Links 1/18/16

Medicare for All Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Releases Health Plan And It’s Even More Ambitious Than You Thought Huffington Post. Ambitious? Definitely. Skeletal? Yes. The pay-fors are pretty well mapped out, but the coverage is brushed through in one paragraph without much detail. Of course, any movement politically is too many white papers away. This is more of a values document.

How To Use Single Payer Healthcare As Trojan Horse For A Good Welfare State Matt Bruenig


The 4th Democratic debate transcript, annotated: Who said what and what it meant Washington Post

Hillary Clinton Turns, Repeatedly, to a Democrat Not on the Debate Stage: Obama NY Times. Who didn’t see this coming? The debate was in Charleston. Do you know what South Carolina voters think of Obama? They give him a 90% approval rating. I’m not sure the bear-hug strategy works in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that vote first, however.

What drew Killer Mike to Sanders? ‘Smoking a joint and reading his tweets’ Politico

Bernie Sanders is right: Drug companies did help cause the opioid epidemic Vox

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman tells super PAC to ‘chill out’ LA Times

Bernie Sanders rises in Iowa, leaving Clinton allies nervous Mashable (h/t Chuck L)

There Is No Evidence That a Sanders Victory Would Hurt Downballot Democrats. It’s Likely The Opposite. The Washington Monthly

Marco Rubio Encourages People To Buy Guns, Because ISIS Huffington Post

`He’s a Nasty Guy’: Trump Goes Off No Holds Barred on Ted Cruz Bloomberg Politics

What Donald Trump’s Plaza Deal Reveals About His White House Bid NY Times

UK opposition leader invites Trump to visit London mosque Reuters (h/t Chuck L)

In primary challenge, Wasserman Schultz faces unprecedented test The Hill. It’s very good to see the DC media taking Tim Canova’s candidacy seriously.

Charleston Workers March For Higher Wages Outside The Democratic Debate Think Progress

Sixty-six investors to sue Volkswagen Financial Times

WaPo Does Another OMG! Editorial on Social Security and Medicare Dean Baker

Bets against the dot plot go into overdrive Sober Look

Oil collapse:

Oil glut dampens Iran’s hopes for big cash flows as sanctions lift Washington Post

Oil slide greases downside for Asia stocks Financial Times. Below $30 and counting.

Oil Speculators Raise Bets on Falling Prices to All-Time High Bloomberg

The Price of Oil, China, and Stock market Herding Olivier Blanchard

Iraqi city of Ramadi, once home to 500,000, lies in ruins Washington Post

3 American contractors missing in Iraq CNN

Argentine president receives Nisman daughters on anniversary of his death Jewish Telegraphic Agency


False emissions reporting undermines China’s pollution fight Reuters (h/t resilc)

Before Debris Collapse in China, Safety Fears Were Discussed NY Times (h/t resilc)

Is Bitcoin Breaking Up? Wall Street Journal

Bowie gets first US number one album BBC. Incredible that it’s the first.

Antidote du jour (unsure if this spider is from Mars)


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. Sam Adams

    I was outside the Gilliard Auditorum in Charleston for the debate rallies. What was amazing was the difference in enthusiasm, age and unpaid dedication between the Sanders and Clinton supporters. Many who traveled far on thier own dime without tickets to the main event. Sanders camp was younger with many voting for the first time and others engaging in the process for the first time. Most, but not all of the Sanders people said the same to me: they will sit out the election if Hillary were selected. Clinton will have a major problem garnering support if she wins the nomination.

    1. Stephen Rhodes

      Sanders plan to pay for Medicare for all:

      . . .New top income tax rates: 37 percent for income from $250,000 to $500,000; 43 percent for $500,000 to $2 million; 48 percent for $2 million to $10 million; 52 percent for income above $10 million. . .

      Taxing investment income the same as wage income
      ; this effectively raises the top income tax rate on investment income from 23.8 percent to 54.4 percent.

      [Dylan Matthews on Vox]

      This should keep a few younger than their years—even if the relation of 52.2 to 54.4 % is a bit fuzzy!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To make up for the lost years, tax investment income @ 75%, instead of the proposed new rate of 54.5%, and the old rate of $23.8%.

        And really, $250,000 to $500,000 is middle and upper middle income, depending on your zipcode and local consumer price index,

        Why not
        1. Above $10 million, 80% (not just 52%)
        2. $2-$10 million, 70% (not 48%)
        3. $1 – $2 million, 60% (not 43%)

        And let see if we can leave those below $1 million the same as now.

        If not, make it 90% for those $10 million and up (let them keep 10% of 10 million and up, or still $1 million plus, that’s annually, to pay for private jets and a couple of mansions).

        That would a serious proposal.

        (At Marketwatch today – just 62 people own as much as poor half of the world.)

        To any serious candidates, renounce your billionaire friends and imperial adventures.

        “A little progressiveness is a dangerous thing. Drink deep or taste no the socialist dream.”

        1. craazyboy

          “And let see if we can leave those below $1 million the same as now.”

          You realize that’s 1 million USD a year? Where is it you work?

          But the top rates sound good. The way I’d sell it is if we could ever stop our endless war, we could call this the post-war period – and just adopt WW2 post war rates.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s the carrot part.

            Give the young and restless something to do, like perfecting the self-driven, self-motivated, self-driving car.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The tax increases SHOULD start at the very top.

            Those making $250,00 to $1 million should not be excluded, but only after we work out the rates from the very top.

        2. Isolato

          I would have appreciated a little table pounding Socialism. For-profit healthcare, for-profit education, for profit corrections and for-profit wars are fundamentally immoral.

        3. afisher

          From ACS survey: based on the American Community Survey 2013 5-year estimates (ACS0913), ten ZIP Code Areas had a median household income of $250,000 or more during 2009-13.

          May is included at the link to the above information:

          Facts are routinely better than off the cuff “statements”. 10 communities with >$250K implies that is the minor part of the income level in the US.

            1. cwaltz

              As far as I’m concerned that concentration of income is pretty darn unhealthy. Let the rich mingle with the rabble and start actually understanding some of the problems the rest of us are facing instead of being insulated from the problems facing this country.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                One thing those making over $250K a year should keep in mind is that one setback and it’s all just a dream. That life is a Buddhist delusion.

                Life is more solid at $10 million a year.

      2. Isolato

        I would have appreciated a little table pounding Socialism, that is, the denunciation of for-profit healthcare, for-profit corrections, for-profit wars, for-profit education as fundamentally immoral.

      3. cwaltz

        I’m happy to hear that the people who earn money off other people’s labor will pay the same rate as those actually providing the labor. Perhaps it might even promote a more sane stock market.

