— by Andrew Breiner | Oct 14, 2015, 12:59 pm
In Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, candidates not only avoided boring their audience, but managed to discuss policy and solutions to real-world problems so that voters will be able to make an informed choice between them. That is to say, they had a political debate. It was a far cry from the Republican debates that have been held so far, where focal points included conspiracy theories about vaccines and Donald Trump’s assertion that he doesn’t call all women pigs, just Rosie O’Donnell.
Candidates challenged each other on key issues like gun control and marijuana legalization, and clarified their own positions on reforming Wall Street and college affordability. We’ve collected the stances of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley on some of the most prominent topics of debate:
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Professor Luigi Zingales, author, A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity, joins Thom Hartmann. The LIBOR rate-fixing scandal is coming to America. Now – more than a dozen banks are being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department to determine just how widespread the rate-rigging scandal, which might have cost consumers billions of dollars, really is. So far, only one bank – Barclays – has admitted guilt in the scandal. But several cities – led by Baltimore – are launching their own investigations to figure out if their pension funds took a hit as a result of the rate-rigging. During the financial crisis – the city of Baltimore was forced to lay off public employees and cut services. But the city now claims their fiscal problems were made worse by the manipulated LIBOR rates. Baltimore and other cities have filed dozens of lawsuits in a Manhattan Federal court against several banks including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Deutsche Bank – accusing the banks of manipulating LIBOR rates during the financial crisis to boost their own profits, while screwing over entire cities. So it could be a matter of time before some banksters’ heads roll. And by “heads roll” I mean a slap on the wrist fine – since we all know banksters are immune from jail time this day and age.
Congress is jumping into the mix, too, with plans to bring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to Capitol Hill for hearings before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. Given the charade on Capitol Hill when JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon came down to testify a few weeks back, we shouldn’t expect too many tough questions about this latest financial scandal. Then again, if Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner knew what was going on while he was head of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York – then we might actually get some answers. After all, if there’s one thing Republicans love more than protecting Wall Street, it’s embarrassing the Obama Administration. But the bigger picture here is this. Four years after Wall Street crashed our economy – then made off with trillions of dollars in bailout money – leaving the middle class to suffer the effects of a Great Depression – here we are again – in the middle of another Wall Street scandal.
And just like the last scandal – it looks like there may have been collusion between the banks, regulators, and governments. As witnessed by the Tea Party phenomenon – at least before it was hijacked by billionaires – and more recently the Occupy Movement – faith in the American economic system is shattered today. So what effect might this latest scandal have – and what will it take to eventually restore faith in our economy – and get it back on the side of the American people?
Danny Weil, Truthout: “The Republican Party of Texas has issued their 2012 political platform and has come out and blatantly opposed critical thinking in public schools throughout the state. If you wonder what took them so long to actually state that publicly, it is really a matter of timing. With irrationality now the norm and an election hovering over the 2012 horizon, the timing of the Republican GOP announcement against ‘critical thinking’ instruction couldn’t be better. It helps gin up their anti-intellectual base.”
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— by Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co. | News Analysis, Truthout
One of the tasks of the Texas State Board of Education is to update curriculum standards and textbooks for TX schoolchildren. The Texas school system is so large — 4.8 million textbook-reading school children as of 2011 — that revisions made by the board are often included in school books across the country, though digital technology has lessened this effect in recent years. In 2010, the board got a lot of attention when it approved over 100 amendments — many of which had a very clear conservative political agenda — to the social studies and economics curriculum standards. Here are some of the more pointed proposals.
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The Demos report is an eye opener as to the hidden costs which cause 401k programs to not only fail to keep up with inflation, but to fall behind even the base amount invested into these funds.
Read this article on the Addicting Info Blog
Read/Download the Demos Report
Why is Nobody (in the US) Freaking Out About the LIBOR Banking Scandal?
—by Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone: The LIBOR manipulation story has exploded into a major scandal overseas. The CEO of Barclays, Bob Diamond, has resigned in disgrace; his was the first of what will undoubtedly be many major banks to walk the regulatory plank for fixing the interbank exchange rate. The Labor party is demanding a sweeping criminal investigation. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, responded the way a real public official should (i.e. not like Ben Bernanke), blasting the banks:Barclays bank.
“It is time to do something about the banking system…Many people in the banking industry are hardworking and feel badly let down by some of their colleagues and leaders. It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal.”
Read the full article here
Read more at The National Memo “Barclays–The Corruption at the Heart of the Financial System