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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

So glad you went to see "Inhabit" & many others did too! So you liked it?


You can rent/buy the documentary at Vimeo, btw. I might do that today.

As Momentum Continues, Bernie Sanders Shedding Dark Horse Status

As Momentum Continues, Bernie Sanders Shedding Dark Horse Status

'Sanders has captured the imagination and support of people looking for a real progressive challenger in the 2016 Democratic primary.'
June 19. 2015

Bernie Sanders has had a good day.

In the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the senator's campaign has been steadily advancing on current frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination—and, as several media outlets noted on Friday, his challenge is becoming impossible for her campaign to ignore.

Beyond the overflow crowds that show up to his rallies and the growing support in voter polls, it is Sanders' very status as a dark horse that makes him "uniquely positioned" to do well in the primaries, The Hill's Jonathan Easley explained on Friday.

Easley continued:

"One of the problems that the Sanders surge poses for Clinton is that Democrats say there’s a risk in taking him head on. Doing so could rally his supporters, alienate liberals the Democratic nominee will need in the fall of 2016 and elevate Sanders as a challenger.

... Meanwhile, Sanders has begun sharpening his attacks against Clinton — and she has started to move toward Sanders on at least one issue."

The senator from Vermont also has something of a hometown advantage in the New Hampshire primaries, Easley said, quoting Democratic strategist Ben Bannon that "[a] victory in New Hampshire would scare the hell out of the Clinton people."...

Sanders' biggest challenge will be expanding his base to garner more diversity among his supporters, who are currently mostly young and male, Easley said.

And he may get them. On Friday, the grassroots political initiative Ready to Fight—borne from the now-dormant Ready for Warren campaign—officially endorsed Sanders as its candidate for president. Its founders, Erica Sagrans and Charles Lenchner, wrote in an op-ed for CNN that Sanders' progressive values make him a good fit for those who would have backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had she chosen to run....


I was one Ready For Warren voter who voted to go with Bernie, unless Warren changes her mind. (But I like O'Malley too, it was a hard choice.)

Go Bernie Go!!

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt: Hillary Clinton's Challenge

Hillary Clinton's Rooseveltian Challenge: Carrying Forward the Four Freedoms
by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s important that Hillary Clinton chose a place that honors my grandfather to officially launch her campaign and unveil her vision for our nation. In doing so, she sought to claim the Rooseveltian style of leadership and to position herself as the person who will carry forward the Roosevelt legacy of action, insight and advancement.

Now that the crowds have gone home, can she live up to the challenge she is setting for herself?

My grandparents shaped our nation and the world in ways that were deeper and further reaching than almost any other figures of the 20th century. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt took America from the brink of total economic collapse and laid the groundwork for the greatest stretch of prosperity we’ve ever experienced.

They fought for democracy and against horrific regimes the likes of which the world may never have recovered from and used that moment to form a strong global alliance that is still in place today. They did all of this through the New Deal—by rewriting the rules of our capitalist system so that it works for everybody, and by building the postwar international system linking our economic and security interests as one global family.

They put rules in place to make capitalism work for the many as opposed to a few at the top—including rules for our financial system to protect consumers and control risk. The New Deal invested in America’s future through roads, bridges, modern electric systems, schools, and other essentials of a modern society. The Roosevelt administration expanded protections and rights for workers and families and gave them a seat at the bargaining table and ensured their security after retirement. They created a path to the middle class for millions of Americans.

But the Roosevelt record and so many of the strides we made through the New Deal have been undermined over the past 35 years as so many of those rules, investments, and protections have been rolled back. As a result, the American middle class lifestyle is almost as far out of reach today for most Americans as it was when my grandfather took office, and the future looks dim.

My grandparents took office four years after the Great Depression hit; our next president will be sworn in less than a decade after the Great Recession hit. The gap between those at the top and the rest of us is at a point last seen before the New Deal. Workers and America’s families face an entrenched wealthy class seeking to control who benefits from our economy and our political process. And there is growing unrest in the world as radical militants seek to undermine and destroy the very concept of democracy by taking advantage of our dysfunction.

