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OT Political Thread. Not for Tender Sensibilities. You've Been Warned.

OT Political Thread. Not for Tender Sensibilities. You've Been Warned.

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barak Obama

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legac...

If TL;dr, here is the condensed version:

The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft. We are rooted in market-driven brands that shun integrity and profit-driven policies that trump public goods. Our “post-integrity” and “post-truth” world is suffocated by entertaining brands and money-making activities that have little or nothing to do with truth, integrity or the long-term survival of the planet. We are witnessing the postmodern version of the full-scale gangsterization of the world.

The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility.

In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders. He proclaimed: I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you, he promised them. And not one Wall Street criminal prosecution.

US drone killings continue with no accountability.

Lack of support for BLM or Palestinians.

2/3 wealth growth to the top 1%

Support for Bloomberg stop and frisk and Rahm Emanuel's everything, with zero accountability

Demonizing dissidents like Snowden, Sterling and Manning

Obamacare is a Heritage Foundation, pork laden, corporate giveaway with 20M still uninsured.

A record 2.5 million deportations.

Bernie was punk'd by the DNC

The DNC is corrupt and doesn't fight for regular people

++++++++++++++++

I'm in agreement. After the last election the RNC at least went through the motions of trying to figure out why they were losing elections. Now, it's Russian hackers and Bernie, who subverted democracy instead of odious policies that demand corporate fealty.

Get a clue DNC and democratic politicians who ignore the will of the people at their peril. Go watch idiocracy to see our future when good men and women see wrong, and do nothing.

And lest you think I support our Orangutan-in-Chief, he will be covered in another post.

+++++++++++++++++

Update 9/9 The Best Case For Bernie.

https://www.salon.com/2019/09/09/dear-bernie-heres-how-you-can-still-win...

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@SamO

The "evidence", I would say, is in what he exposed.

SamO | 20 september 2019

That’s not how “evidence” works. If you have evidence of a agreement, then present it. If you have any motive evidence, cite it.

Otherwise you are just blowing smoke.

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

I, too, agree about the recognition of the need for more specifics as far too many "trees" are all too often lost in the "forest" of blanket statements.

Yes, my focus was more so on technical and manufacturing, you know, skilled positions as opposed to what could be explicitly termed as "menial" positions like the call centers you've mentioned (but for Heaven's sake, could the phone operators at least learn or be taught how to clearly spik proper Inglish? We're not all turists you know!).

You comment about increasing the taxes on overseas earnings implies that they're paying lower rates than American-based companies for American-based earnings...If that is actually the case then I wouldn't be opposed to the rates on those offshore/overseas earnings being increased to match equivalent, American-based tax rates for the same earning's amounts.

You shouldn't get too much flak (if any at all) from the various businesses inasmuch as they'd still be reaping the benefits of cheaper labor rates for workers in those countries.

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@andy.connor.e

Don't forget the service industry (service station attendees, restaurant workers, etc.).

I think that what I mentioned to @SCCRENDO about 'equivalent income tax rates' (if that's not how it already is) would help to equalize the job displacement a bit, at least from a U.S economic perspective, but it wouldn't do much for eliminating a job opportunity for an American worker or the residual financial resource they would provide to the overall economic health of the U.S. from their individual contributions over the course of their employment, let alone the existential impact on the individual themselves and their emotional and financial livelihoods.

And that's the overlooked aspect of this conversation that I've been working to elucidate, to point out, over the course of this discussion. The country's economic stability is only one aspect of the middle class job attrition and corresponding growing financial disparity that's been affecting the nation, as I've explained to @SCCRENDO, we need to consider the 'human' element.

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@andy.connor.e & @SCCRENDO & @TabascoGuy

I agree with the suggestion of taxing both imported goods and the income made from the manufacture of those goods by overseas workers, though it should be as suggested, i.e., "balanced"/according to American-based tax rates for goods and services, again, if not already.

