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Benny

Jeff Stein used to be a fairly reliable analyst. Seems not as much these days.

Benny

Benny

jcitybone

jcitybone

https://fortune.com/2023/03/18/bernie-sanders-svb-ceo-on-regional-fed-board-overseeing-it-plans-bill-to-end-conflict-of-interest/amp/

Senator Bernie Sanders said he plans to introduce a measure that would prevent big-bank executives from serving on the boards of the regional Federal Reserve banks that oversee them.

“One of the most absurd aspects of the Silicon Valley bank failure is that its CEO was a director of the same body in charge of regulating it: the San Francisco Fed,” the Vermont senator said on Twitter Saturday. “I’ll be introducing a bill to end this conflict of interest by banning big bank CEOs from serving on Fed boards.”

Greg Becker, Silicon Valley Bank’s former president and chief executive officer, had served as a director on the San Francisco Fed board before the bank failed last week. Lawmakers are scrutinizing why the San Francisco Fed failed to address problems at the lender before its collapse.

The Fed didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Unlike the Fed board in Washington, which is made up of officials nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Fed’s 12 regional banks are run by presidents chosen by private boards of directors. Those directors are made up of business and community leaders, as well as bank executives.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act changed the law to exclude bank executives serving on regional Fed boards — known as Class A directors — from participating in the selection of those bank presidents. The change was meant to prevent banks in the regional Fed districts from selecting the official charged with overseeing their day-to-day operations.

jcitybone

https://truthout.org/articles/nearly-8-in-10-voters-support-sanders-bill-to-raise-minimum-teacher-pay-to-60k/

New polling finds that a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to set a minimum salary for teachers and raise the wages of over a million teachers nationwide is overwhelmingly popular among voters.

According to a recent survey of 1,254 likely voters by Data for Progress, 77 percent of voters support the proposal to set a nationwide minimum salary of $60,000 for public school teachers, while only 18 percent say they oppose it. This includes nearly half of respondents, or 45 percent, who said that they “strongly” support the idea.

The proposal is even popular across the political spectrum: it is supported by 88 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 67 percent of Republicans, the polling found.

jcitybone

Benny

jcitybone

I have some concerns about Ro.

Alongside the tech elite advocating for the federal government to backstop SVB was the congressman from Silicon Valley, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). Khanna made the media rounds last weekend. On CBS’s Face the Nation, he urged the Treasury Department to provide more clarity on what exactly the department was doing. He waxed poetic about how the payroll for companies was tied up through SVB, even claiming that some of the firms in question were trying to cure cancer. “The principle needs to be that all depositors will be protected … I have no sympathy for the executives, no sympathy for the people who have stock there,” Khanna said.

On MSNBC host Chris Hayes’s show, Khanna carried the same message. He recalled how he voted against the 2018 bank deregulation bill that critics say precipitated this incident. By Tuesday, he had co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to repeal key elements of the 2018 deregulation bill.

Khanna also pushed for the bailout in private. According to The New York Times, Khanna cornered top Biden aide Steve Ricchetti at an annual dinner of the Gridiron Club, a Washington tradition, and told him that the bank crisis threatened Biden’s record of achievements. “This is a massive issue not just for Silicon Valley, but for regional banks around America,” Khanna recalled telling Ricchetti.

But also on Tuesday, Teddy Schleifer’s Puck News tweeted about how Sacks and his wife were hosting a fundraiser for Khanna, scheduled for the end of the month. The price of admission ranged from $3,300 to $13,200.

In a statement to the Prospect, Khanna said that the event was organized before SVB’s collapse, and that it’s clear where he stands on SVB. “More broadly,” however, he said, “politics is about bridge building and persuasion. David [Sacks] and I have disagreements but we find common ground on cutting bloated defense spending, opposing the Yemen war, and the First Amendment. Having core convictions but engaging with those who see the world differently is so needed in our nation.”

Still, some observers argue that Khanna continuing to go along with the scheduled fundraiser with Sacks reflects poorly. As the Revolving Door Project’s Jeff Hauser told the Prospect, “While the Democratic Party needs to expand its reach and contest all winnable votes, there are limits to the support it should seek.”

Hauser added that Sacks’s previous support for Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised concerns about Khanna’s commitment to a progressive agenda. He continued: “That bailout-seeking bigots like Sacks are embracing Ro Khanna is a strong piece of evidence that Khanna’s progressivism is more performative than genuine. Khanna will have serious work to do to repair this wild error in judgment.”

Khanna tried to hedge his support for the SVB bailout by lyricizing about how the government should act just as swiftly for communities such as East Palestine, Ohio, and Jackson, Mississippi.

Furthermore, in his statement to the Prospect, Khanna suggested that fundraising with Sacks could spark a conversation for progressives to debate the merits of a Medicare for All system. The Prospect did not ask Khanna about his support for a universal health care system. Still, he said, unprompted: “If progressives want to get policies like Medicare for All passed, we have to make the case. Let’s have these conversations without compromising our convictions.”

