HomeUncategorized12/14 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders: ‘2020 Presidential Run Not An Easy Decision’ & More
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jcitybone

Wall Street, Banks and Angry Citizens: The Inequality Gap Is Growing

The financial crisis of 2008 initially fostered a policy of bailing out banks with cheap money that went not into Main Street economies but into markets enriching the few. As a result, large numbers of people increasingly felt that they were being left behind and so turned against their leaders and sometimes each other as well.

This situation was then exploited by a set of self-appointed politicians of the people, including a billionaire TV personality who capitalized on an increasingly widespread fear of a future at risk. Their promises of economic prosperity were wrapped in populist platitudes, normally (but not always) of a right-wing sort. Lost in this shift away from previously dominant political parties and the systems that went with them was a true form of populism, which would genuinely put the needs of the majority of people over the elite few, build real things including infrastructure, foster organic wealth distribution, and stabilize economies above financial markets.

In the meantime, what we have is, of course, a recipe for an increasingly unstable and vicious world.

polarbear4

yes. i wish they would quit calling Trump, Bolsonaro, et al, populists. They are the furthest thing from populists. They may sound like populists, but it’s like our neolibs, sounding like progressives, only worse.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

Our future on Earth may also be our past. In a study published Monday (Dec. 10, 2018) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it’s taken just two centuries.

By 2030, Earth’s climate is expected to resemble that of the mid-Pliocene, going back more than 3 million years in geologic time. Without reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions, our climates by 2150 could compare to the warm and mostly ice-free Eocene, an epoch that characterized the globe 50 million years ago.

“If we think about the future in terms of the past, where we are going is uncharted territory for human society,” says the study’s lead author, Kevin Burke, who conducted the work while a graduate student in the lab of paleoecologist John “Jack” Williams, professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We are moving toward very dramatic changes over an extremely rapid time frame, reversing a planetary cooling trend in a matter of centuries.”

All of the species on Earth today had an ancestor that survived the Eocene and the Pliocene, but whether humans and the flora and fauna we are familiar with can adapt to these rapid changes remains to be seen. The accelerated rate of change appears to be faster than anything life on the planet has experienced before.

jcitybone

The half dozen senators are Sanders, Merkley, Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and Booker. Sherrod Brown seems to be resistant.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-shift-toward-impact-on-jobs-as-climate-change-moves-to-the-front-of-the-2020-agenda/2018/12/12/26aa3246-fd5b-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.da52011289b0&utm_source=reddit.com

Spurred by dire scientific warnings and new Capitol Hill protests, Democrats preparing to run for president have been rushing to shift their plans for combating climate change, highlighting an issue once considered a political liability, especially in Midwestern swing states won by President Trump.

Aides to a half-dozen senators considering a 2020 campaign met with supporters of the Green New Deal, an effort pushed by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that could turn into a litmus test for Democratic candidates, organizers said. Other potential candidates are weighing activist demands to swear off donations from the political action committees or executives of companies involved in fossil fuel production.

At least three potential candidates, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have made clear that they intend to make climate change a central issue of their campaign if they do run.

But climate change solutions could create problems for Democrats in Midwestern states that continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity generation and jobs. Trump, who has repeatedly denied the climate threat and boosted the fossil fuel industry, has made clear the promotion of oil, natural gas and coal is likely to be a major part of his reelection effort.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a potential presidential candidate, boasted during his 2012 campaign about his support for “coal jobs,” the recent growth in coal production in the state and his efforts to resist new regulations of coal power plants. President Barack Obama also supported “clean coal” during his 2008 election campaign and backed an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy in 2012.

Brown was one of several Democrats who expressed concern in 2009 about the House-passed effort to impose a cap-and-trade system that would have put a price on carbon emissions, though he has supported raising fuel economy standards, preserving Obama’s “Clean Power” regulations and providing tax credits for wind, solar and biofuel generation.

“I’ve never bought that you play off workers against the environment, because what I have seen is good environmental policy means more good jobs,” he said recently on Pod Save America, a liberal podcast, when he was asked about the Green New Deal. He said he did not know enough about the particulars of the proposal to take a position on it.

polarbear4

I want to somehow make sure that they don’t take a lot of money from executives in those businesses, either. A whole lot of $2,700 donations can be significant.

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/12/13/can-socialism-save-democracy

The modern era has yet to produce a stable democracy that does not possess a market economy. And some of the most stable democracies, like the United Kingdom and Australia, are the most capitalistic. But there is a striking difference between market economies and what the moral philosopher Michael Sandel labels market societies, where corporations shape the culture.

Hence, capitalism threatens democracy not simply by producing inequality and oligarchy but by undermining the relations that bring people together in common cause.

Market societies are an assault on human dignity, for everything that is meaningful is transformed into a means of making a profit. And this transformation of autonomous individuals into consumer automatons strains the bonds that make democracy possible.

