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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 74,193

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We need a president who will honor our leaders and our history


tweeted by, Team Barack Obama ‏@TeamBarackObama 5m
Pres Obama: "Because they marched, America changed for you & for me" #LetMyPeopleVote #mow50 pic.twitter.com/cNCbdo3kG8

TheObamaDiary.com ‏@TheObamaDiary
President. pic.twitter.com/dAerFGgVwq

Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka 8m
A Powerful Sight: Barack Obama, the two-term African-American POTUS honoring Martin Luther King Jr's legacy. #MOW50 pic.twitter.com/Dozr5oOQpA

Kamala Harris ‏@KamalaHarris 5m
President @BarackObama: "Freedom is not given. Let's keep marching." #AdvanceTheDream pic.twitter.com/8OAdxmP8r

Charles Dharapak ‏@Dharapak 9m
PHOTO: POTUS, FLOTUS, Carter, Clinton, Lincoln at end of MLK March on Washington celebration via @AP pic.twitter.com/6QZtxpzN3j

watch President Obama's address:

Washington Post ‏@washingtonpost 3m
A transcript of President Obama's speech http://wapo.st/1914Tfx #MarchonWashington #MOW50

So, why did Mueller give Cohen the green light to testify to Congress?

...it could be he's reached that bridge too far we've been wondering about.

On one hand, Mueller is tasked with following his criminal investigation to the end of the evidence. On the other, there's the question of his responsibility to act to restrain targets of his investigation if he believes they are a threat or a danger.

If Trump is a guilty as the news reports suggest, he shouldn't be allowed access to the levers of our democracy, he shouldn't be in charge of our institutions of investigation or law enforcement, he shouldn't be allowed to direct our military forces, he shouldn't be allowed to make decisions concerning the nations finances.

Maybe Mueller agrees, but he's not the authority to actually hold Trump accountable. If he believes, as reported, that Trump can not be indicted in office, yet he believed him guilty of crimes, he would then be obligated to direct his efforts to inform Congress.

That's where Cohen may figure in. With such explosive revelations about what Cohen knows and is prepared to say under oath, his appearance before the newly-validated, Democratic-controlled House committee will serve as direct messaging from the Special Counsel to Congress, beckoning them to use their constitutionally mandated authority to act against the president.

Just a thought, and a hope.

Julian Castro: "With big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country"

CBS News @CBSNews 2h2 hours ago
Julian Castro makes it official: "I am a candidate for president of the United States of America" https://www.cbsnews.com/news/julian-castro-announcement-2020-white-house-bid-candidate-for-president-today-views-stance-issues-age-live-updates-01-12-2019/

watch: (31m)

Adrian Carrasquillo @Carrasquillo 4h4 hours ago
@JulianCastro and @JoaquinCastrotx on the bus in San Antonio on the way to Castro’s announcement for president at Plaza Guadalupe near where they grew up feels like something new. https://www.facebook.com/97458155742/videos/822633254751908/

NYT Politics @nytpolitics 2h2 hours ago
Mr. Castro, one of the most high-profile Latino Democrats ever to seek the party's nomination, will make his first campaign stop in Puerto Rico, where he will meet with residents struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria https://nyti.ms/2FtaILR

Road to 2020 Politics @roadto2020pols 2h2 hours ago
“With big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country”-@JulianCastro... 🇺🇸

Ryan Lizza @RyanLizza 2h2 hours ago
Julian Castro, announcing his presidential campaign, notes he once wanted to be a journalist and calls press, “the friend of the truth in this country.”

David Mack @davidmackau
Castro: "If police in Charleston can arrest Dylann Roof...without hurting him, then don’t tell me that Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, and Aiyana Jones, and Eric Garner, and Jason Pero, and Stephon Clark, and Sandra Bland shouldn’t still be alive today."



let's go! @thecolemansaur 3h3 hours ago
The crowd at Julian Castro's presidential campaign announcement! #JulianForTheFuture

Aaron Booth @ActorAaronBooth 2h2 hours ago
Julian Castro’s speech...

Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

Kamala Harris Irie With Bob Marley (and Jamaica)

Kamala Harris talks w/NYT about how she connects personal experiences to her professional life, the breakneck speed of the news cycle, the inspiration she takes from Bob Marley and more...

Who is a creative person (not a writer) who has influenced you and your work?

Certainly my mother. She was incredibly creative, as a scientist. But when I think about performers: Bob Marley. I first started listening to him when I was a child. My father had an incredible jazz collection but also a lot of Marley. I saw him in concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. I was hooked.

Jamaica’s history is actually not that well known in the context of the issues we deal with in the United States. But Jamaica grappled with vicious slavery for generations, and then colonists, with a very strong sense of identity in terms of what it meant to be particularly a black Jamaican. A lot of his music was about what it means to fight for the people. He was a very spiritual person also. I’m very spiritual. I don’t talk a lot about it, but the idea that there is a higher being and that we should be motivated by love of one another — that also requires us to fight.

interview: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/books/kamala-harris-book.html

"Hanging out with my family in Jamaica..." (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Donald Harris reflects in this essay on the ‘Jamaicanness’ of his daughter Kamala.

"As a child growing up in Jamaica, I often heard it said, by my parents and family friends: “memba whe yu cum fram”. To this day, I continue to retain the deep social awareness and strong sense of identity which that grassroots Jamaican philosophy fed in me. As a father, I naturally sought to develop the same sensibility in my two daughters. Born and bred in America, Kamala was the first in line to have it planted."

read more: https://www.jamaicaglobalonline.com/kamala-harris-jamaican-heritage/

urbandicdef: Irie

Watch Kamala Harris discuss her new book, 'The Truths We Hold' (1hr)

Politics and Prose @PoliticsProse 50m50 minutes ago
Watch @kamalaharris and @capehartj discuss THE TRUTHS WE HOLD


Kamala Harris photos of her childhood and life before politics

US Review of Books @USReview 8h8 hours ago
11 photos that show Kamala Harris' childhood in Oakland and life before politics http://twib.in/l/jrGKn8y7EMaE #USReview

Kamala Harris' new book presents photos of her youth in Oakland as she shares her memories of the moments: "Long before 'take your kid to work day,' my mother often took us to her lab in Berkeley. She had two goals in life: to raise her two daughters and to end breast cancer." (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

“At twenty-five years old, Mommy had a college degree, a PhD, and me.” (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

"Proud daddy on his way to a doctorate in economics at Berkeley. (April 1965)" (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

"My favorite pleather jacket at age seven. (December 1971)" (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

"Hanging out with my family in Jamaica. Maya is off to the right." (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

"During my freshman year at Howard University, almost every weekend was spent at the Mall protesting apartheid and calling for divestment. Here I am with Gwen Whitfield. (November 1982)" (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris receives the oath of office from California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George during inauguration ceremonies, Jan. 8, 2004. Harris’ mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, holds a copy of “The Bill of Rights.” George Nikitin/AP

more pics here: https://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-kamala-harris-young-photos-20180109-story.html

Watch Kamala Harris discuss her new book, 'The Truths We Hold' (1hr)

Trump Openly Admitting He's Declaring 'National Emergency' To "Make A Deal"

...is the most despotic thing from him yet.

Daniel Dale @ddale8 1h1 hour ago
Trump says he'd rather make a deal, but probably will end up declaring a national emergency: "Probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely." He adds: "If we don't make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency."

...so, the 'national emergency' would be his inability to obtain 'deal' with Democrats on his political goals; namely his Wall, which was revealed to be a campaign hook, rather than an actual response to any emergency.

There's an artificial, Trump-induced crisis at the southern border, not a 'emergency,' with refugees piling up in detention camps on both sides of the border as a direct result of his tightened, restrictive amnesty policies which don't allow refugees to be released to sponsors while their petitions to stay work their way through the court. People have died as a result of the neglect and harsh conditions at these detention camps.