It’s a strange move on Khanna’s part. It’s extremely unlikely that Medicare for All will find any traction during this congressional session. Legislation would probably have to pass to broadly assist East Palestine or Jackson, for that matter. And the Republican House is unlikely to do any of that.

By contrast, the venture capitalist bailout was something federal bank regulators did on their own. Khanna knew that they had this authority, and argued aggressively for it. Paying lip service to Medicare for All doesn’t change the fact that Khanna advocated for something that could be undertaken at a critical moment, which stands in contrast to his professed desire for accountability.

At best, the situation reflects a local member of Congress taking care of a core constituency, which would at least be an honest assessment of the situation. At worst, the call for Medicare for All is perfunctory sloganeering that bolsters Hauser’s concerns over Khanna’s commitment to seriously advocating and passing a progressive agenda.

Khanna likes to tout his independence from outside influences. He takes no money from political action committees and lobbyists. So it’s strange that as the tech industry has suffered blunder after blunder, he still sees it as wise to rub shoulders with the groups most opposed to government intervention. And when questioned about his motivations, he responds savvily about how his actions actually move forward progressive legislative goals.

jcitybone

Benny

Effin’ depressing. I’d rather not reflect more other than to say this was a disastrous intervention.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

DWT has a great article today re states being laboratories for democracy as described by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1932. It includes this 1-minute video.

Republicans Don’t Much Like Any Of Our Laboratories Of Democracy, Do They?

The concept of laboratories of democracy allows for greater flexibility and responsiveness to local needs and preferences, and can lead to more effective and efficient governance. Among the best-known examples:

Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act at the federal level in 2010, several states had already experimented with their own healthcare reform initiatives, including Massachusetts, which implemented a comprehensive health reform law in 2006 that served as a model for Obamacare’s individual mandate and health insurance exchanges.

Several states have implemented their own environmental regulations and policies, such as renewable energy standards and carbon pricing schemes. For example, California has implemented a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while Hawaii has set a goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Before the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality nationwide (2015), several states had already legalized it at the state level. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004, followed by several other states including California, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont.

In the wake of mass shootings and gun violence, several states have implemented their own gun control measures, including California which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country (background checks for all gun sales and a ban on assault weapons). Other states, such as Colorado and Connecticut, have also passed gun control measures in response to mass shootings.

Several states have legalized, to one extent or another, marijuana, despite the fact that it is still illegal under federal law. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, followed by several other states including California, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

Since 2009, Republicans and conservative Democrats have prevented the pathetic federal minimum wage from rising with inflation and greater productivity, triggering a massive and societally dangerous increase in inequality, so several states and cities have implemented their own minimum wage increases. For example, California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey and Illinois have all passed laws to gradually raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Cities like Seattle ($16.69 ), San Francisco ($16.32), Minneapolis ($15.50), Santa Fe ($15.50), NYC ($15.00), L.A. ($15.00), Chicago ($15.00), San Diego ($15.00) and others have gone even further.

There’s more – https://www.downwithtyranny.com/post/republicans-don-t-much-like-any-of-our-laboratories-of-democracy-do-they

Including this hilarious image –

Bengay.jpg
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

At least most of the responses I read are challenging this stupid call to arms by Marjorie Traitor Greene –

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Donald Trump Announces that he is getting ARRESTED on Tuesday

Benny

Nations approve key UN science report on climate change

Governments gave their blessing on Sunday to a major new U.N. report on climate change, after approval was held up by a battle between rich and developing countries over emissions targets and financial aid to vulnerable nations.

The report by hundreds of the world’s top scientists was supposed to be approved by government delegations on Friday at the end of a weeklong meeting in the Swiss town of Interlaken.

The closing gavel was repeatedly pushed back as officials from big nations such as China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union haggled through the weekend over the wording of key phrases in the text.

The report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change caps a series that digests vast amounts of research on global warming compiled since the Paris climate accord was agreed in 2015.

A summary of the report was approved early Sunday but agreement on the main text dragged on for several more hours, with some observers fearing it might need to be postponed.

The U.N. plans to publish the report at a news conference early Monday afternoon.

The unusual process of having countries sign off on a scientific report is intended to ensure that governments accept its findings as authoritative advice on which to base their actions.

At the start of the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on delegates to provide ” cold, hard facts ” to drive home the message that there’s little time left for the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) compared with preindustrial times.

While average global temperatures have already increased by 1.1 Celsius since the 19th century, Guterrres insisted that the 1.5-degree target limit remains possible “with rapid and deep emissions reductions across all sectors of the global economy.”

Observers said the IPCC meetings have increasingly become politicized as the stakes for curbing global warming increase, mirroring the annual U.N. climate talks that usually take place at the end of the year.

Among the thorniest issues at the current meeting were how to define which nations count as vulnerable developing countries, making them eligible for cash from a “loss and damage” fund agreed on at the last U.N. climate talks in Egypt. Delegates have also battled over figures stating how much greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by over the coming years, and how to include artificial or natural carbon removal efforts in the equations.

As the country that has released the biggest amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since industrialization, the United States has pushed back strongly against the notion of historic responsibility for climate change.