Market societies produce a special kind of inequality, which leaves people clamoring to restore their dignity. And they all too often seek it in any demagogue who promises to turn the system of moral valuation on its head. Hence, capitalism threatens democracy not simply by producing inequality and oligarchy but by undermining the relations that bring people together in common cause.

Accounting for the threat of inequality will require renegotiating the relationship between markets and democracy. Campaign finance reform can halt the growth of oligarchy, but reform should strike at the source inequality itself, for if democracy is to work, citizens need to feel in it together.

And yet, socialism cannot stop the rise of fascism if it fails to halt the slide of market economies into market societies. If socialism is going to save democracy, it needs to bring about equality without snuffing out freedom, and it needs to respect the role of markets without letting them dominate society.

jcitybone

Torabs
Torabs

Catty, but I have to admit this was the first thing I thought when I saw that quote.

orlbucfan

Ms Alan Greenspan sure doesn’the sweat her bills. What a bad MSM joke! T and R to the usual excellent TPW suspects!!

Benny

Her lack of curiosity on issues is appalling. Time for her to retire.

TheLeftistheCenter

I do like how she admitted he was the most vigorous campaigner she has ever seen, makes a good sound bite when they say hes too old 😉

Benny

Maybe Andrea Mitchell should read the memo. She can’t navigate Bernie either (nor should she try).

magsview

This tweet is for any centrists out there who honestly think that the Democratic party can win over anti-Trump Republicans.

Also, please don’t keep having (the soon to be ex-Weekly Standard’s neoconservistive) Bill Kristol on MSNBC and CNN just because he hates Trump!

Even Vox agrees with me.

(article below is a year old but still very much relevant)


The left shouldn’t make peace with neocons — even to defeat Trump

Don’t trust “woke Bill Kristol.”

the current moment is, for Kristol, an opportunity to win favor from fervent liberal anti-Trumpers, favor that can be used later to sell another war. Certainly Kristol has used a river of emotionally resonant anti-Trump tweets, produced with factory-like efficiency, to massively increase his Twitter following and win the hearts of swooning liberals.

Benny

Lawmakers push review of Harvard conference for new members over lobbyist presence

Daniel Meyer, a lobbyist for Pfizer, Major League Baseball, BP, Bank of New York Mellon, and more than a dozen other large corporations, had an hour last week to talk to incoming members of Congress on Harvard’s campus.

Harvard invited Meyer and at least five other lobbyists to speak at its orientation program for the 2018 freshman class and paid for travel and board for the newly elected members of the House to attend.

Under House rules, that arrangement would typically be subject to an extensive review by the ethics committee before members could be cleared to attend. But Harvard’s program was not for sitting members of Congress — it was for members to-be, who won’t be sworn in until next month.

Harvard’s decades-long orientation program is now facing scrutiny on Capitol Hill — and how lobbyists reach incoming freshman lawmakers more broadly — as lawmakers say they are planning

to review House ethics rules for incoming members. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the House Administration Committee, said the same rules for sitting members should also apply to those who have been elected but not yet taken office.

Good for the incoming sistas who exposed the underbelly of how easy it is for Congress persons to get caught in the special interests of corporations via through their lens. A form of osmosis, really.

magsview

Some of the “incoming sistas” seem very independent. Yay!

orlbucfan

Legal corporate bribing and it’s out in the open, loud and brazen. This country has dug itself a deep hole. Can it dig back out?

polarbear4

Benny

They need to finish this parody, and if they do, it will be a classic. Maybe SNL can help.

polarbear4

!!!! That’s them, right? LOL.

Benny

Here’s the YT, which shows the song in its entirety:

polarbear4

polarbear4

magsview

I sometimes wonder if Johnson’s baby powder is at least somewhat the cause of my asthma. My mom used to liberally sprinkle it all over us (many) kids. And, being the oldest kid, I changed mucho diapers growing up! (remember the cloth diapers??)

And mom likes to tell the story of coming into my bedroom when I was one or two years old and discovering me standing there with an empty bottle because I’d sprinkled baby powder all over the room, focusing on making sure each dresser drawer got a good part of the bottle. I probably inhaled a crazy amount of the stuff in the process.

polarbear4

Wow. And we all trusted J&J implicitly back in those innocent days. Bummer.

magsview

Yes, we totally trusted so many products.

wi60

To funny Mags as my middle one had the same baby powder “incident” 🙂 and the pix to remind him 🙂

polarbear4

I like this thinking.

wi60

With no off switch — should put them on the politicians too.

polarbear4

If Jennifer recs it, I trust it. Excited to find this. She’s the one who caugh that just bc it says “paper” somewhere, it doesn’t mean it’s transparent. I’m some cases, it’s worse. Jill Stein and others fell for one of the pretenders, recently.

polarbear4

Again, enough with the bully bills! Make a yuge noise as it goes down and the voters won’t hold it against you.

