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Vermont GOP Official Disputes Claim That Sanders Pressured Bank

Citing an unnamed source, Vermont Republican Party vice chair Brady Toensing alleged in a federal complaint last year that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “pressured” a bank to approve a loan application submitted by the senator’s wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders.

But in an interview with Seven Days Friday, that source — Vermont House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) — disputed Toensing’s characterization of their May 2016 conversation and called into question Toensing’s allegation. Turner described the information he provided Toensing as nothing more than “hearsay” — and hardly evidence of wrongdoing.

“There’s no way I’d file a complaint or anything like that,” said the Milton Republican, who has not previously been identified as Toensing’s source.

Turner’s remarks appear to undercut the most explosive charge that Toensing, a Charlotte attorney, has leveled in recent years at the senator and his wife.


Sen. Bernie Sanders: Lamar Alexander should ‘end backroom deals’ on health care

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called Friday on Sen. Lamar Alexander to “end backroom deals” and “begin the national discussion” on health care.

In a letter to Alexander, the former Democratic presidential candidate said the GOP proposal to dismantle much of the Affordable Care Act is a “disaster” and that it’s time for a serious discussion about the legislation instead of rushing it through Congress.

“Instead of holding backroom meetings, Sen. (Mitch) McConnell, you and the Republican leadership must allow bipartisan discussion as to how we improve the Affordable Care Act, not destroy it,” Sanders wrote to the Tennessee Republican.

“I urge you to open up the process and allow the voices of more than just Republicans in the Senate to be heard,” Sanders said.


Nina Turner and Paul Jay discuss the fight against corporate democrats from the struggle for single payer in California to electing progressives countrywide, and take viewer questions live on air


Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment

Nina Turner is a “proud homegirl” of Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a state senator from 2008 to 2014 and a candidate for secretary of state in 2014. Long viewed as a rising star inside the Democratic Party, Turner began 2015 affiliated with the Ready for Hillary Super PAC, only to throw her support behind Bernie Sanders later in the year. During the primary, Turner became one of the most prominent black voices to stump for Sanders, and she has remained an active Sanders ally, joining the board of Our Revolution. On Thursday, the organization announced that Turner would take over as president, replacing Jeff Weaver, who was Sanders’s campaign manager in 2016. The Nation spoke with Turner about her goals for the group.


Thanks, wi!


Poor Cory Booker. He doesn’t like the optics.


Note that it only says “PAUSE”

.DURING AN INTERVIEW ON NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker announced that he will be pausing fundraising from pharmaceutical companies, a move that comes after months of activist criticism for his vote against allowing drug reimportation to the United States.

NPR’s Rachel Martin prompted the news by asking about his funding from the industry. “You’re in politics so you know that optics matter. You yourself have faced some criticism for taking donations from drug companies. Last month, you suggested you might give some of those back. Have you done that?”

“We’ve put a pause on even receiving contributions from pharma companies, because it arouses so much criticism, and just stop taking it,” he replied, adding that he would prefer to focus on pulling in small donations from regular people.

He is obviously a hero of the little people. Ha!


It’s a shame, because he could’ve been a hero. Instead, who’s going to trust him enough to send him their $27? Not me.


Screaming Russia! Russia! Russia! from the rooftops takes another hit.


Cats are part of the Borg Collective? I knew it!


Don’t let Benny hear you say that! 😉


I’m not a PUMA. 😉 But I’m not Devo either!


Not surprising. The Pentagon has the same problem.


The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have failed to adequately track the more than $30 billion they spend annually on foreign aid, according to a government watchdog report released Friday.

The report released by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General noted that the department has failed to build infrastructure for tracking billions of dollars in foreign aid despite being ordered to do so in 2015.

“Because the Department had made such limited progress in building the capacity to centrally track foreign assistance data, [the Office of Inspector General] strengthened and reissued the recommendation in the original report and made an additional recommendation focused on the need for executive leadership to address this Department-wide management challenge,” it read.


But, but, we must cut Medicaid and everything else that people need!


