Monthly Archives: June 2015

Warren doesn’t dismiss campaigning for Bernie

The Boston Herald has the article Warren doesn’t dismiss campaigning for Bernie.

“These are people who care about these issues, and that’s who Bernie’s reaching,” she said. “I love what Bernie is talking about. I think all the presidential candidates should be out talking about the big issues.”

I don’t think I could have asked for anything better than this, but I did ask for something like this.

WATCH: Larry Wilmore Had the Best 2 Minutes on the Confederate Flag You’ll See

I post this for the two nice young men I know who have decided to post an image of the confederate battle symbol on their Facebook pages. If you look at who replied to my comment, you can see exactly where the bigotry comes from.

I can imagine what my reaction would be if I were Jewish like me and saw people running around displaying a symbol that is particularly obnoxious to me. You can imagine what that symbol might be.

Just in case your imagination doesn’t extend as far as mine does, Huffington Post has the article Jon Stewart Offers The South A New Symbol To Replace The Confederate Flag.

Unlike Comedy Central, HBO is blocking the viewing of John Oliver’s Epic Takedown of the Confederate Flag. The video clip as of this writing is labelled private. I presume that is HBO’s doing. Rolling Stone provided this quote.

“The Confederate flag is one of those symbols that should really only be seen on T-shirts, belt buckles and bumper stickers to help the rest of us identify the worst people in the world.”

Greek debt crisis: Banks to stay shut, capital controls imposed

The BBC has the article and video Greek debt crisis: Banks to stay shut, capital controls imposed.

“[Rejection] of the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the programme was an unprecedented act by European standards, questioning the right of a sovereign people to decide,” Mr Tsipras on Sunday said in a televised address.

“This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals.”
The Greek prime minister said that wages and pensions, as well as bank deposits, were guaranteed.

I had hoped that Greece had a plan to roll out its own currency at the same time as taking the steps it took today. Or maybe I should have read the article Greek debts cannot be repaid in euros!

If debts cannot be repaid they will not be repaid. Debts, in the commercial world, usually end up being settled.
Therefore, it has to pay in real goods and services: Tourism. Olives. Feta cheese. Ouzo. Shipping. Whatever Greece makes, does and sells, Germany needs to buy to enable the debt to be settled. And it needs to buy more from Greece than it sells to Greece. That way Greece ends up with the euros, which pays the Greeks for growing the olives, running the tourist hotels, making the cheese etc . This enables Greece to provide jobs for the unemployed, improve its Government’s tax revenue base, grow its economy, and also enables the Greeks to service, and eventually settle, their German debts.

The same naturally goes for Spain, Italy and even France. In other words, German debts get repaid when, and only when, Germany decides to accept real goods and services instead of euros. This in turn means that Germany has to run an economy more along the lines of the UK and the USA economies and import more goods and services than it exports.

If Germany and Holland don’t want to accept the reality of the situation, it is they who should exit the Euro not Greece or Spain.

June 29, 2015

I wake up to find that the Japanese stock market index, Nikkei 225, has fallen 599 points or 2.88% to a level of 20,110. Financial Times has the article Greece referendum plan jolts world markets.

This is delicious irony, as the EU tries to punish Greece, but the investors outside of Greece are being hit really hard. The hardest hit investors might be the very people who are trying to punish Greece. This is the clearest example of the too big to fail syndrome. If someone owes you a little bit of money, you can hold them hostage to their debt. On the other hand, if someone owes you a lot of money, they can hold you hostage to their debt.

The BBC article EU chief feels ‘betrayed’ by Greece is even more hysterically funny. You don’t even have to read the article. Reading the headline is funny enough.

Bernie Sanders Confronts Alan Greenspan

Women For Bernie Sanders has this great video that they have assembled.

Watch Bernie Sanders tell Alan Greenspan, in 2003, that Americans are not living the way that Mr. Greenspan imagines they are.

Then just 5 years later Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, admits that there is a flaw in his ideology.

I could say, “Pay no attention to the man behind Bernie’s left shoulder”, but you would be missing a minor amusing part of this video if you did.

Bernie Sanders Tames George Stephanopoulos

I just love the way Bernie Sanders tames the pundits. This one is Gerorge Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who has risen quickly in the polls for the 2016 Democratic nomination, predicted with confidence Sunday that he’ll secure the nomination and be elected president next year.

