HomeUncategorized5/22 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders Response To Iran Intelligence Briefing l,Hear the Bern Episode 7 & More

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive US congresswoman and social media sensation, has said she would be “hard pressed” to endorse the frontrunner, Joe Biden, in the Democratic presidential primary.

The statement is the latest sign of the left’s apathy towards the former vice-president, who has surged ahead of the Senator Bernie Sanders and other rivals in recent polls.

Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, appears to be the favourite to secure 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement but she said she was still some way off making a decision.

“I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon,” she told the Guardian on Tuesday. “I’m still trying to get a handle on my job. It seems like ages but I’m just five months in and we have quite some time. The debates are in the summer and our first primary election for the entire country isn’t until next year.”

Asked if she would consider endorsing Biden, widely seen as a centrist, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I’d be hard pressed to see that happen, to be honest, in a primary.”



In his second run for president, the 77-year-old Sanders has responded aggressively to those who cast his Burlington diplomacy in an unflattering light. After the New York Times published a deep dive into his mayoral foreign policy—including the sister-city friendship with Yaroslavl—he called up the reporter to defend his record. When we spoke a few days later, Sanders confronted the critics of his Cold War politics.

“I know that my political opponents think that because I went to the Soviet Union that I supported authoritarian communism,” Sanders said. “That is an absolute lie. If you check out my record, from day one, I have been critical of the Soviet Union—and unlike Donald Trump, critical of Saudi Arabia, critical of countries around the world that do not respect human rights and democracy.”

The visit, as he explained it, was about peace.

“Our efforts there was to try to prevent war [and] try to bring people together, and that is what I believe is the right thing that we should do,” he said. “My Republican colleagues may not like the fact that I, as a young man, opposed the war in Vietnam, as a congressman led the effort against the disastrous war in Iraq, helped pass a resolution under the War Powers Act for the first time in 45 years to get the US out of a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, and I will do everything I can to help prevent a war with Iran. Maybe my Republican colleagues don’t like that. But I make no apologies for trying to use every avenue available to bring people together and prevent war.”

The bonds forged on Sanders’ trip to the USSR still hold. The visit was the beginning of a long relationship between residents of both cities. Over the years, there have been school exchange programs, visits by official delegations, and an exhibition hockey game between teams from the Russian city and the University of Vermont. When a Wall Street Journal reporter visited Burlington-on-the-Volga in 2016, residents recalled the American delegation fondly. As one man, a doctor, put it, “We remember him, we respect him, we appreciate him, and we’ll be rooting for him.”



I saw that clip. Stern supported $hrill but his admiration/respect for the Bernster was very apparent. T and R, LD!!


Interesting article about local DSA chapters and their relationships with DSA elected officials


Thus far, accountability between DSA chapters and the politicians they endorse and campaign for has been based on goodwill and the glue of personal relationships. Now that chapters are beginning to explore more formalized structures, it’s clear that both electoral work and accountability will need to be, in some ways, coalitional. “Yes, DSA is a 55,000 member organization and that’s fucking phenomenal,” says DSA NPC member Allie Cohn. “But that’s still pretty small, relatively speaking.”



A different tack. This one to support the PAVE Act.



Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said he’ll introduce legislation that would impose a tax on trades of all stocks, bonds and derivatives in the U.S., a move he says would help curb Wall Street speculation and help finance his campaign promise to provide tuition-free college and cut student debt.

Sanders has been promoting a financial transactions tax since his run for the Democratic nomination in 2016. The plan he’s offering Wednesday would apply a 0.5% tax rate for stock trades, a 0.1% rate for bond trades, and 0.005% for derivatives transactions.

The tax would both provide a disincentive for high-frequency trading based on algorithms and let Wall Street help middle-income Americans who helped foot the bill for the bailout of financial institutions after the 2008 market crash, according to an outline from the Vermont senator’s office.

