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Thanks la

I’m in the waiting room of the new Moynihan Train Station in NYC. So much nicer than the grungy underground replacement Penn Station

Heading to Richmond to help my partner’s sister and husband with their move. Actually my longest train ride ever. Previous record: Paris to London through the Chunnel. Longest US trip previously was Manhattan to Providence. I do take the Metro North Commuter train from Manhattan to Poughkeepsie (almost two hours) a lot though.


But first, let’s gaze at the latest wheeling and dealing from that notorious Capitol Hill inside player, Bernie Sanders.

1. Bernie Sanders

Poor guy had to settle for $3.5 trillion to transform the country.

Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that the Vermont senator doesn’t know what he’s doing. When Sanders, the chairman of the Budget Committee, initially proposed a $6 trillion blueprint for Democrats’ upcoming, enormous spending bill, he was not expecting all of his Senate Democratic chums to agree with him. He was, however, widening the aperture of what they could ultimately agree upon. Pretty smart! This week, Sanders reached a deal with Budget Committee moderates on a $3.5 trillion framework for a party-line reconciliation bill they intend to pass this fall. It would create a host of climate initiatives that Democrats claim would meet the president’s goal of halving emissions by 2030; add dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits to Medicare; extend the generously expanded child tax credit and improvements Democrats made to the Affordable Care Act earlier this year; allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices; and fund universal pre-K and paid family and medical leave. We’re still figuring out what else could be tossed in. If people would like to call a $3.5 trillion framework with most of the Democratic agenda a loss for Sanders, he can live with that. “The legislation that the president and I are supporting will go further to improve the lives of working people than any legislation since the 1930s,” Sanders told reporters once the deal was reached.

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

Nice looking train station. And I’m so pleased with Bernie. Me and my grand daughters wore our Bernie 2016 t-shirts yesterday. Plus I sent him a lil lunch.






i💖trains. and that is a gorgeous station.

years ago, I took the Pacific star light, I think it’s called, from Eugene down to Oakland. So much fun and pretty scenery, much of the way. But it’s pretty expensive and takes quite a while. Overnight was fun, though because you could see the stars from your bunk.

people like to talk on a long trip and i enjoy that, too.



I love them, too. Years ago back in 1966, there was a major airline strike. I lived outside of DC on the MD side. I had gone down to Miami during summer break to visit my grandparents. I was due back home in August cos I had tickets to see the Beatles. 🎶😊 So, my family made arrangements for me to come home on Amtrack. I had a sleeping room, and just had a ball looking out the window. The trains weren’t beat up back then and the staff was totally professional. I loved it and have been a solid fan of mass train travel like in Europe ever since. 😊👍


Longest trip for me was Amtrak from Boston to DC and back.


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






That is one of the very few good things Byedone has done. I commend Secretary Haaland. Events like this mean an enormous amount to Native Americans. 🦬


ty, lala🌹


It’s a real shame that Chrissie Hynes abandoned her native town and now lives in England.

Nina and others could sure use her help.


I remember seeing the Pretenders when that album came out. Nice small venue in Dallas. Great concert too! This was before Chrissy’s spouse died.



The largest donor o the super PAC backing centrist Democratic candidate Shontel Brown in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District special election is an oil and gas executive who belongs to a billionaire family. Activists worry the donations could compromise Brown’s support for progressive climate policy.

Stacy Schusterman, heir and chair of Samson Energy, a fossil fuel company that owns at least 11 oil and gas wells in Wyoming, donated $1.55 million to Democratic Majority for Israel in 2019 and 2020, a super PAC that has in turn spent over $660,000 on ads supporting Brown and attacking her Democratic primary opponent Nina Turner, according to an Intercept review of federal campaign finance records. Schusterman is the super PAC’s largest individual donor.

While Brown, a member of the Cuyahoga County Council, has said she supports the “principles” of a Green New Deal, she has not signed on to the popular “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge that was signed by Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris in the 2020 presidential primaries. Turner, a former Ohio state senator, has supported the Green New Deal and signed the pledge. Turner has been endorsed by a number of notable progressives, including Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brown did tell the Wall Street Journal in March that she would vote for the Green New Deal if it came up for a vote, but appears to not have made environmental issues a central focus of her campaign, except for an environmental justice forum she participated in in April.

