DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016

He is unassuming and professorial in appearance, with brushed white hair and wide eye glasses. At a glance one might almost expect that with rolled up shirt sleeves and loosed tie that Bernie Sanders, born September 8th 1941, just three months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, that he just finished grading a stack of English papers, or concluded a patient exam. He slouches a bit and talks with his hands in a way reminiscent of a conductor conducting and orchestra. Those unfamiliar with Sanders say he should smile more. His smile is warm with a hint of irreverence. His words are chosen with great economy, but without hesitation. Like an aural roadmap of his life, Sanders ubiquitous Brooklyn accent is softened and tempered from nearly a half century in his adopted home of Vermont. Sanders is decidedly non political, perhaps the only current elected official in Washington DC never to run a negative ad. He is the biggest political story of the 2016 Presidential election.

Prior to March of 2014 most Americans knew little of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. While Republican candidates were lining up for the GOP ticket the Democrats were growing ever discontent over the prospect that Hillary Clinton had been ordained as the sole Democrat candidate. On May 26th Sanders officially announced his candidacy from Vermont to a virtual media blackout. Almost no one carried the announcement live in contrast to republican Rick Santorum a day earlier or Marco Rubio in April whose speeches were carried live on FOX News and on conservative radio talk shows around the country.

The national media relegated Sanders to a long shot. Almost two months into his rapidly growing grassroots campaign, they still show him little respect, instead the media clings to the Hillary brand. Maybe that is a good thing for now. He was dismissed and derided as a nobody and a socialist. Social media picked up and drove his story. Sanders was not just saying what progressives and liberals alike wanted to hear, like other candidates. Unlike those other candidates his record and actions mirrors his rhetoric.

“I voted against the war in Iraq, he told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz on May 28th 2015, “I believe in a nation in which someone who works 40 hours per week should not live in poverty. I believe in a nation in which everyone gets a fair shot, in which we don’t have massive income inequality.“

All of this happened amid a bitter political fight in Washington over the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact and an effort by the Obama administration to fast-track the TPP through the House and Senate, avoiding lengthy debates over the specifics of the agreement. Clinton, courting Union votes was inconsistent on her position regarding the TPP. Unions and a great majority of Progressives and Liberals vehemently opposed both fast track and the TPP, which many dubbed NAFTA on steroids, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement championed by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

While the Obama administration asserts that the TPP will improve working conditions and wages for workers in Asia-Pacific countries-the agreement excludes China-the experience of other similarly structured agreements would tend to discredit that possibility. Though the actual text of the TPP has been kept a secret, including from lawmakers, parts of the text have been leaked and posted to Wiki-leaks on the internet. Less talked about are the ISDS or “investor-to-state dispute settlement “ courts which would allow corporate run arbitration boards to decide and impose damage awards against states and the federal government or to overturn US law, including constitutionally “protected” civil rights.

Far-fetched? Wording similar to that found in other pro-corporate trade agreements is reported to be found throughout the TPP. Critics and observers point to growing abuse by corporations in ISDS courts to the detriment of workers and sovereign governments. For example, a Swedish company is currently suing Germany for a decision to begin phasing out nuclear power in favor of clean and renewable energy sources.

Egypt’s decision to raise its minimum wage was met by a lawsuit from a Multinational company, the Veolia Group, according to France’s Le Monde Diplomatique. Veolia decided that the increase in the minimum wage was simply too much. Under the NAFTA agreement, the Canadian Company Methanex sued the government when California decided to prohibit the use of a gasoline additive. The government ultimately prevailed in the case, but at a monumental cost in court and legal fees.

These are just three of numerous examples of the sort of corporate assault against the treasury and the constitution the United States might face in ISDS courts. There is well placed concern about environmental and human rights abuses which could result from the agreement. It is conceivable, and even likely, as with the Egyptian minimum wage case, that the government could be sued and journalists jailed for writing or reporting pieces that could be argued resulted in lost revenue for corporations.

Moreover, the TPP was touted as producing jobs for Americans, yet lawmakers could not agree on a key provision of the fats track bill which would set aside one billion Dollars for US workers displaced by TPP. Even more, it could have a disastrous and destabilizing effect on other global markets, particularly emerging markets like Africa. It was that duplicitous nature which hardened many Americans against the agreement, a position that Sanders has remained very consistent and very clear about his distrust for the agreement.

