BARBARA LEE WAS RIGHT!

Barbara Lee’s Lone Vote on Sept. 14, 2001, Was as Prescient as It Was Brave and Heroic

By Glenn Greenwald/ The Intercept/ September 11, 2016

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER the 9/11 attack, while bodies were still buried in the rubble, George W. Bush demanded from Congress the legal authorization to use military force against those responsible for the attack, which everyone understood would start with an invasion of Afghanistan. The resulting resolution that was immediately cooked up was both vague and broad, providing that “the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”

Despite this broadness, or because of it, the House of Representatives on September 14 approved the resolution by a vote of 420-1. The Senate approved it the same day by a vote of 98-0. The lone dissenting vote was Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who — three days after the 9/11 attack, in a climate of virtually full-scale homogeneity — not only voted “no” but stood up on the House floor to deliver this eloquent, unflinching and, as it turns out, extremely prescient explanation for her opposition:

In an op-ed she published in the San Francisco Chronicle nine days later, she explained her vote by pointing out that the resolution “was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the Sept. 11 events — anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation’s long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit.” She added: “A rush to launch precipitous military counterattacks runs too great a risk that more innocent men, women, children will be killed.”

For her lone stance, Lee was deluged with rancid insults and death threats to the point where she needed around-the-clock bodyguards. She was vilified as “anti-American” by numerous outlets including the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Times editorialized on September 18 that “Ms. Lee is a long-practicing supporter of America’s enemies — from Fidel Castro on down” and that “while most of the left-wing Democrats spent the week praising President Bush and trying to sound as moderate as possible, Barbara Lee continued to sail under her true colors.” Since then, she has been repeatedly rejected in her bids to join the House Democratic leadership, typically losing to candidates close to Wall Street and in support of militarism. I documented numerous other ugly attacks when I wrote about her for The Guardian in 2013.But beyond the obvious bravery needed to take the stand she took, she has been completely vindicated on the merits. Close to a majority of Americans now believes that the first war the AUMF was invoked to launch — the one in Afghanistan — was a mistake. Fifteen years later, the very same AUMF continues to be used by the Obama administration for all sorts of wars that plainly have nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks — including its newfound bombing partnership with Russia in Syria. Under this resolution, Obama has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in seven yearsa 2013 memofrom the Congressional Research Service, requested by Lee, listed all the military actions and related abuses undertaken purportedly under its authority:

It’s impossible to overstate how correct Lee was when she warned that this resolution would constitute “a blank check” to wage war “anywhere, in any country,” and “without time limit.” Fifteen years later, this “war” is raging as destructively as ever, with no end in sight. Indeed, as my Intercept colleague Alex Emmons documented today, “Fifteen years after the September 11 attacks, it looks like the war on terror is still in its opening act.” Either one of the two leading presidential candidates is certain to use this resolution for all new expressions of this war.

Lee has never given up on this cause, repeatedly attempting to lead a repeal of the AUMF, though — in the face of opposition from two successive administrations, one from each party — she has never been able to convince her colleagues to do so. While her “blank check” warning turned out to be incredibly prescient, the other warning she issued, from the House floor on September 14, was even more profound: “Let us not become the evil we deplore.”

The 9/11 attack killed close to 3,000 innocent people, but the 15 years of wars, bombings, invasions, occupations, and other abuses it spawned — the bulk of which are still raging — have killed many, many more than that. Americans love to memorialize the victims of the 9/11 attacks, though the abundant victims of their own government’s actions (both leading up to 9/11 and in response to it) are typically ignored. Whatever else 9/11 is used to commemorate, Barbara Lee’s visionary warnings and solitary courage should always be near the top of that list.

 
Posted in Afghanistan, foreign policy, government, Iraq war, military, politics, Terrorism, war, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where Workers Stand on Labor Day

A Message to Working People on Labor Day from a former labor secretary

By Robert Reich/ robertreich.org/ September 5, 2016

Your typical wage is below what it was in the late 1970s, in terms of what it can buy. Two-thirds of you are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost 30 percent of you don’t have steady employment: You’re working part-time or on contract, with none of the labor protections created over the last 80 years. Yet the American economy is twice as large as it was in the late 1970s.

