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Member since: Sun Aug 23, 2015, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 8,976

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Clear up some disinformation in the media

"Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want."
Washington Post Editorial January 27, 2015

In protest, I refuse to link to lies for quoting a paragraph.

It's not a matter of Bernie admitting "he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan"

That line for heath spending per capita in the US in the graph below is much longer than any other country

Who do you think pays for those costs? Americans -every single over priced dime. Some of it was collected as Americans paid into social programs while they worked. Some of it was paid by Americans employers as a part of their compensation. Some of is paid with tax dollars collected from Americans or American companies. Some of it paid for by health premiums Americans pay for. etc.

The most expensive health care on the planet by far is already paid for by Americans. Bernie doesn't "HAVE raise taxes" on anyone to get this healthcare.

The problem that chart shows you is that Americans are being ripped off.

It's been trending that way for a long time.

And you're not getting your money's worth:

Republicans and corporate America whine about "big government" all the time. Everything that ails us is due to BIG incompetent government. But you know what that chart shows and proves? That's not true - certainty not true in this case. And it hasn't been true for decades. It shows that single payer or universal care provided by governments kicks the crap out of corporate America private health care as a better bang for the buck - because that's where a big chunk of these excessive costs come from - corporate administration, profits, overheads, CEOs, etc. It's certainly not all of the problem. there's much to be done with other drug costs, doctors costs, etc But it's 31% of private healthcare cost that do not add value to the well being of a patient. These are corporate opportunist leeches sucking the financial blood out of the afflicted.

Americans are paying about $1.5 trillion dollars a year extra in part to satisfy to these corporate parasites in significant part because America got sucked into this "big government is bad" GOP nonsense that's proven to be BS. And these companies are stuffing politicians pockets and campaigns with six figure speaking fees or contributions because that's peanuts in the bigger scheme of $1.5 trillion in excess annual healthcare business.

When a country is spending that much on healthcare, that country doesn't have to raise another dime. They're already spending 2.5 times the average of everyone else and way more than anyone else. So there is lots of money to do whatever they want with healthcare. Money available for healthcare at the country level is not the problem. So no taxes "have" to be raised. The Washington Post is full of shit on some of their arguments and too stupid to realize it.

The problem is: Bernie would like to get Americans a better deal. Bernie doesn't want to see the average American get ripped off on excessive health insurance costs any more. They've been doing it for years and cleaned out the savings of a lot of Americans.

Bernie's plans can be adjusted. But more money isn't the issue. He wants Americans to get a fair shake in what they're paying for their healthcare. Hillary has stated in effect, she's staying the course and will nibble at the problem through the ACA.

The GOP is always whining about the debt. But they never seem to whine about private heathcare costs:

We have to fix this for America's fiscal survival:

So corporate owned America don't want Bernie or the Americans he represents to fix this. They do not want to stop collecting the growing $1.5 trillion in excess healthcare costs. Hillary is on the record as saying it's "too hard" and "never, ever". She's going to tinker with the ACA.

Bernie is trying to do more that fix healthcare with his plan. He's trying to also make an adjustment for income inequality. The average person doesn't have to pay $5,000 in health insurance any more but they have to give back $500 of that savings in taxes (probably to shut the GOP up about it being a freebee/entitlement). He gets employers to largely pick up the balance. And he saves a bunch on much of the 31% in overhead, admin, CEO, profits of private heathcare to pay for those who don't have any healthcare.

That doesn't have to be the final plan. If there are issues with it, it can be adjusted.
But it is not a stupid pipe dream financially. And it has to be done.

I'm not sure any of the above helps but I thought I'd take a shot.

It up to you to decide which of those candidates you think is right.

Elizabeth Warren weighs in with an Opinion for your consideration

Elizabeth Warren: One Way to Rebuild Our Institutions
WASHINGTON — WHILE presidential candidates from both parties feverishly pitch their legislative agendas, voters should also consider what presidents can do without Congress. Agency rules, executive actions and decisions about how vigorously to enforce certain laws will have an impact on every American, without a single new bill introduced in Congress.

The Obama administration has a substantial track record on agency rules and executive actions. It has used these tools to protect retirement savings, expand overtime pay, prohibit discrimination against L.G.B.T. employees who work for the government and federal contractors, and rein in carbon pollution. These accomplishments matter.

Whether the next president will build on them, or reverse them, is a central issue in the 2016 election. But the administration’s record on enforcement falls short — and federal enforcement of laws that already exist has received far too little attention on the campaign trail.
Legislative agendas matter, but voters should also ask which presidential candidates they trust with the extraordinary power to choose who will fight on the front lines to enforce the laws. The next president can rebuild faith in our institutions by honoring the simple notion that nobody is above the law, but it will happen only if voters demand it.

