The Breakfast Club (My Sunday Soap Box)

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.
 

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AP’s Today in History for February 24th

 

President Andrew Johnson impeached; The Nazi Party holds its first major meeting; Manila liberated during World War II; Britain’s Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer engaged; Lauryn Hill’s Grammy feat.

 

Breakfast Tune Polly Ann’s Hammer

Polly Ann’s Hammer · Our Native Daughters · Amythyst Kiah · Rhiannon Giddens
 

 

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

 
The Simple Reason I’ll Probably Support Bernie
Ian Welsh

It’s the policy, stupid. Bernie isn’t perfect, especially on foreign affairs, but he’s better than anyone else I see in the field in terms of what he wants to do. Moreover, he’s credible, since he’s been for most of the same things all his life.

A lot of voters are very good at saying they support certain policies, then finding an excuse to vote for a politician who doesn’t actually want those policies. This is particularly endemic in Democratic primary voters, who never saw a left-winger they didn’t want to spit on while claiming to agree with.

Yes, he’s 79, but in good in shape for 79. All that really means is that he needs a VP candidate who shares his politics and is younger, rather than a balance VP.

As for the fact that he’s a white male, I’ve seen too many women and people of color turn into centrist or even right wing disasters. I understand the symbolism of a woman President, but Obama was a disaster, and I remember how much I got told how important it was that he was black.

Yeah, no. I’ll stick with “good policy” as my determinant, not genitals or quantity of melanin in the skin.

Bernie it is.

BobbyK here. I’m with Ian. Over the last 40 plus years I’ve seen one too many Democrats talk a good game only to sell-out to the big money doners. The fact that he’s “Not a Real Democrat” according to corporate comcast mouthpieces at MSNBC only makes him more credible. Any idiot could have told the democratic party that 2016 was going to be a “change election”. Yet they still ran “pragmatists” defending the status quo. News flash. The status quo has SUCKED for decades. To corrupt a quote- “It is not pragmatic to use incremental half measures to solve catastrophic immediate problems.” And if you don’t think the racism, economic injustice, social injustice and environmental injustice of the last 40 plus years are catastrophic and immediate problems, YOU are part of what’s holding our country back from the real change we need. Voters wont buy another disingenuous Hope And Change act approved by the powers that be. You can take that to the To Big To Prosecute Banks. Voters have not been in the mood for an establishment approved candidate for a very long time. And they are even less in the mood for one now. Yes I have signed up to volunteer for Bernie this time. His policy proposals are radically popular, not radical. Go ahead and call me a Bernie Bro. Call me a Naderite. Call me a Green. Like FDR, I welcome your hate.

 
Unseated by Ocasio-Cortez, Crowley Joins Revolving Door Lobbyists
Derek Seidman, Eyes on the Ties, at Truthout

Barely two months out of office, Joe Crowley, the former ten-term U.S. congressman who suffered a stunning defeat to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th district last November, is now joining Squire Patton Boggs, one of the most powerful corporate lobbying firms the U.S.

Squire Patton Boggs is a large firm with many clients, including major corporate powerhouses from the defense, private prison, and fossil fuel industry, as well as ultra-conservative advocacy groups. (We profile some of these clients below).

Crowley was one of the most powerful and well-connected members of Congress. He served as chair of the House Democratic Caucus and was widely seen as a possible successor to Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi. In moving through the revolving door to join Squire Patton Boggs so soon, Crowley seems to be confirming a major critique that was hurled against him during his failed defense of his Congressional seat: that his loyalties lie with the U.S. corporate establishment, and that the power and influence he developed in Congress, which he now looks to profit off of as a lobbyist, were based on his ties to that establishment.

At Squire Patton Boggs, Crowley is joining other powerful revolving door lobbyists who formerly served in Congress. These include former House Speaker John Boehner, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and Jack Kingston, who was a high-ranking GOP U.S. congressman from 1993 to 2015 from Georgia’s first district. Squire Patton Boggs also announced that, along with Crowley, it is hiring former GOP Rep. Bill Shuster, a nine-term congressman who chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Here are some of Squire Patton Boggs’s more notable clients, who have paid the firm some of its biggest sums in recent years:

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Anyone Buying This Venezuela Bullshit Is A Complete F—–g Moron
Caitlin Johnstone, Medium

#VenezuelaAidLive is trending on Twitter in the USA as I write this, forced to the forefront of public consciousness and into everyone’s eyeballs by a concert staged by billionaire plutocrat Richard Branson. Branson’s Virgin Group controls hundreds of companies and brings in some $21 billion annually, with Branson himself valued at around five billion dollars.

The concert is pure narrative control operation, designed to advance the proven lie that the Venezuelan government is shutting out all humanitarian aid from its people, and the proven lie that it has blockaded a bridge to prevent the aid from getting through, both of which are also currently being promoted by American mainstream media despite being thoroughly disproven. In reality, the Venezuelan government has been taking in humanitarian aid from all around the world to help its people, just not from America’s regime change operation that is so blatant even NPR recognizes it, and the bridge Branson has been posing in front of for his “billionaire philanthropist” photo ops has never been open for travel.

