Monthly Archives: December 2019

Консультант Плюс

Что такое Консультант Плюс?

Система поиска правовых документов Консультант Плюс, существует с 1992 года. С тех пор платформа зарекомендовала себя, как верный компас в области законодательных актов. За вновь принятыми законами, поправками к этим законам, просто невозможно уследить. В этой ситуации на помощь приходит Консультант Плюс. Взаимодействие с органами власти, позволяют сервису держать руку на пульсе.

Информационная составляющая Консультант Плюс

Платформа содержит в себе около двухсот миллионов документов. Информацию о применении того или иного закона. Интервью и консультации с представителями власти. Позиции ведомств и судов. Образцы и примеры заполнения бланков. Советы и рекомендации по применению нормативных актов в бизнесе и повседневной жизни. Консультант Плюс доверяют крупнейшие ведомства, организации и предприятия страны, такие, например, как налоговая служба и центральный банк России. Здесь можно найти:
⦁ Законы и кодексы РФ.
⦁ Международные правовые акты.
⦁ Изменения и поправки к законам.
⦁ Комментарии к законам.
⦁ Тематические книги и статьи.
⦁ Обзоры законодательства.
⦁ Формы и бланки документов.
⦁ Профессиональные календари, должностные инструкции, курсы валют и прочее).

Зачем покупать Консультант Плюс?

Как известно, плохая информированность или незнание законов, не снимает с вас ответственности. Особенно актуальна эта фраза для бизнеса. Почему следует купить консультант плюс на официальном сайте тут: https://ra-it.ru/? Ответ на этот вопрос очень прост:
⦁ Набор документов, в онлайн версии ограничен.
⦁ Уверенность в достоверности и актуальности, нужной Вам информации. Система ежедневно обновляется. Каждый день юристы, анализируют и систематизируют данные, поступающие из органов власти разных уровней.
⦁ Для удобства пользователей разработано несколько версий программы. Можно подобрать программу, которая будет приспособлена именно для Вашего бизнеса.
⦁ Возможность подобрать профиль, для определенной группы специалистов. Созданы отдельные продукты для юристов, бухгалтеров, кадровиков, руководителей бюджетных организаций, для студентов и преподавателей.
⦁ Экономия времени. Мгновенный поиск документа. Структурированный список взаимосвязанных документов. Поисковые инструменты адаптированы к профессиональной лексике, понимают распространённые сокращения.
⦁ С покупкой пакета, вы получаете много приятных и нужных бонусов. Например, онлайн-чат со специалистом. Обучение и помощь в работе на всех этапах, консультации.
Консультант Плюс самый востребованный ресурс, с максимально полным объёмом нормативных документов. Платформа идёт в ногу со временем. Информационные центры по всей стране делают работу с платформой ещё проще и удобнее.

Australian Politics 2019-12-30 14:36:00

Uncategorized


Disgrace:  Leftist Qld. Premier rejects cash for firefighters on a technicality

After much anticipation over the public pressure to support our Australian firefighters on the front line, Scott Morrison finally announced that volunteer firefighters will get to see some financial relief.

At the moment, the payments will be available to Rural Fire Service NSW volunteers who are self-employed or work for small and medium businesses. These firefighters will be able to access payments worth up to $300 a day, capped at a maximum of $6000 if they have served for more than 10 days fighting the current fires.

Mr Morrison extended the scheme to other states and territories who wished to participate, with the federal government setting aside $50 million for the cause.

But, it has been revealed that Queensland volunteer firefighters might not receive the $6000 cash boost offered to them. Queensland has not signed off on the proposal and implied Mr Morrison was disappointed by the decision.

The publication said that Annastacia Palaszczuk's government had so far refused to give the funding the go ahead because it was not a national scheme and was being offered to each state individually. 

Both South Australia and Victoria have confirmed that their firefighters will receive the money.

But on Monday, Ms Palaszczuk says she did not turn down the offer of compensation for volunteer firefighters in Queensland on Monday morning. "Queensland's volunteer firefighters deserve the same level of federal government support as do other volunteer firefighters across the country," Ms Palaszczuk said in a statement.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said it is important for firefighters to receive compensation but agrees it needs to be made nation-wide.

"One of the things I know from being on the ground on the north coast, in Queensland, on the South Coast, is that many firefighters are travelling from interstate," he told the Today Show.

"These fires don't recognise State boundaries and nor do firefighters, I've got to say. That's why it needs a national approach."

SOURCE  






Proposed Queensland water reforms anger graziers

Aims to "protect" rivers.  Protect them from what?  From being used, most likely

Farmers fear their livelihood could be undermined by the Palaszczuk government’s “sneaky” pre-Christmas announcement that it would review the management of some of the best cattle grazing country in Queensland.

State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch released a scantly detailed statement on December 20 saying the government was consulting “with stakeholders” to protect the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre basin under the Regional Planning Interests Act.

The catchment for the giant salt lake in South Australia runs through some of the Queensland outback’s prime cattle grazing country.

It is understood the government has been working on the proposed reform for at least six months, with input coming from green groups, traditional owners and farming groups.

Graziers fear the legislation will be a significant reform with far-reaching consequences.

Birdsville grazier David Brook, who is also the chairman of OBE Organic, a beef supply company that gets most of its products from properties within the Lake Eyre basin, said farmers were confused by the government’s statement and had not been able to get more details over the Christmas break.

“We’re in the middle of a terrible drought, and the government’s Christmas present is to give no notice to potentially hundreds of impacted outback graziers that the way they run their business is about to be changed,” he said.

OBE Organic managing director Dalene Wray said the government needed to provide more details about the proposal.

“We’re concerned that poor timing, unreasonably and unnecessarily short timeframes, and an inadequate consultation process may lead to significant and avoidable mistakes by bureaucrats when determining the most ­appropriate administration of this pristine region,” Ms Wray said.

The pristine basin, which covers a sixth of the Australian landmass, is one of the world’s largest internally-draining river systems.

The water that fills the lake usually falls hundreds of kilo­metres from the shallow lake, draining the low-lying plains around the meeting points of the Queensland, NSW, Northern Territory and South Australian borders. Much of the water that falls in the basin never reaches the lake and is swallowed by the desert channels.

Ms Enoch said the consultation process was to fulfil a 2017 election commitment to protect Queensland’s rivers.