We are Germany, prewar Germany where an entire ethnicity was demonized by Hitler and forced into abusive camps. We are, in effect, the Germans. The more we acquiesce to this, the further the abuses against this specific class of refugees. There is not going to be an end to these crimes against humanity until we remove the source of the violence. We are challenged right now to be 'good Americans' and stand firm against the menace in the White House.

Congress should not bend to blackmail. Seeking to effect political goals outside of the democratic process through the coercion of a 'national emergency' is a gateway to autocracy of the worst sort, especially with this megalomaniac we have in charge directing and exploiting it.

Congress should stand firm, and move to severely restrain Trump's anti-constitutional power-grab.

Can you win the Democratic nomination having voted for NAFTA, the Iraq War, and the Bankruptcy Bill

...Joe Biden is asking himself the wrong question.

He's focused solely on a general election campaign against Trump as he ponders the Democratic field of potential candidates, but the former Vice-President is not necessarily a cinch to win the Democratic nomination. He's failed spectacularly in the past, and he's politically positioned apart from most potential Democratic contenders by a rather long history of center-left votes like support for the Iraq war, support for NAFTA, voting for the bankruptcy bill.

To be fair, he also has a long history of support for solidly progressive legislation and initiatives, like his authorship of the Violence Against Women Act, but there's a lot of centrism in his record.

I found this NBC tidbit from the one major Democratic candidate who went ahead and leapt into into the 2020 presidential pool without playing Cuomo at the airport, Elizabeth Warren:

In a November 2007 post titled "Presidential Leadership," she shared a Barack Obama campaign video on health care featuring an interview with her. Still, Warren did not endorse anyone during the Democratic primary, and was lobbying candidates behind the scenes to create what would become the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But well before the 2008 race began, Warren had harsh words for Biden, one of its eventual contenders who has said he is still deciding whether to run in 2020. In March of 2006, Warren wrote that Biden's 2005 vote in favor of the bankruptcy bill that spurred her foray into blogging made him part of "a bi-partisan coalition to prefer powerful corporation [sic] over hard-working families."

"For years, Senator Joe Biden vied with Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Oren Hatch for head cheerleader for this bill," Warren wrote. “Even as he tried to position his national image as a strong supporter of women, Senator Biden was twisting arms to get the bankruptcy bill through Congress.”

There's a deliberate blind spot to Biden's self-serving entreaty to run. “If you can persuade me there is somebody better who can win, I’m happy not to do it, he says.” Can you imagine the reaction to any other potential candidate uttering those words? Imagine Hillary saying this?

Don't get me wrong, I think he should run, but he's making a big assumption that his perception of himself as the best dragonslayer on the horizon is going to survive a progressive-themed Democratic primary. If he does run we'll find out if his personal political experience is what Democratic voters actually favor.

I think Elizabeth Warren can run away with the nomination

...first, this isn't an endorsement. Elizabeth Warren doesn't fill out my ideal of a candidate, and there are many others who are closer to that ideal.

That said, I think Sen. Warren has made a brilliant early foray into the race. Like a capable long-distance runner, she's broken out of the gate well before other potential contenders, and has the potential (and I think the endurance) to maintain that distance for the entire race.

I've seen Elizabeth Warren in several forums, and she is an energetic and engaging speaker. She's totally wonkish, but also sharp and direct when attacking the republican opposition.

More than that, she brings an agenda to these forums which mirrors what she's actively pursuing in her Senate role; issues like collage affordability, prescription drugs, campaign finance reform. Elizabeth Warren also brings accomplishments in the Senate to the presidential election, including the formation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform.

It's a populist platform which is actually mainstream Democratic policy for most legislators in this congressional and Senate term, but Sen. Warren's agenda also happens to echo the Sanders campaign's focus on money in politics.

Elizabeth Warren outside her home in Cambridge right after she announced the formation of her exploratory committee:

“I don't think we ought to be running campaigns that are funded by billionaires whether it goes through super PACs or their own money that they're spending. Democrats are the party of the people -- and the way we make that clear is we join together and we fund our campaigns.”

