Yes, We’re Corrupt”: A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics

One of the most embarrassing aspects of U.S. politics is politicians who deny that money has any impact on what they do. For instance, Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania’s notoriously fracking-friendly former governor, got $1.7 million from oil and gas companies but assured voters that “The contributions don’t affect my decisions.”    If you’re trying to get people to vote for you, you can’t tell them that what they want doesn’t matter.

This pose is also popular with a certain prominent breed of pundits, who love to tell us “Don’t Follow the Money”  (New York Times columnist David Brooks), or “Money does not buy elections”  (Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner on public radio’s Marketplace), or “Money won’t buy you votes”  (Yale Law School professor Peter H. Schuck in the Los Angeles Times).

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Americans say we need to either “completely rebuild” or make “fundamental changes” to the campaign finance system. Just 13 percent think “only minor changes are necessary,” less than the 18 percent of Americans who believe they’ve been in the presence of a ghost.

So we’ve decided that it would be useful to collect examples of actual politicians acknowledging the glaringly obvious reality. Here’s a start; I’m sure there must be many others, so if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments or email me. I’d also love to speak directly to current or former politicians who have an opinion about it.

• “Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congressmembers. … So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors …” — Jimmy Carter, former president, in 2015. (Thanks to Sam Sacks.)

• “You have to go where the money is. Now where the money is, there’s almost always implicitly some string attached. … It’s awful hard to take a whole lot of money from a group you know has a particular position then you conclude they’re wrong [and] vote no.” — Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.


LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 25: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 25, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Republican Jewish Coalition's annual meeting featured potential Republican presidential candidates in attendance, along with Republican super donor Sheldon Adelson.
 

• “Lobbyists and career politicians today make up what I call the Washington Cartel. … [They] on a daily basis are conspiring against the American people. … [C]areer politicians’ ears and wallets are open to the highest bidder.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2015.

• “When you start to connect the actual access to money, and the access involves law enforcement officials, you have clearly crossed a line. What is going on is shocking, terrible.” – James E. Tierney, former attorney general of Maine, in 2014.

• “Allowing people and corporate interest groups and others to spend an unlimited amount of unidentified money has enabled certain individuals to swing any and all elections, whether they are congressional, federal, local, state … Unfortunately and rarely are these people having goals which are in line with those of the general public. History well shows that there is a very selfish game that’s going on and that our government has largely been put up for sale.” – John Dingell, 29-term Democratic congressman from Michigan, in 2014 just before he retired.

• “When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore? You just sit there and take votes and you’re kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money.” — Dale Schultz, 32-year Republican state legislator in Wisconsin and former state Senate Majority Leader, in 2013 before retiring rather than face a primary challenger backed by Americans for Prosperity.

• “The alliance of money and the interests that it represents, the access that it affords to those who have it at the expense of those who don’t, the agenda that it changes or sets by virtue of its power is steadily silencing the voice of the vast majority of Americans … The truth requires that we call the corrosion of money in politics what it is – it is a form of corruption and it muzzles more Americans than it empowers, and it is an imbalance that the world has taught us can only sow the seeds of unrest.” – Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2013 farewell speech to the Senate.

• “I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents. … That’s the voice that’s been missing at the table in Washington, D.C. — the people’s voice has been missing.” — Michele Bachmann, four-term Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, in 2011.


WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) speaks to the media during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Both Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans spoke to the media after attending their weekly policy luncheons. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
 Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
 

• “The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in 2009.

• “There is no question in the world that money has control.” — Barry Goldwater, 1964 GOP Presidential nominee, just before retiring from the Senate in 1986.

• ”When these political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government. … Poor people don’t make political contributions. You might get a different result if there were a poor-PAC up here.” — Bob Dole, former Republican Senate Majority Leader and 1996 GOP Presidential nominee, in 1983.

• “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” — Jesse Unruh, Speaker of the California Assembly in the 1960s and California State Treasurer in the 1970s and 80s.


• “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.” — Mark Hanna, William McKinley’s 1896 presidential campaign manager and later senator from Ohio, in 1895.

Again, please leave other good examples in the comments or email them to me at any time — I’ll keep updating this indefinitely. I’m looking specifically for working politicians (rather than pundits or activists) who describe a tight linkage between money and political outcomes (as opposed to something vaguer).

