Corporate Domination


Background Info and Links

Fight Big Money - A realistic plan to get corporate money out of politics.

International Labor Organization

National TPP Resistance Calls

Socialist Alternative

Fix Capitalism

Center for Public Integrity: Most Corrupt State in the Union? GEORGIA and Here

Capital In The Twenty-First Century - by Thomas Piketty - 6 of the 10 wealthiest Americans are heirs. The next generation will be close to 10 of 10. He calls it ‘patrimonial capitalism.’ I call it plutocracy. Either way, it’s not democracy.

Here’s a good short summarization by PNHP. Karl Marx was right: The motivating force of capitalism is the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the source of profit. The employer can claim rights to profit mainly through property rights enforced by the capitalist state. Without government intervention/regulation, wealth tends to concentrate towards the top creating greater and greater disparity between the classes. It is not hyperbole, but just a simple fact, that we are currently in the new Gilded Age, with wealth disparities that have not been seen since pre-WWI and Here. And as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers put it: “The plutocrats fund the only two parties allowed to run for office and the people are manipulated by fear to vote against their interests in a mirage democracy of rigged elections.” And Here.


NYTimes: UAW Contracts Change Math for Detroit Automakers

Intercept: WTO Ruling on Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Illustrates Supremacy of Trade Agreements - Obama says that TPP cannot force the US to change its laws. That’s a lie.


Socialist Alternative: Kshama Sawant on Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism - A movement is building.

BBC: US Approves Genetically Modified (and unlabeled) Salmon for Food - And it is possible for these fish to interbreed with wild fish.


Real News: Chris Hedges, Kevin Zeese: TPP: The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History - Here are 10 ways TPP will affect you.

Truth Out: Hillary Goes Bush League - ...when confronted with her massive support from Wall Street, and Here.


ProPublica: Hillary Clinton’s Mixed Record on Wall Street Belies Her Tough ‘Cut It Out’ Talk -


Truth Out: J. K. Galbraith On The Human Cost of Inequality in the Neoliberal Age - The top 3% of households have over 2 X the wealth of the bottom 90%.

Democracy-NOW: “A Very Big Mistake”: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz Slams Obama for Pushing TPP

BBC: Greek Debt Crisis: Clashes During Austerity Strike

Common Dreams: If Wall Street Reform Becomes 2016 Litmus Test, Clinton Will Have Lots of Explaining To Do


UK Guardian: Portuguese Leftist Coalition Ousts Right-Wing Austerity Government - A worldwide movement is slowly coming together. It is happening in Greece, Spain, S. America. In the USA there is Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and Socialist Alternative. It may come here last, but there is no stopping it.


Democracy-NOW: Full Text of TPP Revealed - Critics Say It’s Even Worse than They Thought - Here’s the full text.

Chris Hedges: TPP: Corporate Enslavement

US Sen. Jeff Sessions (D-AL): ‘My Fears Confirmed’; Shut Off Fast-Track Now - I include Sessions’ remarks because they are short and to the point and because he is one of the most conservative and pro-corporate voices in the Senate. If he’s against it, that says a lot.

Intercept: TPP Would Give Wall Street a Trump Card to Block Regulations - The very thing that caused the 2008 economic meltdown.


International Business Times: As US Promotes TPP As A Way to Improve Labor Standards, Guatemala Shows Failed Promises of Previous Trade Deals


Common Dreams: In Victory for Public Ed, CO Boots Koch-Backed Charter School Advocates - See entry of 10/28.


Democracy-NOW: The Price We All Pay: As US Becomes Top Tax Haven, How Hiding Wealth Offshore Robs the People at Home - Corporate Welfare. Amnesty for corporate tax dodgers, but not for undocumented aliens.

ProPublica: Billions of Dollars Flowing to For-Profit Colleges - Corporate Welfare. Government redistributing wealth from the middle class to the 1%.


CASSE: Time to Stop Worshipping Economic Growth


NYTimes: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice


Intercept: Television News Network Lobbyists Are Fundraising for Hillary Clinton


CNN: What is Democratic Socialism, American-Style? - It’s as American as apple pie, and it’s been around since day 1. A great foundational article.

NYTimes: School Board Recall Vote in CO Tests Conservative Policies - Koch Bros.-supported charter school advocates vs. the people.


Democracy-NOW: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy”

Human Rights Watch: Malaysia: Stop Treating Criticism as a Crime - This is the country that currently traffics the most slaves in the world - mostly Rohingya Muslims attempting to escape the genocide in Burma (Myanmar). Obama’s State Department watered down their annual report on Malaysia so the TPP could be passed, and Here and Here. Any Malaysian that criticizes this practice from within is thrown in jail indefinitely. Any American who complains about past slavery here, but ignores this issue and supports either major party is a complete hypocrite.


Center for Economic and Policy Research: Losing Middle Class Jobs and Owning Technology - TPP is one law out of many by which the government redistributes wealth from the middle class to the top. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Common Dreams: Landmark Look at US Charter System Reveals Waste, Fraud, ‘Ghost Schools’


Center for Economic and Policy Research: The TPP and Nonsense on Trade

BAR: Christopher Columbus Lives On

Democracy-NOW: Joe Biden for President? Media Buzz Ignores How Veep Worsened Student Debt on Big Banks’ Behalf - He’s been pushing since 1970 to make it harder for graduates to get out from under student-loans, and for people to get out from under crushing debt. His top contributor is the credit card company MBNA.


HuffPo: Sanders Explains How Taxing the Rich Will Pay For His Policies


NYTimes: Guess Who Else is a Socialist?


Common Dreams: ‘Out of Control’ Inequality: Global One Percent Owns Half of World’s Wealth - “The 2015 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report puts worldwide wealth inequality at a level "possibly not seen for almost a century," the researchers write. The data also reveals a declining middle class and that the poorest half of the world's population owns just one percent of its assets. Meanwhile, the number of "ultra-wealthy" people continues to climb.” “The Credit Suisse report shows worldwide inequality growing even faster than experts had predicted.”


CNN Money: Wall Street Has Made Hillary a Millionaire


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: A Pipeline Straight to Jail


NYTimes: The 158 Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Elections - According to studies cited in this report, 67% of Americans favor increasing taxes on those making over $1 Million/year, 60% favor increasing government intervention to reduce the gap between rich and poor, 70% favor leaving Social Security and Medicare the way they are. But the tiny majority at the top is forcing politics to continue moving to the right, lowering taxes on capital gains, inheritance and lowering government interference such as environmental and safety regulations. One tenth of 1% of taxpayers at the top have quintupled their already huge incomes since 1979, while almost everyone else has remained stagnant or decreased. These few people, through family connections and interlocking directorates continue to further concentrate their wealth and power to the detriment of 99.9% of the population. They live in heavily protected compounds and do not mingle with anyone outside of their tight knit group. A great report.


UK Guardian: Wikileaks Release of TPP Text Stokes ‘Freedom of Expression’ Fears and Wikileaks Text - Corporations will be allowed to shut down free speech if it interferes with their profits. Corporate lobbyists have had complete free access to this document for over 2 years. But for the citizens of the countries affected it is secret. Obama SAYS he will release the full text AFTER it becomes law. Orwellian.


Time: TPP Is A Bad Deal for American Workers - The 4 basic reasons why. By the President of AFL-CIO.

CNN Money: Wall Street Isn’t Worried About Hillary Clinton’s Plan


Common Dreams: Fortune 500 Companies Stash $2.1 Trillion Offshore as US Taxpayers Foot the Bill

Open Secrets: $$Millions (at least) Spent by 487 Organizations to Influence TPP Outcome

Black Agenda Report: Obama Appoints Charter School Lifer as New Secretary of Education - Just another example of how both Democrats and Republicans talk such a good game to their respective constituencies on the campaign trail, but their actions always and only support the 1%. No Difference. A short article with some great links. Performance studies supposedly showing improved performance by charters almost always turn out to be a pack of lies. One good example: even though charter school advocates (such as GA Governor Deal) point to New Orleans as an example of where charter schools benefit students, the NAEP found that New Orleans charter schools rank below Louisiana public schools and are almost dead last in the USA.

