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Home country: USA
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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 40,565

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Has Elizabeth Warren defeated Wall Street?

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton recently went on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" and said she's now prepared to bust up the big banks. If banks make too many risky investments, "they have to know — their shareholders have to know — they will fail."

But Clinton might not have to deliver that message. Neither will Bernie Sanders, who wants to go even further in reining in the banks. Nor will Republicans who are joining in the chorus.

Because under all this heavy pressure from progressives behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Masss.) on the left and populists like Donald Trump on the right — and the weight of new regulation and activist shareholders — Big Wall Street is already shrinking on its own.

The evidence is everywhere.

J.P. Morgan is selling off a chunk of its private equity business. AIG is contemplating breaking into smaller pieces. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are watching trading profits dwindle with no real clue if or when they will ever come back. Giant banks including Wells Fargo will now be required to raise around $120 billion in new capital. General Electric is getting out of the financial services business entirely.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/elizabeth-warren-wall-street-215452#ixzz3qRRFPAr4

Franken gets serious about flipping Senate to Democrats

On a recent October afternoon, Democratic Sen. Al Franken mistakenly ambled toward the Mansfield Room, where the party in control — namely Republicans — meets weekly to hash out strategy.

“I keep thinking we’re in the majority,” the second-term Franken chuckled to a colleague as he changed course to the smaller Lyndon Baines Johnson Room.

Now the comedian turned senator, whose party lost control of the Senate to Republicans last year, is embarking on a yearlong campaign to help Democrats win it back and ensure that Senate races aren’t a forgotten undercard to the presidential contest. And after years of keeping a low profile on Capitol Hill, he’s actually happy to talk about it.

In a rare interview in his Capitol office, the Minnesotan described his most ambitious effort yet to help elect Democrats in his more than six years in Washington. Franken is using his celebrity to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates, and Democrats are relying on him to play an outsize role, alongside high-profile senators like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, to pick up the five seats the party needs to flip the Senate in 2016.

“The Republicans don’t share our basic values about where economic growth comes from,” Franken said. “I have nothing personally against my Republican colleagues other than their views on how the country works.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/franken-al-senate-2016-215455#ixzz3qRQwCGGO

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest



The Issue



Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: General GOP

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: Inmates running the debate asylum

Military blew $43M on useless gas station

WASHINGTON — U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for a $42 million natural-gas filling station in Afghanistan, a boondoggle that should have cost $500,000 and has virtually no value to average Afghans, the government watchdog for reconstruction in Afghanistan announced Monday.

A Pentagon task force awarded a $3 million contract to build the station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, but ended up spending $12 million in construction costs and $30 million in "overhead" between 2011 and 2014, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found. Meanwhile, similar gas station was built in neighboring Pakistan cost $500,000.

"It's hard to imagine a more outrageous waste of money than building an alternative fuel station in a war-torn country that costs 8,000% more than it should, and is too dangerous for a watchdog to verify whether it is even operational," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said in a statement. "Perhaps equally outrageous however, is that the Pentagon has apparently shirked its responsibility to fully account for the taxpayer money that's been wasted — an unacceptable lack of transparency that I'll be thoroughly investigating."

The compressed-natural gas station was designed to show the viability of tapping the country's natural gas reserves. But the inspector general determined that Pentagon's Task Force for Stability and Business Operations failed to conduct a feasibility study before launching the project.

If they had, the inspector general noted in his report, the Pentagon would have found that it would have little value for most Afghans. The Pentagon's own contractor stated that conversion to compressed natural gas costs $700 per car in Afghanistan. The average annual income there is $690.


Paul Krugman- Partisan Growth Gaps

Last week The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed article by Carly Fiorina titled “Hillary Clinton Flunks Economics,” ridiculing Mrs. Clinton’s assertions that the U.S. economy does better under Democrats. “America,” declared Ms. Fiorina, “needs someone in the White House who actually knows how the economy works.”

Well, we can agree on that much.

Partisan positioning on the economy is actually quite strange. Republicans talk about economic growth all the time. They attack Democrats for “job-killing” government regulations, they promise great things if elected, they predicate their tax plans on the assumption that growth will soar and raise revenues. Democrats are far more cautious. Yet Mrs. Clinton is completely right about the record: historically, the economy has indeed done better under Democrats.

This contrast raises two big questions. First, why has the economy performed better under Democrats? Second, given that record, why are Republicans so much more inclined than Democrats to boast about their ability to deliver growth?

Before I get to those questions, let’s talk about the facts.

The arithmetic on partisan differences is actually stunning. Last year the economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson circulated a paper comparing economic performance under Democratic and Republican presidents since 1947. Under Democrats, the economy grew, on average, 4.35 percent per year; under Republicans, only 2.54 percent. Over the whole period, the economy was in recession for 49 quarters; Democrats held the White House during only eight of those quarters.



Monday Toon Roundup 3-The Rest




Monday Toon Roundup 2- Wimpy

Monday Toon Roundup 1- Whining Clowns

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