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Profile Information

Name: Manny Goldstein
Gender: Male
Hometown: Greater Boston
Home country: USA
Current location: Remulak, as far as I can tell
Member since: Tue Aug 30, 2005, 09:44 AM
Number of posts: 34,433

Journal Archives

Elizabeth Warren Quietly Racked Up A Nice Win


Our future not-president took a big bite out of Janet Yellen a few weeks ago (see video at bottom) and now we have results to show for it.

Elizabeth Warren Quietly Racked Up A Nice Win

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) got her way on Tuesday when the Federal Reserve rejected the living will plans for most Wall Street banks.

Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase all had their plans rejected.*

When Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the Senate last month, Warren completely grilled her on JP Morgan's living will, which she said was not enough to cover the bank's $2.5 trillion in assets.

"I think the language in the statute is pretty clear. That you are required, that the Fed is required to call it every year on whether these institutions have a credible plan. And I remind you, there are very effective tools that you can use if those plans are not credible. Including, forcing these financial institutions to simplify their structure, or forcing them to liquidate some of their assets. In other words, break them up."

1. Any opinions stated in the referenced article are not necessarily mine.
2. Anything presented as "fact" in the referenced article may be utter bull%^&#. Please assume that it is.
3. The author of the referenced article might, or might not, be a notorious horrible person - I haven't done any research.
4. The web site I linked to may well be involved in all sorts of disturbing activities. I have no knowledge that they are, but who knows?
5. Elizabeth Warren is not running for president, as several people really, really, really need you to know. Out of respect for her wishes, please don't use her name and the word "president" in the same paragraph.
6. I have been outed on DU as a Purity Democrat, a paid Republican rat#$%@er, an acolyte of Ron and Rand Paul, the owner of conservativecave.com, a Firebagger and worse. Indeed, I am likely all of these. Do yourself a favor and don't read this post, it's a menace to society. Please proceed to your safe room, and await further instructions.

Warren discusses "living wills" with Yellen:

Posted by MannyGoldstein | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:37 PM (80 replies)

So, *you* want a king. Well, *I* don't.

"Gee, in a perfect world we'd prosecute confessed torturers for their crimes, but... it's kind of difficult to prosecute a president and his associates, not really practical. And since we don't torture anyone ourselves anymore, we only have secret extrajudicial renditions to countries that do torture, it shouldn't be a problem anymore."

How much of this do we hear, even on DU?

Listen up: a person who runs the country and who is immune from prosecution is called a king. If he controls the military and the rest of government, and he can do whatever he wants without repercussions, he is a king. (Or queen, of course.)

Moving from a king to a Democratic Republic 200 years ago was a damned fine idea that served Americans well. Worked so well that much of the rest of the world picked up the idea, and went with it too.

Seems like a bunch of folks want to go back to a king. "We can't hold a president responsible... The sky would fall!"

Hear this: When we don't hold the powerful responsible for their actions, that's when the sky falls. Equality under the law is the cornerstone of Democracy: without it, the whole thing falls apart.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Tue Aug 5, 2014, 06:44 PM (247 replies)

Kennedys pushing Warren to run against Hillary in 2016

Only the NY Post, but an entertaining thought if it happens to be true. It *does* totally make sense that the Kennedys would want an FDR Democrat at the top of the ticket.

Kennedys pushing Warren to run against Hillary in 2016

In an echo of 2008 — when Ted and Caroline Kennedy backed upstart Barack Obama over Hillary Rodham Clinton — members of the Kennedy clan have been quietly wooing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and encouraging her to throw her hat in the ring, sources tell me.

The question of whom to back in the 2016 presidential race has split the Kennedys down the middle. Robert Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, and their eldest son, former US Rep. Joe Kennedy II, favor Warren — the darling of the party’s left-wing base who now sits in Ted Kennedy’s old seat — while Bobby Jr. and Max Kennedy remain loyal to Hillary Clinton.

Over the past several weeks, the Kennedys have tried to settle their family quarrel by inviting Clinton and Warren to their compound in Hyannis Port, where each woman has been put through a kind of audition for the role of party standard-bearer.

Clinton and Warren were feted on separate occasions at a catered buffet lunch under a large tent. In addition, Hillary and Bill Clinton were treated to a sail aboard the Kennedy schooner, the Maya.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Sun Aug 3, 2014, 11:49 PM (263 replies)

I'm mad about Obama and torture...

I'm told that many DUers are mad about our President using the word "torture" today.

Are you mad? If so, why?
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Fri Aug 1, 2014, 11:34 PM (9 replies)

Think for a moment: the CIA got caught spying on Congress

And after the CIA's director told us that this could not possibly have happened... turns out it happened, they 'fessed up today. But why would Mr. Brennan tell the truth? In this White House, liars like Gen. Clapper keep their jobs while truth tellers like John Kiriakou go to prison.

And the CIA also threatened to throw Congressional staff in jail for doing their job. Classy!

In any case: could there be any greater challenge to our Constitution than the Executive spying on, and threatening Congress?

Suppose we read a story about a banana republic, that described how the head of the intelligence service (promoted to his position after being involved in torture) was spying on and threatening members of the legislature who were investigating his agency.

Well, that's us.

Let's talk a little more about why the CIA was 'spying' on the Senate Intelligence Committee
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 11:44 PM (100 replies)

NY Times: The C.I.A.’s Reckless Breach of Trust

The C.I.A.’s Reckless Breach of Trust

In March, John Brennan, the C.I.A. director, was indignant when Senator Dianne Feinstein charged that the agency had broken into computers used by staff investigators from the Senate Intelligence Committee, which she leads. “As far as the allegations of C.I.A. hacking into Senate computers,” he said, “nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the scope of reason.”

