On The Idea of Shrinking Government

I think I have just enacted another law in the realm of my imagination.

Greenberg’s Law of Shrinking Government

If you take away the power of government by shrinking it, the only people left with power are the rich.


It Is FBI Director James Comey Who Should Be Investigated

Truth Dig has the article It Is FBI Director James Comey Who Should Be Investigated by Juan Cole.

In fact, I can’t make any sense of his actions at all. Why taint Clinton with nothing investigation that went nowhere? Why protect the Trump campaign by keeping knowledge of the Russia investigation from the public? Why drag the Russia investigation on from last July till now (surely the transcripts and emails either provide evidence or they do not)?

This is a perfect example of Greenberg’s Law of Counterproductive Behavior.

If you see a behavior that seems to you to be counterproductive, perhaps you have misunderstood what that behavior is meant to produce.

Neither Juan Cole nor I have figured out what this behavior was meant to produce. Clearly it isn’t for producing any of the obvious results that we can think of.


Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs

Better News has the article Black Men In Chicago Are Taking Over Abandoned Property & Rebuilding The Neighborhood With The Youth By Creating Their Own Jobs.

A lot of the homes are boarded up and abandoned due to subprime lending where the Lenders/Bankers sucked the resources out of certain communities, left them in total disarray, foreclosed on the properties and resold many of them for pennies on the dollar to Hedge Fund Investors.


This shows exactly how Clintonite mayors like Rahm Emanuel can favor the hedge fund managers over the regular residents of the city. This is exactly why the politics of the anti-liberal Democrats is what has given us the Trump phenomenon.

Why couldn’t these Democrats have come up with the idea of rehabbing these houses to keep community residents in these homes instead of gentrifying the neighborhood and enriching the already rich?


Chris Hedges: The Enemy Is Not Donald Trump or Steve Bannon—It Is Corporate Power (Video)

Truth Dig has the article Chris Hedges: The Enemy Is Not Donald Trump or Steve Bannon—It Is Corporate Power (Video).

In a recent speech titled “After Trump and Pussy Hats” delivered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges tells the audience that “resistance must also be accompanied by an alternative vision of a socialist, anti-capitalist society.”

After a fierce indictment of what he calls the kleptocracy that rules the United States, Hedges urges organizing “with lightning speed” because this is our “last chance” to do so.



                

An Act establishing Medicare for all in Massachusetts

Bill S.619. An Act establishing Medicare for all in Massachusetts, can truly be said is an act whose time has not come.

This bill establishes a Massachusetts Health Care Trust, which will be the single-payer body responsible for the collection and disbursement of funds required to provide health care services for every resident of the Commonwealth.

Many times on this blog, I have argued that the issue of the Federal Government paying for a new program is a non-issue because the Federal Government creates U.S. Money. I hope you realize that everything I said about the government not having to worry about money to fund things applies only to the Federal Government, not to a state government. State governments do not create US money. Only the federal government creates US money. Any government that is narrower than the federal government has to worry about how it will pay for government programs.

So how does Jamie Eldridge propose that Massachusetts pays for Medicare For All? You can read the text of the bill to decide for yourself if it seems feasible. Perhaps with the state responsible for the collection of funds to replace the insurance companies’ collection of funds, this might all be possible.

There are things the Federal Government could do with relative ease, that state governments do not have the resources to do. We have to be very careful to make sure that the state has the financial resources to make this possible.

The preferable way to do single payer health care is at the federal level. Wishing won’t make it affordable at the state level. Many a local government has gone bankrupt trying to do the impossible. When that happens, it gives the right-wing “evidence” that they use to “prove” that government cannot work. This is already being done with Vermont that tried this and failed. See the article Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer Health Care Plan Failed in Vermont.

Despite the ominous budget projections at the time, single-payer advocates now say they believe Shumlin’s decision was purely political.

It is not clear whether or not Vermont was going to collect in insurance payments, the money that had been going to private insurers.

Let’s not have progressives competing with the right-wing for the honor of proposing the silliest government actions. Cutting Medicare at the federal level is silly, but proposing it at the state level to compensate may also be silly.


Political Negotiating 101

I didn’t think I would have to teach this course, but now I am thinking I might have to. Take a look at the web page Draft Bernie for a People’s Party.