Why Russiagate Is Nothing Like Watergate

I should clarify at this time for new readers unfamiliar with my work that not only am I not a Trump supporter, but that I deeply hate the man. His behavior inside Syria alone, which I have been consistently and repeatedly denouncing, is absolutely unforgivable, and at best I will regard his administration with the same vitriolic disdain as I hold for George W. Bush. I don’t attack the Russiagate narrative to defend Trump, I attack the Russiagate narrative because it has been used by the US political establishment to stagnate real discourse in America, to manufacture support for escalations with a nuclear superpower, and to take us to the brink of a new World War. …

That isn’t how criminal investigations work. A criminal investigation begins with an actual crime: a dead body, a stolen vehicle, a victim reporting a sexual assault. It doesn’t begin with a bunch of detectives looking at someone saying “They seem kinda weird in a vague way I can’t quite describe; I bet if we investigate them we’ll find something!” Nobody would think it’s acceptable for a police department to single out a private citizen and go digging through every part of their lives until they find something incriminating that they can be prosecuted for; that would be fascism. You’re supposed to investigate crimes, not people. Last week when the cops were found to to have tried to find dirt on the girlfriend of a guy they killed, there was public outcry. As there should be. The cops shouldn’t be using their power to investigate people in order to smear them to cover up for their crimes. That is fascism and it’s wrong.


The Real Reason So Many Loyal Democrats Hate Bernie Sanders

Like all instances of this closed-mindedness, the Clintonite hostility towards Bernie Sanders looks pretty silly when you point out its nature. Complex and media echo chamber-affirmed as the loyal Democrats’ case against accepting progressives can get, it’s all the result of the human mind’s easy mistake of distrusting what comes from outside the tribe.

Thankfully the fact that humans have a group instinct doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doomed to bigotry. The trick is to recognize the whole species as part of one’s tribe. That way instead of worrying about how something will affect any party or country or clique, the priority will be whether it helps the factory workers who are threatened by neoliberal trade, the communities of color that would be hurt by furthering the drug war, the middle eastern civilians who would be endangered by continuing American imperialism.

I know that last part sounded trite, but empathy really is all that can prevent calamity. Work to stop the government from making society even more unequal, most immediately by calling moderate GOP senators about voting against repealing the ACA. Build institutions that can counteract the oligarchical agenda of both parties, a suggested avenue for doing so being to get involved in the Democratic Socialists of America. And as the case of tribalist thinking I just illustrated implies, be wary of falling into a similar pattern. It’s 2017, and there’s just no time for things like that anymore.


Oy! Being black had nothing to do with it!


The Democratic establishment in action.


Har har de har. buh bye Dems.


Damn, I listened to the clip. It’s even worse when you hear the way Gephardt scoffs at the just the idea of it!

The way he dismisses countries who do provide health care to their residents was particularly bad:

“If you look around the world where they have singer payer I think you find, yah it covers more people,

(said in a tone intended to trivialize that tiny detail, those “more people” being a completely insignificant thing, then he goes to lie)

but they do not have the quality and they do not have the innovation that we get because of the involvement of the private sector in our health care system.”

He put extra emphasis on that last bit especially the bolded words.

But, per Lee Fang:

The claim that single payer suppresses innovation is an old argument that does not stand up to scrutiny. Most medical innovation in the U.S. are already government funded, through universities receiving federal subsidies and grants, as well as through the National Institutes of Health. A single-payer insurance system, like Medicare, would simply negotiate for lower prices from providers, and would likely steer savings towards greater investments in research and development. Claims about lower quality care are also highly disputed, given that countries with single payer and tightly regulated universal health systems perform much higher than the U.S. in a range of health outcomes.

Then Haley Barbour jumps in to general laughter:

“Hear, hear. Put me down as agreeing with Leader Gephardt as usual,” Barbour chuckled.

Then Dick the dick says:

“Haley and I are both on the middle on this one”

Hey Dick, that’s not “the middle”! You must have lost your way at some point.


He must have because in 2004, I thought he was for it. He must be a recovering union pol.




Dan Savage and Bill Maher had a good snarky conversation last night about that topic on Real Time. Dan’s POV is correct that D’trump hasn’t changed since getting in the WH.


MSNBClinton is a prime example.


I wonder if they will make Trump sit in the corner.




Sad but true and it is likely to get worse.


This is the Republican way of doing things.


I am running out of OYs!


Only 45 yet to go.


In honor of my friends and relatives in Canada on Canada Day, let’s look ahead exactly one year from today, a day already known as ‘Cannabis Day’:

Happy Cannabis Day? Marijuana industry scrambles in countdown to 2018 recreational opening

With a year to go and amid predictions of a looming supply shortage, Health Canada is scrambling to add capacity once the legalization floodgates swing open

I imagine that there will be kinks to work out, as with all new programs, and I hope they don’t tax it to death, but yay!

