The Evening Blues - 11-8-19
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features New Orleans piano player and songwriter Professor Longhair. Enjoy!
Professor Longhair - Tipitina
"Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism."
-- Noam Chomsky
News and Opinion
On an October evening in 2002, while quietly embroidering on the porch of her home in Nablus in the West Bank, 60-year-old Shaden Abu Hijleh was shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces. A grandmother and community activist involved in promoting the arts, women’s and children’s advocacy, serving the needy and nonviolent resistance to the occupation, she had no links to any violent or extremist organizations. No protests or other violent disturbances were taking place nearby, and her killing is widely believed to have been a targeted assassination. In July the previous year, Isaac Saada was gunned down by an Israeli helicopter gunship outside of his home in Bethlehem. He was the father of 11 children and a beloved teacher at Terra Sancta, a Roman Catholic school in that West Bank city. Saada was actively involved with the peace education program of the Israeli-Palestinian Center for Research and Information. ...
Abu Hijleh and Saada were just two of scores of Palestinian activists murdered by Israeli assassins in the early 2000s. Though many of the targets were militants affiliated with armed groups, and included some suspected terrorists, Abu Hijleh and Saada appear to have been targeted simply for being locally prominent Palestinians opposed to the occupation. The Bush administration condemned the Israeli government’s policy of extra-judicial killings, which a report from the United Nations noted “are grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 147, and of international humanitarian law.”
On Capitol Hill, however, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee defended Israel’s use of these assassination squads, saying, “I don’t believe this is a policy of assassinations” since “there is [in] effect a declared war.” His name was Joe Biden, a senator from Delaware, future vice president and currently a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
A look at Biden’s Senate career has shown repeated occasions in which he has co-sponsored resolutions and issued statements defending Israeli attacks against civilian targets in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Lebanon as legitimate self-defense. Biden has defended Israel despite well-documented reports by human rights groups that Israel had engaged in serious war crimes. ...
Bernie Sanders’ campaign has finally gone full-throat with the obvious: the Democrat-aligned corporate media have thrown all journalistic principles to the wind to impose a “Bernie Blackout.” How can someone who was the most popular politician in the nation in 2017 be made into a non-person? It’s all intimately entwined with the multiple crises afflicting late stage capitalism. ...
The crises of late stage capitalism had suddenly multiplied in the belly of the imperial beast. On top of everything else, the system was suffering a crisis of legitimacy: nobody believed the official narrative anymore. Corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton was a world class loser; the maddeningly unpredictable Donald Trump had gone from fodder for ridicule to Commander-in-Chief of the empire; and self-styled socialist Bernie Sanders was the most-favored U.S politician – not thanks to his looks or charm, but because he championed BIG health, education and labor programs supported by supermajorities of the people. For the first time in neoliberal era history, the Race to the Bottom – the general blueprint of late stage capitalism -- was in trouble in the imperial headquarters country.
The rulers have not handled the multi-crisis well. With the national security state on point, the Russiagate scam has vastly worsened the U.S. regime’s already existing crisis of legitimacy. In the attempt to wound, weaken and control Trump, the Democrat-aligned political operatives and their media have savaged the Office of the President and made half of Americans believe the U.S. electoral system can be decisively subverted by actors half a world away with an ad budget of $100,000. What kind of superpower is that?
Corporate media has ruined itself, abandoning every artifice of “objectivity’” crafted over generations to convince the people that corporate journalism can be trusted as an arbiter of truth -- a Humpty-Dumpty that can never be put back together again. The half of white America that supports Trump will never believe anything reported on anti-Trump media – a huge and irreparable crisis of legitimacy for the system as a whole.
Yes, the Left – what there is of it – will have to figure out alternative ways to communicate and organize now that Internet algorithms are openly rigged and Facebook has become a hostile environment, especially for Black speech. But, Russiagate has stripped the ruling class’s legitimacy-sustaining tools of all credibility, and they can’t buy it back.