Low Wages

Your typical wage is below what it was in the late 1970s, in terms of what it can buy. Two-thirds of you are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost 30 percent of you don’t have steady employment: You’re working part-time or on contract, with none of the labor protections created over the last 80 years — no unemployment insurance if you lose your job, no worker’s compensation if you’re injured, no time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours a week, no minimum wage, and you have to pay your own Social Security. 

Over 37 percent of you have dropped out of the workforce altogether because you’ve become too discouraged even to look for work. That’s a near record. As if all this weren’t enough, the schools and infrastructure on which you rely have been neglected, and the ravages of climate change — droughts, fires, and floods — are worsening.

Yet the American economy is twice as large as it was in the late 1970s. As a nation, we are richer than we’ve ever been. We could afford to do so much better.

None of this has happened by accident. Those with great wealth have translated it into political power. And with that power they’ve busted labor unions (to which a third of private-sector workers belonged in the 1950s but now fewer than 7 percent do), halved the taxes they pay (from a top marginal rate of 91 percent in the 1950s to 39 percent today, and from an effective rate of 52 percent then to 18 percent now), cut safety nets, deregulated Wall Street, privatized much of the economy, expanded bankruptcy protection for themselves while narrowing it for you, forced you into mandatory arbitration of employment disputes, expanded their patents and intellectual property, got trade deals that benefited them but squeezed your pay, and concentrated their market power so you pay more for pharmaceuticals, health insurance, airfare, food, internet service, and much else.

This is bad for everyone. Even those at the top would do better with a smaller share of an economy that was growing because the middle class was expanding. And they’d do better in a society that hadn’t become so angry and susceptible to demagogues blaming immigrants and imports for what has happened.

But none of this will change unless we change it. No single person — not even Bernie Sanders, had he become president — can do what needs to be done, alone. You and I and others must continue to organize and mobilize. Do not find refuge in cynicism. Change is slow, and at times seems hopeless. But change is inevitable. Do not wait for politicians to take the lead. We are the leaders.

 

 

 

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The Sheeple Rationale

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IT’S ONLY OUR MONEY

The Pentagon Money Pit

By Dave Lindorff/ Counterpunch/ August 11, 2016

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What if the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services were to report that $6.5 billion in spending by that federal agency was unaccounted for and untraceable? You can imagine the headlines, right? What if it was $65 billion? The headlines would be as big as for the first moon landing or for troops landing on Omaha Beach in World War II.

But how about a report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General saying that the US Army had $6.5 trillion in unaccountable expenditures for which there is simply no paper trail? That is 6,500 billion dollars! Have you heard about that? Probably not. That damning report was issued back on July 26 — two whole weeks ago — but as of today it has not even been reported anywhere in the corporate media.

It’s not that it’s secret information, or hard to come by. The report is available online at the Department of Defense’s OIG website. And as it states:

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller) (OASA[FM&C]) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis (DFAS Indianapolis) did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter journal voucher (JV) adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend JV adjustments made to AGF data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.2 The unsupported JV adjustments occurred because OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis did not prioritize correcting the system deficiencies that caused errors resulting in JV adjustments, and did not provide sufficient guidance for supporting system‑generated adjustments.

In addition, DFAS Indianapolis did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System‑Budgetary (DDRS-B), a budgetary reporting system, removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during third quarter FY 2015. This occurred because DFAS Indianapolis did not have detailed documentation describing the DDRS-B import process or have accurate or complete system reports.

As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third quarter and yearend financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail. Furthermore, DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.

This dense bureaucrateze doesn’t mean that $6.5 trillion has been stolen, or that this is money in addition to the $600 billion that the Pentagon spent in fiscal 2015. It means that for years — and $6.5 trillion represents at about 15 years’ worth of US military spending — the Department of Defense (sic) has not been tracking or recording or auditing all of the taxpayer money allocated by Congress — what it was spent on, how well it was spent, or where the money actually ended up. There are enough opportunities here for corruption, bribery, secret funding of “black ops” and illegal activities, and or course for simple waste to march a very large army, navy and air force through. And by the way, things aren’t any better at the Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Incredibly, no mainstream reporter or editor in the US has seen this as a story worth reporting to the American public.

