Just like Louis XVI, the French aristocracy and the royal hangers-on in 1789, our corrupt, 2-headed political Establishment never saw it coming.
Over the past 40 years or so, a multi-billion dollar boondoggle and political con game called the “Presidential Election” has been created. Under the star-spangled banner of “Democracy” the American electorate has been trickerated, lied to, manipulated and bamboozled every 4 years into believing they have democratically elected a President. But the joke’s on us.
Our Presidents from Nixon to Obama have essentially been variations of reverse Darwinism. While the political Establishment, donkeys and elephants, has basically “devolved” over the years into a perverse assortment of thieves, liars, sociopaths, mountebanks, money grubbers, war mongers, bigots and racists. A crucial element of the Wall Street/War Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil.
2016 was expected to be no different than decades past except with many more billion$ sloshing through the system among a handful of gazillionaires and their renta-candidates, a slick and slimey cadre of consultants, advisers, pollsters, pitchmen and political pimps and a too-eager- to-bend-over-for-the-money media.
In the amnesia of history, that is to say last year, yet another genetic mutant from the Bush family, Jeb!, was hoovering in million$ on the sure thing bet that he would romp over the 16 other delusional pygmies fantasizing about being the GOP candidate for President.
On the donkey side, Hillary Clinton, the Queen of You Owe Me, had already cajoled or bought off the major “machers” of the Democratic Money Party in preparation for her coronation as Queen/Presidentess by unanimous acclamation when voting time came around.
Enter Donald J. Trump! New York City real estate tycoon and reality TV celebrity. Also a puffy, pink-faced, narcissistic, cotton-candy-haired blowhard. And, it turns out, to the shock and awe of the elephant party, a world class political disruptor. Whodathunkit??
Mexican rapists are coming! Trump trumpeted! Beware of ISIS! Trump bellowed. Muslims go home! Trump commanded. I’m gonna build a yuuuuge beautiful wall to keep everybody we don’t like out! Trump promised. Abort abortion! Jail women! Trump threatened. I hate who you hate! Vote for me! Trump basically bumper-stickered. And that was just for openers.
(He has also subsequently said, less noisily, that he saw no problem with single payer health care or increasing taxes on hedge fund hooligans’ “carried interest” accounting flimflams. He dismissed as dirty deals TPP and the other assorted international pro-corporations trade agreements. He wondered who, at great cost to America, our military is protecting Japan and Germany from 70 years after World War 2 ended? And he declared to Jeb!’s face that the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster based on his brother’s lies.)
The GOP Establishment had instant agita followed by a rolling nervous breakdown. OMG! For years they had been dog whistling racism, bigotry, guns, God and down with gays to their sloping-foreheaded, low information, couch potato, white-is-right base to fire them up to vote against their own best interests. Indeed, the yowling Tea Party was created by the GOP when the “Kenyan” Obama was elected to give plausible deniability to the GOP Establishment’s energized race-mongering and congressional obstruction. Now, here was Trump talking straight at that sour angry base in their own, unaldulterated, mean-spirited, common folk language. And their responsive cheers were deafening and frightening to the GOP professional puppeteers.
In the months since then, Trump the disruptor sucked up all the political oxygen thanks to the media’s drooling eagerness to bank on his entertainment value while he has demolished every GOP pretender with his free-wheeling snark and bellicosity.
After desperately denying reality and clinging to one failed fallback fantasy after another in the hope of sabotaging, obstructing and halting this unexpected and unpredictable political phenomenon, the sclerotic GOP Establishment is now on life support praying for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from none other than Donald J. Trump, the presumptive GOP Nominee!
But that’s only the half of it. One side of that corrupt 2-headed coin.
The Democratic Money Party also finds itself fighting for its very existence. But unlike the hysterical, hypocritical GOP who have been desperately trying to destroy their own front-running candidate, The Donald, because they hate and fear him, the imploding Democratic Money Party has been just as desperately propping up their tomato can, the increasingly unpopular, smug, political shape-shifting, presumptuous, entitled front-runner, Hillary Clinton, of whom, MSNBC host/commentator Lawrence O’Donnell, has accurately pointed out: “Her numbers NEVER go up, they only go down.”
To the Money Party’s surprise and chagrin, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an unfashionably dishevelled, scraggily white-haired, 74-year- old self described Democratic Socialist (eeek!) is their bogeyman. Like Trump, he seemed to come out of nowhere. But not being a Brand Name and with less entertainment value than that media magnet, it was easier for the political/money/media Establishment’s propaganda delivery devices to pretend he didn’t exist.