        1. jrs

          I think something might need to be done about how real estate appreciation is taxed though. That is to say: INCREASE TAXES ON IT. Because otherwise I think it might be disproportionately under taxed ESPECIALLY if stock capital gains etc. taxes were increased. And no one really wants more speculating in real estate at this point. A house is to live in period, investing in real estate should be discouraged, it only leads to unaffordable housing.

          1. Jess

            “how real estate appreciation is taxed though. That is to say: INCREASE TAXES ON IT.”

            Are you out of your effing mind? This is why people get taxed out of their homes. It’s also why we passed Prop 13 here in CA. You buy a house when you’re in your 30’s at Price X. By the time you retire in your 60’s the house is worth 10X, but your income not only hasn’t kept pace, it’s declined significantly both in relative terms and in buying power. Think I’m exaggerating? My house cost $82.5 in 1978. It’s now worth north of $900K. There are newer, nicer homes on my block that go for $1.1 – $1.3 mil.

            1. Milton

              So why is that fair? I live seven miles, and a world away, from La Jolla and pay higher property taxes than 47% of the homeowners there, though the area property values are over 4 times my area. Plus, there are ways, via trusts, that the decendents of these priveledged few can also take advantage of prop 13. Here’s a map showing all the parcels in La Jolla that have valuations under 300k. Average value is well over a million.

          2. cwaltz

            I thought most localities have been taxing and dealing with real estate appreciation. I know our taxes went up on our home and we haven’t even been here a year yet.

            I think some of the problems also may be the government who essentially has guaranteed loans even when those loans are well above the median. I don’t mind if someone wants a $500,000 home but the government should only guarantee up to the median cost. I also think putting a limit on the mortgage interest deduction might make a difference. The reality is many people buy their homes with the idea they can deduct that interest. A lot of the housing market is reliant on taxpayers trusting the banking industry, a for profit, to make loans responsibly even if it means they might miss out on scoring a profit.

            The older I get the more I like the idea of a flat tax with just a standard deduction for each individual in a household(and that flat tax would apply to ALL income, unlike the one Trump is proposing which gives investors allowance for TWICE what a laborer gets.) The GOP, for people who seem to insist the government shouldn’t be a nanny state, have managed to pass loopholes for HSAs, loopholes for IRAs and 401ks, loopholes for mortgage interest, loopholes for college savings, loopholes for charitable giving, an exemption for gift giving that actually exceeds what a minimum wage earner earns annually……..when all is said and done it is no wonder that Romney was paying the same tax bracket wise as someone earning the median income even though his actual earnings far exceeded theirs.

            1. Stephen Rhodes

              If journalism were heathy in this country, it would be a starting point that Paul Ryan has been the party ideologist; and the program’s goal for years has been zero taxation of income from wealth, ditto on inheritance.

              All while insisting on self-reliance and the blessedness of (non-practicing) Christians [recall Ryan was censured by (select) Catholic bishops and (select) faculty for pushing a budget that “punished the needy”]. (~2010)

    2. Dave

      “Sanders people said they will sit out the election if Hillary were selected.”

      In the progressive circles among which I travel, 9 out of 10 Democrats agree.

      Sanders v Trump = President Sanders

      Clinton v Trump = President Trump

      1. Oregoncharles

        All Trump has to do to prevent that is be himself – or at least his present persona (he’s still “in character” from the Apprentice.)

        If people are still Democrats, it’s because they’re easily frightened.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      So sorry to hear that, Yves.

      All the dear souls we meet in our lives. We are grateful for our journeys together here. May you be happy in Cat Heaven.

      1. sid_finster

        One of my secretary’s cats had to be put down today. I am sad, even though I never met this cat.

  2. Steve H.

    – False emissions reporting undermines China’s pollution fight

    “Data falsification is a long-standing problem”

    Thank you Reuters.

    Coupla points.

    While the use of “shame” may be more than a laugh line in China, it’s just a ‘mercy me’ in this case. When China wants to incentivize behavior, it incentivizes. (See Chinese baby formula, melamine.)

    China will burn its coal. Now or later. Using therms to scrub the sulfur lowers efficiency. It looks like they are setting the table for ‘local emissions, local effects’ policy.

    False emissions reporting… Just take the word ‘China’ out of the title. S.O.P. in the U.S.A. is to wait until the downstream effects are in place before public reporting. Porter Ranch is the case du jour.

    Finally, the technical solution is trivial. Continuous monitoring at the point source, broadscale to understand local effects downstream. The EPA pretty much brags about the 130 stations in RadNet for radiation monitoring. Why not ten times that many around every site? This is the 21st century, where’s my app?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What do we say to those who think 130 monitoring stations are not enough, not even if we double it to 260 stations, that is it’s better all together to not have anything there in the first place (or no more in the future)?

      1. Steve H.

        If I understand you right, I’d say they are subscribing to the Yellow River selection process, whereby millions are subject to toxic insult, and those subsequent generations that continue to be able to work are considered an immunological meritocracy.

  3. allan

    One comment about the debate: when asked about how to prevent lone wolf attacks
    (as if that’s possible outside of a season of 24),
    Clinton’s response assumed that it was a question about Islamic terrorism,
    and she didn’t receive any pushback.
    But of course this was in the same city where, if you can believe the FBI,
    Dylan Roof committed a white supremacist lone wolf attack.

    1. nippersdad

      I don’t think any of the candidates actually answered that question. At the opening of the debates they could not say enough about the Charleston church shooting, but, strangely, it just never came up when the opportunity occurred to discuss the phenomenon in depth. .

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ezra Klein, Jonathan Chait, Chris Matthews, and so forth watch debates.

      They are platforms for discussion beyond appeals to the lowest common denominator. Take Bernie’s Middle East position of letting the Muslims fight it out. Obviously, any discussion needs to start with the Carter doctrine which more or less claimed the Middle East as an American colony, but how do you explain that the folksy guy who builds homes for the homeless is just a monster in a few minutes or less?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe to Bernie Sanders, the Middle East is just the Muslims fighting it out.

        Without Americans, there are still other Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, etc.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Without the promise of NATO knocking over Assad and establishing a puppet government, there is no civil war. Saudi Arabia is nothing more than a glorified mafia-plantation which acts with the promise of American protection. Without diplomatic immunity and the illusions of legitimacy offered by the West, how soon before there is a revolt? 15,000 men can’t control 20 million forever.

          Even in Libya, the Benghazi elite saw an opportunity to use peaceful protests to grab power and carve up the oil Gaddafi redistributed to poor people. Without NATO, those same elites wouldn’t have given up their status.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “Just let those people fight it out,” sounds, well, very bad.

