HomeUncategorized3/8 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Sanders Speaks In Iowa, Progressive Dems Condemn US-Backed Regime Change in Venezuela & More

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jcitybone

In between this first and last paragraph, the author provides a multitude of examples of Manafort’s “otherwise blameless life.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/03/paul-manaforts-otherwise-blamess-life-crime/584419/

“He has lived an otherwise blameless life,” said Judge T.S. Ellis, as he sentenced Paul Manafort to just 47 months in prison on Thursday.

In an otherwise blameless life, he acted with impunity, as if the laws never applied to him. When presented with a chance to show remorse to the court, he couldn’t find that sentiment within his being. And with Ellis’s featherweight punishment, which deviated sharply downward from the sentencing guidelines, Manafort managed to bring his life’s project to a strange completion. He had devoted his career to normalizing corruption in Washington. By the time he was caught, his extraordinary avarice had become so commonplace that not even a federal judge could blame him for it.

WindDancer13

Does this open the door for a Trump pardon? Maybe the judge (is he Trump appointed?) imposed less than just sentencing to reduce the appearance of wrong doing so a pardon would not look out of line.

Benny

Iowa caucuses 2020: Frontrunner Bernie Sanders brings his ‘political revolution’ back to Iowa

Kierra Near, a 20-year-old student at the nearby University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sat on stage behind Sanders after a staffer plucked her out of the crowd. A registered Democrat, she said she will still consider other candidates. But Sanders’ call to enact new policies to combat global climate change got her attention.
“He got me,” she said. “I’m all about environmental issues.”
Cyndie Poffenbarger said Sanders is best equipped to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.
“Because he’s honest,” said the 64-year-old from Council Bluffs. “More people know him this time.”

Wearing a “Bernie 2016” cap and a “Bernie 2020” T-shirt, Poffenbarger said Sanders stands out in a wide field of Democratic presidential candidates. She said she’s drawn to Sanders’ consistent support of universal healthcare and a $15 minimum wage.

I’m down with that headline.

jcitybone

I like how Liz and Bernie are pushing the envelope.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-amazon.html

Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is bidding to be the policy pacesetter in the Democratic presidential primary, is set to announce another expansive idea on Friday: a regulatory plan aimed at breaking up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook.

The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,” as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace.

Ms. Warren’s plan would also force the rollback of some acquisitions by technological giants, the campaign said, including Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s addition of Whole Foods, and Google’s purchase of Waze. Companies would be barred from transferring or sharing users’ data with third parties. Dual entities, such as Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics, would be split apart.

The announcement is sure to reverberate from New York to Silicon Valley. Pressure for elected officials to place additional oversight on mega-tech companies has been building for months, particularly after revelations that companies such as Facebook may have violated customer privacy agreements. Ms. Warren is also sending a political warning shot across the Democratic primary field, where decisions on how much to embrace or reject Silicon Valley and its wealthy donors could become an important dividing line among candidates.

In the wide-open nomination race, Democrats such as Ms. Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have expressed a willingness to limit the influence of companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon — though Mr. Sanders and Ms. Klobuchar have yet to present clear policy details. Senator Kamala Harris, who represents many of those companies based in her home state of California, has repeatedly pressed executives on consumer privacy but has stayed away from direct calls to limit their influence. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has been more willing to embrace the controversial corporations, who have frequently used their vast resources to lobby politicians of both parties.

jcitybone

https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-a-failed-anti-semitism-debate-in-the-us-democratic-party/a-47821306

The resolution was approved with unanimous Democratic support. But does anyone think this perplexing performance has made Jews in the US and abroad any safer? Have we had a conversation about why some of the most truly anti-Semitic politicians in Washington unequivocally support Israel? Or why the US, supposedly resolute in its stance against oppression, continues to veto United Nations resolutions against Israel’s apparent human rights abuses in Gaza?

No. Once again, we’ve avoided this conversation. We’ve only learned that the Democratic Party leadership is incapable of taking a stand because they don’t know what they stand for. They don’t have a definition of anti-Semitism that distinguishes white supremacists from Palestinian-rights advocates. And they used one of the party’s youngest, most progressive members to score easy morality points.

But it turns out they calculated wrong. They didn’t reckon with an insurgent left wing that has an enormous social media presence, capable of reaching millions of devoted fans within seconds.

And, perhaps, they may finally have to face questions about why they support a right-wing government in Israel that isn’t supported by most Democratic voters.

WindDancer13

I didn’t save the articles, but there were at least three incidents last week of students mostly at elite white schools displaying swastikas. The only good thing that will come out of Trump’s presidency may be the recognition of how far we as a nation have to go to ensure respect for all humanity.

