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martin
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4/20/2017  5:36 PM
WaltLongmire wrote:Jason Chaffetz announcing he won't run in 2018...and now rumors that he might step down from Congress shortly.

Very strange. Some have talked about an affair...others have talked about a Russian angle.

This is a guy whose life depended on being able to attack Clinton or Obama. He does not have the balls to take on Trump and his crew.

I do want to see this slimebag humbled...we will see.

yes, very strange. Could be as simple as wanting to be home with family but something just doesn't seem right.

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djsunyc
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4/20/2017  6:01 PM
drain the swamp

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/dow-chemical-endangered-species

WaltLongmire
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4/20/2017  6:02 PM    LAST EDITED: 4/20/2017  6:22 PM
martin wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:Jason Chaffetz announcing he won't run in 2018...and now rumors that he might step down from Congress shortly.

Very strange. Some have talked about an affair...others have talked about a Russian angle.

This is a guy whose life depended on being able to attack Clinton or Obama. He does not have the balls to take on Trump and his crew.

I do want to see this slimebag humbled...we will see.

yes, very strange. Could be as simple as wanting to be home with family but something just doesn't seem right.

Resigning BEFORE his term was up would be VERY strange, especially if, as some have said, he wants to run for Gov..or maybe Senator at some point. Early termination would be something he'd be attacked on...that he couldn't take the heat, etc.

He has a pretty significant chairmanship...could even do some good for the country if he has the balls.

Will just have to wait.

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
djsunyc
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4/24/2017  2:48 PM
war...what is it good for?

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/24/entire-us-senate-to-go-to-white-house-for-north-korea-briefing.html

Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said on Monday.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.

While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.

U.S. officials have expressed mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

President Donald Trump criticized North Korea's "continued belligerence" and said its actions were destabilizing during a telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, the White House said.

The briefing will take place at 3 p.m. EDT.

House aides said they were working with the White House to set a similar briefing for members of the House of Representatives.

djsunyc
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4/25/2017  3:31 PM
djsunyc
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4/25/2017  3:31 PM
JesseDark
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4/26/2017  11:57 AM
Trump rolling back federally protected land of the past 3 administrations, what a scum bag.
Bring back dee-fense
meloshouldgo
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4/26/2017  2:18 PM    LAST EDITED: 4/26/2017  2:20 PM
The TRUMP TAX PLAN IS HERE

WE ARE GOING TO REMOVE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE ALL TAX DEDUCTIONS EXCEPT MORTGAGE INTEREST AND CHARITIBLE DEDUCTIONS
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/politics/trump-live-updates?lf-content=193511777:lb-post-115d13c3c3012f6db2e6853ad1d63bef@livefyre.com&hubRefSrc=permalink

Waiting for Guns and Briggs to illuminate us on why this is good for us. In three, two, one...... [CRICKETS]

And yeah I am still in the same tax bracket - SHOCKING!!

The only things that trickle down are wages and horse shit
WaltLongmire
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4/26/2017  2:42 PM
meloshouldgo wrote:The TRUMP TAX PLAN IS HERE

WE ARE GOING TO REMOVE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE ALL TAX DEDUCTIONS EXCEPT MORTGAGE INTEREST AND CHARITIBLE DEDUCTIONS
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/politics/trump-live-updates?lf-content=193511777:lb-post-115d13c3c3012f6db2e6853ad1d63bef@livefyre.com&hubRefSrc=permalink

Waiting for Guns and Briggs to illuminate us on why this is good for us. In three, two, one...... [CRICKETS]

And yeah I am still in the same tax bracket - SHOCKING!!


At what point will folks come to understand that the supply side trickle down theory has no supporting evidence for its efficacy.

Kind of pathetic, but expected...

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
smackeddog
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4/27/2017  4:32 AM
WaltLongmire wrote:
meloshouldgo wrote:The TRUMP TAX PLAN IS HERE

WE ARE GOING TO REMOVE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE ALL TAX DEDUCTIONS EXCEPT MORTGAGE INTEREST AND CHARITIBLE DEDUCTIONS
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/politics/trump-live-updates?lf-content=193511777:lb-post-115d13c3c3012f6db2e6853ad1d63bef@livefyre.com&hubRefSrc=permalink

Waiting for Guns and Briggs to illuminate us on why this is good for us. In three, two, one...... [CRICKETS]

And yeah I am still in the same tax bracket - SHOCKING!!


