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jg10003

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Member since: Fri Nov 5, 2010, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 804

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Did HRC call herself a progressive in 2008 or in her senate campaigns?

I have tried unsuccessfully to find an instance of Hillary saying that she is a progressive BEFORE Bernie announced his candidacy. I would be very happy if anyone can provide a link showing that I am wrong.

My theory regarding what is in the Goldman-Sachs transcripts

No one can deny that there is something in the transcripts that Clinton does not want revealed. The Clinton campaign has calculated that releasing the transcripts would be more harmful then the negative publicity that comes with not releasing them. So the question is; What is in the transcript?

My theory is that there are just a couple of sentences that the Clinton campaign is worried about. And those sentences pertain to the mortgage crisis of 2008. The right wing Competitive Enterprise Institute ran an article written by head of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank, that said “borrowers themselves should assume primary responsibility for the current subprime crisis. Millions of borrowers, all over the country, knowingly signed mortgage contracts they cannot now afford to honor.” This is a theme that Wall St. titans use to convince themselves that they didn’t cause the economic crisis. I suspect, admittedly with no evidence, that Clinton in her speech to Goldman-Sachs flattered her audience by repeating this trope.

The following is a paraphrase of what I think Clinton may have said in her speech.

“Thank you ladies and gentlemen for inviting me here tonight. The Wall St. community has been demonized for causing the financial crisis. While the financial community unquestionably made mistakes it is unfair to place all the blame on Wall St. It is true that banks gave mortgages to people with poor credit, however those same people took the loans knowing that they could not afford them. Both the lenders and borrowers must share equal responsibility for the mortgage crisis.”

I readily admit that this is pure speculation. I merely suggest that this is a plausible explanation of what the transcripts might contain. A person, especially a politician, who is paid over $200,000 for a speech can be expected to tell the audience what it wants to hear. But defending Wall St. in the current political climate is a sure way of losing an election. So it makes sense that Clinton would prefer to be criticized for not releasing the transcripts rather then be criticized for what she said to Goldman-Sachs.

HuffPost: Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real ‘Progressive Who Gets Things Done’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/barney-vs-bernie-sanders_b_9624560.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Here’s the truth: Hillary Clinton got very little done during her eight years in the United States Senate, while Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate....

...In 2005, Rolling Stone called him the “amendment king.”

But as Politifact notes: “In comparison, Hillary Clinton passed zero roll call amendments during her tenure as a senator from New York from 2001-09.”...

In 2002, Sanders introduced an amendment in the House that blocked the Bush Administration from implementing a rule allowing companies to cut the pensions of older workers by as much as 50 percent.

Sanders introduced legislation to allow consumers to receive free credit reports and free credit scores. When Republicans refused to go along Sanders compromised and got a deal done.

Sen. Sanders worked with Rep. Jim Clyburn and won a deal which dramatically increased access to community health centers.

After the Postal Service announced it was closing 15,000 post offices, Sanders rallied an ad hoc group of more than two dozen senators and reached a compromise: these post offices would stay open, but with reduced hours. That wasn’t what Sanders wanted, but the alternative was much worse.

In 2009, when milk prices plummeted, Sanders was able to win $350 million in additional aid for struggling dairy farmers many of whom were on the brink of bankruptcy.



Poll: Subway tokens were so much better then cards.

You just reached into your pocket, found the coin with the hole in the middle, and dropped in the slot. It worked every time. No taking out your wallet in public, no swiping again and again, no wondering how much was left on the card, and tokens don't get damaged. Simplicity is good. Sometimes technology makes things worse.

HuffPost: Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real ‘Progressive Who Gets Things Done’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/barney-vs-bernie-sanders_b_9624560.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Here’s the truth: Hillary Clinton got very little done during her eight years in the United States Senate, while Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate....

...In 2005, Rolling Stone called him the “amendment king.”

But as Politifact notes: “In comparison, Hillary Clinton passed zero roll call amendments during her tenure as a senator from New York from 2001-09.”...

In 2002, Sanders introduced an amendment in the House that blocked the Bush Administration from implementing a rule allowing companies to cut the pensions of older workers by as much as 50 percent.

Sanders introduced legislation to allow consumers to receive free credit reports and free credit scores. When Republicans refused to go along Sanders compromised and got a deal done.

Sen. Sanders worked with Rep. Jim Clyburn and won a deal which dramatically increased access to community health centers.

After the Postal Service announced it was closing 15,000 post offices, Sanders rallied an ad hoc group of more than two dozen senators and reached a compromise: these post offices would stay open, but with reduced hours. That wasn’t what Sanders wanted, but the alternative was much worse.

