HomeUncategorized5/16 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders Pressures Delta to End Anti-Union Campaign, Bernie/Biden Have Very Different Visions For The Future & More

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There’s already a couple of better candidates emphasizing economic inequality.


New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has jumped into the 2020 presidential race, joining at least 21 other declared Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination.

The mayor announced his run with a video released by his campaign.

“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands,” de Blasio says at the beginning of the video. He concludes: “I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”

Political observers said that even if de Blasio’s candidacy doesn’t gain traction, he’ll be able to promote his policies and potentially angle for a job in a future Democratic administration. He is barred by term limits from running for mayor again.


And now de Blasio on the center left. This article provides a good explanation of why so many feel the need to run. Actually I think Gillibrand should be grouped with Harris and Booker.


Because this is the future, running for president of the United States is now a fantastic way to rake in the bucks, whether or not you’ve got that name recognition thing going for you. If you don’t, whatever, CNN and MSNBC need to fill all 24 hours with programming because Andy Warhol was right. If you hold an elected office — or have lots of money already — and declare your candidacy, fear not: Wolf Blitzer’s hair will be calling you for an interview before the echo fades.

Montana’s conservative Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock just announced his entry into the 2020 presidential race. He is the 22nd Democrat (yes, including Bernie) to do so with more than a month to go before the first debates, nine months to go before the Iowa caucus, and 77 weeks to go before the general election, which means there is plenty of time for more doomed challengers to jump in. Outside of Helena and Butte, the national reaction to Bullock’s candidacy was two words: “Who?” followed almost immediately by “Why?!”

The second question is fairly asked. If Bullock should stumble on his path to glory, the Democratic Party’s center-right contingent will still be championed by (in alphabetical order) Sen. Michael Bennet (Colorado), former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden (Delaware), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (Indiana), former Rep. John Delaney (Maryland), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), former Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Rep. Seth Moulton (Massachusetts), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), and Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio).

However, at the end of the day and with apologies to my friends, I have trouble crediting the DNC with the strategic wits to pull this off. This is the organization, remember, that could not figure out how to defeat the worst presidential candidate in the history of the known universe just two and a half years ago. How am I supposed to believe that, in such a short span of time, they have summoned the requisite candlepower needed to run a multipronged, multistate, multimillion-dollar campaign to matchstick the tires on Bernie’s campaign bus, and got a bunch of big-time ego-tripping national politicians to go along with it?

Still, when it comes to this wildly overcrowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, I believe Occam’s Razor holds ultimate sway. If the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, we should look to the simplest and most commonplace explanation of all: Money.

Running for president has become an industry of its own, and a multibillion dollar one at that. “Across America, the business of politics now channels up to $10 billion a year,” report Dave Helling and Scott Canon for the Kansas City Star, “much of it pocketed by the pros who conduct the polls, craft the ads, buy the airtime, spin the news releases.”

The kind of bottomless spending orgy that typifies modern campaigning makes its own gravy, and is one hell of an incentive for political consultants who have the ear of high-profile politicians: Listen to me, Senator Frackeverything, I know there are 94 other candidates already running, but you can win! I just need $10 million for the ad buy to get you started. Trust me, this will be great! What big-ego politician doesn’t want to hear that? Plus, as stated, the candidates get to keep what they raise for use in future campaigns.


And just where is all that money coming from?

Grasswho? Members raised hundreds of thousands, almost none from small donors

But some Democrats and Republicans who raised more than $100,000 during the first quarter got less than $400 of it from donors giving $200 or less.

For example, just $185 of the roughly $652,000 that House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer raised for his re-election fund from January through March came from unitemized contributions.

That’s a contrast to back in 1998, when more than 20 percent of funds to Hoyer’s campaign committee came from small donations.

Trone must be expecting a big payback:

Other House members who took in some of the highest overall receipts, but received less than $400 in unitemized contributions, were Democrats Henry Cuellar of Texas and David Trone of Maryland. Republicans French Hill of Arkansas, Sam Graves of Missouri and Bob Gibbs of Ohio collected $10, $100 and $25, respectively, in unitemized contributions.

