HomeUncategorized11/18 News Roundup & Open Thread – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “Have political courage. You can change the world.” & More
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Seb Gorka is hosting a new Sinclair propaganda special about the rise of socialism

Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump aide with ties to a Hungarian Nazi party, is hosting a new must-run show for Sinclair about the “dangers” of socialism.

As Media Matters wrote Friday, the 30-minute special appears to be the first in a multipart series which will “take an in-depth look at the appeal of a system that promises equality to all and what happens when the initial enthusiasm gives way to a sobering reality.”

According to Media Matters, the first installment of the series focuses on democratic socialists who have been elected in the United States, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Virginia state delegate Lee Carter, as well as socialist regimes throughout history that have gone wrong and grown violent.

The special is part of pattern of Sinclair-mandated propaganda, including alarmist “terrorism reports” and right-wing opinion pieces packaged as news reports from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and former Sinclair Vice President Mark Hyman.


I remember when PBS ran a series with Niall Ferguson, extolling the virtues of capitalism and yes, Milton Friedman, the Chicago School,and the Pinochet disaster, to name a few. Disgusting. But all wrapped up in a shiny PBS package, i imagine it convinced many.

Scary, this new one, since Sinclair is pretty widespread and most people may not even know that it is a propaganda machine.

I don’t know if the MSM have been exposing it for what it is. Of course, then they’d have to look at themselves.


We love you, Alexandria!

If she had a bit more experience, what a VP she’d make with Bernie. Or, haha, Warren. No way Warren could stay where she is, politically, with Alexandria by her side.

One day she’ll be President, if we work hard and we’re lucky.


Chuck Schumer Caved to Facebook and Donald Trump. He Shouldn’t Lead Senate Democrats.

The list of things he’s done and said are truly awful. And now he has bullied Warner for investigating Facebook, a corpse that gives him megabucks and employs his daughter in a fine job. He’s already leader again, without even a vote, just “by acclamation.”

For the corrupt and lawless Trump, having his old friend Schumer — to whom he has donated thousands of dollars — in charge of the Senate Democrats is a blessing. Schumer is bent on negotiating with this president, whether over immigration reform or infrastructure. That Trump can’t be trusted, or that Trump is leading a white nationalist movement from the White House, doesn’t seem to bother him. As one of the young organizers of a November 2016 protest at the Senate office of the minority leader told the Village Voice: “What’s really dangerous about Chuck Schumer and the Democratic leadership is they don’t understand the stakes of what’s happening in this country.”

“Dangerous” is the correct word. Schumer has voted in favor of Trump cabinet appointees and Trump judicial appointees. He has downplayed the threat posed by the more deranged members of the Trump base by equating it to nonviolent protests from the left.

Deferential. Cowardly. Feckless. Craven. Corrupt. Complicit. Pick your own combination of words to describe Chuck Schumer. The biggest problem we all face is that the Democrats in the upper chamber of Congress have already picked theirs: “Senate minority leader.”


How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

A long and interesting piece by Bill McKibben.

The implications of the exposés were startling. Not only did Exxon and other companies know that scientists like Hansen were right; they used his nasa climate models to figure out how low their drilling costs in the Arctic would eventually fall. Had Exxon and its peers passed on what they knew to the public, geological history would look very different today. The problem of climate change would not be solved, but the crisis would, most likely, now be receding. In 1989, an international ban on chlorine-containing man-made chemicals that had been eroding the earth’s ozone layer went into effect. Last month, researchers reported that the ozone layer was on track to fully heal by 2060. But that was a relatively easy fight, because the chemicals in question were not central to the world’s economy, and the manufacturers had readily available substitutes to sell. In the case of global warming, the culprit is fossil fuel, the most lucrative commodity on earth, and so the companies responsible took a different tack.

A document uncovered by the L.A. Times showed that, a month after Hansen’s testimony, in 1988, an unnamed Exxon “public affairs manager” issued an internal memo recommending that the company “emphasize the uncertainty” in the scientific data about climate change. Within a few years, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, Amoco, and others had joined the Global Climate Coalition, “to coordinate business participation in the international policy debate” on global warming. The G.C.C. coördinated with the National Coal Association and the American Petroleum Institute on a campaign, via letters and telephone calls, to prevent a tax on fossil fuels, and produced a video in which the agency insisted that more carbon dioxide would “end world hunger” by promoting plant growth. With such efforts, it ginned up opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, the first global initiative to address climate change.

