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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 15,243

Journal Archives

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

The film about climate change that most "environmental groups don't want you to see", that
exposes factory farming (think beef, pigs, dairy) as a bigger cause of destructive global climate
changes than fossil fuels; yet no one seems to even know about this, much less doing
anything about it.


My gf and I watched this watched this recently on Netflix, and we were both pleasantly surprised
at the high quality of the production (Leonardo DiCaprio) and unpleasantly shocked at some of
it's contents, and how poorly it reflected on some environmental groups.

Has anyone else seen this? What did you think of it? I can't stop thinking about it, so would
like to converse a little with others who have seen it, and have an impression as to the accuracy
of some of it's shocking claims.

Bernie Marches W/ Verizon Workers, As Its Exec$ And Lobbyist$ Give Big To Hillary

The stark contrast between Bernie & Clinton could hardly be more clear than with Verizon labor dispute.
Workers need Bernie in the WH, Hillary .. not so much.

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Bernie Marches With Verizon Workers As Its Execs And Lobbyists Give Big To Hillary
The case of Verizon demonstrates the contrasts between the candidates.
By Zaid Jilani * AlterNet * October 26, 2015

On Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders marched alongside Verizon workers in New York City. Around 40,000 Verizon employees represented by both the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are in a contract dispute with the company, with CWA accusing the notoriously anti-union Verizon of retaliating against employees who do labor activism.

As he joined the workers' picket, Sanders also sent along a formal statement of support, saying, “I am hopeful you will reach a fair contract. But if you run into roadblocks, as in years past, know that I will be there with you until a fair contract is negotiated.”

Sanders' approach to Verizon—standing with workers who are in tough negotiations—is in contrast to Hillary Clinton's, who has not made any statements about the current dispute. Verizon executives and lobbyists seem to appreciate that. Over the course of her campaign, Verizon executives and lobbyists have given tens of thousands of dollars to her operation. Verizon vice-presidents Lydia Pulley, Kathleen Grillo, and Donna Epps each gave $2,700 to Hillary for America. Verizon senior vice-president Thomas Edwards and vice-president Chris Debosier pitched in $1,000. Leecia Eve, a former Hillary staffer who today is a lobbyist for Verizon gave $2,700. Another Verizon lobbyist, David Lamendola, gave Hillary $1,000.



Reports of msnbc peddling the 'Sanders' supporters are so sexist' meme, to the delight of Hillary Group

AARP "Strongly Supports" New Obama/GOP Budget Deal

I keep hearing different things: "there ARE cuts to SS & Medicare in this deal" yet this says those cuts would be averted, and what the GOP gets is tougher SS qualification requirements and a new Fraud Squad" to investigate Medicare fraud. And HERE AARP is giving a "strong" endorsement of the deal. Anyone know if these cuts are really in the deal or not?

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AARP 'strongly supports' budget deal
By Sarah Ferris * 10/27/15 * The Hill

The powerful seniors lobby AARP announced Tuesday it will back a two-year budget deal that will go up for a vote as early as Wednesday.

AARP praised the plan, which was largely negotiated between the White House and GOP leadership, for averting major cuts in Social Security disability payments and a premium spike for Medicare Part B premiums.

“Your efforts to reach across the aisle and together find sensible solutions to significant problems are appreciated and commended,” Jo Ann C. Jenkins, the group’s chief executive, wrote in a letter to Congress that was obtained by The Hill.
House and Senate Republicans have said entitlement reforms are a major piece of the deal, though Democrats have maintained that there are no cuts to beneficiaries.

A key piece of the budget agreement — and one of its costliest provisions — staves off a 52 percent premium hike that would have hit 8 million Medicare Part B enrollees next year. The hike is the result of a glitch in federal benefits law, and the fix is estimated to cost nearly $8 billion.

The deal would also prevent a 20 percent, across-the-board cut in Social Security disability benefits for 11 million people next year, the result of a quickly drying-up trust fund.

