HomeUncategorized1/23 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders Speaks to Students at Benedict College & More

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
Audio and Video Files
Other File Types
55 Comment threads
57 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
wi60humphreyorlbucfanpolarbear4Benny Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The Times notices AOC


In three short weeks in office, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has shaped a national conversation on taxation, emerged as the face of a green jobs plan in Washington and elevated her initials into a worldwide brand.

But she has not yet opened an office in her own New York City district — a delay that may give a sense of her priorities early in her tenure.

The reality may be much more local: Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s decision not to take over Mr. Crowley’s Jackson Heights, Queens, office complicated her office setup. (He also had an office in the Bronx.)

“If you’re inheriting your predecessor’s offices, that can be relatively seamless,” said Bradford Fitch, the president of the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit that helps lawmakers and their aides. “Opening up a new office has all of the challenges of opening up a new business, along with the red tape.” A month or two for a member changing offices would not uncommon, Mr. Fitch said.

After receiving questions from The Times about the district office, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez used her official House Twitter account to explain that she did not take over Mr. Crowley’s office because the landlord had wanted to nearly double the rent.


Tick Tock. Every year there are more of these voters and less older Republicans


The Republican Party has lost younger Americans like Travis Gaither, though, as it has moved farther to the right on issues like immigration, gun control and climate change.

Mr. Gaither, who grew up in Tennessee, described his parents as “typical southern white Republicans” who belong to two country clubs and are active in the Chamber of Commerce.

But Mr. Gaither, 20, was chairman of the High School Democrats of Tennessee during his senior year, a political transformation fueled by his liberal social views and cemented by his outrage over Mr. Trump’s hard-line policies.

The Pew study found that two-thirds of Mr. Gaither’s generation believe, as he does, that black people are treated less fairly than whites in the United States. He said his feelings on the subject were shaped by an early brush with racism in high school, where a black girl he knew was menaced by a white football player who threatened to lynch her. And then his views were solidified last summer, he said, after a police officer in Nashville killed an unarmed black man.

“I feel like I’ve moved toward the left, as the Republican Party has shifted toward the right,” he said.


Thank God. And thank Bernie for bringing so much of this out into the open.



This is, suffice to say, a very different way of talking about taxation than what we typically hear in Washington, where the subject is treated as a necessary evil and hiking rates on millionaires is framed in terms of making the affluent pay their “fair share.” Saez and Zucman, like many on the left, don’t think of the issue that way. Instead, they believe the ultra-rich themselves are a policy problem the government needs to address, because an “extreme concentration of wealth means an extreme concentration of economic and political power.” (See: Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, Michael Bloomberg, the Mercers, and Tom Steyer, etc.). By this reasoning, high taxes are one solution—a tool for keeping the plutocracy in check. If they also happen to help the federal budget pencil out, that’s just gravy.

“That few people faced the 90 percent top tax rates was not a bug; it was the feature that caused sky-high incomes to largely disappear. The point of high top marginal income tax rates is to constrain the immoderate, and especially unmerited, accumulation of riches. From the 1930s to the 1980s, the United States came as close as any democratic country ever did to imposing a legal maximum income. The inequality of pretax income shrunk dramatically.”

Even if you assume that there is some trade-off between top taxes and growth, there may still be an upside to limiting the wealth and influence of the very rich (again, think of the Mercers). But if you believe the bargaining theory—and many on the left these days do—then high taxes on the rich start to look less like a tradeoff that could drag a bit on the economy, and more like a straightforward tool for regulating greed. And no matter how much, or little, money it raises for the government, regulating greed may be good.


Conservative outrage is a good thing.


Conservatives expressed outrage at Sanders, who has called Trump a racist multiple times, as far back as the 2016 campaign. Fox News host Brian Kilmeade raised Sanders’ comments Tuesday on a segment on “Fox & Friends,” which counts Trump as a frequent viewer.

“Absolutely disgusting and wrong,” Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chairwoman, said on Twitter. “@realDonaldTrump has brought African American and Hispanic unemployment to record lows, passed historic criminal justice reform.”


This seems like a raise your profile run.


Peter Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced early Wednesday that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for president, becoming the latest Democrat to wade into the 2020 race.

Buttigieg, 37, posted a video in which he touts the “comeback” of South Bend during his time as mayor, and appears to swipe at President Trump’s slogan of “Make American Great Again.”

