Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: Bernie's Right. Wall Street's Business Model Really Is Fraud.


Richard Eskow
Bernie’s Right. Wall Street’s Business Model Really Is Fraud.
...Bernie Sanders’ often-repeated refrain [is] that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.” A “business model” is a plan for making money. Is fraud really an essential part of the way Wall Street banks make money? When it comes to retail banking – serving ordinary customers – they’ve already all but admitted it ... But that’s not the only line of business where banks commit fraud. The major offenses committed by our largest banks include “price fixing, bid rigging, market manipulation, money laundering, document forgery, lying to investors, sanctions-evading, and tax dodging.” ... As long as they can commit fraud without suffering personal consequences, fraud will be the business model for Wall Street.


Daniel Kalik, the chief of staff at J Street, a progressive Jewish “pro-peace” organization, discusses which 2016 presidential candidate is best positioned to help Israel and the Palestinians reach a peace agreement, in the latest Burning Issues video installment.


Team Sanders makes it case that it can win enough delegates. Politico: “‘We have a very good chance of beating her in every state where we compete with her,’ said [strategist Tad] Devine, blaming Clinton’s wins in Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Arkansas on Sanders’ lack of investment there … Nonetheless, Sanders has to win 57 percent of the remaining pledged delegates — which will come primarily from primaries, not caucuses …”
Sanders hopes to build on Zephyr Teachout’s bid for NY governor. Politico: “…Teachout managed to capture an impressive one-third of the vote — and even won some regions by large margins … Sanders’ plan is to target the congressional districts where Teachout won – including some Upstate and across New York’s Southern Tier — thanks in large part to activists opposed to fracking … they also plan to dispatch high profile African-American surrogates like Harry Belafonte, Cornel West, Spike Lee and Erica Garner …”
Clinton campaign resists another debate. WSJ:Joel Benenson, a top strategist and pollster for Mrs. Clinton, said in an interview on CNN, ‘Sen. Sanders doesn’t get to decide when we debate, particularly when he’s running a very negative campaign against us.’ Should Mr. Sanders shift to what Mr. Benenson described as a more positive message, ‘then we’ll talk about debates.'”
Sanders leans on superdelegates to flip. The Hill: “… Sanders strategist Tad Devine noted the importance of superdelegates and said that more party leaders will defect from Clinton because, he said, Sanders is better positioned to win the general election. For now, Clinton does not appear to be bleeding any superdelegates.”


Trump gets rude welcome to Wisconsin by conservative radio host Charlie Sykes. Politico: “‘Is this your standard, that if a supporter of another candidate, not the candidate himself, does something despicable, that it’s OK for you, personally, a candidate for president of the United States, to behave in that same way?’ Sykes asked. ‘I mean, I expect that from a 12-year-old bully on the playground.'”
Trump tangles with Louisiana GOP. WSJ: “…Donald Trump’s campaign argued on Monday that [convention] posts were chosen at a ‘secret meeting’ to which Trump delegates weren’t invited … One big wrinkle: Mr. Trump’s two Louisiana state co-chairmen both attended the ‘secret meeting’ – which was in fact a gathering at the Louisiana state GOP convention March 12, according to Jason Doré, the state party’s executive director.”
Trump hires delegate strategist. NYT: “[Trump] has enlisted the veteran Republican strategist Paul J. Manafort to lead his delegate-corralling efforts … As a young Republican operative, he helped manage the 1976 convention floor for Gerald Ford in his showdown with Ronald Reagan…”


Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley feeling Supreme Court heat at home. Politico: “…Grassley [got] an earful from voters on the Supreme Court obstruction at two town halls on Monday, even in this corner of Iowa represented by Rep. Steve King, one of the most conservative members of Congress. ‘It’s not fair for this man to not get a hearing,’ said Randy Waagmeester, 62, an independent from Rock Rapids … Glenda Schrick of George [said] even though she’s a Republican she believes her party is making a mistake by not holding hearings for Garland.”
Grassley expects Democrats to force a vote. Roll Call: “[Grassley] said Democrats will likely try a maneuver known as a motion to discharge to move the nomination out of the committee and onto the Senate floor … The maneuver would subject to debate, thus setting off a procedural path that could require 60 votes to move forward.”
Clinton talks SCOTUS in Wisconsin. NYT: “‘As scary as it might be, ask yourselves, what kind of justice will a President Trump appoint?’ Mrs. Clinton asked, to gasps from the audience … she noted that two Supreme Court justices will be older than 80 when the new president takes office, and she urged voters to ‘please make sure the court factors into your decision.'”


Gov. Jerry Brown embraces deal for $15 minimum wage in California. Reuters: “‘I’m hoping that what happens in California will not just stay in California but will be exported to the rest of the country,’ Brown said … passage of the proposal is not guaranteed without support from more moderate members of the Democrat-controlled legislature.”
Economists debate if California is moving too fast. NYT: “‘Just as the benefits of this policy are likely to be greater because it covers a greater share of the work force than for past minimum wage increases, the risk of these costs is also higher,’ said Ben Zipperer, an expert on the minimum wage at the liberal Washington Center for Equitable Growth … in lower-wage, inland cities like Bakersfield and Fresno, the effects could play out in much less predictable ways … push[ing] the wage floor much closer to the expected pay for a worker in the middle of the wage scale … ‘This is a big experiment,’ said Arindrajit Dube, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst … ‘In areas like Fresno, a majority of workers are likely to be directly or indirectly affected.'”


Urgent need to stop building dirty power plants. Bloomberg: “A new study by researchers from Oxford University’s Institute for New Economic Thinking [says] we have only a year or so to stop investing in new fossil-fuel power stations. After that, the expected emissions from those plants over their economic lifetime will commit us — barring other exceptional changes — to shoot past the 2 degree limit.”
AZ election official claims November will be different. NYT: “‘I apologize profusely — I can’t go back and undo it,’ said Helen Purcell, the Maricopa County recorder … Ms. Purcell had already said that her office would make new plans for November, presumably adding more polling sites.”

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