HomeUncategorized3/21 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders: “War being waged against working people”, Social Democratic Nations Rank Happiest on Global Index & More
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Leu2500
Leu2500

We have what seems to be the 1st campaign ad for 2020 created by a supporter. https://www.facebook.com/RaulTheDirector/videos/1152652468230036/

In 2016, Together was created by supporters & picked up by the campaign. https://youtu.be/nyhfJTFJHu8

polarbear4

Love 💕

jcitybone

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/yang-gang-explained-810872/

In the days since I tweeted the news, I’ve been flooded with notifications from members of the #YangGang, an inscrutable online contingent of supporters who love Yang’s keystone promise to give every American adult $1,000 per month. It remains unclear whether the #YangGang’s meme-heavy campaign to put Yang front and center in the Democratic primary race is sincere or an elaborate troll.

One member of the #YangGang who retweeted the Cage news linked to a mesmerizing video that distills of some of the message that have bubbled up out of Reddit and 4chan to bolster Yang’s candidacy. The vision put forth in the below video is anti-Trump, anti-immigrant, anti-Amazon and enthusiastically pro-YANGIN’. The message seems to be that because “unending immigration,” “loss of social cohesion” and “national collapse” are now inevitable, as one meme puts it, Americans might as well vote for a candidate that is going to line their pockets as the country heads into the can.

Other Yang hype videos are slightly less abrasive. Consistent themes are anime, securing the “bag” (money) and various representations of Pepe the Frog, an alt-right hate symbol popularized by far-right supporters of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Several of the pro-Yang memes lay out a plan to get people to donate $1 to Yang’s campaign in an effort to boost his donation numbers. It seems to have worked given last week’s announcement that he received enough unique donations to qualify for the debates, an achievement that sounded like a pipe dream a few months ago.

polarbear4

Apparently, Yang is tweeting about an interview with Ben should Pyro (Shapiro) but has not answered the humanist report‘s invitation.

jcitybone

Ok M4A is the least complex health care solution. We have a winner!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/opinion/democrats-complexity.html

The truth is that good public policy can actually be elegant and simple to understand, even when the social problem that it’s addressing is complex. Social Security, Medicare, bans on indoor smoking, the “do not call” list (when it worked) and public libraries are examples of government solutions that are easy to understand and to benefit from.

Avoidance of complexity and minimizing choices are hallmarks of good design, as we have learned from the technological revolution in user interfaces. The age of impossible-to-use computers and incomprehensible TV remote controls has given way to the sleek and intuitive interfaces offered by pioneers like Steve Jobs of Apple. What progressives most need now is not more brains, but better policy designers.

One major obstacle to simple, effective public policy is people like me — the expert class. Many of us are in denial, seeing complexity as a necessary evil, an unavoidable feature of answers to hard problems, even a technocratic badge of honor. We criticize conservatives for relying on simplistic slogans like “cut taxes” and “drill, baby, drill” instead of nuanced, empirically informed assessments of economic growth and environmental management.

Progressives are right to consider expertise essential to good policymaking. But policy experts are rarely good at interface design, for we have a bad habit of assuming that people have unlimited time and attention and that to respect them means offering complete transparency and a multiplicity of choices. Real respect for the public involves appreciating what the public actually wants and needs. The reality is that most Americans are short on time and attention and already swamped by millions of daily tasks and decisions. They would prefer that the government solve problems for them — not create more work for them.

The Affordable Care Act is a good example of the complexity problem. Yes, it was an important policy achievement, and yes, many of its problems can be rightly blamed on industry resistance and Republican efforts to dismantle it.

But the act is also exceptionally hard to understand and discouragingly daunting to make use of. An emphasis on “choice” and “transparency” resulted in a law that only a rational-choice theorist could love. The act made health insurance more complicated, not less, which is one reason that such a high percentage of medical bills go to paying administrative costs, and why the Affordable Care Act is much less popular than it could be.

jcitybone

https://truthout.org/articles/daniel-ellsberg-calls-chelsea-manning-an-american-hero/

Two years after being released from prison where she had served seven years for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chelsea Manning was jailed once again for refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

“I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury,” Manning declared in a written statement. “Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.”

