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cal04

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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 38,849

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Barney Frank Leaves Wall Street Defenders Speechless: Why Are Bankers ‘Paying Themselves So Much

Barney Frank Leaves Wall Street Defenders Speechless: Why Are Bankers ‘Paying Themselves So Much Money?’
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/15/2622641/barney-frank-leaves-wall-street-defenders-speechless-paying-money/

As his fellow panelists sought to sidestep criticisms of the financial industry on the five-year anniversary of the bank failure that kicked the financial crisis and Great Recession into full swing, former congressman Barney Frank asked a simple question that brought Wall Street’s defenders up short. “To your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much,” Frank said, “why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?”

Frank was responding to CNBC host Maria Bartiromo’s call to “get beyond the conversation of is Wall Street evil, are the bankers evil and causing pain” and instead look to economic growth as a cure-all for the vast inequality in income and wealth that has been exacerbated since the end of the recession. (Nevermind that the deregulation of the financial sector is a primary driver of inequality in the U.S.) His question produced several seconds of silence as Bartiromo and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson laughed nervously and looked to Meet The Press host David Gregory for help. As Bartiromo seemed about to respond to Frank, Gregory stepped in to change the subject.

Watch the exchange below:

BARTIROMO: We need to get beyond the conversation of is Wall Street evil? Are the bankers evil and causing pain? And toward the conversation of, how do you create sustainable economic growth? That will answer the issue of inequality. Because with growth comes jobs.


BARNEY FRANK: I do want to add one thing, though, to your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much to keep from not being able to pay their debts they can’t lend money. if they really are running businesses that are so stressed that they can’t do their basic work, why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?




And of course Gregory did not let anyone answer

President Obama Rejects Criticism of Shifting Syria Policy: ‘I’m Less Concerned About Style Points’

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/09/obama-defends-shifting-syria-policy-im-less-concerned-about-style-points/

(snip)
“I’m less concerned about style points. I’m much more concerned with getting the policy right,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week.”

Obama said his surprise announcement on Aug. 31 that he would seek congressional authorization for U.S. military strikes against Syria, then the abrupt cancellation of a vote this week and pursuit of a diplomatic plan led by the Russians, has put the country “definitely in a better position.”

“My entire goal throughout this exercise is to make sure what happened on Aug. 21 does not happen again,” the president told Stephanopoulos of the large-scale chemical weapons attack outside Damascus that he said killed more than 1,400 civilians.

(snip)
The president said a “verifiable agreement” to disarm Assad of his chemical stockpiles will go further than any U.S. military strikes could have in eliminating the threat of their use.

“If that goal is achieved, then it sounds to me like we did something right,” Obama said.

Full Transcript: President Obama Speaks Exclusively to George Stephanopoulos on ‘This Week’
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/09/full-transcript-president-obamas-exclusive-interview-with-george-stephanopoulos/

Paul Krugman: How the Other 47 Percent Lives

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/how-the-other-47-percent-lives/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto&_r=0

I couldn’t make space for it in today’s column, but any affluent reader who wants a sense of what America is like for many hard-working people should read about the website McDonald’s has established to help its workers manage their family budget. The sample monthly budget they offer includes $900 from a second job; monthly rent of just $600 (which is very low even for a single-bedroom apartment in inexpensive cities, and of course ludicrous in metro New York), and zero heating expenses.
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/mcdonalds/budget/budget2.php
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/15/2300321/mcdonalds-buget-low-wage/

This disparity between the way many of our fellow citizens live and the lives of the 1 percent ought to inspire a lot of empathy — and to be fair, in many cases it does. On average, however, widening inequality seems to be reducing, not increasing, empathy, as the life experiences of the affluent diverge from those of ordinary workers, to such an extent that the upper class no longer sees members of the working class as people like themselves.

Of course, Rick Santorum says that this is all “Marxism talk” — even the term “middle class” — because there are no classes in America.


Love for Labor Lost
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/opinion/krugman-love-for-labor-lost.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

John Lewis At March: ‘I’m Not Going To Stand By And Let The Supreme Court Take The Right to Vote

John Lewis At March On Washington: ‘I’m Not Going To Stand By And Let The Supreme Court Take The Right To Vote Away’ from Us
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/24/2523101/john-lewis-march-washington-going-stand-let-supreme-court-vote/

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) — who was the youngest speaker during the March on Washington in 1963 — delivered a passionate address about the importance of protecting voting rights at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial fifty years later, as thousands gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the historic event on Saturday.

“When I stood here 50 years ago, I said one man, one vote is the African cry. It is ours, too. it must be ours,” he began, before connecting the demands of 1963 to today’s struggles. “Almost 50 years ago, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote. I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us!”

LEWIS: You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You have to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. Make some noise. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It’s the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we’ve got to use it. Back in 1963 we didn’t have a cellular telephone, iPad, iPod, but we used what we had to bring about a non-violent revolution. And I said to all of the young people, you must get out there and push and pull and make America what America should be for all of us. We must say to the Congress, ‘Fix the Voting Rights Act’

(snip)
“So hang in there, keep the faith,” Lewis extolled. “I got arrested 40 times during the ’60s, beaten, bloodied and unconscious. I’m not tired, I’m not weary. I’m not prepared to sit down and give up. I am ready to fight and continue to fight, and you must fight.”

Watch it:

Rep. John Lewis: ‘We Have Come Too Far To Stop’ (video)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said Friday that although he has seen the country make much progress in civil rights since the March on Washington in 1963, there are still "forces all across our country" that seek to challenge the movement.

"If someone had told me 50 years ago that an African-American would be in the White House as the president, I probably would have said you’re crazy. You are out of your mind. You don’t know what you’re talking about," Lewis told MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton in an interview at the National Mall, where he addressed crowds 50 years ago. "The country is a different country, and we’re better people."