Just to give a sense of the scale of this outrage, consider that total federal discretionary spending in FY 2015 was just over $1.1 trillion. That includes everything from education ($70 billion), housing and community development ($63 billion), Medicare and health ($66 billion), veterans’ benefits ($65 billion), energy ($39 billion), transportation ($26 billion) and international affairs ($41 billion), and of course that $600 billion for the military.

All the other agencies that are responsible for those other outlays, like the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, etc., have been required by Congress since 1996 to file reports on annual audits of their budgets. The Pentagon was subject to that same act of Congress too, but for 20 years and running it has failed to do so. It has simply stonewalled, and so far has gotten away with it.

Nobody in Congress seems to care about this contempt of Congress. Neither of the two mainstream political candidates for president, Republican Donald Trump nor Democrat Hillary Clinton, seems to care either. Neither one has mentioned this epic scandal.

According to the OIG’s report, this problem actually goes back a generation, to 1991, five years before Congress even passed the law requiring all federal agencies to operate using federal accounting standards and to conduct annual audits, when the Government Accountability Office found “unsupported aadjustments” were being made to the military’s financial statements during an audit of FY 1991 Army financial statements. Fully 17 years later, the Army, in its FY 2008 statement of Assurance on Internal Controls, said that the “weakness” found in 1991 “would be corrected by the end of FY 2011,” an outrageous decade later. But the OIG report goes on to say:

However, the FY 2015 Statement of Assurance on Internal Controls indicated this material weakness remained uncorrected and may not be corrected until third quarter 2017.

Such a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Pentagon, Congress and the media towards such a massive accounting failure involving trillions of dollars is simply mind-boggling, and yet there is nobody in Congress jumping up and down in the well of the House or or at Armed Services Committee hearings demanding answers and heads. No president or presidential candidate is denouncing this atrocity.

Aside from the political question of how much the US should actually be spending on the military — and clearly, spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined on war and war preparedness is not justifiable — how can anyone, of any political persuasion, accept the idea of spending such staggering sums of money without insisting on any accountability?

Consider that politicians of both major political parties are demanding accountability for every penny spent on welfare, including demanding that recipients of welfare prove that they are trying to find work. Ditto for people receiving unemployment compensation. Consider the amount of money and time spent on testing students in public schools in a vain effort to make teachers accountable for student “performance.” And yet the military doesn’t have to account for any of its trillions of dollars of spending on manpower and weapons — even though Congress fully a generation ago passed a law requiring such accountability.

Phone and email requests to the DOD press office for the Office of Inspector General asking for comment went unanswered.

Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), says, “Accounting at the Department of Defense is a disaster, but nobody is screaming about it because you have a lot of people in Congress who believe in more military spending, so they don’t really challenge military spending.” She adds, “You won’t see anything change unless Congress cuts the Pentagon budget in order to get results, and they’re not going to do that.”

She might have added that the reporters and editors and publishers of the corporate media also support military spending, so the media are not reporting on this scandal either, meaning that the public remains in the dark and unconcerned about it. Sure, the media will report on a $600 air force toilet seat and the public will be appropriately outraged, but there is no word about an untracable $6.5 trillion in Army spending and no public outrage…except perhaps among those who read alternative publications like this one.

Enough! I don’t want to hear another complaint about government spending on welfare, education, environment, health care subsidies, immigrant benefits or whatever, until the Pentagon has to report on, account for and audit every dollar that it is spending on war.

No more free ride for the military.

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Shocking new report: Bombing people causes people to hate you

 

Now there is a new report that examines this strange trend.

Our new article, forthcoming in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence,  examines the coalition’s use of violence to suppress insurgency during the Iraq War. We found that excess reliance on military force can produce counterintuitive results.

  Counterintuitive? You mean like, they throw bullets at us instead of flowers?

