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polarbear4

Dang it. I copied the link to take the survey, but then I copied the letter and they won’t let me go back to the link bc I took the survey. Maybe if you look up the Nebraska Dem Party and Jane Kleeb and i think the survey is put out by RBC?

I chair the Nebraska Democratic Party, the Our Revolution board political committee, and lead Bold, an organization that fights pipeline and other fossil fuel expansion with frontline groups.

Our movement — started by Bernie Sanders and carried on by Our Revolution — values relentless focus on democratizing the Democratic Party so that it represents voters, not special interest donors. That means fighting for a progressive platform, and it means structural change within the party.

At last year’s Democratic Party Convention, our work led to the only resolution adopted — one that called for continuing the reform process within the party. Specifically, it called on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) to solicit public input on the reform process.

In advance of that process, there is a public survey now on the DNC website, and we need to make sure that the party understands that more reform is needed. G, can we count on you to click here to make your voice heard to influence the direction of the Democratic Party?

ADD YOUR NAME

Our Revolution and Bernie supporters worked hard to get so-called super or non-elected delegates out of the nominating process, and we won! We also worked to open up primaries to unaffiliated voters and vote by mail for both primaries and caucuses.

These reforms are all part of how we build a democracy that represents working people.

Click here to take the DNC’s official survey. They must hear your voice.

The first question in the survey is about same-day party registration for primaries.

We believe it is critical to bring more voters into the primary process, and younger voters are often not party members and get excluded from primaries.

We also believe it is important that all state parties follow the rules and allow unaffiliated voters to join the party and vote on the day of the primary.

The second question is about caucuses, and we believe that some form of vote by mail is important for all caucuses and primaries.

The third critical question is about super or non-elected delegates. Our Revolution strongly supports keeping superdelegates out of the nominating process.

The fourth and final question asks about additional reforms. Enforcement of the rules provisions allowing unaffiliated voters to join the party and vote on primary day is critical.

New York and many other states require party-switching months in advance of the primary, which prevents young and other unaffiliated voters from voting.

After you take the survey, any support you can give would be a big help. Our Revolution is the key leader among national political organizations in promoting party reform at all levels. Donate and join thousands of Our Revolution members now to support this critical work.

In solidarity,

Jane

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

I also got the email above from Jane. Here’s the link.

<a href="https://act.ourrevolution.com/go/1197?t=9&akid=1451%2E7426844%2E0NhmiC

Our Revolution and Bernie supporters worked hard to get so-called super or non-elected delegates out of the nominating process, and we won! We also worked to open up primaries to unaffiliated voters and vote by mail for both primaries and caucuses.

These reforms are all part of how we build a democracy that represents working people.

polarbear4

Thanks!

magsview

This is good news. I considered Jane an ally, but somewhere along the way it seemed that she was drifting towards the Dem establishment. It sounds like she’s doing fine.

polarbear4

T&R Benny!

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

Today’s scoop from
MIDDAY POSTER: Lobby Group Fighting Corporate Tax Hike Bankrolls Beltway Media
https://www.dailyposter.com/p/midday-poster-lobby-group-fighting?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo2NDg5MTEsInBvc3RfaWQiOjM1NTM3MTMwLCJfIjoiR2V6ZjYiLCJpYXQiOjE2MTkyMTAzMTQsImV4cCI6MTYxOTIxMzkxNCwiaXNzIjoicHViLTM3Nzc4Iiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.j2YR89b1xQjrPGQwfS5nnGk8PLJXPcqRzfHp87xB1P0

In 2019, the Business Roundtable pledged that its members would help build “an economy that serves all Americans,” not just corporate shareholders. Instead, the lobbying group for powerful corporate CEOs has been fighting the idea of a $15 minimum wage, and pushing lawmakers to give companies immunity from COVID-related lawsuits if their workers get sick.

Now, the Business Roundtable is also leading the fight against Joe Biden’s plan to increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent in order to fund national infrastructure investments. The group is claiming a tax hike on businesses “will hurt American workers.”

