HomeUncategorized5/23 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Inches Toward Backing Impeaching Trump, Sanders/Lee Introduce New Financial Transaction Tax & More

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jcitybone

The Senate is a danger to democracy. The other way to thwart this trend is to somehow woo rural voters away from the Republicans.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/moderate-democrats-delusions-2020-senate-climate-democracy-crisis.html

The threat that the GOP could soon entrench the rule of a reactionary, predominantly white minority isn’t an idle one. Thanks to Senate malapportionment, the decline of ticket-splitting in an era when all politics is national, and the political polarization of urban and rural areas (a nearly ubiquitous phenomenon across Western democracies that shows few signs of abating any time soon), Republicans currently enjoy a historically large structural advantage in the upper chamber, one that is poised to grow even more formidable in the years to come. By 2040, half the U.S. population is expected to reside in eight diverse, largely urban states, while another 20 percent of the populace will be concentrated in the next eight most populous states. This will leave the remaining, overwhelming white, and nonurban 30 percent of the American population with 68 votes in the U.S. Senate. In a political culture where Democratic presidents are no longer allowed to appoint Supreme Court justices unless their party also controls the upper chamber, GOP domination of the Senate will translate into GOP domination of the judiciary, even if the conservative movement boasts an ever-smaller fraction of public support (as research on the political views of millennials and Gen-Zers suggests that it will).

All of which is to say: There’s a reasonable argument that America’s capacity to address the existential threat posed by climate change — and arrest its descent into plutocracy — depends on the Democratic Party regaining full control of the federal government, and promptly enacting a series of (small-d) democratic reforms such as federal voting-rights protections and statehood for overwhelming nonwhite territories like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C., before secular trends allow a reactionary minority to lock up the Senate and judiciary for a generation.

There are many obstacles to such a beneficent development. A major one is the tendency of moderate Democrats to mistake their own myopic complacency for heroic prudence.

But in its blithe elision of the primary threats facing our polity and planet, Weiner’s column epitomizes the self-congratulatory complacency of the moderate Senate Democrats, who are more scandalized by the thought of the filibuster’s abolition than the climate’s ruination. If Team Blue can somehow wrest Senate control from Mitch McConnell in 2021, we will not need “modesty” from lawmakers like Jon Tester and Joe Manchin; rather, we will need them to display uncharacteristic boldness, by voting to diminish their own small states’ overrepresentation in the Senate and for sweeping action to mitigate the climate crisis.

jcitybone

Robert Reich points out that the economy is not soaring for most people.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/19/trump-economy-americans-voters-unemployment

Yet there’s a difference between how Americans view the overall economy and how they see their own personal economy. That difference has widened in recent years as more people get into financial trouble even as the economy soars.

Which means the official economic statistics have less relevance to what people tell each other over the kitchen table when they’re trying to pay the bills.

And it’s this kitchen-table economics – not the official statistics – that drives votes.

In a survey by the Washington Post and ABC News published on 7 May, more than 80% of Democrats and 66% of independents said “the economic system in this country” mainly works “to benefit those in power”, rather than all Americans. Nearly a third of Republicans agreed.

More Americans are employed but most jobs still pay squat. Adjusted for inflation, recent wage gains are smaller than the wage gains of 2015. Workers have lost so much bargaining power that not even the lowest unemployment rate in half a century is doing much to boost pay.

Employers continue to sack workers willy-nilly. One example: AT&T executives promised that the corporate tax cut would allow them to create more jobs. Instead, they’ve laid off 23,000.

Add to this that almost 80% of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, and you get a feel for the havoc so many families are living in.

jcitybone

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/biden-campaign-democrats-left-criticism.html

Joe Biden has been officially running for president for about a month now, and on Saturday, he held a rally in Philadelphia at which he articulated his vision for the country and his campaign. The most revealing lines in his speech might have been these: “Folks, I know some of the really smart folks say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity. They say Democrats are so angry, that the angrier a candidate can be, the better chance he or she has to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it.”

Biden’s words were a shot at Democrats who think the party needs to more explicitly sell itself as a vehicle for aggressively confronting a range of people, institutions, and problems on behalf of marginalized and mistreated middle- and working-class Americans. His speech instead emphasized concepts like reconciliation and cooperation, portraying a country that would essentially be happily united in its ideals and goals across lines of both party and class were it not for the singular figure of Donald Trump.