“It is time for Wall Street to pay society back for the incredible damage it did – and continues to do – to the middle class of this country,” the statement says. Sanders plans to release further details Wednesday at a news conference outside the Capitol with Representative Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who is sponsoring the measure in the House.

As he did in 2016, Sanders says the tax could generate enough revenue to offset the costs of tuition-free college and help to pare down student debt.


Not sure what to make of this. I wonder if his fundraising is off this quarter. Maybe it’s just harder to do all online with so many candidates. These events almost seem like rallies with a ticket price.


Bernie Sanders — who swore off big-money fundraisers and criticized Hillary Clinton’s fundraising as “obscene” during the 2016 campaign — is changing his approach as the scramble for Democratic campaign cash heats up.

The Vermont senator has decided to hold in-person fundraising events where donors of all means will be invited and the media will be allowed. He has also hired a fundraiser to oversee the effort, a position he did not have in his 2016 bid.

The moves, described by campaign sources to POLITICO, amount to an acknowledgment by Sanders that his online-only approach to raising money was leaving significant amounts of money on the table. That cash could be decisive in a primary with nearly two dozen candidates competing fiercely for money: Sanders’ top rival, Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, is raking in huge sums from major Democratic donors in the early weeks of the race with a slew of fundraisers.

The altered strategy is a sign that Sanders is running a different kind of campaign in 2020, shedding some of his resistance to a side of politics he’s instinctively repelled by.

Still, this is far from a full embrace of big money by the candidate who loved to boast that his average donation in 2016 was $27. His campaign has dubbed the events he plans to hold “grassroots fundraisers.” They’re expected to have a relatively low ticket price, but larger donors will be able to attend and could potentially get face time with the candidate.


Running the campaign’s new fundraising arm will be Malea Stenzel Gilligan, the former senior director of governance for the National Wildlife Federation and past executive director of the progressive political organization VoteVets. Her title on the campaign is director of development. The campaign did not say how many additional finance hires, if any, it plans to make.


From the same article:

Sanders raised $238 million in 2016, while organizing few fundraisers — a feat that set him apart from Clinton, whose long ties to the Democratic establishment raised her millions of dollars but became a political liability.[emphasis added]

In 2016, Bernie DID have some fundraisers. Now he is just trying to maximize the benefit from those types of events. An efficiently run fundraiser is certainly better than a poorly run one so this makes sense to me. It is not like these will be filled with the corporations who bought other candidates. They certainly aren’t gong to be buying the tickets.

Analogy: People pay extra to go to the premiere of a play or theater offering, but that doesn’t take away from those who go to later performances.


That’s a good analogy. What I hope though is that there isn’t tiered prices for access as part of their door cover. In other words, charge $750 at the door, and if you wish to donate another $1900, fine, but not this $2000 and you get a pic with Bernie.

The Clintons were notorious for tiered pricing.

When I looked at the audiences in the deep south last weekend, I saw a lot of folks hot and tired. I think folks who have a few more bucks to offer would prefer to be in a setting that is more temperature controlled and can sit down somewhere.


I totally agree about the tiered pricing for an extra “benefit.” Although, I might pay a bit extra for a picture of HRC and consort if they would gree to turn it into a dart board.

I also very much agree with this: “it’s another outreach mechanism.” There are some people who may be interested in Bernie but for whatever reason are disinclined to attend a rally. For example, a movie star in the crowd would distract from Bernie’s speech at a rally or people who really dislike large crowds to an extreme degree or a millionaire who does not want to be burned at an impromptu stake.


I hope he asks us for more money if he needs it. And if he’s going to have fundraisers, I hope he doesn’t have any that take money from people he even could be influenced by.


Some sobering numbers.

Polarbear4 posted a tweet thread yesterday regarding the expansion of the MIC since the 50s that I couldn’t resist. There was a person in the thread that took issue with the idea that our expenditures for war had expanded by saying that national defense in 1961 was 8.8% of the GDP and in 2017 was 3.1%.

My response was:

GDP 1960 = 543.30 Billion USD
GDP 2017 = 19390.60 Billion USD

You do the math.

