HomeUncategorized3/26 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Backs Striking UIC Grad Workers, Pine Ridge Flooding Exposes Racial Divide in Climate Crisis & More

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Beto O’Rourke Swings and Misses with Working-Class Michigan Voters
O’Rourke’s tabletop tour can’t hide his problematic record on workers’ rights.
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Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke visited Michigan last week. Shirtsleeves carefully rolled up, he stood on tabletops across metro Detroit and delivered his stump speech.

“He’s really good at his stump speech,” says local union activist Diana Hussein, who seemed unimpressed. “If Trump is the Twitter president, Beto is the Pinterest candidate.”

Indeed, many of the rumblings from O’Rourke’s Michigan visit show voters skeptical of a presidential candidate who is on the cover of Vanity Fair, yet couldn’t beat Ted Cruz in his home state. These voters, largely working-class, aren’t the type to pick up Vanity Fair at their local Meijer store, and appear more interested in finding out whether a candidate will be a strong champion for policies that actually benefit working people.

When O’Rourke showed up at the Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School (a trade school in nearby Ferndale), many union workers didn’t know who he was, despite being told about his visit in advance. When he walked in, entourage in tow, the general response was, “Who’s that?”

“They didn’t recognize him,” says Steve McCool, a floor layer instructor at the trade school and member of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights Local 1045.




Schumer compares Omar to Trump.


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) became the latest of several lawmakers to take an apparent swipe at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in a speech at a pro-Israel conference Monday, according to Fox News.

In his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference, Schumer drew a parallel between Omar’s remarks in February that she wanted “to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country” and President Trump’s remarks following a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017.

“When someone says that being Jewish and supporting Israel means you’re not loyal to America, we must call it out. When someone looks at a neo-Nazi rally and sees some ‘very fine people’ among its company, we must call it out,” Schumer said in his address.


Chuckie’s been full of it for quite some time. Now, the odor escapes. P-U!


She’s referring to Bibi.


Harris is agreeing with Bernie that the estate tax needs to be reformed, but is fuzzy so far on specifics. Raising teacher pay is definitely a good policy.


Women dominate the teaching ranks and represent a diverse and politically active bloc with an outsize voice in labor across the country, and Harris is betting that her proposal will make her stand out with a critical demographic in the Democratic Party.

The policy proposal is by far the most aggressive and expansive education proposal among the 2020 field. The California senator’s campaign said it would give the “average teacher in America” a raise of $13,500, or a 23 percent increase in base pay. Harris’ proposal would represent a significant expansion of federal spending on education, and it would be the largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history.

Harris proposes paying for the plan by strengthening the estate tax and cracking down on loopholes that let the very wealthiest, with estates worth multiple millions or billions of dollars, avoid paying their “fair share,” according to her campaign.

The campaign is considering several potential options for estate tax reform to bring in additional revenue. Among them: lowering the estate tax exemption, making the estate tax progressive or eliminating loopholes that allow people to avoid paying any estate tax.


Definitely not as far reaching as Bernie’s plan


The plan, which would cost more than $300 billion over 10 years, would be paid for by “strengthening the estate tax,” the Harris campaign said. The Republican-led tax reform that passed under President Trump adjusted the threshold by which the government can collect taxes from the estates of the wealthiest Americans; Ms. Harris’s proposal would reverse that change, her campaign said, in addition to closing loopholes.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont progressive who is also running for president, released a plan to raise the estate tax earlier this year that would generate more than $2 trillion, according to estimates released at the time.


I understand she’s fuzzy on that teacher’s pay policy too. Ie, says she for it but is light on specifics.


SOS. No surprise.


I think AOC’s proposal to raise the tax rates on the wealthy, Warren”s wealth tax, and Bernie’s estate tax hikes all will work when looking at price tags.


Former president Barack Obama gently warned a group of freshman House Democrats Monday evening about the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks, encouraging members to look at price tags, according to people in the room.

Obama didn’t name specific policies. And to be sure, he encouraged the lawmakers — about half-dozen of whom worked in his own administration — to continue to pursue “bold” ideas as they shaped legislation during their first year in the House.

But some people in the room took his words as a cautionary note about Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal, two liberal ideas popularized by a few of the more famous House freshmen, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

But some moderate Democrats worry a lurch left will upend their chances at ousting President Trump. Notably, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who helped organize Obama’s meeting with the freshmen, has not put those ideas on the floor for a House vote — nor does she plan to, senior Democrats close to her say.

