Bob Stefanowski will make Sam Brownback look like a socialist in comparison by eliminating the income tax in Connecticut

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Does Joe Aresimowicz put his constituents in the 30th Connecticut House District first or public employee unions first?

Speaker of Connecticut House of Representatives, Joe Aresimowicz, speaking at the 2014 CEUI Convention:  transcript

Joe Aresimowicz:  He just said A to Z because he didn’t want to try Aresimowicz, and I’m glad he didn’t so.

First and foremost, good afternoon, brothers and sisters. How are we going today, alright? I always start this off, yes I do have a position as House Majority Leader and the State Representative from Berlin and Southington. And I am really proud of that, and I have a great job, and I’m able to help people in my district on a daily basis and also help people statewide.

But more importantly I’m a twenty-three year member and dues-paying member of AFSCME, which leaves me almost ready to retire, including time if I would add this duty which I worked at directly to protect your rights. That’s the most important aspect of my career. I would give up the political side of it in a minute and keep working to protect union members rights on a daily basis in the State of Connecticut. So that’s why I always agree with the brothers and sisters, and we talked about that.

Now I know some of you have seen a video tape of me cruising around on the internet. No, not that kind. The one from the Wisconsin presentation that we did in Middletown. I don’t know how many you know the story so I am going to boil it down a little bit for you here today. But I think we need to talk about it. Because I went to Wisconsin right after Governor Walker was elected. I went out there when the bill was cruising its way through their General Assembly thinking what can I do. On my own time I went out there and started knocking on doors.

I spent a long time in the Capitol. One of the days that I was there it was announced either a quarter of a million to a half a million people circling outside the capitol and also inside the capitol. For me being a life-long union member, and as my cousin can tell you that my father was fired for trying to organize a union. So that’s all I’ve ever known. It was probably one of the most powerful moments in my life, and you know, you get the little bumps on the back of your neck, your hair standing up, we’re chanting, we’re caring signs: I thought we were taking over the capitol.

So I straddled up to this gentleman, he was wearing a red shirt that said Wisconsin educator, so it was either college or school, and he started talking about what we were doing there. And I said, “Brother, this is the greatest moment I have ever been involved in my life. We finally said as union members, enough is enough: we’re not going to take it anymore.” And the guy looked over at me and said where are you from, and I said from Connecticut. I am AFSCME member. Well, AFSCME member from Connecticut, the fight we already lost. We’re not rallying because we’re pissed off. But when we could have avoided it in April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and I was begging all of my members to get actively involved in this campaign, because I told them all what was at risk, I heard every story in the world. I heard that my son’s got a ball game. My aunt’s sick. My grandmother has this. So Mr. AFSCME from Connecticut, thanks a lot coming out but my members gave away their rights, and they did it in the months leading up to the election.

So what I thought was a great moment actually kind of humbled me a little bit. So one of the things that I swore to myself was that I was not I’m going to let it happen here in Connecticut. That at least I would do as many tours of this statem including Middletown, CSEA Locals, AFSCME, CEUI, anybody I could talk to, to ensure that that would never happen in Connecticut.

Now come April May June July August of this year, if I told you with 18 days to go it was a dead heat, that our rights were quite possibly going to be protected for the next four years, at least, I think you would take that bet. I think you would look at yourself in the mirror and say, sure because right now it doesn’t look that way because the Governor’s office is in jeopardy, the Senate was in jeopardy, and even my chamber, the House: we’re looking at possibly losing seats.

You guys have one of your own that sits in the caucus room of the General Assembly. You cannot replicate that. The reason I originally ran for office is Dennis O’Neil begged me to run for office because too many times the door closes on that Caucus. And even the smiles and the claps on your back, “don’t worry, we got your back.” And that door closes and somehow you come out and your back doesn’t feel so comfortable anymore. And maybe they went a little lower in your back. And that’s reality.

So you’ve Russ over there in Wethersfield that is one of your members, that when the negotiations are tough, when you’re on the menu instead of being at the table, he’s there to ensure that he is that back stop. He’s in a tough race. Eighteen days to go, if half of this room goes out and door knocks his district, he wins by a landslide. And talks to the members about the issues that are important to you.

Same thing for the Gubernatorial race. Eighteen days, eighteen days to decide whether you keep your collective bargaining rights because as much as he says he was talking about chambers and agreeing, we know exactly what Tom Foley wants: his Wisconsin moment. And if you really don’t believe it, come with me the rest of the day, I’ll hang out and talk to you, all the little articles I’ve seen, all the things he said, a lie, he really means that.

We want collective bargaining and not collective begging. Eighteen days. Please don’t let me stand up outside the Connecticut capitol and have the same conversation with an individual this time with a Connecticut t-shirt on. I’m talking about how nobody turned up, and how this moment didn’t necessarily have to happen. The last thing we need is a Wisconsin moment in Connecticut. Absolute last thing. I say at all these meetings and groups that I talk to I will never allow an anti-collective bargaining bill to be called to the House floor. I’m the Majority Leader. I can make that guarantee.

If I’m the Minority Leader, not so much. All I can do is I’ll talk as long as I can to avoid them running that bill. So a lot of things are at stake. You know, I know you’ve been hearing it at night and I know at some point we say enough is enough. The numbers of the polls look better, the House will be okay, the Senate is going to be okay, the gubernatorial is a tossup.

