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/

What does labor want?

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“What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”

– Samuel Gompers, American labor leader (born on this date in 1850), in: The Shoe Workers’ Journal, Volume 16 (1915)

Via Today in History – with Frank Amari

Rep. Gwen Graham to Serve on Agriculture Committee

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Representative Gwen Graham has been appointed to serve on the House Agriculture Committee. Graham requested to serve on the committee to represent the farmers and rural communities in the Second Congressional District.

“Farmers and rural communities are the backbone of North Florida. Our economy depends on their hard work. Our families depend on them to provide food,” Graham said. “On the Agriculture Committee, I will be a voice our farmers can depend on to represent their interests.”

Graham will join Congressman Ted Yoho, who represents the neighboring Third Congressional District, as the only Florida representatives on the Agriculture Committee.

“Florida’s farmers expect us to rise above partisanship and politics,” Graham said. “I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats to benefit North Florida agriculture.”

Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick issued the following statement on Graham’s appointment:

“I want to congratulate Rep. Gwen Graham upon her appointment to the House Agriculture Committee. Florida’s farm families look forward to working with her on a variety of federal issues that affect their livelihoods. They will be knowledgeable resources for Rep. Graham in both the development of new legislation and the application of existing policies.”

WCTV NEWS

Now that Congress is in session, and Graham is an acting member of the House Armed ServicesCommittee, she shared some of her priorities for this term with NewsChannel 7.

“My priority has been initially to start building relationships with people regardless of party,” she said.

She says the military community is also a priority, both active duty and veterans and their families.

WJHG TV

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who unseated Republican Steve Southerland in November, is under fire from Democrats for votes in favor of the Keystone pipeline, to roll back Wall Street reforms and other issues, illustrating the difficulty she faces in a district with a sizable conservative base.

Tampa Bay Times

Shocked and disappointed by the votes of their newly elected congresswoman, more than 20 Tallahassee self-proclaimed progressives will meet with Gwen Graham Saturday to air their differences.

“A lot of people knocked on doors, worked phone banks and contributed what little money they could to support her,” said Amy Datz, a member of the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee who is among those disappointed by the Keystone vote.

St Petersburg Blog