HomeUncategorized5/18 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Sanders Unveils His K-12 Education Plan & More
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Bernie hits it out of the park again!

Our (very small) local school district is busy “crapifying” the education provided while angering the taxpayers by asking for higher levies, so that they can pay for skyrocketing health insurance premiums. The administration blames the teachers’ collective bargaining agreement, but you can’t believe the gibberish the administration hands out as “justification” either.

These maneuvers and ones like it prime the voters to believe the blandishments of charter school corporations who want to move in. BTW, administrators see significant salary boosts when schools go charter. Teachers, by contrast, see their pay tank.

Public education does not support dividing up children into “winners” and “losers,” as privatized education does.

Bernie’s critical observations about charter schools are spot on.

Thank to LD and Benny for posting Bernie’s rallies in the Deep South! The Asheville turnout was impressive!



Chait and Jennifer Rubin have become the main conservatives really attacking Bernie; it’s seems to have become a mania for them.


After initially declining to be interviewed by the NYT about his foreign policy views during his time as mayor, Bernie grants an interview. He doesn’t hold back.


What point do you want to make?

My point is that fascism developed in Chile as a result of that. The United States overthrew the government of Guatemala, a democratically elected government, overthrew the government of Brazil. I strongly oppose U.S. policy, which overthrows governments, especially democratically elected governments, around the world. So this issue is not so much Nicaragua or the government of Nicaragua.

The issue was, should the United States continue a policy of overthrowing governments in Latin America and Central America? I believed then that it was wrong, and I believe today it is wrong. That’s why I do not believe the United States should overthrow the government of Venezuela.

Do you think your view on foreign policy, and how to conduct it, separates you from other Democrats?

Well, I believe the United States is the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. So I believe — and don’t hear me to say otherwise — that the United States must play a leading role in the world on international affairs. I believe that. I don’t believe that we should go about overthrowing governments, and I don’t believe that we should be engaged in endless wars. But the United States has the capacity to — with its wealth and with its military power — to do everything possible to support democracy and human rights and peaceful resolutions to international conflict.

If that separates me from other Democratic candidates, so be it.





It shouldn’t be too surprising that Sanders’ decline is associated with an increase in Warren’s numbers. Sanders and Warren are the two most progressive major candidates in the Democratic field. Both have consistently polled their best among those Democrats who call themselves “very liberal” and their worst among Democrats who call themselves either moderate or conservative.

By merely looking at ideology, however, you miss what I believe are key differences between the types of voters each is attracting. It could prove difficult for Warren to make further gains among Sanders’ supporters, unless she starts appealing to a different type of voter.

Sanders’ voters are more likely to be mirror images of President Donald Trump’s voters: working class and fed up with the current dysfunction in Washington, just on the other end of the political spectrum

Warren’s voters are certainly liberal, but they are well-educated and aren’t anywhere near as anti-establishment.

As was the case in 2016, Sanders’ backers are not pleased with business as usual. He gets 22% from those who think it at least very important to bring an outsider’s perspective to Washington, despite being in Congress for nearly 30 years. Warren, in Congress since 2013, is only at 6% among this group. Among those who do believe it is only somewhat important or not important, Sanders takes in just 11%. Warren stands 8% with them.

Sanders’ profile actually matches Biden more closely than it does with Warren. Despite Biden serving in the federal government for more than 40 years, Biden wins 45% from those who say it is at least very important to bring an outsider’s perspective to government compared to 33% who believe it is only somewhat important or not important at all. This could, of course, be a statistical quirk.

The question could be interpreted as a stand-in for the belief that government isn’t working as it should. Biden’s bipartisan pitch and Sanders’ postpartisan appeal both aim at solving that problem. Warren, on the other hand, is viewed as more of a harsh partisan. (See her refusal to have a Fox News town hall.)



I refuse to subscribe to The Nation in part to articles like this (not going to give them a click to read it), but I have a question. Is this piece clearly marked as Opinion or is it pretending to be a news article?


How we view the world is circumscribed by many things. Language and culture are two of the main limiters, so it is often interesting how art is reflected by those who look at the world from a different viewpoint. These limiters can be overcome if one so chooses, but even being introduced to them can make a change. The artists (a team of two men and one woman) who created these animations are from the Netherlands.

The narrator of the video talks at one point on how working on one of their animations made him realize that although he and his girlfriend share responsibilities and chores equally, he discovered that he was not doing his part when it came to ironing–and a recognition that he needed to correct that.