As the Business Roundtable works to vilify Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike, new IRS records reveal that the organization isn’t just working to influence Beltway policymakers and pundits through lobbying — it’s also funding the media shaping the debate. The organization’s latest tax return shows it paid nearly $500,000 to Politico in 2019, which it listed as an independent contractor.

This isn’t the same as a company buying ads in a newspaper. This is a lobby group sponsoring the media outlet that shapes coverage of the legislative issues the lobby group cares about.

Guess that’s the reason I had to back away from “The Hill”, owned by Politico, sometime ago. Lol. I just did a search for The Hill on yt and this is what Saagar is pushing today. “Saagar Enjeti: MILLIONS Turn Off Mainstream News As New Journalism Rises”.

polarbear4

Study Reveals Rapid Melting of Glaciers Has Shifted Earth’s Axi

Published on
Friday, April 23, 2021
by
Common Dreams
Study Reveals Rapid Melting of Glaciers Has Shifted Earth’s Axis

Since 1980, the planet’s north and south poles have moved roughly four meters in distance, and new research shows that shifts in the Earth’s rotational axis have accelerated since the 1990s as a result of the widespread melting of glaciers—a clear manifestation, scientists say, of the climate emergency.

“Faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1990s,” Shanshan Deng—a researcher from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences—told the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Thursday.

In a study published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letter, Deng and her co-authors found that changes in terrestrial water storage—particularly the accelerated loss of water stored on land due to melting glaciers—redistributed enough of the world’s mass to drive “the rapid polar drift toward the east after the 1990s.”

As The Guardian explained Friday:

The planet’s geographic north and south poles are the point where its axis of rotation intersects the surface, but they are not fixed. Changes in how the Earth’s mass is distributed around the planet cause the axis, and therefore the poles, to move.

In the past, only natural factors such as ocean currents and the convection of hot rock in the deep Earth contributed to the drifting position of the poles. But the new research shows that since the 1990s, the loss of hundreds of billions of tons of ice a year into the oceans resulting from the climate crisis has caused the poles to move in new directions.

The scientists found the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward in 1995 and that the average speed of drift from 1995 to 2020 was 17 times faster than from 1981 to 1995.

The AGU noted that “researchers have been able to determine the causes of polar drifts starting from 2002 based on data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a joint mission by NASA and the German Aerospace Center, launched with twin satellites that year and a follow-up mission in 2018.”

Data from the GRACE satellites has enabled scientists to “link glacial melting to movements of the pole in 2005 and 2012, both following increases in ice losses,” The Guardian reported. “But Deng’s research breaks new ground by extending the link to before the satellite’s launch, showing human activities have been shifting the poles since the 1990s, almost three decades ago.”

While Deng’s team showed that the accelerated decline in water stored on land stemming from glacial losses “is the main driver” of polar drift since the 1990s, the researchers wrote that groundwater depletion in non-glacial regions has also contributed to the movements.

“Groundwater is stored under land but, once pumped up for drinking or agriculture, most eventually flows to sea, redistributing its weight around the world,” The Guardian noted. “In the past 50 years, humanity has removed 18 trillion tons of water from deep underground reservoirs without it being replaced.”

magsview

“In the past 50 years, humanity has removed 18 trillion tons of water from deep underground reservoirs without it being replaced.”

Yikes! dam

polarbear4

yikes. not unusual to have lobbyists consult in NY, apparently (not that this makes it right, anyway), but this seems very entrenched. more details in the article. may be a dupe–hoping there is extra detail. i get that it’s not a great field and he still may be the best one, but just yikes.

Andrew Yang’s mayoral campaign is being run by a lobbying firm

Andrew Yang’s two campaign managers, his press secretary, his policy director and multiple senior advisers don’t actually work for his New York City mayoral campaign. They’re employed by Tusk Strategies, a lobbying firm that’s regularly hired by clients to advocate for or against bills that are being considered by the City Council and the mayor. And the arrangement raises concerns about what kind of access this lobbying firm – and the private clients that hire Tusk – would have to the mayor if Yang were to win the election.

“We believe that it is improper for the same firm to be both a campaign consultant, and then lobby the person that they helped to elect,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of good-government group Common Cause New York. Consultants build “a special relationship of trust” with the candidate, and Lerner added they’re increasingly cashing in on that relationship.

