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TomCADem

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Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 13,189

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WaPo - Federal government has dramatically expanded exposure to risky mortgages

Here is just another example of how the Trump administration has been trying to artificially goose the economy by returning to the liar loan days of the Bush administration.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/federal-government-has-dramatically-expanded-exposure-to-risky-mortgages/ar-AAIcp3f

The federal government has dramatically expanded its exposure to risky mortgages, as federal officials over the past four years took steps that cleared the way for companies to issue loans that many borrowers might not be able to repay.

Now, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration guarantee almost $7 trillion in mortgage-related debt, 33 percent more than before the housing crisis, according to company and government data. Because these entities are run or backstopped by the U.S. government, a large increase in loan defaults could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

* * *

In 2019, there is more government-backed housing debt than at any other point in U.S. history, according to data from the Urban Institute. Taxpayers are shouldering much of the risk, while a growing number of homeowners face debt payments that amount to nearly half of their monthly income, a threshold many experts consider too steep.

Roughly 30 percent of the loans Fannie Mae guaranteed last year exceeded this level, up from 14 percent in 2016, according to Urban Institute data. At the FHA, 57 percent of the loans it insured breached the high-risk echelon, jumping from 38 percent two years earlier.

Nixon Was The First President Known To Pressure BLS to Manipulate Econ Data. What About Trump?

As Trump celebrates BLS labor data suggesting that unemployment is down even as the economy slows and record numbers of people are homeless, this reminds me of relatively small Trump scandal early in the Trump presidency when he appointedFred Malek. Who is Fred Malek?

Well, Fred Malek was infamous because he counted the Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics so President Nixon could demote them because Nixon believed that they were cooking the BLS's economic stats to make him look bad. So, Nixon asked Fred Malek, a future Trump appointee, to identify and demote Jews and Democrats in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an effort to pressure the BLS to publish more favorable economic data?

Could it happen again? Or, do we think that Trump has more scruples and is less racist than Nixon?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/09/nixon-s-jew-count-the-whole-story.html

Our story begins on the afternoon of July 2, 1971. President Richard Nixon is angered to read in the Washington Star that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has downplayed a drop in the unemployment rate from 6.2 percent to 5.6 percent, attributing it to a statistical quirk. (For details about the BLS interpretation, which was routine and unexceptional, see Hughes’ “Nixon vs. the Imaginary Jewish Cabal,” posted Sept. 24 on the Web site History News Network.) We join Nixon as he is talking to White House aide Charles Colson. (This is from a newly released Miller Center transcription.)

Colson: We’ve got the headline of the Star tonight, looking—Nixon: Yeah, well, they’d have to, wouldn’t they? Colson: They did. They threw in their line that maybe it’s a statistical fluke, which some damn fool at the Labor Department said, but … if I can find out who it is, he’ll be the first one of the casualties of the Lord High Executioner. (He chuckles.)Nixon:Well, did—somebody at the Labor Department said it was a statistical fluke? Colson: Yes, sir. We’ll— [Four-second “privacy” excision]Nixon: Yeah. Colson: It’s typical of what these bastards in the bureaucracy— Nixon: I want—I want—I want—really now, we told everybody that’s supposed to be here. Now, I’d find out, and then he’s got to be fired. Colson: That’s right. You— Nixon: If he said it. I gave the orders. It was clear. Didn’t I? Colson: Oh, absolutely.


“He” turned out to be Harold Goldstein, assistant commissioner of labor statistics. According to Hughes, Nixon had been wanting to fire Goldstein since the previous January, when Goldstein had publicly (and correctly) termed an unemployment drop of two-tenths of 1 percent “marginally significant.” On July 3, Colson advised Nixon (according to a tape available to Hughes but not yet transcribed) that he demand a reorganization of the BLS. “In the process of reorganizing it,” Colson said, “I think we’ll get this guy’s resignation.” Nixon agreed and called in White House budget director George Shultz and Labor Secretary James Hodgson. “Well,” said Shultz, “I think the only kind of organization that would be sensible under these circumstances is a reorganization that separates Goldstein from the employment, uh, employment figures, and gets him into something else entirely.