“The proposed framework will increase protections for streams and floodplains in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin, since those protections were removed by the former LNP government,” she said.

“We are going to work in partnership with First Nations peoples and support their establishment of the Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owner Alliance, which will have an active role in the decision-making and management of the area.”

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said it was vital to strike a “balance between economic prosperity and ecological sustainability”.

Agriculture lobby group ­AgForce accused the government of a “sham” consultation process and conducting “secret meetings with green activists groups”.

Chief executive Michael Guerin said the government had used the cover of Christmas to draw ­attention away from the reform.

“They have deliberately made the submission time so short and over the Christmas holiday period, to ensure few or no submissions are received,” he said.

“It is hard to overstate how dodgy the process is. The Lake Eyre Basin legislation could lock up huge tracts of inland Queensland from agricultural or resource developments, which may have a huge impact on the very survival of farm businesses and towns in the region.”

Diamantina Shire Council mayor Geoff Morton said it was “a bit sneaky” of the government to release the announcement so close to Christmas. “They obviously don’t want people to study it with too much detail,” he said.

Mr Morton, who runs the 518,000ha Roseberth Station near Birdsville, said he was not aware of what impact the reform would have on his livelihood.

SOURCE  






A new voice for class teachers

Australian education could benefit from a shake-up of teachers’ unions, many of which oppose NAPLAN testing, reject the idea of merit pay for the best and brightest teachers, embrace fads such as critical literacy in English teaching and support students’ climate change boycotts of classes. Teachers’ unions are also highly politicised, backing Labor’s push to pour billions of dollars extra into the education system, despite classroom standards declining amid vast spending increases.

But the unions have baulked at efforts to promote phonics in early reading teaching, despite overwhelming evidence that it is the most efficient way to redress Australia’s poor performance in literacy.

Against that background, an interesting, fledgling development is under way in Queensland. Craig Johnstone reports on Monday that moves to break the stranglehold of political and industrial influence by Labor-leaning unions have taken another step. A new body, the Teachers Professional Association of Queensland, is promising lower fees and a ban on political donations to attract members.

The TPAQ has signed up about 100 members since its launch earlier this month. At this stage, it is no threat to the 47,000-strong Queensland Teachers Union. But it is modelled on the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland, which was formed six years ago as a rival to the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union. It has grown to 5000 members. The QTU insists it is not affiliated with any political party. But it is affiliated with the Queensland Council of Unions, a major donor to the ALP.

If the new group is to succeed it must offer teachers better services and value, for which it is planning to charge a flat fee. Conscientious teachers would also appreciate their professional body taking a more constructive approach to the chronic problems in education.

As reported on Saturday, more than half the students offered building apprenticeships do not complete their courses because they lack basic skills in key subjects, such as maths. A teachers’ union with a better focus should be part of the solution, not the problem.

SOURCE  






Our charming African refugees again

Their way of thanking us for giving them refuge

Beloved grandfather, 50, left brain-dead with just hours to live after being 'stomped on and beaten with baseball bats' by gang of 10-15 youths outside his home after Christmas Day with his family

Brother-in-law said gang of 10-15 'African guys' set upon the family in the street

A 50-year-old grandfather who was allegedly bashed with baseball bats outside his home in a Christmas Day dispute with neighbours will have his life support switched off.

Anthony Clark, 50, was allegedly 'thrown around like a rag doll', stomped on and hit with bats in the street outside his home at Moorolbark in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs shortly before 11pm.

His wife was also knocked out in their driveway and Mr Clark's stepdaughter Jessikah Clark said he was 'pretty much gone'.

'My daughter's lost her everything now. She just wants her poppy to come home and he's never going to come home,' Ms Clark told Nine News.

'My mum is worried about everyone and is just lying there with him praying. But he's pretty much gone that's it.'

'We have lost the best man in our whole lives,' Ms Clarke told the Herald Sun.

'No-one should have to die on Christmas Day just for looking after his wife and kids.'

The man's family was scheduled to arrive from Ireland and Canada on Sunday after which Mr Clarke's life support will be switched off. 

The violence began as the family were saying their farewells on the street and fireworks were let off, causing a dog to bark and the owners to get angry, Jessikah Clark said.

The family said a gang of youths with weapons, including bats and metal bars, were involved in the attack.

Ms Clark also claimed there were about '15 men' that set up on them she and her mother were hit.

'They had bats...they smashed my car and they threw mum around like a rag doll.' 

Mr Clark was allegedly confronted by a large group of men during the massive brawl.

His wife and 25-year-old stepdaughter were also allegedly attacked, his brother-in-law Mark told 3AW. 

'He's a gentle giant, and he was brutally, and I mean, savagely, attacked,' he said.

'A whole gang of African guys, ranging from teenage to mid-20s, approximately 10-15 of them with cars and baseball bats, attacked him, knocked my sister out.'

Mark said he believed his brother-in-law was trying to shield his baby during the brutal attack.

'They knocked my sister out, and had my niece - from what I understand - by the hair,' he told 3AW.

The man was repeatedly bashed in the head and was taken to hospital in a critical condition and placed in intensive care.

The family said there was no hope of recovery and his life-support will be turned off.

His wife suffered minor injuries and has been by his side at the hospital ever since.

An 18-year-old man was arrested but was later released.

SOURCE  

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 29, 2019

Uncategorized
Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 29, 2019
by Tony Wikrent
Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus

99 GOOD News Stories You Probably DIDN'T Hear About In 2019
[via The Big Picture 12-23-19]

A giant among us has passed

William Greider – in memoriam – (1936 – 2019)
Tony Wikrent, December 28, 2019 [Real Economics]

William Greider, Journalist Who Focused on Economy, Dies at 83
[New York Times, via Naked Capitalism 12-27-19]
'A Stark Loss for American Journalism': Reporter and Author William Greider Dies at Age 83
[The Nation 12-27-19]