The rulers have turned the same machinery against Bernie Sanders. The New York Times and the Washington Post, the premier opinion molders of the corporate press, every day run front-page stories on the Democratic presidential race that either malign Sanders or pretend he doesn’t exist. As Sanders speechwriter David Sirota pointed out, when CNN commissioned a poll that showed Sanders in first place in New Hampshire, the news network put up a graphic that showed him in second place.
The corporate media methodically try to confuse the public about the cost and benefits of Medicare For All, free public higher education and the rest of Sanders’ signature proposals, seeking to render him a non-person with an illegitimate program. But, in doing so, they further erode their own legitimacy, and their usefulness to their masters, the Lords of Capital, who have no vision for the future except the Race to the Bottom. Tens of millions of Americans now know that the Democrats are a bastion of corporate greed and war, the Republicans are the White Man’s Party, and the corporate media tell lies for a living. Late stage capitalism has derelict institutions as defenders.
US and Israel were lone votes against UN resolutions opposing space arms race and nuclear Middle East
Important breakthroughs have arrived at the United Nation in preventing an arms race in outer space and to create a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. There are just two main obstacles: the United States and Israel.
While Washington and corporate media outlets portray China and Russia as aggressive warmongering rogue states, their votes at the UN show which nations are expanding dangerous militarism into new frontiers.
China and Russia joined dozens of other nations in sponsoring resolutions at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that sought to prevent armed conflict in space. Most of the international community supported these historic peace measuress. The only consistent outliers were the US and Israel.
Beijing and Moscow have been leading global efforts to stop the use of weapons in space. Meanwhile, Washington has unilaterally blocked the international consensus on preventing the deadly space race. Its roguish behavior predates the election of President Donald Trump.
And as nearly all UN member states have united in calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, the US and Israel have singlehandedly undermined their peace efforts.
Emmanuel Macron has said Nato is in the throes of “brain death” and European countries can no longer rely on the US to defend its allies, drawing criticism from both the US and Germany.
“What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato,” the French president told the Economist in an interview. “You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its Nato allies. None. You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another Nato ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake.”
Asked whether he still believed in the “collective defence” stipulations of article five of Nato’s founding treaty, under which an attack against one member is considered an attack against all members, Macron answered: “I don’t know.” Nato “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what Nato is in the light of the commitment of the United States,” he said. ...
Macron had said in his interview that Washington was showing signs of “turning its back on us”, as demonstrated by the US president’s sudden decision to pull troops out of north-eastern Syria last month without consulting his allies. The move caught Nato’s leading European powers – Britain, France and Germany – by surprise and paved the way for Turkey to launch a cross-border military operation targeting Syrian Kurdish forces.
Macron decried Nato’s inability to react to Turkey’s offensive and said it was time Europe stopped acting like a junior ally of the US when it came to the Middle East. He repeated his long-held belief the EU must develop a military force and shore up its ability to act as a political bloc with policies on technology, data and the climate emergency.
The United States has accused Iran of preparing "a rapid nuclear breakout" after it began pumping uranium gas into hundreds of centrifuges, another step that violates the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the comments on Thursday, after Iran stepped up activity at its underground Fordow nuclear plant. He warned against Tehran's "violence and terror" and urged the international community to take immediate action.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) confirmed the latest nuclear programme step after 2,000kg (4,400 pounds) of uranium hexafluoride was transferred from the Natanz nuclear facility to Fordow. Iran previously announced that 1,044 centrifuges were installed at the well-protected facility. ...
"Iran's latest nuclear escalations reflect the regime's intentions all along: to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror," said Pompeo. ...
Iran's move at Fordow will make it even harder for the deal's other parties to prevent its ultimate collapse. The decision to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at Fordow was described by Russia as extremely alarming. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed concern about Tehran's announcements but said European powers should do their part. "They are demanding that Iran fulfil all [obligations] without exception, but are not giving anything in return," he told reporters.
