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Member since: Thu Jul 29, 2004, 03:51 PM
Number of posts: 458

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Bernie Sanders work experience is more extensive than you know


"Before moving to Vermont full-time in 1968, Bernie worked as an aide at a psychiatric hospital in New York, taught low-income preschoolers through Head Start, and helped register people for nutrition assistance programs."

I'd say he's personally helped women and children.

Article from Blue Mass Group, "Warren Takes Down Krugman"

from the article by Glenn Wiech:

"Much has been made of the twin takedowns of Sanders last week. First there was the Daily News story which was spun by many in the media and the Hillary camp as a disaster, but if you read and understood the actual content it wasn’t a disaster at all. http://rooseveltinstitute.org/sanders-ending-tbtf/ And then there was the Krugman spin on the financial crisis where he once again echoed the Hillary party line that the bad actors were “shadow” banks and not the actual too big to fail banks, and that Sanders was just on a reckless bank-hating crusade. Krugman said:

Yet going on about big banks is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done. On the rare occasions on which he was asked for more detail, he didn’t seem to have anything more to offer. And this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems to be true of his positions across the board.

This isn’t true mind you. Sanders gave all the relevant detail he needed in the Daily News interview. Sanders’ answers regarding the breakup of the big banks was correct in that, according to Dodd/Frank, it’s up to the banks to break themselves up. Sanders would initiate it but it would fall on the Treasury Department to decide how much smaller a bank should be and what would be acceptable. It’s not up to Sanders or any president to make those decisions or to get into the weeds on details.

What about the core idea of Krugman’s that the big banks weren’t at fault? In a not so veiled swipe at Krugman, Elizabeth Warren vehemently disagreed."


more at the link:

Good article "Paul Krugman Crosses the Line" from dollarsandsense.org

Article by Gerald Epstein


snip from the article:

Krugman similarly misinforms his readers in discussing Bernie Sanders’
command over the details of the Dodd-Frank law and what it has to say
about dealing with too-big-to-fail-banks. In a widely reported – and
misreported – interview with the /Daily News
Sanders was asked how he would break up the big banks. Krugman was only
slightly more polite than /Vanity Fair /magazine which proclaimed that
the interview proved that “Sanders Doesn’t Know Diddly Squat About Wall
Krugman referred to the “recent interview
of Mr. Sanders by /The Daily News/, in which he repeatedly seemed unable
to respond when pressed to go beyond his usual slogans.”

To sort this out, let’s look at the relevant part of the transcript:

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?” (That is: break up the big banks.)

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?

Sanders: Well, I don’t know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a President turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the Treasury turn to any of those banks and say, “Now you must do X, Y and Z?”

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

Daily News: You do, just by Federal Reserve fiat, you do?

Sanders: Yeah. Well, I believe you do.”

The relevant facts are these: Under Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Act the Board of the Governors of the Federal Reserve has the authority, subject to a 2/3 vote of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to take a range of actions, including (as a last resort) to “require the company to sell or otherwise transfer assets of off-balance-sheet-items to unaffiliated entities”, that is, to shrink the size of the bank in question. Note that the Chair of the FSOC is the Secretary of the Treasury. So, Sanders is correct that the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of the Treasury are the key players here. To be sure, Sanders’ last statement above, that Federal Reserve could break up the banks just by fiat – whatever that means – is not true under section 121.

Still, the Federal Reserve has more tools under its control through Dodd-Frank. For example, under section 619 (one of the key sections outlining the so-called Volcker Rule that tries to ban proprietary trading), states that for these financial institutions “no transaction, class of transaction, or activity may be deemed a permitted activity……(iv) would pose a threat to the financial stability of the United States.” The Federal Reserve would have significant power to issue regulations in this situation. More generally, the goal of Dodd-Frank, as stated in Section 112 in describing the mission of the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is “eliminating expectations on the part of shareholders, creditors, and counterparties of such companies that the Government will shield them from losses in the event of failure.” That is, end too big to fail.

In the end, Dodd-Frank does provide tools and responsibilities to the Fed and to the Secretary of the Treasury, along with other financial regulators, that can be used to break up the banks. Sanders’ answer was inelegant, to be sure, but, in reality, his answer reflects the fact that the law is on unchartered territory and in places is vague and would certainly be contested by the banks. So Bernie’s first answer is also the cleanest. “How you go about doing it is having legislation passed …”


Much more at the link

Kansas judge bars Wichita mathematician's access to voting machine tapes -- UPDATE Mar. 2

Beth Clarkson wants to examine the tapes for evidence of possible fraud or malfunction
Posted: February 19, 2016 - 1:58pm

from the article:

By The Associated Press

WICHITA — A judge denied a Wichita mathematician’s request for access to paper voting machine tapes from the 2014 election that she wants to examine for evidence of possible fraud or malfunctioning.