Strategic Political Economy

The Loss of Fair Play
Yves Smith, December 27, 2019 [Naked Capitalism 12-16-19]
This site regularly discusses the rise of neoliberalism and its consequences, such as rising inequality and lower labor bargaining rights. But it’s also important to understand that these changes were not organic but were the result of a well-financed campaign to change the values of judges and society at large to be more business-friendly. But the sacrifice of fair dealing as a bedrock business and social principle has had large costs.
We’ve pointed out how lower trust has increased contracting costs: things that use to be done on a handshake or a simple letter agreement are now elaborately papered up. The fact that job candidates will now engage in ghosting, simply stopping to communicate with a recruiter rather than giving a ritually minimalistic sign off, is a testament to how impersonal hiring is now perceived to be, as well as often-abused workers engaging in some power tit for tat when they can. 
But on a higher level, the idea of fair play was about self-regulation of conduct. Most people want to see themselves as morally upright, even if some have to go through awfully complicated rationalizations to believe that. But when most individuals lived in fairly stable social and business communities, they had reason to be concerned that bad conduct might catch up with them.... 
Another aspect of the decline in the importance of fair dealing is the notion of the obligations of power, that individuals in a position of authority have a duty to those in their sway. 
The abandonment of lofty-sounding principles like being fair has other costs. We’ve written about the concept of obliquity, how in complex systems, it’s not possible to chart a simple path though them because it’s impossible to understand it well enough to begin to do so. John Kay, who has made a study of the issue and eventually wrote a book about it, pointed out as an illustration that studies of similarly-sized companies in the same industry showed that ones that adopted nobler objectives did better in financial terms than ones that focused on maximizing shareholder value.
Imagining a World Without Capitalism
Yanis Varoufakis, December 27, 2019 [Project Syndicate, via Naked Capitalism 12-26-19]

Climate and environmental crises

In Asia Pacific the climate crisis is happening now, not in the future
[CNN, via Naked Capitalism 12-26-19]
“Lawyers are going to court to stop climate change. And it might just work”
[The Correspondent, via Naked Capitalism 12-24-19] 
“[C]ourt cases involving climate change were rare until midway through the 2000s. Since then, dozens of cases have been initiated revolving around climate change, with new cases peaking in 2017. In most cases, the targets are governments, but companies, banks and investors are also being summoned to account for the inadequacy of their climate policy. The legal principles invoked by climate cases are essentially universal in (western) legal systems: the polluter pays; it is forbidden to unnecessarily endanger others; high-risk activities require adequate preventive measures. What’s new is that the law is now being used as a potential tool to break through political deadlock and entrenched interests to tackle climate change.” • See Naked Capitalism on Juliana v. United States.
Cattle have stopped breeding, koalas die of thirst: A vet’s hellish diary of climate change 
[Sidney Morning Herald, via Naked Capitalism 12-26-19]

A South Florida town’s pioneering plan to fund retreat from sea rise 
[Tampa Bay, via Naked Capitalism 12-28-19]

It’s part of the town’s new comprehensive plan to address all aspects of climate change, from emissions to building codes to infrastructure. And the key to pulling it all off is explaining to its residents what’s happening, and how Surfside can — or can’t — help them.

When Prager first started to panic about the rising tides broaching her sea wall, she asked the town for help. Her sea wall is connected to a public one next door. Unlike all the surrounding sea walls, it hasn’t been elevated in decades.

She pushed the town to raise the public sea wall — and maybe hers, too. They’re evaluating raising the public wall, the last remaining city sea wall to be elevated.

Stanford Researchers Have an Exciting Plan to Tackle The Climate Emergency Worldwide
[ScienceAlert, via Naked Capitalism 12-28-19]
....Stanford researchers have come up with a plan.

Using the latest data available, they have outlined how 143 countries around the world can switch to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

This plan could not only contribute towards stabilising our dangerously increasing global temperatures, but also reduce the 7 million deaths caused by pollution every year and create millions more jobs than keeping our current systems. The plan would require a hefty investment of around US$73 trillion. But the researchers' calculations show the jobs and savings it would earn would pay this back in as little as seven years. 
"Based on previous calculations we have performed, we believe this will avoid 1.5 degree global warming," environmental engineer and lead author Mark Jacobson told ScienceAlert.
[Nature, via Naked Capitalism 12-27-19]

[MIT Technology Review, via Naked Capitalism 12-27-19]
So far, cleaner technologies have mostly met rising energy demands, not cut deeply into existing fossil-fuel infrastructure, as the charts that follow make clear.... 
(The analysis is based on the UN climate panel’s “middle-of-the-road” scenario, which assumes that economic growth, population patterns, and other trends generally follow historic patterns.) If we stick to the average rate of clean energy additions during the last five years, it would take about 360 years to build a system of that size, Breakthrough’s Seaver Wang found. If we did it at the fastest rate in the last five years, it’d still take nearly 260 years.

The Carnage of Establishment Neoliberal Economics

My “Pickup Truck Price Index” Crushes “CPI for New Vehicles
[Wolf Street, via Naked Capitalism comments 12-23-19]

For the 1990 model year, the base MSRP of the F-150 XLT was $12,986. In the 2020 model year, it’s $34,160. That’s a price gain of 163%.

Let that sink in for a moment. Over the same period, the CPI for new vehicles (green line, right scale in the chart below) rose just 22%:

Note that from 1990 through 1998, the CPI for new vehicles closely tracked the price increases of the F-150. But this surge in CPI was too disturbing, apparently, and so the CPI methodology was enhanced with aggressive hedonic quality adjustments and other methods to bring CPI down, and it actually fell from 1997 through 2009, even as new vehicle prices were soaring.

A commenter on Naked Capitalism added: "Note the inherent class warfare aspect of the dynamic here: Technological advances are inherently deflationary, in that they allow a manufacturing worker to produce ever-more value-add per hour. In a fair world, said workers would share in that increased value-add via salary gains, which would largely offset the price increases of the higher-value-add products they and others produce."

'Cutting Social Security Is Murder': Flood of Public Outrage Greets Trump Proposal to Slash Benefits for Hundreds of Thousands
[Common Dreams, via Naked Capitalism comments 12-23-19]
The proposal received hardly any media attention when it was first published in the Federal Register in November. But recent reporting on the proposed rule change, as well as outrage from progressive Social Security advocates, sparked a flood of public condemnation and calls for the Trump administration to reverse course. 
Backlash against the proposal can be seen in the public comment section for the rule, where self-identified physicians, people with disabilities, social workers, and others have condemned the change as monstrous and potentially deadly. The number of public comments has ballooned in recent days, going from less than 200 to more than 1,700 in a week. 
The public comment period ends on January 17, 2020. Comments can be submitted here.

