• Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

    • 3 Democrats running for Michigan governor have 1st debate

      The three Democrats running for Michigan governor met for their first televised debate Wednesday night, with two decrying corporate financial influence on state politics while a third — who accepts such campaign donations — refused to be pulled into the criticism while casting herself as an experienced, bipartisan problem-solver.

      Former legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer, businessman Shri Thanedar and ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed answered questions about how to address high auto insurance premiums, crumbling roads, education funding and other issues in the hourlong debate hosted by WOOD-TV and the Michigan Democratic Party.

      El-Sayed, who is declining corporate money, said 2016 independent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who fared well in Michigan — showed “us a way forward that didn’t force us to take money from the corporations, didn’t force us into a position where we’ve got to sell our soul so they buy off our policy.” The wealthy Thanedar, who is self-funding his campaign, said he voted for Sanders and criticized a “pay for play” culture in Lansing, where he said politicians who take money from lobbyists and corporations pay them back with favorable policies after they are elected.


      The candidates were unified in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border, which the president halted Wednesday. They also supported an initiative on the November ballot to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes and a proposed constitutional amendment to empower an independent commission to draw congressional and legislative districts instead of having the Legislature do it.

      Whitmer pledged to sign a law within her first 100 days of office to bring auto insurance costs down and to declare a “state of emergency” over the opioid addiction crisis. El-Sayed touted his single-payer health care proposal. Thanedar also embraced the concept of providing everyone with government-financed care, while Whitmer stopped short of committing to a single-payer system.

    • Democratic candidates get bold during debate as primary approaches

      Democratic gubernatorial candidates Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar and Gretchen Whitmer participated in a televised debate in Grand Rapids on Wednesday evening. With the August 7 primary fewer than 50 days away, the candidates made some of their boldest statements yet.

      Making national headlines all week and kicking off the debate was immigration.

      “I’m so thankful that no longer will the government be tearing kids apart from their families but what they’ve replaced it with is indefinite internment camps,” El-Sayed says. “It’s ridiculous.”

    • Democratic gubernatorial candidates square off in debate

      The democratic candidates running to be Michigan’s next governor were center stage for their first televised debate in Grand Rapids on Wednesday night.

      The three front runners vying to win their party’s nomination tackled a variety of issues that impact Michigan voters from immigration, school funding, to even recreational marijuana.

      Ahead of the August primary, the democratic candidates for governor gave voters a glimpse into their strategy on how to tackle the most pressing issues that face our state.

      “I’ve put a real infrastructure plan on the table. It would be funded through the rebuild Michigan infrastructure bank to assure taxpayers that every dollar that is supposed to be going toward infrastructure actually gets there,” said Gretchen Whitmer; Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate.

      “We’ve proposed a pure Michigan infrastructure bank and what that infrastructure bank would allow us to do is invest more thoughtfully and do so over a longer period of time to allow us to bypass a lot of the politics that get in the way,” said Abdul El-Sayed; Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate.

  • Bernie Sanders: Trump thinks like an authoritarian

    Sen. Bernie Sanders said President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy shows Trump is thinking like an authoritarian who believes his anti-immigrant […]

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

    • Haim Saban criticizes Democratic senators for signing Bernie Sanders letter on Gaza crisis

      Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban took several Democratic senators to task for signing on to a letter organized by Sen. Bernie Sanders that calls on the U.S. to “act urgently in order to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.”

      Twelve Democratic senators and Sanders, an independent who ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016, signed the letter dated May 11 that was sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It also said the Trump administration should encourage Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinians living in Gaza.

      Saban sent emails to six of the senators, along with a handful of staffers for others, expressing his “dismay” that they signed the letter, The Intercept reported Wednesday.

      The Sanders letter was sent as thousands of Gaza Palestinians participated in protests on the border with Israel that turned violent. More than 100 Gazan Palestinians have been killed by Israelis soldiers in the two months of protests, many of whom are members of the Hamas terrorist group.

      “Senators, for you to listen to Senator Sanders and accuse Israel of being the main culprit is outrageous, misinformed, offensive and shows a lack of understanding of the region’s basic fundamentals,” Saban wrote in the email. “Do your homework, unless you have chosen to blindly follow Senator Sanders’ ill advised, misinformed, simplistic, and ignorant lead.”

      Nowhere in the Sanders letter was Israel accused of being the “main culprit” of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, as Saban indicated, the Intercept reported.

      Saban, 73, has poured millions into Democratic politics over the years, including $15 million to Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.

      • Mal Hyman’s outspokenness on Gaza massacre is a sign of things to come in Democratic races

        Next week, South Carolina progressive Mal Hyman faces a runoff with South Carolina State Rep. Robert Williams to decide who will be the Democratic nominee for Congress in the state’s 7th District. And amazingly, Hyman is not mincing words about Israel’s slaughter of Gaza protesters.

        “The Fourth Geneva Convention seems to have been broken, and if I was a member of Congress, I would be calling for the International Criminal Court to investigate not only the 2014 massacre but this current one,” Hyman told me.

        The college prof has been just as outspoken on social media, offering condolences to the family of a slain Palestinian journalist, denouncing the “Shooting Spree at the Gaza Border,” and calling on the U.S. to abandon its “colonial mentality” and hold Israel to account.

        You’d think that someone would have told Hyman to tone it down, but while the Israel lobby group AIPAC phoned to have a meeting, Hyman isn’t shaking in his boots. “Wonderful. We’ll meet; I’m sure they’re going to strongly disagree with me,” he says.

        The would-be congressman’s sangfroid is surely a sign of things to come in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.


        “The policy in the middle east has been a series of failures, and that’s opened the door to be more critical about where we want foreign policy to go,” Hyman says. “Things that used to be seen as really bold, now if you frame them well and your tone is more low key, you can get a hearing… People know we’ve lost our moral compass and the empire is sputtering.”

        What a breath of fresh air. I can’t remember the last time I got an interview with a serious congressional contender. Seems like it’s going to be happening more and more.

    • ‘That’s Pretty Pathetic’: Bernie Sanders Tears into Trump for Acting Tough on ‘Little Children’ to Get Votes

      As the White House scrambles to fix a crisis of its own making, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday night lambasted President Donald Trump’s policy of breaking apart immigrant families as a “pathetic” attempt to please his voters.

      “He created the crisis. He could end the crisis,” Sanders said on CNN. “He sees from his political perspective that being anti-immigrant is a winner for him politically. I don’t think it is, but that’s his logic. And he will continue to mount a very strong anti-immigrant effort.”

    • Affirming Belief That Waters Are for Drilling and Pillaging, Trump Erases Ocean Protection Policy

      The Trump administration’s “assault on our oceans” continued on Tuesday with an executive order that rescinds an Obama-era policy aimed at bolstering the health of the oceans and the Great Lakes.

      “Oil drillers and other industry interests are cheering,” environmental group Heal the Bay tweeted following Trump’s action.

      The new executive order revokes the 2010 National Ocean Policy put in place following the Deepwater Horizon disaster and which, as Earthjustice notes, “was built on decades of science, public input, and bipartisan recommendations.”

      Trump’s new order calls for “promot[ing] ocean industries” and establishes the interagency Ocean Policy Committee. The White House states that the committee “will focus on growing the ocean economy,” and says the president “is rolling back excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration.”

      More to the point, as The Hill reports, “The order encourages more drilling and other industrial uses of the oceans and Great Lakes.”

    • (full debate posted as seperate post)

    • Telecom-Backed Democrat in California Just “Mutilated” Nation’s Strongest State Net Neutrality Bill

      Following a “major win” for open internet advocates in the California Senate last month, State Assemblyman Miguel Santiago provoked widespread outrage on Wednesday when he “rammed through” amendments that critics say “eviscerate” what “would have been the best net neutrality bill in the country.”

      “It is, with the amendments, a fake net neutrality bill,” declared state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, who introduced the original legislation. Wiener said Santiago’s amendments “mutilated” Senate Bill 822, which had passed the higher chamber despite fierce lobbying by the telecom industry.

      The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Wiener is now withdrawing the bill:

      Santiago’s amendments, as CNET explained, “scaled back all the measures of the bill that had gone beyond the rules outlined in the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 regulation, which was officially taken off the books by the Trump administration’s commission last week.”

      Since the California Senate victory in May, Santiago, chair of the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee, reportedly “has been the target of vigorous lobbying” by major internet service providers (ISPs). On Wednesday, he “bucked standard procedure” and held a vote on his amendments before the committee’s hearing even began.

      Wiener called the move “fundementally unfair” and even suggested that “it was a violation of the Assembly rules.”

    • Internet Pioneers Warn New EU Rules Would Turn Web Into “Tool for Automated Surveillance and Control”

      The European Union (EU) on Wednesday took a step toward enacting new internet copyright rules that experts warn pose “an imminent threat to the future of this global network” and threaten to create a “censorship machine.”

      The Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) passed the Copyright Directive, which could now move to negotiations with EU member states ahead of a full vote by the European Parliament. Internet pioneers and digital rights activists are raising alarms about two aspects of the legislation, as The Verge explains:

      Although most of the directive simply updates technical language for copyright law in the age of the internet, it includes two highly controversial provisions. These are Article 11, a “link tax,” which would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to buy licenses from media companies before linking to their stories; and Article 13, an “upload filter,” which would require that everything uploaded online in the EU is checked for copyright infringement.

      Article 11, also called the snippet tax, isn’t expected to significantly affect major corporations such as Google, which can afford such licenses, but the impacts of the provision will likely be felt by smallers organizations. Additionally, critics say its language is too vague—as Gizmodo notes, “Article 11 doesn’t bother to even define what constitutes a link”—which could enable governments to censor content for politically-motivated reasons.

    • ‘If Kids Don’t Eat in Peace, You Don’t Eat in Peace!’ Democratic Socialists Drive DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Out of Mexican Restaurant

      Exemplifying how all Americans should treat Trump administration officials who show their faces in public as they continue to rip families apart, activists with the Metro D.C. branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) crashed a Mexican restaurant where Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was dining late Tuesday and condemned her direct role in the detention of thousands of children, including babies.

      “Secretary Nielsen, how dare you spend your evening here eating dinner as you’re complicit in the separation and deportation of over 10,000 children?” one demonstrator shouted as he approached Nielsen’s table. “How can you enjoy a Mexican dinner as you’re deporting and imprisoning tens of thousands of people who come here seeking asylum in the United States? We call on you to end family separation and abolish ICE!”

      “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” the democratic socialists chanted as Nielsen appears to stare down at her phone.

    • Paving Way for ‘Transformative Social Policy’, Canada Approves Recreational Marijuana Legalization

      Confronting the failed “War on Drugs” head on and offering leadership and a new model for other nations to follow, Canada on Tuesday became the second country in the world—following Uruguay—to fully legalize recreational use of the substance at the federal level.

      The Canadian Senate voted 52 to 29 to legalize recreational marijuana use, paving the way for a fully legal marketplace for the plant within the next two to three months. Canadians will also be permitted to grow up to four plants in their homes under the Cannabis Act.

      The House of Commons had already passed the bill on Monday.

      Independent Sen. Tony Dean, who sponsored the Cannabis Act in the Senate, called the decision “historic” and looked ahead to the impact marijuana legalization could have on Canada’s criminal justice system, under which 55,000 cannabis-related charges were pursued in 2016 alone—76 percent of which were for possession, according to Globe and Mail columnist Andre Picard.

      “The end of 90 years of prohibition,” Dean said after the vote. “Transformative social policy, I think. A brave move on the part of the government. Now we can start to tackle some of the harms of cannabis. We can start to be proactive in public education. We’ll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada’s $7 billion illegal market. These are good things for Canada.”

    • Bodies On the Gears: Occupying ICE

      Bearing signs declaring “Kick Out ICE” and “Will Trade Racists for Refugees,” Portland, Oregon protesters held a vigil Sunday at a local ICE facility to demand an end to Trump’s so-called zero-tolerance policy against immigrant families – and then decided to stay. The action, originally organized by Democratic Socialists, Direct Action Alliance and other activist groups, quickly morphed into an occupation promoted on social media with the hashtag #OccupyICEPDX. By Wednesday, an encampment around the nondescript building, which serves as a temporary detention center, had grown to 30 tents, kitchen, library, medical tent, stashes of food and water, and visiting ice cream truck offering freebies: “The only ice we like comes in waffle cones.”

      The action in Portland, a sanctuary city where officials have said they won’t help ICE enforcement efforts, has reportedly sparked interest in occupations elsewhere, and police responded cautiously. Monday, protesters standing with locked arms blocked vehicles from coming or going, blockading ICE officers inside and prompting riot-gear-swathed Homeland Security cops to plead with them for “reasonable accommodation.” On Wednesday, ICE closed the facility, announcing “operations at this location have been temporarily halted due to security concerns.” At that point, it was empty: the ICE employees had already been escorted out, but not before clueless police urged protesters to allow them “to go home to their families.” We’re guessing the Gestapo didn’t have much sense of irony either.

    • These four artists have come together for a special collaboration to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week.

      The song takes the form of a role play in which Jaz plays the part of the son of Sara, a woman detained in Yarl’s Wood and Ebsil plays the part of her husband. Mohammed Yayha enters in the second verse playing the role of their lawyer working for her release and Lowkey delivers the part of a translator communicating back and forth between the lawyer and the husband.

    • Why Abolishing ICE Is Good Climate Policy

      There’s been a rash of horrific news recently about the treatment of immigrants entering the United States through its southern border. According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistics obtained and published by The Associated Press on Friday, nearly 2,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents within just six weeks between April and May. That follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’announcement of a “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration, to criminally prosecute cases of illegal entry into the United States and incarcerate children and their parents in separate facilities.

      Without realizing it, Jeff Sessions wrote a climate policy. As climate-fueled migration continues to accelerate, immigration policies will determine how the U.S. government navigates the climate crisis. For now, policymakers’ playbook is the war on terror, and its tools are the hapless, barbaric institutions created to wage it.

      With Sessions’new mandate, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a problem the U.S. government is incapable of handling. To deal with the sudden influx of young prisoners—some ripped crying from their parents’arms—the administration is now constructing ad-hoc prisons in converted Wal-Marts and tent cities, like the one built to house 360 kids in Tornillo, Texas. The DOJ also ruled that people fleeing domestic abuse or any kind of non-governmental violence will no longer be eligible for asylum, effectively recasting gender-based violence as a private rather than a public matter.

      This week’s onslaught of immigration news offers a chilling preview of events that could become all the more likely as the planet warms. At the core of the immigration debate is the question that will come to dominate the climate-defined politics of the 21st century: Who gets to live here and live well?

    • End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis

      Without military interventions, economic exploitation and political meddling, a refugee crisis – at least one of this magnitude – wouldn’t exist in the first place.

    • What Do Those People Want? by Jim Hightower

      Where is the Democratic Party? The Party of the People is stuck in the status quo—- the still reigning, old-line hierarchy of the Democratic party is unwilling to just be dedicated to well, to the democratic interests of its own political base. People know from real-life experience that the economy has been rigged against them for the benefit of the uber-rich and the political system has been totally corrupted by the bipartisan pay-to-play ethic that protects the status quo from interference by us commoners. While Republicans are a wholly-owned corporate subsidiary, unabashedly dedicated the narrow interests of the moneyed elites, the Dems’ congressional elders, key party officials, entrenched consultants and corporate funders continue to push bland, business-as-usual candidates running on a pusillanimous policy agenda of vague “reforms” that don’t actually change anything. Then the party establishment wonders why such people stray or stay home in November!

      What do those people want?

      Progress! Meaning a national commitment to advance the economic, political and social circumstances of the American majority of workday families and poor people. Yes, that requires major change, and that will definitely make powerful enemies among wealthy elites plotting to impose Koch-style plutocratic rule over our society. Nonetheless, most voters want BIG populist changes in government policy that will lift up average Americans and hold down corporate greed and abuse.

    • Indian Country Remembers the Trauma of Children Taken From Their Parents

      Indian Country remembers. This is not the first administration to order the forced separation of families.

      The Trump administration has initiated a zero-tolerance policy on the border. Zero tolerance means that people caught crossing the border are treated as criminals.

      On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said the Trump administration separated 1,995 children from the adults they were traveling with at the U.S. border between April 19 and May 31.

      “The act of ripping children away from their parents is nothing new for the United States. Separating children and their families to ‘kill the Indian to save the man’ by sending Native children to boarding schools, and doing it in the name of religion, is one generation removed from my family,” wrote Peggy Flanagan on Twitter. Flanagan, White Earth, is a candidate for lieutenant governor in Minnesota. “Trump’s ‘zero tolerance policy’ is nothing more than a clear violation of human rights. We must learn from history. We must stand with immigrants and refugees.”


      SCANDAL-PLAGUED ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has now spent more than $4.6 million from public coffers on security, according to documents obtained by The Intercept and Documented under the Freedom of Information Act. The amount represents a $1.1 million increase from Pruitt’s total security costs as released in another disclosure just a month ago.

      Pruitt’s high spending on security has become the subject of mounting criticism and a host of official investigations: Several EPA inspector general investigations have been opened, as well as an ongoing investigation by the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee.

      Records released under the Freedom of Information Act list expenditures totaling $288,610 on a range of security-related items. The EPA, according to three expense line items for April, spent a total of $2,749.62 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”

    • El-Sayed is absolutely credentialed to use term ‘physician’ – by:

      by Steven Gay, M.D., dean of admissions, University of Michigan Medical School, and associate professor of medicine

      Muzammil Ahmed, M.D., chief of medical staff, Beaumont Wayne Hospital; partner, Comprehensive Urology; and clinical assistant professor, Wayne State University

      Iltefat Hamzavi, M.D., Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital

      Last week, an article in Crain’s Detroit Business called Dr. Abdul El-Sayed’s credentials as a doctor into question. As members of Michigan’s medical community, we would like to respond by disagreeing with the assessment provided in that article. Dr. El-Sayed can rightly claim to be both a physician and an expert in public health and medicine.


      Dr. El-Sayed is by all definitions credentialed to use the term physician. He has the experience to speak about the patient experiences he saw in medical school. His public health training also gives him unique insight into our public health system. This insight could potentially improve the lives of millions of Michiganders.

      We believe that calling his undeniable credentials into question takes away from the debate our state needs to have on its future. As a result, we disagree with the tone and sentiment of last week’s piece. As physicians who have taught students and residents, offered insights into public policy, performed research, and cared for thousands of patients, we feel compelled to set the record straight.

    • Whitmer, El-Sayed first to seek public aid for governor runs

      Democrats Gretchen Whitmer and Abdul El-Sayed are seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funding to fuel their competing campaigns for Michigan governor.

      They are the first candidates to ask for public financing ahead of this year’s Aug. 7 primary. But Republicans Bill Schuette, Brian Calley and Pat Colbeck have each told the state they could make similar requests in the next seven weeks.

      Neither Whitmer nor El-Sayed will be subject to a $2 million spending cap for publicly funded candidates, which the state waived when fellow Democrat Shri Thanedar began pumping nearly $6 million of his own money into the race.

    • President Trump Is Spurring Native American Women to Run for Office

      President Donald Trump routinely calls a U.S. senator “Pocahontas.” One time, he did it in front of Navajo code talkers who helped America during World War II.

      To decorate the Oval Office, he chose a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the president notorious for the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which set in motion the series of forced migrations that became known as the Trail of Tears.

      And his Administration sought to shrink Bears Ears National Monument — an area full of sacred tribal sites — by more than 1.1 million acres.

      Actions like these are helping spur a surge in Native American women seeking political office. During recent primaries, three women of Native American descent were seeking gubernatorial seats, four in congressional elections and at least 31 more in state elections.

      Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and a Democrat seeking to represent Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, has set her sights on becoming the first Native congresswoman.

      Davids called the 2016 election “dehumanizing.”

      “If someone is running for an office and they are saying things that are dehumanizing to groups of people, we need people who are standing up and running against those folks to say, ‘What these folks are saying is not OK,’” Davids said.

    • If You Want to Be Speaker, Mr. Crowley, Don’t Take Voters for Granted by The NY Times Editorial Board

      When asking New Yorkers for their vote, most candidates would begin by showing up.

      Not Representative Joseph Crowley. No, Mr. Crowley, a 10-term Democratic congressman who reportedly has ambitions of serving as House speaker, chose to skip a debate Monday night with his primary challenger, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He sent a surrogate instead, former City Councilwoman Annabel Palma.

      This is the second primary debate in which Mr. Crowley was a no-show. A spokeswoman for Mr. Crowley said he had scheduling conflicts that wouldn’t allow him to attend the two debates, inevitably leaving voters to wonder — what are we, chopped liver?

      Indeed, the snubs should be galling not only to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Crowley’s constituents in New York’s 14th Congressional District, in Queens and the Bronx, but also to anyone who cares about the democratic process.

      Instead of attending Monday evening’s debate, which was hosted by The Parkchester Times, Mr. Crowley visited a civic association meeting in Queens. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was left to debate Mr. Crowley’s chosen surrogate, Ms. Palma. Ms. Palma once represented the Bronx on the City Council and now serves in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration as a deputy commissioner at the Department of Social Services.

      Mr. Crowley’s constituents might well now wonder whether he intends, if re-elected, to have Ms. Palma make his floor speeches and cast his votes as well.

    • How Private Contractors Enable Trump’s Cruelties at the Border

      President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that ends family separations at the border by indefinitely detaining parents and children together. Such a policy is illegal. It violates a 20-year-old court settlement called the Flores Agreement, which limits how long and under what conditions children can be kept in immigration-detention facilities. Choosing to ignore Flores allows Trump to put children in the same cages as their parents, indefinitely, for those accused of the misdemeanor of unauthorized border crossing. It will create a Guantánamo in the Southwest United States.

      It would also directly benefit the two largest private-prison companies in America, Geo Group and CoreCivic, who run massive family-detention facilities in southern Texas that previously could only hold children with their families for up to 20 days. Authorizing Trump hotels with open-ended stays would be great for business.

    • More Immigrants Died in Detention in Fiscal Year 2017 Than in Any Year Since 2009

      According to a new report, subpar medical care is contributing to deaths in ICE detention.

    • Meet Oklahoma’s Anti-Privatization, Pro-Pot Candidate for Governor

      Connie Johnson is a former Oklahoma state senator, now the Our Revolution-endorsed candidate for governor. She is known across the state for her vocal support of marijuana, which was considered quite controversial just 11 years ago when she introduced Oklahoma’s first medical marijuana bill. She introduced it every two years while she served in the state’s legislature, but it never passed. Now, medical marijuana is on the ballot June 26—the same ballot she’s on in the Democratic primary.

      Nationwide, Johnson is perhaps best known for her 2012 “semen” amendment. When an Oklahoma bill said that a person’s rights began at conception, she simply took the idea further, attaching an amendment claiming that if killing a zygote is murder, so is killing sperm. Her amendment would’ve outlawed placing sperm anywhere but in a woman’s vagina—and landed her on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Neither the original bill nor the semen amendment passed.


      Johnson spent 30 years in state government, most of it as a legislative analyst for the state senate, then first running for office in 2005. She’s tired of Oklahoma being one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to education, and is “disgusted” that her state is the nation’s number one incarcerator of women. According to Oklahoma Watch, African Americans = are more likely to die here at the hands of law enforcement than in any other state that tracks that data.

      Johnson came into electoral politics inspired by grandparents’ rights: the right to guardianship when a parent is incapacitated by drug use or incarceration. She recognized that it was marijuana laws and a criminal justice system stacked against people of color and the poor that created an absence of parents in her district.

      She’s hoping her long reputation for standing advocating for common-sense reforms to criminal justice—and especially the marijuana reform ballot initiative—will bring out her voters

    • How is rapper Frank Waln changing perceptions of Native Americans?

      The legacy of broken treaties, settler colonialism and Native American genocide are constant themes set to a hip-hop beat in the songs of Sicangu Lakota rapper Frank Waln.

      Born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in rural South Dakota, Waln uses music as a way to call out historical wrongs and uplift American indigenous youth, many of whom struggle with poverty, violence, suicide, and inter-generational trauma.

