HomeUncategorized6/17 News Roundup & Open Thread – Hear the Bern Episode 10: But The Union Makes Us Strong, Sanders Pushes For Drastic Change To US Economy & More

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Some interesting stuff here. Some stupid stuff—Warren does not have better political skills than Bernie. Nor is she more rigorous. And she does not have a plan for everything. See Health Care. See Foreign Policy.


Sanders is riding this wave of discontent in an attempt to reclaim “socialism” and re-imbue it with ethics and morality. Far from “tainting” the Democratic Party with socialism, Sanders is actually creating the space for other Democrats to broaden the spectrum of Democratic non-socialist politics. Since at least 1992, the Democratic Party has confined itself to a narrow band of economic policy that, by and large, accepted the premises of Reaganomics. The “center” of American economic policy has been firmly on the right. “Liberal” became a dirty word, and Democrats have been—and many still are—afraid of being perceived as “too liberal.” (Meanwhile, no Republican ever worried about being labelled “too conservative.”) This squeamishness only invited further bullying by the Right, which became content to tar even mild reform ideas as “socialistic.”

Sanders is commandeering the right’s “socialism!” propaganda and purposefully driving it off the logical cliff’s edge. Everybody, he’s saying, is actually at least a little bit of a socialist; it’s just the right that’s cynically hypocritical about it. Sanders’s gambit might accomplish two things, and one of them is unintentionally ironic. The first is that it could neutralize an effective scare-tactic for the right, which could open up space for other progressive candidates to put forward bold ideas without fear of being tarred. The second is that Sanders might actually be making actual socialism’s implementation if America less likely (not that it was even remotely likely to begin with). If “socialism” becomes an anodyne label that applies to anything ranging from universal health care to government investment in private enterprises, then what words are left for those who actually want to dismantle capitalism? Sanders might actually be accomplishing a conservative project while also broadening the spectrum of “acceptable” political ideas.

One candidate in particular stands most to gain if Sanders is successful. In fact, she might be already: Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator shares many of the same goals as Sanders, and is just as unequivocal about her convictions and vision. Sanders’s unofficial campaign slogan, “No middle ground,” could just as easily be Warren’s. (In fact, I hope her campaign co-opts it, because its current slogan, “Persist,” is as insipid as Warren is not.) Even more, she has better political skills; she near single-handedly created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—Sanders has no equivalent accomplishments despite having a significantly longer career in national politics. She is also more rigorous, and has a plan for everything. But unlike Sanders, perhaps because of him, she does not concern herself with ideological labels. In part, it’s because she is definitively not a socialist. “I believe in markets,” she recently told Vox. “I believe in the benefits that come from markets, that two people coming together, or two companies, or a company and a person coming together to exchange goods and services … that’s how we build a lot of wealth in this country and a lot of innovation and create a lot of opportunity.”

But don’t be mistaken, Warren is determined to remake American politics and society. She will not cave to the “centrists” in her own party. If we’re lucky enough to have her as president, and if we give her the congressional majorities she would need to implement her plans, we may have Sanders to thank.


Which Roosevelt is their favorite president says a lot about Bernie and Warren


“Ask me who my favorite president is,” Warren said. When I paused, she said, “Teddy Roosevelt.” Warren admires Roosevelt for his efforts to break up the giant corporations of his day — Standard Oil and railroad holding companies — in the name of increasing competition. She thinks that today that model would increase hiring and productivity. Warren, who has called herself “a capitalist to my bones,” appreciated Roosevelt’s argument that trustbusting was helpful, not hostile, to the functioning of the market and the government. She brought up his warning that monopolies can use their wealth and power to strangle democracy. “If you go back and read his stuff, it’s not only about the economic dominance; it’s the political influence,” she said.

What’s crucial, Roosevelt believed, is to make the market serve “the public good.” Warren puts it like this: “It’s structural change that interests me. And when I say structural, the point is to say if you get the structures right, then the markets start to work to produce value across the board, not just sucking it all up to the top.”

Biden and Sanders have been polling better with non-college-educated white voters than Warren has. David Axelrod, the former Obama strategist and political commentator, thinks that even if her ideas resonate, she has yet to master the challenge of communicating with this group. “She’s lecturing,” he said. “There’s a lot of resistance, because people feel like she’s talking down to them.”