Latest Bid by France’s Macron to Quell Protests Over Neoliberal Pension Scheme Fails as Strikes Continue 
Dani Rodrik [South China Morning Post, via Naked Capitalism 12-25-19]
Today’s impasse between [China and USA] is rooted in the faulty paradigm I call “hyper-globalism”, under which the priorities of the global economy receive precedence over the priorities of the home economy. According to this model for the international system, countries must maximally open their economies to foreign trade and investment, regardless of the consequences for their growth strategies or social models.

This requires that national economic models – the domestic rules governing markets – converge considerably. Without such convergence, national regulations and standards will appear to impede market access. They are treated as “non-tariff trade barriers” in the language of trade economists and lawyers. China’s admission to the World Trade Organisation was predicated on the assumption that China would become a market economy similar to Western models.

This has clearly not happened. Meanwhile, in the United States and many other advanced economies, hyper-globalism has left behind communities devastated by offshoring and imports – creating fertile ground for nativist political demagogues to thrive.

Predatory Finance

Goldman Sachs Federally-Insured Bank Loses $1.2 Billion in Interest Rate Derivative Bets
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, December 26, 2019 [Wall Street on Parade]
A week before Christmas when Americans were focused on either the impeachment proceedings or holiday preparations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) quietly released its quarterly report on the trading and derivative activities of Wall Street’s casino banks. It contained a humdinger in, literally, red ink. The report showed that Goldman Sachs Bank USA, which is, insanely, a federally-insured bank backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer that is part of the Goldman trading colossus, had lost $1.24 billion trading interest rate derivatives during the third quarter of this year. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the bank only holds $149.8 billion in deposits while the OCC reports it has $49 trillion in notional derivatives (face amount). (See Table 7 in the Appendix at this link.)....

If you want to understand the relevant history on why the New York Fed is currently throwing hundreds of billions of dollars each week at Wall Street’s trading houses, here’s a quick tutorial on the rapid financial collapse on Wall Street in 2008.

Health Care Crisis

People hate shopping for health insurance 
[Axios, via Naked Capitalism 12-25-19]

[New York Times, via Naked Capitalism 12-28-19]


Information Age Dystopia

New York City couldn’t pry open its own black box algorithms. So now what?
[Recode, via Naked Capitalism comments 12-22-19]
Algorithms and artificial intelligence can influence much of a city government’s operations. Predictive models and algorithms have been used to do everything from improving public school bus routes and predicting a home’s risk of fire to determining the likelihood of whether a child has been exposed to lead paint. In New York City, it’s publicly known that such systems have been used to predict which landlords are likely to harass their tenants, in the evaluation of teacher performance, and in the DNA analysis used by the criminal justice system, examples that were flagged by the research nonprofit AI Now.
The Rise of Biometric Authentication – The Rewards and Risks 
[Data Science Central, via The Big Picture 12-28-19]
[CBS, via Naked Capitalism 12-24-19] 
“Workers at Amazon facilities are twice as likely to be injured on the job as others in the warehousing industry, and those sprains, strains and worse are especially prevalent during the holiday shopping season, according to a report by labor advocates. For every 100 workers at Amazon facilities, nearly 11 were injured on the job in 2018, making it three times as dangerous as employment across the private sector, and twice as dangerous as warehouse work in general, according to the study from a coalition of more than 40 groups, including the National Employment Law Center and United for Respect.”

Creating new economic potential - science and technology

40 Years Ago, Doctors Vaccinated a Group of Children in Africa. Then Something “Incredible” Happened. 
[Mother Jones, via Naked Capitalism 12-27-19] 
In 1979, Danish anthropologist Peter Aaby, in his mid-30s, was studying malnutrition in the small West African country of Guinea-Bissau when the outbreak hit—a measles epidemic of horrific proportions. At least 20 percent of children under 5 years old who got measles that year would die. He and his colleagues began vaccinating, hoping to save the remaining healthy children. 
His team’s effort would lead to a remarkable discovery: The vaccinated children, about 1,500 of them, didn’t die—not from measles or any other condition. In a year, the kids’ mortality rate for all causes declined threefold compared to unvaccinated children. “This is strange,” he began to think. “Something incredible happened here.” 
Decades of research and hundreds of studies later, Aaby and a growing community of scientists now hypothesize that some vaccines may help children fight more illnesses beyond the “target” infection. “Your immune system is so smart—it’s just like a brain,” explains Christine Stabell Benn, a professor of global health at the University of Southern Denmark, and Aaby’s partner both in life and in research. “It learns something from the event [of getting a vaccine] that it can use in other situations.” The pair have observed this knock-on effect in children in Guinea-­Bissau who’ve gotten vaccines for tuberculosis (BCG), smallpox, and polio.

World’s First 3D Printed Community Minimises Homelessness in Mexico 
[ArchDaily, via Naked Capitalism 12-27-19] 
The world’s first 3D printed community is currently underway in a remote area in Mexico. The printer has been created as a solution to minimise homelessness and provide safe and adequate shelter for individuals. 
New Story, a not for profit organisation, which was founded five years ago, aims to provide adequate shelter/housing for people exposed to extreme poverty and unsafe housing. New Story, to date, have constructed 2,700 homes catering for 15,000 people located in areas such as Haiti, El Salvador, Bolivia and Mexico. For these homes they have used traditional construction methods and in the past two years have started to explore innovative construction solutions for faster building production that caters for the ever changing social housing sector and housing crisis.
[New Republic, via Naked Capitalism 12-28-19]
This is a very misleading title. Much more accurate would have been: How the base of the Democratic Party was radicalized by Obama's decision to side with the bankers against the people in the global financial crisis
[Politico, via Naked Capitalism 12-22-19]
Since the start of Biden’s campaign, he’s relied on a core group of half a dozen people.... But when the upper echelons of the Biden operation assemble at campaign headquarters in Philadelphia’s Center City, the group looks a lot like Biden: old and white and with long experience in Democratic party battles of a bygone era. 
The average age of those six—Steve Ricchetti, Mike Donilon, Ron Klain, Valerie Biden Owens, Bruce Reed and Anita Dunn—is 62. They are the key to understanding the big things about the Biden campaign: its centrist ideology, its old-fashioned view of the Democratic electorate, how the campaign came together and how Biden might govern. 
Like Biden, those advisers came up in politics during the Reagan revolution, when Democrats were often taught that they needed to be ideologically cautious to win. Like Biden, they are contemptuous of the revolutionary left. Like Biden, they like to think of the Democratic coalition as still anchored in the white working class....
Hey, hey! Heave ho! The establishment has got to go! 

