Why I left the Democratic Party

Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 01:42 pm
The Virginia results suggest they're going to do quite well without Mr. Sanders. His refusal to back the Dem candidate for governor was a definite statement. Don't pick his chosen candidate? he's not going to help anyone else.

It's funny in a way. There is a suggestion that the Republican lost because he wasn't enough like Trump. At the same time, the Democrat won without Sanders support.

Some shaking up going on.

The demographic shift is having an impact.



Good thing.

Listened to an interview with Wilmot Collins the other night. Definitely made me feel better about America.
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Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 01:53 pm
ehBeth wrote:
now here's a weird thing

American medication costs are often less than they are in Canada unless they're provided by a hospital or clinic. Then the mark-ups go to crazyville.

I don't know Canadian prices. Here's an interesting study but they don't cite the countries other than the US:

The U.S. Pays a Lot More for Top Drugs Than Other Countries
By Robert Langreth , Blacki Migliozzi& Ketaki Gokhale, Bloomberg, December 18, 2015

Prices for brand-name drugs are typically higher in the U.S. than other developed countries. The drug industry has argued it's misleading to focus on U.S. list prices that exclude discounts struck behind closed doors with insurers.

A Bloomberg News analysis finds that even after these discounts, prices are higher in the U.S. than abroad.

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Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 02:34 pm
Olivier5 wrote:

I think that would be unfair. I read them as 'regular' democrats, who were once very committed to the cause but have evolved in life. You know, the classic trajectory of reform-minded people who begin to make serious money in their 40's or thereabout, and then begin to reassess their youthful idealism. When you earn a 6 digit income, pro-poor policies start to lose their appeal, somehow, and successful social climbers often find that discussing with people a little less successful than themselves becomes quite exasperating... :-)

Excuse me, I'm the oldest child of 6 children, 3 of whom make around 30k per year and I send them at least 5-10k per year (depends on the year) to help them make ends meet. If you think I don't care about the poorer among us, then you couldn't be more wrong.
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 02:39 pm
He refers to helping family as donating to the poor.

That speaks volumes.

I think Mitch McConnell has more EQ than that...
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 03:03 pm
1) not what I said
2) what exactly does helping my family say about me?
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Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 07:13 pm
maporsche wrote:

Excuse me, I'm the oldest child of 6 children, 3 of whom make around 30k per year and I send them at least 5-10k per year (depends on the year) to help them make ends meet. If you think I don't care about the poorer among us, then you couldn't be more wrong.

Most people I know don’t equate family with “the poorer among us.”
Most people I know routinely share their good fortune with family, and wouldn’t talk about that in a conversation about the poor.

That’s just my experience.
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 07:34 pm
The Trump backlash may elect Democrats of just any stripe, but that doesn't solve the problem of corporate oligarchy and the like. It just kicks the can down the road at a time when there is not much leeway to rescue democracy.
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 07:38 pm
People who think I am just fighting for Bernie and purity tests for the Democratic party misread the whole intent of fighting for change. I don't want to be sitting in a Russian style of 'democracy' to be saying "I told you so."
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Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2017 12:20 am
Well, they are poor. WTF is wrong with that? It doesn't make them bad people or anything. They will literally tell you they are poor. They're not ashamed; 2 of them actively got masters degrees in college and a passion for social work and they work with homeless teenagers. Those jobs just don't pay a lot of money. I wish they paid 100k/yr but they just don't. I couldn't do the jobs that they do.

My point in bringing it up is in rebuttal to the "maporshe is out of touch because he now has a good income." I'm not out of touch. I see what those who are less financially well off have to navigate through ALL the time. I'm helping my family navigate through it almost weekly.

That's my experience.

I thought you were sick of all the people who couch what they say in nice language? Aren't we just supposed to call a spade a spade now?
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Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2017 12:22 am
In the meantime maybe these democrats can work to get guns out the hands of people who shouldn't have them...you know, progressing. Getting stuff done.
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Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2017 01:12 am
In other somewhat joyous news, locally, just north of here, up in Westchester County (New York), 2 term Republican Rob Astorino lost in his bid for a third term to Democrat George Latimer.

