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insta8er's Journal
insta8er's Journal
April 29, 2016

Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Has Not Been Good For Our Democracy

The media has become controlled by a handful of corporations thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

This post originally appeared at Truthout.

Wall Street’s sinister influence on the political process has, rightly, been a major topic during this presidential campaign. But history has taught us that the role that the media industry plays in Washington poses a comparable threat to our democracy. Yet this is a topic rarely discussed by the dominant media, or on the campaign trail.


Hillary Clinton types on her keyboard during a Reddit chat in Detroit, MI on March 6, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Hillary for America on Flickr)
If Presidential Candidates Love the Internet, They Need to Set It Free
But now is a good time to discuss our growing media crises. Twenty years ago last month, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies,” as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically “opened the floodgates on mergers.”

The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, “is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation.” The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.

April 29, 2016

This is what the revolution looks like: Former Sanders staffers are launching a new PAC aimed at

midterm Congressional elections.

Bernie Sanders has called his campaign a “political revolution.” The word “revolution” is poorly defined in the political science literature, and it’s used so often in popular culture as to strip it of any concrete meaning. Generally, though, people take revolution to mean wholesale change, a rupture in the status quo. To his credit, Sanders has been quite clear about what he means by the phrase:

“What does a political revolution look like? It means that 80 percent of the people vote in national elections, not 40 percent. It means that billionaires can’t make unlimited campaign contributions and buy and sell politicians. It means that the U.S. Government represents the needs of all the people, not just the 1 percent and their lobbyists.”

Zack Exley, who helped found the PAC, explained it well: “We learned…that the grassroots are better qualified to run electoral campaigns than Democratic party operatives…They just need to be given the tools, the data, the offices and the structure to succeed.” “We want a supermajority in Congress,” Exley added, “that is fighting for jobs, criminal justice reform and the environment.”

Sanders has yet to endorse the group, but I suspect he will after the election – and he should. His campaign has shown that the country will respond to a progressive platform if it’s couched in the right terms. Sanders has outraised the Clinton machine for three consecutive months on the backs of small individual donors and despite being far behind in the delegate count. He’s amassed a two-million-person donor list, which can be used to leverage support for progressive House candidates nationwide. That Sanders, a relative unknown on the national stage a year ago, could accomplish this much this quickly says something significant about the mood of the country.


April 27, 2016

Data from the Pew Research Center shows independents are now the biggest partisan group in the

United States.

Polling and voter registration numbers from across the country show the number of self-identified independents is growing faster than the number of Democrats or Republicans - and that growth seems likely to continue.

Data from the Pew Research Center shows independents are now the biggest partisan group in the United States. The percentage of people self-identifying as independent was 39% in 2014. The number for Democrats is 32% and for Republicans it is 23%.

Just 10 years ago, 31% of Americans identified as independents, in between Democrats at 33% and Republicans at 29%. And, perhaps more notable, that current 39% represents the highest measure of independents in 75 years, according to Pew.

If you look at voter registrations in states around the country, you can see the growth trend there as well.


April 26, 2016

Can anyone confirm what's going on with the Bernie FB groups?

Widespread closures due to people reporting the groups?

April 26, 2016

When someone tells you, the government needs to get out of the

Business of financing students. What is this person actually saying?

April 25, 2016

Bill Clinton canít stop screwing up: Why his latest broadside against millennials reveals an

underlying problem.

If the Clinton campaign is hoping to get young people out to vote for Hillary in November, it may want to start thinking about sidelining one of its most well-known surrogates: her husband.

Though still charming and well-liked after all these years, Bill Clinton has not been very helpful to his wife’s campaign thus far; if anything, he has caused more harm than good, with several ill-advised remarks that have alienated voters whom Hillary will be vying for in the months to come. The former president has recently gone on a defensive rant about his notorious crime bill, claiming that BLM protesters are “defending the people who kill the lives [they] say matter,” and has condescendingly joked that Bernie Sanders supporters think you can “shoot every third person on Wall Street and everything will be fine.”

