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Government & Politics

How the Rich Conduct Class Warfare

  • This isn't about some ridiculous stereotypes or populist demagoguery. This is about stone cold facts.
  • Class Warfare from the Top Down

 

Cenk Uygur, Huffington Post

First, let me get this out of the way -- I have no problems with the rich. I plan on being rich. I'm an American. I believe. We all believe we can get to the top and enjoy the spoils of wealth. We are Americans.

That's never been the issue. And in my lifetime the poor or middle class have never come close to declaring anything other than envy for the rich. But there is a class war going on. It's being conducted by the rich on the middle class in this country.

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Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong


The True Cost of the War

  • President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and “contractors,” governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?
  • "Hope-and-Change," A Hoax
  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures

Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

Obama’s “end of Iraq war” speech must have shattered any remaining belief in him. Forced to appease both his supporters and the warmonger right-wing, who denounce him as a Muslim and a Marxist, Obama resorted to Orwellian DoubleSpeak. He could only announce an end to the war by praising the president who started it and the troops who fought it. Yet, as most earthlings, if not Americans, surely know by now, the war
was based on a lie and on intentional deception. The American troops died for a lie.

President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and “contractors,” governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?

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"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax, Michael Rectenwald and Lori Price, Citizens for Legitimate Government

  • We believe that Obama’s rhetoric was a complete fabrication aimed at diverting real energy for change into a cul de sac of Democratic apologetics. It was, in short, a hoax.
  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures

A post-9/11 betrayal endures, Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times | CA

  • President Obama and his administration have embraced the secrecy and usurpations of power that made possible the Bush-Cheney betrayal of American values
  • A step backwards on privacy
  • Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.

Can Our Schools Run on Duncan?

  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pushes Chicago’s ineffective reforms on America’s children.
  • The theory that supports treating education as a marketplace is flawed, as is the practice. When faced with performance incentives, people typically end up gaming the system.
  • It’s the Poverty, Stupid

David Moberg, In These Times

On July 22, a boy plugs his ears while Secretary of Education Arne Duncan makes remarks at the 'Let's Read. Let's Move' summer enrichment series at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

When President Barack Obama announced that his choice for Secretary of Education was Arne Duncan, chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, he extolled his basketball buddy as a pragmatic, successful school reformer. “He’s not beholden to any one ideology,” Obama said, adding that Duncan would speak with authority based on “the lessons he’s learned during his years changing our schools from the bottom up.”

As a critic on the campaign trail of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, Obama implicitly offered Duncan’s efforts in Chicago as an alternative model of how his administration would improve American schools, particularly the most troubled.

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It’s the Poverty, Stupid, Roger Bybee, In These Times

  • With America’s public schools struggling to survive slashed budgets and unequal funding, school reform is back on the national agenda—but will the new model of market-based “reform” promote greater educational quality?
  • The education reform debate is misdirected.

Summary: Barack Obama, Change We Can Believe In: Week of September 12

6 New Items including:

  • A step backwards on privacy
  • More War Lies

David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Mike Lester

Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong

A step backwards on privacy, Anthony D. Romero, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

  • The Obama administration is proposing its own changes to Electronic Communications Privacy Act ECPA aimed at weakening—not strengthening—your personal on-line privacy.
  • The administration's plan would allow government officials to obtain more of your personal information using warrantless National Security Letters, without going to court and without any suspicion of wrongdoing.

Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A., Charlie Savage, New York Times | NY

  • The Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.
  • Torture Is a Crime, Not a Secret

'Our Troops Are the Steel in Our Ship of State' Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic

  • Breaking down the text and subtext of the president's address.
  • More War Lies

More War Lies, David Swanson, Global Research

  • Lies aren't used just to start wars, but also to escalate them, continue them, and even reduce or end them. And we got a pile of war lies from the president Tuesday evening (August 31).
  • US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation

Right Response to Unemployment Is Smart Stimulus Spending

  • The federal government has spent a lot of money for the purposes of avoiding a Depression and easing a recession. But it has not spent that money well or wisely.
  • The jobs emergency
  • Class Warfare from the Top Down

John Nichols, The Nation

The official jobless rate rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent in August. That’s a modest increase, but the trajectory is in precisely the wrong direction for a country that fears a double-dip recession – not to mention an Obama White House that fears a big dip in Democratic majorities in the House and Senate after an election that is now just two months away.

The president says that there is "positive news" to be found in the fact that private sector employers created 67,000 new jobs. But that spin is not going to get very far at a point when the country must create twice that many jobs each month just to keep up with growth in the number of Americans who are entering the workforce.
 
