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Home country: USA
Current location: Not disclosed
Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 06:28 PM
Number of posts: 11,661

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

A story of Bernie Sanders in action:

This is from Facebook. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=959329920791975&set=gm.1063287967023677&type=3&theater

"Brenda W. I am a Disabled Vermonter. I was having trouble getting through the process of being accepted on the SSDI process, was supposed to have a definitive ruling within 5 months meantime I was on the brink of becoming homeless, my vehicle which Oliver only owed 2 more payments was repossessed prior to getting a ruling. Which I don't believe would have come through had I not called Bernie office. To my Surprise Bernie answered the phone while his Secretary was out of the office. I explained my dire situation to Bernie, he listened intently. Asked whom if anyone was representing me. I told him I had felt confident enough with my record keeping & ability to navigate the mounds of paperwork that I did not hire an attorney. He asked a few pertinent questions & told me he would follow up with the local SSDI office & the person who made the determinations to see why I was being held up so long. The next day the SSDI rep called me asked a couple simple questions & told me he was ready to make a ruling on my case. Later that week, Bernie called me back & told me he had good news for me! My claim had been sitting approved on a desk & once he made the phone inquiry he asked that the process be expedited due to special circumstances. I received my first check that same day, the award letter came 2 weeks later! Talk about being Greatful! This man takes an interest in the little ppl. And he ACTS ON THE ISSUES. GETS RESULTS! And Genuinely Cares."

So there it is. Bernie acts on the issues and gets results because he genuinely cares!

Bernie Sanders Candidacy a Moment of Truth for Democratic Voters

The politicians, plutocrats and pundits of the Democratic Party establishment have no answer to Bernie Sanders' blistering critique of their failure to defend the interests of the voters who have kept them in power. Neither have they a substantive case against his policy agenda, which would shift government from working for the rich to working for the rest of us. Nor has it been easy for them to mount a personal attack on someone who says what he believes and acts on what he says.

They have one argument: he can't win. Why? Well... he's too radical, he lacks charisma, he doesn't connect with minorities, he's a secular Jew, etc. Don't waste your vote, they say; the risks of electing a Republican are too high.

But prematurely presumed losers have won enough elections in our history to make this glib conventional wisdom suspect, especially this year when voter anger at the Washington-Wall Street axis that dominates American politics is so widespread. Even Republicans are, rhetorically at least, trying to distance themselves from being associated with welfare for the rich. In this environment, Sanders' rivals, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden -- whom the Wall Street Democrats are keeping in reserve in case Hillary implodes -- carry a lot of negative baggage. Hillary's recent drop in the polls, driven by a dramatic decline in the support of women, has already undercut her claim to be the Democrats' strongest champion in next year's election.

More important, those who are Democrats because they believe the Party should be an instrument for building a better country- rather than just a personal career ladder -- need to think through the larger probabilities. Whatever the odds are for Bernie Sanders becoming president, the odds that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden would, as president, seriously address the issues that the Democratic rank-and-file care about are much longer.


Why is Bernie in this race? Everybody is saying he can't win, but....

My feeling is that Bernie felt an overpowering need to run this campaign, not because he wants to be president, because I don't think he really does. Instead, I believe he wants to elevate the dialog; he wants to educate the American populace. This is important because a huge number of Americans, definitely a majority, don't know about this stuff. People just know they are tired. They work really hard and nothing ever really seems to come from it. They can't get ahead, they can't save, and instead struggle just to make ends meet. Baby boomers and Xers have pretty much given up hope their Millennial children will have lives anywhere near as good as theirs have been, and they are ashamed. People are a paycheck away from hunger, an illness away from bankruptcy, a sick child away from losing their jobs.

Bernie, all of us must admit, has been working his ass off. Town after town, city after city. The crowds are growing because people are hungry for his message. This debate that is set for October 12th - when it happens and Bernie's message on the issues gets out to millions, we will have reached the tipping point. I have spent a long time and made much effort to know the truth, as I know you have, and the funny thing is, once you know you cannot go back.

