HomeUncategorized9/3 News Roundup & Open Thread
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I read a piece that helped me get perspective about the political world’s reactions to the death of John McCain.

A Tale of Two Tweets: Left Politicians’ Responses to McCain’s Death Show Promise and Peril of Electing Socialists to Office

It begins by comparing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet to Kshama Sawant’s, and goes into DSA and Sawant’s Socialist Alternative party and both of their current limitations.

DSA has a more basic conundrum. Will Ocasio-Cortez stay loyal to a distant grassroots when she is surrounded by media, lobbyists, and political operators? Calling McCain an “unparalleled example of human decency and American service” indicates the weak ties that already exist between her, the base and DSA leaders even before she is elected to Congress.

Should DSA criticize Ocasio-Cortez? Calling her out a second time makes it look like they hold little sway over her. Plus, scolding a candidate for every controversial remark leads to diminishing returns. But saying nothing will be seen as tacit approval of her remarks, leading to a slippery slope.

The conundrum for me.

If socialists can’t say McCain was an unabashed warmonger and racist, when else will they shun pro-working class and anti-imperialist politics for the sake of expediency? DSA will inch closer to the establishment. Any upsurge risks being followed by disillusionment, infighting, and a sense of betrayal.

Part of DSA’s growing pains?



Just a quick fly by this am, busy weekend as we moved my youngest to college which is a 2.5 hour drive one way, and today an after noon cook out with family,hope to be back this evening. Finally my extended hous at work are comming to an end which means i can read the posts here about 3 hours eariler than i have been—-yea for me 🙂 🙂


Labor Day has always been a trad family holiday in this country. You enjoy and don’t wear yourself out! I’m a big fan of your comments, wi60. As my biker hubby says: be and stay safe! 🙂


The empty nest feeling is setting in, Mrs WI had to work so she couldn’t go, probably better as she would’ve been very emotional (understandably. Thx to all for commenting –appreciated




Yay for an end to extended hours at work!

Hope you’re feeling okay about sending the youngest off to college. I’ve heard that can be tough.

So good luck to your “youngest” and good luck to you and yours!


Ditto what mags said.

btw, mags, your post above Bernie’s runs into his with not place to rec or reply, for me. Interesting. AOC is pretty new to the political world and young and may not have the, um, experiences that some of us do re McCain.


Thx polarbear! That’s strange about you not being able to rec or reply to that post.




What a fabulous way to show the Clintons’ support for workers! /s




Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, omigod………….


It appears as is libraries are people too as this one has an account.


We Are Not Numbers: Israeli Court Reverses Ban On Critically Ill Gazans Getting Medical Care, But Too Late For Scores Who Have Already Died


Mr. Trump, You Cannot Erase the Palestinian Refugees

Israel claims that they have no responsibility for Palestinian refugees. As is their practice, the Israelis have attempted to exonerate themselves by creating “alternate facts”—that Palestinians voluntarily left their homes or that they were ordered to leave by advancing Arab armies. However, an examination of the historical record establishes that the Zionist political leadership executed a deliberate plan to “cleanse” entire areas of their Arab inhabitants in order to create a state that would be larger than what was provided by the UN partition, with fewer Arabs.

They are indicted by their own words:

Yigal Allon (leader of the Palmach – the official Zionist military):

“We saw the need to clean the upper Galilee and to create…Jewish continuity in the entire area of the upper Galilee…We, therefore, tried a tactic…which worked miraculously well. I gathered all of the Jewish Mukhtars, who have contact with the Arabs in the different villages, and asked them to whisper in the ears of the Arabs that a large Jewish reinforcement has arrived in Galilee and that it is going to burn all the villages in the Huleh. They should suggest to these Arabs, as their friends, to escape while they had time to flee. The flight numbered in the myriads. The tactic reached its goal completely.”

David Ben Gurion (speaking of “Plan D,” the operation designed to expand the size of the “Jewish State” and to reduce the number of Arabs within it):

“These operations can be carried out in the following manner: either by destroying villages (by setting them on fire, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their rubble), and especially those population centers that are difficult to control permanently; or by mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the villages, conducting a search inside of them. In case of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the border of the state.”


On a lighter note:


Awwwww. ❤️


The Slaves Rebel

A fitting day for a good article on the prison strikes by Hedges. The MSM isn’t covering it, and the prisoners face retribution.

Very disappointed in some of the corpses that use prison labor. Berkshire Hathaway surprised me, as I thought Buffett was one of the more decent multi-billionaires. And United. Bummer.

