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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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Not to worry. GD is just down because Agent Mike needed some sleep.

Bernie Sander's poll: Rate the Fed, the NSA and more ...


The Expectations Management Team is fully staffed today.


Sherrod Brown Petition: 78 more years of Social Security

from my email ...

Dear Scuba,

For more than three quarters of a century, Social Security has meant a great deal to our country.

If you get hurt and become disabled, Social Security is there for you. If a loved one dies, Social Security is there for your family. And if you work all your life and play by the rules, Social Security is there for you when you retire.

Social Security isnít a bargaining chip, itís an earned benefit. Yet right now Republicans in the House are threatening to hold Americaís credit rating hostage unless we approve cuts to Social Security.

Iím joining with Sens. Hagan, Merkley, Peters and Mark Udall to make sure Social Security is around for another seventy-eight years. We need you to join us. Click here to add your name and stand with me to protect Social Security.

Thank you for joining us to preserve Social Security for this and future generations.


If Democrats want to win in 2014 ...

... they should advocate for...

... Living Wage

... Medicare for All

... Strengthen, expand Social Security

... Legalize weed


... Cut defense to pay for it all

Supporting such positions, Dems could gain tens of millions of votes from the 40% of the electorate who currently stay home because neither Party offers them squat.

Failure to adopt such stances just makes Democrats look like Repubican-lite, demotivates the base, does nothing to attract the currently disaffected and cedes the issues to the other side.

AFL-CIO aiming at GOP governors in 2014


The nationís most prominent labor organization plans to throw its political weight most heavily into a half-dozen governorsí races in the 2014 cycle, focusing on states where the outcome of gubernatorial elections will be most ďconsequentialĒ for union members and working-class voters, the AFL-CIOís top strategist said Tuesday.

Meeting with a small group of reporters, AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer said that the unrelenting state of gridlock in Washington means that state elections will likely have a greater impact on real peopleís lives than federal elections.

He named six Republican governors at the top of the AFL-CIO target list: Rick Scott of Florida, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Paul LePage of Maine, John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania.


Major labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, have battled Republican governors in the states ever since the 2010 election swept a huge number of them into office. The AFL-CIO has made no secret of its hope to reverse that result, telling POLITICO last December that gubernatorial elections in the Midwest would be a major focus for the 2014 cycle.

Speaking of jerking off ....

Their goal? The permanent destruction of democracy in Wisconsin - and eventually throughout the U.S.

The Isthmus ran an article about the singers being arrested in the Capitol, and someone who goes by Bill Dunn asked "Why did this never happen in Wisconsin's 165 years of history until Scott Walker became governor?"

Here's the best response ...


From Diane Ayers on 08/06/13 at 6:44 pm
Re Bill Dunn post, your question: "Why did this never happen in Wisconsin's 165 years of history until Scott Walker became governor?"

Because, Bill, this is the first time in Wisconsin history that the core of state government has been illegitmately seized by corporate-owned political fascists, who do not hesitate to suspend civil liberties and distort or defy the constitutional rights guaranteed to this state's citizens.

Their prime directive is to discredit, divide and destroy all those agencies, civic organizations, labor unions,. . even community groups of individual citizens seeking to communicate their views and concerns.

Their goal? The permanent destruction of democracy in Wisconsin - and eventually throughout the U.S. - replacing it with an institutionalized oligarchy that maintains its control by doing away with public education, worker rights, voting rights, etc, -- creating a powerless underclass that will work to serve and fear to challenge their corporate masters -now and for generations to come.

Wisconsin: Care about protecting our water? DNR is accepting comments now. Add your voice.

from my email ....

Why Do They Keep Stripping Away Our Water Protections?

Dear Scuba,

Our waters just canít seem to catch a break: Once again, rules that protect our shorelands are being attacked.

It was just a few years ago that we got the first major update to NR 115, the state rules that set minimum standards for county shoreland zoning ordinances that protect water quality. The result of a seven-year negotiation among shoreland owners, environmental groups, business interests and others, the updated rules protect our shores while reasonably outlining what property owners can do on their land. These additional protections were a hard-fought but critical win for our waters.

But just four years later, the DNR is bending to political pressure and seeking to undo that compromise.

Submit a comment to the DNR today: Leave NR 115 alone.

Many groups worked long and hard on this compromise, and that bipartisan agreement needs to be honored by DNR. Email your comments to DNR today and ask them to stop watering down our water protections and protect our shores.

Thank you,
Amanda Wegner
Clean Wisconsin

PS: We're currently fighting a number of rollbacks of our water protections. Please make a secure, online donation today to support our ongoing work for clean, safe water in Wisconsin!

NYT: Did We Waste a Recession?


Five years ago this month, before Lehman Brothers imploded and the global economy lurched to a halt, Fannie Mae issued a report that encapsulated the financial systemís biggest problem. The mortgage-finance company, which was wobbling on account of rising defaults, tried to reassure investors that it had $47 billion in capital, which was considerably more than the $30 million required by law. At the time, the reportís authors seemed to fear that some investors might think Fannie was too cautious. In any event, a month later, that protection seemed like a joke. Fannie may have conformed to the rules, but the rules didnít conform to reality. The lender and its brother company, Freddie Mac, were declared insolvent and handed over to the U.S. government.

Remarkably, five years after the crisis, the health of the financial industry is just as hard to determine. A major bank or financial institution could meet every single regulatory requirement yet still be at risk of collapse, and few of us would even know it. Despite endless calls for change, many of the economists Iíve spoken with have lamented that the reports that banks issue about their finances remain all but useless. The sprawling Dodd-Frank Act, which rewrote banking regulation in 2010, didnít resolve things so much as inaugurate a process of endless rules-writing by regulators. Meanwhile, the European Union is in the early stages of figuring out how it will change the way it regulates banks; and the gargantuan issue of coordinating regulations across borders has only barely begun. All of these regulatory decisions are complicated, in part, by a vast army of financial-industry lobbyists that overwhelms the relatively few consumer advocates.

Economists have also been locked in their own long-running arguments about how to make the banking industry safer. These disagreements, which are generally split between the left and the right, can have the certainty and anger of religious wars: the right accuses the left of hobbling banks and undermining prosperity; the left counters that the relatively lax regulation advocated by the right will lead to a corrupt oligarchy. But there actually is consensus on one of the most important issues. Paul Schultz, director of the Center for the Study of Financial Regulation at the University of Notre Dame, led a project that brought together scholars of financial regulation from the left, the right and the center to figure out what caused the financial crisis and how to prevent a sequel. They couldnít agree on anything, he told me. But a great majority favored higher equity requirements, which is bankerspeak for the notion that banks shouldnít be allowed to borrow so much.

I conducted my own Schultz test by talking to Anat Admati and Charles Calomiris, prominent finance professors at Stanford and Columbia, respectively, who roughly define the opposite ends of the argument over bank regulation. Admati is a Democrat, Calomiris a Republican. In her recent book, ďThe Bankersí New Clothes,Ē for example, Admati has argued that bankers misrepresent their finances. Calomiris, who used to be a banker, is generally seen as friendly to the field. As I spoke to them both, they also disagreed on everything until the conversation turned to borrowing. At which point, they independently explained that banks borrow too much, that the government rules are too confusing and that the public has been misled.
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