The Weekly Watch

After a three week break from the news cycle it is back to the same ole fetid swamp...both on the domestic and international side of things. As many here predicted, Bernie is winning the primary but the DNC and MSM have teamed up to try to ensure he does not get the nomination. The corruption of the party is plain to see for any who look. More sanctions have been imposed on Venezuela and Nicaragua in the last couple of weeks, and Guaido was recognized at the State of the Union address and applauded by both parties. Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached new record highs making many of the other stories moot as we rush head long into extinction. Though there was some good news on this front from the UK. BoJo is banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars as well as hybrids by 2035. The UK has also banned fracking at least temporarily. Things couldn't be more different in the US...

Over the last 10 years, the U.S. has become the largest oil and gas producer in the world, largely due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. From 2005 to 2018, U.S. natural gas production rose by 70 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions rose accordingly; between 2016 and 2018 alone, greenhouse gas emissions from US petroleum and natural gas production increased 13 percent.

extinction graph.jpg

We just returned from Costa Rica last week. We went there in part because of the biological diversity. Folks, we best enjoy what we have while we have it. We are either at or past the tipping point of ecosystem collapse and it is reflected all around us. Here's a few videos of various lengths depending on your interest in the ongoing extinction. Those of you who are bird watchers have no doubt noticed the decline in avian populations.

Are we racing against or toward extinction? (1 hour 35 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g07uNcdw8o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVwRnRYdiJ0 (50 min)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9gHuAwxwAs (9 min)

extinction facts.jpg

After three weeks in the rich ecosystems of Costa Rica and then returning home to the awakening deciduous forest it seems difficult to fathom the collapse of the biosphere. Just thought we would cover that news before delving into the perhaps more trivial hive of party and political corruption.

Fish-Hedges-Tracking-the-Election-2048x1696.jpg

I'm thrilled to see Bernie winning the primaries and equally disgusted by the DNC distribution of delegates. As we've discussed many times, the democraps are aiming for a contested convention where they can anoint a corporacrat as the nominee. The nature of the oligarch sham is pretty disgusting. Chris Hedges has a good piece about the DNC corruption.

The 2016 chessboard has reappeared, but this time in the Democratic Party primary. The Democratic hierarchy, as horrified by Sanders as the established Republican elites were by Trump, is flailing about trying to find a political savior to defeat the Red menace. Their ineptitude, Sanders’ primary asset, was displayed when they mangled the Iowa primary. They, like the Republican elites in 2016, are woefully disconnected from their constituency, attempting to persuade a public they betrayed and no longer understand.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-new-rules-of-the-game/

And as Bernie gains steam expect more misinformation...

With Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders spooking the Democratic establishment, The Washington Post Friday reported damaging information from intelligence sources against Sanders by saying that Russia is trying to help his campaign.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/21/apparent-us-intel-meddling-in-us-e...

The release of the report just one day before the Nevada caucuses, seen as a pivotal point in Sanders' cementing of his lead as the Democratic frontrunner, is a classic disinformation operation by the intelligence agencies, to which the Washington Post is politically allied.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/22/sand-f22.html

I thought Max Blumenthal did the best job laying out and explaining the corporate connections in the DNC Iowa election corruption. Max Blumenthal breaks down the network of dark money billionaires, Democratic elites, and Russiagate profiteers behind the app that ruined the Iowa vote, and a wider effort to stop Sanders' progressive momentum. (27 min)

Here's his print article:
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/06/acronym-iowa-caucus-billionaire-alaba...

These NGO's created by billionaires and touted as think (stink?)tanks on the MSM are filling the US people with plenty of propaganda. It isn't just the oligarchs, it is also the mafia branch of our government...

In another astounding revelation about the extent of United States’ global surveillance operations, The Washington Post recently published a piece about a Swiss company, Crypto AG, that was actually owned by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and West Germany’s intelligence agency. Crypto AG provided encryption services to over a hundred governments worldwide for decades. Unbeknownst to those governments, the CIA had access to the encryption tools and could therefore read high-level internal governmental correspondence from countries including France, Egypt, Venezuela and many others.

On this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer speaks with William Binney, a leading intelligence expert who worked at the National Security Agency for 30 years, about this shocking information that is only now being made public, roughly two years after the program ended in 2018. In the exchange, Scheer highlights why the revelation is not only incredibly worrying in terms of the power it allowed the U.S. to wield for decades, but because of its historical implications.

