HomeUncategorized7/19 News Roundup – 60 House Democrats to Launch Medicare for All Caucus, Ocasio-Cortez/Sanders Need A Bigger Venue & More
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Climate action has been repeatedly drowned by a devastating surge and flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone.

This is according to stunning new analysis in the journal Climatic Change on “The climate lobby” by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle.

The most important conclusion of Brulle’s is that spending by those in favor of climate action was dramatically overwhelmed by the big fossil fuel suppliers and users: “Environmental organizations and the renewable energy sector lobbying expenditures were dwarfed by a ratio of 10:1 by the spending of the sectors engaged in the supply and use of fossil fuels.”

The study serves to help put to rest notion that the effort to pass climate legislation has ever been a fair fight. But then, the big corporate producers and consumers of fossil fuels have hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue — thus dwarfing the funds available to major environmental groups and the emerging clean energy sector.



Last month, the Supreme Court in Janus v. AFCSME dealt a major blow to public sector unions. The court ruled that these unions cannot collect money, known as agency fees, from nonmembers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Organizations on both sides across the country sprung into action.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, based in Michigan, is running My Pay, My Say as a national campaign. The Freedom Foundation, headquartered in Washington state, is targeting teachers in Oregon, Washington and California with the slogan, Opt Out Today.

Other groups targeting teachers and public employees in specific states include: the Commonwealth Foundation, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, the Center of the American Experiment, the Center for Union Facts and Americans for Prosperity.

“The day after the decision was out,” says Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, groups were already “spamming our members and trying to get them to opt out.”

The groups behind the opt-out campaign, which describe themselves as conservative, libertarian or free-market, share many donors in common, such as the State Policy Network, the Donors’ Fund and DonorsTrust. Many of these groups have long opposed not only agency fees, but teachers’ unions in general, on the grounds that they inhibit education reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.

According to an analysis of tax filings by the web site Conservative Transparency, the top contributors to the Mackinac Center specifically include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, and the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (formerly the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation). These are the family foundations of the U.S. education secretary, Betsy DeVos, and her husband’s parents.



House Dems select new midterm slogan: ‘For the people’

House Democrats have agreed on a new campaign slogan ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, announcing it at a private meeting Wednesday.

Politico reports that party leaders chose the slogan “For the People” after a first try, “A Better Deal,” failed to resonate with voters.

“We have 110 days from right now until Election Day and we will be spending the month of August in our home districts and we wanted to make sure we are singing from the same song sheet on the three top issues,” Democratic messaging co-chair Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said.

“I don’t think any of us are claiming this is poetic or this is the end-all-be-all of messaging,” Bustos added. “It’s just a way, in a quick way, to put together the answer to what we stand for.”

Bustos told Politico that that party also agreed upon three key issues upon which they will focus campaign messaging, issues that she says President Trump failed to deliver on his campaign promises in his first two years in office: infrastructure spending, prescription drug costs and healthcare and government corruption.


Which people? 🙂


No kidding. They always resort to slogans. Trouble is, a lot of busy people believe them.


The neolibcon 1%?


Yesterday TOP’s Joan McCarter had a piece about Kavanaugh and how he possibly might overturn ACA. Overturning ACA would have a huge impact on red states. She mentioned WV and Manchin. However, she concluded by hammering Susan Collins.

My thought was WTF? Why aren’t you listing Joe Manchin’s and other ConservaDems phone numbers? So I put up a link to Manchin’s website that lists his phone numbers, urging bloggers to call him.


Thumbs up. :O)


It’s crazy what Manchin gets away with!





Last week, the Trump administration declared that poverty was no longer a serious problem in the United States. “Based on historical standards of material wellbeing and the terms of engagement, our War on Poverty is largely over and a success,” the White House Council of Economic Advisers explained in a lengthy report published Thursday. The problem, its authors argued, was that too many Americans had become dependent on government benefits like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps), which need new work requirements to keep people off the dole.

This was all quite a curveball. For decades, Republicans have claimed that America’s welfare state needed to be reformed because it had failed to fix poverty. Ronald Reagan famously quipped that “the Federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.” In 2013, now–House Speaker Paul Ryan said much the same, without the wit. “When I look at the money spent, when I look at the programs created, when I look at the miserable outcomes and the high poverty rates, as a policy maker, (I say) ‘We can do better than this and we need to figure out how.’ ” Trump’s economists now say it’s OK to put more limits on food stamps in part because so few people are going hungry anyway.

Of course, both the White House and Ryan have the same goal: forcing more Americans to work or give up their government aid. The fact that they arrive at the same policy preferences from completely opposite directions might be evidence that Republicans engage in some crude, motivated reasoning from time to time. But leaving all of that aside, the CEA report raises an important question: Has the U.S. quietly vanquished poverty?

The answer is almost certainly no.


This tweeter is with the Cato Institute for crying out loud. ‘real’ wages are down (when inflation is calculated in) for both May and June.



