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Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 03:39 PM
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Orwell foretells our War on Terror

Oxfam, World Bank & Thom Hartmann agree: Climate Change is Creating Extreme Poverty

Climate Change Could Push Millions More Into Extreme Poverty .. which gives rise to millions of extremely desperate people, who will do irrational and extreme things, including engaging in extremist & terrorist activity

Thom Hartmann Transcript:
You need to know this. If we don't strengthen our fight against climate change, 100 million more people may be pushed into extreme poverty within the next 15 years. That's Oxfam International's response to a stunning, new report by the World Bank.

That analysis is called "Shock Waves: Managaing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty," and it is the first to consider how global warming will be felt at a household level. In other words, the researchers considered how heat waves, floods, droughts and public health issues will impact poor people, rather than simply considering how nations as a whole will deal with such problems.

The report explained, "Poor people and poor countries are exposed and vulnerable to all types of climate-related shocks - natural disasters that destroy assets and livelihoods; waterborne diseases and pests that become more prevalent during heat waves, floods, or droughts; crop failure from reduced rainfall; and spikes in food prices that follow extreme weather events." While those who can afford to withstand these events will be able to adapt to climate change, those who don't have the means to move or pay higher food prices may suddenly find themselves in a desperate situation.

In order to reduce these risks, and help more people survive on our warming planet, Oxfam and the World Bank insist that we must reduce poverty as we ramp up our climate fight. They call for "rapid, inclusive, and climate-informed development" to help people cope with short-term climate change, and "pro-poor mitigation policies" to limit the long-term impact. A senior economist at the World Bank said, "The report demonstrates that ending poverty and fighting climate change cannot be done in isolation - the two will be much more easily achieved if they are addressed together." The fact is, we can no longer look at the climate fight and the effort to end inequality as two separate issues. If we want our species to survive, we better get to work and deal with both.


It Will Be Extremely Difficult For Hillary to Say No To Wall Street

It Will Be Extremely Difficult For Hillary to Say No To Wall Street
Can Clinton simply disregard the industry's favors to her wealth, political campaigns and foundation?
By Zaid Milani * AlterNet * November 16, 2015

The highlight of Saturday night's Democratic debate was when former Secretary Clinton invoked the September 11 attacks to try to defend her courting of Wall Street donors. The awkward defense of her political ties even spawned a rare New York Times editorial criticizing Clinton.

The fact is, there is no way that Hillary Clinton can pretend she doesn't have a cozy relationship with an industry that personally enriched her family, formed the basis of political support for her career and is doing everything it can to make her president.

Dollar Dollar Bill

After leaving the White House, Bill and Hillary Clinton had a steady source of income; pensions from both the federal government and Arkansas. They also both wrote books that generated millions of dollars of income. That's why, over the next 10 years, Bill Clinton raked in over $125 million in speaking fees, almost all of them from for-profit mega-corporations and trade associations. Shortly after presiding over a historic and catastrophic deregulation of Wall Street, Mr. Clinton's first paid arrangement was a $125,000 speech at Morgan Stanley. His next speech was at Credit Suisse First Boston, for the same asking price. The same year Wall Street banks started to pour funds into the the joint Clinton bank account, Hillary went on to vote for a bankruptcy bill that made it much harder for people to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; the bill was backed primarily by banks and credit card issuers.

An interesting figure during this period was Elizabeth Warren. Before she was Senator Warren, she was a consumer advocate and professor at Harvard University. She personally briefed First Lady Hillary Clinton on the perils of rolling back bankruptcy protections. Despite going on to support the bill, Hillary was sympathetic to Warren's arguments, telling her, “Professor Warren, we've got to stop that awful bill.”

Clinton's vote for the “awful bill" in 2001 ultimately did not give it the support it needed to pass, but it did pass four years later. At that time, Clinton didn't vote at all, an easy way to avoid responsibility as she prepped for a presidential race a few years later. In an interview with Bill Moyers, Warren explained the change in attitude from Senator Clinton: “It's a well-financed industry....She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.”


Why Al Gore won't endorse Hillary Clinton

Why Al Gore won't endorse Hillary Clinton
People close to the former vice president say it's not just to preserve his leverage on climate change. There's more to the story.
By Darren Samuelson * 11/17/15 * Politico

At least four times in the past year, Al Gore has passed up opportunities to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, brushing off questions from People magazine and other media outlets with the admonition that it’s still too early in the Democratic primary process for him to take sides. On Monday, an aide to the former vice president told POLITICO he’ll stay on the sidelines until his party has selected its nominee.

Gore’s reticence, his friends and allies say, is in part to maximize his own leverage on fighting climate change. But his repeated demurrals also reflect a complicated relationship with his former boss’s wife that dates back more than two decades. While Gore and Hillary Clinton may not be enemies, they’re not exactly close friends, either.

