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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

Bernie Sanders, “The Big Short” & a nation that’s had it up to here

In the age of all-American anger: Bernie Sanders, “The Big Short” & a nation that’s had it up to here

(Nearly a decade after plutocrats exploded the economy, we're just as unequal as ever — and people are fed up)


Feb 8. 2016

...snip...The biggest financial crime of my lifetime, the financial collapse of 2008, is a historic injustice that has gone unpunished. The people who caused it also profited from it. The plutocratic class, spanning from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, manipulate politicians to get whatever they want, while the rest of us get almost nothing for our votes. This state of affairs is obvious to anyone who cares to look, and it’s the driving factor behind Bernie Sanders’ strong performance in Iowa.

If this election becomes a referendum on that unaddressed outrage, Sanders can and should become the next president.

.........Conservatives and liberals often agree about the stupidity and injustice of bailing out Wall Street, while leaving the rest of us hanging, but conventional politicians on both sides of the aisle have done nothing to rectify this historic wrong. I would add that this incident stands as Barack Obama’s greatest failure. Regular people paid the tab for the graft and corruption of Wall Street, and frustration and resentment have been brewing ever since, driving the rise of the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Donald Trump and growing white mortality. Despite the greatest economic reaming since 1929, consumers and taxpayers have answered only with self-destruction and impotent rage, while our slimy, gutless and corrupt political class begs more campaign cash from the same people who caused the mess.

.....I’m not even angry about the stupidity and graft of the bloated housing market, but I am furious over what happened afterward. Nothing. American taxpayer largess was tapped to cover bad bets by the wealthiest few, while taxpayers and homeowners lost everything. I personally lost money and opportunity, and many people, family, friends and coworkers, all ended up poorer for it. My hometown of Reno, Nevada, was hit particularly hard. We are on the mend, now eight years later, but damage has been profound and lives have been unalterably disrupted. To add insult, homeowners and regular people were often blamed for a broken system by a fact-free conservative press. In the end, no one paid the price for systemic fraud, and banks were handed billions in free money that they lent back to regular people at 12 percent interest.

......The glorified mafia family we mislabel “American finance” is the biggest reason Bernie Sanders can and should prevail in November. It is only him (or someone like him) who can finally address the simmering, residual rage over this issue. Hillary will never do it, what with her cozy relationships to Wall Street bankers. Even if she cared to address the issue (and I doubt it), she has no credibility to do so. She is as much a creation of Wall Street collusion as anyone on the Republican ticket.

By contrast, Sanders is anti-greed, a man of modest means with wild hair and penchant for ’60s idealism. He comes to the race from a time before the mantra “greed is good” was enshrined in American capitalism.


Read in full~

WOW The ignorance showing here. Sure, wall street gave FDR $, then they realized the mistake &

worked HARD to get him thrown out of office.

I really resent any implication that Hillary is in ANY WAY like FDR.

When The Bankers Plotted To Overthrow FDR

It was a dangerous time in America: The economy was staggering, unemployment was rampant and a banking crisis threatened the entire monetary system.

The newly elected president pursued an ambitious legislative program aimed at easing some of the troubles. But he faced vitriolic opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.

"This is despotism, this is tyranny, this is the annihilation of liberty," one senator wrote to a colleague. "The ordinary American is thus reduced to the status of a robot. The president has not merely signed the death warrant of capitalism, but has ordained the mutilation of the Constitution, unless the friends of liberty, regardless of party, band themselves together to regain their lost freedom."

Those words could be ripped from today's headlines. In fact, author Sally Denton tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, they come from a letter written in 1933 by Republican Sen. Henry D. Hatfield of West Virginia, bemoaning the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Denton is the author of a new book, The Plots Against the President: FDR, a Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right.

She says that during the tense months between FDR's election in November and his inauguration in March 1933, democracy hung in the balance.

"There was a lot at play. It could have gone very different directions,"


When Roosevelt finally took office, he embarked on the now-legendary First Hundred Days, an ambitious legislative program aimed at reopening and stabilizing the country's banks and getting the economy moving again.

