HomeUncategorized5/4 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders To Introduce Agriculture Policy To Combat The ‘Major, Major Crisis’ Facing Rural Communities & More

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Exactly what deals does Biden plan on making with Republicans? Slashing Social Security? Cutting Medicare? These kind of deals are the only ones that party will make.


As Joseph R. Biden Jr. made his way across Iowa on his first trip as a 2020 presidential candidate, the former vice president repeatedly returned to one term — aberration — when he referred to the Trump presidency.

“Limit it to four years,” Mr. Biden pleaded with a ballroom crowd of 600 in the eastern Iowa city of Dubuque. “History will treat this administration’s time as an aberration.”

“This is not the Republican Party,” he added, citing his relationships with “my Republican friends in the House and Senate.”

There is no disagreement among Democrats about the urgency of defeating President Trump. But Mr. Biden’s singular focus on the president as the source of the nation’s ills, while extending an olive branch to Republicans, has exposed a significant fault line in the Democratic primary.

Democrats, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, see the president as a symptom of something deeper, both in a Republican Party overtaken by Trumpism and a nation cleaved by partisanship. Simply ousting Mr. Trump, they tell voters, is not enough.

It’s a debate that goes beyond the policy differences separating a moderate like Mr. Biden from an insurgent like Mr. Sanders, elevating questions about whether the old rules of inside-the-Beltway governance still apply. And it has thrown into stark relief one of the fundamental questions facing the Democratic electorate: Do Democrats want a bipartisan deal-maker promising a return to normalcy, or a partisan warrior offering more transformative change?

Some Democrats say the idea of trying to predict electability and casting Mr. Trump as an “aberration” was tried by Mrs. Clinton in 2016 — and it failed.

“I feel like the party went through this and the 2016 election showed that Trumpism isn’t just Donald Trump — it’s the entire Republican Congress, too,” said Rebecca Katz, a progressive Democratic strategist unaligned in the 2020 contest. “Until there is someone in the Republican Party who can stand up to Trump, then none of them are better than Trump.”


Well, if Biden can get along just fine with Dick f’g Cheney (sorry for my language, Cheney a sore spot for me) then I guess he’d be a great partner with Republicans for even the worst atrocities they may want to enact.

I’ll take the “partisan warrior offering more transformative change” thanks! Because “a return to normalcy” is NOT what is needed now, “normalcy” got us where we are right now!

Normalcy is Trump continuing Obama’s deportations (albeit in an even more cruel way) and continuing Obama’s enabling of Saudi Arabia’s evil acts. Is that the kind of normalcy Biden is talking about? I sure wish a good interviewer asks him that.


One of my favorite people in the twitterverse kindly replied to my two tweets yesterday:

and https://twitter.com/brenda11831/status/1124366696293314561 from her as well:

Margaret, I think we have to make it really, really clear to centrist Dem voters that we won’t be voting for another centrist Dem. They should know they could lose the election to Trump if they don’t get onboard #GreenNewDeal



So let’s look at the latest in Donald Trump’s foreign-policy mischief, which is proving to be far more consequential than anything Trump has come up with at home. This January, Trump decided to recognize Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the true president of Venezuela, declaring President Nicolás Maduro to be an illegitimate dictator. Aside from being a dicey proclamation in moral and legal terms alone, such a move was also bound to invite further conflict, since Maduro was as unwilling as any other leader to go away when ordered by Washington to do so. Trump has now imposed sanctions on Venezuela, a move that Fernando Cutz, Trump’s first director for South America on the National Security Council, had discouraged, citing the “chaos we’d be unleashing, the humanitarian consequences.” This has had the usual effect of sanctions on hostile regimes, which is to cement them in while the population suffers even more. This week, Guaidó took a gamble and decided to call on Venezuela’s military to throw its allegiance to him instead of Maduro. This, too, failed. Military force by the United States is once again on the table, therefore, lest Trump look like an empty blusterer.

No one, at this point, is surprised. Those who once hoped Trump might prove to be a non-interventionist have long since laid such dreams aside. Prescience belonged to foreign-policy bad-news bears like The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison, who is cursed with being reliably correct but depressing, when he warned, from the start, that Trump was a militarist. If anything, Trump has been restraining his impulses toward muscle-flexing, since he has wished to oust Maduro almost from the start of his time in office. Now we are poised to escalate things into conflict with Cuba, and even Russia, over the internal affairs of a country that poses no credible threat to the United States. And yet many of us, myself included, are more preoccupied with the cold civil war here at home.

It’s tempting to blame Trump alone for this mess, and, to be sure, he deserves a lot of it. No one forced Trump to take any action toward Caracas. The lack of planning for the possibility that the Guaidó rebellion might fail is downright Bushian in its incompetence. It was Trump’s choice to bring on advisers like John Bolton, a man who missed his dream job of beating school boys with sticks. Barack Obama would have been likelier to stay out of the matter altogether. That said, a president can get somewhere only if Washington has his back. If Trump were to declare tomorrow that the United States would be pivoting away from a pro-Saudi policy to a pro-Iranian one, he would be lucky to complete his first term. With Venezuela, Trump has the liberty to indulge his whims, because bipartisan Washington is on board, criticizing his execution rather than his intentions. Only a few Democrats and Republicans (like Rand Paul on the right and Tulsi Gabbard on the left) have objected to Trump’s regime-change policy in theory as well as practice.

