HomeUncategorized6/13 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders: Trump Is A ‘Corporate Socialist’, Bernie’s Path To Power Began In A Public-Housing Laundry Room & More

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Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Deathwi60magsvieworlbucfanDon midwest Recent comment authors

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Wisconsin Supreme Court order puts most lame-duck laws back into effect

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated for now several powers Republican lawmakers gave the Legislature during a December lame-duck session.

The order, in a second major case challenging the laws that passed after a Democrat was elected governor but before he took office, reinstates a law that reduced the power of Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul to drop out of or settle cases. It was issued less than 24 hours before a trial in the Dane County court case was set to begin.

The ruling means that for now Kaul can no longer compromise or end most lawsuits brought on behalf of the state without Legislative approval. Kaul is now also prevented from compromising or settling an action brought against the state without a Legislative committee signing off. The law will remain in effect unless the Supreme Court decides to overturn it when it rules on multiple challenges to the law in the coming days or weeks.

Using such authority given to him by a state judge’s order, Kaul had withdrawn Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.

The only provision the Supreme Court allowed to remain suspended affects so-called guidance documents, which tell regulated businesses how to comply with state agency rules. The high court’s order prevents from going into effect a requirement that state agencies finish certifying many of those documents by July 1.

SEIU, League of Women Voters, and a few others are still fighting, but they will get no where in the state courts.


Wi Dems had their chance in 18 to set the table for a take over of the WSSC in 2020, but as usual the R turned on their ad machine and GOTV and Dem voters sat home as per tradition in non presidential elections. Dane county excluded as they had a yuge turnout in 18.


Still not as baked-in backwards and crooked as Floridumb, wi60.


so sorry.



Mayor Pete Buttigieg was keeping a low profile. It was last spring, and he was in the middle of deliberating what he would later call “one of the hardest decisions” he’s had to make during his tenure in South Bend, Indiana. An abortion clinic—which was hoping to offer service to a city without a single provider—was trying to open. A crisis pregnancy center (CPC)—a pro-life facility that counsels women against getting abortions—was trying to open up directly next door.

To the relief of the clinic, Buttigieg eventually barred the CPC from its desired location. But he did so without ever taking a stand on the issue at the heart of the rezoning debate: reproductive rights. He relied on arguments of community peace while equating the two diametrically opposed groups as “good residents who seek to support women.” He even offered to “help” the anti-abortion organization open elsewhere, despite evidence that the vast majority of crisis pregnancy centers provide false or misleading information to the women they claim to serve.

Buttigieg has spent the past several months campaigning as a pro-choice candidate for president, but this episode in his hometown underscores a broader pattern in which he avoids talking proactively about the issue of abortion rights and offers platitudes in place of specific policy. While the compromise in this particular incident was arguably politically prudent in conservative Indiana and heavily Catholic South Bend, it’s important to consider it in a larger context.


I’m not really sure why Buttigieg has caught on more than Beto. At least Beto was a member of the House and nearly won a statewide Senate campaign in a huge state against an incumbent.


Beto O’Rourke’s team and supporters think the narrative around their campaign is bunk.

When the Texas Democrat jumped into the race, he was tagged as a political vanity project come to life on the campaign trail; a candidate whose paper-thin résumé made little sense next to the glossy coverage he received. And so, his team set about changing it. For weeks, O’Rourke has been introducing policy papers and sticking to a meet-everyone, go-everywhere plan that initially sidestepped some high-profile media hits.

But instead of earning kudos, or even recognition, from the press corps, his standing in the Democratic presidential primary has dropped. And, increasingly, those in and around the campaign are starting to get fed up that the narrative has lingered.

“The media bashed this guy because he didn’t do their bullshit dog and pony show,” Boyd Brown, a former South Carolina Democratic state lawmaker who backed O’Rourke early told The Daily Beast. “Morning Joe, they want you to do their circuit. They repeat the stuff they hear at their cocktail parties in Greenwich and the Hamptons over the weekend. And they come back and think everybody’s going to agree to all the inside-the-beltway bullshit that they listen to day in and day out.”


I guess Beto has decided to join the Morning Joe circuit. And to join the Biden bash.


We’re all socialists now


Nevertheless, by coopting the right’s expansive definition of “socialism” — which holds that any major government intervention in the economy (that conservatives don’t like) is a fulfillment of Marx’s vision — Sanders was able to recast the terms of America’s economic debate.