Florida GOP freshman Ross Spano collected just $1 in small donations in the first quarter of the year — the lowest for a House member.

“The $1 donation was a test to ensure our systems were working post-swearing in,” Spano spokeswoman Sandi Poreda said in an email. “Obviously, grassroots support is a critical component to a successful campaign; it was a significant factor with his first victory and we’re excited to see these efforts pick back up as we get further into the election cycle.”

Trone, also a freshman, spent $17.9 million of his own money on his 2018 race. In the first quarter of 2019, he contributed another $350,000 to his campaign, and received $75 from small donors.[emphasis added]

Good point:

It is also a possibility that candidates are still reaching out to a broad number of constituents and aren’t getting donations from them.


Video is OK. I like the theme. However…

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for president
Three-quarters of New Yorkers don’t want de Blasio to run for the White House. He’s doing it anyway.

De Blasio, 58, is a complex figure in New York City politics: he has a decent progressive record, and he won reelection handily in 2017, but a lot of New Yorkers, to put it plainly, don’t like him.

His mayoral record includes universal pre-K and expanded paid sick leave. This year, he joined progressives in opposing Amazon’s drive to build a second headquarters in Long Island City. On his website, de Blasio claims to have reduced stop-and-frisk by the New York City Police Department by 93 percent and helped drive crime to record lows. He is likely to position himself as an unabashed progressive and experienced executive.

Whether that positioning will be enough to bring him to the top of a crowded field — there are now more than 20 Democrats running for the party’s 2020 nomination, and de Blasio isn’t even the first New York politician running — is not entirely clear. But he believes he’s got a shot that’s worth taking.

“My whole history has been as an insurgent and an underdog,” de Blasio said in a March interview with New York 1.

He also defended his decision to run in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday. “The poll that actually matters is the election,” he said, noting he has twice been elected mayor in New York. He took a swipe at President Donald Trump as well. “Right now, the federal government is not on the side of working people. And that’s because Donald Trump is playing a big con on America,” he said.


More from the article above:

De Blasio told Politico that he believes he embodies economic populism and that his election was “an indicator of the gathering storm that came forth nationally” for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) 2016 campaign. (Sanders, of course, will now be his opponent.) In 2014, for example, he launched an initiative to enroll 4-year-old children in universal pre-K, and the program now has about 70,000 students. He has sought to expand the program to 3-year-olds, but the initiative has faced challenges.

He also highlighted for Politico a number of his achievements as mayor that he believes make him an appealing candidate for a wider swath of voters, including high employment, increased graduation rates, and low crime. But as Politico notes, grading de Blasio’s record is complicated:

But de Blasio’s signature achievements came early in his first term, and City Hall’s activity and ambition have been lackluster in recent years. Crime was already dropping when he took office, and turning around the city’s lowest-performing schools and curbing homelessness have proven major challenges for the mayor. Six years after he campaigned on a promise of combating income inequality, public housing is falling apart blocks away from multimillion-dollar condos. Income inequality in New York City has actually increased.

De Blasio has also seen some controversy in his time as mayor — some a little trivial, some not.

The mayor insists on working out at a YMCA gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The 11-mile trip, which he undertakes in a private car and accompanied by a police escort from Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side, where he resides, has earned him scrutiny and mockery in New York. It seems like he’s trying to show he’s authentic by continuing to work out at a neighborhood gym, but ultimately the decision seems a little contrived — not to mention it’s not particularly environmentally friendly nor considerate of anyone else who might be commuting along the same paths. Despite criticism, De Blasio has kept up his routine. During a Groundhog Day ceremony in 2014, de Blasio dropped the animal. A week later, it died of internal injuries.

Less hilarious is the trail of occasionally ethically dubious choices he’s made regarding campaign finance and questionable characters he’s been tied to. A former fundraiser for de Blasio was convicted for conspiring to bribe NYPD officials. Another campaign donor pleaded guilty to trying to bribe de Blasio to get favorable lease terms for a restaurant he owned in Queens. New York City’s Department of Investigation found de Blasio violated conflict of interest rules in soliciting donations from people seeking favors, according to a recent report from the City.