Until thousands of supporters began showing up at his political rallies to hear and cheer the genuine, unfocus-grouped political and economic philosophy he has been preaching for 40 years: America’s Middle, Working and Out-Of-Work Classes have been robbed blind and screwed royally for too long by an increasingly corrupt cannibal capitalism system. The too-big-to-jail banks should be broken up and the crooked banksters brought to heel. Universal health care is a right not just another consumer product to be hustled by cruel, greedy insurance companies and pill pushers. Single payer health care for all! A public college education should be free not a debt trap. Social Security benefits should be expanded not pimped off to the grasping clutches of Wall Street. America and its government is not the private property of the millionaires and billionaires. And the Iraq War was an unmitigated disaster based on lies that Bernie Sanders voted against.
To the Democratic Money Party and their Queen-in-waiting, this was more threatening than Occupy Wall Street. That ragtag rebellion had represented a brief shining moment of clarity (the 99% vs the 1%) but the Occupiers were quickly and easily scattered, their heads bashed in by up-armored police forces around the country. Bernie Sanders was talking about a Movement, a Revolution. And winning primaries.
Hillary and the Democratic Money Party’s knee-jerk response to Bernie’s progressive proposals has been a predictable parody of Obama’s election campaign bumper sticker: No, we can’t! Meaning: No single payer health care. No higher taxes on Wall Street. No bank breakups. No free college. More war. How dare that old Commie coot challenge the latest Hillary-for-Queen juggernaut!
Once upon a time the Democratic Party was the people’s party, the party of FDR, JFK and LBJ before he went Vietnam crazy (“Never steal ALL the money; leave some for the people,” LBJ once wisely if cynically advised his party cronies). With the election of Bill (and Hillary) Clinton a quarter of a century ago (!), the Democratic Party became the National Money Party, selling out formerly bedrock principles for political contributions from the werewolves of Wall Street; eventually, after the world-wrecking financial frauds of the recent past, giving their bankster buddies get-out-of-jail-free cards and $17 trillion in free taxpayers’ money to keep their rigged wheel of fortune spinning.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the deeply corrupt and dishonest Democratic Money Party would be all-in behind Hillary for Queen of Empire in 2016. They clearly know (and trust) a world class political conniver, crook and liar when they see one (or two).
Sounding much like the brainwashed POWs in “The Manchurian Candidate” spouting their hypno mantra: “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life”, Queen-to-be Hillary’s courtiers, acolytes and surrogate stooges recite their rote talking points: “Hillary is the most qualified candidate ever to run for the White House. She gets things done.” Huh?
During their 2 White House terms full of sturm und drang, Bill bent over backwards for his bankster buddies’ get-richer schemes, bashed welfare “as we know it”, boosted America’s prison population astronomically and behaved like a billy goat in the oval office. Hillary thoroughly botched her universal health care assignment. She got Bill impeached by shipping his enamored young WH intern, “that woman” Monica Lewinsky, off to the Pentagon and inadvertently into the arms of the demonic Linda Tripp (and the actual rightwing conspiracy). Hillary then played her favorite role – victim - and saved Bill’s bacon from Senate conviction and ouster from office. Henceforth, Bill owed her. And so, it seems, did the rest of us.
Since leaving the White House to the pretend president George W in 2000, Bill and Hillary have become the Bonnie & Clyde of American politics, combining their talents in a double act of selfishness, hypocrisy and greed. He, a consummate smile-and-a-shoeshine sociopathic con man/seducer. She, a shameless, manipulative, profoundly dishonest, power slut.
“We were dead broke when we left the White House,” Hillary has preposterously alibied for their last 16 years of money grubbing among the world’s millionaires and billionaires. Unlike any ex-President and First Lady who ever lived they have amassed a fortune reportedly in excess of $250 million, between their tax-free Bill & Hillary & Chelsea Clinton “charitable” foundation and their $20 million dining-for-dollars personal fund-raising operations. When asked why she accepted $675,000 from Goldman Sachs to speechify at 3 of the Vampire Squid’s executive lunches, Hillary tone deafly replied, “That’s what they offered.”
While the charming rogue, Slick Willy, worked the boardrooms and play rooms of the too-rich, the voraciously ambitious Hillary was carpetbagged into Congress in 2001 as New York’s Junior Senator for Wall Street and, after 9/11, a cheerleader for the Iraq War. In 2008 she mounted a clumsy juggernaut of a campaign for President only to be trounced by the more deft and dynamic (not to mention Wall Street-backed) Barack Hussein Obama. His 1st African American President card trumping her 1st Female President card in spades. Her consolation prize was Secretary Of State.
