HomeUncategorized12/11 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders: “Keep Up the Momentum to Fight Climate Change” & More
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Look also, for instance, at how Ocasio-Cortez has already shifted the conversation around a Green New Deal, which an increasing number of Democrats have now embraced. Run left candidates to seize the safe blue districts, and the mainstream of the party will follow.

It’s tempting to shrug off the question of purple districts versus blue districts with a dismissive, “Why not both?” But progressive organizations simply don’t have enough money, media or organizers to aggressively contest primaries in both blue and purple districts. This will be even harder in 2020, when the presidential election is sure to distract from down-ballot races.

Support for these blue-district insurgents will come from unexpected places. Among the Left, there has been some dismissiveness toward the anti-Trump Resistance, as represented by groups such as Indivisible and Swing Left; many have painted them as centrists averse to challenging Democrats.

This myth (often rooted in misogyny—the Resistance is predominantly women) does not find support in research conducted by Data for Progress, the think tank I co-founded. We found that Democrats with favorable views toward Indivisible, compared to Democrats as a whole, are more supportive of contested primaries. This finding makes sense: These groups are full of engaged voters who vote in primaries and are sympathetic to the idea that Democratic leadership should be doing more to take on Trump.

To keep the party moving left and advance progressive policies, we need a solid backbone of at least three dozen left progressives in the House to hold the line. That means in 2020 running primary challenges in safe Democratic seats with a slate of young, diverse progressive candidates.


Sounds like a good plan. Hopefully it comes to fruition. But lets not forget to primary those centrists in not as safe districts. Put the fear of the voter into their behavior.


1) I generally trust Sean McElwee (the writer of that piece).

2) Indivisible groups seem to vary somewhat from state to state (from what I have personally noticed, anecdotal so I could very well be mistaken).

3) Anyone who expresses interest to work towards progressive causes will be considered my ally until they prove otherwise.


I didn’t agree with all of this article but I do agree that getting any form of M4A is going to be a monumental task against entrenched opposition with cash to burn


But Medicare-for-all is easy to understand, and benefits from the fact that so many people love Medicare. That branding will likely stick to whatever Democrats settle on, for better or worse. But no matter what we wind up calling it, the opposition is going to be fierce. And there a few things we need to understand about what will happen if there’s a time when a Democratic president and a Democrat-controlled Congress actually try to accomplish universal coverage.

Obviously, the opposition will be far, far better funded than the supporters are, simply because the ones who stand to benefit will be the public at large, while the ones who stand to lose will be a bunch of highly profitable industries. President Barack Obama managed to co-opt many of these opponents in 2009 and 2010 (though the cooperation was always tenuous), which helped make it possible to pass the ACA. But if we’re talking about M4A, there will be no co-opting. Insurers, doctors, pharmaceutical companies — they’re going to fight against it.

Arguing for change, especially radical change, is always more difficult. Even if people are unhappy with the status quo, they will be receptive to the argument that change will make things worse and cause them to lose what they do have.

I wish I had a magical solution to these political problems. But the first step is understanding that actually passing a universal system will take a huge amount of work, extremely friendly historical circumstances, and no small measure of luck. It will take years at least, and success is anything but assured. The fact that it’s right and necessary, or that the current system is still a nightmare in so many ways, doesn’t make it inevitable. No one should delude themselves into thinking otherwise.



There is another benefit of this system, albeit one that helps explain why we haven’t achieved it yet. A more progressive system of healthcare financing can, over time, reduce inequalities not only in health, but in wealth, helping to close our nation’s disastrous economic divide. It’s not surprising, then, that billionaires don’t much like it. Nor is it unexpected that the corporate behemoths that have the most to lose are already sharpening their swords, pouring cash into a new anti-single-payer lobbying group that, as the Intercept recently reported, is maneuvering to “influence Democratic party messaging and stymie the momentum toward achieving universal health care coverage”.