"There was just this sense that he was upsetting the status quo," Denton says.

Critics on the right worried that Roosevelt was a Communist, a socialist or the tool of a Jewish conspiracy. Critics on the left complained his policies didn't go far enough. Some of Roosevelt's opponents didn't stop at talk. Though it's barely remembered today, there was a genuine conspiracy to overthrow the president.

The Wall Street Putsch, as it's known today, was a plot by a group of right-wing financiers.

"They thought that they could convince Roosevelt, because he was of their, the patrician class, they thought that they could convince Roosevelt to relinquish power to basically a fascist, military-type government,
" Denton says................


Reich says succintly what I don't have time for re: this~

If both house of Congress remain in Republican hands, no Democrat will be able to get much legislation through Congress, and will have to rely instead on executive orders and regulations. But there’s a higher likelihood of kicking Republicans out if Bernie’s “political revolution” continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other voters, and keeping them politically engaged.


He also has a great article out yesterday that I hope you & others like you can open your minds to. Our country can't continue with 2 right wings....

Why We Must Try
Sunday, February 7, 2016

Instead of “Yes we can,” many Democrats have adopted a new slogan this election year: “We shouldn’t even try.”

We shouldn’t try for single-payer system, they say. We’ll be lucky if we prevent Republicans from repealing Obamacare.

We shouldn’t try for a $15 an hour minimum wage. The best we can do is $12 an hour.

We shouldn’t try to restore the Glass-Steagall Act that used to separate investment and commercial banking, or bust up the biggest banks. We’ll be lucky to stop Republicans from repealing Dodd-Frank.

We shouldn’t try for free public higher education. As it is, Republicans are out to cut all federal education spending.

We shouldn’t try to tax carbon or speculative trades on Wall Street, or raise taxes on the wealthy. We’ll be fortunate to just maintain the taxes already in place.

Most of all, we shouldn’t even try to get big money out of politics. We’ll be lucky to round up enough wealthy people to back Democratic candidates.

“We-shouldn’t-even-try” Democrats think it’s foolish to aim for fundamental change – pie-in-the-sky, impractical, silly, naďve, quixotic. Not in the cards. No way we can.

I understand their defeatism. After eight years of Republican intransigence and six years of congressional gridlock, many Democrats are desperate just to hold on to what we have.

And ever since the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision opened the political floodgates to big corporations, Wall Street, and right-wing billionaires, many Democrats have concluded that bold ideas are unachievable.

In addition, some establishment Democrats – Washington lobbyists, editorial writers, inside-the-beltway operatives, party leaders, and big contributors – have grown comfortable with the way things are. They’d rather not rock the boat they’re safely in.

I get it, but here’s the problem. There’s no way to reform the system without rocking the boat. There’s no way to get to where America should be without aiming high.

Progressive change has never happened without bold ideas championed by bold idealists.

Some thought it was quixotic to try for civil rights and voting rights. Some viewed it as naďve to think we could end the Vietnam War. Some said it was unrealistic to push for the Environmental Protection Act.

But time and again we’ve learned that important public goals can be achieved – if the public is mobilized behind them. And time and again such mobilization has depended on the energies and enthusiasm of young people combined with the determination and tenacity of the rest.

If we don’t aim high we have no chance of hitting the target, and no hope of mobilizing that enthusiasm and determination.

The situation we’re in now demands such mobilization. Wealth and income are more concentrated at the top than in over a century. And that wealth has translated into political power.

The result is an economy rigged in favor of those at the top – which further compounds wealth and power at the top, in a vicious cycle that will only get worse unless reversed.

Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than the citizens of any other advanced nation, for example. We also pay more for Internet service. And far more for health care.

We pay high prices for airline tickets even though fuel costs have tumbled. And high prices for food even though crop prices have declined.

That’s because giant companies have accumulated vast market power. Yet the nation’s antitrust laws are barely enforced.