(Side note: When Nina Turner called out to men at a NC rally for them to stand with women on fighting against draconian abortion laws, she was pointing out that this issue does not just rest in the hands of women alone. The ironing example–the sharing of responsibilities in even the small things or even the recognition of it–is one step toward equality in which men and women stand together on the larger issues.)

Unless you are interested in the creative development of an idea and/or the background on the animations, the clips are at the following time markers:

15:45-18:00 (Oscar nominated)



You post some 😎 stuff, dancer.



Bernie and team near Denmark, SC:


I looked pretty hard but I failed to see any “Hot Sauce”. /S


I think there are some hot peppers in front of Josh’s plate.



Can you imagine traveling 20 miles every month to collect clean drinking water? That is what people here in Denmark, South Carolina, have to do because the state government pumped a dangerous chemical into the city’s water supply. https://t.co/WIHsV3YkmI

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 18, 2019

Bernie meets with some of the residents of Denmark, SC. Do click on the link as it leads to a conversation recorded 10 min ago.





Look how they try to magnify the turnout for Biden’s rally

Images can be deceiving!




Not that impressive with his high status


Establishment Dems have no survival instincts.


I’m watching a little of the Biden rally in Philly. I think that’s the biggest crowd I’ve seen in the 30 years he’s ran for President.

Dr. Biden did an able job introducing her spouse.

There was someone heckling on behalf on some other candidate. I’ll check twitter as to what happened, but Biden claims he took a pledge not to attack other Dems. However, a security person was blowing a whistle during the speech and Biden said “that must be Bernie or someone”.

He’s taken several swipes at Trump. Also Bernie.


Twitter is reporting that a 1000 folks are at Biden’s rally.

Onward to Denmark, SC to hear Josh Fox.




Your tax dollars at work:

Brazil Subsidiary Hoovers Up $62 Million In Trump Trade War Aid Intended For Farmers

A Brazilian U.S. subsidiary is being paid over $60 million in aid aimed at helping American farmers weather President Donald Trump’s trade war, according to media reports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying $40.1 million to buy pork from JBS USA — a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS SA — using American taxpayer bailout funds intended to help U.S. farmers. That’s in addition to previously awarded pork contracts for $22.3 million, The Greeley Tribune reported Thursday.

Just because they are corrupt doesn’t mean they cannot accept handouts.

“We now know that tens of millions of these dollars went to large, multinational corporations — including Brazilian-owned JBS — who are racking up profits while family farmers face collapse. That is outrageous.”

The Brazilian company has been involved in corruption scandals in its home country. The U.S. Justice Department has also launched an investigation into owner brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, who have confessed to bribing top Brazilian officials, and served time in jail there.

The Justice Department is probing JBS for possible violations in the U.S. of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to filings in an unrelated court case reviewed by The News. U.S. investigators interviewed JBS shareholders late last year as part of that investigation, Reuters reported.

The faux excuse:

JBS told the Tribune in a statement that “all eligible JBS USA pork products” it purchases (to in turn sell to the USDA) “come from American livestock raised on American farms by U.S. family farmers, and are processed in American facilities in rural American towns.”

But a USDA statement to the News on Thursday said that “regardless of who the vendor is, the products purchased are grown in the U.S. and benefit U.S. farmers.” JBS, therefore, “qualifies as a bidder under this criteria,” and is apparently then eligible for American subsidies.

Some questions that need to be added to the decision of who gets subsidies:
Who really profits? )Not the American farmer. As Bernie has pointed out, farmers are often being paid less than the cost of what it takes to produce goods.) What is the net profit for farmers vs the corporation? Mealy mouthed excuses don’t stand up to scrutiny.


Bernie’s NJ organizers are launching a state event today in Asbury Park:


Good for a chuckle . . . until the last paragraph which calls for reflection.

It turns out President Trump’s handicap scores have been hacked

Apparently someone posted some bogus Trump golf scores. In this very short article, the writer does manage to squeeze in the implication that Trump cheats at golf, just apparently not by the amount shown in the hacked numbers.

The last paragraph:

Man, what type of world are we living in where the proceedings of the Oval Office are affected by outside influences.


I usually do not care much for “feel good” stories that come from MSM as they are usually covering up some societal ill, but this story is great. (In the video, you can clearly hear the boy’s exclamation and the wonder in his voice.)

A young concertgoer yelled “Wow!” His grandfather was more surprised than anyone.

BOSTON — They are some of the best classical musicians in the country. But at one recent performance by The Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, the most memorable moment didn’t come from anyone on stage at Symphony Hall. It came from the audience, right at the very end of Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music.

