Monday, November 22, 2010

GOP: Grand Obstructionist Party

Dave Granlund - - The Party of Lincoln - English - Lincoln, honest abe, abe lincoln, president lincoln, president, civil war, GOP, republicans, republican, RNC, hate, baby killer, liar, you lie, partisan politics, party of no, no, obstructionists, decorum, civility, uncivil, congress, senate, house

Below are a few stories that revolve around the serious problem of the federal budget deficit, the START treaty, and Republican obstructionism. The Republicans and the Democrats have very different views.
By Sam Pizzigati: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Probing Plutocracy
The rich, many Americans have come to believe, rule. But how? The current hubbub over the federal budget deficit opens a welcome window to understanding just how our rich keep riding so high.

How can you tell whether you live in a plutocracy? Easy. Just conduct this simple test. First, identify a “pressing problem” that pundits are splashing over your nation’s op-ed pages. Then take a glance at the “solutions” to this national woe that pop up, on these same op-ed pages, as “politically possible.”

If you live in a plutocracy, not one of these “politically possible” proposals will ever do more than, at worst, inconvenience your nation’s super rich. READ MORE

Via Crooks and Liars: Financial Times' Ed Luce: Republicans Have Greater Hatred of Obama than Love of American National Security
While discussing Admiral Mike Mullen's interview on This Week, where he called a vote on the START treaty during the lame duck session of Congress "absolutely critical", The Financial Times' Ed Luce summed up very well just what's motivating Republicans to obstruct the treaty's passage: hatred of President Obama. READ MORE
By Mike Lillis and Russell Berman: Democrats vs. Republicans: Who wins the game of tax-cut chicken?
With Democrats vowing to extend middle-class tax cuts without including higher incomes, the parties are poised to play a high-stakes game of chicken over the thorniest issue of the lame-duck session. READ MORE

By Jonathan Karl: A Hard Line on Debt: Tea Party Sen Says "No Way"
At 39 years old, Senator-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) is about to become the youngest member of the United States. He may also be the most conservative. READ MORE

Via Think Progress: GOP Judges Write Senators Asking Them To Stop Obstructing President Obama's Judges
Earlier this week, seven Republican-appointed federal judges co-signed a letter warning of the consequences of the GOP’s systematic obstruction of President Obama’s judges. The letter from the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, which includes Republican appointees Alex Kozinski, Ralph Beistline, Vaughn Walker, Irma Gonzales, Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, Richard Frank Cebull, Lonny Ray Suko, explains:

In order to do our work, and serve the public as Congress expects us to serve it, we need the resources to carry out our mission. While there are many areas of serious need, we write today to emphasize our desperate need for judges. Our need in that regard has been amply documented (See attached March 2009 Judicial Conference Recommendations for Additional Judgeships). Courts cannot do their work if authorized judicial positions remain vacant.

While we could certainly use more judges, and hope that Congress will soon approve the additional judgeships requested by the Judicial Conference, we would be greatly assisted if our judicial vacancies–some of which have been open for several years and declared “judicial emergencies”–were to be filled promptly. We respectfully request that the Senate act on judicial nominees without delay. READ MORE

There seems to be a pattern of Republican obstructionism for the sake of obstructing. The real interests of the American people are being trampled on by a few arrogant politicians. 'We The People' can change that in 2012. Vote out the obstructionists!

John Darkow - Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri - Grand Obstructionist Party - English - GOP, obstructionist, Republican, health care

Sunday, November 21, 2010

False Words of the Right Makes them Wrong

Pat Bagley - Salt Lake Tribune - The News Cycle COLOR - English - Fox, News, Bloggers, Blogosphere, New Cycle, Beck, The Web, Internet, email, Truthers, Lies, White House, Obama

Media Matters has "facted checked" the November 14, 2010 Sunday political shows.
This week's Sunday shows were all about ducks and pork. The fight over pork-barrel earmark spending is largely a matter of opinion, though, so the falsehoods were limited to the tax and spending fights expected in the lame duck session that starts this week.
On Fox, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) repeated long-discredited talking points about "small businesses" and tax cuts, and exaggerated the tax rates American companies actually pay.

On NBC, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested keeping tax breaks for the rich would help the economy despite the evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Newt Gingrich each claimed that government workers are overpaid because they make more on average than private sector workers, but neither man acknowledged that the pay gap reflects differences in skills and education levels between the two groups.

And on ABC, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he can't vote for the New START Treaty because of concerns about "modernization" and missile defense systems, even though President Obama upped the budget for modernizing our nuclear arsenal, and the general in charge of missile defense says the treaty will actually make his job easier.
The sound bites, talking points and spin that each of these politicians spewed out as fact ,was in reality far from the truth. Below is the 'CLAIM' and the 'FACT' of each talking point.

Fox News Sunday

CLAIM: Sen. DeMint Falsely Claimed That Restoring Top Tax Rates To Clinton-Era Levels Would "Raise Taxes On 750,000 Small Businesses"

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R-SC): I don't think there's any room to negotiate on raising taxes, particularly on small businesses. I hope we can get a permanent extension, but if the president wants to compromise on a two or three year extension...We'll work with him on that, but I hope he doesn't come back with the idea that, oh we're gonna raise taxes on 750,000 small businesses as, as he's been talking about, um, uh, I think if he can work on our side of the ledger, I think uh we might can work together.

FACT: DeMint's Definition Of "Small Businesses" Includes Industry-Leading Corporations Worth Tens Of Billions

To Arrive At 750,000 Claim, Republicans Define All "Pass-Through" Entities As Small Businesses. As reported by the Washington Post, "Republicans continually define pass-through entities of all sizes as small businesses..." [Washington Post, 9/17/10; emphasis added]

By Defining All "Pass-Through" Entities As "Small Businesses," Republicans Are Counting A Wall Street Firm Worth $54 Billion As "Small."Washington Post: As reported by the

The thing is, some of those businesses are not particularly small. In fact, they're quite large.

