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BernieforPres2016's Journal
BernieforPres2016's Journal
April 22, 2016

STFU and go away Bill

He doesn't seem to be able to talk without making a bigger fool of himself.


<By way of extolling Obama’s efforts at recovery, Clinton argued that the president at least brought back employment — even if wages are no better.

“We got our jobs back in seven and a half years,” Clinton said, before coming back around to name the slackers in the economic equation.

“If all the young people who claim to be disillusioned now had voted in 2010, we wouldn’t have lost the Congress, and we’d probably have our incomes back,” he said.

Many millennials were probably too young to vote in 2010, it should be noted.>

April 21, 2016

Where the current Democratic Party stands on the issue of income inequality

"One of the challenges in our society is that the truth is kind of a disequalizer. One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated closer to the way they're supposed to be treated."

- Larry Summers in the early days of the Obama administration, from the book "Listen, Liberal" by Thomas Franks.

That would be Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration and Director of the White House National Economic Council under Barack Obama, who made $5.2 million in two years between the two Democratic administrations working one day per week for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, with duties that were described as "standing somewhere between trivial and ornamental."

April 21, 2016

I am reminded of a portion of MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Substitute any of DNC, DLC, Hillary's campaign or Hillary's supporters for "white moderate" and broaden "Negroes" to the poor and working class of all colors (which is who MLK was fighting for when he was murdered in Memphis) and I think it applies pretty well to the current situation:


"I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

April 17, 2016

Nina Turner on The Breakfast Club

The passion of this wonderful woman touches me every time I see her.


April 17, 2016

Cornel West just now on Sister Hillary Clinton giving back private prison money:

We cannot have candidates who proceed on the basis of the 11th commandment: "Thou shall not get caught."

April 16, 2016

Co host of tonight's Clooney fundraiser for Hillary, Haim Saban & Hillary's stance on Israel


<Except Saban’s top priority isn’t a liberal vision of American life. It’s Israel. And he makes no secret of that.

“I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” Saban told the New Yorker in 2010.

Last week, Saban displayed a propensity all-too-common among right-leaning Israel advocates in the U.S.: a bit of anti-Muslim bigotry. In an interview, he rejected President Obama’s declaration that a religious test for refugees was “shameful.” Later, Saban, in a statement to the Washington Post, disavowed his push for a religious test and insisted that he “misspoke” — a dubious claim, if you ask me, though he might’ve legitimately been sorry he opened his mouth about the hot-button issue.

Certainly Hillary Clinton’s campaign couldn’t have been pleased; that very day, Clinton had spoken out eloquently and forcefully against the American right’s ugly bigotries. “That is just not who were are,” she said.

Yet Saban’s original comments included more than just advocating a blanket policy that Muslim refugees deserved “more scrutiny.” He also called for profiling and broader surveillance. He said civil liberties should be curtailed in a time of war—never mentioning that the U.S. seems to be locked in a never-ending war.

His disavowal did not speak to these points. Does Hillary Clinton think profiling is “who we are”? Does she think we ought to roll back civil liberties at home as we fight terrorism? Her campaign didn’t say, merely pointing the Washington Post to her remarks last week.>

Haim Saban is the single biggest financial contributor to the Clintons over the last 25 years.


<The couple’s biggest individual political benefactors are Univision chairman Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, who have made 39 contributions totaling $2.4 million to support the Clintons’ races since 1992. The Sabans have also donated at least $10 million to the foundation.>

When asked by Bloomberg News in 2014 how much money he would provide for Hillary if she decided to run in 2014, he said "as much as needed."


<Asked in a Bloomberg TV interview what kind of financial commitment he was ready to make to getting Hillary Clinton elected president should she decide to run, media mogul Haim Saban signaled that he was prepared to contribute “as much as needed.”

Saban, the executive chairman of Univision and CEO of Saban Capital Group, said that Clinton “would be great for the country and great for the world, so on issues I care about, she is pristine plus, and she is already plus plus and I hope that she can make the right decision.”>

Single issue Saban is certainly getting what he paid for from Hillary on Israel recently, in the debate on Thursday night as well as in Hillary's recent speech to AIPAC. This Slate article on her speech is titled "Hillary's AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering."


