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The following links are a treasure trove of info on how, beginning in the 1800s, banks and corporations gained control of our democracy and morphed into ALEC:

1.  The History of American Corporate Rule

http://www2.ucsc.edu/...

2.  The Creators of Alec and lots of interactive Muckety Maps

http://www.dailykos.com/...

3.  The Judicial Takeover - The Amicus Project

4.  Atlanta TV journalst exposes the Thug Police used to keep a recent ALEC gathering cloaked in secrecy, awesome video

http://www.dailykos.com/...

http://www.dailykos.com/...

I apologize for the brevity.  Using an iPad (two computers rendered useless in the last year) coupled with a 40 hr a week job leave little time energy for in-depth research presentations.

I will state with no hesitation, that our democracy has always been skewed towards control by the power elite and their off spring as demonstrated in the first link.   I am not sure that can be changed.  

The monied minority can afford to out maneuver the more populist poor majority everytime, or so it seems.

There is a treasure trove of empirical evidence in the many research papers presented in the first link that fellow RESEARCH WONKS will both enjoy and find enlightening.

As far as finding solutions, perhaps some here can rally and present a platform of

HOW DO WE WANT THE USA TO FUNCTION

at all levels of governance.

A solution or solutions need a clear goal(s)

Well, off to work

Love you all

WOE

Discuss

Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 09:24 PM PDT

Oh Pooh! The Pres is TPP Pouting

by War on Error

"i take it personally! said Obama regarding TPP disagreeing Democrats.

Well, I take it personally, too!  Keeping your hearts desire a secret from the people that elected you is not the change we hoped for.

Trade unions, environmental groups and high-profile Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have come out swinging against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying it would send American jobs overseas.

“When people say that this trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama told a group of about 200 volunteers and donors with Organizing for Action, an advocacy group formed by his former campaign team. “I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families

Story here

http://www.rawstory.com/...

Comments here are a hoot!

Rinse, repeat

2015 Obama sounds alot like 1997 Clinton

Continue Reading

A friend of a friend helped build Mitt's and Josh's new, adjacent mansions in Utah recently.

This establishes Josh Romney for future runs in the Utah political arena.

But I guess Josh is postponing his debut.  We will have to wait and see.  Also, a Mitt for Utah Governor would be a cake walk for Mitt and Ann.  Horse shoe ins!

An interview with Josh, link

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

Oh, and what is with Patrick Duval, is this the right name, joining Bain Capital.  I know, a tangent.

Discuss

Found this interesting timeline of Saudi/Iraq events this morning which begged the question: Is Middle East violence all about the oil?  

One has to wonder if the FACT that Iraq/Iran have more oil than Saudi Arabia might be fueling the escalation of violence in Iraq.  Perhaps the Sunni Shia divide is a convenient cover, although those doing the actual fighting are more than likely to believe in the righteousness of their sacrifice.  It's what foot soldiers must do:  Believe they are on the right side.

I think this short timeline answers some questions and, more importantly, raises some important questions.

Here's the January, 2014 article stating Iraq/Iran hopes of capturing the kingpin of OPEC from Saudi Arabia.

Iraq and Iran plot oil revolution in challenge to Saudi Arabia

What can prevent a Saudi loss of OPEC control?  A violent civil war/Sunni takeover in Iraq, which we now nearly have a mere six months after Iraq/Iran's OPEC plot is revealed.

Of course, there is much more history, even thousands of years worth; however, it is interesting to note that the Sunni so-called extremists launched in Anbar Province, which is mostly Sunni.  

This could have been made much easier with this August, 2013 event:

Anbar Completes Highway to Saudi Arabia

Let' put this highway in perspective with a couple of maps.  Again, ISIS launched into Iraq in Anbar, adjacent to Syria.

Map of Middle East

Middle East Map, Map of Middle East, Turkey, Iraq, Dubai Map - Worldatlas.com_1282651063270

Anbar province spokesman Mohammed Fathi Hantoush explained that the highway, called the Land Pilgrimage Road, is 230 kilometres long and links central Anbar to the Saudi border at Arar border crossing.
A quick glance of a map depicting the Sunni and Shia population density clearly demonstrates that Eastern Iraq and Iran are surrounded by Sunni majorities in areas adjacent to them.  Is the USA, who has sold $Billions in arms and military support to Sunni majority leaders adjacent to Iran, primarily Saudi Arabia, investing in oil or democracy?
A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.
In May, 2013, accusations were made that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were working together to fuel a sectarian war in Iraq.  Whether or not this is propaganda is anyone's guess. (see video at end of article, having embed issus)
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Rjsigmund put a huge amount of work REPORTING THE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS caused by the oil and gas industry over the past month. So far, there are 8 tips.

