Political News Bits of the Day

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Expand view Topic review: Political News Bits of the Day

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:21 pm


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:08 pm



Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:40 am

What it looks like when a libertarian grows up:

Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal
I was a Ron Paul delegate back in 2008 -- now I'm a Democrat. Here's my personal tale of disgust and self-discovery


"The night before the 2008 Nevada Republican convention, the Ron Paul delegates all met at a Reno high school. Although I’d called myself a libertarian for almost my entire adult life, it was my first exposure to the wider movement.

And boy, was it a circus. Many members of the group were obsessed with the gold standard, the Kennedy assassination and the Fed. Although Libertarians believe government is incompetent, many of them subscribe to the most fringe conspiracy theories imaginable. Airplanes are poisoning America with chemicals (chemtrails) or the moon landings were faked. Nothing was too far out. A great many of them really think that 9-11 was an inside job. Even while basking in the electoral mainstream, the movement was overflowing with obvious hokum.

During the meeting, a Ron Paul staffer, a smart and charismatic young woman, gave a tip to the group for the upcoming convention.

“Dress normal,” she said. “Wear suits, and don’t bring signs or flags. Don’t talk about conspiracy theories. Just fit in.” Her advice was the kind you might hear given to an insane uncle at Thanksgiving.

Then next day, I ran into that same operative at the convention, and I complimented her because Ron Paul delegates were being accepted into the crowd. I added, “We‘re going to win this thing.”

“Bring in the clowns,” she said, and smiled before I lost her in the mass of people.

I will never forget that moment: Bring in the clowns. At the time, I considered myself a thoughtful person, yet I could hardly claim to be one if you judged me by the company I kept. The young lady knew something I had not yet learned: most of our supporters were totally fucking nuts."

The rest: http://www.salon.com/2013/12/28/why_i_f ... a_liberal/

This is good too: "What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way"
http://www.alternet.org/what-america-wo ... 1#bookmark





Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:32 pm

Parking meters and prisons: Top six privatization horror stories

Selling public resources to private companies for them to profit off of is a hot trend in cities and states—not all of them controlled by Republicans, either. Privatization deals affecting everything from parking meters to child welfare to public water systems are often negotiated in secret, carried out with little oversight, and subject to massive cost overruns and corruption.
The sordid story of Chicago's parking meters has to be a top entry in any "worst privatization stories" competition. Rick Perlstein laid out the ugly details in The Nation a couple months back:

Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2008 struck a deal with the investment consortium Chicago Parking Meters LLC, or CPM, that included Morgan Stanley, Allianz Capital Partners and, yes, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Abu Dhabi, to privatize our meters. The price of parking—and the intensity of enforcement—skyrocketed. The terms were negotiated in secret. City Council members got two days to study the billion-dollar, seventy-five-year contract before signing off on it. An early estimate from the Chicago inspector general was that the city had sold off its property for about half of what it was worth. Then an alderman said it was worth about four times what the city had been paid. Finally, in 2010, Forbes reported that in fact the city had been underpaid by a factor of ten. [...]
Not only does CPM get the money its meters hoover up from the fine upstanding citizens of Chicago. It gets money even if the meters are not used. Each meter has been assigned a “fair market valuation.” If the City takes what is called a “reserve power adverse action”—that can mean anything from removing a meter because it impedes traffic flow, shutting down a street for a block party or discouraging traffic from coming into the city during rush hour—“CPM has the right to trigger an immediate payment for the entire loss of the meter’s fair market value over the entire life of the seventy-five-year agreement.”

Shut down one meter that the market-valuation says makes twenty-two bucks a day, in other words, and the City of Chicago has to fork over a check for $351,000—six days a week ... fifty-two weeks in a year, times seventy-five—within thirty days. Very easily, Geoghegan points out, a single shut-down of parking in a chunk of the city—say, for something like a NATO summit Chicago hosted last year—"could be more than the original purchase price of the deal."

The rest: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/2 ... or-stories

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:25 pm


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:56 pm





Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by MathewHouston » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:03 am

Dardedar wrote:I think this goes in politics:

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities

"Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.

That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.

Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence."

I think it is wrong presumption.. US has made wrong policies and now increasing taxes to cut down usage of solar energy.. Not good at all.

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:56 am

America’s 50 Worst Charities – Don’t Be Fooled By Their Names

"Tampa Bay Times compiled a list of the Top 50 worst charities... Many names of the worst charities are very similar to legitimate charities. For instance, the number one worst charity, Kids Wish Network, sounds much too similar to, Make A Wish Foundation - a legitimate respected organization, where donations go to helping very sick children see one of their dreams come true. With the Kids Wish Network, only 2.5% the $127.8 million they raised, went to direct cash aid. So where did the other millions go? $109 million of it went to paying solicitors to raise the money.

According to Kendall Taggart, of The Center For Investigating Reporting, many charities exist pretty much to pad the pockets and salaries of their founders. Often the value of goods that are shipped overseas cannot be verified. And then there are charitable goods shipped domestically that are outright insults to the recipients....

Here are the 50 of the worst charities. They are ranked starting with the worst and by how much they raise, how much goes to pay the fund-raising solicitors, and how much goes to the actual charity. The title link above the list, will bring you to a page with an interactive chart and more information on charities in general." LINK

Note: "Watchdog groups say no more than 35 percent of donations should go to fundraising costs.
There is no standard for how much should be be spent on direct cash aid."

List at Tampabay article here: http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:02 pm

Bogus vitamins and Herbs:

Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem

"Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds."

New York Times

This responds nicely to the common libertarian claim that we don't need an FDA or government checking quality. "The free market will take care of it."

