HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Proserpina » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Fri Nov 6, 2015, 07:20 AM
Number of posts: 2,352

Journal Archives

Clinton Super PAC Donor Is Former Goldman Exec and Foreclosure Crisis Profiteer


When Bernie Sanders brought up Hillary Clinton’s prodigious fundraising from Wall Street at the Nov. 14 Democratic presidential debate, Clinton called it an attack on her “integrity.” And in an interview this week, she said that “anybody who thinks they can influence me on that ground doesn’t know me very well.” But the fact remains that the Clinton campaign is fundraising heavily from Wall Street. Contributions from the securities and investment industries comprise her fourth-largest pile of campaign money, totaling $2,044,471. Commercial banks have given $443,519 directly to her campaign.

One major donor to her Super PAC, Priorities USA, is Donald Mullen Jr., a man who was singularly able to profit from the financial crisis both before and after the crash of the housing bubble. Mullen, while a Goldman Sachs employee, pioneered the trades that allowed the mega-bank to profit from the collapse of the housing market. Mullen’s team utilized financial instruments called collateralized debt obligations to essentially bet against subprime mortgages. A 2010 Senate investigation brought to light emails between Mullen and his Goldman colleagues. As his colleagues began to see the decline of the market, Mullen wrote cheerfully, “Sounds like we will make some serious money.”

In 2012, Mullen left Goldman Sachs to do the opposite of what he did in 2007: He started a hedge fund, the purpose of which was to buy up foreclosed homes and rent them out. New York magazine’s Kevin Roose described the career change this way: “A guy whose most famous trade was a successful bet on the full-scale implosion of the housing market is now swooping in to pick up the pieces on the other end.”

Mullen gave $100,000 to Priorities USA Action on June 30. According to Federal Election Commission data, this is the largest single contribution he has made to any soft money organization in his giving history. (In total, he has given $220,000 to soft money groups and $529,621 in individual contributions.) Interestingly, in 2008 he gave $30,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, $2,300 to the Obama campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee. But in 2011, he gave $2,500 to the Romney campaign and nothing to Obama, reflecting how much of the finance world abandoned Obama in 2012 to tilt toward Romney. Now it appears that the Clinton campaign has won him back....

and of course, there's Rahm Emanuel waiting in the wings, too...see expose: http://www.democraticunderground.com/111674327

Sanders Really Has a Workable Plan to Deal with Climate Change: Rare Among Politicians


On Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled his comprehensive and realistic plan for handling climate change in America which covers nearly every element of the issue from eliminating fossil fuel interests in politics to supporting and incorporating successful energy saving methods and alternative energy sources.

Sen. Sander’s plan, which has been posted on his campaign website, simplifies Bernie’s ideas into five easy-to-digest parts:

  1. Reclaim our Democracy from the billionaire fossil fuel lobby.

  2. Accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels.

  3. Invest in clean, sustainable energy.

  4. Revolutionize our electric and transportation infrastructure.

  5. Lead the international community to solve climate change and prevent international conflict.

details at link, full plan at https://berniesanders.com/people-before-polluters/

Sanders Really Has a Workable Plan to Deal with Climate Change: Rare Among Politicians


On Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled his comprehensive and realistic plan for handling climate change in America which covers nearly every element of the issue from eliminating fossil fuel interests in politics to supporting and incorporating successful energy saving methods and alternative energy sources.

Sen. Sander’s plan, which has been posted on his campaign website, simplifies Bernie’s ideas into five easy-to-digest parts:

  1. Reclaim our Democracy from the billionaire fossil fuel lobby.

  2. Accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels.

  3. Invest in clean, sustainable energy.

  4. Revolutionize our electric and transportation infrastructure.

  5. Lead the international community to solve climate change and prevent international conflict.

details at link, full plan at https://berniesanders.com/people-before-polluters/

It's not your fault if you're unhappy – and it won't make you sick either Ruth Whippman


The happiness industry – now contracted to consult with everyone from corporate America to the US military – thinks your well-being is a matter of individual effort and personal responsibility. This is the American dream applied to the soul: the faith that if we put in enough emotional elbow grease, if we read enough self-help books and practice mindfulness and think positive and meditate and keep a gratitude journal, then we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps from misery to joy...A thousand inspirational virtual photo-cards declare that ‘happiness is a choice.’ Even the dictionary agrees. Although the word happiness originally came from the Middle English word “hap”, meaning chance or good luck (think ‘happenstance’ or ‘perhaps’), any idea that our own wellbeing may be outside of our direct control has been firmly squashed. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary now declares that the old definition of the word happiness as “good fortune” has become obsolete.