Among the firms Republicans want to protect from new taxes, according to research by House Democrats: The management team at Wall Street buyout firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR), which recently reported more than $54 billion in assets managed by 14 offices around the world. Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, a household name with operations in more than 150 countries. And the Tribune Corp., which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun.

KKR, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Tribune, it turns out, are organized as "pass-through" entities - companies that typically avoid corporate taxes by reporting profits on the individual tax returns of their owners, managers or shareholders. [Washington Post, 9/17/10; emphasis added]

Bush Economist: Businesses Republicans Define As "Small" Are Actually "Very Large." According to the Washington Post: "Alan Viard, an economist in the Bush White House who is now at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed that many firms represented in the top tax brackets are hardly small. Economically, that doesn't matter, he said: Obama would still be raising taxes on a significant source of jobs and economic activity. Politically, however, it's a very different matter to raise taxes on a Wall Street hedge fund than it is to tax your neighborhood dry cleaner. Which is why Republicans continually define pass-through entities of all sizes as small businesses, a position Viard called a 'fallacy.' 'How can it be that 3 percent of owners are accounting for 50 percent of small business income? Those firms they're owning can't be all that small,' Viard said. 'And that's true. They're very large.'" [Washington Post, 9/17/10; emphasis added]

  • Just 12 Percent Of Money Raised By Increasing Top Rates Comes From "Small Businesses With Actual Workers." As reported by Businessweek: "The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which analyzes issues for lawmakers, largely agreed with Obama in a Sept. 3 report that considered only taxpayers with employees. Its conclusion: Small businesses with actual workers would pay only about 12 percent of the higher taxes. 'Across-the-board tax cuts for high-income individuals are not efficiently targeted to small businesses,' wrote author Jane G. Gravelle." [Businessweek, 9/23/10; emphasis added]

Republican Definition Includes Athletes, Authors, And Other Non-Employer Tax Filers. According to Businessweek: "McConnell's 50-percent-of-income figure is based on a July 12 finding by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a House-Senate panel that analyzes tax issues, that half of about $1 trillion of business income in 2011 will be reported on some 750,000 personal tax returns filed by people who pay the top marginal rates. He calls those small businesses. Yet the report says the data 'do not imply that all of the income is from entities that might be considered 'small.'' Almost 20,000 of those businesses, for example, had receipts of more than $50 million, it says. Besides Obama, McConnell's 50 percent figure includes authors, actors, athletes, and others who employ few if any workers, as well as hedge fund firms and major law partnerships most people wouldn't consider small. 'We are being over-inclusive in our use of small business income,' says Edward D. Kleinbard, a former staff director of the Joint Committee on Taxation who is now a University of Southern California law professor." [Businessweek, 9/23/10; emphasis added]

For Political Correction's previous coverage of Republican misinformation about small business taxes, see HERE, HERE and HERE.

CLAIM: Sen. DeMint Claimed U.S. Corporate Taxes Are Among The Highest In The World

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R-SC): We don't have a taxing problem in this country. We already have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We need to cut spending.

FACT: DeMint Ignored The Tax Rates U.S. Corporations ACTUALLY Pay, Which Are Much Lower

Effective Tax Rates Are Lower Than Statutory Rates. In its 2009 report on global taxation, the World Bank wrote: "The key point to recognise is that it is not simply the statutory rate of corporate income tax that is important here, but also the effective tax rate for current corporate income tax, taking into account all the additions and deductions to profit before tax that tax rules may require." ["Paying Taxes 2009: The Global Picture," World Bank, 11/10/08]

American Companies Pay Lower Effective Tax Rate Than German, Canadian, Chinese, Italian, And Other Companies. In its 2009 report on global taxation, the World Bank wrote:

Figure 2.7

As noted in Chapter 1, reducing the statutory rate of corporate income tax has been the most popular government tax reform in the period. However in most of the economies, the case study company does not pay corporate income tax at the statutory rate on its profit before tax, since the tax rules require adjustments to be made to this in order to calculate taxable profits. A common example is to substitute tax depreciation for commercial amortisation of assets.

The effective rate of current corporate income tax can be defined as the actual rate of corporate income tax paid as a percentage of profit before tax. Figure 2.7 compares this effective rate with the statutory rate of corporate income tax for the G8 and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies, and shows that the two are often not the same...

["Paying Taxes 2009: The Global Picture," World Bank, 11/10/08; in-text citation removed for clarity]

CBPP: U.S. Corporations Pay Lower Taxes Than Average For Developed Economies. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: "The U.S. corporate tax burden is smaller than average for developed countries. Corporations in 19 of the member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development paid 16.1 percent of their profits in taxes between 2000 and 2005, on average, while corporations in the United States paid 13.4 percent." [, 10/27/08; in-text citation removed for clarity]

2009: General Electric Earned A $1.1 Billion Tax CREDIT Despite $10.3 BILLION In Pre-Tax Income. According to Forbes: "As you work on your taxes this month, here's something to raise your hackles: Some of the world's biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do--that is, if they pay taxes at all. The most egregious example is General Electric. Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion. Avoiding taxes is nothing new for General Electric. In 2008 its effective tax rate was 5.3%; in 2007 it was 15%. The marginal U.S. corporate rate is 35%." [Forbes, 4/1/10; emphasis added]

Meet the Press

CLAIM: Sen. McCain Suggested That Continuing Tax Breaks For The Wealthy Will Help The Economy

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): We're in the midst of the greatest recession in the history of this country since the Great Depression. It is not the time to raise anyone's taxes.