Some of Brown’s notable backers have deep ties to fossil fuel interests. Brown’s most prominent supporter, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, received $228,000 from electrical utility interests in 2019 and 2020, and $62,500 from oil and gas interests, according to OpenSecrets. (Electrical utilities are still very fossil fuel-heavy, with about 80 percent of U.S. electricity coming from fossil fuel sources.) Another one of Brown’s endorsers, newly minted Louisiana Rep. Troy Carter, was removed from the No Fossil Fuel pledge website after he repeatedly accepted campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests. Hillary Clinton, who has also endorsed Brown, helped lead the push for shale gas while she was secretary of state, according to Mother Jones. Rep. Marc Veasey of Texas, another Brown endorser, was the fifth highest recipient of oil and gas money among congressional Democrats in 2019-2020.

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC, which endorsed Brown on July 7, has on its board Michael Williams and Al Wynn, who have worked as lobbyists for the petroleum and coal industries, respectively.



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

Nina fightin’ back!! I love it.


All here. Quite interesting. Bernie definitely got the Medicare expansion in. Relationships do matter


Talkers both, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders stayed for an hour in the Oval Office, just two former rivals for the White House now acting as potential partners, negotiating a compromise both could live with.

The centrist president listened as the liberal senator spoke. Sanders passionately made his case that Biden’s big infrastructure investment should go even bigger — and include his own longtime goal of dental, hearing and vision benefits for older Americans on Medicare. The president gave his full backing, according to a senior White House aide and another person familiar with the private session, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private meeting.

The deal was the product of mutual trust and common interest — notably to help the working class, but also to show that government can work and perhaps to restore some faith in democracy after the turbulent Trump era.

“We are making progress in moving forward with the most consequential piece of legislation passed for working people since the 1930s,” Sanders told The Associated Press a few days later, as Biden made his way to Capitol Hill to rally senators on the plan.

Theirs is an unlikely yet understandable partnership, a president who won over American voters with a calmly reassuring nod to traditional governing, and a democratic socialist senator who twice came close to winning the presidential nomination with what was once viewed as a wildly idealistic agenda. Sanders is now chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

Together, they are trying to unite the political factions of progressives and centrists in the sprawling Democratic Party, which controls Congress by only the narrowest of margins in the House and a 50-50 Senate, with no votes to spare around the president’s $3.5 trillion national rebuilding proposal.

In their sights is a legislative feat on par with Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal or Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. For two political leaders in the twilight of decadeslong careers, it is the chance of a lifetime and the stuff of legacies.

“We’re going to get this done,” Biden said Wednesday as he entered the private lunch room at the Capitol.

Biden encouraged the senators to think of the good they could do for people across America, investing in places like Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he was born, who feel that the party is not in touch with working people’s pain.

The president gave a nod to Sanders, who noted their past rivalry and yet spoke with similar urgency about the moment before them — how the future of democracy rests with how well they can connect with people who feel the government has forgotten them.

When it came time for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to call on senators who had raised their hands to speak, there were no pointed questions or objections, only enthusiasm, according to a person in the room who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

Senators emerged enthralled by the possibility of doing something big for the country.

“Truly transformative,” Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., said, using a word both Biden and Sanders now share.

The relationship between Biden and Sanders goes back years, the president having already spent decades in the Senate by the time the Vermont lawmaker was elected in 2006.

While Biden was the ultimate senator’s senator, Sanders has always been an outsider on Capitol Hill, a declared independent, rather than member of the Democratic Party, with his rumpled suits, gruff demeanor and unrelenting focus on liberal causes.

Ask Sanders any question, on almost any topic, and his answers are almost always the same — it’s time for the government to stop catering to the rich and powerful and instead focus on the working people of this country.

Once seen as outlandish, Sanders’ views have captivated millions of Americans who filled arenas to hear him speak, particularly after the Great Recession and amid a growing awareness of the nation’s gaping inequality. He almost won the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, but was defeated by Hillary Clinton, and again in 2020, before he lost to Biden.

In returning to the Senate, Sanders quickly became a focal point of Republicans opposed to Biden’s agenda. The president intends to finance his plan with tax hikes on corporations and Americans making more than $400,000 a year. Republicans see Sanders as an influencer, alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other prominent progressives, pushing the president to liberal extremes.

“The president may have won the nomination, but Bernie Sanders won the argument,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said recently back home in Kentucky, on the same day he said he was ”100% focused” on stopping Biden’s agenda.

But in developing the investment package with the president, Sanders showed another side of his skill set: that of a pragmatic legislator.

Word circulated Monday that the two were huddled in the Oval Office, a key moment as Democrats were struggling to build consensus. Biden’s jobs and families plans total more than $4 trillion in traditional public works and human infrastructure investments. Sanders had presented a bolder $6 trillion proposal.

