HomeUncategorized7/3 News Roundup – Nina Turner Discusses Strengthening The Democratic Party, Rhode Island Sues 21 Big Oil Companies & More
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Don midwest
Don midwest

Can you listen to the trees?

People see better what looks like them,” observes the field biologist Patricia Westerford, one of the nine—nine—main characters of Richard Powers’s 12th novel, The Overstory. And trees, Patricia discovers, look like people. They are social creatures, caring for one another, communicating, learning, trading goods and services; despite lacking a brain, trees are “aware.” After borers attack a sugar maple, it emits insecticides that warn its neighbors, which respond by intensifying their own defenses. When the roots of two Douglas firs meet underground, they fuse, joining vascular systems; if one tree gets ill, the other cares for it. The chopping down of a tree causes those surrounding it to weaken, as if in mourning. But Powers’s findings go beyond Dr. Pat’s. In his tree-mad novel, which contains as many species as any North American forest—17 are named on the first page alone—trees speak, sing, experience pain, dream, remember the past, and predict the future. The past and the future, it turns out, are mirror images of each other. Neither contains people.

yep, the greatest crisis, humans killing off the earth

Powers is the rare American novelist writing in the grand realist tradition, daring to cast himself, in the critic Peter Brooks’s term, as a “historian of contemporary society.” He has the courage and intellectual stamina to explore our most complex social questions with originality, nuance, and an innate skepticism about dogma. At a time when literary convention favors novelists who write narrowly about personal experience, Powers’s ambit is refreshingly unfashionable, restoring to the form an authority it has shirked. A former computer programmer and English major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Powers has written novels about the history of photography, artificial intelligence, nuclear warfare, race and miscegenation, the Holocaust, neuroscience, virtual reality, the chemical industry, and genetic engineering. It was only a matter of time before he took on the greatest existential crisis human civilization faces: the destruction of the natural conditions necessary for our own survival.

“What the Fuck Went Wrong with Mankind” is the central question of The Overstory, as posed by Douggie Pavlicek, a Vietnam War veteran who reinvents himself as a radical eco-activist. Powers has assembled a cast of impeccably credentialed characters to come up with an answer. Douggie himself participated in the Stanford Prison Experiment as a college student, which led him to conclude that “the greatest flaw of the species is its overwhelming tendency to mistake agreement for truth.” Adam Appich is a psychologist who studies the ways in which people blind themselves to catastrophes, particularly those that unfold gradually. Ray Brinkman is an intellectual-property lawyer who asks whether trees can be said to have legal rights. Nicholas Hoel is the heir to a family art project—several generations committed to photographing, once a month, the growth of a chestnut tree—that has instilled in him an awed appreciation of human transience. (The Hoel Chestnut photographs may have been inspired by a similar project undertaken in Norwich, England, from 1914 to 1942, while Patricia Westerford’s discoveries resemble those of the Canadian forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, and of a German forester with the same initials, Peter Wohlleben, whose 2015 best seller, The Hidden Life of Trees, appears to be the basis for Patricia’s book, The Secret Forest.)

Another one of the excellent reviews of Richard Powers new work. The interviews are excellent as well. I can post more if people are interested.

The Novel That Asks, ‘What Went Wrong With Mankind?’:
Richard Powers’s climate-themed epic, The Overstory, embraces a dark optimism about the fate of humanity.


Thanks Don! That sounds like my style. I hope I get to read it.


thx! want to read.

Don midwest
Don midwest

trying out getting Greenwald tweet

These 2 tweets contain a vast amount of crucial truth. And whatever your view on all this, one has to acknowledge that it's just bizarre watching a Party that has collapsed as a national political force insist that it must keep doing things the same way or else failure will ensue pic.twitter.com/2iyGxv78ZZ

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 3, 2018


Don midwest
Don midwest

copied the link to the tweet

and embedded the tweet

did a right click on the upper right hand corner and pasted here

so it shows up 2x



Nativity statues of the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which usually mark Christmas, were incarcerated behind a barbed wired-topped, chain link fence on the lawn of Monument Circle’s Christ Church Cathedral on Tuesday.