Just as they were 83 years ago, the American people are desperately hungry for action and leadership to fix the imbalances in our economy and society.

A recent CBS/New York Times poll showed that the majority of Americans—rich and poor, men and women, Republicans and Democrats—agree that income, opportunity, and influence are unfairly concentrated at the top and that these disparities are growing. Further, Americans support government action to address this inequality and rewrite the rules of our economy.

For all my grandparents accomplished, so much of their work is still left unfinished. The beautiful park from which Secretary Clinton spoke celebrates the fundamental Four Freedoms my grandfather laid out in his 1941 speech as essential to democracy and to all of humanity: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Yet for many in our own nation and across the world, those essential freedoms have yet to be fully realized.

Another unfinished act proposed by my grandfather was a second bill of rights guaranteeing every American access to the central pillars of economic security—employment and a living wage, decent housing and medical care, public education, adequate food and clothing, and healthy leisure. The work of ensuring that the good ideas of the New Deal are equally available to women and to communities of color also remains incomplete.

Now is truly the time to hand the baton to the next great leader committed to completing this work.

If Hillary Clinton wants to follow in the footsteps of Franklin and Eleanor, then she must not just reflect on their legacy but carry forward their energetic leadership and relentless pursuit of bold solutions.

Clinton must summon the courage to once again fundamentally rewrite the rules of our economy, restore balance, challenge entrenched power, and seek a New Deal for the 21st century.

The American people will follow that kind of leadership.


*Anna Eleanor Roosevelt is Chair of the Roosevelt Institute's Board and President and CEO of Goodwill NNE.

Tom Steyer Sends Hillary Clinton a Message, Via Pope Francis and Martin O’Malley

Tom Steyer Sends Hillary Clinton a Message, Via Pope Francis and Martin O’Malley

Tom Steyer just sent Hillary Clinton a message: I'm getting impatient.

The deep-pocketed Democratic donor who has pushed President Obama and Hillary Clinton on environmental issues took advantage of Pope Francis's climate-change encyclical to call on the next president to act on global warming. And he effusively praised Martin O'Malley for taking the lead.

Steyer thanked O'Malley, the long-shot Democratic 2016 contender, for urging the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and spelling out a detailed plan of action to confront Earth's rising temperatures. In doing so, Steyer created a clear contrast between O'Malley and Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner who has yet to take a position on the controversial pipeline and so far has not laid out nearly as detailed a vision for fighting global warming.

"Today, Pope Francis issued a powerful and inspirational encyclical on climate change—and I'm happy to see that many of our leaders are already heeding his call to action," Steyer's statement read.

Citing O'Malley's environmental plan, which calls for rejecting Keystone, Steyer added: "This is exactly the type of leadership on climate change the pope, military and business leaders are calling for—and that we need from our next president."

The politics of Steyer's statement are unmistakable. During the 2014 midterm elections, the environmental billionaire spent more than $69 million in a bid to elect Democrats with a strong record on climate.

That was enough money to make Steyer that cycle's most generous public donor....


Steyer's green group NextGen Climate also released a digital ad suggesting that any elected official who fails to heed the pope's global warming warning is in the pocket of the Koch brothers~

I'm so grateful the planet has a billionaire on the GOOD side, to help fight off the Koch's and to influence Democratic candidates.

Here's another of nextgen's vids on the subject~

One more important video~

He's our David vs Goliath (Koch bros)

Did you know its illegal to form labor unions in Vietnam? The corporations that wrote the TPP know,

& they're LOVIN' it!

Vietnamese Labor Leaders Urge Congress To Reject Obama's Trade Agenda

...It is currently illegal to form labor unions in Vietnam, where the only formal union is a wing of the communist government.

Average worker wages, according to the letter, are far below the amount needed to cover basic living expenses including food and housing. Workers are routinely beaten and jailed for speaking out in favor of better labor rules.