When asked to compare challenges to the civil rights movement in that era to today, Lewis, a vocal supporter of the Voting Rights Act, said the movement still faces resistance.

“Forces, not just forces in the American South, but forces all across our country want to take us back to another period and we have to say, ‘We are not going back, we have come too far now to stop,’" he said.

video at link
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/rep-john-lewis-we-have-come-too-far
Love that they showed him making a speech back then
The little boy talking,Asean Johnson of Chicago: Back then John Lewis was the youngest, today I am. Love it!!


WATCH: John Lewis Speaks at March on Washington 50th Anniversary
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/watch-john-lewis-speaks-at-march-on-washington-50th-anniversary/


9-year-old activist ‘youngest speaker’ at march
http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/08/24/9-year-old-activist-youngest-speaker-at-march-on-washington/


Asean Johnson of Chicago





Howard Dean returning to Iowa

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who says he's open to making another bid for president, will travel next week to Iowa, a move that will surely stoke further speculation that Dean may run in 2016.

The former presidential candidate will speak Wednesday at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention, taking him back to the same state where he finished third in the 2004 Iowa caucuses and made his infamous "Dean Scream."

A spokesman for Dean's independent group, Democracy for America, said Dean will be talking next week about the organization's "Purple to Blue Project," a plan aimed to help Democrats win state House and Senate seats.

While the project is focused on five races in Virginia this year, the group plans to expand to other states next year, including an effort to win the majority in Iowa's state House.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/15/howard-dean-returning-to-iowa/

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/dean-to-speak-at-iowa-labor-conference/?_r=0
(snip)
The group’s “Purple to Blue” campaign has focused on five races in Virginia this year, but will expand to other states in 2014.

“This isn’t the last you’ll be hearing of Dean and Democracy for America in Iowa leading up to 2016,” the aide said.

Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, who endorsed Mr. Dean’s campaign almost 10 years ago, encouraged him to speak at the labor convention, according to the aide. Next month, at his annual steak fry, Mr. Harkin will host another former — and possibly future — Democratic candidate, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

just tweeted The Last Word
https://twitter.com/TheLastWord
Howard Dean join us at 10pm ET on @msnbc

Fast food joint pays workers $12 an hour, and lives to tell the tale

(snip)
In Dearborn Heights, Mich., a city just outside of Detroit, a new burger joint is trying to give workers a reason to clock-in to work each day.

Moo Cluck Moo is paying its workers a minimum wage of $12 per hour, over four dollars more than Michigan’s $7.40 per hour minimum wage. The reason? Simple: “It’s just the right thing to do,” said Allen Fisher, the restaurant’s managing partner, on MSNBC Tuesday.

“We manage our costs effectively, we use the best product that we can afford, and we pass that along to our employees,” said Fisher. “It’s not an easy job to do. We demand a lot out of our people, but we pay them for that.”

In addition to higher wages, said Fisher, Moo Cluck Moo has an exclusive training program that qualifies each of its employees for a better job and a higher pay rate. The restaurant also provides uniforms, meals, and (coming soon) medical benefits, he said.

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/08/06/fast-food-joint-pays-workers-12-an-hour-and-lives-to-tell-the-tale/
video at link

Progressive Caucus ‏
https://twitter.com/USProgressives
Think fast food joints can't afford to pay workers a living wage? One Michigan restaurant is already doing it.

Durbin Responds to Critics of ‘Stand Your Ground’ Queries

http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/durbin-responds-to-critics-of-stand-your-ground-queries/

(snip)
Durbin criticized the Chicago Tribune editorial board and others in an opinion piece published Wednesday.

“The Tribune editorial page and others attacked me for trying to hinder free speech and use my position to intimidate those with political views I disagree with,” Durbin wrote. “The Tribune and others are wrong.

“ALEC and its corporate and organizational supporters have every right to participate in the political process. My concern is with the lack of transparency. As a public official, when I take a position, I stand up to explain and defend it,” he added. “I file annual financial disclosures, campaign finance reports and have to face the scrutiny of public opinion.”

Durbin has announced plans for a hearing next month on the issue of “stand your ground laws” by the Judiciary subcommittee he serves as chairman of. In the Tribune piece, Durbin said that his queries were to gather information in advance of the hearing.

Corporate Lobbying Group ALEC Put Falsified Signatures On A Letter To A Senator, Group Finds
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/08/14/2466281/alec-signatures-stand-your-ground/

Sen. Sanders: Here's the simple truth


https://twitter.com/SenSanders/status/367692485801152513/photo/1

Corporate Lobbying Group ALEC Put Falsified Signatures On A Letter To A Senator, Group Finds

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) sent Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) a letter that claimed the Senator’s investigation into ALEC’s involvement “Stand Your Ground” laws was a form of “intimidation.” The letter was supposed to have carried the clout of about 300 state legislators who signed onto it, but, according to an investigation by progressive group by ProgressNow, many of the signatures on that letter were falsified or duplicated.

ALEC has come under intense scrutiny for its involvement in orchestrating passage of Stand Your Ground in several states. The law became a hotbed of controversy in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death. Though it wasn’t ultimately used in killer George Zimmerman’s defense, Stand Your Ground allowed Zimmerman to walk free on the night of the killing, turned out to be central to the case at trial, and was cited by one of six jurors as a justification for his acquittal.

After the Zimmerman verdict was announced, Durbin said that he would conduct an inquiry in ALEC’s involvement in the bill.

The group hit back Monday with a letter that tried to discredit Durbin’s inquiry. The group said it was signed by 293 elected officials. But, ProgressNow found, 55 of the signatures are “blatantly invalid.”
http://progressnow.org/alec/alec-durbin.html

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/08/14/2466281/alec-signatures-stand-your-ground/

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