In this brave new world, we are to forget that other people or life circumstances might legitimately stand in the way of our happiness – cheating husbands and unfair bosses, sex or race discrimination, cancer, poverty, losing both your legs or your job, or the fact that they’ve discontinued the peppermint cookies at Trader Joe’s. In this story, there is only one thing that has the power to make you happy, and that is you.

“If we can accept as true that life circumstances are not the keys to happiness …we’ll be greatly empowered to pursue happiness for ourselves”, wrote Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside, voicing the guiding philosophy of the positive psychology movement. Or, as the late Jim Rohn, a right-wing motivational guru put it: “Don’t wish it were easier! Wish you were better!”

Ironically, this strangely individualistic, blame-tinged approach to happiness is more likely to undermine than advance the cause of human wellbeing. All the available research points clearly to the idea that our happiness relies heavily on strong social relationships and supportive communities. Building those kinds of bonds requires a mutual investment in each others’ happiness, not just our own. The narrative of personal responsibility only undermines that sense of Interdependence and shared purpose. And as long as we continue to deny structural obstacles to happiness and blame individuals instead, society is let off the hook in addressing the root causes of peoples’ distress.

Thankfully, some new research goes some way towards challenging this victim-blaming world-view. “Good news for the grumpy” declared Sir Richard Peto in revealing the results of the large-scale study he co-authored, published in the Lancet this week. After tracking a cohort of a million British women over a 10-year time-span, he and his team found that those who were unhappy or stressed were no more likely to succumb to ill-health or premature death than their cheerier counterparts. Peto and his team undertook this research in part to dispel what they saw as a pervasive cultural belief that unhappiness leads to disease, and that sick people somehow bring their conditions on themselves by their own negativity. Having spent the last couple of years researching and writing a book about the American obsession with happiness, I agree with them. The idea that we are all somehow duty-bound to make ourselves as happy as possible and that if we fail, it is somehow all our own fault, is becoming subtly omnipresent.

Because peoples’ beliefs about happiness are so entrenched, I am not very optimistic about their findings doing much to shift them. Lucky then, that a little healthy pessimism won’t kill me after all.

'How do wookiees breed?': the big Star Wars questions answered


more about Star Wars than you want or need to know...but it's entertaining!

The four basic reasons that explain why Donald Trump actually is so popular By Jeff Guo WaPo


It has taken a long time, but even Democrats are starting to realize that Donald Trump is not a sideshow but the main event in the GOP presidential race. Explanations for his enduring appeal fall into two rough categories: his personality and his politics. Some people not only love his ideas, but they also love the way that he delivers it. Charisma plus a powerful message has always been the formula for political success. Those who doubted Trump for so long perhaps didn't recognize that he had a special brand of both.

Here are four basic reasons that explain Trump remains so popular among some Republicans.

1. Trump has simple answers for everything

Trump is often wrong, but what matters is that he always sounds right. In politics, force of character can be as important as facts (which nobody can agree on anyway)...

"People like the idea that deep down, the world is simple; that they can grasp it and that politicians can't," John Hibbing, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska, told Wonkblog. "That's certainly a message that I think Trump is radiating."

2. A lot of people dislike immigrants

Trump supporters are particularly attracted to his views on immigration. He’s hugely popular among people without college degrees, who have been left behind by economic progress in recent years. Many of these people blame immigrants for their own poor prospects, since they compete for some of the same kinds of jobs...And it’s not just an economically-frustrated slice of America that is attracted to Trump’s ideas. Nearly half of registered GOP voters agree with him that undocumented immigrants should be deported, and that America should turn away refugees. This is a passionate base. They believe Trump is electable and will make a difference.

3. People are sick of the political establishment

The more Trump is criticized, the more popular he seems to get...Trump has positioned himself as the anti-elite candidate, which to some voters has made him more or less immune to criticism from the mainstream parties or the mainstream media. When the press slams him for saying shocking (and often untrue) things, that only heightens the us vs. them dynamic.

4. He says things that people have been afraid to say

A lot has been made of Trump’s ability to shrug off gaffes. He often makes insensitive or factually wrong statements that in the past would have torpedoed any other candidate’s prospects. Instead, his comments — about some Mexicans being rapists and blood coming out of Megyn Kelly’s “wherever,” or his incorrect claim that "thousands’"of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11 — have had virtually no impact on his popularity in the polls..."I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct," Trump said at the Cleveland GOP debate in August. "I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness."

