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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,579

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Bill Moyers: The Plutocrats Are Winning. Don’t Let Them!


The Plutocrats Are Winning. Don’t Let Them!
The vast inequality they are creating is a death sentence for government by consent of the people. This is the fight of our lives and how it ends is up to us.

BY BILL MOYERS | DECEMBER 22, 2015


Dear Readers:

In the fall of 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11, as families grieved and the nation mourned, Washington swarmed with locusts of the human kind: wartime opportunists, lobbyists, lawyers, ex-members of Congress, bagmen for big donors: all of them determined to grab what they could for their corporate clients and rich donors while no one was looking.

Across the land, the faces of Americans of every stripe were stained with tears. Here in New York, we still were attending memorial services for our firemen and police. But in the nation’s capital, within sight of a smoldering Pentagon that had been struck by one of the hijacked planes, the predator class was hard at work pursuing private plunder at public expense, gold-diggers in the ashes of tragedy exploiting our fear, sorrow, and loss.

What did they want? The usual: tax cuts for the wealthy and big breaks for corporations. They even made an effort to repeal the alternative minimum tax that for fifteen years had prevented companies from taking so many credits and deductions that they owed little if any taxes. And it wasn’t only repeal the mercenaries sought; they wanted those corporations to get back all the minimum tax they had ever been assessed.

They sought a special tax break for mighty General Electric, although you would never have heard about it if you were watching GE’s news divisions — NBC News, CNBC, or MSNBC, all made sure to look the other way.

....(snip).....

It was a disgusting bipartisan spectacle. With words reminding us of Harry Truman’s description of the GOP as “guardians of privilege,” the Republican majority leader of the House dared to declare that “it wouldn’t be commensurate with the American spirit” to provide unemployment and other benefits to laid-off airline workers. As for post 9/11 Democrats, their national committee used the crisis to call for widening the soft-money loophole in our election laws. ..............(more)

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-plutocrats-are-winning-dont-let-them/




Hot Startup Whacked Down 60%(!?) Whither the Tech Boom?


Hot Startup Whacked Down 60%(!?) Whither the Tech Boom?
by Wolf Richter • December 23, 2015


[font color="blue"]We hear a sharp hissing sound.[/font]

Foursquare, once a mobile app that allowed users to “check in” restaurants and stores when launched with great fanfare in 2009, and “once one of New York’s hottest startups” as TechCrunch ominously calls it, apparently needs cash desperately enough that it’s willing to accept a monstrous haircut.

It already raised $162 million in prior venture financing and debt. We don’t know how much of it is left and how much it burned through. But it’s time to go back to the trough – under punishing conditions.

Perhaps it’s the sound of hot air hissing out of the startup funding bubble where billion-dollar valuations for companies with no business model and no revenues have become routine: investors are suddenly looking at them with a more critical eye.

Foursquare is “close to finalizing” a new round of funding that would give it a valuation of only $250 million, Re/code reported. When it raised $35 million in 2013, it did so at a valuation of $650 million. So this round would be a devastating 61% haircut.

At its peak in 2012, Foursquare raised funds at a valuation of $760 million. From that level, its valuation got slashed 67%. ...................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/12/23/foursquare-valuation-whacked-60-what-does-this-mean-for-the-startup-tech-boom/




Spain’s Socialists Reject P.M. Mariano Rajoy, Right-Wing Government


Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), announced Wednesday that his party would not support acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to continue in office.

Rajoy’s right-wing People’s Party (PP) emerged with the most votes in Sunday’s election in Spain, gaining 123 seats but falling short of a majority in the 350-seat Legislature. For decades the Socialists and the PP have alternated in the seat of government, but the rise of two new parties, the left-wing Podemos (We Can) and the liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) has left Spanish politics fragmented.

“We have to open a new political period in Spain, led by change, by progress and dialogue,” said Sanchez, declaring that the PSOE “is not going to support the continuity of either Mariano Rajoy or the People’s Party at the head of the Spanish government.”

“No to Rajoy means yes to change,” Sanchez said after a meeting with the prime minister, adding that he did not want new elections. ...............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/spains_socialists_reject_rajoy_or_pp-led_government_20151223




Shopping While Muslim


Shopping while Muslim, or indeed doing anything in America while being Muslim, has now become not only a crime, but a falsely justified reason for many to go into full panic mode.

Alan and Daphne Crawfordwere simply doing some shopping at Central Mall in Arkansas, when police officers descended upon them.

In the police report, officer Anthony Cox stated that other shoppers in the mall had reported that Crawford was recording video with his cellphone. Although the mall does state that videotaping inside the mall is against their rules and regulations, it is safe to assume that this is not the same response that occurs every time someone takes a selfie. ................(more)

http://winningdemocrats.com/muslim-couple-kicked-out-of-mall-after-bigots-complain-that-they-took-photos-video/




Anyone having issues editing posts?


I'll go in to make an edit, and when I submit it, I get a "enter a subject" message. So I delete and re-enter the subject, but then get the same message when I submit it again.


America’s religion of violence: The impunity of police violence & the destruction of Sandra Bland


This is America’s religion of violence: The impunity of police violence & the destruction of Sandra Bland
No one will be charged with the death of Sandra Bland, just as no one was charged with the deaths of so many others

BRITTNEY COOPER


I’m in the midst of a long annual drive from New Jersey to Louisiana to spend time with my family for the Christmas holiday. When I pulled over to bunk for the evening on Monday, I found my social media newsfeed filled with two stories – the choice of a Waller County grand jury to not indict any officers in connection with the arrest or death of Sandra Bland last July and this week’s explosive R. Kelly interview at Huffington Post Live.

