Posts tagged ‘Class Warfare’

They Only Help The Rich But What About Us The 99 Percent; we’re the invisible people.

The Fed steps in, and stocks soar: Dow climbs 206 – Yahoo! News.

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market staged a huge rally Thursday after investors got the aggressive economic help they wanted from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial average spiked more than 200 points and cleared 13,500 for the first time since the beginning of the Great Recession. The average is within 625 points of its all-time high.

The Fed said it would buy $40 billion of mortgage securities a month until the economy improves. It left open the possibilities of buying other assets and of buying long after the recovery picks up.

The central bank also extended its pledge of super-low short-term interest rates into 2015, and extended a program to drive down long-term rates.

It was the package known as QE3 — a third round of quantitative easing, in market-speak. And it was just what investors were hoping for.

“They’re saying that the punch bowl, the fuel for the economy, isn’t going away — it’s going to be here as long as you need it,” said Tony Fratto, a former aide to President George W. Bush and managing partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a policy consulting firm in Washington.

The Dow closed up 206.51 points, the seventh-biggest gain this year, at 13,539.86, its highest close since the last days of December 2007, the first month of the recession.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 23.43 points at 1,459.99, also its highest since December 2007. The Nasdaq composite index, which has been trading at its highest levels since 2000, was up 41.52 at 3,155.83.

David Abuaf, chief investment officer at Hefty Wealth Partners, said he expects investors to keep shifting from safer assets like government bonds to stocks. That could push stock prices higher and start a cycle of increased wealth and spending.

“People will feel more confident, consumers will buy more goods, and GDP growth will increase,” he said, referring to the gross domestic product, or economic output.

The stock market had already enjoyed a summer rally, in part because investors were betting on more Fed action. The Dow has climbed more than 1,100 points since the start of June.

Still, stocks spiked Thursday in industries across the economy. Materials companies, which tend to do well when the economy picks up, enjoyed the biggest gain — 2.6 percent as a group. Bank stocks also surged.

This is the third round of bond-buying by the Fed since the financial crisis struck in the fall of 2008. The goal is to lower long-term interest rates, get people to borrow and spend more and push investors into stocks.

If history is any guide, stocks could rally a bit more. In the three months following March 2009, when the Fed said it would expand its first round of buying, the S&P 500 rose 18 percent. In the three months after the central bank hinted at a second round of buying in August 2010, the S&P rose 14 percent.

Some economists and investors have warned that the bond-buying will have a limited impact because interest rates are already near record lows.

Critics of the stock rally say investors should focus on why the Fed is acting in the first place: The U.S. economy is weak. Economic growth in China is also slowing, and much of Europe is in recession and struggling with high debt.

Earlier this month, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, said the central bank would buy the debt of countries that use the euro and are desperate to keep their borrowing costs down.

“I’m not buying anything,” Gary Flam of Bel Air Investment Advisors said as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at a press conference.

Flam added, referring to Draghi and Bernanke: “These two guys are propping up market in the hope it will trickle down to the economy, but after several years of this we haven’t seen a sustainable impact. The underlying problems of debt and deficits remain.”

The Fed also lowered its outlook for economic growth this year to no stronger than 2 percent. That’s down from its forecast of 2.4 percent in June.

In Treasury trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell slightly to 1.73 percent from 1.79 percent late Wednesday. It had spiked to 1.84 percent as investors sold bonds after the Fed announcement.

The dollar fell slightly against major currencies. It tumbled almost a penny against the euro, which rose to a hair under $1.30.

The price of gold climbed to its highest level since February — $1,772 an ounce, a gain of $38, or 2 percent. When the Fed buys bonds, gold often rises, both because investors fear inflation and because a weaker dollar makes gold more expensive.

The trading day didn’t begin well. European markets were falling and U.S. futures slid, suggesting stocks might fall when U.S. markets opened.