There are undoubtedly myriad intellectual, psychological, and political sources for our inaction, but I cannot help thinking that the influence of Ayn Rand, the Russian émigré novelist, may have played a role. Rand’s disquisitions on the “virtue of selfishness” and unbridled capitalism are admired by many American politicians and economists—Paul Ryan, Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, Andrew Puzder, and Donald Trump, among them. Trump, who has called “The Fountainhead” his favorite book, said that the novel “relates to business and beauty and life and inner emotions. That book relates to . . . everything.” Long after Rand’s death, in 1982, the libertarian gospel of the novel continues to sway our politics: Government is bad. Solidarity is a trap. Taxes are theft. The Koch brothers, whose enormous fortune derives in large part from the mining and refining of oil and gas, have peddled a similar message, broadening the efforts that Exxon-funded groups like the Global Climate Coalition spearheaded in the late nineteen-eighties.

Fossil-fuel companies and electric utilities, often led by Koch-linked groups, have put up fierce resistance to change. …

Residential solar installations now shrinking.

Such efforts help explain why, in 2017, the growth of American residential solar installations came to a halt even before March, 2018, when President Trump imposed a thirty-per-cent tariff on solar panels, and why the number of solar jobs fell in the U.S. for the first time since the industry’s great expansion began, a decade earlier.

And to leave you with a bittersweet, perhaps hopeful note,

That evening, Harland and Dankert drew a crude map to help me find the beach, north of Patrick Air Force Base and south of the spot where, in 1965, Barbara Eden emerged from her bottle to greet her astronaut at the start of the TV series “I Dream of Jeannie.” There, they said, I could wait out the hours until the pre-dawn rocket launch and perhaps spot a loggerhead sea turtle coming ashore to lay her eggs. And so I sat on the sand. The beach was deserted, and under a near-full moon I watched as a turtle trundled from the sea and lumbered deliberately to a spot near the dune, where she used her powerful legs to excavate a pit. She spent an hour laying eggs, and even from thirty yards away you could hear her heavy breathing in between the whispers of the waves. And then, having covered her clutch, she tracked back to the ocean, in the fashion of others like her for the past hundred and twenty million years.


Round 2 of the revolution is about to begin, AOC understands this as well as anyone and I love she is adding her voice to Bernies to get people to run. She is a child of this revolution who is growing into one of its main leaders (and yes Bernie must be proud :D)

This is where Beto is starting to concern me, he should be adding his voice to all this, but instead we are just getting stream of consciousness about him running and nothing about the people or the country or the revolution.

He made a name for himself, but I don’t see him using that name for much of anything but himself and that makes me think of an ‘Obama’.


Yes. And the media is starting to compare him to Obama. I hope he starts speaking up again.


AOC takes almost everything that is ‘about her’ and turns it into the plight of everyone, its easy to see she is for real and not some self serving Pol, I want to start seeing this from Beto.

I was more than happy to see him as a senator from Texas, he is head and shoulders above Cruz, but that is a low bar that he needs to rise far above for me to see him as well at the national level.


The Bernster knows he has to help build a bench of young liberal/socialistic visionaries to run and get elected. Time is short especially on the climate side. AOC is one. Hopefully, more will emerge and not be corrupted by the old guard corporate fascists.


This says so much.

..And just the other day, President Trump was asked about the murdering of Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian journalist. He was murdered in Turkey and there’s a part of Trump that I think is actually very useful. Unlike most politicians who would’ve talked about human rights, he responded very honestly. He said, “There’s not much we can do because we have $150 billion worth of arms deals with Saudi Arabia at the moment. And those arms are being used in the genocide in Yemen. And we need to make sure that that money continues to flow to the United Sates and that also means jobs.” In light of those comments, you would think there might be a discussion on MSNBC, on the New York Times op-ed page about what this really means that the President of the United States is effectively saying that Saudi Arabia can do whatever it wants because we’re making a lot of money by selling them arms that are being used in a genocide in Yemen. And the discussion’s just nowhere to be found.

