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rhett o rick

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Member since: Fri Apr 22, 2005, 01:05 PM
Number of posts: 55,962

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American Exceptionalism is an Issue in this Election

H. Clinton is described as “tough”. The use of the word tough IMO in this case means tough on the rest of the world with pushing American Exceptionalism.

But just how “exceptional” are we?

We have 50,000,000 Americans living in poverty.

We have 16,000,000 of our children living in poverty and another 16,000,000 living in low income homes.

We have the poorest health care for our 99% (best in the world for the 1%) in modern world.

We have the widest spread between the haves and have-nots in the modern world. 20 families own wealth equal to 50% of Americans.

While millions of our children go to bed hungry we spend over 50% of our budget on war machines.

We have by far more people incarcerated that any other country. Conservative are making millions via Prisons For Profit.

We have militarized local police killing innocent AA males across the country.

We invaded Iraq for profits for the 1%. And we brought back torture. We still have innocent people locked up in Gitmo.

Our government, in 2008, allowed the big banks and financial gambling houses to loot $5 trillion dollars from the 99% without a whimper. They did nothing to prevent it before it happened and are doing nothing to prevent it happening again.

The Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party incl Sen Sanders are fighting for change to this corrupt culture while the Conservative Wing is fighting to continue the corrupt culture brought to us by the Wealthy Oligarchy.

Whose side are you on?
Posted by rhett o rick | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:46 PM (7 replies)

Pragmatism: The Justification to Ignore What's Happening to Those Less Fortunate

How incredible it has become when wanting to end poverty, end the massive incarcerations, end the endless wars, end the domestic spying by the Security State, end the worship of the wealthy, end the oppression of the MIC, etc., or at least head in that direction, is equated with wanting a pony by the Conservatives in our Party. In the 1700's they'd have been known as loyalist. Telling others that wanting freedom from Great Britain was folly, like wanting a pony.

It won't be an easy road but we can't just sit back and drink the kool aid like the Conservatives recommend (they call it pragmatism).

Support change, support Senator Sanders.

Somewhere George Orwell is Shaking His Head


Why are most people blind as to what those in power are doing? Why do some ignore the disaster we now live in and vote to continue the status quo, to put their trust in those of the ruling class that have made a total mess of our national security, our economy and our freedoms and liberties? Obama is must nicer, smarter, etc. than Bush but basically we have the same military, the same Security State, and the same economic policies. And if elected H. Clinton will continue with the same culture.

We have the largest defense budget in the world. We have 10 super nuclear carriers with multiple support ships at a very expensive cost while the rest of the world has none, zero (at least not working). We have multi-billion dollar fighter planes that don't work. The list goes on and on.

So what has our military done for us in the last 20 years with all that money? Are we safer? Those that rule us tell us no. Tell us we need a larger defense budget. Yet the conservatives in both parties want to cut SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is the status quo, a continuation of the culture you will get with H. Clinton.

The NSA/CIA have an uncontrolled amount of power. Those that believe that's ok because they represent goodness are chewing coca leaves. And we don't have a clue how much their budget is because it's secret. We really don't know how much they are spying on us, because that's secret. Well, are we safer? Why would we even think so. In 2001 we had a major security failure whose total cost is still being tabulated. Did anyone in charge of security get fired for the failure? Actually, I think some got bonuses and/or awards. And it should be noted that those in power got richer because of that disaster. Why would they want change?

Let's look at economic policy. How many times do we let those in power “fool” us with their Ponzi Schemes commonly called “bubbles”? Will Charlie Brown ever learn that Wall Street is going to screw us at every opportunity? After the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression, millions lost their homes, jobs, and retirements, and what was done? Nothing significant was done. Goldman-Sachs (a close friend of H. Clinton) and Wall Street got bailed out by us (the 99%) and gave themselves bonuses. A weak attempt was made to appease the 99% with meager regulation changes, but those have already been watered down, and actually won't help unless they get enforced anyway. Enforcement, or lack of such was one of the problems causing the Great Bank Heist of 2008.

