HomeCandidates 2018Ben Jealous6/19 News Roundup – Bernie Sanders rallies w/ Ben Jealous; New Video Captures ‘Horrifying’ Reality of Children Taken From Parents & More
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I wonder what the NRA will have to say about this?

Deputies arrested Manuel Fernandez, 60, after a two-day search of his home revealed the massive illegal arsenal.

He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and illegally having an assault rifle and large-capacity magazines.

He was released on a $35,000 (£27,000) bond one day after his arrest.

That bail amount is an absolute joke!

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I’d love to know why he had so many. Maybe it was to make money?


Nothing to see here! Trump is an expert on trade policy.

What could possibly go wrong?


And China(Wal)-Mart will simply not raise prices –RIGHT?????



Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in south Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.

“We’ve long suspected that Donald Trump’s businesses were a front for money laundering and our research suggests it could be true,” said Harrell Kirstein, communicators director for the Trump War Room at American Bridge. “The millions of dollars in previously unreported, all-cash real estate deals we discovered raise troubling questions about who is funding his businesses, why, and what they’re getting in return.”


Oil Industry Copes With Climate Impacts As Permafrost Thaws

To be honest, climate change is pretty good business for our company,” says Ed Yarmak, who runs Arctic Foundations and gets about half his work from oil companies on the North Slope. “We’re in the business of making things colder.”

By “things” he means the permafrost that blankets Alaska’s North Slope.

The oil industry has built a vast network of pipelines and buildings on top of permafrost, and has always had to use special engineering to adjust for it. Oil operators have used Yarmak’s product since the 1970’s, but he says rising temperatures mean it’s needed even more.

As permafrost thaws, he says, “the doors start to stick, the sheet rock cracks, the floor isn’t level any more. Things aren’t the way that they planned them.”

To help, Yarmak manufactures long metal tubes filled with a refrigerant, called thermosyphons. In his company’s Anchorage warehouse he points out a dense array of tiny fins that stick out the top.

“It’s where the heat comes out and goes to the air,” he says.

These giant tubes are partially buried in the permafrost. The gas inside pulls heat out of the ground and in the process, keeps it frozen.

Each tube is custom-made and can cost up to $10,000. Yarmak says oil companies have installed thousands of them across Alaska’s Arctic. If the state continues to warm as projected, he expects to be in business a long time to come.


Tangentially, I read an article recently that brought up the scary point that as the planet warms more and more people will want/need air conditioning, which then warms the planet even more. Yikes! We need to get our act together!! Stat.

The World Wants Air-Conditioning.
That Could Warm the World.

The number of air-conditioners worldwide is predicted to soar from 1.6 billion units today to 5.6 billion units by midcentury, according to a report issued Tuesday by the International Energy Agency. If left unchecked, by 2050 air-conditioners would use as much electricity as China does for all activities today.

Greenhouse gas emissions released by coal and natural gas plants when generating electricity to power those air-conditioners would nearly double, from 1.25 billion tons in 2016 to 2.28 billion tons in 2050, the report says. Those emissions would contribute to global warming, which could further heighten the demand for air-conditioning.

And then there’s this:

And because air-conditioners work in part by venting hot air outside, they also make the surrounding neighborhood warmer. By some estimates air-conditioning can raise overnight temperatures by about two degrees Fahrenheit (one degree Celsius) in some cities, the report said. Practically speaking, if enough of your neighbors buy an air-conditioner it may increase the temperature in your home enough to drive you to do the same.


Human Rights Activist Claude Leostic Accuses Emmanuel Macron’s Government of “Political Harassment”

And so when we tried to dock, the boats, the police boats came to us, pushed us along, sent us back to the center of the river, to the middle of the river, and pushed us away and away and away from the Seine and from our supporters.

At the same time there were, I would say, about a dozen police cars, you know, with those vans with, with the sirens and the lights flashing on the streets just above the key where our friends were waiting, continuing all the way along with us until we were out of Paris waters. It was really political harassment, political denial of freedom and freedom of expression for us French people, and it is something which is totally unacceptable.


Drawing Links Between US Militarism Abroad and Gun Violence at Home (Pt 1/2)

(Nino sounded sure-footed on stage during his March for Our lives speech, a snippet included during the linked video, but he’s not as smooth to listen to here, tbh, but he makes great points and seems to have deep insight. And I would have loved to have had him as my fifth grade teacher! I probably would have woken up a lot sooner.)

NINO BROWN:: Well, I mean, I think the United States is just fundamentally built on violence, right. Indigenous genocide, African slavery. And our politicians cannot speak to this reality because they are in the pocket of the NRA, right. We know that Congress is made up of all millionaires, and the gun lobby is very influential in kind of dictating the limitations, or the boundaries, the contours of our conversations around gun violence.

So what’s interesting about the liberal outrage, Democratic Party outrage, around gun violence is that (their) proposals to solve gun violence don’t actually involve the victims. They don’t actually take into account the reality of those who have been victims of all kinds of gun violence like police brutality police killings these 416 people have been killed in 2018 as a result of police violence. Every year we have at least a thousand people being killed as a result of police violence. So these these measures these discussions that liberals and Democratic Party appendages and other folks bring to the table are just completely devoid of any type of historical or social context. Like so said the violence doesn’t come out of nowhere.

The violence is historical. The violence is within the boundaries of, you know, maintaining a system where it’s profitable to, to destroy, you know, to invest in weapons of war. So I don’t think that the, the politicians that we have today can really speak to that without going directly to the root cause of the problem.