Democracy-NOW: Breast Cancer Patient Arrested for Protesting TPP: “This is Price Gouging at the Cost of Lives” - Truly a bi-partisan effort to screw average Americans - again. Any support for either major party is support for just this sort of insult to us all. NAFTA on steroids.

ProPublica: Verizon’s Zombie Cookie Gets New Life


Matt Taibbi: Wells Fargo’s Master Spin Job

Nobel Lauret Joseph Stiglitz & Adam Hersh: The TPP Charade


Natural News: Meet the Sleazy Monsanto Operatives Pretending to be Journalists for Discover, Slate, The Washington Post and the NYTimes

Immanuel Wallerstein: Resurgence of the World Left


Democracy-NOW: Robert Reich on Bernie Sanders - “There is no free market. And the kind of battle that we’ve had between liberals and conservatives for the past 40 years or 50 years, between do you trust the market or do you trust government, is a fatuous and silly battle, because you can’t have a market without government creating the rules of that market. And it’s inside those rules that you find the most important issues that ought to be debated.”


Democracy-NOW: Pope Francis Compares Catholic Radicals Thomas Merton & Dorothy Day to Lincoln and MLK - Dorothy Day: “We need to overthrow...this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering...” She worked with the poor and homeless and focused her teachings on the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount...‘blessed are the peacemakers’ etc. She is was arrested numerous times protesting war and the system that enables it. She is on her way to canonization.  Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk who wrote The Seven Story Mountain and Spiritual Direction and Meditation, re-introduced meditation to Christians as a form of prayer (after over 1,500 was the original form of Christianity), studied Buddhism, met with the Dalai Lama and worked closely with peoples of many faiths finding commonalities rather than focusing on differences. The fact that the Pope chose to speak to the US Congress about these two figures is quite encouraging.


Washington Post: Transcript of Pope Francis’s Speech to Congress


American AlJazeera: Election Offers No Solution to Greece’s Problems - Synopsis: The terrorists in this case are the European Central Bank, European Commission and the IMF, by virtue of their forced shut down of Greek banks during the entire negotiations. That’s unprecedented. The austerity conditions imposed on Greece guaranty a prolonged - possibly for decades - depression. This is nothing more than the above named terrorists making an example out of Greece, so that countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and France do not attempt to resist their will. “It is not surprising that, aside from the record-low voter turnout, Syriza was able to win this appeal. In most countries, when the most important political leaders of the biggest parties and the vast majority of the media all agree that something is a fact, it becomes a “fact” even if it is not.” Sound familiar? “Within the context of this “fact” that there was no choice but to submit to the will of the European authorities, it makes sense that most of Syriza’s voters would return it to power.” Unemployment is 25% with no end in sight. Who knows what sort of opportunistic, anti-government, anti-European, possibly violent ideology will thrive in this environment. But don’t forget who the true terrorists are.

The Verge: Society’s Elite Don’t Want to Pay Too Much for Equality, Study Suggests - We needed a study to tell us this? Tax the Rich!


Telesur: Pope Criticizes Capitalism: “This Empire Throws Away the Young” - Capitalism is the “Dung of the Devil.”

NYTimes: Tsipras Given a Second Chance by Greek Voters - Looks like a trend to me: 1. Campaign on a stridently socialist/populist platform, 2. Once elected capitulate and give the corporations everything they want (which was probably agreed on beforehand), 3. Let the corporate propaganda machine put a happy face on it, run again, and a slight majority of voters will buy this garbage. Barack Obama did it. Alexis Tsipras did it. Is Bernie Sanders doing it?


NYTimes: FDA Nominee Califf’s Ties to Drug Makers Worry Some -  Obama continues his policy of nominating industry insiders to cabinet positions that they are supposed to regulate. Examples: Former Biotech Governor of the Year Tom Vilsack: Sec. of Agriculture, Monsanto provided the jet that Vilsack used to travel the state of Iowa during his gubernatorial campaign; former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael R. Taylor appointed to Food Safety Czar at FDA; former Citigroup exec. Sec. of Treasury Jack Lew; heir to Hyatt fortune, anti-union, illegal-alien-exploiting, former part owner of Superior Bank which crashed leaving 1,400 people without their life savings but making herself rich Penney Pritzker Sec. of Commerce; Keystone XL and fracking promoting Ernest Moniz Sec. of Energy; charter school and education privatization promoter Arne Duncan Sec. of Education; the appointment of Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of GE - the biggest exporter of jobs overseas, GE makes about $5 Billion/year, pays no taxes, got a $16.1 Billion government bailout, and is sitting on about $80 billion in cash - to head Obama’s Jobs Creation Commission (Immelt must have gotten confused on which country he was supposed to create jobs in),  not to mention Robert Rubin proteges Geithner, Larry Summers, etc. Also worth mentioning is that Elizabeth Warren has publicly praised most of these nominations.


Today: Obama Sure of Deal as Ministers Plan end-September Talks on TPP

Canada TV News: Unifor President: TPP Could Have ‘Catastrophic Effects’ on Canada’s Economy


HuffPo: Disgraced United CEO Jeff Smisek Is the Reason for Income Inequality - Great article, but the title should be generalized to all C-level employees and BODs. Stock buybacks and self dealing, while they destroy the lives of their workers and their communities is what this Corporate Domination section has always been about.

HuffPo: Can We Fix Income Inequality?


NYTimes: With Jeremy Corbyn Elected As New Leader, Britain’s Labor Party Take a Hard Left Turn

RT News: Marxist Elected Leader of UK Labor Party


NYTimes: How An Area’s Union Membership Can Predict Children’s Advancement - Not only has it been shown that union membership raises wages for members and non-members, and that it reduces inequality, but now it has been shown that children from low wage households ascend to higher incomes in metropolitan areas where union membership is higher. I had a union-member uncle who once told me never ever cross a picket line even if you’re hungry and it’s only to buy a loaf of bread.

NYTimes: Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan: Another Large Tax Cut for the Wealthiest

NYTimes: America’s Political Duopoly Stifles the Competition of Ideas


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Only 62% of Working Age Americans Are Actually Employed - A steady decline started in early 2009 from 66%, and continues, despite what you read in the papers about those ‘job numbers.’


ShadowProof: New Book Examines Extreme Poverty Caused by 1996 Welfare Reform Law - As a result of ‘the end of welfare as we know it’, the number of Americans attempting to live on $2 or less per day has doubled and one third of American children now live in poverty and Here. How Worker Co-ops Are Moving Beyond Capitalism - Not mentioned in this article is how renewable energy co-ops can be the backbone of the move away from fossil fuel usage.

HuffPo: Three Rich Ex-Treasury Secretaries Laugh It Up Over Income Inequality


MoJo: All Work, No Pay, The Great American Speedup - As you read this article think of what Karl Marx said about Capitalism: “The motivating force of capitalism is the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the source of profit.”


Truthdig: The Case for Universal Basic Income


NYTimes: The Myth of New Orleans Charter School Makeover - Every time pro-charter advocates try to present data showing improved performance by charter school children over public school children, a study of the data reveals mostly lies and subterfuge.

Democracy-NOW: “Casino Capitalism”: What’s Behind the Stock Market’s Rollercoaster Ride - It’s not China. Synopsis: ‘Quantitative Easing,’ the program devised by Rubin, Geithner, Summers, Bernake and enabled by Bush and Obama, has showered Wall Street with $4.5 Trillion to buy bonds. That pushed the yields so low that the companies receiving the money looked for somewhere else to invest that money - the stock market in the form of buybacks (at least the money leftover after all of the $ millions given away to the C-level employees and Boards of Directors). “Ninety precent of all the earnings of the biggest companies in America in the last five years have gone for stock buybacks and dividends.”

