WELLS FARGO’S LYIN’ CHEATIN’ WAYS: BANKING WITH A SOCIOPATHIC INSTITUTION AND HOW TO LET GO (occupy.com)

TUE, 8/8/2017 – BY LAINEY HASHORVA

Are you facing serial cheating, abuse, lies, ongoing stress about money, issues of fidelity, questions about your future and are at a loss as to where to turn? Do you often feel angry, taken advantage of, less than, a voiceless victim? Did you put your trust and your nest egg, your faith and your money on someone or something that took you for all you’re worth, jilted your faith in the institution and robbed you blind? Deep down, do you think you may be going steady with a good looking grifter? I hate to tell you this, but you may be banking with a sociopath.

That’s right. That harmless tall handsome stone wall that promises you the world, smiles at you shamelessly through bulletproof glass and marble floors, black suits and lollipops, is a sociopathic lover out to take all that you hold dear. All that you’ve put your faith, and money, into. This is not fifty shades of gray. It is now clearly black and white. Do you still bank with Wells Fargo? Can we talk?

Maybe you have a thing for bad boys? Fast talking flashy – “Here’s a new credit card, baby,” Scaramucci-style pinky ring? Maybe you have low self esteem issues, looking for a paternal ideal of what it means to be rich, to be safe, to have your nest egg all wrapped up for a bright and comfortable future. Maybe, just maybe there’s still time to save yourself and what’s left of your self worth. I’m gonna give it to you straight: Wells Fargo is the banking equivalent of the Menendez Brothers. I know you know, but what have you done to help yourself out of this kind of relationship?

Some people have a thing for danger, a high tolerance for risk. Some even reap rewards for being a victim. Many hold the notion that size matters while others are innocent and naive to the ways of sophisticated criminals.

As astute as we may think we are, with where we invest our time and money, we have a lot on our plates in life just trying to keep up with all that’s running around our brains, the news, the economy, the climate, the robotic take over of our bright futures, that sparkling dress in the window….the vacation we never get to take.

Most of us grew up thinking we would have a home like our parents, a regular job that hopefully we liked or could tolerate, a car or two, 2.5 children and a dog in the yard. Let’s throw in a tire swing out back, a toothy braces-covered smile and white sheets on the line just for ambiance. Feeling safe yet?

Something happened in the late 1970s and 80s that shifted and the “American Dream” started to rot slowly from the basement paneled mold on up. The institutions we put our faith in as steady and unshakeable began to shift their attention away from safety and reliability and got a wandering eye toward Vegas-style philandering, shimmering lights, spinning wheels, fatter dividends and the big short as opposed to the long slow steady-as-she-goes building of a wholesome relationship.

Let’s look at the cold hard facts of what we have witnessed and been a party to over the last decade in our relationship with Wells Fargo. Yes, you have to claim personal, financial and ethical responsibility as well if you are to heal and move on. If you didn’t have trust issues before, you will now. Now you’re damaged goods, simply by association.

As painful as it is, the first step to healing is to take a cold hard look at the issues that led us down this path – issues we face now that the harm has been done – and figure out what we can do to move on with our lives. Cue the song, “You’re no Good.” Let’s begin our intervention, shall we? Let me explain; just hear me out and try to have an open mind as I pull down the screen and elongate my pointer stick for you. Hit the lights.

Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo crimes, Wells Fargo scandals, foreclosure crisis, illegal foreclosures, mortgage-backed securities

RECENT SUMMARY OF WELLS FARGO

The bad boy ways of this financial institution that you were banking on, and with, include but are not limited to:

Over 800,000 people with force-placed car insurance at inflated rates.

Illegal repossession of active military service members’ cars and homes.

$185 million so far in “settlement” money paid for the fake account scandals that will harm people’s consumer credit for years to come.

$12 million and counting in violations of fair credit reporting.

Violations in the False Claims Act and Securities Act of 1933.

Trust fraud, negligence, illegal kickbacks to mortgage brokers for referrals on title insurance.

Blackballing appraisers that didn’t inflate values.

Millions of phony accounts, forged signatures and credit cards illegally opened in customers’ names.

Forged mortgage documents by hired temps, discrimination against minorities, predatory lending, unpaid overtime to employees.

Firing of employees who reported fraud regarding the fake accounts.

Excessive ATM and overdraft fees.

False denials for loan modifications, negligence and harm to mortgage customers inducing them to default on their mortgages.

Violations in TILA and RESPA (Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Procedures).