Madame Secretary’s dubious “achievements” in that lofty resumé-padding post included:
She ram-rodded the disastrous NATO bombing campaign of Libya during the time of the Arab Spring, effectively destroying that oil-rich North African country as a functioning society. “We came, we saw, he died,” she cackled after the rebel gang murder of Libya’s longtime president/dictator Muammar Gadaffi. She vigorously encouraged a massive American troop increase in Afghanistan to pointlessly continue a war in that historic “graveyard of empires” that we have been losing for 14 years. She urged major American military entanglements in Syria to “regime change” President Bashar Al-Assad in favor of “moderate” rebels, who didn’t exist, and to provoke Russia (continuing to belligerantly bang on that tin war drum to this day). Likewise lambasting Iran for one reason or another or no reason.
In conjunction with her general diplomatic globe-trotting, Madame Secretary (and calculating future entitled Presidential candidate) signed off on multi-billion dollar arms deals for the repressive and repulsive Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “coincidentally”, it has been alleged, raising funds for the Clinton Foundation from them and countless other countries with State Department dealings.
And in a kind of Nixonesque deviousness/paranoia, she installed a private internet server in her Chappaqua, NY garage in order to bypass the State Department system (and the law?) and keep all her email communications secret. The FBI is currently on that case…
As our absurd primary elections system crawls on its belly toward national Party Convention time, the never-say-die faction of the GOP Establishment in full zombie mode, continues doomed-to-fail rearguard smear/sabotage operations on their new champion Trump. While the Reps and lapdogs of the Democratic Money Party, willfully deaf, dumb and blind to the country’s woeful present economic state and its dubious future prospects, continue to believe their lying eyes in their determination, through machinations and trickerations, to drag Hillary, the Candidate of Yesteryear, across the finish line victorious.
To date, buttressing her bought off total of “Super Delegates” (mostly lobbyists and corrupted politicos), the clunky, muscle-bound Hillary “juggernaut” has run up her primary vote count primarily among the over-60 crowd of African Americans, who voted 99% for Obama, seem to think Bill & Hillary marched with Martin Luther King and remain loyal to the Democratic party no matter what; and white women of a certain age, who recall fervently and nostalgically fighting for feminism in the 60s and 70s and want to see a woman president in their lifetime, no matter who.
The Bernie Rebellion has so far chalked up 20 primary victories, overwhelmingly winning the 50 and under voters, that is to say…the future.
Polls and prognostications of who will eventually be elected 45th President of the United States (Grover Cleveland who won, lost, then won again is counted twice) is a mug’s game at this point. Miracles and Mysteries of the Universe cannot be ruled out. America did, after all, elect the “New” Nixon twice, though we knew better and chucked him out; Jimmy Carter, the well meaning but earnestly humorless Georgia peanut farmer; Ronnie (call me Al-zheimer) Reagan, a clapped-out B movie star, professional pitchman for baking soda and 2-term catastrophic Governor of California; George HW Bush, the GOP’s all-resumé equivalent of convertible garden furniture; the above-mentioned charming scoundrel Bill; George W, the congenial idiot the Supreme Court actually elected; and the current holder, Barack (Barry) Obama, who promised change but delivered chump change.
So before placing any bets on Trump, Hillary or Bernie, consider: Unreality is our new reality. Entertainment is our national addiction. As the Ship of State sails erratically into uncharted political waters, remember the Titanic had an orchestra on deck for entertainment before it hit the iceberg. Faites vos jeux!
The Author of immortalized songs and several novel tracks, Guilherme Arantes, will return to US after 16 years since his last appearance to celebrate 40 years of his artistic career.
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Guilherme Arantes is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and pianist. One of the most important names in rock and MPB. This singer and composer brings to the US a concert to corroborate why he is such an acclaimed composer by critics and audiences.
Guilherme Arantes in 2016 completed a 40-year artistic career and his stunning and numerous “hits” show why he is considered one of the greatest Brazilian composers. His songs have been recorded hundreds of times by many well-known artists in different styles, including Elis Regina, Maria Bethania, Caetano Veloso, Leila Pinheiro and many other Brazilian popular artists. Guilherme Arantes, has over 25 soundtracks for TV soap operas and released more than 20 albums.
He will perform his songs as originally composed, only with piano and voice. The repertoire includes songs from all stages of his musical career, especially the “Planeta Agua” (Water Planet) which was a hit, “Lindo Balão Azul” (Beautiful Blue Balloon), and “Meu Mundo e Nada Mais” (My World and Nothing Else).