This article from Salon said Hillary's speech "took pandering to a new level" and a quote in the article said it “could well have been written by an Israeli government public relations firm.”


April 16, 2016

Even a Chelsea Clinton/IAC publication acknowledges Bernie met with the Pope


<Bernie Sanders can officially thumb his nose at all the naysayers who criticized the political wisdom of a Democratic presidential candidate taking 36 hours off the campaign trail to travel to Rome just days before a major primary.>
April 15, 2016

CNN had another panel this morning debating whether Bernie should have gone to the Vatican

After all, the New York primary is on Tuesday and that's time he's losing with New York voters because they don't have TVs or radios or the internet that allows them to see that Bernie got an enthusiastic greeting in Rome where he was the only candidate invited to speak on income inequality and a moral equality.

I am looking forward to seeing the CNN panels this weekend discussing whether Hillary Clinton should be taking the time out of New York for her 2 high dollar fundraisers in California with George Clooney and his lovely wife. Hopefully one of the cable channels will have cameras there to show the hundreds of protestors who promise to be outside one of the events.

April 15, 2016

Do people know about Hillary's $10,000 for a house down payment plan?

I hadn't heard this one, but Hillary was on CNN in a Harlem senior center this morning talking about her proposal to give $10,000 as a match to help young people come up with the down payment on a house. I googled it and it is not something she just came up with this morning.


<Clinton is proposing to support potential homeowners in their efforts to save for down payments with new initiatives for “underserved communities” that would match up to $10,000 in savings. The programs would apply to those homeowners who earn less than the area median income.

Since down payments are often the biggest obstacle to homeownership, this matching program would be a welcome addition to the extremely limited landscape of financial assistance currently available to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers seeking to become homeowners and to build wealth.

Right now, the city provides grants of up to $15,000 for down payment assistance through the HomeFirst program, which sets eligibility at 80% of area median income or about $62,000 for a family of three. But in the city’s hotly contested real estate market, even $15,000 is too little, and even families that earn more struggle to save for down payments.

For instance, at the low end of the market in the Bronx, the median cost of a single-family home in 2015 was $360,000, according to the Department of Finance. If the would-be homeowner were to pay the recommended 20% down payment, the buyer would need to have $72,000 in pocket. That means even middle-income would-be homeowners who could afford monthly payments are priced out of the market by those with enough cash on hand to pay out the steep down payments.

So even if Clinton’s proposals were enacted, in an overheated market like New York City, the would-be low-income or moderate-income home buyer would still be strained to come up with enough cash to afford the down payment.>

Let's restart George W. Bush's "ownership society" and the housing bubble again by trying to help young people into houses they can't afford. It worked so well the last time. This proposal is brought to us by the National Association of Realtors ($225K speech) and the major banks ($3 million in speeches) that originate the majority of mortgages in this country. Will they originate a mortgage in the Bronx, or is that a redlined area?

We can't afford universal health care even though 1.7 million Americans a year are driven into bankruptcy by medical bills. We can't afford free college tuition at state colleges and universities even though student debt has tripled in the last 10 years. We can't afford a cost of living increase for people living on $13,000 a year in Social Security payments.

But we can afford to hand $10,000 to families making $50,000 in the Bronx to help them make a 20% down payment on a $360,000 median home in the Bronx that they probably can't afford to maintain and will likely lose if they are ever out of work for 3 or 4 months.

What idiocy.

April 15, 2016

Why did Hillary duck commenting on Verizon and GE last night?

Bernie has had recent public wars of words with the CEOs of both Verizon and GE, 2 companies that he has called examples of corporate greed in talking about them making billions while paying little or no federal income taxes, their treatment of U.S. employees (moving jobs overseas in the case of both, plus Verizon trying squeeze employee health care benefits and prompting the current strike) and obscene compensation to their CEOs. Bernie has made critical comments about both companies on several occasions. In the last week, Jeff Immelt of GE wrote a negative Op-Ed about Bernie in the Washington Post and Lowell McAdam of Verizon called Bernie's views "comtemptible".

