Pancho and Lefty

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The Atheist Pig

In Fact, Sanders Has a Plan on How to Break Up Too-Big-to-Fail Banks.

Following suggestions that he somehow “bungled” when asked about how he would, if elected president, break up Wall Street’s largest and most dangerous institutions, the Bernie Sanders campaign on Tuesday offered a detailed explanation of how he would end “too-big-to-fail’ banks.”

Sparking corporate media’s “great feeding frenzy” was an interview the presidential candidate had April 1 with the New York Daily News editorial board, the transcript of which was published online Monday.

The Washington Post described it as “pretty close to a disaster,” while Jeremy Stahl wrote atSlate that Sanders “appeared to struggle” on the details of how to break up the big banks.

Hillary Clinton also seized on the interview, sending the transcript to supporters in a fundraising email that stated: “even on his signature issue of breaking up the banks, he’s unable to answer basic questions about how he’d go about doing it.” She also told MSNBC’sMorning Joe on Wednesday, “The core of his campaign has been breaking up the banks, and it didn’t seem in reading his answers that he would understand exactly how that would work under Dodd-Frank.”

But as New York Times finance and business reporter Peter Eavis argued, “taken as a whole, Mr. Sanders’s answers seem to make sense. Crucially, his answers mostly track with a reasonably straightforward breakup plan that he introduced to Congress last year.”

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Within the first 100 days of his administration, Sen. Sanders will require the secretary of the Treasury Department to establish a “Too-Big-to Fail” list of commercial banks, shadow banks and insurance companies whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk to the United States economy without a taxpayer bailout.

Within a year, the Sanders administration will work with the Federal Reserve and financial regulators to break these institutions up using the authority of Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Sen. Sanders will also fight to enact a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to clearly separate commercial banking, investment banking and insurance services. Secretary Clinton opposes this extremely important measure.

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Glass-Steagall Act into law precisely to prevent Wall Street speculators from causing another Great Depression. And, it worked for more than five decades until Wall Street watered it down under President Reagan and killed it under President Clinton. That is unacceptable and that is why Sen. Sanders will fight to sign the Warren-McCain bill into law.

Fucking assholes, just like the Republicans, you can only “win” by cheating.

Sanders/Stein 2016!

Merle Haggard.

Like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, there’s nothing more to be said.

Go in Peace Old Friend, I sure as hell miss you guys.

Six billion people, not to mention billions if not trillions of other creatures, on a planet that can barely sustain one. Do the math. And grow thicker skin, as there will be pain and suffering, and even death. In the billions. I’m not sure that’s necessarily such a bad thing. It is not necessarily the strong who survive.

Think afarensis .

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Who could have predicted that the global tax evasion by the world’s ultra-rich, made public this week with the release of the Panama Papers, was ushered in with the help of a free trade agreement?

Senator Bernie Sanders did.

In fiery speech before the U.S. Senate in 2011, Bernie Sanders declared his “strong opposition” to the “unfettered free trade agreements” with Korea, Columbia, and Panama—agreements that were being pushed for by both President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ current rival for the Democratic nomination.

“Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in off-shore tax havens,” Sanders stated. “And, the Panama Free Trade Agreement would make this bad situation much worse.”

gop-humping_nEach and every year, the wealthy and large corporations evade $100 billion in U.S. taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and other countries.

According to Citizens for Tax Justice, “A tax haven . . . has one of three characteristics: It has no income tax or a very low-rate income tax; it has bank secrecy laws; and it has a history of non-cooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters. Panama has all three of those. … They’re probably the worst.”

Mr. President, the trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama.  In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities.

In 2008, the Government Accountability Office said that 17 of the 100 largest American companies were operating a total of 42 subsidiaries in Panama.  This free trade agreement would make it easier for the wealthy and large corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes and it must be defeated.  At a time when we have a record-breaking $14.7 trillion national debt and an unsustainable federal deficit, the last thing that we should be doing is making it easier for the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in this country to avoid paying their fair share in taxes by setting-up offshore tax havens in Panama.

Sanders was in the minority with that view and shortly thereafter the Panama-U.S. Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) was passed and signed into law, a move that was lauded by Sec. Clinton as an example of the Obama Administration’s commitment to “deepen our economic engagement throughout the world.”