I beg of you, I begged, I begged, and I beg again: please don’t allow us to wake up on November 5th, open up your newspaper and realize that because we needed to do what we needed to do in eighteen days, we’re now having to take to the streets. We’re now having to rally at the capitol. There’s a lot at stake. I beg you to get involved in Russ’s campaign, call up your local committees who are working the phones. Get out and get to work. It’s eighteen days to ensure we have benefits for the near future.

You guys have a great evening, proud members, you made this state what it is. Don’t let it go away with one election. Please stand together, stand as brothers and sisters, and be a family and make sure we are looking out for our own. Thank you.

[End of speech by Joe Aresimowicz.]

[We attempted to transcribe this speech as accurately as possible but due to the quality of the audio, please be advised of imperfections.  We apologize for any errors; please advise of any necessary corrections.  Thank you.]

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Lobbyists are buying our government out from under us

Lobbyists! You’ve probably heard of them before — they’re a go-to villain in modern politics. But what, exactly, are lobbyists? And are they really buying our government out from under us?

Well, yes. Yes they are. Here are 5 ways lobbyists are corrupting our government.

Lobbyists! You’ve probably heard of them before — they’re a go-to villain in modern politics. But what, exactly, are lobbyists? And are they really buying our government out from under us?

Well, yes. Yes they are. Here are 5 ways lobbyists are corrupting our government.

1. Lobbyists raise gobs of money for elected officials

The average senator has to pull in more than $14,000 dollars every single day, just to stay in office. One of the easiest ways to raise that kind of cash is to turn to lobbyists, who make big donations and organize swanky fundraisers for elected officials in order to buy influence for their clients.

“You can’t take a congressman to lunch for $25 and buy him a steak. But you can take him to a fundraising lunch and not only buy him that steak, but give him $25,000 extra and call it a fundraiser.” – Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re a big bank. You want to buy influence with a senator on the banking committee so he’ll vote your way on an upcoming bill. The easiest way would be to just give $100,000 directly to the senator’s reelection campaign. But alas, that would be illegal — federal law prohibits companies from making direct donations to candidates. So instead, you hire a lobbying firm.

Here’s where things get corrupt. That lobbying firm can legally organize a  swanky fundraiser that brings in $100,000 for the senator’s reelection campaign. At the fundraiser, your lobbyist just happens to have a friendly chat about your feelings on banking policy with the senator’s staff.

At the end of the day, the senator is still up $100,000, he still knows exactly where the money came from, and he knows  which way to vote if he wants the money to keep flowing. But this time, nobody’s broken any laws!

This strategy works ridiculously well: one recent study found that a company receives $220 in tax savings for every dollar spent lobbying. That’s a 22,000%return on investment. And it works on both sides of the aisle — top lobbying firms raise big money for Republicans and Democrats at the same time.

2. Lobbyists write laws themselves

In many cases, lobbyists write our laws — literally.

For an example, look at the 2014 omnibus budget deal.  Congress used the deal to secretly put taxpayers back on the hook for bank bailouts. That’s right – in 2014, our representatives  repealed a law that prevented the American people from bailing out big banks that engage in risky derivatives trading. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

The New York Times reports that 70 of the 85 lines in the language that killed the derivatives bill came from a piece of model legislation drafted by Citigroup lobbyists. Yes, that Citigroup –  the bank that played a major role in the 2008 crisis and also received billions of federal stimulus dollars.

The same report also revealed that “two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word.” You can even view the original documents and see how Citigroup’s lobbyists redrafted the House bill, striking out ideas they didn’t like and replacing them with ones they did. Citigroup quite literally wrote its own rules.

The members of Congress who originally backed the Citigroup-authored bill received massive amounts of money from Wall Street — likely channeled through, you guessed it, swanky fundraisers.

To be clear, this isn’t just a problem with big banks. The exact same thing happens all the time on nearly every issue. Just last week, we reported on how lobbyists for the chemical industry may have authored entire portions of a bill that shuts down state-based efforts to crack down on toxic chemicals.

3. Lobbyists effectively bribe members of Congress with lucrative job offers… to become lobbyists3

Lobbyists routinely offer members of Congress and their staffers lucrative jobs at their firms or their clients’ companies. These negotiations often take place while our representatives are still in office and, ostensibly, working for us, the American people. With multi-million-dollar future salaries on the line, most members of Congress are more than willing to protect the best interests of the lobbyists who will one day be their employers.

“I would say to [the Member], ‘When you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.’ The moment I said that, we owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do.” – Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff

The phenomenon of members of Congress heading off to work for lobbying firms and their clients is know as “the revolving door.” And it’s become shockingly common: in the 1970s, less than 5% of retiring legislators went on to become lobbyists. Now, half of retiring senators and a third of retiring house members do.

4. Politicians who walk through the revolving door are in for a massive raise4

It’s hard to overemphasize how tempting a revolving door gig can be. Congressmen who go on to become lobbyists get, on average, a 1,452% raise. Small wonder they’re willing to throw a few votes the lobbyists’ way with that kind of money on the line.

5. And that’s just the lobbyists we know aboutDependent

Thanks to loopholes in how federal law defines lobbyists, many elected officials go on to take what are effectively revolving door lobbying jobs without ever having to officially register as lobbyists. These “shadow lobbyists,” like former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), are lobbyists in everything but name, and they’re certainly paid just as well as the real thing. Researchers estimate that there’s actually twice as much lobbying as what’s publicly disclosed — making the business of influencing politicians a $7 billion industry.