So as important as rigorous analyses and funding proposals are, we miss the forest from the trees if we see this mainly as a fight among policy wonks or dueling funding proposals. This is a struggle against the “economic royalists”, as Franklin D Roosevelt once termed them, of our day – and for the interests of ordinary working people. Good numbers do not a political movement make.


It is my hope that the young folks across the world will unite and defeat these prehistoric thinking greed heads. It will be hard but the reward of a better world is worth it. T and R to the usual excellentTPW suspects!! 🙂


“As Mueller’s Russia investigation comes to a close, Trump’s GOP friends are starting to get apprehensive—some are even considering abandoning the president to save the party, per Newsweek. White House reporter for the Los Angeles Times Eli Stokols told MSNBC’s Deadline program that the Republican party is starting to think supporting the president isn’t in its best interest, especially considering the most recent revelations in Mueller’s probe.”



“According to the ACLU, the Cardin legislation would “bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories (emphasis mine) conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also… include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison….This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies.””

“Fortunately, this legislation can still be stopped. Here are lists of the Senate and House Democrats who are co-sponsoring this abominable bill. Let them know of your opposition. Just as important, if your legislator is not yet a co-sponsor, let him or her know that he or she better not become one.”


If only we could get all those people who care so much about the 2nd amendment to care about the first and others as much.


I don’t think Ms Conway knows how to deal with a non-Beltway, BX millennial politician who knows who how to wield PR better than her boss on social media.

I can only think of Jim Croce’s “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” when I see this type of story from the Hill. In AOC’s case, it’s you don’t mess around with Slim.


Kelly, jealous much?


Cluck cluck cluck, over a wall that he promised the people of Mexico would pay for.


I was involuntarily subjected to a slice of this and had to flee after listening to Trump yelling and bullying Pelosi and Schumer. So I don’t know if Pelosi and Schumer ended up showing any spine. But it doesn’t sound like it:

After the meeting, Democrat Chuck Schumer condemned Mr Trump’s “temper tantrum” in the White House Oval Office.

“After the meeting”? Didn’t Schumer address Trump’s yelling and bullying DURING the meeting??

“I was trying to be the mom,” (Pelosi) said, sources told US media. “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

“trying to be the mom”??? What the actual hell! We don’t need you to be “the mom” Nancy, we need you to be a strong leader who has the stomach to push back on Trump and his disastrous ideas!

Trump bickers with top Democrats over border wall funding

Democrats, on the other hand, are loath to give him this victory.

Not everything is about Trump and whether or not he’s scoring points!! Argh.
The wall is a terrible idea. It’s terrible for wildlife, it’s ridiculously expensive, and it won’t work!!

If lawmakers cannot agree on a federal budget, funding for departments including Homeland Security, Justice, Interior and Agriculture will run out at the end of next week.

Personally, I don’t see a problem there, let them all run out of money. Under Trump all of those departments have been doing more bad than good as far as I can tell.





Schumer really cowered in that meeting. Worst optics.


Yes. For me the image of alpha male Trump lording it over the slouching (not even looking Trump in the eyes) Schumer and the ‘mom’ Pelosi being all polite, sigh.

Not sure how this pic will post, but it kind of says it all for me.

12-11-18 trump pelosie schumer.png

Did Pence die in that chair? He looked like had Rigor set in. Could’ve been a mannequin instead,talk about a 1000 yard stare






Steny Hoyer to the rescue for those supporting the status quo!


Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday hammered the idea of adopting term-limits for chairmanships and leadership posts, distancing himself from Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is considering such caps as she scrambles to secure support to become Speaker next year.

“She’s not negotiating for me,” Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democratic leader, said tersely during a press briefing in the Capitol.

The comments underscore the divisions emerging between the top Democratic leaders — as well as other factions of the caucus — as Pelosi seeks to win over the support of some of her detractors.

It is long past the time for him and his ideas to be removed from Congress.


This just proves that Chuck Schumer is completely useless in doing his job.