Someone yelled, “Wow!” and it resonated — not just in the hall, but throughout the classical music community. It was just such a departure from typical audience protocol, which is why the president of the Handel and Haydn Society was absolutely thrilled.

“I was like, ‘That’s fantastic,'” said David Snead. “There’s a sense of wonder in that ‘wow.’ You could really hear on the tape he was like, ‘This was amazing.'”

Who was the impressed 9-year old?

“He just doesn’t do that. You know, usually he’s in a world by himself,” Stephen said.

Ronan is autistic and considered non-verbal. But music has always been a wormhole into his heart and mind.



I usually turn the chat off on live events as I find them distracting. I prefer to listen rather than have the message diluted with others’ thoughts.

During the Denmark, SC, video though, I left it on. I had noted that there were two down votes for the video that were there early on (three by the time it finished).

Throughout, there was one very vocal–and in all caps–Trump supporter (he was toward the end joined by another who I am guessing was that third down vote). I am happy to say that most of the posters did not feed the trolls. The two became increasingly desperate to be heard, and people shut them out.

Now, I have no problem calling out some trolls on Twitter and elsewhere but split second responses that are only looking to ease a momentary emotion is not the way to do it. I hope over this long campaign that more people learn to not respond to the hate, but learn to listen to the desperation beneath the words.

“And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls,
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds, of silence”


The original is pretty good, too. 🙂 T and R, LD!!


The original is excellent. But it is possible to like more than one kind of chocolate. = )


I think most (critical thinking) people recognize that the anti-abortion movement has nothing to do with religion. (In the Bible, human life did not start until the first person took their first breath.)

This article caught my eye as a possible reason for the movement as a whole. Births have been dropping in the US for at least 30 years, and that fact could panic people who feel the US should rule the world. Connecting the dots shows a possibility of why they also deny climate change. (All highlighting is mine.)

FEATURE-A new ‘climate strike’: Opting for no children as climate fears grow

LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – German schoolteacher Verena Brunschweiger decided shortly after her marriage not to have children – not because she did not want them but because she felt she could not justify the climate damage caused by adding to the planet’s population.

She is part of a growing movement of women and young people who have vowed not to have a families out of concern about a looming climate change crisis.

Among the personal choices people in developed countries can make that will have the most impact on limiting emissions, having fewer children, flying much less and eating a plant-based diet are most important, some scientists say.

Other people have decided not to have children because they fear climate change means there may a bleak future for their offspring.

Among the second group is musician and activist Blythe Pepino, who set up global campaign group BirthStrike for those who have vowed not to have children due to the “severity of the ecological crisis and the current inaction of governing forces”.

Having one fewer child is by far the most effective step a person in a developed country can take to reduce their carbon footprint, one 2017 study found.

It would save some 58 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, researchers calculated, in a study that estimated the total impact of a child and their likely descendents.

“If everybody in the world consumed the way that an average middle class person in the United States consumes, you would need an additional four-and-a-half or five Earth’s worth of resources.”

The average number of children born per women in the United States hit a historic low of 1.8 in the latest data from 2017, while most other high- and middle-income countries are also seeing flat or declining birth rates.

Nowhere in the article did I see the word “adoption.”


I often bring this up when in a position to discuss immigration with certain people. With the declining birth rate this country needs to invite immigration if it wants to remain strong.


Bernie Sanders’ Primer (from 2016 so there are things to add):

Some things to remember when someone says, “But what has he accomplished?”


A couple that I did not know:

Former professor of political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at Hamilton College.

1992: Congress passes Sanders’ first signed piece of legislation to create the National Program of Cancer Registries. A Reader’s Digest article calls the law “the cancer weapon America needs most.” All 50 states now run registries to help cancer researchers gain important insights.

August 1999: An overflow crowd of Vermonters packs a St. Michael’s College town hall meeting hosted by Sanders to protest an IBM plan to cut older workers’ pensions by as much as 50 percent. CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and The New York Times cover the event. After IBM enacts the plan, Sanders works to reverse the cuts, passing a pair of amendments to prohibit the federal government from acting to overturn a federal district court decision that ruled that IBM’s plan violated pension age discrimination laws. Thanks to Sanders’ efforts, IBM agreed to a $320 million legal settlement with some 130,000 IBM workers and retirees.

December 2007: Sanders’ authored energy efficiency and conservation grant program passes into law. He later secures $3.2 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the grant program.

And, of course, many, many more.