FACT: Cutting Taxes For The Wealthy Does Little To Stimulate The Economy

Bloomberg News: "Give The Wealthiest Americans A Tax Cut And History Suggests They Will Save The Money Rather Than Spend It." According to Bloomberg News: "Give the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it. Tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush were followed by increases in the saving rate among the rich, according to data from Moody's Analytics Inc. When taxes were raised under Bill Clinton, the saving rate fell. The findings may weaken arguments by Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who say allowing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to lapse will prompt them to reduce their spending, harming the economy. President Barack Obama wants to extend the cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and couples earning less than $250,000 while ending them for those who earn more." [Bloomberg News, 9/14/10]

New York Times: "Research Suggests That Tax Cuts... Have Limited Ability To Bolster The Flagging Economy." According to the New York Times: "The concept of lower taxes is so appealing to voters that many embrace them as an economic cure-all. But economic research suggests that tax cuts, though difficult for politicians to resist in election season, have limited ability to bolster the flagging economy because they are essentially a supply-side remedy for a problem caused by lack of demand. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this year analyzed the short-term effects of 11 policy options and found that extending the tax cuts would be the least effective way to spur the economy and reduce unemployment. The report added that tax cuts for high earners would have the smallest 'bang for the buck,' because wealthy Americans were more likely to save their money than spend it." [New York Times, 9/11/10]

CBO: Among Eleven Proposals To Spur Economic Growth, Cutting Income Taxes Ranks Last. Below is a chart created by the Congressional Budget Office to show the "cumulative effects of policy options on employment in 2010 and 2011":

[Congressional Budget Office, 2/23/10]

CLAIM: Newt Gingrich Claimed Government Worker Earnings Are Out Of Proportion With Private-Sector Pay

NEWT GINGRICH: The only place I worry about in terms of the kind of riots you were showing is not Americans in general. I believe the scale of change coming to government workers is gonna be so great that you may well see in places like Sacramento or Albany, New York, very serious unrest by union members who are offended at the idea that they should actually earn in proportion to the taxpayer, and not be the new, uh, special class in America, which is what they've become over the last 20 years. [Meet the Press, 11/14/10]

CLAIM: Sen.-Elect Rand Paul Claimed Government Worker Compensation Is Almost Double That Of Private Sector Workers

RAND PAUL (R-KY): Really I think you should shrink the federal workforce, and you should make their pay more comparable. Right now the total compensation for government workers versus private workers is almost two to one. [Face the Nation, 11/14/10]

FACT: Government Workers Do Not Make Twice What Equivalent Private Sector Workers Make

In Some Professions, Government Pay Lower Than Private Sector Pay. As reported by "When we checked individual jobs using the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data (from 2008), we found many federal salaries were indeed higher, but some were lower. Higher: A government-employed nurse makes about $74,460 on average, while someone in the same position working for the private sector makes about $65,130. A cashier working for the government makes on average $34,470 while a cashier working in a store only makes a mean of $18,880 annually. And a public-relations manager working for the government makes about $132,410 a year compared to $101,220 in the private sector. Lower: Petroleum engineers working for the government earn an average of $93,140; in the private sector, they make an average of $119,140. An editor working for the government only makes $42,210, compared to an average of $57,180 in the private sector." [, 1/31/10]

PolitiFact: Federal Pay Claim "False" Because "It Is Not An Apples-To-Apples Comparison." PolitiFact investigated a similar claim by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in January 2010:

Secondly, it's important to understand that a big reason for the disparity is the different mix of jobs in the federal work force. It has more higher-paying white-collar jobs, experts told us, while there are more lower-paying, blue-collar jobs in the private sector that bring the average down. So it is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Finally, we found it's a mixed bag when comparing individual private and public sector occupations -- the "private counterparts" he spoke of. Some public jobs pay more, some pay less. And the public ones that pay more are not consistently double as he claimed.

So he's wrong to say it's double and wrong to suggest that it's always the case when comparing specific jobs. We rate his claim False.

[, 1/31/10; emphasis added]

Disparity In "Average" Compensation Arises Because Federal Workforce Is More Educated, Skilled Than Private Sector Workforce. According to

The first is that there's an imbalance in the types of jobs that make up the federal workforce compared to the private-sector workforce. The federal workforce is disproportionately composed of employees with higher educational attainment. Think of all the low-wage burger-flippers, gas station attendants and domestic workers in the private-sector economy. The federal government has some of these types of employees but proportionately far fewer -- especially after nearly two decades of aggressive contracting-out of duties that need not be handled by salaried federal employees. This has further expanded the federal government's disproportionately large numbers of lawyers, scientists and other highly skilled professionals.

If the federal sector today is hiring a lot of people with specialized expertise and the private sector is hiring a lot of people with skills that don't require a college, or even a high school, degree, then it's no surprise that the average salary levels in each sector are going to be at odds.
[, 11/7/10; emphasis added]

This Week

CLAIM: Sen. Graham (R-SC) Claimed The New START Treaty Would Harm Efforts To Maintain Our Nuclear Arsenal

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm very open-minded about the treaty...You got two impediments. Modernization. Not only do we need a START treaty, we need to modernize our nuclear force, the weapons that are left, to make sure they uh, continue to be a deterrent.

