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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

Journal Archives

Single Payer: Bernie Correct again - HIllary, not so much

non-partisan Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)


Debating 'Medicare for All' System Is Good for Nation's Health, say Doctors

'Single-payer is the only health reform that pays for itself'

The idea of a single-payer healthcare system has entered the presidential debates—and that's a very good thing, a doctors group says, as it is "only equitable, financially responsible and humane cure for our healthcare ills."

In a statement released Friday by the non-partisan Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), its president, Dr. Robert Zarr, calls it "a welcome development," and also refutes a number of myths surrounding such a plan, sometimes referred to as a Medicare-for-all plan, including supposed high costs and lack of public support.

On cost, says Zarr, "Single-payer is the only health reform that pays for itself;" in contrast, "keeping the current private-insurance-based system intact is not [affordable.]"

Enacting a single-payer system would entail "[r]eplacing hundreds of insurers and thousands of different private health plans," and that, in turn, would mean "$400 billion in health spending would be freed up to guarantee coverage to all of the 30 million people who are currently uninsured and to upgrade the coverage of everyone else, including the tens of millions who are underinsured."

What Super Wealthy Times Columnist Tom Friedman's Attack on Sanders Misses


"Friedman should be ashamed of himself."

"What if our 2016 election ends up being between a socialist and a borderline fascist -- ideas that died in 1989 and 1945 respectively?," New York Times pundit Tom Friedman asks in his latest column.

Friedman apparently doesn't understand that the idea that "died in 1989" was Communism. Senator Bernie Sanders, the "socialist" he's referring to, isn't a Communist. Is it really possible that Friedman doesn't understand the difference between authoritarian Communism and democratic socialism, which is how Sanders refers to himself? Or is he simply using that old tactic called "red-baiting" to try to make Sanders look like an extremist so that Hillary Clinton comes off as a moderate liberal?

Either way, Friedman should be ashamed of himself.

And Hillary has a right wing neocon Billionaire oligarch promoting her - That tell you anything?

Let's understand The CLintons and the DLC


The Rightwing Koch Brothers Fund the DLC

... the Koch brothers have also been funding the Democratic Leadership Council. Welcome fellow Democrat! ...

Do deep-pocketed "philanthropists" necessarily control the organizations they fund? That has certainly been the contention of those who truck in conspiracy theories about the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations funding liberal and neo-liberal organizations. As for the rightwing, journalists such as Joe Conason and Gene Lyons uncovered that the "vast right wing conspiracy" -- or the New Right network of think tanks, media outlets and pressure groups -- was marshalled under rightwing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife for his Get-Clinton campaign. Prior to the work of Conason and Lyons, Russ Bellant extensively documented in "The Coors Connection" how the Coors Family, Scaife and other wealthy rightwingers have funded the New Right movement since the early '70's. Among these rightwing benefactors are the Koch brothers. But the Kochs have been working both sides of the fence. As Bill Berkowitz writes, the Koch brothers have also been funding the Democratic Leadership Council.

According to SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media & Democracy, the brothers are "leading contributors to the Koch family foundations, which supports a network of Conservative organizations and think tanks, including Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Manhattan Institute the Heartland Institute, and the Democratic Leadership Council."

Charles Koch co-founded the Cato Institute in 1977, while David helped launch Citizens for a Sound Economy [now FreedomWorks] in 1986.

This is no less stunning than if Scaife or the Coors family were funding the DLC. So do the Kochs just throw money at the DLC -- as long as the Council supports a free-market" (i.e. unrestricted/unregulated corporate power)

Hillary Clinton Isn't Only Against Reparations, She Accepted Money from Prison Lobbyists


First and foremost, Ta-Nehisi Coates is a brilliant journalist and I agree with him on the case for reparations. Everyone should read his groundbreaking piece in The Atlantic titled The Case for Reparations. It highlights why the African American experience is unique in every way, from slavery and Jim Crow, to the Civil Rights era and today's lasting effects in the black community from such devastating chapters in U.S. history.

Like Coates, I too wish Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley would support reparations (especially since African Americans vote over 90 percent Democrat), however this isn't the case. For the record, I support reparations.

However, when Coates asks why Bernie Sanders fails to address white supremacy, and completely ignores Hillary Clinton's "abysmal" record on racial justice, as well as numerous other ties held by both Clintons to the structural injustices currently faced by African Americans, Latinos, and other communities, then some context is needed.

The Most Disingenuous Attack on Bernie Yet

Thom went off on this on the show today. This is important to know about


If you watched Sunday’s Democratic debate, you learned something interesting about Bernie Sanders: he voted for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, something Hillary Clinton was all too eager to point out when the two of them got to talking about Wall Street reform.

