Archive for income inequality

Elizabeth Warren Has Divined and Deployed Her Life's Work

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

YellenWarrenw212h202
We all get grrrreat liberal email, amidst the junk, but it's especially exciting when something new about our amazing Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is waiting to be opened.

This morning it was Howard Dean in tandem, a good pairing for progressives. The active and admirable group, Democracy for America, is turning ten.

Hi Sherry -- I just wanted to make sure you had a chance to read the inspiring email that Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote to DFA members below. I'm so thrilled with what we've built together over the last 10 years. With your critical support now, we can super-charge our people-powered legacy and elect more "Elizabeth Warren Democrats" to Congress -- the kind of leaders who will take our country back from the banks and billionaires.
- Howard

DFA has perhaps not embraced the absolute most progressive candidate for every round of their online grassroots inspired 'Dean Dozen' ... but they've come mightily close and have helped elect 801 Dems besides Elizabeth Warren who would collectively and individually freak the be-jeebus out of Sarah Palin and her Lipton Brigadiers.

chickfil-a

An arugula munching crowd that in toto would send Rush Limpbaugh dashing for enough manufactured hysteria to keep him in leather ass-less chaps for years. [Long running Free Range joke, The Rushbot has a purported fondness for frolicking in asslesss leather chaps while high. ;) ]

Warren's own message was typically optimistic and energizing.

DFA fought shoulder-to-shoulder with me to defeat Scott Brown in 2012, but that's not the only way they've had my back. Over the past year, they've made my fight for the middle class their fight -- and they have doubled down on leveling the playing field for working Americans, fighting with energy and passion.

When I introduced my very first bill, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act,more than 50,000 DFA members signed a petition supporting it. Together, we fought back against cuts to Social Security, helping President Obama decide to drop "chained CPI" from his budget completely.

elizabeth-warren-quote_zps20fa81d0

For sheer enjoyment, plus the splendid edification(!)some great audio of Warren from a recent discussion of where the middle class is headed in the Twenty Teens … 'to hell in a highly gussied hand basket' would be the Jeopardy answer. The Young Turks get the sincere tip of the hat, for Roaring Warren!

ifwallstreet

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Helping the Homeless in Los Angeles Is an Under-discussed/funded Issue

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

NRCC

Despite its status as one of the country's largest urban areas, the plight of the homeless in Los Angeles is a vastly under-discussed and under-addressed issue.

It was heartening to see Josè Díez-Balart, newly in the MSNBC morning lineup from 10-11 a.m. EST, host advocate Dr. Sophia Momand to get to the heart of the matter.

Her religious credo as a Muslim included a highly unusual promise she made when she became a doctor -- a very personal and unique oath to give care to all in her path, and give harm to none by choice.

A little further research on Dr. Momand proved edifying. From Southern California Public Radio, a bit more on that particular oath she swore more than twenty years ago. When homelessnessness was an equally large and looming plight.

Momand says she became a doctor because she enjoys helping people, "but it’s also part of my faith. I happen to be a Muslim, and part of our religion is that you have to be active helping humanity. For me it’s pretty easy, so it’s not like I’m giving up a whole lot of time, but whatever little I can help has really made a difference in their lives."

morons 3

So we have been hearing a deal from the popular Jesuit hippie Pope about caring for the poor, the homeless, the sick ... now Muslims are stepping up. Who is it that lags behind ... again?

Oh rihhght right right, the Religious Right.

The 'Turn Back Time' crowd.

They that listen to La Palin and worship at the feet of hate-mongorers extraordinaire Hannity and Limbaugh ... the station of Fvx Nation.

Apparently less free with their charity than other organized religious bodies of work.

don'tMakeMe

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

"The Pitchforks Are Coming for the Millionaires", says Zillionaire to Politico

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

frabz-The-Media-mentions-koch-brothers-I-picture-Randolph-and-Mortimer-16c057

Mike Allen swung by MSNBC to tell us just how up front even a center-leaning outfit like Politico is featuring on the stars of the new American plutocracy. Or oligarchy. The folks you see on the business end of a briskly waving pitchfork.

Personally, the Koch Broz. seem more like oligarchs, but that may because I always picture them in crowns that would put the ones adjacent to the Great Tower of London in the shade.

That's why they, the 1%er oligarchy plutocrats like the Koch Sons-a'-Bitches Brothers are so easy for us pitchfork wielders to find … they're large and sparkly. And probably slow.

 

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Give a gander to mogul and model of American capitalism, Nick Hanauer. He kinda sorta helped blow up Amazon. And he's the one saying "I see pitchforks."

 

The actual article over at Politico is worth the read, excerpted here for a quickie.

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. ...