Using data from the Iraq War Logs, we analyzed the numbers to see whether killing insurgents had any influence on the incidence of insurgent attacks. We constructed a weekly data set across 103 districts in Iraq from 2004 to 2009. The data counted how many insurgents coalition forces killed each week in each district, through all types of military engagement (including direct and indirect fire incidents, bombings or any other form of engagement where a member of the coalition was present to record the incident). We then analyzed whether the number of insurgents killed in a given week had an impact on the number of insurgent attacks against coalition forces in future weeks. The answer is yes — but it turns out that rather than reducing the insugency’s  capabilities, killing fighters actually encouraged more attacks against the coalition.
   When coalition forces employed extreme violence — killing relatively large numbers of insurgents — they were able to moderate the rate of increase in insurgent attacks, but not reduce it. In other words, military force alone was not successful at decreasing violence in Iraq. Here are four reasons why.

Shocking! Killing lots of people does not create peace on Earth!   But every Hollywood movie based on a video game I’ve ever seen has an entirely different message (i.e. you kill all the bad guys to win the game). Could all those movies be wrong?   Almost every presidential candidate echoes the message of those Hollywood movies as well. Surely they can’t all be wrong!

  So what reasons does this report give for such bizarre conclusions?

1) Military force often means collateral damage.

  It seems that classifying dead civilians as insurgents/terrorists may work with the American audience, but it doesn’t work so well with the locals.   What’s more, blowing up their homes and infrastructure doesn’t makes them love you either.

2) Civilians are likely to blame outsiders for violence, not the Islamic State.

  Funny how the locals are more likely to blame people from the other side of the planet that drop bombs from 30,000 feet, rather than people they can actually see and talk to.

3) Attacking insurgents may actually strengthen their ranks.

Killing insurgent fighters is a sure way to encourage retaliation. If a group can signal strength through retaliatory attacks despite receiving heavy casualties, then local populations are more likely to view that group as strong. Some populations would see backing a strong group as the best way to protect their own interests.

There’s also something else the report didn’t note: insurgents are people to (believe it or not), and people tend to have families and friends who may resent you killing them.

4) A stronger insurgency is likely to result in more attacks on coalition forces.

  So if we can’t bomb our way to peace, what can we do? So far the answer is to bomb even more. It’s a message that sells with both Democrats and Republicans.

 Now assuming that more bombs aren’t the answer (and that MUCH more bombs aren’t the answer either), what could be the answer? Well, someone might have an idea.

We have a military plan to defeat the Islamic State – and, as initial gains in Fallujah last week demonstrated, it’s going well in many respects – but we have yet to articulate a political plan to ensure Iraq’s long-term stability.
   Sometimes it’s impossible to tell whether it’s 2007 or 2016. The battle plans I hear from our commanders in Iraq today are the same ones I heard at the beginning of the surge, down to the same cities and tribal alliances. My question is: How will this time be different? The silence is deafening.

Oh yeah. The politics. Diplomacy. Long-term thinking rather than short-term explosions.   All stuff that Americans had long ago sh*t-canned as signs of weakness. Maybe instead of just spending billions on contracting out our military, maybe we can spend a few bucks contracting out our diplomacy too? Because obviously no one in Washington is interested in talking anymore.

Carl von Clausewitz taught us nearly 200 years ago that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” We have to have a political endgame, or the sacrifices our troops continue to make will be in vain. It’s not the military’s job to develop that political plan – that’s where the administration comes in – but it’s painfully clear there isn’t one. Without a long-term political strategy, we can expect to send young Americans back to Iraq every time Iraqi politics fall apart, a new terrorist group sweeps in and we find ourselves required to clean up the mess.
   Fixing Iraqi politics is difficult, but I’d much prefer having a heavy, long-term diplomatic presence than losing more lives refighting battles we already won.

  The good news is that we are getting very good at invading the Middle East. It’ll come in useful again very soon.

Posted in foreign policy, government, Iraq war, Middle East, military, politics, Terrorism, war, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

HOW THE CORPORATE MEDIA HAS FAILED US

By Arlen Grossman

Published at OpEd News June 30, 2016

(This is an expanded version of the prior posting)

Traditionally, the new media has an obligation to inform and serve the public. For a long time now, the media has fallen short in these responsibilities. There are at least two critical areas in which the corporate media is neglecting to warn the American public about impending disasters:

 
(1) Despite the media pounding out a constant barrage of news about unprecedented climate catastrophes: tornados, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, etc., they seldom connect these increasing occurrences with global warming, despite repeated warnings from scientists. Perhaps it might stifle American business interests. Thus, these weather disasters proliferate and our government does little to rectify the cause of them. Until we do, the devastation will only get worse: more land will be destroyed, more people will suffer, homes will be demolished, and lives will be lost.