French President Emmanuel Macron called Iran's latest move "grave", saying it explicitly signalled Iran's intent for the first time to leave the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Today marks one year since President @realDonaldTrump made the historic decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal and embark on a bold new strategy to counter #Iran. Our maximum pressure campaign has already achieved historic success.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 8, 2019
Iran’s plans to increase its nuclear activity at Fordow raise concerns that Iran is positioning itself for a rapid nuclear breakout. It is now time for all nations to reject its nuclear extortion and increase pressure.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 7, 2019
The top US diplomat on the ground in Syria has offered a sharp rebuke to President Donald Trump over his decision to step aside and make way for a Turkish military offensive into northern Syria.
In a 3,200 word memo obtained by the New York Times on Thursday, William Roebuck said the answer to whether US diplomacy, more serious sanctions threats or an increase in military patrols might have dissuaded NATO ally Turkey from launching an offensive was "probably not".
Still, "one day when the diplomatic history is written," Roebuck said, "people will wonder what happened here and why officials didn't do more to stop it or at least speak out more forcefully to blame Turkey for its behavior."
Roebuck's memo may be the first expression of dissent from a Trump administration official on Syria, and comes as James Jeffrey, the top US envoy for Syria is set to meet with senior Turkish officials and members of the Syrian opposition on Friday and Saturday.
The operation Turkey launched last month was ostensibly an effort to clear its border area in Syria of Kurdish fighters, which culminated in a ceasefire agreement that saw the fighters leave the area. Roebuck, on the other hand, described Turkey's invasion as "war crimes and ethnic cleansing. An unprovoked military operation that has killed some 200 civilians, left well over 100,000 people (and counting) newly displaced and homeless because of its military operation," was how he described it.
A Chilean police major who shot two students during a school protest has been arrested as a wave of political unrest enters a third week and the number of injured in street violence topped 2,000.
Maj Humberto Tapia was arrested by detectives on Thursday and charged with illegally discharging his shotgun inside a public school that had been occupied by students on Tuesday. A call by the beleaguered principal led to a confrontation with students in which Tapia fired into the floor, sending buckshot ricocheting into the legs of students.
The arrest came a day after prosecutors announced that 12 other police were under investigation for allegedly beating a 55-year-old man – and amid growing allegations that officers had raped and sexually abused detained protesters.
At least three soldiers have been charged for shooting protesters while an estimated 4,500 protesters have been arrested, although the vast majority have been released within 24 hours. ...
Chile’s embattled president, Sebastián Piñera, has been accused of a heavy-handed response to the protests: he initially responded by saying the country was “at war” and has since appeared to lurch between conciliation and further crackdown.
On Thursday afternoon, he summoned the heads of the armed forces, supreme court and congress for an urgent meeting of the national security council and called for emergency legislation to increase prison sentences for protesters who wear masks, build barricades or destroy property.
Piñera also called for the creation of a new intelligence effort to increase surveillance of politically active Chileans.
Brazil’s supreme court has reached a narrow decision that could release almost 5,000 inmates who are still appealing their convictions, including jailed former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The court decided in a 6-5 vote on Thursday that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted. The tie-breaking vote was cast by chief justice, José Dias Toffoli.
The decision appears to cover Da Silva and others convicted in cases arising from the Operation Car Wash corruption investigation, which has ensnared dozens of top politicians and business leaders in Latin America’s biggest nation. The supreme court’s debate began in mid-October and its result could throw Brazil’s political landscape into uncertainty.
Da Silva, universally known as Lula, had been favoured to win the 2018 presidential election, but his conviction prohibited him from running. He remains a popular figure on the left, whose politicians and voters have called for his release. The former president’s attorneys said in a statement they will request his release on Friday. That move initially depends on a judge based in the southern city of Curitiba, where he is jailed.
The anonymous author of a widely anticipated book on the Trump White House has described the US president as spiraling from crisis to crisis “like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower”, according to scathing extracts published by the Washington Post on Thursday. The unnamed author, identified only as “a senior official in the Trump administration”, also says that senior officials considered resigning en masse in order to raise alarm about the president’s conduct, but ultimately decided against it, according to the Post.
