Joe’s New Blog

What I intend to do here is select problems from current events and test my firewall hypothesis. Every news story has a problem at it’s core. It is my contention that many problems exist because people don’t understand that top down and bottom up economic strategies do not mix.

For example: Let’s take the deficit. Republicans have a way of getting us to compromise on something, get us to  shift to the right, and then use the subsequent disaster it causes to beat us up in the next round. We wanted a public option in heath care. It was the right thing to do because heath care is a necessity and should be protected from the private sector from behind the firewall. They got the democrats to compromise to the right. We got no public option that would have driven costs way down. What we got was the same old private insurance companies costing us twice what other western democracies pay, only now they get to cover everybody with the taxpayers paying the giant premiums for those low income folks who can’t afford it.

And what do the republicans do next? They scream bloody murder about the deficit. If we would have put heath care behind the firewall we would have less debt and better care by blocking the private sector from exploiting a human necessity. In classical economics a “free market” is by definition a market where the individual can refuse to buy something. All of classical economics relies on this logic. You can’t refuse to by heath care. Necessities should be out of bounds for vulture capitalists.     JP 10-11-11

356 thoughts on “Joe’s New Blog

  1. HERE IS PROOF THAT REPUBLICAN POLICY IS TOXIC EVEN TO THE RICH. Without a social safety net that guarantees everyone, including the poor, access to the desperate necessities of life, the entire society will fail. If you don’t provide universal health care and good safe nutrition/public health, a epidemic will start with the poor and infect the rich. Example; do you really want the fast food worker who makes your food to not have paid sick days and access to a doctor? These people have no running water. The bugs get in the cans of stored water. THINK.

  2. THE FED CUTS RATES. Am I the only one who has thought about this new idea?

    The fed rate is a blunt instrument. A better way to stimulate or slow the economy would be to regulate/adjust the SPREAD between what the banks pay the feds to borrow and the rate the banks charge consumers on credit cards. The spread is massive. A 2% trim in the spread would cause consumers to buy.

  3. They are disrupting shopping in Chicago downtown to get Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign over police murders. I respond and tweet.

    DINO. Not a real Democrat. Thorn in Obama’s Side. Fired. Bond Trader Scammer Scamming the State. In bed with Gov Rauner. Trash the state budget (Rauner) to give the bond houses an excuse to raise interest rates to the state. RECALL THEM BOTH!

  4. Listen people. If three jerks with a rifle can take the world from peace to war, the war hawks will find a way to get three jerks to do that. The republicans NEED A WAR. Don’t be fooled again.

  5. Rahm Emanuel is in trouble over a police murder. I respond: ONE MORE TIME. Rahm is a stealth republican. He is a Wall St Bond Trader Scammer. He is partnered with the current Illinois Republican Governor to trash the state budget, get the bond houses to downgrade the state’s credit rating, and thereby charge the state higher interest rates. It’s already happening. Both of them got elected by stuffing the ballot box. RECALL RAHM. DO IT!

  6. My third book is half done. I don’t blog as much when I am writing. It is fiction, a war novel, antiwar actually, in the trenches of WWI. 100 years have past since WWI changed the world forever.

  7. Who is ISIS? They are what is left of Saddam’s Sunni Army that Bush put out of work. They are Iraqi Sunnis. They used to control Iraq, but the Shia have it now. This is what Bernie Sanders said would happen if Dubya got his war. The cure for this is NOT more republican war mongering.


    “All propaganda must be popular and it’s intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequentially the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be… The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is very small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

    “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper.”

    In other words, don’t vote with your head, vote with your gut. This is where the republican propaganda machine comes from.

    UPDATE THE NEXT DAY. Jeb Bush calls Trump a Fascist.

  9. HERE THEY COME FOR MORE OF OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES. Republicans see terror attacks as an OPPORTUNITY to spy on us and as an excuse to bang the same war drums that cause the terrorism. The recent level of desperation shown by ISIS proves that what we are doing is working. They are being hit from all sides by drones and bombers from the US and even Russia. When you are desperate like they are, you do desperate things. They are doing this to get us to change our strategy because our strategy is working. 2. There is no military solution to lone wolf terrorism. Any fool can shoot up a bar. 9/11 fooled us into overreacting. We lost some of our freedom to republican fear mongers. Do not let them try that again. The republican clown car will now try and use this to scare us. Do not be afraid. Crying wolf only works once or twice, but this is getting old.

  10. The recent level of desperation shown by ISIS proves that what we are doing is working. They are being hit from all sides by drones and bombers from the US and even Russia. When you are desperate like they are, you do desperate things. They are doing this to get us to change our strategy because our strategy is working. 2. There is no military solution to lone wolf terrorism. Any fool can shoot up a bar. 9/11 fooled us into overreacting. We lost some of our freedom to republican fear mongers. Do not let them try that again. The republican clown car will now try and use this to scare us. Do not be afraid. Crying wolf only works once or twice, but this is getting old.

  11. 5% unemployment. And stocks FELL. THERE IS AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL. Until you learn that, you will fall for trickle down scams.

  12. Obama does not want to keep these wars going. He is under pressure from republicans. This is exactly why it is a bad idea to compromise with the GOP. They get us to do something republican, and then blame us when it goes wrong. When republicans criticize Obama’s military strategy, they sound like democrats criticizing Bush. That’s because he is continuing Bush’s bad strategy.

  13. The republicans are falling apart. The extreme right has them jammed. I respond:

    Where is the center you ask. Here is a new idea for a centrist philosophy that can please the right and the left. Firewall Economics uses the public sector to provide necessities and leaves everything else to the private sector. Competition under a real safety net.

  14. Politics in a nutshell: Capitalism is about competition. It goes on the right with the republicans, the party of business. Socialism is about cooperation. It goes on the left with the democrats, or at least the left side of the democrats. Socialism is better at providing the basic desperate necessities of life. Under capitalism, the poor the sick, the weak, etc, can easily suffer needlessly. Under socialism, there is less incentive to innovate, invest, achieve, etc. Here is the trick. All economies are mixed. The trick is to mix them RATIONALLY. How about socialism for what it is good for and capitalism for what it is good for? Socialism for the provision of desperate necessities (Things you can not refuse to buy at any price without borrowing money), and capitalism for everything else. The rational compromise.

    This is what a SMALL US federal government looks like. We still have big government, but it is the multinational corporations that are the government. If you get poisoned by a Chinese product, you can’t sue because US law is subordinated the the international agreement. No more US as a sovereign nation. This is what the republicans do with your patriotism.

  16. NATO starts a war in Syria to take it away from Russia. The Russians fight back and we spin it as Russian aggression. I respond:

    Don’t listen to the spin. The facts are: Syria is a Russian ally, just like Israel is to the US. The US and NATO are trying to take Syria away from Russia. We are playing with fire. If Russia tried to change the government of Israel, we would fight back. Why are we risking World War Three? Not democracy. OIL! The real fight is the Saudis vs the Russians and we do the fighting for the Saudis. The 9/11 Saudis. The Saudis do not want Russia to be able to sell oil, because that dives the world price of oil DOWN! Down, not up. Law of supply and demand. We started this. What did you expect the Russians to do?–backed-rebels/2015/10/01/cddada92-67af-11e5-bdb6-6861f4521205_story.html

  17. They are running a story about Trump’s wife, but nothing on Bernie Sanders. I respond:

    YOU cover all these bozos but nothing for Bernie Sanders. You cover TRUMPS WIFE before you cover Bernie Sanders. THIS WILL NOT WORK. Republican campaign people are advertising people who think the more you see the toothpaste, the more likely it is to sell. Candidates are not toothpaste. Voters want to test the quality in the tube.

  18. Trump is falling. Here is a story blaming less media coverage. I respond:

    YOU DON”T GET IT. The so called political experts are really advertising people who believe the more times you see the toothpaste the more likely you are to buy it. Candidates are not toothpaste. When you have a bad product, people will figure them out and reject them. People CAN think. Democracy works. Surprise.

  19. Bill Clinton killed the Glass/Steagall Act that was put in after the depression to keep banks from playing casino. It caused all the trouble we have now. The banks are stronger than democratically elected governments. Look at Greece. Is Hillary different? ASK HER IS SHE WILL PUT GLASS STEAGALL BACK. Her biggest campaign contributors are the Wall St Banks. She is actually the REPUBLICAN pick for president. Bernie Sanders is the only real democrat.


    To all republican voters who want an OUTSIDER. A billionaire who doesn’t need to take PAC money from billionaires is still a billionaire, and NOT an OUTSIDER. Trump brags about bribing politicians in the debates. The only person who does not take PAC money and is himself not rich is Bernie Sanders. If you want a real outsider, you have to go left.

  21. What do policy people do? We fight to minimize the effects of THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. We anticipate the unintended, and warn people.

  22. If republican voters who still believe in trickle down economics need proof that there is an adversarial relationship between labor and capital, here it is. The market is falling because more people are getting jobs now than in the last fifteen years. Jobs do good, the market goes down, not up. The capitalists are afraid that since the economy is healthy, the fed will raise interest rates and cut off the free money. Adversarial relationship. Class conflict.

  23. Financial engineering has replaced industrial engineering. The banks have become real parasites on business AND labor. The financial sector EXTRACTS value, not produces value. The only sector that would not benefit by nationalizing the banks is finance. Industry would thrive. Read Killing The Host, by Micheal Hudson. I quote him. “The Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing implemented in
    2008 (creating more bank reserves to lend out to buy assets) has made it
    increasingly profitable to borrow from banks at a low interest rate, buy
    stocks whose dividends yield a higher return, and pocket the difference.
    This interest/dividend arbitrage pushes up stock prices, by steering more
    bank credit to enough capital gains to cover what is paid in dividends and
    bank interest. Since its post-crash low of March 2009, the S&P 500 stock
    index nearly tripled – while average wages and other economic indicators
    stagnated in the wake of the debt overhead left in the wake of the financial
    But in the process, the stock market and indeed the corporate sector
    becomes more highly indebted – the same scenario that ravaged the
    real estate market. This is not new. As early as 1910, Rudolf Hilferding’s
    Finanzkapital described high finance as extractive: “Property ceases to
    express any specific relation of production and becomes a claim to the
    yield, apparently unconnected with any particular activity.” The effect of
    financialization is to divert corporate cash away from investment and job
    creation. In the wake of this debt deflation (described below in Chapter 11),
    Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said: “it speaks to the depth of the
    damage that, five years after the end of the recession, the labor market has
    yet to fully recover.” Such recovery is not the aim of financial engineering.
    Most corporate strategists view low wages as a benefit, not a detriment.”

  24. HILLARY MOVES TO THE RIGHT. I TOLD YOU. She is to the right of Obama. and he sold us out to the right after running as a democrat. She was a registered republican before she got Bill. She is moving to the right as we speak. She sounds like a Bush war hawk. The wind in DC blows hard from Left to Right. In order for your vote to hit the center, you have to aim as far left as possible. BERNIE SANDERS!

  25. Here is a great description of what is wrong with the economy. Banks are parasites on it. They will be nationalized eventually. I Quote: “Killing the Host” by Micheal Hudson.
    What a realistic set of national accounts should show is that instead of
    using their wealth to invest in producing more to raise living standards, the
    One Percent lend out their savings at interest to extract revenue from wage
    earners, real estate, industry and government, shrinking the economy
    instead of expanding it.

  26. Another crazy newspaper spin on why a democratic socialist can win the presidency in spite of billionaires trying to buy the election. I respond:

    This republican paper finds a new way every day to avoid the obvious truth. People, not just democrats, are fed up with BS wars and crooked bankers. Sanders does not take money from bankers. Hillary does. Sanders would fight against a push to go to war. Hillary gave in to it before, and would do it again. Bernie Sanders is honest, and is a viable choice for the left. The wind bows left to right in DC. If you want your vote to hit the center, you have to aim as left as possible without throwing your vote away. Bernie is not throwing your vote away because he is running as a democrat, and not as a third party. The war mongers and the bankers have overreached, and here comes the backlash.

  27. Note to Bernie Sanders: Ask Hillary if student loans should be forgivable in bankruptcy? Trump used bankruptcy laws 4 time to forgive his debts. Hillary will hedge as her biggest contributors are on Wall St. Pin her on the banks. Do it now, not later.

  28. Trump is done. The republicans want him to guarantee he won’t run as a third party and split their vote, guaranteeing a democratic victory. Checkmate RNC. If he signs, he loses his outsider image and the lever he has on the DNC, which is the threat to run third party. If he doesn’t sign he has to start spending his own money. He’s done, and the comedians are in tears.

  29. What’s Really The Matter With Kansas.
    I am referring to the book: “What’s The Matter With Kansas.” This is a classic examination of the most important political puzzle of out time: Why do poor whites vote republican. Republican voters come in only 2 kinds, the very rich, and poor whites commonly known as low information voters.
    Poor whites cut their own throats economically when they vote republican. One theory is that they missed out on a good education. That is why I wrote my free book on political literacy, and it has been more than successful with 10,000 downloads. But there is even more to the story.
    As a therapist, I try to understand the evil spin philosophy of the republican propaganda machine. The Trump thing has exposed a bit of the strategy. I heard a spin doctor say that Trump appeals to the ID of the low information voter. Review: Freud. The Id the Ego and the Superego. The Id is the primitive part of us that is driven to get food, sex, etc. The Superego is the rational conscience that is a brake on the Id. The Ego is the compromise that makes both sides happy. You get food and sex but by being social AND FOLLOWING THE LAW.
    My new pet theory is this: What republicans subconsciously hate is the law. Any kind of law. This is an instinctive part of the Id. Republican spin doctors simply appeal to it in all kinds of coded ways that don’t say that specifically.
    “Freedom” from the law. “Big Government” means the law. All law comes from the government. There is no private sector law. If you look at every republican message, you can see the common thread. Law is bad.
    Now I know republicans contradict them selves with wedge issues. They are not against laws to police the bedroom or block immigration. But they don’t really care about wedge issues. They are just political weapons to divide the democrats and solidify the poor white base. The real republican concerns are protection of the rich from the law.
    The law to make the rich pay taxes. The law that gives social security and medicare to working people. The law that says you can’t have an unsafe workplace, or sell dangerous products. The law that says children can’t be made to work. The law that says the military industrial complex can’t start an unnecessary war for profit. The law that used to say that a billionaire can’t buy an election. I could spend all day on this list.
    Test this theory as you listen to republican candidates. Wedge issues are a distraction, but when they talk about economic issues, see if you can detect a coded appeal to the Id that wants no civilization. NO LAW. Democratic candidates should confront republicans in just this way. What you really hate is the law. Civilization itself.

  30. All economies are PLANNED ECONOMIES. The only question is: Who does the planning, the elected government or the not elected, private sector, profit gouging, vulture capitalist, banks? The term FREE MARKET originally meant free from monopoly capitalism, NOT free from government regulation and law. We have been fed a big load of propaganda by Wall St.

    From Micheal Hudson’s Interview with Amy Goodman.
    the financial sector is almost at war, not only against labor, as most of the socialists talk about, but against governments and against industry. It’s cannibalizing industry. So now most of the corporations in America are using their income not to do what industrial capitalism did a century ago, not to build more factories and employ more people and make more profits; they’re just using it, as I said, to push it to pay dividends and to buy back their shares and to somehow manipulate the financial sector in the stock prices, not the economy as a whole. So there’s been a divergence between the real economy and what I call the—economists call the FIRE sector—finance, insurance and real estate. And they’re going in separate directions.

  32. China is falling again. I respond:

    If this is the IMF leaning in on China, we are in for blowback. If China decides to dump the IMF and the west and join with Russia to create a separate world banking system, The IMF and the World Bank will have serious competition. Can we try a little live and let live please?


    The problem is the lopsided distribution of wealth. Imagine a monopoly game where one player has 90% of the money. That is the situation in the US today. If one player has 90%, the game will become a rapid series of crashes, resulting in even more money going to the leader. You scrape and scrape and get a little money and then you land on one of the rich guys hotels. Bam! you are broke. With the 1% sitting on a mountain of cash, and refusing to pay taxes, the money can only get recirculated by borrowing it from the rich. With so much money needing someplace to be invested, the law of supply and demand drives down the interest rate to zero. Under normal circumstances the free money would cause the economy to heat up, and we would see inflation. But inflation is not possible, even when you try and create it, without raising wages. The rich have been holding wages flat for 30 years. The answer to this economic constipation is to RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. The rich are like a man trying to carry one more gold bar than he can carry and dropping the whole load. It is not possible to live in a world where so few have so much without a systematic collapse. There will be reform or revolution. The rich get to pick.

  34. Answers to the who said what quiz for today.

    “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”Hitler

    “Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people.” Trump

  35. The Stock Market Fell 500 points today. That 3% of all the stock value of the US in one day. Oil fell below 40 dollars. It was 150 under Bush. THIS IS NOT BAD FOR WORKING PEOPLE. This is proof that THERE IS AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL. A rising tide does not lift all boats. There is no trickle down. Sellers and buyers always compete. The bad news today for the rich is that oil prices fell through the floor. The good news for the rest of us is that oil prices fell through the floor. Republicans want you to believe that what is good for the rich is good for everyone. That is BS. This is the most important political myth that needs to be debunked. THERE IS AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL. When you vote republican, you cut your own throat.

  36. When a republican candidate says “I’m for FREEDOM.” What that means in practice is freedom from prosecution for XYZ. Bank fraud. Tax evasion. Employment discrimination. Insider trading. Voter suppression. etc. All this freedom spin is code for NO GOVERNMENT or WEAK GOVERNMENT. In practice that means NO LAW. There is no law without government. There can be bad government or good government, and that is important, but NO government is savage primitive dog eat dog anarchy. The democrats are the real party of law and order. The “Freedom” thing is a cheap shot, a political trick. Promote political literacy here. Pass the link.


    Ever wonder why all the wars seem fuzzy as to who is on what side and why? This current mess got a boost from Henry Kissinger. He changed the strategy from do the right thing to the enemy of my enemy is my friend. When you do that, it only takes a few decades to scramble the sides up so bad that the US ends up fighting on both sides against itself.
    This feels wrong to me and that feeling is located in my brain right next to the place that reminds me to always tell the truth because then you don’t have to remember what you said.
    We got the CIA to overthrow the government of Iran when they nationalized their oil. “It was in our national interest.” When you hear that phrase, you are in Machiavellian Kissinger Land. That set off a chain of events that led to the current cluster $%@#. That is no way to do foreign policy. A better way is to simply take sides by staking out the moral high ground. And not by what is best for the US alone, but by what is the right thing to do by the entire world community.
    After many decades of doing this, the US will develop a reputation as a humanitarian power, and not a colonial empire. This even makes sense to people stuck on a lower level of morality, because it is cheaper to nurture other nations and then ask them to voluntarily cooperate with us than it is to force them to our will with military pressure. But still, just doing the right thing is best because it is human nature to evolve away from violent competition, and toward peaceful cooperation.
    War IS going extinct. The number of war casualties has fallen drastically since the end of WWII. The military industrial complex knows this, and can not be trusted to transition back to an economy of peace. Media paranoia is doing an effective job of keeping fear alive, but this too shall pass. My hope is that if people realize that they are being conned into a constant state of emotional fight or flight, they might vote in such a way as to pass this stone more quickly.

  38. It will be the billionaires that tell congress to put campaign donation limits back in place. Before Citizens United they could tell the clowns that they have already maxed out. Now they are constantly being begged.

  39. OIL KEEPS FALLING: I respond:

    SELL OIL SHORT. The increase in supply that is coming is too big to be offset by shenanigans at the refinery. Iran can pump now. Greece will make a deal with Russia to run a pipeline through Greece to allow Russian oil to get out. Republicans will be unable to start another BS war to crimp supply. Sell it short.


    NOW LOOK. Republican campaign generals are evil geniuses. Whenever you see a story where republicans SEEM to be acting like fools, suspect a deeper motive. Lets follow this one backwards. What was the effect? The effect could be the real goal. This made John McCain look better. Could this be a clever strategy to make some of these republican candidates look better? Get them attacked by Trump. Get Trump to do a low blow. Psychologically that might raise the likability of the “Victim.”

  41. What is happening now is proof that these wars are NOT about terror. They are about oil. Terror is the excuse. Look at Iran. We put sanctions on them and tell the world that we are doing that to force them to give up nukes. Then Obama get’s them to agree to give up nukes if we take the sanctions off. Isn’t that what the sanctions were for. Not really. The objective of the sanctions is to keep them under sanctions for the long term. When they can’t pump oil, the Saudis and the US oil companies make more money from higher oil prices. If it is really about nukes, then why did the republicans object when we got a deal to give them up. The sanctions worked, and that is exactly what the republicans did not want to happen. They don’t care about nukes. They care about oil profits. And by blocking the treaty, they actually make the nukes more likely to happen. Republicans make us LESS safe, not more.

