HomeMeta4/13 News Roundup & Open Thread – Gabbard’s Skepticism Is Laudable, Dems Let Thompson Down, Sanders’s Schedule & More
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Don midwest
Don midwest

Will Bernie shape the wave of resistance to the coup?

Or will the coup continue to a point of no return?

Or, like the climate, have we already passed the point of no return of our “democracy”?


The Return of the Left

International and financial elites base their legitimacy on an economic prosperity that drops sufficient crumbs to mollify the harshness of a subordinate existence. Alas, with the stagnation that is now taking root, indecent inequalities are becoming more and more unbearable. Weariness develops, rancor builds up, and little by little it starves the extreme center — the political hero of our neoliberal times — of oxygen.

The second of the three is a monster that feeds on the despair and isolation caused by the first. This is the party of order and of small property, the party of resentment and lost class status. This is the camp of neoliberalism’s losers who dream of a stingy revenge on those weaker even than themselves. Nationalist, authoritarian, xenophobic, its popular anchoring becomes stronger with every inch it is conceded when it offers the necessary arrangements to the powerful. Division, oppression, and confinement are stitched into its grey mantle, abhorred by all friends of democracy.

The third is called the Left, the real left. Audacious and strong from the battles it fights, its gaze is far-reaching and embraces both suffering in the immediate and the destiny of the human race. In recent decades restricted to pestering the electorate and falling back on social and environmental struggles, today it is again a candidate for power. From southern Europe to the Anglophone countries it is pushing back — internally, or from the outside — the old social-democratic apparatuses that had passed into enemy hands, as it again picks up the banner of emancipation.


Democrats Shouldn’t Be Trying to Banish Tulsi Gabbard

Here’s what Gabbard said: “This administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning.” Gabbard added she would support Assad’s prosecution and execution as a war criminal if the attacks were proven, though she still wouldn’t support military action. “A successful prosecution of Assad (at the International Criminal Court) will require collection of evidence from the scene of the incident, and I support the United Nation’s efforts in this regard. Without such evidence, a successful prosecution is impossible,” she said.

But Tanden and Dean apparently agreed with Trump’s quick conclusion that “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.” So did much of the mainstream media and foreign policy establishment.

Perhaps Assad was responsible, but skepticism is warranted in times of war. Assad’s forces are winning the war against their opponents; ISIS is in retreat. The Trump administration had recently reaffirmed its intention to focus on defeating ISIS, not on removing Assad. Increased US cooperation with Russia in that effort was looking more likely. Assad – along with the Russians and Americans and others – were dropping thousands of bombs in Syria with little international condemnation. Why would Assad endanger all of that with a brutal chemical weapons attack on a target of no military value?

Gabbard isn’t the only one expressing doubts. Respected experts in the field of military weapons, including at least one former UN weapons inspector, are raising questions about the US narrative of the attack. So are some members of the US intelligence community, according to the investigative journalist Robert Parry.



I have been scratching my head over this HDean stuff for years. I am a life-long diehard lefty futurist who worked as an unpaid volunteer for Dean here in east central FL back in 2003-4. Howard was not and has never been a liberal. His younger brother Jim is. Howard is a genuine political moderate. Most Americans are that, too. Look up the definitions for the words liberal and moderate in Websters Dictionary which is on the ‘Net. Howard Dean accomplished two goals:

1–he ran and raised all sorts of holy hell about the 50-state-strategy;
2–he was the first modern American POTUS candidate who raised funds from the 99% via the Internet. It scared the beejeebus out of the Repukes. All Obama did was improve it. Then here comes the Bernster to really show that this is what we the people can do politically.

When he lost his DNC job in 2009, someons read him the DLC riot act. No more 50-state-strategy. Like, oh really??!! He turned DFA over to his brother, and has been hands-off ever since. Something definitely nasty happened behind the scenes.


What a team!


Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawyers reportedly want Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify as a witness in his criminal contempt trial, according to a new report.

The Arizona Republic said Sessions’s name appears on a list of desired witnesses in a federal court filing late Wednesday.

The contempt charge stems from Arpaio allegedly disobeying a 2011 court order issued by U.S. District Judge Murray Snow that required him to cease his immigration enforcement patrols, which critics said were racially biased against Latinos.


This has been mentioned here previously but now it might be getting some press coverage.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s picturesque Cook Inlet is home to endangered beluga whales and wild salmon — and a spider web of oil and natural gas pipelines on the sea floor, many of them placed there five decades ago.

Cook Inlet’s petroleum production is often overshadowed by Alaska’s giant North Slope oil fields, but the inlet is in the spotlight as millions of cubic feet of natural gas spew from an underwater pipeline owned by the inlet’s largest petroleum producer, Hilcorp Alaska LLC.

The federal agency that oversees pipeline safety has “strongly recommended” that Hilcorp develop a safety management system for its pipelines.

Environmental advocates are demanding immediate pipeline inspections by federal authorities, not Hilcorp, in the area with earthquakes and some of the world’s strongest tides.

Besides earthquakes that periodically rattle Cook Inlet, tides fluctuate more than 25 feet (7.6 meters) and are so strong that they move car-size boulders along the sea floor, said Lynda Giguere, spokeswoman for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, set up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill to promote environmentally safe marine transportation.

An analysis of gas flow indicated the pipeline probably started leaking in mid-December and initially spewed up to 310,000 cubic feet (8,780 cubic meters) of natural gas per day. Hilcorp lowered pressure in the line to reduce the flow to 85,000 to 115,000 cubic feet (2,407 to 3,257 cubic meters) per day.


Isn’t this special?


The Trump administration on Thursday issued a final rule that will shorten the Obamacare enrollment period and give insurers more of what they say they need in the individual insurance market, likely making it harder for some consumers to purchase insurance, healthcare experts said.

It could also raise out-of-pocket medical expenses, the experts said, because it gives insurers more flexibility in determining the value of their coverage.

The rule, which takes effect later this year, comes as President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have renewed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, after an effort to pass a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives failed last month.

Issued by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and first proposed in February, the rule aims to aid insurers, who have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the individual insurance markets set up by Obamacare. Several major insurers, including Humana Inc and Aetna Inc, have announced plans to exit some state exchanges in 2018.

Insurers welcomed the rule but said there is still too much uncertainty in the market. On Wednesday, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he may withhold Obamacare payments to insurers that amount to about $7 billion a year to force Democrats back to the negotiating table.

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