Good morning world! As I’ve rearranged my schedule so to be able to catch Bernie today I probably won’t have too very much for you as far as links go, but will certainly add what I do come across in the little time that I do have. If you are reading/watching/listening to anything interesting… please share!
I will doing my best to recording the entire event (and then post it later in the evening) but will also Tweet pics/etc for as long as my phones battery will allow from the TPW twitter account: @ProgressiveWing. Doors open at 10:30 central so I’ll probably start sometime around then if you want to keep an eye out for updates.
In the meantime… here’s the ‘Come Together, Fight Back Tour’ in Miami:
Good morning friends. All the Bernie news is going in the post below, everything else I stumble across will go here! I am likely to be super busy trying to pump out as much work as possible so I can take the day off to see Bernie tomorrow, so not quite sure how long I will be around…. but know that you all will fill in any gaps! Much appreciated, have a great day!
With Steve Bannon on way out, official Washington is jumping for joy that Gary Cohn—the former president of Goldman Sachs who’s now running Trump’s National Economic Council, along with Dina Powell, another influential Goldman Sachs alumnus—seems to be taking over Trump’s brain.
As CNBC puts it, Cohn will push “more moderate, business-friendly economic policies.” The Washington Post says Cohn is advocating “a centrist vision.” The Post goes on to describe “The growing strength of Cohn and like-minded moderates” as revealed in Trump’s endorsement of government subsidies for exports, and of corporate tax cuts. Says the Post: “The president’s new positions move him much closer to the views of … mainstream Republicans and Democrats.”
In reality, Cohn, Powell, and other Wall Streeters in the Trump White House are pushing Trump closer to the views of Wall Street and big business – views that are reflected in the views of “mainstream” Republicans and Democrats only to the extent the “mainstream” is dependent on the Street and big corporations for campaign money.
These views aren’t “centrist,” and they’re not sustainable. More tax breaks for the rich and more subsidies for big corporations aren’t much better for America than xenophobia.
There’s a better alternative. It’s to make it easy for people who lose their jobs to get new ones that pay at least as well, through wage insurance; expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and raise the minimum wage so every job pays a living wage; invest in great teachers and great schools, along with a system of lifelong learning, and high-quality early childhood education; and provide Medicare for all.
And pay for all of this with a 2 percent tax on wealth over $1 million and a carbon tax. While we’re at it, get big money out of politics.
Here’s a “centrist” agenda that big business, Wall Street, and the rest of America should agree on because it (or something very much like it) is the only way to move forward without inviting even more inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – and ever more vicious backlashes against such inequities.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders packed Louisville’s Palace Theater Tuesday night during a campaign-style rally intended to unify and rebuild the Democratic Party after last year’s elections.
“We need to make the Democratic Party not just the party of the east coast and the west coast, but the party for all 50 states,” Sanders said.
The event was part of a speaking tour through conservative states across the country with the new chair of the Democratic Party, Tom Perez.
Sanders echoed promises he made during his presidential campaign last year — proposals to raise the minimum wage, make public colleges tuition-free, close the pay-gap between men and women and raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
He also called for a “Medicaid for all, single-payer system” and criticized Republicans for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to know that it is immoral and bad economics to support legislation that would throw hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians off of the health care that they have — would do serious damage to the economy here,” Sanders said.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Maine Democrats to help “transform” the party through political activism at all levels of government Monday during the first stop of a national tour aimed at unifying a fractured base.
“Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party . . . into a 50-state party and a party that does not continue to ignore half of the states in our country,” Sanders, whose populist rise caused major heartburn within the Democratic National Committee last year, told the fired-up Portland crowd at the State Theatre. “Our job is to create a democratic party, a grassroots party where decisions are made up from the bottom on up, not from the top on down.”
Sanders – who many in the crowd believe should and perhaps could have been president – took the stage immediately after the man tasked with convincing voters from Maine to Alaska that the Democratic Party still stands for them.
Tom Perez, the newly elected chairman of the DNC, acknowledged that the party will “have to earn your trust” but pledged to lead a new, more inclusive party focused on rebuilding.