In the past, I have been most upset at some reputed progressive politicians who can’t figure out how to respond to public attacks on our principles. Bernie is exceptionally good at turning back the attacks into reasonable explanations of what is right and good about progressive ideas. He handled the gun issue fabulously in this interview.

As for getting more support from the Hispanic Community, watch the interview Precandidato Bernie Sanders reacciona a polémicas declaraciones de Donald Trump. Or as Google translates “Bernie Sanders candidate reacts to controversial statements of Donald Trump”

Momentum turns against the Confederate battle flag

MSNBC has the amazing interview shown below. This is a segment of All In with Chris Hayes 6/23/15 where you can see what came before this interview at 12:10 into the episode.

Crooks and Liars has an article Jack Hunter, Former ‘Southern Avenger’, Repudiates Former Hateful Stance that quotes some of the article mentioned in the interview.

Speaking to Chris Hayes Tuesday, Hunter repeated these same points and went on to discuss his revulsion at the events in McKinney, Texas, where a policeman manhandled a 14-year old girl. From his column:

A 14-year-old black girl attending a pool party in McKinney, Texas, had been manhandled and thrown to the ground by a police officer. The girl had done nothing except talk. She was just standing there with other teenagers.

It was revolting to watch. I asked others to imagine it was their daughter.

The Daily Beast article mentioned in the interview and the Crooks and Liars article is The ‘Southern Avenger’ Repents: I Was Wrong About the Confederate Flag.

Thanks to Tangelia Sinclair-Moore for the post on her Facebook page. The video lived up to her promise.

“An Age of the Statistically Unlikely”: An Interview With Presidential Candidate Jill Stein 2

Truthout has the article “An Age of the Statistically Unlikely”: An Interview With Presidential Candidate Jill Stein.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein officially announced she is running in the 2016 presidential race on June 22, during an interview on Democracy Now!. She held a campaign kickoff event the following day at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where antiwar activist Medea Benjamin and racial justice activist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo introduced and endorsed her campaign.

The main planks of Stein’s presidential platform include a “Green New Deal,” ending mass incarceration and police brutality, a $15 per hour federal minimum wage, a single-payer health-care system, universal public education and the abolition of student debt, breaking up big banks and nationalizing the Federal Reserve, initiating a global treaty to reverse climate change and ending extreme forms of extraction.

As a fan of Bernie Sanders for President, I can hardly argue with this platform which is in close agreement with the Sanders platform.

Another interesting part of the interview was this question and the answer from Jill Stein.

What’s your response to the idea of voting for the “lesser of two evils”? Many feel they are locked into this conundrum in the voting booth, where they want to vote for the third party candidate who reflects their values more, but end up voting for a major party candidate because they don’t want their opponent to win.

It’s important to recognize that we are force-fed a lot of propaganda here and have been for a long time. So it’s really important to separate the mythology from the facts on the ground. We’ve had this sort of politics of fear, certainly since Bush-Nader-Gore. The politics of fear: that we don’t vote our values; that we have to vote our fears. We worry about unintended consequences rather than the things that we actually want to advance. That philosophy, that strategy, now has a track record.

We had Bush and all the terrible things under Bush. Then we had Obama, even with the Democratic Congress in both houses for two years. And what did we get under Obama? It was Bush on steroids. We continued to have more of that because the electorate reacted against Obama – because what was he doing? He was continuing to bail out Wall Street. He was looking the other way at predatory mortgages and the continuing foreclosure crisis, the offshoring of our jobs. On all cylinders, Obama really led the charge in the absolute wrong direction, and so people then rejected the Democratic Congress when they then had the option.

The bottom line is the politics of fear delivers what we’re afraid of. We need to look at those facts on the ground. When you have a friendly Democrat who speaks your language and uses the right buzzwords, of course you want to vote for that person over the vicious Republican, but they’re both funded by the same guys. The Democrats have every bit as bad a record as Republicans.

It is worth noting that trying to not waste your vote by casting a vote for the lesser of two evils hasn’t worked out all that well. It’s time to think beyond just not wasting your vote. In my case, and at this moment, my supporting and intention of voting for Bernie Sanders is thinking beyond the fear of wasting my vote.