Wolf Blitzer asked Bernie a question about whether he could promote the interests of large U.S. companies abroad (I didn't realize that was the job of a President) when he was so critical of businesses like GE and Verizon and basically asked him to backpedal. Bernie stood his ground and defended his comments about both companies.

Hillary was not asked the question but had an opportunity to address the issue in rebuttal. She could have gone in either direction. She could have joined Bernie in criticizing these 2 large companies that are notorious tax dodgers. Or, as I thought she would do, she could have called Bernie anti-business and talked about how she promoted the interests of large U.S. corporations when she was Secretary of State. But supporting the CEO of Verizon might not have gone over too well with the striking Verizon union workers whose picket line she had just visited in New York the previous day. So she took a pass on the issue and said nothing.

A little research showed a couple of linkages between Hillary and both Verizon and GE. Each company paid her $225,000 to give a speech in 2013. And it turns out that Verizon and GE, along with Tenet Healthcare, formed a partnership with the Clinton Foundation in 2012 to launch the "Clinton Health Matters Initiative". Tenet is a hospital management with an incredibly sleazy history. GE Healthcare is a major company under the GE umbrella. It makes all kinds of expensive medical equipment and medical consumables and has a healthcare IT operation. Verizon also has a health IT practice.


<In 2012, the Clinton Foundation announced the launch of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, in partnership with Verizon — along with GE and the Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

“We are proud to partner with the Clinton Foundation on this innovative and potentially life-changing initiative,” declared Peter Tippett, chief medical officer and vice president of Verizon’s health IT practice.

“As the Foundation’s technology provider, we believe we can empower individuals to take better care of their health. We have barely scratched the surface on using technology to improve health and well-being and reduce medical costs,” the Verizon executive wrote.

The corporation’s rhetoric reflects the individualistic, neoliberal economic ideology that the Clintons have endorsed for decades.

“Our work with the Clinton Foundation is just one more example of how we are bringing our vision to life,” the Verizon vice president said in 2012.>

The third corporate partner in the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, Tenet Healthcare, is virtually by consensus one of the sleaziest companies in modern American business history. Here is a link to a story that covers some of its outrages over the years for which it has paid over a billion dollars in fines, including Medicare fraud, showering financial rewards on doctors who were performing unnecessary heart surgeries in its hospitals, imprisoning 23 patients within a mental health care facility and investor fraud. In 2007, Tenet hired Jeb Bush as a special Board member to help it address ethical issues.


<Tenet that August agreed to pay $54 million to resolve the allegations that between 1997 and 2002 doctors at a Redding, Calif., hospital had billed Medicare for unnecessary tests and treatments. The FBI had raided the hospital, and Tenet didn’t admit wrongdoing but agreed to a compliance program.

In his 2007 book about the Redding scandal, “Coronary, A True Story of Medicine Gone Awry,” Klaidman suggested that Tenet “was bottom line like most corporations — the message was delivered from corporate to the hospitals.” There was an “inordinate volume of cardiac procedures” at Redding, he said, “most of which would generate excessive and undeserved outlier income.” He also wrote that people like the two doctors at the center of the controversy “generated very high and escalating revenues and became golden boys.”

Klaidman further reported that when the FBI raided the hospital, Tenet was “facing 26 lawsuits relating to the corrupt business practices and unsanitary conditions at seven of its hospitals in various states” and that between 1994 and 2003 Tenet was “the subject of 53 federal investigations.”>

<Tenet in June then made its biggest settlement with the government, agreeing to pay more than $900 million over the next four years for “alleged unlawful billing practices” in the 1990s. The Justice Department said that in exchange for a release from liability, Tenet would pay:
• More than $788 million to resolve claims that it collected excessive “outlier” payments, higher-than-usual Medicare reimbursements for expensive procedures.
• More than $47 million to resolve claims that it paid kickbacks to physicians to get Medicare patients referred to its facilities and that Tenet billed Medicare for the services ordered or referred by physicians who had a financial relationship with the company.
• More than $46 million to resolve claims that the company engaged in “upcoding,” using diagnosis codes it was unable to support or were otherwise improper to get higher Medicare reimbursements.>

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