"Workers who attempt to exercise their rights are met with verbal and physical threats by hired thugs working in conjunction with factory management and government operatives," the letter reads.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that would grant Obama so-called "fast-track" authority, which would prevent Congress from amending or filibustering any trade pact he negotiates. Obama cannot pass his trade agenda without fast-track powers. U.S. labor unions are concerned that the pact will drive down domestic wages by forcing American workers to compete with low wages and abusive practices abroad. Obama and Republican leaders say the pact will benefit all parties involved by boosting economic growth. The vast majority of Democrats in Congress are opposed to both TPP and the fast-track bill.

In their letter, labor leaders in Vietnam noted that many American companies profit from the exploitation of Vietnamese workers, singling out Nike, which operates factories in the country. In May, Obama made a pitch for the TPP deal from a Nike facility in Oregon. The labor leaders also sent lawmakers a separate study on Nike's practices in Vietnam, detailing poverty wages paid to workers that forced them to borrow money to cover basic expenses. Nike was not immediately available for comment.

"In order for human and labor rights that are clearly spelled out in UN Conventions and in the Vietnamese Constitution to be truly respected in Vietnam, we believe that the U.S. Congress must use the opportunity of granting fast track authority as leverage to make immediate transformative changes so that the citizens of Vietnam can enjoy their human rights and basic freedoms," the letter reads..

Read the full letter here.


"Average worker wages, according to the letter, are far below the amount needed to cover basic living expenses including food and housing. Workers are routinely beaten and jailed for speaking out in favor of better labor rules"

^^^ How is this different from slavery? Slaves at least had free room & board. I firmly believe those in favor of the TPP are in favor of slavery, & this disqualifies them from representing US in DC.

Here's what the Communist Vietnamese press have to say....

Washington redirects US investments to Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnamese analysts, who noted that US capital has been flowing to Vietnam in recent years, said the capital was heading to many business sectors, from real estate to heavy industries and consumer goods.

Bui Ngoc Son, MA, said the US would be the Number 1 foreign investor in Vietnam for both geopolitical and business reasons within one to three years.

The strong rise of China is an important reason that US investors were going to Vietnam.

China, with its expansion strategy, will be a strong rival to both the US and Europe.

If the Chinese march towards the north, it will meet Russia. If it goes to the west, it will meet India, while Japan and South Korea are awaiting in the east. As such, going across Vietnam is the easiest path for China.

According to Son, the US is hurrying to Vietnam for two reasons. First, the US wants to impede China’s implementation of its geopolitical expansion strategy and China’s strategy to popularize its goods all over the globe.

Second, from an economic perspective, Asia is a very dynamic region. The country has great advantages that any long-term investor would highly appreciate – natural resources, a cheap labor force and political certainty.

Moreover, Vietnam is negotiating for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which means that in the future, the TPP membership status would give it great opportunities to develop imports and exports.

Investors in Vietnam can make products at lower costs and enjoy tariff preferences....


***And BTW, that China meme is BS.***

They want in on the TPP & that door has not been shut to them....

China may join the TPP...but it'll take a while

President Obama, in an interview with Kai Ryssdal yesterday, revealed that the U.S. and China have been in talks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Andy Rothman, investment strategist at Matthews International Capital Management, analyzes the impact of China joining the TPP....


Martin O'Malley Just Set An Extremely High Bar On Climate Change

Martin O'Malley Just Set An Extremely High Bar On Climate Change

WASHINGTON -- Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland and a contender to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, called on Thursday for a phase-out of fossil fuels by 2050, citing the "moral obligation" to address climate change.

In an op-ed published in USA Today, O'Malley, who is Catholic, called the encyclical Pope Francis issued on Thursday on climate change a "clarion call for action."

O'Malley's piece also publicly rebuked some of the Obama administration's energy policies and promised to put climate and energy at the center of his presidential campaign.

"We cannot meet the climate challenge with an all-of-the-above energy strategy, or by drilling off our coasts, or by building pipelines that bring oil from tar sands in Canada," O'Malley wrote. The Obama administration has often touted an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy, and earlier this year proposed opening new areas of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling. The administration has not yet issued a decision on whether to approve a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas.

While O'Malley said the Obama administration's policies have made the United States more energy independent, he said the climate challenge requires the country to make "a full, complete transition to renewable energy -- and an end to our reliance on fossil fuels."