Audio or transcript here: (hat tip to mimi for featuring this piece)
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-cias-complicity-in-recent-global-a...

It is the synergy between the oligarchs and the mafia branches of government that is corrupting so many governments. The corruption occurs at many levels. Consider this story from South Africa...

A new report, which was just published by Open Secrets and Shadow World Investigations, deals with the issue of state capture on South Africa, but from a very different angle. It’s entitled The Enablers, a report which focuses not on the direct relationship between capitalists and politicians, but rather on the people in between layers, the lawyers, the accountants, the bankers who enable this relationship to flourish.

https://therealnews.com/stories/international-banks-law-firms-south-afri... (text or video)

Or simply look at the complicity of both parties in declaring their own pet president of Venezuela https://therealnews.com/stories/us-sanctions-venezuela-socialism-work
More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QL0YnZ3_4k (10 min from Anya Parampil)
She breaks down Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó's recent world tour, explaining why it was an epic failure. Anya says Guaidó's meeting with the White House and appearance at the State of the Union Address had more to do with US domestic politics during an election year than Trump's Venezuela policy. She also covers Guaidó's Miami rally, saying US politicians are eager to establish a right-wing political base of support in Florida, similar to the Cuba and Israel lobby.

Nicaragua is fighting back in the international court. Ben Norton interviews Nicaragua's representative to the UN's International Court of Justice, Carlos Argüello Gómez, who speaks about his country's case against the US over its terrorist Contra war, the 2018 coup attempt, and why Washington's unilateral sanctions are an illegal form of warfare on civilians. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jo-_0xH2Vw (38 min)

And isn't it interesting how domestic and foreign politics are entwined?

Former Michael Bloomberg aide Arick Wierson, who is pushing the billionaire’s 2020 presidential campaign and attacking Bernie Sanders, helped elect far-right demagogue Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/19/arick-wierson-bloomberg-pr-bolsonaro/

wikileaks (2).jpg

There may be no other story that reveals the nature of the corruption of the system more than the fate of Julian Assange (and Chelsea)...

The treaty between the U.S. and the U.K. prohibits extradition for a “political offense.” Assange was indicted for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a classic political offense. Moreover, Assange’s extradition would violate the legal prohibition against sending a person to a country where he is in danger of being tortured.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/20/assange-extradition-indictment-on-...

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. extradition hearing opens Monday. Finally, his legal team can argue in a court over the offenses listed in the indictment against the journalist who published government documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The prosecution of Assange threatens press freedom. This is the first time that the U.S. Espionage Act has been used against a publisher. Ahead of the proceedings in a U.K. court, professionals, activists and human rights defenders around the world are coming together to intervene in this highly politicized case.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/22/assange-extradition-support-for-as...

propaganda_0.jpg

So round we go. Looks like Bernie has won Nevada too. Wonder how the delegates will be distributed. The AP couches his victory with doubts of his ability to defeat T-rump...

Bernie Sanders scored a commanding victory in Nevada’s presidential caucuses, cementing his status as the Democrats’ national front-runner but escalating tensions over whether he’s too liberal to defeat President Donald Trump.

I would re-write that line to say ..."escalating panic among the oligarchs over a Sanders victory." Keep an eye open my friends...for their panic will grow and the misinformation will flow. Have a great day and wonderful week. Look for beauty and wonder around you!

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Wally's picture

I fixed the mistake:

As many here predicted, Bernie is winning the primary but the DNC and MSM have teamed up to try to ensure he does not get the nomination.

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Lookout's picture

@Wally

You are correct to call attention to that. Thanks.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

will flow". Great formulation. I am panicking earlier than most, so I try to shut down my ears to not listen to the misinformation, but I guess that I will fail in that too.

Thanks for the Weekly Watch. I love it as much as I do love The Evening Blues.

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Lookout's picture

@mimi

We do what we can, and simply must let the chips fall where they may.

I noticed a several stories about Germany's protests...

Tens of thousands protest all over Germany against right-wing terror
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/22/germ-f22.html

and https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/21/pers-f21.html

as examples.