At what point will folks come to understand that the supply side trickle down theory has no supporting evidence for its efficacy.

Kind of pathetic, but expected...

Yep, biggest con trick in decades. Basic logic will tell you if you share out a small amount of money to people with not much money, they will likely spend all of it. If you give the same total amount of money to a rich person they are more likely to horde it/add it to their collection. Same with tax cuts.

GustavBahler
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4/27/2017  10:43 AM    LAST EDITED: 4/27/2017  10:52 AM
Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.
GustavBahler
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4/27/2017  10:46 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-wall-street-speech-400k_us_5900bf16e4b0af6d718ab7b9?72&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009


Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character
Ask all the bankers he jailed for fraud.

By Zach Carter


The rumors are true: Former President Barack Obama will receive $400,000 to speak at a health care conference organized by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

It should not be a surprise. This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama’s entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama’s Wall Street payday will confirm for many what they have long suspected: that the Democratic Party is managed by out-of-touch elites who do not understand or care about the concerns of ordinary Americans. It’s hard to fault those who come to this conclusion.

Obama refused to prosecute the rampant fraud behind the 2008 Wall Street collapse, despite inking multibillion-dollar settlement after multibillion-dollar settlement with major firms over misconduct ranging from foreclosure fraud to rigging energy markets to tax evasion. In some cases, big banks even pleaded guilty to felonies, but Obama’s Justice Department allowed actual human bankers to ride into the sunset. Early in his presidency, Obama vowed to spend up to $100 billion to help struggling families avert foreclosure. Instead, the administration converted the relief plan into a slush fund for big banks, as top traders at bailed-out firms were allowed to collect six-figure bonuses on the taxpayers’ dime.

Nothing forced Obama to govern this way. Had he truly believed that prosecuting bankers for obvious criminal fraud would cause an economic collapse, Obama would, presumably, have tried to radically reshape the financial sector. He did not. His administration’s finance-friendly policies damaged the economic recovery and generated a new cohort of Trump voters. As Nate Cohn of The New York Times has demonstrated, nearly one-fourth of Obama’s white working-class supporters in 2012 flipped for Trump in 2016. Racism and misogyny were surely part of Trump’s appeal, but not all two-time Obama voters turned to Trump out of bigotry alone.

It’s easier for Democrats to denounce Trump supporters as morally unworthy individuals than to consider whether governing failures in the Obama era contributed to Trump’s popularity. In the final years of his presidency, Obama made clear that he wanted to be remembered as a great Democratic reformer — a leader who expanded access to health care and embodied the humane, egalitarian side of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. But the disconnect between this progressive vision and his Wall Street record is not trivial. The Obama foreclosure plan hurt families. Refusing to punish financial crime has encouraged more of it. Workers are still digging out from the economic wreckage caused by too-big-to-fail banks in 2008, and those banks are bigger today than they were during the meltdown. Wealth accrues to a tiny population of bank executives and shareholders instead of flowing to households. Society is more unequal, and the prospects for progress depend on a financial sector fraught with unnecessary systemic risk.

This risk is not confined to the Trump presidency. Obama once called economic inequality “the defining challenge of our time,” but Democratic leaders have been steadfastly aligning their own personal fortunes with the very elites the system is rigged to favor. Throughout her 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was dogged by the millions of dollars in speaking fees she courted from major financial institutions after leaving the State Department. Her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), mocked a Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs, saying it must have been a “world-shattering” talk “probably written in Shakespearean prose.” She never had a good answer to questions about these talks during debates, and eventually she resorted to invoking the twisted logic of the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision in an effort to deflect accusations of corruption.

Clinton and her husband were worth over $100 million at the time. But a few million dollars between elites is not considered that big a deal in the Washington social scene. The money is an instrument of influence, rather than wealth ― a way of maintaining status, of exercising informal, unofficial, but very real power. It is a relationship incompatible with small-d democratic principles.

Sanders was not able to derail Clinton’s primary campaign with this critique. And die-hard Democrats will doubtless find ways to excuse or overlook Obama’s decision to follow in Clinton’s buckraking footsteps. Professional Democrats have admired Obama for many reasons despite his financial policy failures, and a few hundred grand will not make them reconsider this judgment. But the Goldman Sachs issue was a serious problem for Clinton during the general election, feeding right-wing narratives that she and her husband were fundamentally corrupt (not to be confused with the fairy tales about her killing Vince Foster and four Americans in Benghazi).

