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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 

 

Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

     

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1940

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison


 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Thursday
Jan112018

TRUMP/GOP SAVAGES THE POOR

www.npr.org

New guidelines will allow states to impose a work requirement on recipients of Medicaid.

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/11/577333079/trump-authorizes-states-to-impose-work-requirement-for-medicaid?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

     Imposing a work requirement on Medicaid recipients is a solution in search of a problem!  Reagan invented the "welfare queen" now the GOP is spinning about the undeserving poor? 

     Trump proposes to add a work requirement to Medicaid via administrative rule in those states that want such a waiver - Red states like Kentucky and Indiana controlled by GOP legislatures. The reality is that most people who get Medicaid already work - but most often at low paying jobs which don't offer health insurance. 

     This is a classic example of what Frances Fox Piven termed "blaming the poor" or what Henry Giroux refers to as the American "culture of cruelty."

See the "comment" section in my FB post for more about the "culture of cruelty."    

Russ

Commentary: 

     In a humane society health care should be a 'right' not contingent on having a job. The US under FDR/Truman made a terrible moral but pragmatic decision tying health care to work. After WW II when jobs were plentiful the job/health care connection seemed logical and also dogged the issue of "socialized" medicine unlike other modern democracies. 

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     Western Europe, the UK, Canada, Japan, even Singapore have some type of universal health care for all of its citizens.  Only in the USA do we make healthcare an obstacle course.  Now that my wife and I are on Medicare - everything must be vetted through our primary care doctor.  We have a good relationship with him - going over 20 years.  But even he expresses frustration about the bureaucracy of our health care system, including the clinic he works for having given up his single practice several years ago.

     An example of the absurdity of our health care system - it has taken my wife over two months to get a sleep apnea device and we're not through the drill since we changed our Medicare Advantage plan as of December 31.  So we have to go through an endless string of physician approval processes, one each per specialist.  When one hits 65 your life is spent navigating the obstacle course of phone calls to one's providers via one's insurance plan.  It's maddening.  As my wife's sister who lives in Dubai - while visiting us for the holidays noted - during a call to get the sleep device approved - she said very firmly as only a lawyer can do - "my sister may die before she gets the device!" 

     That did it - in less than 24 hours we were getting her fitted for the machine BUT since the provider was out of network we ended up paying for the machine - and everything that went with it - amounting to a $700 out of pocket bill.

     Now that the new year is here - we will have to go through the same process once again with our new Medicare Advantage provider.  So don't tell me about wait lines in Canada or Europe.  At least folks in such systems only have to deal with a single system - not multiple doctors, health care bureaucracies etc.  Having been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I need to see another specialist - it's only a 6 - 8 week wait.  It makes we want to tear what little hair I have on my balding head out... 

     And now Trump and the GOP want to put the screws to Medicaid recipients with a work requirement.  This is not simply the culture of cruelty or blaming the poor in action - it's a mendacious approach to health care designed to impose barriers for the most needy of Americans by a political class that has Cadillac health care at the expense of the US taxpayer - not just while they "serve" (?) but for life!  It makes one wonder if the hidden agenda is to get the needy to move from Red to Blue states? 

     The working poor have enough trouble making ends meet and avoiding homelessness.  Now they will no doubt be required to get a work ID card to prove they are working in order to access what minimal health care is available if they live in a state with a waiver - lucky them!  Thank god Oregon will not punish its working poor in this manner.  But we have our own challenges - on January 23 if we vote YES on Ballot Measure 101 - our Medicaid plan will remain in tact - if not 400,000 Oregonians will be up the creek thanks to a woman GOP legislator who got the measure referred to a vote.   

     Welcome to the "screw you" society of the Grand Old Party! 

Friday
Jan052018

STOPPING THE UNTHINKABLE...  

Copy this text into an email to share with your friends

Dear Friends,

I just signed the campaign: People of Faith Call on Congress to Pass Legislation to Prevent Nuclear First Strike

It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name. Each of us can help build the momentum we need to bring about a more just world.

Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?

https://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/people-of-faith-call-on-congress-to-pass-legislation-to-prevent-nuclear-first-strike

After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.

Thank you!

Russell

Tuesday
Dec192017

IS TRUMP UNFIT FOR OFFICE?  

Robert Dallek is an emeritus professor of history. He has taught at Columbia, UCLA, Oxford, Boston University, Dartmouth and Stanford in Washington. He is the author of a dozen books. His latest is “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life.”

The Constitution gives us another way out of this mess, the 25th admendment...  

