The Temptation of St. Anthony

Written by Scarabus

 

 

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TPP! Beware! “False Flag” skulduggery!!

Written by Scarabus

 

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In one of his must read columns Jim Hightower mentions a PRO-TPP organization with the incongruous name Progressive Coalition for American Jobs. As Hightower says,

No need to worry about the content, though, for an upstanding new group called Progressive Coalition for American Jobs now assures us that this global deal “will support hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States.” Hello! Do we have sucker wrappers around our heads? That’s the exact same claim that President Clinton and the corporate elite made in 1993 for NAFTA, which siphoned hundreds of thousands of jobs and entire industries out of the United States.

Who are the members of this “coalition”? Every progressive group I know of is adamantly against the TPP, and no progressive has stepped forward to claim ownership of this PR push.

 

I wondered about this sleazeball coalition, so I looked them up. Here’s what I found:

Their website is classy and professional. The  splash page is sophisticated, sober, and … well, disingenuously shifty:

 

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How dare they call themselves “progressive”! Every truly progressive organization and informed expert I know of says TPP will eliminate jobs and eliminate protection for workers. Most say it will further damage our balance of trade. And notice the way the add insult to injury by slipping in that term “New Deal”! You can almost hear FDR rolling over in his grave.

Bad start, for sure, I’ll readily admit they’re right about their next assertion: This is an important conversation, and we progressives should inarguably be part of the conversation. So how about it, President Obama? Open the sack and let the American people examine what’s inside. Quit insisting that we shut up, quit whining, and buy that “pig in a poke” you’re pushing on us.

Until that happens I’ll do exactly what these deceitfully named shills and lobbyists for multinational business suggest. In fact, I’m doing it right now. I’m “sharing THIS [namely, this sack of festering feces you’re shoving in our faces] with my friends and helping them see the importance of their getting informed about it.”

 

So what or whom does this “coalition” comprise?

 

Well, a reasonable place to start would be their “about” of “who are we” statement, right? Here it is:

 

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So they’re progressive Democrats who think TPP (without having read it?) will lead the way toward a more just world. Wow. That being so, this must be a very, very small coalition! But who specifically has signed on?

The executive director of the coalition is Chris Wyant. Wyant is a partner in the Seattle branch of the huge multinational law firm K&L Gates. Maybe some of the firm’s progressive clients have signed. Let’s check the list of their top clients to see if we can pick some likely candidates:

 

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Hmmm… I see a number of corporations there that have paid fines into the hundreds of millions for illegal practices, most involving the bilking of working and middle class Americans. For an example, let’s take a quick look at a bank where I personally used to have an account:

  • “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking a federal judge to approve of a $24 million penalty against Wells Fargo for participating in a kick-back scheme.”
  • “Just before a jury was set to deliberate following a 16-day trial, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $4 million to settl claims it aided and abetted a Florida Ponzi scheme that caused tens of millions of dollars in losses to thousands of victims.”
  • “The AWC alleges that from at least April 2008 through January 2010, while registered at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and its predecessor Wells Fargo Investments, LLC (collectively, “Wells Fargo”), Boleancu converted at least $650,000 from an elderly, widowed customer.”
  • “If you were black or Hispanic and wanted a home loan, a number of banks put you on a separate, more expensive track regardless of your credit score and gainful employment.… The pattern is becoming increasingly clear from a series of court settlements negotiated with lenders by the department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the last three years with the likes of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Suntrust and now PNC Financial Services Group.”
  • Etc.!

Yes, clearly the K&L Gates client list includes firms that pay close attention to persons progressives care about: the poor, the helpless, the elderly, persons of color, hispanics, etc. Problem is, genuine progressives try to provide dignity and compassionate assistance to such persons. Firms like Wells-Fargo seek to defraud them. Hard to see how this mysterious coalition can claim to be progressive.