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/30/politicians-admitting-obvious-fact-money-affects-vote/


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #81 on: August 12, 2015, 04:03:27 pm »
At least one concerned citizen thought so, and said so, in writing, before it happened.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-12/did-epa-intentionally-poison-animas-river-secure-superfund-money

Make no mistake. This spill is a disaster, no matter what. But if EPA malfeasance is involved, this will hurt the environmentalism movement, and the credibility of the government bureaucracy dedicated to preventing and  managing environmental problems will be completely undermined.

Talk about a turd sandwich.

I totally disagree. The EPA already has a track record, going back to Reagan, when he named an ENEMY of environmental protection to head that agency, of looking the other way on behalf of big money polluters like mining, fracking and fossil fuels.

The EPA needs to be cleaned up. They are full of pro-dirty energy foxes in the environmental protection hen house. Don't tell me you didn't watch Gasland. It was all laid out BY a former EPA scientist.

But even that wasn't enough for the dirty energy bastards; they had to castrate the little oversight power that the EPA had:

Quote
For this we can thank the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the law that holds the Halliburton Loophole. Named after Dick Cheney and the notorious corporation he led before becoming vice president, the law (championed by Cheney and disgraced Enron founder Kenneth Lay, among others) explicitly exempted fracking operations from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act.   These exemptions from one of America’s most fundamental environmental protection laws provided the oil and gas industry the immunity it required to develop a highly polluting process on a grand national scale. 

One of the most troubling repercussions is how fracking companies hide the contents of their toxic water and chemical solutions pumped into the ground. Contamination of underground drinking water sources from fracking fluids is a glaring threat to public health and safety. Yet even doctors responding to fracking-related health complaints can’t access data on what particular chemicals their patients may have been exposed to.

But the Halliburton Loophole wasn’t the only fracking enabler in the Energy Policy Act. The act granted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sweeping new authority to supersede state and local decision-making with regard to the citing of fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure. It also shifted to FERC industry oversight and compliance responsibility for the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, another key law. This was akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

As it stands, FERC is entirely unaccountable to public will. It is unaccountable to Congress and even the White House. Commissioners are appointed to five-year terms and can do as they please. Until a law reigning in FERC is passed, the commission will continue to act as a rubber-stamp for the fossil fuel industry.

Additionally, the Energy Policy Act repealed an important anti-monopoly law, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA). PUHCA safeguarded consumers from the overreach of the oil and gas industry and banks that did business with those companies. It prevented the formation of giant state and regional energy cartels that could manipulate energy costs, engage in profiteering and exert undue influence over political debate. The Energy Policy Act transferred most of this oversight to FERC. Since then, the largest American energy companies have grown significantly more powerful and spent almost a billion dollars on federal lobbying, according to OpenSecrets.org.


EPA CASTRATION, as well as malfeasance, is PAR FOR THE fossil fuel fascist COURSE, Eddie! It's been like that since Reagan! It was given STEROIDS with Cheney! Wake up!



The Fossil Fuel Industry has given us Degraded Democracy and Profit over Planet Pollution

http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/fossil-fuels-degraded-democracy-and-profit-over-planet-pollution/msg3594/#msg3594
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #82 on: August 15, 2015, 03:58:12 pm »
A bit of Profit over People and Planet History to clue you in on how we got to the polluting crooks here from polluter defending crooks there 

Quote
In July of 1983, we were fully two years into the Reagan era, and had yet to begin the o rgy of privatization and demonization of government that has become the norm 30 years hence.

One of the articles featured a look at what really happened at the EPA. It recounts how fully 2 years into the Reagan Administration, the foxes were hired to guard the chicken coop. A supporter of the so-called ”Sagebrush Rebellion,” in which ranchers were pitted against the federal Bureau of Land Management, who wished to restrict or limit their God-given right to use public lands to graze their cattle. Reagan would place industry types in charge of the agencies charged with regulating the environment.

Vile names from the past pop up as villains in the set piece: Joseph Coors, a rabid anti-environmentalist, supported the goals of the Sagebrush rebellion and brought many of his followers and acolytes along for the ride. James Watt was named interior secretary. Robert Burford, a leader of the Sagebrush rebellion, was appointed director of the Bureau of land management, the agency that the rebellion was engaged with in many pitched battles. The notorious Anne Gorsuch, whose legacy of abuse was such that she became the first agency head to be cited for contempt of Congress, was made head of EPA. These Reaganauts eviscerated the regulatory oversight that their respective agencies were to have provided, with predictable results. As we look back over the span of 30 years, and wonder how did we become so cynical, if it is easy to trace how the popular vision of government as a champion for the aims and desires of ordinary people was transformed into that of an oppressor of those aims, and a waste of money besides.

