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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2003, 04:15 AM
Number of posts: 52,171

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More facts about this: (from a report published in 2005)

Actually, Mrs. Clinton has a mixed record on the bankruptcy bill, which wended its way through Congress over the course of several years, and on fighting the banks, which are a major constituency and major source of campaign contributions in New York.

The bankruptcy legislation was sought by banks and credit card companies, which wanted to make it harder for consumers to use the bankruptcy laws to walk away from their debts.

As first lady, Mrs. Clinton worked against the bill. She helped kill one version of it, then another version passed, which her husband vetoed. As a senator, in 2001, she voted for it, but it did not pass. When it came up again in 2005, she missed the vote because her husband was in the hospital, although she indicated she would have opposed it.

. . . .

The bill popped up again 2001, which was Mrs. Clinton’s first year in the Senate. She worked with Republicans on it and was one of 36 Democrats who helped it pass the Senate, saying it had been improved from when she opposed it. Still, this version was vigorously opposed by consumer groups and unions, and ultimately did not become law.



The 2005 bankruptcy bill hurt students and former students with student debt really badly because it excludes a broad range of education or student loan debt from eligibility for discharge, that is forgiveness by a bankruptcy court.

This means that a business executive, let's take Trump as an example, can take his corporations into bankruptcy court and either hold the threat of a discharge or forgiveness of the money he owes his lenders, his creditors over their heads until they forgive some of it but a 24-year-old who owes $40,000 in student loans and for some reason cannot pay them cannot get that debt forgiven by the bankruptcy court in most cases. It's much harder for the student to get an education-related loan forgiven by the court than some spendthrift, irresponsible corporation.

To me, that is a perversion of justice.

Students should be able to go to school for free.

Some suggest that students who get the forgiveness of college or post-secondary education debt should have to volunteer or work to pay back the debt. That reminds me very much of the old indentured servitude system when immigrants to America in the early days of our country were indentured servants for a period of time, even years in situations like a sort of slavery that had a predictable end (not meaning to make of slavery less of a wrong, less of a crime, but to indicate the kind of relationship that the indentured servant potentially had with the master for the duration of the servitude. So I think that is not the answer.

To me, the answer is to tax everyone to support state schools and to lower or provide free tuition for state schools.

Bernie is on the right track with regard to student loans in my view.

Forrgive me for paraphrasing your statement in post #15.

"It's easy to have a record like Sanders" if you have a brilliant mind and can enjoy the luxury of thinking independently BECAUSE YOU DON'T ACCEPT HUGE DONATIONS FROM BILLIONAIRE DONORS.

It's also easy to have a record like Sanders if your lifestyle is not lavish and is close to that of the average person and therefore you don't have to make $200,000 speeches to the very banksters that are pinching pennies out of the pension funds of the people you claim you want to represent.

Bernie is simply the smartest guy in the room.

No matter the label he carries or that the media attaches to him.

See this:


That links you to an article discussing Bernie's uncanny ability to foresee disasters before they occur.

The must-read article on his track record of prescience:


Bernie warning about entering into the Iraq War.


Proven right.

Bernie warning about the gambling on Wall Street and the crisis it would and did lead to:


Note that this c-span video is dated 1998!

A couple of times in a century, we get the opportunity to elect a true leader, one who has the judgment and wisdom to excite us with new vision and guide us with wise caution. Bernie is that opportunity.

When Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the country was divided. As I understand it, although he did not favor slavery, he never intended to force slave states to abolish it. The argument was about the ability of slaveholders to pursue and capture slaves in the North. That is my understanding.

But the remarkable thing about Lincoln was that he had the moral courage and the intuition and the foresight to see that protecting the Union was our foremost priority and that slavery as an institution was too great a danger to our Union and to the rights of man and of the slaves to tolerate.

He was a leader, a wise man, a courageous man.

But to much of the country, his ideas were horrifying. To be an abolitionist was in the South akin to being a Communist in the US.