False affidavits, conspiracy, wrongful foreclosures, selling properties that Wells did not have the note or right to sell.

Violations of the Fair Debt Practices Act.

Lying and cheating to Wells investors.

Insider trading on stock, unfair business practices, kicking puppies, and more.

I could go on but I don’t want you to hate yourself. Consider this a wake-up call for your future well being. Do you want someone you care about being treated this way? Do you want your kids to have relationships like this? It’s for your own good and that vision board of a happy ending.

I know it’s heartbreaking. It’s hard to change, to let go and move on, even from something that hurts us. It’s a sad and rude awakening to realize what has occurred behind our backs, in our own backyard, and to see the scars we will wear from this relationship as we move forward.

It’s never easy to see the truth, to face the consequences of our mistakes in judgement, to know that we have been duped by someone we trusted and relied upon. But at the same time, as we grow and evolve, we raise our awareness and hopefully our self esteem. We start to have higher expectations of ourselves and those we invest in. We redefine what we will tolerate. Eventually – and the time is NOW – we will no longer have the capacity or the interest to engage in epic drama, serial shenanigans, dangerous lies, criminal cheating and the list of abusive patterns. It reaches a point where we wake up one day and realize we deserve a whole lot more bang for our buck than we have accepted in the past. Don’t we deserve better? Don’t you want more?

Not only can we take better care of ourselves by breaking up with criminal institutions like Wells Fargo, but we must slap a warning label on their backs for the others that follow. Maybe we need to report Wells, get a temporary restraining order, write that Dear John Stumpf letter once and for all, and say it loud and clear: “I’m sick and tired of this and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Do the right thing. Who loves ya, baby? Move your money and together we’ll go far.

Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo crimes, Wells Fargo scandals, foreclosure crisis, illegal foreclosures, mortgage-backed securities
Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo crimes, Wells Fargo scandals, foreclosure crisis, illegal foreclosures, mortgage-backed securities

Atticus v. The Architect Trailer

Atticus v. The Architect Trailer from Peppertree Films LLC on Vimeo.


When Don Siegelman was elected Governor of Alabama in 1998, he became the first person in the “Heart of Dixie” to have held all four of that state’s executive offices – a rare accomplishment for a liberal in a blood red Southern state. In election after election, Republicans simply couldn’t beat him at the polls because he drew supporters from across the political spectrum. As a graceful orator with an unblemished record of public service, and a much smaller campaign budget, Siegelman skillfully deflected every smear campaign and dirty trick conservatives threw at him. That’s when a group of frustrated Republicans quietly concocted an unthinkable plan to “get rid of Siegelman,” as a whistleblower later stated. As the plan’s chief ‘Architect,’ Karl Rove secretly orchestrated a strategy to railroad the Democratic Governor into prison based on completely fabricated charges. To make false charges stick in federal court, Rove and his associates cunningly loaded the case with vindictive prosecutors, a politically biased jury, and a corrupt hanging judge hell-bent on payback. The story of how they quietly got away with their evil scheme will make Watergate look like child’s play and leave viewers shocked, bewildered, and MAD AS HELL!

(documentary.org)

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (2017) – Official Trailer


Watch the new trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. In theatres July 28, 2017. #BeInconvenient

Climate Changes, Truth Does Not.

A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Directed by Jon Shenk & Bonni Cohen

Cast: Al Gore

Official Movie Site: http://www.inconvenientsequel.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnInconvenie…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aitruthfilm
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aninconveni…

“Jimmy Carter Calls for Single Payer” by John Nichols

He joins a list of prominent Democrats who are moving in the right direction. But will the rest of the party listen?

July 27, 2017 (thenation.com)

Jimmy Carter has always been a good man. But he only became a liberal icon during a post-presidency that saw the Democratic Party move steadily right on a host of fundamental issues on which the party once led. Remember that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown challenged Carter in the 1980 Democratic primaries because they believed that Carter was too cautious on those issues—including health-care reform.

To be clear, even when he served as a moderate Democratic president, Carter was more progressive on many issues than a good number of today’s Democratic “leaders.” The 39th president argued in 1980 for enactment of “an affordable national health plan that will improve Medicare for the elderly, extend protection against catastrophic medical expenses to all of us, improve health coverage for the poor, and provide special benefits to expectant mothers and children in the first years of life.”

But Kennedy and others wanted Carter to go further and faster. Now Carter is there.

Last Sunday, he spoke about the inevitability of a single-payer health-care system. Carter is not some radical change agent but rather a practical political thinker who sees both the logic and the necessity of a “Medicare for All” response to the health-care challenges that America faces today and that Republicans are determined to make dramatically worse in the future.

