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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,816

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'What's troublesome for Clinton is that she's getting less popular as the campaign goes on'

Sanders Soars: The Democratic Race Is Closer Than the Republicans'

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 00:00
By Robert Borosage, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis

Bernie Sanders routed Hillary Clinton in three Western states on Saturday. He isn't just winning; he's winning with stunning percentages: Alaska 82-18; Hawaii 70-30; Washington 73-27. He's taken five of six in the West, and chipped away Clinton's lead in pledged delegates, trailing in pledged delegates by 1243 to 975.

The Clinton campaign, echoed by the talking heads, sought to discount the victories as "expected" from the "largely white and liberal" Pacific northwest. But just as Clinton's victories in the South should not be dismissed because they were built on loyal African-American voters, Sanders' victories shouldn't be dismissed either. Liberals are Democrats, too.

Sanders remains an underdog, but he keeps surging and Clinton keeps sinking. Sanders has won 15 primaries and caucuses compared to Clinton's 20, and he's virtually tied four others (Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri and Illinois). This from an unknown candidate who started at single digits in early polls. His crowds keep growing. The turnout in Washington was "huge," state officials reported, nearly at the unprecedented levels of 2008. And he's done this in spite of a mainstream media that can't cover his campaign without dismissing it.

Sanders has now caught Clinton in the most recent poll of Democrats. He raised more money than she did in February (probably one reason the Clinton campaign didn't blanche at sponsoring a $353,000-a-plate sit down with the Clooneys on April 15 in San Francisco. That number is not a misprint.)

What's troublesome for Clinton is that she's getting less popular as the campaign goes on. She's now viewed unfavorably by over 50 percent of registered voters, the highest negatives -- other than Donald Trump -- since 1984 when they began asking the question. Voters have valued her experience and electability. But she's had to walk away from many of her former views. And she continues to fare less well than Sanders in hypothetical face-offs with potential Republican candidates. Those polls are of questionable import, but they do suggest that electability may be a declining asset for the former secretary of state. .........(more)


Detroit: M-1 Rail on track to wrap up construction by 2017

Wondering when those orange cones on Woodward Avenue will be gone and the much ballyhooed Detroit streetcar service will finally get up and running? W­­­hile there are still several months of track-laying ahead, M-1 Rail tells Mode Shift it expects construction to wrap up this December.

Work on the 3.3 mile circulating streetcar line, which will stretch between downtown Detroit and Grand Boulevard, started in July 2014. Once completed, the M-1 line will include 20 stops servicing 12 locations along Woodward.


Sommer Woods, M-1 Rail's Vice President of External Affairs tells Mode Shift their efforts downtown are essentially complete, except for a small section at State Street that should be completed by May. The majority of the work is now taking place in Detroit's Midtown and New Center neighborhoods.

"We're making really good progress," she says.

"The (mild) weather this winter is actually perfect for us because it allows us to work throughout the wintertime." Woods adds. "We're scheduled to be out of the corridor by the end of this year in terms of construction." .............(more)


Hillary’s “tone"gate disaster: Why her campaign’s condescending Bernie dismissal should concern Dems

from Salon:

Hillary Clinton’s “tone”-gate disaster: Why her campaign’s condescending Bernie dismissal should concern Democrats everywhere
If the Clinton campaign can't deal with Bernie's "tone," how are they supposed to handle someone like Donald Trump?

Conor Lynch

During a CNN interview on Monday, Hillary Clinton’s Chief Strategist Joel Benenson responded to a question about whether Clinton would participate in a Democratic debate in New York — as the Sanders campaign has requested — in such a condescending way, that he unintentionally managed to break the internet.

“I think the real question is what kind of campaign is Senator Sanders going to run going forward,” opined Benenson. “Senator Sanders doesn’t get to decide when we debate, particularly when he’s running a very negative campaign against us. Let’s see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we’ll talk about debates.”

Shortly after Benenson’s patronizing comments, the Twitter hashtag #ToneDownForWhat began to trend, and the internet fittingly derided the strategist and Clinton, who just eight years ago said that “you should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere” while running for president. One can only assume that Benenson — who has consulted for various Wall Street firms — was alluding to the Sanders campaign’s criticism of Clinton’s financial ties to Wall Street and its insistence that she release transcripts from her Goldman Sachs speeches.

(He certainly couldn’t mean Sanders’s targeting of Clinton for her email scandal and ongoing FBI investigation, or for running direct attack ads, which the Senator has refused to do).