So, why don’t we just ban lobbying all together? Well, constitutionally, we can’t — and we shouldn’t have to.

Lobbying isn’t inherently evil. After all, a lobbyist is just a professional person hired to represent their client’s interests to an elected official. All kinds of groups, from major businesses to unions to nonprofits, pay for lobbyists.

The act of lobbying itself — that is, simply advocating a position to an elected official — is not the problem, and it’s actually protected by the First Amendment. Individuals and groups have every right to express their opinions to Congress about how proposed legislation might affect them and to try to convince lawmakers to take their side. The problem is that lobbyists routinely use money, favors, gifts, or lucrative job offers to do the convincing for them.

You can lobby, and you can donate to a politician. But you shouldn’t be allowed to do both.

Luckily, that’s something we can fix with a single law. The unseemly and terrible behavior we’ve covered in this piece may be legal now, but it doesn’t have to be. Reforms to ban lobbyists from coordinating fundraising, close the revolving door, and end “shadow lobbying” have already been proposed at the federal level, and they’re currently picking up momentum in cities and states around the country. As the anti-corruption movement grows, we get closer and closer to ending lobbyist corruption for good.

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Intuit Payroll Sucks

Intuit QuickBooks payroll is a nightmare. Don’t ever use it. The service is TERRIBLE!

If you encounter a problem processing payroll–and rest assured, you will–you will have to call its Manila connection, where you will have to endure a 20 minute wait on the phone before talking to someone who cannot assist you. And even if you reach someone in the states, you are forced to jump through hoops to try to get it resolved, if you are fortunate enough to get it resolved.

I found the service AWFUL! And you cannot file a complaint because the customer service representatives refuse to give their last names, and, besides, you have no one to complain to.

My grade for Intuit QuickBooks payroll? F-

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The SEBAC agreement is the mother of all can-kicks a sweetheart deal protected by contract for a full decade

Sometimes there’s a fine line between kicking the can down the road and gradually phasing in difficult change. Not this year, not in Connecticut. The difference is a chasm. The sweetheart deal that Governor Malloy and his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly cut with state employee unions, the so-called SEBAC agreement, is protected by contract for a full decade —leaving meaningful reforms waaay down the road. The contract is the mother of all can-kicks.

Nevertheless, after the deal was struck, Republicans didn’t give up. They included in their own budget proposal several reforms starting after the expiration of the contract. Lo and behold, the GOP’s budget passed both houses of the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

Why in the world did Democrats in the deep-blue state of Connecticut vote for a GOP budget?  Well, when the SEBAC contract came up for a vote in the Connecticut senate early last August, three fiscally conservative Democrats held out and voted yes only after receiving assurances from senate Democratic leadership that a twelve-point list of fiscal reforms would be instituted.  Then, in the recent budget go-round, the Democrats included only three of the reforms in their budget, while the Republicans incorporated ten of the twelve. So the “threesome” voted for the GOP budget, which passed the senate by 21–15.

Five Democrats in the house of representatives followed suit, and the GOP budget passed the Democrat-controlled house by 78–72. Governor Malloy has vetoed the measure, arguing, amongst other things, that enactment of the reforms constitutes a SEBAC contract violation, even though the reforms take effect only after the expiration of the SEBAC agreement. Malloy & Co. say the budget risks an employee-union lawsuit.

So what happens now? Perhaps more Democrats will defect and the Assembly will override Malloy. If the Assembly Democratic leadership wants to block an override and pass their own budget, they’d better keep the reforms and bring the threesome back into the fold (along with their house colleagues). But wait, that runs the purported risk of a union lawsuit. On the other hand, can they pass a budget without the reforms — can they bully the threesome and the house fivesome into backing down, or buy them off somehow?

Even though the reforms take effect ten years hence, their impact is worth $322 million in
savings today, according to actuarial analysis. Even though they will be realized only in years 11 through 30 of the actuarial time horizon, they impact the schedule of payments over the whole 30-year horizon, resulting in the $322 million reduction in the state’s required contribution to the pension fund over the fiscal 2018–fiscal 2019 biennium.

That’s a huge amount, especially when you consider that the savings have been inflation adjusted at the 3.5 percent inflation rate used by the state actuaries Cavanaugh McDonald. At that rate, one dollar of savings in 2028 is worth only about $0.70 today, and a dollar in the 30th year, 2047, is worth only about $0.35.

Imagine the savings if those reforms were instituted now and realized for all 30 years, with the inflation-adjusted savings over the next ten years worth between $0.70 and one full dollar.  Indeed, it would have been much better if the “threesome” had voted against the SEBAC deal in August. Not only would the savings have been much greater, but that would have avoided the anomaly of achieving savings by reducing funding of an already underfunded pension fund in the face of still mountainous obligations over the next ten years.

What are the key reforms? First, the GOP budget bill eliminates overtime spiking, i.e., calculating pensions based on overtime earned in the years immediately prior to retirement, as opposed to average overtime over a full career. Spiking allows soon-to-retire employees to log extensive overtime hours in order to inflate their pensions. Second, the GOP budget requires state employees to contribute to their own pensions at the nationwide average for public employees, presently about 7 percent of salary/wages (versus 2–4 percent under SEBAC).

