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Don midwest
Don midwest

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SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. He is a computational biologist whose research investigates modern questions in epidemiology, population genetics, and disease ecology.

2020 SACNAS Featured Speaker: C. Brandon Ogbunu, PhD


Not signing a bill the NY Legislature has passed, is a favorite tactic of Andrew Cuomo where he looks to stymie the Progressive will of the people.

After the Legislature votes bills out, they are supposed to go to the Governor for his signature. Many never get to his desk. They sit on Assembly Leader Carl Heastie’s desk gathering dust.

This ugly undemocratic move prevented the candidate for Queens District Attorney to take her seat. The specific bill extended a favorable ballot counting rule which if properly in place would have given the Progressive candidate the victory in her race. A Queens Machine candidate is the DA instead.

Cuomo has lost the battle for control of his State and how ugly it gets as he struggles to regain his control is anybody’s guess.


As big as NY is, there is no viable candidate with the power/name recognition to challenge this RW yahoo? Is the state Democratic Party as hopelessly corrupt as FL’s?


I’m unaware of any candidate willing to take Cuomo on. I supported Cynthia Nixon who did really well, but she was an unusually brave woman.




What does Senator Bernie Sanders think about the outcome of the election and what it says about President Donald Trump’s hold on the Republican Party? Sanders, In the second part of our exclusive conversation, discussed Trump’s continued failure to concede or cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden.

Senator Sanders calls the president’s response to the election “un-American.” “Look, all over the country, people run for office, including myself. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” Sanders said.

Sanders says the fact that President Trump refuses to admit he lost the presidential election undermines democracy. “If Trump is going around claiming this was a fraudulent election, there are going to be millions of people saying, ‘Why do I want to bother to vote. The whole thing is rigged.’ That is destroying American democracy and that is just an unbelievably ugly and irresponsible thing for this guy to do,” Sanders said.

But Sanders says he’s not worried the President will be able to continue the fight to stay in office much longer. “Given the fact that all these lawsuits are going against them, that people understand what he’s doing is outrageous, I think that Joe Biden will take office and be inaugurated on January 20,” he said.

Sanders says COVID-19 is the most pressing crisis facing the new president. President Trump has prevented Biden’s team from access to intelligence and critics say that could hurt pandemic planning. But there’s good news on the vaccine front — two showing promising trial results that they are more than 90% effective.

Reporter Darren Perron: The Trump administration is saying they are working with these pharmaceutical companies to get these vaccines out quickly to as many Americans as possible. In fact, the president tweeted that historians should remember that these great discoveries took place on his watch. Does he deserve the credit?

Senator Bernie Sanders: Oh God, what other president would say that? ‘On his watch.’ We have great scientists in the U.S. and all over the world who are working hard. Trump, like everybody else, wanted to make sure we developed this vaccine as quickly as we possibly can. The challenge is — and it’s not an easy challenge — is to get dosages out to 300 million people all over this country. That’s one of the reasons we need to pass a strong COVID-19 emergency relief package in Congress. States, hospitals, and medical establishments are going to need a lot of help.

Sanders says he worked hard to get Biden the win — holding nearly 30 virtual rallies urging his supporters to make the switch. “I did not think we could live with another four years of Trump and I worked very hard to try to defeat him,” Sanders said. He says he continues to push the President-elect to adopt more progressive policies. “I think he has moved a long way and now we have got to give him the ability to implement those proposals.”

Sanders wants a $15 an hour minimum wage, equal pay for equal work for women, free college, aggressive climate change legislation, and Medicare for all.

Reporter Darren Perron: Opponents would argue — and a lot of Republicans have said — these are radical, far-left ideas, and even some Democrats have said that progressive ideas hurt some Democrats who ran this past time. Some House seats were lost.

Senator Bernie Sanders: I categorically disagree. For a start, in terms of a radical idea, Darren, if you and I drove 50 miles north to our neighbors in Canada, somehow or another, for decades they’ve had a system where anybody can go to any hospital you want, any doctor you want, you don’t take out your wallet, you don’t take out your credit card — universal health care — they are spending one half as much per capita as we are. Sound like a radical idea? I don’t think so. In terms of the criticism made against me and others, let’s be clear. Over 100 candidates running for Congress on a Medicare for All proposal. Not one of them lost. One candidate lost who was running on a Green New Deal.