The Rev. Stephen Carlsen, dean and rector of Christ Church, said the caged Holy Family is a protest to President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policy that is holding families in detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I know what the Bible said,” Carlsen said. “We’re supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

The Rev. Lee Curtis, who came up with the idea for the demonstration, said the Biblical trio was a family of refugees seeking asylum in Egypt.




Just think would ICE have taken baby Jesus from them as well?? Certanly wouldn’t want to deal with the dad about it :). What would the evangelicals do then??


Sure they would. Can’t have Jesus being an anchor baby.



Rep. Jim Jordan, the powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, is being accused by former wrestlers he coached more than two decades ago at Ohio State University of failing to stop the team doctor from molesting them and other students.

The university announced in April that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until former students began speaking out this spring. His denials, however, have been met with skepticism and anger from some former members of the wrestling team.



Can Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Save the Planet?

Democrats lack an organized plan to stop global warming. Climate scientists say Ocasio-Cortez has the beginnings of a good one.

Progressives have been practically leaping for joy since 28-year-old self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary election for Congress last week, an outcome that CNN called “the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.” But perhaps no group has been more excited than environmentalists. In a political environment where even her fellow Democrats often stay vague on climate change, Ocasio-Cortez has been specific and blunt in talking about the global warming crisis. She also has a plan to fight that crisis—one to transition the United States to a 100-percent renewable energy system by 2035.

To achieve this ambitious goal, she has proposed implementing what she calls a “Green New Deal,” a Franklin Delano Roosevelt–like plan to spur “the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs,” according to her official website. “The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost last week. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”


Israel opened fire on a Woman’s March today in Gaza!

Israel does not make any difference in gender, age or color in its suppression of the Palestinian people!

A dozen women were wounded during the women’s protest for the return and the lifting of the #Blocus borders is to #Gaza #GreatReturnMarch #WomensMarchGaza


Then there is this.


Last month, twelve Democratic senators signed a letter from the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asking the Trump administration “to do more to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.” The letter was sent following a series of protests by Gazans that were met with overwhelming, deadly force by Israel, which has had Gaza under a punishing blockade for more than a decade.

The letter was not overly or unfairly critical of the actions of the Israeli government and army. But, coming from a Democratic caucus that has rarely challenged the Israeli government in any meaningful way, it was still a positive sign of a growing willingness by Democrats to buck the bipartisan consensus that the U.S. must “stand behind” everything the right-wing Israeli government does.

In response, Haim Saban, a billionaire media mogul and longtime “megadonor” to the Democratic Party, wrote a pissy email to each of those senators (sent to some of their personal addresses, probably just to make the point that he had their personal email addresses), listing, in syntax and tone typical of conservative chain emails, various reasons why Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and Gazans in particular, must never, ever be criticized. It doesn’t even address the actual issues and concerns laid out in the letter to Pompeo; it is merely a collection of braindead talking points.


Republicans have Sheldon Adelson, Democrats have Haim Saban.

Super-rich donors who remind our representatives that they must never, ever, criticize or hinder Israel in all that they do.

Humphrey’s piece by Alex Pareene goes on to say:

Saban is trying to use his great influence, which he has purchased with millions and millions of dollars in donations, to get Democratic politicians to follow his orders. It is widely understood that this is what comes with being a megadonor. Lobbyists once tried to convince Saban to withhold donations from the party unless uber-hawk Jane Harman was made chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee. More recently, his frankly bigoted tantrum over Rep. Keith Ellison’s campaign to lead the DNC—a campaign endorsed by stalwart Israel ally Sen. Chuck Schumer!—helped lead Democrats to shun Ellison and select the charmless Tom Perez instead.

Saban, in other words, is a guy who is used to getting his way when he talks to elected Democrats.


I sure wish that there were still some funny comedians out there!


🤔🤨😣 Huh? Could not be farther apart.


Can’t have the people thinking a left-wing populist might be a good idea!


Here is one being interviewed by Jamarl Thomas.

Don’t be fooled. The first minute is just a lead in.


An interesting read Concerning superdelegate reform.