* * *

Six weeks pass, and it is Sept. 8, 1971. Malek reports in a memo (previously unpublished; thanks, again, to Kenneth J. Hughes) that he has had “several meetings” with Labor Secretary Hodgson “to convince him of the need for fairly drastic moves.” Six out of nine offices will be combined into an Office of Data Analysis. This will be headed by a “politically sensitive, loyal Republican economist,” presumably one who does not have a mezuzah nailed to his front door. The move will strip the BLS’ deputy commissioner, the unfortunately surnamed Ben Burdetsky, from authority “over the most critical areas.”

In addition, “Harold Goldstein will be moved to a routine, non-sensitive post in another part of BLS. He has been told of this and will move quietly when the reorganization is announced.” Goldstein, too, will be replaced by a “sensitive and loyal Republican,” one who we may assume eats shellfish with a clear conscience. (Goldstein lost some key duties, had a new supervisor placed above him, and decided less than a year later to retire at 57.)

Spy Chief Dan Coats Goes 'Rogue' by Not Validating Trump's Russia Contradictions (2018)

Trump just fired his Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. Dan Coats, as you know, was on Trump's shit list for not backing Trump's efforts to cover up for Putin.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/07/dan-coats-goes-rogue-wont-back-trumps-russia-claims.html?gtm=top

In the aftermath of President Trump’s disastrous performance at his summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday, familiar patterns have emerged. Anonymous White House staffers told Politico that White House morale is now even lower than it was after the last scandal, and some are eyeing the exits — though no one seems interested in resigning in protest. Top Trump aides tried to stake out a position that didn’t anger their boss, yet was still somewhat fact-based and inoffensive.

This is a nearly impossible task. For instance, at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen refused to say she agrees with the U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia’s meddling was meant to aid Trump. Then she listed white supremacist violence, Russia election interference, and the Syrian civil war as three examples of situations where you don’t know where to place blame.

“I think what we have seen on the foreign influence side is that they were attempting to intervene and cause chaos on both sides, whether it’s in Charlottesville — both sides — whether it’s in Syria — both sides,” Nielsen said.

But one administration official decided not to follow this script — and now there’s speculation that he may face consequences for not bolstering Trump’s fictions.

Revelations On the Anti-Christ - Isn't It Funny How Evangelicals Cheer on Trump?

The Bible's end-time prophecies state that religious people—including many self-professed Christians, would be deceived into accepting a counterfeit Christianity, and would oppose many of the teachings of Christ. In that sense, the New Testament states that many Christians would be deceived by a spirit of antichrist.

The Bible does not reveal specifically who the Antichrist is, speaking instead of his corrupt teachings. In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul prophesied of a “man of sin,” a liar and deceiver whose natural abilities Satan enhances by supernatural power in order to confuse people in the end time. In addition, Revelations refers to a “false prophet” to come at the end time (Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20). Finally, Revelations describes a great religious leader of the end time: “He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). That is to say, he takes on the image of (or imitates) Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God), but is empowered by Satan. Thus, a counterfeit version of Christianity fulfills the types we read of in the prophecies of Revelation.

Well, I guess it is a good thing that our Evangelical leaders have not been deceived by Trump and have taken a strong, vocal stand against his infidelity, his cruelty, and his hate.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4:

1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.


Revelations 13:11-18:

11Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.


Revelations 16:8-16

8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. 10The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!" 16And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.


Revelations 19:20:

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.


Hidden Recession - Economists flee Agriculture Dept. after feeling punished under Trump

Trump's policies are harming the American working class. Yet, if any agency acknowledges the detrimental impact of such policies, they will be retaliated against.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/07/agriculture-economists-leave-trump-1307146

Reports showing farmers hurt by the president’s policies have drawn the ire of top officials.

Economists in the Agriculture Department's research branch say the Trump administration is retaliating against them for publishing reports that shed negative light on White House policies, spurring an exodus that included six of them quitting the department on a single day in late April.

The Economic Research Service — a source of closely read reports on farm income and other topics that can shape federal policy, planting decisions and commodity markets — has run afoul of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with its findings on how farmers have been financially harmed by President Donald Trump's trade feuds, the Republican tax code rewrite and other sensitive issues, according to current and former agency employees.