      In Waln’s 2017 album, “The Bridge”, his songs highlight issues including cultural appropriation, stereotyping, murdered and missing indigenous women, and treaty rights. On the album’s opening song, “What Made the Red Man Red”, he says: “Tell me why you think the red man is red / Stained with the blood from the land you bled / Tell me why you think the red man is dead/ With a fake headdress on your head”. On the track “7”, Waln rails against the erasure of indigenous stories from US history, yet is hopeful that the current “7th generation” has risen to tackle the hardships faced by his community: “Let us ride on the lands where our ancestors died / breathing life into our cultures they said were petrified / they tell a history that our peoples don’t recognise / the US government should be charged with genocide”.

      In this episode, we’ll look at how music is challenging narratives about Native Americans. We’ll hear more about the inspiration for Waln’s songs and get a first listen to some new music from his forthcoming album.

  • Election Day is right around the corner (June 26th!), so we’re making sure the constituents of NY-14 know what specific legislation the political revolution will be bringing to their district. Here are 5 KEY […]

    • Another day another interview so once again lacking an open thread at the moment, but wanted to put up yet another excellent and informative video from the Ocasio-Cortez campaign.

      It’s a fairly busy week for me overall so apologies for the recent lack of content, but I should have some fun stuff later in the week. Thursday evening I’ll be with the N Texas Our Revolution folks at a Texas Dem convention kickoff, and then friday will be at the convention. I currently am planning on attending the following:

      *American Indian/Native American caucus
      *Secular Caucus
      *Labor Caucus
      *Enviromental Caucus
      *Our Revolution Texas caucus
      and then a Beers with Beto event.

      You can find a schedule of events here: https://texasdemocraticconvention.com/schedule/ and if theres something you would like to see covered, I’d be happy to attend!

  • Bernie Sanders joins candidate Ben Jealous to help fire up Maryland voters

    Sen. Bernie Sanders may not be endorsing his own son’s congressional bid, but he rallied on a hot Monday night in Maryland to fire up v […]

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!


      THE LARGEST ONLINE progressive organization in the United States is breaking with House Democratic leadership and endorsing a primary challenge to Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, who is regularly floated as the next potential speaker of the House.

      The endorsement of challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s running to represent the 14th District covering parts of the Bronx and Queens, gives a significant lift to her long-shot campaign in its final days, as Crowley has been blanketing the airwaves with television ads. The endorsement, regardless of its impact on the race, is extraordinarily damaging to Crowley’s hopes for leading the Democratic Party in the House once Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California steps aside.

      Crowley has been positioning himself for a run as a liberal alternative to Pelosi’s longtime No. 2, Steny Hoyer of Maryland. But he had done so relying on an outdated frame of what constituted progressive politics, raking in Wall Street cash and generally marrying corporate-friendly politics with liberal approaches to marriage equality, environmental protection, and reproductive freedom. The race against Ocasio-Cortez has also brought an unhelpful spotlight on the inner workings of Crowley’s Queens machine, which runs a foreclosure mill, reaps profits from families who die without wills, and enriches Crowley’s friends and relatives.

      The blow from MoveOn comes within a week of another setback from the left. After Crowley solicited an endorsement from Rep. Ro Khanna, a progressive freshman from Silicon Valley, Khanna faced a firestorm of protest. He quickly backtracked, announcing a dual endorsement of both Crowley and Ocasio-Cortez, effectively nullifying his initial nod.

      • MoveOn has been DLCish for awhile. I’m glad they broke ranks. Hope they back the winner, and there is a large turnout in the district. T and R, y’all. 🙂

    • Veteran New York Dems face upstart challengers

      Crowley’s seat, however, is markedly different from Maloney’s. The 14th District is one of the most diverse districts in the country, with Hispanics making up half of the population. The district encompasses northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx.

      His challenger, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, is a first-time candidate, with a mother born in Puerto Rico and a father from the Bronx.

      Ocasio-Cortez is backed by progressive groups such as Justice Democrats, the Sanders-aligned Our Revolution and the Democratic Socialists of America. She’s running on a progressive platform that includes abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and instituting tuition-free public college.

      Crowley, too, has built up a more progressive résumé over the years as a potential successor to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

      He’s been a prominent voice for immigration reform and attended a rally last week to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which separates immigrant parents and children at the border.

      Ocasio-Cortez, however, has been a much weaker fundraiser. She raised just $312,000 over the past year. Meanwhile, Crowley brought in more than $3.3 million.

      Political strategists say Ocasio-Cortez has been able to generate attention because she’s taking on a “big fish.”

      “For her it’s not just the money, it’s an uphill battle to get your message out to people who might vote for you in these kinds of elections where there’s low interest and low turnout,” said Ester Fuchs, a political science professor at Columbia University. “It’s still an interesting election because she’s trying to push him to the left, and he has to hear it.”

    • New Video and Audio Captures ‘Horrifying’ Reality of Children Taken From Parents as GOP Pressed to ‘Find Their Conscience’

      As newly published images, videos, and audio provided brief and “horrifying” glimpses inside America’s child detention facilities in the midst of President Donald Trump’s massive attack on immigrant families, all 49 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday united behind a bill that would end the White House’s family separation policy immediately—putting pressure on Republicans who claim to oppose the cruel practice to act on their words.

      “The images and stories coming from the detention centers near the border are both heartbreaking and infuriating,” CREDO campaign manager Nicole Regalado said in a statement on Monday. “Republicans in Congress have the power to put a stop to Trump’s cruel family separation policy today. Democrats have coalesced around legislation that would immediately halt this barbaric practice. All we need now is for a handful of Republicans to find their conscience and stand up to the Trump regime.”

      The aggressive push for lawmakers to use their power to put an end to Trump’s family separation practice—which, according to government data, has ripped nearly 2,000 children from their parents in just six weeks—came as ProPublica added to the newly unveiled series of photos and videos by publishing an audio recording from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, which captured the “desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children” after they were separated from their parents.

      “Well, we have an orchestra here,” a border patrol agent joked in response to the crying children. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

    • Hickenlooper Intervenes in Colorado AG Race to Prevent Upset by Sanders-Backed Insurgent

      The divisive battle between the Democratic Party’s establishment and progressive wings for the Democratic nomination in Colorado’s attorney general race escalated in a big way on Monday.

      Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper waded into the race to endorse Phil Weiser, a former Obama administration official, in a last-ditch effort to prevent an upset victory by a progressive insurgency candidate, Joe Salazar, who enjoys the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), the Denver Post first reported.

      In his endorsement, Hickenlooper praised Weiser as an inclusive leader who could bridge the political and geographic divides between the state’s voters.

      “At our best, we Coloradans are creative, collaborative, and inclusive,” Hickenlooper said. “We don’t look for leaders who divide; we look for leaders who can bring us together. Phil Weiser is just this sort of leader.”

      Hickenlooper had refrained from backing any candidates running for office this election cycle, but asserted he was compelled to support Weiser because the candidate had showcased his commitment to running a positive campaign with ideas “aimed at building up all of Colorado.”


      The governor’s endorsement seems to be a direct rebuke of Salazar, a Colorado state representative and current front-runner for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. Salazar, a civil-rights attorney and three-term member of the Colorado General Assembly, has run an insurgency-style campaign with a willingness to attack both Democrats and Republicans alike.

      Hickenlooper and Salazar have openly clashed before on issues related to Colorado’s oil and gas industry, with Salazar at one point taking to social media to lambast the governor for having swallowed the fracking “Kool-aid.”

    • State backlog means long wait for health coverage for some Alaskans

      There are 20,000 unresolved applications for Alaskans waiting for Medicaid and other public assistance programs.

      The state is taking action to reduce the backlog. But some people have been waiting for a long time.

      Anchorage resident Jill Yordy has been waiting since January to learn whether her five-year-old daughter Raven has qualified for Denali KidCare. That’s the state and federal program that provides health care to children in lower-income households, much like Medicaid does for adults.

      Yordy recently spent a day trying to learn more about Raven’s application. Since she couldn’t reach anyone on the phone, she waited in line at the Division of Public Assistance Anchorage office.

      “How are people supposed to keep jobs if they’re required to stand in these lines all day, without knowing when they’ll be seen, without knowing when their case will get an answer and you have to just stay there?” Yordy asked. “You’re chained to that office until your name is called, or you miss your chance.“

      Raven isn’t alone. More than 15,000 applications have been waiting more than four months to be processed. Some have it worse. One hundred and two have been waiting for more than three years.


      Yordy is a former legislative aide who was statewide coordinator for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She said legislative candidates should do more for those in the backlog.

      “I think they need to spend at least one day of their campaign standing in line with everyone who’s waiting to get assistance and hearing their stories and hearing the struggles this backlog causes,” Yordy said.

    • Age no factor for Stillwater man’s congressional campaign

      He’s a tall, 28-year old red-head whose passion for public service is as fiery as his unkempt locks.

      Patrick Nelson is the only other male left in the field of Democratic candidates who are vying for a chance to defeat incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik. His opponents are Tedra Cobb of Canton, Katie Wilson and Emily Martz, both from Keene, and Dylan Ratigan from Lake Placid.

      When voters go to the polls on June 26 to decide which of the five candidates represents the voters’ values and also has the best chance to defeat Stefanik, it remains to be seen whether a white male under the age of 30, who was also a campaign worker in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, will be able to edge out the savvy finance and political journalist turned reformer or the three women who have the wind of the “#MeToo” movement at their backs.

      If Nelson fails to win the day on June 26, it won’t be for lack of effort or inability to articulate his positions and priorities in a commanding, well-informed fashion and an authentic passion to back up his words.

      Nelson said that he was the first of the candidates to ardently support universal healthcare. “This is the most important issues in the 2018 election season,” he said. He added that the DCCC has miscalculated its assessments of what voters – not just Democrats, but also independents and republicans – want. “The people are waiting for the party to catch up.”

      With the exception of opponent Tedra Cobb, who has eight years of experience in politics as a St. Lawrence legislator, Nelson claims that he has the most experience in public service and political campaigns. He has worked as both a volunteer and a paid staffer in the campaigns of Sanders and he was elected to be a delegate at the 2016 Democratic convention. He went on to work for Col. Mike Derrick, who ran for the 21st District seat in 2016. He also spent time in the state legislature, working as Special Projects Coordinator for Assemblyman Phil Steck of Colonie. He has run for local office in the town of Stillwater, earning 42 percent of the votes and coming closer to winning than any other Democratic candidate in the predominantly Republican community in the past 10 years.

      • Nelson is only 28 years old? He comes across as much older than that to me. He is confident and well-spoken.

        Here again is a video I found of him so you can judge for yourselves. Skip to the ~1:20 min mark. He speaks very strongly on our environmental issues.

    • Don’t listen to the establishment critics. California’s open primary works. BY ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND RO KHANNA

      Last month, leading up to California’s primary elections, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said “I hate the top-two” open primary system. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said California’s top-two system “is not a reform. It is terrible.” Their bipartisan response should tell you everything you need to know: Political parties hate top-two, so voters should love it.

      We’re from different parties, we don’t agree on every issue, and we don’t bench-press the same amount – yet. But when it comes to California’s open primary system, where the two candidates who get the most votes advance to the general election, regardless of their political party, we see eye to eye: That current system, in place since 2012, works best because it puts the voters first.

    • Two hundred nurses at California hospital authorize strike

      Last week, around 200 registered nurses (RNs) at the Alhambra Hospital Medical Center, members of the California Nurses Association (CNA), voted 97 percent in favor of authorizing a strike. The nurses at the hospital, located just east of Los Angeles, joined the CNA in January 2017 and have been working without a new contract ever since.

      The nurses have raised concerns over the unsafe nurse-to-patient ratio and the failure of the hospital to provide adequate “meal and break relief.” Nurses often work 12-hour shifts, making breaks essential for patient safety, but a nurse who already has a full patient load has to cover the nurse on break.

      According to the CNA, nurses are also frustrated with the hospital’s non-functioning equipment, including battery issues with the computers used to store critical patient information. The hospital has also stalled on the union’s demand for a Professional Practice Committee (PPC), a labor-management body to discuss hospital procedures.

      The Alhambra Hospital Medical Center (AHMC) is part of AHMC Healthcare, which owns and operates a group of for-profit, privately-held hospitals in southern California. In addition to Alhambra, AHMC Healthcare owns and operates the Anaheim Regional Medical Center, Garfield Medical Center, Greater El Monte Community Hospital, Monterey Park Hospital, San Gabriel Valley Medical Center and Whittier Hospital Medical Center. The company operates 12,000 beds and employs over 7,000 caregivers at its facilities.

      As the strike authorization vote demonstrates, nurses are prepared to engage in a struggle to improve their working conditions and protect patient safety, but the success of this struggle depends on workers taking the conduct of the struggle out of the hands of the union and advancing their own independent strategy.

    • NY-19 Democratic Primary Candidates Talk Endorsements (audio @ link)

      Democratic candidates in New York’s 19th congressional district are entering their final week of campaigning before the June 26 primary. The race is in the national spotlight. Sunday, The New York Times endorsed a candidate in the sprawling 11-county district.

      Seven Democrats are aiming to unseat freshman Republican Congressman John Faso. They have participated in dozens of forums, each candidate with a cheering squad. The candidates have been making their cases for why he or she is the strongest choice to take on Faso. The Times editorial board endorsed Ulster County resident Gareth Rhodes, a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying that he stands out as the best candidate in a worthy field to take on and beat Faso in November. Rhodes says he is humbled.

      “This is an endorsement both of our campaign, but also our campaign’s approach, going to every single town in the district, all 163,” says Rhodes.

      U.S. diplomat Jeff Beals, who earlier Monday was with a “New York Post” photographer, chooses to focus on his endorsements.

      “The biggest endorsement for me was the People for Bernie Sanders coming in and endorsing our campaign after they had gotten behind his nationally, and igniting a lot of enthusiasm among the hundreds of volunteers working for us,” Beals says.

      And, notes Beals, the mayor of the district’s second largest city, Oneonta, has endorsed him. Beals, who is fighting against corporate power, has also been the subject of articles in “Rolling Stone” magazine. The Woodstock resident is being featured on public radio’s “This American Life” Friday, on an episode called “It’s My Party and I’ll Try If I Want To.”

      National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Martin says, “In this crowded primary field, Bernie Sanders doppelgänger Jeff Beals has driven the policy debate. The result will be an eventual Democratic nominee that’s far to the left of where the district is.”

    • Inside Corbyn’s game-changing election campaign

      APPOINTED the deputy director of strategy and communications in the Labour leadership team in February 2017, Steve Howell had an insider’s view of the most extraordinary general election of recent times.

      Cardiff-based Howell was the chief executive of Freshwater, a communications consultancy he founded in 1997, when he got the call from his old friend Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s director for communications and strategy.

      “Politics is not a spectator sport,” he recounts Milne telling him in his new book Game Changer: Eight Weeks That Transformed British Politics.

      People have said: ‘Why did you call it Game Changer’?”, Howell, 64, tells me over breakfast in a central London hotel. “It’s a fair question, but I think it’s valid to call it Game Changer for several reasons. One is we denied them [the Tories] a majority, and that meant they couldn’t do most of the things in their manifesto,” he argues.


      As a dual US-British citizen, Howell saw Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination first-hand in California.
      With the parallels between the insurgent Sanders and Corbyn obvious, Howell says he and others were influenced by the dynamism and energy of the Vermont senator’s campaign, such as its “hard-hitting” political messaging. “Communications is all about building a story, building a narrative,” he explains. “That was very much on my mind — how could we talk and communicate our political arguments in that very clear, direct way.”

      Indeed, arguably the influence of Sanders can be seen in the broad strategy the Labour leadership team settled on for the election — the creation of a “majoritarian coalition” around a positive and “transformational” offer to the public, as Howell explains in the book.

    • Protesting ‘Morally Repugnant’ Trump Policies, Poor People’s Campaign Demands Action on Housing, Health, and Climate

      The Trump administration and its open hostility toward Americans living in poverty were the target of the Poor People’s Campaign’s latest day of coordinated actions on Monday, with economic justice advocates marching on federal agencies and allies across the nation rallying at state capitals.

      The Poor People’s Campaign began its final week of demonstrations before the movement’s March on Washington, scheduled for this Saturday. Organized by Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis, both of whom were arrested for protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court last week, the campaign is a revival of the work Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was focusing on when he was assassinated in 1968.

      On Saturday, supporters of the movement will march against “systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism,” all of which it says are part of the “war on the poor.” The march will cap off the 40 days of action which the group began on May 13.

      On Monday, dozens of supporters paid visits to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protest Trump’s worsening of the crisis of inequality in healthcare, housing, and environmental policy in the U.S. in the 17 months since he became president.

      The demonstration coincided with widespread outrage over the Trump administration’s forcible separation of thousands of children from their families—an issue that campaigners railed against outside HHS, which is responsible for the care of unaccompanied children who have immigrated to the U.S. Protesters also expressed anger on behalf of the 3.2 million Americans who have no health insurance. The demonstrators were reportedly barred from entering the building.

    • Israel’s Solution to Global Condemnation of War Crimes? Punish Anyone Who Documents Them

      Israel’s right-wing government has apparently decided that the best way to stop global criticism of its flagrant human rights violations against the Palestinian people is not to stop committing them, but to silence and punish anyone who attempts to document its crimes.

      The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved legislation that would sentence anyone who attempts to film the actions of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in the occupied West Bank to as much as five years in prison.

      As Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy noted shortly after the measure was approved, the bill in its current form would target not just the press, but also “human rights organizations and Palestinian residents, the last witnesses for the prosecution against the occupation.”

      “We will violate this law proudly. We have an obligation to violate this law, like any law with a black flag waving over it,” Levy declared. “We will not stop documenting. We will not stop photographing. We will not stop writing—with all our might. Human rights organizations will do the same too and like them, we hope, Palestinian eyewitnesses, who will of course be punished more than anyone.”

      While some changes to the specific language of the bill are expected after it was deemed constitutionally “problematic” by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, advocacy groups said it is alarming that such an extreme measure has garnered significant support amoung Israeli lawmakers.

    • Nato chief warns over future of transatlantic relationship

      The head of Nato has warned that the deep divisions between the US under Donald Trump and its European allies are not going away and there is no certainty that the transatlantic relationship and its military alliance will survive.

      Against a backdrop of Trump’s open baiting of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, over immigration and her domestic difficulties, Jens Stoltenberg has called for all Nato members to work to avoid a disastrous breakdown in western unity.

      Writing in the Guardian, Nato’s secretary general admits that “political storm clouds” are putting a strain on the ties that bind the Nato allies. But, in an appeal to leaders before the military alliance’s summit in July, the former prime minister of Norway says that “where differences persist, we must limit any negative impact on our security cooperation”.

      Stoltenberg – who is meeting Theresa May in Downing Street on Thursday as he prepares for the summit in Brussels – writes: “Since the alliance was created almost 70 years ago, the people of Europe and North America have enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. But, at the political level, the ties which bind us are under strain.

      “There are real differences between the United States and other allies over issues such as trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear agreement.

    • Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study

      ea level rise driven by climate change is set to pose an existential crisis to many US coastal communities, with new research finding that as many as 311,000 homes face being flooded every two weeks within the next 30 years.

      The swelling oceans are forecast repeatedly to soak coastal residences collectively worth $120bn by 2045 if greenhouse gas emissions are not severely curtailed, experts warn. This will potentially inflict a huge financial and emotional toll on the half a million Americans who live in the properties at risk of having their basements, backyards, garages or living rooms inundated every other week.

      “The impact could well be staggering,” said Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “This level of flooding would be a tipping point where people in these communities would think it’s unsustainable.

      “Even homes along the Gulf coast that are elevated would be affected, as they’d have to drive through salt water to get to work or face their kids’ school being cut off. You can imagine people walking away from mortgages, away from their homes.”

    • Cynthia Nixon unveils plan to limit campaign contributions

      Cynthia Nixon ripped into the pay-to-play scandals that have rocked Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration while unveiling a plan Monday to severely limit campaign contributions.

      Nixon’s plan would ban corporate donations and limit individual contributions to $5,400 for statewide office and legislative races.

      Candidates for governor can now receive more than $60,000 from an individual.

      People with business before the state would be barred completely from donating to the governor, as would political appointees, under Nixon’s proposal.

      The “Sex and the City” actress — who is challenging Cuomo in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary — would create a voluntary, matching public funding campaign finance system to encourage contributions from small donors, modeled after New York City’s program.

      Individual donations under $175 would receive 6-to-1 matches. Donations of less than $50 would receive an extraordinary 9-to-1 match.

      Nixon made the announcement outside the old Tweed Courthouse as more Cuomo associates face trial.

      “Eight years ago, Andrew Cuomo stood in front of Tweed Courthouse and launched his campaign with a promise to clean up Albany. Today, just a few feet from this spot, Cuomo associate Alain Kaloyeros is on trial for bid rigging to benefit two large Cuomo donors,” Nixon said.

      “This unchecked influence of big money in state politics is why our state government currently serves to benefit corporations and the rich, leaving the rest of us behind.”

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Scaring The Democratic Establishment


        She’s challenging the party in so many ways.

        Being a women, and a woman of color, segments of our population that the Democrats claim to care about, she exposes the party’s hypocrisy AND she is refusing to play ‘the game’ by letting monied interests control her narrative.

        Working class women who refuse to play the game with the donor class are a threat to those in the party that push white, professional, women forward-Hillary type women. That’s one of the reason, imo, that they’re pushing Kamala Harris forward so hard. She may be a woman of color, but she checks off all of the other establishment boxes and she’s being used as a token. The party ‘leaders’ can point to her and say, “Look! We welcome the voices of WOC!”.

    • Democrats Unveil New Policies Before Gubernatorial Primary

      Democrats vying for Michigan governor head into the final two months of their primary fight with a number of new policy initiatives in hand, including a single-payer system of universal health care, a college scholarship program and a plan to offset child care costs so women can work.

      The first Democrat-only televised debate is Wednesday, a natural forum for the three candidates to tout their agendas to a broader audience after several weeks of unveiling fresh items.

      Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar and Abdul El-Sayed agree on many issues, like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, spending much more on roads and other infrastructure, shutting down twin oil pipelines in a waterway linking two of the Great Lakes and repealing the state’s emergency manager law. But there are some differences that are being emphasized more in the stretch to the Aug. 7 election.

      El-Sayed, Detroit’s former health director, has proposed a plan to provide all Michigan residents with government-financed “Michicare” until they reach Medicare age, including 600,000 who have no insurance. He hopes to make it a “wedge issue,” especially with Whitmer, who has not embraced the single-payer concept and whom he has criticized for accepting campaign donations from the political action committee of Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s dominant insurer.

      “Health care is a human right,” he said, contending that raising taxes to fund the Medicare-for-all-style system while eliminating premiums, deductibles and copays would save both residents and businesses overall.

      Whitmer is expected to announce her own health care plan before the primary and most recently has rolled out education and economic proposals while also focusing on her mantra to “fix the damn roads.” The former Senate minority leader frequently points to her role in the bipartisan expansion of Medicaid to more than 600,000 adults, including in a TV ad that is airing.

    • Rights and Democracy to host Bennington gubernatorial forum

      From 7 PM to 9PM on June 29 Rights and Democracy of Bennington (“RAD”) will host a Gubernatorial Forum at St Peters Episcopal Church in Bennington Vermont. “All candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties have been invited”, said Charlie Murphy of RAD; “We have not heard back from all of them, but expect most to attend.”

      “This forum will give the public an opportunity to ask the questions that are most important to Bennington”, said Vickie Lampron, another RAD member, who added that “None of us should miss this chance to find out which candidate will best serve the interests of Bennington!”

      A special guest, Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution, will make introductory remarks at 7 PM. “Those of us who worked so hard for Bernie know who she is and are very excited to have her visit Bennington!” commented Mary Jane Sarvis, a local artist and RAD member.

      The moderators will introduce the Gubernatorial Candidates after Ms. Turner’s address. After a few prepared questions for each candidate, the floor will be open for audience questions, addressed either to a particular candidate or to the panel as a whole.

      • Interesting. Vermont is so cool. I can’t even imagine Nina Turner making introductory remarks at a Gubernatorial debate here in CT.

        Our gubernatorial race includes thirteen white men and two women, both running on the Dem ticket, one of whom sounds to me like she has no chance (Lee Whitmum) mostly due to her “run-ins with the law”, and the other non-white man is a transgender woman who used to be a Republican.

        I sure hope Ned Lamont can pull it off because most of the Republican candidates sound horrible.