Beginning with Biden and his crew of fuddy duddy obstructionists. 

Biden campaign's dangerous "steaming pile of crap" theory
nbbooks (Tony Wikrent) December 27, 2019 [DailyKos]
Arguing that Trump is a temporary aberration is not much different than revisionist historians (mostly — surprise! — neo-confederates) who argue that the Civil War could have been avoided if only Lincoln had been more conciliatory. Either you’re ignorant of the decades of political history leading up to the event, or you’re pushing a hidden agenda. Worst of all, you have to completely ignore the increasingly brazen authoritarianism and bigotry of our political opponents. It’s no coincidence that "Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally had 226% more hate crimes than counties that did not."

Glen Ford [Black Agenda Report 19 Dec 2019]
The catastrophic defeat of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in last week’s elections does, indeed, foreshadow what’s in store for Bernie Sanders if the U.S. ruling class believes the self-styled socialist has a real chance of winning the Democratic presidential nomination... a full-court, every-dirty-trick-and-lie-in-the-book campaign by British corporate media, working hand-in-glove with intelligence circles, the trans-Atlantic military industrial complex, and the pro-corporate wing of the [Democratic] Party....

The popular anti-corporate groundswell must be strangled in its cradle, the Democratic Party base. Corporate Democrats are, therefore, the first line of the oligarch’s defense....

Enemy Actions

Of the many impacts of the War on Christmas, Donald Trump’s decision to run for president seems the most consequential. In a 2016 interview, Eric Trump explained why his father ran for president (emphasis added):
He opens up the paper each morning and sees our nation’s leaders giving a hundred billion dollars to Iran, or he opens the paper and some new school district has just eliminated the ability for its students to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or some fire department in some town is ordered by the mayor to no longer fly the American flag on the back of a fire truck. Or, he sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed “holiday tree” instead of “Christmas tree.” I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about. 
The War on Christmas is the backdrop for a world in which “political correctness” will be forever running amok, the left’s goal will always be to “destroy everything that is wholesome in our country and in our Judeo-Christian civilization,” and Democrats will be stuck in a perpetual state of trying to ban your favorite hobbies and foods. Of course, none of this is true. The slightest resistance to right-wing culture creep will always be framed as a direct assault on their way of life, even if that resistance is just a defense of the status quo. What, if anything, has the left learned after 15 years?
This issue is not going to be solved by messaging alone. I think the answer lies, at least partly, in reviving the concept of republicanism, including the ideas of civic virtue, the responsibility of citizens to be educated and vigilant, and the dangers of demagoguery. And pointing out, the Republican Party of today, and conservatism in general, is the very antithesis of republicanism.


Australian Politics 2019-12-29 15:22:00

Uncategorized


Scott Morrison Defies ‘Reckless’ Climate Protesters, Backs Coal Exports as Demand Soars

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has slammed calls from radical climate activists to end the export of coal – an industry worth $67billion a year to the nation’s economy – as a new report shows global demand is set to keep increasing over the next decade and beyond.

Strong demand from China and India for this electricity-generating commodity is driving the growth. Morrison wants Australia to maintain its edge by staying a key exporter and protecting the jobs of Australians who rely on the coal mining industry for their future and their financial security.

Nationally, the coal mining industry employs 50,400 people, when thermal and coking operations were combined, Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data for November showed, with exports going mainly to China, India, Korea, Japan and Chile.

The conservative coalition leader spoke on the back of protests last week that called for Australia to end coal exports to ease pressure on the climate.

Morrison, who once once famously brandished a lump of coal in parliament, crying, “This is coal – don’t be afraid!” vowed those climate protesters – including Greta Thunberg  – would not be dictating energy or trade policy.

“I never panic,” he told the local Sunrise program last week. “I don’t think panicking is to way to manage anything and the urge for panic that has come from some, often politically motivated, to pursue a particular agenda is not something I’m ever intimidated by or distracted by.”

“We won’t embrace reckless targets and abandon our traditional industries that would risk Australian jobs while having no meaningful impact on the global climate,” he said in an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph.

“In short, we will continue to act responsibly on climate change, avoiding extreme responses and get the balance right.”

He spoke just days after a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed Australia’s coal exports are expected to rise over the next five years on the back of growing demand from Asia.

The report, published by the IEA on 17 December, found demand for coal in India could rise by 4.6 percent by 2024 and by 5 percent in Indonesia and Vietnam. As a result, Australia’s total coal production is expected to rise 1.4 percent annually from 409 million t in 2018 to 444 million t in 2024.

Coal exports were worth an estimated AUS$67 billion (US$45.9 billion) to the nation’s economy in the 2018 – 2019 financial year, overtaking iron ore as Australia’s most valuable export.

Matt Canavan, Australia’s Minister for Resources, said the report supported the need for new coal mines in the states of New South Wales and Queensland. He commented: “We will need more than Adani,” referring to the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

The Adani mine, which received final environmental approval in June, is expected to produce at least 10 million t of thermal coal every year.

SOURCE  





NSW volunteer firefighters to be paid in fair dinkum scheme

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged other states to follow NSW’s lead and sign up to a scheme that will pay volunteer firefighters up to $300 a day to cover lost income while fighting fires.

Mr Morrison defended the “fair dinkum” scheme as a well-considered process for compensating volunteers for lost income, not paying them to turn out. “This is about helping fight the fires,” he told a media conference on Sunday.

“This basically equates to around 20 days of emergency services paid leave for self-employed people and for people working for small and medium-sized employers,” he said in Sydney on Sunday.

“We have carefully worked through how best to deal with the issue of income loss that has been suffered as a result of people stepping up to defend their communities.”

Mr Morrison’s comments came after the federal government announced the payments of up to $300 per day will be available to Rural Fire Service NSW volunteers who are self-employed or work for small and medium businesses. They will be capped at $6000 per person.

It also follows the government’s announcement last week that Commonwealth public service volunteers would get at least four weeks of paid leave to fight bushfires, which continue to rage across parts of NSW. Fires this season have already cost eight lives, 1000 homes and burned through millions of hectares of bushland. More than 100 fires continue to burn and weather conditions are set to worsen over the next 48 hours.