I take these long drives every year, not because they are the most efficient way home. In a life as busy as mine, efficiency is what I usually crave. But this drive, undertaken over several days in which I eat at some of my favorite places and visit friends, going and coming, is an annual ritual act of self-care. I know I will be met on either side of the trip as I check in, with mounting evidence of the structural lack of care that shapes Black women’s lives. Snatching a damn to give about my own Black life from the jaws of a system that would rather eat us all alive is as political an act as it is a personal one.

As I ride, I flip back and forth between the most ratchet of hip-hop music, r&b oldies, and contemporary gospel. I always tell myself that I should listen to books on tape or enrich my thinking through the many podcasts that I’m always planning to catch up on. I never quite make it past Jesus or the Twerk tape.

I wonder what Sandra Bland listened to on her long drive down from Chicago to Texas. A Christian woman, she probably praised to Jesus for finally bringing her through and out on the other side to a good job. Any Black girl who has experienced God making a way knows what it means to get a good holy shout on when she’s on her way to her promise. ................(more)

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/23/the_deadly_theology_that_killed_sandra_bland_inside_americas_religious_devotion_to_state_violence/





China Invented The Perfect Tool To Kill Democracy And Corporate America Is Bringing It Here


Coming soon to a country near you: The Chinese government, working closely with giant corporations, have finally figured out how to completely enslave its people to the State. They’re going to turn “patriotism” into a game and all of its citizens into game players. Yeah, it sounds silly but what if your “score” was your credit score? And the more “patriotic” you are, the higher your credit score gets?

You’ve seen the endless Credit Karma commercials, right? They talk about your credit score and how having a low one can hurt you while a high one can get you a great deal on car and house loans? Now imagine that your credit score was determined not just by how much debt you have but also by what kind of articles you post on Facebook?

What if posting pro-Wall Street articles boosted your credit score? Or maybe pro-tax cut articles? Pro-life? Pro-cop? Pro-government? Would you do it?

And what if posting anti-Wall Street articles made it harder to get a loan? Or pro-choice? Or pro-democracy? What if following liberal websites made your credit card interest rates go up? Would you keep doing it? .....................(more)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/12/22/china-invented-the-perfect-tool-to-kill-democracy-and-corporate-america-is-bringing-it-here-video/




“Sudden Withering Demand” & End of Housing Bubble 2, or just an “Anomaly?”


“Sudden Withering Demand” & End of Housing Bubble 2, or just an “Anomaly?”
by Wolf Richter • December 22, 2015

[font color="blue"]NAR blames ‘anomaly’ for plunging sales then destroys the theory[/font]

We’re always leery when something expected happens prematurely. We’ve seen home prices soar for years while real incomes for the lower 80% of households have declined. That math cannot work forever. We’ve seen sales hitting a wall here and there. And we expected that this would eventually percolate up in nationwide figures. But we didn’t expect this to happen so soon.

And in November it suddenly happened. We’re scratching our head. Could this already be the end of Housing Bubble 2?

November existing home sales – completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops – plunged 10.5% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors, the lowest sales rate since April 2014, and the worst plunge since July 2010 (-22.5%). And sales were down 3.8% from November last year.

It shocked and appalled forecasters. The Investing.com consensus was 5.35 million units, just above the prior reading, as consensus forecasts usually are.

.....(snip).....

Suddenly the “anomaly” theory falls flat on its face. We don’t know why existing homes sales plunged in November. We’re still scratching our head. But blaming the rule changes, when only single-family home sales plunged and nothing else, makes zero sense. So we might try one of the other reasons and perhaps even dabble with that “sudden withering demand.” ..........(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/12/22/sudden-withering-demand-end-of-housing-bubble-2-or-just-an-anomaly/




Oil Bust hitting Calgary hard



(Bloomberg) Crime is rising, home prices are falling and food banks are overwhelmed in Calgary as job losses spread. And the worst isn’t yet over in the heart of Canada’s oil patch.

Some of the city’s largest employers are poised to cut more jobs in 2016 as they reduce spending for a second straight year, adding to an estimated 40,000 oil and natural gas positions lost across the nation since the crude price rout began 18 months ago.

“We all know someone who has lost a job,” Naheed Nenshi, the city’s mayor, said in a speech this month, lamenting the “funeral"-like atmosphere in the business community.

Calgary, which boasted one of the lowest jobless rates in the nation as crude prices rose over $100 a barrel, is reeling after a global glut pushed prices down by two-thirds. Shares of energy producers have slumped along with oil. While Alberta’s biggest city is benefiting from gains in tourism and transportation, its economy is still 30 percent dependent on oil and gas, according to the mayor. .................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-23/calgary-woes-spread-as-oil-patch-spending-cuts-deepen-in-2016




Kim Davis: It's ironic that Gawwwd picked me to defend marriage





Kentucky clerk and same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis has at least one thing in common with her biggest detractors: they both think she's lousy at marriage.

Davis, who famously refused to sign gay couples' marriage license because she said it went against "God’s definition of marriage," has been divorced three times.

"How ironic that God would use a person like me, who failed so miserably at marriage in the world, to defend it now," she told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "The Lord picks the unlikely source to convey the message."

According to public records, she has been married four times, twice to her current husband. Critics of Davis, like columnist and LGBT rights advocate Dan Savage, say that her behavior makes her anti-gay actions that much harder to swallow. ..............(more)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kim-davis-marriage-divorce_567a7b7ce4b06fa6887f7318




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