Vote YES on NJ Ballot Q#2 to protect gas tax funds from being raided like clean energy and health funds were

vote-to-repair-roads
Source: Engineer’s Labor-Employer Cooperative via nj.com

New Jersey Assemblyman Dr. Tim Eustace wants New Jersey voters to know that voting YES on Ballot Question #2 will enable extremely important protections of taxpayer dollars. Election Day this year falls on Tuesday, November 8.

Here are short and long versions of the reasons it’s important to vote YES to Q2. You already know how important it is that you go vote in the first place – right?

The short version of why YES on Q2

On the gas tax issue, Assm. Eustace comments:

The New Jersey gas tax increase of 23¢ is law – and it’s a mistake to think it will go away if people vote NO on Ballot Question #2 at the polls next Tuesday. Gov. Christie’s second-in-command discussed the ballot question in a 101.5 Radio interview, revealing that either she does not understand this law, or maybe Ms. Guadagno is hoping to draw out Republican voters who believe that the gas tax will go away if they vote no. But, this is not true. read more

Has Sweeney convinced NJ legislators to turn their backs on giving a living wage to NJ workers any time soon?

Fight for $15 in NJ
Source: NJ Working Families
Why will New Jersey have a ballot referendum next year (aka constitutional amendment) that will allow state voters to decide whether to approve SCR1500 and increase the state’s minimum wage – but only by 62¢ in 2018 to $9 per hour and $1.00 a year after that to finally reach $15 an hour eight years from now, in 2024?

I got a slightly confusing reply from State Senator Bob Gordon to my email regarding this issue and have been checking into what his reply could mean. Here are the facts I’ve learned: read more

Betraying progressive politics to court corporate dollars is what has made Clintons the Dem Party favorites

people before profits
Source: National People’s Action/flickr via CommonDreams.org
Fred Toledo shared this article on Facebook. He commented, “This is the sad, sorry and corrupt state of a party that once stood as the champion of the working class, the poor, the disenfranchised and the marginalized,” and shared excerpts from Bill Moyer and Michael Winship’s article on Wasserman Schultz:

Yet when the CFPB was drawing up new rules to make it harder for payday predators to feast on the poor, Rep. Wasserman Schultz co-sponsored a bill to delay those new rules by two years. How, you ask, could the head of the party’s national committee embrace such an appalling exploitation of working people? read more

Sen Bob Menendez Hosts Empowerment Summit in Trenton on April 22 – Free

Sen Bob Menendez Empowerment SummitU.S. Senator Bob Menendez Hosts an Empowerment Summit for the Community

Friday 22 April 2016
9:00am-1:30pm
Trenton War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive
Trenton, NJ 08608

Cost: Free
Lunch will be served
RSVP here

Visit the summit event page for additional information

Kristof: It’s not easy for white Americans to own the advantages systemic racism gives them

Nicholas Kristof
Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof, at 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
© World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Monika Flueckiger
In Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof and his wife and co-author Sheryl WuDunn told the stories of women oppressed by prostitution slavery – or just oppressive sentiment concerning women – in Asian and African countries. Now they are focusing on the disparities and injustice in American society that have been created by gender and wealth disparities and that favor people with certain racial or ethnic backgrounds, a project (and book) they call A Path Appears.

In a 2014 article, WaPo’s Emily Badger interviews Kristof on the topic of systemic racism: how it affects its victims and why it’s so difficult for white Americans to see that their advantages cause other people to be disadvantaged. read more

Hillary’s BFFs Wasserman-Schultz & Rahm Emanuel: called out by Moyers for persecuting the working poor

Bill Moyers on DWS & RE
Source: Talking Points Memo
Rep. Excerpt from the 24 March 2016 article by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship on TPM.com on the united intentionality of Wasserman Schultz, Rahm Emanuel and both Clintons to both shift the Dem Party away from representing working folk and also persecute the working poor:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz … embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence. read more

Makes sense: Hillary will share her speech transcripts when hell freezes over

Hillary Transcripts
Source: Vets for Bernie
The Young Turks report on Hillary’s comeback to the New Hampshire debate question: will she share the transcripts of all of her speeches, even the ones she made to Goldman-Sachs? In a nutshell, Hillary’s answer was no, not really. We’ve learned that Hillary’s speaking contract stipulates that they be recorded both digitally and by a hired stenographer; and that she retains full copyright protection for all of her words.