Obama isn’t running for office again, but his sellout sends even uglier signals to the electorate. Clinton had very limited policy power over the financial sector during her time at the State Department. Obama, on the other hand, had plenty. Voters could be forgiven for seeing a president cash out to Wall Street at the end of his term and concluding that maybe he wasn’t immune to those considerations when he was making policy in office.

“Regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record,” Obama spokesman Eric Schultz told HuffPost in a written statement. “He recently accepted an invitation to speak at a health care conference in September, because, as a president who successfully passed health insurance reform, it’s an issue of great importance to him. With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history ― and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR.”

It is impossible to know what the 2010 Wall Street reform law would have looked like had Obama not received loads of campaign money from the financial sector. Maybe he would have broken up the banks. Maybe he would have reinstated Glass-Steagall. Campaign finance regulations — which the vast majority of Democratic voters support — would be unnecessary if political leaders were not influenced by campaign contributions.

What’s most baffling about Obama’s $400,000 payday is the fact that he doesn’t need the money. He and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, reportedly received $65 million from Penguin Random House for their memoirs. He is an excellent writer who has already written two best-selling books, and he’ll receive a handsome $200,000 pension from the federal government every year for the rest of his life. Several generations of Obamas will be financially secure. His legacy is not nearly as safe.

GustavBahler
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4/28/2017  9:01 AM
Fascinating and disturbing article considering current events....

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/28/americas-new-nuclear-missile-endangers-the-world/


America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
by CONN HALLINAN

At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers—Russia and NATO in Europe, and the U.S., North Korea and China in Asia—Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, “exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

Writing in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project of the American Federation of Scientists, Matthew McKinzie of the National Resources Defense Council, and physicist and ballistic missile expert Theodore Postol, conclude that “Under the veil of an otherwise-legitimate warhead life-extension program,” the U.S. military has vastly expanded the “killing power” of its warheads such that it can “now destroy all of Russia’s ICBM silos.”

The upgrade—part of the Obama administration’s $1 trillion modernization of America’s nuclear forces—allows Washington to destroy Russia’s land-based nuclear weapons, while still retaining 80 percent of the U.S.’s warheads in reserve. If Russia chose to retaliate, it would be reduced to ash.

Any discussion of nuclear war encounters several major problems. First, it is difficult to imagine or to grasp what it would mean in real life. We have only had one conflict involving nuclear weapons—the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945—and the memory of those events has faded over the years. In any case, the two bombs that flattened the Japanese cities bear little resemblance to the killing power of modern nuclear weapons.

The Hiroshima bomb exploded with a force of 15 kilotons. The Nagasaki bomb was slightly more powerful at about 18 kt. Between them, they killed over 215,000 people. In contrast, the most common nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal today, the W76, has an explosive power of 100 kt. The next most common, the W88, packs a 475-kt punch.

Another problem is that most of the public thinks nuclear war is impossible because both sides would be destroyed. This is the idea behind the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction, aptly named “MAD.”

But MAD is not a U.S. military doctrine. A “first strike” attack has always been central to U.S. military planning, until recently, however, there was no guarantee that such an attack would so cripple an opponent that it would be unable—or unwilling, given the consequences of total annihilation— to retaliate.

The strategy behind a first strike—sometimes called a “counter force” attack—is not to destroy an opponent’s population centers, but to eliminate the other sides’ nuclear weapons, or at least most of them. Anti-missile systems would then intercept a weakened retaliatory strike.

The technical breakthrough that suddenly makes this a possibility is something called the “super-fuze”, which allows for a much more precise ignition of a warhead. If the aim is to blow up a city, such precision is superfluous, but taking out a reinforced missile silo requires a warhead to exert a force of at least 10,000 pounds per square inch on the target.

Up until the 2009 modernization program, the only way to do that was to use the much more powerful—but limited in numbers—W88 warhead. Fitted with the super-fuze, however, the smaller W76 can now do the job, freeing the W88 for other targets.