  42. Obama and the democrats make peace with Iran and the republicans are very angry. I respond:

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT NUKES. THIS IS ABOUT KEEPING THE PRICE OF OIL UP. Even if they had nukes, Iran is no threat to Israel or the US or anybody else because Israel has nukes. Iran would be incinerated in a second if they armed a nuke. Iran can’t pump oil because of sanctions. That keeps the price of oil up by keeping the world oil supply down. Now they get to sell oil. The price will fall, and that is why the republicans are angry. Republicans are owned by the oil companies. All wars are now about keeping the price of oil UP. Same thing with Iraq. Afghanistan is about a Russian oil pipeline. Keeping the Russians from pumping oil. The right wing leader of Israel does not want peace. He wants to perpetuate fear because that is how he stays in power. That is why the republicans brought him to congress to condemn the peace deal. To vote for peace and LOW oil prices, VOTE DEMOCRAT.

  43. WOW! A day after the Greeks vote out banker austerity it’s BACK. I Respond:

    BIG BROTHER is here, and he is a Nazi Banker. The people voted NO on this stuff, and the next day their leader resigns and the same stuff the people voted against is on the table again to be approved by the politicians or not. Germany has no business preaching austerity. Germany never repaid it’s debt from the 2 world wars that they started and lost. The Nazis controlled Greece in WWII. They see Hitler again right now, and this time the US and all of Europe is with Germany. THIS IS A COUP. Not by guns, but by bankers.

  44. The Stanford Prison Experiment Is Back As A Movie.

    BINGO. I have been calling for this experiment to be included in all police, corrections, and military training. I worked in prisons. Seeing this experiment in college helped me to understand the phenomenon as human nature and how to avoid it. This is how normal people join police departments and get molded into an overaggressive role.


    Some things need to be protected from private sector shenanigans. Banking is one of those things. Nationalize The Banks. This is what private sector predatory banking looks like. This is too much power to give to managers who are not elected.

  46. Big turnouts for Bernie Sanders.

    If big money is everything, then why is he doing so well? I said from the start that Citizens United would backfire on the republicans. Look at all these clown car candidates saying crazy super right wing stuff just to get campaign money from some old crazy billionaire. The candidates do not care if they win. The money is in running. They can legally keep all the money they don’t spend on TV ads and retire rich. We will soon have a constitutional amendment that bans money in elections.

  47. BIG glossy spot in Washington Post trying to soften the Bush “Legacy”. This is why I do this, to prevent the distortion of the record. Republicans count on short memories.…/jeb-bush-a-clan-of-feroci…/…
    The Bush “Legacy” is indeed something Jeb needs to run from. Grandfather Bush was Hitler’s banker. George the first started a bad oil war and crashed the savings and loans. His son Neil Bush ran one of them and lost billions that the government had to bail out. George the second did not win his first presidential election. He stole it with the help of Jeb! Then Dubya went on to start another bad oil war and crash the entire world banking system and gave the massive bailout to the banks we call the great recession. Every Bush brings a bad oil war and a banking crash. The only reason they have the guts to run another one is that they think that Hillary Clinton running gives them an opening because of Bill. Bad move. Hillary does nothing to erase the memory of the bad Bushes. Maybe they are just planning to steal another one with voter suppression, stuffing the ballot box and other crimes against humanity. The best defense against it is a massive human wave attack on the polls. They can’t steal a landslide.

    Classic Carl rove strategy. Confuse the L and R. Paints Hillary as an “Elitist” and Obama as a war hawk. He’s no populist. Populism goes on the L. And war hawks go on the R. He’s criticizing Obama for not cleaning up the mess caused by his brother and father. Wall Street is full of republicans, not democrats. All he can do is try and use the flip the sides propaganda trick perfected by the Nazis in WWII…Goebbels. Get politically literate. Get immune to the tricks. Here is a free short book.

  49. Obama sold out on the trade bill and the democrats are trying to stop him. Think. Would the republicans block their president? Never. It’s about the party brand, not individuals, Vote democrat. This is proof that the democrats are for american workers and the republicans are not. All the talk means nothing. Look at how they vote when under pressure.

  50. JEB BUSH IS RUNNING. I respond:

    Republican presidents do awful thing while in office like start bad wars, crash the banking system, stuff the ballot box, cut taxes for the rich, attack social security etc, but they do so on the assumption that people have short memories. One way to bring those memories back is to run the guy’s brother for president. Now when the republicans saw the democrats running Hillary, they figured that they could run W because it would cancel out. They forgot that Bill Clinton did not start a bad war or crash the banks. He even balanced the budget that W crashed. He did have a sex scandal, but that does not cancel out the massive GW Bush cluster %$*#. Jeb hurts the GOP by running.

  51. Here is the Shia vs Sunni civil war. All this split is over who is the descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s between two different family lines. That’s all. All this death for that. There are three branches of Theism: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They are all monotheists They believe in ONE GOD who is all powerful, all seeing, and all knowing. All three are very close relatives and only differ by minor details. There is a history in all three branches of Theism of corrupt political leaders using religion to get people to fight wars over details. The Christians fought bloody wars over weather the Trinity (Father Son And Holy Ghost) was one thing or three. Islam is the youngest of the three. They are now being manipulated into oil wars with the excuse of who is the true descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. My guess, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad would not be pleased with corrupt war mongers using their legacies to incite wars for any reason. People should not reject religious faith because of anything these corrupt leaders do.

  52. If it’s Jeb Bush that gets the nod, any democrat can defeat him, and here is why. This is the big trump card that will drive even capitalists away from another Bush: All Bush’s cause bank failures. Papa had the S&Ls explode while son Neil was running a big one that cost the taxpayers billions to bail out. W had the big bank collapse that caused the great recession. All Bush’s bring bank explosions. If another bailout is needed, the feds would have to nationalize the banks.

  53. Headline-Big change in the development of cancer drugs-I respond:

    Some things should just not be done by the private sector. (Firewall Economics). The law of supply and demand does not work with desperate necessities, like cancer drugs. Some patients see medicare, the public sector, get charged 30,000 dollars a year for one drug. Drug research should be dome BY THE FEDS. The drugs should not be patented by private companies, and the drugs should be distributed only by the feds, and at cost. Read about Firewall Economics.

  54. Sheldon Adelson, the big republican political donor is in big trouble for running a gambling empire in bed with Communist Chinese organized crime. This is the donor the so called Christian conservative republicans go to. The other the ones go to the Koch brothers who’s money originally came from Stalin in communist Russia. You can not make this stuff up. Talk about a case for campaign finance reform.

  55. Headline: Blue Dog Democrats sell us out on the trade deal again. I respond:

    Being for this trade thing will really hurt turncoat democrats in the future. It gives progressives a place to drive it home in the primaries. Everybody is against this issue. But they go ahead make deals to get something for this and that. This Machiavellian strategy is old and tired. This is the age of doing the right thing and standing on principle. PRIMARY THE BLUE DOGS.

  56. I researched it. ALL the ORIGINAL wealth in the US comes from slavery or genocide against native Americans. Half the wealth came from slavery. The other half came from land speculators bribing politicians to give them free government land that we stole from native Americans. The republicans of today would be on the wrong side of both of those issues. They would be for war against native Americans. They would be for privatizing government land, and they would oppose abolishing slavery. Carl Rove would spin it as a job killer for agricultural workers.

  57. BIG HEADLINE. Hillary Gets It And Moves To The Left. I respond:

    This is good. She gets it. Moving left is possible this time because 1. It’s what the country needs, and 2. She can beat any of these republican clowns without compromising with moderate republicans. There are no moderate republicans anyway. They are all way over on the extreme right. Republicans should realize that their overreach makes it possible for a real progressive to win. Now if she would only read Firewall Economics.

  58. The King is in heaven. Here is what he taught guitar players. You do not have to shred. Play melodically with emotion. It’s not a contest. One person’s pet licks can scare another good player but everybody can play something that others can’t. You have to be able to sing the melody of the lead in your head as you play it, not just push buttons an a safe pattern where you know it will probably fit. Phrase like you are speaking or singing. Even though you don’t have to pause to breathe, pause anyway, like a horn player. He got me going on the blues. Love you BB.

  59. The Saudis are threatening to develop big nukes. I respond:

    So the GOP has to sanction Saudi oil or admit the sanctions on Iran are not about nukes. They are in fact about oil. Oil wars and sanctions are to keep the world supply down and the price up. The law of supply and demand is in effect. Iraq and Iran are just opponents of OPEC who won’t stick to quotas. The Iran thing is not about nukes or Israel. Those are the excuses, but this move by the new Saudi king exposes the ruse. The Bushes are oil billionaires that are stooges for OPEC. NO MORE BUSHES.

  60. Jeb Bush is having a problem with his brother’s legacy. I respond:

    All of the republican mistakes that gave Obama his first and second wins are still there if Hillary has the guts to pick them up. She won’t because she is republican light. Sanders will, and he will win. With Jeb in the race, we can run against W’s policies again.

  61. My BOOK REVIEW of….Capitalism at a Dead End by Fred Goldstein

    A great job covering the history of the problem. Overproduction is what implodes pure capitalism, not inefficiency. This myth is a premise in most republican policy pitches. The balanced budget idea, the welfare queen myth, the pitch that entitlement programs are too expensive, trickle down economics and supply side economics in general all rely on the idea that we are always on the verge of bankruptcy. The democrats pick up the frame from the republicans and instead of refuting it, they try and out efficiency the republicans by showing real proof that the private sector is less efficient than the public sector on a lot of markets. I do it too. But this book, like all other books I find that are critical of capitalism, do not have much to offer as a strategy for fixing the problem. There are reformers like me who want to pressure congress to strengthen the safety net and make competition more fair, while stopping short of the total elimination of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist state. There are revolutionaries who see reformists as naive. Revolutionaries advocate total revolution, violent or not, to get rid of capitalism and institute a socialist state. Some even want no state. Marx was wrong about that. Anyway, there has never been and will never be a purely capitalist or socialist state. All economies are mixtures of both. How you do the mixing is the trick. The mix is done competitively through hard ball politics. I advocate reason instead. My compromise is called Firewall Economics. The mix is essentially socialism for desperate human necessities, and a government hands off for other markets. A desperate necessity is something you can NOT refuse to buy, even at a high price, without going into debt. Marx did not anticipate easy credit to pay for price gouging on necessities. I will not plug my book here, but you can find it if you google. The best strategy is to bite the bullet and vote as far left as you can in a long string of elections. Do not expect a quick victory, but to sit on the sidelines and wait for a revolution is a cop out. A violent revolution will be put down and it is immoral anyway. I refuse to give up on democracy until everybody votes. Half of us do not even vote. There has never been a progressive democrat in the oval office. The left has never been in power. The Clintons and Obama are centrist Blue Dog republican light. We have a chance now to get a progressive in the White House. Do not listen to anyone who tells you not to vote. A high voter turnout ALWAYS wins for the democrats because there are more democrats than republicans. OCCUPY THE POLLING PLACE.

  62. Here is a story about the Blue Dog Democrats. DONOs. Democrat in name only. Bill Clinton was one. Hillary is probably one. The other name is the DLC. Democratic leadership something. I think they are the problem because they pull the democrats to the right to get elected. I respond:

    This is the kind of Machiavellian thinking that has been hurting the nation as a whole since Kissinger made it popular. Getting elected is not always the best thing for the nation. There is a place for leadership. There is a time when you just have to do the right thing for the nation even if the right thing is not popular. Politicians that put their own careers second to doing the right thing are what we need. The ideals and values of the democratic party should come before the individual needs of the legislators. The party needs to weed out politicians who compromise core values by refusing to support them in primary elections. This is a strategy too, but a long term strategy. Think how better off the democrats are now after LBJ bit the bullet and dumped the dixiecrats, the southern racists. He drove them into the republican party where they belong and now they are hurting the GOP. Just Do The Right Thing. Vote and sound like FDR all the time.

  63. Here is a very fast paced explanation of how capitalism sucks. it is followed by a short statement that says we need to have a serious discussion about alternatives. NOTICE that you never hear of one new idea for an alternative to capitalism. It is not enough to tear something down. You have to offer a better alternative. The alternative is not strict socialism or communism and especially not fascism. The alternative is Firewall Economics. There has never been an economy of pure capitalism or pure socialism. All economies are mixed. The trick is to mix them RATIONALLY. Socialism for necessities and capitalism for luxuries. How can you define, or agree on what is a necessity? A desperate human necessity is something you can not refuse to buy even if the price is so high that you can not buy it without going further into debt. FE is the only new idea I can find that contains an alternative to capitalism at a time when everybody is calling for one. It didn’t come out of economics. it came out of social work policy.

  64. Story about populism supposedly dividing the right. All republican populist talk is a trick to confuse the left and right. I respond:

    Populism belongs to the left. Read the record of populist legislation opposed by republicans. Child labor, weekends etc.

  65. Headline: The Apple watch is here. What do we do with it? I respond:

    The information age is about information, not manufacturing things/gadgets. Information is free. The law of supply and demand breaks down when there is no scarcity after a sale. If I sell you information, I still have it, therefore supply is infinite, and the price falls to zero. Capitalism will not work on information. When water is free, capitalists will attempt to sell us fancier and fancier buckets, but it wont work, and that is so cool.

  66. Bernie Sanders, a Socialist is running for president. I respond:

    Before the republicans start saying his socialist policies will crash the nation, let me point out that THE LEFT HAS NEVER EVER BEEN ANYWHERE CLOSE TO POWER. Even FDR was a centrist. Look at where the right has taken us. Give the left a chance to show what they can do.

  67. Here is a headline that says that millennials don’t trust politicians from either party. I respond:

    This is an old propaganda trick. If you want people to believe that something is true, you write a headline that says it’s true, even if it isn’t, and then hope that people believe it for no other reason than it’s in the paper. Get the scoop on political trickery in a short free book right here. This is a project for political literacy. Pass the link around.

  68. Riots in the streets. Cops killing innocent unarmed people. OK here is what is going on. We had 9/11. The feds gave away a ton of money to hire cops. We hired a ton of cops. There was no invasion from the evil Arab boogieman. Then the feds stopped giving free money for cops. All these cops get orders from above that say we are threatened with massive budget cuts unless we justify your jobs. They issued impossible quotas. Go get arrests. Any kind of arrest counts in the numbers. If there is no probable cause, arrest them and let them go. Write all the tickets you can. We need the money. Street cops go after the quotas and BOOM. Thank you republicans for all the fear mongering. This is what happens.

  69. I’m starting a push to get the feds to issue paper receipts to voters to keep as proof of who they voted for-You could check it on the spot, and they could be permanent legal documents to make recounts easy. Put a picture on it and you have a photo ID. Why can’t we have a receipt? Our vote is important. We get receipts for everything else. The only motive for opposing this would be to keep it easy to cheat on the vote count. Put this out and dare the republicans to oppose it. I can get a receipt for a soda, but not my vote. If there were receipts in 2000, Bush would never have been president.

  70. ROLL CALL story about a massive wave of big money coming at the 2016 elections. I respond:

    Big money won’t work on an informed public. Most political spin ads are not about issues. They are about images. Instead of using cheap tricks to get elected, why not use a fraction of the money to promote basic political literacy, run ads on the issues, and free ourselves from big money? Here is a free short book on political literacy. Pass the link around.

  71. I think republican power brokers are setting the table to have a war break out right before the presidential election. They have no legitimate way to win without it. War breaks out-gas goes over 5 bucks-blame Obama for being weak etc. Same old trick. We need the democratic part of the media to head this off by calling attention to it NOW. If voters are watching for the trick-it won’t work-and it will backfire.

  72. My Tweet

    Psychiatrist-Brain chemicals out of balance.
    Psychologist-Expectations are too high.
    Social Worker-Minimum wage is too low

    Which one of these does NOT blame the victim?

  73. Professor Lakoff is a genius. He studies the psychology of democratic vs republican voters. Republican see a strong father moral model and the democrats see a nurturing parent model. I don’t want to appeal to the strong father model. I want to get people to get past it. It is primitive. I respond to one of his excellent spots:

    The strong father model of the republicans is weak in an area that needs to be explained to voters. The strong father model commits the naturalistic fallacy. They look at nature, see nature as dog eat dog, and decide to teach their children to be ruthless and competitive. The naturalistic fallacy is described as making the mistake of confusing an IS with an AUGHT. Just because PRIMITIVE nature is dog eat dog, the survival of the fittest etc, that does not mean that we have to embrace it. There IS progress. Human social behavior evolves over time from competitive to cooperative. This is what progressives are trying to teach us. Nature isn’t fair, it’s up to us to make it fair.

  74. Headline. Redistributing the water in California is not going to be easy. I respond:

    Water belongs in the public sector, not the private sector. This is the best example of how Firewall Economics works. It protects markets for desperate necessities from profiteering. The law of supply and demand breaks down with markets for desperate necessities. You have to buy water, no matter how high the price or how little money you have. This creates a target rich environment for predatory lending, which causes bubbles and crashes.

  75. Headline: What did the guy who landed a helicopter on the White House Lawn want? I respond:

    I don’t want to know why. We have to stop rewarding publicity stunts. Want to promote your website…do something crazy. The 24 hour media needs content, and they will run you every fifteen minutes on a film loop.

  76. Headline: The republicans do not like any of their dozen or so candidates AGAIN. I respond:

    This is backlash from Citizens United. If campaign contributions are unlimited in a nation where the top one percent own half of everything, the republican party will be pulled to the extreme far right, where the richest donors are. They end up nominating a candidate who is a nut that can’t win in a national election. The nuts are not trying to actually win, the goal is to get the campaign money and stash it. Lesson to republicans, Citizens United Hurts You Too. Republicans need a strategy that goes more to the center, that preserves the safety net, without being a threat to capitalism. That is Firewall Economics.

  77. I’m watching a hearing on the Iran agreement to lift sanctions in exchange for nuclear inspections etc..
    I Comment: We can spin ourselves all we want, but the opinion of rest of the world will not be changed. The world sees us as NOT on the moral high ground here. We overthrew the government of Iran in a violent military coup to keep them from nationalizing their oil. We did this to protect predatory, private sector oil companies who were stealing Iranian oil on the cheap. Point 2. The world knows that Israel has nukes. Until we advocate for a nuclear free zone in the area, we will have no international credibility.

  78. Here is NPR doing voter education on Marco Rubio. I respond:

    You just did an entire story on a candidate and said NOTHING about where he stands on the issues. Elections are not really about individuals. They are about a single choice between two political parties with opposing economic philosophies. If you vote in Donald Duck on a republican ticket he will vote the party line. This is not really bad. Would you want the president to have so much power, in one person, that they could make radical policy changes? Decide which economic philosophy you favor, trickle down or bottom up/middle class out, and vote that way each and every time. You will only see gradual results if you are voting democratic. We are in a ditch that took thirty years to dig. Just pull to the left, one vote at a time.

  79. Headline: Iowa wants Hillary to woo them: I respond:

    This is where the republicans try to focus on the individual candidate’s personality and not the party brand. Guess what-we don’t vote for individuals, we vote for a party. There are only two because our system is a two party system. There are two sides with opposing economic agendas. If we vote in a progressive democrat, he/she will be pulled to the center by the democratic majority. If you vote for a right wing extremist, the republicans will pull he/she to the center. (hopefully) A republican vote is a vote for unrestrained capitalism. A democratic vote is a vote for restrained capitalism. There is no vote for anything to the left of that because the left never gets a chance to prove that socialism is better. All this focus away from the party brands and toward individual personalities would not be possible if we taught basic political literacy in HS. Here is a free short book to fix that. Pass it around.

  80. Every headline about Hillary is spun to the right. I respond:

    Geeze the headlines in this paper are so reversed and Orwellian. Listen WP. Nothing you can say or do is going to prevent this woman from becoming president. The demographics of the country insure that no super right wing republican can win a NATIONAL election. They can win local elections but not national elections. It’s been 6 years and some people have not yet accepted the fact that an African American is president. Now you better get used to a woman president.

  81. Look. A story about The Laffer Curve. 80’s supply side bunk. Tax the rich less and they will pay MORE taxes. Orwellian. I Respond:

    I was in grad school when he was popular, but not with social workers. He said “Lower taxes on the rich and they will invest it in jobs.” We said “They will stash the cash in offshore accounts, take the money out of circulation, and cause a depression.” Guess what. They stashed the cash. Why reward taking cash out of the economy? The tax rate is now lower for paper investments than starting a business and creating jobs.

  82. Headline where the last cop shot somebody down on camera. I respond:

    When 9/11 happened I warned everybody that the rush to hire more cops would come to this. They funded the hire with federal money, and now that the money is over, they have to justify their jobs and bring in revenue by writing too many tickets. If you give military gear to a bunch of new cops with nothing to do, they will be sending SWAT teams after J walkers like Barney Fife.

  83. Headline. Progressive policy is hurting African American Banks. I comment:

    Look at this spin. If the democrats found a cure for cancer, the republicans would spin it as a job killer for undertakers. To me it sounds like: Liberal restaurant safety regulations cut profits for chicken owned KFCs.

  84. A Deal Is Closer With Iran. I Comment:

    Question for republicans. What are we giving up in this deal that we can’t get back if they go back on their word? We can put the sanctions back on with a phone call. And remember, this is an oil nation that wanted to nationalize it’s oil to get it back from from private sector US oil companies. We went in there with the CIA and overthrew the government and installed a dictator puppet for the oil companies.

