HomeUncategorized4/10 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Sanders Defends Rights of Prisoners To Vote, Campaigners Target Big Banks Over Fossil Fuel Projects & More
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

This is a email from Labor for our Revolution

Bernie’s back in Michigan this Saturday
Senator Bernie Sanders will be coming through Michigan this Saturday, April 13, with a stop at Macomb Community College in Warren. The event starts at 5 pm, with doors opening at 3:30. Bernie has been doubling down on his always constant support of working people, making union solidarity an essential theme of his campaign. Speaking Monday at a Machinists national conference, Sanders called for eliminating right-to-work laws, removing obstacles to organizing and forcing employers to bargain in good faith. He has already been getting large and enthusiastic crowds supporting his presidential bid a year before the first primaries.

The event is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP here: https://act.berniesanders.com/signup/event-190413_warren/

Rally for Bernie Sanders
Saturday, April 13
5pm start — doors open at 3:30
Macomb Community College, Parking Lot 15
28466 Bunert Road Warren, MI 48088


Well, well, well. The NY Times is in a catty mood.

No Longer an Outsider, Sanders Is Using the Senate as His Launching Pad

When Bernie Sanders steps to the lectern Wednesday to reintroduce his Medicare for All Act, he will do so as a senator, just as he did when he introduced a resolution to end American military involvement in the Yemen war or when he shepherded legislation to improve veterans’ health care.

But behind it are the unmistakable politics of 2020 and his campaign for president, a campaign that never really ended with the election of Donald J. Trump. And Democratic efforts to pull Mr. Sanders into the fold with a newly minted leadership post have only bolstered his platform to seek the presidency.


On the campaign trail, he still casts himself as an outsider, railing in his Brooklyn accent against the “millionaihs and the billionaihs,” though he sometimes drops “the millionaires,” perhaps because he is now a millionaire himself.


“I ran for president; I got 13 million votes, going over 1,700 delegates to the Democratic convention, and got more young people’s votes than Clinton and Trump combined,” Mr. Sanders boasted in an interview in his Washington office. “And I thought that those 13 million people deserved a voice in Democratic leadership.”

Mr. Sanders has used that voice both inside and outside the Senate to burnish his brand. He brought his chief strategist, Jeff Weaver, to meet behind closed doors with Senate Democrats, tutoring them on how to appeal to his millennial base. He went on CNN to debate tax policy with Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. He held dozens of rallies in 2017 to whip up opposition to Mr. Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


Mr. Sanders has also taken policy positions to cure deficits that arose during his 2016 campaign. After being criticized for lacking foreign policy experience, he led the fight to pass the Yemen resolution, making an odd-bedfellows alliance with two Republicans — Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky — in what amounted to a Senate rebuke of Mr. Trump. He also embraced criminal justice overhaul after being accused of not being sensitive enough to issues of racial injustice.


Mr. Sanders has always been a gruff — some would say grating — presence in the Senate. He plows through the Capitol corridors, red-faced and rumpled, too busy to talk and wearing a scowl more often than a smile. (“If you worked here, you wouldn’t smile either,” he said.)

His official website offers a hint of where the job falls on his priority list: It has not been updated to reflect his re-election in 2018, and still says he is “serving his second term after winning re-election in 2012.”


Knock me over with a feather. Fox News explains what Democratic Socialism is, and my quick skim did not see Venezuela. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/what-is-democratic-socialism-bernie-sanders-political-ideology


Wow, first Fox News’ Bernie Sanders fast facts: 5 things to know about the Vermont senator piece that I posted the other day (which was quite fair and informative) and now a piece explaining what Democratic Socialism is? Ok, what’s going on, lol. Could it be that (gasp!) people are clicking on those kind of articles now?

By the way, big local news for me to report, our DSA chapter is now official! I’ve never been involved in such a thing before, but now I must read all the bylaws and voting will be happening soon and all that stuff. It’s been a long time coming. What started with a handful of people has grown so much!


Read the article. Pretty good. Could have been a bit better. Venezuela in second to last paragraph, but used as a reference to how Republicans try to discredit socialism. The last sentence/paragraph–always a very important one in journalism–is not a good finish for what could have been a mostly good article.

The comments, though, wow! People are just so unwilling to challenge their own close=minded thinking. Some brave souls made efforts to open some eyes, but the blinders are firmly riveted on.


What kind of crap is the NYT peddling now!?! Geez, Bernie has been just sooo busy campaigning that he forgot the people of VT whom he serves. Right……so he got re-elected in a landslide in his last election. Guess that means VT approves the job he’s doing serving the state. NYT is just as bad as Bezos WAPO now. Sad.


Reminder: Bernie will be in WI, MI, & Pittsburgh this weekend. Reports also have him in IN & OH, but I hadn’t been able to find any details on those 2 stops. Until now.

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is expected to campaign Sunday in Lordstown, the home of the idled General Motors plant, sources with knowledge of the potential visit told The Vindicator.

Details haven’t been finalized, but the visit could be announced as early as today.

The event could be at Lordstown High School, sources told The Vindicator.

Sanders has scheduled rallies in the Midwest Friday through Sunday. His campaign says he will be in Madison, Wis., at 5 p.m. Friday; in Warren, Mich., at 5 p.m. Saturday; and in Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Lordstown visit is expected to be Sunday afternoon before heading to Pittsburgh and will be closed to the public, sources say.

Sanders is expected to meet with members of the Lordstown Teachers Association and members from the United Auto Workers Local 1112 to discuss the fallout from the idling of the General Motors Lords-town Assembly Complex.




But the senator included a late addition to the schedule, with plans to visit the town that’s been in crisis mode since General Motors announced the closure of a Chevrolet Cruze production factory that was the economic lifeblood of the community.

The Lordstown GM factory closure left 1,400 workers without a job. Other businesses in the area that relied on the factory have felt the ripple effects.

Politically, the factory represents something of a weak point for Republican President Donald Trump, who won Ohio and finished strong in the traditionally Democratic Mahoning Valley.

Trump visited nearby Youngstown in 2017 and promised factory jobs were returning to the area, going so far as to tell the crowd to not sell their houses.

Since the plant’s idling, Trump has criticized the workers at the facility, with particular ire directed at Dave Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, the union representing GM workers. Trump attacked Green in a tweet, saying the union leader “ought to get his act together and produce.”

While local outrage ensued, national attention from the crowded Democratic primary field has been minimal, even after Trump condemned the union once more during an official White House appearance in Lima.


GM is stupid with greed now. They need to build more small cars, not less. They better be building hybrid/electric cars, too. I’ve seen plenty of Volts down here. I saw a Bolt in WA. That was one cool looking car. 🙂 The small cars like the Cruz, etc. are selling.


Hopefully the annual F job by big oil known as refinery maintenance which causes an increase in quarterly profits every year will cause people to buy the Ele. cars. Gas spiked 15 cents overnight in my area.


la58: are you or anyone you know going to the Warren Rally?



Sanders’s office said its proposal for long-term care isn’t the same approach as CLASS. But its addition certainly won’t make the Medicare-for-all proposal more palatable to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who controls the fate of such legislation in her chamber and has so far resisted committing to a vote on it. Yesterday she told hospitals that she’s more interested in improving the ACA than in passing Medicare-for-all — which would upending the existing, largely private health insurance system.

“We all share a common goal: affordable quality health care coverage for all,” Pelosi said in a speech at the American Hospital Association conference. “There are many paths to this goal. You’ve heard of some of them.”

“Medicare-for-all, single-payer, whatever it is, all of that creative tension is valuable as we go forward,” she added. “But we can’t go down any path unless you strengthen the Affordable Care Act.”

There certainly appear to be some headwinds behind Medicare-for-all bills. In addition to the 2020 candidates who have endorsed Sanders’s bill, more than 100 House members have signed onto Jayapal’s bill.

But the leaders of the top House committees with health-care jurisdiction – House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce – have been working on drug pricing legislation instead. Any serious attempt to pass a Medicare-for-all bill would almost certainly involve hearings before both those panels.

We spent $229 billion on insurance overhead and profit in 2017.

That's a good indication of how much could be saved under a Medicare-for-all plan that eliminates private insurance.

It's also a good indication of how hard insurers will fight such a plan.https://t.co/AizPdduivW pic.twitter.com/Zbv8guGAzx

— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) April 9, 2019






Ocasio-Cortez’s voters approve of her performance, if not her ‘Democratic Socialist’ label

A majority of voters in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district still like her, even if they don’t personally identify as Democratic socialists and wish Amazon hadn’t reneged on its deal to come to Queens, according to a new Siena poll released Wednesday.

The poll shows the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman, whose outspokenness and media savvy have catapulted her to stardom on the left and drawn scorn on the right, has a 52-33 percent favorability rating in the 14th Congressional district, several months into her term. She has already become well known, where only 15 percent of voters said they didn’t have an opinion about her. Sixty-five percent of voters said they’d been following the wall-to-wall coverage of their Congresswoman across multiple media platforms “very closely” or “somewhat closely.”

She has the highest net favorability rating out of a group of eight high-profile politicians, including New York’s Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, President Donald Trump, and former Rep. Joe Crowley, whom she defeated in last year’s June Democratic primary elections.

Crowley represented the district for 20 years, but 38 percent of voters said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion of him.

Among Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez’s favorability is 65-22 percent. Her favorability is also higher among black and Latino constituents, 64 percent of whom approve of her. Just 45 percent of white voters said they had a favorable view of her, though. And she does better with younger voters than older ones. Her favorability rating among voters under 35 stands at 63-18, while voters over age 55 are split, 45-42 percent.

Ocasio-Cortez has described herself as a “Democratic Socialist,” but most of her constituents wouldn’t use that term to describe themselves, even if they agree with many of her policy ideas. Just 25 percent said they identified as “Democratic Socialist,” while 70 percent of voters said they’d call themselves something else.

But even if they disagree with the label, Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents largely agree with her policy positions. Forty-three percent support taxing income above $10 million at a rate of 60 percent or more. Fifty-two percent are in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump. Seventy-five percent favor banning assault weapons. Seventy-three percent favor a federal guarantee of a job that pays a living wage, 76 percent favor free tuition at public universities and 75 percent favor Medicare for All.

Of course, Politico had to put a bit of a hit line in its headline.



Both Biden and Bernie ahead of Harris in her home state


When asked about preferences in the Democratic presidential field, 26% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters from California polled like Biden, followed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 18% and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, at 17%.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg tied for fourth at 7% each. Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke polled at 4% while no other Democratic presidential hopeful polled better than 2 percent.




Stop us if you’ve heard this one already: Representatives of a foreign government hold a secret meeting with members of the Trump campaign in Trump Tower to discuss ways that this foreign government could use social media manipulation to help get Trump elected. It now appears that, since the election, this government has received favorable treatment from the Trump Administration. But here’s the thing: It’s not Russia.

This isn’t some new scoop. Many parts of this story have been covered in the media. There is simply so much going on with the administration that it’s easy to miss this thread.

Yet there is at least as much evidence that Trump has been purchased by the crown princes and de facto rulers of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as there is to support the idea that he’s been bought by Vladimir Putin.

During the first two years of his presidency, Trump’s foreign policy has lined up tightly with the interests of the United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman. In a remarkable number of instances, Trump has sided with these two crown princes over his own State Department, intelligence officials, and even Cabinet members.

The Emirati and Saudi influence campaigns are not totally separate from the one involving Russia. During the early days of the Trump Administration, representatives of both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia pushed Trump to curtail sanctions on Russia in exchange for Russia rolling back its relations with Iran.

Like Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have repressive autocratic governments with atrocious human rights records; however, unlike Russia, these two countries have enormous wealth and can operate under the cover of being U.S. allies.




The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.

The so-called foreign emoluments clause was intended to curb presidents and other government officials from accepting gifts and benefits from foreign governments unless Congress consents.

But in a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington University Law professor Kathleen Clark reveals justice department filings have recently changed tack. The new interpretation, Clark says, is contained in justice filings responding to recent lawsuits lodged by attorneys generals and members of Congress.

Clark’s article notes that in more than 50 legal opinions over some 150 years justice department lawyers have interpreted the clause in a way that barred any foreign payments or gifts except for ones Congress approved. But filings by the department since June 2017 reveal a new interpretation that “… would permit the president – and all federal officials – to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official,” the professor writes.


Good thing it’s being litigated.


Netanyahu’s apparent win is bad but at least it will ensure that US support of the Israeli government will be a bigger issue for the Dems.


President Trump congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on his apparent victory Wednesday morning, saying he thinks Netanyahu has a better shot at peace in the region. Netanyahu is expected to be indicted on corruption charges soon.

“He’s been a great ally and he’s a friend, I’d like to congratulate him, that was a well-thought out race I can tell you,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn ahead of a trip to Texas.


This article did begin with an incorrect statement though: “Despite running for president as a Democrat, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is once again showing his independent streak, bucking the Democratic National Committee by appearing on Fox News.” The DNC is fine with candidates appearing on Fox, they are just not going to let Fox hold a Dem debate.


Next week’s town hall will take place here in Pennsylvania. What types of questions are you looking to ask Sanders?

MacCallum: Bernie Sanders is a Democratic socialist candidate, which is a very new phenomenon in America at this level of politics. So in my mind, one of the most significant questions to talk about is capitalism and socialism and what is working in in America today, and how that might look in a place like Pennsylvania.
Baier: It’s largely driven by audience questions, and we’ll follow up and redirect. We’re kind of the moderators within the moderator — the real questioners will be citizens who want to find out more about Bernie Sanders.

Bret, you teased there may be other town halls in the works with other Democratic candidates. Care to break any news on that front?

Baier: (Laughing) I can’t break the news, but we have a lot of interest, and we’re working on a lot of different things, but can’t confirm anything today.


Gillibrand appears to be the most committed to M4A of the other presidential contenders


Fourteen Democrats are co-sponsoring the Medicare for All bill, including 2020 contenders Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand — all of whom backed the legislation in 2017.

“Health care must be a right, not a privilege,” said Gillibrand, the lone presidential candidate to join Sanders at a Wednesday event rolling out the new legislation. “This has to become the next social safety net. It has to become something that is there for you no matter what.“

Yet Sanders still has fewer allies than two years ago, after then-Sen. Al Franken resigned from Congress and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen dropped off the bill this year. No new senators have signed on since, an illustration of the tough road ahead for a concept that’s yet to gain much traction with the Democratic Party’s more moderate wing.


That’s nice. Because the victims of the company she defended as a private attorney – Phillip Morris – will need it. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Gillibrand



So Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made more than 1 million dollars, much thanks to his best-selling book. Rarely is turning such a profit in an industry as dicey as publishing better news for your enemies than you, but so it goes: Sanders’s critics are thrilled.

It makes sense that they would be. After so much complaining about Sanders’s ritzy winter coat and his lake house in Vermont, the opportunity to utter the phrase “made a million dollars” must arrive as a great victory. There is no socialist in America who will ever escape charges of hypocrisy, of course; even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who was a bartender before her election, has been accused of being secretly rich. The reason this line of attack persists is because the politics of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are unabashedly moral in language and sound pretty good; the only way to undermine them is, therefore, to say they don’t really mean it.

But back to Bernie: Is there anything to say in defense of a guy who made more than 1 million dollars in a particular calendar year?

In my view — not really; million-makers can defend themselves, at least qua makers of millions. But there is something to say in defense of Sanders as a consistent politician and an honest broker, which is really what his detractors are out to dispute.

First, Sanders’s complaint isn’t that millionaires exist per se. After all, if America’s household wealth were distributed evenly across the population, then every family of four would have a net worth of $1.2 million. Sanders’s critique is that the United States’ super-rich are symptomatic of a system that churns out a small class of extremely wealthy people who rule over the vast remainder. Key to Sanders’s argument against the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a small elite is that their largesse allows them to wield disproportionate, anti-democratic political power by funding campaigns and lobbying politicians; seeing as Sanders’s campaign is funded strictly by small donors and he is not a lobbyist himself, it would seem that his having made more than 1 million dollars in a year doesn’t exactly run afoul of that critique.

But whatever the critique, honest or dishonest, I agree with the general sentiment: A few people owning stockpiles of wealth while many more go without is unjust. So if you’re bothered by Bernie’s big payday, take action now: Vote for him. You can raise not only his taxes but also the taxes of millionaires across the country, and reap the benefits in the form of universal programs such as Medicare-for-all. Have so many birds ever been felled by a single stone?


Bernie is on the rise in WI! In January, Sanders, Biden and Warren also topped the list, but Biden received 32 percent support, Bernie had 23 percent and Warren had 15 percent.

This poll asked would these candidates be “a top choice” rather than asking those polled to pick one candidate. #news3now https://t.co/TO8W1Ghs6X

— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) April 10, 2019


“A top choice” numbers: Sanders, 32%; Biden, 29%; Warren, 17%; Harris, 11%; O’Rourke, 10%; Booker, 9%; Klobuchar, 8%; Buttigieg, 7%; Castro, 4%; Inslee, 2%; Gillibrand, 2%; Hickenlooper, 1%. #mulawpoll

— MULawPoll (@MULawPoll) April 10, 2019



It’s good that her fundraising picked up at the end.


Senator Elizabeth Warren raised $6 million in her first three months as a presidential candidate, her campaign announced Wednesday, a total that falls short of several Democratic newcomers and spurs questions about her gamble to swear off some common funding tactics in a bid to stand out in a crowded field.

