Why Bernie Will, Should and Must Stay in the Race


James Hightower | AlterNet | April 27, 2016

Surprisingly, this week’s prize for Stupidest Political Comment in the Presidential Race doesn’t go to Donnie Trump or Ted Cruz. Rather, the honor goes to the clueless cognoscenti of conventional political wisdom. These pundits and professional campaign operatives have made a unilateral decision that Bernie Sanders must now quit the race for the Democratic nomination. Why? Because, they say, he can’t win.

Actually, he already has. Sanders’ vivid populist vision, unabashed idealism and big ideas for restoring America to its own people have jerked the presidential debate out of the hands of status quo corporatists, revitalized the class consciousness and relevance of the Democratic Party, energized millions of young people to get involved, and proven to the Democratic establishment that they don’t have to sell out to big corporate donors to raise the money they need to run for office.

Bernie has substantively—even profoundly—changed American politics for the better, which is why he’s gaining more and more support and keeps winning delegates. From the start, he said, “This campaign is not about me”—it’s a chance for voters who have been disregarded and discarded to forge a new political revolution that will continue to grow beyond this election and create a true people’s government.

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Stop Dreaming About a Clinton-Warren Ticket. It’s Not Happening.


Senator Elizabeth Warren looks on as then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination in 2013. (photo: Getty Images)
Senator Elizabeth Warren looks on as then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination in 2013. (photo: Getty Images)

 

Annie Karni | Politico | April 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton is intrigued by the idea of an all-female ticket. But allies say she likely won’t pick the woman of progressive dreams: Elizabeth Warren.

lizabeth Warren would be the dream vice presidential pick for millions of forlorn Bernie Sanders supporters, an instant antidote to the charge that Hillary Clinton is too close to Wall Street.

But in interviews with more than a dozen prominent Democrats and campaign allies, most viewed a Clinton-Warren ticket as an unlikely scenario — despite the appeal of a two-woman ticket to Clinton campaign officials and also to Clinton, who sources said is intrigued by the idea.

Clinton and the senior senator from Massachusetts don’t have a close, personal relationship — in fact, there’s no evidence to show they even particularly like each other — and Clinton insiders worry Warren could upstage the likely Democratic nominee during the general election. While there’s confidence in the energy she could bring to the ticket, questions loom about the anti-Big Bank crusader’s appeal among white working class voters, as well as her lack of experience.

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Why Trump and Clinton share exact same address


 

RT America | April 28, 2016

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are among the more than 285,000 corporations who call an address in Delaware home. Specifically, they both use the Corporate Trust Centre at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware, to take advantage of what is known as the Delaware loophole, which allows corporations to avoid paying taxes on non-physical incomes generated outside the state. The Resident discusses. Follow The Resident at http://www.twitter.com/TheResident

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The Unrepentant Torturers


CIA director John Brennan. (photo: Getty)
CIA director John Brennan. (photo: Getty)

 

John Kiriakou | Reader Supported News | April 28, 2016

he cadre of former CIA directors needs to get its act together on the torture issue. Current director John Brennan said recently that no future CIA director would carry out presidential orders to reconstitute a torture program. Brennan hasn’t had any human rights epiphany. He was, after all, the deputy executive director of the CIA under George W. Bush, during which time he did absolutely nothing to stop torture. He said simply that no CIA officer would carry out such an order because the CIA “needs to endure,” and public opinion may not favor such an action.

As pathetic and roundabout a way as Brennan got to the correct conclusion, there are still a few diehard former directors who insist that a torture program is in the national interest, that it’s not a violation of U.S. and international law, and that it actually keeps Americans safe.

Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded, using primary source CIA documents, that torture did not work, that it did not produce any actionable intelligence, and that it did not save American lives (or anyone else’s, frankly), some former CIA directors still cling to the fallacy that torture was a necessary program.

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What Began at Occupy Wall Street Is Reverberating in Today’s Democratic Primary


Charles Pierce | Esquire | Reader Supported News | April 27, 2016

But it’s happening on a different part of the ballot that doesn’t get enough coverage.

t looks to be a big night for the two presidential frontrunners, which leaves next week’s ‘do in Indiana as the last possible chance for anything to shift at that level. But tonight’s action is enlivened because there are a number of critical down-ballot races, especially as regards the Democratic chances of regaining the Senate this fall. In Maryland, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, both incumbent congresspeople, are locked up in a serious hooley that could go either way, Edwards being the choice of what can loosely be called the Sanders/Warren wing of the party, and a darling of the Netroots. Also in Maryland, there’s an expensive three-way congressional race between a wealthy dilettante, a very promising young Democratic neophyte, and the wife of Chris Matthews. There also is a vigorous primary campaign for mayor of Baltimore.

In Pennsylvania, there’s quite the brawl to run against incumbent Senator Pat Toomey, who is seen as one of the more vulnerable Republican incumbents. Katie McGinty has the White House and most of the Democratic establishment and donor class behind her. She was supposed to walk in. But, at the moment, she’s running behind now-perennial candidate Joe Sestak, a former admiral who has consistently told the Democratic Party hierarchy to go whistle over the past three election cycles. Here, also, is the rare race in which the populist S/W wing is genuinely divided. Sestak is running as an outsider, based almost entirely on the number of famous Democrats he’s alienated, but there’s also the clamorous presence of John Fetterman, the eccentric mayor of Braddock, who is much closer to Sanders on the issues, and is quite the piece of work besides.

