Thursday Open Thread

“Bury your mistakes.”

–Rupert Murdoch

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. James Dodd says:

    Gaius Publius: Bernstein – The White House Is Terrified the Clinton Campaign “Is in Freefall” – naked capitalism

    Bernstein has become the messenger for the White House:

    “There is a huge story going on. I’ve spent part of this weekend talking to people in the White House. They are horrified at how Hillary Clinton is blowing up her own campaign.

    “And they’re worried that the Democrats could blow — they are horrified that the whole business of the transcripts, accepting the money — that she could blow the Democrats’ chance for White House. They want her to win. Obama wants her to win.

    “But Sanders has shown how vulnerable she is. These ethical lapses have tied the White House up in knots. They don’t know what to do. They’re beside themselves. And now, you’ve got a situation with these transcripts a little like Richard Nixon and his tapes that he stonewalled on and didn’t release.”

    The author goes on to make this final observation:

    “Two takeaways — one is that top Democrats know how precarious Clinton’s position is. They’re not fooled any more than you are. That’s worth noticing. And second, the White House and Bernstein are not blaming Sanders. Whoever crafted this message for us is blaming the Clinton campaign only, and by extension, Clinton herself.”

    And, it just keeps getting better:

    Clinton IT aide to plead Fifth in email case – The Hill (For those of you not particularly versed in the subject, you can not assert the Fifth Amendment privilege unless you, reasonably and in good faith, face the very real probability of criminal prosecution.)

    If this is a harbinger of the future, we may see the Super Delegates rethink their support of Clinton “for the good of the party.”

    • First – I would believe the Bernstein article more if Clinton's campaign was actually in a freefall. There's little to suggest that it is. Trump's poll bump is from attaining his party's nomination while Clinton and Sanders are still battling it out – and some Sanders supporters are becoming just short of totally unhinged that he's still trailing and almost certainly will remain trailing in pledged delegates after next week's contests.

      Second – the staffer has an immunity agreement with the DoJ – he’s a co-operating witness. This case is the Judicial Watch case which has become a fishing expedition. The staffer has also previously plead the 5th before a Republican Congressional committee, so that's not really big news (except as much as Larry Klayman can make it one).

      • James Dodd says:

        First – I am sure the White House has access to internal polling data which neither you nor I do. In recent months, the White House has given Bernstein extraordinary access to get out their message.

        Second – If the staffer has an immunity deal, then there is no basis for claiming the Fifth. Really bad optics on the part of the Clinton campaign, unless there is something else they are hiding. Maybe the staffer knows what was in the 30,000 emails that Clinton deleted.

        • Pseudonymous says:

          I don't believe that your second point is true.  Pillsbury v. Conboy made clear that grants of immunity do not extend to further instances of, even only confirmatory, testimony.  I believe that's still good law.  It would be irresponsible in light of that for his attorney to suggest he do anything other than assert his right against self incrimination.

          We hold that a deponent's civil deposition testimony, closely tracking his prior immunized testimony, is not, without duly authorized assurance of immunity at the time, immunized testimony within the meaning of § 6002, and therefore may not be compelled over a valid assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege.

          • James Dodd says:

            Again, really bad optics. First, we don’t know the scope of the immunity deal – use or transactional. Second, in Pillsbury the agreement was use immunity limited to his grand jury testimony. You really think that if Clinton wanted to really get the facts out and clear the air, she couldn't have gotten a immunity deal for her staff that included testimony before Congress and in civil trials?

            • Pseudonymous says:

              So absent that knowledge, how can you make any claim as to whether or not there is a basis for invoking his rights?

              If the staffer has an immunity deal, then there is no basis for claiming the Fifth

              Although Pillsbury derived from a situation in which immunity was granted pursuant to a grand jury hearing, it is a crabbed reading of the holding that it is limited to only that narrow circumstance of compelled grand jury testimony.  I don't think there's any case law to suggest that, although I'm happy to be proven wrong. (See also US v Vangates, 287 F.3d 1315)

               

              • mamajama55 says:

                Please, one of you legal eagles translate these legal arguments into English.