Meanwhile, the biggest Wall Street banks have more of the nation’s banking assets than they did in 2008, when they were judged too big to fail.

Hedge-fund partners get tax loopholes, oil companies get tax subsidies, and big agriculture gets paid off.

Bankruptcy laws protect the fortunes of billionaires like Donald Trump but not the homes of underwater homeowners or the savings of graduates burdened with student loans.

A low minimum wage enhances the profits of big-box retailers like Walmart, but requires the rest of us provide its employees and their families with food stamps and Medicaid in order to avoid poverty – an indirect subsidy of Walmart.

Trade treaties protect the assets and intellectual property of big corporations but not the jobs and wages of ordinary workers.

At the same time, countervailing power is disappearing. Labor union membership has plummeted from a third of all private-sector workers in the 1950s to fewer than 7 percent today. Small banks have been absorbed into global financial behemoths. Small retailers don’t stand a chance against Walmart and Amazon.

And the pay of top corporate executives continues to skyrocket, even as most peoples’ real wages drop and their job security vanishes.

This system is not sustainable.

We must get big money out of our democracy, end crony capitalism, and make our economy and democracy work for the many, not just the few.

But change on this scale requires political mobilization.

It won’t be easy. It has never been easy. As before, it will require the energies and commitments of large numbers of Americans.

Which is why you shouldn’t listen to the “we-must-not-try” brigade. They’ve lost faith in the rest of us.

We must try.
We have no choice.


This is beautiful, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist....


"The concept of a president in this country who is not beholden to corporate lobbyists is such a beautiful idea," Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea says


A year ago, nobody really cared about Bernie Sanders or knew who he was. And here's a guy that is not relying on fear-mongering or Super PACs or billions of dollars. He's just talking about issues that really affect us as human beings, like caring about each other and evening the playing field.


People try to demonize it like, "Socialism is the next step to communism." That's just insane silliness. Bernie isn't talking about eliminating the spirit of capitalism in terms of the competitive spirit of people being able to lift themselves up by their bootstraps through discipline and hard work and creativity and ingenuity.

He's not trying to eliminate making something great of yourself and being part of the American dream. He's just saying, "Let's even the playing field so everybody can get a decent education and have an opportunity to get health care and take care of themselves and educate themselves." That's what civilization should be about.


The bottom line is that everybody deserves to get a good education. This country is completely capable economically of providing a high-grade education for everybody regardless of their economic class. And everybody deserves to have a high grade of health care regardless of their economic class.

That is what's going to help [reduce] crime and poverty. That is what's going to make this country a beautiful, vibrant place.

Beyond economic issues, the thing that drives my interest the most in any presidential candidate is the one that's least likely to go to war and least likely to start some bloodthirsty murderous war campaign in order to keep the Military Industrial Complex going and make billions for the corporations at the expense of human life.

I think Bernie is the least likely to start a cockamamie war.


The entire article is worth reading.

If you're a Bernie supporter, you'll love reading more of his beautiful & succinct articulation of why we support this amazing person.

If you're for Hillary, it will help explain why those of us for Bernie are so damn passionate.

"Look, let's get this straight." (Tell it, John!!!)

Progressive 3.0: Beware the Latest Version of Hillary Clinton
by John Atcheson
Common Dreams


Look, let’s get this straight.

It wasn't very long ago when Hillary Clinton favored the TPP, the Keystone XL Pipeline and the death penalty.

She also opposed gay marriage and reinstating Glass-Steagall.

Her foreign policy is closer to the neocons who got us into Iraq (which she voted for) than what the American people favor.

She’s flipped on immigration, gun control, and NAFTA.

That’s not progressive.

She attributes her changes towards progressivism to “evolving” as a result of “new information.”

But as Politico points out, for most of these issues, there was no new information. For example, what’s changed on gay marriage, other than public opinion?

It also begs a question: if Sanders could see the folly of invading Iraq, or the stupidity of repealing Glass-Steagall, or the gross inequity of trade pacts, why couldn’t she?

Either she has bad judgment, or she’s being disingenuous about flip-flopping.

But now it’s apparent that the American people are taking a progressive turn and so, Hillary is shedding her moderate coat, and donning her progressive one.

When Mrs. Clinton – filled with righteous indignation – says let’s talk about issues and let’s look forward, what she’s really saying is let’s not talk about my campaign financing, or my policy history, because it won’t bear the scrutiny my new, new, new progressive brand demands.


Read in full~

"Hillary Clinton Tries, FAILS to K.O. Bernie Sanders at NH Debate"

Hillary Clinton Tries, Fails to K.O. Bernie Sanders at New Hampshire Debate
The Daily Beast

Down by some 20 points in New Hampshire, the former secretary of state launched an all-out assault on her lone remaining Democratic rival. The results were less than she hoped for.

Hillary Clinton tried to force Bernie Sanders to make himself unelectable on Thursday night.

She failed.

Coming off what may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory in the Iowa caucuses and facing a potential double-digit drumming in next week’s New Hampshire primary, Clinton came out swinging.

Almost immediately, she characterized the Vermont senator as an unrealistic dreamer who is making promises that he cannot possibly keep. She argued that she was a sort of pragmatic progressive who might not paint a perfect picture of the future but would work hard to move the ball forward for Democratic causes.

And it all landed a little flat. It was more “Hope to Change” than “Hope and Change.” And after all the questions about her numerous Wall Street paydays as well as the continued controversy surrounding her State Department emails, one couldn’t help but think both issues will continue to haunt her.


She then posited herself as an avowed enemy of the financial sector’s excesses. “I think the best evidence that the Wall Street people at least know where I stand and where I have always stood is because they are trying to beat me in this primary,” Clinton, the foremost recipient of Wall Street’s largesse this cycle, insisted.

Later, when asked by moderator Chuck Todd about whether she’d disclose the transcripts of her speeches to major banks, Clinton said she’d “look into it.”

Read in full~

Yahoo guide to some of the KEY PLAYERS in Clinton’s $157 million campaign

Hillary’s Financial Armada
Michael Isikoff
Chief Investigative Correspondent
February 4, 2016

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said she will stand up to big banks, drug companies and other special interests. “Democracy can’t just be for billionaires and corporations,” she proclaims.

But she has struggled to answer questions about her ties to Wall Street, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night she accepted $675,000 in speaking fees from one investment bank because “that’s what they offered” and that financial firms are not giving her “very much money now.”

In fact, as new campaign disclosure reports filed this week reveal, Clinton has been fueled by millions from a network of well-connected Washington lobbyists, Wall Street bundlers and billionaire donors.

Here is a Yahoo News guide to some of the key players in Clinton’s $157 million campaign:

A savvy political operative who was once chief of staff to Democratic Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, Elmendorf now runs Subject Matter, a go-to Democratic lobbying firm for corporate interests, raking more than $10 million in fees last year.

Among its top clients:

Wall Street banks (Goldman Sachs and Citigroup),

the casino industry (the American Gaming Association),

telecoms (Verizon and Time Warner),

tech firms (Facebook and Microsoft),

agribusiness (Monsanto)

and the NFL....

....huge snip....didn't want to.....

PLEASE See the rest of the PLAYERS playing US & PAYING Hillary~

The lowdown on the rest are found at the link. VERY insightful read!! It certainly helps explain why our Democratic Elites in DC have been the party for Big Business more often than not.
Thank you Yahoo!!

Accusations of Fraud and Theft Fly After Iowa Vote: HERE'S the LOWDOWN

Accusations of Fraud and Theft Fly After Iowa Vote: Here's the Lowdown
by Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet
February 3, 2016


A colorful report of a Des Moines Democratic Party caucus from the Los Angeles Times’ Kate Linthicum shows how passionate and unpredictable caucuses can be. She found “chaos, lobbying, and even a little low-level bribery,” but offering someone a free beer to switch sides is not a major conspiracy. A more eyebrow-raising moment was captured by C-SPAN, when a pro-Hillary Clinton precinct captain didn’t appear to be accurately counting votes. That’s glaring, given the Democratic side’s photo finish, but also is not a systemic issue.