“They have a lot of history. More than the average bear,” said one Democratic source close to Gore.
The Hillary Clinton-Gore rivalry started when the two baby boomer policy wonks arrived in the White House in 1993. Gore got the new administration’s environmental and technology portfolios. Bill Clinton raised eyebrows by assigning his wife what would become an ill-fated attempt to pass comprehensive health-care reform legislation.

“Usually you give your vice president something of that level. You don’t give it to the first lady,” recalled a former Clinton White House staffer. “People forget that sort of started the relationship on a downward spiral early on.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/al-gore-hillary-clinton-215957#ixzz3rld6aRaW

Politico: Hillary Clinton Told Wall Street To ‘Cut It Out’ — Not So Much, the Record Shows

Hillary Clinton Told Wall Street To ‘Cut It Out’—Not So Much, the Record Shows
Her legislation on banking and housing finance stalled as crisis escalated.
By Jeff Gerth * November 15, 2015 * Politico

Under attack during Saturday night’s Democratic debate over her historical reliance on campaign contributions from Wall Street, Hillary Clinton said she isn’t influenced by such donations and would be at least as tough on the industry as her opponents. ~snip~

Yet an examination of Clinton’s remarks to Wall Street in December 2007 and her actions as a New York senator—a period when she had the best opportunity to translate her words into deeds—presents a more mixed picture of her record on the financial industry.

The bills Clinton introduced on banking and housing finance got no traction. When she had a chance to support a 2007 bill that aimed to curb a tax break she publicly decried for hedge-fund and private-equity executives, she failed to sign on.

Clinton also has some history with the shadow-banking world she says is a continuing risk to the financial system. While in the Senate, she made a little-noticed overture to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was involved in talks to rescue giant insurer AIG with government funds. She was calling on behalf of wealthy investors who stood to lose millions and had hired two longtime Clinton associates to represent them.

‘Cut it Out’
In his most direct attack on Clinton’s record to date, Sanders on Saturday suggested that she was in Wall Street’s pocket.
“Why, over her political career has Wall Street been a major—the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? You know, maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're going to get, but I don't think so,” the Vermont senator said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/11/hillary-clinton-told-wall-street-to-cut-it-out-not-so-much-the-record-shows-213363#ixzz3rfhx1J3I

What to do re: ISIS? How about this? Get our US Military OUT of ME countries, period.

By now it's a patently bullshit argument that "if we don't fight them over there, we'll have to fight
them in our precious Homeland" ... Like this ^ is some kind of sensible solution to end the bloodshed
and violence that threatens to engulf more people every day.

It's not the solution, it's the fucking problem.

Like Bill Mayer said on his show last night, with panelists Dylan Rattigan, Michael Steel, & Jay Leno ..
"What a concept: How about we just stay out of Muslim lands?"

Let the ME nations deal with their own terrorist assholes, they have armies, and could crush ISIS in
1 week if the US would just stop throwing more gasoline on the ME firestorms of death & misery,
with bombings, drones, and now boots in Syria, all of which simply keeps the cycle of violence and
revenge-seeking going.

If we get attacked on US soil, so be it. Deal with THAT, smartly & preemptively, as a criminal act
invoking swift & deliberate justice. This is what we do already, like with the Boston bombing, et. al.
as well we need to, but let's stop pretending like we can go over there and "kick ass" .. like Bill
Mayer said in the above interview, we know damn well that if we "go after ISIS with boots on ground"
that they will immediately "melt back into the civilian population just like they did in Iraq and
Afghanistan .. "

Excellent 10-Min. on ISIS/Paris on Bill Mayer, w/ Jay Leno, Michael Steele, and Dylan Rattigan - Rec

Mayer sets-up with question: "WHY DO THEY HATE US?" .. and many great points are made by the panel and by Bill.

The question was posed to panelists Jay Leno, Michael Steele, and Dylan Rattigan. Bill said:

“We don’t have every bit of information, the last body count I heard was over 150. When the Charlie Hebdo thing happened the week after everybody said ‘Je suis Charlie.’ But not really. They didn’t really stick with them… I’m gonna ask you this question that people asked after 9/11, because I don’t think we really know the answer: Why do they hate us?”

The tension was only broken when the panel said nothing to the question posed, and the host laughingly observed:

“I stumped the panel.” ... but then a great 10 minute exchange of views ensued ...

Bernie is for real

Bernie is for real
Daily Kos * Nov. 13, 2015

It's time to break out of the straight jacket of incremental progress or none at all. We are told that we must support the establishment democrat or get stuck with a crazy republican. Either way, the establishment wins. And the people lose.

