20 July 2007

Lunch with Bernie Sanders

Keystrokes from a Dream Stream
Lunch with Bernie Sanders
July 20, 2007

Sicko is the largest revenue from a documentary.

Bernie Sanders
Interesting - Moore is saying what we (progressive liberals) have been saying. We need to more toward a single pay universal health care system. We pay more for health care then any other western developed country.

Interesting that it took Michael Moore to force this debate - not the MSM. Bush is threatening to veto the bill to expand health care for children - even this veto will make Bush look stupid in this climate. What passed Senate Finance committee was a more conservative bill - $35 billion program expanded health care to kids to about $3 or $4 million.

Bush if you can believe it is threatening to veto that legislation. We have a long way to travel with Bush as president to do what all other countries have done - guaranteed health care for all citizens. A national health care system is always a fair more cost effective way to provide health care. (Fair & Balanced - just like Fox News - you would think he would embrace this concept??)

Bernie is working on a side issue - that we need to be conscious of in this country - because OUR SYSTEM IS DISINTEGRATING SO FAST we are fighting for what is called "federally funded health clinics" in VT and all over USA. We got a significant boost in funds to provide aid to these clinics.


Washington State - College Education Crisis in USA

Proud of both gentlemen to use airwaves to educate America on what is going on. Last night heard report twice that India & China has as a minimum two times greater number of students entering college than in America. It upsets the balance of skilled labor. We need to act now to help our college students.

Yes, what upsets many of us in Congress is if you look @ universities the enrollment in Science & Engineering departments is significantly down. This speaks to a couple of things about the quality of our educational system - but - that college is becoming so expensive that students come out enslaved to debt, it is affecting their career choices, etc.

Bernie believes that if we are serious about being the kind of Democracy we must be serious about functioning effectively in the global economy. We have got to open up the doors of college to all people in the USA. (previously Thom & BS were talking about in the 60's & 70's when universities such as UCLA were free to residents). Education should not be only feasible to the members of the wealthy only! Major issue.

GI Bill in the 40's - 60's effectively provided education to all economic classes which transformed America.

One of the great pieces of legislation ever passed in modern American history. Had a huge impact not only on individual level - but because they had education they were far more productive which increased America's edge globally.

James - NY - NAFTA concerns.

Reiterated comments of first caller. When will this great debate about NAFTA ever come to fruition?

You will see a serious debate, maybe not a GREAT debate, but it will be unlike any other debate on NAFTA pretty soon. Two things.

  1. Re-authorization for Fast Track (giving the President the right to unilaterally negotiate trade agreements) expired @ the end of June. The President did not ask Congress for a re-authorization. It may be that he knew it would not happen in this Congress. Very important. (sls - that says to moi - look out for Executive Orders - there was one signed on the 18th about guaranteeing the quality of food imports......).
  2. There are 4 trade agreements coming down the pipeline that were negotiated under Fast Track. Panama, Peru, India & S. Korea.
Bernie thinks you will see much stronger opposition to these four than you have in the past. When we try to figure out why it is that poverty in America is increasing, why the middle class is disappearing, we are losing millions of good paying jobs - certainly one of the reasons - not the only - but a main contributor is our Trade Policies.

In America today you are seeing no new manufacturing factories being built. These plants are being built in China where workers make pennies on the dollar. It is becoming a major crisis - to the degree that America is losing it's productive capabilities. This even impacts the military. Recently, working with the Secretary of the Army, we cannot get armored vehicles for our troops. (sls: I believe they have to source them out of US, RSA & Israeli companies. Having spent 20 years in manufacturing - huge % in A&D. Most of our technical innovations as a country start in A&D manufacturing. If we are outsourcing these vehicles, we are outsourcing future technological advancements as well as patents, skill sets, manufacturing facilities, supply chain contract manufacturing facilities, blah blah blah. Also, the DOD "compliance" system (which is a bitch) how do they exert control over this compliance/QA'ing of the military products when it is a NON US based company. Finally, the NON bid DOD contracts. ) http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/07/12/report-dod-no-bid-contracts-has-put-troops-at-risk/)

Bernie believes that if we are serious about having the type of economy we need we need major transformation in our economy & radical changes in our trade policies.

Quotes a FT article that stated average import tariffs in countries are 30%. US import tariffs is at 2 %. WTO is calling for all the other countries to drop their import tariffs down to US levels.

The proof is in the pudding. We have a 700 trillion USD trade deficit.

Call - MI - Terrorism concerns.

Whom is he to believe about how strong Al Quada is - the President or the Intelligent agencies?

Terrorism is a serious issue. Tragically, there could be another attack on American soil. NIE report has concluded that Al Quada is as strong or stronger than 9/11. Bernie thinks instead of having our troops in a Civil War (sls - really it is ethnic cleansing) & spending half trillion USD there - America needs to re-focus on Al Quada and other terrorists groups as we bring our troops home from Iraq.

Scott - San Diego - Constitutional Crisis.