It didn't change my mind because I already think I've picked the right horse but it may help those on the fence

Bullet hole found at Sanders campaign HQ on day candidate was present

Source: Las Vegas Sun

A bullet hole was discovered in a storefront window at the Bernie Sanders campaign headquarters in northwest Las Vegas on Thursday morning, the same day the Democratic presidential candidate was on site, Metro Police said today.

Officers responded just before noon to the campaign office at 815 South Rainbow Blvd., near Alta Drive, authorities said. Police said it appears a bullet went through the window but declined to comment on whether a shot had been fired.


The Sanders campaign on Monday called the bullet hole “an issue of serious concern” but did not elaborate on specifics of the situation.

"It is being investigated by the appropriate authorities,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. "Beyond that, we generally don’t like to talk about security matters. We’ll just leave it there — just to say that it’s a serious concern."

Read more: http://lasvegassun.com/news/2016/jan/08/bullet-hole-found-at-sanders-campaign-hq-on-day-ca/

So that might explain why the Secret Service has finally been called in ...

I will be devastated and beyond boiling outrage if they hurt him

Clinton Iowa Volunteers Train When To Push Backers To O’Malley — To Block Bernie

Source: BuzzFeed

Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president is instructing its Iowa caucus leaders to — in certain cases — throw support to former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, with the goal blocking her main opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, from securing additional delegates.

The tactical move is rooted in the complex math of the Iowa caucuses Monday night, where the campaign is looking to defeat Sanders in a state whose caucus-goers have historically backed progressive challengers.
The goal, in the caucuses’ complex terms, is to cost Clinton no delegates in the state’s 1,681 caucuses while ensuring stray O’Malley supporters don’t defect to Sanders.
“It’s sad and telling that their campaign doesn’t think they can win without these kinds of tactics,” said Rania Batrice, Sanders’s Iowa spokesperson. “At the end of the day though, we believe in the caucus process and know it’s in the very capable hands of Iowans.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/hillary-bernie-math#.hg45E8zrJE

I was limited by the number of paragraphs.

There is a history of this sort of thing at the Iowa caucuses that the article explains

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund endorses Bernie

To the editor:

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund’s vision for changing business-as-usual politics starts and stops with people. So when we consider which presidential candidate will challenge the political establishment and lift up our People and Planet First values, Bernie Sanders is the clear choice.

He’s the only candidate with a proven track record on issues critically important to regular folks:

• Running a people-funded campaign, refusing a Super PAC, while fighting big money in politics.

• Standing up to Big Oil by opposing the Bakken pipeline and championing climate justice in Congress.

• Pushing to bust up Big Banks and make corporations pay for their fare share of taxes.

• Fighting to expand Social Security and increase access to health care through a “Medicare for all” single-payer system.

• Calling for unity among people of all races and religions to combat racial injustices and the racist rhetoric of the Republican candidates.

What’s most promising about Sanders is his call for a political revolution. To win on issues that matter most to us, we need a grass roots movement fighting for justice and democracy 365 days a year, not just during elections. Caucus for Sanders on Monday.

Barb Kalbach

Since the Clinton machine seems to have been kind of buying up endorsements I thought I'd make an effort to even the playing field a bit. I was just checking out other papers in Iowa to see what was going on and if I could help out when I came across this.

Clinton email prober had deeper role in inquiry into 2000 Clinton campaign

Source: Politico

An official overseeing State Department investigations stemming from Hillary Clinton's email practices had a greater role than previously acknowledged in a probe of Clinton's first Senate campaign, according to a subpoena reviewed by POLITICO.
However, a grand jury subpoena issued to Clinton's Senate campaign committee in January 2003 which bears Seide's name and title as an assistant U.S. Attorney and appears to have been hand-initialed by him made sweeping demands for the campaign's financial and fund-raising records. The materials covered by the subpoena are so wide-ranging that they do not appear consistent with a probe focused on the financial dealings of a single donor or company.
In December 2003, a grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Clinton's national finance director David Rosen on four felony charges of intentionally underreporting in-kind donations by Paul for the gala by more than $700,000. After a three-week trial in 2005, a jury acquitted Rosen of all the pending counts. The joint fundraising committee subsequently paid a civil penalty to the Federal Election Commission and updated its finance reports to reflect the in-kind gifts. The law in force at the time permitted unlimited "soft money" gifts to such fundraisers.