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution may define the conditions for suspending a president’s authority, but it does not constrain the reasoning behind it.

As written, the amendment states that if a president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office,” the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can suspend him. Historically, such an inability was attributable to illness or medical problems, but, in light of President Donald Trump, I offer we expand our interpretation: Medicine aside, it is clear Trump is unfit to serve, and lawmakers must invoke the 25th Amendment against him.

Fears of physical disability were certainly foremost in bringing about the amendment. Going back to at least the 1890s, when President Grover Cleveland had surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his jaw, the country had been in jeopardy of being governed by a chief executive who had lost his physical capacity to lead the nation. In 1919-1920, when a stroke immobilized Woodrow Wilson, and his wife largely ran the executive branch, Americans worried about finding a way to overcome temporary or permanent presidential incapacity.

Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure in the White House added to the sense of urgency about replacing a disabled president. By 1944, it was clear to people around Roosevelt that his health was in decline and that he might not live out a fourth term, which proved to be the case.

Ten years later, in the midst of the Cold War, when Dwight Eisenhower served in the Oval Office and suffered a heart attack that temporarily sidelined him, the need to do something about presidential health became more compelling, or so it seemed to the country’s governing authorities. With Lyndon Johnson in the White House, and questions swirling about his rationality in response to the stalemated war in Vietnam, political leaders from both parties saw the wisdom of passing the 25th Amendment.

Years later, in 1981, after Ronald Reagan had been shot and temporarily incapacitated, and then in 1998, when I revealed John F. Kennedy’s hidden medical problems that surely would have barred him from the presidency in 1961, people were all the more convinced that we could no longer turn a blind eye to a presidential candidate’s or a sitting president’s ability to conduct the affairs of state.

In all this, however, nothing was explicitly said about questions of personal temperament to acquit one’s presidential duties. There were glimmerings of this concern not only with LBJ but even more so with Richard Nixon during the Watergate crisis in 1973-74. Rumors about Nixon’s excessive drinking, as the crisis engulfed him, raised fears that the country was in jeopardy of dangerous presidential actions. The country had to wait until Nixon’s taped conversations reached the public 30 years later before it understood the extent to which Nixon’s irrationality had put the nation in peril. In a drunken stupor, he had slept through an unauthorized decision by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and White House chief of staff Al Haig to raise the country’s defense condition (or DEFCON) in response to a Soviet threat to interfere in the Yom Kippur War between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

The rise of Trump to the presidency now brings the question of presidential competence back into focus. Trump’s stumbling performance in his first 11 months represents a new low in the history of the modern presidency. It cannot be chalked up to medical disability, at least not at this juncture, but Trump is vulnerable under the amendment anyway.

First, Trump is untrustworthy. He makes promises he cannot keep, such as building a “beautiful” wall on the southern border. Second, he lies repeatedly—about the size of his inaugural crowds, the 3 to 5 million illegal voters in the 2016 election, Barack Obama’s birthplace and his voice on the Hollywood Access tape. Most recently, he has denied ever meeting the women who came forward Monday to accuse him of sexual harassment, and said they were lying. This brings me to my third point: Trump’s accusers are credible. In the #MeToo era, sexual misconduct should certainly be among the clearest evidence of presidential incompetence.

These shortcomings have made Trump the most unpopular first-year president in history: He has never won 50 percent support, either in the 2016 election or in opinion polls since taking office.

It is difficult to explain Trump’s poor record of leadership, though it might be the result of inexperience and unwise policies that command the support of only 35 to 40 percent of the country’s voters. But more compelling is the likelihood that we are dealing with someone who is indifferent to how almost all presidents have behaved in the recent past.

Trump is unable to discharge the powers of the presidency, as we understand the presidency. In other words, the presidency is part and parcel of a functioning democratic government, and Trump is unable to act in the interest of that democracy. His untrustworthiness, lying and appalling behavior demonstrate time and again his contempt for the duties of the office and the rule of law.

The 25th Amendment offers to the vice president and Cabinet the possibility of suspending Trump’s presidential authority. They could justify it as a guard against imperiling the country’s stability and national security that preserve our democratic system. (Of course, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the apparent cooperation of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, may bring a halt to Trump’s presidency by a different route.)

We cannot know what people will say in the future about Trump and his presidency. But I suspect many historians like myself will see him as the least-qualified man to hold the office since Harding in 1921-1923, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary.

To date, Trump has nothing to celebrate as a notable achievement. The best that can be said for Trump is that he’s extremely ineffective at governing. At worst, though, he lacks the temperament to lead a great nation. He can and should be replaced by his vice president. In short, Trump lacks the wherewithal “to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Advertisement
Tuesday
Dec052017

MORE GOP LIES...  