This has become a regular strategy for the Clinton campaign, consistently attacking the Sanders campaign for being “negative,” while itself running a dishonest and petty campaign, from the misleading attack on Sanders’ healthcare plan to Clinton’s deceptive auto-bailout remark to the malicious attempts to smear Sanders as a racist. (“Black lives don’t matter much to Bernie Sanders,” said Clinton surrogate David Brock in January.) .................(more)


TYT: Hillary Campaign Threatens Withholding Debates Over Bernie's “Tone"

How Corporate Media and Political Establishment Have Tried to Orchestrate the Democratic Primary

How Corporate Media and Political Establishment Have Tried to Orchestrate the Democratic Primary

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00
By RoseAnn DeMoro, AlterNet | News Analysis

It's not over. Far from it. The economic and political establishment, which includes the Democratic National Committee, its Wall Street and corporate backers and the major media -- most of it now owned by a half dozen big corporations -- have worked feverishly to turn the Democratic primary process into a coronation for Hillary Clinton.

Bottom line: they wanted to declare it over before actual voters could vote, but their carefully crafted strategy began to #FeelTheBern.

Here are 10 ways the establishment has sought to orchestrate the results, and why the race has a long ways to go.

1. Major Media Blackout

When Sanders began his campaign, as he often recounts, he had virtually no national name recognition and trailed Clinton by 60 to 70 points in national polls. The major media barely breathed his name, even when he began drawing crowds of 20,000 or more to summer rallies. This was partly the result of the obsession with Trump, but also because the conglomerates controlling the media hardly wanted to promote such a fierce critic of Wall Street and the 1 percent.


2. They're Debating When?

Ironically, unlike the Republican National Committee, the DNC manipulated its debate schedule to have the fewest number of debates at the worst times, intended to minimize voter viewing, including setting them on holiday weekends and the Saturday night before Christmas.


4. Vote Rigging

After Sanders' sweeping win in New Hampshire, the DNC went into hyper drive to break his momentum, starting in the next voting state Nevada.

Concerned Sanders would win Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid, the former Senate Majority Leader and most powerful elected official in Nevada, as it later emerged, arranged a plan with owners of Las Vegas casinos, where many caucuses were being held, and other employers, to ensure Clinton would win. The Nevada caucuses were then rigged with massive voting irregularities such as casino owners orchestrating which workers would be allowed to vote and, in clear intimidation, openly monitoring how they voted. .............(more)


A Day of Reckoning for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder? Let’s Raise a Glass of Clean Water to That

from truthdig:

A Day of Reckoning for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder? Let’s Raise a Glass of Clean Water to That

Posted on Mar 29, 2016
By Bill Blum

If you’re waiting to see Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder brought to justice for his role in the Flint water crisis, don’t hold your breath. And if you’re planning to visit Flint while you wait, exercise caution before imbibing the H2O, even if state and federal regulators say the water quality has improved.

Despite the recent easing of the crisis, the Republican governor doesn’t deserve the slightest delay on his day of reckoning. He remains at the center of what can only be described as an ecological disaster—a mass, racially tinged poisoning, if you will—that has devastated a community that was once a hub of our industrial heartland but is now a shell of its former self. Snyder needs to be held to account, and the sooner the better.

The National Law Journal has reported that some 40 civil lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Flint residents injured by exposure to dirty water. Some have been lodged in state court; others have been filed in federal district court. Many are class actions, and several have named Snyder as a defendant.

In addition, both the FBI and the Michigan attorney general’s office have initiated investigations to determine whether any public or private parties should be held criminally responsible under state or federal law.


Finally, apart from bringing Snyder’s political career to a merciful end (his second and final term expires at the end of 2018), the Flint crisis should serve as a wake-up call to all of us: Access to clean, fresh water should be considered a fundamental human right that no one, especially a politician peddling austerity budgeting, can lawfully undermine or compromise. ............(more)


First Ocean Freight Rates Collapse to “Zero,” China Freight Index Plunges to Record Low, Bailouts...

First Ocean Freight Rates Collapse to “Zero,” China Freight Index Plunges to Record Low, Bailouts Loom
by Wolf Richter • March 28, 2016

[font color="blue"]The next stage of “Moral Hazard?”[/font]

The amount it costs to ship containers from China to ports around the world has plunged to historic lows. As container carriers are sinking deeper into trouble, whipped by lackluster global demand and rampant oversupply of container ships, they’re escalating a brutal price war with absurd consequences.

