HomeUncategorized4.21-22 Open Threads
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Well, it’s 8:43pm and I’m checking in for the first time today ’cause I’ve had doctors appts, zoom meetings and a community meeting this evening and noone has answered obf’s call for some positive news. No good news? Looks like our world is in deep doodoo. Sorry to pass on the bad news.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Well Mallory McMorrow’s viral response to her rethug critic was posted yesterday but I can’t stop watching it. It’s good news. Let’s hear it again. From Humanist Report –


I think Mike’s perspective is the most complementary I’ve seen in the viral reactions to Senator McMorrow’s speech in the MI legislature. He’s spot on: this is what a real ally acts like.


Positive News 🙂: Nina Turner helped inspire Sharon at a downtime in her life, and now Sharon has a successful business in Cleveland. And that’s a human connection that no amount of Super PAC money can buy.

“Always keep your eyes on the sun ☀️” — Nina Turner

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death



Hi orl! Ive avoided the news today as I tire of all the same ol and Ive been working more than ever.

Heres some way late snaps from our recent trip through NM/CO






Last batch for the night

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Amazing! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing LD



When Bernie Sanders’ aides sent out a memo this week revealing that the Vermont senator hadn’t closed the door to a third bid for president, they blasted it far and wide.

That was precisely the point: While Sanders has no current plans to run in 2024, no one should forget that he remains popular, is the undisputed leader of the progressive left and that he must be part of any conversation about a potential open Democratic presidential primary. Until now, he wasn’t.

A person close to the process said Sanders approved the concept and execution of the memo.

“I know people who got it who weren’t Bernie staff, who were other Democrats friendly with Bernieworld but not known as hardcore Bernie-ites,” said a former Sanders campaign aide, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the memo. “They wanted it out.”

Added another former staffer: “They sent this to people who have relationships across the press because they wanted to make news.”

President Joe Biden has said he plans to campaign for another term, but some Democrats doubt he’ll pull the trigger. He would be 82 years old at the start of a second term, and his current job approval ratings are dismal. In political circles, speculation has been rampant that potential Democratic candidates in an open primary could include Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and even some Sanders allies.

But not Sanders himself.

He has been largely absent from presidential chatter, despite finishing as the runner-up in the past two presidential primaries.

A ranking last week of the top 10 Democratic candidates in 2024 did not include Sanders in the list. The New York Times reported last week on a forthcoming book by Ari Rabin-Havt, Sanders’ 2020 deputy campaign manager, in which he wrote, “While Bernie Sanders will never be president, his two campaigns have transformed the Democratic Party and this country.”

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ longtime adviser and 2016 presidential campaign manager, along with former top Sanders adviser Mark Longabaugh, has privately encouraged California Rep. Ro Khanna to run in 2024 if Biden doesn’t try for a second term. Khanna previously served as Sanders’ campaign co-chair.

Another past campaign co-chair to Sanders, Nina Turner, recently predicted that a progressive would challenge Biden in 2024 and notably declined to comment when asked if she would consider being the person to do it.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the political environment at the moment,” said Weaver. “It’s very early in the process, but the point of the memo, which I did not have a hand in drafting, is just to alert folks that if the president does not run in 2024, that the senator has not closed the door on it.”

Sanders has made moves recently that likely would have been seen as the maneuverings of a prospective presidential candidate if done by other politicians. Last summer, he traveled to Iowa and Indiana to promote Biden’s spending plan. In December, he visited Michigan to rally Kellogg’s workers on the picket line. He is making trips to Virginia and New York City this weekend to visit unionizing workers at Amazon and Starbucks.

But Sanders’ advanced age, along with the fact that his aides and allies had signaled that he would not run again, seemed to foreclose the possibility of a third run. The Vermont senator, who was born 14 months before Biden, is 80 years old, and had a heart attack while on the campaign trail in 2019.

Against the current political backdrop, however, Sanders’ age hardly stands out. Aside from Biden, former President Donald Trump, who could make another bid for the White House in 2024, is 75 years old. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 82, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is 80.

Still, some allies hope Sanders doesn’t run a third time and passes the torch instead.

Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’ former senior adviser in the early-voting state of New Hampshire, called the memo this week “good for business” because it “keeps Bernie in the game, it keeps his name in the mix.”

But, he said, “It’s not a good idea for Bernie Sanders to be thinking about running for president of the United States. … It’s time for the progressive movement to find new leadership. He’s just too old, and we need young people leading a movement that’s going to save this country.”

One former top aide dismissed the memo as a “plea to stay relevant and a part of the 2024 conversation should Biden decide not to run again.”

Some people close to Sanders have encouraged him to keep 2024 as an option, depending on Biden’s political fortunes. In private conversations with others, Sanders confidants have said he is open to running again, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Some Sanders allies are even declaring that they’d be with him if he campaigned in an open primary in two years.

“Bernie Sanders is the most consequential progressive leader of a generation who also happens to be the most popular current elected official,” said Khanna. “He has won the debate to end neoliberalism, support working families and rebuild the middle class in places that were deindustrialized. I will be enthusiastically for him for whatever he runs for.”


Yes, bring up Bernie’s heart issues from 2019. Lest they forget that Bernie was out only 2 weeks and he won the next debate.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

And don’t bring up Biden’s cognitive deficits.





Lt. Gov. John Fetterman swung by the heart of Republican country in Southwestern Pennsylvania, in the reddest of red districts, where then-President Donald Trump trounced Joe Biden by more than 55 points and MAGA signs are still apparent on seemingly every other street corner.

But rather than moderate, Fetterman leaned into his progressive views.

As he worked a few dozen voters at the Flyin’ Lion watering hole, while wearing a hooded sweatshirt, basketball shorts and gym shoes on a snowy spring day, Fetterman renewed his push for marijuana to be legalized nationwide, touted the role of immigrants in the US, called for the transgender community to be treated equally, decried efforts to pare back abortion access and backed calls for stricter gun laws, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles.

In an interview with CNN, Fetterman didn’t hide his palpable frustration with Democratic senators, saying, “I am disappointed in our caucus” for not increasing the $7.25 federal minimum wage, and he blamed West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin for blocking the Biden agenda, leaving his party “floundering.”

When asked about calls for more bipartisanship, Fetterman didn’t flinch, asserting there’s little common ground in working with Republicans who undermined the legitimacy of Biden’s 2020 victory and tried to outlaw abortion.

“I also want a full head of hair,” said the bald, 6-foot-8 Democrat. “But realistically that’s not going to happen right now.”

Fetterman now is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the Pennsylvania seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, a state that leaders in both parties see as central to the fight for the Senate majority in the fall. Fetterman — and his rivals for the nomination, Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta — are facing the most daunting midterm environment Democrats have seen in a dozen years, with a public weary over the pandemic, voters angry at political leaders over inflation and skyrocketing gas prices and a President whose approval rating has sunk to around 40%.

Still, Fetterman and the other Senate Democratic candidates are defending Biden — and say they welcome him on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania. Fetterman acknowledges that “obviously his approval rating is not where I would want it to be or where I believe it deserves to be.” But he said there were many things to tout, including “hundreds of millions of shots in arms,” low unemployment and an economy that rapidly grew in 2021.
“We’re going to embrace Joe Biden,” Fetterman said in the interview.

For primary voters here, the question is not only what Democrat can flip the seat — and preserve their party’s fragile majority — but also which direction the party should go.

In Fetterman, Democratic voters could choose the lone candidate in the field who has won statewide — a populist, firebrand and blunt-talking politician who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run in 2016 and could fire up liberals yet risks turning off middle-of-the-road voters nervous about the leftward shift of the Democratic Party.

In Lamb, Democrats could choose a younger and more moderate candidate from a swing district who has bucked the party line, like when he opposed Nancy Pelosi for speaker and backed extending Trump-era tax cuts in 2018.

And in Kenyatta, Democrats could choose a fresh face — a gay Black Democrat — who would make history but is little-known statewide.

A staunch backer of labor unions, Fetterman supports at least a $15 minimum wage, legal marijuana, universal health care and Black Lives Matter while calling climate change “an existential threat.” But he rejects the notion that he is some kind of liberal.

“I don’t mean to nitpick, but I wouldn’t categorize myself as progressive,” Fetterman told CNN. “I consider myself a Democrat that’s running on the same platform of ideas that every other Democrat in this race is running on. And I can’t think of a Democrat running nationally that’s running on anything functionally different in that regard.”

Fetterman, 52, added plainly: “If a moderate Democrat is somebody that would break with the rest of the caucus and screw up Build Back Better or the Democratic agenda, then I’m not a moderate.”

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Love this dude. He’s so real. Will be president one day.



For the second time in less than a year, Israel has become a key issue in a primary battle between two Democrats from Greater Cleveland vying for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nina Turner, a former Ohio state representative and an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders, has launched an aggressive effort to change the minds of Jewish voters, an electorate that contributed to her defeat in an Ohio congressional district with the largest Jewish population in the state — 5% — in last year’s special election.

In recent weeks, Turner, a progressive who served as co-chair of the Sanders presidential campaign in 2020, has attempted to push back against perceptions that she is anti-Israel, a label she says was applied to her in an expensive and negative campaign organized by establishment Jewish and pro-Israel groups. She hopes to unseat Rep. Shontel Brown, a former councilwoman from Cuyahoga County who pulled an upset victory in last August’s primary, beating Turner by less than 6% of the vote.

The May 3 primary for the 11th District — a safe Democrat seat that includes neighborhoods in Cleveland and its suburbs, and includes the city of Lakewood that Sanders won in the 2016 and 2020 presidential primaries — reflects many contests across the nation which pit moderates against progressives trying to gain more of a foothold in the party. Support for Israel is just one issue that tends to divide these camps, but it’s one that has shown itself to be particularly relevant in Greater Cleveland, given last year’s special election but also because of recent redistricting, which added neighborhoods in Cleveland’s West Side that include a significant number of Palestinian Americans.

In a recent interview, Turner said she expects the same amount of what she had described last year as “evil money” from outside groups to be spent against her, “misrepresenting and slandering people who are running to serve a community.”

She pointed out that she lost to Brown by a mere 4,200 votes, and predicted that she could win next month if Jewish voters give her a second look, and the 30% of the electorate who are new to the district get to know her.

In her interview with the Forward, Turner said the attacks against her are unfair. “There are forces that came into the district to try to malign my reputation in that way, knowing that there is absolutely no truth to that,” she said.

She blasted AIPAC for suggesting she would be an opponent of the Jewish state if elected to Congress. “On what grounds are they saying I am anti-Israel?” Turner asked. “That’s a serious thing to say about somebody.” And she noted that the pro-Israel lobby’s PAC faced backlash last month for backing 37 Republicans who refused to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

Referring to outside groups’ donations — from AIPAC’s PAC and others — Turner accused Brown of being “very comfortable with dark money overpowering the wishes of the people of this district.”

DMFI’s Mellman dismissed Turner’s attempts to win over Jewish voters as “moving an inch” towards the mainstream pro-Israel position. “This is another example of somebody trying to move closer to our position in response to the work that we’ve done,” he said. ”​​She may have moved on BDS just for political reasons.”

Gelfand said he is hopeful Turner’s outreach efforts will bear fruits given that more people vote in primaries compared to special elections. He also pointed out that in August, when Turner ran in the only race on the ballot, Republicans most likely went for Brown. But this year, those Republican voters won’t be there for her because they will choose to vote in the GOP statewide primaries.



What was the name of the female scientist who pioneered the mRNA research behind the success of recent COVID-19 vaccines? Who was that 16th-century catholic nun from whom René Descartes stole the evil demon thought experiment that secured his place in public memory as the father of modern philosophy? I doubt you remember either woman. Their names appeared recently in newspapers, on social media, and within academia. But recalling them is difficult. Seldom have women thinkers been more acknowledged and lauded than today. But how many of their names have we retained in our memory?

The mechanisms of collective forgetting are fascinating and important. Our practice of writing genealogies determines who gets remembered, and who doesn’t. It is also haphazard. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, if our lines of transmission remain co-opted by strategic omissions, the selective erasure of names will continue.

Many names that have faded from history were women’s. That’s no coincidence. Women aren’t just missing. They have been made absent, as the historian David Noble argued in A World Without Women (1992). The overwhelming absence of women in intellectual history is constructed. And we won’t prevent the fading of women from future history simply with an occasional reminder about the existence of a few remarkable individuals throughout the ages. What really causes our collective forgetting is the stepwise removal of their names from ongoing conversation.

For centuries, women scholars have routinely appeared isolated during their lifetimes. Old black-and-white photographs of academic meetings typically show that one exceptional woman sitting rather awkwardly among many men. Stil, this isolation is not the kind that would soon lead to their disappearance from collective memory.

The comments are worth reading.


mRNA is being developed as a cure for some cancers, If any progress is made Big Pharma will fight it to come out to the public. But somehow the Rich will have access.



The last time I wrote in Labor Notes, I described the captive-audience “listening sessions” that Starbucks corporate had attempted to use against me and my co-workers who are trying to unionize our Hopewell Starbucks in central New Jersey. (See (“How We Turned the Tables on Starbucks Union-Busters,” March 2022.)

After corporate failed spectacularly in our first one, they decided to cancel the second, saying they had “no new information to share with us.” We haven’t had any since—even though many of us have requested another, as we have plenty of information to share with them.

Instead, Starbucks corporate decided to skip to the next tactic in its playbook: “one-on-one” meetings between one barista and a manager—or multiple managers. The idea seemed to be that separating us would break our solidarity and make it easier to lie to us. But once again they found Hopewell baristas ready to see through their lies, push back, and support each other.

For our first round of one-on-ones, these meetings were framed as “reviewing our benefits.” Basically, they intended to tell us how great our benefits are—and that they could take them away.

They want us to think we stand to lose all these “incredible” benefits if we unionize. We know we wouldn’t actually, but they genuinely think we’re dumb enough to fall for thinly veiled threats.


Bright and early one day, our manager met with Nye, a barista she must have thought would be easily intimidated and offer little pushback. She boldly told this partner lies she hadn’t even tried with others, including a clumsy analogy I’m sure she was very proud of.

“If you think about it, you’ve got a Venti cup full of benefits,” she said condescendingly. “To make room for more, you’d have to empty some out first, right?”

Nye responded by asking point blank, “Are you saying you’ll take away my benefits?” Our manager saw her mistake, backed off with a “No, of course not,” and moved on.

During my own one-on-one, our manager began by saying she couldn’t find the paper she had her written questions on. Throughout the meeting she mentioned this repeatedly, and kept pausing to think. It was such odd behavior I had to assume it was some tactic the union-busting experts had taught her. What else could it be?

I was wrong. I later found out that she actually had lost her questions, because she’d accidentally handed the sheet corporate had given her to the barista in the meeting before mine.

This sheet had detailed guidelines on how to run a one-on-one, automating heartwarming moments through directions like, “Add a personal story here,” “Share your favorite Starbucks memory,” and “Help barista set up a benefit they showed interest in.”

At another meeting, our store manager and a Partner Resources Manager (an HR executive) followed those very guidelines and attempted to help a barista, Olivia, set up her 401k. They tried a few times and had some technical errors—unsurprising to any partner who has tried to set up benefits.



The rejected textbooks emphasized social emotional learning

Of course





Credit due