His first response was to try to insult me. Then his second response showed a comparison of how the numbers of ships, military personnel, aircraft and nukes were down.

My response:

Drones up from 0 to 10,695

Bombs dropped in 2016 = 26,171
Bombs dropped in 2017 = 44,000

Bombs dropped under Bush = 24 per day
Bombs dropped under Obama = 34 per day
Bombs dropped under Trump = One every 12 minutes (2018)

Cost of bombs = $300 to $170,000 each

I have not herd back from him yet.

I got to really thinking about those numbers later last night and realized just how very horrible they are in the cost of human lives rather than just the dollars that the thread was focused on.

The US has certainly become a monster, and those who close their eyes to it are silently complicit. We are all war criminals if we do not do something to stop this.


Nice. Looks like you put in the time and did your research.


Thanks. I try…especially when I know I will probably get blow back on the facts that I want to present.

Twitter, though, makes me violate one of the rules of journalism in that it is nearly impossible to cite sources for information that is not common knowledge when that information has to be gathered from four different places. However, I figure that if someone wants to challenge me, they will have to do similar research, and most people like their comfort zone so won’t do it. On the other hand, that last is exactly why so many people accept misinformation.

Note: The sentence “You do the math” was part of the tweet.


Were still a “war based economy” in my opinion which will lead to our downfall.


That was the point I was trying to get across to the poster who seems to think that because we now spend less of a percentage of GDP than in 1961 that we are not actually spending more in actual dollars. His argument than the number of war machines we currently own does not hold water either as we have just switched to different types of weapons.

I am more in the “capitalism will lead to our downfall” a la Chris Hedges camp.


Capitalism can succeed for all as long as its well regulated not the rigged greed is good system that’s currently in place now.



Pardon me if this is a repeat. Backstory and analysis by Dean Baker of CEPR helpful though.

Part 1

This week Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Barbara Lee are introducing bills in the Senate and House for a financial transaction tax (FTT). Their proposed tax is similar to, albeit somewhat higher than, the FTT proposed by Senator Brian Schatz earlier this year. The Sanders-Lee proposal would impose a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions, with lower rates on transfers of other financial assets. Senator Schatz’s bill would impose a 0.1 percent tax on trades of all financial assets.

At this point, it is not worth highlighting the differences between the bills. Both would raise far more than half a trillion dollars over the next decade, almost entirely at the expense of the financial industry and hedge fund-types. In the case of the Schatz tax, the Congressional Budget Office estimated revenue of almost $80 billion a year, a bit less than 2.0 percent of the budget. The Sanders-Lee tax would likely raise in the neighborhood of $120–$150 billion a year, in the neighborhood of 3.0 percent of the federal budget.

While the financial industry will make great efforts to convince people that this money is coming out of the middle-class’ 401(k)s and workers’ pensions, that’s not likely to be true. This can be seen with some simple arithmetic.

Take a person with $100,000 with a 401(k). Suppose 20 percent of it turns over each year, meaning that the manager of the account sells $20,000 worth of stock and replaces it with $20,000 worth of different stocks. In this case, if we assume the entire 0.5 percent specified in the Sanders-Lee bill is passed on to investors, then this person will pay $100 a year in tax on their 401(k).

While no one wants to pay more in taxes, this hardly seems like a horrible burden. After all, the financial industry typically charges fees on 401(k)s in excess of 1.0 percent annually ($1,000 a year, in this case), and often as much as 1.5 percent or even 2.0 percent.

The actual financial transaction tax burden to this 401(k) holder will be considerably less than this $100 for two reasons. First, not all of the tax will be passed on to investors. The industry will have to bear part of the burden in lower fees. If they can pass on 90 percent, the burden on this 401(k) holder falls to $90 on their $100,000 in assets. If the industry can only pass on 80 percent, then the burden falls to $80, or 0.08 percent of the value of the holder’s 401(k).

Even this amount overstates the actual impact. One outcome of the tax is that stocks will be traded less frequently. That is an intended result. There is considerable research on how the cost of trades affects the volume of trading. Most of the research finds it to be roughly proportional, meaning that a 10 percent increase in the cost of trading results in a 10 percent decline in the volume of trading.

In this case, the cost of the tax to this 401(k) holder would be entirely offset by the savings from trading less. Let’s say that it cost this person 0.5 percent a trade before the tax is imposed. In that case, the tax will have doubled their trading cost. The expected result is a 50 percent reduction in trading volume. Instead of trading $20,000 of stock a year, they will only trade $10,000.


Part 2

The savings from reduced trading are equal to, or quite possibly larger than, the tax paid by this 401(k) holder. Before the tax is put into effect, the holder is paying $100 in trading costs on $20,000 in trades each year. After the tax is in place the holder is paying $100 (including the tax) on $10,000 in trades. The holder is now paying more for each trade, with the 0.5 percent tax added in, but is paying no more in total for trades each year. The financial industry effectively eats the full cost of the tax.

This raises the question: is this 401(k) holder hurt by trading less? The answer, in general, is going to be no. Every trade has a winner and a loser, a buyer that paid too much for a stock, or a seller got too little. On average, these are offsetting. While every investment manager claims to be above average, this is not true.

For most of us, trades will just be a wash. This was the great insight of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, who died earlier this year. Bogle argued that since most people are not going to gain by trading they should save their money and just buy a low-cost index fund. Many people do follow this advice (Vanguard has over $4 trillion in assets). But for those who don’t follow Bogle’s advice, a financial transaction tax will help to eliminate lots of wasteful trading. .

To be clear, there is value to having a liquid market where people can sell stock or other financial assets when they need to. But we had highly liquid financial markets two decades ago when trading volume was roughly half its current levels. In other words, we don’t have to worry that FTTs along the lines proposed by these two bills will prevent the financial markets from functioning.

There will be some traders who do lose from these bills. The losers are the high-frequency traders who can trade billions or even tens of billions of dollars in a single day, relying on beating the market by a fraction of second to get small profits on each trade.

A small tax taking away the bulk of these traders’ profits hardly seems like a bad thing, since these traders are some of the richest people in the country. Furthermore, their profits from high-frequency trading come at the expense of other investors who are half a second slower in completing a trade. Their loss is everyone else’s gain.

In short, an FTT is one of those rare taxes in which everything goes pretty much the right way. Ordinary investors will be largely unharmed by the tax. It reduces the resources devoted to wasteful trades in the financial industry. It whacks some of the richest people in the country who now profit at the expense of ordinary investors. And, it raises lots of money for the government.

What’s not to like?




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lol gravel Glad he has changed his tune from sort of advocating for Bloomberg because he was the most electable in April.



I don’t think I realized that.



Neocon thought process. “It worked the first time. Lets try it again!”



Latakia is where the Russian have one of their large bases. What a coincidence!!

The other Russian base is in Tartus.



Nancy Pelosi vs Many Democrats.
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Bernie is reintroducing his Wall Street Tax, but it is called Inclusive Prosperity Act.


Learned something new–there used to be a similar tax from 1914-66.


Ilhan Omar is one of the co-signers (or will be). She spoke last.







How nice of our intra-party enemies to identify themselves. Forget the presidency, these clowns are unfit for their current offices.


Here are some of the problems I’m having with this site. The morning thread arrives in the early evening already with 50 or 75 replies. Sometimes it arrives the next morning. Often there will be no replies although some were promised. I like what I read on this site, when and if it arrives.


Hi Chas, I will speak for myself, but also offer some observations.

The site generally goes up around 7ish in the AM central time. Most of the time, it is the blog owner, LD, who starts it, posts a bunch of interesting things besides Bernie politics (based on the links he’s collected from the previous evening) then as folks tune in, the thread gets longer, depending on what their own interests are in posting tweets or articles that update the readers.

