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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Problem with the U.S. Tax System

What's wrong with our tax system? David Cay Johnston explains in this great piece below.

A snippet: 

"If you go back one year to 2011, and you take - there was a little higher income in 2011 than 1966, for the vast majority, and just count that as one inch, they got $59 more income after all those years, they got one inch. The plutocrat class, this is the small group at the top of in this case 16,000 because it's a different statistical measure, 16,000 households in a country of 316 million people, compared to that one inch their income is up five miles, just a bit under five miles, one inch to file miles.

All the gains are going to the top, and it's not because everybody else got lazy or stupid, it's because we cut taxes at the top. We changed the rules. We put in place all these hidden subsidies I've been exposing for years that take from the many and redistribute upward to the few."

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hillary Clinton Sets Major Trap for Republicans

Hillary dares Republicans to go against her immigration stance. (See the NPR story below)

Who was that communist President that gave amnesty to millions of people by the way?

Oh yeah...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jon Oliver on Bud Light

"All" of this:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Jim Jefferies Gun Ownership/Gun Control?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

TPP? Chomsky Dicussing the Disastrous Free-Trade Agreement - NAFTA

If you're weary of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) you should be.  NAFTA turned out to do exactly what Chomsky said it would.  Neo-Liberalization was the answer to a strong labor community that enjoyed record standards of living.  Corporate America waged an all out war in the '70s to reduce labor's influence.

Conservatives squawking about border issues and refugees should take a close look at the Mexican agriculture sector that was devastated after the passage of NAFTA. Farmers who were able to support themselves before NAFTA weren't able to afterward. When a foreign government can undersell domestic farmers - you're left with few alternatives.

If your skeptical of the TPP, you have a good reason to be so. We've seen this song and dance before with NAFTA. Could we at least let our senators read the bill? Corporations got to look it over.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2016 - Demographics - Turnout

We're in a dogfight in 2016.  There's little doubt about it.  While Obama pulled a historic upset in 2012 only 2 Presidents in the 20th century pulled off 3 party victories in a row.  FDR and Reagan. 

O'Reilly was very right in the clip below.  The demographics change in the country is nothing short of an earthquake. 

From the LA Times:

"Republicans will be trying to win with a base of supporters that is roughly 90% white in an increasingly diverse country, having failed so far to develop a strategy to attract the growing minority populations who rejected them in 2008 and 2012.

Who wins will almost certainly depend on which proves more powerful — the hunger for change or the inexorable demographic wave.

Or to put it another way, the 2016 election will test whether the Obama coalition of minorities and white liberals can hold together, turn out and defeat the aging but still powerful coalition of social and economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks assembled by Ronald Reagan 35 years ago.

The best case for Republicans is that "the American public seldom has the stomach for a third term, and President Obama hasn't been the kind of leader who generates a third term," said political scientist Julia R. Azari of Marquette University in Wisconsin.

The two presidents in the modern era whose parties did win three or more elections, Reagan and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, both transformed American politics by embodying — and helping bring about — a change in what people believed government should do."

It's all going to come down to turnout.  Can Clinton energize Obama's base?  Can she get the minorities and white liberals to turnout like they did in 2012?

"According to CNN exit polls, 93% of African-Americans, 71% of Hispanics and 73% of Asians supported Obama over Romney."

Washington Post:

"But among whites, Obama is currently doing much worse than he did in 2008. At this stage four years ago, Obama trailed Republican John McCain by eight percentage points among white voters. Even in victory, Obama ended up losing white voters by 12 percentage points. 

Obama’s current 21-percent-deficit -- he trails Romney 59 to 38 percent -- would be far harder to overcome, as this year may break a string of increasingly non-white electorates. In 2008, whites made up a record-low 74 percent of all voters; in the latest Post-ABC poll, they made up a similar 75 percent of likely 2012 voters.

In 2004, John Kerry lost white voters to George W. Bush by a similarly wide margin, 58 to 41 percent -- and he also lost the election.

Compared with four years ago, white voter support for Obama is now lower among white men and white independents. (See the latest Post-ABC tracking poll on The Fix at 5 p.m. every day through Nov. 5.)

The clearest loss for the president is among white men. In 2008, Obama lost white men by 16 points, according to the exit poll. This year, Obama trails Romney double that margin -- 33 points -- larger than any deficit for a Democratic candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale.

After splitting their votes 47 percent for Obama and 49 percent for McCain in 2008, whites who identify as political independents now favor Romney over Obama, 59 to 38 percent. Nearly half of all of those who supported Obama in 2008 but Romney in 2012 are white independents. (Overall, whites make up more than 90 percent of “switchers.”)

