“Griffon” Avatar Wrote the Following…

“Griffon” wrote:
Back in December 2015, I wrote:
They’ll make it a squeaker, just to assuage the Bernie faithful, and even commend the “tough, good fight.” They’ll offer to reconcile the bitterness and unite for the good of the party against the “bad ‘ol republicans” and it will all be over.

Trust me, they’ll push it plausibly enough, sow enough doubt [about the vote counts], that the volume of fury needed for commitment to some sort of revolt will wane and fade.

The focus will shift from winning the WH to “we shook the very foundations of the establishment, DNC, blah, blah….”

You are going to be robbed. In broad daylight.
The whoring scribes are deploying the “buy Sanders off” rhetoric and pumping-up the Trump/Hitler end-of-days meme. They want hilary and they want you to think you’re making that decision.

You are going to be robbed. In broad daylight.

Again, from December of last year:

hillary will be the nominee because you do not have a voice.

If the shamelessly biased coverage hasn’t convinced you, if the shenanigans of the scumbag DNC/Wasserman Schultz hasn’t convinced you, if the lenient behavior towards Madam Biddable regarding her email scandal, her involvement in numerous corporate boards, ‘donations,’ favoritism, and warmongering policy, not to mention lip-service flip-flops for the sake of campaign appearances hasn’t convinced you, if the debate “wins” which defy the disappeared polls hasn’t convinced you, you’re going to be severely disappointed this coming election.

By the exact same “powers” that convinced you that Nader ‘elected’ bush, (a claim that has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked however much the denser and useful democratic faithful keep flogging that myth), the powers that ran Palin to frighten you into electing their chosen neocon weasel obama, the same powers that keep suckering you into the Morton’s Fork of political choice…..will win the day.

And there isn’t sh*t you can do about it.

They will run Trump to scare you into holding your nose for hillary. Even if people refuse openly to vote for hillary, they’ll renege in the booth under the pressure of the ads and ‘end-of-the-world’ rhetoric of a scary republican ‘win.’

You’ll be helpless in the face of that too, because you’re being managed and manipulated in ways you aren’t understanding; the media, the advertisers, teevee in general, all bought and paid for consent-manufacturing. You’ll pat yourself on the back for a democrats’ “win,” even though you really had no choice at all. You were maneuvered masterfully, and you won’t understand how hillary got the oval office once it’s done.

This is how they screw you. You have no power here and the corporations know this. They practically flaunt it in your face; what can you do? Petitions? Marches? Angry emails?

So what?
Bottom line is hillary will be rammed down your throat, with the collusion of a pwned media and corporate fiat. You have no verification of vote totals, you have no independent oversight, you have no confirmation. Nada. What you don’t fully grasp is that it matters not one whit if the whole country “votes” for Sanders; there’s no way to confirm and prove vote totals. None.

The private corporations own the voting machines and the vote totals. They can tell you anything they want and you won’t be able to prove squat.

That’s where you are. Now. Well and truly F*cked.

The ‘conventions,’ primaries, caucuses, etc. are P.R. lip-service. They ain’t real. The corporate chosen have already been decided. Privately. Sanders was never going to be the nominee; not even close. He was allowed to run as a democrat for both name association and to keep the alienated from wandering off the reservation and launching a real thread to the oligarchy and the “two party choke-hold.” This way, the trusting and misguided who all worked for yet another democrat will be folded back into party domination; kicking and screaming, perhaps, but that will all be buried in tomorrow’s headlines and the media will again manufacture your consent.

It is an old torture tactic to break a person’s will: give you hope then snatch it away, but leave a smidgen of promise that relief, rescue, etc. is near. Build up hope again, then take it away but leave that smidgen. It’s tragically amazing how long people will tolerate, persevere and convince themselves to keep believing; not knowing of course that rescue will never, ever come.

Because you are not in control. But you won’t entertain or understand that.

That is why we fail.
~Griffon

We All Pay for Low Wages by PETE DOLACK (SOURCE: COUNTERPUNCH)

impeach_obama

MAY 13, 2016
We All Pay for Low Wages
by PETE DOLACK

When you are paid starvation wages, it’s up to public-assistance programs to make up the difference. That government assistance, costing treasuries billions of dollars per year, is part of the high cost of low wages.

Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour would save an estimated $17 billion per year for U.S. taxpayers, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute. The EPI’s study, “Balancing paychecks and public assistance,” found that, not surprisingly, low wages equal government help. A majority of United Statesians who earn less than $10 an hour receive public assistance, either directly or through a family member.