                1.Clinton staffer has an immunity deal, limited to grand jury testimony, right?

                2.This may (or may not, depending on Pillsbury?) mean that he  has something to hide which may or may not incriminate Hillary Clinton. Is that it?

                3.How does this, or does it, in any way impact the idea that HRC will have no criminal liability because of keeping a private email server and putting classified emails on it?

                4.That's separate from the whole issue of how perception matters, and how these charges may damage HRC with voters. I'd guess that "HRC's campaign is in freefall" is way overstating the case, as is calling it a “bernista wet dream”, but it would also be naive to say that the continued focus on the emails isn't damaging.

                Please address as many of these points as you can. I'm just trying to get a clearer picture of what's happening.

                • Pseudonymous says:

                  Bryan Pagliano, Clinton's e-mail guy and a former State staffer was granted immunity by the Justice Department in order to get information for their investigation into Ms. Clinton's use of e-mail and whether any laws were broken.  We don't know the extent of the deal (what information he might give and to whom) Bryan was offered.  That's not public.  Only that some immunity to something from something was given.

                  The idea of immunity is generally that the government can compel someone to give them information, but can't leave them worse off than if they'd never spoken (taken the Fifth, as it were).  My guess is that Bryan’s deal may include information provided to investigators as well as any testimony to a related grand jury.

                  The type of immunity also matters.  James mentions transactional immunity, which I don't believe the feds can offer.  This is so-called blanket immunity, where you can't be prosecuted for any crime you mention in your immunized testimony.  Say they asked Bryan about how he got the job, and he mentioned killing another person the Clintons were thinking about hiring in order to get the job.  They couldn't prosecute him for that murder.

                  Use and derivative use immunity, which are the ones I'm aware that the feds can offer, only apply to the "use" of the statements Bryan makes or evidence that's found as a result of them ("derivative use").  If Bryan said the same thing about the murder under this type of immunity, authorities could find the body on their own, develop DNA evidence incriminating Bryan, and prosecute him for the murder.

                  In any event, the Pillsbury case covers how immunity works in other proceedings not covered by the original immunity grant.  In that case, someone granted immunity had to give evidence in a civil trial and refused, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.  The court said that was OK, because his immunity only extended to his grand jury testimony and even simply agreeing he said the things he did to the grand jury was to be treated as new testimony and not subject to his immunity deal.  In other words, saying, "yes, I said that to the grand jury" would give authorities "clean" evidence to use to prosecute him for the same crimes he'd been given immunity for.

                  Invoking the protection against self-incrimination may mean he has something to hide (James' contention is that people will believe this is true).  It is also the only reasonable thing to do when faced with a potential criminal investigation, as there are so many laws that are so easily broken, that even seemingly innocent testimony can lead to conviction.

                  HRC may or may not have criminal liability.  Granting immunity to Bryan doesn't mean he has the "golden snitch" that will convict her.  No competent attorney representing him would allow him to give evidence even under the possibility some crime had been committed without an offer of immunity.

                  People are going to think what they will.  I've already indicated I have a problem with the e-mail situation in a previous thread.  I'm just not willing to move beyond what I see as the bounds of reasonable criticism.  I think that a minor actor, who's probably scared, and is definitely in jeopardy criminally, having his rights protected is not a big deal.

            • I'm pretty sure the DoJ cannot grant immunity to anyone for a private civil trial.

        • If Clinton were in a freefall, we'd hear about it from one of the other candidates' polling results, or from one of the several public polls still in the field. The White House does not have any magically better source of polling data – they handed that all off once they won the 2012 election.

          • BlueCat says:

            In any case, if it's so devastating and dramatic why isn't it a big fat story today? It isn't.

            Cable is all about her foreign policy and Trump trashing speech and they're all actually pointing out that when Trump said HRC was lying about him wanting Japan to have nuclear weapons he's the one lying, a refreshing fact checking change in media coverage of The Donald. 