Third, it eliminates cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) for post-2027 retirees until the pension fund reaches 80 percent (presently, Connecticut is only about 35 percent funded). Fourth, for employees with salaries near and above the Social Security “tax and benefit base” ceiling ($127,200 annual earnings), it eliminates a pension supplement that “makes up” for “lost” Social Security benefits near and above the ceiling. Finally, the GOP budget mandates that future labor contracts not have a term of more than four years.

These reforms introduce basic fairness. Overtime spiking is a notorious abuse. Two other reforms bring Connecticut employees in line with national averages. The fourth simply applies to the state’s retirement program the same needs-based philosophy that governs the federal Social Security retirement program. Indeed, even after these pension reforms, Connecticut state employees will still have far more generous pension and health-care benefits than most workers in the private sector, where pensions have all but vanished and health-care costs have skyrocketed.

If these reforms are included in the ultimate budget, we’ll see if the employee unions file a lawsuit. It would be a court fight worth having. If they are not included and the “threesome” caves and votes for the budget anyway, well, so much for political courage — indeed, voters may wonder whether “fiscally conservative” means anything at all when describing Democrats. all when describing Democrats.

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Claudia Stauber compares Bernie Sanders to a lover who cheats and leaves you but says he still loves you

Claudia Stauber provides a perfect metaphor of how she felt listening to Bernie Sanders today in Vermont, telling us how much he still fights for us against the 1% and the oligarchs.

“I felt like I used to be with the love of my life. Then he cheats. And not only does he cheat, but he moves in with the woman he cheats with. And then he tells me that he still loves me and he would do anything for me. That’s exactly how I just now felt being at that event where Bernie was talking the same stuff he said during his campaign and talking against the 1% and against the oligarchs while he is with them, while he is with the Democratic Party, which is comprised of oligarchs, while he stood and stands behind Hillary telling us how much he still fights for us.”

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The DNC is a one big capitalistic gangbang of Democrats and corporate donors and lobbyists

Jimmy Dore: Hi everybody. I’m here with Jim Earl, Dave Reinitz and Ron Placone. Hello fellas. Howdy, howdy.

So what are we talking about today. So everybody has made a big deal about the DNC election and that they chose the corporatist and now they want the progressives to unify. No, how about you pick the progressive because you guys just lost.

In fact, impact the establishment Democrats are wiped out coast to coast. And you know that, you’ve heard me say a million times, they lost sixty-nine out of a hundred state houses; they lost the Congress; they lost the Senate; they lost to the most unpopular politician in the history of the world, Donald Trump, who only had a thirty-seven percent approval rating on the day he beat the Democrat.

One of the things that Barack Obama did was he instituted a rule: no corporate lobby money. Debbie Wasserman Schultz repealed it, and the Democrats are like, hey, since we got our ass handed to us by trying to be like just like Republicans by, you know, getting in bed with Wall Street and big business and the military-industrial complex and expanding two wars into seven, you know, we kind of turned into Republicans so maybe we should turn back into Democrats and let’s say we don’t take corporate money at the DNC.

Turns out DNC members voted down corporate money ban. That’s what they did. I think that was probably worse than choosing Tom Perez.

So the donors have a stranglehold on the Democratic Party and they’re not letting go. And they don’t give a shit. Remember the establishment Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than let a progressive win. I’m not making that up.

“Democratic National Committee members on Saturday [this is last Saturday] voted down a resolution that would have reinstated former President Barack Obama’s ban on corporate political action committee donations to the party. Resolution 33, introduced by DNC Vice Chair Christine Pelosi [she introduced it?— look at that ha] would also have forbidden ‘registered, federal corporate lobbyists’ from serving as ‘DNC chair-appointed, at-large members.'”

Sounds easy enough. Hey, if you want to put a pretty face on their “hey, we are really making changes”, that seems like we could go back to what Barack Obama did: that seems pretty easy. They can’t even do that! They can’t even do that. They won’t even go back. They’re wiped out. They just lost to Donny Tiny Hands and they can’t even go back to what Barack Obama did. That’s how corrupted they are. That’s how the gears are working. It’s because they’re completely beholden to their donors. That’s who voted for Tom Perez.

“Obama, as the party’s Presidential nominee in 2008, banned contributions from political action committees, as well as from lobbyists. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz quietly lifted the ban ahead of the 2016 election. Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from Chico, California, was one of the bill’s most vocal opponents and helped lead a successful effort to table the resolution for further review on Friday.”

So here’s a guy Bob Mulholland from Chico, he wants corporate lobbyists, bring the lobbyists, bring those things were supposed to be fighting, bring them in. Bring them inside the tent, make us just like the people were supposed to be opposing, and then be shocked when you lose.

“He argued that the ban would handicap Democrats at a time when they need all the resources they can muster.”

Hey guess what? The Democrats weren’t handicapped last time. And they’re wiped out. So maybe taking that corporate lobbyist money is the handicap. You ever think about that? Because it skews your whole fucking reason for being.

