Daily Archives: March 25, 2015


The Huge Boehner-Pelosi Deal That Could Change Medicare Forever

Talking Points Memo has the article The Huge Boehner-Pelosi Deal That Could Change Medicare Forever.

WASHINGTON — The House’s top two leaders are on the verge of securing a sweeping deal to permanently fix a gaping hole in Medicare that has haunted Congress for more than a decade while also securing significant long-term savings in the program.WASHINGTON — The House’s top two leaders are on the verge of securing a sweeping deal to permanently fix a gaping hole in Medicare that has haunted Congress for more than a decade while also securing significant long-term savings in the program.

Warning, progressives, the devil is in the details.  I fear the devil in the “significant long-term savings in the program”.

However, putting that aside, the article goes on to discuss the support for the plan among Republicans.

“So far as it goes, I think it’s good. We need some of the structural entitlement reform. That’s a good thing. I support extending S-CHIP. That’s a good thing. What’s not good is right now it’s not paid for,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), a long-serving conservative who went on to say, “I know how hard this is. Our seniors are having more and more difficulty getting doctors because Medicare doesn’t reimburse, and doctors are dropping Medicare.”

You see that there it is again, the ugly myth that increases in one part of the budget have to be “paid for”  somehow.  As I have pointed out on numerous occasions on this blog and most recently in the post  Sanders budget measure fails, but Senate Democrats had his back, progressives will rue all the occasions they paid homage to this myth just to mollify the Republicans.  See my previous post for one of my many explanations of why this myth is completely untrue and also very harmful to the goal of a healthy economy that is good for all the people in this country.

I didn’t know it when I made the prediction in the previous post, but the day for ruing was already upon us (no surprise really).  I had been ignoring this Medicare deal story, because I was so skeptical of the devil in the details.  For a while I just preferred not to know.  But ignorance is not really bliss.


March 26, 2015

I may be slow on the uptake. I just got the sarcasm of the words in the title “Huge Boehner”.


Sanders budget measure fails, but Senate Democrats had his back

The Daily Kos has the article Sanders budget measure fails, but Senate Democrats had his back.  They have some very wise things to say about the reason the unanimous support of Democrats was important.

More votes like today’s in the Senate is good, because it proves that ideas like eliminating tax loopholes to rebuild our infrastructure are popular. But roll-call votes where many Democrats defect and join Republicans only make it harder for us to build progressive political power.

If you read this blog, then you know the first sentence in the quote has problems.  The problem in the quote is even more explicit in a caption to a picture in the article:

Senator Bernie Sanders got all Democrats voting today to support a budget amendment that would fix our crumbling infrastructure by cutting absurd tax breaks for the wealthy.

You probably know what’s coming next.  I posted a comment on this article Can We Please Tell The Truth About The Deficit?

I applaud Bernie Sanders and The Daily Kos for their efforts.  In fact I am already a supporter of Sanders For President.

However, I have asked a favor from Sanders, and now I ask it of The Daily Kos.  Please stop selling the myth of the oligarchs (and their Republican flunkies) that increased government spending in one area must be offset by either raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere.

The U.S. federal government makes the only official money of this country.  It is a fiat money, which means it is mostly created by a few computer keystrokes at the Fed.  There is no possible way for the federal government to run out of its own money.

We need to make Federal government budgets and programs that promote the health and welfare of the economy and all the citizens.  If we meet this goal, the deficit and debt are irrelevant.  Whatever the debt and deficit may be, the primary measure is the health of the economy and the financial health of all its citizens.  Low to zero deficit and a sick economy is nothing to strive for.

The real reason to have high marginal tax rates on the wealthy is to keep them from accumulating wealth to such a degree that all they can do with it is to inflate economic bubbles, whose inevitable bursting drowns the middle and lower classes.  This accumulation is exactly the cause of the economic crash of 2009.  The necessary changes not having been made since then, another bubble and bust is brewing right now.  This is what we need to take action to prevent.

What we need to promote is investing in this country’s future.  We need to maintain the infrastructure that makes us economically productive.  We need to invest in Government research that makes most of the private innovation possible.  We need to educate our citizens so that they can be the workers that will keep this economy strong, and so that they will be able to run a democracy.

Progressive’s promoting the oligarch’s myths may serve some short-term, progressive political goal, but, in the long term, we will rue the day we weren’t honest about how things actually work.

We may rue the day in some unforeseen way for not telling the truth, but more importantly, the truth is a more powerful explanation of why we need to do the things we progressives are promoting.  The truth cuts the knees out from under the Republicans’ rebuttals.


There May Be Legitimate Questions About Raphael Cruz’s Eligibility

I thought people were being silly to question Raphael Edward (Ted) Cruz’s eligibility to be President.  One of his parents was a U.S. citizen, so obviously this confers U.S. citizenship on him from birth.