Bernie is not a Communist. He is a Democratic Socialist. There is a huge difference. Western Europe even when conservatives are in charge as in Germany, still provide free college tuition and single-payer healthcare to their people. They do not entangle their military in crazy adventures without thinking about how they will govern the countries after they have ventured into them.

Sanders is that kind of cautious Democratic Socialist. A lot of Americans will like his ideas.

He is 73 years old, an age at which even Jeb Bush thinks he is entitled to retire and enjoy his life. But he is willing to go on and serve his country and the American people. He has great wisdom, years of experience and a powerful bunch of courage and energy, and I sure do hope for the sake of our country, that we elect him in 2016.

He is the first and only presidential candidate who has inspired me to this degree in my life, and I myself am 72. I have never seen a candidate of the quality of Bernie Sanders.

We will be so lucky if we can elect him.

He is fiscally somewhat conservative in my view. He has served on the Budget Committee. He may be the ranking member. He said in his speech to the DLC that one of his first goals will be to order an audit of the military.

If you have ever talked with someone who handled military contracts or did military work, you will understand why that is a good idea. The process encourages spendthrift use of tax money. It is very likely that we can have the same or a better defense than we now have for less money. Bernie is not a spendthrift foolish person.

I think that electing him is the chance of the century for America.

In 1998 Bernie Sanders predicted the economic collapse that the gambling on Wall Street

would lead to.

America did not listen then. Will we listen now?


Rarely, maybe once or twice in a century, does our country have the opportunity to elect a man with Bernie's intellect, judgment and foresight. He asks the right questions. He has proved that over and over.

Will we miss this opportunity?

I hope not.


Thanks to peacebird who posted this on DU here:


Feel the Bern!

Wrong. Brown v. Board of Education and the Supreme Court decisions

that supported the rights of people of color were decided by courts of 9 justices, 8 white and one lone Black.

Those white justices were relatively liberal and were appointed by relatively liberal presidents including the Republican, Dwight Eisenhower. It was Eisenhower, a white president and not ultra-liberal president, who enforced Brown v. Board of Education in Little Rock.


True, Black people, supported by white activists, demonstrated non-violently but persistently for civil rights under the direction of Martin Luther King, supported by a lot of liberals including Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon B. Johnson. But their movement would have failed had it not been for the fact that we had a liberal majority in Congress that was elected thanks to the liberal ECONOMIC POLICIES of FDR and subsequent presidents prior to passage of the Civil Rights Act.

The Civil Rights Act was passed by a majority including many white members of Congress with no support to speak of from white Southerners. It took a president who was liberal on both social and economic issues, Lyndon B. Johnson, to sign the Civil Rights Act.


All of these decisions and laws were decided or passed by relatively safe Democratic majorities in the Supreme Court and Congress that were won in a nation that had a strong industrial base, strong unions and an liberal economic policiies.

The tide against liberal majorities in Congress and the Supreme Court date back to the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Viet Nam War. Following the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, Goldwater won five states in the South in the presidential election.

n 1968, Nixon ran on the Southern Strategy,, which was opposed to Black equality at the most elementary level. He won the South, and the South which had prior to the Civil Rights Act voted Democratic thanks in great part to FDR's economic policies.

Since the 1968 election of Nixon, we have elected only three Democratic presidents, two of whom were from the South. The third was a Black president. Thanks to our failure to elect sufficient numbers of liberal Democrats, regardless of race, to Congress, we are unable to pass legislation either on important economic issues, voting rights or justice for Black people on the streets, in their contact with the police and in general. Really vital law enforcement reform as well as the passage of environmental legislation, the repeal of damaging trade agreements and the passage of trade agreements that support the rights of humans and not corporations, as well as domestic economic reform will only be possible when we have both a very liberal president AND VERY A VERY LIBERAL MAJORITY IN CONGRESS AND ON THE SUPREME COURT.

So, no, we don't get to vote for just whomever we want to vote for if we want to change our country. Certainly, Obama's administration is proof of that. I like Obama very much, but he has not been able to make the changes he probably wants to make because he has not had the support of a liberal Congress. To get a liberal Congress, voters have to think strategically. You have to choose candidates who are very liberal but who know how to appeal to a very broad base of voters and to attract new voters to the polls. Describes Bernie Sanders to a tee.

