Elizabeth Warren: GOP ‘Ringing the Dinner Bell’ for Lobbyists


Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)
Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)

 

Tim Devaney | The Hill | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

en. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and fellow Democrats are vowing to block Republican efforts to roll back controversial regulations.

Warren on Wednesday slammed the GOP for connecting policy riders that would overturn regulations to must-pass government funding bills.

In recent years, Republicans have turned to policy riders in an attempt to cut off regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, Labor Department and other federal agencies.

“It’s like ringing the dinner bell for lobbyists,” Warren said. “They are swarming this place, because they have all sorts of goodies they want to sneak into” the government spending bills.

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Democratic Leadership Needs to Understand That the Political World Is Changing


Bernie Sanders | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.

“The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.

“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.

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Neocons and Neolibs: How Dead Ideas Kill


Robert Parry | Consortium News | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton wants the American voters to be very afraid of Donald Trump, but there is reason to fear as well what a neoconservative/neoliberal Clinton presidency would mean for the world, writes Robert Parry.

or centuries hereditary monarchy was the dominant way to select national leaders, evolving into an intricate system that sustained itself through power and propaganda even as its ideological roots shriveled amid the Age of Reason. Yet, as monarchy became a dead idea, it still killed millions in its death throes.

Today, the dangerous “dead ideas” are neoconservatism and its close ally, neoliberalism. These are concepts that have organized American foreign policy and economics, respectively, over the past several decades – and they have failed miserably, at least from the perspective of average Americans and people of the nations on the receiving end of these ideologies.

Neither approach has benefited mankind; both have led to untold death and destruction; yet the twin “neos” have built such a powerful propaganda and political apparatus, especially in Official Washington, that they will surely continue to wreak havoc for years to come. They are zombie ideas and they kill.

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Bernie’s Most Valuable Lesson: The Democratic Party Does Not Do Enough to Represent the Values of Progressive Americans


Conor Lynch | Salon | AlterNet | April 24, 2016

Over the past year, the insurgent political campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders has revealed quite a bit about the reasoning of partisan Democrats, and thus separated the progressives from the liberals. As a populist candidate who has refused support from Super PACs and big monied interests, Sanders has shined a light on the unpleasant reality that the Democratic party — and its likely presidential nominee — is almost as reliant on funding from billionaires and Wall Street as the detested Republican party is.

Now, when it comes to criticizing Republicans, progressives and establishment Democrats generally see eye to eye. The Republican party is shamelessly anti-democratic and under the thumb of special interests; there is no debate about that. However, the other major party in American politics, while less shameless, is certainly no paragon of virtue. This has become increasingly evident as the 2016 primaries have progressed — and many Democrats are furious that the Sanders campaign has exposed this truth.

In recent weeks, the Sanders campaign has been increasingly vocal about the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s many troubling positions and her ties to Wall Street and other industries. Sanders has criticized Clinton’s high-prices speeches for Goldman Sachs (for which she has flatly refused to release the transcripts), the $15 million raised from Wall Street by one of her Super PACs, and the fact that top donors throughout her career have been individuals working at banks like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.

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Will Bernie’s People Back Hillary in November?


Robert Kuttner | The American Prospect | April 20, 2016

In exchange for their support in November, Sanders and his backers could have a lot of influence on the future of Democratic politics.

 

This article originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

It’s fitting that the Democratic presidential nomination will likely be decided in New York, the birthplace of Bernie Sanders and the adopted home of Hillary Clinton.

The polling averages now show Clinton up by about 13 points in Tuesday’s primary.

Sanders has closed gaps like this, but mainly in states that allow independents to vote in party primaries.

In New York, however, only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic presidential primary. So registered members of the Working Families, a potent progressive force in New York, will not be able to cast votes for Sanders. Not will young people who got energized in the past few weeks but neglected to register as Democrats.

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FishTank: Free & fair elections? Primaries marred by voter suppression & delegate system


 

RT America | April 20, 2016

In this edition of FishTank, RT America’s Lindsay France is joined by US Representative Tim Ryran (D-OH) to talk about the delegate system of which he is a member. Then, France delves deep into allegations of voter suppression in the New York primary with Lionel of LionelMedia.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

RNC Launching Task Force to Stop Obama Supreme Court Nominee


Jordan Fabian | The Hill | Reader Supported News | March 14, 2016

he Republican National Committee (RNC) is teaming up with a prominent conservative advocacy group to block President Obama’s effort to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court.

