The Long Fall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz   Recently updated !

The Atlantic magazine has the article The Long Fall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

… her tenure was rocky long before that—in fact, within a month of her being named in 2011 to finish the term of Tim Kaine, who had just been elected to the Senate, Democrats were starting to grumble about her. When her term ended after Obama’s reelection, there was more sniping about her leadership, and Obama’s advisors urged him to bring in someone new, but Wasserman Schultz made it clear she wouldn’t go without a fight, according to reports at the time and my sources inside the DNC. And so the White House chose the path of least resistance and kept her in.

At the time this happened, I remember being rather disgusted that Obama allowed her to continue. It was already clear that she had a lot to do with Democratic losses. She was more interested in funneling money to her network of select campaign ill-advisors than she was interested in winning political office for other Democrats. Perhaps she was actually working to get these other Democrats to lose.

After writing the above remark, I came across another important item.  I don’t want to push fair use too far, but I have to include this excerpt.

The larger issue, many Democrats told me, was the White House’s lack of concern with the health of the party, which allowed the DNC to atrophy. “There’s a lot of soul-searching and reckoning to be done going forward about the role of the party,” Smith said. Obama won the nomination by running against the party establishment, and once he got into office converted his campaign into a new organization, Organizing for America. It was technically a part of the DNC, but in reality served as a rival to it that redirected the party’s organizing functions, effectively gutting its field operation. The weakened DNC bears some of the responsibility for the epic down-ballot losses—in Congress, state offices, and legislatures—that have occurred during Obama’s presidency.

Why, oh why did the people in the know keep pretending that she was doing a good job?  This is typical of private industry, too.  People are afraid of getting sued if they say anything bad about a person’s performance.  This makes people only too glad to help someone find a new job to get them out of their current position.  Whoever is inquiring about hiring this hated person gets glowing reviews from his or her references who are so anxious to get rid of the person.


A Banquet of Consequences: The Reality of Our Unusually Uncertain Economic Future   Recently updated !

RT (Russia Today) has interview with the author of the book A Banquet of Consequences: The Reality of Our Unusually Uncertain Economic Future.

In this special 2016 Summer Solutions episode, Max and Stacy talk to Das, author of ‘A Banquet of Consequences: The Reality of Our Unusually Uncertain Economic Future’, about the structural changes needed to halt the decline in real wages. They also discuss financialization, economic apartheid and debt jubilees.


What are the chances that Hillary’s Wall Street based economic advisors think this deeply about what they are doing, or care about the consequences for the rest of us?

Hillary and Bill probably assume that no matter how deep the crisis becomes, enough of their $150 million in earnings since he left the White House will remain in tact to keep them comfortable. They are probably correct about their own safety, but their are some exceptions. The lesson of the Russian Tsars after the Russian Revolution and the French aristocracy after the French Revolution does not bode well for all the wealthy.

Read more details about the book on Amazon.

I don’t believe the outcome has to be as dire as this author predicts. If the governments of the world implement partial measures, they could turn out to be this bad. Entitlements do not have to be cut as dramatically as he assumes if the real wealth is distributed more fairly. Resource constraints might be the barrier that cannot be overcome, but technology might have the solution to that problem.


Slave Labor Crews Help Out at Rutland’s Treasure Valley   Recently updated !

The Landmark web site has the article Sheriff’s inmate work crews help out at Rutland’s Treasure Valley.

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has been providing inmate work crews to assist budget strapped cities and towns all over Worcester County.

I first came to know about this article from seeing it posted on Thomas Chamberland’s Facebook page.

This article and the Facebook discussion after it, just shows the depths to which this nation has sunk. That the normally progressive person, Thomas Chamberland, can defend this program is even more astounding than the program itself.

Here is my initial comment that started a thread of discussion on Facebook.

But the savings in money is a measure of the work they do that the state does not pay for. The jobs they do for no pay would have to be done by free people for pay. It helps keep the unemployment figures high, which has some role in having more people in jail.

You can tell me about all the money the state pays to keep them housed and fed, but housing and feeding were the costs the plantation owners paid to keep their slaves alive and working. [I wouldn’t buy this justification from admitted slave owners, so it doesn’t cut it here.]

The fact that being out doing these projects is better than being locked inside is also a very weak excuse. The authorities that run the prisons should be required to pay the going wage rate to the convicts for the work that the convicts do. Many of these convicts have families that need to be supported. To say nothing of the unconvicted who could have used those jobs to support their families.

We call it unfair trade practices when other countries sell us goods that were made with prison labor. What suddenly makes it fair if we sell goods to ourselves that were made with prison labor?

The conversation on Facebook is ongoing.  If you are interested in both sides of the argument, you will have to read it on Facebook.  I don’t think you have to have a Facebook account to read it.  I think this conversation is open to the public.


Bernie Sanders Supporters Hold News Conference in Philadelphia   Recently updated !

C-SPAN broadcast the event Bernie Sanders Supporters Hold News Conference in Philadelphia.

July 24, 2016

Bernie Sanders Delegates News Conference A group representing Bernie Sanders delegates to the Democratic Convention held a news conference to voice disappointment with Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s selection of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) as her running mate. They also discussed other issues, including party rules. Norman Solomon said convention floor fights were possible at the convention.


If you want to know what is going on, watch this news conference. This news conference explains policy issues about which you may have had questions. Don’t just look to the corporate news sources to inform you.

There will be daily news conferences from this group.


Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP

The Huffington Post has the article Tim Kaine Calls To Deregulate Banks As He Campaigns To Be Clinton’s VP.

Now that Tim Kaine has been selected as Hillary’s running mate, be sure to read this article.

Kaine, by contrast, is setting himself up as a figure willing to do battle with the progressive wing of the party. He has championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that both Sanders and Warren oppose, and he is now publicly siding with bank deregulation advocates at the height of Clinton’s veepstakes.

And further we have a letter that Kaine recently wrote.

On the small bank side, Kaine pressed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray to exempt “community banks and credit unions” from new rules. Doing so would leave these institutions, which include banks with up to $10 billion in assets, more lightly regulated than they were before the financial crisis. The letter, sent on Monday, was signed by 69 other senators.

You know that for there to be 69 Senators to co-sign this letter that there had to be a lot of Democratic Senators signing this. Do you still think the Democratic party led by Hillary Clinton can be in your corner trying to protect you?

I wonder if Elizabeth Warren, the mother of the CFPB and endorser of Hillary Clinton, agrees with the push to rein in the CFPB.


Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All 2

The New Yorker magazine has the article Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All.

If Trump is elected President, he warned, “the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he couldn’t care less about them.”

No surprise here.  Even so, I think the article is revealing of some things we may not have known.


Why you think you are right – even if you are wrong   Recently updated !

I found this excellent TED Talk, Why you think you are right – even if you are wrong.


 In other words, I claim, if we really want to improve our judgment as individuals and as societies, what we need most is not more instruction in logic or rhetoric or probability or economics, even though those things are quite valuable. But what we most need to use those principles well is scout mindset. We need to change the way we feel. We need to learn how to feel proud instead of ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something. We need to learn how to feel intrigued instead of defensive when we encounter some information that contradicts our beliefs.

So the question I want to leave you with is: What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs? Or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?

Do you feel intrigued enough to watch the video?


Fixing Yahoo Finance Watch Lists

I thought that Yahoo Finance had permanently broken their ability to view a watch list without logging in, but I just found the magic to making it work again. The watch list URL needs the &bypass=true parameter added on.

stocks to watch. The ones up through WEC are in our portfolio. The others we once owned or were interested in.

Here are the mutual funds and indices to watch. The first and sixth entries are the mutual funds that we own.