We need the movement to continue as you come back home.....be sure to start Democracy Now groups, build networks based on snail mail communications as corporate media will not be televising this revolution!
Here are the issues taking priority:
We want to be clear.....TPP is an issue that is years in the making yet we are hearing calls to fight it just before it is brought forward. ARE THE UNIONS LEADING THIS FIGHT? Do you know that Immigration Reform is market-based and is part of the TPP meaning it is bad for labor and justice?
Now Is the Time to Justifiably Protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) June 22, 2013 Benjamin Clement
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement set to be finalized in October 2013, with disastrous consequences for the United States. The agreement would bridge together a handful of countries – Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada and the United States – into a new “free trade” agreement.
The TPP would implement rules on everything from financial regulation, service-sector regulation, labor and environmental standards, investment, government procurement, patents and copyrights, labor and environmental standards, and trade in industrial goods and agriculture.
A particularly troubling fact about the TPP is that little is known about the agreement beyond its general contents. The negotiations have been taking place in secret and very few of the details have been unveiled to the public. In fact, much of the agreement is still being written and negotiated by lobbyists identifying themselves as “corporate trade advisers.” As seen in our other trade agreements, lobbyists look out for corporate interests instead of the interests of the American people.
Like other trade agreements before it, such as NAFTA and the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), the TPP is being advertised to the U.S. as a means to improve our economy and increase exports. However, if the disastrous effects of NAFTA are any indication, the TPP will only serve to further cripple our economy.
Implemented in 1994, NAFTA has been responsible for the loss or displacement of an estimated 682,900 U.S. jobs. Nearly all of the loses were in manufacturing. NAFTA did not increase our exports or improve our economy; quite the opposite. Because of NAFTA, thousands of jobs and businesses were lost in response to the flood of cheap imports from foreign nations.
If the shared similarities with NAFTA and KORUS weren’t enough to cause public concern toward the TPP, the fact that many companies who support the TPP have horrendous track records when it comes to mistreating their communities and workers should concern U.S. citizens. In fact, the TPP has many fair trade activists concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will foster even more instances of mistreatment, poverty, and exploitation of indigenous people around the world.
There are already examples of this today. The Longview, Washington-based Export Grain Terminal ignored a contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Port of Longview and sought to increase profits by driving down workers’ wages and standards. Even Walmart pays their workers, otherwise known as “associates,” poverty wages that are insufficient to live off of.
Something must be done to stop the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership! In December of 2012, over 300 farmers, immigration reformers, labor leaders, union members, and other groups gathered at the Peace Arch on the U.S.-Canada border to protest the TPP. If we want to stop this disastrous agreement, we must contact our congressmen and demand that they act on our behalf. We have already seen the damage that “free trade” agreements cause. We do not need another one!
NEO-LIBERALS ARE THE ONES WHO SHOUT THAT OBAMA IS PAYING DOWN THE DEBT WHILE CREATING A FALSE SENSE OF FROM WHERE THE MONEY COMES.
DO NOT ALLOW NEO-LIBERALS TO REVISE THE FACTS......ALL OF THE $16 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT IS BEING PAID OFF ON THE BACKS OF THE PEOPLE!
If people will remember Social Security has not seen a rise above 1% in all the years with Obama as have all other social programs....people are being further impoverished to provide these budget pay downs. Almost $1 trillion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid....causing people needing care not to be able to get it make up the other gains in the budget. OBAMA IS TO MLK AS ZUMA IS TO MANDELA....starving the people to protect stolen profits of the rich!
Note that this article seems glad that all those Social Security payments are going to the Treasury and not the TRUSTS. This is why neo-liberals pretend the funds in these Trusts cannot sustain in the long term.
Treasury Department Reports $3 Billion Budget Surplus In January, Shrinking Deficit
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER 02/12/13 04:14 PM ET EST
WASHINGTON — The federal government reported a rare surplus for January and is on track to run the lowest annual deficit since President Barack Obama took office.
