HomeUncategorized7/6 News Roundup – Sanders Reacts To Pruitt’s Resignation, Abdul El-Sayed Endorsements & More
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

New study shows that constant police violence takes massive toll on black Americans’ mental health

Of course, black Americans know only too well that the potential horror and carnage produced by the police can swoop down upon them — often without cause — with lethal force, leaving them with an ever-present fear that afflicts their mental health. Yet, for most white Americans, such notions seem like unfounded paranoia.

Well, it’s not: So says a recent study by a prestigious British medical journal, which found that police killings of unarmed black Americans take a severe toll on the mental well-being of black people, while the same incidents have virtually no impact on the health of white people.


Another one to watch


In the wake of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s historic victory to unseat the number four House Democrat, New York Representative Joe Crowley, the stage may be set for more stunning upsets of incumbent Democrats across the country.

In Washington state, Sarah Smith is taking on Democratic Representative Adam Smith (no relation), who has held the seat for Washington’s 9th Congressional District since 1997. In eleven terms in office, he’s rarely faced a competitive race in this second most progressive congressional district in the state, next to the 7th district represented by Pramila Jayapal.

Sarah Smith, an activist who also works as a service drive assistant at a mechanic garage in Renton, Washington, is challenging Representative Smith from the left, with a platform that includes abolishing ICE, a federal jobs guarantee, an anti-war platform, medicare for all, student debt cancellation, and free public college tuition.

The 9th Congressional District encompasses parts of King and Pierce County, where Bernie Sanders easily won this district with more than two-thirds of the vote in the 2016 Democratic Primary. But in 2012, the Seattle Times referred to Smith as “arguably the state’s least liberal Democrat in congress.”

Despite representing a Democratic stronghold in one of the most progressive states in the country, Smith is a member of the moderate New Democratic Coalition, many of whom were elected toward the end of President Bill Clinton’s second term in office as part of his efforts to move the Democratic Party to the center on several economic issues.

A neoliberal attitude toward foreign policy and national security is evident in Smith’s campaign finance records. Smith’s most prolific campaign donor is defense contractor Northrop Grumman. This election cycle, the contractor has donated $19,000 to Smith’s re-election campaign. In 2016, they gave Smith more than $45,000—the second highest donation the company gave to a politician that year, behind Hillary Clinton. The military defense industry is Smith’s second highest donor, with more than $500,000 in donations through his congressional career.


and what do those donations mean to us all? more war.


With sexual molester Trump, no surprise they are cutting this


Under Ohio’s safe harbour legislation – and similar laws across all states – Amy had the right to request that criminal charges she accrued while she was a victim of human trafficking were expunged from the public record.

Yet anti-trafficking advocates across the US are warning that a sudden decision by the Trump administration, effective immediately, to cut all funding for legal representation for survivors like Amy means that many other victims will now struggle to get their expungement cases into a courtroom.

Sasha Naiman, an attorney at the Ohio Justice and Policy Centre (OJC), who has represented Amy and many other survivors to seek expungement, said the cuts showed a “fundamental” lack of understanding of the situation facing trafficking survivors.

“I find this decision so startling because there is no basic understanding that you can’t get access to many of these more immediate things like jobs, housing, good healthcare with a criminal record,” she said. “The first step has to be addressing the criminalisation of survivors. Without this funding many victims will simply not stand a chance of getting someone to represent them through this process.”



America’s unemployment rate is hovering near half-century lows. There are now more job openings than unemployed workers in the United States for the first time since the government began tracking that ratio. For America’s working class, macroeconomic conditions don’t get much better than this.

And yet, most Americans’ wages aren’t getting any better, at all. Over the past 12 months, piddling wage gains – combined with modest inflation – has left the vast majority of our nation’s laborers with lower real hourly earnings than they had in May 2017. On Wall Street, the second-longest expansion in U.S. history has brought boom times – in the coming weeks, S&P 500 companies will dole out a record-high $124.1 billion in quarterly dividends. But on Main Street, returns have been slim.

Economists have put forward a variety of explanations for the aberrant absence of wage growth in the middle of a recovery: Automation is slowly (but irrevocably) reducing the market-value of most workers’ skills; a lack of innovation has slowed productivity growth to a crawl; well-paid baby-boomers are retiring, and being replaced with millenials who have enough experience to do the boomers’ jobs – but not enough to demand their salaries.

There’s likely some truth to these narratives. But a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offers a more straightforward – and political – explanation: American policymakers have chosen to design an economic system that leaves workers desperate and disempowered, for the sake of directing a higher share of economic growth to bosses and shareholders.

