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markpkessinger

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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Number of posts: 7,090

Journal Archives

There is something profoundly fitting that that Iran deal should pass , , ,

. . . on this, the eve of the anniversary of 9-11. I say this not because Iran had anything to do with 9-11 -- certainly it did not -- but rather because the passage of a diplomatic solution to a major international problem represents, for me at least, a stark repudiation of the neoconservative approach to foreign policy that has dominated these last 14 years; an approach that first gained a foothold by exploiting the horrific events of that awful day 14 years ago. Thank you, Mr. President and Senate Democrats!
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:25 PM (0 replies)

Best response to Kim Davis I've seen yet . . .

. . . from a New York Times reader:

DT New York 3 hours ago

I am an Orthodox Jew. I can't eat milk and meat together as per my own personal beliefs. But if I were a county clerk, and someone wanted to open up a cheeseburger joint, I'd have absolutely zero right as a government official to deny that person his permit on the grounds of the rules of my religion.
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Sep 3, 2015, 06:25 PM (68 replies)

The most ridiculous aspect of the Kim Davis affair . . .

. . . has been the suggestion that there was ever even a question of religious conscience at issue. Neither a marriage license, nor a clerk's signature on that license, represents anybody's approval of the marriage that may -- or may not -- take place under that license. A license is merely a certification that a couple meets the legal requirements for marriage under existing law. It is a certification of objective, legal fact, and thus no question of conscience ever even arises. The notion that certifying that a couple -- ANY couple -- meets a set of legal requirements in any way burdens the conscience of the clerk making that certification renders absurd the entire question of religious accommodation.
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Sep 3, 2015, 04:30 PM (41 replies)

NYT/Charles Blow: Activists Confront Hillary Clinton

Activists Confront Hillary Clinton
< . . . . >

The activists called on Clinton to answer for her and her husband’s part in the rise of mass incarceration in this country, a phenomenon that disproportionately affects black and brown people.

< . . . . >

Clinton pointed to her record on civil rights work, but she never apologized for, or even acknowledged, her and her husband’s role in giving America the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest incarceration rate.

< . . . >

Maggie Haberman noted in The New York Times that the exchange “showed Mrs. Clinton as even her admirers lament that she is seldom seen: spontaneous, impassioned and seemingly unconcerned about potential repercussions.”

Politically, that may be true. She was agile and evasive, for sure. She bobbed and weaved like Floyd Mayweather. But there was a moral issue, an accountability issue, that still hung rotting in the ring: What in her has changed, now that she has seen the devastation a policy she advocated has wrought?

< . . . . >
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Aug 19, 2015, 09:41 PM (5 replies)

Comparisons between Sanders' and Clinton's interactions with BLM activists are dishonest

(Note: Originally posted in GD, where it got locked, with a note suggesting I post it here instead.)

Those who are quick to compare Mrs. Clinton's interaction with BLM activists to that of Bernie Sanders should remember this: BLM extended to Hillary Clinton the courtesy of confronting her in a pre-arranged meeting that had been set up specifically for this purpose. BLM confronted Bernie Sanders at an event that wasn't even a Sanders campaign event, but a Social Security rally at which he had been invited to speak. Senator Sanders likely felt -- and would have been right to feel -- that a non-campaign appearance was neither the time nor the place to entertain the discussion. Any comparison of the two encounters is dishonest at best.
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Aug 19, 2015, 06:48 PM (65 replies)

Comparisons between Sanders' and Clinton's interactions with BLM activists are dishonest

Those who are quick to compare Mrs. Clinton's interaction with BLM activists to that of Bernie Sanders should remember this: BLM extended to Hillary Clinton the courtesy of confronting her in a pre-arranged meeting that had been set up specifically for this purpose. BLM confronted Bernie Sanders at an event that wasn't even a Sanders campaign event, but a Social Security rally at which he had been invited to speak. Senator Sanders likely felt -- and would have been right to feel -- that a non-campaign appearance was neither the time nor the place to entertain the discussion. Any comparison of the two encounters is dishonest at best.
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Aug 19, 2015, 04:35 PM (15 replies)

Time to put to rest the notion that Glass-Steagall wouldn't have helped in the 2008 collapse

Posted this in GD, and thought the group might be interested: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027086008
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:44 PM (1 replies)

Time to put to rest the notion that Glass-Steagall wouldn't have helped in the 2008 collapse

There is a thoroughly dishonest argument being proffered by those who wish to minimize the significance of Bernie Sanders' call to restore Glass-Steagall (who also happen to be the folks who are interested in defending the disastrous legislation signed into law by the spouse of their preferred candidate), that says, in effect, that Glass-Steagall wouldn't have helped anything in the 2008 financial collapse, because the problems originated in investment banks, not commercial banks.

