HomeUncategorized4/15 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie’s Weekend Rallies, Global Extinction Rebellion Kicks Off Week of Civil Disobedience & More
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Don midwest

Hitler like moves on Omar

Juan Cole today

How Classic Anti-Semitic Tropes are being Marshaled against Ilhan Omar and Muslim-Americans

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The attacks on Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress and the first of Black African heritage who veils, by the Rupert Murdoch press (Fox, New York Post, etc.) and the US Republican Party are frightening for many reasons, but most of all because they repeat three classic anti-Semitic charges made by the Nazis in Germany against Jews. Racism is not that complicated, and is always simple-minded and stupid, and so it is not a surprise that contemporary racists can’t come up with new tropes for demeaning minorities.

Here are the themes, as The Anne Frank Institute explains them:

and the uneven democratic response in The Intercept

How Democrats Did, and Did Not, Defend Ilhan Omar


I posted this article late yesterday and thought I would repost for those who missed it. It’s an interesting read about Bernie’s early days in politics.


Long before any votes are cast for president, some Democratic thought leaders have made up their minds about at least one thing. Bernie Sanders is too risky to be the party’s nominee. And this existential fear of the so-called “far left” is already producing questionable choices, not the least of which is a preference by most other candidates and officials to avoid a serious discussion of socialism.

Instead, Democratic nominees tend to reinforce the right’s red scare tactics by defensively declaring themselves capitalists, or at least deep socialist skeptics. “It can never work, not in America’s heartland,” most appear to agree, unfortunately neglecting to mention Social Security, Medicare and other democratic socialist policies that have operated successfully for decades, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

And yet, as with George McGovern in 1972, other Democrats (and their TV surrogates) sound more concerned about Sanders and his agenda than another term for someone they claim to despise. With Donald Trump in charge, after all, there is a clear opponent and target for organizing. With Sanders as the party’s candidate or — god forbid — president, things might actually have to change in fundamental ways.

But Sanders has seen it all before, from the public trash talking to the secret smear campaigns, ever since his first victory.

Gary Trudeau strip from that time 😁



Bernie Sanders will finish a four-day tour of Trump Country on Monday, with a town hall on the president’s favorite network: Fox News.

It is an unexpected partnership, between a self-described democratic socialist and a media outlet that dedicates primetime to pundits who rail against a purported “creep” of socialism.

The event will be staged in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a state Trump won by less than 1%, and it will be moderated by Fox anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

Sanders is the first Democratic presidential candidate to appear on the network for such an event. He says it is a way to speak directly to Trump supporters, to make the case that the president is a “pathological liar” who has misled the working class. The booking is also important for Fox News, which was banned from hosting a Democratic primary debate.

Among Democrats, the booking has drawn criticism. Progressive groups are urging presidential contenders to boycott the network whose stream of pro-Trump commentary has led critics to liken it to unofficial “state TV”.

Perez is scheduled to appear on Fox’s America’s Newsroom on Monday. He has said he does not have a problem with Democrats going on the network. But he draws a distinction between guest appearances and sponsored debates.

“I go on Fox News with regularity, so do other Democrats,” Perez told the San Francisco Chronicle’s politics podcast. “We don’t discourage anyone from doing the same. That’s a far cry from hosting debates.”


The rest of them are scared to go on Fox.



What set the stage for the latest funding battle in the House was a Budget Committee vote that approved the new measure with the $17 billion military boost. It squeaked through the committee on April 3 with a surprising pivotal “yes” vote from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who is now among the lawmakers pushing to amend the bill on the House floor to add $33 billion in domestic spending for each of the next two years.

As Common Dreams reported last week, progressives in the House “are demanding boosts in domestic social spending in line with the Pentagon’s budget increase.” But raising domestic spending in tandem with military spending is no solution, any more than spewing vastly more carcinogenic poisons into the environment would be offset by building more hospitals.

Rep. Ro Khanna and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal, who both voted against the budget bill in committee, have said they won’t vote for it on the House floor. In Khanna’s words, “You can’t oppose endless wars and then vote to fund them.” Jayapal said: “We need to prioritize our communities, not our military spending. Progressives aren’t backing down from this fight.”

The New York Times described the intra-party disagreement as “an ideological gap between upstart progressives flexing their muscles and more moderate members clinging to their Republican-leaning seats.” But that description bypassed how the most powerful commitment to escalation of military spending comes from Democratic leaders representing deep blue districts — in Pelosi’s case, San Francisco. Merely backing a budget that’s not as bad as Trump’s offering is a craven and immoral approach.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ staff director, Warren Gunnels, responded cogently days ago when he tweeted: “How can we keep giving more money to the Pentagon than it needs when 40 million live in poverty, 34 million have no health insurance, half of older Americans have no retirement savings, and 140 million can’t afford basic needs without going into debt? This is insanity.”

Yet most top Democrats keep promoting the guns-and-butter fantasy while aiding and abetting what Dr. King called “the madness of militarism.”


Whatever happened to Barbara Lee?


Not sure, but when she endorsed Kamala Harris she lost me (and I think she’s lost her way, imo).



Raising money used to be a behind-the-scenes part of politics. Now how much campaigns raise — and from whom — is a big part of the political message.

This week, each 2020 campaign’s financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, the regulatory agency that enforces campaign finance laws, become public. In other words, we will know just how much this packed field of presidential hopefuls is fundraising, where they’re spending, who their biggest donors are, and more.

Candidates have begun releasing selective pieces of information in advance of the Monday deadline. We already know that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is leading the pack, hauling in $18 million in donations, and that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she raised about a third of that. Some other campaigns aren’t talking about their fundraising numbers at all.

But now campaigns can’t hide how they’re doing. Legally, they need to log a record of their finances for the first quarter of 2019, January 1 to April 1, and this is the first real look into the guts of their operations. Here’s what you need to know to read these early filings.



Pete Buttigieg’s meteoric rise as a presidential candidate is putting a spotlight on his years as mayor of South Bend, Ind., including his demotion of an African American police chief.

An Indiana judge will rule soon on whether to release five cassette tapes of secretly recorded conversations between South Bend police officers that led to the 2012 demotion of Police Chief Darryl Boykins, the city’s first ever black police chief.

The South Bend City Council subpoenaed Buttigieg to win release of the tapes, which were at the center of a police department shake-up and a series of lawsuits.

Buttigieg’s critics say he’s gone to great lengths to conceal the contents of the tapes, which some believe could include racist language by white police officers.

There is roiling anger in South Bend over the allegations of racism. Black leaders in the city say that if there is evidence of racism, it could call into question scores of convictions that stemmed from white police officers investigating black suspects in a city that is 25 percent black.

Buttigieg’s defenders say he’s not trying to conceal the tapes, but rather is seeking to ensure that releasing the recordings does not run afoul of federal or state wiretapping laws. No one in the mayor’s office has listened to the recordings, sources say.

The mayor’s allies say he was put in a tough spot, eager to discover whether the allegations of racism are true but not wanting to expose the city to further legal action if a judge ruled the tapes violated federal and state recording laws.


Listen Liberal by Thomas Frank had a lot about this meritocracy.


This Democratic primary lineup is not the worst, and within it, neither is Mayor Pete (the term used by those not quite smart enough to pronounce BOOTedgedge). He seems to support Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in some form. He invested in infrastructure in South Bend. He won office as an openly gay man in Mike Pence country and has a record of connecting with voters who voted for Trump. And there’s no question that he’d be a better president than Trump or some of his Democratic primary competitors. We do need a president capable of reading a book, not one reveling proudly in his ignorance like the current occupant of the White House, who seems to reflect our dumbest tendencies insultingly right back to us. (When Trump this week fantasized that a Hillary Clinton victory would have turned the power grid over to solar energy and deprived us of the joy of watching TV, the writer Tara Rose aptly observed, “He’s so perfect for the kind of stupid that we are.”) A BOOTedgedge presidency would reassure those of us who believe in things like science and logic that we have stepped back from the braying idiocy that now envelopes us like a toxic plume. Of course, that would be a pleasant reprieve.

But the obsession with his kind of ostentatious intelligence is deeply unserious and anti-democratic. “Smart” is not going to save us, and fetishizing its most conventional manifestations shores up bourgeois ideology and undermines the genuinely emancipatory politics of collective action. Bernie Sanders, instead of showing off his University of Chicago education, touts the power of the masses: “Not Me, Us.” The cult of the Smart Dude leads us into just the opposite place, which is probably why some liberals like it so much.


Does not support Medicare for all and I’m doubtful about the GND. Many candidates say they support it and then it turns out they support it and a lot of other, industry friendly policies.


those not quite smart enough to pronounce BOOTedgedge

I just don’t like that guy (so I’ve been having a little fun with his name). And seeing Jonathan Capeheart push for him sealed the deal for me. Capeheart is a neoliberal corporate shill.