Mr Morrison said that the government had entered into the arrangement with NSW, which will administer the payments on behalf of the Commonwealth, on the expectation that other states would also sign up.

However, he stressed that decisions needed to be made by each of the states, which had jurisdiction over fire fighting authorities.

Mr Morrison also pointed out that while firefighters had not been asking for compensation. “I haven’t had volunteer firefighters say they want to be paid,” he said. “I do know … particularly for self-employed people this is really starting to bite and really having an impact.”

SOURCE  






Parents outraged as Hillsong church caught recruiting in Queensland public high schools

Constant Leftist preaching of sexual perversion in the schools is OK but Christian preaching is not?

Controversial megachurch Hillsong has pulled a page on its website detailing plans to recruit teenagers in state schools across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory in 2020.

The information was pulled on Wednesday, three days after a group of angry parents in Melbourne began a change.org petition calling on federal and state education ministers to ban the evangelical movement from proselytising in public high schools.

The petition has attracted more than 13,000 signatures since it was launched on Monday.

Information retrieved by 7NEWS.com.au through Google Cache shows the Hillsong Youth Schools Tour has already provided "life-giving messages about our lord" to 34,000 school students, including teenagers in at least three government schools in Queensland.

Until the site was disabled on Wednesday, it was running testimonials from the three schools' chaplains, who are funded under the federal government's National School Chaplaincy Program.

The program, which was recently expanded to $247 million over four years (2019-2022), stipulates that chaplains must not proselytise and must "respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs".

Melbourne mother Fiona Newton, co-author of the petition to stop evangelising in public schools, said Hillsong's well-known hostility towards the LGBTI community had no place in the public education system.

The church campaigned against the same sex marriage bill and has been embroiled in the past with discredited gay conversion therapy.

"I grew up in a Pentecostal church, I know how they operate," Newton told 7NEWS.com.au.

"I'm now in a same sex relationship myself and I want my son to feel safe at his public school, that he won't be exposed to a religion that is anti-LGBTI."

"When you enrol your child in a secular public school you expect it to be free of any sort of religion.

"But Hillsong's mission is a clear and obvious mission of recruitment."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has credited Hillsong's founder, Brian Houston, as his spiritual mentor.

Morrison is not a member of Hillsong, which was founded in Sydney's north west and now has about 80 megachurches in more than 19 countries.

The prime minister attends a different Pentecostal church called Horizon in Sydney's south, which shares with Hillsong an affiliation under the Australian Christian Churches banner.

Morrison's friendship with Houston has attracted considerable criticism because the wealthy pastor was adversely named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

That inquiry recommended Houston be investigated for failing to report to police his father Frank Houston, a self-confessed paedophile, for crimes committed while Frank Houston was an Assemblies of God minister.

NSW Police confirmed to 7NEWS.com.au on Wednesday that the Hills Police Area Command is still investigating Brian Houston.

Brisbane public relations operator Lyle Mercer, who handles media queries for Hillsong, would not say why the church pulled details of its 2020 schools tour plan from the website.

"Schools across Australia offer various optional activities to students," Mercer said in a statement provided to 7NEWS.com.au.

"Hillsong – like many other outside organisations – has for many years created programs that provide students with positive values and in many situations these don’t even mention Christianity.

"These are done in student time and are always optional.

SOURCE  






Green ideology, not climate change, makes bushfires worse

The article by Miranda Devine below is from March 5, 2019 but it has lost none of its relevance

Melissa Price, the new federal Environment Minister, has done untold political damage to a government already divided over climate action by spouting idiotic green propaganda about Victoria’s bushfires.

On Tuesday, she linked the fires to climate change, claiming there is “no doubt” of its impact on Australia.

“There’s no doubt that there’s many people who have suffered over this summer. We talk about the Victorian bushfires … There’s no doubt that climate change is having an impact on us. There’s no denying that.”

Sorry, minister, it wasn’t climate change that caused the latest bushfires which have so far destroyed nine homes in Victoria, and it wasn’t climate change that killed almost 200 people in the Black Saturday fires ten years ago.

The real culprit is green ideology which opposes the necessary hazard reduction of fuel loads in national parks and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation around their homes.

The ongoing poor management of national parks and state forests in Victoria and green obstruction of fire mitigation strategies has led to dangerously high fuel loads over the past decade.

That means that when fires do inevitably break out they are so intense that they are devilishly difficult for firefighters to contain. As a federal parliamentary inquiry heard in 2003, if you quadruple the ground fuel, you get a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire.

Locals know the truth. Andrew Clarke, owner of Jinks Creek Winery, which has been destroyed by a fire which raged out of the Bunyip State Forest, “begged” for fuel reduction burns to protect his property.

“I’ve been begging them [Forest Fire Management Victoria] for 20 years to burn off the state forest at the back of our place and still to this day it hasn’t happened,” he told the ABC’s Country Hour.

Clarke said a planned burn-off was called off because of concerns about nesting birds.

So how did that work out for the birds?

Hundreds of emergency workers have worked across Victoria throughout the week to bring fires under control. Picture: AAP / David Crosling
Just three weeks ago, Victoria’s former chief fire officer Ewan Waller warned that state forest fuel loads were reaching deadly, Black Saturday levels. No one paid any attention.

But you can bet Premier Daniel Andrews will hide behind the climate change furphy.

Parroting green lies suits politicians because then they can avoid blame for their own culpability.

The Black Saturday Bushfire Royal Commission criticised the Victorian government for its failure to reduce fuel loads in state forests. It recommended more than doubling the amount of hazard reduction burns.

Instead, in the last three years, alone, the Andrews government has slashed the amount of public land being hazard reduced by almost two thirds.

It’s a crime.

The wonder is that the Morrison government is helping him with his alibi.

SOURCE  

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here


William Greider – in memoriam – (1936 – 2019)

Uncategorized
William H. Greider
(August 6, 1936 – December 25, 2019)

Just a few days after Paul Volcker and Felix Rohatyn finally relieved this planet of their mortal existence, William H. Greider passed on Christmas. There are, I suppose, some good things to be said about Volcker and Rohatyn, but I don't know what they might be.

However, I do know a lot of good things to write about William Greider. Just a partial list of the books he wrote is enough to realize that a giant who walked among us may be no more, but the shadow he cast will linger for a long while.

