HomeBernie Sanders12/20 News Roundup – Sanders: “Tax Bill A Victory For Corporate Campaign Donors” & More
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Maggot Brain and his fellow maggots are the end result of a vicious patient FRightwing strategy dreamed up ages ago when they/Goldwater were trounced in 1964. Lewis Powell described it in his Memo which came out right before Trick the Dick put him on the Supreme Court. The Calvinistic/Evangelicals became the Christian foot soldiers of this group. The whole ugly deal blossomed in 1980 with the election of fascist Raygun. It’s gone steadily downhill to where we are now: dealing with a corporate fascist state. We will have one more chance to peacefully flush this sewage out. Get informed/educated, register to vote, and VOTE. It. Matters. End of lecture. LOL. T and R to the usual TPW suspects!! 🙂



If President Trump were a reader of books, we’d recommend a nearly 70-year-old novel to him, because it illustrates nicely both the absurdity and the danger of perverting language for political ends. The book is George Orwell’s “1984,” which gave us the concept of “Newspeak,” a language invented by government, and of ministries that do the exact opposite of what their names imply, i.e., a Ministry of Peace that is in charge of waging permanent war, and a Ministry of Truth churning out lies.

The Trump administration hasn’t hit full Orwellian mode, but it seems to be trying awfully hard. The new National Security Strategy unveiled Monday drops all references to climate change as a threat to national security, despite the clear risks posed by rising seas, altered storm and drought patterns, and the political instability and mass human migration such changes are expected to cause. “Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” the report says — but then it goes on to frame the issue in terms of the U.S.’s role in “countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests.”

So the fight against climate change is the risk to national security, not climate change itself. The government is playing games with words in an effort to obscure.

That shouldn’t be a surprise coming from an administration that sees burning more fossil fuels as the path to global energy dominance, which is like betting on the oldest, lamest horse in the race. By contrast, President Obama described climate change unequivocally as “an urgent and growing threat to our national security” in his 2015 national security strategy report. Someone needs to advise Trump that refusing to recognize a problem doesn’t make it go away.



The two Democratic candidates running for governor in Georgia are both lawyers and former state legislators. Both are women, and on many policy issues it’s hard to tell them apart. Both even share the same first name – Stacey.

But they sharply disagree on the path to victory.

Stacey Abrams, 44, wants to become the first African American female governor in the United States by mobilizing solidly Democratic black voters, who vote sporadically in elections, to form a winning coalition with white liberals.

Stacey Evans, 39, thinks the math does not add up without also appealing to white moderates, many of
them outside urban areas, who voted for President Donald Trump last November. She is highlighting her crossover appeal as a white suburban mother with country roots.

Their divergent strategies mirror a wider debate within the Democratic Party that has grown louder after strong turnout by minority voters helped to power recent Democratic victories in Alabama and Virginia.



On a recent Saturday afternoon, 11 aspiring socialists joined together in a public library in Northeast Washington, DC, to try to clog up the city’s eviction machine. The meeting room was yellow, with a clock set at the wrong time and streamers on the wall left over from somebody’s birthday party.

Gathered around me are members of the DC chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. DSA membership has skyrocketed from 7,000 to 30,000 members nationwide since Trump’s election, and this meeting was yet more evidence of the new energy in the organization. It was one of the two weekly canvassing meetings for the new Stomp Out Slumlords campaign (SOS), which encourages people facing eviction to get their day in court.

It’s a worthy campaign in its own right. But it also typifies the wide variety of experiments with bottom-up organizing happening spontaneously across the country, often under the radar of the media. Such organizing is changing the nature of the left in the Trump era. Rather than just navel-gazing on social media — something the DSA has an unfair reputation for — these activists are building on past political movements while working through the thorny issues facing progressives in their “out” years. Democrats and the broader liberal movement that’s looking to rebuild, and reinvent itself, should pay heed.



Paul Ryan dreamed of this day because Paul Ryan dreams of plutocracy. And now, with this bill, he has successfully arranged the first piece of his career-long effort to turn the clock of the American economy back to the 1890s. When he comes for what he calls “entitlement reform”—which he will, as soon as this idiot bill explodes the deficit—that will be the second piece. The Supreme Court (through Citizens United, McCutcheon, and Shelby County) already has cooperated in this great project. The president* is on board because he’s basically made of greed and ignorance. The large media conglomerates will go along for the ride because they are conglomerates first, and news-gathering entities second. This state of affairs could well be generational, and there’s no indication that the Second Gilded Age will be as vulnerable to progressive ideas as the first one turned out to be. The franchise is under assault. Citizenship itself is under assault.

