HomeUncategorized9/5 News Roundup & Open Thread – Sanders On ‘The View’, ‘Pints & Politics’ with Bernie & More

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Mostly because of the nice pic of Bernie:



How many bankruptcies are caused by America’s dysfunctional health-care system? Bernie Sanders has been at the center of a days-long controversy over this question. He said 500,000 people are bankrupted annually by medical debt, citing an American Journal of Public Health study which actually found 530,000 bankruptcies every year caused in some way by medical bills (or about 65 percent of the total). Washington Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo attacked, awarding him 3 out of 4 “Pinnochios” for failing to cite a completely different study — though in what is becoming a sadly typical pattern for the genre, Rizzo himself made a serious factual error in the process, describing the AJPH paper as not peer-reviewed when in fact it was.

As funny as it is to watch so-called fact checkers beclown themselves in their palpable eagerness to expose the radical commie candidate, the specifics of this debate shouldn’t lead us to miss the bleeding obvious. Whatever the accurate number is, we can be sure beyond question that medical debt is causing a great ocean of pointless misery — and Medicare-for-All would help a lot.

One of the reasons Bernie Sanders advocates for Medicare-for-All is because lots and lots of Americans are being financially broken on the wheel of medical debt — and a great many more are suffering short of bankruptcy. It is absolutely inarguable that this is happening. This vast sea of pain is simply what happens when a country pushes more and more and more of the financing of its health care system onto individuals who cannot bear the load.

Whether the actual number of people annually driven into bankruptcy by America’s wretched jalopy health care system is 530,000 or “only” 31,000, the number is way too big. If we implemented the Sanders plan — which would cover all medical, dental, vision, nursing, and prescription drugs, with only a small co-pay for pharmaceuticals — we could get rid of most of this suffering at a stroke. (Adding a universal sick leave plan as all our wealthy peer nations have to cover loss of income caused by missing work would make things better still, but that’s a subject for another day.)

There will always be tendentious libertarian ideologues sprouting up to nitpick anyone suggesting that we could all live better lives by jacking up taxes on the rich to fund social benefits. Don’t let them distract you — Medicare-for-All done properly would massively improve the lives of almost every American.



Americans go bankrupt every year because of unpaid medical bills.

Now Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), one of the leading progressives in the 2020 presidential race, says he wants to eliminate all Americans’ medical debt. Sanders teased this plan in a speech over the weekend, but the details have not yet been formally released.

“I am sick and tired of seeing over 500,000 Americans declare bankruptcy each year because they cannot pay off the outrageous cost of a medical emergency or a hospital stay,” Sanders said on Saturday.

But in justifying his plan to alleviate Americans’ medical debt, Sanders cited this 500,000 figure and reignited a longstanding scholarly debate about the actual scale of the medical bankruptcy problem. The Washington Post’s in-house fact-checkers dinged him for saying 500,000 people go bankrupt because of medical debt every year, stirring up an old fight that originated with a 2005 paper co-authored, in a fun twist, by Sanders’s now-rival Elizabeth Warren.

Academics have been debating since that 2005 paper’s publication how many people actually go bankrupt in the United States because of medical bills. It is a debate about causation and study design that frankly won’t matter to most people. It also risks losing sight of the underlying problem.

There is no denying that thousands of Americans go bankrupt entirely or partly because of medical debt. And even if they don’t go bankrupt, millions more people struggle with this type of debt on their personal ledgers, making it harder for them to borrow money and stay financially stable. Millions of Americans still lack health insurance, and they’re fully liable for their medical bills if they get sick or have an accident. But even health insurance does not always provide security against financial stress because poor health takes its toll in other ways, such as lost wages.

Sanders already supports Medicare-for-all, which would all but eliminate medical debt in the future by making health care free when you visit the doctor or the hospital. But his new proposal is about the millions of Americans burdened with billions of dollars in existing debts. Sanders says he wants to solve their problem too.

It’s another big promise — but one that could make a real difference if it were taken seriously.



By far and away, Bernie Sanders owned the event. His forceful yet understated advocacy for policies he has championed over the entire course of his life in public service placed him in a different category than even Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker, who also comported themselves well. Warren and Booker’s grasp of the details, along with their enthusiasm in imparting them, set them apart from the crowd, but this was Sanders’s home turf, and it showed.

Sanders brought specificity to how he would pay for the $16 trillion price tag on his climate plan. More than that, he was honest about what this crisis will require of us all. “There will be a transition, and there will be some pain,” he said. “We are going to have to ask people to make those changes now, even though they may be uncomfortable, for the sake of future generations.”

This was needed medicine on a night when many of the candidates — Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and even Warren — preached the gospel of the market as a cure-all: We can only address climate change if someone can make money doing it.