Some of the country’s biggest corporations have moved into prisons to take advantage of this bonded labor force. They include Abbott Laboratories, AT&T, AutoZone, Bank of America, Bayer, Berkshire Hathaway, Cargill, Caterpillar, Chevron, the former Chrysler Group, Costco Wholesale, John Deere, Eddie Bauer, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Fruit of the Loom, GEICO, GlaxoSmithKline, Glaxo Wellcome, Hoffmann-La Roche, International Paper, JanSport, Johnson & Johnson, Kmart, Koch Industries, Mary Kay, McDonald’s, Merck, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Quaker Oats, Sarah Lee, Sears, Shell, Sprint, Starbucks, State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, UPS, Verizon, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart and Wendy’s.

Once corporations moved manufacturing overseas and denied those in poor communities the possibility of a job that could sustain them and their families, they began to extract billions in profit by putting bodies in cages. Since 1970 our prison population has grown by about 700 percent. We have invested $300 billion in prisons since 1980. The prison-industrial complex mirrors the military-industrial complex. The money is public; the profits are private. Those who enrich themselves off the incarcerated are morally no different from those who enriched themselves from the slave trade.

Prisoners, once released, often after decades, commonly suffer from severe mental and physical trauma and other health problems including diabetes (which is an epidemic in prisons because of the poor diet), hepatitis C, tuberculosis, heart disease and HIV. They do not have money or insurance to get treatment for their illnesses when they are released. They have often become alienated from their families and are homeless. Stripped of the right to public assistance, unable to vote, banned from living in public housing, without skills or education and stigmatized by employers, they become members of the vast criminal caste system. …


Labor Day: 24 Hours When Workers Are Human

Labor Day recognizes the humanity of workers. It commemorates their year-long efforts with time off dedicated relaxation, family, friends, and barbeques.
There’s no holiday for robots, raw materials, or the energy that animates the machines of manufacturing. Because, of course, they’re not human.
Somehow, though, business schools and the corporate executives they spit out have lumped workers together with robots and raw materials as “inputs,” as if laborers aren’t human. That makes it easier for CEOs in ungodly profitable corporations to deny workers raises. U.S. CEOs and shareholders can seize for themselves all the gains produced by faceless inputs.

And that’s what they’ve done. …

Two days, two supporters of Warren’s “Accountable Capitalism Act,” “requiring 40 percent of large corporations’ boards be elected by workers.” Simon Johnson yesterday and Leo Gerard today. I hope this trend continues until the public is more aware of the proposed legislation.

And yet again, the indictment of economics and business courses.


NYT has an interview of Rep Mike Capuano, who is being challenged by JD Ayanna Pressley in a House race.

What do you see as the biggest area of daylight between you and Councilwoman Pressley?

I think that we’re in the fight of our lives with Donald Trump in the White House. And I think this district — like all districts, but particularly this one — needs the best fighter that
we can get in Washington. Somebody who’s experienced and knows how to fight in Congress. But also, if the House goes Democratic, hopefully somebody who knows how to make the majority work for us as well — both on a national level and on a local level. So for me that’s what I’m focused on, not the differences between me and anybody else.

You have a well-documented progressive record. Are you surprised to be in this position of having to defend it in such a closely watched primary battle? Is it fair for someone to challenge you as not progressive enough?

In democracy, it’s fair for everybody to run for every office. I don’t think of it in terms of fairness. You know, like anyone else, I want everyone to love me and I want everyone to vote for me, but at the same time, I’ve never shied away from a political battle and this is no different.

One of the places there has been daylight between you and Ms. Pressley is the so-called “Blue Lives Matter” bill, which creates harsher penalties for crimes against law enforcement officers. In the last debate you called it a “throwaway vote,” but your opponent criticized that decision, and some civil rights groups have said such bills negatively affect community relations. Can you explain more about your vote for the legislation?

The bill was simply a restatement of current law. And I actually do believe it should be illegal to target police officers and correctional officers. And for those who feel that the bill should have gone further — I would agree.

The bill that was in front of me was a fair bill, and that’s why the entire Massachusetts delegation voted for it, and that’s why I think it was two-thirds of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for it. And I believe almost all of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus voted for the bill.

It didn’t really change federal law — it was more of a statement built on the floor by Republicans. But the statement was fair: I just don’t think that you should be able to target police officers and correctional officers.

Bear in mind this piece was heavily edited.


And a reminder, the MA primary is tomorrow.



It was a promise that couldn’t have been clearer: when President Trump sold his tax scam to Congress and the American people, he said the average family would see a $4,000 pay raise from their employers. “I would expect to see an immediate jump in wage growth,” added Kevin Hassett, head of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors.

That was last October. The tax bill passed in December, and it’s now Labor Day, a good time to review how if at all the Trump-GOP tax scam is actually serving working people.

For most of them there’s a simple answer: it’s not. They’re still waiting for that $4,000 pay raise they were promised. Trump admitted as much (unknowingly perhaps) when he boasted during a speech marking the six-month anniversary of the tax cuts that “more than 6 million workers have received bonuses, pay raises, and retirement account contributions” because of the new law.

But do the math. Six million workers are barely 4% of the overall U.S. workforce of 155 million. So how about the other 96%? Incredibly, when you add in the rising cost of gasoline, prescription drugs and other necessities, real wages for most Americans have declined from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the wealthy and big corporations – let’s face it, the real intended beneficiaries of the tax cut law – aren’t waiting. They saw an immediate reduction in their taxes. For corporations, their tax rate was slashed from 35% to 21%.

The tax cuts have also added almost $2 trillion to the deficit. Now Republicans are trying to cover the hole they created by cutting critical public services that are important to working families.

Trump wants to cut Medicare and Medicaid— even though he promised during the campaign he wouldn’t touch them – as well as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). His cuts total $1.3 trillion over 10 years. Upping the ante, Congressional Republicans want to cut $2 trillion from these services. If adopted, this will mean millions of Americans will lose their insurance coverage. Premiums will soar for millions more, the age of Medicare eligibility will go up and prescription drugs will be even costlier.

Stagnant wages, rising costs, a ballooning deficit, cuts to healthcare and other vital services. Sadly, American workers won’t find much to cheer about this Labor Day in the much-ballyhooed tax cut law.


I think mine is about $600 a year. $50 a month.

Reminds me of this comment by W when he was trying to privatize SS:


And i think the existing cuts fade out and increase at about 10 years. Not sure by how much but i remember some critics saying that over the long haul it will be worse.









Last one. I got these from a Caitlin article arguing how propagandized we are, especially us, bc we have this yuuge war economy and we have to consent to it as a whole to keep it going.



I especially like this from Caitlin: “If we leave it up to these pricks, we’ll become the first species to go extinct due to politeness.”


Where’s my barf bag?? It better be king-sized!


Classic! I’m still laffing! 🙂


That was mental. People gushing over it.


lol. leave it to Greenwald.

yeah, i wasn’t sure about what she meant about Obama bringing slavery to Libya (must read up on), so deleted the first post. Caitlin’s article details the candy-passing tweet.


A little different than my usual offerings.

Labor-related as far as being related to Kanye’s recent comments about slavery at least.

WATCH | Michelle Obama bear hugs a teary, MAGA hat-wearing Kanye West

Childish Gambino has left that hug up to interpretation, but just like his This is America music video, it will sure have people talkin’!

Just days after Kanye West apologised for his “slavery is a choice” narrative and any “offence” caused by his support for Trump, Childish Gambino showed him crying and then receiving a hug from Michelle Obama.

Tweeps and international media have since interpreted the visuals differently, particularly the Kanye West and Michelle Obama scene.

Here’s the song, Kanye and Michelle make their appearances ~the two minute mark.

The song is super-chill, very easy to listen to, the animation is quite interesting, and be sure to listen to the lyrics.

Personally, I wonder what the significance of the 2:22 mark is.


What’s your take?

kanye michelle.jpg

Strange. Showing a willingness to bring him back into the fold? Supporters of the Obamas, maybe, too?

Cool music–thanks! I’d never heard Childish Gambino.

And hey, who knows, but a little something on 22:

The energy and expression of the Master number 22 is considered the most powerful of all the numbers. This number carries with it the gift of success and the mastery of one’s expression and goals. This is the turning your “dreams into a reality” number and it provides great success that is, if it’s applied consistently. This is the number of the “Master Builder” it carries within it the powers of the previous master number 11 AND the energy of the 4. Remember how we got to the single digit number? (2+2=4) First let’s look at what the Master number 22 is giving us….


Cool! My favorite number happens to be 4, I’ve always said that I chose it to honor Jean Beliveau 😉 who was the most awesome guy to have ever played hockey and a childhood hero of mine. (I also love Ken Dryden, who was not only a great goaltender but a very intelligent and compassionate man. What can I tell you? I grew up in a hockey town! 😉 )

(Jean) was more than an exceptional player who led Montreal to 10 Stanley Cups in a 20-year career from 1950 to 1971, and earned another seven as an administrator. No one has their name on the Cup more than Beliveau.