FACT: President Obama Has Requested 10% Boost In Funding For Missile Maintenance

President Obama's 2011 Budget Requests 10% Increase In Funding For Organization That Maintains Our Nuclear Stockpile. According to the Arms Control Association: "For Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the Obama administration is requesting $7 billion, a 10 percent increase, in funding for weapons activities in the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which oversees the U.S. nuclear stockpile and production complex. The administration plans to spend an additional $5 billion on NNSA nuclear weapons activities over the next five years." [Arms Control Association, 4/27/10]

We Are Constantly Modernizing Our Weapons Arsenal. As the Brookings Institution's Stephen Pifer explained, "We [the US] take a missile frame and we modernize it, and we refurbish it, whereas the Russian practice is to take a missile, they use it for 15 years and then they replace it completely. So you'll see new numbers coming up on the Russian side and you may think that, gosh, the Americans are still deploying these 1970s missiles. I suspect when they retire the last Minuteman III in 2030, it may have three of the original bolts on it from 1970 but it's going to be a very different missile." [Arms Control Association, 12/9/09, emphasis added]

  • US Presently Has 5,113 Nuclear Warheads. As the Financial TimesFinancial Times, 5/4/10] reported, "In an announcement timed to coincide with the opening of the United Nations nuclear non-proliferation conference in New York, the Pentagon said it had a nuclear stockpile of 5,113 warheads as of September 30 2009." [

CLAIM: Sen. Graham (R-SC) Claimed The New START Treaty Would Impede Missile Defense Programs

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm very open-minded about the treaty...You got two impediments. Modernization. Not only do we need a START treaty, we need to modernize our nuclear force, the weapons that are left, to make sure they uh, continue to be a deterrent. And we need to make sure that we can employ— deploy missile defense systems that are apart from START. So you got two stumbling blocks. The modernization program, and how uh, missile defense works apart from the treaty.

FACT: General In Charge Of Missile Defense Says START Will Help, Not Hinder, Missile Defense Efforts

Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly: "The New START Treaty Has No Constraints On...The Ballistic Missile Defense System." In testimony before the House Armed Forces Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly said: "The New START Treaty has no constraints on current and future components of the BMDS development or deployment. Article V, Section 3 of the treaty prohibits the conversion of ICBM or SLBM launchers to missile defense launchers, and vice versa, while "grandfathering" the five former ICBM silos at Vandenberg AFB already converted for Ground Based Interceptors. MDA never had a plan to convert additional ICBM silos at Vandenberg and intends to hedge against increased BMDS requirements by completing construction of Missile Field 2 at Fort Greely. Moreover, we determined that if more interceptors were to be added at Vandenberg AFB, it would be less expensive to build a new GBI missile field (which is not prohibited by the treaty). Regarding SLBM launchers, some time ago we examined the concept of launching missile defense interceptors from submarines and found it an unattractive and extremely expensive option." [Gen. O'Reilly Testimony, 4/15/10]

Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly: New START Treaty "Actually Reduces Constraints On The Development Of The Missile Defense Program." In testimony before the House Armed Forces Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly said: "Relative to the recently expired START Treaty, the New START Treaty actually reduces constraints on the development of the missile defense program. Unless they have New-START accountable first stages (which we do not plan to use), our targets will no longer be subject to START constraints, which limited our use of air-to-surface and waterborne launches of targets which are essential for the cost-effective testing of missile defense interceptors against MRBM and IRBM targets in the Pacific area. In addition, under New START, we will no longer be limited to five space launch facilities for target launches." [Gen. O'Reilly Testimony, 4/15/10]

  • Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly Serves As Director Of The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency. According to his biography on the Missile Defense Agency website: "Lieutenant General Patrick J. O'Reilly is the Director for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, DC. In this capacity, he oversees MDA's worldwide mission to develop a capability to defend deployed forces, the United States, Allies, and friends against ballistic missile attacks." [, accessed 11/14/10]
    There seems to be a pattern of misrepresentation that the public needs to be aware of. The right is wrong. Where is the media?

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Crazy Is as Crazy Does

    Taylor Jones - El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - Queen Sarah - COLOR - English - sarah palin,alice in wonderland,queen of hearts,tea party,republicans,conservatives,palin,2010 midterms

    Is is just me? Or are there other people in this country who believe that Sarah Palin is a lightweight, ego-centric, vitriolic crybaby. Think about it. She runs as the Republican V.P. candidate with John McCain in 2008 and basically looses the election for him. Granted, McCain had problems of his own. However, too many people stepped back and said, 'OMG, this woman will be a heartbeat away from being the President and we cannot vote for McCain.'

    But within the last two years, Palin and her people [there are brains behind the machine] have used Twitter, the Net and other tech savvy tools to her advantage. And the media eats it up, like Dancing With the Stars [oh that's Bristol]!

    If you just listened to the Media Moguls you would think she is the voice of the Republican Party, the Tea Party and the Libertarian Party, all at the same time.

    But behind the scenes the reality breaks through. WATCH:

    Thank goodness I'm not alone!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Where is Obama's Presidential Power?

    William Greider from The Nation has an article, Obama Without Tears, that puts forth the question of whether President Barack Obama has the guts to play hardball.

    Given the election results, the question Barack Obama has to decide for himself is whether he really wants to be president in the fullest sense. Not a moderator for earnest policy discussions. Not the national cheerleader for hope. Not the worthy visionary describing a distant future. Those qualities are elements in any successful presidency, and Obama applies them with admirable skill and seriousness.

    What's missing with this president is power -- a strong grasp of the powers he possesses and the willingness to govern the country with them. During the past two years, this missing quality has been consistently obvious in his rhetoric and substantive policy positions. There is a cloying Boy Scout quality in his style of leadership -- the troop leader urging boys to work together on their merit badges -- and none of the pigheaded stubbornness of his "I am the decider" predecessor, nor the hard steel of Lyndon Johnson or the guile of Richard Nixon.

    Obama has patience and the self-confidence not to insist that his solution is the best and only one. On many vital questions, he went so far as to not even say what his solution was. Such a governing style is too nice for real-life politics, where Boy Scouts get their heads handed to them.

    Some politicians may enjoy Obama's generous spirit, but many despise him for it. Washington always takes the measure of a new president and tests him early on. Congress and the surrounding power centers, swiftly reading weakness in this president, decided they would fill the vacuum Obama left for them.

