HomeUncategorized10/30 News Roundup & Open Thread – How AOC’s Endorsement Is Impacting Bernie in Polls, Kyle Kulinski Chats With Joe Rogan & More
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Is a candidate a centrist? This question matters because many voters like to think of themselves as moderates or centrists. Other voters, not heavily engaged in the political process, are responsive to labels. Therefore the candidate who captures the label in the eyes of the corporate media has a leg up. But before accepting media designations more careful scrutiny of the candidate and the historical context is in order. The question of who is a centrist should be broken down. How do the views of the candidate stack up against grass roots perspectives, consensus views within the beltway, and historic or international norms.

By these standards the Republican Party is as extreme as any major party in our history. Given the unpopularity of its views not surprisingly it has ceased any pretense of practicing parliamentary democracy. And recognizing its own isolation many members of the party are willing to countenance any available means to hold power and promote its agenda. Applying comparable standards one can reasonably conclude that the Sanders campaign stands well within the confines of earlier democratic reform movements.

Sanders wants to increase the benefits that lifetime low-income workers will receive so that they’ll be higher than the national poverty level. He would finance the provisions by increases in taxation of the income above the current Social Security tax cap.

This of course brings up the question of the popularity of the Social Security system itself and of progressive taxation. Here once again Sanders is not the radical extremist. It is the Republican Party that has abandoned the center. The party has abandoned even its own voters.


Disappointing. I wonder what Krasner thinks of Bernie’s plans on economic justice. Possibly Krasner is ambitious and believes Warren has a better chance to win, and an early endorsement might give him a better chance at a federal job in a Warren Administration. Also the Philadelphia political heavyweights seem to be getting behind Warren, which is bad news for Biden in his birth state. Philadelphia is also very close to Delaware and where he has his campaign offices.


Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has picked up another major Philadelphia endorsement after the city’s district attorney announced his support of her campaign.

Larry Krasner, considered one of the country’s so-called progressive prosecutors, issued the endorsement in a Wednesday morning news release in which he highlighted the Massachusetts senator’s focus on economic justice, and said her message dovetails with the issues of race and criminal justice reform.

“She’s been very, very clear that she understands the direct connection between racism and law enforcement in communities of color and its consequences, in terms of a discriminatory and disproportionate use of jail cells, and prosecutions, and legal resources against people of color,” Krasner said.

An endorsement video from Kasner showed him discussing criminal justice reform with Warren, who backed the “notion that we should be spending a whole lot less money on locking people up and a whole lot more money on lifting people up.”

The district attorney’s endorsement follows Mayor Jim Kenney’s own endorsement of Warren a week earlier.

Along the way, Krasner has received endorsements from progressive organizations like Our Revolution, which backed his campaign for office in 2017. The group, which recruits progressive candidates and helps them run for office, famously backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist who last year unseated an incumbent Democrat in New York’s 14th District.

Krasner pointed to Warren’s own progressive credentials as he issued his endorsement.

“I’m endorsing Elizabeth Warren because her plans fundamentally change how we address crime. She is trying to make our system fair, Krasner said. “… She is here to serve the interests of working people, middle-class people, and poor people. It’s clear to me that this is also about criminal justice — it’s two sides of the same coin. It’s not just words, it is actions.”


It appears as if Krasner failed to read Bernie”s policies on crime.


bummer! wth. I wonder if Bernie’s Camp needs to do a little more diplomatic reaching out to some of these people that seem naturals for him


Can’t get them all. But I am surprised.

Having said that, he fits Warren’s demographic. Bernie is truly building a diverse coalition.


I don’t like this either. Philly’s Berniecrats need to make some noise.


That is disappointing. Where has Warren been on criminal justice reform for all of these years? Personally, I didn’t see her there.

Do you remember this interview? She was evasive, vague and seemingly unprepared.



I think of this scene whenever I am forced to reckon with the wisdom of Nate Silver, the baseball statistician-cum-polling analyst turned Twitter pundit. Silver is by no means a communist; he’s not even a leftist. He presents himself as a kind of libertarian, and like so many tedious, self-styled iconoclasts, I suspect he would call himself “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” He has, at various points, expressed support for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and even the two-time third-party candidate Gary Johnson.

Increasingly, one suspects that despite his claims to analytical rigor, at some very basic level, Silver does not actually know what a poll is. He is not alone in this; a fair portion of the country’s political punditry and opinion-making class is equally misinformed. In their conception, polls of opinion and sentiment represent not a snapshot of the present as informed by the past, but rather a hazy but prescient view into the future; not a measurement, but a prediction. “[Y]ou can actually write down what will happen in the future, with as much confidence as you write down the history of the past. Because it’s science!” This is why so much media discourse around polling emphasizes a framework that paints polls of present attitudes as a form of absolute constraint on where sentiment will go.

