A Conversation with President Obama and The Wire Creator David Simon

Progressive Breakfast: The Popularity of the New Populism

Robert Borosage

The Popularity of the New Populism

Politicians embracing populist reforms aren’t moving to the left or the right; they are moving to the center of American opinion … people’s movements often start with minority support, not majority approval. Their purpose is to mold popular opinion, not reflect it. So it is remarkable that the bold populist agenda already garners widespread support … This week, four major progressive organizations – National People’s Action, US Action, the Alliance for a Just Society and the Campaign for America’s Future – will host Populism2015, a gathering of organizers across the country to release a populist platform “for people and the planet,” and make plans for driving these ideas into the political debate.

Fast-Track Battle Begins

Bipartisan deal reached on Senate fast-track bill. NYT:“Trade unions, environmentalists and Latino organizations — potent Democratic constituencies — quickly lined up in opposition, arguing that past trade pacts failed to deliver on their promise and that the latest effort would harm American workers … The bill would make any final trade agreement open to public comment for 60 days before the president signs it, and up to four months before Congress votes. If the agreement … fails to meet the objectives laid out by Congress — on labor, environmental and human rights standards — a 60-vote majority in the Senate could shut off ‘fast-track’ trade rules and open the deal to amendment.”

Fast-track bill sparks “civil war” among Democrats, says Politico:“The internal Democratic wars are spilling into the presidential campaign as well, putting Hillary Clinton on the spot … Other potential Democratic candidates, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, have assumed the progressive populist mantle and are already positioning themselves to Clinton’s left by preemptively coming out against the TPP … so far, there is little indication that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi or Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer will support the legislation … The top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Sander Levin, has come out against the bill.”

11 “centrist” House Dems back fast-track. The Hill:“The House is expected to need support from about 30 Democrats to push a bill through the lower chamber.”

Populism2015 conference, beginning Saturday, will end Monday with rally against fast-track:“Join … Sen. Bernie Sanders, CWA President Larry Cohen, commentator Jim Hightower … Assemble 11:30 AM 815 16th Street NW AFL-CIO … Rally Noon 600 17th Street NW Office of the US Trade Representative.”

Hillary Hires Bank Reformer

Hillary taps “one of Wall Street’s fiercest critics” for her campaign. Bloomberg:“[Gary] Gensler, in his role as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was a leading player in the drafting and then implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act … He became known as someone with sharp elbows —even during his negotiations within the Obama administration—in his push for tighter regulation.”

Martin O’Malley sharpens his rhetoric. Time:“‘I’m glad Secretary Clinton’s come around to the right positions on these issues [regarding equal marriage rights and immigration]’ said O’Malley … ‘Leadership is about making the right decision, and the best decision before sometimes it becomes entirely popular,’ he continued.”

Rubio’s health insurance program in FL ended up covering just 80 people. Politico:“Rubio pushed his no-mandate health insurance exchange, dubbed Florida Health Choices [in 2008.] now covers 80 people. Obamacare, which Rubio wants to repeal, covers 1.6 million in Florida alone. And 93 percent of them are subsidized … [Rubio’s spokeswoman] blamed Obamacare’s subsidies for luring buyers away from Florida Health Choices.”

Paul Volcker teases new financial reforms, in advance of a Monday “Volcker Alliance” release, in W. Post oped:“…what we see in full view are inconsistencies in approaches among the half-dozen or more regulatory agencies … too many opportunities for agency ‘capture’ by those regulated … a large new challenge [is] the multiplying innovations in finance and the proliferation of complicated and often opaque instruments…”

Judges Skeptical Of Climate Suit

Early legal attack against pending climate regs appears to fizzle. NYT:“Two of the three judges on the panel, Thomas B. Griffith and Brett M. Kavanaugh, appeared highly skeptical of the coal companies’ efforts to stop the regulation before it was final, noting that there was no legal precedent for such an effort … It was less clear where the three judges, who were all appointed by Republican presidents, stood on the merits of the rule itself. If the panel dismisses the case because the regulation is not yet finalized, the petitioners are expected to return to the court once the final version is released.”

Conservative judicial panel takes up immigration executive order suit today. The Hill:“‘We had concerns from the outset that the plaintiffs judge shopped … knowing that this could very well end up in the Fifth Circuit on appeal,’ said Marshall Fitz, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress…”

House Helps Super-Rich

House repeals estate tax. NYT:“The vote was the first in a decade to eliminate what Republicans call the death tax, and it stands little chance of making it out of the Senate, much less past the president’s veto pen. But each side saw an opportunity to portray the other as out of touch on an issue that resonates beyond the few who would directly benefit.”

Obama signs Medicare reform bill. The Hill:“The so-called ‘doc fix’ measure is one of the biggest achievements for the new Republican Congress. It permanently ends automatic Medicare payment cuts to doctors that lawmakers have been forced to address every year for almost two decades.”

