But They Signed The Letter

One of the big news stories of this year is the GOP’s attempts at voter suppression…..if you are unaware then where the Hell have you been?

Corporations have been feeding the GOP for decades and Toyota trying to repair its reputation has stated that they will NO longer give to those people in Congress that push the Big Lie and voter suppression….a good start but I do not trust them to keep that pledge when profit is their main concern.

Now 150+ companies have signed a letter in support of the Voting Rights Act……

– More than 150 companies including Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) and PepsiCo (PEP.O) urged U.S. lawmakers to introduce and pass a voting reform act in a letter signed on Wednesday, as other efforts have stalled in Congress.

The companies called on lawmakers to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, an amendment to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 named after late U.S. Representative John Lewis, who died nearly a year ago. The act would help prevent voting discrimination and set up an improved system for states to report changes in election law.

“We have a duty to work until every American can participate in our democracy, but that won’t happen until every eligible voter in this country has fair, equitable and safe access to voting,” said Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI.N), a signatory to the letter, in a prepared statement.

The companies are part of a group of corporate executives called Business for Voting Rights.

“The business community is proud of our role in encouraging our employees, customers, and communities to exercise their right to vote and have a say in our government,” the companies wrote in the letter.

U.S. companies have spoken up in support of voting rights reforms and against restrictions on voting that have passed in Republican-controlled states including Georgia. Some companies have come under fire from elected officials for their positions.

Former President Donald Trump and his supporters made unfounded claims that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Democrats are expected to reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Reuters has reported.

(reuters.com)

How lovely.

But signing a letter does nothing but waste time and paper…..if they truly are concerned then turn off the lobbyists and the money spigot…..without that act this letter is nothing more than a fart in the wind.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–16Jul21

Blues comes to my town!

Film star Morgan Freeman, a Mississippian by birth, is bring his blues club to the Mississippi Gulf Coast….Biloxi to be exact…..

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is bringing the Blues to Biloxi with plans to open a second location of his popular Clarksdale juke joint in on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

WLOX in Biloxi reports that Freeman’s second Ground Zero Blues Club will be will be located inside the old  Kress Building in downtown Biloxi. The 20,000 square foot space was formerly called Kress Live, a live music and entertainment destination.

Freeman co-owns the club with former Clarksdale mayor and attorney Bill Luckett. They started the original Ground Zero in Clarksdale in May 2001 and since then, the club has become a tourist attraction in Mississippi.

The juke joint got its name due to Clarksdale being described as “Ground Zero” for blues fans from around the globe.

(magnoliastatelive.com)

As a big fan of the Blues I wish them lots of luck and I will see them soon.

Enjoy your upcoming weekend…

Be Well….Be Safe….

Economic Development?

I have always thought that the promise of ‘economic development’ was a “LIE”…..it is the promise of something that is not going to happen to justify some sort of con perpetrated on the community.

I got thinking about this term more when I watched a piece on the local news…..the head honcho of the country economic development was taunting the building of several small strip malls.executive offices…as a bright world in which the county lives in……

First of all let’s define the term ‘economic development’…..

Economic development is a concerted effort on the part of the responsible governing body in a city or county to influence the direction of private sector investment toward opportunities that can lead to sustained economic growth. Sustained economic growth can provide sufficient incomes for the local labor force, profitable business opportunities for employers and tax revenues for maintaining an infrastructure to support this continued growth. There is no alternative to private sector investment as the engine for economic growth, but there are many initiatives that you can support to encourage investments where the community feels they are needed the most.

That definition is all blue skies and unicorns.

My question is to the city council where is this building economic development?

They built a structure that may remain empty….they employed a couple of guys to erect the structures but where is that economic development?

I mean where these couple of small malls were built sits in an area full of unused space……just two blocks away is a large strip center that sits 90% unoccupied….about one mile away is a large strip mall that is only about 70% occupied and 2 miles away is a strip center that has many open spots for businesses to jump on…..and this does not include the smaller strip malls within a 5 mile radius that sit basically unoccupied…so why were these new malls necessary?