“In 2008, after their greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior created the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings, Wall Street’s religious adherence to unfettered capitalism suddenly came to an end,” Sanders said Wednesday. “Overnight, Wall Street became big-government socialists and begged for the largest federal bailout in American history — over $1 trillion from the Treasury and even more from the Federal Reserve. But it’s not just Wall Street that loves socialism — when it works for them. It is the norm across the entire corporate world.”

One can pick many bones with Sanders’s wording here (e.g., Wall Street was a beneficiary of “big government” largesse long before 2008). But his remarks call attention to an important fact: Americans already live in a country where unelected bureaucrats pick economic winners and losers, where public policy exerts a massive influence over the distribution of income, where some indolent Americans live off the hard labor of others, and where the state directs investment toward official, conscious ends. If these are the defining features of socialism, then the United States lost the Cold War before it began, and the real debate between left and right in the U.S. isn’t over whether “big government” should intervene in markets, or even how much it should, but rather who should have a say over how it intervenes — and whose interests such “socialism” should serve.

There may be more politically optimal ways of making this point (or at least, ones that do less violence to Marx’s conception of socialism). But Sanders’s broad argument is a vital one.

Sanders’s implicit argument is quite similar: If our “capitalist” economy depends on constant discretionary interventions by policy-makers, we might as well determine those interventions through democratic debate — and aim them at advancing the best interests of the 99 percent.

We are all “socialists” now. Some of us just happen to be democratic ones.


T and R, LD and the usual excellent TPW/BNR suspects!! 🙂


You do not need to understand the language to understand the message. Poverty has its own universal language.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

This video brings a tear.


Poll shows close race in California. It does provide more evidence that Warren is picking up steam. Bernie and Warren combined are 35 to Biden’s 22. Bad poll for Harris in her home state. I suspect that Warren is actually stealing support from Harris here.


Former Vice President Joe Biden has a small lead over the field of Democratic contenders in California, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is hot on his heels and has edged past Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) into second place, according to a new poll.

The survey from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies finds Biden at 22 percent support. Warren and Sanders are in a statistical tie, at 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who will need a strong showing in her home state to compete, is in fourth place with 13 percent, followed by South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent.

California Democrats will cast ballots earlier than in previous cycles, making the most delegate-rich state in the contest a huge prize for the contenders. Voters will cast ballots on Super Tuesday, on March 3.


I’ve been getting the impression that Harris supporters see the writing on the wall and that many of them are jumping to Warren.


yes. I think I read somewhere that many of Warren’s second choice votes are to Harris. Bummer that Bernie is lower.



This invites metaphors:

Don midwest
Don midwest

clicked on blank page and got what soubds like nature sounds


Hmmm, the link works fine for me, but it may well be cached. Here is an additional link:


adorable. I was hoping that my camping trip might keep me away, but alas, I will have to learn to limit screen time another way. Plus I’m really glad I got to see Bernie’s speech

thanks for the vids.


Well, I for one am glad to see you pb!


glad to see you all, too! it’s more twitter that has to go or lessen. 😜🤪🙃😊


To clarify, I am back from camping and did not have service on the trip, which was really nice. But I’m enjoying being back. camped on a river with niece, her 5th grader son, my Bella dog. hikes both full days. hot springs above a river. Someday I’ll learn the art of downloading pictures. large site with rocks Situated to make little pools at the edges of the river. Really nice. Nathan played dungeon master and Sabina and I were the players.


Don midwest
Don midwest


Could you be more specific Joe??

Don midwest
Don midwest

why are these darned indigenous people concerned about “their” land?

EXCLUSIVE: Alberta warned it could take 2,800 years to clean up oilpatch

this includes oil and mining

why don’t the island people let the US destroy their land to test weapons? How many centuries to recover, if ever, from the chemicals and metals in bombs and rockets and electronics?

those uppity people

letting high school students stand up to the vaulted US military!

this article was posted today earlier


Oh great


Two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman came under suspected attack early Thursday amid soaring tensions between the United States and Iran.

A Japanese-owned ship was targeted just as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, wrapped up a high-stakes visit to Tehran to help cool hostilities in the region and potentially mediate U.S.-Iran talks.

The attack appeared timed to undermine those efforts, which Abe had called “a major step forward toward securing peace and stability in this region,” Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

Both Iran and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain said they were assisting the two ships, whose crews were evacuated safely.

A second vessel, owned by Norway’s Frontline, was on fire and adrift in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, a company spokesman told Norwegian media.

The Japanese-owned ship, which was carrying methanol, suffered damage to its hull, a company statement said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday on Twitter that the attack took place while Abe was meeting with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for “extensive and friendly talks.”

“Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” he said.

