At a campaign rally Saturday in Burlington, Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders outlined his anti-war foreign policy, saying: “I make no apologies for trying to do everything that I can to make sure this country does not get into another war in the Middle East.” “Recently I have been attacked in the media because of my views, actions, and votes on foreign policy issues,” Sanders said. “So let me be as clear as I can be. Yes, as a young man, along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and others, I marched against the war in Vietnam… As a member of the House of Representatives, I helped lead the opposition to the war in Iraq… As a member of the Senate recently, I am proud to have been the lead sponsor on a resolution that, for the first time in 45 years, utilized the War Powers Act to get a majority vote in the House and the Senate to get the United States out of the horrific Saudi-led intervention in Yemen… And finally, right now, this minute, I am doing everything that I can, working, by the way, with some honest conservatives in the Senate, to prevent Donald Trump and John Bolton from taking us into a war in Iran.” SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: But it’s not just Wall Street and the drug compani
Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy
In the heart of the US Capitol there’s a small men’s room with an uplifting Franklin Delano Roosevelt quotation above the door. Making use of the facilities there after lunch in the nearby House dining room about a year ago, I found myself standing next to Trent Lott. Once a mighty power in the building as Senate Republican leader, he had been forced to resign his post following some imprudently affectionate references to his fellow Republican senator, arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond. Now he was visiting the Capitol as a lucratively employed lobbyist.
The bathroom in which we stood, Lott remarked affably, once served a higher purpose. History had been made there. “When I first came to Washington as a junior staffer in 1968,” he explained, “this was the private hideaway office of Bill Colmer, chairman of the House Rules Committee.” Colmer, a long-serving Mississippi Democrat and Lott’s boss, was an influential figure. The committee he ruled controlled whether bills lived or died, the latter being the customary fate of proposed civil-rights legislation that reached his desk. “On Thursday nights,” Lott continued, “he and members of the leadership from both sides of the House would meet here to smoke cigars, drink cheap bourbon, play gin rummy, and discuss business. There was a chemistry, they understood each other. It was a magical thing.” He sighed wistfully at the memory of a more harmonious age, in which our elders and betters could arrange the nation’s affairs behind closed doors.
Many major Democratic presidential candidates pledged not to take special-interest money — but, with a raft of loopholes, the money is still pouring in.
April 17 2019, 5:27 p.m.
All of the Democratic presidential candidates have committed to rejecting the influence of special interests. To demonstrate their resolve, several of the candidates have promised to power their White House ambitions without a single dollar of lobbyist money.
In the waves of small-dollar donations reported on Monday — the first financial disclosure reporting period of the 2020 presidential race — lobbyist money had made its way into the coffers of major candidates’ campaigns.
Beto O’Rourke is one of the candidates who had pledge to run a campaign financed only by regular people — “not PACs, not lobbyists, not corporations, and not special interests.” His latest filing, however, shows that he accepted donations from a federal utility-company lobbyist and a top Chevron lobbyist in New Mexico.
Some lobbyist cash comes from individuals who are clearly lobbyists but have chosen not to register with a federal system rife with loopholes.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has also collected donations from registered corporate lobbyists in South Carolina, New York, and California. Several technology lobbyists from San Francisco have given to her campaign. Another Harris donor, Robert Crowe, from the firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, is a federal lobbyist who has worked to influence Congress on behalf of pipeline firm EQT Corporation and Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., similarly announced that he would eschew campaign donations from federal lobbyists, and his campaign appears to be making most of the caveat about “federal” lobbyists. Though he has returned donations from lobbyists registered under the federal government’s system, Booker has taken half a dozen donations from lobbyists registered under state and municipal lobbyist registration laws, but who do not appear in federal disclosures.
Speculation is mounting that former Vice President Joe Biden will soon enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a longtime senator from Delaware, Biden has previously run twice for the Democratic nomination. The last time was in 2008, when he ultimately became then-Senator Barack Obama’s running mate. While a new campaign would seek to capitalize on Biden’s two terms as vice president, it would also invite scrutiny of his Senate record in a Democratic political climate that is notably more progressive today than it was when Biden last sought the nomination. We speak with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. His latest piece is headlined “No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy.”