  85. Here is a republican pollster saying that the demographics of the US population are against any extreme right republican winning an election because they offend too many groups at once. I comment:

    Yep. It’s over for republicans on the national level. That’s why the candidates don’t bother trying to win. They won’t fake a cut to the left because they are simply trying to collect as much cash as they can from the extreme right. The goal is to run, not win. This is blow back from Citizens United. With no limits on giving, the richest three guys can control the party, and they are on the extreme right. Thank you Lord.

  86. Here is a story about homelessness in Seattle. I comment:

    Why do republicans think that a safety net of any kind is a danger to capitalism? Firewall Economics is a compromise we can all live with. FE protects markets for desperate necessities from profiteering in exchange for a hands off on everything else. Read about FE at

  87. The republicans are counting on the older vote: I respond:

    The republican party hates Social Security and Medicare. The democrats fought for, got, and constantly defend both of those. Older people are not stupid. They can read 130 pages on basic political literacy. When they get the facts on the republican party, they will not be fooled again. Here is the free book.

  88. Great story about Ron Paul’s character discrepancy. I Respond:

    In February, Paul appeared on televangelist Marcus Lamb’s Daystar television program and said he had been “saved” more than once. I don’t think you need a booster shot. Libertarians are Trojan Horses with Fascism Inside. This story proves that the republicans are vulnerable to an informed voting public.

  89. On Second Thought on the Story about a Constitutional Convention Threat. Could this be a ploy to discourage the democrats from going for an amendment to overturn Citizens United? All of a sudden now if you want one amendment you can’t do it without opening the entire constitution? We have done many amendments and this has never come up. I smell a rat. Do not give up on an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

  90. Now the republicans want to write a new constitution. I respond:

    This is the same party that claims that they are the party of the constitution. Now they want to kill it. All republican political tricks depend on political illiteracy and people not knowing political history. These are the same old tricks. Learn about the same old tricks. They don’t teach this stuff in HS. Here is a free boot camp for voters. Pass it around. And Vote Each And Every Time. Here is the free link.

  91. They say they reached a deal in Iran. Oil prices are falling right now because Iran will be able to sell oil. All oil wars are really about keeping the price of oil UP by keeping competitors from pumping oil. Higher supply means lower price. Iraq had sanctions for ten years. We are killing our troops in oil wars to keep the price of gas UP!

  92. Here is a video about how there are no more clear sides in war. I respond:

    Switching sides is not new. My grandfather died fighting Nazis in Germany. Before his body made it home we won the war, dumped our Russian allies and got in bed with the Nazis against Russia. WAR IS A RACKET. There are no sides. It’s all about making and selling military hardware and now even privatized Halliburton logistical services. The military industrial complex owns all the republicans and half of the democrats. Capitalism heats up. Surplus production is THE problem. Most of it ends up in the off shore accounts of the super rich in the form of paper profits, but a lot of it gets burned off as wasted military expenditures. WWII is over, but we have not yet shut down the war machine. We need to use more of that surplus productive capacity to build a safety net for the people.

  93. California is really running out of water. I respond: Water should never be controlled by the private sector. Firewall Economics is an economic strategy that protects basic desperate human necessities from profiteering while preserving capitalism by limiting for profit markets to everything that is not a desperate necessity .

  94. Headline: Ted Cruz and Obama have more in common than you think: I respond:

    No they don’t. This is the strategy of trying to confuse the left and the right while hoping that “low information voters” don’t know the difference. That’s why I wrote my book on political literacy. You can read the free PDF at

  95. Big News. The republican candidates for president want to sound like populists this time. We are for the working class the spin. I respond:

    Republican tricks always involve assuming that low information voters do no know what goes on the left vs the right. They want to sound like populists now because a populist will win next time. History proves that populism belongs on the left and on the democratic side since TR. Low information voters do not know that. My attempt to promote political literacy is my new book. Firewall Economics Political Literacy for Democrats. If any of my readers want one I will send a free copy in a PDF if you send me an email.

  96. Headline: Why Politics is so Polarized: I respond:

    Polarization is good. The two parties have fundamental differences. It’s not about wedge issues. It’s about economics. Trickle down supply side republican bunk vs demand side democratic populism. Polarization means that fewer democrats are getting fooled. Trickle down hurts the 99%.

  97. HEADLINE: Stats show that voter turnout is way lower in the US than other major nations. I Respond:

    It’s not apathy. It’s voter suppression, gerrymandering, and in my opinion, ALL THE VOTES DON’T GET COUNTED. Federal elections are run by a mass of local election rules that make it easy to throw ballots out. Federal elections should be run by ONE set of FEDERAL RULES. We don’t really know how many people vote. It might be 90%.

  98. Republican Senate Kills a New Rule to Make Union Organizing Fair. I quote FDR:

    September 30, 1934.  Three months have passed since I talked with you shortly after the adjournment of the Congress.  Tonight I continue that report, though, because of the shortness of time, I must defer a number of subjects to a later date. Recently the most notable public questions that have concerned us all have had to do with industry and labor and with respect to these, certain developments have taken place which I consider of importance.  I am happy to report that after years of uncertainty, culminating in the collapse of the spring of 1933, we are bringing order out of the old chaos with a greater certainty of the employment of labor at a reasonable wage and of more business at a fair profit.  These governmental and industrial developments hold promise of new achievements for the nation. Men may differ as to the particular form of governmental activity with respect to industry and business, but nearly all are agreed that private enterprise in times such as these cannot be left without assistance and without reasonable safeguards lest it destroy not only itself but also our processes of civilization.  The underlying necessity for such activity is indeed as strong now as it was years ago when Elihu Root said the following very significant words: “Instead of the give and take of free individual contract, the tremendous power of organization has combined great aggregations of capital in enormous industrial establishments working through vast agencies of commerce and employing great masses of men in movements of production and transportation and trade, so great in the mass that each individual concerned in them is quite helpless by himself.  The relations between the employer and the employed, between the owners of aggregated capital and the units of organized labor, between the small producer, the small trader, the consumer, and the great transporting and manufacturing and distributing agencies, all present new questions for the solution of which the old reliance upon the free action of individual wills appears quite inadequate.  And in many directions, the intervention of that organized control which we call government seems necessary to produce the same result of justice and right conduct which obtained through the attrition of individuals before the new conditions arose.”

    Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted Hardcover – March 24, 2015
    by Ian Millhiser

    We have never had democracy. It took a constitutional amendment to get the senate elected instead of appointed by the states. There is still one branch of government left to reform. The court needs to be elected by popular vote.

  100. Headline Today: Republicans still threatening to shut down the Dept. of Homeland Security if Obama doesn’t blink on immigration. I respond:

    Need proof that republicans have NO principles, right or left? This is a republican invention. I say call their bluff and maybe we can get rid of our new expensive wolf calling Security Industrial Complex. We are safer if we save the money.

  101. Headline-Another republican legislator caught in massive corruption scandal. I respond:

    It’s not about individual personalities. The entire republican machine is corrupt for the billionaires. These republican legislators are only faces that do what the billionaires tell them to do. They are political hookers. Realizing what you are can make you do crazy things. You can stop the big money by voting against all republicans and voting every time. It ain’t rocket science.

  102. Election time always means an opportunity for the republicans to scare the democrats into a war by threatening to paint them as weak on defense. That’s how we got Vietnam. Email the dems and tell them to wise up.

  103. Listen up people. The propaganda here and everywhere else is to get you to focus on individual personalities and not on the party brand. Elections are all about the party. Do this mental experiment. Imagine slavery was to be decided TODAY. Assume the parties were divided. Which party would be against it?

  104. Big Story. Governors in Missouri and Illinois are trying to kill public sector unions. I respond:

    There are only 2 things that can protect people from the power of big money, government and unions. Big money has bought the republican party and is telling them to attack those two things. STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS. They are not really about the wedge issues of guns gays and abortion etc. They are about billionaires getting even more powerful.

  105. Obama Being Pushed To Escalate War Against Russia Through Ukraine. The Coup in Ukraine was started by the US. We are the aggressors. It’s all about expanding NATO against Russia. We need a new boggie man to prop up the defense budget in the absence of any real threat. Bad move. Russia has nukes.

  106. Headline: most people wrongly believe that we owe half of the national debt to China when it’s really 10%. I respond:

    The public debt is owed to the richest 1% in the US. They were able to switch from paying taxes to the feds to loaning money to the feds by republican legislation. There would be no debt if the rich payed taxes at the same rate as everybody else. They pay 15% and everybody else pays 30%. Put the tax rates back where they were before Reagan.

  107. MY RESPONSE TO POST MODERNISM……Science just described how capitalism IS at a stage in human development. It did not suggest an AUGHT to capitalism. It is NOT necessary to dump science to dump capitalism. When did science claim to have a lock on values. Disproving science does not make all values relative. Moral relativism is not new, and it has nothing to do with science. I can imagine that science is in a primitive stage though, that we need social science to catch up to physics and biology etc, but a mature social science looks like socialism more than capitalism as human evolution seems to go from competitive to more cooperative. Looks to me like throwing out science is a mistake if you want to move beyond capitalism. Science is young. Give it time.

  108. HEADLINE: Psychologists were running the torture in the CIA prisons: I respond:

    I left psychology to be a clinical social worker in 1980. To a psychologist, everything was a problem with the individual, never a social problem. Now they are LOOKING for a code of ethics. READ THE SOCIAL WORK CODE OF ETHICS. Social Workers had advanced degrees before medical doctors. We don’t get in bed with the CIA.

  109. I am not convinced that the midterm election had a low turnout. We had polls showing a high turnout before the election. It’s probable that the republican rigged it again. We have never been a real democracy. But even if we have to win by landslides to get power, we will, because the republicans will overreach until there is enough anger to storm the polls. Democracy is coming, slow and steady, ten steps forward and nine steps back every year, but it’s coming.

  110. BIG HEADLINE: Congress Passes Law to Allow Massive Cuts to Private Sector Pensions: I respond:

    PENSIONS are a Desperate Human Necessity. Desperate Human Necessities should be protected from private sector capitalism. That is the fundamental premise of Firewall Economics.

  111. HEADLINE: Japan raised the sales tax and the economy took a dive. I respond:

    OH LOOK…They raised the SALES TAX to pay down the national debt and the economy took a dive. A sales tax is regressive. It taxes the bottom more than the top. This is a favorite tax of conservative republicans. More proof that Trickle Down is a lie. Tax the rich, not the poor. Use a wealth tax.


    Pope demands just distribution of world’s bounty
    Pope Francis demanded a more just distribution of the world’s bounty for the poor and hungry Thursday, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn’t be subject to market speculation and quests for profit.

    Associated Press

    ROME —
    Pope Francis demanded a more just distribution of the world’s bounty for the poor and hungry Thursday, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn’t be subject to market speculation and quests for profit.

    “We ask for dignity, not for charity,” Francis told the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    His speech came a day after more than 170 countries at the conference adopted new voluntary guidelines to prevent malnutrition, promote healthy diets and reduce levels of obesity around the globe.

    Currently, one-third of the world’s population suffers from nutritional deficiencies of the sort that caused 45 percent of all child deaths in 2013, according to U.N. data. At the same time, 42 million children under age 5 are overweight and some 500 million adults were obese in 2010.

    Francis recalled that when St. John Paul II addressed the first U.N. conference on nutrition in 1992, he warned against the risk of the “‘paradox of plenty,’ in which there is food for everyone, but not everyone can eat, while waste, excessive consumption and the use of food for other purposes is visible before our very eyes.”

    Francis said unfortunately, that paradox remains today.

    Francis has frequently spoken about the plight of the poor and hungry, denouncing the “scourge of hunger” during his Easter address this year and lamenting that the world’s needy could be fed with all the food that is wasted.

    The U.N. estimates that a third of all the food that is produced is lost to waste and spoilage.

    “It is also painful to see that the struggle against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by ‘market priorities,’ the ‘primacy of profit,’ which have reduced foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, subject to speculation, also of a financial nature,” Francis said.


  113. HEADLINE: The networks won’t cover Obama tonight talking about immigration.

    Private sector companies own all the big networks. At least one should be owned and run by the public sector. Even PBS is a private corporation. So is the BBC. News is a basic desperate human necessity. BDHNs should be protected from capitalism. This is called Firewall Economics, and it is a rational compromise to get us out of this economic morass. FE is the future.


    There is a chance that the republicans want her to run too. They think she is too far left to win, but she’s not. On individual issues, she polls very very well. I hope she runs. She sounds more like me than anyone, AND, she seems to have the spine that Obama lacks.

  115. I just found this book. Fancher, R. T. (1995). Cultures of healing: Correcting the image of American mental health care.

    I don’t like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It has dominated therapy for decades. I never use it. It blames the victim. But today I got a good handle on the rational mistake the cognitive therapists make. Remember that cognitive therapy is all about correcting mistakes in rational thinking. Cognitive psychology commits the logical fallacy of confusing an IS with an AUGHT. Science looks at nature and sees dog eat dog competition. A person gets hurt and goes to therapy. The cognitive therapist says to accept the world as it is and get tougher. (Stoicism). The truth is; the world isn’t fair, but it’s up to us to make it fair. Just because the world IS primitive and brutal, that does not mean we AUGHT to embrace it and become more brutal to cope. The best therapy is to push for reform. This is the first book I see that might get this.

  116. Happy Halloween everybody. My second book will be out on Amazon soon. It’s a book for democrats. How to survive water cooler political arguments with republicans. Water Cooler Boot Camp. The main section is simply a historical and philosophical explanation in everyday language of what goes on the left and right of the political spectrum. You win political arguments by pointing out inconsistencies in your opponents position. For example: My dad is a republican that loves his union. Republican goes on the right. Union goes on the left. The republican party is not the party of the workingman. Look at how they vote on the minimum wage and everything else to help labor. The book is about one hundred pages long. It was longer but my wife cut the second section before I pissed everybody off with 6 months of me blogging angry responses to news items in the Washington Post. You can read those on my blog at



  118. Headline: Rocket to the International Space Station Explodes on the Pad: I respond:

    Think of how the republicans perpetuate the myth that the private sector can do things better than the public sector. This rocket was outsourced from the public sector to a private, for profit, contractor. Safety and profit margins compete. Some things, like safety, should not be exposed to the private sector.

  119. Wolfram Alpha is the future. It hooks up all the computers together to generate knowledge with out asking it specific questions. Or at least that’s how I understand it now. It’s web 3.0. Google on steroids. Remember Star Trek when they asked the computer how many Klingons there are on planet x that can be expected to reach the age of 100 if Spock changes the oxygen content of the planet from 30 to 33%? This is that kind of computer power.

  120. Republicans Criticizing Government Response To Ebola. I respond:

    Republicans always want it both ways. You can’t shrink the size of the federal government on Monday and then complain that the government is not strong enough to protect you on Friday. You rejected a national health service that covers everybody, and now a guy with Ebola and no insurance gets turned away from a privatized Texas hospital while you say “Where is my government help.”

  121. Headline: Ebola is still gaining speed. I Reply:

    What can we learn from this? 1. There is a vaccine in the pipeline but the private sector drug companies didn’t make any doses because they don’t think they can make enough money from selling it. 2. All you folks that are against free universal health care just exposed your children to the danger of being infected by poor people who can not afford medical care. CERTAIN THINGS SHOULD NOT BE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. Heath care is one of them. This is an excellent example of a problem than would be solved by FIREWALL ECONOMICS.

  122. Headline: The new war is all tangled up. Nobody knows what the sides are: I respond:

    We are not running this war. The Saudi royal family is. The war is Saudi oil vs Russian oil. We are slaves to Saudi oil. We have to do the fighting for them. They have us over an oil barrel. Obama and some of the democrats are doing what they can to resist it. All the republicans are stooges for the Saudis. The pressure on Obama must be incredible. Thank God there is no draft.

  123. Headline: Republicans getting worried about the midterm election they thought they could win the senate with: I respond:

    What did I tell you. This is just like the first Obama run. The republican polls show them ahead until right before the election where it turns for the democrats. They need to look like they can win during the fundraising season. Did you know that 99% of the Koch brothers money went to candidates that lost? BUT, this strategy backfires. It helps get the democrats motivated to go out and vote. To cover up the truth that the democrats are ahead prevents the democrats from thinking they don’t need to vote because it’s in the bag. Remember, a good turn out for the democrats always wins because there are way more democrats than republicans. THAT SAID, listen democrats, it’s still ALL ABOUT TURNOUT. Vote this time and every time and you will win every time. It’s right there in front of you. All you have to do is wait in line once every two years. If they want an ID, get one. If it’s a long line, refuse to leave until you vote. One day every two years is all you have to do. That’s why the republicans use every dirty trick to keep you from voting. VOTE!

  124. Headline: Here is what the election is about: I respond:

    LOOK AT THIS CRAZY REPUBLICAN SPIN. They run a headline that implies that the midterm election has no central issue. Then they talk about wedge issues that the republicans would like it to be about, but it isn’t. Then they show two charts that prove overwhelmingly that the election is about the economy, which it is. It has been greatly improved under the democrats. They assume that people only read the headlines and won’t be able to understand the graphs if they do read on. Then they say the election is all about hating Obama.

  125. Here is an article about textbook piracy. Textbook publishers are price gouging in an exponential way. This is a good example of something that Firewall Economics would keep out of the private sector. Algebra never changes. Pay a government employee a salary to write textbooks like this and then release them into the public domain for free. Here is my response:

    In the near future we will understand that information can not be bought and sold. Capitalism needs scarcity of a product for the law of supply and demand to set a price. If I sell you something, but I still have it, and I can sell the same thing over and over, then the supply is infinite, and the price falls to zero. In the future, authors of text books will be payed one lump sum only once for a book, and then it will be public property.

  126. We Just Bombed Oil Fields In Syria: I Respond:

    The war is about oil. The objective is to keep Syrian (Russian) oil in the ground to keep the price of Saudi oil up. There are two sides in the oil wars, Russia and Saudi Arabia. We do the fighting for the Saudis. It’s not about terrorism or religion, it’s about oil. The US just blew up oil fields in Syria using terrorism as an excuse. If the Russian side could sell all the oil it wanted to sell the world supply would go way up and that would crash the price of Saudi Oil. That’s what all the wars are really about. The Saudis set the quotas. If you exceed you quotas you get your oil banned from the world market and you get attacked by US forces who blow up your oil wells. The left in the US goes along with it too, as they want the oil left in the ground due to global warming. The greens sacrifice lower income consumers in the name of global warming. I think the oil should be subsidized for low income people while alternative energy sources get developed. Energy is a desperate human necessity and should be protected from private sector exploitation.

  127. Attorney General Eric Holder Resigns: I respond:

    Thank You Mr Holder for being on the right side of history and fighting for civil rights. Your place in history is secured. Now write a book on what they did to Obama to get him to go along with the war hawks. It must have been way more powerful than any man could endure. The only way to stop it, no matter what it is, is to expose it. Obama does not have the guts. You do. It is clear to me that there are forces more powerful than the office of the president. People need to know that by hearing it from you, and they need to know how to vote to stop it.

  128. Headline: A rare virus is spreading in children: I respond:

    All you stupid republicans who got suckered into fearing national heath care need to think about what happens in an epidemic when poor people can’t go to the doctor. It spreads to people that can. Basic lesson. Republicans are wrong, we are not a bunch of individuals. We are social beings, and we are all dependent on each other.

  129. Headline today: The polls are starting to show a democratic win after all. I respond:

    Until now all the “polls” have predicted a republican takeover of the senate. Remember when Obama was “behind” in “the polls” until right before the election? The idea must be to discourage democrats from voting by tricking them into thinking they have already lost. VOTE EVERY TIME. Don’t trust the polls. Large democratic turnouts always beat the republicans.

  130. 9-13-14: Headline Today: Republicans take a small lead in the polls after changing the rules on who gets polled. They assume the democrats won’t turn out for a midterm election so they predict a republican win. They do this in every election. Remember when Obama seemed to come from behind to win. He was never behind. I respond to the story:

    Same old story. Republicans always lose when the democrats bother to vote. There are more democrats than republicans. So the democrats are lazy right? Well no. The republicans do VOTER SUPPRESSION. Voter ID laws, purges etc, dirty tricks to block poor people and minorities from voting. Republicans can’t win in a fair election. There is a reason that democracy is in the name of only one of the major parties.

  131. Headline Today: Republicans take a small lead in the polls after changing the rules on who gets polled. They assume the democrats won’t turn out for a midterm election so they predict a republican win. They do this in every election. Remember when Obama seemed to come from behind to win. He was never behind. I respond to the story:

    Same old story. Republicans always lose when the democrats bother to vote. There are more democrats than republicans. So the democrats are lazy right? Well no. The republicans do VOTER SUPPRESSION. Voter ID laws, purges etc, dirty tricks to block poor people and minorities from voting. Republicans can’t win in a fair election. There is a reason that democracy is in the name of only one of the major parties.

