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Trump & The Mob

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

"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."

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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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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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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: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • 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...   


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

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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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, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"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  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

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

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"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 

  

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Saturday
Jul282007

MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING

    The flap between Hillary and Barack over foreign policy - or whether there should be preconditions in place before one talks with adversaries is NOT as the news media types are spinning it just another campaign "dust up" between two candidates.  It's a major fault line that has existed in the Democratic Party since the emergence of the "Cold War."
126524-200990-thumbnail.jpg
Rumsfeld & Saddam in the good old days of the Reagan era
    In order to appear not "soft" on the commies (the Soviet Union and Red China) - the Democratic Party felt it had to tow the line of being virile when it came to the Red Scare in the '50s and beyond otherwise the GOP hack jobs would accuse them of being fellow travelers and/or "commie lovers" or worse.
    So Hillary's visceral response as to whom she would or would not talk is a throw back to the yesterdays of the Cold War.  Barack's response is more in line with our recognition that the world is not divided between those wearing "black hats" or "white hats" contrary to the old thinking of the '50s. 
    The irony of course is that what tin horn dictators we talk with is premised on an ideological litmus test.  We have always been willing to talk with, give arms to and look the other way at "Right" wing crypto-fascists from Spain's Franco, Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek, Korea's Singman Rhee, The Phillippines Ferdinan Marcos and a host of such figures in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  As long as they were anti-commie - OK with us.
    Of course, the logic of this line of thinking escapes historical fact since in WW II one of our drinking buddies was the huber dictator of all - Uncle Joe Stalin, our ally against Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo.  Politics, especially international politics, makes for some very strange bed-fellows!
    But in election year politics logic never wins, only spin does.  And that's what Hillary is engaged in - obscuring historical fact with rhetoric!  For example, in the current era we have no problem talking with no preconditions to authoritarian regimes of the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the smaller Arab states whose record on human and women's right is atrocious.
    Pakistan, our ally in the fight against terrorism, is another good example of the hypocrisy of American foreign policy.  As long as that nation's military dictator does our bidding in the region even if he looks the other way by allowing Osama and the Taliban to have a sanctuary along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border!  He's our regional "boy toy" with nukes... 
    Hell, even Condi has spoken with the Syrians, we're finally talking with the Iranians and she visited the thugs who rule the Sudan.  So the litmus test of which dictators we're willing to engage comes down to Harry Truman's old line in response to why he was willing to work with a dictator like Trujillo in the Dominican Republic - "he's our SOB" not theirs - the Soviets.   
    But Castro, Chavez et al are "out" because ideologically they are on the "Left" and avowedly anti-American (i.e. anti-capitalist).  So the reality of American foreign policy over many decades is the economic bottom line - capitalism vs.. socialism.  That explains why Reagan was willing to sell arms to the Iranians to fund the Contras in Nicaragua in the mid '80s.   
    Apparently Hillary wants to return to those days of old when Saddam was our ally because he was fighting Iran.  Or Osama was our boy because he was fighting the Soviets. Now, Queen Hillary please explain to me why we are speaking to the North Koreans.  Oh, by the way - the commies still run Red China, right?  Are we speaking to them?
    Now expect Hillary to use the tough on the "evil ones" card when she campaigns in south Florida with all those ex-pat Cubans!  You think Slick Willie is the only pander bear in the Clinton household?  Hey, not speaking to Castro has done wonders for immigration to Florida.  Pass the salsa bro! 
    So it's all clear to me:  campaign '08 is a throw back to '68 when LBJ and HHH were aligned with the "Cold Warriors" staying resolute on Vietnam, while Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy were saying the "emperor has no clothes."  So whose side are you on today - the old thinking or the new thinking?   
    That may be the ultimate test in '08.  Score 1 for Barack, 0 for Hillary!   

Friday
Jul272007

HILLARY MORPHING INTO DUBYA SPEAK?