The reports highlight the continued decline under Trump’s watch in farm income, which has dropped about 50 percent since 2013. Rural voters were a crucial source of support for Trump in 2016, and analysts say even a small retreat in 2020 could jeopardize the president’s standing in several battleground states.

“The administration didn’t appreciate some of our findings, so this is retaliation to harm the agency and send a message,” said one current ERS employee, who asked not to be named to avoid retribution.

Like Trump, Does Bernie Still Think NATO Is A Waste of Money?

During the Trump administration, we have seen the ramifications of a US that has become more isolationist at home. Russia has become increasingly aggressive and willing to interfere abroad. Democracies increasingly cannot rely on the US, as Trump questions the value of alliances. However, would Bernie Sanders be any different? Afterall, Bernie has dismissed NATO as a "waste" of money for the U.S., which funds a disproportionate share of the alliance among its 28 member nations. During his debates with Hillary Clinton, Bernie was Trump like in demanding that "The countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defense."

Finally, Bernie even suggested that NATO was obsolete as Trump has done by proposing that NATO admit Russia and be transformed into anti-terrorist organization, rather than a bulwark against Russian aggression. This pro-Russian stance is particularly concerning given Bernie's long standing opposition to Russian sanctions such as the Magnitsky Act, the 2015 reauthorization of the Act, 2017 Election sanctions, and the efforts to lift sanctions earlier this year.

Put another way, if we oppose Trump's Russia friendly policies, why would we support Bernie Sanders and not a Democrat?

https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/260804-sanders-calls-for-new-nato-that-includes-russia

Sanders calls for new NATO that includes Russia

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for a new accord between America, its closest allies and Russia as well as Arab nations as a major plank on how to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“We must create an organization like NATO to confront the security threats of the 21st century — an organization that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration to defeat the rise of violent extremism and importantly to address the root causes underlying these brutal acts,” the Democratic presidential candidate said Thursday during a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“We must work with our NATO partners, and expand our coalition to include Russia and members of the Arab League.”

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, started at the doorstep of the Cold War and eventually became a major alliance against the then-Soviet Union. So accepting Russia into NATO, or creating a new defense group all together, would rearrange one of the world’s most powerful bonds by uniting the former rival countries around ISIS as the modern enemy.

Bernie and Trump's Scapegoating of Mexicans and Chinese on Trade and Immigration - Part I (Tariffs)

In response to a poster who wrote:

Do you have any links? I'm curious to see what you think are attacks against Mexico and China

by Bernie. TIA. I think I'll be waiting a while.


https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1287&pid=12692

I am going to explain how Bernie's dog whistle attacks on foreign countries parallel if not exceed the xenophobic attacks of Donald Trump.

Even more so than Trump, Bernie has made a career of blaming America's problems on trade and immigration. In particular, the villain in Bernie's attacks has been Mexico and China regardless of the facts behind his attacks. Indeed, more so than Trump, Bernie has seen fit to mostly exempt white countries from his demands for demands even when Mexico or China account for a small portion of US imports for the product at issue.

For example, lets look at steel tariffs. Trump announced the imposition of tariffs on steel imports, which is a move that Bernie Sanders has long championed:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/03/31/bernie-sanders-pledges-rewrite-disastrous-trade-deals/82473012/

Along with NAFTA, Sanders said he also would rewrite CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations with China, and the Korean Free Trade Agreement.

He didn’t specify what changes he would make but said U.S. workers shouldn't be forced to compete against people making “pennies an hour.” He also criticized deals that lead corporations to move to countries such as China where there are “virtually no environmental standards” compared to the U.S.

“That is not fair competition,” he said.

His campaign says Sanders also would impose countervailing tariffs on imports from China and Japan “until they stop dumping steel into the United States and stop manipulating their currencies.