            It’s as if their lives are banal or something, and those who survive, if they can make, well, we will take you in as refugees.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              It does, but what is the view from the perspective of the average voter? The families of dead servicemen? They dont want to believe their flamily member died or didnt come back for a lie and corporate greed. The brain dead Obama cultists? They aren’t going to recognize Obama wanted a pelt for his reelection and “legacy.”

              After all, R2P sounds wonderful even though it’s just an updated white man’s burden argument for the 21st century. It doesn’t sound callous.

            2. MDBill

              Agreed, “let them fight it out” is unfortunate. Something more diplomatic, perhaps along the lines of, “I would encourage them to find a means to resolve their differences…”, would have been preferable. But in no case should their be a commitment to involve U.S. forces in the internecine struggle.

              1. 3.14e-9

                How about:

                “While the U.S. and other western nations have the strength of our militaries and political systems, the fight against ISIS is a struggle for the soul of Islam, and countering violent extremism and destroying ISIS must be done primarily by Muslim nations – with the strong support of their global partners.”
                Speech at Georgetown U., Nov. 19, 2015

                “Ultimately, this is a profound struggle for the soul of Islam, and the anti-ISIS Muslim nations must lead that fight. While the United States and other western nations should be supportive, the Muslim nations must lead.”
                Sanders press statement, March 6, 2015

                “The war against ISIS, a dangerous and brutal organization, cannot be won by the United States alone. It must be won primarily by nations in the region – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iran – which must be prepared to send ground troops into action to defeat Islamic extremists.”
                Sanders press statement, Oct. 12, 2014

        2. 3.14e-9

          MLTPB, Sanders has been talking about this since September 2014, when he voted against Obama’s request to arm and train Syrian rebels. Right about that time, he began advocating for an international coalition, including the United States, that would support, but not lead, Muslim nations in fighting the Islamic State. He would include Iran and Russia in that group. He has ripped into the Saudis for expecting the United States to send troops to defend the billionaire royal family (paraphrase), but also has named other countries in the region for not doing enough, whether militarily or by ending their covert funding of the jihadis and allowing them to pass freely across their borders.

            1. 3.14e-9

              If it’s a coalition, presumably they’d all have some kind of say, maybe rotate leadership. But taking his statement at face value, that decision would be up to them, not us.

  4. Pavel

    Re: debate. Jeez, the NYT is really embarrassing itself with its political coverage. Here’s the headline:

    Who Won the Democratic Debate? Viewers Lean Toward Bernie Sanders


    The final Democratic presidential debate before the first states begin voting was marked by heated exchanges between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders on Wall Street regulation, guns and who would best preserve the legacy of President Obama. Many commentators from across the web thought that a more aggressive Mr. Sanders gave himself a boost by taking Mrs. Clinton on more forcefully. She scored points on his shifting positions on guns and taxes, but was not seen as dealing any decisive blows. Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, was most notable for his unsuccessful efforts to get a word in.

    They then go on to quote a bunch of Washington pundits and insiders including those oh-so-typical “viewers” Frank Luntz, David Axelrod, and Chuck Todd.

    The closest they get to real “viewers” is quoting a focus group pollster.

    Methinks the headline needs a bit of tweaking.

    1. cm

      Has the NY Times “suspended” reader comments on all articles about Sander v. Clinton? I’m not familiar with their website, but looking at three articles on the debate, none had reader comments. Is my ad-blocking preventing me from seeing the comments?

      1. Uahsenaa

        It’s mostly arbitrary which pages are and are not open to comments, though I wouldn’t be surprised with how overwhelmingly pro-Sanders their recent reportage comments have been, if they were to stick their fingers in their ears and pretend it’s just not happening.

        The article itself is a little odd as well: who cares what a conservative firebrand like Michelle Malkin thinks about the Democratic debate? It’s not exactly her core demographic…

        1. cwaltz

          In some ways the conservative commentary is how you can tell Sanders is making some headway. They wouldn’t spend their time calling him a commie pinko and telling everyone socialism never works if they weren’t concerned that he just might get the Democratic nomination in the articles about him.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            They also need to be concerned the Tea bagger element is poised to capitalize on a weakened Hillary, and she is weak. Hillary could easily lead to weaker minorities and would enter office as a very unpopular President. Could you imagine an inauguration with only protesters after a fear based campaign? The GOP won’t even able to hold down the Teabaggers demands forever. Two, Republican congressmen are abruptly retiring here in Virginia with no rumors of scandal, but they tended to be the more “moderate” type Republicans. Outright loons will replace them, and if the loons suspect they have power, they will go after every Democrat and Democratic friendly pundit they can find.

  5. Uahsenaa

    For as much time as these reporters spend in Iowa, you would think they’d spend at least some time learning about our political process and what ramifications this has for how polls will ultimately translate into delegates.

    The biggest point I never see anyone mention is that in the Democratic caucus structure, you have to have at least 15% support to be considered viable and be assigned any delegates at all. This means O’Malley’s 4% effectively doesn’t exist. Where will those votes go? Whose campaign will be able to more effectively badger them into joining theirs?

    Also, re: the Mashable article – so, you name a particular poll the “gold standard” all the while sweeping under the rug the fact that its polling results in 2008 weren’t even close to the actual result. Moreover, any poll with a 2 pt spread and 14 pt undecided is… meaningless. How could a poll that got things so wrong in 2008 still be considered excellent? Does reality not matter at all?

    1. Jef

      “Does reality not matter at all?”

      After G W Bush (aka shrub) how can anyone believe that the whole “President of the USA” charade matters one iota? I mean the guy was a complete loony clown who did absolutely zero, got reelected and we still think that who they prop up there matters? This is not a rant against bush, right or left or anything like it. We are given the pageant to make us feel better and we buy into it every time. I understand that it makes good sport and commentary but come on!!! this it kinda important isn’t it?

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.

      1. lindaj

        Bread and circuses, that’s what we like.

        Every 4 years, people make the same stale lesser evil arguments about a meaningless kabuki on which billions will be spent to allow us to feel we have some “say.”

        So Sanders wants to sell more arms to the Saudis and let them bomb the hell out of their neighbors (which by the way we are already helping them do in Yemen). What is socialist about that?

        If the U.S. would quit invading everywhere, we could save money and stop giving ISIS a raison d’etre. The peace dividend would pay for life support for us poorer sorts, including a sane single payer, money- and life-saving healthcare system.

        Look folks, the PTB are all over there in Davos plotting against us. LET’S RISE UP AND TAKE OVER THE PLACE! There are billions of us and only a few of them.

  6. Mark S.

    Thanks for the NY Times article on Trump:

    “It’s the same talent on display when he gives political speeches. He reads an entire crowd with the same precision that he reads an individual.”

    “He has the ability to imagine what the other party wants him to be and then be that person … He presents the Trump that will work in the moment.”