"I believe, within 35 years, our country can and should be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs," wrote O'Malley. "But we have to accelerate the transition right now."

By comparison, the leaders of the Group of Seven nations recently pledged to phase out fossil fuels by 2100 -- 50 years later.

In an accompanying memo outlining the campaign's energy platform, O'Malley states that "reliance on local, renewable energy sources means a safer, more stable world." ...


O'Malley Op-Ed in full~

Jun 18 | Op-Ed · The Latest
A Jobs Agenda for Our Renewable Energy Future

Originally published in USA Today, June 18, 2015

Today, Pope Francis published his encyclical — an official teaching document to all 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide — on the moral imperative of addressing climate change. He is not alone among leaders of world faiths making such a clarion call for action.

We have come a long way as a nation in making ourselves more energy independent. Now is the time to take this progress to the next level — the future of our country and our planet depends on it.

New technologies now put an independent clean energy future decidedly within our reach as a nation.

But reach for it we must.

Clean energy represents the biggest business and job creation opportunity we’ve seen in a hundred years. Reliance on local, renewable energy sources also means a more secure nation and a more stable world.

Given the grave threat that climate change poses to human life on our planet, we have not only a business imperative but a moral obligation to future generations to act immediately and aggressively.

This is why protecting the United States from the devastating impact of climate change — while capitalizing on the job creation opportunity of clean energy — is at the center of my campaign for President.

All of us can acknowledge that with an “all of the above strategy,” President Obama has made the United States more energy independent in every category of fuels, including oil and gas.

But America did not land a man on the moon with an “all of the above strategy.” It was an engineering challenge.

Making the transition to a clean energy future is also an engineering challenge. We cannot meet the climate challenge with an all-of-the-above energy strategy, or by drilling off our coasts, or by building pipelines that bring oil from tar sands in Canada.

Instead, we must be intentional and committed to one over-arching goal as a people: a full, complete transition to renewable energy – and an end to our reliance on fossil fuels.

Saving the world is a goal worthy of a great people. It is also good business for the United States of America.

I believe, within 35 years, our country can and should be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. To reach this goal we must accelerate that transition starting now.

As President, on Day One, I would use my executive power to declare the transition to a clean energy future the number one priority of our Federal Government.

I would create a new Clean Energy Jobs Corps to partner with communities to retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, improve local resiliency, create new green spaces, and restore and expand our forests so they can absorb more greenhouse gases.

I would retrofit federal buildings to the highest efficiency standards and require new federal buildings to be net-zero. I would require the federal fleet to be subject to low- or zero-emissions purchasing agreements, and require all federally-funded infrastructure projects to meet climate resiliency standards.

As President, I would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to take aggressive action to limit greenhouse gases: expanding rules to other large sources of emissions beyond power plants, adopting a zero-tolerance policy for methane leaks from current oil and gas production, and setting higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings while requiring energy costs to be transparent to building tenants and purchasers.

And I would reject projects like Keystone XL, drilling off our coasts and in the Arctic and Alaska. Furthermore, I would keep domestically produced oil and gas in the U.S., instead of selling it abroad — unless there is a clear strategic security rationale.

Beyond executive actions, I would make clean energy deployment – and full employment – a first order priority.

I would set a national, cross-sector Renewable Electricity Standard so our nation is powered by 100% clean energy by 2050, and a national goal of doubling energy efficiency within 15 years. Many states like California and Maryland are already leading the way forward for the United States.

I would fight for federal legislation for a cap on carbon emissions from all sources, with proceeds from permits returned to lower- and middle-class families, job transition assistance, and new jobs with the Clean Energy Corps.

As President, I would support a Clean Energy Financing Authority to support projects to increase efficiency and resiliency upgrades in cities, towns, and rural communities nationwide.

I would prioritize modernizing our electric grid to support localized renewable energy generation, reduced electricity waste, and increased security from sabotage or attack.

And I would increase our investment in basic clean energy research so the U.S. can reclaim the lead on energy innovation, including advancing development, deployment, transmission, and storage for renewable energy and new efficiency technologies.