Discovering that Clinton’s campaign may have recruited and paid non-Iowans to be precinct captains was a more serious charge, as that moves toward gaming the process, as some news organizations reported. “I think this raises a very serious concern,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, told Yahoo! News. Weaver “assured Bernie supporters that he’s not concerned specifically about this single out-of-state precinct captain, [but] he did insist that this could be a small link in a larger strategy by the Clinton campaign to have 'non-residents attempt to participate and be counted in the caucus.'"

That report, from UsUncut.com, shows how quickly bad behavior can be taken as the tip of a conspiratorial iceberg. They ended: “Ironically, Clinton’s people also accused Barack Obama’s team in 2008 with ‘systematically trying to manipulate the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state people.’ It’s now very possible that she’s adopted such manipulations into her own political playbook.”

Other eyebrow-raising antics occurred, raising alarm but it was inconsequential. When some caucuses ended in ties, yes a coin was used to decide the winner. But that’s the practice in a dozen states, so that should not have caused alarm—although the Sanders team later used a video of one coin toss to raise money. Reporters investigating that said it occurred perhaps two-dozen times out of nearly 1,700-plus Democratic caucus sites, benefitting both Sanders and Clinton.

The Des Moines Register reported on what was behind the totals from the very last Democrat precinct to turn it results, which gave Sanders two additional state convention delegates out of 1,400 awarded, cutting Clinton’s Iowa “victory” to two delegates. Apparently, a poor soul who volunteered to chair the caucus—after no one else came forth—didn’t know he had to submit results, the paper said. While the whole world waited, he went home and next morning had an ‘Oh My God’ moment. That’s what you get when poll workers are last-minute volunteers who are inexperienced.

However, that Register report raised the first substantial issue of magnitude: that Iowa’s Democratic Party would not release the raw caucus vote totals, but used a formula to award theoretical delegates to this spring’s statewide party convention. What’s even odder about that projection is that some 11,000 delegates, primarily divided between Sanders and Clinton, would first attend their county conventions. As NPR noted, this whole process doesn’t produce a clear winner in a tight race.

TheRegister raised the obvious question, “whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa,” adding, “Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals.” But the party would not lift its veil on the raw vote totals nor its arcane calculations.

That led Weaver to tell the Washington Post that his campaign would never know what really happened, for all the reasons already mentioned and one more: newly deployed vote-counting software from Microsoft didn’t perfectly perform either......

Read in full~

Insiders Predicted That Bernie Sanders Would Be No Threat to Hillary

Insiders Predicted That Bernie Sanders Would Be No Threat to Hillary Clinton
by Zaid Jilani
The Intercept

The stunning virtual tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Iowa came after months of mainstream media pundits and leaders of the political establishment confidently predicting that Sanders would be no match for Clinton’s electoral machine there — or anywhere, for that matter.

“For now, Hillary Clinton has nothing to worry about as she prepares for the Iowa caucuses,” Bloomberg political reporter John McCormick wrote last May. “Despite a wave of influence-peddling allegations involving her family’s foundation, her prospects for winning the first-in-the-nation presidential contest remain undamaged.” McCormick cited a Quinnipiac poll showing Clinton capturing 60 percent of the vote in Iowa to Sanders’ 15.

There is no candidate who appears to have the political and financial resources at this time to successfully take her on.” (Peter A Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll)

Enten also noted in June that one of the “foundational flaws” in the Sanders candidacy is that he “hasn’t been able to figure out how to earn more than 5 percent of the nonwhite vote.” In the latest New York Times/CBS News national poll, 27 percent of nonwhite voters are now behind Sanders.

The Times’s Nate Cohn wrote in April that the Sanders candidacy won’t “change the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to win the Democratic nomination without a serious contest.” Citing polls showing that a significant number of Democratic voters self-identify as moderates, Cohn said that “the left wing of the Democratic Party just isn’t big enough to support a challenge to the left of a mainstream liberal Democrat like Mrs. Clinton.”