That’s exactly what Yang co-campaign manager Chris Coffey drew attention for in 2018. While employed at Tusk, he had been a paid adviser on New York City Council Member Corey Johnson’s effort to get elected speaker in 2017. Johnson won, and Coffey continued to lobby Johnson on behalf of Tusk clients, including the New York City Police Benevolent Association and New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, a group that opposes the horse carriages in Central Park.

Other leading mayoral clients also have registered lobbyists consulting on their campaigns. For just a few examples, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is consulted by Global Strategy Group, which also has a lobbying practice. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams employs Pitta LLP, a consulting firm run by the same people as Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno, a lobbying firm. And former Citigroup Vice Chair Ray McGuire has hired Greenberg Traurig for compliance, and the group also has a lobbying practice. But none of those firms are as central to the candidate’s operation as Tusk is to Yang’s. And with Yang having led all the public polls so far, it’s not too early to consider what position the firm would be in if Yang won.

Coffey and Yang’s other co-campaign manager, Sasha Ahuja, both work for Tusk Strategies, as do Yang’s press secretary Jake Sporn, policy director Erika Tannor, senior adviser Eric Soufer and senior communications adviser Alex Sommer. They all also continue to work for Tusk Strategies’ other corporate clients at the same time – even if Yang’s campaign takes up most of their days.

Tusk Strategies runs issue campaigns for clients, and formal lobbying on the city level is a relatively small part of the company’s business. They were ranked 24th in total lobbying compensation in 2019, far behind more traditional shops like Kasirer or Bolton-St. Johns. However, with 44 employees, it was the largest lobbying firm in the city in 2020, making Tusk primed for growth if it were to help elect a favored mayor.

City lobbying reports show that Tusk has active contracts with at least two clients with business before the City Council: Latch, a smartdoor startup lobbying on data privacy regulations, and Pymetrics, which sells an AI-based hiring tool and is lobbying on a bill that would regulate programs doing just that.

These tech clients arguing (presumably) against regulation is typical for Tusk Strategies, the firm founded by Bradley Tusk, who worked as an aide to then-New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and as campaign manager for his successful 2009 reelection campaign. Tusk’s firm got in with Uber early and helped it become the behemoth that it is now by crushing regulations that would have slowed its growth. Much of Tusk Strategies’ work now follows that playbook.

Ahead of the 2017 mayoral election, Tusk engaged in a highly public attempt to recruit a serious challenger to take on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary. It failed, and de Blasio won easily. But Tusk apparently never gave up the dream of replacing de Blasio. Opportunity emerged in the form of Andrew Yang, a politically gifted, tech-friendly presidential candidate who happened to live in New York City. When Yang dropped out of the presidential race in February 2020, Tusk Strategies reached out. They kept the conversation going with Yang throughout the entire year, and revisited the idea of him running for mayor in November, after the presidential election. Yang and Tusk worked out the details in December, and formally launched the mayoral campaign in January. Yang – and his communications team led by Tusk – have dominated the conversation around the race since day one.

In Yang, Bradley Tusk found someone who shared his big business-friendly, politically moderate worldview. “He opposes tax increases and certainly buys into the same notion that you do and I do, the people will vote with their feet,” Tusk said to Fox Business host Stuart Varney in an April 9 TV appearance. Tusk also said Yang was “fully a private-sector person” and is “really taking positions that are a bit at odds with the Democratic orthodoxy on things like education,” referencing Yang blaming the teachers union for keeping schools closed.

wi62

Arg!!! Our RWNJ GQP senator from Wi is at it again

Sen. Ron Johnson Says He Sees ‘No Reason’ For COVID-19 Mass Vaccination

Tara Golshan·Reporter, HuffPost
Fri, April 23, 2021, 12:00 PM

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who himself declined a COVID-19 vaccine, is now questioning why the American population needs to get vaccinated en masse, putting life-saving public health messaging at risk.

“Why is this big push to make sure everyone gets a vaccine?” Johnson said in an appearance on conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna’s show this week, adding that he was “highly suspicious” of the effort to mass vaccinate the general public.