    Mr. Trump is a con artist.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I once watched a travel documentary about India and Ballywood. There, everyone was an actor, but ‘only the bad ones become movie stars.” And politicians, they might have added.

  7. financial matters

    Interesting review.

    “But Sanders did well too. His words and his very manner communicate a fundamental decency and impatience with bullshit which is deeply appealing. If you believe the country needs deep and even radical reform, particularly on economic policy, he is your guy. One of the things that makes him such a good messenger for this message is that while his message is radical and he speaks about “revolutionary” change there’s little in the man that seems impulsive, hasty or trigger happy. There’s a certain temperamental caution which balances that deep-seated belief that only thorough-going change can address the nation problems.”

    1. Daryl

      Makes sense. The man has been in congress for over two decades. You’d have to have a ridiculous amount of patience and determination to not get burned out on doing that. (well, or a lust for power/money). Just reading about it is draining.

  8. DJG

    Cruz, “nasty”? I hate it when Donald Trump is being the diplomat. Cruz is one of the sleaziest operators out there and a symptom of how degraded the U.S. elites have become. (Just a reminder that the anti-science candidate, Cruz, is Princeton / Harvard Law. Only a very rich country, which we may not longer be, can afford to waste time on such offal.)

      1. edmondo

        I have a feeling that Mephistopheles would have a hard time getting much value from any of our “leaders” today. Besides, I believe that most have already sold out to Wall Street long ago.

  9. nippersdad

    Re the debate last night: Was I the only person who felt like they were talking about activities in an alternate universe when they were talking about Ukraine/Russia? Both the premise of the question and the answers given by all of the candidates seemed to have no basis in any reality that I have ever heard of. The fact checkers didn’t seem to catch it, either.

    I guess it just must be me.

    1. nippersdad

      Also, too, wasn’t it a little unethical to have Mrs. Allan Greenspan asking questions about Wall Street and financial policy? While she is not guilty of the sins of her Husband, it did give the distinct impression of a cozy little club framing its’ issues and defending its’ own.

      1. Optimader

        Haha.. I didnt watch, but thats poetic! I consider that to be a corporate media FU to every qualified voter and their audience in general if considering all the potential talking heads that could have read the questions in the script.

        It’s good that people do suffer through these televised debates in order to have some first person rotten tomato throwers.

        1. rich

          Re: While she is not guilty of the sins of her Husband, the $ins are in the foundation which fills all of their cups. ……………..

          Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich continues to pay big

          Rich died in 2013. But his business partners, lawyers, advisers and friends have showered millions of dollars on the Clintons in the decade and a half following the scandal.

          Nigerian businessman Gilbert Chagoury is well known as a close ally and business associate of Rich. The Nigerian media declared in 1999 that the “Gilbert Chagoury-Marc Rich alliance remains a formidable foe.” They sold oil on international markets together. In 2000, Chagoury was convicted in Geneva of money laundering and aiding a criminal organization in connection with the billions of dollars stolen from Nigeria during the reign of dictator Gen. Sani Abacha.

          As part of a plea deal, the conviction was later expunged.

          Chagoury has been very generous to the Clintons in the years following the Rich pardon. He has organized an event at which Bill was paid $100,000 to speak (in 2003), donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and in 2009 pledged a cool $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative. The Chagourys were also active in Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid. Michel Chaghouri, a relative in Los Angeles, was a bundler and served on her campaign staff. Numerous other relatives gave the maximum $4,600 each to her campaign.

          In return, Bill has lavished praised on Chagoury over the years. In 2005, Bill was the keynote speaker when Chagoury received the “Pride of Heritage Award” from the Lebanese community.

          In 2009, CGI gave Chagoury’s company an award for sustainable development. In 2013, Bill showed up in Nigeria for a public ceremony involving one of Chagoury’s projects. When Bill Clinton had his 60th birthday party, Chagoury was an invited guest. Chagoury also attended the wedding of Bill’s longtime aide, Doug Band.

          Then there’s Russian investor Sergei Kurzin. He worked for Marc Rich in the 1990s, traveling around Russia looking for suitable investment opportunities in the crumbled former Soviet Union.

          An engineer by training, Kurzin has been involved in lucrative deals in Kazakhstan and other countries, including the lucrative Uranium One deal that involved Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra.

          Russia bought 20 percent of all uranium production capacity in the US, a deal that needed to be signed off on by the State Department when it was headed by Hillary Clinton. While the deal was going through, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow, paid for by a Russian investment bank promoting the uranium deal.

          Kurzin, meanwhile, donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

          The London-based Reuben Brothers have made a fortune thanks in part to their commodities firm Trans World Metals. According to the World Bank, they founded that firm with money from Marc Rich.

      2. Bill Frank

        Mrs. Greenspan is a long time propagandist (journalist, as she would call herself) for the elites. The false narratives about Russia and Iran have been repeated so frequently they now go unchallenged, accepted as true, end of story. Even Sanders buys in to the lies. Strange that he sees the truth about the economic system (rigged), but can’t (or won’t) see the blatant lies driving our corrupt/immoral foreign policy adventures. That strikes me as most peculiar. All in all, the debate was another wonderfully scripted show for mass consumption. Well done, propaganda central!

        1. sleepy

          Hopefully, Sanders’ ignorance of foreign policy stems from indifference, rather than advocacy for those lies. At best, that could mean an end to regime change meddling and wars without end.

          Imho, the best hope for any semblance of stability in the Mideast would be a pullback by the US.

        2. nippersdad

          I truly think that Sanders has been on autopilot wrt foreign policy whilst in the Senate; he really could not believe much of what he is saying were it otherwise. During the Black and Brown Forum last week, the same was true of Honduras; allowing Clinton to develop her own narrative. I thought that Jorge Ramos was better than that, but what can one really say?

          His first day on the job is going to be a shock.

          1. 3.14e-9

            He originally got into politics to fight wealth inequality and big money in politics, so when it came to committee assignments, he chose those that best fit his goals. The closest he has come to fp has been through the Budget Committee and Veterans Affairs Committee. He often uses his experience on the latter in his arguments against sending U.S. troops to fight in foreign wars.

            That said, he is not totally without fp experience, and he outlined in broad strokes his fp in his Georgetown speech in November. But he is on a steep learning curve, at a time when most of his resources are devoted to winning in the early primary states.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Hillary also got in a great lie about the ACA public option, saying it was the mean ol Rethugs that took it away from poor heroic Obimini who fought tooth and nail to keep it in.

      Ha! The tooth of the matter was that Obama gave the P.O. away to the insurance companies during secret negotiations long before it ever came up in the legislative branch. Hillary knows this as does Sanders. One of Sanders only real weak points during the debate was to take Hillary’s Obama the hero baiting and talk about how he (Sanders) helped get that stinking pile of manure passed because it is 180 degrees opposite to what Sander’s is talking about now and it becomes a legitimate question to ask him why would he have helped with something that would make the task of getting Universal Health Care passed now so monumentally more difficult.