On Thursday, he once again put his foot in his mouth, this time blaming young voters, who tend to support Sanders over Hillary, for current economic disparities. “The reason that there’s so much anxiety, intensity, anger, blame in this election is that 80 percent of the American people have not gotten a pay raise since the crash eight years ago, after inflation,” said Clinton, at a rally in Pennsylvania. A valid observation, but Bill just couldn’t help taking a swipe at all of those young voters who overwhelmingly support his wife’s opponent: “If all the young people who claim to be disillusioned now had voted in 2010, we wouldn’t have lost the Congress, and we’d probably have our incomes back.”

That’ll win over millennials!

Of course, it should be noted that a large percentage of today’s youth vote was not even eligible to vote in 2010, and many other groups also failed to turnout in large numbers. Moreover, the independent vote, which shifted to the right that year, was the most important contributor to the Republican rout.


April 25, 2016

Trump and Clinton share Delaware tax 'loophole' address with 285,000 firms

The person who demands to see the tax return of the poorest member of congress, because maybe he is hiding something. The champion for the middle class, the "I feel your pain" champion..the I make 200k an hour but you cannot have $15 at once....only in gradual steps, because you know we could go crazy with all of that money at once.

1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington is a nondescript two-storey building yet is home to Apple, American Airlines, Walmart and presidential candidates
Eight days after stepping down as secretary of state in 2013, Hillary Clinton set up ZFS Holdings at CTC’s offices in Wilmington. A spokesman said it was to manage her book and speaking income.
Eight days after stepping down as secretary of state in 2013, Hillary Clinton set up ZFS Holdings at CTC’s offices in Wilmington. A spokesman said it was to manage her book and speaking income. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP
Rupert Neate in Wilmington, Delaware

There aren’t many things upon which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree, especially as they court very different Delaware voters ahead of a primary on Tuesday. But the candidates for president share an affinity for the same nondescript two-storey office building in Wilmington. A building that has become famous for helping tens of thousands of companies avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax through the so-called “Delaware loophole”.


April 25, 2016

The 5 guidelines according to a paid Hillary poster..

The full article can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/3rncq9/confession_of_hillary_shill_from/

Just to give you an idea, here are some of the guidelines for our posting in October:

1) Sexism. This was the biggest one we were supposed to push. We had to smear Bernie as misogynistic and out-of-touch with modern sensibilities. He was to be characterized as "an old white male relic that believed women enjoyed being gang raped". Anyone who tried to object to this characterization would be repeatedly slammed as sexist until they went away or people lost interest.
2) Racism. We were instructed to hammer home how Bernie supporters were all privileged white students that had no idea how the world worked. We had to tout Hillary's great record with "the blacks" (yes, that's the actual way it was phrased), and generally use racial identity politics to attack Sanders and bolster Hillary as the only unifying figure.
3) Electability. All of those posts about how Sanders can never win and Hillary is inevitable? Some of those were us, done deliberately in an attempt to demoralize Bernie supporters and convince them to stop campaigning for him. The problem is that this was an outright fabrication and not an accurate assessment of the current political situation. But the truth didn't matter - we were trying to create a new truth, not to spread the existing truth.
4) Dirty tactics. This is where things got really bad. We were instructed to create narratives of Clinton supporters as being victimized by Sanders supporters, even if they were entirely fabricated. There were different instructions about how to do it, but something like this (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/31/1443064/-Dis-heartened-Hillary-Supporter) is a perfect example. These kind of posts are manufactured to divide and demoralize Sanders supporters, and are entirely artificial in nature. (The same thing happened in 2008, but it wasn't as noticeable before social media and public attention focused on popular forums like Reddit).
5) Opponent outreach. There are several forums and imageboards where Sanders is not very popular (I think you can imagine which ones those are.) We were instructed to make pro-Sanders troll posts to rile up the user base and then try to goad them into raiding or attacking places like this subreddit. This was probably the only area where we only had mixed success, since that particular subset of the population were more difficult to manipulate than we originally thought.

April 25, 2016

Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department

Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At press conferences in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”


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