        Ned Lamont is all in on pushing back on Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration stance:

        Meanwhile, one of the favored Republican candidates joined up with ICE to sweep out immigrants as mayor of Danbury, resulting in a $400,000 civil rights lawsuit settlement.

    • In a world of digital nomads, we will all be made homeless

      Whose utopia is this, when people have to sever emotional links and leave where they grew up to find dependable work?

      • Interesting article! I’ve seen with my own eyes some of what the writer talked about re: shared workspaces.

        One of the comments below the article said this:

        I do wish people would look at the data.
        US internal migration is at post WW2 lows.
        Around 10% of the population changed address within the last 12 months.
        This is down from 15% 10 years ago and 20% in the 80’s.
        Obviously this may change but there is no sign of it happening yet.

        I hope that commenter is correct (that internal migration is actually going down) but for me even 10% of the population changing their address within the last twelve months seems very high!

        p.s. I miss my family. We are spread around the four corners of the US & Canada and that means that I hardly ever get to see them. 🙁

    • What if Canada had spent $200bn on wind energy instead of oil?

      In explaining Canada’s decision to nationalise the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5bn, Bill Morneau went hard on the economic argument. “Make no mistake,” the finance minister said. “This is an investment in Canada’s future.”

      In fact, since 1999, more than $200bn has been invested into the Alberta oil sands for that future. But what if that cash had gone into wind energy instead?

      Let’s compare.

    • The Squamish Nation are furious about the pipeline – and we aren’t alone

      One oil spill would destroy our territory. So much for the promise to respect indigenous rights

    • Why Abolishing ICE Is Good Climate Policy

      There’s been a rash of horrific news recently about the treatment of immigrants entering the United States through its southern border. According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statistics obtained and published by The Associated Press on Friday, nearly 2,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents within just six weeks between April and May. That follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’announcement of a “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration, to criminally prosecute cases of illegal entry into the United States and incarcerate children and their parents in separate facilities.

      Without realizing it, Jeff Sessions wrote a climate policy. As climate-fueled migration continues to accelerate, immigration policies will determine how the U.S. government navigates the climate crisis. For now, policymakers’ playbook is the war on terror, and its tools are the hapless, barbaric institutions created to wage it.

      With Sessions’new mandate, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a problem the U.S. government is incapable of handling. To deal with the sudden influx of young prisoners—some ripped crying from their parents’arms—the administration is now constructing ad-hoc prisons in converted Wal-Marts and tent cities, like the one built to house 360 kids in Tornillo, Texas. The DOJ also ruled that people fleeing domestic abuse or any kind of non-governmental violence will no longer be eligible for asylum, effectively recasting gender-based violence as a private rather than a public matter.

      This week’s onslaught of immigration news offers a chilling preview of events that could become all the more likely as the planet warms. At the core of the immigration debate is the question that will come to dominate the climate-defined politics of the 21st century: Who gets to live here and live well?

    • 100 Years Ago, Socialist Leader Eugene Debs Gave This Speech That Landed Him in Prison

      On June 16, 1918—in the midst of World War I—socialist leader Eugene Debs gave a stirring anti-war speech in Canton, Ohio at a meeting of the local Socialist Party. The U.S. government would later prosecute Debs for violating the Espionage Act, sentencing him to 10 years in prison. While serving his term, Debs would run for president in the 1920 elections and receive nearly one million votes. In the speech, Debs says of socialism “It is as vain to resist it as it would be to arrest the sunrise on the morrow.” Here we reprint Debs’ iconic speech in full.

    • Fetishizing “Identity Politics” Could Cost Democrats in 2020

      Sanders campaign terraformed the landscape of political possibility: “Socialist” is no longer a slur, “Medicare for All” is a litmus test for 2020 hopefuls, and Americans are no longer so inured to the influence of money in politics. To millions on the left, the then-relatively unknown Vermont senator’s unexpected surge in the 2016 Democratic primary (and consistently strong approval ratings) demonstrate that electoral victory in 2020 requires adopting much of his platform and approach to politics. This means, among other things, making economic inequality central to any prospective presidential agenda.

      Yet the very concept of “economic anxiety” has become a punchline at best, and a third rail at worst, among a loud swath of the Democratic coalition. Because economic concerns have, at times, been used as a pretext to avoid recognizing the role racism and xenophobia played in Donald Trump’s popularity, many Democrats now bristle at the notion that the Democratic Party should reach out to working-class whites at all. Understandably fearful that “wooing” white voters might require an appeal to bigotry, it’s now commonly argued that the Democratic Party should concentrate its efforts on nonvoters of color instead.

      The divide between “team economic justice” and “team demographic destiny” now informs how different factions of the left, broadly defined, decipher the results of Democratic primaries and special election battles. And unfortunately, this has led to dangerously inaccurate and biased prescriptions for 2020.

      Nonwhite and/or female candidates are praised for advancing “identity politics” if they win — regardless of how they campaigned. And efforts to include white voters in one’s coalition are blamed for faltering campaigns — regardless of a candidate’s more substantive failures. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And with a belief that demographics hold the key to unlocking a Democratic victory, Democrats stand poised to ignore the most important lesson of 2016: People turn out for material change.

    • LOWKEY has released a part 2 to his ‘Ghosts of Grenfell’ track:

    • I wonder what the NRA will have to say about this?

      Deputies arrested Manuel Fernandez, 60, after a two-day search of his home revealed the massive illegal arsenal.

      He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and illegally having an assault rifle and large-capacity magazines.

      He was released on a $35,000 (£27,000) bond one day after his arrest.

      That bail amount is an absolute joke!


    • Nothing to see here! Trump is an expert on trade policy.

      What could possibly go wrong?

    • http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article210477439.html#storylink=cpy

      Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in south Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.

      “We’ve long suspected that Donald Trump’s businesses were a front for money laundering and our research suggests it could be true,” said Harrell Kirstein, communicators director for the Trump War Room at American Bridge. “The millions of dollars in previously unreported, all-cash real estate deals we discovered raise troubling questions about who is funding his businesses, why, and what they’re getting in return.”

    • Oil Industry Copes With Climate Impacts As Permafrost Thaws

      To be honest, climate change is pretty good business for our company,” says Ed Yarmak, who runs Arctic Foundations and gets about half his work from oil companies on the North Slope. “We’re in the business of making things colder.”

      By “things” he means the permafrost that blankets Alaska’s North Slope.

      The oil industry has built a vast network of pipelines and buildings on top of permafrost, and has always had to use special engineering to adjust for it. Oil operators have used Yarmak’s product since the 1970’s, but he says rising temperatures mean it’s needed even more.

      As permafrost thaws, he says, “the doors start to stick, the sheet rock cracks, the floor isn’t level any more. Things aren’t the way that they planned them.”

      To help, Yarmak manufactures long metal tubes filled with a refrigerant, called thermosyphons. In his company’s Anchorage warehouse he points out a dense array of tiny fins that stick out the top.

      “It’s where the heat comes out and goes to the air,” he says.

      These giant tubes are partially buried in the permafrost. The gas inside pulls heat out of the ground and in the process, keeps it frozen.

      Each tube is custom-made and can cost up to $10,000. Yarmak says oil companies have installed thousands of them across Alaska’s Arctic. If the state continues to warm as projected, he expects to be in business a long time to come.

      • Tangentially, I read an article recently that brought up the scary point that as the planet warms more and more people will want/need air conditioning, which then warms the planet even more. Yikes! We need to get our act together!! Stat.

        The World Wants Air-Conditioning.
        That Could Warm the World.

        The number of air-conditioners worldwide is predicted to soar from 1.6 billion units today to 5.6 billion units by midcentury, according to a report issued Tuesday by the International Energy Agency. If left unchecked, by 2050 air-conditioners would use as much electricity as China does for all activities today.

        Greenhouse gas emissions released by coal and natural gas plants when generating electricity to power those air-conditioners would nearly double, from 1.25 billion tons in 2016 to 2.28 billion tons in 2050, the report says. Those emissions would contribute to global warming, which could further heighten the demand for air-conditioning.

        And then there’s this:

        And because air-conditioners work in part by venting hot air outside, they also make the surrounding neighborhood warmer. By some estimates air-conditioning can raise overnight temperatures by about two degrees Fahrenheit (one degree Celsius) in some cities, the report said. Practically speaking, if enough of your neighbors buy an air-conditioner it may increase the temperature in your home enough to drive you to do the same.

    • Human Rights Activist Claude Leostic Accuses Emmanuel Macron’s Government of “Political Harassment”

      And so when we tried to dock, the boats, the police boats came to us, pushed us along, sent us back to the center of the river, to the middle of the river, and pushed us away and away and away from the Seine and from our supporters.

      At the same time there were, I would say, about a dozen police cars, you know, with those vans with, with the sirens and the lights flashing on the streets just above the key where our friends were waiting, continuing all the way along with us until we were out of Paris waters. It was really political harassment, political denial of freedom and freedom of expression for us French people, and it is something which is totally unacceptable.

    • Drawing Links Between US Militarism Abroad and Gun Violence at Home (Pt 1/2)

      (Nino sounded sure-footed on stage during his March for Our lives speech, a snippet included during the linked video, but he’s not as smooth to listen to here, tbh, but he makes great points and seems to have deep insight. And I would have loved to have had him as my fifth grade teacher! I probably would have woken up a lot sooner.)

      NINO BROWN:: Well, I mean, I think the United States is just fundamentally built on violence, right. Indigenous genocide, African slavery. And our politicians cannot speak to this reality because they are in the pocket of the NRA, right. We know that Congress is made up of all millionaires, and the gun lobby is very influential in kind of dictating the limitations, or the boundaries, the contours of our conversations around gun violence.

      So what’s interesting about the liberal outrage, Democratic Party outrage, around gun violence is that (their) proposals to solve gun violence don’t actually involve the victims. They don’t actually take into account the reality of those who have been victims of all kinds of gun violence like police brutality police killings these 416 people have been killed in 2018 as a result of police violence. Every year we have at least a thousand people being killed as a result of police violence. So these these measures these discussions that liberals and Democratic Party appendages and other folks bring to the table are just completely devoid of any type of historical or social context. Like so said the violence doesn’t come out of nowhere.

      The violence is historical. The violence is within the boundaries of, you know, maintaining a system where it’s profitable to, to destroy, you know, to invest in weapons of war. So I don’t think that the, the politicians that we have today can really speak to that without going directly to the root cause of the problem.

    • This poster points out that when Obama began his term in Feb 2009, that awful Sheriff Arpaio was blatantly housing illegal immigrants in open-air tents, and when Obama left office in 2016 that ‘tent city’ was still in operation.

    • Senate passes $716B defense bill

      Senators voted 85-10 on the defense authorization legislation, well over the simple majority needed to pass it.

      I wish I could say I was surprised. 🙁

      I’m thinking that at least a few of those who voted no will be announcing their presidential runs right after midterms? 😛

      Voting against it:

      Dianne Feinstein
      Kirsten Gillibrand
      Kamala Harris
      Ed Marley
      Jeff Merkley
      Elizabeth Warren
      Bernie Sanders
      Rand Paul
      Mike Lee

      • I can’t say that I am one of his fans but this tweet hits the bullseye.

    • A little bit of good news, as long as you aren’t involved in the oil and gas industry at least!

      Despite Trump, Wall Street is breaking up with fossil fuels

      there’s been reason this month for hope — reason, at least, to think that the basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway.

      from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed: Even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise. Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words: “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.”

      The IEEFA report labeled the industry “weaker than it has been in decades” and laid out its basic frailties, the first of which is paradoxical. Fracking has produced a sudden surge of gas and oil into the market, lowering prices — which means many older investments (Canada’s tar sands, for instance) no longer make economic sense. Fossil fuel has been transformed into a pure commodity business, and since the margins on fracking are narrow at best, its financial performance has been woeful. The IEEFA describes investors as “shell-shocked” by poor returns.

      The second weakness is more obvious: the sudden rise of a competitor that seems able to deliver the same product — energy — with cheaper, cleaner, better technologies. Tesla, sure—but Volkswagen, having come clean about the dirtiness of diesel, is going to spend $84 billion on electric drivetrains. China seems bent on converting its entire bus fleet to electric power. Every week seems to bring a new record-low price for clean energy: the most recent being a Nevada solar plant clocking in at 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour, even with Trump’s tariffs on Chinese panels.

      And the third problem for the fossil fuel industry? According to IEEFA, that would be the climate movement

    • The subtext to this is how effective grassroots efforts can be. Of course, the Kochs just use that to their evil, greedy, ends:

      How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country

      The group, the local chapter for Americans for Prosperity, which is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes, fanned out and began strategically knocking on doors. Their targets: voters most likely to oppose a local plan to build light-rail trains, a traffic-easing tunnel and new bus routes.

      “Do you agree that raising the sales tax to the highest rate in the nation must be stopped?” Samuel Nienow, one of the organizers, asked a startled man who answered the door at his ranch-style home in March. “Can we count on you to vote ‘no’ on the transit plan?”

      In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee — the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government.

      “There’s nothing more effective than actually having a human conversation with someone on events that affect them on a day-to-day basis,” Akash Chougule, policy director at Americans for Prosperity, said in an interview. “It’s a great opportunity for us to activate people in their own backyards, and we’re among the first to do it in a sustained, permanent way.”

      How do they get all that info??

      Central to the work of Americans for Prosperity is i360, the Kochs’ data operation, which profiles Americans based on their voter registration information, consumer data and social media activities. The canvassers divided the neighborhoods into “walkbooks,” or clusters of several dozen homes, and broke into teams of two.

      There are rules: No more than two people at a door (to avoid appearing threatening). No stepping on lawns (homeowners don’t like it). And focus strictly on the registered voter. If anyone else answers, say a polite “thanks” and move on.

      No shock here.

      One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.

    • When you see Halliburton trending on twitter..

    • https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/19/white-house-didnt-want-you-hear-stephen-millers-voice-defend-family-separation-and

      Although far-right activist-turned-White House policy adviser Stephen Miller has been a chief architect of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and its forcible separation of families, he has remained largely behind the scenes as outrage has grown over the practice—and on Tuesday, with help from the New York Times, the White House kept it that way.

      After conducting an on-the-record interview with Miller for an article that appeared in the New York Times last week about the family separation policy, the Times submitted to a White House request to not include audio from the interview in its popular news podcast “The Daily.”

      Critics including author Naomi Klein refused to accept the newspaper’s excuse—accusing the Times of being more concerned with its access to the White House than giving a full accounting of what it learns from its interactions with Trump administration sources.

    • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/adolf-hitler-donald-trump-mein-kampf-bluffed-way-to-power-nazi-leader-germany-fuhrer-us-president-a7568506.html?utm_source=reddit.com

      A leading expert on the Nazi party has said there are similarities between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.

      Both men “bluffed” their way into power, confounding an establishment that did not know what to do but normalise them, according to author Ron Rosenbaum.

      The Adolf Hitler biographer said he had refused to compare Mr Trump to the Nazi leader during the campaign period for fear of trivialising genocide, but after the election things changed.

      “Now Trump and his minions are in the driver’s seat, attempting to pose as respectable participants in American politics, when their views come out of a playbook written in German,” said Mr Rosenbaum, who wrote Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.

      “The playbook is Mein Kampf.”

    • If there’s any cesspool, the Trump administration is in the middle of it


      The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, making good on a pledge to leave a body it accused of hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel.

      “For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Tuesday at the State Department in Washington. She said the decision was an affirmation of U.S. respect for human rights, a commitment that “does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

      The 47-member council, created in 2006 and based in Geneva, began its latest session on Monday with a broadside against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights. He called the policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally “unconscionable.”

    • Take it for what it is worth.

      • Wouldn’t it be great to have Corbyn and Bernie as leaders of their respective governments, Boy would things be different!

  • Hello friends!

    Yes, the World Cup of soccer is going on and you don’t need to be a soccer fan to hear some of the goings on!

    Gordon Dimmack reports that English journalists are talking about how nice Russians […]

    • Tip jar. Hmm, what shall be today’s theme?

      Oh, I know, how about an end to voter shaming?! That’d be nice.

    • Disturbing signal from the world of the elites:

      Former Bank of Canada Head: Pipeline Protesters May Be Killed. So Be It.

      As Canada’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project faces ongoing opposition, the former governor of the Bank of Canada said that protesters may die but that the government should push the project through anyway.

      Speaking at an event Wednesday, David Dodge said, “We’re going to have some very unpleasant circumstances,” the Edmonton Journal reported. “There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline. We have to understand that.”

      “Nevertheless, we have to be willing to enforce the law once it’s there,” Dodge said. “It’s going to take some fortitude to stand up.”

      In an interview with the Journal, he elaborated by saying, “We have seen it other places, that equivalent of religious zeal leading to flouting of the law in a way that could lead to death.”


      • wow indeed. lives are worth nothing compared to keeping the money roll going. at least they now say it and let’s hope more people are hearing it and understanding how much value the neolibcon world regime gives to their lives.

    • Just what we need, another branch of military!

      President Trump directs Defense Department to ‘immediately begin the process’ of establishing ‘space force’ as sixth military branch

      “I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said during a meeting of the National Space Council.

      “Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security,” Trump said.

      • Hey orange haired dimwit! Exactly how are you going to have a space force without spaceships? Drones don’t cut it. What a stupid he is! T and R, mags!! Wanted to say thanks for the very nice compliment you gave one of my comments. 🙂 🙂 I saw the power and international popularity of soccer during a visit to Costa Rica. It’s no wonder the Saudis are howling over getting creamed by the Russkies.

    • “Holy Smokes”, lol, she’s a character!

      • This is a step in the right direction for MoveOn, they’ve been disappointing, but this is good.

        • Amen. To paraphrase Mr. David Letterman: Alexandria isn’t just a babe; she’s a fabulous looking babe! I would love to see her win, too.

    • thanks!

    • Not so good for LGBT fans


      Cunningham, who will be attending England’s first match against Tunisia on Monday in Volgograd, said her alliance of LGBT football fan groups has received threatening anonymous emails, warning that they would be “stabbed” if they made the trip to Russia.

      “We have received several warnings that LGBT fans will not be welcome in Russia and some were quite drastic in terms of what would happen to us if we did go,” said Cunningham, organiser of Three Lions Pride, an LGBT football fan group of England supporters, adding that it was “unfortunate” that FIFA is holding such a prestigious football tournament in a country where “some people are unwelcomed”.

      Di Cunningham is part of the Proud Canaries, an LGBT fan group supporting Norwich City Football Club [Di Cunningham]
      Pride in Football, the UK alliance for fan groups that belong to the LGBT community, has since lodged a complaint with FIFA – football’s governing body – and were told that the threats are being investigated by the tournament organisers.

      Despite the reassurances, Cunningham says a lot of LGBT fans are scared to attend the month-long sporting spectacle in Russia.

      “There aren’t many openly gay LGBT fans going because most people don’t feel that their safety is guaranteed,” Cunningham told Al Jazeera.

      Fare network, the anti-discriminatory body that works in collaboration with FIFA, reported an increase in anti-gay and racist chanting in Russian football over the last year.

      There were 12 incidents of homophobic behavior by fans inside the stadiums, according to the report by Fare network and the Moscow-based SOVA Centre, released last month.

      The report noted that fans increasingly labelled opponents as “gay” as a means of abuse.

      “These levels of discriminatory chanting indicate that xenophobic views remain deeply rooted among many Russian football fans,” the report said.

      • The world still has a ways to go re: the LGBT community. Hopefully by 2022, when the World Cup takes place in Qatar, a lot more people will have comes to terms with the existence of gay people. The tide didn’t really even turn here in the U.S. until recently as far as open gestures of intimacy between gay people in public.

        Soccer does seem to be a bit behind in the case of many social issues. Women have made huge strides in soccer, but it’s still very (straight) male-oriented. And of course POC still experience racism at times.

        I went to a soccer match at the Olymic Stadium in Montreal once, it was some kind of exhibition because Montreal didn’t have a team at the time. Well, I was blown away, on many levels.

        First of all, it felt like I was the only woman in the crowd of 55,000 people! And all the colors of the world were represented. There was almost no drinking at all and no-one sat during the entire time. This mass of tightly-packed people focused on one thing and one thing only. The action on the field. People were so intensely focused! I felt very comfortable though. The men I encountered that day, whatever shape, size or color, were all very welcoming to me.

        • Soccer is international football. American football is a different off-shoot. It is also more violent and simple. And I say that as a life-long fan. 🙁

          • When I was a kid, dad took us on a summer vacation drive to ‘the states’, and I believe it was in Virginia (dad loved history) that he drove us into a university and the football team was practicing on the field

            The players were doing that thing where they run and crash up against those big ‘blocks’, for lack of better word-I just looked it up, pic attached, looks like they’re called blocking sleds, and the players were yelling at the top of their lungs as though they want to demolish the blocks! They sounded like they were practicing to kill people with their bodies. All of us kids were literally shocked into silence, as were my parents. It seemed very violent!

  • Learn more @ RogerManno.com

    • Q&A with Roger Manno, candidate to represent Maryland’s 6th Congressional District

      Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue facing rural Western Maryland at this time, and what will you do on the federal level to address it?

      A: The most pressing federal issue facing Western Maryland is stagnant wage growth. A decade after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, corporations are enjoying record profits while workers are still waiting to see the recovery in their paychecks. In Congress, I will fight to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share and use these resources to reignite Western Maryland’s economy. Our campaign is centered on economic justice for workers, students and retirees.

  • Watch the full debate between candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Joe Crowley:

    • Hello TPW friends. I know this has already been discussed in various comment threads, but wanted to pool everything together in one place.


      FRIDAY NIGHT’S PRIMARY debate between 31-year elected official Rep. Joseph Crowley and 28-year-old progressive Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was a contest between establishment and outsider, old guard and upstart, experience and progress, status quo and change. It marks only the third primary challenge Crowley has faced since moving from the state Assembly to Congress — and his first since 2004.

      At times during the debate, his relative campaign inexperience showed, while Ocasio-Cortez presented as a well-studied newcomer with natural talent: delivering a summary of her agenda in a manner which was confident and sharp, if not effortless. The theme of her remarks was clear: “Not all Democrats are the same.”

      Despite what she described as Crowley’s “adaptations” — meaning shifts leftward in response to her more-progressive campaign — there are real differences between the two, said Ocasio-Cortez, who is challenging Crowley for the seat representing the 14th district, which encompasses parts of Queens and the Bronx.

      Unlike Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez said she has rejected all corporate money, and is the only candidate in the race who supports “improved and expanded Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition free public college and the abolition of ICE.”

      By contrast, Crowley’s first remarks were those of a professional who felt confident enough to not prepare — and who realized too late that he should have.

      • Ocasio-Cortez is also strikingly beautiful and photogenic. Hate to say it, but that is a big plus in her favor. She is getting name recognition. If she doesn’t win on 6/26, she will next time.

    • Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez argue future of the Democratic party in first and only primary debate

      Rep. Joe Crowley defended his standing as a longtime Democratic leader in his first and only primary debate Friday against insurgent primary challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as both tried to lay claim to the future of the party.

      The two Queens Democrats espoused similar beliefs, but the debate laid out their differences in stark relief.

      rowley, 56, is of Irish descent, has held his seat in New York’s 14th Congressional District since the late 90s and holds the fourth-highest ranking position in House Democratic leadership. It is an open secret that he has ambitions to be speaker, should his party retake the House.

      But back home in Queens he is facing his first primary challenge in more than a decade from Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign whose Puerto Rican roots go back three generations in the Bronx.

      The debate Friday, hosted by NY1’s Errol Louis, was largely civil, but showcased the competing faces of a party seeking to renew itself in opposition to President Donald Trump.

      “For 20 years our rents have been going up, healthcare has been getting more expensive and our incomes are staying the same,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her opening statement. “Not all Democrats are the same and I am proud to be the only Democrat in this race that rejects all corporate money and champions and advances improved and expanded Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition free public college and the abolition of ICE.”

    • Praise for Progressive ‘Torchbearer’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Takedown of ‘Career Politician’ Joe Crowley

      Progressives praised U.S. House primary candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—”a torchbearer for the progressive movement”—for her performance Friday night in a debate against Rep. Joe Crowley, a powerful player in the Democratic Party’s establishment and longtime representative of New York’s 14th District.

      “Not all Democrats are the same, and I am proud to be the only Democrat in this race that rejects all corporate money, and champions and advances improved and expanded Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, and the abolition of ICE,” she said in her opening remarks. “In a district that is 85 percent Democrat, overwhelmingly working class, and 70 percent people of color, we deserve a working-class champion.”