The big picture is jaw dropping!  I am willing to bet few in this country have a clue.

You can help raise awareness by going to Rj's diary, rec and tip, then tweet and facebook.

Citizens everywhere need this information.

Don't rec this diary please, rec RJ's

Thank you for choosing to be part of the information solution.

Discuss
Look for a President Obama-Pope Francis summit in September.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza – a member of the organizing committee for the pope's upcoming U.S. visit -- tells Catholic New Agency that that they are looking at a Sept. 22-27 trip to Washington, Philadelphia, and New York that would include a welcoming ceremony at the White House.

Obama and the pope met last year at the Vatican.

Pope Francis is also expected to address a joint session of Congress this September.

From Catholic News Agency:

"Following his stop at the White House, the pontiff would go on to celebrate Mass at Washington's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

"The Mass, the archbishop observed, would be primarily for bishops, consecrated and religious men and women, seminarians and representatives from humanitarian and Catholic charitable organizations."

Continue Reading

SALAHI'S DIARY:  After years of DOD delays, we get a first hand account of what it like being a GITMO prisoner for almost a decade, having NEVER been charged.

The diary is over 400 pages, written by a highly educated Middle Eastern man captured in Germany based what appears to be "guilt by association" is a very compelling read, worthy your time.

Is it true? How can we know.  Gitmo is shrouded in secrecy; however, I found the account credible based on the pictorial revelations of Abu Graib and black sites.

There a few parts that are highly redacted, ie the lie detector tests, but the majority is readible with just names redacted. There is also some redundancy.  This GITMO detainee was held in solitary confinement for years in squalor.  All and all, he miraculously maintained more than a modicum of sanity, so some redundancy was very understandable.

Again, this is a highly recommended read.  Here is the link (i made a note of what page I left off at each reading session as the copy reverted to p.1 when I exited.

A very dark slice of American History we can mostly thank Rumsfeld and BushCo for.

It is so difficult to own what our country is doing to people outside the laws of our country and the Geneva Convention.

Discuss

Yes, Grover is in town this Thursday, February 5th, 6PM-8PM.  You can register online, a bargain at $15 which includes light snacks.  Record it maybe?  Details here:

You're invited to a reception with Grover Norquist Reception in Albuquerque

I found this event on the State Policy Network (SPM) website.  SPM is one of the Koch brothers entities that HELPS WRITE LAWS FOR YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE KOCH PUPPETS.  

Just a thought.  If all politics is local why not push back against these local Koch entities?

These charts show how the Koch Cabal's money flows to the State Policy Network and probably to Grover Norquist.

State Policy Network - Koch Funded

Note Donors Capital Fund then see how closely controlled SPN is by the Kochs

Koch Cabal - Major Players

Highly recommend wearing suits so you can blend in with the 1%ers (please, no hoi polloi outfits) who just can't resist Adorable, Anti-Tax(democracy) Grover

Grover Norquist - Caricature

To find out what the Koch Brothers Et Al are up to in your neck of the woods, click here for the State Policy Network interactive membership organization map DIRECTORY
Continue Reading

Sun Feb 01, 2015 at 06:35 AM PST

Bush-Wack III 2016

by War on Error

Can we start designing bumper stickers etc?

Bush I War Iraq
Bush II War Iraq & Afghanistan
Bush III WWIII?

It is optics, and Dems might consider some.

Do you have any slogan ideas for 2016?

Continue Reading

They say you might live in a DC bubble so, just in case, the following is what is really happening to the so-called middle class.  

I am sure you know this already but I wanted to share a view from the "middle class" neighborhood I live in.

We are getting by, but I think the HIGH COSTS of basics like utilities, real estate taxes, housing, MEDICAL insurance and co-pays, car payments,  car insurance, property insurance, higher ed for our kids, and FEES for grade school, and various and sundry things towns and counties keep increasing are crippling us and the economy.

Our paychecks are eaten up by these unavoidable expenses.

Speaking of eating.  We are lucky.  Our kids are not the 1 in 6 that are food insecure, even hungry in America.  However, moms have to be brilliant at stretching whatever remains of the family's income to make sure the kids get a balanced diet.

