It hardly matters who wins the U.S. vote

By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

If the first two years of the President- Barack-Obama-led Democratic administration in Washington proves anything, it is that it hardly matters who wins next Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Obama and his Democrats won a landslide victory in November, 2008, – control of the White House, a massive majority in the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof majority in the United States Senate.
The American electorate gave the Dems an overwhelming mandate to deliver that “Change We Need” and “Change You Can Believe In.”
Obama’s White House opponent, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain even helped clarify the meaning of this “Change” by screaming all across the nation in the last three weeks that it meant “spreading the wealth around” or redistributing American wealth from America’s “Haves” to its “Have-Nots.”

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Why I just can’t forgive Barack Obama

Obama felt much more empathy for corporate criminals than their victims.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

It’s been almost two years since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States and – as Americans prepare to kick his sorry butt in the November 2 mid-terms — it is time to tally up the damage Obama has done so far.
Obama rode to a massive mandate on the strength of his promise to deliver “Change we need” and “Change we can rely on.” His opponents, Republican John McCain and shotgun-rider Sarah Palin, even put meat on the bones of those promises, insisting that, if elected, Barack Obama would redistribute wealth from America’s “Haves” to its “Have-Nots.”
Americans knew exactly what they were voting for in November, 2008, when they gave the senator from Illinois and his Democratic Party control of the White House, an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives and a filbuster-proof majority in the Senate.
No one can deny it: Barack Obama had won an overwhelming electoral mandate to produce that change and to redistribute that so-badly-distributed American wealth. And he had the legislative power to do just that.

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Long live the French Revolution(aries)

The spirit of the French Revolution is alive and well -- at least in France.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

It has been 221 years since the French Revolution began and 211 years since it supposedly ended, but the events of recent days and weeks would suggest that the French have not lost their revolutionary spirit.
The current kerfuffle in France is over President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bid to raise the country’s retirement age from 60 to 62 and the popular perception that this may be just the first blow in an all-out Sarkozy attack on social programs and their beneficiaries – the masses.
The modern French welfare state is the product of two centuries of largely union-led popular struggle and is generations ahead of that of either Canada or, especially, the United States.

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The naked face of corporate capitalism

Miners' families await the desperate rescue bid.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

If there are two industries that most plainly expose the most naked face of corporate capitalism, they are mining and oil drilling.
Resource extraction is hard, filthy, dangerous work and the corporate executives who oversee this work are just as hard, filthy and dangerous as the work.
At 11:11 p.m. EDT tonight, Florencio Avalos’ head pierced the surface and the first trapped miner – trapped 700 metres below ground for almost 10 weeks – from the San Jose (gold & copper) Mine near Copiapo, Chile had been rescued.
At that point there were only 32 other trapped miners left to rescue from their chamber of horror.

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Flaherty fumbles economic recovery

Jim Flaherty's pleased the rich are doing well again.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Conservative federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered his fall economic statement today and it turned out to be a “Three Dressed Up As A Nine.”
Flaherty – like his boss, Stephen Harper – is still sticking to the line that Canada is no longer in a deep recession but the facts would tend to belie his utterances.
First of all, the record deficit for the last federal fiscal year (2009-2010) is now slated to come in at $55.6 billion rather than the most recently predicted $53.8 billion.
Secondly, unemployment and underemployment remain unacceptably high – even if we were still in a recession, which we are. When one worker in six cannot find long-term, full-time employment at a living wage, you are in a recession, if not a depression.

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Wall St. executive bonus season opens

It's always bull season on Wall St. when executives want bonuses.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

Wall Street’s annual executive bonus season has arrived and, once again, the geniuses who brought the global economy to its needs two years ago are in a mood for self-congratulation.
In fact, they are congratulating themselves to the tune of $144 billion U.S. in executive bonuses, all of the million-dollar-plus variety.
That of course is a new record, four percent higher than last year’s previous record executive-bonus payout. One would be drawn toward the conclusion that they must have saved the world.
But that is not the case. Profits were down a staggering 23 percent from the past year.
But why quibble over a few percentage points?

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Canada’s UN Security Council bid foiled

Canada has forfeited its occasional seat at the table.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

For the first time in history, Canada has failed to win its bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council.
It was the first time Canada actually campaigned for the revolving seat – a nine-year-long campaign – and the first time the rest of the world spurned Canada.
Of course, Conservative federal Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon tried to put a brave face on his failure, insisting that it was not a global repudiation of Canada’s foreign policy. But that’s exactly what it was!

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Global market economy tests Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez remains popular despite the difficulties.
President Hugo Chavez remains popular despite the difficulties.
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

The minor setback suffered by Venezuela’s ruling socialists in that country’s recent legislative elections underscore the huge challenge facing any socialist national economy struggling to survive in a global market economy.
The path of President Hugo Chavez’s 21st-Century Socialists would probably be a lot less difficult if Venezuela’s economy were relatively self-sufficient.
But Venezuela’s is a resource-based economy that relies heavily on oil exports to bolster its GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
And the deep global recession of the last couple of years has cut the world oil price to little more than half of what it was before the 2008 economic meltdown.
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Whatever happened to the heart and soul of good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll?

Neil Young's among the few who have stayed true.By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

There was a time – circa the Sexy Sixties – when rock ‘n’ roll music stood for something.
It spoke to the deepest cares and emotions of its listeners. It stood up for the well-being of the masses – the poor, the working class and the middle class. It addressed the burning issues of the day.
But with very few exceptions, that day has now come and gone.
A rocker’s every success depends totally on the admiration, adulation and entertainment dollars of the masses. Every rocker today owes it to his or her fans to at least vocally support the progressive/leftist/populist policies that would most benefit those same masses.

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Who the hell will Harper send to prison?

Does Canada really need space for 250,000 more prisoners?
Does Canada really need space for 250,000 more prisoners?
By Henry McRandall
WRISEUP.COM

In recent weeks there have been repeated bleatings from key cabint ministers in the minority Conservative federal government of Stephen Harper about the need to build more prisons in Canada.
Several weeks ago, Treasury Board President Stockwell Day (yes, he the laughing stock) declared that Ottawa plans to spend $9.5 billion on the construction of new federal prisons because of the “unacceptably high rate of unreported crime.”
And, just a few days ago, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews reiterated the theme in announcing the approval of several federal prison expansions.
But who the hell are they planning to imprison?
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