HomeUncategorized4/8 Open Thread and FDR’s 1940 Letter to the Dem Convention
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You would think almost 80 years later, the democrats would have wised up but it’s almost like a well choreographed dance where the music never changes. Could Bernie be FDR reincarnated? Their words and actions are almost the same.


The Bernster is 75. That means he was born in 1942. FDR was ill, but still very much alive and running this country. Bernie admires FDR. The bigger problem is locating and electing young FDRs, Berners, etc., etc. T and R to the usual suspects and thanks for holding down the weekend fort!! 🙂


I am a couple of years older than Bernie and believe me we grew hearing about FDR from our parents. When he died in 1945, my parents cried. My parents and Bernie’s parents had it rough in the Depression and it was FDR who put people back to work and food back on the table. Bernie is another FDR.


Interesting piece in Jacobin from yesterday.

The Elite Consensus on Syria: As long as liberals cheerlead Trump’s military action in Syria, right-wing hawks barely have to lift a finger.

The night before, former Fox [and current MSNBC] anchor Greta van Susteren interviewed Democratic senator Ben Cardin, who had voted in 2013 to authorize Obama to strike Syria. Van Susteren tried to coax support for unilateral action out of Cardin (“Are you saying that we should do something alone in Syria? What are you saying we’re going to do? We’re not going to get help out of the UN”), but when it wasn’t forthcoming, she turned to Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger, who affirmed that “there needs to be punishing strikes against the Syrian regime as a result of this.” Kinzinger returned the next morning on the network, repeating his call for “punishing airstrikes.”

MSNBC also had on Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline (who had earlier charged that it was “shameful that the White House is no longer seeking to remove Bashir al-Assad from power”), who pushed for some kind of unnamed action to get Assad out of power. That same day, Democratic operative and Clinton ally Peter Daou tweeted: “I oppose @realDonaldTrump’s policies, but I wilfully support appropriate retaliation against #Assad’s war crimes in #Syria.” Daou believes Trump is a “dangerous bigot” and “a danger to the free world,” but he sees no problem with supporting such a man’s use of US military might.

Things continued to heat up the day of Trump’s decision. Van Susteren interviewed retired general Barry McCaffrey, who suggested the Trump administration “give the US Air Force and Navy fifteen days and tell them to take out the Syrian Air Force.” When she suggested such action could also take out Russian military, possibly escalating the conflict, McCaffrey assured her that “Russia is a second- or third-tier military power.”

Meanwhile, just hours before the man she had dubbed “Dangerous Donald” ordered planes to start bombing Syria, former Democratic standard-bearer Hillary Clinton told a friendly audience that his actions were exactly the approach the United States should take.

“I really believe we should have and still should take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them,” she said to a steadily building crescendo of applause. (Yet somehow, liberal journalists used the occasion to declare that Clinton never would have done such a thing.)

Thus far, Trump appears to have been richly rewarded by the press for his “decisive” actions, with even his sworn enemies praising his decision to go into Syria with no apparent plan or goal other than “sending a message.”

And if that weren’t enough…

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who otherwise spends his days brainstorming possible ways to kick Trump out of office, stated last night that “Trump is right to make Syria pay a price for war crimes” and that “taking out airfields is the best approach.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Kristof had been earlier interviewing Clinton when she made the same suggestion.

MSNBC had on a number of guests who gushed about the attack. Marco Rubio expounded on the strategic importance of the airstrikes. Nicholas Kristof reiterated that Trump had done the right thing, citing the fact that Clinton had “prescribed pretty much exactly the same response.” Democratic representative Jim Hines then affirmed that Kristof was correct and that “there is definitely virtue in making sure that Assad understands that if he steps over that line . . . there is a price to be paid.”

Entirely missing from the broadcast was any semblance of a war-skeptical voice, pointing out, as Micah Zenko has, that US limited airstrikes have a poor track record of actually achieving anything, or explaining that most long-term military adventures usually start off as a form of “limited” involvement — from Vietnam, to Libya, to Syria itself.

A number of top Democrats took a break from resisting Trump to also pat him on the back for his decision. Senate Democratic whip Dick Durbin called it a “measured response” (only in Washington could firing fifty-nine missiles into a country be considered “measured”). The previously restrained Ben Cardin called it a “clear signal that the United States will stand up for internationally accepted norms and rules against the use of chemical weapons.” Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi both backed the move, with Schumer calling it “the right thing to do,” and Pelosi terming it a “proportional response.”