Noted whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg praised Manning. “Chelsea Manning is in jail again, this time for resisting a grand jury system whose secrecy and lack of witness rights makes it prone to frequent abuse,” Ellsberg told Truthout. “She is also resisting its current abuse, as it is used to attack freedom of the press by pursuing criminal charges for publication of the very war crimes and corruption she courageously revealed to WikiLeaks nine years ago.”

jcitybone

Really you think Manning should be in prison for 35 years?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2020-candidate-pete-buttigieg-troubled-by-clemency-for-chelsea-manning/

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who launched a an exploratory committee in January to run for president in 2020 as a progressive Democrat, is criticizing former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for disclosing classified information.

Buttigieg left his day job as mayor to serve as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve in Afghanistan in 2014, before returning to office. He said while deployed he was expected to read intelligence briefs before going on patrol and is criticizing Manning and Snowden, saying they abused their access to classified information.

Buttigieg told CBS News Radio on the sidelines of the South by Southwest Festival where he spoke over the weekend that he was “troubled” by former President Obama’s decision to commute the 35-year prison sentence for Chelsea Manning days before he left office in 2017.

“I certainly agree that we’ve learned things about abuses and that one way or another that needed to come out,” Buttigieg said. “But in my view, the way for that to come out is through Congressional oversight, not through a breach of classified information.”

WindDancer13

So what is his solution for getting Congress to do its job and thus eliminate the necessity for whistle blowers? Maybe we should send Congress to jail for 35 years for failing to perform their duty.

wi61

Not a bad idea, most of them wouldn’t last 48 hours in a max prison. I sure as hell wouldn’t send them to a country club prison.

jcitybone

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-climate_n_5c92f29ae4b08c4fec342ff4?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has become the first in the 2020 race to promise to offset the planet-warming gases produced while traveling the country.

In a statement to HuffPost, the campaign said it plans to fund renewable energy projects to compensate for the carbon dioxide spewed by the planes and automobiles in which Sanders and his staff will travel while they barnstorm the nation ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July 2020.

“Bernie Sanders is a champion in the fight for climate justice and, like him, we know we need to address our emissions through action, not just rhetoric,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, said in a statement. “We are proud to lead the way in the fight against climate change by acting boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy sources.”

Climate change is already a central plank of Sanders’ second White House bid. In December, two months before he announced his candidacy, the senator from Vermont hosted a televised town hall with climate scientists and advocates to discuss the crisis. In February, he attacked Trump for ignoring climate change in his State of the Union address. During his stump speeches, Sanders routinely skewers the fossil fuel industry and promises to enact a Green New Deal if elected.

Over the past two years, he’s introduced legislation to set a national target for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 and spend $146 billion rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with climate-resilient infrastructure and clean energy.

The announcement boosts Sanders’ bona fides on the issue and gives him a leg up in a crowded field of Democrats putting more attention on climate change than ever before. The move comes a week after the Sanders campaign became the first to unionize.

jcitybone

I would hope Abrams would not accept if offered. Biden has more to answer for in this area than just Anita Hill—crime bill, war on drugs, busing.

https://www.axios.com/2020-presidential-election-joe-biden-stacey-abrams-vp-54472f8f-5bb2-4d1f-bc7c-0544a09ebba5.html

Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.

Why it matters: The popular Georgia Democrat, who at age 45 is 31 years younger than Biden, would bring diversity and excitement to the ticket — showing voters, in the words of a close source, that Biden “isn’t just another old white guy.”

But the decision poses considerable risk, and some advisers are flatly opposed. Some have pointed out that in a Democratic debate, he could be asked why no one on the stage would be a worthy running mate.
Advisers also know that the move would be perceived as a gimmick.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who stays in close touch with the 2020 race, told me the Abrams move could help Biden by mitigating objections to his treatment of Anita Hill during Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation

jcitybone

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/us/politics/joe-biden-2020-election.html

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., aware that concerns about his age could weigh on his candidacy if he runs for the White House, has discussed two steps that could reassure voters about electing a 78-year-old president next year.

