Blog Archives

Obama’s New Nationalism

image

by Conn Carroll Senior Editorial Writer

Today, in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama will invoke Teddy Roosevelt as a model for his 2012 reelection campaign. Over 100 years ago, after leaving the White House, Roosevelt delivered a seminal speech, titled “The New Nationalism,” which would become the foundation for the Progressive Party he would later create to challenge President Taft’s reelection. Obama plans to identify with those same progressive roots today as he calls for higher taxes on the rich and more government control of the economy.

At the White House press briefing yesterday, spokesman Jay Carney said Obama, “Thinks it’s an opportune time and an opportune location to try to put into broader perspective the kind of debates we’ve been having and the issues that are of vital importance to give middle-class Americans the kind of fair shot that they deserve.” Obama will no doubt echo Roosevelt’s call for a “equality of opportunity” and recycle the speech’s “square deal” rhetoric.

But while there are many parts of Roosevelt’s New Nationalism speech that will sound great to modern ears, there are also many passages that will grate on independent voters:

Combinations in industry are the result of an imperative economic law which cannot be repealed by political legislation. The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed. The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare.

This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.

These words are as radical today as they were 100 years ago. When text of Roosevelt’s New Nationalism reached New York, The New York Times called it “Roosevelt’s Super-Socialism.” Don’t count on that paper using a similar description of Obama’s speech today.

Source

Enhanced by Zemanta

“Occupy Wall Street” to Push for Global Tax

image

by Cliff Kincaid

Jumping on the anti-Wall Street media bandwagon, Josh Boak of Politico says Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio’s measure to tax Wall Street has “newfound momentum.” The Soros-funded Think Progress blog quickly jumped on the report, saying the plan is being seriously considered on the Hill. There is only one problem: DeFazio hasn’t introduced any such bill in the current Congress.

Despite the hype from Politico, the issue is a real one. And the threat is not only a “Wall Street financial transactions tax” that could affect ordinary investors but a global tax to finance various international agencies and causes.

It’s just a “tiny tax,” say proponents, that has the support of billionaire Bill Gates and can generate $100 billion a year. A global tax on financial transactions could generate at least $700 billion a year from the U.S. and other “rich” countries.

One of the groups pushing the tax is National Nurses United, whose Massachusetts affiliate is already putting its political muscle behind radical Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Her speech to the Massachusetts Nurses Association convention was given in front of posters saying, “RNs say Heal America. Tax Wall Street.”

Warren just made big news by raising more money than some presidential candidates did in the last quarter.

Taking Obama’s class warfare rhetoric to a new level, Warren recently said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody! You built a factory out there? Good for you! But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You, uh, were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of the work the rest of us did.”

At this point, the Capitol Hill “Tax Wall Street” measure has yet to be introduced. Backers are apparently waiting for the “Occupy Wall Street” protests to build, with further help from the media.

“The Oregon Democrat has teamed up with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to introduce the measure—a sequel to their 2009 bill—before the November G-20 meeting in Cannes, France,” says Boak.

Boak says the DeFazio-Harkin proposal “fizzled two years ago” in the last Congress. The term “fizzled” is an understatement. The House version, H.R. 4191, only had 25 co-sponsors. The DeFazio bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committees on Rules, and the Budget Committee. But no action was taken on it.

Harkin’s Senate version, S. 2927, fared even worse. He had only three co-sponsors: Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It was referred to the Committee on Finance, which took no action.

A photo caption for the Politico story refers to Harkin being a sponsor of the bill which “probably” will be offered before the G-20 meeting in November.

So a bill that already had “momentum” may or not be introduced soon. What is going on here?

The Boak story has all the earmarks of a plant by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Marxist group pushing the tax. IPS held a seminar on the topic at the recent Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, D.C. It was announced there that a nurses union would be staging a “D.C. action” on November 3 during the G-20 summit being held in France.

Indeed, this is the next phase of “Occupy Wall Street”—a carefully orchestrated attempt to make it seem like people all around the world are clamoring for a tax on Wall Street. Here, National Nurses United (NNU) is leading the charge and will hold its “major action” in front of the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. on November 3.

The nurses will wear their nurses’ garb and hold signs proclaiming, “Heal America. Tax Wall Street.” NNU has created a “Protest in the USA” website to help organize the demonstrations.

