Skip to toolbar
HomeBernie SandersBernie Sanders and Rev. William Barber Speak At Duke Chapel
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The white nationalist “alt-right” movement has suffered massive setbacks over the past few weeks. After his plans for a “Michigan Alt-Right Conference” in Detroit fell apart, followed by his total flop of a speech to a near-empty auditorium at Michigan State University on March 5, Richard Spencer claimed he’s going to have to rethink his college tour. Apparently it just isn’t “fun” anymore.

For top administrators at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan (which has yet to offer a definitive response to Spencer’s outstanding request to speak) this is pretty much the best outcome they could have hoped for. However, it has been worrisome, to say the least, to see university administrators, faculty and others celebrating — or even taking credit for — Spencer’s defeat without acknowledging the campus and community organizers who actually defeated him.



Happy Friday LD! Hope you don’t mind if I treat this as a News thread

After Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders’s strong showing in the primary, many in the Democratic Party are able to read the writing on the wall: They need to move left. But who wants to step in? Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York.

In the past two years, Mr. Cuomo — with an eye on national office — has rebranded himself from conservative insider to left-wing populist. Last year, he even held a news conference with Mr. Sanders to announce a “free college” plan. (The plan, unsurprisingly, turned out to be full of not-very-progressive loopholes.)

The truth is, the governor wears his new identity like a cheap suit — stretched and baggy in all the wrong places. The good news is that despite his ambition, Mr. Cuomo probably has little chance of capturing a presidential nomination. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a strong challenge from the left. If New York’s activists can keep Mr. Cuomo from striding onto the national stage in 2020 under a thin veneer of Bernie-ism, we can send the Democrats a message they need to hear. More immediately, we can help force the issues that matter to working-class New Yorkers into the center of the campaign.

Cynthia Nixon is doing just that. Last month, Ms. Nixon, a public school advocate and an actress best known for her role on “Sex and the City,” announced that she’s challenging Mr. Cuomo in this year’s primary. She’s campaigning on a platform that includes rent control, putting more money into public schools and ending mass incarceration. The left should support her.


Nice rally you have there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s aides and campaign staff made a round of phone calls to elected officials, asking them to not attend a rally on Thursday in support of community groups that have endorsed his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, according to eight New York City Council members who received such calls or messages and two others briefed on the effort.

The rally was held to protest what organizers described as Mr. Cuomo’s pressure tactics: They said the governor made a push for labor unions to stop funding those same community groups.

Mr. Cuomo has denied using any such pressure tactics, even as his aides pressed various Council members to boycott the rally.


At the same time, Cuomo insisted the split withing the WFP, which endorsed his primary opponent Cynthia Nixon on Saturday, was between the activist wing of the party and its founding labor unions, which have left the organization on the eve of meeting last weekend.

“I’m not going to punish. It has nothing to do with me,” Cuomo said. “Punishment is for God. Who unions should support or not support, that’s up to the unions. Nobody’s going to tell them what to do.”

WFP officials have said publicly that Cuomo has leveled threats against the WFP, telling them to “lose my number” if they endorsed Nixon and would find ways of pulling funding from the advocacy organizations that remain with the liberal ballot line. The groups are largely funded by labor organizations and cannot receive direct funding from the state.


I love when politicians act like we’re all stupid. It worked out great for his buddy Hillary.


If the money was going into a more structured state health Fund, there wouldn’t be as much a problem.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a disturbing new way to raise revenue: using government muscle to squeeze private organizations into “voluntarily” writing billion-dollar checks. That’s what he did to Fidelis Care, a nonprofit health plan affiliated with the Catholic Church, and its would-be buyer, Centene Corp.

In a murky deal announced on Good Friday, Fidelis and Centene agreed to pay the state $2 billion over four years. The payments are not technically required by law. But Fidelis and Centene agreed to them after a three-month pressure campaign by Mr. Cuomo, including overt and implied threats to seize the funds, block the sale or both.