The senator’s $6 million haul from 135,000 donors puts her near the back of the pack of top-tier Democratic candidates but is enough to keep her operation afloat — a development that probably will ease the concerns of some allies who worried her first quarter totals would be dismal after she decided to swear off courting wealthy donors.

In a bright spot for her campaign, Warren gained considerable fund-raising momentum as the quarter wore on. She raised $1.4 million in the last week of March alone, after her campaign warned supporters in numerous e-mails she was being outraised by other candidates. The figure was nearly 25 percent of her total haul over the three-month period that began Jan. 1.



In an email to supporters, Warren’s campaign manager Roger Lau said that more than 135,000 donors made over 213,000 contributions in the first three months of the year, with an average donation of $28. A significant chunk of her total haul — more than $1.4 million — came in during the final week of the quarter when the campaign received over 50,000 new donations, Lau said. Warren transferred $10.4 million from her Senate campaign account, according to aides, and she spent $5.2 million — most of what she raised — in the first quarter.

In conversations with CNN this week, Warren advisers painted a picture of a campaign that is laying the groundwork for a protracted battle for the Democratic nomination and anticipating the possibility that the Democratic contest turns into a 50-state scramble to pick up delegates. Warren has also focused heavily on ramping up operations on the ground, hiring scores of campaign staff and prioritizing human contact with voters in the field, aides said.

The Warren campaign now has more than 170 full-time paid staff, according to aides, with about half of them deployed in the four early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Asked whether her campaign would adjust its game plan if her first quarter fundraising proved to be disappointing, the Massachusetts Democrat insisted in a brief interview with CNN last Friday: “I’m running the campaign I want to run.”

“Instead of spending time with millionaire donors, I’m now at 12 states and Puerto Rico,” Warren said, “spending time with people who’re going to build the grassroots energy for us to win in 2020 and to make the changes we need to make in 2021.”


“…the possibility that the Democratic contest turns into a 50-state scramble to pick up delegates.”
Not a possibility, more like a probability. 500-State-Strategy? Liz is smart to follow it.


From watching MTP Daily, looks like Manchin is going with a cuppa Joe for POTUS.


MTP Daily has a story that Bernie’s M4A proposal is similar to Drumpf’s call for the wall.


Tulsi made the 65k today so should be on stage come the debates. Now the main question i have is will the moderators control whom get to answer questions and get the all important air time? Will they try to keep Bernie from speaking as much as possible? I allready suspect that Bieden, Beto, Harris and Buttegieg will be set up to answer the most questions. This happened to the R’s when they had their large field in 16.


The pearl clutchers: Too radical!


from MTP Daily RT this afternoon:





Sanders vows to blow up Senate rules to pass Medicare for All

Sanders has settled on budget reconciliation as his solution for evading the Senate’s 60-vote requirement, a blunt maneuver that allows certain spending bills to pass the Senate with a 50-vote majority. Most senators believe that sweeping legislation like Medicare for All would not be allowed under reconciliation, but Sanders said he’s not going to let that stop him.

“It is the vice president who determines what is and is not permissible under budget reconciliation. I can tell you that a vice president in a Bernie Sanders administration will determine that Medicare for All can pass through the Senate under reconciliation and is not in violation of the rules,” Sanders said in a statement after introducing the bill on Wednesday.

The move smacks of Cruz’s request from two years ago, when he argued the Senate GOP should disregard parliamentary guidance and jam through a full repeal-and-replacement of Obamacare in reconciliation. Cruz argued that Vice President Mike Pence should have ruled that the full gutting of Obamacare could pass via Senate rules, a move that GOP leaders rejected.

If senators set that precedent, there would be few limits to what Senate majorities could do on reconciliation, effectively bypassing the filibuster anyway and ushering in a new era when a simple majority can rule the day. It could also have made repealing Obamacare easier for Republicans, who were hamstrung from making certain changes that could have won them the 50 votes they needed.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is also pursuing the Democratic nomination, said that if Senate Republicans obstruct the next president’s agenda, the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold should go. And Sanders said he wants to return the Senate to a “talking filibuster,” forcing senators to actually stand on the floor to delay legislation.

On twitterverse, some anti-Bernites are commenting this looks to be autocratic. I disagree. It shows there is more than one way to do business. Bernie’s been in the trenches for awhile, and I have confidence he knows something about Senate rules.


Of course, getting 50 votes for M4A with the Senate Dem lineup we have now is not going to happen either unless something dramatically changes in the next few years.

Skip to toolbar