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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,741

Journal Archives

What Obama said Yesterday (SS is on the table)

"As of today, I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done." - President Obama 12/21/2012

Seems to me, Social Security is on the table.


Full transcript: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/president-obamas-remarks-on-the-fiscal-cliff--delivered-dec-21-2012-transcript/2012/12/21/2411fcc4-4bb6-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_story.html

If someone has the actual deal broken into line items from the White House, I'd love to see it.

War is 60% of our budget. That's the ONLY place cuts need to come from.








The wars have ended, lets get that money back before we starve the elderly.

Cutting Social Security makes no sense, since SOCIAL SECURITY DOES NOT ADD ONE NICKEL TO THE DEFICIT.

On Edit: I feel compelled to keep posting this stuff, since the arguments seem to have gotten down into the the weeds with that Fiscal Bluff/chained CPI nonsense.

Shock Doctrine: While the Nation Mourns, Obama Cuts our Safety Net for the Elderly.

Please tell me this is not what's happening!

"The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world-- through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters -- to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy." - http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

You Can Now Donate to WikiLeaks Again! (link)

From Forbes:

"Daniel Ellsberg And Free Speech Advocates Create Fund To Stop WikiLeaks-Style Payment Blockades

...On Monday, Ellsberg and a group of staffers from the digital-rights-focused Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) plan to announce the creation of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an independent organization aimed at raising money and channeling it to the sort of edgy media groups that might suffer from a WikiLeaks-style embargo–including WikiLeaks itself.

“We’re trying to crowd-fund the right to know,” says John Perry Barlow, the co-founder of the EFF, a former Grateful Dead lyricist and free speech advocate who will serve on the board of the Foundation. “This isn’t just a way to support WikiLeaks. It’s a way to support a principle… We feel there will be more groups like WikiLeaks, and we want to inspire them as quickly as possible, because there’s a lot the public needs to know.”

On the Foundation’s website, any user will be able to make a donation through an encrypted form, specifying which organization under the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s umbrella will receive the funds. By mixing groups together under its banner, the Foundation hopes to make it more difficult for funding to be cut off to any one of them, and to also offer donors a way to make a contribution to a controversial group like WikiLeaks without publicly revealing that they’ve done so...." - More from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/12/17/daniel-ellsberg-and-free-speech-advocates-create-fund-to-stop-wikileaks-style-payment-blockades/



Link to Donate: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/

Please K&R

Happy Boston Tea Party Day!

Today is the anniversary of the Boston tea party!

If you have not read Thom Hartmann's history of the tea party, here it is:

"The real Boston Tea Party was a protest against huge corporate tax cuts for the British East India Company, the largest trans-national corporation then in existence. This corporate tax cut threatened to decimate small Colonial businesses by helping the BEIC pull a Wal-Mart against small entrepreneurial tea shops, and individuals began a revolt that kicked-off a series of events that ended in the creation of The United States of America.

They covered their faces, massed in the streets, and destroyed the property of a giant global corporation. Declaring an end to global trade run by the East India Company that was destroying local economies, this small, masked minority started a revolution with an act of rebellion later called the Boston Tea Party.

While striving to understand my nation's struggles against corporations, in a rare book store I came upon a first edition of "Retrospect of the Boston Tea Party with a Memoir of George R.T. Hewes, a Survivor of the Little Band of Patriots Who Drowned the Tea in Boston Harbor in 1773," and I jumped at the chance to buy it. Because the identities of the Boston Tea Party participants were hidden (other than Samuel Adams) and all were sworn to secrecy for the next 50 years, this account is the only first-person account of the event by a participant that exists. As I read, I began to understand the true causes of the American Revolution.

I learned that the Boston Tea Party resembled in many ways the growing modern-day protests against transnational corporations and small-town efforts to protect themselves from chain-store retailers or factory farms. The Tea Party's participants thought of themselves as protesters against the actions of the multinational East India Company.

Although schoolchildren are usually taught that the American Revolution was a rebellion against “taxation without representation,” akin to modern day conservative taxpayer revolts, in fact what led to the revolution was rage against a transnational corporation that, by the 1760s, dominated trade from China to India to the Caribbean, and controlled nearly all commerce to and from North America, with subsidies and special dispensation from the British crown.Hewes notes: “The [East India] Company received permission to transport tea, free of all duty, from Great Britain to America…” allowing it to wipe out New England–based tea wholesalers and mom-and-pop stores and take over the tea business in all of America. “Hence,” wrote, “it was no longer the small vessels of private merchants, who went to vend tea for their own account in the ports of the colonies, but, on the contrary, ships of an enormous burthen, that transported immense quantities of this commodity ... The colonies were now arrived at the decisive moment when they must cast the dye, and determine their course ... ”

The company turned to a strategy that multinational corporations follow to this day: They lobbied for laws that would make it easy for them to put their small-business competitors out of business.

Most of the members of the British government and royalty (including the king) were stockholders in the East India Company, so it was easy to get laws passed in its interests. Among the Company's biggest and most vexing problems were American colonial entrepreneurs, who ran their own small ships to bring tea and other goods directly into America without routing them through Britain or through the Company. Between 1681 and 1773, a series of laws were passed granting the Company monopoly on tea sold in the American colonies and exempting it from tea taxes. Thus, the Company was able to lower its tea prices to undercut the prices of the local importers and the small tea houses in every town in America. But the colonists were unappreciative of their colonies being used as a profit center for the multinational corporation.