Biden’s campaign isn’t just pitching itself as an alternative to the Democratic Party’s left-leaning, aggression-demanding internal critics on a rhetorical level; the campaign also rejects those critics’ beliefs about strategy and their reading of recent history. Biden’s candidacy is, in one sense, a proposition that everything that’s been said by an unhappy progressive Democrat over the course of the past decade or so should be ignored.

Tyrannocaster
Tyrannocaster

Didn’t we get enough triangulation with the Clintons and Obama? Triangulation on the Green New Deal would work like this:

Chancellor Hitler: I want to kill 7.5 million Jews.
Biden: Absolutely not. You can only do 3.75 million.

magsview

1. Apparently Biden has decided to use Obama’s lingo during his campaign with all those “folks”.

2. So, Joe, exactly who are these “really smart folks” who say that “the angrier a candidate can be, the better chance he or she has” to win the Dem nom? I’d like specific quote please! Just one will do. Thx.

I’m liking Biden less and less the more he talks.

WindDancer13

Joe “Patriot Act” Biden has a habit of making claims with no evidence attached to them. Like the one that he makes that 14 heads of governments begged him to run to “save the world.”

Also: He is trying to label Bernie as “angry” to take away from Bernie being committed to his stances (something Joe cannot do because he believes in nothing). Biden is confusing empathy with anger.

Benny

Bernie is having a TH on twitter concerning the workers’ strike at McDonald’s.

jcitybone

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/evyavk/bernies-campaign-is-showing-solidarity-with-striking-workers-like-no-other-2020-candidate

McDonald’s workers striking across the country Thursday have several demands, including raising their minimum wage to $15 minimum. And one of the policy’s biggest proponents, 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, emailed his supporters to rally people to the picket lines.

It’s not uncommon for members of the 2020 Democratic field to show up to picket lines or tweet out their support to striking workers. But Bernie is taking labor solidarity to a new level by tapping into his campaign’s massive listservs to mobilize support for striking workers. It’s an extraordinary and possibly unprecedented move, according to labor historians and union organizers.

The Vermont senator’s presidential campaign sent geo-targeted emails Tuesday to supporters in or around 10 cities throughout the U.S. to support striking McDonald’s workers, according to the campaign. Employees at the fast-food chain are staging one-day walkouts and other work actions to fight for a $15 minimum wage, union rights, and workplaces free of sexual harassment.

“Bernie Sanders is joining in solidarity with McDonald’s workers in Dallas, and you can do the same right here in Iowa,” reads one of the emails. “Showing up at a picket line for striking workers is an incredible act of solidarity to show that you support their fight for a better life.”

“This definitely sets a new bar for politicians who want to earn labor’s support. We’ve seen Democratic politicians join workers at high-profile protests and on picket lines for years, especially during election seasons, but those appearances have sometimes felt very transactional in nature,” said Ethan Miller, a longtime union organizer and secretary-treasurer of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, IFPTE Local 70, which organizes workers at nonprofits in Washington, D.C.

jcitybone

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/05/23/bernie-sanders-mcdonalds-minimum-wage-15-guarantee/3769216002/

Sen. Bernie Sanders told McDonald’s workers Thursday that if he’s elected to the White House they can be assured that working people around the country will make a $15 per hour minimum wage.

The comments by Sanders to McDonald’s employees came as he and several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates offered their backing to the fast food chain’s workers who are holding protests around the U.S. to demand a $15 federal minimum wage and more aggressive action by the company’s executives to confront sexual harassment and assaults on workers at the world’s biggest fast food chain.

“If elected president, trust me, every worker in this country will make at least $15 an hour and people will have the right to join unions,” Sanders told the workers in a video conference forum.

magsview

I love this tweet because it gives the impression that Bernie may have given them some strength.

magsview

jcitybone

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/23/joe-biden-2020-drug-war-policies-opioid-crisis-226933

The reality of Biden’s long career as a drug warrior, however, suggests something different: That he didn’t get “stuck with” writing drug legislation; he chose to make it a priority of his 36-year tenure in the Senate. In the War on Drugs, Biden was the “tough on crime” face of the Democratic Party, used his legislative skills to forge a bipartisan consensus for severe anti-drug legislation and specifically wrote or sponsored several laws that public health experts believe have, over the course of the opioid crisis, made it far deadlier than it has to be.