    • Good am LD/JD. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed Father’s Day. I read a couple of interesting articles. You might like them.

      We may get our true Fourth Estate back via Cyberspace.


      Native Americans and their eternal common sense approach to basics like eating and taking care of Gaia. 🙂

      Hope this finds all the TPW krewe well and staying cool. We’ve survived another week w/o thermonuclear war.

      • Yes, but with ‘friends’ like this, I hope we can continue to avoid nuclear war!

        Progressives Denounce Democratic Senators for Trying to Keep Trump on a ‘Permanent War Footing’ in Korea

        After the president revealed he wants to eventually bring home troops stationed in South Korea, Democrats introduced a bill that aims to prevent him from doing so

        “Why, exactly, do we need a bill to ensure we have troops in South Korea at all times, even as the two Koreas seem closer to reconciliation than ever before?”

        That’s the question progressives are posing in response to legislation from Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) that aims to scale back President Donald Trump’s ability to withdraw American troops from the Korean Peninsula.

        • I don’t know why Murphy would ‘go there’ but he just squandered any prog cred he had due to his stance on Yemen.

          Bye bye presidential hopes!

    • If she doesn’t win this time, I’d bet that she will next time!!

      Praise for Progressive ‘Torchbearer’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Takedown of ‘Career Politician’ Joe Crowley

      “The contrast between them couldn’t be more stark and Crowley seems scared. She’s fierce.”

      Those who tuned in to the debate, which was aired locally on television, commented on the “passion that [Ocasio-Cortez] showed on every issue,” concluding, “You can tell she’s experienced these problems first hand and deeply wants to fight for change.”

      Attached pic from the CommonDreams.org piece (a very good piece btw)-they caught him with his eyes closed!

  • Prominent Democrat makes urgent plea to end family separations: ‘It’s on us all’

    Responsibility for the separation of children from parents at the US border is “on all” Americans, a prominent Texas Democrat sai […]

  • wi60‘s profile was updated 3 days, 21 hours ago

  • Last night, Bill Maher was on a roll with New Rules. But the last New Rule is often less funny, more serious social commentary. This one lasts nearly 6.5 minutes, but worth viewing.

    Consider this an open […]

    • For Dad’s Day…John Mayer’s “Daughters”

    • Didnt know this until today:

      Young Turks Network Sheds Senior Employees in Staff Shakeup

      The Young Turks laid off at least five employees this week, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to TheWrap on Thursday. Among the departures were Nomiki Konst and Hannah Cranston — who had both been prominent on-air talents with the company.

      In a statement, the company declined to confirm any specific numbers and instead lamented the “difficult decisions” required for growth.

      TYT Network has continued to see tremendous growth in audience size and engagement, as well as business partnerships and sponsorships. From time to time we are faced with difficult decisions as we grow into our larger size, influence, and reach. We truly respect our colleagues as people and as professionals, which makes personnel changes difficult, even when necessary to move the company into the next phase of our evolution.

      onst, who served as an investigative reporter for the left-leaning network since 2016, told colleagues in a terse email obtained by TheWrap that she was “moving on.” In a Facebook post, she elaborated.

      “Thank you to those who trusted me to share their stories. These were special stories to cover at a significant time,” she wrote. “It’s been the greatest privilege working as a correspondent for The Young Turks.”

      On the same day, Hannah Cranston, who served as host and executive producer of the Young Turk’s program “ThinkTank,” tweeted that she was also leaving.

      “After nearly 4 amazing years,I am moving on from ThinkTank and The Young Turks,” said Cranston. “I can’t tell you all how much I have appreciated your support.”

      • Two pretty fair assessments of the debate.


        Rep. Joe Crowley defended his standing as a longtime Democratic leader in his first and only primary debate Friday against insurgent primary challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as both tried to lay claim to the future of the party.

        The two Queens Democrats espoused similar beliefs, but the debate laid out their differences in stark relief.

        Crowley, 56, is of Irish descent, has held his seat in New York’s 14th Congressional district since the late 90’s and holds the the fourth highest ranking position in House Democratic leadership. It is an open secret that he has ambitions to be speaker, should his party retake the House.

        But back home in Queens he is facing his first primary challenge in more than a decade from Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign whose Puerto Rican roots go back three generations in the Bronx.

        The debate Friday, hosted by NY1’s Errol Louis, was largely civil, but showcased the competing faces of a party seeking to renew itself in opposition to President Donald Trump.


        Friday night’s primary debate between 31-year elected official Rep. Joseph Crowley and 28-year-old progressive Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was a contest between establishment and outsider, old guard and upstart, experience and progress, status quo and change. It marks only the third primary challenge Crowley has faced since moving from the state Assembly to Congress — and his first since 2004.
        At times during the debate, his relative campaign inexperience showed, while Ocasio-Cortez presented as a well-studied newcomer with natural talent: delivering a summary of her agenda in a manner which was confident and sharp, if not effortless. The theme of her remarks was clear: “Not all Democrats are the same.”
        Despite what she described as Crowley’s “adaptations” — meaning shifts leftward in response to her more-progressive campaign — there are real differences between the two, said Ocasio-Cortez, who is challenging Crowley for the seat representing the 14th district, which encompasses parts of Queens and the Bronx.
        Unlike Crowley, Ocasio-Cortez said she has rejected all corporate money, and is the only candidate in the race who supports “improved and expanded Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition free public college and the abolition of ICE.”

      • Here is a different version of the debate.

    • Not the kind of headline Trump would want to see regarding his tariff policy!


      The Des Moines Register is warning Iowa residents that newly announced tariffs from the Trump administration could cost farmers in the state as much as $624 million, blasting out the headline on the newspaper’s front page Saturday.

      The newspaper, which reaches more than 140,000 Iowans in the state Trump won by just under 10 points, declares on its front page that the cost of Trump’s moves to punish China for intellectual property theft would begin to “add up” for Iowa farmers, according to a copy obtained by the Newseum.

      “Perhaps Iowa farmers’ biggest fear is becoming a harsh reality,” the article declares.

    • I haven’t had time to view this yet it appears to be true.

    • The hell with Human Rights as far as Palestine and Yemen are concerned!

    • LOL!

    • An example of Republican “Family Values” but it is OK as Sessions quotes the Bible.


    • Happy birthday wi59! Or should I say wi60?

    • Saudi Arabia’s wealth is able to replace a conscience!


      Yemeni pro-government forces have closed in on a rebel-held airport as they pressed ahead with a sweeping offensive on the key Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, despite warnings from aid agencies that the attack could jeopardise vital aid supplies to a country on the brink of famine.

      The swift advance was an important early success for the Saudi-led coalition, which launched the operation in Hodeidah three days ago and says it can seize the city quickly enough to avoid interrupting flows of aid to millions facing starvation.

      Coalition warplanes bombed Houthi rebel positions on Friday, while rebels said in an official statement that they fired a ballistic missile on fighters’ gathering, but gave no report of causalities.

      The advance came after the UN security council rejected a move to demand an immediate end to the fighting around the strategic .

      The 15-strong body failed to agree to a statement calling on forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to implement a ceasefire, with the US and UK both voicing opposition to the text introduced by Sweden.

  • Jeff Beals joins Rita Vanacore of ‘Planet Seniors’ on Radio Kingston earlier this week to discuss why he is advocating for Medicare for All, raising Social Security benefits, and forgiving student loan debt:

  • Learn More @ BenJealous.com

  • Learn more about Roger Manno here.

  • Ever wonder about states’ rights and how they impact democracy in general?

    This week, I had to get my driver’s license renewed. In some states, such as IL, you can obtain renewal online. But only if you (A) […]

  • Learn More @ BealsForCongress.com

  • More Than 300 Vermonters Join Sanders for Energy Resource Fair and Town Meeting

    U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) held a Vermont Energy Resource Fair and Town Meeting Saturday at Vermont Technical College in […]

    • Tips, Comments, Complaints, Etc!

      • I dare anyone to tell me thats not a great video-icon…

      • Kudos for LD and for The Progressive Wing! 😁

        Over time I have been asking myself why, with this wonderful Bernie website (TPR), the Bernie organizations have been seemingly overlooking you and this site. You need more recognition from their organizations, they need to “make you an offer” (meaning of course a GOOD offer!)! You would be such an addition to their team! One thought / explanation that occurs to me to try to explain why they are not including you more actively is that the Bernie organizations have not yet broken free of establishment practices. They have good, progressive ideas but they tend to house those ideas in “accepted” forms of organization. Progressive content — regressive form, if you will. I’m not in any way suggesting that you should change anything you’re doing here. Rather, I feel that the Bernie folks need to expand their progressive initiatives to include actions like TPW, embrace them and bring them into the Bernie fold.

        This video is a great hat-tip to you and TPR–let’s see more (and more. . .and more!!)

        Well done, LD and PWers!!

        (PS Instead of hitting the “reply” button I accidentally hit the “downvote” button. My apologies! I then hit “upvote” in an attempt to correct the problem. Hope that works–my sentiments are definitely “upvote!”)

        • Thanks Eyeround!

          I wont lie and say ‘an offer’ wouldnt help at the moment as to be quite honest the past few months have been a struggle (everything but the new marriage lol) and if something doesnt break my way in the job department soon it will be more struggle and stress. It’s hard to have a foot in the corporate world, and one in progressive politics… and have to choose to step back into the corporate direction. And even in the corporate-world, in these parts its probably best to leave off some of my bigger successes like BNR, etc and rely merely on my cubicle-resume instead (while not bad by any mean the only thing that really stands out is my name itself among many, many other, ‘educated’ applicants). Not giving up though.. struggling on and kind comments like yours make it all the much more worthwhile.

          In regards to the outside organizations not being embraced, I believe Jane herself mentioned in an interview during the campaign that they loved all the independent organization that went on but they were not going to interfere and let it be all grassroots which I think is debatable enough… but post campaign they should have coalesced more I believe. However they had to do it… gobble up everything instead of having the many splits there are now (reddit4bernie, people4sanders, caucus99, brand new congress, justice dems, our revolution, etc.etc.) and have a coordinated message and a ‘headquarters’ (virtual and non) where progressive media/candidates/etc can get their message out from instead of relying on entities with the own agendas like twitter, facebook, youtube… to not only split them up even further, but to edit/control their content. As I said before though, I never heard from the campaign during, or after in regards to the BNR or the act-blue jar. Hopefully they get their act together more as the election cycles near. I really would like to see someone get Ocasio-Cortez, El-Sayed, Paulette Jordan, Fetterman, etc. etc all on the same stage in some multi-state rallies just to pump up the base.


          • Indeed, LD.

            I must admit to being somewhat perplexed by the need to follow established procedures as opposed to the need to go against the grain.

            I’m hoping for more of the good stuff. . .

            In the meantime, Best to you and JD and good luck finding a good income without being bent over the corporate barrel!

    • World’s Millionaires and Billionaires Now Control Half the World’s Personal Wealth, New Analysis Shows

      Millionaires and billionaires own nearly half of all the world’s personal wealth, which reached $201.9 trillion last year, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group.

      “The share of global wealth held by millionaires increased to almost 50 percent in 2017, compared with just under 45 percent in 2012, driven mainly by higher-wealth individuals investing in higher-return assets,” the report (pdf) states.

      In other words, as Bloomberg put it, “The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster.”

      That’s especially true in the United States, where the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Congress are working to keep slashing taxes on the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations at the expense of working families.

      “North America remained the richest global region in 2017 in terms of personal wealth, which expanded by 8 percent to $86.1 trillion,” the report notes. “North American wealth was highly concentrated in the over-$5-million segment, which held 42 percent of investable wealth.”

      Overall, researchers found that “residents of North America held over 40 percent of global personal wealth, followed by residents of Western Europe with 22 percent. The strongest region of growth was Asia, which posted a 19 percent increase.”

    • Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition

      Democratic presidential hopefuls embraced their party’s left flank during a presidential cattle call in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

      More than a thousand energetic attendees gathered at the We the People Summit to hear from some top potential 2020 contenders: Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). But it was Sanders who won the most applause from the crowd of progressive and labor activists.

      All of the possible 2020 candidates struck a liberal message, touting the need for universal health care as well as protecting and expanding Social Security and Medicare. But the lawmakers also made calculated decisions about what issues to emphasize as they look to build up their support among the party’s activist base.

      The energy in the room was palpable throughout the entirety of Sanders’s speech. He received multiple standing ovations, and “Bernie!” cheers broke out when he walked on and off the stage.

      Sanders, 76, spent much of address telling attendees about how his 2016 presidential campaign changed the conversation within the Democratic Party. Sanders, who lost in the primary to Hillary Clinton, secured a number of his initiatives in the Democratic Party’s convention platform.

      “Many of the ideas that we talked about were thought to be fringe ideas, radical ideas, extremist ideas,” he said of his campaign planks like infrastructure reform, tuition-free public colleges and “Medicare for all,” which has been embraced by many Democratic House candidates in midterm campaigns this year. “Because of your efforts, those ideas are now mainstream American ideas.”

    • Ben Jealous running for Democratic nomination for governor

      The latest polls have Ben Jealous tied as a front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary race for Maryland governor.

      Jealous is a 45-year-old Oxford-educated, former Bernie Sanders delegate who has the endorsements of Sanders, teachers, nurses and comedian Dave Chappelle.

      He’s a progressive candidate who’s focusing on education funding; quality, affordable health care; and a $15 minimum wage.

      “Moving forward” is more than just a campaign theme for Jealous. It’s an idea rooted in his personal story. Jealous is a third-generation Marylander whose grandparents moved to Baltimore in 1941.

      “When they came up in 1941, they moved into the McCullough Homes housing projects. My mom would go on to sue Western High School for girls when she was 12 so she could desegregate it when she was 15,” Jealous said.

    • Race For Maryland Governor Ramps Up As We Head Into Primary Election

      As the votes slowly start to trickle in before the polls fully open later this month, the race for Maryland governor ramps up.

      Six Democrats want the state’s top office.

      It’s a close race for the two leading candidates, and one of them just got a $1 million boost.

      It’s a tight race at the top of a crowded field of Democrats as they near the first hurdle in the gubernatorial election.

      A Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll shows only two candidates are polling in the double digits: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and former NAACP President Ben Jealous.

      They are tied at 16 percent of likely Democratic voters.


      “We keep organizing like we’re still the underdog, and we’re going to keep up the fight until we win,” Jealous said.

      Now, outside groups, including the Maryland Together We Rise PAC, are giving Jealous a $1 million boost.

    • Democratic candidates to be Maryland governor trade barbs during last televised debate

      The Democratic candidates for Maryland governor threw some verbal punches Thursday during the taping of their last televised forum before the June 26 primary.

      Lawyer James L. Shea didn’t wait for the first question to take aim at the two front-runners, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and former NAACP president Ben Jealous. During his opening statement, Shea suggested neither Baker nor Jealous can beat popular incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

      “If Rushern Baker is our nominee, Hogan will exploit the problems of the Prince George’s school system, including that his handpicked choice was forced to resign and the graduation rates were inflated,” Shea said. “If Ben Jealous is our nominee, Larry Hogan will portray him as a tax-and-spend Democrat.”

      Jealous piled on a few minutes later, saying “I agree with Jim Shea that if Baker goes up against Hogan, he just can’t win.”

      Baker found an opportunity later to repeat that argument and take a swipe back at Jealous, a first-time political candidate.

      “In an executive office — and I know how this runs — you have to lead,” Baker said. “You have to get out there and, yes, you have to be willing, Ben, to take on some tough hits if you’re going to change things.”

      Baker and Jealous are at the top of the crowded primary field, according to a Washington Post-
      University of Maryland poll released last week.

    • El-Sayed: To cut auto insurance rates, end ‘exploitation’

      Two weeks after Democrat Abdul El-Sayed launched his run for Michigan governor, his wife found out she was pregnant. Facing the prospect of his statewide campaign and her work schedule, they moved in with her parents to help raise the baby.

      The couple got an unexpected bonus when they moved from Detroit to Shelby Township: Their auto insurance rates “dropped thousands of dollars,” said El-Sayed, 33. “And we don’t drive fancy cars. I drive a Ford Focus.”

      Same drivers. Same cars. Different ZIP codes.

      “That’s just wrong,” El-Sayed told The Detroit News, outlining his plan to reduce auto insurance rates by prohibiting insurers from using non-driving factors to determine rates, creating a “Truth in Insurance Commission” to oversee the industry, capping hospital charges and restricting attorney access to accident reports.

      “The same driver shouldn’t pay different rates because they live in a different place, and that kind of red-lining by the insurance industry is exactly what’s wrong with the system,” he said. “It is a civil rights issue because the costs fall disproportionately on low-income folks and people of color.”

    • Key conservative presses for shield law after seizure of NYT reporter’s records

      The Justice Department’s seizure of a New York Times reporter’s private email and phone records has sparked one of President Trump’s top GOP allies in Congress to say he’ll aggressively pursue legislation to protect journalists.

      Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a possible candidate for Speaker, said the need for a federal media “shield” law is even more critical after the taking of reporter Ali Watkins’ records.

      The shield law he’s proposed would protect journalists from being forced by the government to turn over their records or sources, and is similar to a bill that had been co-authored by Vice President Mike Pence.

      “For me, it truly is about the Constitution,” Jordan, a former attorney, told The Hill in an interview.

    • AT&T announces it has completed acquisition of Time Warner

      AT&T announced Thursday evening that it has completed its acquisition of Time Warner, two days after a federal judge gave the telecommunication and entertainment giants the green light to go ahead with their $85 billion merger.

      “The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience,” AT&T’s chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

      U.S. District Judge Richard Leon announced the decision on Tuesday, delivering a blow to the Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ). The move gives AT&T control over channels such as CNN, HBO, TBS and TNT.

      Leon said that the DOJ did not demonstrate that the merger would hurt competition, and urged prosecutors to not to seek a stay ahead of the companies’ merger deadline on June 21, which he said would cause “irreparable harm” to the deal.

      The deal was initially announced in December 2016 and was immediately met with criticism from President Trump, who frequently criticizes CNN’s coverage.

      • More monopoly. I watch zero boob tube anymore unless hubby is home. If the rates get hiked ridiculously high (which they will), it will be back to broadcast antenna tube and innertubz. T and R, y’all!!

        • We are already there at our house. It’s not bad only having broadcast available made me spend less time in front of the boob tube. We live in a Rural area and there is no cable service willing to put wires out here. We had satellite from Dish for about 10 years but gave it up several years ago. My price ceiling was $50/month. I had to fight with them for many years to stay at that price but finally they said no and I said shut it off. We do have Verizon Fios phone and internet but can’t get television (yet). Verizon has refused to enter into a franchise agreement with out local town government. This agreement is required for television signal to come over the cable. Our town supervisor told me that he offered to sign “anything they put on his desk” and Verizon said no. The internet TV services like “youtube TV” work OK if you have high speed internet available.

          • JD and I cut cable quite a few years ago but somehow our bill ends up about the same regardless. You cut tv and you no longer qualify for a ‘bundle deal’ and then basic internet packages push triple digit prices. The one plus is that Time-Warner (aka ‘Spectrum’ in these parts now) did not have bandwidth caps… which I imagine will now be changing.

            • I would cut out tv in a heartbeat, I almost never turn it on.

              But, from everything I’ve heard, it probably wouldn’t bring the bill down because of, how you said, we then wouldn’t qualify for the bundle anymore. At least I get to see the one show I like (The Expanse).

          • If you have Wi-Fi you can get a Roku and Netflix for 11 bucks a month But prolly just as good to stay tv free.

      • I wonder if the Democratic party will get behind him.

        Anthony’s Republican opponent has raised far more money than Flaccavento and will most likely continue to boast that he’s a friend of coal. So I hope that Anthony will be able to effectively articulate his stance on coal.

        I also hope that Flaccavento gets in front of any efforts to paint him as a ‘gun grabber’ now that he bravely said he’d like to see a ban on gun bump stocks.

        I think the coal issue and the gun regulation issue will decide this race. His opponent has much more money than Flaccavento so will have a budget to demonize him on those issues.

        Here is Anthony’s stance on coal from his website. Other than the public/private investment part (always a yellow flag for me, so I need more detail on that) it sounds very good.

        Revitalizing our Coal Counties

        Families in Virginia’s coalfields have suffered an acute loss of jobs over the past few years, compounding a long-term trend of decline in the coal industry. I’ll work to promote the steel industry in the US so that markets for metallurgical coal remain strong and grow. At the same time, we’re long past due for a major, long-term, sustained investment in the coalfields of southwest Virginia and neighboring states, an investment to build a much more diversified economy that utilizes our natural resources sustainably.

        Some have called this a “Marshall Plan” for Appalachia. Whatever we might call it, this should include:
        •Immediate, substantial public and private investment to expand local businesses and manufacturers in order to create thousands of new jobs in the coalfields
        •Supporting the development of innovative manufacturing and new products and services that meet emerging markets and real needs, in energy efficiency, food production, health, renewable energy and more
        •Designing an Appalachian Homestead Act that puts land back into the hands of local farmers, businesses and others, increasing productivity and resilience
        •Working with UVA Wise, community colleges and others to build on and expand miners’ skills and knowledge to enable them to work in emerging new industries
        •Passage of the RECLAIM Act to simultaneously restore degraded strip mine land and create farms, businesses and jobs
        •Forging partnerships with conservation and environmental groups to create good livelihoods and get beyond the ‘war on coal’.

    • Endorsements reveal campaign focuses of Democrats running for NY-21 seat

      The Democratic candidates running in the June 26 primary to become the party’s 21st Congressional District candidate to challenge incumbent Elise Stefanik have sometimes struggled to distinguish themselves from each other. When it comes to endorsements, however, there are clear differences between candidates.

      Dylan J. Ratigan, Lake Placid, has received three labor endorsements, while other candidates have received none. Emily Martz, Saranac Lake, has received endorsements mostly from local elected officials, while Katie Wilson, Keene, has received several endorsements from national Democratic and progressive figures. Patrick Nelson, Stillwater, has been endorsed by several groups associated with the 2016 presidential bid by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Tedra Cobb, Canton, has secured the endorsement of the national Indivisible Project and Moms Demand Action.

      • Each of the five Democratic candidates agree on universal health care, but disagree on how to get there.

        Nelson and Martz support Medicare for All, while Wilson has endorsed Sen. Chris Murphy’s proposal for Medicare buy-in on an open exchange, which would provide a bridge to universal care, a measure the candidate called a “no brainer.”

        “This is something we can do now while we fight for a Medicare for All system,” Wilson said. “I’m a pragmatist, and we all know as a freshman member of Congress, there’s only so much you can do.”

        Hmmm, not sure that sounds like the sort of thing a supposed ‘working class fighter’ would say Katie.

        Nelson disagreed, arguing without the individual mandate, a buy-in system will result in a dumping ground for the poor and sick.

        “I don’t believe half measures are how we’re going to win and take office,” Nelson said. “It’s time for full-throated support for a Medicare for All system.”

        Cobb sounds indecisive. Not good, imo. He’s “open to listening” (eyeroll).

        Cobb called Obamacare a “travesty on many levels” and lashed Republicans for failing to hold health care hearings.

        The candidate often cites the need for “affordable and portable” coverage, and said Medicare for All is one possible option.

        “There may be a better plan. I don’t know. But I’m open to listening.”

        I’m not sure, either, exactly where Ratigan stands. He spends a lot of time railing against pretty much everything (although I sure do agree with him on the need for reform in the Dem party!).

        Ratigan said the two-party system leads to a misdirected sense of tribalism that should instead be directed at culling the influence of big government and corporations, an issue that transcends party lines.

        “It seems to be working well with our campaign volunteers, half of which are independents and Republicans right now,” he said.

        • From Katie Wilson’s web site:

          I believe that access to affordable healthcare is a human right.

          Toss the word “access” and I agree with you Katie.

          Bill McKibben is apparently impressed with Katie though, most probably due to her strong stance on environmental issues:

          I support an end to fossil fuel subsidies, keeping oil in the ground, and reviving the American economy through clean, green jobs that will lead us to a ‘100% renewables’ energy future.

          The word ‘environment’ only shows on Patrick Nelson’s web site once (! his web site is nowhere near as slick looking as Wilson’s) but it’s a link to a campaign appearance about climate change and preserving the environment. Nelson is actually a decent speaker. Strong, direct, clear, and eloquent.