The extracts obtained by the Post are due to appear in A Warning, a book written by the unnamed person who last year wrote a New York Times column critical of the president. They paint Trump as volatile and incompetent, while also describing racist and misogynistic private statements. ...
The unnamed author’s original op-ed in the New York Times, headlined I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration, alleged that some senior White House officials collaborated to protect the country and public from some of Trump’s most dangerous and irresponsible impulses.
Donald Trump wanted to hear three words out of the Ukrainian president’s mouth, according to newly released testimony in the US impeachment inquiry: “investigations”, “Biden” and “Clinton”. The Ukrainians had been told that the resumption of $400m in military aid “would likely not occur” until President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a televised statement, according to previous testimony.
The essential elements of the statement were dictated to diplomats by Trump himself, testified George P Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state who was in charge of Ukraine policy – until he abruptly was not. Trump told Zelenskiy on the phone in late July that he wanted him to pursue investigations of his political rival Joe Biden and a 2016 election conspiracy theory, according to a call summary released by the White House.
But by early September, after a creep down what another witness has described as a “continuum” of “insidiousness”, the demand had grown more specific. Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, told fellow diplomats at the time that “he, Gordon, had talked to the President – POTUS in sort of shorthand – and POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelenskiy to go to a microphone and say ‘investigations’, ‘Biden’, and ‘Clinton’,” Kent testified, according to the new transcripts.
Official emails and diplomatic telegrams marked as sensitive reveal for the first time how the British government scrambled to understand a series of alleged “sonic attacks” on US diplomats who became ill in mysterious circumstances while on duty in Cuba. The US government ordered all non-essential staff at its embassy in Havana to return home after dozens of diplomats and family members developed headaches, dizziness and problems with balance, concentration and sleeping in a wave of illness that struck between 2016 and 2018.
Many reported falling ill in their homes or hotels after hearing penetrating sounds, described variously as grinding, buffeting or cicada-like chirps. The case reports fuelled speculation that the diplomats had been targeted with an acoustic weapon or some other novel device. No evidence of any such attack has been found. The events prompted a dramatic breakdown in relations between the US and Cuba less than two years after Barack Obama had sought to reestablish normal diplomatic ties between the nations. ...
More than two years after the diplomats fell ill, doctors are still no clearer about what happened. Two US medical studies that assessed some of thse affected found they had concussion-like symptoms and possible brain abnormalities, but independent medical specialists have criticised both studies. In a recent report that has not yet been peer-reviewed, Canadian scientists suggest excessive fumigation with pesticides to keep mosquitoes under control may be to blame.
Mitchell Valdés-Sosa, the director of the Cuban Centre for Neurosciences, who was part of a Cuban investigation into the incidents, said that without more data it was difficult to draw any firm conclusions. “But I am very sure what did not happen,” he said. “There is absolutely no evidence for a mysterious weapon causing a new syndrome characterised by brain damage and much less inner ear damage.
“Some diplomats may be ill due to natural causes, and we have not yet tested the idea of insecticides causing intoxication in some cases, but the results of what has been published tells us that there is no homogenous set of symptoms or lab findings. “And whatever has been found overlaps very much with several frequent medical conditions. The only common factor in most cases is a government telling employees they were attacked, and a media barrage that has largely reinforced this idea.”
'Maybe Rich People Can See the Writing on the Wall': CEOs Stepping Down at Levels Not Seen Since 2008
A record number of CEOs left their positions in October, a corporate outplacement firm reported Wednesday, the most in one month since the 2008 recession. The news from Challenger, Gray & Christmas raised eyebrows—and concerns over a possible incoming recession—Wednesday evening at progressive news co-op The District Sentinel's radio show.
"Maybe this means nothing, maybe this is a coincidence," said show co-host Sam Sacks. "Or maybe rich people can see the writing on the wall and are cashing out right now." Sacks and co-host Sam Knight weren't the only ones who saw the news as possibly indicative of economic upheaval on the horizon.
"Sign of a recession?" wondered Globe and Mail reporter Paul Waldie.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas' report, 1,332 CEOs have already left their companies, far outstripping the total 1,257 departures by this time in 2008. A total 1,484 CEOs left their positions by the end of 2008. ...