            He made the statement that Japan and Saudi Arabia should have their own nukes so recently many remember it clearly and for those who don't here's the video. He really does seem to live completely in the moment and assumes everyone else does too with no memory beyond a minute ago and no such thing as video.

    • Voyageur says:

      Since you're so sure about Bernie's nomination, James, let's bet $100 on it.   I can use the money.   I bet Hillary wins the nomination. Game on?

  2. Voyageur says:

    Sigh.  Another Bernista wet dream.  

  3. Voyageur says:

    Pick a poll, any poll.

    Hillary Clinton has a crushing 18 point lead in California, according to Survey U.S.A.

    But the Field poll has her lead at just 2 points, almost a statistical tie.

    Hoover/Golden State Tuesday had her up 13.

    Wednesday, MSNBC had her ahead by 2 again.

    My guess is that all these pollsters are running similar numbers against wildly different demographic predictions for turnout.  Pick a number from the following list and celebrate your inevitable victory before cruel reality robs you of the chance.

    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-california-democratic-presidential-primary

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    More on beer . . . 

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/opinion/a-big-merger-may-flatten-americas-beer-market.html

    . . . just in case you had any doubts about all those "independent" distributors who'll be supplying suds to your Waltonopoly??

  5. Voyageur says:

    Hillary Clinton just demolished Donald J. Lindbergh and the miasma of hate, ignorance and bigotry that he calls a foreign policy.  This was a woman fully able to serve as leader of the free world defending NATO, our Asian allies, and the other parts of that free world against an ignorant buffoon who would destroy the gains made by every American president from Harry Truman through Obama in working for a secure world order.  I've never been more proud of her.  Chris Mathews called her speech a "masterpiece" and for once, I agree with him.

    • BlueCat says:

      Agree. She killed it. The Republican pols and leaders who are falling in line because anything's better than a Dem should be ashamed because HRC is right. This is way beyond policy differences. Trump is so outrageously, dangerously unfit for the presidency in every way, a Trump presidency should be absolutely unthinkable. Our intel agencies can't imagine having to brief the guy and trust him with secrets. The only possible excuse McConnell, Ryan, McCain et al could possibly have is that they're so confident he will lose they can avoid pissing off the crazy base they created by supporting him without any danger of his actually being elected.

      But that was what they were all saying about the primary. They wouldn't denounce him because that would be playing into the Dems' hands and he wasn't going to win the nomination anyway. So they, more than anyone, know anything's possible.

      I'l just say this. McCain was a hero when he was captured and held as a POW for so long and endured with such honor and courage.  He's no hero anymore and neither is any other Republican "statesmen" who would help elect Trump.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-spilled-secrets_us_5750646ee4b0ed593f138f3d

  6. James Dodd says:

    If anyone still believes that the Democratic Party supports the labor movement read this:

    Sanders: DNC vetoed union leader pick for platform committee – Washington Post

    When the Democratic National Committee announced that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont would get to pick five of the 15 people who'll write the party platform, it was seen as a small coup. But at a news conference today, Sanders revealed that the DNC had actually vetoed his nomination of a key labor ally, and said he was told not to pick anyone else from the labor movement.

    “What we heard from the DNC was that they did not want representatives of labor unions on the platform-drafting committee,” he said. “That’s correct.”

    [snip]

    In an interview  Wednesday, DNC platform committee spokeswoman Dana Vickers Shelley confirmed that the DNC had not wanted labor leaders on the platform drafting committee, limiting labor's presence to Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union.

    Only Democratic elite lapdogs are permitted.

    • BlueCat says:

      That was a stupid move by the DNC.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        That's one way to bring the Sanders voters back into the fold!

        Hey, Labor is already adequately represented. Look, there’s a guy over there!

        • BlueCat says:

          Somebody better convince DWS that she needs to spend more time with her family. Now. 