Now to the part of not being able to hardly argue with her platform. There is one statement in Truthout‘s explanation of her platform that I find rather strange. The words from the quote at the top of the page are the following:

and nationalizing the Federal Reserve

How do you nationalize something that is already nationalized? The Federal Reserve is an independent entity within the US Government. It’s rules of operation are dictated by Congress. I know I’ll get some pushback for that claim of mine, but I have the documentation (see my previous post Who owns the Federal Reserve?) to prove what I just said at least to my own satisfaction.

I’ll have to follow the link at the top of this post to read what her platform actually says. Perhaps she is aware of what I just said about the Fed, and it is just Truthout that does not understand.

I just checked her platform page. The actual wording is as follows:

and democratize the Federal Reserve

That’s ambiguous enough that I might be able to agree, depending on what she actually means by that. If she means for the Congress to change the governance of the Federal Reserve Banking System to have more input from a more diverse segment of the population than it does now, then that is something I could agree with. That diverse population should still have the qualifications that they know how banks of all sizes work, they know how banks in other countries work, and they know how the operations of the Fed impact the broader economy and society, not just the biggest 6 banks that are too big to fail. If it is not clear, they should understand what is the purpose Federal Reserve System, how it works, its powers and limitations, and a deep appreciation for the monetary system that the Fed controls.

Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies: GOP sobs (while secretly breathing a sigh of relief)

The Daily Kos has the article Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies: GOP sobs (while secretly breathing a sigh of relief).

One of the comments has a link to the text of the decision KING ET AL. v. BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL.. Here are a few excerpts from the syllabus.

Here, the statutory scheme compels the Court to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would de stabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid.
The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner.
ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO, JJ., joined.

At least there are only three members of the court who are utterly devoid of logic or utterly incapable of judging without the bias of their political motivations. As the majority opinion states, it is not the duty of the court to find some loophole in the wording of a statute in order to reverse the law. It is the duty of the court to see if the words in the law can be construed as supporting the intention of the law. Perhaps making this clear will stop people from bringing suit to get the court to adopt the loophole mentality.

Senator Claire McCaskill Tries Speed Backpedalling

Senator Claire McCaskill sent me this email for obvious ulterior motives. See my previous post Sign the petition: Denounce Democrats who voted for Fast Track.

I responded to her in email:

Your past record does not absolve you of the crime of being one of 13 Democratic Senators who are turncoats, and TPP enablers. I have recorded your name on my blog so that my readers and I won’t forget what you did.

I also responded on her Facebook page.

Sign the petition: Denounce Democrats who voted for Fast Track

The Daily Kos has a call to Sign the petition: Denounce Democrats who voted for Fast Track.

One of the most important pieces of information from the call to sign the petition is the list of Democrats who sold us all down the river.

13 Democratic Senators: Feinstein (CA), Bennet (CO), Coons (DE), Carper (DE), Nelson (FL), McCaskill (MO), Heitkamp (ND), Shaheen (NH), Wyden (OR), Warner (VA), Kaine (VA), Murray (WA) & Cantwell (WA).

28 House Democrats: Sewell (AL-07), Bera (CA-07), Costa (CA-16), Farr (CA-20), Peters (CA-52), Davis (CA-53), Polis (CO-02), Himes (CT-04), Wasserman-Schultz (FL-23), Quigley (IL-05), Delaney (MD-06), Ashford (NE-02), Rice (NY-04), Meeks (NY-05), Bonamici (OR-01), Blumenauer (OR-03), Schrader (OR-05), Cooper (TN-05), Hinojosa (TX-15), O’Rourke (TX-16), Cuellar (TX-28), Johnson (TX-30), Beyer (VA-08), Connolly (VA-11), DelBene (WA-01), Larsen (WA-02), Kilmer (WA-06) & Kind (WI-03.)

A so-called Democrat in Sturbridge thinks Mark Warner would be a good vice President for Hillary Clinton. That’s two strikes against his choices for the top offices in the land. I knew Waner was not the kind of person I would ever vote for, but I didn’t have any recent behaviors of his that I could point to. Voting for TPP is enough all by itself to keep me from ever voting for him in any capacity.

As a former resident of Oregon, I can remember how quickly I learned that voting for the “Progressive” Ron Wyden was a mistake. He took some very anti-progressive stances as soon as he got into office. I thought Earl Blumenauer was a much better replacement when Wyden moved up to the Senate. I am doubly disappointed to find out he was a turncoat, too.

I think Bernie Sanders’ record and history will protect me from having to rue the day I supported him.