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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 30,273

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

158 Families calling the shots

Two-thirds of Americans support higher taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, according to a June New York Times/CBS News poll, while six in 10 favor more government intervention to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly seven in 10 favor preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are.

OCT. 10, 2015

They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.

Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena, providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, according to a New York Times investigation. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.

These donors’ fortunes reflect the shifting composition of the country’s economic elite. Relatively few work in the traditional ranks of corporate America, or hail from dynasties of inherited wealth. Most built their own businesses, parlaying talent and an appetite for risk into huge wealth: They founded hedge funds in New York, bought up undervalued oil leases in Texas, made blockbusters in Hollywood. More than a dozen of the elite donors were born outside the United States, immigrating from countries like Cuba, the old Soviet Union, Pakistan, India and Israel ...

Much more here (this is fascinating - after clicking on the link scroll down past the photo to get to the text): http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/11/us/politics/2016-presidential-election-super-pac-donors.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

They all live in close proximity to the River Oaks Country Club (these are the 8 families in Houston - $$$ from Energy - they give to Republicans):

Many of the families live in Texas and Florida.

Two of the donors live on Indian Creek Island Road in Florida, the most expensive street in the United States, according to Zillow:

The Looting Class & It's Hoarded Gold

October 8, 2015 ~ Danny Katch

That's a drop in the bucket for insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, which made $10.3 billion in profits in 2014 and has seen its stock price rise almost 400 percent since the ACA's passage, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Since Chochise Regional Hospital closed at the end of July, Gilbert Gutierrez has been worried about older people who don't have the transportation to get to the nearest medical center in Bisbee. "A 20-minute drive is really, may-make-it-or-not, life-and-death," Gutierrez told a reporter from Phoenix public radio.

To listen to Donald Trump and other fear-mongering politicians, you would think that the reason the hospital in Douglas went broke is too many Mexicans coming north to use its services.

In fact, Chochise closed because of the same problem that faces hospitals far from the border: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has cut Medicare payments and payments to hospitals for the uninsured, while many state governments haven't expanded their Medicaid coverage as the ACA dictated ...


Days after the closure of Cochise Regional Hospital, the Hospital Corporation of America announced that its second-quarter profits had jumped to more than $500 million for three months ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2015/10/08/the-looting-class-and-its-hoarded-gold

Email from Bernie

From: Bernie Sanders <info@BernieSanders.com>
Subject: Thank you
Date: Oct 2, 2015 9:04 AM
Bernie Sanders for President


Thank you VERY much for your financial support for our campaign.

When we talk about a "political revolution," we are not just talking about tinkering around the edges of American society. We are talking about transforming our country in many respects -- the economy, health care, education, the environment, criminal justice, immigration and many other areas.

But what we are also talking about is transforming our corrupt campaign finance system -- a system which, as a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, now allows millionaires and billionaires to buy elections and undermine the very foundations of American democracy.

What we have done together so far in this campaign is not only extraordinary and unprecedented, it is transforming American politics. What we have shown is that we can raise over $40 million dollars without having a Super PAC. What we have shown is that we can raise an amount of money which makes us financially competitive by securing 1.3 million contributions from, unbelievably, 650,000 Americans. What we have shown is that we can run a successful campaign without having to depend upon donations from the wealthy and the powerful, and that we can do it with an average campaign contribution of only $30.

Our political system is corrupt. Big Money controls much of what happens.

Together, you and I are changing that.

Thank you again for your support.



Bernie Sanders’s Campaign, Hitting Fund-Raising Milestone, Broadens Focus

Front page of the NY Times!!

“Bernie has done very, very well without having to spend much money at all, relative to Hillary,” said David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who was a top adviser on Mr. Obama’s campaigns. “His campaign recognizes, rightly, that you have to navigate through the early contests and then, to win on Super Tuesday, you have to spend a boatload. They’ve now proven they’re capable of doing that.”


BURLINGTON, Vt. — Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont still flies coach to his campaign events, sometimes taking the middle seat. He has not run any commercials, instead saving his money for a media blitz this winter in Iowa, New Hampshire and the Super Tuesday states. His aides are only now preparing to conduct polls, to the consternation of some Sanders advisers who have hungered for data on his political challenges, like courting black and Hispanic voters.

And rather than benefit from million-dollar contributions through a “super PAC,” Mr. Sanders — who has called such fund-raising groups corrupt — has amassed a million online donations over the past five months, faster than Barack Obama did in his first, digitally groundbreaking, campaign for president.

Mr. Sanders reached a turning point on Wednesday night, when his campaign said that it had raised about $26 million since July — more than Mr. Obama took in for the comparable period in 2007 — and that it had saved enough since the spring to have more than $26 million in cash.

Mr. Sanders was initially dismissed by political insiders as a fringe candidate running only to push Hillary Rodham Clinton to the left. But he has now demonstrated that he has the resources and the supporters, whom he has only begun to tap financially, to compete for the Democratic presidential nomination ...

More here: http://www.nytimes.com/

Adding exact link in case they move it off the front page: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/us/politics/bernie-sanders-election-campaign.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

We did it DU - 1 million contributions!

"TBF" -

I wanted you to hear it from me first: a short while ago, we flew past our goal of 1 million online contributions to our campaign.


From Jeff Weaver - will be sending another update later in the day. FEC fundraising deadline tonight.