“The mission of the new DNC is not simply to elect the president of the United States,” Perez said. “It is to elect Democrats from the school board to the Senate.”
More than 1,500 people gathered at the Portland theater for the event, dubbed the “Come Together and Fight Back” rally.
Good morning TPW’ers! I’m trying to spread stuff out a little bit so will be putting the Bernie news in its own thread when time allows, as well as separating out some of the other bigger news items and then putting everything else here.
Kicking off a week of actions targeting the institutions financing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipelines, activists on Saturday protested at banks in 25 cities to shine a spotlight on the roll they are having on climate destruction.
“It’s back—and so are we,” reads the call to action. After fierce nationwide opposition forced the Obama administration to halt the project, President Donald Trump has given it the green light and the climate movement has vowed to fight it once again.
The peaceful demonstrations are “designed to shine a spotlight on the the four key financial institutions bankrolling the KXL pipeline— Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and TD Bank—and pressure them and the broader financial community to pull out and ‘defund’ the project,” said the Rainforest Action Network, which is organizing the week of protest.
In addition to demonstrating outside banks, activists across the country are also planning a banner drop in Los Angeles and a protest targeting local government in San Franciscothroughout the week of action, which will culminate on Earth Day. Find an action near you here.
Donald Trump’s feverish tweeting appears to be contagious. Amid a chorus of praise for the administration’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase last week, Neera Tanden, the head of the Center for American Progress, dashed off a tweet calling on voters in Hawaii to oust Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard for expressing skepticism about the Syrian government’s responsibility for the chemical attack that provoked the US military strikes. Former presidential candidate and former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean piled on, and tweeted that Gabbard’s comments were a “disgrace” and that she “should not be in the Congress.”
Heree’s what Gabbard said: “This administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning.” Gabbard added she would support Assad’s prosecution and execution as a war criminal if the attacks were proven, though she still wouldn’t support military action. “A successful prosecution of Assad (at the International Criminal Court) will require collection of evidence from the scene of the incident, and I support the United Nation’s efforts in this regard. Without such evidence, a successful prosecution is impossible,” she said.
But Tanden and Dean apparently agreed with Trump’s quick conclusion that “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.” So did much of the mainstream media and foreign policy establishment.
An independent investigation is still needed, but surely Gabbard’s skepticism was not only defensible but laudable at a time when the media was blaring patriotic support for another military attack in the Middle East.
Gabbard isn’t going to lose her seat because of Tanden and Dean’s tweets. Her opposition to escalating the wars in the Middle East enjoys wide popular support. But the calls for her ouster are instructive in any case.
For all the urgent pleas for unity in the face of Trump, the party establishment has always made it clear that they mean unity under their banner. That’s why they mobilized to keep the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Keith Ellison, from becoming head of the DNC. It’s why the knives are still out for Sanders and those who supported him. It’s why the DCCC still is loath to contribute resources and energy to populist challengers like James Thompson in Kansas, who threaten to build the Sanders/Warren wing of the party.
More on the failures of the DCCC/DNC, Sanders updates, Environmental News, and whatever else I happen to run across this morning will be in the comments. Have a great day!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator in a new poll.
The Morning Consult poll showed a 75 percent approval rating for the Vermont senator. Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton last year, has remained popular. He is now a vocal critic of President Trump.
Pollsters found Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the least popular senator, with a 47 percent disapproval rating.
Democrats are beginning to craft an economic message for 2018 that goes beyond the tempting, single-minded strategy of demonizing Donald Trump.
Licking their wounds after an embarrassing showing in November, Democrats vowed to charge into next year’s midterms with a proactive sales pitch to voters. While many, including party leaders, have fallen right back into the same anti-Trump pattern they say cost them 2016 in the first place, top Democrats now say they’re working on “a strong, sharp-edged, bold economic message,” as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it Tuesday.
Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have met twice, according to aides, in addition to multiple staff-level meetings, to flesh out a broader economic agenda that’s expected to emerge as soon as early summer.
The package will be “populist” and designed to “unite both wings of both caucuses,” one senior Democratic aide said. Infrastructure and trade are expected to be key components, another aide confirmed.