Bernie doesn’t seem to be bright enough to even pretend that he might take this opportunity being handed to him on a silver platter. Is there a chance that we can wise him up before he fritters away this golden opportunity? He is now in the process of telling the Democratic Party leaders that no matter how much they ignore progressive ideas, Bernie won’t abandon them. Is this a foolish negotiating strategy, or what?

If you are afraid to even threaten the Democratic Party “leaders” with this, what other bargaining power do you think you can bring to bear to get the party to listen to you? This threat applies to the “leaders” in Massachusetts – Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, and Richard Neal come to mind.


Adidas Rejects Student’s Commercial Made For Them. Now It’s Going So Viral They Probably Regret It

Talk Of Net has the article Adidas Rejects Student’s Commercial Made For Them. Now It’s Going So Viral They Probably Regret It.

I can see Adidas not feeling able to use this as a commercial, but it is still a powerful video.

Every time I visit my sister in the Northwood Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, I have to wonder about the people who live there. This is not a knock on Northwood. I think they are one of the best that can be.


Loser Bernie Sanders Does Not Know How To Bargain 1

YouTube has the video Campaign Calls on Bernie Sanders to Lead a New Party.

Nick Brana, former Sanders staffer, says it’s time to give up expecting progressive change from the Democratic Party and that Sanders should lead his base in creating a new party.


Bernie’s statements on this campaign to form a new party shows why he was a much worse bargainer than Donald Trump was. His failure to know how to bargain is why he lost the Democratic nomination, and why he will fail to reform the Democratic Party.

When he made a solemn promise to vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it turned out to be, he lost all his bargaining power with the Democratic Party. Compare this to Trump’s commitment to back the Republican nominee only if he felt that he had been treated fairly by the party. The Republican Party establishment hated Donald Trump, but there were some limits on what they could do because of his threat to leave the party and take his voters with him.

Bernie told the Democratic Party establishment that they could treat him like dirt, and he would remain loyal to the party. They took him at his word, and treated him like dirt. Being a man of his word, he did remain loyal, much to the dismay of his suppoprters.

He is now making exactly the same mistake. If he does not use the threat to leave the party and take his supporters with him, he has no bargaining power with the Democratic Party establishment. The more he sticks to this loser strategy, the more we have to realize that he is not going to be our candidate.


Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump

The Intercept has the story Leading Putin Critic Warns of Xenophobic Conspiracy Theories Drowning U.S. Discourse and Helping Trump.

She now has a new article in the New York Review of Books – entitled “Russia: the Conspiracy Trap” – that I cannot recommend highly enough. Its primary purpose is to describe, and warn about, the insane and toxic conspiracy-mongering about Russia that has taken over not the fringe, dark corners of the internet that normally traffic in such delusional tripe, but rather mainstream U.S. media outlets and the Democratic Party. Few articles have illustrated the serious, multi-faceted dangers of what has become this collective mania in the U.S. as well as Gessen’s does.

So, I went to look at The New York Review of Books article Russia: The Conspiracy Trap.

The most solid part of the story to date is the hack of the Democratic National Committee, apparently carried out by people connected to Russian intelligence.

I find this ironic because I find the hack of the Democratic National Committee to be the flimsiest part of the story. I refer to a previous post of mine, Election Hack Report FAQ: What You Need to Know. Even the skeptics about the Russia story aren’t skeptical enough.

Even Glenn Greenwald, the author of the first article came to mention this at the end:

Indeed, even the most plausible plank of the story – that the Russians were behind the hacking of Podesta and the DNC – has been widely accepted as Truth despite no evidence from the U.S. Government.

However, there is not only a lack of evidence from the government, there even seems to be anti–evidence from the government. If anything, there “proof” offers more evidence that it is unlikely the work of Russian intelligence.

To make sure you don’t think I am saying that Trump is innocent, here is the conclusion of Greenwald’s and Gessen’s two articles.

As Gessen concludes: “What is indisputable is that the protracted national game of connecting the Trump-Putin dots is an exercise in conspiracy thinking. That does not mean there was no conspiracy. And yet, a possible conspiracy is a poor excuse for conspiracy thinking.”