Daily Archives: April 18, 2015

Sen. Sanders on The O’Reilly Factor

Politicus USA has the article Bernie Sanders Rolls While Demonstrating How To Knock Down Faux Noise. [I have corrected some spelling errors in their headline. I noticed the same spelling error in the video]

What really stuck out was Sanders’s ability to shift O’Reilly and the interview anywhere he wanted it to go. It is rare that a guest on O’Reilly show is more aggressive than the host, but the senator from Vermont was aggressive without being combative. The segment never turned into a scream fest. In fact, Sanders handled Bill O’Reilly fairly easily by keeping the tone civil and not falling for the loaded questions that the Fox News host was […] trying to lead him with.

This is the closest I have seen anyone come to taming Bill O’Reilly. There may be others, but I only watch the show through occasional clips like this one.

I have been waiting for decades to find a progressive person who can handle the media this well. Frequently, Mario Cuomo could do it. Of course Bill Clinton could do it, but he was hardly progressive.

If Sanders can do this well against that O’Reilly blowhard, it gives me hope that Sanders could actually run, win, and lead this nation into a new era.

35 Founding Father Quotes Conservative Christians Will Hate

Addicting Info has the article 35 Founding Father Quotes Conservative Christians Will Hate. Here are but two examples.

8. “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802


10. “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”

~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

When you here talk about the founding ancestors making this a Christian nation, you have these 35 quotes for rebuttal.

My caution in my most recent posts seems to be that you have to be skeptical of everything you read, especially here.  I cannot vouch for the authenticity of any of these quotes, but that should not matter.  When you are arguing with someone about whether or not this is a Christian nation, your opponent cares little about facts, anyway.

Just think that if I choose Thomas Jefferson’s words carefully, I could claim that he said,

I contemplate with reverence that act of the whole American people that their legislature should make an establishment of religion.

~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

After all, if you believe just the first item that I have taken from the 35 quotes, Thomas Jefferson did say all the words above, and in the exact order I have used them.  I left out a few inconsequential words that don’t change his meaning in any way. 🙂

Thanks to Raj Vedam for posting this article on Facebook.

How the Federal Reserve Is Destroying Your Economic Future

Naked Capitalism cross-posted the article How the Federal Reserve Is Destroying Your Economic Future by Lynn Stuart Parramore, Senior Editor at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a contributing editor at Alternet.  The article is an interview of economist Gerald Epstein.

LP: What kind of Fed policies would help close the inequality gap in the U.S.?

GE: The Fed needs to adopt new tools, on its own and perhaps in cooperation with the other parts of the U.S. government, to improve the economy from the bottom up. This includes increasing facilities for debt forgiveness for under-water mortgages and excessive student loans; increased credit facilities for small businesses and cooperatives; helping to underwrite mechanisms for creating affordable housing in cities; and more restrictive enforcement of financial regulatory rules to help rein in excessive banker risk and pay.

But the Fed cannot reduce inequality on its own; far from it. This requires a concerted effort by the government, broadly speaking, to support a variety of efforts. These include things like raising the federal minimum wage, eliminating unfair restrictions on union organizing, increased fiscal spending on needed infrastructure with a condition that these jobs will be decent paying jobs. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and far from the question of the role of the Federal Reserve.

I also liked Epstein’s explanation of the difference between two different kinds of criticism of the FED.

LP: Many libertarians want to audit the Fed or just plain end it, while conservatives like Rick Perry label the Fed’s actions treasonous. On the other side of the political spectrum, members of the Occupy Movement and progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren challenge the Fed’s ties to Wall Street. How do people with such vastly different ideologies end up distrusting the Fed?

GE: On the surface, it may look like the right wing and progressive criticism of the Fed is similar, but there are key differences. Many of those on the right distrust the Fed and want to eliminate its power in the belief that the private economy, including the private banks, will be much more efficient, productive and even democratic if they are left to themselves: in other words, the criticism of the Fed really reflects a desire to cripple the government in the service of increasing the power and authority of the market.

The perspective of most progressive critics is quite different: they don’t want to destroy the power of the Fed to regulate the macroeconomy and finance. They want to regain control over it so that it better serves the interests of the whole population.

So the right wants to destroy the power of the Fed to increase the power of finance; and the progressives want to reorient the Fed so that it will stop protecting the interests of finance and protect the interests of the broader population instead.

Now you know why I think the criticism of the FED by the likes of Rand Paul and Ron Paul show their utter misunderstanding of the FED, but I also criticize the FED sometimes.