I also feel that some sort of a "tax" should be levied against those businesses who've exported jobs overseas to penalize them for gutted the American job market because they are only interested in fattening their bottom lines and appeasing their shareholders so they'll let them hold onto the reigns of power for just a little longer no matter what the cost to the backbone of the American economy, middle class workers, and to hell with everyone else as long as they get what they want for however long they're able to have it (alright, I'm done venting now).

So we have something of a consensus of opinion regarding that aspect of the discussion.

YES! MORE TESLA!!

More Science, more Technology, and more Engineering-based jobs (arguably the only faction of the job market that are capable of actually creating more none life endangering jobs).

¡¡¡MORE TESLA!!!

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@rxlawdude

So, if there ARE jobs, then why should we have to provide a "living wage" for people who're unwilling to work because it is, what? Labor intensive? Requires them to work outdoors? Beneath them? But are perfectly willing to sit around on their asses with their thumb up their ass with one hand while the other is outstretched looking for a handout?!

It's like how we've, somehow, simultaneous epidemics of starvation and obesity! It is nonsensical to whine about something that we're creating on our own.

Perhaps it's psychosomatic...?

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@sabbia

Thanks for the information.

I was just wondering why mention of it kept turning up here and there and was curious if it were meant as some sort of sleight against the actual Large Hadron Collider.

+1

blue adept | 20 september 2019

@SamO

"Evidence" huh?

Ever hear of "militant extremists"? "Cults"? How about "trafficking"? Not just drug trafficking, but 'sex' trafficking? What about 'slavery'? How about 'pedophilia'/child rape?

Now I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that there is a nation-wide consensus that no one wants any of that sort of shit happening here in our country, in our states, in our cities, in our towns, in our neighborhoods, TO OUR FAMILIES OR OUR CHILDREN.

Now Snowden's argument is that our government and our Democracy derives it's legitimacy from the consent of the governed (us), and that that 'consent' is only meaningful if it is 'informed'...All true.

Well, we KNEW that that sort of perverse and depraved activities were happening, so we WERE 'informed'. And, because of our knowledge of their occurrence, we demanded that our government do something about it (pass laws, arrest and prosecute and imprison offenders, etc.), so we gave them the 'consent' to do so.

Yes, our government has been conducting surveillance on us, its citizenry and, no, no one needed to know about it, needed to know about what means or methodologies our government and law enforcement entities were employing to combat and eradicate these menaces to keep us, our families and our children, safe because the disclosure of that information likely jeopardized countless investigative operations going on all around the nation intent on rooting out and ending just those sort of activities, behaviors, and practices that I've mentioned above.

So you want to say that Snowden is just a "whistleblower"? Just an average Joe that's being victimized by the government because he was 'looking out' for us? Some might even want to paint him as some sort of hero, but all that I see is some asshat that has exposed critical information about one of the ways our government and law enforcement agencies were doing what they could to keep us, our families, and our children, safe.

Now that's my 'opinion', that it just so happens to directly correlate with the facts of the matter, well, that's just a coincidence of the reality of the matter.

blue adept | 20 september 2019

BTW, I don't 'smoke', likely because I'm not that damn stupid.

blue adept | 20 september 2019

That is, to buy into the hype.

SCCRENDO | 21 september 2019

@Blue adept. Companies like Pfizer off shored in Ireland and paid 7% corporate tax. They moved all their earnings to Ireland and their research expenses to the US. Trump countered it by cutting the corporate tax rate here. Perhaps he cut it too much. We need more taxation on the stuff that they are hiding off shore. Tariffs are bad because they directly hit the consumer and have caused our stupid trade wars that we are having.

We need some compassion and people who cannot get jobs that they are qualified for should not be forced into flipping burgers or picking fruit.

SamO | 21 september 2019

@blue,

Stop pretending. You claimed he wasn’t a whistleblower but an agent of a foreign government.