The announcement from Buttigieg, who is gay and recently got engaged, was celebrated by LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization focused on electing LGBTQ people to office.

“An openly LGBTQ elected official forming a presidential exploratory committee is a historic and powerful moment for the LGBTQ community and the entire country,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the group, said in a statement.

Buttigieg, who previously served in the Navy, was first elected mayor in 2011 at age 29. He became the youngest person to serve as the mayor of a city with a population of more than 100,000 when he took office in 2012, and he won a second term in 2015.


Farm team for lobbyists and consultants?



But she has also been outspoken on a number of political issues. She has a clear stance on gun control, in favour of mental evaluations for gun purchasers. She thinks the minimum age to own a gun should be raised above 21.

She supported Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries – “Vote for Daddy Bernie, bitch” were her exact words – and has spoken about the ways “America is a scam”, saying: “If there’s a Republican president the only people who benefit are the ‘rich rich’, corporation owners.” Bernie returned the favour last year, tweeting: “Cardi B is right.”

So far, she has managed to hold her own in any political skirmish. Today, the Daily Caller’s Stephanie Hamill attacked her for her twerking-heavy new video. In response, Cardi tweeted: “All these conservatives been harassing me and telling me the most disgusting things these past few days. Listen I’m not telling ya to turn liberal all I’m saying is to admit that your president is fuckin up this country right now!”

Hamill had no response.



There’s a crew of new women in Congress who’ve become fast friends since the election. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have become instant progressive icons and visible markers of a long-overdue shift in legislative demographics. They’ve posted loads of selfies together, called themselves a “squad,” tweeted support for each other’s policy ideas, and defended each other from right-wing detractors. Their fans have seen them as harbingers of hope in a dark time descending on a stalled-out Congress to help save America from itself.

It’s important to remember, though, as Pressley told her Twitter followers over the weekend, that there have been vocal women of color pushing for progressive change in Congress for a long time. California Rep. Barbara Lee, who Pressley called a “big sister & mentor” in her tweet, is one of them. In a phone conversation earlier this month, I spoke to Lee about her role in the new, more progressive Congress, what it was like to be one of the few black women in national office in the 1990s, and what it might mean to have a “critical mass” in the legislature.


Officially wishing I was in that gang


The NY Times goes after Biden


Joseph R. Biden Jr. swept into Benton Harbor, Mich., three weeks before the November elections, in the midst of his quest to reclaim the Midwest for Democrats. He took the stage at Lake Michigan College as Representative Fred Upton, a long-serving Republican from the area, faced the toughest race of his career.

But Mr. Biden was not there to denounce Mr. Upton. Instead, he was collecting $200,000 from the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan to address a Republican-leaning audience, according to a speaking contract obtained by The New York Times and interviews with organizers. The group, a business-minded civic organization, is supported in part by an Upton family foundation.

Mr. Biden stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton while the lawmaker looked on from the audience. Alluding to Mr. Upton’s support for a landmark medical-research law, Mr. Biden called him a champion in the fight against cancer — and “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.”

Mr. Biden’s remarks, coming amid a wide-ranging discourse on American politics, quickly appeared in Republican advertising. The local Democratic Party pleaded with Mr. Biden to repair what it saw as a damaging error, to no avail. On Nov. 6, Mr. Upton defeated his Democratic challenger by four and a half percentage points.

As Mr. Biden considers a bid for the presidency in 2020, the episode underscores his potential vulnerabilities in a fight for the Democratic nomination and raises questions about his judgment as a party leader. Mr. Biden has attempted to strike a balance since leaving office, presenting himself as a unifying statesman who could unseat President Trump while also working to amass a modest fortune of several million dollars.



On Tuesday, the World Economic Forum kicked off its annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. There, over the course of three days, the upper echelons of the business, political, and academic worlds will grapple with the most urgent problems facing the globe as they consume $55 Caesar salads and shark canapés, rub shoulders with Matt Damon, and attend parties that involve “endless streams of the finest champagne, vodka, and Russian caviar, dancing Cossacks, and beautiful Russian models,” thanks to organizers’ decision to reverse a ban on Kremlin-linked oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s attendance. This year, attendees at the “Money Oscars” are particularly concerned about slowing economic growth, spiking sovereign debt, central banks’ limited ability to fight recessions “or worse,” and uncertainty over geopolitical events such as Brexit, and the U.S.’s trade war with China. Also scaring the bejesus out of them? The prospect of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez forcing people in what’s known as the “fuck-ton of money tax bracket” to “contribute more.”