    A friend and longtime warrior for liberal reforms described what unfolded in harsh but accurate terms: "First he was rolled by the bankers, then he was rolled by the generals, then he was rolled by the Blue Dogs and other Democrats who had no interest in going along with what he proposed." Obama seemed exceedingly tolerant of resisting forces and even cooperated with them. Or maybe he privately agreed with them. He never made it clear.

    Perhaps because he was young and relatively inexperienced, Obama surrounded himself with savvy veterans of Washington's inside baseball. He inherited his economic advisers from Robert Rubin, his political team from former Senate leader Tom Daschle and center-right Clintonistas like Rahm Emanuel. Together with old friends from the academy, the administration was overstaffed with intellectual abstraction and short on street-smart politicians, especially any harboring liberal instincts. That pretty much ruled out the "change" many voters had expected. It produced a tone-deaf seminar of policy thinkers in which Obama assumed he was hearing all sides.

    Republicans, who are masters of deceptive marketing, seized on Obama's most appealing qualities and turned them upside down. Their propaganda cast him not as soft but as a power-mad (black) leftist, destroying democracy with socialist schemes. The portrait was so ludicrous and mendacious, the president's party hardly bothered to respond. Egged on by the Republican Party and Fox News, right-wing frothers conjured sicko fantasies and extreme accusations: the president is not only a black man (bad enough for the party of the white South); he is not even American. The vindictive GOP strategy is racial McCarthyism, demonizing this honorable man as an alien threat, just as cold war Republicans depicted left-liberal Democrats as commie sympathizers.

    Even Obama supporters began to ask, Where is the fight in the man? Some critics blame a lack of courage, but that neglects the extraordinary nerve Obama displayed in his rise to the White House -- a young black man with an unusual name and limited experience who triumphed through his audacity. Obama's governing style is a function of his biography -- a man who grew up always in the middle, both black and white. He succeeded by learning rare skills, the ability to bridge different worlds comfortably and draw people together across racial, political and intellectual divides. He learned to charm and disarm, not to smash and conquer.

    "Change" was the message of Barack Obama's presidential platform. Change only happens with strong leadership and direction. Change is what President Barack Obama needs to focus on. Change is what we were promised and change is what this country needs.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    The GOP Says NO to Wall Street Reform

    Dave Granlund - - Financial regs overhaul - English - Wall st, finance, financial regs, finance regulations, wall st regs, fed regs federal regulations, obama, finance regs overhaul, money, business, recession, wall street, banks, loans, investments, stocks

    This last election allowed Republicans to regain a majority in the House of Representatives. Ohio's Rep. John Boehner is likely to be chosen as the new speaker of the House. Changes to the leadership of other important committees will also occur. Andy Kroll at Mother Jones has a "guide to the House finance committee under Republican rule."

    The power struggle for House finance committee seat between Spence Bachus of Alabama and Ed Royce of California.

    The chairman's seat on the House financial services committee ranks among the most coveted and powerful perches on Capitol Hill. Consider Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the committee's outgoing chief. As chairman, the smart, sharp-tongued Frank served as point man in Congress on the passage of TARP, the much-maligned bailout helped avert a second Great Depression. He also crafted and shepherded from inception to final passage this year's financial regulatory reform bill, hence the legislation's unofficial name: Dodd-Frank.

    Already a power struggle has broken out between two GOP congressmen, Spencer Bachus of Alabama and Ed Royce of California, to claim the chairman's gavel when the Republicans assume control of the House in January. That Royce is challenging Bachus at all shows the jostling underway to take power in the upcoming 112th Congress. Bachus, of course, is the obvious choice to become chairman, having served as the financial services committee's ranking member. Royce, meanwhile, ranks fourth among Republicans on the committee.

    While both men have downplayed the drama for winning the gavel, there's plenty at stake here. For Bachus, dumped unceremoniously from the GOP team that took part in crucial bailout negotiations in 2008, winning the chairmanship would mark a return to the top financial seat in his party. A Royce victory, leapfrogging as he would two other Republicans on the committee, would swiftly launch him into upper rungs of House Republican leadership.

    Both Bachus and Royce want to wipe out the new Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill.

    For consumer advocates and pro-reform types, there's no favorite in the Bachus-Royce race. Both are freemarket-loving lawmakers who want to dismantle, if not wipe out altogether, the new financial regulatory reform bill before it's even drawn first breath.

    Spence Bachus has ties to Big Finance and Wall Street.

    Let's start with Bachus, the sandy-haired, 62-year-old congressman from central Alabama. A quick glance at Bachus' campaign coffers and donors shows that he's a Big Finance favorite. During his nine terms in Congress, the top five industries giving to Bachus all hail from the financial world: commercial banks ($1 million), insurance ($818,850), real estate ($773,651), securities and investment ($686,116), and finance/credit companies (410,508). His top contributors include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and the National Association of Realtors.

    With the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill, Bachus' relationship with Wall Street has only tightened. In October, as Politico reported, he chided a group of 100 financial lobbyists at the Capitol Hill Club, a popular GOP haunt, for their disproportionate giving to Democrats, who lead the reform effort. As it happened, Wall Street heeded Bachus' plea: In the 2010 midterms, the finance, insurance, and real estate, or FIRE, sector gave a higher percentage of its total donations to the GOP than in the previous two elections.

    That cozy relationship in mind, it's hardly surprising to learn that Bachus wants to roll back key parts of Dodd-Frank. For instance, the Alabama congressman said in September that he wanted to repeal federal regulators' new power to wind down and liquidate "too big to fail" banks whose collapse could topple the financial system. (Think Citigroup, circa October 2008.) Bachus believes Dodd-Frank's too-to-big-fail provision will only make bailouts permanent, not end them; instead, he wants to rewrite the bankruptcy laws to handle major bank failures.

