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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 06:28 PM
Number of posts: 10,304

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

Cory Booker on the issues.

I like to research candidates, and have already made a post on Kamala Harris, whom I also like, and who is a strong candidate in her own right.

Now that Cory Booker has announced, here is my initial workup on him.

Background: Booker was born to parents active in the Civil Rights movement, went to Stanford and Yale Law School. He definitely has the brains for the job. If you read his bio at https://www.biography.com/people/cory-booker-20967497, you’ll see that Booker has some really good qualities. He doesn’t give up, he’s resourceful, and he has courage. By courage, I mean both physical AND political. He fixed the structural budget deficit in Newark with a property tax increase, and we’re going to have, at the very least, to reverse the giant fiscally irresponsible 2017 GOP tax cut for billionaires and corporations.

Also, as an economist, I really like someone who actually UNDERSTANDS a structural budget. That’s a really good thing that we did not enjoy under Republican leadership.

He’s fine on abortion, gun control, crime and the environment. After reading his quotes, I’m convinced he would be a strong advocate for social and environmental justice. Especially encouraging is his belief the US needs to be a leader in mitigating climate change. Recently he’s come out in favor of a Green New Deal, which I believe is an absolute MUST for any successful Democratic presidential candidate.

On foreign policy, Booker is smart enough to come up to speed quickly, and his quotes seem to present a sane approach – a balance between not keeping our heads in the sand, but not always feeling we need to be the global police officer.

As late as 2017, Booker is on record as saying, “Ok to consider single-payer, but I'm not behind it.” However, he is a strong supporter of fixing Obamacare, and certainly fixing the GOP sabotage would make the ACA nearly universal. This might not be enough in today’s Democratic party, though. Speaking for myself only, I want Medicare for all Americans because I believe in taking the profit motive out of healthcare because it conflicts with the interests of patients.

Nothing really new here. There is a bit of concern that he might be ‘too corporate’ or perhaps ‘too Wall Street.’ I wonder how he feels about Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act, which would change the face of capitalism by expanding fiduciary responsibility beyond shareholder earnings to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. This would solve a huge number of problems. Of course, Wall Street greed-lizards are saying it will (gasp!) RUIN capitalism, but here’s a nice Forbes editorial about how it would actually help this country get stronger and rebuild its middle class: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rhockett/2018/08/21/senator-warrens-ben-franklin-capitalism/#7aed66ff66cf

Open Secrets shows that Booker’s fundraising is good. He does spend his money, and has less on hand than Harris, whom I reported on earlier. That 12% of his donations are from small individual donors is a bit low, and again, may open him to criticism about being excessively beholden to Wall Street. https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00035267&cycle=2018

Still, Booker has said he won’t take corporate PAC money, which is a bit meaningless because PACs can only donate a max of $5K to an individual candidate. The game is the game, though, and PACS do buy advertising as they wish, and support whomever they wish. It is unwise to punish any candidate for capitalizing on Citizens United to the degree they can.

In balance, I like Booker. I believe he’d be a very strong candidate, a good president and is a decent human being that we can all admire. I especially liked that he released documents during the Kavanaugh hearings. That took guts and moral conviction.

My conclusion is that Cory Booker is a very solid candidate that could well win the general election. If he is our nominee we could be proud as a party to support him. The same, of course, can be said for Harris. They are both good candidates.

A powerful new centrist voice emerges in our national discourse

Surprise! This article is from the Daily Koz and is about AOC and the Overton Window.

It is well worth reading, though it may make some uncomfortable. It tickles me!


Very cool! I really like AOC.


Some Dems float idea of primary challenge for Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has infuriated colleagues by aligning with a progressive outside group that’s threatening to primary entrenched Democrats. Now some of those lawmakers are turning the tables on her and are discussing recruiting a primary challenger to run against the social media sensation.

At least one House Democrat has been privately urging members of the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez.

“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told The Hill. “You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”

The New York delegation has eyed Ocasio-Cortez with skepticism ever since last summer when the 29-year-old self-described democratic socialist shocked the political world and defeated then-Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in what many thought would be a sleepy primary race. Crowley, a Queens powerbroker and affable House Democratic Caucus chairman, had been considered a possible future Speaker.


Somehow I don't think these anonymous ones are going to have much luck. Unfortunately, real democracy happens when people at the local level have a real say in policies that affect them. If someone purports to represent the interests of those people, but does not actually do so, then what should the people do?