Mostly, he is remembered as the ideal team captain and a man who carried himself with class and graciousness in everything he did.

I will never see the number 22 the same again polarbear!


My dad was a goalie in college. :O)


Goaltenders are special. 😉


I grew up in a Bruins family in MA. Hockey never was my favorite sport, but go Bobby Orr (another #4, though I couldn’t have told you that without Wikipedia ?)


My dad’s favorite player was Bobby Orr. Seeing Orr go end to end live, weaving around everyone and leaving them in his wake, is a great memory that I treasure. He was awesome to watch, even if he was on the wrong team! lol (for me, not my dad).


I am not a fan of Tim Kaine but his opponent is an idiot.

A team like this deserves to be defeated.

It appears as if Stewart doesn’t consider federal employees are workers.


He’s said some very disturbing things about Muslims, especially Abdul. Said it was a good thing Abdul didn’t win the nomination since he’s a member of ISIS. grr! 🙁


Stewart is going to get crushed by Kaine big time. This will help all the down ticket Dems in VA


Interesting graphic. Could help in battle against global warming if applied wisely.


It is hard to understand the logic behind this.

It has not gone unnoticed.



Enough subscribers/advertisers hurt the mag $$$$$$$$$$$$$$-wise, they will reconsider booking this yahoo. That’s what it’s all about anyway: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.


That was quick


After news that Steve Bannon will be a featured speaker at the upcoming New Yorker Festival drew sharp criticism from numerous bold-faced names, the fest has dropped Bannon as a speaker.

The news came after several famous faces, including Judd Apatow, Jim Carrey, Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney, all tweeted that they were canceling their scheduled appearances at the event.

The New Yorker tweeted late Monday that Bannon had been dropped from the lineup and that it was New Yorker editor David Remnick’s decision.

Remnick put out a statement Monday that he had decided to drop Bannon from the speaker lineup.

“I don’t want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I’ve ignored their concerns,” he said. “I’ve thought this through and talked to colleagues — and I’ve re-considered. I’ve changed my mind. There is a better way to do this. Our writers have interviewed Steve Bannon for The New Yorker before, and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.”

He also explained his rationale for originally including Bannon on the lineup.

“The main argument for not engaging someone like Bannon is that we are giving him a platform and that he will use it, unfiltered, to propel further the ‘ideas’ of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism and illiberalism,” he said. “But to interview Bannon is not to endorse him. By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism’s leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity. Ahead of the mid-term elections and with 2020 in sight, we’d be taking the opportunity to question someone who helped assemble Trumpism.”


I’m certain the NYer wanted to attract more than elites or well heeled, but sometimes you can’t invite a known SOB who is trying to dismantle the government to a gathering.


A reflection of the unhealthy (for us, not for them) fixation the media has for anything Trump?

There’s at least one other evening devoted to Trump called:

Trump, Inc.

The man and his money. With Michael Avenatti, Ruth Marcus, and Felix Sater. Moderated by Adam Davidson.




Egads. I imagine he has at least a couple of preexisting condidtions….

Trump Succeeds in Making Insurance for People With Health Problems Unaffordable

Trump and the Republicans came up with the brilliant idea of making it so that people can buy “temporary” plans outside of the exchanges that don’t meet the rules required of plans in the exchanges. These temporary plans, which can be in effect for as long as three years, are not required to cover many of the conditions required for plans in the insurance exchanges.

More importantly, they are allowed to discriminate based on preexisting conditions. This means that they can tell people with heart disease, cancer survivors, multiple sclerosis and other health conditions to go away. Healthier people will be able to save money with these plans – the great Trump-Republican victory — but less healthy people are out of luck.

We are now finding out how out of luck these people are. Insurers in Maryland are requesting rate increases averaging 36 percent for 2019. Insurance companies in Washington State are requesting 19 percent rate hikes. Patients got somewhat good news in Florida where rates are only projected to rise by 5 percent in 2019, but that is after a 45 percent rate hike in 2018.

According to calculations by the AARP, the Trump changes will push the cost of an exchange plan for an older pre-Medicare age worker to more than $15,000 in several states. In the most costly states the premium will exceed $20,000 a year.

And this is only for the middling silver plans that are designed to cover 70 percent of health care costs. More comprehensive insurance would cost even more.

While more moderate-income households can still get subsidies under Obamacare that will make insurance more affordable, middle-income couples will be out of luck thanks to the “reforms” put in place by Trump and the Republicans.

That would be a great issue for the election.



Eric Holder worked for Chiquita at one time, iirc.

Chiquita Brands faces new death squad charges in Colombia


I didn’t know that.


Through a law firm:



https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kovalik/lawyer-for-chiquita-in-co_b_141919.html https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kovalik/lawyer-for-chiquita-in-co_b_141919.html

Do not expect these recommendations to be carried forward if Eric Holder decides to forgo his lucrative corporate law practice at Covington & Burling and accept the U.S. Attorney General position for which many believe he is the top contendor. Eric Holder would have a troubling conflict of interest in carrying out this work in light of his current work as defense lawyer for Chiquita Brands international in a case in which Colombian plaintiffs seek damages for the murders carried out by the AUC paramilitaries – a designated terrorist organization. Chiquita has already admitted in a criminal case that it paid the AUC around $1.7 million in a 7-year period and that it further provided the AUC with a cache of machine guns as well.

Indeed, Holder himself, using his influence as former deputy attorney general under the Clinton Administration, helped to negotiate Chiquita’s sweeheart deal with the Justice Department in the criminal case against Chiquita. Under this deal, no Chiquita official received any jail time. Indeed, the identity of the key officials involved in the assistance to the paramilitaries were kept under seal and confidential. In the end, Chiquita was fined a mere $25 million which it has been allowed to pay over a 5-year period. This is incredible given the havoc wreaked by Chiquita’s aid to these Colombian death squards.



If Tuesday’s attorney general debate in New York is any indication, the front runner in the crowded race to become New York’s next top lawyer is Zephyr Teachout, who was the subject of repeated attacks from the other candidates and is the only candidate who hasn’t received any funding this cycle from New York’s deep-pocketed real-estate sector or from corporate PACs.

Real estate money, which has largely stayed out of recent attorney general races, is betting big this year on New York City Public Advocate Tish James and Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, according to Sludge’s analysis of campaign-finance records.

That bet may not pay off, as James, Maloney and Verizon executive Leecia Eve, who’s also received some support from the industry, all aimed their fire during Tuesday night’s debate at Teachout, a law professor and anti-corruption activist who the industry has scorned — and who her foes now seem to perceive as leading the race after she won endorsements from The New York Times and Daily News this month.

New York’s billion-dollar real estate industry, which accounted for a tenth of all the money that entered New York campaign finance system in 2014, has become a petri dish for corruption.


Maybe this will spur more grassroots donations.


The NY Times endorsement definitely helped with the $. As much as the Times aggravates me, they were spot on here.


Who else were they going to endorse? One of the real estate crooks who has links with the Orange Blob? The Grey Lady hasn’t looked too good lately.


Nike signing Kaepernick is significant


Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback who inspired a player protest movement but who has been out of a job for more than a year, has signed a new, multiyear deal with Nike that makes him a face of the 30th anniversary of the sports apparel company’s “Just Do It” campaign, Nike confirmed on Monday.

The first advertisement from Nike, one of the league’s top partners, debuted Monday afternoon, when Kaepernick tweeted it, assuring that his activism and the protest movement against racism and social injustice he started would continue to loom over one of the country’s most powerful sports leagues.

Nike will produce new Kaepernick apparel, including a shoe and a T-shirt, and if the merchandise sells well, the value of the deal will rival those of other top N.F.L. players, according to people close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because Nike had not formally announced it. Nike will also donate money to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign.

The N.F.L. did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The ad and the campaign, coming a few days before the start of the N.F.L. season on Thursday, is likely to annoy the league’s top executives and its owners. On Thursday, Kaepernick won a victory in his grievance against the league when an arbitrator let his case, in which he accuses the league of conspiring to keep him off the field because of his activism, advance.


Of course, one should not forget this


Since the 90’s, the debate of labor exploitation and child labor intensified after it was revealed that companies such as Nike and Adidas hired factories that did not meet minimum wage standards or that had children working in their facilities. While these companies have strived to reduce these practices, there is still a long way to achieve responsible production.

These companies and many more tend to hire factories in developing countries, where labor is cheaper and labor laws are more flexible. At the end, this allows lower production costs and if textile market domination is the goal, it becomes a necessary step for these companies. However, at what cost?


That is very cool.

Skip to toolbar