2019-05-07: News Headlines

Roman Berger and Thomas Piketty (2019-05-07). Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the Wealth Tax. indybay.org Warren's proposal earmarks a 2% tax on wealth between $50 million and a billion dollars and a 3% tax on wealth over a billion. Between 1930 and 1980, the top incomes were taxed at 81% and top inherited wealth at 74% Obviously, this did not destroy American capitalism. On the contrary, it was more egalitarian and productive. Young Americans sympathize with socialism.

Staff (2019-05-07). Does Bernie Sanders Really Have A Black Voter Problem? therealnews.com Last week the Bernieverse was abuzz with the news that Black voters bashed Bernie once again. But are people really getting the full context of what happened, and are Black voters — and Black voters' issues — being glossed over again? An analysis with Anoa Changa…

Matthew Karp (2019-05-07). The Transformation of Bernie Sanders. thenation.com The Transformation of Bernie Sanders…

Jeffrey C. Isaac (2019-05-07). When It Comes to Trump, Nancy Pelosi May Be Too Clever for Our Own Good. commondreams.org Congressional Democrats, including (L-R) House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), talk to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House April 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Democratic leaders met with Trump to discuss infrastructure. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Jake Johnson, staff writer (2019-05-07). Rebuking DCCC Blacklist, Progressive Groups Endorse Campaign to Oust 'Anti-Choice, Anti-LGBTQ' Democrat. commondreams.org "Dan Lipinski is dangerously out of touch, and has time and time again refused to stand up for basic values like reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, and economic opportunity for every family." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

WSWS (2019-05-07). Democrats line up behind Trump's war on immigrants. wsws.org With death and misery mounting along the southern US border,the Democratic party is signaling its support for further repression.

WSWS (2019-05-07). Germany: FDP Congress tacks to the right. wsws.org The central message of the Congress was unmistakable: the Free Democrats advocate aggressive international expansion, more corporate deregulation and austerity for the working class.

RT (2019-05-07). Trump critics drag Tiger Woods over Medal of Freedom. rt.com Golfer Tiger Woods received the highest US civilian decoration from President Donald Trump, prompting media and Democrats to brand him a Trump crony and dismiss his accomplishments in sports and life.

WSWS (2019-05-07). Conflicts flare between Trump and House Democrats. wsws.org On a range of issues, the Trump administration is refusing to provide documents and witnesses subpoenaed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Dan Corjescu (2019-05-07). It's Globalization, Stupid! counterpunch.org The coming presidential election is not about Trump. It's about the nation state vs globalization. If the democrats don't get that; they will surely loose no matter who becomes their eventual candidate. The recent rise of populist leaders and their nationalist agendas are surely the inevitable political reaction to the Neoliberalism of the last thirty More

Michael T. Hertz (2019-05-06). The Indivisible Unity Pledge and the Democratic Party progressives. nationofchange.org Bernie has just taken the Indivisible Unity Pledge — meaning that he will back the Democratic nominee regardless of the DNC moves to eliminate progressives from the race.

WSWS (2019-05-06). The nationalist "socialism" of Bernie Sanders. wsws.org Sanders presents Chinese workers, the largest single contingent of the international working class, as the enemy of American workers.

Staff (2019-05-06). Sanders Calls for Breaking Up Big Agriculture Monopolies. truthdig.com OSAGE, Iowa — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday proposed a sweeping agriculture and rural investment plan to break up big agriculture monopolies and shift farm subsidies toward small family farmers. | "I think a farmer that produces the food we eat may be almost as important as some crook on Wall Street who destroys the economy," Sanders said during a campaign event in Osage, a town of fewer than 4,000 people. "Those of us who come from rural America have nothing to be ashamed about, and the time is long overdue for us to stand up and fight for our way of life." | Sanders' plan expa…

Staff (2019-05-06). Obama Fundraisers-Turned-Ambassadors Are Back to Make It Rain for Biden. truthout.org On the heels of a big-money fundraiser hosted by Comcast's top government affairs executive, Joe Biden's recently-made-official presidential campaign has announced another ritzy affair, hosted by former Ambassador James Costos. A slew of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fundraisers will now raise money for Obama's vice president, Biden, at Costos' Los Angeles home on May 8. | Biden's campaign announced a huge $6.3 million fundraising haul in the first 24 hours after he annou…

teleSUR (2019-05-06). Humans Threaten 1M Species With Extinction: UN Study. telesurenglish.net A new study by the United Nations published Monday revealed that due to humans one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. | RELATED: | AOC, Naomi Klein Predict the World's Future with Green New Deal | The relentless pursuit of economic growth, twinned with the impact of climate change, has put brought forth this risk. | Only a…

Andrea Germanos, staff writer (2019-05-06). "The Pact for a Green New Deal": Visionary Roadmap From Canadian Coalition Launched. commondreams.org "A #GreenNewDeal is not a radical vision. It's a rational one. It works for everyone, not just big corporations and the fossil fuel industry." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

Eric Hacopian (2019-05-06). Democratic Elite Could Care Less About the Life of the Party. truthdig.com It disdains the priorities of its voters, who largely support Medicare-for-all, the Green New Deal and ending our militarized foreign policy.

