If there’s any reason for hope, it’s in the candidacies of Bernie, Tulsi, and Warren

There are three Democratic Presidential candidates who truly understand the essential immorality of and existential threat posed by A) wealth and income inequality and B) the military industrial complex which have combined forces to make C) anthropogenic global warming, unstoppable. Fortunately, all three are among the 11 who have qualified for the primary debate stage based on both polling and number of donors.

You hear plenty about Bernie (much of it misleading and negative) and Elizabeth Warren. Interestingly Tulsi Gabbard is hardly ever mentioned in the corporate media except perhaps on MSNBC which deigns to join “liberal” outlets like HuffPost, Kos, and Salon to smear her. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/heres-how-the-democrats-will-limit-the-debate-field-if-too-many-people-qualify/

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Free trade sucks

Amazon Warehouse – via Orlando Weekly

“Free” or even somewhat lightly regulated trade with low wage nations will always reduce employment and wages at home because it exposes higher-paid American workers to direct competition with low-wage labor. Moreover, we can’t fully protect foreign workers in trade agreements because we will never have nearly as much information about labor conditions in other countries as we do about our conditions. Continue reading

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On Tulsi Gabbard

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard certainly excites strong emotions. Some pro-peace progressives responded rapturously when the Hawaii Democrat announced her candidacy for President. Centrist and establishment Democrats rushed to denounce her as a racist homophobic consorter with tyrants. While there is dissent among American Muslims, it appears that many consider her to be an Islamophobe and oppose her candidacy. Continue reading

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What Should Democrats Look for in a Candidate?

While it is likely to come as a surprise to those who explain November 2016 by referencing memes, conspiracies, and barely submerged racism and sexism in America’s heartland, people actually vote for candidates whom they believe will make their lives better. Not all voters and not all the time but most and most it. Do people dope things out wrong? Sure. With the help of both right-wing and mainstream media, lots of times. Ronald Reagan was awful for our nation. W too. Trump is a proto-fascist. Continue reading

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Know Thine Enemy

A response to those who insist that we speak no ill of other Democrats because of the pressing need to unify behind whoever emerges from next year’s primary scrum: Continue reading

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Jonathan Chait, Democratic Socialists, and Beto O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders Photo: Getty Images

New York Magazine has just published a provocative article by Jonathan Chait critiquing recent criticism of Beto O’Rourke by left-wing intellectuals who support Bernie Sanders. Chait backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries and has argued that neoliberalism is a progressive bogey not a destructive ideology. He is admittedly unsympathetic to democratic socialism. Continue reading

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Why Black People Aren’t as Quick as White Liberals to Blame Racism for Everything

In “Democrats’ Left Turn is Not an Illusion” [NYT 10/18], Thomas B. Edsall notes that white liberals are more likely than African Americans to blame racism for the difficulties that the latter face. What is striking about the Pew Survey question and contrasting responses which Edsall cites is that those polled were offered a choice between just two explanations for the persistent wealth and income gap – racism or a lack of initiative. Nevertheless, four times as many blacks responded that the causes might include both, neither, or other factors. Continue reading

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Why We Need Progressive Populism

In (I’m guessing) an over one-thousand word article, NYT wrings its hands over the possibility that Europe is reverting into the perpetually at-war continent it nearly always was. Yet the predominant explanation hazarded for this onrushing tragedy is that barely a handful of people alive today experienced the Great War and even WWII and the Holocaust are only a distant memory for a rapidly dwindling minority. Continue reading

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Why did the Washington Post publish “Why can’t we hate men?”

Four men control the Washington Post. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the newspaper. Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., is the Publisher and CEO. Martin Baron, hero of the movie Spotlight is Executive Editor. Fred Hiatt is Editorial Page Editor. Despite all that testosterone at the top and presumably with either pre or post-hoc approval from Bezos and Ryan, Hiatt green-lighted publication Sunday of Suzanna Danuta Walters brief op-ed “Why can’t we hate men?Continue reading

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“The Fairest Way to Pay Restaurant Workers”

I didn’t write the caption but I approve.

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Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal deserves credit for conducting consciousness-raising sessions on race with new employees [“You’re hired. Let’s talk about race.,” Business, May 20]. But a question struck me when reading how Mr. Shallal challenges his incipient staff members’ conceptions about tipping practices . . . [Read the rest of my letter in the Washington Post here.]