Trump must have known his decision would get such a friendly reception. After all, it was only a little over a month ago that he received torrents of praise from pundits, liberal and conservative, for paying tribute to a fallen Navy SEAL whom he had sent to die in a chaotic and poorly planned raid that killed thirty civilians. Now, even his sworn enemies were falling over themselves to praise what could be the start of regime change in Syria.

The pattern seems clear: when people die, Trump gets plaudits.

The spectacle of liberals cheerleading and, subsequently, congratulating Trump for taking a short-sighted military action in Syria shouldn’t be surprising. But it is an essential element in legitimizing and enabling such military misadventures, applying a bipartisan coating to questionable military operations that allows presidents to launch them without fear of deeper scrutiny.

As long as liberals continue doing their work for them, right-wing hawks barely have to lift a finger.



And Trump knew this would result. Crazy like a fox.

My gut says Kabuki and that we planned the whole thing. I don’t know who I’d even trust to investigate anymore. The whole world’s TPTBs seem to want war as an economic model, seem to want to change regimes to make sure the global financial system is in place, makes it easier to put them all in debt and take over their resources, all the while feeding our MIC and making people everywhere poor and sick.


Thanks, wi 58! And having a comment first is a good way to have a tip jar, too, as LD said.


Dan Rather Reminds Journalists to do their Job, not just be Pundits (title my own)

The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief. It is an awesome responsibility. Committing the use of force and American men and women in uniform is about as serious as it gets. But the truly great presidents understand that knowing when NOT to act is as important as knowing when to act.

It is a whole lot easier starting wars than finishing them. And there are many historical examples of where a promise of limited engagement quickly metastasized into something much bigger.

There is a tendency to rally around the flag, and a President who takes on a war footing can see a boost of support. It is often transitory. There are arguments to be made that President Assad in Syria has crossed a line that demands U.S. military interference. Whether this should have been a unilateral action is something we all must consider. Whether President Trump has a plan for what comes next must be debated. Whether there is a coherence to this missile strike fitting into a larger foreign policy strategy is a question that should give us all pause.

The role of the press is to ask hard questions. There is ample evidence that this Administration needs to face deep scrutiny. The lies we have heard, the chaos in governance, and the looming questions about ties with Russia – itself a major player in Syria – demand that the press treat this latest action with healthy skepticism. Perhaps it was the right thing to do. Perhaps a strong and wise policy will emerge. But that judgement is still definitely hanging in the balance.

The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as “presidential” is concerning. War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.

h/t the Hill

Cable networks have too many pundits, not enough reporters. And the reporters, especially those with no foreign policy experience, don’t know what to ask because they were trained to be more like tabloids.


Sadly this is the truth!


And if everyone realizes this, we just might be a force to be reckoned with, one they can’t deceive and finagle their way out of, like they did with Bernie.


Speaking of military spending…I caught this bit of information at Newsbud, another indie reporting blog. This is about Foreign Military Spending outlays.

FOREIGN MILITARY SALES (FMS) – Through FMS, the U.S. government procures and transfers materiel to allied nations and international organizations.

Under the category of Academia:


Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) received $7,551,000 to provide assessments & alternatives of offensive capabilities within domains (air, land, sea, space, cyberspace) and areas “that asymmetrically mitigate threat effectiveness, impose cost, create ambiguity in adversary decision-making.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison received $9,858,344 to help DARPA examine the rate, neural representation, and state dependence of learning, performance, & flexibility of an auditory detection/recognition task in mice. U-Wisconsin will also develop & validate an experimental paradigm to characterize evoked neurochemical release as a function of invasive & non-invasive stimulation of the cervical nerve in a swine to complement data obtained in the murine model.

WTF? How is this selling to foreign entities?

and this…


Boeing received $18,719,151 to sustain AN/APG‐63 [(V)1, 2, 3] and Talon HATE radar subsystems for U.S. ANG and Saudi Arabia’s Air Force.

Boeing received $46,399,274 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): interim contractor support for F-15SA aircraft at King Khalid Air Base.