The inverted yield curve—a sign of coming recession—that surfaced in October further suggested to The District Sentinel's Sacks that the CEO exodus could be a sign of imminent economic disaster. "Maybe these CEOs are seeing that inverted yield and are just like, 'yeah, let's just take our golden parachutes and get the fuck out of here,'" said Sacks.
'All About the Money': Kyrsten Sinema, Lone Senate Democrat Opposed to Net Neutrality, Tied to Comcast Lobbyist's Dark Money Super PAC
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the only Senate Democrat who has not co-sponsored legislation to restore net neutrality, reportedly has financial ties to a super PAC directed by a lobbyist for Comcast, a fervent opponent of open internet protections.
Sludge's Donald Shaw reported Thursday that a possible reason behind Sinema's refusal to join her Democratic colleagues in backing the Save the Internet Act "may be her relationship with a 'dark money' nonprofit called Center Forward that receives substantial funding from cable and telecom industry trade groups and its affiliated super PAC, Center Forward Committee, which is run by a Comcast lobbyist."
"Sinema directed a six-figure donation to Center Forward Committee through a centrist PAC that she used to chair just weeks before the group made big independent expenditures to support Sinema's campaigns," according to Shaw.
Telecom industry lobbying groups have given Center Forward "substantial and consistent donations," Sludge found in a review of tax documents. Sinema has also benefited from direct campaign contributions from the telecom industry.
Las Vegas officials passed a law Wednesday making it illegal for the homeless to sleep on streets when beds are available at established shelters, despite fierce protests labeling the move as a “war on the poor”. The measure will apply to the city’s downtown urban core, not the tourist-heavy Las Vegas Strip, which is overseen by a different jurisdiction.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, the sponsor of the measure, called it imperfect but necessary to deal with what officials and downtown business owners characterize as a homeless crisis. “This is flawed but it is a start,” the mayor said after noting Las Vegas’ economy relies on its image as an attractive international tourist attraction. “We have been having these conversations for 20 years,” she said, “and we must have results.” ...
The ninth US circuit court of appeals struck down a similar law from Boise, Idaho, last year, calling it unconstitutional to prosecute people for sleeping in public places when there aren’t enough shelter beds. The city attorney, Brad Jerbic, said the Las Vegas law was crafted to withstand a similar legal challenge, with its “if beds are available” provision. Opponents rejected city officials’ assurances that there will be enough shelter space when necessary.
The law provides for warnings by public officers, beginning Sunday, for people found “camping, lodging, sitting, lying down, sleeping and similar activities” in most downtown areas. Those activities become a misdemeanor beginning 1 January, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
With Bold Immigration Plan, Bernie Sanders Becomes the Only Candidate to Call for Break Up of ICE and CBP
On Thursday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped his long-anticipated immigration platform. Arguably the most ambitious of any Democratic presidential candidate’s so far, the plan goes beyond a general call for a path to legal status for immigrants and takes full aim at President Donald Trump’s racist policies at the southern border. Unlike any other candidate, Sanders calls for the break up of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and to improve working conditions and labor protections for industries that rely on an immigrant workforce.
One piece of this is the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would “provide domestic workers with at least a $15 minimum wage, strong protections for collective bargaining, workers’ rights, workplace safety, and fair scheduling,” regardless of immigration status.
The release of Sanders’s plan comes after months of scrutiny from leftists and liberals over his immigration policy — long considered to be one of his primary weaknesses. His plan follows the common left positions on immigration, including reinstating and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program; ending for-profit detention; and overturning the Muslim ban.
Notably, he also goes further than even his fellow progressive hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for full demilitarization of the border. To break up ICE and CBP, under Sanders’s platform, their functions would be redistributed to other federal agencies. Under a Sanders administration, “deportation, enforcement, border and investigatory authority would return to the Department of Justice,” naturalization and citizenship authority would go to the State Department, and customs authority would return to the Treasury.
