Posts filed under ‘Fascist America’
Ah, yes, We the Little People who live near fracking wells and drink water contaminated by them should be so lucky as to have pockets lined with $1000 bills so we can afford to fight against having our environment trashed by, wait for it, Exxon!
For an example of hyper-elitism, NIMBYism, and the arrogance of the corporatocracy and the 1%ers, you’ve gotta read this:
My Tweet of the Day:
This morning I came across this:
ALEC Plans Massive Environmental Attack for 2014
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a big year ahead of them, as they attempt to dismantle a slew of environmental protections from state to state. More specifically, the corporate front group is hoping to pass dirty energy friendly legislation to ease the rules for electric utilities.
From state to state, ALEC is drafting legislation that would cut renewable energy, increase dependence on coal and dismantle energy efficiency standards.
And then I remembered reading about this a few days ago:
[Colorado's "Democratic"] Governor Hickenlooper has chosen Glenn Vaad, a former state representative from Weld County, as the newest of the three-member Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Mr. Vaad is no friend of clean energy for Colorado—his voting record allied primarily with the fossil fuel industry at the expense of Colorado’s clean energy economy. Mr. Vaad is also a former high-ranking member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful corporate lobbying group whose members include Koch Industries and others pushing state legislatures to turn back the clock on adoption of renewable energy in Colorado and elsewhere.
If a so-called Democratic governor is appointing “former high-ranking” members of ALEC to state boards — any board — we’re doomed. Seriously. It illustrates the fact that this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats anymore — they’re all being corrupted — it’s about the corporatocracy and the monied class against the rest of us.
Maybe it’s just me, but have you noticed how the cable “news” networks cycle through so-called news stories roughly every eight, ten, 15 minutes and repeat themselves ad nauseam all day (unless there’s “breaking news” of course, like a high-speed police chase or an apartment fire)?
And maybe its just me but have you noticed how the right constantly screams about how liberal the U.S. media is?
Imagine how this country would change if the media really was liberal and they repeated this kind of thing every day, all day:
– Giving Employees Paid Sick Leave is Good for Business: A large majority of employers in Connecticut — where paid sick leave has been mandatory since January, 2012 — “reported that the law did not affect business operations and that they had no or only small increases in costs.”
– The NSA’s Sweeping Surveillance Programs Don’t Stop Terrorism: On June 5, 2013, the Guardian broke the first story in what would become a flood of revelations regarding the extent and nature of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Facing an uproar over the threat such programs posed to privacy, the Obama administration scrambled to defend them as legal and essential to U.S. national security and counterterrorism. Two weeks after the first leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were published, President Obama defended the NSA surveillance programs during a visit to Berlin, saying: “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved.”
However, our review of the government’s claims about the role that NSA “bulk” surveillance of phone and email communications records has had in keeping the United States safe from terrorism shows that these claims are overblown and even misleading. An in-depth analysis of 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or a like-minded group or inspired by al-Qaeda’s ideology, and charged in the United States with an act of terrorism since 9/11, demonstrates that traditional investigative methods, such as the use of informants, tips from local communities, and targeted intelligence operations, provided the initial impetus for investigations in the majority of cases, while the contribution of NSA’s bulk surveillance programs to these cases was minimal.
Climate change will complicate the Philippines’ efforts to become self-sufficient in rice, the country’s economic planning secretary said Monday.
Arsenio Balisacan said preliminary data showed that 74% of the estimated damage from natural disasters in the country last year came in the farm sector, primarily affecting rice. The natural disasters include extreme weather caused by global warming, he said.
“We expect these extreme events and unpredictable phenomena to become the new normal,” Mr. Balisican told a workshop on efforts to address the impact of climate change in agriculture.
No government regulation! Woo hoo. A Libertarian paradise (unless you need to take a shower, drink water, wash your clothes, make dinner or wash your face).
From David Sirota over at Pando.com in an article titled: For Economic Stimulus, Pensions Beat Stadiums and Server Farms.
There [in Detroit], as if proudly advertising its reverse-Robin Hood class war, the city is simultaneously seeking bankruptcy to avoid pensions payments, while pledging $400 million to build a new hockey stadium.
I would much rather have my tax dollars go toward pensions instead of a hockey stadium. Geezus. It’s a no-brainer.
This is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This is what Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Oil) is working on in D.C.:
This week, the House will vote on a bill [introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn] that could impose a $5,000 fee on any person who opposes a proposed drilling project. The bill, also known as the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, will make it easier for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands…
Should the bill become law, onshore drilling permits will automatically be approved if the Department of the Interior (DOI) does not act on the permits within 60 days. It will also require any individual who wishes to oppose a proposed drilling project to pay $5,000 to file an official protest.
Imagine the Founding Fathers writing an amendment that read something like this:
Congress shall require that a $5,000 fee be paid by any member of We the People who object to an oil and/or gas company drilling wherever it wants.
You go Doug. You probably wear a flag pin on your lapel too, huh?
It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack.
What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.
Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.
Read the rest of it here.