In an attempt to head off a capacity crunch, the government dropped a surprise announcement in May. It would implement a number of changes to streamline the complicated, often confusing and convoluted licensed producer application process in an effort boost production.

Health Canada will double the department’s staff and resources, a much-needed increase since the understaffed department gets buried under hundreds or even thousands of pages per application, he said.

Socialist government in action! Planning ahead and adapting in advance.

oh canada.jpg

Thank you Benny!!! 😀

That is one fine-looking birthday cake!!


When in doubt, chocolate and berries!


Mmmmmmm, all those delicious anti-oxidants!


Happy b-day, Magsview, from one Democratic Socialist to another!


Hear, hear! Happy Days all you BDay peeps!


Thank you polarbear!! 🙂


Haven’t watched it yet but it should be good.


Nina appears about 10:15 in Tim’s show.


Here’s the YT.

Nina on the Dem Party, Unity & Reform:

Unity has to be conscious, it is a two way street; be hard on the issues, soft on the people.

Channel that anger to good candidates, says Nina. Her job is to save lives through politics and public policy, she doesn’t have time to answer all of her critics. She’s already gotten hate on the Nets.

The very end when Tim starts playing his theme music, made me smile–Nina also smiles and lets her shoulders dance a little. I do the same thing every time Tim starts and concludes his show!


3-D Galaxy-mapping Project Enters Construction Phase

DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, will measure light from 35M galaxies to provide new clues about dark energy.

A 3-D sky-mapping project that will measure the light of millions of galaxies has received formal approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to move forward with construction.

DESI’s robotic array will cycle through separate sets of objects several times each hour during its five-year mission. It will look at one-third of the sky and will capture more than 10 times as much data as a predecessor called BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey.

DESI will also provide a more precise measure of how the universe has spread out over time, and help us understand galaxy evolution and dark matter, which is invisible but inferred from its gravitational effects on normal matter.

Pic caption:
The first “petal” machined for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is shown in these photos. Ten of these petals, which together will hold 5,000 robots (like the one in the lower right photo)—each pointing a thin fiber-optic cable at separate sky objects—will be installed in DESI. (Credit: Joe Silber/Berkeley Lab)

(each ‘robot’ is about the size/shape of a finger)


From the CBC! That’s Canada’s national broadcast station. (so definitely ‘establishment’)

I’m so happy that indigenous voices seem to be getting more exposure in Canada. It certainly is way past time.


Meet Cathy Myers: Union Leader and Teacher Challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan

She’s won not one, but two, elections in Paul Ryan’s district and is betting on herself to unseat Wisconsin’s 1st district incumbent, Paul Ryan.

Cathy Myers, who may not have the best twitter handle in the race, will rely on her history of electoral success, community involvement, and focus on the issues as she navigates her campaign.

Given the symbolic opportunity of taking down the GOP’s top politician, the national spotlight will shine brightly. That being said, the light has yet to shine on Myers’s campaign as she has so far been overlooked. In describing the harsh reality, Myers admits, “I am never surprised when a credible female political candidate is ignored by the media.”  Her prominent Democratic opposition has coasted to national prominence riding a catchy Twitter handle and widely shared political ad.  Myers insists that even though she has so far been ignored by the national media, she hopes “they will not continue to ignore a credible female candidate that has a history of electoral success in favor of a man that made a great campaign video, but has been rejected by voters in this district three times over the last five years.”

Bottom line? Cathy has a better record than Randy Bryce on actually winning elections and just that alone might make her a better choice to go up against Paul Ryan.

Myers says that her “top three priorities are health care, climate change, and immigration reform.

On her opposition to new pipelines:

This is a major contrast in my race. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that Randy Bryce supports constructing the Enbridge tar sands pipeline and has hired a consulting firm that has also represented companies that construct pipelines throughout the country. That is unacceptable to me. We cannot compromise on environmental issues.

Voters in Wisconsin’s 1st District can count on me to be their voice when they are met with injustice.  When organized landowners affected by the existing Enbridge pipelines came to me with their concerns, I had no choice but to take action.

They informed me that Randy has refused to reject the pipeline expansion and that he has hired a consulting firm with ties to pipeline interests.  We cannot play politics with our environment.


I’m tipping the comment since we haven’t heard much about Cathy so far. Looks like the primary will be a hot one!



They are slinging mud at Bernie already fearing 2020.

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