    Bachus also has in his crosshairs the "Volcker Rule," which would stop banks' "proprietary trading" (risky trading for their own benefit instead of for clients'); limit their stakes in riskier outfits like hedge and private equity funds, where regulation is lighter; and limiting how much domestic banks can expand within the US. House and Senate Democrats overwhelmingly support the provision, and former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker himself wants as broad an interpretation of the rule as possible. Yet Bachus has repeatedly attacked the provision. During the bill-writing process, he tried and failed in adding an amendment blocking the Volcker Rule's implementation until other countries put in place their own prop trading bans. And in a recent letter (PDF) to financial regulators, Bachus said the Volcker Rule would "impose substantial costs on the American economy and market participants" with "doubtful" benefits.

    Ed Royce also has ties with Wall Street

    On the issues, Ed Royce, who represents southern California's Orange County, isn't all that different from Bachus. He, too, has benefitted from Wall Street's largesse. Three of the top five industries who've donated to Royce over his career come from the finance industry, including the insurance ($665,530), real estate ($561,950), and securities and investment ($430,350) sectors.

    Like Bachus, Royce is no fan of Dodd-Frank, and would, as chairman, seek to chip away at the bill. For starters, he wants to give bank regulators veto power on the rule-making abilities of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There's just one problem with that: The consumer bureau is already subject to veto by a two-thirds vote from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a new council of regulators tasked with preventing banks from becoming too big to fail. Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who conceived of the bureau and is now tasked with getting it off the ground, responded on Monday night to statements like Royce's to undermine the bureau. "I'm really surprised by this move," she told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "Following the Great Depression, it took fifty years before anyone started chipping seriously away at the new reforms that had been put in place to protect us. Now, here we hope we're coming out of another great recession, we've passed serious reform, and it's just a matter of months until people are talking about how to undercut this new consumer financial protection agency."

    Royce has said he wants to rewrite the section in Dodd-Frank dealing with derivatives, the complex financial products that mirror the value of real goods (oil, corn, wheat) and, before the financial crisis, were used to make risky bets on the fluctuations in financial markets. Dodd-Frank requires most derivatives, or "swaps," trades to be processed through a central clearinghouse, and requires both speculators and possibly "end-users"—the utility companies, farmers, airlines, and more using derivatives to legitimately hedge against risks, like fluctuations in oil prices—to post collateral in case trades go bad. While potentially increasing the cost of hedging, these reforms will beef up stability and safety in the derivatives markets. Royce, however, has suggested he would amend the derivatives part of Dodd-Frank to let non-financial companies using derivatives off the hook, even though the Congressional Research Service found that such an exemption would all but nullify the rule.

    Where Royce has been especially vocal is on the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two taxpayer-owned government housing corporations. Royce believes the popular Republican talking point that Fannie and Freddie are "the two institutions most responsible for the collapse of the housing market," even though ample evidence disproves that theory. As chairman, Royce would tackle the question of either reforming the housing giants or abolishing them altogether.

    Differences between Bachus and Royce

    The most pronounced difference between Bachus and Royce is not their financial philosophies, but their demeanors. While Bachus struggled as ranking member to match Barney Frank's blistering rhetoric, Royce showed no hesitation to lock horns with the Massachusetts Democrat. During the reform bill's reconciliation process, Royce repeatedly clashed with Frank on the absence of any reforms for Fannie and Freddie. Royce's willingness to trade barbs is likely one of the main reasons his challenge to Bachus' seat has made headway at all.

    A major shift to the right is here

    In the end, though, the House financial services committee will see a major rightward shift with either Bachus or Royce as chairman. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a free marketeer who said the consumer bureau "assaults the liberties of the consumer," is poised to take over the financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee, while libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, will likely take over the domestic monetary policy and technology subcommittee. And if that didn't spell trouble for Dodd-Frank, the House GOP's pledge to defund the financial reform bill makes plenty clear where Republicans stand on financial issues.

    These are changes we shouldn't believe in!

    RJ Matson - Roll Call - The Great Depression II-COLOR - English - The Great Depression II, Wall Street, Financial Regulations, FDR, President Obama

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Debunking the Conservative Myths, Falsehoods and Lies

    Pat Bagley - Salt Lake Tribune - The News Cycle COLOR - English - Fox, News, Bloggers, Blogosphere, New Cycle, Beck, The Web, Internet, email, Truthers, Lies, White House, Obama

    Republican and conservative politicians, commentators and pundits have continually repeated a litany of falsehoods regarding such issues as tax cuts, the deficit, the economy, and the cost of health care. Dave Johnson has put together the "Eight False Things the Public "Knows" prior to Election Day."

    There are a number things the public "knows" as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

    Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

    1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
    Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

    2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
    Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

    3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
    Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

    4) The stimulus didn't work.
    Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

    5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
    Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

    6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
    Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

    7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
    Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

    8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
    Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.

    This stuff really matters.

    If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.

    If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn't work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.

    If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse. And on it goes.

    Framing the issue is so important. These nasty conservative lies must be addressed and dealt with by the Democrats and President Obama. New frames are needed to counter all falsehoods.

    Where Did All the Money Go?

    Tim Eagan - Deep Cover - what now, doctor - English - boehner, obama, economy, austerity, budget, deficit, taxes, tax cuts

    I am far from an economist who understands the ins and outs of the market. But there are some principles that are just so simple and easy to understand. We all need to take notice when Wall Street shenanigans cause a major meltdown in the economy as Wall Street continues to amass billions of dollars and then the only remedy that is suggested is that the poor and middle class of this country tighten their belts and grin and bear it.

    Who's side are the big bankers and investment brokers and moneyed politicians on? I would suggest they are on the side of big business, large corporations and Wall Street.