  10. David s

    Obama has a 90% approval number w Democrats in SC?

    Proof that voters don’t have the time, or ability, or both, to pay any attention.

    1. nippersdad

      Pragmatism and tribalism: A mixture of as goes SC so goes the nation and thou shalt not criticize the first black President in a Republican bastion. We saw the same dynamic during the Clinton Administration even as he was deregulating his way through the New Deal.

      1. sid_finster

        Cha ching! In South Carolina and such, “Democrat” is another way of saying “black”.

        For better or worse, Obama is something of a sacred cow for many (yes, not all) black voters.

  11. petal

    Just came across this article about the Sanders speech at Dartmouth. The number of attendees is said to be 2000:
    “Sanders’ appearance, hosted by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Tuck School of Business, attracted nearly 2,000 people, with Spaulding and an overflow area in Moore Theater filled to capacity and hundreds more mingling in a festival atmosphere outside.”

  12. allan

    3/4 of bank-owned foreclosed properties in Westchester County (NY) have at least one code violation,
    according to a NYS Senate report:

    Bank-owned, foreclosed properties in Westchester County have racked up 178 violations and caused surrounding properties to lose an estimated $9.2 million in value, according to a new report.

    The new report from the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference and Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas examined 82 bank-owned properties in the county, finding 64 of those having at least one violation or complaint filed against them by their municipality.

    Careful, you might hurt their feelings.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Even more unbelievable was “testimony” of the Mortgage Banker lobbyist in Olympia who said that he is working with cities in Wasington to set up a database so that the cities may be able to find the ownership of the blighted foreclosed homes.

      Because we were merely plebians, and not paid lobbyist monkeys, we were refused the opportunity to comment.

      However, I addressed the chairman of the committee in the hallway and said “An alternative database? The bankers have told this committee over and over that it would cost way too much money to record every transfer of the note. Yet, apparently an alternative fatabase that would be privy to only government, and not the public, is easy for them to afford?”

      I believe he saw the irony, however he is paid well to disregard.

  13. Jason

    From the WP’s report on Ramadi:

    While the U.S.-led coalition acknowledges the importance of reconstruction efforts, the actual money pledged to help rebuild is just a fraction of the amount spent on the military effort against IS.

    Later on, the article points out that the US is spending $280 million per month fighting ISIS, but only $15 million to stabilization efforts. (And that appears to be the total amount, not a monthly figure.) And the Iraqi government is too broke to rebuild (if the Shia government would spend hundreds of millions on a Sunni-dominated city in any case).

    I cannot recall where I saw it first pointed out, but failure to rebuild is far, far worse in the long term that the initial destruction.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Economically, it’s stimulating to tear down a building and put up a new one.

      But sometimes, we have to ask, why don’t we just leave the old one alone?

      From Wiki, Free education:

      There are examples of steps towards free education being taken across the world primarily in those nations developing rapidly, such as China.[9] The renowned centers of learning in Libya and Cuba may be attended free of charge.

      Maybe we can go in, destroy it and then rebuild.

      And now, after leveling the playing field, or more likely just leveling everything, we will leave them ‘to fight it out?’

      “If you submit, your life is not valuable. You’re not special. You’re not exceptional. You and people like you can just fight it out.”

      1. Oregoncharles

        The trouble is, once a war starts, non-intervention is exactly tantamount to “let them fight it out.”

        There are things the world can do about that, like embargoing munitions and , most importantly, not creating the conditions for a civil war in the first place. But in the greater Middle East, it’s more than a little late for that – like clear back to about 1919. And munitions embargoes are usually very porous.

        This is a grim reality I don’t really see a good solution to. We could stop making it worse, but we can’t fix it. And that goes for Ukraine as well. It’s a lesson in humility.

        (I think the underlying problem is that the ME is a demographic disaster area, physically worn out by 5,000 years of civilization and saddled with too many people and too much history. For instance, that’s why it’s such a bad place to be female. Being the crossroads of the Old World and having had so long to build up animosities, it has major cultural problems on top of the demographic ones. No wonder so many people are fleeing it, but they bring their problems with them.)

  14. craazyboy

    “WaPo Does Another OMG! Editorial on Social Security and Medicare – Dean Baker”

    OMG! Again?

    I first heard the disturbing news that baby boomers will get older back in 1982. After my initial disbelief, I found that a Social Security Commission was formed and headed up by a Mr. Greenspan. I know they did take this anomaly seriously, because in 1983 I got a big hike in paycheck withholding which was intended to build up the Trust Fund and “pre-save” for this supposedly inevitable demographic shift.

    Then, for Medicare, we got the Elder Bush “No new taxes” pledge transformed into a big paycheck deduction for Medicare.

    ‘Course doctoring got kinda expensive, so that could be some of the problem there. Then in the latest budget legislation, they decided to prop up the SS disability by raiding SS old age and retirement funds. But plenty of time to kick the can there, until we finally decide to take “responsible” action and starve the damn baby boomers…

    1. Optimader

      With you thematically but i would quibble that the real doctoring part probabably is not the significant escelation of cost

      1. craazyboy

        Dang newfangled technology! What we need are some MBAs to manage this crap. Put the biz under a proctoscope, as it were. There is more shit going on than you can shake a stick at!

          1. craazyboy

            Friggin patients are expensive too! Eliminate them as well, then you can focus on billing efficiency and make some progress with this mess we got!

            1. optimader

              Right !.. The on-time billing reconciliation rate will go up by eliminating all those bloody malingerers. This would then enable the broader streamlining initiative of eliminating the healthcare providers from the system as well. They are actually the ones that request all those expensive procedures, right?

                1. perpetualWAR

                  Re-hypothecation of promissory notes brought in massive amounts of moolah, why not the re-hypothecation of patients too?

            2. JTMcPhee

              Already getting the code set up to complete the direct emptying of our bank accounts and redirection of our pay right into you-know-where…

              666 — it’s everywhere I look… or is it 999, and I’m just not looking at it right side up?

              1. optimader

                or is it 999, and I’m just not looking at it right side up
                You have a future in Sales, you’re a natural…

    2. Jim Haygood

      Dean Baker gazes back to the Sixties in his rearview mirror, and pronounces himself unconcerned with the collapse in the worker-retiree ratio.

      ‘Yet we have much higher standards of living today than we did in 1960, even though we have just 2.8 workers to support each Social Security beneficiary.’

      This is not the way to assess the soundness of a pension plan. The most elementary test of a pension is its funded ratio. States such as Illinois (where the state teachers plan is 44% funded and the state employees plan 37% funded) and New Jersey (where the teachers plan is 51% funded) have seen their credit ratings trashed.