Now who is the biggest importer of steel to the US? China, right? Nope. Mexico? Wrong again. It is Canada, which imports more steel into the US than China and Mexico combined. Indeed, China only accounts for 2.9 percent of US steel imports.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-factbox/factbox-top-steel-exporters-to-the-united-states-idUSKCN1GE10I

So, you would think that Bernie would totally support Trump's efforts to impose tariffs on steel imports as Bernie long championed? Right? The answer is sort of. Bernie said:

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-trump-tariffs

I strongly support imposing stiff penalties on countries like China, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam to prevent them from illegally dumping steel and aluminum into the U.S. and throughout the world. American steel and aluminum workers need our help, and they need it now, but not at the expense of farmers, workers, small businesses and consumers in Vermont and throughout this country. Given Vermont’s proximity to Canada and our strong trade relations with Canada, these policies will be especially harmful to Vermont and other northern border states. It simply makes no sense to start a trade war with Canada, the European Union and others who are engaged in fair trade, are not cheating and where workers are paid a living wage with good benefits.


So, with the exception of Russia, Bernie supported Trump's imposition of tariffs on non-white countries, but suddenly exempted Canada (the top importer of steel to the US) from steel tariffs? Put another way, we think Trump is racist, but Bernie is the one who wants to focus on non-white countries when it comes to tariffs.

Of course, some folks will try to explain that Bernie is only focusing on third world countries with low wages that exploit their workers. Okay. Well, then why is Bernie Sanders including South Korea? South Korea third world? Heck, South Korea has a higher cost of living than the U.S.

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=South+Korea

Finally, in 2016, Bernie liked to use the bogeyman of Mexican workers taking away jobs from real Americans: “You didn’t need a Ph.D. in economics to understand that American workers should not be forced to compete against people in Mexico making 25 cents an hour.”

https://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/03/sanders-goes-after-clinton-aggressively-on-trade-220339

Indeed, s late as 2017, Bernie was still egging Trump on to tear up NAFTA:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/bernie-sanders-to-trump-on-nafta-for-once-keep-your-promise

Bernie Sanders Tells Trump to Keep His Promise on Nafta

President Donald Trump is finding an unlikely ally in his efforts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement: the political left.

Civil-society groups, union leaders and left-wing politicians have opposed almost everything Trump has done. But they’re urging him to stand firm in his attempt to overhaul Nafta -- and face down opposition from business groups, who complain that U.S. companies will be hurt by the proposed changes. Mexico and Canada have called U.S. demands unworkable, including on regional-content requirements for cars and investor-state dispute systems.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an outspoken critic of trade deals in his campaign for president last year, called on Trump to deliver. “When Donald Trump campaigned for president, he promised that he was going to stop corporations from shifting American jobs to Mexico,” Sanders said Wednesday at a rally for the #ReplaceNafta movement in Washington. “For once in your life, keep your promises.”


Of course, when Trump threatened to actually do this, as Bernie advocated, Bernie once again stayed silent. Will Bernie flip flop again like he did on steel and condemn Trump if he does indeed withdraw from NAFTA? Or, will Bernie just say that he would do it better?

Next: Immigration.

WaPo (2003) - Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits

Trump has been trying to justify his attacks on intelligence agencies with the idea that Dubya and Cheney were mislead into launching a war on Iraq. Of course, for folks who remember, a lot of the controversy behind the war was related to how Cheney was heavily pressuring Intelligence agencies to support the idea that Iraq had access to WMD. Remember Valeria Plane and Scooter Libby?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/06/05/some-iraq-analysts-felt-pressure-from-cheney-visits/4afb2009-20e7-4619-b40f-669c9d94dcf3/?utm_term=.b8957632813d

Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials.

With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction, the visits by the vice president and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here," one senior agency official said yesterday.

Other agency officials said they were not influenced by the visits from the vice president's office, and some said they welcomed them. But the disclosure of Cheney's unusual hands-on role comes on the heels of mounting concern from intelligence officials and members of Congress that the administration may have exaggerated intelligence it received about Iraq to build a case for war.

While visits to CIA headquarters by a vice president are not unprecedented, they are unusual, according to intelligence officials. The exact number of trips by Cheney to the CIA could not be learned, but one agency official described them as "multiple." They were taken in addition to Cheney's regular attendance at President Bush's morning intelligence briefings and the special briefings the vice president receives when he is at an undisclosed location for security reasons.