The OECD doesn’t make this argument explicitly. But its report lays waste to the idea that the plight of the American worker can be chalked up to impersonal economic forces, instead of concrete political decisions. If the former were the case, then American laborers wouldn’t be getting a drastically worse deal than their peers in other developed nations. But we are. Here’



Puerto Rico is a 99 percent Latinx island. Its 43.5 percent poverty rate is nearly 3.5 times the national average, and its median household income is barely one-third of the U.S. median. Can we stop pretending these facts had nothing to do with the scale of the disaster and the inept official response to it?

Turns out, it wasn’t just the aftermath of the storm, but what came before.

The delay in restoring electricity was partly because the island’s grid hadn’t been maintained over a decade-long recession—a crisis worsened by Washington-imposed austerity policies that prioritize loan repayments over the needs of Puerto Ricans. The hurricane “lifted the veil on the pre-existing crisis,” says Jesús Vázquez of Organización Boricuá, a Puerto Rican food sovereignty organization. “But we knew it was there, because we were living it constantly.”

Puerto Rico is effectively a U.S. colony, with no representation in Congress. Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty who recently toured the United States, explicitly linked the territory’s economic and environmental devastation to its colonial status. “Political rights and poverty are inextricably linked in Puerto Rico,” he said. “In a country that likes to see itself as the oldest democracy in the world and a staunch defender of political rights on the international stage, more than 3 million people who live on the island have no power in their own capital.”



Under Eric Garcetti, a Democratic mayor with presidential aspirations, Los Angeles aggressively administers laws that criminalize homelessness, rather than focus on developing affordable housing or providing sufficient services. Alston pointed out that Los Angeles provides only nine public toilets for approximately 1,800 people on Skid Row who live on the streets, but enforces public-urination laws. A person surviving on a few hundred dollars a month disability payment cannot afford a $300 ticket for sitting on the sidewalk, so the ticket will go to warrant and that person will go to jail.

What will be Garcetti’s response to the UN report exposing this human tragedy in his city? Will he distinguish Democratic leadership from the Trump administration’s denial? Will he use the report as a tool to advocate forcefully for more housing? Will he champion the Right to Rest Act, a state legislative initiative Alston endorsed that would prevent California cities from enforcing laws that criminalize homeless people? This act, versions of which have been proposed in several Western states, would pressure cities to work together on humane solutions instead of simply using police to sweep poor people onto someone else’s streets. Unfortunately, in Democratic-controlled California, not a single legislator was willing to sponsor the Right to Rest Act this year. The mayor’s leadership on this issue would have an impact.

So far, his leadership has been lacking. He announced last week that the city could resume ticketing people for sleeping on the sidewalks at night. Under a 2006 legal settlement, the city agreed not to enforce the law against sidewalk sleeping between 9 pm and 6 am until it built a set number of new housing units. But, now the mayor says, despite massive numbers living on the streets, that the city has fulfilled its obligations—a highly disputed claim—and will start enforcement actions.

Criminalizing homelessness does not solve the problem. It makes suffering more brutal and drives people living on the streets further into the shadows. Local leaders should distinguish themselves from the White House not by doubling up on cruel policies, as Garcetti appears to be doing, but by ending criminalization, supporting legislation like the Right to Rest Act, investing in affordable housing, and upholding the human rights and dignity of even the poorest among us.



It’s fairly well known that a bad diet, a lack of exercise, and genetics can all contribute to type 2 diabetes. But a new global study points to an additional, surprising culprit: the air pollution emitted by cars and trucks.

Though other research has shown a link between diabetes and air pollution in the past, this study is one of the largest of its kind, and it’s unique because it both is longitudinal and includes several types of controls. What’s more, it also quantifies exactly how many diabetes cases in the world are attributable to air pollution: 14 percent in 2016 alone. In the United States, it found, air pollution is responsible for 150,000 cases of diabetes.



Racism is a feature of the Trump administration, not a bug. Like demagogues before him, President Trump and his aides consistently single out one group for scapegoating and persecution: non-white Hispanic immigrants.

Trump doesn’t much seem to like non-white newcomers from anywhere, in truth — remember how he once expressed a fond wish for more immigrants from Norway? — but he displays an especially vicious antipathy toward men, women and even children from Latin America. We have not seen such overt racism from a president since Woodrow Wilson imposed Jim Crow segregation in Washington and approvingly showed “The Birth of a Nation,” director D.W. Griffith’s epic celebration of the Ku Klux Klan, at the White House.


Matt Bors cartoon is riling up some people at DK

Don midwest
Don midwest

Matt Bors is from Columbus. In HS he started cartoons for local papers run by Bob Fitrakis. Bob and Harvey been active in election integrity. I tried to bring up issue on DK, but was zapped.

