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Randall Woodfin: My first 100 days

We have knocked on over 50,000 doors and made 40,000 phone calls to Birmingham residents. You expressed that you wanted a mayor who could work with the Council, revitalize our neighborhoods, fight crime, and restore trust in City Hall. As a result, my campaign created a comprehensive agenda that was truly inspired by you and your belief that you deserved better.

We are less than a week away from Election Day, and many supporters and critics are asking how we can possibly implement this robust agenda?

Because you deserve to know how we plan to move our city forward, and how we plan to accomplish this goal, I want to offer a glimpse into my transition that will set the tone for my Administration.




Bernie Sanders: Trump’s tax plan is ‘really bad policy’

President Trump’s tax plan is “really bad policy” that Democrats should oppose wholeheartedly, said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday.

“This is not a tax break for the rich? Well, I don’t know what a tax break for the rich is,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.

“What this is is a massive transfer of wealth,” he said, admonishing the release of the GOP tax reform plan earlier in the week.

Sanders wants more of the wealthiest in the country to pay a higher share of the tax burden. The working class “are the people who need help, … not the top 1 percent,” he said.


Bernie Sanders: People have a right to be suspicious race is influencing Trump’s response to Puerto Rico devastation

Sen. Bernie Sanders said “we have a right to be suspect” there may be a racial component to how the Trump administration is responding to the devastation in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria versus the responses in Texas and Florida just weeks earlier.

“Well, look, given the president’s history on race, given the fact that he, a few months ago, told us that there were good people on both sides, when neo-Nazis were marching in Charlottesville, yeah, I think we have a right to be suspect, that he is treating the people of Puerto Rico in a different way than he has treated the people of Texas or Florida,” Sanders, I-Vt., told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump has been criticized for his response to the storm, with many people criticizing how slowly some federal resources have been deployed to the Caribbean island.

Sanders was also critical of Trump’s plans for tax reform.

Just minutes before on the same show, White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said people speculating about the full effects of the tax plan were “lying to you” because the full details of the plan still had yet to take shape.

“For Trump to go on television and say, ‘Oh, this doesn’t benefit the wealthy,’ is absolutely outrageous,” Sanders said.


Bernie Sanders Leads Takedown of Donald Trump Over Puerto Rico

Bernie Sanders is leading criticism of President Donald Trump over how he is tackling the natural disaster in Puerto Rico.

The Vermont senator hit out at Trump on Sunday in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union, explaining he believed the president’s comments on the country were “unspeakable.”

The president has made a number of contentious statements on Puerto Rico since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which left at least 90% of its residents without power or running water.


Bernie Sanders wades into Atlanta mayor’s race

Liberal icon Bernie Sanders is wading into the crowded Atlanta mayor’s race as he campaigns and raises money for Vincent Fort.

The Vermont senator is telling an enthusiastic crowd Saturday that candidates like Fort are needed to help working-class voters at the local level.

Fort is a longtime state senator who shares many of Sanders’ populist positions. Fort also endorsed Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid.

Sanders is now supporting candidates around the country who want the Democratic party to take more populist positions, such as universal health care and free tuition at public universities.


Bernie Sanders stumped for Vincent Fort’s mayoral campaign Saturday

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders lent Atlanta mayoral hopeful Vincent Fort some of his star power Saturday in a rousing rally that was part sermon for “the 99 percent” and part call to arms to fight back against Washington.

Enthusiasitc Sanders fans — many of them white millennials — crowded into the sanctuary of Saint Philip AME Church to hear the man for whom they packed arenas and outdoor stadiums during his unsuccessful presidential run in 2016.

The throng, more than 2,400 in number, gave Sanders — Hillary Clinton’s rival for last year’s Democratic presidential nomination — and special guest, Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, the rock star treatment with screams and defeaning applause that shook the rafters as the duo entered the room with Fort.

“What this campaign is about is not just electing a progressive mayor,” Sanders said. “This campaign is about bringing forward a political revolution that revitalizes democracy and gives the people the hope and the belief that in this democracy we can have a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Fort, no oratory slack himself, kept the crowd on its feet with his message on how he plans to address Atlanta’s gentrification and housing problems, decriminalizing marijuana and solving the issue of income inequality.