In 2017, federal and state prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against de Blasio and his aides after probes into his campaign fundraising practices.

The New York Times editorial board ahead of de Blasio’s campaign launch questioned the ethics of de Blasio’s campaign fundraising tactics.


I don’t have much use for police unions but this is quite a zinger.


This actually improves my opinion of de Blasio!



The Missouri Senate voted early Thursday to ban abortions eight weeks into pregnancy, even in cases of rape, incest or human trafficking, with criminal penalties for non-complying doctors that could send them to prison for up to 15 years.

The measure, passed 24-10 by the Republican supermajority after day-and-night-long negotiations, places Missouri in the vanguard of states including Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky that have passed some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws. It also serves as another possible legal vehicle to challenge the landmark Roe v Wade case before a newly conservative Supreme Court.



In April, Indiana placed a near-total ban on the most common type of second-trimester abortion in the state.

Days later, Ohio passed a bill banning abortion in the very early weeks of pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Now on Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama signed a bill effectively banning the procedure altogether, and lawmakers in two more states — Louisiana and Missouri — moved ahead with bills similar to Ohio’s.

States across the country are passing some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in decades, deepening the growing divide between liberal and conservative states and setting up momentous court battles that could profoundly reshape abortion access in America.



So far in 2019, seven states have passed laws to limit abortion well before fetal viability, which is somewhere around 24 weeks, though all of the laws have yet to take effect or are held up by the courts. Just last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law banning abortions anytime time after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, which can be as early as six weeks and before most women know they’re pregnant. Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi also passed their own “fetal heartbeat” abortion bills, while legislators in Arkansas and Utah have agreed to ban the procedure after 18 weeks. The Missouri Senate, meanwhile, is currently debating an omnibus abortion bill that already passed the House and includes a “fetal heartbeat” ban, while Louisiana’s own six-week abortion bill is about to pass its second legislative chamber.

Mother Jones looked at the gender breakdown in these nine state legislatures and found a common thread: All have striking gender imbalances. Each legislature—with the exception of Georgia—has a lower than average percentage of women serving in its chambers. The national average is about 29 percent, but in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, women make up just 16 percent or less of the states’ legislators. Sometimes that means as few as 22 women are serving, as is the case in Alabama and Louisiana. While better, Georgia is still just a hair above the national average, with women accounting for 31 percent of the total legislators. But as one Georgia Democrat put it:


It’s the poor women who can’t afford to get to a pro-abortion state who will suffer the most. Also, natural miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion. What’s the difference? None. That fat woman in pink needs to go on a diet. Mebbe she’ll shed some of the fat clogging her brain.


From Bill McKibben


So why is Biden’s team still pushing the 2008 answer in 2019, when the facts have changed so decisively? (And Biden is not alone. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper likes fracking so much he once went on TV to drink fracking fluid.)

Some of it is self-interest: the staffer quoted in the “middle ground” piece, Heather Zichal, ran the Obama fracking effort, and then left to earn a million dollars on the board of the country’s biggest gas exporter, before returning to the Biden campaign. A well-oiled revolving door.

And some of it is politics: Biden apparently hopes he can win the votes of the building trades unions, who like building pipelines. This seems unlikely — the day after the first great women’s march on Washington, Trump hosted the leaders of the pipeline unions in the Oval Office, where they pledged fealty. As the leader of the Laborer’s Union put it, “it is finally beginning to feel like a new day for America’s working class.” While the rest of labor was mourning the attack on everything unions had stood for, these guys were celebrating.

The irony, of course, is that there are far more jobs to be had making the renewable energy transition. That’s why much of the rest of organized labor has come out for the Green New Deal plans. And even if you could win some percentage of these pipeline builders back by supporting yet more natural gas infrastructure, it would come at the cost of demoralizing the far vaster demographic that puts climate change as its No. 1 concern: young voters.

It’s possible that Biden can put together a coalition of the old to win the primary, but if he does it will make his task that much harder in a general election fight. Yes they vote, but there’s only so many septuagenarians.

