• Good Morning All kicking off the weekend

    Nearly half of Americans think there’s a ‘deep state’: Poll
    Read on at the link http: […]

    • T and R to all that comment on the TPW

    • Bill Maher’s show dedicated itself to “getting through the first 100 days of Trump.” Here’s a clip about Trump’s governance these past few months, and in particular, the one page tax plan that was released yesterday, that Bill Maher said it looked like a resume for the mgr of Chuckie Cheese.

    • The American people – not Big Oil – must decide our climate future by Bernie Sanders and Mark Jacobs

      Virtually the entire scientific community – more than 99% of peer-reviewed studies – has concluded that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And the impacts are devastating.

      According to a study published Monday by the National Academy of Science, climate change is already causing severe weather events like prolonged droughts, record-high temperatures, and rising sea levels because of melting Artic sea ice. And while everyone will be affected by climate change, the people who had least to do with causing the problem will be impacted the most, including low income families and communities of color across America.

      That is why we must aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy solutions like energy efficiency, solar, wind and geothermal energy, and electric vehicles.

      Here’s the good news: the global community is moving in the right direction. Solar panels cost 80% less today than they did in 2008. The solar industry has grown every year for the past decade. In fact, nearly one fifth of the world’s electricity today comes from clean, renewable resources like the sun and wind.

      No matter what agenda President Trump and his administration of climate deniers push, it is clear that jobs in clean energy like wind and solar are growing much more rapidly than jobs in the coal, oil and gas sectors. The number of workers maintaining wind turbines in the US is set to more than double between 2014 and 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Around the world, more than 9.4 million people already work in the renewable energy sector. These are the jobs of the future.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/29/bernie-sanders-climate-change-big-oil

    • The strike is poised for Monday. (May day)

      • Some of you may recall that Larry Cohen is from the CWA and is president of the Our Revolution board. CWA was one of the few unions who backed Bernie in the 2016 primaries. Bernie walked the picket lines with CWA last year against Verizon.

        • It would be a safe bet that Bernie will walk with them again too.

    • Thanks, wi58!

    • Love the wit about looking at a “third way.”

      Maybe Obama Is Doing Paid Speeches Because He Thinks Big-Money Special Interests Are Fine

      Here’s another perspective—a third way, if you will: Barack Obama is not selling out his ideals or taking a paycheck that’s unrelated to them. He’s doing this because he thinks big-money special interests have a valid place in American politics.

      Let’s review some of what happened during Obama’s presidency.

      The advisers who helped him run his inspiring 2008 campaign all became big-money corporate lobbyists.

      He backed the Affordable Care Act’s creation of a health-care system that’s very generous to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, both of which were consulted extensively during the composition of the the bill.

      He appointed bankers like Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and William Daley to some of the most influential positions in his administration.

      He chose not to push for criminal prosecutions of financial executives whose involvement in fraud had helped cause the 2008 economic crash.

      • I disagree with some of what the author says, though:

        “One thing that’s nice about Obama is that his words usually match his deeds.”

        And, “There is a good argument to be made, given how strong of a backlash Obama’s relatively moderate health care and financial-regulation legislation triggered, that he had no choice but to deal with lobbyists if he wanted to pass meaningful laws.”

        Not. He had, as I’ve said a million times, the whole world behind him and a solid Dem government and before he was even in, he was assembling people like Bacus, Geithner, and Salazar.

        • BO never was a liberal to start with. His IL political record was public info long before he ran for POTUS. He is a Raygun fan and his beliefs reflect a Repukelican Lite. He acknowledged it. He is a brilliant orator. He obviously admires some of the money-grabbers at Goldman-Sachs and other banking cartels. That’s not a crime. I voted for him twice. I didn’t care for his Raygun support, but he wasn’t up to his neck in corruption like $hrill and other Turd Wayers (always despised them). He was a greenhorn who survived the multi-corporate, white collar criminal sharkpit for 8 years. Compared to the shit in there now, he has clean hands. BO didn’t unlease the DLCRaporate/Turd Way. That was Bubba, $hrill and others back in the 1990s. T and R to the usual suspects!! P.S.: if BO ran for governor of Flori-dumb, he’d get my vote. The indicted Medicare crook, Retch Scott, is running for the US Senate. That is the definition of nauseating! 🙁

    • In what appears to be a little tit for tat.

      http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/331213-schumer-nyc-should-refuse-to-pay-for-trumps-security

      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says New York City should not pay for President Trump’s security detail when he visits.

      In an interview with BuzzFeed News published Saturday, Schumer said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio should decline to fund the commander-in-chief’s security.

      “[de Blasio] ought to tell the Congress if we don’t pay for it, New York City cops aren’t guarding it, and let the Feds put more people in,” Schumer said. “That’s what I think he should do

      This could have something to do with the defunding of sanctuary cities.

    • I found this article quite interesting.

      http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/28/trumps-executive-orders-are-mostly-theater-215081

      Trump’s Executive Orders Are Mostly Theater
      The president knows how to stage a photo op, but so far his signature hasn’t changed much
      President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on his first day in the White House, taking aim at his predecessor’s signature achievement. “Trump Signs Executive Order to Roll Back Obamacare,” Forbes reported. He’s gone on to sign more executive orders in his first 100 days than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his aides, his critics, and the media alike have portrayed them as dramatic assaults on the status quo. “Trump Moves to Roll Back Obama-Era Financial Regulations,” the New York Times declared after one. “Trump Executive Order Will Undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” USA Today reported after another.

      But 99 days into his presidency, Trump’s high-profile orders have not actually undone Obama’s health reforms, financial regulations, or carbon restrictions. They’ve merely allowed him to announce his intentions to undo those policies in official documents. Trump’s first 30 executive orders will create a lot of federal reviews and reports, along with some new task forces and commissions, but not a lot of substantive change. So far, they’ve been more about messaging than governing, proclaiming his priorities without really advancing his priorities.

      It is good to see some in depth reporting for a change rather than stenography.

      There is much more at the link and it is worth reading in full.

    • It looks as if the military is getting its wishes answered under Trump.

    • Obama had a chance to really fight climate change. He blew it.

      from Vox:

      Obama pursued policies without giving enough thought to how easily they could be undone Obama’s climate strategy was a sound one, in short, only if he was 100 percent sure that Hillary Clinton (or another Democrat) would succeed him. Apparently, he and his staff did not recall that the last time one Democrat replaced another Democrat in the White House by election was in 1856, when James Buchanan succeeded Franklin Pierce.

      Compared with both initial expectations and recent hype, there is simply far less substance to the Obama administration’s climate accomplishments than meets the eye.

      That is not to say that the administration deserves no credit. Some of its victories occurred out of the limelight and deserve more attention — as in the case of the little-known Appliance and Equipment Standards Program. Through that program, dozens of standards have been issued by the Department of Energy, largely without fanfare or litigation, that reduce electricity used by everything from dishwashers to walk-in freezers. Quietly, cumulatively, and over the long haul, these standards will significantly reduce US CO2 emissions.

      A second significant accomplishment was developing a measure to quantify the social cost of carbon (SCC), an estimate of how much damage each ton of CO2 emitted today will cause in the future. That is a fiendishly complicated task, but critically important for new regulations. That’s because regulations in this area must be justified by cost-benefit analysis; without factoring in the true cost of carbon, many future climate rules might not pass muster.

      The Obama administration quickly set up an interagency working group to produce a uniform SCC estimate (albeit in a somewhat secretive process that did not allow for public notice and comment), and produced its first SCC values in 2010. And while Trump has already deep-sixed it by way of executive order, the value of that work will remain to be used by future administrations.

      However, as important as the social cost of carbon was, only one Obama-era regulation relied on it in order to pass the required cost-benefit analysis. That regulation, methane standards for oil and gas production, is squarely in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s crosshairs: Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to “reconsider” all the issues the oil and gas industry did not like, which will surely result in gutting the entire rule.

      Even Obama’s showpiece CO2 program, the Clean Power Plan, did not rely on SCC in order to pass cost-benefit analysis. Instead, the CPP’s cost-benefit calculation hinged on the benefits of reducing conventional pollutants, which on their own outweighed the plan’s compliance costs.

      Read the rest here: http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/4/28/15472508/obama-climate-change-legacy-overrated-clean-power

      Not only does this article pertain to the Climate March today and bringing more attention to Climate Change, but it leads to a broader question about all of the EO’s Obama issued and allegedly Trump could not undo. One of them had to do with the monuments and ensuring protection. Now we see that Interior Secy Ryan Zinke has been charged with reviewing at drilling in those areas and in lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling.

      • If you include a weak healthcare reform (it should have been medicare for all) it is not the only thing that he came up short on.

    • LD–if you happen to see this, I still cannot unflag stuff in the spam box, particularly my own.

    • Democracy Now is now livestreaming from the People’s Climate march and is also broadcasting live on Free Speech TV.

      https://peoplesclimate.org/live/

  • It’s Friday evening and so much going on today and this weekend…

    Bernie has a great takedown of Trump and his First 100 Days. More in the comments section!

    • Bernie released another of his podcast series, this time with Bill McKibben, environmental activist.   This is pre-march podcast to give viewers an idea why fighting for climate change is so vital to our well being.

    • Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray: It’s time for a national $15 minimum wage

      The erosion of the federal minimum wage is a major reason why more than 43 million Americans are living in poverty today. People are working, and they’re working hard. But they’re going nowhere in a hurry. Health-care costs are going up, child-care costs are going up, college costs are going up, and housing costs are going up. Wages are not. That has got to change.

      Thanks to the “Fight for $15” grass-roots movement, the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., are raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The states of California and New York are doing the same. As a result of these efforts, more than 10 million workers in America will see their wages raised to $15 an hour. We’ve got to do the same nationally.

      By phasing in a pay raise for tens of millions of workers, we can improve living standards, lift families out of poverty, and provide a much-needed boost to our economy. Our bill will raise the wages of 41 million workers — an extra $3,500 a year in pay for full-time workers.

      Today, almost 70 percent of our gross domestic product is dependent upon the purchasing power of consumers. When low-wage workers have money in their pockets, they spend that money in restaurants and businesses throughout this country. All of this new demand gives companies a reason to expand and hire. This is a win-win-win for our economy.

      http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/bernie-sanders-and-patty-murray-its-time-for-national-15-minimum-wage/

    • A dig at the Republicans and some Democrats.

    • Its sad but this is reality!

    • Ro Khanna on his new $1T EITC Boost for Working Familes

      The newly elected member of Congress, who represents Silicon Valley, has become a loud progressive voice on the Hill during his brief tenure there. The way he sees it, Democrats have failed by not offering families a radical plan to end wage stagnation and bring prosperity to the middle class once again. He is working on a bill he believes will do just that, by boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide as much as $6,000 a year for individuals and $12,000 for families. (That would roughly double the maximum payout for families, and increase it tenfold for childless workers.) The plan is being heralded as a move towards a universal basic income in the United States, and Khanna hopes to pair it with efforts to move federal jobs out of Washington, expand universities and colleges, and encourage investment in depressed communities. Such a moonshot effort is not going anywhere soon, he concedes. But it would at the very least demonstrate to voters that Democrats had something new and bold to offer them.

      Read the rest here: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/ro-khanna-trillion-dollar-plan/524754/

      • What is there to switch to? Bing is likely doing the same thing, and the others just don’t seem to have to same capabilities?

    • Shaun King: Why I have a problem with politicians (including Obama) getting filthy rich off of Wall Street speeches

      The news that President Obama signed with the same speaking agency used by Bill and Hillary Clinton makes sense. That agency clearly understands how to manage the affairs of such high-profile people. That’s a unique skill held by very few agencies. However, it appears that President Obama could end up speaking to pretty much the same old crowd as the Clintons after it was revealed that he’ll be paid $400,000 to speak to the Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

      I operate under the guise that these firms like Goldman Sachs and Cantor Fitzgerald spend that amount of money not simply because they want to hear what someone has to say, but that they want to curry favor and get in the good graces of the high-profile people they invite. If Hillary Clinton went to Goldman Sachs and put them on blast for their greed and bad practices, she damn sure would’ve released the transcripts.

      King gets to the heart of the matter, using his own personal situation:

      Earlier this year a major defense contractor asked my speaking agency if I’d be willing to speak there during Black History Month. I wasn’t. I don’t agree with their practices. I didn’t want to be used as a prop. And I told my speaking agency that if I spoke there, I would have to openly speak out against some of what they do as manufacturers of weapons of war. We decided together this would not be good for anybody and I passed on it.

      But he concludes, and probably rightly:

      I wish Obama would pass on getting rich from Wall Street. It’s his decision. He deserves to have multiple pathways to build wealth, but this one was optional.

      If you want to see a more substantive discussion about Obama and his decision to make this speech, Benjamin Dixon posted a good interview with Glenn Greenwald this morning.

      • His book deal is so lucrative. And I really don’t have a problem with that. This $400,000 fee pales compared to that. He could have skipped it without heading to the poor house.

    • EPA scrubs website of references to Obama climate plans

      The agency eliminated climate change from a drop-down list of “Environmental Topics” displayed on its front page and took down a separate page on the topic that had been up as recently as Monday.

      The website changes had been expected, but environmentalists were unsettled.

      “Cleansing has begun,” the Natural Resources Defense Council’s David Doniger wrote on Twitter. “Now only alternative facts.”

      In a press release, EPA said it was removing references to the “so-called Clean Power Plan,” which the agency is reviewing in response to an executive order Trump signed last month. And it said it was reviewing content on the site related to climate change and regulations.

      “As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land, and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” J.P. Freire, an agency spokesman, said in a statement. “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/28/epa-website-scrubbed-obama-climate-plans-237779

      JIT for the Climate March!

    • Tim Black is live now, including the topic of the DNC Lawsuit few are reporting about:

    • Deleted due to duplicate comment.

    • One of the tweets in response…

    • I missed the show, but Jordan Chariton was on The Bill Press Show this morning:

    • This looks to be informative…

      A snip here:

      An International Business Times review of campaign finance data found that individual and corporate donors from the oil and gas industry pumped more than $738,000 into Colorado Republican senators’ election fund during the 2016 election cycle, which immediately preceded GOP lawmakers’ move to kill the setback bill. In total, oil and gas industry donations comprised nearly a third of all the cash the fund pulled in during the election. The donations included a $45,000 contribution from Anadarko, whose well exploded in mid-April and which this week said it is shutting down 3,000 vertical wells across northeastern Colorado. The shutdown news sent Anadarko stock plummeting 7.5 percent in less than 24 hours.

      IBT reviewed campaign finance records compiled by the nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics. Those records showed that the hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry flowed to the Senate Majority Fund, whose website says it is “dedicated to retaining a Republican majority in the Colorado Senate.” In all, since the 2014 election when the GOP took back the Colorado Senate, the oil and gas industry has delivered $1.1 million to the Senate Majority Fund, and a total of $1.25 million to Colorado Republican Party committees. Over the same period, oil and gas interests gave just $16,235 to Democratic Party committees in the state.

      http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/oil-gas-industry-power-builds-wells-near-schools-colorado-trumping-environmental

      And here’s that lovely donor list that Sirota compiled (in the tweetpic):

      • Murderers are feted in this country, as long as they’re in the govt. or a corpse. I guess I gotta keep on laughing. And do what I can to get rid of a government that routinely murders and allows murders.

    • About that so-called “Liberal” newspaper, called the NYT…

    • I agree with Robert Reich.

    • I’m off to watch Real Time with Bill Maher, I’ll check back later. Elizabeth Warren is one of the special guests tonight being interviewed.

    • Trump surely knows how to “stack a deck” to get desired results.

      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/331184-ex-director-of-anti-immigration-group-to-take-top-position-at

      The former director of the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is expected to be appointed to a top position in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) next week, according to a new report by ProPublica.

      Julie Kirchner was the director of FAIR from 2005 to 2015, and ProPublica reports she is going to be named ombudsman to USCIS on Monday. Kirchner was most recently working in the Trump administration as an adviser at Customs and Border Protection.

      The ombudsman is charged with providing assistance to immigrants who face challenges during their immigration process. They also prepare a yearly report for lawmakers that is used to make policy recommendations.

    • In France Macron is catching on fast that it is the Russian’s fault.

    • This is a follow up to a comment in today’s early post.

    • DNC Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Dismissal Hearing Transcript Posted on JamPac

      Jared Beck, one of the attorneys for the DNC Fraud Lawsuit, released the transcript of the hearing that was held on Wednesday. For those of you who need more of the basics of what the lawsuit is about, go to the FAQ’s. Yesterday, TPW posted an interview between TYT’s ace reporter Jordan Chariton and Mr. Beck (about 3/4 of the way down the blog page yesterday).

      In that interview, Mr. Beck promised the transcripts were forthcoming on the JamPac website. They were posted late this morning or early this afternoon.

      I combed through them but with a broad tooth comb. Some of the details were interesting, such as the defense’s case that the charter was a set of involuntary rules and essentially, the DNC could do what they wanted with those rules as they were covered under free speech. The lawyers reprsenting said that historically, political parties have selected candidates in cigar smoking rooms, and that was that. Thus, the DNC was not liable for its actions nor was there a case that proved the DNC showed partiality towards the Clinton campaign.

      I think Mr. Beck was wise not to predict the outcome or what the court’s ruling may be as I am not certain they were able to show that the donations could fall under consumer protections rules in DC. But I’m not a lawyer.

      Remember the goal is to set a precedent and they are just attempting to get the dismissal denied so they can present more discovery beyond what’s in the public domain of Guccifer 2.0. If the case moves forward, they can put Donna Brazile and DWS on the stand, make testify under oath. I for one don’t want to see the DNC doing continuing the masquerade pretense that they treated all candidates fairly. Bear in mind the lawsuit was filed before the Dem Party Convention, so more has surfaced since then in the public domain (ie Podesta e-mails on Wikileaks).

      In the spirit of Mr. Beck’s optimism, I am reposting the closing arguments (from the transcript) for Wilding et all (the plaintiffs) and the Court (Judge Zloch’s) comments in general. You may see why Mr. Beck was slightly encouraged.

      Mr. Beck:
      It may be that we’ve reached a dire state of affairs in this country politically. When I heard counsel state that it would be more likely for somebody to donate to a candidate if they thought the process was rigged, that made me really sad, actually. I mean I’m somebody that’s donated to political campaigns. I know a lot of people who have donated to political campaigns. And when I made those donations, I never suspected or believed that the process was rigged in the way that we allege that this process was rigged in the complaint.

      If it’s the case that an entity, the DNC, its chairperson can rig an election, and there’s no remedy at law for people who’ve made financial contributions on the basis of what they’ve omitted to tell the public, well, I submit that that’s a really dire road for this country to be on. But what gives me hope is that we have an ancient tradition of common law in this country that goes back even well before the founding of this republic and protects against fraud and protects against deceit. And it makes no exception for people who are in the political realm. And it doesn’t offer blanket immunity for people to make misrepresentations simply because those representations are made in the context of a political
      campaign.

      And they’ve said that — and, again, I think all of their arguments as to why — against us having the right to conduct discovery fall back on this First Amendment argument, which I submit to the Court is a fiction. And I just want to close with this. We’re not seeking to undo the results of an election. We’re not seeking — we’re not sitting here saying that Bernie Sanders should be the nominee, and there should be a do-over. We’re not asking for relief like that. Our relief is confined to remedying the injuries that we’ve identified in this complaint, which are very concrete and tied to the payment of money and membership in a political party, and are not tied to any of these voter standing-type theories, which you see in all the cases, or many of the cases that they’ve cited, where a person tries to enforce a political promise or — for instance, I think an example was given of a promise made by President Trump. None of that is remotely at issue here. We’re talking specifically about people who bought in to the political process by donating money, by registering as Democrats. If there is no possibility of judicial or legal relief for those individuals, then I submit that the prospects for democracy in this country are dark indeed.

      Thank you, your Honor.

      THE COURT: All right. Thank you very much.

      Well, I want to thank counsel for your responses to the Court’s questions. They’ve been very helpful. This is a very interesting case, to say the least. And counsel for the plaintiffs spoke about whether or not our society — these are the Court’s words, not his words, he did not use the word “society” — but whether society is in a dire situation. And so I leave the lawyers with this.

      Democracy demands the truth so people can make intelligent decisions.

      The emphasis is mine, but the judge really said that. That is refreshing.

      Miscellaneous (Non-Court Filed) Documents: Wilding DNC Class Action Lawsuit

    • A break from always being serious.

    • Dems withhold cash from Montana special election

      Our polling indicates that Donald Trump is still very popular here. It’s not like the races in Georgia or Kansas, where Trump only won by 1 point or where [Kansas] Gov. [Sam] Brownback has popularity problems,” said Brock Lowrance, the campaign manager for Republican nominee Greg Gianforte. “There’s nothing to indicate that the winds have shifted here in the last six months.”

      That doesn’t mean Democrats have given up completely on the race, or that Republicans are without concerns. Republican outside groups hoping to avoid surprises are spending $2 million on TV ads savaging Quist, while Donald Trump Jr. recently stumped with Gianforte.

      Along with his heady online fundraising, Quist will get a campaign assist from Bernie Sanders sometime in the next month. And the DCCC sent just under $200,000 to the state Democratic Party to help out. A DCCC aide said that the committee is “working with the Quist campaign and watching it closely. We’re excited about the energy and it’s possible we’ll invest more.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/28/montana-special-election-2017-early-voting-237751

      Does anyone wonder what will happen in the news cycle about DNC if they bet the farm on Ossoff (in order to take a moderate R/suburban seat) and lose?

      I hope Quists wins…for a number of reasons..in spite of the DNC.

    • Bon Voyage Jim DeMint…

      DeMint to be ousted from Heritage Foundation

      The controversial president of The Heritage Foundation, former Sen. Jim DeMint, will soon be out of a job, following a dispute with board members about the direction of conservative think tank, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

      Some Heritage board members believe that DeMint has brought in too many Senate allies and made the think tank too bombastic and political — to the detriment of its research and scholarly aims.

      There’s also a sense that he’s made the institution too much about himself. “He has been a congressman and senator. They are solo performers. When you are in the Senate, life is all about the senators,” said one board member, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about DeMint’s situation. “CEO skills are different than senator skills. I think it boils down to attributes. I don’t think it is particularly personal.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/28/demint-set-to-be-ousted-from-heritage-foundation-237754

    • Yesterday I asked if the Senator Menendez case was still alive. I came across this.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-28/florida-doctor-tied-to-menendez-convicted-of-defrauding-medicare

      A South Florida eye doctor who is accused of paying bribes to New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was convicted in a separate case of defrauding Medicare of tens of millions of dollars. His conviction raises the possibility that the physician may try to help prosecutors in their case against the lawmaker.

      Salomon Melgen, 62, was convicted Friday of dozens of counts of health-care fraud in federal court in West Palm Beach. Prosecutors said he purposely misdiagnosed elderly patients, most of them with a type of macular degeneration, and then conducted unnecessary invasive tests and provided expensive treatments. Prosecutors said a large portion of $105 million he billed to Medicare from 2004 to 2013 was fraudulent.

      Both Menendez, a Democrat, and Melgen face a bribery trial on Sept. 6 in New Jersey. Menendez is accused of taking almost $1 million in campaign donations and luxury travel from Melgen in exchange for helping the doctor in a Medicare overbilling case, a contract dispute with the Dominican Republic and visa applications for three girlfriends. Both men pleaded not guilty.

      With Melgen’s conviction, U.S. prosecutors may consider trying to gain Melgen’s cooperation in the New Jersey case against Menendez, said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor. To do so, Melgen would have to plead guilty in New Jersey, and prosecutors in Florida would have to agree to seek leniency for him at sentencing for Friday’s conviction, Mintz said.

  • RaybondLafCN became a registered member 22 hours, 8 minutes ago

  • Rob Quist arrives on the Oval with pizza and Alyssa Milano

    Rob Quist spoke to a crowd of about 100 on Thursday afternoon about growing up across the river from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, his time at […]

    • Rob Quist, Actress Alyssa Milano Campaign At UM, MSU

      Rob Quist has been rallying college students in Bozeman and Missoula this week.

      The Democratic candidate for Montana’s U.S. House seat was in Bozeman Sunday and Wednesday, and Missoula Thursday. The spring semester at MSU ends May 5, and at UM, May 12, that’s well before in-person voting day in the special election which is May 25.

      In Missoula Thursday, Quist urged students to recruit their peers to go out and vote.

      “This election is coming up so fast. There’s only 28 days now until the election, so I just want you to really talk to everyone you know and equate to them the importance of this election.”

      Republican Greg Gianforte doesn’t publish a list of appearances, but his campaign says he was in Bozeman, Billings Laurel, Deer Lodge and Missoula this week, and will be in Great Falls Saturday for the only televised debate of the campaign. That debate will be broadcast on MTN television stations Saturday night at 7:00 p.m

      • Will the Democrats ever learn?………I doubt it!

        http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/28/montana-special-election-2017-early-voting-237751

        As early voting kicks off in Montana this week, national Democrats are holding back from heavy investments in the state’s May 25 special House election, believing Democratic candidate Rob Quist still has a steep hill to climb to win a state that voted heavily for President Donald Trump just months ago.

        Campaigns for Montana’s lone House district often play second fiddle to resource-hogging Senate or gubernatorial races in the state. This year, it’s being overshadowed by the special election in Georgia, where Democrats are riding not just grassroots enthusiasm — which has helped Quist raise over $2.5 million so far — but also critical demographic and political shifts that are not present in Montana.

        Along with his heady online fundraising, Quist will get a campaign assist from Bernie Sanders sometime in the next month. And the DCCC sent just under $200,000 to the state Democratic Party to help out. A DCCC aide said that the committee is “working with the Quist campaign and watching it closely. We’re excited about the energy and it’s possible we’ll invest more.”

        But the House Democratic committee, which recently went on the air in Georgia, is not airing TV ads pushing back against the barrage of spots from the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund. Overall, GOP groups have already spent over $2.2 million attacking Quist, according to campaign finance disclosures.

        “They’re doing what they can to get him in a position to where he can win, but until they see data that assures them that he can win and that the investment is worthwhile, you don’t spend that much money until you’re sure it pays off,” said Jesse Ferguson, who directed the DCCC’s independent expenditure unit in 2014.

    • Jimmy Carter, Bernie Sanders to talk human rights at the Carter Center

      Well, they definitely won’t lack for opinions.

      The Carter Center said Thursday that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will make an appearance there with former President Jimmy Carter on the evening of May 8. What’s being described as “a conversation about human rights “ will close the first day of the Carter Center’s annual Human Rights Defenders Forum.

      The conversation isn’t open to the public, although plans are to live-stream it, the Carter Center says.

      More than 70 activists, peacemakers, and community leaders from 31 countries will convene May 8 – 9 “to discuss strategies for protecting human rights in the wake of rising authoritarianism.”

      Among those scheduled to attend the forum, “Freedom from Fear: Securing Rights in Challenging Time,” are Olga Zakharova, founder and director of Russia’s Freedom Files; Musa Mahmodi, executive director of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and Maryam Al-Khawaja, a special advisor on human rights in Bahrain. Others slated to speak are Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and Andrew Gilmour, representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. These daytime sessions, including a concluding Q & A with President Carter, will be webcast live on cartercenter.org.

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

      PS: I know the editing function has been an issue so I’m looking around to see if theres something I can do about it. Thanks for the feedback!

      • I wrote to my congresswoman, Doris Matsui last week about supporting and co-sponsoring the Medicare for All Act, HR 676. She had not signed on still at the beginning of this week so I wrote her again and mentioned she didn’t answer my first email.

        Today, I am happy to say, she wrote me and said that she not only supported the bill but signed on as a co-sponsor. Made my day.

    • The entire Billings Gazette Q&A:

    • Merkley, Sanders goal: U.S. on all renewables by 2050

      Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced landmark climate legislation Thursday that would transition the United States to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by no later than 2050.

      The “100 by ’50 Act” lays out a roadmap for a transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. It is the first bill introduced in Congress that will fully envision a transition off of fossil fuels for the United States.

      “America is home to innovative entrepreneurs and scientists who have tackled many challenges in our nation’s history — from harnessing electricity, to putting a man on the moon, to curing disease,” said Merkley. “The power to end the use of fossil fuels and completely transition to clean and renewable energy is within our hands, but just as with the moon landing, we need a roadmap, a goal, and a passionate, shared national commitment to get us there.

      “If an asteroid were hurtling its way through space towards our planet, we would do everything in our power to stop that asteroid. Our commitment to fighting climate change should be no less. Starting at a local, grassroots level and working toward the bold and comprehensive national vision laid out in this legislation, now is the time to commit to 100% by 2050.”

      “The good news is that despite President Trump, we are winning this battle,” said Sanders. “In Vermont and all over this country, we are seeing communities moving toward energy efficiency and we are seeing the price of renewable energy plummet. Our job is to think big, not small. We can win the war against climate change. We can win the war in transforming our energy system and put millions of people to work doing that. We can create a planet that will be healthy and habitable for our children. There is no issue more important.”

      • 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050: Senators Introduce ‘Most Ambitious’ Climate Plan Ever

        Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday introduced legislation to build a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050—a bill that environmental group 350.org previously termed “the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen,” although others caution that it is not enough to meet the real challenges of climate change.

        The “100 by 50” Act calls for 50 percent of U.S. electricity to be produced by renewable energy sources like wind or solar by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It would require zero carbon emission vehicle standards and prohibit federal approval of oil and gas pipelines, among other measures.

        “With an anti-science Congress and President in power right now, some might doubt that this is the right time to push for a bold new strategy to tackle climate change and make a massive fundamental shift in the way we produce energy,” Merkley wrote in a Facebook post earlier this month when he announced plans to introduce the bill. “But the fact is, we don’t have four years to wait to begin this rapid transition. We must act now.”

        • To quote part of JFK’s moon speech in referring to climate change
          “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard”.
          To meetthe 2050 will not be easy.

      • Corey Booker, the odd man out.

        • He sure is trying to position himself for some future election. It seems quite phony.

          • But phony or not–it’s still better that he supports this. If he thinks that’s where the votes are–it’s not a bad thing. A lot of politician votes are not coming from the goodness of their hearts.

            • That is true. But where I see the problem is after gaining election will the real politician in them emerge. Obama talked real good prior to his first election as President. His later actions disappointed many of us.

      • “If an asteroid were hurtling its way through space towards our planet, we would do everything in our power to stop that asteroid”

        I’d bet their would be a few R’s a few from their fan base that would say its Faux news and nor real.

    • Sanders: Trump couldn’t be ‘more wrong’ on climate

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday that President Trump is “more wrong” on climate change than any other policy.

      “Donald Trump is wrong about a lot of things, but there is no area where he is more wrong than on the issue of climate change,” Sanders said at a small renewable energy rally outside the Capitol.

      “No, Mr. President, climate change is not a hoax. Climate change is real; climate change is caused by human activity. … Mr. President, your job is to listen to the scientific community that is virtually unanimous in telling us that we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

      • What Aaron Blake did was update the title of his piece from a couple of days ago, but the title makes it look like it’s a bad idea for Sanders and Warren to criticize Obama.

        Bernie did chime in this morning on CBS Morning Show:

        Like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, on Thursday, Sanders criticized former President Obama for accepting a $400,000 speaking fee for a Wall Street conference on healthcare in September.

        “President Obama is a friend of mine. I think he as a president represented our country with integrity and intelligence, but I think at a time when people are so frustrated with the power of Wall Street and the big money interests, I think it is unfortunate that President Obama is doing this,” he said.

        https://tinyurl.com/ny5my47

        • Check out this by Marcus H Johnson:
          https://theestablishment.co/the-far-left-is-still-out-of-touch-with-black-voters-90194cfddba6

          He claims that Bernie’s followers are racists, not directly said but insinuated. That is why we are criticizing Obama for taking 400 thousand for a speech. He claims that Blacks did not like Bernie and now we are more or less getting even. He states that Bernie kept out of the southern states because he is a racist also. He doesn’t come out and call all of us racist but insinuates fairly strongly.

          I was annoyed with the piece, to say the least. Why look at whether we like or dislike what Obama does through the racist prism.

          • That guy is awful.

            He used to primarily use the handle @smoothkobra, but now he has at least two twitter accounts.

            He very much has a checkered past (misogynistic, anti-semitic, and anti-LGBT, comments) and when some of his more controversial tweets got out there he deleted most of the tweets on that account and began using the handle above more.

            The only reason people even know he exists is that he bashes Bernie & Bernie supporters non-stop and some Clinton supporters eat it up. I’ll bet he’s on someone’s payroll now.

            The good part is that if I’m thinking of following someone & I see that they’ve retweeted any of the nasty things he tweets I know not to bother. 😉

      • Hypocrite Trump noticed. Can you imagine the anguish among certain quarters if it was Sanders that Trump was tweeting about?

        https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/28/trump-mocks-obama-elizabeth-warren-speaking-fee/22059796/

        President Trump touted Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of Barack Obama on Thursday, when she said she was “troubled” by a large speaking fee he accepted.

        It was announced this week that Obama will be paid $400,000 by equity investment company Cantor Fitzgerald LP for serving as the keynote speaker at a September health care conference run by the firm.

