The smoking guns in mass killings may not be just the weapons, but also the danger posed by the untreated mentally ill, who are responsible for ten percent of homicides in the U.S.A., according to the Treatment Advocacy Center.
And many of these mentally impaired are nearly dead, forgotten, sleeping in cardboard boxes, homeless because of a federal program launched in 1963 by JFK, that has become deadly, useless and exorbitant.
Our do-nothing Congress knows the danger, but the homeless don’t vote or give politicians payoffs.
Brothers of a feather, Charles and David Koch, are once again spreading their wings, not in some benevolent embrace to aid their 120,000 workers worldwide, but instead to hover over the 2018 Congressional election and elect stooges who have pledged to kiss their bony talons.
That may seem a bit harsh. It’s not fashionable to criticize two craggy-faced zealots worth about $100 billion, who own the second largest (after Cargill) privately held firm in the U.S.A.
The Kochs will spend big bucks in 2018 – reportedly some $889 million – a lousy one percent of their total wealth, but enough to buy elections.
The Koch “investment” in 2016 was slightly less – $800 million, but compare that to $80,000 in 2016 ads by the Russians to influence the same election.
This proves American tycoons meddled best – the Kochs spent 10,000 times as much as cheapskate Vlad.
You’ll never know by just examining the supermarket package’s contents.
The problem started in 2015, when the B. Obama administration’s USDA decided to ignore food safety regulations, and rolled back Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for both beef and pork products, allowing meat to be sold without disclosing its home country on the label.
The result: meat can now be sold without disclosing the home country on the label.
Illegal drug dealers, who are designated as major suppliers, will face the electric chair or gas chamber if President Donald Trump has his way. Our sometimes alert members of Congress voice agreement, now suddenly aware that criminals who sell opioids, like heroin and oxycodone, deserve more than slap-on-wrist fines or jail time.
Don’t bet on the death penalty just yet for these creatures. With decades of litigation possible, it’s easier to prescribe life in prison.
And speaking of prescribing, when are we going to deal with the legal drug dealers, whose companies have priced life-saving medicine in the stratosphere, so that only the very rich, or those with golden health plans, are able to afford?
An illegal drug dealer who hooks 200 victims deserves their fate.
A legal drug dealer who ruins the lives of millions deserves no less a prison term.
If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.
When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.
Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.
By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.
The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:
“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
The 2018 Donald Trump Federal Budget can be balanced, even when including nearly $54 billion in increased Defense Department spending, and not one federal department would require any cuts in spending.
These are the proposed $54 billion in department cuts that would not have to take effect under my 123 Plan:
Agriculture 2018 Budget
Eliminates $500 million Water and Wastewater loan/grant program
Eliminates $200 million McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
Cuts Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion
Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies
Cuts $95 million from Rural Business and Cooperative Service
His brother is an identical twin and also a politician.
His education was only made possible by affirmative action.
“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”
Julian Castro has been on the high road to political success for many years. He was mayor of San Antonio, keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democrat Convention, was touted as H. Clinton’s best candidate for vice president on her ticket, and is the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed by Barack Obama.
But his high road has crashed into a sinkhole, and his choice as v.p. candidate with Hillary might just look like two politicians both in bed with Wall Street and serve as symbols of a cozy relation with politicians and financiers.
Julian’s disaster is called “Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. (DASP)” It is HUD’s attempt to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by selling more overdue mortgage loans to nonprofit community organizations, rather than Wall Street banks. Julian, who once had his own law firm with his brother, knows that the big banks want to buy these loans at a discount, then hound the homeowners into paying the full amount of mortgages, rather than working with borrowers.
Castro has done just the opposite. Look at last year’s results: 98% of homes sold through HUD’s DASP program went straight to Wall Street (15,309 out of 15,624). Community Development Financial Institutions only got 1% of loans sold in 2015, despite promises in April 2015 by Castro to stop feeding the loans to Wall Street. (That promise only came after pressure applied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Other political leaders are also concerned with Castro’s caving to Wall Street.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., requested a briefing on the program in a Feb. 1 letter to Castro. (full text of letter)
The letter cites the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation of the program: (Link to story).
Over 98,000 mortgages have been sold through DASP with the stated goal of helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure while also getting troubled loans off the FHA’s books. The Center investigation revealed that the mortgages were sold for as little as 41 percent of their value and that only 16.9 percent of DASP mortgages avoided foreclosures.
The Blackstone Group bought the majority of these loans last year. With some $311 billion of assets it is best known for its founder, Pete Peterson, an ancient magnate, who has backed everything from Fix the Debt to The Fiscal Times in his war to cut Social Security benefits and to raise the retirement age.
An excellent expose of Blackstone’s rental housing practices is here.
“It is not a question of substituting one ruling clique for another, but of changing the very methods of administering the economy and guiding the culture of the country. Bureaucratic autocracy must give place to Soviet democracy. A restoration of the right of criticism, and a genuine freedom of elections, are necessary conditions for the further development of the country. This assumes a revival of freedom of Soviet parties, beginning with the party of Bolsheviks, and a resurrection of the trade unions. The bringing of democracy into industry means a radical revision of plans in the interests of the toilers. Free discussion of economic problems will decrease the overhead expense of bureaucratic mistakes and zigzags. Expensive playthings—palaces of the Soviets, new theaters, show-off subways—will be crowded out in favor of workers’ dwellings. ‘Bourgeois norms of distribution’ will be confined within the limits of strict necessity, and, in step with the growth of social wealth, will give way to socialist equality. Ranks will be immediately abolished. The tinsel of decorations will go into the melting pot. The youth will receive the opportunity to breathe freely, criticize, make mistakes, and grow up. Science and art will be freed of their chains. And, finally, foreign policy will return to the traditions of revolutionary internationalism.”
— Leon Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed, 1936
In late October 1960 I watched John F. Kennedy in a motorcade at Kensington and Allegheny avenues (K&A) in Ward 3 of Northeast Philadelphia, waving to a huge crowd of Irish residents, overwhelmed to tears in some eyes, but nearly all overjoyed with the chance he would be the President. I was just 19 and though not old enough to vote (the age was 21 then), that excitement of a political revolution and government change was intense.
After the parade passed and the crowd left, I looked for something to do. My home was just a few blocks away and the “corner” boasted two large movie theaters, a Horn and Hardart, two “five and dimes”, and it was Monday afternoon, just after 4, too early for dinner, too late for lunch.
I spotted a pair of card tables with signs and pamphlets, but more important, an attractive girl to ply away some time. That began months of involvement with her and the Trotsky-inspired Socialist Workers Party, a group dedicated to changing our economic system to restrict capitalism and enhance worker control of the means of production. I learned much of the support of the group was from young, wealthy suburban youth, and many of the leaders spoke with a Russian grumble.