“We’ve lost 90 percent of our population and 90 percent of our buildings,” he said. “Ninety percent of our town is in a landfill. So we took a two-pronged approach. We created the first art gallery in the four-town region, with artists’ studios. We did public art installations. And, I don’t know if you consider it arts, exactly, but I consider growing organic vegetables in the shadow of a steel mill an art…”

Can’t argue with that.

Anyway, these elections represent the first serious stirrings at the ballot box of the efforts to reform the Democratic Party that began outside the party structure, in Zuccotti Park and in the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore, and that provided the energy to campaigns like the one that put Warren in the Senate and the one that Sanders has kept rolling throughout the spring. This is not simply the Democratic Party demonstrating its admirably diverse inability to get out of its own way. There is power behind what’s happening here; neither as formidable as it may become, nor particularly well-focused, this power is nonetheless real and its issues and concerns must be addressed. The party must have room for Donna Edwards, Joe Sestak, and John Fetterman, and for their constituents and supporters. Otherwise, a very big opportunity already is lost.

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Is Hillary Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie Birth a Long-Term Movement?


Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman | Reader Supported News | April 27, 2016

t this delicate moment in the primary season, we all need to take a deep breath and evaluate what comes next.

Bernie Sanders has a mathematical chance to win. But Hillary seems the likely Democratic nominee.

Donald Trump has an army of delegates. But if he doesn’t win on the first ballot, Paul Ryan could be the Republican nominee.

Oy!

For a wide variety of reasons, we believe Hillary and Bernie could beat Trump. But we’re not sure about Ryan, who we find absolutely terrifying.

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The Endgame of 2016’s Anti-Establishment Politics


Robert Reich | Roberts Reich’s Blog | Reader Supported News | April 25, 2016

ill Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

If 2008 is any guide, the answer is unambiguously yes to both. About 90 percent of people who backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries that year ended up supporting Barack Obama in the general election. About the same percent of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney backers came around to supporting John McCain.

But 2008 may not be a good guide to the 2016 election, whose most conspicuous feature is furious antipathy to the political establishment.

Outsiders and mavericks are often attractive to an American electorate chronically suspicious of political insiders, but the anti-establishment sentiments unleashed this election year of a different magnitude. The Trump and Sanders candidacies are both dramatic repudiations of politics as usual.

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US corporations hide $1.4 TRILLION in tax havens


 

RT America | April 25, 2016

Anti-poverty charity Oxfam released a new report entitled, Broken at the Top, which asserts that the US’s top 50 corporations have stashed $1.4 trillion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes. Worse, the report asserts that, in the same time period, those same corporations actually received $11 trillion in federal loans, bailouts, and loan guarantees – from the rest of America’s taxpayers. The Resident discusses. Follow The Resident at http://www.twitter.com/TheResident

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NC Residents’ Question: How Much Is ‘Bathroom Bill’ Going to Cost Us?


A rally in Charlotte against the anti-LGBT law. (photo: Skip Foreman/AP)
A rally in Charlotte against the anti-LGBT law. (photo: Skip Foreman/AP)

 

Patrik Jonsson | Christian Science Monitor | Reader Supported News | April 25, 2016

North Carolina’s reputation as the South’s most progressive state brought enormous economic benefits. The transgender bathroom debate shows how things are changing – and could hold national lessons.

 

ust down the road from where an old-time AM station pumps out “10,000 watts of gospel power,” the thumbs-up “like” symbol of the global social media giant Facebook adorns a sprawling data storage complex – a nearly half-billion dollar investment in one of the poorest corners of Appalachia.

Facebook’s spending is a sign of North Carolina’s pull on corporate America, boosting it to the second-largest state economy in the Southeast, behind Florida and ahead of Georgia. But that strong economic foundation, built over decades, is showing signs of cracks, observers say.

The cracks appeared even before a hastily passed law that critics say discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transgender Americans – a law that means North Carolina “just became the Bull Connor of the tech industry,” says Mike Capra, an Internet talk show host, referring to the civil-rights-era Birmingham, Ala., official who used his authority to block racial integration.

But that investment began to erode in 2010, when tea party Republicans rose to power in Raleigh. An emphasis on cutting spending programs, including for public school children, caused concern even before the combustible element of the culture wars were added. Despite economic growth in cities like Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville, two-thirds of North Carolina counties have seen poverty intensify since 2010.

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How Bad Could Hillary Clinton Be?


Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. (photo: Scott Olson/Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. (photo: Scott Olson/Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

 

Steve Weissman | Reader Supported News | April 24, 2016

hile Bernie Sanders still has a statistical chance to win the Democratic nomination, the time has come to face the big question. How will those of us who support Bernie respond to the likely contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

The answer depends. What will Bernie choose to do in the coming weeks and months? And how badly do millions of ordinary Americans – black, Latino, Asian, white, and mixed – want the political revolution that a grumpy old Socialist Jew proclaimed?

Bernie’s choices are limited. When he decided to run in the Democratic primaries, many purists like Chris Hedges condemned him for embracing the dark side. Had Bernie run as an independent, would he have enjoyed anywhere near the same impact? Absolutely not. But he did pay a price, going easy on Obama and all the money the president had taken from Wall Street in his first campaign. Hillary used Obama’s ties to the street of Capitalist dreams as an easy way to justify her own funding and speaking fees.

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