Remove Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair   Recently updated !

MoveOn has the petition Remove Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC Chair.

As a result of a complete, and total lack of coordinated messaging and horrific dissemination of available resources all ending in the absolute failure of her mission, Debbie Wasserman Schultz must resign or be removed as DNC Chair.

This petition gives us the perfect opportunity to let the Democratic Party know that Bernie Sanders truly is at the head of a political revolution.

If it strikes fear in the heart of Chuck Schumer, so much the better.  Maybe he will relinquish any attempt to become Senate Democratic Leader, and let Elizabeth Warren be chosen as the Senate Majority Leader.  With Schultz and Schumer,  the Democrats will definitely be the minority party in the Senate after 2016.  With Sanders and Warren they could retake the majority.


Wow. Just… Wow. Here Are the Dumbest Things Sarah Palin Said in Her Interview With Donald Trump 2   Recently updated !

Blue Nation Review has the article Wow. Just… Wow. Here Are the Dumbest Things Sarah Palin Said in Her Interview With Donald Trump.

I am still undecided if the article adds much to the video below. I wasn’t able to watch this whole video. There is only so much of this that one can take.

If you think about it, it must take some clever script writers to make it look like you want to be the friend of middle and lower income people when you are actually their worst enemy. Although, the two of them have separately built their reputations as among the best scam artists currently on the scene. Maybe they are able to do this without a script.

You can see that there is a mutual admiration between them as they each ply the same trade in their own unique ways.


Obama Drops The Hammer On Republicans, ‘Nobody Gets To Hold The American Economy Hostage.’   Recently updated !

Politicus USA has the article Obama Drops The Hammer On Republicans, ‘Nobody Gets To Hold The American Economy Hostage.’.

During a speech in New Orleans, LA, President Obama strongly told Republicans that he will not allow them to hold the economy hostage with another government shutdown.

Obama has so little credibility in being a tough negotiator that the following Freudian slip in the article was almost inevitable:

President Obama dropped the hammer on Republican dreams of causing chaos in September. If Republicans cause a crisis, it is clear that the President is going to get roped into their dysfunctional drama.

I think they meant to say that “the President is NOT going to get roped into their dysfunctional drama.” As I said, with his level of credibility about getting roped in, I can’t be sure if they meant what they published or it was the error that I thought it was.


Crash-Test Dummies as Republican Candidates for President

The New York Times has the column Crash-Test Dummies as Republican Candidates for President by Paul Krugman.

And you can see why. “Obama is endangering America by borrowing from China” is a perfect political line, playing into deficit fetishism, xenophobia and the perennial claim that Democrats don’t stand up for America! America! America! It’s also complete nonsense, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

The phrase “deficit fetishism” comes dangerously close to Krugman’s telling the American public the truth about “deficits” in a country that creates its own money with the push of a few keystrokes. Also this is country where all government debt is denominated in the currency we freely create. And also “debt” instruments which other countries are glad to keep to the tune of trillions of dollars. What part of this picture fits any Republicans fantasies about how money works? None, that I can see.

Next thing you know Paul Krugman will actually state that he knows what Modern Money Theory is all about, and in large part it explains how money works. That’s going to be a tough one for him, though, after how dismissive of MMT he has been in the past.


Kim credits nukes for deal with South   Recently updated !

iafrica.com has the article Kim credits nukes for deal with South.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said nuclear weapons – not negotiating skills – secured this week’s “landmark” agreement with South Korea,…

I have contended for a while now that the situation with North Korea proves to the rest of the world that the only way to get respect from the USA and its allies is to have nuclear weapons. This becomes an important lesson when we think about the Iranian nuclear deal. Do we want to reject the deal and prove to Iran that they can only get our respect if they have nuclear weapons? Or do we want to prove to Iran that we can negotiate fair compromises without their need to have nuclear weapons? What lesson do we want to teach others about what it takes to deal with the USA?

See my previous post The Iran Nuclear Deal – Answer to Propaganda From Dennis Prager.


CHINA’S STOCK MARKET TUMBLE AND THE OUTLOOK FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

New Economic Perspectives has the article CHINA’S STOCK MARKET TUMBLE AND THE OUTLOOK FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.

Interview of L. Randall Wray by Dasha Chernyshova, Moscow reporter for the Sputnik News Agency
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To put this in highly technical terms, we’re all pretty much screwed.

Wray has a way with words. But the being screwed is all of our own doing. There is a clear path out, but we won’t take it. Neither will anyone else.


Robert Reich: In the New Economy, Workers Take on All the Risk

Naked Capitalism has the article Robert Reich: In the New Economy, Workers Take on All the Risk.

The article highlights the less obvious ramifications of the changes in the employment environment.

For all these reasons, the upsurge in uncertain work makes the old economic measures – unemployment and income – look far better than Americans actually feel.

It also renders irrelevant many labor protections such as the minimum wage, worker safety, family and medical leave, and overtime – because there’s no clear “employer.”

And for the same reason eliminates employer-financed insurance – Social Security, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, and employer-provided health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

In the article, Reich identifies several government programs that will have to be adjusted in major ways in response to the changes in how people are employed. We need political leaders who are aware of the need for this major shift and what it says about the government programs that they enact and administer. It is not enough to talk about what we did in the past. We need new ideas.

We should judge people running for President in the upcoming election in 2016 by the boldness of their vision. Anything less will just not be enough to address our future needs.