Buybacks were illegal before Ronald Reagan. Buybacks add nothing of value to the economy. Late last Wednesday Wall Street investors realized the game was over and they all started to get out. Before Reagan, excess profits were used to increase capital investments, manufacturing capacity and JOBS. But now they are used to buyback their own stocks, artificially pump up stock prices which increases those executive bonuses - not to mention the current disparity in wages and income between the 1% and us. For example: Walmart alone has spent $65.4 Billion in buybacks, enough to give each of its 1.4 million workers a $4,670 per year raise - about what it costs US taxpayers to subsidize those same employees’ food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other public assistance.

The ‘economy’ and the ‘financial sector’ (sometimes referred to as FIRE: finance, insurance, and real estate) are two completely different and rapidly diverging entities.

So you have Wall Street people basically running politics...No matter who the president is, they’re going to appoint Treasury heads and Fed, Federal Reserve, heads from Wall Street. Wall Street has a veto power on all the major Cabinet positions, and so, essentially, the economy is being run by the financial sector for the financial sector.”


Reuters: Far Left Splits From Tsipras as Greece Heads to Elections - It turns out Tsipras’ objective all along was to talk populist-leftist to get elected, then give the bankers everything they wanted, then seek more ‘centrist’ support in order to strengthen his position...Just like Obama.


Truthout: Deja Vu: Germany Tightens Its Economic Power Over Europe - No country on earth has reneged on more debt in the last 100 years than Germany. Synopsis: European commercial banks received their first bailout in early 2008 just as American commercial banks did.  But in 2008...“A second bailout, required if Greece had defaulted, would have finished those countries' leaders' political careers. Cleverly, the leaders arranged for those institutions to lend to Greece to pay off its private creditors: no need then for second bailouts.” And now...”The richest European economy - Germany - imposed massive suffering onto one of the poorest economies in Europe. This was to help defray three huge costs associated with the 2008 global capitalist crash for which Greece, a tiny country, bore minimal responsibility. Merkel's refusal to negotiate now means that Greeks' tax payments would go not for roads, schools and hospitals, nor to rebuild a crisis-shattered economy, nor to pay and pension Greek public workers. Greeks' taxes must instead be used to service Greece's debts to the institutions for limitless years into the future. Merkel's posturing served her domestic political purposes, but at a huge cost for Europe.”

Alternet: CBS News Comes to Amazon’s Rescue - It’s not news anymore. It’s all infomercials. Probably has nothing to do with the deal CBS/Viacom recently cut allowing Amazon Prime to stream Viacom’s content from CBS.


HuffPo: Key Democrat Blocks Obama Nomination Over TPP Secrecy


Intercept: Jeb Bush: Iraq War Was “A Pretty Good Deal” - While speaking to a defense contractor lobby group.

ProPublica: Insurance Lobby That Fought Hillarycare and Obamacare Now Has Sturdy Bridges to Democrats - The revolving door continues. Once a government official supposedly looking out for American citizens, now a corporate executive tasked with maximizing profits at the expense of those same citizens - and then back again. Shameful! But just one more example of how corporate America and the two parties are merging into one large indistinguishable control organization. Again, no-difference. The two parties become more identical every day, with only cable-fluff to paper over the obvious. They represent only the ultra-rich at everyone else’s expense.


Global Justice: Greece’s Bailout About Helping Big Business, Not Greece’s People


CBS News: Hillary Super-PAC Collects Secret $1 Million Contribution - A major contribution for which something major is expected. Clearly she’s a corporatist in progressive clothing. ‘Patrimonial Plutocracy


NYTimes: Highest Paid CEOs in 2014 - These CEOs and their associated Boards of Directors ARE the 1%. Meanwhile at least 30 million Americans will never be able to afford any type of health insurance, half of America’s children live in poverty, and 1 in 5 American children are on Food Stamps. America’s wealth grew by $30 Trillion (60%) in the last 6 years, it ALL went to the top 1%, in that same 6 years the number of homeless American children also grew by 60%. “The plutocrats fund the only two parties allowed to run for office and the people are manipulated by fear to vote against their interests in a mirage democracy of rigged elections.”


Interoccupy: US Ignores Malaysia’s Ongoing Slave Trade In Order to Pass TPP

Intercept: Koch Political Machine Focuses on “Freedom” to Pollute and Pay Less Taxes

NYTimes: TPP Session Ends With Heels Dug In - I’m afraid to get too optimistic, however one irony, not explicitly mentioned in the article, is striking. The TPP, like the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and most trade deals, has a clause that makes it impossible to favor local businesses. So laws passed to stimulate renewables manufacturers which also favor local parts makers can be taken to WTO arbitration (essentially a supra-national court - something Obama says will never happen) and reversed as was the case for Silfab in Ontario - causing one of the most promising solar renewables manufacturers in the world to fold. But on the other hand the TPP does contain protections for manufacturers who source at least 70% from other TPP nations. So protections that help them are fine, but those that don’t are illegal. And those that don’t are generally the lifeblood of the renewables industry.

Reuters: Special Report: State Department Watered Down Human Trafficking Report - ...mainly so that Obama could ram through TPP...and where are all the people that claim to be so politically correct on the issue of different now than the pre-1865 South...and the US is encouraging the worst of today’s slave traders...see entry of 7/27


Intercept: “Yes, We’re Corrupt”: A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics - Jimmy Carter: “Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congressmembers. … So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors …”

Popular Resistance: Hawaii TPP Protest Breaks Guinness World Record - “We aren’t opposed to trade, and we aren’t opposed to international cooperation. What we are opposed to is economic imperialism—the writing of the rules of the global economy in order to serve solely the most dominant financial interests, always at the expense of the poorest.” There seems to be a glimmer of hope. During the Hawaii negotiations, there was considerable disagreement among TPP nations. The US is trying to force provisions that will protect the profits of pharmaceutical and other medical corporations. This would virtually destroy the government sponsored health care systems of Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Those governments refused, the meeting broke up and there is no date or place for the next meeting. That could put the negotiations into the 2016 campaign year allowing this to become a major campaign issue, not only in the US but also Japan and Canada.


Reuters: US ‘Softens’ View of Malaysia and NYTimes - This is all about shoving TPP down our throats. I really don’t want to hear one more word about the Confederate flag from anyone who supports Obama, any Democrat or any Republican. Despite a rejection letter from 160 House members, 18 Senators, Human Rights Watch, Fortify Rights, and many other anti-slavery NGOs, and the fact, pointed out in both of these articles, that no one is ever convicted of human trafficking in Malaysia, it was approved for Tier 2, which opens the way for Obama and the majority of Rs and Ds to shove TPP down our throats.  “International scrutiny and outcry followed the discovery in May of scores of graves in people-smuggling camps near Malaysia's northern border with Thailand. The report also described conditions under which migrants were still forced into labor, and women and children coerced into the sex trade.” Trade trumps slavery in the USA. The American flag flew over a county which approved of slavery for 74 years before slavery was ended here, and still does to this very day.

Common Dreams: How Big Corporations Cheat On Their Taxes


NYTimes: Gap Widening as Top Workers Reap the Raises - High wage workers get the big raises. Lower-level workers get the door. “The Dung of the Devil.”


NYTimes: NY Plans $15/Hr. Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers - The most interesting thing about this article is how the authors carefully avoid mentioning the people who got this initiative started in the first place: Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative. They are referred to here as “the labor protest movement”...and it didn’t start in NY. It started in Seattle. NYTimes has become just another pro-corporate voice, in their case carefully controlling the message for corporate Democrats.