(2) Despite increased incidences of terrorist attacks on the West, and heightened fear about such from the public, the media fails to connect increasing American and Western military involvement in Muslim countries around the world with the rise of terrorism. It should be obvious by now: the more killing we do over there, the more killing they do over here. But we seem to prefer military solutions. That we could reduce the hatred and anger of Muslim civilians, as well as slow the recruitment of terrorists, by lessening our war-making in their part of the world is a solution the news media prefers to ignore. Perhaps it would not be in their interests, or those of the military and our corporate war industries. So the unending cycle of violence continues.

 
We are not being served well by a media that is supposed to inform and serve us. The consequences of that neglect will harm all of us.

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THE FAILURE OF THE CORPORATE MEDIA

by Arlen Grossman

There are at least two ways in which the corporate media is neglecting to warn the American public about impending disasters:

1) Despite a constant barrage of unprecedented climate catastrophes: tornados, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, etc., the media seldom connects these occurrences with global warming. Thus, these weather disasters proliferate, the public fails to understand the causes, and our government does little to solve the climate change problem.

2) Despite increased incidences of terrorist attacks on the west, and heightened fear about such from the public, the media fails to connect increasing American and Western military involvement in Muslim countries around the world with the rise of terrorism.That we could reduce the hatred and anger of Muslims by lessening our war-making in their part of the world is a lesson lost on the news media. So the unending cycle of violence continues.

We are not being served well by a media that is supposed to inform and serve us. In fact, we are being served very poorly.

 

Posted in Climate, global warming, government, media, Middle East, military, politics, Terrorism, war, War on Terror | Tagged , | Leave a comment

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…Thank Goodness!

Here’s What’s the Matter with Kansas…

 

 

The verdict is in, and it’s time for conservatives to face the cold hard facts.

Right-wing trickle-down Reaganomics doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work internationally, it doesn’t work nationally, and it doesn’t work at the state level.

And we know this is true thanks in part to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s 2010 decision to turn his state into a “real live experiment” in Reaganism and the religion of trickle-down economics.

Quickly after taking office, Brownback and the Tea-party controlled legislature passed massive tax breaks for the state’s one-percent, repealed all income taxes for more than 100,000 businesses, tightened welfare requirements making life harder for the working poor and poor children, privatized the delivery of Medicaid so his corporate buddies could have a bigger slice of the state action, cut $200 million from the education budget, eliminated four state agencies and laid off 2,000 government employees.

In 2013, after he signed the largest tax cut in Kansas history with the help of legislators backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), he told the Wall Street Journal, “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we have a different way, and it works.'”

And in 2016, six years after Brownback took office and started shaping Kansas into the “red-state model”, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in their right mind, Republican or Democrat, who would say that the economy in Kansas “works”.

Back when Brownback initiated the plan, conservative economists like Arthur Laffer predicted a massive boom in the state, and the CATO-inspired Kansas Policy Instituteprojected that his tax cuts would create $323 million in new local revenues by the year 2018.

In reality, during the first year of Brownback’s budget, the state lost $ 688 million and job growth shrank to 1.1 percent, below the national average.

And it didn’t get better. In following years, job growth dropped to one-tenth of one percent, and personal income growth slowed from 6.1 percent to 3.6 percent.

According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, the poorest one-fifth of households in Kansas, households that make less than $23,000 a year, saw their average taxes go up about $200 a year, while the richest 1 percent are saving an average of $25,000 a year.

That means that under Sam Brownback’s “red state model”, the richest 1% in Kansas are SAVING $2000 more in TAXES than the bottom fifth of households EARN in a year in INCOME.

As a direct result of this stupidity, now one health insurance CEO is taking his company across the border to Missouri, just to get away from the insanity, and the cruelty, of Brownback’s so-called “red state model”.