Last week we saw the bare bones of a Sanders-like bid for the presidency in several appointments to Sen. Warren's campaign committee. But there's also a lean toward Barack Obama's decidedly more pragmatic politics in her picks...

from Iowa Starting Line:

Although she avoided making the early trips to Iowa during the 2018 cycle, Senator Elizabeth Warren has already secured an impressive line-up of Iowa campaign operatives that will help put her into serious contention for the Iowa Caucus. Her campaign tells Starting Line that Kane Miller, Emily Parcell, Janice Rottenberg and Brendan Summers have all signed on to be part of Warren’s Iowa operation.

Warren’s addition of Summers to her team brings on a former top Bernie Sanders adviser. Summers served as Sanders’ caucus director in 2016, which should help Warren create a caucus strategy that builds upon her fellow progressive senator’s success from four years ago. Summers has worked in Iowa politics for many cycles, and he knows the ins and outs of the caucus process better than few others from his time as the state party’s caucus-to-convention and caucus director in 2008 and 2012. He most recently worked for Jason Kander’s Let America Vote organization.

Rottenberg served as the Iowa Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign director in the 2018 cycle, a year where Democrats broke record early vote and turnout numbers, flipped two congressional seats and picked up several Iowa House districts. She was the field director for the state party in 2014, was a top organizing staffer on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 caucus campaign, and has also held key roles in Ohio and Virginia campaigns.

Miller guided Abby Finkenauer’s congressional campaign to victory in Iowa’s 1st District this past year, electing one of Iowa’s two first female members of the U.S. House. He was also Clinton’s Iowa state director in the 2016 general election after serving as a regional field director in the caucus.

Parcell is a longtime Iowa staffer and consultant, working as Barack Obama’s political director for his 2008 Iowa Caucus team. She’s been through many caucus campaign cycles, including as part of Dick Gephardt’s 2004 and Al Gore’s 2000 teams. Parcell started up her own consulting firm several years back, and has earned a reputation as one of the best and most creative direct mail strategists in Iowa and around the country.

Elizabeth Warren is sprinting comfortably, with virtually no one on her heels at this point. She's fit and well-prepared for this race. I think the expected wave of fellow Democratic contenders will have a great deal of catching up to do if they want to overtake this seasoned, long-distance, breakaway candidate.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) greets an overflow crowd outside of the Our Place Community Center before participating in a roundtable discussion on Jan. 5, 2019 in Storm Lake, Iowa. Scott Olson / Getty Images

AOC's Approach to the 'Green New Deal' is Revolutionary in Scope and Immediacy

In an email to The Huffington Post, she explained her plans for a Green New Deal to help America switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, which advocates say is our best shot of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she said by email. “It will require the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs. We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy but this time green energy.”

from EcoWatch:

Ocasio-Cortez's climate plans dovetail with some of the other progressive points on her platform, such as a Federal Jobs Guarantee and Solidarity with Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Ocasio-Cortez told The Huffington Post that the island would be the ideal place to test-run a Green New Deal to help with recovery efforts. "Our fellow Americans on the island have suffered horrendous losses and need investment at a scale that only the American government can provide," she said.

On her platform, Ocasio-Cortez also links the fight against climate change with her commitments to economic justice and immigrant rights.

"Rather than continue a dependency on this system that posits climate change as inherent to economic life, the Green New Deal believes that radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all," her platform reads.

Her platform also says fighting climate change is necessary "to avoid a world refugee crisis." Concern for immigrants is a large part of her platform. She supports abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which was created in 2003 in the post-9/11 escalation of national security operations and executive power and operates outside the Department of Justice, unlike previous immigration enforcement.

The link between the potential for global warming to increase the number of climate refugees and the need to improve the treatment of current immigrants, many of which are already fleeing deteriorating environmental conditions, is something picked up by the Democratic Socialists of America, the group to which Ocasio-Cortez belongs, on the platform for its climate and environmental justice working group, according to The Huffington Post.

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