A key element of Romney’s advantage among all whites is that by 55 to 39 percent, more white voters say he, not Obama understands the economic problems people in this country are having. Among whites without college degrees, Romney is up 58 to 35 percent on this score, expanding what was a narrow gap just a few weeks ago. This advantage comes even as 48 percent of white voters say Romney, as president, would do more to favor the wealthy; 37 percent say he would do more to for the middle class."

The math is looking good though (WSJ):

"Republicans stand a slim chance of winning the presidency in 2016—unless they nominate a transformational candidate who can dramatically broaden the GOP’s appeal. That assertion may seem incongruous in light of stunning Republican triumphs in the past two midterm elections. But success in 2014 no more indicates the outcome of the 2016 presidential election than victory in 2010 foretold the presidential winner in 2012.

The continuing problem for the Republican Party is the country’s changing demographics. GOP congressional candidates won 60% of white voters in 2010 and 2014, producing landslide victories. The calculation works differently in presidential elections, however, when turnout is higher, particularly among minorities. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 59% of white voters, the highest percentage of any Republican challenging an incumbent president in the history of exit polling. He won every significant white subgroup—men and women; young and old; Protestants and Catholics—often by overwhelming margins. Yet Mr. Romney still lost the election by five million votes.

Barack Obama won because he achieved breathtaking majorities among every other racial group. The president won 93% of African-Americans and more than 70% of Hispanics and Asians. As a result, the first African-American president won re-election with only four out of 10 white voters."

The best thing the Dems can hope for is the GOP candidates keep running to the far right on immigration, social issues and safety nets.  The economy just might be the wildcard in 2016.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Elizabeth Warren - "The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform"

A great roadmap to the presumed Democratic Nominee in 2016 (Hillary Clinton).  It's been great to see Clinton reaching out to the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party recently.  Submitting her to Time's 100 most influential people list.

Warren spoke at the Levy Economic Institute about the unfinished business of financial reform.

Highlights here:

Full interview here:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fox Contributer Says Poor Need to Stop Taking His Money!

Run and hide, rich people! The poor are coming to get ya!

Chomsky addresses this phenomenon, it's addressed in Manufacturing Consent - he calls it reverse Marxism - the wealthiest repeat the charges of class warfare from the bottom up over and over again -- (direct jump here) you can find it in the video below starting at 21:50.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Scott Walker calls for "Aggressive Foreign Policy"

Ho boy...  Let this Republicans douche-fest fly hard and fast...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lexington 3rd Council General Election 2014 Breakdown

A little insight into the Lexington 3rd Council district election in 2014.

The sections in color are the voting precincts, the graduated circles are the percentage of homeowners vs. renters in Census blocks (the smallest measure in census data).  Of course correlation doesn't equal causation, but there's a strong indication that areas with high home ownership preferred Ellinger.

We'll be taking a closer look at this district and election in the next few months.

Vote Breakdown in Louisville $9 Minimum Wage Hike

Thanks to Louisville Liberal for the post:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bill O'Reilly's Meltdown Of A Possible Warren Presidency

This isn't embedding properly, but watch Bill O'Reilly's meltdown on a possible Warren Presidency:


One thing is for sure, progressives and "even" some conservatives would love to see such a run, and that's not snark:

"I hope that Sen. Warren will run for president in 2016 to force a national conversation on the Washington-Wall Street power nexus,"

She'd be coming in hot if she ran, she's beloved by progressives.  Run Liz run!  Run Liz run!  Run Liz run!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Blasts Budget (Wall Street Give Way)

"Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from these rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous, and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it."
-Adam Smith

The Republicans are set to take the Senate next month, nixing any hope of any further restraint of concentrated state-private Wall Street power.

This month the Republicans weren't the ones we really had to worry about.  Wall Street used the Democrats to do their bidding in this budget battle.  Wall Street just got a big Christmas present this year, a massive public subsidy covering risky trading. 

The taxpayer provided subsidy involved language with derivatives.  Basically allowing the big banks to make risky bets insuring the losses through FDIC insurance.  This insurance, set up after the crash in 1929 was meant to protect individual depositors, and never intended to cover bank losses.

Elizabeth Warren took the Senate floor to blast that portion of the spending bill.  Wall Street is on the offensive again, and while they've won this battle, the war certainly isn't over. 

"Do not go gentle into that good night
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

 Do not go gentle into that good night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Noam Chomsky on Syria, China, Capitalism, and Ferguson

At 10:00 he starts going into the development of our current technological revolution which was almost entirely funded by the state sector.  The public paid for the iPhone/Android's, etc.

Around 17:20 he goes into the re-segregation of Black America, the drug war that waged police power against black people.