Please provide evidence. So far you are still blowing smoke.

blue adept | 21 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

Which is why I agreed with your suggestion of increasing off shored businesses tax rates to at least match those paid by U.S. businesses that haven't 'off shored' their accounts, but you're looking for something more, some way to penalize them for sending their labor overseas to take advantage of tax breaks and what have you in those other countries...

It is debatable whether or not it is the companies that are at fault or the nation's economic structure and 'free trade' agreements (set up to reward countries that were loyal to and supportive of America) that incentivized them to outsource their workforce elsewhere and though increasing their tax rates on their total earned income to match those of America's sounds reasonable enough, I wonder if such a measure might serve to harshen the relationship between the friendly nations or be viewed by them as a

Alas I, too, am not an economist which, were it merely a matter of a balancing of economies to compensate for differences, would be simple enough, but when you through 'politics' into the mix (I loathe, abhor, and detest politics) everything gets all twisted and murky.

Personally, I think Trump went in too hard and too fast (kinda like an emotionally immature adolescent boy and even many grown men I'm aware of) and is mucking it up for everyone when it would've been best for all if he'd just eased his way into raising rates and did so incrementally to allow the affected economies to adjust (not that I don't think that China has been stiffing just for a while now, but, yeah).

IDK, bills still have to be paid if you've any plans of keeping the lights on and a roof over your head and reliable transportation under your seat and mouths still have to be fed if you've any plans of keeping yourself healthy enough to work.

To that end I'm an proponent of the adage that 'you take what you can get until you can get what you want' and can tell you without any embarrassment or hesitation whatsoever that I've worked a number of jobs that were not just outside of my skill sets, but WELL below my skill level and was happy to have had them when I dd because they allowed me to keep things going until I was able to manage to do better for myself.

It pays to humble one's self even if out of necessity if nothing else.

blue adept | 21 september 2019

@SamO

What I actually said, to @david.biron BTW (but nice of you to take up the cause for them, so nice), was "by all indications..."

Indication: A sign or some piece of information or a certain behavior or mannerism that indicates something or suggests a certain diagnosis or outcome...

As if to say 'by all appearances' or 'according to the actions he took' or 'according to his behavior, this is what it looks like' because HE made HIMSELF look like some sort of a spy by the very actions he took.

Plus, it didn't help matters even in the least that he took "asylum" in Russia of all places!

BTW, the Russians aren't just going to offer up asylum to someone without getting something in return, something valuable enough to warrant them offering refuge to someone. If History has shown us anything it's that that simply is how such things are done, especially in Russia.

Just calling it as I saw it, but you clearly put 2 and 2 together and came up with an entirely alternative explanation for his actions to justify them, or was it just that you bought into the hype?

SamO | 21 september 2019

So no EVIDENCE. Got it. Thanks for playing.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/23/edward-snowden-and-the-ris...

1. He uncovered unconstitutional acts by the government.

“In 2013, Snowden’s disclosures proved that the N.S.A. had been conducting surveillance on the entire U.S. population, by way of a series of top-secret programs staggering in their scale and intrusiveness, including the bulk collection of telephone records in the form of metadata that was acquired from telecommunications companies.”

2. No proof of support from foreign governments
“because Snowden first sought refuge in Hong Kong and has been granted temporary asylum in Russia (due to expire in 2020), it has been variously alleged, without proof, that he did not act alone, that he shared American military secrets with China, and that he’s a dupe of Putin.“

3. The FBI says he worked alone

“Unlike Julian Assange, Snowden has criticized Putin, and the F.B.I. believes that Snowden acted alone.”

4. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

“Snowden currently heads the board of the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation, which was established in 2012 by, among others, Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971, Ellsberg leaked to the New York Times and the Washington Post forty-seven volumes of classified documents about the Vietnam War which came to be called the Pentagon Papers.”

blue adept | 21 september 2019

1. It's like Batman and his treatment of the criminals of Gotham City, sometimes it's necessary to do something wrong for the right reasons &/or to bring about justice and, again, we did give them (C.I.A. &/or N.S.A. &/or law enforcement) consent to stop the criminality, they just didn't, per obvious necessity, tell how they were going about it.