The fact is, there is no either/or choice between our prosperity and protecting our planet – we can create a future where there are more jobs, and a future with a livable climate. And there is no future for humankind without a livable climate.*

The reality, as we learned in Maryland, is that the two goals of job creation and a livable climate are indivisible. Driven by ambitious targets, we created thousands of new jobs while deploying clean energy technology and reducing greenhouse gas pollution by nearly 10 percent over just seven years.

As a Nation, together, we can do far more – with a bold vision for America’s clean energy future, and the strong leadership needed to get it done.


*My favorite line.

He just won my vote. I just hope I get the opportunity by the time the primary rolls into my state...

'Turncoat Dems' in House Blasted as Fast Track Fight Heads Back to Senate

'Turncoat Dems' in House Blasted as Fast Track Fight Heads Back to Senate

'We expect more regard for environmental protection and respect for working families from President Obama and the Democrats who supported this bill.'

Drawing the swift ire of progressives around the country, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday took a step to revive President Barack Obama's faltering corporate trade agenda, passing Fast Track, or Trade Promotion Authority, in a 218-208 vote.

Twenty-eight Democratic lawmakers voted in favor of Fast Track, which would make it easier for Obama to ram through controversial trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership, reducing the role of Congress to an up-or-down vote on such mammoth agreements.

"Thanks to House Republicans and a handful of turncoat Democrats, the army of corporate execs and industry lobbyists who wrote the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership will now have an easier time shoving it down the throats of an American public that's broadly opposed to more NAFTA-style trade deals," Democracy for America chair Jim Dean said after the vote. "While we will continue to work to defeat fast-track for the job-killing TPP in the U.S. Senate, we will never forget which House Democrats stood with American working families against Fast Track and who sold them out."

"Our disappointment with the president is profound," said Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica on Thursday. "Sadly, we have come to expect Republicans to sell out the environment for the pursuit of corporate profits. But we expect more regard for environmental protection and respect for working families from President Obama and the Democrats who supported this bill."

While Thursday's vote is a setback, the fight is far from over. The legislation will now head back to the Senate, where as Public Citizen notes, "its fate remains at best unclear."

In May, the Senate originally passed a version of Fast Track that was linked to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation that gives aid to workers displaced by trade. But last Friday, the TAA measure was overwhelmingly defeated in the House, in turn derailing Fast Track.

Thursday's vote separated Fast Track from TAA legislation, meaning those who voted in favor supported a bill without protections for workers. It is unknown whether Senate Democrats will support a stand-alone Fast Track bill....

Read more~

These are the 28 Turncoat Dems who voted for bypassing the Democratic process with TPA Fast Tracking corporate "trade" deals:
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Susan Davis (CA-53)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
James Himes (CT-04)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Gregory Meeks (NY-05)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)
Gerald Connolly (VA-11)
Donald Beyer (VA-08)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Ron Kind (WI-03)

Obama’s Bipolar Approach To Energy And Climate Change

Obama’s Bipolar Approach To Energy And Climate Change

With less than two years to go in office, President Obama has already sealed his fate with regards to his legacy on climate change. When historians look back and assess his actions on what could be one of the biggest issues of his presidency, they will undoubtedly be using the term “disappointing” quite a bit.

The main problem is not that he has ignored the issue as his predecessor, President George W. Bush, did; it is that he has consistently said one thing about the threat of climate change and then done the exact opposite of what he has called for.

.... But what is unique in this situation is President Obama’s constant public reminders that climate change is a threat to the United States, proclamations that are typically followed by an anti-environment executive action.

These past few weeks have given more great examples of the President’s bipolar disorder on climate change.

At the end of May, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it would issue a total of 28 new coal mining leases for the Powder River Basin. Greenpeace points out that the amount of coal that could be excavated and burned from just these new coal leases is enough to completely negate (and surpass) the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would be cut by President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. In sum, Obama’s most ambitious action on climate change is already being made useless by his administration’s decision to lease more coal mining operations.

