HomeBernie Sanders2/26 Biden Promotes War in Syria, Chooses Legislation that Favors Wall Street Donors Over Raising the Fed Min Wage in a 5 year Period; Open Thread (updated with Bernie’s comment about Syria)
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Bernie pointed out in the last week or so that the parliamentarian approved Trump’s Tax Cuts.

Yesterday, the Media mentioned that the parliamentarian’s words are merely suggestions/opinions with no actual prohibitive values.

The parliamentarian’s words are neither the hammer nor the sword.

Democrats are acting like the parliaments words mean something they don’t. You cannot interpret this as anything other than complicity.

We are in Alice in Wonderland territory here, folks. “Words mean just what I want them to mean,” says Alice. “No more and no less.”


I can guarantee this much if it was the R’s parliamentarian that said no they would over rule it and fire the parliamentarian and ram the bill thru. The D’s have no spine to do the job no matter what it takes. The neolibs are all talk no action when the going gets tough

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

The parliamentarian is doing what the neolib dems want her to do. She’s giving the cover.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Indigenous people and Bruno Latour collaborative effort

A professor of creative writing in Australia recently published a book

The Children’s Country
Creation of a Goolarabooloo Future in North-West Australia

In North-West Australia, between 2009 and 2013, a major Indigenous-environmentalist alliance waged a successful campaign to stop a huge industrial development, a $45 billion liquefied gas plant proposed by Woodside and its partners. The Western Australian government and key Indigenous institutions also pushed hard for this, making the custodians of the Country, the Goolarabooloo, an embattled minority.

This experimental ethnography documents the Goolarabooloo’s knowledge of Country, their long history of struggle for survival, and the alliances that formed to support them. Written in a fictocritical style, it introduces a new ‘multirealist’ kind of analysis that focuses on institutions (Indigenous or European), their spheres of influence, and how they organised to stay alive as alliances shifted and changed.

Stephen reviews Bruno Latour’s The Critical Zones and points out what needs to be learned from Indigenous people. The review is formatted as a dialogue with an neo-liberal economist who wants to continue PROGRESS vs Stephen who wants to return to the Earth.

Here are the last few paragraphs of the Book Review of The Critical Zones. The entire article is not much longer. The character of neo-liberal economist is in italics

But, Stephen, you would argue that your Indigenous friends have the answers, that they lead a better life, or something, when only three generations ago they were using stone tools. Look at how much we have progressed – OK, call it ‘the West’ – with all our technological innovations. They have lifted half the world out of poverty!

Yes, but that European industrial acceleration was fuelled by coal and then oil. One only has to look at a graph from the start of the Industrial Revolution to see how carbon emissions have created major problems. Who is going to pay for the environmental damage they have caused? Insurance companies, with their sober, rational calculations, understand this, but denialism, disinformation and right-wing populism are pushing the other way, for no good reason except short-term profits for some.

That’s just the play of the market. Look how big tech companies have surged this year, despite COVID. In a way they have saved what you call ‘the planet’.

Actually, I want to talk only about specific critical zones. But on the topic of GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple), I’m distressed to see the way they are swallowing up perfectly good industries like mine: tertiary education. My bosses are pretty happy for everything to go online. They can reduce staff and other ‘overheads’. But who profits, who loses out? Students, the fee-payers, who are going into more debt, certainly lose out. Today’s profits come from capitalising their futures. There’s a great piece in the volume by Timothy Mitchell, ‘Uber Eats: How Capitalism Consumes the Future’, where he shows how Goldman Sachs’ $5 million investment in Uber a decade ago is now worth over half a billion. He calls this windfall ‘the value of an encumbrance imposed on the firm’s future customers and workers’. Not bad for an enterprise that has never made any money and outsources all its assets.

Clever business, eh? says Stutch. They saw a tech-assisted opening in the tired old taxi industry. Better service too, don’t you think?

Once they’ve achieved their monopoly, prices will go up, like Amazon’s. And monopolies are not good for the competitive market you are supposed to espouse. Anyway, we can debate these issues for ever. And I can give many examples of terrific green initiatives, like regenerative farming, that takes care of precious soils. My main point (before I start getting exasperated with your foot-dragging on these issues) is that there is a better story to guide us that you still don’t buy. You are wedded to the fiction of unlimited growth on a limited planet. That story depends on seeing nature as dead materials, mere resources – or if not dead, about to be. That is one pole of a continuum. At the other pole there used to be a munificent God to believe in. Now, people think, it is technology that will lift us out of any problems; it will lift us to other worlds. It is a colonisation story.