So with this said where is all that ‘economic’ upside?

All this is just my area…..the broader look at local development is just as bleak…..

The average minimum wage in my county is $7.25…that is about half what is needed for a living wage.

So again I ask what ‘economic development’?

Land speculators and contractors are the only people making out like bandits…..by using the BS of ‘economic development’….there is few economic benefits for the average worker in this county.

My next question is….how with so many open spaces for businesses to expand how does a contractor/developer get the cash to build something that may go unused?

Of course I am told that these new structures will benefit the community…..and how does a empty office space enhance my community?

Just who will benefit from this non-existent economic development?

What makes anyone on the council think that business will rush to snap up this new space?

Are the objectives of development met by these structures….those objectives are 1) provide for basic needs.  2) Raise the level of living.  3) Expand the range of economic and social choices.

These structure fail.

How does these ‘new’ buildings offer any of those?  Just who profits from this wish and a hope of destroy land and cutting down trees om a wish and a hope?

My thought is that if we truly wanted economic development then maybe paying livable wages would do more than the promise of empty buildings.

The council needs to design a plan and program for filling empty spaces before the destruction of more land….the council works for the people of the city and should not bow to the cash and wishes of developers….especially on the lie of ‘economic development’.

Just a thought.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–08Jun21

JP Morgan has the right idea!

I seldom say much good about corporations but JP Morgan has made an announcement that I can agree with fully.

JPMorgan Chase will restart its political donations but will not give to Republican members of congress who objected to certifying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Biden, according to an internal memo reviewed by Reuters.

Why it matters: 147 congressional Republicans, the majority of whom hold seats in the House, objected to state election results over baseless claims of widespread election fraud fueled by former President Trump.

Context: JPMorgan, the country’s largest lender, was among several big businesses that paused their political contributions following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as Congress voted to certify the election.

  • The bank said it will resume its contributions through its political action committee this month.
  • The big picture: JPMorgan plans to update its giving strategy by focusing on lawmakers who oversee financial matters that the bank considers “moral and economic imperatives for our country,” including addressing the racial wealth gap, education and criminal justice reform, according to Reuters.

https://www.axios.com/jpmorgan-gop-donations-election-certification-615c6c44-07bb-40d2-8ae1-1d1ba3afe939.html

Corporations played a major role in the Civil Rights passage….they should do so again.

They want to be ‘citizens’ of this nation then they need to step up and do the hard work to save our fragile republic.

JP Morgan has the right idea but how long will they beat this drum?

My guess is not long at all.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ford’s Game Changer

Ford has been on the front line of innovation in the auto industry….think Mustang and Pinto……and now they have done it again…..and it is the most popular pick-up truck in the world….the F150.

Ford has revealed the all-electric F-150 pickup truck one day ahead of schedule. The truck, dubbed F-150 Lightning, was on display Tuesday at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan during a speech from President Biden.

Images from the event show that the F-150 Lightning largely looks like its gas and hybrid counterparts, though the truck has a more modern grille, with an unbroken light bar that stretches from headlight to headlight. And even from a distance, it seems that the F-150 Lightning will have a large portrait touchscreen similar to the one in the Mustang Mach-E.

Biden gave the country and the world a peep at the new Ford in a speech in Michigan….

President Biden got to test drive Ford’s electric pick-up truck Tuesday when he made an unscheduled visit to a Ford driving course that typically carries out safety tests. The Secret Service trailed Biden as he tried out the Ford F-150 Lightning, CNN reports. Biden apparently gave away a secret when he told reporters the truck went from 0 to 60 in about 4.4 seconds; a rep later told reporters that information was supposed to be made public when the truck is officially revealed Wednesday, though he said it was fine that the president had let it slip early.

I applaud the ingenuity of Ford and under different circumstances it could be the game changer they are promoting.

A game changer?

First there needs to be a game before it can change…..

