What’s the Difference Between a Liberal and a Progressive?

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 wrote in 2011,  “The general unwillingness of Democrats to consistently push for more sharp-edged progressive solutions is a big problem right now.

Many of today’s Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns) – institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America’s middle-class.

Paying off corporations to do what they already should be doing sets a dangerous precedent – it sends a message to Big Business that they can leverage their irresponsible behavior into government handouts.

The “free market” conservatives have so dominated the political debate over the last two decades that our side seems only comfortable proposing to pay off different economic players, instead of forcing those players to behave themselves.

It’s time for that to change. The government has a job to play in protecting Americans from being ripped off, and that doesn’t mean just handing the economic bullies a bribe. It means pushing back – hard.

David Sirota-Huffingtonpost Blog

It’s past time. We need our leaders pushing back.  I agree- pushing back hard.

Political Scrutiny 101

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An Imperfect Melding ‪‪#‎UnregulatedCorporations‬

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How did the anti-government, conservative wing of the Republican party get so cozy with corporate America? That is the question David Niose tackles in chapter 4 of his book, FIGHTING BACK THE RIGHT-Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason. Chapter Four is titled, “Boomer Bust”. In it Niose describes the melding of the religious right with conservative politics. Once that was complete, Niose believes, some politicians began to feel and to act on asserting their religion into their politics, missing opportunities to speak to the idea of mixing religion and politics.

Where do the Boomer’s fit in to the picture? Born between 1946 and 1964, this important demographic helped shape American culture and politics. I am a baby boomer. I had a great childhood with parents who gave me material comforts that they themselves had missed. Other boomers may have rebelled a bit as they grew up questioning societal values and norms, but, I was more traditional and chose the values of my parents. Most of the boomers ended up conforming to the system as well. As we aged most boomers drifted away from Liberalism. Hence the opening for the religious right to gain momentum in politics.

It seems that unregulated corporatism would be antithetical to the religious right. Corporations are inherently materialistic and survive on a consumer-based economy. They must be regulated by government. Religions teach that spiritual goods are more important than material goods. Yet, somehow the two, unregulated corporations and religion, became, as Niose puts it, “powerful bedfellows.” Here’s what Niose says about the melding, “Fortunately for corporate interests, fundamentalist Christians by and large have little trouble reconciling their theology with a modern, materialistic lifestyle.” Think Joel Olsteen, who preaches that “God wants you to prosper and have plenty of money.”

I plan future posts on unregulated corporations as I truly believe this is an inherently evil force in our society that we must confront and combat.

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary
http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/

Corporations are people says Mitt Romney. #UniteBlue #Corporations @bannerite

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Corporations are people says Mitt Romney. Well, if they are, then, they have no souls! I’ve been reading David Niose’ new book, FIGHTING BACK THE RIGHT-Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason. In chapter three, he tells about the early use of corporations to pool individual money for a project while limiting individual liability. In the early days of America, corporations were formed to build things. Now, they’ve morphed into profit making entities that have no souls.

Niose tells how Milton Friedman, whom he calls an icon of American libertarianism, “pointed out that officers who direct corporate assets toward charity are breaching their fiduciary duty unless they can show that doing so somehow adds to the corporate bottom line.” Here’s a link: http://www.umich.edu/~thecore/doc/Friedman.pdf

Increasing profits is the one and only goal of corporations. All their decisions are based on that one guiding principal. They don’t consider what is good for the consumer unless the corporation is somehow benefited in the long term. Think tobacco companies or automobile recalls.

Now, we have gigantic corporations which are owned by other corporations. The problem being that real human ownership is now very far removed from the typical corporate “person”. Niose tells of General Electric as a prime example. According to him, the largest institutional investors hold over 400 million shares each. He says even the 20th largest institutional investor holds over 70 million shares. There isn’t a single human shareholder that comes close to that number.

Niose does not suggest that the corporate model be thrown out. But, he emphatically asserts that dismantling of government regulations is not an answer.

The reality is that we need institutions and corporations. Regulating their activities, however, Niose asserts, is NOT socialism. We need rational, independent thinking that questions authority. We progressives are free thinkers and we can deliver, he says, but we have been suppressed for over three decades. Stay tuned for more in next post.

Thanks to https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueStreetJournal for the photo meme.

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary
http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” ‪#‎UniteBlue‬

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“The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless “reforms” that changed little. Dostoevski once said: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

– Howard Zinn, in “A People’s History of the United States”

Via Today in History – with Frank Amari

2016 Legislative Races Preview: Part 1

The Florida Squeeze

Tallahassee_Old_and_New_Capitols_3With the 2014 election behind us and brutal legislative session around the corner, Democrats across Florida are looking toward 2016 with tentative hope, as down-ballot Democratic candidates generally do better in a presidential year and there is a desperate need for change on the horizon.  With a Senate and a Presidential race on the line, more than ever Democrats have do some serious introspection.

While it will not be the lashing that was 2014, there are a few important elements that need to be tackled. Ideologically, there are a lot of different pieces floating around that will make 2016 very hard to predict: infighting in the Republican party, the struggle of the Florida Democratic party to find a vision, the power struggles for power in the State Senate, and the inability of the Florida grassroots to properly organize. All these factors will have huge effects on the outcomes in 2016…

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H.R.303 – Retired Pay Restoration Act ‪‪#‎Veterans

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Did you know that disabled veterans are currently being penalized by a statute that requires a dollar for dollar offset of military retirement pay for VA disability compensation? So if a VET is getting a military pension and disability benefit they are having their earned pension reduced by the amount of disability compensation they receive. Think about that for a minute. They earned their pension, they became disabled serving our country, and now they lose money from their pension. How fair is that?

This issue needs to be addressed in our Congress. Last year, the 113th Congress had a bill, HR333, with 130 cosponsors (87 Democrats and 33 Republicans) There is a Facebook page that addresses the concerns of these Veterans:https://www.facebook.com/…/Chapter-61-Milit…/287855611230152

Now, the issue has been introduced into the 114th Congress. It was introduced on January 13, 2015 by Rep. Bilirakis (R) of Florida and is HR303. It has been referred to the Committee on Armed Services and to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.https://www.congress.gov/…/114th-…/house-bill/303/cosponsors

If you think our Congress should remedy this issue, then please contact members of those two committees and ask for action on HR303. You can find them here:http://www.house.gov/committees/

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary
http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/