          Skip to the 1:27min mark:

    • Dem senator: ‘Stop pretending’ law banning separation of migrant families is hard to pass

      Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said Thursday that Congress could easily fix the policy of separating migrant families at the border and could pass both chambers next week if proposed as stand-alone legislation.

      “Stop pretending that banning the separation of children from parents is complex legislation,” Schatz tweeted Thursday.

      He also outlined how lawmakers could change the language.

      “It’s ONE LINE, and it could pass ‘on suspension’ in the House on Monday, and by Unanimous Consent in the Senate on Tuesday. Attaching it to a bigger immigration bill is killing it,” Schatz wrote.

      • Not so unusual from a racist


        Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday used a Bible verse to defend his department’s policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border from Mexico, suggesting that God supports the government in separating immigrant parents from their children.

        “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”

        But the verse that Sessions cited, Romans 13, is an unusual choice.

        “There are two dominant places in American history when Romans 13 is invoked,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. “One is during the American Revolution [when] it was invoked by loyalists, those who opposed the American Revolution.”

        The other, Fea said, “is in the 1840s and 1850s, when Romans 13 is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong. I mean, this is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made.”


      One Sunday morning this spring, the Republican candidate stood in the pulpit of a cavernous Baptist megachurch off a dusty road outside of Charlotte, bellowing about bathrooms.

      “I’m here to tell you this morning that they can call it a new morality. They can call it the new normal,” thundered Mark Harris, a former Baptist pastor, referencing a fight over bathroom access for transgender people that tore this state apart two years ago. “But God has said it’s the same old sin” — his voice shook with emotion as the crowd’s applause began to drown him out —“and I’m going to stand on the … word of the living God.”

      Twelve miles away and one night earlier, the Democratic candidate stood in a lushly flowering backyard in a residential slice of Charlotte, taking a different kind of stand.

      “This is a calling I feel,” Dan McCready drawled to a well-heeled group of friends and potential supporters, using a phrase often employed by religious Christians, “to get off the sidelines and fight back for people who deserve better in North Carolina.”

      On paper, a socially conservative Republican should trounce just about any Democrat here in North Carolina’s Ninth District, which stretches from south suburban Charlotte east through more rural counties to the Fayetteville area. It went for President Donald Trump by nearly 12 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election and is a decades-long GOP stronghold.

      Yet like so many other typically Republican districts across the country, this year, it is very much in play.

      • will test the size of the democratic wave

        Um, I’m not sure about that. Maybe if you’re talking about the ‘wave’ of a certain kind of candidate that the ‘resist’ people prefer.

        Democratic consultant Dan McCorkle said a lot of Democrats see McCready as someone who could take the congressional seat.

        “We have a local guy who went to (Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools), was an Eagle Scout, a Marine . . . When a Democrat sees that it’s very attractive to us. We see Conor Lamb in him.”

        I wasn’t impressed that McCready called one of his primary opponents an asshole WHILE he was shaking his hand after a caucus forum on stage. That’s something that, well, an asshole would do. If you can’t take the heat…

        At the end of their caucus forum, McCready mouthed something to Cano as the two shook hands. Cano turned toward the audience at St. Luke Missionary Baptist church and said, “He just called me an a——.”

        Yes, Cano was very feisty and bombastic, but at least he’s not a phony. And at least he never donated to Republicans like McCready has.

        • Speaking of Conor Lamb, here’s a review of his voting thus far.

          One vote in particular jumped out at me. You may recall of the heat that Bernie Sanders has gotten, and still gets, for his vote on storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain?

          Yah, well, about that:

          H.R. 3053 is a bill to authorize the Department of Energy to resume a plan — halted under the Obama administration — to build the Yucca Mountain facility to store radioactive nuclear waste.

          How did Lamb vote?

          Lamb voted for the bill to restart the program, joining 221 Republicans and 119 members of his own party.

          But I’m sure you already heard about that vote as the chorus of dismay from all the #Resist accounts was deafening!

          Btw, if you hear any of the #Resisters attack Bernie on that again going forward, in addition to bring up Conor Lamb’s vote, feel free to share this link with them:

          Clinton fundraised with Yucca Mountain contractor

          But Clinton walked back promises to shutter the site during a swing through Nevada this summer, Jon Ralston reported Tuesday in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

          “[I]t is off the table based on what I know right now,” Clinton said of the nuclear dump.

          The former secretary of state fundraised at the home of a Yucca Mountain contractor in September. In addition, she has welcomed a number of bundlers who have actively pushed to keep the nuclear dump open.

    • Remembering Ed Sadlowski: Labor Activist, Democratic Socialist and Crusader for the Rank-and-File

      The labor movement, the left, and the city of Chicago lost an icon Sunday with the passing of legendary steelworker Ed Sadlowski at the age of 79.

      “When you think of Chicago and labor, you think of someone like Eddie,” Studs Terkel once remarked.

      Sadlowski was best known for his insurgent run for the presidency of the United Steelworkers (USW) in 1977, when he was 38 years old. Though largely forgotten today, Sadlowski’s “Steelworkers Fight Back” campaign captivated the nation, with Terkel saying it was more important than that year’s presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

      During the 1970s, a young, more diverse generation of workers, infused with a spirit of militancy not seen since the 1930s, challenged the leadership of out-of-touch union officials who tended to be more comfortable with the bosses than with the rank and file—a movement for union democracy that eventually led to the founding of the publication and organizing project Labor Notes. Sadlowski’s campaign was widely seen as a battle for the soul of the labor movement, pitting militant social justice unionism against complacent business unionism.

    • ‘It’s a Sea Change’ for Democratic Women in the Primaries

      ike a lot of liberal women, Katie Porter didn’t like what she was seeing in Washington. So the Southern California law professor decided to run for Congress to do something about it. In April 2017, the Democrat announced that she would challenge Republican incumbent Mimi Walters, who represents the 45th District in historically conservative Orange County.

      Porter, 44, is a consumer-protection attorney who co-authored a book with Senator Elizabeth Warren. But just a few days after she launched her campaign, a younger male colleague at the same law school-whom Porter helped land his job-got in the race too. He warned that she was too liberal to win. The California Democratic Party endorsed him over her.

      On June 5, Porter won the primary anyway, and in November, she’ll be on the midterm ballot in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 5 points. “People here are fired up,” Porter tells TIME. “If we want to stand up to Trump’s agenda, we need a Congresswoman who represents our values.”

      Her victory highlights a dominant theme of this year’s primary season. After running for office in record numbers, women are now winning Democratic nominations at a record rate. In Democratic primaries that have featured at least one woman and one man but no incumbent, women have won the most votes 71% of the time, according to Dave Wasserman, an analyst for the Cook Political Report, a Washington-based newsletter. The situation is different on the Republican side, where women have won 35% of those scenarios. In Democratic primaries, Wasserman has calculated a “gender bonus” of 15% for female candidates.

    • Garcia makes ‘dramatic tilt’ left in run for governor

      You can’t eat David Garcia.

      The curious saying stems from when the Democratic gubernatorial candidate served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army.

      Garcia and his Army cohorts were told by a commanding officer that their military handbook included the phrase, “you cannot eat another soldier.”

      Your fellow soldiers could get you killed, leave you in a foreign land or get you blown up, but they couldn’t cannibalize you, Garcia said at a June 7 fundraiser.

      Garcia, who ran for state superintendent of public instruction in 2014 and lost by about 16,000 votes, is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor this cycle.


      Well, because you can’t eat him – you can’t destroy him, you can’t get rid of him.

      Garcia’s gubernatorial campaign shares some similarities to his previous campaign mostly because he is just as vocal about the fight for public education as he was four years ago.

      But in his gubernatorial bid, Garcia is running to the left of where he was four years ago when, as the more mainstream candidate in the general election, he garnered some Republican support and a surprising endorsement from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

      Now, Garcia is occasionally compared to former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who lost to Hillary Clinton by double digits in Arizona — as he promises free college tuition, shuns big money and backs a ballot initiative that would boost taxes on Arizona’s top earners.

    • Tense debate among Democrats vying to face Republican Lee Zeldin

      Tensions flared among Democrats vying to take on GOP incumbent Lee Zeldin in the 1st Congressional District during a debate Thursday night in Setauket.

      Each of the five candidates in the June 26 Democratic primary made their cases before a packed Three Village Democratic Club.

      Candidate Vivian Viloria-Fisher, a former Suffolk legislator, said she would not back fellow candidate Kate Browning, also a former Suffolk legislator, if she wins the primary. Viloria-Fisher cited a mailer containing the Planned Parenthood logo sent by Browning that said she was the only candidate who passed progressive legislation.

      “I’m telling you I could support three of the candidates,” Viloria-Fisher said.

      As some in the audience hissed and said, “no!” Viloria-Fisher said: “I’m sorry, if you’re willing to accept someone who lies to you about another candidate, that’s your choice. But we have too much fake news and too much lying going on.”


      Earlier in the debate, David Pechefsky of Port Jefferson said fellow candidate Perry Gershon of East Hampton would face attacks in the general election. Zeldin, Pechefsky said, would label Gershon as “an out-of-touch rich guy whose career has been in banking.”

      Pechefsky said he could bring out young voters who traditionally don’t vote in midterm congressional elections by following the example of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and being an unapologetic progressive.

      Viloria-Fisher said she had her own record of progressive legislation, including battles with former County Executive Steve Levy over immigration.

      “You beat Lee Zeldin by being a true Democrat, by being a true progressive,” she said.

    • North Carolina becomes first state to adopt $15 minimum wage for state employees

      North Carolina has become the first state to adopt a $15 minimum wage for most of its state employees, The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro reported.

      The change was included in the state’s budget, which went into effect on Tuesday. State lawmakers had voted to overturn Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) veto of the budget.

      The new minimum wage means about 9,000 state workers will get a raise. The new minimum salary for full-time staffers clocks in at about $31,200 a year, the newspaper reported.

      The change applies to most jobs in state agencies and in the University of North Carolina system, but does not apply to temporary workers, or public school or community college employees who make less than $15 an hour.

      Robert Broome, the executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, told the Courier-Tribune that public school bus drivers, custodians and teaching assistants are largely excluded from the new minimum wage.

    • Disneyland $18 Minimum Wage Qualifies for Anaheim Ballot

      An initiative to raise the minimum wage at Disneyland to $18 an hour has obtained enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the city of Anaheim, Calif., said on Thursday.

      The initiative is part of a union-led campaign to focus attention on low-wage workers at the Disney theme park. On Thursday morning, a group of Disneyland employees marched to the park entrance to demand better salaries and working conditions under a new contract. Earlier this month, Senator Bernie Sanders headlined a rally in Anaheim at which he slammed Disney’s “greed” for allowing its workers to live in poverty.

      “I lived in my car for three months when I first started,” said Emily Bertola, who makes $11 an hour embroidering hats on Main Street, in an interview Thursday. “I was barely getting any hours, and our schedules are so sporadic from week to week that it made it hard to find a job elsewhere.”

      Disney recently offered to increase minimum wages for 9,500 employees to $15 by 2020. The statewide minimum wage is set to reach that level in 2022.

      Disneyland is the largest employer in Anaheim, with some 30,000 employees. Some workers argue that the company’s offer helps entry-level workers but does nothing for longer-term employees. They say that the park experiences high rates of turnover, as employees are not expected to last more than a few years.

      “Their message to us is, ‘If you can’t live off what we’re paying you, go find another job,” said Denise Anderson, a costumer who has worked at the park for 30 years, and makes $18 an hour. “They think there’s a line of people that want to work at Disneyland.”

      If approved by city voters, the ballot initiative would increase the minimum wage at Disneyland and nearby hotels that receive city subsidies. The minimum wage, currently $11 an hour, would jump to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019, and increase in $1 increments annually, reaching $18 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022. After that, it would increase by 2% per year or by the inflation index, whichever is greater.

    • San Francisco’s First Black Female Mayor Defies the Liberal Litmus Test

      London Breed officially became San Francisco’s first black female mayor Wednesday, surviving a bruising election and over a week of uncertainty after the polls closed, when Mark Leno conceded the race.

      The victory makes Breed the latest in what can seem like a national wave of black women running for and winning—or at least progressing toward—public office. These women—think relative newcomers like Stacey Abrams and Lucy McBath, but also veterans like Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Kamala Harris—have risen from stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party to active participants and symbols of the resistance, a phenomenon that’s markedly heightened with President Donald Trump in office. They also largely enjoy the broad support, financial and otherwise, of the left. Breed, though, is not exactly of the same type, at least in ultra-liberal San Francisco, and she certainly has not ascended to the status of Liberal Darling.

      In a state that’s deep blue, in a city of progressives, she’s considered a true moderate. But what exactly that means isn’t totally clear. In its endorsement of her back in April, the San Francisco Chronicle noted there wasn’t actually much of a difference between Breed and her opponents on policy issues; rather, she largely stood apart for “her willingness to listen to competing arguments and come up with adjustments that achieve a progressive ideal in a more workable and reasonable manner.”

      So if it’s true that San Francisco politics could provide one blueprint for how the Democratic Party nationally could lean harder into its more progressive tendencies, then Breed’s election is also a cautionary tale of the gap that still exists between white progressives and black voters. The post-2016 Democratic soul-searching has seen the party focus its energy on down-ballot races with many unabashedly progressive platforms. But San Francisco’s mayoral election shows that the left is still working through its racial anxieties.

      • Weird article. Breed was the establishment candidate backed by development interests. San Francisco’s is only 6% African American. Her election says nothing about the cautionary tale of the gap between white progressives and black voters. There really aren’t enough black voters there to make that much of a difference in an election. (Historically, it was much higher but San Francisco housing is pricing less wealthy people out.) The two more progressive candidates, Leno who is white (49% of San Francisco) and Kim who is Korean (Asians make up 33% of San Francisco—another 15% is Latino) split most of the rest of the vote. Even with ranked choice voting and Leno and Kim cross endorsing, Breed was able to just slip by Leno.

        In the article, this is what a progressive BLM organizer had to say about Breed

        Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter who spent a decade organizing black residents against redevelopment plans in the city’s Bayview neighborhood, sees this and Breed’s voting record pushing new development projects as big concerns—which is why Garza supported mayoral candidate Jane Kim instead.

        “As much as I love the idea of having a black woman in office, as much as I love the idea of this woman who grew up in the projects in Fillmore becoming the mayor in San Francisco,” she says, “I also really want a mayor who would govern in such a way that black people would be able to stay in their communities and not just communities that are ravaged by poverty and drugs, but communities that are thriving for black people.”

    • The Poor People’s Campaign Is Changing the Moral Narrative of Congress

      Activists are getting at least some members of Congress to listen to the real stories of poverty and injustice in America.


      CONGRESSPERSON JOE CROWLEY, D-N.Y., now seeking his 10th term, has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1999. It has been 14 years since Crowley has faced a primary challenge, which means he’s received the Democratic Party nomination automatically every two years since 2004.

      During that time, Crowley has risen to the top ranks of the party’s House leadership, becoming chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and has simultaneously consolidated his ironclad control over the Queens Democratic Party machine through increasing amounts of corporate donors, as well as his position as chair of the Queens Democratic Party.

      This power has earned him the name “king of Queens,” and he has become the classic New York machine boss, having obtained both his 1990s seat on the New York City Council and his seat in Congress through a combination of dynastic politics and machine favors. But for the people of the 14th Congressional District that Crowley represents — which covers parts of Queens and the Bronx and is 70 percent nonwhite — it means they have had no Democratic Party alternative in this Democratic safe district for more than a decade.

      All of that changed this year as a result of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose primary challenge against Crowley has sparked substantial excitement within her district and then media attention throughout the country. The 28-year-old educator, organizer for Bernie Sanders, and self-described democratic socialist of Puerto Rican heritage produced a video about her life and the reasons she’s running that went massively viral.

      Unseating an entrenched congressional incumbent is one of the hardest and rarest feats in U.S. politics — especially an incumbent with the funding and stature of Crowley. But Ocasio-Cortez’s blunt and defiant style — see, for example, her reaction to last night’s endorsement of Crowley by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as her stunningly unflinching denunciation of Israeli violence against unarmed Gazans last month — combined with the obvious seriousness she brings to political organizing, has made many believe that she can pose a genuine threat to Crowley’s seat.

    • 4 things to watch at Texas Republican and Democratic party conventions

      Several thousand Texans will descend on San Antonio and Fort Worth for the biennial Republican and Democratic conventions to hear from the state’s most prominent politicians, adopt new platforms and elect party leaders.

      Republicans, who are meeting this week, will participate in the “most bottom-up, grassroots-driven political party organization in the country — bar none,” said Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey.

      emocrats will meet the following week, and party leaders say they hope to showcase a united front ahead of what’s expected to be a tumultuous general election in which many are predicting Democrats will make gains nationwide. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.

      “The party is going to be extremely unified in supporting all of its candidates,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. “I think you’ll see the convention spending a lot of time showcasing these candidates … that we believe have a fighting chance of breaking that ceiling we’ve been up against for the last 25 years.”

      The conventions this summer are almost certain to highlight rubs between the two parties. Here are four things to keep an eye on as both affairs play out this month.


      Dueling factions

      On the Democratic side, the party’s Clinton/Sanders divide played out in several of this year’s primary races, most prominently in the state’s 7th Congressional District where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actively tried to block Laura Moser from winning the nomination by releasing opposition research on her. Though Moser ultimately lost in a runoff to Lizzie Fletcher, who the DCCC preferred, the controversy put a national spotlight on the race and could prompt discussions among the party faithful in Fort Worth.

    • Democrats tout progressive values during gubernatorial forum

      Two of the three Democratic candidates running for Michigan governor spoke at a recent local event about their campaigns based on issues that include health care, auto insurance, climate change, mental health and recreational marijuana legalization.

      Abdul El-Sayed, a former health director in Detroit, and Shri Thanedar, a former businessman, discussed those topics and more June 11 at the MRCC Banquet and Convention Center in Warren. The forum was sponsored by the Warren Area Democratic Club, in conjunction with the Sterling Heights Democratic Club and the South Central Macomb Democratic Club.

      The other Democrat running for Gov. Rick Snyder’s soon-to-be-vacant seat is former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, who did not attend the forum.

      The primary election will take place Aug. 7. The top Democrat vote-getter will become the party’s nominee for the general election in November. For a recap of a recent local forum featuring Republican candidates for governor, check out our website at http://www.candgnews.com.

      Spokespersons for the local Democratic clubs asked their own questions to El-Sayed and Thanedar, along with questions posed from audience members. Each candidate was allotted approximately three minutes to speak, including opening and closing statements. Neither of the candidates mentioned the other by name.

    • 28-Year-Old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Pushing For Millennials’ Future Through Politics

      There are a host of things that set Alexandria, a native Bronxite, apart from your run-of-the-mill House candidate. For starters, she’s probably the only candidate in a House race who still gets carded at bars. And it’s not hard to see why: with a vibrant smile and energetic, high-toned voice, her youthfulness is overwhelmingly obvious. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though only 28 years old, isn’t one to be underestimated. As a first-time candidate in the 2018 midterm elections, she’s looking to unseat one the nation’s most powerful Democratic incumbents.

      A community organizer, Ocasio-Cortez’s résumé includes working on economic policy, organizing for Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and serving as an educational director for high school-age youth. She studied economics and international relations, and lists economic reforms, Medicare, health care, immigration rights, and climate change among her priorities should she get to office.

      While other twenty-somethings might be out grabbing dinner with friends after work, Ocasio-Cortez would change into an extra set of clothes and set out canvassing. “I started my campaign out of a Trader Joe’s bag with a bunch of printed palm cards and an idea,” she tells me in an interview for Elite Daily. “I did that for five months.”

      Ocasio-Cortez had just turned eight when Democrat Joe Crowley was selected to represent New York’s 7th district in 1998. At the time, the area encompassed parts of the Bronx and Queens, but thanks to a redistricting in 2012, the district is now New York’s 14th. Now, 20 years later, she’s threatening to unseat the man who’s represented the district since she was a child.

    • Sanders’ Statement On National Guard Deployment

      “I wish all the best to the men and women of Charlie Company as they begin their deployment today. As an air ambulance unit, they have the critical mission of putting their own lives on the line to save others. They leave behind family members, friends and coworkers who will miss them and who will carry a heavier load in their absence. As Vermonters, we must come together to lighten that load, not just through kind offers, but through real action: cooking a meal, mowing a lawn, checking in on an aging parent or taking a child out for ice cream. I am proud to know that the Vermont Guard Outreach Program staff stand at the ready in every corner of our state to make sure our Guard families have everything they need before, during and after deployments like this one.”

      • To give some context:

        • That’s horrible!!!!!

          My twitter account got suspended while I was researching this. They said it was temporary and I jumped through all the ‘verify’ hoops, but I still can’t get in. I’m sure it’s a total coincidence though.

      • Charlie Company is an air ambulance company and flies medical evacuations. Eighteen members went to the United States Virgin Islands to provide support after hurricanes Maria and Irma last fall.

        They’ve saved nearly 1,500 lives, Lewandowski said. The company has flown medical evacuations in Bosnia and Iraq.

        I’m still not clear why National Guard members are going overseas though.

    • These Detroit filmmakers are helping promote progressive candidates around the country

      Nick Hayes says it was the reek of plastic chemicals that first made him question what he was doing with his life. It was three years ago, and the scent had permeated a Lansing area plant where Hayes was shooting a commercial.

      “I remember thinking that I only had to be there for a few hours but the workers had to come everyday and work in those conditions,” he says. “I thought, ‘Why am I spending any time trying to help them sell more styrofoam.’”

      Then there was last summer’s commercial shoot for a beer company. A Los Angeles director had “parachuted” into Detroit, rounded up some local artists, and used their stories to portray an authentic, cool city on the come up, in an effort, ultimately, to align the beer brand with those traits.

      “Using people’s personal stories to sell alcohol felt like a low,” he recalls.

      Soon after, Hayes, a socialist and member of the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, quit doing work he found morally objectionable and started pursuing projects that could help spur the change he wished to see in the world.

      His partner, Naomi Burton, would soon take a similar leap. Burton, also a socialist and DSA member, had spent years working in corporate communications, but quit her high-paying job after going through what she’s described as a political awakening.

      “When you come to that moment of clarity when you just see capitalism as oppressing everything and everyone, standing around the water cooler feels and is kind of devoid of meaning,” Burton told us for a February cover story on the Greater Detroit DSA.

    • Trump administration makes site selection for tent city near El Paso to house immigrant children separated from parents

      The Trump administration has selected Tornillo Land Point of Entry, a crossing point along the Texas-Mexico border near El Paso, as the site of its first temporary shelter for immigrant children separated from their parents under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

      The department chose the site in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, according to the spokesperson. The federal government will erect tents at the site to house immigrant children whose parents are facing prosecution for crossing the border illegally. Under the new “zero tolerance” policy, which U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in April, thousands of children have been separated from their parents at the border and have quickly filled Texas shelters.

      The Tornillo site will take in 360 children in the coming days and expand from there, according to the department spokesperson.

      Temperatures in the area have hovered around 100 degrees; the department spokesperson said the tents will be air-conditioned.

    • Indigenous Taiwanese, seeking rights to ancestral lands, set up camp in Taipei city park

      Taipei’s Peace Memorial Park is an oasis of calm in the bustling city, home to morning walkers and lunchtime strollers — along with a camp of indigenous protesters demanding justice.

      For several months, the small group has lived in tents in a corner of the park, with a makeshift kitchen and a cluster of painted rocks, photographs and posters tracing the history of Taiwan’s indigenous people and their fight for land rights.

      They want the repeal of regulation, announced last year, that they say denies their right to ancestral land.

      The guidelines are on the delineation of traditional territory and its return to indigenous people. But they are limited to state-owned land and do not include private land — which the group says denies them a sizable piece of territory.

      “We have been betrayed by the government,” said Panai Kusui, an indigenous leader and singer. “We are the original inhabitants of this island, the collective custodians of all land before the concept of public land and private land. This regulation denies us what is rightfully ours.”

      Taiwan’s indigenous people make up about 2 percent of its 23.5 million people, and they have long suffered marginalization that has left them poorer, less educated and with a higher percentage without jobs than their Chinese counterparts.

      In an unprecedented move, newly elected President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016 apologized to the indigenous people for “centuries of pain and mistreatment” and promised to improve their lives.

