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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 10th
a Cold War prisoner exchange; boxer Mike Tyson convicted of rape; Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ opens on Broadway; Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a Changin” released.
Breakfast Tune The times they are a changin (Bob Dylan)
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ is prepared for the possibility that Democrats in New York could redraw her district after the 2020 election, she told The Intercept in an interview.
Following the 2020 census, every state will draw new district boundaries to reflect changes in the population, the political implications of which will stretch for at least the next decade. In 2014, New York approved a constitutional amendment establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission, which is set to take over the redistricting process starting in 2020. The 10-member commission, meant to be independent from the legislature, is made up of individuals selected by leaders from the state Senate and Assembly, and the original eight members pick two additional members.
But Ocasio-Cortez’s most determined adversaries are not partisan Republicans, but Democrats who say that she has been a disruptive influence. The Hill recently reported that at least one member of Congress has been urging New York party leaders to recruit a Democratic primary challenger to Ocasio-Cortez. But the news led to a surge of donations to Ocasio-Cortez, suggesting that a more efficient means of ousting her might be simply to eliminate her district.
THE 1990S WERE among the most punishing decades in the recent history of American justice. Zealous prosecutors competed to put the most people behind bars, and politicians were eager to pass new laws to extend sentences. In San Francisco, Terence Hallinan was one of the only prosecutors in America bucking the trend.
A legendary civil rights activist, defense attorney, former city supervisor, and an outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization, Hallinan rode a wave of discontent and squeaked by in his election to become San Francisco district attorney in 1995. He swiftly fired senior prosecutors in order to hire more minorities and reformists. He instructed his deputies to avoid the practice of objecting to a proposed juror for a criminal trial — an unusual stance that weakened the hand of the DA’s office — to avoid empaneling all-white juries.
Sex work, said Hallinan, was a public health problem — not a criminal offense. He quickly made waves by claiming that he would fight for nonviolent offenders to receive social services over jail time and called drug use a victimless crime, an argument that invited contempt from law enforcement officials.
Yet Hallinan — considered one of the “most left-wing politicians in the country” — was expelled in 2003 after just two terms in office, despite San Francisco’s notorious liberal bent. An up-and-coming young career prosecutor named Kamala Harris, running in her first bid for public office, unseated him.
LESS THAN A month after Democrats — many of them running on “Medicare for All” — won back control of the House of Representatives in November, the top health policy aide to then-prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Blue Cross Blue Shield executives and assured them that party leadership had strong reservations about single-payer health care and was more focused on lowering drug prices, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care. Primus pitched the insurers on supporting Democrats on efforts to shrink drug prices, specifically by backing a number of measures that the pharmaceutical lobby is opposing.
Primus, in a slide presentation obtained by The Intercept, criticized single payer on the basis of cost (“Monies are needed for other priorities”), opposition (“Stakeholders are against; Creates winners and losers”), and “implementation challenges.” We have recreated the slides for source protection purposes.
When Tulsi Gabbard announced her plans to run in the 2020 presidential election, I predicted that it would disrupt war propaganda narratives and force a much-needed conversation about US interventionism, but I didn’t realize that it would happen so quickly, so ubiquitously, and so explosively. Gabbard officially began her campaign for president a mere three days ago, and already she’s become the front line upon which the debate about US warmongering is happening. Even if you oppose Gabbard’s run for the presidency, this should be self-evident to you by now.
This dynamic became more apparent than ever today in Gabbard’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, hosted by spouses Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. It should here be noted since we’re talking about war propaganda that in 2009 Scarborough turned down an easy run for the US Senate because he decided that he could have more influence on public policy as the host of Morning Joe than he could as one of 100 US senators, which tells you everything you need to know about why I focus more on US mass media propaganda than I do on US politics. It should also be noted that Brzezinski is the daughter of the late Carter administration cold warrior Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose influential ideas about US world domination, arming extremist factions to advance US interests, and hawkish agendas against Russia continue to infect US foreign policy to this day. Mika is part of a political dynasty, with both brothers being US political insiders as well.
So if you’ve ever wondered how outlets like MSNBC keep everyone on message and fully in alignment with the US war machine’s agendas, there’s a good insight into how. Combine that with the way they stock their punditry lineup with US intelligence community insiders and fire any pundit who refuses to toe the military-industrial complex line, and it’s not hard to see how they’ve developed such a tight echo chamber of hostility toward any resistance to US interventionism. Which explains what we’re about to discuss next.
Something to think about over coffee prozac
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Vice-President Mike Pence has begged Donald J. Trump not to make him sit next to a woman during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, sources confirmed on Monday.
According to those sources, an emotional Pence came close to breaking down in tears as he explained that being seated next to a woman other than his wife was a violation of his personal code of behavior.
Pence offered Trump a variety of solutions to the problem, including introducing a third chair between him and the woman where his wife, Karen Pence, could be seated for the duration of the speech, “to make sure that that woman doesn’t try anything.”
“Let Mother sit next to me, or let me sit on Mother’s lap, but don’t make me sit next to that woman alone,” Pence reportedly sobbed.