In 2009, when milk prices plummeted, Sanders was able to win $350 million in additional aid for struggling dairy farmers many of whom were on the brink of bankruptcy.



The Center for Economic and Policy Research on Bernie's Daily News interview

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/reporters-who-haven-t-noticed-that-paul-ryan-has-called-for-eliminating-most-of-federal-government-go-nuts-over-bernie-sanders-lack-of-specifics

The Washington press corps has gone into one of its great feeding frenzies over Bernie Sanders' interview with New York Daily News. Sanders avoided specific answers to many of the questions posed, which the D.C. gang are convinced shows a lack of the knowledge necessary to be president.

Among the frenzied were the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, The Atlantic's David Graham, and Vanity Fair's Tina Nguyen, and CNN's Dylan Byers telling about it all. Having read the transcript of the interview I would say that I certainly would have liked to see more specificity in Sanders' answers, but I'm an economist. And some of the complaints are just silly.

When asked how he would break up the big banks Sanders said he would leave that up to the banks. That's exactly the right answer. The government doesn't know the most efficient way to break up JP Morgan, JP Morgan does. If the point is to downsize the banks, the way to do it is to give them a size cap and let them figure out the best way to reconfigure themselves to get under it.

The same applies to Sanders not knowing the specific statute for prosecuting banks for their actions in the housing bubble. Knowingly passing off fraudulent mortgages in a mortgage backed security is fraud. Could the Justice Department prove this case against high level bank executives? Who knows, but they obviously didn't try.

And the fact that Sanders didn't know the specific statute, who cares? How many people know the specific statute for someone who puts a bullet in someone's head? That's murder, and if a candidate for office doesn't know the exact title and specific's of her state murder statute, it hardly seems like a big issue.

There is a very interesting contrast in media coverage of House Speaker Paul Ryan. In Washington policy circles Ryan is treated as a serious budget wonk. How many reporters have written about the fact this serious budget wonk has repeatedly proposed eliminating most of the federal government. This was not an offhand gaffe that Ryan made when caught in a bad moment, this was in his budgets that he pushed through as chair of the House Budget Committee.

This fact can be found in the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis of Ryan's budget (page 16, Table 2). The analysis shows Ryan's budget shrinking everything other than Social Security and Medicare and other health care programs to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2050. This is roughly the current size of the military budget, which Ryan has indicated he wants to increase. That leaves zero for everything else.

Included in everything else is the Justice Department, the National Park System, the State Department, the Department of Education, the Food and Drug Administration, Food Stamps, the National Institutes of Health, and just about everything else that the government does. Just to be clear, CBO did this analysis under Ryan's supervision. He never indicated any displeasure with its assessment. In fact he boasted about the fact that CBO showed his budget paying off the national debt.

So there you have it. The D.C. press corps that goes nuts because Bernie Sanders doesn't know the name of the statute under which he would prosecute bank fraud thinks a guy who calls for eliminating most of the federal government is a great budget wonk.

Even the NY Times says Bernie was right in the Daily News interview

http://nyti.ms/1S0qa3n

Yes, Bernie Sanders Knows Something About Breaking Up Banks

By PETER EAVIS
April 5, 2016

Bernie Sanders probably knows more about breaking up banks than his critics give him credit for.

The Daily News on Monday published an interview with him that led some commentators to say he didn’t know how to break up the country’s biggest banks. Downsizing the largest financial institutions is one of Mr. Sanders’s signature policies, so it would indeed raise questions about his candidacy if he had little idea of how to do it.

In the interview, with The Daily News’s editorial board, Mr. Sanders does appear to get tangled up in some details and lacks clarity. Breaking up the banks would involve arcane and complex regulatory moves that can trip up any banking policy wonk, let alone a presidential candidate. But, taken as a whole, Mr. Sanders’s answers seem to make sense. Crucially, his answers mostly track with a reasonably straightforward breakup plan that he introduced to Congress last year.

Here are the most relevant parts of the exchange.

Daily News: Now, switching to the financial sector, to Wall Street. Speaking broadly, you said that within the first 100 days of your administration you’d be drawing up...your Treasury Department would be drawing up a too-big-to-fail list. Would you expect that that’s essentially the list that already exists under Dodd-Frank? Under the Financial Stability Oversight Council?

The Daily News may be referring here to the contents of Mr. Sanders’s bill. The legislation says that, in no more than 90 days, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a high-level regulator set up by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, would have to draw up a list of firms that appear to too big to fail. Then steps would be taken to break them up.
Bernie Sanders has been criticized for an interview in which he seemed to lack clarity in how he would break up big banks.
Hilary Swift for The New York Times

The Daily News comes back to the mechanics of breaking up the banks.