Boeing received $3,276,522,609 for Apache helicopter multi-year lots 7-11, AH-64E full-rate production of remanufactured & new aircraft, remanufacture & new Longbow crew trainers, equipment, spares, logistics, engineering. Includes unspecified FMS to Saudi Arabia.

Critical Solutions International Inc. (CSI) received $131,946,942 for FMS (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia): commercial Husky 2nd generation system, new sub-systems, spare parts, storage, tools, field service reps, and training.

Diplomatic Language Services (DLS) received $9,995,000 for English language training to UAE personnel. Sole-source.

DynCorp received $14,465,990 for FMS: aviation field maintenance services in concert with U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, Aviation Field Maintenance Division in Germany, Honduras, Kuwait. Involves Netherlands & Egypt.

Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense received $27,546,989 for FMS (Israel): Type 1E and Reinforced Detonating Cord.

L-3 received $37,347,368 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): 38,284 M734A1 multi-option fuses; and 165,426 M783 point detonating/delay fuses.

Lockheed Martin received $11,770,930 for FMS (UAE): THAAD ground components.

Orbital ATK received $67,000,000 for FMS (Bahrain, Taiwan, Egypt): SR-116 rocket motors for AIM-9P rockets.

Oshkosh Defense received $15,080,369 for FMS (Jordan and Oman): M1070A1 Heavy Equipment Transporters, with associated testing, spare parts, training.

I had not heard of Newsbud until this afternoon when I was around the progressive sister/brotherhood sites. I’ll be checking that site out more often.

Newsbud Exclusive Report- A Distillation of DOD Spending Spree for March 2017


Small wonder that they are always asking for more and more $$$$$$$$.


Kansas Democrat Proudly Wears Support Of Bernie Sanders Group In Unexpectedly Close Race

A Democrat running for a congressional seat in an ultra-conservative district is touting support from a Bernie Sanders-aligned group in the final days before a Kansas special election on Tuesday that appears to be unexpectedly close.

There’s been a swell of support for James Thompson, the Democrat running to fill the seat vacated by Tea Party congressman Mike Pompeo, who was tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the CIA. Republicans have stepped up spending in the race, signaling they could be worried about the result.

Along with the Kansas race, Democrats are looking to special elections in Georgia and Montana as early bellwethers of enthusiasm for candidates under President Donald Trump.

As Tuesday approached, Thompson ― running to represent the district that is home to Koch industries ― embraced support from Our Revolution, the progressive group that grew out of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.


Democracy for America is backing Thompson as well.


Well a great big thank you to Hillary!


While Jon Ossoff, the talented Georgia Democrat, has won national headlines for his push to flip Representative Tom Price’s vacated House seat in suburban Atlanta, Thompson’s profile, and that of the Kansas race, has remained low. He has received little national press of note aside from a dust-up with officials from the Kansas Democratic Party, who last week refused Thompson’s request for cash from its coffers to help with the campaign.


While the state party said publicly that it denied the Thompson campaign’s $20,000 request because it simply didn’t have the money after an expensive 2016 election cycle, the likelihood (or unlikelihood) of his victory also factored in. A cash-strapped party in a red state won’t throw money at a race it can’t win.

I thought she was sharing funds with the state parties.

At least that is what George Clooney said after a big $ fundraiser.


only if the candidates are 100% with the 1%!


I am sure that this will go unnoticed and not reported.



I’m still looking for how the recent military strikes on Syria are going to make us safer.


Yep. I’ll tell you. I feel safer already! Phew!


SNAFU. I now use Fracked and variations thereof. I think it’s much more fitting, since F*cking can be a wonderful thing and I don’t want to associate it with all the Fracking things out there! :O)


Also too.

Most of this info I don.t understand but here it is


7 April, 2017
Today, April 7th 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Grasshopper” — 27 documents from the CIA’s Grasshopper framework, a platform used to build customized malware payloads for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Grasshopper is provided with a variety of modules that can be used by a CIA operator as blocks to construct a customized implant that will behave differently, for example maintaining persistence on the computer differently, depending on what particular features or capabilities are selected in the process of building the bundle. Additionally, Grasshopper provides a very flexible language to define rules that are used to “perform a pre-installation survey of the target device, assuring that the payload will only [be] installed if the target has the right configuration”. Through this grammar CIA operators are able to build from very simple to very complex logic used to determine, for example, if the target device is running a specific version of Microsoft Windows, or if a particular Antivirus product is running or not.