We need to change the corrupt culture of DC that H. Clinton wants to continue. We need Senator Sanders.

Don't Blame the Corporations

They are not people in spite of what the Conservatives try to tell us. They have no morals and exist for one purpose only, to gain wealth and power. Without morals we shouldn't expect them to behave, we must tightly control them. Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan and those that worship them, including Conservative Democrats, tell us that corporations work best for everyone if left unregulated. That's bullcrap and Alan admitted such to Congress in 2008.

Corporations are a construct allowed by We The People. When they operate in manners that are detriment to the welfare of We The People, we have a right to prosecute them and execute them.

I does us no good to blame the soulless corporations as we are responsible for controlling them. If you turn a bull loose in a china shop, dont blame the bull.

I know I am lecturing to the choir, but just wanted to say that.

We need to end the culture that is dominated by corporations, a culture that has made H. Clinton a very, very wealthy person.

“The Big Short”, the movie the Conservatives don't want you to see.

(I apologize for the length and disjointedness)

So what happened in 2008? (Spoiler alert: If you don't know what happened in 2008 and want to be surprised by the movie, don't read any farther)
When the artificially inflated housing bubble (Ponzi Scheme) burst in 2008,
2.6 million people lost their jobs and
8 million people found themselves under-employed.
The foreclosure process was started on over 2 million homes.
$5,000,000,000 (that's 5 trillion with a T) was stolen and re-distributed from the People (the 99%) to the American
Aristocrats (1%).

People were kicked out of their homes, many to live in their cars or share a house with a relative or friend. Not only did they suffer losing their homes, but thanks to the banks they were saddled with the debt making it almost impossible to get an apartment or buy a car.

When Goldman-Sacs and other financial institutions lost our money, it was replaced with our money and then they said thanks by giving themselves bonuses with our money, and giving us the “bird”.

How did it happen?
Any idiot can see what happened even though the Conservatives want to tell us lies. The Conservatives, in both Parties had been undoing the New Deal controls that were put into place to prevent crashes like this. They were following their god Ayn Rand's disciple Alan Greenspan who preached that Wall Street would be more efficient if left unregulated. Conservative Democratic President Clinton signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall which made the Republicons very happy. Now the Conservatives (like H. Clinton) are trying to distract us from this disaster and say that the repeal of Glass-Steagall wasn't “directly” responsible for the crash. That's bull and I don't mean a rising stock market. Watch the movie and see that banks and hedge funds were all gambling against each other and guess whose money they were using? Not their own. Glass-Steagall prohibited this behavior for banks with depositor's cash.
And so in 2008 the Housing Ponzi scheme crashed, and the banksters got bonuses.

So who was responsible?
It would be nice to be able to blame one man, Alan Greenspan who for decades was looked upon as the god of financial markets. Alan Greenspan, the disciple of Ayn Rand believed that if you gave the Golden Goose to Wall Street without restrictions, they would optimize the amount of golden eggs laid to everyone's benefit. Alan expressed his shock at a Congressional hearing in 2008 when he found out that Wall Street tore the Golden Goose from limb to limb, attempting to get more and more gold for themselves. Alan admitted he didn't anticipate that. What he was really saying is that he was wrong and had been wrong all along. But we can't blame Alan as he was just a tool set up as a god by the greedy to justify their looting of our economy.

Congress and our presidents Clinton and Bush hold a lot of responsibility. Supposedly they were working for us the People instead of their close friends in the American Aristocracy.
In 1999 the New York Times reported that the Clinton Administration was pressuring Fanny Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. They were being encouraged to make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. (2) They were boosting the bubble.

Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson, Larry Summers, and Tim Geitner should be held responsible as they were in charge of the economy. They failed miserably and were run out of town on rails. Oops. In my dreams I guess. You see while they failed us in the 99% they did very well for their friends in the 1%, themselves, and their political puppets. These same characters have been popular with Democratic and Republican administrations alike for decades, including the current Obama Administration. We haven't seen the last of them if H. Clinton is elected.