. . . .

It was FDR's economic policies that improved the lives of white and Black Americans, white Americans more than Black Americans, but ultimately, all Americans that made it possible to have a majority in Congress that would pass the Civil Rights Act, and other legislation that was necessary to improve the lives of Black people.

Today, minorities are potentially a larger portion of the electorate in the past, but in spite of the urgency and importance of Black issues including Black Lives Matter, judging from the past, especially our losses in 2014, we Democrats cannot expect to elect a majority in the Congress unless we all work together.

To gain votes and to get out the votes of all Democrats in the US we have to focus on both equality and justice issues and above all environmental issues, because there will be very little for any of us to argue about if we continue to destroy our environment at the current rate: economic equality and justice, racial equality and justice, gender equality and justice, environmental equality and justice. All of these issues.

We will not succeed in one area without succeeding in all of them.

We cannot win elections if we focus only or overwhelmingly on racial and gender issues and do not focus also on economic and environmental issues. The majority, thus far, is just not there if we narrow our focus.

It is not a choice between these issues. We have to choose all of them.

If Black people want to continue the current situation in which the federal government does not have the legal authority to do much about the police brutality at the local level, they cannot make the mistake that the union members made in 1980. They need to support the truest, strongest progressives in the country. In the presidential elections, that means voting for Bernie Sanders.

If Black people or union members vote for right-wing or our middle-of-the-road, slow-to-move-toward justice candidate, Hillary Clinton, we will lose in the general election.

It's our failure to emphasize and explain the need for economic justice that ended the Democratic majority in Congress. We need to return to emphasis on economic issues if we are to have a strategy that will elect enough truly liberal Democrats to Congress to make progress on environmental and most of all on racial issues.

We are nearing a time when people of color will have a majority. I think we may already be there in California. That's great. But we aren't there in many states including mid-western states. The political reality is that we need liberal members of Congress from many states including Southern states. We can't wait until people of color are in the majority in enough states to elect a strongly Democratic Congress.

BLM is absolutely right on their issues, but from what I can tell, they are wrong on electoral strategy. They have to work with white liberals to get what they want. Politics is a matter of mutual support,, of coalitions. I know that Black DUers don't like to hear this, but we have to work together, and we need to support liberal Democrats who will go further on justice issues, racial, economic and especially environmental than the Carter, the Clintons and Obama have gone.

That's the reality. It may not be fair, but it is the reality. Think about it.

Until we get a strong, strong liberal majority in Congress, the racial injustice in police departments and neighborhoods is in the control of local authorities. The president can't do much about it.

So the strategy to achieve racial justice and to stop the killings of Black people by law enforcement has to be to elect a strongly liberal, a truly liberal majority to Congress as well as a truly liberal president.

Black Lives Matter. Yes. Really. Black Lives Matter. The numbers. The facts.

Many African Americans, and Hispanics in San Diego, are afraid every time they see police officers. This is not exaggeration. When children go to school parents fear they will not come home. When young men, of a certain age, go get a burrito to the corner store in their Sunday best, they are stopped and profiled, at times cuffed. Those are some of the stories we have heard in the streets.

. . . .

An African American man expects to go to jail not college. It is a rite of passage. It usually is for mistakes that while men make and never see a police officer, let alone a judge.

These are the statistics according to the NAACP:

Incarceration Trends in America

From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in ever y 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control

Racial Disparities in Incarceration

African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population
According to Unlocking America, if African American and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of whites, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime
1 in 100 African American women are in prison
Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted t

More, much more and well worth reading and bookmarking.

Netroots Nation 2015, Sanders and O’Malley: 911 What is your Emergency?


It's the job of the canddidates to run positive campaigns, to talk about their

ideals and ideas and what they will do or try to do if elected.

It is the job of the rest of us to observe the candidates, to compare what they say and who they are and decide who to vote for.

