Saturday, March 26, 2016

#DemDebate preview: Michael Moore (!) reminds us who was in charge of Flint for ‘84 straight years’
Flint has voted for Dems for 84 straight yrs. What did it get us? For 18 months Dems remained silent &ignored pleas while Flint was poisoned

— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 6, 2016

The Nation: Note to Hillary: Clintonomics Was a Disaster for Most Americans
...How could Clinton have undergone such a lightening-fast reversal? The answer is straightforward, and explained with candor by Robert Rubin, who had been co-chair of Goldman Sachs before becoming Clinton’s Treasury secretary. Even before the inauguration, Rubin explained to more populist members of the incoming administration that the rich “are running the economy and make the decisions about the economy.”

Wall Street certainly flourished under Clinton. By 1999, the average price of stocks had risen to 44 times these companies’ earnings. Historically, stock prices had averaged about 14 times more than earnings. Even during the 1920s bubble, stock prices rose only to 33 times earnings right before the 1929 crash....

...What was Clinton’s overall record with respect to improving living standards for working people and the poor? During the eight full years of Clinton’s presidency, the average real wage for non-supervisory workers, at $13.60 an hour (in 2001 dollars), was 2 percent lower than the average under Reagan and Bush and nearly 10 percent less than under Jimmy Carter’s “years of malaise.” The average individual poverty rate under Clinton, at 13.2 percent of the population, was modestly better than the 14 percent rate under Reagan and Bush. But it was worse than the 11.9 percent figure that was maintained, on average, under Nixon and Ford, as well as Carter....

Obama orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent | New York Post
...Surely if you inject $4.5 trillion into the economy, you will get economic growth. You will get a 4% to 5% increase in Gross Domestic Product for at least a year or two.

Yet the Obama administration is the first two-term presidency that has not posted a 3% GDP growth on an annualized basis for 8 years. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt posted 3% growth year during the Great Depression.

That’s because the $4.5 trillion was not given to any infrastructure program — it was given to banks, under the misguided notion that they needed the money to remain solvent. The banks promptly invested this money, which kept the stock market humming, but did nothing for jobs, wages or the GDP.

This was by design. The Fed could not allow the bank’s largesse to be circulated into the public for fear of rapid inflation.

The banks also funded company mergers, company debt offerings and stock buybacks. This activity kept the money sequestered and allowed a greater return for the banks. After all, they were getting free money to invest — there was no way to lose.

Who did this help? The 1%, and pretty much only the 1%.

These actions are the reasons the American middle class has been decimated and no longer makes up the majority of the population.

If liberals are angry about inequality, they should look no further than President Obama. He has done more to contribute to the gap between rich and poor than anyone....

Bubba bashes Obama's 'pretty picture' economy, says millions left behind
Former President Bill Clinton rapped President Obama's "pretty picture" of economic recovery, claiming in a campaign stop for his wife Monday that millions of Americans have been left behind.

He referred to Obama's State of the Union address and his claims of economic prosperity as a "pretty picture" most haven't experienced.

"Millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives," he said in Raleigh, N.C....

Bernie Sanders: ‘Real unemployment’ rate under Obama is 10.5 percent
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday that the Obama administration is not being forthright with the American people about the real unemployment rate.

The Vermont senator told a Portland, Maine, audience of 7,500 that the Labor Department’s 5.3 percent unemployment rate is a ruse.

“There is another set of government statistics,” the independent senator said, The Daily Caller reported, “and that real unemployment if you include those people who have given up looking for work and the millions of others who are working part-time 20, 25 hours a week when they want to work full-time, when you put all of that together, real unemployment is 10.5 percent.”...

Bernie Supporters’ Hatred Of Work Is Why Trump Supporters Are So Mad
...But if there’s another piece of advice here that absolutely disqualifies Clinton for the presidency, it’s “do what you love.” The truth is, that is simply not an option for most people. When it’s 39 degrees and raining in February, do you think the guy who picks up your trash is staring at your acrid, bacteria-laden refuse at 6 a.m. and saying, “Thank God, I love what I do”?

Indeed, it is precisely this cultural disconnect about the value of work that explains why there’s an open revolt in both parties and the future seems so uncertain....

...Many Portlanders like their lives that don’t contribute much, and if they could just get free health care—the governor who created the failed Oregon Health Plan and screwed up the state’s Obamacare exchange to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars was just run out of office on corruption charges in his fourth term—and erase their absurd college debt, they could afford the harissa-spiced Bloody Marys at the trendy new brunch spot and slide by selling colorful hemp guitar straps on Etsy without having to make any difficult or unselfish choices....

Don’t Tell Bernie, But Capitalism Has Made Human Life Fantastically Better
...5) Finally technology has lowered the cost of essentials, raising disposable incomes and creating new demand and jobs. In 1871, there was one hairdresser for every 1,793 English and Welsh citizens; now there is one for every 287. In 1948, a Freed-Eiseman 16-inch TV cost $795 in the US, roughly a quarter of the average annual salary, or roughly $12,000 today. A top of the range TV can be bought today for less than $1,000. On a quality-adjusted basis, the decline in prices is even more pronounced. US CPI data show that the price of a TV has fallen by 98% since 1950....

Mark Zuckerberg And The New Progressive Plutocrats.
...But tyrannizing his employees isn’t the worst thing Zuckerberg’s done.

That would be his Orwellian pandering to the German government, whose disastrous immigration policies he recently praised as “inspiring.” Under Zuckerberg’s leadership, Facebook has become Germany’s lapdog, acting as the terrifying new Stasi of Angela Merkel, who is desperate to contain her citizens’ anger at her failed immigration policies. Facebook has promised to work with her government to monitor “anti-migrant hate speech” on the platform, which is another way of telling ordinary Germans that, once again, someone will be looking over your shoulder if your conversation gets too politically inconvenient.

Here’s what’s more troubling: Zuckerberg isn’t just doing this to appease an overbearing government: he wants to do it....

When Bernie Sanders Thought Castro and the Sandinistas Could Teach America a Lesson
...In the 1980s, any Bernie Sanders event or interview inevitably wended toward a denunciation of Washington’s Central America policy, typically punctuated with a full-throated defense of the dictatorship in Nicaragua. As one sympathetic biographer wrote in 1991, Sanders “probably has done more than any other elected politician in the country to actively support the Sandinistas and their revolution.” Reflecting on a Potemkin tour of revolutionary Nicaragua he took in 1985, Sanders marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power....

...But despite its aversion to elections, brutal suppression of dissent, hideous mistreatment of indigenous Nicaraguans, and rejection of basic democratic norms, Sanders thought Managua’s Marxist-Leninist clique had much to teach Burlington: “Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America.”...