Bottom line, six FBI agents went to an average American couple’s home (with two dogs and a young son) because the woman had been looking online at pressure cookers and her husband was doing research on backpacks and that meant they were potential repeat Boston bombers. The six agents looked through the house, and left after about 45 minutes, saying they take similar action roughly “100 times a week.”
So, this is where we’re at folks.
A jury Friday awarded an Oregon woman $18.6 million after she spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.
The judgement [sic], likely to be appealed, appears to be one of the largest awarded to a consumer in a case against one of the nation’s major credit bureaus.
Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes.
A Federal Trade Commission study earlier this year of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports found 21 percent contained errors.
There’s some fury from the jury in this judgment. Oh, and it’s “likely to be appealed?” You bet it is. Equifax has lawyers on staff who do nothing but. No way will Equifax pay the sum the jury ordered. (They don’t believe in that quaint saying: The jury has spoken.)
Too bad there aren’t really high “statutory fines”* for screwing over We the People like Equifax did here, kinda like there are really low “statutory fines” for companies like Halliburton who destroy evidence and get an imperceptable slap on the pinky.
* Nobody’s advocating for We the People anymore because the folks who make the laws and decide what the “statutory fines” should be are owned by gosh, golly, gee: the corporatocarcy!
Woohoo. USA! USA! USA!
My Tweet of the Day:
Apropos of this, there’s this:
Fla. Medicaid Privatization Plans Moving Forward
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal health officials said Wednesday they expect to approve Florida’s request to privatize Medicaid statewide as long as the state resolves several outstanding issues, including hiring an independent entity to monitor the process and having a robust plan to measure the quality of patient care in the controversial program.
Rick Scott, Florida’s Tea Party Governor, the guy who’s moving this along should be in prison. If you’ve got time, read this: Rick Scott’s Dirtiest Deeds.
I predict Scott will privatize Medicaid in Florida right into the hands of his hospital chain / insurance company buddies and three, four years from now the “Medicare” system in Florida will be a corrupt mess. And people will have died as a result, including Tea Partiers who voted for this narcissistic monster.
Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun. He wants to kill our right to due process:
Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.
Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.
Blows my mind.
Two Arizona lawmakers are stirring Constitutional debate and threats of legal action after introducing bills that would require the state’s students to express love of country under God.
House Bill 2467, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Bob Thorpe, would require all public high school seniors to take an oath to “support and defend” the U.S. Constitution and proclaim, “so help me god.” A second proposal, House Bill 2284 sponsored by Republican state Rep. Steve Smith, would require all public 1-12 students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The oath, as proposed by Thorpe, reads:
I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.
I came across that at the same time I came across this:
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI seeking details of its surveillance policy — who it spies upon, and how, and under what circumstances. The FBI sent back two 50+ page memos in reply, each of them totally blacked out except for some information on the title page.
So much for the FOIA law and so much for Obama’s “most transparent” government ever.
H/t to NancyB for alerting me to this “toy:”
For those of us who aren’t necessarily going to vote for Barack Obama on November 6 because he’s the Democratic candidate and/or because he’s less bad than Romney, there’s this most recent info in a long line of disturbing news out of the Obama administration:
A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.
The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.
Gee. I’m so glad this has been all over the “liberal media.”
The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.
Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.
I can see it now. American corporations will rush to register in foreign countries so they can “appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings,” like clean air and water laws. Geezus. Obama’s brain has been infiltrated by CEOs.
“Bush was better than Obama on this,” said Judit Rius, U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, referring to the medication rules.
Trans-Pacific negotiations have been taking place throughout the Obama presidency. The deal is strongly supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the top lobbying group for American corporations. Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2012 presidential elections, Mitt Romney, has urged the U.S. to finalize the deal as soon as possible.
I don’t recognize this hyper pro-corporate Obama. He isn’t the guy I voted for. He isn’t a Democrat as I define Democrats. Democrats have historically been pro-worker. Who’s standing up for We the People around here anymore? No one.
Filed under: Obama — Don’t Count on My Vote
This photo was taken yesterday in NYC during a rally marking the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It says so much about the United States of America circa 2012.
Wasting no time:
In case you missed it, the United States isn’t the greatest country in the world anymore. Here’s why:
Beginning scene of the new HBO series The Newsroom explaining why America’s Not the Greatest Country Any Longer… But It Can Be.
Eight years ago if you ate Brie cheese you were French and you hated Freedom Fries. Four years ago if you didn’t have at least one flag pin on your lapel you hated America. Now the hottest thing going amongst those same flag-waving Republicans is Swiss bank accounts.
Occupy Wall Street and other groups (like Iraq Veterans Against the War) are marching today in Chicago in the face of the NATO summit there.
The Chicago Police Department spent $1 million on riot gear-type stuff in preparation for the two-day summit, including buying an LRAD tanker that has the capacity to one’s ear drums:
That said, here’s my Tweet of the Day:
Interesting that the CPD has so much money but schools there are laying teachers off in the thousands.
Priorities of a ducked up country imho.