What is remarkable about this article is, from a remove of 30 years, how naïve it seems. The author traces how budgets were cut, how regulations were upended, and the very mission of regulatory agencies themselves tainted. In Reagan’s wanton destruction, we see the beginnings of the “oppressive government regulations” meme so prevalent today.


Reader’s Digest Time Machine By Surly
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 04:02:06 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #83 on: August 18, 2015, 02:22:32 pm »
Mon Aug 17, 2015 at 12:52 PM EDT.

Bernie Calls out the Press, Crowd Loves It

byChaoslillith

After his rally which 2000 ppl attended in Dubuque, Iowa he took questions from reporters.

The first questions was a typical question asking him to in some way attack Hillary, Bernie's response was priceless and he kept right on calling out the media's willful twisting of perceptions the whole time.

VIDEO:      
https://youtu.be/bGv2SPB8pNU

 I will transcribe/paraphrase some of it below.

Question: Um in your speech tonight you said you will not criticize or attack Hillary, but you did draw some implicit contrasts when you said you don't take money from Superpacs or didn't vote for the Iraq war..

Bernie interrupts: "What I said was that the corporate media talks about all kinds of issues except the most important issues. Time after time I am asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That's the sport that you guys like. The reason this campaign is doing well is that we are talking about the issues that impact the American people..." He talked about his platform for a bit from here, stating that he and her have differences of opinions and that he respects her. Here is the part where people started cheering

"The issue that I want to be talking about is the collapse of the middle class. Are you guys going to write about that?" (People cheered!) The need to create millions of jobs, the obscenity of wealth inequality (snip) So I am not going to get into the game of sitting around attacking Hillary Clinton..."

At the end of the interview he discuss the debates again,
Quote
"They (us the American people) are tired of the media which wants to have gotcha questions and create conflict between the candidates, rather than talking about the real issues impacting the American people. The American people are saying enough is enough!....(snip)The American people want us to address those issues, they do not want us to be attacking each other, they want us to focus and have a real debate and I intend to give it to them!" Cheers, clapping, "We Love you Bern" shouted out.
 

There's a lot more in the interview but those were the points that I wanted to address. Bernie is doing well because he calls it like it is, he calls out the Koch brothers, the billionaires and he does it by name. There is no give in his stance and most of us Bernie supporters love the fact that he is just as pis sed off about the corruption in this country as we are.  So the more of this we see and share it on our social media, the more and more people will be attracted to him because he is tapping into that sense of revulsion at the government that we have all felt for years.

This is why his numbers are rising, this is why he pulls huge crowds. He speaks what we have been dying to hear from someone in Washington for years, just like Warren does. Truth, simple, unvarnished truth.    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/17/1412816/-Bernie-Calls-out-the-Press-Crowd-Loves-It
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #84 on: August 23, 2015, 04:43:41 pm »
In the interest of logic and common sense, I humbly submit this bit of graphical education for those who aren't sure of what Mr. Trump and friends are all about:


Brought to you by Libertarians for Trump


Reality difficulties for Trump supporters   


Gradual Public Realization of Trump and friends' business model for American prosperity.   
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #85 on: September 27, 2015, 02:59:28 am »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2015, 02:48:55 pm »
Impoverished Vermonters struggle in face of stagnant wages, opportunities

September 28, 2015 by Brattleboro Reformer
Editor’s note: This article is by Chris Mays, of the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published Sept. 23, 2015.

BRATTLEBORO — Local survey data paired with new census reports say many Windham and Windsor county residents, like many Americans, are falling behind economically.

“We are identifying the needs as well as the existing services and the service gaps,” said Steve Geller, executive director of Southeastern Vermont Community Action. “We look at demographics, poverty and other kinds of information that give us a snapshot of what kinds of issues and hardships people may be facing. And census data is a big part of that.”

Data from the Current Population Survey was released Sept. 16, showing indicators of income, poverty, health insurance and more. A day later, the American Community Survey’s data was released. Featuring a larger sample size, the latter is used for state-by-state comparisons.

According to David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual income and poverty data shows essentially no change in the economic state of low and middle income households from 2013 to 2014. While the economy is improving, the same proportion of Americans are reportedly struggling to make ends meet. A family of four earning roughly $24,000 or less a year is considered to be living below the poverty line.