Only Sanders was bold enough to suggest that the voracious nature of U.S.-style capitalism must first be confronted if true climate reform is to be undertaken.

Corporations, corporations, corporations went the drumbeat of blame from the candidates; but corporations, after all, are but a symptom of the disease, and only Sanders was bold enough to suggest that the voracious nature of U.S.-style capitalism must first be confronted if true climate reform is to be undertaken: “We are going to have to change the nature of many of the things we are doing right now,” he said. The meaning behind his words was unmistakable.

And then there was Biden. Picture in your mind a plane crash on top of a train wreck in the middle of an earthquake after an attack by Godzilla, and you’ll still fall short of fully encompassing what the former vice president did to himself on Wednesday night.

The story of the night was Biden’s defenestration at the hands of a young man who asked why Biden was set to attend a big-dollar fundraiser co-hosted by a fossil fuel executive, despite his pledge not to accept fossil fuel campaign money. “I didn’t know he did that,” Biden exclaimed, which was a curious statement: The executive in question, Andrew Goldman, was the northeast director of finance for Biden’s doomed 2008 presidential campaign. Biden’s feigned (or actual) ignorance about the company he was set to keep the very next night was as hollow as it was humiliating.

Had that been the extent of the damage, it would have been a mercy, but it was not. Biden did not need nine other candidates to interrupt him, because he interrupted himself time and again as he staggered through a series of fathomless half-statements that exposed his gossamer grasp of the subject matter. Biden’s prattle about “safe fracking” rang about as true as “clean coal.” Topping it all off was his left eye, which visibly filled with blood halfway through his allotted time. I suppose it could have been worse, but I’m not quite sure how.





The entire episode is great as usual, but pay close attention to 22:27-24:02. Then compare it to Warren’s response.

There is another tweet around that includes the original question for this clip, and explains that Warren did not answer it. I didn’t really watch her portion, so those who were able to may have a different take on this. The tweet says that the question involved a tribe whose land is currently under water and was asking about help in getting them moved. If that was the actual question, the she certainly did not answer it.


From Military Jets to Snipers, Icelanders—Who Live in World’s Most Peaceful Country—Shocked by All the Guns Surrounding Mike Pence

High-powered military jets. Armed guards. Snipers on rooftops. Bomb-sniffing dogs.

Those were just some of the components of the security arsenal that accompanied U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday during his official visit to Iceland, a nation the Global Peace Index has ranked as the most peaceful nation in the world for 11 consecutive years.

As such, Pence’s heavily militarized security detail was reportedly met with shock in Iceland. The Associated Press reported that “Pence’s arrival in Iceland with military jets and armed personnel set eyes popping.”

The size and intensity of Pence’s security detail drew mockery from satirical Icelandic newspaper Fréttirnar, which joked that “Americans intended to give every Reykjavik citizen a paralyzing drug during Pence’s visit.”

Ahead of Pence’s arrival in Iceland, AP reported, U.S. Secret Service agents “spent weeks scouting locations” and “three CV-22B Osprey flew over southwestern Iceland, along with two C-130 Hercules and one Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.”

Pence, a notoriously anti-LGBTQ politician, was greeted during his drive to meet Iceland President Gudni Johannesson on Wednesday by a row of rainbow gay pride flags that Advania technology company displayed in anticipation of the vice president’s visit.

It was not the only time Pence drew public scorn and ridicule during his overseas trip.

Pence traveled to Iceland days after his highly controversial trip to Ireland, during which the vice president drew scrutiny for staying at a Trump-owned hotel at the president’s request.

In a column for the Irish Times Tuesday, Miriam Lord said the U.S. vice president’s visit was “like pulling out all the stops for a much-anticipated visitor to your home and thinking it has been a great success until somebody discovers he shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him.”



CNN, Human Rights Campaign to host Democratic presidential town hall focused on LGBTQ issues

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced Thursday it will host a CNN Democratic presidential town hall in California this fall focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues.

HRC said the October 10 primetime event, airing live on the eve of National Coming Out Day, will feature the largest ever audience for a Democratic presidential town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues. The candidates will take questions from the audience and CNN journalists on specific LGBTQ concerns as well as their plans to promote equality and civility.

So far, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have accepted HRC’s invitation to participate in the event.

An HRC Foundation spokesperson said the audience will be comprised of invited guests, LGBTQ stakeholders and members of civic organizations. No public tickets will be available.

I hope that Bernie accepts, that he doesn’t just talk about income inequality, and that he knocks it out of the park.

Bernie Sanders on LGBTQ rights

Bernie Sanders has been a steadfast and reliable supporter of LGBTQ equality throughout his decades of public service. Since 1972, Bernie has been an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ community. When Bernie first ran for office in Vermont in 1972, a plank of his platform proposed abolishing all discriminatory laws pertaining to sexuality. In 1983, after he was elected to be mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Bernie backed the city’s first-ever pride march. In the 1980s, as mayor of Burlington, Bernie created a Trans Mecca in Burlington.