Democrats remain divided on the question of whether to go all-in for “Medicare for All”—as Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines attempted to highlight this week by proposing an insincere amendment backing a version of single payer. Daines, a right-wing provocateur, is not a supporter of real reform; he simply wanted to get progressive Democrats and their more moderate colleagues wrangling with one another over health-care reform. His move was foiled by supporters of single payer, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who refused to play Daines’s game. “The Democratic caucus will not participate in the Republicans’ sham process. No amendment will get a vote until we see the final legislation and know what bill we are amending,” explained a text from Sanders aide Josh Miller-Lewis. “Once Republicans show us their final bill, Sen. Sanders looks forward to getting a vote on his amendment that makes clear the Senate believes that the United States must join every major country and guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege.”

While they are united in rejecting Republican chicanery, however, Democrats have yet to get on the same page with regard to single payer—a fact frequently noted by RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of the 175,000-member National Nurses United union, and others who have grown frustrated with the party’s failure to embrace the “Medicare for All” option.

“I think eventually we’ll have a single-payer system.” —Jimmy Carter
Democrats should listen to Carter, as they should to the great mass of Americans who have made it clear that they want to maintain the access to health care that came with the Affordable Care Act and extend that access with an absolute guarantees of health care as a human right. That old argument for single payer, in combination for the new realities of scorching income inequality and an increasingly unstable gig economy, has made Carter and others recognize that the reform that was once morally necessary is now becoming an economic and social inevitability.

“I think eventually we’ll have a single-payer system,” Carter told a crowd of well-wishers before teaching his usual Sunday school class at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Noting his own recent experience with Canada’s national health-care system—the 92-year-old former president was treated at a Winnipeg hospital, after he showed signs of becoming dehydrated while working on a Habitat for Humanity project—Carter spoke in Plains about the logic of a universal single-payer system at a time when a growing number of prominent Democrats are joining Sanders making the “Medicare for All” argument.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, has signaled that Democrats should campaign on the issue, arguing that:

President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts. Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has expressed similar sentiments in recent weeks, saying: “Health care should be a right, it should never be a privilege. We should have Medicare for all in this country.”

That’s smart policy and smart politics.

The June Kaiser Health Tracking poll found that a majority of Americans (53 percent) now favor a single-payer health plan, while just 43 percent oppose such a plan. What’s especially notable is that not just progressive Democrats but independents are turning toward a “Medicare for All” system. “Not surprisingly,” note the Kaiser analysts,

There are partisan divisions in how the public feels about single-payer health care, with a majority of Democrats (64 percent) and just over half independents (55 percent) in favor and a majority of Republicans (67 percent) opposed. However, the recent increase in support for single-payer has largely been driven by an increase among independents. Among this group, on average in 2008-2009, 42 percent said they would favor a single-payer plan, a share that has increased to a majority (55 percent) in the most recent tracking poll.

The Pew Research Center notes that support for the argument that government has a responsibility to provide health-care coverage is especially pronounced among young people under the age of 20—precisely the potential voters that Democrats will need to motivate in 2018 and in 2020.

Jimmy Carter finished his presidency before Americans who are under the age of 30 were born. But he recognizes what they recognize. This is not complicated. It is what other countries have done. It is what the United States has done for older Americans with Medicare. Now, says Carter, the next step can be taken with “the expansion of Medicare to include all ages.”

Republicans have made their opposition to that expansion clear. They seek to constrain access to health care, not just by repealing the Affordable Care Act but also by undermining programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Democrats need to make their support for expansion clear. Yes, they must fight now to stop the Republican assault on the Affordable Care Act. But just saying “no” to Donald Trump and Paul Ryan is an insufficient response to the challenges that now exist and to the challenges that will take shape in the future. As Congressman John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who has sponsored H.R. 676, the Expanded And Improved Medicare for All Act, says:

Establishing a non-profit universal single-payer health care system would be the best way to effectively contain health care costs and provide quality care for all Americans. It is time for Members of Congress, health policy scholars, economists, and the medical community to begin a serious discussion of the merits of a universal single-payer health care system.

In other words: It is time to listen to Jimmy Carter’s wise counsel.

John Nichols is The Nation’s national-affairs correspondent. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America, forthcoming from Nation Books this fall, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy.

