Home2020 Elections3/21 BNR Afternoon + OT : AOC on the Cover of Time
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Should the DOJ be reprimanded for anti-Semitism?

Media Blackout as Israel’s Largest Banks Pay Over $1 Billion in Fines for US Tax Evasion Schemes

WASHINGTON — Israel’s three largest banks — Hapoalim Bank, Leumi Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank — have all been ordered to pay record fines, which collectively are set to total over $1 billion, to the U.S. government after the banks were found to have actively colluded with thousands of wealthy Americans in massive tax-evasion schemes.

The scandal, though it has been reported on in Israeli media, has garnered little attention in the United States. The media black-out has been so surprising it was even directly mentioned by the Times of Israel, given that similar revelations about other banks and offshore tax-evasion schemes — such as those contained within the Panama Papers — led to global protests and even the resignations of some world leaders.



From my email:
Subject: Microsoft Employees Refuse War Work

Message: Microsoft employees are refusing weapons contracts. Support them! https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13620

The employees have sent an open letter to both the CEO and the president/chief legal officer of Microsoft. Here are some highlights:

■ “We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built. We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”

■ “In November, Microsoft was awarded the $479 million Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) contract with the United States Department of the Army. The contract’s stated objective is to ‘rapidly develop, test, and manufacture a single platform that Soldiers can use to Fight, Rehearse, and Train that provides increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness necessary to achieve overmatch against our current and future adversaries.'”

■ “While the company has previously licensed tech to the U.S. Military, it has never crossed the line into weapons development. With this contract, it does. The application of HoloLens within the IVAS system is designed to help people kill. It will be deployed on the battlefield, and works by turning warfare into a simulated ‘video game,’ further distancing soldiers from the grim stakes of war and the reality of bloodshed.”

■ “Intent to harm is not an acceptable use of our technology. We demand that Microsoft:
1) Cancel the IVAS contract;
2) Cease developing any and all weapons technologies, and draft a public-facing acceptable use policy clarifying this commitment;
3) Appoint an independent, external ethics review board with the power to enforce and publicly validate compliance with its acceptable use policy.”

■ “. . . As employees and shareholders we do not want to become war profiteers. To that end, we believe that Microsoft must stop in its activities to empower the U.S. Army’s ability to cause harm and violence.”


This is what has to happen. And then people in the aerospace industry will likely have to take a pay cut if we’re really going to start walking out of our permanent war basis.


Not the workers…the CEOs, CFOs, etc. need a pay cut. The workers just need to be re-purposed (my word of the day).


For sure. But the workers could start by moving into renewable jobs, for instance. I still want the workers to also exit, hopefully to something they can use their skills in.

The GND would help a lot. When people are dying in agony under bombs, I believe an employee does have to ask what he or she is doing.



This month, Eli Lilly and Company announced with some fanfare that it was manufacturing a generic version of its own best-selling insulin brand, Humalog, which it would sell for half off — $137.50 versus $275.

David Ricks, the chief executive of Lilly, said the company was making this seemingly beneficent gesture because “many patients are struggling to afford their insulin.”

But they’re struggling, in large part, because Lilly has raised the price of Humalog from $35 to $275 a vial since 2001. Other insulin makers have raised prices similarly.

In Germany, the list price of a vial of Humalog is about $55 — or $45 if you buy five at a time — and that includes some taxes and markup fees. Why not just reduce the price in the United States to address said suffering?

But they might well keep these two thoughts in mind: If the product being sold was electricity or gas for your car, a price rise of more than 600 percent over 15 years would be regarded as price gouging and wouldn’t be tolerated. And in Germany and many other developed countries, there is no need for a $137.50 vial of “authorized generic” for Humalog. At around $50 a vial, Humalog as Humalog costs far less




This is WRONG, Ryan! The video clearly shows that @JoeBiden was NOT directing that comment to her, and that it was in response to the photog asking HER HUSBAND to drop his hands to his side.

Not the smartest joke, but an innocent one that should not be misrepresented!

— Arizona's Politics (@AZs_Politics) March 21, 2019


I do not like Joe “Anita Hill” Biden, but we need to make sure that our criticisms of him are valid. There is a LOT of fodder in his record to chew on.

There is another C-Span video that purports to show Biden touching the “breast” of a young girl (looks to be about 10), but on careful watching, the video has obviously been photoshopped. I expect that one to show up shortly. His touchy-feelie privileges are creepy enough without the additions.




