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Forum Post: America 10 Yrs Forward: 3rd World Death by a Thousand Cuts

Posted 4 years ago on Sept. 26, 2013, 8:48 p.m. EST by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR
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How America became a third world country

The politicians who tweeted while America burned are dismantling our society piece by piece with budget cuts

Without money for disaster relief or sound infrastructure, the authors predict frequent, widespread problems, like rolling blackouts and untended roads and bridges.

The streets are so much darker now since money for streetlights is rarely available to municipal governments. The national parks began closing down years ago. Some are already being subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. Reports on bridges crumbling or even collapsing are commonplace. The air in city after city hangs brown and heavy (and rates of childhood asthma and other lung diseases have shot up), because funding that would allow the enforcement of clean air standards by the Environmental Protection Agency is a distant memory. Public education has been cut to the bone, making good schools a luxury, and, according to the Department of Education, two of every five students won't graduate from high school.

It's 2023 – this is America a decade years after the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. They went on for a decade, making no exception for effective programs that were already underfunded, like job training and infrastructure repairs. It wasn't supposed to be this way.

CONTINUED: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/21/sequester-cuts-make-america-third-world-country

Meanwhile back On Today's Show - Thu, Sep 26, 2013

The good news is that it seems like the GOP might be backing away from the idea of a government shutdown. The bad news is that they’re only not doing it so that they can default on the debt. Government shutdown, or defaulting on the debt? So little time, and so many ways to harm America.

After his big fake filibuster, Ted Cruz called into Rush Limbaugh’s show to decry political theater and show votes! Amazing! Ted Cruz cries out against political “theater” while he’s still wiping the greasepaint off of his face after his latest performance.

On Rush’s show, Ted Cruz kept referring to his pointless speech as “the filibuster.” Hey, if nothing that you say in 21 hours is going to be true, you might as well give the whole thing a title that’s a blatant lie as well. Cruz said he would not defend himself against those who said his speech was nothing but a PR and fundraising stunt. That’s convenient—because there is absolutely no way he can defend himself against those charges.

A top Nevada Republican says that the 2014 election should be great for Republicans since there will be fewer of those pesky minorities and young people voting. Why there are so few that they barely have to work at disenfranchising them! Every minority voter who doesn’t bother to vote is one less minority voter that the GOP doesn’t have to prevent from voting.

That insane gun-nut ex-sheriff from Pennsylvania has gotten a radio talk show. Of course you knew that was going to happen the first time you saw one of his videos of him shooting a gun and ranting obscenities. Mark Kessler was famous for making hate-filled video rants that featured extreme gun violence. He now regrets ever having done that… without realizing that he could get paid for doing it.
Read more: http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/daily-blog-380723/on-todays-show-thu-sep-26-11688283/#ixzz2g394EGgh

How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

By Sara Robinson, AlterNet

America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen?

It's been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don't know is that they're also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are.

Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that's corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here's what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now.

CONTINUED: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10126-how-a-brutal-strain-of-american-aristocrats-have-come-to-rule-america

Read more: http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/daily-blog-380723/on-todays-show-thu-sep-26-11687811/#ixzz2g36PobDC



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[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

Republicans shun shutdown but flirt with default

Some lawmakers who opposed the filibuster effort are now spoiling for a debt limit fight. | By MANU RAJU and JAKE SHERMAN | 9/26/13 5:07 AM EDT

Many Republicans were highly dubious — if not downright furious — at Ted Cruz’s threat to use a government shutdown as leverage to gut Obamacare.

But employing similar tactics for hiking the debt ceiling? Well, that’s a different question entirely.

A large number of Senate and House Republicans are raising the threat of a debt default to curtail, delay or defund President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. It’s a major gamble — risking the prospect of a first-ever default on U.S. debt — but it’s one seriously being considered by the same Republicans who have refused to join Cruz’s filibuster attempt of the stopgap spending bill to keep the government running.

(WATCH: Ted Cruz, Harry Reid exchange on end of marathon speech)

“I think the debt ceiling is a good opportunity … to defund or at least delay,” said Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, who opposed his Texas colleague’s tactics on the spending bill. “I’m for delay, defund, repeal, demolish, destroy, whatever the ‘d’ is, when it comes to Obamacare — I’m for.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who dubbed Cruz’s threat to shut down the government over Obamacare the “dumbest idea” he’d ever heard, said Congress shouldn’t give Obama a debt ceiling increase without attaching strings, and the president “is going to pay some price for it, which is a benefit for the American people.”