The firewall between investment and commercial banking that was created by Glass-Steagall was a two-way barrier. Not only did it prevent commercial banks from undertaking investment banking activities, it also prevented investment banks from engaging in activities that were considered primarily the purview of commercial banks. One of the things that precluded was investment banks getting involved in mortgages. When Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which repealed Glass-Steagall, was enacted, investment banks were now free to buy up mortgages issued by commercial banks, bundle them together into a single investment vehicle, shares of which were then sold to investors. These were what we now call 'securitized mortgages,' or mortgage]backed securities. As these became more and more popular, investment banks began buying up mortgages like hotcakes from mortgage issuers (i.e., commercial banks). Before long, commercial banks realized they could make money simply by issuing mortgages they knew would be bought up by investment banks within a few years of being issued. There was no longer any incentive for a bank to perform adequate due diligence in issuing mortgages, because the bank knew it wasn't actually undertaking the risk of those mortgages. Combined with the quick and easy profit from selling these mortgages -- many of which should never have been issued -- this became a perverse incentive (which was further enabled and abetted by the rating agencies who gave these mortgage backed securities top ratings, despite the fact that many consisted of far too many bad loans).

These instruments were a MAJOR factor in the 2008 meltdown, and they wouldn't have existed had Glass-Steagall not been repealed!
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:38 PM (78 replies)

Best explanation I've seen yet about why "All Lives Matter" is an inappropriate rejoinder...

... to "Black Lives Matter.

A friend of mine who is an Episcopal priest posted this on Facebook. It is far and away the best explanation I've seen to date as to why the rejoinder "All live matter," in response to the statement that "Black Lives Matter," is so utterly offensive and inappropriate. Had to share it here:

A friend posted this and to the post someone replied (you know what's coming): "ALL lives matter." I replied to that comment:

"All lives matter" is a retort that dilutes and even negates the assertion that "black lives matter." When Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor," do we reply "No, Jesus, blessed is everybody in every economic class"? When the Buddha says, "The enlightened one must delight in the forest," do we reply "No, Siddhartha, delight in the desert and the meadow, too"? Of course not, because we realize that specificity has a point; the specificity does not negate the general or the other, but it highlights the particular. "Black lives matter" highlights that, for many, black lives do NOT matter; offering "all lives matter" as a response invalidates that specific and particular realization. Of course, all lives matter, but in the contemporary social circumstance specifically noting that black lives matter has particular currency and validity.
Posted by markpkessinger | Sun Aug 16, 2015, 02:06 AM (30 replies)

Another week, another patronizing NY Times article on Bernie's candidacy

There is an article in today's New York Times tiled, Bernie Sanders, an Outlier? The Senator Begs to Differ. It is yet another in a series of pieces in the Times that, while not being overtly negative, nevertheless have carried an unmistakable air of condescension about them. Here are two comments I posted to the article (with the article linked and excerpted after the comments):

Mark Kessinger
49 minutes ago

These patronizing pieces about Bernie Sanders and his candidacy have become really tiresome. Senator Sanders is speaking to issues voters care about, and is doing so in a way that is finding powerful resonance with voters across the political spectrum. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, continues to dodge difficult questions.


And the second comment:

Mark Kessinger
42 minutes ago

The article quotes Senator Warner: "You always know where he stands,”

Yes, I DO know where Bernie Sanders stands. With Hillary Clinton, I know where she stands . . . this week.


Bernie Sanders, an Outlier? The Senator Begs to Differ
By JASON HOROWITZ AUG. 14, 2015

WASHINGTON — One recent afternoon, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont gave another of the populist speeches that have drawn the largest crowds of the 2016 campaign to his rallies around the country and made him the unexpected rival to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The role of “super PACs” is “corrupt and amounts to legalized bribery,” he bellowed. Waving his arms at his sides, he quoted Abraham Lincoln and shared his own “vision for the future of this country.”

On the campaign trail, the speech would have elicited wild enthusiasm from his liberal supporters. But this was the Senate, which was virtually empty except for Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who was busy editing her own speech, and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who was texting.

“You come here, it’s like, ‘O.K., not much response,’ ” Mr. Sanders said with some resignation in his Senate office last week.

< . . . >
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri Aug 14, 2015, 04:43 PM (7 replies)
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