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jcitybone

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, is planning on portraying his onetime client in starkly negative terms when he testifies Wednesday before a House committee, and on describing what he says was Mr. Trump’s use of racist language, lies about his wealth and possible criminal conduct.

Mr. Cohen’s plans were laid out in broad strokes by a person familiar with what he intends to say in his testimony. And they indicate that Mr. Cohen will use documents and his personal experiences to support his statements.

Among the most explosive and potentially damning aspects of Mr. Cohen’s testimony will be providing evidence of potential criminal conduct since Mr. Trump became president, according to the person familiar with the plans.

That potential conduct stems from reimbursements that were made to Mr. Cohen in 2017 for hush money payments that he made to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress. In October 2016, during the height of the presidential campaign, Mr. Cohen paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her claims of a previous affair with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen will describe in what was called “granular detail” the plan to pay Ms. Daniels, which he will say was initiated by Mr. Trump, the person familiar with the testimony plans said. Mr. Cohen has pleaded guilty to a federal campaign finance-related charge in connection with that payment. Prosecutors have implicated Mr. Trump, identifying him as “Individual 1,” in connection with that charge in documents filed in the case.

He will also discuss how long Mr. Trump continued to ask about plans for a Trump Tower project in Moscow after the Iowa caucuses had taken place in February 2016. Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty last November to lying to Congress in testimony in 2017 about the duration of time over which the Moscow project discussions took place.

The person briefed on Mr. Cohen’s plans said he is planning to bring documents that will illustrate his claims. The person familiar with the plans indicated that Mr. Cohen will present other documents beyond the financial statements, but the person did not specify what those might be. The documents will be shared in a way for the viewing public to see them, the person said.

He is prepared to describe Mr. Trump making racist statements, as well as lying or cheating in business. Last fall, Mr. Cohen told Vanity Fair that Mr. Trump frequently used racist language, telling the magazine that his former boss said during the 2016 campaign that “black people are too stupid to vote for me.”

He will also describe the president inflating or devaluing his net worth, referring to a financial statement of Mr. Trump’s that Mr. Cohen has in his possession, the person said. Those financial statements cannot be independently verified without Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which he has never made public, the person said.

A873AE1D-6853-423B-B14B-E8CC13188010.gif
orlbucfan

What kind of animal is that, jcb? The ear markings are unique! 🙂

orlbucfan

T and R, Benny!!

jcitybone

Not sure. Possibly some type of African antelope?

magsview

Looks like a young female impala to me.

WindDancer13

Maybe we will get closer to the truth of why Trump won’t disclose his taxes…such as he is not a billionaire after all. Sure he has a lot of properties, but they all seem to be tied up in debt. Banks won’t lend him any more money (Trump kids say that is because of “presidential harassment.” ha! Is the truth closer to the fact that he doesn’t have enough equity?

Is the real reason Trump goes after Bezos is because Bezos actually IS a billionaire? Pure jealousy?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode of the Destitute and Racist.

jcitybone

Article is correct but somehow fails to mention Bernie

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/democrats-corruption-2020-primary_n_5c742cf1e4b0f09f144f1241

And one troubling sign is the dangerous new orthodoxy that seems to be hardening in Washington, in which Democrats are forbidden from criticizing other Democrats to avoid empowering Trump ahead of the election. It’s fine to debate policy, this thinking goes, but it’s not OK to criticize governing records, question priorities or impugn motivations. Any hint of intra-party infighting, it’s argued, would only weaken the eventual 2020 nominee.

Jared Bernstein, who served as chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, made the case succinctly in The Washington Post last week: Since Democrats are really all on the same page about everything important, they should stick to arguments over policy solutions. Voters will eventually decide whether they prefer “incrementalism” or “leapfrogging,” but on everything serious ― health care, climate, jobs and taxes ― Bernstein claimed that “you would need a high-powered electron microscope to see the difference among the Democrats.”