But even as Silver continues to present himself as an analytically rigorous alternative to the entrails-reading punditry of the “Morning Joe” variety, he also has shown an increasing affinity for precisely that brand of unquantifiable storytelling and third-scotch-at-the-hotel-bar pontificating for which his original project was supposed to be a remedy. During a recent round of the never-ending free speech debates, he opined that “false statements of fact” aren’t protected by the First Amendment, eliciting howling derision from the lawyers in the cloud. Just this week, he logged on to complain, after Trump was—entirely predictably, and without polling!—booed by a crowd at a Washington National’s baseball game on the same day he’d announced that the U.S. had supposedly killed the alleged leader of Islamic State, that “many Libs can’t even permit Trump to have *one good day* … after US forces kill perhaps the world’s most wanted terrorist.” (He has since issued a tweet suggesting, unconvincingly, that he was trolling.) It’s a curious stance from a man who claims, among other self-imposed limits and constraints, that his empirical models deliberately seek to ignore those major public events that move—usually briefly—opinions about politics and events. To use Silver’s preferred turn of phrase, isn’t one good day just more “noise”?


That guy Nate seems out of touch and he credibility severely damaged. I’m thinking less and less people will be listening to his opinions on anything going forward.


From Thom Hartmann:


People being killed by wildfires in California and people dying because they can’t afford their insulin are the same thing. Both represent the capture of government by corporations—in other words, both are symptoms of democracy in the United States being replaced by a corporate state with little regard for morality, life or the law.

In 1976, for the first time in America’s history, five conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that rich people owning their own personal politicians was constitutionally protected because the money they were using to buy legislators and legislation was “free speech.” The case was Buckley v. Valeo. In 1978, SCOTUS extended that logic to corporations in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

The result was predictable. Rich people and corporations rose up and took over the government, as money poured into Reagan’s coffers and the corporate-funded GOP began to dominate the American political scene. And, also predictably, the most predatory and least scrupulous among those billionaires and corporations ended up with the most influence.

This Supreme Court-written law, reaffirmed in 2010’s Citizens United decision, was never proposed by any legislature, governor, or president, and, in fact, struck down a series of “good government” laws restricting money in politics that went all the way back to 1907.

And it has largely reduced democracy in the United States to its trappings. The public is engaged in a series of rather empty rituals, at least for the moment.

In the Democratic primaries, several candidates started backing away from Medicare for All when people from drug, hospital, doctor and insurance interests began to financially support their campaigns. The Republican Party sold their souls back in the 1980s; only about half of the Democratic Party is in a similar condition of servitude, which has put the party at a severe electoral disadvantage since that era.

Because of a corrupt Supreme Court, oligarchs and the corporations that made them rich have taken over the American political system. If we don’t take it back from them soon, the entire experiment of an American democratic republic will come to an end.


erm, >1/2 dems, Thom.


But who appointed those justices? Nixon. There’s a reason Hunter S. Thompson was so freaked out when that happened, that the American people were so scared of what the 60’s showed them that they would turn to an authoritarian nutjob. The tipping point for corporate control of these country was long, long ago.

I guess my point is that it’s wrong to seize upon a particular moment and say “aha, this is what messed it all up.” It’s taken prolonged institutional failure to get us to this point, and that could only happen with a disengaged citizenry, asleep at the wheel while those with bad intentions plundered the country.


I agree it started a while ago but with citizens united and the federalist society packing the supreme court changes will have to happen soon. Hell Trumpcorp is appointing judges on the lower courts that the bar association wont approve.McConnell is single handedly corporatizing the judicial system.


I read this morning the ABA being accused of being a liberal dark money organization. Whaaaat?

‘Not qualified’ rating and accusation from American Bar Association moves Trump nominee to tears

“The ABA is a liberal dark-money group, fronting for trial lawyers who donate millions of dollars to Democratic politicians,” said Mike Davis, who served as chief counsel for then-Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and now runs the Article III project, a group that supports Trump’s nominees. Davis calls the ABA process “fatally flawed, as it is intentionally structured to couple liberal activists with a subjective, black-box process that oftentimes results in unfair hits on conservative judicial nominees.”

As of last week, the Senate has now confirmed five judges the ABA deemed unqualified: Leonard Steven Grasz, Charles Barnes Goodwin, Holly Lou Teeter, Jonathan Kobes, and Justin Walker. Goodwin and Teeter received support from Democrats, while the other three were approved only with Republican votes.
Overall, the setbacks have been few as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pushed through a record number of appellate judges and often praises a legacy that will last decades.

A spokesperson for the ABA said that its rating process is done by a standing committee of the federal judiciary which is independent of the ABA leadership and does extensive peer reviews of the nominees writings and interviews with people who have worked with them. They have three criteria: integrity, temperament and experience and say that ideology does not factor in the evaluation at all.


At the rate they’re going, Republicans will replace the ABA with the Federalist Society and let them just pick and choose.


What I’d want to see under a Sanders administration is impeachment of every single judge approved under the criminal Trump, starting with the Supremes. These ideologues are unqualified and are only on the bench because of the unconstitutional power grab by McConnell’s Senate (facilitated by Mr. Inaction, Obama).

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