Steve King is as sharp as a marble!


This looks like weird bedfellows, but if you read the article, the author suggests Biden run as a third party candidate with Romney. In that scenario, I support Biden/Romney, but not with my vote. It would clear out the brush for a real progressive to run and win.


Biden and Romney can have each other! They can steal a few votes from the Repubs AND from centrist Dems and leave the rest of us to battle it out with Trump for real.

But I don’t see it happening because Biden has already been VP and I don’t think Romney’s ego would allow him to be Biden’s VP. Maybe more likely Biden would run with Michelle Obama as VP. I’m sure there are some drooling over such a prospect.




Gawd, can I gag now?


This is today’s version of what used to be a “Free Press”.

The Jim Hightower Column They Don’t Want You to Read

The Jim Hightower Column They Don’t Want You to Read.

Jim Hightower’s latest column, “Free the Free Press from Wall Street Plunderers,” takes on the corporate bottom-feeders picking apart what’s left of America’s newspapers. He names names, singling out Digital First Media and GateHouse Media, which recently purchased the Austin American-Statesman, as the worst offenders — “hedge-fund scavengers” and “ruthless Wall Street profiteers out to grab big bucks fast” by gutting newsrooms. Tough stuff. And apparently too tough for Creators Syndicate, the distribution firm that has long placed Hightower’s column in various media outlets.

Last week, according to the Austin Chronicle, Creators informed Hightower that it would not be distributing his column out of fear of retribution from Digital First and Gatehouse. In an email to the Chronicle, Creators Managing Editor Simone Slykhous defended her decision, saying the company was only trying to protect Hightower. “We have more than 200 columnists and cartoonists, and our job is to make sure that our actions do not negatively impact them,” Slykhous said.


Right. Maybe let him decide.



“In Major Victory for Progressives, Democratic Leadership Abandons Tax Rule That Would Have Made Bold Agenda Impossible”


Phew! Now let’s get rid of paygo proposal and off we go!




Good. 🙂


Good for her.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez won’t join AIPAC-affiliated trip

JI SCOOP: Incoming Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) will not join her freshmen colleagues on an AIPAC-affiliated trip to Israel later this year, according to an associate of Ocasio-Cortez. A spokesperson for the New York Democrat did not immediately return a request for comment asking if Ocasio-Cortez is planning to join a J Street-sponsored trip or an alternative delegation organized by incoming Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for fellow House members to the West Bank sometime next year.

AIPAC likes to misinform them when there new. It seems to pay off in the long run.


Random and unsurprising tidbit:


NBClinton sure likes to push Beto news.


An early straw poll of members of the progressive group MoveOn.org shows a wide-open competition for liberal voters in the 2020 Democratic presidential contest, with Rep. Beto O’Rourke narrowly beating out former Vice President Joe Biden.

The poll, obtained by NBC News, shows a plurality of respondents — 29 percent — either said they did not yet know whom they would support or wanted someone else not listed among the group’s more than 30 potential candidate choices.

The most popular potential candidate was O’Rourke, D-Texas, who was selected by 15.6 percent of respondents, followed by Biden at 14.9 percent, and then Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with 13.1 percent.

It’s another sign of O’Rourke’s surprising popularity among national Democrats and a potentially troubling indication for Sanders, whom MoveOn endorsed in the 2016 Democratic primary. That year, 78 percent of MoveOn members voted to back Sanders over Hillary Clinton.


It’s trying to stir up the pot a bit. I don’t think any of us are troubled by this media narrative. Biden may be concerned, however.


Here’s a clip of a segment from MTP Daily today:

Notice the Establishment is all about the money. Never mind that Bernie was able to finish the primaries with cash left in the bank because he raised over 200M with small donations.


Unbelievable. I had already started distancing myself from MoveOn but this is ridiculous. Bunch of McResistance. I am glad they joined us, but I wish they listen to Bernie in their hearts.



I have never heard of this site. It appears to mimic The Onion.