Though Democrats have long diagnosed their failure to put forth a compelling economic message as a root cause of their crushing 2016 losses, their pursuit of a populist package this year reflects the lasting influence of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid on their longer-term agenda.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Wednesday that the Democratic National Committee “absolutely” needs a major overhaul, responding Wednesday to a NBC News report that new chairman Tom Perez intends to shake up the party’s organizational structure and staffing.
The party “programmatically, in terms of how it does business, has failed,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“The Democratic Party today, programmatically, in terms of how it does business, has failed,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I mean the evidence is obvious. It’s not just that we’ve lost the White House and the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. We’ve lost 900 legislative seats in the last 8 or 9 years.”
So clearly the Democratic Party needs a top-down overhaul. And that top-down overhaul means that instead of becoming dependent and being dependent on big money interests for campaign contributions, it has got to become a grassroots party,” he said, citing a groundswell of grassroots energy opposing the GOP health care plan.
“Perez has got to capitalize that and that’s the kind of party the Democrats have to create,” Sanders added.
Hello TPW’ers! All the news I am catching up on will go in the comments as usual but first wanted to say a quick ‘Happy Birthday’ of sorts as the site URL is now a year old though we did not really start posting until further down the road. I thank you for joining me and putting up with all the various frustrations along the way and if you care to voice them in the comments, I’m more than happy to listen! [PS:I found/fixed the disappearing comment bug, so you can cross that off your list for now].
We live in a world dominated by the principle of private property. Once indigenous people were dispossessed of their lands, the land was surveyed, subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. From high above, continents now appear as an endless property patchwork of green and yellow farms, beige suburban homes and metallic gray city blocks stretching from sea to shining sea.
The central logic of this regime is productivity, and indeed it has been monstrously productive. In tandem with the industrial revolution, the fruits of billions of acres of dispossessed and parceled indigenous land across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Ireland and Australasia enabled two English-speaking empires—first the British and then the American—to rise to global dominance. The latter remains the most productive economy in the world.
Property also embodies and upholds a set of values and relationships to land. It propagates a utopian vision called the American Dream, wherein hard work, land and a home are platform for boundless opportunity or at least escape from capital domination. It separates humanity from all other animals and cements man’s mastery over the natural world and all living things.
While property has transformed the world, its flaws have never been more apparent. Open land on the frontier, if it ever actually existed for the common man’s taking, is long gone. Homeownership no longer provides the economic security it once did, and appears out of reach for younger generations. The richest one percent holds more wealth than the rest of the world combined. At the same time, environmental degradation and climate change proceed at a terrifying pace.
Our capitalist property regime and economic system have succeeded at producing remarkable surplus. But the benefits of this system too often flow to a small fraction of the population, while land, water, air and people pay the long-term price.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., dropped out of the U.S. presidential race about eight months ago, but many of the supporters who showed up to hear him speak at a town hall event at the Vermont Technical College Friday afternoon acted as if the campaign had just begun.
“If there is a silver lining in the midst of the Trump election, it’s that millions of people are asking (what they can do about it) and getting involved,” Sanders told a crowd of hundreds filling the Judd Hall gymnasium during a half-hour speech that was marked by frequent outbreaks of cheering, and a standing ovation.
Sanders urged those in the audience to let legislators see and hear their opinions.
“Get involved. Run for school board. Run for the board of selectmen. Start thinking about the legislature. Put pressure on your government. … It is not just elections. It is fighting, for example, for the transformation of our energy system.”
Sanders sounded familiar themes during his talk, and related most of the country’s ills to a massive income inequality in which, he said, the wealthiest tenth of one percent of the country own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.
Happy Friday everyone! I’ll put all the Bernie, Trump, Democratic party, pipeline/environmental, etc. news in the comments but kicking off with a music video as part of my quest to highlight Indigenous hip/hop artists:
Hope to see you in the comments, have a great day regardless!
