Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why Rubio Won(!)  (Washington Post Lies About Sanders Health Care Program/Likes Obama's?) What the Republicans Have Wrought in NC Pension Finances (It's a Tragedy for the Citizens and a Windfall for Hedge Funds)

Bernie Sanders writes:  "I have to say, I find it a little beyond comprehension that Lloyd Blankfein would lecture our campaign about 'dangerous moments' after Wall Street received huge bailouts from the working families of this country, when their greed and recklessness caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, livelihoods, and homes just a few years ago. His arrogance has no end."

How many times have you said to yourself (and perhaps a few friends) "Who is behind the corrupt politicians, and what are they getting that's so important to already enormously rich people?" Remember the sad letter from the Koches that seemed to be feeling sorry for themselves due to their lack of influence (no matter how much money they threw at the Republicans (and some Democrats)) during the primary season?

Have you also wondered in the last two days or so about what caused Rubio's numbers to climb so fast and hard?

The Vulture got involved.

For a very good reason.

For him.

The Vulture, not the Kochs, has become the Number One funder of the Republican Party. The Vulture’s blessing signals to the other billionaires where to place their bets.
Singer doesn’t “donate” to candidates. He invests in them. And he expects a big, dripping return on his money.
But why Rubio? Because Singer’s little hatchling is doing The Vulture’s bidding already. Singer has launched a murderous financial “vulture” attack on Argentina. Singer is shaking down the gaucho nation for $3 billion.

Here’s the story. Decades ago, Argentina’s military dictatorship issued bonds that sucked the nation dry. When democracy returned, 97% of the banks that had funded the dictatorship agreed to take a low payment for these bonds.

Then down swooped The Vulture. Singer and his partners bought up the “hold-out” 3% for $50 million – and now Singer demands that Argentina pay him $3 billion, a 6,000% return on his “investment”—or he’ll bring Argentina to its knees.

That’s why he’s called The Vulture – because Singer has used this same junk-bond ransom trick to swipe aid funds meant for cholera clinics in the Congo. (When I uncovered that scheme for BBC Television, Britain’s Parliament banned Singer’s vulture fund from British courts. His operations are outlawed throughout most of the civilized world.)

But The Vulture has a problem:  Hillary Clinton. As Secretary of State, Clinton went to court on Argentina’s side and body-blocked every ugly attempt by The Vulture to savage Argentina.

Singer is screeching. A President Hillary would cost Singer billions. (As would a President Sanders, a stalwart foe of vulture financiers.) To counter Hillary, The Vulture hatched a Senator:  one Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio has made several ethically dubious attempts to bully the Treasury and State Departments on Singer’s behalf.

That failed, so Singer has decided to put the anti-gay martinet Rubio into the White House. (Singer’s son is married to a man—but hey, to Singer, a feast of billions means more to him than family.)

Yet Singer knows you can’t put a Rubio in the Oval Office by winning the most votes. No way. Changing demographics doom almost any GOP candidacy.

The only way to take the White House is to block the vote of millions of voters of color.

And that’s why Singer has become donor Numero Uno to Karl Rove’s "Operation Crossroads."

I’ve been on the trail of racist vote suppression tactics since 2000 when Katherine Harris was Purge’n General. And behind so many of the moves to disenfranchise voters, all too successful, is the Rove operation.

Now I’m on the hunt again. I’m in the middle of ripping the lid off the biggest, most secretive vote suppression operation since Jim Crow was law.

I’m in the thick of making the movie, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy:  A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, about the coming attempt to swipe the 2016 election through ugly — but unbelievably sophisticated — vote suppression trickery.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

I'm always amazed that people love the idea of being successful capitalists so much that they will sacrifice their physical and psychological well-being (health and happiness) as well as their ability to make a decent living for their families in order to keep it in an almost sacred place of worship in their own private (and personalized - "You better keep the government out of my Medicare!") - Americana mythos. Maybe not almost.

The "Washington Post" sold out its interest in providing credible news reporting coming from a source of high integrity decades ago to money and power players (the three letters C-I-A have come up in this regard many times (see Phil Graham's personal history for further background)), so it's no surprise that the "Post" will lie, absurdly, in order to further the obvious fallacy of capitalism's value in providing superior health care to its citizens - the ones who can afford to pay the high prices for it anyway. It must be true that if we don't allow insurance providers, doctors, and for-private-profit hospital investment groups to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars providing health care services, that we can't have decent health care in this country. Of course, it will be inferior to that of other first-world (and many second-world) countries, but the citizen audience won't know this fact because of the first-rate propaganda from the mainstream media, including the "Washington Post," that always tells everyone who'll pay attention that America is No. 1 in everything.

From Robert Reich's blog:

Yesterday the editorial board of the "Washington Post" charged that Bernie Sanders’s health-care plan rests on “unbelievable assumptions” about how much it would slash health-care costs without affecting the care ordinary Americans receive.

The Post claimed that countries with the kind of single-payer plans Sanders likes “ration care in ways that federal health programs in the United States … do not.”

We can debate specific numbers, but the Post’s unstated assumption – that the quality of health care received by Americans is superior to the quality received by, say, Canadians, from their single-payer, mostly publicly-funded system – is not borne out by evidence.

Despite the fact that Canada spends only 10.4 percent of its GDP on health care in contrast to 16 percent of GDP in the United States, Canadians enjoy lower rates of infant mortalityand longer life expectancy than citizens of the United States.

True, Canadians typically wait longer to consult specialists and get non-emergency surgery than we do. But a higher share of Canadians get medical attention when they need it. Even after the Affordable Care Act, some 26 million Americans – about 10 percent of the population – still lack health insurance, and millions more rarely see a doctor because they can’t afford ever-increasing co-payments and deductibles.

The "Post" goes on to attack Sanders for failing to have a “plausible” plan for plugging looming deficits as the American population ages. I’m curious to know which candidate, of either party, has a plan that satisfies the "Post"’s definition of plausible deficit-reduction.

Nonetheless, a major reason future deficits loom large is the expected surge in Medicare costs as 77 million boomers need medications and treatment. In this respect as well, a single-payer system  – capable of using its full bargaining power to attain lower prices for pharmaceuticals – will yield substantial benefits.

(Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. "Time Magazine" has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written 13 books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock:  The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the "American Prospect" magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His new movie "Inequality for All" is in theaters. His widely-read blog can be found at

I just received the following extremely important letter from Ron Elmer, Democratic candidate for NC Treasurer:

Hello Friends,

The first chart we emailed showed the funding ratio of the North Carolina pension has been in decline.  The second chart shows the 1,000% increase in Wall Street investment fees.

This third chart shows why the conservatives in the NC General Assembly discuss the possibility of eliminating the pension plan as a benefit altogether.  They say it is too expensive and we can’t afford it.  Last year state and local governments put $1.6 billion into the pension and the funding ratio didn’t budge.

We know the truth (see the chart in our last e-mail).

The pension is only expensive because of the ridiculous fees the pension pays Wall Street.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  We can cut Wall Street out of the equation.  We can manage our pension ourselves, save hundreds of millions of dollars, and save our pension.

Learn more about my campaign and my background at

Ron Elmer, CPA, CFA, CFP®

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