Daily Archives: October 13, 2011


Petraeus’s CIA Fuels Iran Murder Plot

The article Petraeus’s CIA Fuels Iran Murder Plot by Ray McGovern just adds a little fuel to my existing suspicions of the latest Iran imbroglio.

Discussing the call between the alleged plotter and his alleged contact in Iran, the article says:

The call is recounted in the FBI affidavit submitted in support of the criminal charges against Arbabsiar, who is now in U.S. custody, and Shakuri, who is not. But the snippets of that conversation are unclear, discussing what on the surface appears to be a “Chevrolet” car purchase, but which the FBI asserts is code for killing the Saudi ambassador.

The article further goes on to say:

As for Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, some adult adviser should tell them to quit giving hypocrisy a bad name with their righteous indignation over the thought that no civilized nation would conduct cross-border assassinations.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, has been dispatching armed drones to distant corners of the globe to kill Islamic militants, including recently U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki for the alleged crime of encouraging violence against Americans.

As I listened to Secretary of State Clinton and the FBI and Justice Department make their statements about all the things they were accusing Iran of doing, it was so easy for me to add “You mean just like the United States?” to each accusation. I was not  exaggerating with my addition.

We certainly want to stop Iran from perpetrating murders in the United States.  To act like they are doing something we would never do and have never done just destroys any credibility that the accusers have.  They would have been wiser to lower their tone of umbrage if they had really wanted the American people to believe them.  Apparently, belief in our government by the American people is not even a thinly veiled necessity anymore.

I have always thought that when you listen to a Republican claim that liberals want to do some heinous thing, you can be assured that they got the idea for making such a charge from something they thought of doing themselves.  Well, at least Obama has learned something from his dealings with the Republicans.  No sense wasting all that torture and assassination plotting when you can get double duty out of it by accusing others of planning to do what you have already thought of and done.

I just realized that I have to add that to be upset that other countries would try to stop us from carrying out murders in their country is the height of obtuseness.  Obtuse on the part of the American public that cannot understand it.  Certainly, our own government leaders are just pretending that they don’t understand.

Even George Bush didn’t believe that they hate us for our freedom.


Kucinich Report, The FACTS on the Trade Agreements

As I watched the news reports yesterday about the three trade bills and the claims that they would increase jobs in the U.S., I was very skeptical. I am afraid President Obama has lost his credibility with me. So even when he says it, I have my doubts.

I am not saying that the video from Denis Kucinich below proves anything, but I am more likely to believe what he says these days than what comes from the Republicans in Congress or the President who leans toward them.

The Occupy Wall Street movement and credibility train are leaving the station on the same train, Obama had better hop on before he is left behind in the dust.

 

Lost In Detention: Maria Hinojosa & Presente.org

 

Why is it that so many of the bills passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama are touted as one thing, but turn out to be something else? I am not surprised that this comes out of the Republican minds in Congress, but I am disappointed in President Obama. The innocuous sounding name of the bill makes Governor Deval Patrick look bad when he refuses to go along with the idea. Maybe this show will help explain the position that Deval Patrick is taking.

I’d feel safer if law enforcement spent more time locking up drunk drivers and bank robbers no matter what is their immigration status or the color of their collars, than in going after families whose only crime is violation of the immigration laws. Saying that we have to get our priorities straight in where we focus our limited law enforcement resources, is not the same thing as condoning violation of immigration laws, so don’t even go there.


Millionaire’s tax is on target

Millionaire’s tax is on target is other one of the two stories that MichaelK really wanted me to look at. (Instead I jumped on The Occupied Wall Street Journal.)

The story starts off well:

Here’s one idea that could unite Main Street voters with Occupy Wall Street protesters — raise taxes only on individuals making more than $1 million a year and use that revenue to pay for President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, which is made up of bipartisan policy proposals to get the economy moving again.

It is an audacious idea, brewed first by Sen. Charles Schumer and backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as preferable to the president’s repeated call to roll back the Bush tax cuts on any household making more than $250,000 a year.

There are several reasons that this new millionaire’s tax is both smart politics and smart policy.

First, an astounding 75% of Americans back raising taxes on individuals making more than $1 million a year, according to an October 5 Washington Post/ABC News poll. This includes 89% of Democrats, 75% of independents, 57% of Republicans and 55% of Tea Party supporters. This isn’t subtle — it’s a slam-dunk.

