|Progressive Calendar 09.22.12 /3||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2012 13:56:28 -0700 (PDT)|
*P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.22.12* 1. Northtown vigil 9.22 2pm 2. Amy Goodman 9.22 7pm 3. Atheist radio 9.23 9am 4. Stillwater vigil 9.23 1pm 5. AI/Philippines 9.23 3pm 6. WAMM auction 9.23 5pm 7. Robert Reich - What Mitt Romney really represents 8. Moyers/Winship - Mitt Tells the truth 9. Paul Krugman - Disdain for workers 10. Ralph Nader - Mitt Romney: a corporation masquerading as a person for president 11. ed - Mitt happens (poem) --------1 of 11-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 9.22 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------2 of 11-------- From: WAMM Amy Goodman 9.22 7pm Amy Goodman Book Tour: “The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope” Saturday, September 22, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wesley United Methodist Church, 101 East Grant Street, Minneapolis. Amy Goodman, award winning journalist and host of the muckraking radio news program Democracy Now!, returns to the Twin Cities to speak about her upcoming book, “The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope.” Tickets: $15.00. Hosted by: KFAI, Fresh Air Radio. FFI and Tickets: Visit http://kfai.org/. --------3 of 11-------- From: AWE Atheist radio 9.23 9am Sunday, September 23, 9:00am-10:00am “Atheists Talk” Radio AM 950 KTNF in the Twin Cities or stream live at http://www.am950ktnf.com. Guest: Guy P. Harrison Presents "50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True" Contact us during the show with questions or comments at (952) 946-6205 or radio [at] mnatheists.org. --------4 of 11-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 9.23 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/> http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------5 of 11-------- From: Amnesty International AI/Philippines 9.23 3pm Our next meeting will be on Sunday, September 23, 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Meeting Location - First Congregational Church in Minneapolis. The church is located at 500 8th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414-1910. Our Guest Speaker will be Cheryl Daytec Her talk is entitled: "The Mining Industry of the Philippines - a Cause for Serious Human Rights Violations” "The Philippines is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources. With a lax regulatory climate and favorable investment laws, it is a haven for multinational investors. Most of these resources are located in indigenous territories. "Ironically, the wealth of indigenous peoples is also their curse since it is a magnet to their oppression. Despite the passage of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act, indigenous peoples remain to be the most vulnerable to abuses ranging from militarization to displacement or dislocation to give way to extractive industries. Yet, mining is doing more harm than good in the Philippines." President Aquino Jr III has invited private armies of the wealthy persons to provide security for the mines. These groups are not trained nor do they have oversight by Philippine security forces. This is asking for human rights violations. Bio Information: Ms. Daytec holds a master’s degree in law, with a human rights concentration, from the Central European University in Budapest, as well as three prior degrees from Filipino institutions: a law degree from the University of the Cordilleras; a master’s degree in management from the University of the Philippines; and, a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. Louis University. She is an expert in Indigenous Peoples’ issues, and has been the recipient of numerous awards for her human rights work. She currently serves as the Research and Litigation Officer and as a Trustee for the Cordillera Indigenous Peoples Center, in Baguio. She is also a lecturer at St. Louis University. Ms. Daytec has also served as the director of the Cordillera Executive Board. She is interested in a human rights based approach to development, so that the benefits of economic development can reach all sectors of the population, including Indigenous Peoples. During her Humphrey year, she hopes to interact with U.S. Indigenous communities who have been successful in harnessing economic development for the benefit of Native Americans. She is a co-founder of the Asian Network of Indigenous Lawyers and is a published poet. --------6 of 11-------- From: WAMM WAMM auction 9.23 5pm WAMM’s 28th Annual Silent Auction Sunday, September 23, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. St Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Free off-street parking. A delightful evening of food (sandwich and salad buffet), music (all female “Voices for Peace” choir), and one of the Twin Cities’ largest Silent Auctions, with over 300 items such as stays at vacation homes, theater tickets, gift certificates at restaurants, salon and wellness services, artwork, gourmet dinners, and much more. Be sure to stop by the Hot Buys tables where you will find small items to go. Have fun and support the peace and justice movement at the same time! Suggested Donation: $10.00 to $30.00 (no one turned away). Preview some of the auction items and start bidding now, visit the WAMM website at www.worldwidewamm.org. Payment by cash and check preferred. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------7 of 11--------- What Mitt Romney Really Represents By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog 21 September 12 t's not just his giant income or the low tax rates he pays on it. And it's not just the videotape of him berating almost half of America, or his endless gaffes, or his regressive budget policies. It's something that unites all of this, and connects it to the biggest underlying problem America faces - the unprecedented concentration of wealth and power at the very top that's undermining our economy and destroying our democracy. Romney just released his 2011 tax returns, showing he paid $1.9 million in taxes on more than $13 million of income last year - for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent. (He released his 2010 return in January, showing he paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent.) American has had hugely wealthy presidents before - think of Teddy Roosevelt and his distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt; or John F. Kennedy, beneficiary of father Joe's fortune. But here's the difference. These men were champions of the working class and the poor, and were considered traitors to their own class. Teddy Roosevelt railed against the "malefactors of great wealth," and he busted up the oil and railroad trusts. FDR thundered against the "economic royalists," raised taxes on the wealthy, and gave average working people the right to form unions - along with Social Security, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and a 40-hour workweek. But Mitt Romney is not a traitor to his class. He is a sponsor of his class. He wants to cut their taxes by $3.7 trillion over the next decade, and hasn't even specified what "loopholes" he'd close to make up for this gigantic giveaway. And he wants to cut benefits that almost everyone else relies on - Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and housing assistance. He's even a warrior for his class, telling his wealthy followers his job isn't to worry about the "47 percent" of Americans who won't vote for him, whom he calls "victims" and he berates for not paying federal incomes taxes and taking federal handouts. (He mangles these facts, of course. Almost all working Americans pay federal taxes - and the federal taxes that have been rising fastest for most people are Social Security payroll taxes, which aren't collected on a penny of income over $110,100. Moreover, most of the "47 percent" whom he accuses of taking handouts are on Medicare or Social Security - the biggest "entitlement" programs - which, not incidentally, they paid into during their working lives.) Money means power. Concentrated wealth at the top means extraordinary power at the top. The reason Romney pays a rate of only 14 percent on $13 million of income in 2011 - a lower rate than many in the middle class - is because he exploits a loophole that allows private equity managers to treat their income as capital gains, taxed at only 15 percent. And that loophole exists solely because private equity and hedge fund managers have so much political clout - as a result of their huge fortunes and the money they've donated to political candidates - that neither party will remove it. In other words, everything America is learning about Mitt Romney - his tax returns, his years at Bain Capital, the video of his speech to high-end donors in which he belittles half of America, his gaffes, the budget policies he promotes - repeat and reenforce the same underlying reality. So much wealth and power have accumulated at the top of America that our economy and our democracy are seriously threatened. Romney not only represents this problem. He is the living embodiment of it. == Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. --------8 of 11-------- Mitt Tells the Truth by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship Published on Saturday, September 22, 2012 by Common Dreams Like everyone else, we watched the movie of the week – that clandestine video from Mitt Romney’s fundraiser in Florida. Thanks to that anonymous cameraperson, we now have a record of what our modern day, wealthy gentry really thinks about the rest of us -- and it’s not pretty. On the other hand, it’s also not news. If you had reported as long as some of us have on winner-take-all politics and the unenlightened assumptions of the moneyed class, you wouldn’t find the remarks of Romney and his pals all that exceptional. The resentment, disdain, and contempt with which they privately view those beneath them are an old story. In fact, the video’s reminiscent of our first Gilded Age, back in the late 19th century. The celebrated New York dandy Frederick Townsend Martin summed it up when he declared, “We are the rich. We own America. We got it, God knows how, but we intend to keep it.” And so they do, as that glitzy gathering in Florida reminds us. You could see and hear one of the guests ask Mitt Romney what they could do to help. The governor answers, “Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars, because the president’s going to have about $800 to $900 million. And that’s – that’s by far the most important thing you could do." He’s being truthful there, because money rules these campaigns. And if there were more secret videos from other candidates, we would see them in equally compromised positions, bowing and scraping in their infernal pursuit of campaign cash, bending over backwards to suffer the advice that the privileged think their money entitles them to give. And we mean both parties. Not far from us the other night, at a Manhattan fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, President Obama joked, “If somebody here has a $10 million check -- I can’t solicit it from you, but feel free to use it wisely.” At least we think he was joking -- Obama and Romney alike now shape their schedules as much around moneymaking events as rallies and town halls. Even though a state may be a lost cause when it comes to votes, if there’s money to be made they’ll change the campaign jet’s flight plan and make a special landing, just for the cold hard cash. This is a racket, plain and simple. A new report from Moody’s Investor Service says that all that spending by the parties, corporations, Super PACs and other outside groups will push political ad spending up this year by half a billion dollars -- 25 percent higher than 2010 – the biggest increase in history. That prompted the CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, to lick his chops and tell an investors conference last December,“There’s going to be a lot of money spent. I’m not saying that’s the best thing for America, but it’s not a bad thing for the CBS Corporation.” Yes, the media giants and the TV stations they own are in on the racket. So are all those highly paid political consultants who as part of their fees skim a percentage of the cost of local TV airtime, usually around ten percent. The pickings are better than ever, thanks to allthe dark money being thrown around since the Citizens United decision. One Democratic consultant has called it “the greatest windfall that ever happened for political operatives in American history.” You bet it is: By the time the primaries were over this year, the top 150 political and media consultants already had raked in an estimated $465 million – or more.When Election Day finally rolls around, chances are that number will have at least doubled. So we can’t stop reporting on this, even though we’re often told: “Please change the subject. Everyone’s tired of this one.” Don’t be so sure.There’s a groundswell for rooting the money out of politics, as Americans come to see that this is the one reform that enables all other reforms. Two polls released in the last few days report large majorities – as many as eight in ten – are in favor of clamping down on the amount of money that corporations, the super-rich, and those shadowyoutside groups are pouring into the campaigns. It’s up to all of us to put a sign on every lawn and stoop in the land: “Democracy is not for sale.” Journalist Bill Moyers is the host of the new show Moyers & Company, a weekly series of smart talk and new ideas aimed at helping viewers make sense of our tumultuous times through the insight of America’s strongest thinkers.. His previous shows on PBS included NOW with Bill Moyers and Bill Moyers Journal. Over the past three decades he has become an icon of American journalism and is the author of many books, including Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, Moyers on Democracy, and Bill Moyers: On Faith & Reason. He was one of the organizers of the Peace Corps, a special assistant for Lyndon B. Johnson, a publisher of Newsday, senior correspondent for CBS News and a producer of many groundbreaking series on public television. He is the winner of more than 30 Emmys, nine Peabodys, three George Polk awards and is the author of three best-selling books. --------9 of 11-------- Published on Friday, September 21, 2012 by The New York Times Disdain for Workers by Paul Krugman By now everyone knows how Mitt Romney, speaking to donors in Boca Raton, washed his hands of almost half the country — the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes — declaring, “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” By now, also, many people are aware that the great bulk of the 47 percent are hardly moochers; most are working families who pay payroll taxes, and elderly or disabled Americans make up a majority of the rest. But here’s the question: Should we imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives? And the answer is no. For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families — who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans. Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, on Labor Day — a holiday that specifically celebrates America’s workers. Here’s what it said, in its entirety: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses. Lest you think that this was just a personal slip, consider Mr. Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. What did he have to say about American workers? Actually, nothing: the words “worker” or “workers” never passed his lips. This was in strong contrast to President Obama’s convention speech a week later, which put a lot of emphasis on workers — especially, of course, but not only, workers who benefited from the auto bailout. And when Mr. Romney waxed rhapsodic about the opportunities America offered to immigrants, he declared that they came in pursuit of “freedom to build a business.” What about those who came here not to found businesses, but simply to make an honest living? Not worth mentioning. Needless to say, the G.O.P.’s disdain for workers goes deeper than rhetoric. It’s deeply embedded in the party’s policy priorities. Mr. Romney’s remarks spoke to a widespread belief on the right that taxes on working Americans are, if anything, too low. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal famously described low-income workers whose wages fall below the income-tax threshold as “lucky duckies.” What really needs cutting, the right believes, are taxes on corporate profits, capital gains, dividends, and very high salaries — that is, taxes that fall on investors and executives, not ordinary workers. This despite the fact that people who derive their income from investments, not wages — people like, say, Willard Mitt Romney — already pay remarkably little in taxes. Where does this disdain for workers come from? Some of it, obviously, reflects the influence of money in politics: big-money donors, like the ones Mr. Romney was speaking to when he went off on half the nation, don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But it also reflects the extent to which the G.O.P. has been taken over by an Ayn Rand-type vision of society, in which a handful of heroic businessmen are responsible for all economic good, while the rest of us are just along for the ride. In the eyes of those who share this vision, the wealthy deserve special treatment, and not just in the form of low taxes. They must also receive respect, indeed deference, at all times. That’s why even the slightest hint from the president that the rich might not be all that — that, say, some bankers may have behaved badly, or that even “job creators” depend on government-built infrastructure — elicits frantic cries that Mr. Obama is a socialist. Now, such sentiments aren’t new; “Atlas Shrugged” was, after all, published in 1957. In the past, however, even Republican politicians who privately shared the elite’s contempt for the masses knew enough to keep it to themselves and managed to fake some appreciation for ordinary workers. At this point, however, the party’s contempt for the working class is apparently too complete, too pervasive to hide. The point is that what people are now calling the Boca Moment wasn’t some trivial gaffe. It was a window into the true attitudes of what has become a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect. © 2012 The New York Times Paul Krugman is professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a regular columnist for The New York Times. Krugman was the 2008 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. He is the author of numerous books, including The Conscience of A Liberal, The Return of Depression