Secrets of the Temple, How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country
(Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 1987)

Who Will Tell the People?: The Betrayal of American Democracy
(Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1992)

One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism
(Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1997)

Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequences of Peace
(PublicAffairs, 1998)

The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
(Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2003)

Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (And Redeeming Promise) Of Our Country.
(Rodale Books, 2009)

Greider was born in Cincinnati at a time when dominance of that city's economy had shifted from meat packing and the Ohio River steamboat trade to industrial manufacturing. Most notably, the city had emerged as a center of machine tool making: R. K. Le Blond Machine Tool Co.; Lodge and Shipley Machine Tool Co.; G. A. Gray Co.; Cincinnati Shaper Co.; American Tool Works Co.; Cincinnati Planer Co.; Cincinnati Bickford Tool Co. and the company that was then the largest machine tool maker in America: Cincinnati Milling Machine Company, later named Cincinnati Milacron. And like other centers of machine tool production historically -- the Connecticut River valley (called Precision Valley in the first half of the twentieth century), Philadelphia, and Chicago, the ethos of Veblen's producer class ran strong and deep. I have no doubt that this producer class ethos helped shape Greider's life in profound ways, fitting him for the unique and powerful role of a leading critic of de-industrialization and financialization. His study at Princeton University thankfully did not inflict him with trained incapacity.


His professional writing career began at The Washington Post. as a national correspondent, then assistant managing editor for national news for 15 years. In 1981, Greider wrote an essay for The Atlantic titled “The Education of David Stockman,” which was probably his writing with the most immediate impact. It caused a national uproar, and led to President Reagan dismissing Stockman as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In one of several passages that illuminated the venality and hypocrisy of the Reagan administration, Stockman told Greider, “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.” It was soon expanded and published as a book by the same name.

In 1982, Greider jumped to Rolling Stone, eventually becoming national affairs editor, even while he challenged some of the most powerful political and economic institutions, such as the Federal Reserve, and the military-industrial complex. Here is a link to Greider's articles at Rolling Stone.

His last stint as national affairs correspondent was with The Nation, beginning in 1999.

In this excerpt from his 1987 book, Secrets of the Temple, How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, Greider captures the central issue of political economy in our time. Remember that this was written 32 years ago.
The question of who owned financial wealth--or who did not--was the buried fault line of American politics. Wealth holders whose money circulated through Wall Street markets were an untypical minority of Americans, with distinctly different economic interests than the majority. The distribution of wealth was the subtext beneath nearly every important economic question that faced the government, yet it was seldom discussed in politics. Political leaders, instead, treated wealth like a taboo subject, cloaked in euphemisms, as if the hard facts of who owned capital might excite class jealousies they could not satisfy or raise questions about the system for which they had no answers. 
Nevertheless, the concentration of wealth was the fulcrum on which the most basic political questions pivoted, a dividing line deeper than region or religion, race or sex. In the nature of things, government might choose to enhance the economic prospects of the many or to safeguard the accumulated wealth held by the few, but frequently the two purposes were in irreconcilable conflict. The continuing political struggle across this line, though unseen and rarely mentioned, was the  central narrative of American political history, especially in the politics of money. (pp. 37-38)
Near the end, are a few lines that summarize the events and decisions Greider chronicles in the book.
The collapse of monetarism as a practical theory involved more than the embarrassment of selected economists. Volcker and the Federal Reserve had embraced the money aggregates too and allowed M-1 to guide their policy decisions. The bankers and financial professionals had bought into the same belief, an alluring faith that offered a simple answer to bewildering complexities. Regulating a single economic variable, the money supply, could somehow produce order in all the others. (pp. 685)
At the beginning of final chapter, "The Triumph of Money," is some classic Greider writing, which beautifully captures the humanity and pathos of the people he wrote about. It was this capacity to share in the humanity of his subjects that made Greider such a great writer. Also note that Greider describes the political alienation and working class despair that has come to dominate our own time. Not only was Greider a great writer -- he was far ahead of his time, with an unerring instinct to identify and explain national trends many years before they became apparent to lesser observers and began to dominate the news.  
Catastrophe was general in Iowa. Thousands of farmers faced liquidation on old debts or their banks refused to grant new credit for the approaching growing season. The value of Iowa farmland was decreased by half and small towns withered as the local commerce disappeared. Iowa lost fifty thousand of its citizens. The price of corn, which had been above $3.50 only a few years earlier, fell steadily, headed toward a ruinous low--corn at $1 a bushel.... 
On a farm near Unionville, Iowa, a group of distressed farmers gathered in the living room of Clifford and Evelyne Burger to exchange tips on fending off the bank foreclosures, to console one another and to search for answers. The Burgers had been missing debt payments sporadically since 1983; the local bank had just turned down their loan application for spring planting, the money to buy see and fill their fuel tank for the '85 crop. The Burgers and their friends though they had found the explanation. Their failure, they decided, was caused by a remote conspiracy of bankers, operating through the Federal Reserve. 
"First, the Powers pump up inflation, then they start the propaganda that we have to reduce inflation," Jim Phillips, a grain farmer from Centerville, explained."They established this policy for the personal gain of the Federal Reserve and the bankers that control it....  
Mrs. Burger distributed an illustrated pamphlet entitled "Billions for Bankers, Debt for People," a polemical tract on the money question that was circulating widely in Iowa and the other afflicted farm states. The Federal Reserve, the pamphlet explained, was "a system of Banker-owned Mammon that usurped the mantle of government, disguised itself as our legitimate government, and set about to pauperize and control our people.  
The farmers talked quite familiarly about this conspiracy against them, reciting old names and obscure events from the Federal Reserve's early history. A web of international bankers had designed the central bank back in 1913 in order to dominate the world; their unseen control extended to grain companies, major conglomerates, the financial markets and tghe news media. These manipulations, the farmers earnestly explained, were guided by the "Power 300" and the "Inner Circle" and, ultimately, by the "Zionist Jewish conspiracy."  
....Like others, John Sellers was trying to combat the personal depression that accompanied economic failure. "It's a very gray world and you feel like you’re ninety years old,: he said. "You're in quicksand and there's no way out. People take to bed and sleep and sleep and sleep.  Many blame themselves. (pp. 668-669) 
Note how Greider anticipated the infection of the body politic with the affliction of conspiracy theories.