A CNN analysis found that, since 2001, Hillary and Bill Clinton have received $153 million in speaking fees, with at least eight speeches given by Ms. Clinton to big banks for $1.8 million. The media has repeatedly asked Ms. Clinton to release the transcripts, to which she sarcastically responded on ABC’s This Week, “Yeah, you know, here’s another thing I want to say. Let everybody who has ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them all—we’ll all release them at the same time.” read more

Dr. Ogutu speaks on the importance of meaningful work and a society built on integrity

Dr. Vincent Ogutu

Vice-Dean Dr. Vincent Ogutu of the Strathmore Business School, chats about the importance of meaningful work and a society built around honesty and integrity – rather then instant gratification and cheating to “make it”. Well worth the 5 minute watch time. Enjoy!

Former Chase employee wants to tell the story of how they defrauded America

bank crash of the 20s
Legacy photo of the 1920s bank crash
Chase has paid billions in settlements to prevent former employee Alayne Fleischmann, Esq. from being summoned to the witness stand where she can reveal under oath the intentional theft of mortgage investors’ money through bad mortgage loans Chase made and sold without violating the gag clauses in her employment contract. With help from Attorney General Eric Holder, Chase enriched itself by millions of dollars and when it was caught with pants down, a small fine was imposed which was substantially funded by the American public via a tax write-off made available to the bank. read more

Ultra-Rich ‘Philanthrocapitalist’ Class Undermining Global Democracy: Report

As foundations and wealthy individuals funnel money into global development, what “solutions” are they pursuing?

Bill & Melinda Gates
Melinda and Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009. (Photo: World Economic Forum/flickr/cc)

From Warren Buffett to Bill Gates, it is no secret that the ultra-rich philanthropist class has an over-sized influence in shaping global politics and policies.

And a study (pdf) just out from the Global Policy Forum, an international watchdog group, makes the case that powerful philanthropic foundations—under the control of wealthy individuals—are actively undermining governments and inappropriately setting the agenda for international bodies like the United Nations. read more

Cosby’s business is private, but the state of America’s democracy is our concern

Cosby punching bag
Source: Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via toursdelaliberte.blogspot.com
I’m a little ashamed of myself. I’ve done to Cosby exactly what I caution people to never do, unless an accused person’s actions have been substantively witnessed and recorded – like the police who killed Eric Garner. Without the benefit of legal discovery or a trial, I had already convicted Cosby in my mind.

Although only a handful of his accusers claim to have been actually raped by Cosby, I had decided in my mind that he is guilty of serially raping almost 50 women. I didn’t bother to learn what these women have actually accused Dr. Cosby of doing to them. And I didn’t question my right or ability to judge him either, until I watched this video last night … and realized that I am a hypocrite, as well as a victim of the fine art of misdirection, which Wikipedia defines as: read more

Dr. Ball shares evidence to disrupt wide-spread myth that Black people & other 99%ers possess “buying power”

Black spending power
Source: imixwhatilike.org

I Mix What I Like shares a compendium of studies, articles and other resources to prove the case that Black “(and by extension all other)” buying power is a myth:

…“power” is not derived from consumption. Instead, “power” as was once famously said, is derived from controlling the “means of production.” (Reports that say differently) pervert economic reality and the very structural, predetermined nature of poverty.

Dr. Jared Ball shows the fallacies in the myths that the big boys are ready to give up their land claims to individual homeowners; that buying on credit is equivalent to owning anything other than debt; and that 99% community members prefer to squander our money on “trinkets” rather than make significant purchases. Dr. Ball shares evidence from credible sources showing that none of this is true. read more

New interactive website helps you see and understand US foreign aid spending

Recipients of US foreign aid
Source: foreignassistance.gov
The government has a new interactive website for tracking US aid to foreign countries foreignassistance.gov. In 2016, a total of $33.7B in aid is planned with largest recipients being:

Israel, $3.1B
Four Arabic countries, $4.8B total
Four African countries will, roughly half a billion each
Ukraine, about half a billion

The Clintons took in $3B from US & foreign donors in 4 decades. How much of them was sold?

Clinton Donor Network
Source: Washington Post article banner

This illuminating, interactive report by Washington Post writers Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Anu Narayanswamy looks at the relationships the Clintons have built and how legislation they have backed – and not backed – may tie in with those relationships.

This project is an effort to identify every known donor who contributed to support Bill and Hillary Clinton over their four decades in public life … (It)reveals how Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years, from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe… read more

85 rich people’s wealth equals what world’s poorest half own & other sad economic truths

Rich get richer graph
Source: Oxfam Working for the Few Report 2014
Don’t forget: the world’s 85 richest people now have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.

Oxfam introduces its Jan 2014 report Working for the Few with a quote from US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.” The report is concerned with the “growing tide of inequality” and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few individuals.

The report shares these startling statistics: read more