We can't pick which candidate to vote for without comparing the candidates. I feel rather sorry for the Hillary supporters. She does not fare well in the comparisons. It is easy to find problems with Hillary's candidacy, not so easy with Bernie's. Most Democrats agree with Bernie. Hillary presents some good proposals. But Hillary's campaign is dull. I for one have to conclude that that is because she is tired of it all down deep. Bernie on the other hand is truly excited by the challenge of working with Americans to solve the problems of our country. He proves that in every speech. It's that sincere enthusiasm that is carrying his momentum forward.

So the candidates are supposed to focus on the issues. We voters have to make the choice, and we can't make that unless we compare the candidates.

I have yet to hear from any Hillary supporter a convincing reason to support her rather than Bernie.

Here is the extent of the decline of our manufacturing sector:

For over a half century, American manufacturing has dominated the globe. It turned the tide in World War ii and hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany; it subsequently helped rebuild Europe and Japan; it enabled the United States to outlast the Soviet empire in the Cold War. At the same time, it met all the material needs of the American people.

. . . .

However, manufacturing as a share of the economy has been plummeting. In 1965, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 1988 it only accounted for 39 percent, and in 2004, it accounted for just 9 percent.

. . . .

The loss of the manufacturing industry manifests itself most clearly in job losses. According to the Economist, “For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of American workers are now employed in manufacturing” (Oct. 1, 2005). But even this figure is probably double the actual percentage, because many workers in a typical manufacturing firm have service-type jobs. In comparison, during the 1970s, approximately 25 percent of American workers were employed in manufacturing. From 1990 to present, manufacturing jobs have decreased every single year; since 1996, they have plummeted by almost one fifth.

. . . .

With the birth of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico became a major recipient of outsourced U.S. manufacturing jobs. Mexico is now a global leader in auto parts manufacturing and one of the world’s largest tv set producers. Now, with the startup of the Central American Free Trade Area (cafta) this January, analysts are anticipating another exodus of U.S. jobs to south of the border. U.S. household names such as Dell, ibm, Sara Lee/Hanes and Maytag have already been moving business into the Central American region.

. . . .


The Trumpet is this:

TheTrumpet.com is the official website of the Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine. Each weekday, theTrumpet.com features reporting and analysis of recent global geopolitical, economic, social and religious events and trends.

The Trumpet magazine, which began in February 1990, is published 10 times a year by the Philadelphia Church of God. It is available by subscription absolutely free.


The article is from the early 2000s. Things have undoubtedly gotten worse by nose. The statistics are reliably sourced although this is not a publication I would normally quote from.

Not many American economists would want to discuss this issue honestly I suspect.

Here we go. USA Today from 2002.

Fifty years ago, a third of U.S. employees worked in factories, making everything from clothing to lipstick to cars. Today, a little more than one-tenth of the nation's 131 million workers are employed by manufacturing firms. Four-fifths are in services.

The decline in manufacturing jobs has swiftly accelerated since the beginning of 2000. Since then, more than 1.9 million factory jobs have been cut — about 10% of the sector's workforce. During the same period, the number of jobs outside manufacturing has risen close to 2%.

Many of the factory jobs are being cut as companies respond to a sharp rise in global competition. Unable to raise prices — and often forced to cut them — companies must find any way they can to reduce costs and hang onto profits.

Jobs are increasingly being moved abroad as companies take advantage of lower labor costs and position themselves to sell products to a growing — and promising — market abroad. Economy.com, an economic consulting firm in West Chester, Pa., estimates 1.3 million manufacturing jobs have been moved abroad since the beginning of 1992 — the bulk coming in the last three years. Most of those jobs have gone to Mexico and East Asia.


This is a topic that the corporate-owned American media shies away from.

But those of us who remember 1955, 1965, etc., the silence covers the terrible fact that we once had a robust manufacturing sector, and that it is now gone.

As the Trumpet points out, our manufacturing sector is what won WWII. If we had to fight a war today for our national survival, we would have to import the socks for our army. You can't fight a war if you have to import the socks for your soldiers. Unfortunately, most American women wouldn't know how to knit a pair of socks if their lives depended on it. (I do know how and can do it but I am the exception.)