Mr. Biden and his top advisers are considering nodding to the rising next generation in Democratic politics — and elevating an heir — by announcing a running mate early, well before the nomination is sealed. Also under discussion is a possible pledge to serve only one term and framing Mr. Biden’s 2020 campaign as a one-time rescue mission for a beleaguered country, according to multiple party officials.

Such moves would amount to a big play that would send a signal about the seriousness of the election, and could potentially appeal to both liberal activists and general-election voters who are eager to chart the safest route toward defeating President Trump. But Mr. Biden is not sold on either approach, and both carry significant risks, chiefly that they could call further attention to the age of a candidate who would turn 80 in the White House.

There is also the risk that Mr. Biden could appear presumptuous — even imperious — by choosing a running mate before the electorate has the chance to sift the field of candidates, presenting voters with a two-person package before anyone has voted for even the top spot on the ticket. More than a dozen people are running in the Democratic primary, including a record number of women and minorities, and announcing a running mate too soon could foreclose the possibility of uniting the party by inviting a popular runner-up to join the ticket later.

Leu2500
Leu2500

His first choice – Gillibrand – is busy throwing rocks at her glass house.

WindDancer13

No, it won’t.

by mitigating objections to his treatment of Anita Hill during Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation

jcitybone

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/21/mayor-pete-buttigieg-on-trump-islamophobia-and-his-presidential-bid/

WHEN MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG launched his presidential exploratory committee in January, the general reaction was: Who? The mayorship of South Bend, Indiana, with a population of 100,000, is not a traditional launchpad to the nation’s highest office, and most saw little reason to credit his longshot bid. But recently Buttigieg has turned heads with a slate of radical political reform proposals, including expanding the Supreme Court and eliminating the Electoral College, that may help differentiate him from the crowd. He also earned plaudits for a statement addressed to the South Bend Muslim community issued in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings which contrasted sharply with President Trump’s equivocations on the subject of Islamophobia and white nationalism. “Mayor Pete” joins Mehdi Hasan on this week’s Deconstructed to talk about his path to the White House. Intercept’s D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim follows with thoughts on an increasingly crowded Democratic field.

jcitybone

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/21/kamala-rides-into-betos-texas-1227893?cid=apn

Kamala is coming after Beto — in his own backyard.

Hours before the former El Paso congressman unveiled his presidential bid, Harris announced she was heading to Texas — an unmistakable warning shot at a fellow upstart competing to capture the imagination of Democratic voters.

She’ll meet Friday outside Dallas with Tarrant County Democrats, then it’s on to Houston Saturday for a big rally at Texas Southern University in Houston. It’s the start of a sustained, delegate-focused strategy that aims to take advantage of the front-loaded primary calendar in which Texas and California will significantly shape the race on March 3.

Harris has already reached out to Congressional Black Caucus members from Texas, including Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Green, Colin Allred and Marc Veasey, according to a Democrat familiar with the calls.

The aggressive maneuvering is the surest sign yet that for all of O’Rourke’s appeal at home — owing to his tantalizingly close loss to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last fall — Harris isn’t ceding Texas to O’Rourke or his fellow Texan Julián Castro, the former Obama-era Housing and Urban Development secretary from San Antonio. If anything, it’s the opposite: She wants to make clear that she’s willing to go toe-to-toe with O’Rourke, the charismatic Gen-Xer who starts the race with more money and a similar knack for drawing media and exciting audiences.

Leu2500
Leu2500

hitting up the TX ATM.

Benny

Bernie Sanders Campaign Becomes 2020’s First To Promise To Offset Carbon Emissions

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has become the first in the 2020 race to promise to offset the planet-warming gases produced while traveling the country.