Traditionally, land-based missiles are more accurate than sea-based missiles, but the former are more vulnerable to a first-strike than the latter, because submarines are good at hiding. The new super-fuze does not increase the accuracy of Trident II submarine missiles, but it makes up for that with the precision of where the weapon detonates. “In the case of the 100-kt Trident II warhead,” write the three scientists, “the super-fuze triples the killing power of the nuclear force it is applied to.”

Before the super-fuze was deployed, only 20 percent of U.S. subs had the ability to destroy re-enforced missile silos. Today, all have that capacity.

Trident II missiles typically carry from four to five warheads, but can expand that up to eight. While the missile is capable of hosting as many as 12 warheads, that configuration would violate current nuclear treaties. U.S. submarines currently deploy about 890 warheads, of which 506 are W76s and 384 are W88s.

The land-based ICBMs are Minuteman III, each armed with three warheads—400 in total—ranging from 300 kt to 500 kt apiece. There are also air and sea-launched nuclear tipped missiles and bombs. The Tomahawk cruise missiles that recently struck Syria can be configured to carry a nuclear warhead.

The super-fuze also increases the possibility of an accidental nuclear conflict.

So far, the world has managed to avoid a nuclear war, although during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis it came distressingly close. There have also been several scary incidents when U.S. and Soviet forces went to full alert because of faulty radar images or a test tape that someone thought was real. While the military downplays these events, former Secretary of Defense William Perry argues that it is pure luck that we have avoided a nuclear exchange, and that the possibility of nuclear war is greater today than it was at the height of the Cold War.

In part, this is because of a technology gap between the U.S. and Russia.

In January 1995, Russian early warning radar on the Kola Peninsula picked up a rocket launch from a Norwegian island that looked as if it was targeting Russia. In fact, the rocket was headed toward the North Pole, but Russian radar tagged it as a Trident II missile coming in from the North Atlantic. The scenario was plausible. While some first strike attacks envision launching a massive number of missiles, others call for detonating a large warhead over a target at about 800 miles altitude. The massive pulse of electro-magnetic radiation that such an explosion generates would blind or cripple radar systems over a broad area. That would be followed with a first strike.

At the time, calmer heads prevailed,, and the Russians called off their alert, but for a few minutes the doomsday clock moved very close to midnight.

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the 1995 crisis suggests that Russia does not have “a reliable and working global space-based satellite early warning system.” Instead, Moscow has focused on building ground-based systems that give the Russians less warning time than satellite-based ones do. What that means is that while the U.S. would have about 30 minutes warning time to investigate whether an attack was really taking place, the Russians would have 15 minutes or less.

That, according to the magazine, would likely mean that “Russian leadership would have little choice but to pre-delegate nuclear launch authority to lower levels of command,” hardly a situation that would be in the national security interests of either country.

Or, for that matter, the world.

A recent study found that a nuclear war between India and Pakistan using Hiroshima-sized weapons would generate a nuclear winter that would make it impossible to grow wheat in Russia and Canada and cut the Asian Monsoon’s rainfall by 10 percent. The result would be up to 100 million deaths by starvation. Imagine what the outcome would be if the weapons were the size used by Russia, China or the U.S.

For the Russians, the upgrading of U.S. sea-based missiles with the super-fuze would be an ominous development. By “shifting the capacity to submarines that can move to missile launch positions much closer to their targets than land-based missiles,” the three scientists conclude, “the U.S. military has achieved a significantly greater capacity to conduct a surprise first strike against Russian ICBM silos.”

The U.S. Ohio class submarine is armed with 24 Trident II missiles, carrying as many as 192 warheads. The missiles can be launched in less than a minute.

The Russians and Chinese have missile-firing submarines as well, but not as many and some are close to obsolete. The U.S. has also seeded the world’s oceans and seas with networks of sensors to keep track of those subs. In any case, would the Russians or Chinese retaliate if they knew that the U.S. still retained most of its nuclear strike force? Faced with a choice committing national suicide or holding their fire, they may well choose the former.

The other element in this modernization program that has Russia and China uneasy is the decision by the Obama administration to place anti-missile systems in Europe and Asia, and to deploy Aegis ship-based anti missile systems off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. From Moscow’s perspective—and Beijing’s as well—those interceptors are there to absorb the few missiles that a first strike might miss.