        Trump retweeted a “Fox & Friends” post on Friday morning with the caption, “Former President Obama’s $400K Wall Street speech stuns liberal base; Sen. Warren saying she ‘was troubled by that.'”

      • There’s a diary on DK about how it’s “disgusting” to attack Obama on this. No mention of Warren, so I asked an innocent question “So are you disgusted with Senator Elizabeth Warren?” Very curious to see the responses.

    • Hear Markos Moulitsas’ Absurd Hatchet Job On Bernie Sanders And Supporters

      Today, Markos Moulitsas appeared on “Make it Plain” with Mark Thompson on Sirius XM radio’s Progress channel, and Kos took every opportunity possible to slam progressive leader Bernie Sanders.

      In what can only be called a hatchet job, Kos joined Thompson to shill his new book, which he (for whatever reason) brags he wrote in only three weeks. But while on the show he had plenty of rage to spew at Sanders and other progressives, going back to the “Bernie Bros” days.

      Kos began discussing Sanders and his followers as “mostly white, mostly male,” saying that they are “pretending” to argue about economic issues. He later suggests that the same followers are pro-Bernie Sanders mostly because they’re angry that women and minorities are taking the place of white males in power in the Democratic Party.

      Kos consistently tries to mischaracterize Sanders’s platform by arguing that it is only about economic issues, and he says that it “only comes from white people because everybody else knows that economics aren’t the root cause of things like racism and sexism.” (Personally, as a minority female, I disagree with Kos’s statement dramatically…)

      • I wrote a comment about someone who unleashed a diary about the hypocrisy of Kos, especially when it came to matters of privilege and identity politics. It’s on last night’s evening thread.

        • I was slumming over there a couple days ago, and saw a comment that Clinton and Sanders were over. History. It was time to look to the future.

          I agree Clinton is over – or should be. But Sanders is NOT over – he is the most popular politician in America, and the de facto leader of the party. He still packs the house, and even people who voted for Trump like him.

          Why the hell can’t the DNC wake up????

          • yeah, when LD posted the coal miners giving Bernie a standing ovation for talking about Medicare for All, i was over the moon. We need this guy to keep inspiring Americans and the world, if not establishment Dems.

      • Is Kos now going to throw Warren under the bus as she increasingly aligns with Sanders?

        • No, but his thing is about identity politics, and Warren, as a woman, appears exempted.

          • LOL So only white heterosexual men have to fear the wrath of Kos if they dare talk about an economic message. I’m safe!

      • Cuz Nina Turner is so white. And about a million others. Kos is shrewd and understands that if he and others repeat their lies often enough and loud enough, he’ll convince a lot of people that it’s true.

        It was really shocking in a way, I volunteer sometimes for a local enviro group, and we were all working and I started talking about Bernie during the primaries, and some of the (especially somewhat older) women looked at me with shock and little disgust. And I realized right away that they had bought into “Bernie Bros.”

        I didn’t say anything. Facts rarely sway. If I had to do it again, I would, though. I just thought that it was so obvious who Bernie’s supporters were–all they had to do was head over to campaign HQ to see minorities of all stripes. And many did NOT like Hill. Many did, tho, and easily made the switch.

        • Even my husband, who is well aware of my passion for politics (and the world) was really surprised when I reacted so happily when Bernie announced. Hubby said, “But isn’t he the socialist?” He didn’t think Bernie had a chance at first.

          So very early on I felt I had to sort of steel myself against negative reactions when I told people I was supporting Bernie.

          After that very first organizing meeting, I decided it was time to stop hiding my lamp under a bushel, braced myself, and went into the grocery store with my brand new Bernie pin not knowing what to expect. But I found that if anyone noticed they were either quizzical or reacted well.

          When I told my best friend’s husband (my friend was also, quietly though, rooting for Bernie) that I was supporting Bernie he guffawed and said, “Hillary will crush him!!”. Her husband turned out to be the one and ONLY person I know, even remotely, who supported Hillary, mostly cuz he assumed she’d win from what I could tell. Lots of people don’t like ending up on the losing side I’ve noticed.

          • I’ve noticed that as well its about the winning side that triggers their votes for many voters around my area as well. Very sad indeed

    • I know this was posted already but I quite enjoy both Jimmy Dore & Tim Black so it’s great seeing them together and figured its worth a repeat:

    • Single-Payer ‘Medicare for All’ Is the Only Health-Care System That Makes Sense

       The ACA is just OK. It provides some protections, and they are important. But Americans are still stuck with a health-care system that makes them put off routine care because of exorbitant deductibles, that makes major illness not just a physical catastrophe but a financial nightmare, and that rations care in order to boost corporate profits. As the National Nurses United union notes, “Despite ACA restrictions on insurance abuses, insurers continue to find ways to discriminate against the sick, for example, tailoring benefit packages and provider networks to discourage high cost patients from choosing or remaining in their plans, and limiting network choices to exclude providers that specialize in critical services such as cancer care.”

      Americans recognize what’s wrong—even if most politicians in Washington do not. “According to a Gallup poll last year (and a similar Kaiser survey), more than half of Americans wanted to repeal the ACA, and most Americans still have a dim view of the law. They know it is not working. They know the deductibles are too high and they can’t afford the co-payments. (Curiously, on the eve of its repeal, a growing number of Americans say they support the law.)” explains Dr. Claudia Fegan, who serves as the national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program. “But the Gallup poll also showed that 58 percent of Americans—including 41 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of those who favored repeal—wanted the ACA replaced with ‘a federally funded health care program providing insurance for all Americans,’ in other words, single-payer reform. They want a plan that covers the care they need and lets them see the providers they choose with no out-of-pocket costs.”

       Bernie Sanders has the right response. Arguing that “our job is to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it. Our job is to guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege,” Sanders says, “We have got to have the guts to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and move forward to a Medicare for All single-payer program.”

      Sanders gets it, but there are still plenty of DC Democrats who don’t.

    •  Saving Coal Country by Ending Coal’s Empire

      W hen President Trump signed an executive order last month upending the Obama administration’s climate-change policies, he was capitalizing on Appalachia’s long-standing ecological disaster, stoking resentment against environmental regulations and vowing to restore King Coal to its past glory.

       But although Trump has rolled back the “war on coal” and eased dumping restrictions, promising to “bring back” mining jobs won’t upend the reality of today’s global energy landscape, as renewables like solar and wind grow more affordable and accessible, and coal’s environmental harms prove unsustainable.

      But if you can’t save coal, can you still save coal country? A grassroots environmental-justice coalition called Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), representing coal communities, rural and urban poor, and environmental and consumer groups, is pulling ahead of both Washington and state politicians by embracing a green transition. Ending coal’s hegemony in a solidly red state is an uphill climb—considering that Congress is currently stalling even on funding for basic health-care benefits for mine workers. However KFTC hopes those communities most devastated by coal extraction are ready to lead a transition toward solar and wind as a source of both clean power and community empowerment.

    • Bernie Sanders takes aim at Trump on climate ahead of march in DC

      As protesters prepare for nationwide demonstrations against Donald Trump’s environmental agenda, Bernie Sanders on Thursday backed legislation that would phase out the use of fossil fuels in the US by 2050.

      “Mr President, start listening to the people and the scientists, not the greed of the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders said at a rally on Capitol Hill, where he was flanked by environmental advocates and two of his Democratic colleagues, Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon, who authored the bill, and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

      “As you all know,” the Vermont senator and former presidential candidate told the crowd, “Donald Trump is wrong about a lot of things. But there is no area where he is more wrong than on the issue of climate change.”

      Sanders added: “No, Mr President, climate change is not a hoax. Climate change is real.”

      At the event, held just outside the US Capitol, Sanders, Merkley and Markey unveiled legislation which seeks to completely phase out the use of fossil fuels through a transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by the middle of this century. But the bill, called the 100 by ’50 Act, is unlikely to be considered by a Republican-controlled Congress, where many GOP lawmakers are still unwilling to acknowledge the science behind global warming and contribution of human activity.

      The partisan nature of the debate was not lost on the audience, as one attendee interrupted the proceedings to ask: “Where are the Republicans?”

    • East coast readies for fresh climate fight as Trump eyes more offshore drilling

      Communities along the east coast are steeling themselves for a fresh round of angst and protest over offshore drilling, with Donald Trump set to throw open vast swathes of the Atlantic seaboard to oil and gas companies.

      On Friday, the president is expected to sign an executive order that will ask the interior department to review offshore areas potentially rich in fossil fuels that were put out of reach of drilling by Barack Obama’s administration.

      The review will scrutinize plots in the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific that the Obama administration said would not be made available for drilling until at least 2022. In the final weeks of his presidency, Obama announced what he called a permanent ban on drilling along much of Alaska’s coast as well as the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine.

      Trump is now taking the first steps to undo this, setting up a confrontation with environmentalists and residents concerned about the impact upon wildlife and the potentially ruinous economic consequences of a Deepwater Horizon-level oil spill.

      “The movement against this drilling never died, it just went into a lower gear,” said Phil Odom, a commissioner for Liberty County on Georgia’s coast. A former commercial fisherman, Odom said the “geological marvel” of Georgia’s coastline – it has 15 barrier islands and large expanses of untouched marshlands – would be in severe danger from any oil spill.

    • 100% Clean Energy Bill Launched by Senators to Phase Out Fossil Fuels by 2050

      Ahead of the People’s Climate March, Senators Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey stood beside movement leaders to introduce legislation that will completely phase out fossil fuel use by 2050. The “100 by ’50 Act” outlines a bold plan to support workers and to prioritize low-income communities while replacing oil, coal and gas with clean energy sources like wind and solar.

      “100 is an important number,” said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. “Instead of making changes around the margins, this bill would finally commit America to the wholesale energy transformation that technology has made possible and affordable, and that an eroding climate makes utterly essential. This bill won’t pass Congress immediately—the fossil fuel industry will see to that—but it will change the debate in fundamental ways.”

      The “100 by ’50 Act” would put a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipeline, and fracked gas pipelines facing opposition from tribes and landowners. Instead of new fossil fuel infrastructure, the bill invests hundreds of billions of dollars per year in clean energy—enough to create four million jobs. These large-scale clean energy investments prioritize black, brown and low-income communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

      “While fossil fuel billionaires supporting Trump’s administration put profits before people, we now have a legislative roadmap to phase out this dirty industry once and for all,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “This bill deploys clean energy in communities that need it most and keeps fossil fuels in the ground. From Standing Rock to the Peoples Climate March, movement leaders have been calling for these solutions for years. This bill is proof that organizing works, and it’s the beginning of an important conversation.”

    • 3,000 Wells Shut Down in Colorado After Fatal House Explosion

      Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is temporarily closing all its vertical wells across northeast Colorado following a massive house explosion and fire in the town of Firestone last week that killed two people.

      The Woodlands, Texas-based oil and gas giant said in press release it was shutting more than 3,000 producing vertical wells, which produce about 13,000 barrels of oil per day, “in an abundance of caution.”

      Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joseph William Irwin III, both 42, were killed in the April 17 explosion. Mark’s wife, Erin Martinez, was injured as well her 11-year-old son. A GoFundMe page is currently raising funds for the family.

      In its statement, Anadarko acknowledged that the blast occurred approximately 200 feet from the family’s recently built two-story home on Twilight Ave., where the company operates an older vertical well drilled by a previous operator.

      The tragedy has sparked concerns from local anti-fracking activists over the risks of oil and gas production in Colorado and are calling for a statewide emergency moratorium as officials and regulators investigate the cause of the explosion.

      The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) are involved with the investigation.

    • Next battleground: An aging Great Lakes pipeline stirs new protest

      The growing protest movement against U.S. oil and gas pipelines has so far focused on stopping or delaying new construction, with some high-profile successes.

      Now, in Michigan, a broad coalition of opponents is entering a new frontier: Pushing to rip out and reroute an existing pipeline – Enbridge Inc.’s (ENB.TO) aging Line 5, which crosses the Straits of Mackinac.

      They fear the pipeline will leak into the Great Lakes, which contain about a fifth of the world’s fresh water and sustain the state’s second- and third-largest industries, agriculture and tourism.

      Those concerns – which are shared by two likely candidates for governor – also have far-reaching implications for energy firms and consumers.

    • Risen From the Grave, Keystone XL Pipeline Again Divides Nebraska

      The fight seemed over. Plans to bury an oil pipeline in the Nebraska dirt, through hilly grazing land near the Elkhorn River and flat expanses of corn farther south, had been halted. Farmers and ranchers who spent years opposing the project moved on with their lives.

      But suddenly the pipeline from Canada to Nebraska, known as Keystone XL, is back on the table. As President Trump promised on the campaign trail, he has cleared the way for the project, which his predecessor had blocked.

      Republican politicians, many union members and some landowners are cheering the pipeline as a way to create jobs and bring more North American oil to market.

      But in spots along the proposed route through Nebraska, including here on the sandy soil of the Crumly family farm, the president’s decision is being met with frustration and resolve to resume the fight.

      • I’ll bet the militarized police in Nebraska are chomping at the bit so that they can spring into action like those in North Dakota.

    • Dallas firm behind Dakota Access pipeline facing EPA issue in Ohio

      The company behind the Dakota Access pipeline is in another controversy

      The same company that built the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline has twice spilled drilling fluids in two pristine Ohio wetlands this month while constructing a $4.2 billion natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Appalachia to Ontario, Canada.

      The drilling fluid – a mudlike substance used to lubricate and cool equipment – is not toxic. But the Ohio state Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups were worried that the larger of the two spills, which covered a vast area the size of 8 football fields, could smother aquatic life in the wetlands.

      Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners notified the Ohio EPA that it spilled as much as 2 million gallons of drilling mud and cuttings from underground on April 13, affecting an area 1,000 feet long and 500 feet wide south of the town of Navarre.

      And on April 14, it spilled 50,000 gallons of the same fluids, affecting a smaller area of 30,000 square feet near Mifflin Township more than 100 miles away.

      • The drilling fluid is not toxic? So it’s like benign to have in your water table? no, thanks.

      • Don’t they have to surround their drill site with a berm and neoprene membrane to prevent this? They did here at the frack sites. Never mind that they then dumped the sludge in area creeks or the shit that went in injection wells. Also, the frack fluids traveled through the fractures and got in the water supply. Our water, once pristine and sweet, turned pink, leaving a foul residue behind. None of this is good! But I suppose it will create a further market for Nestle’s ill-gotten water.

    • Group lives in trees for more than a year to protest pipeline

      A family continues its protest for more than a year against a Sunoco pipeline that will run through their property against their will.

      Ellen Gerheart said she went to Penn State University and fell in love with Central Pennsylvania’s rural landscape.

      She and her husband bought their property in Huntingdon County with the intent to leave the 27 acres around their house as a forest.

      In March of 2015, she said that changed when she first found out Sunoco wanted her land for their latest pipeline.

      The Gerhearts said they resisted, but Sunoco was granted eminent domain, which means they can use the private property for public use.

      “To force that reality on people just feels very, very wrong,” Ellen’s daughter, Elise Gerheart, said.

      Elise, and a few other protesters have occupied the trees on the property for the past year. They sit in the trees 24/7 and communicate with walkie-talkies.

    • Despite Populist Rhetoric, Trump Is Poised to Preside Over a Crackdown on Unions

      Donald Trump got a higher share of the vote among union members in last year’s election than any Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, helping propel him to victory in key Rust Belt states and to the White House. Since his inauguration, he has continued to sound populist notes. He signed a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order and promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has invited labor leaders to the White House for chummy photo ops, and some have praised him in return.

      But beyond these symbolic gestures, Trump’s actual track record on organized labor is quickly moving in the opposite direction. That’s because his greatest impact is likely to come from his high-profile appointments, which appear poised to decimate the power of unions.

      Trump’s overtures to unions have so far struck labor advocates as hollow. His Buy American order is vaguely worded and unlikely to have much effect on manufacturing and trade. On NAFTA, his stance has seemed to change several times just in the past few days, and he now says he won’t scrap it “at this time.”

      “Those are just sort of optical moves,” says Susan Davis, a labor lawyer who has represented national and local unions. “In terms of substance, every single thing they have done and intend to do is damaging to workers and unions.”

    • Texas Is About to Crack Down on Undocumented Immigrants

      Texas is about to become the second state to outlaw sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that refuse to fully comply with federal enforcement of immigration laws. On Thursday, lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives gave approval to legislation that would make it a misdemeanor crime for local law enforcement to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, with penalties of up to $25,500 in fines for local governments and jail time for individual law enforcement officials who maintain sanctuary cities. The legislation would also allow local police officers to inquire about someone’s immigration status during routine encounters such as traffic stops. A slightly different version of the bill already passed in the state senate, and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has made passing legislation banning sanctuary cities a top priority this legislative session, will likely sign the final measure.

      ..

      Thursday’s vote followed an initial 16-hour overnight hearing on the House floor. State Rep. Mary González, a Democrat who was once an undocumented immigrant herself, told her colleagues that she was a victim of sexual assault, and that the proposal would actually make Texas less safe by discouraging immigrants from talking to the police when a crime has been committed. “We aren’t exaggerating when we say the people empowered by this piece of the amendment will be criminals,” Gonzalez said. “We aren’t exaggerating when we say the people who will feel the biggest effects of this are the most vulnerable—the women and children who are victims of rape, sexual assault, human trafficking.”

      González also beseeched other lawmakers to limit questioning about immigration status to those who were under arrest. “If you ever had any friendship with me, this is the vote that measures that friendship,” González pleaded during the hearing.

      According to the Texas Observer, hundreds protested in the Capitol rotunda, where their chants opposing the legislation could be heard during the marathon debate. The protest didn’t dissuade Republican Rep. Matt Schaefer, who added language to the bill that would allow police to check someone’s immigration status during routine “detainments” like traffic stops. “This was about making sure that our law enforcement officers can continue to do what they have a duty to do, which is to make sure that we’re safe,” he said. “That means using every reasonable tool available under the law to inquire about criminal activity.”

      • Formerly Imprisoned Journalist Barrett Brown Taken Back Into Custody Before PBS Interview

        Award-winning journalist Barrett Brown was re-arrested and taken into custody Thursday, the day before he was scheduled to be interviewed for a PBS documentary.

        Brown quickly became a symbol of the attack on press freedom after he was arrested in 2012 for reporting he did on the hacked emails of intelligence-contracting firms. Brown wrote about hacked emails that showed the firm Stratfor spying on activists on behalf of corporations. Brown also helped uncover a proposal by intelligence contractors to hack and smear WikiLeaks defenders and progressive activists.

        Faced with the possibility of 100 years in prison, Brown pleaded guilty in 2014 to two charges related to obstruction of justice and threatening an FBI agent, and was sentenced to five years and 3 months. In 2016, Brown won a National Magazine Award for his scathing and often hilarious columns in The Intercept, which focused on his life in prison. He was released in November.

        Jay Leiderman, Brown’s lawyer, told The Intercept Brown was arrested Thursday during a check-in. According to his mother, Brown had not missed a check-in or failed a drug test since he was released to a halfway house in November. Neither his mother nor lawyer has been informed where he is being held.

        According to his mother, who spoke with Brown by phone after his arrest, Brown believes the reason for his re-arrest was a failure to obtain “permission” to give interviews to media organizations. Several weeks ago, Brown was told by his check-in officer that he needed to fill out permission forms before giving interviews.

        • This is a mirror reflecting back to Richard Nixon. Only difference is the communication technology. There’s a lot of pent up anger and rage in this country. That explodes, Watergate will look like a nursery rhyme. LD: how do you proofread/edit a comment on here? T and R to the usual suspects!! 🙂

          • Theres no way to preview before posting and currently when you edit the toolbar function does not work so you have to know a slight bit of html to fix something that went wrong. I know its a pain and am trying to find a workaround! We all know when I fix something I usually break 5 more things so I’ve been wary to give it a go 🙂

    • ‘The Time is Golden and Now’: Single-Payer Bill Advances in California

      With close to 1,000 supporters rallying outside, California’s Senate Health Committee on Wednesday advanced a single-payer healthcare bill that has been described as a potential “catalyst for the nation.”

      The Healthy California Act (SB562) would create a universal health system (covering inpatient, outpatient, emergency care, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care) for every California resident. Unveiled last month, the bill has the support of National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association, who held a rally at the Sacramento Convention Center Wednesday followed by a march to the state capitol and a presence in the committee room.

      “The most important thing today was the breadth and depth of support by the dozens of people lining up to back the bill, representing 250 organizations across the state,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association. “These are organizers who are going to be with us to make the Healthy California Act the law of the land in California.”

      Supporters got one step closer to that goal on Wednesday, when the Health Committee approved the bill 5-2 after a nearly three-hour hearing. State Sen. Richard Roth said his office had gotten more than 1,000 calls from constituents on the single-payer plan.

    • For First Time Ever, Majority of House Dems Support ‘Medicare-for-All’ Bill

      As President Donald Trump and the GOP attempt once again to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a much crueler bill, House Democrats are pushing in the total opposite direction: as of Thursday, a record 104 have signed on to co-sponsor a Medicare-for-All bill.

      The bill, H.R. 676, known as the “Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act,” has been introduced into Congress repeatedly by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). It has now received support from more than half of the Democratic caucus, a record for the party.

      “There’s more of an appetite for an alternative now,” co-sponsor Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told Vox reporter Jeff Stein last month, when the single payer bill was already gaining significant Democratic support, as Common Dreams reported. “Democrats have a new confidence to push for a single-payer system. The momentum is building.”

      “Americans are fed up with an inhumane, profit-driven health system that leaves millions without care,” said Dr. Carol Paris, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), in a statement. “Quality health care is not a luxury, nor is it a commodity that can be bought and sold in a marketplace. It is a social good that can be best delivered through a single-payer national health program.”

    • What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump

      Too often, the press forgets the very lessons Trump himself has taught us about how he operates and why it often works. For example, journalists often imply that Trump’s reliance on cable news is a liability because it leaves him ill-informed. And so it does—but it also leaves him highly attuned to that medium and able to respond to what he sees there with immediate, pitch-perfect tweets or other comments that come across as direct, authentic and trustworthy.

      Another example: the power of repetition. Frequently, reporters assume that because they have already responded to a Trump assertion, the issue is settled. But then he repeats the same misinformation, as he did in defending the size of his inauguration crowds. In part, this is because he’s incapable of acknowledging loss or error. More important, it’s because one of his highest priorities is the construction of an alternate narrative and the delegitimization of the mainstream media, traditional authorities, and the primacy of facts.

      Likewise, the press seems to have forgotten the power of distraction. Coverage of the Trump-ordered missile attack in Syria made little reference to how conveniently it deflected attention from Russia-gate, Trump’s conflicts of interest, his draconian budget cuts, etc. The media also understate Trump’s reliance on bullying, which works surprisingly well for him. With the recent exception of the House Freedom Caucus’ refusal to knuckle under and vote for the GOP’s health care act, most people (e.g., the other Republican presidential candidates and many TV commentators) back down.

      • CBS CEO Leslie Moonves sure gets it about tRump: he loves him some big corporate profits he’s making with hairballed brained.

    • House Democrats bury 2016 autopsy

      House Democrats are going to extreme lengths to conceal a report on the party’s problems.

      After nearly five months, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) presented his investigative report to lawmakers during a members-only gathering at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters Thursday night.

      Only about two-dozen lawmakers showed up for the presentation, which sources described as “dense but thorough.” But members were not allowed to have copies of the report and may view it only under the watchful eyes of DCCC staff.

      The presentation didn’t focus on Democratic messaging and instead was heavily skewed towards money — how much the DCCC brings in, from where and how those funds are spent.

      Some Democratic lawmakers and staffers complained that the cloak-and-dagger secrecy was overblown and actually makes the findings look worse than they are. But the DCCC is sticking by its strategy.

      “Like any halthy organization, the DCCC always works to evolve and grow after each election cycle, and we were happy to have Congressman Maloney as part of that effort this year,” spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said.

      • Wouldn’t expect much good to come from a report from “New” Dem Maloney. Not surprising there was no focus on messaging and lots about money.

      • The first thing the Dumbassed NC needs to do is get rid of the parasitic “consultants.” The gang on here knows what’s wrong with the Party. It’s probably not fixable, the more I follow it. 🙁

    • http://thehill.com/policy/finance/domestic-taxes/331043-sanders-trump-tax-plan-totally-absurd

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday tore into President Trump’s tax proposal, calling the plan “totally absurd.”

      “What concerns me right now, I have to tell you sitting here in the Congress, is these incredible tax breaks that President Trump and the Republican leadership are proposing,” Sanders said on “CBS This Morning.”

      “It just seems to me in a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the idea that we would give $353 billion in tax breaks to the top two tenths of one percent while cutting back on education and healthcare and the needs of our children and seniors is, to me, totally absurd.”

    • Dunno if anyone posted this yet, but it is totally awesome what these guys are doing! Wish I could teleport to NYC for a drink!

      Coup

    • I’m sure Maslow is still in there, but apparently the Dems listen to Friedman and Ayn Rand more. As George Carlin sez, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”

    • More Signs Emerge That Russiagate Is Dying (Caitlin)

      I’ve been saying it for months and I’ll say it yet again: Stop trying to make Russiagate happen. It’s not going to happen. I promise right here and now that if hard proof ever emerges of Trump colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election, I will change my Twitter handle to PeterDaou’sSexKitten. If he’s impeached or arrested for it I’ll delete my Medium account and personally crawl on my knees to David Brock to apply for a job at ShareBlue. It will not happen.

      :O)

    • They won’t call this terrorism. But if it had been a Muslim…

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/student-injured-machete-attack-university-coffee-shop-47084014

      So much for the Trump followers being peaceful and law-abiding, LOL. No doubt the dude is a little unhinged, but he is also no doubt an alt-right wingnut.

    • The headline surely leaves a lot of wiggle room.

      U.S. spy agency stops gathering some messages from Americans: sources.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-security-surveillance-idUSKBN17U2OF?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

      The U.S. National Security Agency has halted a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect the digital communications of Americans that mentioned a foreign intelligence target without a warrant, three sources told Reuters.

      The decision to stop the program, which collected messages sent or received internationally and which had been criticized by privacy advocates, was first reported by the New York Times.

      The change is an attempt to remedy privacy compliance issues raised by rules implemented in 2011 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which operates in secrecy, sources said. The chief concern had been that the specific kind of collection sometimes produced surveillance of messages that were wholly domestic because of technical reasons.

      I guess “some” is better than “none”.

    • Bernie is live now on FB about the Tax proposal

      Some quick notes, tax breaks to the following, in the form of Estate Tax:

      Walton (Walmart) up to 53B
      Koch Bros up to 34B
      Adelson up to 12.6
      Trump Family up to 4 B

    • Not to overdo this, but it’s a well-sourced, well-argued piece by Katie Halpern:

      A Millennial Feminist Explains the New Feminism to a Boomer Feminist Philosopher

      I had assumed, perhaps falsely, that every feminist to the left of Sarah Palin sees a living wage as a feminist issue, given that two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. But you didn’t even address this significant difference. It’s your prerogative to focus more on the gender dynamics and micro-aggressions that you perceive to be at play between Clinton and Sanders than a policy that will improve the lives of millions of people, the majority of whom are women. But that’s a very entitled feminism.

      As the daughter of a second-wave boomer feminist, I have a deep appreciation of the subjugation that my mother and Hillary and their whole generation suffered and the advances they won for my generation. And, as often happens, people who benefit from sacrifices made and struggles won before them take these gains for granted.

      But your discussion of sexism and of the generational divide flatten women into a demographic pancake. …

      Of course, getting behind this requires that you accept the idea, foreign to so many Clinton enthusiasts, that candidates need to win elections by earning support. It’s not on the voters to woo and court the candidates. “I’m with her.” You and many feminists in your generation were and that’s fine. But many people, especially those who did not see themselves reflected in Hillary Clinton, including, but not only, young feminists, wanted to hear and believe, She’s with me. She understands my life. And she will be my champion against crushing debt and corporations and endless war that degrade my life and future. But Clinton was not that candidate. And though we voted for her in large numbers in the general election, her vision, as we’d feared in the primary, was not bold enough to counter the faux populism of Donald Trump.

      Young women owe your generation of feminists much. But you owe us honesty, respect, and compassion. That’s what many of us millennial feminists felt Hillary Clinton failed to provide. …

      She is answering a Guardian op-ed of Susan Bordo’s, a supposedly respected feminist scholar. But she and others found many outright “misrepresentations” about Sanders, something scholars usually do not do. Halpern attributes it to a fierce emotional identification to Clinton that really blinded some otherwise intelligent, honest, older feminists.

      Interesting read.

    • I doubt that North Korea is reacting to China!

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-idUSKBN17U2XB?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

      North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday, South Korea’s and U.S. militaries said, defying intense pressure from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China.

      U.S. and South Korean officials said the test, from an area north of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, appeared to have failed, in what would be a fourth successive unsuccessful missile test since March.

      The test came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the U.N. Security Council that failure to curb North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs could lead to “catastrophic consequences”.

      Perhaps it was directed towards the “Tweeter in Chief”

  • For those of you who want to post more comments, let’s do it on this thread. The one earlier today is gettin’ kind of long.. one breaking item, House Will Not Vote on ACHA Rewrite in order to keep the government […]

    • Thanks for cutting off my recent comments in the previous post. (Just kidding.

      I like the idea of an evening thread for those who don’t share LD’s sleep patterns.

    • I think that Trump needs a time out! With comments like this it has me concerned.

    • United Airlines reaches settlement with abused passenger.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ual-passenger-idUSKBN17T2WM?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5902a34f04d30118b07030fe&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

      United Airlines (UAL.N) and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on Thursday, in the carrier’s latest step to contain damage from an incident that sparked international outrage.

      Viral videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United jet and Chief Executive Oscar Munoz’s handling of the incident touched off a public outcry, prompted calls from congressmen for new industry regulation, and led United’s board of directors to reverse an agreement to make Munoz company chairman in 2018.

      United said earlier on Thursday that it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to $10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

      I bet it doesn’t reach the amount of the unwanted publicity of the episode and the initial responses.

      • Wonder if the settlement will be deducted from united’s ceo’s yearly bonus? Oh god it must be getting late what the hell was I thinking?

    • Thanks for this but I find that except for occasional lurking the place only serves to raise my blood pressure. I do give credit to those who stuck around or came back. However I think they are “pissing into a strong wind” for all the good it will do.

      • Problem is we still kinda need some of the folks there to overturn Trump, if we can. I can’t give up on them entirely.

        • Not to beat a dead horse but my feelings also extend to places other than TOP.I used to frequent sites like Media Matters, Mother Jones and Think Progress. Their true stripes have turned me away from them. Msnbc was on at the very least for background noise but no more. I am content with caucus99percent, FeeltheBern and here. Anyways to each his own.

    • I am purposely making a lengthy comment here, rather than making a diary out of this. I don’t want to give TOP that much credit for the discussion, except that the Jedi and the Rebels show up to fight back against the divisive Davos crowd (the establishment Dems), who is “progressive” when it comes to identity politics but not for the long term economic justice Bernie Sanders consistently works on through panel discussions before rallies, debate on legislation, and via his new podcast series.

      Bobswern set off a neutron device over at TOP today that is still on the wreck list, some in part to respond to Markos divisive comments regarding Jane Sanders and the “progressive” wing of the Dem Party. (I’m still fumbling as to what MMZ characterizes progressive other than a fight for $15, which the DNC was not for and anything not Trump–almost).

      Bobswern uses Elizabeth Warren (someone who still garners cheers over at TOP) and a recent article from Naked Capitalism as his anchors for the diary. Elizabeth Warren is the most cheered real liberal at TOP and in an interview with Jake Tapper to promote her new book, she left a soundbite regarding the recent WaPo poll in which Dems were out of touch:

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday responded to a poll showing the majority felt the Democratic Party was out of touch by saying party identification is shifting — and everyday people can see the US political system as a “rigged game.”

      The diary itself is a lengthy, pithy piece, but I’m cutting & pasting the part(s) that sort of stuck out for me when the diarist strikes back for attacking Jane Sanders’ tweet regarding political correctness (regarding Heath Mello’s personal opinion of abortion rights while ignoring that PP has already declared that they could work with Mello on women’s reproductive health issues). Here’s Jane’s tweet, followed by the diarist’s commentary:

      Kos had a swift response to it:

      The issues that suddenly divide us? Apparently whether we, as a party, will be unyielding in a woman’s right to choose. Taking a page out of the right’s playbook, Jane Sanders called fighting for that right “political correctness.” I see it as core and just as central to who we are as a party as the bullet points above. We’re apparently arguing over whether economic equality would keep immigrant families from being torn apart by immigration authorities (it wouldn’t), or keep African Americans from being shot in the streets and killed in jail cells (it wouldn’t), or keep Donald Trump from grabbing a woman’s pussy (it hasn’t).

      Those aren’t divisions based on an economic debate. The economic debate, internally, is settled. That debate is over those who think it’s the only issue that matters, and women and people of color who know damn well it isn’t…

      Now the unleashed by the diarist, which gets more to the crux of the hypocrisy/progressive pretense of the Davos class at DK:

      Kos ignores the truth as he opportunistically conflates hypocritical, Democratic status quo spin with “fighting over privilege.”