I dare them to prosecute using this.

orlbucfan

It’s all money, money, money. The Israeli politico crooks dread it as the coin dries up. Netanyahoo and his FRighties are among the worse, too.

jcitybone

As expected from this turd

Scott Walker, the outgoing Republican governor of Wisconsin, on Friday signed into law measures that diminish the power of his Democratic successor and expand the authority of Republican lawmakers who teamed up with him over the last eight years to move the state firmly to the right.

Mr. Walker signed the measures over the objections of the incoming governor and despite vehement protest in the State Capitol as Republican lawmakers rushed the bills through in a hastily-called session last week. Tony Evers, the Democrat who beat Mr. Walker in the November election, has suggested he may file suit over the changes.

Mr. Walker’s signing the measures into law was expected to solidify some of the policies that made him a hero to many conservatives nationally and, for a brief time, a presidential candidate. But participating in what many Democrats have called a legally dubious power grab also cemented another widely held view: that Mr. Walker is a bruising partisan willing to break precedent and ignore protests for political gain.

jcitybone

polarbear4

I hope states are considering laws to make this sort of thing illegal.

humphrey

Unfortunately it is the republican controlled states that are doing this.

Benny

Most GOP hate attorneys. Why stir up lawsuits?

polarbear4

Grrrrrrrrr. My niece gets her news from CNN and is afraid of M4A, even tho she is surrounded y supposed progressives in Ashland.

magsview

CNN is so awful!

I made the mistake of going there today a couple of times real quick, just got super-aggravated.

One Bernie hit piece that was also a Beto promo piece, then later a straight up Beto promo piece.

I’m going to try to avoid them going forward. Their agenda is clear.

Benny

They’ve been drinking out of Markos’ liquor cabinet.

orlbucfan

CNN was around long before Moulitsas. Good one. 🙂

Benny

But Harry Enten wasn’t around before Markos.

TheLeftistheCenter

You cant spell CliNtoN with out CNN

humphrey

I am surprised that they included Bernie in the top 10.

polarbear4

magsview

“I don’t know”?!

humphrey

Edited as the other comment did not show up as intended.

polarbear4

magsview

Mercury News notes that “under the regulators’ proposal the charge could be applied retroactively for five years.”

https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/california-proposes-tax-on-text-messages-retroactive-5-years-cd3usHEvw0W9EQYEmJkqTw/

Can you imagine? Retroactive 5 years??

This kind of crap makes Democrats look bad and makes California open to mockery.

TheLeftistheCenter

Just shows though Cali is Dem its is mainly establishment Dem and not progressive Dem.

polarbear4

Twitter will likely lobby against. Awful. One thing low income people can enjoy.

humphrey

She just can’t stop proving how out of touch she really is.

This comes on the heels of her attending the wedding of the daughter of India’s richest man.???

humphrey

A little follow up on this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-14/inclusive-hillary-tells-americans-if-you-dont-support-democrats-go-somewhere-else

Hillary Clinton has a message for Bernie Bros, Democratic Socialists and other constituencies of the “Dirtbag Left”.

If you have a problem with the Democrats’ agenda (which, as Tucker Carlson explained in an interview last week, has shifted away from empowering “working class” Americans to favoring globalism, militarism and big business) then go vote for somebody else.

Demonstrating that she clearly hasn’t moved on from the embarrassment she suffered at the hands of Bernie Sanders, who nearly defeated her in the 2016 Democratic Primary after riding a wave of support for his socialist agenda (something that polls suggest is becoming increasingly popular with young Americans), Clinton lashed out during a recent interview at “progressives” who won’t stop attacking Democrats from the left.

She cited the abuse received by Kamala Harris – a potential 2020 contender (and potential Clinton rival) – as an example of why the left needs to come together and unify around whoever their party’s pick might be.

“Some of my favorite Democrats – people like Kamala Harris who’s out there speaking up and speaking out and is being attacked by the left – enough! If you don’t want to support Democrats, then go somewhere else.”

Her remarks are just the latest sign that she has learned nothing from her historic electoral loss to President Donald Trump. And that the DNC’s “mother knows best” strategy is stunningly out of touch with every day Americans.

Why shouldn’t progressives support Clinton? Look at her many “progressive” accomplishments: Instigating a destructive civil war in Libya, gladhanding with the Saudis, Russians and other foreign powers under the auspices of the Clinton Foundation and helping to deregulate the financial services industry in the years before the financial crisis and generally promising to support free trade, corporate welfare and a robust, muscular US military presence around the world.

When Bernie Sanders – who is still the standard-bearer of the American socialist movement – advocated for a $15 minimum wage, Clinton one-upped him by suggesting we go to $12 instead.

Some comments with regard to Hillary.