Taxing Bill Gates $100 Billion, Counters Bernie Sanders, Could End Homelessness and Microsoft Founder 'Would Still Be a Multibillionaire'
Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Wednesday told a crowd at a New York Times sponsored conference that a proposed wealth tax from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, could take so much money from his vast fortune that he wouldn't know how much was left. "When you say I should pay $100 billion, then I'm starting to do a little math about what I have left over," said Gates, who prefaced his remarks by saying he was willing to pay $20 billion in taxes.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is also running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, pointed out on Twitter, Gates' fortune is valued at roughly $106.8 billion, leaving $6.8 billion after the hypothetical tax hit. "Say Bill Gates was actually taxed $100 billion," said Sanders. "We could end homelessness and provide safe drinking water to everyone in this country. Bill would still be a multibillionaire."
Say Bill Gates was actually taxed $100 billion.
We could end homelessness and provide safe drinking water to everyone in this country.
Bill would still be a multibillionaire.
Our message: the billionaire class cannot have it all when so many have so little. https://t.co/fVlxuIGygf
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 7, 2019
Warren, by contrast, rushed to reassure Gates on Twitter that he wouldn't be on the hook for $100 billion and invited the Microsoft founder to meet for a chat where the Massachusetts Democrat could "explain exactly how much you'd pay under my wealth tax."
Gates replied to the senator, saying that the tax discussion was part of an "interesting conversation" on how to solve the myriad issues at play in the primary. "I greatly respect your commitment to finding ways to address wealth inequality and poverty at home," said Gates. "While we may disagree about some of the ways to get there, we certainly agree we need a lot of smart people committed to finding the path forward."
Progressives found Warren's tone to be too friendly to Gates and politically problematic as it missed the power dynamics in play with Gates' wealth. "You can't logic Gates out of his class interest," tweeted lawyer and activist Emma Caterine. "This is about power. We need a president who tells the billionaires to suck it up, not one who tries to win them over."
Whatever the intention, this kind of conciliatory posture is not how you promote or pass a wealth tax. Billionaires aren't some innocuous constituency to whom you patiently explain the nuts and bolts of tax policy: they're an illegitimate power bloc to be confronted and beaten https://t.co/dvaIH0TtPV
— Luke Savage (@LukewSavage) November 7, 2019
The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 7, 2019
Amazon's Major Money Dump in Seattle's City Council Election Seen as 'Dangerous and Ominous Development'
An attempt by Amazon to fill the Seattle city council with members more supportive of the company than the current progressive slate was called a chilling development for city government by critics of the move after Tuesday's election. Socialist councilor Kshama Sawant, one of the company's top targets, told The Guardian that her race had been uphill and that the power of a massive corporation like Amazon stacked against her campaign had been difficult to overcome. ...
Amazon dumped cash into the race via a super PAC, according to Bloomberg:
Amazon, the biggest employer in Seattle, contributed $1.45 million to a business-backed political-action committee to help elect council members Amazon views as more favorable to its interests and those of the business community.The group, called the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, backed six new candidates for seven open council seats. Three of them are trailing in early results. It also backed one incumbent, who is leading her race. Two positions were not up for election this year.
In a Medium post from November 1, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), whose district includes much of Seattle, said she was unsettled by the company's involvement in the election.
"I am extremely disturbed by the unprecedented amount of money that Amazon has dumped into Seattle City Council elections—not just a thumb, but a fistful of cash, on the scales of democracy," wrote Jayapal.
Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid noted the insidious nature of that corporate influence in a city where campaign finance is set up to avoid such spending. "Amazon's attempt to buy Seattle's city council even as the city has a public financing system is a dangerous and ominous development unfolding in one of the bluest parts of the country," Shahid tweeted.
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) November 7, 2019
When 92% of Democrats and 67% of Swing Voters in Key Battleground States Support Green New Deal, Pelosi's Opposition Called 'Out of Touch'
The youth-led Sunrise Movement pointed to a new poll out Thursday to repeat their case that Democrats who don't support a bold Green New Deal to help solve the climate emergency are not only failing a moral test but also making a deeply flawed political calculation about the public's readiness for a far-reaching plan to reduce emissions and transform the economy for the good of all workers.