Recall that many refer to TPP as NAFTA on steroids. NAFTA itself had disastrous effects on both the US and Mexico. In 2011 Dustin Ensinger wrote in Economy In Crisis that,”
highly subsidized corn flooding the Mexican market has displaced millions of rural farmers…” and that, “Mexican officials had promised that NAFTA would result in the “export of goods, not people.” That, however, has turned out to be far from reality. Since NAFTA was signed into law, illegal immigrants in the U.S. has increased to 12 million today from 3.9 million in 1993, accounting for an overall increase of over 300 percent.

There is ample reason to believe TPP will prove at least as damaging to the US economy and to be detrimental to foreign workers as well. Sanders, then an Independent representative from Vermont noted no on NAFTA, a position he has never waffled over. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/01/1255736/-NAFTA-at-20-An-Unhappy-Birthday-and-a-Look-at-the-Roll-Call-Votes-on-Free-Trade-Deals)

Last February on the Senate floor sanders was unequivocally opposed to both NAFTA and TPP:

I think it’s obvious for anyone who has taken a look at this issue that is the TPP is just a new, easy way for corporations to shut down in America and to send jobs abroad. The United States, it is estimated, would lose more than 130,000 to Vietnam and Japan alone if the Trans Pacific Partnership goes into effect.
…and the reason for that is my understanding is that the minimum wage is 56 cents an hour — 56 cents an hour. when you’re dealing with a country like Vietnam…Corporate America has said we want these trade policies and the leaders of both parties have said, yeah, that’s what we will do. I think it is time to say enough is enough. This country is in a major race to the bottom. Workers are working longer hours for lower wages. No American worker should be force to compete with desperate workers around the world who are making pennies an hour…

Beyond the obvious issues and details of TPP which the Obama administration and many republicans and democrats alike support, the way this agreement has been hidden from scrutiny and debate speaks directly to the way this nation is governed and how it responds to its constituents. More than 2000 grassroots organizations and tens of thousands of Americans called congress voicing their displeasure over TPP and the fast track vote. The vote defeating the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill, which also halted the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) fast track bill from reaching President Obama’s desk was 126-302. Most observers were quick to point out that the defeat of TAA and TPA were hardly victories for those opposed to TPP. Many of the republican nay votes were more likely partisan in nature, continuing the obstructionist tactics characterizing much of Obama’s presidency. Congress and the senate were quickly at work on a compromise bill. In truth both parties ignored the voice of the people, not over prudent judgment, but in favor of smaller but far better funded special interest groups.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers. .

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The Messaging Game

We like to complain about the corporate media, but too few of us support independent media. Across the internet, low power AM and FM stations, cable access and in publishing a great many have risen to take up the challenge first heralded more than 40 years ago by Gil Scott Herron’s “The Revolution will not be televised,” and reinvigorated by the Occupy Movement.

There are reasons for that. The high profile so-called Progressive media sources, like Al Gore, NPR, MSNBC and others on an all too short list have either betrayed true progressives and liberals, or attempted to co-opt them altogether for nakedly partisan purposes. Discontent among young voters who flocked to groups like Occupy, or environmental groups, or the I can’t breathe justice rights issue was abandoned or mocked by the democrats, revealing pure political motivations while abandoning the real base of the Progressive and Political movements.

Commentator Thom Hartmann has brought a pale indignation, and who can sit through another ill-prepared debate he holds with a right winger who reveals Hartmann’s willingness to go to great links in bending to the illusion of “gentlemanly” dialogue. Leslie Marshall couldn’t suck up to right wing propagandist Sean Hannity more in her desire for face time on FOX. Ed Schultz, who during the Madison protests in 2010-11, emerged as possibly challenging the media hegemony of the right is now all but…no, he’s forgotten. Stephanie Miller’s cogent arguments, when she attempts to make one at all largely amounts to her saying “Duh!” MSNBC simply is moving the nation to the right more slowly and under the costume of progressivism. The nominally progressive WCPT recently lost the only environmental show in Chicago, hosted by Mike Nowak, creating a monumental void in an already underrepresented segment of the market. NPR and the local Chicago community channel WTTW have all swung decidely to the right, wishing not to confront or run afoul of the right wing, corporate coup in washington DC.