We've had 35 years of right wing corporate propaganda. We've watched the systematic busting of unions. We've seen pensions that workers bled for disappear. We have seen salaries of CEOs go into the stratosphere while at the same time our wages have stagnated. In the meantime, prices for healthcare, for dental work, for groceries have gone up, up, up. Corporations like Dannon have reduced the size of the package of products we buy, but are charging the same price or more. My last refrigerator lasted about 20 years. It still worked when we bought a top of the line Kenmore, and guess what? The sales guy told me that there was no way we'd get that kind of quality nowadays.

I'm white, but I sure am aware that unarmed people of color are getting killed everyday by a militarized police. I feel uncomfortable with the idea that everything I write or say is getting recorded by a giant domestic spying operation called NSA. The Patriot Act makes me sick because it trampled on what was left of the Bill of Rights. Cops routinely stop people and steal their stuff using unconstitutional forfeiture laws.

Our schools suck now. It's really hard for kids to get any kind of a decent education because of these conservative ideologues who think they can just rewrite history the way they want it. Teachers are so busy getting kids ready to take stupid tests that they can't teach them to think. Did you know that schools don't teach kids typing any more? That's right. Not on the test.

If even 10% of Americans are educated by Bernie's message, then maybe things will change. Bernie is calling for a political revolution, meaning that if we're to have a government of, by and for us, the people, then we're going to have to get active and informed and wrest it away from these corporatists.

But cheer up. All is not bad. Lots of people are doing lots of really good things at the local level. Slow money, slow food, micro lending, B corporations, employee owned coops. All this stuff is happening, because many local thought leaders recognize the neoliberal model is unsustainable and so they are seeking to expand their economies in regenerative ways. The occupy movement brought the concept of inequality of wealth into American living rooms, and now Bernie is pounding that message in all across the nation to thousands of people like us.

And you know, I hope it works, because if the oligarchs don't toss the middle class some pretty big bones we have maybe 20 years until massive social unrest and revolution. At age 57, I am glad I'll be dead by then because I don't want to live through that at all. I'm hoping we can achieve more equity over the next few years by working through the system, even though it is stacked against us.

Of course, all this may be moot if climate change accelerates as quickly as scientists are projecting. This earth might have a mass extinction of species, including us. So, let's cheer for Bernie, say 'screw the establishment' and try our best to get him elected!

Tilt at this windmill with me one more time.

Is government the enemy, like the GOP seems to think, or is it bankers?

The problem is not governments, it is the bankers. Central banking should ONLY be the purview of governments, NOT of big banks. Consider the Fed. It was created with the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and basically is the legacy of JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. It is not quasi-governmental, yet they tell us this. No, it is a bunch of bankers who create money out of thin air, and then contract the supply to create scarcity so they can profit.

We are in a web of debt, that's for sure, and at the risk of being called a 'crank,' I advocate as a solution the US government taking back the issuance of money as it should under the Constitution (Section 8: The Congress shall have the power to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures), and nationalize the central bank. Basically get rid of the Fed which does nothing but rip off the 99% and funnel ever greater wealth to the 1%.

Instead of wallowing in debt we should NOT owe to bankers, we should take a page out of Lincoln's book and print our own greenbacks.

Listen to this: Ellen Brown, in the 'Web of Debt, citing a London Times editorial directed against Lincoln’s greenbacks, says, “If that mischievous financial policy which had its origin in the North American Republic during the late war in that country should become indurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debt. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

So they brought it down. And now we pay and pay and pay for what? rationed or no healthcare? inflation and the deterioration of our purchasing power? benefits we were given under the New Deal sucked up so the few can have just a little more? forever wars? domestic spying? privatized prisons and a bogus drug war?

We need to think through what we SHOULD have, as opposed to what we DO have, and then join Sanders' political revolution. In fact, make it world wide.

I just watched Chris Hayes, and he actually PLAYED Donald Trump's stump speech.

Later in the show, he mentioned Bernie, but no airing of anything Bernie is saying.

I mean, have you guys SEEN Trump's stump speech???

Well, if you haven't it is absolutely HORRIFYING. Think of this guy with his hand on the nuclear football!

