Green Party Candidate Matthew Hoh On Democrats Undermining Democracy, Pelosi’s Trip To Taiwan

In this free edition of the weekly Unauthorized Disclosure podcast, Matthew Hoh returns to the show. He’s a former Marine, whistleblower, and Green Party candidate for the US Senate in North Carolina.

Matthew provides an update on his Senate campaign. The Green Party was certified by the State Board of Elections, which means candidates may appear on the ballot in November. But the Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to stop the Green Party that was condemned by a major local newspaper.

Later in the show, Matthew reacts to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan and also comments on the US drone strike against Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and what that signified.

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DEMOCRATS’ CLIMATE BILL STILL ‘POURS GASOLINE ON THE FLAMES’

Clear-eyed critics and frontline activists say the “historic” Inflation Reduction Act is a “ransom note” from the fossil fuel industry holding our planet hostage.

BY JESSICA CORBETT

While many environmental advocates celebrate the Senate Democrats’ climate deal this week, frontline activists and more critical voices continue to note that the legislation, whatever its promises and upsides, remains an inadequate response to the global emergency that will likely further harm communities already affected by fossil fuel pollution.

The Senate approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in a party-line vote Sunday and it is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House as soon as Friday.

Writing for Jacobin in the wake of the Senate vote, Branko Marcetic called for being “clear-eyed” about the package, adding that “the urge to smooth over the IRA’s serious flaws was understandable when its prospects of passing sat on a knife edge. But after passing the Senate, it’s now overcome its biggest hurdle.”

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FBI Search Warrant: Trump Under Investigation For Espionage

Things just got as lot worse for the treasonous ex-president.

 FBI Search Warrant: Trump Under Investigation For Espionage
Credit: Composite/Howie Klein

By John Amato 

Politico is reporting that after reviewing the search warrant for Mar-A-Lago, Trump may have been in possession of documents marked with the high level classification of TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information, usually reserved for the highest level of government).

The warrant shows federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for removal or destruction of records, obstruction of justice, and violating the Espionage Act. Conviction under the statutes can result in imprisonment or fines.

fbimal_warrant_and_property

There is no reason at all why any former president would be in possession of these types of top secret documents because it’s not legal for him to have them, let alone storing them in an unsecured location.

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There appears to be a possible obstruction of justice charge as well thrown in as well.

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And just for fun, Marci Wheeler writes: JOHN SOLOMON AND KASH PATEL MAY BE IMPLICATED IN THE FBI’S TRUMP-RELATED ESPIONAGE ACT INVESTIGATION

It’s a good read.

It seems like just yesterday when Republicans cheered after Ron DeSantis sent in armed FBI agents to Rebekah Jones house because she may have had Florida COVID data after the Florida governor fired her trying to allegedly covering up Florida’s COVID infections.

And she did not have top secret documents in her possession.

Reality Winner went to prison for 5 years for possessing ONE document. Trump’s got hundreds, apparently.

Read more about the documents here.

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Grieving family wants killer-cop fired

By Gloria Rubac 

Jalen Randle was only 29 years old when he was murdered by Houston cops on April 27. His parents, Tiffany Rachal and Warren Randle, want answers. They want Shane Privette, the cop who killed their son, fired and prosecuted. They want justice.

And they are using every method they can come up with to get to the truth.

There’s been a demonstration outside the Harris County District Attorney’s office. There was a march from City Hall to the Houston Police Department headquarters. There was a press conference at the courthouse. There was a town hall meeting with the HPD chief and a representative from the DA’s office.

And the parents want it known who their son was. He was a son of Pleasantville, a working-class Black neighborhood in a thriving Black community. Pleasantville was the first Black deed-restricted neighborhood in the U.S., a place where homes are passed down through families. The neighborhood was annexed by Houston in 1949 and built during the 1950s. Randle and his friends were raising their children where they grew up.

The Houston Chronicle reported June 3: “When Houston police officer Shane Privette shot Randle in the neck, Pleasantville lost a son. It lost a father and a youth sports coach. It lost an amateur veterinarian, a man who loved dogs and would help his friends give them shots when their own pets got sick.”

Jalen Randle spent his last weekend in Pleasantville, doing what he so often did — volunteering at the Judson Robinson Sr. Community Center. He spent several days a week there coaching a youth football team with friends.

When asked about the town hall meeting, Tiffany Rachal told Workers World: “I felt like Chief [Troy] Finner told us what he thought we wanted to hear. But I need action. You can talk all day long, but we need action. My question to Finner is how many bad police in your time have you released? So, we are still searching for answers.”

The next event will be Friday, Aug. 19, at 9:30 a.m. at Houston City Hall. The demands: Get Shane Privette off the streets and stop recycling bad cops.

Banner made by Jalen Randle’s friends. Credit: Gloria Rubac

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Our Entire Civilization Is Structured Around Keeping Us From Realizing We Can Do This

Listen to a reading of this article

The video footage coming out of Sri Lanka right now has been the recurring nightmare of every ruler throughout history.