NORTH CAROLINA—Election fraud has been suspected in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district as Russian president Vladimir Putin emerged victorious in the contest Friday.

Putin gave an acceptance speech in Congress, but some still allege the election may have been tampered with. They cite the fact that some of the ballots looked suspicious, as well as that Vladimir Putin is the president of Russia and wasn’t even on the ballot. Those who support Putin have waved away these concerns, stating that “Putin rules, America drools.”

“I assure you, this was 100% legitimate,” Putin told reporters. “I got 154% of the vote, fair and square.” Puzzled congresspeople claim they have no recourse, and as such must accept the Russian president into Congress. “Let’s not jump to conclusions. He’s got the benefit of the doubt—innocent until proven guilty,” President Trump said.

Barring any official appeal, Putin will assume office in January, splitting his time between the Kremlin and Capitol Hill.


Worth a view.


Comment put in wrong place! 😉


Earth on course to match climate from 3 million years ago by 2030, UW study says

Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have surpassed those from any point in human history and by 2030 are likely to resemble levels from 3 million years ago when sea levels were more than 60 feet higher than today and the Arctic was forested and largely ice-free, according to a new paper by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
During that period, known as the mid-Pliocene era, temperatures were warmer by between 3.2 to 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was no Greenland ice sheet. Though it is melting today, the ice sheet is still two miles thick at its highest point.
“Reaching Pliocene-like climates by 2030 doesn’t mean that we’ll instantly have a 60-foot sea level rise,” cautioned Jack Williams, a geography professor at UW-Madison and one of the authors of the paper, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Big ice sheets take a while to melt — centuries — and figuring out exactly how fast is one of the top research priorities of the earth science community.”
Still, Williams said the message in the new study is unmistakable: “We are creating and now experiencing a geologic scale event. … We can certainly expect and have already seen more heatwaves, more intensified storms and more intensified wildfires.”Scientists believe the predicted climate changes could also trigger large-scale human migration as people try to move away from flooded coastal areas, unbearable heat and drier, less fruitful agricultural regions.
The new paper also provides a glimpse into the more distant future if reductions in greenhouse gases are not made. It predicts that by 2150, Earth will resemble a period 50 million years ago when the planet had little to no ice and palm trees grew as far north as Alaska.



This post sent me to a glass of wine, wi60! Partly because it jives with what I’ve been seeing for the last couple of decades.

I sure do hope that urgency is the mode going forward.

a sense of urgency (as opposed to panic-my insert) is different. John Kotter, Harvard professor, stated that true urgency may sometimes involve moving fast. But the most important aspects of true urgency are relentlessness, steadiness and the purposeful pursuit of a goal while “continuously purging irrelevant activities to provide time for the important and to prevent burn-out.”

That clip is from a business article, but I think it’s apt.

-Team Members must behave with urgency every day. Anxiety, panic, or anger are bad responses – team members should transmit their urgency in meetings, emails and in everything else they do each day

Panic bad, urgency good.

-Look for the opportunities that are obscured by emerging crises. Fear can paralyze a business and prevent us from taking necessary action. A sense of urgency can carry us successfully through to success.

By “opportunities”, the author most probably means monetary profit (since this is a business article), but how about we rephrase that a bit, how about opportunities to illustrate to those of varying political persuasions that yes, things are scary, for all of us, especially those of us who don’t have piles of money to shield ourselves from the fallout! Most of us are in this together.

-Deal with the NoNos – those “relentless urgency-killers” who would rather that their complacent existence was left undisturbed. Basically, Kotter is saying that complacency is a feeling that a person has about his or her own behavior, about what he or she needs to do or not do. “This point is also extremely important, because it is possible to see problems and yet be astonishingly complacent because you do not feel that the problems require changes in your own actions. So, we become complacent and lose the sense of urgency.”

Does that bolded part describe a lot of liberals, or what? I have dear friends who are financially comfortable enough that they don’t seem to really see climate change as something that affects them. Complacency bad, urgency good.