      Here’s the truth, contrary to the bullsh*t I’m reading around here: Virtually every Democrat I know in the real world will tell you that they strongly support both a woman’s right to choose whether or not they want to have an abortion and fighting economic inequality.

      Newsflash: These are not—and they never were–mutually exclusive issues. It’s not an either-or proposition. But, you wouldn’t know that if you’d been reading the front page of this status quo Democratic website, lately. Somehow, in the calculating mind of the owner of this website (and some of those here that are on his payroll), this translates into “fighting over privilege.”

      Exactly who’s “fighting” over a woman’s right to choose on this blog? Hell, even the few folks here that are personally against abortion understand that a woman has the right to choose. While I have yet to read anything from anyone at Daily Kos that advocates that our government should legislate away a woman’s right to choose, I’m sure that there’s someone somewhere at Daily Kos that believes otherwise. The thing is, I have yet to read it! Did I miss the memo?

      Speaking of missing memos, did Kos not know that Bernie and Jane Sanders have been vehement, unequivocal pro-choice advocates since…forever…or, at least a hell of a lot longer than virtually most other members of the House and Senate?

      The rest of the diary is here.

      Thomas Frank’s article in The Guardian and posted earlier today is similar (albeit a little quieter & measured in tone) when he aimed criticisms at some of the Dems in the party who have become uncharitable about the working class, particularly in the Midwest.

      I share Frank’s concerns that Trump will continue to divide the classes. Bobswern tackled MMZ, who is aiding and abetting the continuation of a party which has Midas’ ears. It begs the question then, what does the Democratic Party stand for if MMZ refuses to acknowledge that PoC cannot thrive without economic justice–and there is a natural intersection.

    • And to add, Obama is also aiding and abetting the Davos wing as well. I’d like to think he is playing poker with the banksters and tell them the insurance business needs to restructure itself due to the greed…as well as taking their checks to his personal bank accounts to fund other initiatives, such as the gerrymandering project he wishes to do with Eric Holder.

      But given that Holder never tried to hold any of the banksters accountable for the 2008 financial disaster, I’m not too hopeful.

      Isn’t it ironic that two midwesterners in all intent and purposes, can’t see what happened to the former blue wall. (Clinton and Obama).

      • I think the 2 that you mentioned were greatly responsible for demolishing that wall. Both are captivating speakers but their actions have had negative effects.

      • It’s now clear why Holder didn’t prosecute the Banksters in 2008. Obama got $400K for a speech in return with more to come most likely. Boy Hillary must be pissed she “only” got $225K

      • Guess there’s more to this speaking engagement, this time about the WS firm who’s paying Obama:

        Cantor Fitzgerald, a powerful force in the trading of Treasury securities, suffered extraordinary devastation on 9/11, more than any other business or organization in New York.

        The firm’s New York offices were located on floors 101-105 of One World Trade Center. When American Airlines Flight 11 struck the tower between floors 93 and 99 at 8:48 a.m., everyone in the building above that point was trapped with no means of escape. None of the Cantor employees then in its offices survived. According to USA Today, many of those who jumped to their deaths on 9/11 came from the Cantor Fitzgerald floors.

        Lutnick himself was not yet at work because he was taking his son to the first day of kindergarten. However, Lutnick’s brother Gary, who also worked at Cantor, was already at his desk and was killed.

        Lutnick was initially excoriated when he cut off the paychecks of the 658 missing Cantor employees within days of September 11, even before they were confirmed to be dead.

        But he and the firm soon pledged to donate one-quarter of the firm’s profits over the next five years to the families of Cantor’s lost employees and pay for the families’ health insurance for 10 years. Cantor made good on this promise, distributing over $180 million, an average of about $275,000 per Cantor victim.

        For years after 9/11, Lutnick received glowing praise from the media for this generosity. When the New York Post asked him on the 10th anniversary of the attacks whether he considered himself a hero, Lutnick said “I’ve never been asked that before” but that he’d prefer to be called “a friend of the families.”

        Appearing on CNBC, Lutnick said that “We rebuilt the company in order to help the families. That was the most important thing to me. If you’d asked me a couple years after 9/11, ‘What matters to you?’ I’d say ‘the number.’ ‘What do you mean, the number?’ ‘How much money we’re going to give the families.’”

        In late 2014, almost a year after the American Airlines settlement, Fox Business News published an article reporting that Cantor Fitzgerald was keeping the $135 million – about three-fourths of the money it donated to the firm’s 9/11 families.

        https://theintercept.com/2017/04/27/wall-street-firm-paying-obama-400000-faced-internal-controversy-after-pocketing-huge-911-settlement/

        Awesome! /s

    • On the environmental justice front, Bill McKibben penned a diary at guess where–yep-TOP, about 100/50 Bill introduced today.

      A little from that essay, which is a clarion call to action:

      I don’t spend much time in DC. ( Like everyone else in the movement I’ve been at work around the country, fighting frack wells and pipelines, coal ports and LNG terminals. Because the fossil fuel industry is everywhere we have to be everywhere too.

      But sometimes we have to come together, if only to remind ourselves that there are lots of us. And this time it’s more than that—the real mission is to change forever the progressive debate in America about climate change. For years, even when Democrats are in power, we’ve gotten half-measures—well-intentioned, and a hell of a lot more than Donald Trump will ever give us, but not enough to catch up with the relentless pace of physics. This is a hard question, perhaps the hardest ever, because it comes with a time limit, one that draws perilously near. (That’s what it means when your icecaps start to melt).

      McKibben then makes certain that the audience understands why the legislation is important, not just holding rallies for climate change:

      The question is, can we do it politically? Can we stand up to the power of the fossil fuel industry, which is desperate to drag out the inevitable transition to clean energy as long as possible. Under Trump, no. Obviously. I mean, the man is spending the week rewriting the law so we can drill for oil in more national parks. Because hey, nothing says National Park like a derrick.

      But assuming Trump loses some day and adults regain control of our political life, we have to hit the ground with a plan and a pace—we have to go fast and hard out of the gate. If Trump could be said to have given us any kind of gift, it would be that he’s spurred the resistance we saw last week in the Scientists March and that we’ll see Saturday on the mall with the PCM. That resistance is key—we need to show everyone that there’s huge support for big measures, and that that support comes from all quarters. At long last the movement seems serious about climate justice, about the communities that get hit hardest—the places that need relief first and fastest.

      The Merkley/Sanders bill sets a new standard. It’s actually approaches the scale of change we need, and once we get started I bet we’ll get there faster than 2050. 100 is the number from here on in. And so we march!

      (My own little snarky comment, he could have easily started with “I don’t spend much time at TOP, it’s interchangeable at times )

    • In other news, for those who are morning TV watchers, Bernie is going to be on CBS tomorrow.

    • I also saw that Bernie is on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight. I don’t know if it is a rerun or not.

      And, he’s going to be talking at Al Sharpton’s group, NAN, tomorrow as well.

    • Bernie gets more invites….this time from the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta. (if this is a repeat from earlier today, my bad)

      The Carter Center said Thursday that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will make an appearance there with former President Jimmy Carter on the evening of May 8. What’s being described as “a conversation about human rights “ will close the first day of the Carter Center’s annual Human Rights Defenders Forum.

      The conversation isn’t open to the public, although plans are to live-stream it, the Carter Center says.

      More than 70 activists, peacemakers, and community leaders from 31 countries will convene May 8 – 9 “to discuss strategies for protecting human rights in the wake of rising authoritarianism.”

      Among those scheduled to attend the forum, “Freedom from Fear: Securing Rights in Challenging Time,” are Olga Zakharova, founder and director of Russia’s Freedom Files; Musa Mahmodi, executive director of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and Maryam Al-Khawaja, a special advisor on human rights in Bahrain. Others slated to speak are Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and Andrew Gilmour, representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. These daytime sessions, including a concluding Q & A with President Carter, will be webcast live on cartercenter.org.

      http://www.ajc.com/news/jimmy-carter-bernie-sanders-talk-human-rights-the-carter-center/i9hnEiWKzxUmhq1HDL68AI/

      That would be interesting, hope we can catch the livestream.

      • Methinks that had Bernie been elected President he would have followed Carter’s foot steps rather than those who I will not mention. Neither is in it for themselves or personal gain.

    • One more profound comment from The Great Pumpkin.

      • Well, his dictator tendencies aren’t working that well, thank gawd! R’s in Congress seem a little worried about the changing moods..not of Trump, but their constituents, so it may seem.

        House will not vote on Affordable Care Act rewrite, smoothing way for government to stay open

        The failure of Republicans to unite behind the new health-care measure was a blow to White House officials who were eager to see a vote ahead of the 100-day mark for President Trump. Congressional leaders were more focused this week on securing a spending agreement, according to multiple people involved in the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to talk publicly.

        It was also evidence of just how divided Republicans are over how to overhaul Obamacare, despite seven years of GOP promises to repeal and replace the 2010 law. Conservatives and moderates have repeatedly clashed over the contours of such a revamp, most sharply over bringing down insurance premiums in exchange for limiting the kind of coverage that is required to be offered.

        Up to 15 or so House Republicans have publicly said they will not support the latest GOP proposal, which was crafted between the White House, the hard line House Freedom Caucus and a leading moderate lawmaker. That leaves House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the White House an incredibly narrow path for passage as the speaker can lose only 22 Republicans on a health-care vote — Democrats have fiercely opposed any attempt to repeal the ACA.

    • There was some FBI investigation going on at Burlington College for when Jane Sanders was the President of the college. I don’t know if it is still going forward. But just a FYI from a FOIA, mentioned in VTDigger, which is not one of the most charitable blogs towards Bernie nor Jane.

      The emails show the U.S. attorney for Vermont and an FBI agent reviewed Burlington College records in the state’s possession earlier this year pursuant to an investigation. Both enforcement agencies declined to comment on the substance of that probe or whether it has been completed.

      But I will say from looking at twitter, Peter Daou is jumping up and down with glee about it.

      • But Daou won’t be gloating too long, as he kept saying the FBI was not investigating the baroness:

        FBI Confirms Grand Jury Subpoeaneas Clinton E-mail Probe

        However, a top FBI official revealed in a civil lawsuit this week that investigators used grand jury subpoenas in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain archived copies of some of Clinton’s old email messages.

        “The FBI…obtained grand jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers,” FBI Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division E.W. Priestap wrote in a declaration filed Monday in federal court in Washington.

        Priestap did not provide details about the subpoenas, although he suggested they were served on AT&T Wireless and a firm it acquired, Cingular.

        snip

        Use of grand jury subpoenas — something lawyers call “mandatory process” — could have been a political cudgel for Republicans if known earlier, since that tool would indicate the investigation was criminal in nature and not simply an intelligence-focused security review, as Clinton aides often claimed.

        https://secure.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/04/27/hillary-clinton-emails-subpoenas-fbi-237712

    • One thing that I noticed is that our back and forth is gathering plenty of spectators. LOL

    • I”m gonna take a break for about an hour. I f you are not around then “Have a Good Night.”

    • I saw that cartoon as well,may turn out to be fact

    • Someone on my feed at twitter just brought attention to this article from The Atlantic. Looked like some food for thought

      Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong

      And how is one to move up from the lower group to the higher one? Education is key, Temin writes, but notes that this means plotting, starting in early childhood, a successful path to, and through, college. That’s a 16-year (or longer) plan that, as Temin compellingly observes, can be easily upended. For minorities especially, this means contending with the racially fraught trends Temin identifies earlier in his book, such as mass incarceration and institutional disinvestment in students, for example. Many cities, which house a disproportionate portion of the black (and increasingly, Latino) population, lack adequate funding for schools. And decrepit infrastructure and lackluster public transit can make it difficult for residents to get out of their communities to places with better educational or work opportunities. Temin argues that these impediments exist by design.

      Despite the bleak portrait that he paints, he doesn’t believe that the U.S. necessarily has to be like this. He offers five proposals that he says might help the country return to more equal footing. Some are fairly clear levers that many before him have recommending pulling: expanding access to and improving public education (particularly early education), repairing infrastructure, investing less in programs like prisons that oppress poor minorities, and increasing funding.

      for those that can help build social capital and increase economic mobility. But other suggestions of his are more ambitious and involve fundamentally changing the cultural beliefs that have been reinforced over generations. Temin advocates doing away with the belief that private agencies can act in the interest of all citizens in the way that public entities can, and should. His final recommendation is to address systemic racism by reviving the spirit of the Second Reconstruction of the 1960s and 1970s, when civil-rights legislation helped to desegregate schools and give black Americans more political and economic power.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/economic-inequality/524610/?utm_source=atlfb

    • Posted without comment.

  • AnnaMobWI became a registered member 1 day, 18 hours ago

  • Bernie Sanders: Trump’s big North Korea meeting was a ‘road show for the White House’

    Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont did not mince words when describing the all-hands Senate meeting at the White House on […]

    • Bernie Sanders rallies anti-Trump protesters with climate bill

      Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday will introduce a 100-percent clean energy bill to kick off major protests against President Trump’s environmental agenda this weekend.

      The independent senator from Vermont, who ran as a Democrat, will be joined by climate change stalwart Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., at a public rally hosted by the organizers of the People’s Climate March to announce the bill, according to an agenda.

      The bill underscores one of Sanders’ 2016 campaign promises to ban the oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The legislation, which doesn’t have much of a chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress, calls for transitioning the nation’s energy mix from fossil fuels to 100-percent renewable energy by 2050.

      On Friday, Markey will convene a pre-protest climate change summit in Washington ahead of the Saturday march.

    • Nancy Pelosi just got a challenger and he’s a ‘pretty hard-core’ Bernie Sanders supporter

      San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Jaffe is a lifelong Democrat and he intends to do what no Democrat has been able to do so far: make it to a runoff election against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

      Jaffe, 71, is an employment attorney who became a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign last year.

      “I was a pretty hard-core Bernie supporter,” said Jaffe, who gave money to the campaign and volunteered during the Nevada caucuses. He was one of two attorneys who filed for an injunction on behalf of Sanders supporters in the California primary, requesting “re-votes” and an extension of the voter registration deadline. (The request was denied.)

      Jaffe said he was “devastated” by Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the primary season and that Sanders, in part, inspired him to run. He says he supports single-payer healthcare and criticized Pelosi for raising money from corporations and special interests.

      ..

      “I know that Ms. Pelosi’s strategy has been to essentially ignore anyone who has challenged her, but I anticipate she’ll have a more difficult time doing that with my candidacy,” Jaffe said in an interview. He thinks if local, progressive activists can propel him to a runoff with Pelosi, he’ll have a “quite realistic chance” of winning.

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

      • No “dog or pony show” for Bernie!

        • Yes!!!
          One of the few people with critical thinking in DC!
          I wonder if there were any others who didn;t go.
          Trump made a fool of the Senate….
          embarrassing…..

    • Thanks @Humphrey for sharing this at the end of yesterday’s thread. Reposting for those who missed it:

      • Same crap, different day. Love the comments section on this video though:

        • I would like to see a interview between Tim Black and Al Sharpton. It would be interesting to say the least.

        • Maybe AL should look at that recent poll about Bernies popularity, He might learn something.

      • I posted this at DK/TOP under Bob Swern’s diary which is on the top of the REC list now. He uses a diary from nakedcapitalism to argue that Kos is full of you know what

    • Bernie Sanders To Introduce Health Care Legislation That Will Put The GOP Plan To Shame

      the Affordable Care Act, Bernie Sanders plans to give America a real health care plan by introducing Medicare for all legislation.

      On MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Wednesday, the Vermont senator slammed the revised GOP plan as worse than the original and promised to bring a single-payer option to the floor of the Senate.

      Sanders said:

      He brought forth, along with Paul Ryan, a health care proposal which threw 24 million Americans off of health insurance, raised premiums for older workers, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cut Medicaid by 800 billion dollars and this proposal will likely be worse. Bottom line here, Chris: I’m going to introduce a Medicare for all, single-payer program. We’ve got to join the rest of the world and guarantee health care to all of our people as a right.

      Not only is Sanders right that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care is a disaster that will hurt millions of Americans, but he’s also putting forward a health care plan that the American people actually support.

    • Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton. So, can he be America’s most popular politician? (because you know.. its not real in Washington unless Politifact says so)

      Our rating

      Crute said Sanders “is the most popular politician in America today.”

      The polls don’t specifically ask respondents for their favorite politician — they provide a limited list of political figures and ask respondents whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each one.

      But based on that measure of popularity, Sanders finished comfortably on top among some major political figures in the latest national poll. And in an averaging of polls on favorability done in 2017, his rating was exceeded only by Obama, who perhaps could still be called a politician, though not an active one.

      For a statement that is accurate but needs clarification, our rating is Mostly True.

    • Can the Democratic Party Reconcile Two Divergent Economic Visions?

      The distinctive pattern of public reaction to President Trump as he approaches the end of his first 100 days in office is sharpening the choices facing Democrats over the party’s road to recovery.

      Though Trump’s agenda has unified Democrats in near-term opposition, clear fault lines have quickly emerged about the party’s long-term strategy to regain power. On one side are those—largely affiliated with Senator Bernie Sanders—arguing for a biting message of economic populism, which is intended largely to recapture working-class white voters that stampeded to Trump in 2016. On the other are party strategists who want Democrats to offer a more centrist economic message, aimed primarily at reassuring white-collar suburbanites drawn to the party mostly around cultural issues.

      ..

      Whenever a political party faces an “either/or” choice, the right response is almost always: “both/and.” This Democratic crossroads is no exception. Geographically that means the party, in the races for both Congress and the White House, must regain ground in the working-class Rustbelt states where Trump outperformed other recent GOP nominees and the more diverse, younger Sunbelt states where he slipped. “In the long term, the future for the Democratic Party is Florida, Arizona, Georgia, eventually Texas … and maybe Ohio goes the other way [toward Republicans],” said Democratic pollster Andrew Baumann. “But given the map for 2018, and even 2020, I think relying on just that and not fighting in those Midwest states is a mistake.”

      Yet even while Democrats acknowledge the need to contest both fronts, they face genuine choices about where to place their largest bets. Matt Bennett, senior vice president at the centrist Democratic group Third Way, said the party’s principal opportunity is with white-collar suburbanites alienated from Trump. He points to the previously solidly Republican House district in suburban Atlanta where neophyte Jon Ossoff faces a June runoff election, after approaching 50 percent in a recent primary. “The obvious opportunity is in places like Ossoff’s district,” Bennett said. Those places “can deliver majorities [for Democrats] in the House and Senate and … the White House if we have a message that really lands.”

      The Sanders camp envisions a very different road map. Ben Tulchin, Sanders’s 2016 pollster, said Democrats are less likely to recover by trying to court ordinarily Republican-leaning, college-educated suburbanites than by energizing Millennials and recapturing working-class whites with Sanders-style economics. “Its much harder to win over someone who votes Republican consistently than someone who voted for Obama twice and voted for Trump once as an FU to the system,” Tulchin said. Sanders, tellingly, has mustered only minimal enthusiasm for Ossoff, who’s run a centrist, if not bland, campaign.

    • ‘Shattered’ Reveals Clinton’s and Sanders’ Staff Struck Deal to Hide Protests

      With Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters protesting outside, the 2016 Democratic National Convention illuminated the divide within the Democratic Party. The recently released book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes reveals that Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver struck a deal with the Clinton campaign to keep Sanders delegates away from television cameras in order to hide the divisions in the party from audiences across the country.

      By not providing context for Sanders’ supporters’ anger, Allen and Parnes advance the denigrating portrayal of his base as unruly. In truth, his supporters had every right to be angry. Apart from the DNC and Democratic Party overtly favoring Hillary Clinton, top Democratic officials spread highly divisive narratives in order to suppress Sanders’ candidacy. Their tactics included calling Sanders supporters “Bernie Bros,” whitewashing his campaign, using the Nevada Democratic Party Convention to reprimand Sanders supporters, and Democrats in office like Sen. Chris Murphy openly smeared Sanders, even blaming him for the Sandy Hook shooting before the pivotal New York Democratic primary. The Democratic Party did everything in their power to destroy Sanders’ candidacy and ensure Clinton was their nominee. This continued up through the Democratic National Convention.

      • They may have controlled the TV,s but voices were heard on TV and the DNC could not stop social media and the web about the truth getting out on how corrupt the convention was.

      • Everything that Clinton participated in was highly controlled. From the stacked audiences to getting debate questions in advance. Thanks Donna.

      • I am disappointed to learn, if it is in fact the truth as this article states that Jeff Weaver “struck a deal” with the clinton campaign to keep Sanders people at bay at the convention. I was disgusted by the Clinton campaign’s thwarting Nina Turner from speaking; thwarting the Sanders delegates from sitting in their assigned sections to keep them far from the floor of the convention. It was ugly and distasteful.
        I was also disappointed that there was no procedure followed that allowed Bernie’s delegates to vote for him.
        How did this all happen?

    • The Democrats need a plan, and fast, if they ever want to be a governing party again

      Having lost a general election in the most embarrassing fashion last November for the entire world to see, the Democratic Party is gearing up for an assessment about what it needs to do to become relevant to key constituencies again. This is never a smooth or pain-free experience for any party to go through, but it’s critical if it hopes to recover some of the ground that was lost ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

      In 2012, after president Barack Obama’s resounding re-election over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the Republican National Committee did something similar to what the Democratic National Committee is doing now: being honest with itself; trying to determine why it lost so many white, working-class voters in the midwest; and attempting to extrapolate from the results to make sure that Democratic candidates in the next election cycle highlight the right issues.

      The DNC’s coming-together, however, has been a little more awkward than most. Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, still riding high after an impressive performance in the Democratic primaries last year, has been an asset and a liability for Democrats. The question that members of the DNC, Democratic lawmakers, and party operatives all need to ask themselves is whether the party establishment—those who typically espouse left-of-center policies on everything from healthcare and foreign policy to defense spending and immigration—can incorporate the very same activist, loud, progressive base that catapulted a democratic socialist in his mid-70’s to international fame.

    • New Democratic ‘Tea Party’ Rising?

      A liberal grassroots movement that is mobilized in opposition to President Donald Trump has Democratic Party officials drawing comparisons with the rise of the Tea Party after President Barack Obama’s election.

      But the “resisters,” as they are known, also have some Democrats worried they could fracture the Democratic Party just like the Tea Party turned on the GOP establishment, the Los Angeles Times reported.

      “The goal of this tactic isn’t just to target Republicans; it’s to stiffen the spines of Democrats,” president of the Indivisible Project, which helped fuel the movement by posting online a how-to organizing guide that borrows heavily from the Tea Party, Ezra Levin, told the Times.

      ..

      “No party is safe,” said Jeanne Peters of West Virginia, whose Indivisible chapter has started calling its House member and both its Republican and Democratic senator every weekday with a coordinated message, the Times reported.

      According to the Times, a new political action committee, #WeWillReplaceYou, is raising money to back primary campaigns against Democrats they view as insufficiently progressive — much the way outside conservative groups targeted the “Republicans In Name Only.”

    • This Trippy Bernie Sanders Mural Might Be Made Permanent

      Next Thursday a city commission will decide if the Bernie Sanders murals on Johnie’s coffee shop at Wilshire and Fairfax should remain as permanent public art. The psychedelic swirls depicting the senator from Vermont were created by artist Dionisio Ceballos last May before the California primary election. The work, painted on the soaring plate glass of the mid-century landmark has been augmented by posters, stickers, and political protests inside and outside the 61-year-old restaurant.

      Johnie’s opened in 1956 as Romeo’s Times Square, a googie coffee shop designed by Armet & Davis, the masters of the style. It was purchased by Dave Gold, founder of the 99 Cents Only chain, and closed in 2001. Mr. Gold passed away in 2013, the same year the building was declared a Historic-Cultural Monument. The Gold family still controls the landmark, and his son Howard made the request.

    • Sanders: Trump tax plan makes ‘rigged’ system ‘worse’

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday railed against President Trump’s proposed tax plan, saying it would make the “rigged economy” even worse.

      “At a time when we have a rigged economy designed to benefit the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations, President Trump’s new tax plan would only make that system worse,” Sanders said in a statement.

      “He would slash taxes for himself and his billionaire friends and significantly increase the deficit, while doing little to help rebuild the collapsing middle class,” he added.

      ..

      “Rather than making large profitable corporations — many of which pay nothing in federal income tax — finally contribute their fair share, Trump wants to give them a huge tax break,” Sanders said.

    • There was an article posted today on the barbaric actions of the French in Algeria.
      I knew that it was bad, but I didn’t know that it resulted in the death of a million people and the destruction of the culture and history, like all the libraries.

      Dear Marine Le Pen: Only a Fascist would Praise Colonialism . . . Oh Wait:

      Marine Le Pen’s declaration that colonialism was a positive thing is not only a denial of France’s painful history, but an example of the fascism that we now face in Europe.

      This has relevance as Trump praises her and proves that he is a fascist also.

      As you know, I am fixated on Bruno Latour, the French polymath. I went searching for some of his writings on colonization which are found in many places in his work. I also know that in other places he is working our how the moderns, that is us, do not live in either space or time.

      With Native Americans on the warpath, e.g., war dances in the headquarters of the banks in NYC, the natives are connecting us with the past which has never been the past and thus show another example of temporarily. I will link to two more articles neither of which are by Bruno Latour, but found on a search with his name. Here is the first:

      The question of temporality has always been central to the narrative and ethos of modernity, and the consolidation and dissemination of a linear conception of time has been one of its enduring successes. While globalization and the migrations and mobilities it has set in motion may be unscrambling in social and geographical space the spatialization that anchored this conception of time and temporal relations, the teleological imaginary of time unfolding in a linear manner remains. We may no longer use overtly optimistic terms such as “progress” and “civilization,” or the more derogatory “savage,” but we have found various synonyms for them.

      If the new convergence of interest in animism is to bear any advantage for those on the other side of modernity, it is here that we should begin with a conception of time that rejects linearity but recognizes the complex embeddedness of different temporalities, different, discordant discursive formations, and different epistemological perspectives within the same historical moment. And then we should search for a language to represent this knowledge.

      The article begins with

      How do we account for the recent resurgence of interest in animism and animist thought? Once considered a kind of cognitive error, as evidence of cognitive underdevelopment and epistemological failure, animism has once again become an object of discursive attention and intellectual inquiry, in addition to serving as a platform for political action, particularly around issues of ecology and the environment. It has become an acceptable if not entirely respectable way of knowing and acting in the world. Although E. B. Tylor’s nineteenth-century definition of the concept has remained foundational, we have come a long way from the modernist understanding of it which Emile Durkheim summed up in these words:

      For Tylor, this extension of animism was due to the particular mentality of the primitive, who, like an infant, cannot distinguish the animate and the inanimate. […] Now the primitive thinks like a child. Consequently, he is also inclined to endow all things, even inanimate ones, with a nature analogous to his own.3

      This new interest has overturned the old prejudice which equated animism with everything that was childlike and epistemologically challenged, everything that was the negation of the mature, the modern, and the civilized.

      On Animism, Modernity/Colonialism, and the African Order of Knowledge: Provisional Reflections

      Now on to the second article. This one is by an indigenous woman who criticizes the Great Bruno Latour by not referencing the indigenous people themselves, but by putting his discourse in European terms while linking to indigenous people.

      An Indigenous Feminist’s take on the Ontological Turn: ‘ontology’ is just another word for colonialism (Urbane Adventurer: Amiskwacî)

      Personal paradigm shifts have a way of sneaking up on you. It started, innocently enough, with a trip to Edinburgh to see the great Latour discuss his latest work in February 2013. I was giddy with excitement: a talk by the Great Latour. Live and in colour! In his talk, on that February night, he discussed the climate as sentient. Funny, I thought, this sounds an awful lot like the little bit of Inuit cosmological thought I have been taught by Inuit friends. I waited, through the whole talk, to hear the Great Latour credit Indigenous thinkers for their millennia of engagement with sentient environments, with cosmologies that enmesh people into complex relationships between themselves and all relations.

      It never came. He did not mention Inuit. Or Anishinaabe. Or Nehiyawak. Or any Indigenous thinkers at all. In fact, he spent a great deal of time interlocuting with a Scottish thinker, long dead. And with Gaia.

      I left the hall early, before the questions were finished. I was unimpressed. Again, I thought with a sinking feeling in my chest, it appeared that the so-called Ontological Turn was spinning itself on the backs of non-european thinkers. And, again, the ones we credited for these incredible insights into the ‘more-than-human’, and sentience and agency, were not the people who built and maintain the knowledge systems that european and north american anthropologists and philosophers have been studying for well over a hundred years, and predicating their current ‘aha’ ontological moment upon. No, here we were celebrating and worshipping a european thinker for ‘discovering’ what many an Indigenous thinker around the world could have told you for millennia. The climate is sentient!

      So, again, I was just another inconvenient Indigenous body in a room full of people excited to hear a white guy talk around Indigenous thought without giving Indigenous people credit. Doesn’t this feel familiar, I thought.

      • hmmm. i can see both sides. i was an animist when i was pretty tiny, and hadn’t heard the indigenous cultural stories yet, but I can see how if I were to make money or gain fame on similar beliefs, I would want to at least say something like, “I want to recognize everyone who has influenced me, especially the indigenous people of the world (and any other group, or individual indigenous and other people). IIRC, he does cite sources in his papers. Hopefully he gives a nod to the more general sources, as well. And by the time you’ve immersed yourself in this field of study, yes, you would have many, many sources to thank!

        And yes, she is right, that tribal cultures worldwide incorporated much more animism and respect for nature than other cultures. Now I’m thinking, though. Before caucasians “found God” and manifest destiny, we were also in more tribal groupings–thinking Celts, Druids, others. Now I’m curious as to when and where many of our ancestors started the slide towards seeing nature as a thing to be conquered, as well as other people. And I’m curious as to whether, when tribes fought, did they ever try to completely assimilate the other tribe?

    • Bernie Sanders to speak in Ireland for the first time at Dalkey Book Festival

      United States Senator Bernie Sanders will visit Ireland for the first time on June 4 when he will address the Dalkey Book Festival.

      “It is an extraordinary privilege for the Dalkey Book Festival to host Bernie Sanders,” festival director Sian Smyth told RTÉ, “We are truly delighted to bring him to Ireland for the first time. He is an iconic political figure of our time, a stunning orator and, with such turmoil in the US and globally, we are very much looking forward to hearing his thoughts and insights.”

      The 75-year-old Socialist will be talking about his new book ‘Our Revolution: a future to believe in,’ which sets out his beliefs on reining in Wall Street, free higher education and universal healthcare.

      Tickets cost €15 ($16) and include a copy of the book; Sanders will be in conversation with economist David McWilliams and the event will take place at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

    • Former US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is coming to Oxford

      The former US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is coming to Oxford for a book launch.

      The US senator, who was beaten by Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination last year, will speak at the Sheldonian Theatre to promote the paperback edition of his bestselling book on his failed presidential bid.

      The event will be chaired by Helena Kennedy, the Principal of Mansfield College.

      Sanders is not new to Oxford, as his brother, Larry, lives in the East of the city. He ran as the Green Party candidate in last year’s by-election in David Cameron’s old seat of Witney, close to Oxford.

      • Will Chelsea drop by to protest his appearance?

        Haha, only kidding, of course.

        I just got beat up on twitter for daring to share an article about Bernie from 2003 when he helped launch ‘the Middlebury Global AIDS Forum’ (and am still smarting).

        I try not to get into it on twitter (who needs it??! not me) but I sure do get tired of the Bernie-bashing! Someone on twitter (indignantly) asked, “where was Sanders in the 90’s????!” on the AIDS issue, and I did a quick search and, of course, silly me, just got slammed for my efforts and told to go make my own party. The bile and hate sent my way was truly nauseating. All you need to do is just mention Bernie’s name and the piranhas attack en masse and try to shred the skin away from your body.

        I really, really, really, wonder about the future of the Democratic party. So many people seem entirely unable to move on and just want to bash Bernie and ‘the far-left’ all day. It’s so self-destructive. 🙁

        Must..not..let..them..sap..my..strength. 😉

    • Primary Source: Looking at the Sanders Juggernaut

      U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was in typical form on Wednesday, speaking at a Capitol Hill rally in favor of a $15 minimum wage and later tweeting out his opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts.

      “Trump’s plan to eliminate the estate tax and provide a $4 billion tax break to the Trump family is especially outrageous,” Sanders said.

      Sanders will be 77 by the time Election Day 2018 rolls around, but Democrats are counting on him to seek a third term in the Senate, especially given that only eight of the 33 seats up for re-election are Republican.

      At this juncture, Sanders, again an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has to be considered a shoo-in for re-election. He sits on a roughly $4 million Senate campaign war chest and is wildly popular with many Vermonters who supported his presidential run — Sanders even got 18,218 write-in votes for president in November in Vermont, or 5.8 percent of votes cast, outpacing Gary Johnson and Jill Stein combined.

      He also has a grass-roots mailing list of millions of supporters across the country from whom he can raise even more money, if needed.

    • Quist to appear with actress Alyssa Milano at UM on Thursday

      The campaign for Democratic Congressional candidate Rob Quist has announced he will be appearing at a “student rally” on the University of Montana campus on Thursday alongside actress Alyssa Milano.

      The campaign said Milano will be on the UM Oval from 9 until 11 a.m., and Quist will give a speech at 1 p.m.