In addition to worries about what the Fed might do, investors were rattled by turmoil in the Middle East. Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital earlier in the day, and there was violence around the U.S. mission in Cairo. The U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed Tuesday.

Stocks rose after the open but barely. Then the Fed released a statement about its moves shortly after 12:30 p.m., and prices began to climb steadily. Some Fed watchers homed in on a pledge to keep stimulating the economy for a “considerable” time “after” it appears to have strengthened. That is stronger language than the central bank had used before.

Then Bernanke started speaking at the press conference at around 2:15, and stocks shot up. A few minutes into the conference, the Dow was up nearly 240 points.

“We are looking for ongoing, sustained improvement in the labor market,” Bernanke told reporters. “There’s not a specific number in mind. But what we’ve seen in the last six months isn’t it.”

In other news Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in two months, though the figures were skewed in part by Hurricane Isaac.

The figures come after a disappointing jobs report last week. Employers added only 96,000 jobs in August, far below the average 226,000 a month added in the January-March quarter.

The government also said that wholesale prices rose 1.7 percent in August, the most in three years. They were driven up by higher costs for gas and food. Removing the impact of energy and food, however, the increase in prices has been mild.

Among stocks making moves, Pall Corp. rose $4.63, or 8 percent, to $62.80. The company, which makes filtration equipment, posted net income that beat Wall Street predictions.

Apple climbed $13.19, or 2 percent, to $682.98. On Wednesday, the company unveiled an iPhone with a bigger screen and faster download speeds.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose to a four-year high after Germany’s highest court rejected calls to block the creation of Europe’s rescue fund for indebted governments.

The Fed action combined with the Middle East turmoil pushed crude prices up to above $98 a barrel of the first time in more than four months. Oil rose $1.30 to close at $98.31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

There were nearly four stocks rising for every one falling. Volume was high, 4.5 billion shares.


AP Business Writer Christina Rexrode contributed to this report.


5 ways the Republican party is destroying America – Orlando liberal |

5 ways the Republican party is destroying America – Orlando liberal |

Republican Party


Ever since President Obama was elected president in November of 2008, the Republican party has taken a hard turn to the right of the political spectrum. With chants of “socialism” and outrageous claims about President Obama’s birth certificate and religion, the Republican party is more conservative today than it has been in its history. Whether it’s their constant obsession to widen the wealth gap to their views on social issues, the Republican party has tunnel vision when it comes to the future of the United States.

Conservatives see a light at the end of the tunnel and they will make sure that everyone follows their path. As the election inches closer, it’s important to look at the ways the Republican party plans to take over the United States and mold the country to fit their core ideology. The list could be endless, and over time another article will be released, but in the meantime lets take a look at five ways the Republicans plan to destory America.

1. Taxes – Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the United States tax system has completely changed. With the term “supply side economics,” the promise was made that if we drastically cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans that they will in turn, take those same tax cuts and create jobs. The problem with this system is that, while it looks promising on paper, it doesn’t translate in reality. Former president, George H.W Bush called supply side economics “voodoo economics” and talked about its weaknesses. Known throughout the country as “Reaganomics,” when the wealthy received their tax cuts they didn’t create jobs in the United States, but instead took advantage of weak trade policies and created jobs in other countries. Countries like China, India and Pakistan were places that American companies were moving their jobs because for every Union worker that asked for $20 dollars an hour, there was a person in another country doing it for less than a $1.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), from the time Ronald Reagan became president until 2007, income at the top 1%, adjusted for inflation, increased by 281% compared to only a 25% increase for the middle 20% of Americans. President Bush came into office in 2001 and was handed a surplus by President Clinton. With the surplus in hand, Bush gave it back to the American people, but primarily to the most wealthy, adding over $3 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. As the wealthy continue to count their money, average Americans have to watch theirs and hope they can pay the bills.