Benny

Benny

Benny

Indiana rally 2016

jcitybone

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/03/a-year-after-parkland-republicans-still-dont-want-to-fund-gun-violence-research/

A year after the Parkland massacre sparked widespread demands for more research into the causes of gun violence, Republicans are still reluctant to give scientists funding to study the issue. At a House hearing Thursday, GOP members repeatedly resisted arguments that Democrats and their witnesses put forth in favor of Congress specifically appropriating funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the issue, something the agency has not done voluntarily in nearly a quarter-century.

Lee, like her fellow Democrats, would like to see gun violence treated as an emergency, much in the same way the Trump administration has chosen to combat the opioid epidemic. “In 2017 alone, guns killed nearly 40,000 Americans,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the subcommittee’s chair, said in her opening remarks. “That same year, opioid overdoses killed 47,000 Americans. We have dedicated immense public dollars, especially in this subcommittee, to addressing and examining one, but not the other.”

jcitybone

https://www.salon.com/2019/03/08/demonizing-ilhan-omar-why-the-entire-political-establishment-wants-to-crush-one-woman/

I wish I could say I were surprised at the demonization of Ilhan Omar by an establishment that remains eager to whitewash Elliott Abrams’ record of war crimes. But I’m not. In fact, it’s exactly what I’ve come to expect. The super-strict (yet simultaneously sloppy) language policing to which Omar has been subjected is ludicrously asymmetric.

No matter how heinously conservatives may behave, Democrats always bend over backward to punish anyone on their side whom conservatives single out as comparable, no matter how far-fetched or bogus those conservative claims might be. We’re seeing that now as House Democrats struggle over a resolution aimed at rebuking Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for nonexistent anti-Semitic comments. As Paul Waldman explained at the Washington Post: Omar did not accuse Jews of holding dual loyalties. Rather, she objected to dual loyalties being demanded of her — and those who attacked her only proved her point.

A reality check on all this came from Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, which describes itself as “the political home and voice for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,”.on Tuesday’s “All In” on MSNBC:

“If you’re going to have a serious discussion about hate and intolerance in this country, let’s start at the top. Let’s start by having a House discussion about the president’s intolerance and his racism. Let’s have a discussion about the xenophobia and the racism that’s coming from the other side of the aisle. And let’s stop using the discussion of anti-Semitism as a way of avoiding a real discussion about policy towards Israel and Palestine, and the issues that are actually on the table about occupation and the treatment of Palestinians.”

jcitybone

https://thinkprogress.org/conservative-groups-fighting-hr1-bill-a237accf0139/

The House of Representatives is set to vote Friday on legislation that would enact a series of electoral reforms, including national automatic voter registration, making Election Day a federal holiday, and requiring dark money groups to disclose their donors. But the Republican-controlled Senate, with the backing of dozens of right-wing groups, looks almost certain to kill the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, has already made it clear that he won’t even allow a vote on the legislation. On Tuesday, McConnell described the bill as a “radical, half-baked socialist proposal,” and nicknamed it the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.”

But Weiner believes the opposition to the bill is less of a grassroots movement and more a reaction by the conservative establishment to the prospect of their grip on power being loosened.

“The conservative establishment inside the Beltway doesn’t like H.R. 1,” Weiner said. “The reason for that is probably because of a combination of factors, one may be self-interest when it comes to money in politics and campaign finance — a lot of these organizations are integral to the status quo.”

“But an even bigger factor than self-interest is a collective and misguided commitment to combating [efforts to improve the U.S. democratic system],” Weiner continued. “That is not just about money in politics but also about making excuses for voter suppression and defending partisan gerrymandering.”

polarbear4

Hopefully, they will take out the provisions making it harder for a third-party to run when it comes up again.

And hand marked paper ballots!

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/02/easter-eggs-trojan-horses-democrats-flagship-bill-h-r-1-people-act-2019.html

Benny

jcitybone

Just a bit from the typical WaPo article with plenty of concern trolling of Bernie using plenty of former Clinton supporters

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-bernie-sanders-launches-his-second-presidential-campaign-big-crowds-but-some-doubt-in-early-states/2019/03/08/13937b9a-411c-11e9-a0d3-1210e58a94cf_story.html?utm_term=.eea8e6362ea0

The split-screen start to Sanders’s campaign has left many Democrats wondering whether he can harness the raw energy he previously used to propel his steadfastly liberal platform or fold in the face of new competition and an altered campaign environment.

“I think the big issue going forward is how much of the support he had in Iowa four years ago was people that truly bought into his movement and how much of it was people who fundamentally didn’t want to support Hillary Clinton,” said Grant Woodard, an Iowa-based Democratic lawyer who worked for Clinton in 2008 and supported her in 2016.

