Skip to toolbar
HomeUncategorized7/9 News Roundup & Open Thread

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
Audio and Video Files
Other File Types
36 Comment threads
54 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
eveTorabspolarbear4wi62Don midwest Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of


A good overview of what is or what isn’t in the task force recommendations

Health care: Expanding government-run plans, without ‘Medicare for all’

The task force’s recommendations stop far short of Mr. Sanders’s signature health care policy initiative, a single-payer “Medicare for all” system that would enroll all Americans in a generous government-run health plan.

Instead, the task force supports a government-run insurance option that would be offered to all Americans on a sliding scale according to income — and automatically provided to low-income Americans free.

A so-called public option has always been a part of Mr. Biden’s health plan, but the recommendations specify new details, such as a requirement that primary care visits and certain prescription medicines be offered without any out-of-pocket spending by patients. Similar to Mr. Biden’s most recent health proposal, this would allow Americans to become eligible for Medicare coverage at 60 instead of the current threshold, 65. Medicare benefits would be expanded to cover treatment for dental care, vision and hearing loss.

The task force also recommends special insurance options for people during the coronavirus pandemic. For those who lost coverage because they became unemployed, the task force suggests that the federal government pay the full cost of continuing that coverage under the federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA. People without previous coverage would be allowed to buy a new plan with no deductible, at a price determined by their income, or an existing Obamacare plan.

Criminal justice: A shift for Biden on private prisons, but not on marijuana

Mr. Biden’s views on criminal justice had already been drastically transformed since he helped pass the 1994 crime bill, and the task force’s recommendations go still further. Most notably, they call for eliminating private prisons — a move that Mr. Sanders has championed but that Mr. Biden had not endorsed.

They do not, however, bridge another notable gap between the Biden and Sanders platforms. The task force called for decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing it at the federal level for medical use, but for letting the states decide whether to legalize it for recreational use. That is the position Mr. Biden held in the primary, in contrast to Mr. Sanders, who supports full legalization.

The task force called for ending cash bail and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, steps that both candidates supported in the primary. It also suggested a federal standard for the police’s use of force, a national database of police officers who commit misconduct and an end to sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders.

Climate change: New near-term targets, but no fracking ban

The climate change task force, led by former Secretary of State John Kerry and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, declared rising planet-warming emissions a nationwide “emergency.” It also directly tied the effort to reduce fossil fuels to a need to address racial injustices that have led low-income communities to bear a disproportionate level of air and water pollution.

The recommendations make no mention of the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other supporters of Mr. Sanders have championed.

There is also no mention of a national ban on fracking, which Mr. Biden has avoided calling for, despite pressure from young climate activists. But there are other signs that progressives on the task force were able to push Mr. Biden to the left.

Specifically, critics of Mr. Biden’s plan to invest $1.7 trillion in order to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050 had complained that his platform included few details on how it would achieve that faraway goal. The recommendations set a number of specific near-term benchmarks that Democrats would promise to reach. They include moving all electric power off fossil fuels by 2035; achieving carbon-neutrality in all new buildings by 2030; and installing 500 million solar panels in the next five years.

The economy: Closing racial gaps and creating jobs programs

The economics recommendations to Mr. Biden include more expansive and expensive plans than he has embraced in the campaign. They are heavily focus on addressing racial inequality and on getting Americans back to work in the wake of the recession caused by the pandemic.

The task force suggested that Mr. Biden consider several plans that his more liberal rivals had championed during the Democratic primaries, though at times it stopped short of endorsing them.

The recommendations call for “a comprehensive agenda for communities of color with ambition that matches the scale of the challenge and with recognition that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities.”

The details include asking Mr. Biden to “explore” a so-called baby bonds proposal to provide every child with a government-funded savings account at birth, a policy favored by Darrick Hamilton, an Ohio State University economist who was one of Mr. Sanders’s appointees.

A section on job creation urges consideration of another plan favored by Mr. Sanders’s appointees: a large-scale federal employment program in areas such as infrastructure development. “In order to ensure that everyone who wants to work has a pathway to employment,” the recommendation says, “the government must enact measures to create jobs and jobs programs like those effectively used during the New Deal.”

Education: Rethinking Obama-era priorities

On K-12 education, the task force report represents something of a shift away from the policy commitments of the Obama-era Democratic Party.

Instead of emphasizing standardized tests to drive accountability for teachers and students, the document talks about holistic tests of students’ skills and the importance of schools as community centers that provide a broad array of social services, such as health care and meals.

While the Obama administration was strongly supportive of charter schools, the task force promises to subject charters, which are publicly funded but privately managed, to stricter federal scrutiny, echoing policy plans released by Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, during the primary.

The document commits to tripling federal aid for low-income schools and to increasing funding for students with disabilities. School desegregation by race and class has emerged in recent years as a major concern for progressives. The task force commits to addressing the problem through strategies like busing and magnet schools, but does not mention a specific amount of funding. (Mr. Biden’s opposition to federally mandated busing was a major campaign issue last year, but he has never opposed voluntary busing.)

While many supporters of Mr. Sanders were excited by his promise of universal free tuition at public four-year colleges, the task force stops short of that commitment. It says instead that public universities should be free for families earning under $125,000 per year, and that community colleges should be free for all.

Immigration: A focus on undoing Trump policies

The report indicated that the immigration agenda of a Biden administration would focus on undoing President Trump’s restrictionist policies, which have been anathema to Democrats.

The task force recommended that Mr. Biden work with Congress to maintain protections for about 700,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation, a program that Mr. Trump is trying to end. It also recommended ending Mr. Trump’s travel restrictions against 13 countries, most of which have substantial Muslim populations.

The report said Mr. Biden should end a program that forced more than 60,000 migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases wound through immigration courts, and should stop diverting asylum seekers to Central American countries. Mr. Biden should increase the number of refugees who can be allowed into the United States to 125,000 per year, from Mr. Trump’s level of 18,000, and raise that cap over time, the committee said. And it called for ending the national emergency declaration that Mr. Trump has used to siphon billions of dollars in Pentagon funding for a wall along the southwestern border.

The task force stopped short of calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished, as some in the party have called for. Instead, the report recommends increasing oversight of immigration enforcement and border agencies with the creation of an ombudsman and a panel. There was also no suggestion that unauthorized border crossings should be decriminalized and made a civil offense, a change Mr. Sanders has supported, although the committee recommended prioritizing prosecutions of human traffickers.


Unity Task Forces formed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled sweeping party platform recommendations Wednesday that—while falling short of progressive ambitions in a number of areas, from climate to healthcare—were applauded as important steps toward a bold and just policy agenda that matches the severity of the moment.

“We’ve moved the needle a lot, especially on environmental justice and upping Biden’s ambition,” said Sunrise Movement co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash, a member of the Biden-Sanders Climate Task Force. “But there’s still more work to do to push Democrats to act at the scale of the climate crisis.”

The climate panel—co-chaired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John Kerry—recommended that the Democratic Party commit to “eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035,” massively expanding investments in clean energy sources, and “achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings by 2030.”

In a series of tweets Wednesday night, Ocasio-Cortez—the lead sponsor of the House Green New Deal resolution—noted that the Climate Task Force “shaved 15 years off Biden’s previous target for 100% clean energy.”

“Of course, like in any collaborative effort, there are areas of negotiation and compromise,” said the New York Democrat. “But I do believe that the Climate Task Force effort meaningfully and substantively improved Biden’s positions.”

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate and Sanders-appointed member of the Healthcare Task Force, said that despite major disagreements, the panel “came to recommendations that will yield one of the most progressive Democratic campaign platforms in history—though we have further yet to go.”


Progressives are warning Joe Biden about compromising with Republicans, saying they will hold him accountable if he moves too much toward the center if he is elected president.

The former vice president has increasingly signaled a willingness to cooperate with Republicans as he takes a bigger lead on President Trump in national and statewide polls, a stance some interpret as a strategy to win over independents and even some Republicans who may be abandoning Trump, who has seen his approval numbers slide.

During a speech Friday to the National Education Association’s virtual Representative Assembly, Biden said change will take compromise and compromise “is not a dirty word.”

“It’s how our government was designed to work,” the former vice president and longtime senator from Delaware added. “I’ve done it my whole life. No one’s ever doubted my word, and I’ve been able to bring Democrats and Republicans together in the United States Congress to pass big things, to deal with big issues.”

The words have been noticed by progressives, who are warning Biden not to stray too far, either during the campaign or if he wins election.

“Biden is transparently taking a bet to win over a group of anti-Trump Republicans but at the expense of what? Potentially losing some of the largest movements in history?” said progressive activist Nomiki Konst, who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary.

Others pointed to the Obama White House as proof that compromise is not an option.

“It’s very hard to understand why after going through eight years of the Obama administration that Joe Biden thinks we’ll be able to carve out grand deals with Republicans,” said Neil Sroka, the communications director at Democracy for America, which was supportive of both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the primary. “It’s mind-boggling, really, given how intransigent they’ve been. The only explanation is that he can’t imagine another way to pass policy, and that’s unfortunate.”

“The way we’ll get Republicans to the table is by having a progressive movement in the Democratic Party that is strong enough to force them there,” Sroka added. “That’s the key.”


Byedone really needs to get off the TINA wagon. He needs the young voters badly. The cult of the orange maggot will come out and vote for it, no matter what. His campaign has to counter that fact, and GOPuke Lite won’t.


If Byedone wants my vote hear are my terms, Nina for VP and Bernie for chief of staff, That would show me he’s serious about bringing progressives onboard


I would not favor asking Bernie to be a member of the cabinet. Bernie needs to be head of the health committee, but I am betting he will get screwed over that too.


Chief of staffs are very influential on policy for presidents and Bernie would keep Byedone honest when the billionaires come calling. Then when byedone goes off the deep end Nina would take over. One can dream 😉


probably shaking in his boots


There’s some good stuff in these recommendations. Now we just need a candidate with an iota of credibility for doing what they say. Biden has zero; he’s a compulsive liar who has been on the wrong side of every significant policy decision his entire career.


A Congressional Budget Office report commissioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders and published Wednesday found the amount of unpaid taxes from 2011 to 2013 averaged around $381 billion per year, a revenue shortfall the Vermont senator called an “absolute outrage” that is largely the result of big corporations and “wealthy tax cheats” dodging their obligations.

“The richest 1% is responsible for 70% of all unpaid taxes,” Sanders said in a statement late Wednesday, pointing to a separate study of the so-called “tax gap” published last November.

The CBO analysis (pdf) out Wednesday found that massive Internal Revenue Service budget cuts and staff reductions over the past decade have resulted in a sharp decline in examination and enforcement of tax underpayment and avoidance.

“Enforcement activity for many high-income nonfilers has been reduced to a series of notices,” the report says. The CBO’s findings bolster reporting by ProPublica last year that found the IRS “now audits poor Americans at about the same rate as the top 1%” due in part to the high costs of examining the tax returns of the rich.

“The IRS examination rate for the largest corporations, those with $20 billion or more in assets, dropped by about half from 2010 to 2018,” Sanders’ office noted. “The wealthiest taxpayers, with more than $1 million in income, saw their audit rate cut by 63% during the same time period.”

If the federal government collected the hundreds of billions in unpaid taxes owed mostly by the richest Americans, Sanders pointed out, “we could fund tuition-free college for all, eliminate child hunger, ensure clean drinking water for every American household, build half a million affordable housing units, provide masks to all, produce the protective gear and medical supplies our health workers need to combat this pandemic, and fully fund the U.S. Postal Service.”

“That is an absolute outrage, and this report should make us take a long, hard look at what our national priorities are all about,” said Sanders. “Congress is leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes uncollected from the wealthy.”

The CBO found that boosting the IRS budget for audits and collections by $20 billion over the next decade would increase federal tax revenue by $61 billion—and, as a result, reduce the federal budget deficit by $40 billion.

“For every dollar we invest in getting the IRS the staffing and resources it needs, we get three dollars back in unpaid taxes. Make no mistake: the primary beneficiaries of IRS funding cuts are wealthy tax cheats and large corporations,” said Sanders. “Do not think for one second that the wealthiest country on Earth is unable to make critical investments to meet people’s basic needs in terms of healthcare, food security, education, and unemployment.”


Tax cheating by the monied ‘elites’ has been in overdrive since Raygun. Coincidence? (snort) Nope!


When Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign earlier this year, the U.S. was left brimming with questions. What had happened to the candidate who kicked off the primaries with a string of victories? How would a centrist like former vice president Joe Biden go about uniting the moderate wing of the Democratic Party with the progressive ideals embraced by a majority of its voters? And what would become of the youth-led movement that had powered Sanders, a self- proclaimed# Democratic Socialist, to the forefront of American politics?

A new group, Our Time, is trying to help answer that final question. Launching on July 9, in partnership with Our Revolution, a grassroots political organization that was inspired by Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid, Our Time will mobilize young voters on high school and college campuses nationwide to continue advocating for progressive causes.

“As young people are starting to do this work, it’s so important to make it accessible, to provide an on-ramp,” says Jake Metzger, 21, a student at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, who served as a delegate for Sanders, “[and] a way for students to feel the agency and power of the work they’re doing.” The Our Time program will debut with chapters in more than 50 high schools and colleges, and will benefit from an already extensive network of student activists.

With Biden the unofficial Democratic nominee, Our Time, like more established progressive groups, is preparing to focus on policy and policy reform. But that doesn’t mean the group is divesting itself from the campaign, and it plans to recruit members and provide organizing support in battleground states. “Ultimately…our work can’t be disconnected from the elections,” says Gallagher. “But we also want to make sure that students are empowered to have a role in this moment in which a lot of Americans aren’t even thinking about the election.”

“What Bernie showed us is that we are immensely powerful,” says Jake, the Villanova student. “When you’re willing to take young people seriously — to build that decentralized, autonomous, student-run structure that Students for Bernie proved was possible — we can flip upside down the political common sense, the imagination of what’s possible.”

“[We] have something to continue to fight [with],” adds Trinity, the Illinois high school student. “Even without Bernie, we have the numbers and the strength and the unity to be able to do that.”


The MSM hasn’t a clue what progressive means. I’m certain Sanders is trying to tamp down expectations. I would say that Bernie’s team did what they could. But other than 2035 for the phasing out coal plants (most of it is being phased out anyway) there isn’t one progressive thing proposed. This is from US News:

Biden, Sanders Release Progressive Unity Platform for Democratic Party

The lengthy document was penned by the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces, teams of experts who offered recommendations to the Democratic National Committee before the party platform is written at the convention next month.

The recommendations reflected the influence of party progressives, who failed to get Sanders, a democratic socialist of Vermont, the nomination but who represent the energy – and quite possibly, the future – of the party.

But the proposal also has a pragmatic undertone. The phrases “Medicare for All,” “Green New Deal” and “cancel college debt,” all signature Sanders issues, do not appear in the document. Instead, the task forces offer plans to address health, climate change and education in ways that are surely aspirational but not dead-on-arrival in Congress.

“For the millions of Americans facing hardship due to President Trump’s failed coronavirus response, this election offers the chance to usher in a stronger, fairer economy that works for our working families,” Biden said in a statement. Sanders acknowledged that he and Biden have “strong disagreements” about issues, the jointly produced paper is “a good policy blueprint that will move this country in a much-needed progressive direction and substantially improve the lives of working families throughout our country.”

The final document is not, as Sanders noted, what progressives had hoped to get in the party platform. But it also provides less ammunition for President Donald Trump and down-ticket Republicans to cast Biden and other Democrats as barely cloaked socialists bent on taxing Americans to the hilt and redistributing income.

Instead of recommending replacing the current public-private health care system with a single-payer operation, for example, the paper recommends building on the Affordable Care Act with a public option. Because of the high unemployment rate from the COVID-19 pandemic, the document says the federal government should pay the price of often-costly premiums unemployed people now pay under the COBRA health insurance law, passed under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, to continue their health insurance.

Instead of the Green New Deal touted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman New York Democrat who personifies the newly leftward movement of the Democratic Party, the document calls for regulations and financial incentives to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Ocasio-Cortez is a co-chairwoman of the climate change task force of the unity committee.

Nor would there be free public college tuition for all and a cancellation of all student debt, as Sanders proposed. The unity document recommends free public college and university tuition for students from families earning $125,000 a year or less and up to $10,000 in student debt relief per borrower to alleviate the financial hit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper also reflects the nation’s new focus on racial justice as well as the steady demographic movement of the country toward majority-minority status. Every topical segment of the paper – from education and criminal justice reform to the economy and health – notes the disproportionate pain felt by African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. The second line of the document, a section on climate change, name-checks Puerto Rico as a place hit harshly by the effects of climate change.

Puerto Ricans cannot vote in the general election, but many have moved to Florida and other battleground states and are still stung by what they see as Trump’s callous attitude when the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans living in the states are able to vote.

The document is unusually blunt, for a party platform, in its description of how public policies now hurt African Americans.

“We cannot hope to raise wages without taking on the profound racial biases at work in our employment system,” the paper says, calling for a closing of the wage gap. It refers to police brutality as “a stain on the soul of our nation,” a nod to the massive protests that have occurred because of the deaths of African Americans in police custody.

“The misguided and racist federal war on drugs and the systematic criminalization of poverty means that one in three Black men – and one in six Latino men – will spend time in jail or prison at some point in their lives, reducing their lifetime earnings and making it harder to get a job upon release and build family and community resources,” the document adds.

A good portion of the document is aimed at healing pain felt from the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn – which the task forces call “President Trump’s recession.” Both the COVID help and student loan debt relief are a response to the coronavirus. Paid sick leave would also be afforded to workers affected by the pandemic.

The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force was created in the spring after Sanders suspended his campaign, effectively making Biden the nominee. Biden is polling well ahead of Trump nationally and in key states, but he suffers from a lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy, especially from younger and progressive voters. The unity task force was meant to give the left wing of the party a voice in the document typically written by the winning primary team.

Other policy proposals in the paper include:


– Re-opening of the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, even outside the normal enrollment system, making it easier for people to buy overage.

– Medicare eligibility at 60, instead of the current 65 years of age.

– A “platinum level” public health care plan with low fees and no deductibles. During the pandemic, low-income people would automatically be enrolled in it at no cost to them.

– Free testing, vaccine and treatment for COVID-19.


– End to “the era of mass incarceration” and to the war on drugs, the decriminalization of marijuana and federal legalization of pot for medical use. (not legalization)

– A ban on chokeholds and carotid holds.

– Ending cash bail and withholding of funds to states that continue to use it.


– Barring for-profit private charter schools from receiving federal funding.

– Establish universal pre-K for children ages 3 and 4 and expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families afford child care.


– Ensure employers provide a minimum of 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; specifically during the pandemic, establish paid sick leave protections for all workers including contractors, gig workers, domestic workers and self-employed workers.

– Assuring unpaid family caregivers are not punished with lower Social Security benefits because of years spent caring for loved ones.

– A Homeowner and Renter Bill of Rights to protect families from “abusive lenders and landlords.” Legal support for wrongful evictions.


– Keep the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals intact, which shields nearly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors from deportation.

– Path to citizenship for nearly 11 million people living in the U.S.

– No eradication of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but greater accountability for ICE and Customs and Border Patrol for “inhumane and unlawful treatment” of immigrants.


– Eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035.

– 500 million new solar panels and 60,000 made-in-America wind turbines.

– Transition the entire U.S. fleet of 500,000 school buses to U.S.-made, zero emissions alternatives within five years.

It was too bad Bernie’s campaign got blown out. There was little if no leverage, and I’m certain the Biden team made that clear. So, the teams met. There is no unity. Just a waste of time.

Biden, Sanders Release Progressive Unity Platform for Democratic Party
The final document is nothing not everything progressives had hoped for, but it acknowledges many of their priorities while giving as little ammunition as possible to the president and the GOP.

99% pro-business, 1% for the rest of the country. The Biden platform has ZERO to offer anyone.

NOTA is on the ballot, thanks to Joe Biden.


Semi-senile Joe and his ilk are betting on TINA big-time!! Thanks for the read, Ms. Benny. 🙂


Whats the TINA acronym?

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



T(here) I(s) N(o) A(lternative)-TINA. 🙂


Protesters ran for their lives early Saturday as a man drove past a police barricade and barreled toward them in the wrong direction on a closed stretch of a Seattle freeway, where they had been peacefully demonstrating against police brutality. His car struck 32-year-old Diaz Love and 24-year-old Summer Taylor, sending them flying into the air as people screamed. Love was hospitalized in serious condition. Taylor died that night.

Hours later, in Mishawaka, Indiana, a man in an SUV swerved around police barriers and into a crowd of protesters on a bridge, hitting and dragging 23-year-old Trevor Davis, who was hospitalized. Two days after that, on Monday night, a driver plowed into protesters in front of a courthouse in Bloomington, Indiana, before speeding away with two people desperately clinging to the roof of the car, causing them to fly off.

Protesters have been the target of a startling wave of vehicle-ramming assaults amid the nationwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. In several cases, authorities are still working to determine a motive, although many are reminiscent of the infamous, hate-fueled attack that killed anti-racism activist Heather Heyer three years ago at white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Of at least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents since Floyd’s death on May 25, 18 or more are categorized as deliberate assaults, researcher Ari Weil told NPR in late June. A number of the alleged assailants are accused of demonstrating openly hateful behavior, including a man who screamed “I will kill you” before trying to mow down protesters in Queens, New York, according to District Attorney Melinda Katz. (It was the community’s first of two vehicle-ramming incidents in a single week.) Days later, a man reportedly made a U-turn to get behind a group of protesters near Richmond, Virginia, revved the engine of his truck and then slammed it into them. Police later reported that he is a self-described state leader of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan.

Vehicles are becoming increasingly popular weapons that terrorists and other extremists around the globe use to intimidate, harm and kill. Cars and trucks are easily accessible, require little skill to operate and can facilitate unpredictable attacks with mass casualties.

“This is a tactic that has been around for several years,” said Josh Lipowsky, a senior researcher at the Counter Extremism Project. “It was originally used early on by Islamist extremists — ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas — but in the last five years or so, we have seen this tactic being adopted by the far-right.”

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

Did he also mention its use by the police against peaceful demonstrators? 😠


Only positive (?) out of this mess is the FRightie Fringe are out in the open now.


Right-leaning pro-Israel groups are targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and outspoken critic of the Israeli government who is one of the most high-profile progressive members of Congress.

Antone Melton-Meaux, 47, the Minneapolis attorney seeking to unseat Omar, 37, in the state’s Aug. 11 Democratic primaries, raised more than $1.5 million in May alone.

Much of that cash comes from political action committees opposed to more U.S. pressure on the Israeli government. Two such groups, Pro-Israel America and NORPAC, have bundled upwards of $450,000 for Melton-Meaux to date.

These Israel hawks’ investment in unseating Omar follows an expensive and ultimately unsuccessful intervention on behalf of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel. Given Engel’s massive deficit in the in-person vote, the New York Democrat has all-but-officially lost to Jamaal Bowman, a progressive challenger who is more critical of Israel, in his June 23 primary.

Omar’s race provides this subset of pro-Israel activists and donors a fresh opportunity to demonstrate their strength after an embarrassing defeat.

“The stakes are high because Members of Congress are watching to see how much muscle these groups really have,” said Joel Rubin, a progressive foreign policy hand who ran Jewish outreach for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign and served as a senior official in the Obama administration’s State Department.


The next important battleground for progressives IMO. We know how conservatives Minnesotans can be, and Omar is one of our most important voices.



OMG, Pamela Rush died? That’s terrible.

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

I remember shedding a tear and sharing this video last year when Bernie’s campaign posted it. Today I bawled. 😥😭😥


Parts of the United States experiencing a resurgence of the coronavirus are “back to square zero” in their efforts to control the pandemic, infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm said on Wednesday.

Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the number of new daily infections are “only going to continue to rise” over the coming weeks.

“Many of these cases are already in the pipeline,” between when people become infected and when they are diagnosed, he noted.

“In a situation like this, when the entire forest is on fire, all the testing and contact tracing in the world isn’t going to shut it down,” Osterholm. “It’s going to have to take a lot of distancing issues and we’re back to square zero in a sense ― where we were in March ― for many of these locations.”


THE ADIRONDACK CORRECTIONAL Facility is tucked away in the mountainous North Country of New York State, less than a two-hour drive from the Canadian border. Three years ago, it was converted to incarcerate teens aged 16 to 17, automatically prosecuted as adults under pernicious state law. As of this May, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, all of the young people were transferred out of the facility: It will now serve as a nursing home prison.

In the last month, 96 elderly male prisoners have been transferred to the isolated Adirondack prison. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the plan as a way to ensure safety for aging incarcerated people, who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 complications. The northerly New York region has seen some of the lowest coronavirus rates in the state. But, as of Wednesday morning, at least one person incarcerated at the prison had already tested positive for the coronavirus, local news reported.

For family members and justice advocates, the prison nursing home presents no less than a potential massacre. And what’s more, many of these elderly incarcerated people are now further removed from relatives and loved ones than they had been in previous facilities.

In response to the pandemic, only one reasonable option was available to the governor and the prison system when it came to elderly people serving state sentences: Release them all. This would not have been benign; it would have been sensible. The recidivism rates are almost negligible for elderly individuals who have served long-term sentences. Instead, the state implemented an elaborate, cruel, and potentially dangerous plan to keep older people behind bars, in the distant facility. Given the racism undergirding our prison system, the implications for already oppressed Black elders must not be overlooked. The majority of men who have been transferred to Adirondack are people of color and over half are Black.

“This plan runs directly counter to public health, racial justice, and criminal justice evidence, and instead promotes mass incarceration, family separation, racism, and the needless punishment of incarcerated older people,” said a June letter signed by over 80 social and racial justice organizations that was sent to Cuomo, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “It also threatens to replicate the public health crisis experienced in nursing homes across the state.”

Approximately 6,000 nursing home patients in New York have died from Covid-19 complications — a sign of intolerable elder neglect on behalf of the state.