NYTimes: The Only Realistic Way to Fix Campaign Finance

New Yorker: How Greece Can Help Itself


AlterNet: Whole Foods Exploits Prison Labor, While Denying Climate Change and Ripping You Off and CS Monitor


Marketwatch: Greece’s Anti-Austerity Riots in Pictures


Black Agenda Report: Obama’s Prison Charade Continues


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: We Are All Greeks Now - One of his best ever. “The destruction of Greece, like the destruction of America, by the big banks and financial firms is not, as the bankers claim, about austerity or imposing rational expenditures or balanced budgets. It is not about responsible or good government. It is a vicious form of class warfare. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It is about forming nations of impoverished, disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon. The laws and rules it imposes on the poor are, as Barbara Ehrenreich has written, little more than “organized sadism.”

Common Dreams: #ThisIsACoup: Global Anger Erupts Over Harsh German Austerity Demands


NYTimes: Greek Financial Crisis Hits Poorest and Hungriest the Hardest - While bankers and the rich party on.

NYTimes: In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism


Socialist Alternative: Greek Prime Minister Tsipras Crosses the Rubicon - A bit polemic, but nonetheless speaking to the kernel of the issue. The Greek people came together and elected the Syriza party with Tsipras as its head. That was a serious statement of final exasperation with austerity and Eurobanker domination. Then came the historic 60+% vote in favor of “No” by the Greek people. They couldn’t have spoken more clearly - twice. And what does Tsipras do? Capitulate! The Left’s response? The Syriza party leadership “swallowed the fairy tale perpetuated by the ruling class that their profit system is invincible, that capitalism can never be overthrown and that the exit from the Euro would be equal to a social catastrophe. The defeat into which Tsipras and his government led the Greek working class is historical but it is not final.” This will be an interesting story to follow. My bet is that the Greek people will not just obediently lie down and submit to the boot of European fascism.

UK Guardian: Pope Francis: “Unbridled Capitalism Is The Dung of the Devil” - "Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change," the Pope declared, as he blasted a system of unbridled capitalism across the planet that "has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature." “This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, labourers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable,” Referring to IMF policies in the 3rd world: “The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor,” he said. He defended labor unions and praised poor people who had formed cooperatives to create jobs where previously “there were only crumbs of an idolatrous economy”.


NY Daily News: Hedge Fund Moguls Who Played Big Role in Puerto Rico’s Money Woes Will Be Greeted by Protestors At $5,000 per plate Cuomo Fundraiser - They bought PR debt at pennies on the dollar and now want to put the people into permanent abject poverty in order to recoup their dirty mammon. The Pope calls them “The Dung of the Devil.”


Reuters: Obama State Department Upgrades Malaysia Slave Status in Order to Pass TPP and Human Rights Watch and Here and Here - So the USA supports slavery when it works for us, but condemns it from 150 years ago.


Firedoglake: Fear Alert: US Press Unquestioningly Spreads Predictions of ISIS Attacks on July 4th Holiday - See entry of 6/28. Please don’t forget to be frightened. The Surveillance State depends on it. Statistically we have more to fear from domestic White Supremacists and Anti-Government nut jobs - in other words White People.

Popular Resistance: 16 States and 500 Municipalities Have Voted to Repeal Citizens United


Project Syndicate: Europe’s Attack on Greek Democracy

Common Dreams: ‘No to Austerity’: Tens of Thousands Back Syriza At Rally in Athens


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: The Lonely American - “The object of a totalitarian state is to keep its citizens locked within the parameters of official propaganda and permanently isolated. Propaganda and isolation make it difficult for an individual to express or carry out dissent. Official opinions, little more than digestible slogans and clichés, are crafted and disseminated by public relations specialists on behalf of the power elite. They are repeated endlessly over the airwaves until the public unconsciously ingests them.” “Corporate propaganda saturates the public, especially a generation wedded to new technology, with these lies.” Examples come to mind: Government is not the solution to the problem, Government Is The Problem...Saddam Hussein secretly met with Osama bin Laden...Saddam possesses  WMDs...We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud...It was a failure of intelligence...Cutting taxes on the job creators will lead to economic revival...Removing government regulations will set the market free...Obama’s legacy is now secure...

“Corporate propaganda has become so potent that many Americans are addicted. We must leave our isolated rooms. We must shut out these images. We must connect with those around us.”


NYTimes: Who’s Speaking Up for the American Worker? - You really should read this.


Yes! Magazine: 6 Ways TPP Opponents Have Won Even As Fast Track Advances

Real News: TPP: Choreographed Corruption - $200 Million contributed to Congress Whores to support TPA and Here . It really goes without saying that we have now completely turned over our entire government to the Kochtocracy by virtue of our lazy apathy. That government now has no real legitimacy, validity or authority. It rules only by the barrel of a gun - and is very happy to demonstrate that truth on a daily basis.


Common Dreams: A Great Day for Corporate America - Shameful. 13 Democrats who voted for TPP: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Black Agenda Report: Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even From Black Caucus - “Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence.”


MoJo: New Study By Economic Policy Institute: American CEOs Now Make 303 Times As Much As Their Workers

International Business Times: How TPP Gives Corporations Special Legal Rights


NYTimes: For the New Superrich, Life Is Much More Than a Beach - And they say we can’t afford universal health care.

American Prospect: Fast Track to the Corporate Wish List


Intercept: Clinton Campaign Fundraises With Pro-TPP Lobby Firm As Congress Re-schedules Trade Vote


Common Dreams: Exposed: How Walmart Spun An Extensive and Secret Web of Overseas Tax Havens - Stashing almost $8 Billion in tax haven countries and paying virtually no US or foreign taxes. Meanwhile the American taxpayers pay over $6 Billion per year in nutrition, health care and housing assistance for subsistence wage Walmart employees.


Common Dreams: IMF Report Admits Its Obsession with Capitalism is Killing Prosperity - There is no empirical evidence that supply side/trickle down economic theories work. There is plenty of evidence that it does not work. Here is more.

Popular Resistance: EU Parliamentarians Call on Congress to Stop Fast Track


Campaign for America’s Future: 28 House Democrats Who Voted for Fast Track

Truthout: With the Do-Over on TPP, We’re Playing by Rich People’s Rules

Democracy-NOW: As Democrats Walk Out on Obama’s TPP, Where Does Candidate Hillary Clinton Stand? - Synopsis: Now that Bernie Sanders is flaming hot, and attracting larger crowds than any other candidate from either party, Hillary is trying to sound all progressive and looking out for the people. But the fact is that the Clintons are the ones who brought Wall Street into the Democratic party and sold its soul. Obama has now completed that job. But don’t worry, Hillary’s Wall Street backers ‘get it.’ Hopefully rank and file Democrats in the House will hold their position this week and send TPP/TAA down to defeat.


UK Guardian: Defeat for Obama on TPP and NYTimes - Predictably the Democrats have officially turned their backs on lame-duck Obama. He has served his purpose, but please curb your enthusiasm. The Koch Brothers are far from giving up. Basically, it’s all going according to plan for both sides. The Dems can make themselves look good for the base. But don’t think they won’t start soliciting for big Super Pac money and try to pass this later. It’s a small victory, but this fight is far from over. The next round will begin on Tuesday.


New Yorker: Why Does Obama Want This Trade Deal So Badly?


UK Independent: Cartier Boss Says Prospect of Poor Rising Up Keeps Him Awake At Night


Democracy-NOW: Protestors Press Secluded G7 Leaders on Harmful Policies, From Crippling Austerity to Dirty Coal


NYTimes: How A Carried Interest Tax Could Raise $180 Billion - And it can be done with the stroke of a presidential pen.


