HomeBernie Sanders4/18 News Roundup – Sanders’ Bill Targeting Opioid Manufacturers; Schultz Confirms The #BernieBlackout & More
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Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is quietly making clear to liberal advocacy groups that he’s available for a 2020 bid, even as the Democratic field of potential White House hopefuls fills with better-known progressives.

Merkley, the soft-spoken liberal who sent his kids to the same public school he attended in a blue-collar neighborhood here, commands neither the star power nor the crowd-thrilling electricity of his close Senate allies, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). But what he lacks in wattage, he has begun making up for

Merkley’s advisers and strategists say he is positioning himself to take advantage of an opening on the progressive left, should both Warren and Sanders take a pass on 2020. While that may seem like a long shot — Sanders has already begun staffing up a political committee, and Warren has been polishing her résumé on foreign affairs — several Merkley advisers repeatedly wondered aloud whether either would actually jump in the race.


Being the only sitting senator to endorse Sanders in 2016 earned Merkley a lot of street cred. I’m a fan.

Don midwest
Don midwest
Don midwest
Don midwest

OH gov race: Cordray slams Kucinich for pro Syria group support

Cordray is one of the best politicians

Maybe one of the best bureaucratic politicians is a better statement

The news in OH looks like Kucinich is pro Syria which means Pro Russia and other assorted bad stuff.

First, here is Kucinich’s response to his attendance at a peace conference and his speech there

Dennis Kucinich statement on Cordray’s smear attack

The attack from Cordray is in articles in the press. This article is in Cleveland Plain Dealer who endorsed Kucinich, the former mayor of Cleveland

Amended ethics filing shows Dennis Kucinich was paid $20k by pro-Syrian government group

As the Syrian poison gas attack falls apart, sad to see establishment dems attacking peace activist, if this is what the whole thing is about.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Progressives should embrace these objections

These are not idle objections. Progressive Democrats ignore or brush them aside at their peril. I would go further and say the only viable hope for the progressive agenda is not just to consider these objections, but to embrace them—to specifically frame progressive goals in terms of both the fears and aspirations the objections express. In other words, the Democrats must begin speaking not only to the needs of mainstream America, but to its underlying psyche as well.

short form
1. gov pays, gov decides who provides service
2. gov collect taxes
3. creative competition in the market is a fraud. (privatization)

By the way, this is what I worked on for 20 years. Excellent organizations. Worked with man who has the best theory, but in hindsight didn’t catch on and now realize that it was tied to neo liberalism.

The challenge is to develop excellent institutions along with excellent politics.

J.D. Alt: Framing the Progressive Agenda

The philosopher Graham Harman wrote a book on the political philosophy of Bruno Latour

Graham made up a split of Truth Politics vs Power Politics. An excellent book by Valery Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador who wrote what was not found in Niger, and Cheney outed his wife and Scooter Libby took the fall and has now been pardoned. Good book about the best of America.

Power is invested in the state through the military and legal system which when coupled with capitalism is TINA – There Is No Alternative.

Gaia, The New Climate Regime, has thrown a curve ball through all of this.

are rocks stable? Latour was criticized for not being sensitive about what a rock has to do to survive. In his metaphysics of 15 modes of existence, one is Metamorphosis, which says that the rock has to continually recreate itself, like me and everything. A little strange.

But an article today on the magma (add a “m” to MAGA”) under Yellowstone and it blows it could wipe out North America. The ground is not stable. Ask CA residents. In any case, Latour’s recent article on the Critical Zone diargams includes atmosphere, live and down some distance into the rocks, the biochemical dynamics is Gaia.

wandered around the block — politics is extremely important — no one knows about how the politics for Gaia will evolve



Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday that he will oppose CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to lead the State Department.

“I will be casting a no vote for Director Pompeo to be our secretary of State,” Menendez said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event.

He added that “I believe our nation’s top diplomat must be forthright, and, more critically, his past sentiments do not reflect our nation’s values, and are not acceptable for our nation’s top diplomat. The American people deserve better.”

Menendez’s opposition comes as Pompeo appears short of the support needed to win a majority of the Foreign Relations Committee in a vote expected to take place next week.

Only two Democrats on the committee, Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.) and Chris Coons (Del.), have yet to say how they’ll vote. They both opposed Pompeo to be CIA director.


Just outstanding when Exxon Rex is better on climate change than the nominee to replace him


Most of those who remain in the Trump administration now either deny that the climate is changing or question how much human actions are to blame.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was an exception. He accepted that climate change is real and greenhouse gases are to blame, and urged President Trump to remain in the Paris climate accord. (Tillerson also axed the department’s climate change envoy, however.)

If Pompeo is confirmed and fills the vacancy left by Tillerson, his views on climate change would likely be more in line with those of President Trump, who once called climate change a “hoax.”

During his congressional career, Pompeo was a top recipient of campaign funding from the oil billionaire Koch brothers. He opposed the Paris agreement, government support of renewable energy development and the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

“There are scientists that think lots of different things about climate change,” he said in a 2013 C-SPAN interview. “There’s some who think we’re warming, there’s some who think we’re cooling, there’s some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment.”



The American Lung Association is taking the EPA and Congress to task for sidelining science and imperiling public health in the process.

The group’s annual “State of the Air” report tends to be optimistic. Long a backer of the Clean Air Act, the group’s report last year praised regulators for allowing both economic growth alongside an improvement in air quality. But this year, things are a little different.

For one thing, the 2018 report, published Wednesday, singles out EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his role in sidelining scientific research at the agency he helms, as well as specific members of Congress that have proposed legislation that would weaken the Clean Air Act.

For another, it’s projecting a grim outlook. For 19 years, the annual report has charted the slow and steady improvement of air quality, a trend due in large part to the Clean Air Act. While air quality nonetheless improved by most standards in the U.S. this year, the report gets political in a way past reports haven’t. It calls attention to the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the landmark coal power plant regulation, and the Trump administration’s retrogressive policies on climate change.


The Trump administration is paying Focus on the Family to stop the AIDS epidemic in South Africa

An affiliate of Focus on the Family (FOTF) received a $49,505 grant under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from the State Department’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator on September 18, 2017, while the department was under the leadership of then-Secretary Rex Tillerson, according to USA Spending. Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family is tasked with using these funds to prevent HIV and AIDS by implementing its global abstinence-only purity pledge program, called “No Apologies,” to 7,000 “learners” in 90 schools in South Africa between October 2017 and September 2018.

South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world, with nearly 19 percent of its population, a total of 7.1 million people, living with the deadly sexually transmitted infection as of 2016, according to the U.K.-based global HIV and AIDS organization Avert.

PEPFAR was created in 2003 under the George W. Bush administration to combat the global epidemic — an effort Focus on the Family’s leadership has frequently criticized.

Focus on the Family’s founder and chairman emeritus, James Dobson, has long used his position with the organization to fight against effective efforts to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, to demonize LGBTQ people, and even to oppose global funding from PEPFAR, suggesting that the money would go to promote “wickedness” and prostitution.

Experts say that the group’s purity pledge approach is completely ineffective and in fact detrimental.

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