2. Trade – One of the biggest reasons that Americans have struggled to find work over the years is that millions of jobs are being created in other countries. While Republicans claim that the reason jobs are being sent over seas is that union workers have demanded wages that were too high, the reality is that there is another reason. There is truth that many union workers have a demand for a high rate of pay, but fair wages is a necessity when it comes to living in the United States. From the businesses side, there is a case to be made that creating jobs in a third world country could benefit the company because of the low wages that are paid, however, the other side is more realistic.

Currently, while companies are paying criminally low wages in other countries to turn a profit, bonuses throughout the higher-ups in these companies are hitting a record high. If these companies brought jobs back to the United States, the workers would then take their pay and invest it back into the country and the economy. These companies don’t just benefit from cheap labor, they also use the tax code to line their pockets. Many companies receive tax cuts for creating jobs in other countries, which just increases the likelihood of jobs not returning.

President Obama has stated he wants to end tax cuts for companies who ship jobs to other countries and instead give those tax breaks to companies who create jobs in America.

3. Religious Freedom and Civil Rights – Conservatives say that they love the constitution and hold it close to their heart. With a bible in one hand and the Bill of Rights in the other, conservatives claim they are the only ones who know how to run the country. The problem with these statements is that from the opening line of the First Amendment, their claim of religious dominance is shown to be false.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If you take a look at the first ten words of the First Amendment, it states that the United States will make no law respecting an establishment of religion. So while the country respects everyone’s right to believe what they want, there will be no law that is made to fit a particular religious belief. With the recent debate about contraception and birth control dealing with Catholic organizations, religious freedom is back on the front lines.

Conservatives claim that President Obama and liberals are trying to strip away the First Amendment and religious freedom and force secular beliefs in America. The problem is that President Obama, a Christian himself, is just following the law of the land. The president isn’t forcing Catholic businesses to use contraception, but just make it available to women who want it if they choose, just like all the other businesses in the country.

As the contraception issue was going on, LGBT rights have also come back. Prop 8 in California, the ban on gay marriage, was ruled unconstitutional at the same time same-sex marriage was being legalized in Washington. Once again radical religious conservatives have claimed that letting gay and lesbian Americans marry will undermine the morals of America and break away from their Judeo Christian values. Religious conservatives also take their argument to the classroom by attacking science. 97% of all scientists accept and agree with the theory of evolution, but religious conservatives want to force a faith-based religious belief into public schools.

The issue of religion in public school is a two-part problem. Churches don’t pay taxes and because of this, they can run their private schools and manipulate the curriculum to fit their ideology while doing the minimum to fit the national educational standards. While private schools have the right to work with the churches, they shouldn’t be able to have a say in the public sector since they don’t pay a dime towards it. Religious freedom should be protected and every American has the right to believe what they want, but at the same time those beliefs should not make their way into the public.

4. War and Foreign Policy – Once President Bush came into office in 2001 and handed over $3 trillion in tax cuts over the last decade, America also went to war with not one, but two countries. While the war in Afghanistan is more debatable, the war in Iraq was proven to be based on a lie, or “bad intelligence”. The United States has spent trillions of dollars in Iraq while private companies like Halliburton have made a gigantic profit. Thousands of American lives and Iraqi civilians have been taken all at the cost of the American taxpayer. While President Obama has completed one of his promises from the campaign trail and ended the war in Iraq, he is also starting to pull out troops of Afghanistan. The problem is that if a Republican takes over the White House they have all made it clear that they will have a quick trigger finger when it comes to going to war with Iran. The majority of American people have spoken and they don’t want to be involved with another war, the cost in both dollars and human life is just too much.

5. Financial Reform – The biggest reason for the financial meltdown in 2008 was because the entire industry was given too much slack. Like a teenager given the entire house to themselves for the weekend, only bad things can come of it. During the Reagan administration, as the wealthy saw their tax rates dropped from 70% to 28% within eight years and union workers found themselves without a job, another industry saw a change. With the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 signed into law, banks found it easier to do business and hurt the American people in the process. Allowing big banks to merge and set their own interest rates, bankers felt like it was Christmas. While the banks and wall street found it easier to make money, the American people struggled. With tax cuts and deregulation on the move, Reagan tripled the national debt, raiding the Social Security trust fund at the same time in an attempt to cover up the massive loses. As the years went on, Wall Street reform was never seriously on the table, whether it was President George H.W Bush or President Clinton, there was never enough being done to tackle the problem.

