A short while ago I was asked my opinion of Citizen’s United v. Read more
1. Syria remained subject to a bloody turmoil for over two years in 21st Century which promised highest civilization in the history of our planet. Over a hundred thousand innocent fellow humans killed and over a million Syrian citizens displaced. United Nations remained a silent spectator throughout the Syrian’s massacre and so are all the Global Heads of the States “The Hon’able Members of UNO”. What a tremendous conspiracy against an elected government and UN recognized sovereign state. Who financed, armed and patronized the Opposition Party of Syria! Who is a threat to Syrian’s integrity and their solidarity! Who promoted Civil War in Syria! Who will own & justify the innocuous blood of one hundred thousand Syrians! Read more
Michael Stinnett - 9/03/2013: Legal rulings such as Citizens United and lax campaign financing laws have undermined the democratic process allowing wealthy donors to buy elections; so-called Super PACs are a pernicious influence on society and should be abolished. A Super PAC, or independent expenditure-only committee, “may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs must, however, report their donors to the Federal Election Commission on a monthly or quarterly basis – the Super PAC's choice – as a traditional PAC would. Unlike traditional PACs, Super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates” (Super PACs). The recent ruling protects political spending by corporations in candidate elections, citing the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. In justifying the ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote that “'If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech'” (The New York Times). Read more
When Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court in January of 2006, one of the issues she felt very strongly about was the increasingly common call for federal judges, and state judges, to be elected as opposed to appointed. She was decidedly against the idea, and has put a great deal of her time, outside of hearing cases on various federal courts of appeal and encouraging greater civics education, to fighting efforts in various states to turn to an elective system of placing judges on the bench. A number of states already have an elective system in place, or variants of it, but at the Federal level the Constitution in Article 3 creates the appointive process of nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate. The question I have been pondering more and more lately is whether it is really desirable to have elected judges. I will attempt to answer that question with this article. Read more
It seems puzzling that Harvard University would grant tenure, let alone appoint someone to be the chairman of its economics department, who fundamentally doesn't believe in economics. But there it is, all spelled out in a much talked about new paper, "Defending the One Percent," by Harvard economics professor and former Mitt Romney advisor, N. Gregory Mankiw, in the June issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
After summarily dispensing with the arguments offered by those on "the left" for greater income equality, specifically those of Joseph Stiglitz who condemns today's yawning wage gap as not only unjust and obscene but economically inefficient as well, Mankiw concludes his 25-page apologia for the bulging portfolios of today's plutocrats by asserting that taxing the wealthy to support socially useful purposes is just plain "wrong." Read more
Banks behind foreclosure fraud & the mortgage crisis are failing to comply with the meager settlement, underpaying homeowners, facing no real enforcement. They continue to pass go and collect $200.
While Lauryn Hill serves time for tax evasion, Enron's Jeffrey Skilling gets a reduced sentence & Wall Street's criminals evade repercussions. Some folks have a Get Out of Jail Free card.
Student debt has now surpassed credit card debt, both of which are at an all-time high. And since bankruptcy can't discharge that debt, Americans are force to keep rolling the dice.
It can feel like 99% of us are on the losing side of a big game of high-stakes Monopoly. Yet in Monopoly, we all start with the same cash & the same rules apply to everyone.
Maybe Monopoly is fairer than what we're seeing now.
Take a Chance on a night of pints & politics, like a Community Chest for like-minded liberals at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
Labor Day Demonstration against child labor - 1909
So if "class warfare" actually breaks out (we’re not talking about beheading rich folks .... yet!) with what "class" do you identify?
Are you "middle class, upper middle-class, lower class?" These are categories we love to use and always see in the corporate media.
These categories are based on how much you make and how much you consume. They assume you work. You have a job. If if are "lower" or "middle" class you cannot stay home and live on accumulated wealth or on income generated by others working for you. Yet rarely are such folks characterized as "workers".
The broad categories of class are better defined by your relationship to the process of the production of wealth.
You are either a worker, selling your labor because you have no other adequate source of income or you are an owner, a capitalist whose income is generated by others - i.e workers in your factory/corporation or your investments, or your accumulated wealth. Read more
As required class reading, I am tempted to assign to George F. Will an essay in December's American Conservative written by former Reagan economic adviser and Republican apostate Bruce Bartlett, called "Revenge of the Reality-based Community." In it, Bartlett chronicles his excommunication from the conservative movement for the unpardonable offense of thinking for himself.
Will might benefit from the outside reading considering that in the Washington Post he once again delivers a broadside against one of his favorite bugaboos - rampant "political correctness" in American academia.
Will has two obsessions in life: Campaign finance laws that restrict the ability of corporations and billionaires to buy America's democracy; and "PC" speech codes that promote multi-culturalism on American college campuses and so constrict the freedom of conservative white guys to say offensive things about racial, ethnic, religious and other "protected" minorities. Read more
About a hundred years ago, our nation was engaged in World War I, and needed to simplify how the government funded its responsibilities. For the Treasury to be able to fund debts incurred from obligations already legislated by Congress without additional votes from Congress every time money was to be released, the debt ceiling was created.
The government website describes the debt ceiling best: “Indeed, the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments; it simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have approved in the past.” (http://www.treasury.gov/)
The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times, and typically with no fanfare, until… Read more
Patience; this is what I have been recommending all along. The economy has been improving for a while now, the stock market has recovered and making money, and now Americans are going back to work.
It was just reported, unemployment fell for September to its lowest number since January 2009. There were 114,000 jobs added in September, and 86,000 more jobs were added in July and August than originally reported.
This is of course, good news for the Obama Campaign and it should turn the election even more in his favor. Mitt Romney’s job to convince Americans that Obama does not know what he’s doing when it comes to the economy, just got a lot more difficult. Read more
It’s Sunday August 19th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1964, The Beatles kicked off their first U.S. tour at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. In the years that followed, they revolutionized the music world. Aside from their unbridled creativity, daring innovation, and masterful musical skill set, The Beatles simply refused to compromise their integrity. Around that same time another "Revolution" was in the works, a counterrevolution. Charles G. Koch assumed control of his family’s oil and refining company, and turned it into Koch Industries. He purchased a majority interest in Great Northern Oil Company which enabled him to expand his business into the chemical, polymer, fiber, asphalt, and sulfur industries. Read more
The Trickle-Down effect (Reaganomics)
Many Americans bought into the idea presented to them back in the 80′s that cutting taxes for businesses, corporations and those who invest in those corporations would somehow stimulate the economy and create jobs. We were told our economy would be better because the better off business was, the better off all of us would be. That really just did not happen.
What really transpired from that moment on and even until today was that, a small percentage of Americans grew much wealthier at a faster rate but many Americans began to lose out, even before they knew they were losing out. Read more