LD used to post all of the Bernie news into one long post, and the readers of this blog prefer it in bites. That’s why there are so many comments by noon PT.

If there is a Bernie event in the evening, either LD or I will post a live stream thread. It depends on what time it starts. LD is an early riser, so if the event starts much later, I will post or sometimes another birdie create a post for us to liveblog while the event is going on.

Occasionally, LD cannot post in the morning due to unavoidable events. After 8-9 am CT, if there is no new thread, another one of us will get it started. On weekends, it’s not unusual to have one person start a thread and it may only get a few responses for the weekend’s entirety. Now that the 2020 cycle is here, we’ve been posting twice a day, but not every day. Unlike the Daily Kos, which schedules their front page diaries and has paid staff to compose them, this place is more democratic socialist. LD is not trying to make a profit. He takes donations because upgrades are not free, and sometimes he has to work with techies on certain issues the blog may be experiencing. Most of us have full time or part-time jobs.

My rule of thumb, and it’s only my style, is when it starts approaching 100 comments, and there is a lot of potential for updates, I will start another one to keep the news going and from getting buried in a long list of comments.

TPW and Way of the Bern are the Bernie News Roundup places, the most up to date on progressive news by far. We also see more news on climate disruption and indigenous issues. We also post videos for fun and humorous content we see on the Net.

I’m glad you found us. Stick around. There’s always more! If you have more questions or issues with using the site, LD lists a google addy to contact him via e-mail.


Sounds like he’s on board now, joining many of the House progressives.


Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday inched closer to supporting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, saying “it may be time” for the House Judiciary Committee to determine whether to start the process.

“I do understand where House members are coming from. And you’ve got this guy who is refusing to respect the Constitution, equal powers, and is rejecting requests for members of the administration to come forward,” the 2020 Democratic White House hopeful said on CNN.

“So, you know, I think it may be time at least to begin the process through the Judiciary Committee to determine whether or not there are impeachment proceedings.”


I’m glad though Bernie thinks through these things, and generally it’s not about the polling. It’s more about how the process could play out.


I still say give it a bit more time, and keep handing Trump the rope that he will eventually hang himself on. He is very, very close to it now. There is a point where all but the white supremacist/nationalists will finally walk away.


For clarification, by “a bit more time” I do not mean more than a couple of months. Trump IS going to step over a line that even most Republican representatives cannot stomach, and it will be soon. He cannot stop himself from doing so.

Rep Green gives a very convincing argument for the impeachment happening relatively soon.



I used to fly EASTERN and PAN AM all the time as a kid. Wish some big biz halfway decent moneybags would start one or both up again.


How The View Became the Most Important Political TV Show in America

“The View” has hosted politicians almost since its start, but until recently it was not taken seriously by them. When Barack Obama went on the show in 2010, making history as the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show, Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, blasted the decision by saying there “should be a little bit of dignity to the presidency.” In the past few years, however, “The View” has become a place where Democrats and Republicans alike go to introduce themselves to a national audience, an essential campaign stop. Twelve of the 26 people who have announced that they are running for president in 2020 have already been on the show, with one more, Senator Elizabeth Warren, already scheduled. Although ratings for “The View” are up — last season’s were its highest in four years, and it now averages a respectable three million viewers an episode — the numbers aren’t high enough to explain why politicians consider the show an essential stop.

“The View” has become an influential political talk show because it isn’t one. The panelists — Goldberg; Behar; McCain; Sunny Hostin, an analyst and the senior legal correspondent for ABC; and Abby Huntsman, daughter of the ambassador to Russia and former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr.; along with the former Republican political strategist Ana Navarro, who appears at least once a week — are invited into viewers’ homes every day for an hour, and in between interviewing candidates about the distinction between socialism and democratic socialism, they share intimate details of their lives: how many times a week they step on a scale, how long it was until they slept with someone else after their divorces.