At the end of 1989, Greider joined with Lawrence Goodwyn -- the unsurpassed historian of the 19th century populists, and 20th century revolutions in Central Europe, who was also a tireless progressive activist -- to give a presentation in St. Louis commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Populist Sub-Treasury Plan for financial reform. Here are some of Greider's remarks from that presentation, Democratic Money: A Populist Perspective. Note its title.
It is perfectly plausible for the financial system of this country to put money into people's hands, to make credit available for ordinary Americans at rates they can afford. The economy could be managed prosperously and equitably, serving all groups -- not perfectly, but with some sense of justice that we would all recognize. 
There is no physical reason in economics why that can't happen. There are huge, intimidating political reasons why it did not happen in our history. In fact, at the very center of our politics is this subject, called "money and the regulation of credit, that we have been told we can't talk about.
Again, Greider was years ahead of his time. In January 2019, the History Department at Harvard University joined with Harvard Law School to host a two-day conference on Money as a Democratic Medium, explicitly exploring money as a political creation, and considering how to bring the creation and distribution of money under more democratic control. There are well over a dozen presentations available to watch on YouTube, but the one I most highly recommend is that by Mehrsa Baradaran of the University of Georgia Law School, and author of the seminal work The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (Harvard University Press, 2019)



In a pair of tweets, John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, called Greider
a friend and comrade and occasional co-conspirator... "He taught me so see politics not as a game but high-stakes struggle for power in which the Democrats, sadly, yielded far too much ground to an increasingly right-wing Republican Party....  
Born in the year of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's greatest electoral triumph, William Greider was in many senses the last New Dealer. His death, at age 83, represents a stark loss for American journalism. And for those of us who knew his great generosity of spirit and intellect."
Another colleague tweeted:

Farewell to William Greider, who was for real. This is from Who Will Tell the People? (1992!)


In One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (1997), Greider exposed the fraud of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the whole paradigm of "free trade," a paradigm almost all mainstream economists still cling to fiercely and unquestioningly. One World, Ready or Not evoked only scorn and ridicule from most mainstream economists, including Paul Krugman, who was an apostle of free trade at the time. But it is Greider's predictions of accelerating deindustrialization and outsourcing, and the destruction of the working class, that have proven to be more accurate than anything offered by pro-NAFTA economists.

Here are some of the articles inspired by Greider, posted here at Real Economics:

May 25, 2010
The austerity ghouls in USA
After giving the public's spare change to the crooked banksters, it was inevitable that someone would come to the "brilliant" conclusion that this should be paid for by raiding Social Security. 3,2,1... 
Whacking the Old FolksBy William Greider / The Nation
August 9, 2010
Did anyone mention deflation?
This is the latest from William Greider who quite literally wrote the book on the operation of the Federal Reserve. 
Deflation, Not Deficit, Is the Real Threat
By William Greider / The Nation
November 8, 2010
Greider on "free" trade

December 22, 2015
March 25, 2016
Greider on how Trump could beat Clinton

March 12, 2015
William Greider: Is Hillary Ready for Us?
The trouble is, the [Clintonite] New Dems are now the Old Guard. Their center-right program—financial deregulation and “free market” globalization—has not only run out of gas but is rightly blamed for laying the groundwork for financial catastrophe. Yet the New Dem wing still holds the high ground, with big money and loyal supporters as well as Clinton clones populating the key governing positions. The labor-liberal insurgency has a weak bench because for a generation its promising young people were excluded from governing ranks—systematically screened out by both Clinton and Obama administrations—if they showed telltale signs of leaning leftward or embracing non-conformist ideas that resonate with the party’s New Deal values. By contrast, Republican regimes since Ronald Reagan have always made a point of appointing thousands of young right-wingers to second-level government posts as the training ground for long-term governance. Dems still invoke sentimental rhetoric from the New Deal era, but the practical reality is that the party’s economic policy makers went to school on Wall Street, either before or after their public service (sometimes both).
And, finally, what William Neil reminded me was one of Greider's best essays, “The End of New Deal Liberalism” which appeared in The Nation, January 5, 2011, and has been reposted by Physicians for a National Health Program as William Greider’s message for us. Perhaps it is as fitting as it is disconcerting to end a memorial to William Greider, with what threatens to become William Greider's memorial to the experiment of American republican democracy.
We have reached a pivotal moment in government and politics, and it feels like the last, groaning spasms of New Deal liberalism. When the party of activist government, faced with an epic crisis, will not use government’s extensive powers to reverse the economic disorders and heal deepening social deterioration, then it must be the end of the line for the governing ideology inherited from Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson. 
Political events of the past two years have delivered a more profound and devastating message: American democracy has been conclusively conquered by American capitalism. Government has been disabled or captured by the formidable powers of private enterprise and concentrated wealth. Self-governing rights that representative democracy conferred on citizens are now usurped by the overbearing demands of corporate and financial interests. Collectively, the corporate sector has its arms around both political parties, the financing of political careers, the production of the policy agendas and propaganda of influential think tanks, and control of most major media. 
What the capitalist system wants is more—more wealth, more freedom to do whatever it wishes. This has always been its instinct, unless government intervened to stop it. The objective now is to destroy any remaining forms of government interference...
The power shift did not start with Obama, but his tenure confirms and completes it. The corporates began their systematic drive to dismantle liberal governance back in the 1970s, and the Democratic Party was soon trying to appease them, its retreat whipped along by Ronald Reagan’s popular appeal and top-down tax cutting. So long as Democrats were out of power, they could continue to stand up for liberal objectives and assail the destructive behavior of business and finance (though their rhetoric was more consistent than their voting record). Once back in control of government, they lowered their voices and sued for peace. Beholden to corporate America for campaign contributions, the Democrats cut deals with banks and businesses and usually gave them what they demanded, so corporate interests would not veto progressive legislation. 
Obama has been distinctively candid about this. He admires the “savvy businessmen” atop the pinnacle of corporate power. He seeks “partnership” with them. The old economic conflicts, like labor versus capital, are regarded as passé by the “new Democrats” now governing. The business of America is business. Government should act as steward and servant, not master.


William Greider on the "Democrats' Money Dilemma"
YouTube Feb 10, 2009




NC WC 2020-01-6
‘The Fed Is a Political Institution That Pretends Not to Be Political’ (interview) William Greider, FAIR. From Counterspin in 2007; still germane.