Clinton allies have raised questions about the impartiality of the leadership of the State inspector general's office. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said the probe of the 2000 campaign "amounted to nothing" and that Seide's role raised in the prior inquiry and the current ones raised "all sorts of questions."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/01/clinton-email-prober-had-deeper-role-in-inquiry-into-2000-clinton-campaign-218407

There's more and there's a link of a previous story that would give you some useful background on this.

I haven't fully digested the significance of the report (many probably won't be interested) because the email story has gotten complex.

Maybe folks would like to chime in and see how this fits or doesn't fit with what is going on.

Nick Johnson "Why I'm supporting Bernie Sanders for president"


Of course, like most Americans, I like his specific proposals — increased minimum wage, health care for all, higher taxes on the wealthy, avoiding unnecessary wars, tuition-free college, jobs improving infrastructure, and many more.

But far more important than the specifics is his belief that government should serve all the people, the socio-economic bottom as well as the top 1 percent. That a government of the major donors, by the lobbyists, for the wealthy is not what the founders had in mind. That when candidates of either the Democratic or Republican parties’ establishments talk of proposals, the results look a lot more like capitulation in the cause of campaign contributions than compromise on behalf of the American people.

Of course, I’m impressed with the more conventional things said about Sen. Sanders. His authenticity. His enormous, enthusiastic crowds, and millions of supporters. That he not only talks against Wall Street and PAC funding, he walks the walk by refusing their money — while raising enough from small donors. He’s had experience as a mayor, congressman and senator, one who understands the federal government’s working and impact. Up against Republican candidates, he’s as easily (or more) electable as the others. He has the best “unfavorable” numbers.

But most important to me? His lifelong advocacy that governments exist for the 99 percent. His ability to answer my 40-year-old question; his knowledge of what’s required before a government can serve the people. A campaign that’s already begun building that citizen organization.

Nicholas Johnson bio
He is perhaps best known for his tumultuous seven-year term as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (1966-1973), during which, among other things, he was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and published How to Talk Back to Your Television Set. He later served President Jimmy Carter as a presidential advisor for the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services. Since his FCC term, Professor Johnson ran for Congress, headed a Washington-based media reform group, hosted a PBS TV program, wrote a nationally syndicated column, consulted with numerous countries on media matters, and appeared at hundreds of colleges as a public lecturer. ...

A pretty good endorsement from an informed and experienced Iowa retired professor with no political dog in this hunt.

Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren May Have Just Saved Consumers $14 Billion

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Cable customers who are tired of paying through the nose to rent set-top boxes are about to see some serious savings, thanks to a new proposal from the Federal Communications Commission.

The new regulation would open up the set-top box market to consumer choice so that customers could rent or buy devices from providers other than their cable companies. About 99 percent of cable customers currently rent set-top boxes from their cable company. According to a survey commissioned by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), cable customers pay an average of $232 a year for those rentals -- a $20 billion market annually, just for set-top box rentals.
Cable companies and their lobbyists are furious about the plan, which the commission is set to vote on Feb. 18. But the proposal didn't emerge from a vacuum. Liberal senators have been pressuring the FCC to act on cable "monopolies" for months. In July, current Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) organized a letter calling on the agency to collect a host of consumer pricing information from cable companies -- a move designed to show that in many regions of the country, households pay arbitrarily high prices due to a lack of other cable options. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Markey and Blumenthal all signed on to the letter.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fcc-proposal-cable-tv-boxes_us_56aa781ae4b05e4e3703b26e

Way to go Bernie and Elizabeth!! (though we have to wait for Feb 18th vote to really celebrate)

I'll focus on this lame crap:

Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want.

Unfortunately, The Editorial Board of the Washington just flunked reading comprehension.

Sanders got an economist to lay out his proposal financially

See section on:
How the heck are we going to pay for it?

Sanders site: Medicare for All
See section on:

One thing a high school level journalist knows is that when they're going to write about something, they should research it a little. And if they're confused or want to know more (which they normally should if they're going to write about a subject), then they should try to contact a group like the Sanders campaign to get whatever understanding or clarification they require. The Sanders campaign is in the business right now of clarifying their policies to the media.

Has that happened here with the Washington Post? No way. I'd flunk their high school level of journalism.

And if they were really stuck, all they had to do was ask one of their other reporters who told Washington Post readers how it was going to be paid for right here!!!:
Bernie Sanders’s health-care plan is the biggest attack on the rich of this campaign
We also know that, by Sanders' accounting, the plan would actually put more money into the pockets of all but the very richest Americans.

That's because the planned tax increases would be more than offset by a decline in how much most Americans pay for their health care — their premiums, their deductibles, their co-pays, all of it — per Sanders' math.