President Jimmy Carter: The United States is an Oligarchy…


Thom Hartmann talks with President Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States (1977 to 1981) / Humanitarian / Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 / Author of many books, including his latest, A Full Life…Reflections at Ninety, Website: http://books.simonandschuster.com

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DNC “Spokesman” Proposes Medicare For All – Stuns Crowd


Published on Aug 6, 2017

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THIS ORGANIZATION WANTS TO CREATE A THOUSAND BERNIE SANDERS. HERE’S HOW. by Anna Callahan (occupy.com)

THE BERNIE TRIBE

For the tens of thousands of people who poured their sweat and tears into the Bernie Sanders campaign, the last year has been a woeful one. Sanders was tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential primary, despite having the establishment stacked against him. And then what many of those people said during the primary came true: while Bernie could have beaten Trump, Hillary Clinton could not.

For decades, more and more money has flowed into our political process and we have now reached a point where it is considered nearly impossible to hold a House or Senate seat without taking money from billionaires and corporations. The vast majority of our Congress members are beholden to the 1%, as proven by a 20-year study from Princeton. Our country, and our world, deserve better.

For the millions of Americans who agreed with Bernie’s “future to believe in,” there is a very simple explanation for what is wrong with our government: it’s not filled with Bernie Sanders. Here’s how we change that.

THE INCORRUPTIBLES’ WORLDVIEW

The Incorruptibles have a unique set of beliefs that shape their strategy.

MONEY BUYS INFLUENCE

If politicians are allowed to take corporate money, they will vote accordingly. Incorruptibles candidates take no corporate money and focus on raising small dollar donations.

PROGRESSIVES START LOCALLY

Bernie’s first four campaigns for office failed: he ran for U.S. Senate twice and Vermont Governor twice, and never got more than 6% of the vote. But when he ran for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he was elected and so started his political career. His story holds a lesson for Incorruptible progressives: build your base locally, because power is built at the local level first.

GRASSROOTS SUPPORT IS KEY

Most progressive local politicians begin taking money from the wrong sources once they begin their campaigns for state or national office. To avoid this they must have a strong grassroots organization larger than their city to support them as they move up from the local level.

THE COMMUNITY PICKS THE CANDIDATE

Most candidates pick themselves: “Hey everybody, I’m running for office!” But looking at best-practice local organizations around the country, we see that strong grassroots movements convince great, selfless leaders to run, not the other way around.

LISTEN, EDUCATE, MOBILIZE

Half of a politician’s job is to write and vote on laws; the other half is to listen to, educate, and mobilize the people. Bernie has a proven practice of specialized town halls that do just this.

SUPPORT THE LEADERSHIP – BY HELPING LEAD

Grassroots organizations can act as an adjunct staff to truly progressive politicians, doing the research and legwork to help get progressive policies passed. This turns the notion of “holding your representatives accountable” upside down and creates a truly participatory government.

HOW DO THE INCORRUPTIBLES’ CHAPTERS WORK?

The Incorruptibles has begun to set up grassroots chapters in cities nationwide. In time, we envision local TI chapters in every city and county. Much like Indivisible, The Incorruptibles has produced a guide for how to do this. In brief:

1. ONE CHAPTER PER CITY

The grassroots chapter forms a core team of organizers and begins outreach. As more people join, the growing membership votes on platform, actions, and candidates.

2. COALITION BUILDING

The chapter doesn’t work alone to reinvent the wheel. It contacts other community groups and organizations to help enlarge its coalition. These can include unions, service organizations, churches, NGOs and others.

3. CONTINUOUS TOWN HALLS

The Incorruptibles National provides training to facilitate Bernie-style town halls, where the chapter listens to, educates, and mobilizes constituents.

4. KNOCK EVERY DOOR

The local chapter organizes to knock on every door in the city. This is unlike conventional campaign canvassing where only likely voters are reached, and where almost no listening takes place on the side of the campaign. It is unlike other “knock every door” canvassing efforts in that residents are given an opportunity to join a local group, becoming a voting member who can affect city policy. This gives the person behind the door real agency and a stake in what they’re being asked to support.

5. EDUCATE

The Incorruptibles National provides training to conduct local educational workshops that empower constituents with knowledge and understanding of the issues. For example, TI presents Les Leopold’s “Runaway Inequality” workshop to help explain in clear terms how the 1% uses corporations and government to siphon money away from working families. This kind of educational training plays well in both blue and red communities and leads a majority of listeners to support the policies in Bernie’s platform.

5. CREATE A PLATFORM

Each city will develop its own platform, informed by the town halls, door knocking, and inequality workshops, and incorporating the specific needs and demands of constituents.