Just read this tweet from Politico:
Which lead to this video put out on Wednesday by the Koch brothers:
Which is a kill-the-messinger response to this documentary which was officially released by Brave New Films in New York City last night:
My question to Politico’s Vogel:
I’ll let you know if I hear back. Is Vogel a tool for the Koch brothers, or not?
Last I knew, We the People own the streets (via the taxes we pay to buy and maintain them) and thus, they are free speech zones:
Some Georgia lawmakers want to make legitimate union picketing and other common protest activities felonies that not only could result in one-year jail terms but up to $10,000 in fines.
The bill, SB 469, would clamp down on free speech and workers’ rights in several ways. First, it would outlaw picketing outside the home of a CEO or other top company officials, such as rallying outside the home of a sweatshop owner.
It also would allow businesses to ask a judge to halt the protests outside of a business. If the judge orders a halt and the picketing continues, the union members or protestors from other groups could each be slapped with a $1,000 fine.
In addition, any union or organization which “continues to sponsor or assist in the prohibited activity” would be subject to $10,000 fine. Businesses which think they suffered damage from the picketing could ask for a cut of that cash.
We’re heading toward a society that looks something like this:
A homeless man robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill. After feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police the next day. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Federal authorities are struggling to find evidence to support a criminal case stemming from the collapse of MF Global, even after a federal grand jury in Chicago has issued subpoenas.
Investigators, unable to find a smoking gun amid thousands of e-mails and documents, increasingly suspect that chaos and poor risk control systems prompted the disappearance of more than $1 billion in customer money, according to several people involved in the case.
This should be interesting:
Here is their press release:Today WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example,
[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala [sic], Hugo Chavez.
It will take days to cull through all the material but here’s an early reaction: Massive Leak Reveals Criminality, Paranoia Among Corporate Titans.
My quote of the day:
The entire world seems to be one huge advertisement for The Shock Doctrine. Naomi Klein showed in her revelatory book how the corporate-political-military-media complex exploits crises to further impose their harsh right-wing agenda – even when they themselves created the crisis. In a sane world, the economic meltdown and deep recession of the past four years would have led at minimum to stringent regulation of financiers and speculators plus programs to assist their victims. But in this world, you have to be nuts to believe in a sane world.
The party that claims to champion small government is at it again.
This month Republican majorities in both chambers in Virginia’s Legislature passed one of the strictest mandatory pre-abortion ultrasound bills in the nation — a measure that’s certain to require women seeking early-stage abortions to submit to being vaginally penetrated by a condom-covered electronic probe before the abortion is allowed to proceed.
The procedure is called a “transvaginal ultrasound,” and it’s the best and sometimes only way in the first stages of pregnancy for physicians to obtain images that “contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus,” as the bill requires.
Such ultrasounds are common medical procedures. But make no mistake. The proposed regulation, which Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell previously indicated he will sign if, as expected, legislators send a final version to his desk next week, has nothing to do with the practice of medicine.
It’s designed to attempt to confront women seeking abortions with fetal images and the sounds of fetal heartbeats in hopes that they’ll change their minds about going through with the procedure. That’s why the law specifies that the ultrasound be performed “at least two hours before the performance of an abortion,” and that the results be offered to the woman before she signs off on going through with it.
Bob McDonnell is the Governor of Virgina and he’s expected to sign this legislation, meaning that if I lived in that state and I wanted an abortion, my doctor would be required to put this probe into my vagina:
even if it wasn’t medically necessary. My doc wouldn’t have a choice, nor would I.
Men: How about if the government says if you want Viagra you get something stuck up your penis? No choice. It’s a done deal?
Today was going to be an interesting day in politics: President Obama is going to Wisconsin to speak at a Master Lock factory (a unionized workplace) and anti-union, hated, corrupt Governor Scott Walker (R-Koch) was going to be there by his side. The contrast between the two was going to be stark and watching the body language was going to be so much fun!
But alas, Walker, ahem, has stomach flu so he had to bow out. His handlers probably told him he would look like a worm next to Obama so better that he stay home.
I’m about to crawl in bed because I have The Cold That Won’t Quit that everyone seems to have these days, but I want to put this up first:
The New Mexico state legislature has approved a resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
“This marks a major victory for the constitutional amendment movement to reclaim our democracy,” said John Bonifaz, director of Free Speech for People, a coalition of groups that oppose the controversial ruling.
“The Citizens United ruling presents a direct and serious threat to the integrity of our elections, unleashing a torrent of corporate money into our political process,” he added. “The ruling is also the most extreme extension yet of a corporate rights doctrine which has been eroding our First Amendment and our US Constitution for the past 30 years. As with prior egregious Supreme Court rulings which threatened our democracy, we the people must exercise our power under Article V of the Constitution to enact a constitutional amendment which will preserve the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.”
If my memory serves, I think this is the first time a state legislature has passed a resolution opposing Citizens United. A number of city and county councils have passed amendments and/or resolutions but I think this is first state-wide resolution ever.
Bravo New Mexico.
Let’s keep this ball rollin’ people!