100 days of Failure


Assessing The Republican Congress’s First Hundred Days

When Republicans took control over the Senate after last year’s midterms, new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that his main goal for the party was to be responsible, not scary . Yesterday marked the first 100 days of the GOP-controlled 114th Congress, and the results have proven that McConnell and his caucus have not lived up to their promise. Since January, House and Senate Republicans have supported policies that threaten the future of our economic recovery, would limit access to health care, protect big polluters by obstructing action on climate change, and put our national security at risk.

Here are just a few of the many examples of the GOP’s’ failed leadership so far this Congress:

The GOP-led Congress prioritized the interests of the few, with budgets that would hurt working families.

  • Congressional Republican leaders’ rhetoric is now filled with references to inequality, the struggling middle class, and stagnant wages. But in reality, their budget would slash education funding for 1.9 million disadvantaged students, strip 16.4 million Americans of health care coverage, eliminate job training for 2 million workers, cut 2,250 medical and scientific research grants, drop 35,000 preschoolers from Head Start and more.
  • On top of that, House GOP leaders plan to give even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, including an expected vote to repeal the estate tax this week.

Congress continued to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that over 16 million Americans are now covered thanks to the law.

  • One of the first votes in the House of Representatives of the 114th Congress was to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is just one in the now nearly 60 votes in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the past five years, with more expected when this Congress votes on a budget in the coming weeks. And despite their many promises, Republicans still haven’t offered a significant replacement bill.
  • Through King v. Burwell, a suit brought by conservatives, the Supreme Court could also strike a major blow to the ACA later this year. Yet Republicans have refused to offer a legislative fix to protect the millions of Americans that would lose insurance and prevent the health care system from devolving into chaos.

GOP leadership is trying to obstruct efforts to address climate change, with no energy policy of their own.

  • There is no other issue on which the 114th Congress has actively tried to stunt progress or do harm as much as climate and energy. According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, this Congress has held more roll-call votes on energy and environmental issues than any other topic, with 8 in the House and 22 in the Senate related to the Keystone XL pipeline alone.
  • In fact, the U.S. Senate has cast more votes to remove protections of wilderness areas, block new parks, and sell-off public lands than it has to address defense, immigration, and veterans’ issues combined.

The Republicans’ mass deportation agenda was front and center, even putting national security at risk.

There are many other issues they have failed to lead on as well. Rather than pass proactive legislation to improve women’s health, for example, this Congress has introduced over 20 bills to restrict access to abortion and inserted harmful and irrelevant abortion restrictions in important bills, impeding their progress. And Senate Republicans have continued to hold hostage the nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general, despite her bipartisan support and overwhelming qualifications.

BOTTOM LINE: With Congress under new management, the body has completely become a place where the interests of working families are put on the chopping block, where attacks on education, health care, a clean and safer planet are commonplace while immigrant families are repeatedly threatened. In these first 100 days of the GOP-controlled Congress, only the wealthiest and the biggest polluters have come out ahead.

Clean Bandit … Easter Sunday Concert in MN



I think Yahoo made the Clean Bandit concert on Easter Sunday available to watch over and over if you are so inclined; for those who got too busy, forgot, tuned in late or got the time completely wrong and missed it all. I was using Minneapolis time 2hrs earlier; thankfully, I only missed one song ~ I lucked out.  I hope no one missed the concert because of my misinformation

The concert! My take …   Check it out !

It was tight; this crowd from the Midwest danced, sang with and appreciated Clean Bandit with a fab house electronic sound! The smooth transitions from song to song made it more fun… Elisabeth troy works that voice hard and sounds unbelievable live. The backdrop and lighting were great! I definitely loved what Elisabeth and Grace wore, the boys looked tidy. My favourites, probably all fan favourites got some major play on Easter Sunday and they added Nightingale!, Stronger ,did the classic “Show Me Love” probably betta than any along with one of a couple of new songs they have called “Superstar” as Elisabeth troy, said…. something Jack has been cooking up in the lab; it was hot and well Jack’s got skills on that song, sounding hot on the sax. If anything maybe the background girls need to be just a little louder on that song, but not too loud, because fans want to hear Elisabeth’s voice! and Damn! Elisabeth did some things with her voice, no one else can. I have to say, Grace is sounding better, Neil is kinda skinny, but by far the best looking skilled house music/classical violinist I have seen ever; time to get him more violin solos and  maybe singing with Elisabeth suffice it to say Jack on the sax was incredible and luke ..yes we kind of leave him out but the guy is an expert on the drums or as we say percussions because if you have seen him, he is clearly NOT just a drummer!.. hey, we all love that they are adding more instruments ..it’s exciting

The connections/interactions love of music between Elisabeth and Neil are always a highlight …um yeah they hot and we love them for it!

Overall, they were incredible! Hey, that’s just my view

 @cleanbandit https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/clean-bandit via @YahooLive

Check it out yourself, if it’s still available

Thanks to Yahoo and Clean Bandit for a great Easter Show

#music #house #garage #youtube #concerts #cleanbandit #beaseedforchange

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