The International Criminal Court considers violations of international criminal law, laws to which

we have agreed.

The trade courts are very different because they theoretically and we will see increasingly in practice allow corporations to challenge NATIONAL, not international laws passed by countries that are members of the trade groups established by the agreements.

We have already seen that an international court determined that our laws that labelled meat according to the country of origin violate the WTO agreement.

That is a terrible attack on a US law that was established by our democratically elected legislature.

It's wrong.

And damages awards are coming.

The trade courts do not deal with human rights issues. They deal with questions of invvestment and the marketplace.

I support international courts that attempt to enforce human rights and make peace.
I do not support international trade courts that allow corporations to petition them as plaintiffs.

Corporations, if they want to sue a country, should sue in the country they wish to sue. I know that is limiting on the corporations, but so be it.

A corporation is the creation of civil (not criminal) law and not a human being. A corporation is created only by law and should answer to the law, not circumvent it through a system of supranational international courts.

Taxation without representation. That's what these trade courts will impose on us. It's just a matter of time. Think it through. Eventually, you will figure it out.

I agree that the reason we, the US do not compete well or work together well with the international

trade community, is that we do not have the social infrastructure and safety net to respond and retool to the lost jobs and the changes that globalization requires.

But I have a more serious objection to global trade.

The corporate form of business organization is useful. It encourages efficient investment, allowing capital to flow into useful purposes and be used well to develop new products and services for the benefit of our society.

But corporations are not organized democratically. Corporations are autocratic, dictatorial institutions by nature. They are specifically and clearly organized in order to limit the social responsibility, even the potential indebtedness in case of failure of the corporation to its creditors. They can be useful means of development for democratic societies as long as the corporations are regulated by and answer to the democratic will as expressed in government. But corporations are by definition, by organization, by law, structures that avoid or limit responsibility.

In addition, human beings are limited by nationality (dual nationality, maybe even triple nationality is possible but people are still limited by national affiliation and their geographical location) while corporations today are often multinational.

Thus individual human beings who are limited and defined by geographical and national limits and who form governments, hopefully in a democratic fashion are now living in a world in which corporations, irresponsible (by design), undemocratic (by definition) and in need of regulation are organized as multinationals, huge multinationals with large amounts of capital and an irresistible drive to dominate, to compete, to govern selfishly and recklessly, irresponsibly and to get what the corporation wants in spite of the needs of people and nations.

And these corporations, which could and do serve an essential role in our society, are because of and via our trade agreements overwhelming our democratic institutions and replacing them with the autocratic, dictatorial institutions of corporations.

And that i view as an insurmountable drawback to the trade agreements and the ISDS courts.

Corporations are not perhaps intentionally conspiring to take over the world via these trade agreements. But that will be the result of the trade agreements.

I do not think that it is possible to have international regulation of these huge corporations that is compatible with democracy and the local law-making, local rule, local government that is necessary if democratic institutions are to thrive.

China, a Communist dictatorship, has found a way to deal compatibly with the corporate investment model. But it is still not a democracy. It is a nation ruled by one party, the Communist Party. interestingly although not surprisingly because of its huge population, it is the biggest exporting nation in the world.

It is proof that international trade is no impediment to dictatorship.

The US, a democracy for well over 200 years, on the other hand has a large trade deficit, has seen its steel sector, and other industrial sectors such as furniture production, etc. nearly shut down. We are unable to compete.

The corporate model is a dictatorship. If we value democracy, we need to protect it at all costs, even by entering into one-on-one trade agreements with other countries rather than these multi-national trade agreements through which the corporations, which are not limited by geographical location or national affiliation, outmaneuver us and destroy us and our democratic ways of life.

I note that even Germany which, with its amazingly effective training and retraining system (I've lived there and know it well) which its wonderfully efficient and skilled labor force, with its long tradition of labor guilds and now unions and good relationships between employers and employees, is under pressure from corporations that want to force it to accept nuclear power that it does not want.

So, I oppose these corporate-dominated, sociopath, supernationa, undemocratic trade deals including but not limited to the TPP.
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