The “momentum” for the not-yet-introduced proposal is the result of a far-left network that wants to use the current “Occupy Wall Street” protests to push and pass the tax, which could go global.

The effort cannot be dismissed. On the international level, a group called “Make Finance Work for the People and the Planet” boasts 1,000 signatures of economists on a petition for the “Robin Hood tax.”

The IPS released a report last year promoting the tax, noting how it could help pay for U.S. “global commitments around poverty, health and climate.” The report states, “If the U.S. is going to fulfill its commitments to the world’s poorest, it needs to contribute an additional $80 billion in revenues per year.”

Internationally, the campaign is being organized by Public Services International (PSI), with affiliates in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Arab countries.

U.S. affiliates of PSI, in addition to National Nurses United, are the American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA).

A “global day of action” for the tax was already held on June 22 but received little attention here. Sympathetic media coverage of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests is sure to generate significant press attention for the November 3 protests.

The media are determined to create a “progressive” version of the Tea Party, even if the bill to tax Wall Street hasn’t been introduced yet. The actual introduction of the measure will be big news on the evening news programs.

After this is accomplished, critics of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement will no longer be able to say that the protesters have no concrete demands. Obama, at the G-20 event, will undoubtedly then “consider” the proposal, even perhaps say some more kind words about the protesters.

We saw this before. In my December 14, 2009, column, “The Secret Plan to Pass a Global Tax,” I noted that there was a push for the DeFazio-Harkin plan at that time.

The difference now is that the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, assisted by Van Jones, Soros-funded progressives and labor unions, are mounting a major effort to get the measure passed and they have the support of the major media.

Even if they lose the battle in Congress, Obama will have revitalized his base.

Original Article

Return of Van Jones and Marxist street protests

Based on an article by Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media

image

A “Take Back the American Dream” three-day conference in Washington begins on Oct. 3 that features Van Jones, the disgraced former Obama Administration “Green Jobs Czar,” a Russian TV star, and a veteran of the Venceremos Brigades to Cuba who works for the AFL-CIO. Such is the nature of the modern progressive movement.

“I think everybody should hold onto your seats,” said Jones on Thursday’s MSNBC program “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.”

“October is going to be the turning point when it comes to the progressive fight back,” he went on. “We are a part of something called the American Dream Movement. We’re having a huge summit on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Come — you can go to rebuildthedream.com and find out more about it. We are going to build a progressive counterbalance to the Tea Party.” Once a top figure in a Marxist group called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), Jones predicts “an American fall, an American autumn, just like we saw the Arab spring. You can see it right now with these young people on Wall Street. Hold onto your hats. We`re going to have an October offensive to take back the American Dream and to rescue America`s middle class.”

The Campaign for America’s Future, sponsor of the conference, depicts the conservative Tea Party as a puppet of corporate interests and protests Wall Street but remains silent about the millions of dollars that Van Jones and other progressive activists have received from hedge fund operator George Soros. Number seven on the Forbes list of the richest people in America, with $22 billion, Soros runs an “alternative investment vehicle” available only to the super-rich which is based off-shore and taps into mysterious sources of cash beyond the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Indeed, a sister organization of the Campaign for America’s Future, the Institute for America’s Future, has itself received $1.3 million from Soros’s Open Society Institute over the last several years.

Two of the conference organizers, Robert Borosage and Katrina vanden Heuvel, have just written a call to arms in The Nation magazine saying that liberals must exert more pressure on the Obama Administration and they cite the work of the Communist Party USA and other groups in forcing Franklin Roosevelt to the left and expanding federal involvement in the economy in the 1930s.

“The Socialist and Communist parties and Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth movement grew threatening enough to goad Franklin Roosevelt into the second New Deal, including Social Security; the Wagner Act, recognizing the right of workers to organize; and much more,” they say. However, they complain that progressives have spent so much of their time over the last three years helping to pass “the Obama reform agenda” that their message has been “muted.” The conference will be followed on October 5 by a rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

That the progressive movement has embraced Jones, despite his embarrassing exit from the administration, is evidence of how far to the left and how desperate modern “liberal” organizations are.