Some of Our Biggest Cheerleaders for War Are Not Who You Think

Rubin speaks to being a vet, as well.

When I was in Afghanistan I was having conversations all the time, mostly on the front lines, actually, My job was one in which I was constantly being shuttled from big bases, so like the flagpole, to the front lines. I got to see both worlds on a pretty regular basis. I would say at the flagpole, everyone was a true believer. Everyone in one way or another believed in the mission, or at least pretended to believe in the mission. But on the front lines where people were actually dying, and we were actually killing people, in my mind and the minds of everyone that I serve with, we were all disillusioned. None of us really believed in the mission. I mean we were all to the extent that we believed in anything—you hear this over and over again, but it’s because it’s true—we just believed in saving our ass and saving the person to our left and our right. That’s really what it came down to. This is something else that I would love journalists to look more into. But I mean there have been studies that have done, and polls that have been done that do point toward a kind of mass disillusion, or mass apathy on the part of veteran and active duty community, particularly those that have been in combat.

…I think a lot of Americans at some level know that these terrible wars are going on, they know that they’ve done nothing to really learn about them, to question them, to maybe stop them, and I think at some subconscious level, the kind of hyper-patriotism that we’ve seen is a reflection of this deeper sense of guilt or inaction or thoughtlessness. I’ve written about this as well. I think the veteran as this kind of patriotic object really speaks to a much deeper insecurity on the part of the populous, not just about American foreign policy, but about the state of America in general as a kind of decadent empire that’s somewhat aimless and self-destructive. That’s at least where I would begin the conversation.

I could go on. It’s at Truthdig. He tells a story from Afghanistan at the end that shows how it is that we end up here, with the violence abroad and, increasingly, (are the commas correct there?) at home, and how our lives are busy and we don’t know how to change things so we rationalize it.



Here’s one of mags’ tweets about someone who was a heavy influence on the Kochs.


Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

Tyler Cowen has provided an economic justification for this kind of brutality, stating that where it is difficult to get clean water, private companies should take over and make people pay for it. “This includes giving them the right to cut off people who don’t—or can’t—pay their bills,” the economist explains.

To many this sounds grotesquely inhumane, but it is a way of thinking that has deep roots in America. In Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative (2005), Buchanan considers the charge of heartlessness made against the kind of classic liberal that he took himself to be. MacLean interprets his discussion to mean that people who “failed to foresee and save money for their future needs” are to be treated, as Buchanan put it, “as subordinate members of the species, akin to…animals who are dependent.’”

underline mine.


What a grotesque example of the fatal? flaw in the human cosmic experiment!


He looks exactly like what he is: an old crazed greedy backwards thinking wrinkle.


Wow. I didn’t realize that AOC is supporting Pelosi. I take back my LOVE and make it a like.

At any rate, the wsws thinks it’s a big kabuki again (even I am not quite that cynical…yet).

In other words, a more concise accounting of the event would be as follows: Pelosi praises the protesters, Ocasio-Cortez praises Pelosi, Jacobin praises Ocasio-Cortez and concludes that the day of exchanging pleasantries in Washington represents a “qualitatively different type of leftist politics.”
Ocasio-Cortez has moved to support Pelosi under conditions in which Pelosi faces a potential leadership challenge from sections of the Democratic Party. On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her criticism of some Democrats for “hold[ing] the Speaker vote hostage unless conservative concessions are made,” contrasting this to her own “respectful” efforts at “encouraging leadership decisions.”

What the whole operation confirms is that the DSA and Ocasio-Cortez have no fundamental differences with Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership.

Pelosi has been the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives for 16 years. She has overseen all the crimes of the Democratic Party for a decade and a half, including the draconian immigration policies of the Obama administration, which resulted in the deportation of more immigrants than any president in history. She was driven out of her own press conference last year by pro-immigrant activists chanting “Democrats are deporters!”

Ocasio-Cortez’s embrace of Pelosi is only her latest effort to burnish her own establishment credentials. In the aftermath of her primary victory, she repudiated previous criticisms of Israel, pledged her support for “border security,” praised Republican Senator John McCain and stood beside Bernie Sanders, nodding in agreement, as the Vermont senator endorsed the Democrats’ anti-Russia campaign.