They’re lying to us about Venezuela. Anyone with access to alternative media has access to the fact that they’re lying to us about Venezuela. We know this for a fact. We also know for a fact that Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves on planet Earth, and that in spite of all these appeals to the humanitarian impulses of the US empire the Trump administration is openly interested in controlling that oil. We also know for a fact that US interventionism in modern times is consistently disastrous, and consistently never truly about humanitarianism. We also know for a fact that PNAC neocon Elliott Abrams, who is spearheading this “humanitarian aid” initiative, has previously used humanitarian aid as a pretext for arming militia groups in Nicaragua.

If you have access to alternative media, all of these facts are easily available to you. If all of these facts are easily available to you, and yet you still support the US government’s interventionism in Venezuela, you are a complete f—–g moron.

That’s really all I wanted to say here. I have less than zero respect for those who join with Donald Trump, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Benjamin Netanyahu, Jair Bolsonaro, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Fox News and MSNBC in manufacturing consent for this agenda, and I don’t care who gets their feelings hurt by my saying so. If you’ve been a longtime reader of mine and you still support Trump’s starvation sanctions, CIA ops, grooming and attempted installation of US vassal Juan Guaidó, and brazen propaganda war upon the minds of the unsuspecting US populace with the goal of toppling a sovereign nation’s government, then my writing hasn’t gotten through to you and you have gotten nothing out of it.

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The three dots at the bottom means there’s more of course. I’ve started doing a little SOS insert “…more…” for those not familiar with that convention. Click the darkened headline through to the actual article for the supporting links I’m too lazy to include.

 
Who Is Refusing to Back the Green New Deal? Follow the Fossil Fuel Money
Jon Queally, Common Dreams

With advocates in the midst of a nationwide blitz to pressure lawmakers to commit fully to the vision of a Green New Deal, a new analysis shows that if you want to see where members of the U.S. Senate stand on the issue the best place to start might just be their campaign finance records.

As Huffpost’s Alexander C. Kaufman reports on Thursday:

The 12 senators co-sponsoring the Green New Deal resolution that Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) unveiled earlier this month have accepted nearly $1.1 million from oil, gas and coal companies since entering Congress.

But the 88 senators who have declined to support the measure have collected far more from those industries ― close to $59 million, according to nonprofit Oil Change International, which analyzed 30 years of data. That comes out to about $670,000 per nonbacker, or more than 7 times what the average sponsor took in.

The disparity illustrates what advocates say is a glaring conflict of interest for lawmakers deciding how to move forward on the only proposal yet to emerge that matches the scale of the climate crisis. The donations come from the powerful, deep-pocketed industry with the most to lose from any policy that restricts the sources of planet-warming emissions.

While members of the Republican Party, which largely continues to deny the very existence of the climate crisis, are unsurprisingly opposed to the Green New Deal—a concept the envisions a massive energy transition that would drastically curb greenhouse gas emissions while creating a massive jobs program and a more equitable economy—reluctance by members of the Democratic Party is what continues to concern proponents of the deal.

According to Kaufman, he based his analysis of fossil fuel industry donations on publicly available filings dating back to 1989 made available by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks such data. The figures, he explained, included donations from both corporate political action committees from the oil, coal, and gas sectors as well as individuals who work in those those industries who gave $200 or more.

In response to the analysis, the Sunrise Movement, the youth-led organization that is part of the grassroots groundswell backing the Green New Deal resolution—put forth in the House by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and in the Senate by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)— said: “It’s no surprise that some of the most vocal opponents to the #GreenNewDeal in Congress are some of the individuals who have taken the most money from oil and gas CEOs + lobbyists.”

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Something to think about over coffee prozac

 
Rhiannon Giddens: ‘I see this album as part of a movement to reclaim black female history’

The song came to the Grammy award-winning musician Rhiannon Giddens a few years ago. It sounded like a nursery rhyme sung from the unquestioning perspective of a child. “Mama’s cryin’ long,” it began. “Mama’s hands are shaking.” A tale unfurled from this point about an enslaved woman, forced to lie down “again and again” by the “boss’s man”. One night, she kills him, then the story’s denouement plays out. “Mama’s in the tree,” Giddens sings. “And she can’t come down,” a chorus of voices reply.

Those other voices are traditional roots musicians Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah and the Haitian-American Leyla McCalla. Over 12 intense days in Louisiana in January 2018, they came together with Giddens to make Songs of Our Native Daughters, forming a supergroup of sorts, trying to do something new with traditional music. It shouldn’t have felt new: the project’s source material was old, taking in overlooked slave narratives (Mama’s Cryin’ Long was inspired by one of them) and neglected female characters in folk songs. But the collective aim of these artists was to do something that hadn’t been done before: to tell forgotten stories of the African diaspora in North America, with its women upfront.

The fact that their album is being released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings – the nonprofit label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the US – is also significant. The label has recently started signing contemporary musicians again for the first time in 30 years, with its director, Huib Schippers, saying this is to “show folk music as a living, changing tradition, informed by the past, but relevant to the present, and with an eye to the future”. Giddens agrees with this in her liner notes: “I see this album as a part of a larger movement to reclaim the black female history of this country.”

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1 comment

    • BobbyK on February 24, 2019 at 10:15 am
      Author

    Sunday Soap Box Breakfast at Docudharma.

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