As one supporter explained during another focus group session: “When Trump talks, it may not be presented in a pristine, PC way, but we’ve been having that crap pushed to us for the past 40 years! He’s saying what needs to be said.”


Scientists predict warmer, drier winter and generally lower water levels in Great Lakes


The coming winter should see less snow and cold than the past two winters, which will likely mean slightly lower water levels in the Great Lakes as compared to a year ago...That's the word from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who met with reporters in a conference call on Nov. 19.

"The official NOAA climate prediction outlook for winter in the Great Lakes is calling for above normal temperatures ... and for a tendency for slightly below normal precipitation across the Great Lakes basin," said Jim Noel, a hydrologist with NOAA's National Weather Service, the Ohio River Forecast Center.

Following a record rise of more than 3 feet on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron from January 2013 to December 2014, the water levels are expected to fall back slightly.

"The forecast for the water level of Lake Michigan-Huron is to remain above average for the next six months," said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of the Watershed Hydrology Branch, USACE, Detroit District. "In the next couple of months, it will fall below where it was a year ago by just a couple of inches."

Much of the winter's relative mildness will be triggered by El Nino...

Trump 'a disgrace', Saudi billionaire says

Source: AFP-Yahoo

Donald Trump is a disgrace and should pull out of the United States presidential race, Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted late on Friday.

"@realDonaldTrump You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America," Alwaleed said on his official Twitter account, @Alwaleed_Talal. "Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win."

Alwaleed is an unusually outspoken member of the Saudi royal family, who chairs Kingdom Holding Co. The diversified firm's interests include US-banking giant Citigroup.

A statement early Saturday from Alwaleed's office said his tweet was in response to Trump's "anti-Islam statement".

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/trump-disgrace-saudi-billionaire-says-102002311.html

Weekend Economists: Oh, Come, Oh Come Emanuel December 11-13, 2015

If one had to pick a Democrat (an ostensible one) to put up against GOP's bad guy Kkkarl Rove, it would have to be Rahm Emanuel.


Recently re-elected Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Israel Emanuel (born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who serves as the 55th Mayor of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Emanuel was elected in 2011, becoming Chicago's first Jewish mayor. He was re-elected on April 7, 2015.

Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration, where he served as the Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy before resigning in 1998. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 for 2 1/2 years and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac.

In 2002, Emanuel ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who had resigned to run for Governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure in the House, Emanuel held two Democratic leadership positions, serving as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007 and as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus from 2007 to 2009. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House Chief of Staff.

In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago's 2011 mayoral election. Because of questions over his eligibility to run for mayor, Emanuel's candidacy was initially rejected by the Illinois First District Appellate Court, though he was later found eligible to run in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the nonpartisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley. Although Emanuel did not obtain an absolute majority in the February 2015 mayoral election, he defeated Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García in the April 7 runoff election...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

Rahm's even a published author! His ghost-written non-fiction (or maybe not)


http://www.amazon.com/The-Plan-Big-Ideas-America/dp/1586484125 is averaging barely 2.5 stars on Amazon. Haven't read it myself....I like Bernie's plans so much better! Used copies of The Plan are available in hardcover for 1 measly penny!

And he kept that promise! I'd like to dedicate this political ditty to Hizzoner, as it fits this time of year: (lyrics are mine)

Oh come, Oh come Emanuel, and emigrate to Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here until the son of Benjamin appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our wiseguy from on high, who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, oh, come, our lord of might, who to your tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times gave holy law, in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come O son of Marsha's stem, from every foe deliver them
That trust your mighty power to save; bring them in victory through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel shall come to you, O Israel!

Early life and family

Emanuel's grandfather was a Romanian Jew from Moldova. The surname Emanuel (Hebrew: עמנוא?, which means "God with us", was adopted by their family in honor of his father's brother Emanuel Auerbach, who was killed in 1933 in an altercation with Arabs in Jerusalem.

Emanuel's father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a Jerusalem-born pediatrician at Michael Reese Hospital who was once a member of the Irgun, a Jewish paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine. His mother, Marsha (née Smulevitz), is the daughter of a West Side Chicago union organizer who worked in the civil rights movement, and briefly owned a local rock and roll club and later became an adherent of Benjamin Spock's writings. Emanuel's parents met during the 1950s in Chicago.

Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. His first name, Rahm (ר? means high or lofty in Hebrew. He has been described by his older brother Ezekiel, an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as "quiet and observant" as a child. Ari, the youngest, is the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, a talent agency with headquarters in Beverly Hills, California; he also has a younger adopted sister, Shoshana

Did you know that Rahm suffered an accident with a meat slicer, and now he literally cannot give a flying finger, to use a euphemism? While a high school student working part-time at an Arby's restaurant, Emanuel severely cut his right middle finger on a meat slicer, which was later infected from swimming in Lake Michigan. His finger was partially amputated due to the severity of the infection.

So, here's a little ditty I wrote for Rahm, for Hannukah:

Rahm will spin, spin spin spin
Still the press won't do him in
Everyone lives in fear
Emanuel is coming near
Flashing lights now appear
Lighting up this time of year
Lighting up this time of year
As the miracle is clear

Emanuel is known for his "take-no-prisoners style" that has earned him the nickname "Rahmbo." Emanuel sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results. On the night after the 1992 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who "betrayed" them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a stake into the table and began rattling off names while shouting "Dead! Dead! Dead!".

Before Tony Blair gave a pro-Clinton speech during the impeachment crisis, Emanuel reportedly screamed at Blair "Don't fuck this up!" while Clinton was present. Blair and Clinton both burst into laughter. However, by 2007 friends of Emanuel were saying that he has "mellowed out". Stories of his personal style have entered the popular culture, inspiring articles and websites that chronicle these and other quotes and incidents. The character Josh Lyman in The West Wing was said to be based on Emanuel, though executive producer Lawrence O'Donnell denied this...

1st, U.S. Shields Torturers & War Criminals From Prosecution, Now Officially Honors Them Glenn Green


As vice president, Dick Cheney was a prime architect of the worldwide torture regime implemented by the U.S. government (which extended far beyond waterboarding), as well as the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused the deaths of at least 500,000 people and more likely over a million. As such, he is one of the planet’s most notorious war criminals.

President Obama made the decision in early 2009 to block the Justice Department from criminally investigating and prosecuting Cheney and his fellow torturers, as well as to protect them from foreign investigations and even civil liability sought by torture victims. Obama did that notwithstanding a campaign decree that even top Bush officials are subject to the rule of law and, more importantly, notwithstanding a treaty signed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan requiring that all signatory states criminally prosecute their own torturers. Obama’s immunizing Bush-era torturers converted torture from a global taboo and decades-old crime into a reasonable, debatable policy question, which is why so many GOP candidates are now openly suggesting its use. But now, the Obama administration has moved from legally protecting Bush-era war criminals to honoring and gushing over them in public. Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a marble bust of former Vice President Cheney, which — until a person of conscience vandalizes or destroys it — will reside in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol. At the unveiling ceremony, Cheney was, in the playful words of NPR, “lightly roasted” — as though he’s some sort of grumpy though beloved avuncular stand-up comic. Along with George W. Bush, one of the speakers in attendance was Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke movingly of Cheney’s kind and generous soul:

As I look around this room and up on the platform, I want to say thank you for letting me crash your family reunion. I’m afraid I’ve blown his cover. I actually like Dick Cheney. … I can say without fear of contradiction, there’s never one single time been a harsh word, not one single time in our entire relationship.

Leading American news outlets got in on the fun, as they always do, using the joviality of the event to promote their news accounts and generate visits to their sites...As NPR put it, “This was not an event for Cheney critics — on the war or torture or related topics.” Totally: why let some unpleasant war criminality ruin a perfectly uplifting ceremony?

It is a long-standing trope among self-flattering Westerners and their allies that a key difference between “us” and “them” (Muslim radicals) is that “they” honor and memorialize their terrorists and celebrate them as “martyrs” while we scorn and prosecute our own.

Yesterday, the U.S. government unambiguously signaled to the world that not only does it regard itself as entirely exempt from the laws of wars, the principal Nuremberg prohibition against aggressive invasions, and global prohibitions on torture (something that has been self-evident for many years), but believes that the official perpetrators should be honored and memorialized provided they engage in these crimes on behalf of the U.S. government. That’s a message that most of the U.S. media and thus large parts of the American population will not hear, but much of the world will hear it quite loudly and clearly. How could they not?

In other news, U.S. officials this week conceded that a man kept in a cage for 13 years at Guantánamo, the now 37-year-old Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri, was there due to “mistaken identity.” As Joe Biden said yesterday, “I actually like Dick Cheney.”

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next »