Salon: “We Are in a Revolutionary Moment”: Chris Hedges Explains Why An Uprising is Coming

Telesur: US-Peru Free Trade Deal Failed to Enforce Environmental Norms - A clear example of why claims made by Obama and others that TPP and “free trade” deals protect workers and the environment, are all basically a pack of corporate lies.


UK Guardian: Wikileaks Releases New Documents Related to Controversial US Trade Pact


Democracy-NOW: WikiLeaks Offers $100,000 “Bounty” for Leaked Drafts of Secret TPP Chapters

The Nation: Ecuador’s Battle for Environmental Justice Against Chevron - Also, rent the movie ‘Crude.’


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: Karl Marx Was Right


Nation of Change: Thousands Protest Britain’s Tory Austerity - ...but not a word of it in the MSM.


HuffPo: Obama Desperate to OK Slavery in Order to Pass TPP and With Paul Ryan’s Help - And we’re pulling down the Confederate Flag because of what now?

International Business Times: Clinton Foundation Donors Got $165 Billion in Weapons Deals from Clinton State Department

NYTimes: After Indicting 14 Soccer Officials, US Vows to End Graft in FIFA - To partially quote the top reader comment (currently 1,187 thumbs ups): “The U.S. justice system can manage to extradite soccer officials from Switzerland but cannot manage to put one banker in jail for crashing the world economy.”

Al Jazeera: Pro-TPP Arguments Show Desperation


Seattle Met: Wealthy Donors Meet to Raise Money Against Sawant - From the article: Wealthy donors from within the district promised that “hefty out-of-state donations were going to be coming in from top-tier-donor counterparts from around the country who are antsy about Sawant.” Can you say David Koch?


DCMediaGroup: DC Activists March Against Monsanto and GMOs


Huff Po: Obama Takes Unexpected Setback on TPP in Senate - Namely a clause prohibiting dealing with nations that deal in human trafficking. This will force Malaysia out of the deal. Just call Obama the anti-Lincoln.


Common Dreams: Progressive Groups Rally Behind Sanders’ Plant to Tax the 1% and Fund Higher Education

NYTimes: LA Lifts Minimum Wage to $15 - And in this article not one mention of who started all of this: Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative, nor were any comments allowed that referred to them. It’s called ‘controlling the message.’


Democracy-NOW: Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders - A more insightful than expected article. Ralph Nader: On Obama’s performance on the issue of empire, expanding wars in Yemen, Syria, Pakistan and Libya and now putting troops back on the ground in Iraq after being elected as a candidate of peace: “he’s expanded it (empire), and he’s basically broken every international law relating to national sovereignties. He’s broken some of the Geneva Conventions, all of which the U.S. is a signatory to, U.N. Charter....

What are we getting for it? We’re getting the massive proliferation of violent groups, offshoots and sub-offshoots of al-Qaeda. There are so many of these groups in Africa and Asia spreading, Southeast Asia, that the Pentagon is having trouble indexing them....

when millions of people in Asia and Africa are living under drones, they hear that whine 24 hours a day, it’s terror, it’s horror. They don’t know whether their homes are going to be blown up from this lightning bolt from the sky. And then we wonder why people are hating us and want to do us in...

And it’s only a matter of time. As we push these fighters to become more skilled, more bold, greater in numbers, it’s only a matter of time when the suicide belts are coming to this country. And our country is totally unable to withstand preservation of its civil liberties and democracy with these attacks. And the whole process of democratic processes, allocation of public budgets, will be completely turned upside down in this country with a couple violent terrorist attacks.”

NYTimes: Wall Street is Back, Almost As Big As Ever


NYTimes: For the Highest-Paid CEOs, The Party Goes On

NYTimes: Shareholders’ Votes Have Done Little to Curb Lavish Executive Pay

NYTimes: Highest Paid Chiefs in 2014


NYTimes: Sen. Warren Is Chief Detractor of TPP In Name Only - “She does not sit on the committee where the trade package was written. She has never taken part in negotiations over its legislative language. When Democrats held a news conference after the measure failed on a procedural vote Tuesday, she was not there, nor did she speak on the floor after it passed on Thursday, as many of her colleagues did.” She’s great at vituperating, but when it’s time for work she is not present. Kind of reminds me of another first term Dem Senator who at first appeared to be a great orator, but then did exactly the opposite of practically every campaign promise he made.


Rolling Stone: The Democratic Party Would Triangulate Its Own Mother - The dust up over TPP between Obama and Warren? Completely contrived and scripted.


Socialist Alternative: Bernie Sanders Calls for Political Revolution - Actually a very insightful article predicting what the Democratic party elite are going to do with Sanders when he gets too popular - as they did to Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean - and what he can do at that point to create a real, sustainable progressive movement in America.

UK Mirror: Hundreds of Anti-Conservative Protestors Face Off With Police at Downing Street and Guardian


UK Guardian: Obama Says There’s Nothing Secret in TPP - But that’s just Obama lying again. It’s a daily occurrence now.

Health Affairs Blog: The TPP: A Threat to Global Health


NYTimes: For the Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers, A Difficult 2014 Paid Very Well


Common Dreams: Beyond Neoliberalism Lies Opportunity for Grand Restructuring - Democratic Socialism


Common Dreams: Entitlements Are Bankrupting America. But the Rich Keep Taking Them


Open Secrets: Senate Finance Committee (That RecentlyPassed TPP Fast Track) Is Most Corrupt Group in Congress


Mint Press: Labor Unions and Business Lobby Clash Over Obama’s Bid To Fast Track TPP - Rep. Sander’s response to TPP basically the same objections as those outlined here since 10/4/13.


MIC: Top Economist Sizes Up Income Inequality in America, Has A Dire Prediction for Our Future


Bloomberg: Series of Special Reports on How Corporations Dodge Taxes And Get Away With It - This series won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. corporate welfare


Popular Resistance: Tens of Thousands Protest Rigged TPP


Real News: Obama to Get ‘Fast Track’ for TPP and Other Trade Pacts - What’s most interesting about this is all of the groups that are against this legislation: Public Citizen, Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, Friends of Earth, NRDC, Electronic Freedom Foundation, Fight for the Future, Food and Water Watch, but the Rs and Ds in Congress on the payroll of large corporations are going to ram this down our throats. The Obama Administration has promoted these secret negotiations since his first year in office. Once again he out-Bush’s GWB. StopFastTrack.

Common Dreams: At Home and Abroad, The Labor Movement Comes Roaring Back - “Fifty-eight percent of the U.S. jobs created since the 2008 crash do not pay enough for workers to live on.”


Public Citizen: Analysis of Fast Track/TPP

Popular Resistance: Trillions in New Wealth, Millions of Children in Poverty - “America’s wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over $30 trillion. In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children has also grown by 60 percent.” 1 in 5 children in the US are on food stamps. Only the richest have had income gains since 2010. Half of American children live in poverty.Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States. When President Obama said, “I believe America is exceptional,” he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends would never admit.” It’s time for a steeply progressive income tax.

NYTimes: Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama Trade Accord - At this point there is just no more argument about Democrats being the ‘lesser evil.’ Rs and Ds are all clearly on the same team, just playing different parts. Again check the comments and click on “Reader’s Picks.” The people clearly ‘get it’ now...a little bit late.

Our Land Our Business: Civil Society Asks 3 Critical Questions of the World Bank

Common Dreams: Largest Ever Low-Wage Worker Protest Sweeps US and the World and Here


Common Dreams: Comparison of Clinton vs Sanders Contributors Says It All - Check it out.

UK Telegraph: Head of European Central Bank Glitter-Bombed - $65 Billion per month into the bonus packages of C-level employees and Boards of Directors of big European banks.


NYTimes: Don’t Keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks Secret - Government secrets need to be kept if they protect our security interests or if there is an ongoing investigation/legal action. Anything past that is a deliberate attempt to hide something from the people.