Sounds pretty bad, right?

The guy who goes on and on about how bad Wall Street is actually voted for the bill that crashed economy.

So much for all that “political revolution” stuff…

But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton isn’t telling a true story about Bernie Sanders and his vote for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, or CFMA.

As Robert Scheer has pointed over at TruthDig, then-Congressman Sanders voted for the CFMA not because he wanted to, but because he had to.

read on.............

170 Top Economists endorse the Sanders Wall Street Reform Plan


It seems as though nearly 200 of the nation’s top economists “feel the Bern,” as they release a letter publicly endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ plans for Wall Street reform.

The letter was signed by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who, under the Clinton Administration in the 1990s, oversaw a huge increase in employment and who has, like Bernie Sanders, been pushing for an increase in the minimum wage and heavier restrictions and higher taxes on corporations. Along with Robert Reich, University of Texas Professor James K. Galbraith, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC., Brad Miller, former U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, and William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City openly and enthusiastically endorsed the Sanders plan to reform Wall Street. [...]

In our view, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan for comprehensive financial reform is critical for avoiding another “too-big-to-fail” financial crisis. The Senator is correct that the biggest banks must be broken up and that a new 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking, must be enacted.
Here’s the full list:

1. Robert Reich, University of California Berkeley
2. Robert Hockett, Cornell University
3. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas
4. Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research
5. Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
6. Jeff Connaughton, Former Chief of Staff, Senator Ted Kaufman
7. William Darity Jr., Duke University
8. Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research
9. Brad Miller, Former U.S. Congressman and Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
10. William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City
11. Lawrence Rufrano, Research, Federal Reserve Board, 2005-2015
12. Darrick Hamilton, New School for Social Research
13. Peter Eaton, University of Missouri-Kansas City
14. Eric Hake, Catawba College
15. Geoff Schneider, Bucknell University
16. Dell Champlin, Oregon State University
17. Antoine Godin, Kingston University, London, UK
18. John P. Watkins, Westminster College
19. Mayo C. Toruño, California State University, San Bernardino
20. Charles K. Wilber, Fellow, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
21. Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University
22. Flavia Dantas, Cortland State University
23. Mitchell Green, Binzgar Institute
24. Bruce Collier, Education Management Information Systems
25. Winston H. Griffith, Bucknell University
26. Zdravka Todorova, Wright State University
27. David Barkin, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco
28. Rick Wicks, Göteborg, Sverige (Sweden) & Anchorage, Alaska
29. Philip Arestis, University of Cambridge
30. Amitava Krishna Dutt, University of Notre Dame
31. John F. Henry, Levy Economics Institute
32. James G. Devine, Loyola Marymount University
33. John Davis, Marquette University
34. Gary Mongiovi, St. John’s University
35. Eric Tymoigne, Lewis & Clark College
36. Trevor Roycroft, Ohio University
37. James Sturgeon, University of Missouri-Kansas City
38. Spencer J. Pack, Connecticut College
39. Thomas Kemp, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
40. Ronnie Phillips, Colorado State University
41. John Dennis Chasse, SUNY at Brockport
42. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Bard College
43. Silvio Guaita, Institution, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
44. Glen Atkinson, University of Nevada, Reno
45. William Van Lear, Belmont Abbey College
46. James M. Cypher, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas
47. Philip Pilkington, Political Economy Research Group, Kingston University
48. Eric Hoyt, PhD candidate, UMass-Amherst
49. Jon D. Wisman, American University
50. James K. Boyce, University of Massachusetts Amherst
51. Hendrik Van den Berg, Professor Emeritus, Universities of Nebraska
52. Thomas E. Lambert, Northern Kentucky University
53. Michael Nuwer, SUNY Potsdam
54. Nikka Lemons, The University of Texas-Arlington
55. Scott T. Fullwiler, Wartburg College
56. Charles M A. Clark, St. John’s University
57. John T. Harvey, Texas Christian University
58. Daphne Greenwood, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
59. Gerald Epstein, University of Massachusetts Amherst
60. Mohammad Moeini-Feizabadi, PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts
61. Rebecca Todd Peters, Elon University
62. Andres F. Cantillo, University of Missouri-Kansas City
63. Michael Meeropol, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Western New England University
64. Robert H. Scott III, Monmouth University
65. Timothy A Wunder, Department of Economics University of TexasArlington
66. Mariano Torras, Adelphi University
67. Gennaro Zezza, Levy Economics Institute
68. Wolfram Elsner, University of Bremen
69. Larry Allen, Lamar University