Pete Buttigieg has a clear vision for the Democrats: Freedom, democracy and security https://t.co/fgTtpHQBWw

— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) April 14, 2019



I was ok with this until that last sentence. It’s really not worth keeping an eye on whether Bernie’s message will “evolve” now that he’s richer. Plus, Bernie has never said people can’t benefit from the system, just that they pay a fair share of their benefit.


It’s unlikely, though, that Sanders’s relatively new wealth will reshape his message or impact his supporters’ perception. Even before his most recent book, Sanders was comfortably in the upper middle class. He and his wife reported an annual income of more than $200,000 on a jointly filed 2015 tax return, which puts them in the top 5 percent of U.S. income earners. It’s worth noting, too, that those with the ability to launch a competitive presidential campaign usually come from a place of wealth.

Additionally, Sanders’s base of supporters is not exclusively working class. As Vox pointed out during the 2016 primary, Sanders wasn’t winning all working-class voters: “Sanders’s victories aren’t being powered by a groundswell of white working-class support, but instead stem from his most reliable base since the start of the primary: young voters.” Vox analyzed Sanders’s 2016 results and found that Hillary Clinton did better with older white working-class voters and also with nonwhite working-class voters. It’s unlikely that his fans will turn away from him.

And so far, it doesn’t seem like Sanders is modulating his message. He’s still calling for a tax on billionaires and major social programs like Medicare-for-all. Even so, it’s worth keeping an eye on whether Sanders’s message evolves, now that he’s been able to benefit from the system that he claims to want to dismantle.



Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday unveiled a vision to put America’s public lands to work in the fight against climate change, vowing to ban new fossil fuel leases and dramatically boost renewable energy on federal lands and waters.

The proposal is a rebuke of President Donald Trump, whose record on public lands includes offering up millions of federal acres for oil and gas leasing, some for as little as $1.50 per acre, proposing to open nearly all U.S. waters to offshore drilling, and leading the largest rollback of national monuments in U.S. history.

“The Trump Administration is busy selling off our public lands to the oil, gas and coal industries for pennies on the dollar, threatening the health and safety of our local communities and pouring an accelerant on our climate crisis,” Warren said in an email statement. “We can’t allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess.”

If elected, the Massachusetts senator promised to issue an immediate executive order imposing a moratorium on new oil, gas and coal leases, both on federal land and offshore. The policy would set a goal of generating 10% of the nation’s power from renewables on public land, a nearly tenfold increase from today.


I really hope she ramps it up. My heart would break a little less if she gets it.



The New York Times reports that the decision to hold the event near Omar’s district is a “calculated choice,” one that’s part of a broader effort to elevate Omar into the “most prominent voice of the Democratic Party.” The Times adds that Trump and his team see “limited downside” to this strategy.

Limited downside? Omar just released a statement claiming: “Since the president’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the president’s video.”

One cannot conclusively establish one way or the other whether Trump actively wants to see physical harm befall Omar. But here’s what we can say right now: Trump’s attacks absolutely are designed to incite hatred of Muslims, and the fact that this could have horrifying consequences does not weigh on him in the slightest.

We know these things, because Trump’s monumentally dishonest treatment of Omar’s quote, as well as his own long history, leave no doubt about it. Trump has used 9/11 to stir up hatred of Muslims before — relying on massively deceptive agitprop to do so — and he has repeatedly continued trafficking in various tropes even after they have been confirmed to potentially play some kind of role in inciting hate and even murder.


Trump & his team are not noted for their 20/20 vision.


Color code released for the Barr Mueller report


Rubin is at it again. She’s obsessed. Rabid and vitriolic describe you Jen


One of the “digs” on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 presidential campaign was that he was all about himself — insufficiently attuned to concerns about unity, quick to lash out at critics and exceptionally thin-skinned. Those concerns surfaced again in Democratic ranks when he hired a rabid social media hit man, David Sirota (who hadn’t initially disclosed his affiliation with the Sanders camp).

Now he has gone into full attack-and-destroy mode, targeting in a vitriolic letter the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank that has advanced, for example, a health-care plan that expands Medicare but is distinct from the Sanders Medicare-for-all plan, and CAP Action Fund, CAP’s political arm.


Thank God someone is finally calling out that pit of vipers in league with brutal regimes. Too bad the MSM doesn’t report on that part of it more.


The actual letter Bernie sent to CAP’s board. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5839898-Bernie-Sanders-Letter-Accusing-CAP-of.html

Also, “sharp elbows,” Jennifer? You bet Bernie has sharp elbows. That’s a good thing. And he learned them on the basketball court. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/17/from-mid-range-he-could-kill-you-bernie-sanders-basketball-days



Hours after South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg formally announced he’s running for president, the out contender announced that he raised more than $1 million from supporters.

“Since delivering his announcement speech, our grassroots supporters have invested more than $1m in @PeteButtigieg’s campaign,” tweeted Lis Smith, communications advisor to Buttigieg. “C’mon- let’s keep it going for #PeteForAmerica.”


Grassroots are sometimes execs.


Definitely not a Morning Joe fan but he’s right here, though he’s wrong about what the DNC says.


MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on Monday called Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “brilliant” for deciding to be featured in a Fox News town hall, adding that the move shows the 2020 presidential candidate is “going after Trump voters.”

“I don’t care what the national Democratic Party says. I think it’s a brilliant move going over to Fox News,” Scarborough said on “Morning Joe.”

“Bernie is doing something other Democrats are not doing,” Scarborough added. “He’s going after Trump voters.”

Regular “Morning Joe” panelist Mike Barnicle on Monday agreed with Scarborough, and urged more Democratic candidates to follow Sanders’s lead.

“The idea of Bernie Sanders going on Fox TV is a great idea for Sanders, the campaign and the Democratic Party. And more Democrats ought to appear on Fox News because you’re talking to the kinds of people, many of them, not all of them, many of them are Democratic voters who have been screwed out of their paychecks, their pensions and everything by the activities of multiple, multiple administrations, but specifically now this administration in Washington, D.C.,” Barnicle said.


Reminder: the Obama to Trump voter is a phenomenon that the media has spilled endless ink over.


Hello, a little breaking news:

Before the news breaks, the Notre Dame is on fire. pic.twitter.com/fhSNcznCG2

— Ashley (@AshhHuntington) April 15, 2019



The entire roof has collapsed.

The moment #NotreDame’s spire fell pic.twitter.com/XUcr6Iob0b

— Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019




Ohio Republican Party tried to hold a press conference outside of @BernieSanders Lordstown, Ohio town hall.

They didn’t bring amplification so they got drowned out by @OurRevolution members 30 feet away pic.twitter.com/RycmObzTWG

— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 14, 2019






Progressives back Rep. Omar after Trump criticism sparks threats.


More than 150 progressive leaders and groups are lining up behind Rep. Ilhan Omar amid intensifying attacks from the right over her controversial comments about the 9/11 terror attacks.

“The attacks aimed at Rep. Omar are beyond the pale,” the liberal activists wrote in a letter obtained by POLITICO. “Far from legitimate disagreements and critiques, there are intentional efforts to spread misinformation and incite fear and hate in the hearts of people in this country. These are blatant attempts to divide and distract us, while Trump and the GOP undermine our democracy and enrich themselves and their friends.”

Monday’s letter called the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota a “visionary and inspiring leader,” and it was co-signed by leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, Demos, Indivisible, MoveOn, and the Working Families Party, among other groups.




This is one of many tweets sent to the head honcho at twitter.




"I'll take that bet any time." @RepKatiePorter responds to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders' claim that Congress isn't "smart enough" to look at Trump's taxes, adding: "I'm trained in tax law, I'm a legal professor. I'm ready to go to take a look" https://t.co/y5vLJZR3DN pic.twitter.com/2rw4hLdkE9

— CNN (@CNN) April 15, 2019



A little bit dated (from April 4th) but still news:

Water Protector Dion Ortiz Released From Prison

Dion was RELEASED from Sandstone yesterday and is on his way home to New Mexico to serve the rest of his time at a halfway house.

Dion Ortiz is a 22 year old Water Protector from San Felipe Pueblo. He was targeted and charged with a federal felony for his actions protecting the water and fighting for indigenous sovereignty at Standing Rock. Dion took a non-cooperating plea on October 22, 2018 and served most of his prison sentence at FCI Sandstone in Minnesota, where Rattler continues to serve his sentence. They asked the youth to rise up, and Dion answered that call. Water is life. #NoDAPL



Another DK poll, another opportunity to say F you to Kos. 300 votes & Bernie is leading. Of course. https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/15/1850407/-Daily-Kos-Democratic-Primary-Straw-Poll-Tax-Day


Thanks, I just voted.