The show also has an off-the-cuff-ness that the panelists and producers take seriously — part of what they know viewers tune in to see. Each episode begins with the “hot topics” segment, during which the during which the panelists discuss everything from the Green New Deal to a breaking news event to whether it’s tacky to have a cash bar at a wedding. This is the part of the show where some of the most heated arguments can occur. Hosts arrive every day at the studio at 8:30 a.m. to whittle a list of up to 60 hot topics down to five or so. One of the chief rules, a holdover from Walters’s days, is that they assess a given topic only superficially and save their reactions for the show.

“The View” isn’t the only show on TV that fuses entertainment with news and thrives off its ability to be unrehearsed. There’s MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” which could be described as what you might imagine “Meet the Press” is like during commercial breaks, and HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” which has an after-hours feel befitting its Friday at 10 p.m. time slot. But what sets “The View” apart is this fascination with the hosts that audiences don’t have with, say, Mika Brzezinski. Viewers notice each eye roll from McCain while Behar speaks, each time Hostin clenches her jaw. Now that reality TV has become comedically scripted, “The View” remains one of the few places on TV where audiences can watch authentic human drama.

I guess I’ll find out. I will be in the audience a week from tomorrow. TYT is having fits over it tonight.



I didn’t notice that Warren has sided with Bernie on outlawing for profit charters.


Nevada’s powerful teachers unions are applauding Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new education plan, which would put a moratorium on charter schools and end funding for for-profit charter schools nationwide. But Sanders’ stand against charter schools also puts him in the middle of an acrimonious debate in this important caucus state.

Sanders is the first in the 2020 field to campaign on shuttering for-profit charter operators, a call that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared to back Sunday. The candidate has also pledged to fight for toughening accountability on charter schools and blocking federal funds for any new charter schools, pending “a national audit” on their growth.

Union leaders in the state welcomed Sanders’ plan. “We were very happy to hear that at least this is now being addressed at a national level,” Ruben Murillo, president of the Nevada State Education Association, told CBS News.

The union fears “deliberate and well-funded efforts” backing the explosion in charters, which sometimes take over or compete with struggling schools, is undermining support for public education in Nevada.

“You know, when we have a Democratic majority in our state senate, a super-majority in our assembly, and a Democratic governor, but we can’t get a charter school moratorium passed?” said Murillo.

“It’s not just that the charter cap amendment was not addressed, it’s that it was done by Democrats. For us, that’s what really hurts.”



Bernie Sanders trolls Trump for storming out of meeting

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts to President Donald Trump storming out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrats over House investigations into the President.


That whole joke including the sign was a deliberate pro media set up staged by the Imbecile and his PR goons.


Nice discussion about the decision of Judge Mehta regarding the subpoena of Trump’s financial records. It includes excerpts from the judge’s ruling (at the beginning of the tape). The Republicans opened the door for this type of subpoena when they went after Clinton’s Whitewater records. That precedent is coming home to roost.

Later in the tape, the discussion also covers the fact that the judge hearing the case on another Trump subpoena can use Mehta’s ruling as a precedent.



After Bernie Sanders appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press last Sunday, the program’s Twitter account announced that “Bernie Sanders said he won’t apologize for supporting anti-Vietnam War efforts and voting against the war in Iraq.”

Good. Because Sanders should never apologize for the anti-war stances he took in the past, just as he should never apologize for the anti-war stances he is taking today as a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He was right to oppose the Vietnam War.

He was right to oppose the Iraq War.

He is right to now oppose the maneuvers that might lead to war with Iran.

Sanders used his Meet the Press appearance to present himself as a candidate whose inclination is to prevent rather than initiate wars. That does not make Sanders a pacifist; he has not opposed every call to arms. But he has generally been on the side of diplomacy as opposed to armed conflict. And his willingness to defend an anti-war stance on a Sunday-morning talk show was a refreshing rejoinder to the casually militaristic approach that characterizes so many media discussions of foreign policy.



Grace under pressure:

This should be a test for political aspirants. Imagine, if you will, each of the current candidates in a similar situation and how they would react.

No, Mr. President. You may not have an axe.


Just wonderful.

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