      By comparison, Social Security is about 20% funded, and headed to zero (0%) by 2034 according to its own trustees. Figures such as Dean Baker, with head buried in the sand and pale bare buns protruding in the air, provide comic relief along the highway for serious players who will actually craft a response to Social Security’s slow-motion train wreck.

      1. cwaltz

        How often has the date been modified on when the trust fund will be emptied?


        Although I will say this Congress is doing everything it can to “craft a response” by emptying it faster(from declaring payroll holidays to funding disability out of its funds.) All in all I’d say the VSP are idiots and side with Baker, who seems to understand that little tweaks such as a removal of the cap and increases in minimum wage levels are going to impact the fund.

        1. craazyboy

          SS is a transfer tax plus Trust Fund, so saying it’s only 20% funded ignores the transfer tax part. Then Jim also assumes Baby Boomers will live forever – so things aren’t really as bad as he makes them out.

          Besides, I think Healthcare plus Pharma will bankrupt the country (private and public sectors) approximately on 4/1/2021. So It’s silly to worry about 2035 or “75 year actuarial accounting” of SS. Unless we’re planning on fixing both problems, of course.

          1. cwaltz

            The whole entire argument is kinda goofy anyway. I don’t see everyone in Congress wringing their hands when they start “unfunded” wars. Congress has the ability to pay for what it wants to pay for. Plenty of money for defense contractors always, none for the elderly ever.

            Personally, I hope someone sits down and looks at what the average citizen pays in health care already in terms of a percent of income when Bernie’s plan is examined. While the premium portion right now isn’t supposed to exceed 9%, the deductible portion of the equation probably pushes many to paying over double that on health care(and that doesn’t include the employer portion of health care paid to either the government or health insurance companies on behalf of employees.)

            1. craazyboy

              That’s ’cause wars are important…..

              IIRC, healthcare is 19% of GDP, which is ridiculous. It’s not like the US is a leper colony. At least yet.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              When the bankers need muscle to defend themselves against the elderly, the government will pay even more to defense contractors.

              But, alas, one rarely find rugged individuals in their 80s and 90s, much less having to require the Pentagon to defend against them.

              “Just take their money. Deny them money. The elderly, they can’t do anything about it. Heck, they don’t do much for themselves anyway, not without a nurse, they don’t.”

          2. Jim Haygood

            ‘saying it’s only 20% funded ignores the transfer tax part’

            “Twenty percent funded” takes into account the positive present value of 75 years of future transfer taxes and interest earned on them, minus the present value of 75 years of promised benefits. The result is about minus $10 trillion, with all revenues and expenses taken into account.

            If a fully-funded plan achieves its expected returns, it’s insensitive to the retiree/worker ratio. Workers can go to zero, and retirees still get paid. Were the Social Security Trust Fund 100% funded, it would be such a plan.

            By contrast, a pure “pay as you go” plan with zero reserves is wholly dependent (in Ponzi scheme fashion) on recruiting new participants to pay the old ones. Baker’s revealing focus on the retiree/worker ratio is a tacit admission that it’s come to this.

            Why has Social Security gone from a funded plan to 20% funded today, on its way to zero by 2034? Because politicians and political trustees (who owe neither a fiduciary duty nor a contractual duty to beneficiaries) looted the system. Replacing their $10 trillion defalcation would require stratospheric tax rates.

            They are cornered rats, huddled just out of reach behind the baseboard, munching the last bits of cheese they stole from the kitchen and planning their next raid.

                1. Ulysses

                  To put this in context, these numbers were just as “alarming” in the 1950s and 1970s, yet, then as now, they weren’t really any kind of threat. Why?


                  1. craazyboy

                    Average life expectancy is 80. The “median” boomer is 60.

                    20 years from now is 2036. With an actuarial swipe of my sharpened pencil, I wipe out an entire generation and solve all our problems.

            1. cwaltz

              Using your standards for “Ponzi scheme” every business that ever opens is a Ponzi scheme since it is reliant on recruiting new participants to pay for the goods or services already procured by the person who intends to provide them as their business model.

              By the way, they didn’t loot the system YET. They’re reliant on people like you selling the idea that they don’t have an obligation to use those treasuries for retirement funds and instead continuing to roll them over(by raising the retirement age) and use them as a slush fund for everything but.

              1. JTMcPhee

                I’m guessing Mr. Haygood is a successful investor or has beamed into other ways to accumulate a lot of wealth, and comfortable that he has assets to cover his senescence and decline. Hence…

                1. low_integer

                  There is no need to guess. In just the last week JH has felt the need to let the NC readership know about his cash purchase of a property (during a discussion about property title insurance) and his successful trading of oil futures, which according to him was actually a service to to humanity.

                  1. JTMcPhee

                    Ah, yes, but he is a coherent writer, and a little line from WH Auden’s “In Memory of WB Yeats” percolates up from HS English class:

                    Time that is intolerant
                    Of the brave and the innocent,
                    And indifferent in a week
                    To a beautiful physique,

                    Worships language and forgives
                    Everyone by whom it lives;
                    Pardons cowardice, conceit,
                    Lays its honours at their feet.

                    Time that with this strange excuse
                    Pardoned Kipling and his views,
                    And will pardon Paul Claudel,
                    Pardons him for writing well.

                    In the nightmare of the dark
                    All the dogs of Europe bark,
                    And the living nations wait,
                    Each sequestered in its hate;

                    Intellectual disgrace
                    Stares from every human face,
                    And the seas of pity lie
                    Locked and frozen in each eye.

                    Follow, poet, follow right
                    To the bottom of the night,
                    With your unconstraining voice
                    Still persuade us to rejoice.

                    With the farming of a verse
                    Make a vineyard of the curse,
                    Sing of human unsuccess
                    In a rapture of distress.

                    It’s a good thing, then, that the ISDS coup will take us beyond “nations,” right? So we won’t be stewing in our hates under our new Moneyed Overlords? Isn’t that how marketradeinvestmentsuccess is supposed to work?

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Technically, we can’t bankrupt the nation, not if we owe it in US currency.

            And bankruptcy offers not much relief for the taxpayers. After the ‘I am doing much for you, my people’ Kaiser and his government officials had been long gone, the German taxpayers continued to pay off that government debt, to many foreigners.

            The Little People are required to offer blood at the front line, clean up after the mess and pay off the debt.

            Governments come and go, but the Little People are always good to pay off any excess borrowing (in the name of helping them).

      2. Oregoncharles

        You forget that SS is a tax-based transfer payment, not insurance – despite its pretensions. And the feds, unlike the states, can print money if it cares to – especially now, when demand is weak.

