Archive for category National Politics

David Dayen on the ‘Fraudclosure’ Crisis

After the Bush administration presided over the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, American households lost about $16.4 trillion of net worth. The value of real estate alone dropped by $6 trillion.

Instead of making the big banks eat these losses, our government decided to let the middle class pay for Wall Street’s mistakes – even if it meant circumventing the law. “Rocket dockets” (up to 1,000 cases per day) and “robo-signing” (the mass production of false affidavits) enabled the biggest robbery of all time. Some homeowners faced court-ordered foreclosure even though they never took out a mortgage!

David Dayen has laid it all out in a new book, Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud

Fraudclosure
Example of “robo-signing”

Sorry you lost your home: Americans deserve more than an apology for the foreclosure fraud epidemic (Emphasis added)

Political analysts still manage to wonder why people are angry in a time of economic recovery, without ever even hinting recognition of the scarring impact of the foreclosure disaster. More than 9.3 million American families gave up their home between 2006 and 2014, either in a foreclosure or a short sale or some other transaction. That translates to about 14 million people, all of whom have family and friends and colleagues who at least know of the pain caused by the foreclosure crisis. There have been more since then.

It didn’t have to turn out that way. All of the losses didn’t have to be placed upon homeowners. Somebody could have been held responsible. We could have enforced the simple rule that you can’t take a person’s home with false evidence. This bare minimum would have engendered some faith that the system works, that justice still burns somewhere in America.

“Somebody could have been held responsible.” Instead, the Obama administration looked the other way during the “fraudclosure” crisis. They did the same thing on U.S. war crimes, on CIA torture, and on widespread warrantless surveillance of Americans. Only the truth-tellers went to federal prison, never the criminals.

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New Jill Stein Ad Pitches To Bernie Backers: Don’t Choose The Lesser Evil

“It’s time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good – like our lives depend on it. Because they do.”

–Dr. Jill Stein

Hopefully the Green Party will be on the ballot in Utah this year.

More info: www.jill2016.com

UPDATE:
Clinton’s third-party headache

Here’s why Democrats should be concerned: As Trump’s support has dwindled in recent days — leaving the GOP nominee with just his fervent supporters — some soft voters might be moving into Clinton’s camp when asked on a two-way ballot, but defecting to a third candidate when given other options.

“Trump voters are mainly Trump voters, but Clinton voters are still not quite happy that they’re going to end up voting for her,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, who has studied the role of third-party candidates in pre-election polls.

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Can We Talk?

Convince me

As Joan Rivers used to say, “Can we talk?” Because the corporate media coverage of the presidential race is barely mentioning the issues that affect you and me.

Lately all over cable TV they are vociferously debating whether Donald Trump is paying enough respect to the family of a U.S. Army captain who died heroically 12 years ago during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq (that Hillary voted for as a senator), after the father of said fallen warrior aimed a gratuitous insult at the notoriously thin-skinned Trump in a partisan DNC speech.

Most likely, this is a picture of the 2016 presidential campaign for the next 100 days. Hillary using surrogates to get Trump to say something that dominates the news cycle, or trying to get Trump to lose his temper during a debate. Anything Trump says is automatically news. Hillary has not held a press conference since last year.

What could the candidates talk about? Well, here is one suggestion. There is another recession coming, sooner rather than later. How will Hillary and Trump deal with the consequences?

Get out your wallets, America: It might not be long before we’re bailing out “too big to fail” banks again

Instead of ending the world of banks that are “too big to fail” and preventing banks from operating in ways that could again sink the economy, we have guaranteed them that the taxpayers are ready and waiting when they make another catastrophic mistake.

The Dodd-Frank regulations are not completely written yet, and probably won’t be in effect when the Wall Street billionaires crash our financial sector again. Is the American middle class about to take another big hit? Can somebody offer a plan to help us? We haven’t even recovered from the last time.

Hillary is going to have to offer much more than her current “OMG Trump!” campaign.

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Cenk Uygur: ‘I Need You Guys to Buckle Up’

This convention is likely to be a thousand times more raucous than the Republican Convention, more divided, and so it’s about to start in a little bit and I need you guys to buckle up because there could be a lot more action here than there was last week. Remember the Republicans by their nature are authoritarian. They will fall in line, because that’s what they do — they’re conservatives. Whereas liberals do not agree. And so they don’t agree with the corporate control, they don’t agree with the money in politics, and Hillary Clinton is never going to give it up. So, that dissension is super real, and you are about to see it the next four days.

The Young Turks – Live From the DNC

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HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton Takes Progressives For Granted

Hillary on the Iron Throne

All hail Hillary of the House Clinton, First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mhysa, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons. Oh wait, that’s not her, that’s Dany on “Game of Thrones.” BTW Season 6 of GoT was awesome– Winter isn’t coming, it has arrived!

What has Hillary Clinton learned from more than a year of being yelled at by anguished progressives, worried about the disappearing American middle class and endless warfare? Answer: Nothing whatsoever. Winter is coming for neoliberalism, and Hillary just doesn’t get it.