Since the late 1990s, more than 700,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses, and for each of the past four years, more Americans have died from drug overdoses than were killed in the wars in Vietnam and Iraq combined. Unless America drastically changes course, an estimated 500,000 more people are expected to die from an overdose in the next decade. Because of overdose deaths, America’s life expectancy has fallen for the past three consecutive years—which, as economists have noted, is unusual for a country that isn’t at war.

Even so, during the opioid epidemic, national attention has focused on largely white, poorer regions of the country being ravaged by addiction and overdose deaths. The conventional wisdom is that Biden is the strongest Democrat in these regions, and perhaps the only one who can pull blue-collar, white “Reagan Democrat” voters back from Trump. But as he tries, he will have to reckon with the fact that in many cases, it was his own legacy making the nation’s drug problem worse.

magsview

Joe Biden Killed Rave Culture

As each of the approximately 12,203,391 Democratic presidential candidates parades across the country in an attempt to prove why they are the best future leader of America, let’s not forget that the current frontrunner, Joe Biden, bears a hell of a lot of responsibility for policies that fueled the current opioid epidemic, the mass incarceration of millions of black and brown people, and the death of rave culture in the United States. Goddammit, Joe.

Among the many offenses Biden committed under his so-called anti-drug crusade was authoring the 2003 RAVE Act (the Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act), which enabled prosecutors to target owners and operators of of places where raves and music festivals are held, like warehouses or fields.

“If I were governor of my state or mayor of my town,” Biden said in a 2001 hearing on Ecstasy, “I would be passing new ordinances relating to stiff criminal penalties for anyone who held a rave. The promoter, the guy who owned the building, I’d put the son of a gun in jail!” Apparently referencing the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock, Nevada, Biden added, “There is no doubt about where these raves are: in the middle of the desert!”

Columbia University neuroscientist and department of psychology chair Dr. Carl Hart put it more bluntly, telling Politico Magazine that Biden’s laws effectively “decrease the likelihood that somebody is gonna help someone who is overdosing.”

We’re still seeing the damage of Biden’s laws to this day.”

https://theslot.jezebel.com/joe-biden-killed-rave-culture-1834978547

jcitybone

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/05/if-2020-democrats-are-going-to-be-serious-about-climate-they-need-to-cut-out-congress/

Even if a Democratic president is sworn in on Inauguration Day, January 2021—having pledged to make addressing climate change a day-one priority—Congress could still be divided, and the Senate still hamstrung by the filibuster.

With time already running short to prevent runaway global warming, a president will need to make changes without being mired in another four years of gridlock. Ambitious climate reform could still be implemented, however, by exploiting powers that the executive branch has under existing law. A new administration could take leaps forward in addressing transportation, electric, and industrial emissions, buttressed by powerful existing laws like the Clean Air Act. All this could add up to a policy that gets as close as possible to a Green New Deal without involving Congress’ power of the purse.

Benny

I heart AOC, but this is one time she should have checked out the story first.

jcitybone

Definitely, AOC should have read the article. Who cares how much Warren made

Warren claims this about Dow:

“In this case, Elizabeth served as a consultant to ensure adequate compensation for women who claimed injury from silicone breast implants who otherwise might not have received anything when Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy,” Warren’s list of cases read. “Thanks in part to Elizabeth’s efforts, Dow Corning created a $2.35 billion fund to compensate women claiming injury from Dow Corning’s silicone breast implants.”

This one also seems questionable. If she’s such a great legal expert, why didn’t she foresee this?

The asbestos cases included work on behalf of Travelers Insurance. In that case, which the Boston Globe first reported in May 2012, Warren helped the company gain immunity from asbestos litigation by forming a $500 million trust for current and future victims. But after Warren was no longer involved with the litigation, Travelers was able to preserve its immunity but avoid paying the $500 million, an outcome that Warren told the Globe she hadn’t foreseen.

magsview

jcitybone

LOL DK rushes in to defend her, almost wholly concentrating on her payment rather than her clients. Can’t wait for DK to rush in to defend Bernie from unfair WaPo and NYT articles.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/5/23/1859834/-Shocking-news-Elizabeth-Warren-used-to-work-in-her-profession-and-got-paid-well-for-it

Benny

Yeah, about when London Bridge is sold back to the Brits…

magsview

Designing the Butterfly-Friendly City

“A lot of what’s existing green space [in cities] is just parkland—which could be converted into pollinator habitat,” noted Bunney. “But there’s also container gardening, green walls, and things like urban rooftop gardens. There’s a lot of potential for innovation and engagement.”

re: a St. Louis MO project:

Some of the first city-established gardens, planted with a mix of milkweed and nectar plants, were at firehouses and public parks. Later, the initiative expanded to schools, and around St. Louis, citizens planted monarch-friendly gardens in their own yards. In 2018, a St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway with a 30-acre pollinator pathway opened on the Mississippi riverfront.