Warren didn’t sound to me like a law professor on the trail, but she did sound like a teacher. Trying to educate people isn’t the easiest way to connect with them. “Maybe she could bring it down a level,” Lola Sewell, a community organizer in Selma, Ala., suggested. “A lot of us aren’t involved with Wall Street and those places.”



Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the field of Democratic nominees in Texas while home-state candidate Beto O’Rourke is in second, according to a poll released Monday.

Biden is the first choice of 23 percent of likely Democratic voters in the Lone Star State.

O’Rourke, a former congressman who made a strong upset bid for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R) seat in 2018, sits in second in the Democratic field with 15 percent support.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are statistically tied with O’Rourke at 14 percent and 12 percent respectively.

No other candidate placed in double digits, with South Bend., Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg getting 8 percent support and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) receiving 5 percent.

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune surveyed 483 likely Democratic primary voters between May 31-June 9. The sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.46 percentage points.



Poll after poll has shown that liberal Democratic primary voters are less sympathetic to Israel than they were in previous years. Likely as a result, most Democratic presidential campaigns for 2020 have bucked tradition and openly expressed their criticisms of the tiny Middle Eastern nation.

But Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Democratic hopeful and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, isn’t one of those candidates. While he’s no fan of Netanyahu’s leadership, he has shown a consistent willingness to back Israel.

He did so again on Sunday in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” in which he said he wouldn’t reverse Trump’s embassy-move decision and called the country a “strong ally.”

Multiple opportunities, multiple defenses of Israel. It’s pretty clear, then, where Buttigieg stands. That puts him in stark contrast with other 2020 contenders like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders has repeatedly condemned Israel for violence at its border with Gaza, where time and time again Israeli forces have killed mostly unarmed protesters — including women and children — pleading for an end to the decade-long Israeli blockade of food, fuel, and medicine.


This article makes the point that Biden was not onlybwrong about his war vote, he was wrong about how to administer Iraq after the war.


After voting for the Iraq War, Biden tried to drastically reorganize the country along ethnic and sectarian lines and helped lay the groundwork for ISIS to thrive.

Biden wants to convince voters his resume on foreign policy is an asset. But they’ve got ground to think otherwise.

“He’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served with Biden in the Obama administration, wrote in his 2014 book.

Just this month, Biden’s primary opponents have zeroed in on his support for Bush’s invasion.

“You’ve got to ask yourself where Joe Biden is on the issues that are most important to you. Did he support the war in Iraq that forever destabilized the Middle East?” former Rep. Beto O’Rourke asked on MSNBC this week. Days earlier, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) had called for Biden to apologize. Almost 30 percent of Democrats are unhappy about Biden’s vote and more than 40 percent of party supporters younger than 30 say it makes them less likely to back him, a Politico/Morning Consult poll recently found.

And Biden’s campaign isn’t offering a counternarrative — either about what he has learned from the past or what wisdom he will bring to bear on the current challenge. With more than 5,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq and analysts warning that reconciliation and stability after the defeat of the Islamic State will require painstaking work, what does he want to do next?




Having already determined that two of the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination—Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—are completely unacceptable and must be stopped at all costs, Wall Street financiers have reportedly begun to narrow down their list of 2020 favorites as candidates’ fundraising efforts reach a “fevered peak” ahead of the June filing deadline.

As the New York Times reported on Sunday, “three candidates are generating most of the buzz” among powerful Wall Street donors: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

“[W]hile many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him,” according to the Times, which interviewed two dozen top fundraisers and political advisers.

According to the Times, Wall Street donors opening their wallets for the 2020 race are attracted to Biden’s “ideological moderation,” Buttigieg’s “charisma and intellect,” and Harris’s “potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls.”


Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fundraiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 am on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day.


T and R, LD!! Also wanted to thank jcb for a great job posting the OTs this weekend. 🙂


Second that!

Don midwest
Don midwest

Honduras was overthrown when Hillary was scty of state

Now country wide revolt against US and resource extraction

why they set fire to US embassy

not the exact title of the article. Could not seem to copy it.

Mondoweiss is outlawed at DK/TOP. Is the greyzone also outlawed?



So it’s not just a matter of people naturally growing more conservative as they grow older. It’s also a matter of the wealthier — and more conservative — people surviving more often, and for longer.