The exact circumstances of the attack were unclear. But the incident follows a similar operation targeting oil tankers in the same area last month, an assault that U.S. officials blamed on Iran. Iranian officials deny involvement.

CNN reported this:

The Japanese government said both tankers were carrying “Japan-related” cargo. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently on a visit to Iran.


My bet is Israel with at least someone in US (Bolton) blessing the attack.

As Trump administration officials rushed to blame Iran for the reported attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the timing and apparent target of the explosions immediately prompted warnings that they may have been part of a deliberate effort to provoke a war between the U.S. and Iran.

The alleged attacks, which set a Japanese-owned tanker ablaze, came as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an attempt to reduce dangerous military tensions between the Iran and the U.S.

As Common Dreams reported last month, the recent escalation between Iran and the U.S. was sparked by the Trump administration’s belligerent threats and naval activity in the Persian Gulf.

Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), said in a statement that Thursday’s attacks could have been carried out by “actors in the region and beyond who want to maneuver the U.S. into a war.”


From what I’m seeing, a good 90% of the people here and around the world aren’t buying what the Trump administration is selling.


Sounds like Netanyahoo and fellow FRightwingnuts, Israeli style.


Reading a lot of stuff claimimg Bolton is now on orange imbecile’s sh#tlist. Sure hope it’s true and the yahoo will fire him.



When Joe Biden issued a non-apology in April nodding to changing “social norms” in response to a series of accusations from women who said he had touched them inappropriately and without their consent, one thing was clear: Biden had little intention of actually changing, much less seeking forgiveness from those he had made uncomfortable. The former vice president has continued to treat the issue as a joke on the trail. Another uncomfortable habit of his surfaced on Wednesday that almost as clearly shows the type of retrograde personal approach to interacting with women Biden refuses to relinquish.

After meeting an Iowa voter’s 13-year-old granddaughter in Eldridge on Wednesday, Biden addressed the girl’s brothers, telling them, “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from your sister.”

This is a well-worn line in Biden’s mental Crowd Work Rolodex, employed time and time again over his long career in politics. In January 2011, and again in January 2013, and again in January 2015, Biden told the same joke while swearing in new members of Congress. After meeting the new members’ daughters or granddaughters, he’d take a look at them, eyes popping out of his head with faux disbelief.

Of course, Biden’s intended audience isn’t the girls he’s supposedly addressing, but any boy, man, or potential authority figure within earshot of those girls. It’s a verbal elbow nudge signaling to the girl’s father, grandfather, mother, or brother that they’d better keep their daughter/granddaughter/sister on lockdown, or reap the heavily implied consequences. Meanwhile, at no point do the girls and young women Biden addresses have the agency to say whether they feel like they need protecting. It also unnecessarily suggests to them that their appearance, which they cannot control, will inevitably put them in danger.


Unlike Bernie, Biden does give indications that age might be a problem. Bernie is running as vigorously and is as sharp as any of his younger competitors.


Though older than Biden, Sanders hasn’t generated the same volume of discussion about his age. He has had a more aggressive campaign schedule than Biden, speaks in a more animated style and was even seen marching with McDonald’s workers last week in support of higher wages.




It’s not obvious to me that this difference in political ideology matters at a practical level. Sanders and Warren have similar policy agendas and would face similar political constraints and challenges if elected president. But politically, they’re quite significant. Sanders’s embrace of “democratic socialism” appeals to people who are furious about the distribution of wealth in this country — a primal class anger that Warren, a self-described “capitalist to my bones,” doesn’t tap into.

Sanders’s speech shows that he’s betting his political future on the idea that he’s not the only one who’s mad as hell at rich people, and that this shared rage is a defining motivation for the Democratic primary electorate and even the country as a whole. His “democratic socialism” is an attempt to harness this furor; whether it succeeds depends on just how much of it is out there.


the author’s frame—furor at rich people—is glib and a subtle smear.


Eat the Rich! Seriously though, I agree with you pb. Most people aren’t “mad as hell at rich people”, just…somewhat pissed off and struggling?





Finally, an article with no hidden agenda, as far as I can tell.


Off topic, but this article was fascinating.

How modern life is transforming the human skeleton

From the emergence of a spiky growth at the back of some people’s skulls to the enigmatic finding that our elbows are getting narrower, our bones are changing in surprising ways

What the scientists found was striking. The spike was far more prevalent than they had expected, and also a lot more common in the youngest age group: one in four people aged 18-30 had the growth. Why could this be? And should we be concerned?

Shahar thinks the spike explosion is down to modern technology, particularly our recent obsession with smartphones and tablets. As we hunch over them, we crane our necks and hold our heads forward. This is problematic, because the average head weighs around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) – about as much as a large watermelon.