In my opinion it really veers off with:

The best option of all in my book would not be a targeted surcharge but broad-based tax reform that could actually lower all rates to spur growth while closing some (but not all) loopholes to raise revenues. This is the broad goal set out by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission, a vision championed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and even once campaigned on by a candidate named Barack Obama.

Whoa! Whoa! and Whoa!.  This is the kind of proposal where the devil really is in the details.  First of all it implies a buy-in to the idea that we need to lower taxes to spur growth.  It is actually the balance between tax collections and government spending, and the exact nature of that spending that probably has more to do with growth than just the level of taxation.

Secondly, without knowing the details, we don’t know who really gets to pay more and who gets to pay less.  If the plan shifts more of the tax burden onto the middle class and off the super wealthy, then I would definitely be against it.  If the plan shifted the tax burden more fairly to the people who have lots of money but don’t invest it in our economy, then I would say yes.

I just get the nervous feeling whenever I hear “Lower the tax rates and close loopholes” that this is code for lessening the taxes that the ultra-wealthy and corporations pay.  The proponents of such an action would have to go a long way to convince me that my fears are not warranted.


Companies use fuzzy math in job claims; candidates still buy in

Companies use fuzzy math in job claims; candidates still buy in is one of the two stories that MichaelK really wanted me to look at. (Instead I jumped on The Occupied Wall Street Journal.)

Oil companies aren’t the only ones promising jobs if Washington gives them their way. A wide array of businesses are saying they can help solve the country’s unemployment crisis if only the government would roll back some regulations, approve their big mergers or lower their taxes.

Yet the industry often touts debatable jobs numbers. Mergers between big companies, for instance, tend to result in layoffs rather than new positions overall. And a closer look shows that API’s ads exaggerate the effect that looser drilling policies would have on employment; more than half of its projected job growth would come between 2015 and 2030.

Nonetheless, some policymakers and presidential candidates have cited these statistics as they echo companies’ claims about creating jobs.

“We just learned today that if the federal government would pull back on all of the regulatory restrictions on American energy production, we could see 1.2 million jobs created in the United States,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) said at a Sep. 7 Republican presidential debate.


The Occupied Wall Street Journal

An article in CPA Letter Daily sent to me by MichaelK finally got me to look at The Occupied Wall Street Journal.  I had seen links to it before, but had always had other priorities and never got around to looking  at it.  The fact that this is using Kickstarter to get funding for this is a novel idea to me.

You can also see a copy of the first edition of The Occupied Wall Street Journal from this blog.

 

Taking Back Our Economy! Intro To The Solidarity Economy

This is the precis to one of the courses being taught at the Free School Univeristy at OccupyBoston.

TAKING BACK OUR ECONOMY!

By Julie Matthaei in Occupy Boston: Free School University ·

TAKING BACK OUR ECONOMY!  INTRO TO THE SOLIDARITY ECONOMY

Julie Matthaei, U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (www.ussen.org, www.ripess.org) and Professor of Economics at Wellesley College

Saturday, October 15, 2:30-3:30 pm

Meet at 2:30 at the Free School sign or join us afterwards in the park in front of the Federal Reserve Building directly across Atlantic Avenue

Economic practices and institutions based on the values of the Occupy Wall Street movement — cooperation, sustainability, equity in all dimensions, political and economic democracy, community, diversity, solidarity, and nonviolence – exist all over the world. They are growing rapidly now in response to the failings of the dominant, self-interest and profit-only motivated economy. Beginning the in 1990s, academics and activists from every continent have begun to use the term “the solidarity economy” (SE) to capture the commonality among this diverse universe of alternative practices and institutions, and the core differences between them and dominant economic practices and institutions.

SE practices and institutions have the potential to lead us towards the more just, democratic, fulfilling, and sustainable economy which the Occupy Wall Street movement is seeking. In other words, economic practices and institutions already exist and thrive around the world which constitute the basis for an emerging peoples’ economy — an economy that serves the interests of the 99%.

Some of the building blocks of the solidarity economy – such as fair trade, socially responsible consumption and investment, whistle blowing, and cooperatives — are already familiar to most in the US.  Others are less well known. In this workshop, we will discuss key practices and institutions of the solidarity economy, focusing on the U.S., but with a few examples from Brazil and Canada. We will look at ways in which we can participate in the solidarity economy in every aspect of our economic lives — from consumption and work to savings, investment, entrepreneurship, and exchange.  Hand-outs with information,resources, and links will be provided.

Contrary to some characterizations I have seen of the people of OccupyBoston, this does not look like something that “a bunch of idiots who know nothing” would have on their agenda.