  132. Headline Today: Republicans block the democrats from fixing Citizens United. The Democrats started a bill for a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are not people. The republicans blocked it from even being debated. Republicans want corporations to have the same rights as people. I respond:

    Congress is for sale because the republicans want it that way and the democrats don’t. Don’t listen to spin. Just look at how the republicans vote.

  133. My Book number 2, about political literacy, is in the proofread stage. It will be released very soon. It’s about what goes on the left and what goes on the right. Simple? Not really, when you consider that most voters never get this information without taking a political science course in college. High Schools won’t touch it. If the democrats would just do this instead of playing the spin game, all spin would be ineffective.

  134. Headline: How Young Is Too Young To Handle Guns? I respond:

    Carl Rove to republicans: The election is getting close, the economy is improving at light speed, and the wars we are trying to start are getting so tangled up there are no more clear sides. We need a wedge issue to split the democrats in the election. Get them fighting each other over guns.

  135. Headline: The Republicans Have Wheeled Out Another African American Candidate for President. I respond:

    Here comes another Uncle Tom. Where do the republicans find these jokers. Look, African Americans have long memories. They know the republicans are on the wrong side of minority issues. Remember the last guy with the pizza and the goofy commercials? Putting token minorities in front of republican spin does not work. Thank God. There is a reason that the red state/blue state map looks like a map of the civil war. It’s not really over yet.

  136. Headline: Ukraine is fighting Russia and selling them weapons at the same time. I respond:

    Perhaps this is a sign that war is going extinct. There are no sides anymore. They just stir up a region and sell guns to both sides. Could this be the desperate last gasps of the military industrial complex? They are even trying to restart the cold war when Russia is ignoring them. We have never been able to convert our economy back to a peacetime economy after WWII. Come on you industrialists. Let’s dump the tanks and build electric cars. You can make money on electric cars too.

  137. 8-17-14: Headline: Medicare has been getting ripped off by a wheelchair scam. I respond:

    Markets for certain things need to be restricted from for profit, private sector capitalism. The fraud here is not from the public sector side, it’s from the private sector side ripping off the public sector. There should be no profit motive in health care. Notice that this scam would have been impossible under a pure public sector heath care delivery system. Yes, socialized medicine would have prevented this. Socialism works better at providing desperate necessities to low income people. But, total socialism is not necessary. The trick is to NOT blend capitalism and socialism because they cancel each other out and become inefficient. Let the public sector manage markets for desperate necessities, and let the private sector take a profit only on things you can refuse to buy. (Most things). This is Firewall Economics.

  138. Headline. Louisiana republican governor spends 7.3 million on consultants to tell him how to find enough money to pay the state’s bills. I Respond:

    Listen republican blue collar voters. This is what the republicans do. He spent 7.3 million dollars on consultants to tell him how to save money. and guess what, the consultants told him to cut services to blue collar workers and then they took the 7.3 million back to New York. I’ll tell you how to balance the state budget and I’ll give you good advice for free: MAKE THE RICH PAY TAXES. The only way to get that done is STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS. Republicans are NOT on the side of blue collar workers. Read history. VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS AND PRIMARIES.

  139. Headline today about an upcoming bubble bursting in sub-prime auto loans. I Respond:

    Get a 10 year old car with no rust. Small dents are OK. Get a standard transmission. That way the engine is the only major repair risk. You can get a rebuilt engine for less than 3000 anywhere. Get a 4 cylinder engine for gas economy. Finance the car at a credit union first if you can, second-a bank-last resort-a finance company or used car dealer. Never buy off a lot. By from individuals. Keep you cars for as long as possible. Follow this plan as close as possible. This is the secret to getting your budget up to speed.

  140. UPDATE: 8-14-14. The Washington Post tells me that since the first time I ever signed up with them , I used facebook to sign in, and therefore I need to use facebook to sign in every time. They offered to fix it so I could sign in directly. This is BS because I have signed in many times directly before. Here is my response to them: ” Since this can trip up a significant number of subscribers, and will cause many to cancel subscriptions, may I suggest that you fix this for everyone, and let all subscribers be able to log on both ways.

    Let me say this. The WP allows comments on almost all stories. This is web 2.0 (Interactive). The NYT does not allow many comments at all, even if you subscribe. I want the WP to continue to do this right.

    Lastly, the reason that traditional papers are losing readers is NOT because of the net replacing paper. The reason is the constant right wing spin. People see through spin that used to work because there are alternative sources of information now. Try this: Look at a story and compare the relative right/left spin point of view of the story to the average point of view in the comments. A typical story with center right spin will have a majority of center left comments. To increase subscription rates, simply adjust the spin more to the left. That is, assuming you prefer to be funded by a mass of readers, instead of a handful of billionaires.”

    JD Phillips LCSW
    Belleville Illinois

  141. I have been having way too much computer trouble with my digital subscription at the Washington Post. You can not comment on a story unless you have a paid subscription. I have one, but they keep blocking my comments. I may be onto a story here. Here is my email to them today: Stay tuned.

    Well, You Have Done It Again. You are AGAIN blocking my ability to comment by putting up an ad to subscribe like I am not a subscriber. I have been subscribing to a digital subscription for months. The last time it took a week to fix and I had to email you my paypal statement. Call me paranoid, but I have a little bit of a suspicion that you are censoring me because I am politically progressive. I am a blogger with lots of readers, and I can me critical of the MSM. Or perhaps I flatter myself to think I’m that important. I can see on MY screen that my account is verified. I fixed this. How did it get unfixed. I am going to follow up on this phenomenon and see if there is a trend in this, with progressives getting blocked on the WP. This message goes up on my blog right now.

    UPDATE 10 PM. They fixed it.


    BULL SHIT. REPUBLICANS FEAR A HIGH OR EVEN REGULAR VOTER TURNOUT BECAUSE THEY REQUIRE A LOW TURNOUT TO WIN. Headlines like this are designed to discourage you from voting. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO CRUSH THE GOP IS VOTE EVERY TIME. No millions of dollars or voter suppression can stop you once you commit to that simple strategy. VOTE


    I Respond: When robots do most of everything, and nobody works, will we still feed the workers or will the republicans let them starve? Are you entitled to desperate human necessities just because you are a US citizen? If republicans win, we will have a very small population of rich people and millions of robots. It’s the classic question: What happens when all the work is done? Make work jobs, monthly checks for all, or massive desperate suffering? Tech is good, but everyone is entitled to work less because of it, not just the super rich.

  144. HEADLINE: Islamic Extremists are Taking Over Iraq: I respond:


    1. No boots on the ground.
    2. We need boots to stay the course.
    3. We need a surge to win.
    4. Hearts and Minds. We can’t leave yet because we have to train the locals.
    5. If we leave now we waste the lives of our already dead.
    6. We can’t leave because we broke it and we own it.
    7. Time to go. Wait for democratic administration to get us out….spin it like-the democrats want to cut and run.
    8. After were out….we had it won until the democrats quit.
    9. Spin the war against the democrats in the next election.
    10. REPEAT

  145. HEADLINE: Russia responds to sanctions by BANNING FOOD: I respond:

    Everybody blames the net for the death of newspapers. After reading the papers again for a while I think that’s false. People don’t read the traditional papers because THEY ARE FILLED WITH REPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA SPIN! The NYT and the WP are FOX LIGHT.

  146. Palestinians Go Underground and the Washington Post Calls it Terror Tunnels: I respond:

    Israel bombs them, wont let them out of a little box, they dig a hole to hide in and you spin it as terror tunnels. This is GENOCIDE. The only reason they avoid international justice is because the US protects them. The US public does not support this. This is the Israel lobby and the missile merchants killing kids for profit and political leverage. This is what happens when democracy is blocked by the republican party. Vote in the midterm elections. Do whatever you have to do to vote.


    I Respond: “Carl Rove to republican leaders. There is an election coming and the democrats have fixed the economy that Bush broke right before he handed it to Obama. Quick-divert attention-START 2 WARS!”


    Suppose this life is a moral test, maybe a moral education. If so, what are we supposed to learn from the situation in Gaza? Let me suggest a solution. What would Jesus recommend that the Palestinians do? Maybe he would say that there is NO SUCH THING AS HOLY LAND. It’s just dirt. Life/People can be sacred, ideas can be sacred, but the mere fact that a sacred religious person once walked on a particular spot is not enough reason to fight and kill for the possession of it. Maybe we should offer the Palestinians the option of relocating to somewhere else. Yes, the Israelis ran them off their own land, but the only thing stopping us from compensating them fairly is the superstition that that particular location is so important that no other location in the world, and no amount of money is enough to justify moving. Is it rational to adhere to a superstition that gets your children shelled, when a safer homeland would only require the abandonment of the superstition that one spot on earth is more holy than another? We should encourage the Palestinians to let the superstitious Israelis have Gaza, find a place for them that they are wanted, get Israel, the US and the rest of the world to compensate them for the expense of moving, and stop this killing forever. The killing is all about a superstition that is not necessary in any of the religions of the world.

  149. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Is Trying to Cut the Pensions of Public Workers. He’s like Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I respond:

    REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS always try to rape the pension fund of their public employees. The states are not broke, that’s just the bond houses paying republicans to attack the working class. Please stop voting for republicans. They are wrong on every issue and totally corrupt. Vote in every election, especially midterms and primaries where your vote counts ten times more.


    We started the coup. The cold war is on again. Socialism vs. Capitalism. Socialism is attractive to nations without wealth as it does a better job of protecting the basic desperate necessities of life. Capitalism is favored by rich nations who are afraid of socialists taxing them too heavily to pay for the safety net. The answer is Firewall Economics, a compromise that simply restricts capitalism from exploiting markets for desperate necessities.


    Russia firing from inside their borders to help their side is nothing compared to the things that the US does around the world to help their side. We invade socialist nations, send in undercover assassins, murder heads of state, back right wing death squads, give weapons to brutal dictators, help right wing dictators to sell drugs around the world to finance wars our congress wont fund and declare illegal. The cold war never stopped, and there are no rules on either side. We started a coup in Ukraine to hurt the Russians and they are fighting back,

  152. I just got interviewed on the radio. NPR KWMU 90.7 FM. Citiscape program…11 AM Monday July 27. The show is about the loss of the middle class. It was a ten minute interview that will be edited to about one minute for my part. People discussing rising inequality. I got in a punch against republican trickle down economics. I encouraged people to vote in every election, especially primaries and midterms. High turnouts always favor the democrats.


    I Respond: Gulf of Tonkin…..Weapons of Mass Destruction…..excuse me if I don’t believe the official US government excuse for war; The US backed the coup in Ukraine. We started this. My guess is that our side shot the plane down to blame it on Putin. We have done things like that before. No matter who shot it down….we started the war.


    Stories like this are tricks to keep democrats from voting. Low turnouts are needed for republicans to win because democrats outnumber republicans. Democrats, this is why you should vote every time, especially in lower turnout midterms. You actually have way more power in a midterm or a primary. YOUR VOTE COUNTS WAY MORE WHEN FEWER PEOPLE VOTE. The lower the turnout, the more punch the single vote carries. In a primary or a midterm, it’s like you get ten votes instead of one.

  155. Congress wants US defense contractors to be cut in on the profits from the wars the US pays for in Israel. I respond:

    Surprise! The US pays for Israeli wars against defenseless civilians. The only argument in this story is who gets the profits from the missiles.

  156. Malaysian airliner down going into Russia over Ukraine. Could have been shot down. US war hawks blaming Putin. I respond:

    Somebody tape Fox News blaming this on the Russians for later use on the comedy shows. My guess…the Russians did not shoot down that plane. It could be the anti-Russian side doing it to blame Russia and get us behind a cold war restart. There is no motive for Putin to do this or anything else. The people in eastern Ukraine want to be Russian.

  157. People are angry about the immigration problem with the refugee children. I respond:

    Carl Rove to conservative media. “There is an election coming up and the democrats have cut the deficit in half, and brought the unemployment rate down to 6.1. Quick…start talking about immigration.”

  158. Republicans are refusing to let refugee children come across the Mexican border. I respond:

    One thing that Thomas Piketty proves with his statistics is that countries that have lower immigration levels have greater economic inequality. Immigrants narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich probably know this, and the old trick of telling blue collar workers that immigration hurts them is clearly false. Vote in the midterms and vote as far left as you can without throwing your vote away on a candidate that can’t win. In other words, vote for the democrats.

  159. Thousands of Pro-Russian Protesters Rally in Ukraine. I respond:

    This is a perfect example of why war is useless. The east wants Russia. The west wants Europe. No matter how many people get killed on both sides, the result will still be the same. The East will go with Russia. Please just skip the killing and have an election.

  160. Supreme court rules that Hobby Lobby can refuse to provide birth control coverage in it’s health care because of a religious objection. I respond:

    The classic excuse for not electing the court is that it is supposed to be above politics. The court has always been 100% political. If it is going to be political then it needs to be elected. We need a constitutional amendment to elect the supreme court. We had to do it with the senate, but we need to extend it to the third branch of government. These “conservative” judges” were put in by republicans. Punish the republicans by voting for democrats in the midterm elections. TURN OUT AND VOTE. There is a reason that only one of the major parties has the word democracy in it’s title.


    I told you there were no sides to this thing. We are sending gear to the people in Syria that are against the Russians. Half of them are Al-Qaeda. At the same time we are trying to help the Shiites in Iraq against the same side we are helping in Syria. NOW the Russians are helping the Shiites in Iraq. We are with the Russians in Iraq, and against them in Syria. Perhaps our military is a slave to the Saudis, who are calling the shots. The king is very old and senile there. Or could it just be the defense industry selling guns to both sides, or the oil industry stirring up trouble to get a spike in the price of oil. Could it be the republicans doing desperate things to prevent cuts to the military, or just to make Obama look bad. If Obama really wants to be a hero, he could write a book after he leaves and expose how the oligarchs prevent the president from implementing democracy, but I suppose they already know how to prevent him from doing that to.


    The US is not yet a democracy. It was originally even worse. We could elect the president and the house, but not the senate or the supreme court. We had to amend the constitution to get to elect the senate, but the court is still appointed, and appointed for life. We will never be a democracy until the last block, the supreme court, is elected. We need a constitutional amendment to do it, but it will eventually happen.


    I respond: Before Bush invaded, I wrote my senator and declared my opposition. I predicted that we would be there for a decade and after finally leaving we would watch the country fall into civil war with the Sunnis and Shias. I also warned the democrats not to sign on because of what is happening right now. The republicans are saying “Well the democrats voted for it too.” Half of the democrats are republican light. The way to change this is to vote in every election, especially primaries and midterms, and vote as far left as you can. Over time the weak democrats will get replaced. It takes time. Start in November.

  164. The republicans are sore because the IRS tried to take away the tax exempt status for their campaign slush funds. These Political Action Committees, PACs, actually get tax exempt status by claiming to be social welfare organizations. Everybody knows they are breaking the law. Obama had the guts to go after them, and now the republicans are trying to turn it into a phony scandal.

    They found out that the woman at the IRS in charge of taking back the tax exempt status had a computer crash years before anybody even thought about going after these groups. Now they are demanding the lost emails like the democrats erased them, even though they could not have had anything to do with this.

    I Respond: MEMO: Carl Rove to D. Issa: Look, I know the emails got lost on her computer years before this thing happened. That is not important. I know and you know that the lost emails had nothing to do with what we are accusing them of. People only read headlines. What is in the story is not important. It’s all about the mental image. GIVE ME A HEADLINE THAT IMPLIES THAT THE WHITE HOUSE ERASED SOMETHING.

  165. Republicans continue to oppose immigration. I respond:

    One of the points that Thomas Piketty makes in his blockbuster book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, is that immigration narrows the inequality gap. He proves it with real data, not just political opinion. When immigration is down, the gap between the rich and the poor widens. When immigration is up, social mobility increases, the middle class grows, and inequality decreases. That is why the republican party, the party of the rich, opposes immigration. In order to counter this, help the middle class, and decrease inequality, you need to vote in every election, including midterms and primaries, and vote against the republican party.


    I respond: Memo: Carl Rove to Wash Post. I need a headline with Iraq and Chemical weapons in the title. What’s in the story is not important. People only read headlines. It’s all about the mental image in the headline. We are running out of war excuses. We need to keep the fear going. There is an election coming up. The democrats could turn out to vote in the midterms and throw the Tea Party out. Give me a scary headline. We need to paint the democrats as weak on defense. The terrorists are coming. Get on it. Carl.

  167. Wisconsin republican governor Scott Walker just got exposed for breaking election laws when he was being recalled. He’s in big trouble, but the big money that sent him is safe. I respond:

    This is all part of the plan by republicans to break the public workers union. They knew they were breaking the law, and they knew Walker would get caught and take the fall. The plan was to do the damage and hope it would not be reversed. Walker was probably well compensated, even if he’s out of politics. Walker is just the a fall guy for the Koch Brothers. There is a republican running for Illinois governor right now who is trying the same thing.

  168. 6-19-14: Republicans in the house elect an new number two man after Eric Cantor lost his primary to a Tea Party Candidate. I respond:

    Talk about a weak story. Is this cat a Tea Party guy or not? I quote: He maintains cozy ties with many of the Republicans elected in the 2010 tea party wave. He is also a strong fundraiser with a tireless work ethic and has been cast as the candidate of the party’s establishment.



    THERE ARE NO SIDES ANYMORE. Just weeks ago we were being asked to arm these people in Syria, and now we are being asked to kill the same people in Iraq. This is what you get after decades of Machiavellian (The enemy of my enemy is my friend) diplomacy. Stop the wars, bring the troops home, and tell Saudi Arabia to fight it’s own wars with it’s own troops.


    This spin is a trick of the republican right. It’s good that the myth of a rising tide lifts all boats has been debunked. Once the 99% figure out that THERE IS AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL, they pick a side in the class war, and stick to it. That is what is happening. There is a clear difference between the philosophy of the 2 political parties. They directly contradict each other. Competition and cooperation do not mix. They cancel each other out.


    According to Thomas Piketty, the author of Capital in the Twenty First Century, the rock star economist, there are three ways to pay down national debt. From worst to best. Worst is austerity, inflation is better. Inflation is the traditional way. Best is a tax on capital. Half of all the people of the earth own nothing, while a very few people own half of everything. A tax on wealth, not just income has to happen. The left has always been ridiculed for advocating a redistribution of wealth, but they are vindicated now. Piketty proved it with hard data, not just theory. The rich will try to hide their money with capital flight, but they need the power of the US military to protect their wealth. Once US voters elect candidates that refuse to use the military to protect the wealth of the oligarchs, then these tax shelter nations will be out of the money laundering business. Even conservatives will soon see that such extreme inequality is dysfunctional for everyone.


    No. No No. No to a new war in Syria, No to a new war in Ukraine, no to restarting the cold war, and NO to going back to Iraq. If this is another lame attempt to discredit Obama and the democrats then remember that Iraq is Bush and the republican’s mess. If Obama couldn’t fix it it is not his fault.

  173. Eric Cantor, the republican house majority leader got beat in his primary by a Tea Party nut case. Everybody wants to know why. This is why:

    Southern poor white voters do not know what goes on the political right and left. We can see this because the republican party favors the rich at their expense, and these folks keep voting republican. We now have lots of TV personalities that daily point out the hypocrisy and inconsistency in what the republicans say and how they vote. Little by little these folks wake up and start hating the republican party. BUT, it’s too big of an ego downer to go from republican to democrat. They look for a third party option even though that is political suicide in a 2 party system. They go for the tea party, even though the tea party is even more to the right, because they don’t understand left vs right. They hate “government” and the republicans. The tea party and the libertarians attract them away from the democrats, but at a huge cost. They can win a primary, but they can not win on a national level. We are watching the death of the republican party.

    I think the servicing of student loans has been privatized. This could be a big chunk of the problem. There is a whole industry out there trying to make a profit on students who default. The primary goal of a private sector company is to make a profit, not help students pay off their loans. This is a fine example of why the private sector should be restricted from profiteering on desperate human necessities. (Things you can not refuse to buy). That is the basic premise of Firewall Economics. Student loans should be at the same one percent that the fed loans money to the banks. Why let the banks mark it up. Loan it to the students directly at one percent. Republicans FOR ripping off students, democrats trying to help students. Go out and vote in the midterms.

  175. The Republicans are pouring money into campaign ads in Alaska. They have a tiny population, but they get 2 senators.

    Republicans love to exploit the few places in the system that are not about democracy. Alaska has a half million registered votes and they get 2 senators. In the future small population states will not get the same 2 senators are large population states. This is left over from incentives to get low population states to join the union. It used to be even worse. Senators were not even elected until they amended the constitution. Senators were appointed by state governments in power at the time. When Palin was governor, she could have appointed 2 tea party nuts as the senators from Alaska. We get more democracy over time, but the republicans would already be gone without exploiting the weak spots. There are more democrats than republicans. You can make them waste all this money. All you have to do is VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION, especially the midterms and primaries. This is the most important thing you can do for democracy. Score it. Democrats for Democracy, Republicans against it.