Nowhere in this so-called liberal media are substantive discussions on climate change, race and immigrant justice, XL keystone, Enbridge, net neutrality or the TPP. the abandonment of those issues by the dems, I believe, has driven many from the party.

Hopeless? Not so much. Messaging however requires the involvement of citizens on several fronts. The first is in fighting to protect internet neutrality. It is the last true media still available for the unfettered, unfiltered voice of the people. Second, is to support and engage local, non-corporate and alternative media. Tune in. It is easier than you can imagine now. Access to Q4 radio can be done now from virtually any device. I listen daily in the car from my smart phone. There are others in Chicago as well, creating some of the most interesting, best informed and innovative programming on the air. Or you could listen to the same old boring crap on Chicago radio; all of it careful scripted and crafted to follow editorial dictates by media magnates in bed with one of the two political parties dominating power and money and messaging in America.

Finally, the Left muust learn to message like the right. Here is where we win. Here is the perfect opportunity to be a smart ass, because behind our sarcasm are deep truths and realities. Behind their flimsy bumper sticker lines are veiled ideals of greed and privilage, and a fundamental inhumanity that leaves the poor, the minorities, the elderly and the handicapped depserate, forgotten and abandoned.

They like phrases like Reagan’s smug retort, as he and his administration laid the groundwork for the slow and careful corporate take over of our nation and the theft of its wealth-from the mouths and pockets of the people. “The scriest words in the English language, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Hmm, you mean like FEMA, the CDC, Social Security, the FAA, paved roads and safe food?

maybe if we shot back with equal disdain and smarminess, like: “I’m from the government and I’ve been sold to the highest bidder!”

How about, I’m from the corporation and I’m selling you what you once got for your tax dollars.”

Perhaps this, I’m from the corporation and I get paid twice, once in subsidies and also from you!”

Or there’s this: I’m from the mega-church and I’m here to help; please surrender your soul.”

And my favorite: “I’m from the media and I’m the millionaire who speaks for the middle class.”

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Stealing the Climate at COP 20

It really is the picture of true hypocrisy. The statements today by Secretary of State John Kerry at the COP 20 Climate talks in Lima Peru and recent statements by President Obama stand in stark contrast to their actions with regards to fossil fuel. US policy is also connected directly to the crash of a Malaysian jetliner earlier this year over Ukraine. They also show a substantial lack of understanding on how climate change affects current geopolitical issues and how it will drive those issues in the coming tears and decades and beyond. Kerry, in his speech, disconnected them from climate change:

“Measured against the array of global threats that we face today – and there are many – terrorism, extremism, epidemics, poverty, nuclear proliferation – all challenges that know no borders – climate change absolutely ranks up there equal with all of them. And I challenge anyone who has thought about the science or listened – actually listened carefully to national security experts tell us that these dangers are real…”

The fact is, under the current geopolitical climate, driven by rogue capitalism, corporate greed, and short term economic vision most often defined by oil and gas revenues, the specter of climate catastrophe guarantees the expansion of poverty, epidemics and the potential for war. The so called war on ISIS carries a dimension of the climate crisis as fresh water sources around the planet become increasingly imperiled. While both a natural regional route and a historically strategic place, ISIS has sought quite specifically to control the Euphrates Tigris delta, the region’s preeminent source of water.

COP20, a politicized and coopted event favoring big oil propagandists over true climate science and climate activists served to highlight, along with Kerry’s statements the insincerity and lack of determination by world leaders. More from Kerry:

“The science of climate change is science, and it is screaming at us, warning us, compelling us – hopefully – to act. Ninety-seven percent of peer- reviewed climate studies have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible. And I’ve been involved, as many of you have, in public policy debates for a long time. It’s pretty rare to get a simple majority or a supermajority of studies to say the same thing, but 97 percent over 20-plus years – that is a dramatic statement of fact that no one of good conscience or good faith should be able to ignore. …And they agree that if we continue down the same path that we are on today, the world as we know it will change profoundly and it will change dramatically for the worse.”