Trump sent 18 tweets on Puerto Rico on Saturday. And made things a whole lot worse

The one that got me yelling at my poor hubby:

“They want everything to be done for them,” he tweeted.

Whaaaaaaaaaat?????? Bastard!!


Jane Sanders: Bernie would have beaten Trump

She is unequivocal that Clinton was a bad choice of nominee. “I don’t think Bernie stood in the way, as I think she would have lost to Trump anyway, not because she should have but because she was the wrong candidate at the time,” Sanders says.

“There was a sense in the country, that we felt palpably from people, that, yes, we’ve made progress in some areas, but many of us have been left behind, and nobody is speaking to us. “Also, [there was a] sense that the Clinton campaign was a third term for Barack Obama. There is nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what they wanted at that time, and that’s not what they want now.

“I think the American people, through the healthy exchange of ideas, understood that they could do better as a country, in terms of healthcare, affordable education, affordable housing. Bernie was the candidate for change, Trump was the candidate for change, and Secretary Clinton was the candidate for keeping steady on the path. That was not what the American people were looking for.


Does she believe Bernie would have beaten Trump? “I think he would have won. I have very little doubt he would have won,” she says, “because American people wanted change and they weren’t willing to vote for the status quo.”


Carmen Yulín Cruz: San Juan’s outspoken mayor in Donald Trump’s crosshairs

With her city in near ruins, and facing the most profound crisis of her political career, San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz made it clear she had no patience for or interest in a personal row with Donald Trump.

I have no time for distractions. All I have is time for people to move forward,” she told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Saturday morning. “This isn’t about me, this isn’t about anyone. This is about lives that are being lost …

“This is a time where everyone shows her true colors.”

Trump showed his the next day, referring in a tweet to “politically motivated ingrates” who have criticised his response in Puerto Rico’s hour of need.

According to those who know her, Cruz certainly seems to be showing hers: as a no-nonsense leader with a talent for empathy to match.


Trump says Rex Tillerson ‘wasting his time’ with North Korea negotiations

A day after his secretary of state said the US had direct lines of communication to North Korea and was “probing” to find ways to resolve escalating nuclear tension between the two countries, Donald Trump tweeted that his top diplomat should “save his energy” as “we’ll do what has to be done!”

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” the president wrote, from his golf club in New Jersey and using the nickname he has adopted for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.


The Democratic party needs fresh faces

t’s telling how regularly it happens that most prominent politician taking on Donald Trump is not some fiery Democratic upstart but Hillary Clinton, the Democrat he already beat. Nine months into Trump’s administration, it’s as if the campaign never ended.

And Clinton, though she’s typically the only one accused of overstaying her political welcome, is but one character in the Democratic party’s extended walk down memory lane.

This week Barack Obama, who had until recently stayed out of the national spotlight, put his charisma to work for the Democratic National Committee, his first fundraiser for the party since leaving office; Joe Biden unveiled his new daily podcast; and Bernie Sanders positioned himself front and center in the country’s big health care debate.

Meet the new Democratic stars, same as the old ones. It isn’t what the resistance envisioned, but the party appears to be stuck with familiar faces thanks to never building a Democratic bench and putting all their hopes into a 2016 basket that fell spectacularly apart.


To The Point: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, House Speaker Leonard

As next November’s election approaches, more candidates are throwing themselves in the mix for governor.

On this “To The Point,” hopeful Democratic nominee Dr. Abdul El-Sayed discusses what motivated him to run for governor.

“I ask myself, ‘what is the responsibility in a moment where our states seems to be failing very basic responsibilities?’ It’s not just public health, it’s public education,” he said. “We have some of the worst performing schools in the entire country. It’s also the fact that sitting on 21 percent of the world’s fresh water we can’t seem to protect that resource for ourselves and for the world.”

He also said too many people in Michigan have to choose between getting proper health care and putting their families in financial ruin.



Only two African Americans have been elected governor. These Md. Democrats are vying for a chance to be the third.

wo black men from Maryland, with vastly different backgrounds and political styles, are vying for the chance to become the third African American ever elected governor in the United States.