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?

Mr. 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.

Mr. Sanders’s recognition here of the need for legislation is significant. Many banking experts say that Congress would need to pass a new law to give regulators the explicit authority to introduce direct caps on bank size. The Federal Reserve has introduced many measures since the financial crisis of 2008 that have created incentives for banks to shrink — and many banks are declining in size.

But senior officials at the Fed believe that Congress would need to do more. Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, favors extra measures to tackle too-big-to-fail banks and is working on a plan to do this. “Ultimately Congress must decide whether such a transformational restructuring of our financial system is justified in order to mitigate the ongoing risks posed by large banks,” Mr. Kashkari said in a recent speech.

The problematic word for Mr. Sanders in his answer above is “or.”

It suggests he believes that the secretary of the Treasury, using powers already given under Dodd-Frank, can press the banks to break up even without new legislation. This might be an option he’d take if Congress refused to pass new breakup legislation. Under Dodd-Frank, the Fed could in theory raise its capital requirements to such a high level for the largest banks that they quickly decide to break themselves up. But such a path might face stiff legal resistance. As a result, Mr. Sanders’s apparent suggestion that the Treasury secretary could act unilaterally might betray a weak grasp of Dodd-Frank. Or he may simply be confused about what it contains.

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.

It makes sense for Mr. Sanders to hedge here about the Fed. The Daily News asks if the Fed has that power “now.” As we have seen, the Fed currently has a lot of power but maybe not all the power it might require to break up the banks without facing serious legal challenges from the financial industry. And Mr. Sanders is also correct that an administration can obtain that power — that is what his bill is for.

Daily News: Well, it does depend on how you do it, I believe. And, I’m a little bit confused because just a few minutes ago you said the U.S. President would have authority to order...

Sanders: No, I did not say we would order. I did not say that we would order. The President is not a dictator.

Daily News: Okay. You would then leave it to JPMorgan Chase or the others to figure out how to break it, themselves up. I’m not quite...

Sanders: You would determine is that, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. And then you have the secretary of Treasury and some people who know a lot about this, making that determination. If the determination is that Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase is too big to fail, yes, they will be broken up.

Mr. Sanders is mostly cogent here. This is more or less how a breakup would work under his legislation. Doing what he outlines here would be far easier if Congress passed his breakup bill, or something like it. Mr. Sanders is on shaky ground if he thinks it would be easy to slash the size of the banks with Dodd-Frank alone. But, taking the interview as a whole, as well as his past positions, that does not appear to be the path he favors.


HuffPost: Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real ‘Progressive Who Gets Things Done’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/barney-vs-bernie-sanders_b_9624560.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

Here’s the truth: Hillary Clinton got very little done during her eight years in the United States Senate, while Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate....

...In 2005, Rolling Stone called him the “amendment king.”

But as Politifact notes: “In comparison, Hillary Clinton passed zero roll call amendments during her tenure as a senator from New York from 2001-09.”...

In 2002, Sanders introduced an amendment in the House that blocked the Bush Administration from implementing a rule allowing companies to cut the pensions of older workers by as much as 50 percent.

Sanders introduced legislation to allow consumers to receive free credit reports and free credit scores. When Republicans refused to go along Sanders compromised and got a deal done.

Sen. Sanders worked with Rep. Jim Clyburn and won a deal which dramatically increased access to community health centers.

After the Postal Service announced it was closing 15,000 post offices, Sanders rallied an ad hoc group of more than two dozen senators and reached a compromise: these post offices would stay open, but with reduced hours. That wasn’t what Sanders wanted, but the alternative was much worse.

In 2009, when milk prices plummeted, Sanders was able to win $350 million in additional aid for struggling dairy farmers many of whom were on the brink of bankruptcy.




The most important number from WI; 72% of independents go for Bernie.

The Panama Papers: Where are the Americans? [answer: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Singapore]

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2016/04/the-panama-papers-where-are-the-americans-000083


...when wealthy Americans do want to evade taxes, they turn to Bermuda, or the Cayman Islands, or Singapore. They don’t park their money in Panama.

Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands all have changed their laws to court investment, giving them significant advantages over Panama. Those three countries operate under a derivative of English common law, which gives American lawyers a sense of familiarity and confidence in their legal systems. Further strengthening that trust, Panama is a Spanish-speaking country, while Bermuda, BVI and the Cayman Islands all use English. Wealthy Americans are also more confident in the political systems of the three countries as opposed to Panama, which many see as more unstable.




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