    Crooks and Liars has an article on that point, Who is Peter G. Peterson and Why Should We Trust Him?

    imageDownload (3).jpgPeter G. Peterson relationship map
    I'm not sure hedge fund managers and investment bankers are really the right group to be determining our fiscal future. In fact, I'm pretty sure they're not. But Peter G. Peterson is a very serious man on a very serious mission, and that mission includes a film, a book, a couple of foundations, and a billion-dollar effort to re-educate Americans on very serious matters, like Social Security, and Medicare, and anything that really has a deep impact on the poor and middle classes in this country. Peterson is so committed to this mission that he started his foundation with a $1-billion dollar grant and has branched out from there.

    The Peter G. Peterson foundation claims to be bipartisan, yet their former CEO is out pimping a book, a new advocacy group and a position. Peter G. Peterson served as Secretary of Commerce under Richard Nixon. He claims to be very, very, very concerned about our deficit, yet not one word is uttered in this report about Wall Street's contribution to the deficit, the collapse of our economy, or any responsibility on the part of the financial industry to help reduce the deficit they helped create.

    Peterson Foundation staff members served as staff to Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Peter G. Peterson is founder of Blackstone Group, an investment group that made him billions during his Wall Street tenure. He is a fiscal conservative, a deficit hawk and he and his foundation are on a mission to tell us that we should all sacrifice and suffer to pay off the national debt while letting Wall Street completely off the hook.

    Erskine Bowles is also on Wall Street's payroll, so it's not too much of a surprise to discover that he might have "forgotten" to pay attention to Wall Street responsibility for our current economic woes.

    Here's a little more on Peterson and his Blackstone partner Stephen Schwarzman. But what I really want to do is walk backward to the summer of 2007, and this Salon article about Peterson's partner Stephen Schwarzman, his investment firm Blackstone Group, and Wall Street irresponsibility.

    Next came a cover story in the March 5 Fortune declaring Schwarzman, who had just completed the gigantic acquisition of Equity Office Properties, "The New King of Wall Street." Then, only a few months after saying that Sarbanes-Oxley was deterring companies from going public, he filed a huge IPO for the Blackstone Group. If it goes through as planned, according to the Wall Street Journal, Schwarzman's sale will be worth $7.5 billion. This offering included several wrinkles that solidified Schwarzman's smartest-guy-in-the-room reputation but also seemed designed to elicit scrutiny. As the Financial Times reported ($ required), the preliminary prospectus said the firm planned to "book profits from private equity at the time an asset is bought"—not when the assets are sold, as most businesses do. More significantly, the offering was structured as a "publicly traded partnership" to take advantage of an absurd wrinkle in the tax code. Under current rules, the asset-management fees that private-equity partnerships like Blackstone reap are taxed not at the 35 percent corporate income-tax rate, but at the 15 percent long-term capital-gains rate, allowing Blackstone to save tens of millions of dollars annually on its tax bill. Finally, in May, at a time when concerns about China's role in the global economy and its influence on the United States were at a fever pitch, Schwarzman agreed to sell a 10 percent stake in Blackstone to an entity controlled by China's government.

    This is the partner of the man who is spending huge sums of money to tell us we're all doomed because China owns some of our debt? Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are just tools. This guy is the string puller, and he's putting fake campaign ads on the air, sending his former CEO out on a publicity tour, and basically trying to sell us all a bill of goods for what?

    Here's my bottom line on our good friends at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. They may not be extremists like Dick Armey and his ilk, but they are motivated by power, profit, and what's good for Wall Street, not what's good for ordinary folks like you and me. Given their deep and fundamental involvement in this draft report, my verdict is that the whole thing should be rejected on its face, simply because motives aren't altruistic, nor are they really serious about what's good for the country. They're far more serious about what's good for investment bankers, hedge fund managers, and Wall Street.

    Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, a writer, and a political commentator, asks Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania. He believes that the, "preliminary report of the President’s deficit commission doesn’t help. It’s another example of budget-deficit mania generating more heat than light."

    As to solution, the report mentions but doesn’t emphasize the biggest driver of future deficits – the relentless rise in health-care costs coupled with the pending corrosion of 77 million boomer bodies. This is 70 percent of the problem, but it gets about 3 percent of the space in the draft.

    The report suffers a more fundamental error — the unquestioned assumption that America’s biggest economic challenge is to reduce the federal budget deficit.[...]

    Our biggest problem isn’t the size of pending federal budget deficits or debt but an anemic recovery that may drag on for years. And unless we’re careful, budget-deficit mania may further slow economic growth – thereby making future debts even less manageable.

    James P. Pinkerton, a writer, Fox News contributor and Fellow at the New America Foundation, thinks "The Deficit Commision is a Big Fat Dud."

    In the future, if we want to reduce the deficit, we will have to change the frame of the debate. We will have to widen the discussion from the deficit to the overall economy. We will have to shift from a bean-counting focus on cuts to a larger consideration of what the federal government does and how it goes about doing it. And we will have to shift, also, into a larger consideration of new and better ideas for our future.

    For example, if the economy were to grow a point or two faster over the next few decades, the deficit would become manageable, and eventually disappear. The historic growth rate of the U.S. economy, over more than two centuries, has been three percent. But in the last decade, the growth rate has been less than two percent. If that growth gap continues, we will never balance the budget.

    Unfortunately for all of us, those sorts of creative ideas--economic growth, medical cures, and energy development--are not mentioned in the Bowles-Simpson report. Nor did we get any innovative suggestions, for say, restructuring the federal government’s operating model.

    All we got was a dead cat. And a not very smart dead cat at that.

    Real reform takes vision. Unfortunately, too many politicians have been blinded by the light of greed.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    It is Time to Say NO to Genetically Engineered Foods: UPDATED

    Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director for the Organic Consumers Association, is appealing to the public to take action in order to stop Frankenfish. Please click here.