      Milano, who has become active in Democratic politics in recent years, is known for her roles in “Who’s the Boss?,” “Charmed,” “Melrose Place,” and other movies and television shows.

    • Planned Parenthood Action Fund launches GOTV effort in Montana special election

      Planned Parenthood Action Fund is making its debut in Montana’s special election with a six-figure get-out-the-vote effort in support of Democratic nominee Rob Quist.

      The advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood announced on Wednesday that it will pay for mailers to reach out to 80,000 Montana residents and make phone calls to 60,000 voters.

      Quist will face off against Republican nominee Greg Gianforte on May 25 to fill the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in the latest closely watched special election of the Trump administration.

      “Rob Quist is the only candidate in this race that will keep politicians out of our personal health care decisions,” said Rachel Pauli, organizing and outreach manager of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana.

    • As national groups get into Montana congressional race, the fight is for momentum

      Here in a town that voted up and down the ballot for Republicans by wide margins last fall, a couple hundred came to hear Quist speak at Depot Park.

      “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Reckin said Friday, hours before Donald Trump Jr. landed in Kalispell to stump for Gianforte. “People are more involved now than they’ve ever been before. These people want to know what’s going on and participate.”

      National groups notice the momentum too. Encouraged by stronger-than-expected, though not victorious, showings for Democratic candidates in special elections in Kansas and Georgia, they are pointing money and resources West toward a rural Republican state.

      Before Thursday, some complained Montana had been overlooked. “Why won’t the national party pay attention?” asked a headline in the Huffington Post earlier this month.

      But late last week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told that publication it was committing six figures to the race. Other groups, including one of the country’s largest political action committees, mobilized the same day, connecting Quist with a small-donor network that raised more than $825,000 in the Georgia election. In that state Democrat Jon Ossoff is heading to a June runoff after getting 48.1 percent of the vote against 11 Republican candidates.

      • LTE: As artist, Quist would bring valuable perspective

        I weary of attacks demeaning Rob Quist as “just a musician.” This gross dismissal is both insulting and wrongheaded, ignoring the skills that a working musician must have, not to mention the contributions that artists make to our society.

        Forging a 40-year career in music—especially in a large, rural state like Montana—requires entrepreneurial drive and marketing, management and communications skills. According to the Kauffman Foundation, musicians and other artists are three and a half times more likely to be self-employed, necessitating personal discipline and motivation.

        ..

        Rob Quist has already represented our state as a cultural ambassador and volunteer. Quit denigrating a hardworking Montana artist and consider instead the valuable perspective he can offer as our U.S. representative

    • New Jersey regulators deem pipeline application incomplete

      An application for a more than $1 billion proposed natural gas pipeline originating in Pennsylvania and ending in New Jersey is incomplete, state regulators said in a letter Wednesday.

      The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection told PennEast it has 30 days to resubmit its freshwater permit application for the proposed 120-mile (193-kilometer) pipeline.

      The application lacks consent from property owners along the path of the pipeline as well as technical information like a survey of endangered and threatened species, according to the DEP.

      PennEast did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has previously said it hopes the pipeline would be operational in 2018.

      Environmental groups opposed to the pipeline cheered the development as setback. They say the pipeline could threaten pristine waterways, vulnerable animals and habitats as well as scar the land

      • Regulators: More information needed on PennEast pipeline

        Are they “incomplete” or “failing” grades?

        Could be either, depending on who you ask about recent deficiency letters from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, regarding the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline.

        The pipeline is proposed to run approximately 118 miles from Luzerne County to Mercer County, New Jersey, passing through a far northern corner of Bucks County along the way. In early April, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the main agency tasked with reviewing interstate gas pipeline proposals, offered its final recommendation to approve the project to the agency’s commissioners.

        The commission’s staff said the pipeline can be built with minimal environmental impact, but approval will ultimately be decided by a vote by FERC’s five commissioners, once at least one of three vacancies on the commission is filled by President Donald Trump.

        Before construction, environmental advocates say the proposal also needs approvals and permits from the Delaware River Basin Commission, Army Corps and NJDEP.

        But late Wednesday afternoon, the NJDEP issued a letter of deficiency for the project, stating that the application it received was missing a variety of information, including wetlands analysis, proof of public notifications, and other administrative requirements

    • Feds Say It’s Too Dangerous To Share Dakota Access Oil Spill Report

      federal agency won’t release a study about the potential effects of a Dakota Access Pipeline oil spill because it claims information in the report could put lives at risk.

      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the claim while rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request from MuckRock, a journalism website that collects and publishes government documents.

      MuckRock’s co-founder Michael Morisy had requested in March a copy of an Army Corps environmental assessment that looked at the possible impact of a pipeline leak on Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

      “The referenced document contains information related to sensitive infrastructure that if misused could endanger people’s lives and property,” said Army Corps lawyer Damon Roberts in a denial letter that MuckRock published Tuesday.

      Rather than editing out sensitive details, Roberts withheld all materials related to the request.

      “I understand exempting some details, but knowing the impact of a natural disaster should be public,” Morisy told HuffPost. “I was very disappointed.”

    • How Satellite Data Caught Gulf Oil Companies Hiding Enormous Oil Spills

      In the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for 17% of U.S. crude oil production, appetite for drilling is ticking up amid President Trump’s drive for energy deregulation. In late March, the Department of Interior auctioned off over 900,000 acres of leases in the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf for $275 million, up from $156 million last year. That might be worrisome, given that the area is still recovering from the Deepwater Horizon spill, but don’t worry: The oil industry often contends that, barring the occasional mega-disaster, offshore drilling is by and large a safe, if not overregulated, practice.

      However, according to a new report from three Louisiana-based environmental groups, offshore oil accidents in the Gulf of Mexico are a more regular and serious occurrence than the industry is willing to admit. The report—released in March by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 350 Louisiana, and Disastermap.net—pulled directly from a Coast Guard data clearinghouse and found 479 reports of offshore oil accidents in the northern Gulf in 2016. That’s an average of about nine spills per week, dumping a total of nearly 18,000 gallons of oil and other substances into the environment.

      • Group finds more oil and gas spills from Enbridge’s Line 5 than previously thought

        Advocates with the National Wildlife Federation say they’ve uncovered more oil and gas spills from Enbridge’s Line 5 than they previously thought, raising questions about how leaks are reported and whether there have been more.

        The group said Monday it has found at least 29 instances of oil and natural gas liquids spills totaling more than one million gallons over the course of the pipeline’s 64-year history. That’s nearly double the amount the group previously thought had occurred.

        The 29 spills, which were mostly detected by the public and local government personnel rather than the company’s remote pipeline detection system, date back to 1968, according to a map of the data.

        The group also says its findings shed light on the history of Line 5’s inland path — which runs from northern Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario — while much of the attention has focused on the underwater section beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

        The 29 spills found are “really part of a mounting chain of evidence that this pipeline is aging out poorly,” said Mike Shriberg, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, who added the number is a “conservative estimate.”

    • Saltwater spill flows downstream to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

      Environmental test work on Bird Creek in Osage County led to the discovery Tuesday of a saltwater spill into another creek, this time the main freshwater artery of the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

      “After we found out it was running into Sand Creek, I called and gave the Nature Conservancy a heads-up, just to be neighborly,” said R.D. Farr, manager of the adjacent Chapman Ranch, which has suffered more than its share of issues with oil production operations lately.

      “The first step is knowing there is an issue so we can keep in contact with the regulatory authorities and know what is happening,” said Bob Hamilton, director at the Tallgrass Preserve.

      He said preserve staff was in touch with Bureau of Indian Affairs officials Wednesday. State regulatory agencies do not have jurisdiction where the Osage Nation holds the mineral rights.

    • Church Founded by Rockefellers Divests From Fossil Fuels

      New York City’s Riverside Church, founded by the Rockefellers and the tallest church in the U.S., announced Tuesday that it intends to divest its $140 million endowment from all fossil fuels within five years. It has already divested from coal and this builds on that action in the lead up to the Peoples Climate March and Global Divestment Mobilization.

      “Riverside’s decision to strategically divest from the Carbon Underground 200 underscores our shared commitment to be a faithful witness to God’s reconciling grace in the world,” Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Amy Butler of the church said when making the announcement.

      The church has welcomed the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama and 350’s own Bill McKibben to address the congregation over the decades.

      Interestingly, the church was founded by John D. Rockefeller Jr. who’s father became one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. in the late 1800s as owner of Standard Oil, the largest oil production company of its time. The church was literally built with oil money which makes this announcement even more impactful. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, established by grandchildren of Rockefeller Sr., announced its intention to divest from fossil fuels in 2014.

      “We are committed to raising awareness on a global level that fossil fuels need to be rapidly phased out,” Beth Ackerman, chair of the Beloved Earth Community at the church, said. “It is just wrong to ruin our one beautiful planet, the place where everything we’ve ever known exists.”

    • Montana Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Gold Mining Near Yellowstone National Park

      U.S. Sen. Jon Tester introduced legislation on Tuesday to protect more than 30,000 acres of public land bordering Yellowstone National Park. These public lands in Montana’s Park County are the targets of two industrial scale gold mine proposals, which would threaten the national park, the clean water of the Yellowstone River, wildlife and the local economy. The legislation does not affect any recreational use of the land, including hunting or fishing.

      Sen. Tester’s legislation followed actions made in the fall of 2016, when U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture began a two-year time-out on gold exploration and mining, on the public land near Yellowstone National Park.

      “The people in Park County are standing together and saying industrial gold mining doesn’t make sense on the doorsteps of Yellowstone. Our river, our wild lands and our wildlife are too valuable to gamble,” said Michelle Uberuaga, executive director of the Park County Environmental Council.

      “Our local elected officials and the county commission are standing with us and we’re grateful to have Sen. Tester’s leadership in Washington, DC. Now we need to see this to the finish line,” she added.

      More than 300 local businesses of the bipartisan Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition asked for the action, citing risks to their livelihoods and to the strong regional economy. The local calls for action were echoed on a national level, for the potential impacts to the world’s first national park and surrounding wildlife habitat, as well the Yellowstone River and its world-famous fishery.

    • Bernie Sanders: ‘This Is Exactly What We Mean When We Talk About Oligarchy’

      Despite the numerous controversies and vocal opposition swirling around President Donald Trump’s pick to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Senators voted 52 to 46, largely along party lines, in February to confirm Oklahoma Republican Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator.

      It now appears that Koch Industries—the oil and gas conglomerate owned by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch—directly lobbied Congress to confirm Pruitt and spent millions to influence anti-environmental initiatives, a disclosure report shows.

      As The Intercept reported:

      “The firm’s latest disclosure form reports that its in-house corporate lobbying team spent $3.1 million to influence lawmakers over the first three months of the year on a variety of issues affecting its bottom line, including the EPA’s Clean Power Rule on carbon emissions, carbon pricing, the Clean Air Act and ‘nominations for various positions at the Department of Energy.'”

      “This is exactly what we mean when we talk about oligarchy. Multi-billionaires and corporations should not have the power to pick and choose who is in charge of our federal agencies,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said in response to The Intercept’s report. “But that is exactly what happened—Koch Industries spent millions on lobbying Congress to confirm Scott Pruitt, our head of the Environmental Protection Agency who doesn’t believe in environmental protection

    • Cleanup continues at site of 19,000-gallon oil spill in northwest Oklahoma

      A Houston-based pipeline company continued cleanup Tuesday at the site of a nearly 19,000 gallon oil spill in northwest Oklahoma that threatened a local water supply over the weekend.

      Crews from Plains All American Pipeline were at the site in rural Loyal, about 60 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The 450-barrel leak was reported Friday, but it’s unclear when it started.

      Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said roughly 70 acres of farmland are affected and that the spill reached a small creek at one point. But he says the leak was contained before it flowed into a second creek that flows into the Cimarron River about 16 miles away.

      The state’s Department of Environmental Quality also sent a specialist to the site last week, who confirmed there was no contamination in the second creek, agency spokeswoman Erin Hatfield said. A regional spokesman for the EPA didn’t return a message seeking comment.

    • Because It’s Time for ‘New, Radical Ideas,’ TED Talk on Universal Basic Income Gets Thunderous Applause

      If the kind of reception the idea of a universal basic income received Tuesday is any gauge, political leaders should take note.

      According to Business Insider, it “just got a standing ovation at this year’s TED conference.”

      The cheers came during historian Rutger Bregman’s talk at TED2017 in Vancouver, in which he touted the social welfare concept of providing people with income to pay for their basic needs as a means of tackling poverty.

      The TEDBlog wrote:

      According to Bregman, a basic income in the United States would cost $175 billion, just a quarter of the U.S.’s military budget. And universal basic income impacts the future of work itself—it’s a complete rethink of what “work” actually is. Ultimately, Bregman believes in a “future where the value of your work is not determined by the size of your paycheck, but by the amount of happiness you spread and the amount of meaning you give.”

    • The 22 Dems Supporting Sanders’ $15 Minimum Wage Bill… and 24 Who Aren’t

      the following Democratic senators aren’t on board:
      Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
      Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
      Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
      Thomas Carper (D-Del.)
      Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
      Chris Coons (D-Del.)
      Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
      Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
      Tammy Duckworth (D-Il.)
      Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
      Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)
      Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
      Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
      Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
      Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
      Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
      Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
      Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
      Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
      Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
      Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
      Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
      Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
      Mark Warner (D-Va.)

      • On the no side, Baldwin is probably the most disappointing. On the yes side, Kaine and Feinstein are probably the most surprising.

        • Repubs and Koch plan on going after her seat hard as in $$$$ coming into Wi for that election

          • That’s true, but I would imagine the $15 minimum would poll well there. Or is she afraid her $$$$ will dry up if she supports the $15 minimum?

            • Yes it would ($15)Bernie was a hit in WI on that and over all. She’s not a hard core neolib but would like to see her come out and support Bernie’s policies more aggressively

        • Feinstein surprised me as well. She’s against Medicare for All though. I figured she decided maybe we all needed a raise to pay for the premiums, co-pays, and deductibles our insurance has now.

      • I’m not surprised that Amy Klobuchar D-Minn is on the list. She’s turned in too quite the Corporitist Dem and also favored the TPP early on. I’d love to see her challenged by a strong progressive candidate in the next election. Unfortunately,the MN DFLer’s that are in control of the state party are all still part of the Clinton Corporitist Machine. They just reelected DNC Ken Martin (long time Clinton supporter) to once again, chair the state DFL.

      • Duckworth, Klobuchar, Tester, Udall. bummer. jerks.

      • There’s my so-called progressive Senator Murphy! All he seems to want to do these days is talk about Trump.

        US Senator Chris Murphy Talks Tough on Trump

        Asked his opinion on minimum wage, Murphy said he advocates steps toward a $15 minimum wage, starting with a $12 hourly wage first.

        Murphy might be hedging as I’ve heard that he may run for Prez.

    • Obama Under Fire for $400K Speech to Wall Street ‘Fat Cats’

      Former President Barack Obama is garnering criticism for netting a whopping $400,000 for his first major speech since leaving office—a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, scheduled to take place in September.

      Progressives were deeply disappointed by Obama’s approach to Wall Street during his presidency, and many are condemning his lucrative Wall Street speaking fee as an apparent retroactive reward for his administration’s soft stance toward the one percent.

      While Obama railed against “fat cat bankers” on the campaign trail, during his tenure as president he oversaw the massive bailout for the firms responsible for the 2008 crisis, picked former Wall Street executives for his cabinet, and not a single banker went to jail.

      As Aaron Blake writes in the Washington Post, there are many problems with the arrangement:

      George W. Bush and Bill Clinton did this, too, as have Hillary Clinton, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan. And the more that Wall Street firms give out-of-office presidents and big-name politicians these paydays, the more they become the norm. Other presidents will know that such payments are on the table, and it risks coloring their decisions with regard to Wall Street and special interests.

      Which is already happening with Obama, retroactively.

      • Barack Obama has a powerful voice. He shouldn’t use it for paid speeches

        Post-White House greed has become customary and speaking fees have become accepted tips for retiring public servants, tracing back to Gerald Ford. A Japanese communications conglomerate paid Ronald Reagan $2m for speeches.

        The Clintons were the champions of buck-raking, together fetching more than $158m in speaking fees. They also loved rubbing shoulders with billionaires and sailing on glitzy yachts. George W Bush made 200 paid speeches and received what now seems a paltry $7m for his memoir, Decision Points.

        But we are in a different era right now. On Monday, in Chicago, Obama had his first post-presidential speech and did not utter a single word about his successor, who recklessly and falsely accused Obama of spying on him and has set about reversing almost all of his policies.

        Explaining why the former president will remain silent on Trump for the time being, his aides said he was replicating the gentlemanly behavior of W, who refrained from criticizing him. (W reportedly resented that Jimmy Carter criticized his father after losing to the Reagan-Bush ticket.) But these are not gentlemanly times and these customs should all be broken.

        The habitual kowtowing of senior Democrats to the billionaire class has left their party close to morally bankrupt. Bernie Sanders was right to hammer Hillary during the primaries for her speaking fees from Wall Street. Even her most ardent supporters found these speaking fees indefensible. They were certain to be fodder for her opponents.

      • The Guardian view on Barack Obama: don’t go chasing Wall Street cash

        There’s little doubt that President Obama was a historic leader of the world’s most powerful nation. In his eight years in office, the economy was steered clear of a looming depression. His healthcare reforms are established as a totemic policy in American politics. In global affairs he looked for no new dragons to slay. He can also claim credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Iran nuclear deal and the opening up of Cuba. When he reappeared in public life, after three months off, it was to encourage young people to participate in political life. Yet now it has emerged that he is to be paid $400,000 to speak at a Wall Street conference. This is a mistake. He should give the fee to charity.

      • http://www.vox.com/2017/4/26/15426274/elizabeth-warren-interview-ezra-klein-obama

        EZRA KLEIN
        In your new book, you talk about a speech President Obama gave in the summer of 2016 where he said, “The system isn’t as rigged as you think.”

        You write that, “No, President Obama, the system is as rigged as we think. In fact, it’s worse than most Americans realize.” What do people miss about the rigging?
        Elizabeth Warren

        ELIZABETH WARREN
        Money slithers through Washington like a snake, and it’s quiet, but the influence is everywhere. There are the obvious ways that we know about, the campaign contributions and armies of lobbyists. But it’s so much more. It’s bought-and-paid-for experts who testify before Congress and are quoted in the press. It’s think tanks that are funded by shadowy money and always have a particular point of view that just seems to help the rich and the powerful get richer and more powerful.

        In the book, I talk about the revolving door and how people work on Wall Street for 20 years, and then take a spin through the revolving door and work in the Treasury Department, and then spin right back to Wall Street. The giant payouts that they give to people to go work in government are just stunning. I mean, millions of dollars.

        These big corporations! “If you go teach, we got nothing for you. If you want to go build houses for Habitat for Humanity, we’ll give you a firm handshake. If you’ll go work in government, we’ll write you this giant check to go do that.” What is that, except by way of saying, “Remember us, because you’re going to be the one driving the bus, and when you’re driving the bus, keep in mind all the things we care about.”

        Money pervades. It’s whose phone calls do you take. It’s who you see in the evenings. It’s who are your old friends. It’s every part of it, so that the rich and the powerful are incredibly well-represented, not just at the top in the White House but all the way through government in this town.

        • Stuff like this warms my heart towards her.

        • Unfortunately, Warren has crossed a line by even coming close to criticizing Obama. Those that revere he and Clinton WILL NOT HAVE IT! No criticism is allowed, don’t you know. She’s probably in for it now!

    • The People Have Spoken: They Want More Government

      The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found that President Trump’s approval ratings are lower than those of any of the past 11 presidents at the same point in their presidencies, going all the way back to Dwight Eisenhower. Only 40 percent of those surveyed in mid-April approve of Trump’s performance, while 54 percent disapprove. To compound the bad news for Trump, his disapproval rating among independents is as bad as it is among the population at large—as the Journal notes, “he risks losing the nation’s political middle ground.”

      But another finding in the poll was just as eye-opening, if not as well-noticed: Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe government should be doing more “to solve problems and help meet people’s needs,” the highest percentage since the question was first asked, in 1995. Back then, only about 30 percent of those surveyed believed government should do more to help Americans, and less than 45 percent thought so as recently as 2010.

      This is a remarkable reversal and another telling example—along with Democrat Jon Ossoff’s near win of a congressional seat in heavily Republican Georgia, along with the GOP’s failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act—that Americans want something far different than what Trump is offering them. His cynical promise to make government work again by eliminating regulations and social programs is not cutting it. Americans want government to do what it started doing in the New Deal.

    • House Dems to force vote on bill demanding Trump taxes, visitor logs: report

      House Democrats are planning to force a vote Thursday on a bill that would require President Trump to release information about his taxes and visitor logs, The Washington Post reported.

      Democrats will reportedly attempt procedural maneuvers to force a vote on a bill by Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) that would demand disclosures on Trump’s taxes, business dealings, ethics waivers in the administration and details about whom he is meeting with at the White House and at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

      Dems are hoping to force Republicans in competitive reelections to go on the record defending Trump.

      The Trump administration said earlier this month that it will not release disclosure logs of visitors to the White House, breaking with a practice that began under the Obama administration.

      • Trump met with Matt Drudge in Oval Office: report

        President Trump met with conservative media personality Matt Drudge in the Oval Office, Politico reported Thursday.

        Trump has kept in close contact with a number of conservative media figures, the report said.

        And in addition to meeting with Trump at the White House, Drudge reportedly speaks regularly with the president’s top aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

        Earlier this month, the Drudge Report proprietor said he thinks Republicans in Congress are intentionally undermining the president with legislative and policy hurdles and obstructions.

    • “Innocent People Have Been Sentenced to Death in Oklahoma,” Commission Concludes

      The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission after more than a year of work has recommended that a moratorium on carrying out capital punishment in the state be continued indefinitely. “It is undeniable that innocent people have been sentenced to death in Oklahoma,” the report concludes.

      The bipartisan commission’s findings span nearly 300 pages, covering every stage of the state’s death penalty system. It addresses such issues as the problematic interrogation of suspects, overworked defense attorneys in capital cases, and an execution process with a disastrous track record. Headed by former Gov. Brad Henry, former federal magistrate Judge Andy Lester, and Judge Reta Strubhar, the first woman to sit on the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals, the commission urges the state to correct the “systemic flaws” in its death penalty system before seeking to restart executions, or sentencing any new defendants to death row.

      It is not the first time a report has found deep problems with the death penalty in Oklahoma. A blistering grand jury report released last year found myriad failures by state officials entrusted to carry out lethal injection. But this is a more far-reaching review, conducted by an 11-member commission that, beginning in 2015, “gathered data, reviewed scholarly articles, commissioned studies, and conducted interviews” to thoroughly examine the state’s capital punishment system from top to bottom.

    • The Midwest is longing for populism. Can Democrats offer that in 2018? Thomas Frank

      The tragedy of the 2016 election is connected closely, at least for me, to the larger tragedy of the industrial Midwest. It was in the ruined industrial city of Cleveland that the Republican Party came together in convention last July, and it was the deindustrialized, addiction-harrowed precincts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that switched sides in November and delivered Donald Trump to the Oval Office.

      I am a Midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of the last 15 years trying to understand my region’s gradual drift to the political right. And I have spent the last three weeks driving around the deindustrialized Midwest, visiting 13 different cities to talk about the appeal of Donald Trump and what ails the Democratic Party. I met labor leaders and progressive politicians; average people and rank-and-file union members; senior citizens and Millennials; sages and cranks.

      Along the way I gawked at abandoned factory complexes and at Gothic-style water filtration plants. I visited affluent college towns and crumbling relics of twentieth-century prosperity. I ate pork tenderloins in Iowa and ribeye steaks in Indiana and “fast-casual Italian offal” (as a friend called it) in a bohemian zone of Chicago. I saw countless old fighter planes mounted on pedestals. I stood in a union hall in Indianapolis and breathed in that glorious odor of industrial beer mixed with decades of cigarette residue, the sweet fragrance of my youth.

      And what I am here to say is that the Midwest is not an exotic place. It isn’t a benighted region of unknowable people and mysterious urges. It isn’t backward or hopelessly superstitious or hostile to learning. It is solid, familiar, ordinary America, and Democrats can have no excuse for not seeing the wave of heartland rage that swamped them last November.

      • Being from WI no were not exotic, most of us want a wage the will give us the ability to afford a decent place to live, take a vacation yearly , affordable health care ,get our kids thru college w/o breaking the bank and have the Govt able to provide the basic services for the cities/towns in which we live. The neolibs have left us out of sight and mind and simply don’t give a damn about the middle class that built this country.

    • It is good that this is happening.

      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/330854-nebraska-dem-chair-slams-perez-for-dismissing-pro-life-democrats

      The chair of Nebraska’s Democratic Party is criticizing Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez for calling for all Democrats to be pro-abortion rights, saying the party shouldn’t make anti-abortion Democrats feel unwelcome.

      “Tom Perez put every Democrat who is leading our party at the nationwide and statewide level in a very difficult position,” Jane Kleeb told the Atlantic, saying Perez’s statement “is now being interpreted as him saying he does not accept pro-life Democrats in the Party.”

      “I think the demonizing of people who are pro-life is deplorable,” she added. Kleeb said she identifies as pro-choice and progressive.

    • The more I hear from her the less I like her.

      http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/330916-dem-senator-fears-russian-election-interference-could-be-normalized

      Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said Thursday that Russian meddling in U.S. elections could become “normalized” if the government does not further respond to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential contest.

      Shaheen doubled down on her push for an independent investigation of Russia’s actions and more sanctions on Moscow in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on Thursday afternoon.

      “If Russia gets a pass on 2016, it could interfere in future U.S. elections not only at the presidential level but at the House and Senate level,” Shaheen said.

      The New Hampshire Democrat is part of a bipartisan group of senators who introduced legislation in January that would impose further sanctions on Russia.

      Give it a rest already. There are more important things like where she is on the list posted by LD today.

    • I haven’t watched it yet but it ought to be good! A Tim Black… Jimmy Dore interview!

    • Seemingly never at a loss for words Caitlin Johnstone weighs in on Obama.

      https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/if-progressives-dont-wake-up-to-how-awful-obama-was-their-movement-will-fail-291fc214325f

      Apr 27
      If Progressives Don’t Wake Up To How Awful Obama Was, Their Movement Will Fail

      Could you ask for a more perfect bookend to Obama’s blood-soaked neocon abortion of a presidency than his receiving $400,000 to give a speech at a health care conference organized by a Wall Street firm?
      My God I hate every single thing about every single part of this. Let me type that out again in segments, so we can all really feel into it:
      Four hundred thousand dollars. From a former President of the United States. To give a speech. At a healthcare conference. Organized by a Wall Street firm.
      Why are Wall Street firms organizing motherfucking healthcare conferences, one might understandably ask? And why are they hiring the man who just completed an eight-year war on progressive healthcare policy and a torrid love affair with Wall Street criminals? These are extremely reasonable questions that might be asked by anyone who is intelligent and emotionally masochistic enough to look straight at this thing, and the answer, of course, is America. That’s what America is now. The man who continued and expanded all of Bush’s most evil policies, created a failed state in Libya, exponentially expanded the civilian-slaughtering US drone program which Chomsky calls “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times” to unprecedented levels, facilitated the Orwellian expansion of the US surveillance state while prosecuting more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, and used charm and public sympathy to evade the drastic environmental policy changes we’ll need to avert climate disaster and lull the progressive movement into a dead sleep for eight years now gets paid nearly half a million dollars an hour to continue bolstering the exploitative corporatist nightmare he’s dedicated his life to. American University has compiled data indicating that the already extremely wealthy Obama family may end up being worth as much as $242 million in their post-White House years, and if Barry keeps whoring himself out like this, he might exceed even that.

      I gather that she is not overly impressed. LOL there is more at the above link.

      • Say what you really mean, Caitlin:

        By letting ourselves really see Obama for the vicious ecocidal warmongering corporatist that he is and letting the resulting disgust wash through us, we are inoculating ourselves against sympathy for him and everyone like him. That disgust will serve as a kind of psychological gag reflex that rescues us from swallowing any more of their bullshit.

    • I don’t remember seeing this one. If I missed it. MY BAD!

      https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/clinton-feminists-are-not-feminists-2f6b5bf709c

      Never mind the fact that this candidate, Heath Mello, has specifically said that “While my faith guides my personal views, as mayor I would never do anything to restrict access to reproductive health care.” Never mind the fact that as mayor he’d have no control over reproductive rights legislation anyway. Never mind the fact that these pussyhat-wearing dimwits are promulgating a bald-faced lie peddled by establishment outlets like The Wall Street Journal and the CIA-funded Washington Post asserting that Mello sponsored a bill that would require women to have a transvaginal ultrasound and look at the picture of the fetus before they could obtain an abortion. Never mind that it’s in deep-red fucking Nebraska. Never mind the hypocrisy of bitching about “purity tests” from progressives and then saying that a slight impurity in one mayoral candidate he endorsed means that Sanders hates women and needs to go. Never mind Sanders’ 100% perfect rating on reproductive rights from Planned Parenthood. This is where these brave McResistors have chosen to take their stand against the big, scary boogeyman from Vermont.

      Allow me to femsplain. The people coming after Sanders in this way are all Clinton loyalists — seriously, check them out, I guarantee you’ll find Hillary stuff on the social media page of anyone who’s going on about this Mello thing. These are human beings who truly believe that Hillary Clinton would have made a terrific president. They’re people who think a former Walmart director who attacked Sanders for pushing for universal healthcare over the corporatist clusterfuck known as Obamacare would steer America in a positive direction. They’re people who think that the woman who told a group of Goldman Sachs executives that she’d lie to the American people for their benefit, and who painted Sanders’ vision of bringing the United States up to speed with the rest of the developed world on economic justice as “pie in the sky” naivety, was what the nation really needs. They’re people like former Clinton strategist Sally Albright, who in January said in a (since-deleted but archived) tweet that income inequality is “only a priority for white cis men” in her relentless establishment push to get Democrats to abandon the fight for economic justice. They support thinking like that and oppose thinking like Bernie’s.

      • I have no idea why there is so much bolding. (not intended) but the edit feature does not work all that well.

    • Listening to eckhart tolle talk about how we should communicate consciously when debating politics and thinking that i’m probably not following his advice when I share Caitlin. And wondering how i integrate those 2 things–wanting to be “conscious” in everything I do and yet finding Caitlin to be one of the most refreshing, alive, and funny writers I’ve had the pleasure to read.

      I understand that she is off-putting to those that she wishes would see things differently, but she is a balm to the soul of the minority that us “true progressives” are, or at least to some of us.

  • Sanders and 21 Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour

    Backed by nearly half of the Senate’s Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.) are introducing revamped l […]

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

      • Very interesting how Schumer is increasingly siding with Sanders on many issues, including this latest minimum wage bill.

        • He has nothing to lose from his backers because the bill will not pass and maybe it will get him some votes at home.

        • some of it is kabuki. i’m even wondering about his “support” for Ellison. did he have a silent hand in getting Perez in there? color me cynical. 😉

      • I wish that the edit feature offered more control when editing. Oh well!

      • Bernie Sanders on making Democrats a 50-state party

        JUDY WOODRUFF: Senator, and I think this is in connection with that, you said in an interview two days ago, the Democratic Party — you said this as an independent, that the Democratic Party is failing, that it needs the change.

        Are you saying there should be a litmus test to be a Democrat? What does one have to believe to be a Democrat?

        SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Judy, here is the reality. And I don’t think it’s just me saying it.

        Right now, you have the Republicans controlling the White House, right-wing extremist Republicans controlling the White House, the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, two-thirds of the governors chairs, and in the last eight years, Democrats have lost 900 legislative seats all over this country.

        That is a failed approach toward politics. So, in my view, the Democrats need to do several things. Number one, Democrats need to become a 50-state party. You can’t have a great party on the West Coast and the East Coast. You need to have a party in all 50 states. That’s not the case right now.

        And that’s why I have been running around the country to Republican states to galvanize people to get involved in the political process.

        • About 7 diaries at TOP were piling on Bernie in how he could campaign for Mello (one with a questionable record concerning women’s reproductive rights), but he could not help Ossoff go over the 50% threshold with an endorsement.

          What’s more interesting is that at 5:30 mark, Woodruff asks
          Bernie about how some Democrats are not progressive enough, such as Jon Ossoff. Bernie immediately shuts that line of questioning down and lets Woodruff know that Jon Ossoff never asked him for an endorsement. But that said, he hoped Ossoff would win as Dems needed to take back the House.

          To this date, David Nir has not apologized to Bernie nor Mello for the lie concerning Mello’s record that they spread when they un-endorsed Mello.

          I’m glad Bernie said not to believe what all the corporate media tells you. Well, DK is corporate media.

          • LOL Right now Kos himself has weighed in with a diatribe about Dems who focus on economic equality–with a special attack on Jane O’Meara Sanders for her wording in a tweet. The diary is so over the top ridiculously divisive, it’s only purpose must be click bait.

            • Attacks on Jane can be quite the traffic drivers!

            • Yup, another pee & vinegar by the Great Orange Satan (I don’t know what to call the fearless TOP owner anymore now that Cheeto is in the big house and the names look interchangeable, lol).