For timeline interests, it should be noted that Astorino had defeated 3 term Democrat Andy Spano for the same position back in 2009, winning by several percentage points.

Another sign that maybe, just maybe, things are shifting.
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Real Music
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2017 08:58 pm
DNC Chief Vows To Make Dem Primaries Fair In 2020

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is pledging to make the party's primary process fairer and more transparent in the wake of the deeply divisive 2016 nominating contest between Hillary Clinton

In an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis, Perez acknowledged that last year's Democratic primaries left many voters skeptical of the party's intentions, and vowed to make up for that in future contests.

"It's clear to me that the DNC has to do a better job of ensuring that the Democratic primary process is fair to everybody," said Perez, who took over the DNC earlier this year as the party sought to regroup from Clinton's 2016 election loss.

"And by everybody I mean not just the candidates, but the voters feel like the party is transparent and the party is giving an opportunity to everyone and the party is making sure that everybody who is able to vote can get out there."

"I know that we have to do a better job as the Democratic Party in making sure that the process is fair," he added.

One of the steps he said the DNC would take to assure voters that the primary process is fair is to set the party's debate schedule before all the candidates have announced their bids, as previously reported by The Hill.

"Last time around there was a very strong sense that the primary debate schedule was set up in a way as to help one candidate over another," he said. "And we're not going to have that happen."

Perez also said that the party's success in future races will depend on its ability to build its own infrastructure. That includes its use of technology and organizing efforts. Last year, he said, the DNC had allowed its "basic infrastructure to degrade."

Perez's comments come days after Democratic candidates swept state and local elections across Virginia, New Jersey and New York, among other states. The wins, widely seen as a reaction to President Trump's deep unpopularity, have been touted by the Democratic Party as a bellwether of success in the 2018 midterm elections.

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Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 05:17 pm
It's all about the increments.
A little over a year ago, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) addressed a small audience of political insiders at the Brookings Institution, one of the most prestigious think tanks in the nation’s capital. Times were changing, Warner told the crowd, and the old guard from Washington and Wall Street wasn’t keeping up with the needs of the modern workforce. The gig economy, outsourcing and automation had created an era of unprecedented “income volatility” for Americans. New financial technology firms had “an opportunity to bridge part of that new social contract,” to “lean forward and meet workers where they’re working.”

It had been a long day for the Virginia Democrat. A dental appointment had unexpectedly turned into a three-hour ordeal, and he’d arrived at the conference a little “cotton-mouthed,” as he put it. When he veered into a discussion about “a much more aggressive way to upscale people” through “an enormous number of intersection points,” including “your relationship with that FinTech provider,” it wasn’t obvious exactly what Warner was after.

But the big picture was clear enough. The government needed to “encourage innovation.” Entrepreneurs had to be thinking about a “portable benefits system,” about emergency funding to help people meet unexpected expenses. It was time to get past the same old debates about government and regulation. This was about change. It was about progress. Warner had seen the future.

A year later, that tomorrow has arrived. And the grand financial technology breakthrough, it turns out, is to help payday lenders sidestep basic consumer protection laws.

In late July, Warner introduced the ingeniously titled “Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017.” The legislation would allow payday lenders to ignore state interest rate caps on consumer loans as long as they partnered with a national bank.

Although it has been generally overlooked amid the GOP’s stumbling attempt to repeal Obamacare and its aggressive plan to slash taxes for Wall Street, Warner’s little bill has a much better chance of making it into law than the Republican Party’s marquee efforts. Companion legislation is scheduled for a vote in the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, where the bill has the backing of archconservative Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Reps. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), liberal Democrats with a history of sympathy for the financial industry. Warner’s Senate version is co-sponsored by tea party darling Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

Warner’s bill has drawn opposition from consumer groups including Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending and the Consumer Federation of America, along with civil rights organizations including the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In September, the groups wrote a joint letter to every member of Congress urging them to oppose the legislation, saying it “wipes away the strongest available tool against predatory lending practices” and will “open the floodgates to a wide range of predatory actors to make loans at 300% annual interest or higher.”