The Difference Between Panic and Urgency



Thanks. ?


Ditto. 🙂


Thanks orl! You seem to be very feisty, what’s your secret? 😉


I knew you’d appreciate that polarbear! 🙂 🙂

Helpful to know that there are other people out there trying to be strong and not give up (while also keeping their sanity!).


You don’t just get to say that you’re progressive’: The left moves to defend its brand

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are discussing policy platforms that could serve as a litmus test for presidential contenders. Progressive donors, meanwhile, are plotting steps — ranging from closer engagement with campaigns to ultimatums tied to fundraising — to ensure that “Medicare for all,” debt-free college and a non-militaristic foreign policy, among other causes, remain at the center of the upcoming campaign. In an effort to winnow the field, progressive advocacy groups are beginning to poll supporters in the hopes of elevating candidates who gain the imprimatur of the left.

“You don’t just get to say that you’re progressive,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told progressive donors at a private conference here last week, a portion of which was opened exclusively to POLITICO.

Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, called the 2020 election a chance to “leverage our power.” But she called it critical “that we have some very clear guidelines about what it means to be progressive.”

What does that mean? Here’s one thought from Rep Jayapal:

“Not that we have to have 100 percent of people with us on 100 percent of votes,” Jayapal told POLITICO of her growing caucus. “We want to make sure that there is room for people to reflect the differences in their district. But at the same time, if you really are a progressive, then we don’t want you to be voting against progressive positions 30 percent of the time, much less 80 percent of the time.”

She said, “We’re figuring out exactly what that looks like, but we want to be protective of what it means to be a progressive, because I think if we don’t, we erode people’s trust in us as progressive leaders.”

My apologies if this is a duplicate (this was in Politico 2 days ago), but it seems to fit in about the narrative of progressives by the Establishment; they don’t get it that most of us aren’t interested in corporate donors running the show. You also have to walk the walk, which is what Pramila was conveying.


James A. Fields Jr. sentenced to life in prison in Charlottesville car attack

James A. Fields Jr., an avowed neo-Nazi who rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters at a white-supremacist rally, was sentenced to life in prison by a jury Tuesday after a trial that offered an unsparing view of the physical and emotional ruin he caused in this city with a burst of vehicular rage 16 months ago.

As he had throughout his two-week trial, Fields, 21, sat impassively at the defendant’s table, clad in a powder blue sweater, as the jury delivered its sentencing decisions after about four hours of deliberations that began Monday: life for first-degree murder; 70 years for each of five counts of aggravated malicious wounding; 20 years for each of three counts of malicious wounding; and nine years for leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

The jurors were instructed that the sentences would be “presumed to be consecutive” unless they recommended that the terms be served simultaneously. The panel made no such recommendation. Fields’s overall sentence: life plus 419 years and $480,000 in fines.

I am glad there was justice for Heather Heyer’s death. I am against the death penalty and I think life imprisonment is appropriate.

Will it deter the brownshirts?


CNN’s Chris Cillizza has decided that Pelosi and Schumer actually won today’s meeting with our reality TV president.

The reality TV president just got beat at his own game

I have some problems with Cillizza’s analysis.

For example, all of that business about Trump insisting upon the wall being something that only his “base” enjoyed, via Trump’s antics today, but there are many Republicans who don’t care about the wall really, but enjoyed Trump lording it over Pelosi and Schumer, just because!

And there is, without question, a bloc of Republicans (elected officials and base voters) who cheered Trump’s performance with Schumer and Pelosi and who believe that a government shutdown might be a necessary evil to get what they want out of Congress.


p.s. I can’t believe we’re still talking about ‘a wall’, an actual, physical, huge wall. It’s dystopian.

Here are two movies that come to mind, the first one being possibly metaphorical (a la Starship Troopers) and the other a little less subtle.