In the 1990s, the economy started to pick up again, President Clinton finally raised taxes on the most wealthy, bringing in the revenue needed for the government to perform the duties it had promised. Not all was sunshine and rainbows however, in November of 1999, with a Republican controlled House and Senate, President Clinton buckled and signed into law the repeal of Glass-Steagall act that had helped refrain big banks from over taking the market.

As America moved on, less than a decade later the economy collapsed. Too much power concentrated in the hands of a select few will be over come by natural human greed every time and that’s what happened in 2008. In 2010, President Obama signed into law the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” which eased the pain on consumers and started to put more of the responsibility back to the big banks. Following the anger of the American people towards the bank bail out of 2008, the Wall Street reform bill put an end to future tax payer bailouts of big banks. The bill passed was a start, but much more is needed before we get back to where the country needs to be.
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Boehner gives ‘pre-buttal’ to Obama speech


President Barack Obama is hitting Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio today for what’s been billed as a major economic speech, and the nation’s top elected Republican is out with a video “pre-butting” the president’s remarks.

The clip itself is not a full-throated attack on the president; Boehner only mentions Obama once in the 1 minute, 15 second video. Rather, it highlights what House Republicans have already done so far in the 112th Congress – a stack of bills lying in the Senate that the GOP argues would help boost the economy.

“[The latest] unemployment report was a real punch in the gut,” Boehner says. “Americans are again left asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’ Republicans have pledged to listen. We’ve pledged to act. And we have.”

“This isn’t just our work, it’s your work in progress,” Boehner adds. “You see, we’re gonna keep adding to this pile and we’re gonna keep calling on President Obama and Democrats in the Senate to give these jobs bills a vote.”

In the video, Boehner is shown with copies of several of the 30-plus House-passed bills – a line that has been a rallying mantra for congressional Republicans this year. In tandem, Boehner’s office released a blog post that lays out a sharper attack on Obama and what they view as a “pivot to nothing” amid an economy still suffering a jobless rate above 8 percent.

“President Obama hasn’t prodded the Senate – or his own administration – to act, first saying the private sector is ‘doing fine’ and now giving an economic speech that lacks economic proposals,” the post reads. “That’s because his team ‘made clear they don’t see many fresh options,’ and the president appears to be, well, doing fine with that.”

Boehner isn’t the only prominent Ohioan out early before Obama speaks in Cleveland later today. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a top vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney, also penned a POLITICO op-ed that castigated the president over his economic policies.

“President Barack Obama correctly points out that he inherited this recession,” writes Portman, a budget director under Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush. “But the question is: What did he do with it? His policies, unfortunately, have failed to turn things around.

Boehner gives ‘pre-buttal’ to Obama speech.

Critical Race Theory : Cases, Materials, and Problems (2ND 07 Edition) by Dorothy Brown – Powell’s Books

by Dorothy Brown


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Brown, Dorothy
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Critical Race Theory : Cases, Materials, and Problems (2ND 07 Edition) by Dorothy Brown – Powell’s Books.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm. With a substantive new introduction on Freire’s life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come. For more information, visit

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Reprint of the 1970 classic with a new introduction and bibliography (of 16 p.) by Donaldo Macedo and foreword (6 p.) by Richard Shaull.
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With an new introduction to Freire’s life and the impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers.


Includes bibliographical references.

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brodie, March 14, 2008 (view all comments by brodie)
This book should be required reading for any teacher, particularly any language teacher from the United States. It is already a classic, and hopefully will become foundational. Freire was a brilliant man.

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Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

The Automobile Industry Strike Of 1936

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