              I refrained from getting involved except I couldn’t help but tip this particular comment:

              TOP

    • Sanders’ Iowa campaign coordinator may challenge Young for spot in Congress

      The man who coordinated Bernie Sanders’ presidential primary campaign in Iowa is considering a run for U.S. Rep. David Young’s seat.

      Pete D’Allesandro of Des Moines has formed an exploratory committee to run in the Democratic primary for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Council Bluffs and much of southwest Iowa. In a statement posted to social media D’Allesandro said, “3rd District voters deserve to have their voices heard.”

    • Barack Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speaking Fee Might Further Divide Democrats

      During the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s top-dollar Wall Street speaking fees became a flashpoint issue. In a hard-fought race between Clinton and Bernie Sanders ― one that struck a sharp contrast on some high-priority progressive issues ― her proximity to the same financial firms that Sanders routinely condemned ripped the Democratic Party wide open. And now, a recently departed Democratic icon might end up doing the same thing. Barack Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street speaking fee is already stoking the same tensions between the party’s centrist and left wings.

      For some Democrats ― more likely those who supported Clinton, and are broadly comfortable with the party’s status quo over the last several years ― the news that former President Obama is going to cash in with a fat Wall Street check probably won’t move the needle all that much. In fact, some ardent Obama supporters on social media have already been pushing against the idea that this is anything to be bothered by.

      ..

      But for the progressive grassroots, this kind of thing is anathema, an overt sign of a toxic coziness that exists between liberal politicos and the titans of the American financial industry. And the fact that Obama may now be taking this route ― just eight years after bursting into the presidency as the fresh-faced image of hope and change ― might only reinforce the idea that Democrats catering to elite institutions is inevitable when you settle for half measures. In other words, when you pick relative centrists and incrementalists like Obama and Clinton, rather than seemingly principles-first fire-breathers like Sanders.

      • Ex-PBO is just showing his true colors. He’s a Raygun fan who never made a secret out of the fact that he is a “moderate Repukelican.” LD: watch your snail mail. 🙂 T and R to the usual suspects!!

      • 4 reasons Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street speech is a bad idea

        1. It continues to set a dubious precedent

        Which is already happening with Obama, retroactively. Liberals loved (and miss) his presidency, but if there’s one thing the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders wing is still sore about in the Obama administration, it’s the lack of prosecutions for anybody involved in the financial crisis. In September, Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, requested a formal investigation of why no charges were brought.

        2. We have other rules against retroactively cashing in
        3. Democrats are trying to be the anti-Wall Street party (I seriously doubt this reason but if WaPo wants to list it, more power to them)

        4. Obama himself discussed the corrupting influence of such arrangements in his book

        Obama is talking about politicians who are in office, yes, but he’s also talking about how special interests get their hooks in you without you really being conscious of it. He’s talking about how taking special-interest money is the easy way out. And that sure seems applicable to today.

        I think Obama will still do it, but the pushback will cause it to go more underground.

        • I think this hurts the party in trying to win back Obama voters whose communities have been decimated by trade deals and Wall Street.

        • I think a better description than “Democrats are trying to be the anti-Wall Street party” might be “Democrats are trying to convince people that they are anti-Wall St. (while keeping a hand open for the moola behind their backs.” 😉

      • “might”? Have you seen twitter lately?? I’ve never seen the party so split.

        Anyone who dares to see a problem with Obama’s payday is being attacked & called racist (& sexist in the case of Hillary’s Wall St speaking fees).

        Here’s an example:

        Ahhh, the difference is that they were Republicans? Sheesh

        • Yes, it’s sad. I rarely even speak up in the company of those that pile on with “racist,” even when it is a well-deserved criticism. Sometimes I do, though, and explain, that it’s the policies, the beliefs, the votes, the actions, not the skin color or gender.

          It’s a form of bullying. They know they’ll tarnish you and probably make you feel shame.

      • Disappointing but not surprising. He had the chance of being another FDR and he blew it.

      • The town hall they propose could be at the People’s Summit.

        Has anyone signed up for an invite yet? I did, but there seems to be a lot of testing of the waters regarding price and stipends.

        • Im still trying to work out logistics, etc. Know I need to get to booking things soon if I am going to make it, just depends on what the total costs will add up to.

          • I agree. One of the things I listed on the form was not to have too many late evening activities as some of us may have to stay in the ‘burbs in order to keep our costs down. As it stands too, the Hyatt, which is attached to the Convention Center, is already booked up. The next nearest decent hotel is about a mile north. They are asking $115 for the convention rate, but they also have a check off box about what you can afford if that is too high.

            • I hope you and @LieparDestin both get to go!!

              It’s, unfortunately, out of the question for me. I hope there’s an event like that someday within a few hours driving distance.

              It’d be great to have something like that happen in CT. Really put CT Dems on the spot. 😉

              • Well at least your “beloved” governor is not running again.

                • Thank god!!!!!

                  Malloy probably would have lost with his very low favorable rating. At least with him out of the way there’s a chance to beat the Repubs (some of whom, honestly, sound like they are more tapped in than Dems-some of them have even fought Malloy’s budget cuts on social services!).

      • Let him draft us into the Independents, for goodness sake. It’s already there and it has a much higher membership than the duopoly parties.

    • I don’t quite agree with everything in the article but there are some truths to be found and some possible discussion to be had…

      Democrats need to build the party from the ground up; here are 4 ways to do that.

      We must understand why we lost. It honestly had little to do with former candidates Clinton or Sanders or lack of resources or good and smart people. We have resources, we have good and smart people and we have a vision and values that Americans believe in.

      Our opponents, however, are masters of the marginal gain. They have played the system well and have leveraged its rules to ensure their victory time and again. This is true in the Electoral College and gerrymandered House districts, of course, but it is also true in the broader political arena. They have built a pipeline for their ideas and leaders that maximizes the marginal value of each. They focused on school boards, state legislatures, courtrooms and county commissions, and groomed people for governorships and Congress.

      We lost because we have little patience for the marginal game. We bring awesome resources to the table, and then squander them on short-term battles, “shiny object” projects and singular candidates or causes.

      Consider one statistic, which I think is the most important explanation for our party’s long-term decline. In 2015 alone, the conservatives spent $103 million on leadership development organizations while progressives spent $16 million. This 6-to-1 advantage is just a snapshot of a decades-long conservative investment. Since 2008, the conservatives have spent $818 million compared to $82 million. Read this paragraph again, and let those numbers sink in.

      Yes, we can argue around the edges about which organizations should be included or not, but the numbers are staggering, no matter how one slices the pie. Smart business people focus on a simple concept: return on investment. The left has spent billions with little to show for it.

      • I’m not as educated on this as I feel I ought to be in order to voice an opinion, but…

        I get the impression that too much money goes into too few races.

        After Georgia’s Close Race, Montana Democrats Demand Party’s Attention

        Even Kos agrees with me!

        “The party clearly has no clue how to build and nurture a movement,” said Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the liberal website Daily Kos, which has taken the lead in raising money for Democratic candidates first in Georgia, then Kansas and now Montana. “‘We’re going to lose, so stay out’ is not a winning message, ever, and it certainly doesn’t work in these times, when we have a national resistance energized and looking for ways to engage.”

        !

        “National folks should be coming in here,” (MT) Governor Bullock said. “It is a winnable race.”

        Where are the “national folks”? WHO are they? I don’t even know anymore.

        “Yet to the frustration of Democrats here, Mr. Quist has received no defense from national third-party groups — and he’s running against Mr. Gianforte, who was just beaten statewide. Mr. Gianforte and three Washington-based conservative organizations have spent more than $1.4 million on television and radio since February, much of it attacking Mr. Quist.

        Democratic officials, contributors and activists in Montana, which Mr. Sanders carried in the presidential primary, are clearly agitated over their Washington-based party. They say the top-down leadership never misses an opportunity to play it safe.

        Echoing the demands that progressives made just over a decade ago when another Republican president ignited the liberal rank-and-file, Montana Democrats express irritation that they must persuade their party to contest red-tinged seats. And in some cases, they are even borrowing the animating language from the backlash to President George W. Bush’s second term.

        “This is the time for the 50-state strategy. What are they waiting for?” said Julia Shaida, a 60-year-old Bozeman yoga teacher who recently moved here from New York. “The energy is here. I read that they didn’t support the Kansas candidate. That’s very upsetting to me.”

        Standing outside Mr. Quist’s new Bozeman headquarters on Saturday, a few hours after a spring snow shower and before she was to begin canvassing, Ms. Shaida made a plea: “Don’t be afraid of a populist message.”

        I mean, what’s the issue?? Are the “national folks” mad that Montana Dems picked Bernie in last year’s primary or something? Are they too comfy in their swanky east/west coast offices?

    • http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/04/detroits-water-system-and-the-roots-of-the-flint-water-

      The following guest post was written by Dennis L. Green, a retired certified Professional Engineer from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD

    • State Democrat reproaches DNC chair’s demands for conformity on abortion

      New Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez is drawing rebuke from leading Democrats such as U.S.House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) for recent comments declaring that support for abortion among Democrats across the country is “not negotiable.”

      Perez’s comments don’t sit well with some state Democrats either like Rep. Ken Goodman (D-Rockingham).

      “I think every person should take policy positions based on the dictates of conscience,” said Goodman when asked about Perez’s statements and his views toeing the party line. “When there is not room in the Democratic Party for different points of view, is when I will cease to be a Democrat.”

      • Ramesh Ponnuru: Democrats leave no room for abortion foes

        “I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health. It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights. Every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same because every woman should be able to make her own health choices. Period. ”

        Every Democrat? That’s bad news for Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, a Democrat at the top of Republican target lists for next year who has generally opposed abortion. It would have been bad news for a lot of other Democrats over the years, too. Such leading Democrats as Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy and Dick Gephardt were at one point anti-abortion. Many others, such as Bill Clinton, broke with the pro-choice lobby on taxpayer funding of abortion.

        Even last year, a Pew poll found that 28 percent of Democrats believe that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

        Sanders, so far, has not joined Perez in backing down. It’s left-wing economics that truly motivates Sanders, and he wants the largest possible coalition for those views. He does not want to drive away people who agree with him that the federal government should monopolize health insurance and set a $15 minimum wage, but disagree with him on abortion. The logic of his position would make the Democrats into an economically progressive party with a socially conservative wing – or, rather, make it back into one.

        • Bear in mind the author from Bloomberg News, but still this is what I thought the kicker was:

          These changes seem to be working out better for the Republicans than for the Democrats. Exit polls have shown that in most presidential elections, voters for whom abortion is a top concern have favored the Republicans. And socially conservative constituencies seem to have noticed that they aren’t welcome in the Democratic Party.

          Giving up on these constituencies seems to have weakened the Democrats. White evangelical voters overwhelmingly rejected a socially liberal Democratic Party in the 2012 election. They rejected a more militantly socially liberal Democratic Party even more overwhelmingly in 2016. If Hillary Clinton had kept Barack Obama’s share of those voters in Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin, she would be president today.

          But perhaps attacking Bernie Sanders for insufficient commitment to abortion will turn things around for the Democrats.

      • Is there a place for pro-life people in the Democratic coalition?

        Can you be a Democrat and also hold pro-life views?

        That old debate has broken out once again, as Democrats mobilize to win special elections taking place around the country. It all started with the mayoral election in Omaha, where moderately pro-life Democrat Heath Mello was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. Pro-choice liberals attacked him for ideological apostasy — and despite his own strong pro-choice record, Sanders seemed to make matters worse with a rather weak excuse. DNC chair Tom Perez later issued a statement saying that pro-choice views were “not negotiable” for the party.

        However, this ignored a long history of squishy compromising on abortion, including from Hillary Clinton and her 2016 running mate Tim Kaine. That was further underlined when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi disagreed with Perez in an interview on Meet the Press.

        Abortion, like any morally complicated and divisive issue, raises interesting questions of political coalition-building. It is surely possible for someone to be against abortion and still remain part of the left coalition — but it depends critically on how that belief is applied to public policy

        • There are a lot of staunch Catholics who are not idiot fundamentalists! These people oppose abortion personally, but also consider it none of the government’s business. They’re Democrats. Quite a few religious fundies stated respect for Bernie even they disagreed with him on a lot of things. The Bernster knows how the 50-state strategy works. The DLC establishment appears to be simply clueless!

            • I really don’t see anything wrong with Durbin’s statement:

              Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), meanwhile, said on CNN on Sunday that he and the party were committed “to reproductive rights,” and added that “I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal.”

              I think the Dem’s policy position should be clearly pro-choice, but the party also should welcome anyone who disagrees with that as a personal matter. I would not support a Dem who currently votes to restrict a women’s right to choose, just as I would not support a Dem who currently votes to enable the 1%.

              • Im with you. As the one article above states:

                Abortion, like any morally complicated and divisive issue, raises interesting questions of political coalition-building. It is surely possible for someone to be against abortion and still remain part of the left coalition — but it depends critically on how that belief is applied to public policy

          • The graphic is not exactly what Bill Press should have had for his tweet. Press’s interview (embedded with a link within the tweet) with Tim Ryan discusses Tim’s evolution of going from Anti-choice to Pro-choice. Many of the pro-life Dems still support an increase in minimum wage, better health care for everyone etc. It’s worth a listen. The interview is fairly short.

    • Bernie Sanders Congratulates Donald Trump For Record Low Approval Rating

      Bernie Sanders today congratulated Donald Trump for President Trump’s record-breaking approval rating. According to Business Insider, Donald Trump will conclude his first 100 days as the president of the United States with the lowest approval rating of any president in modern history. The story references a Washington Post/ABC poll that finds 42 percent of respondents approve of the job Trump is doing while 53 percent of respondents disapprove. These are the worst numbers of any president since the poll began in 1945.

      Bernie Sanders, never one to mince words, took to Facebook to sarcastically congratulate Donald Trump on the poll’s results.

      “Congratulations to President Trump! He has set a new record — having the lowest approval rating of any president after the first three months in office,” Sanders wrote. “This tells us something very important. Americans clearly aren’t on board with his disastrous agenda: xenophobic immigration policies, throwing millions off health care, putting corporate profits over the safety of our environment, and many more horrible decisions.”

    • Cleanup Continues at Site of 19,000-Gallon Oil Spill

      A Houston-based pipeline company continued cleanup Tuesday at the site of a nearly 19,000 gallon oil spill in northwest Oklahoma that threatened a local water supply over the weekend.

      Crews from Plains All American Pipeline were at the site in rural Loyal, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Oklahoma City. The 450-barrel leak was reported Friday, but it’s unclear when it started.

      Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said roughly 70 acres of farmland are affected and that the spill reached a small creek at one point. But he says the leak was contained before it flowed into a second creek that flows into the Cimarron River about 16 miles (26 kilometers) away.

      The state’s Department of Environmental Quality also sent a specialist to the site last week, who confirmed there was no contamination in the second creek, agency spokeswoman Erin Hatfield said. A regional spokesman for the EPA didn’t return a message seeking comment.

      • Buffalo Pipeline Leaks 19,000 Gallons of Crude Oil on Farmland in Oklahoma

        The Buffalo Pipeline, owned by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., leaked approximately 450 barrels, or roughly 18,900 gallons, of crude oil onto farmland in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma last week.

        Wheat farmer and cattle rancher Steve Pope told local TV station KFOR that he has lost an estimated 120 acres of pasture and wheat crop from the spill.

        The National Response Center on Sunday listed “internal corrosion” of the pipeline as the likely cause of the discharge.

        The oil spill happened less than 1,000 feet from the nearby Cooper Creek, which feeds into the Cimarron River, but the spill was contained on Pope’s fields. Cleanup is underway at the site of the leak.

        Pope expressed concerns about the damage from the spill as well as President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now led by former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

        “What bothers me is we keep seeing the EPA being cut so much,” Pope told KFOR.

    • Enbridge Line 5 has spilled at least 1.1M gallons in past 50 years

      In 1990, a helicopter patrol spotted a patch of oil on the ground about a mile south of Millecoquins Lake near Engadine. The oil was from Enbridge Line 5, which had spilled 630 gallons through a pinhole leak.

      That spill is among almost 30 spills along the pipeline — many of them previously unknown or largely forgotten incidents — unearthed in federal records by National Wildlife Federation (NWF) pipeline safety specialist and researcher Beth Wallace.

      The organization released the results of Wallace’s research this week, estimating that Line 5, which runs from Superior, Wis., to Sarnia, Ontario by way of Michigan, has spilled at least 1.13 million gallons of oil in 29 incidents since 1968.

      The data comes from inspection records obtained by the NWF through the Freedom of Information Act and others put online recently by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which Congress has required to make more information accessible to the public.

      The NWF considers its estimate conservative because the research identified known spills, like a 1980 spill in Hiawatha National Forest, that weren’t in federal records. Regulatory requirements during much of the 1980s stipulated Enbridge only had to report spills to the state, not the federal government.

      • Big oil spill a silent threat to Lake Michigan, Great Lakes

        A study released Tuesday has ratcheted up worries that a 64-year-old mussel-encrusted oil pipeline in northern Lake Michigan threatens an ecological catastrophe.

        The study by the National Wildlife Federation said the Enbridge Energy Line 5 pipeline has had nearly double the number of spills that were previously known. Nor were most of the leaks discovered by Enbridge’s remote pipeline detection system, the federation said.

        Environmentalists are concerned because 4½ miles of the pipeline lies mostly exposed on the bed of the Straits of Mackinac, at the northern tip of Lake Michigan, where it joins Lake Huron. Over the years, pressure inside the pipeline, which is split into two separate pipes as it goes under the straits, has been increased so that it can move more oil.

        If the pipeline starts leaking large amounts of petroleum, hundreds of miles of shorelines would be fouled and drinking water for thousands of people would be at risk. So would the commercial fishing, tourism and boating industries. Strong currents could spread the oil over a great distance.

        Environmentalists warn that the damage could linger for decades in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In 2014, University of Michigan hydrodynamics expert David Schwab said the Straits of Mackinac is “the worst possible place for an oil spill in the Great Lakes.”

    • Greg Gianforte vs. Rob Quist: Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For 2017 Montana Congressional Race

      Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the Greg Gianforte vs. Rob Quist Congressional race? One that will give you an accurate, no-spin comparison of the candidates’ positions on key issues? Our Campus Election Engagement Project is a national nonpartisan initiative working to increase student electoral participation. Here are the issue-by-issue stands for Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist. Visit our Nonpartisan Candidate Guides home page to find links to printable PDF formats and other nonpartisan guides to candidates and issues.

      ..

      Budget: Support President Trump’s budget that would transfer money from domestic programs to the military budget?

      Gianforte: Position unclear but criticizes Quist for wanting to cut defense spending.

      Quist: No. “Our federal budget is 64 percent military. That’s money that could be going towards health care or Social Security…This does nothing but make us enemies in the eyes of so many and brings a backlash against the American people.”

      • Montana Sportsmen Alliance endorses Rob Quist

        Rob Quist earned an endorsement from the Montana Sportsmen Alliance (MSA) for his support of public lands and the Second Amendment.

        MSA, a nonpartisan advocacy group for Montana sportsmen and women, pointed to Quist’s Montana roots and stances on wildlife and forest management as key to earning the group’s endorsement.

        “Rob has endorsed NO Federal Land Transfer pledge. He stands against this transfer and understands the dynamics of the folks trying to promote transfer,” MSA wrote. “We are confident that Rob Quist is indeed the kind of organic Congressman Montana needs to represent us!”

    • Once Again, Trump Attack on Immigrants Rebuked by Federal Court

      In the latest rebuke of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, a federal court judge on Tuesday ruled the administration’s threat to withhold funds from so-called “sanctuary cities”—which offer modest safer harbor for immigrants and undocumented residents in the face of federal detention and deportation requests—as unconstitutional.

      Issuing a temporary injunction against a move by the U.S. Justice Department to refuse grant money from California municipalities, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick said the Trump administration’s effort to withhold more than $1 billion in federal grants from Santa Clara and San Francisco counties was illegal.

      Though the ruling affirmed the government may have some authority to seek local compliance with federal law, Orrick cited public comments by both President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions as evidence that the administration was reaching beyond legal limitations in order to punish cities which take a different approach to immigration.

      “If there was doubt about the scope of the Order, the President and Attorney General have erased it with their public comments,” Orrick wrote in his decision. “The Constitution vests the spending power in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds.”

      • Trump Wrongly Attacks ‘Ridiculous’ Ninth Circuit

        President Trump fired off a series of tweets early Wednesday morning, once again attacking the U.S. judiciary over rulings he found “ridiculous.”

        ..

        Trump wrote, “First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities—both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!” He added, “Out of our very big country, with many choices, does everyone notice that both the ‘ban’ case and now the ‘sanctuary’ case is brought in the Ninth Circuit, which has a terrible record of being overturned (close to 80%). They used to call this ‘judge shopping!’ Messy system.” While Orrick is a U.S. district court judge based in San Francisco, he does not, as Trump claimed, sit on the Ninth Circuit.

    • Wells Fargo Directors Face Wrath for Complicity In Bank Corruption

      Met by fierce protests both inside and out the annual shareholder meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Tuesday, members of the Wells Fargo board of directors refused to step down despite expressions of outrage and no confidence for their handling of a massive consumer banking scam.

      The meeting marked the first for shareholders since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last September exposed the bank for opening millions of unauthorized accounts, which saddled many customers with fees and blemishes on their credit score, all in the name of meeting unrealistic sales quotas.

      The massive scandal and fallout led to the resignation of former CEO John Stumpf and Tuesday’s meeting was expected to be the moment that the directors would be held to account.

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) issued a series of tweets during the three-hour long meeting, advising those voting to demand accountability.

      Either @WellsFargo’s board failed to fully investigate the fraud for years or they knew about it and did nothing – either is unacceptable.
      — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 25, 2017

    • I would argue that Bernie is already there on this issue, he just needs to talk about it more (better yet, the media needs to report it when he does)
      ..

      Where Is the Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders of Foreign Policy?

      When a prominent Washington peace activist was asked recently to name the leading anti-interventionists in the Senate, he responded, “Rand Paul and Mike Lee,” both Republicans. Democrats are in the midst of a furious struggle over what they stand for and who is included in their coalition, yet on foreign policy questions, their silence is deafening. When President Trump decided to drop 59 cruise missiles on Syria in response to purported use of chemical weapons, there was more debate about the attack among Republicans than among Democrats.

      The Democratic establishment’s record on foreign policy has been disastrous. Most Democratic leaders supported the war of choice in Iraq, the largest foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. They cheered the “humanitarian intervention” in Libya that has ended in the humanitarian horror of a ruined country, racked by violent conflicts, where the Islamic State is consolidating a backup caliphate. They applauded President Barack Obama’s surge in Afghanistan even as that war dragged on year after year. They touted the United States as the “indispensable nation,” demonstrating a predilection for military intervention and regime change that rivals that of Republican neoconservatives. Many considered Obama too weak and too wary of intervention, despite the fact that he left office bombing seven nations, dispatching Special Operations forces to more than 120 countries and calling for increased spending on a military that already consumes nearly 40 percent of the world’s military budget.

      • In fairness to the media though, Bernie deflects on this issue by pivoting back to how we spend money on bomb and wars and not on health care. While I agree with him, Bernie should get very clear on what he thinks should be a policy. Just stating you are against more wars requires some more nuance.

        • Heres two super old videos that I used to post regularly in the BNR’s so you may have seen them, but its proof that Bernie has a near perfect stance on the issue, he just doesn’t highlight it so specifically like he did used to:

    • It’s Now Been Three Long Years Since Flint Had Clean Water

      As of Tuesday, the city of Flint, Michigan has been without clean water for over three long years.

      April 24, 2014 was the day that city officials made the disastrous decision to switch the city’s water source to the Flint River, whose polluted water corroded aged lead pipes and poisoned residents’ water with lead.

      The city still does not have clean water. Residents must purchase filters to reduce the lead in their water, and the city says it will be three more years before all of the city’s lead pipes are replaced, according to NPR.

      Local ten-year-old water activist Amariyanna Copeny, better known as Little Miss Flint, filmed a video for Teen Vogue this week in which she demonstrates how difficult it is to cook dinner with bottled water—a reality for many Flint residents

      • The Flint Water Crisis: Three Years Too Long

        Today marks the three-year anniversary of the switch to the Flint River as a water source, which was part of bottom-line focused emergency management that contributed to the Flint Water Crisis. For three years, little has been done for the residents of Flint, who continue to struggle without access to clean, safe, and affordable water, because of callous indifference from the state’s elected officials.

        “The people of Flint have been through hell over the last three years and it’s absolutely disgusting that there has been little change in their daily lives. Many still rely solely on bottled water and over 1,000 days into this crisis still cannot trust the water from their taps,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “While the residents of Flint struggle without clean water and are denied their basic rights, no significant legislation has been passed to prevent another crisis like this one and the Republican-led legislature has yet to issue one subpoena to investigate the crisis. Attorney General Schuette brags about justice for Flint, but the only people to date who have been cuffed and hauled off to jail are Flint Water Protectors fighting for their community. Lieutenant Governor Calley, the administrations point person for Flint, uses visits to Flint as PR stunts and now he’s counting down the days until he runs for governor – asking for a promotion instead of taking responsibility for his inaction.”

    • Trump expected to unveil proposal for slashing corporate tax rate to 15%

      Donald Trump is expected to unveil a proposal for a major corporate tax cut on Wednesday, reportedly involving dramatically cutting corporate tax rates to 15% from 39.6% and ending taxation of corporate profits earned overseas.

      Trump has long heralded tax cuts, particularly on corporations, as a major component of his economic plan. In his joint address to Congress in February, the US president previewed his proposals, saying: “My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.” He added: “It will be a big, big cut.”

      However, while Trump has billed his proposal as tax reform, it’s unclear if the proposals will simply consist of tax cuts or will be an overarching plan to reshape taxation in the United States.

      Further, his plan faces significant obstacles because of the need for Democratic support, although tax reform can avoid a potential filibuster through use of the reconciliation process in the Senate that places strict limits on any resulting increases in the deficit.

      • ‘Truly Dumb’: Why $2.4 Trillion Corporate Tax Cut Will Not Magically Pay for Itself

        With more details expected during an offical White House announcement on Wednesday, numerous outlets have already reported that Trump will tout cutting the corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent down to an even more paltry 15 percent. As is well known and repeatedly documented, even the 35 percent official rate is largely a mythical number that few U.S. corporations actually pay.

        Asked over the weekend how Trump’s tax giveaways for the corporations and high-income individuals would not lead to a rapid increase in the nation’s annual budget shortfall, Mnuchin on Monday said that economic growth spurred by the cuts would be enough to stave off an increase in the deficit.

        But as noted by Jared Bernstein, economist with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Mnuchin’s claim that a massive corporate tax cut by Trump would “pay for itself” is just the latest peddling of a myth long ago disproved. “Not to put too fine a point on it,” Bernstein wrote, “this is false.”

        Specifically, Bernstein attacked the practice known as “dynamic scoring,” by which lofty economic projections are made about the impact of tax cuts on spending, growth, etc. But these kind of optimistic projections—the promotion of which he characterizes as “dynamic scoring abuse”—proved nonexistent after similar tax cuts were pushed through by the Reagan administration in the 1980s. Promises of outsized growth were equally absent following the massive tax cuts to the rich delivered under former president George W. Bush.

        Former Labor Secretary and economist Robert Reich, meanwhile, characterized a 15 percent corporate tax cut as “truly dumb.”

    • Pope tells leaders in first TED talk: act humbly or power will ruin you

      He sits behind a desk rather than pacing around a stage, but the power of his message is not diluted. Pope Francis has made a surprise TED talk, beamed from the Vatican to Vancouver, calling for leaders to act with humility and tenderness.

      The first pontifical TED talk, which lasted 18 minutes, featured Francis dispensing advice to politicians and leaders of big business, as well as talking about his own background as the son of migrants.

      TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organisation that posts talks from its annual conference online for free. Since 2006 the lectures have been viewed cumulatively more than 4.6bn times.

      Speaking in Italian and seated in front of a pleasingly cluttered glass bookshelf, Francis starts by wishing his audience “good evening – or good morning, I’m not sure what time it is there”.

      Saying he is “thrilled” to be taking part in the annual TED conference on the theme of The Future You, he adds: “We can only build a future by standing together, including everyone.”

    • Presenting the Trump doctrine: ‘forever war’

      oab sounds more like an incestuous, war-torn biblical kingdom than the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, AKA “the mother of all bombs”. Still, give Donald Trump credit. Only the really, really big bombs, whether North Korean nukes or those 21,600 pounds of Moab, truly get his attention. He wasn’t even involved in the decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal for the first time in war, but his beloved generals – “we have the best military people on Earth” – already know the man they work for, and the bigger, flashier, more explosive, and winninger, the better.

      It was undoubtedly the awesome look of that first Moab going off in grainy black and white on Fox News, rather than in Afghanistan, that appealed to the president. Just as he was visibly thrilled by all those picturesque Tomahawk cruise missiles, the equivalent of nearly three Moabs, whooshing from the decks of US destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and heading, like so many fabulous fireworks, toward a Syrian airfield – or was it actually an Iraqi one?

      “We’ve just fired 59 missiles,” he said, “all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing … It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five.”

      Call it thrilling. Call it a blast. Call it escalation. Or just call it the age of Trump.

    • The money spent on a The Nation subscription is worth it:

      Clinton and Obama Laid the Groundwork for Donald Trump’s War on Immigrants

       To those who have been following deportation politics in this country, Trump’s policies, as they are now unfolding, have an eerie resonance. They seem to be growing directly out of policies first instituted in the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. True, President Obama liked to talk about “our tradition of welcoming immigrants,” while our new president has tossed such liberal humanitarian rhetoric in the garbage can, instead playing up a harsh nativism. Still, the fact is that two Democratic presidents laid the groundwork for Trump’s developing policies.

      It was, after all, President Clinton who oversaw the draconian Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. It drastically increased all levels of immigration “enforcement,” enlarging the Border Patrol, criminalizing numerous types of low-level immigration violations, and facilitating and expanding deportation procedures. (A similar emphasis on casting blame on individuals for structural and systemic problems was also at the heart of Clinton’s welfare reform of that same year.)

      In many ways, Donald Trump is only reiterating, with more bombast, ideas and policies pioneered under Clinton, that then became a basic part of Barack Obama’s approach to immigration. Those policies drew directly on racist “tough on crime” and antiterrorism police tactics that also helped foment white racial fears.

      Anecdotally speaking, there have already been numerous cases of detention and deportation that appear to go far beyond what was occurring in the Obama years. But a closer look at those cases and at the numbers suggests surprisingly more continuity than change

    •  Why We Need a Whistle-Blower in US Customs and Border Protection

       hat we do know about the US Customs and Border Protection—the federal agency that oversees our country’s international trade, immigration services, and the increasingly militarized Border Patrol—is worrying. We know that CBP has a long history of racial profiling, excessive use of force, and mass surveillance. We know that the agency has a budget of nearly $13 billion and, if President Trump has his way, will soon be infused with 5,000 new agents charged with fulfilling his anti-immigrant agenda.

      But what we do not know about CBP is in many ways more frightening. We don’t know how many people the Border Patrol stops each year; how, why, and where Border Patrol operates its 100-plus interior checkpoints across the country; when agents engage in excessive use of force and what happens to them if they are caught doing so; or who, how, and with what technology the agency surveils in our country.

      CBP’s budget is larger than the combined budgets of the FBI, DEA, and ATF; all told, it employs more than 62,000 agents and operates an entire fleet of planes, helicopters, and drones. The federal government spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law-enforcement agencies combined.

    • Lawsuit: Mylan’s epic EpiPen price hike wasn’t about greed—it’s worse

      When Mylan dramatically increased the price of its life-saving EpiPen devices, it drew sharp rebuke all around for what seemed like a purely greedy—and heartless—move. But according to a lawsuit filed by French drug maker Sanofi, the move wasn’t just out of simple greed. Instead, it was part of an underhanded scheme to “squash” competition from Sanofi’s rival device, the Auvi-Q.

      With the lofty prices and near-monopoly over the market, Mylan could dangle deep discounts to drug suppliers—with the condition that they turn their backs on Sanofi’s Auvi-Q—the lawsuit alleges. Suppliers wouldn’t dare ditch the most popular auto-injector. And with the high prices, the rebates wouldn’t put a dent in Mylan’s hefty profits, Sanofi speculates.

      Coupled with a smear campaign and other underhanded practices, Mylan effectively pushed Sanofi out of the US epinephrine auto-injector market, Sanofi alleges. The lawsuit, filed Monday in a federal court in New Jersey, seeks damages under US Antitrust laws.

    • Trump to Launch Unprecedented Attack on National Monuments

      President Trump is poised to threaten more than 1 billion acres of national monument protection in a devastating and unprecedented attack on America’s public lands and oceans.

      ——————————————————————————–

      Trump is expected to issue an executive order April 26 calling for a review of every national monument that’s been protected by presidential proclamation since 1996. His goal is to turn these natural and cultural wonders over to special interests, including mining and logging industries. Trump reportedly has the stunning Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah at the top of his hit list.