But reason seems to have little to do with the C.I.A.’s operations, as Mr. Brennan apparently discovered far too late. On Thursday, the Central Intelligence Agency admitted that it did, indeed, use a fake online identity to break into the Senate’s computers, where documents connected to a secret report on the agency’s detention and torture program were being stored. Mr. Brennan apologized privately to Ms. Feinstein and to Senator Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, and promised to set up an accountability board to determine who did the hacking and whether and how they should be punished.

The accountability and the apologies, however, will have to go much further. It’s not just two senators that the C.I.A. has offended by this shocking action. It is all of Congress and, by extension, the American public, which is paying for an intelligence agency that does not seem to understand the most fundamental concept of separation of powers. That concept means that Congress is supposed to oversee the intelligence community and rein in its excesses. It cannot possibly do so effectively if it is being spied on by the spy agency, which is supposed to be directing its efforts against foreign terrorists and other threats to national security.

The committee has been working since 2009 on a comprehensive history of the agency’s antiterror program during the George W. Bush administration, which involved illegal rendition to other countries, detention, and torture of suspects, all producing little useful intelligence. It has been frustrated at many points by stonewalling from the agency, which provided misleading information, hid important facts inside a blizzard of excess documents, and forced endless delays in the declassification process. The 6,300-page report still has not been made public, though parts of it may be released later this month, and it is expected to undercut the Bush administration’s claims that its actions were both legal and effective.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 11:31 PM (7 replies)

White House: "Marijuana should remain illegal"

From today's NY Times:

The White House Tries, Fails to Explain Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal

No sooner had the Times published its opening editorials advocating legalization of marijuana than the White House fired back with an unconvincing response on its website. It argued that marijuana should remain illegal because of public health problems “associated” (always a slippery word) with increased marijuana use.

Careful readers will immediately see the White House statement for what it is: A pro forma response to a perceived public relations crisis, not a full-fledged review of all the scientific evidence, pro and con. The White House is actually required by law to oppose all efforts to legalize a banned drug.

Besides, it is hypocritical for the White House, whose chefs brew beer for the president, to oppose legalizing marijuana, which poses far less risk to consumers and society than does alcohol. Two recipes for the White House brew are posted on its website under the headline “Ale to the Chief.”

The White House lumped its public health argument under four main headings. Before addressing them individually, we should note that there was an enormous upsurge in marijuana use in the 1970s. So far as we know, no one has claimed that it produced calamitous health or societal harm in subsequent decades. The main metric that soared was arrests for possession of marijuana.

I guess smoking pot is more of a threat to society than war crimes and lying to Congress.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 08:47 PM (79 replies)

Both right. Both wrong. But only one really bears responsibility.

I read a post earlier today that bemoaned the lack of comments by Jewish posters on the tragedy in Gaza. For what it's worth, here's my take:

A horrible mess in the Middle East, many are dying, many more injured. It has been this way, more or less, for more than 60 years.

The Israelis have a good points! They're tired of rockets getting lobbed at them, and sharing a border with folks that want to annihilate them is a bad situation.

The Palestinians have good points! They're terribly oppressed by the Israelis, who helped themselves to Palestinian land.

Good points, but much suffering and death. For many years this has been true, and nothing improves. The Palestinians suffer more, their desperation and hatred of Israel grows. The Israelis see the increased hatred and become more dug in. And the wheel goes around again.

Neither side will ever win. Wars are almost never won without so utterly decimating the enemy that they lose all will to fight. Think firebombing of Dresden or Sherman's march to the sea. The Palestinians are simply incapable of it, and the Israelis are unwilling to inflict the necessary horrors that are orders of magnitude above what we're witnessing today.

If neither side can win, then the only way forward is for one side to unilaterally act to create a tenable situation. And only one of these two sides really has the power to do this, and that is Israel. It's been that way for decades. Israel is a powerful and prosperous nation that has the wherewithal to make things right here. Until Israel unilaterally finds a way to establish a Palestinian state, and to allow decent lives for the Palestinian people and bright futures for their children, there will be no peace.

It is all on Israel to do the right thing here, and it has been for many years. There is no practicable solution that will stop the rockets and polemics overnight. But give people decent lives, give them a reason to believe they can create a better tomorrow, and they'll start thinking about making a better tomorrow instead of thinking about killing the people who turn their lives and dreams to shit.

I'm not an expert on Israel, but I have no doubt that they, like us, have a military-industrial complex that causes all manner of mischief to keep their citizens afraid and in a state of perpetual war: there's good money in this evil. Israel, like the US, must find a way forward that shoves these extraordinarily-harmful people out of the way so we can live in decent, functional, and caring societies. The way into the light is to embrace peace as boldly, as vigorously, and as unilaterally as we've embraced war.

We must all give peace a chance. It's our only chance.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Mon Jul 28, 2014, 11:56 PM (67 replies)

Announcement: the Democratic Underground Book Club

First up, Fifty Shades of Gray.

I'm sure there are a few others on DU who, like me, are tired of reading all of this bombast without knowing what the heck people are talking about. And some of the bomb throwers might want to read the thing too.

Sign up below, details to follow.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Sun Jul 27, 2014, 10:12 PM (28 replies)

Hamas rejects cease-fire, NY Times wants legal pot, US ups involvement in Ukraine war,

but DU is set ablaze by badly-written pseudo-porn that seems like Teletubbies compared to the stuff that's free on the Internet.

(I downloaded the first bit of 50 Shades for free on Kindle. Wretched stuff.)

Idunno what the right way forward is, but this ain't it.

Posted by MannyGoldstein | Sun Jul 27, 2014, 01:20 AM (6 replies)
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