“There is Bernie Sanders, but I don’t think a lot of people seriously believe that he is really a viable challenger. He’s more of a protest candidate,”

Buzzfeed’s D.C. editor John Stanton used a March appearance on MSNBC to say Sanders is “not a really like a serious candidate in terms of, you know, posing a serious challenge to her.

GO Bernie!!!

Status Quo / No We Can't 2016! is going DOWN

Carpe Diem, Senator Warren

Yeah, I know....

"She doesn't want to run, she wants to stay in the senate." & "We need her in the senate" & the worst "She signed a letter 2 years ago!!"

However, try to clear all of that chatter from your mind, for a moment, & open your mind.

Read the following poignant plea & hope like hell (with me) that this time, Elizabeth heeds the call & goes for the leadership role we all know she would excel in & would help Bernie take the country to greatness....make FDR proud.

Carpe Diem, Senator Warren
by Hank Edson
Common Dreams

With yesterday’s dead-heat contest in Iowa between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the moment has arrived when Elizabeth Warren’s commitment to fixing our democracy and our economy is being put to the test.

A person can have great judgment and intellect, but if their timing is off, ultimately even those strengths are proven flawed and inadequate. We must have real results if this person is going to be a real leader. Often this person is going to have to take real risks to get real results.

Warren’s timing, judgment and courage are all now being challenged. It’s not enough to be independent, articulate, and passionate from the bully pulpit.

Achieving leadership’s full capacity inevitably involves taking a stand that is by nature risky, but all the more necessary because one’s deepest convictions will not allow any other course of action.

One feels compelled within to seize the moment. Whatever the risks of taking a stand, the risks of letting the moment pass are greater. However, unconventional the action required is, that action remains the most obviously impactful.

If destiny offers someone like Warren the opportunity to swing the tide of the nation toward a more honest and just governance and they hesitate, well then ultimately they weren’t the leader we hoped for. Warren has had this opportunity served up to her by Bernie Sanders in the most admirable way. There is no room for her to pretend the moment of decision is not upon her.

These sentiments won’t sit kindly with Warren’s many well-deserved admirers. But ultimately, these sentiments are a very high form of praise. Warren is not being tested by the opinion of the writer or by the opinions of so many countless progressive Americans, but by her own principles and standards and by history and by the outcomes that will flow from the way she conducts herself in this pivotal moment.

She has already made herself worthy enough to be judged by history and her own principles. That in itself makes her a contender. But let’s not pretend she’s more than that while our country is still so dysfunctional, while she has an opportunity to make a powerfully positive difference beyond her current contributions and yet has not done so.

We need to treat these leaders, not as idols it is sacrilege to challenge, but as our brothers and sisters it is fair to demand an explanation from and helpful to their own process to challenge.


The difference between Sanders and Clinton is night and day.
Clinton belongs to an old order and an old day now dead. Progressives, and particularly the younger among us, are changing the political culture of our country and the result is we are entering a new day in American democracy. Regardless of the outcome of this contest, this dramatic shift heralding hope for a planet under siege is being telegraphed by the passionate movement supporting the Sanders campaign. This movement will not give Elizabeth Warren a “pass” while millions look to her to join with Sanders based on her own record of advocacy and statements of principle.

The progressive movement widely and justly recognizes that Elizabeth Warren can be a great president. Her own judgment has left that prospect to the future. In the present moment, however, she is called to recognize she can be a great leader now in a moment in our history that may not come again for a planet imperiled by climate change and an accelerating concentration of wealth. She can be a great leader now, in this unique moment in time, by partnering with Sanders as his vice presidential nominee and collaborator in a broadly inclusive, sophisticated, and principled campaign to uplift society through the quality of our governance.


Read the rest~

I didn't write this, but I think its brave & brutally honest. It will be controversial & I don't care.

I hope she's listening.

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