...But seven years later, President Obama’s stance on offshore drilling has clearly changed. Rather than worrying about the immediate economic impacts, and certainly without considering the environmental impacts, President Obama has proposed opening up previously off-limits areas of the Atlantic coast for oil drilling; he has increased the number of offshore oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico (after he presided over the single largest environmental disaster ever to take place in the Gulf); and he’s even allowed the fracking industry to operate in near secrecy in the Gulf of Mexico.

It seems like every action the president has taken to combat climate change has been met by an equal attempt to appease the dirty energy industry.


From Ring of Fire~

(xposted in E & E Group)

Thank you Pope Francis! Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change
New York Times

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope:

He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness.The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” he wrote. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”


Reckless Pursuit of Profits
Excessive Faith in Technology
Political Shortsightedness

Coolest Pope Evah...just in time for our over-heated planet. God works in mysterious ways.

FDR ; Hillary talking to US about how her husband followed in his footsteps

and FDR's Four Freedoms...

Such an affront. I'm beyond disgusted.

Here's the fact of the matter...

...The chief aim of what I have termed the Republican Counterrevolution has always been to roll back the New Deal. Anti-government rhetoric hides this as surely as states' rights hid racist segregation. Of all the New Deal legislation the GOP has sought to overturn, one that has always been at or near the top of the list is the Glass-Steagall Act.

Ironically, a Democratic president repealed this for them.


An unreconstructed Southerner from Virginia, Carter Glass shepherded the creation of the Federal Reserve System through Congress, which has caused some to call him the "founding father of the Federal Reserve System." Later Glass would serve as Wilson's Treasury Secretary, recommending aid to Europe after World War I. Just before leaving Treasury to become senator, Glass warned about banks getting involved in stocks.

...When Franklin Roosevelt took office, both the President and Congress knew the banking crisis demanded immediate action. The result was one of the crown jewels of the New Deal: the Glass-Steagall Act, officially known as the Banking Act of 1933. Glass made sure the bill forbid banks from getting into the investment business. In addition, the bill established the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, which protects our bank deposits.

Bill Clinton and the Wall of Me

Billionaire Sanford I. Weill, who according to Louis Uchitelle made "Citigroup into the most powerful financial institution since the House of Morgan a century ago," has what I call the Wall of Me leading to his office, which he has decorated with tributes to him, including a dozen framed magazine covers. A major trophy is the pen Bill Clinton used to sign the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a move which allowed Weill to create Citigroup. Fittingly, Citigroup is a major contributor to guess which current Democratic Presidential candidate?

A Frontline report on the repeal of Glass-Steagall shows how those with money end up with pens from the President of the United States on their walls.

Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.

Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"

When Bill Clinton gave that pen to Sanford Weill, it symbolized the ending of the twentieth century Democratic Party that had created the New Deal. Although the 1999 law did not repeal all of the banking Act of 1933, retaining the FDIC, it did once again allow banks to enter the securities business, becoming what some term "whole banks."

The repeal of one of the most important pieces of legislation in this nation's history came about as a result of another Clinton "triangulation," the wobbling attempt to find the middle of the road that has somehow managed to pass for a philosophy with many Democrats for over two decades. As former Clinton former campaign Richard Morris once described it, you move a little to the left, a little to the right. I'd love to hear Clinton give that explanation to a foreclosed home owner today.

With the stroke of a pen, Bill Clinton ended an era that stretched back to William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson and reached fruition with FDR and Harry Truman. As he signed his name, in the whorls and dots of his pen strokes William Jefferson Clinton was also symbolically signing the death warrant of Liberal America and its core belief in the level playing field that had guided the Democratic Party. But it was the gift of the pen to Sanford Weill and its assuming an honored place on the Wall of Me that rubbed salt in the wound.

In his famous First Inaugural Roosevelt asserted:

Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

Clinton not only repealed the act Roosevelt had put in place to curb those practices, but presented one of the pens used to sign it to one of those "money changers."


The irony. The gullibility required to buy into this.....

The sadness that what has actually happened, & who did it, can be painted over with a pretty speech & a triangulated narrative.

And as a woman, I'm so ashamed this is what has become of my party.

Most of all, I just want to say I wasn't alive during FDR's time, but God, how I miss him. We could sure use him today, but instead we just get people who use his name.

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