Monday, November 24, 2014

NEW POLL: Uh oh... The GOP's in Trouble... (Amnesty Executive Order Edition)

Wow, and this is what you call 2016 coalition building.  The Republicans howled over Obama's executive action, not because of any immigration line jumping, but because they were never going to get an immigration bill through with the radical anti-immigrant base that would crucify them for anything short of a self-deportation policy.  The D's needed to lock Hispanic support back up in their column.  Guess what?  A new poll shows Obama knew exactly what he was doing with the executive order he issued and the order did exactly that, uh oh someone's in trouble:

Buzzfeed News:

"The poll found that 89% of Latino voters support Obama’s decision to give temporary legal status to nearly five million undocumented immigrants. That level of support surprised Latino Decisions co-founder Matt Barreto, who noted the figure is higher than initial support of the president’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protected undocumented youth brought to the country as children from deportation and allowed them to receive work permits.

“This is the most unified we have seen Latino public opinion on any issue,” Barreto told BuzzFeed News. “DACA registered 84%, this is even higher. The White House was smart to put this step to protect parents — almost nobody in the Latino community is going to say they don’t support a policy to keep parents and children together.”

The Civil War that was predicted in the Republican ranks after they took the Senate?  Happening.  There's a stand off with leadership and rank and file Republicans with "no" clear front runners in 2016.  The Republicans are a whimpering, fractured-fragmented, rudderless, leaderless political coalition loose affiliation:

"Republican presidential primaries have for decades been orderly affairs, with any momentary drama mitigated by the expectation that the party would inevitably nominate its tested, often graying front-runner.

But as the 2016 White House campaign effectively began in the last week, it became apparent that this race might be different: a fluid contest, verging on chaotic, that will showcase the party’s deep bench of talent but also highlight its ideological and generational divisions.

As Democrats signal that they are ready to rally behind Hillary Rodham Clinton before their primary season even begins, allowing them to focus their fund-raising and firepower mostly on the general election, the Republicans appear destined for a free-for-all." -NYT
 Full speed ahead Mr. President.  While you attempted to craft a team of rivals the R's didn't give you a chance from day 1.  Your attempt was admirable, but your ability to adapt to political realities is really what you'll be remembered for.  That and the death of the modern conservative moment and the birth of a new left leaning coalition, the most pro-government coalition since FDR.  Just think of the things we could have accomplished if the R's weren't trying to torpedo your Presidency from day 1.

The "real" change comes in 2020 when state legislatures are back up for redrawing.  The Republicans have enjoyed an insane, unrepresentative advantage in drawing state and federal legislative boundaries.  Not to mention "all" left leaning Millennial voters will be eligible to vote then.

Let them talk of you ripping the Constitution up all the way into 2016:

(I know the video below is obnoxiously bleeding into the sidebar, Comedy Central made this formatting a PITA)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Can't Fight Against the Youth (Especially in 2020).

Millennials will encompass 1/3 of the American population in 2020.  And that is a game charger for the American electoral system.  The younger generation the most racially diverse generation in American history is pressing for a revolutionary new economic system, corporate state-capitalism has run it's course.  And a new generation with radically new values is demanding something new.  And we're going to have it, the proof is in the numbers:

 And these last 2 graphs are the real trouble to come for the GOP:

Left leaning (some reports say Socialist by nature) it's reason for concentrated capital to be shaking in their boots.

And it's attitudes beyond just criticism of capitalism.  Millennials drive less, spend less, live in urban centers avoiding small towns and are the most pro-government, socially liberal generation in American history and every piece of evidence says we're not going to grow more conservative as we age:

"Especially since the scheme of things is changing so fast. Young voters were as enthralled by Obama as their elders were frightened. He won 66 percent of the under-30 vote in 2008 and, despite four years of economic hardship, 60 percent in 2012. Not all young voters support the Democrats, of course, but the nonwhite ones overwhelmingly do, with 67 percent approving of Obama. A Pew Research Center survey found that 71 percent of nonwhites under age 30 want a bigger government that provides more services. The aggregate result is the most pro-government generation the United States has seen since the generation that voted for President Franklin Roosevelt exited the stage. An increasingly diverse young America wants the government to do more for it. An increasingly anxious older America now views government activism as a threat to its own rightful share of state resources."

So while 2014 was a small victory for the GOP, lets not forget the midterms weren't representative of what the overall electorate is, an incredible diverse, liberal coalition that's going to rule this planet, very, very soon.

"Can't fight against the young, cause we're strong"  I'm sure they'll say were 'rude, rude people'!

"Can't fight against the youth,
Cause we're strong.
Them are rude, rude people.
Can't fight against the youth,
Cause we're strong.
Them are rude, rude people.

We gonna rule this planet,
among children.
We gonna rule this planet "


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

David Harvey and Richard Wolf on The Charlie Rose Show, End of Capitalism

A great interview and critique on Capitalism, cities and the future to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Democrats - We're Going to Lose Senate Seats (And Probably the Senate) Here's why That's Okay...

Go vote November 4th.  Let me start by saying that.  Let me also say it's incredible likely we're going to lose the Senate.  And that's okay.  And here's why.