“I hope [an Obamacare] delay is either part of the next [continuing resolution] or I hope it’s part of the debt ceiling,” Burr said.

(WATCH: Debt ceiling showdown: By the numbers)

The shift in strategy is a sign of how Republicans — tired of being divided over tactics in this fall’s fiscal fights — are eagerly looking to unite in the next battle, hoping to win concessions from the White House. Many Republicans believe that they would lose a public relations war if government agencies were forced to close down, much the way Republicans did in the budget battles with President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. But on raising the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, Republicans believe they’re on much firmer political ground to demand some spending cuts — or changes to Obamacare — given the public’s disapproval of sky-high deficits and the unpopularity of the health care law.

The early debt ceiling jockeying is another sign that Washington will be consumed this fall and winter with a seemingly endless series of fiscal battles that could cause tremendous harm to the U.S. and international economies. Congress is now struggling to pass a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running past Oct. 1. And if the House and Senate reach an agreement, it will almost certainly be a short-term plan, causing Congress to revisit the funding battle as early as mid-November.

(Also on POLITICO: GOP leaders still struggle with party's wingers)

And hovering over everything else is the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling — a battle widely expected on Capitol Hill to be far messier than the current fight. Refusing to replay the brinkmanship in 2011 that caused a first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt, the White House steadfastly refuses to negotiate over the debt ceiling.

But to get 60 Senate votes, President Barack Obama may have to negotiate with Republicans who won’t give him a debt ceiling increase for free. And some Republicans say a clear way to do that is to delay the Jan. 1 deadline mandating the purchase of individual health insurance.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has called Cruz’s tactics “a box canyon,” believes the debt ceiling should be used as a way to slash mandatory spending programs that are driving up the deficit.

“I think there are some achievable things that — like the individual mandate, like the medical device tax … it seems to me that we ought to try to achieve some wins, some policies that we can actually put in place,” Corker said. “I think on the debt ceiling, the best approach would be try to actually achieve something of substance as far as altering the legislation.”

(Also on POLITICO: House staffers warned of shutdown impact)

“The debt ceiling provides more of an opportunity to get something than the [continuing resolution] does,” said Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of GOP leadership, who is open to the idea of tying a delay of the individual mandate to the debt ceiling.

“Obviously the main thing we are talking about now is the [continuing resolution], but the CR is really a step to the debt ceiling,” said Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.). “It leads right into the debt ceiling issue.”

Still, it’s an incredibly risky proposition. Defaulting on the debt could prevent the country from paying bills and have unforeseen economic consequences across the globe, shaking financial markets and affecting government programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/republicans-obamacare-delay-debt-ceiling-97376.html#ixzz2g4cryMN6

[-] 1 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 4 years ago

How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

I'm a southern Democrat. I have socially liberal views and fiscally conservative views. This was actually an interesting read. Not sure how relevant all of the info is today, but as a historical perspective it's informative. We can see it definitely holds true with at least some political figures today.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

It was an interesting read.

I'm still seeing this as an attempt to drive wedges between Americans. Not that north or south ever really got back together.

[-] 0 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 4 years ago

You cannot highlight something that isn't there

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

The MSM's major task is to un-unite the United States.

Driving wedges between groups of people is their raison d'etre.

Making it look like there's an identifiable villainous group, AND they're from the south, looks like more divisive activity to my mind's eye.

This is all a big game of chess, my friend, and most of us are merely pawns.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

I've said since Raygun, this is all a big ranch, and we are the cattle.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

Now that the market for cattle is dropping, let the culling begin.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

want fries with that ?

[-] -2 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 4 years ago

My view of the extreme nature of America is simple. We're lazy. That includes the people running the place. It's easy for MSM and Hollywood to sell us on our primal emotions. Sex, love, anger, excitement. So they do. If it didn't make them money, they'd do something else. A directive from the man behind the curtain can't be heard by unemployed news anchors. Conspiracy or not, they sell what we buy.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 4 years ago

I don’t think Americans are lazy. Probably more accurate to say they are overwhelmed by it all. Every person and group is tugging on people’s sleeve saying “look at me, look at me”. People cannot possibly get involved with every cause, every political debate or every perceived injustice. It’s just not possible to internalize all the issues in today’s world. People tune most of it out for survival and sanity’s sake. The world is in your face 24/7. People can’t deal with it.