John Russo (2019-05-06). To win the Green New Deal, you've got to convince workers. peoplesworld.org The recent debate over the Green New Deal got me thinking about a lecture I gave in 2018 at the Columbia University Seminar on Energy Ethics. The faculty who attended were mostly environmental lawyers and scientists. I am neither. But they asked me to discuss "The Fragility of the Blue-Green Alliance"—not so much the formal partnerships between union …

Ralph Nader (2019-05-06). Note To the Environmental Community. counterpunch.org In 2003, political strategist Frank Luntz wrote a confidential Republican Party memo on what he called "the environmental communications battle." In that memo, Luntz advised Republicans to change the words they used to meet their ends. "The scientific debate is closing but not yet closed," he wrote. "There is still a window of opportunity to More

Mehdi Hasan (2019-05-06). Joe Biden Won't Blame the Republicans for Trump. That Should Disqualify Him. theintercept.com Biden says Trump is the sole cause of America's political crisis — but in fact, the president is a symptom of the GOP's derangement.

Ilana Novick (2019-05-06). Are Democrats Losing Their Enthusiasm? A New Poll Gives GOP the Edge. truthdig.com Republicans' interest bounces back after midterms, a sure sign the "blue wave" can't be counted on but must be earned in 2020.

Staff (2019-05-06). Nancy Pelosi's "Winning" Strategy Is to Appease Centrists. truthout.org House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells The New York Times that the way to beat Trump is not through impeachment or championing progressive causes. To win, Democrats have to be more friendly to "centrists" — which is neoliberal-speak for the donor and corporate class which owns her organization. | If you cower, they (the mythical center of the electorate) will come. | Remember how well that smarmy strategy worked out when Neville Chamberlain tried to appe…

Staff (2019-05-06). The DCCC's Anti-Progressive Policy Might Be Backfiring (2/2). therealnews.com In March, the DCCC announced its policy against progressive challengers of incumbent Dems. But the policy has been met with widespread scorn, and may be starting to backfire. Ryan Grim, Eugene Puryear, and Jacqueline Luqman discuss the situation…

Democracy Now! (2019-05-06). Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince Makes a Comeback Under Trump Selling Mercenary Armies Around the World. democracynow.org The House Intelligence Committee has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department for Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. House Democrats are accusing Prince of lying to Congress during his November 2017 testimony before the Committee, when he described a meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker before Donald Trump's inauguration as a chance encounter. According to the Mueller report, the meeting was an attempt to establish a backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and Russia, and may have been arranged by the Trump team. The move is one of the latest actions placing…

Amy Goodman (2019-05-06). Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince makes a comeback under Trump selling mercenary armies around the world. nationofchange.org House Democrats are accusing Prince of lying to Congress during his November 2017 testimony before the Committee, when he described a meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker before Donald Trump's inauguration as a chance encounter.

Jon Queally (2019-05-06). Despite International Law, Pompeo Claims US Military Attack on Venezuela "Would Be Lawful" theantimedia.com (CD) — After U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday morning that President Donald Trump has a "full range of options" when it comes to possible next moves against Venezuela, anti-war critics are wondering what the Democrats in Congress are prepared to do in order to curtail the administration's ongoing threat of using military force to …

David Dayen (2019-05-06). Obama's Agriculture Secretary, Now Working for the Dairy Industry, Urges 2020 Democrats to Be Nice to the Dairy Industry. theintercept.com Some dairy companies have begun to include a list of suicide prevention hotlines in the envelope with farmers' checks.

Staff (2019-05-06). Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince Makes a Comeback Under Trump. truthout.org The House Intelligence Committee has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department for Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. House Democrats are accusing Prince of lying to Congress during his November 2017 testimony before the Committee, when he described a meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker before Donald Trump's inauguration as a chance encounter. According to the Robert Mueller report, the meeting was an attempt to establish a backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and Russia, and may have been arranged by the Trump team. The move is one of the latest action…

Staff (2019-05-06). Mnuchin Denies Democrats' Request for Trump Tax Returns. truthdig.com The treasury secretary's move is sure to set up a legal battle; the House Ways and Means Committee may subpoena the IRS or file a lawsuit.