      “This is a frightening step toward dismantling the protection of some of America’s most important and iconic places: our national parks and monuments,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trump’s tapping into the right-wing, anti-public-lands zealotry that will take us down a very dangerous path—a place where Americans no longer have control over public lands and corporations are left to mine, frack, clear-cut and bulldoze them into oblivion. It starts with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase and only gets worse from there.”

      More than 50 national monuments are at risk, including vast marine areas in the Pacific and Caribbean. Congress gave the president the authority to designate national monuments on federally owned land under the Antiquities Act of 1906 for the express purpose of protecting important objects of historic and scientific importance.

    • 190 Fortune 500 Companies Save $3.7 Billion a Year by Taking Climate Action

      Despite efforts in Washington to sideline action on climate change, a growing number of Fortune 500 companies are taking increasingly ambitious steps to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, procure more renewable energy and reduce their energy bills through energy efficiency, according to a new report released Tuesday by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ceres, Calvert Research and Management and CDP.

      Sixty-three percent of Fortune 100 companies have set one or more clean energy targets. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies—48 percent—have at least one climate or clean energy target, up five percent from an earlier 2014 report. Accompanying this growth is rising ambition, with significant numbers of companies setting 100 percent renewable energy goals and science-based GHG reduction targets that align with the global goal of limiting global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius.

      Findings from the report, Power Forward 3.0: How the largest U.S. companies are capturing business value while addressing climate change, are based on 2016 company disclosures to CDP, which holds the world’s largest collection of self-reported corporate environmental data and other public sources.

      “American businesses are leading the transition to a clean economy because it’s smart business and it’s what their customers want,” said Marty Spitzer, World Wildlife Fund’s senior director of climate and renewable energy.

      “Clean energy is fueling economic opportunity from coast to coast without regard for party line. Washington policies may slow this boom, but these companies are making it very clear that a transition to a low-carbon economy is inevitable.”

    • Dan Rather’s Second Coming

      With millions of Facebook fans and the freedom to speak his mind, the 85-year-old journalist is back in the arena—facing the opponent he’s been waiting for his entire life.

    • Dems crowd primaries to challenge GOP reps

      Democratic enthusiasm is creating crowded primary fields in some GOP-held districts.

      That energy could help Democrats win the 24 seats they need to flip control of the House. But all the enthusiasm comes with its disadvantages: Democrats will need to spend time and resources before they can take on the GOP incumbents.

      Here are seven Republican-held districts that are already seeing a groundswell of interest from Democrats

    • Members of Congress Demand Trump Provide Legal Justification for Syria Attack

      Nearly three weeks after ordering a cruise missile attack against one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s airfields, Donald Trump has yet to explain how that was legal without congressional authorization.

      Two Democratic members of Congress are demanding that Trump offer some sort of legal justification beyond off-the-cuff remarks from administration officials.

      Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Rep. Adam Schiff of California sent a stern letter to the White House on Tuesday, warning that Trump could be setting a dangerous precedent for conducting pre-emptive strikes and risking war with major powers, while cutting Congress out of the picture.

      Two days after the missile strike, Trump sent Congress a notice that he had ordered it and that he had the “constitutional authority” to do so.

      Kaine and Schiff wrote: “These assertions of authority do not provide Congress with the information it needs to exercise our constitutional responsibilities. Nor do they provide comfort to a public that fears deeper involvement in a horrific civil war at a time when the U.S. troop presence in the region is already increasing. The legal justification for an attack on the Syrian government is not an afterthought, but rather a first order consideration, and something that is vital for the American people to understand at the outset.”

    • Republican hypocrisy is stunning

      http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republicans-exempt-their-own-insurance-from-their-latest-health-care-proposal/ar-BBAnqI1?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U218DHP

      Republican legislators want to keep popular Obamacare provisions for themselves and their staff.

      House Republicans appear to have included a provision that exempts Members of Congress and their staff from their latest health care plan.

      The new Republican amendment, introduced Tuesday night, would allow states to waive out of Obamacare’s ban on pre-existing conditions. This means that insurers could once again, under certain circumstances, charge sick people higher premiums than healthy people.

      Republican legislators liked this policy well enough to offer it in a new amendment. They do not, however, seem to like it enough to have it apply to themselves and their staff. A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) who authored this amendment confirmed this was the case: members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping this Obamacare regulations. Health law expert Tim Jost flagged me to this particular issue.

    • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/25/california-is-in-a-war-with-trump-on-sanctuary-cities-and-it-just-won-its-first-major-battle/?utm_term=.d236de1f0152

      California has launched a war on President Trump’s attempt to clamp down on “sanctuary cities.” And it just got a major weapon to fight with: On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco agreed with two California municipalities that Trump’s attempt to cut them off from federal funding for not complying with deportation requests is unconstitutional.

      U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick agreed with the counties of San Francisco and Santa Clara, both of which sued the Trump administration for trying to prevent them from getting more than $1 billion in federal grants, that those grants can’t legally be withheld.

      The court action is likely to continue. But this is an unqualified early victory for California — and sanctuary cities across the nation that have said they’ll refuse to comply with some of the Trump administration’s deportation requests. This includes some of the nation’s largest cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

      The president doesn’t have much leverage to force these cities and states to hand over its illegal immigrants. Attempting to withhold money and hoping the cities caved was pretty much it. And a federal court just ruled that method unconstitutional.

      • http://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-cites-trumps-comment-in-sanctuary-city-ruling/

        In a ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick quoted Trump to support his decision to block the president’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. immigration officials.

        Trump called the sanctuary cities order a “weapon” against communities that disagree with his preferred immigration policy, Orrick said. The judge also cited a February interview in which he said the president threatened to cut off funding to California, saying the state “in many ways is out of control.”

        The first comment was evidence that the administration intended the executive order to apply broadly to all sorts of federal funding, and not a relatively small pot of grant money as the Department of Justice had argued, the judge said.

        The second statement showed the two California governments that sued to block the order — San Francisco and Santa Clara County — had good reason to believe they would be targeted, Orrick said.

        • https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/04/26/trump-just-blasted-the-wrong-court-for-blocking-his-sanctuary-cities-order.html

          President Donald Trump lashed out again at the American judiciary for blocking a piece of his agenda.

          Except on Wednesday, he got his court wrong.

          In a morning tweet, he blamed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for blocking his order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities. He called the ruling “ridiculous” and signaled that his administration will appeal by saying “see you in the Supreme Court.”

          The problem: Tuesday’s ruling did not come from the 9th Circuit. It was made in federal district court in San Francisco.

          Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit did block Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.

      • Update on that: Jordan did interview Jared Beck via Skype. It hasn’t been posted yet, I expect it will tomorrow (possibly on TYT). I saw a live interview on Real Progressives FB page. Mr. Beck said that they are getting a copy of the transcript from the hearing, it will be posted on the JamPac site in a few days. The new thing I learned is that the lawyers representing the DNC are the barnoness’ attorneys.

        I wish I had LSM’s skills at times for snarks.

    • Donald Trump Has Made Socialism Cool Again: The Democratic Socialists of America are fighting the president—and the liberals they blame for his win.

      A month after President Donald Trump took office, khalid kamau was eating lunch in the cluttered kitchen of the Mayday Space, a leftist community center in Brooklyn. A year earlier, the 39-year-old (who prefers to spell his name without capital letters) had been driving a bus in Atlanta. Then his life took a hard left turn. When the city slashed public pensions, he became a union organizer. He then launched a Black Lives Matter chapter, became a delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and led a walkout at the Democratic National Convention when Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination. In December, kamau announced his candidacy for City Council in South Fulton, Georgia. Not long after that, he joined the Democratic Socialists of America.

      kamau, who was wearing a black T-shirt that said, “Don’t let your new president get your ass whooped,” had been a DSA member for all of a few weeks, but he already had big plans. Leaning forward on his wooden stool, he said, “I want to be the Obama of democratic socialism.”

      First, kamau needed to win an election. Which is why, on an unseasonably warm weekend in February, he had come to Brooklyn for the Revolution at the Crossroads conference, a gathering of about 300 teen and twentysomething leftists that was sponsored by the Young Democratic Socialists, a subgroup of the DSA. After speaking on the kickoff panel the night before, kamau had taught the attendees how to use the free canvassing app MiniVAN and signed up dozens of volunteers for his campaign. (His organizing paid off; last Tuesday, kamau won his runoff election of the vote.)

      From MaJones

      I joined the DSA recently.

    • FL Senate advances bill to let FPL customers pay fracking costs

      Florida Power & Light’s quest to have customers pay for natural gas fracking projects in other states overcame a key hurdle Tuesday as the Senate Rules Committee passed the controversial measure and overlooked opposition from residential and commercial customers.

      The proposal, SB 1238 by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, now goes to the Senate floor. A similar measure in the House, HB 1043, has made it through one of three committees in that chamber.

      The goal of the legislation is to overturn a Florida Supreme Court ruling last year that found the Public Service Commission exceeded its authority when it gave FPL permission to charge customers up to $500 million for investing in an Oklahoma-based fracking company in 2015. Although the company predicted the project would save customers millions in fuel costs, it resulted in a loss of $5.6 million in the first year.

      Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/article146813734.html#storylink=cpy

    • Benny replied 3 days ago

      White House readies order on withdrawing from NAFTA

      The Trump administration is considering an executive order on withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA, according to two White House officials.

      A draft order has been submitted for the final stages of review and could be unveiled late this week or early next week, the officials said. The effort, which still could change in the coming days as more officials weigh in, would indicate the administration’s intent to withdraw from the sweeping pact by triggering the timeline set forth in the deal.

      The approach appears designed to extract better terms with Canada and Mexico. President Donald Trump pledged on the campaign trail to renegotiate NAFTA, a trade deal signed in 1994 by former President Bill Clinton that removes tariffs and allows for the free flow of goods and supplies between the three countries in North America. Trump in recent weeks has stepped up his rhetoric vowing to terminate the agreement all together.

      “NAFTA’s been very, very bad for our country,” he said in a speech last week in Kenosha, Wis. “It’s been very, very bad for our companies and for our workers, and we’re going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all.”

      https://secure.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/white-house-nafta-withdraw-trump-237632

      Wonder how the Corporatist Dems are going to react?

    • The very first line kinda says it all: “Backed by nearly half of the Senate’s Democrats.” Shouldn’t that be, “All but two Democrats,” or “All the Democrats”?

    • Yay Alyssa!

      Meanwhile, conservatives are attacking Quist for having performed at a “nudist resort“, lol. That makes me want Quist to win even more.

      Montana Democrat Rob Quist, a locally famous musician, is a frequent performer at the Sun Meadow Resort, Idaho’s premier nudist resort for guests seeking a “family nudist experience.”

      Quist, running to represent Montana in Congress, is featured front and center on the nudist resort’s website playing the guitar with his singer daughter. Both are clothed, though others on the website’s homepage are not.

    • I wonder how this will end up long term!

    • I have some good news to report!! Yay!!! Whew, been waiting for that for a long time:

      Working Families wins in Hartford

      Joshua M. Hall, a teachers’ union official and former treasurer of the state Democratic Party, won a special election in Hartford for the state House of Representatives on the Working Families Party ballot line Tuesday night, defeating two other Democrats.

      The Hartford race had the flavor of a Democratic primary, pitting Hall against Rickey Pinckney Sr., the Democratic-endorsed candidate, and a petitioning candidate, former Rep. Kenneth P. Green, D-Hartford. Hall is only the second candidate to win a Connecticut legislative seat as an WFP candidate, the first in the House.

      A registered Democrat, Hall said he will be a member of the House Democratic majority. Edwin A. Gomes of Bridgeport, who won a special election to the Senate on the WFP line in 2015, is a member of the Senate Democratic caucus.

      Hall, a vice president of the Hartford Federation of Teachers, is a strong backer of the city’s public schools, a defender of collective bargaining rights for public employees and a proponent of a progressive budget.

      “The thing for me is to make sure the state budget isn’t balanced on the backs of working families,” Hall said. “I think that’s the most critical. thing, not compromsing anything with regard to that.”

      I can’t seem to add a pic, so will plunk in another tweet so you can see Mr. Hall:

      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I guess that she has gotten enough publicity from it!

    • The Democrats’ hypocrisy fest: Disingenuous attacks on Bernie Sanders persist — and his popularity climbs

      Of course, Kaine wasn’t just personally pro-life; like Mello, he also had a history of supporting anti-abortion measures as governor of Virginia. As ThinkProgress reported in July (around the same time as Hogue’s statement), while in office in Richmond Kaine had “pushed for adoption over abortion, promoted abstinence-only education, passed a law that required parental notification for minors wanting an abortion, and banned late-term abortion.” ThinkProgress noted, “He even signed a bill to use state dollars to create ‘Choose Life’ license plates, which funded state ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ — facilities whose sole purpose is to dissuade pregnant women from getting an abortion.”

      So this entire Heath Mello incident appears to be a thinly veiled sectarian attack against Sanders, driven by bitterness and resentment. For the most outraged Democrats, the problem hasn’t so much been that the Democratic National Committee is supporting a candidate who is moderately pro-life — after all, their 2016 vice presidential candidate was moderately pro-life — but that Bernie Sanders (who still won’t call himself a Democrat, much to their chagrin) has supported a candidate who is moderately pro-life. …

      In addition, the Clinton campaign has consistently promoted a false dichotomy between economic issues and social ones, in an effort to make it appear that Sanders, one of the most passionate critics of economic inequality and corporate malfeasance, only cares about the first type — a blatant falsehood that is refuted by his 40-year record in politics. Sanders has long been one of the most socially progressive politicians in Washington and advocated for LGBT rights long before it became the politically expedient thing to do. To cite just one example, he strongly opposed the now-infamous 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by Bill Clinton and supported by Hillary Clinton.

      The Clinton camp has basically sought to use Sanders’ passion about economic inequality and political corruption against him, as if someone who is this intense about economic issues must be a “class reductionist” who cares little about social and cultural issues. (It is only mainstream liberals, of course, who treat economic and cultural matters as if they could somehow be separated.) “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow . . . would that end racism? Would that end sexism?” Clinton absurdly asked at one point.

      More there. :O)

    • This is how the press ramps up propaganda in the lead up to war!

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-military-carrier-idUSKBN17S06B?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

      China launches first home-built aircraft carrier amid South China Sea tension.

      Sounds frightening but something is missing.

      “State media has quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China’s second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been kitted out and armed.”

      <This is almost as bad as the NY Times claiming that North Korea can build a nuclear bomb every 6 weeks without any proof.

    • A good question. I wonder what the response will be?

    • Well, aren’t the Democrats a dollar short and a day behind! When they should have passed the $15 wage, they passed the $12. Now that they will not have the votes for $15, they are going to back it, very convenient for Chucky etc. They can appease us Liberals without hurting their backers. All show, no substance.

    • Look for Rob Quist on “All In.”

    • Talk about out of touch local Repubs
      Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin gave the most dubious reason as to why he voted against internet privacy rules: “Nobody’s got to use the internet,” he said. At a town hall meeting on April 13 Read on at the link

      https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/m/02cef51e-9a9d-3a40-b2cb-4e1694d0a782/ss_if-you-value-privacy%2C-then.html

    • A Berniecrat has announced as challenger to Nancy Pelosi.

      “There’s a rumbling, a wave of activism here by people who have really never stepped forward before.”

      They’re sprouting up all over I tell ya!

      (Pic of healthy looking young plant, lol. Can we get photos back LD? Maybe it’s my computer..)

      • please dear god.

      • Here is what LA Times is spreading.

        http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-nancy-pelosi-just-got-a-challenger-and-1493224950-htmlstory.html

        San Francisco attorney Stephen R. Jaffe is a lifelong Democrat and he intends to do what no Democrat has been able to do so far: make it to a runoff election against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

        Jaffe, 71, is an employment attorney who became a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign last year.

        “I was a pretty hard-core Bernie supporter,” said Jaffe, who gave money to the campaign and volunteered during the Nevada caucuses. He was one of two attorneys who filed for an injunction on behalf of Sanders supporters in the California primary, requesting “re-votes” and an extension of the voter registration deadline

        Jaffe said he was “devastated” by Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the primary season and that Sanders, in part, inspired him to run. He says he supports single-payer healthcare and criticized Pelosi for raising money from corporations and special interests.

    • Cool ad from Hulu for Handmaiden’s Tale.

      Won’t post b/c who knows what kind of tracking it might have. I’m waiting until the first season is over. Then, if I can manage it, I’ll probably join for a month just to watch it. :O)

      • Then you’ll binge-watch? 🙂 That can be fun. Hubby & did that with Emerald City.

        If you do that, please let me know. Maybe I’ll join Hulu for a month to do that too! We can compare notes, lol.

        • OK, I will! Yes, I love to binge watch. Have to be careful to limit the time if it’s a longer series, though. Sooo addictive, like watching a movie that doesn’t stop–i.e., all 5 versions of the Star Trek series—hundreds of episodes.

          Emerald City sounds great!

    • One of my senators just posted this:

      This was my reply:

      Wasn’t that polite? 😉

      There is not ONE co-sponsor from CT, shameful. I’d have thought that maybe at least Rosa DeLauro would sign on. (Grrrrr)

    • Jordan Chariton comments about the attacks on Bernie.

  • Bernie Sanders Addresses ‘From Protest to Power’ Convention

    Capping off a session that includes future progressive candidates sharing why they’ve decided to run for office in the Age of Trump, Sen. Bernie […]

    • Hearing Set for Class Action Lawsuit Against DNC

      After deliberating since October 2016, a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has recently issued an order for appearance to the lawyers representing the DNC and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the plaintiffs representing Bernie Sanders supporters, Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on April 25, when the judge is expected to announce the court’s decision in response to the DNC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

      The lawsuit was initially filed in June 2016 in response to the mounting evidence that Wasserman Schultz used the DNC to tip the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the Democratic primaries. Wasserman Schultz and her staff overtly violated article four, section 5 of the DNC Charter, which stipulates, “The Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”

      ..

      So far in court, the DNC’s lawyers haven’t refuted that the primaries were rigged, but in their motion to dismiss, they argued that some Sanders supporters cited in the class action lawsuit posted on social media during the primaries that the Democratic Party was favoring Clinton. The lawyers have also argued that neutrality is just a political promise that the DNC should not be bound to keeping.

      Whether the lawsuit moves forward or not, its process through court has vindicated Sanders supporters, who the Democratic establishment still attacks and scolds.

      • I’m going to be a pragmatist on this one, I can see this case getting dismissed unless there is a burden of proof that it was intended to cause harm. But what a great surprise if it were allowed to move forward.

        • Quick Update : the hearing lasted 3.5 hours, lots of questions to both sides. The plantiffs were a little encouraged that the Court was willing to entertain more explanations. The DNC’s argument was that in the old days, candidates were selected in backrooms with cigars and no one could do anything (legally) about the selection. The plantiff’s lawyers (one of them Jared Beck) said that was a sad argument for democracy (or lack of) and it was important to have this forum for a serious discussion about elections.

          There was no ruling, not certain when that will be.

          I got this from VivaBernie on FB:

          https://tinyurl.com/lapdz35 (embedded video at the link)

          Jared Beck’s tweets:

    • Nina Turner:

    • The Democrats’ hypocrisy fest: Disingenuous attacks on Bernie Sanders persist — and his popularity climbs

      If there is one thing that Hillary Clinton’s loyalists can never resist, it is a chance to sully the name of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who continues to be a thorn in the Democratic establishment’s side. Last week it was no different, when Democratic partisans seized on an opportunity to vilify and paint the Vermont senator as a cultural reactionary who is willing to sacrifice women’s reproductive rights if it means advancing his populist economic agenda.

      ..

      Last year Hogue — along with most liberal Democrats — had a far more more forgiving attitude toward Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, who, like Mello, is personally pro-life. “I am okay with people having a different moral system than I do as long as they don’t legislate that on me or anyone else,” said Hogue in a statement last July, adding, “7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion and some of them are like Senator Kaine, who feel personally opposed but still believe that it’s not for a politician to determine for anyone else. . . . I believe [Clinton] chose Tim Kaine because she trusts the guy, and I trust her.”

      Of course, Kaine wasn’t just personally pro-life; like Mello, he also had a history of supporting anti-abortion measures as governor of Virginia. As ThinkProgress reported in July (around the same time as Hogue’s statement), while in office in Richmond Kaine had “pushed for adoption over abortion, promoted abstinence-only education, passed a law that required parental notification for minors wanting an abortion, and banned late-term abortion.” ThinkProgress noted, “He even signed a bill to use state dollars to create ‘Choose Life’ license plates, which funded state ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ — facilities whose sole purpose is to dissuade pregnant women from getting an abortion.”

      So this entire Heath Mello incident appears to be a thinly veiled sectarian attack against Sanders, driven by bitterness and resentment.

    • 100 days of Democratic rage

      “We have a new energy but we don’t have a new brand,” said Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who gained national attention in November for unsuccessfully challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for her leadership role. “I would think that if the Democratic Party had a halfway decent national brand or an exciting, affirmative agenda, that we would have been able to get at least a couple more percentage points in the Georgia [special election where Democrat Jon Ossoff fell just short of 50 percent last week]. We had a great candidate and great energy running under a very negative brand.”

      The brand is only part of the problem — the party’s central infrastructure itself is in need of an overhaul. Democrats got dragged back into a redux of the presidential primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the first month of Trump’s presidency in the race for the DNC chairmanship between former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. That divisive fight appears poised to resurface in May, with the beginning of the DNC’s “Unity Commission” meetings to reform the presidential primary process, featuring representatives hand-picked by Clinton and Sanders themselves.

      While many individual Democratic officeholders are cash-flush — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for example, brought in more than $5 million from January through March on her way to building out a campaign account of more than $9 million — the national party itself raised just $23.6 million in the first three months of the year. Compare that to the RNC’s $41 million-plus, powered by Trump. And while new DNC Chairman Perez is criss-crossing the country trying to restore trust in his institution and heal the raw wounds from 2016’s presidential primary, party leaders acknowledge that their rebuilding project — both at the DNC and at the state level — needs to be a comprehensive one after November’s shocking losses and the down-ballot massacre of the previous eight years.

      • yep

        called free speech

        I was at Berkeley during free speech days

        need to get the BS of Ann out in the open any way possible

        big worry is the infiltrators to disrupt the events and change the subject

    • For our Spanish speakers 🙂

    • Will Dem Leaders Be on Board with Bernie’s Big Tent?

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is campaigning for a pro-life Democrat in Nebraska, and while congressional Dem leaders weren’t ready to condemn his big-tent push they were quick to defend an abortion-rights platform.

      Sanders has been stumping with Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello, a state senator who attracted the former presidential candidate’s support on the DNC’s unity tour focusing on red and purple states.

      NARAL Pro-Choice America slammed Sanders and DNC Chairman Tom Perez for spending time with Mello, saying it was “not only disappointing, it is politically stupid.”

      “Today’s action makes this so-called ‘fight back tour’ look more like a throw-back tour for women and our rights,” said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue.

      Sanders countered that it’s politically smart to engage different wings of Democrats if they don’t want to count out the red states.

      “If we’re going to become a 50-state party, if you’re going to go to Omaha, Nebraska, which has a Republican governor, two Republican senators, all Republican congresspeople, Republican legislature, you know what? And if in Omaha, 5,000 or 6,000 people come out to a rally led by Jane Kleeb, their new Democratic chairperson, who is doing a great job, and if you have a rally in which you have the labor movement and the environmentalists and Native Americans and the African-American community and the Latino community coming together, saying, we want this guy to become our next mayor, should I reject going there to Omaha?” Sanders told CBS on Sunday.

      • they are kicking and screaming to hold back the movement

        Big old Bill tells us NOT to make the dems the party of Bernie

        well, …

        the Clintons time is well past

    • Why Was Heath Mello Thrown Under the Bus?

       An Omaha native first elected to Nebraska’s unicameral legislature in 2008 at the age of 29, Mello successfully led the fight to overturn Republican Governor Pete Ricketts’ veto of a bill permitting young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to obtain a driver’s license. Last year, he again put together a coalition that managed to reverse Ricketts’ veto—this time of a bill allowing young undocumented immigrants to apply for professional or commercial licenses. In Nebraska, which resettled more refugees per capita in 2016 than any other state, that kind of leadership stands out. As does Mello’s outspoken emphasis—unusual in a state dominated by Big Agriculture and which still gets most of its energy from coal—on fighting climate change and protecting the environment. Likewise his record on LGBTQ issues, including a call for a law to ban discrimination in housing and employment. With strong union support from firefighters, teachers, and city workers, the Sierra Club’s enthusiastic endorsement, and the backing of array of Democratic heavyweights from former Senator Ben Nelson to former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, Mello was beginning to look like the party’s best chance for a win after disappointments in Kansas and Georgia.

      Especially since his opponent, Stothert, ousted her Democratic predecessor in 2013 by promising to repeal an unpopular restaurant tax—and never kept her promise. With registered Democrats in the city actually outnumbering Republicans—while Donald Trump won nearly 60 percent of the vote in Nebraska, Hillary Clinton carried Douglas County, which includes Omaha, by over 3,000 votes—the arrival of the Democratic “Unity Tour” on Friday was supposed to provide a final burst of enthusiasm to carry Mello across the finish line on May 9.

      Instead, on April 19, the Wall Street Journal ran a story noting that Mello, a practicing Catholic, is pro-life. The story also falsely claimed Mello had co-sponsored a bill “requiring women to look at ultrasound image of their fetus before receiving an abortion.” A similar error was made by the Washington Post, which claimed that Mello had “previously backed a bill requiring ultrasounds for women considering abortions” and then again the following day by David Nir, political director of Daily Kos, who announced the site was withdrawing its endorsement of Mello—a move applauded by Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who’d launched a 12-part Twitter storm linking to the WSJ article and accusing Sanders and Perez of kicking off their tour with the message: “shame women; we’ll support u anyway.”

      • Last night (it’s towards near the down of the comments) I posted some initiatives Heath Mello proposes doing, such as workplace pay equity. He’s also against a NE state measure for the state budget. that would cause some standalone clinics to risk funding from Title X (this means women’s clinics).

        Meantime, the current mayor of San Antonio in Texas was counted among Clinton’s “endorsements” last year. It’s still not clear why the Clinton campaign would count this person, other than she needed another mayor and one of color.

        The mayor of San Antonio claims one of the deepest causes of poverty is the lack of a relationship with God.

        Speaking at a candidates’ forum early this month, Mayor Ivy Taylor was asked what she thought were the “deepest systemic causes of generational poverty” in the city. In a video posted online by NOWCastSA, she said:

        “Since you’re with the Christian Coalition, I’ll go ahead and put it out there that to me, it’s broken people. People not being in a relationship with their creator and therefore not being in a good relationship with their families and their communities and not being productive members of society.”

        https://tinyurl.com/m2enn92

        I think it was a calculated smear against Bernie Sanders. And the Daily Kos really caused some unforced errors.

        Granted, I wish Mello’s past actions involved some anti-choice measures, but he has promised to work with PP, and PP has now pledged to work with him.

        • There’s a good article in The Nation (I’ve used up my 6 free articles) that asks why Mello was thrown under the bus. Some of the reporting, including WaPo, was just wrong. The local women activists apparently support him.

        • Glad folks knew what I intended that Mello’s past legislative actions were somewhat potentially problematic, but he defends women’s health and birth control in the form of contraception.

      • From Bernies FB page:
        “Congratulations to President Trump! He has set a new record — having the lowest approval rating (42%)of any president after the first three months in office,” Sanders wrote. “This tells us something very important. Americans clearly aren’t on board with his disastrous agenda: xenophobic immigration policies, throwing millions off health care, putting corporate profits over the safety of our environment, and many more horrible decisions.”

        Meanwhile Bernie has a 57% approval rating who wouldda thought that was possible after a presidential election.

    • Trump signals delay on border wall funding to avoid government shutdown

      Donald Trump has indicated he is willing to delay his demand for funding of his Mexican border wall to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

      Trump, in a private meeting with conservative media outlets, said he might wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on 1 October to seek government funds for building a wall along the US-Mexico border, the White House confirmed.

      The border wall spending is fiercely opposed by Democrats and also unpopular with many Republicans.

      Trump, whose approval ratings have steadily declined since he took office, is facing a deadline on Friday for Congress to pass the spending bill funding the government through to September or risk marking his 100th day in office on Saturday with a government shutdown.

      The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, who has a key role providing Democratic votes to pass the legislation, welcomed Trump’s reported shift on the wall.

      “It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations,” Schumer said late on Monday.

      • Feinstein is so bad on so many things. She represents California for god sakes, not Missouri like McCaskill. Please retire–almost any Dem there would be an improvement.

    • American Dream in Freefall: It’s This Bad

      Whither the American Dream?

      It may not be totally dead, but a new study suggests that it is certainly on life support.

      Published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science, the team of researchers led by Raj Chetty and David Grusky of Stanford University used data from federal income tax returns and U.S. Census and Current Population Surveys to look at trends of this “absolute mobility,” or earning more than one’s parents.

      What they found was a dramatic decline over the past several decades. While nearly all—over 90 percent—of children born in 1940 were able to earn more than their parents, that figure drops to 50 percent for children born in the 1980s.

      The authors write that the decline was particularly acute “in the industrial Midwest,” states like Michigan, and hit the middle class hardest, though they note “that declines in absolute mobility have been a systematic, widespread phenomenon throughout the United States since 1940.”

    • Dennis Kucinich Is Back, With His Sights Set on For-Profit Education

      Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich launched a four-city, anti-charter school tour in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, telling attendees at a press conference that “public education’s financial base is being destroyed by private, for-profit corporate interests.”

      Kucinich, who served 16 years in Congress, was Cleveland mayor in the late 1970s, and ran for president in 2004 and 2008, plans to hold town hall-style forums across the state in Centerville, Columbus, Parma, and Elyria Monday through Thursday. He kicked it off by talking to reporters at the Ohio statehouse.

      “When state revenue for public schools decreases because of money which goes to private for-profit charters, public school officials must make up the difference by asking local property taxpayers for more money,” Kucinich said. “It represents a deliberate, destructive undermining of the public education of Ohio’s children. What is our educational philosophy today? Let for-profit corporations exploit the mass of children by controlling the state government?”

      With that last line, he was referring to state legislators “who have accepted millions of dollars in campaign contributions from charter-school operators, notably William Lager of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow and David Brennan of White Hat Management,” according to the Columbus Dispatch.

      Ohio has become notorious for its poor charter-school performance and oversight.

      The Twinsburg Bulletin reports that Kucinich plans to use the information at this week’s town halls and other meeting “to compile a report, to be presented to the legislature early next year, with recommendations for reforming the system.”

    • ‘Major Setback’ for Justice as Supreme Court Rejects Torture Report Lawsuit

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a lawsuit to publicly release the Senate’s full report on the CIA’s torture and detention program under former President George W. Bush.

      The ruling is a “major setback for government transparency and accountability,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuit. “The full report is the definitive account of one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history, and the public has a right to see it.”

      “Even though the full report is still secret, government agencies have copies and must use them to ensure that a program of inhuman and unlawful cruelty never happens again,” Shamsi said.

      The decision is the latest development in the ACLU’s pursuit of the full report, which has been ongoing for years. The civil rights group first filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the report in 2013, and then sued to enforce it, but a federal district court found that the report was congressional record and therefore not subject to FOIA laws, which apply only to executive branch documents. That decision was upheld in May 2016 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

    • President Trump’s Corporate Government

      We’re 100 days into Corporate Government.

      While giant corporations have for decades and on a bipartisan basis exerted far too much influence over government decision-making, we’ve never seen anything like the Trump administration.

      The key officials in the federal government, starting with the president himself, come from Big Business; the administration openly seeks guidance and direction from giant corporations and corporate CEOs on policymaking; and the Trump administration is rushing to deliver subsidies, tax breaks and deregulatory gifts to the giant corporations to which the administration apparently owes its primary allegiance.

      A day-by-day review of the administration’s first 100 days in office shows that virtually every day there has been a new, extraordinary grant of power to corporate interests and/or another development in Donald Trump’s get-rich-quick-scheme known as the American presidency.

      • Yep, and it was reported on Morning Joe today he is proposing a 15% corporate tax rate. Josh Ernest, former press secy for Obama, said depending on the details, there’s likely to be some common ground to be found among Dems on this issue. Hmm.

        • From Robert Reich (But of course some Dems will sign on)

          https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/

          Trump will unveil his tax “reform” plan Wednesday. Part of it is a huge cut in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 15 percent, in order to “make the United States more competitive.”

          This is truly dumb, for 5 reasons:

          1. The White House says the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Baloney. After corporate deductions and tax credits, the typical corporation pays an effective tax rate of 27.9 percent, only a tad higher than the average of 27.7 percent among advanced nations.

          2. Trump’s corporate tax cut will will bust the federal budget. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center projects that it will reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. This will either require huge cuts in programs for the poor, or additional tax revenues from the rest of us.

          3. The White House says the tax cuts will create a jump in economic growth that will generate enough new revenue to wipe out any increase in the budget deficit. This is supply-side nonsense. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both cut taxes, and both ended their presidencies with huge budget deficits.

          4. American corporations don’t need a tax cut. They’re already hugely competitive as measured by their profits – which are at record highs.