The average person on the street is more worried about paying for child care, getting their car fixed and getting the clothes washed than political issues. For instance, the US has been in endless war for a decade, and most people barely notice. The possible government shutdown barely make the news. It’s just the filler story of the day for most people. OWS, The Tea Party, Democrats and Republications are all ignored by most people because none of them affect their lives.

So, no, Americans aren’t lazy; and they aren’t going to get involved in any political or social movement until events and circumstances force them out of their complacent existence. I personally think it’ll all have to fall apart before people get involved.

[-] 0 points by RobertHod (1) 4 years ago

Agreed, very good post. Americans are scared and confused, and they've been that way a long time. Much worse now however.

[-] -3 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 4 years ago

So, no, Americans aren't lazy; and they aren't going to get involved in any political or social movement until events and circumstances force them out of their complacent existence.

I can't help but notice that you contradicted yourself in one sentence.

[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 4 years ago

Probably so. Wouldn't be the first time.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

Actually, Hollywood rarely makes a lot of money on movies.

Advertising is their biggest earner. When you become aware of the numbers of operatives (yeah, spies, plants, agents) working within the media, you'd easily put two and two together, and know that Hollywood would be likewise infiltrated.

Interactive gaming is the new Hollywood, and no doubt, the "agents" would already be active in that sphere as well.

[-] -1 points by MyBrothersKeeper (-36) 4 years ago

True, but... There must be a company to infiltrate to begin with. If we didn't watch the movies, they wouldn't make a profit from ads. If we don't buy the merchandise... I'm saying that we financially support the media and everything else. If people thought deeper about seemingly innocent decisions, didn't buy things that send a poor message to kids, ect, we would be able to steer our society by what we buy. We don't do that. We have information that could inform the public but those outlets are seen with political implications.

How do you educate the public about their economic impact morally, and remove the political aspects?

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

My advice to everyone is, to switch off the television, and be selective about which news sources you read.

[-] -2 points by RobertHod (1) 4 years ago

Semiotics is used to invisibly invoke primal instincts since 1979.

Cognitive distortions practiced and taught by sitcoms, game shows, soaps, all slowly increased their uses. TV babysitting gets the tendency to distort well embedded, by puberty the social competition starts and the distortions become language tools for groups to manipulate and distinguish themselves.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

Yeah, that's why I don't watch the box.

Once we are aware of this kind of conditioning, it can be spotted in other, less obvious places.

[-] 1 points by RobertHod (1) 4 years ago

Symbols are everywhere. It's the combination and presentation that develops the unconscious exploitation that semiotics hones into a science.

It's been since '99 since I watched. I realize now that a huge amount of effort goes into creating context where semiotics can work more radically to change behaviors and decisions.

First generations were divided, because they would warn of the divisions effect. Then the people of a generation were divided by image association and attitude that was exemplified over and over in different ways by film and TV.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

The lead story is about America becoming a third world country, the story you cite addresses how. That's the relevance.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 4 years ago

How The Wealthy Plan to Finance The American Aristocracy With Middle Class Dollars

The quest for influence, power and control at all levels of government has long played out through large political contributions and the big bucks paid to lobbyists to accomplish special interest objectives. And while the game has often been ‘rigged’ to benefit the wealthy in our society, there was always a role to be played by the nation’s unions -thanks, in no small part, to their substantial treasuries filled by the dues paying membership.

That is all about to change.

There is a new front in the war being waged by the rich to create an enduring American aristocracy to take charge of the nation- a structure the wealthy believe is the nation’s only real chance for survival. And make no mistake, they have an incredibly clever strategy that plays out in two parts -and it is working.

First – Starve the unions of the dues that support their political clout and thereby give the decided advantage to those who back the party sympathetic to the agenda of business and the wealthy.

That party would be the GOP.

The objective of this first goal was no doubt hatched in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

In the landmark case, which removed limits on what corporations and unions can contribute to support political campaigns by way of independent expenditures, the court went out of its way to point out that removing limits would not only benefit the corporations but would also serve the purposes of the unions and their own substantial treasuries. As a result, the court argued, the political balance would not be unduly shaken so long as the unions continued to have ample funds to pursue their political agenda. Keep in mind that while individuals are limited in direct contributions to political campaigns, they are permitted unlimited expenditures for indirect, independent expenditures.

Thus, it became important to the efforts of the wealthy to see to it that the unions no longer had those ample funds to pursue their agenda. CONTINUED: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/03/11/how-the-wealthy-plan-to-finance-the-american-aristocracy-with-middle-class-dollars/