6. CHOOSE A SLATE OF CANDIDATES

Incorruptibles candidates grow out of the organization, emerging from the coalition that has formed in the community. They might be activists who have already spent much of their lives fighting for social justice and other causes, they might be political novices from other professions, or they might have been candidates before. Through a participatory democratic process, the local chapter votes and puts together a slate of candidates that is representative of the residents of the city.

7. POOL CAMPAIGN RESOURCES

Because the candidates are running as a slate, they can pool community resources. Paper material, events, press releases, and social media all publicize the slate of candidates instead of each candidate having their own. Traditional forms of canvassing and phone banking also support the slate; this not only saves money and volunteer time, it also helps build the chapter.

8. SUPPORT THE ELECTED OFFICIALS

After the campaign season and elections are over, the chapter helps its elected officials get progressive policies passed. From doing research and legwork, attending city councils and expanding community alliances, to writing letters to the editor and organizing public events or demonstrations, local chapters are a powerful force in passing progressive legislation.

Because the chapter continues its work year-round every year, each campaign brings the grassroots chapter more experience to use for the next election.

Through The Incorruptibles national organization, locally elected officials can move up to the state level with support from constituents in every city that has an Incorruptibles chapter. Once a state has multiple chapters, there will also be a statewide organization that communicates and coordinates with city chapters to run the best slate of candidates for statewide offices.

SUCCESS STORIES

The basic model outlined above has already been used successfully to forge strong progressive city councils in formerly corporate-controlled cities like Richmond, CA. For over a century, the Bay Area city was effectively ruled by Chevron, whose massive oil refinery makes it the city’s largest employer. Over the decades, Chevron donated to every political campaign – and exercised so much control over the city that in the 1990s it actually had its own desk at City Hall. Every decade the refinery had a leak or explosion that wreaked environmental havoc and sometimes sent thousands of people to local hospitals. The city had the second highest homicide rate in the country, and was known for its police brutality in a city with 36% African Americans and 27% Latinos.

In 2003, Richmond residents had enough. They formed the Richmond Progressive Alliance, which began running candidates for city council and mayor. Today, the RPA has a super-majority on the city council, has pushed through a raft of progressive legislation like rent control and assistance to foreclosed homeowners, and its successful former Green Party Mayor, Gayle McLaughlin, is now running for California Lieutenant Governor. In short, community political activism has turned this city, once dominated by Chevron money, into a leading progressive force in the nation. The way they made it happen in Richmond has become one of the models for The Incorruptibles as it seeks to transform political participation on a local scale nationwide.

1,000 BERNIES STARTS WITH 1,000 PROGRESSIVE CITY COUNCILS

The Incorruptibles aims to create 1,000 local chapters by spring of 2018. Those local chapters will mobilize people across America to choose true progressives for candidates in the primaries ahead of the 2018 midterms. These chapters, and city councils, become fertile grounds to produce 1,000 Bernie Sanders – an army of incorruptible officials ready to take back their communities, cities, states and the U.S. Congress from special interests and the corrupting influence of money.

The Incorruptibles co-founder Anna Callahan will be speaking at the Democracy Convention on Thursday, Aug. 3rd, at 1pm on the University of Minnesota campus. To find out more, visit Democracy Convention.

This article was co-published by Nation of Change and Occupy.com.

The Incorruptibles, money in politics, Bernie Sanders, incorruptible politicians, city government, local political power, grassroots power

“Yes Man” punks DNC at Politicon


Published on Jul 31, 2017

The DNC has launched a series of town halls to better explain the “Better Deal,” and to call for public participation in crafting an even better “Better Deal” over the next few weeks, under the rubric #DNCTakeBack.

As discussed with a bi-partisan crowd of 100 in the first such town hall (seen here), the “Better Deal” includes a number of election-winning positions that polls show have widespread support across the political spectrum, and that have already been winning state and local elections nationwide, even in heavily Trump-leaning areas.

Until the recent banning of corporate donations to the DNC, the DNC was unable to support such positions because of the outsize influence of key donors, as detailed in transcript below. These positions include Medicare for all (desired by a strong majority of voters overall, and even by 41% of Republicans), free college tuition (desired by 62% of all voters), stronger unions (by an ever growing majority), and public campaign financing and the elimination of corporate lobbying (large majorities of Americans feel corporations, the wealthy, and lobbyists have far too much influence in politics).

It is not fully understood why so few people noticed these positions within the “Better Deal” when it was first unveiled last Monday.

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