Michael Payne (2019-05-06). Let the war begin: Trump versus the House Democrats and — America and its people. nationofchange.org This war he initiated is against the House Democrats and is based on political issues. But its also against this nation's democracy and the people of America.

RT (2019-05-06). US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refuses to give Trump's tax returns to Congress. rt.com US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has officially refused to turn over six years of President Donald Trump's tax filings to House Democrats, declaring their request lacked a "legitimate legislative purpose."

Jake Johnson, staff writer (2019-05-06). Democrats Demand White House Hand Over Documents on Trump's "Abominable" Hurricane Response in Puerto Rico. commondreams.org House Democrats also requested records and communications from FEMA "regarding mass graves found in Puerto Rico." | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files…

RT (2019-05-05). 'Still too much': Clintons' speaking tour prices slashed, available for less than $14. rt.com Demand for tickets to Bill and Hillary Clinton's speaking tour has been so sluggish that organizers have had to slash prices to get bums on seats. It's almost as if they're a spent political force that no one wants to listen to.

Staff (2019-05-05). The DCCC's Anti-Progressive Policy Might Be Backfiring (1/2). therealnews.com In March, the DCCC announced its policy against progressive challengers of incumbent Dems. But the policy has been met with widespread scorn, and may be starting to backfire. Ryan Grim, Eugene Puryear, and Jacqueline Luqman discuss the situation…

RT (2019-05-05). Pelosi fears Trump may borrow page from Democratic playbook by challenging 2020 election legitimacy. rt.com Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned her fellow Democrats that Donald Trump may question the legitimacy of the 2020 election if he loses by a slim margin — a cowardly political tactic not seen since the Democrats lost in 2016.

RT (2019-05-04). Washington Post mocked for embarking on Bernie Sanders Soviet Union 'honeymoon' smear… again. rt.com The Washington Post's lengthy "examination" of Bernie Sanders' much reported-on trip to the Soviet Union 31 years ago is being mocked online for repeating old news and attempting a new Red Scare.

Bryan Wall (2019-05-04). Facebook bans Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos for breaking its rules. thecanary.co Facebook has banned a number of far-right activists and commentators from its platforms for breaking its rules. Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos were two of those whose accounts were banned by the company. Jones has previously claimed the US government faked the Sandy Hook school shooting and that Hillary C…

John Shafthauer (2019-05-04). Local elections with 30% turnout prove Brexit should be harder/cancelled. thecanary.co There are a few things you can say clearly about the local elections. The Tories lost big. Labour lost a little. The Lib Dems, Greens, and others cleaned up. | There's something else you can say. Voter turnout was incredibly low. As such, it's difficult to say what these elections mean. Unless you run a national newspaper, in which case you can say whatever you like: | Same election, same headline, two newspapers hearing diame…

Ashley Curtin (2019-05-04). House passes Climate Action Now bill in first major climate change legislation in a decade. nationofchange.org Three Republicans voted with House Democrats to approve the Climate Action Now bill — the first major climate change legislation in a decade.

Anna Massoglia and Kaitlin Washburn (2019-05-04). Obama-tied operatives and Biden supporters launch $60 million 'dark money' group. nationofchange.org A new "dark money" group is labeling itself the strategy center for Democrats in 2020. | The recently-launched Future Majority will spend up to $60 million to target voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio in the 2020 election, helping Democrats craft messaging that they are fighting for working people while countering conservative talking points, according to Politico. | The 501(c)(4) nonprofit, run by Democratic strategist Mark Riddle, is not required to disclose its donors. The g…

barry_h (2019-05-03). Film looks at sexuality and repression in Guatemala. greenleft.org.au Tremors (Temblores)
| Directed by Jayro Bustamante
| Starring María Telón Soc, Juan Pablo Olyslager & Pedro Javier Silva Lira
| Showing nationally as part of the Spanish Film Festival | Some of the most interesting movies in this year's Spanish Film Festival come from Latin America and among them is this Guatemalan feature. | The story is of a comfortably wealthy middle-aged man, respectably married and part of an extended, conservative family, who finds himself in love with another man. | The claustrophobic social relations are matched by the thick humidity pervading Guatemala City that you can almos…