    Excerpts from Washington Post article by Anne E. Kornblut & Dan Balz, For Clinton and Obama, A Debate Point Won't Die, WP Online, July 27, 2007; Page A08
    WP:  A debate moment that might have quickly come and gone has erupted into the sharpest battle of the Democratic nominating contest, with Sen. Barack Obama yesterday comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's position on meeting with the leaders of hostile states to the adamant refusal of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
    "You'll have to ask Senator Clinton what differentiates her position from theirs," Obama challenged reporters on a conference call, stoking a fire ignited four days earlier when both were asked how they would approach countries such as North Korea and Iran if elected president.
    Clinton waited a few hours, then shot back. "Whatever happened to the politics of hope?" she said in an interview with CNN, sarcastically referring to the Obama campaign theme.
    By last night, senior aides to Clinton, who represents New York, and Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, were quarreling on television, their raised voices a measure of how competitive the 2008 presidential campaign has become with more than six months until the first votes are cast.
    The tussle could be a turning point in the Democratic race, which has seen little direct engagement between the top two candidates until now, and highlights how the competition between them has been framed: Clinton's experience vs. Obama's freshness.
    For Obama, it also marked a plunge into charge-countercharge politics after a promise to run "a different kind of campaign."
    The fight began during the most recent Democratic debate, held Monday in Charleston, S.C. Asked whether they would agree to meet leaders from hostile countries in their first year in office, without preconditions, Obama said he would. Clinton said she would not.
    Clinton advisers quickly cast Obama's answer as a rookie mistake, and in an interview with the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, Clinton referred to Obama as "irresponsible and, frankly, naive."
    But Clinton's direct criticism of Obama gave him an opening to shift the focus to their differences on Iraq. He called the newspaper and said what was "irresponsible and naive" was Clinton's 2002 vote for the resolution authorizing the Iraq war, a pointed reminder that he opposed the war from the start.
    Clinton advisers believed the episode would end there. They thought they had scored at least a tactical victory that demonstrated not only Clinton's foreign policy experience but also the campaign's effectiveness at leaping on what was viewed as an opponent's mistake.
    Instead, the issue continued to spiral, thanks in large part to Obama's decision to keep it going. Yesterday morning, during a conference call in which he received the endorsement of Rep. Paul W. Hodes (D-N.H.), Obama pressed the argument that his approach to dealing with hostile governments represents real change.
    "Nobody expects that you would suddenly just sit down with them for coffee without having done the appropriate groundwork," he said. "But the question was: Would you meet them without preconditions? And part of the Bush doctrine has been to say no."
    "This is getting kind of silly," Clinton told CNN. "You know, I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I've never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney, certainly."
    Clinton advisers believe the exchange reinforced her greatest strength -- experience -- and drew a sharp contrast with Obama. Obama advisers see the argument as a metaphor for the larger rationale for his campaign.
    "What Senator Obama represents is a fundamental change from current thinking in Washington," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. "The distinction with Senator Clinton at the debate and this past week is an important part of the choice voters face."
    RADThis exchange between Hillary and Barack is not merely election year jousting - it speaks to a fundamental difference in their perceptions of the world we live in.  It also speaks to how different they would govern as president.  Both are important issues.
    Hillary Clinton, being the Senator from New York and a candidate for president who happens to be a woman - must continually demonstrate her "masculine" side - if she is to be taken seriously by the "good old boys club" that rules the US foreign policy establishment.
    Barack Obama, by contrast, doesn't need to pander to the Israel Lobby and/or "old boy" vote.   Unlike Hillary he is not stuck in a type of old "Cold War" thinking.  While Hillary claims to be the "realist" in this debate, Barack is advocating what former Senator Gary Hart terms "new thinking."
    The failure of the Bush policy from global warming and the Kyoto Treaty to Iraq and Afghanistan and onto the Israel/Palestine debacle is premised on a refusal to use the diplomatic card in an open ended, no preconditions format.  Hillary's position is an echo of Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk and now Dick Cheney et al.
    When one erects ideological preconditions to diplomacy (what Kissinger called "linkage") - deciding who one will and will not talk with - you've in effect put yourself in a corner where the use of military power - either covert or overt is the only and/or main option.  In that sense, Barack is quite right about Hillary and we all should be worried lest she become president!
    So if Hillary's "experience" is her trump card then let's examine her track record.  She voted FOR the war in Iraq and has YET to apologize for it; she totally botched up health care reform in '92 and in the process never would allow single payer to be put on the table; and she seems inclined to support a permanent US presence in Iraq. So her "experience" amounts to a stance of being "resolute" - i.e. stubborn!
    Well we've seen 6 plus years of the price of being "tough on the terrorists" and "resolute" in the face of mounting evidence of failure, incompetence, venality and sheer stupidity.  The geo-political "realists" from Acheson to Kissinger brought us Vietnam and their successors Iraq.  Maybe it's time to try naive or the politics of hope!  
    Amen, Barack! 
 