The study’s author, David Cooper, examined participation in eight federal and state means-tested programs for low-income families — the earned income tax credit; the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (what used to be known as food stamps); the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC; Section 8 housing vouchers; Medicaid; and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and its state and local equivalents.

Working people with low wages use these programs heavily. One-third of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients are full-time workers and one-half of WIC recipients are full-time workers.

Contrary to right-wing propaganda, most recipients of public assistance work, a large number of them full time. The EPI study reports:

*Among families or individuals receiving public assistance, two-thirds (67 percent) work or are members of working families (families in which at least one adult works). When focusing on non-elderly recipient families and individuals under age 65, this percentage is 72 percent.

*About 69 percent of all public-assistance benefits received by non-elderly families or individuals go to those who work.

*About 47 percent of all working recipients of public assistance work full time (at least 1,990 hours per year).

Nearly $53 billion of public-assistance money is paid annually to people who work full time, the EPI study reports. And, full- or part-time, money going to working people is concentrated in specific industries. More than half goes to workers in three sectors: educational, health and social services; arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services; and retail trade.

Privatizing profits, socializing costs

Although not addressed in the EPI study, a big conclusion to be drawn from this data is that these billions of dollars of public-assistance money constitutes a massive subsidy of business. Often highly profitable businesses. Take War-Mart, for example. Wal-Mart reported net income of $14.7 billion for 2015 and nearly $80 billion for its last five fiscal years. Yet the company pays it employees so little that employees organize food drives for themselves while it dodges billions of dollars of taxes and receives further billions of dollars in government subsidies.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Adjusted for inflation, the U.S. minimum wage peaked in 1968 when the then $1.60 rate would be worth $10.95 in 2016 money. So although that peak total is itself low, the federal minimum wage has lost more than one-third of its value.

Or, to put this in another perspective, one of the demands of the March on Washington in 1963 was a minimum wage of $2 an hour. Adjusted for inflation, $2 an hour in 1963 would be worth $15.56 today. So today’s activists demanding a $15 minimum wage are simply asking for the same thing that was asked a half-century ago. Nothing outlandish.

It is no secret that wages have badly lagged productivity, nowhere more in the global North than in the United States. Wages for U.S. workers have fallen behind productivity gains since the 1970s, to the point that the average U.S. household receives$18,000 per year lessthan it would had wages kept pace. Canadian households are about $10,000 behind. Differentials between wages and productivity are also found, albeit in less drastic form, across Europe and in Japan.

We can’t order a return to Keynesianism

So what conclusion should we draw from all this? Unfortunately, the EPI study concludes with what can only be termed weak-tea liberalism. Wishing for a return to Keynesianism, the author writes:

“[W]e can raise wages by eliminating the lower subminimum wage for for tipped workers, updating overtime protections, strengthening workers’ ability to organize and negotiate with employers collectively, improving enforcement of labor laws, providing undocumented immigrant workers a path to citizenship, and ensuring monetary policy prioritizes full employment.”

There is nothing wrong with any of these prescriptions. Such reforms would be quite welcome. But these goals can not simply be conjured into existence. Nobody decreed we shall now have neoliberalism and nobody can decree we shall now go back to Keynesianism. We haven’t gotten to the disastrous state we are in by accident or simply because of the personal decisions of corporate executives and financiers.

Rather, the neoliberalism we experience today is the logical result of capitalist development; “logical” in the sense that the relentless scramble to survive competition eventually closed the brief window when rising wages were tolerated and government investment encouraged. The Keynesian policies of the mid-20th century were a product of a specific set of circumstances that no longer exist and can’t be replicated.

Intensified competition over private profits, and that “markets” should determine social outcomes, inexorably leads to a consolidation in which industries are dominated by a handful of giant corporations, and those corporations gain decisive power over governments and relentlessly reduce overhead (especially wages and benefits) in a scramble for survival.

Fighting back is surely what working people around the world need to do. But restoring a “golden age” of capitalism that never really existed (and definitely didn’t if you were a woman confined by limited options or an African-American facing officially sanctioned discrimination and/or state-endorsed terrorism) is a quixotic goal. Better to drive our energies into creating a better world, one in which the economy is geared toward human need rather than private profit.

END

Clinton Foundation’s Colombian ‘Private Equity Fund’ Was Unregistered (SOURCE: Washington Free Beacon)

Clinton Foundation’s Colombian ‘Private Equity Fund’ Was Unregistered
Company’s website removed from internet after Thursday report

BY: Alana Goodman
November 23, 2015 5:00 am

The Clinton Foundation’s Colombia-based investment company was not registered as a private equity fund in the country, which may have allowed it to avoid certain industry regulations and oversight from the Colombian government.