The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the government took in a surplus of $2.9 billion in January, helped by nearly $9 billion more in Social Security taxes. Last month Congress and the White House allowed a temporary cut in Social Security taxes to expire.
The monthly surplus was the first since September.
Through the first four months of the 2013 budget year, the deficit has grown $290.4 billion. That's nearly $60 billion lower than the same period a year ago.
Revenue through those four months is 12.4 percent higher compared with the same period last year, while spending has grown only 3.5 percent.
The budget year began on Oct. 1.
The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the deficit will total $845 billion when the budget year ends on Sept. 30. If correct, that would be first time the government has run annual deficit below $1 trillion since 2008.
The deficit is the amount the government must borrow when its expenses exceed its revenue. Each month's deficit is volatile and can be affected by calendar quirks that shift government spending or revenue from one month to another.
The annual deficit is projected to be smaller this year because the government is collecting more revenue this year, mainly because of faster job growth and higher taxes.
At the same time, the government is spending less on some programs. That's in part because of spending cuts that were enacted under a 2011 agreement to raise the federal borrowing limit. Also, the improved economy has reduced demand for unemployment benefits and some other government programs.
Last year, the economy grew at a modest 2.2 percent and generated an average of about 180,000 jobs a month. Stronger job growth is forecast for this year – an average of more than 200,000 a month, some economists say. More jobs mean more income, which generates more tax revenue for the government.
Another factor in a smaller expected deficit is higher taxes for some Americans this year. When Congress and the White House reached a deal in January to avert the fiscal cliff, they allowed taxes to rise on individuals earning at least $400,000 a year and couples earning $450,000. That is expected to raise $620 billion in revenue over the next decade.
And the agreement allowed a 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security tax to expire, thereby raising taxes on nearly everyone who earns a paycheck. This year's higher Social Security tax is projected to raise about $10 billion more a month in revenue.
The additional revenue is likely to slow the deficit's growth for the rest of the budget year. The deficit will also likely shrink in April, when the government collects much of its income-tax revenue. Last year, the government reported a surplus of $59 billion for April. A stronger economy could make this year's April surplus even larger.
Economists are also optimistic that this year's deficit could be smaller than $1 trillion. But much depends on negotiations in Washington over the next few weeks. On March 1, $85 billion in spending cuts are scheduled to take effect unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert them.
Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays, said that if the full amount of reductions take place, that could trim overall economic growth by about one-half percentage point.
The CBO is projecting even smaller annual deficits of $616 billion in 2014 and $459 billion in 2015. But as more baby boomers retire and claim Medicare and Social Security, deficits would likely rise again. The implementation of the 2010 health care law would also widen deficits. The CBO forecasts that deficits could near $1 trillion again by 2023.
Republicans and President Barack Obama agree on the need for a plan to contain the deficits. But they are at odds over the details. Republicans want to trim growth in Social Security and Medicare spending but oppose any further tax increases.
Obama has said he is willing to consider cuts in the growth of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. But he argues that a balanced approach will require further tax increases on the highest earners.
Obama's presidency has coincided with four straight $1 trillion-plus deficits.
The gaps reached a record $1.41 trillion in budget year 2009, which began four months before Obama took office. That deficit was due largely to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Tax revenue plummeted. And the government spent more on stimulus programs.
The budget gaps in 2010 and 2011 were slightly lower than the 2009 deficit as a gradually strengthening economy generated more tax revenue.
President George W. Bush also ran annual deficits through most of his two terms in office after he won approval for broad tax cuts and launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The last time the government ran an annual surplus was in 2001.
We need to work hard to reverse the political corruption that makes ending the MLK legacy its goal. As people like Obama and Eric Holder are allowed to speak on this historic anniversary in MLK's name....we hear another great civil rights leader.....contemporary of MLK.....Nelson Mandela say that his only regret at having lived so long is to have to watch as those leaders coming after being just as corrupt and inhumane as the people they replaced. ZUMA, OBAMA, and ERIC HOLDER are the antithesis of MLK!