Sedgwick County Judge Tim Lahey ruled Thursday that he couldn’t order county officials to turn over the tapes to Beth Clarkson because she presented the same argument in a previous lawsuit she lost. He denied a motion by the county’s election commissioner, Tabitha Lehman, to dismiss Clarkson’s open records case, but it was a hollow victory, since the point of the lawsuit was to check the accuracy of the voting machines, the Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/20INeCo ).

More than 100 people, most of them voting rights supporters, packed the courtroom to watch the proceedings.

The judge told Clarkson’s attorney, Randy Rathbun, that he couldn’t order the county to turn over the tapes the law prohibits litigating the same legal issue, by the same parties, twice.

more at the link:

(Reposted from Kansas forum)


Beth Clarkson's Feb. 29 newsletter describes what the next steps are, now that Judge Tim Lahey has ruled she can't look at the audit log tapes.


from her post:

"I went to Topeka twice last month, I spoke to a rather large crowd at the request of the League of Women Voters on the 2nd, and on the 15th to the Kansas House Elections Committee on new legislation requiring audits of our voting equipment after every election.

There was my hearing on the 18th. The outcome was disappointing to say the least. No trial next month. An appeal will be filed instead. But the people that came were awesome. People I had never met handed me buttons saying "Show Me The Votes" and bumper stickers like one adorning this message. There were a lot of people there!

On the 19th, I was back in NE Kansas, giving a talk at the KU Law School Symposium on election law and voting rights. I'm afraid I may have inadvertently horrified some of people there. Without thinking about it, just giving my honest reading of some of my data analysis charts, I basically implied that our Governor did not win reelection honestly.

Finally, having given the matter a great deal of thought, I have a few ideas about what to do next. Best idea I've got: If the folks who were caring enough to attend my hearing are willing to put in a few hours of volunteer time on election day, we could perform a citizens exit poll in November."

Beth Clarkson hearing Feb. 18th -- a hollow victory


Post from Beth Clarkson re: today's hearing:

It was amazing and disappointing. It was amazing to see how many people came. The room was packed, standing room only and I heard there were additional people outside the room looking in. This is clearly a problem that has attracted people's attention.

The judge even denied the plaintiffs motion and we can proceed to trial next month. But he gutted it of all meaning by instructing us that while I could sue for a recount, I could not use the R.T.A.L. records to conduct that recount.

R.T.A.L. records are the Real Time Audit Logs I have been seeking. That's a picture of a blank roll above. To conduct an audit and verify the machine produced counts, these rolls of paper must be unfurled and manually inspected to determine the votes. It's a lot of work, but without using these records, a recount or audit is just theater. It will produce no assurances that our votes are counted as they were cast.

I am deeply disappointed. My lawyer, Randy Rathbun, has promised to file an appeal immediately. He deserves recognition for all the hard work he's done - pro bono! I'll keep you posted about new developments.



This is an infuriating outcome. I hope the appeal is successful.

Beth Clarkson update Feb. 18, 1:30 hearing for summary judgment

From her 1/26/16 newsletter:

Hearing for summary judgment at 1:30 on Feb 18 at the Sedgwick County Courthouse

A motion for summary judgement has been filed by the plaintiff on my lawsuit. If granted, this would destroy my chances of getting access to the paper records.It would be a loss before I even have a chance to present my case in a trial.

My lawyer tells me it is a public hearing, so I can use your support. By being there to support me, you will let the judge know I am not alone. The citizens of Sedgwick county support my request to verify the accuracy of the voting machine paper records.

For those of you with the ability to be there, thank you very much for your support.

Beth Clarkson

These quotes from a post by Cory Doctorow provide background on Beth Clarkson:

"Wichita State University's Beth Clarkson (who is also chief statistician
of WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research) discovered "odd
patterns" in Kansas electoral voting records, so she requested public
docs to help her get to the bottom of things -- requests that state
officials ignored, dodged, and stalled.

Clarkson's analysis of results from November 2014's election indicated
that some machines had been "sabotaged," so she requested the suspect
machines' paper-audit tapes (which do not record how each voter voted,
merely timestamped votes with associated metadata); the election
officials of Sedgwick County told her she'd have to sue them to gain
access to them."


Don Siegelman's son Joseph sues DOJ re: his prosecution

Posted on Legal Schnauzer blog:
"Will Joseph Siegelman's lawsuit against Justice Department produce evidence that officials admitted to wrongdoing in prosecution of his father?"


From the article:

"Joseph Siegelman, an attorney with The Cochran Firm in Birmingham, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking documents about the prosecution of his father, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The new lawsuit suggests certain DOJ officials have admitted to misconduct during the course of the Siegelman investigation and trial.

Siegelman associates have been seeking documents about the case, especially regarding the supposed recusal of then U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, for roughly 10 years. Alabaster attorney John Aaron filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2006 and followed up with a lawsuit in 2009. Aaron learned that more than 1,000 documents exist related to the Canary recusal, but the government has refused to turn them over.