barry_h (2019-05-03). German Film Festival offers up Bretch, socialist dissidents and more. greenleft.org.au This year's German Film Festival, taking place across Australia in May and June, promises some stellar events. | A must-see is Mack the Knife – Brecht's Threepenny Film (Mackie Messer — Brechts Dreigrosschenfilm) about Bertolt Brecht's 1930s struggle to make a movie based on his successful stage play. The story of the murderous Mack the Knife and the London underworld weaves in with German capitalism and Brecht's insistent revolutionary politics. | This is matched by the 1931 version of The 3 Penny Opera! This "original cinematic interpretation " promi…

barry_h (2019-05-03). Film looks at psychological crisis when Mexican capitalists hit the rocks. greenleft.org.au The Good Girls (Las niñas bien)
| Directed by Alejandra Márquez Abella
| Starring Ilse Salas, Flavio Medina, Cassandra Ciangherotti
| Showing nationally as part of the Spanish Film Festival | What is the connection between economic crisis and crises of individual psychology? This subtle Mexican film is as good a representation of it as you could hope for. | In the 1970s, the Mexican economy boomed by relying on easy access to US dollar loans. A dollar loan was like winnig the lottery — effectively a coded expression for easy wealth. For Mexican capit…

susan_p (2019-05-03). Spanish elections: Important battle won against the right. greenleft.org.au The question on everyone's lips in the last week of the Spanish election campaign was just how strongly the filthy brown tide of reaction would run — encapsulated in the vote for the racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-feminist, pro-gun and, above all, anti-Catalan outfit Vox. | The average of legal polling, allowed by the Central Electoral Board until one week before the vote, had Vox at 11.2%, yielding around 30-35 seats in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies. | However, illegal and internal party polls in the last week of the campaign — or deliberately scary leaks about them — were assigning…

susan_p (2019-05-03). US sanctions have killed more than 40,000 people in Venezuela. greenleft.org.au US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in 2017 contributed to the deaths of more than 40,000 people last year, according to a new report — and this figure is set to rise due to the latest round of sanctions. | According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research report co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot, the 2017 sanctions deprived Venezuela of billions of dollars it needed to pay for essential food and medicine, leading to a rise in disease and mortality and the displacement of millions seeking to flee the worsening situation. | The report states: "The sanctions exacerbated Venezuela'

susan_p (2019-05-03). Sri Lanka: Behind the Easter Sunday bombings. greenleft.org.au On April 21 (Easter Sunday) hundreds of people were killed in bomb explosions at three churches, three hotels and a guest house in Sri Lanka. | The attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. Authorities blamed an extremist Muslim group called the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ – National Monotheism Society). Later, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility. | Sri Lanka has had a violent history in the seven decades since its independence in 1948. But this history did not include any major conflict between Muslims and Christians. Both Muslims and Christians have in recent years come under attack from Buddhi…

susan_p (2019-05-03). Venezuelan economist: 'Hyperinflation is a powerful imperialist weapon'. greenleft.org.au Much is made in the media of Venezuela's deep economic crisis. But why does Venezuela have the world's highest inflation rate and what impacts have the sanctions really had on the country? Green Left Weekly's Federico Fuentes spoke to Venezuelan economist Pascualina Curcio, from the Simón Bolívar University, to find out more. | Hyperinflation is a grave problem in Venezuela, but its causes are less clear. How do you explain it?: | The determinant cause of hyperinflation in Venezuela is the political manipulation by third parties of the exchange rate between the bolívar [Bs, Venezuela's local currency] and…

CounterSpin (2019-05-03). Joe Uehlein on Green New Deal, Basav Sen on Beyond the Paris Accord. fair.org Media…

James Wright (2019-05-03). Proof that local election results mean nothing for the fate of Labour. thecanary.co Political commentators of all stripes are pointing to the local election results to claim their view is widely represented in public opinion. As it stands at the time of writing, the Conservatives have lost roughly 1,000 councillors and Labour around 100, while the Lib Dems, Greens, and 'Others' have made significant gains.But where it really counts, council elections mean little. Because they don't determine the fate of Labour and other parties in a general election.Proof: Take the 20…

pip.hinman (2019-05-03). ACTU must heed lesson of past elections. greenleft.org.au Another federal election looming and, of course, working people and trade unions want to see off the reactionary Coalition government in Canberra. | Much has been made in the media about the trade union movement, led by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), spending millions on marginal seat campaigning. There have also been some very successful rallies by workers that have highlighted the widespread opposition to the Coalition anti-worker, anti-union policies. | Attention has also been given to the policy demands put forward by the ACTU under the leadership of secretary Sally McManus. Progressive unions…