What are we to do? Rise up and start fighting back, that's what. As Bernie says, he can’t do it alone. If all we do is elect him and then sit back and expect him to do it, we’re sunk. It’s the uprising, the grassroots movement to not only elect Sanders but to also fill the house and senate with politicians who will work with him and continue to be involved at the citizen activist level that’s important. This is what Bernie is exhorting us to do.

More than any other politician in recent memory, Bernie Sanders is focused on reality. It's the rest of us who are lost. ~Matt Taibbi in RollingStone

Yes, President Obama (not to take from him any of the credit he is due) said the same thing about building a permanent grassroots movement but then he turned his back on the grassroots on day one and took up the banner of the establishment 1%. We know Bernie won’t do this. In 40 years in politics, he has never turned his back on the people. Bernie and his grassroots movement are for real. Bernie is a legitimate anti-establishment candidate. The fact that he's a senator doesn't change that. He's anti-establishment because of the positions he takes, but more importantly, because he's refusing to take dirty money or corporate money. He will be the first president in my lifetime to belong to the people and the people only.

How many other presidential candidates in our times have ever explicitly rejected Big Money or corporate money? None, zip, zero – that's how many. It's unprecedented, never happened before. People laughed, people mocked, they said it was foolhardy and would doom his candidacy. But what really happened?

He has kept neck and neck with the Goldman Sachs candidate raising nearly as much as her from the American people as she has from Wall Street and the 1%. Bernie Sanders has now had more individual donations than any other candidate for president ever at this point in the race. His money is from us, the 99%. He is in no one's pocket. He will be modern history's first and only candidate to be beholden only to the American people. They keep saying it can't be done and he keeps doing it.


Blue Linings on the Red Cloud: Democracy Beats Oligarchy

The headline's laughable over-statement about "democracy beating oligarch" aside, this is still encouraging to read.

Democracy Beats Oligarchy
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 * The Washington Post * by Katrina vanden Heuvel

“From coast to coast, conservatives score huge victories,” announced a Washington Post headline after last week’s elections. “Liberals Got Smoked Across the Country Last Night,” read another in Slate.

The post-election media narrative has focused on setbacks for progressives, including Democratic losses in Kentucky and Virginia, along with the failure of Houston’s equal-rights ordinance. Yet, while it was a disappointing election night for the Democratic Party, it was also a promising one for democracy, as voters across the country acted decisively to reform the electoral process and fight the corrosive influence of money in politics.

In Ohio, a purple state with a conservative Republican governor, 71 percent of voters supported a constitutional amendment to outlaw the partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts and create a bipartisan redistricting commission. The overwhelming transpartisan support for the amendment is particularly heartening considering how clearly the old rules favored Republicans, who hold commanding majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Indeed, as Nation correspondent John Nichols pointed out, “even though Democratic President Barack Obama and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown won big statewide victories in 2012, there was no parallel shift to the Democrats when it came to state legislative races.”

Fifty-five percent of Maine voters cast their ballots to strengthen the “clean election” law passed in 1996, which established a voluntary system of public financing. For nearly two decades, the law has empowered ordinary citizens such as progressive state Rep. Diane Russell, a former cashier, to run for office, but recent court rulings and budget cuts have conspired to weaken the system. Local activists worked with national reform groups, such as Every Voice and Common Cause, to build support for the ballot initiative, which provides additional funding for public financing and stronger disclosure requirements. Notably, the measure was fiercely opposed by right-wing Gov. Paul LePage, who called it a “scam.”

And on the other side of the country, Seattle, which previously made history as the first city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, continued its trend of passing bold reforms with the potential to serve as a model for cities and states nationwide. By more than a 20-point margin, Seattle voters approved a novel public financing system in which the city’s residents will receive four “democracy vouchers” per election cycle worth $25 apiece. Voters can then “donate” their vouchers, which are funded with taxpayer money, to candidates for municipal office, who must in turn accept campaign spending limits and restrictions on private contributions.


10 Shocking Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency

Reading this list is a great reminder of why we need Bernie in the Oval Office asap.

10 Shocking Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency
These facts provide the glue for the Sanders message.
Nov. 10, 2015 * By Les Leopold * AlterNet

Why are so many drawn to the Sanders message? It's not because he's a political outsider. (He's a Senator who has spent his entire adult life in politics.) It's not because he's a good Jewish boy from Brooklyn. (Jews make up only about 2% of the American population.) And it's not because he's a self-declared socialist. (Few of us have any idea what that means in today's global economy.)

Rather, it's because so many of us want to stop our entire society from crumbling beneath the destructive power of runaway inequality.

Here are 10 crucial economic facts that provide the glue for the Sanders message. (The charts are taken from Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice.)

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