Fidelis would seem an odd target for a gubernatorial money grab. Founded in 1993, it specializes in health coverage for the poor. With 1.6 million members, it is the largest purveyor of state-sponsored programs such as Medicaid managed care, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan, as well as Medicare Advantage and commercial ObamaCare coverage. It has played a big role in reducing the state’s uninsured rate, and it has not been publicly accused of wrongdoing.

What sparked Mr. Cuomo’s campaign was Fidelis’s pending sale to Centene, announced in September, for a price of $3.75 billion. The bishops planned to put the money into a charitable foundation in support of health care for the needy. Mr. Cuomo argued that the state was entitled to $3 billion of the proceeds because Fidelis earned most of its revenue from state programs. By that logic, the state could skim the savings accounts of public employees when they retire.

A final disturbing twist is where the state’s $2 billion is destined to go: into a “health care transformation fund,” into which the governor’s budget director can dip without even notifying the Legislature (or the public) for 15 days. So Mr. Cuomo is diverting money otherwise meant for charity to furnish himself with $1.35 billion to spend as he wishes in an election year. What innocent but deep-pocketed organization will be next?


If he does get on the ballot, it probably ensures that Pritzker will win

A Republican state senator launched a third party bid for governor Thursday in what could be a death knell for Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s reelection bid.

State Sen. Sam McCann is running as what he called an “independent conservative,” telling POLITICO Thursday that he felt “called to serve” to counter the prospect of having only two “billionaires from Chicago” on the November ballot.

McCann denied that his run is an effort to settle a score with Rauner and ensure the embattled first-term governor is defeated in November.

“I’m in this to win it. I’ve never run a race not to win it. I don’t run against people, I run to win,” McCann said Thursday.


I say the more the merrier. I don’t like JB nor Rauner, both hedge fund guys. This guy’s politics aren’t mine when it comes to health choices for women, but he’s right about the disastrous handling of the state budget. I’m hoping a Green Party guy will show up and depending on what s/he is advocating, we’ll see if I still have to wear a nasal closepin when in the voting booth.


I hear ya Benny, to many times I had to wear a self containing breathing suit going to vote in my area of WI. We have to do better.


Teachers in Arizona held a strike vote on Thursday that launched Arizona’s first-ever statewide walkout and turned down a proposed pay raise — instead demanding increased school funding.

The Arizona Education Association and the grass-roots group the Arizona Educators United announced that teachers will walk off the job April 26.

At issue is a plan crafted by Gov. Doug Ducey to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, starting with a 9 percent hike next year.

Arizona Governor Agrees To 20 Percent Raise For Protesting Teachers
Arizona Governor Agrees To 20 Percent Raise For Protesting Teachers
Initially, Ducey’s plan drew support from two education advocacy groups, Save Our Schools Arizona and the Arizona Parent Teacher Association (AZPTA). But both groups have withdrawn their support, saying the plan is not sustainable and likely will come at the expense of others in the educational system.


The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), with 1.7 million members, has officially cut ties with banking giant Wells Fargo for the company’s ongoing relationship with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

According to USA Today, the move came after Wells Fargo declined to heed the union’s recommendation that it forgo its lending relationship with the gun lobbying group or impose new restriction on firearms manufacturers, in wake of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.

After the shooting, young survivors and youth activists, along with their educators and fellow gun control advocates, pushed for tighter restrictions on gun sales and urged boycotts of any business that maintained a working relationship with the NRA.

Although other business have since severed ties with the gun lobbying group, Wells Fargo — dubbed the “preferred financier for the U.S. gun industry” by Bloomberg due to the hundreds of millions in loans and bonds its handed out to firearm and ammunition companies since 2012 — has shown reluctance to change.

That stubbornness prompted the American Federation of Teachers to cut ties with the bank, which previously created a $28 million line of credit for the NRA and “operates [its] primary accounts,” according to Bloomberg: on Thursday, AFT notified Wells Fargo in a letter that it would no longer “offer or promote” the bank’s mortgage lending program to its members and would remove it from its AFT member benefits site.


I wish my wife’s place of employment would get on board to make a change as Wells Fargo is the administrastor for her retirement plan. We simply cant change anything as long as she works their. I don’t trust this company at all.


wells fargo is one of the worst, although all the huge ones are pretty awful at this point.