America is heading for a level of income inequality that hasn’t been seen since 1928 — yet the richest residents in fives states and 30 cities have already surpassed that threshold, according to a new study.

Unequal income growth since the 1970s has buoyed the fortunes of the top 1 percent of income earners, widening income inequality in every state, the study from the Economic Policy Institute found. Across the country, the top-earning households took home 22 percent of all income in 2015, the latest year for which the IRS has data. That’s just 1.9 percentage points lower than 1928’s record share of 23.9 percent of income.

The 5 states where the top 1 percent have exceeded 1928’s 23.9 percent share of income: 1. New York: 31 percent 2. Florida: 28.5 percent 3. Connecticut: 27.3 percent 4. Nevada: 24.8 percent 5. Wyoming: 24 percent

Among the cities that have exceeded 1928’s 23.9 percent share of income are: Miami, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Boston


NPR had a segment from this morning’s edition about the DSA:

Here’s the link if the embed doesn’t work:


It’s only 5 min long. Not great, but not bad either.


Even with negative press, I think it’s good that the DSA is becoming more of a known entity. I’m sure there will be plenty of pushback and fearmongering vs. the DSA going forward.


Note that this is from the Cato Institute (so their reasons for being pro-immigrant are most likely different than mine, for example) but file this fact away in your mind the next time you hear anyone say, “Why don’t they just come here legally??!”

And this one is for those who ask, “Why don’t they just cross the border properly, at one of the designated entry points, and seek asylum??!”

Which nationalities get rejected the most for US asylum?

Migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — which represent a large portion of US asylum seekers — have among the highest denial rates, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

But asylum seekers from Mexico and Haiti fared even worse.


I’m on a Cato kick today, as you may have noticed. I’ll stop now. 😉

But…at least these conservatives see part of the problem with the tariffs that Trump is imposing and their very real effect they (along with other wage squeezing things like higher & higher health care costs of course) have on consumers!

Yes!! When people’s budgets are more and more strained it leaves consumers with “less money to be spent elsewhere”! How can anyone not see what a terrible impact that has on the economy as a whole?? Less and less people will have the money to buy their products!!


Ready to see something crazy? If yes, see below!


Here’s the video clip. This guy really gets into his work!



A little labor history thread if you have time:


House Progressives Go Big on Medicare for All

A new congressional caucus recognizes that “health care is a right” politics will defeat Trumpism.

The way to beat Donald Trump and the mess he has made of an already off-the-rails Republican Party is not by promising a kinder, gentler alternative to utter chaos. The way for Democrats to return from the political wilderness to which the party was consigned in the 2014 and 2016 elections is with bigger and bolder ideas. And the idea to start with is a single-payer, Medicare-for-All reform of America’s broken health-care system.

Senator Bernie Sanders keeps making the point that there is a growing popular demand for “a plan that responds to the needs of the great majority of the America people,” and adds, “That’s what single payer does.”

Sanders and other progressives recognize the importance of defending what’s good about the Affordable Care Act in the face of constant threats from the Trump administration and its congressional allies, as Democrats have over the past year and a half. But going forward, the party that seeks to replace Trumpism must get to the heart of the matter with proposals for replacing private profiteering with a system that truly recognizes health care as a right.

Democrats have to get a lot more comfortable speaking the language that Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) employed Thursday when she said, “Health care cannot be a luxury that’s only available for the wealthy and well-connected—it is a human right.”



It’s not just that Republicans have been opposed to necessary reforms, it is also that insider Democrats have been cautious—and in some instances openly resistant—when it comes to advancing a popular solution to a genuine crisis.

But there was nothing tepid about the launch of the new caucus Thursday. “In America, affordable and quality healthcare is a right—not a privilege,” declared Dingell.


Good diary but typical sidetrack contentious comments. This time on how much Rand’s supporters overlap with Bernie’s


He sure likes to hand over his donor’s money to Trump


Sen. Rand Paul has used political donations to spend more than $11,000 at restaurants in Italy and Malta and thousands more for European hotels and limousine services in connection with fundraising and other political events.

Paul’s political leadership committee also spent $337 on apparel at a Men’s Wearhouse in Omaha, Nebraska, in September 2014, and $438 on apparel at a New York Allen Edmonds in February 2016. The figures were provided by two independent watchdog groups.

Paul this week has been one of the few Republicans to staunchly defend President Donald Trump for his performance at a press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin. And the senator’s committee has spent at Trump-related properties, including 2017, $1,575 in 2017 at BLT Prime, the restaurant in Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel.

Paul was included earlier this year in a Washington Post list of Republicans who had spent the most at Trump branded properties.

Trump and Paul golfed together at Trump’s golf course in Sterling, Va. last October and the report notes Paul’s committee spent $4017 at the Virginia course.


That would be a good comment in the comments section!



I didn’t know until tonight that Justice Dems was sponsoring Bernie and AOC to appear at Welder & Thompson’s rallies this weekend. I made my first donation to JD. Berniecrat sized, but I figure even a couple of bucks could help.

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