The artist has more than 940,000 followers on Facebook, which is the largest engagement on the platform.
Date:05/18 8:30 PM & 10:30pm - $35 - $45.00
See more at: http://theiridium.com/events/5124/guilherme-arantes-35-general-admission-45-preferred-seating/#sthash.qFt0nJRr.dpu
Guilherme Arantes – $35 General Admission / $45 Preferred Seating
05/18 8:30 PM & 10:30pm - $35 - $45.00
Purchase tickets for the 8:30pm show or the 10:30pm show
- See more at: http://theiridium.com/events/5124/guilherme-arantes-35-general-admission-45-preferred-seating/#sthash.qFt0nJRr.dpuf
Produced by:Madalena SousaAsuos Productions
Produced by:Madalena SousaAsuos Productions
The Greek philosopher of Ephesus ( 500 BCE), is best known for his doctrines that “there is nothing permanent except change.”
Not so with the Republican Party. As the world transforms, and a new group of significantly less agile leaders took the reign of power of the Republican Party it struggles to comprehend the new realities of the changing social structure of America and has failed to adapt.
A look at Abraham Lincoln , Republican, should provide some guidance for the lost crowd.
It was the 4th of July 1858. Abraham Lincoln advocated that the many immigrants who had recently arrived in the United States could nonetheless feel a sense of connection with Declaration of Independence. In his words:
"We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. “ *
Forward, 123 years , during a primary debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, both past presidents spoke with empathy for immigrants living in the United States when asked if the U.S. should permit the children of undocumented immigrants to go to public schools.
In 2005, George W. Bush’s opiniom as to immigration was rejected outright by mainstream Republicans. Instead, in the fall of 2005, notwithstanding the President’s resistance, House Republicans passed a bill compelling the arrest, deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Many republicans have made clear their belief that all these non-white arrivals should “to go home,”
But it seems that modern republicans cannot make up their minds on what to do about immigration. Listen to statements made by leading republicans :
Secretary Gutierrez chief executive of Kellogg and President George W. Bush’s commerce secretary discusses Immigration and the Future of the Republican Party (VIDEO)
» “[The issue of immigration] has been around far too long…. A comprehensive approach is long overdue.” - Speaker of the House John Boehner, 11/8/12
“Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas. They fill a critical part in our labor market. They work hard for a better life.” - President George W. Bush, 12/4/12
» “Immigration is an important part of our country's success and if policies are reformed, can be part of restoring and sustaining our greatness as a nation.” - Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, 9/13/12
» “This country needs comprehensive immigration reform. I don't care whether it is the person who will crawl across the desert to make five dollars... or Sergey Brin, who comes here from Russia and founds Google. At both ends of the spectrum, America has always been able to attract the most ambitious people.” - Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, 2009
» “I am still convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had – a chance.” - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio 12/5/12
Congressman Paul Ryan “We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for lots of reasons.”
In June 27, 2013 following two weeks of contested debate with the addition of beefed-up border security measures backed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on Thursday by a 68-32 vote. However then House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that it would not take up the Senate bill. And so the bill died.
But let’s see who were the (14) Republicans that voted for the bill:
♣ Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
♣ Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
♣ Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.)
♣ Susan Collins (R-Maine)
♣ Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
♣ Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
♣ Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
♣ Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
♣ John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
♣ Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
♣ John McCain (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
♣ Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Republicans just can’t make up their minds. It’s no wonder that the Republican Party is in total chaos.
*Quoted in Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remain America (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992) 86-87.
Donald Trump has been very vocal with his opinions about the H-1B visa program. He has not been clear in terms of what his actual plan for the program is, but earlier this year he was quoted talking about how he would end the use of H-1B as a ”cheap labor program.”
Trump has also stated his view that it’s an absolute requirement to hire American workers “for every visa and immigration program,” which makes no sense; if Americans are hired for every job, then there are no foreign workers and no need for visas. At the same time, Trump admits that the ”U.S. needs more highly skilled people and if we can’t find them in the U.S., we’ll find a way to get them into the U.S.”—which contradicts what he said about all positions being filled by Americans.
Some people argue that there are enough Americans who have the skills and education to take all the skilled positions available and that, therefore, there is no need for a visa or immigration program at all. USCIS has created a 17-month extension to the already existing one year authorization to work to foreign nationals graduating from U.S. universities, in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This was clearly done to encourage those individuals to remain in the U.S., because there isa need for them that is not met by U.S. citizen graduates.
Does Donald Trump practice what he preaches?
So how does this debate apply to Donald Trump in practice? Does he hire only Americans? Does he not use the H-1B program because it is not necessary?
