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HomeUncategorized12/9 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Speaks with Working Families in Nevada (& More)
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Bernie’s strength with Latino voters will be a key to Bernie’s success here.

Those candidates will be trying to shake up that dynamic this week, as they head to the state to court one of the most powerful political forces in the state, the casino workers’ Culinary Union. The 60,000-member union hasn’t said if it will endorse a candidate, but the town halls it is hosting this week will help the group decide. If the union does endorse and chooses early enough to help organize, the largely female and largely Latino group can offer candidates critical reach into communities of color.

Sanders has the biggest team in the state, with more than 70 paid staffers. Tick Segerblom, a Clark County commissioner who endorsed Sanders in 2016, said the Vermont senator learned his lesson from 2016, when his smaller team put up a tough but ultimately unsuccessful challenge to Clinton.

Sanders counts a well of support in northern Nevada and Reno’s Washoe County, where he beat Clinton three years ago, but some of those backers have moved to support Warren’s brand of progressivism, Segerblom said.

“If he doesn’t win the state, he’ll come very close,” Segerblom said. “It’s anybody’s game right now, but he has everything he needs.”


Bezos won’t like this article.

The triumph of the rich, which is one of the defining stories of our time, is generally described as largely the reflection of two factors. The first, of course, is the explosion of income among top earners, in which a tiny minority has vacuumed up a ballooning share of the gains from the last few decades of economic growth.

The second factor — which will be key to the 2020 presidential race — has been the hidden decline in the progressivity of the tax code at the top, in which the wealthiest earners have over those same decades seen their effective tax rates steadily fall.

Put those two factors together, and they tell a story about soaring American inequality that’s in some ways even more dramatic than each is on its own.

A new analysis prepared at my request by Gabriel Zucman — the French economist and “wealth detective” who has become famous for tracing the hidden wealth of the superrich — illustrates that dual story in a freshly compelling way.

The topline finding: Among the bottom 50 percent of earners, average real annual income even after taxes and transfers has edged up a meager $8,000 since 1970, rising from just over $19,000 to just over $27,000 in 2018.

By contrast, among the top 1 percent of earners, average income even after taxes and transfers has more than tripled since 1970, rising by more than $800,000, from just over $300,000 to over $1 million in 2018.

Among the top 0.1 percent, average after-tax-and-transfer income has increased fivefold, from just over $1 million to over $5 million in 2018. And among the top .01 percent, it has increased nearly sevenfold, from just over $3.5 million to over $24 million.

I’m emphasizing the phrase “after taxes and transfers” because this is at the core of Zucman’s new analysis. The idea is to show the combined impact of both the explosion of pre-tax income at the top and the decline in effective tax rate paid by those same earners — in one result.


Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are calling on the Trump administration to block a drug company in its efforts to extend its patent on a crucial anti-HIV drug.

In a letter to the US Patent and Trademark Office shared exclusively with the Guardian, the Vermont senator and the New York representative accuse the pharmaceutical company, Gilead, of “deceitful and immoral” behavior in holding back the drug, Descovy, from the market until its patent term for an earlier, allegedly less safe anti-HIV drug had been exhausted.

“It is an absolute disgrace that in America, a greedy drug company like Gilead can deprive hundreds of thousands of Americans of lifesaving HIV medicine to extract more profit, lie about it, and then have the audacity to ask the US government to award it with a longer monopoly to reap tens of billions more in profits,” Sanders said.

“We have got to block this obscene giveaway for corporate wrongdoing. The Trump administration must not reward Gilead for this immoral behavior.”

The involvement of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez casts a powerful spotlight on efforts by a grassroots activist group, PrEP4All Collaboration, to block a patent extension for Descovy.


If you want to understand how anti-government incompetents keep getting elected, all you have to do is examine the Democrats’ steady and inexorable abandonment of the poor and middle-class. Beginning in the late 1970’s and accelerating since, the party has systematically embraced the interests of corporations and the rich over the interests of the people, and the party’s power has declined in lockstep with the trend.

By trying to appeal to people while representing plutocrats, they’ve left the majority of the voters with no one to actually represent them, and the people know it. As their slice of the American pie shrank, and their political power evaporated, many of them took to voting for anti-government types who shared their contempt and anger at the governing establishment. This is the answer to the centrist Democrats’ perpetual incredulity that some 40 percent of the people support an incompetent thug like Trump, and miscreants like McConnell, Nunes, and Hunter keep getting returned to Congress.

Meanwhile, the Democrats in control of the party continue to push the fantasy that progressives will fair badly in middle America, and that the key to defeating Trump and the Republicans is to run a moderate or centrist. And the press repeats this absurdity, and virtually ignores candidates like Sanders and Warren, or gives them negative coverage when they deign cover them. This artificially props up centrist candidates like Biden in the polls and primaries, even though they are destined to fair badly in the general election. Doubt that? Remember the “progressive who got things done” while coddling and consorting with Wall Street, big banks and corporations? A centrist candidate would be an instant replay.

When the media and both political parties represent the interests of the oligarchy, attempts to prop up corporate centrists will fail, and surprises like Trump will be inevitable.


Warren may be the “compromise.”. we will be in purgatory. better than hell, but not by much.


I agree — “better” but that compromise could still be a bad deal. Even Senator Warren’s signature achievement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was co-opted by financial powers, and she herself started that process:

Instead of limiting staff to those with extensive background in consumer activism and regulatory policy, she chose people with places like Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Capital One on their CVs.

Those financial institutions were the very entities that the CFPB was supposed to haunt. The agency had been included in financial regulatory reform as a wishlist item for Wall Street-skeptical progressives. And yet, here was Warren—the intellectual godmother of the CFPB—handing out key roster assignments to officials from those very institutions.



About CASA in Action:

With nearly 100,000 lifetime members, CASA in Action is the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights. Since 2010, we have fought for immigration reform and to elect legislators in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia who will stand with our members.

I don’t recall them in the last election cycle. But this is good news.




Revisionist history.