2. No, there isn't such a thing as the "Sino-Soviet threat" because, you know, they both aren't "Communist" countries and we aren't still in a "cold war".

3. History has shown us that it only takes one(1) well trained operative to conduct a coup or to secure data on a secretive operational network or even topple a government.

4. You see it your way, I see it mine, and we clearly have a differing of opinion on the matter.

Agree to disagree as to Snowden's motives?

blue adept | 21 september 2019

BTW, this is an example of the sort of sicko degenerate pervert sh1t that the surveillance was uncovering, you know, just so you'll know:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEi5zYNSRuQ

After you watch it ask yourself how you would feel if that were your son...

Now first imagine all of the children, boys and girls alike, the surveillance program saved from that sort of sub-existence...

Now imagine all of the children, boys and girls alike, that WEREN'T saved because your "whistle blower" buddy Snowden stole the information about those surveillance programs that were set up to protect them and guard against and prevent that type of perverse behavior from happening and released it to the public-at-large, informing the perpetrators of the program's existence and jeopardizing all of the children of America lives in the process because the pervs doubled down on their security measures and made it even harder to detect and uncover their little networks...

Still feeling good about yourself?

Still seeing Snowden as some sort of 'hero of the people'?

What he did wasn't a 'good' thing and served no purpose other than exposing protections that had been set up to protect our children from the depraved degenerates of the world...

Yeah, he's someone to look up to, huh?

NOT!

SamO | 21 september 2019

Blue,

I’ll stick with my evidence. Your comments have zero evidence but lots of emotions.

Same with your video. We have a constitution so that politicians don’t trade temporary security for our rights.

Perhaps you live in fear of bad dudes. I love in fear of well-intentioned people will begin to think that the rest of us don’t have any rights except safety.

If that’s your type of society, I suggest China might be a better fit. Their constitution doesn’t prevent the sort of surveillance you want for everyone.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-09/the-list-of-ways-chin...

SCCRENDO | 22 september 2019

@blue adept. You are tending to put words in my mouth. I did not say that American companies should be penalized for off-shoring per se. But they should not be able to hide all their earnings overseas. They need to pay a decent corporate tax rate here but also need to be incentivized or forced to bring their assets back here. We also need to create some kind of business incentive for multinationals to be based here rather than offshore and doing business here. Perhaps there may be some case for tariffs

SCCRENDO | 22 september 2019

@blue adept. On my way back from Portugal and the Azores and I gained a lot of insight into the European Union and how it could work. There are issues that need to be worked out. The Brits are stupid and deserve to fall off the planet with their Brexit clusterf***. The Portuguese as with the Greeks, Italian and Spanish produce unique products that they provide duty free to the rest of the EU. The wealthier economies do tend to support the less well off but they get great benefits from the union. Travel is easy and Portugal is becoming a great Tourist destination. The specialize in agriculture, and wine products. They have amazing and unique wines such as green wines and port. Incredible food. Menial labor is alive and well. Some port wineries still bring in people to stomp grapes with their feet 10 hours a day. These jobs may eventually disappear but there is no need to bring grape stomping back to Germany and Scandinavia. We need to realize that we live in a global economy and many jobs that are best done elsewhere should be done elsewhere. There is nothing to prevent a California winery bringing back grape stomping. It does carry some advantages. But they would need to pay $15 per hour at least plus benefits to do this. Portugal has a far lower cost of living and it is easier, cheaper and better to just import their wines.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | 22 september 2019

This is what happens when you stomp grapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RVyoAVgeyI

rxlawdude | 22 september 2019

@neo,

Workers comp claim for sure. ;-)

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

That was suppose to read:

'...viewed by them as a[n affront and/or betrayal].' (2nd. sentence)

'...China has been stiffing [us] for a while now....'(4th. sentence)

Not trying to 'put words into your mouth', just trying to interpret the intent of your comments.