Hillary Clinton outspent Donny Tiny Hands 2 to 1. And she lost! Again this whole idea that the Democrats?—and we talked about it when I interviewed Thomas Frank, “Listen Liberal”?—is that the Democrats their whole reason for doing this corporate money shit, for Bill Clinton getting in bed with Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and Big Pharma, the whole reason Chuck Schumer said screw the workers, the working-class, the white workers, we’re going to pick up Republicans in the suburb, that’s our strategy, the whole reason for doing that is you’re going to win.

The whole reason for getting in bed like the Republicans with big business and Wall Street is because you’re going to win. But you’re not winning. This fucking theory it’s been blown out of the water. Money doesn’t equal win.

The Democrats have been taking corporate money since 1992, and before, and they’re getting their ass handed to them. They lost to Donald Trump. So I can’t believe people still say this stuff. That’s crazy.

But it’s not crazy if you’re a lobbyist or you want to be a lobbyist or you work for a corporation or you want to take the corporation money or someday you want to work there or you want to work in the thinktank that takes the corporate money that wants to influence the DNC. It’s a one big capitalistic gangbang and they’re all taking part and that’s what this is about.

“Just a reminder that Republicans control all three branches of government right now?—all three branches.” That’s the guy who wants to keep taking corporate money. That’s his thing. But I just want to remind you, I just want to remind you that you’re able to take corporate money and you fucking lost. Okay? How stupid.

“‘We do not have a president the White House,’ Mulholland said. ‘I am not a member of Mother Theresa’s sisters organization; I am a member of the Democratic Party.'”
And you’re completely bought and sold by corporations, you dummy. And I can’t I can’t imagine why … oh.

Panel: I was at one of those corporate gangbangs once and everybody just wanted to fuck me up the ass.

Jimmy Dore: I’m glad we took time out for that joke.

Panel: Why is he dragging Mother Teresa into this? Yeah I was wondering with that analogy, too. Where is he going with that?

Jimmy Dore: He is trying to say like, you guys are too pure. That’s what that is. I don’t belong to a purity organization. I’m a politician trying to win. You lost! Your way of doing things lost.

Panel: He really should have thought that through. I’m not part of a group that tries to help people. I’m a Democrat. Oh, that’s branding: needs some work there.

Jimmy Dore: Well put, Ron. I’m not a purity organization that helps people. I’m a Democrat.

Panel: His words, his words.

Jimmy Dore: “New York DNC Member Stuart Appelbaum, a co-sponsor of the resolution, insisted that it was crucial for voters to believe the DNC is accountable to them, not corporate interests.”

It is crucial; they don’t think that.

“‘This resolution provides us an important opportunity to send a message to the people of this country as to our values,’ said Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. ‘It is not something new: we operated this way for seven years!’ Appelbaum added. referring to the Obama-era ban.” It’s not.

“Resolution 33 appears to be narrower than the ban on contributions from lobbyists and PACs imposed by Obama, explicitly banning donations only corporate PACs.”

So this rule that they’re proposing isn’t even as broad as the one Barack Obama had implemented. It’s narrower than that and they still voted it down! Mmmm. Because we’d rather lose to a Republican than win with the progressive. We would rather lose to a Republican than stop taking our Wall Street money. We’d rather lose to a Republican than stop taking the big Pharma money.

That’s what this is. This isn’t about winning. It’s about keeping the corporate cash flow going. It isn’t about winning because you’re losing doing that. And they know they’re losing and they’re ok with that. They’re more okay with losing than they are with winning to a progressive.

“Ellison told Huffington Post in January that he would reinstate Obama’s ban on lobbyist donations. He subsequently walked back the promise, vowing only to make sure the measure was second and debated by the DNC’s executive committee.”

That’s what he said. We played that video out. He said we’re going to have a vote. We’re Democrats. I’m not going to make a decision. We’re going to vote about it.

So if we vote to be sellouts and be corrupted by corporate money, I’m going to go along with it. And he is.

That’s how bad the Democrats are. their big progressive, Keith Ellison, corporatist. Aaah, whatever, I’ll go along. Does that bother anybody else?

Panel: Yeah, the whole thing is super upsetting. It’s just ridiculous. It’s just like you keep saying, I mean, they aren’t Democrats. They are just Republicans with a different name.

Jimmy Dore: I agree.

Panel: But it’s so nice watching them all be besties. C’mon, that unity for all of us to learn from. I feel good.

Jimmy Dore: I do. I love it when Tom Perez and Keith Ellison go and do interviews together.

Panel: They need to get bracelets.

Jimmy Dore: “His chief opponent, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, declined to say whether he supports the idea of such a ban.”

So there you go. You wonder what’s wrong with the Democrats?

Panel: He won’t even take a stand.

Jimmy Dore: He won’t even take a stand.

Panel: One way or the other. Just make a decision. That’s your job. Your job is to make a decision.

Jimmy Dore: Why do you think he won’t make a stand because his stand is obviously the wrong thing.

Panel: There is no transparency. That’s his answer.

Jimmy Dore: Yeah, that’s their answer, transparency. We’re going to do another story on that, about how they think they’re going to fix everything with transparency.

So this is still more of the problem. Hey Democrats, what did you learn? We learned that we need to keep taking corporate money and be just like the establishment that thing that everyone hates. That’s what we learned.

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The hit job on Keith Ellison by the Corporate Democratic National Committee

John F. O’Donnell: You know the Democratic Party is back, baby, back from the dead. They’re like Neo from the Matrix or Spock from Star Trek Three after Captain Kirk goes, “Khan”. They redeemed themselves by electing the progressive Berniecrat, Keith Ellison, as the head of the Democratic National Committee.