Go ahead, vote Clinton. Vote Republican Lite. And when you’ve lost your job and are homeless you can join me and the rest of the locals in a van down by the river.

This more than a battle of candidates, it is a battle of ideas. Globalization, heralded by the likes of Hillary Clinton, has enabled the richest in society to exploit the system while ordinary working people pick up the tab. This has been going on for decades; as a political family, the Clintons have done nothing about it.

Indeed, they have profited by it.

Jethro Tull, Benefit

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because a new climate change study “jolts sea-rise predictions,” according to The Washington Post, with sea levels projected to increase so much that The New York Times says they would “likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.” This disturbing news made the top-fold front pages of the Post and the Times, but it was completely ignored by the broadcast television networks’ nightly news programs.

The study, published on March 31 in the journal Nature, found that global warming could cause the Antarctic ice sheet to collapse, in part through a process previously “underappreciated” in sea level rise models. antarctica Combined with ice melting in other areas, the study projects that sea levels could rise about six feet by the end of the century, an estimate roughly double that of the most widely cited worst-case scenario. This amount of sea level rise would put hundreds of millions of people in cities and coastal areas around the world at risk of inundation, including New York City, Boston, Miami, New Orleans, and other major U.S. cities. (As Gizmodo bluntly put it, “Florida is screwed.”). The study also projects that seas will rise nearly 50 feet by 2500, which as the Post‘s Capital Weather Gang noted, would result in even more catastrophic consequences:

In the study’s projection for 2500, almost the entire state of Delaware would disappear. Much of Manhattan and Brooklyn would be reduced to just slivers of their current selves. The southern coast of Florida would end north of Lake Okeechobee. California’s Central Valley would flood from Modesto to Colusa, and the state capital of Sacramento would be entirely under water.

The new study does come with a silver lining, according to the Times: “A far more stringent effort to limit emissions of greenhouse gases would stand a fairly good chance of saving West Antarctica from collapse, scientists found. That aspect of their paper contrasts with other recent studies postulating that a gradual disintegration of West Antarctica may have already become unstoppable.”

This is the “Anthropocene”: the new epoch of geological time in which human activity is considered such a powerful influence on the environment, climate and ecology of the planet that it will leave a long-term signature in the strata record.

And what a signature it will be. We have bored 50m kilometres of holes in our search for oil. We remove mountain tops to get at the coal they contain. The oceans dance with billions of tiny plastic beads. Weaponry tests have dispersed artificial radionuclides globally. The burning of rainforests for monoculture production sends out killing smog-palls that settle into the sediment across entire countries. We have become titanic geological agents, our legacy legible for millennia to come, a clear and present danger to our grandchildren’s survival.

This is insane:

Isn’t it rather odd that America’s largest single public expenditure scheduled for the coming decades has received no attention in the 2015-2016 presidential debates?

The expenditure is for a thirty-year program to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear arsenal and production facilities. Although President Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died. It has been replaced by an administration plan to build a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities to last the nation well into the second half of the twenty-first century.atom.jpg This plan, which has received almost no attention by the mass media, includes redesigned nuclear warheads, as well as new nuclear bombers, submarines, land-based missiles, weapons labs, and production plants. The estimated cost? $1,000,000,000,000.00—or, for those readers unfamiliar with such lofty figures, $1 trillion.

Critics charge that the expenditure of this staggering sum will either bankrupt the country or, at the least, require massive cutbacks in funding for other federal government programs. “We’re . . . wondering how the heck we’re going to pay for it,” admitted Brian McKeon, an undersecretary of defense. And we’re “probably thanking our stars we won’t be here to have to have to answer the question,” he added with a chuckle.

This nuclear “modernization” plan violates the terms of the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires the nuclear powers to engage in nuclear disarmament. The plan is also moving forward despite the fact that the U.S. government already possesses roughly 7,000 nuclear weapons that can easily destroy the world. Although climate change might end up accomplishing much the same thing, a nuclear war does have the advantage of terminating life on earth more rapidly.

History shows us again and again how nature proves out the folly of man.

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