Must Read - Stacy Abrams Destroys False Choice Between Social Justice and Working Class

Why is it that even in the era of Trump where he attacks Democrats for engaging in identity politics by speaking up for women and minorities even as he panders to white resentment do some “progressive” politicians repeat this theme and attack such efforts?

Stacy Abrams has written a brilliant essay explaining why this is a false choice.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/1/18206769/stacey-abrams-state-of-the-union-response-essay-identity-politics

Stacey Abrams, the rising Democratic star and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, is giving the Democratic response to plTrump’s State of the Union on Tuesday. On Friday morning, she published an essay with a spirited defense of one of the most controversial ideas in American public life: identity politics.

The piece, published by the journal Foreign Affairs, is a response to an essay by famed intellectual Francis Fukuyama. In a recent book, Fukuyama lambasted left-wing movements for dividing the country by focusing too much on appeals to race and gender; he called instead for Democrats to refocus on class to win back blue-collar Trump voters.

It’s a familiar argument, and one Abrams finds decidedly unpersuasive. She argues that identity politics is simply the assertion of historically marginalized groups’ interests and right to participate as equals in society, an inevitable and necessary feature of a society marked by social oppression. The piece marks Abrams as the rare politician willing to mount a full-throated defense of the idea of identity politics; the fact that she does so in a sharp and compelling way helps explain why the Democratic party sees her as a rising star.

The core of Abrams’s argument is that identity politics is not something that members of marginalized groups can ignore. If they want equality, they must address the issues and social structures that oppress them.


When it comes to NATO, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump offer similar assessments

Have Bernie's views on NATO evolved at all, because on feelthebern.org, Bernie is still listed as being very critical of NATO and its mission and Bernie's statements about NATO being a waste of money have not been removed. We criticize Trump for his repeated attacks on NATO and his extortionate demands saying that if NATO members don't pay their fair share, the U.S. might not honor its obligations, particularly in the event aggression by Russia, but it seems like Bernie still questions the need for NATO.

Or, perhaps feeltherbern.org just needs a major update if the views listed therein no longer represent Bernie's views.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/la-na-live-updates-democr-1460688145-htmlstory.html

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both outsiders of sorts in this campaign, and though they rarely agree on issues, there appears to be common ground over NATO.

Sanders dismissed NATO decades ago as a "waste" of money for the U.S., which funds a disproportionate share of the alliance among its 28 member nations.

"The countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defense," Sanders said when asked during Thursday's debate about his past statements.

* * *
Sanders' views on NATO are somewhat similar to those recently voiced by Trump, who says NATO is unfair economically to the U.S. "NATO is obsolete," Trump said last month on ABC's "This Week." "And there's nothing wrong with saying it's obsolete. But it is obsolete."


http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-nato/

Bernie opposes the expansion of NATO because it could lead to further aggression from Russia, which is territorially sensitive about the military alliance’s expansion eastward. Bernie also believes the U.S. foots too much of NATO’s bill.

Who are the current members of NATO?
NATO member countries include the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Albania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Greece.

Which countries are interested in joining?
Bosnia, Georgia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Ukraine have all indicated an interest in joining NATO. Ukraine’s potential membership has become a hot-button issue in the past year as its conflict with Russia has raged on.

What is Bernie’s opinion on NATO expansion?
He’s against it, claiming it is a waste of taxpayer dollars and not geo-politically sound. In 1997, as a congressman, Bernie said:

“After four decades of the cold war and trillions of United States taxpayer dollars allocated to compete in the arms race, many of our constituents understand that it is not the time to continue wasting tens of billions of dollars helping to defend Europe, let alone assuming more than our share of any costs associated with expanding NATO eastward.”


Why would Bernie want to prevent countries from joining?
Bernie sees the eastward expansion of NATO as an unnecessary provocation of Russia — and, as stated in the quote above, he’s not interested in revisiting the Cold War era when Russia and the U.S. were constantly pitted against each other.

Even “pro-western” politicians in Russia have been hesitant to support NATO’s expansion to include Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the Baltic states that were part of the former Soviet Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy even suggested that Finland’s membership in NATO would start “World War III,” while Putin himself referred to Ukraine’s potential membership as a “direct threat” to Russian national security.



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