Jeff Blackwood, the president and CEO of Pathfinder Health Innovations, recently published a blog post called “Kansas Isn’t Home Anymore” announcing that Pathfinder’s headquarters will be moving from Kansas to Missouri.

In the post, Blackwood points out that Republican Kansas Governor Brownback has worked as an ultraconservative tool of the Koch Brothers and ALEC to make Kansas into “a test center of “trickle down” economics” where “the burdens for the shortfalls rest on the shoulders of those who can least afford it, children and the developmentally disabled.”.

He points out that “One of Brownback’s first actions was to close the [city of] Lawrence’s office for Kansas Social & Rehabilitation Services,” which provided services for low-income children and the developmentally disabled.

That cut was supposed to save $400,000 per year, but Blackwood points out that Brownback chose to pursue “a personal vendetta at the expense of the disabled” when he then proceeded to squander over $400,000 on lawyers and auditors to attack the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

Beyond that, Blackwood notes that when Brownback privatized Medicaid (which is what Paul Ryan wants to do with Medicare nationwide) the results were even more disastrous for the state.

Blackwood personally saw the impacts as the President and CEO of a private health insurance company, and he points out that the cuts to Kansas’s Medicaid program led to significant delays in eligibility, an inexplicable loss of coverage, an increase in caseloads, and struggles for providers to get paid.

Blackwood ends his lengthy post saying that: “I can’t, in good conscience, continue to give our tax money to a government that actively works against the needs of its citizens; a state that is systematically targeting the citizens most in need, denying them critical care, and reducing their cost of life as if they’re simply a tax burden that should be ignored.”.

A stagnant economy, failing job growth, falling personal income, massive budget shortfalls, loss of healthcare coverage, significant delays in healthcare services, and CEOs who take up stakes and move their businesses across the border: these are the results of Brownback’s experiment in rabid “free-market” anti-American-government trickle-down economics.

What’s happening in Kansas is no exception though.

ALEC is pushing this broken and cruel “red-state model” of Reaganomics in every state across the country, and they’ve successfully implemented it to varying degrees in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Arizona, West Virginia, and the list unfortunately goes on.

There is a proven alternative to the “red state model,” though, because California has been running what might be called a “blue state” experiment since 2012 when voters increased the state’s top income tax rate to 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. In 2014, two years after that tax hike went into effect, California’s economy grew by 3.1 percent.

One year later it grew by 4.1 percent, tying with Oregon for the fastest state growth of the year, and resulting in a budget surplus of nearly $900 million.

Of course, conservatives who pretend to understand economics, like Arthur Laffer, predicted a disastrous slowdown in growth in California, and they were as wrong about tax hikes California as they were wrong about tax cuts Kansas.

There’s a simple lesson here: assume the opposite of whatever Arthur Laffer and his Reagan leftovers predict.

Brownback’s experiment has proven that conservative anti-American-government “trickle-down economics” doesn’t benefit anyone except for the super-rich and large corporations, and it undoubtedly and unnecessarily hurts the poorest and sickest Americans.

If we genuinely want to help low-income Americans, if we want to promote small businesses, if we really want to see our states grow, we need lawmakers across the country to reject the failed ALEC-backed “red state model” and to follow the proven model of raising taxes on the billionaire class and investing in the state economy.

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Causes of Terrorism

For about the last fifteen years (and even before), the United States has traveled halfway across the globe relentlessly bombing numerous Middle East countries, killing Muslim combatants and civilians by the thousands, if not millions. And we wonder why Muslim extremists might want to hurt Americans. You think there might be a connection?

Bombing-Syria

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My California Primary Night Favorite Dream

The future as I’d like to envision it…….

Donald Trump continues to self-destruct –as he surely will–and takes down the Republican Party with him. Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Bernie Sanders win the presidential election over Trump and VP Ted Cruz in a landslide, giving the Administration a clear mandate. Trump’s defeat so demoralizes the GOP that the Democrats are able to win back both houses of Congress and a large number of state legislatures and governor races.

Amazingly, some of this might actually come true!

clinton-trumpsanders

P.S. Hillary’s first Supreme Court nomination: Barack H. Obama.

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