People in the room, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the evening, said Obama’s cost warnings weren’t deficit-scolding, per se. Rather he argued that voters care about the costs associated with policies and that Democrats should be ready to answer questions about how they will pay for an idea while making big promises to constituents.

Obama gave the example of taxes: Even a liberal, he argued, could be repelled from supporting a liberal policy if it’s accompanied by a major tax cut to their own bottom line.


Still punching left.


I posted Libby Watson’s store on this before seeing your post, jcitybone!

I thought Libby made some good points about how to talk to people about MFA.


I saw some of this speech (thanks to you maybe, Benny) and she was on fire.



Bernie listens…some of the transgenders on twitter were feeling left out in his speeches.


They need to chill out. The other side wants to eliminate them.



Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Tuesday morning that removing President Donald Trump from the White House is not a political reality, citing Republicans’ firm majority in the Senate.

Ocasio-Cortez, along with several other Democrats, have openly backed impeaching the president, despite attempts from Democratic leadership to quell such action. In the event the House does impeach a president, the Senate has final say on whether he is removed from office.

“I think what’s tough is impeachment is something that I openly support, but it’s also just the reality of having votes in the Senate to pursue that,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez also noted she is looking over the letter her fellow Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib began circulating to colleagues on Monday asking lawmakers to get on board with a resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to pursue investigations of and decide on impeachable offenses committed by Trump.


The impeachment process could be tied up in the House for years, never coming to a Senate vote. I wonder, though, if maybe a slowly drip drip of his misdeeds would be more effective. There are a LOT of court cases still to be settled along with getting his taxes (as he was found to have filed fraudulent taxes twice in the past, it is likely that he has done so again).

Bill Clinton’s impeachment kept him too busy to dismantle Social Security, so some good could possibly come from such an action. However, unlike Clinton, impeaching Trump would fire up his base as well as Republican politicians who now control too many of our ballot boxes.


Let the SDNY and the state of Virginia keep Trumpcorp’s lawyers busy. thiers about 16 investigations going on yet


Agreed. There is also a huge possibility that more cases may be on the way. Peel an onion . . .



In a stunning move on Tuesday morning, Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against the “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who had been accused of staging an attack in downtown Chicago earlier this year.

“We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” a prosecutor said in court in announcing the dismissal of all 16 counts against Mr. Smollett, The Chicago Tribune reported.

In a statement, Anne Kavanagh, a spokeswoman for Mr. Smollett’s lawyers, said:

“Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”

The statement went on: “Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”




WTF? *Somebody” is blowing smoke here. Who is it?


The joke is in us


Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump’s new handpicked attorney general announced he would not prosecute him for obstruction of justice, the president participated in a White House event with another head of state who knows a thing or two about legal problems: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, who currently faces multiple charges of bribery and corruption.

In a remarkable moment at the end of the event, Netanyahu made a punchline out of the very thing that has landed him in deep trouble at home and that has Trump under scrutiny from House Democrats.

“Mr. President, I have to tell you that I brought you a case of the finest wine from Golan. I understand you’re not a great wine drinker, but could I give it to your staff? I hope they don’t open an investigation on us!” Netanyahu joked, as Trump smiled and other administration officials chuckled.

Netanyahu’s choice of wine from the Golan Heights was fitting, given a major gift that Trump recently gave him. Last week, the president made a controversial announcement that the United States will recognize the region as part of Israel — a move widely seen as aimed at boosting Netanyahu’s reelection prospects ahead of an election on April 9.


Netanyaboob: Tricky Dick Nixon’s twin only dumber!


Add Trumpcorp !!!



Why does AIPAC exaggerate the threats to its rights while ignoring its role in threatening the rights of others? Because permanent victimhood creates moral license.

Decades ago, the late Rabbi David Hartman warned of the “moral narcissism” that leads some Jews, because of our traumatic history, to “judge others, but refuse to be judged.”

That’s how AIPAC and other establishment American Jewish groups function today. They describe Israel as perennially facing existential threat. Listen to AIPAC and you’ll likely never know that the Palestine Liberation Organization recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, that the entire Arab League offered to do the same in 2002 if Israel permitted a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and found a “just” and “agreed upon” solution for Palestinian refugees, and that Israel is the sole Middle Eastern nation with nuclear weapons.

Of course, Israel does face genuine threats, as evidenced by Hamas’ recent, despicable, missile attacks. But by ignoring Israel’s massive power advantage, and describing the Jewish state as forever at risk of another Holocaust, AIPAC frees Israel of moral responsibility.