LABOR AND JUSTICE MUST NOW TAKE BACK THE PEOPLE'S PARTY FROM THESE NEO-LIBERALS TO RETURN TO MLK'S DREAM!
On the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, a New Civil Rights Movement Emerges
Ari Berman on August 24, 2013 - 6:05 PM ET The Nation
Students of Howard University march from campus to the Lincoln Memorial to participate in the Realize the Dream Rally for the fiftieth anniversary of the March in Washington, August 24, 2013 Reuters/James Lawler Duggan
There were marquee names like Eric Holder and great speeches by civil rights icons like Congressman John Lewis at the Lincoln Memorial. But the most important people at the rally and march commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington spoke earlier in the day, with little fanfare, when many had yet to arrive.
They included the likes of Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the state’s Moral Monday movement, and Philip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders. These two groups, in particular, represent the new face of a twenty-first-century civil rights movement, one that is desperately needed to fight new battles in defense of issues like voting rights and racial justice. Barber represents the latest iteration of the Martin Luther King–inspired prophetic tradition; Agnew embodies the new activism of the hip-hop generation.
“We are the forgotten generation,” said Agnew, 28, early in the morning at the Lincoln Memorial, wearing the group’s trademark “Power” cap. “We are the illegals. We are the apathetic. We are the thugs. We are the generation that you locked in the basement while movement conversations were going on upstairs.”
Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin on July 13, Agnew and other young Floridians held an impromptu sit-in at the Florida capital to protest the state’s Stand Your Ground law. It lasted thirty-one days and captured national attention, with visits from civil rights veterans like Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond and Harry Belafonte. Now the Dream Defenders have launched a new campaign to register 61,500 voters—the margin of victory for Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2010.
Fifty-five Dream Defenders took a twenty-five-hour bus ride from Miami to attend the March on Washington anniversary. “This march is important to draw the bridge from young people to generations before us,” Agnew told me. “I do see a resurgence of civil rights activism and a willingness to engage in nonviolent conflict.” Added Steven Pargett, the group’s communications director, “This is a very exciting time for young people to come together.”
In North Carolina, Barber’s Moral Monday coalition has sparked a multiracial, multi-issue political movement unseen since the 1960s, when the state became the birthplace of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins. Moral Monday activists have led the fight against the slew of radical policies passed by the state’s GOP legislature this year, including the country’s worst voter suppression law. “The greed, the meanness and the extremism of the far right has created a space for us to come together,” Barber told me. “This evil is producing a good.” For example, as a result of the GOP’s outrageous attacks on student voting, “we’re going to be able to organize these college campuses like never before,” Barber says.
Barber’s friend, Bob Zellner, a former field secretary of SNCC, attended the 1963 March on Washington when he was 24. “The most important thing about today is that grassroots organizing still works and that millions of people around the country are interested in it,” he told me. He called the march “an example of the new upsurge in the civil rights movement.” But Zellner was also upset that Barber was only invited to give a prayer early in the morning, rather than speak later in the day when more were paying attention.
In his “I Have a Dream” speech, King called on civil rights activists to “go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.” Barber says those concerned about civil rights must now do the same, at a time when state fights in places like North Carolina have once again become national battles. “We have to have state strategies to change the nation,” Barber says.
We have to remember, these leaders taking the stage.....from Obama and Pelosi, to Booker and Holder.....all created this mess and work for global corporations intending to seize this nation. Pelosi voted the Glass Steagall wall down knowing massive wealth inequity and corporate rule would end democracy in America. Obama and Holder are working as hard as they can to see that tens of trillions in corporate fraud stay with the rich and in offshore accounts, while Booker pledges his allegiance to these global corporate bosses. WE NEED LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES RUNNING AGAINST ALL NEO-LIBERALS! TAKE BACK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!
Civil rights and civil liberties all all under assault.....