          • Pseudonymous says:

            I don't know if you could come up with a more pure expression of one of the central ideas of Democrats who are supporting Sanders and railing against the "establishment" than having one of the party's leaders be quoted like this:

            “Because union leadership [that one guy -Pseu.] was represented on the full platform committee, a decision was made no union leadership would be represented on the platform drafting committee,” said Vickers Shelley. “That was communicated to the campaigns, and they understood our rationale.”

            One has to ask oneself, "How has it come to this?" How are half of every Democratic Party committee’s members not union folks?

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              Probably ever since than exact moment when the vast majority of their campaign funding began to roll in from non-Union PACs and Citizens United free-speakers, I would have to guess??? …

            • mamajama55 says:

              Or, one has to ask oneself, "Does the Democratic party platform matter?" At all.

              Here are the broken promises from the 2008 DNC platform.

              And, the platform was ignored again in 2012.

              So what's the value of the DNC platform? An expression of ideals? A symbolic treatise? A gimme list for Santa? A prayer crammed in a crevice of the Wall?

              Fine, work on the damn platform so we can say, "This is what Democrats believe". And having more union reps and fewer K street lobbyists on it would certainly better represent what I believe. 360Colorado's Bill McKibben will be a platform drafter.

              But I'm much more interested in changing the rules of engagement.  We (those annoying Sandernistas) will give up caucuses for mail-in inclusive primaries if we can also ditch the power of the superdelegates. Hell, even Nancy Pelosi thinks that's a good idea. And how about fair and consistent rules, or at least guidelines, that states must implement in nominating conventions in national election years?

              I think it's 50-50 odds that Sanders will overtake Clinton in pledged delegates. But the supers will still seal the deal in favor of HRC. This will be a flagrant slap in the face for those who want the Democratic party to be more "democratic".

              Sanders delegates will still be disrespected, their voices unheard, their votes not counted,  their input not welcomed,  That's my prediction, and I hope I'm wrong.

              My stepmother or "bonus mom", an 84 year old activist for Palestinian rights, says that this is the year that both main American political parties will begin to die. I think she's right.

               

              • Voyageur says:

                “I think it's 50-50 odds that Sanders will overtake Clinton in pledged delegates” –

                If you really believe that, MJ, then you believe that Sanders will take 68 percent of the delegates in all six June 7 primaries, plus Puerto Rico on June 5, because Hillary leads by at least 274 pledged delegates. I won't mock your faith, other than to say if Bernie really pulled off such a stunning reversal of fortune, even I would think the supers ought to seriously review what went wrong.  But if HRC performs as expected, winning PR, NJ and New Mexico, then even if she loses California 55-45/ she would end up 300 or so pledged delegates ahead, after her almost certain big victory in DC's finale.

                All I ask is, if that is indeed the outcome, you won't cry conspiracy or betrayal when the Supers provide the final margin necessary to turn her big plurality of pledged delegates into a majority of all delegates.   Deal?

                • mamajama55 says:

                  No deal. My being silent,  sweet , and smiling depends on whether there is conspiracy or betrayal in the remaining primaries. There have been shenanigans, conspiracy, and betrayal of grassroots progressive voters from the DNC leadership on down. I've been collecting examples, have a diary 1/2 way written.

                  There is a path to victory for Sanders. Granted, it's a twisty little mountain goat path with gaping chasms in it.

                  I'll grant that HRC's foreign policy speech today was impressive. If moderate voters are equally impressed, and not distrustful because of the stupid email obfuscation, then she'll win fair and square. If she wins the nomination, I'll vote for her. I won't work for her, but I'll register voters.

                  And I will work for policies that will empower voters of all parties, such as automatic registration, mail in ballots in more states, open primaries, run-off voting. That's the only "deal" I'll make.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    In other words, anything short of Bernie being nominated is proof that conspiracy stopped him.  The fact that 3 million more people voted for Hillary than Bernie just shows how vast the conspiracy is!  And the fact that Hillary beat Bernie in 13 OPEN primaries — often, as in South Carolina and Florida, by giant margins means that Bernie would win open primaries if  only Satan would stop fixing them for Hillary   And Rafael Cruz killed Kennedy.   And we never landed on the moon…

                    OK, I give up.   Never preach logic to a conspiracy theorist.  

