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la58

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/06/27/senator-mike-gravel-dies-at-91/

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Mike Gravel, a two-term U.S. senator and two-time presidential candidate who daringly revealed the top secret Pentagon Papers in Congress, died on Saturday in Seaside, California at the age of 91.

Gravel, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, who represented Alaska in the Senate from 1969 to 1981, pushed through legislation that helped develop one of the least developed states, lifting Native Alaskans out of poverty.

On June 29, 1971—50 years ago on Tuesday—Gravel was the only senator who had accepted the classified Pentagon Papers—an internal, government study of the Vietnam War—from whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and read from them during an emotional hearing that Gravel convened on Capitol Hill.

Gravel was motivated by his strong opposition to the U.S. war in Southeast Asia and his rejection of U.S. militarism and executive abuse of power—positions he maintained through his two runs for the Democratic Party nomination for president.

la58

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/06/27/what-mike-gravel-meant

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

I first met Sen. Mike Gravel in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York in early 2006 after a mutual friend told me Gravel was contemplating running for president.

Our Waldorf breakfast lasted four hours. I was surprised that such an American politician existed. He seemed to lack the expected self-importance. More incredibly, I agreed with him on every point of public policy–foreign and domestic. Having been a reporter for decades–I was a correspondent for The Boston Globe at the time–I’d surpassed the average citizen’s cynicism about people in government.

But here was a former United States senator questioning the most fundamental and seemingly unshakeable myths that underpin a brutal status-quo. The central myth, affecting foreign and domestic policy, is that U.S. behavior abroad is driven by an altruistic need to spread democracy and that its vast military machine is defensive in nature. If Americans would be convinced that the opposite is true, the edifice of lies that supports an imperial house of cards could crumble.

Here was someone from the heart of the system vowing to undermine it by declaring–eventually on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden–that Americans’ motives abroad are avaricious and aggressive, its military offensive, and its consequence death and destruction, not democracy.

It is suicidal for a politician to tell American voters that America’s motives are impure, that they are not the “good guys” in the world, and that money that should be spent on them at home is wasted destroying innocent lives abroad.

But that is what Gravel was prepared to do. He told me of his plan to run for president. He knew he had no chance, but was convinced by others to use the run to promote direct democracy and to tear down the deceptions.

la58

Both are worth reading, this one more so!

orlbucfan

Read it. Hopefully, his type of public servant hasn’t gone extinct.

polarbear4

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/06/28/no-reconciliation-bill-no-deal-sanders-says-progressive-package-must-come-bipartisany

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said Sunday that he will not support the bipartisan infrastructure plan that the Biden White House endorsed last week if it is not paired with a broader legislative package containing major investments in climate action and other progressive priorities.

“Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change,” Sanders tweeted. “No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.”

Sanders’ comments came shortly after President Joe Biden walked back earlier remarks indicating he would not sign the bipartisan infrastructure legislation if it reached his desk without a reconciliation package that includes elements of his American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion safety-net proposal that Republicans unanimously oppose.

Biden’s comments last week characterizing the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a reconciliation package as components of a “tandem” deal that cannot be separated set off a firestorm of GOP outrage, with Republicans threatening to withdraw their support from the bipartisan measure without clarification from the White House.

The president soon obliged, issuing a statement Saturday in which he said he was not “issuing a veto threat” against the $579 billion bipartisan deal, which progressives have criticized for proposing inadequate spending and pay-fors that could lead to the privatization of public assets and cuts to unemployment insurance.

“I intend to work hard to get both of them passed, because our country needs both—and I ran a winning campaign for president that promised to deliver on both,” Biden said, referring to the bipartisan bill and the reconciliation package. “No one should be surprised that that is precisely what I am doing.”

The size and scope of the reconciliation package—so named because of the arcane budget process Democrats will attempt to use to pass it without Republican support—remain unclear as senators and House members haggle over the details in public and behind closed doors.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed last week that her chamber will not take up the bipartisan infrastructure measure until the Senate also passes a reconciliation bill.

Sanders—who, as chair of the Senate’s budget panel, has significant influence over the reconciliation process—is reportedly working to assemble a $6 trillion reconciliation package that would include an expansion of Medicare and investments in green energy, among other proposals.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a freshman lawmaker, joined Sanders on Sunday in expressing his opposition to moving ahead with a bipartisan infrastructure package without simultaneously advancing a sweeping reconciliation bill that invests in green energy and other key areas that the bipartisan deal fails to address.

“We have to go big on infrastructure, we have to go big on climate, and we have to go big on racial equity and racial justice,” Bowman said in an appearance on MSNBC Sunday morning.

The New York Democrat is expected to join hundreds of activists with the youth-led Sunrise Movement for a protest in front of the White House on Monday.

“That’s fine if we want to have a bipartisan agreement,” Bowman said Sunday. “But it has to be coupled with an agreement that’s going to be very big, that Republicans probably are not going to agree to. But at this moment, Democrats were sent to Washington to do the work of the American people. That’s our job. And we have to push very aggressively and boldly to get that done.”

jcitybone

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2021/06/28/manchin-vs-sanders-let-the-staring-contest-begin-493393

BIDEN BACKS DOWN: The GOP rebellion over President JOE BIDEN’S Thursday veto threat of the bipartisan infrastructure bill seems to have been quelled. ICYMI, on Saturday the White House released a long and windy statement to mollify Republicans who supported the deal. Biden said he supported the deal “without reservation.” On Sunday three of the five Republicans who negotiated it — MITT ROMNEY (Utah), BILL CASSIDY (La.) and ROB PORTMAN (Ohio) — made it clear that the president’s walkback was good enough for them. So does that mean it will pass? Too early to tell.

As the vague framework is turned into detailed legislative language, here are the next big land mines to watch in terms of GOP support:

— CBO score. If the Congressional Budget Office says the deal isn’t actually paid for, there are three options: deficit-finance the gap, go back to the drawing board and find additional pay-fors, or reduce the price tag of the package. All three options will create uncertainty about the bill’s passage.

— IRS enforcement. If conservatives want to launch a crusade against the bill, they have an easy target. It calls for spending $40 billion on increased enforcement, the type of proposal Republicans have long opposed.

— Reconciliation. Despite Biden’s statement, the enormous reconciliation bill that Democrats are drafting will hang over the process all summer and remain a handy excuse for any Republican who doesn’t want to back the bipartisan bill. Sen. JERRY MORAN (R-Kan.), an initial backer of the bipartisan bill, has already indicated that he wants a commitment from Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) not to support the reconciliation bill. That is as much a moving of the goal posts as Biden’s veto threat.

SANDERS VS. MANCHIN: On Sunday Manchin laid down his first marker on what he would accept in terms of the size of the reconciliation bill.

“I’m willing to meet everybody halfway,” he told Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.” “If Republicans don’t want to make adjustments to a tax code which I think is weighted and unfair, then I’m willing to go reconciliation. That’s how you’re able to do it.

“But if they think in reconciliation I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go to $5 trillion or $6 trillion when we can only afford $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion or maybe $2 trillion and what we can pay for, then I can’t be there.”

A little later, Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) tweeted, “Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change. No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.”

The good news for Democrats is that Manchin is now clearly committed to a reconciliation bill. The bad news is that his initial offer is well below what both Sanders and the White House have proposed.

Here are the rough reconciliation bill toplines for all three key players. (The numbers assume passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill — otherwise they could all be a trillion dollars higher.)

— Sanders: $5 trillion

— Biden: $3 trillion

— Manchin: $2 trillion

The task for Biden (and Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER) is to find the magic number that holds Sanders and Manchin together. Lots of bumps in the road (sorry!) coming, but it sure seems like a $1 trillion bipartisan bill and a $3 trillion Dems-only reconciliation bill is where things are headed.

As usual Manchin has the upper hand in these talks. It’s a lot more credible to withhold support for a package that a senator considers too costly than it is to withhold a vote from a package that a senator considers too small. Would Sanders actually refuse to support a $2-3 trillion reconciliation bill? We doubt it.

orlbucfan

F off Politico! RWing yahoos. Bernie has just as much power as Joe GOPuke.

jcitybone

F off Turtle

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/560498-mcconnell-to-schumer-pelosi-dont-hold-bipartisan-bill-hostage

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday demanded that Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) de-link a bipartisan infrastructure deal from a sweeping Democratic-only bill.

McConnell’s statement is the first he’s made since President Biden walked back his pledge that he wouldn’t sign the bipartisan deal if it was the only thing that came to his desk, saying over the weekend that the veto threat wasn’t his “intent.”

But McConnell, in his statement, argued that without a similar de-linking of the two parts of the Democratic infrastructure plan by congressional leadership that Biden’s remarks would be a “hollow gesture,” in the latest sign that the bipartisan deal isn’t yet back on firm footing.

“Unless Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi walk-back their threats that they will refuse to send the president a bipartisan infrastructure bill unless they also separately pass trillions of dollars for unrelated tax hikes, wasteful spending, and Green New Deal socialism, then President Biden’s walk-back of his veto threat would be a hollow gesture,” McConnell said in a statement.

“The President cannot let congressional Democrats hold a bipartisan bill hostage over a separate and partisan process,” he added.

jcitybone

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-infrastructure-climate_n_60d5f4c2e4b00bad2be73989?utm_campaign=Hot+News&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=136766380&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_pilpqL_th6IQU63UYxWspSOShd5E8n_G7hlxavouYdXy7UDwn5-Zy-2k0OSYLQAgx6hWfXiPHZw2lAt-RDEsJq7SSrQ&utm_content=136766380&utm_source=hs_email

A day after President Joe Biden endorsed a deal that pares down his signature infrastructure package in a bid to win Republican support in the Senate, one of his top environmental allies is preparing to rally for stronger climate measures.

The League of Conservation Voters on Friday told HuffPost it will spend $8 million deploying more than 100 staffers to eight states in hopes of rallying support for a more aggressive federal program to pay for climate upgrades and clean energy. The effort marks the group’s biggest ever field campaign during a non-election year.

The nonprofit ― which campaigned hard for Biden in 2020 ― plans to canvass voters and businesses in 15 congressional districts in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, targeting lawmakers such as Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

“This field effort is about making sure members of Congress see and feel and understand their constituents’ desire for big action on climate change,” said Pete Maysmith, the senior vice president of campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters.

polarbear4
polarbear4

same goes for these organizations. Why aren’t they demanding that water remain in the public hands? and publicly owned electricity would be much more likely to divest from fossil fuels.

i thought we had made headway in getting this message out…

magsview

Our infrastructure need major work!

Communities brace for more after rain overwhelms SE Mich. water system
Breana Noble The Detroit News
6/27/21

Community leaders cite the storm as a result of climate change and fear the increased likelihood of more intense rainfalls that sewers and freeway pump stations aren’t prepared to handle. Experts say the weekend’s devastation shows the need for the infrastructure funds being discussed at the state and federal levels, especially with rain expected to continue through Thursday.

But the system worked as it was designed, Mehram said. It just was designed for up to roughly 3 inches of rainfall when Metro Detroit saw double that.

The storms are a result of a cold front sweeping from a trough in the center of the country between a heatwave on the West Coast and a humid mass over the Midwest, according to the National Weather Service. The cold front colliding with the humid mass hovering over Metro Detroit is creating the storms. Rain is expected to continue through Thursday.

As a result of the system, parts of Metro Detroit received as much as 7 inches of rain in 12 hours between Friday night and Saturday.

There’s nowhere to put the water they pump out.