Common Dreams: Report Reveals How Corporate Tax Dodgers Avoid Paying Their Fair Share - Or Any Share At All - More corporate welfare


AFSCME: Atlanta, Leading the Nation in Income Inequality, Needs Unions - Nationally, union members average $200/week/$10,000/year more than non-union. "No one is going to pay you more if you don't negotiate for it," said Carlton Hamm a City of Atlanta water service technician. "Unions give people the power to negotiate for wages they need to live on. Wake up, Atlanta – join a union."

Salon: GOP’s Sick New Crusade: Inside the Conservative War on Poor Women - They wouldn’t be able to do it without the cooperation of Dems, so the title is a bit misleading.


Other Worlds: Why America’s Billionaires Owe You a Thank You Note - more corporate welfare

Huff Po: Living the High Life After Congress - Rethugs and Democraps all move to K Street after they’re out of Congress, and increase their annual salary by and average 1,452%.

Democracy-NOW: Emanuel Wins Chicago Run-Off But Progressives Show A Force That Can No Longer Be Ignored

Vice News: Tapes Show Chevron Attempts to Cover Up Ecuadoran Oil Disaster and DeSmogBlog


Occupy: Fixed Fortunes: Corporations Contribute $Billions to Politicians, Get $Trillions In Return - A Sunlight Foundation study shows that between 2007 - 2012 they received $4.4 Trillion, more than total Social Security outlays. Yet with the Citizens United decision, the Whore Court stated that corporations get nothing in return for their contributions.


Good Men Project: 10 Facts About Income Inequality

  1. -The 300 richest people in the world have more than the poorest 3 billion. So on average, each one of the richest has more than 10 million of the poorest; or more than all of the people in a moderate sized country. Bill Gates has $77 Billion.

  2. -Since 1979, income for the top 1% has skyrocketed. Income has been flat for everyone else, despite the fact that productivity has steadily increased. If median household income had kept pace with productivity, it would be $92,000 instead of $50,000. More money is being made. It’s just that none of the increase has gone to workers. This is what ‘trickle down’ economics has gotten us.

  3. -39% of the world’s wealth belongs to the top 1%. Of $135 Trillion in worldwide private wealth, $52 Trillion is owned by the top 1%. Going forward, if nothing changes, the increase in total private wealth will go to the top 1% by 2:1. Most of that income will be in the form of stock appreciation due to buybacks.

  4. -The top 1% of Americans own 50% of all stocks. The bottom 50% own just 0.5%. 95% of income gains since 2009 have gone to the top 1%.

  5. -The bottom 80% own 6% of global wealth, which means that the top 20% own 94% of that wealth.

  6. -The average CEO in 1965 made 24 X the average worker. Today it is 354 X. CEO’s got an average raise of 12.7% last year to $14.7 Million. The average worker took a pay cut.

  7. -The bottom 90% of wage earners owes 73% of the country’s debt. It’s hard to buy assets when you’re up to your ass in debt.

  8. -In the 1940’s, there was a 12% probability of moving up the socioeconomic ladder. Today it’s 3%.

  9. -The US has the worst income inequality in the developed world, mostly due to significant reductions on taxes in the highest tax bracket.

  10. -See entry of 3/31.


UK Guardian: Seattle Workers Hail ‘Historic Moment’ As City Sets Course For $15 Minimum Wage


Scientific American: Economic Inequality Is Far Worse Than You Think - “The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.

The median American estimated that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio was 30-to-1, and that ideally, it’d be 7-to-1. The reality? 354-to-1. Fifty years ago, it was 20-to-1.”

As the journalist Chrystia Freeland put it,  “Americans actually live in Russia, although they think they live in Sweden. And they would like to live on a kibbutz.” An infographic video of the study went viral and has been watched more than 16 million times.


Alternet: 4 Ways Corporations Owe Us Big Time, And How They Can Pay Us Back


AlterNet: Senate Democrats Agree - Friend of Wall Street and War Chuck Schumer Will Be Their Next Leader


NYTimes: Exposing Hedge Fund Politics in New York - Especially as it relates to charter schools.


Common Dreams: Sorry Monsanto, The Science Is On Our Side, Not Yours

Salon: The Truth About the Ultra-Rich and Their NYTimes Apologists - “IRS data compiled by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and their colleagues at the top incomes database shows how stark America’s shift from a broad-based prosperity model has been. From 1947 to 1973, the average incomes of the bottom 90 percent increased 99.2 percent, compared to 88.9 percent for the top 10 percent, and a mere 7.4 percent for the top 0.1 percent.  But from 1973 to 2008, the average incomes of the bottom 90 percent fell 6.1 percent, while the average incomes of the top 10 percent continued rising by another 70.8 percent, and average incomes of the top 0.1 percent skyrocketed an astronomical 706.4 percent.

With the bottom 90 percent losing ground, on average, and the top 0.1 percent gobbling those losses up like candy, it makes perfect sense to try to distract attention by finger-pointing at the poor”

Choosing between Republican and Democrat from an economic policy standpoint is a choice between ‘trickle-down’ and ‘trickle-down lite.’

There is no empirical evidence to support ‘trickle down’ policies. There is plenty of empirical evidence to support Keynesian policies - they have worked  every time they have been implemented.


NYTimes: TPP Seen As Door For Foreign Suits Against US - Interesting that the corporate media is just now pointing out things that have been on this site since 10/4/13. Search Corporate Domination page for “TPP” for the rest.


The Nation: Want to Rebuild the Left? Take Socialism Seriously

NYTimes: First Amendment Embraced by Corporations - Related items for perspective: New Yorker: How Justice Roberts Orchestrated the Citizens United Decision; NYTimes: Justice Stephens Suggests ‘Solution for Giant Step in the Wrong Direction.’ and Stephens original dissenting opinion. Citizens United was originally a very narrow case about whether on-demand political movies could be aired within 30 days of an election. Roberts and Kennedy decided they would ‘hold’ the case back - a tactic almost never attempted by the Supreme Court - and completely rig the game by remaking the case according to their own personal agendas - completely unethical - which they knew would be decided in their favor by a 5-4 conservative court. The conservatives on the court then overrode all kinds of precedent (1907 Tillman Act, 1971/1974 Federal Election Campaign Act, 1976 Buckley v Valeo, 1990 Austin v Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 2002 McCain-Feingold, 2003 McConnell v FEC) and used decisions dating back to the turn of the century (1886 Santa Clara Co. v S Pacific Railroad, 1905 Lochner v NY) that were rendered by the Gilded Age stacked court of the ‘Lochner Era.’ During their confirmation hearings, both Roberts and Alito repeatedly stated their intention to honor the principle of stare decisis - which they immediately proceeded to violate repeatedly as soon as they took their seats - a repeated lie for which they should be impeached.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Another Tale From the Oligarch Recovery: $100 Million Homes Being Built on Spec -


Chris Hedges: Journalism As Subversion - “As the mass media, now uniformly in the hands of large corporations, turn news into the ridiculous chronicling of pseudo-events and pseudo-controversy we become ever more invisible as individuals. Any reporting of the truth—the truth about what the powerful are doing to us and how we are struggling to endure and retain our dignity and self-respect—would fracture and divide a global population that must be molded into compliant consumers and obedient corporate subjects.”


