Bernie Sanders Tone Deaf? It’s Not All Black And White

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https://www.buzzfeed.com/rubycramer/bernie-sanders-revolution-needs-black-voters-to-win-but-can?utm_term=.au5DEG8dr#.faQ8wvEW9

What do you think? Does Bernie still remain tone deaf to what he says or fails to say to black audiences? Bakari Sellers, one of Bernie’s critics here, was a Hillary Clinton supporter so his criticism can be discounted and discarded The very fact that he supported Clinton shows his own ignorance as to which politicians support black issues and which ones don’t. He totally gets it wrong about Bernie dismissing Obama’s presidency “with utter arrogance and lack of self-awareness.”

Joshua DuBois, is an Obama loyalist whose comments can also be discarded as partisan, being obviously loyal to Obama who really didn’t do that much for black families and individuals during his neoliberal, Bill Clinton 2.0 presidency.

Yes, Obama was the first black president. But please show me all the initiatives his admin pushed that would have benefited black people. What did his attorney general, Eric Holder–a black man who previously worked for Bill Clinton, to do stop mortgage lenders from redlining first time black home mortgage applicants or black homeowners attempting to refi their homes? And how about Obama’s failure to order the DOJ to extract FULL financial retribution for all the homeowners–owned by all ethnicities alike–defrauded out of their homes after the 2007-2008 financial meltdown. And how about Obama’s refusal to make the banks and investment banks (like Goldman Sachs) REALLY pay for decimating retirement accounts through illegal and unethical investment deals? t was Obama’s CEO buddies at Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and others behind those actions who emerged legally and personally financially unscathed

How strongly did he have Holder fight all the Republican Voter ID laws that discriminated heavily against black voters? Or against the Republican-gerrymandered congressional districts that effectively neutralized the black vote in many Red states? Any how many of you remember that Obama signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill, passed by both parties in both houses of Congress, the cut $8.7 BILLION from the SNAP program over 10 years?

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-signs-food-stamp-cut

THIS is the President Obama that Bernie is tell black people about, if he could only get his message past his tone deaf and partisan black critics? And on a day observing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination 50 years ago, it’s an even more important point to make. The point is that there was finally a black man elected president of the United States, and it didn’t change a thing. So must one be aware of what day it is before one tells the truth? Bernie’s speech in no way denigrated the memory of Dr. King. Just the opposite: it was the perfect day to make his comments, as I’ve already explained.

Another crucial point is that black voters just can’t blindly vote Blue. They–and all Democratic voters–most first demand and then vote for actual liberal politicians and candidates with the vision and guts to make changes to this country that must be made. No more Republicans in Democratic clothing. And the final point, which is a question: why IS it a white politician has to be the one to stand up and say all this to black people?

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Obama WAS The Special Interests President

Barack-Obama-After-Presidency-Pictures

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-chicago-obama-tells-young-leaders-that-%E2%80%98special-interests-dominate-the-debates-in-washington%E2%80%99/ar-BBAha7Y?li=BBnb7Kz

 

The story headline “In Chicago, Obama tells young leaders that ‘special interests dominate the debates in Washington’” is is total crap. From day one Obama was all about pleasing special interests by funneling unrestricted bailout funds to Goldman Sachs and the investment/banking industries in general. Yes, TARP was a Bush initiative but Obama and his special interest lackeys, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, made it like they were proprietors overseeing kids in a candy store, even giving out handfuls of candy, aka taxpayer funds, to kids like every day was Halloween night. The banksters knowingly and intentionally committed global financial fraud and not one CEO paid the legal price. We all paid for the bailout and not ONE institution was required to change how they do business to prevent it from happening again. Dodd-Frank? Please…

They’re still selling the same derivatives (under new names) and other unsafe “investment products” that are again propelling the financial industry to another meltdown. The housing bubble is building again (checked out home prices lately?) and once again it WILL burst.

Remember Obama’s pushing through of all those trade pacts? We’re now just learning of some of the secret offshore accounts owned by American citizens and corporations housed in Panama banks. Remember how he also tried to push the TPP and the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline? How about his months-long silence and hands off policy with the Dakota Access pipeline?  Additional construction of nuclear plants? Pushing charter schools to the detriment of public schools? The Obama presidency was all about special interests, except for the middle and low income classes. I guess we didn’t hold much special interest for him.

Obama didn’t do a damn thing to unify anyone. If he had, we’d have a Democrat in the White House, a Democratically-controlled Congress, and Merrick Garland, as flawed as he was, would be the 9th Justice sitting on the SCOTUS bench.

The Obama administration will not go down in history for what it was but for its failure to become what it could have been. If his “aspiration” was to unify Blue and Red states, why did he do so much to polarize all of us?

Bill Clinton: Big Dog? Big Phony

Bill Clinton. Big Dog. The guy the Democrats trot out every national convention time to rah rah the electorate to a fever pitch to bring the Democratic presidential nominee on home!

Big dog? Big phony. The only thing big about Bill is the stick he keeps trying to bash Bernie Sanders over the head with.

This morning I again heard on the radio the corporate media fiction of Clinton’s “Age of Prosperity” in the 90s. Yes, it was prosperous for some, unless you were poor. If you were lower-working class or among the poor there was little if any prosperity for you.  The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the Republican bill which Clinton signed into law took care of that. It penalized poor children for living with their dysfunctional parent(s).  It forced people with no hope of finding a job to look for work or be removed from the cash grant after two years while a portion of any of the income they might be able to earn or receive was allocated to the child(ren) to further reduce their cash grant. After five years on welfare whether the parent(s) had found work or not the family timed out on welfare entirely.