Cooper said this marks the second year in a row that the Census Bureau’s statistics have shown one in seven American families, approximately 47 million people, have incomes too low to meet the government’s official threshold for basic subsistence.


For the last 10 years, Southeastern Vermont Community Action, or SEVCA, a group aimed at helping families in poverty create self-sustainability and eliminating poverty, used 5-year plans for its strategic planning process. The organization recently decided to switch to 3-year plans. As part of those efforts, they conduct a community assessment of its service areas in Windham and Windsor counties.

The group gave out surveys to participants in its services and asked other community organizations to complete and distribute them to their clients.

Over 350 lower-income residents responded. While the survey is “not necessarily representative of the low-income population as a whole,” SEVCA stated, the input does offer insights.

The organization is used to seeing troubling trends when it comes to lack of affordable housing and housing stability.

“Our participant survey reinforces that very strongly with the 86 percent responding saying it’s very hard to find affordable safe housing. Sixty-eight percent have trouble paying rent or mortgages,” said Geller, noting 40 percent reported being behind in paying their mortgages.

Forty-six percent strongly agreed they had to work more than 40 hours per week just to pay bills, with 40 percent feeling strongly that most of the jobs they can get do not pay well. Geller said over 75 percent of the participants said there were not enough jobs available given their circumstances.

“We’re seeing other kinds of needs that crop up very regularly,” he said. “The lack of transportation for employment purposes and other reasons such as medical appointments.”

Geller also noted local residents’ lack of ability to develop personal assets and build savings. Sixty-five to 70 percent of participants said their income is not enough to meet their needs. Many cannot get credit or have ruined their credit.

Now that the Affordable Care Act has provided some relief around primary health care, said Geller, access to and costs of dental care remain a big issue.

The poverty line was estimated to be at 12.2 percent for all people in Vermont during 2014, according to the American Community Survey, while the United States average was believed to be at 15.4 percent.

“It appeared to be going down slightly over the last couple of years,” said Geller, noting both percentages were high and have remained somewhat stagnant. “But certainly the fact of the recession of 2008 and on tended to push that rate back up again, where it had been going back down previously.”

While county-level data, coming out in another month or so, is expected to give a better sense of the local situation, Geller said SEVCA thinks the area has seen changes for the worst since the recession. And Tropical Storm Irene did not make matters any better.

“Although some people have improved their circumstances since the worst part of the recession, others are still suffering from it and haven’t really turned their lives around,” Geller said.

“This area was one of the worst hit in the state (from Irene). There were pockets that were very badly hit and very badly impacted. Our two counties probably suffered the worst of any counties during Irene.”

SEVCA has seen a large percentage of local workers’ incomes go down or remain the same over many years. Cooper reported that from 1979 until 2013, U.S. per capita gross domestic product grew 73 percent while labor productivity rose 62 percent. But the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw their total annual pay rise by only 15 percent. Those gains, Cooper said, were largely the result of households putting in more hours at work. They were not being paid more per hour.
Quote

The “working poor” are keeping two to three jobs but cannot keep pace with the cost of living.
This is a fundamental problem for the entire economy and society, said Geller, who, like Cooper, advocates for increasing the minimum wage to create livable wages.

“That’s a problem we really have to address head-on as a society,” Geller said.
Quote
“The old cliche of ‘only if people were willing to work, the problem of poverty can be solved,’ we see that is not the case.
There is a large percentage of people working a fairly large number of hours and a good part of the year who are not getting ahead or getting themselves out of poverty.”

Cooper said the lowest paid 20 percent of workers in America were paid less per hour in 2013 than they were in 1979. The numbers were adjusted for inflation. He concludes that the labor market no longer adequately rewards work and says the U.S. needs to prioritize broad-based wage growth.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average wage a renter in Vermont earns is only $11.78 while the average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the state would require them to earn $20.60. The standard applied nationally in Section 8 housing guidelines says someone should pay no more than 30 percent of their income for their housing.

“That just shows how basic needs are out of reach,”
SEVCA’s Director of Planning and Development Becky Himlin said.

Vermont has the third-largest gap between two-bedroom housing and renter wages in the nation.  Only Hawaii and Maryland see bigger gaps. Behind Vermont is New Jersey, seeing an $8.24 gap.