Now I own a very large yacht. But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

Cartoon, Jeff Danziger, GoComics.com

Cartoon, Jeff Danziger, GoComics.com

I see pitchforks.
Now that is refreshing. A rich guy who remembers what it was like to take his first big risk - who sees income inequality.

By Jeebus, he probably even believes in climate change. And I wonder what he thought about the SCROTUS Hobby Lobby debacle.

trickle-down

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

No, Krystal Ball, Hillary is Not Nor Will She Be, the Dems "Mitt Romney"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

heymittens
Clinton Cynicism is alive and well. For good and for ill.

Krystal Ball, co-host of the younger set's MSNBC afternoon program The Cycle, famously took a pundit shot at Hillary Clinton a week or so ago. Krystal is an interesting newer voice, having run for Congress in Virginia and being a bright and informed young mother herself.

Since she's subbing for Steve Kornacki on Up with Steve Kornacki (also a former Cyclist), she took the opportunity this Sunday morning to make her asserted -- and controversial -- case that Hillary could be the Dems 'Mitt Romney'. Provocative words, those.

"I haven't seen change I can believe in just yet," she said with a smile as she introduced the panel of guests there to prove her wrong. ['Hillaromney' was the MSNBC snark effort graphic.]

Basil Smilke, Jr. of Columbia University took the first turn at bat. He believes we should be focussed on, and in a markedly different way more than just the way that the New GOP does things. That we might want to keep an eye on the important and fundamental issues the people are dying to have taken up.

Literally. He mentioned healthcare, education, jobs ... other panelists chimed in with minimum wage and gay rights.

Neera Tanden, another young activist voice of note, took the NAFTA question and put it where it ought to be - in Bill Clinton's Column. She pointed out that women's issues, like Senator Gillibrand's pivotal bill to help the sexual assault and violence epidemic in the military … and pointed out issues that mean something to us in real ways. That demand policy reforms.

Krystal then mentioned both Goldman Sachs and Walmart histories, which is fair for progressives to do. But this isn't the 1990's, and politicians have to be allowed to evolve - we as voters do, it's damned hypocritical to judge others for making the very important cultural and societal changes we are constantly demanding of ourselves and others.

No progressive that I know doesn't have perfectly reasonable hesitations about Hillary Clinton, and I think we should absolutely be Loud and Proud Progressives and voice our need for the party to swing back Left. How we get there is going to get dramatic. Or Not.

Guest Blake Zeff, of Salon and both Clinton and Obama Campaign War Rooms, was justifiably tough on the HRC economic hawk stances. (He had seen into both camps, fascinating.) Yet they went on to discuss how the Right is drawing Dems to the right of their own interests.

Bill Maher went after Hillary (hilariously) for having discussed her Sunday School days on Campaign Launch slash Book Tour ... and for awkwardly gaming out the Christian Nation faux requirement of religiousity.

It would be ideal if candidates did not 'must need' to be both churchgoing and Bible or Talmud familiar. In fact, it's downright toxic in many progressive eyes to know passages of the Bible, because they are so often used against us to push culture back by the Regressive Asshattery, the 1%ers and their news channel, Fvx Noise.

Inequality needs to be the central Democratic Platform anchor again. Firmly. Income inequality, gender discrimination, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, world power and food share imbalances - the things we care about, the things we fight for.

"Hard Choices" indeed. Chris Christie and Rand Paul and Rick Perry are such lovely alternatives to a Hillary or Elizabeth Warren run.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

"Think what Ballmer's play money could do to help farmers and their children."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

it's all about the money 2

Let's talk money. Few people have enough. A very, very few are sitting on craploads of money, *coughKOCHS, ADELSONcough* but most of us aren't.

GOP Congress members block any Democratic bill that aims to rectify that. *coughMINIMUMWAGEcough* Without wage hikes, the "have-nots" can't spend money. Without that money going into the economy, our situation remains stagnant. And Americans continue to struggle.

But that's okay with Republicans. That way they can blame it all on the president and use his/the Dems' "failure" as a fundraising ploy to win elections while claiming they could do better. Never mind that they've come up with no plan of their own other than that proven catastrophe called austerity. *coughPAULRYANcough*

Billionaires and corporations continue to hoard their money, while the rest of us agonize over how to stay above water, feed and clothe our kids, and simply make it through another day.

And with that, here are a couple of Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Thank you for Friday's compelling story about agricultural workers in the Central Valley ("Dreams die in drought"). I was moved by the plight of these families struggling to get by, and chagrined at the number of children they bring into the world and the stress that this adds.

If someone ever wondered about the differences between the haves and the have-nots, one need only read this story and the adjacent one about the obscene price Ballmer might pay for the Clippers ("NBA record $2 billion offered for Clippers," May 29) .