Meanwhile, Kerry’s stalwart rhetoric does not reflect his actions and the actions of the administration. President Obama and democrats sent very mixed signals and teetered towards approval of the XL Keystone pipeline in a bid to help Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu’s failing election runoff earlier this month. Landrieu was in favor of Keystone. Kerry remains silent on Keystone ahead of his recommendation regarding the future of the pipeline. Indeed, even after the ultimate political demise of Mary Landrieu, and after alienating a great many progressives over Keystone and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which would be catastrophic for the climate, the Obama administration continues to flip flop on climate issues.

The worst part, is that the Administration’s political gaming, weighed quite transparently by oil and gas interests is causing lives that can be directly attributed to climate issues and the global race for every last drop, tar sand or to squeeze that dark liquid from rocks. In July, 300 people died when a commercial airliner was shot down over Ukraine. That war is quite literally a fight between the US and Russia over vast oil and gas reserves, with the US posturing towards reserves in the north, while Russia struggles for reserves in Crimea and the Black Sea. Caught in the crossfire was Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, downed in a case of mistaken identity by pro-Russian rebels.

Despite blustering, the Administration’s fingerprints are on that war crime equally with Putin’s. The children of both Vice President Joe Biden and John Kerry are directly involved with Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas concern. Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz, Kerry’s stepson, regardless of denials carry the weight of the US government. In June 2014 Hunter Biden, sporting an American flag lapel pin attended the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president, telling the new leader, a billionaire and businessman that “there is a window for peace and you know as well as anyone that it will not stay open indefinitely … America is with you.”

But America is not with Ukraine in a blood for oil folly. Kerry and the administration must hear the words they so eloquently pander, like stage dressing for the poison of fossil fuels were are being fed. They must hear those words and change them into action, even though it may already be too late to prevent the head on collision between humanity and global climate change. No longer are we talking about prevention, but rather about survival. A decade or two ago we might have used action to mitigate the catastrophe, now we need it in order to exist.

Read the full transcript of Kerry’s speech here http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2014/12/kerrys-cop20-speech-was-packed-with.html

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Ferguson, the FBI and the Media’s Dangerous turn towards Violence

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-warns-ferguson-decision-lead-violence-extremist-protesters/story?id=26980624

The media, ahead of the verdict of whether or not to indict Officer Darrel Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown has taken a dangerous turn. That turn, in the view of many concerned Americans risks a perversion of the First Amendment by nakedly enflaming tensions, creating terror among civilians and seeking to directly affect events rather than report on or reflect them. Worse, there is growing evidence that the government, in particular the FBI and law enforcement are acting in collusion, or sympathy with the corporate Press; the endgame, a Boston-bombing style assault on civil liberties.

Rightwing hosts and so-called journalists (re: propagandists) like Breitbart and others purposely skewed and obtusely reframed dissent by activists and residents nationwide as looming violence. Their reporting, which largely targets white demographics seemed specifically intended to accomplish three fundamental points: Encourage gun sales, drive a stronger rightwing agenda and to undermine voices on the Left, particularly at a time when key issues like the XL Keystone pipeline, Net Neutrality and Trans Pacific Partnership are being decided. Republicans, while losing the pipeline vote in the Senate yesterday by a single vote, while reintroduce the bill in January when their chances are better for a victory in both houses.

Statements by activists regarding efforts to protest and rally, pursuant to their fundamental constitutional right were repeatedly skewed and reframed by the media as violent and threatening. There was no effort for balance, no counterpoint and no effort at correction. The strategy was clear, frighten the American people. But that has been the tactic of the rightwing media, except that the Left also made no effort to counter message with the truth, or by bringing activist and protest voices to the airwaves. That media message worked in tandem with deliberately inflammatory and irresponsible statements by the FBI. An FBI bulletin to law enforcement, and distributed widely by the media read in part:

“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure…This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities…Those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed…The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”

There have long been allegations that law enforcement agent provocateurs have infiltrated peaceful protests around the country to undermine protected public dissent for political and economic purposes. Those economic reasons always protect specific corporate interests outside the law and the wishes of the vast majority of Americans.