But in addition to averting those increases, the measure would make some GOP-led changes to both the disability and Medicare programs. For example, it creates a new investigative unit to go after fraud and increases penalties on those who commit fraud in the system.

It also makes it tougher for new Social Security recipients to enroll, requiring two doctors, instead of one, to confirm that an individual has a disability.


Hillary Clinton Smearing Bernie Sanders as "Sexist" is Both Ridiculous & Dishonest

Hillary Clinton Is Smearing Bernie Sanders as a Sexist
It’s ridiculous. Bernie’s record as a feminist is as good as Hillary’s.
By William Saletan * Slate * October 26, 2015

Hillary Clinton has found a new wedge issue against Sen. Bernie Sanders. The topic is gun control, but the angle is gender. Clinton is framing Sanders as a "sexist" who accuses women of shouting when they try to speak up. It’s a lie. She’s manipulating women and abusing feminist anger for her own advantage.

It’s great that we’re more aware of bigotry than we used to be. But we should also beware false claims of bigotry: the race card, the sex card, the homophobia card. In 1991, Clarence Thomas, a well-connected federal judge, evaded sexual harassment allegations and won confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court by accusing his interrogators of a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, says anyone who advocates a boycott of his country “should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot.” Sexism, racism, and anti-Semitism are real. But sometimes they’re fabricated.

That’s what Clinton is doing. She’s misrepresenting an exchange that took place at the Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate. During the exchange, Clinton accused Sanders of voting with the gun lobby. Sanders replied: “All the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence.” Sanders argued that people on both sides of the gun debate should agree to “strengthen and expand instant background checks, do away with this gun show loophole,” “deal with the straw-man purchasing issue,” and “address the issue of mental health.”

The man standing to Clinton’s left during this exchange, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, joined in the attack on Sanders. To this, the Vermont senator answered with the same message: “Here is the point, governor. We can raise our voices. But I come from a rural state, and the views on gun control in rural states are different than in urban states, whether we like it or not. Our job is to bring people together around strong, common-sense gun legislation.”


As Bad as You Think Inequality Is, It's Worse!

Good read, illustrating how our perceptions about income-inequality tend to differ starkly from its reality,
and are more akin to what it was in 1970 than it is today.

As Bad as You Think Inequality Is, It's Worse!
How much do you think the CEO of a large corporation makes in a year, on average?
By Les Leopold * AlterNet * October 19, 2015

The following is an excerpt from Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice, by Les Leopold (Chelsea Green, 2015).

Please take a moment to write down the answers to two basic questions:

How much do you think the CEO of a large corporation makes in a year, on average?
How much do you think an entry-level factory worker earns in a year, on average?
Your answers allow for the construction of an important statistic about inequality – the wage-gap ratio.

For example, let's say your answer is that the typical CEO makes about $500,000 per year, while the factory worker earns about $25,000 per year. That gives us a wage-gap ratio of 20 to 1 – that is, for every one dollar earned by the worker, the CEO earns $20 (500,000/25,000 = 20/1).

If you said $1 million for the CEO and $25,000 for the factory worker, then the ratio jumps to 40 to 1.

What ratio did you come up with?

How Americans view the wage gap

These same two questions were asked of more than 50,000 people around the world, of whom 1,581 were Americans of all stripes. (The data comes from the International Social Survey Programme: Social Inequality IV-ISSP 2009 on the website Gesis.)

It turns out that the median American response – that is, the response that is exactly in the middle of survey results from Americans – estimated that a CEO of a large company earned about $900,000 per year and that the average factory worker earned about $25,000. That makes for a wage-gap ratio of 36 to 1.

But how close are these estimates to reality? Not very.

The chart below gives us a pretty good estimate of the growing gap between total compensation for the top 100 CEOs and the pay of a typical worker. (The number for workers’ pay was derived by using the average wages of production or nonsupervisory workers, which includes workers in the service sector as well as other private industry sectors.)

In 1970, for every dollar earned by the average worker, the top 100 CEOs earned on average $45. By 2013 the ratio had jumped to $829 to $1, which is 20 times greater that what the typical American in the survey guessed.