Always glad for your visit!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

Although I'm happy you had some time away for yourself, it's good to have you back. I have enjoyed your posts on Costa Rica and will go back and watch the videos above. My sister-in-law took her family (my niece and her family) there for spring break one year. They enjoyed it, but I do not recall where they were.

Good to see Bernie break from the pack. Heads are exploding - finally. A paradigm shift is in order - will it be allowed to happen? I've got plenty of popcorn for the show!

Got the well up and running. What a wonderful thing - water is life!

Enjoy your Sunday, folks! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

So glad to hear that. Water is indeed life!

Planted snow peas yesterday and got some flats of broccoli and other greens in too. The new fruit trees have been watered in after two weeks of rain and more coming next week.

I sure hope Bernie can get the nomination on the first ballot cause we know he will be displaced by the corporate dims if not. Got a note from the People's Party about what to do in that scenario...

This isn’t the first time the Democratic Party has rigged a primary and convention to crush progressives. In 2016, Bernie would have won the nomination were it not for rigged debates, stacked primaries, a party apparatus that was working for Hillary, and a DNC that was laundering money for her through the Hillary Victory Fund. Likewise in 1944 the party establishment forced additional rounds of balloting to cheat progressive Henry Wallace out of the Vice Presidential nomination, ensuring that he wouldn’t succeed FDR and create a more equal sociality after WWII.

More than 50,000 people are expected to travel to Milwaukee for the DNC Convention this July and we’re planning the People’s Convention there for the same time. When the DNC steals the nomination, we want to bring together thousands of outraged Bernie delegates and progressives, in Milwaukee and over livestream, to declare the formation of a people’s party. It’s an epic plan for a historic moment. This is what MPP has been building toward and we need your help to make it as powerful as can be. Please chip in for the People’s Convention in Milwaukee.

https://peoplesparty.org/

At least there's a plan this year.

Have a good week!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
dimwit party doesn't fear. They don't fear us splintering off because they think they still hold the majority - they think the duopoly will exist in spite of us. Shift is coming, whether a paradigm shift or the creation of a new party - either way, the shift will be revolutionary.

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

they will get two suburban voters for every progressive they lose. I'm sorry they learned nothing from 2016 when that theory was clearly disproved.

I'm still hoping for a Sanders win in the first ballot of the DNC, but won't be surprised if it doesn't happen.

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Anja Geitz's picture

Glad you enjoyed your trip. Who would’ve thought you’d be back in time to see the MSM go insane, live, on television? A bit surreal to watch them finally grok onto the fact that millions of people are angry enough at the status quo that’s feeding their gravy train to vote for that “communist” Bernie. What they still don’t see is why. As in people dying needlessly simply bc they can’t afford insulin. Go figure, eh?

Helluva welcome back but there it is...

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz

I think it is a moment to revel (as in: to take intense pleasure or satisfaction) in the victory.

Just the first few minutes are fun...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu5Z13K7DG0

Difficult not to feel the Bern.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

You did arrive in time for watching the meltdown of MSNBC. You know, that bastion of liberal ideas and opinions.
I read today where the corona virus has spread to Italy. The northern part of the country is locked down.
I will wait and see, but I figure that trip, possibly several others, will be cancelled by the tour company, or by me.

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Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

...and it sure is fun to see. The spin is so interesting and easily seen.

As to the virus, must admit on the plane we wore gloves rather than masks. Been home about 5 days and feeling well so guess we dodged the possible pandemic. Guess there's always a risk? Travel promotes growth.

Sure did enjoy the Imperials. Back to my limited consumption here at home. All things in their time. Hope all is well in your corner and the trip to Italy isn't a problem.

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magiamma's picture

Welcome home and thanks for the roundup. Glad to have you back in the saddle.

California is already in the throws of a drought even if we get rain.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/21/california-drought-febru...

And the ucsc strike is still ongoing. They made it into the guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/21/university-california-sa...

We are in our final push for gotv. Nine more days and all forces have joined to win the campus vote.

Hope your road is easily fixable. Have a very good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

and I graded it this week...dragging it back up hill...like Sisyphus in an endless cycle. None the less I've got to get some more gravel. The quarry is fairly close.