        The Trust Fund is actually an irrelevant scam, since who’s actually going to pay on it? The general fund. In fact, it’s a way to shift SS funding from a dedicated tax to the general fund, where it’s more vulnerable to politicians.

        Since I’m ON Social Security, I take all this a bit personally.

        1. craazyboy

          They borrow from the trust fund, plus interest, to spend it in the general fund. They owe it back. It’s important not to let them convince you otherwise. That would be like giving away 2.8 trillion dollars. Pretty dumb.

          1. cwaltz

            The con is to convince people that those funds were already stolen when really what is happening is that money is “invested” in the US government(which is supposed to be the safest investment you can make since we are sovereign in our debt.)

            You don’t hear the government telling the Fed or foreign entities that it intends to default on its fiduciary obligations. They figure the elderly are an easy mark especially since many people don’t understand how the fund works.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Say it loud, say it clear… And say it often, to anyone you can say it to. You know these Fokkers plan to scam away the whole several-trillion-dollar thing when they think they have sold enough of the bill of goods to the rest of us. I bet there’s an algorithm tracking it with an “execute” order attached. And of course the other message is to young people: Old people are hanging on to the jawbs that rightfully should be yours, draining your present income, and not dying fast enough to leave you with the inheritance that you expect to get. And they have the balls to put a bumper sticker on their vehicle that says, albeit very ambiguously, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance!” A lot of ways to read that, and I know of at least one young person planning what I think the Brits call an “expectancy” who put the bumper sticker on his parents‘ ’86 Toyota Corolla…

              1. craazyboy

                Meanwhile, they’ll be working on the new definition of “upward mobility”. It’s when the parents move into the basement and the kids move upstairs.

    1. allan

      This study shows that for those whose incomes were between roughly the 75th and 97th percentiles of the global income distribution, that is, almost the entire working and middle classes of the industrialized world,
      globalization was a negative. The wealthiest did very well, and the very wealthiest did very, very well.

      It’s truly obnoxious of Prof. K. to tell globalization’s losers that, if they complain, they must hate poor people in developing countries.

      [Sorry if this is a repeat post – an earlier one seems to have disappeared.]

      1. Strangely Enough

        The lofty moral tone of the opponents of globalization is possible only because they have chosen not to think their position through. While fat-cat capitalists might benefit from globalization, the biggest beneficiaries are, yes, Third World workers. 

        See, we just haven’t thought this through properly…

    2. flora

      Krugman tries to make a moral arguement that carefully omits the fact that wealth is relative. Not just between a 1st world worker and a 3rd world worker, but between 3rd world workers and 3rd world oligarchs. The richer the oligarchs get in relation to their workers, the relatively poorer those workers are in their own economy. So what has happened so far in the globalization story? The rich across the world have gotten very much richer relative to their countrys’ majority of workers. Krugman’s moral argument falls apart.

      “The richest 1 percent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined, according to Oxfam, which called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce such inequality…..
      “The wealth of the most affluent rose 44 percent since 2010 to $1.76 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom half fell 41 percent or just over $1 trillion….”

      1. jrs

        Hmm relative if the rich and poor are competing for the same things (bidding up shelter costs via real estate speculation for example) but they aren’t always really buying the same things. However power is one thing they very directly compete for, and the power inequalities that go with the wealth inequalities can themselves become a problem (and further increase impoverishment of the majority in the future, of course, as the wealthy have more and more power).

        1. flora

          ” the power inequalities that go with the wealth inequalities can themselves become a problem ”

          Indeed. Undermining democracy is one problem that comes to mind. The globalization treaties in progress are a case in point. Since Krugman has decided to make moral arguments in favor of globalization, how will he morally justify undermining democracy?

    3. jrs

      Well it leaves out a lot of course.
      1) when you are getting into many recent trade agreements including NAFTA but especially the TPP, Trans Atlantic Partnership, etc. they are not just trade agreements but corporate rule, as we all know. So the very trade agreements themselves can make making life better for the people in a country impossible (ie worker protections might interfere with profits, controls on pharmaceutical prices might interfere with profits etc.). The very trade agreements themselves compel giving up other beneficial public policies. So at the very least a discussion of actual trade agreements would include say possibly more jobs being produced in a 3rd world country versus that country having to give up a certain amount of ability to make public policy period.

      2) these countries “Should their own governments provide more social justice? Of course–but they won’t, or at least not because we tell them to.” have sometimes been made what they are by U.S. imperialistic policy. There may be a history of legitimate left (or anything the U.S. doesn’t like, as with Iran) governments being overthrown in U.S. sponsored coups etc.. So the U.S. may have influenced those very countries to be the way they are and that in many cases precludes the possibility of social justice by design. And now the businesses move in and exploit the labor ready for exploitation. By then “there was no alternative”. No this doesn’t say much about whether it’s good or bad for globalization to take place now that this is the lay of the land, but it explains how things got that way in some cases.

      There’s actually a lot of anti-globalization books (at any online book store :)) but I don’t know if globalization by itself (that is ignoring it’s reality in #1 of how corporate rule destroys democracy and any attempts to protect the environment and possibly worker protections, and ignoring how things got to be the way they are in #2) is helpful or not. You have to do a lot of ignoring to work with abstract theoretical constructs rather than concrete trade agreements etc..

    4. cnchal

      You may say that the wretched of the earth should not be forced to serve as hewers of wood, drawers of water, and sewers of sneakers for the affluent. But what is the alternative?

      The wretched of the earth should be eternally grateful that vicious corporations are at the ready to exploit them and their environment, for their own good of course.

      Lets look at the balance sheet of this corporate exploitation.

      Chinese sweatshop labor

      Paying the Chinese sweatshop labor a pittance

      Net worth
      $trillions. Apple itself has a fifth of a trillion that it beat out of it’s Chinese workers held as a form of hoarding in a non taxable account.

      Off balance sheet – China is a toxic waste dump, and that is never counted as an expense against the profit from exploitation.

    5. vidimi

      somewhere in there is the fact that workers in some countries get bullied or even killed if they try to organise and make their conditions better/fairer and the fact that having their resources stolen leaves them with little choice but to do slave labour, but i am having trouble articulating the argument.

        1. jrs

          Yea but from Krugman’s argument I think he would have to be against the results of 3rd world unionization to improve pay or working conditions in any way that would make it more expensive, as that would mean 3rd world workers weren’t as good a deal anymore.

          Now he might say that nontheless he supports the process of unionization in those countries as a human right to organize or whatever, and that’s nice, but I think he would logically have to be against the RESULTS if they were higher wages etc..