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is levying a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo — a record for the agency — in punishment for the banking giant’s actions in its mortgage and auto loan businesses.

Announcing the penalty on Friday, the CFPB said it is part of a settlement with Wells Fargo, which has also pledged to repair the financial harm to consumers.

The new action comes less than two years after Wells Fargo was fined nearly $200 million over what the CFPB called “the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.”

Those earlier penalties included a $100 million fine to the CFPB — a record at the time. The new punishment stems from the agency’s findings that Wells Fargo abused its relationship with home and auto loan borrowers.


The teachers – and a fair number of the people who support them — aren’t buying the spin this time.

They didn’t buy the recent $1 million ad blitz touting the wonders of public schools since Ducey became governor – the ads paid for by the newly formed Arizona Education Project (read: the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Arizona Public Service.)

They aren’t going to buy the inevitable ads expected in the coming week about “#20by2020” – ads reportedly to be brought to you by Republican Governor’s Association (including, presumably APS, which donated $100,000 to the RGA last fall).

#20by2020, as Team Ducey is calling it, may make for a trendy hashtag, but here is what teachers know.

Students are getting shorted

Funding to operate Arizona’s schools is still $950 million below where it was in 2008, when inflation is taken into account.

The state is investing $924 less on a child’s education today than it spent a decade ago.

And that doesn’t count the billions in capital funding the state isn’t providing to build and maintain schools, despite a state law that says it must.

The result is 25-year-old biology books and roofs that leak. The result is rodents running amok and schools unable to afford toilet paper.

The result is a set of poorly paid, red-shirted teachers who have grown tired of being ignored and now they are shouting, Can you hear us now?

This, in an election year when education will be a top issue.

I imagine Gov. Ducey is at home tonight, breathing into a paper bag.


Morning LD and TPW’ers Rare day off from shining up the office chair with my ass. Hope you done mine that I treat this as an open thread as I came across this article today. And to think an 18 year old who was probably told it couldn’t be done has thought this up and wasn’t deterred by the skeptics. I’ve had discussions with one of my sons who’s an engineer who says certain things in his favorite sci fi movie cant be done. I constantly tell him its not the people who say it cant be done that will discover solutions or figure out a warp drive etc, It’s the person who believes it CAN be done and will dedicate themselves to finding a way. Score one for the next generation here. Their is also a break through on an enzyme that will eat plastics and break it down to a inert form but its early in its research, it was discovered by accident.

The Revolutionary Giant Ocean Cleanup Machine Is About To Set Sail

On a Wednesday afternoon in a sprawling lot on a former naval air station in Alameda, California, across the bay from San Francisco, workers are welding a massive black tube together. The tube–roughly the length of a football field–is one piece of a larger system that will set sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer, where it will begin collecting some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic trash brought there by ocean currents Six years ago, the technology was only an idea presented at a TEDx talk. Boyan Slat, the 18-year-old presenter, had learned that cleaning up the tiny particles of plastic in the ocean could take nearly 80,000 years. Because of the volume of plastic spread through the water, and because it is constantly moving with currents, trying to chase it with nets would be a losing proposition. Slat instead proposed using that movement as an advantage: With a barrier in the water, he argued, the swirling plastic could be collected much more quickly. Then it could be pulled out of the water and recycled.Some scientists have been skeptical that the idea is feasible. But Slat, undeterred, dropped out of his first year of university to pursue the concept, and founded a nonprofit to create the technology, The Ocean Cleanup, in 2013. The organization raised $2.2 million in a crowdfunding campaign, and other investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, brought in millions more to fund research and development. By the end of 2018, the nonprofit says it will bring back its first harvest of ocean plastic back from the North Pacific Gyre, along with concrete proof that the design works. The organization expects to bring 5,000 kilograms of plastic ashore per month with its first system. With a full fleet of systems deployed, it believes that it can collect half of the plastic trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch–around 40,000 metric tons–within five years.</blockquote

More at


Thanks for the link, wi59. Read it, and was absolutely fascinated. The oceans are in dire need of major cleanup. Hopefully, these people will get it done in time.