Thousands of protesters outraged by the deteriorating material conditions of the nation’s economic meltdown have stormed the presidential palace of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and I guarantee you the aerial footage as they poured into the building en masse has made every government leader and plutocrat a little uncomfortable today.

[snipped]

Just look at that. Look at all those people flooding in there. That is some truly awe-inspiring power. Imagine how terrifying it would be to find yourself on the receiving end of it.

I don’t know enough about what’s going on in Sri Lanka yet to comment with any authority on what powers might be at play in this uprising, but I do know that every ruler throughout history has spent time envisioning what would happen if a crowd that size decided to storm their base of operation. If their numbers became too great to suppress, or if your forces who would be doing the suppressing joined the ranks of the people instead, the best-case scenario for you is that you’d have already fled the building by that point, as Rajapaksa had the good sense to do shortly before the building was stormed. If enough angry people get their hands on you, it won’t matter if they’re armed with rockets or pistols or their own bare hands; you are in for a violent end.

If you’ve ever wondered why so much energy goes into keeping everyone propagandized in our society, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why our rulers work so hard to keep us divided against each other, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why we’re always being instructed to take our grievances to the voting booth even though we learn in election after election that it never changes the things that most desperately need to change, this is why.

Our entire civilization is structured around preventing scenes like the one we’re seeing in Sri Lanka today. Our education systems, our political systems, our media, our online information. Religions that have been around for thousands of years because the powerful endorsed and promulgated them are full of passages extolling the virtues of obedience, poverty, meekness, and rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. From the moment we are born our heads are filled with stories about why it’s good and right to consent to the status quo and why it would be wrong to take back what has been stolen from us by a predatory ruling class.

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The Violent Threats Against Adam Kinzinger Make One Thing Clear: the #MAGA cult must be burned to the ground

As a key member of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, congressman Kinzinger is persona non grata to the frothing MAGA cult for condemning Donald Trump’s attempted coup.

By Vinay Menon

Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger has sacrificed his political ambitions to be on the right side of history. The man deserves a Nobel Prize for bravery and honesty, writes Vinay Menon.

There are a lot of hard and thankless gigs these days.

But one of the hardest must be “intern for Adam Kinzinger.” The congressman from Illinois, and Air Force vet who served in Iraq, is now flying a different combat mission: truth bombing. As a key member of the Jan. 6 Select Committee — the next must see hearing is Tuesday — Kinzinger sacrificed his political ambitions to be on the right side of history.

The man deserves a Nobel Prize for bravery and honesty.

It has come at a tremendous cost. For the mortal sin of condemning Donald Trump’s attempted coup, Kinzinger is persona non grata to the frothing MAGA cult. He’s seen as a traitor, a liberal secret agent, a heretic, a disgrace, a treasonous scumbag who deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.

Some of his own relatives have said as much.

On Tuesday, Kinzinger released a truly bone-chilling comp of voice mails that have turned his answering system into a rated R rage machine. He prefaced this with an important reminder to the uninitiated: “All voice mails and phone calls are received by my interns, high school or college level, attempting to learn about the legislative process.”

Sigh. What they are learning about is death threats.

On any given day, an enraged MAGA cultist vows to assassinate Kinzinger and his family. The callers say they know where he lives. They make disparaging remarks about his mother, his wife, his infant son. They pray he dies a painful death. They promise to “get” him and make that so.

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KEEPING WORKERS POOR IS BAD FOR BUSINESS

At America’s biggest low-wage employers, chief executives now pocket 670 times more than their workers.

By Sam Pizzigati 

CEOs at America’s biggest low-wage employers now take home, on average, 670 times what their typical workers make.

But we don’t just get unfairness when a boss can grab more in a year than a worker could make in over six centuries. We get bungling and inefficient businesses.

Management science has been clear on this point for generations, ever since the days of the late Peter Drucker.

Management theorists credit Drucker, a refugee from Nazism in the 1930s, for laying down “the foundations of management as a scientific discipline.” Drucker’s classic 1946 study of General Motors established him as the nation’s foremost authority on corporate effectiveness.

That effectiveness, Drucker believed, had to rest on fairness.

Corporations that compensate their CEOs at rates far outpacing worker pay create cultures where organizational excellence can never take root. These corporations create ever bigger bureaucracies, with endless layers of management that serve only to prop up huge paychecks at the top.

Drucker argued that no executive should make more than 25 times what their workers earn. And, in the two decades after World War II, America’s leading corporate chiefs by and large accepted Drucker’s perspective.

Their companies shared the wealth when they bargained with the strong unions of the postwar years. In fact, notes the Economic Policy Institute, major U.S. corporate CEOs in 1965 were only realizing 21 times the pay their workers were pocketing.

Drucker died in 2005 at age 95. He lived long enough to see Corporate America make a mockery of his 25-to-1 standard. But research since his death has consistently reaffirmed his take on the negative impact of wide CEO-worker pay differentials.