Well!! The Daily Kos has the article Canadian-born Ted Cruz getting birther meds from left and right.  The article has a link to the U.S. State department advisory,  Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad, and a quote from a U.S. Statute:

A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child’s birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be the genetic or the gestational parent and the legal parent of the child under local law at the time and place of the child’s birth to transmit U.S. citizenship.

Who knew that there were legal restrictions on automatically conferring US citizenship at birth?

The Daily Kos article goes on to discuss and quote from the Salon article Ted Cruz’s ironic birther predicament.  This discussion gives details of why one might not be so sure that Cruz is actually eligible to run for President because he might not be a natural born US citizen under the legal definition.


Ending the Retirement Savings Drain and Improving Economic Security

Senator Elizabeth Warren posted the video Ending the Retirement Savings Drain and Improving Economic Security on Facebook.  This was her introduction starting off with a quote from one of the witnesses.

“I felt like a frog in a pot of water. I didn’t realize I was getting cooked until it was too late.”

Watch this clip from yesterday’s Middle Class Prosperity Project forum, describing why outdated laws and loopholes make it perfectly legal for some financial advisers to take kickbacks and increase their own incomes by pushing clients into lousy retirement products. That’s a rigged system and it’s time for a change.

The video above is from YouTube.

Not only is she taking this testimony with an eye on what legislation might be needed, but she is also performing a valuable service by warning vulnerable people what to watch out for.

Would you rather have a President like this, or one who was great friends with the type of people who create corporations that are set up to bilk the public? If you don’t understand who I am referring to, someone really needs to educate you before you vote in the next Presidential primary and election. You could end up being a victim from two directions.


Obama Chief Of Staff: Israel’s 50-Year ‘Occupation’ Must End

NPR has the article Obama Chief Of Staff: Israel’s 50-Year ‘Occupation’ Must End.

“An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told the annual J Street conference.

Ready For Warren has a Facebook post with the image below quoting President Obama.

Quotation from President Obama

Here is an example for those who were wondering at my comment that if Netanyahu does engineer a breakup with the United States, it would finally free us to follow policies that are in our own country’s best interests.


Hillary Clinton Tells Wall Street She Believes Anti-Wall Street Rhetoric ‘Foolish’

The Daily Kos published the post Hillary Clinton Tells Wall Street She Believes Anti-Wall Street Rhetoric ‘Foolish’ on Dec 22, 2013.

According to a piece in Politico Magazine former Secretary of State and likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had some harsh words related to progressives in her $400,000 speeches for Goldman Sachs and friends. Clinton decided to use her speaking opportunity before the super rich to attack those criticizing Wall Street and its numerous criminal practices.
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And now Hillary is signaling a return to the good old days for Wall Street after taking $400,000 of their money. Can we afford a second Clinton Crash?

Why would I post this now?  Well, it seems like the Democrats who are promoting Hillary Clinton for President in 2016 seem to have an amazing stroke of amnesia when it comes to understanding who Hillary Clinton is.  If I can leave some hints on my blog that may jar these people’s memories back to life, then I will feel like I have accomplished something.

We can’t even get the Obama administration to prosecute these Wall Street crooks when they are handed evidence, on a silver platter, of the criminal behavior of these people.  See my previous post The DOJ and the SEC Spurn their Ace in the Hole: Richard Bowen.

As the topic of this current post shows, we certainly have no reason to expect better from Hillary Clinton.

 


Cruz Criticizes Wife’s Firm, Goldman Sachs, Over ‘Crony Capitalism’ (VIDEO)

Talking Points Memo has the article Cruz Criticizes Wife’s Firm, Goldman Sachs, Over ‘Crony Capitalism’ (VIDEO).

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday evening criticized the “crony capitalism” at Goldman Sachs, where his wife is(sic) employed.

Could it possibly be that even Raphael Edward (Ted) Cruz is better on this topic than Hillary Clinton?  He doesn’t go so far as to even hint at the fraud that these companies’ top executives have committed, but at least he recognizes that these companies do cause problems and need to be down-sized.


A Day After Calling For The ACA’s Repeal, Ted Cruz Is Signing Up For Obamacare

Politicus USA has the article A Day After Calling For The ACA’s Repeal, Ted Cruz Is Signing Up For Obamacare.

Sen. Cruz can’t lie his way out of the delicious irony that one day after he vowed to get rid of Obamacare, he now has to sign up for it.

When I read a headline like this yesterday, I didn’t bother to check it out.  I figured it had to be a satire, but this certainly seems like it could be true.  The reason that Raphael Edward (Ted) Cruz can make such devastating claims about Obamacare seems to stem from the fact that he makes things up (lies).