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

It is the law that all foreign or offshore account holdings/assets have to be reported for the purpose of tax assessment:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/income-from-abroad-is-taxable

So they're actually NOT allowed to "hide all their earnings", but the problem is that Trump has cut the interest rates for those reported overseas holdings from what used to be 35% for repatriated foreign profits DOWN to the newly proposed 21% rate on overseas earnings made since 1987. Not only that, they might even be able to be eligible for an even lower rate of between 8% and 15.5% thanks to some new tax holes if the companies MAINTAIN their offshore holdings:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-repatriation/corporations-may...

https://money.cnn.com/2018/01/02/investing/us-tax-companies-overseas-cas...

Which actually seems to incentivize them to NOT even bother with repatriating their earnings at all! I swear, this presidency is a clusterf**k (there sure does seem to be plenty of that going around these days)!!

And that's hitting the proverbial nail on the head, specifically, economies of scale...It is far cheaper to pay people in several foreign countries to stomp grapes for you than it is to pay people in America to stomp grapes for you, and that's on top of the incentives inherent in this or that "free trade" agreement devised to strengthen the ties between America and other countries.

Do you see the conundrum?

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SamO

It's not that I "live in fear of bad dudes" it's that I, apparently, have a much larger, more informed view of the various forms of criminality that are afflicting our world, our families, and our freedoms as a result (horse before the cart, not vice-versa, in that there wouldn't have been a need for the measures our law enforcement agencies are taking to protect us were it not for the criminally inclined or depraved/perverse).

Think of it as a necessary evil to combat all of the evil that's in the world affecting our peace and freedoms.

Snowden was in the Intelligence industry and he comes from a family who're also in the Intelligence community, so he both knew the necessity of what he was doing and also the effect that his exposing what was being done would have on those operations, specifically, who would benefit (the criminally and perversely minded) and who would be detrimentally impacted (all of us) by the exposure.

It's simple, if you're not doing anything wrong or aren't engaged in any sort of criminal activity or aren't up to nefarious behaviors, then why worry?

I'm aware that 'privacy' is becoming an increasingly incendiary issue these days, but confusion arises when you try to conflate one separate and distinct aspect of the multifaceted issue (our safety) with another (combating criminality) under the header of 'invasion of privacy' when, when put in the proper context, are actually two(2) entirely distinct facets in and of themselves and each deserving of their own conversation.

SCCRENDO | 25 september 2019

@blue adept. It’s not that they are “hiding” their assets. It’s completely legal. But they are shifting their earnings offshore and keeping their profits offshore and not bringing them back. It’s complicated
https://americansfortaxfairness.org/pfizer-price-gouger-tax-dodger/
https://fortune.com/2018/01/30/pfizer-11-billion-tax-gain-tax-law/

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

Yeah, that's why I posted a link discussing just that very practice...In case you missed it the first time:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-repatriation/corporations-may...

It would be really helpful if you just told me what you wanted/hoped to accomplish, you know, with these Pfizer people...?

SamO | 25 september 2019

“It's simple, if you're not doing anything wrong or aren't engaged in any sort of criminal activity or aren't up to nefarious behaviors, then why worry?”

You can’t fix fascism.

I don’t want the government to capture all of my communications. I don’t agree and neither does the constitution.

If you want to change the constitution, make your play. But until then, we are a nation of laws and Snowden exposed a vast network of lawlessness. Educate yourself. Please.

rxlawdude | 25 september 2019

"Snowden exposed a vast network of lawlessness."

By breaking the law.

SCCRENDO | 25 september 2019

@blue adept. I am not sure what I want to do with them because I am not an economist. But they should be paying their taxes here on profits here not in Ireland. Trump has cut the corporate tax rate to get them to bring their profits back here. But they are paying low corporate tax rates

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SamO

It's not "fascism", it's 'policing'...You're on the wrong side of this, like Snowden.

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@rxlawdude

"By breaking the law."

BOOM!

+1 @rxlawdude

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

I agree, but things look a little too sweet for them to even want to bother with moving operations back stateside.