The Meaning of Pope Francis

"Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower " Works of Karl Marx 1843 - A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right - Written: December 1843-January 1844

A force for both reaction and social justice, Pope Francis embodies the ambiguities of the Catholic Church.
by Colin Wilson 9-26-15

What do we think of Pope Francis? It all seems a bit complicated. One minute he’s telling the US Congress that “we, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners” and that they have to take climate change seriously. Speaking in Bolivia in July, he called unfettered capitalism “the dung of the devil.” Since he arrived in America, right-wingers have described him as “anticapitalist pope.”

On the other hand, the Catholic Church still continues to oppose marriage equality at every opportunity. Back in February, Francis compared any account of gender which “does not recognize the order of creation” — such as those which validate the lives of trans people — to the use of nuclear weapons. On Thursday, the pope canonized the missionary Junípero Serra, who oversaw a regime of horrific brutality against Native Americans in California, where colonization and conversion went, as so often, hand in hand.

It was so much easier to have an opinion about Francis’s predecessor — Benedict XVI was simply, everyone could agree, a reactionary, and not even a very effective reactionary. Doing nothing much about such issues as priestly child sex abuse, he seemed much more concerned about reviving the more obscure bits of the papal costume — a fluffy little shawl called the mozetta, a Santa-Claus-style hat called the camauro, and hand-made red leather shoes ...

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/pope-francis-united-states-visit-congress-united-nations/

Shakira - Imagine

Published on Sep 25, 2015

Shakira, before the Pope at the UN in NYC, dedicates her performance of John Lennon's Imagine to Aylan and Galip Kurdi and all the children turned refugees due to the Syrian war / Shakira, frente al Papa en la ONU, dedica su actuación a los hermanos Aylan y Galip Kurdi y a los niños refugiados por la guerra.

The Missing 43

To date, nobody knows exactly what happened on the night of September 26, 2014, when the students disappeared while traveling from Ayotzinapa to the nearby city of Iguala. Video footage that surfaced late last year shows a violent clash between the students and what appear to be local police officers. Six students were killed during the confrontation, and the 43 others vanished in an assumed mass kidnapping.

MEXICO CITY—Exactly one year ago, 43 students from a rural teachers college in the Mexican state of Guerrero disappeared after a violent confrontation with authorities. Over the past 12 months, Mexico City residents have made it clear that they won’t forget the incident until the government comes clean about what happened—or the students return alive, whatever comes first.

Wander the streets of Mexico’s capital and you’ll undoubtedly encounter the number 43 scrawled across statues and scribbled on the sides of buildings. Sometimes, the 43 is accompanied by the phrase “todos somos Ayotzi” (we are all Ayotzi, short for Ayotzinapa, the name of the school the students attended), or “vivos se los llevaron, con vida los queremos” (alive they took them, alive we want them).

For months, dozens of activists have been living in an encampment on a sidewalk along one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Paseo de la Reforma. Decorated on all sides with portraits of each of the missing students and signage denouncing the country’s leadership, inhabitants vow not to leave until the students are located and the current regime is dismantled. They sleep in tents, and volunteers bring food, blankets and other supplies on a daily basis ...

More here: http://qz.com/511463/one-year-later-mexico-city-refuses-to-let-memory-of-the-43-missing-students-die/

Awfully Big Crowds ...

... for a county NOT INTERESTED in an old democratic socialist! I don't know who all these people are ... must have snuck in from other countries and took over the arenas

Bernie in Maine

Bernie in Phoenix

Bernie in Houston

Bernie in North Carolina

Bernie in Vermont

Bernie in Madison

Bernie in Portland

History Doesn’t Go In a Straight Line

Noam Chomsky on Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, and the potential for ordinary people to make radical change.
by Noam Chomsky ~ 9/22/15

For radicals, progress requires puncturing the bubble of inevitability: austerity, for instance, “is a policy decision undertaken by the designers for their own purposes.” It is not implemented, Chomsky says, “because of any economic laws.” American capitalism also benefits from ideological obfuscation: despite its association with free markets, capitalism is shot through with subsidies for some of the most powerful private actors. This bubble needs popping too.

In an interview a couple of years ago, you said that the Occupy Wall Street movement had created a rare sentiment of solidarity in the US. September 17 was the fourth anniversary of the OWS movement. What is your evaluation of social movements such as OWS over the last twenty years? Have they been effective in bringing about change? How could they improve?

They’ve had an impact; they have not coalesced into persistent and ongoing movements. It’s a very atomized society. There are very few continuing organizations which have institutional memory, that know how to move to the next step and so on.

This is partly due to the destruction of the labor movement, which used to offer a kind of fixed basis for many activities; by now, practically the only persistent institutions are the churches. So many things are church-based.

It’s hard for a movement to take hold. There are often movements of young people, which tend to be transitory; on the other hand there’s a cumulative effect, and you never know when something will spark into a major movement. It’s happened time and again: civil rights movement, women’s movement. So keep trying until something takes off ...

The neoliberal policies are certainly a regression. For the majority of the population in the US, there’s been pretty much stagnation and decline in the last generation. And not because of any economic laws. These are policies. Just as austerity in Europe is not an economic necessity — in fact, it’s economic nonsense. But it’s a policy decision undertaken by the designers for their own purposes. I think basically it’s a kind of class war, and it can be resisted, but it’s not easy. History doesn’t go in a straight line.

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/noam-chomsky-bernie-sanders-greece-tsipras-grexit-austerity-neoliberalism-protest/

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