Ben Jealous, a community activist and former president of the NAACP, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III are competing against at least five other candidates for the Democratic nomination in a blue state where African Americans make up a third of the population.

Black political leaders in Maryland are watching closely, aware that some African American candidates who have run statewide in the past say they have not felt fully supported by the Democratic establishment. Political leaders say they are worried that Baker and Jealous could split the all-important black vote, especially if policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore, who is also African American, gets into the race.


ealous, a first-time candidate, has national prominence and strong name recognition for his work as NAACP chief and Maryland co-chairman of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign. He is one of four black progressive forty-somethings running for governor across the country. His platform includes a $15 minimum wage, free tuition at community college and a state-run, single-payer health-care system.

“I’ve spent my life as a community organizer,” Jealous said. “My track record is leading big, transformative reform efforts and succeeding despite the odds.”


crappy video quality but related to Alexandria Ocasio from NY:


Meet the Muslim woman running for congress in the US

The 34-year-old Lebanese-American woman has a tough job ahead of her – the Michigan district she’s running in has been in Republican hands since 1967 with the Democrats taking out only one election in that time. Saad is undaunted, though, she tells the Independent. She sees a readiness for change in the people she hopes to represent.

“I think that people are going to continue to demand change,” Saad told the paper. “People want elected leaders who are going to fight for progressive values.”


Indigenous people march for recognition of holiday

Against a backdrop of wedding photo shoots and tourists strolling Hermann Park, Oscar Gonzalez sat in the shadow of the Sam Houston statue with pelican feathers in his hair and red ochre painted on his face, beating a steady rhythm with his drum.

Gonzalez is a member of the Karankawa nation — native to southeast Texas — and organizer of the Rally and March for Indigenous Peoples Day Saturday. The protest called upon City Hall to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day as a replacement to the federally recognized Columbus Day.

“America came here,” Gonzalez said. “We are indigenous to this place.”

Bearing protest signs and chanting calls to decolonization, the group made its way down Montrose Boulevard to Bell Park, which houses a statue of Christopher Columbus. There they were joined by other advocacy groups.


Activists in 4-state pipeline protest embrace unique defense

An environmental activist who targeted an oil pipeline in North Dakota a year ago as part of a broader four-state effort to draw attention to climate change is due to stand trial along with the man who filmed his deeds.

Michael Foster’s trial starts Monday in Pembina County. He is among the first in that group of activists to go to trial, following a man in Washington state who was convicted of a burglary charge and served just two days in jail.

Here’s a look at Foster’s case, an update on others and an examination of the defense Foster and other activists hope to use: that their lawbreaking was in the public’s interest.


Activists walk the Enbridge pipeline route, call for transition to renewable energy

As walkers made their way through the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve’s winding trails on Saturday, careful not to disturb the plants and habitat, Mark Jansen spotted something off in the distance.

“Boom, there it is,” the Lowell man said, pointing up ahead.

He could see the unmistakable Enbridge Pipeline logo in bold, red letters through the thicket of the trees.

The Griffith pipeline terminal lies just south of the preserves, but its massive web of underground pipelines carry tar sands oil through the preserve and much of Northwest Indiana.

Jansen was among the 70 or so people who took part in the “Walk The Line” event on Saturday, a 6.2-mile walk following the path of Enbridge’s Line 6 from the preserve near the terminal to Hammond’s Hessville neighborhood.

Environmental activists said the fundraising walkathon event was designed to raise awareness about the potential threat of an oil spill in dangerously close proximity to schools, homes and waterways.


Recent brine spill highlights concern about pipeline material

A pipeline that recently spilled more than 33,000 gallons of brine in a pasture on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation occurred on a segment of pipeline that was scheduled to be replaced.

The pipeline owned by Crestwood Midstream is made of a material called Fiberspar LinePipe, the same fiberglass-reinforced material tied to two of the largest brine spills in North Dakota history.

Three Affiliated Tribes Pipeline Authority Travis Hallam said numerous spills both on and near the reservation prompted the Tribal Business Council to no longer allow fiberglass-based materials for new pipelines that carry produced water, a waste byproduct of oil production.

“It was involved in far too many failures to be considered an acceptable material to protect us from the produced water it was transporting,” Hallam said.