Bernie Sanders Says He’s Willing To Campaign For Montana Populist Rob Quist

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has offered to travel to Montana to help boost insurgent House candidate Rob Quist, who is running in a surprisingly competitive special election for the at-large seat previously held by Ryan Zinke, who is now secretary of the department of interior. The stop would be part of a national tour Sanders is doing with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez after Easter, the Vermont senator told The Huffington Post in an interview.

The duo plan to hit roughly nine states, but the details are still being worked out.

Sanders, whose organization, Our Revolution, has endorsed Quist, said that the House hopeful is the kind of candidate Democrats should be putting up in traditionally Republican areas.

“The idea that we have a major political party today, which has essentially given up on half of the country is beyond absurd. It is pathetic, because many of those states are some of the states in the most economic distress,” he said.

“My impression is [Quist]’s a very strong candidate who stands up for working people, understands that we need a government that represents all of us and not the one percent. So if we can be of help to Quist, happy to do that as well.”

There’s a link to a survey of whether or not the DNC should support this race.



Thanks for the link, I said, “Go all in!” Not expecting it, though.


Trump plans centrist push and Priebus is on board

Steve Bannon, the engine and soul of President Trump’s hard-edged approach to his first months in office, is increasingly isolated and will be forced out unless he can adopt a more cooperative approach, a top source told me.

On both style and substance, Bannon got crosswise with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who are pushing for a more competence- and results-driven focus for the West Wing.

In their view, Bannon is too inclined to want to burn things down and blow things up. They want a more open process driven by the interests of the president, not ideology.

A senior official said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is “with the program” of a more inclusive style, and will stay. Insiders have been feverishly discussing possible replacements and Trump considered a change, but the official said: “Reince is staying.”

Read the rest here: https://www.axios.com/how-steve-bannon-lost-his-mojo-2350891180.html

The highlighted part is mine. I’m not certain that serving the president’s interests is the best thing either.


The MSM just laps it up.

My take is that he hasn’t got a clue what he is doing.


Trump’s PR team won’t include Spicer much longer, I don’t think. He may do something else in the WH, however. Trump has always been more about PR than competence.


This strikes me as overly opportunistic.

IT is quite a group of Senators.


US Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill in a bid to investigate war crimes in Syria, including the creation of a “hybrid tribunal” among other measures. The move comes following the US strike on a Syrian airfield.

A group of senators from both parties – Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), and Todd Young (R-Indiana) – introduced the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act on Friday, aimed at investigation of “war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Syria” and bringing Syrian President Bashar Assad to justice for his “heinous acts.” The authors of the bill are calling on the Secretary of State to assist investigations into the crimes, including setting up “a potential hybrid tribunal” as part of “credible transitional justice efforts.”

Where is the probe of Saudi Arabia where most of t5he perpetrators of 911 came from?



Ha! From that group! I can already tell you what they’ll find.

Leave the investigating to the UN, PLEASE! And even they are influenced by us, but not quite so baldly as the above group of people.


Well mercy me. I just came across this!


Whhen Jim Kreindler got to his midtown Manhattan office on Friday, July 15, 2016, he had a surprise waiting for him. Twice in the previous eight years, Kreindler had been in the room as then-President Barack Obama promised Kreindler’s clients he would declassify a batch of documents that had taken on near mythic importance to those seeking the full truth of who had helped plan and fund the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Now, Kreindler learned, “the 28 pages” as they were known, were open for inspection and it was up to his team to find something of value. It wasn’t long before they did—a single, vague line about a Somali charity in Southern California.

That obscure reference would soon become part of the backbone of an argument that Kreindler and his firm have been making for a long time: Without financial and logistical support from members of the government of Saudi Arabia, the 9/11 attacks would have never taken place.


It’s just a bunch of crap courtesy of the DLCraporate.


Caitlin addressing how feeling superior can lead to bombing and other things.