Bill Scher on Politico:

She has in hand the endorsement of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She has the terrifying prospect of a President Donald Trump, who might be described as anti-progressive, as the ultimate foil…

…She’s not sweating the Green Party’s Jill Stein or the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson—who have been registering respectable poll numbers but combined have been drawing about the same proportion from the two major party candidates. She’s not nervous about the prospect of rogue Sanders delegates making a symbolic protest on the convention floor. She doesn’t believe she is going to lose enough of the left on Election Day to make a difference in the outcome.

Whether such confidence is justified is not crystal clear when looking at the most recent poll numbers. The most recent CNN poll finds Clinton keeping only 57 percent of Sanders voters, with 23 percent going to Johnson, 12 to Stein and five to Trump. Johnson and Stein are taking a combined 12 points in Saturday’s Real Clear Politics average.

I think Hillary actually believes she can pick up votes from anti-Trump Tea-GOPers. That’s crazy, because those are the people giving her such high negative ratings. She probably thinks identity politics will provide the winning margin, like it did for President Obama. She may know she has driven away progressives and independents, whose support she doesn’t seem to want anyway.

All in all an epic political miscalculation. This is going to be a close election, even though it really shouldn’t be. If the Dems nominated Bernie Sanders instead, it wouldn’t be. See below for Samantha Bee’s hilarious take on Tim Kaine for VP.

Next week’s convention is going to be interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »

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No Joke

Trump enters the RNC stage

A year ago he was nothing but a joke, then he became one of 18 contenders for the Tea-GOP presidential nomination. Like the others, Donald Trump came up with gaffes that seemed designed to alienate voters – for example, saying your wages are too high. One by one, the other candidates exited the clown bus. Then Trump became the presumptive nominee, to the horror of most Americans including many Tea-GOPers.

Tonight he officially became the nominee, the first time a major political party has decided to run a candidate for the White House who has never before held elective office since General Dwight Eisenhower. He is also the most unpopular presidential candidate in the history of polling, just ahead of, you guessed it, HRH Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The elite pundits and Dem politicians tell us that Trump is a phony candidate running what amounts to a phony campaign. They could be right, but can they explain why the polls are tied within the margin of error?

Note to Dems: You can still nominate Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia next week. He has not suspended his campaign. The super-delegates will decide.

UPDATE: Apparently Donald Trump wants to live in the White House, but hopes to outsource the actual job of being President to Mike Pence.

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Bernie Quits – Will There Still Be a Revolution?

Bernie quits

The Democratic Party establishment and the media figures who support them have been demanding that Bernie Sanders end his candidacy since about four months ago. Today he quit, with two more weeks to go before the convention.

The “most progressive platform ever” does not include opposition to the TPP, Medicare for all or a fracking ban on public lands. It suggests a $15 federal minimum wage – “over time” (i.e. not now). Oh, and none of this is binding on candidates anyway.

Hillary doesn’t think she owes anything to Bernie’s supporters, and she won’t give us anything. Her campaign wants people to vote against Donald Trump. It’s all about fear of Trump. There is no hope for the future. The lesser of two evils is still evil. They are basically tied in the polls, within the margin of error.

Jill Stein for President.

UPDATE & CORRECTION:

It turns out that although Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary for President yesterday, he did not suspend his campaign. There will still be a contested convention in Philadelphia.

This e-mail came from Felicia Taylor, one of the organizers for the July 24 march in Salt Lake City:

After some re-organizing and time letting the dust settle, the organizers of this group have decided that we are not going to change the purpose of this event. We are STILL #BernieorBust and we are STILL marching to support Bernie’s bid for president on the democratic ticket (or otherwise if he changes course after the convention).

The reasons being that 1 – He DID NOT concede and is still going to a contested convention in two weeks and 2 – We cannot in good conscience support HRC when she is only this far ahead in delegates/votes due to election fraud and injustices against the citizens of this country.

We need to rally behind him now more than ever and show the DNC that not even Bernie could get us to support her being president of our country!

#SeeYouInSLC #UnityOverParties #StillSanders #NeverHillary

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Income Inequality is the Highest in American History


‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011

“Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.”
— Michael Moore

According to economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, the Gini coefficient in this country is now the highest it has ever been. “We went from one of the most egalitarian places in the world to one of the least,” Williamson told the Washington Post. “What happened?”

In his chronicle of the young United States in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that “nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people.”

The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality in which 0 is perfect equality and 100 would mean perfect inequality, or one person owning all the wealth. A recent study by the financial services corporation Allianz found that the U.S. had the most extreme wealth inequality in the world, with a score of 80.56 – the highest concentration of overall wealth in the hands of the proportionately fewest people.

Related:
Exclusive: Charles Koch and his company launch ‘end the divide’ ad campaign
The Kochs’ Biggest Joke—Billionaires Pretend to Care About Inequality in Latest Ad Blitz

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Happy Birthday USA!


5 Principles of True Patriotism

Happy 4th of July! Robert Reich reminds us that democracy isn’t just a spectator sport.

Bonus:
Will Someone Teach The Tea Party How To Spell?

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Is President Obama Going to Do This?