The fat cats sit game-side doodling on their cellphones while field laborers eke out an existence, or don't. Just think what Ballmer's play money could do to help these farmers and their children.

I only hope the Mormon missionaries in the moving Column One learn from the example of Jesus to not only feed the poor but also to fight for justice for the least of those among us.

Philip Spradling

Pasadena

***

Economist Brad Schiller cautions that President Obama's proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. He doesn't mention the multiplier effect of a wage increase. ("A higher minimum wage -- at what cost?," Opinion, May 27)

The multiplier effect is the single most powerful factor in growing an economy. It is to macroeconomics what compounding is to investing.

Schiller mentions the 500,000 jobs that "might" be lost (according to the Congressional Budget Officer report), but he conveniently omits the fact that the CBO also states that the wages of 16.1 million workers would go up. The positive multiplier effect on the 16.1 million workers would more than make up for the negative multiplier effect of the 500,000 who "might" lose their jobs by creating new jobs due to added demand.

In 1992, James Carville famously coined the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid." It's time for an update: "It's the multiplier effect, stupid."

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

DC ignores the real threats to national security including guns, climate change, Wall St.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

national security insecurityThis post about the actual threats to our national security, by my pal Mark Karlin via BuzzFlash at Truthout, is a must-read:

The most significant peril to our ability to live peaceful and comfortable lives comes from menaces that the DC politicians do little or nothing about.

You can start with allowing the NRA to impose an Ayn Rand vision of guns unlimited on the nation and its resulting toll in about 30,000 deaths a year (homicides, suicides and accidents) and the rippling psychological impact of insecurity on the nation. If al-Qaeda wanted to create the death toll of 10 9/11s each year, they might have gotten better bang for their buck by just financing the gun lobby.

Add to that the scientific validation that we may have passed the threshold on reversing impending catastrophic climate change, as DC elected officials throw campaign fundraising events while the world's environment is deteriorating rapidly. What could be a graver risk to the nation than a sixth mass extinction on this planet? Yes, we have a military-surveillance- intelligence -industrial complex that is a beast that feasts on our tax dollars - but killing civilians in a faraway land with drones is not only a hideous act of murder, it represents the triumph of the self-interest of the so-called defense establishment over what the pressing priorities of ensuring national security really are.

Shouldn't hundreds of billions of dollars be expeditiously transferred to a much-needed cabinet Department to Stabilize the Earth's Climate? [...]

Moreover, Thomas Piketty, in his groundbreaking book Capital, uses data from 20 countries dating back to the 1800s to prove that the increasing concentration of money and assets in the hands of a few threatens democracy. What is a greater hazard to our constitutional form of government, al-Qaeda or the oligarchy pulling the strings in Washington and playing fast and loose with the economy with impunity?

Please read the entire post here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Vermont Passes Progressive Legislation To Raise Minimum Wage to $10.50

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
Image GaryVarvel.com

Image GaryVarvel.com

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

Governor Peter Shumlin clearly hopes for another Vermont Progressive win this season, and on Saturday the Statehouse gave him a shot at it … a bill approving a minimum wage hike to a minimum of $10.50 over the next four years was passed in part of a flurry of pre-break activity in Montpelier.

As reported over at Think Progress, a handful of states have reached higher than the ten dollar bill mark. Vermont just took the game up a notch, to a state minimum wage high of $10.50.

The Green Mountain state is the seventh to enact a minimum wage hike this year and the fourth to crack the $10 mark. Delaware and West Virginia lawmakers raised their wages above $8 an hour. Minnesota raised the minimum wage for most large companies to $9.50. And Hawaii, Maryland, and Connecticut each established $10.10 minimum wages.

vermont-minimum-wage

 

Vermont progressives and average Dems alike had been calling for a livable wage for years, fully championed by Senator Bernie Sanders {given} and it was already guaranteed that 10.10 would fly - yet when Yankee stubborn -- there is shameful, blinders-on-redneck Tea Party here too, make no mistake -- raised its Step All Over Me Don't Tread On Me hissing head and the GOP threatened to gum up the works. If a four year step-up period wasn't included the pinch-purses were out. Dems retaliated by raising the ante to 10.50.

$10.50 it shall be.

Suck it Republicans who have Randian wet dreams that trickle down and the market's adjustment of wages are in any way humane, sane or economically sound. State by state, you are being proven horribly wrong. The Boston Globe quoted a local who summed her up.

Any time we can put money in the hands of Vermonters who need it most, it’s a win,’’ said Representative Tom Stevens, a Waterbury Democrat.

 

Image, thecomincsnews.com

Image, thecomincsnews.com

 

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare