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Video of Bernie on CNN




Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has said that he would not back down in his quest to raise the federal minimum wage despite legislative setbacks in the Senate.

Sanders, who chairs the Senate budget committee, is broadly happy with the $1.9 trillion stimulus package agreed on Saturday, telling CNN it was “the most significant legislation for working people that has been passed in decades.”

However, Sanders and other progressives had been unable to include in it a provision to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled that it could not be part of budget reconciliation, in which the legislation would only need a straight majority.

Then, Sanders’ last ditch-effort to add it to the American Rescue Plan was rejected 58-42 by the upper house last week, with seven Democrats and one independent siding with Republicans in quashing the measure.

But Sanders has said he was not prepared to wave the white flag just yet, and when asked by anchor Anderson Cooper what he would do next to increase the minimum wage, he insisted that it is still “absolutely on my agenda.”

“We are developing a strategy and if anyone thinks that the vote that we had the other day on the minimum wage is the last vote that is taking place this session, they are very, very wrong. We are going to pass that bill,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the American people want it. Overwhelmingly large numbers of people support raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.”

“We are going to do what the American people want, and in one way or another we are going to pass the $15 an hour minimum wage,” he added, without specifying what his next step would be.



this is great. curious, though, does this include corpses that got money, like the $48 billion to health insurers?



Liberals in the House on Monday rallied behind the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that the Democratic-controlled Congress is set to send to President Biden’s desk this week, despite some frustration over changes made by the Senate to appease key centrists.

House progressives signaled that they will still back the legislation following amendments adopted by the Senate to restrict income eligibility for stimulus checks and keep weekly unemployment insurance payments at $300, while ensuring that the first $10,200 of jobless benefits aren’t subject to taxes.

Another key progressive provision in the original version of the bill that the House passed earlier this month would have raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it didn’t comply with the budget reconciliation process that Democrats are using to circumvent a Senate GOP filibuster.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Monday that she didn’t think the changes pursued by Senate centrists were “good policy or good politics,” but minimized them as “relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.”

“Ultimately, given the makeup of the Senate, the House is always going to be more progressive than the Senate. That is actually our job, to make everything as progressive as possible in the House and then when it goes to the Senate to know that there are going to be some changes,” Jayapal told reporters in the Capitol.

“We take the win. We believe it’s our work that made it as progressive as it is,” she added.

Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) acknowledged “a lot of frustration” about the minimum wage hike’s removal from the bill, but predicted that “every Democrat, most likely” will vote for it.

“Overall, no one wants to play games with people’s lives. People are suffering. And the fact this is going to get checks and money directly into the pockets of people, and cut child poverty, cut poverty, I think is going to be the overriding concern,” Khanna said on CNN’s “New Day.”


So the house “progressives” are folding too? Got it.

Until we have an elected official with as much conviction as Manchin et al, progressives can continue to expect to be left out in the cold with this administration.


Ryan Cooper


For those who remember what this point in 2009 was like, all this is very confusing. Democrats back then had gigantic majorities in both the House and the Senate, plus an extremely popular new president — but they cheaped out on their response to the financial crisis. Today, the party has a tiny 5-vote margin in the House, controls the Senate only by virtue of Vice President Harris’ tie-breaking vote, and elected a famously moderate old white guy as president.

Yet despite having literally zero margin for error, the ARP is more than twice as big as the 2009 Recovery Act, and structured far more generously. Effectively, Democrats are betting that blasting trainloads of money down the income ladder will pay off both economically and politically. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it seems Democrats … learned from their mistakes?

Now, I could complain about a lot of this. The CTC expansion is structured in a goofy, incoherent fashion and lasts only one year (though that does give Democrats a chance to do it right if they make it permanent, which they are planning to do). The checks walkback was politically stupid. Excluding an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour was bad, and seeing so many Senate Democrats vote against it was worse. Boosting the EITC for seniors makes no sense; Social Security should have been boosted instead.

But all that said, it’s a hugely ambitious bill — just by itself putting Biden in league with Lyndon Johnson as a poverty fighter. All the various provisions will cut overall poverty by a third, and child poverty in half, according to one estimate. It remains to be seen whether Democrats can make these programs (above all the child benefit) permanent, but unlike Obama, Biden will surely be remembered as a president who at least attempted to be transformative.

Meanwhile, the boost to child benefits builds on an argument that has been developing for years among liberal and leftist scholars. Instead of conditioning family support on work — the thinking behind the EITC and welfare reform back in 1996 — the state should simply establish an income floor for families, as is done in many European countries with much lower poverty, less social dysfunction, and a greater fraction of the workforce employed. That naturally fits in perfectly with the desire to greatly boost the purchasing power of the poor and working class.

In 2009, so-called moderates took a stimulus that was already half the size it needed to be, and lopped off another $100 billion for no reason. Despite some theatrics during the Senate vote, that did not happen this time. The reason, apparently, is that Democrats have grasped that it was not cautious or small-c conservative to leave the economy un-fixed a decade ago. For the moment at least, they are going to try the novel strategy of trying to improve the lives of the American people, and hope they get rewarded at the ballot box. Progress!



The NY daily News covers this story also.

Less than 100 days to go and Yang at 32%.
Eric Adams at 19%.

Maya Wiley at 9%

Scott Stringer at 6%

The 2 big money corporate candidates are somewhere below 5%. They are both running endless TV ads boring NYC to tears.


For NYCVG. I saw recently that Jamaal Bowman had endorsed Stringer a while ago.


With just over 100 days to go before New York City’s mayoral primary, Andrew Yang continues to enjoy a significant lead over the competition.

He had support from 32% of likely Democratic voters in a poll released Monday by Emerson College, PIX 11 and NewsNation.

Yang was trailed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who came in with 19%, and Maya Wiley, a former top legal adviser to Mayor de Blasio, who had 9%. Out of the pool of 1,128 likely voters, 17% were either undecided or supported a candidate who wasn’t listed.

The poll didn’t ask about name recognition. But a previous survey found Yang, who rose to national prominence during his unsuccessful 2020 run for president, to be the best known mayoral candidate in this year’s race.

COVID is the most important issue for Yang supporters, according to the poll, with Adams supporters prioritizing housing and homelessness and Wiley backers, police reform.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who’s been eyeing Gracie Mansion for years, got support from just 6% of likely voters, the poll found. Nine other candidates, including ones with significant government experience, got 5% or less.

“Maybe the city’s mood is not for people who have been in politics,” Sherrill said.


endorsements are sometimes determinative, but usually not.

Stringer has the best longterm Progressive credentials of any of the candidates. I expect many, if not most NYC progressives to back him.


I suspect that Stringer endorsed Bowman for Congress





President JOE BIDEN has decided to nominate LINA KHAN, a Columbia University legal scholar championed by anti-Big Tech activists, to the Federal Trade Commission.

Along with the recent hiring of TIM WU as an economic adviser inside the White House — also first reported in Playbook — the addition of Khan signals that Biden is poised to pursue an aggressive regulatory agenda when it comes to Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants.

The addition of Khan and Wu represents a massive shift in philosophy away from the era of BARACK OBAMA, who proudly forged an alliance between the Democratic Party and Big Tech.

At the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, a top Obama adviser marveled that Google’s ERIC SCHMIDT, then the company’s CEO, had worked so closely with the Obama campaign on its tech infrastructure that the work and advice should have been considered a massive in-kind donation. In office the Obama White House and Silicon Valley had a symbiotic relationship.

The ascendance of Khan and Wu, two of the most important intellectuals in the recent progressive antitrust revival, signals a break with that past and hints that Biden is sympathetic to the left’s view that Obama’s laissez-faire policies helped engender the populist backlash that ended with DONALD TRUMP’S election.

Adding Khan to the FTC, a move that will likely be greeted with alarm by the tech industry, also suggests that the White House is already laying the groundwork for a second act that will include a big regulatory push once its early legislative agenda runs its course.



The Biden administration on Monday scrapped a controversial Trump-era legal opinion that gutted protections for hundreds of species of migratory birds.

In December 2017, Daniel Jorjani, then the top lawyer at the Department of the Interior and a former longtime adviser to the fossil fuel mogul Koch brothers, issued an interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that effectively legalized all unintentional migratory bird deaths, including those caused by chemical spills, oil and gas operations, power lines and wind turbines.

Jorjani argued that the law was only meant to prohibit the intentional hunting, capturing or killing of bird species, and that as long as a company or individual does not mean to kill birds, they are protected from prosecution.

The move broke from decades of legal precedent, opened the door for gross negligence and dropped incentives for the industry to proactively mitigate often-foreseeable bird deaths, as HuffPost previously reported. Unsurprisingly, investigations into MBTA-protected bird deaths plummeted.

In a statement Monday, an Interior Department spokesperson said the Trump administration’s rollback “allowed industry to kill birds with impunity.”



What markets are telling us, in effect, is that after the boom they expect a return to stagnation — which would, again, be a bad place to be. How can we avoid it?

The answer is actually obvious: a large program of public investment, paid for largely with borrowing, although with a case for new taxes, too, if it’s really big. Such a program would do double duty. Macroeconomics aside, we need to spend a lot to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, fight climate change, and more. And public investment can also be a major source of jobs and growth, helping to pull us out of the stagnation trap.

The good news is that the Biden administration’s economists understand all of this perfectly well, and by all accounts they’re already in the process of putting together a very ambitious infrastructure plan.

The bad news is that getting such a plan enacted will be very hard politically — probably even harder than getting to yes on short-term economic rescue.


if i thought Biden and co. would go all out on a GND jobs program and actually work against the fossil fuel corpses, i might be all in for ending the filibuster.


They will do this through reconciliation also. They get two this year because last year there was none. Next year one more before the election


Here’s the info again. In better form.


I wonder why these polls don’t do top 4 RCV



The Republican Party of Georgia advanced its sweeping assault on voting rights Monday by pushing through the state Senate legislation that would roll back no-excuse absentee voting and ramp up voter ID requirements, a move that drew outrage from activists who dubbed the measure “one of the worst voter suppression bills in the country.”

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explained, SB 241 would “reduce the availability of absentee voting, restricting it to those who are at least 65 years old, have a physical disability, or are out of town.” The bill, which now heads to the GOP-led state House of Representatives, would also require Georgians who wish to vote absentee to “provide a driver’s license number, state ID number, or other identification.”

The measure passed by a vote of 29-20, with every Democratic state senator voting no.

“America is at a turning point right now. Our democracy is in peril and our society divided along increasingly partisan lines,” Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent said during tense debate over the GOP bill Monday. “It will not work. Voters see through transparent attempts to cling to power through suppressive and anti-democratic means.”

Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization founded by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, warned that the Republican bill is “an attack on voters—and a blatant attempt by the GA GOP to placate far-right extremists.”


That is heading for the courts.