The just-released 28th annual edition of the Institute for Policy Studies Executive Excess report explores these wide differentials in eye-opening detail. The report zeroes in on the 300 major U.S. corporations that pay their median workers the least.

At these 300 firms, average CEO pay last year jumped to $10.6 million, some 670 times their $24,000 median worker pay.

At over 100 of these firms, worker pay didn’t even keep with inflation. And at most of those companies, executives wasted millions buying back their own stock instead of giving workers a raise.

Just as Drucker predicted, this unfairness has led directly to performance issues. Many of our nation’s most unequal companies, from Amazon to federal call center contractor Maximus, have seen repeated walkouts and protests from justifiably aggrieved workers.

Lawmakers in Congress, the Institute for Policy Studies points out, could be taking concrete steps to rein in extreme pay disparities. They could, for instance, raise taxes on corporations with outrageously wide pay gaps.

But with this Congress unlikely to act, the new Institute for Policy Studies report also highlights a promising move the Biden administration could take on its own. The administration could start using executive action “to give corporations with narrow pay ratios preferential treatment in government contracting.”

That would amount to a major step forward, since 40 percent of our largest low-wage employers hold federal contracts. If the Biden administration denied lucrative government contracts to companies with pay gaps over 100 to 1, those low-wage firms would have a powerful incentive to pay workers more fairly.

Various federal programs already offer a leg up in contracting to targeted groups, typically small businesses owned by women, disabled veterans, and minorities.

“Using public procurement to address extreme disparities within large corporations,” the IPS report adds, “would be a step towards the same general objective.”

And a step in that direction, as Peter Drucker told Wall Street Journal readers back in 1977, would honor the great achievement of American business in the middle of the 20th century: “the steady narrowing of the income gap between the ‘big boss’ and the ‘working man.’”

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Renters in America Are Running Out of Options

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgTxzCe490Q

The need for affordable housing continues to grow in urban centers. The traditional form of affordable housing for suburban and rural areas, mobile homes, have become overrun with speculation, pricing people out through a new type of landlord – private equity.

[Source]

Jan. 6 committee follows the money, builds fraud case against Trump and team in the ‘Big Rip-Off’

by Joan McCarter

Remember that famous scene from All the President’s Men, with Deep Throat in the shadows of a parking garage, telling Robert Redford’s Bob Woodward to “follow the money” in order to unlock the conspiracy? Well, the Jan. 6 committee is most definitely following the money, and in doing so potentially building a wire fraud case against Donald Trump and members of his White House staff and campaign, who raised $250 million for a defense fund that did not exist to “fight election fraud”—which also did not exist.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) led this portion of the hearing testimony Monday, which included video of Amanda Wick, a senior investigative counsel. She outlined how, for weeks following the election and up to Jan. 6, Trump and his allies raised that $250 million with dozens of email solicitations a day. They raised $100 million in the first week after the election alone, Wick said.

“The emails claimed the, quote, left-wing mob was undermining the election, implored supporters to ‘step up to protect the integrity of the election’ and encouraged them to ‘fight back,’ ” Wick said. “But as the select committee has demonstrated, the Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false. Yet they continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails encouraging them to donate to something called the ‘Official Election Defense Fund.’”

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If poverty is a moral issue, then the United States is bankrupt

The federal poverty line struggles to capture the economic hardship that half of Americans face.

 by Sonali Kolhatkar and Independent Media Institute

Newspaper headlines are warning of rising inflation and the possibility that voters will respond to it by punishing Democrats in the midterm elections this fall. But there are few, if any, headlines about the enormous numbers of Americans who are low-income and poor—a travesty in one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

The problem of poverty is marked by several factors, the first of which is a deeply flawed government indicator of who qualifies as poor. Measured by the federal poverty line, about 37 million Americans live below the poverty line—that’s about 11 percent of the population.

But this leaves out many millions more Americans who live one emergency expense away from poverty. The Poor People’s Campaign (PPC): A National Call for Moral Revival relies on economic calculations showing that 140 million Americans—which is more than 40 percent of the population—are poor or low-income.

The second factor is mainstream media coverage that routinely skews in favor of wealthy elites by downplaying the extent of poverty. For example, when President Joe Biden cited the PPC’s estimate in an address in June 2019, the Washington Post engaged in a lengthy fact-checking investigation, interviewing numerous analysts who nitpicked over the difference between “poor” and “low-income” people, saying, “The two terms sound alike, but they describe different economic conditions.”

A third obstacle is corporate greed and how wealthy elites are vacuuming up every dollar they can into their own pockets, taking advantage of an economic system they helped to build in order to benefit themselves. For example, the investment giant Morgan Stanley released a report recently complaining about how rising wages were eating into corporate profits.

But of course, any wage increases are dampened by inflation rates rising much faster. This is a decades-long trend, not a new phenomenon, as any honest economist would explain.

But now that inflation is rising faster than it was before, media pundits and news outlets suggest that the fault lies with Americans earning higher wages and spending too much money.

[Read on]

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