Dozens of states regulate payday lending through usury caps ― blocking loans with annual interest rates higher than a certain amount, often 36 percent. Payday loans usually take the form of a two-week advance of a few hundred dollars with a “fee” of a few dozen dollars. In 2013, the Pew Charitable Trusts found that a typical payday loan was about $375, with a $55 fee. Since the life of the loan is so short, in just two weeks this “fee” works out to an annual interest rate of over 380 percent. In practice, though, it’s usually much worse than that, since, according to Pew, a typical customer ends up repeatedly rolling over a payday loan, ultimately handing over about $520 in fees to pay off an initial $375 advance.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has since approved standards curbing some of the worst abuses in the market, but many states remain justifiably concerned about this type of activity. Interest rate caps are a powerful tool applying to essentially all credit, not just payday loans. But national banks have a great deal of flexibility with these standards thanks to a court decision from the 1970s. They have to comply with the interest rate caps only in their home state ― not those of the state where the person receiving a loan lives. So payday lenders and other predatory operations sometimes ask banks in loosely regulated states to issue loans on their behalf. The payday lender quickly buys the loan after it is issued by the bank, allowing the bank to earn a commission for its service as a regulatory frontman. In 2015, a federal court prohibited this end-run around state laws in a few states. Warner’s bill would essentially overturn the court decision and protect cross-state rent-a-bank schemes nationwide.

A Warner spokesperson defended the bill with a torrent of legalese. “The Second Circuit in Madden v. Midland upset well over a century of established practice when it limited national banks’ ability to sell loans to purchasers in other states. President Obama’s Solicitor General told the Supreme Court that he thought that the decision was ‘incorrect,’ and we’ve since seen evidence from accomplished academics that the decision has reduced access to credit for borrowers with lower credit scores. The Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act would restore long-standing legal precedent and encourage access to credit for low- and middle-income Americans, while preserving longstanding, existing rules that protect consumers from abusive payday lending. Moreover, national banks will still be required to abide by existing usury laws in their home states.”

Silicon Valley has been toying with the high-interest consumer loan market for a few years. LendingClub, Prosper, LendUp and other FinTech companies have been billing themselves as hip, savvy alternatives to payday loans or pricey credit cards. They typically partner with a bank to avoid regulatory costs, and they are just as eager to bypass state usury laws as are their more notorious competitors. LendingClub, in particular, insists it will not be able to help people lower their credit card bills if it has to abide by state usury caps (banks that issue credit cards are mostly exempt from those laws, after all).

But some of these firms aren’t much better than the garden-variety predatory lender over by the 7-Eleven. Last year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined San Francisco-based LendUp for ripping off more than 50,000 customers.

In a statement provided to HuffPost, Meeks argued that the bill would actually prevent people from turning to online payday lenders. Which is true, since technically they’d be getting their payday loan from the bank.

“The bill would allow a third party to enforce the legal interest rate established between a bank and its customers ― it is not a backdoor for unscrupulous players as some suggest,” Meeks argued in a statement provided to HuffPost. “Without access to these bank loans, consumers in New York will be pushed to higher cost alternative service providers including pawnshops, rent-to-own arrangements, and online payday lenders.”

“We want to make sure that our constituents have adequate access to bank loans while helping the banking system defend itself from questionable products and services,” Moore spokesman Eric Harris told HuffPost.
Real Music
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 10:41 pm
Thanks for sharing that article. It is very informative.

Some of these harmful laws could be passed under the radar when no one is looking.

Many of these lending deregulations are essentially legalizing lone sharks.

It looks like these predatory lenders are pushing harder and harder for more deregulations.

The republicans are definitely big supporters of these predatory lending practices.

It's sad to say that there are even some democrats who support these predatory lending practices.

Thanks for the info.
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