Democrat poll shuffles deck, but doesn’t count for debates!

The Economist/YouGov poll of Aug. 3-6 on Wednesday, last week, listed the standings of candidates for the 2020 Democrat Party primary, and it was a somewhat different result than last week’s blog on the Harvard-Harris survey.

  • Joseph Biden – 22%
  • Elizabeth Warren – 16%
  • Bernie Sanders – 13%
  • Pete Buttigieg – 8%
  • Kamala Harris – 8%
  • Tulsi Gabbard – 3%
  • Andrew Yang – 2%
  • Beto O’Rourke – 2%
  • All others – 1% or less

Unfortunately for some of the candidates, this was not one of the DNC-selected polls, which count as the four 2% results required to qualify for the September tv debates.

For example, Gabbard’s 3% finish is meaningless, and since she is facing two weeks overseas as an Army Major on reserve duty, it seems unlikely she will be on the stage next month.

But what struck me the most was the size of the poll – 417 pages (click to open).

Who would sit on the phone and answer that many questions without falling asleep?

The answer is: no phone necessary or ever used.

If you have loads of time and a computer, you, too, can be a molder of public opinion, simply by filling out an online form and waiting for an email. And you can earn money for doing this. Just sign in here:

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A look inside the primary poll reveals the type of respondent participating to YouGov on the Internet.

Question: Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of the following people?

Here’s the list of those who just said “Don’t know” by % – lower is better:

  • Joe Biden – 18%
  • Cory Booker – 34%
  • Pete Buttigieg – 39%
  • Julian Castro – 34%
  • Bill de Blasio – 42%
  • John Delaney – 58%
  • Tulsi Gabbard – 48%
  • Kirsten Gillibrand – 42%
  • Kamala Harris – 29%
  • Jay Inslee – 59%
  • Amy Klobuchar – 47%
  • Beto O’Rourke – 35%
  • Tim Ryan – 56%
  • Bernie Sanders – 18%
  • Elizabeth Warren – 24%
  • Marianne Williamson – 50%
  • Andrew Yang – 48%

This raises the question of how do you ask someone’s opinion on voting when they have no opinion at all on the candidate(s)?

Some 34% said they weren’t sure or just wouldn’t vote in the 2020 primary, and 58% said they were not interested in watching the most recent debates. Only 12% said they watched an entire debate.

And these are the folks who reflect public opinion for the rest of us?

Two high-ranking conservative British politicians Stephan Adrian Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi – founded YouGov in 2000. Major shareholders of the company are BlackRock and Standard Life Aberdeen.

BlackRock, Inc. is an American global investment management corporation founded in 1988, and is is the world’s largest asset manager with $6.84 trillion in assets under management as of June 2019. It was founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, who had worked at First Boston, where he pioneered mortgage-backed securities.

Fink sought funding (for initial capital) from the late Pete Peterson of The Blackstone Group. Peterson called it Blackstone Financial Management for a 50 percent stake in the bond business.

Peterson spent some $1 billion in a campaign since 2008 to raise the Social Security retirement age, cut its benefits and ultimately make it into a Wall Street-managed pension fund. He also wanted to end Medicare and Medicaid, and was a confidant of our Presidents since Richard Nixon, headed the Federal Reserve, and was active in the Trilateral Commission (TC).

Trilateral Commission Members Pete Peterson, Paul Volker, David Rockefeller and Alan Greenspan – Photo: Brian Stanton

HUD is serving banks your bread and butter, insuring no Castro elected to the White House

His mom started La Raza Unida.

His dad was a mathematics school teacher.

His brother is an identical twin and also a politician.

His education was only made possible by affirmative action.

“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”

Julian Castro has been on the high road to political success for many years. He was mayor of San Antonio, keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democrat Convention, was touted as H. Clinton’s best candidate for vice president on her ticket, and is the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed by Barack Obama.

But his high road has crashed into a sinkhole, and his choice as v.p. candidate with Hillary might just look like two politicians both in bed with Wall Street and serve as symbols of a cozy relation with politicians and financiers.

castro

Julian’s disaster is called “Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. (DASP)” It is HUD’s attempt to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by selling more overdue mortgage loans to nonprofit community organizations, rather than Wall Street banks. Julian, who once had his own law firm with his brother, knows that the big banks want to buy these loans at a discount, then hound the homeowners into paying the full amount of mortgages, rather than working with borrowers.

Castro has done just the opposite. Look at last year’s results:  98% of homes sold through HUD’s DASP program went straight to Wall Street (15,309 out of 15,624). Community Development Financial Institutions only got 1% of loans sold in 2015, despite promises in April 2015 by Castro to stop feeding the loans to Wall Street. (That promise only came after pressure applied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Other political leaders are also concerned with Castro’s caving to Wall Street.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., requested a briefing on the program in a Feb. 1 letter to Castro. (full text of letter)

The letter cites the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation of the program: (Link to story).

Over 98,000 mortgages have been sold through DASP with the stated goal of helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure while also getting troubled loans off the FHA’s books. The Center investigation revealed that the mortgages were sold for as little as 41 percent of their value and that only 16.9 percent of DASP mortgages avoided foreclosures.

The Blackstone Group bought the majority of these loans last year. With some $311 billion of assets it is best known for its founder, Pete Peterson, an ancient magnate, who has backed everything from Fix the Debt to The Fiscal Times in his war to cut Social Security benefits and to raise the retirement age.

An excellent expose of Blackstone’s rental housing practices is here.

Cut Medicare and Social Security Club is back again – this time pointing its daggers at Donald Trump

The Committee for a Responsible Budget (CFRB) is at it again in their quest to cut Social Security and Medicare. Cloaked behind a lace curtain of “bipartisan” concern, the committee includes impotent deficit hawks, sharks and other carnivores of ill repute.

Of course, at the top of the list is Pete Peterson, a very, very old creature and to his fellow seniors, certainly very, very cold and calculating. This Wall Street darling, founder of the Blackstone Group (about $7 billion annual income), is former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, chairman emeritus of the Council for Foreign Relations, founder of the Concord Group, and former  CEO of Lehman Brothers (John Kasich’s prior employer). With that background he deserves the Establishment+ designation.

If you watch tv you have probably noticed ads from Fix the Debt, which was founded in 2012, funded by Peterson and multiple CEOs and corporations. Fix the Debt is calling for a grand deficit bargain to be reached by reducing taxes on the wealthy, and cutting Medicare and Social Security by raising eligibility ages for both and reducing benefits.

Enter Stage Right Donald Trump. Continue reading “Cut Medicare and Social Security Club is back again – this time pointing its daggers at Donald Trump”

Does Heritage Foundation want Communist plan for Social Security? GOP candidates should denounce!

The Heritage Foundation is the think tank for so-called conservative Republicans, who offer flat tax plans, skeleton government goals and the destruction of Social Security as we know it today.

social-security.gifThe current Social Security program is regressive, and pays a lower percentage in retirement pension, the more you contribute. A retiree, who has paid in the maximum amount (on wages less than about $118,000 in current dollars), will contribute three times as much FICA taxes and receive only twice the benefit at retirement. But at least there is some relationship between the amount of taxes paid and the value of benefits received.

Rather than attempting to make the program more fair, the so-called capitalist Heritage think tank has gone completely Communist by urging a Marxist doctrine of “from each according to their earnings to each according to their needs.”

The foundation wants to pay anyone, who contributes even a pittance into the Continue reading “Does Heritage Foundation want Communist plan for Social Security? GOP candidates should denounce!”