“We now have more than 400 monarch gardens that have been registered on the site, and a quick look at the map shows that people all across the city have embraced this project,” said Catherine Werner, the city’s sustainability director. The city’s original goal was 250 monarch gardens.

Part of the success came from community programming like the Great MonArch Migration Event in Gateway Arch National Park, and free seed packets and a “Monarch Garden in a Box” plant sale that made it accessible for people to join in. “The big difference I see between urban monarch gardens and ones in rural areas is the opportunity to provide connections to nature for people where they live, work, learn, play, or pray,” Werner said. “Monarch gardens don’t have to be large to be effective for the butterflies.”

https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/05/monarch-butterfly-habitat-pollinator-gardens-city-parks/588922/?utm_content=edit-promo&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=citylab&utm_term=2019-05-17T20%3A38%3A38&utm_medium=social

orlbucfan

ABsolutely FABulous news, mags. 🙂 I live in an urban area which is full of trees and all kinds of flowering plants. I haven’t seen Monarchs, but I have seen the different types of Swallowtails. Young people moving in here (the area has been gentrifying over the last few years) are planting gardens with bees, butterflies, birds in mind. A positive hopeful sign fer sure! 🙂

magsview

Young people moving in here (the area has been gentrifying over the last few years) are planting gardens with bees, butterflies, birds in mind.

Back atcha for this good news!!! I bore everyone who will listen about the need for bee, butterfly (and other pollinators) and bird-friendly properties. My best friend is slowly but surely transforming her lawn to gardens.

That reminds me, I need to plant some coneflower seeds..

polarbear4

🎉🌊🐚

WindDancer13

Return of the Hydra:

As per the FEC filings, the DCCC did not buy HRC’s mailing lists; they were renting them for some pretty hefty prices. What is in those lists that make them so worthwhile? Shouldn’t the DCCC and DNC already have the majority of what is contained in those lists?

Hillary’s Resistance Group Has Pocketed Millions From The DCCC
Clinton’s dark money nonprofit raked in $3 million for its email lists

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, disbursed millions of its funds to Hillary Clinton’s “resistance” group since late December 2017, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The DCCC made the millions in payments to Onward Together, a nonprofit founded by Clinton following her loss to President Donald Trump, for its email lists. The payments from the DCCC to Onward Together began in December 2017. Since that time, the committee reported 25 transactions to Clinton’s group totaling slightly more than $3 million, the filings show. The most recent payments from the DCCC to the committee were made in February.

Those mailing lists are a real money maker:

In addition to the DCCC, the Democratic National Committee pushed $1.65 million to Clinton’s group throughout 2018. The payments from the DNC, which were marked primarily as list acquisitions with one payment going towards direct mail, stopped in late October of last year.

According to Ballotpedia it is legal.

While Clinton does not disclose the donors to her group, the Washington Free Beacon previously found that she had transferred $800,000 from Hillary for America, her presidential campaign committee, to the group within a week of its launch. Kelly Mehlenbacher, the treasurer for Clinton’s campaign committee, is also the chief operating officer of Onward Together.

Bottom line:

Altogether, this just looks like another ways to funnel extra funds to “special” candidates. Each entity can only donate a set amount, but if one group transfers money to another group that allows the second group to make an additional donation. Quid pro quo is set up through a rental program. Those funds can be spent to provide additional funding to the chosen candidate while hiding the fact that the money actually came from one source.

And, yes, the DCCC and DNC as do their Republican counterparts have spending limits per candidate based on a state’s voting population. The FEC spells this out. The linked source is from 2016 and was devilishly hard to find, so bookmarking it for future reference is recommended.

So it looks like the Hydra HRC is still heavily involved in the electoral process. I do not think progressives can expect any good to come from that.

orlbucfan

As long as a light is shining on on it, $hrill better be careful. (Ugh–will someone drive a stake thru the vampiress’s heart?!)

WindDancer13

Bless the conservatives for the effort, but the source is not MSM so I am not sure how much light these types of articles will get.

polarbear4

I read somewhere that she was literally helping write a playbook for third way people to sound progressive until they get elected. Although I doubt they would commit to writing anymore.

WindDancer13

Lol. As if she had any clue on how to even sound progressive. She didn’t in 2016, and I highly doubt she has learned anything since then.

People with sloppy habits do not give them up so easily, and she is lazy.

jcitybone

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/us/politics/bernie-sanders-charter-schools.html

“I am actually one of the people who thought Bernie Sanders really missed the boat on dealing with issues of race in his campaign last time,” said Gary Orfield, a leading researcher on segregation and professor of education at U.C.L.A. “But this is a very forward looking plan and a dramatic break.”

“I hope it is picked up by other campaigns,” he added.

Professor Orfield cited research finding that in cities like New York and Washington, charters are more intensely segregated than district schools. A large body of scholarship shows that nonwhite and poor children perform better academically at integrated schools, and go on to have higher incomes as adults.

Teachers’ unions, an important constituency to Democrats, have long considered them a boogeyman, arguing that charter schools draw students and funding away from traditional public schools. The issue helped fuel a weeklong teacher strike that roiled Los Angeles in January — one of a wave of educator walkouts that have taken place across the country since 2018.

The grass-roots activism generated by that movement is something Mr. Sanders and other Democratic candidates are seeking to tap into. He is competing for endorsements from teacher unions — which generally dislike charters — along with candidates such as Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Taking a skeptical stance toward charters could enhance the potential for support from unions.

But this is the Times so the article signs off with a quote from a SC Dem strategist who has worked on educational policy and had some good things to say about Bernie’s plan, but then makes this observation:

“To a hammer, everything is a nail,” he said. “And to Sanders, everything is an issue created by millionaires and billionaires.”

WindDancer13

If issues are not created by government-subsidized millionaires and billionaires, then who is causing the problems? Poor and Black children.

Ummm….Why? Isn’t having the best known candidate fighting for this a good thing? If so, then why would you want a watered-down version?

“I hope it is picked up by other campaigns,” he added.

magsview

Intent on Leading a ‘Political Revolution,’ Not Just a Campaign, Sanders Rallies Support for McDonald’s Strike

In a demonstration of what the Bernie Sanders campaign says makes its operation unique—”not just a campaign, but a movement”—its email list, social media team, and volunteer network was mobilized to galvanize support for a series of strikes by fast food workers taking place nationwide on Thursday.

As McDonald’s held its annual shareholders meeting, workers went on strike in cities across the country, demanding a $15 minimum wage, the right to form a union, and protection from sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

Sanders rallied his supporters ahead of the strike, using his campaign’s email list to call on progressives to show solidarity with McDonald’s workers in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

“We’re building the largest volunteer army in the nation not just to win the Democratic nomination, but also to mobilize people to show up in key fights where people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line,” Claire Sandberg, Sanders’ national organizing director, told The Guardian. “We are proud to uphold Bernie’s commitment to workers and we will continue to activate our supporters and urge them to join picket lines across the country to support the fight for a strong labor movement.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/23/intent-leading-political-revolution-not-just-campaign-sanders-rallies-support

polarbear4

polarbear4

polarbear4

magsview

Cute pic-I couldn’t resist. 🙂

polarbear4

I’ll be right there!

orlbucfan

Me, too! 🙂

WindDancer13

Why do you suppose Congress is seeking comments on re-establishing the draft?

Should the United States Reinstate the Draft?

Consider this: We are 17 years into a “War on Terror” that’s come with a $5.6 trillion (and rising) price tag. Our military is currently engaged in an overwhelming number of overseas missions, including a growing number of natural disaster-related deployments. The number of fatal human-error incidents in the military has reached an unprecedented level. Our nation is $20 trillion in debt, and climbing.

Add these facts together, and it begs the question: Can an all-volunteer military force stand ready to answer the call? Will the demands prove greater than our resources?

The sentence I highlighted is a euphemism for what? And what exactly was the precedent?

Their answer:

He argues that it might not take the threat of a rogue nation to initiate a draft — rather, it may be a crisis based on manpower.

