Asking Trump to sign a Pledge


The best thing for the US would be for Trump and Sanders to pledge TO run as third (and fourth) party candidates. We need something to break the two party hold on our system.

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Government for the Corporation

H&R Block snuck language into a Senate bill to make taxes more confusing for poor people - Vox:

Several years ago, Indiana's state government website had a nice tax app that anyone could use to file their state taxes. It was free, worked well, easy to use, remembered your data from year to year. All on the web provided free to the user by the state.

Then, one day, it was gone. In its place was a link to several for-profit tax software providers. These services were still free for low income filers but at higher incomes, around joint $55,000, you had to buy it.

I imagine someone, HR Block or Intuit,  made a big contribution to the State Republican party or Mitch Daniels. Fucking capitalists.


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The Parties: Trump and Hillary

Hullabaloo: The GOP establishment is getting antsy

I think both parties are a little antsy but the GOP has a better Plan B. When Trump crashes they still have, what, 15 other candidates to choose from. What are the D's going to do if Hillary crashes. Who else do they have? The establishment doesn't want Sanders. Joe Biden? really?

Worse yet, what if Hillary doesn't crash.

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Democrat Blues

Democratic Blues - Jeff Greenfield - POLITICO Magazine:

Yeah the Ds aren't in great shape but I'm not sure how much of that Obama is responsible for.

I see a few  reasons for the fall.

The D party itself. It's hard to differentiate yourself from the pro-war, pro-business, pro-corporate elite, pro-Israel, Republican party when you are a pro-war, pro-business, pro-corporate elite, pro-Israel party yourself. The R's do those things better and are at least honest about it (about those things anyway).

The massive Conservative propaganda network The last few years have seen political propaganda explode and the R's are just damned-good at feeding the rage. Sure we had right-wing talk-radio in the Clinton era but that seems small-potatoes to today's standards. Talk radio is still there and has probably expanded some but now we've added the All-R-All-the-Time Fox Propaganda Network, the various conservative Internet sites, the NRA, the fake video Planned-Parenthood-like scammers, evangelical small-town preachers, etc..  all feeding the hate.

Obama was unique D for the R's to unite their various factions against. Finding a common enemy is a great way to unite a group and Obama is a perfect storm of Liberal, Black, Muslim/foreign-sounding-name that the propaganda network could hit hard.

I live in the arm-pit of Indiana and when he won in 2008 the natives really were scared to death. The financial crisis was in full swing and the R's propaganda had convinced the natives that it happened because the big-bad "Government" had forced the banks to make loans to "Those People". With Obama they had a Black, Muslim, Marxist, Kenyan president who was coming for their guns and bibles. They were scared and fighting back. Guns sales went through the roof. Tea-Party like groups were forming. They were preparing for war really. As one of my friends put it,... "They think the n....s are coming." If Obama had been a black woman we might have seen open, armed revolt in some areas.

It's hard to see the R's organizing their masses to that level if a Joe Biden-like candidate had won in 2008.

Obama hurt himself with some policy choices. Obamacare public option, continuing the Wars, letting the banks off the hook, trying to compromise with the crazy R's, etc. A more progressive stance with more appeal to the people might have worked better. Reagan would have gone on TV, looked the people in the eye, convinced them them that he had the answer, and asked for their support. Obama never really got his message to the people of this area.

The D party should get some blame here though. Again, it's hard to beat the R's when you are R-light.


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Private Property

Someday our corporate overlords will own all the private property.

Greece is for sale – and everything must go | openDemocracy:

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Moving from R to D.

A part of my skepticism flows from my decades inside the belly of the congressional beast. I have seen the Republican Party go from being a center-right party, with a solid minority of true centrists, to a right-right party, with a dwindling share of center-rightists, to a right-radical party, with no centrists in the House and a handful in the Senate. There is a party center that two decades ago would have been considered the bedrock right, and a new right that is off the old charts. And I have seen a GOP Congress in which the establishment, itself very conservative, has lost the battle to co-opt the Tea Party radicals, and itself has been largely co-opted or, at minimum, cowed by them.
(Found at Hullabaloo: from This with the Original Here.)

.. along with the fact they tried to convince me that Sarah Palin was qualified and Obama was an Anti-American, Kenyan, Muslim is why I'm no longer a Republican. If they'll lie like that, they cannot be trusted.

My change?

80 - Reagan
84 - Reagan
88 - Bush
92 - Bush
96 - Couldn't vote for either
00 - Bush
04 - Couldn't vote for either - The war craziness drove me away..
08 - Obama - the crazy propaganda drove me out.
12 - Obama - the crazier propaganda drove me out.
16 - Pulling for Sanders. The Clinton slime stinks and the R's are all crazy so I will set it out if its Hillary vs a Crazy R.

We need a sane, practical president who favors The People over the Big Business/Corporate Elite. We ain't gettin' that from the R or the D establishment.

Go Bernie.


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The Real Death Tax

Reverse mortgages: The final blow killing middle class wealth:

The rich and the media raise hell about inheritance tax all the time, the death tax they call it, but almost every working class life ends with the medical establishment owning everything they've worked for.

Reverse mortgages are just a tool for the banker/insurance/corporate class to get their cut before the rest of our accumulated wealth goes to the medical establishment.

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The Wrong Iraq Question

A good post on who lost Iraq here: The Wrong Iraq Question:
What strikes me, however, about the question, i.e., “who lost Iraq?” is that it assumes facts not in evidence i.e., that we “had Iraq” in the first place.  I would assume this means that at some point Iraq had a stable, sustainable government and was a firm long-term ally of the US.  None of this was ever the case, so any narrative that assumes this is to be true is based on a fallacious premise.  Certainly any notion that the emergence of ISIL could have been forestalled by some act of will by the Obama administration is absurd.

Is short,... Read the whole thing.

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Medicaid Two-Step

Still, healthcare isn't about making sure everyone has insurance, It's about making sure everyone has , you know,... healthcare.

The Medicaid Two-Step - The New York Times:

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Andrew Tobias on Iran

Iran vs Hitler or,...  How to argue with your Fox-Propaganda watching relative.

340 Rabbis Walk Into A Bar . . . | Andrew Tobias:

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