Boston's million-dollar tea party

And so, Hewes says, on a cold November evening of 1773, the first of the East India Company's ships of tax-free tea arrived. The next morning, a pamphlet was widely circulated calling on patriots to meet at Faneuil Hall to discuss resistance to the East India Company and its tea. “Things thus appeared to be hastening to a disastrous issue. The people of the country arrived in great numbers, the inhabitants of the town assembled. This assembly, on the 16th of December 1773, was the most numerous ever known, there being more than 2000 from the country present,” said Hewes.

The group called for a vote on whether to oppose the landing of the tea. The vote was unanimously affirmative, and it is related by one historian of that scene “that a person disguised after the manner of the Indians, who was in the gallery, shouted at this juncture, the cry of war; and that the meeting dissolved in the twinkling of an eye, and the multitude rushed in a mass to Griffin's wharf.”

That night, Hewes dressed as an Indian, blackening his face with coal dust, and joined crowds of other men in hacking apart the chests of tea and throwing them into the harbor. In all, the 342 chests of tea—over 90,000 pounds—thrown overboard that night were enough to make 24 million cups of tea and were valued by the East India Company at 9,659 Pounds Sterling or, in today's currency, just over $1 million.

In response, the British Parliament immediately passed the Boston Port Act stating that the port of Boston would be closed until the citizens of Boston reimbursed the East India Company for the tea they had destroyed. The colonists refused. A year and a half later, the colonists would again state their defiance of the East India Company and Great Britain by taking on British troops in an armed conflict at Lexington and Concord (the “shots heard 'round the world”) on April 19, 1775.

That war—finally triggered by a transnational corporation and its government patrons trying to deny American colonists a fair and competitive local marketplace—would end with independence for the colonies.
The revolutionaries had put the East India Company in its place with the Boston Tea Party, and that, they thought, was the end of that. Unfortunately, the Boston Tea Party was not the end; within 150 years, during the so-called Gilded Age, powerful rail, steel, and oil interests would rise up to begin a new form of oligarchy, capturing the newly-formed Republican Party in the 1880s, and have been working to establish a permanent wealthy and ruling class in this country ever since.
"


http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2009/04/real-boston-tea-party-was-against-wal-mart-1770s

The next time someone tells you that we have to live with the costly trade agreements because NOW we live in a global economy, just remind them that the economy has been global since we dumped Chinese tea into the Boston Harbor. It's high time we did it again.

In the Fiscal Debate, an Unvarnished Voice for Shielding Benefits - Bernie in the NYT!

Here's a good read to take our minds off of Connecticut:

"He is emboldened by his recent re-election with more than 70 percent of the vote — “Seventy-one percent, but who’s counting?” Mr. Sanders said — and he appears to be making a little headway.

Mr. Sanders has been pressing Mr. Obama to take Social Security off the negotiating table, and the White House now says changes to the retirement program should be considered on a “separate track” from a deficit deal.

“I think maybe he has learned something,” Mr. Sanders, 71, said of the president, who is 20 years his junior. “After four years he has gotten the clue that you can’t negotiate with yourself, you can’t come up with a modest agreement and hope the Republicans say, ‘That’s fair, you’re O.K., we’ll accept that.’ He’s reached out his hand, and they’ve cut him off at the wrist.”

....“Do we really say we’re going to balance the budget on making major cuts in disability benefits for veterans who have lost their arms and legs defending America, while we continue to give tax breaks to billionaires?” he thundered, without pausing for breath. “Is that what the American people want? They surely do not, and only within a Beltway surrounded by Wall Street and big-money interests could anyone think that is vaguely sensible.” .......

“I think Senator Sanders represents the majority of our caucus,” Mr. Harkin said. “Not all of it, but the majority. They may not be saying it in the same way that Sanders says it, not as aggressively as Senator Sanders. But I think that’s where they are.” "


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/us/politics/bernard-sanders-a-voice-for-shielding-entitlements.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=sherylgaystolberg

“I don’t mind losing when we lose, but I hate losing when we win.” - Jim Hightower (kinda)

"Now it's time for us to "win the post election"--to win the progressive policies that the people just voted for.

It's time to end the wars,

rollback Citizens United,

put a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculators (to tax the rich, invest in jobs, education and green energy),

raise the minimum wage,

end the war on drugs,

cut the wasteful military budget,

and leave Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid alone."


More from the PDA - http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1987/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1233164



This is our agenda, what's yours?

- Delete -

For some reason, I could not get this jpg to post:

(http) :///_jcr_content/renditions/original

New US Drone Strike "Double-Taps" Indicate Possible War Crimes

"NYU student Josh Begley is tweeting every reported U.S. drone strike since 2002, and the feed highlights a disturbing tactic employed by the U.S. that is widely considered a war crime.

Known as the "double tap," the tactic involves bombing a target multiple times in relatively quick succession, meaning that the second strike often hits first responders.

UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said that if there are "secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping (the injured) after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime."

In September the NYU and Stanford law schools released a report detailing how double taps by U.S. drones affect the Pakistani population, and noted that "high-level" militants killed only accounted for 2 percent of U.S. drone strike casualties."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-drone-tweets-reveal-double-tap-plan-2012-12#ixzz2EuyhGpAp



Sergeant Prendergast: Let's meet a couple of police officers. They are all good guys.
Bill Foster: I'm the bad guy?
Sergeant Prendergast: Yeah.
Bill Foster: How did that happen?

- Falling Down





37% = FAIL. Let's face it, the "Fiscal Bluff" is the best deal we're going to get.

"The fiscal cliff deal comes clearer: a 37% top tax rate and a higher Medicare eligibility age"

- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/07/the-fiscal-cliff-deal-comes-clearer-a-37-top-tax-rate-and-a-higher-medicare-eligibility-age/

37% IS an extension of the Bush tax cuts!!!!

FAIL

Give me the Fiscal Bluff.
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