    I quote the story. “The tax and the bill’s overall cost make it virtually certain, however, that the Republican-controlled House would not consider the measure.” Cost to who? Not the millions who are held back by student loan debt. The government should not be making a profit on student loans. The government should be spending money to help people get an education. VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS. If you have student debt, you need to get republican obstructionists out of the way of democratic legislation designed specifically to help you. Never forget this moment. Republicans are against upward mobility. Democrats are for it. The one percent only want their rich kids to get degrees.

  177. This headline is a nightmare for republicans. It’s great news on jobs, but they spin it as bad news. It’s only bad news for the republicans. The democrats got back all the jobs that Bush trashed in the great recession. I respond:

    Look at the republican spin on stories like this. This one says unemployment is 6.3, BUT IT”S NO REASON TO CELEBRATE because we expected even more. Please. Under the republicans we got the great recession, and the democrats got all the jobs back. This story is why the republicans want to talk only about wedge issues like guns, gays, abortion, immigration, etc. If the democrats vote in mass in the midterms, they will break the republican obstruction in congress. Do whatever you have to do to VOTE each and every time, especially in the midterms and primaries. All the Koch Brothers bribe money and all the fake scandals are simply trying to keep the democrats from voting. There are more democrats than republicans. When democrats vote, they always win.

  178. I have been criticizing the New York Times for not allowing responses on most of their political stories. Today they have a story: Announcing the NYT Opinion Section: I respond:

    I hope this is not a substitute for allowing comments on political stories. The only thing extra you get by subscribing is the ability to post a comment. You can read the stories free online. Comments belong ON THE STORY. You are trying to convince regular readers who never go to the opinion section. I hope this is not a way to put all the comments off to the side where nobody sees them except people preaching to the choir. That would be just another blog. we need to comment in the paper, not the paper’s blog. Please make comments available on most of the political stories.

  179. I’m fed up with MSNBC. I’m tired of watching a democrat curse big oil right before going to a commercial for British Petroleum. I’m sending this paragraph in on every show:

    MSNBC. In the first half of the day we get republican hosts, talking about what the republicans want to talk about, and taking the republican side, while selling commercials to corporate republican interests. In the afternoon and evening we get democratic hosts, talking about what the republicans want to talk about, while taking the democratic side, and selling commercials to corporate republican interests. The purpose of this network is to sell commercials to corporate republican interests. Where else can BP oil, predatory lenders, and private heath care companies get access to viewers that hate them? I think the strategy is to lure them in with a teaser by bashing republicans, and then hit the chickens with sales pitches for KFC. Write these people. We dumped CNN. We can dump them too.

  180. Here is a picture of Obama in the Washington Post next to a headline with the word scandal in it. The story does not bash Obama, but that’s not the objective. I respond:

    Carl Rove to the Washington Post: I need a headline today next to a picture of Obama with the word SCANDAL in it. What you say in the story is not important. It’s just the image of Obama next to the word SANDAL that’s important. Common people don’t vote with their heads, they vote with their guts, and we can condition them like Pavlov’s dog. In fact, go ahead and side with the left in the body of the story. We can use it to prove the media has a liberal bias.

  181. The Occupy Wall Street Folks are trying to start a new movement at OWS broke my heart. I wrote this on their facebook page to see if they have figured it out yet. I write: I see you are the Occupy Wall Street folks that grabbed all the natural rage of the left, got all the way up to the top step, and then didn’t know what to ask for. Let me get right to the test. Please do not waste the rage again. Here is the fundamental question: Do you believe that there is an adversarial relationship between labor and capital? Do you have room in your tent for libertarians? If the answer to the first question is no, and the answer to the second question is yes, then you have not changed, and you will hurt the very cause you say you support. The way to fight back against the extreme right is to pull as hard to the left as you can. It’s not a consensus, it’s a class war, and you have to pick a side.

  182. Seattle raises it’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour, double the national minimum wage. I respond:
    The best political strategy is to go in reverse. Instead of looking for a top down plan that will end up reaching your goal, a living wage, just start by setting a living wage and then make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep it strong.

  183. The head of the VA just got fired in the latest republican attempt at a scandal. I respond:

    See this for what it really is, a privatization grab by private, for profit, health insurance companies. They just lost billions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act. Now they want to make a private sector profit on all those wounded troops coming back from the war. Do I need to mention that the VA is part of the public sector, and there is no profit. private heath care is way more expensive than public VA care. 25% of all private heath care money goes to “administrative costs.” The CEO’s that run these things make multi-million dollar salaries. VA workers are in a union. They can’t be fired for stopping a doctor from giving you the wrong medication. This move is not about helping vets. It’s about exploiting them.

  184. Here is a story about the phony scandal at the VA. I write back:

    This is like the republican attack on the post office. Both have unions. Make a scandal, and then privatize it. It’s because of the republican wars that the VA is flooded with casualties. This scandal is not about better treatment for vets, it’s about the private sector trying to get access to the largest hospital in the US. It’s about making a profit on wounded vets. Want proof. Ask the republicans what reforming the VA would look like if they got their way. Private sector health care is going away. We are moving forward, not backward. How long do you think the wait times will be when the private sector makes money by making people wait.

  185. Here is a story in the Washington Post that “discusses” the “theory” that Hillary Clinton is covering up a medical condition. I respond:

    This is an example of the almost subliminal republican spin that I have been seeing. I suspect that the strategy is to simply implant a mental image while claiming to be spinning for the democrats. These think tanks are sophisticated. They may not care what side of the issues the author takes, they may only care about implanting a mental image in already made up minds. Agenda setting is certainly part of it. Take this story: The headline seems to be anti-Hillary, but the text of the story tries to debunk the myth that she is sick. Most people only see the headline, and those that read on still get the mental image. The main stream media is owned by republican interests. They can’t just print republican opinions, but they can print democratic opinions that are full of subtle republican manipulation. Be suspicious of stories like this.

  186. Here is a story that shows that people who are the most likely to split their ticket and vote for some democrats and some republicans are people who know the least about politics. They think it’s about the individual and not the party philosophy. Inconsistent thinking is essential for republican propaganda tricks. I comment on the story:

    This is why my next book is about political literacy. You can’t get out of HS without more math than you will ever use, but you can graduate with honors and not know the political left from the right. The republican party preys on these “Low Information Voters” with wedge issues and appeals to primitive human fears. Without this edge the republicans would have been out of power since before Reagan. Remember “Morning in America.”

  187. The Financial Times is trying to shoot down Piketty’s book by claiming fuzzy math. I respond:

    There is no refuting the fact that inequality is increasing and going back to the level of 1929. We knew that before this book. All they can do is claim fuzzy math. You don’t even need math to see the truth. Markets do not self regulate. There is no invisible hand. It don’t trickle down. Supply side economics is a scam. We need to tax upper income people fairly.

  188. In the news: The Obama administration has postponed changing the IRS rules that make large political contributions tax exempt. Most people don’t know it, but all that dirty money is TAX EXEMPT. In order to get tax exempt status, they have to say that their PACs are community welfare organizations. These are not charities. When the IRS went after the Tea Party and the Koch brothers for not being community welfare organizations, the Obama administration decided to clarify the rules. That is a good move. Now it seems that the republicans are blocking it at least long enough to scoot by another election. Making political bribery tax deductible is ridiculous. I write back to the story:

    Don’t back down on this. Ten times more money gets tax laundered by the right. It’s the republican who are blocking this. The Koch brothers have to say that their PACs are social welfare organizations to be tax exempt. They are the opposite of social welfare organizations.

  189. New Book Out.
    Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty

    It seems like the real deal. I thought it might be a whitewash for the Kochs, but I’m listening to a radio interview right now and he seems to be dead on. This is where the US libertarian movement comes from. Daddy got his original money from Stalin, comes home and thinks there are commies under every rug. Thinks aid to the poor is wrong and would let them die. Thinks the owner of the lunch counter where the blacks sat in in the civil rights movement was within his rights to NOT serve blacks because it was a private business. They believe the oil companies can pollute with no government oversight. They are against government it’self. There is a word for that ANARCHY. This junk philosophy is attractive to people who have become disillusioned with the republican party but can not handle changing to the democratic party. They are actually damaging the republican party so much that I think it will be the republicans who stop them. One more thing. I knew all this years ago after a quick internet search. There is no longer any excuse for being suckered like this.

    Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty

  190. Here is a story about people fighting over where Jesus was baptized.

    Jesus is the most important philosopher of all time, but it’s not important where he was baptized. What is important is the moral values that he promoted. Jesus taught peace, and people fought wars over tiny details like the trinity being one thing or three. Jesus would never enlist in an army. Jesus hated empire builders. He resisted the Roman empire. He hated what we call capitalism. People who fear that the behavior of Jesus will catch on are the same people who try to divide Christians with tiny details like this one. At a time like this, when a few rich people own or control everything, and the masses are restless, the rich will do anything to divide them.

  191. Breaking News: The democrats in congress are going to go for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United supreme court ruling that allows unlimited campaign contributions by billionaires. I write:

    OK all you republicans that say congress is corrupt, this is who is against taking the money out of politics. The republicans are blocking the fix just like they always have. I know a way you can make all this big money lose. Go out and vote in the midterm elections, and vote for democrats. It’s that easy. You don’t need slick ads to see who’s on the side of the people. Just look at how they vote. Don’t listen to what they say. Look at how they vote.

  192. Piketty proves what social workers have always known, that capitalism, left unregulated, like now, is allowed to run loose, them inequality will increase to the point that one man owns everything and everybody. There is a story today about him and I want to show my comment here.

    Well, here they are reacting to Piketty’s book in just the wrong way that I feared. Piketty’s graph shows that the only time that inequality was reduced was during the two world wars. I hope the war hawks don’t twist it as an excuse for war. This was also the time when the tax rates on the rich were higher. That is what we need to return to, not war.

    Capitalism will eventually crash. The only options are a hard landing or a soft landing. Firewall Economics will give us a soft landing. Listen to the social workers. If you would have done that a century ago, we would have been spared all this. firewalleconomics,com

  193. Well, here they are reacting to Piketty’s book in just the wrong way that I feared. Piketty’s graph shows that the only time that inequality was reduced was during the two world wars. I hope the war hawks don’t twist it as an excuse for war. This was also the time when the tax rates on the rich were higher. That is what we need to return to, not war.

  194. Here is a story about the Illinois Governor’s race. It’s close and Obama is being asked to help. I write:

    This republican challenger made his millions in nursing homes and his company is in court over a scandal about mismanagement or something. Nursing homes are very controversial in Illinois. They are one of the last for profit heath care markets and elder abuse and neglect cases are everywhere. Now this guy is trying to be Scott Walker in Illinois. The irony is that he runs ads making fun of his poor man’s shirt. He’s a republican that hates big government while he got rich from medicare and medicaid payments to his nursing homes. A rich hypocrite trying to act like a populist. When Scott Walker attacked the Wisconsin legislature, they hid in Illinois. We need everybody to get out and vote in the midterm elections.

  195. Toyota is pulling it’s money out of Tesla, the electric car company. They think hydrogen cars are the future. I write:

    I’ve given this one a lot of thought over the years as I try and use less gas. The problem is to get a car that is cheap to run around town (electric) and that also has range for the highway. (Not electric.) Hybrid cars are good at both but expensive. I think the answer is to use 2 cheap cars. A cheap all electric giant golf cart thing to run around town, and a ten year old 4 cylinder 40 mpg gas car for the highway. Instead of designing a golf club that will hit drives and putt, you just put two clubs in your bag.

  196. The republicans are running a Scott Walker Clone for Illinois governor. It’s too close to call right now. The guy made his money in nursing homes. I got fired once for refusing to put a young homeless man in a nursing home. It was a racket to get federal money by using homeless people. The guy did not even want to go there. Completely illegal and if I would have done it, I could have lost my license. The state did not help me. It was the only job I ever had where I was not in a union. A lawyer told me: Illinois is an AT WILL state. They can fire you for any reason that is not some kind of discrimination, race, sex, etc. The union is what protected me throughout my career as a social worker.

    Anyway here is today’s blog: WOW! Talk about timing. This is what I wrote to the Governor today, right before I found this story in the Chicago Tribune. It appears that his staff is way ahead of me. I wrote:
    Let me help out here. The republican candidate for Gov is a billionaire who made his money off the public sector by getting medicare and medicaid funds into his for profit private nursing homes. If you google his nursing homes you may find a history of some pretty terrible elder abuse. This is a big racket in Illinois. When I researched it a few years ago, I didn’t know about this guy. I do not know if any of his nursing homes were involved. I think somebody needs to check. Now I know the Governor does not want to use negative ads, but this man is running ads about his poor man’s shirt and his family values. I would do the research and publish the results.,0,6380669.story

  197. Today on NPR.

    This is not the same old clash between two theories in the abstract. For the first time Piketty has collected a mass of data from tax records and other things that prove that trickle down supply side economics is a scam. It trickles up of course, we always knew that but now we can prove it. History proves it. A wealth tax will happen now. Capitalism is NOT sustainable without massive political repression. It’s only a question of a hard landing or a soft one. For a soft landing I propose Firewall Economics, where the basic desperate necessities of life are protected from capitalist exploitation, while everything else is fair game for competitive markets. It’s OK to corner the market on luxury cars, but not on home heating oil. This is a compromise capitalists would be wise to embrace.

  198. Washington Post: Obama is calling for a big voter turnout in the midterm elections. He’s right on the money. I write:

    Listen up Occupy folks. This is the secret. Republicans hate a high voter turnout because there are less republicans than democrats. You have to vote each and every time, especially in midterms, and vote as far left as you can. Sometimes that isn’t very far left but you have to do it anyway. It adds up over time. Listen now. The last thing you should do when you are angry is stop voting. You are not sending an angry signal to the system, you are just helping the republicans. Not voting is NOT a revolutionary act. When you get angry and stop voting, you give Wall Street exactly what it wants. One more thing. ALL the Wall Street crooks are republicans for a reason. The republican party is your enemy. The democrats are not very far to the left yet, but they would be if you would vote every time.–and-america/2014/05/09/0b37c6ae-d655-11e3-95d3-3bcd77cd4e11_story.html

  199. Today’s Paper: The super rich are so rich that they are crashing capitalism. I write:

    Yes it’s true. The trend is toward a concentration of wealth so concentrated at the very top that capitalism will no longer be sustainable. The question is: will we have a hard or a soft landing. The way to get a soft landing is Firewall Economics. FE restricts capitalism from the basic desperate necessities of living, while capitalism is allowed to participate in everything else. Profit is OK on fancy sports cars. It’s not OK on home heating oil.

  200. NEW BOOK. “The Zero Marginal Cost Society” by Jeremy Rifkin.

    I just heard about this. I will read it right away. Firewall Economics is the restriction on desperate necessities, (Things you can not refuse to buy), from capitalism. Capitalism is only allowed for luxuries. I have always said that the internet will crush capitalism eventually because selling information is impossible. There is no scarcity with information. Rifkin gets it. If I sell you a car, I no longer have it. I can’t sell it again. If I sell you a file, a book, a digital song, etc., I still have it and can sell it again. The law of supply and demand applies. There is unlimited supply, so the price drops to zero. How will people get paid is the question. Rifkin is on to something. I thought artists would be payed by government subsidy. He thinks you won’t need to be payed because everything is so cheap you won’t need money. I like it.

    This fits in well also with a book I just read that debunks the work ethic. SELLING THE WORK ETHIC by Sharon Beder. It answers a question I have had all my life: What if all the work got done.” The work ethic we think of today is a remnant of the agricultural age when life was labor intensive. “If you don’t work you don’t eat” was a philosophy necessary for survival. But what if machines and modern computerized manufacturing made labor way less necessary. Would we get to work 10 hours a week and get the rest back in free time to write our books and paint sunsets, or would they keep us at work with busywork. Unemployment could be solved right now if we took an incremental step and reduced the workweek from 40 to 30 hours. What are we working FOR. Time is not money. Time is more valuable than money.


    Rand Paul, the libertarian, believes that the owner of the lunch counter where the black protesters sat down in the 60s, was within his rights to withhold service to black people because it was a privately owned business. Libertarians are slick far right republicans that walk a fine line between neo-con and fascism.

  202. Oh Look. A story in the Washington Post. When polled, people side with the democrats on every individual issue, but half of them still vote republican. Welcome to the propaganda machine. I respond:

    This is why I wrote my second book. It’s almost finished. It’s about basic political literacy, and it’s targeted at blue collar workers. They do not teach basic political science in high school, and that goes double for the south. People do not know if basic republican policy positions go on the right or the left. They don’t even know there is a left and a right. The propaganda machine gets away with feeding them a constant stream of images that appeal to primitive human fears. People need a little help with consistent thinking. It’s no shame. The same people that sell Jesus and war in the same image are very skilled. These are the people that sold us cigarettes. Political literacy is the answer, and it’s coming. Even Thom Hartmann doesn’t get this. You have to actually say: Today the republicans blocked the minimum wage increase. Republicans go on the right. They always block on this issue. Democrats are always for raising the minimum wage. Democrats go on the left. Other issues that go with this are XYZ. Consistent thinkers would also be for X if they are for raising the minimum wage. Never assume that the reader/viewer knows the history of what goes on the left and what goes on the right. Stop talking about individual personalities and concentrate on the history of the democratic party. Teaching political literacy goes on the left and republicans, who go on the right, are always against it.


    How many times do I have to say it. Bring back Glass-Steagall to put a firewall between commercial banking and consumer banking, and then nationalize consumer banking. We have a saying in social work grad school. You want to know what it’s like to be a social worker? Somebody is in a fix and they ask you if they should do A or B. You tell them to do A and they do B. It blows up in their face. Then they come back to you and say “Now what should I do.” Social workers can I get an AMEN?

  204. Raising the minimum wage is inflationary because it raises everybody’s wages, not just minimum wage workers. Inflation is actually good for the middle class. The rich hate inflation because of that. Here is research to prove the point. The middle class has been disappearing since we adopted economic policy priorities that fight inflation at the expense of everything else. If you have a zillion dollars, inflation hurts you a lot more than someone with a thousand, and it redistributes wealth downward. Blocking all inflation redistributes wealth upward, until the top 1% own half of everything, and the economy stops growing. Yes, it’s hurts the poor and those on fixed incomes, but there are other ways to help the poor than trashing the entire middle class. It is a myth that inflation is bad for everybody. There is no middle class without inflation and growth. Too much inflation made us tighten up 30 years ago, but we went too far. Here is the paper.

  205. A white supremacist got mad at one of my tweets and one starred my first book. It’s a good day to be a Christian, but pray for him. Now you see the real reason the media is bashing all these racists lately. It’s not to slam racism, it’s to get the republican base thinking about race. Even when they condemn it on the air, it’s still intended to be race baiting. It’s a slick trick but it works. They do not want to talk about the Bush economy that the democrats reversed. They do not want us fighting over class issues. They want us fighting over race, gender, religion, guns…wedge issues. Don’t do it. Just go out and vote for democrats in the midterm elections.

  206. BINGO. The truth comes out. Ukraine is a about profits for US hedge funds that invested in natural gas fracking and lost a fortune. I write in the New York times:

    I thought I smelled natural gas in the dust up in Ukraine. The nat gas companies fracked so much gas that the price fell drastically. Gas is way more expensive overseas. We backed a coup in Ukraine where the nat gas pipeline runs from Russia to Europe. If the Russians overreact, and cut off the gas, the US gas companies have an excuse to sell cheap gas overseas. The gas companies and the hedge fund bankers get high profits while the US consumer gets screwed with high nat gas and electricity prices. I’ve got a better idea to solve the too much gas problem. STOP FRACKING!

  207. Here I am, speaking out for our public schools.

    Charter schools are bad. Public schools are good. Republicans try to kill the public schools by evaluating teachers by how well their students do. That’s unfair, and it drives the good teachers away from teaching in poverty areas, where they are needed the most. It’s a viscous cycle designed by republican think tanks. Think about it. Would you pay cops in high crime poverty areas less money than cops in rich low crime areas. The cops don’t make the crime. Everybody knows that it’s not the teachers in poverty areas that cause the low grades. It’s the poverty. Teachers need to make MORE money in there to attract the best teachers. Not drive them away.

  208. We are supplying weapons to Al-Qaeda in one country and fighting them in another. Here is my response to the article:

    This is the best example of what is wrong with Machiavellian foreign policy strategy. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend), I’m a vet, but I would never again recommend the military to any of my family. THEY KEEP CHANGING SIDES! My grandfather died in a Nazi prison camp after being wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. Before his body even got home, the war was over and we had dumped our Russian allies and switched sides, getting into bed with Ex-Nazis. Then we rebuilt Germany. Germans now have unions and pensions that we do not. AND NOW, we are supplying Al-Qaeda with weapons in one country (Syria) and we are still fighting them in other parts of the world. What happened to the charge of TREASON! See, when you do the Machiavellian thing, you betray your troops when you change sides. Just decide who has the moral high ground and support that side.