Somebody should get Bernstein to an eye doctor. The differences between former Maryland Rep. John Delaney’s agenda and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s platform are stark and obvious. But even if Bernstein were right about Democratic policy uniformity, he has the 2020 dynamic all wrong. The most critical issues facing 2020 voters aren’t really about dialing in the right policy solutions; they’re fundamental questions about power and accountability in American democracy.

Given Trump’s weakness, the only way Democrats are going to lose in 2020 is by failing to nominate a credible change agent. The key word there is “credible,” and the way candidates establish credibility with voters is by developing a governing record. The stuff Democratic candidates have actually done when they’ve had the opportunity to exercise power matters at least as much as what they promise in their white papers. It’s not just fair game to attack their records; it’s an essential part of the vetting process.

jcitybone

jcitybone

https://newrepublic.com/article/153152/dianne-feinstein-bigger-climate-threat-trump

Feinstein is not a climate villain on par with Trump. She has a 90 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, while Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris agreement and his EPA is methodically attempting to undo everything it accomplished under President Barack Obama. But the California senator is the bigger threat to the left’s goal of slowing climate change before it’s too late.

What’s the alternative, then? Feinstein’s counterproposal would do little to make a difference. It seeks to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050—an acceptable goal, albeit 20 years later than the Green New Deal’s. But to achieve this, Feinstein’s resolution only proposes three things: re-implementing myriad Obama-era climate regulations, re-joining the Paris agreement, and implementing a national price on carbon. “It’s not that these things are wrong,” environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote in The New Yorker over the weekend. “It’s that they are insufficient, impossibly so.”

The problem with Democrats like Feinstein is that they make a big show of calling for action climate change. And yet, their solutions prove they don’t grasp that climate change is, as Dave Roberts put it for Vox, “a fucking emergency.” They don’t grasp, as David Wallace-Wells writes in his new book, The Uninhabitable Earth, that 2 degrees Celsius means “tens of millions of climate refugees, perhaps many more, fleeing droughts, flooding and extreme heat, and the possibility of multiple climate-driven natural disasters striking simultaneously.”

WindDancer13

What’s the alternative, then?

Primary her.

LieparDestin

LieparDestin

WindDancer13

Now I want jelly beans with my MFA.

He sounds good so far. I am not particularly happy about one electoral season melding into the next with virtually no breather, but we are in a hurry for change. There are so very many people to primary (Ds) and to challenge (Rs) and two years does tend to go faster than it used to (of course, that could just be age).

polarbear4

Over a foot of snow yesterday at my home. Trees down in the road. Safe and sound here. Thanks to all you who put up the posts. And commenters! :0)

polarbear4

I enjoy Michael, although his tweets seem more alive and concise, maybe, then this article. And as much as I don’t like criticism of Bernie, I do think it’s necessary, at times. It looks like the ruckus we raised may have helped him be more authentic in the Townhall, which is always a plus for Bernie.

jcitybone

These are not red flags for me. They are signs of a savvy politician.
1. The upper echelon of his 2016 campaign was too white and too male for a 2020 run
2. Calling for civility is a good move. Stop fighting 2016 all over. Clinton is not running.
3. It’s not equivocating, Its actually pretty clear. Bernie has no use for Maduro, but the US should not be involved in regime change there. Same with Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Brazil, etc. etc. etc

Really now?

The harsh reality: idiot millennial advisers increasingly surround Bernie.

Also it appears that Bernie’s campaign rollout with all these red flags has been a success. The latest Morning Consult poll has him taking a big jump.

polarbear4

I’m glad, though, that for those of us who are concerned, we let him know. He dropped the wanting to get aid in, for instance, and asked why we weren’t going into Saudi Arabia.

It’s all good.

Torabs
Torabs

I generally agree with you jcitybone, but Bernie did equivocate on Venezuela (as he somewhat did on Palestine). Paying lip service to the lies of the imperialists normalizes their narrative (that Maduro was not fairly elected, that he’s an unpopular dictator, etc).