          5. The White House says corporations will use the extra profits they get from the tax cut to invest in more capacity and jobs. Rubbish. They’re now using a large portion of their profits to buy back their shares of stock and to buy other companies, in order to raise their stock prices. There’s no reason to suppose they’ll do any different with even more profits.

          Don’t fall for Trump’s corporate tax plan. It will be a huge windfall for corporations and a huge burden on ordinary Americans.

    • Biggest Threat to ‘Law-and-Order’? Our Delusional Attorney General

      He repeatedly mangles facts and butchers the truth — and almost never apologizes for it. He managed to rise to the top in Washington when many thought that the issue of racism would kill his career. He’s a zealot on immigration who consistently portrays America’s cities as urban hellholes, where residents should thank God every day that they’re not shot.

      And on his worst days — which is almost every day, to be honest — he can almost make President Trump look like a sane centrist. OK, I said “almost.”

      I am writing, of course, of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the 84th attorney general of the United States and arguably the worst, which is quite a feat since that list includes a convicted felon — Richard Nixon’s AG John Mitchell, caught up in Watergate — and Ronald Reagan’s Ed Meese, who didn’t believe that hunger existed in America.

      But Jeff Sessions is in a league of his own, because he is developing brutal policies for an America that doesn’t exist — where crime in big cities, or committed by undocumented immigrants is skyrocketing, to out-of-control levels and where the “Reefer Madness” of marijuana is a crisis that’s destroying the nation from within. He bases these “law-and-order” jihads largely on what we now call “alternative facts.” But if Sessions isn’t stopped, he may actually succeed in making the country less safe — a situation that he would certainly exploit to plunge America into the kind of authoritarianism that both he and Trump would applaud.

      • Why Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Is Unfit to Be Attorney General

        Don’t let his languid Southern drawl or physical resemblance to the kindly Keebler elves fool you. Ever.

        Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the nation’s 84th attorney general, is neither laid back nor kind. To the contrary, he’s the most dangerous member of the Trump Cabinet. What’s more, he’s entirely unfit for the high position he holds.

        Further evidence that Sessions has no business serving as our top law enforcement official emerged last week, when he took an intemperate swipe at Hawaii-based U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Kahala Watson during an interview with ultraconservative radio talk show host Mark Levin. Sessions was livid with Watson—who is one of only two active federal judges of indigenous heritage—for issuing a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement of President Trump’s second Muslim travel ban.

        “[T]his is a huge matter,” Sessions said on air. “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

        Judge Watson clearly had the authority to render his decision. After all, the principle of judicial review—the power of the courts to declare acts of Congress and the executive branch unconstitutional—has been a bedrock tenet of American constitutional law since Marbury v. Madison was decided in 1803.

        • The Repukes and their FRightwingnut allies have been screeching about “States’ Rights” since the curse of Nixon/Raygun! The states are now changing pot laws for the better via their citizens’ votes. These crooked, stupid bozos are still at it led by Sessions. This fight will definitely start flushing FRightwingnut shit down the cozmik toilet. Hope I’m around to see the whole battle. T and R to the usual suspects!! 🙂


    • Arkansas carries out first double execution in the US for 16 years

      The first double execution to take place in the US in 16 years was carried out by Arkansas on Monday night amid a fierce dispute over whether the prisoners were subjected to a botched procedure amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.

      In dramatic events that erupted a little over an hour after the first prisoner, Jack Jones, was put to death, a federal judge stepped in and temporarily stayed the lethal injection of the second, Marcel Williams, on grounds that Jones’s execution might have been unconstitutional. In frantic legal wrestling, the state conceded that it had spent some time trying to insert an IV line into Jones’s neck, but had failed in the endeavour.

      The deputy solicitor general, Nicholas Bronni, admitted in a court filing that the execution team had tried “to place a central line in Jones’ neck, but the attempt was unsuccessful”.

      Lawyers representing Williams instantly protested to the courts that it had taken 45 minutes for the execution team to find a vein into which they could inject the lethal cocktail into Jones. The attorneys warned that their client was obese, weighing 400 pounds, and that would render finding his veins even more difficult than his fellow death row inmate.

      Three media witnesses were allowed in to see both executions. But the value of their testimony was limited in one crucial regard: they were only permitted to enter the death chamber after the IV lines had been placed into the each prisoner’s veins, which means that there is no independent verification of whether or not the early stages of the death protocol were botched.

    • Pipeline leaks 18,000 gallons of crude oil onto Kingfisher Co. farmland

      State and federal agencies are investigating what caused a crude oil pipeline to leak thousands of gallons of oil onto surrounding farmland in Kingfisher County last week.

      The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) notified the federal government about the spill Friday afternoon, according to data from the National Response Center. Follow up reporting to the NRC Sunday listed ‘internal corrosion’ as the likely cause of the discharge of approximately 450 barrels (nearly 19,000 gallons) of crude oil from the Buffalo Cashion pipeline, owned by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.

      Plains employees at the spill site directed questions to headquarters, which released a statement Monday afternoon:

      “We are following our emergency response plan, and our staff is working with regulators and affected landowners. Our current priorities are to ensure the safety of all involved and limit the environmental impact of the release.”

    • Inter Pipeline system responsible for crude leak east of Edmonton

      Inter Pipeline Ltd. said Monday that its Cold Lake pipeline was the source of an oil leak discovered late last week in an industrial area east of Edmonton.

      The company said it learned of a potential leak near its Strathcona Terminal at around noon Friday, but it wasn’t until Monday morning that it confirmed the oil came from its line.

      The Alberta Energy Regulator said several operators had shut in their lines on the right of way when the leak was discovered because the source was unclear.

      ..
      The creek, near 17th Street and Baseline Road, flows directly into the North Saskatchewan River.

      The Alberta Energy Regulator, which is overseeing the response, said it still doesn’t know how much oil spilled.

      The regulator said the crude spilled into an unnamed creek and has affected some wildlife, though Inter Pipeline said there is no risk to the public.

    • Pipeline that will run through Michigan has 2M-gallon spill in Ohio

      Though not yet completed and operating, a major multi-state natural gas transmission line that will pass through Michigan has already caused a significant environmental spill.

      A Texas company building a high-pressure pipeline to carry natural gas from Appalachia has been issued violation notices for spilling a total of about 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into two separate wetlands earlier this month, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said.

    • Quake raises new concerns about Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, but builders say safeguards built in

      For some Lancaster County opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, Sunday’s earthquake raised new concerns about the safety of burying a pipeline in the most seismically active county in Pennsylvania.

      Jay Parrish, Pennsylvania’s former state geologist and a county resident, says the earthquake Sunday only solidifies his concerns about the current routing of the pipeline “on one of the very few areas with significant recent earthquake activity.”

      Parrish had scolded pipeline builder Williams and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last June because he said their environmental impact study of the seismic activity on the pipeline route was a “less than adequate effort for a potentially dangerous infrastructure.”

      Contacted Monday, Parrish said Sunday’s quake was not huge. But he said moving the pipeline even a few miles could have avoided the most active earthquake zone in Pennsylvania known to scientists.

      “True, there are no huge earthquakes, but if I was choosing to put a pipeline where there are some earthquakes and no earthquakes, I’d choose to put it where there are not any,” he said.

    • Donald Trump summons entire Senate to White House briefing on North Korea

      The entire US Senate will go to the White House on Wednesday to be briefed by senior administration officials about the brewing confrontation with North Korea.

      The unusual briefing underlines the urgency with which the Trump administration is treating the threat posed by Pyongyang’s continuing development of nuclear weapons and missile technology. It follows a lunch meeting Trump held with ambassadors from UN member states on the security council on Monday where he emphasised US resolve to stop North Korea’s progress.

      “The status quo in North Korea is unacceptable and the council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” Trump said at the meeting. “North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve.”

      ..

      “This meeting will give the security council the opportunity to discuss ways to maximise the impact of existing security council measures and to show their resolve to response further provocations with appropriate new measures,” said Mark Toner, state department spokesman.

    • There’s no such thing as a blue or red state. Let’s talk about real life instead

      he division that threatens to split this country in two is not between red and blue states, or between rural and urban areas – it is between the way we discuss politics and the realities of American lives, none of which fit into tidy categories. Contrary to popular narratives, you can be a progressive populist, a wealthy and college-educated Trump supporter, a rural laborer of color, a provincial urbanite, an open-minded midwesterner.

      And, as first-time Democratic political candidate James Thompson proved this month in Kansas, you can give conservative Republicans a run for their money as an Army veteran, a rifle-owning marksman, and a civil rights attorney who has fought on behalf of black victims of police brutality. Whose first college major was theater, and who named his daughter Liberty.

      All at once. In a “red” state.

      When conservative congressman Mike Pompeo vacated his Kansas seat to head the CIA earlier this year, conventional political wisdom said the special election to replace him was in the bag for Republican state treasurer Ron Estes. The district had gone for Trump by 27 points and is home to Koch Industries, the global, $100bn conservative moneybag whose famous family routes hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates across the country.

      But a small band of prairie progressives saw something else: Kansas Democrats had picked up 13 seats in the state legislature in 2016, while moderate Republicans had unseated conservatives.

    • Ontario plans to launch universal basic income trial run this summer

      The Canadian province of Ontario will launch a trial run of universal basic income with about 4,000 participants this summer, making it the first North American government in decades to test out a policy touted as a panacea to poverty, bloated bureaucracy and the rise of precarious work.

      Participants in the three-year, C$150m pilot program will be drawn from the cities of Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay. A randomly selected mail-out will invite applications in the coming months, with participants screened to ensure they are between the ages of 18 and 64 years and living on a low income.

      The pilot will include a mix of those who are working in low-paying or precarious jobs and those on social assistance, with participants able to opt out at any point during the three years.

      “This is a new world with new challenges,” Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s premier, said on Monday as she announced details of the highly anticipated pilot. “From technology to Trump, it is a time of greater uncertainty and change.”

      The pilot aims to answer whether basic income – an idea long touted by those on the left and right – is an effective means of addressing this unpredictability. Unconditional monthly payments will begin to flow this summer; single people will receive up to C$16,989 ($12,570) while couples will receive C$24,027. All participants will continue to receive child or disability benefits, if applicable.

    •  The Unity Tour Was Kind of a Mess—and That’s Okay (Joan Walsh @ The Nation)

      T he Democratic National Committee’s Unity Tour is over, and the reviews are in: Most journalists panned it. “At a ‘Unity’ Stop in Nebraska, Democrats find anything but,” wrote the New York Times. “Is Dem unity tour tearing the party apart? asked MSNBC’s AMJoy. Vice didn’t even bother with the question mark, proclaiming: “The Democrats are falling apart on their “come together’ tour.“

      Journalists treated the “unity tour” as a spectacle meant to spotlight party unity. It was anything but—yet it was necessary. DNC chair Tom Perez and Senator Bernie Sanders don’t see eye to eye on many policy disputes. Sanders had, of course, backed Rep. Keith Ellison for the job that went to Perez, and depicted the former Labor Secretary as a stalking horse for the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton wing of the party. More than once on the tour, Perez was booed by Sanders backers. The Sanders and DNC folks don’t seem to have collaborated enough on screening the candidates the tour traveled to support. There was a huge dustup around the issue of choice, for example, as well as a skirmish over a promising Democrat seemingly rebuffed by Sanders as not sufficiently progressive.

       But these are real intra-party conflicts, and the debate they’ve inspired (as well as the compromises and clarifications of each faction’s positions) have been necessary. This Unity Tour launched deliberately and self-consciously in search of greater concord, within a party still rent by the fierce primary battle between Sanders and Clinton.

      • Chris Reeves pinned a diary at TOP yesterday, in essence, that the tour flopped because there wasn’t a unified message, nor did the Dems have their act together. He had some good points, but I’m still not buying that it was a 2020 kickoff for Bernie to be POTUS necessarily.

        • I don’t think it really flopped–it attracted lerge enthusiastic crowds and the press noticed. The unity was that the DNC and Bernie actually did the tour–of course their message goals are not going to be in perfect synch

          • The only people it flopped for are the establishment that do not want true progressive policy. Lots of local candidates got to talk to many people they would never have gotten a chance to, organizations got lots of contact info and Thousands of people left the Grand Prairie arena fired up over issues, if the Democratic party chooses to embrace those issues it will have been a great success for them. If they do not.. well Bernie’s still shouting from the rooftop, and those several thousand be glad to keep listening to him. (and sending their 27 dollars).

          • If Bernie wasn’t at these events well you know –Crickets. The Tour would have been a YUGE fail.

    •  New York City’s Mayor Proposes Free Universal Preschool for 3-Year-Olds

      Inequality is bequeathed early and hardened fast. Research indicates that by the time low-income children are 5 years old, they typically hear 30 million fewer words than their more affluent counterparts. That “word gap” reflects a general lack of school readiness that affects performance in the early grades, which then sets students on a less successful path through middle school, high school, and life.

       A desire to interrupt that process of replicative injustice is what has driven the effort toward universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) for 4-year-olds, a cause New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio famously adopted during his 2013 run for mayor and implemented citywide in less than two years, an achievement for which his many detractors rarely give him credit. Seventy-thousand children—more than in the entire school districts of Boston, San Francisco, or Atlanta—participate in that program.

      Now de Blasio is proposing to chase educational inequalities even further back toward the delivery room. At a school in the South Bronx on Monday, the mayor laid out a vision for establishing citywide preschool for 3-year-olds—universal 3-K—by the year 2021.

    • Article about France political parties run to the middle and the result is Le Penn

      sounds like the US parties who lost touch

      Marine Le Pen Is What Happens When You Try to Meet Racism in the Middle

    • FCC chief to launch net neutrality rewrite this week, sources say

      FCC Chairman Ajit Pai intends to launch his reworking of the Obama-era net neutrality rules, according to sources familiar with the plan, setting up a showdown on an issue that has long pitted tech companies against internet providers.

      In a speech in Washington on Wednesday, Pai plans to discuss his vision for net neutrality — keeping open internet principles but getting rid of the utility-style regulatory framework approved by the agency’s previous Democratic majority. And he could circulate a notice of proposed rulemaking on the plan to his fellow commissioners on Thursday, sources said. That would set up a vote on the issue at the FCC’s May 18 meeting. One industry source said the chairman’s goal is to finish the proceeding by this fall.

      The FCC’s net neutrality rules generally require that internet service providers treat web traffic equally and prohibit providers from blocking or slowing traffic to certain websites.

      • Dem FCC commissioner ‘uncomfortable’ with plan to kill net neutrality

        The sole Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says she is “uncomfortable” with the plan that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is reportedly promoting to dismantle net neutrality.

        In a Tuesday interview with Axios, Mignon Clyburn said she didn’t think the rules should be replaced with voluntary commitments from internet service providers to maintain a free and open internet.

        “You’ve heard me say this dozens of times, about the internet and broadband being one of the greatest equalizers of our time, and what it enables,” she said.

        “And something that important, for a handful of entities saying this is how it’s going to be done, I’m a little bit uncomfortable [with] that. I haven’t seen anything, but just the promise of that makes me feel a little uncomfortable.”

    • State Department, U.S. embassies promoted Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

      President Donald Trump isn’t the only one promoting his private Mar-a-Lago club as the “winter White House.” His foreign policy team has gotten in on it too.

      The State Department and at least two U.S. embassies — the United Kingdom and Albania — earlier this month circulated a 400-word blog post detailing the long history of the president’s South Florida club, which has been open to dues-paying members since the mid-1990s and is now used by Trump for frequent weekend getaways. He has hosted foreign leaders there twice.

      The blog post — written by the State Department-managed site Share America — described the “dream deferred” when Mar-a-Lago’s original builder, Marjorie Merriweather Post, willed the property to the federal government upon her death in 1973, with the stipulation it be used as a winter retreat for the president.

      “Her plan didn’t work, however,” the post’s author, Leigh Hartman, wrote, explaining how the government returned the property to Post’s trust because it cost too much money to maintain. Trump bought the property and its furniture in 1985, and he opened it a decade later as a private club.

      “Post’s dream of a winter White House came true with Trump’s election in 2016,” Hartman wrote.

    • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Chameleon Presidency

      another of the 3x per week postings from Tom Dispatch

      here is the intro by Tom to the article which follows

      [Note for TomDispatch Readers: The other day, one of my favorite writers, Ariel Dorfman, dropped me a line to tell me that he had just finished Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian John Dower’s new Dispatch Book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two, and had promptly bought three more copies for family and friends. Here, in fact, is part of what he wrote me: “Last night I finished the book, which is so important, such essential reading… There is much in it that I knew, and quite a bit that I vaguely remembered, and some that I had never assimilated, but to have all that information in one short text, expertly woven and explained, is a devastating indictment of American violence and its imperial hubris. The footnotes alone are more than worth the price (which is very low, especially if we compare it to a Tomahawk missile). It is really like a mini-encyclopedia of American expansionism, but written with the verve of a political thriller, and with the murderer being chased and nailed down step by misstep. I told you many years ago how much I admired his book War Without Mercy when you recommended it to me, and this book simply adds to that admiration, with this additional comment: The Violent American Century has a chance to affect at a massive level our understanding of the world we live in, the one that America has shaped but has been unable to dominate. At a time when the military has taken over the national government — not to mention the industrialists — I am grateful to have Dower’s fierce intelligence on our side. Let’s hope it gets the readership it deserves”

    • Warren lines up with Sanders in Virginia

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/elizabeth-warren-endorses-tom-perriello-220508004.html

      Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary for Virginia governor on Monday in an interview with HuffPost, giving the insurgent progressive candidate an important boost in a race that has become increasingly competitive.

      When Perriello, a former congressman from Charlottesville, jumped into the Democratic race in January against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, he was seen as a late entrant with little chance at the nomination. But with the mood of the Democratic electorate rising against President Donald Trump, Perriello, a populist who has made standing up to Trump central to his campaign, has surged in the polls.

      Warren said she had tried to coax Perriello to join her at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after he lost his re-election to Congress in 2010. “I actually tried to hire him a long time ago,” she said. “So, when I was setting up the consumer agency … I took advantage, or tried to take advantage, of some really strong people who had been in elective office and lost.”

      Given the vibrancy of the Democratic Party’s activist wing, both candidates in the Virginia race have fought to stake out the most progressive flank, with Northam highlighting Perriello’s squishy past on reproductive freedom, for which he has since apologized, saying his views have evolved. But the endorsement of Warren follows the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and gives Perriello a clear path to claim the populist-progressive mantle in the race.

      Perriello was quick to embrace the endorsement by Warren. “Students, workers and consumers have always had a champion in Sen. Warren, a movement leader who has spent her career fighting to protect us from corporate greed and crushing debt,” he said in a statement forwarded by his campaign spokesperson. “She led the 2014 fight that would have allowed 629,000 Virginians to refinance their federal student loans, and she created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects Virginia families from predatory lenders and abuses by credit card and mortgage companies. I’m proud to have her support in my progressive campaign to raise wages, make college more affordable, and put consumers ahead of unchecked greed, so that no Virginia family is left behind.”

      Northam, meanwhile, has the backing of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, as well as Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and much of the rest of the Virginia Democratic political establishment. Term limits prevent McAuliffe from seeking re-election.

      To have Sanders and Warren backing a candidate against the one supported by the state’s home senators, both Democrats as well, is an unusual situation, but it reflects the way that the national debate over the future of the party can’t be avoided at the state level. Or, as we learned last week, not in Omaha, either.

    • Former Bernie Sanders operative to run for Congress in Iowa

      The grassroots movement that fueled Bernie Sanders’ rise to prominence in the 2016 Democratic primary has just produced one of its first congressional candidates.

      The Guardian has learned that Pete D’Alessandro, who helped guide the Vermont senator to a virtual tie with frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses, will announce a bid for Congress in Iowa’s third congressional district on Tuesday.

      D’Alessandro is a veteran political operative who worked on campaigns for Paul Wellstone, Bill Bradley and a number of Iowa Democrats before becoming Bernie Sanders’ first campaign staffer in Iowa in the summer of 2015.

      The district is a swing seat comprising Des Moines, its suburbs and south-western Iowa. Obama won the district twice before Donald Trump edged out Hillary Clinton in 2016. D’Alessandro will seek to challenge Republican David Young in 2018. A two-term incumbent, Young was a longtime Republican aide on Capitol Hill before being elected to Congress.

      In a statement to the Guardian, D’Alessandro said: “For the past several months, progressives throughout Iowa’s third congressional district have contacted me and have asked me to consider running for the US House of Representatives. The many offers of support have been humbling. It is clear that a great many people believe it is not possible to change the clutter in Washington DC if we choose our candidates from the same failed pool that we have in the recent past.”

    • POTUS 44 follows 42 (and spouse) in speeches for Wall Street, estimated speaking fee is one year’s salary for POTUS

      Obama to net $400K for Wall Street speech: report (from the Hill)

      Former President Obama has agreed to speak at a Wall Street conference for $400,000, according to a new report.

      Obama will appear at Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s healthcare conference in September, Fox Business Network first reported Monday.

      Fox Business said it confirmed Obama’s appearance with senior members at Cantor, a financial services firm.

      Obama will serve as the keynote speaker for one day at the company’s event, sources there told Fox Business.
      The network’s sources said Obama has signed a contract for the speech with the mid-size investment bank in New York.

      Cantor is waiting to coordinate with Obama before making a formal announcement, it continued.

      https://tinyurl.com/lv5drb

      Anyone still wonders if Obama wants a public option added to ACA or single payer?

      • Oh! come on now we all know he is a man of the 99% LOL

        http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/17/the-obamas-are-vacationing-with-bruce-springsteen-oprah-winfrey-and-tom-hanks/

        Hey, isn’t that … former president Barack Obama and former FLOTUS Michelle Obama chilling on a yacht in Tahiti this weekend with an uber-elite pack of pals including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen?
        The couple were photographed during their extended post-White House vacation in French Polynesia aboard music mogul David Geffen’s luxury yacht, the Rising Sun, looking every bit like your typical vacationers: the khaki-clad former commander in chief was taking a picture of his wife on the boat’s upper deck. But unlike the average Joe tourists, The Daily Mail and local news reports say, they were joined by some of their closest celebrity BFFs for a two-hour sojourn on the seas off the island of Moorea.

        Amid the umbrella-drink-worthy good times, both Obamas are working on books after securing a reported $65 million joint deal.

      • Well at least he’s doing after he’s out of office and not before running like Clinton. Money in politics does suck doesn’t it?

        • Yah you could say that: “He is laughing all the way to the banks that he didn’t prosecute while he was in charge.”

          • And maybe that is why he got behind his puppet Tom Perez.
            We certainly could not have someone like Keith Ellison in charge of the DNC as he might have gotten “big money” out of politics.

            HEAVEN FORBID that coming to pass!

    • Over 1,000 people showed up today in front of the White House. One tweet said that Trump came out to listen.

      These brave people did get arrested.

    • Then the 1,000 people moved to the Heritage Foundation (who they consider to be Trump’s think tank).

      And managed to get into the Heritage Foundation’s lobby.

    • A facetious question.

      I wonder if Jeff Sessions will use this?

      https://mic.com/articles/175182/white-collar-crime-app-the-new-inquiry#.DgQ16WMLv

      This app exposes the white-collar criminals all around you.

      Looking through the glossy lens of the New York Police Department’s crime tracking data, compiled in Compstat 2.0, you’d think that the denizens of Wall Street were model citizens. Sure, there are a few scuffles in the past month, some petty pilfering at the corner stores. But no sweeping fraud, no tax evasion, no market manipulation, insider trading, counterfeiting or employment discrimination.

      To see the real criminality on Wall Street, you have to look through another lens entirely.

      A new app and website called White Collar Crime Risk Zones, which goes by the initials WCCRZ, shows exactly what neighborhoods are chock full of financial criminals, how much damage they’re doing and even what they might look like. Using data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a team of technologists affiliated with the left-wing magazine New Inquiry created the open-source tool so that anyone can put a face on the labyrinthian world of white collar crime hidden in their own home town.

    • Another man of the people!

      Giving NY’s Governor a $783,000 Bribe Is Business as Usual for Rupert Murdoch

      A Buffalo News headline (4/18/17) asked a pointed question about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “How Did Cuomo Make $783,000 on Memoir That Sold 3,200 Copies?”
      The accompanying article did not delve particularly deep into the mystery, beyond noting that the royalty amounts to $245 per copy for a book that retails on Amazon for $13.05, and that it more than doubled Cuomo’s income for 2016, when his $216,000 in royalties topped the $168,000 he got as his gubernatorial salary. “This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,” a Cuomo spokesperson told the News.
      The identity of that publisher—HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp—goes a long way to solving the mystery: Murdoch has long made a practice of funneling large payments to influential politicians via HarperCollins book contracts, in what amounts to a system of legalized bribery.

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/politics/maria-comella-chris-christie-andrew-cuomo/

      (CNN)A former top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is crossing party lines and the Hudson River to become New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new chief of staff.

      Maria Comella confirmed to CNN in an exclusive interview that she will be officially named to the position Tuesday after spending the last few months advising the Democratic governor. A lifelong Republican, this is the first time Comella has ever worked for a Democrat.
      “Right now, it is important to be an active participant in our democratic process and political party matters less than the things we can accomplish when working together,” Comella told CNN in a brief interview by email. “At a time of turmoil in Washington, I believe the states can and will play an important role and Governor Cuomo has the ability to find common ground when it’s needed and get things done.”

      This ought to do a lot for his Presidential aspirations.

      • Cuomo ties for the worst Dem in a Dem state with Rahm Emanuel. I can’t imagine who his national constituency would be. Cuomo dislike is one of the few things mostly everyone at DK can agree on.

    • Those dam judges are at it again!

      This time it wasn’t from a judge on an island in the Pacific.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/04/25/california-judge-blocks-trump-order-sanctuary-city-money/100897066/

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco has blocked a Trump administration order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

      U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the temporary ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit over the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The decision will stay in place while the lawsuit moves through court.

      The Republican president’s administration and two California governments that sued over the order disagreed about its scope.

  • Keller Dawson became a registered member 5 days, 2 hours ago

  • Crane Mcneil became a registered member 5 days, 2 hours ago

  • If you ever doubted that Tom Perez was hopeless, watch this video:

    And here are some interesting comments on the recent spate of stories criticizing Sanders:

    Be sure and read the comments too!

    Loved the […]

    • I’ve donated multiple tines to Ossoff (and to Quist), and I don’t regret it. Ossoff is very strong on one issue, the corrosive influence of money on politics, which unless fixed, will slow significant positive strides.

      Here is Ossoff’s statement to End Citizen’s United:

      “I believe passionately in integrity and transparency in government. I will use my real-world experience to root out and expose corruption and fraud in Washington, and introduce legislation to reform campaign finance laws, reduce the toxic and corrupt impact of money in politics and work to overturn Citizens United — a terrible decision allowing unchecked, anonymous money in politics.”

      That being said, Bernie is perfectly right to concentrate on candidates he believes best reflect his vision (plus ones who may not be the focus of Dem establishment–although Quist is now getting significant help from the DCCC.) I’m sure Ossoff, in an upscale suburban Atlanta district, actually is perfectly fine with Bernie remaining at a distance.

      • Good to hear that Ossoff is strong on that point. I certainly DO hope he wins even though I don’t like him much otherwise.

        Glad to hear the DCCC is now helping Quist. Didn’t know that.

        • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rob-quist-montana-democrats_us_58f8d7e6e4b018a9ce58eb82

          Two days after a surprisingly strong showing in a Georgia special election, congressional Democrats are adding a new race to their list of priorities: a contest in Montana that pits local musical legend Rob Quist against businessman and creationist Greg Gianforte.

          The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is making an initial six-figure investment into the Montana state party to back Quist’s campaign, DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly told The Huffington Post.

          It will be left to the state party and the campaign to decide how best to use the funds, whether on mail, television or door-knocking operations. The spending is in the low six figures, but is unlikely to be the last cash infusion from the national party as attention increasingly turns to the state’s race.

          • I think the Montana campaign is going to get ugly. Quist has had some financial troubles in the past, and I think Gianforte is going to hit him on that. He likely won’t succeed, but it will get ugly.

      • Ossoff needs to rent an studio apartment in Dunwoody or near his office in Sandy Springs. Already CNN has picked up a scent that he doesn’t live in the district itself, and I see via the google search engine that some conservative press has picked this up too.

    • Thanks, SpringT!

    • Perez was chosen and annointed by Obama and the establishment wing of the party.

      It certainly wasn’t because of his communication skills.

      http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/330238-dnc-chair-raises-eyebrows-with-frequent-swearing

      Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez isn’t afraid to swear in his speeches — a decision that’s raising eyebrows and earning criticism for the new Democratic Party head.

      Perez, who has been traveling the country on a unity tour meant to unite the party after a bruising election season, regularly uses curse words in his speech, often to say some variation on his claim that Republicans “don’t give a s— about people”

      The Washington Post compiled a super-cut of clips where Perez has dropped curse words during appearances. But Perez, the former Obama administration Labor secretary who was elected chairman in February following a heated race, brushed off the flak he has been receiving during an interview with the newspaper.

      Someone should also tell him that using an overly loud voice does not indicate passion for one’s statements.

    • Despite Heath Mello’s past about abortion rights (and will he stick to working with PP), I saw this today on twitter, then went to his website. It’s about women’s pay equity. I think this is a good thing:

      Promoting Wage Equity

      An employee’s wage history can unfairly put her at a disadvantage for future earnings if an employer uses this information when setting a new hire’s pay. Employers should rely on a woman’s skills, experience, and education rather than previous wages to assess the worth of their employment.

      Prohibiting city departments from asking about wage history when hiring. While salary for some city positions is set on a schedule, salary is based on experience for seasonal, temporary, and part-time workers. Heath will work to update city hiring policy to include a prohibition against asking about past earnings.

      Encouraging employers across the city to voluntarily refrain from asking about wage history when hiring. Heath will lead the conversation in asking employers in all sectors to consider policies against asking about past earnings
      .

      Blueprint for Workplace Equity

    • Haven’t seen David Doel (Do well?) before. Like him. Thanks.

  • Good morning all, hope you had a great weekend. I have quite a few links/videos (and apologies if its something you’ve already posted over the weekend) so I’ll get right to things with an article and then […]

      • What? Bernie telling the truth?

        Shame on him

        Eternal shame on him

        Meanwhile, he is the most popular US level politican

    • Crap, always forget my “Tip, Comments, Complaints, Etc Jar!”

      Here it is!

    • Nancy Pelosi: ‘Of course’ Democrats can be pro-life

      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi downplayed the significance of the right to an abortion as a cause that unites Democrats, emphasizing instead the party’s stance on economic policy and commitment to the working class.

      Asked Sunday whether there’s room in the party for pro-life politicians, the staunchly pro-choice California lawmaker responded, “Of course.”

      “I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive — my family would say ‘aggressive’ — position on promoting a woman’s right to choose,” Ms. Pelosi said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

      The remark comes after Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, stumped on Thursday for Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello, a Democrat who supported pro-life legislation as a Nebraska senator.

      Mr. Mello initially received an endorsement in the May 9 election from the Daily Kos, a progressive website, but lost it after his pro-life voting record, which includes co-sponsoring the state’s 20-week abortion ban, came to light.

      ..

      Mr. Sanders defended his decision Sunday to campaign for Mr. Mello, saying the “choice is clear” in the Omaha race. In the wake of overwhelming Republican gains at the state and federal levels, he said the “Democratic Party has got to change.”

      “And in my view, what it has got to become is a grassroots party, a party that makes decisions from the bottom on up, a party that is more dependent on small donations than large donations,” Mr. Sanders told John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “A party, John, that speaks to the pain of the working class in this country.”

    • Top Democrats, Bernie Sanders Defend Anti-Abortion Members Of Their Party

      Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said it’s fine if an elected Democratic official personally opposes abortion, but from a policy standpoint, he or she must support a woman’s right to choose.

      “When it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal,” Durbin said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “As long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe vs. Wade, prepared to back women’s rights as we have defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party.”

      The issue is in the forefront because of recent drama over the Democratic National Committee last week endorsing a Democratic candidate for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, who has a record of voting against abortion rights. Among other progressives, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue torched the DNC for making a “politically stupid” move.

    • Bernie Sanders Condemns Threats Against Ann Coulter Speech At Berkeley

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized the security threats to a speaking event by conservative pundit Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley that prompted the school to postpone the talk.

      “I don’t like this. I don’t like it,” Sanders told The Huffington Post after speaking at a rally for Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello on Thursday night. “Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”

      ..

      “To me, it’s a sign of intellectual weakness,” he said. “If you can’t ask Ann Coulter in a polite way questions which expose the weakness of her arguments, if all you can do is boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming, what does that tell the world?”

      “What are you afraid of ― her ideas? Ask her the hard questions,” he concluded. “Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”

      Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who was also in Omaha to speak at the rally for Mello, expressed similar sentiments, noting that opponents of the black civil rights movement sued protesters and media outlets that reported on them in an effort to restrict their speech.

      “Absolutely protest these people you don’t like, absolutely write against them, denounce them,” the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee advised progressives angry at right-wing speakers. “But the solution to bad speech is good speech, the solution to bad speech is more speech. Once you start saying, ‘You can’t talk,’ then whoever’s in power gets to impose that on whoever’s not in power and that’s not good.”