In reality, anti-missile systems are pretty iffy. Once they migrate off the drawing boards, their lethal efficiency drops rather sharply. Indeed, most of them can’t hit the broad side of a barn. But that is not a chance the Chinese and the Russians can afford to take.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Forum in June 2016, Russian President Valdimir Putin charged that U.S. anti-missile systems in Poland and Rumania were not aimed at Iran, but Russia and China. “The Iranian threat does not exist, but missile defense systems continue to be positioned—a missile defense system is one element of the whole system of offensive military potential.”

The danger here is that arms agreements will begin to unravel if countries decide that they are suddenly vulnerable. For the Russians and the Chinese, the easiest solution to the American breakthrough is to build a lot more missiles and warheads, and treaties be dammed.

The new Russian cruise missile may indeed strain the Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty, but it is also a natural response to what are, from Moscow’s view, alarming technological advances by the U.S. Had the Obama administration reversed the 2002 decision by George W. Bush’s administration to unilaterally withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the new cruise might never have been deployed.

There are a number of immediate steps that the U.S. and the Russians could take to de-escalate the current tensions. First, taking nuclear weapons off their hair-trigger status, which would immediately reduce the possibility of accidental nuclear war. That could be followed by a pledge of “no first use” of nuclear weapons.

If this does not happen, it will almost certainly result in an accelerated nuclear arms race. “I don’t know how this is all going to end,” Putin told the St. Petersburg delegates. “What I do know is that we will need to defend ourselves.”

Join the debate on Facebook
Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com

WaltLongmire
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4/28/2017  12:06 PM
GustavBahler wrote:Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.

Not as simple as that...and there were changes later... but hey, if you want to make an absolute statement, that is your thing.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/38/repeal-the-bush-tax-cuts-for-higher-incomes/

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
WaltLongmire
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4/28/2017  12:07 PM
smackeddog wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:
meloshouldgo wrote:The TRUMP TAX PLAN IS HERE

WE ARE GOING TO REMOVE ON THE PERSONAL SIDE ALL TAX DEDUCTIONS EXCEPT MORTGAGE INTEREST AND CHARITIBLE DEDUCTIONS
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/politics/trump-live-updates?lf-content=193511777:lb-post-115d13c3c3012f6db2e6853ad1d63bef@livefyre.com&hubRefSrc=permalink

Waiting for Guns and Briggs to illuminate us on why this is good for us. In three, two, one...... [CRICKETS]

And yeah I am still in the same tax bracket - SHOCKING!!


At what point will folks come to understand that the supply side trickle down theory has no supporting evidence for its efficacy.

Kind of pathetic, but expected...

Yep, biggest con trick in decades. Basic logic will tell you if you share out a small amount of money to people with not much money, they will likely spend all of it. If you give the same total amount of money to a rich person they are more likely to horde it/add it to their collection. Same with tax cuts.

Yup... The Trump plan is classic "Trickle up" economics...

Companies don't expand production without an expansion in demand, and the demand comes from the middle class.

The biggest beneficiary from the Trump tax plan is Trump and his family...and anyone like him.

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
GustavBahler
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4/28/2017  12:23 PM
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.

Not as simple as that...and there were changes later... but hey, if you want to make an absolute statement, that is your thing.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/38/repeal-the-bush-tax-cuts-for-higher-incomes/

Obama did exactly what I said he did, he extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. He also tried in his "Grand Bargain" to offer deep cuts to SS, Medicare, and medicaid, in exchange for an increase in taxes.

Obama was a neoliberal, too many democrats have trouble accepting that fact. Progressives don't offer to take a knife to the safety net in the the middle of the worst financial crisis since the great depression.

WaltLongmire
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4/28/2017  3:56 PM
GustavBahler wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.

Not as simple as that...and there were changes later... but hey, if you want to make an absolute statement, that is your thing.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/38/repeal-the-bush-tax-cuts-for-higher-incomes/

Obama did exactly what I said he did, he extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. He also tried in his "Grand Bargain" to offer deep cuts to SS, Medicare, and medicaid, in exchange for an increase in taxes.

Obama was a neoliberal, too many democrats have trouble accepting that fact. Progressives don't offer to take a knife to the safety net in the the middle of the worst financial crisis since the great depression.


Again...not a black and white issue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barack-obama-grand-bargain-social-security-expansion_us_5751f92de4b0eb20fa0e0142

Again, you oversimplify a fluid political "conversation" taking place under terrible economic circumstances. That is how politics works, I might add.