There is also this list with more: What Bernie Sanders Got Done in Washington: A Legislative Inventory https://pplswar.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/printableleg.pdf


Bernie rolled into Augusta, GA:


Tweets and photos on People For Bernie show a soldout SRO Rally in Augusta GA this afternoon. The venue holds 1,900 seated, so, something at or near 2,000.


There were boats passing by and slowing down to listen. I hope the lake security was paying attention!


Doesn’t he have a couple of stops in AL?


I’m having trouble keeping up!


Guess it’s true that Bernie draws more Fox viewers. There were two reporters from the local Fox affiliate who sent out a couple of tweets. However, no tv nor print station has any official news on the event at this juncture.



In 2016, Sanders was criticized by some for focusing almost solely on economic matters at the exclusion of social issues tied to race and gender. But on Saturday, he denounced restrictive new abortion laws passed in Georgia, Alabama and elsewhere and “the broken and racist criminal justice system.”

He also leveled sharp broadsides against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and President Donald Trump.

“If you don’t have the guts to participate in fair, full and open elections get the hell out of politics,” he said, referencing Georgia’s governor.

Then, appealing to a belief among some Democrats that the election was rigged in Kemp’s favor since he served as overseer of the state’s election system while he was campaigning against Democrat Stacey Abrams, Sanders drew his biggest applause of the afternoon when he said, “And I know that Gov. Abrams agrees with me.”

Sanders also reached out to Trump voters, saying he understood why many found his message appealing.

“You’re worried your job might go to China,” he said. “You’re worried your kid might not be able to afford college.”

“Unfortunately, it turns out Donald Trump is a pathological liar and what he told the American people he had no intention of fulfilling,” he said.

The choice in 2020, Sanders concluded, was between “an oligarchy, to an even more authoritarian government, with a president who holds the Constitution in disdain.”

“I have a better alternative, to bring our people together with an agenda that works for all of us and not just our wealthy campaign contributors,” he said.


Good stuff!





Bernie Sanders said what he saw in a Denmark, S.C., home was “hard to believe.”

Local residents Paula Brown and Eugene Smith showed the senator from Vermont jars of discolored water that came out of their tap, saying they haven’t felt safe drinking for 10 years.

“This is America in 2019,” Sanders told reporters after touring Brown and Smith’s home. “You would think the water coming out of your faucet would not be toxic.”

Sanders said he intends to make the country’s water infrastructure a priority. He criticized President Donald Trump for cuts at the EPA, and noted that, during his time as mayor of Burlington, Vt., the city spent millions on a new wastewater treatment plant.

“We talk a lot about climate change, but we’ve got to talk about this too,” Sanders said. “If you think this is just a South Carolina problem, you’re dead wrong. It’s an American problem.”



Biden coming on stage and telling America to essentially calm down—as babies are still kept in literal cages at the border, as women’s rights are under assault from red state governments in a race to create the most restrictive abortion legislation to overturn Roe v. Wade, as our nation moves steadily toward autocracy—is incredibly tone deaf.

Anyone who isn’t angry hasn’t been paying attention.
Whether Biden believes it or not, political anger, especially in times like these, can be constructive. Of course, it can also be destructive when mixed with hate in the way Trump has wielded it. But hateful anger is different from constructive anger.

Speaking of women’s anger, consider the anger women across the country are feeling right now as Georgia and Alabama move to ban abortion in their states. To dismiss that as Trumpian is a false equivalence and, frankly, gaslighting. Notably, Biden did not mention the assault on abortion rights, only passively mentioning “a woman’s right to choose,” but he has been a flip-flopping supporter of abortion anyway. He has repeatedly voted for the Hyde Amendment to ban federal funding for abortion and voted in 1981 to allow states to reverse Roe v. Wade. He seemed to evolve during his time with Obama, but his relative silence on the issue at the rally to kick off his campaign during this week especially is not encouraging.

Biden also signaled that he, somehow, could be the one to pass bipartisan legislation through Congress. “I know how to go toe-to-toe with the GOP,” he said, “but it can’t be that way on every issue… Let’s stop fighting and start fixing.”

Biden’s pitch comes down to: I’ve done it before, so I can do it now. Sure, that sounds nice, but it’s completely unrealistic to expect bipartisanship from today’s Republican Party whose win-at-any-cost ethos got us a Trump presidency. And it’s also unrealistic to expect Democrats to calm down when their rights are under assault.


I started a Sunday thread! Just so you know. 😉

Happy Sunday morning!

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