Mint Press: Nestle Continues Stealing the World’s Water During Drought - And Selling It Back


Democracy-NOW: Obama Seeks Fast Track for TPP, Trade Deal That Could Thwart “Almost Any Progressive Policy or Goal”

Democracy-NOW: Thousands Block Opening of New ECB Building in Frankfurt - 30,000 people show up for a protest against austerity in Germany and neither Wolf Blitzer now Rachel Maddow mention a word about it. How odd ;-)


Chris Hedges: The Most Dangerous Woman in America - ...if you happen to be a high level Democrat or Republican, that is, a servant of the Corporate class. The Democratic Party, previously the ‘party of conscience,’ is now totally unredeemable and completely in the service of Corporate Amerika. “If you take office you have to be accountable to the members of the party. You have to have actual meetings. People say they are Democrats, but when was the last time they were invited to a meeting and asked to vote on the policies to be taken up by the Democratic Party? The Democratic Party is utterly undemocratic—the party members and activists have essentially zero say over what their elected officials do once in power.”

Common Dreams: Four Numbers That Show the Beating Down of Middle America - Since 2007, Unregulated Capitalism has created $30 Trillion in new wealth. It ALL went to the top 1%. During that same time, the number of children on Food Stamps increased by 70%. Last year the top 0.1% made an average of $10 Million. During that same time 138,000 children had no place to live.

MoJo: Wall St.’s Bonus Packages in 2014 Exceeded the Pay of All Minimum Wage Workers


Salon: Thomas Piketty Slams Jeb Bush For Hypocrisy on Education

Daily Kos: Obama Creates Astroturf Front Group to Push for TPP - Fool me once...


PBS: The Biggest Scam Bankrupting the Middleclass - Synopsis (corroborating links in article): Stock buybacks were classified as illegal stock manipulation before Ronald Reagan. More than $6.9 Trillion since 2004 - roughly 50+% of corporate profits, while we have $3.6 Trillion backlog in road, bridges, dams and other public infrastructure repairs, $1.2 Trillion in student debt, and ‘safety net’ programs that are supposedly in trouble. Prior to Reagan, this is money that would have been used for R&D, and manufacturing expansion/improvement creating thousands of jobs and disposable income for workers that would have cushioned any recession. But now it goes directly into the pockets of the super wealthy corporate C-class employees and the Boards of Directors. Walmart alone has spent $65.4 Billion in buybacks, enough to give each of its 1.4 million workers a $4,670 per year raise - about what it costs US taxpayers to subsidize those same employees’ food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing and other public assistance. Next time you hear reports of how well the Dow Jones and S&P 500 stock averages are doing despite a lackluster job market, keep this in mind.


AlterNet: Inside the Major Political Fight For Broadband Internet That’s Brewing Across America - Broadband internet is the one idea that I’m aware of that would take us out from under the thumb of cable giants and give us internet speeds rivaling the fastest in the world. Right now we pay the most of any country in the world and get outrageously slow response.


Socialist Alternative: Socialism and the Fight for Women’s Liberation


NYTimes: Wage Growth Slumps to 0.1% - A very modest growth in the number of jobs - mainly service sector (waiters and bell hops) is hailed as a ‘barnburner.’ Ridiculous. But wages remain stagnant. This is what unregulated capitalism gets us.

American Al Jazeera: Another Obama Regulator Refuses to Regulate - FERC is completely funded by the oil and gas companies it is supposed to regulate. But it’s another revolving door, so employees of FERC today will be working for oil and gas companies tomorrow at 2 to 3 times the salary - IF they play ball. Recently FERC OK’d a fracked gas refinery and oil export terminal in the densely populated Cove Point community, subjecting residents to extreme air, water and noise pollution mostly because the operator, Dominion lied about the population. When that point was raised with the FERC, they said there was nothing they could do. One example of many. This is our government now, owned and operated by large corporations. If you don’t like it, the police will be more than happy to come by anytime and waste your ass.


Common Dreams: #FightFastTrack Coalition Takes Aim at Pro-TPP Lawmakers


Reuters: As “Free Trade” Pacts Expand, US Trade Deficit Soars. Why Add Another? - The article points out that 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since NAFTA was signed. 3 out of 5 displaced workers who found other jobs are earning less money and over one third took a pay cut of at least 20%. TPP is only going to make this situation much worse.


Common Dreams: 4 Numbers That Will Make You Fighting Mad, And One Solution

Robert Reich: How Trade Deals Like TPP Boost the 1% and Bust The Rest of Us


NYTimes: Red States Consider Increasing Tax on Poor; Cutting Tax on Rich - Red state politicians love to say that cutting taxes on “job-creators” (meaning the rich) will encourage economic growth, provide more jobs and economic benefits for everyone - the often discredited ‘trickle down’ theory. I wish that just one time a reporter would ask “based on what empirical research?” There is none. The Reds have been saying that ever since Reagan, and the evidence shows that just the opposite occurs, along with increased deficits - North and South Carolina, Ohio, Maine, Kansas and the USA are all great examples. Yet voters in red states keep re-electing them. From Adam Smith up until today, the only empirically proven economic theories are those of John Maynard Keynes. Keynesian policies have worked every single time they have been implemented. They pulled us out of the Great Depression and were used successfully until the 1970s, and again as the 2009 Stimulus Package - which was also successful as far as it went before being sabotaged by neo-liberals.


Black Agenda Report: Loretta Lynch is Condoleeza Rice With A Law Degree - Straight from Cahill, Gordon & Rendall, whose main clients are Bank of America, Merril Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo to Hogan & Hartson where she focused on white collar criminal defense.


Common Dreams: ‘Biggest Bank Leak in History’ Details Nefarious Tactics of Global Tax-Dodgers - More corporate welfare. When right wingers talk about entitlement programs, I’m thinking we should expand the definition of that term to include items like this.

Rolling Stone: Will HSBC Deal Come Back to Haunt Loretta Lynch? - The numbers here are truly staggering. HSBC was a creative tax evasion service, helping customers avoid $120 Billion in taxes in addition to currency market rigging and money laundering for the world’s largest drug cartels, such as Sinaloa. For this, Lynch and Holder worked out a sweetheart deal: penalties equal to 5 weeks of profit, and they got to keep their license to operate in the USA. The only conclusion one can draw is that our government encourages these activities. It’s just one big, worldwide criminal operation. What’s most interesting to me is how little there has been about this in the MSM.


Common Dreams: ‘Today We Celebrate’: Net Neutrality Advocates Cheer - I see this as a great milestone in the effort for full net neutrality. I can’t help but mention that a year ago all of the talking heads on NPR and the rest of the MSM were saying that all of the letters, petitions and demonstrations were not going to amount to a hill of beans. Now who’s got the swag! eh? But remember, this is only the Chairman’s proposal. It’s not a done deal yet. Also remember that the USA has the slowest, most expensive and lowest capacity internet/cable/mobile service of any industrialized country. Even S. Koreans get their data 10 X faster and 100 X cheaper that we do. But this is a great example of how the two ruling corporate parties and their political minions can be forced to do the right thing by large masses of people agitating for what is right. Don’t ever accept the ‘flavor of the month’ fashionable apathy that says there’s nothing you or I can do about it.

Democracy-NOW: Obama’s New Budget: An End to “Mindless Austerity”? - “So, this is maybe more thoughtful austerity...the point is, one of the reasons we’ve had such a slow recovery is that the government hasn’t been prepared to spend more, hasn’t been willing to increase the stimulus it gives to the economy, following a very severe recession. Every other recession, we’ve done that. In this case, instead of spending more, we’re spending less. We’re cutting back government employment. That’s hampered growth. And we’re still well below full employment, well below the economy’s potential. The Congressional Budget Office puts us at about 4 percentage points below the economy’s potential. That means, in effect, we’re throwing $720 billion a year in goods and services that we could be producing into the garbage.”

Black Agenda Report: Oprah and Sharpton Attack Black Lives Matter Movement


Common Dreams: The Super-Rich Can’t Hide From the Rest of Us - Rich beware, your days are numbered.


Intercept: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: This Week’s Episode: Tom Ridge - As you read this article, note all the names of individuals working with Ridge who routinely appear on the MSM as subject matter experts on the War on Terrorism (c), advocating for more government spending for war materials, cybersecurity, etc. Just another form of corporate welfare.