    What are Frankenfish?
    The Organic Consumers Association has set forth the 10 Freakiest Things about Frankenfish

    10. Frankenfish aren't animals, they are "Animal Drugs."
    Obama's FDA is regulating genetically engineered salmon, a genetically modified organism (GMO) that is the first of its kind, not as an animal, but as an animal drug. Normally, a veterinary drug would be used for health purposes, but there's no therapeutic benefit associated with jacking up an Atlantic salmon with the genes of a Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout to make it grow twice as fast. On the contrary, genetic engineering increases the salmon's mortality, disease and deformity. So, why would the FDA treat a the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption like a drug? The idea came from the biotech industry. They knew that the FDA's animal drug process would keep companies' "proprietary" information secret, while limiting public participation and downplaying food safety concerns. Genius.

    9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn't Being Safely Tested
    Since 1992, the FDA has operated under the legal fiction created by the Bush-Quayle Administration that there is no risk associated with the human consumption of genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA explains that DNA is Generally Recognized as Safe, so genetically engineered DNA is safe, too, and it doesn't have to be safety tested. Source: FDA's Statement of Policy - Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties (PDF)
    8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria in Your Gut
    A human study conducted by the UK's Food Standards Agency found that consuming genetically engineered soy can result in "horizontal gene transfer," where the bacteria of the gut takes up the soy's modified DNA. With GMO salmon, the bacteria of our digestive tracks could take up the engineered salmon genes, but the FDA isn't looking into whether this would happen or how it might effect our health.

    7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It's Safe to Eat
    Instead of reviewing the safety of consuming genetically engineered salmon DNA, the FDA food safety review is a simple quacks-like-a-duck-style comparison of genetically engineered and normal salmon for hormone levels, nutrition, and allergenic potency.

    6. FDA Let's the Frankenfish Company Test Their Own Product's Safety
    The FDA's food safety review of GMO salmon consists of collecting data produced by AquaBounty, the company that wants to sell it. Not surprisingly, that data is seriously flawed. * AquaBounty did not always segregate, or even collect, data specific to their AquAdvantage GMO Salmon. And, FDA did not require AquaBounty to produce data in the actual conditions under which the salmon will be commercially produced, so we don't have food safety data on the Panama-raised, triploid, monosex AquAdvantage Salmon that people will be actually be eating if the FDA grants approval. * FDA did not require AquaBounty to show that AquAdvantage and normal salmon were similar when raised under the same conditions. AquaBounty's food safety data for genetically engineered salmon did not have to match data for its control salmon. FDA compared AquaBounty's data for genetically engineered salmon to data for farmed salmon raised under unknown conditions and data for salmon from other scientific studies. * AquaBounty only tested a few fish, making it less likely that its food safety studies would reveal statistically significant differences between genetically engineered and normal salmon. * AquaBounty's detection levels were often set too low to produce food safety data for comparison. * AquaBounty selected which fish to test, and unblinded samples. But, even with all of the flaws and biases that likely hid differences between GMO and normal salmon, it's clear that Frankenfish isn't same.

    5. Frankenfish is More Carcinogenic

    GMO salmon has 40% more IGF1, a hormone linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers in humans.

    4. Frankensfish is Less Nutritious
    GE salmon is less nutritious than normal salmon. It has the lowest omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of all the salmon in the studies FDA reviewed.

    3. Frankenfish is More Allergenic
    GE salmon have mean allergenic potencies that are 20% and 52% higher than normal salmon, increasing the risk of potentially deadly allergic reactions.

    2. GMOs Can Mess a Fish Up

    The FDA notes evidence of "increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multisystemic, focal inflammation" in the tissues of GMO salmon. Most people wouldn't be too surprised to learn that genetic engineering can mess a fish up. What might shock you is that the FDA dismisses these findings as "within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon." The abnormalities FDA found weren't much worse than those currently plaguing the factory farmed salmon selected for rapid growth and subjected to the physiological stress of intensive production. "Screamer disease" deforms 80% of Chilean salmon and "humpback" spinal compression is found in 70% of Norwegian salmon operations. Thanks, FDA, for letting us know that factory farmed salmon are so messed up! But, that's no reason to turn them into Frankenfish!

    1. The Government Wants More Transgenic Fish and Less Wild Fish
    The main justification for GMO salmon is that it could "reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks". But, consumption isn't the primary pressure on wild Alaskan salmon, which gets a "best choice" rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. The biggest threat to wild Alaskan salmon is the destruction of their habitat. Ironically, as Paul Greenberg, author of the new book "Four Fish," explains, "While the government seeks to boost farmed salmon supplies through transgenics, it is simultaneously letting wild salmon go to pot." The spawning grounds of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, are threatened by the international mining giant, Anglo-American, which plans to construct Pebble Mine, the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the US. Two months ago, a copper mine failure in China's TingRiver killed millions of fish. A similar disaster at Pebble Mine could mean the destruction of a quarter of a billion pounds of salmon, curiously, about the same amount of GMO salmon Aqua Bounty hopes to produce. The EPA could stop Pebble Mine through the Clean Water Act but has failed to act. Greenberg writes, "More transgenic fish, less wild fish. You have to scratch your head at a government that's planning that kind of seafood menu for its citizens. Instead of endorsing a risky experiment in genetic salmon modification wouldn't it be better if our leaders protected wild salmon habitat? In the end we'd have just as much fish on our plates and a safer environment to boot."
    GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms refer to organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. The problem stems from profit over health.

    "Just Say No To GMO" WATCH:

    We don't need to live Genetically Modified!!!

    TAKE ACTION HERE... For more information, Click HERE.