Donna Brazile: It is my honor now to present the gavel of the next chair of the Democratic National Committee to Mr. Tom Perez. Mr. Perez, congratulations.

John F. O’Donnell: Tom Perez? But he was the labor secretary under Obama. He was pro TPP and all in for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. He’s not a progressive. There must be some sort of mistake here.

Zaid Jilani of the Intercept: Keith Ellison started out very strong in this race. He received endorsements not only from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren but also from Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, from a wide variety of labor unions. I mean, in a way, he really was the unity candidate in that he had brought together Sanders backers and Clinton backers.

John F. O’Donnell: Sounds good. Democratic Party clicking on all cylinders. So what happened?

Glenn Greenwald: …As Ellison’s momentum built, the Obama White House worked to recruit Perez to run against Ellison. They succeeded…Why did the White House work to recruit someone to sink Ellison? … What’s the rationale? None has ever been provided.

John F. O’Donnell: None has ever been provided. Touche quote reveal, I’ll see your lack of an explanation and raise you this:

Clio Change of the New Republic: There is one real difference between the two: Ellison has captured the support of the left wing … It appears that the underlying reason some Democrats prefer Perez over Ellison has nothing to do with ideology, but rather his loyalty to the Obama wing. As the head of the DNC, Perez would allow that wing to retain more control….

John F. O’Donnell: So you’re telling me the establishment Democrats that I’m trying real hard to get behind here sold out the progressives again? They’re the worst! They’re like Hans Gruber from Die Hard or Nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Glenn Greenwald: There’s an uglier and tawdrier aspect to this. Just over two weeks after Ellison announced, the largest single funder of both the Democratic Party and the Clinton machine–the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban–launched an incredibly toxic attack on Ellison, designed to signal his veto. ‘He is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” pronounced Saban about the African-American Muslim congressman.’
John F. O’Donnell: Seriously? They pulled the anti-Semite card? What are they trying to say, he’s like that character from Inglorious Bastards, what was his name? Oh, Hitler! Yes, Ellison is the first Muslim American ever elected to the US Congress, which should be embraced. And by all accounts he’s moderate on Israel-Palestine. This is a total hit job. I’m starting to hate the corporate Democrats again!

Clio Change: This reluctance to cede control comes despite the fact that Democrats have lost over 1,000 state legislature seats since 2009. There is no case for Perez that cannot be made for Ellison, while Ellison is able to energize progressives in ways that Perez cannot.

John F. O’Donnell: Why corporate Democrats? Stop denying power to the progressive left. You know it’s a losing move. Your party has imploded and all you care about are your corporate donors at the expense of even winning elections let alone the well-being of the American people.

You’re like the Bad News Bears. Wait, scratch that. You’re like the remake of the Bad News Bears. No one is even buying tickets to your show. They all went home.

Your concern for the working people of this country has all been a con.

Reporting from Washington, John F. O’Donnell, Redacted Tonight.

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Bernie Sanders is not the revolutionary leader for whom progressives have been waiting

Bernie Sanders: Controlled Opposition (self.conspiracy)

submitted by birthdaysuit11 donations

Bernie is funded by a man who goes by the name of George Soros. No conspiracy here its just hypocritical to take donations from a man who is part of the tip top 1%. And now it has come to our knowledge that he will vote for Hilary Clinton, someone he supposedly fundamentally disagrees with.

NDAA: Bernie Sanders: YES, Appropriates $80.71 billion for overseas contingency operations for fiscal year 2014 (Secs. 4102, 4202, 4302, 4402 & 4502). As well as removing due process giving the government total control over who gets due process & who doesn’t. It permits the military to detain individuals indefinitely without trial. Bernie sanders voted yes on this, not to mention the increase in defense spending?Source:

Cyber Security Act: Bernie Sanders: YES, this bill is very simple to understand, tt literally destroys net neutrality. Generally speaking, net neutrality means that an Internet service provider such as cable or phone company treats all content equally. For example, it doesn’t offer faster transmissions for Netflix videos than it does for those from Amazon Prime. Bernie sanders voted yes to passing this bill…. Had that been passed internet would have been utterly destroyed as we know it.Source:

Amdt 2372: Bernie Sanders:NO, This bill is simple to understand why it is needed. It Prohibits the EPA from spying on farmers. And it adds better regulation to school meal programs & provides better healthier food for the kids. It also provides better regulation on what chemicals are put in our food. Bernie sanders voted no on this decent bill. Source:

USA FREEDOM Act: Bernie Sanders: YES, this bill is also very simple to understand, it extends the patriot act (implemented by bush), The patriot act is a bill that expands federal law enforcement power. It erodes our freedoms by, allowing the government to watch & monitor our phone calls, emails, texts, etc. Basically eliminating the right to privacy in your own home. The fact this bill extends the patriot act is horrible & Bernie Sanders voted for it. Source:

Amdt 139: Bernie Sanders: NO, this bill again is simple to understand. This bill prevents the UNITED NATIONS from taking away our fire arms. It basically strips the UNITED NATIONS of any law enforcement in America period. Source:

Amdt 1491: Bernie Sanders: NO, again this bill is very simple to understand as well. It extends the STOCK Act to ensure that the reporting requirements set forth in the STOCK Act apply to the executive branch and independent agencies. It prevents companies from evading taxes. Source:

In 1993, Bernie Sanders voted YEA on HR 2446 – Military Construction Fiscal Year 1994 Appropriations Bill, which provided $3.63 billion for military construction.

