Most members of the U.S. Senate have had little to say about the Israel Defense Forces’ violent response in response to protests in Gaza that left more than 50 Palestinians dead. But there has been one notable exception.
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has stood out for his forceful condemnation of the Israeli government’s actions and the U.S. response.
The progressive firebrand’s public remarks are the latest in a series of condemnations against Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, as Palestinian protesters have been participating in a series of protests at the Israel-Gaza border since March.
So far only a handful of Democratic representatives in the House have joined Sanders in strongly condemning the violence. In the Senate, the response has been characterized by either silence or unlikely praise for the Trump administration.
In both February 2017 and April 2018 Sanders gave speeches to the liberal Jewish anti-occupation group J Street, where he condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
In April, during the first wave of Gaza protests, Sanders was the only member of the U.S. Senate willing to call out the Israel Defense Forces for their role in the violence.
Around that time, Sanders’ office released a Facebook video that featured several prominent activists detailing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In light of yesterday’s horrific violence in Gaza, in which more than 50 Palestinians were killed and more than 2000 wounded by Israeli snipers, it’s important to understand the desperate situation out of which these protests have arisen. pic.twitter.com/WLrlGxJKDo
“I think the techniques we used were not torture. A lot of people try to call it that, but it wasn’t deemed torture at the time,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “People want to go back and try to rewrite history, but if it were my call, I’d do it again.”
Will Trump take up Cheney’s challenge? One can only hope not. Because those are two immense egos right there, and we really don’t need them trying to prove who’s the most evil…I mean, the toughest, right now.
Hey Dick, I realize that you don’t like the idea of going down in American history as the Torturer-In-Chief, but that’s all water under the waterboarding table now. Please go back to counting your money.
Israeli agency told to find incriminating material on Obama diplomats who negotiated deal with Tehran
People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal.
Yesterday, via Ronan Farrow with the New Yorker, more details of that operation are coming out.
sources familiar with the effort and pages of documents obtained by The New Yorker reveal that there is more to understand. Two of those sources told me on Sunday that the operation was carried out by Black Cube—a firm that was also employed by Harvey Weinstein and that offers its clients access to operatives from “Israel’s élite military and governmental intelligence units,” including the Mossad
It appears that not only did those involved in this effort target Ben Rhodes, but perhaps also his wife Ann Norris, who is an ex-State Department official, as well as the wife of Colin Kahl, Rebecca Kahl:
Rhodes said that the campaign represented a troubling situation in which public servants were being targeted for their work in government. “This just eviscerates any norm of how governments should operate or treat their predecessors and their families,” he said. “It crosses a dangerous line.”
Please share any weekend or Monday goings on below!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will announce a plan for the federal government to guarantee a job paying $15 an hour and health-care benefits to every American worker “who wants or needs one,” embracing the kind of large-scale government works project that Democrats have shied away from in recent decades.
Sanders’s jobs guarantee would fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, care giving, the environment, education and other goals. Under the job guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so, according to an early draft of the proposal.
A representative from Sanders’s office said they had not yet done a cost estimate for the plan or decided how it would be funded, saying they were still crafting the proposal.
Sanders joins two other rumored 2020 Democratic presidential contenders who have expressed support for the idea of a jobs guarantee.
Job guarantee advocates say their plan would drive up wages by significantly increasing competition for workers, ensuring that corporations have to offer more generous salaries and benefits if they want to keep their employees from working for the government. Supporters say it also would reduce racial inequality, because black workers face unemployment at about twice the rates of white workers, as well as gender inequality, because many iterations of the plan call for the expansion of federal child-care work.
“The goal is to eliminate working poverty and involuntary unemployment altogether,” said Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School who has advocated for a jobs guarantee program along with Stony Brook University’s Stephanie Kelton and a group of left-leaning economists at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College. “This is an opportunity for something transformative, beyond the tinkering we’ve been doing for the last 40 years, where all the productivity gains have gone to the elite of society.”