There are still lots of questions about how the middle class would fare under his new plan. But it's clear they would definitely do better than the rich.

Employers would put up about half of what Sanders’ staff think the campaign would cost. They’d pay a new payroll tax of 6.2 percent, equal to the amount employers already pay to Social Security. That tax would raise $630 billion a year, the campaign projects.

A bunch of these guys were also able to figure it out:
Others, however, are more optimistic that Sanders' plan could be actuarially sound.

"The tax rates are probably on the low side of what would be necessary, but not out of the ballpark," said Peter Hussey, a healthy policy analyst at the RAND Corp., adding that they would work only with significant cost savings and lower benefits.

Hussey pointed to other financing models with higher taxes. In Sanders' own Vermont, the proposed single-payer state system would require a payroll tax of 11.5 percent and a sliding income tax of 0 to 9.5 percent. A national single-payer system would require a payroll tax of 11.7 percent, according to the National Institute for Health Care Reform.

Gerald Friedman, a health economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, analyzed a different 2013 Medicare-for-all bill proposed by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and concluded it would be enough to cover everyone, upgrade benefits and save the country $5 trillion over a decade.

But beyond a 6 percent income tax and a sliding payroll tax of 3 to 6 percent, that would require a financial transaction tax (Sanders included this in his 2013 bill but has since committed the tax to free college tuition) as well as an estate tax, a capital gains tax and a cap on high-income tax deductions. (Sanders has proposed these but hasn't said they'll be used to pay for health care.)

Friedman calculated that with the extra taxes and some tweaks, Sanders' plan would provide ample coverage and even generate a surplus of $51 billion. Meanwhile, he said, middle-class families would still save thousands, inequality in care and costs would be dramatically reduced, and the overall population would be healthier.

Right now, the United States spends about $3 trillion (roughly) on healthcare covering about 90% of it's people.

Let's do really simplistic ballpark math.
1. We want to cover the final 10% of those not covered so (and this is excessive) let's add 10% of $3 trillion (in fact, it's closer to half that according to Krugman).
2. Corporation / healthcare insurance company profits do not have to be paid anymore. There's 5% roughly
3. Administration costs go way down. Let's be conservative and say 5% savings.

So with single payer, we've simply added the 29 million people who don't have it (10%) and chopped corporate profit (5%) and admin costs savings (5%) you get with single payer. And it hasn't cost the United States a fucking dime. It's not rocket science to figure this out.

In fact, the real numbers are about twice as good as that:
July 2013: Economist Gerald Friedman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Under the single-payer system created by HR 676 [the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.], the U.S. could save an estimated $592 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion). In 2014, the savings would be enough to cover all 44 million uninsured and upgrade benefits for everyone else.

“Specifically, the savings from a single-payer plan would be more than enough to fund $343 billion in improvements to the health system such as expanded coverage, improved benefits, enhanced reimbursement of providers serving indigent patients, and the elimination of co-payments and deductibles in 2014.

“Health care financing in the U.S. is regressive, weighing heaviest on the poor, the working class, and the sick. With the progressive financing plan outlined for HR 676, 95% of all U.S. households would save money.

“HR 676 would also establish a system for future cost control using proven-effective methods such as negotiated fees, global budgets, and capital planning. Over time, reduced health cost inflation over the next decade (“bending the cost curve”) would save $1.8 trillion, making comprehensive health benefits sustainable for future generations.”

A fair review of Sanders plan to provide Medicare for All determines in the opinion of many that it's plausible. All those other folks above could figure it out but not the Washington Post Editorial Board ... who are owned by the corporate interests Sanders is going after.

I go back with the Washington Post to before Watergate. That's the most pathetic drivel I've ever read from their Editorial Board in my life. It's a lazy man's mindless bullshit deliberately intended to misinform and smear a candidate.

Sanders +8 in NH Poll, More Electable against Trump & Bloomberg than Hillary

Sanders holds a steady lead over Clinton of 52% to 44%.
Sanders is the only candidate with a positive favorability overall: (54% favorable to 40%
among New Hampshire voters. All other candidates have high negatives
among voters: Clinton (40% favorable to 55% unfavorable)

Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg has been considering a third-party run for the
presidency. In a general election between Sanders, Trump, and Bloomberg, Sanders
comes out ahead by 11 points
, securing 44%. Trump comes in second with 33% and
Bloomberg finishes third with 11%. In a general election between Clinton, Trump, and
Bloomberg, the race tightens with Clinton ahead by three points
at 39%, Trump at 36%
and Bloomberg at 12%.

Another good result for Bernie who is +13.8 in RealClear's poll of polls
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