If Israel’s adversaries — even the mostly unarmed protesters who last year marched towards the fence that encloses Gaza — constitute an existential threat, then anything Israel does to defend itself is legitimate. Countries on the brink of extinction have only one moral responsibility: to survive.

By now describing itself as under assault from forces that threaten its basic rights, AIPAC is applying the victimhood narrative it has long applied to Israel to itself.


It is quite obvious that the Democratic leadership SUCKS!


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday pushed back against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for denouncing the global boycott and sanctions movement against Israel during an appearance before the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

During a speech before the conference Tuesday morning, Pelosi said “we must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS,” referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Omar, as well as fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), both support the BDS movement, which seeks to pressure Israel over its policy toward Palestinians. The rookie lawmakers are two of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.


A bit more.

Amid pressure from liberal groups, Democratic presidential candidates are skipping this year’s AIPAC conference. But multiple Democratic leaders are speaking at the AIPAC gathering, including Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Hoyer also rebuked the notion of dual loyalty in his address to AIPAC on Sunday, without specifically naming Omar.

“I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer, like Pelosi, endorsed a resolution from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) that rejects BDS and reaffirms support for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

“Together, we will defeat BDS because at its core, it is un-American,” Hoyer said to applause.


So really, the three of them are dissing Omar. Cowards.


And BDS isn’t “un-American”.

Squashing dissent and free speech is un-American.


How is loyalty to their own power and their own pocketbook not dual loyalty?


This is how the MSM brainwashes the sheeple.



This has to convince some to turn off the MSM.


Snorts in disgust.


Does Greenwald accept Mueller’s conclusion that Russia did interfere in the election? He just did not find enough evidence of collusion to bring charges against Trump. Why won’t the Republicans let the Dems see the report? Does Greenwald think that it might be helpful to actually see the report rather than just relying on Iran contra Barr’s self serving summary? Does he have a comment on obstruction of justice? Collusion is not the only thing that can get a president impeached.



This is one of my pootie stinkeye pics. I have another one I keep around too.


Well his inauguration funding is the subject of one of those investigations against him.


Finally something good.


Republicans vote to give legislative priority to the executive


President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border survived a critical vote in the House on Tuesday, as Democrats failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to override his veto.

The vote was 248-181, well short of the 288 that would have been required. The vote effectively ends — for now — legislative attempts to strike down Trump’s national emergency declaration. Now the fight over his attempt to circumvent Congress to get more money for his border wall will shift to the courts.


I posted this story in Subir’s most recent post, but I think it’s important enough to post here as well:

Barack Obama’s Just Asking Some Questions That We Already Have the Answers For

The Washington Post reported today that during a meeting with freshman House Democrats last night, former president Barack Obama “gently warned” attendees about “the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks.” Though he wasn’t specific, “some people in the room took his words as a cautionary note about Medicare for All and the Green New Deal,” according to the paper:

People in the room, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the evening, said Obama’s cost warnings weren’t deficit-scolding, per se. Rather he argued that voters care about the costs associated with policies and that Democrats should be ready to answer questions about how they will pay for an idea while making big promises to constituents.

Obama gave the example of taxes: Even a liberal, he argued, could be repelled from supporting a liberal policy if it’s accompanied by a major tax cut to their own bottom line.

Here, we have a meta-version of the centrists’ refrain: “It’s a nice idea, but how will you pay for it?” Obama didn’t say that—he merely asked how Democrats to think about how they will explain to voters how they’ll pay for it. See? He’s not a “deficit scold,” as some “people in the room” told the Post. He’s just asking questions.

But he’s asking the wrong question, at least when it comes to Medicare for All. On that proposal, the question for voters isn’t how the federal government will “pay for it,” but how their individual share of their health expenditures will change. And by that measure, Medicare for All is a slam dunk.

The proposal from the new Democratic left-wing is to not fear proposing bold policies that would lift people out of poverty, crisis, and misery because of the imagined Panera Mom who wants to know how we’ll pay for Medicare for All. The proposal is to move beyond a politics defined by fear of what your opponents will say, and by ‘90s-era ideas about deficits and spending. And if Obama genuinely was just asking Democrats to be prepared to answer these questions, here’s some good news—we’ve got some pretty good answers already.



Gah. So sad that so many still love him.


How convenient. Executive privilege. What don’t the Republicans want the Dems to see?


South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr told him he will send the special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation to the White House before the public sees it, in case they want to make executive privilege claims over any parts of it.

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Barr told him it will likely take “weeks, not months” to get a version of Mueller’s final report out to the public.


I’m sorry. Learning which ones have ads.


There is an afternoon thread pb4



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