Also saw the strike story here
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/02/22/ucgs-f22.html

Thanks for all your work!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

smiley7's picture

@magiamma

been spreading the news from California, great The Guardian picked it up. Most encouraged by NV exit polling data and in particular as i posted below: "Six in ten Nevada caucus-goers report in exit polls that they support eliminating private insurance & creating a single-payer system, per WaPo gurus @sfcpoll & @EmGusk. Same result in both NH and Iowa
Health care *the* top issue in all 3"

And the good numbers of those voters who consider themselves moderates/conservatives going for Bernie. This is his underlying strength, imo, the working class has similar views and he's polling well nationally in that demographic, too. This news must give other campaigns indigestion, they've no where to turn for voters if Bernie's momentum continues with this group.

Living vicariously through you on-the-ground work, keep on trucking.

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7
the SC strikers. That will definitely put a monkey wrench in the Regents’ works. Heh. Wish you were here to join in the fight. The students are so inspiring.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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smiley7's picture

Wondering if you scattered those fruit trees or enlarged an orchard and what varieties of apples you may have?

On the home front, much cleaning to do, Son visits this week, very excited to see him. Ski director calls regularly wishing i could return for a few hours, but must protect my back, unfortunately, still getting those warning signs from the sciatic nerve.

Some very encouraging data from Bernie's victory, yesterday:

Six in ten Nevada caucus-goers report in exit polls that they support eliminating private insurance & creating a single-payer system, per WaPo gurus @sfcpoll & @EmGusk. Same result in both NH and Iowa
Health care *the* top issue in all 3

The above and the fact that he did rather well with moderate/conservatives confirm the recent national polling data i've been pouring over. His support is broad and he can defeat Trump by sustaining the coalition of 2018 and adding working class voters. Very doable.

Now, the task, preventing the MSM and entrenched power brokers from stealing his momentum with lying propaganda and vote manipulation. Oh well, do enjoy a good challenge for a great cause, our children and the Earth's future.

Have a good one and thanks for today's read.

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Lookout's picture

@smiley7

fills the heart
with dreams of growth,
and love and peace.

May our dreams come true.

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snoopydawg's picture

Bernie was asked about Russia interfering to help his campaign and he took the bait. He offered no proof that Putin the thug in Bernie's words were doing anything to boost his campaign. However there is plenty of evidence that Israel and it's money arm AIPAC are doing just that. AIPAC and other Jewish groups are spending tons of money to keep him from winning, but does he talk about that? Nope.

And I thought there a a special place in hell for Women who don't vote for Other women? Oh that's just when Hillary was running. Here is Pelosi campaigning for a Koch and NRA backed democrat that has voted 70% of the time with republicans on Trump's bills.

'Utterly Shameful': Pelosi Slammed for Boosting Koch-Backed Texas Democrat Over Progressive Challenger Jessica Cisneros

"Nancy Pelosi is backing a 'Democrat' who votes with Trump nearly 70% of the time, has an 'A' rating from the NRA, is anti-choice, and has received tens of thousands of dollars from the Kochs."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stirred outrage Saturday by visiting Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar at his campaign headquarters in Laredo and voicing hope that the Koch-backed, anti-choice Democrat will ride to a "resounding victory" over progressive primary challenger Jessica Cisneros on March 3.

"We want this to be not only a victory, but a resounding victory for Henry Cuellar," Pelosi told dozens of Cuellar campaign workers and supporters. "Every step you take, every door you knock, every call you make, will make that resounding victory possible—and it includes getting out a big Democratic vote prepared to vote again in the general election so that we turn Texas blue."

"We assume that Henry will win, but we don't take anything for granted," Pelosi added. "The word 'assume'—ass of you and me. Assume nothing." Ahead of her visit to Cuellar's campaign office, Pelosi headlined a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has also thrown its weight behind Cuellar in Texas' 28th congressional district.

Cuellar is the first-ever congressional Democrat to receive reelection support from Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC funded by billionaire Charles Koch.

As HuffPost reported, Cuellar's reelection bid is also backed by "large national and Texas corporations and business associations, including the American Bankers Association, Texas Bankers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Laredo Chamber of Commerce."

So take your Russian interference bullsh*t somewhere else democrats. And no I will not vote blue no matter who if that blue person is a effing blue dawg democrat who is really just a republican inside the democratic party. Hopefully Nancy's days are numbered and she will no long be the road killed block in front of any legislation that would help anyone who isn't in her class. She sold out long ago and I can't believe that anyone can't see that.