  209. Here is Rachel Maddow writing in the Washington Post. She says we go to war over oil, and the oil companies are against the war in Ukraine because it would disrupt their oil deals with Putin. I respond:

    I love Rachel but I think she gets suckered into a side track trap on oil. She says we go to war over oil, and we do, but NOT to increase the supply of oil and lower the price. The objective is to cut the supply, and increase the price. It’s all about the law of supply and demand. The Saudi oil folks are in competition with Russia and Iran and Iraq etc. The Saudis set quotas to keep the price up. When the Russians or other oil producers refuse to limit their sales to Saudi OPEC limits, the Saudis make the US military go in there and stir up trouble to disrupt the supply. Sometimes sanctions are used to cut supply. Iraq had sanctions for ten years and as soon as they expired we invaded them. Iran is under sanctions now. OPEC wants sanctions on Russia now, but that will never work. This US backed coup in Ukraine is designed to disrupt Russian natural gas sales to Europe and raise the price. The price spike would crash the US and European economies, but the Saudis and big oil are already getting their price spike. It might start a nuclear war, but that is a chance they will take.

  210. MORE WAR DRUMS TODAY: I write this in the New York times: Can we just have new elections. This started with a US backed coup that overthrew a democratically elected government with violence. If there was a vote today, or anytime in the last 350 years, Eastern Ukraine would vote to be Russian. Send in peacekeepers just long enough to have new elections. Stop this game before it blows up into WW III. This is exactly how it happens.

  211. The hot new bestseller by a french economist, Thomas Picketty “Capital in the Twenty First Century,” is changing minds about capitalism. He uses historical data, not just theory, to prove that capitalism makes the rich get richer, and he debunks trickle down economics. We always knew this stuff, but computers and hard data are convincing people that didn’t get it.

    He has a really simple explanation that is very convincing. If the economy grows at 1% and the rich get 4% on their bonds, inequality increases. Duh! He’s not a socialist or a capitalist, but he doesn’t know the next step: how to mix them in a mixed economy. The trick is NOT to mix them. The answer is my Firewall Economics. Here is my response to a story about his book in today’s paper with a little plug for FE.

    Firewall Economics is a solution. Capitalism and socialism do not mix well. Cooperation and competition cancel each other out. Socialism works best for the desperate necessities of life. Capitalism can have everything else. It’s a rational and efficient compromise.

    Here is my response to the story: Even if he’s gone today, this is not good news. The democrats never fight back. They take this for 25 years, finally get him to stop, and then they think they won. You can’t win a fight by taking punches. You have to go on the offensive and destroy the republican brand. It should be easy because the republicans are so accustomed to a weak response that they will say or do anything, no matter how morally outrageous. What we need to do is SAY the word republican in the news. Not: “Congress blocked the food stamp bill,” but “Republicans voted to the last man to block the food stamp bill and had to use the 60 vote rule to stop it because more senators voted for it than against it.”

  213. There was a story yesterday that the Russians were telling Jews in Ukraine that they needed to register with the Russian government. It was a false flag hoax. Here is my response in the New Your Times:

    The stunt where the Russians were accused of asking the Jews to register was a false flag hoax. I knew that as soon as I heard it. It’s another effort to confuse the left and the right. The Nazis that killed Jews go on the right. Russia fought against the Nazis, and go on the left. The western Ukraine side of this is to the right of Russia. In fact, the Russians are accusing them of being so far to the right that they are neo-Nazi fascists. So what do the western Ukrainians do when they get accused of being Nazis, they pull a stunt to flip the sides and make Russia look like anti-Semitic Nazis. This does not work when people know the political right from the left. Now look at the US MS Media coverage of this crisis and see how many times the spin tries to confuse the left and the right. They compare Putin to Hitler.

  214. Oh Look. The story today is that yesterday the coup government in eastern Ukraine sent troop over to western Ukraine to run off those people over there who want to stay part of Russia. Today those troops defected and went over to the Russian side. Here is my response in the New York Times:

    This is the stage where everybody says “How did the hawks ever think they could pull off a successful coup in X country.” The objective has been met. The objective is to make the world look dangerous in order to keep the price of oil high and to justify military spending increases.

    Notice that none of these stories mention that the US and NATO backed the coup that started this. This has nothing to do with values or democracy or freedom or Putin. This is two empires fighting each other over oil. Please people, don’t fall for this again. Let the people of eastern Ukraine, who are Russian, side with Russia if they want. it’s none of our business. Stop the Machiavellian foreign policy. The old “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy is morally wrong AND it doesn’t work. When you do this, the sides change so often that you can’t tell who is on what side. Think long term. 1. Decide what side has the moral high ground. 2. Back them. 3.Stick to it. Just do the right thing. It’s kind of like telling the truth so you don’t have to remember what you said.

  216. This is a new book on the psychology/philosophy of happiness.

    Nicely done sir. I would add that recent brain research using new imaging methods seems to prove that hedonism is a dead end and does not make anybody happy. Pleasure and happiness are different things. I wonder though if we have to throw out the avoidance of pain side of hedonism when we throw out the seeking pleasure side of it. I’m not a fan of philosophies that seek happiness through self abuse. There is also the danger that philosophies of lowering expectations can be misused to repress people.


    NATO was wrong to think they could get Russia to give up Ukraine. I think it was just the oil/gas companies stirring up trouble to raise prices like they did in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, did I forget one? Anyway that strategy will not work on the Russians. They have lots of oil and they can dump it on the market anytime they want, and we would just have to suffer through the resulting lower prices at the pump. These wars are about oil, but not about keeping the price down. They are about keeping the price UP. The law of supply and demand applies. Stir up trouble, cut supply, get a price spike. Look at what happens to the price of oil during these wars. If oil prices didn’t go up during these wars, the republicans would not keep starting them.

  218. Let the people of eastern Ukraine, who are Russian, side with Russia if they want. it’s none of our business. Stop the Machiavellian foreign policy. The old “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy is morally wrong AND it doesn’t work. When you do this, the sides change so often that you can’t tell who is on what side. Think long term. 1. Decide what side has the moral high ground. 2. Back them. 3.Stick to it. Just do the right thing. It’s kind of like telling the truth so you don’t have to remember what you said.


    Republican election strategy: Problem-The democrats fixed the economy that Bush broke. Solution-break it again. Start a revolution in Ukraine to anger the Russians-The Russians will cut off the natural gas to Europe-Sell US natural gas to fill the gap-This drives the price of US gas way up. (It’s cheap now) The energy shock will break the US economy again while the democrats are in office. Dems get thrown out-big profits for the gas companies-a new excuse to increase military spending in a new cold war. Pass the word. Vote in the mid-terms. Get registered and get an ID now!

  220. WOW! Here we are at 4-11-14 and I need another update. The market is still falling. MSM said it’s the sharpest drop since 2011, but there are no newspapers covering it directly. Here is one about JP Morgan taking a bath. I write: The reason the market is falling is that there are fewer unemployed people. Labor is subject to the law of supply and demand. Fewer workers looking for work RAISES the cost of labor and DECREASES corporate profits. There IS an ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP between labor and capital. A rising tide does NOT lift all boats. This is the myth of capitalism exposed. The market has been falling since Obama restored the last job that Bush destroyed.

    Somebody needs to follow the money on this testing. It must be more about the testing companies making money than standards. First we have no child left behind, we get rid of Bush, and now we have common core. These companies have got to be bribing politicians. Leave the kids alone. You are spoiling their natural curiosity. Learning should not be so competitive.

  222. This is a story about the Ukraine. Protesters are calling for the Russians to come in and save them from NATO. Ukraine has been part of Russia for hundreds of years. I write in the NY Times: Once again. NATO started this coup. Russia did not stir this up. The reason has something to do with provoking the Russians to cut off the natural gas so western gas can be sold. Stir up trouble around an oil competitor to cut supply and raise the price. That’s what all the wars are about now. Saudi/US/OPEC oil vs other oil producers. Saudi/US vs Russia/Iran/Syria/Libya etc. This also provides an excuse to keep US military spending high.

  223. Here is a story about how inflation is not always bad. People are conditioned to think inflation is always bad, but inflation hurts the rich the most, and therefore redistributes wealth more equally. I said this as an undergrad in the late 70’s and my prof didn’t get it. If you have a million dollars and I have a thousand, and we both take a 10% haircut, who loses more money. Ever since we made controlling inflation job one, the wealth gap got wider until now it’s where it was in 1929. Increase inflation by raising the minimum wage. And start taxing the wealthy at a lower rate when they keep their money off the sidelines. It’s the opposite now. Income from safe paper gets taxed at a lower rate than taking a risk and creating jobs.

  224. Here is a story about retirement. What people need in retirement is emotional security. That is one step above what people commonly think of as economic security. Retirement is the retirement of worry. You can’t get that from an IRA, no matter how much money is in it. You need a DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION. Worrying about outliving your money means you are not emotionally retired. You can have a million in the market and wake up one day with a big loss. Even a small defined benefit pension will make you feel more secure than a big IRA. Bring back the DBPs by simply putting all that retirement money into expanding social security into a full pension. And keep lowering the retirement age until it’s 50. Give people something to work for.

  225. A THIRD BUSH IS RUNNING? His strategy sounds like the old kinder gentler conservative trick that one of the other Bushes used. Was it pappy Bush or W? Anyway it was a Bush claiming to be republican light, and right after the election he moved back to the right. 3 bushes? Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice shame on? W? Fool me three times, nobody is that stupid.

  226. Here is a story about nurses and licensing in California. This is a big thing with me. I bucked a lot of bad doctors in a state psychiatric hospital, and it was the union that protected me, not the license. The first time I did this in a later job, with no union, I was fired. Fired for refusing to put a homeless man in a nursing home when the man did not want to go. He was young and healthy. The county had a racket going. I called the state police and license people. No help. Here is my comment and the story link.

    If you want to be sure you get the right drug in a hospital, make sure your nurse is IN A UNION. Licenses are not enough. If the nurse confronts a doctor without a union she can be fired with little help from the state license people. I worked in hospitals, I know. Spread the word.,0,2567502.story#vcomment

  227. For everybody who is yet to understand that there is an ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP between labor and capital, look at today. The democratic president got us back all the jobs that republican Bush lost. Bush actually lost 600,000 jobs over his 8 years. In 6 years the democrats added 4 1/2 Million Jobs. Great news right. The stock market FELL 150 points. Why? The law of supply and demand. The more unemployed people there are out there competing for jobs, the lower the average wage. Low unemployment means higher wages/labor costs to management. This is fundamental to understand. It’s not faith, it’s proven by the data. There IS an adversarial relationship between labor and capital. A rising tide does NOT raise all boats, and it does NOT trickle down. Workers….stop voting for republicans. You don’t have to be a Marxist to know that when wages go up, profits go down. The CEOs know it, and they are anything but Marxists.

  228. The news is crazy over campaign finance reform.

    The only way to stop this is to bring back the Equal Time Rule. There are minor disadvantages. We had nut cases getting exposure, but it’s a minor problem compared to this. It would also allow legitimate third party views to get exposure. It is easier to regulate how much money gets spent than how much gets donated.

    Supreme Court ruling may be windfall for political party leaders
    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s decision to lift the cap on the amount donors can contribute in a congressional election cycle promises to shift power to the political party’s established leaders, who had lost ground to outside groups.

  229. Here is a story about what we can do to combat campaign finance abuse by billionaires. Here is my comment and the link. I write: One of the things that the Reagan people did was to kill the Equal Time Rule in elections. I have been calling for putting it back ever since. You can’t control how much money that millionaires give to candidates, but you can easily regulate what they spend on TV spots. The disadvantage of having to listen to the occasional nut case is better than what we have now. Give the democrats and the republicans equal TV time, let the legitimate 3rd party candidates be heard, and turn the TV off on the odd balls.

  230. People finally wWhat do you know, the progressive democrats were right again. The best solution is single payer or even a national heath service. The reason that big employers have been against this, is that they were profiting by it. Lots of big employers are really self insured in the sense that they had ownership of these health plans themselves. All the productivity gains of their employees that should have went into raises in the past 30 years went into increasing heath care costs that the big employers recaptured by investing in the heath care provider. Lots of people skipped raises in exchange for keeping their heath care premiums a little lower. A big loser was small business owners who could not afford to provide heath care. people who would rather have worked at a small shop with better working conditions had to work for a big company because they needed heath insurance. Single payer or a national heath service would be a massive stimulus for small business, and the economy in general.Social workers knew this in 1980, but you didn’t listen. Start listening to us. the government, instead of their employer, to administer their heath care.

  231. A new book is out. Capital in the 21st Century. This is a french economist who has analyzed tax records around the world to prove that capitalism increases inequality. He insists that we are headed for a world where a very few rich people run the show. He does not see a regulatory fix that can stop it, but I do. Here is my comment and the link.

    I offer a possible regulatory fix that will actually save capitalism and protect the basic necessities of life for everyone. I call it Firewall Economics. Desperate necessities are things you can’t refuse to buy, like electricity, heath care etc. Since you can not refuse to buy these things, the law of supply and demand breaks down. Desperate necessities should be protected from capitalism, but only those things. It’s a way to do a soft landing, instead of a crash.

  232. The Supreme Court just did ANOTHER bad ruling, and took off even more restrictions on campaign finance bribery. This is bad, and I am against it, but let me add a little hope. It could be true that opening the flood gates to unlimited bribery will backfire. I think it already has. When limits are taken off, the average republican donor becomes richer and farther to the extreme right. This causes the republican party to run candidates that are so extreme, they can’t win a general election. The money is no longer in winning, it’s in running. All these candidates want is money from the Koch Brothers. They will say anything in public to get that money, and they don’t even care if they win. I read a story that said the Koch Brother money lost 99% of the time in the last cycle. If that is true then my backfire theory looks good. The world can only handle so much evil until it reacts. The 1% can’t enslave the 99% forever. We may be looking at a massive case of overreach.

  233. Paul Ryan is lying about social security again. It’s an election year and the republicans cart out the same old debunked myths because they are only trying to put closed minded supporters back in the trance. Here is my response and the link.

    Republicans read George Orwell, but they turn it upside down and use it as an evil playbook. If you want to cut social security, say you are helping it by cutting it. This is not welfare, this is insurance with payed up premiums by everyone OTHER than the rich. There is a cap on how much income (about 100,000 dollars per year) that is taxable for social security. You pay more and more until you reach 100,000 and then you pay nothing on income over that. A billionaire pays the same amount as someone making 100,000. And then the billionaire gets the same monthly check as someone who made 100.000, even though they don’t need it. It’s not welfare, it’s insurance. It’s invested in treasury bonds, safe safe bonds, not in the stock market. If all other pension funds had done that, instead of playing casino, the stock market bubbles that exploded on other pension funds would not have touched them. Republicans want to dump the safe bonds and put the social security money in the stock market so they can inflate another bubble, and cash in/jump off before they pop it.,0,6898624.story#axzz2xj6bsQVY

  234. I just reviewed “Capital in the 21st Century” by Thomas Piketty. This book is a best seller. People are astounded to find out that the data proves that right wing classical economics is wrong. Duh! Here is my review and the link.

    Who ever believed that capitalism would reduce inequality. Capitalism increases inequality. I think the best way to understand how people missed this is to understand that wealth is not created, only redistributed. You don’t make money you take money. Capitalism eats up the public sector which is the only thing big enough to protect consumers from private sector exploitation. There is a case for a strong central government that is not corrupt. Notice that it is the right wing conservative republicans who block efforts to get the corruption out of government. Citizens United came from the right, not the left.

  235. GM has been killing people with a faulty ignition switch.

    Another good example of the value of Firewall Economics. The federal government does a lot of things better than the private sector. There is a case to be made for a strong public sector. The part of the public sector that is supposed to protect us from faulty products has been attacked by the republicans. They gutted it’s funding. The Tea Party killed people. Republicans think the private sector can regulate it’s self. Did anybody really ever believe that. Point 2. Corporate law in general is designed to limit liability for corporations. That’s what a corporation is, an organization that has limited immunity from hurting people. Stockholders are only civilly liable for the money they have invested in shares. If you own GM stock, and they kill people, you can lose your shares but they can’t take your house. Corporations will NOT exist in the future, and this is why. They have grown so large and amoral that any benefit we get by allowing them to run free is far outweighed by the damage they do to to our society. It will be done with one stroke of the pen. All corporate law is abolished. No more limited liability.

  236. THE REPUBLICAN RYAN BUDGET IS RELEASED. Screw the poor and help the rich.

    This is an important historical document, destined for high school history books in the future. This will be the wrong side of history just like Hoover was to the depression of 1929. They told republican Hoover that we had massive unemployment and asked him to use the federal government to create jobs. Hoover refused and said let the charities handle it. Democrat FDR got in, used the federal government to create jobs, and became a hero on the good side of history. The Ryan budget is Hoover on steroids. The history books will put him next to Obama, and Obama will be the hero. Obama is not quite FDR, but he pulls left as hard as he can against one of the most powerful right wing republican surges in history.

  237. What do you know, investigations by the democrats find that republican CEO’s are ducking taxes while screaming for austerity in entitlements. Maybe we could afford to give workers a raise if the rich payed taxes. What gets lost in this kind of story is that the republican party is behind the evil, and not the democrats. All the corporate CEOs are republicans. Progressives ASSUME that people know that, but they don’t. When we catch the republicans dirty, they turn it into a problem with a corrupt individual, rather than what it is, an evil philosophy of life.

  238. Here is a story with a map of the US population. You can see that nobody lives in a lot of these red states that still get 2 senators. Here is my comment and the link.
    The republicans use red states where few people live to block democracy. All states get 2 senators. Without this block, the republicans would never control the senate. It will eventually go away. Senators were not even elected until the progressives fixed it. They were appointed by state legislatures. Thank the progressives for a lot of things you take for granted. History proves that today’s progressive left is tomorrow’ middle of the road moderate.
    The senate is like the English house of lords, it’s upper house. It was full of lords. It was hereditary, and a block on democracy. Or should I say is, because it still exists, but it has been stripped of power. The house of commons, like our house of representatives, has the power. England still has kings and queens, but they have no power. States with tiny populations should not have 2 senators.

  239. Story after story, everyday, Russia is massing troops on the Ukraine border. My comment today.
    The other side of the border with Ukraine is Russia. They have a right to put their troops anywhere they want on their own land. Enough war drums. 2 decades of phony war needs to stop. If somebody does attack us we will be too broke to fight back. Nobody I know is buying this constant propaganda push. Cut the defense budget and stop the austerity.

  240. A little research tells me that credit card swipe fees take 2% from every swipe. That is an enormous brake on the economy. It’s a 2% tax going to a private bank. And remember, it’s not a time thing. Like a sales tax, it is payed on an item over and over, every time it is bought and sold. This is an excellent argument for the nationalization of consumer banking. Nationalization of consumer banking would HELP the private sector. Republicans hate taxes. This is a tax, it just goes to a private bank. Some things work better in the public sector.

    Wal-Mart sues Visa Over ‘Swipe Fees’
    Wal-Mart has sued Visa for $5 billion, claiming the card network charged unreasonably high fees when the retailer’s customers paid with plastic.

  241. Look at these maps. The republican south is worse at everything. All these maps, plus Obama’s election map, look like a map of the Civil War. The red states that scream for small government, actually get more money back from the feds than they pay in, while the blue states get less back. The republican south hates food stamps…the whole state of Mississippi is on food stamps. Fatter, poorer, die sooner, more disease, lousy public education, no heath coverage. Obamacare helps the republicans more than the democrats, and what are the republicans running in their ads… republican and repeal Obamacare. The republicans think southerners are stupid. I hope they are wrong.

    The 10 maps that illustrate the healthiest counties in America
    Air pollution, graduation rates, obesity, STD rates and long commute times: Different ways of measuring health.

  242. Be careful with libertarians. The republican strategy is to use libertarians (who sound half liberal) to scrape away votes from the left. This only works on voters who do not know the political left from the political right. Mussolini and Hitler actually came to power by using this strategy. Cater to the extreme left and the extreme right at the same time, hoping they won’t see that as inconsistent thinking. Once in power they dump the left and become fascists. It won’t work here, because we have the net. It only works when people can’t communicate easily, like rural Italy before the war.

    Who likes both Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul? This Senate candidate.
    Meet Maine Democrat Shenna Bellows.

  243. Story in the Washington Post. Can we save the Ukraine by selling them our natural gas. See. This is gas they got by fracking. When they asked for permission to frack they claimed it was for US energy independence. Opponents rightly said BS, there is no US energy, energy is sold on one world market. Now that they are fracking us to death, they have a bunch of cheap gas that we could use here to keep home heating and electricity cheap, but no, now they want to sell it to China, not Ukraine Big profits for big oil, and higher prices for US consumers. IF WE DON”T NEED THE GAS THEN STOP FRACKING.

  244. Here is a story. The republicans have voted 54 times already to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 54 times to protect the for profit insurance companies. 54 times to allow insurance companies to kick you off any time you get sick. And rest of the the list is very long. This is the same thing that happened when the democrats passed social security in 1935, and medicare in 1965. Today the republicans look evil for opposing those things in the past. They warned that both of those changes would be a foot in the door for communism. Sound familiar. The republicans are always on the wrong side of history. What they bank on is that we don’t read history. I said read, not watch the History Channel. Let’s see what’s on there right now. 3-21-14. 1:24 PM. Ancient aliens. Coming soon, Nazi Bigfoot UFOs predicted in the Bible Code.