By establishment Republican standards, Trump has been downright tame. Had we had Marco Rubio in the White House instead of Trump, we might have occupied Caracas long ago. In an uncaptioned February tweet that was widely interpreted as a message to Maduro, the Florida senator posted a before-and-after shot of Muammar Qaddafi; the first of him smiling in a white suit, the second of him being marched in the streets after being bloodied and tortured. (It’s amazing that Donald Trump, author of countless utterances that plumb new depths of social-media discourse, should have been put in the shade with a single tweet from an ambitious, if sweaty, former rival whose Twitter bio begins with “Follower of Christ.”) Not to be outdone, Florida’s junior senator, Rick Scott, has claimed, “We’re seeing genocide happen right in front of our eyes and we’re not aggressive enough.” It’s hard to say what’s most extraterrestrial about that statement: the claim of genocide or the diagnosis of John Bolton’s foreign-policy problem as one of insufficient aggression. But here we are.



They seem to think we have no memories!


A lot of campaign ads in the making or at least in the debates 🙂


And they also seem to think we’re idiots!

(rough-sounding) translation:

Decadent as JORGE RAMOS prostitutes his profession by exerting the Palangrsimo creeper.

Nicolás Maduro has the ethical, ideological and moral mood of Salvador Allende, not the criminal Pinochet.

Sir @jorgeramosnews, please be serious and don’t talk so many bullshits to figure.



If it was legitimate to fight against the dictator Augusto Pinochet, why is it not the same to fight against the brutal dictator @NicolasMaduro? Both committed fraud, responsible for hundreds of murders and political prisoners. Maduro and Pinochet are, morally, the same.


The establishment is pulling out all the stops these days!


Ha ha! Great minds….


Birds of a feather! 🙂


The Senate Resolution To Condemn MMT: Here Are Some Better Candidates For Condemnation

I guess on the one hand that we should be happy that anyone is even aware of Post Keynesian economic theory. Scholars in this area have toiled largely in vain for going on a century (marking Keynes’ General Theory in 1936 as the starting point). So maybe there’s no such thing as bad publicity???

But, to suggest that MMT is anything radical or dangerous–especially to the point of requiring an official Senate condemnation–is just plain bizarre. The resolution references the work of a number of mainstream economists in support of the condemnation, but I’ve already addressed that elsewhere. Instead, I’d like to suggest a few more candidates for inclusion in this new movement:

1. Milton Friedman’s Monetarism: How about the school of thought that supported the policies that led to what is still the highest rate of unemployment (nearly 11%) since the Great Depression?

2. Trickle Down Economics: Trickle is right. The idea that helping the rich helps the rest of us is just slightly off. But a little rewording fixes it: helping the rich helps the rich. Trickle down economics is based on the idea that the wealthy are somehow the engines of growth, that they invest and consume and that helps everyone else. False. They save, which doesn’t help everyone else.

3. Neoclassical Macroeconomics: You know all those economists cited in the Senate resolution? They are Neoclassicals. They assume that the economy automatically fixes itself and they believe that the financial sector is sufficiently unimportant to leave out of formal models. I feel like people must think I’m lying when I say that because it seems so insane.

4. Real Business Cycle Theory: This popular Neoclassical theory is so bad that even a recent Neoclassical Nobel Laureate condemned it


(Yes, the article is from Forbes. More detail at the link.)


May the fourth be with you!


Hahaha, go Lumpy Louise! 😉 Let’s leave them both up? XO


Here’s the story of the scoop:

Presidential campaigns seeking to gain access to the Democratic Party 50-state voter file, a crucial database that costs $175,000 to purchase, must also agree to a strict set of terms requiring candidates to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

Across the field of 22 candidates, some Democrats view the conditions as overly restrictive for a resource that presidential campaigns rely on daily as a foundation for everything from field organizing to analytics. The terms — meant to help strengthen the DNC ahead of the general election in support of the eventual nominee — are costly, time-consuming, and specific.

The voter file contains pools of data about millions of voters. Campaigns use the database as a foundation for their own data as they identify and track support over time within their own portals.

In addition to the $175,000 price tag on the voter file, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by BuzzFeed News, candidates who purchase the voter file must also agree to appear at one or more DNC fundraising events every three months during the duration of their bid for the nomination. At each fundraising event appearance — dubbed “signature event(s)” in the term sheet — candidates will also be asked to record a short video in support of the DNC.

Campaigns must also sign at least one DNC fundraising email every three months, with donations split evenly between the campaign and the DNC. Separate from the emails to the DNC’s list, campaigns will also participate in a party-wide fundraising day, slated for Aug. 7, 2019, sending an email to their own list. Those donations would also be split equally.

