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Home2020 Elections5/10 AOC Youngest Female Member to Preside Over the House; Biden’s “Middle Ground”Climate Change Plans; TGIF Afternoon/Evening Thread
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Climate scientists joined environmentalists in criticizing what is known of Biden’s draft plan—which will reportedly center around re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement—as insufficient to the task of dramatically curbing carbon emissions, as the scientific evidence says is necessary to avert planetary disaster.

“The greatest fault in his proposal is the suggestion that natural gas can be part of the solution,” Michael Mann, head of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, told HuffPost. “The solution to a problem created by burning fossil fuels cannot be the burning of fossil fuels.”


The last sentence is a little strong, but he has a point.



It was another seemingly off-handed interview answer that first made me question whether or not Mayor Pete is a presidential candidate I could support. Back in March, Buttigieg told CBS News that he was “troubled” by the fact that Obama commuted famous whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence only seven years in.

Buttigieg told CBS News that, while he was serving in the Navy Reserves in Afghanistan in 2014, he was an officer who coordinated intelligence. Manning herself was an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army. He criticized Manning’s decision to leak documents that exposed what many consider U.S. war crimes, saying the oversight to uncover those deeds should’ve been left to Congress.

The greatest irony of those remarks wasn’t that Buttigieg believes Congress would’ve exposed what Manning did—it’s that his remarks came just days after Manning had been incarcerated for her principled refusal to testify before a grand jury. Hopefully, whatever “troubled” Buttigieg about her release in 2017 was at ease while Manning was locked up for two months, some of it isolated in solitary confinement–like conditions. With Manning released again on May 9 but potentially facing another incarceration as early as May 17, Buttigieg’s “troubled” feelings may be in for an emotional roller coaster.

Mayor Pete is a nice guy. He’s handsome and well-spoken. His haircut is always fresh and his husband is cute as all get-out. He’s a powerful speaker who really does have the power to make me feel like everything might just be okay if I believe hard enough that the world gets better as time marches on.

But is that belief enough? Not for me, especially if the only way to know what policies he actually supports is to dissect every interview he gives, hoping for a morsel of the policy bona fides he’s so eager to advertise. If LGBTQ success in politics means milquetoast Democrats like Buttigieg winning leadership positions in a system that has historically targeted and harmed our communities, I’m not sure that’s progress.


Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders just put postal banking back where it belongs: high on the agenda of those who seek to create a just and equitable United States. On Thursday, the pair drew national attention with the announcement of their Loan Shark Prevention Act, a sweeping plan to “combat the predatory lending practices of America’s big banks and protect consumers who are burdened with exorbitant credit-card interest rates. The legislation imposes a 15 percent federal cap on interest rates and empowers individual states to establish lower limits.”

But what unsettled conservative champions of the banking interests was a parallel proposal by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez “to build and expand basic post office banking services as an accessible, affordable alternative to check-cashing and payday-lending businesses.”

“Post offices exist in almost every community in our country. There are more than 31,000 retail post offices in this country. An important way to provide decent banking opportunities for low-income communities is to allow the US Postal Service to engage in basic banking services,” explained the proposal. “The Postal Service already cashes Treasury checks and issues money orders. The USPS should fully exercise its existing statutory authority and implement pilot programs offering affordable financial services, including ATMs, paycheck cashing, bill payment and electronic money transfers in post offices.”

The article did not mention (and should have) that Gillibrand sponsored legislation last year to create postal banks.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced major new legislation to create a Postal Bank, which would establish a retail bank in all of the U.S. Postal Service’s 30,000 locations. The Postal Bank would effectively end predatory payday lending industry practices overnight by giving low-income Americans, particularly communities of color and rural communities, access to basic banking services that they currently don’t have. The lack of access to traditional banking services makes it nearly impossible for low-income Americans to escape the cycle of poverty because they are often forced to spend large percentages of their income to cash their paychecks or pay back high-interest predatory payday loans.


Bernie talked about this idea during the 2016 campaign. Glad to see it finally getting some attention.


Bernie has backed expanding the role of the post office to banking for years. He emphasized the post offices in rural areas. I heard it many times on the “Brunch with Bernie” raps he did on Thom Hartmann’s shows. Coupling it with cracking down on payday loan crooks is brilliant. 🙂