My story is a harder sell. Yes, it does derive in part from what I have learned from my Aboriginal friends in the Kimberley, as in the economics chapter in my new book. They insist that Country is alive. Same as what is being argued in Critical Zones: the Earth is animate, reproductive, reacting to human action, finding collaborative ways to survive. We humans are not exceptional, we are ‘holobionts’ who have been living with our friendly bacteria as long as we have been human. We can’t go on thinking that we are ‘in control’, when we learn in this book that 75 per cent of all newly emerged diseases in humans are ‘zoonotic’. That is, emerging from neglect of animals in factory farms and wildlife markets. You say economies will bounce back. But we are already experiencing wave after wave of crises like COVID. We have to forget the story that continually opposes ‘the economy’ and ‘the environment’, because they are intertwined. Survival depends on a new story, with a new vocabulary.


“75 per cent of all newly emerged diseases in humans are ‘zoonotic’. That is, emerging from neglect of animals in factory farms and wildlife markets.”

if i could wave a magic wand, the msm would pound on this until we all get it and demand a complete restructuring of how we eat.

break up the agribiz farms and give em back to the poor families that first got sued over GMOs, and finally felt they had to sell, or even those who saw a little wealth finally. same thing happening in other countries where the govt. just takes over, people migrate to the cities, only to go hungry, lose their spirit, and die.



Why are we looking at a fashion page from the NY Times?

Here’s why.

Joe Biden has been wearing one of these coats, a jacket length black version in his outdoor events all winter. Then I noticed various anchors wearing these coats.

They are sleek and distinctive. They have an inner zip that turtlenecks up to cover your suit and tie or leave open to display your proper business attire. The coats and jackets cost from 1000-2000 dollars.

Nobody is making a fuss about these coats are they?

Coat-gate whining is confined to Bernie only.

If you Google the company, Norwegian Wool, you can see the coats details clearly. I couldn’t get those photos to transfer to this essay.

Oh. And the NY Times article never mentioned Biden. That’s my garment center family background showing as I’d been wondering about those coats from the moment I first saw them on TV.


Bernie’s coat is a lot more practical. It deals with humidity as well as temperature fluctuations. I bet it’s cheaper, too.


The media will cover Joe’s elite purchase. That’s their job.

Harassing Bernie, also their job.



There’s one important aspect of the fight for a $15 minimum wage that is little understood: the fight isn’t so much about raising pay for a few million workers. Rather it’s about the far more ambitious goal of putting the US economy on a higher road, on a different track from being a low-wage economy. In Europe, many people scoff at the US as a country of low-wage McJobs with paltry benefits – often no paid sick days, no paid vacation and no health insurance. In Denmark, a McDonald’s hamburger flipper averages $22 an hour (with six weeks’ paid vacation), while in the US, fast-food jobs pay half that on average.

You might wonder: how can the United States, the world’s wealthiest nation, be a low-wage economy? Of the 37 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the unofficial club of rich and near-rich nations, the US has the third-highest percentage of low-wage workers, with nearly one in four workers defined as low-wage. Only Latvia and Romania are worse. (That study defines low-wage as earning less than two-thirds of a nation’s median wage.) In another study, Brookings found that 53 million Americans hold low-wage jobs, with a median pay of $10.22 an hour and median annual earnings of $17,950.

The US also has the lowest minimum wage among the G-7 industrial nations in terms of purchasing power. America’s $7.25-an-hour federal minimum is 38% lower than Germany’s and 30% lower than Britain’s, Canada’s and France’s. This helps explain why the US has among the worst income inequality of the 37 OECD nations – only Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and Bulgaria have greater inequality. And the US has the third highest poverty rate; only Hungary and Costa Rica are worse.

The US didn’t always have a low-road economy. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, it had a high-road economy: labor unions were at their strongest, American businesses were booming (for the most part), and corporations shared their profits and prosperity with their workers as never before, helping build the world’s largest and richest middle class. But beginning in the 1980s, many corporations pushed the US economy and American workers onto a lower road, as corporate America felt the sting of global competition, as Wall Street pushed companies ever harder to maximize profits, as labor unions grew weaker and as President Reagan and other Republicans weakened worker protections and did little to raise the minimum wage.


There is no common sense to serf level wages. High turnovers, bad morale, and constant hiring and training cost plenty of coin. Many businesses have failed cos of this abuse. It is just plain stupid greed. A major human flaw of which there may be no solution. 🙄🙁



Back when (Big) Al Franken was still in the Senate, he commented that CanCruz was not popular with the other members. So, how do these repugnant yahoos get elected?


Why am I not surprised by still more amurikan backward, stupid thinking? 💩🤮 T and R, Ms. Benny!! ☮️😊👍


A good roundup of the three blue House seats set for primaries soon. Obviously Ohio is clear. We do not want McGinn in NM 😉. Chambers is the best in Louisiana but it’s more of a jumble.

Washington hasn’t paid much attention to the handful of upcoming special elections in deep-blue House districts. There’s little reason to: it’s a near-certainty that the seats will elect Democrats.

But progressives are keeping close tabs. And they are aggressively contesting the races in an effort to stop establishment-oriented Democrats from claiming the offices. The elections come at a critical time on the Hill, as lawmakers debate top liberal priorities such as a $15 minimum wage, student loan debt forgiveness and police reform.

Progressives want to elect the most liberal members possible in these Democratic-held areas — especially when their party’s razor-thin majority in the House gives them more clout to influence the chamber’s agenda than in past years. So heavy-hitters such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, members of the so-called Squad and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are all jumping in to help their preferred candidates succeed.

“The progressive movement is largely judged by the number of seats it holds in Congress. So whenever you can add more seats, that gives you more power,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director for the Justice Democrats, another top left-wing group that has waded into one of the specials. “Since the election of the Squad, we’ve seen a more aggressive and assertive bloc of Congress form.”

The most high-profile race is taking place in Ohio, where Sanders’ former campaign co-chair Nina Turner faces Cuyahoga County Democratic Party leader Shontel Brown. But that’s not the only flashpoint. In Louisiana, a former state party leader endorsed by the CPC’s political action committee and an outsider activist are both taking on the candidate favored by former Rep. and now-White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond. And in New Mexico, progressives are hoping to hold onto a seat that is expected to be vacated by a prominent champion of the “Green New Deal.”

Turner is seen as the left’s best shot to win one of the three seats. She is a prolific fundraiser with a national following from Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 campaigns that’s helped her bring in more than $1 million. Her closest rival, Brown, only collected $40,000 by the end of 2020. As a former local elected official who represented part of the Cleveland-based 11th District in the state Senate and City Council, Turner is also a well-known figure in the area.

Her strong chances are partly why the progressive movement has gone all in for her, with Turner winning the support of several prominent left-wing names, including Sanders, Justice Democrats, the Working Families Party, and Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush. She is also being advised by Aisle 518 Strategies, the firm behind Sanders’ powerhouse small-dollar fundraising strategy in his presidential bids, as well as Sanders’ longtime aide Jeff Weaver and former pollster Ben Tulchin.

In Louisiana’s 2nd District, prominent liberal politicians and groups including Stacey Abrams, the Sanders-founded Our Revolution and the CPC PAC have thrown their weight behind Karen Carter Peterson, a state senator who has endorsed “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal.

As a former state party leader and Democratic National Committee vice chair, Carter Peterson is a mix of a progressive and establishment-aligned candidate. State Sen. Troy Carter, the Richmond-backed traditional Democrat who progressives by and large don’t view as left-wing enough, is another major candidate vying for the seat.

The left is somewhat split between two progressive contenders in the special election — Carter Peterson and Gary Chambers, an anti-establishment activist who gained notice for a viral video in which he confronts a local school board member. The race will go to a runoff if none of the numerous candidates running win a majority of the vote.

Chambers, who said he has raised nearly $400,000, said Shaun King, a left-wing civil rights advocate, and other nationally known progressives encouraged him to run for the seat. King confirmed his involvement, saying Chambers is “equal parts fearless and joyful” and that he has known him for years.

Chambers and Turner have spoken to each other about the difficulty of campaigning as progressives, according to a person familiar with their conversations. Chambers said if they win, the left will be better able to “defeat those arguments” for incremental reform made by moderate Democrats in Congress.

Many on the left view Carter Peterson as more electable than Chambers, in part because of her substantial experience as an elected and party official. Chambers is also from Baton Rouge, which is seen as a disadvantage in a New Orleans-based district. A CPC PAC aide said Carter Peterson stood out as the most viable progressive in the race.

In the wake of several progressive upsets in Congress recently, establishment candidates across the country have adapted and moved left. Carter disagrees with Biden on student loan debt — unlike the president, he said he believes $50,000 per person can be forgiven by executive order — and has come out in favor of Medicare for All.

In New Mexico, the state Democratic Party chooses its nominee for the special. But that hasn’t stopped progressives from vying to keep the seat — which will be vacated by Green New Deal co-sponsor Haaland if she is confirmed for Interior Secretary — in their corner. In fact, in a primary where more than a half-dozen total Democratic candidates are campaigning, political strategists said there are multiple progressives in the running.

Some left-wing favorites include state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and state Reps. Georgene Louis and Melanie Stansbury.

Randi McGinn, a Democratic donor and trial lawyer, is another candidate making a play for the seat. Speaker Nancy Pelosi set ablaze New Mexico political circles when she recently released a four-minute testimonial about McGinn, in which she said, “I wanted you to know how important I think it would be for Randi to be in the Congress.” A Pelosi aide did not respond to a question about whether it was an official endorsement.

National groups are weighing whether to get involved in the race — though the party picks the candidate, their endorsement could theoretically influence committee members. The CPC PAC has interviewed candidates in the New Mexico election, according to a staffer, as well as in the Ohio special.

The nearly 200 party members who will pick the Democratic candidate in New Mexico will themselves soon be elected to the state committee. That has led to candidates frantically trying to get their allies into the party apparatus, all while making the case that they are the true liberals in the election.

“This race has become a race of who can be the most progressive,” said a New Mexico-based Democratic consultant who declined to speak on the record.


NM is becoming a real wild card. It used to be part of the solid RWing SW bloc including AZ, and NV. Not anymore.