The Iran Nuclear Deal – Answer to Propaganda From Dennis Prager   Recently updated !

YouTube has this propaganda piece from Dennis Prager The Iran Nuclear Deal.

I responded to one of the comments on the video.

+Tom DeChaine

What you think you know about Iran and the “terrorist” organizations they “sponsor” is much the product of propaganda campaigns that have been successful in you being so sure of half truths and even false hoods.

The United States of America has made it plain that it will do anything it feels like to any Democracy that doesn’t do our bidding. The only thing that seems to stop us is having a nuclear capability. Look at North Korea and Pakistan as cases in point. So is it any wonder that Iran has wanted to at least keep us guessing about whether or not they have nuclear capability?

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s being so coy about WMD was an attempt to walk the thin line between keeping his neighbors afraid of him, and keeping the U.S.A. out of his country. The lesson most countries probably took away from this is that he would have been safer if he actually had the WMD. Is this the lesson we want to teach?

Some leaders in Iran seem to be willing to take a chance on making their peaceful nuclear ambitions clear, if that is what they are. Why are we so afraid to take a chance on peace that we aren’t even willing to take what seems like a yes answer to our demands?

If we refuse this deal, it will only confirm to the Iranian hard-liners that they were right to assume that having nuclear weapons is the only thing that will protect them from the hostile intentions of the USA and Israel, another supposed nuclear power. The Iranians won’t be the only people in the world that will take note of this proof of the need for their own nuclear weapons.

I can’t see why so many people in this country cannot open their minds to the obvious situation I have just laid out.

See my subsequent post Kim credits nukes for deal with South.


Picking Apart One of the Biggest Lies in American Politics: “Free Trade”   Recently updated !

Naked Capitalism has the article Picking Apart One of the Biggest Lies in American Politics: “Free Trade”.

In the 1960s, Korea was an undeveloped nation whose major exports were human hair (for wigs) and fish, and their average annual income was around $400 per working family. Today it’s a major industrial power with an average annual per capita income of over $32,000, and it beats the US in its rate of college attendance, exports, and lifespan.

South Korea did all this in a single generation by closing its economy and promoting its export industries. A decade earlier Japan had done the same thing. Forty years earlier Germany had done it.

In July, 2009, with no evident irony or understanding of how South Korea went about becoming a modern economic powerhouse, President Obama lectured the countries of Africa during his visit to Ghana. As the New York Times reported: “Mr. Obama said that when his father came to the United States, his home country of Kenya had an economy as large as that of South Korea per capita. Today, he noted, Kenya remains impoverished and politically unstable, while South Korea has become an economic powerhouse.”

In the same day’s newspaper, the lead editorial, titled “Tangled Trade Talks,” repeated the essence of the mantra of its confused op-ed writer, Thomas L. Friedman, that so-called “free trade” is the solution to a nation’s economic ills.

The previous post Wolf Richter: It Starts – Broad Retaliation Against China in Currency War makes a nice complement to this post. If free trade closes off all the options to giving privilege to local industry, then one of the few options left to governments is currency devaluation.

As in all things economic, policy decisions are not binary decisions. A example of a binary decision would be the choice between having completely unhindered free trade or having no free trade at all. Another binary decision example would be to forbid the use of currency devaluation as a policy tool, or to engage in indiscriminate currency devaluation in order to get the most benefit for our exports.

In all such matters, there may be value in the use of a little bit of a policy, but it becomes toxic when applied in too large a dose. We need to discard our attitude that if a little bit of something is good, then a lot more of it has to be much better. Such careful thought is not promoted by jingoist media and a population that falls for such hype. Careful thought is also lost when individual legislators get hell bent on promoting a lot of some remedy without any thought to measuring how much is good, and how much is too much. It is about time Congress realized that this type of legislation is highly technical, and we should not use seat-of-the-pants techniques for applying them.

This also applies to tariffs and other protectionist measures. We should only apply them when they can be seen to be beneficial, and we should stop increasing them at the point where they become harmful. The measure of benefit and harm should include measuring the impact on the international situation. When we see that the policy is leading to a world wide race to see which country can be the most extreme, then we have probably passed the point of benefit and gone into the territory of harm.

With our current focus on income inequality, it may be time to realize that balance is what we seek in most things. Not too much of anything, and not too little.


Sandra Bland Was Arrested Because She Failed the “Attitude Test”

attn has the article Sandra Bland Was Arrested Because She Failed the “Attitude Test”.

White people in the suburbs as they go about their business don’t get stopped, or maybe they’d understand this.

But people get tired. That’s one of the reasons we get these failures of the “attitude test”—it happens when people are done. They’re like, “Again? Really? I don’t get to go to the store? I don’t get to walk my kid to school? I don’t get to live in the world that everybody else lives in in a normal way without getting harassed, without getting hassled, without getting searched?” And you can be nice 364 days of the year and have one bad day, and you go to jail. Or you die. Because people just get tired. That’s what I see with clients. They’re just tired. They’re tired of it. And it’s like, how much more can you expect?

Consider how sick and tired you have to be to risk death. Have you ever been that sick and tired of something?

The whole article is something that the white fans of Bernie Sanders need to understand. I have taken the attitude test myself on a few occasions. Usually I start with the attitude that I am going to pass it with flying colors when there is the slightest possibility that I have actually done something wrong. I never fail it. On an occasion or two, under slightly better circumstances, I have played with taking the test. However, I always sense when it is time to stop pushing the boundaries. That’s called white privilege.