Jones today serves as the president of the Rebuild the Dream coalition of liberal organizations. His bio says that he is currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, another Soros-funded entity, and holds a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

According to his website, he has also returned as a senior policy advisor at Green For All, the George Soros-funded organization that helped make Jones into a national progressive star. Soros money also helped finance the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights when Jones was in charge of that group.

Blogger Trevor Loudon, who broke the story of Jones’s communist background, said he first came across his name in a socialist publication and discovered his affiliation with STORM. He then discovered that the far-left Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which Loudon considers the Obama administration’s “ideas bank,” had published a piece by IPS staffer Chuck Collins recommending Jones for a top government job. Collins offered “Van Jones, of the Ella Baker Center, to direct the Commerce Department’s new ‘green jobs initiative.’” Loudon added, “I researched Jones again at that point and found he was a fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP).” In the end, Jones left CAP and was appointed as a “special adviser” at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“It didn’t take more than a few keystrokes to realize that STORM was very influential in the San Francisco Bay Area and had ties to both the Cuban and South African Communist Parties,” Loudon said. “Jones’ group and particularly Jones himself had ties to two former Weather Underground supporters — Jon and Nancy Frappier and the Bay Area branch of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). Jones was the keynote speaker at a CCDS fundraiser in Berkeley as late as February 2006.”

Loudon’s reporting, picked up by Glenn Beck, then with Fox News, was followed by other embarrassing and damaging revelations from other conservative bloggers. It came out that Jones had called Republicans “assholes” and had signed a letter appearing on the website of 911Truth.org demanding an investigation into whether the Bush Administration “deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.” The implication was that the Al Qaida terrorists who hijacked the planes that struck New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon were part of a much-larger U.S. Government plot.

On June 20, 2011, attorneys acting on behalf of Jones sent a letter to Fox News demanding that the network immediately cease using six characterizations about Jones and demanding a retraction from Glenn Beck. The letter from Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb insisted that Jones had communist or Marxist notions “as a young man” but had backed away “from those views” and is now “pro-market.” The letter also claimed that Jones’s name had been placed on the 9/11 letter without his knowledge and had been removed.

But Jones had said in an “Uprising Radio” interview in 2008 that his goals were a “complete revolution” to “transform the whole society” away from capitalism.

None of this, however, seems to bother the modern-day progressive movement. In a “What people who know Van say” part of his website, John Podesta, President & CEO of the Center for American Progress, says, “Van Jones is an exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country…[At the White House,] Van was working to build a common-ground agenda for all Americans, and I am confident he will continue that work.”

Podesta, who rehired Jones after he lost his White House job, co-chaired the Obama presidential transition team that filled many administration jobs. The other co-chair was Valerie Jarrett, an Obama adviser who publicly talked about how “we” in the administration had followed Jones’s career and wanted him to serve in the administration.

The new “Contract for the American Dream,” coming as the public is turning on Obama’s big government agenda, is a ten-point program to preserve federal programs and promote more federal spending and involvement in the economy:

Invest in America’s Infrastructure
Create 21st Century Energy Jobs
Invest in Public Education
Offer Medicare for All
Make Work Pay
Secure Social Security
Return to Fairer Tax Rates
End the Wars and Invest at Home
Tax Wall Street Speculation
Strengthen Democracy

In a YouTube video, Jones led a crowd in the chant “America is not broke” and urged higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Another prominent speaker at the “Take Back the American Dream” conference is Russian TV star Thom Hartmann, who calls himself “America’s #1 Progressive Host” and has a show, “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann,” which is “produced in the studios of RT TV in Washington, D.C., and syndicated nationally by both RT and Free Speech TV.” RTTV is the American branch of the Russia Today foreign propaganda channel funded by Moscow. One of its correspondents, Katia Zatuliveter, is facing deportation from Britain for being a Russian spy.

Another speaker, Karen Nussbaum, is executive director of the AFL-CIO’s Working America organization. The group claims three million members. During a previous appearance at a Campaign for America’s Future conference, she refused to answer and walked away when questioned about a trip she made to Communist Cuba as a member of the Venceremos Brigades.

A featured speaker, Rep. Barbara Lee, was elected to the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence (the same group Jones spoke to) in 1992, while a member of the California State Assembly. Most, but not all, of the members of this group were active in the Communist Party USA.

Original Article

%d bloggers like this: