HomeUncategorized9/16 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Speaks at College of Charleston & More

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Very conservative columnist but he has a point about authenticity.


It’s a study in authenticity.

All three are able politicians. Yet if it were a contest in authenticity, Sanders would win in a landslide.

But does that matter to Democrats?

It did only a few years ago. Sanders was the truly authentic candidate in 2016, and the candidate of the young. But establishment Democrats were frightened of losing control, and they rigged the presidential nomination against him and for Hillary Clinton.

They got the fake they wanted and lost.

The Washington establishment and big money donors have never put much stock in authenticity. To them, authenticity is a commodity to be bought, like fatback or pork bellies, something to be parceled out to favored media biscuit eaters and rendered for American voters.

“He says what he thinks and lays it out there for voters and yeah, you know what, your taxes are going to go up,” Bevan said.

“To your point Elizabeth Warren specifically dodged that direct question twice in the debate,” Bevan said. “She doesn’t want to talk about (taxes to pay for Medicare for All). … She’s not willing to actually say the truth, that the middle class will have to pay more in taxes to have that program available to them.

“In that sense Bernie is authentic. More truthful than the other candidates when it comes to that sort of thing.”

Yes, but can Democrats handle the authentic truth? And do young Democrats still want to hear it?

We’ll see, in Iowa and New Hampshire, in February.

Don midwest
Don midwest

The Gospel of Oil
Oil’s grip on U.S. society is as much religious as economic, a new history shows.

As the world gears up for the emergency United Nations climate action summit to be held in New York City later this month, conservative writers have revived an old charge: that eco-activism draws on religious faith, not science. Taunting the sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as a “prophetess in shorts” (to quote one French Republican) or a modern-day Joan of Arc, they have sought to present movement against climate change as analogous to end-times Christianity, with eating meat and flying in airplanes the modern equivalent of mortal sin.

These cheap shots carry an unintentional irony. For as historian Darren Dochuk argues in his new book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America, the search for fossil fuels has itself long been overlaid with Christian commitment. Oil executives themselves historically have been among the most active and enthusiastic promoters of apocalyptic Christianity in the United States, their zeal to drill representing their religious passion as well as their quest for self-enrichment. Over the course of U.S. history, Dochuk writes, oil companies “openly embraced the theological imperatives that informed their chief executives, aligned their boardrooms with biblical logics, and sacralized their operations as modes of witness and outreach.” Because of the heavy investment of the industry in religious faith, oil, for Dochuk, has become more than just a commodity or an energy source. Its “grip on the human condition” is “total”; it has become “an imprint on America’s soul.”


Although it is studded with characters and written to appeal to a broad audience, Anointed with Oil is not a tidy historical narrative. It covers so much—both chronologically and geographically—that at times its arguments can be hard to follow. But the book is important for the questions it raises as much as the fantastic stories it tells. Implicit in Dochuk’s history is the notion that by looking at the oil industry, we can learn something about the ways that capitalism relies on moral systems that can’t be broken down into simple utilitarianism. And by exploring the cultural as well as economic underpinnings of the energy industry, he suggests that we might also be able better to understand why our dependence on oil has proven so extraordinarily difficult to shake.

These forces cannot be reasoned with, they can only be defeated.

On another front, at a campaign rally for the US House in the Santa Barbara area in the middle 1960′, my good friend wanted to point out the dangers of the proposed nuclear plant Diablo Canyon. For the rally of about 500, he brought in a couple of scientists and MDs to describe the dangers. When he mentioned the danger, the crowd interrupted and started chanting “we want electricity”, over and over and over. Needless to say the scientists and MDs did not speak on that day. Now there is a white elephant on their coast.


Behind any flag or religious book, hides plenty of the lowest lifers of humanity. True back then, way true, now! 🙁

Don midwest
Don midwest


Adapted from “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal,” published by Simon and Schuster. “

by Naomi Klein

“Once you have done your homework,” the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg says, “you realize that we need new politics. We need a new economics, where everything is based on our rapidly declining and extremely limited carbon budget. But that is not enough. We need a whole new way of thinking. … We must stop competing with each other. We need to start cooperating and sharing the remaining resources of this planet in a fair way.”

Because our house is on fire, and this should come as no surprise. Built on false promises, discounted futures, and sacrificial people, it was rigged to blow from the start. It’s too late to save all our stuff, but we can still save each other and a great many other species, too. Let’s put out the flames and build something different in its place. Something a little less ornate, but with room for all those who need shelter and care.



It’s easy to explain why Medicare for All is more cost-effective than the corporate-insurance system. Less bureaucracy and wasteful paperwork. No sales commissions. No exorbitant CEO compensation—averaging $18 million per healthcare CEO last year. No insurance company profits; the “big 8 health insurers” raked in $7 billion in one quarter last year.

But confusion, not clarity, is the job of TV news—which is so heavily sponsored by drug and healthcare companies. (Night after night, big pharma is the main sponsor of network newscasts.) And confusion is the job of industry ads and corporate politicians like Biden, who receives more healthcare industry donations than any other Democratic candidate.

That’s why we keep getting partial scores.

Besides the reduction in financial cost, imagine the reduction in human cost—hardship and anxiety—if our country joined every other wealthy country in achieving truly universal health coverage.

Which bring us to a partial score on another crisis causing hardship and anxiety today: climate change. The Green New Deal proposal in Congress to address the problem, while creating millions of high-paying jobs, has been savaged as “too expensive”—with Mitch McConnell and Republicans incessantly invoking a concocted and ridiculous figure of $93 trillion.

As with Medicare for All, moneyed elites want to omit the other score—the price tag of sticking with the status quo into a future that Bill McKibben describes as “a modern Dark Ages.” From science-denying Republicans to solution-denying corporate Democrats who seek a go-slow “middle-ground,” there’s an attempt to downplay the more expensive cost of deny and delay, including: rising seas and rivers, more damaging hurricanes and floods, worsening droughts and wildfires, buckling bridges and roads, increased air pollution and hospitalizations, premature deaths, crop failures, extinct species, spread of new diseases, intensified migration and more brutal civil wars.

McKibben argues that the Green New Deal “costs pennies on the dollar” compared to the bleak and costly future predicted by scientists. McKibben, of course, doesn’t sponsor TV news. The fossil fuel industry does.


Anyone who knows how to read gets fed up with the constant noise and discord propaganda confusion causes. I avoid it like the plague–not easy either.


You avoid tv? I avoid tv as much as possible, and I agree, it’s hard to avoid. Tv screens at gas stations, at oil change places, in the background when you visit some people.

At the (tiny) house of a friend her husband has the tv on ALL THE TIME. So when I visit her she knows now to suggest that she and I walk around outside looking at her garden. The shows he likes are things like Law & Order (not my style). And they watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah religiously. Noah seems to be just Trump, Trump, Trump, and then make fun of Bernie for dessert whenever he can. No surprise that he was the only person I knew in 2016 who supported Hillary.


The hubby I mean, who supported Hillary. I think Noah may just support his large paycheck?


We solved the TV problem in the most drastic way possible. When the broadcasts went digital, we simply didn’t buy a new TV. It means we CAN’T watch TV, but we can watch DVDs, etc., and there’s the internet. Any PBS shows or other series I want to watch I can usually still get, though sometimes I have to wait for it to come in at the library or whatever. We don’t have cable, either. I don’t think most people are willing to go that far, though.


We threatened to cut cable after our recent increase but they’ve got it so rigged now with the internet/phone/tv bundled all up together that cutting the cable wouldn’t have even saved any money!

I wish we had more options for internet access. As far as I know we only have two choices and the other company is even worse.




Why is it that we seem to get more news about Bernie (both good and bad) from RWN orgs?

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