Who will buy an electric truck when there are few power charging stations across the country?

Wait…Biden has said that his infrastructure plan would give the country about 50,000 charging stations.

Now that sounds good right?

The problem is that his plan will most likely go NOWHERE in the Senate.

I say again…hard to be a game changer when there is no game to change.

This was purely a political thingy….reality says it all….was this just a PR thing to justify any government funding?

Watch This Blog!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Can We ‘Move On’?

This is the desire of some when talking about the events of 06 January……especially those that either participated or helped fund the insurrection.

I especially like the statement by yet another moron in the GOP when he said that the insurrectionists were just a group of tourists visiting the Capital……

To that desire I say ‘bite me’.

They, insurrectionists, are traitors and anyone that defend this action is one as well.

No true American should never move on from this assault on our nation….would they have the country ‘move on’ from the events of 9/11?

A recent webinar of business PACs want to put this behind them and move ‘forward’…..

Following the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, dozens of corporations announced they were suspending PAC donations to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election. Many more announced they were suspending all PAC activity. For the National Association of Business PACs (NABPAC), the trade association for corporate PACs, this is a problem. 

Emails, video, and other internal documents obtained by Popular Information reveal how NABPAC has been encouraging its membership, which includes more than 250 corporate PACs, to “move beyond” January 6 and resume their political contributions.

On March 2, NABPAC hosted a webinar called “Where Do We Go From Here.” The event featured Michael DuHaime, a prominent Republican operative and crisis communications consultant. During the event, DuHaime and others provided strategic and messaging advice about how to restart political donations — including donations to the 147 Republicans who voted not to certify the Electoral College results based on Trump’s lies. 

The event was attended by about 80 representatives of corporate PACs, including major companies like Delta, Dow, Altria, Northrup Grumman, New York Life, Lincoln Financial, and Boston Scientific. NABPAC board members include representatives from Microsoft, Kraft Heinz, Eli Lilly, Home Depot, and Cigna. 

https://popular.info/p/exclusive-how-corporate-pacs-are

These PACs funded Donald Trump and the fools inn the GOP that made this insurrection possible and now they want us to overlook that and go back to business as usual.

Why do I say that corporations are just as guilty as the insurrectionists?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about fascism, generally in the context of Republicans denying people their right to vote or Donald Trump sending an armed mob to murder five people at the U.S. Capitol to try to install him as America’s first strongman dictator.

Indeed, authoritarian governance is a major aspect of fascism. But there’s another piece to the puzzle, and it is playing out right now across America, and getting almost no coverage whatsoever.

It’s when giant corporations are able to control government and thus stop things like a national healthcare system, rational gun control laws, free college, or even the tiniest tax on carbon. When they’re able to push through “criminal justice reform” that makes it nearly impossible to prosecute corporate CEOs when their companies kill workers, consumers, or even poison entire communities.

It’s when they don’t do it through presenting strong and defendable ideas in the public realm and before Congress, but by pouring cash into the pockets of individual politicians and their parties.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/05/08/corporate-america-has-been-shoving-fascism-down-our-throats-decades

Move on?  Again to that I say….’bite me’!

We should never forgive or forget

But sadly money talks and they will spend what it takes to make the American people forget their part in the insurrection.

This blog will never forget….and I will keep writing about the traitors that were part of this assault….whether physically there or behind the scenes financing the events.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Chamber Of Commerce Voter Suppression

There has been a wealth of citizens that have come out in favor of the voting rights bill in Congress, HR1, and yet as popular as it may be the corporations are in opposition…..but why would they care?

The Chamber of Commerce has issued a strong letter of opposition…..

This is the letter the Chamber has issued…..these are the points that they take exception with….