Support for new restrictions on guns has surged in the weeks since the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school, a new ABC News/ Washington Post poll found.

Sixty-two percent of respondents in the poll said that they support a national ban on selling assault weapons, up from 50 percent in the same poll in mid-February. It’s the highest level of support in the poll for such a ban since January 2011.

Even more respondents were in favor of other gun measures. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they supported raising the legal age to buy rifles and shotguns to 21, and 85 percent backed so-called “red flag” measures that allow police to take away guns from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves and others.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that enacting new laws aimed at preventing gun violence are more important than protecting gun rights.

The poll also found that 71 percent of Americans believe lawmakers aren’t doing enough to prevent gun violence, and 59 percent think President Trump isn’t doing enough.


Abrams is tapping into a moment when Democrats are finally realizing how much they owe to the black women who have long been intensely loyal to the party. In 2012, black women voted at higher rates nationally than any other demographic group. In 2016, 94 percent of them voted for Hillary Clinton. (Less than half of white women did.) And in a fiercely contested special election in Alabama in December 2017, black women supported the Democratic winner, Doug Jones, by a 98-2 margin. After Jones’ slim victory, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez tweeted, “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period.”

But black women’s clout at the ballot box has not translated into representation. Nationwide, only 12 black women have ever been elected to statewide executive positions such as attorney general or lieutenant governor. Research shows that women candidates have to work harder than men to raise money, and black women who run for office face the additional burden of representing areas with less money to pull from. Some feel their fundraising is unfairly scrutinized because they are seen as not raising enough cash—or raising too much. Sarah Bryner, the research director at the Center for Responsive Politics, says black women candidates “face the same kinds of intersectional problems that they face in all sorts of areas—they have difficulty raising money because they’re women and because they’re black.”

Black women candidates “face the same kinds of intersectional problems that they face in all sorts of areas—they have difficulty raising money because they’re women and because they’re black.”

On the one hand, Abrams is quick to tout the significance of being a black woman seeking higher office. But she’s also aware she has to beat her main opponent in the May 22 Democratic primary, Stacey Evans, a white state Assembly member. To do that, she’ll need white voters, and white women in particular, to rally to her side. “I do not disparage anyone based on race. I do not isolate any community based on religion. I want everybody,” Abrams says. “But I am going to focus on progressive voters who run the cross section of racial and economic and regional geography but who share core values that I have.”


Good luck Ms Abrams as our current elected officials are not as diverse as it should be. We need representation that truly reflects our country’s diverse population. Right now most of our elected officials work for the 1% and don’t listen or care about the rest of us.


Another article aligning with what Thomas Picketty and Thomas Frank have to say. Discussed at DK where some refuse to believe that all Dems are not in lock step on economic issues. They aren’t—partly due to selfish interests and partly due to political corruption.

Taking it a step further, a Democratic Party based on urban cosmopolitan business liberalism runs the risk not only of leading to the continued marginalization of the minority poor, but also — as the policies of the Trump administration demonstrate — to the continued neglect of the white working-class electorate that put Trump in the White House.

In other words, Democratic strategists looking to piece together a 21st century political alliance have to consider the unintended consequences of taking the easy route: constructing a coalition explicitly dominated by elites.

The force that had historically pushed policy to the economic left — organized labor — has for the most part been marginalized. African-American and Hispanic voters have shown little willingness to join Democratic reform movements led by upper middle class whites, as shown in their lack of enthusiasm for Bill Bradley running against Al Gore in 2000 or Sanders running against Clinton in 2016.

The hurdle facing those seeking to democratize elite domination of the Democratic Party is finding voters and donors who have a sustained interest in redistributive policies — and the minimum wage is only a small piece of this. Achieving that goal requires an economically coherent center-left political coalition. It also requires the ability to overcome the seemingly insuperable political divisions between the white working class and the African-American and Hispanic working classes — that elusive but essential multiracial — and now multiethnic — majority. Establishing that majority in a coherent political coalition is the only way in which the economic interests of those in the bottom half of the income distribution will be effectively addressed.


LOL. What is up with all these guys named Thomas basically making the same good argument?