But as poor Americans die prematurely, they also erase from the statistics the adversities that cause their premature deaths in the first place. This masks the true level of social stratification and political disadvantage of vulnerable populations.

This selective elimination makes the U.S. electorate — those citizens who actually vote — more socioeconomically homogeneous over time. Today, wealthier Americans are therefore overrepresented in the middle to older age brackets of society, where many poor people never manage to get into because of their shorter life spans.

Inequality in the U.S., in other words, is not solely the result of economic difference. Health, too, has considerable potential to stack the deck against the poor. Socioeconomics, longevity and political participation mutually reinforce each other, making it especially difficult for poor Americans to gain political clout.


I hope Bernie talks even more about this. This is a national disgrace.

Don midwest
Don midwest

what? is this another issue that Bernie can be a champion of?

how come he gets to get out in front of so many issues?

another irony, humor or whatever


I am thinking that this statistic crystallizes a lot of his arguments for equality. As do some of the statistics on POC health and income, for that matter.

Maybe this one hits home a bit more. It just seems so stark.



Powerful and moving.




Don midwest
Don midwest

thank God for Bernie

where would we be without a strong challenge to the establishment factions?

I have had the sense for some time that Schiff is a piece of s**t because of his support for Russia, Russia, Russia. Some good stuff has come out from him, but now this false flag war monger.



Don midwest
Don midwest

Indigenous people arise to protect US soil!

another ironic comment, but ‘American Soil’ Is Increasingly Foreign Owned

maybe me, as a white guy, is now an almost indigenous as out soil is being sold off. About 5 years ago foreigners owned 20% of the US. Have not seen a recent figure.

from the article

It’s likely that even more American land will end up in foreign hands, especially in states with no restrictions on ownership. With the median age of U.S. farmers at 55, many face retirement with no prospect of family members willing to take over. The National Young Farmers Coalition anticipates that two-thirds of the nation’s farmland will change hands in the next few decades.

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins. “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

There are two counties in this region with the highest concentration of foreign-owned farmland — more than 41,000 acres each. One of those is Paulding County, where three wind farms straddle the Ohio-Indiana line.

this is from Soil Care network list of articles





I think I caught it when Bernie spoke: http://bit.ly/remindmePPC


But how does a corporatist like Joy Reid get invited to this panel?


it was Warren, but it was good. She didn’t bring up M4A, and she didn’t talk about green new housing but she did talk about the power we all have in numbers. I just wish she would sign off of big donor money in the general. If you do that and support M4A single payer, I would be much more comfortable



Former Vice President Joe Biden has a two-to-one advantage over the next closest Democratic presidential contender in a new poll, but more than three-quarters of likely primary voters say they could still change their minds.

The national survey from Park Strategies finds Biden at 32 percent support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 15 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 13 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 12 percent and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) at 7 percent. No other candidate has more than 2 percent support.

While Biden has a big lead at the moment, his support appears to be soft. Seventy-seven percent of likely Democratic voters said they could still change their minds, pollsters found.

“Voters may be ‘dating’ Joe Biden, but they have not ‘married’ him,” said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic pollster and founder of Park Strategies. “While he enjoys a clear lead, there are simply too many Democratic voters open to changing their minds. Whether in the upcoming debates, or other events, it is clear that the Democratic race could change dramatically in the coming weeks.”



What, then, should we make of Sanders’s decision to embrace a nearly revolutionary label, “democratic socialism,” but define it in terms of American left-liberal politics?

One answer is that as someone who did live and work in left-wing and Marxist circles for much of his adult life, he wants to bring the term itself into the mainstream of American politics. To not just embrace the “socialist” attacks as a badge of honor but to make “democratic socialism” an extension of the New Deal is to make it sound normal, even desirable. More Americans may embrace the label. And because the term still implies a larger set of ideological commitments outside of Democratic Party liberalism, some of Sanders’s followers will become bona fide socialists who want that Debsian transformation of economic relations in the United States. It has already happened, in fact, with the substantial growth of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2016 and an increasing (albeit still small) number of Americans with a positive view of “socialism,” including a bare majority of the youngest adults.

The term does other political work. It distinguishes him from his rivals in the Democratic primary and suggests he wants to go further than his stated views — that he’s also interested in fundamental transformation, even if his program isn’t more meaningfully progressive than that of his closest ideological rival, Elizabeth Warren.