DOE Proposes Outrageous, Massive Coal and Nuclear Bailout

Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Rick Perry just proposed a massive bailout for coal and nuclear power plants. The radical and unprecedented move is couched under a false premise that power plants with fuel located on site are needed to guarantee the reliability of the electricity system. The proposal relies on a mischaracterization of DOE’s own recent study of electricity markets and reliability (discussed here), which if anything demonstrated that this kind of proposed action is not justified.

If adopted, the proposal would essentially ensure that coal and nuclear plants in regions encompassing most of the country continue to run even where they are too expensive to compete in the energy market. It would saddle utility customers with higher costs, while posing obstacles to the electricity system integration of cleaner and less risky energy sources such as solar and wind.


Tesla Sends Hundreds of Batteries to Puerto Rico

Tesla is sending its Powerwall system to Puerto Rico as the island deals with widespread power loss in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

According to Electrek, the company has been quietly shipping hundreds of battery packs to be paired with solar panels to Puerto Rico ever since the storm cleared.

Fortune reported that Tesla employees are currently on the U.S. territory installing the batteries and repairing solar systems, as well as coordinating efforts with local organizations.

Much of the island’s 3.4 million American citizens are currently without power and disconnected from modes of communication. Officials estimate that some areas will not see their power restored for months. As Climate Nexus pointed out, “the future of the island’s bankrupt and corrupt utility and its fossil-fuel-heavy colonial legacy are now top of mind as experts and officials begin to tackle the best way to restore power and rebuild the island’s power grid.”




Why American Democracy Has Descended Into Collective Hysteria

We are a great power in decline—but neither party has a clue what to do about it.




Just as I said yesterday, this will be a way to get into the inner workings of the social media sites. Not good when it comes to the little privacy we already have:

Google, Facebook may have to reveal deepest secrets

The investigations into Russia’s role in the 2016 election are threatening to pry the lid off tech companies’ most prized possessions: the secret inner workings of their online platforms.

As the probes unfold into social media’s role in spreading misinformation, U.S. lawmakers are beginning to show an interest in the mechanics of everything from how Facebook weights news items to how Google ranks search results. The questions, which echo European regulators’ interventionist approach to technology, are a stark change for Silicon Valley companies accustomed to deference from U.S. officials on how they run their operations.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned Sept. 24 about “the use of Facebook’s algorithms and the way it tends to potentially reinforce people’s informational bias.” He added, “This is a far broader issue than Russia, but one that we really need to know more about.”


Could America’s Socialists Become the Tea Party of the Left?

f America’s democratic socialists learned anything from watching Bernie Sanders’ deep run in the Democratic primary last year, it’s that they don’t have to be losers anymore.

Inspired by the Vermont senator’s success at forcing left-wing ideas into the nomination battle, the nation’s largest socialist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America, has watched its dues-paying membership, which historically has hovered around 5,000, swell to 25,000. The DSA is still nowhere near the levels of the Socialist Party in 1920, when nearly a million people voted for Eugene Debs, but its members, too young to remember the Cold War, much less the “red scares” of the 1910s and 1950s, aren’t content to sit quietly on the political sidelines, perennially irrelevant in a system built to sustain two major parties.

They want to win. And to do it, socialists are dispensing with their penchant for symbolic protest votes and their principled disdain for an electoral process they believe can’t deliver meaningful change. Sanders’ ability to run well in primaries across the country, say new DSA members, proved that democratic socialism isn’t destined for the kind of third-party tokenism that bedevils the Green Party and World Workers Party, among others. And it has opened their minds to an electoral strategy that was until very recently considered heretical.

“The only viable electoral strategy is to work with the Democratic Party,” says Michael Kazin, the editor of leftist magazine Dissent. “There is no viable third party.”

The consequence of this willingness to play in the main arena is that a loose confederacy of splinter groups—socialists, anarchists, communists and leftists, all spearheaded by the DSA—are more willing than ever to sacrifice ideological purity for a chance to work as an insurgent coalition inside the Democratic Party. The DSA leadership insists that it feels no loyalty to the Democratic National Committee, but it is eager to challenge Democrats on their own turf.


T and R, pb4!! Tres excellent! 🙂

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