Which is why it’s a good thing Biden’s trial balloon was shot down so thoroughly. He hasn’t released his actual energy plan yet. When he does — and indeed when his competitors release theirs — don’t pay much attention to the flowery rhetoric about climate change. Look to see if they’re still huffing gas.



FIVE STATES ARE pushing back against the latest Republican-led assault to weaken unions across the country, which targets in-home caregivers who work with Medicaid beneficiaries.

On Monday, attorneys general representing California, Connecticut, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Washington filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging a new rule, announced earlier this month, that impedes home care workers from paying union dues through their Medicaid-funded paychecks. The rule, which goes into effect in July, will impact more than half a million workers in California alone, and several hundred thousand more in 10 other states.

The case was brought against the Department of Health and Human Services and its secretary, Alex Azar, and filed in San Francisco federal court. The plaintiffs argue that the defendants have illegally reinterpreted federal law “in service of anti-union objectives.” The new rule, they say, disrupts long-settled arrangements that allow seniors and individuals with disabilities — who work with state governments to set wages, benefits, and terms of service for their providers — to direct their own health care. More than 700,000 individuals across the five plaintiff states currently use consumer-directed Medicaid programs.


Go Greta!


Her shoes!



That is quite a stretch by the Des Moines Register considering Steve Bullock’s recognition.



San Francisco politicians pride themselves on defending civil liberties in the face of unprecedented attacks by the White House. But when a Donald Trump-style crackdown on citizens’ rights took place in their own backyard, the city’s Democratic leaders had a different kind of response.

They supported it.

San Francisco police (SFPD) raided the home of a freelance journalist on Friday, handcuffed him for hours and confiscated his devices in an apparent effort to uncover a police leak to the reporter. The state’s leading newspapers, along with first amendment advocates across the US, have decried the raid as an extraordinary and flagrant violation of press freedoms. But as pressure on the city has intensified in recent days, Democratic leaders have chosen to explicitly endorse the police investigation and tactics, criticize the journalist – or remain entirely silent about mounting free speech concerns.

“What happened was unlike anything I’ve seen in quite awhile in this country,” said David Snyder, the executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, a California activist group. “For it to happen in a city that likes to position itself as a champion of civil liberties makes it all the more shocking … Days have passed, and city officials still seem incapable of rising to the level of outrage that I think this incident requires.”


This article is shitty and misleading. The neoliberal mayor does not speak for all politicians in San Francisco (though I am disappointed in Supervisor Fewer). Yes, the police should not have gone after this reporter, and I would hope there is some investigation on the judge who approved this illegal warrant.

But to gloss over the context here is poor journalism. The corrupt SFPD illegally leaked salacious details about the death of Adachi, a beloved progressive PD who did a good job of holding the the police accountable, to the detriment to his family and kids. This is an extraordinary situation, and to oversimplify it by providing a soapbox for the journalist’s lawyer (while taking potshots at SF) is lousy.



Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, is introducing a second portion of his climate change plan as most Democratic contenders for president have yet to officially roll out their own big-picture proposals.

Inslee’s 38-page document is focused on creating jobs. It outlines a $9tn investment over 10 years and seeks to create 8m jobs aimed at decarbonizing the economy. In an earlier plan, he vowed to make the US carbon neutral by 2045.

Inslee wants to upgrade buildings, replace water and transit infrastructure, clean up manufacturing and quintuple spending on clean energy and climate research. Many of those efforts would require congressional legislation.

The blueprint echoes progressives’ Green New Deal, but with far more details and fewer commitments to social programs.

Inslee told the Guardian: “You think of the Green New Deal as saying, ‘We should go to the moon’ – but in my plan is how to build the rocket ship. They both have their value.” He suggested other candidates might not have the “spine” to take the bold action needed.

The first paragraphs of his plan evoke the New Deal, noting that Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out the details of that program 86 years ago this month.


Maybe because the GOP isn’t pulling laws out of its ass to stop the GND (yet)?




What a team. He and Nina are awesome, too


Long but very illuminating article (all highlighting is mine):

Who’s Behind the Pro-Guaidó Crowd Besieging Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy?