Politics are complicated, just because you support someone doesnt mean you agree, sometimes you have to play the game, especial with someone with as much power as Pelosi who is going to get the speakership probably either way.

Just like Bernie supporting bills to get an amendment added, doesnt mean he likes the whole bill, just means he knows it will pass anyway and gets what he can.


Definitely. The progressives have an opening with Pelosi because she is under attack from the centrists. They can use their support to get some concessions. And Pelosi unlike Schumer does really come from the more progressive side of the Dems. She’s establishment now, but her roots are definitely closer to the progressives than Schumer’s roots were.
I definitely like how AOC knows how to play the game like Bernie does.


Well, then, I’d like to see progressives like Khana and Ocasio-Cortez push publicly for Pelosi to change her 3/5 majority from taxes to cutting things like Medicaid and Social Security, and to forget about the “pay-go” rule.

Those two things are only popular with TPTB, not progressives. Sure, Pelosi can appeal to the “bottom 80%” on the tax cuts, but it’s a short jump to switching it to valuable programs and I think most people understand that some taxes have to be raised for M4A and that they will save a lot more than they pay in taxes with M4A. If not, then it’s up to us and especially the progressives with a voice to say so, loudly and clearly.


I agree


Im just not sure its possible, much like Bernie never really getting what he would really want but getting what he could, im not sure we have the leverage yet to bend her a lot.

Getting something meaningful in this early stage is to me more than I expected and leads me to believe that if big time pols like Pelosi see the wind blowing that direction thats a good sign for us.

I didn’t expect us to be getting any attention from the top at all this congress and to me even having one of our most vocal representatives getting serious consideration from establishment top brass is amazing in itself.

This is a revolution in slow motion where we get to take another piece every 2 years with this year being its first blip of existence at all. The fact its being acknowledged right away and not just ignored as a anomaly, says a lot about its potential future.


I’m not sure she could get away with it if enough people knew what was happening. Even if they can’t stop her they should make sure that as many people now as possible and know what it means. imho 😉

And even if she could do it still, she would pay a price with the public especially progressives.

But I get what you’re saying. We don’t have a lot of influence right now.


I truly believe not all these congress people are heartless, but have allowed themselves to become slaves to the system for wealth and power they now dont want to lose, but I truly believe many of them know whats truly good and bad for the country and deep down hate what they are doing.

That doesnt mean those same people wont do what their masters tell them, but it does mean many would secretly like us to win and would be more happy in a system where they could have wealth and power but do good, instead of our current system that only allows destructive legislation to pass.

People dont want a legacy of being on the wrong side of history and should this revolution gain real momentum I expect we will also begin to see some of those currently owned jump ship, but I dont expect that for at least another cycle or two depending on 2020 and especially if Bernie runs.

Much like the Italians in WWII who saw the allies more as a liberating army once we were attacking Italy, believing their own leaders the bad guys, I think a fair number of congress people will have much the same view.


Agree. At least I fervently hope. Tired of being too hopeful, though, time after time.


The Jane Sanders exoneration has finally been diaried at DK and is on the Rec list. Comments so far are very supportive.




Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is among a new group of lawmakers pledging support for incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) proposed plan to address climate change.

Lewis is the most high-profile lawmaker to back Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a “Green New Deal,” which calls for Democrats to craft a climate action plan that pushes for a 100 percent renewable energy economy.


Lewis is allied with the establishment, including Pelosi. The fact that he’s supporting the Green New Deal is a big deal.


It’s about time he did something that’s a positive for the future. I still remember him being a big, fervent supporter of Raygun, the Wsr on Drugs, and drug testing. With his civil rights record, he should have shown a bit more common sense!


Trump definitely knows all about turds


Well I’m still not voting for him, but thumbs up!


Thats his ‘running for president’ dog, the media construction of Biden the candidate is beginning.


Can’t disagree. I’m such a dog lover. Candidates who love the pups do get positive vibes.


I wonder posters helped him pick the breed. ???


That’s a beautiful Shepherd. I had one as a kid. They are great watch dogs and very intelligent. Biden is a German Shepherd fan FWIW. Won’t get my vote, either! 🙂


I miss John Lennon. This song is a good way to start Thanksgiving week.


Emoji’s need a raised fist icon.


Skip the Yoko Ono image. What a downer and fraud she was and still is!

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