Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover
we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
AP’s Today in History for February 4th
World War II’s Yalta Conference; O.J. Simpson found liable for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend; Patty Hearst kidnapped; the Massachusetts gay marriage ruling; aviator Charles Lindbergh born.
Breakfast Tune Roger Sprung & His Progressive Bluegrassers 1967 – Groundhog
This coming from the original mono pressing featuring Roger Sprung (5-string banjo), Jon Sholle (lead guitar), Jody Stecher (mandolin), Mike Ziller, Austin Gelzer (bass), Jackie Pack (dumbek drum), Gene Zimmerman (jaw harp), Richie Barron (drums), Gene Lowenger (fiddle), and Larry Dunn (guitar). Youtube embed is supposed to start at 42:57. If it doesnt work, follow the link to original, click show more and click Groundhog
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
Joe Kennedy Talked Tough About the Opioid Crisis, But Gives Pharma Firms a Pass
Lee Fang, The Intercept
IN HIS RESPONSE to the State of the Union on Tuesday night, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., emphasized his concern for the “parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of an opioid addiction,” promising a health care system that focuses on the addiction crisis.
But like many bipartisan promises to solve the opioid crisis, Kennedy is the latest politician to talk tough about solving the problem while giving the pharmaceutical firms at the center of it a pass. His most consequential action as a federal legislator, meanwhile, was to push a bill that gave the opioid industry a shot at watering down prescription guidelines first implemented by the Obama administration.
Asked for comment on Kennedy’s role in fighting the drug companies responsible for the opioid crisis, Kennedy’s office sent a statement focused on other ways the congressman has addressed opioid addiction. …
Two dead and 70 injured in South Carolina train crash
Associated Press in Cayce, South Carolina
A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina on Sunday killed two people and injured about 70 others, authorities said.
The Amtrak train was heading from New York to Miami with about 139 passengers on board when the crash happened around 2.45am near Cayce, authorities said.
The injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to broken bones, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were traveling on the Amtrak train. …
Union-Backed Democratic Congressman Rejects $15/hr Minimum Wage
Zaid Jilani, Ryan Grim, The Intercept
LONGTIME INCUMBENT DEMOCRATIC Rep. Dan Lipinski and his primary rival, Marie Newman, revealed gaping ideological differences over key issues during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board over the weekend.
The gap could prove pivotal in an Illinois district that went for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary by 8 points.
In major areas, Lipinski and Newman were far apart. Newman has the backing of both women’s groups and those fighting for LGBT rights, as well as national progressive groups that argue Lipinski is out of step with his district. Lipinski, backed by the state machine, has significant labor backing — which makes his rejection during the interview of one of labor’s key priorities noteworthy. Audio of the exchange was provided to The Intercept by the Newman campaign. …
There Are 2 Vacant Investor-Owned Homes for Every Homeless Person in America
Carl Gibson, Grit Post
The difference between the greed of the wealthy and the precariousness of American workers is painfully stark when looking at vacant homes.
2016 figures from ATTOM Data Solutions — which publishes comprehensive housing data — show that wealthy investors are buying up more and more real estate as a moneymaking venture while housing prices and homelessness continue to skyrocket across America.
According to ATTOM, 76 percent of all vacant homes in America are owned by investors — amounting to approximately 1.1 million vacant residential investment properties. Many of these vacant homes are in economically distressed Rust Belt cities with high poverty rates, like Detroit, Michigan, neighboring Flint, and Youngstown, Ohio. The states with the highest investment property vacancy rate also have high poverty rates. Michigan leads the pack with 10.3 percent vacancy, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, and Mississippi at 6.6 percent. …
Six Insurgent Candidates Just Out-Raised Their Establishment Democratic Opponents
Ryan Grim, Lee Fang, The Intercept
AT LEAST SIX progressive insurgents managed to out-raise their establishment Democratic opponents in House races in the final quarter of 2017, a stunning development that threatens to upend the way the party goes about selecting candidates.
The fundraising upsets reflect a burst of progressive energy that is also powering Democrats more broadly. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, challenging Ted Cruz, once again out-raised the Texas senator. The National Journal counted some 30 Democrats out-raised incumbent Republicans this past quarter.
In House races across the country, the Democratic Party has endorsed or given support to particular candidates in competitive primaries, helping them raise big money from corporate PACs and high net-worth donors en route to amassing a war chest capable of taking on Republicans. That strategy, as The Intercept reported last week, shapes the kinds of candidates that end up representing the party, and the issues they focus on in Washington. …
- Vietnam Is the Battle That Never Ends
- Why NFL Ratings Are Plummeting: A Two-Part Theory
- Go left, Democrats! Ditch the Blue Dogs in the midterms
Something to think about over coffee prozac
New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains
By Gina Cherelus,Reuters•January 26, 2018
The colorful beaded necklaces that are a signature of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration have left the city known as “The Big Easy” with a big mess.
New Orleans city officials said on Thursday that more than 46 tons – or 93,000 pounds – of Carnival beads were among 7.2 million pounds of trash pulled from clogged catch basins along a five-block stretch of a downtown parade route, the Times-Picayune newspaper reported.
“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said during a news conference on Thursday. “So we’ve got to do better.” …