I don't know much about the 'outside group' that AOC is aligned with, but I do know people on the ground are getting pretty fed up, and in poorer districts downright revolutionary. If we want to right this giant ship called the United States, then we are going to have to have a real plan to address global warming, and to redistribute wealth around human need rather than human greed.

I write a lot and have often told conservatives to just throw the middle class a bone - give us single payer healthcare and strong old age pensions. Then, I've gone on, you can screw us for another 75 years, just like the Republicans ate away the New Deal for the last 75 years.

See, if change doesn't happen fast enough, then this is what we'll see. Now I'm sure many of you will feel downright outraged I've even put this out, but my point is this: If groups like this have arisen, then it seems the mainstream party must find a way to bring them into the tent, not fight them, because fighting them won't work. They'll just get bigger and be more of a thorn in the side.

I'm thinking we all need to take a page from AOC's book and begin a real concerted effort to educate people around these complex issues instead of relying on corporate-owned media's 8-second sound bytes. Americans ARE capable of understanding things like why the primacy of the shareholder is like a corrosive acid that eats away at the very fabric of our society. They are capable of understanding why we should repeal the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations. They are capable of understanding why taxes aren't a bad thing unless they go for things that don't actually help the people who pay them.

Well...blast away, I guess...

White nationalist Max Misch forces resignation of

Vermont's only black state legislator, Ruqaiyah “Kiah” Morris. Because of this asshole, she resigned from office in September 2018.

The Daily Beast article linked below is well worth reading, because it asks some very good, very pointed questions about why other Democrats (and Sanders) didn't focus on this with a more single-minded intensity.


This Misch jerk trolled Morris repeatedly to the point she felt threatened. The Vermont cops couldn't prove Misch broke into her car or did other damage that happened on her property.

This link is a twitter feed that exposes the racist asshole Misch's twitter account 'hammer of kek' and shows photos of the scumbag.


So...the question here is what to do about these nationalist assholes. When does their First Amendment right to free speech end?

This isn't the America I want to live in, that's for sure. When some asshole like this is allowed to so badly harass a lawmaker that she's forced to resign. No.

I'm getting pretty worried here.


This link shows the shutdown calendar and the millions and millions of Americans that will be hurt in the worst possible ways - no paychecks, not enough food, losing affordable housing.

I'm so angry that it has come to this. An emotional five-year-old shuts down part of a $4.4 trillion government over $5.7 billion in US taxpayer funding for a wall he said Mexico would pay for.

The coast guard isn't getting paid.

TSA isn't getting paid and 10% of that workforce called in sick yesterday.

This shutdown is a criminal action that to my mind is designed to pull down the US, put us in a state of revolution. Just what Putin wants. It is nothing more or less than TREASON.

I'd like to urge all of you who read this post to:
1. call your US representative
2. call both your US Senators
3. call your governor's office (yeah, I know it is indirect, but it could add pressure on these lizards in the Senate, and NO governor wants chaos in his/her state, which is exactly what we will be seeing).

Because here's the thing - when 40 million Americans don't have enough food next month, air traffic stops, 800,000 federal workers and over a million federal contractors can't fill their tanks, pay their mortgages, buy groceries or even have a life, we will be in a state of revolution.

I mean, this is surreal. It reminds me of Rocko in the Boondock Saints saying, "See you on the flip side!"

Problem is, I think all of us want the 'flip side' to consist of the institutions we count on functioning properly. I sure do.

Last thought: Let's not EVER forget this. When we take power, we must hold these criminals accountable for their treason, crimes against humanity, and utter corruption.

Trees, fruit and the Democratic party - musings on Joe Lieberman's recent comment.

I'm going to have to say that I think AOC, or at least her ideas and her platform ARE the future of the Democratic party.

What I have found is that, with judging any politician (or anyone else), you are on much more solid ground with looking at what they DO first, and then comparing that with what they SAY. I’ve gotten tired, over the six decades I’ve lived, of politicians who come and tell me whatever it takes to get my vote.

Truth is, my grandchildren NEED AOC’s Green New Deal. NOW. The environment has become so fouled that species are going extinct at a rapid, human-caused rate, and the planet may become uninhabitable for humankind. This is an existential crisis and we must address it right away - not soon, not in a couple decades, not with 'all deliberate speed' (remember that?), but NOW. We need to address it NOW.