Things will have to be shifted in such a manner as to encourage businesses to move their assets back here and the way things are looking that'll have to be in the form of "tariffs" for now.

SamO | 25 september 2019

No accountability for government lawbreaking, but only for whistleblowers.

Got it.

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SamO

Honestly, if a law has to be broken, I'd rather it be done by the "good guys" as a means of thwarting criminal activity than by the "bad" who're only interested in furthering their own ventures.

In this instance, the end justifies the means.

rxlawdude | 25 september 2019

I'm shocked that anyone would not be concerned with the country that protected Snowden. I don't care for Russians,

rxlawdude | 25 september 2019

... do you, @SamO?

blue adept | 25 september 2019

@SamO

The NSA and the CIA are working for the betterment and security of America and its citizenry, ergo, what measures they have to take to ensure that are justified...Snowden's are not.

They're doing it for all of the right reasons (safety and protection of Americans), Snowden for all of the wrong reasons (exposing the measures we're having to take to counteract the bad guy's actions solely, for all intents and purposes, the bad guy's sake).

America = Good, Russia = Bad. Simplistic I know, but that's all you seem able to understand.

SCCRENDO | 25 september 2019

I guess it would be no different from Trump using Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia or whoever to undermine us

SamO | 26 september 2019

@rx,

For s lawyer that took an oath, you seem to put zero value on the constitution. I expect as much from centrist morons and Drumpf sycophants, but I’m surprised you are so empty. I honestly expected much better than non-sequitor about “Russia.”

The 4th Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

blue adept | 26 september 2019

@SCCRENDO

Yep! Pretty much.

They're demonizing the CIA and the NSA for, essentially, doing their jobs to protect American citizens, and undermining the credibility of the American government in the process in an effort to create dissent and breed divisiveness through manufactured discontent over American mores &/or our government doing what it recognizes need be done to ensure our safety.

I like to think of it as "helicopter parenting" on a national level because such is what has become of the world these days. Granted, not that we haven't always had our issues, it's just that it has become a necessary evil to combat and undermine a greater evil intent on ruining it for all of us &/or that threatens us all.

SamO | 26 september 2019

Fascism dressed up as "Law and Order" is the oldest game in the world.

Trade safety for security and you'll end up with neither.

The saddest exposure of Snowden is that employees are using the tools to spy on their families, girlfriends and colleagues. (LOVEINT) They are just people after all, and giving them unfettered power to see anyone is very scary.

https://www.cnet.com/news/nsa-offers-details-on-loveint-thats-spying-on-...

SCCRENDO | 26 september 2019

The correct approach would have been for Snowden to use the whistleblower approach. But I do understand how that could be subverted as we are seeing with Trump now. He should have done that first

SamO | 26 september 2019

All the powers that people want the government to have . . . now imagine you have a quasi-dictator at the helm.

Starting to see the danger?

SCCRENDO | 26 september 2019

@sam0. Agreed. And that is my big concern with Trump. However Snowden should have tried the whistleblower route first. If that failed I would agree that he needed to go outside the system

SamO | 26 september 2019

Snowden tried to whistleblow:

“Snowden did, in fact, try to report his concerns through official channels. He questioned the legality of surveillance programs 10 times, he later testified before the European Parliament. He said he was brushed aside.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-whistleblower-edward-snowden_n_5d89...

SCCRENDO | 26 september 2019
rxlawdude | 26 september 2019

You know the that old adage 2 wrongs don't make a right?
That.

SCCRENDO | 26 september 2019

@rxlawdude. I’m with @Sam0 on this one. Organizations need to provide whistleblower protections. It is still not completely clear whether the whistleblower in Trump’s Ukraine shenanigans is completely protected. So how do these things come out? I recall watching the Snowden movie a while back. I cannot remember the complete details. But from recollection from his perspective he seemed to have done the correct thing.

rxlawdude | 27 september 2019

You just have to see who harbored Snowden and ask yourself why.

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