When billionaire chief executive Michael Dell was asked on Wednesday whether he would support a proposal put forth by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to tax millionaires at a 70 percent tax rate on income exceeding $10 million, the audience for a Davos panel about tech and global inequality burst into laughter before he could answer.

Dell, founder and head of Dell Technologies, first responded by saying he’s more comfortable allocating significant resources through his private foundation than handing over that money to the government. But then he answered more directly.

“No, I am not supportive of that, and I don’t think it would help the growth of the U.S. economy,” he said in response to questions from The Washington Post.

When Dell was asked to explain why he thinks that, he said, “Name a country where that’s worked — ever.”

Co-panelist and MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson jumped in to offer an answer: “the United States.”




Gotta be POWER that blinds.

Otherwise, I got nuthin’.


Since this is an open thread, I am posting a bit from a concert I attended at the Staples Center last night:




It was Elton John playing “Rocket Man”


Still having a blast, IC. Cool!



Potential Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said she supports the Green New Deal proposal to shift the nation to renewable energy to fight climate change.

The New York senator told the liberal Pod Save America podcast Tuesday that “there’s not a lot of details yet behind the Green New Deal” but “the platform of it is really exciting,” and she supports it in her possible presidential bid.

“The way I see a green economy is this: I think we need a moonshot. We need to tell the American people ‘we are going to have a green economy in the next 10 years, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, because it’s a measure of our innovation and effectiveness,’” she said.


I’ve got almost 2 years to evaluate every one of these people running for POTUS. So far, I am not all that impressed with the Democrats. Time will tell.


I would think that those who are truly behind it will have some great ideas of their own.



Michael D. Cohen, the former personal lawyer and fixer for President Trump, has indefinitely postponed his congressional testimony, his lawyer said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr. Cohen was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7 at the invitation of Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the chairman of the committee, but backed out because of ongoing threats against his family, his lawyer Lanny Davis said in a statement. He cited Mr. Trump’s verbal attacks on Mr. Cohen and some of his relatives.

“By advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” Mr. Davis said in the statement. “Mr. Cohen wishes to thank Chairman Cummings for allowing him to appear before the House Oversight Committee and looks forward to testifying at the appropriate time.” He added, “This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”


Three newly empowered Democratic House committee chairmen, alarmed by statements over the weekend by President Trump about his former lawyer’s planned testimony before Congress, cautioned on Sunday that any effort to discourage or influence a witness’s testimony could be construed as a crime.

In a Fox News interview on Saturday night, Mr. Trump accused the former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, of lying about him to win leniency from federal prosecutors and spoke cryptically of the existence of damaging information against Mr. Cohen’s father-in-law. Mr. Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison, has accused Mr. Trump of directing him to make illegal hush payments during the campaign.


Looks like another regime change is in the works. When will we ever learn?


The president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, took an oath as interim president on Wednesday, amid nationwide marches in opposition to President Nicolás Maduro.

The United States in an official statement on Wednesday recognized Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.

Maduro was sworn in for a second six-year term earlier this month, but his election was declared illegitimate by most of the international community, including the United States, the European Union and the Organization of American States.


I guess the lessons learned from Iraq, Libya and Syria have not been applied.





I wonder if the Trump administration will support a coup in France because of the yellow jacket protests?



Not so sure that maduro is “not helping his people.” Maybe if the “opposing forces” would get out of the way.




I hope they find a way to kick them all out. This is really bad.

And then to top it off the adoption thing in South Carolina and the transgender ruling. Period. Period. Period. So there.




Big problem with this as cannot find any!

This coming from the editor of Mother Jones makes it laughable.



Oh My! Seems like RACISM to me.

Only members of the KKK are eligible. /s




I guess that this is only fair.?


Might as will be Bernie. :0)




Wow. She’s something

AOC: “You shouldn’t need a Bible to tell you to protect our planet, but it does anyway.”


The Bernster has got to be shaking his head in wonder. AOC is why he ran for office. She’s not the only one getting involved in politics. Good on her, the young folks, and Bernie! 🙂


Is this the one you wanted? Your tweet doesn’t show up.


Yes thank you! I thought I had one of her replies to herself. Something about forming a Good Neighbor coalition.

But yeah, that captures it. ???



Someone who has the medias’ Twitter handles handy should retweet this to them.

Skip to toolbar