Bernie voted against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. The Human Rights Campaign consistently gives him a 100% rating.

LGBTQ Values Are Family Values: Bernie supported gay marriage long before it was politically expedient to do so, and also supports gay adoption.

Addressing Discrimination: Bernie has long cosponsored and voted for legislation that
supports the LGBTQ community’s equal rights in schools, the workplace, and the military.



I’m sure he’s going to accept. He’s is an advocate and really he has to. Look what happened to Harris and the climate town hall.


do you think this is partially to elevate Pete?


It is certainly a good subject for a town hall.But!



In 2014, long-time supporter of same-sex marriage Shenna Bellows was nominated for a U.S. Senate seat in Maine. HRC endorsed her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins, who had previously lacked a history of supporting marriage equality initiatives. However, Collins later clarified her view in support of LGBT marriage equality.

On March 11, 2016, HRC voted to endorse Republican US Senator Mark Kirk over his Democratic Party challenger Representative Tammy Duckworth in his re-election bid to the US Senate.

2016 United States presidential endorsement

On January 19, 2016, the Human Rights Campaign’s 32-person Board of Directors voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. This resulted in considerable controversy, causing thousands of users on HRC’s Facebook page to post comments critical of the decision. Many cited HRC’s own “congressional scorecard” (which records a 100% rating for her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, while Clinton herself only scores 89%) as inconsistent with their endorsement. Additional scrutiny was also placed upon the connections Clinton herself has to the organization when it was revealed that HRC’s President, Chad Griffin, had previously been employed by Clinton’s husband, former US President Bill Clinton.



I love that Bernie was getting everyone to sign on to the fracking ban. A lesser politician might have wanted the attention all for himself, but Bernie’s building coalitions – – woo hoo!


I love that Bernie was getting everyone to sign on to the fracking ban.

Me too! Fracking is bad on so many levels:
-the chemicals that are pumped into the ground contaminating water
-the large amount of water used to do the extraction
-the fractured rock causing mini-earthquakes
-the methane that escapes

and so on. Just awful and should be illegal.


Apropos of nothing maybe, but here is a fun fact:

The current PM of Britain’s full name is . . . Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
Side note: He was born in the US in NYC, and retained his US citizenship until 2016.

Boris Johnson sounds like just one of the guys. Kind of like “Middle Class” Joe.

Extrapolate from there.


Thanks for that info. I did not know that.

He’s a quite a jerk from what I can tell.

I’m Sorry, But Do British People Actually Use ‘Big Girl’s Blouse’ As an Insult?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made headlines today when he appeared to call Jeremy Corbyn a — excuse me — “big girl’s blouse” during his first Prime Minister’s Questions session. As the Guardian reports, Johnson became heated after the Labour Party leader asked him to disclose information regarding the government’s no-deal Brexit documents.

Corbyn said Johnson was, “desperate, absolutely desperate to avoid scrutiny,” which prompted the new prime minister to make the outburst. While the term may sound strange to us non-Brits, Johnson’s schoolyard name-calling resulted in Twitter users labeling him as misogynistic, sexist, and homophobic.

Aside from being a commonly worn women’s garment, British people have used the term “big girl’s blouse” as an insult, usually directed toward a man, to imply he is a coward, weak, or effeminate. Or, as my British friend told me, “it’s the equivalent of calling a man a pussy or a wimp.”

Amanda Montell, author of Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, says that the phrase may be “about 50 years old,” and is basically a synonym for a “sissy or a cowardly man with a low pain threshold.” And, in case you’re wondering, it’s not a blouse that belongs to a big girl, but more like a girl’s blouse that’s big, according to an old article from BBC America.


No wonder he and Trump get along so well.


Yes, they are very similar . . . right down to the name calling.


Boris was a classmate of David Cameron at Balliol College–Oxford University. That accounts for the plummy tone.


Sounds like a young dumb version of tRump.


Bernie on the right side of things, again:


This made me think of you:



Once again I am disappointed with AOC!

I have been following her twitter feed. When Bernie announced his climate change plan nary a comment. Concerning last night’s town hall where many of the candidates offered plenty of constructive ideas (led by Bernie) she responded to only one of them.


This set up the following.

Rebecca Lieber: I am @motherjones’ climate reporter. RLeber at motherjones dot com.

She repeated AOC’s tweet and still had time to take a shot at Bernie.


As a side note. Clara Jeffery (editor Of Mother Jones) despises Bernie.


They’re out to get Bernie’s staff now. Atm Clara seems to be focusing on Sirota, whose wife, you may recall is…a Democratic politician! And David Sirota hit the pavement so hard for his DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN wife in the last (successful) campaign that he exhausted himself, on behalf of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!

