|June 17, 2013|
|A CNN network reporter has been asking the online public to pick the topics he ought to be covering the rest of the year. The top pick, as of the end of last week: “America’s widening gap between the rich and poor.”CNN’s John Sutter says he “never expected” inequality to strike so many people as “the most pressing issue of our time.” People today, Sutter now sees, want to know a great deal more about the economic gaps that divide us.But where can someone start to get that more? Inequality.Org, our Too Muchonline companion, has just unveiled an ideal starting point, the most up-to-date guide yet to understanding why America has become so unequal, more unequal than any other major developed nation.
This new guide, Growing Apart by historian Colin Gordon, taps the latest research on inequality — from all over the world — and links readers to a broad array of source material. One-stop shopping, so to speak, for stopping inequity. More on that inequity — and the struggle against it — in this week’s Too Much.
Documents recently obtained by Bold Nebraska  show that TransCanada – owner of the hotly-contested Keystone XL (KXL)  tar sands pipeline – has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion Center in Nebraska , labeling non-violent activists as possible candidates for “terrorism” charges and other serious criminal charges.
Today, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) insisted  the NSA has not been recording Americans’ phone calls under any surveillance program, and that any claim to the contrary was “misinformation.” Rogers’ comments countered remarks from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who said he was told in a House Judiciary Committee briefing  by FBI Director Robert Mueller that private firms contracted by the NSA could listen to phone calls made by American citizens.
Since Nadler’s comments were reported by CNET , he has issued a subsequent statement backtracking  on his original remarks: “I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”
“I’ll let you have the $10,000 for three points. That’s only because I know you.”
I’m listening to Tony yak, my Shylock. Yak, yak has earned the moniker. He never gives his mouth a rest.
Yak’s giving me the loan at street price: $30 for every $1,000. That’s “juice.” Every week I’ll pay $300, but nothing comes off the top. Usury’s a felony. The Yak did a three-and-a -half year stretch for it. That’s the way it was back in the day. Now, credit card companies make cash loans at 28 percent with Congress’ blessing.
By Joe Giambrone, politicalfilmblog
“I know everything that is said and done. And thought!”-Emperor Tiberius, Caligula (1979)
“…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”-Edward Snowden (2013)
The genius of the American political system is that each administration is significantly worse than the one that preceded it. The effect is historical revisionism in the public mind. Nixon looks downright cuddly next to the abuses of Cheney/Rummy/Bush and company. Now Bush Jr. is starting to look like a civil libertarian when compared to the current Snoopmeister In Chief. As we plummet toward official Satanism, with a state unrecognizable and patently evil at its core, we can at least cling to the notion that things weren’t as bad as now in some past golden age. Then we can look around and fight amongst each other, assigning blame to the nearest uninformed yahoo, rather than to the high priests of human sacrifice and global misery and destruction.
by Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
No sooner had they learned Edward Snowden’s name, than bipartisan supporters of the National Security State proceeded to vilify him. “The congressional double cross only serves to confirm that once again there is unanimity in Washington about how best to screw the people.”
‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies
By David Edwards, Media Lens
Last month, a ComRes poll supported by Media Lens interviewed 2,021 British adults, asking: ‘How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you think have died as a consequence of the war that began in Iraq in 2003?’
Here’s MSNBC’s Maddow, again, in an excellent piece on how Republican extremists continue their systematic assault on women’s rights in America. The piece itself is impeccable, but what’s missing is the larger context, the “backstory”: for example the fact that in far too many instances the GOP has prevailed because the Democrats have simply folded or collaborated with this abject party. But perhaps even more damnable, the ultimate treason, is the fact that in both 2006 and 2008, when Bush’s regime and the GOP had —deservedly—plummeted to their lowest popularity ratings, and the Dems literally had a mandate to clean up house, it was Obama and the traitorous Dems who extended a hand to revive the ghoul, and the rest is history. With the monster on the canvas, they should have driven a stake through its heart, but no, (upper) class imperatives dictated their moves.
By Myles Hoenig
Is this Obama’s U-2 moment? Back in 1960 while the US was flying spy missions over the Soviet Union one of its planes was shot down. President Eisenhower at the time denied its existence two weeks before an East-West Summit. He was proved to be a liar when both the plane and pilot were produced to the media.
|June 10, 2013|
|So how are average Americans doing so far in 2013? The latest indicator: Hourly wages, the Bureau of Labor Statistics informed us last week, fell at a 3.8 percent annual clip in the year’s first quarter, the largest quarterly drop ever recorded.Average Americans today are making less, after inflation, than they made in the early 1970s. Something has gone fundamentally wrong. American workplaces are simply no longer working for those who punch timecards — or play violins.Musicians who play violins — and every other instrument of a modern world-class orchestra — spend years perfecting their craft. They bring great joy whenever they perform. But the musicians of one great American orchestra have done no official performing since October 1. Local plutocrats have silenced their music.These plutocrats have demonstrated yet again why the United States has become, as sociologist Salvatore Babones points out, the world’s only major nation with inequality both high and rising. More on the new report that incited that observation — and class war with a cultured face — in this week’s Too Much.|