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:49 pm

Asians are deserting the GOP:

"Asian-Americans have been moving steadily toward the Democrats and away from the GOP. In 2012, Asians supported Obama by a staggering 73-26, compared to 62-35 in 2008. This is a remarkable trajectory for a group that, back in 1992, supported George H.W. Bush over Bill Clinton by a strong 54-30 margin. In every election since then, Asians have increased their support for the Democratic candidate, including elections like 2004 where most other groups, even progressive ones, were going in the opposite direction:


Think Progress

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:50 pm

Right to work states, who loves them? Corporations:


References: http://www.aflcio.org/Legislation-and-P ... k-for-Less

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:44 pm

These guys should lose their tax exempt status:




Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:34 pm


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by David Franks » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:08 pm

Most immediately from Doug Krueger.


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:46 am


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:47 am

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:53 pm

If memory serves, Milton Friedman was the wanker that started the "SS is a Ponzi" scheme horseshit. Here's a nice roast of libertarianism:

The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda
Before Milton Friedman was earning plaudits as an economic genius, he was a shill for the real estate industry
and an early pioneer for big business propaganda known as libertarianism.

"Every couple of years, mainstream media hacks pretend to have just discovered libertarianism as some sort of radical, new and dynamic force in American politics. It’s a rehash that goes back decades, and hacks love it because it’s easy to write, and because it’s such a non-threatening “radical” politics (unlike radical left politics, which threatens the rich). The latest version involves a summer-long pundit debate in the pages of the New York Times, Reason magazine and elsewhere over so-called “libertarian populism.” It doesn’t really matter whose arguments prevail, so long as no one questions where libertarianism came from or why we’re defining libertarianism as anything but a big business public relations campaign, the winner in this debate is Libertarianism.

Pull up libertarianism’s floorboards, look beneath the surface into the big business PR campaign’s early years, and there you’ll start to get a sense of its purpose, its funders, and the PR hucksters who brought the peculiar political strain of American libertarianism into being — beginning with the libertarian movement’s founding father, Milton Friedman. Back in 1950, the House of Representatives held hearings on illegal lobbying activities and exposed both Friedman and the earliest libertarian think-tank outfit as a front for business lobbyists. Those hearings have been largely forgotten, in part because we’re too busy arguing over the finer points of “libertarian populism.”

Milton Friedman. In his early days, before millions were spent on burnishing his reputation, Friedman worked as a business lobby shill, a propagandist who would say whatever he was paid to say. That's the story we need to revisit to get to the bottom of the modern American libertarian "movement," to see what it's really all about."


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:28 am

We should check back in a few months and see how this fear mongering goes for these wingnuts. Buy Gold!

"Economist Caution: Prepare For 'Massive Wealth Destruction'"

"Take immediate steps to protect your wealth . . . NOW!

That’s exactly what many well-respected economists, billionaires, and noted authors are telling you to do — experts such as Marc Faber, Peter Schiff, Donald Trump, and Robert Wiedemer. According to them, we are on the verge of another recession, and this one will be far worse than what we experienced during the last financial crisis.

Marc Faber, the noted Swiss economist and investor, has voiced his concerns for the U.S. economy numerous times during recent media appearances, stating, “I think somewhere down the line we will have a massive wealth destruction. I would say that well-to-do people may lose up to 50 percent of their total wealth.”

When he was asked what sort of odds he put on a global recession happening, the economist famous for his ominous predictions quickly answered . . . “100 percent.”

Faber points out that this bleak outlook stems directly from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policy decisions, and the continuous printing of new money, referred to as “quantitative easing” in the media.

Faber’s pessimism is matched by well-respected economist and investor Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. Schiff remarks that the stock market collapse we experienced in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash. The real crash is coming.” ...

Where Trump, Faber, and Schiff see rising debt, a falling dollar, and a plunging stock market, investment adviser and author Robert Wiedemer sees much more widespread economic destruction.

In a recent interview to talk about his New York Times best-seller Aftershock, Wiedemer says, “The data is clear, 50 percent unemployment, a 90 percent stock market drop, and 100 percent annual inflation… starting in 2013.”


Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Dardedar » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:50 pm

9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

6. Why hasn’t the United States fixed this yet?

Because it can’t. There are no viable options. Sorry.

The military options are all bad. Shipping arms to rebels, even if it helps them topple Assad, would ultimately empower jihadists and worsen rebel in-fighting, probably leading to lots of chaos and possibly a second civil war (the United States made this mistake during Afghanistan’s early 1990s civil war, which helped the Taliban take power in 1996). Taking out Assad somehow would probably do the same, opening up a dangerous power vacuum. Launching airstrikes or a “no-fly zone” could suck us in, possibly for years, and probably wouldn’t make much difference on the ground. An Iraq-style ground invasion would, in the very best outcome, accelerate the killing, cost a lot of U.S. lives, wildly exacerbate anti-Americanism in a boon to jihadists and nationalist dictators alike, and would require the United States to impose order for years across a country full of people trying to kill each other. Nope.
The one political option, which the Obama administration has been pushing for, would be for the Assad regime and the rebels to strike a peace deal. But there’s no indication that either side is interested in that, or that there’s even a viable unified rebel movement with which to negotiate.
It’s possible that there was a brief window for a Libya-style military intervention early on in the conflict. But we’ll never really know.

Washington Post

Re: Political News Bits of the Day

Post by Indium Flappers » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:04 pm

12 Years After the Attack, Young Soldiers at Guantanamo Bay Are Getting 9/11 History Lessons


Young soldiers at Guantanamo Bay would have been in grade school when the 9/11 attacks occurred. But the government is making sure the terrorist attacks are fresh in their minds.

The FBI now holds briefings for military personnel stationed at Guantanamo about the attacks and their connection to the island prison. Five detainees are currently being tried for their role in plotting 9/11. There are 161 other prisoners there too, about half of whom have been cleared for transfer.