Daily Archives: September 16th, 2011

Cantor Voted For Billions To Rebuild Schools In Iraq, Now Opposes Funding School Construction In America

By Judd Legum on Sep 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) voted for over $120 billion to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, funds that were used to construct and repair schools, roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure.

Now, Cantor is opposing President Obama’s proposal to spend $30 billion to modernize 35,000 American schools. Reuters has the story:

U.S. House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said on Monday he will not support President Barack Obama’s proposal to renovate U.S. schools as part of the administration’s bill to spur job growth.

He added that Obama should focus instead on cutting federal regulations that he says kill U.S. jobs…

The president’s proposal is a modest effort. The total maintenance and repair backlog at U.S. schools is estimated at $270 billion to $500 billion. While the funding Obama is proposing is fully offset, Cantor voted to build schools in Iraq and Afghanistan with deficit spending.

 

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FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’

By Spencer Ackerman September 14, 2011

The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”

At the Bureau’s training ground in Quantico, Virginia, agents are shown a chart contending that the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent.” Those destructive tendencies cannot be reversed, an FBI instructional presentation adds: “Any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law; a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”

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Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

by: Mike Lofgren, Truthout | News Analysis

Barbara Stanwyck: “We’re both rotten!”

Fred MacMurray: “Yeah – only you’re a little more rotten.” -“Double Indemnity” (1944)

 

Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the state of the two political parties in contemporary America. Both parties are rotten – how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate loot. The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.

To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

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The Enronization of presidential politics

Thursday, September 15, 2011, by Jim Hightower

In the infamous Enron scandals of a decade ago, unregulated energy hucksters created an array of dummy financial funds so they could evade public scrutiny and perpetrate fraud. To disguise the scams, the funds were given such names as Chewco and JEDI.

While Enron’s house of cards collapsed, “Enron accounting” not only continues in Corporate America today, it is also infesting an endeavor that should never be tainted with such financial gimmickry: America’s democracy. Corporate hucksters, intent on political profiteering, are setting up dummy funds with such star-spangled names as Make Us Great Again and Restore Our Future.

These are Super PACs, created to amass millions of dollars in unrestricted corporate cash to back the candidacies of particular presidential wannabes. These groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money – something the candidates themselves are barred from doing. Already, the dummy funds are becoming larger than the candidate’s own campaigns, allowing a few big money interests to pervert our democratic process into their plutocratic plaything. How few? As of August, more than 80 percent of the money in Super PACs backing Republican candidates has come from only 35 people writing six- and seven-figure checks.

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China Buying Parts Of Toledo Ohio – American Investors, How Those Tax Cuts Working?

Why Chinese Investors are Buying in Toledo

June 10, 2011, By Dan Bobkoff

Toledo Mayor Michael Bell is serious about Chinese investment in his city. When he gives you his business card, one side is in Chinese. His office is adorned with Chinese screens and other gifts from his travels there.

“America is always waiting for people to come to them,” says Mayor Bell. “Well, we’re on the other side now and we have to be able to reach out and market ourselves.”

A year and a half in office, the independent Mayor’s efforts are paying off. His first trip to China was in September. Five months later, he sold a struggling city-owned restaurant complex to two Chinese investors for more than $2 million. Bell and economic development folks in Toledo say these deals are all about relationships. They’ve worked hard to make those connections and pitch the Chinese on the many opportunities in this unfamiliar city.

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The Emerging Global Role of US Capitalism

Leon Trotsky’s Analysis of the Emerging Global Role of US Capitalism

By Nick Beams, 24 November 2010

The WSWS organized a panel on “The Cultural, Economic and Geo-strategic Thought of Leon Trotsky: A Retrospective Analysis 70 years after His Assassination,” at the 42nd annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (formerly the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies), held November 18-21 in Los Angeles. About 1,400 historians, political scientists, economists, and literary scholars presented papers on a wide array of topics.

The first paper, by David North, chairman of the WSWS Editorial Board, was published yesterday. The second paper, by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site is presented here today. Mehring Books had a display of its literature in the exhibit hall alongside.

 

As with all of Trotsky’s theoretical work, his study and analysis of the United States and its rise to global prominence was bound up with the development of the perspective for world socialist revolution.

Trotsky, above all, conceived of the Russian Revolution as the opening shot of the world revolution. His theory of Permanent Revolution, elaborated in 1905, examined the issues confronting the Marxist movement in Russia on the basis of an analysis of the deepening global economic and political contradictions of world capitalism.