As the movie shows, as the bundled bonds (or whatever new clever name they have) started to fail, the banks continued to tell (read, “they deceived”) investors, including your pension fund, that the products were still very low risk. This was a lie yet the rating corporations of Moody and S&P went along, essentially selling their souls for profits. And the Securities and Exchange Commission looked the other way because of lack of funding from Congress, poor oversight, and also some of their own greed.
Of course Goldman-Sachs and other banks, insurance companies and the big gambling houses (called investment companies), knew they were doing wrong but like all Ponzi schemes no one wanted out until they got theirs.

An example of the over-leveraging that epitomizes a Ponzi scheme, “For every $1 of equity, the $22bn Carlyle Capital Corporation fund was leveraged with $32 of loans. “ (1)

Fanny Mae was intended to help those in the 99% get into homes but they were corrupted by their Wealthy 1% investors and politicians and worried more about profits than helping the People.

What happened to those responsible?

They got bonuses from our money, they paid off their political puppets nicely and they continue their gambling knowing we will back their loses.

So what should happen now?
Here is where the candidates Clinton and Sanders disagree.
Sanders wants to hold those responsible accountable. He wants strong new regulations enacted and budget provided for enforcement . Like Teddy Roosevelt, he wants to solve the “too big to fail” problem by breaking up the banks that have gained more and more power since the “crash”. He wants Glass-Steagall, a regulation that for decades prevented this type of crash, reinstated.

Clinton however doesn't agree at all. In a speech to Goldman-Sachs (a big participant in the crash), she told them that she thought the banksters were being unfairly criticized. They applauded and handed her a check for $200,000 for her personal fortune. She defends her husband's action of signing away Glass-Steagall and rejects the idea of reinstating it because she says it wouldn't be enough. She did publish her “plan” which contains nothing substantial but mostly rhetoric. In a recent column Robert Reich said, “Most of Clinton's proposals could already have been put into effect by the Fed and Securities Exchange Commission, but they haven't been – presumably because of the Street's muscle.” In other words, her proposal means more of the same.

So what can you do?

Well if you want to continue the current culture of Wall Street corruption that will undoubtedly lead to another major bank wealth heist (crash), then vote for H. Clinton who has amassed a $50 million dollar personal wealth in this culture and whose campaign is financed by those that would profit from a continuation of this corrupt culture.

However, if you've had enough of the corruption of our government by Wall Street and if you want to help the millions out of work, those kicked out of their homes, those struggling under crushing debts, those on Social Security, etc. then support the People's candidate, Senator Sanders.

1. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/dec/28/markets-credit-crunch-banking-2008
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007–08

You disparage the left or progressives as ideologues. What issues do these ideologues

support that you do not?

Here is a partial list of what progressives usually support:
Strengthening Social Security (e.g., raising the cap)
Opposing job killing "Free Trade" agreements
opposed to fracking for oil company profits over people's water
Helping college students afford college (telling them to get a job doesn't cut it)
Making major corps pay their fair share of taxes
Ending the unregulated domestic spying
Ending drone killing of terrorist "suspects" in foreign lands
Reducing the defense budget
Taking a hard stand against torture and indefinite detention.
Ending the militarization of our local police forces.
Ending Prisons for Profits
Legalizing marijuana esp. for medical use.
Funding rebuilding our neglected infrastructure.
Single payer health insurance.
Regulation of Wall Street (e.g. reinstate Glass-Steagall)
Break up the big bank and media monopolies.

you can add others that you like.


Posted by rhett o rick | Wed Jan 6, 2016, 07:36 PM (0 replies)

Leftist? LOL. What do the Leftist want that you don't agree with???

The crazy-assed Leftist want:

a government free from the control of big money.
and end to the poverty of 50,000,000 Americans including 16,000,000 children.
reestablishment of our Constitutional Rights with a repeal of the Patriot Act and an end to domestic spying.
protection of our water and environment from the oil companies and their fracking.
a return of our manufacturing jobs and an end to the crippling "Free Trade" agreements.
an expansion of SS and Medicare benefits and raising the cap.
a fair break for our college students in lieu of telling them to get a job.
to get rid of Prisons for Profits.
and end to the militarization of our local police.
and end to the war on drugs and the death penalty.