Our country needs to reverse the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations passed in 2017 and adopt AOC’s graduated rates. We need our government to provide public services, and to my mind we need to expand the concept of 'public good' to include health care, and de-privatize a bunch of things where the profit motive creates conflicts, such as prisons. We have far too many infrastructure needs to waste public monies on things like a space force (I mean, how is THAT better for us than healthcare?), and we certainly cannot afford to route yet more money to these billionaires through unnecessary tax cuts.

I'll tell you as an economist that most of our problems — with wealth inequality, with environmental degradation, the human-caused climate change, huge and unsustainable national and consumer debt, comes to us as a direct result of the PRIMACY OF THE SHAREHOLDER. You've heard me talk about this before, and few of you comment, but it is the truth.

The CEO of a publicly held company has only one responsibility, and this has been tested to the Supreme Court:

- A CEO's ONLY responsibility is to increase earnings for shareholders. That’s it. So that CEO will bust unions, drive labor costs down, dilute benefits, gobble up pensions because on Wall Street, labor is considered a liability.

- That CEO will put consumer interests on the back burner too, and implement planned obsolescence in products - water them down, decrease the size of the package while at the same time raising the price. Or, if it is a financial service, will adopt predatory lending practices. This is all because the corporate charter says shareholders are more important than the consumer of the good or service.

- Finally, that CEO and his/her other C-Suite officers will foul the environment to whatever degree they can get away with (the capitalist euphemism for this is ‘externality’). In other words, as long as they don't have to pay for the damage to the environment or the people in that environment, the accountants and Wall Street consider this positive because it doesn't affect shareholder earnings. So guess who has to pay to mitigate environmental problems. That's right, us, the taxpayers.

To that end, Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which expands the fiduciary responsibility of CEOs to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. WE NEED THAT.

In addition, across the USA, states are trying to pass the National Popular Vote Compact, which will force Electoral College members to vote the same way the national popular vote went, in effect replacing the elitist Electoral College with democracy. If enough states had passed this prior to 2016, Clinton would be in the White House actually acting like a president, instead of the petulant emotional five-year-old we have now.

We also must get rid of Citizens United because corporations are NOT people and dollars are NOT free speech. That is un-American.

The truth is that many politicians that have been voted into office over the last few decades would pay lip service to these things, but then, somehow, mysteriously, nothing would ever really happen. And the media won't EVER tell you what I just told you about the primacy of the shareholder. Why? Because nearly all our media outlets, including MSNBC, are corporate-owned and subject to that very same primacy of the shareholder. This is why they love Citizens United - the super pacs are cash cows for them and they gobble up billions in profits every time there's an election.

That’s the pabulum we’ve been fed for DECADES now, and I’m quite sick of it. So, yes, I’m a big AOC fan, and am not fond of the so-called Third Way Democrats because they don’t do much for me. To make my life better. To help me and my family and my grandchildren. To use our tax money for stuff that actually benefits us instead of corporate donors and the MIC. THAT should be the job of those we elect, should it not?

What? Wait? Slow down? Proceed with 'all deliberate speed?' Nope. As Obama said, there is a 'fierce urgency of NOW.'

I'll end with few words from the great Martin Luther King that echo to us through time from the Birmingham Jail:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

Let us Democrats move forward now as the party of social, economic and environmental justice. THAT is the future.

Sometimes cats are SUCH jerks. I'm gonna talk litter-box here...

Don't get me wrong - we have three cats and love them very much. The oldest is 17 and the two youngest came from the same letter and are 6 years old.

Now, cats are really cool little animals. They are cute, fun and generally playful. My 17 year old will come and curl up on the desk beside me in my home office while I'm working. I love that cat. He's my cuddle-cat.

So, anyway, we have two large litter boxes and they are near my desk in my home office. Needless to say I clean as they go. Seriously, no one wants to be focusing on a spreadsheet surrounded by cat poop smell. So after the little guys go, I'm right there scooping it out.

Well, they've gotten spoiled. This morning, I didn't scoop the boxes out first thing.

Nope, I exercised, then sat down for a news review as I always do.

Well, I guess the male (neutered) six-year old didn't appreciate that. So this morning he goes into the box, poops and then proceeds to bury it VERY vigorously, which means he spewed litter all over the floor outside the boxes.