  245. Microsoft will soon stop security for Windows XP. Many government computers that involve national security and everything else are rushing to change but won’t make the deadline. Microsoft can force the government to replace all the government computers and the government can’t stop them.

    Let’s score this one. A private sector computer company that got rich by a public sector protected, copyrighted, proprietary, software monopoly, is holding the security of the US hostage by demanding more money. This is an excellent example of why desperate necessities (like national security) should be protected from private sector exploitation. Protecting desperate necessities is Firewall Economics.


    The new pope has been in for a year. He goes on the left. He hates capitalism and advocates for the poor. He knows how to apply the What Would Jesus Do Test to politics. I ask Christians to apply that test to my list on here of what the democrats have done for us. After doing that I hope you will all agree with the pope and I that Jesus goes on the left.

  247. Firewall Economics and the nationalization of oil.
    I am going to use what is going on in the Ukraine as an illustrative example of why Firewall Economics calls for the nationalization of US energy companies. Natural Gas is used to heat homes and make electricity. That is a desperate necessity. The private oil companies can price gouge it’s customers at will.
    Most oil companies around the world are nationalized. The government owns most of the shares in Russia’s supposedly privatized oil company. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq (Before we invaded them), Venezuela, Libya (Before the recent war), all either had or have nationalized, government owned, oil. Private US oil companies try and break up nationalized oil companies because it’s hard for a company to compete with an entire nation. Notice that all the countries that we seem to be shoving around with the US military have nationalized oil.
    These wars are not about free markets, or socialism, or human rights, or dictator removal. These wars are about oil. They are NOT wars to grab more oil for the US consumer. They are NOT wars to increase the supply of oil, and thereby drive the price DOWN. They are wars to keep the price of oil UP. US oil companies can stir up a war in these places to cause a disruption in the supply of oil coming out of there. That lowers the world supply and raises the price. Higher prices equal higher profits per barrel to the oil companies.
    Most people assume that oil wars are to get more oil. It is the opposite. They are to get more oil profits, which is not the same thing as getting more oil, in fact, it’s the opposite. Supply and demand determine price. Now ask yourself, would a private, for profit, oil company, push us into a war if the war caused them to lose money. Oil companies are not social welfare programs. There IS an adversarial relationship between the American consumer and private US oil companies. When private oil companies increase profits, consumers pay higher prices. No oil company is going to go racing into war with an oil producing country and grab the oil for the American people. If they took over all of a country’s oil overnight without firing a shot, and dumped all that oil on the market the price would fall, the US consumer would get dollar a gallon gas, and the oil companies would lose a bundle.
    Private companies should not control US oil. Oil is a desperate necessity. In nationalized oil countries the government owns the oil. In privatized oil countries the oil owns the government. You pick. Right now there is a game going on in the Ukraine. It’s not about all the usual things they say it’s about, like freedom and democracy. The US backed the overthrow of the democratically elected government. I fear that the objective is to raise the price of natural gas in the US.
    There is a natural gas pipeline there that feeds Russian gas to Europe. Russia has cut it off in the past. They have Europe at a disadvantage. US oil companies got permission to fracture underground rock formations (fracking) by claiming we needed the gas to aid US energy independence. They lied. They just wanted the gas. They got it, and just what the consumer wanted happened. They found so much gas (higher supply) that the price dropped way down. Now part of the bargain to allow fracking was that we would keep the gas here. That would keep the supply up and the price down. We have so much gas now that a unit of gas in Europe sells for twice the US price and it’s three times the US price in Asia. Surprise….the oil companies now want to export the gas. They would get higher profits on both ends. The US price would go up, AND they would make more per unit at the overseas price. Exporting the gas means higher prices for US consumers and higher profits US oil companies. This proves that there is an adversarial relationship between private oil and US consumers.
    So they need an excuse to export the gas. Why not start a war in Ukraine. The Russians would get angry and cut off the gas to Europe. The US could come to the rescue and save Europe from the commies by selling natural gas to Europe. Sure, the price would go up in the US, but it’s worth it to fight the Russian atheist communist dictator Putin, who controls most of the nationalized oil. We could make it look like Putin started it.
    I lost all doubt about this theory tonight on when I heard about the recent oil meeting in Houston where the oil people called for the export of US national gas for the reason that it would increase US diplomatic pressure around the world. It had nothing to do with the oversupply of gas or the price. It was all about patriotism.
    When we invaded Iraq, they had been unable to pump and sell their oil for about ten years because of the sanctions put on them by Bush 1. That was ten years of higher profits for the oil companies because of the lowered world supply. The sanctions were about to come off when Bush 2 invaded and caused another interruption in production.
    Iraq was a nationalized oil country until the war. After we spent another ten years in there the nationalized oil got privatized and divided up between other private oil companies. There is a push right now in Venezuela to privatize the nationalized oil. Am I saying that US oil companies control the US government to the degree that they can and do send our troops to fight wars to keep the price of oil HIGH.
    Why wouldn’t they fear that the people would follow the money and connect the dots. Because they know that the average American 1. Does not understand the law of supply and demand. 2. Does not believe that there is an adversarial relationship between the oil companies and consumers. (Doesn’t a rising tide raise all boats) They go on TV to say that the wars are not about oil, and they know that nobody believes that. Everybody knows that the wars are about oil, but everybody assumes the objective is to get us more oil to keep the price DOWN. People look away because they think we need the oil wars to protect “The Economy.” The oil wars actually crash “The Economy” and increase profits to the private oil companies.
    This is a fine example of why Firewall Economics would restrict the private sector from certain areas. If US oil was nationalized, we would not start a war in the Ukraine, we would keep all the gas here, the price would stay low due to the big supply, home heating oil would say cheap, we would need to import less oil, the general price of oil would go down causing a boost to jobs by making our factories cheaper to run, we would spend less on military hardware by not making war…. on and on in a positive spiral instead of the negative spiral that we are in now.
    Nationalization of national desperate necessities goes on the left. Privatization of everything goes on the right.

  248. Let me show you what we are up against. Today Paul Ryan, one of the republican presidential candidates, told a story about a kid he talked to who got a free school lunch. The kid allegedly said that he didn’t want a free school lunch, he wanted a lunch in a brown paper bag because kids who get those have parents who love them.
    First of all, Ryan made it up, and he admitted it. Second, this is the same old story about welfare queens dressed up a little differently. It insults the poor, blames the victim, and is used to justify cutting school lunches for poor kids. Score this one: Republicans against school lunches for the poor, and democrats trying to feed those kids so they can stay alert in class. One more time: Nobody wants to be poor.

  249. 3-4-14.
    The private sector should never be allowed to self-regulate products for safety. Here is a story from Mother Jones about BPA in plastics. It appears that even the new products that do not have PBA are just as bad. PBA and the new replacement chemical act like estrogen in the body. This causes all kinds of health and developmental problems in kids.
    There are thousands of chemicals used in US products that are not even tested for safety. If one is found to be harmful they just switch to another untested chemical.
    The same advertisers that the tobacco industry used to convince us that cigarettes were safe are now using the same playbook to sell us PBAs. Here is the link.

  250. Russia and Ukraine
    We started this not Putin. The neoconservatives are still around. They must have known that if they provoked and overthrow of the Russian backed elected candidate that Russia would use force to keep their only year round warm water port for their navy. Why would the republicans try to restart the cold war? Defense cuts, make Obama look bad, block Russian natural gas to run the world price up. The republicans never met a war they didn’t like. There is big money in the war machine.

  251. When the financial crisis hit, this is the first thing I said. Who are these rating agencies that rated these bundled junk mortgage scams as triple A. If the rating agencies would have done their jobs, the entire financial crisis would have been prevented. The problem is that these rating agencies are in the PRIVATE SECTOR. They get bribed by the investors they are supposed to regulate. These PRIVATE companies rate SOVEREIGN NATIONS. They can crash the economy of a country in one phone call by downgrading it’s credit rating.

    They also control the credit ratings in the states. Illinois has a problem right now. The bond houses use a threat of downgrading to force the state to cut pensions to state employees, teachers, state police etc. If these credit downgrades were reversed the state would go from broke on paper to flush with cash with one stroke of the pen.

    Banks around the world right now are trapping entire nations in debt. It is time to PUT THE REGULATORS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR WHERE THEY BELONG.

  252. ENOUGH PERPETUAL OIL WAR. There is NOT a military solution for every problem. These wars are about oil, Saudi oil vs Russian oil. There is a natural gas pipeline causing this one. And, If We Won The Cold War, then why do the republicans want to restart it. Because the republican party is funded by perpetual war. Perpetual war does NOT make us more secure, but LESS. Save your ammunition for when you really need it.

    Ukraine crisis tests Obama’s focus on diplomacy over force

  253. 3-2-14. Bitcoin just exploded.

    The public sector does a better job of issuing money. This is what happens when the private sector decides to go around the feds and make their own money. People take this fact for granted, but there were other attempts in the past to do private sector currency. When you see these schemes pop up, the reader of history knows that at some point the scam artist will run off with the money.
    Expect a bump in the price of illegal drugs, because a lot of these bitcoins belonged to drug runners. There is no private sector law. Law is in the public sector. The law comes from the government. Weak government, weak law. Good laws are your friend. When the banksters rip us off, it’s because the law is weak. Weak law is what the corporatist republicans really want when they say weak government. Surprise: Law and Order goes on the left for stuff like this, not on the right.

  254. 1-3-14. It is the first of March, but we are still in the middle of one of the worst winters on record. California has been in a drought, but now they are getting so much rain that they are flooding. Landslides are causing evacuations. One of the premises of Firewall Economics is that the public sector (the federal government) actually does some things better than the private sector. Disasters are one of those things. Profiteering in an emergency is not good. FEMA really does disasters better than if the function was outsourced to say Halliburton or some other private company. FEMA came under fire during hurricane Katrina, but GW Bush had stripped out it’s funds to give to homeland security. Republicans know that there is more potential profit in fear mongering than cleaning up natural disasters. Notice that President Obama did better with his hurricane.
    Anyway, the private sector should be barred from the emergency response business. Imagine if they privatized your fire department. They would hire untrained people at minimum wage to save money. They would use cheap old trucks. Response times would be way longer. There would be a surcharge if you had a fire. The insurance company would raise your fire insurance rates to cover the extra risk. I am a former fireman. Believe me, money spent on good equipment is recovered many times over in lower insurance rates. The insurance companies do inspections for this reason.
    Believe it or not, we have a historical example from ancient Rome that shows what happens when you privatize the fire department. The roman ruler Crassus or got rich by owning the fire department and ended up buying his way to the top. His men would set a fire, respond to the fire, and hold back to negotiate with the homeowner before putting it out! He was always able to buy the house for ten percent of it’s value before putting it out. Talk about negotiating from a position of strength. He was one of the richest men in history.
    The very same southern republican governors who call for shrinking the size of the federal government are the same governors you see screaming for federal help in a natural disaster. Those very same red states actually get more money back from feds every year than they pay in federal taxes, while the blue states take a loss.
    The fire service and disaster response are desperate necessities, and should be barred from the private sector.,0,3353833.story


    Story in the Washington Post claiming a minimum wage hike hurts the workers.
    Oh paleeeese. Orwellian junk like this does not work anymore. Giving the workers a raise hurts the workers. One more time. There IS an adversarial relationship between labor and management. They will hold your pay as low as they can to maximize profits. A higher minimum wage puts upward pressure on all wages, not just those who get minimum wage. Labor hasn’t gotten a raise in 30 years. It’s overdue. This argument is like telling the slaves on the plantation that the emancipation proclamation is bad for the slaves because it increases unemployment.


    Big story today…Republicans angry that we are cutting the military after the wars are over. Hey republicans who want to shrink the public sector…the military is in the public sector…in fact, it’s the biggest thing in the public sector. Thank God the wars are over. They were morally wrong and they bankrupted us. We must stop the war machine. If the republicans had their way we would have perpetual war. This is Bush’s doing, not Obama’s. We are NOT more secure because of this spending. We are LESS secure because we are now broke. Save your ammunition for when you really need it. This was not about security, it was and is about profits for the Military Industrial Complex. Why do we have to repeat this mistake over and over. It is the military that crashes the economy. War is a Racket.


    We give grants to use super computers for research in the physical sciences. Why not give grants to universities to use super computers in social science research.
    There is an economist, in England, who is using computer simulations to test economic theory. Why can’t we do that with social science in general. We could test all the isms…..capitalism, socialism, fascism, communism, etc. We could also simulate what would happen if we implement certain social policies or laws. Example: What would happen to all these variables if we raised the income tax rate on the top 10 %. What would be the effect on variable 22 (unemployment) if we lowered the retirement age for social security. We would get a number, not a guess, and we could observe the change across many variables at once. It would also happen at lightning speed so we could experiment easily with various strategies at no cost.
    We think we know that inflating the dollar is the thing to do in a recession because of the historical record, but we had to go through the great depression to learn that. Computer simulations are a more efficient and less painful way to learn. Presently the physical sciences are getting most of the computer time. Why not give a grant to a major university to build a super computer to do social science research, and do computer simulations to test the classical questions of the social sciences.
    I found a place in England that has already started. Why not give a federal grant to a major US university to develop computer modeling in the social sciences. Here is the link to the English organization.

  258. The stimulus came from Bush. He bailed out the banks. Obama continued it because he had to. The republican strategy is evil. Bush set fire to the white house when he knew he was losing. Obama took over, put out the fire, and then the republicans condemned him for using up too much water.

    The stimulus act was a success — and we need another
    Many of the things Republicans are saying today about the stimulus bill are predicated on a similar and presumably deliberate misunderstanding: that the legislation was meant to permanently fix..

  259. Here is our campaign ad for the midterm elections. Republicans are the only party that blocks election reform bills. It’s not “CONGRESS”, It’s the republican party. The votes are in the record.

    Billion dollar baby: Tom Perkins
    Earning the title of Ed Schultz’s “Pretender,” glorified billionaire Tom Perkins once again whines about the liberals taking all the money from the rich.

  260. It is TIME TO TAX THE 1%. Capital Flight is a bluff. The 1% need the US military to push their global agenda. The military is part of the commons, the public sector that the republicans demonize and refuse to fund. They run up oil wars on credit and blame the democrats for a bloated public sector that wastes money on unemployment insurance and healthcare. The rich are bankrupting the public sector with wars they refuse to pay for. If we don’t elect a government that is at least far enough left to tax the rich, we will implode like all empires before us.

    Democrats weigh a populist future in post-Obama era
    The Democratic Party faces tension between its establishment and newly energized progressives.
    Like · · Promote · Share

  261. Firewall Economics and Water Politics JD Phillips 2-15-14

    Water is one of the best examples of why Firewall Economics should be applied to the production of goods or services that involve the desperate necessities of life. Water is a desperate necessity, something you can not refuse to buy. Private, for profit, corporations should not be allowed to sell water. Water ownership, purification, and distribution should be protected from vulture capitalism by restricting water markets to the public sector.

    Water is already being exploited for profit at the expense of the poor in India, and this is a model example of what will happen if water is not protected from predatory capitalism. There is nearly a private sector monopoly in US water now, with one company controlling water across many states. Imagine if a private water monopoly decided to do only what is profitable, like discontinue water distribution to rural areas where few people live. (like post office privatization), or even raise the cost of water as high as the “market would allow.” The law of supply and demand does not apply to desperate necessities. You have to buy water no matter what the price. Desperate necessities should be protected from private sector price gouging. That is what Firewall Economics is designed to do.

    There is a drought right now in California. California takes a lot of water out of the Colorado river for agriculture. California is on the ocean. California should receive federal funding to make sea water desalinization cost effective. It is imperative that we research ways of making low cost water purification available to third world countries. There are cheap hand held filters now being tested. In the near future water will be more of a problem than oil. The US should publicly fund research to make clean water distribution cheaper, and then retain the technology in the public sector, rather than the usual practice of giving it to private industry to sell back to the public at a profit.

  262. I’m hearing that the democratic fundraisers are so terrified at the amount of money the Koch brothers are spending on ads in the midterm elections that they are going to sit out the congressional elections and save the money for the next presidential race. IT IS TIME TO BRING BACK THE EQUAL TIME RULE we had when I was a kid. It would solve the money in campaign problem without spending a dollar. The disadvantage of having to listen to the occasional nut case candidate has got to be worth it at this point. All candidates would get equal time on the media. This does not violate the Citizens United ruling, it just goes around it. The court said money was speech, but not that any one person has a right to speak longer than anyone else because they have more money.

    Axelrod says Dems should focus on 2014, not 2016
    Obama’s former campaign manager says its not time for the presidential election quite yet.

  263. I just watched an unemployment extension fail in the senate by one republican vote short of the 60 vote rule. Dump the 60 vote rule altogether. It’s blocking our democracy. In the last election we got far more democratic votes in the house and senate than republican votes. We lost the house to gerrymandering and the senate is blocked by the 60 vote rule. Without these obstructionist tricks we would have the democrats in control of all three branches of government. Dump the 60 vote rule and pass a law against gerrymandering.

  264. U.S. bank leverage rules to include global revisions: Fed governor


    Tarullo, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effects of the Volcker Rule
    Tarullo, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effects of the Volcker Rule (Joshua Roberts Reuters, / February 5, 2014)

    5:07 a.m. CST, February 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. bank regulator plans to tell lawmakers on Thursday that final leverage rules for U.S. banks will incorporate recent revisions to a global capital standard, which likely means tougher requirements for the institutions.

    U.S. regulators proposed rules in July to limit the extent to which banks may fund their activities through debt, part of the Basel III global agreement to boost banks’ capital levels.

    In January, the international group revised the way it requires banks to calculate whether they are meeting the leverage requirements. That latest version is seen as somewhat tougher on banks than the method U.S. regulators initially proposed for firms operating in the country.

    Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo plans to tell a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing that the final U.S. rules would

    incorporate the changes agreed on by the Basel group.

    “These changes would strengthen the ratio in a number of ways, including by introducing a much stricter treatment of credit derivatives,” he said in prepared remarks obtained by Reuters.

    Global regulators reached the Basel accord to make banks safer after the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Capital rules force banks to fund a minimum amount of business through equity, rather than debt.

    Leverage ratios are calculated as a percentage of total assets, unlike some capital ratios that consider the riskiness of bank assets.

    U.S. regulators have proposed a 6 percent leverage ratio for the biggest banks, twice as much as called for under the global agreement. They also differed in how they required banks to calculate their leverage ratios.

    The Basel committee tweaked its rules in January for calculating the leverage ratio. European banks saw that as easing some of the requirements on them.

    But that revised calculation method is tougher than the U.S. proposal in its approach to credit derivatives, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry plans to tell the Senate committee on Thursday.

    It also differs from the U.S. version in its treatment of certain off-balance sheet commitments, Curry said in prepared remarks posted on the committee’s website.

    “Our preliminary analysis suggests that, in the aggregate, the final Basel standards will generate a larger measure of exposure – and will therefore be more stringent – than the current and proposed U.S. standards,” Curry said.

    Bank groups have speculated about whether U.S. officials would tweak their proposal to match the Basel rules. Tarullo said the U.S. final rules would “incorporate” the international revisions, but did not elaborate.

    (Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Peter Cooney and Mohammad Zargham)

    Copyright © 2014, Reuters

  265. Oh man. I emailed Senator Durbin yesterday and asked him to get the democrats to go after the old Taft Hartley Act. This is the old law that drove a stake into the union movement. Today there is a story about major reform at the National Labor Relations Board to allow quicker elections when employees want to create a union. The NLRB was blocked with republicans and I think the democrats just unblocked it.

  266. This just in. After a lifetime of careful study, I am skeptical of skeptics. Disproving what somebody else thinks they know does not prove that YOU know anything.

  267. The president is begging CEOs to hire the long term unemployed. Here is my letter to my senator today.
    Dear Senator Durbin,
    The president is not going to put a dent in unemployment by begging CEOs. The way to create private sector jobs is through tax policy. The incentives have been flipped for some time now. The rich need to be prodded into investing in jobs instead of paper. The tax rate for hiding your money in paper is half that for investing in a business and hiring people. More return for less risk is why all the cash is on the sidelines.