I’m so done with the establishment. My nose is raw from holding it election after election.

h/t mimi for the video

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

Aaron interviews Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector. (29 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDiLulWaC94&list=PLAZrqdbdGGQyeZmHn7ypyb...

The MIC runs the show. Elections simply make us feel like we have a voice. But we'll see. I hope I'm wrong.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

Hurt and anger comes easy these days. I felt it sharply when I read your comment. Hell yes. I know I won't be voting blue. Or likely any other color. I'm pushing for reform at the source — the foundational flaws and omissions that were established when the nation formed. Everything else eventually reverts back to more of the same. People in positions of power have exploited these flaws for centuries, and have used them to produce unlimited and unaccountable wealth for themselves and their friends. They have successfully blocked any and all efforts to correct the embedded "flaws of governance."

The impact of established systemic corruption on the lives of the People is undignified and degrading. I was deeply offended by the crude unfairness and injustice on display in a modern country. And I was still in grade school at the time. I soon discovered that it is good manners in public settings to pretend that you cannot see the cruelty and evil choices in the room.

Only later did I realize that people weren't pretending; they blinded themselves to injustice and lived in denial. The last thing they wanted to be is reminded, by some snot-nosed kid, of disturbing realities they were actively ignoring. At the same time they are driven to peruse each new crop of potential Presidents, always on the lookout for One who can alleviate their anxiety about money. Most Americans live with the constant threat of economic insecurity. Anyone can fall victim to adversity, and they've seen in the news the horrible fate of Americans who run out of money and fall though the torn safety net. So, they look for an Authority who can makes them feel hopeful again.

I see your logic and resolve. Experience tells you what you can expect from a candidate who is pretending to take the propaganda about Russia seriously. And, if a candidate who is actually bamboozled by an evidence-free hoax this obvious, you know not to expect much at all. Plus, you know that Bernie will never addressed the fact that US elections can be rigged internally. The chaotic and unaccountable nation-wide voting that takes place on a day that is disruptive for most American workers is clearly deliberate. Even the exit polls that are conducted to confirm the results are openly rigged to hide the discrepancies that occur.

But, isn't it fair to say that Bernie's campaign is one of the most critical and dangerous internal challenge that the US government has ever faced?

If a year from now, someone else was occupying the White House, would Bernie's 2020 campaign still change the country's destiny?

Would people feel more empowered because they saw how one man with a worthy vision challenged the absolute control of the corrupt, totalitarian system of government in Washington? Bernie seemed to win at every turn — even when he was cheated.

Would this country begin to lean toward consciously humane actions because Bernie's campaign defined clear standards for how people should be treated by their government?

Would Bernie Sanders' campaign inspire the Authentic Left to finally leave their sabotaged confinement inside the Democratic Party and stand on their own? Would the scales begin to fall from the eyes of the "helplessly hopeful but hopelessly misled" Progressives?

Would People's develop a better narrative about their rights as a result of the hundreds of rallies that Bernie staged to educate Americans about Social Democracy? Would the demands that Bernie made on the People's behalf evolve into the policy mandate that citizens carry into the future?

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Lookout's picture

@Pluto's Republic

that we would be better off with a Sanders administration. He isn't perfect as his russiagating and poor foreign policy clearly indicate. But who is perfect? Not me.

None the less I'm still planning on voting for Tulsi because of her clear anti-war message.

Each to their own....

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

except that the ‘victimisation’ card is probably never a good play. Maybe Sanders is playing 11-dimensional-bridge or blackjack. All I do feel, is that he’s the best bet for any possible positive change.

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Lookout's picture

@janis b

....and people seem to "feel the Bern". Momentum is building and it may be difficult for the DNC to deny him the nomination. Let's see how things look after stupid Tuesday (that's when we vote here in AL). SC will be interesting too.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Am in my final days here in Costa Rica. Spent the last week in Puerto jimenez with DO's sister. It was her first time and this laid back village was perfect for her.

I will say the decline in songbirds was very apparent to me while in Costa Rica and sadly more palm plantations evident as we traveled.

Have been following the sad state of affairs back home and it is in a very sorry state.

Thanks for the weekly watch. More reading for my final day!

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Lookout's picture

@jakkalbessie

Despite the decline it is still a "rich coast". Hope you've enjoyed your trip as much as ours. Hard to return to cold weather, but I've gotten back with it now.

All the best!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”