          Because this is what he writes:
          “The advantages of established First World industries are still formidable. The only reason developing countries have been able to compete with those industries is their ability to offer employers cheap labor. Deny them that ability, and you might well deny them the prospect of continuing industrial growth, even reverse the growth that has been achieved. And since export-oriented growth, for all its injustice, has been a huge boon for the workers in those nations, anything that curtails that growth is very much against their interests”

  15. PQS

    Do yourself a favor today and listen to the whole speech.

    “One of the great debates of history has been over the whole question of ends and means. All the way back from the days of Plato’s dialogues coming on up through Machiavelli and others, there have been those individuals who argued that the end justifies the means. But in a real sense, the nonviolent philosophy comes along and says that the end is pre-existent in the means. The means represent the ideal in the making and the end in process. And so that in the long run of history, immoral means cannot bring about moral ends.”

    Attention, neoliberal fiends: Read the last sentence over and over again until it makes sense to you. The violence of austerity, the prison industrial complex, military adventures, charter schools, deregulation, “free trade” and every other so-called “good idea” you’ve had for the past thirty years is ultimately immoral.

  16. katiebird

    Kevin Drum: A Second Look at BernieCare

    The Sanders plan is mostly a sketch of how he’d fund universal health care, and at that level I’d say it was pretty good if you evaluate it as a campaign document rather than a Brookings white paper. His numbers mostly added up, and from my point of view, his funding sources were roughly appropriate. Half or more of the funding comes from the middle class, with the rest coming from the rich. I’m OK with that.

    But my take is that Sanders was trying to accomplish something specific: he wanted to show that universal health care was affordable, and he wanted to stake out a position that Democrats should at least be dedicated to the idea of universal health care. I’d say he accomplished that in credible style. It’s fine to hold Sanders to a high standard, but it’s unfair to hold him to an Olympian standard that no presidential candidate in history has ever met. We health care wonks may be disappointed not to have more to chew on, but that’s life.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Olympian standard is perhaps this: We can create as much to spend as we want, or conceding for a moment, the government can create as much to spend as we allow it to (or it allows itself too, conceding further).

      Since our currency is accepted anywhere globally, and since we desire to rebuild some nations, perhaps single payer for these nations is possible as well.

      That, would be an Olympian standard.

  17. JTMcPhee

    Hey. I hear Trump is pimping a new TV Reality show for after he gets elected, on the model of “The Apprentice.” To be called “The Cabinet,” where the hopefuls will need to pass the gimlet scrutiny of The Donald to make it into the West Wing coterie. And there’s to be a spinoff: “The Joint Chiefs” would follow the next season. Bidding is open — offer your best deal, networks! America Wants To Know! The commercialization of the Oval Office continues — why wait for the payoff AFTER you leave office? That is just market-inefficient!

    1. Oregoncharles

      Wouldn’t that be an improvement, given recent Cabinets?

      “gimlet-eyed scrutiny” sounds pretty good.

  18. timbers

    Regarding Bernie’s new taxes to fund Medicare for all, is there any mention of the savings achieved from abolishing Obama’s CorporateCare, which would of course become unneeded?

    And what about the huge reduction in cost to employers who would no longer have to spend so much on employee insurance?

    Haven’t noticed mention of these aspects in the media yet, thought it is a huge plus regarding his plan.

    No Obamacare premiums or fines, and a huge government saving from terminating all those trillions going to rich gigantic insurance corporations.

    Can understand why Bernie would be mum on abolishing Obamacare. But that is the obvious policy implication of his Medicare for all.

    1. Oregoncharles

      He’s trying to avoid actually saying that his plan would abolish Obamacare, although it obviously would, along with Medicaid.

      More apparently positive framing might help.

      1. cwaltz

        Medicaid is inefficient anyway. The last thing our health care system needs to have is 50 different coding manuals for billing purposes for each health insurance provider on top of the lack of transparency when it comes to pricing. It makes far more sense, if the purpose is transparency and to give consumers control, to have one standard and make it industry wide.

        I suspect they went with Medicaid because eventually the intent was to shift costs onto the states in order to address the federal deficit(which is ignorant since states, with the exception of one, can’t run deficits.)

        1. timbers

          I think Bernie is proposing Medicare – not Medicaid – for all. So no 50 codes and state cost sharing, no privatized Obama Medicaid suckyness. Just healthcare for all.

      2. marym

        I don’t understand why he has his own version of Medicare-for-All, not HR 676 – that’s a separate discussion, and would be a distraction at this point. However, studies have been done pre-Obamacare and since of the different cost impacts of single payer healthcare. Maybe Sanders can’t commission a bunch of studies himself, but surely there are numbers that can be useful.

        Hope this isn’t too many links.

        PDF’s: (PDF)

        60 Percent of Health Spending is Already Publicly Financed, Enough to Cover Everyone
        “Americans already pay for national health insurance — they just don’t get it. In this 2002 Health Affairs paper, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler point out that the standard accounting miscategorizes two major public health expenditures as private: the tax credit for private health insurance and the cost of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program…. A single-payer system could provide such coverage to all Americans with no need for additional health dollars.”

  19. John Hinckley

    At this rate Sanders is going to need gold-plan assassination insurance. A traditional idiot like Agnew won’t do it for him. He needs a like-minded wildman. Grayson as Veep would do the trick.

    1. Jess

      Can’t help but notice the irony of someone named John Hinckley mentioning assassination insurance.

  20. ambrit

    Some of the side bar items can be; Intimate Secrets of the Lincoln Bedroom, (the alphabet spies must have weeks worth of, er, undercover video,) and Buchanans’ Closet, where we not only get to see how sausage is made on Capitol Hill, but how it is used. Another possibility is The Brothel Ceiling, a tribute of sorts to Presidential partners.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That, that wanton thing from Egypt, that drunken Oriental, profaning Rome – they decried the same thing about Caesar’s kept woman, Cleopatra cheapening the imperial litter.

      But Augustus’ daughter did not do any better.

  21. Oregoncharles

    “Medicare for All Bernie Sanders”
    Hmmm. I’m all for it, but I thought we weren’t posting campaign literature.

  22. barrisj

    Headline beneath “news” story on FoxNews:
    “Concerns About Iran Meddling in Middle East After Sanctions Lifted”

    Posted w/o comment.

    1. cwaltz

      I wonder if they are equally as outraged by the Saudis, Turkey, or any of the other ME players who have actively been “meddling” in the ME?

        1. cwaltz

          I do believe it is. And yes, you’re probably right. Now that the Saudis are busy worrying about how to deal with $30 a barrel oil, I’m more inclined to believe it’s the Israelis that are complaining about Iran and influencing our media to sell the narrative that Iran is doing something different than the rest of the ME players.

  23. edmondo

    the US is spending $280 million per month fighting ISIS,

    So that’s why we can’t afford Bernie-Care

Comments are closed.