    JD Phillips LCSW

    The short answer is that Firewall Economics is an economic model that separates markets for desperate human necessities from markets for everything else. Markets for desperate human necessities are protected from capitalistic exploitation. These goods and services are provided on a non-profit basis and with public sector government subsidy if needed.
    A desperate necessity is something that you can not refuse to buy, even if you have very little or no money. Water, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, utilities, etc. Capitalism should be out of bounds to these markets. When someone can not afford to heat their home by purchasing heating oil on the private sector market they can either freeze to death or go deeper into debt. Classical economics did not anticipate predatory lending.
    Classical economics predicted that the price of desperate necessities would only go as high as consumers could afford to pay, but the law of supply and demand breaks down when the consumer is forced to borrow money to pay artificially high prices. The result is what we have now, massive debt and an artificially maintained bubble in basic human necessities. We can tighten our belts and buy fewer cars, but some things have us over a barrel.
    Firewall economics contains one very new idea. Capitalism and socialism do not mix. They cancel each other out. Any mixed economy that allows a mixture of capitalism and socialism, in every market, for every good or service, will be extremely inefficient to both the provision of necessities and everything else. Socialist, bottom up, government planned, non-profit, public sector administered, needs based, delivery of goods and services is more efficient in markets for desperate necessities.
    This is still debated, but it should not be. The Social Security Administration has an efficiency rate of 98%. In addition to that, the first goal of public sector delivery is to cover every person. The private sector never does that. But even after we all agree that the public sector does some things better, it is still not necessary to use this delivery model for anything other than desperate necessities. Capitalists should love Firewall Economics and the extreme left should hate it because it might postpone the end of capitalism. I choose reform over revolution. I will not ask people to continue to suffer as we build up support for pure utopian socialism. I am a social worker interested in feeding people who are hungry today.
    I call things what they are. Public sector planned markets are socialism. I am not afraid to use the word. Even taxes are socialism. Socialism and capitalism are the two economic models we have. One is based on competition and the other is based on cooperation. It is impossible to compete and cooperate at the same time. All modern economies are mixed economies, mixtures of competition and cooperation, and therefore inefficient. It is not necessary to apply the same economic model, or mixture of economic models, to all markets for different goods and services. It is possible to use a small amount of pure undiluted socialism to cover the delivery of desperate necessities, and allow profit driven competition for everything else. A small amount of undiluted socialism would be less expensive and cover every person in need. Markets for luxuries need no protection. If the vulture capitalists run up a bubble in the price of backyard pools, then we can swim at the YMCA.
    Remember that the definition of a desperate necessity is something that you can not refuse to buy. You can refuse to buy a big home, but you must buy or rent some kind of shelter that comes up to code. There would still be some relative poverty with FE, but no absolute poverty. There would be no homelessness, hunger, utility shutoffs for the poor, lack of medical coverage, etc. Capitalism is like casino gambling. It should be illegal to go to the casino before the kids get shoes. The compromise of FE is that once the kids have shoes, it’s OK to hit the slots.
    It is important to understand my premise that capitalism and socialism do not mix well, and to mix them is inefficient. Let me try a visual mental image. First of all, the Pope, (I am not Catholic) recently debunked trickle down economics, which is code for capitalism, with a water glass example. He said advocates of trickle down economics insist that if we let capitalism go unregulated, the glass will fill up until it runs over and trickles down to the poor. He then points out that this never happens because the rich keep making the glass bigger. If being a Christian was a crime, I think there would be enough evidence to convict him. The trickle down theory is false, but even if it were true, it would be very very inefficient.
    Why should the poor have to wait until the rich have gorged themselves, and can not eat another bite, to fight for the crumbs that fall of the table? And why should the rich complain if we feed the poor first? There is enough surplus to do that without depriving the rich of anything. A tiny group at the very top of the income scale own half of everything. If we tax them a little more, to provide a truly basic safety net, the rich will not miss a single meal, even if they eat caviar with disposable platinum spoons.
    Now for my water glass image. Imagine that socialism is oil colored red and capitalism is water colored blue. We will be pouring a mixture of both into a glass. Mark a 10 inch glass one inch from the bottom. That mark represents the level in the glass that the red oil socialism must reach before ALL needy people are served. If we fill the glass with blue water capitalism first, and then add a little red oil socialism, the red oil will float to the top and fail to reach the last person in need.
    In order to reach even the FIRST needy person, we would have to pour in more and more red oil until we have 90% socialism and 10% capitalism. And, in order to reach ALL of those we are trying to help, we would need 100% socialism. But, if we add the oil first, we would only need 10% socialism to cover everyone. As soon as the LAST needy person is served we could pour in all the blue water capitalism that the rich think they want, and it would relieve them of the guilt of exploiting the poor to buy luxury goods.
    When you allow profits to be taken on markets for desperate necessities then the cost of delivering them is 1. Cost of good or service + 2. Profit. Under FE it’s just 1, and there is no cost to the general economy from predatory lending. Private for-profit companies will charge as much as they can for home heating oil. Once the buyer can no longer pay the rising price, then he or she must borrow the money. Needy people are forced to use payday loan sharks at astronomical interest rates. Under the old system the lender would not lend to a person who can not repay the loan, and the price of heating oil would stop climbing once it exceeded the ability to pay, but banks will now loan to anyone.
    The banks are purposely doing this to trap people in debt, show paper assets on the balance sheet that do not really exist, and rely on the taxpayers to bail them out when the bubbles burst. This would not be possible if people COULD refuse to buy what they are selling at the price the seller demands. The law of supply and demand does not work with any market where the buyer can not refuse to buy. You have to buy heating oil if the landlord uses an oil furnace.
    Exposing markets for desperate necessities to predatory capitalism could be the final stage of capitalism before it collapses into total socialism or, God forbid, total fascism. The extreme left will be critical of FE because it saves capitalism at least temporarily. There are two reasons why I do not support allowing capitalism to collapse. 1. There would be a lot of transitional suffering. It is unethical to punish people today for the gains of tomorrow. 2. If capitalism collapses, we could just as easily fall into fascism as socialism. The Pope says he is not a socialist, but definitely not a capitalist. I am with him, but he is now open to the criticism that there is no third alternative. The third alternative is Firewall Economics.

    Every new idea is subject to abuse by future spin doctors. I am trying to prevent this by anticipating how FE could be turned inside out. George thought he was giving the people a heads up on doublespeak, but it backfired. The oppressors used it as a playbook and the working poor didn’t read it. If I were going to turn FE against the people I would praise it as a fundamental human value, and then proceed to squeeze the definition of a desperate necessity down to a level just above starvation for everyone but the privileged elite.
    That is NOT FE. FE without a limit on extreme income inequality is only intended as a step up from no FE at all. If income disparity rises drastically after the implementation of FE, then upper income earners should be taxed to reduce the gap. My strategy is that present day republicans will adopt FE anyway, as it will be irresistible for them to pass up short term profits for long term risk.

    Other Criticisms from the Left that I Anticipate but Reject.

    FE will create a two tired society. This is the classic social policy debate between means testing and universalism. FE is a compromise. There is currently little political support for universal coverage of anything the public sector can help with, especially if it involves public funding, so I minimize public sector intervention to a level low enough to attract republican support. I’m giving up a lot here, as the public sector has never been smaller than it is now. FE accepts means testing when universal coverage is not politically possible AND when the alternative is no coverage at all.
    Another valid criticism from the left: Under FE there would be no absolute poverty, but relative poverty might even increase. It is true that relative poverty makes people miserable. We have new research that identifies the size of the wealth gap, between the rich and everyone else, as a major cause of misery in every human community. Large gap- depression- anxiety. Smaller gap- happy people. Economic anxiety is relative. If we are unemployed during a depression, when everybody we know is unemployed, we feel less depressed than we would in good economic times. If we lose a job when everyone we know is still working, it is much more psychologically devastating. This is human nature. FE won’t bring equality, but it could be the first step to a progressive future that will.
    There will be some from the left who criticize FE as being incremental. It is. FE is about reform, not revolution. It is only intended to be a step up from our present level of unregulated capitalism.

    Criticisms from the right will be of the traditional sort, with the invisible hand of perfectly self regulating private sector markets being more efficient than public sector planning in the provision of everything, including desperate necessities. The track record of the world economy over the past thirty years is all that is needed to debunk supply side economics. But still, FE is only a small rollback of ultraconservative economics, just enough to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people in markets for desperate necessities. The republicans will argue that it is only a foot in the door to enable further rollbacks of unregulated capitalism.
    They would be correct. That is exactly what it is, a way to present a reform proposal to republican legislators that is so clearly fair and humane that they can either accept, it or be exposed as being devoid of any trace of human compassion. Once we establish a precedent of shielding some market items from naked exploitation, a dialogue will develop about other things that should not be for sale. What is or is not exposed to competitive markets can be decided democratically, but once the dialogue begins there is no turning back.


    FE could be misused by the wealthy, and I am showing them how to do it, but I wager that it would be more difficult if I post a warning in the body of the text. By compromising relative poverty for absolute poverty, the rich may use FE to justify even greater income inequality. The argument would be that once you have everything you need, it doesn’t matter how much more the rich have.

    First of all, being comfortable with the absence of absolute poverty when relative poverty is high is against human nature. New primate studies show that even chimpanzees hate relative deprivation. Second, absolute equality is not required, but the absence of extreme inequality is.
    I still fear a situation where the rich might use FE to justify squeezing the level of necessities tighter and tighter until the majority are living on a thin string, with little economic security, while the rich have more income than they can spend. If this happens it would be necessary to apply a brake to the ratio of high to low incomes. The tax code would have to be amended to set the upper rates at a point that stops the gap from widening beyond a set point.

    FE restricts open market exposure to markets that are not involved in the delivery of goods or services that can be demonstrated to be desperate necessities. A desperate necessity is something that is essential for a dignified, healthy, if not purely physical, survival, that a consumer can not refuse to purchase, even if the consumer does not have enough money to pay for the good or service without borrowing money.
    Income inequality has never been greater. According to an Oxfam report that was released today, the 85 richest people on earth now have the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the global population. The percentage of income held by the richest 1% in the US grew 150% from 1980, the beginning of Reaganomics, until 2012, while middle class wages adjusted for inflation remained flat. CEO pay at the same time went up by726%, twice the growth rate of the S&P stock market index.
    Surely there is enough profit to be made on goods and services that are NOT desperate necessities to satisfy any investor. Even capitalism needs a few rules and boundaries to improve the game. FE creates no competitive disadvantage for any corporate enterprise because all competitors would have to play by the same rules. Capitalism is strong enough to function even when some things are not for sale. This is not new. You can not sell a kidney in the US. All I propose is that we apply a rational analysis to what should or should not be for sale, and I suggest desperate necessities as a start.



    Don’t Forget these. 1. The US never starts wars. 2. You can never have enough “free market” capitalism. 3. The supreme court will never steal an election from a candidate who got the most votes. 4. Our banking regulations will never be repealed because they prevent another depression. 5. Home prices always go up. 5. The south is no longer racist. 5. The army can’t be used as the police. 6. No politician will ever attack social security. 7. The supreme court will never give corporations the same rights as people. 8. The police must obey search and seizure laws. WHAT DID I FORGET folks. Add on here:

  270. I quote the story: “No bank, no matter how smart it is, can compete with a bank that receives subsides from the government,” he said. Exactly. That is why the US should nationalize it’s banks. Other nations with nationalized banks can dominate our private banks. No company can be big enough to compete with an entire sovereign nation. And compare the performance between our banks and the nationalized bank in Brazil. They built massive infrastructure and we got ripped off by private bankers inflating a paper bubble that exploded. Then the public sector had to bail them out. If the taxpayers have to fund the banks then they should own them.

    Is Brazil’s development bank making matters worse?
    A state development bank kept the economy flush, but now debt and inflation are a threat.

  271. Today I reviewed “The Politics of Jesus” by Obery Hendricks. A book that shows Jesus to be on the left of course.

    This book captures my political argument about today’s extreme capitalism very well indeed. The Jesus that I feel in my heart is no capitalist, no republican, and no lover of empire. He would never enlist in the military, for example, and yet so called conservative Christians preach hawkish policy. It’s like a “What’s the matter with Kansas” problem in religion. I think Kohlberg the psychologist had it right when he claimed to have discovered levels of morality and feared that half of the population never reached the highest level that Jesus certainly achieved. It might be that applying the teachings of Jesus to these unfortunate people produces a Christian that can only understand Jesus by seeing him as the biggest bull on the block. Imagine if someone has a primitive understanding of human social behavior where they see the world as completely competitive, kill or be killed, survival of the fittest, social Darwinism etc. They might only be able to see the things that Jesus did as a competitive strategy. Lastly, I don’t think you can figure out the politics of Jesus by reading what he said. All we have is what other people say that he said. The best we can do is look at what he DID. When I do that, I see a someone who hates capitalism and empire. Someone who sees competition in nature and wants us to grow away from it and value cooperation and universal human equality.

  272. Mandela has died. Let us never forget that the republican party was AGAINST Mandela every step of the way. They voted to block sanctions against South Africa time and time again. The republican party is always on the wrong side of history. Today they are glowing for Mandela like they were with him all along. In ten years they will be bragging about how they supported health care reform.

  273. Obama got a peace treaty with Iran. Israel, the Saudis and the republicans are angry. Lets score this thing. Democrats make peace in the middle east. Republicans against peace. Obama gets a peace treaty that no republican has ever come close to achieving. Republican response…he’s really messed up now. Democrats get health care coverage for everybody that the republicans could never do. Republican response..he’s really messed up now. This just in. Republican spin doctors pick a slogan for the next election. “Democrats Suck Too.”

  274. We have a treaty with Iran, but Israel is angry. 1. Israel has a right wing leader who wins elections by fear mongering. He doesn’t want peace. 2. The Saudis don’t want Iran to sell their oil as that would run the price of oil down. 3. Israel will not give up it’s nuclear weapons but expects Iran to stop trying to make them.

  275. Put this in perspective. The president got a health care reform law that no other president for the last century could do. The entire country couldn’t make the transition in one week and the republicans declared his entire presidency to be a failure. There is no real hurry. If we don’t get everybody signed up by the so called deadline, we can extend it. No president in history has been treated so badly. Mr. President, this is what it’s like to be a social worker. You help people and they hate you for it. Social Workers…can I get an Amen?

  276. Iran can’t sell oil because of sanctions. The treaty talks have stalled. This is about keeping the price of oil high. Keeping Iranian oil off the market is what the Saudis want. It’s not nukes. Same thing with Iraq. Same thing in Syria. Russian oil vs Saudi oil. The Saudis set the quotas and we enforce them with the blood of our troops. Happy veterans day.

  277. Obamacare-gays-guns-spies-Iran etc….All these side issues are only in the news to divert attention from the elephant in the corner. THE BANKS have not been re-regulated yet.

  278. Am I the only one who thinks the republicans are sabotaging the Obamacare website? It would not be hard to do and the GOP has done more desperate things than that. A million people logged on and three got signed up or something. That sounds like an offshore boiler room with some automatic dialing machines.

  279. People don’t get it yet. They assume the republicans fear losing elections. They don’t care if they lose anymore. The money is no longer in winning an election, the money is in running for election and pleasing the extreme right wing billionaires who pay them to sound like fascists. When the court legalized unlimited bribery they actually planted the seeds that will grow weeds on the republican party. It’s dead now. They have some rigged safe districts left but the democrats actually got a million more votes in the house than the republicans and still lost the house. Bush actually lost both times. This can’t last very long for the GOP. Stick a fork in it. It’s dead.

    This is an unusual time, but there is a logical solution. If the majority of house republicans are being blocked out from voting by a leader that represents a radical minority, then they should declare them selves to be new moderate democrats. The majority would flip sides. The speaker would change to a democrat who would allow them to vote the way they want to. At that point they could change back.

  281. Everybody doesn’t lose if the US credit rating gets downgraded. Who benefits? The people who buy government bonds in the future will benefit as the new bonds will have to pay a higher rate of return. Who loans the money to the government? The 1% super rich. We just got a new fed chief that is for holding interest rates down long term. The super rich don’t like her. What politicians do the super rich pay off? The republican tea party folks. THEY WANT TO DEFAULT.

  282. When the republicans are out of power their strategy is to start a fight in congress….throw mud and low blows…and then even though the democrats don’t throw back the republicans run the next election spin on “The Lousy Congress…and Throw ALL the bums out.” To clean house, so to speak, helps the party with fewer seats before the cleaning, and disproportionately hurts the majority party…the democrats right now. The republicans are ruthless but not crazy. You can see this strategy at work when you see slanted polls like…”75% of Americans are mad at congress right now.” They lump democratic and republican members together, even though what they are mad ad is something being done to them by only one party.

    My democrats are so weak when playing offense. Listen guys. The republicans started this and it blew up in their face. They are already preparing the spin to say in the next election that it was the democrat’s fault. We have the ball right now. Don’t let them escape without making them go on camera and take responsibility for the bluff to default on the debt. Make them say. “We did it, and we are sorry. We will not do it again, and we will not claim the democrats did it in the next election.”

  284. I’m going to explain the republican government shutdown by coining a new term. It explains more than this. It explains the republican political strategy in general. POLITICAL TERRORISM.

  285. One guy is shooting up a navy yard and the whole country is shutting down.

    Listen to me. My job was to treat people with severe mental illness in a maximum security lock down psychiatric hospital. NEWS FLASH….There are people out there who will do stuff to GET ATTENTION. The 24 hour news cycle CAUSES this kind of event to happen. There are small things we can do to prevent this. Let’s start with two. Don’t publish the persons name and don’t show their picture. Please cut and paste this paragraph to an email to your elected representatives. These two steps do nothing to hurt freedom of the press.

  286. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE STOPPED THE WAR. Obama didn’t stop it, or Kerry, or the Russians. For the first time in history we stopped it before it started. Now the politicians are trying to spin it this way and that. No politician would have moved for negotiations without the enormous outpouring of disgust. Yes, a republican president would have just pulled the trigger, but Obama was all fired up for war. The new lesson is that the people can and will stop a war before it starts and that hawks are going to pay dearly in the upcoming elections. We have the whole thing on DVR and the next election will be full of campaign spots with hawks banging the war drums. They finally gave a war and nobody came.

  287. The Russians have offered to remove the chemical weapons from Syria if we don’t strike. This is a good compromise and it proves that diplomacy is the answer here. Failure to take him up on the offer would prove that regime change and the Saudi gas pipeline is our real goal and that the war has nothing to do with chemical weapons. This deal would also give the president a legacy of making peace under pressure and making the Russians blink just like JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. But he needs to do it before the congress votes to prevent him from striking or the Russians will withdraw the offer. The president actually has nothing to lose by doing this because the Assad is going to lose anyway. Israel will be happy because the chemical weapons will be gone from their border.

  288. Congratulations to US citizens and citizens of the world. First you elected a president that had to run on an anti-war platform. Now, when he screws up and wants to shoot a cruse missile at somebody, you 1. Didn’t get fooled by the usual propaganda tricks. 2. Made him go to congress. 3. Insisted he stop without the UN. 4. Made your opposition passionately know, both democrat and republican. We have made great progress in making the world safe from war. This is a clear change. Past presidents just pulled the trigger. We must never tolerate that again.

  289. I’m watching the war debate in the senate foreign relations committee. A camel is a horse designed by a committee, but a war designed by a committee makes a camel look like a racehorse.

  290. I just woke up to a right wing think tank on cspan saying the war is a bad idea. I don’t know what’s going on yet. McCain got caught on camera in the debate yesterday playing video poker on his iphone. He also got blasted on Racheal Maddow last night for being an advocate for attacking one country after another. If the right wing think tanks are flipping to anti-war for the first time in history then they think it’s a way to “get” Obama. Good job Mr President. Now they are spinning the left as war mongers and the right as peace loving. Remember…this will work on the average voter who doesn’t know that peace goes on the left.

  291. Vietnam vets should know that you can’t fight a war without going all in. That’s the lesson of Vietnam. We have to decide if we want to 1. Declare war on Syria. 2. Invade Syria with ground troops. 3. Probably fight the Russians too. 3. Win 4. Garrison the country forever. Anything short of that is a recipe for a quagmire, and to do all that would start WWIII.

  292. WHAT HYPOCRISY. The Russians blocked us in the UN so we should go it alone? How many times have we blocked the Russians and everybody else in the UN over Israel.

  293. “If we don’t act, whatever the dictator does after that is our fault.” I can’t recall the Latin name for that logical fallacy but it is one. It’s like you and your wife get stuck up on the street by a gunman who points a pistol at your wife and says, “Give me your money or I’m not responsible for what happens to your wife.”

  294. No boots on the ground…limited war…domino theory…police action…we don’t need the UN…measured response…it’s in our “National Security and Strategic Interest.”…weapons of mass destruction…war on terrorism…it’s not about the oil…patriotism…overthrow the dictator…we have secret evidence beyond any reasonable doubt….WE DON”T BELIEVE THIS STUFF ANY MORE.

    He’s out there all by himself. Why does he want this so bad? Could it be that he got suckered by Israel to do a deal: take out their bad guy in exchange for a peace deal with the Palestinians? He’s thinking about his legacy. He’s vulnerable there. If that’s what it is then Israel will certainly double cross him. I’ve got an idea. Instead of playing chess with the “what is in our best interest” Machiavellian crap, why don’t we just 1. ASK OURSELVES, WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO and 2. DO THAT. War is wrong. Peace is good.

  296. 8-39-13 MORE WAR DRUMS
    They want us to attack a country that has not attacked us, without the UN, that has oil, that they say has weapons of mass destruction, and that Israel hates but won’t allow their solders to risk combat fighting. “Don’t worry…no boots on the ground.” Sound familiar. By the way, if I remember right, Syria did not sign the international agreement to not use chemical weapons and the US refused to sign it too. We need to sign on to that before we go bombing people for using them. This will take out Russia’s warm water port, the historic reason for lots of Russian wars. This could start WW III.

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