              • Voyageur says:

                We (those annoying Sandernistas) will give up caucuses for mail-in inclusive primaries if we can also ditch the power of the superdelegates. – 

                Depending on how you define open primary I would agree on ditching caucuses.  Open meaning unaffiliated can vote — sure.   Open meaning Republican RFers can vote — absolutely not.  While I like mail in, that is up to the states — as indeed is the whole question of caucus, primary open primary, etc. because that is set by state law.

                Supers are something the party dreamed up and could scratch.

                Given that the lack of such a safety device nominated Donald Trump, I'm not sure I want to get rid of them.  But at least, unlike the primary/cqucus issue, it is something that it within the party's power to change.

          • Voyageur says:

            Can we make that more time with the family thing retroactive?   I'm not a charter member of the DWS is Shit committee but as an old union guy, this pisses me off.   Hell even the Repubs would probably give us one union person, just for laughs.

  7. Voyageur says:

    If Bernie doesn't like the Platform he can deny he was ever in Philadelphia

     In October 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt told a crowd in Pittsburgh that he would balance the budget and cut government spending by 25 percent in his first term. But when he got in office, the only way to combat the Depression was to increase spending.

    It was the right course for governing. But it presented Roosevelt with a real political challenge when he was running for a second term and returning to Pennsylvania. He asked speechwriter Sam Rosenman how to handle questions about the broken promise.

    "Deny you were ever in Pittsburgh," responded Rosenman.

  8. James Dodd says:

    Well, it looks like Bernie Sanders has made a difference after all:

    Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie Sanders Happened. – The Intercept

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Of course, James. It's all part of Free Stuff for Everybody. The chained CPI actually makes a lot of sense. BTW, why did you not reply to Voyageur couple days ago when he challenged you to a wager on the election? 

      • Pseudonymous says:

        Actually, the chained CPI may not make as much sense with regards to Social Security COLA as one might think.

        For those who don't know, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) works, basically, like this: choose a fixed "basket" of goods, look at those prices periodically, do some math, and the difference between prices now and some arbitrary "then" is inflation.  That's the CPI-W, which is what Social Security uses now.

        There's a principle in economics called the "substitution effect," which is a fancy name for the idea that, as prices for something rise, folks will often buy something else instead.  Used to buy rib-eye steak?  If it's getting pricey, perhaps you'll buy chicken or ground beef instead,  So, you still consume a given amount of meat, but you substitute something else for what you prefer.

        The chained CPI (C-CPI-U) takes these substitutions into account and is, at the level of the whole economy, probably a better understanding of what real inflation is.  That's why the chained CPI arrives at inflation numbers that are a bit lower than the CPI-W, because, come hell or high water, you're getting that rib-eye according to the CPI-W.

        Here's the problem with folks on Social Security– they aren't like the economy as a whole.  A primary cost driver, healthcare, has no adequate substitutions available, and actually increases in cost at a rate higher than inflation under any either CPI model.  Seniors on fixed incomes (and other, relatively poorer folks) also don't have as many options for substitution as the population generally, as they've already performed the substitutions and are now looking at necessities rather than choosing among options.

        There is also a CPI-E, an experimental index that looks at a basket more appropriate to seniors' consumption, but it rises faster than either the CPI-W or the C-CPI-U, and so isn't in contention, whether it might be a better option in terms of "properly" determining benefits or not.

  9. davebarnes says:

    These buttholes, https://www.protectconsumers.com , robot called me and encouraged me " tell Senator Bennet…"

    fucking pay day lenders

    • mamajama55 says:

      -and the head of the DNC….she likes her some payday lenders.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      People should be calling Senator Bennet . . .