But Comcast made Hayes play the entire thing...I'm gonna send them an email. Not that it will do any good, you understand, but it might make me feel better.

Fun poem by Rene Sonsmann from the Smirking Chimp.

I love poetry. Always have. So here goes.


The company’s share price had failed to perform
And anxious fund managers demanded reform.
The Board decided the M.D. should be the fall guy
So he left with an eight figure ‘golden goodbye’.
They then set about finding, amongst corporate aces,
The man to put smiles back on shareholders’ faces.

The new Chief Executive drove into town,
The black-tinted windows of his limo wound down,
He toured all the factories and the high office tower,
Before taking control at his new seat of power.
He was a Captain Of Industry, Lord Of All He Surveyed,
Worth every mill of the king’s ransom they paid.

Now, it’s interesting that employers expect me and you,
In return for our wage, to do the best we can do.
But for Senior Executives such rules don’t apply,
And for ten mill a year you can’t expect them to try.
So the Board, as an incentive, agreed to offer the man
A staggeringly generous stock option plan.

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the guy,
For securing an income so obscenely high.
But as this story unfolds, I hope that you’ll see,
How that stock option plan does affect you and me,
And why the way that executives get their remuneration,
Should be a cause of extreme consternation.

His brief from the Board was to stop the decline
In the share price, which had gone only south for some time.
His first act was, of course, ‘A wide ranging review
Of all operations’, so he’d know what to do.
And with the eyes of the market upon the new man,
A month or so later he announced his ‘Grand Plan’.

While the company’s business, he said, was basically sound,
There were problems but nothing he could not turn around.
There’d be pain, there’d be cutbacks and, it grieved him to say,
There’d be substantial job losses – starting today!
His ‘Vision for the Future’, his ‘Strategy for Success’,
Were wildly acclaimed by the Financial Press.

Now a company’s share price, in case it’s not clear,
Depends, largely, on the profit it makes year to year.
And profit, for those not in commerce instructed,
Is the sum left from sales once costs are deducted.
And from this, you can see, that lifting profit entails
One of two choices – cut costs or raise sales.

To raise sales isn’t easy, certain or quick,
So which, do you think, did our C.E.O. pick?
Yes! He cut thousands of jobs and threatened that more,
Without much lower wages, would be transferred offshore.
The market approved, the share pundits said “Buy”,
This man clearly meant business, he was their kind of guy.

He cut back on maintenance, the preventative sort,
He cut capital spending, no new machines would be bought,
He cut Research & Development, existing products would do,
He cut advertising, admin and sales support too.
He cut workers’ pensions (though not the management team’s)
And all but abandoned the Employees’ Health Scheme.

Well, after all this cost-cutting, profitability soared
The Press lionized him, he was adored by the Board.
Investors were convinced and shares started to buy,
And when, two years later, they hit a new high,
He was on the cover of ‘Newsweek’, Time’s ‘Man of the Year’,
He rang the stock exchange bell, got a back-slapping cheer.

But those cuts, which gave profits a temporary boost,
Gave rise also to chickens that must come home to roost.
Machines broke down more often and caused production delays,
Annoying loyal customers, who had heard anyways,
That competitors’ products were now better and cheaper,
Sales fell, slowly at first, but then progressively steeper.

‘Creative Accounting’ now came to the fore
As honest-to-god profits weren’t made any more.
There were dubious transactions, asset revaluations,
Sale and lease-back arrangements, financial manipulations.
For a couple more years he maintained the façade,
But concealing the truth became increasingly hard.

So the executive decided he’d not stick around
The company he’d managed right into the ground
From here on, he knew, things would only get worse,
So he sold the stock mentioned in an earlier verse,
And left with a profit of over one hundred mill,
Now, who do you think will get stuck with the bill?

It was a year or so later that the shit hit the fan,
So a new C.E.O. had to carry the can
For the worst corporate crash of the past two decades,
While the former chief executive escaped largely unscathed,
The media being loathe to condemn or accuse,
Lest their own blind support become front page news.