After a rough and revealing start, the reins of the campaign to seize Venezuela’s embassy in Washington are being taken over by a group of well-connected marketing and online strategists.

In early April, peace activists were invited by Venezuela’s government into its embassy in D.C., after the Trump administration ordered the country’s diplomats to depart. Over twenty wound up taking up residence in the embassy, hoping to prevent an illegal seizure of the building.

On April 30 – the same day self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó staged a failed military coup – pro-Guaidó Venezuelans initiated their siege of the embassy. As they converged on the premises, some unleashed a wave of violent, misogynistic, and racist attacks on peace activists both inside and outside the building.

The intimidation tactics not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob. They are now delegated for interviews with national media outlets, deploying a combination of liberal-sounding language and identity politics to deflect from the presence of violent, sociopathic elements within the mob, some of whom will also be identified in this article.

Some of the Pro-Guaido marketing crew (see the article for the rest and their connections):

Dilianna C. Bustillos (also known as Dillianna Bustillos Vivas) has become a poster child for the pro-Guaidó mob. A senior manager at Oracle, she previously worked for MarketBridge and for the advocate marketing firm Influitive. Oracle, a computer technology corporation and one of the largest companies in the world, also works closely with aerospace and defense companies. In 2018 it had global revenues of $39.83 billion.

So who owns the website http://www.AskAVenezuelan.com? According to a search through godaddy.com, the website is owned by Nelli Romero, a computer repair consultant who also owns a company called MyTeks.com. On Twitter, Romero goes by Nellie Belén Izarza. The company’s site on Zoominfo claims it has an annual revenue of $4.2 million.

On her Linkedin page, under the name Nelli R., she describes herself as an expert in “political and social media engineering” in Washington, D.C.

One pro-coup activist seen on embassy grounds is Emerson Hevia, a Senior Principal Architect at the arms manufacturer Raytheon. The company is considered one of the biggest war profiteers in human history.

Also present at the protests has been Moises Rendon, a fellow at the hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies. Backed by NATO, defense contractors, and Gulf monarchies, this D.C. think tank was exposed by The Grayzone for hosting a private roundtable of Trump and Guaidó advisors to discuss the use of military force against Venezuela.

Alejandro Perez Barrios — a former employee of the World Bank and currently a senior manager at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group — has also taken part in the embassy siege.

Another prominent pro-coup activist is Carlos Alaya (also known as Carlos Alfredo Ayala Quintero), a marketing strategist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). One of Washington’s most important international financial institutions (IFIs) promoting neoliberal austerity across the hemisphere, the IDB recently hired a key architect of the coup in Venezuela, Ricardo Hausmann. The son of the President of the Venezuelan Association of Constitutional Law, Alaya has berated peace activists with vile epithets.

Marketing war is not new but it is getting extreme, especially by MSM which is falling for its own propaganda hype:

Advanced marketing strategies have also been used by others seeking to escalate conflict, such as with the professional Syrian-American activists who called in recent years for U.S. military intervention in Syria. Some Nicaraguan-American groups in D.C. have also successfully promoted the financial strangulation of their country by the U.S. empire through the NICA Act.


And so the corporate take over of our government, in deciding when we go to war and when we oust socialist leaders, is almost complete.

They may have the power to keep Bernie out.


While I agree that they may have to power to stop a Sanders’ presidency, I do not think they have the power to stop what will come after.


Verse 1:
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
Now the old King is dead, long live the King
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand


I guess i should add Israel and us, in some weird, racist brotherhood, wanting complete control, aligned with the corpses.

I hope uou are right and I dearly hope I’m wrong. Not giving up!

Flight delayed. Weather.


Oh no! Loving arms of sweet grandchildren delayed too then. Sorry pb.


Police Raid Venezuelan Embassy in DC, Arrest Last Remaining Members of Embassy Protection Collective

Police have broken into the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC and arrested four protesters from the Embassy Protection Collective, according to Medea Benjamin, an activist from the anti-war group CODEPINK. Among the four who were arrested during the raid are anti-war activists Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. A US Secret Service spokesman confirmed that it had helped Department of State’s Diplomatic Security arrest the remaining Embassy Protection Collective protesters inside the Venezuelan Embassy.