      • hahahahahahaha! before i even watch it.

        It must be very strange to see an authentic, passionate, honest, vital person for the Dems!

      • Oh for crap’s sake!!

        Is that their next angle of attack?

        I can’t even….

      • The guy sitting next to Cenk is weird and it seems, very establishment.

        • Im a big fan of a lot of the TYT politics people but their newest male hire (forget his name… bores me to death), could definitely do without him. The main TYT channel while it occasionally has good segments, seems to cover the fluff material more and more (and for longer and longer). I guess it helps get them subscribers but… I could care less about half the crap they post about.

    • Sanders to Trump: ‘Listen to the scientists’

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed President Trump on Saturday, calling on him to pay attention to those taking part in the March for Science and “not the fossil fuel industry and their lobbyists.”

      President Trump: Listen to the scientists who are out on the streets, not the fossil fuel industry and their lobbyists. #marchforscience
      — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 22, 2017

      Sanders’ tweet came as people in cities around the world rallied as part of the March for Science, calling for climate change policy rooted in scientific evidence and increased federal funding for scientific research.

      Trump’s policy proposals on energy have come under heavy fire from Sanders and Democratic lawmakers. His pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was opposed by all but two Senate Democrats during the confirmation process.

      Sanders blasted Pruitt’s stance on climate change after his confirmation, calling it “pathetic.”

      “You have the head of the Environmental Protection Agency who denies … reality in face of overwhelming scientific evidence,” he said. “Not only is it sad, it is a real threat to the well-being of this country and the world.”

      • Scientists with their facts had a free ride for a couple of centuries

        the modern constitution was built on a dichotomy between nature vs culture, subject vs object, facts vs values

        and scientists were representatives for Nature and with their facts they were above the cultural fray — but no longer

        Bruno Latour

        Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in ecological issues among
        thinkers concerned with cosmopolitics. Here I wish to offer a slightly different
        perspective on the politics of ecological issues by adding two lines of reasoning to the topic: one of them from my original field, science and technology studies, and the
        other from what I have called the anthropology of the moderns

        To begin with, speaking about a ‘politics of nature’ might appear simultaneously
        strange and obvious, terribly new and terribly old. On the one hand, that ‘nature’ in
        relation to ecological issues has become increasingly present in the political agendas
        of rich and poor nations is obvious to anyone who cares to read the newspapers. But
        nature has also entered the political realm in another and more troublesome sense.
        Until recently, we have been in the habit of saying that while politics is about
        conflicts, power struggles, ideologies, emotions, inequalities, and the distribution of
        resources and wealth, the turn from politics to the natural realm meant a move from
        endless conflicts to certainty, from human centered passions to object centered reason.
        This is no longer the case. What has happened in the recent past is that issues about
        natural entities*tigers conservation, the monopoly over rare earths, dam constructions,
        the planting of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) cotton, genetics of
        race, alternative energy sources, and so on and so forth*no longer play the role of
        calming cold reasons, but have become some of the hottest topics of public
        controversies. It is as if nature and geopolitics had been conflated. We only have to
        think about last year’s climategate or the recent shaky deal in Cancun over nonbinding
        CO2 reduction to witness a political controversy about a formerly natural
        question: that of the climate itself. And yet, what could be further away from political arenas than the climate of the Earth? Who would have thought only 20 years ago that
        no political scientist could ignore the Earth climate system and all its uncertainties?
        Who would have thought that, in addition to constitutions, administrative law, and
        economics, he or she should be aware of the chemistry of high atmosphere or of the
        precise layering of Arctic ice cores?

        Who would have thought that scientists would be called politicians with an agenda?

        i added the bold

        However, this is not what is most novel or surprising. Who would have predicted
        that in turning one’s attention to such new topics coming from scientific disciplines,
        one would have to weigh the relative authority of disputing and disputed scientists?
        This is really a novelty. Scientists no longer appear as a voice from nowhere
        mysteriously fused with the undisputable necessity of matters of facts. Each of us has
        to become aware of different cultures of science, different paradigms, different and
        often conflicting claims, instrumentations, research protocols, and field trial designs.

        In a strange way, we all have to foreground the complex institutions necessary for
        scientific productions. In earlier days, any politically astute commentator would
        know how to take into account the complex institutions of parliaments, of
        committees, of election, canvassing, campaigning, of corruptions, and media
        manipulations. But when he or she had to turn to the results of science*be it
        natural or social science*he or she would not have thought it required foregrounding
        the whole complex ecosystem necessary for the resulting fact to be produced.
        ‘Institution’ was a term used for representing people, not for representing objects and
        things. Who needs to take into account institutions when the truth of matters of fact
        are concerned? But today every one of us has to become a commentator, a critique, a
        judge, just as attuned to the complexity of political institutions as to the complexity of
        scientific productions.2

        Politics of nature: East and West
        perspectives1

    • It’s a long read, but it’s one of those ” know thy enemy ” articles http://www.salon.com/2017/04/24/breitbart-is-not-independent-its-the-communications-arm-of-the-mercers-empire_

      partnerBreitbart.com serves as the communications arm of a web of nonprofit and for-profit entities owned or supported by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. The conservative website shares staff with those organizations and regularly promotes their work.

      White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was executive chairman of both Breitbart and the conservative research organization Government Accountability Institute (GAI) from 2012 to 2016. Breitbart Managing Editor Wynton Hall and Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer also serve as GAI’s communications strategist and president, respectively. The Mercers are part-owners of Breitbart and their foundation is GAI’s primary funder.

    • Candidates to lead SC Dems compete for Bernie bump

      The race to chair the S.C. Democratic Party could depend on the legacy of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

      Both candidates for the party’s top job – Trav Robertson and Susan Smith – recently rolled out endorsements from supporters or groups with ties to the U.S. senator from Vermont. Outside South Carolina – where he lost miserably – Sanders put up a surprisingly strong challenge to Hillary Clinton in the party’s 2016 presidential primaries.

      On Friday, Smith received the endorsement of Our Revolution, a political action group that grew out of Sanders’ campaign. The group also endorsed state Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg, to be the party’s vice chair. Bamberg endorsed Sanders during the 2016 S.C. primary.

      In a statement, Our Revolution national executive director Shannon Jackson praised Smith for her work as a “grassroots activist” for groups, including Planned Parenthood, the Democratic Women’s Council and the LGBT advocacy group S.C. Equality.

      “Both Susan Yarbrough Smith and Justin Bamberg have widespread support of Palmetto State progressives, and for good reason,” Jackson said. “They’ve been outspoken advocates for social, racial, and economic justice in their own backyards for the span of their careers.”

      The same day, Robertson announced the endorsement of Chris Covert, who was Sanders’ S.C. campaign director, along with endorsements from Clinton’s S.C. primary director Clay Middleton and general election lead Alycia Albergottie, and Tyler Jones, who ran the abortive Democratic primary campaign of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    • Bernie Sanders, Al Franken and Sherrod Brown Quietly Owned Trump On High Drug Prices

      When it comes time to negotiate the cost of drugs, we are going to negotiate like crazy,” Trump said on the campaign trail. After winning the election, he ratcheted up the rhetoric, telling reporters at a press conference that pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder.”

      Now Democrats are seizing on Trump’s bombast to burnish their own prescription drug credentials. In just a few months, a handful of progressive Senate Democrats have effectively reversed the friendliness with Big Pharma that former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had fostered for decades. Two of the usual suspects are leading the charge ― longtime pharma critics Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) ― along with a relative newcomer to power politics, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).

      In December, Franken and Brown rounded up 18 other Democratic Senators to sign a letter to Trump that vowed to help him pass measures to lower drug prices. They were ready to support legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate with Big Pharma, cap price increases and speed up the entrance of generic drugs to the market.

      Franken and Brown went further last month, when they introduced legislation that combines just about every policy idea drug lobbyists hate. The bill includes old standbys like Medicare negotiations and permitting imports of safe prescription drugs from Canada (where prices are lower, because Canada regulates them). But it also features more radical moves, including expanded federal funding for clinical trials, which would prevent private companies from monopolizing taxpayer-funded research. Typically, the government pays for early drug research, with pharmaceutical firms supporting the final steps in the process.

    • Can Bernie Sanders Save the Democratic Party?

      Is this what unity looks like? Maybe.

      The reviews of the Democratic National Committee’s national “unity tour” with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Chairman Tom Perez have been mostly negative. The Republican National Committee flooded reporters’ inboxes with bad headlines from the past week and even the liberal New Republic declared the effort “failed.”

      There was plenty of grist for the critics: Boos for Perez; blowback from pro-choice groups for Sanders; and even, as if proving the curse, the collapse of an American flag behind Perez during a live interview on MSNBC.

      ..

      I wanted to hear directly the frustration of people who feel the party hasn’t met their expectations,” Perez told NBCNews.com. “And for every boo-bird, there’s 400 people who want the party to succeed, have frustrations, and want to make sure that somebody is listening to them.”

      Perez, who was vetted to be Hillary Clinton’s vice president and then in line to be her attorney general, probably didn’t expect to spend this year relitigating the 2016 Democratic primary. But if the party were already unified, there’d be no need for a unity tour.

      As he reflected on the tumultuous week riding Sanders’ coattails, Perez said he was satisfied with the outcome. “For me, this has been a great trip,” he said.

      • “boo-bird”? reference to the beautiful Bernie bird? Backfired on him when he got pooped on. :O)

        And yep, our dear county leader here just had to post on how bad Bernie was and how we must support women, yada yada yada. And I see Berniecrats ingratiating themselves with him. blech.

    • Nina Turner on Jeff Sessions’ Reefer Madness

      PAUL JAY: Senator Turner what do you make of Sessions’ assertion, more repression on drugs including marijuana. More arrests, more incarceration, I assume, and it’s all part of the war on drugs. That leads to a lowering of the murder rate and the lowering of the crime rate.

      NINA TURNER: Well, his assertion is ridiculous on its face. We know what happened, the 1994 Crime Bill, and what that did to African American communities, in particular, the poor communities in general. We know that the so-called, “War on Drugs” does not work, and all it does is create a scourge in communities. Particularly communities of color, it’s the wrong way to go.

      And, moreover, what he said is really out of touch, Paul Jay, with what is happening in the States. In this country where almost more than half, or at least half of the states in our country, have some type of law legalizing medical marijuana, which he made a comment even against that.

      And we know that there’s medical studies that show that medical marijuana, or medicinal marijuana, certainly gives relief to people with certain medical ailments. So, he’s really, really out of touch with where this country is going in general. And also in terms of how we’ve become smart on crime, and move away from just locking up people randomly, without considering whether or not they would be better candidates for more community-based corrections. Where, in my state, that’s what we moved towards over the last five years.

    • Authorities Drop 33 Cases Against Pipeline Protesters

      Authorities have dropped 33 cases stemming from arrests of protesters against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.

      The Bismarck Tribune reports that prosecutors and judges last month dismissed 33 misdemeanor cases, while another 14 cases were resolved by guilty pleas that month.

      Most of the cases dropped last month related to criminal trespass charges from the late summer and fall.

      Prosecutors struggled to prove those charges before Judge Allan Schmalenberger, who ruled in several cases that prosecutors had not met their burden of proving that protesters were given proper notice that they were on private land.

      • If Obama gets credit for the good things accomplished during his presidency, he certainly should get at least some of the blame for the disastrous performance of the Dems during his eight years.

    • Energy.gov Gets Altered, Removes Climate Benefits of Renewables

      By now it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Trump administration is wiping Obama-era climate initiatives off the Internet.

      This time, the Department of Energy (DOE) has significantly altered its websites on renewable energy, removing references on how clean energy technologies can reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and help lower climate-changing emissions.

      The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—which could face deep funding cuts under Trump’s budget proposal—has made “extensive changes and reorganizations” on websites for the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the Wind Energy Technologies Office and the Vehicle Technologies Office, according to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), a coalition of academics and nonprofits that has tracked changes to federal websites ever since Donald Trump took office.

    • Governor Declares State of Emergency to Save Louisiana Coast

      Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Wednesday for coastal Louisiana to highlight the state’s need for more federal funding to address extreme weather events.

      “We are in a race against time to save our coast, and it is time we make bold decisions,” Edwards said. “The Louisiana coast is in a state of crisis that demands immediate and urgent action to avert further damage to one of our most vital resources.”

      More than half of Louisiana’s 4.65 million residents live on the coast. “Parts of our state remain unprotected from or vulnerable to future hurricane and flood events,” Edwards emphasized, and estimated that 2,250 square miles of coastal Louisiana will be lost in the next 50 years unless immediate action is taken.

      Edwards attributed the problem to factors including climate change, sea level rise, subsidence, hurricanes, storm surges, flooding, disconnecting the Mississippi River from coastal marshes and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

      Louisiana is still reeling from last August’s historic flooding, which killed 13 people and caused more than $8 billion in damage. The Shreveport Times reported in January that Edwards was vigorously seeking more federal flood recovery funding beyond the $1.6 billion, which was finally made available last week.

    • Britain Set to Have Its First Coal-Free Day Since Industrial Revolution

      The United Kingdom’s grid operator just announced an incredible prediction—April 21 is probably going to be the country’s first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution.

      “Great Britain has never had a continuous 24 hour period without #coal. Today is looking like it could be the first,” according to a tweet from the National Grid’s Electricity National Control Centre.

      The National Grid confirmed with the Mirror that Friday is on track to be “the first time the UK has been without electricity from coal since the world’s first centralized coal fired generator opened at Holborn Viaduct in London in 1882.”

      “The first day without coal in Britain since the industrial revolution marks a watershed in the energy transition,” Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, told the Guardian. “A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in 10 years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again.”

    • LD: I wanted to call out and thank Benny, humphrey, polarbear4, etc. for the great job they do manning TPW over the weekends. I did the March on Science in Orlando Saturday. I figured around 1000 showed, but local media reported higher numbers (very good). There were Bernster t-shirts proudly worn as the crowd was easily 75% younger folks. It was very peaceful, lots of brilliant, creative signs, and filled with positive vibes. 🙂 It gives this old tired lefty futurist hope! T and R to the usual suspects!! 🙂

      • Yes a big thank you to all of them for the help! And thanks to Subir for joining us as well! Hoping we can continue a trend of more posts/conversations/etc!

        So glad you had a good time at the Science Rally! I had quite a few friends go to DC to march and enjoyed viewing all their pictures/etc on facebook, etc. Trying to convince them to come post them over here as well 🙂

        • There are a lot of lurkers on here, LD. Definitely from the BNR days, and like Subir have the geek/tech brains to post links, reads, photos, and videos. My computer knowledge is very basic and limited in comparison. TPW is a fun and peaceful oasis for us Bernsters and other liberal/progressive folk. We also get into a lot of informed discussions about political and current American history and issues. Watch more lurkers comment as time passes especially next year with the elections looming. I, for one, enjoy it and salute you guys to the hilt!! 🙂

      • Because being economically disadvantaged isn’t bad enough.

        People who think these sort of schemes up have absolutely no business being around our children.

    • Disney, the Gap and Pepsi urged to quit US Chamber of Commerce

      Disney, the Gap and Pepsi are being pressured to quit the US Chamber of Commerce, America’s largest lobby group, amid criticism of its big-money efforts to fight climate change legislation and promote tobacco products.

      A coalition of pressure groups including Action on Smoking and Health, Greenpeace, Public Citizen and the Sierra Club have written to the CEOs of the three companies asking them to stop funding the powerful business group.

      In a letter to Disney’s boss, Bob Iger, the coalition points to the media company’s commitment to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020, its support of the Paris climate agreement and its ban on depictions of smoking in theme parks and all G, PG and PG-13 movies.

      “Unfortunately, the US Chamber of Commerce is doing everything it can to block efforts to combat both climate change and anti-smoking laws and regulations. It opposes the Paris Agreement that you publicly support, is suing to block the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, consistently lobbies against legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and spends millions of dollars in money on elections ads urging voters to back candidates who support the fossil fuel industry and oppose efforts to combat climate change,” they write.

    • Texas’s pick to safeguard environment? The man behind Dakota Access pipeline

      The CEO behind the Dakota Access pipeline might not seem an obvious choice to be designated a custodian of the environment. Texas Republicans, though, appear to disagree.

      The appointment of Kelcy Warren to the Texas parks and wildlife commission was approved by a state senate nominations committee on Thursday after a 4-3 vote along party lines, meaning it progresses to a vote by the full senate later this year.

      Warren is a Dallas-based magnate who is head of Energy Transfer Partners, the company whose pipeline under the Missouri river in remote North Dakota attracted year-long mass protests and legal challenges, with Native American tribes contending that it could harm sacred ground and drinking water.

      Still, the 61-year-old is close to being reconfirmed as one of 10 members of the wildlife commission, which guides a state agency with a stated mission “to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations”.

      Citing conflict-of-interest fears, activists are hoping that senate Democrats will muster enough votes to block Warren’s appointment.

      “It’s no secret that the Texas legislature is controlled by the oil and gas industry in many respects and this is a case in point if it goes through,” said Matt Johnson, communications manager for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy group.

    • The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment by Cornel West

      The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.

      The neoliberal vision of the Democratic party has run its course. The corporate wing has made it clear that the populist wing has little power or place in its future. The discipline of the party is strong on self-preservation and weak on embracing new voices. And party leaders too often revel in self-righteousness and self-pity rather than self-criticism and self-enhancement. The time has come to bid farewell to a moribund party that lacks imagination, courage and gusto.

      The 2016 election – which Democrats lost more than Republicans won – was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The unfair treatment of Bernie Sanders was but the peak of the iceberg. In the face of a cardboard Republican candidate equipped with pseudo-populist rhetoric and ugly xenophobic plans, the Democratic party put forward a Wall Street-connected and openly militaristic candidate with little charisma.

      The crucial issues of a $15 minimum wage and saying no to fracking, no to TPP, no to Israeli occupation and yes to single-payer healthcare were pushed aside by the corporate wing and the populist wing was told to quit whining or take responsibility for the improbable loss.

      The monumental collapse of the Democratic party – on the federal, state and local levels – has not yielded any serious soul-wrestling or substantive visionary shifts among its leadership. Only the ubiquitous and virtuous Bernie remains true to the idea of fundamental transformation of the party – and even he admits that seeking first-class seats on the Titanic is self-deceptive and self-destructive.

    • Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says she’s not running for president.

      Her office says she’s focused on her Senate reelection bid.

      But she has the public schedule of a future presidential candidate.

      Warren will speak Sunday to the NAACP in Detroit, and next month she will deliver the keynote address to an annual gala held by EMILY’s List, which aims to elect female candidates who support abortion rights

      Both groups represent important Democratic constituencies, and the NAACP speech will bring Warren to Michigan, a key swing state President Trump wrested from Democrats last year.
      Warren, who is running for reelection in 2018, raised $5.2 million in the first quarter, more than any other member of the Senate.

      She has also released a new book, “This Fight is our Fight,” which she touts as being about the battle to save the middle class. It’s the kind of book one would expect to see from a presidential candidate.

      • I know there are a lot of people who won’t vote for her over her non-endorsement of Bernie, but I think I would, especially if her VP was a Bernie type.

        She really gets what this divided economy is doing to America and if I can vote for someone who will fight Wall St. and work to get the 99% going again, I will. Hopefully, she will also have to reign in the MIC in order to truly help us. We shall see.

        • Depending on what her priorities seem to be, depending on who she seemed to be trying to woo, I’m leaving the door cracked open to support her.

          But she has some fences to mend, her cred took a real hit with her silence in the primary, then her endorsement of Hillary. It seemed either cowardly or overly calculated, safe.

          My hubby used to be a fan of hers. Not anymore. But depending on how she rolls going forward I think he MIGHT be able to jump back on board. I would like to also see her show some spine vis-a-vis Israel.

        • I like her and would have no trouble voting for her, but I think she’s really not an ideal presidential candidate in this climate. Actually, I doubt that she’s going to run. Right now, I think the most likely serious female candidate in 2020 is Gillibrand. But it’s so far and who knows. A lot depends on what Bernie is up to.

    • Nuanced comments by Bernie

      Not afraid of taking stands for reality

    • US to step up support for Saudis, says Pentagon chief

      The Trump administration is weighing providing additional support for the Saudi-led fight in Yemen amid mounting speculation about specific military steps the U.S. may take in the battle against Iranian-backed rebels.

      But such a move could receive blowback on Capitol Hill, where members of both parties have called for the administration to provide a more detailed strategy on conflicts such as in Syria and have expressed doubts about assisting Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

      Defense Secretary James Mattis all but pledged additional support for the Saudi-led fight in Yemen this week.

      “We will have to overcome Iran’s efforts to destabilize yet another country and create another militia in their image of Lebanese Hezbollah, but the bottom line is we are on the right path for it,” Mattis told reporters in Riyadh after meeting senior Saudi officials.

      Mattis did not commit to any specific action in the fight, but U.S. officials told Reuters that the meeting included discussions about additional assistance for the Saudi-led coalition, including potential intelligence support, while U.S. troops were off the table.

      • We could really use a vibrant anti-war, er, pro-peace movement, like during Viet Nam.

        Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” sums it up nicely. It seems like we just want to “kill”! (“I wanna kill!” Poor Trump and the whole dam MIC gang. The whole lot of “leaders” that want war everywhere they look, and imprisonment and poverty at home.

        They must have gone through some awful things at some point in their life, probably early on.

    • Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission

      Saudi Arabia was elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

      The addition of the Gulf nation was first flagged by UN Watch, a nongovernmental body that monitors the United Nations. The Commission on the Status of Women’s main mission is to assess the challenges to reaching gender inequality, according to the U.N. website.

      The organization’s executive director slammed the election, which occurred in a secret vote during the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council

      “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” Hillel Neuer said.

    • Trump order could undo designation of national monuments: report

      President Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday instructing the Department of the Interior to review the designations of national monuments by his predecessors, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

      Trump’s order reportedly will instruct the Secretary of the Interior to examine those designations to determine whether or not they were within the scope of a century-old law that allows presidents to set aside federal lands without congressional approval.

      ..

      The executive order is mainly geared toward reviewing former President Barack Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah in December, according to the Tribune. The 1.35-million acre site was preserved due to its Native American heritage, but critics say Obama’s designation was an overreach of executive power.

      • They want to drill and frack their way across the country.

        Here’s hoping all these actions directly affect his voters and drives them over to Bernie.

    • Tim Black on The Humanist Report, Chat about the Dem Party & Trump

    • Trump voters don’t have buyer’s remorse. But some Hillary Clinton voters do

      I argued last week that anecdotal stories about disillusioned Trump supporters were overdone. The fact is that, on a broad scale, Trump supporters say they aren’t disappointed. In fact, a poll showed they were more pleased than disappointed, by about 5 to 1:

      …The Pew Research Center released a poll showing very little buyer’s remorse among Trump voters. The poll showed just 7 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say Trump has performed worse than they expected him to. Fully 38 percent — five times as many — say he has performed better.

      A new Washington Post-ABC News poll confirms this — in spades. And, in fact, it shows more buyer’s remorse for Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton. And were the 2016 election held again today, it shows Trump would avenge his popular-vote loss.

      While just 4 percent of Trump’s supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15 percent of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her. Trump leads in a re-do of the 2016 election 43 percent to 40 percent after losing the popular vote 46-44.

      That 15 percent is split between those who say they would vote for Trump (2 percent), Gary Johnson (4 percent), Jill Stein (2 percent), and either other candidates or not vote (7 percent).

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/23/trump-voters-dont-have-buyers-remorse-but-some-hillary-clinton-voters-do/

      More horizontal bar graphs inside the article.

      • I don’t know how to reach voters who could possibly think, based on his record so far, that Trump has performed better than expected. Nobody, including Bernie, is going to get through to this group.

        • I certainly could be wrong but, anecdotally, I see some who are not happy with the way the Resist! people just knee-jerk-bash Trump at every turn & then all of the Russia!! thing.

          I think that has alienated some voters that voted for Hillary while holding their noses.

          I even wonder how many of them would really change their vote to Trump, but are actually just saying they would out of frustration.

          Don’t get me wrong, there is PLENTY to resist Trump on! But all of the Russia crap has turned a lot of people off from what I’m hearing on the ground.

          • I don’t understand how people could be more frustrated about Russia than the endless putrid things that Trump has done (or tried to do) so far. I do understand that some people wish that the Dems would focus more on their message and focus less on Russia, but I think they can do both. The Russia issue for me is not necessarily how Russia allegedly hijacked the election, but it’s how Trump and his crowd of billionaires are colluding with Putin and his crowd of billionaires to rob the rest of us blind, environment be damned.

            • I didn’t say that I know people who are “more” frustrated about the emphasis on Russia than they are with what Trump’s done so far.

              But I know people who are pretty disgusted with the Russia! Russsia! tactic and it’s affected how they feel about the Democratic party. It’s hard to effectively counter Trump’s actions when you’re spending so much of your time watching Maddow’s latest conspiracy theory.

              So it wouldn’t surprise me if some at least some of the people who are now saying they’d change their vote to Trump if they could are just saying that out of emotion.

              • still wondering how this whole Russia thing has not birthed a whole movement to trash the machines and get an honest election system in place.

    • A popular public school Bible class in West Virginia faces legal challenge

      This spring, Bible classes such as Trenton’s are on the minds of many here in Mercer County. For decades, the county’s public schools have offered a weekly Bible class during the school day — 30 minutes at the elementary level and 45 minutes in middle school. Bible classes on school time are a rarity in public education, but here they are a long-standing tradition. The program is not mandatory, but almost every child in the district attends. And there is widespread support for the classes: Parents and community members help raise nearly $500,000 a year to pay for the Bible in the Schools program.

      Now Bible in the Schools is facing a stiff legal challenge. Two county residents with school-age children argue in a lawsuit that the program violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment and the West Virginia constitution. Filed in January and amended last month by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the suit charges that the Bible class “advances and endorses one religion, improperly entangles public schools in religious affairs, and violates the personal consciences of nonreligious and non-Christian parents and students.”

      Supporters are adamant that the weekly class is an elective meant to explore the history and literature of the Bible, not to promote religious belief.

      “My experience with it has been very positive. I’ve never known of anyone who has been pressured or felt ostracized,” said the Rev. David W. Dockery, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Princeton. “Any time God’s word can be proclaimed is beneficial and is a good thing.”

      Trenton’s parents also find it hard to see why there would be objections.

      “I think it’s a great program mainly because it’s the only chance for some of these kids to even see the Bible,” said Brett Tolliver, 27. “More importantly, I don’t know who it harms. The kids aren’t forced to be there.”

      Courtney Tolliver, 26, a teacher in the district, agrees.

      “It’s not teaching religion, but it teaches character and respect and how important it is to tell the truth,” she said. “The kids love it and the ones who don’t participate aren’t made to feel left out.”

      But the plaintiffs in the suit and their backers argue that the program’s popularity shouldn’t matter in the face of Supreme Court rulings such as McCollum v. Board of Education in 1948 that have banned public schools from initiating or sponsoring religious activity. The suit alleges that the lessons in the Mercer schools are similar to what a child would hear in Sunday school and that they advocate the Ten Commandments and treat stories in the Bible as historical fact.

      I suppose they could teach it as literature, but I don’t think that was the intent of the class.

      I’m still for separation of church and state. Maybe Betsy DeVos and her millionaire family will support the school in the suit. That would be a conflict of interest. But that hasn’t stopped anyone in the Drump Administration so far.

    • Donald Trump Has Made Socialism Cool Again

      Founded in 1982, the DSA claims to be the largest socialist organization in the country. It’s not a political party along the lines of the Communist Party USA or the Green Party. Many of its members are Democrats or the kind of left-­leaning independents who usually vote for Democrats. But just as the Obama era ushered in a boomlet of libertarianism on the right, the DSA is banking on Trump to make socialism great again. Its goal is not just to stop Trump’s worst policies, but to push the political conversation on the left even further to the left through a mix of political action and cultural engagement. There are signs it’s already working.

      Fueled by disenchantment with the traditional institutions of the Democratic Party, the promise of Sanders’ candidacy, and the specter of Trumpism, DSA membership has more than doubled since the election. The DSA now boasts more than 20,000 members and more than 120 local chapters. Sure, you could fit just about everyone comfortably inside Madison Square Garden, but being a socialist hasn’t been this cool in years.

      “The Bernie campaign really opened that Overton Window,” said Winnie Wong, a 41-year-old activist who co-founded the group People for Bernie and coined the phrase “Feel the Bern.” “We funneled thousands of people, hundreds of thousands—15 million people!—through to the other side. Are those people democratic socialists? No. Do they feel comfortable with the idea of socialism? Well, yeah! Because they voted for it.” Normalizing socialism, she said, is “the most important thing we can do.”

      • I just read this piece in full. Pretty good piece but I’m not sure how much Donald Trump had to do with it. In fact, I think Hillary Clinton has a lot more to do with it.

        As the 2016 election approached, along with the very real possibility of it becoming another Clinton vs. Bush affair, both my husband and I despaired.

        When Warren began making it clear that she wasn’t going to run and then Bernie announced he WAS going to run, I immediately rejoiced (much to hubby’s initial surprise). As it turned out I wasn’t the only one who rejoiced as evidenced by the massive support Bernie received. And that was way before Trump got the Repub nom.

    • NSA Kept Watch Over Democratic and Republican Conventions, Snowden Documents Reveal

      It was August 2004 in New York City and President George W. Bush was in town, attending the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden. Thousands of protesters were out in the streets in the sweltering summer heat, carrying placards emblazoned with slogans like “Push Bush Out The Door” and “The War on Terror is A Lie.” As the demonstrations rumbled on outside, the National Security Agency was getting to work on an unusual operation.

      The agency, which mostly focuses on vacuuming up communications and monitoring events in foreign countries, had been drafted in to provide surveillance support to other federal agencies. A month earlier, in late July 2004, the NSA had served a similar role — using its vast electronic spying apparatus to bolster security at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. That’s according to a classified NSA document, published Monday by The Intercept, which offers a rare glimpse into the little-known circumstances surrounding the agency’s domestically focused missions.

    • Bernie Sanders stands by anti-abortion mayoral candidate

      Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday stood by his decision to back a Democratic candidate whose record on abortion has drawn fire from many in the party.

      Late last week, Sanders joined Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello for a rally supporting his bid to oust Republican incumbent Jean Stothert as leader of the largest city in Nebraska.

      Many Democrats expressed outrage over the endorsement, but in an interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the Vermont senator and 2016 presidential hopeful made a case for pragmatism in a state with significant GOP control, saying it was the kind of thing Democrats needed to do “if we’re going to become a 50-state party.”

      While Nebraska Republicans on the whole have a firm grip on power, controlling the governor’s office, the state house and both US Senate seats, Omaha itself isn’t impossible territory for Democratic candidates, including, most famously in recent years, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, who won an electoral vote there in 2008 under the state’s unique allocation rules.

      “If you have a rally in which you have the labor movement and environmentalists and Native Americans and the African American community and the Latino community coming together saying, ‘We want this guy to become our next mayor,’ should I reject going there to Omaha?” Sanders asked. “I don’t think so. It was a great rally, and I hope very much he wins.”

    • Will TOP endorse this book? I hear that much, if not all, of their new traffic is PUMAs these days.

      I honestly cannot believe the level of frenzied, frothing-at-the-mouth, Bernie bashing in social media right now.

      They don’t just want Bernie to shut up and go away, they want to destroy him.

      Bernie-bashing has become a cottage industry! 🙁

      • LOL Sounds like a must read! Yes for whatever reason Kos seems to have gone all in with the anti-Bernie crowd, but there are a lot of posters pushing back. Maybe some disillusioned posters there will visit here.

    • Going on right now!

      livestream link.

      bit.ly/2pt4HHG

      Edit: looks like link needs copying/pasting

      From Protest to Power

      RiseUp Conference
      “Movement Politics: From Protest to Power” – Featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders

      Conservative and corporatist movements that care more for profit than people and planet have taken control of Washington, most of our state capitals, and many of our cities. We have joined tens of millions of Americans in resistance, but we won’t just resist the powerful; we will BE the powerful. We are advancing a new movement politics that will recruit, elect and co-govern with a slate of candidates who will put people and our planet before profit. We will dive into our Protest to Power Platform, and hear from our People’s Action sisters and brothers who will run for office, build the power to govern and put our values at the center of politics and government.

      #RiseUp2017
      #FromProtestToPower

      Haha, the audience was just chanting D-S-A, D-S-A 😉

      From “Protest to Power!”

      Alternative link (hopefully):

      From Protest to Power

      RiseUp Conference"Movement Politics: From Protest to Power" – Featuring Sen. Bernie SandersConservative and corporatist movements that care more for profit than people and planet have taken control of Washington, most of our state capitals, and many of our cities. We have joined tens of millions of Americans in resistance, but we won’t just resist the powerful; we will BE the powerful. We are advancing a new movement politics that will recruit, elect and co-govern with a slate of candidates who will put people and our planet before profit. We will dive into our Protest to Power Platform, and hear from our People’s Action sisters and brothers who will run for office, build the power to govern and put our values at the center of politics and government. #RiseUp2017#FromProtestToPower

      Posted by People's Action on Monday, April 24, 2017

      (People’s Action FB page)