The factories are silent now, the jobs gone offshore,
The city’s a ‘ghost town’, where few work anymore.
The company collapsed, though their brand name’s still known
But, though they don’t advertise it, it’s now foreign-owned.
The small investors and workers, for whom life was once good,
Paid the price with their pensions and lost livelihoods.

And the former C.E.O., what of him, you might wonder?
How fares the main culprit of this corporate blunder?
Well, he winters in Aspen and summers in Maine,
He bought a place in The Hamptons, flies his own Lear jet plane.
He’s much in demand and firms pay richly to hear,
Words of wisdom from the former ‘Time’s Man-of-the-Year”

Bernie may be more of a Democrat than the Democrats.

He is talking about issues that at one time formed the core of the Democratic ideal. If you read some old speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt and other New Deal Democrats, you'll see that Bernie has come back to that core message; it is a message that saved America from going Communist in 1933, and created a powerful middle class that helped this nation become great. It created a 'great prosperity' from about 1950 to 1980 when the deterioration began.

So, you see, if you take a little longer view of history, you will see that beginning in the 1980s, the Democratic Party began its evolution toward the right as the Republicans 'evolved' even further right.

In the context of history, Obama and Clinton are what used to be called 'Eisenhower Republicans.' In fact, if you read Ike's brilliant 1963 essay, "Why I'm a Republican," and compare what he says in it, you'll see that Obama and Clinton are a little to the right of the ideas espoused therein, particularly on so-called 'free trade.'

So, what I'd say to you is that in Bernie, we have a reversal of the destructive neoliberal/neoconservative 'evolution' of Dems throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Bernie is taking us back to the New Deal, which is basically a set of policies to strengthen the American middle class. Bernie does one better, though. He's got a good platform on racism and reform of the correctional system.

This is why so many of us are responding to Bernie. The American people are angry at how the game has been rigged against us, at how hard it is to get ahead now, at how dim the futures of our children are compared to ours. We are ripe for another New Deal - a Real Deal where our interests are once again put front and center.

After watching the Republican debate, I'm floored the Democrats aren't starting their debates.

So, I have an idea:

Why don't we all begin calling Debbie Wasserman Schultz's office AT LEAST ONCE EVERY DAY until debate dates are moved forward. October 13th is too late.

Her number is 202-225-7931, and I bet if 50 or 60 thousand people called every day, the debates would get scheduled.

What do you think?

An open letter to CO Sen. Michael Bennet on his support of TPP

Last week, you sent me an impassioned plea for a donation because you are anticipating lots of money coming in from out of state organizations to support your Republican opponent in 2016, whomever that might be.

While this may be true, I cannot in good conscience give you a dime, since you voted to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership. This odious ‘free trade’ agreement has been kept secret from the American people, and Senators have not even been allowed copies of it or even to take notes. Here in Colorado, we call that a pig in a poke and know that only suckers buy something they haven’t seen and examined.

So, here’s the deal Michael: unless you reverse your position on the TPP, actively and publicly oppose it, what you can count on is that I will be working with other Democrats in Colorado to find a candidate that will represent my interests in the U.S. Senate better than you have, and ‘primary’ you from the left. Because honestly, Michael, I’m TIRED of having the people I elect to supposedly represent my interests get to Washington and instead uphold the interests of big corporations. Make no mistake, Michael, what is good for these corporations is not necessarily good for the people you represent, and TPP is most assuredly NOT good for the people of Colorado.

So, Michael, no matter how much money you think you’ll lose from corporate donors if you don’t support TPP, you stand to lose much more if you continue to ignore the interests of those who elected you.

Lastly, Udall lost in 2014 because he ran such a lame campaign that no one really knew what he stood for. He didn’t really take any positions at all, and the result was that Democrats didn’t turn out, and Colorado’s large independent electorate voted for Gardner instead. Make no mistake, it wasn’t the Koch brothers and their insidious super PACs that led to Udall’s defeat, it was Udall’s seeming refusal to take any definitive positions on anything. Don’t count on having people turn out for you, Michael, just because you’re a Democrat, because it doesn’t work that way. You have to ACT like a Democrat.

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