Economics, and his most recent, End This Depression Now!. --------10 of 11-------- Mitt Romney: A Corporation Masquerading as a Person for President by Ralph Nader Published on Thursday, September 20, 2012 by Common Dreams Recently released video shows not a series of gaffes, but the real Romney There was something missing from the release of a tape showing Mitt Romney pandering to fat cats in Boca Raton, Florida with these very inflammatory words: “There are 47 percent who are with him, (Obama) who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax.” Romney said his job “is not to worry about those people.” Mr. Romney, says Nader, doesn’t understand the double standard where government checks, whether already paid for or not, to people are called “entitlements” while far bigger checks to corporations are called “incentives.” (Photo: AP) Hey, Mitt, why start with the 47 percent? Fully 100 percent of the nation’s 500 biggest corporations are dependent on various kinds of corporate welfare – subsidies, giveaways, bailouts, waivers, and other dazzling preferences – while many pay no tax at all on very substantial profits (see their familiar names – General Electric, Pepco, Verizon etc. – here). Are the corporations that receive this corporate welfare going to vote for President Obama? (Mr. Romney has declared that corporations are people.) Of course they’re not. Nor are all of the 47 percent of people who are “dependent upon government.” Mr. Romney doesn’t understand the double standard where government checks, whether already paid for or not, to people are called “entitlements” while far bigger checks to corporations are called “incentives.” Romney has lost control of his self-consciousness. Here is a man who talks about 47 percent of American households paying no income taxes (more on this later) while he has refused, unlike his father, to release back years of tax returns because they’ll show he has parked much of his wealth and income in foreign tax havens like the Bahamas precisely in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Indeed, as tax expert and former New York Times Pulitzer prize-winner David Cay Johnston said on Democracy Now, Romney has maneuvered the tax laws so that his five sons will continue to receive millions of tax-free dollars from their parents’ enormous pot of wealth. Why aren’t the big-time Democrats making much more of an issue of this “make or break” Romney campaign vulnerability? Maybe it is because, as author Kevin Phillips once said, “The Republicans go for the jugulars while the Democrats go for the capillaries.” Essentially, [Mitt Romney) is a corporation running for president masquerading as an individual. Now, either ignorance, callousness or both infected Mitt Romney’s pejorative characterizations of the “government dependent” 47 percent with victim mentalities who believe that they are entitled to the government providing them the necessities of life without paying income tax. Let’s see who these people are in these recessionary times. Unemployed Americans. Americans who are too poor to pay income taxes. Elderly Americans who live on their social security checks from money for which they spent their decades of working years paying. Americans using the “earned income tax credit,” so vigorously supported and extended by President Ronald Reagan. And disabled Americans who have no dollars for any income tax. What do many of the 47 percent pay to the government? They pay payroll taxes for social security and Medicare, federal fees and state and local taxes on their property, and sales taxes. The avarice of Romney and his buddies at the strip-mining, job-exporting, bankrupting private equity company called Bain Capital has no bounds. He thinks it’s perfectly fine for companies like Verizon, Boeing, Duke Energy, Navistar, Wells Fargo and Pepco to use all of our country’s government funded public infrastructures and services, and yet not only pay no income tax but actually rig the tax system so they can get billions back in “benefits” from the U.S. Treasury, as General Electric has done for years. At the same time, Romney never speaks out against 35,000 super-wealthy Americans who also do not pay any federal income tax. He rarely questions crony capitalism, wants to maintain an even bigger bloated military budget, and spearheads the many-sided supremacy of corporations over real people throughout our entire political economy. He is, essentially, a corporation running for president masquerading as an individual. If the Democrats are anything but inept and defeatist, they will wrap Romney around Congressman Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential nominee, and recover the Congress in November. The Romney-Ryan campaign is now hanging by a few threads, unmasked even before those millions of American voters who dutifully vote for politicians who disrespect and betray their economic plight and political powerlessness once in office. The so-called presidential debates are coming up (see Open Debates.org). Let’s see if President Obama thinks it is fair play to recall Mr. Romney’s words and put his underlying real values on the table before tens of millions of viewers. Romney’s excursus in Boca Raton was not a gaffe. It was the inner Romney, raised by good Romneys but braised by the fevered extremists in his party who have asserted that today Ronald Reagan himself would not receive their vote. (Kudos to David Corn and Mother Jones magazine for bringing the Romney tape to the American people.) Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His most recent book - and first novel - is, Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us. His most recent work of non-fiction is The Seventeen Traditions. --------11 of 11-------- Mitt Happens The Mitt-faced GOP is up Mitt Creek without a paddle but mitt-loads of puddles and piddles. It smiles its mitt-eating smile that four out of five times it can kind of tell Mitt from Shinola. Think tanks of half-wits have mitt-fits that won’t quit till their pit-bull bellows his bull. It boot-camps the Mitt-heads for after election day, when The Mitt hits the fan. -david shove 9.22.12 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shove trove
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