The Food Stamps program (run by the USDA partly on behalf of agribusiness to sell more crops to sell more food) was slashed by over $20 billion dollars. The AFDC budget was $14 billion—less than 1% of the federal budget. Meanwhile, military spending was increased by about $60 billion over a six-year period, a time when we weren’t officially at war with anybody.  SSI eligibility for children was restricted.  LEGAL immigrants had their eligibility for programs greatly restricted and their benefits cut.

But while the those living in poverty were pushed into living in abject poverty, the rest of us were prospering, right? For some. For awhile. The Bill Clinton Golden Age of Prosperity sat atop the twin dotcom and real estate bubbles and balanced by some fancy shmancy bookkeeping that moved selected Accounts Payable ledger items off the Clinton books and onto the books of the next presidential administration. Yes, Dubya did fine in massively escalating the federal budget on his own but Bill did help his future best buddy along that path.

Yes, it sure was the Age of Prosperity alright, but all that prosperity was paid with credit cards and the bills started to come due in the 2nd financial quarter of 2007. You see, during Bill’s Age of Prosperity he sneaked a couple of things through: repeal of Glass-Steagall and the successful kibosh of the regulation of the sale of derivatives of which—if you saw “The Big Short” credit default swaps played a big part.

So here’s all these stock traders and stockholders becoming prosperous during the 90s but then the strangest stuff started to happen in 2007. Banks started to fail. Brokerage houses started to fail. Mortgage lenders started to fail. A whole lot of prosperous people lost their investments, lost their retirement savings, lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their families, lost their lives.

The Republicans came up with a plan to save it all called TARP. They came up with at near the end of Dubya’s term. Obama replaced Bush but on the first round of voting Senate Democrats stuck to their principles and voted it down. They became unstuck on the second vote and passed it with Obama signing into law in 2009. The problem with TARP was handled was similar to what happens on a baseball sandlot. Kids line up and wait to see which team captain will chose them. The team captain sticks with his favorite players and tries to give the lesser players to the other team. This is what happened with TARP. Obama chose his favorites: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, AIG. The lesser players not chosen: Bear Stearns, Shearson Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Bank, Countrywide, among others didn’t get to play at all because there was no other team to play for.  They had to take their bats and balls and thousands of employees and millions of customers and clients and walk away.

This is reality. This is fact. This is not the Camelot-like “Age of Prosperity” that the Clintons, the Democratic Party (especially the DNC), and the corporate media is attempting to have you still believe. When the lie becomes truth, then what is the truth?

So I will not join in on the Big Dog rah rah stuff. I will not speaking glowingly and nostalgically of the Bill Clinton Golden Age of Prosperity. Too much water has flowed under that bridge. The same floodwater that swept all that “prosperity” away for good. At least it worked out for the poor.  As Janis once sang, “when you got nothin’ you got nothin’ to lose”.

John Stewart Schools Timothy Geithner In Economics

Watch Jon Stewart at his best: Geithner. It’s a 3-part interview with a 5-part extended interview.

Timothy Geithner is making the talk show rounds plugging his new book. Geithner is a typically, tone deaf political economist who was one of the primary constructionists of two economic policies which led to and has perpetuated the effects of the crash of 2008. Watch his body language as he insists the Obama administration did the only thing possible to help the economy recover while Stewart keeps calling him on his bullshit, requiring Geithner to reset and try to throw it again.

Geithner is not a people person and it shows. He has been around economic theory, growing up living a privileged life; he has never known poverty. Throughout most of his childhood he lived abroad; throughout his education, his focus was on Asia, not on the USA. He went to two universities in China and then majored in and got advanced degrees from two American schools in Asian and international studies. His entire career has put a firewall between him and the average person,. He’s all economic theory and no personal knowledge or experience with or—I think—any true compassion for the plight of the people who suffer as a result of economic policies he put in place.

After the 2008 economic meltdown, what was his primary concern? He wanted to avoid setting off a bank panic, or even making them slightly nervous. That’s why he insisted the banks be given all that free money with absolutely no restrictions or federal controls. He smugly claimed to Stewart that the banks paid back all those loans with interest; therefore, the taxpayers made a profit. Really? Was that profit shared with all those homeowners who lost their home because banks like Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase refused or delayed to refinance homes, denying or delaying applications for refinancing under HARP? Over and over again you see Geithner try to run, but he can’t hide from Stewart.

To him, the economic problems of the poor and the middle class are theoretical. So, no matter how much he tries to argue to the contrary, Stewart is right: TARP gave no-strings-attached money to the banks hand-over-fist, and then allowed them to borrow money at the discount window for 0% interest and make 3% interest on that same money. Yet despite both TARP and HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), homeowners were foreclosed on in record numbers—many through fraudulent and illegal means—and the banks were left off the hook by paying plea-bargained fines which amounted to pocket change for them.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Geithner insists the Obama administration did the right and the only available thing to fix the economy. Tone deaf, again. And this speaks volumes about Obama because he was the one who hired Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury, to work beside Larry Summers, the Clinton retread who gave us unregulated derivatives and the repeal of Glass-Steagall during the Clinton years which directly lead to the 2008 crash. While Stewart did a great job of nailing Geithner to his own cross, even better than Stewart, I’d love to see Paul Krugman and/or Robert Reich debate Geithner over his book. Both of them would bring along their good friend, John Maynard Keynes (in spirit), who I believe would have loved the opportunity to go a few rounds with Geithner on TV. Talk about REALLY being schooled…