HomeBernie Sanders2/6 News Roundup – #PoorPeoplesCampaign Kicks Off 40 Days of ‘Moral Action’, Sanders: ‘Treat Big Pharma Like Big Tobacco’ & More
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America First and Great Power competition find common ground on the terrifying issue of nuclear weapons. Hawks like Mattis are pushing for America to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons to intimidate Russia and China, a policy Trump has bought into on nationalist grounds. “A new nuclear policy issued by the Trump administration on Friday, which vows to counter a rush by the Russians to modernize their forces even while staying within the treaty limits, is touching off a new kind of nuclear arms race,” The New York Times reported on Monday. “The Pentagon envisions a new age in which nuclear weapons are back in a big way—its strategy bristles with plans for new low-yield nuclear weapons that advocates say are needed to match Russian advances and critics warn will be too tempting for a president to use.”

Taken together, America First and Great Power competition are combustible: an erratic president given to threatening nuclear war against North Korea, combined with a foreign policy establishment that’s pursuing an arms race that will give the U.S. nuclear weapons that are more tempting to use, because they are supposedly more tactical and limited. And this is taking place in a world where, because of Trump’s instability, all sorts of powers—great and small—are jostling for advantage.

Although Trump and Mattis speak in different tongues, both are voicing militarily aggressive doctrines that increase the chance of conflict. What’s missing from the conversation is defenders of liberal internationalism, of the type that Obama articulated, which would seek security not in nuclear intimidation or nationalism but through international alliances and treaties. The Democrats, not without reason, have been eager to make hay about Trump’s possible collusion with Russia. But as a result, they’ve softened their criticism of those in the administration, like Mattis, who are pushing the Great Power agenda. This silence might make short-term political sense, but heightens the risk that the Trump administration’s two-faced foreign policy will lead the U.S. into a great and disastrous war.



IOWA REPUBLICAN STEVE King is a notorious bigot who has comfortably served in Congress since 2003, but a surprising challenger in the historically Republican district is proving he may have what it takes to unseat King in November.

Former professional baseball player J.D. Scholten is a progressive who is one of four Democrats who have tossed their hats in the ring of Iowa’s 4th District. He witnessed a surge in fundraising at the end of last year, bringing in $174,344 to King’s $87,544 in the fourth quarter. (King has raised the most money overall, with $244,725 to Scholten’s $214,487, but last quarter’s results show the tide may be turning.)

Progressive insurgents have entered congressional races in district after district amid an expected Democratic wave in the midterm elections, and as the primary races heat up, the looming question is whether they can defeat their more centrist opponents, who have the backing of the Democratic Party. (As The Intercept reported last week, a handful of progressives are out-raising their establishment opponents.) In Iowa, each of the Democrats is a first-time candidate, and the more central question is whether a district that has belonged to Republicans for decades can possibly turn from red to blue.

“We’re grateful for the amount of support this campaign has received,” Scholten said. “At first, our focus was to get out on the road to engage with as many people as possible. At the time, people liked us simply because I wasn’t Steve King. Now we’re seeing the shift to people responding to our message of inclusiveness.”

Scholten’s platform includes backing a $15 minimum wage, moving toward a single-payer health care system, and comprehensive immigration reform. He’s landed the support of Krystal Ball, founder of the People’s House Project, a group that supports progressive candidates. (The People’s House Project has not officially endorsed Scholten.)


I’m glad someone is willing to take that clown on. But King is very popular in his district. Bunch of “preppers” and Bible thumpers live in his district, which is mainly rural.


These Revolutionary Times Introduced at TOP

A new series by The Political Revolution group These Revolutionary Times made its debut on Sunday at TOP. The series will run on Sunday afternoons.

From the column, penned by FPer Meteor Blades:

Each Sunday, one of us will be taking a look at a small selection of papers, articles, and essays published in various publicly available sources that reflect political change already happening or that we think ought to happen or ought not to happen in 21st Century America. Our goal is to spur people to read these pieces with an open-minded but critical focus and engage here in an interchange of ideas about the issues raised in them.

We expect disagreement. After all, in TPR we don’t always agree among ourselves. Each of us is dedicated to our own unique set of overlapping but also sometimes conflicting political priorities. Out of respectful, constructive disagreement can emerge better ideas, more polished policy proposals, and inspirational goals that unite us in the continuing centuries-long struggle to make America live up to its ideals. Emphasis on respectful and constructive. Personal attacks, grudge-matches, aggressive dogmatism, derailing, and the internet version of screaming serve only to make America’s (and the rest of the planet’s) chronic problems harder to talk about, much less solve.

One disagreement that may arise is over the very name of our series, These Revolutionary Times. Some people consider “revolution” a dirty word. To them, it inevitably means blood in the streets. So let’s get that out of the way from the get-go.

We’re not talking about a revolution that leads to the guillotine or the gulag.

We’re not talking about a revolution that is crammed down people’s throats, but rather one that is built out of our experiences and collaboration. A revolution that recognizes the needs of everyone. A revolution of intersectionality that doesn’t demand this or that group should “wait for its turn.” A revolution which recognizes that matters of race, gender, economics, and environment must be resolved together—without downplaying, denigrating, or ignoring one or another of them—else none of them will be resolved.

Sound familiar?

In essence, the series will find 2-3 stories worth pursuing and give a synopsis of them to discuss proactive approaches to a more people centric (not just data) political revolution in America. It aspires to bring more views from the Progressive Left to the forefront.

The debut brought 372 Recommends, 31 FB shares, which is a good start. A few squirrels and one potential sock showed up to disrupt, but they were flagged pretty quickly by the community, not just the contributors of TPR group. Yours truly is a member and I joined because I want to see positive change everywhere, good discussion, which the first column did see. Any current Kossack is welcome to join as a contributor of TPR group, but they will be vetted first. TPR has about 100 contributors.

Yes, it’s sort of a competitor to here and C99 (the Evening Blues series), but with more context provided, and only 2-4 articles reviewed. TPR members contribute offline their suggested articles for review, then someone drafts the column and publishes it on Sunday. It will have a similar look and feel each week, with the preface that was blockquoted above and a quote by a famous person/politician that defines what “revolution” could be.

If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them. I think though it’s worth a look if you still lurk at TOP.


Just to say many thanks to LD for another great page of postings today! Especially appreciated all the news about the Poor Person’s Campaign, but as usual all the info here is relevant. Thanks also to the commenters and contributors here!


So much for good journalism at International Business Times. They no longer want investigative reporting, I guess.

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