There’s another way to understand Sanders’s rhetoric around “democratic socialism.” For Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, Sanders embodies the not-always-clear divide between liberals and the left. “In running as a democratic socialist who seeks to complete and update F.D.R.’s agenda,” he writes, “Sanders straddles the very fuzzy border between social democracy and American left liberalism.” In both traditions, democracy is an economic project as well as a political one. Perhaps Sanders is just trying to make that explicit — to once and for all marginalize the centrist Democratic Party politics of the past three decades, in which the economic rights of workers were subordinate to the demands of capital — as well as show Americans how good, effective governance can include left-wing politics. It is the political project of his entire career, from Burlington to the Capitol Building.



From my email, the NYT has this blurb:

U.S. escalates attacks on Russia’s power grid

For years, U.S. security and intelligence agencies have said that Moscow has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, pipelines or water supplies.
Now, the U.S. is deploying computer code inside Russia’s electricity grid and other targets as a warning to President Vladimir Putin and a demonstration of expanded permissions to deploy cybertools.

How we know: In interviews over the past three months, current and former U.S. officials described the classified program. It’s unclear how deep into the Russian grid the efforts have bored.

Another angle: Pentagon and intelligence officials described hesitation to go into detail with President Trump about the operation because of concern over his reaction and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.

The paragraph that I highlighted should scare everyone. The country is in free fall when the president cannot be trusted with national security by his own administration.


Also when a group of people can just cyber attack another sovereign country, willy-nilly.


But . . . but . . . Russia did it first! The problem I have with this is that while there is a thousand headlines (okay, that was hyperbole, but there are well over 100) that Russia has been hacking into the US power grid is that so far I have not seen any definitive EVIDENCE.

The headlines should be saying that maybe it is time to upgrade our infrastructure so some kids with time on their hands are not bringing down the power grids. Yes, their IPs may be located in Russia, but a good VPN can do that. Evidence!!

Also, a note of interest, the US has claimed that China is also messing with the US power grid. Again without evidence.

In fact the only evidence we have of anyone attacking a power grid is the US government stating that the US is doing so.


See? Rachel was right!!!

Oh wait…


i am sure she can spend the next year justifying the US actions because, well . . . it’s Russia!!



Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign on Monday sought to dismiss arguments that their candidate is yesterday’s news, issuing a memo that said the Vermont senator is better positioned than any other candidate to defeat President Trump.

Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir pointed to a spate of public polls since March that show Sanders beating Trump in hypothetical match-ups.

What’s more, he wrote, “the surveys show Sanders with the strongest base of support among voters who say they have committed to one candidate.”

“We have a lot of work in front of us in the next eight months — but we are more confident than ever that our strong grassroots campaign will lead us to victory in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the other early voting states,” Shakir wrote.

The memo also underscores the extent to which Sanders has relied on his core base of supporters to power his presidential bid.

In it, Shakir cites two recent polls — one by CBS and the other by The Economist and YouGov — showing that the Vermont senator’s supporters are the most likely to say that they are considering only one candidate for the Democratic nomination.

The argument from the Sanders campaign can be read as a message to rivals that the senator’s core supporters aren’t going anywhere, and that others should join his train.


Bernie is tied with Harris at 11%,


No why don’t you go home Joe. Obama just had no time to explain thE ACA🤔 And good luck shaming Mitch McConnell.


Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday forcefully pushed back against criticism that he is naïve to think Democrats can work with Republicans in Congress after President Donald Trump leaves office.

Biden has campaigned on his ability to cut deals with GOP leaders, arguing that some Republican lawmakers will change if Trump is ousted in 2020. His leading Democratic rivals have instead railed against a political system they say has long been broken and must be changed, and critics of Biden’s approach have said his approach ignores Republican efforts prior to Trump to obstruct Democrats, particularly during the Obama administration.

“If you start off with the notion there’s nothing you can do, well why don’t you all go home then, man? Or let’s start a real physical revolution if you’re talking about it. Because we have to be able to change what we’re doing within our system,” Biden said Monday at the Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum in Washington.

He touted his efforts to attract three Republican votes for the stimulus package in 2009. And he said the reason Obama was unable to use the bully pulpit to increase the popularity of his signature health care law was “because everything landed on President Obama’s desk but locusts at the time, he had no time to explain the Affordable Care Act.”