Johnson said he sees “no reason to be pushing vaccines on people,” saying their distribution should have been focused only at the most vulnerable populations.

“If you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” Johnson asked. He also questioned the efficacy of the vaccines themselves, saying they were not “fully approved” — while also arguing that not everyone needed to receive one because they are so effective.

Three vaccines have been approved by the federal government (though distribution of the Johnson & Johnson shot was paused by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration last week), all of which have gone through clinical studies with tens of thousands of participants. They were approved through a fast-tracked emergency use process.

Johnson expanded on his comments in a statement to HuffPost.

“Everyone should have the right to gather information, consult with their doctor and decide for themselves whether to get vaccinated,” he said. “I believe government’s role (and therefore my role) is to help ensure transparency so that people have as much information as possible to make an informed decision for themselves.”

Johnson added that he had supported Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine-development program spearheaded by former President Donald Trump, and “celebrated its astonishingly rapid success,” but also cast doubt about the vaccines it helped produce.

“It is a legitimate question as to whether people at very low risk of suffering serious illness from Covid, particularly the young and healthy, should be encouraged to take a vaccine that is being administered under an Emergency Use Authorization,” Johnson said in the statement to HuffPost.

More than 200 million vaccine doses have been administered in the United States so far, and more than half of adult Americans have received at least one dose. Among Americans over 65, more than 80% have had at least one shot.

The Biden administration is aiming to get 80% of adult Americans vaccinated by summer. As new, more-contagious variants of the disease develop, the level of herd immunity needed to return to a pre-pandemic way of life has increased, according to the nation’s top scientists. More than 570,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and case numbers remain high.

Sen. Ron Johnson went on a conservative Wisconsin radio show to cast doubt on the country’s COVID-19 vaccine push, muddying public health guidance that has life or death consequences. (Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images)
Sen. Ron Johnson went on a conservative Wisconsin radio show to cast doubt on the country’s COVID-19 vaccine push, muddying public health guidance that has life or death consequences. (Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images)
Unlike other countries that are still struggling with getting enough shots, the United States’ biggest obstacle in the months ahead is overcoming vaccine hesitancy, much of which has been concentrated in the South and parts of the Great Plains. Vaccine hesitancy has life or death consequences and also threatens prospects of economic recovery.

Johnson has explicitly rejected the scientific consensus on COVID-19. He said he wouldn’t get the vaccine because he already recovered from the disease in October. However, the CDC has said there is not enough data to know how long immunity lasts after contracting it.

He has previously said that the country had “grossly overreacted” to the pandemic, and repeatedly raised fringe and contrarian theories and conspiracies about the disease and treatments.

The Wisconsin Republican — who is up for reelection in 2022 but has not yet announced whether he’ll be running — is also bucking his party leadership’s messaging on the vaccine. In late March, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell specifically encouraged Republican men, who have some of the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy, to get the shot.

“I can say, as a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that,” McConnell said.

The Wisconsin Senate race will be one of the country’s most watched next year. In 2018, voters elected Democrats statewide in 2018, and the state flipped blue for Joe Biden. With a Senate seat now also in the balance, Democratic groups have already jumped on Johnson’s comments. American Bridge, the liberal Super PAC that spent more than $84 million during the 2020 presidential election cycle, blasted out Johnson’s comments to its email list.

“More people will get COVID and die due to Ron Johnson’s comments yesterday,” said American Bridge 21st Century spokesperson Zach Hudson. “He’s a disgrace and Wisconsin can’t get rid of him soon enough.”

polarbear4

Oregon might go back to extreme on the 30th. Younger people are getting it and I think it’s like 18 through 50 being hospitalized more

orlbucfan

He sure is an idiot. But, worse than Sick Rott? No. I am in a high-risk group. With the exception of a few Fundie yahoos, most people have gotten vaccinated.

polarbear4

is this a dupe, too?
this is the dilip hiro one i wrote of earlier.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/20/whos-rising-and-falling-planet-earth

In testimony before Congress in October 2019, Carolyn Bartholomew, chairwoman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, revealed that at least two-thirds of the world’s top 50 maritime container ports were directly owned and managed by the Chinese or supported by that country’s investments (up from roughly 20% a decade ago). These included terminals at major American container ports in Los Angeles and Seattle. When it came to such ports, it led the world with seven of the 10 largest ones.