President Trump has made the mail big news. After a Twitter rant about the Washington Post, Trump launched a presidential commission to look at the finances of the US Postal Service and the deals it cuts with companies like Amazon, which, like the Post, is owned by Jeff Bezos.
VICE News sat with Sanders for a long-awaited, long chat about the mail.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2016 election but lost out to Hillary Clinton, on Monday criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his policies.
“As someone who believes absolutely and unequivocally in Israel’s right to exist… we must say loudly and clearly, that to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make us anti-Israel,” Sanders told the annual conference of the J Street organization.
He took issue with Israel’s response to the recent riots along the border with Gaza, claiming Israel “massively overreacted” to the protests.
“The presence of Hamas members among a crowd of tens of thousands does not justify the level of violence we saw, and frankly it’s amazing to me that anyone would find that point controversial,” Sanders said.
“I have condemned Hamas’s use of terrorist violence and will continue to do so. But that violence cannot excuse shooting at unarmed protesters, and it cannot excuse trapping almost two million people inside Gaza,” he charged.
Sanders also said that the United States “must play a much more aggressive and even-handed role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.” He added that, If the White House does not do that, Congress must take the lead.
“Too often, our foreign policy debate here in Washington is dominated by those whose answer to complicated international situations seems always to involve dropping more bombs, rather than engage in the hard work of diplomacy and negotiation,” said Sanders, who opined that the best way to achieve peace between Israelis and Arabs is the “two-state solution”.
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*Sanders Speaks To The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
*The Working Families Party endorsement of Nixon over Cuomo helps fuel deepening split among New York Democrats.
*Why Democrats everywhere are watching Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in Texas
*Protect indigenous people’s land rights and the whole world will benefit, UN forum declares
*New AUMF? Critics Warn Against Giving Trump—or Any President—Power to Wage War ‘Virtually Anywhere on the Planet’
*Pipeline news, Water Protector updates & More
Speaking to a room packed with progressives running for state and local office, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., advised the first-time candidates to ignore the political establishment and trust their guts.
Crediting the movement catalyzed by his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, Sanders said the policies of Medicare for all, free college tuition, a $15 dollar minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and legalizing marijuana are now “mainstream” among Democrats.
“What was once considered radical is now mainstream,” Sanders said Thursday to cheers at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.
Sanders bashed the political establishment and the press repeatedly throughout his speech. The media, Sanders said, plays a “destructive” game by telling the “American people that politics is too complicated, you can’t get involved, you don’t know how to run for office.”
The former presidential contender encouraged the candidates, who are in Washington for four days of training, to embrace a progressive agenda even if they’re running in red or purple states.
“Let me give you a warning here: Watch out for consultants,” he said to laughs. “Often their advice is conservative and wrong. Trust your own guts, trust your own instincts.”
The training, put on by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Sanders’ Our Revolution, includes four days of helping candidates craft their public persona, how to pitch reporters, building field operations, do-it-yourself opposition research, and budgeting.
Hello All! There’s certainly plenty going on today, not the least of which is how Trump is recklessly threatening Syria and Russia (via Twitter!) over an unsubstantiated gas attack in Syria. Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018 Trump’s making more than just financial markets jittery with his tweets! But rattling the financial markets seems to be his new hobby. Oil prices jump …Continue reading →
Awkwardness ensues as top Democratic senator asks Mark Zuckerberg if he’ll reveal what hotel he stayed at last night WASHINGTON — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got into an awkward exchange with a top Democratic senator on Tuesday when the lawmaker began probing him about his own personal privacy. During the blockbuster hearing on Capitol Hill, Sen. Dick Durbin asked Zuckerberg, “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?” “Um,” Zuckerberg said before a long pause. “No.” The audience and panel of senators erupted in laughter at Zuckerberg’s hesitancy to answer questions …Continue reading →
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that he will oppose Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department days before his nomination hearing.
“Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice to serve as the United States’ top diplomat, and I will vote against him,” Sanders said in a statement.
Pompeo, who is currently CIA director, is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.
Sanders isn’t a member of the panel and previously opposed Pompeo’s nomination to lead the CIA.
He added on Monday that “we need a secretary of State who will represent the best principles of the United States to the rest of the world.”
Sanders pointed to Pompeo’s position on climate change, “longstanding relationship with anti-Muslim extremists” and “hawkish” foreign policy views.
Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice for secretary of state. He is a supporter of the Global Gag Rule. He opposes LGBTQ rights. And as the top recipient of money from the Koch brothers, he's stymied action on one of our most serious security threats: global climate change.
Participants in Ann Arbor’s 47th annual Hash Bash found themselves under the influence of more than just cannabis Saturday afternoon, as thousands gathered at the University of Michigan’s Diag: several politicians also found their way to the city’s popular weed festival, all hoping to convince voters they were biggest supporters of legalizing it. Many participants and organizers came hoping this year’s Hash Bash will be the last before marijuana is legalized in the state of Michigan. Many believe state Congress will approve ballot proposal in November to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for those 21 and older.
Speakers at this year’s event included many notable marijuana legalization activists and professional athletes, such as Detroit Lions running back Mike James, former Detroit Red Wings hockey player Darren McCarty and former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Local political figures addressed the crowd, including Ann Arbor City Councilmember Jack Eaton, D-Ward 4; Councilmember Anne Bannister, D-Ward 1; and state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor. State politicians such as gubernatorial candidates Abdul El-Sayed and Gretchen Whitmer also made appearances.
El-Sayed spoke on his support to legalize marijuana, stating the current law unjustly incarcerates youth.
“I’m here as a doctor and I’m here as a young servant, and I’m here because I’m done waiting while young people get arrested for something that should not be illegal,” El-Sayed said, according to MLive. “We’ve got to stand up and demand that we expunge records for marijuana possession and use … For too long we’ve watched as corporations have bought and sold our politics.”
LSA junior Amal Alzendani, the U-M campus field team leader for the El-Sayed campaign, came to the Diag to hear the candidate speak.
“It was great to see Abdul El-Sayed at Hash Bash engaging with voters to whom the issue of marijuana legalization is important,” she wrote in an email interview. “It seems clear that Abdul’s stances regarding marijuana, which include expunging the records of people who have previously been arrested for marijuana-related charges once it is legalized, should be the standard among democrats, as should the open and vocal support of its legalization that Abdul showed by having such a presence at Hash Bash.”
Royal Dutch Shell’s scientists warned the oil giant about the threat that fossil fuel emissions pose to the planet as early as the 1980s, according to a trove of documents obtained by a Dutch journalist and published Thursday at Climate Files.
Environmental advocates say the documents—which bolster an investigative report published last year—demonstrate the “stunning” immorality of oil and gas companies. The records are expected to aid global efforts to hold the industry to account for its contributions to global warming.
One such document, a confidential 1988 report entitled “The Greenhouse Effect,” outlines a comprehensive study of climate science and the projected impact of fossil fuels, and reveals that the company secretly had been commissioning such analyses since at least 1981. The report acknowledges the central role that fossil fuels—especially oil—play in increasing CO2 emissions that drive global warming.
“Although CO2 is emitted to the atmosphere through several natural processes,” the report states, “the main cause of increasing CO2 concentrations is considered to be fossil fuel burning.”
This latest confirmation that Shell, for more than three decades, has been privately aware of its products’ contributions to the climate crisis but opted to publicly promote skepticism about climate science mirrored similar findings about ExxonMobil in 2015.
The new revelations on Thursday were met with both frustration and fresh demands by environmentalists for legal consequences.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands, or Milieudefensie, sent Shell—a Dutch company—a liability letter on Wednesday informing the oil giant that it has eight weeks to bring its policies into compliance with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, or it will be forced to face off against the environmental group in court.