“I think it’s just the shortage of affordable housing and the income gap of people who aren’t making essentially a livable wage,” Geller said.
Quote
“People are locked out of certain parts of southeastern Vermont because they can’t afford to live there and sometimes that’s where the higher paying jobs are. It’s a real Catch-22.”
SEVCA provides assistance to residents experiencing difficulties paying rent or purchasing heating oil. Through various programs, the organization tries to promote long-term stability for those it serves. Services also include assistance with starting a new businesses or developing business plans.

Last year, SEVCA assisted 13,157 individuals in 5,713 households. The data comes from the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2014.

At this point, Geller does not anticipate that number decreasing.

“In the past, we have seen ups and downs. But it’s been going up in the past few years,” he said.

Besides the economy, Geller points to the state’s rules on eligibility      and how much a person can receive through various programs. While the number of eligible  ;) individuals drops, his group sees many people’s “depth of poverty” increasing and more households reaching out for help.

“We look forward to working with the state of Vermont and local communities to get the resources to do more,” said Geller. “The challenge is this is all happening at a time when states are struggling to meet their budgets.”

SEVCA will soon be sending out concerns regarding budgeting for its programs, Geller said. A lot of its programming has not seen cuts in recent years.

“But they were level-funded for as many as nine years,” said Geller. “When you level-fund programs and costs continue to go up, the same amount of dollars year after year ends up being a cut because the state is not cutting the requirements for the programs. They’re just cutting the amount of dollars to carry it out.”

Geller’s group also worries about the “very strong possibility” that the sequestration process could restart again as many of the cuts have come at the federal level. Current spending laws are set to expire Oct. 1. Cuts could come to programs SEVCA operates, which address fuel, weatherization and Head Start, food stamps.   


http://vtdigger.org/2015/09/28/impoverished-vermonters-struggle-in-face-of-stagnant-wages-opportunities/

Agelbert NOTE: Some Vermonters add clarity to the SITUATION we find ourselves in.

Quote

Peter Burmeister 

September 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm


What this article fails to understand is that the essence of the Vermont economy is agriculture, not white collar jobs. While numerous Vermonters lament the lack of lucrative employment, young people from other states and even other countries are flocking to Vermont to grow wholesome food that bolsters the locavore movement that is a powerful force in this state. So we need to re-examine the expectations of Vermonters. You can live like a Vermonter, by participating in the agricultural economy as so many former out-of-staters are doing, with enthusiasm, or you can complain about the so-called “lack of opportunity.” If that is going to be your m.o., then it’s certainly time to consider moving elsewhere.


Janice Prindle 


September 29, 2015 at 8:49 am


Sounds like you are talking about another century. The essence of Vermont’s economy, if by essence we mean real income and not public image, is tourism. More low paying jobs for the most part. While growing our localvore and niche farming sector is something I applaud, the reality is that Vermont needs a more diversified economy. We need more “green” jobs in research and information technology.

BUT that said, what you seem to “fail to understand” is that our economy is part of what’s happened to our national economy. People who have been living here all along, regardless of what work they are doing, are not seeing growth in wages, or are losing their jobs as corporations like GMC-Keurig chase the tax loopholes by moving operations overseas. Moving will not help: there are fewer jobs with living wages everywhere in this country. And telling a longtime or native Vermonter, or anyone who is struggling, that the problem is their “expectations” and they should either become a farm worker (not enough jobs there anyway, and unless you are young, not enough money) or move (which costs money, of course) seems to me to lack compassion or practical thinking.

Jan van Eck 

September 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Mr. Geller’s efforts to alleviate poverty in Windham County will fail, unfortunately, and the $10 million that Entergy Corp. donated    to bootstrap prosperity  ;) will all get frittered away. The failure will come from internal incompetence of certain “managers” that are, ironically, paid a salary to run these development programs.

The other reason that the “development programs” will fail is more subtle; there are entrenched interests in that County that are perfectly happy to see things continue as they are, as a depressed economy means that those with means and money can live handsomely. A well-paid Executive or Director or banker can do nicely with a large supply of cheap, and docile, labor. He can have himself a personal valet, a full-time cook, a maid or maids, a groundskeeper – labor is cheap when workers have no alternatives. And that labor pool is docile and subservient, never asking for a raise – they consider themselves so fortunate to have any miserable job, no matter how lousy, no matter how poorly paid. Mr. Rich gets to live like the Baron of the Chateau, on the backs of the poor. Life is extra grand for him. 