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In Our Power

I’ve been enjoying three days at the beautiful Hotel Shattuck Plaza, est. 1908, in downtown Berkeley where I arrived Friday night. Still on east coast time, I took a very early Saturday morning walk and enjoyed the cool lifting fog over the coastal range. What a glorious change from the broiling east coast. Continue reading

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It’s partisanship, not ideology, that we must avoid

Caitlin Johnstone writes provocative columns that usually contain as much truth as anybody else’s and more than most. Her latest at Medium opens laudably by issuing a call to arms to the myriad victims of the “nationless plutocratic power structure,” i.e., virtually everybody. Johnstone urges us to unite against the “sociopathic class of elites who use propaganda to manipulate the way we think and keep us divided against each other.” So far so good, Johnstone is on rock-solid ground. Continue reading

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Lessons of Lamb

Democrat Conor Lamb appears to have prevailed in a gerrymandered Pennsylvania Congressional district that Donald Trump won by over 20 points less than two years ago. Hard on the heels of several other surprising victories by red state Democrats, Lamb’s strong showing Tuesday furnishes additional evidence that the Democratic Party’s road to relevance was paved by Bernie Sanders in 2016. Continue reading

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Dianne Feinstein is vulnerable

The California Democratic Party (CDP) declined to endorse anybody in this year’s U.S. Senate race. Since the two most popular candidates are Democrats – one of whom will almost certainly win in November – some may see nothing more than a decision not to upset an apple cart that’s rolling downhill. Continue reading

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How Democrats Win!

Recent polls showing that Trump’s approval ratings bottomed out several months ago coupled with a reduced Democratic advantage on the generic Congressional ballot have dampened Democrats’ hopes for a landslide in the mid-terms. Continued job growth, slowly rising wages, and possibly the passage of the Republican tax bill in December have apparently redounded to the GOP ‘s benefit. Continue reading

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Oprah for President?

After delivering a powerful speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey is being touted as a potential Democratic Presidential candidate. In response, at least one liberal website – DailyKos – posted an article bashing her for allegedly supporting America’s destruction of Iraq beginning March 2003. It is true that she aired a program in October 2002 that was light on facts and heavy on pro-war propaganda. Continue reading

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Raskin/Pelosi Town Hall in Opposition to Republican Tax Plan

A raucous standing room only crowd greeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin at the Luxmanor Elementary School cafeteria early Saturday morning. The Democratic representatives along with several Montgomery County residents came to discuss the dangers to Maryland and the nation that they see in the Republican House tax bill. Continue reading

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Reforming Weinstein’s Hollywood

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual harasser, exercises zero anger management, and abuses nearly everybody with whom he has contact. He is one among a number of powerful, or once powerful, Hollywood men who share some or all of these behaviors and characteristics. Trying to avoid the rapists, gropers, and grinders is, therefore, a very serious dilemma for women in the entertainment industry. Sadly, it’s not the only one.

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Pawns

While watching the documentary Don’t Look Back about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, I was struck, as so many others have been, by the dichotomy between Dylan the young man and Dylan the artist. As a man, he comes across as immature, petulant, and sometimes downright nasty. As an artist, his musical genius shines through every guitar strum, harmonica chord, and whiny nasally sung note. In one uncomfortable hotel room scene, Dylan wields his multifarious talents – he’s a master songwriter, lyricist, guitar player, and troubador – as weapons against the outclassed Donovan. But Dylan also evinces humanity, humility, and empathy in his public performances. Continue reading

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Democratic Opportunity

The Democrats have a great chance to win back many of the working class Midwesterners who were pivotal in last year’s election even if some Trump voters are deplorable racists who cannot be reached through rational argument. A study by professors from the University of Minnesota and Boston University concludes that Hillary Clinton’s narrow loss may be attributed to her relative hawkishness. For example, Trump came out in opposition to the Iraq War far earlier than Clinton grudgingly admitted it was a mistake. Likewise, analyses from such disparate and credible sources as Scientific American, CNN, and Fortune Magazine see Trump’s opposition to free trade as an important factor in his victory. Continue reading

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