WindDancer13

In a collegiate debate on regime change, not liking Maduro yet still denouncing regime change would make for a stronger argument than either defending him or being neutral would.

I have been wondering if Bernie’s call for “free and fair” elections like he made last night is a sign that he is pretty sure Maduro would win even with an election that is monitored by the entities that usually do it (Carter Center, etc. that declined to monitor in 2018)? That would certainly put a kink in US oil corporations’ plans.

polarbear4

polarbear4

Near Eugene 😜

polarbear4

polarbear4

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/25/venezuela-mike-pence-maduro-guaido?__twitter_impression=true

An invasion would be complicated and bloody, with a strong chance of sliding into protracted civil war. Venezuela has armed forces that are more than 300,000 strong, thousands more members of pro-government gangs or guerrilla groups, complex terrain – and a government that still has some support from international partners including China and Russia.

Brazil’s vice-president, retired general Hamilton Mourão, said on Monday that under no circumstances would his country allow the United States to intervene militarily from Brazilian territory, even though the country’s rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro has previously vowed to do “everything for democracy to be re-established” in Venezuela.

Colombian president Iván Duque has also now ruled out intervention, according to sources in his administration. Chile and Peru were among other regional powers opposing military action on Monday.

There was similar concern across the Atlantic, where European nations including Spain and Germany made clear they considered the deployment of troops a line that should not be crossed.

Spain would ’roundly condemn’ use of force in Venezuela

“Not every option is on the table,” the country’s foreign minister, Josep Borrell, told the Spanish news agency Efe on Sunday, in a blunt rebuke to both Guaidó and US supporters of intervention.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, insisted there could be no military solution to a political crisis.

TheLeftistheCenter

Ive been mainly at twitter lately helping the Bernie brigade fight off the propagandists a battle we are actually winning, but I wanted to share some things with you all.

So far all the polls have been using ‘likely’ voter models which have been skewed way older whiter and richer than the electorate, ive gone through the internals of each myself and they are literally all designed to put Biden ahead. I believe the reason is because all other voter models put Bernie on top and the only model that doesn’t, ends up with Biden on top (few young people or PoC).

Don’t take these polls seriously Bernie is way ahead and the big rallies this weekend will begin to show how deep his support really is, they are going to be huge mark my words.

Also supporting this are the way underappreciated first week numbers from the campaign. Bernie has over 1m volunteers and approaching 400k donors giving over $10m with about 1/3 of each being new to 2020. The media isn’t saying much but these numbers are literally off the charts and are almost for sure higher than all other campaigns combined to this point, even though they all launched earlier.

Over the next couple weeks the reality is going to hit that Bernie isn’t a little snowball rolling and gaining momentum, but that hes an avalanche rushing down the mountain sweeping all before it out of the way.

As Bernie said, the difference this time, is we are going to win!

jcitybone

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/431608-tlaib-omar-become-first-reps-to-sign-pledge-to-impeach-trump

Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) have signed onto a “Pledge to Impeach” President Trump, aides to the lawmakers confirmed Tuesday.

The advocacy group By the People is asking members of Congress to back impeachment efforts, and announced Tuesday that Omar and Tlaib had backed its pledge.

A spokesperson for Omar confirmed to The Hill that she had signed the pledge but did not offer further comment. A spokesperson for Tlaib also confirmed that she signed the pledge.

polarbear4

CNN’s “audience.”

jcitybone

Somehow I didn’t think Bernie would be seeking her counsel

In recent months, a parade of ambitious Democrats has held private sessions with Mrs. Clinton, who has counseled them about the unmatched rigors of the campaign trail and hardships of facing Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the conversations. Beyond Mr. Biden and Ms. Klobuchar, she has spoken with Senator Kamala Harris of California; Mr. Booker; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado; and the former housing secretary Julián Castro, among others. She and Mr. McAuliffe speak regularly. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana is trying to schedule a meeting with her.