“I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble… The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”
– Joe Biden, speaking to the Brookings Institution
“Guys, the wealthy are as patriotic as the poor. I know Bernie doesn’t like me saying that, but they are.”
– Joe Biden, speaking in Alabama
“Biden voted for repeated rounds of deregulation in multiple areas and helped roll back anti-trust policy – often siding with Republicans in the process. He was a key architect of the infamous 2005 bankruptcy reform bill which made means tests much more strict and near-impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.”
– Journalist Ryan Cooper, The Week
Thanks to Kamala Harris’s predecessor, the San Francisco DA’s office had files on clergy sex abusers. But Harris refused to share them with victims.
Video by Leighton Akio Woodhouse
Sample first page.
Kamala Harris, surrounded by thousands of cheering supporters, kicked off her presidential campaign in Oakland earlier this year, declaring that she has always fought “on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, a fight not just against predators but a fight against silence and stigma.”
Fighting on behalf of victims of sexual abuse, particularly children, has been central to Harris’s political identity for the better part of three decades. Harris specialized in prosecuting sex crimes and child exploitation as a young prosecutor just out of law school. She later touted her record on child sexual abuse cases and prosecuting pedophiles in television advertisements, splashy profiles, and on the trail as she campaigned for public office.
But when it came to taking on the Catholic Church, survivors of clergy sexual abuse say that Harris turned a blind eye, refusing to take action against clergy members accused of sexually abusing children when it meant confronting one of the city’s most powerful political institutions.
When Harris became San Francisco district attorney in 2004, she took over an office that had been working closely with survivors of sexual abuse to pursue cases against the Catholic Church. The office and the survivors were in the middle of a legal battle to hold predatory priests accountable, and Harris inherited a collection of personnel files involving allegations of sexual abuse by priests and employees of the San Francisco Archdiocese, which oversees church operations in San Francisco, and Marin and San Mateo counties.
Source: All About Pete | Current Affairs
Only accept politicians who have proved they actually care about people other than themselves… by Nathan J. Robinson
Sample first page.
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is being hyped as the “Democratic celebrity” of the moment. Buttigieg has been the subject of buzz since 2014, when the Washington Post called him “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of.” Now, Buttigieg is running for president, and headlines are appearing in New York and the New York Times like “Could Pete Buttigieg Become the First Millennial President?” and “The First Gay President?” Barack Obama has mentioned Buttigieg as one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party, he appeared at a well-received CNN town hall, FiveThirtyEight is charting his possible paths to the nomination (complete with inscrutable diagrams), and Buttigieg has been rising in the polls (even placing third in an Iowa poll after Biden and Sanders). He is still considered a long-shot. He’s only 37, and no one has ever gone directly from being a mayor to being a president, let alone the mayor of a city half the size of Boise. But of course, we live in strange times, and nobody had ever gone from firing D-list celebrities on a reality show to being president either, so if there’s one thing we should expect, it’s the unexpected.
If you know only one thing about Pete Buttigieg, it’s that he’s The Small-Town Mayor Who Is Making A Splash. If you know half a dozen things about Pete Buttigieg, it’s that he’s also young, gay, a Rhodes Scholar, an Arabic-speaking polyglot, and an Afghanistan veteran. If you know anything more than that about Pete Buttigieg, you probably live in South Bend, Indiana. This is a little strange: These are all facts about him, but they don’t tell us much about what he believes or what he advocates. The nationwide attention to Buttigieg seems more to be due to “the fact that he is a highly-credentialed Rust Belt mayor” rather than “what he has actually said and done.” He’s a gay millennial from Indiana, yes. But should he be President of the United States?
The ironic consequence of Sanders’s 2016 campaign is that most Americans now have a difficult time understanding how his socialism differs from the stands taken by other progressive candidates.
As Senator Kamala Harris rises in the early presidential polls, she is facing increasing scrutiny over her record as a prosecutor in California. In 2004, Harris became district attorney of San Francisco. She held the post until 2011, when she became the attorney general of California. We speak with Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. In January, she wrote a piece in The New York Times titled “Kamala Harris Was Not a ‘Progressive Prosecutor.’” In it, Bazelon writes, “Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.”
Pete Buttigieg’s campaign memoir, Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future, introduces the candidate by heavily emphasizing his hometown ties. In it, he seems bent on leveraging his midwestern values, giving the strong sense of being almost radically wholesome. He does this by presenting, in an astounding act of compression, a life packed like a Marie Kondo underwear drawer full of neatly folded accomplishments, all achieved with apparent effortlessness.
Accusations of sexual misconduct should not be weaponized to serve a political agenda. Nor should claims be ignored to protect a beloved candidate.
The fact that it may be an effective political smear does not make it any less ugly or deceitful.
“Interesting article about vitriolic, sexist, racist, homophobic online comments made by others towards others, and how they can be used by the media or campaigns to smear well known people such as Bernie. The same tactic was used against Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain. This article also makes reference to policy positions of HRC with comments made by Michelle Alexander and Ta-Nehisi Coates:” Jo Cummings
No tolerance for the “Bernie Bros.”
Without unions to institutionalize them, waves of activism dissipate. As the nation and the labor movement shift to the left, progressives need to push forward policies and politics that strengthen those working-class organizations.
The 2018 election reinforced the critical role unions play in electing progressive, pro-worker candidates. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, union-household voters made up 25 percent of the electorate and helped sweep Democrats to victory up and down the ballot. And as the presidential campaign heats up, Democratic candidates are competing with each other to stake out policy terrain on the left. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both put forward programs that borrow from both European social democracy (worker representatives on corporate boards, universal health provision) and FDR’s early New Deal (higher taxes on the rich, massive infrastructure spending, higher social security benefits, and the reregulation of Wall Street).
But, on the other hand, this moment is also a long “winter of despair” when it comes to a revival of trade unionism and collective bargaining, especially in the private sector, where union density is a vanishingly small 6.4 percent. Despite the remarkable victory of union school teachers in California and elsewhere and the inspiring success of union hotel workers, nurses, and a few other militant labor organizations, the union movement remains essentially stalemated in the private sector, certainly when it comes to making the kind of organizing breakthroughs and qualitative bargaining advances that were a hallmark of labor activism between 1934 and 1973. Unemployment is low, wages are barely advancing, unions are viewed in a quite favorable light, and a new generation of young and energetic organizers have been hired onto union staffs, but it still remains incredibly difficult to organize new workers or win a decent first contract. …
▪ Read article atDissent Magazine Spring 2019
Review in The Nation of Greg Grandin’s The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
“Grandin’s book demonstrates that American myths about open frontiers have always been dangerously simplistic, covering up inequality and violence both at home and abroad. The relentless crisis of the Trump presidency has been a long time coming, Grandin shows: the spasms of a country reckoning with the loss of its foundational myth, the myth of limitlessness. “
This review, and probably the book reviewed, is a valuable history putting our current racist immigration policy into a long historical perspective.
Check out the Blue Wave Facebook page. What do you think of this?
By Timothy Snyder November 28, 2016
Housum Professor of History at Yale University, author of Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning
Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today: Link to story on Quartz
Multimillionaire former President Barack Obama, 2017’s Kennedy prize winner, traveled all the way to Germany over the weekend in orderto scold what he called American health care “purists” who have the crazy nerve to challenge the status quo. He called the current battle between Congressional centrists, like Pelosi, and progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal a “circular firing squad.”
This is a deliberate mischaracterization on Obama’s part,because the centrists are the ones with the giant guns and the big corporate money, and the progressives are the underdogs with the$27 individual donations and the verbal slingshots. These two intraparty factions are as unequal as society itself. Obama refused to admit that the Circular Firing Squad within the Democratic Party is, in fact, a microcosm of the eternal Class War of the rich against the poor and working class. He instead framed the health insurance debate as a bunch of reckless extremists who unfairly attack the good, the rich, the wise, and the powerful.