This is why I've given him the middle initial 'F.' I'll let you all surmise what that might stand for. First name starts with A. So A. F. Cat. Yep. That's his name...

Upcoming legislation we can ALL get behind :)

Speaker Pelosi apparently isn't wasting much time in working to ensure expansion of voting rights and to curtail voter suppression.

I'd strongly urge all of you to please call your Representatives and US Senators in support of HR1.

Here's a link to a Hill article that talks about it.

I think Pelosi's going to be outstanding her second time out of the block as Speaker.


Let's tell these folks with thousands and thousands of calls that we support what they are doing and give them the message we are watching (the Dems appreciatively, and the Repubs critically).

My evangelical church is gaslighting me, an article on HuffPo by

Elizabeth Baker, guest writer and evangelical Christian blogger.

Well worth reading and passing on, especially for those of us who cannot in good conscience call ourselves Christians anymore. Here's an excerpt:

The church told me that God is a God of justice. He says the poor and the persecuted are blessed and will have a great reward in heaven. However, the term “social justice warrior” is a reviled label in conservative Christian circles.

When I speak out against racism, police brutality, gun violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, many Christians sneer at the concept of justice and accuse me of being “divisive” and “too political.” Instead, they embrace nationalism, the rule of law without mercy and “Make America Great Again” as their values, even at the expense of human life.

It simply does not matter to the evangelical church that Trump is racist and that his dehumanizing rhetoric is emboldening radicals and costing Americans their lives. Americans are dying in mass shootings at the hands of white supremacists, while the church is celebrating the nation’s return to traditional values. For Christians who reject the MAGA mindset, this is absolute crazy making.

No wonder I live with crippling anxiety and spiritual trauma. The church that warned me against moral relativism now calls me a heretic when I apply the very principles they taught me to real situations, with real stakes for real people. I don’t know where to turn or whom to trust. Is any of it true? Have I wasted my life on a religion that hurts more than it helps?

Here's the link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/evangelical-christians-trump_us_5bfc326de4b03b230fa57ae9

It boggles my mind how these spittle-spraying xenophobic racists have

used immigration to gin up fear in the Republican base. Basically, it is a molehill that has been made into an artificial mountain.

But wait - that's not the best of it. The reason they are such well-funded raving lunatics is because they provide a convenient distraction to the greatest heist in history - the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations last year which transferred yet more trillions of dollars to the parasitic billionaire and CEO class.

Bankers have created a system of artificial scarcity through the Fed, which is primarily owned by JP Morgan Chase and Citi. It is NOT quasi-governmental - that is a sick joke. If the national debt is money we owe ourselves, then why are we paying it back to bankers with interest?

Wall Street MBA lizards have elevated the concept of shareholder primacy to an exact science that manifests in:
- for workers: unsafe working conditions, union busting, end-of-quarter and end-of-year layoffs just to raise share prices, crappy benefits and stagnant wages.

- for consumers: smaller packages at the same or higher prices, unsafe products, increased recalls, failure to honor warranties and products that are diluted or made poorer quality to increase profits.

- for the environment: the concept of 'externality' allows businesses to foul the environment and, as long as they aren't forced to pay, it is considered an 'externality.' So the earth is raped by capitalism and our entire species, as well as other living creatures, now face an existential crisis.

Billionaire parasites have bought our politicians, primarily the Republicans, have propagandized us to believe in a zero sum game - that if someone wins, then someone else must lose; we must all pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because we're rugged individualists, and only the strongest survive. In short, an Ayn Randian hell. This manifests itself in:
- irresponsible deregulation, which erodes our safety as consumers, our financial security (what little we all have left), and the quality of the environment.

- rampant privatization of things that should be part of the public domain, such as prisons, schools and non-military discretionary programs. And, make no mistake - the Wall Street greed heads have had their eye on the Social Security Trust Fund for decades.

- and gutting social programs through irresponsible tax cuts, coupled with more and more government contracts, primarily for 'defense.'

All these things, including the propaganda that drowns us, serves the sole purpose of transferring more and more of the world's wealth to the few at the expense of the many. Everything - the primacy of the shareholders, Citizens United, lack of a Fairness Doctrine allows this giant greed machine to grind us up a little more each day.

Tired of it yet?
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