This is the world about which Paul Ryan has dreamed since he was a young lad, heir to a substantial fortune, yet going to college on Social Security survivor’s benefits that you and I and our parents paid for. You’re welcome again, dickhead. This is the world about which Paul Ryan dreams in his 13-room Georgian mansion in downtown Janesville, Wisconsin. He was born well and he married well. He has had few moments in his adult life in which the government wasn’t picking up his tab. Golden bootstraps, this guy had, and we paid for most of them.

So now he gets his chance and, by god, he’s making the most of it. Go to the end of this video and look at him, with his shit-eating grin as some protesters are hustled out of the gallery. (Dammit, you have to be a Republican congressman from South Carolina to get away with that!) Notice the coy way he drops one foot behind the other while the members of his brainless caucus, many of them with utterly no clue about what they’re actually voting for, chuckle and applaud like kids at the circus.


And then there’s this

Tracking the Cost of Trump’s Overtime Pay Cut

The Trump administration has abandoned the Department of Labor’s overtime pay regulations. It’s going to cost workers $1.2 billion per year.

In 2016, the Department of Labor strengthened a regulation requiring employers to pay workers overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. The regulation hadn’t been adequately updated in over 40 years—and in that time, it had eroded to a cover only a fraction of the people it was designed to protect.

The DOL’s overdue attempt to restore lost pay to America’s workers was blocked in the courts by business interests, and on October 31, 2017, the Trump administration made clear in legal proceedings that it would not defend the rule.

The result will be over a billion dollars in lost wages each year, and 12.5 million workers left with weakened protections—or none at all.


So many of us struggle to include an independent path to income while working jobs, and this will really help! Thanks, Trump! /s


Three Administrations, But One Standard Playbook for Endless War

The author served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All these wars, once Obama’s, are now Trump’s. The only differences, it seems, are of form rather than substance. Unlike Obama, Trump delegates troop-level decisions to his secretary of defense and the generals. Furthermore, when it comes to what the public can know, there appears to be even less transparency about the exact number of soldiers being deployed across the Middle East and North Africa than had previously been the case. And that seems to suit most Americans just fine. A warrior caste of professionals fights the country’s various undeclared wars, taxes remain low, and little is asked of the populace.

Call me a pessimist but I have no doubt that the United States is in for at least three more years of perpetual war — and it probably won’t end there either. There’s no silver bullet for such conflicts, so the military won’t be able to end them in any reasonably easy way or it would have done so years ago. And that’s assuming that far worse in the way of war isn’t in store for us in the Koreas or Iran.

Trump will not be impeached. He may even win a second term. Crazier things have happened, like, well, his election in 2016. And even if he were gone, America’s wars like the Pentagon’s budget have proven remarkably bipartisan affairs. As the Obama years make clear, don’t count on a Democratic president to end them.

Children born after 9/11 will vote in 2020. In that sense, at least, General Petraeus is right. These wars truly are generational.


The Real Story Behind Katharine Graham and “The Post”

Movie critics are already hailing “The Post,” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. Millions of people will see the film in early winter. But the real-life political story of Graham and her newspaper is not a narrative that’s headed to the multiplexes.

Solomon goes into detail here about her union busting and friendship with Kissinger, among others, and how that affected the “news.”

Yet Graham’s book avoids any semblance of introspection about the Vietnam War and the human costs of the Post’s support for it. Her book recounts that she huddled with a writer in line to take charge of the editorial page in August 1966: “We agreed that the Post ought to work its way out of the very supportive editorial position it had taken, but we couldn’t be precipitous; we had to move away gradually from where we had been.” Vast carnage resulted from such unwillingness to be “precipitous.”

Although widely touted as a feminist parable, Graham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography is notably bereft of solidarity for women without affluence or white skin. They barely seemed to exist in her range of vision; painful realities of class and racial biases were dim, faraway specks. Overall the 625-page book gives short shrift to the unrich and unfamous, whose lives are peripheral to the drama played out by the wealthy publisher’s dazzling peers. The name of Martin Luther King Jr. does not appear in her star-studded, history-drenched book.

Katharine Graham’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers was indeed laudable, helping to expose lies that had greased the wheels of the war machinery with such horrific consequences in Vietnam. But the Washington Post was instrumental in avidly promoting the lies that made the Vietnam War possible in the first place. No amount of rave reviews or Oscar nominations for “The Post” will change that awful truth.