Sanders had been imploring his colleagues not to focus on price tags but rather on priorities — helping the middle class, fighting climate change, aiding older adults. He had also been insisting that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. It is the same argument inside the rooms as it is in the arenas, senators say.

“The meeting was substantive, warm, and friendly — which also describes the nature of their relationship going back years,” said White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates. The president values his skilled leadership, he said.

A bipartisan group of senators is compiling a slimmer $1 trillion package of roads and other public works spending.

But with Republicans opposed in lockstep to Biden’s broader proposal, Democrats are pressing ahead on the more robust package they could pass on their own, under special budget rules of 51 votes for passage rather than the 60 typically needed to overcome objections from a filibuster.

If Biden, Sanders and Schumer can keep all 50 Democratic senators united, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tiebreaking vote. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a similarly slim margin in the House.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, a centrist Montana farmer, is not yet supporting the president’s broader plan, but said Sanders often advocates for things that are “common sense.”

While acknowledging that Sanders sometimes pushes the envelope further than he’s comfortable with, Tester said, “He’s trying to make it so the little guy’s got a shot, which is, you know, what Democrats are for — at least that’s what I’m for. I want to make sure the little guy has a shot.”


Tester, Shaheen, Manchin, Sinema, etc. better start paying attention to what Bernie is doing. The young folks are up in arms over the climate crisis. Ms. Nina winning her race will send up a major red flag on that one. They are freaked out over the healthcare disaster, but it’s climate catastrophe that is issue #1.



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

Scary!! to say the least.


I’d seen that pic and couldn’t really make out what it was either, wondered, “was the farmer’s field elevated?”

But at your link:

Us humans keep digging for gravel and mining for minerals acting like it won’t ever affect anything around it.





flagstaff! 10+ years there— most of jake’s life. never anything like this. ty


childhood not life—he’s 50 now.


Very bad. Hubster and I did a bike run through the Alps from So. Germany to Salzburg, Austria over 20 years ago. The ecological damage wasn’t bad but it was easily spotted. We started the trip in Munich so I know where those floods are.


so fun!

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

FAIR on the crisis in Haiti


This week on CounterSpin: There are enough storylines in the July 7 assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse to make you lose sight of the big picture. The thing is: US media consumers don’t have to puzzle out if the assassins were Colombian, or if a Florida doctor bankrolled the plan, or if Moïse’s own bodyguards had it in for him and his wife. The long history of the US using state force to kill Haitians and their aspirations is sufficient and appropriate context for current events. From George Washington to Woodrow Wilson to the Clintons, there’s enough for US citizens to know about not doing harm before we chinstroke over whether “the world’s policeman” should wade in again. We talk about Haiti with Chris Bernadel from the Black Alliance for Peace.


imho, it’s getting obvious now. We are calling one country after another of “failed state.”


Hopefully, the people of this country will wake up to what we are facing now.


I’m very suspicious of the Haitian-American doctor Christian Sanon.

Sanon met in May with two Colombian commandos leading the operation, the chief of the Colombian police said Thursday, and the group’s original plan was to detain the President and hand him over to the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Sanon was arrested over the weekend in Haiti in a raid on a house where, according to a source close to the investigation who is not authorized to discuss the incident, police recovered boxes of ammunition, 24 unused shooting targets and a cap labeled “DEA.”

Parnell Duverger, an economist and former university professor in Florida, said he attended several online meetings beginning in 2020 where Sanon and a group of other Haiti experts crafted an agenda for a transitional government in which Sanon would serve as prime minister.

Earlier this year, Sanon changed his plan (to be prime minister) and allegedly told the group that he wanted to become Haiti’s president instead of the prime minister, according to Duverger


According to the Haitian National Police, Sanon recruited the assassins using a “Florida-based Venezuelan security firm”. He then traveled to Haiti “with political intentions”, in the words of Haitian officials. He allegedly used a private airplane, which carried, apart from himself, members of what would eventually become the assassination squad. Haitian officials said that the team was initially assembled as Sanon’s bodyguard, but their mission eventually changed to encompass a “hit-squad” role. One of the alleged assassins is believed to have contacted Sanon several times on his cell phone while being on the run following the assassination.

Interestingly, however, the Associated Press reported that a Florida-based friend of Sanon claimed the 63-year-old pastor had been “duped by people claiming to represent the US State and Justice departments”. These people allegedly told Sanon they wanted to install him as president of Haiti after removing Moise.



“ Florida-based Venezuelan security firm”.

says it all.