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The robbery of our money by the wealthy and corporations and the placing of a heavier tax burden on regular people is one of the key drivers of class warfare in this country. When corporations and the wealthy hide money and/or use gimmicks to avoid paying a fair share of taxes, we all end up paying more--or the basic services of a decent society collapse.

Bernie Sanders is "has been the lone voice in the Senate fighting for legislation that would ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share," according to Citizens Tax Justice, the leading voice for tax justice in the nation.

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You'all know what "Fast track" is. I like to think of it as the "Corporations Get More Say Than Congress" Act. And it's sucking wind, on life support, headed for the trash bin. Hey, just call me an optimist two days in a row, starting with believing Bernie Sanders can win this thing. But, first things first: Fast track ain't got the votes.

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A couple of years ago, I spent many hours with Bernie Sanders interviewing him for Playboy magazine (the interview was published in October 2013). I've just received permission to post unpublished answers from him--just the nature of the editing process, nothing nefarious, but probably only one-third actually saw the light of day--along with the published part.

Before getting into his actual views, a few things. So, there is no doubt where I stand: Literally, my last comment to him was "If you run for President, I will be there for you, okay?" So, I'm there: I'll do whatever it takes, whatever I can do, to elect him president.

Second, what struck me--and I think what strikes just about any crowd that listens to him, and the reason I think he will get massive support, is that people believe that he is saying what he honestly believes in. He doesn't need to put together a team of 200 people to tell him what he should believe in--he doesn't need ideas to be poll-tested. He actually has a set of consistent beliefs.

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I come here not to particularly urge that a baseball owner/executive be idolized but it's worth noting what the Chief Operating Office of the Baltimore Orioles John Angelos said following protests on Sunday by thousands outraged by the killing of Freddie Gray.

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Two years ago, Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,138 garment workers and injuring 2,400 others; many of the injured live today with physical problems that make it hard for them to work, not to mention the grief many of them live with because of loved ones killed in the disaster.

This was murder, plain and simple. The deaths of the 1,138 must be remembered because they were victims of greed, the greed that is the linchpin of the economic system around the world, including the U.S., that places profits before the lives of people.

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So, if you want today's best example of a double standard, look no further than comparing Edward Snowden to David Petraeus--and how when you suck up to the elite, and are part of the elite, you can get away with things that people who thumb their noses at the elites never can.

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Good for Elizabeth Warren. In a respectful but "I'm not backing down manner," she's firing back at the president's nonsense about TPP. And in her own words on her blog.

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This Friday will mark the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza mass murder of 1,138 garment workers. I use the word "murder" because the collapse of the eight-story building that housed sweatshop garment factories wasn't some astonishing surprise. It happened because international garment companies--like Benetton, Primark, Matalan, and Mango --exploited people for huge profits, not caring a whit about their conditions in slave-like conditions half way around the globe; those companies happily pocketed billions of dollars in profits and signed deals year after year with sleazy contractors who operated unsafe, dangerous factories.

After a huge outcry following the collapse, an accord was signed between labor rights advocates, international union representatives and NGOs, on the one hand, and garment companies, on the other hand, calling for payments by the companies to upgrade safety and set up a monitoring scheme to try to prevent future Rana Plaza-like mass murders.

But, even just paying a pittance apparently seems beyond the moral compass of these companies who are stiffing the accord's budget.

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It is not enough to simply say the deal on "fast track" is a bad one. We need to understand, in the details, why what is being sold as a new "improved" fast track is just utter nonsense.

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There are a ton of bad ideas out there in the world of economic policy--mostly, those are dumb ideas having to do with the complete comfort with class warfare, from "trickle down" to "CEOs are job creators" to so-called "Free trade." It is one of the great astonishing things that, despite the fact that all this shit fails, it just keeps coming back, back, back and no amount of Chipolte burrito-chugging will change this short of a revolution (see: Fight for $15).

Which brings me to the apparent sell-out apparently being cut by Sen. Ron Wyden who apparently has cut a deal on "fast track"...and the fig-leaf for this is a failed, failed program that really just masks the hurt workers feel.

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The Trans Pacific Partnership is no laughing matter. It's a fast track to lower wages, environmental disasters and the undermining of democracy. But, hell, I think maybe the president has a sense of humor on all this. Or, on a serious note, he's unintentionally showing how weak support is for TPP and the odious "fast track" legislation. Which  is it?

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Pearls of wisdom. Not the economics--because it is absurd, the reality not of "free market" competition but the reality of cronyism, corruption and greed. But, Dan Price saw the immorality of paying people shit and did something about it: he cut his pay and is raising everyone's wages.

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