These powerful people in Windham County, who profit from classical depression economics, make sure that the “directors” of their “development corporations” are incompetent; the last thing they want is actual development showing up, with competition for their servant staff. The result is that the County will remain exactly as it is: poor. Not a very pleasant prospect for the poor people, of course, but hey, with that crowd, they don’t much count. 


« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 03:51:11 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2015, 07:34:22 pm »
Hat Tip to Surly. 8)

Quote
You'll recall the story that moved earlier this year about the woman in Florida who was obliged to hook up to the grid. Another example of corporations using the state as enforcement for protecting its cartel.

Regulated out of Existence: Off-Gridders Forced back on the Grid, Camping on own land Illegal

Filed under Off the Grid, Police State, Sustainable Living Blog   

Posted by: Robert Richardson


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NTSm3Y4MSU&feature=player_embedded

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,5649.msg86596.html#msg86596

Great post! If mankind survives, it will because of people like that responsible, good man in the above video above.

The story underscores the importance of confronting the Libertarian BALONEY that it's the "big government regulations" that is hurting the poor widdle businesses out there trying to "compete".

STAYING ALIVE is the BUSINESS of every member of the biosphere. Corporate ass holes have corrupted good government to unfairly force people to accept the monopolistic and parasitical ANTI-competitive crap hurting the BUSINESS of everyday living.

After people are undemocratically herded to be fleeced with gamed regulations, the corporations then claim their "product" is profitable because, uh, they competed with everybody on a "level playing field".

But you can expect the prevaricators that have corrupted our language, economics and tax structure to claim that it's A-fu c king okay for some ass hole that used to own a cable channel to buy a bunch of land to raise buffalo on and deduct all the expenses from his taxes because he "runs a business", but the guy out in the boonies going off grid, raising his own animals and planting his own crops trying to make ends meet cannot do the same because he isn't, uh "running a business".

A rich fu ck (see Bush's ranch) can put a geothermal set up on his land so his power bill is so low as to be irrelevant but an off gridder is "violating regulations" by generating all his own power. The duplicity just never ends. 


Ah, the pliability of the English language.  :P

I think we should give the BUSINESS to anyone who wants to make artificial divisions between the BUSINESS of living and running a profit over people and planet BUSINESS.



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #88 on: October 03, 2015, 01:42:18 am »
https://youtu.be/R7qTPOnHw-E


Quote

Published on Sep 12, 2015

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us for an evening in Toronto to speak about "The Great Unraveling."

Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy Movement.

In his newest book, Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians and literary figures, he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion.

Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of mounting environmental destruction and grotesque wealth polarization.

Recorded in Toronto, 3 September 2015.

Part 2:
https://youtu.be/HMiRS7KKrAI
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2015, 06:46:26 pm »
VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader on Corporate Control, Faux Liberals and Hillary Clinton

Posted on Nov 3, 2015

In the first half of a two-part interview with Ralph Nader on TeleSUR, “Days of Revolt” host Chris Hedges and the iconic consumer advocate discuss the advancement of corporate control in the U.S. political system, the rise of faux liberals and what to expect from Hillary Clinton.

Nader, whose latest books include “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” and “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015,” explains that once Democrats realized they could raise money through the corporate world just like Republicans, they carved out tax loopholes for big business in exchange for cash contributions.

“And that’s when the Democratic party started going off the cliff,” Nader says, adding that since the early 1970s—with few exceptions—there hasn’t been a single major piece of legislation that advances the health, safety and economic rights of the American people.

“That’s the effect of money in politics,” he explains. “That’s the effect of a totally subservient strategy by the liberals.”

And what effect did that money have on citizens’ groups? Hedges asks.

“They began working harder and harder for less and less every day,” Nader explains, saying that liberal groups lowered their horizons, became defensively tactical and ceased to put forth an aggressive agenda.
Quote

“And once you are on the defensive in politics, you are on the defensive,” Nader says. “It’s almost impossible to recover. It’s like you’re on your heels, heels, heels.”

Nader also tackles the idea of faux liberals like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who smile while undermining the fundamental rights of Americans.

“All you gotta do in politics is say the right thing, even though your whole record is contrary, and you’re on your way,” Nader says, including Hillary Clinton.

She uses “the same approach,” Nader says. “It’s saying what you didn’t do. And this should come out in the next year.”

To find out what Nader thinks will happen next in American politics, watch the full video below: 

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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