In a statement to HuffPost, the campaign said it plans to fund renewable energy projects to compensate for the carbon dioxide spewed by the planes and automobiles in which Sanders and his staff will travel while they barnstorm the nation ahead of the Democratic National Convention in July 2020.

“Bernie Sanders is a champion in the fight for climate justice and, like him, we know we need to address our emissions through action, not just rhetoric,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, said in a statement. “We are proud to lead the way in the fight against climate change by acting boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy sources.”

Climate change is already a central plank of Sanders’ second White House bid. In December, two months before he announced his candidacy, the senator from Vermont hosted a televised town hall with climate scientists and advocates to discuss the crisis. In February, he attacked Trump for ignoring climate change in his State of the Union address. During his stump speeches, Sanders routinely skewers the fossil fuel industry and promises to enact a Green New Deal if elected.

Over the past two years, he’s introduced legislation to set a national target for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050 and spend $146 billion rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with climate-resilient infrastructure and clean energy.
A
The announcement boosts Sanders’ bona fides on the issue and gives him a leg up in a crowded field of Democrats putting more attention on climate change than ever before. The move comes a week after the Sanders campaign became the first to unionize.

As a frame of reference, JRE did this in 2007.

jcitybone

If you think things are crazy bad here, take a look at the UK

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/21/uk/brexit-theresa-may-delay-intl-gbr/index.html

It is a situation that should have left May, the prime minister who took the job claiming only she could provide the fortitude and resilience to see Brexit through, feeling humbled and contrite. And yet on Wednesday night she delivered an extraordinary statement in which she tried to shake off blame for the collapse in her Brexit plans — and pin responsibility on British lawmakers.

Appealing directly to the British public through a televised statement from Downing Street, May said she was on the side of the people versus Parliament.

“You, the public, have had enough. You are tired of the infighting, tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children’s schools, our National Health Service, knife crime,” she said.

“You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with … So far parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice … You just want us to get on with it and that is what I am determined to do.”

May’s decision to create a dividing line between the people and parliament — at a time when lawmakers have faced death threats and abuse over Brexit — enraged politicians on all sides last night, and justifiably so. From someone whose authority is already weakened by her failure to seal the Brexit deal, these comments could be her undoing.

For a start, they have already, apparently, cost her deal yet more votes in the House of Commons, when she has been trying to reverse a three-figure defeat.

Lisa Nandy, an opposition Labour lawmaker who was understood to have been on the verge of backing May’s deal, tweeted: “The Prime Minister’s statement was disgraceful. Pitting Parliament against the people in the current environment is dangerous and reckless … she’s attacking the MPs whose votes she needs. It will have cost her support.”

Fellow Labour lawmaker Wes Streeting went further, suggesting the Prime Minister had endangered the lives of UK politicians. “I’ve thought long and hard before saying this, but (May) knows that MPs across the House are subjected to death threats — some very credible,” he wrote on Twitter. “Her speech was incendiary and irresponsible. If any harm comes to any of us, she will have to accept her share of responsibility.”

Independent MP and a former Tory minister under May, Anna Soubry, described it as the “most dishonest and divisive statement from any Prime Minister.”

jcitybone

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-parliaments-47653160

Jeremy Corbyn says he is seeking a “constructive alternative” to the PM’s deal, in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The Labour leader was speaking after meeting the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, for talks in Brussels.

It comes ahead of an EU summit where Theresa May will ask EU leaders to postpone Brexit for three months.

Mr Corbyn said he did not believe the PM’s deal “is a way forward”.

“We are therefore looking at alternatives, and building a majority in Parliament that can agree on a future constructive economic relationship with the European Union,” he told reporters after the meeting.

jcitybone

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-47652071

A petition calling on Theresa May to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 has attracted more than half a million signatures.

Parliament’s petitions website crashed on Thursday morning because of the high volume of traffic.

