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Member since: Tue Nov 24, 2015, 12:52 PM
Number of posts: 66

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Meet Bernie Sanders’ Kansas City economists

They’re Stephanie Kelton and William Black, and both hail from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Each has signed on as economic adviser to Sanders’ presidential campaign, formalizing the kind of work they’ve done with the senator from Vermont in recent years.

Kelton and Black are part of a team of economic advisers, including former labor secretary Robert Reich and James Galbraith at the University of Texas in Austin, who help the Sanders campaign develop policies.

Randall Wray, a fellow UMKC economics professor, credits Sanders for embracing thinkers from outside the economic mainstream. “The mainstream is a complete disaster and a complete disaster for our country,” Wray said.

The alternative thinking at UMKC includes calls for the federal government to become an employer of last resort, essentially guaranteeing work to those who want it just as Franklin Roosevelt’s programs did during the Great Depression. UMKC’s economics department also is a leading voice in modern money theory, an explanation of federal spending’s role in the economy that some have dubbed “the Kansas City school” of economic thought.

With his credentials in law, economics and criminology, Black has made a name for himself by decrying wrongdoing and pushing for reforms in the financial system as well as pressing for prosecution of key players in the financial crisis.

He said advising Sanders is a natural extension of their agreement on some issues, such as breaking up the biggest banks. Both, Black said, understand that the government’s designation of the largest banks as “systemically important” really means they pose a danger to the financial system.

Each attacks campaign contributions from Wall Street. This is one tenet of a group Black helped form called Bank Whistleblowers United. It asks candidates to “pledge not to take campaign contributions from financial felons. That group, according to the federal agencies that have investigated them, includes virtually all the largest banks.”

Kelton had a breadth of knowledge that affected the committee’s work on many subjects, said Robyn Hiestand, the committee’s education staffer who worked on Sanders’ college affordability platform.

“Stephanie was instrumental in how to think about that, what should we be saying, what should Bernie be doing on college affordability,” Hiestand said.

Kelton had a hand in crafting letters and getting economists and others to sign on to them as endorsements of Sanders’ policies on Wall Street reforms, Medicare for all and raising the minimum wage, said Warren Gunnels, Sanders’ former staff director on the budget committee and now his policy director on the presidential campaign.

“It’s time to get back to thinking about investment in infrastructure and education, those sorts of things that drive long-term economic growth,” she said. “This is what Senator Sanders is looking for.”


When will Bill Clinton release the transcripts from his visit to the Soviet Union 1969

Clinton supporters red-baiting forgetting Bush Sr. tried to red-bait Bill in 1992

Bill Clinton was one of thousands of students, wealthy retirees and other American sightseers who poured into the Soviet Union in 1969 as entry barriers were easing dramatically, those associated with the country said Thursday after President Bush made Clinton's trip a campaign issue.

"What does the President imply . . . that anybody who as a student traveled to Russia is unpatriotic? What hogwash. I thought education was learning about the world first-hand as well as from books."

A congressional aide recalled that during the 1960s the CIA was secretly subsidizing the U.S. National Student Assn. for purposes of sending Americans to youth festivals in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

"The idea was to send 'good' Americans who would prevent the Communists from dominating this kind of activity," the official recalled. "The student association was forced to fold when this was disclosed. So there was nothing intrinsically wrong about Clinton taking a trip to Moscow on his own."

Travel author Frank W. Rounds Jr. said in a magazine interview at the time that: "The Russian government is putting on the most massive tourist drive imaginable. . . . In 1968, there were 23,000 American visitors to Russia. In the first 10 months of 1969, the total was 40,000 Americans."


Bernie Sanders is right: Saudi Arabia is more focused on the conflict in Yemen than fighting ISIS

"Saudi Arabia, turns out, has the third-largest defense budget in the world," Sanders said on Nov. 19. "Yet instead of fighting ISIS they have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."

Our ruling

Sanders said, "Instead of fighting ISIS, (the Saudis) have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."

This is an accurate assessment. The Saudis have prioritized the conflict in Yemen over the fight against ISIS, as evidenced by the amount of resources it has committed to both crises.

We rate Sanders’ claim True.


Guess he is not completely uninformed about foreign policy as some have tried to insinuate.
Also Saudi Arabia is not actively prosecuting and investigating it's own citizens who are funding ISIS. While Qatar, UAE and Kuwait don't even bother having laws against financing ISIS.
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