There are many other aspects of H.R. 1 that are extremely problematic. To highlight just a few:

  • H.R. 1 would fundamentally transform the FEC from a non-partisan agency comprised of three commissioners from each party into an overtly partisan enforcement tool controlled by a majority of commissioners from the political party then in power.
  • H.R. 1 would deem communication by corporations, including associations, to be “coordinated” and thereby prohibited if the organization has even the most innocuous and tenuous of connections with a candidate. For example, a meeting with an elected official to discuss a policy issue, an organizational employee who was previously employed by the elected official or candidate in any capacity, or a common vendor with a candidate would all have the practical effect of prohibiting corporations, including associations, from engaging in the political process.
  • H.R. 1 would also usher in a host of onerous disclaimer requirements for those engaging in communications that mention a candidate or elected official, even if those communications are related to legislative issues.
  • H.R. 1 would give taxpayer funds to political campaigns by allowing Americans to opt-into having their political donations matched by the federal government. Taxpayer money should be used to support projects like infrastructure initiatives and education programs and not political campaigns.

https://www.uschamber.com/letters-congress/us-chamber-key-vote-letter-opposing-hr-1-the-people-act

HR1 includes these points…..

This bill addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government.

Specifically, the bill expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting). It also limits removing voters from voter rolls.

The bill requires states to establish independent redistricting commissions to carry out congressional redistricting.

Additionally, the bill sets forth provisions related to election security, including sharing intelligence information with state election officials, supporting states in securing their election systems, developing a national strategy to protect U.S. democratic institutions, establishing in the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, and other provisions to improve the cybersecurity of election systems.

Further, the bill addresses campaign finance, including by expanding the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals, requiring additional disclosure of campaign-related fundraising and spending, requiring additional disclaimers regarding certain political advertising, and establishing an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices.

The bill addresses ethics in all three branches of government, including by requiring a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices, prohibiting Members of the House from serving on the board of a for-profit entity, and establishing additional conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House.

The bill requires the President, the Vice President, and certain candidates for those offices to disclose 10 years of tax returns.

If you are a political geek and would like to read the bill for yourself before you comment then here is the pdf for you to read…..all 791 pages!

Click to access BILLS-117hr1ih.pdf

Interesting that the most opposition comes from corporate America and its paid goons in Congress.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Big Tech For Voter Suppression

Do you use Facebook?

We all use Google.

What do you think of all the voter suppression in many states?

How does all these questions relate?

In the first quarter of 2021, Facebook, Google, and several other major American companies donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican political group that advocates for voter suppression laws around the United States.

Facebook donated $50,000, and Google donated $20,000, according to a new report from Popular Information, alongside a $50,000 donation from AT&T and $100,000+ donations from two major pharmaceutical companies: Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

The organization that received those donations — the Republican State Leadership Committee — describes itself as, “the largest national organization focused on electing Republicans to state offices in every corner of the nation.”

The RSLC supports Republican candidates that have supported voter suppression laws, and itself advocates for said laws.

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-google-donated-tens-of-thousands-to-republicans-this-year-2021-4

So the very sites that you use to stay in touch and/or get information have spent time and money helping these voter suppression laws by Repubs get passed.

Then there is AstraZeneca…the vaccine hero for the pandemic…….helping save lives all the while working to help suppress the vote….a perfect example of the slim in corporate world.

Facebook and the others were not alone….

Since 2015, AT&T, Comcast, UnitedHealth Group, Walmart, and other big businesses have donated a combined $50 million to state Republican lawmakers who are currently supporting voter suppression bills across the United States—generous political spending at odds with recent corporate efforts to rebrand as defenders of voting rights.

A new report (pdf) released Monday morning by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found that during the 2020 election cycle alone, U.S. corporations donated $22 million to Republican architects of voter suppression bills that are advancing through state legislatures nationwide.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/05/follow-money-corporations-gave-50-million-gop-lawmakers-behind-voter-suppression

Read the pdf and weep for our nation.

You still think these sites are indispensable to your life?

Maybe it is time to stop letting these corporate slugs run and ruin your life.

Thoughts?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pandemic Profiteering

Closing thought–30Mar21

AS we struggle through this pandemic trying to pay rent or buy food or even to find work…..there are those that made out like bandits….and they did not even need a gun to rob the nation.