Sen Warren, Sen Sanders and the Progressive Wing of the Party (Lefties) want these things while HRC, Goldman-Sachs, Wall Street and the Republicons don't want these things.

There is a huge split in our party and the Conservative Wing that agrees with Republicons on most issues are willing to jeopardize the chances of our Party winning in 2016.

You said it very well. Our enemy isn't just the Republicons but the oligarch run Democratic

Party elite as well. The Republicons are of course much worse but both want to enslave the 99% for Goldman-Sachs profits.

The Democratic Party is the party of the People and we need to fight to get it out of the hands of the Billionaire Oligarchy.

The progressives here get disparaged for using the word revolution but that's what we need. Not advocating violence, but we need to make it clear that we don't accept the domination of the 1% and their political puppets.

Thank you for this great OP.

The Issues: Private Prisons, The New Slavery?

Are private prisoners the new slaves of the USA?
A new form of slavery is running strong in the United States.

With only 5 percent of the total global population, the United States holds approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population.

China has a half million fewer prisoners than the United States, despite a population five times larger than the United States. In total, 2.2 million people are currently in U.S. prisons or jails.

Inside U.S. prisons, inmates reportedly produce 93% of U.S. paints and paintbrushes, 92% of U.S. stove assemblies, 100% of military helmets, and more, including products for companies including IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Dell, Compaq, and Nordstrom’s.

While the U.S. violent crime rate has fallen drastically in the past thirty years, U.S. prisons and jails have had a 500% increase in population, thanks in large part to the efforts of private prison corporations. In the past decade alone, Geo Group and CCA spent over $45 million on political campaign contributions. By 2009, private prisons accounted for 8% of all prisoners housed in the United States. In 2011 alone, the two largest private prison corporations – The Geo Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) – earned over $3 billion.
http://wearechange.org/private-prisoners-new-slaves-usa/


Do you support private prisons? Does your candidate?

Private Prison Lobbyists Are Raising Cash for Hillary Clinton
As immigration and incarceration issues become central to the 2016 presidential campaign, lobbyists for two major prison companies are serving as top fundraisers for Hillary Clinton.

Richard Sullivan, of the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel, is a bundler for the Clinton campaign, bringing in $44,859 in contributions in a few short months. Sullivan is also a registered lobbyist for the Geo Group, a company that operates a number of jails, including immigrant detention centers, for profit.

Hillary Clinton has a complicated history with incarceration. As first lady, she championed efforts to get tough on crime. “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” Clinton said in 1994. “The ‘three strikes and you’re out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets,” she added.
https://theintercept.com/2015/07/23/private-prison-lobbyists-raising-cash-hillary-clinton/


The overly tough stand on crime by conservatives starting with Reagan and continuing thru today has seen prison populations skyrocket. This has had a devastating effect on the lower 99%. The cost, both personal and financial is tremendous and disproportionally affects People of Color. There is nothing to suggest that H. Clinton (known for being very tough on crime) will do anything to turn around this terrible trend.

Our exceptionally high prison population is indicative that our democracy is failing.

We need to elect a true Progressive that has always fought for democracy and fairness for all Americans. We need to elect Senator Bernie Sanders.

Very good. Does anyone think that Ted Cruz actually mentions victims in his prayers?

If so would he name them by name or maybe just mention the media name for the tragedy. And how does he choose which tragedies to cover in each prayer? Maybe have staff keep a list. Or maybe just cover all tragedies in the last 24 hours. And if he does say a prayer for the victims, what would the message be? "Dear God, I am sorry you decided to end the lives of those in San Bernardino in such a horrible way. Maybe you can see that they have a good afterlife. But I guess that too is up to you."

Thanks for posting the video.

Posted by rhett o rick | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 02:17 PM (0 replies)
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