Screenshot of Nino Brown attached. I love his t-shirt. 🙂


This poster points out that when Obama began his term in Feb 2009, that awful Sheriff Arpaio was blatantly housing illegal immigrants in open-air tents, and when Obama left office in 2016 that ‘tent city’ was still in operation.


Senate passes $716B defense bill

Senators voted 85-10 on the defense authorization legislation, well over the simple majority needed to pass it.

I wish I could say I was surprised. 🙁

I’m thinking that at least a few of those who voted no will be announcing their presidential runs right after midterms? 😛

Voting against it:

Dianne Feinstein
Kirsten Gillibrand
Kamala Harris
Ed Marley
Jeff Merkley
Elizabeth Warren
Bernie Sanders
Rand Paul
Mike Lee



I can’t say that I am one of his fans but this tweet hits the bullseye.


A little bit of good news, as long as you aren’t involved in the oil and gas industry at least!

Despite Trump, Wall Street is breaking up with fossil fuels

there’s been reason this month for hope — reason, at least, to think that the basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway.

from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed: Even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise. Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words: “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.”

The IEEFA report labeled the industry “weaker than it has been in decades” and laid out its basic frailties, the first of which is paradoxical. Fracking has produced a sudden surge of gas and oil into the market, lowering prices — which means many older investments (Canada’s tar sands, for instance) no longer make economic sense. Fossil fuel has been transformed into a pure commodity business, and since the margins on fracking are narrow at best, its financial performance has been woeful. The IEEFA describes investors as “shell-shocked” by poor returns.

The second weakness is more obvious: the sudden rise of a competitor that seems able to deliver the same product — energy — with cheaper, cleaner, better technologies. Tesla, sure—but Volkswagen, having come clean about the dirtiness of diesel, is going to spend $84 billion on electric drivetrains. China seems bent on converting its entire bus fleet to electric power. Every week seems to bring a new record-low price for clean energy: the most recent being a Nevada solar plant clocking in at 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour, even with Trump’s tariffs on Chinese panels.

And the third problem for the fossil fuel industry? According to IEEFA, that would be the climate movement



The subtext to this is how effective grassroots efforts can be. Of course, the Kochs just use that to their evil, greedy, ends:

How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country

The group, the local chapter for Americans for Prosperity, which is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes, fanned out and began strategically knocking on doors. Their targets: voters most likely to oppose a local plan to build light-rail trains, a traffic-easing tunnel and new bus routes.

“Do you agree that raising the sales tax to the highest rate in the nation must be stopped?” Samuel Nienow, one of the organizers, asked a startled man who answered the door at his ranch-style home in March. “Can we count on you to vote ‘no’ on the transit plan?”

In cities and counties across the country — including Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix, Ariz.; southeast Michigan; central Utah; and here in Tennessee — the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit, an offshoot of their longstanding national crusade for lower taxes and smaller government.

“There’s nothing more effective than actually having a human conversation with someone on events that affect them on a day-to-day basis,” Akash Chougule, policy director at Americans for Prosperity, said in an interview. “It’s a great opportunity for us to activate people in their own backyards, and we’re among the first to do it in a sustained, permanent way.”

How do they get all that info??

Central to the work of Americans for Prosperity is i360, the Kochs’ data operation, which profiles Americans based on their voter registration information, consumer data and social media activities. The canvassers divided the neighborhoods into “walkbooks,” or clusters of several dozen homes, and broke into teams of two.

There are rules: No more than two people at a door (to avoid appearing threatening). No stepping on lawns (homeowners don’t like it). And focus strictly on the registered voter. If anyone else answers, say a polite “thanks” and move on.

No shock here.

One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.


When you see Halliburton trending on twitter..



Although far-right activist-turned-White House policy adviser Stephen Miller has been a chief architect of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and its forcible separation of families, he has remained largely behind the scenes as outrage has grown over the practice—and on Tuesday, with help from the New York Times, the White House kept it that way.

After conducting an on-the-record interview with Miller for an article that appeared in the New York Times last week about the family separation policy, the Times submitted to a White House request to not include audio from the interview in its popular news podcast “The Daily.”

Critics including author Naomi Klein refused to accept the newspaper’s excuse—accusing the Times of being more concerned with its access to the White House than giving a full accounting of what it learns from its interactions with Trump administration sources.



A leading expert on the Nazi party has said there are similarities between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.

Both men “bluffed” their way into power, confounding an establishment that did not know what to do but normalise them, according to author Ron Rosenbaum.

The Adolf Hitler biographer said he had refused to compare Mr Trump to the Nazi leader during the campaign period for fear of trivialising genocide, but after the election things changed.

“Now Trump and his minions are in the driver’s seat, attempting to pose as respectable participants in American politics, when their views come out of a playbook written in German,” said Mr Rosenbaum, who wrote Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.

“The playbook is Mein Kampf.”


If there’s any cesspool, the Trump administration is in the middle of it


The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, making good on a pledge to leave a body it accused of hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel.

“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Tuesday at the State Department in Washington. She said the decision was an affirmation of U.S. respect for human rights, a commitment that “does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

The 47-member council, created in 2006 and based in Geneva, began its latest session on Monday with a broadside against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights. He called the policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally “unconscionable.”


Take it for what it is worth.


Good for Jimmy. It is not a softball interview.

Actually Ro Khanna comes across pretty well.


Agree, I find him very sincere.


I’m not ready to give up on him quite yet.



Wouldn’t it be great to have Corbyn and Bernie as leaders of their respective governments, Boy would things be different!

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