    • These photos remind us that the indigenous lives of Standing Rock matter

      In April 2016, protests began at Standing Rock for the protection of Indigenous land, soon to be destroyed by colonial industrialisation in the form of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was a moment that deeply shook humanity as reverberations of protests were felt around the world. People came from all over to join forces and many took to social media to show solidarity with Indigenous American communities. But over two years on from start of the events at Standing Rock, what is being done now to continue conversations around the happenings of the Dakota Access Pipeline and Indigenous rights in America?

      Photographer Josué Rivas believes photography can continue the proliferation of these stories, and intends to use his photo book, Standing Strong, – a set of black and white portraits from seven-months spent at Standing Rock – to do so. Taken from an Indigenous perspective, the book beams with authenticity and focuses on the spiritual moments of a time where Indigenous communities from all over America joined forces to protect their land.

      The winner of the FotoEvidence 2018, Standing Strong is a reminder that despite the decline in media hype, the pipeline is still an issue that deeply affects many lives. For example, three water protectors are facing potential sentencing for their protesting, including one man who could face up to 32 months in jail. Rivas’ work stands in solidarity for these people and urges anyone who bears witness to its images to do the same.

      Beyond just addressing Standing Rock, Standing Strong works as a means for progressing the existence of Indigenous creatives and the opportunities available for them. Alongside the book, Rivas has set up a database called Natives Photographs that gathers a diverse group of photographers working in North America who people can request when trying to get assignments from Indigenous people.

      To celebrate Rivas’ FotoEvidence award, below he recounts why Standing Rock shook the world, and why it needs to continue doing so:

    • You don’t really know who Bernie Sanders was in the 1960s. Why it mattered then and why it matters in 2018.

      I reject this idea that who Bernie Sanders was in the 1960s is irrelevant. Who you are and what you do, what you fought for, and who and what you fought against, is always relevant. Twenty and thirty and forty years from now, when people step up to lead, and run for office, what they did and where they were during the Black Lives Matter Movement will mean something. If what Bernie did in the sixties doesn’t matter now, then what you are doing right now doesn’t matter. But you and I know it does.

      Dr. King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

      Just a teenager, Bernie Sanders moved from his hometown of Brooklyn to Chicago at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. It was the most tumultuous and challenging time this nation had faced since the Civil War a hundred years earlier.

      And most Americans, particularly most white Americans, remained silent. It was that silence, in the face of lynching, in the face of water hoses, in the face of bombings of homes and churches, in the face of assassinations, in the face of attack dogs being released on children, it was white silence that broke the heart of Dr. King as he languished in a Birmingham jail (read his letter here). It was that silence that he found told us more about the soul of America than the brutality and evil of this place.

      Bernie loved Dr. King. And long before we used the phrase, Bernie had the notion that he needed to use his own white privilege to fight back against racism and bigotry and oppression and inequality.

      • The baroness’ cheerleaders no doubt will be dismissive of it, but in a crickets way.

        • I’m not sure that “dismissive” is exactly how I’d characterize the explosion I witnessed this morning. (wow, it was crazy!)

          Even Soledad O’Brien jumped in to stir the toxic brew that is the 24/7 poison of the “baroness’ cheerleaders”.

          Briahna Grace Joy tried to stem the flow of invective, but she was largely helpless against the onslaught. But @briebriejoy is indefatigable so here she is posting some info on how it is not just Bernie who is somewhat recently realizing the terrible effects of the cash bail system.

    • How Bernie Sanders Evolved on Criminal Justice Reform by Shaun King

      How Bernie Sanders Evolved on Criminal Justice Reform

    • I do believe I’ve mentioned my own story of dna tests giving conflicting results on my own native heritage, that I know quite certain is infact there.

      After dog DNA debacle, Indigenous researcher says ancestry testing is ‘stupid science’

      A suspected Indian status scam that told a man he shared genetic ancestry with a dog should serve as a reminder of the perils of DNA testing for Indigenous ancestry, says an Edmonton researcher.

      Kim TallBear, the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Environment, said she has long been wary of DNA testing for Indigenous heritage.

      DNA testing may be the future of genealogy, but it should not define a person’s Indigenous identity, the University of Alberta scholar said Thursday in an interview on CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

      People excited to learn about their roots won’t find all the answers they’re looking for inside a test tube, TallBear cautioned.

      “I don’t want to help them make money doing what I think is stupid science,” said the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science.

      “It’s not that it’s bad science but I don’t think it should inform how we identify as Native people.”

      Viaguard’s DNA testing determined Snoopy has 20 per cent Indigenous ancestry — 12 per cent Abenaki and eight per cent Mohawk. (Louis Côté)
      The latest controversy around DNA testing follows a CBC News investigation out of Quebec.

      Suspicious of Toronto-based laboratory Viaguard Accu-Metrics, Louis Côté sent in his DNA for analysis along with a swab from his girlfriend’s pet chihuahua.

      When the tests came back, the results indicated both man and dog shared the same 20-per-cent Indigenous ancestry.

    • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/14/mike-pence-lgbtq-dance-party-columbus-ohio

      Mike Pence is going to a drag show on Friday. It’s not listed on his official itinerary for the trip, but when he arrives in Columbus, Ohio, he’ll be greeted by drag queens, soundsystems and hundreds of LGBT revellers.

      The delightfully festive crossover comes as the US vice-president is set to speak at an event being held by at the controversial pro-Trump non-profit America First Policies, just as Pride weekend in Columbus kicks off. To commemorate the visit, the LGBT community has decided to throw him a party outside the downtown hotel where he’s speaking. In tow will be a dozen drag performers, two DJs, and speeches from politicians like Rick Neal, the gay Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 15th US congressional district.

      The Welcome Mike Pence: Big LGBTQ Dance Party was launched on a whim on Facebook on Monday of this week, Jay Smith, one of the organizers of the event explained, and in a few days it has snowballed beyond anything he imagined. Nearly 2,000 have expressed interest on the Facebook page. Apparently a lot of people want to see Mike Pence dance to Robyn.

    • https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/15/police-pro-trump-berkeley-leftwing-activists-court-case

      A pro-Trump demonstrator who admitted hitting protesters at a far-right rally received help and support from California police, who worked with him to prosecute leftwing activists, records show.

      Documents and testimony in a trial surrounding a rightwing demonstration in Berkeley reveal that police and prosecutors pursued charges on behalf of Daniel Quillinan, a conservative activist who has posted fascist memes and came to the event with Kyle Chapman, now a celebrated figure amongst the “alt-right”. The authorities consistently treated Quillinan as a victim even though he was visibly armed with a knife, a wooden “shield” and a “flagpole” – and had told law enforcement that he “hit someone in the head”, according to court files.

      The resulting criminal trial against five anti-fascist protesters – who are accused of assaulting Quillinan during a roughly 15-second altercation – is, according to activists, the latest example of US law enforcement aggressively targeting leftwing demonstrators and favoring members of the far-right after violent clashes. In another California case, police have worked directly with neo-Nazis to go after counter-protesters, including a black activist stabbed at a white supremacist rally.

    • https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/trump-thought-north-korea-state-tv-was-even-better-than-fox.html

      Trump has expressed admiration for dictators in the past, and since meeting Kim he hasn’t stopped fawning over his “rough” and “tough” treatment of his people, even if it involves some murder. The two sources recalled that while in Singapore, Trump marveled at how “tough” Kim’s guards seemed. He also joked that his own quasi-state TV is no match for the real deal:

      At one point, after watching North Korean television, which is entirely state-run, the president talked about how positive the female North Korean news anchor was toward Kim, according to two people familiar with his remarks. He joked that even the administration-friendly Fox News was not as lavish in its praise as the state TV anchor, one of the people added, and that maybe she should get a job on U.S. television, instead.

      So rather than Trump showing Kim the benefits of peaceful engagement with the rest of the world, Trump learned a bit more about what dictatorship has to offer.

    • https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/the-disastrous-legal-implications-of-the-trump-foundations-activities/562895/

      The law governing the activity of charitable organizations can be complex, but on the question of whether 501(c)(3) charities can engage in political activity, it could not be more straightforward. They cannot. The IRS enforces an “absolute” prohibition on any intervention in political campaigns.

      Whether such an intervention has occurred depends on the facts and circumstances, and sometimes there are close calls. None of those close calls are reflected in the New York attorney general’s complaint against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which tells the tale of a relationship between a charity and a political campaign that flouts in every conceivable way the legal prohibition on 501(c)(3) campaign activity.

      Most ominous for Trump is the attorney general’s conclusion that “Mr. Trump’s wrongful use of the Foundation to benefit his Campaign was willful and knowing.” It is ironic, and highly damaging to Trump, that he made an issue in his campaign about the federal prohibition on tax-exempt involvement in campaigns. He committed that he would act, if elected, to repeal it. It appears that he and his campaign neglected to await repeal and simply declined to comply with it. In any event, his stated awareness of the law, together with his repeated execution of tax forms for the Foundation “in which he attested that the Foundation … did not carry out political activity,” puts him at severe risk of “willful and knowing” liability. As “foundation managers” under the law, Trump and his children are exposed to personal liability if they gave knowing and willful consent to the charity’s illegal expenditures. They could face similar consequences—that is, personal liability—in the event, however unlikely, that the FEC takes meaningful enforcement action.

      • https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/06/trump-foundation-lawsuit

        According to the suit filed by Underwood, who took over the A.G.’s office after her predecessor, Eric Schneiderman, resigned over abuse allegations, the Trump Foundation “was little more than a checkbook for payments to not-for-profits from Mr. Trump or the Trump Organization.” Here’s a taste of the allegations regarding how the family charity misappropriated its funds:

        $5,000 was used to advertise Trump Hotels;

        $10,000 was spent on a portrait of the president, later found on display at the the sports bar at Trump’s Doral golf resort;

        $100,000 was allegedly used to settle a legal dispute with the city of Palm Beach, which Trump resolved by contributing the amount to the Fisher House Foundation;

        $258,000 was allegedly used to settle lawsuits against Trump and his businesses, including $158,000 paid to a man named Martin Greenberg, who sued the Trump National Golf Club after it failed to pay him a promised $1 million for scoring a hole-in-one at a charity golf tournament.

        On that last point, the suit helpfully includes a large photocopy of a note, written in Trump’s signature style, explicitly directing his staff to use the charity’s money to fix his legal problem:

    • well

      He worked for some years as an aid to Bernie in the senate

      He worked on the presidential run of Bernie

      He is now in a econ think tank and his big issue is monopoly

      Here is info from Open Markets Institute where he now resides

      Matt Stoller
      Matt Stoller is a Fellow at the Open Markets Institute. He is writing a book on monopoly power in the 20th century for Simon and Schuster. Previously, he was a Senior Policy Advisor and Budget Analyst to the Senate Budget Committee. He also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on financial services policy, including Dodd-Frank, the Federal Reserve, and the foreclosure crisis. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic, Vice, and Salon. He was a producer for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, and served as a writer and actor on the short-lived FX television series Brand X with Russell Brand. You can follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.

      I did a little more searching – from 2015

      Bernie Sanders remakes Budget Committee in his image

      Stoller, who most recently held a similar job under liberal firebrand Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, rose to prominence during the Bush era as a widely read progressive blogger and has gone on to have a varied career in politics and media. That included stints producing for msnbc’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show” and co-starring in the first season of FX’s “Brand X with Russell Brand” as the British actor’s political analyst.

      During his several years working with Grayson, Stoller worked on legislation to audit and reform the Federal Reserve, along with bills that dealt with foreclosure fraud and financial reform.

      Sanders, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential bid, will become ranking member of the Budget Committee when Congress reconvenes Tuesday.


      I didn’t find a reference to the role of Stoller on Bernie’s campaign, but that is not really the point of this comment which is to bring his name up to watch out for his work in the future.

      Here is something else I found


      It’s fortuitous that Matt Stoller’s How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul appeared around the same time as Tom Hayden’s death was announced. Stoller’s piece is essentially a retrospective of the new left and a critique of its failure to develop an alliance with pre-existing strains of domestic working class radicalism. This, Stoller suggests, should have formed the basis for the left to consolidate power in the years to follow but did not.

      later in the article published Oct 2016

      While it (oddly) doesn’t mention it, Stoller’s critique shares substantial common ground with that of Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal which also focusses on the McGovernite rejection of the New Deal alliance. While both critiques are well taken, the problem is that both view the New Deal alliance through excessively rose colored glasses. In Frank’s case, as I noted in my review of Listen Liberal, the problem is his failure to view critically, or even mention, the deeply reactionary and dysfunctional character of the labor unions which the McGovern coalition sought to displace within the Democratic Party. For Stoller, the blind spot resides in not recognizing the reactionary aspects of populism, most conspicuously its providing a foundation for the maintenance of Jim Crow in the South as well as its co-optation into supporting the national security state and its attendant anti-communist purges and military adventurism. Patman himself (as I well remember) opposed landmark civil rights legislation and supported Johnson’s genocidal policies in Vietnam. None of this is mentioned by Stoller except for vague allusions to the new left’s discomfort with the “hawks”.

      Maybe significantly, similar tendencies are to some extent reflected within Stoller’s political trajectory. This began with his being an advisor to the aborted campaign of General Wesley Clark who was being promoted by Michael Moore and other liberals as a candidate of the left in 2004. The left, aware of Clark’s record for aggressive militarism in Kosovo wasn’t buying the claims for him as a peace candidate and Stoller has since moved on to better things. (Stoller does not take kindly to being reminded of this, incidentally, as I myself discovered).

      Interestingly the same blind spot is apparent in the political orientation of Stoller’s current employer, Bernie Sanders, arguably a Wright Patman resurrected for the new century. Reliably populist on economic issues, a scourge of the banks and Wall Street, Sanders has relatively little to say on the destructive effects of bloated military budgets and military interventionism. That this will necessary prevent his ambitious domestic program from being enacted presents a paradox which will need to be reconciled at some point. While Stoller’s article is very much worth reading, it gives little indication of how this will be accomplished.

      Hopefully, sooner or later the question will be answered eventually and no longer pushed under the rug.

      • x

      • Started with Matt Stoller’s article on the musical Hamilton and it was so long with the material above that one had to click on “more” on the bottom to get all of it. This was the second part of the comment and it does not have the block quote in it. Am now doing the way too long comment in these several parts

      • Stoller on propaganda piece

        The Hamilton Hustle
        Why liberals have embraced our most dangerously reactionary founder

        Long article from 2017. Last time I put in last 5 paragraphs, now fewer so it will not need to click on MORE to get the format.

        Hamilton had tremendous courage, insight, and brilliance. He is an important Founder, and not just because he structured early American finance. His life sheds light on some deep-rooted anti-democratic forces that have always existed in America, and in particular, on Wall Street. Much of the far-reaching contemporary Hamilton PR offensive is connected to the Gilder Lehman Institute, which is financed by bankers who back the right-wing Club for Growth and American Enterprise Institute (and support Hamilton’s beloved gold standard). Robert Rubin in 2004 started the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which laid out the framework for the Obama administration’s financial policies. Chernow has made millions on books fawning over J. P. Morgan, the Warburg financial family, and John D. Rockefeller. And thanks largely to the runaway success of Hamilton the musical, Chernow is now, bizarrely, regarded as a court historian of American democracy in the mold of Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

        One of Hamilton’s biggest fans is Tim Geithner, the man who presided over the financial crisis and the gargantuan bank bailouts during the Obama presidency. In his 2014 memoir, Stress Test, Geithner wrote admiringly of Hamilton as the “original Mr. Bailout,” and said that “we were going to deploy federal resources in ways Hamilton never imagined, but given his advocacy for executive power and a strong financial system, I had to believe he would have approved.” He argues this was a financial policy decision. In doing so, he evades the pronounced anti-democratic impulses underlying the response to the financial crisis.

        • making sure get the last 5 paragraphs, 2 above, now the last 3

          As economist Simon Johnson pointed out in a 2009 essay in The Atlantic titled “The Quiet Coup,” what the bailouts truly represented was the seizure of political power by a small group of American financiers. Just as in the founding era, we saw a massive foreclosure crisis and the evisceration of the main source of middle class wealth. A bailout, similar to one that created the national debt, ensured that wealth would be concentrated in the hands of a small group. The Citizens United decision and the ever-increasing importance of money in politics have strong parallels to the property disenfranchisement along class lines that occurred in the post-Revolutionary period. Just as turnout fell to record lows in much of the country in 2014, turnout collapsed after the rebellions were put down. And in another parallel, Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out across the country were evicted by armed guards—a martial response coordinated by banks, the federal government, and many Democratic mayors.

          The Obama era looks like an echo of the Federalist power grabs of the 1780s and 1790s, both in its enrichment and glorification of financial elites and its open disdain for anything resembling true economic democracy. The Obama political elite, in other words, celebrates Hamilton not in spite of Hamilton’s anti-democratic tendencies, but because of them.

          Set in contrast to the actual life and career of its subject, the play Hamilton is a feat of political alchemy—as is the stunningly successful marketing campaign surrounding it. But our generation’s version of Hamilton adulation isn’t all that different from the version that took hold in the 1920s: it’s designed to subvert democracy by helping the professional class to associate the rise of finance with the greatness of America, instead of seeing in that financial infrastructure the seeds of a dangerous authoritarian tradition.

          In 1925, Franklin Roosevelt asked whether there might yet be a Jefferson to lead the forces of democracy against Hamilton’s money power. Perhaps someone—maybe Elizabeth Warren, who pointed out on PBS that Hamilton was a plutocrat—is asking that question again. That said, Hamilton is a great musical. The songs are catchy. The lyrics are beautiful. But the agenda is hidden, because in America, no political leader, not even Donald Trump, can credibly come right out and pronounce democracy a bad thing and agitate for rule by big finance. And the reason for that is that Alexander Hamilton, despite his success in structuring Wall Street, lost the battle against American democracy. Thank God for that.

    • More evil from Mr. Evil


      On Monday, Sessions reversed an immigration court’s ruling that granted asylum to a woman from El Salvador whose husband had repeatedly abused her physically, sexually, and emotionally. The court ruled in 2014 that domestic violence victims constitute a social group when it comes to asylum considerations. But in a 31-page ruling with profound implications for immigration policy, Sessions wrote that “generally” claims on domestic and gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum and will not even reach the initial “credible fear” standard to allow an immigrant to have her asylum claim heard by a judge. Victims of domestic and gang violence, in other words, won’t even be able to have their claims for asylum heard.

      The effect of Sessions’s ruling could be sweeping and immediate. Immigration attorneys have said this decision could invalidate tens of thousands of pending asylum claims from women fleeing domestic and gang violence, which often intersect, in Central America and Mexico.

      Sessions reasoned that, as victims of “private criminal activity” perpetrated by nongovernmental actors, these asylum seekers fail to meet the legal standard to be considered asylees. Yet in conjuring the legal category of “private” crime — which has no legal meaning — Sessions and his Justice Department rejected the idea that epidemic levels of domestic violence put women in the societal position of a persecuted group. It is the very sort of logic — framing gendered violence as a private, rather than a systematic, human rights issue — that has enabled centuries of domestic abuse without any accountability.

      “His claim that this is a ‘private crime’ is a return to a misogynist framework that assesses women as property,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a human and civil rights legal organization, told me. She said that under Sessions’s determinations, “Crimes against women as chattel by the masters of a household or relationship thus are not human rights violations, but just ‘personal circumstances.’”

    • Trade wars everywhere! China, the EU, and Canada are smartly targeting areas where a Trump supporters will feel the pinch.


      China announced retaliatory tariffs designed to hit President Trump’s supporters in farm states and the industrial Midwest. The measures, announced barely an hour after the White House went ahead with 25 percent import tax on $50 billion of Chinese imports to the United States, brought the world’s two biggest economies closer to the tit-for-tat trade war that business leaders and Republicans in Congress fear.

      • This is actually one area where I like Trump because i believe the lack of tariffs is why its so easy for the multinationals to ship our jobs overseas, labor will always be cheaper in 2nd-3rd world nations and without tariffs to protect a 1st world economy, its always going to lose jobs like we have been doing for decades now.

    • http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-nowrasteh-immigration-bill-20180615-story.html

      After much Republican intraparty wrangling, Speaker Paul D. Ryan just agreed to bring two bills to the floor of the House of Representatives.

      He released one of those bills Thursday. The other has been kicking around Washington for a while: the Securing America’s Future Act. The White House supported an earlier version of it, stating that it “would accomplish the President’s core priorities for the American people.” The problem is that even if the SAF Act doesn’t pass, its draconian cuts to immigration will be the Republican starting point for all future negotiations.

      It’s misleading to even call the SAF Act an immigration bill. As a matter of rhetoric, it’s an anti-immigration piece of legislation. If a Democratic politician sponsored a bill to cut legal gun ownership by 40%, Republicans would rightly call it an anti-gun bill. The same rules ought to apply here.

      Even if that sorry history doesn’t repeat itself, the SAF Act is still the worst immigration bill introduced in almost a century. Republican hardliners say it’s a compromise — helping out Dreamers in return for more border security. It’s not. It’s a strategy for deporting Dreamers over a longer period of time while cutting legal immigration in half, canceling the applications of those who have patiently waited for a green card, and wasting $124 billion.

    • 🙂

    • That Bernie Sanders CIA Guy Running for Congress From Woodstock

      Trump’s success in upstate New York is a product of America’s own version of sectarianism. Ranging from the Hudson River valley to west of the Catskills, New York 19 encompasses some of the most liberal places in America, along with some of the most pro-Trump places in America. It is farm country and the Rust Belt, split essentially evenly between Democrats, Republicans, and independents ever since a 2001 redistricting expanded the territory northward. The rural poor live alongside the empty second homes of rich, city folk; casinos and racetracks are hard by religious fundamentalist enclaves; artists and gun nuts populate the emerald hills. As Beals likes to point out: “The trends here are ones that are hitting this country across the board.”

      New York 19 is a bellwether for Democrats because it is both a microcosm of America and an eminently winnable toss-up district: Obama prevailed by eight and 6.5 points here in his presidential campaigns, and there is no reason people in liberal hotbeds like Woodstock, Kingston, and New Paltz are doomed to Republican congressional representation, especially in an era of supposedly incompetent and unpopular GOP governance. If the Democrats can’t win New York 19 with Trump as president, the party’s problems, whatever they may be, are even worse than they look.

      Meeting this urgent challenge is a field of first-time campaigners, many of whom appear to represent one of the prevailing theories of what the opposition party needs in this day and age. There is Antonio Delgado, a heavy spender once thought to be the Democratic primary’s front-runner—if only because of his plentiful TV ads and lawn signs—is a Rhodes scholar and a longtime litigator with a white-shoe law firm. Pat Ryan is an executive for various obscure tech companies and a West Point grad who did two tours in Iraq. Meanwhile, Gareth Rhodes was Gov. Cuomo’s deputy press secretary from 2011 to 2015. Just two of the candidates were eligible to vote in the last congressional election in New York 19; Beals is one of them, and he only moved to Woodstock in 2016, where he began teaching in a private school. There are likely to be just 20-25,000 voters in the June 26 primary; there has been no reliable polling, and in a large field of unfamiliar names nearly anyone is a plausible winner. “Today I can tell you I have no idea who’s going to win,” Spotlight 19 podcast host and leading Democratic primary expert Sajaa Tracy told me in late May, noting that 3,000 votes could be enough to carry the primary. Two weeks later, a New York Times report on the race treated it as a seven-way toss-up.

      Beals has attracted the attention of his would-be general election opponent. On June 6, Faso tweeted, “@RollingStone and @SusanSarandon may be embracing @JeffBealsNY19‘s Bernie Sanders-like single payer healthcare scheme, but NY voters won’t! They don’t want government in charge of their healthcare, nor do they want trillions in new taxes!,” referring to a May 16th Matt Taibbi-authored profile of Beals and his district, along with the person who is by far the candidate’s most famous backer. Faso’s tweet and an accompanying press release paint Beals as a second Zephyr Teachout: An out-of-touch lefty elitist beloved outside of the district but aloof from its people and their lives. It is a line of attack that worked the last time around, but the fact Faso is even going after Beals weeks before the primary suggests the incumbent detects danger in a potential matchup. Beals is young, experienced, and totally disconnected from Democratic Party politics, making him free to tack as far to the left as he wants to. In pitting a Bernieite against a Trumpian populist, New York 19 could turn out to be a measurement of how and whether the political winds have shifted since 2016.