Link above about billionaires playing games with elections.

Later learned that Bob and Harvey personally banned from DK by Kos himself.

Bob introduced Keith Ellison to democratic socialists when he was a student at Wayne State.

Bob continues as co chair of Green party in OH and runs for all kinds of offices all the time but has not won.


Love Fitrakis. They’ve been working on election integrity for a looong time.


The truth hurts.


The Family Separation Crisis Exposes America’s Addiction to Incarceration

But every day inside the United States, we do a version of this to tens of thousands of our own citizens. Judges and prosecutors impose cash bail that keeps parents locked up and apart from their families prior to trial, and children’s services agencies often remove kids from their parents based on unsubstantiated criminal allegations as proof of parental unfitness.

Every day, roughly 450,000 people are held in jail pretrial — meaning they are presumed innocent of any crime — and a significant portion of those are behind bars because they cannot afford bail. Worse yet, the arrest that resulted in pretrial detention is routinely used to justify a criminal temporary order of protection, or triggers the removal of children by a family court, even before the state proves the crime.

In other words, this is precisely who we are.

The parallels don’t end with bail and family separation, either.


Pruitt Gone, But “No Happy Ending” for Planet as Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler Takes Over EPA

i don’t think i’m being cynical when i say, “Dah.” it makes me wonder if the happy dances weren’t a way to fundraise by the enviro groups. Wheeler may be worse, as he will be more “acceptable” to many.


I still think that she deserves to be reelected.


Perhaps Nancy Pelosi should get a CLUE!


IS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM now in the “ascendant” in the Democratic Party? That was the question posed by a reporter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week, in the wake of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shock primary victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District.

And Pelosi’s response? “No.”

Elaborating a bit, she qualified that “it’s ascendant in that district perhaps. But I don’t accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans. So let me reject that right now.”

Not Pelosi, that’s for sure. Democratic leaders of her generation are accustomed to seeing political messaging from a defensive posture only. So it wasn’t surprising that Pelosi would reject democratic socialism as a “characterization of our party presented by the Republicans,” when the characterization is being presented, in reality, by Democrats themselves.

So here’s a question for the House minority leader: If socialism isn’t “ascendant” in her party, why did 16 Democratic senators join with Sanders in September 2017 to introduce his Medicare For All Act, a bill “enthusiastically” endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America? Lest we forget, only four years earlier, Sanders introduced a similar bill in the Senate that had zero Democratic co-sponsors.


I can’t say that I am surprised. LOL


Just proves how insincere they really are, anyone with any political savvy can see what a dynamo she is and why Crowley did his ‘Born to Run’ routine, because its obvious what a package of skills and talent she naturally has.

There is nothing hard to figure out and even if you take out all policy, just her grasp of issues, ability to field complicated questions giving simple answers and especially her exceptional work ethic says it all.


Well you wouldn’t want that empty space go to waste? /S


A U.S. defense contractor detained dozens of immigrant children in a vacant office building in Phoenix, Arizona, despite claiming that it does not operate shelters or any type of housing for children detained by federal agents.

Video recorded by a neighbor and obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) shows children being carried into the facility, a 3,200-square-foot vacant office building early last month.

The building, according to CIR, is not licensed under Arizona state law to hold children. It is also not listed among shelters operated through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

When contacted by reporters about the facility the contractor, MVM Inc., initially pointed to a statement on its website stating that it does not “operate shelters or any other type of housing for minors.” But after being told about the video, a spokesperson for the facility responded that it “is not a shelter or a child care facility. … It’s a temporary holding place” for children awaiting transport to other detention centers.


The whole article is worth reading.


A little bit more about MVM.


In the 1980s, MVM was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of State to supply Cleared American Guards (CAG) to U.S. embassies throughout the world. Following the 1991 Haitian coup d’état and subsequent reinstatement of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1994, MVM became the first private American firm to protect a foreign head of state in his own homeland.

Following the September 11th attacks, MVM received contracts from the United States Army and the U.S. Justice Department. MVM continues work on these contracts as well as contracts with agencies incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security.

In June 2018, media coverage of the Trump administration family separation policy brought scrutiny upon MVM’s contracts with DHS. To date and verified by GovTribe, MVM has only provided $3,100 of services out of the nearly $9.5 million authorized in the “shelter care” contract vehicle. At the direction of the company’s leadership MVM has removed job postings related to readiness operations under the current zero tolerance policy

MVM currently holds multiple multimillion-dollar contracts with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Protective Service, U.S. Marshals Service, The National Institute of Health and other U.S. federal agencies.

Skip to toolbar