A year earlier, officials at the state-owned China Ocean Shipping Company, one of the globe’s largest container shipping lines, acknowledged that the company had connected its routes along what was officially called the Maritime Silk Road, linking regional markets in West Africa, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and the U.S. to form a more comprehensive and balanced globalized trading network. “By owning and/or operating a network of logistical nodes across Asia, Europe, and Africa, China can control a significant portion of its inbound supply chain for essential commodities and outbound trade routes for its exports,” Bartholomew explained. “In the event of conflict, China could use its control over these and other ports to hinder trade access to other countries.”

dilip talks about how great it is that China is almost cashless and we are not, which i disagree with and i believe it was part of the reason people like me had to give the IRS access to our bank accounts to get the stimulus money. I had not linked mine for a reason.

among other things. pretty interesting article tho.

orlbucfan

According to financial reads, cyber-currency is not successful or reliable here.

polarbear4

How Earth Day Is Being Co-Opted by Corporate Interests

The United States is back. Back in the Paris Agreement, and back to faithfully promoting the interests of destructive industries and their allies at the global level under the guise of environmentalism. On Earth Day—a day that has been increasingly co-opted by corporations—President Biden is hosting a “Leaders’ Summit on the Climate.” But who are these “leaders?”

The Biden Administration’s dubious definition is clear from the fact that a key initiative to be announced at the summit is a bilateral agreement between Biden and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The deal would include significant financial support for Brazil’s “efforts” to reduce illegal deforestation.

If there were ever a prize for the most environmentally destructive president in history, Bolsonaro would stand a good chance to win. In just two years, he has succeeded in increasing deforestation rates in Brazil by 47 percent, triggering the destruction of 11,088 square kilometers of forests in his country in 2020 alone, primarily by allowing and even incentivizing his friends and allies in the industrial livestock sector and other industries to clear as much forest as they want.

Of course, it is basically up to Bolsonaro and his administration to decide what deforestation is legal or illegal—no matter the fact that Heads of State agreed in 2015 in the Sustainable Development Goals that all deforestation should be halted, and thus declared illegal, by 2020.

It is no wonder Brazilian Indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, feminist groups, and social movements are cynical about the proposed deal between the United States and Brazil. In a widely supported letter published on April 6, they denounced the proposed agreement, claiming it is unacceptable to give financial support to a “leader” who is not only destroying his own country, but has also been recommended by Indigenous peoples in Brazil to be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Bolsonaro is not the only industry ally the United States is touting as an “environmental leader.” The Biden Administration has shown its commitment to protecting business as usual in climate policy by actively promoting carbon offset mechanisms that would allow some of the dirtiest industries in the country to buy cheap carbon offsets for their emissions under the euphemistic term “nature-based solutions.”

Such “solutions” often boil down to monoculture tree plantations, which have been embraced by companies like Shell and Texaco as a way to profit from pulp or bioenergy sales while pretending to “plant trees” for clients who want to greenwash their petroleum emissions.

These carbon offset mechanisms would allow some of the dirtiest industries to make money selling offset credits based on the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and weed killers that avoid tilling (euphemistically called soil carbon sequestration or even “regenerative agriculture”) or, for example, the use of biogas produced by intensive livestock farming.

The emissions caused by the production of soy feedstock for the intensive livestock industry, a key cause of deforestation in countries like Brazil, are conveniently forgotten in these scenarios. Also forgotten are the devastating impacts on women, Indigenous peoples, and others who’ve borne the brunt of industrial farming, which is associated with massive health impacts due to agrochemicals, land grabbing, and rural depopulation.

Another “leader” who will undoubtedly show up at the U.S. Leaders’ Summit is Bill Gates, a passionate promoter of GMOs and other techno-fixes to address the impacts of agro-industry on the climate. Through a series of strategic investments in different U.N. institutions, the former Microsoft CEO and his foundation have positioned themselves as the main benefactor and influencer of a wide variety of interlinked global processes.

It goes on. sigh.