Friday
Jul272007

BE GONE, ALBERTO

    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales clearly has perjured himself before congressional committees.  He should be cited for contempt of congress and a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate him and if the president refuses to appoint one - then articles of impeachment should be drawn up against Bush for obstruction of justice.  And once that door is open, the flood-gates will wash down on this administration and the GOP.  In the meantime, here are some phrases of Shakespeare which apply to Gonzales (and not coincidentally to Dubya as well): 

  • "not so much brain as ear-wax" 
  • "highly fed and lowly taught"
  • "Foot-licker" 

 

Thursday
Jul262007

THE SALEM SCRAMBLE

    To steal a metaphor from golf - the upcoming February '08 session may be a bit more complex than the experts suggest.  It may be as chaotic as a golf tournament organized as a scramble where foursomes begin hitting off all 18 tees.  It works in golf, RAD isn't sure it will work as smoothly in Salem as some think.  There are so many political variables in the mix one wonders how it will turn out.  With many incumbents deciding to run for other offices and others deciding to retire - who knows what really will happen? 
    Conventional wisdom from the smart folks at CFM suggest that "Oregon's experiment with annual sessions is ready to move into its next phase - managing the interim between the adjournment of the 2007 regular session and the special legislative session set for February 2008.  The month-long February special session initially was viewed as an opportunity to prune the state's biennial budget. Now legislative leaders see the session in broader strokes as a controlled mini-session to handle unfinished business from the 2007 session."
    If the session is a "controlled mini-session" where the unfinished business for the 2007 session is the focus then things should run very smoothly.  But with the likelihood that Speaker Merkley will use his position as a showcase for a US Senate campaign against incumbent Gordon Smith, don't expect the GOP members of the legislature to roll over the play dead to Merkley's ambitions.  And Merkley isn't alone in political preening by members of the majority Ds.  The list grows by the day - Majority Leader Kate Brown, Senator Ben Westlund, Senator Vicky Walker et al.
    And depending how the November '07 ballot referrals on Kids Health Care and Measure 37 fare - who knows what the political climate in February will be.  One can hope the the legislature will do the right thing and keep the agenda short.  But when an election campaign is on the eve in May and then the big one in November, don't expect adult behavior.  It could very well end up more like a political food fight especially if the GOP members continue to take the "no new taxes" pledge as their segue into the '08 campaign season! 
 

Thursday
Jul262007

LINES OF THE DAY

    EDITOR'S NOTE:  In the upcoming presidential campaign when the subject of health care in the USA comes up consider these facts:         
    An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world. 
    American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway. 
    Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births.
    "The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries,"
    RAD:  The quality of health care received in the USA is tied to one's economic (class) status. The moral dilemma is not merely that 46 million Americans have NO health insurance, but that their children are even MORE at risk as the data above suggest.  You might say that some adults make bad choices that puts them into a health care fix.  But children do not chose their parents - they are born into their family.  So how we treat children is OUR choice, not theirs.  Ask your state legislators and US congresspeople what they plan to do about this shameful class and race based health care discrimination!  
    Souce: CNN online, May 10, 2006