Maritime research and advisory firm Drewry (emphasis mine):

Recent news stories, backed up by anecdotal stories told to Drewry, report that carriers have quoted zero dollar freight rates to some forwarders on certain lanes out of Asia. Whether these are merely isolated cases or something more widespread is difficult to judge at the present time, but whatever the exact quantum, there is no denying the container rates are now close to the historic lows as seen in 2009.

The World Container Index, an average of spot freight rates on 11 global East-West routes connecting Asia, Europe, and the US, plunged last week to a record low of $666 per 40-foot equivalent unit container (FEU), down 73% from mid-2012!

The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) tells a similar story. It tracks contractual and spot-market rates for shipping containers from major ports in China to 14 regions around the world. On Friday, the index dropped 1.6% to 659.19, its lowest level ever! .............(more)


Thomas Frank: How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

The Blue State Model
How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

By Thomas Frank

When you press Democrats on their uninspiring deeds -- their lousy free trade deals, for example, or their flaccid response to Wall Street misbehavior -- when you press them on any of these things, they automatically reply that this is the best anyone could have done. After all, they had to deal with those awful Republicans, and those awful Republicans wouldn’t let the really good stuff get through. They filibustered in the Senate. They gerrymandered the congressional districts. And besides, change takes a long time. Surely you don’t think the tepid-to-lukewarm things Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have done in Washington really represent the fiery Democratic soul.

So let’s go to a place that does. Let’s choose a locale where Democratic rule is virtually unopposed, a place where Republican obstruction and sabotage can’t taint the experiment.

Let’s go to Boston, Massachusetts, the spiritual homeland of the professional class and a place where the ideology of modern liberalism has been permitted to grow and flourish without challenge or restraint. As the seat of American higher learning, it seems unsurprising that Boston should anchor one of the most Democratic of states, a place where elected Republicans (like the new governor) are highly unusual. This is the city that virtually invented the blue-state economic model, in which prosperity arises from higher education and the knowledge-based industries that surround it.

The coming of post-industrial society has treated this most ancient of American cities extremely well. Massachusetts routinely occupies the number one spot on the State New Economy Index, a measure of how “knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-based” a place happens to be. Boston ranks high on many of Richard Florida’s statistical indices of approbation -- in 2003, it was number one on the “creative class index,” number three in innovation and in high tech -- and his many books marvel at the city’s concentration of venture capital, its allure to young people, or the time it enticed some firm away from some unenlightened locale in the hinterlands.

Boston’s knowledge economy is the best, and it is the oldest. Boston’s metro area encompasses some 85 private colleges and universities, the greatest concentration of higher-ed institutions in the country -- probably in the world. The region has all the ancillary advantages to show for this: a highly educated population, an unusually large number of patents, and more Nobel laureates than any other city in the country. .................(more)


TYT on the 'Bernie Bros' meme

An Indian Student Leader Fighting Intolerance, Charged With Sedition

from the Progressive:

An Indian Student Leader Fighting Intolerance, Charged With Sedition

Posted: March 28, 2016
Barbara Miner

[font size="1"]An Indian doctoral student has been charged by the national government for participating in a protest to mark the anniversary of a controversial hanging of a Kashmir activist. Here, students gather on March 12 in his defense. All photos by Barbara Miner.[/font]

Across India, students are organizing against an increasingly intolerant, right wing national government. A soft-spoken 28-year-old doctoral student at India’s top public university has unexpectedly become a focal point for the growing protest movement.

Two months ago, Kanhaiya Kumar was focusing on his dissertation on “Social transformation in South Africa.” Today he is charged with sedition and facing a possible life sentence for allegedly shouting “anti-Indian” slogans at a February protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.

The controversy is about far more than freedom of speech. Kumar has become the face of opposition to policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that are seen as furthering Hindu nationalism and religious intolerance, exacerbating caste and class divisions, and undermining India’s commitment to democracy.

Kumar, in person, is soft-spoken and deliberative, far from the media image of a rabble-rousing revolutionary eager to foment the breakup of India. In a recent interview on a quiet Sunday afternoon, in an outdoor courtyard at JNU, Kumar discussed a range of issues, from the crisis of finance capitalism, to his hopes for equality and democracy in India, to the need for international solidarity. ...........(more)

- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2016/03/188639/indian-student-leader-fighting-intolerance-charged-sedition#sthash.3oQJuawE.dpuf

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