As of about 4:40pm (poll closes at 8pm) this is where the top five candidates stand:

Bernie Sanders – 31%
Pete Bootedge – 25%
Liz Warren – 14%
Kamala Harris – 11%
Joe Biden – 6%

Looks like Pete took a bit from everyone except Warren? (and maybe lots away from Biden)


Actually Beto appears to have taken the worst hit. He’s down at 3%.


Bernie calls for a moratorium on agricultural mergers. Huff post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-agribusiness_n_5cb0a662e4b0ffefe3afba70

Klobuchar stands out in this topic:

At the Heartland Forum, hosted by HuffPost and Open Markets Action, widespread agreement emerged that monopoly power was a central problem facing the agriculture industry. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said she didn’t support a moratorium because, “I would like to look at each merger on its own. … I think the best thing is really to take this on in a bigger way. It’s not just agriculture.”

So, Amy, where’s your larger anti-trust policy then. Because this sounds like typical neoliberal/new dem/3rd way to do nothing. Btw, I read that she’s been doing $5600 fund raisers ($2800 for primary, $2800 for general)


Interesting. If she doesn’t win the primary what will she do with the stash meant for the general election?


It’s refunded.

General Election Refunds
If you donated more than $2,700 to a presidential candidate who dropped out of the race before the general election, you can anticipate a refund. According to the FEC rules, official candidate committees must return any money contributed towards the general election if they do not win the primaries. Since an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 for each election, primary and general, any more than $2,700 would have been allocated to the general.



"#Medicare4All will directly pay for prescriptions, services and providers, cutting out all “middle men.”

*For example, a family earning $62,000 today paying $10,000 per year out of pocket would pay $930.*https://t.co/JKSwW1RLpA

— Common Dreams (@commondreams) April 15, 2019



CAP blinks


Neera Tanden, the CEO and president of the Center for American Progress (CAP), said Monday that a video published by its affiliated news website, ThinkProgress, criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was “overly harsh.”

“The orientation of CAP is to positively engage with all political leaders about the country’s future. ThinkProgress is editorially independent of CAP and CAP Action, which is what has made it valuable as a news outlet,” Tanden said in a statement.

“Similarly, we at CAP can form our own opinions of their work. We believe the content of the ThinkProgress video critiquing Sen. Sanders is overly harsh and does not reflect our approach to a constructive debate of the issues,” Tanden added.


Awaiting Jennifer Rubin’s retraction


Anyone who’s been following the smear-fest on Corbyn, and on the left side of the Labour Party in general in the UK, knows how pathetic is was of Pelosi to meet with this all-white, male, contingent of EX-Labour politicians, also known as the centrist faction of the Labour Party, or the Tony Blair wing:

Important discussion with former LabourParty MPs @MikeGapes,@ChrisLeslieMP & @IanAustinMP to hear their perspective on Brexit, why they left the LabourParty, and the importance of standing unequivocally against anti-Semitism wherever it is found. pic.twitter.com/RcQKfjd37d

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 14, 2019


⬇️ This thread about CAP, TP, @neeratanden, and more. https://t.co/KU8TfNNL6M

— Nan #Bernie2020 (@NanInKansas) April 15, 2019



EXCITING: Leading Liberal Think Tank – CAP, needless to say – Teams Up With AIPAC! https://t.co/1TVUgHaZu4

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 15, 2019



On cue


South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his 2020 presidential campaign on Sunday and immediately drew comparisons to a young Barack Obama.

“The announcement of Pete Buttigieg was the most inspiring I’ve seen since Barack Obama’s,” wrote Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law professor and judicial adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. “His is a campaign not just for an office but for an era.”

Susan Rice, Obama’s former national security adviser, donated $1,000 to Buttigieg’s campaign. Obama’s former mentor Senator Dick Durbin said he speaks with Buttigieg on the campaign trail frequently and that “he brings an amazing background. Successful mayor, served in the military, married a gay partner, and very open about the whole thing.”

Obama has met with Buttigieg in person on multiple occasions to “talk politics.” In a 2016 interview with David Remnick, Obama mentioned Buttigieg in the same breath as Kamala Harris as possible 2020 contenders.


There is a new Evening open thread as this one is filling up.

Don’t forget Bernie has a town hall on Fox News beginning at 6:30 ET.


I’m watching Fox News! Muhahaha

“I guess the president watches your network a little bit, right? Hey, President trump, my wife and I just released 10 yrs. please do the same.” –@People4Bernie

Crowd cheers and claps loudly. #BernieFoxTownHall #Bernie2020 pic.twitter.com/URqtzZrUt2

— loopy stands with Ilhan Omar (@Pa1Lauren) April 15, 2019


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