“She knows almost everybody who’s running, and with most of the people she has a close relationship,” said Mr. Hickenlooper, who interviewed to be Mrs. Clinton’s running mate in 2016 and had dinner with her last year, as he prepared for a possible presidential bid. “You talk about divided affections. She’s got it.”

Not everyone has sought Mrs. Clinton’s advice. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose 2016 primary challenge ruptured their relationship, has not spoken with Mrs. Clinton, or even reached out, despite the imperative to make inroads into her coalition. Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman considering a run, has not spoken with Mrs. Clinton either.

A notable name not to consult Mrs. Clinton is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, whose once close relationship with the Clintons deteriorated after she said President Bill Clinton should have resigned over his sexual relationship with a White House intern.

In her conversations, Mrs. Clinton signaled that she has no plans to endorse someone in the primary, say those who have spoken with her, but is eager to help the eventual nominee. “She will certainly not insert herself,” Ms. Moore said.

humphrey

Sanders calls out Clinton on taking advice from Henry Kissinger

orlbucfan

UGH! Drive a stake through her/its heart!

WindDancer13

No, she won’t insert herself. She will be hanging like a dark, ugly cloud over their heads though. I love it when they give me a list on whom to ignore.

Somehow Julian Castro got my email address and while everything goes into spam, I think I will unsubscribe and hope they ask me why.

jcitybone

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/26/democratic-party-centrism-aoc-sanders-warren/

Got that? Biden, Schultz and Co., we are told, sit firmly in the middle of American politics; Ocasio-Cortez stands far out on its fringes.

This is a brazen distortion of reality, a shameless and demonstrable lie that is repeated day after day in newspaper op-eds and cable news headlines.

“It’s easy to call what AOC is doing as far-lefty, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” Nick Hanauer, the venture capitalist and progressive activist, told MSNBC in January. “When you advocate for economic policies that benefit the broad majority of citizens, that’s true centrism. What Howard Schultz represents, the centrism that he represents, is really just trickle-down economics.”

“He is not the centrist,” continued Hanauer. “AOC is the centrist.”

Hanauer is right. And Bernie Sanders is centrist too — smeared as an “ideologue” (The Economist) and “dangerously far left” (Chicago Tribune). So too is Elizabeth Warren — dismissed as a “radical extremist” (Las Vegas Review-Journal) and a “class warrior” (Fox News).

The inconvenient truth that our lazy media elites do so much to ignore is that Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Warren are much closer in their views to the vast majority of ordinary Americans than the Bloombergs or the Bidens. They are the true centrists, the real moderates; they represent the actual political middle.

WindDancer13

It would be interesting if someone could make a chart of where on the political spectrum Bernie, etc. would be (in equivalent types of programs) in FDR’s era or any of those eras in which the government worked for the people.

jcitybone

Unfortunately, reparations is a political land mine

https://www.theroot.com/exclusive-kamala-harris-calls-for-decriminalization-of-1832883951

Harris told The Root that she supports reparations for black people, but that is not precisely what she told The Grio’s Natasha Alford after we spoke with her. For reparations, Harris said she supports the Lift Act, which would provide a tax credit for all families making up to $100,000.

Well, that’s not reparations. It’s more of a rising tide lifts all boats kinda logic. Julián Castro was more direct in his focus on “people who are the descendants of slaves.” He didn’t say “all people.” Big difference.

On a more promising note, Harris says she is open to seeing sex work decriminalized. For those who have criticized her support of SESTA (The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017) and FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017), her willingness to explore decriminalization may be welcome news—or not.