Although Fondo Acceso described itself as a “Private Equity Fund” in company promotional materials and business presentations, it is not listed in a database maintained by the Colombian government of current or previously registered private equity funds.

Colombian legal experts consulted by the Free Beacon said that Fondo Acceso did not appear to have violated any laws by calling itself a private equity fund, as long as it was not doing so while trying to raise capital.

According to its corporate records, Fondo Acceso is registered in Colombia as a “simplified stock corporation,” which legal experts said precludes it from doing business as a private equity fund.

Fondo Acceso’s website was also removed from the internet this week, shortly after the Washington Free Beacon reported that the $20 million investment firm was owned by the Clinton Foundation and was run out of the foundation’s office in Bogota.

The website had previously described Acceso as “a Private Equity Fund that seeks investment opportunities in small and medium Colombian compan[ies] with the purpose of obtaining economic and social returns.”

Its website also included a contract for companies seeking investment to fill out, which authorized the release of financial and other internal information to Fondo Acceso and the Clinton Foundation.

The Fondo Acceso website was still inaccessible as of Sunday evening.

The website had been registered to Monika Kellner, a Clinton Foundation official, and was created in 2010, according to online records.

Fondo Acceso’s manager, Carolina Botero, who is also chief financial officer at the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, called the firm a “Private Equity Fund” in a presentation to the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce in July 2012.

The presentation appeared to be geared toward companies that were seeking funding, as opposed to potential investors, which legal experts said was permissible.

Hernando Padilla, a partner at Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría, a top Colombian law firm, said it would be unusual in Colombia for a company to identify itself as a private equity fund when it was actually a simplified stock corporation. He said a company might do this to avoid government regulations and oversight of the private equity industry.

“They don’t want to be under the surveillance and regulation of the Superintendency of Finance,” he said. “That’s the reason.”

A spokesperson for the Clinton Foundation directed inquiries about Fondo Acceso’s website and private equity status to the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership. The partnership did not respond to request for comment.

Christy Louth, a Fondo Acceso director and an official at the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, did not respond to requests for comment about whether Fondo Acceso attempted to register as a private equity fund.

Fondo Acceso was founded in 2010 by Bill Clinton, the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, and the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra. The Clinton Foundation and the SLIM Foundation committed $10 million each to the fund.

The Clinton Foundation is a 50 percent shareholder in the company, according to its tax records. Numerous Clinton Foundation and Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership officials are listed as Fondo Acceso directors in Colombian corporate filings.

The fund has reportedly distributed $1.5 million to Alimentos SAS, a fruit-pulping company, and $250,000 to the telecommunications firm Fontel SA in exchange for shareholding agreements. The Clinton Foundation and CGEP have declined to release a full list of Fondo Acceso’s investments.

TPP UPDATE

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Activists hold a rally to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in front of the White house on February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. The TPP trade pact is expected to be signed in New Zealand on February 4. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

The TPP is a bad deal for Internet users. But these tech companies just endorsed it.
Tell tech companies not to support the TPP

Do not betray your users. The TPP lacks transparency, undermines our basic rights, and harms free speech and innovation. Drop your support now.

Tech experts from every major advocacy group working to defend Internet users’ rights vehemently oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, but a trade association that represents major web companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Uber just endorsed it.

The TPP was negotiated in complete secrecy by government bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists from industries that hate the Internet—including the ones that wrote terrible censorship bills like SOPA. It’s great for incumbent corporations, but terrible for individual internet users, startups, and the tech economy as a whole.

BREAKING UPDATE: reddit comes out saying they do not support the TPP, distances themselves from Internet Association statement.

The TPP would:

Expand draconian copyright enforcement, undermining our privacy and the public domain without ensuring protections for free speech;
Criminalize common practices like tinkering with or modifying devices, even for fair use purposes;
Enable multi-national corporations to skirt the democratic process and use shadowy international tribunals to undermine Web users’ rights;
Set a precedent that will encourage anti-Internet lobbyists like the ones who wrote SOPA to use trade agreements to push for bad Internet policy.
There are powerful interests pushing to get the TPP passed through U.S. Congress, and it seems like they managed to pull a fast one on these Internet companies and get them to take a position that goes directly against their own interests and the interests of their users.

Congress could vote on the TPP within a matter of weeks, and they’ll be watching closely how the public reacts to these companies’ statement.

If enough of us speak out, we can get these companies to drop their support for this dangerous agreement, and stand up for the rights of their users and the future of the Internet we all love. Please sign the petition and share this widely right now.