In the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing, and the subsequent manhunt for a single suspect constitutional rights at all levels were brazenly violated in martial-law style house to house searches, with residents ordered from homes at gunpoint, and an entire American city locked down. There was virtually no reaction and no civil right inquiries following Boston. It is alleged that Boston was a convenient experiment for mass public control by law enforcement. Spying and data collection on a mass scale against activists and civilians alike continued and expanded greatly in the time since Boston. The media was a key partner in that effort.

Ferguson is the next major step in a broader effort to roll back civil liberties and exercise greater control over dissent and citizen activism. With Boston the media had to play catch-up to the government. Here they are, or seem to be working in a dangerous partnership. In the next article I will tell you the endgame for this effort, who is behind it and why it is structured this way…


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Quigley and the TPP: Towing the party line.

It was a simple request. Revolution and Beer and Q4 radio in Chicago simply wanted clarification from candidates in Illinois’ 5th congressional district about the upcoming vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP. The Obama administration, in a political slight of hand decided against putting the issue to a vote in congress before the mid-term elections in November. Democrats have also avoided any public debate on the issue. That should give voters pause.

The delay, presumably, is to protect democrat candidates facing challenges in their home districts. But critical issues cannot be left to political expediency and competition between the two major political parties. There are just too many important issues facing the nation that cannot be left to the folly of party politics. But democrats and republicans alike seem to be hiding details of the TPP, which still remain secret, despite a number of leaks, from the American people.

One of those contentious races is in the 5th Illinois district. Entrenched democrat incumbent Mike Quigley is facing a renewed challenge from Nancy Wade, a Green Party candidate focusing on reforms. The 5th district is reflective of the political mood in the nation. While constituents run the gamut from Left to Right, the district regularly skews strongly to the Left and progressive side in elections, due to a strongly middle class sentiment imbued by a strong sense of patriotism. Republicans have not fared well in the district, which runs from the near north side of the city west to the suburbs, including Elmhurst and Oakbrook. In the last election the Republican Party only fielded a token candidate.

There are indications that the democrats hold on the district, which was once represented by Rahm Emanuel, may be slipping as well. The reason is a perception that the party has taken its constituents for granted. TPP is a critical case in point. Quigley, who helped stoke tensions in Ukraine over oil and gas concerns, appears to be dutifully supporting policies to the detriment of Ukraine, and a sizable Ukrainian constituency in the 5th, in a backdoor scheme by the administration to sneak passage of the XL Keystone pipeline. That vote has also been delayed until the November elections.

Simply, the questions reflected discussions we had on our radio show, with voters and with activists, such as, does Representative Quigley opposed to in favor of the TPP? What reasons would he have, given the amount of information concerning to his constituents on this issue? Given the amount of time it has been in the public discourse, what is his reason for not holding a position on TPP? In that case, when would he expect to communicate a position to his constituents? What are Rep. Quigley’s positions or position regarding fast track on the vote? Does he have a personal position on any specific aspect or issue regarding fast track or TPP? What are his thoughts, concerns with how TPP might affect positively or negatively other regional or global trade agreements? Are there concerns regarding the agreement for oversight, loss of jobs, economic impact, US sovereignty issues or trade imbalances that might be created? What steps, positions and actions is the Congressman prepared take to satisfy genuine concerns over those issues by his constituents?

It has been nearly 3 months and not a word from Quigley’s office. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that he follows the party line, rather than the interests and wishes of his constituents. That might explain why district offices are located in the city, well out of reach of all of his suburban constituents, and why the congressman is nearly impossible to reach in person. That seems to be going around in Washington these days, on both sides of the aisle, and it has cost some notable politician’s their jobs. That is called voting, by the way, a handy little tool for replacing politicians who show a greater interest in their party than in their constituents.