Looks like it will be an interesting debate season *cough*:



I don’t find continuing the line that Bernie fails to comprehend how race and class are intertwined because he doesn’t support the unworkable and politically unpopular concept of reparations very helpful


Sen. Bernie Sanders’s refusal to give a full-throated endorsement of reparations is throwing a wrench into his long-expected endorsement from the Democratic Socialists of America.

The DSA’s AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus, a section within the organization focused on race and people of color, is asking the DSA’s national political committee to withhold its endorsement of Sanders’s presidential campaign over his stance on reparations. The independent Vermont senator has declined to back reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States, arguing that broader anti-poverty programs will help address inequality and that it’s not clear what the term means.

DSA’s members already voted 76 percent to 24 percent to endorse Sanders in a poll conducted by the organization’s leadership earlier this month. The 16-member national political committee is set to vote on the endorsement on Thursday evening. The AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus is pushing for them to withhold that endorsement.

The caucus laid out its reasoning in an open letter to the political committee and explained that while they believe Sanders has advanced in his stance on race, “there is still a disconnect in his approach to economic issues often failing to comprehend how race and class are intertwined.”

It’s not clear what, if any, effect the DSA AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus’s letter will have on the organization’s decision on backing Sanders. Its membership appears to overwhelmingly support the move, though there has been some debate about whether it’s the right move.

The national political committee is set to debate and vote on the endorsement on Thursday at 9 pm.

Beyond this vote, the discussion about reparations and, more broadly, race, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, in the context of the Sanders campaign or among democratic socialists more broadly.


Yeah, Who knows. Bernie is the only one being blunt about it. All the rest of them have word salad around it and they do not come out for payment which is what the reparations people want—the ADOS.

It’s weird.


Bernie asked the right question about reparations during a town hall; he asked for a definition. Of course, MSM, moderates and Twitternuts chose to take that wrong.

In order to address an issue, it needs to have an agreed-on definition. Some people talk about flat out checks, but that does not really address the issue. It is more of a conscious-salving band-aid.

Time Black has talked about some of the underlying problems best. As he stated, part of the problems stems from the fact that in the early days of settlement whites were given land. Blacks were not able to participate in this give away of resources. How does one set about fixing that?



Why do some Tweets show up as block quotes and others in the regular tweet format? I have tried embed, not working. I just tried with the link Tweet command and it first showed the correct format and then reverted to block format.



hmm, Im not sure Ill have to look when I get off work. I typically just right click the date of the tweet and copy/paste from the url directly from there.


I am not sure I follow about right clicking the date. I know that in the thread that is how to get to the tweet on Twitter, but do not know how it relates to seeing the actual tweet vs block quote in the thread here. Again, I am very well missing something. Nothing new there. = )

Thanks in advance for checking.


I have noticed that as well, I go to the thread multiple times and for the same entry I sometimes see the text quote and other times I see the tweet.


A thought making its way through the muddle to my consciousness:

To combat gun shootings, Republicans suggest arming teachers and staff at schools. This is incredibly dangerous and just plain stupid. The next time one of them brings up this idea, here is a counter argument.

Why not take all of those dogs trained to sniff out marijuana and re-purpose them to sniff out guns? Some schools and dog trainers have been working on this idea and some police departments already use gun-sniffing dogs during investigations.

Example: Kennel training firearm-sniffing dogs for school safety


Great idea they could even maybe make friends with the kids.


Probably much easier than being friendly with a gun-totin’ teacher.


And now for the truly disgusting. I find no problem with believing this is exactly what happened.

Why Did Bush Go to War in Iraq? The Answer Is More Sinister Than You Think

My investigation into the causes of the war finds that it had little to do with fear of WMDs – or other purported goals, such as a desire to “spread democracy” or satisfy the oil or Israel lobbies. Rather, the Bush administration invaded Iraq for its demonstration effect.

A quick and decisive victory in the heart of the Arab world would send a message to all countries, especially to recalcitrant regimes such as Syria, Libya, Iran, or North Korea, that American hegemony was here to stay. Put simply, the Iraq war was motivated by a desire to (re)establish American standing as the world’s leading power. [emphasis added]

That little “demonstration” failed. The mission was NOT accomplished and, in fact, has weakened the US economically and on the world stage. It is beyond time to leave.


And now a third column about this from WaPo. They are relentless. At least this one does have the info about the Guardian timeline.


A fuller evaluation of these various claims would be much easier if Sirota hadn’t deleted nearly his entire Twitter archive. In a response to the Atlantic, he mentioned an “autodeleter that periodically and automatically deletes tweets. I started doing this many months ago.” That move, combined with Sirota’s commitment to off-the-record discussions of his recent activities, places him on the tenebrous extreme of the transparency spectrum.