As David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site editorial board, has noted: “Trotsky’s approach represented an astonishing theoretical breakthrough. As Einstein’s relativity theory—another gift of 1905 to mankind—fundamentally and irrevocably altered the conceptual framework within which man viewed the universe and provided a means of tackling problems for which no answers could be found within the straitjacket of classical Newtonian physics, Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution fundamentally shifted the analytical perspective from which revolutionary processes were viewed. Prior to 1905, the development of revolutions was seen as a progression of national events, whose outcome was determined by the logic of its internal socio-economic structure and relations. Trotsky proposed another approach: to understand revolution, in the modern epoch, as essentially a world-historic process of social transition from class society, rooted politically in nation-states, to a classless society developing on the basis of a globally-integrated economy and internationally-unified mankind.”[1]

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Obama’s assault on health care

The Obama administration is preparing to release next week a proposal for hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.

“Every gain of the working class in the 20th century is under ferocious attack by both political parties. The only way to halt this assault is to unleash the social power of the working class in mass and direct resistance—strikes, protests, factory and work place occupations—as part of an independent political movement of working people against the capitalist system and all of its political representatives. This requires a struggle for a socialist program and a workers’ government.’

Joseph Kishore, 16 September 2011

“The Obama administration is preparing to release next week a proposal for hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. These cuts will have catastrophic consequences for the American people.

The proposed cuts will be submitted to the congressional “super committee” tasked with finding at least $1.5 trillion in deficit-reducing measures. Obama is urging the committee, established by the bill passed August 2 to raise the debt ceiling, to go far beyond its mandate, putting in place cuts that previously would have been considered politically impossible.

The committee itself embodies the anti-democratic nature of the attack on health care being spearheaded by the Obama administration. It is designed to impose massively unpopular measures over the heads of the people.

Among the likely proposals is an increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare and cuts in federal funding for Medicaid. Both these measures, initially proposed by Obama during negotiations over the debt ceiling, will deprive millions of Americans of access to basic health care. The administration also called for changes in the cost of living formula for Social Security that will reduce payments to retirees.”

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Pat Robertson infuriates Christian faithful with Alzheimer’s comments

(NOTE: this man STILL gets GOP attention and runs their party….just like when Ronnie was rotting in the brain, Nancy “Home Wrecker Whore” sought out astrologists to run the country when this was all happening, while demonizing research that would of saved hundreds of thousands of lives from HIV/AIDs. She got it back in the face of course when she was in front of congress whining about Ronny’s disease that took his life and how important research is and why money should be used to help people….not sure if she still wanted to deny HIV/AIDS folks the same help at this time, but I am sure her astrologer, (Miss Cleo “call me now”) told her that her friendship with dictator loving Pat Robertson would bring back found memories of spending her last days with her scum bag adulterer husband Ronny Reagan. )

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STORY:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/09/pat-robertson-infuriates-faithful-with-alzheimers-comments.html

 

US Supreme Court Blocks Rick Perry From Executing Man ‘Based on the Color of His Skin’

“People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.” ~ http://www.deathrow-texas.com/

“State-administered death is always a greater horror than any other by virtue of the methodical reasoning that precedes it. French philosopher Albert Camus wrote that “capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders”. “The United States’ concept of justifiable homicide/Executions in criminal law stands on the dividing line between an excuse, justification and an exculpation. In other words, it takes a case that would otherwise have been a murder or another crime representing intentional killing, and either excuses or justifies the individual accused from all criminal liability or treats the accused differently from other intentional killers.” ~ http://www.deathrow-usa.com/

 

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Story:

John Nichols on Friday, September 16, 2011 – 00:05:

Duane Edward Buck, had been sentenced to death after an “expert witness” told jurors in Houston that Buck posed a greater threat to public safety because he was African-American.

“GOP front-runner Perry says he “never struggled” with questions about whether Texas is wrongfully executing death row inmates. But the High Court has intervened to say Perry should have struggled with the question of whether a Houston man’s death sentence was based on racially biased “evidence.”” MORE

RELATED:

“Buck’s case is one of six convictions that then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn — a political ally of Perry who is now a Republican U.S. senator — reviewed in 2000 and said needed to be reopened because of the racially charged statements made during the sentencing phase of the trial. A psychologist told jurors that black criminals were more likely to pose a future danger to the public if they are released.

The Texas attorney general’s office says there was no error.

Gov. Perry is an ardent supporter of capital punishment. During his 11 years in office, 235 convicted killers have been put to death in Texas. His office says he has chosen to halt just four executions, including one for a woman who was later put to death.”

,…,

“Buck’s lawyers contend the case was “tainted by considerations of race” after psychologist Walter Quijano testified in response to a question from lead prosecutor Joan Huffman that black criminals are more likely to be violent again in the future. Whether or not someone could be a continuing threat to society is one of three questions Texas jurors must consider when deciding on a death sentence.

Cornyn said in a news release in 2000 that a half-dozen capital case sentences, including Buck’s, needed review because of Quijano’s testimony at their trials.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/15/national/main20107049.shtml)

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