When we’re sitting upright, these hefty objects are balanced neatly on top of our spines. But as we lean forwards to pore over famous dogs on social media, our necks must strain to hold them in place. Doctors call the pain this can cause “text neck”. Shahar thinks the spikes form because the hunched posture creates extra pressure on the place where the neck muscles attach to the skull – and the body responds by laying down fresh layers of bone. These help the skull to cope with the extra stress, by spreading the weight over a wider area.


I guess this isn’t a totally new revelation, but I like how the new article above goes into skeleton evolution in detail.


wow. Wonder at what point it becomes part of DNA at birth. Kind of a bummer


Yah, sorry polarbear. On the other hand, it’s a great argument for exercising at a young age to strengthen bones and creating one’s own preferred posture (think of dancers). So kind of empowering.




Sanders’ association of the New Deal with the socialist tradition may irk some; after all, a better welfare state isn’t actually socialism, no matter how much the Republicans say it is.

But it’s also a product of the carefully deployed pragmatism that has long defined Sanders’ political success. As Sanders said upon becoming mayor of Burlington forty years ago, “I know that there is little I can do from City Hall to accomplish my dreams for society.” Rather, Sanders’ goal, as it has always been, is to open the door of public imagination to the idea of class politics, to make life better for the poor, the elderly, and working people of all kinds, and to weaken the power corporations and the rich have over people’s lives.

And to this end, Sanders’s claiming of the legacy of the New Deal is something just about anyone — from those on the Left who want to go beyond the New Deal, to liberals who think fondly of it but are skeptical of trying to revive it — should take notice of.


Will we be hearing soon about Warren’s troubles with black voters?

In the poll in the Axios article, Biden is 68 enthusiastic/comfortable and 24 very uncomfortable/have reservations +44 (thanks Obama!); Bernie is next at 58/31 +27 then Harris at 47/27 +20. Warren is the most unpopular at 33/37 -4 (the only candidate tested who was in the negative)


The Youguv poll that came out earlier this week had Biden at 50% black support; Bernie at 10%; Harris at 7%; and Warren only at 4%.



Bottom-dwelling centrists—good term


Michael Bennet stood and applauded when President Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address “that America will never be a socialist country.” Seth Moulton has said a democratic socialist won’t win the White House in 2020.

On Thursday, John Hickenlooper went further: Democrats aren’t socialists, the former Colorado governor said at a speech in Washington, and Democratic candidates for president should stop embracing Bernie Sanders and his liberal policies if they want to oust President Donald Trump in 2020.

For weeks, bottom-dwelling centrists in the Democratic primary have decried socialism while largely avoiding directly attacking Sanders, the only self-described democratic socialist in the 24-person primary. Hickenlooper and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney wielded the argument recently to grab attention they’ve desperately sought.

California Democrats booed both candidates earlier this month, when Hickenlooper told a convention of liberal activists that “socialism is not the answer” to beating Trump and Delaney dismissed Medicare for All as neither “good policy, nor is it good politics.”

For candidates polling around 1 percent, negative attention is still attention.



Rep. Jayapal’s powerful op ed about her abortion


I have never spoken publicly about my abortion. In some ways, I have felt I should not have to, because it is an intensely personal decision. But I have decided to speak about it now because I am deeply concerned about the intensified efforts to strip choice and constitutional rights away from pregnant people and the simplistic ways of trying to criminalize abortion. There are so many stories that are far more traumatic than mine — low-income pregnant people, including people of color and rape victims who face untenable choices. There are also stories that are not traumatic at all — just the free exercise of a protected constitutional right. I am grateful to those across the country who are speaking out about the tremendous diversity of experiences and what it truly means to be empowered, even as I respect the choices of those who keep their stories private.

To this day, 22 years later, I think about those moments on the table in the doctor’s office. Circumstances prevented me from giving birth again, though I am blessed with a wonderful stepson. To this day, I have deep emotions about all the events of my life. For me, terminating my pregnancy was not an easy choice, but it was my choice. That is the single thing that has allowed me to live with the consequences of my decisions. And that is what must be preserved, for every pregnant person.





Trying to be realistic and fair minded here.



No big surprise


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday that he would call the FBI if he were offered foreign intelligence on his political opponents.

Pressed by MSNBC host Chris Hayes on whether he’d inform the FBI about such an offer, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate responded, “It is illegal, so yes I would.”

Sanders’s comments came after President Trump suggested Wednesday that he would accept damaging information on a political opponent from a foreign government.





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