It comes as the prime minister heads to Brussels to ask the EU for a delay to next Friday’s Brexit date.

polarbear4

Hoping this will be my last one on this. It’s a good thread and lays out both capital and Maine and the guardian realities.

jcitybone

Good article. I still think he should not have deleted the twitter stuff. They are still going to have the ones they want to use against him. And they now also have the deletions to squawk about.
In the end, Sirota will be a good hire, he will help the campaign, and this “backlash” will be forgotten. Of course, then they will go on to something else to outrage over.

polarbear4

polarbear4

Glad Blumenthal is at the UN.

polarbear4

jcitybone

Good that he changed his position but that was an abrupt change. Why didn’t he think that way two years ago in Texas, but now sees the light once he is running nationally?

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5c92ee33e4b08c4fec342783

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman and Senate candidate seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said last week that as president he would suspend capital punishment at the federal level.

But as recently as May 2017, O’Rourke broke with the majority of his Democratic House colleagues to vote for a bill that expanded the federal “list of statutory aggravating factors in death penalty determinations” to include the murder or “targeting” of a law enforcement officer, firefighter or other first responder.

In effect, the bill, called The Thin Blue Line Act, proposed making it easier to execute a defendant if they attacked law enforcement. The legislation is one of a series of bills Republicans have introduced as a political indictment of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has sought to end unjustified police killings of black people.

The measure passed the House with 48 Democratic votes. Four Republicans voted against it.

The bill is far from becoming law. The Senate has not taken it up.

O’Rourke’s stance on the death penalty has evidently changed since 2017. In an interview with Iowa Radio on Thursday, O’Rourke said he was morally opposed to the death penalty and would suspend its use at the federal level as president.

“It’s not an equitable, fair, just system right now ― the guarantees and safeguards against wrongful prosecution, the disproportionate number of people of color who comprise our criminal justice system,” O’Rourke said. “And on moral grounds, I oppose the death penalty.”

The O’Rourke presidential campaign did not respond to requests for an explanation of how or why his views on the death penalty evolved in the past two years.

Other presidential contenders, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have long opposed the death penalty as well.

jcitybone

https://progressive.org/dispatches/elizabeth-warren-versus-joe-biden-conniff-190321/

Biden’s biggest problem in the primary is likely to be Elizabeth Warren, who is bound to shine a bright light on Biden’s cozy relationship with—and considerable campaign donations from—the financial industry.

In the 2020 primary, Biden will have to deal with Warren face-to-face.

I predict another moment like the Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton debate, when Sanders called out Hillary for taking money from Goldman Sachs, and pointed out that big donors don’t hand out big money without expecting something in return. Only it will be Elizabeth Warren putting the screws to Biden this time.

Biden brushed back “the New Left” and extolled bipartisanship to an enthusiastic crowd at a fundraiser in Delaware—you know, the state that mails you your credit card statements? Biden, as a long-time, powerful Senator from the state that helps banks skirt consumer protections, counts among his friends many executives in the financial industry. MBNA America Bank, his largest contributor, lobbied him, successfully, to support the 2005 bankruptcy bill that made it harder for recession-battered consumers to seek bankruptcy and allowed banks to collect high interest rates on their debts.

Elizabeth Warren criticized Biden for that vote at the time, as The New York Times has pointed out.

The Times quoted Warren’s 2014 book, A Fighting Chance: “The Senate was evenly split between the two parties, but one of the bill’s lead sponsors was Democratic powerhouse Joe Biden, and right behind him were plenty of other Democrats offering to help. Never mind that the country was sunk in an ugly recession and millions of families were struggling—the banking industry pressed forward and Congress obliged.”

WindDancer13

The DNC is packing the field with moderates. It would be nice if We the People could get a few more rational people on the debate stage like Tulsi Gabbard and this guy (video has lots of good information, but for a description on how the US Constitution was developed by and for elites start around 6:45):

Do I think either is a threat to Bernie? No. I think a lot of those moderates will drop after the first debate which will leave voices who are more supportive of the American people and bolster Bernie’s chances.

WindDancer13

Moved to PM BNR

polarbear4

Thanks. 🌺

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