By Hedrick Smith

Washington – The most lethal damage to American society embedded in the Republican tax plan now being rushed through Congress is that it will metastasize the cancerous economic inequality that has been eating away at the health and fabric of American democracy over four decades.

Three years ago, in his monumental work, Capital in the 21st Century, the French economist Thomas Piketty warned that “When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income,… capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.”

As evidence, Piketty points to the tumor of concentrated wealth accumulated by American’s super-rich 1% since the late 1970s while middle class incomes have stagnated. Despite long-term growth, his studies show the impact of wedge economics: Trillions of dollars have shifted from the middle class paychecks to ballooning stock grants for CEOs and the bulging portfolios of billionaires.


Capitalism's Most Dangerous Dynamic

Piketty’s analysis pin-points the fatal pathology built into the Republican tax plan: Its focus on corporate tax cuts will accelerate the malignancy of inequality...[Read More]

Tuesday
Nov212017

THE RUSSIAN BEAR ON THE PROWL.  

Hedrick Smith

What’s Putin After? Is It a New Cold War?

  • November 17, 2017

What does Putin want? What’s his end game? What’s next?

     Putin’s interference in elections in the U.S. and western Europe is his way of striking back at the U.S. for pushing NATO up against Russia’s borders, building a power base in Russia’s backyard and stationing anti-missile defenses in eastern Europe, says Hedrick Smith, former New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief and author of the global best-seller, “The Russians.”

     “The Russian hacking and the Russian intervention in the 2016 campaign is just the peak of it,” Smith told WTTW, PBS in Chicago. “It’s kind of Putin’s revenge for the fact that we pushed the Russian bear back in the cave by moving the frontiers of NATO into the Baltic states—Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. And (Putin) sees us as being behind the overthrow of the pro-Russian president in the Ukraine. So he’s hitting back.”

The New Czar – Projecting Russian Power

     Smith calls Putin the new Russian Czar projecting Russian military power into eastern Europe and challenging the West with diplomatic brinksmanship and cyber/social media warfare taking advantage of openness in Western democracies.

     “He’s put Russia back on the global stage,” says Smith. “He’s bolstered his own support at home because the Russians, as a people, have wounded pride. They feel as though they have been shoved aside by the major powers.”

     In the 1970s, ’80s and into the ’90s, which was era of detente between President Nixon and former Communist Party Leader Leonid Brezhnev. President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, or President Bill and Boris Yeltsin, Russia got used to being treated as a super=power equal of the United States. But in the Putin era, Russia has been downgraded, shoved aside by Washington, replaced by China, unable to compete economically or in power terms. that loss of status has hurt and angered the Russians and left Putin hunting opportunities for revenge.

     “There’s no question that our policies during the Clinton years — pushing NATO eastward— and during the Bush years, carrying that policy forward, has really upset the Russians and made them feel on the defensive,” Smith observes.

Putin – Hunting for Revenge

     Largely hemmed in by NATO’s military strength, Putin has turned to cyber warfare, using his intelligence services and computer hackers rather than military force to disrupt the West – and we can expect more of that in the 2018 elections and beyond, Smith says. Putin is playing a long-term game of restoring Russian power and global influence by bolstering allies in places like Syria and trying to intimidate the West.

     Smith dismisses Putin’s denial of interference in the 2016 elections in answer to President Trump’s questions. “I don’t know what Trump expected,” Smith said. “You don’t go ask a former KGB colonel ‘Did you interfere in our elections?’ and expect to get a straight answer.”

     “It is just stunning that Trump will attack members of his own political party. He’ll rip up not only Democrats but Republican senators like Bob Corker and John McCain, who speak out against him, but even Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, who worked to get Trump’s bills passed. Then he turns around and won’t say anything critical about Putin. That’s weird.”

     In fact, Smith suggests, Trump’s peculiar reluctance to criticize the new czar in the Kremlin, coupled with his reluctance for a long time to affirm his clear support of NATO, adds to people’s suspicions that either the Russians have something on Trump and he’s afraid of Putin or that Trump is un cahoots with Putin in some strange way. That may not be true, but Trump has put himself in a position where he has to take some actions to prove it.

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     EDITOR'S NOTE:  What's intriging about Putin is that he's using a combonation of "soft"power - cyber attacks on Western elections and media plus "hard power" on easy targets such as Ukraine and The Crimea plus using Trump as his foil or fool...