And that does not begin to address the challenges posed by underemployment – Americ ans who have jobs but who can’t get enough hours or sufficient pay to support their families – and the growing number of long-term unemployed Americans who have given up looking for jobs.

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The jobs emergency, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org

  • Twelve thousand new jobs in July -- when 125,000 are needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, when more than 15 million Americans are out of work, and when more than a half-million more state and local jobs are on the chopping block.
  • Predictably, Washington's latest rescue effort falls woefully short
  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program.

Class Warfare from the Top Down, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong

Size of Government Does Matter

  • Amidst all of the “No Big Government” rhetoric is a lack of explanation on the actual benefits of cutting government’s workforce. On the contrary, the government should be the average persons bastion against unbridled corporate power, not a pass-through supporting it.
  • Regulatory Capture Of Oil Drilling Agency Exposed In Report

Scott Tempel, Minnesota 2020

Parker and Hart

Amidst all of the “No Big Government” rhetoric is a lack of explanation on the actual benefits of cutting government’s workforce. On the contrary, the true costs of underfunded, understaffed agencies are clear. Having fewer people to manage an increasing workload will decrease efficiency, efficacy, and ultimately the quality of the work performed. Other side-effects include worker burnout, loss of institutional memory, loss of oversight and an actual increase in costs. When the work needs to be done and there is no one there to do it, government agencies turn to private contractors.  It is in the long-term best interest for the State of Minnesota to attract and retain the best employees and to maintain knowledge, experience and institutional memory as public assets.

According to a 2009 Mother Jones report  (Out of Service, Sept/Oct 2009), contractors outnumber staff in some federal agencies by a 7-1 margin. And any Do-It-Yourself-er knows that hiring a contractor is way more expensive than doing it yourself, especially when government staffers already have the expertise to do the job. That is one reason why government spending went up so much under the Bush administration. The MJ article cites that more than 70% of the US intelligence budget goes to contractors, who make more than double what a career civil servant would make.  But the more insidious problem is by cutting and phasing out knowledgeable staff, the expensive outsourcing is self-perpetuating. And where does that leave the taxpayer? At the mercy of the corporate bureaucracy.  Add to that the fact that these corporations are spending billions on the lobbyists that bring in those juicy contracts.  And now with the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC those corporations are free to spend billions literally buying the legislators themselves. The government should be the average persons bastion against unbridled corporate power, not a pass-through supporting it.

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Regulatory Capture Of Oil Drilling Agency Exposed In Report, Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

  • Rather than take issue with the report's findings, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's (BOEMRE) new reform-oriented director, Michael Bromwich, has responded with an implementation plan aimed at fixing the problems.
  • Uncovering the Lies That Are Sinking the Oil

Class Warfare from the Top Down

  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong

Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV

Class warfare is not, as John McCain would have you believe, overturning Bush's tax cuts for the rich. "Class warfare is when you have corporations sitting on $1.8 trillion," says Katrina vanden Heuvel. While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good. But what is Obama doing about it? "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."

Meanwhile, the real class war is happening in the same direction it always has—from the top down. When people like Elizabeth Warren are demonized and deficits are a point of obsession, it's not the rich who have to worry. Vanden Heuvel joins The Nation on GRITtv to explain why the Obama administration continues to defend the rich to the detriment of the rest of the country.

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Related:

Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

Whither Corporate Campaigning?

Discussing the new campaign finance paradigm in light of public disclosures of corporate partisanship and the marketplace and public relations wisdom in using that new freedom to affect electoral outcomes.

Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen, Truth to Tell, KFAI-FM | MN

Do Target and Best Buy serve as prime examples of why corporate donations to political campaigns may not be wise investments? Is the flap over donations to Republican Tom Emmer's campaign a short-sighted result of not thinking ahead to the effect on bottom lines and shareholder discontent, not to mention customer backlash.

This may be the first inkling of the fallout over the US Supreme Court's Citizen United decision granting corporations the freedom to donate directly to political campaigns, not just to independent expenditures and phony fronts that try to undermine candidate credibility.

Guests:

  • Mike Dean, President, Common Cause Minnesota
  • David Schultz,  Author, Adjunct Professor of Law, Hamline University, Campaign Finance Specialist

Broadcast: in Minneapolis/St. Paul KFAI-90.3/106.7/Streamed @ KFAI.org<http://www.kfai.org/truthtotell> 9-10AM, Monday, September 13

Archived: Click here

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