And it’s there that this story now rests. We now have a Twitter cleanser serving as a senior adviser and speechwriter for the Sanders campaign. The stage is thus set for some delicious commentary when the senator’s campaign inevitably demands accountability and transparency from some organization or other.

Attempts to secure comment from the Sanders campaign have come to naught.


Well, la-dee-da, ain’t we high falutin’….”have come to naught.”

WaPo really needs to learn how to connect their gossip with policy stances. Otherwise, how are we supposed to know just how bad those policies are without facts and figures?



Joe Biden is trying to appeal to younger voters as he is expected to launch his bid for the presidency. However, for years, Biden made it his mission to block student debt forgiveness, leaving many young people facing a lifetime of debt.

Biden’s potential candidacy comes at a time when the U.S. debt crisis is reaching unprecedented levels across all consumer sectors.

Student debt broke $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 according to the Federal Reserve, outstripping auto loan ($1.1 trillion) and credit card debt ($977 billion) significantly, with 1.1 million people owing over $100,000 for their educational expenses. Twenty percent of student borrowers default on their loan payments.



A little history lesson about Milwaukee 2020;
John Nichols: Memo to Dems: Socialism’s one of the coolest things about Milwaukee

If I owned all the real estate in the world, I wouldn’t feel so powerful as I do on the streets of this socialist city,” declared former New York City Councilman Baruch Vladek when he arrived in Milwaukee for the Socialist Party convention of 1932.The man whom the Socialists nominated for president at the first national party convention to be held in Milwaukee, civil rights and economic justice campaigner Norman Thomas, celebrated the fact that he had been chosen in a city that was governed by Socialists. The success of Milwaukee under Socialist Mayor Dan Hoan, he announced, was proof that the social democratic “dreams will someday come true.”That “someday” was dramatically delayed by the results of the 1932 elections. The Socialist ticket ran well, securing almost 900,000 votes nationally and winning its highest percentage of the total vote in Wisconsin. The winner of that year’s race, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, noticed. FDR met with Thomas after the election and borrowed liberally from proposals that had long been advanced by the Socialists — for Social Security, unemployment compensation, strengthening labor unions and investing in public works programs. FDR’s “New Deal” took the wind out of the Socialist Party as a force in national politics. But the party remained a force in Milwaukee for decades to come. Now that Milwaukee has been selected as the host city for another national convention, that of the Democrats in 2020, Wisconsin’s Republicans have suddenly discovered Milwaukee’s history. “No city in America has stronger ties to socialism than Milwaukee,” griped Wisconsin Republican Party Director Mark Jefferson. “And with the rise of Bernie Sanders and the embrace of socialism by its newest leaders, the American left has come full circle. It’s only fitting the Democrats would come to Milwaukee.” U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the Milwaukee convention would provide a “firsthand look” at “the risk of Democrat socialistic tendencies.”
Apart from the fact that these top Republicans don’t seem to like Wisconsin — or its history — very much, the GOP response is comic. Many Wisconsinites know that this state has a long, rich socialist tradition, and that Milwaukee’s association with it is one of the coolest things about the city. It even earned mention in the movie “Wayne’s World,” where rocker Alice Cooper explained, “I think one of the most interesting aspects of Milwaukee is the fact that it’s the only major American city to have ever elected three Socialist mayors.”
The Democratic Party is not a socialist party. But delegates to its 2020 convention might nominate a democratic socialist, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for president. And Democrats should not hesitate to take the Republicans up on their call to highlight lessons from Milwaukee’s Socialist past.For American Socialists in the 20th century, Milwaukee was a political mecca, a city that tested and confirmed the validity of their ideas. Vladek, the manager of the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper, said Milwaukee offered an example of “the America of tomorrow.”Socialists were proud to point to Milwaukee, a city led by party members for most of the period from 1910 to 1960, as a model for sound and equitable governance. And they were not alone in doing so. During Dan Hoan’s 24-year tenure as the Socialist mayor of Wisconsin’s largest city, Time magazine reported, “Milwaukee became one of the best-run cities in the U.S.
Hoan also took on the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, at a time when politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties were compromising with the violent racists who sought to extend their reach from the South to Northern cities. “The Ku Klux Klan will find Milwaukee a hotter place to exist in than Hades itself,” declared the mayor in 1921.Hoan’s integrity, along with his managerial skills, would eventually earn him recognition as one of the 10 finest municipal leaders in American history. In his groundbreaking 1999 assessment of municipal governance in cities across the country, “The American Mayor,” Melvin Holli wrote: “Although this self-identified socialist had difficulty pushing progressive legislation through a nonpartisan city council, he experimented with the municipal marketing of food, backed city-built housing, and was a fervent but unsuccessful champion of municipal ownership of the street railways and the electric utility. His pragmatic ‘gas and water socialism’ met with more success in improving public health and in providing public markets, city harbor improvements, and purging graft from Milwaukee politics.” Socialist Mayors Emil Seidel and Frank Zeidler served before and after Hoan. The city’s voters also elected dozens of Socialists to the City Council, County Board, School Board, state Legislature and Congress. The Milwaukee Socialists were so fiscally and socially responsible that historians to this day hail them as exemplars of a uniquely American form of democratic socialism. Zeidler explained to me: “Socialism as we attempted to practice it here believes that people working together for a common good can produce a greater benefit both for society and for the individual than can a society in which everyone is shrewdly seeking their own self-interest.”That worked well for Milwaukee in the 20th century. So much so that the word “socialism” ceased to be frightening for Milwaukeeans. Zeidler saw this as a form of political evolution that might eventually go national.”There is always a charge that socialism does not fit human nature. We’ve encountered that for a long time. Maybe that’s true,” explained Zeidler. “But can’t people be educated? Can’t people learn to cooperate with each other? Surely that must be our goal, because the alternative is redolent with war and poverty and all the ills of the world.”