Voters, you have choices. No one and no party should take you for granted. That indicates arrogance, and sets them up to believe that they know better than you. They do not, and when they refuse to respond about serious and critical issues to our nation and our families, it is an indication they have exhausted their usefulness.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/182406862/IL-Who-Is-Behind-The-Illinois-Policy-Institute
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Progressives held hostage Day 11

Usual suspects? Real progressives might wish, but progressives and the progressive movement have suffered a betrayal from within. Progressives have been taken hostage by Democrat party apparchiks and ideologues. Hardly more than a week ago so-called progressive talk host Stephanie Miller and her crew on air mocked a listener who was concerned she was not addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact that would cripple national sovereignty, subvert US law, allow corporations the power of treaty in looting national treasuries, reverse environmental laws and eliminate net-neutrality. Miller dismissed the listener’s concerns smugly calling it the ”trans-pacific something…”

And it isn’t just Miller, who obviously has been instructed, or is in blind allegiance to the Obama administration for message control over Obama’s apparent insistence on getting legislation for the treaty fast-tracked through Congress. Fast track would prevent debate and oversight. Congress, when they have been allowed access to information about TPP, are forced to keep details secret from the American people.

Miller has become a tool for the two party system; a blind partisan for the Obama administration to the detriment of issues critical to our democracy and to true Progressives. Daily her show becomes one of distraction. It has sold itself, apparently, sacrificing real issues for clowning polemics on distraction, such as the Chris Christie story. With fleeting and minor success over gay marriage-successes the Right will erase quickly against a weakened Progressive movement- Miller seems content to rest on those illusionary laurels.

On this past Friday’s show there was nothing on TPP, the NATO3 or the MICAT 3. Instead, there was almost an hour of Woody Allen sex scandal, gay dinosaurs and the official greeting of Missouri. Clearly those are paramount issues. Certainly Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck are just as focused on those paramount issues.

The MICATS 3 facing 3 years for protesting the culprit of the worst oil spill in US history, and not a word from Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz or MSNBC

The MICATS 3 facing 3 years for protesting the culprit of the worst oil spill in US history, and not a word from Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz or MSNBC

And it isn’t only Miller. This week Ed Schultz, another party blowhard, came out in favor of the XL Keystone Pipeline, which might explain his failure in even mentioning Lisa Leggio, Barb carter and Vicci Hamlin, all of whom should be household names to all Progressives. Schultz has also gone radio-silent on TPP, which initially he was against. What has changed? My guess is that the administration-pro TPP and pro XL- now are attempting through Schultz and others in the corporately-co-opted pretend progressive press to massage the message.

These fake Progressives once helped to rally a community, but now have abandoned it with a cruelly co-opted message of distraction. What is far worse, this comes at a time when true Progressives are under assault more from the Obama administration than from the Right. Instead, the Right, knowing that Obama is fully at war with the progressive movement maintains their constant and daily drumbeat of rightwing messaging. MSNBC might as well be the Chris Christie Channel for all it covers anymore.

I am so disgusted by the lack of cohesion and support for a vibrant and active Progressive community, I am put off entirely by the lazy leftists and facebook liberals. When it became obvious that the so-called Leftie media was instead steering dissent and issues to protect and message for the Obama administration then enough was enough. AM1710-Q4 radio, Que4.org was born to start rebuilding the Progressive and activist media the Millers, Schultz’ and MSNBCs have left in shambles.

It’s time to reject the party line, because the Democrats have fallen in line with the corporatists alongside their Republican cousins. Build a new media, stand together on the significant issues and start fighting the real enemy. Meantime call Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz and ask them to begin addressing the actual issues important to Progressives and to the future of this Republic, or just cop to the fact that their nose is so far up Obama’s ass they can see what he’s just eaten for lunch.

WC Turck has been called “The most dangerous voice on the Left.” He can be heard on Chicago’s only voice for activism, and the true Progressive voice, Q4 radio, streaming weekdays from 9-11am. And listen to Revolution and Beer Weekend with partner and cohost BL Murray Saturdays from 1-3pm. Turck is the author of 4 books. His first novel “Broken: One soldiers unexpected journey home,” was recommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes in 2008 for its treatment of PTSD. “Everything for Love” is a memoir of love and war during the siege of Sarajevo. “Burn Down the Sky” was published in 2010 on Amazon as an e-book fictionalized his experiences and insights on the frontlines of the war on terror. “The Last Man,” an Occupy novel is a warning about world ruled by a single corporation. Turck wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart: A revolutionary Christmas Carol,” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” His current project is to build and proliferate truly independent media and radio stations across the country.

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