Biden told Reid that “you can shame people to do things the right way.”



2020 Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden mocked Bernie Sanders for his rhetoric of “revolution” at a Washington, D.C., campaign event.

In a rambling answer in which he appeared to advocate a middle way between helplessness and overthrowing the system.

“You try to persuade. Doesn’t mean you can do it all the time,” said Biden, 76. “If you start off with the notion there is nothing you can do, well then why don’t you go all go home then, man? Or let’s start a real, physical revolution if you are talking about it because we have to be able to change what we are doing within our system.”





Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration will send a thousand troops to the Middle East amid increased tensions with Iran.

Shanahan said that the increased forces were in response to a request from U.S. Central Command for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East. U.S authorities accused Iran of attacks on two tankers last week, though the country’s foreign minister has denied the accusations.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said. “The U.S. does not seek conflict with Iran.”


And attack on the troops in four, three, two, one.


Not a Joy Ann fan, but not a good look to lean over her and lecture her.


Former vice president Joe Biden received a tepid reception from a room full of activists at a presidential candidates’ forum Monday hosted by the Poor People’s Campaign, a reflection of his ongoing challenge in winning over the liberal faction of the Democratic Party.

Biden outlined a health-care proposal that would build on the Affordable Care Act by increasing access for lower-income people. But the idea was less sweeping than the Medicare-for-all plan embraced by some of his Democratic rivals, many of whom advocated those policies when they took the stage later.

The Poor People’s Campaign is a clergy-led effort to revive the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s push to focus attention and resources on poverty. At the group’s forum in Washington, about 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates showed up to make their case on fighting poverty.

The Rev. William Barber II, a founder of the campaign, asked attendees not to cheer or hiss, but rather to greet all the candidates with polite applause. Even in this subdued setting, however, the response to Biden was noticeably muted, and he left the stage to applause that was less enthusiastic than that which greeted him.

Joy-Ann Reid, an MSNBC host who moderated the session, asked Biden how he would pass his plans through a stubborn Congress — in particular, how he would work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who makes little secret of his satisfaction at blocking Democratic initiatives.

Biden bristled at the suggestion that his approach was misguided. As he wound through his response, Biden moved nearer to Reid, who was seated, and leaned over her.

“Joy-Ann, I know you’re one of the ones who thinks it’s naive to think we have to work together,” Biden said. “The fact of the matter is, if we can’t get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive branch. Zero.” He added that “you can shame people into doing the right thing.”

Biden’s suggestion that he could persuade McConnell to cooperate prompted skepticism from those who have interacted with McConnell. Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former Obama deputy chief of staff, tweeted, “maybe you can shame people. you can’t shame McConnell. it would be dope to find a path to greater bipartisanship but this isn’t that path.”


I was surprised the reception for Bernie was not more enthusiastic, as well. I wonder if the people who have been working these campaigns for years, maybe decades, have been strongly in Hillary‘s camp. I am honestly furious at the whole charade that Hillary and her minions worked up to hate on Bernie and rather than reconciling after the campaign she has deepened it and there is no coming back for a lot of good people and it is such a damn shame.

Joy was likely invited to host just like the “she” power one earlier. Burns me up.


More from the article

In response, he stresses that his goal of bringing people together, including Republicans, saying the country cannot function any other way. Biden has built his message around a revival of the middle class, talking less about poverty than some of his opponents, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who also spoke Monday. Barber nodded at the tendency to avoid the issue in his opening remarks, though he didn’t mention Biden by name.

“Sometimes people blame the poor for their problems. Others say this kind of neoliberalism, that if you help middle class or the working class, that’s going to fix everything,” Barber said. “We know that neither one of those is the truth.”


Biden is this old guy wandering around talking about how his working with Republicans is going to save the country, when that’s what gotten us into this horrible mess. How he gets the poll numbers he gets is beyond me.

Not really. Everyone’s busy busy busy and the news is on 24 seven pounding these things into their brain no matter how discerning they think they are.



Don midwest
Don midwest

trying something out. Nothing here.








I know it is late (or early) but didn’t want to lose track of this, so I am posting it here now and will try to remember to repost to tomorrow’s (later today’s) OT.

This is just so very wrong. From 2014, but I doubt much has changed with her.

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