The 10 biggest “Pandemic Profiteers” saw the greatest percentage increase in their wealth—at least 300 percent.

1. Bom Kim (670 percent/$7.7 billion): A U.S. citizen and founder of the e-commerce giant Coupang, the Amazon of South Korea. Kim’s fortune surged as high as $11 billion after the company’s IPO in early March.

2. Dan Gilbert (642 percent/$41.7 billion): Owner of Quicken Loans, which capitalized on cloistered citizens tapping online financing. Lives in Michigan.

3. Ernest Garcia II (567 percent/$13.6 billion): Biggest shareholder of Carvana, the online car sales and auto-financing giant. Arizona.

4. Elon Musk (559 percent/$137.5 billion): Musk is now the second wealthiest Americans—at nearly $138 billion—as his shares in Tesla, Space-X and other companies that he owns continue to climb. Lives in Texas.

5. Brian Armstrong (550 percent/$5.5 billion): Chief executive of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country. California resident.

6. Bobby Murphy (531 [ercent/$10.1 billion): Co-founder of Snapchat, with his Stanford fraternity brother, Evan Spiegel. California resident.

7. Evan Spiegel (490 percent/$9.3 billion): Co-founder of Snapchat with his other billionaire super-gainer, Bobby Murphy. California resident.

8. Jack Dorsey (396 percent/$10.3 billion): Co-founder and CEOs of both Twitter and Square, the small business payment app. Lives in California

9. Anthony Wood (331 percent/$5.3 billion): Founder of Roku, which enables online TV video streaming. California resident.

10. Jeff Green (300 percent/$3 billion): Californian founder and chairman of The Trade Desk, a digital advertising firm.

They mostly multiplied their fortunes in the world of online goods, services and entertainment, as forcibly homebound Americans shopped, invested and diverted themselves in isolation. They include the owners of ecommerce leaders Quicken Loans, Square, Carvana, and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase; social media sites Snapchat and Twitter; online streaming platform Roku; and digital ad agency Trade Desk. 19 other billionaires experienced increases of over 200% while 48 others more than doubled their fortunes with 100%+ gains.

Now how do you feel about that check you are waiting on?

And these profiteers did not have to wait.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–29Mar21

The pandemic hit and the drug companies went into high gear (with taxpayer money) to find a vaccine to protect the population from this killer…..

Behind the scenes the greed is starting to takeover….

Eager to capitalize on the lasting presence of the coronavirus, executives at Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer—the pharmaceutical corporations that supplied the Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S.—are quietly planning to hike prices on doses “in the near future,” once they decide the pandemic is over, The Intercept’s Lee Fang reported Thursday.

Although the rapid development of coronavirus vaccines—made possible by large infusions of public resources—has given Big Pharma companies “a boost in goodwill… the public is still sensitive to drug pricing and the reputational risk has, so far, curtailed their ability to reap large financial rewards,” Fang noted. “But that environment, they hope, will change once the pandemic ends: a date that drugmakers themselves reserve the right to declare.”

Many epidemiologists expect the coronavirus to become endemic, “and as Covid-19 mutations continue to spread and booster shots may be required on a regular basis, leaders from the three companies are enthusiastic about cashing in,” wrote Fang.

“As this shifts from pandemic to endemic, we think there’s an opportunity here for us,” Pfizer’s Chief Financial Officer Frank D’Amelio said during a recent healthcare conference sponsored by Barclays Bank. The potential need for booster shots, D’Amelio added, provides “a significant opportunity for our vaccine from a demand perspective, from a pricing perspective, given the clinical profile of our vaccine.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/19/big-pharma-quietly-planning-price-hike-covid-vaccines-near-future-report

This is unacceptable!

If taxpayer money was used to develop the vaccine there should be no profit….or if there is profit then the cash should go where the seed money originated…..the US treasury.

Time for the American people to see the fruits of their taxes.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”