According to the term sheet, candidates who use the voter file will continue raising money for the party even after they drop out of the race, sending three additional emails to the DNC list before Election Day in 2020.

The so-called DNC “signature events” will range from grassroots fundraisers to “engagement events” like the party’s Women’s Leadership Forum or “I Will Vote Gala” last year — but all will benefit the DNC financially, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement. The Democratic Party has consistently lagged in fundraising behind its Republican counterpart. In the years since the 2016 primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, when the DNC emerged as a source of anti-establishment mistrust and resentment, the current party chair, Tom Perez, has worked effort to restore morale inside the building and rebuild a fundraising and organizing infrastructure that languished during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The DNC declined to comment on a proprietary legal document.


So what’s been the reaction of some select campaigns?

Some Democratic state parties, particularly in the four states that kick off the nominating process, make their own voters files available for campaigns to purchase, though the 50-state database remains an essential resource.

Some campaigns have already signed the DNC terms.

Sanders, the longtime Vermont Independent whose first presidential campaign fought bitterly with the party establishment and famously sued the DNC during a dispute over the voter file in late 2015, has not yet agreed to the DNC conditions, two people close to his campaign said.

The 2015 clash began when multiple Sanders aides were caught taking advantage of a glitch in the DNC’s voter software, allowing them to access proprietary Clinton data. In response, the DNC chair at the time, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, temporarily blocked Sanders from using the voter file. About a month away from the Iowa caucuses — the first contest in the Democratic nominating process — the Sanders camp accused the DNC of deliberate sabotage.

“If the DNC continues to hold our data hostage,” Sanders’s 2016 campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said during a press conference that week, “and continues to try to attack the heart and soul of our grassroots campaign, we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking immediate relief.”

“We need our data, which has been stolen by the DNC,” he said. “That’s what we want back.”

The Sanders campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.


Tom Perez has worked to destroy morale.


Do you suppose Bernie knew that this or something like this was in the works? The roll out of the grassroots app would suggest that he did. He may also still have that DNC information from 2016, so maybe he can just ignore them. It will most certainly hurt other campaigns.

The only way the DNC can surprise me any more would be by getting behind a progressive candidate.


What a racket! More and more the ‘Democratic’ party is acting like, well, the mob! Just my opinion! (I don’t want this site to get into trouble)

Maybe it’s always been like that and I’m just noticing?




A little something different, I’ve never seen this before:


That is one wickedly kewl starfish! 🙂




An interesting project that no one must have told Trump about.

-GEDI produces the first high resolution laser ranging observations of the 3D structure of the Earth.

-GEDI makes precise measurements of forest canopy height, canopy vertical structure, and surface elevation.

-GEDI radically improves our ability to characterize important carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat.


April 16, 2019
Latest News

GEDI finished its on-orbit checkout phase (the commissioning period) and started official operations to acquire science data on March 25th, 2019. GEDI is currently following Reference Ground Tracks (RGTs) to evenly sample the forest structure across the earth. Every week the science team prioritizes the potential RGTs by programming the instrument to point nadir, or slightly off-nadir, to provide the best spatial coverage and to target specific areas of interest. The science data collection phase is scheduled to last for 2 years and the first data products will be delivered in six months around the end of September, 2019. Before then we plan to make example data sets available to help the community prepare for the first data release.



I am sorry to report that Gaza had been getting shelled today.

It was sooo closed
My house heavy shaked and my son Adam don’t stop crying after Israeli Occupation warplanes bombing an agricultural land in my area in Buriej camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip.


That’s how the Israeli occupation army planes bombard the vicinity of the University of Palestine in Gaza City, thousands of university students panicked and scattered from the windows and doors of the auditorium where they were learning poetry
medicine .


How am I supposed to study for final exams in the middle of this Red zone?!
It’s too much pressure for a student to take.‍


They’ve also hit houses, resulting in the deaths so far of year an infant girl and a twenty-two year old young man.

Oh no, now the pregnant mother of the young girl. Ramadan begins on Monday.


Town Meeting in Perry, Iowa, live now (4:30 pm est). I am sure the video wil be up soon after in case you miss it.


Good news everyone! (any Futurama fans here?)

I just got followed by someone I admire! So cool when that happens. Hopefully she’ll stick around. 😉

Here’s a sample of her tweets.

She’s written a book called ‘Paying the Price’:

One of the most sustained and vigorous public debates today is about the value—and, crucially, the price—of college. But an unspoken, outdated assumption underlies all sides of this debate: if a young person works hard enough, they’ll be able to get a college degree and be on the path to a good life.

That’s simply not true anymore, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it. Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than twenty percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, even went without adequate food or housing. In a heartbreaking number of cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt.

We can fix this problem. Goldrick-Rab closes the book by laying out a number of possible solutions, including a public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.


Still watch the re runs of Futurama

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