That same year, he also voted in favor of S J Res 45 – Authorization for Use of US Armed Forces in Somalia, which authorized President Bill Clinton to use US troops in Somalia for the purpose of providing logistical support to the United Nations peacekeeping force.

In 1994, Bernie voted in favor of HR 4453 – Military Construction FY95 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.52 billion for military construction.

The following year, Bernie voted in favor of HR 3107 – Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which “imposes sanctions on persons exporting certain goods or technology that would enhance Iran’s ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources, and for other purposes.

In 1997, Bernie voted for HR 2159 – Foreign Operations FY98 Appropriations bill, which included: $3 billion for Israel, including $1.8 billion in military assistance and $1.2 billion in economic assistance; $2.12 billion for Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance and $815 million in economic assistance; $770 million for former Soviet Republics; and $215 million for international narcotics control and law enforcement. (He also changed his mind on this now he speaks about drugs not being illegal)

He also voted for HR 4059 – Military Construction FY99 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.82 billion for general military construction.

In 1998, Bernie’s name was included as a YEA vote on HR 4655, the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, which expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the aim of the United States to remove Saddam Hussein from power. President George W. Bush later used the Iraqi Liberation Act to provide justification for military action for the 2003 invasion.

In 1999, Bernie voted for HR 2465, which provided $4 billion for military construction, and he voted for HR 3196, which provided: $2.16 billion for military and economic assistance to Israel; $760 million for military and economic assistance to Egypt; $535 million for Eastern European and the Baltic States, including $150 million for assistance to Kosovo; $300 million for military and economic assistance to Jordan; and $285 million for international narcotics control.Voted NO on restricting UN funding for population control policies.

(Mar 2009)Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)Voted YES on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package.

(Feb 2009) Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy.

(Sep 2008) Voted NO on protecting middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.

(Apr 2009) Voted NO on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years.

(Mar 2001) Voted YES on Congressional pay raise.

(Jul 2009) Voted NO on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections.

(Sep 2006)Bernie voted in favor of HR 3107 – Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which “imposes sanctions on persons exporting certain goods or technology that would enhance Iran’s ability to explore for, extract, refine, or transport by pipeline petroleum resources, and for other purposes.

In 1997, Bernie voted for HR 2159 – Foreign Operations FY98 Appropriations bill, which included: $3 billion for Israel, including $1.8 billion in military assistance and $1.2 billion in economic assistance; $2.12 billion for Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance and $815 million in economic assistance; $770 million for former Soviet Republics; and $215 million for international narcotics control and law enforcement.

He also voted for HR 4059 – Military Construction FY99 Appropriations bill, which provided $2.82 billion for general military construction.

In 1998, Bernie’s name was included as a YEA vote on HR 4655, the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, which expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the aim of the United States to remove Saddam Hussein from power.President George W. Bush later used the Iraqi Liberation Act to provide justification for military action for the 2003 invasion.

In 1999, Bernie voted for HR 2465, which provided $4 billion for military construction, and he voted for HR 3196, which provided: $2.16 billion for military and economic assistance to Israel; $760 million for military and economic assistance to Egypt; $535 million for Eastern European and the Baltic States, including $150 million for assistance to Kosovo; $300 million for military and economic assistance to Jordan; and $285 million for international narcotics control.Writes Ron Jacobs of Counter Punch, 3/31/2003:”For those of us with a memory longer than the average US news reporter, we can remember Bernie’s staunch support for Clinton’s 100-day bombing of Yugoslavia and Kosovo in 1999. I served as a support person for a dozen or so Vermonters who sat-in in his Burlington office a couple weeks into that war. Not only did Sanders refuse to talk with us via telephone (unlike his Vermont counterparts in the Senate-Leahy and Jeffords), he had his staff call the local police to arrest those who refused to leave until Sanders spoke with them. The following week Sanders held a town hall meeting in Montpelier, VT., where he surrounded himself with sympathetic war supporters and one university professor who opposed the war and Bernie’s support for it. During the question and answer part of the meeting, Sanders yelled at two of the audience’s most vocal opponents to his position and told them to leave if they didn’t like what he had to say.

In 2001, Bernie supported HR 1954, which extended the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Bernie voted in favor of H J Res 64 – Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allowed President Bush to use the United States Armed Forces against anyone involved with 9/11 and any nation that harbors these individuals.

In 2002, Bernie voted against H J Res 114, which authorized President Bush to use military force against Iraq. However, he would continue to support bloated military defense bills that would ultimately be used to sustain the war he allegedly disagreed with.

In 2003, Bernie supported HR 5010, which provided $355.1 billion in appropriations for the Defense Department for fiscal year 2003 – an increase of $37.5 billion from 2002 – as well as: $71.6 billion for procurement of aircraft, missiles, weapons, combat vehicles and shipbuilding; $7.4 billion for ballistic missile defense; and $58.4 million for foreign aid, which includes humanitarian assistance, foreign disaster relief and de-mining programs.