Super Bowl Advertising - $4.5 Million for 30 Seconds - Paid for with corporate welfare and Here and Here and Here.


Reuters: Senators Boxer and Paul Propose Yet Another Tax Holiday for Multinationals - Difference?


Common Dreams: 1/5 of All US Children Now on Food Assistance - To say nothing of the fact that 1/4 of US children go to bed hungry and more children in America than ever are homeless. The 1% must feel very good at night when they go to bed.

Intercept: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Today’s Episode: Tom Daschle - Ex-Democratic Senator from South Dakota. Debunking the notion that ‘government doesn’t work.’ It works great for the insiders. It just doesn’t work for us.


NYTimes: Gains From the Economic Recovery Still Limited to the 1% - If you make in excess of $900,000 net income, not including capital gains, rejoice! If not, you are screwed. We are all stuck in 1970. Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has revised his original study. The 1% didn’t get ‘most’ of the gain, they got ALL of the gains from the so-called recovery. Here’s the definitive study for the entire period. Also see Here and Here and Here and Here and Here.

NYTimes: Kochs Plan to Spend Almost $1 Billion During 2016 Election Cycle


Common Dreams: Calling TPP a ‘Death Pact,’ Health Advocates Rally Outside Secretive Talks


NYTimes: Greece Chooses Anti-Austerity Party in Major Shift - See entry of 1/11. The news media often portrays the problems of Greece as all caused by a bloated public sector and highly inefficient public and private job sector. What is often left out is that the oligarchs in Greece control the economy and manipulate it to their own benefit at the expense of the working class.

NYTimes: Middle Class Shrinks Further as More and More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up


Green Party Response to Obama SOTU

FireDogLake: Taken For Granted At World Economic Forum: US Government Is Run As A System of Legalized Corruption - It has already been scientifically proven that the US is a Plutocracy/Oligarchy. The entire world understands this. Why don’t most Americans? Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, etc.

Common Dreams: Progressive Voices Cut Through the Fog of Obama’s SOTU


Occupy: Nationwide Actions Mark Fifth Anniversary of Citizens United

Socialist Alternative Response to State of the Union Address

Black Agenda Report: State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional


Common Dreams: By 2016 The Richest 1% Will Own More Than the Rest of the World Combined - The wealthiest of all are mostly Americans “And it's not an accident. The world's most wealthy, as the Oxfam report documents, spend enormous amounts of their money each year on lobbying efforts designed to defend the assets they have and expand their ability to make even more. The world's wealthiest, reads the report, "have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. (me: It left out the defense industry $800 Billion per year all inclusive.) Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists.” Put another way, the government which was originally created to look after the “governed” and take care of the welfare of the country as a whole, is now simply a tool of the very few wealthiest people on the face of the earth. In cases such as this our founding fathers said that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”


Reuters: Obama Legacy: Middle Class Decline - During his presidency, “the average earnings for families in the top 10 percent grew more than 9 percent from 2010 through 2013, while those at other levels stagnated or shrank. For the middle fifth, average earnings fell 4.6 percent.”

Common Dreams: Just In Time for GOP Controlled Congress, Obama Announces Tax on the 1%


HuffPo: More Than Half of American School Children Live in Poverty

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy: Report: Who Pays? - As a percent of income, the poor pay the highest effective state and local tax in all 50 states.

Popular Resistance: 8 Reports: Money Dominates Elections and Government Agenda - We ‘the governed’ have no say.

Reuters: Occupy Protestors Share $1.4 Million Settlement


Oxfam: Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More - According to the report: 85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population. The richest 1% are on pace to control more global wealth than the rest of the world’s 99% by next year.

It’s Our Economy: New Organization for Solidarity Economy, Postal Banking - Commonomics USA - protecting the commons. An idea that’s been around since the Magna Carta.


Frontline: Report: After Citizens United, Outside Spending Doubles and Most of it Is From the Super-Rich


Popular Resistance: Growing Chorus Rejects TPP/Fast Track - But it’s not over yet. This would be a tragedy easily on a scale with Citizens United.

Common Dreams: Congressional Democraps Taking Meaningless Progressive Stands - This article has a check list of Democraps that will help Rethugs pass the corporate agenda. See yesterday’s entry below.


Common Dreams: Mainstream Dems Suddenly Strike Populist Tone and Washington Post - This is a familiar pattern. When the Dems are out of power, as in 2000-2006 and now, suddenly they go all populist. But as soon as they get back in power, it’s all off the table. The proposals in the bill are all items the Dems should have been pushing 10 years ago, when they actually had the power to make it happen. Now that they’re out of power, they get religion. Remember “The People’s Budget”? Remember the Dems’ pledge to refuse to ever ever vote for a health care reform bill that did not contain a public option? They collected over $400,000 in small contributions for that pledge, then they broke the pledge and passed the law without it - and kept the money. When Dennis Kucinich refused to break his pledge, MoveOn picketed his headquarters in Cleveland until he relented. Then when the Rethugs gerrymandered Kucinich’s district so that he and Marcy Kaptur had to oppose one another, the DNC threw all of their support to Kaptur. This is what they do to true populists. Don’t listen to what the say. Watch only what they do.


Reuters: Spain’s Podemos Party Surges Ahead in Voter Poll - This is a very interesting development within the context of worldwide discontent with the 1% and the status quo, and the rise of a multi-country Socialist movement. Founded only last year, Podemus, a leftist, anti-establishment party, is currently the second largest party in Spain by membership. It became the third largest party within 20 days of allowing membership. It is currently in the lead to win Spain’s next general election. Podemus party leaders have allied themselves with the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece.

Podemos has leveraged discontent over corruption in the political class and high unemployment by portraying the two big having vested interests in maintaining the status quo while ordinary people suffer the consequences of a gruelling economic crisis.” Sound familiar?

Brazilian ecologists, whose main focus is on saving the Amazon rain forests - one of the largest CO2 sinks on the planet - from clear-cutting, are forming a new party based on Podemus.


Common Dreams: Bernie Sanders: ‘Incomprehensible Secrecy’ Surrounding TPP and Fast Track - Bernie’s 10 top reasons why TPP must be defeated.


Democracy-NOW: Matt Taibbi: Who Goes to Jail? American Injustice In The Age of The Wealth Gap

Common Dreams: Study: Polarization and Gridlock Work Well for the Very Wealthy


Popular Resistance: Polls Show That A Supermajority of Americans Stand Behind Occupy and the Green Party’s “15 Core Issues” and Here


RT News: 900 Wealthiest Americans Exempted From Paying Into Social Security after Jan. 2nd - Remove this ‘cap’ and Social Security will be completely funded for as long as any reasonable prediction can be made.

Washington Post: Koch-Backed Political Network, Designed to Shield Donors, Raises $400 Million in 2012


NYTimes: Mapping Poverty in America


Eugene Weekly: Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed - Congressmen can look at the document but they have to make an appointment, have no staff present, take no notes on what they find and they cannot talk about the contents of the document to anyone else. Any bill with those rules can’t be good. And do I need to even mention that this flies directly in the face of Obama’s pledges to open up the political process? A good, 8 paragraph article that covers the basic evils of this trade pact.

Corporate Domination 2014

Forget about income and wealth inequality, corporate tax welfare, defunding public education, crumbling American infrastructure, the lack of difference between the only 2 major neo-liberal parties that we’ll ever get a chance to vote for, the dysfunctional health care delivery system, drone murders, perpetual war. Just focus on what’s  

               REALLY SCARY RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Whether the concern is climate, labor, finance, war, food/water shortage, environmental destruction, lack of adequate/equal health care, the root cause is the same: unregulated, out of control corporate capitalism. It’s not working and it keeps getting worse by the day.