      . . . with this message:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/opinion/a-lame-response-to-predatory-loans.html

      The best solution would be for Congress to give the public the same protection from predatory lending that members of the military received under the Military Lending Act of 2007. The rules created under that law made it illegal for lenders to charge more than 36 percent for payday loans, vehicle title loans, installment loans and other forms of credit. (That rate is still quite high.)

      The point of the law was to prevent deceptive lenders from driving servicemen and women into penury and saddling them with debt that interfered with their service careers. These protections have been good for the military — and they would be just as good for America as a whole.

      The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to come up with a stronger plan to protect borrowers from the payday lending industry.

      . . . fucking payday lenders!

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Speaking as one who has worked a lower income social services caseload, perhaps better training in how to manage one's finances would be of help. Even if one doesn't have much money, they still have something. I don't think the government & taxpayers have much responsibility, if any, in protecting people from their own urges. 

        • mamajama55 says:

          Speaking as a single mom who has had to resort to payday lenders in between jobs and for emergencies, you don't know what the heck you are talking about. I don't smoke, barely drink, don't go out much, shop at second hand stores, drive a used car, and don't so much need help "managing my finances" as having enough finances to manage.

          It's easy to budget if you have enough income for basic needs. Perhaps this map may be of help.

          Colorado's law limiting payday lenders to 136% interest rate (instead of 318%)  made a difference in my life.  Too bad you, in your arrogance, would have lobbied against it, deciding that the poor should continue to pay more because of their "urges".

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            I don't discount your own personal life story. But you're just one person. I dealt with hundreds of people state-wide through 10+ years. Ever work an inner-city caseload? My thinking isn't "arrogance," as you put it; it simply reflects broad-based experience. 

            • mamajama55 says:

              Sure I've "worked an inner-city caseload". I've been teacher, cop, counselor, and social worker for over 1500 students, mostly in high-poverty schools. Teachers wear many different hats.

              So are you for or against payday rule reform? Would you have left Colorado's law allowing outrageous interest rates, on the theory that the poor deserved to be punished for unwise choices, or would you have limited it to sane amounts (as it is now)?

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                Sorry mamajama; it's not the same as dealing with people living out of their cars; living in cheap motels; living hand-to-mouth via food banks. I saw way too much of the guy who was mentioned last week in the Post due to living in dispersed camping on the forest near Nederland. Guy is 20 years old and was bored living in his midwestern town. So, he came to check out Colorado. No plan and no means of supporting himself. Bad decisions on his part. I don't think the taxpayers need to support him other than a good kick in the pants to get his s**t together back home and figure things out. And regardless of all the hats you claim to wear, you're still a teacher and probably a good one. You don't influence peoples' purse strings by means of government benefits.

                As for payday reform, I have no issues with the system as it currently exists. Beyond that, it's not an issue for me. One doesn't have the type of career I had and come out at the end as a liberal. You give it your best shot, which I did. Afterwards, you feel good about the deserving people that got helped. You could care less about the people behind all the frauds, scams, something-for-nothing schemes, rip-offs, that were encountered during the career.

            • Duke Cox says:

              I'm sorry, CHB, to have to inform you, even though you don't see it, you are engaging in arrogance as pure and simple as it gets. Not a personal arrogance, as I generally consider your comments here to be sincere, and take you at your word. 

              You are perpetrating (and perpetuating) a societal arrogance that is only uglier in the realization that it is lawyers, businessmen, politicians, and all those for whom the banker is an ally that have put them (the poor) at the mercy of these vampires. The "lower income social services caseload " you refer to are people. Men and women and their children stuck in a world you don't really know. They are the chaff of an elite society that has taken more and more of the harvest, but the left them behind to try to survive on their own, scrounging for a few kernels of "the American Dream".

              If their "habits" are their indictment, ask yourself, CHB…how did they get that way?