He also voted in favor of HR 2800 – Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY 2004 bill, which granted $1.8 billion in military and economic assistance to Egypt and $2.2 billion for Israeli military assistance.

In 2004, Bernie supported HR 4613, which allocated $25 billion for emergency defense spending for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $77.4 billion for the procurement of new weapons.

In 2005, Sanders supported HR 2863 – Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations Bill, which provided $50 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2006, Bernie voted for HR 5631, which provided $70 billion for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2007, he supported HR 1585 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which granted $187.14 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan operations.

In 2009, he voted in favor of HR 2647, which authorized $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe, and also allowed the Secretary of Defense to increase the active-duty number for the US Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops. During the same year, he called closing the torturous gulag at Guantanamo a “complicated issue” and ultimately rejected a proposal to shut it down.

In 2011, Bernie co-sponsored S. Res. 85, which urged the UN Security Council to take action to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.

In 2014, Bernie came out in favor of levying economic sanctions (an act of war) against Russia: “The entire world has got to stand up to Putin,” he said. “We’ve got to deal with sanctions.”That same year, Bernie didn’t object to having his name included – by unanimous consent – in S.498, which backed Israel’s brutal, summer-long military assault against Gaza.Most recently, he vowed to continue Obama’s murderous international drone war.

Bernie also supports funneling weapons into Iraq to fight ISIS as well as airstrikes, and he continues to spread the myth that Iran seeks to build nuclear weapons.

All of this information is publicly available and verifiable with a Google search. But hes for the people right? Bernie Sanders has a terrible voting record that tramples on the constitution and wastes billions of dollars. Sanders is proof that if you speak with a gravely, authoritative voice and tell people what they want to hear, you can gain national attention. Only once every several decades does someone come along who is so cunning, manipulative and masterful at combining nationalism, authoritarianism, propaganda and hatred into one slick campaign. Not sure what is more amazing, how brilliantly he is executing this strategy while working to appear folky or how many people are falling for it. It’s really stunning. Please Bernie is not the savior you are looking for. Read some books about high level manipulation techniques and carefully analyze the lack of substance in what he says.

Written by user rk3yb0arD – And no, just because I dislike Bernie and Hilary does not mean I support Trump in the slightest. Thank you very much.


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Our intelligence agencies have issued disclaimers stating that their reports of Russian hacking of the election lack any proof of facts

Jimmy Dore: The intelligence agencies have been releasing the reports to convince us that we should be upset at Russia because they hacked our election. First of all, who gives a shit if they did? The United States tapped Angela Merkel’s phone, and she’s our ally. We do this shit all the time. Okay? And don’t think we’re not hacking Russia all the time also so it doesn’t bother me at all.

This is what James Clapper revealed. This is what intelligence agencies do, so ok? And what people are really upset about is that, oh my God, Russia got access to John Podesta’s emails and then they ran around spreading the truth.

So they put out this big report . This is the first one they put up. It’s the joint analysis report from the NCCIC and the FBI.

Now the first thing I want you to notice is that there’s a disclaimer that comes with their intelligence report. There’s a disclaimer. You want to know what that disclaimer says? That disclaimer says, “Disclaimer: This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

Stef Zamorano: I don’t know. I think I want some warranties when it comes from Homeland Security.

Dore: So what the old intelligence agencies are saying, hey even this shit were saying, even I’m not not even standing by it. We’re not even standing by it. They’re not even standing by it. And every stupid jagoff journalist and democratic hack in the country is screaming about this.

And then they released another one just on January 6th called the “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.” The intelligence community assessment. Background to assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent US elections: the analytic process and cyber incident attribution. So that’s the one that came out on the sixth.

So let’s look into there. “Indeed, the report, like the Grizzly steppe effort, includes an unusual disclaimer disclaimer: This new one also came with the disclaimer that they put in the appendix. And the disclaimer they put in the appendix was. “Estimated Language” that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.”

Just quit reading right there. This is the lip. So I went to a CIA guy who writes for the American Conservative, Philip Giraldi, and he was an ex-CIA guy so do I believe him? You say I’m supposed to believe the CIA now right? Well he’s a CIA guy. I’m supposed to believe him, right? Well here’s what he says: “No smoking gun on Russia hack. Language used the intelligence community’s latest report.” Suggests. Yes it does suggest.

“So the latest attempt to nail perfidious Moscow is, to my mind, yet another miss-mash of soft facts combined with plenty of opinion and maybe even a bit of good old Cold War-style politics.” That’s quite a stew.

“A lot of sometimes wild speculation and judgments based on fragmentary information taken together are not a good basis for determining foreign policy.” It’s what got us into the Iraq war, killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, setting the Middle East on fire. It’s what got us into Libya. Got us into first Gulf War. Got us in Vietnam. Bullshit.

“A lot of sometimes wild speculation and judgments based on fragmentary information taken together are not a good basis for determining foreign policy, particularly if one is dealing with a powerful foreign state that is heavily armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile delivery systems.”

So those reports that everyone’s screaming about how great they were, they are bullshit. They come with disclaimers that the people putting them out are saying, hey, we are not vouching for this. We’re not going to vouch for our own report, okay? Just so you know.

But I’m going to give it to all the knuckleheads at CNN and MSNBC and they’re going to go with it. They’re not. And the New York Times, and John Harwood, and Kurt Eichenfuck: all the morons.

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