I can hear the DNC loud and clear…”Oops!”

Thanks! That is an interesting read.


Funny in that really sad sort of way.


I like these tweets that give lots of good ideas for music or books.


Coming to an Internet battle near you . . . soon:

Major EU Websites Go Dark With #Blackout21 Protest Ahead of Vote to Create Internet ‘Censorship Machine’

Free speech and digital rights advocates across Europe blacked out websites on Thursday to protest the controversial Copyright Directive the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on next Tuesday.

Activists are also planning #SaveYourInternet protests, which are set to take place across Europe on Saturday.

These are the Articles that they hope to block (shades of the TPP?):

Article 11 would allow news publishers to sell licenses for even the smallest snippets taken from online news sites. If no license fee is paid, the snippets would need to be removed from the search results and news aggregation lists. By imposing these burdens on websites that collect, organize, and make sense of the news, Article 11 will make it even harder to sort through the noise to find high-quality news sources for projects like Wikipedia.

Article 13 [a.k.a. Article 17] creates new liability for websites that host user-generated content, if they are unable to ensure that infringing works are not re-uploaded to their sites. This would mean that all uploads to platforms would have to be scanned and treated as presumptively suspicious. Although non-commercial encyclopedias like Wikipedia are exempted, the greater internet ecosystem our communities rely upon will suffer if platforms are forced to privately enforce copyright.

If this passes, how long will it be before the US adopts the same method of silencing us?


Those places will lose readership, though. Doesn’t sound like a good deal for them, either.


They are going to lose a lot more than readership if those Articles are approved. They will lose content. They will lose the ability to engage. They will lose a way to fight the propaganda machine.

When I say “they.” it boils down to “we” as if this allowed to stand we will be next. Imagine TPW without the ability to share snippets of news without paying a fee. Free speech for those who can afford it (like everything else).


But won’t those bigger ones we also use need our readership—the ones “protecting” themselves?


Ummm, I only use their free monthly access then try to find the same info somewhere free. I also use news aggregate sites to read stories from places like NYT for free (I am sure that the NYT and the MSNBC aggregate site will come to some sort of “arrangement”). Then I rely on sites like TPW to discuss and compare articles to get a sense of the truth. So they won’t be losing anything from me.

I do not know about how anyone else approaches this, but if people want to pay for their propaganda, that is their choice.

Of course, now I am wondering what I would truly miss by not seeing their articles. Facts are readily available from primary sources. MSM is a secondary source for about 95% of what they publish.

Totalitarian entities that try to limit information and discussion tend to find themselves subverted by an underground movement. Best to nip it in the bud to begin with, though.

Another thought: This could also have a chilling effect on scholarship.

Lol, the more I think about this, the stupider the whole idea is. There is a good possibility that these publishers could end up losing a lot of money over this.
1. How are they going to monitor the whole WWW? What are they going to do about Twitter and Facebook (those are not websites, but accounts)? Can they stop people in other countries from sharing the information? How are they going to fine people in say, uhm, Russia (lol)?
2. They are going to be tied up in courts forever on probably every single charge for usage that they try to implement.
3. This could be a huge administrative nightmare for them. What if it has been repeated 1000 times? Do they have to charge 1000 sites/people?
4. Alternate sources may decide to grow into full fledged reporting groups, combining their resources which may end up bringing about the end of what is now considered MSM.
5. The news is going to get out anyway, despite them. (A good source would be WikiLeaks.)