Benny

I’m fairly certain that was filmed over a year ago when her book was published.

humphrey

You are correct. But I do not believe that she has changed one iota. It was well after the election and she was still bitter.

polarbear4

From the HuffPo link in the tweet, about Clinton supporter bots (really, not people) on Twitter.

“But as Trevor discovered, after an extensive amount of research that he posted online, these were not normal accounts. They appeared to be bots ― automated accounts masked as real people being used to amplify a particular political message. Who is really pulling the strings, however, remains a mystery.”

polarbear4

Very interesting article about a Clinton supporter named Albright having a lot of accounts that people turned over to her that she then automated to harass Trump and Sanders supporters on Twitter. Allegedly, but the evidence is pretty damning.

“Albright said. “People seem upset by it in a way I did not anticipate.””

TheLeftistheCenter

Yeah they went after Beth, an alien today, but got so much counter flak they got hit instead lol

Benny

I was looking at House votes this week, and one of them was to authorize the Interior Dept to do a study of W’s childhood home in Midland. It passed pretty easily.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3008

Guess that’s better than taking away Bear Ears as a national monument.

wi60

Besides the lame duck BS signed by Walker he also signed this piece of corporate welfare;
Kimberly-Clark to receive $28 million in taxpayer funds under new deal from Scott Walker

Kimberly-Clark Corp., which makes Depend adult undergarments and Kotex pads at the plant, can qualify for the full set of subsidies by investing in the plant, buying from Wisconsin suppliers and keeping about 2,400 employees in the state.
“This is a pretty good Christmas going forward because we didn’t just save your jobs for the short term. This is about a long-term commitment to this company, to this community and to this state,” the outgoing Republican governor told workers at the plant.
“I want this to be my legacy, that we protected these kind of jobs, not as a handout but because we knew if we invest in people like you, you won’t let us down.”
The last-minute deal came after GOP leaders spent nearly a year unsuccessfully seeking enough votes in the state Senate to pass a package for Kimberly-Clark valued at $70 million over 15 years. Some Republican lawmakers called that proposal a bad deal for taxpayers and the free market, and Democrats wanted legislation that addresses the entire paper and forest products industry rather than just one company within it. Kimberly-Clark officials have said they planned to close facilities in Neenah and Fox Crossing as part of a global restructuring and would change course only if they received state subsidies. As of earlier this year, the company employed 110 people at the Neenah facility and about 500 at the Fox Crossing facility, which is known as the Cold Spring plant.Under the new plan, the Neenah nonwovens facility would close, as would a plant in Conway, Ark.The Cold Spring plant would remain open and Kimberly-Clark would retain about 2,400 employees around the state, including 388 at the Cold Spring plant.By keeping those employment levels, the company would receive $5.5 million of the $28 million. Kimberly-Clark would qualify for $20 million in state assistance if it invests $200 million in the plant and $2.5 million if it buys supplies from Wisconsin companies.
Like most manufacturers in Wisconsin, Kimberly-Clark has virtually no income tax liability and would get the subsidies in the form of cash payments

Kimberly Clark owned by Georgia Pacific owned by –The Koch Bros; Imagine that a little payback by Gov Dipshit for his owners.

Benny

Essentially, all of the profit goes to the shareholders, executives, and Board; the employees are paid by the taxpayers. I guess the company would say they pay the benefits.

polarbear4

Lots of timber there, too.

Benny

Shaun also believes Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum should throw their hat in the ring as well.

TheLeftistheCenter

Shaun is a big Bernie backer and I wouldnt be surprised if he is being a little sly here and sees the ‘crowded field’ tactic backfiring and just making it easier for Bernie to shoot ahead early.

humphrey

Shaun must have been watching CNN. (with reference to the poll mentioned earlier)

polarbear4

The “best we have to offer”? Shaun, Shaun….

Benny

humphrey

Benny

humphrey

AOC seems to found a new BFF.?

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/421503-ocasio-cortez-by-lindsey-grahams-1999-standard-for-clinton-trump-should-be

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted Sen. Lindsey Graham (D-S.C.) on Twitter on Friday for seemingly reversing his stance on the standards necessary to impeach a president.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a Daily Beast story quoting Graham saying that he is fine with President Trump “lying about sex,” writing, “Didn’t he impeach Bill Clinton over the same thing?”

During 1999 impeachment proceedings for former President Bill Clinton, Graham said, “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic. If this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.”

“You don’t need to have been convicted of a crime. Impeachment isn’t about punishment. It’s about cleansing the office,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet tagging the Republican senator.

polarbear4

A different take on it.

TheLeftistheCenter

There is some truth in this, the more broken something is, the more people are willing to push to change.

humphrey

An inside view of the”Yellow Jacket” protests in France.

Benny

polarbear4

Well, I can’t dislike everything about Eric holder.

humphrey

Well almost everything.?

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