On Thursday morning, federal officers, some in military fatigues, entered the Venezuelan Embassy in Georgetown.

Rome, May 16 (/AKI) The Italian upper house of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee chair on Thursday deplored an unauthorised police raid on the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC and the arrest of four pro-government activists.

“I learn with great bitterness of the raid by the US police at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington,” Vito Petrocelli, from the ruling populist 5 Star Movement, said in a statement.

“This is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention and an act that hampers the path of dialogue and peace to which the Italian government is committed,” he added.

The deep crisis gripping Venezuela can only be resolved through respect for international law and the United Nations charter if the Latin American country is to avoid the fate of Libya and Syria, Petrocelli said in the statement.

“We need dialogue and mediation, not displays of force that are in clear violation of international law.”

Venezuela had not authorized US authorities to enter the embassy building, Vice-Minister for North American Relations, Carlos Ron, wrote on Twitter. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, embassies are considered sovereign territory of the government they represent, making the action a violation of international law.

US police used a battering ram to get into the embassy, media reports said.


So if we don’t like Your government, there goes your embassy.


I noticed who is doing the arresting here. When will Congress order the various tRump yahoos arrested for defying Congressional subpoenas?


Big Brother! This will happen here if it isn’t already being done.


You know how to keep people safe? Create a more equitable world.

Anyone know where to buy one of those Anonymous masks?


Good. This bozo should be worried.


Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is worried about the socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As far as income inequality sparking capitalists to adjust their views on the system, Greenspan said it’s a fundamental human nature issue, which is hard to fight.

“Remember the basic problem of inequality is a fact that people are born that way – we are all born differently,” he said. “And when you convert that problem into the marketplace normally you have a significant misdistribution of income and it’s only when we look at it and say, ‘This is unfortunate for the stability of the system,’ which I think it is, it’s very difficult to do all that much.”


Not that hard, Alan.


I’m not sure I’m clear about his statement:

“Remember the basic problem of inequality is a fact that people are born that way – we are all born differently,” he said. “And when you convert that problem into the marketplace normally you have a significant misdistribution of income and it’s only when we look at it and say, ‘This is unfortunate for the stability of the system,’ which I think it is, it’s very difficult to do all that much.”

First of all, “unfortunate for the stability of the system”??? “unfortunate”???? So full of empathy, Greenspan is-for the people suffering from things like stagnant wages I mean. He seems to have empathy for “the system” though!

Secondly, yes, it is somewhat “difficult” to “do all that much”. Lots of things are “difficult”. Are we not going to tackle any difficult things then? Are we all just supposed to settle for our lot in life? If your parents are factory workers, the kids become factory workers and just meekly accept any crumbs offered? Would THAT make for a stable “system” in his mind? What a tool.


Exactly. He’s a Rand/ Friedman guy.


He and Andrea Mitchell need to jump off a cliff.


Just FYI:

Eligible voteers by generation.png

Getting on a plane to the grandkids in a couple of hours. 😜🥰🐻🌺🦜


That’s great pb!! I hope you have a fantastic visit!! XO




visuals do a good job of bringing a point home:

Squeezed middle class.jpg



While this information may not be of personal use to many of us here (given the age factor), it might be good to pass it along to children and grandchildren. Very nicely done:



I wonder if Rachel will be covering this?😁


Israel seems to be in charge of world affairs.


Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.”

Gleicher said Facebook could not speculate about Archimedes’ motives, which “may be commercial or political.”

But he said Facebook discovered “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with accounts posing as certain political candidates, smearing opponents and presenting as local news organizations peddling supposedly leaked information.

Hmmmm, nothing at all about election-influencing here in the U.S.? Seems unlikely.

Gleicher said Archimedes had spent some $800,000 on fake ads and that its deceptive activity dated back to 2012.

Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is “winning campaigns worldwide,” and a vague blurb about the group’s “mass social media management” software, which it said enabled the operation of an “unlimited” number of online accounts.

Archimedes’ chief executive is Elinadav Heymann, according to Swiss negotiations consultancy Negotiations.CH, where he is listed as one of the group’s consultants.

A biography posted to the company’s website describes him as the former director of the Brussels-based European Friends of Israel lobbying group, a former political adviser in Israel’s parliament and an ex-intelligence agent for the Israeli air force.



How many starving people could be fed for $91 million? How many homeless could be sheltered for the $90 million that the last record-breaker art brought in?

If art reflects a society’s values, we are in big trouble.

Jeff Koons’ $91M ‘Rabbit’ sculpture sets new auction record

See the article for pictures. I do not resent the fact that people have this kind of money to spend on art. What I resent is that their purchases are made off the backs of working people who can barely survive in this mismanaged economy.




Until progressives demand that those who perpetrate these injustices be held accountable, this is going to continue to happen. I wonder how much of today’s misery could have been held in check if Obama had actually gone through and demanded investigations into the people involved in W’s administration’s crimes. John Bolton might still be in jail, instead of pushing for another imperial war…




From 2018:

We Analyzed Every Twitter Account Following Donald Trump: 61% Are Bots, Spam, Inactive, or Propaganda

Last week, SparkToro launched our third free tool, a service that analyzes Twitter accounts to estimate what percent of their followers are bots, spam, propaganda, or inactive accounts.

By far the account that’s been most checked by users of the tool is @realdonaldtrump. Since there’s great interest in that account, we decided to expand our usual sample analysis (which looks at a random group of 2,000 followers) and run every single one of the account’s 54,788,369 followers through our system.





A decent read (at the first link). I hadn’t heard about this ‘Tech Bias Story Sharing Tool’ that was published by the WH yesterday.

The White House’s ‘Tech Bias’ Reporting Form Is a Masterpiece of Trumpism

The tool, which debuted on Wednesday, is actually just a web form for Trump voters to submit stories (with screen shots!) of anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, with the implicit promise of future regulation of big platforms. Republican agitating around social media is an established phenomenon at this point — just this morning, Republican senator Ted Cruz was asking to see a manager on Twitter — but this initiative was interesting to me less as a particular instance of a GOP talking point than as the apotheosis of Trumpism — a masterpiece of the politics and prerogatives of our current president. Why?

It recasts technological alienation as partisan grievance.

At its core, it’s kind of a scam.

It provides cover to far-right extremism .

It’s incredibly stupid and pandering.


Trump Wants Your Tales of Social Media Censorship. And Your Contact Info.
President Trump, who seems to relish little more than a tweet storm, has repeatedly attacked Google, Facebook and Twitter for what he alleges is their bias against and suppression of conservative users. The companies have repeatedly denied those accusations.

The website published by the White House on Wednesday took those complaints to a new level, marrying the president’s online grievances to a data-gathering operation that could help him mobilize potential supporters during his re-election campaign.

The website’s opening page begins with a caps-lock proclamation that sounds like an applause line from one of the president’s raucous rallies: “SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH.”



Lol. Advance freedom of speech by reporting those who are exercising theirs.

What page of 1984 are we on now?


And when they report you you probably go on a list with your info. Christ.



Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ town hall meeting Saturday in Augusta has been moved and changed to a rally at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater.

The move, from the 400-seat Kroc Center theater to the 1,800-seat riverfront amphitheater, is due to the high volume of interest in the event, Sanders spokeswoman Sarah Ford said.

Augusta is the third stop on Sanders’ four-day swing through four southern states where he’ll outline his “justice-focused” movement for president, the campaign said in a statement.

Sanders will present a new education plan on the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, it said. The U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion ending segregation of children by race in public schools on May 14, 1954.

He’s expected to release the new K-12 plan at a Saturday stop in Orangeburg, S.C., after rallies in Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina. He will hold an environmental justice town hall Saturday afternoon in Denmark, S.C., prior to the the 5 p.m. rally in Augusta.




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I so enjoy her questioning of weasels:

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