(sorry for the caps, Clara and her evil cohorts really piss me off)

Emily Lipp Sirota (born August 7, 1979) is an American politician who is a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from the 9th district in the City and County of Denver.

Sirota was elected in the general election on November 6, 2018, winning 71 percent of the vote over 29 percent of Republican candidate Bob Lane.[1]

Political party Democratic

Spouse(s) David Sirota


I made a comment the other day about NYT and WaPO becoming supermarket tabloids a la two-headed cow stories. It looks like ABC plans to show them the way. Throw MSNBC in as this story was in their news aggregate today.

Men who found 2-headed snake give it a fitting name

A pair of environmental consultants found a rare two-headed timber rattlesnake in New Jersey and put their heads together to come up with the perfect name.

The nearly 2-ounce snake was found in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey by two men named Dave, who both work for Herpetological Associates of Burlington County, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI.

This small species of a venomous pit viper is a particularly rarity with two fully formed heads, four eyes and two tongues but a single body.

The only thing missing is the aliens.


The Yellow Press is nothing new in the history of journalism. It seems to rise to the top when the majority of readers forget how to think.


Joe being Joe.




There’s an article in the op guardian about how the billionaires are pushing her because they want her to run against Buttigieg of all people. Apparently that’s who they’re donating the most to. Pete.

Don’t know how trustee the author is, so I let it scroll away.


I think that this is funny but I have a warped sense of humor.😁😎😜



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As my ability to see the climate debate was sporadic at best (mostly through Twitter clips), I was wondering if anyone addressed recycling. Not just mentioning straws but some kind of policy.


Random thought:

As Congress (House and Senate) members have staff paid for by taxpayers to do research for them, I am thinking that it is time to curtail the number they are allowed based on the amount of lobby money they receive. They can all have a front office secretary, but research staff is not needed for anyone getting their “research” from a lobbyist.

If whoever monitors this new allocation of staffers is unsure, check the voting record. If it consistently goes against the majority of staff research, send one notice of warning. If repeated, move the staffer to someone who actually needs a person to do research.

Just mulling it over.




Progressive activists often see a frustrating pattern. Many Democrats in office are good at liberal platitudes but don’t really fight for what we need. Even when constituents organize to lobby or protest, they have little leverage compared to big campaign donors, party leaders and corporate media spin. Activist efforts routinely fall short because—while propelled by facts and passion—they lack power.

Right now, in dozens of Democratic congressional districts, the most effective way for progressives to “lobby” their inadequate representatives would be to “primary” them. Activists may flatter themselves into believing that they have the most influence by seeking warm personal relationships with a Democratic lawmaker. But a credible primary campaign is likely to change an elected official’s behavior far more quickly and extensively.

In short, all too often, progressive activists are routinely just too frigging nice—without galvanizing major grassroots power.

With rare exceptions, it doesn’t do much good to concentrate on appealing to the hearts of people who run a heartless system. It may be tempting to tout some sort of politics of love as the antidote to the horrors of the status quo. But, as Martin Luther King Jr. wrote shortly before he was murdered, “love without power is sentimental and anemic.” Beyond speaking truth to power, it’s crucial to take power away from those abusing or squandering it.


Is it just me or are tweets not showing up like they normally do?


Comes and goes.


It was normal earlier today but now its gone. LOL I tried restarting my computer but still same results.


I went and played a game for about a half hour and everything is currently back to normal. Not sure how that helps at all. Lol.


Too bad that I am not a gamer. I guess I will just have to live with it.😒


I think it was a fluke, and the actual problem is with Twitter embedding.


Another possibility is that LD employed an update to WordPress which impacted twitter. It has happened previously.


here’s the article I was talking about below. I truly, truly depressing read. Don’t know how valid it is. But some of it is definitely an opinion and perhaps a bad one. Here’s hoping, anyway.


Even with billionaire love, Buttigieg is not coming anywhere near the final 2 with absolutely no minority support


agree. but wanting Warren is prolly close to the mark.



Oh dear. Looks like TVs and movies will become increasingly unwatchable as the military/neolibcons get their hands in every script.


I just saw a tv ad for that and my jaw dropped.



Because Twitter is acting up (at least for me) here is a link to the story.


NH Primary Source: Ahead of NHDP convention, Sanders campaign rolls out 53 endorsements

Elected officials, community and labor activists back Vermont senator’s presidential candidacy.

Sanders won the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary in a landslide over Hillary Clinton, and in July predicted in an interview with WMUR that he will win the 2020 primary. He is known for having a massive ground operation with a large network of volunteers.

The new endorsements follow a list of 26 New Hampshire backers released earlier in the summer.




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