70. John Miller, Wheaton College
71. Chris Tilly, UCLA
72. Sean Flaherty, Franklin and Marshall College
73. Clifford Poirot, Shawnee State University
74. Anita Dancs, Western New England University
75. Calvin Mudzingiri, University of the Free State
76. Roger Even Bove, West Chester University
77. Andrea Armeni, Transform Finance
78. Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research
79. Steven Pressman, Colorado State University
80. Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland, Carey School of Law
81. John Weeks, SOAS, University of London
82. Matías Vernengo, Bucknell University
83. Thomas Masterson, Levy Economics Institute
84. Antonio Callari, Franklin and Marshall College
85. Avraham Baranes, Rollins College
86. Janet Spitz, the College of Saint Rose
87. Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst
88. Jennifer Taub, Vermont Law School
89. Irene van Staveren, Erasmus University
90. Yavuz Yaşar, University of Denver
91. Scott McConnell, Eastern Oregon University
92. Don Goldstein, Allegheny College
93. J. Pérez Oya, Retired UN secretariat (Spain)
94. Elaine McCrate, University of Vermont
95. Thomas E. Weisskopf, University of Michigan
96. Jeffrey Zink, Morningside College
97. Scott Jeffrey, Monmouth University
98. Lourdes Benería, Cornell University
99. Frank Thompson, University of Michigan
100. Baban Hasnat, The College at Brockport, State University of New York
101. Ilene Grabel, University of Denver
102. Tara Natarajan, Saint Michael’s College
103. Leanne Ussher, Queens College, City University of New York
104. Kathleen McAfee, San Francisco State University
105. Victoria Chick, University College London
106. Steve Keen, Kingston University
107. Heidi Mandanis Schooner, The Catholic University of America
108. Louis-Philippe Rochon, Laurentian University
109. Jamee K. Moudud, Professor of Economics, Sarah Lawrence College
110. Timothy A. Canova, Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University
111. Karol Gil Vasquez, Nichols College
112. Mark Haggerty, University of Maine
113. Luis Brunstein University of California, Riverside
114. Cathleen Whiting, Willamette University
115. William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
116. Kade Finnoff, University of Massachuettes-Boston
117. Maarten de Kadt, Independent Economist
118. Timothy Koechlin, Vassar College
119. Ceren Soylu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
120. Dorene Isenberg, University of Redlands
121. Barbara Hopkins, Wright State University
122. Matthew Rice, University of Missouri-Kansas City
123. David Gold, The New School for Social Research
124. Cyrus Bina, University of Minnesota
125. Mark Paul, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
126. Xuan Pham, Rockhurst University
127. Erik Dean, Portland Community College
128. Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., George Washington University Law School
129. Rohan Grey, President, Modern Money Network
130. Tamar Diana Wilson, University of Missouri—St. Louis
131. Radhika Balakrishanan, Rutgers University
132. Alla Semenova, SUNY Potsdam
133. Yeva Nersisyan, Franklin and Marshall College
134. Linwood Tauheed, University of Missouri-Kansas City
135. Michael Perelman, California State University, Chico
136. Janet T. Knoedler, Bucknell University
137. David Laibman, Brooklyn College and Graduate School, City University of New York
138. Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics, London
139. Steve Schifferes, City University London
140. Al Campbell, University of Utah
141. Faith Stevelman, New York Law School
142. Kathleen C. Engel, Suffolk University Law School
143. Jack Wendland, University of Missouri-Kansas City
144. Ruxandra Pavelchievici, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
145. Zoe Sherman, Merrimack College
146. Donald St. Clair, CFP, Financial Planning Assoc. of Northern California
147. Carolyn McClanahan, CFP, Life Planning Partners, Inc.
148. Thomas Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
149. Saule T. Omarova, Cornell University
150. Josh Ryan-Collins, City University, London
151. June Zaccone, Hofstra University
152. Alex Binder, Franklin & Marshall College
153. Albena Azmanova, University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies
154. Hans G. Ehrbar, University of Utah
155. Devin T. Rafferty, St. Peter’s University
156. Reynold F. Nesiba, Augustana University
157. David Zalewski, Providence College
158. Claudia Chaufan, University of California-San Francisco
159. L. Randall Wray, Levy Economics Institute and Bard College
160. Richard B. Wagner, JD, CFP, WorthLiving LLC
161. Joseph Persky, University of Illinois-Chicago
162. Julie Matthaei, Wellesley College
163. Peter Spiegler, University of Massachuetts-Amherst
164. James Ronald Stanfield, Colorado State University
165. William D. Pitney, CFP, Director of Advocacy, FPA of Silicon Valley
166. Ora R. Citron, CFP, Oak Tree Wealth Management
167. Susan Webber, Former Associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
168. Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work and New School for Social Research
169. Mu-JeongKho, University College London
170. Kevin Furey, Chemeketa Community College

Political Pundits Don't Represent People's Opinions


After watching any debate, there's a brief minute where you conclude about who 'won' the debate or who performed the best. Then a few seconds later, political pundits tell you who they think won. Their opinions then turn into 'what most people thought' when you're talking about the debate with others.

