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 May 12th
The Soviet Union announces an end to its blockade of Berlin; Body of missing Lindbergh baby is found in a wooded area; Burt Bacharach, Katherine Hepburn and George Carlin are born.
Breakfast Tune Florida Blues
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
On Mother’s Day, Remember the Mothers of Trayvon, Sandra and Tamir
Eisa Nefertari Ulen, Truthout
Late last month, two police officers in Hugo, Oklahoma, fired bullets into a truck containing four children. Three of the children were shot. The 4-year-old was shot in the head. The 5-year-old has a skull fracture. The 1-year-old has gunshot wounds on her face.
The mother is grateful her children are alive. Her beautiful Black children, now trauma victims, victims of state violence, are alive.
In 2014, academics Stacey Patton and David J. Leonard published a survey of publicly available cell phone videos capturing citizen encounters with police. Their “Video Survey of Police Interactions: Inequality in Black and White” is, frankly, stunning. White people interacting with the police were shown to confront, challenge and mock officers. Openly. Confident in their privilege, in their right to live, they refuse to comply. They read the officers their rights. They demand respect. They not only survive the encounter, they also feel good after it is over, having showed the cops who’s boss.
A grown white man openly carrying two firearms along a suburban street refuses to put his cell phone down, refuses to show his identification and refuses, in the cop’s own words, to cooperate. He is treated with respect and is free to go. He survives, vindicated, and appears cocky in his extrication. This video in particular is difficult to watch without thinking of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old openly playing with a toy gun in a snowy neighborhood park. Tamir cannot refuse to put his toy down, cannot refuse to show his school ID, cannot refuse to do as he’s told. He cannot refuse, but he also cannot comply. Tamir is a child, playfully lifting the snow to watch how it falls. But youth is not the only reason Tamir cannot choose to refuse or comply. The literal moment the police arrive, they shoot the boy dead.
What will Tamir’s mother — and all the other mothers who have lost their children to police violence in this country — do this Sunday, this one day on the calendar when we celebrate mothers?
- The Contented Classes – When Will They Rebel?
- Joe Biden Wants Us to Forget His Past. We Won’t
Adolph Reed, Cornel West
- Joe Biden Looks to Revive Obama’s Climate Plan. Scientists Say That’s Not Good Enough
Lambert Strether: Alexander C. Kaufman and Chris D’Angeloa
- Warren, Nadler introduce bill to allow student loan borrowers bankruptcy relief
Cough Credit Card Biden Cough Cough
- Trump backers applaud Warren in heart of MAGA country
Something to think about over coffee prozac
EVER SINCE TULSI GABBARD was first elected to Congress in 2012, she has been assertively independent, heterodox, unpredictable, and polarizing. Viewed at first as a loyal Democrat and guaranteed future star by party leaders — due to her status as an Iraq War veteran, a telegenic and dynamic young woman, and the first Hindu and Samoan-American elected to Congress — she has instead become a thorn in the side, and frequent critic, of those same leaders.
Gabbard’s transformation from cherished party asset to party critic and outcast was rapid, and was due almost entirely to her insistence on following her own belief system and evolving ideology, rather than party dogma and the longstanding rules for Washington advancement. In 2012, Rachel Maddow, upon announcing Gabbard’s victory, instructed her audience to learn Gabbard’s name because, the MSNBC host gushed, “She is on the fast track to being very famous someday.” In 2015, Maddow invited Gabbard on her show to herald her as one of the leaders of what Maddow touted as an urgently needed, new bipartisan congressional caucus composed of military veterans in the war on terror.
But by mid-2016, Gabbard committed the ultimate party heresy: She very publicly resigned from her position as Democratic National Committee vice chair at the peak of the primary battle to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders after months of internally accusing DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of corruptly violating the DNC’s duty of neutrality by favoring Hillary Clinton. Her accusation was later vindicated through emails published by WikiLeaks, Wasserman Schultz’s resignation, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s own “rigging” accusation, and current DNC Chair Donna Brazile’s book, which caused Gabbard to publicly repeat her allegations of the DNC’s “unethical rigging” of the primary in favor of Clinton.
Gabbard has compiled a record on domestic policy questions that places her squarely within the left populist wing of the party — from advocating Medicare for All, a national $15 an hour minimum wage, various free college programs, and even participating in anti-pipeline Standing Rock protests in North Dakota. Yet her aggressive criticisms of the pieties of the bipartisan foreign policy community — particularly her harsh criticism of regime change operations from Iraq and Libya, to Syria and Venezuela, and her warnings about escalating tensions with Russia and China and the dangers of a “new Cold War” — have further cemented her status as party outsider and heretic from the perspective of Washington Democratic insiders.
I sat down with Gabbard in Washington late last week to discuss a wide range of issues, including the reasons she is running for president, her views on President Donald Trump’s electoral appeal and what is necessary to defeat it, the rise of right-wing populism internationally, the Trump-Russia investigation, criticisms she has received regarding her views of Islam and certain repressive leaders, and her unique foreign policy viewpoints.
This interview is intended to be the first in a series of in-depth interviews with influential and interesting U.S. political figures, including but not limited to 2020 presidential candidates, designed to enable deeper examinations than the standard cable or network news format permits (designed to be 45 minutes to an hour, though a last-minute call requiring Gabbard to leave for National Guard duty meant we had 30 minutes for the discussion, which nonetheless ended up quite wide-ranging and substantive):