Three pump stations supporting I-94 remained without power, though were operating with generators. Creeks and rivers, however, are full from the rainfall, so water pumped from the expressway returns to the station, leaving several feet of water still on the road.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/06/28/communities-brace-more-after-rain-overwhelms-se-mich-water-system/5359958001/?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1624849899

polarbear4
polarbear4

I don’t understand why he’s not opposing the privatization part as much, if not more than the rest. Taking away publicly owned resources is arguably worse for the nation than extra money scheduled only for a few years and they know that. I am angry at so much these days

Almost seems like they want this big distraction while they sell us out for good. I don’t know if Bernie is not used to thinking in these terms or what the hell.

dear warren, thank you so much for keeping your DMs open.

i am so frustrated because an equal danger in the infrastructure bill is the way they are selling and leasing our public resources to finance it. once they steal those basics of life, we will likely never get them back. i hope that you and others also demand a different way to finance it, like taxing those who can afford it and using MMT.

thank you so much for always listening. gen

saved to send to others.

jcitybone

He’s not publicly because the bipartisan plan supported by Manchin and company is the price to be paid for their support (all 50 Dem votes needed) of the reconciliation package with the good stuff.

polarbear4

to me, though, “the good stuff” is not enough if it includes selling and “leasing” our most valuable, life sustaining resources.

that’s what I mean by a big distraction.

polarbear4

of course, I also want all the things that are in the lists. AND Those things are temporary, subject to the whims of politics. Once our water, our electricity, our roads are gone, and God knows what else, they’re gone forever. how much easier lives would be with low cost utilities in the first place. how much more citizens want to get off of fossil fuels.

jcitybone

I guess I trust Bernie’s and the other congressional progressives’ judgment on this. I don’t think they would agree to the bipartisan bill if they thought it was worse than the good things in the reconciliation bill. It’s really not clear what the privatization will entail. Right now it’s speculation.

magsview

I share your worry about all sorts of privatization being slipped in.

polarbear4

and when they say leasing, It sounds better, but those leases can be for 100 years at the end of which they buy it or whatever. By that time did you will be done.

magsview

Good point!

jcitybone

Torabs
Torabs

Good stat to keep in mind when advising car-buyers.

jcitybone

polarbear4
polarbear4

thank goddess, 91 the high today.

this was supposed to go under Greta. too late now. :0)

orlbucfan

T and R X 2, Ms. Benny!! 🙂 🙂

orlbucfan

Ms. Benny: what’s the latest up your way on the Bison Bridge proposal near the Quad Cities? That the best news I’ve seen in quite sometime!! 🙂

polarbear4

First of all, dialing for dollars ought to be a national outrage and second of all, yes, reforming the filibuster would be a good first step. Make them talk all night while you stay there and work as we swelter in our cities.

polarbear4

magsview

Orl’s favorite Floridian:

orlbucfan

Floridumb has quite a list. When it comes to crooks and stupid, welcome to the Dumbshine State!💩

magsview

My most mislead relative sent me a birthday card with the return address listed as ‘RON DESANTOS’ and at first I didn’t get it, but then I remembered a text exchange with him recently in which he asserted that “DeSantos” (sic) was a “fantastic leader” and, of course, I couldn’t let that go and said that DeSantis was awful. Now it’s a thing between us (better than an argument at least!).

polarbear4
polarbear4

what?!?

Looks like it was in Iraq and Syria, which is bad enough.

polarbear4

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

WTF!!!?

polarbear4
polarbear4

i know, so casual and unconstitutional

wi63

constitution? I dont need no stinken constitution to bomb say the MIC whom own both Byedone and Cult-45

magsview

Is this for real?????

magsview

On Monday, the US defended the strikes on the armed groups, saying the attacks were designed to limit the risk of escalation.

Biden, or should I say Blinken, escalates tensions to..limit escalation. That should work well. 🤪

Iraq’s military also issued a condemnation of the US attacks, calling them a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and national security”. It called for avoiding escalation, but also rejected that Iraq be an “arena for settling accounts” – a reference to the US and Iran.

It represented rare condemnation by the Iraqi military of US air raids. The Iraqi and US militaries coordinate closely in a separate battle in Iraq against remnants of the ISIL (ISIS) group.</blockquote)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/28/us-defends-strikes-in-iraq-syria-and-armed-groups-vow-revenge

polarbear4
polarbear4

Well of course a rock isn’t calling for escalation. They know what happened it just happened to them. This is awful everything that’s going on right now and we can’t stop it, it seems.

polarbear4

polarbear4