1. Monsters (2010 film)

After a NASA deep-space probe (sent to verify the existence of extraterrestrial life in the solar system) crash lands in Mexico, extraterrestrial life forms spread throughout the Mexico–United States border region, leading to the quarantine of the northern half of Mexico. US and Mexican troops battle to contain the creatures, and a huge wall stretching along the border ostensibly keeps the US protected.

By the time they reach the border, the creatures have crossed into the United States.

2. Children of Men

A quite well done, albeit brutal, take on both anti-immigration and ecological concerns.


I see Trump as losing just by having to be on TV asking for money when he sold his idea based on Mexico paying for it.

If I was one of the two Dems there, that is how i would handle him.

“I am sorry Mr President but the wall idea was based on Mexico paying for it not the American tax payers and now you want to hold the whole government hostage to extract money from the tax payers because you made an empty promise?”


All 3 of them looked and sounded like boobs. Schumer the chicken, Pelosi, the semi-senile mommy, and the orange baby throwing a temper tantrum. Then you had the mannequin that looked like Pence. Disgusting.


Good points made in this video clip by Warren Gunnels.


I really like this plan.


Progressive organizers will host a series of early-state candidate forums next year designed to ensure that 2020 presidential contenders address litmus-test issues for the left.

People’s Action, a national network of progressive organizations, told POLITICO it will host the candidate events in three early nominating states — Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — in September and October 2019.

The forums — and a crush of similar events that other groups are likely to host — are an early sign of the pressures outside groups will attempt to place on a crowded Democratic primary field in the hopes of producing an ideologically palatable nominee. Ryan Greenwood, director of movement politics at People’s Action, said the group is formulating a list of “demands” surrounding health care, housing, the environment and other progressive causes.


I don’t really know much about the group, So here is a list of its member organizations,



I must admit that I find this surprising.


He should join us!


Sirota has been finding himself in various generously paid political operatives sights lately. Well, I guess even more often than before.

I heard something about someone in ICU. Between that and those generously paid political operatives sic’g their brainwashed followers on him… He’s been riding it out very well, staying strong, but those attacks affecting his family.

I see that he went down swinging though! Anyone who dares to question the Atlantic Council is very brave in my book. Did you know that the Atlantic Council is one of the groups policing Facebook?

Facebook Partners With the Atlantic Council to Fight Election Propaganda

Facebook didn’t provide many details on how the Atlantic Council would help spot potential disinformation, only to that the think tank’s cyber forensic team would work with Facebook staff to deliver “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats.”

“This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world,” Facebook global politics and government outreach director Katie Harbath said in a blog post.

The Atlantic Council’s digital forensic team said in a post on Medium that its staff has been investigating propaganda about “everything from the conflict in Syria, to protests in Russia, to politically motivated automation and bots in Malaysia.”



I don’t know what is the rest of the bill but this part is good.



I seems to be gaining momentum.


I starting to think having these new strong progressives in congress is going to be more effective than I would have expected at this point and what it almost looks like to me is they are waking everyone up from the status quo business as usual daydream congress has been in for decades.

Before it was the orders come down from up high and you either go with them or at least keep your head down if you dont like it, but you don’t criticize or make things politically uncomfortable for your party. Now there are members who wont agree to back room deals to be quiet, will point things they dont like (publicly no less) and push for things that are needed outside of marching orders.

I think this is starting to have a net effect of breaking the status quo and making others feel like they arent locked into the old system and these kind of things are now okay, an emboldening if you will. I figured we would see something along these lines later on as we became a larger voting bloc, but didnt really consider the ‘icebreaking’ effect they would have just by being bold and completely unbound from the big donors.

I’m sure a lot of congress people are starting to self reflect a little after being there for years with little to distinguish themselves and then in come these new members proposing real ideas and pushing for them full steam ahead, before they are even seated no less. There is now a choice outside of being a party drone who only worries about doing what they are told and getting reelected and its a lot more exciting and from the looks of it a little contagious.



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