With Superdelegate Reform, is the Democratic Party Now Democratic?

A small excerpt.

Well, joining me is someone who has helped lead that fight. Larry Cohen is Board Chair of the Bernie Sanders campaign offshoot, Our Revolution, and he is Vice Chair of the DNC Unity Reform Commission. Welcome, Larry. So, talk about these new rules. Under the change, now superdelegates will no longer be allowed to vote on the first ballot at the convention, only if it goes to a second ballot. But let me ask you, why even have superdelegates at all ?

LARRY COHEN: Well, that would be a good question. I’m quite happy that we have some results from two years of work, and it still has to get voted on on August 25 by the four hundred and forty seven DNC members who are all superdelegates themselves. But that might be an interesting question for another time at this point. We’re happy to move on. I mean, the general theory would be that you have a balance between the public and voters, caucus voters, primary voters. And the people who work in the party every day lead the party members of Congress. And so, in this case, we’re saying all those folks are delegates at the convention, but they won’t vote on the first ballot for president. There hasn’t been a second ballot since 1924. So, I think, you know, big progress here.


That part is pretty scary, the people that would vote to limit the power (hopefuly) of SD’s are…all SD’s? 🙁



The Trump administration plans to tell schools they shouldn’t consider race in admissions, according to media reports Tuesday — reversing Obama-era guidance just as conservatives see a fresh opening to end affirmative action through a changing Supreme Court.

A leading higher education group already was vowing Tuesday to ignore the Trump administration reversal.

“The Trump administration is sending precisely the wrong message to institutions that are committed to following four decades of Supreme Court precedent,” said Ted Mitchell, the president of the American Council on Education, the largest higher education lobbying group, in a statement.

“Colleges and universities that consider race and ethnicity as one factor in a holistic admissions review are committed to following the law of the land. And make no mistake, this is the law of the land. Today’s announcement does not change that,” said Mitchell, a former member of the Obama administration Education Department.


It’s clear now


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is now joining other lawmakers and government employees in calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after facing criticism for dancing around the issue.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the 2016 presidential candidate took a clear stance on the agency and reminded followers that he voted against establishing ICE and the Department of Homeland Security when they were proposed 15 years ago.

Sanders joins fellow Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a number of other lawmakers and 19 ICE special agents in calling for the agency to be eliminated and replaced in light of its role in separating immigrant families and its handling of immigration as a matter of criminal enforcement.



California Sen. Kamala Harris was among the first prominent Democrats to come out against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but she is distancing herself from the growing chorus of progressives who have called for “abolishing” ICE.

Harris, who is considered a likely presidential candidate in 2020, is walking a careful tightrope on the issue, a sign of the rapid and chaotic reaction to “abolish ICE” — a popular idea among young activists — from national Democrats. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and most recently Bernie Sanders have scrambled to align themselves with what was, just weeks earlier, something of a fringe rallying cry among progressives.

Harris’s office did not explain how completely overhauling ICE would differ from what Democrats who want to abolish the agency have proposed. Politicians, including Gillibrand and Warren, have generally suggested a reimagining of the agency, not outright eliminating it without a replacement. Harris’s spokesman said that “others have gone a step further in calling for abolishing ICE.”


I was berated on twitter by some nasty man when I dared to bring up the fact that Kamala hadn’t actually said that she would “abolish” ICE as the nasty man had posted. Kamala is clearly being super-careful with her words, just like Bernie is. But she had NOT yet used the word as far as I know.

I wouldn’t have even bothered saying anything to the nasty man (why do Hillary supporters think they can be as rude and mean-spirited as they want to be but lefties are required to be perfectly civil at all times?) but he was bragging about Kamala saying abolish & I wanted to set the record straight.

I also earned a condescending rebuke when another Hillary/Kamala supporter praised the nasty man for his “patience” with me (I guess because he was only being nasty and not super-nasty?).

Normally I don’t get into it on twitter, or anywhere, but I think I was annoyed by hearing people criticize Bernie yet praise Kamala for saying practically the same thing.


I love this tweet so very much:


This is quite the interview with Scott Pruitt whistleblower.

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