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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, has been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center, sources close him said Tuesday.
He has had medical issues in recent years, including a mild stroke in 2010, and surgery in August of 2013 to remove what doctors described as a small brain lesion. read more


Monday, May 11, 2015

Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer asked Sanders if he really thought he could defeat Hillary Clinton for the Dem nomination. "The answer is yes," Sanders replied. "Because there is massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of corporate America, and the incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income which currently exists." "As a result of this disastrous Supreme Court Citizens United decisions, clearly, the billionaires -- Koch brothers and others -- are owning the political process," the Vermont senator explained. "They will determine the political process."Sanders pointed out that if Americans put him the White House, this could be the last election controlled by the billionaire class."If elected president, I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice," he remarked. "And that nominee will say that we are going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. read more


Friday, May 08, 2015

Not since 1988 has a presidential candidate for a major political party declared themselves opposed to the death penalty. In announcing his run for the presidency read more


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Potentially good news for those who want to zip around our solar system, and beyond, at speeds approaching that of light -- and maybe even faster. NASA, according to NASASpaceFlight.com, is quietly claiming to have successfully tested a revolutionary new means of space travel that could one day allow for such insane speed, and to have done it in a hard vacuum like that of outer space for the first time. The technology is based on the electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. the basic idea is to convert electrical energy into thrust without propellant (the fuel in rockets), which should be impossible because it violates the law of conservation of momentum. That law states that momentum can only be changed by one of the forces described by Newton's laws of motion -- that's where propellant normally comes in with traditional rockets. read more


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his 2016 presidential bid, his campaign said Friday. According to the campaign, the contributions came from 35,000 donors, and the average donation was $43.54. "This is a remarkable start for Bernie's campaign," senior Sanders adviser Tad Devine said. "People across America are yearning for authentic leadership that tells them the truth about what is holding back our nation. Bernie Sanders understands the problems we face." read more


Comments

President Hillary Clinton Would Be Far More Conservative Than You Think

"Hillary Clinton, however, not only voted for the Iraq War, but her foreign policy has been described as "neocon" by other neoconservatives. In a recent New York Times article titled "Events in Iraq Open Door for Interventionist Revival," even famed neoconservative and champion of preemptive war in Iraq describes Hillary Clinton in a favorable manner:

But Exhibit A for what Robert Kagan describes as his "mainstream" view of American force is his relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who remains the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes. Mr. Kagan pointed out that he had recently attended a dinner of foreign-policy experts at which Mrs. Clinton was the guest of honor, and that he had served on her bipartisan group of foreign-policy heavy hitters at the State Department, where his wife worked as her spokeswoman.

"I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama's more realist approach "could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table" if elected president. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he added, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

When Robert Kagan foreshadows the type of foreign policy a Democratic president will have and then says it would fit the label "necon," then liberals everywhere should be worried. It's important to note as well that Kagan has advised Clinton on foreign policy, so it's doubtful she'd stray too far away from his advice and the ideas of others who advocated counterinsurgency wars in distant lands. Also, if drone strikes in Pakistan and other countries have increased under Obama, it's safe to say that President Hillary Clinton will call for even more strikes from unmanned drones.

As for reigning in Wall Street to prevent a future collapse, that's not likely to happen under another Clinton presidency. the former first lady has strong ties to investment banks, making the likelihood of any CEOs serving jail time for potential illegal activity in 2008 a virtual impossibility. In a Politico article titled "Wall Street Republicans' dark secret: Hillary Clinton 2016," Clinton has a mutually beneficial relationship with America's largest corporations:

"If it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary we would love that and either outcome would be fine," one top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer said over lunch in midtown Manhattan last week. "We could live with either one. Jeb versus Joe Biden would also be fine. It's Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody's worst nightmare."

Most top GOP fundraisers and donors on Wall Street won't say this kind of thing on the record for fear of heavy blowback from party officials...

But the private consensus is similar to what Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said to POLITICO late last year when he praised both Christie -- before the bridge scandal -- and Clinton. "I very much was supportive of Hillary Clinton the last go-round," he said. "I held fundraisers for her."

...And if none of the sitting governors or a Wall Street-friendly candidate like Ryan can wrest the nomination from the likes of a Paul or a Cruz?

"In that situation," one Wall Street executive said, "then Hillary seems relatively tolerable."

It's doubtful that Elizabeth Warren would be "tolerable" to Wall Street CEOs or would ever be compared to Jeb Bush by people in the financial sector.
www.huffingtonpost.com

Elizabeth Warren-4-15-2015

"The Department of Justice doesn't take big financial institutions to trial ever -- even when financial institutions engage in blatantly criminal activity," Warren said. She accused DOJ of turning deferred prosecution agreements, designed for low-level offenders, into "get-out-of-jail-free cards for the biggest corporations in the world."

"The SEC is even worse," Warren said, noting that the agency has repeatedly granted significant regulatory perks to companies that it has charged with civil securities fraud. The senator also criticized the SEC for slow-walking CEO pay regulations required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law and for protecting the secrecy of corporate political contributions.

"Let's get real," the senator said in her speech. "Dodd-Frank did not end too-big-to-fail."

Warren reiterated her call to break up the biggest banks. She also said that tax perks that encourage banks to take on excessive debt should be eliminated and that Congress should impose a new financial transactions tax to curb risky high-frequency trading. All of these policies would curb the ability of big banks to take on big risks.

"The fight over financial reform can't be over to back up a little or to back up a lot," Warren told HuffPost. "It has to be about finishing the job."

Warren highlighted a host of major financial scandals that have surfaced since 2008, including the revelation that the multinational bank HSBC laundered drug money. The HSBC case has become particularly politically charged since President Barack Obama nominated Lynch, the prosecutor in charge, to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general. Lynch settled the case without indicting the bank or any of its employees. A few years later, the bank was back in trouble for tax evasion issues.

Warren also called for a major staffing change at the Federal Reserve, one that would dilute the institutional power of key players at the central bank. While the Fed's Board of Governors is technically in charge of policymaking, staffers including Alvarez and Michelle Smith, chief of staff to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, wield enormous influence. Many major decisions are handled by Fed staffers, rather than the board. And even though board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, only the chair has her own staff.

Warren criticized the central bank for allowing staff to sign off on a $9.3 billion mortgage settlement, instead of having the Board of Governors vote on it. All board members should have their own staff, capable of independently researching key policy decisions, she said.
www.huffingtonpost.com

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