      • I understand some progressives being hesitant to embrace a former CIA official but I really quite like Beals, his platform, and his campaign thus far so I hope he continues to gain support and press and I can eventually be proven right/wrong by his actions in congress.

        • At 14,000 population, Oneonta is the second largest city in NY19

          Mayor Gary Herzig Endorses Jeff Beals For NY-19 Primary

          “Jeff Beals is the tough, experienced progressive we need to take on John Faso in the fall,” Herzig declared. “He stands out in this race with a bold progressive agenda and the government background to make change happen. He will win this race, and I stand with him and the movement he has built to change life here for the better.”

          Beals met with Herzig at City Hall to discuss an array of initiatives they aim to promote in concert after the election. Herzig, who has led the city with a downtown revitalization initiative, agreed with Beals on the need for major investment in sustainable energy and affordable housing.

    • Indigenous People Combat Mainstream Media With New Project

      Using social media, Global Voice’s Reframed Stories Project is inviting Indigenous people people to participate in a critical analysis of how global media represents Indigenous social issues and perspectives.

      Using a word-cloud platform, the movement gathers synonyms from major media sources to give a conclusive view of the world’s understanding of native communities, their lives, culture and lifestyles.

      Linked to the word ‘Indigenous’ are others such as ‘movement,’ ‘right,’ ‘pueblo’ (people) and ‘government.’ To women, the online community connected the words ‘years,’ ‘married,’ ‘national’ and ‘work.’ The project then asks Indigenous groups to comment on the terms.

      Elena Gualapuro, an Ecuadorean Indigenous woman and member of the Association of Audiovisual Producers-Kichwa Otavalo (APAK), was invited to analyze the phrase ‘Indigenous women.’

      In an interview with El Churo Comunicacion, Gualapuro said ‘community’ and ‘government’ were among the strongest words associated with the phrase, but also that the concepts remained “so distant” from her community’s reality.

      “I see that people are not discussing the recognition we have been seeking very much,” Gualapuro said.

    • I don’t watch Chris Cuomo’s show as I find him to be shallow on the issues and a quasi-journalist at best. But he had Nina on his show last night to discuss immigration issues with some GOPer who spouts revisionist history.

    • Nina was interviewed by Jacobin.

      At times, when people just look at the horse race, it’s “who wins.” We have two political parties in this country that just care whether their man or their woman wins, without regard for the types of policy positions they take or what they will stand up for. As for Our Revolution, any old blue just won’t do. We need people with a certain type of commitment, so that when they get these seats they will put people power towards that commitment.

      If the only concern is that a Democrat wins over a Republican, without concern for what the core values are of the person who’s running under the Democratic banner, then people will get more of the same. They won’t get change.


      • @briebriejoy was asking around to see if there was any livestream for the debate and it looks like she found a way!

    • Here’s a good Friday evening tweet, lol. 😉

      p.s. I’d counsel Elon Musk to stay off twitter myself-he’s always messing up!

    • Thanks LD, I’ll try to watch tonight when I have time. Videos tough for me, as you may recall, because hubby often working in the evenings where our computers are (and I cannot play them at work, browser won’t allow).

      Hope you are keeping your chin up! 🙂

  • Bernie Sanders bulldozes HHS Secretary Alex Azar over dangerously high drug prices

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) skewered the Trump administration for not doing enough to lower drug prices during a heated exchange […]

    • Tips, Comments, Complains, Etc!

    • Azar Defends Trump Drug Pricing Plan, Faces Doubts From Senate

      Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s testimony on the Hill made it clear the Trump drug pricing blueprint isn’t getting much love.

      Azar appeared Tuesday, June 12, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. While plenty of partisan politics was on display, what was clear is that the pricing plan has raised more questions than provided answers. In his testimony, Azar reiterated elements of the blueprint, supported the plan and gave a spirited defense of Trump’s promise to lower drug prices in the face of pushback from committee members who pointed to a lack of progress on the issue since the President took office.

      Predictably, Republican committee members mostly presented Azar easy queries and questions that teed up the administration’s talking points. In turn, Democrats often found fault with the blueprint as well as the fact that while President Trump has talked tough about drug companies, the blueprint has no tools or requirements that would treat the companies in a serious manner to force prices lower.

    • Bernie Sanders supporter attends every DNC rule-change meeting. DNC member calls her a Russian plant.

      Selina Vickers’s weekend trip to Rhode Island was as cheap as she could make it. She shelled out $143.60 for a train ticket from West Virginia to Providence, where the Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws group was meeting.

      She paid $68.07 for an Airbnb in Cranston, a short commute from Providence. Once there, Vickers did what she always did at DNC meetings — she took notes, recorded video and made sure that the party was committing to overhaul its primary rules.

      A few days later, Vickers was accused of being a Russia-backed agent of chaos, working to destabilize the Democratic Party from within.

      he DNC’s current argument over how to overhaul its primaries process, which has now lasted longer than the United States’ involvement in World War I¹, achieved a special kind of absurdity Monday when longtime DNC member Bob Mulholland asked whether Vickers’s appearances at meetings were paid for by Russians. Mulholland, who often cc’s reporters on his memos about the rules debate, speculated over the weekend that “someone is picking up her expenses” and that this was evidence that “the Putin operation is still active.”

      Contacted first by HuffPost, then by The Washington Post, Mulholland conceded that he had no proof that Vickers was being funded by foreign operatives. (Vickers shared her receipts with The Post.) According to Mulholland, he noticed Vickers, neither a journalist nor a party official, and learned from her that she backed Jill Stein’s Green Party presidential bid in 2016.

      “She was just a symbol, to me, of what has been happening,” Mulholland said. “What happened in California, over many years, is that there were stories of the Republican Party meeting with Green Party activists, paying their filing fees, and then these people discovering they were being put up as plants. I don’t know what Putin was doing with Jill Stein, but you have to consider that, too.”


      Vickers, meanwhile, had no idea what Mulholland was talking about. She told him that she had cast a strategic vote for Stein because she lived in a surely red state and wanted the Mountain Party, a local Green Party affiliate, to keep its ballot access.

      “I never told Mr. Mulholland that I was a member of the Green Party,” she said. “In fact, I’m a registered Democrat. I, along with millions of other Democrats, supported Senator Bernie Sanders for president. I had a choice of voting for Clinton, or writing in Bernie — which wouldn’t have done anything — or vote for Jill Stein.”

      • What a moron…

        “That convinces me that somebody’s picking up her tab,” he said. “Look: I worked for Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda for 15 years, and in 1977, we got 18,000 pages from the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act. And a lot of people who worked for the antiwar movement were working for the FBI. So I’m always skeptical of these people whose agenda is not in the Democratic Party’s interest.”

        • I had a choice of voting for Clinton, or writing in Bernie — which wouldn’t have done anything — or vote for Jill Stein.”

          I voted for Jill

          • wi60 replied 1 week ago

            Did the same as I couldn’t write in Bernie in Wi.

        • Speaking of morons Rachel links Trump and Putin to North Korea summitt.

        • Which dem party is that not in the interest of?

      • Somebodies need their collective heads examined. What a dimwitted yahoo. T and R, everyone!! 🙂

    • Creating ‘Massive Media-Telecom Behemoth,’ Judge Approves AT&T-Time Warner Merger

      Dealing a significant blow to consumers by placing “unprecedented power in the hands of a single, massive media-telecom behemoth,” a federal judge on Tuesday approved the widely denounced $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner—a move that consumer advocates said paves the way for even further corporate concentration.

      “With the recent repeal of net neutrality, AT&T now has the ability to block or throttle any online content that competes with Time Warner programming,” Michael Copps, former FCC commissioner and special adviser with Common Cause, said in a statement reacting to the judge’s ruling. “The decision to approve the AT&T/Time Warner merger further entrenches AT&T as a media gatekeeper that harms the public interest and opens the door for more media consolidation in the future.”

      “Common sense tells you that this degree of concentrated power isn’t right,” wrote Zephyr Teachout, a candidate for attorney general of New York, wrote immediately following the judge’s ruling. “These giant mergers tend to hurt workers and democracy, not just prices—they lessen the control of the little guy.”

      Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who recently announced he’s running for attorney general of Minnesota, argued the Trump administration—which has expressed opposition to the merger, albeit with questionable motives—must “appeal this misguided decision, and continue to fight similar mergers.”

    • Poor People’s Campaign Leaders Among Dozens Arrested Nationwide as Moral Movement Persists

      A day after being detained for leading a Poor People’s Campaign demonstration on Capitol Hill—just two of the dozens of arrests of anti-poverty advocates at protests across the country on Monday—Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis were set to speak at a forum on inequality and poverty in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings called the meeting in order to hear from Americans who are demanding that Congress address economic inequality and persistent poverty in many parts of the U.S.—amid the implementation of cruel policies like last year’s tax law, the benefits of which mainly went to the richest Americans.

      Barber and Theohalis were among nine religious leaders who were arrested outside the Supreme Court where they were holding a demonstration four weeks into the Poor People’s Campaign, a “moral revival” continuing the economic justice advocacy that was central to Rev. Martin Luther Ling’s work when he was assassinated in 1968.

      The six-week campaign has focused on an array of issues involving poverty and inequality in the U.S., including voting rights, healthcare, and the effects of the climate crisis on the poor.

      Just before his arrest, Barber spoke to a crowd of supporters about voter suppression.

      “Voter suppression is not just a black issue. It’s a labor issue, it’s a poor people’s issue, because if you suppress the vote, you undermine the ability to elect people, and if you undermine the ability to elect people, you get people elected that will give you a regressive Supreme Court,” said Barber. “So you can’t separate voting rights from labor rights. It’s not that the black folks are over here fighting for voting rights, and the white folks are over here fighting for labor rights. We all better be fighting for all of our rights, every one of them!”

    • Democratic candidate Abdul El-Sayed looking for U.P. support

      An organizing meeting was held at the Ore Dock Brewing Company this evening, where many members of the community came together to talk about Abdul El-Sayed.

      El-Sayed is running under the Democratic Party ticket for the Michigan Democratic Primary for Governor.

      The event tonight was all about working on ways to get El-Sayed’s name out to the rest of the community. The speaker who came on El-Sayed’s behalf is looking for volunteers and the help to get the candidates name out to all who will listen.

      Many people that were at the meeting felt that he will be a strong candidate to become Michigan’s next governor.

      “I want to see Abdul in Office because this is someone who has the ability to make an impact on our state,” said, Field and Event Organizer for Abdul El-Sayed, Andrew Irons. “This is someone who isn’t your standard politician who is going to talk the talk, but then not walk the walk when elected. So when he is elected governor in November of 2018 we will be able to enact changes that are actually going to help people.”

    • In This ‘Magnificent Seven’ Version, Only One Democrat Survives

      There has been a torrent of political messaging: television ads, radio spots and social media posts. Voters have been wooed by mailers, town-hall meetings and seemingly endless door-to-door canvassing, with any one of seven candidates possibly beckoning.

      The 19th Congressional District race in New York promises to be among the most bruising contests in the nation, with the Democratic Party — its eyes on seizing the House of Representatives in November — eager to dislodge the Republican incumbent, Representative John J. Faso.

      The race, according to nonpartisan analysts, has been characterized as a tossup. But Democratic voters first have to choose their candidate, and that has proved a complicated endeavor, with seven Democrats vying to become the party’s nominee


      Mr. Beals, for instance, presents himself as the most progressive of the lot — the self-described “Bernie Sanders candidate” — with endorsements from national groups still aligned with the United States senator from Vermont.

      “I am advocating the boldest, most progressive agenda of how to counter the corporate takeover of our politics,” he said in an interview. It is a strategy that he hopes will bear fruit: Mr. Sanders beat Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primary in the 19th District by more than 10,000 votes.

    • Amy Vilela was soundly defeated last night, but she ran a great campaign talking about important issues and I’m sure we will be seeing more of her.

      Results can be found here:

    • A Just Dystopia: Climate Activism Must Include Planning for the Worst-Case Scenario

      “Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 411 parts per million (ppm) in May, the highest monthly average ever recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, home to the world’s longest continuous CO2 record. In addition, scientists found that the rate of CO2 increase is accelerating, from an average 1.6 ppm per year in the 1980s and 1.5 ppm per year in the 1990s to 2.2 ppm per year during the last decade.”

      Let’s face an uncomfortable truth: even as we amp up our climate resistance, we might nevertheless reach, and then exceed, crucial climate change tipping points. No matter how hard we organize, no matter how many “fossil fuel-free” resolutions we pass, no matter how often we march, we might still end up rushing inexorably toward climate change catastrophe.

      ndeed, it is increasingly likely that we will.

      Turn away from this possibility and you turn away from climate justice. In particular, you leave planning for the worst-case scenario to the military-fossil fuel complex, to the insurance industry, and to men and women who will attempt to profit from human misery to the very end. You leave our most vulnerable sisters and brothers to fend for themselves. You create the conditions that will expose you to the whims of those who intend to survive our collective crisis at everyone’s expense.

      We need climate activism that holds onto, and plans for, both the possibility that we can turn things around and the possibility that we will fail.

    • Democrats turn to Hollywood for messaging help

      The Democratic National Committee and members of Congress are turning to Hollywood for help with voter turnout and messaging ahead of the midterm elections and 2020 presidential campaign, quietly consulting with a group of actors, writers and producers here.

      DNC Chairman Tom Perez, several House members and other top elected officials have already met with the group, formed by members of the entertainment industry in the wake of the 2016 election, that participants liken to a TV writers’ room, complete with producers of such programs as “Veep.” The existence of the group and details of the meetings have not been previously reported.

      The group has discussed targeted voter-registration programs with visiting Democrats, as well as the party’s framing of issues ranging from abortion rights to gun control. In one recent meeting, a Midwestern senator sought advice about how to discuss gun control with conservative-leaning voters in his or her state, multiple participants said.

      Participants declined to identify the senator or other elected officials who have visited.

      “We’re a messaging strike force, mostly around voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts,” said Mathew Littman, a former Joe Biden speechwriter who helped to organize the group with Stephanie Daily Smith, a political consultant based in Los Angeles.

      The group is primarily focused on programs to increase voter registration, and the DNC’s involvement is limited to that effort. Participants say they are developing programs targeting young people, black voters and Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria — a potentially significant voting bloc for the Democratic Party in Florida and other key st

    • Centrists Are Very Concerned That Donald Fucking Trump Isn’t Hawkish Enough

      Today American centrists (who only get to call themselves that because plutocratic media control has made Orwellian neoliberal neoconservatism the dominant ideology in the US) are deeply, profoundly concerned that Donald fucking Trump is insufficiently hawkish.

      This would be the same Donald Trump whose administration just facilitated the bombing of Yemen’s new cholera treatment center. The same Donald Trump who has increased US troops in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. The same Donald Trump who is openly pursuing regime change in Iran. The same Donald Trump whose administration committed war crimes in Raqqa. The same Donald Trump who has made many dangerous cold war escalations against Russia. The same Donald Trump whose administration has voiced a goal of regime change in Damascus and the intention of remaining in Syria indefinitely. The same Donald Trump whose air strikes are killing far more civilians than the drone king Obama’s did.

      Centrist pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle are saying that this very man is being too soft and cuddly toward North Korea. These would be the same centrist pundits and politicians who loudly cheered both of the times this administration bombed the Syrian government, effectively sending the message that the only way this narcissistic president can win praise by the manufacturers of the mainstream narrative is by rejecting peace and embracing war. Thanks guys.

      In addition to bipartisan freak-outs from the punditry of the DC orthodoxy, Democratic leaders in both the House and the Senate have released statements criticizing the administration for not making more demands of Kim Jong-Un in this first extremely rudimentary initial meeting. To their credit, fifteen more progress-minded House Democrats signed a statement addressed to the president diverging from the mainstream position of their party and expressing concern that “some, from both parties and inside and outside of your administration, seek to scuttle progress by attempting to limit the parameters of the talks, including by insisting on full and immediate denuclearization or other unrealistic commitments by North Korea at an early date.”

      • As much as I detest Trump it is pretty easy to see who will win the PR battle.

        Pelosi and Schumer along with many other Democrats came out against Trump’s Singapore Summitt.

        He responds.

        • Yeah so now Trump can turn his full attention to go after the much more evil Iran.

          • https://apnews.com/2fa651b172484ea08fc3bb5ebebe0f28

            President Donald Trump’s triumphant assertions about the success of the unprecedented Singapore summit are being met with skepticism and outright derision from critics seizing on the contradiction between his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and his willingness to accept vague pledges from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

            Kelsey Davenport, the nonproliferation policy director at the Arms Control Association, which supported the Iran deal, called the summit result “mediocre.”

            “The vague language on denuclearization is not a breakthrough, it is a boilerplate reiteration of past statements,” she said, adding: “It is far too early in the process for Trump to declare success.”

            In the case of the Iran deal, even the most generous assessors of the Singapore summit sought to remind the White House that intense diplomacy preceded the agreement with Tehran.

            “Pompeo will now have to undertake the kind of arduous, multiyear negotiations with Pyongyang that former secretary of state John Kerry undertook with Tehran,” Cha and Koreas expert Sue Mi Terry said in a paper for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Trump has assailed Obama’s deal with Iran as the ‘worst ever,’ but he now faces substantial challenges to achieve as much as Obama did.”

            Iran itself cautioned North Korea against taking Trump at his word.

            “We are facing a man who revokes his signature while abroad,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht as saying on Tuesday.

            • https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-fordow/iran-says-will-begin-uranium-enrichment-at-fordow-if-nuclear-deal-unravels-idUSKBN1J91KN?utm_source=reddit.com

              Iran will begin uranium enrichment at its Fordow plant and will install new nuclear equipment at its Natanz facility if it withdraws from a nuclear deal with major powers, said the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).

              The fate of the 2015 nuclear deal is unclear after the United States withdrew from it. The other signatory nations – Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France – are trying to salvage the accord, which imposed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for a lifting of some economic sanctions.

              Iran has two vast enrichment sites, at Natanz and Fordow. Much of Natanz is deep underground and Fordow is buried inside a mountain, which is widely believed to protect them from aerial bombardment.

      • More linguistical BS. Centrist doesn’t mean moderate/center. It means right-wing.

    • Bernie Sanders Calls Trump, Kim Jong Un Meeting A ‘Positive Step’

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday offered a cautiously optimistic review of the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

      While many Democrats criticized Trump’s complimentary rhetoric and willingness to grant concessions to Kim, a frequent human rights violator, during the summit in Singapore on Monday, Sanders emphasized the meeting itself was a “positive step in de-escalating” tensions with one of America’s longstanding foes.

      “While very light on substance, Trump and Kim Jong Un’s meeting is a positive step in de-escalating tensions and addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons,” Sanders tweeted. The senator then stressed that Congress must play an integral role in bringing stability to the region.

    • Jennifer Lewis clinches Democratic nomination to face Del. Ben Cline in 6th District

      Jennifer Lewis won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to take on Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, in November for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District seat.

      Lewis, 36, of Augusta County, collected 50 percent of the vote in the primary election with 91 percent of the precincts reporting by 9 p.m. Lewis beat Sergio Coppola of Harrisonburg, Charlotte Moore of Roanoke County and Peter Volosin of Roanoke. Volosin, who had the endorsements of some state lawmakers and two incoming Roanoke City Council members, came in second.

      Lewis, who describes herself as a “bold progressive” fighting against corruption in the federal government, will be the first Democrat in 26 years to challenge a Republican in the district other than U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who announced in November he would retire after 13 terms. The 6th District stretches from Roanoke eastward to Lynchburg and north to Front Royal.

      I’ve been a hardworking advocate for people,” Lewis said. “I’m going to fight for the values of the 6th District.”


      ewis is a mental health professional who works with mentally ill adults who are transitioning from inpatient care and are returning to the community. She founded Friends of Augusta, a group that opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and serves on the boards of Wild Virginia and the Headwaters Soil and Conservation District.

      She’s focused her campaign on three issues: the environment, health care and campaign finance reform.

    • State officials vigilant as net neutrality repeal takes effect

      Obama-era regulations designed to maintain equality in internet service are officially no more.

      The repeal of the net neutrality rules went into effect Monday, six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to overturn the 2015 regulations.

      But Vermonters may not feel the full impact of the repeal because of a new state law passed this year.

      Critics of the federal repeal say that removing the regulations will open the possibility of internet providers offering tiered services for different price points.

      A telecom company could, for instance, throttle access to one television streaming service in order to give priority to a different service that pays a premium. Internet users may be charged different amounts for access in “slow lanes” and “fast lanes.”

      Vermont is one of three states that have passed legislation to preserve net neutrality in some form, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

      Last month, Scott signed into law a bill that pushes back against the FCC’s net neutrality rollback.

      The new law will require internet service providers who do business with the state to abide by net neutrality principles and entrusts the Attorney General’s Office with determining whether providers who operate in Vermont are following such principles in the wake of weakened regulations.

    • Political outsider trend weaved into many elections at varying levels of government

      On Tuesday, South Carolina voters went to the polls to vote for their next Governor in the primary election.

      The big question—can a political outsider knock incumbent Governor Henry McMaster out of office? South Carolina voters will decide.

      On Tuesday, NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne talked to a local political science expert about this outsider trend that is now weaved into many of our elections.

      Dr. Craig Albert is a political scientist at Augusta University. He predicts Governor Henry McMaster will win the race, but only after a runoff with Charleston attorney Catherine Templeton. He thinks retired Marine and businessman John Warren will come in third.

      Both Templeton and Warren are running on an outsider platform. Templeton has held government positions before, but never public office. Warren has served in our military, but never served as an elected official.

      “It is not just the Republican Party, both parties have this outsider tradition now,” Dr. Albert points out. As an example, he referenced democrat Bernie Sanders who postured as an “anti-establishment” candidate in the last presidential election. Also, on the Democratic ticket for the South Carolina primaries, businessman Phil Noble is trying to beat out 22-year house member James Smith.

      • The DNC and the DCCC have have shown their rejection of real progressive candidates on numerous occasions.

    • Nick Brana – Activate “the Progressive Majority” (audio @ link)

      A couple of weeks ago, we had as our guest on Wiki Politiki Erik Fogg, whose book, Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment and How to Start Thinking for Yourself Again talks about how both political tribes are mobilized by fear and anger to take polarized, intractable positions. A recent book by a Yale professor John Bargh, Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do, goes even further in suggesting that liberals can be made more conservative by invoking fear, and conservatives more liberal by creating a sense of safety.

      Which brings us to this week’s guest, Nick Brana.

      Nick Brana is the founder and National Director of the Movement for a People’s Party, a coalition of progressive organizations for a “nationally-viable party for working people”. Nick had been the National Political Outreach Coordinator with the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, where he lobbied the superdelegates and elected officials for Bernie, organized his political meetings and planned convention activities. He went on to become a founding member of Our Revolution and its first Electoral Manager, where he created an endorsement plan and assembled the candidates.

      However, in early 2017, Nick Brana quit Our Revolution and launched his own independent campaign to “draft Bernie” as an independent candidate, citing the intractability of the Democratic Party apparatus and their resistance to genuine systemic change. At a time when more and more people — particularly young folks — are turned off to both parties, can a “third party” become an actual “first party”?

    • This is a pretty long read (mostly because the way the site decided to split it up to increase clicks…., but still worth the effort)

      ‘The growth of right-wing forces is ominous’

      Chomsky is the author of more than a hundred books, including American Power and the New Mandarins, For Reasons of State, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance and Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. As a self-declared libertarian socialist or anarchist, Chomsky envisions “an anarcho-syndicalist future in which there is direct worker control of the means of production, with society governed by workers’ councils, who would select representatives to meet together at general assemblies”.

      At present, Chomsky holds a joint appointment as Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and laureate professor at the University of Arizona. At 89, Chomsky is tireless and spirited in his anti-imperialism and quest for justice and peace. His commitment to humanity is revealed in his own words: “I would like to see some progress towards a world in which my grandchildren will be able to live without suffering, and without shame because of the suffering of others. People with privilege—I’m one—have the unusual advantage, denied to most people, that they can dedicate part of their lives to that goal at slight personal cost.”