In our interview, Harris also discussed why she feels Donald Trump is a racist (unlike presidential candidates Cory Booker or Castro, Harris flat out said Trump is a racist), and what it means to try and get votes from people who supported him despite his racist views.

jcitybone

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/26/reparations-bernie-sanders/?fbclid=IwAR03WCHsTJeASSBnQ_Hl2ShnqX3QB4BFbiOQPbXQybGQHxk7irUZ4_f2p9w

Sanders’s response was broadly similar to the other candidates who support reparations. Unlike in 2016, when Sanders joined Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in not supporting reparations, the Vermont senator was careful not to appear dismissive of the underlying right to recompense. Like Sens. Cory Booker, Harris, and Warren, he acknowledged racial disparities resulting from “the legacy of slavery” and the need to address them. Unlike any other 2020 candidate, he went on to offer his support for specific legislation, which would address racial disparities: the Clyburn/Booker 10/20/30 aimed at attacking persistent poverty.

Blitzer posed a follow-up question demanding an up-or-down answer: “So what is your position specifically on reparations?”

At this point, Sanders asked a crucial, as yet unasked question: “What does that mean? What do they mean? I don’t think anyone’s been very clear.”

And he’s right.

Up until now, no one’s bothered to define reparations in the context of 2020 vetting. And the discourse has suffered for it.

Like Harris and Booker before them, Warren and Castro’s support for reparations amounts to a support for a principle, but not a policy.

Harris couldn’t have been more clear about not supporting a race-specific reparations program. Yet the press has generally covered all of these answers on the question of reparations as yeses.

Astead Herndon at the New York Times has reported that Warren, Castro, and Harris “supported reparations,” though he acknowledged that Warren’s campaign ”declined to give further details on that backing.”

The no’s, too, have been described inconsistently. In the space of one article, Herndon characterized Sanders as having “dismissed” reparations as impractical in 2016, while writing that Clinton had merely “declined to support” reparations that year. It would be more accurate to say that she dodged answering the question directly.

And while neither Sanders, Clinton, nor Barack Obama answered yes on the question of reparations, Herndon characterized Obama’s response more gently, writing: “The first black president was seen in some political quarters as reticent about prioritizing the interests of black voters, and he called the idea of reparations impractical in 2016.”

It’s worth asking who benefits from this inconsistent coverage and empty political posturing.

humphrey

Hopefully he is getting recognized nationally. His addition would be a plus.

humphrey

Lobbyists hire Hillary Clinton campaign official to kill Medicare for All

polarbear4

jcitybone

It’s Cililzza so there’s a slant, but some interesting things in it

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/26/politics/bernie-sanders-2020-medicare-for-all/index.html

The difference between Sanders’ position and what I think is Harris’ position is this: Sanders believes “Medicare for All” is the only workable solution to right the wrongs of the current health care system. And that half measures — like the sort Harris has said she supports — don’t really bring the country to the hard but necessary solution of getting rid of the private insurance industry.

Put another way: Harris sees the fight over the future of the health care industry in the country as a “both/and” proposition. Sanders sees it as an “either/or.”

That difference could be critical as the primary fight heats up. Health care is already emerging as one of the central fights of the 2020 primary and general election and it’s clear that Sanders, at least, is going whole-hog when it comes to “Medicare for All.”

jcitybone

Even skeptics can see the benefits of aiming high

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/26/more-than-house-democrats-back-medicare-all-plan-presidential-candidates-spar-over-health-care/?fbclid=IwAR2QGtSzFY3q63seVo9gLmSHWyPCwIOeEfPaLYVqTzm1BhT5LFaO55CtQP0&utm_term=.92e635090cf7&utm_source=reddit.com

More than 100 House Democrats on Wednesday plan to unveil a new “Medicare-for-all” plan to provide government health insurance to every American, according to a copy of the bill provided to The Washington Post, as a number of Democratic-leading presidential candidates for 2020 feud over the party’s health-care platform.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is expected to release legislation on Wednesday that incorporates key policy demands of single-payer activists, aiming to overhaul the U.S. health-care system even faster and more dramatically than legislation proposed in 2017 by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Jayapal’s Medicare-for-all would move every American onto one government insurer in two years, while providing everyone with medical, vision, dental and long-term care at no cost. Similar proposals have been projected to increase federal expenditures by at least $30 trillion but virtually eradicate individuals’ health spending by eliminating payments such as premiums and deductibles. About 30 million Americans do not have insurance while tens of millions more are “underinsured,” meaning they cannot afford or do not seek care, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

The plan is in a number of ways more aggressive than the Sanders plan co-sponsored by more than a dozen Democratic senators, including presidential candidates Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). It is also significantly more detailed than the previous single-payer bill in the House introduced by then-Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), which at around 30 pages outlined only a set of goals with few legislative specifics.

Tim Faust, a single-payer advocate, said it was the first “comprehensive, battle-ready” single-payer plan to be introduced in Congress.

The number of Americans who require long-term care is expected to explode over the next few decades as the baby-boom generation ages, with the number of Americans with a disability projected to more than double from 2015 to 2065. Jayapal’s new Medicare-for-all bill, unlike the one Sanders introduced in the Senate in 2017, would guarantee free long-term care, including home health care, for Americans with disabilities as part of the single-payer system.

“Even though it’s still extremely unlikely to pass, Medicare-for-all has moved the political landscape so suddenly, it’s created a window for these other proposals to seem quite feasible,” said Pollack, a single-payer skeptic.

polarbear4

How Bernie Sanders would dismantle the American empire
Ryan Cooper

https://theweek.com/articles/825202/how-bernie-sanders-dismantle-american-empire

Foreign policy played little role in the 2016 Democratic primary, but 2020 might be different. Most of the field has concentrated so far on domestic questions, with few staking out much in the way of a signature perspective — with one exception: Bernie Sanders. As Peter Beinart writes at The Atlantic, Sanders has elucidated a platform that is strongly critical of America’s imperial blundering, arguing instead for a return of neighborly internationalism and re-engagement with the United Nations.

In the democratic socialist tradition, fighting imperialism has usually been a top priority (the vast Soviet empire notwithstanding). Sanders has the most thoroughgoing critique of American empire of any major candidate since George McGovern at least. But it raises the question: Would he be able to roll back the empire from the very pinnacle of imperial power?

In the 2016 race, Sanders inadvertently revealed he didn’t have all that much to say about foreign policy, only belatedly developing a perspective (which included a delicious slam on the butchery of Henry Kissinger, to be fair). But he has spent the last two years further developing his foreign policy thinking, notably hiring former Center for American Progress expert Matt Duss (subject of a recent profile in The Nation by David Klion). He gave two big foreign speeches over the last two years outlining his views.

What Sanders would be able to achieve as president depends heavily on the nature of the American empire. In his first speech, he argued that the bloated defense budget was infringing on other national priorities, by eating up money and resources that could be spent at home, and quoted President Eisenhower’s famous “A Chance for Peace” and “military-industrial complex” speeches to that effect.

When we consider the last two decades of imperial war and domination (and much before that), the overwhelming impression is one of futility and waste. America has spent something like $6 trillion on just the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and for what? It’s not like U.S. businesses need those export markets, which have been ruined in any case by all the chaos and violence. Even the oil of Iraq could not possibly compensate for that much spending (for $4 trillion, about the cost of the Iraq War, we could have nearly bought half of Iraq’s entire oil reserves outright at going prices). Indeed, with the rise of fracking the U.S. itself has become the world’s largest oil producer.

At least when it comes to imperialist war, the last two decades of U.S. foreign policy have been as pointless as they have been gruesome.

That accounts for the odd spectacle of a democratic socialist quoting a moderate conservative president who had previously been the top general in the biggest war in U.S. history. There is quite substantial overlap between a leftist anti-imperialist perspective and the sort of realist conservative view focused on the national interest and avoiding expensive overseas entanglements. That kind of thinking is now largely absent from the American right, of course, with the exception of a few heterodox voices like Daniel Larison, Andrew Bacevich, and the late Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). But remarkably, Sanders did manage to team up with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to pass a bipartisan resolution stopping U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen, a second version of which will be up for a Senate vote soon.

However, Sanders also wants to build up a new lefty internationalism. In his speech at SAIS, he called for the creation of an international movement working towards “democracy, egalitarianism, and economic, social, racial, and environmental justice,” in order to combat the manifest appearance of “a growing worldwide movement toward authoritarianism, oligarchy, and kleptocracy.” As Beinart notes, he has thus been sharply critical of America’s various Cold War atrocities in Latin America, Iran, Southeast Asia, and of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Neither Republicans nor the bipartisan D.C. foreign policy establishment “Blob” will like this one bit. The Blob probably couldn’t even be talked around to an Eisenhower-style realist restraint, much less an ambitious pivot away from military spending and towards international diplomacy. Just look at the number of upstanding national security liberals who reacted with spluttering, stunned outrage when Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) criticized Elliot Abrams for covering up mass murder as part of the U.S. intervention in El Salvador in the 1980s. In Blob World, U.S. military action is always right by definition, “we” always have to be meddling in most every foreign dispute no matter how badly the last attempt went, Israel is the most important U.S. ally no matter how much it formalizes its apartheid system, and anyone who looks askance at the resulting heaps of corpses is Unserious. This crew is rotten to the bone, both morally and intellectually.

That said, the office of the presidency does have extremely broad authority over foreign policy, and Sanders could achieve a great deal even if he couldn’t dismantle the whole imperial structure. Simply having all the carrier battle groups turn donuts in the middle of the Pacific would be a vast improvement on the endless dirty wars and airstrikes across the globe. One concrete place to start would be a deep investigation into the horrendously corrupt military procurement process, which is simply riddled with grifters and incompetence from top to bottom. Cutting out some of the awesome fraud in military contracting would likely deflate the Blob considerably (at the lamentable expense of causing a recession in the northern Virginia hot tub business). Another idea is a ban on foreign lobbying. A key Blob support is oceans of cash from Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Israel, and many other countries.

But make no mistake, it will be a terrific battle. If Sanders want to reform American foreign policy along sane and moral lines, he better be ready for a fight.

February 25, 2019

polarbear4

I would love to see Bernie hire Bacevich.

polarbear4

Bernie Sanders’ Top Campaign Strategists Quit

Three top strategists for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign have quit.

NBC News reported on Tuesday that Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh, and Julian Mulvey left the campaign over “creative differences.”

In a joint statement, the strategists said they were leaving because “we believe that Sen. Sanders deserves to have media consultants who share his creative vision for the campaign

.”

polarbear4

Dam. Too late to edit and delete this TPM thing about the campaign staff quitting. Sorry everyone! I have to drill that into my memory TPMTPMTPM.

WindDancer13

Sorry to ask, but I have been away for some time…Why do you have to drill TPM into your memory? It sounds painful.

humphrey

LOL. I think that she is referring to the fact that TPM has jumped the shark and is no longer a reliable website. It followed in the footsteps of Daily Kos.

WindDancer13

Ah, thank you! I will keep that in mind. Following DK: a case of the blind leading the blind

I had seen that particular article somewhere yesterday and had dismissed it because I didn’t like their tone (I know that is very subjective, but useful sometimes).

jcitybone

Another gem from Florida

jcitybone

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a26541070/matt-gaetz-michael-cohen-tweet-witness-intimidation/

Congressman Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, already has made quite a name for himself as an up-and-coming lunatic phenom in the order of a Louie Gohmert, a Steve King, or a Glenn Grothman. He’s a dolt with a DUI arrest who’s made his mark as the primary administration mouthpiece in the Congress. He also sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which means he’ll be sitting there on Wednesday when Michael Cohen comes by to chat.

This, Gaetz apparently reasoned, was an appropriate time to engage in a little witness intimidation and/or witness tampering on the electric Twitter machine.

There is no bottom to the barrel.

polarbear4

jcitybone

I actually think that Biden running will be good for Bernie. Good contrast and many of the other candidates won’t make the 15% cutoff for delegates

https://www.businessinsider.com/joe-biden-2020-his-family-wants-him-to-run-2019-2?utm_source=reddit.com

Former Vice President Joe Biden seems to be inching toward a big announcement on the 2020 presidential election.

Biden at an event with presidential historian Jon Meachem at the University of Delaware on Tuesday said his family wants him to run.

“There’s a consensus I should — they…want me to run,” Biden said. “The first hurdle for me was deciding whether or not I am comfortable taking the family through what would be a very very, very difficult campaign.”

Meanwhile, Biden has reportedly hired staff in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two key primary states.

polarbear4

humphrey

Unfortunately it now seems more difficult for progressives to become congressmen.

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Don midwest
Don midwest

another article up here under a different heading which shows how CNN stacked the deck against Bernie

hope it gets national coverage to track down those people who asked questions

i only say part of it but hard hitting questions and Bernie handled them well

in other words, excellent trial by fire and Bernie came out great

Humphrey post here at TPW

Posting this separately because it deserves attention. CNN stacked the deck against Bernie

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

I agree, and furthermore as I posted in a comment on that post, the other candidates getting puffball questions will be poorly prepared for the questions they will get in a general campaign.

polarbear4

jcitybone

Unfortunately, for most Republicans, their oath is to Trump

The House voted on Tuesday to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the Mexican border, with more than a dozen Republicans joining Democrats to try to block his effort to divert funding to a border wall without congressional approval.

The resolution of disapproval, which passed 245-182, must now be taken up by the Senate, where three Republicans have already declared their support, only one short of the number needed for Congress to ratify a stinging rebuke of Mr. Trump’s efforts.

It remains highly unlikely that opponents will muster the votes to overturn a promised veto of the resolution. But passage of a measure to assert Congress’s constitutional authority over spending is sure to bolster numerous lawsuits that maintain that Mr. Trump’s declaration is an unconstitutional end run around Congress’s lawful power of the purse.

“Is your oath of office to Donald Trump or is it to the Constitution of the United States?” Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked her Republican colleagues in a speech on the floor ahead of the vote. “You cannot let him undermine your pledge to the Constitution.”

House Republican leaders kept defections low after feverishly working to assuage concerns among rank-and-file members about protecting congressional powers and about the precedent that Mr. Trump could be setting for Democratic presidents to use national emergencies for their own purposes. Ultimately, 13 Republicans defected from the party line to vote for the one-page resolution.

jcitybone

More about that Morning Consult poll in article that is very concerned about the lingering resentments between Clinton and Sanders former staff.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/bernie-sanders-campaign-clinton-2016-baggage.html

The good news for Sanders is that it’s not entirely clear that the festering 2016 resentment matters outside the Beltway. His favorability rating within the Democratic rank and file suggests the vast majority of primary voters have either forgiven, forgotten, or never noticed the rift in the first place. In the Morning Consult poll, for example, 75 percent of Democratic voters said they had a favorable opinion of Sanders, while just 15 percent said they had an unfavorable one. Those numbers are nearly as good as Biden’s (76 percent to 12 percent) and far better than every other potential rival, none of whom have faced the same kind of he’s-not-even-technically-a-Democrat complaints that get lobbed at Sanders from the party faithful.

polarbear4

It’s the Clinton nights in near a tendon or doing all the trolling. Haha neera tanden, etc.

jcitybone

AOC vs Ivanka. Well that’s not a fair fight!

jcitybone

At about 11:43 Clinton clearly states that Putin preferred Bernie Sanders over her in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump over her in the Presidential race. Still a lot of resentment in that one.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgf6ziw-ZZo&feature=youtu.be

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