Senator Bernie Sanders called for an end to “corporate welfare” for companies that move their manufacturing abroad and “throw American workers out on the street” as he eyed a position in President-Elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

Posting on social media, the Vermont independent said Biden was “absolutely right” to pledge that no companies who made products outside of the U.S. would receive federal contracts from his incoming administration.

The former Democratic primary candidate also argued “standing up” for working families meant only awarding contracts to domestic producers, rather than firms who outsource production to countries with cheaper labor.

Sanders praised the move after Biden revealed his plan in prepared remarks following a meeting with top union and business leaders on Monday—including the CEO of General Motors and the president of United Auto Workers.


Biden’s transition team in this area is more promising than others.


Elizabeth Warren’s fingerprints are all over the Biden transition, much to Wall Street’s dismay.

President-elect Joe Biden’s agency review teams include several people who share Warren’s reputation for being tough on the financial industry.
If you’re a bank that has a scandal, then you need to be worried.”

It’s more evidence of the influence of Warren, a fierce opponent of big banks and the excesses of Wall Street — as well as an early signal that Wall Street will be under much greater scrutiny, especially compared to four years of President Donald Trump’s efforts to dismantle regulation and unshackle big banks.

“The big-bank CEOs who read that list are probably somewhat concerned,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at Compass Point Research & Trading. “Progressives absolutely won the day on this.”

Perhaps top on Wall Street’s worry list is Gary Gensler, who will lead the team working with financial regulatory agencies including the Federal Reserve, SEC and FDIC. Gensler led the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from May 2009 to January 2014.

Among the Obama-era regulators, Gensler was the most aggressive in implementing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Wall Street opposed.

“Gary Gensler undoubtedly brings back some bad memories,” said Boltansky.

Although Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs banker, he is now viewed as a tough-on-Wall-Street ally of Warren.

“He made a lot of enemies in DC and the industry,” said Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst at Raymond James. “The fact he’s leading this is a signal to the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party that they have a voice on financial regulatory picks.”

The financial regulatory team also includes Dennis Kelleher, the CEO of Better Markets, a nonprofit founded after the 2008 financial crisis focused on holding Wall Street accountable.

Kelleher, who declined to comment, is not exactly from the Robert Rubin wing of the Democratic party. (Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs chairman, served as Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.)

Last month, Kelleher condemned Goldman Sachs as a “recidivist lawbreaker” that has “preyed upon and ripped off countless Main Street Americans and many others.”


if this pans out, payback for breaking bernie’s knees. good. at least something good maybe comes out of this mess.

“If you’re a bank that has a scandal, then you need to be worried.” lol shouldn’t that be the very baseline? like taken for granted.


Doesn’t seem like much of a new day in America to me


The appointment of the upper ranks of Democratic leadership hasn’t been without some private grumbling, particularly after the caucus’s unexpected string of losses on Nov. 3 shrunk its majority to its smallest in two decades. The slim majority could pose limits on Pelosi’s and President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, and raises concerns among Democrats about keeping control of the House in 2022.

Pelosi, 80, and Hoyer, 81, have led the Democratic Caucus for nearly two decades — with the 80-year-old Clyburn elevated to whip in 2007 after Democrats won the majority — leading some lawmakers to reignite calls for a transition plan to a younger cadre of leaders.

Some Democrats have openly wondered if Pelosi still plans to step down in two years, a pledge she made in 2018 in order to win the speakership for a second time. In recent weeks, Pelosi has refused to entertain the question when asked by reporters.

Despite the complaints, no other lawmakers stepped forward to challenge the three House leaders for their positions.

“Nancy Pelosi is a legendary speaker. One of the best who’s ever done it, ever, in the history of the republic. She certainly has my strong support,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) — who is often mentioned as a possible successor to Pelosi — told reporters.

“Whatever happens in the future is going to happen,” he added. “During the Trump era, we’ve just been all trying to get to tomorrow. Now, we’re trying to get to Jan. 20 and it will be a new day in America.”


i wish someone would have challenged her, even knowing they would lose. it would be good for the House in general and would be revealing as to who is honestly progressive.


Maybe they thought it wasn’t worth giving up their committee assignments.


oh, i didn’t know you had to give it up just to run. might want to change that. ty


At that age they belong down in the “Villages” figuring out their next T time or shuffle board time, not making decisions that will screw up the next generation. Instead of hanging on to have their bodies wheeled out of congress


The one group gaining power through the voters are the Progressives. Their numbers are growing every 2 years. Botoxed Nancy has 2 more years.