More amazing still is that on average Americans think CEOs of large companies receive about $900,000 per year in compensation, when in reality they receive nearly $30,000,000.

It's as if our perception of the income gap was frozen in 1970. We just have not caught up with the realities of runaway inequality.


The Hill: "Clinton camp: Sanders engaging in negative attacks"

This article accuses Bernie of "reneging on his pledge not to engage in negative political attacks";
but what Bernie said he wouldn't do is engage in "personal" attacks, not that he would never
point out their differences on issues, so voters are not left completely in the dark about them.

On the gun thing, seems to me Bernie was actually talking about how too few candidates and people in general,
are rolling up their sleeves to do the hard work of engaging in constructive dialogue to cultivate a sufficient
consensus on a set of policies to reduce gun violence in ways that both sides agree will help.

And for that he gets personally attacked by Hillary for being "a misogynist", which is patently absurd
and over-the-top ugly. But hey, Hills gets a pass on that, while Bernie's accused of doing the very thing Hillary
is doing.
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Clinton camp: Sanders engaging in negative attacks
By Bradford Richardson * The Hill * 10/25/15

The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign says Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has reneged on his pledge not to engage in negative political attacks.

John Podesta said Sanders went on the offensive against Clinton in his speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner on Saturday.
“I think Bernie Sanders seemed to have a course correction in the dinner from one in which he said he wasn’t going to go negative to – to obviously focusing his, you know, his fire on her,” Podesta said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Podesta said Clinton, on the other hand, refrained from partisanship and focused on painting a positive vision for the future of America in her speech.

“I think she’s looking to the future,” he said. “I think her speech last night really put forward a positive vision of where the country can be.”

Clinton appeared to accuse Sanders of sexism in her speech at the dinner.

She said she was told to stop “shouting about gun violence,” quoting Sanders.

“Well, first of all, I’m not shouting. It’s just when women talk some people think we’re shouting,” Clinton said.

Sanders is disputing that allegation.


CNN reporting Russia pivots 180, now says it supports the Free Syrian forces.

Is Putin blinking to oust Assad, or doing a 3-dyminsional chess fake-out?

"New Rules" Rigged To Elect Darlings of the Billionaire Class

Tell me again, how Hillary is not in the pocket of the Billionaire Class"..
Her BIG-donor list looks like a "Who's Who" of the Wall St./MIC/Private Prison corporatist
greed-heads, and it's frankly pathetic that she gets away with saying she's going to "fight
Wall St" or "undo Citizens United" .. give me a break.

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New Rules Help Hillary Clinton Tap Big Donors For Democrats
Individual donors are already giving more than $300,000 to special Clinton committee.
by Paul Blumenthal * 10/21/15 * HuffPo

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee is benefiting from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's fundraising prowess even before she wraps up the nomination thanks to loosened campaign finance rules.

Hillary Victory Fund -- a super joint fundraising committee that distributes money to the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 33 state party committees -- sent $600,000 to the central party committee in September, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Clinton campaign’s super joint fundraising committee is out of the ordinary for two reasons. First, presidential candidates do not normally enter into fundraising agreements with their party’s committees until after they actually win the nomination. Second, Clinton’s fundraising committee is the first since the Supreme Court’s 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC decision eliminated aggregate contribution limits and Congress increased party contribution limits in the 2014 omnibus budget bill.

Thanks to the combination of the court ruling and congressional action, donors will be able to make an annual donation of $666,700 to the Hillary Victory Fund. (Previously, donors were limited to giving $123,200 to candidates, parties and political action committees per election cycle.) And some are already giving large sums.

Philanthropist Laure Woods gave $334,400, wealthy Chicagoan Fred Eychaner gave $353,400, Esprit co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell gave $320,000 and real estate billionaires J.B. and M.K. Pritzker each gave $320,000. Integrated Archive Systems CEO Amy Rao also gave $100,000.


WHEW!! Thank you Joe for making a wise decision, for everyone. nt

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