WaPo this a.m. stated that Gonzales has decided that Executive Privilege TRUMPS ALL. That a US attorney would NOT be able to press Contempt (Criminal) or convene a Grand Jury in a case with Executive Privilege. He believes this is the Constitutional Crisis Bernie mentioned.
(sls - should this surprise anyone??? Hello - on 07.11 - Gonzales was quoted in Ms. Mier's attorney's letter as supporting Executive Privilege & that the AG office would NOT executive criminal proceedings! So on 07.19 it is in the MSM!!!).
Yes. You have a President who has an unrealistic attitude on Presidential powers - his concept of Executive Privilege is in Bernie's mind way over the line. (sls - HELLO - the line is not even in the zoom lens view any more). You are right - President Bush is invoking a Constitutional Crisis.

What you have seen after 6 years of a rubber stamp Congress finally a House and Senate where the chair people of important committees have started to ask this administration probing question. It is wrong for the President to say this administration will not testify, provide information or cooperate.

Most of our previous President have had law degrees. Bush has a business degree - where corporations are set up more like monarchy.

Maybe - but President Bush's view on everything (Congress, Senate, War, other countries) is "I am right and I will do it my way." (sls: It is all about Bush). Congress needs to set precedence in reminding this President that we live in a Democracy.

Bonnie - CA - Nuclear option to change Senate Filibuster rules

Will allow straight up/down simple majority rules as Randi Rhodes talked to Sen. Reid (RI) about yesterday.

Issue worth discussing. Radical change on Senate way of doing business. Bernie has not examined. If it works now for Democrats (Nuclear Option) than it will work for the other side in the future.

Scott - IL - Oil companies & free ride

Oil companies used to have a maximum amount paid for oil - if they pumped off of public land. We need to up the $35 point as the price of oil has been above in last 7 years.

Yes we can up that price level. Committees are looking @ this. Senate will pass a tax package that will eliminate alot of the loop holes to oil companies and use those monies to promote solar energy.

MI - Harriott Miers - Inherent Contempt status

Bernie does not think the Sergeant of Arms is going to arrest Ms. Miers. As mentioned, we have a President is provoking a Constitutional Crisis. Bernie believes you will see very shortly a case going to the courts testing the powers of the President. (sls - fuck that - the Supremes I believe do not have the integrity to stand up for the Constitution - that is my thoughts. And, get the Congress, THE CONGRESS, TO USE THEIR CONGRESSIONAL POWERS. IT IS THE OATH THEY TOOK TO THEIR OFFICE - PERIOD.)

Ross - FL - Executive Orders

What legal standing & precedence do all this Executive Orders have,

Same issue. Constitutional Crisis. 6 years of no check and balances. Now Congress is asking questions.

John - OH - Veto Children Health Care

Why President going to veto children's health insurance. Isn't it a fact they are going to increase the poverty level 400% and to re define a child as 25 year old.

One reason Bush will veto children's health is he does not like public health care. He views this bill as increasing government rule in Health Care. He would rather have that in the public domain (sls - i.e. for profit Corporations that his daddy & friends make mula from). For a President that comes from TX that has the highest rate of un-insured children in America I think his actions are a real disgrace.

Martha - MI - Military commission Act - October

Erased habeas corpus. Sponsoring a bill to bring habeas corpus back. What chance does it have coming to the Senate.

Believes legislature similar to restore habeas corpus has left the Senate Judiciary Committee. He believes progress being made.

Paul - WA - Constitutional Crisis - Impeachment
Children Health Insurance - enough votes to override Presidential veto.

Bernie on Children Health Insurance
VT has programs to cover lower income children and many middle class families.

Bernie on Constitutional Crisis - Impeachment
Bernie believes we are having difficult enough time getting 60 votes on Senate floor - will not be able to get 66 votes for impeachment. Must continue doing the work American people wants us to do (rebuilding health car, Iraq, economy) and some of the committees are now challenging the President and if necessary taking him to court if necessary.

Bob - WA - Ports

Why has the current Congress not introduced a major labor bill to check 100% all containers coming in USA.

Republicans have been delaying - but we might get to next week - Homeland Security Bill to include improvements accepting the recommendations made by 911 report.

John - CO - Strike on Iran

Republicans have control even when they are a minority. The only way they will get out is to have a major terrorism act. Republicans are boxed in corner. What can we do to influence Congress?

I and Senator Webb have introduced legislation that Bush does not have authority to unilaterally wage war on Iran. Bernie does not think he will. But certainly bombing Iran would be a major Constitutional crisis. (sls - Hello - yes - but when the troops have landed in Iran - what the hell can the Court do we will hear "we have started major operations against Iran - we cannot leave - we are fighting the terrorists there so we will be safe here".)

Bernie states we have been working. Minimum wage bill, higher education bill, children health care - we are starting serious investigation. Americans should appreciate that even though we are not moving as fast as they want - some progress is being made in Washington.

sls thoughts on Bernie & Constitutional Crisis

Bernie has consistently been stating "no impeachment". Let us work within the rules. He (and most of the Democrats) need to realize that this band of THUGS do not work with rules - nor do they think rules apply to them.

It is time to take out the Constitution's Heavy Arsenal in dealing with this arrogant, Neo-Cons - TAKE BACK THE CONSTITUTION.


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