It might be fun to watch them construct their own guillotine.

Sorry, this went over long. My brain did not want to quit playing with this issue.


Not overlong. True. What are they going to do, just share amongst themselves?
Maybe it will go down in flames.


But the Betobots will eat this up?




Maybe he can find someone as talented as Sarah Palin to run with him. After all, he said he would choose a woman for VP



Several top Democratic donors have told former Vice President Joe Biden that they won’t help him raise funds in the early stages of the party’s 2020 presidential primary, CNBC has learned. Their reason: skepticism that Biden actually can win the Democratic primary.

Biden, who has yet to announce whether he will run, has reached out to leading financiers over the past week to see whether they will help him raise money for a presidential run. His pitch: He will need their assistance to compete against candidates, such as Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders, who have raised millions of dollars over the first 24 hours of their campaigns, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

However, during those calls, some high-profile donors told Biden that they will not commit to bundling for him, at least in the early stages of the primary, said the people, who declined to be named. The donors told Biden they’re not yet convinced he can overtake the younger, more diverse and progressive field, and that they are going to wait to see how he competes in the race, the people added.

The donors did tell Biden that they’re willing to write the $2,700 checks for his campaign, which is the most an individual can give directly to a candidate in an election cycle, according to the people.

Louis Susman, former U.S. ambassador to the U.K. and a lead bundler for Barack Obama’s 2008 White House run, has publicly acknowledged that he will be helping O’Rourke, the three-term former congressman from Texas. Susman told CNBC he’s been speaking with “family and friends” about backing him for president.

Mark Gallogly, the co-founder of investment firm Centerbridge Partners and another Obama fundraiser, has been indicating to friends that he’s likely to support O’Rourke as well, CNBC reported Thursday.

O’Rourke raked in $6.1 million through the first day of campaigning, while Sanders brought in $5.9 million over the course of his first 24 hours.

Obama received a lot of help from high-end bundlers, including film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, who in 2012 assisted in raising at least $500,000 for his re-election campaign, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The securities and investment industry bundled $22 million for Obama that year.


Beto and Abrams could well be a winning ticket. My stomach dropped just saying it.

Or was that my heart.


On second thought, she might outshine him too much and be more like a mom.



A week after launching his presidential bid, Beto O’Rourke is poised to hire veteran Democratic strategist Jen O’Malley Dillon to lead his campaign, officials familiar with the discussions told CNN, a move that puts a former top aide to President Barack Obama at the helm of the O’Rourke campaign.

O’Malley Dillon, a deputy campaign manager for Obama’s re-election effort in 2012, met with O’Rourke earlier this month in Texas before he jumped into the race. Since then, the campaign raised more than $6 million on its first day and the former congressman from Texas embarked on a tour of a half-dozen states.

O’Malley Dillon, who is seen as one of the party’s sharpest data experts, had been planning to head a new data exchange operation for Democrats. The effort was designed to help the party overcome its deficit with Republicans on using voter data to identify supporters and drive turnout.

But she decided this week to work for the O’Rourke campaign instead, people familiar with the matter say, a fast-growing operation that is attracting the support and advice of several former Obama advisers.


So shes still doing the same thing, they just have her focused on one Democrat in particular..

been planning to head a new data exchange operation for Democrats


using voter data to identify supporters and drive turnout.


Frack. Now they have all our state data.


Or not. If they’re ethical. Or does the DNC share with all candidates?


Iirc, they are supposed to. I believe this is the list they stole from Bernie in 2016 for about a week when HRC had a leak in her computer system.




Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received death threats frequently enough that her staff “stiffens” every time someone knocks on the door of her office.

The realities of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s time in Congress as the US representative of New York’s 14th congressional district have been revealed in a new Time profile, which displays the youngest-ever Congresswoman on the cover.

According to the profile, the outspoken Congresswoman has made many fans and enemies in her first few months in office, with the latter leading Capitol Police to train her staff in performing risk assessments of all visitors – even those just leaving positive Post-it notes.


I think the service is still live.







Oops. Had to get this on here. Remember that tweet that I thought was a joke about charging extra to not get botulism, etc. ?

Turns out the same thing happened with Boeing

Is this not a crime?

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