The answer is that not only does Trump use the H-1B program to hire foreign nationals but his companies abuse the program by paying those foreign nationals less than their American counterparts. The rhetoric he espouses about being committed to eliminating rampant widespread H-1B abuse and ending the outrageous practices such as what happened at Disney*, is not only empty talk, it is completely undermined by his companies’ hiring practices..
In one recent case which has now come to light via the courts, a foreign national is earning significantly less than what she was required to be paid by law per an attestation that was made to the Department of Labor before submitting an H-1B petition. She is/was also receiving a lot less than what the equivalent American citizen would earn for that specific job.
Trump Model Management (TMM) is being sued by Alexia Palmer, a Jamaican model who was brought here under the H-1B visa program. She was promised a salary of $75,000 a year in the attorney letter and in the I-129 form, which are used for the H-1B petition. In the Department of Labor conditions applications, she was promised even more than the highest level wage required to be paid, which was $47,000.
In the end, she got somewhere around $5,000 total from TMM over the course of 3 years. If they had not been getting work for her to do, then they could have either:
1. Terminated her contract, at which time she would not be required to get paid any more, or
2. Filed what’s called an Amended H-1B, which allows them to give her a part-time salary based on a minimum hourly wage.
They did neither of those things. They allowed her to be in the U.S. for 3 years and never paid her what was required. The Trump camp is saying that she didn’t file a complaint with the Department of Labor in a timely manner stating that she wasn’t paid. But what they are essentially doing is tying the case up in a long court process. The attorneys defending Trump’s company blamed it on the system and did not admit to tampering with her salary.
“She just didn’t have a very successful modeling career,” said Lawrence Rosen, the attorney representing the Trump agency. The USCIS was clear, however, that the pay requirement applies to “an employer or an agent.”  (Click here to read full article on CNN.com)
If Trump’s company has done this in this one instance, is it systematic? And if it is systematic, what makes him and his companies any better than Disney or other companies he accuses of abusing the H-1B program?
* (American workers were supposedly laid off and replaced with immigrant workers, who could be paid less than their American counterparts.)
 Ellis, Blake, and Melody Hickon. “Trump’s Modeling Agency Broke Immigration Laws, Attorneys Say.” CNN Money. Cable News Network, 10 Mar. 2016. Web.
WASHINGTON— The intense political fight that would affect millions of people who are in the United States illegally arrives to the Supreme Court on Monday.
The court will decide the destiny of Obama executive orders that would protect more than 4 million people from deportation and allow them the right to hold a job. With this decision, millions of people would not only be able to work legally in the U.S., but also would have the ability to obtain a social security card and even be able to travel out of the U.S.
Roberto Silva, a Brazilian immigrant, living in the U.S. for more than 15 years states that "I need a social security card and a work permit in order to take care of my wife and 3 children born in the U.S. My youngest is autistic and requires special schooling that I cannot afford. We are fighting a losing battle with the amount of money I earn. My wife also can’t work and has to take care of our children. Our lives are in constant stress, Silva said.
The executive order pronounced by President Barack Obama in November 2014 applies to parents of children that are citizens or are legal permanent residents. The order would also expand the president's 2012 program called “DACA.”s. More than 700,000 young people have taken advantage of the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Texas and 25 other states sued to prevent the new plans soon as soon as they were announced, Federal courts have decided in their favor. The programs barely commenced when it was stopped suddenly. Now its up to the Supreme Court to make the final decision on a crucial immigration problem.
House Republicans say that Obama is asserting the power "to decree that millions of individuals may live, work and receive benefits in this country even though federal statutes plainly prohibit them from doing so."
The administration and immigration advocates, on the other hand, say the immigration orders are neither unprecedented nor even unusual. Instead, they say, that Obama's executive order build on past efforts by both the Democratic and Republican administrations to use discretion in deciding whom to deport.
Moses Apsan, immigration attorney and past president of the Federal Bar Association, stated that “ the debate has taken on a heavy partisan complexion, Republicans repeated describe Obama recklessly abusing his executive powers. This opinion is untrue, as Obama not only act lawfully, but the order was what our country needed. The illegal immigration issue has thwarted Congress for decades, and there’s no indication that lawmakers will be able to settle on a realistic plan anytime soon. This delay has had a human toll: Living with fear, immigrants are prone to be exploited Even if they are victims of a crime, they are less prone to ask police for assistance. Obama’s executive orders would give these immigrants; those that entered as children, as well as the parents of lawful US residents the facility to come out of the shadows and truly live the American Dream.