Who ever said Obama was a progressive, by the way? When he was elected I told everyone I knew, including my girlfriends crazy Bush loving mom, that he was much more middle of the road as a thinker. Much of the hatred against him was racial in its origin, and Trump was a contributor to this, but also rednecks like Mitch McConnell who was to hold so much power, and dedicate his life to obstructionism.

Always have to remember that he did not come into a situation where he could do his own thing...His presidency will always be judged by how he dealt with the recession. With a normal economy and support in Congress we have no idea what he might have accomplished or attempted to accomplish.

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
GustavBahler
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4/28/2017  6:56 PM    LAST EDITED: 4/28/2017  6:57 PM
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.

Not as simple as that...and there were changes later... but hey, if you want to make an absolute statement, that is your thing.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/38/repeal-the-bush-tax-cuts-for-higher-incomes/

Obama did exactly what I said he did, he extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. He also tried in his "Grand Bargain" to offer deep cuts to SS, Medicare, and medicaid, in exchange for an increase in taxes.

Obama was a neoliberal, too many democrats have trouble accepting that fact. Progressives don't offer to take a knife to the safety net in the the middle of the worst financial crisis since the great depression.


Again...not a black and white issue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barack-obama-grand-bargain-social-security-expansion_us_5751f92de4b0eb20fa0e0142

Again, you oversimplify a fluid political "conversation" taking place under terrible economic circumstances. That is how politics works, I might add.

Who ever said Obama was a progressive, by the way? When he was elected I told everyone I knew, including my girlfriends crazy Bush loving mom, that he was much more middle of the road as a thinker. Much of the hatred against him was racial in its origin, and Trump was a contributor to this, but also rednecks like Mitch McConnell who was to hold so much power, and dedicate his life to obstructionism.

Always have to remember that he did not come into a situation where he could do his own thing...His presidency will always be judged by how he dealt with the recession. With a normal economy and support in Congress we have no idea what he might have accomplished or attempted to accomplish.

Moderate? Thats pretty funny. The man ran on a progressive platform, and governed as a fiscal conservative. Obama stocked the Bowles/Simpson commission aka the "Catfood Commission" with fiscal conservatives who (to no one's surprise) recommended that the answer to the deficit wasnt to make corporations pay the trillions in taxes they have been avoiding, to make Wall Street pay for their role in the crash, the answer was to gut social programs. He got the outcome he wanted.

Obama had a mandate and control of congress to make sure anything as bad as this recession didnt happen again. The banks and the derivatives market are bigger than ever. No top exec went to jail, the conditions that caused the crash remain, and now Obama is cashing in. Nothing moderate about that.

meloshouldgo
Posts: 23538
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Joined: 5/3/2014
Member: #5801

4/29/2017  9:01 AM
GustavBahler wrote:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-wall-street-speech-400k_us_5900bf16e4b0af6d718ab7b9?72&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009


Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character
Ask all the bankers he jailed for fraud.

By Zach Carter


The rumors are true: Former President Barack Obama will receive $400,000 to speak at a health care conference organized by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

It should not be a surprise. This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama’s entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama’s Wall Street payday will confirm for many what they have long suspected: that the Democratic Party is managed by out-of-touch elites who do not understand or care about the concerns of ordinary Americans. It’s hard to fault those who come to this conclusion.

Obama refused to prosecute the rampant fraud behind the 2008 Wall Street collapse, despite inking multibillion-dollar settlement after multibillion-dollar settlement with major firms over misconduct ranging from foreclosure fraud to rigging energy markets to tax evasion. In some cases, big banks even pleaded guilty to felonies, but Obama’s Justice Department allowed actual human bankers to ride into the sunset. Early in his presidency, Obama vowed to spend up to $100 billion to help struggling families avert foreclosure. Instead, the administration converted the relief plan into a slush fund for big banks, as top traders at bailed-out firms were allowed to collect six-figure bonuses on the taxpayers’ dime.