Presidents, even really, really popular Presidents lose seats 6 years in.  Take a look at say FDR and Ronald Reagan:

A wildly popular populist FDR - lost 7 seats in 1938 (6 years in).  A wildly popular actor plutocrat - lost 8 seats in 1986 (6 years in).

15 Senate seats during Eisenhower's 6th year, 4 Senate seats during Nixon's (Ford's) 6th year,  and 5 seats in the 2006 sweep Dem's made during GW's 6th year.  The only outlier was the wildly popular Bill Clinton who missed the bullet in 1998 during the insane tail end of the Reagan revolution where there was a stand still.  The Republicans overplayed their hand that year with the Monica nonsense and the public wasn't having it, that being the only exception.

Why bother voting?  The Dems are going to hold/pick up seats depending on turnout House and Senate.  Let's just try and minimize the historical pattern, this isn't going to be a fun November 4th.  But watching the run of the mill Republicans/Tea Party crowd deflate over the fact that they literally "can't" repeal the reforms Obama and the Democrats passed, well that's going to be something delightful to watch:

“It would take 60 votes in the Senate. No one thinks we’re going to have 60 Republicans, and it would take a presidential signature,” McConnell said. “I’d like to put the Senate Democrats in the position of voting on the most unpopular parts of this law and see if we can put it on the president’s desk.”

The Germans have a word for what were about to watch become of the Republican Party... Schadenfreude...  Their upcoming Civil War will draw battle lines between the purists and corporatists and we'll get to watch as they run to the far right pushing government shutdowns prompting filibusters from Senate Democrats, and veto threats from the President all while trying to persuade a left leaning country they're not completely looney tunes and fit to govern:

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans won’t be able to repeal Obamacare anytime soon.

Sen. Mitch McConnell has already mapped out a confrontational budget strategy with no end game: Jam spending bills, which are necessary for funding the government, with a bunch of right-wing riders unpalatable to President Obama. What if Obama vetoes your bills, POLITICO recently asked him? “Yeah, he could,” shrugged McConnell. He skirts what would happen next: the proverbial hot potato would get tossed back to him and Boehner, and the simmering GOP civil war between the cautious and the revolutionary would be on full boil.

The inconvenient truth for the Republican Party is that it’s not ready for prime time, yet it’s on the verge of fully sharing with the president the responsibility of running the country."

When they fail to repeal the big ticket items we'll return to the culture wars, and debates about marriage, abortion and "religious liberty" are going to start all over again, they won't be able to help themselves.  We're playing chess, not checkers.  We'll be back on line full steam ahead in 2016 with a united Democratic Party.  We're far more united than the Republicans are, Christie's and Paul's circular firing squad is a perfect example:

"Well, that was a splendid little war.

Over the past week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took the GOP’s intraparty bickering to a new level, openly savaging each other on issues of national security, privacy and government spending. When Christie wasn’t challenging Paul to explain himself to the families of Sept. 11 victims, Paul was accusing Christie of demanding federal handouts for hurricane relief and, in an obvious double entendre, labeling the Garden Stater the “king of bacon.”

Keep your heads up, just remember what Gust said in Charlie Wilson's War about the 'Zen Master'!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Elizabeth Jensen is Coming to Your House to Steal Your Coal and Children (with Obummer!)

Lock your doors people in the KY 6th, put some pants on and hide grandma.  Because Elizabeth Jensen (donate money to her here) is personally coming to your door to steal your coal, coal mining jobs and your children while partying her ass off with Barack Hussein Obama.

Super informative mailers are coming your way to warn you of the black menace that's upon us! 


Pay zero attention that the 6th congressional district has "zero" coal mines in it... 


Cheap, abundant natural gas has killed the coal industry, that's a fact.  Let's dig at the mailer's "facts"/citations:

The Republican Party of Kentucky (RPK) has cited, CNS News "The Right News, Right Now",  Town Hall - " is the leading source for conservative news and political commentary and analysis." and The Heritage Foundation who stated goal is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense"

Someone should call the Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robinson and tell him to fire their mailing director for wasting mailers on an urban Millennial who thinks Barr, (a man who once said George W. Bush was going to be known as one of the greatest presidents) is a huge helping hand to the criminality that occurs on Wall Street.

Then again, $1 spend on the wrong person is a dollar not spend on the right person.

Hopefully Wall Street's congressman gets the boot very soon, if we're lucky his friends on Wall Street too.  I mean, it's not like they're living large while the rest of us are begging for scraps with record debt levels, right?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Senate (advances) to overturn Citizen United 79-18

Let's hope this works...

"Republicans are likely to vote against the amendment when it comes up for a final vote, but by allowing it to proceed, ensured that it will tie up the Senate for most of the week.

More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in the 79-18 vote advancing the amendment, well over the 60 votes that were needed."
Elizabeth Warren on the Senate vote: