HomeUncategorized3/13 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie’s Campaign Sets Sights On California, Medicare-For-All Surges In Red States & More
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What Brown knows is that having a set of organizing principles and a clear message can be enough to inoculate a politician against the minute-by-minute demands of professional activists and angry tweeters. Candidates who make policy-by-Twitter, the ones who chase every micro-news-cycle, risk losing sight not just of what voters care about, but also why they’re running for president in the first place. At the moment, there are five candidates who have a clear, simple answer for why they’re running for president: Sanders, who wants to upend a “rigged” capitalist economy; Warren, who wants to do the same but within the confines of capitalism; Jay Inslee, who’s running solely to fight climate change; Pete Buttigieg, a millennial who is campaigning on the idea of generational change; and Andrew Yang, a businessman running on the concept of giving everyone in the country a Universal Basic Income. These candidates are not all attracting big crowds like Sanders and Warren, or even more famous candidates like Harris or Booker, but they are doing what any good touring band does best: they’re playing the hits. At every stop, in every interview, they aren’t wasting time with gimmicks or boring fans with a new sonic journey produced by Brian Eno. They’re sticking to their messages, making an argument, and tuning out the critics.

Tom Townsend, the president of the AFL-CIO in Dubuque, called it an uncomplicated political formula that national Democrats seemed to have lost sight of before 2016. And yet, he told me, several of the Democrats currently running for president aren’t presenting a coherent rationale for their campaigns. “There are a couple I have talked to, and I don’t have a clue why they are running,” he said. “Other than they want to run.” One candidate who does make sense for many of his fellow workers, he said, is Sanders. “He talks to average people in a language they understand. It’s been a long time since people came to Dubuque and talked about real Midwestern issues, not what donors wanted to talk about or what national people want to talk about it. What people liked about Bernie is he was genuine. No one thinks he was making crap up to get corporate donations.”

Townsend said the “socialist” tag didn’t bother him because Sanders owned it and pivoted directly to his message of inequality and economic justice. Nor did Sanders get distracted by the latest gaffe or campaign controversy consuming the national media. He rose above it. “Bernie basically owned it and said, ‘Yeah, I am a socialist and here’s what I believe in,’” Townsend told me. “Most Democrats around here think capitalism is fine but needs to be reined in and kept in check at some level. Instead of worrying about every stupid thing, this label or that, we need to concentrate on the things that will gain support among working people. The Democrats and everyone in politics have largely ignored blue-collar working class people for a long time. No one thinks anyone in government anymore is doing anything to help them out.”



Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t conceding California in the Democratic presidential primary race to home state Sen. Kamala Harris. Far from it. Top Sanders campaign officials say he’s planning to have field offices and run commercials across the nation’s most populous state.

“We’re going to have a robust campaign in California.” said Ben Tulchin, Sanders’ San Francisco-based pollster, adding that “Bernie is extremely well-positioned” in California. “It will be a well-funded media and field campaign.”

Now, Sanders is topping most polls among the “announced candidates” — as in, not including former Vice President Joe Biden or former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Roughly half his support comes from Latinos and African Americans, some surveys suggest. Sanders’ favorability rating among Latino voters is 59 percent, according to a recent poll — higher than the rest of the announced field.

That has Sanders’ campaign predicting he will do well in the early states with large numbers of Latinos, including California and Nevada. If Sanders can corral Millennial and independent voters as he did in 2016, “we think that’s a winning coalition in California and beyond,” Tulchin said.


Sorry for duplicating this. I sometimes steam right by the headline article to get to the other posts 🙃


Biden didn’t merely vote for the Iraq war

Joe Biden Isn’t Coming to the Rescue

One of the many industries that Biden has a long record of letting “off the hook” is the war business. In that mode, Biden did more than any other Democratic senator to greenlight the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It wasn’t just that Biden voted for the Iraq war on the Senate floor five months before it began. During the lead-up to that vote, in August 2002, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he presided over sham hearings—refusing to allow experts who opposed an invasion to get any words in edgewise—while a cavalcade of war hawks testified in the national spotlight.

“It is difficult to over-estimate the critical role Biden played in making the tragedy of the Iraq war possible,” Middle East studies professor Stephen Zunes wrote. “More than two months prior to the 2002 war resolution even being introduced, in what was widely interpreted as the first sign that Congress would endorse a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Biden declared on August 4 that the United States was probably going to war. In his powerful position as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he orchestrated a propaganda show designed to sell the war to skeptical colleagues and the America public by ensuring that dissenting voices would not get a fair hearing.”

Joe Biden’s friendly TV persona appeals to many. He smiles well and has a gift of gab. Most political journalists in the mass media like him. He’s an apt frontrunner for the military-industry complex and the corporate power structure that it serves. Whether Biden can win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will largely depend on how many voters don’t know much about his actual record.



Inslee, 68, jumped into the Democratic primary this month as the candidate who would fight climate change. His many rivals don’t know what to make of that. Every Democrat seeking the party’s nomination believes that the Earth is warming and that Obama-era environmental standards need to be fully restored. Every senator and member of Congress in the race had also embraced the Green New Deal, the Marshall Plan-size project to restructure the economy and bring net emissions to zero by 2030. All of them have found that talking about climate change, or about Democrats needing to “believe in science,” generates massive applause.

To Inslee, it looks like other candidates are “checking a box” on climate — good intentions and no assurance of action. Inslee, who had watched the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade bill to limit pollutants be killed by filibuster in the Senate nine years ago, emphasized that only he was calling for the end of that bill-blocking tool, with no caveats. One of just two candidates with experience running a state in the race, Inslee was able to rattle off what his state had done on climate, including a new law that would phase out coal power by 2025 and stop state utilities from burning carbon by 2045. It’s the only existential issue in the race, he says; if that makes him a “single-issue” candidate, so be it.

Inslee also separated himself from other Democrats by allowing a super PAC, Act Now on Climate, to raise unlimited money for a campaign that will support him from the outside. The rest of the field has denounced super PACs; that, to Inslee, meant “unilaterally disarming” and allowing the president to “beat our eventual nominee over the head” in 2020.



This couldn’t be any more Heritage Foundationish if Jim DeMint himself came out of retirement, stripped naked, and rubbed it all over with bacon fat. By this plan, parents would be encouraged to…wait for it…rob their own Social Security to pay for child care. In other words, according to Mike and Joni, they are proposing to give you paid family leave that you pay for!

Not only that, but their proposal is also a backdoor way to get people to believe that Social Security is some sort of government benefit for them to use however they want, and not a social insurance program into which they paid their own money. That thinking leads inevitably to the notion of privatizing the whole program, which only has been a Republican goal for over eight decades.

But sub rosa shenanigans aside, this proposal is breathtakingly cynical. Lee and Ernst and every other Republican who is neither Louie Gohmert nor Matt Gaetz looked at the results last November and realized that the gender gap now more closely resembled the Hellespont, and that American families were looking around the world and seeing all those countries with actual paid family leave and asking that essentially American question, “Me some too, yes?”

Already, Senator Professor Warren has proposed a whopping new program to provide actual paid family leave, and to fund it with a wealth tax on the most pluto-y of the country’s plutocrats. All of this is enough to throw Republican thinkers like Ernst and Lee—to say nothing of their donor class—into a panic. They needed to find…a Republican alternative.

Voila! Another dead fish that’s going to lie there on the floor of the House of Representatives until it stinks so much that somebody throws it away.

We repeat—paid family leave that you pay for!

Brilliant. Just dead fcking brilliant.



“Here’s my rule on this one,” Warren said after she was asked about impeachment. “Let’s wait until we get the Mueller report. Combine it with everything else we’ve seen. Then we’ll know what to do.”

Warren’s position appeared to be in line with several senior Democrats in Congress who have said that any discussion of beginning impeachment proceedings should proceed after Mueller is finished.

But Warren drew a line between her view and that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who told The Washington Post last week that impeachment is “so divisive” and that Trump was “just not worth it.”

“I’m not sure where Nancy is,” Warren said. Asked about divisiveness, she said that was “not the point.”

“What I see is that the Mueller report is coming,” Warren added. “Let’s all take a look at the Mueller report. And when the Mueller report comes, we will know exactly what to do.”


During Watergate towards the end Nixon got a lot of pressure from R’s to resign or be impeached. With the way the R’s are today a lot of them would gladly go down with him. The Mueller Report would really have to leave no doubt about Trumpcorp’s guilt. The House would vote to impeach, I have serious doubts about the senate right now..


Meet Venezuela’s kleptocratic partner in crime: the United States

All of these guilty pleas and seized assets paint a clear picture. Maduro’s regime, as these allegations lay out, illustrates how modern kleptocracy — looting a country, using shell companies to move the money, and parking it in Miami high-rises — is not simply a right-wing phenomenon. There’s a reason, after all, that the IMF identified Venezuela as the country with the second-highest rate of wealth stashed offshore, as a percent of GDP, of any country in the world, beating out even Russia.

Along the way, the revelations have highlighted the key role the United States plays in these kleptocratic systems — as well as the kind of leverage the United States maintains over these networks. Just this week, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to discuss some of the mechanisms for cleaning up the same systems that have allowed Venezuela’s elite — along with those in dictatorships across the world — to launder their loot in the United States.

The United States, of course, remains one of the premier destinations for crooks and criminals looking to open anonymous shell companies, in states like Delaware, Wyoming, and Nevada. Many of those anonymous, untraceable companies then turn around and launder kleptocratic cash through American real estate. While there have been some recent improvements in the transparency of the American real estate sector, the Unites States still remains a massive sieve through which dirty cash flows — and a massive blight on efforts to unwind the types of kleptocratic networks ransacking places like Venezuela.

Or put another way: While Maduro and his cronies stripped Venezuela’s bank accounts bare, America was overjoyed to partake in the profit-taking bonanza.


i Wonder if the opposition people are also heavily invested.

While I have no doubt that this is at least mostly true, the focus on Maduro and the timing from a CAP publication is suspect.


Venezuela is a mess. The opposition would just be a different group of looters who would let the US directly in to join in the looting. Sadly, the regular citizens are always screwed.


A lot of them are in Florida too, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also involved in some form of money laundering there.




President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused “deranged” media outlets of digitally editing pictures of first lady Melania Trump and fanning the flames of conspiracy theories that the first lady employed a body double last week on the couple’s trip to survey tornado damage in Alabama.

The unfounded “Fake Melania” theory, which purports that the first lady uses a stand-in to appear at certain events alongside the president, resurfaced on Twitter this week following the Trumps’ trip to Alabama and was further amplified when the panel on ABC’s “The View” devoted a segment to discussing the theory.



Overall, the national mortgage settlement was a blight on this country, a tragic missed opportunity to rebalance the unfair burden thrown on homeowners for a financial crisis they did not cause. The architects of the settlement should be embarrassed by the very mention of it. If this is what we hold up as justice, then we have none.

Surely Harris must have better things in her record to talk about. She authored the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which gave borrowers more protections against foreclosure, although attorneys have questioned its spotty enforcement (one major mortgage company had never even heard of the Homeowners Bill of Rights, years after its passage). And she did hire an aggressive settlement monitor, Katie Porter, who got personally involved in cases and delivered better outcomes for homeowners; Porter is now a first-term member of Congress.

But Harris is specifically praising herself for the national mortgage settlement, and that’s just appalling. Letting the biggest banks in America get away with the largest consumer fraud in American history is nothing to celebrate. It’s more deserving of an apology, for abandoning vulnerable Americans in their hour of need and damaging the noble cause of equal justice under law.


When Bernie gets in, I hope he will listen and act.

Don midwest
Don midwest

election integrity experts in Columbus OH have been speaking to Bernie for a couple of decades

will Bernie make it a big issue in his campaign?

I sure hope so


Democrats, doing their best to turn us all into Republicans.



No coincidence that she regularly appears on MSNBClinton programs.


Something is fishy here!


Canada on Wednesday joined dozens of other countries in barring Boeing 737 MAX jets from its airspace, increasing the United States’ isolation even as more lawmakers called for the Federal Aviation Administration to take the fleet out of service.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he made his decision to ground the planes “as a result of new data that we received this morning” showing “possible” similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 that crashed Sunday and a Lion Air flight using the same model of plane that crashed in October in Indonesia.

“On the advice of my experts, and as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice” restricting 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 variants from crossing into or over Canadian airspace, effective immediately and until further notice, Garneau said. He cautioned, though, “that this new information is not conclusive and that we must await further evidence hopefully from the voice and data recorders.”