      In this exclusive interview to Jipson John and Jitheesh P.M, Chomsky speaks on a wide range of topics, including the Donald Trump presidency, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the declining U.S. power, rising right-wing politics in the world, the Narendra Modi regime, the nationalism debate, media and the Internet, the Latin American Left, Pope Francis, Islamophobia, the Syrian War, Donald Trump’s exit from the nuclear deal with Iran, the responsibility of intellectuals, and reflections on his political activism.

    • Sanders and Sewell Call on Trump to Honor Treaty Obligations in Response to Scathing UN Report

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and 18 of their colleagues sent a letter Tuesday to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley urging the Trump administration to uphold the United States’ international human rights treaty obligations and present Congress with a plan to take action to reduce shameful levels of poverty across the country. The letter follows on the heels of a scathing final report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, on his official visit to the United States.

      The UN report, which will be presented to the Human Rights Council of the U.N. General Assembly later this month, highlights the contrast between the few Americans with immense wealth and the more than 40 million people living in poverty, including millions living in what the report describes as “Third World conditions of absolute poverty.”

      “We believe the massive levels of deprivation outlined in the report – as well as the immense suffering this deprivation causes – are an affront to any notion of the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Given the breadth of poverty outlined in the report, these rights are simply illusory for millions in this country,” the members wrote.

      More than 13 million American children live in poverty, more than 1 in 5 homeless individuals are children and the United States has the highest youth poverty rate and infant mortality rate among comparable nations. Meanwhile, the United States is the only country in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that protects the economic, health and social rights of children.

      “These findings sound a call to action we must heed. We urge your Administration to immediately submit the Convention on the Rights of the Child treaty to the Senate requesting its ratification,” the members wrote.

    • And now time for a musical interlude:

    • Union leaders rallying for Mahlon Mitchell say this time different

      Embracing the label of “union boss,” state firefighters president and Democratic candidate for governor Mahlon Mitchell rallied organized labor supporters June 11, urging them to unite to elect him in August and then defeat Gov. Scott Walker.

      Mitchell is one of 10 Democratic candidates for governor, but his position as head of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin has given him an early advantage in union backing — both in campaign donations and people power.

      Mitchell previously ran as the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate in the unsuccessful 2012 recall election against Walker. His union joined with others in marching and protesting against the Act 10 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public sector workers.

      The Wisconsin Republican Party has branded Mitchell as a “union boss,” criticizing his $200,000 salary in 2016 that combined his pay as a lieutenant in the Madison fire department with his $90,000 union post.

      “Big labor bosses are all in when it comes to defeating Scott Walker and the reforms that have Wisconsin working,” said Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman. “Mahlon Mitchell simply embodies more of the same failed policies that put Wisconsin into a downward spiral.”

      Mitchell embraced the “union boss” label Monday.

      “I don’t mind being called that because unions helped build the best middle class in the world,” Mitchell said.

    • Anthony Flaccavento wins nomination for second shot at challenging Rep. Morgan Griffith in 9th District

      Anthony Flaccavento will get a second shot at trying to unseat four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith in November.

      The Abingdon farmer easily defeated first-time candidate Justin Santopietro, 26, of Blacksburg, on Tuesday to compete for the 9th Congressional District seat, which represents a rural district that includes the New River Valley, Southwest Virginia’s coalfields, and parts of Southside and the Alleghany Highlands.

      With 99 percent of the precincts reporting by 8:50 p.m., Flaccavento won 79 percent of the vote.

      Flaccavento, 61, is a 32-year resident of the region who has worked in farming and with various community development groups. He challenged Griffith in 2012 but came away with 39 percent of the vote.

      Griffith said last week the election will come down to a difference in philosophies, and Flaccavento agreed with that.

      “Best I can tell, his philosophy is to give more to people who already have so much and hope that benefits and prosperity trickle down to the rest of us,” Flaccavento said.

      “My philosophy is pretty much the opposite, that you invest in everyday people and small businesses and small farms and schools. When you do that, you build a real base of prosperity.”

    • Important video, hopefully it gets views.

    • The last 70 years of Palestinian history is repetitive of the Native american history.

      For decades, Israel is colonizing, murdering, imprisoning and sanctioning the Palestinian people since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

      The apartheid and the Genocide the Israelis until now practicing against the Palestinians, is as same as what the US, 500 years ago, did to establish itself.

      Today The United State is Blessing the Israeli unhuman actions upon Palestinians by opening the US embassy in Jerusalem, encouraging Israel to act more and more savage than it already is.

      What have we learned from the past ? and what are we going to do with our present ?
      Are we just going to let go ?

      Frank Waln a Native American Hip Hop artist, didn’t forget his past, and apparently, will not just let go.

    • Beto O’Rourke visits immigrant detention center: ‘I can only imagine the terror they felt’

      El Paso congressman and Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke traveled to Texas’ border on Tuesday to witness firsthand the separation of families under the Trump administration.

      In a video detailing his day in McAllen, O’Rourke said he met with a mother and her 7-year-old daughter in custody at one of the nation’s busiest border patrol stations.

      “Within the next, perhaps, 24 hours they were going to be separated and I don’t know that [the] mother and her child knew that at the time,” O’Rourke said.

      According to O’Rourke, the duo traveled 2,000 miles from Honduras before turning themselves in to a border patrol agent.

      During their meeting, O’Rourke said the image that stuck in his mind the most was the young girl gripping her mother’s hand as tightly as possible.

      “The mom was just desperate, she could not help but cry the entire time she was talking with us,” he said. “She was anxious, she didn’t know what was next, she had just survived this many weeks journey …”

      • https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/13/immigrant-child-asylum-disabilities-separated-grandmother-border/

        Ten months ago, Maria Vandelice de Bastos and her 16-year-old grandson arrived at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry in nearby New Mexico. The pair told federal agents they were seeking asylum.

        Though Vandelice de Bastos passed a standard screening for such claims, known as a credible fear interview, she and her grandson were soon separated and she hasn’t seen him since, according to her attorney.

        While she sits in a federal detention center in El Paso, Matheus da Silva Bastos, who has severe epilepsy and autism, is more than 2,000 miles away at a state-run center in Connecticut.

        Despite claims from the Trump administration that it is only separating families seeking asylum who cross the border illegally in between ports of entry, and only began doing so recently, Vandelice de Bastos’s case appears to prove the exact opposite.

    • When #BlackWomenLead: Why Black Women Are Held To Unreasonable Standards And Questioned When Making Boss Decisions

      Hashtags about trusting black women and letting black women lead are the current fad, and it’s cute or whatever. But when black women challenge the status quo and exhibit the leadership we claim we want to see, they are met with threats, attacks on their character and doubts about their ability to lead.

      An article from CNN downplays Dunge’s role in the swift decision to cancel Roseanne, speculating that she couldn’t have made the decision on her own. The article also notes that she alone would be responsible for cleaning up the mess left by the decision to cancel the show, having to fill the opening in the show lineup and make up the ad revenue that would be lost.

      Edward-Issac Dovere’s Politico hit piece on Our Revolution, is another example of the undue criticism that black women in leadership face.

      According to Dovere, Tezlyn Figaro, a political consultant, lacked any political organizing experience, making her unfit for the Chief of Staff role Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution presented to the board. A simple google search would have uncovered a resume for Figaro that illustrates over 20 years of political experience and other relevant experience. The former CEO of an award-winning staffing firm with 300 employees and serving in management at two of the world’s largest staffing firms, Figaro is more than qualified to be Chief of Staff. The article conveniently omits her most recent role as the National Racial Justice Director for the 2016 Sanders campaign.

      While black women are demanding a seat at the political decision making table with the democratic party, Figaro would have been in a position of leadership in one of the progressive movement’s most visible institutions. As progressives struggle to connect with black voters, positioning black women in leadership is a symbol of progress in black engagement that the movement desperately needs going into midterms and beyond.

      The article also blames Turner for staffing issues and the endorsement process, although these are issues that have plagued the organization since its inception. Unsubstantiated claims that Turner is leveraging her role for fame and the next political office is to question Turner’s audacity to think she can aspire for higher office.

    • Abdul El-Sayed Is Running On A Bernie-Like Platform. Will Bernie Voters Turn Out For Him In The Gubernatorial Primary?

      Blue America’s thing has always been House races. Occasionally we stray a little and support people running for Senate, state legislatures and governor– but not that often. This cycle, for example, we found 4 candidates– at least so far– running for governor who are right up our ally. It’s never a thing about backing a Democrat because a Republican would be worse. That’s almost always the case and no one needs Blue America to tell them about lesser of two evils. You never see someone like Gavin Newsom or Gina Raymond or Colleen Hanabusa on our list of endorsees. We’ve tried explaining over the last few months why we have been happy to endorse Michigan progressive Abdul El-Sayed. And this week, he gave us– and hopefully– lots of Michigan voters another reason for backing his bid. “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed,” wrote Jonathan Oosting in the Detroit News, “wants to make Michigan the first state in the nation with its own Medicare-for-all government health insurance system under a proposal he unveiled Wednesday.”


      Even though Wasserman Schultz had rigged the system so that Hillary received 73 electoral votes to Bernie’s 65, the voters in the Michigan primary wanted Bernie– by a margin of 595,222 (49.8%) to 575,795 (48.3%). Had they gotten their way, had the Democratic establishment not shoved a status quo candidate down their throats, Bernie would be president now, not Trump. Take Kalamazoo County. Not only did Bernie beat Hillary 20,146 to 12,593 but he beat Trump as well (8,655). Same in Eaton County, where Bernie beat Hillary 7,007 to 5,560, where Trump took 5,386 votes on the same day. Same in Grand Traverse County– Bernie 8,091, Hillary 4,140, Trump 5,891. Same in Ingham– Bernie 22,909, Hillary 18,287, Trump 8,056. Kent Country saw Bernie roll up the votes as well– 43,375 to Hillary’s 25,899 and Trump’s 22,742. We could go on and on. But you get the point.

      The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll– released yesterday– shows that 22% of voters nationally (32% among Democrats), picked health care as the issue that will be most important in determining how they vote in November, above the economy and jobs at 19%, guns at 13%, taxes and spending at 11% and immigration at 10%.If El-Sayeed can appeal to these voters in the August 7th Democratic primary, he’ll be Michigan’s next governor– and Michigan will be the first state with a viable Medicare-For-All healthcare system.

    • A new company that calls itself the “Indie Party” is trying to crash Texas’ U.S. Senate race

      It’s got a high-tech evangelist for a founder, $6 million in private equity investments, even its own crypto-currency.

      No, it’s not a driverless car start-up or some new, life-changing app.

      It’s the Indie Party — billed as a “movement” to end the “two-party duopoly” in the United States but built more like a political consulting and technology firm with profit in mind. Its first target — and at this point its only target — is the high-stakes U.S. Senate race featuring Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

      Its candidate and founder is a self-described “successful tech entrepreneur” and fluent Mandarin speaker named Jonathan Jenkins. The Euless native has been busily gathering the 47,000 or so signatures he needs to qualify for a spot as an independent on the November ballot alongside Cruz and O’Rourke.

      In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Jenkins, 35, says he got into the race because people are hungry for an alternative to the stale talking points and gridlock of the mainstream party candidates. He said he’s “100 percent confident” he will turn in enough voters’ signatures by the June 21 deadline set by the state — and plans to spend some of his own money to pay for the effort.

      “I think there is a demand for a party, of something else, for another choice,” Jenkins said. “In Texas there’s a really interesting race and I think both of the candidates are soft on their support and there’s a real opportunity for us.”

      Jenkins is the co-founder of company known as Order With Me (or just WithMe), which helps companies develop pop-up retail outlets. A graduate of Trinity-Euless High School and Abilene Christian College, Jenkins announced the launch of the Indie Party in March and said it had raised some $6.5 million in start-up capital within 72 hours.

    • The Democratic Party’s 2018 View of Identity Politics Is Confusing, and Thus Appears Cynical and Opportunistic

      Clinton supporters constantly accused Obama supporters of being driven by misogyny for opposing the first female president (a charge voiced by Clinton herself), while Obama supporters routinely depicted the Clintons and their supporters as racist due to the nature of their opposition to the first African-American president.

      The term “Bernie bros,” which became so widespread as a term of recrimination against Sanders supporters in 2016, was actually conceptually invented in 2008 to malign Obama supporters. Rebecca Traister, then of Salon, wrote under the headline: “Hey, Obama boys: Back Off Already!” about women reporting “the sexism they felt coming from their brothers and husbands and friends and boyfriends [who supported Obama over Clinton]; some described the suspicion that their politically progressive partners were actually uncomfortable with powerful women.”

      Even in the 2016 election, there were glaring inconsistencies in the application of this reasoning. Had Sanders won, for example, he would have become the first Jewish president in U.S. history: quite an impressive and important feat, given the mistreatment of Jews in the West generally and the U.S. specifically. Yet few accused Clinton supporters of refusing to support him due to latent anti-Semitism, and it’s unlikely that — as these same Clinton supporters continue to find others to support in the 2020 primary against Sanders — they’ll face such a grave accusation now.

      But despite the inconsistencies, one of the dominant themes that emerged in Democratic Party discourse from the 2016 election is that it is critically important to support female candidates and candidates of color, and that a failure or refusal to support such candidates when they present a credible campaign is suggestive evidence of underlying bigotry.

      BUT ALL OF THESE stalwart, bedrock imperatives of identity politics seem strangely absent from the 2018 election cycle. These professed beliefs, in fact, seem to have vanished from Democratic Party politics almost entirely.

      Over and over, establishment Democrats and key party structures have united behind straight, white male candidates (including ones tainted by corruption), working to defeat their credible and progressive Democratic opponents who are women, LGBT people, and/or people of color. Clinton herself has led the way.

    • Probably the worst move Ive seen Ro make since I’ve been paying attention to him.

      • There is a petition for the Justice Democrats to drop their endorsement of Khanna as a result of this.

        • An attempt to save face but to endorse a candidate then a day later after pushback from constituents to come out and ‘affirm Ocasio’s progressiveness’ and ‘co-endorse’ is pretty weak, and not very progressive.

          • Benny replied 1 week ago

            He’s a weathervane, just like the Baroness. The money and the key committee memberships he’s been promised, no doubt. He’s doing some good work about Yemen, but he’s only progressive here and there.

            • Yes, I read that Ro’s been cultivating his relationship with Crowley for years, he says that it’s because he’s moved Crowley left on some issues (like marijuana) but many see Ro’s endorsement of Crowley as a naked ploy to get in good with the person who is expected to succeed Pelosi as speaker.

      • He’s apologizing profusely on twitter, but the damage has been done. A real shame, imo.

    • Maine Is About to Become the First State To Test Ranked-Choice Voting

      At a May 12 Democratic gubernatorial forum hosted by Indivisible, the crowd is treated to a reinterpretation of the 1940s novelty song, “I’m My Own Grandpa.” The new lyrics relate a saga still raw for many Mainers: how two Independents split the vote in 2010, letting racist Republican Paul LePage be elected in the traditionally blue state with less than 38 percent of the vote. In 2014, it happened again (with just one Independent this time).

      The audience joins the chorus:

      We want RCV

      We want RCV

      It sounds funny I know, but the people will show you,

      We want RCV

      The tone is jubilant. RCV, or ranked-choice voting, is a procedural solution to the problem of vote-splitting. After a three-year tussle between activists and legislators, Maine will become the first state to use RCV, in June.

      The candidate forum doubles as a lesson in RCV. On election day, voters will rank up to seven favorite candidates. If no candidate wins a majority, the one with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. Voters who ranked that person their top pick will have their second choice counted. The process repeats, with last-place candidates eliminated, until someone garners a majority.

    • Good news for a change? Im sure there are plenty of people scrambling to come up with loopholes already

      The DNC Will Refuse Donations From Fossil Fuel Companies

      The Democratic National Committee voted over the weekend to ban donations from fossil fuel companies, HuffPost has learned.

      The resolution—proposed by Christine Pelosi, a party activist and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter—bars the organization from accepting contributions from corporate political action committees tied to the oil, gas and coal industries. The executive committee voted unanimously to approve the motion.

      “We talk about how climate change is real and climate change is a planetary emergency, what we need to do is stop taking money from the institutions that have created this crisis,” said RL Miller, president of the super PAC Climate Hawks Vote Political Action and a co-author of the resolution.

      The DNC may consider a second resolution at a full board meeting in Chicago in August to ban contributions over $200 from individuals who work for the fossil fuel industry. Miller said the proposal—which has not yet been submitted to the DNC—will hopefully lead candidates to adopt similar policies.

      “So if Eddie Exxon is your college buddy and a frat-boy friend of yours and he’s employed at an Exxon gas station and wishes to donate $25 to have a barbecue and a beer with you, fine,” Miller said. “But if Edward J. Exxon in Exxon’s middle management thinks you’re worth contributing $2,700 to out of his own salary, that is much more concerning to us.”

      The DNC confirmed the vote but declined to comment.

      • They probably weren’t getting any money from them in the first place.

      • Not a lot but some. I read elsewhere that it was just less than 1% of their total in 2016


        The energy and natural resource sectors, including fossil fuel producers and mining firms, gave $2.6 million to the DNC in 2016, according to data collected by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a pittance compared to the $56.1 million that came from the finance and real estate sectors, the DNC’s largest corporate donors that year. This year, the energy and natural resource sectors’ donations totaled $186,100 by the middle of May.

        • They probably thought that Hillary was going to win and the money was an insurance policy.

      • I saw one comment that made a lot of sense – it’s not so much the oil companies, but the banks who are investing in the pipelines, for example, that use their influence on Dems to quell pipeline oppo.

        And, of course, it’ll be a cold day in hell before the Dems stop taking money from the financial sector.

    • This app in Google Play wants to use phone mics to enforce copyrights

      If ever there were a case for rejecting requested device permissions, it’s made by an Android app with more than 10 million downloads from Google Play. The official app for the Spanish soccer league La Liga was recently updated to seek access to users’ microphone and GPS settings. When granted, the app processes audio snippets in an attempt to identify public venues that broadcast soccer games without a license.

      According to a statement issued by La Liga officials, the functionality was added last Friday and is enabled only after users click “yes” to an Android dialog asking if the app can access the mic and geolocation of the device. The statement says the audio is used solely to identify establishments that broadcast games without a license and that the app takes special precautions to prevent it from spying on end users.

      Without more details and a technical analysis of the app, it’s hard to evaluate the claims about collected audio being converted to a binary format that can’t be converted back into sound. That alone should be enough reason for users to reject this permission.

      But even if the app uses a cryptographic hash or some other means to ensure that stored or transmitted audio fragments can’t be abused by company insiders or hackers (a major hypothetical), there are reasons users should reject this permission. For one, allowing an app to collect the IP address, unique app ID, binary representation of audio, and the time that the audio was converted could provide a fair amount of information over time about a user. For another, end users frequenting local bars and restaurants shouldn’t be put in the position of policing the copyrights of sports leagues, particularly with an app that uses processed audio from their omnipresent phone.

    • Now about that NAFTA negotiations. LOL!

    • ::edited::

    • This endorsement could help in what seems to be a close race


      Maryland voters deserve a real choice in November’s election for governor, and we believe Democrat Ben Jealous provides the clearest alternative to Gov. Larry Hogan. It’s not just that the former NAACP president and CEO has the stature or political skills to run a competitive campaign against the popular and extremely well funded Republican incumbent (though he does), it’s that he presents the strongest contrast to the governor in his vision for the state. We give him our endorsement in the Democratic primary.

      Voters may think of Mr. Jealous as the Bernie Sanders candidate in this race. Mr. Jealous was a prominent supporter of Senator Sanders’ presidential candidacy. He’s brought Bernie into the state, has gotten endorsements from other prominent national Democrats such as Sens. Corey Booker and Kamala Harris, and promises state versions of Senator Sanders’ best known policy proposals: a single-payer, Medicare for all health care system and free college tuition.

    • Senator busted for flying on a private plane during her campaign ‘RV tour’ reveals that she ditched going by road because of a broken drawer in the vehicle that ‘drove her crazy’ (as you can tell by the novel length ‘headline’. this comes from the dailymail)

      en. Claire McCaskill confirmed she used her private plane for parts of a three-day RV tour of Missouri last month, an admission that is likely to cause political headaches for the Democrat, who is in a tough reelection battle.

      McCaskill said her campaign was ‘hitting the road’ in an RV to tour the state, but public flight information indicates her million-dollar private plane followed the same campaign route, the Washington Free Bacon reported.

      The senator said while she made a few legs of the trip on the plane, she took the RV so much a ‘broken drawer drove me crazy.’

      ‘I added some stops with the use of the plane, but I was on the RV so much that the broken drawer drove me crazy,’ McCaskill told Politico, adding that ‘I even lost an iPad around a corner on the RV.’

      She disputed the notion that the use of the plane allowed her to ‘pretend’ that she was using an RV on her three-day campaign blitz.

      ‘Anybody could have followed me. They could have seen when I got off the RV and when I went and got on the airplane,’ she continued, describing the report as ‘election-year silliness.’

    • https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/13/dark-moment-shame-explicit-us-backing-saudi-attack-yemens-humanitarian-lifeline

      With a “green light” from the Trump administration and essential military support from the U.S. government, Saudi-led forces plowed ahead with an assault on the Yemeni port city of Hodeida on Wednesday, brushing aside dire warnings from international humanitarian organizations and a small group of American lawmakers that an attack on the key aid harbor could spark a full-blown famine and endanger millions of lives.

      Responding to the early stages of the attack—which began with an estimated 30 Saudi airstrikes within half an hour, guided by U.S. military intelligence—Win Without War wrote on Twitter that the attack is “a dark moment of shame for the United States. We could have stopped this.”

      • WARNING! Do not follow the link as it shows disturbing images of starving Yemeni children

        Horrifying images of starving children reveal the ongoing toll of Yemen’s forgotten war

        Air strikes and a Saudi imposed naval, land and air blockade on Yemen, which imports over 90% of its staple foods, have caused food prices to soar, making it impossible for Yemenis to afford food to feed themselves and their families. According to recent figures from the United Nations, more than 14 million Yemenis (about half of the country’s population) are going hungry and urgently need food and medication.

        The food crisis is particularly harsh for children – at least 370,000 suffer from severe malnutrition. “We’re talking about a 50% increase compared to the number we had earlier this year,” Mohammed al-Asaadi, a spokesman for the UN children’s agency in Yemen told Al Jazeera. Acute malnutrition, as evidenced in the frail children recorded in these photographs, has become a major cause of death for children under five in the country.

        The US is complicit in the conflict, according to an editorial in The New York Times in August 2016, because it sells arms to Saudi Arabia.

        • I’ll bet that there were no White Helmets present.


          In Yemen, the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition bombed a new Doctors Without Borders cholera clinic in Yemen’s northwestern Abs region. Doctors Without Borders said that before the strike the group had provided the coordinates of the clinic to the Saudi-led coalition and that the roof of the building clearly identified it as a medical site. The ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen has sparked the world’s worst cholera epidemic, with more than 1 million people affected.

          This comes as the United Nations is warning an impending Saudi-led offensive on the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah could have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. This is Mark Lowcock, the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

          • journalists and medical centers are increasingly becoming targets. utterly unbelievable and why i can only take a few days a week, at most, of this anymore. i mean, what does it take to knowingly do these things? and these are our supposed leaders.

    • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/13/a-minimum-wage-worker-cant-afford-a-2-bedroom-apartment-anywhere-in-the-u-s/?utm_term=.7e45182b4bab

      The economy’s booming. Some states have raised minimum wages. But even with recent wage growth for the lowest-paid workers, there is still nowhere in the country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

      Not even in Arkansas, the state with the cheapest housing in the country. One would need to earn $13.84 an hour — about $29,000 a year — to afford a two-bedroom apartment there. The minimum wage in Arkansas is $8.50 an hour.

      Even the $15 living wage championed by Democrats would not make a dent in the vast majority of states.

    • I’m sure Trump would prefer North Korea’s state media. Well there’s always Fox


      Hours after returning from a trip where he lavished praise on one of the world’s worst dictators, President Trump declared that America’s biggest enemy is… “fake news.”

      He singled out NBC and CNN in his angry tweet on Wednesday.

      Trump frequently portrays the news media as one of his enemies, but rarely has he been this blunt about it. Wednesday’s tweet harkens back to February 2017, when he called several news outlets “the enemy of the American People!”

      He was roundly criticized back then. This time, there’s been a somewhat more muted reaction, perhaps because he is repeating himself. But it’s important to recognize just how extreme this rhetoric is.

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