“If you do the math, only three out of 10 Americans meet the criteria to serve, and only 15 percent of those able have the propensity to serve,” Laich says. “This is unsustainable, especially with an interventionist strategy where America’s forces are the global police force and the rest of the world is content [with] letting us play that role.”

Can’t we just have an anti-war party without a draft?:

Dr. Andrew Bacevich, retired Army colonel who served in Vietnam and the Gulf War, argues that the root cause of our endless wars is an all-volunteer force because not enough Americans have “skin in the game.”

“We currently have two war parties, even if Democrats and Republicans use different language in describing the purposes of the wars they support,” he says.

Bacevich’s solution? “We need to have another party that is, if not anti-war, at least anti-interventionist.”

So what is the government’s response? Have a commission to see if people will support a draft, not whether we should get out of wars.

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service was created by Congress to consider and develop recommendations about whether we need a military draft. It’s also charged with finding ways to foster a greater attitude and ethos of service among American youth. Established on Sept. 19, 2017, the commission intends to issue its final report no later than March 2020 and conclude its work by September 2020.

The commission hopes to ignite a national conversation around service and, ultimately, develop recommendations that will encourage every American to be inspired and eager to serve. It is currently looking for your input.

Comments are open until December 2019. Please give them an earful.

Note: Recently, a judge ruled that women will be eligible for the draft if (when) one occurs.

polarbear4

Thanks. Surprised at Bacevich. Wonder if they’re having more trouble filling their photos than we realize.

WindDancer13

With at least two more wars looming, I would say that the services might be getting stretched a bit thin, especially since the homophobes have decided that some people cannot serve.

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

The public may become sufficiently alarmed at the prospect of mandatory service to make starting new wars less palatable.

wi61

I get a sneaking suspicion that the younger voter wont tolerate a new draft and wont go. They wont want to sacrifice their lives for corporate profits. But lets make the draft mandatory for the congress critters kids and the kids of the MIC first.

WindDancer13

I almost added that to the comment I posted there, but then realized that if those kids were to get drafted, they would not be out in the front lines.

I have a sneaking suspicion that more would go than you think. Ever since showing bagged bodies being unloaded daily during Vietnam was banned, there has been a disconnect between the public and the horrors of war.

Most popular video games are of war. You die, you get back up, and fight again. Plus most young people believe they are invincible.

If there are not an overwhelming number of negative comments to Congress at that open comment site that i posted, then we will find out soon enough.

WindDancer13

Like with many things that Congress asks comments for, this is probably already in the works if they do not get massive blow back in the comments. If the number of negative comments falls short, the draft will just appear one day. Of course, a Bay of Tonkin or similar incident will probably have to be created first.

The public is not paying attention. I only found the article by accident in a search on the topic of the draft. Most people will be unaware of it.

I made my opinion known at the link I posted, then sent out a tweet about the open comment period, but I have a very, very small twitter following. This is one of those actions that Bernie is trying to get people to engage in.

polarbear4

Filling the ranks. Not sure what happened there.

WindDancer13

Oops! Forgot to leave a link for the commission’s comments:

https://www.inspire2serve.gov/content/share-your-thoughts

Please, make sure to comment! This is too important to procrastinate on.

orlbucfan

The MICC is running out of volunteer warm bodies to fight for them. Now, let’s see how ‘fair and equitable’ draft 2.0 is. How many moneybag greedball offspring will be called up?

WindDancer13

Something else that caught my eye in that article is the fact that the cost of an all-volunteer military is getting a bit high. That means the bonuses and benefits that are being extended are cutting into the profits of the MIC. Huge incentive for them to re-instate the draft.

Prophecy: It will not be equitable nor fair.

polarbear4

jcitybone

https://www.thenation.com/article/venezuela-democrats-trump-sanctions/

But we might be a little more curious about the enthusiastic backing Trump has enjoyed from the prominent Democrats and mainstream media who have otherwise denounced him for undermining the post–World War II liberal world order—tearing up treaties, disdaining democracy, and holding international law in open contempt.

Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Durbin, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS commentators are among the leading liberal internationalist choristers chanting their support for Trump’s right to impose regime change on another people’s country.