The survey (pdf) in question, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in collaboration with the Cook Political Report, took a detailed look at both Democratic and swing voters in four key battleground states—Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—where President Donald Trump either beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 or outperformed expectations. While Clinton edged out her Republican rival in Minnesota, Trump claimed the other three—wins that many cite as pivotal for his overall victory.
Despite frequent arguments to the contrary made by corporate Democrats, among the overall findings of the KFF/Cook analysis is that few Democratic voters in these four states currently see "progressive positions as deal breakers in their 2020 vote." In addition, a specific look at the Green New Deal shows a full 92% of self-identified Democrats back such a plan. In its comments, Sunrise pointed to the 67%—a full two-thirds—of self-identified swing voters in these key battle ground states who said they also believe the Green New Deal is a good idea.
"These results confirm what we've known for months: the Green New Deal isn't just the right policy to confront the climate crisis and create millions of well-paying jobs in the process, but it's also smart politics," said Stephen O'Hanlon, Sunrise's communications director, in a statement.
Yet another example of how when corporate Democrat's warn the #GreenNewDeal will cost Dems voters in 2020, it's not grounded in reality and is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to protect the interests of corporate donors.
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) November 7, 2019
"If Democrats want to win back states that delivered the election to Trump in 2016, these numbers show that candidates need to embrace the Green New Deal," O'Hanlon added. "Huge numbers of voters, especially new and infrequent ones, love the Green New Deal. That's why nearly every presidential candidate is out there campaigning on it. It's time for Democratic leaders in Congress to follow." O'Hanlon said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the corporate Democrats who continue to resist the urgent demands for a Green New Deal are "showing they're out of touch—not just with the science of climate change, but with the political mood across the country too. They need to reverse course and follow the leadership of young people, or risk waking up to another shocking election result next year."
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you, hip retorts to superannuated politicians.
Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old member of Parliament for New Zealand’s Green Party, threw down perhaps the most devastating “OK Boomer” in history while delivering a speech this week calling for drastic changes to climate policy.
“How many world leaders for how many decades have seen and known what is coming but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep [climate change] behind closed doors?” she said. “My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury.” Swarbrick continued: “In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old. Yet, right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old.”
But right as she mentioned her age, one of her colleagues in Parliament butted and heckled her. Swarbrick wasn’t having that.
25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a speech supporting a climate crisis bill when she was heckled by an older member of Parliament. She simply said, "OK boomer," and kept talking, unfazed. https://t.co/LKgoViy9WB pic.twitter.com/RYzRAaXPAJ
— CNN (@CNN) November 6, 2019
In case you’ve missed it, “OK boomer” has become a popular retort among Gen Z to older folks who just don’t seem to understand anything. You know, things like technology and climate change. ... And it has taken on a political life as well, with one teen telling the New York Times the phrase is for “outdated political figures who try to run our lives.”
Thousands of people fled Ventura County as smoke from the Maria Fire inundated the towns. But Juan Magaña and the 12 crop pickers he manages headed to the fields.
“When there’s work, we work,” said Magaña, who has been working in the fields for most of his life. As California struggles to cope with yet another devastating fire season, farmworkers like Magaña have to capitalize on prime strawberry season. The Maria Fire spread quickly last week, burning over 10,000 acres over the weekend and coming within a mile of one of the area’s largest farms. The state is the top producer of strawberries in the country, which means farmworkers stand to earn more during this time of year.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Professor Longhair - In The Night
Professor Longhair - Whole Lotta Twisting
Professor Longhair - Cuttin' Out
Professor Longhair - I’m Movin’ On
Professor Longhair - Everybody's Blowing Pt. 1
Professor Longhair - Go To The Mardi Gras
Professor Longhair - Professor Longhair Blues
Professor Longhair - Looka' No Hair
Professor Longhair - Jambalaya
Professor Longhair - Hey Now Baby
Professor Longhair - Philadelphia Folk Festival 1975