Nothing forced Obama to govern this way. Had he truly believed that prosecuting bankers for obvious criminal fraud would cause an economic collapse, Obama would, presumably, have tried to radically reshape the financial sector. He did not. His administration’s finance-friendly policies damaged the economic recovery and generated a new cohort of Trump voters. As Nate Cohn of The New York Times has demonstrated, nearly one-fourth of Obama’s white working-class supporters in 2012 flipped for Trump in 2016. Racism and misogyny were surely part of Trump’s appeal, but not all two-time Obama voters turned to Trump out of bigotry alone.

It’s easier for Democrats to denounce Trump supporters as morally unworthy individuals than to consider whether governing failures in the Obama era contributed to Trump’s popularity. In the final years of his presidency, Obama made clear that he wanted to be remembered as a great Democratic reformer — a leader who expanded access to health care and embodied the humane, egalitarian side of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. But the disconnect between this progressive vision and his Wall Street record is not trivial. The Obama foreclosure plan hurt families. Refusing to punish financial crime has encouraged more of it. Workers are still digging out from the economic wreckage caused by too-big-to-fail banks in 2008, and those banks are bigger today than they were during the meltdown. Wealth accrues to a tiny population of bank executives and shareholders instead of flowing to households. Society is more unequal, and the prospects for progress depend on a financial sector fraught with unnecessary systemic risk.

This risk is not confined to the Trump presidency. Obama once called economic inequality “the defining challenge of our time,” but Democratic leaders have been steadfastly aligning their own personal fortunes with the very elites the system is rigged to favor. Throughout her 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was dogged by the millions of dollars in speaking fees she courted from major financial institutions after leaving the State Department. Her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), mocked a Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs, saying it must have been a “world-shattering” talk “probably written in Shakespearean prose.” She never had a good answer to questions about these talks during debates, and eventually she resorted to invoking the twisted logic of the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision in an effort to deflect accusations of corruption.

Clinton and her husband were worth over $100 million at the time. But a few million dollars between elites is not considered that big a deal in the Washington social scene. The money is an instrument of influence, rather than wealth ― a way of maintaining status, of exercising informal, unofficial, but very real power. It is a relationship incompatible with small-d democratic principles.

Sanders was not able to derail Clinton’s primary campaign with this critique. And die-hard Democrats will doubtless find ways to excuse or overlook Obama’s decision to follow in Clinton’s buckraking footsteps. Professional Democrats have admired Obama for many reasons despite his financial policy failures, and a few hundred grand will not make them reconsider this judgment. But the Goldman Sachs issue was a serious problem for Clinton during the general election, feeding right-wing narratives that she and her husband were fundamentally corrupt (not to be confused with the fairy tales about her killing Vince Foster and four Americans in Benghazi).

Obama isn’t running for office again, but his sellout sends even uglier signals to the electorate. Clinton had very limited policy power over the financial sector during her time at the State Department. Obama, on the other hand, had plenty. Voters could be forgiven for seeing a president cash out to Wall Street at the end of his term and concluding that maybe he wasn’t immune to those considerations when he was making policy in office.

“Regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record,” Obama spokesman Eric Schultz told HuffPost in a written statement. “He recently accepted an invitation to speak at a health care conference in September, because, as a president who successfully passed health insurance reform, it’s an issue of great importance to him. With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history ― and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR.”

It is impossible to know what the 2010 Wall Street reform law would have looked like had Obama not received loads of campaign money from the financial sector. Maybe he would have broken up the banks. Maybe he would have reinstated Glass-Steagall. Campaign finance regulations — which the vast majority of Democratic voters support — would be unnecessary if political leaders were not influenced by campaign contributions.

What’s most baffling about Obama’s $400,000 payday is the fact that he doesn’t need the money. He and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, reportedly received $65 million from Penguin Random House for their memoirs. He is an excellent writer who has already written two best-selling books, and he’ll receive a handsome $200,000 pension from the federal government every year for the rest of his life. Several generations of Obamas will be financially secure. His legacy is not nearly as safe.

I have spoken in length about centrists democrats having cozy relationships work Wall Street on threes threads. I have no illusions about them and I think they have done more harm to the American middle class than any individual political group or demographic. Obama stood for a lot of good things. Financial policy wasn't among them. He didn't however make it worse, but he didn't hold the eall street scum sccountable as he should have. No excuses.

Also at some point 401k tax deferment status will be put on the table to pay for Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The Democrats will actually support that. And we will lose our primary tax shelter going forward.