Sanders was scheduled to do four rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire from Friday though Sunday. Weaver said Sanders was also expected to do more intimate events in coming days.

“I don’t know how that’s going to play this time,” former New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan, who said she is not a Sanders fan, said of his big events. “Everyone else is out there doing town hall meeting and house parties and retail stuff.”

polarbear4

Yeah, because they can’t fill in arena.

polarbear4

Got a candidate?

polarbear4

orlbucfan

Where did she hide the onion? Great way to whip up gator tears. T and R, LD!!

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

Whoa! Truth-telling about another Democratic sacred cow.

polarbear4

I know, right? Who knew? ❤️

jcitybone

Even Manchin co-sponsored

jcitybone

https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2019/03/08/bernie-sanders-criticizes-blue-cross-ceo-over-19m-pay

Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Daniel Loepp is under fire after it was revealed that the leader of Michigan’s largest health insurance company earned $19.2 million last year — more than most for-profit executives in the state.

The figure drew attention from Vermont Senator and U.S. 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has campaigned on single-payer government-run healthcare.

“The CEO of Michigan Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield was paid $19 million in 2018, a 43 percent increase in pay from his $13 million in 2017, while 790,000 Michigan residents go without health care and many more can’t afford to use the insurance they have,” Sanders wrote on Facebook. “We must pass a single-payer health care system so ordinary Americans won’t have to forgo getting the care they need because they can’t afford it.”

The company defended Loepp’s pay, citing performance. “We are keeping health care affordable to the best of our ability here in Michigan,” Blue Cross spokesman Andy Hetzel told The Detroit Free Press. “We think he earns the money that he makes.”

Loepp, 61, drew criticism after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed the CEO as an “honorary co-chair” on her gubernatorial transition team earlier this year. Whitmer’s father had previously served as the head of the company, and she had credited Loepp with suggesting she enter politics in the first place. Blue Cross also donated more money to Whitmer than any other other gubernatorial candidate in the past decade.

Unlike her 2018 Democratic gubernatorial opponents, Whitmer refused to campaign on single-payer healthcare, telling Metro Times she thought single-payer wasn’t feasible.

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

Any guesses about the source of Whitmer’s dark money support in last year’s election?

jcitybone

https://www.propublica.org/article/bernie-sanders-elizabeth-warren-urge-irs-financial-crimes

In a letter on Friday , a group of prominent senators — including Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., 2020 presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as well as Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. — urged IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to increase the agency’s focus on large tax and financial crimes.

As ProPublica has documented with a series of articles, the IRS is a shadow of its former self, the result of a near-decadelong campaign by Republicans in Congress to starve the agency of funds. The agency’s enforcement staff has dropped by more than a third. That has been a boon to the rich and to tax cheats in particular, who have benefited from a collapse in audits, collections and criminal tax prosecutions.

As we reported, and as the senators noted in their letter, the story has been different for the poor, as the IRS has devoted a disproportionate number of its audits to taxpayers who receive the earned income tax credit, one of the government’s largest antipoverty programs.

polarbear4

In case you’re looking for a (probably heavy) book to read.

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

jcitybone

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/ilhan-omar-jewish-left.html

Alongside the intraparty squabble, Jewish American leftists have emerged as a key source of support for Omar, writing a flurry of op-eds, petitions, and social media posts with the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan. Progressive Jewish organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice are responding to the Omar flap by emphasizing the difference between anti-Semitism and legitimate critiques of Israel and pivoting to discuss the threat of white supremacy to all minority groups. (Disclosure: I was a summer intern at Jewish Voice for Peace in college and am still a member.) This source of full-throated support of the congresswoman has the potential to shift the national conversation over anti-Semitism and how it operates. It’s also a sign of the growing rift within the American Jewish community over Israel-Palestine, as leftist Jewish movements gain momentum.

Leo Ferguson, the movement building organizer at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, expressed hope that this controversy could serve as a valuable learning experience for the Jewish community and the American public more broadly. “The opportunity here, if we take it, is for all of us to become much sharper in our understanding of anti-Semitism,” Ferguson told me. “There is an incredibly powerful opening for white Jews to understand their deep mutual interest and potential solidarity with black people, because white supremacy is coming for all of us.”

polarbear4

polarbear4

humphrey

In my estimate it doesn’t appear that she is a Cory Booker fan.😊

polarbear4

polarbear4

One of the most frustrating things in my world and why I don’t watch it. I hope some people are emailing them and texting them and letting them know that this is unacceptable.

Ask for quotes.

Benny

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