Bears Ears
Bears Ears buttes, Elk Ridge, San Juan County Utah

The Bears Ears National Monument proposal has been on the table since last year. There is some speculation that President Obama is readying a proclamation, despite a dire warning from Senator Orrin Hatch that it could result in an armed confrontation similar to the one at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The monument proposal stands on its own considerable merits. Adequate protection of the area, particularly the archaeological sites of Cedar Mesa, is long overdue. A recent poll found 71 percent of Utahns support the Bears Ears monument. Additionally, Utah politicians could stand to benefit from a well-timed reminder that we the people own our public lands, not the corporations.

Rep. Chris Stewart recently tacked an amendment onto the Interior Appropriations Bill, seeking to prohibit new national monuments in Utah.

Meanwhile, the Utah Test and Training Range Act land grab has been quietly incorporated in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.

The Utah land grab agenda also includes Rep. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz’ Public Lands Initiative (PLI), nicknamed the “Plundered Lands Initiative” by conservation groups. The representatives are still threatening to introduce this corporate-friendly development bill in Congress.

Gov. Gary Herbert is still proceeding with a threatened lawsuit aimed at seizing 30 million acres of our Utah public lands, a doomed gesture that may cost us $14 million.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Despite the controversial 1996 proclamation by the Clinton administration, the GSENM is thriving today. Let’s hope President Obama is willing to counter the anti-public-lands Utah politicians with a resoundingly popular monument proclamation this summer.

More info:
U-Turn Utah (Center for Western Priorities)
Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition
Friends of Cedar Mesa
New York Times editorial: Monuments for Future Generations

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‘We Do Not Accept Those Choices!’

What Is Going On? // For Bernie Sanders from Meg is a Weirdo on Vimeo.

The corporate media have made no secret of their plan to declare Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee on June 7th as soon as the polls close in New Jersey (while Californians are still voting). This is wrong. The nomination remains UNDECIDED until the super-delegates vote on July 25th!

Mark that on your calendar. July 25th. And plan to March for Bernie at Liberty Park on Sunday, July 24th.

More info:
Sanders Explains Why He Keeps Going and May Just Win California on Tuesday

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Rumblings In The Establishment

kristol unease

I’m a lifelong democrat because, although I cared about having enough to survive without asking anybody for money, I never really cared about being rich and used to hear all the time, that the democratic party was the “party of the people”. I have been lucky enough, as a privileged, 64 year old white man, to say I have never asked anybody for money so far. In fact, I’ve only asked for a raise on my job about twice. My mother insists on giving us kids a monetary gift now and then which I keep telling her not to. I have more then enough to get by, unless something pretty bad happens.

I just don’t see Hillary Clinton as leading anything close to a party of the people. There are actual, establishment television news shows – including shows on MSDNC :) – that are seriously questioning Hillary’s ability to be the president. Chuck Todd even said she probably wouldn’t be able to be appointed as attorney general with the questions being raised about her – “damn” – E-mails.

A serious comedy program compiles a couple clips from the corporate media here:

I don’t think the MSM is allowed to tell us what is happening behind the scenes and even the “Redacted Tonight” clip didn’t touch on it. For that we have to rely on another internet source that corporate advertisers would never finance. Even the title of this article by respected, but largely unknown, journalist, Robert Parry, doesn’t get to it, although the article does:

Waiting for California and the FBI

Two Washington insiders – Democratic pollster and political adviser Douglas E. Schoen and famed Watergate investigative reporter Carl Bernstein – have described panicky meetings of top Democrats worried over Clinton’s troubled campaign, with Schoen also describing private talks about possible last-minute alternatives.

I’ve heard similar tales of hushed discussions – with the fill-in options including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry or Sen. Sanders – but I still believe these fretful leaders are frozen by indecision and don’t have the nerve to pull Hillary Clinton’s hands off the steering wheel even to avoid disaster.

Joe Biden? John Kerry?

Well anyway, I didn’t want to leave the rumbling problems in the republican party out here. Everybody knows they’re at least as bad as the democrat ones. Republicans are good little soldiers and are lining up behind a pathological liar for their candidate because the brat seems to have told them he will cooperate.

Bill Kristol, editor of his dad-founded “Weekly Standard”, who has never really been on-the-rails, but is always asked to comment on the TV anyway for some reason, is seriously flummoxed by the Trump thing. He has recently announced his solution to the 2016 problem:

Bill Kristol Thinks a Nobody Named David French Can Take Down Donald Trump

Over the holiday weekend, the Weekly Standard chief confidently tweeted: “There will be an independent candidate—an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.

Well, at least David French is friends with Jonah Goldberg, – yes that Jonah Goldberg – who even gets to be a regular pundit on NPR for some reason. When asked about Kristols pick on NPR, he laughed. He likes his friend, but can’t really see him as leader of the free world right now. Besides, French isn’t sure he wants the job and nobody has any idea who he is. But that’s our Bill; always wrong and omnipresent.

Do you think all the people who have been filling up stadiums all over the country for that other guy, will be happy to have the democrats pop up with Kerry or Biden?

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