The only things that trickle down are wages and horse shit
WaltLongmire
Posts: 27004
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Joined: 6/28/2014
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4/29/2017  12:59 PM
GustavBahler wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:
WaltLongmire wrote:
GustavBahler wrote:Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. Just a reminder.

Not as simple as that...and there were changes later... but hey, if you want to make an absolute statement, that is your thing.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/38/repeal-the-bush-tax-cuts-for-higher-incomes/

Obama did exactly what I said he did, he extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the middle of the recession. He also tried in his "Grand Bargain" to offer deep cuts to SS, Medicare, and medicaid, in exchange for an increase in taxes.

Obama was a neoliberal, too many democrats have trouble accepting that fact. Progressives don't offer to take a knife to the safety net in the the middle of the worst financial crisis since the great depression.


Again...not a black and white issue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barack-obama-grand-bargain-social-security-expansion_us_5751f92de4b0eb20fa0e0142

Again, you oversimplify a fluid political "conversation" taking place under terrible economic circumstances. That is how politics works, I might add.

Who ever said Obama was a progressive, by the way? When he was elected I told everyone I knew, including my girlfriends crazy Bush loving mom, that he was much more middle of the road as a thinker. Much of the hatred against him was racial in its origin, and Trump was a contributor to this, but also rednecks like Mitch McConnell who was to hold so much power, and dedicate his life to obstructionism.

Always have to remember that he did not come into a situation where he could do his own thing...His presidency will always be judged by how he dealt with the recession. With a normal economy and support in Congress we have no idea what he might have accomplished or attempted to accomplish.

Moderate? Thats pretty funny. The man ran on a progressive platform, and governed as a fiscal conservative. Obama stocked the Bowles/Simpson commission aka the "Catfood Commission" with fiscal conservatives who (to no one's surprise) recommended that the answer to the deficit wasnt to make corporations pay the trillions in taxes they have been avoiding, to make Wall Street pay for their role in the crash, the answer was to gut social programs. He got the outcome he wanted.

Obama had a mandate and control of congress to make sure anything as bad as this recession didnt happen again. The banks and the derivatives market are bigger than ever. No top exec went to jail, the conditions that caused the crash remain, and now Obama is cashing in. Nothing moderate about that.


He was never going to be a progressive President...I said it at the time he ran to people I knew and worked with, and I was right. People who thought differently were foolish...no other way to put it. Progressive in terms of individual rights, but he was always going to be left of center at best, economically.

I was very pissed off that bankers and WS types didn't go to jail. Not sure of the dynamics involved in all this, and what could, or could not, have been done, but examples should have been made.

You have an agenda...that is all I'm going to say. Berners are trying to do their tear-down of the Democratic party right now, and Obama getting some play post-office is scaring them, as he has talked about getting involved in creating political leaders for the future. Berners and the GOP are doing the same to Chelsea Clinton...and both Berners and Trumpets are still putting out anti-HRC stuff over social media. Sad thing is that the GOP is happy to encourage this...I'm sure they have some folks posing as Berners, and they know how to trigger you folks. They are using you...I hope you actually understand this.

Meanwhile, Bernie is still in the spotlight, and instead of anointing successors, he seems to be running again. Instead of helping to build a coalition to take Congress back in 2018 he makes comments about the Democrats which will only lead to division and the GOP maintaining their superiority in the House and Senate.

Pushing the Dems left is fine with me...I'm registered Indy, but Sanders seems to lack the tact and nuance to get his points across without sowing division in a party he doesn't even belong to. Not stepping in to quiet his crowd while Perez was getting booed was a sign of cowardice or a total lack of awareness...or does he just not care?

For an organizer, he seems woefully ignorant of coalition building, which ALWAYS involves compromise.

And if you think Bernie won't be going on the speaker circuit if he manages to not die in political office, you are kind of ignorant. He will do the same, and I will have no problem with another guy who has always been a public servant making $$ after "retiring."

I never go upset with Bush2.0, Cheney, and others from that administration who I hate with a passion, getting speaking fees...that is how it works when you are retired.

We will see what Obama does as an out of office political leader and how he uses his money and influence, but to cry about one of the most popular men in the world making money on the speakers circuit makes me believe there are other reasons for your dissatisfaction.

EnySpree: Can we agree to agree not to mention Phil Jackson and triangle for the rest of our lives?
OT: Politics Thread

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