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Health Care & Environment

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

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  Print view: The Dictatorship of America's Aristocracy
COMMENTARY:

The Dictatorship of America's Aristocracy

by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Obama's sweetheart deal to America's aristocracy is his latest sellout - abandoning popular needs, disdaining ordinary workers, showing allegiance solely to big monied interests he hopes will reward him with another four years.

Obama's capitulation to Republicans on Bush era tax cuts and other lavish benefit extensions to wealthy Americans with taxable income over $250,000 annually is the latest example of American Aristocracy's power over Congress, the courts, and president under both parties. Obama serves them loyally, sacrificing working class needs for society's rich while assuring unrestrained corporate profit-making.

Feigning concern for American workers, Obama spoke of "tough choices....to secure our future and our children's future and our grandchildren's future" by class warfare against middle and low income people he disdains.

Two earlier articles explained:

Obama Capitulates to Republicans
More on Obama's Capitulation and Betrayal

On December 9, House Democrats objected, at least rhetorically, its caucus casting a symbolic disapproval no vote, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D. OR) saying: "The vice president said 'take it or leave it. We left it."

In response, Speaker Pelosi said:

"House Democrats share the President's commitment to providing the middle class with a tax cut to grow the economy and create jobs (even though economists know they don't do it). The House passed a bill last week to provide tax cuts for all Americans (another symbolic vote) but not a bonus tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. The extra tax cut for the top 3 percent does not create jobs and increases the deficit. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from being approved."

Democrats, however, were disingenuous proposing it.

Yet Pelosi insisted that "Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth....and to do this in a fiscally sound way."

She also said if the Senate votes on Obama's proposal, she'll introduce it in the House, despite caucus opposition. It's no secret why.

She and her husband, Paul, a successful San Francisco financier/businessman, are among America's super-rich. In 2009, Open Secrets.org ranked her sixth among wealthiest House members with a net worth up to $124,229,990. Clearly, she and her husband want Bush era tax cuts extended, her rhetoric notwithstanding, saying she and House Democrats reject Obama's proposal as currently written (and will) continue discussions with the President and our Democratic and Republican colleagues....to improve (it) before it comes to the House floor for a vote."

As now written, Obama's deal extends $150 billion in income tax savings to America's wealthy over the next two years. In addition, many billions more in capital gains and estate tax savings, as well as hundreds of billions to corporations and private equity investors, including the little mentioned "carried interest," loophole.

It taxes private equity profits as capital gains, not ordinary income. In return, American workers get crumbs, the same unfair treatment since the economic crisis erupted in fall 2007. According to MF Global policy analysts, benefits from the deal are around $1 trillion, the lion's share to America's wealthy and business. They'll give up none of it and should prevail given the cowardice of Democrats to say no.

Another Perspective on Obama's Deal

On December 7, Washington Post writer Scott Wilson's article headlined, "Obama's tax cut extension part of strategy to show bipartarisanship," saying:

"The move is based on a political calculation, drawn from his party's midterm defeat, that places a premium on winning back independent voters (read conservative ones, Tea Party supporters, and America's aristocracy)."

In other words, shifting right, not left, is planned, not to placate his base but big-monied interests that funded his victory. Raising their taxes assures abandonment for Republicans in 2012. Watch for forthcoming policy to prevent it, ignoring popular need as a result.

A Wall Street Journal Editorial View

A December 10 Wall Street editorial headlined "Pelosi and the Hostage Fakers" threw down the gauntlet saying:

Democrats, not Republicans, are "political hostage takers....What a crew. Democrats....have had two years to avoid this day of tax reckoning, yet they kicked the tough vote into a lame duck session....Then when (Obama) seeks to spare the country a huge tax increase, (the midterm losers) try to bust up the economy and the Obama Presidency on their way out of town."

Moreover, "They want to punish the successful, no matter the economic damage." Whether or not Obama budges on his deal, "why should Republicans oblige? (If) the deal goes down and and taxes go up on January 1, no one will (blame) Republicans....Americans will rightly conclude that Mr. Obama is so incompetent he can't even deliver Members of his own party."

For their part, "Republicans would be fools to give Democrats a single new concession, even a token one. (If) Democrats defeat the current deal," Republicans in the 112th Congress can use their House majority to pass their own and dare Democrats and Obama to oppose them. "That's why we think the Pelosi Democrats are really hostage fakers and will fold if their bluster is called."

If Obama is "pounded into retreat, (he's) headed for" a "Cartersville" resting place, meaning, of course, one term, succeeded by a right wing Republican. Top priority is avoiding it, mindful that a November Pew Research Center poll found 59% of independents saying he should work with Republicans. Another 29% prefer sticking with tough opposition.

At the same time, other polls show most independent voters and Obama's base oppose tax cuts for the wealthy. Nonetheless, according to Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

"We've seen so much political malpractice and negotiating incompetence from this White House. They consistently cede ground they do not need to cede, and give up on fights they (shouldn't) lose."

Why, of course, is that rhetoric aside, Obama puts wealth and power interests above popular needs, what he'll do more of in 2011 and 2012, stiffing his base even more while trying to convince them he's loyal.

Following a stunning midterm defeat, historian Sean Wilentz said:

"You have to reinvent yourself to some (extent), and become intensely political in the day-to-day trench warfare that will be Washington politics over the next two years. But you must combine that with an appeal that recaptures some of the (2008 campaign) excitement....you have to do that now" not with 2012 in mind, "but for the good of the country." For whom he didn't say.

Obama himself acknowledged the need for a "midcourse correction," meaning a right shift to do even more for America's wealthy and corporate interests, to outdo Republicans at their own game. He admitted it, saying "we've got to find consensus," meaning capitulation to wealth and power while pretending he's populist at heart.

Hard Times Are Getting Harder

Extending Bush era tax cuts is just the beginning. Watch for vital social program reductions, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid especially targeted. In addition, implementing Obama's deficit cutting commission's proposals are prioritized to slash government payrolls, tax employer provided health insurance, impose a national sales tax, perhaps end home mortgage deductions, and more regressive harshness.

Yet selling those ideas may prove near impossibly challenging without deceitfully clever slights of hand, trying to convince people that less is more for greater prosperity. The economic equivalent of "war is peace, freedom is slavery, (and) ignorance is strength." Perhaps those ideas will follow.

Moreover, expect less help for the unemployed, none for 99ers (workers who've exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of benefits), and foreclosed homeowners, as well as little in the way of job creation to put people back to work and stimulate economic growth.

Economist David Rosenberg mentioned another red flag:

"One of the most pronounced macro risks is another leg down in US home prices," that's already underway but gets little attention. Along with high unemployment and weak job creation, the distressed housing market is a major economic achilles heel. He also calls the full Obama deal a "neutral economic force in 2011," offset in part by higher mortgage costs, gasoline and heating oil prices, plus whatever other bad news surprises during very unsettling times.

A Final Comment

For American workers, harder times are coming, austerity and deficit cutting taking precedence over job creation, stimulating economic growth, or addressing popular needs when the urgency to do so is vital.

Calling him hard-right, an elitist, a corporatist, pursuing anti-populist policies, an earlier article addressed the real Obama, not the myth too many still believe.

His sweetheart deal to America's aristocracy is the latest sellout - abandoning popular needs, disdaining ordinary workers, showing allegiance solely to big monied interests he hopes will reward him with another four years.

Whether voters catch on and say no we'll discover by following credible polls as human misery index numbers rise. Make no mistake. There's nothing planned to improve them, more takeaways than serious relief. If that doesn't provoke public anger, what will?


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on December 11, 2010.
 

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