The RNC has formed a task force to launch radio and digital attack ads, petitions and media appearances to back up Senate Republicans, who have pledged not to hold hearings or votes on Obama’s replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The campaign is aimed at Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Democrats running in tough Senate races and party members on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called it “the most comprehensive judicial response effort in our party’s history.”

“We’re going to hold everyone accountable and make sure Democrats have to answer to the American people for why they don’t want voters to have a say in this process,” he said in a statement.

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This isn’t your dad’s Republican Party – Fishtank 2016


 

RT American | March 2, 2016

Legal and media analyst Lionel of Lionel Media joins RT America’s Lindsay France to help us digest the absurdities of Super Tuesday rallies. Lionel points out: “Republicans have loved to hyphenate themselves,” with phrases such as “I’m a Roosevelt Republican,” or “I’m a Rockerfeller Republican,” whereas Donald Trump has “taken the playbook, and torn it up.” RT’s Manuel Rapalo and Anya Parampil report on Super Tuesday results and reactions in Texas and Colorado.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

How the United States’ Two Major Parties Helped Destroy Democracy


Frank Castro | The Hampton Institute | Truthout | February 13, 2016

A voter casts a ballot at a polling station at David R. Cawley Middle School in Hooksett, N.H., Feb. 9, 2016. When all ideas must first be filtered through the umbrella of the Democrat-Republican cartel, it dictates the pedigree of ideas both old and new - therefore severely limiting any competition from threatening its hegemony. (Photo: Hilary Swift / The New York Times)A voter casts a ballot at a polling station at David R. Cawley Middle School in Hooksett, New Hampshire, February 9, 2016. When all ideas must first be filtered through the umbrella of the Democrat-Republican cartel, it dictates the pedigree of ideas both old and new – therefore severely limiting any competition from threatening its hegemony. (Photo: Hilary Swift / The New York Times)

Cartel: An association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.

A little over two decades ago, on December 2, 1993, the principle engineer of Colombia’s infamous cocaine empire, Pablo Escobar, was killed while fleeing police on the barrio rooftops of his hometown, Medellin. Before he died he had amassed an organization of state-like power, challenging, in fact, the government of Columbia itself over the question of its extradition policies-and winning. Dubbed the Medellin drug cartel, his international cocaine operation grew to prominence functioning similarly to the corporations which dominate today’s global economy. Escobar knew, by controlling every possible link in the drug chain from production to retail, he could corral suppliers under a single umbrella, dictate the price of his product, and severely limit any would-be competitors from challenging his power.

Escobar was not alone in learning from the strategies of corporate giants. If anything he was late. Few organizations have pervasively and durably monopolized a market as well as America’s Republican and Democratic parties. The two dominant machines steering the U.S. electorate have consistently diminished the potential for a freer America. That’s because the reality is, rather than arch rivals, liberals and conservatives are two factions of the same team. Both are capitalist. Both are imperialist. Both are white supremacist surrogates. And both are controlled by a plutocratic elite who have discovered what Escobar learned in his early twenties, that competition is best neutralized by eliminating all possible outliers. We merely perceive the two parties as markedly different because of the degree to which the spectrum of possibilities has been narrowed.

American Cartel

Politics, at its barest, is a market characterized by power-and the struggle for how power will be distributed. As CrimethInc illustrated some time ago, in this market ideas function similar to currency. Delineated by ideas which can build capital enough for the acquisition of more power, and those which might unbind power, political parties are tethered to the same basic operating principles of any capitalist enterprise. They must solidify market share in the realm of ideas and grow, wherever and whenever possible, or go bankrupt. Incubated within this constant power play, self-preservation becomes the party’s central priority; and it does not matter if the ideas which accomplish this outcome are beneficial to the electorate or detrimental, so long as it achieves the imperative to survive.

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Why the Panic Over Dem Super Delegates Is Rooted in Lazy Reporting


Joshua Holland | Raw Story | AlterNet | February 12, 2016

As the Democrats head to Nevada, Bernie Sanders has 36 delegates, Hillary Clinton has 32, but you might not know that if you’ve been exposed to some lazy or sensational journalism suggesting that Clinton is in the lead.

Following the New Hampshire primary, a number of outlets reported that Clinton, rather than Sanders, was ahead in the delegate race because she had secured the backing of a number of Democratic super delegates – officeholders, party activists and officials who are not bound to vote for a candidate at the party’s convention in Philadelphia. In fact, if you Google “Democratic delegates,” this graphic appears:

And while that storyline plays well with Sanders supporters who have a deep distrust of the party establishment, it’s also complete bullshit – and the last thing anyone should be worried about as we head to the third state on the primary calendar.

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