              I have been homeless, relying on family for shelter until I could get my shit together, I spent years as an itinerant musician, living on the road, struggling to get by. For ten years I lived off the grid in the mountains of Colorado, working as a carpenter, traveling from place to place with my ex-wife. It was a lifestyle I chose, unlike most of those "lower income social services caseloads" you so casually compartmentalize. "Those"  people are friends, relatives, co-workers, whose lives and circumstances I fully understand.

              If the bottom half of the economic ladder in this country were given half the wealth and income, things might be different in this nation. But I am sure that means "socialism" to you. So, I will never convince you that most of those " lower income social services caseloads" are a product of a culture created by the conservative, so called "free market" principles you so staunchly defend. 

              If you have not lived among them, you don't really know them. Don't judge them until you have walked a mile in their moccasins.

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                "Societal arrogance?"   I don't think so. The key is not: "if the bottom half……WERE GIVEN" (emphasis mine). I've read dozens of stories about people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and shoelaces, out of poverty, to make something for themselves. I encountered a lot of those people during my career. Kudos to them all because they had motivation and ambition. So, do I need to make myself homeless and live on the streets to understand how the so-called "bottom half" lives? No, I've been close enough. And kudos to you for making it.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  You are correct…I should have said…"were given in return for their labor"..I believe most of the people who are vulnerable to such usury are working poor…not the truly indigent.

          • Voyageur says:

            The real question, MJ, might be whether payday lenders at 136 pct are better than no such loans at all.  Perhaps, and I am frankly undecided, they may sometimes be better than a rain of $35 a check bank ripoffs.  The problem is that being poor is so expensive

            .  I can borrow $26,000 at4 pct with the click of a mouse from my credit union home equity line of credit or up to $5,ooo from the CU with another click at 12 pct.  The poor dont have helocs but we should try hard to get them credit union services. CHB.  is not wrong to say some poor people manage poorly.  But mainly we need better options for poor people on the credit front

            • BlueCat says:

              Payday lenders are not a better option for the overwhelming majority who resort to them. They have no more money coming in than they had when they were short n the first place, can't repay, struggle and in relatively short order fail to pay the interest, much less the principal and are in worse shape than when they started.

              Whether they're spending too much on cigarettes and beer or simply not making enough to cover basic expenses like rent, food, transportation to non-living wage jobs and utility bills, you can argue how much is poor judgement and how much the lack of available living wage jobs but you can't argue that payday lenders are performing a service that helps anyone for more than a couple of weeks before making them much worse off.

              The answer is a living minimum wage. In cities where it's being tried none of the conservative dire promises of job loss and economic disaster are coming true. More people with enough money to pay their own way and spend on stuff they need is good for the economy which is why the golden age of unions, with widespread living wage jobs, was the also the golden age for middle class expansion, prosperity and upward mobility.

              The Reagan era, aided and abetted by the decades long "we're almost as conservative as Republicans" surrender of both message and policy on the part of a cowed, gutless Democratic Party put paid to all of that. Bernie and Warren are bringing the party back to where it should be. The best way to take advantage, since HRC will be our candidate, is to work for a landslide that will give them a Dem president and congress.

              HRC's latest speech combined with the media's new willingness to delve into all of Trump's flimflam could be the first signs of a tipping point that will take us a long way, all of us including Bernistas. 

              It doesn't matter that criticism never hurt Trump in the primaries. We're entering a completely different phase and all Dems need to do is hang together. A DNC leadership pandering to blood suckers and blocking union representation is no way to accomplish that. 

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Ummm,

          so I guess you opposed the government and taxpayers  "protecting [military members] from their own urges," too . . . 

          . . . just on ((self) righteous) principle, of course ???

          • BlueCat says:

            Besides which a lot of people who take these payday loans aren't on any kind of assistance. In fact they're desperately trying to avoid resorting to assistance and looking for a way to make ends meet while working their butts off on inadequate incomes to keep their kids fed and in shoes that fit without it. These are not people with whom CHB would have had contact in his former job. 

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