The poll of 1,008 registered voters was conducted March 12 to 14. It found that 43 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, with 30 percent strongly approving and 45 percent strongly disapproving. Respondents were also asked to say if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of several people, groups, and items, and Sanders came out on top, with 61 percent having a favorable reaction and 32 percent unfavorable, followed by Planned Parenthood (57 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable); ObamaCare (50 percent favorable, 47 percent unfavorable); and Pence (47 percent favorable, 43 percent unfavorable). Only 44 percent had a favorable view of Trump, while 53 percent had an unfavorable view.
One example of why that may be:
More Bernie news & more in the comments! have a great day!
Happy Friday friends! Starting off with An article on Sanders & then a video of Bernie on CNN. News on the Native Nations March on DC, the latest pipeline protests, Trump’s dumbest decisions, what the Democrats continue to do wrong & more will be in the comments. As always I’m quite interested to see what you are reading/watching!
Sanders sweeps into the room wearing a casual sweater. His white hair is tussled, and he has the distracted look of someone dragged away from concentrated study. But when we start talking, he is immediately transfixing. In a flash, it is clear why so many have felt the Bern: because he feels it so intensely himself.
“These are very scary times for the people of the United States, and … for the whole world. We have a president who is a pathological liar. Trump lies all of the time.” And Sanders believes the lying is not accidental: “He lies in order to undermine the foundations of American democracy.” Take his “wild attacks against the media, that virtually everything the mainstream media says is a lie.” Or Trump’s denigration of one of George W Bush’s judicial appointees as a “so-called judge”, and his false claims that up to 5 million people voted illegally in the election. Such statements, which Sanders calls “delusional”, are meant to lead to only one conclusion, he says: “that the only person in America who stands for the American people, who is telling the truth, the only person who gets it right, is the president of the United States, Donald Trump. That is unprecedented in American history.”
He travels even deeper into dystopian territory when I ask what, in his view, Trump’s endgame might be. “What he wants is to end up as leader of a nation that has moved a significant degree towards authoritarianism; where the president of the United States has extraordinary powers, far more than our constitution has provided for.”
Sanders is well into his stride by now, conducting the interview with great waves of his arms, punching out words in that distinctive Brooklyn-Vermont growl. It’s impossible not to be drawn in by a man who comes across as this authentic.
What word of advice would he give a young person, a twentysomething who is scared and who feels that their country is moving against them? What should they do?
“This is what they should do,” he says, pumping out the Bern. “They should take a deep reflection about the history of this country, understand that absolutely these are very difficult and frightening times. But also understand that in moments of crisis, what has happened, time and time again, is that people have stood up and fought back. So despair is absolutely not an option.”
[If this video gets taken down I’ll put up the original if CNN ever gets around to posting it]:
Despite the changes, Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration isn’t drawing many fans from the Democratic side of the aisle, especially not Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Trump’s new order excludes Iraq from its list of restricted countries but retains restrictions on the remaining countries as well as a temporary ban on all refugees. In response, Sanders spoke out against the new order, calling it racist and anti-Islamic.
Sanders was notably one of Congress’ harshest critics of Trump’s original executive order. The congressman participated in at least one protest against the order and, in a tweet, wrote that the “Muslim ban is un-American, is unconstitutional and is going to make us less safe, not more safe.” Sanders echoed those sentiments in response to the new, revised order. In a statement on Monday, Sanders wrote:
Let’s call it what it is. This ban is a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to divide us up. A president who respected our traditions of religious freedom would not have resorted to hateful, anti-Islamic rhetoric to justify a ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries. Even the Department of Homeland Security has said that citizenship is not a factor in terrorist threats. This isn’t about keeping America safe. A president responsible for keeping our citizens safe would not hand over ideological ammunition to terrorists seeking new recruits to kill Americans.
Before his statement on the new executive order, Sanders had already spent the morning speaking out against Trump. “President Trump cannot continue to lie, lie, lie. It diminishes the office of the president and our standing in the world,” Sanders wrote in one tweet regarding Trump’s baseless claims that Obama wiretapped his phone. “The United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if @realDonaldTrump continues to shamelessly lie,” he wrote in another posted only a few minutes later.
Everything thing else will be in the comments below, thanks for visiting.