Reinstating Rule of Law is a
‘New Jim Crow’ Signs Seized by Police & Critique of 2013 March on Washington in Guest Commentary, National | International, News, Opinion / by BLACK CENTRAL™ / on August 2013 at 7:47 am /
Marchers carry signs in remembrance of Trayvon Martin during the 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington August 24, 2013. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
via The Nation by Dave Zirin I spent eight hours today amongst thousands at the March on Washington, and the people present were some of the most remarkable, resilient people I have ever had the privilege to be around. The number-one face on T-shirts, placards, and even homemade drawings was not President Obama or even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was Trayvon Martin. I also witnessed homemade signs calling for jobs programs, speaking out against the school closures and in solidarity with those overseas victimized by US militarism. The people at this march are the face of resistance to what Dr. King called the “evil triplets of militarism, materialism and racism.”
The main speakers at the march, however, did not match the politics and urgency of those who gathered in the Saturday heat. Even more frustrating is that few tried. I expect to get all kinds of hate mail for what I’m about to write, but not to write it would be an act of duplicity based on what I saw and what I heard. I saw the great Julian Bond get only two minutes to say his piece before being shuttled from the stage. I saw Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has done remarkable work in recent years against the banks and predatory lending, also get less time than a pop song. I saw Reverend Lennox Yearwood, who is doing some of the most important work in the country connecting climate change to racism, get ninety seconds before being cut off. There was one speaker at the 8 am pre-rally who said the word “drones,” and that was it for any discussion of US foreign policy.
Based upon the speeches during the main portion of today’s events there can be little doubt that the Dr. King who was murdered in Memphis in 1968 would not have been allowed to speak at this fiftieth-anniversary commemoration of his life. There was no discussion of the “evil triplets.” Instead, we had far too many speakers pay homage to the narrowest possible liberal agenda in broad abstractions with none of the searing material truths that make Dr. King’s speeches so bracing even today.
As Representative Nancy Pelosi spoke, it was difficult to not think of both her defense of the NSA spying program or her vote against cutting funding to stop the mass monitoring of phone calls.
As future New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Wall Street’s best friend, spoke at the front of this March, it was difficult to not think of the Dr. King who said, “The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life.”
As Attorney General Eric Holder, the person who is not bringing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, was allotted 30 minutes—fifteen times that of Julian Bond—to speak from the front stage, it was difficult to not think about the fact that it has taken five years for him to say anything about mass incarceration in this country. The late Bayard Rustin insisted as the lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington that there be no politicians or political appointees allowed to speak. Clearly, there were different principles at work today.
Yes it was profoundly moving to see Representative John Lewis, the only living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington. Yes, it was right on time for the march organizers to give the incredible Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, time to speak – albeit far too briefly. But the closest thing to an administration critic was 9-year-old Asean Johnson, who has been on the front lines fighting school closures in Chicago and bringing the fire to President Obama’s confidante Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and the education agenda of Arne Duncan. I love Asean Johnson, but given the problems we face, far more was needed.
The day was symbolized for me on multiple levels by seeing DC Park police seize 200 professionally printed placards from activists that were distributing them for free. The placards read, “Stop Mass Incarceration. Stop the new Jim Crow.” Police said that it was “unlawful solicitation”, even though they were clearly giving them away. When those having their signs seized complained, they were threatened with fines or arrest. I heard one DC police officer say, “Hey, you can get them back at the end of the day. On second thought, given your attitude you cannot. “
I have never seen free placards confiscated at a national gathering by DC police. Then again, I’ve also never seen a demonstration so thickly monitored, with park police, the Department of Homeland Security and the military on every corner.
Today, those “triplets of evil” King warned us about 1967 still strangle this country. If we are not talking about the New Jim Crow, Wall Street and militarism, then what are we doing? King said, “If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue?” Given US foreign policy, how can one say that they stand in King’s legacy and not raise these issues?
I would ask those who find this objectionable to ask themselves, “What would Dr. King/Ella Baker/Fannie Lou Hamer/Malcolm X think about today’s march?” I don’t presume to know the answer to that question, but I know that we only honor their memory by asking it.