I bring this up because after every single Democratic debate this year, the overall media consensus is that Hillary Clinton won every debate. But if you checked online, you'd see almost every single (unscientific) poll had Bernie Sanders winning by 70 percent, 80 percent, or 90 percent. This phenomenon happened every single Democratic debate without exception.

Now why is this? Why are pundits' opinions about who won debates so starkly different than the polls we see online? Depending on which candidate you're pulling for, your first and obvious thoughts might be the media is unquestionably biased for Clinton or that young Sanders' supporters are brigading the online polls. And after the first few debates, I admittedly began to think these thoughts, but it turns out neither is the case.

A few months ago, two major liberal groups, Democracy for America and MoveOn.org ran online polls for their members to decide who they should endorse. The following are the outcomes:

Democracy for America -- 270,000 votes cast -- 88 percent Sanders
MoveOn.org-- 340,665 votes cast -- 78.6 percent Sanders


WHen the people can vote this is what happens:

Democracy for America -- 270,000 votes cast -- 88 percent Sanders
MoveOn.org-- 340,665 votes cast -- 78.6 percent Sanders

As Bernie Sanders Is Showing, This Country Is Much More Progressive Than You Think

It's certainly more progressive than Hillary, DWS or any of the Corporatist DLC , Third Party wants to admit.


It's true. Even as we descend into an election year defined by right-wing extremism, the numbers simply don't lie.

Despite Republican fear-mongering about big government, Americans “favor taxing the wealthy to expand aid to the poor,” and want Congress to rectify this inequalityby levying “heavy taxes on [the] rich” and increasing rates on people making over $1 million a year.

Americans also support steep progressive reform on Wall Street, with 50% to 58% of likely voters in favor of breaking up the big financial institutions.

Americans also support a substantial raise for low-wage workers, with 63% in favor of a $15 minimum wage by 2020, and 75% in favor of $12.50 by the same year. Other polls show that a majority of swing-state Republican voters support an increase, and 69% of working people favor an increase to $15. Concerning workers’ rights, a majority also want to improve scheduling for chain-store and fast-food restaurant employees.

Hillary: No, We Can't

A neuroscientist explains: Trump has a mental disorder that makes him a dangerous world leader


What do Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, Saddam Hussein and Donald Trump have in common? A lot, actually.

According to a number of top U.S. psychologists, like Harvard professor and researcher Howard Gardener, Donald Trump is a “textbook” narcissist. In fact, he fits the profile so well that clinical psychologist George Simon told Vanity Fair, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.” This puts Trump in the same category as a number of infamous dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Saddam Hussein. And although there are narcissists out there who entertain us, innovate, or create great art, when a narcissist is given immense power over people’s lives, they can behave much differently. As the 2016 presidential election grows nearer we must ask ourselves, if elected president would Donald Trump act on the behalf of the will of the people, or would he behave more like a dictator—silencing any dissenting voices, perpetually refusing to compromise, and being oppressive to certain groups? To answer that, we should ask a little bit more about what makes a narcissist tick, and how they tend to behave when given free rein.


The position of President of the United States is one that requires great empathy, a certain amount of humility,......

This , of course, disqualifies any republican from Office

Great night in South Carolina for Bernie Sanders could be a turning point in the 2016 race


The gloves are off in the Democratic race, and it’s now abundantly clear that Bernie Sanders can throw a punch.

he gloves are off in the Democratic race, and it’s now abundantly clear that Bernie Sanders can throw a punch.

On Sunday night the Democratic presidential candidates met for their final debate before the Iowa caucuses. Hillary Clinton entered the debate with a 25-point lead in the national polls, a big fundraising advantage and a virtual monopoly on major endorsements.

But Clinton knows from personal experience that no lead is safe until the voting starts. In the 2008 presidential race she squandered an even bigger lead over Barack Obama.

Could history repeat itself in 2016? That question haunts the Clinton campaign team, particularly now that Sanders leads Clinton in New Hampshire and trails her by just two points in the latest Iowa poll.

Sunday night’s debate will only add to Clinton’s worries. Sanders skillfully fended off Clinton’s attacks and emerged from the debate stronger than ever.

Clinton attacks backfired
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