Joseph Siegelman filed a FOIA request last year with the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), but the request was denied. Joseph Siegelman now has filed a lawsuit, which appears to go well beyond the Canary-recusal issue. (Please see full lawsuit at the end of this post.) From a report at WAFF in Huntsville:

The son of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is suing the Office of Professional Responsibility, a branch of the United States Department of Justice. Siegelman is serving a federal sentence for bribery and conspiracy at Oakdale Prison in Louisiana.
Siegelman’s son, Joseph Siegelman, is suing for records obtained during the Office of Professional Responsibility’s, or OPR’s, investigation into Siegelman’s prosecution and conviction. The OPR investigates Department of Justice attorneys accused of professional misconduct.
The filing states that the OPR opened an investigation after multiple national media outlets reported on the Siegelman case and raised questions about the prosecution. These outlets reported prosecutors placed undue pressure on witnesses, communicated with the jury, communicated privately with the judge, and withheld evidence from the defense."

more at the link...

FTC to Challenge Merger of Staples, Office Depot

from the APWU website:

From the article:
12/07/2015 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it would seek to stop the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, the nation’s largest and second-largest office-supply chains. The agency filed an “administrative complaint” charging that Staples’ proposed $6.3 billion takeover of Office Depot would violate the nation’s anti-trust laws by “significantly reducing competition nationwide.”

APWU President Mark Dimondstein praised the decision. “This is an important victory for consumers and businesses against Staples’ unbridled greed and its dangerous corporate agenda,” he said. “It is a big step toward stopping the merger.”The APWU has been an outspoken critic of the buyout.

“Our union conducted two studies showing the negative impact the proposed merger would have on consumers and businesses. It was clear that a merger of these two companies would have left just one national office-supply superstore chain. This would inevitably force customers to pay higher prices and leave them with fewer choices.”

The FTC voted 4-0 to issue the complaint and to authorize its staff to seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the two companies from consummating the merger and to maintain the status quo pending a hearing on the matter. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on May 10, 2016.


I'm so glad to see this development!

Vigilance of Saline County’s Electronic Voting System Urged

KSAL Staff - November 12, 2015 4:14 pm. From a Salina, Kansas radio station.


from the article:
"Statistician Beth Clarkson has been in the news about her efforts to audit Sedgwick County voting machine tapes from the 2014 election. She presented a series of questionable statistical voting patterns linked with electronic voting machines at today’s K-State Salina Polytechnic’s Civic Luncheon.

Of concern, both Sedgwick County and Saline County use the same type of direct record electronic (DRE) voting machines that statisticians are finding problematic. They see a correlation between the kind of voting machine used and the percentage of Republicans in those precincts voting.

As a baseline, when paper ballots are counted, the percentage of both Republicans and Democrats who vote is the same, regardless of precinct size. In a graph, this appears as a flat horizontal line. With the Diebold and Sequoia brands of electronic voting systems used predominantly in Kansas, Clarkson sees:
• In very small precincts, which are often rural, a very high percentage of Republicans voting. (This is expected.)
• As precinct size increases, the percentage of Republicans voting decreases significantly for small (but not very small) precincts.
• Then, the trend shifts. In medium and large precincts, the percentage of Republicans who vote shows incremental increases with size and “never reaches a mean” (or comes to a flat line).
• Clarkson also included results for other brands of electronic voting machines that showed increases in the percentage of Democrats voting as precinct size increased. Any voting system that didn’t produce a straight line gives cause for auditing.

While New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin gain high markets for verifying their vote counts, Kansas—like most of the country—has an inadequate voting verification system. (New Mexico uses ballots that are scanned; after the election, these ballots are re-scanned to verify results.)"


More at the link, including a quote from Clarkson that she feels, after reviewing data from the 2004 presidential race in Ohio, that John Kerry should have won the 2004 election.


11/1/15 Beth Clarkson newsletter plea for verifiable voting


Beth's request from the newsletter:

"I need your help for a letter writing campaign.

A RFP (request for proposal) for a new voting system for Sedgwick, Shawnee, Johnson and Wyandotte counties was issued in October.

I have some major concerns with it about the lack of crucial requirements for transparency in vote counting. I've enumerated them in this post http://showmethevotes.org/2015/11/01/minimum-requirements-for-a-new-voting-system/ at showmethevotes.org along with my arguments for why these requirements are necessary.

If you agree that we need a system that will guarantee our votes are counted accurately with verifiable transparency, then please write:

Sandra Gritz
Chief Deputy Election Commissioner,
Sedgwick County Election Office
525 N. Main, #101
Wichita, KS 67203

email: [email protected]

Please let her know you support me in wanting those minimum requirements included in our new voting system. She has promised to forward our concerns to the committee that will be deciding on the new voting system.


Beth Clarkson
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