Graham was always a high-society snooty rich bitch. The only difference between WAPO then and WAPO now is the paper had more intelligent writers. It still had to make a profit. Graham certainly didn’t own the paper for charitable reasons.


Lee Camp: How To Create NPR’s Propaganda – As Seen In a Hit Piece Against Me

I never thought I’d be the target of an NPR attack piece. Through my twenties I even looked to NPR as an outlet full of good, progressive, thoughtful reporting – You know, the soothing voices occasionally interrupted by music no one really listens to but that sounds good between soft-spoken ivy league journalists over the age of 50. Everything about NPR subtly reinforced the idea, “Everything is fine. You’re probably a middle to upper class white person or you hope to be one day, and that’s just great. Everything is fine.” They might not SAY that, but they say that. And for a long time, I was cool with that message.

Then I woke up. About the time NPR was avoiding Occupy Wall Street – or when they did cover it, acting like those of us who supported it were brainless hippies without a point or at least none that would fit easily into the lives of suburbanites with two kids, one cat, and a robust retirement account. In hindsight I should’ve woken up sooner. I should’ve seen the truth about the time most NPR shows were pushing for war in Iraq, buying into the WMD lie. Or maybe I should’ve realized the truth when Kevin Klose took over as President of NPR in 1998. Klose came straight from a nice seat as director of the US Information Agency, described as “a United States agency devoted to ‘public diplomacy’ (AKA propaganda).” So when you have one of the top government propagandists as your president, one can assume your reporting is slightly biased.

Anyway, that leads me to today. A couple days after NPR’s Weekend Edition hosted by Scott Simon did a rather awesome attack piece on me and my TV show Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp which airs on RT America. I’d like to walk you through how to write such beautiful propaganda, as I did following the NY Times smear job against me, which sounded shockingly similar (more on that later).

Step-by-step at the link.

Well OK, here’s one of them.

STEP TEN: Bring back the New Cold Warrior faux expert

Julia Ioffe comes back to call me and my team “co-conspirators” and “useful idiots.” (Which is it? Are we conspiring or are we idiots??) She says we are not creating the show “…for the rights and the lives of the little man or the little person. It’s for Putin’s power.” And although I find it hilarious to respond to a moral attack coming from someone spouting talking points on behalf of weapons contractors, I’ll do it anyway. Ioffe is perfectly wrong in her assertion. I’ve been doing politically minded stand-up comedy for nearly 20 years. Long before I ever created Redacted Tonight, I was speaking about the same issues – endless war, gut-wrenching inequality, environmental destruction – all the topics I continue to cover on my show. When I decided to work with RT America, it came down to one simple thought – I don’t believe we have a lot of time to waste. Our world is collapsing around us – for example the earth has lost half its wildlife in the past 40 years. We have to talk about all these issues, which are redacted from our corporate media. We have to provide information to people in new and interesting ways, and I’ve been trying to do that for two decades. Julia Ioffe on the other hand wants to create war, death, and continued destruction while tearing down anyone who dissents.



Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) seems to be plotting a potential 2020 challenge to President Donald Trump, with Axios reporting Friday that he could team up with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to launch a cross-party independent presidential campaign.

Kasich has repeatedly distanced himself from Trump since losing to him in the 2016 GOP primary, and he has floated a potential 2020 challenge to the president in an attempt to appeal to the sort of “Never Trump” Republicans in his mold who have increasingly criticized the president as being not quite one of them ― as former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) did in a Washington Post editorial this week.

Hickenlooper’s presence on the ticket would seem to give the prospective bid moderate credibility. Kasich has in the past supported a pathway to legal status (though not citizenship) for undocumented immigrants, and he notably expanded Medicaid under Obamacare in Ohio. He and Hickenlooper now want to add “job creation” to their bipartisan agenda, according to Axios.

Democrats, however, don’t appear sold: One strategist told Axios that the plan “sounds like a No Labels fantasy, but moderate Dems would hate it.”

They are right to be skeptical. Aside from his apparent friendship with Hickenlooper, there’s little evidence that Kasich is actually “moderate” in any realistic sense of the word. Instead, his governorship of Ohio and his ill-fated 2016 presidential bid make it abundantly clear that Kasich is a standard conservative Republican who looks moderate thanks only to Trump’s unique ability to drastically lower our standards for what qualifies as moderation.

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