HomeOpen Thread5/1 News Roundup & Open Thread – ‘Sanders Talks Climate, N. Korea, Taxes & More’ & ‘Warren Calls Out Obama’

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Don midwest

National Bird on PBS this evening. About drone warfare

Amazing that this on PBS!!!

National Bird

Benny

Former Clinton Superdelegate Begins Charity Fraud Trial

Having served in Congress representing Florida’s 5th district since 1993, Corrine Brown lost re-election in 2016 after being indicted in a charity fraud case. The former Clinton superdelegate and member of Hillary Clinton’s Florida Leadership Council allegedly received $800,000 from the organization One Door Education under the pretense that the funds would be used for charitable purposes. One Door Education was never registered as a non-profit, despite Brown soliciting donations for the organization as though it was. On April 26, Brown’s trial began in Jacksonville, Fla. Attorneys representing Brown will try to convince the jury that Brown’s chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, who plead guilty to his charges associated with the fraudulent charity, was solely at fault for Brown’s association with the organization. Brown faces 22 charges of conspiracy, mail or wire fraud and tax crimes.

“[Brown] had the privilege and the opportunity to serve… We wish that was the end of the story… Sadly, it’s not… There’s another side: Corruption, greed and a significant entitlement attitude,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office lead prosecutor Tysen Duva told the jury. Duva noted that Simmons regularly withdrew funds from One Door Education’s bank accounts and deposited them into Brown’s account. Brown never declared any of these funds on her taxes or campaign finance disclosures. Brown’s defense rests on proving that her chief of staff took advantage of her.

On the second day of the trial, CBS affiliate in Jacksonville Action News Jax reported, “FBI Special Agent Vanessa Stelly testified that so-called charity One Door for Education spent extravagant amounts on events for Corrine Brown but gave only two scholarships.” Those two scholarships equated to $10,000, compared to $330,000 spent on events for Brown between 2012 and 2015. Additionally, funds from One Door for Education were used to pay travel for Brown, her staff and her family for a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and she also bought a $750 birthday cake for her daughter using funds from the organization.

Read the rest here: http://observer.com/2017/05/clinton-superdelegate-corrine-brown-begins-fraud-trial/

One thing I was not aware of until last week, is this author, Michael Sainato, has his own FB social media group, Real Progressives, in addition to this reporting.

jcitybone

Link

In a largely leaderless party, two distinct groups are emerging, defined mostly by age and national stature. On one side are three potential candidates approaching celebrity status who would all be over 70 years old on Election Day: Mr. Biden, and Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

All three are fiery speakers inclined toward economic populism, and they have urged the Democratic Party to shift in that direction since its defeat in November.

Mr. Sanders, the runner-up in the 2016 primaries, may loom largest over the next Democratic race. He is already planning his first return trip to early-voting Iowa in July, and plans to be the keynote speaker at the convention of a social justice organization that works closely with his political group, Our Revolution.

Mr. Sanders, who is enormously popular on the left, has already begun campaigning for Democrats in the midterm elections, stumping for candidates from Nebraska to Virginia. He will go to Montana in May, before his Iowa encore.

While Mr. Sanders is mistrusted by much of the Democratic establishment, including many leading donors, he retains a huge political network, and his advisers view him as a favorite for the nomination. His decision on whether to run will shape the Democratic race, most notably for candidates like Ms. Warren, who shares much of his political base.

“If he decides to run again, he’d be an enormously formidable figure and would start as the front-runner,” said Mark Longabaugh, who helped guide Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign.

Mr. Longabaugh, unprompted, offered a comparison between Mr. Sanders’s grass-roots following and political infrastructure and Mr. Biden’s. “With all respect to the vice president, when you stack those assets up, I don’t even think it’s close,” he said.

Benny

The Cost of Barack Obama’s Speech

Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, began their post-White House careers with twin book deals reported to be worth as much as $65 million. And why not? Mr. Obama is a pathbreaking figure and established writer whose two terms traversed a stormy period economically, militarily and diplomatically. Through his writing, Mr. Obama could shed important light on his decision making. As a couple and a family, the Obamas brought grace, empathy and high standards to their time in the White House, in stark contrast to the workaday vulgarity of its current occupants. Not many administration look-backs promise education and inspiration, and the Obamas’ books are much anticipated.

Indeed, it’s the example he set that makes it jarring to see him conform to a lamentable post-presidential model created fairly recently, in historical terms. Since Gerald Ford enriched himself with speaking fees and board memberships after leaving office, every former president but Jimmy Carter has supped often at the corporate table. It’s not beyond imagining that Mr. Obama could break with a practice whose ills he observed so astutely, and which contributed to the downfall of the Democrat he hoped would cement his legacy. The tens of millions that Hillary Clinton raised from speaking to corporate interests most likely haunts her now — or should.

Read the rest here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/opinion/the-cost-of-barack-obamas-speech.html

jcitybone

In a largely leaderless party, two distinct groups are emerging, defined mostly by age and national stature. On one side are three potential candidates approaching celebrity status who would all be over 70 years old on Election Day: Mr. Biden, and Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

All three are fiery speakers inclined toward economic populism, and they have urged the Democratic Party to shift in that direction since its defeat in November.

Mr. Sanders, the runner-up in the 2016 primaries, may loom largest over the next Democratic race. He is already planning his first return trip to early-voting Iowa in July, and plans to be the keynote speaker at the convention of a social justice organization that works closely with his political group, Our Revolution.

Mr. Sanders, who is enormously popular on the left, has already begun campaigning for Democrats in the midterm elections, stumping for candidates from Nebraska to Virginia. He will go to Montana in May, before his Iowa encore.

While Mr. Sanders is mistrusted by much of the Democratic establishment, including many leading donors, he retains a huge political network, and his advisers view him as a favorite for the nomination. His decision on whether to run will shape the Democratic race, most notably for candidates like Ms. Warren, who shares much of his political base.

“If he decides to run again, he’d be an enormously formidable figure and would start as the front-runner,” said Mark Longabaugh, who helped guide Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign.

Mr. Longabaugh, unprompted, offered a comparison between Mr. Sanders’s grass-roots following and political infrastructure and Mr. Biden’s. “With all respect to the vice president, when you stack those assets up, I don’t even think it’s close,” he said.

magsview

This sounds somewhat encouraging?

U.S. appeals court will not rehear ‘net neutrality’ challenge

A federal appeals court on Monday declined to rehear a challenge to the Obama administration’s landmark “net neutrality” rules requiring internet providers to guarantee equal access to all websites.

The decision by the full appeals court in Washington not to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision that upheld the ruling comes days after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed to undo the 2015 net neutrality that reclassified internet providers like public utilities.

The 2015 order bars internet providers from blocking, throttling or giving “fast lanes” to some websites.

Pai has proposed reversing the reclassification and scrapping internet conduct standards, and has asked for comment on whether the FCC can or should retain any of the rules barring blocking, throttling or “fast lanes.”

Judge Sri Srinivasan said in a written opinion reviewing the decision “would be particularly unwarranted at this point in light of the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the FCC’s order.”

The FCC is set to hold an initial vote on May 18 on Pai’s proposal but Srinivasan questioned why the full court should review “the validity of a rule that the agency had already slated for replacement.”

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