We don't need to mention the other necessities like clothing and the ability to enrich our kids lives.  We can't afford much of that, but we are creative and manage.

So, Mr. President, may I suggest using the law to curtail unfettered greed and to stop using credit scores as excuses to charge us more.

Thank you for your concern.  I think if what is left of the dwindling middle class wasn't nickled and dimed at every turn, the overall economy could improve immensely.

And if we can't use the law to curtail unfettered greed, there won't be a middle class to address for much longer.

I hope you have success and stop the greedy insurance companies, the Medical Industrial Complex, and corporations from bleeding us dry.

Sincerely
An on-the-ground citizen

Oh, I almost forgot.  Here are two things I wish Congress, the IRS, Social Security, and you would fix immediately.

When Wall Street crashed our lives, we were forced to use 401ks and early retirement in order not to starve.

 The IRS taxed the 401ks hugely (causing deliquent tax liabilities that balloon with fees and interest) because we were UNEMPLOYED.  The IRS has NO mercy.

Older Americans that were suddenly jobless  were forced into early retirement and will be penalized for the rest of their lives.  

Congress could show some MERCY and fix these hardships for people who share no blame in the Crash of 2008.

Discuss

Government health care website quietly sharing personal data

In a recent visit to the site, AP found that certain personal details - including age, income and smoking habits - were being passed along, likely without consumers' knowledge, to advertising and Web analytics sites.
Here are some of the domains confirmed to be receiving your personal information:
Obamacare sharing your info with these companies
Sending such personal information raises significant privacy concerns. A company like Doubleclick, for example, could match up the personal data provided by healthcare.gov with an already extensive trove of information about what you read online and what your buying preferences are to create an extremely detailed profile of exactly who you are and what your interests are.
You have got to be kidding me!  If you have filled out an application for ACA/Obamacare, all the information you input about you and your children has been shared, and shared, and shared, and shared.

It's how the business of information gathering/selling works.  It is how advertisers find you.  They pay the fishermen of your extremely personal data a lot of money to pin point people, you.  

Did the government charge for our personal info?  Or did they give it free of charge?  Any members of Congress invested in any of these companies?

I find this reprehensible, a breach of trust, and probably about to be one of the biggest scandals of 2015.  I hope I am wrong.

I'm sorry, this reassurance from the Obama administration just doesn't cut it for me:

There is no evidence that personal information has been misused. But connections to dozens of third-party tech firms were documented by technology experts who analyzed HealthCare.gov and then confirmed by AP. A handful of the companies were also collecting highly specific information. That combination is raising concerns.
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Will the faithful listen to Ben Carson and be willing to die for Jesus?

Carson, a conservative who's considering running for president, made the comments at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting.  

 "A bunch of rag tag militiamen defeated the most powerful and professional military force on the planet. Why? Because they believed in what they were doing. They were willing to die for what they believed in," Carson told a luncheon audience of national committee members.

"Fast forward to today. What do we have? You've got ISIS. They've got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for it while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness. We have to change that."   Carson then preemptively criticized the press, whom he said would seize on the comments

 

I used Democratic Underground's news clip link for this story because I thought it might be of interest to read the comments left there.  Well, happy Religious Freedom Day from neurosurgeon Ben Carson.  

What Ben Carson is really saying is "Are You Willing to Die For Jesus" because abortion, the gays, unspecifically "every belief and every value" the hard core, so-called Christian Dominionists want to fix.  They want to run the country based on Mosaic law.  Period.

Let's put this into some context by including Mikey Weinstein's controversial diary from yesterday.  U.S. Army Oficially Recruits for "Mission for God" which, for some reason, devolved into a lengthy debate of whether or not the photo was real or not.  That debate was clarified with this response diary, clarifying that, in fact, the poster is real, not photoshopped.

I commented "These are terrifying people, and I fear they believe they are waiting for a clarion call to the well-armed believers to wreak havoc within the USA."

Did Ben Carson issue a clarion call?

Of course, those not entrenched in dominionist beliefs, the Right Wing nuttery, and who have meaningful lives independent of a cause they are willing to die for brush all this off as just wing nuttery.

Personally, I find Carson's comment inflammatory because there are so many with empty lives who have been "locked and loaded" ever since President Obama won in 2008 and there is a well-documented, deeply embedded, Dominionist presence in the U. S. Military.  

Am I afraid?  Hell no.  Do I think there are deluded people willing to shoot Americans they believe are a threat to their hopeful version of America?  Hell yes.

Discuss
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