But here’s the good news: this assumption of American supremacy upon which all consent is manufactured for these startling acts of evil is in the minds of most everyday Americans. This is not a switch the elites can flick on and off at will if everyday Americans start thinking about their fellow earth-patrons as regular people who can and should govern themselves, in privacy, without prying eyes. Even if they’re bad guys. I mean, you guys have a bad guy in the Whitehouse right now — would you like us Aussies to come over and bomb the crap out of you and install our puppet leader of our choice, just to, you know, help you out? We could change all your money to dollarydoos, and rape your women and torture your young men, and get you back on track.

No? I didn’t think so. The world would really be okay if you just left it to its own devices, America. The terrorists don’t hate you for your freedom, they hate you because you have military bases in their backyard and you keep killing their family members. If you just left the rest of the world alone, it would leave you alone. To be perfectly honest if it weren’t for all the awesome Hollywood movies you keep churning out and the TV shows you’ve got on Netflix, we’d pretty much forget about you most of the time. You don’t need to concern yourself with which leader is a dictator, who we’re voting for in our elections, what trade agreements we make and what we’re saying on our phone calls. If you leave the world alone, it will leave you alone.


We are part of the core of the corporate borg now assimilating our world. Resistance is futile.

(But of course, we know that resistance can, one day, win!) Feel free to incorporate into an image.


I saw this tweet at TOP. It’s worth repeating as this is one of 3 reasons why Trump decided to strike with those $500K each tomahawks.


I think that they short changed the cost of the Tomahawks.


Unit cost $1.87M(FY2017)[1] (Block IV)

As of 2015, the United States Navy has a stockpile of around 3,500 Tomahawk cruise missiles of all variants, with a combined worth of approximately US $2.6 billion.[50]


I guess all the MSM sources didn’t take this into consideration before heaping so much praise on Trump.


Oy! That is just what is needed now.


The United States will move a Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula amid rising concerns over North Korea’s weapons program, Reuters reported on Saturday.

A U.S. official told Reuters that the Navy’s Carl Vinson strike group will move from Singapore into the West Pacific Ocean near the Korean Peninsula, a move intended to put pressure on North Korea to curb its recent weapons tests.

“We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official told Reuters.

I guess Trump was happy with the Syria reaction.


More fundraising for free trips to Mar-a-Largo for him and his family!/s


Jordan Chariton weighs in on the current state of events.

For a lot of the dudes they no longer need there normal dose of Viagra.


On the Real News, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Col Wilkerson was interviewed about the attack on Syria, thinks it was all about politics, and Trump violated international law.


The Queen Speaks ! (commentary by THR)


That image makes me want to vomit. Doh!


Only thing missing was her tiara.

Does anyone notice she wears forthcoming fashion wear? Definitely not spring colors. Makes me wonder if she gets paid for donning them.


Maybe she lost it in the woods.


This is quite the group!


Robert Parry brings up an interesting point: where was Mike Pompeo?

There is a dark mystery behind the White House-released photo showing President Trump and more than a dozen advisers meeting at his estate in Mar-a-Lago after his decision to strike Syria with Tomahawk missiles: Where is CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top intelligence officials?

Before the photo was released on Friday, a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.

At the time, I found the information dubious since Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior U.S. officials were declaring quite confidently that Assad was at fault. Given that apparent confidence, I assumed that Pompeo and the CIA must have signed off on the conclusion of Assad’s guilt even though I knew that some U.S. intelligence analysts had contrary opinions, that they viewed the incident as either an accidental release of chemicals or an intentional ploy by Al Qaeda rebels to sucker the U.S. into attacking Syria.

As strange as the Trump administration has been in its early months, it was hard for me to believe that Trump would have listened to the CIA’s views and then shooed the director away from the larger meeting before launching a military strike against a country not threatening America.

Where Was CIA’s Pompeo on Syria?


I wonder if they used one of the CIA’s hacks?


A computer hack set off all the emergency sirens in Dallas for about 90 minutes overnight in one of the largest known breaches of a siren warning system, officials in the Texas city said on Saturday.

Dallas’ 156 sirens, normally used to warn of tornadoes and other dangerous weather, were triggered at 11:42 p.m. CDT on Friday. The wailing did not end until 1:17 a.m. CDT on Saturday when engineers manually shut down the sirens’ radio system and repeaters, city Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz said.

“At this point, we can tell you with a good deal of confidence that this was somebody outside of our system that got in there and activated our sirens,” he told reporters.


I like the snark from Atrios.

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