 

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

 

Documentation for newspaper articles quoted, in order of appearance:

  • https://www.districtsentinel.com/wells-fargo-slapped-with-24-million-cfpb-fine-after-multiple-warnings-over-illegal-marketing-scheme/
  • http://www.ponzitracker.com/main/2015/5/9/wells-fargo-settles-florida-ponzi-case-for-3175-million.html
  • http://www.brokeandbroker.com/2174/elder-fraud-wells-fargo-indictment/
  • http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/12/23/212504/another-big-bank-pays-to-settle.html

Interesting typo!

Written by Scarabus

Huzzah!! No guns on Florida’s college campuses!

Written by Scarabus

 

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We just beat the NRA!

The Florida Legislature killed the NRA’s campus carry bill, which would have forced public colleges and universities to let people carry loaded, hidden guns on campus.

CREDO activists, working together with our allies at Everytown for Gun Safety, made it clear to Florida legislators that bullets and backpacks don’t mix, and that we expect our lawmakers to stand up for student safety, not stand with the NRA. 

And it worked. Florida is the 10th state to reject the NRA’s crazytown agenda. That’s a big deal. While the NRA is still pushing campus carry bills in seven states, they’ve lost in 10. It proves that the NRA is not an unstoppable political force, and chips away at the chokehold they have on many state legislatures (and the U.S. Congress).

Thanks for helping push back against the NRA. We’ll keep working hard to defeat campus carry laws across the country, and to block other NRA-backed bills that threaten the safety of Floridians. We hope you’ll stay in the fight. 

Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

 

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Roberts spills the beans … and changed no one’s mind about anything

Written by Scarabus

 

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Chief Justice Roberts Accidentally Reveals Everything That’s Wrong With Citizens United In Four Sentences

April 30, 2015 | Authors: Ian Millhiser | Think Progress

On Wednesday, a 5-4 Supreme Court held in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar that states may “prohibit judges and judicial candidates from personally soliciting funds for their campaigns.” It was a small but symbolically important victory for supporters of campaign finance laws, as it showed that there was actually some limit on the Roberts Court’s willingness to strike down laws limiting the influence of money in politics.

Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion for the Court in Williams-Yulee is certainly better for campaign finance regulation than a decision striking down this limit on judicial candidates — had the case gone the other way, judges could have been given the right to solicit money from the very lawyers who practice before them. Yet Roberts also describes judges as if they are special snowflakes who must behave in a neutral and unbiased way that would simply be inappropriate for legislators, governors and presidents.

[You know – the way legislators are allowed to take contributions from corporations affected by regulation or taxation they’re about to vote on. Oh, and did I mention the way Justice Scalia went duck hunting with the Vice-President just before voting on a case being presented by the federal government? Or accepting expense-paid junkets arranged and financed by the Koch brothers?]

States may regulate judicial elections differently than they regulate political elections, because the role of judges differs from the role of politicians. Politicians are expected to be appropriately responsive to the preferences of their supporters. Indeed, such responsiveness is key to the very concept of self-governance through elected officials. The same is not true of judges. In deciding cases, a judge is not to follow the preferences of his supporters, or provide any special consideration to his campaign donors. A judge instead must “observe the utmost fairness,” striving to be “perfectly and completely independent, with nothing to influence or controul [sic] him but God and his conscience.” As in White, therefore, our precedents applying the First Amendment to political elections have little bearing on the issues here.

Most Americans would undoubtedly agree that judges should not “follow the preferences” of their political supporters, as they would agree that judges should not “provide any special consideration to his campaign donors.” But the implication of the passage quoted above is that members of Congress, state lawmakers, governors and presidents should provide such consideration to their supporters and to their donors. [Overstated, I think. He doesn’t say t should happen, just that it’s expected and appropriate.] The President of the United States is the president of the entire United States. A member of Congress represents their entire constituency. Yet Roberts appears to believe that they should “follow the preferences” of their supporters and give “special consideration” to the disproportionately wealthy individuals who fund their election.

 

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