Even Rachel Maddow ran a segment on this matter.



President Trump announced Wednesday that all Boeing 737 Max planes will be grounded “effective immediately,” after the second such deadly plane crash in five months. “Any plane currently in the air will go to its destination and thereafter be grounded until further notice.”

All Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes will be grounded upon landing at their destination, Mr. Trump said and CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave confirmed. The president made the announcement during a White House meeting on drugs at the southern border, claiming the decision was made after new information came to light.

When Mr. Trump spoke with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday, the executive assured the president he believes the planes are safe, CBS News’ Van Kleave reported Tuesday. Boeing reiterated that sentiment in a statement Wednesday following the president’s announcement.


I have no idea where this ends up but it is interesting.


Ethiopia will ask European air-safety experts to analyze black boxes from a crashed Boeing Co. jet in a sign U.S. authorities aren’t trusted to determine the cause of the disaster after ruling that the model is safe to fly.

The government hasn’t yet decided exactly where to send the data and voice recorders, though European bodies will be approached, Ethiopian Airlines, which operated the crashed 737 Max jet, said Wednesday. Germany said it won’t be taking the boxes, citing technical complications.

Authorities around the world have grounded the new version of the 737 amid concern that similarities between the African tragedy and an October crash in Indonesia could point to an inherent safety risk. That’s left the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration isolated in arguing that the Max should continue flying, challenging its standing as the industry’s leading regulator.

The choice of Europe over the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board for the analysis of the black boxes is a strategic decision for Ethiopian Airlines and the nation’s government, said Asrat Begashaw, the carrier’s public relations director. The country’s investigation is being led by the transport minister, he said by telephone.


Arsewipe and friends (Pence, Bolton, Pompeo, Mnuchin, DeVos, Abrams, etc.) have really done an excellent job of dragging a country into the dirt. Not to mention all the dimwits who voted for the yahoos–Christian Fundie Hypocrites, I’m looking right at your worthless butts!!


This orange lamebrain is really so stupid, it’s beyond words. The problem/bad press is with the model 8, not the 9!


Well I was on one of those 737’s for my vacation. I would worry more about a flight crews flying experience to handle a problem than the plane according to a friend of mine whom is a captain for a major airline.


The problem(?) is with the 737 MAX 8, not the MAX 9. What is even more interesting is only 2 mega-companies build commercial planes: Boeing and Airbus. The orange moranic stupid has got the whole world pissed off at the ugly America. Thanks you dolt!


This tweet isn’t new but it is still relevant as the “resistance” still brings up the topic.


David Brock is now hiring! Just send him your resume.




It appears the the Clinton wing has gone overboard with potential candidates.


The Democratic mayor of Miramar, Fla., said Wednesday that he will launch an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid.

Wayne Messam told CNN that his candidacy offers “a unique opportunity for Americans to look at another option of leadership.”

“When you look at what is going on in Washington, the status quo is who is stepping up to be our next president,” Messam said. “When you look at a mayor, Americans see mayors favorably. We are at the front line of what Americans are dealing with every day.”

If Messam were to jump into the race, he would enter an already crowded primary field. Several U.S. senators have declared their candidacies, and other prominent Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), are also expected to jump in.



What a joke! Most Americans have never heard of Miramar, FL. A lot of Floridians don’t know where it is either.


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Equality Act to Prohibit LGBTQ Discrimination


Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined a bipartisan coalition of 238 colleagues in introducing the Equality Act (H.R. 5). The legislation would extend civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.

“Too often, the LGBTQ community still faces discrimination in the workplace, in education, or when trying to find a home,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “It’s long overdue that we extend civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community and ensure equal treatment for all Americans under the law—regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, or national origin.”

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has cosponsored and supported anti-discrimination legislation like the Fair and Equal Housing Act, Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, Juror Non-Discrimination Act, Student Non-Discrimination Act, Safe Schools Improvement Act, Do No Harm Act, and the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act. Additionally, Rep. Gabbard has advocated in support of the LGBTQ community serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. She earned a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign during the 115th Congress. For more on the congresswoman’s work to fight for civil rights and equality, click here.


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