They assure us, of course, that they are not promoting war. Rather, they support the presumably more “moral” policy of harsh sanctions, i.e., an expectation that strangling the Venezuelan economy will cause enough pain and misery so that Venezuelans will throw out Maduro themselves. Economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot estimate that 40,000 Venezuelans died as a result of US sanctions in 2017 and 2018. Trump has dramatically tightened them this year. And if that doesn’t work?

orlbucfan

That’s a real bunch of “liberals.” (Snort.)

polarbear4

WindDancer13

The MSM is the propaganda arm of the US government. Want proof?

Listen to or read their reporting on Julian Assange because what you won’t hear is them standing up for a journalist even after they used his work to make a profit.

The evidence is very simple to see. A journalist or a journalism agency would stand up for Freedom of the Press. Any entity that does not do so is a propagandist. They do not fear prosecution becasue they are part of the institution that is hiding the truth.

From the Society of Professional Journalists:

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.

The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.

Seek Truth and Report It: Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize Harm: Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently: The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Be Accountable and Transparent: Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

There are sub-points under each of the four categories. MSM and their employees (cannot call them journalists) cannot not even pass the main points, much less the sub-points.

polarbear4

Yes. I hate that we’ve gotten to this point, where they really are propagandists and they know it.

WindDancer13

They know and do not care. We are not the “public” they serve, and as long as people keep buying the propaganda and making a profit for them, they will continue.

WindDancer13

At first glance I thought this was a statement from Bernie:

“The bottom half of Americans combined have a negative net worth,” Ben Steverman wrote in a recent Bloomberg article.

It comes from the research of economists reported in the following article:

One brutal sentence captures what a disaster money in America has become

Saez and Zucman’s research on wealth inequality also found that 20% of American wealth is controlled by the top 0.1% of taxpayers – or about 170,000 families. The top 1% control about 39% of the country’s wealth, and the bottom 90% hold only 26%, despite years of economic growth in the US overall.

The authors found that while the income of the top 1% of American taxpayers made up 11% of the national income in 1980, it now makes up more than 20% of the country’s income.

And the income of the bottom half of Americans, which was 20% of the national income in 1980, has fallen to just 12%.


While wealth inequality has also been rising in Europe, as Business Insider’s Richard Feloni wrote, “this particular rise of the top 1% paralleling the fall of the bottom 50% is unique to the US.”

At least, the US is still #1 in something. /s

Note: In my thinking, the author is using the term “taxpayer” very loosely when talking about the top tier.

Quick fact: IN NYC alone, there are at least 150 soup kitchens.

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

When John Hickenlooper edges you out for viewership…

“CNN’s ratings delivery was down nearly 30% compared to its average Tuesday night, which over the last few months has typically reached more than one million viewers. O’Rourke even failed to exceed the audience that watched a CNN town hall featuring third-tier candidate John Hickenlooper, which drew 745,000 viewers in March. The lowest-rated town hall so far this cycle was CNN’s event with Julian Castro, which reached just 654,000 viewers in April.”

Beto O’Rourke Town Hall Drags CNN Ratings Down 30%

WindDancer13

Ellsberg: (paraphrase) What Trump is doing in regard to Assange is an impeachable offense.

If anyone watches this or happens to remember, pay attention to that hand movement (closed fist) that Assange makes regularly. Bernie has been making a similar gesture for some months now. I absolutely do not remember Bernie using the closed first in the air gesture before this (although I do believe it also resembles an old socialist labor sign)? Anyone?

If new, are the signals related or just coincidence?

orlbucfan

Tech question time. I have a post saved for today, 5/24. How do I get it to ‘post’?

magsview

Putting this here before I forget!

jcitybone

https://slate.com/business/2019/05/how-rich-is-bernie-sanders-wealth-comparison-millionaires.html

There are many things that make this whole pseudo-controversy a bit silly. But one of them is that Sanders really isn’t that wealthy for somebody his age. He’s well-off, to be sure. But his level of affluence is pretty normal for a college-educated American in his 70s. The man earned a windfall, but he doesn’t suddenly have plutocrat money.

Of course, the premise of the piece is a ridiculous one. Even if Sanders was suddenly a member of the wealthiest 1 percent, I don’t think it would really make him a hypocrite. The man wants to make America look a bit more like a Scandinavian social democracy, and last I checked, Swedes and Norwegians don’t have any problem with authors earning a payday. They just tax more of it. But the bottom line is that Sanders’ rhetoric about millionaires and billionaires has always been a shorthand for the power of extreme wealth, the kind that can buy you political influence. And he doesn’t have anywhere close to that kind of money.

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