CLINTONISM SCREWED THE DEMOCRATS: HOW BILL, HILLARY AND THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL GUTTED PROGRESSIVISM...

Apr 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Imagine there’s no Clintons. It’s easy if you try! Without pernicious DLC, liberalism is a stronger movement today Paul Rosenberg SALON.COM (Credit: AP) Hillary Clinton today promotes herself as a “reformer with results,” and she’s relied on a widespread impression that she and Bernie Sanders aren’t really that far apart on major issues. After the last round of primaries in the Northeast, she expressed it again: “Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us. We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high, that Wall Street can never again be allowed to threaten Main Street, and we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it. We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all, and student...

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REFORMING DEMOCRACY FROM THE GRASSROOTS UP...

Apr 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Democracy & Government Frustrated by a somnolent Congress, a bipartisan group is tackling campaign finance reform one city at a time. By Charlotte Hill Represent.Us, a bipartisan group, is trying to build momentum for campaign finance and lobbying reform by pushing legislation at the state and local level. (Photo: Christopher Huang/Represent.Us) Following the April demonstrations in Washington for campaign finance and voting rights reform, BillMoyers.com has invited activists — some of whom participated in the protests and some who did not — to describe what they are doing to continue work on these issues. This essay from Represent.Us is part of that series. America is in the midst of a grassroots revolution. Ordinary people are standing up to big money and denouncing the culture of corruption that permeates our political system. Just this...

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Watch: Amy Goodman Reveals How the Media Ruins Elections...

Apr 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Election 2016 “We need a media that covers power, not covers for power.” By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet Photo Credit: Democracy Now! Can you really tell the difference between mainstream media channels when they all basically cover Trump nonstop? Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, was featured in a video for AJ+, a social media and mobile channel run by Al Jazeera. In it, she said, “I see the media as a huge kitchen table that stretches across the globe that we all sit around and debate the most important issues of the day. War and peace. Life and death.” Goodman believes that “Anything less than that is a disservice to a democratic society.” How much does this disservice affect our decision-making, particularly when it comes to voting? “It is critical in an election year to...

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The Best Reason for Bernie Sanders to Fight On: Hawkish, Neoliberal Clintons Need a Watchful Eye From Progressives...

Apr 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Yes, Sanders needs to play it smart from here. But let’s not forget that we need a check on Hillary’s deep failings. By Jim Sleeper / Salon   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: White House, via Wikimedia Commons Because Bernie Sanders didn’t do nearly as well in three of the five “the Acela primaries” — so named because Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island are all on the route of Amtrak’s high-speed Washington-to-Boston Acela route—as he did in heartland primaries and caucuses last month, the wise and the mighty of the Democratic Party and the press who regularly travel that route will now call more loudly than they already have for him to stand down as a candidate and to focus his and his supporters’ energies instead on helping Hillary Clinton to discredit Donald Trump or any Republican opponent. But it’s...

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THIS INDUSTRY IS LITERALLY MAKING A KILLING...

Apr 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Rebecca Green, OtherWords | Op-Ed The 2016 presidential elections are proving historic, and not just because of the surprising success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, the lively debate among feminists over whether to support Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump’s unorthodox candidacy. The elections are also groundbreaking because they’re revealing more dramatically than ever the corrosive effect of big money on our decaying democracy. Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and related rulings, corporations and the wealthiest Americans gained the legal right to raise and spend as much money as they want on political candidates. The 2012 elections were consequently the most expensive in US history. And this year’s races are predicted to cost even more. With the general election still six months away, donors have already sunk $1 billion into the presidential race — with $619 million...

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KANSAS GOVERNOR JUSTIFIED KICKING 15,000 PEOPLE OFF FOOD STAMPS...

Apr 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alan Pyke THINK PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/John Hanna) Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS)   For over five years now, Kansas has served as an economic policy experiment for anti-tax, small-government conservatives. Their lab work is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, crippling public service budgets, and making life harder for low-income families without reducing the state’s poverty rate at all. With his political star beginning to tarnish, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) came to Washington on Wednesday to discuss his poverty policies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. At one point, the embattled governor justified his policy of forcing people off of food stamps if they can’t find a job by likening low-income and jobless people to lazy college students. The event was convened around a policy he pioneered: Reinstating a rigid...

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DAYS OF REVOLT: WALL STREET CRIMINALS AND THE FUTURE OF OUR ECONOMY (VIDEO)...

Apr 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] teleSUR Parasitic capitalism is at work in the United States, according to Michael Hudson, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Hudson and Chris Hedges continue their discussion of the American economy in another episode of teleSUR’s program “Days of Revolt.” (To hear the first part of their discussion, click here.) Hudson, author of the new book “Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy,” worked on Wall Street for many years before he began teaching, and he explains that most politicians are reliant on Wall Street for campaign fundraising, a relationship that crosses party lines. Regardless of the particulars, “the job of the politician is to promise the nice vision, and then double-cross the constituents,” he says. On Wall Street, if you buy garbage...

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CLINTON’S DEFENSE OF BIG MONEY WON’T CUT IT...

Apr 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] AMERICANS FOR A SAFE FUTURE Robert Borosage Hillary Clinton’s heated defense of the money she has raised from Wall Street and other interests won’t cut it. Her protests contradict the basic case that virtually all Democrats and reformers have made for getting big money out of politics. It is vital that voters not be misled by them. Normally, liberal politicians defend setting up super PACs, and collecting large sums from big donors, because while they pledge to curb the influence of the rich and corporations in our politics if elected, they can’t “unilaterally disarm.” Clinton repeats this argument, but it has less force against Bernie Sanders who not only has made the corrosive effect of big money contributions central to his campaign, but has demonstrated that it is possible to be competitive without...

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THIS ELECTION IS TEACHING OUR KIDS BAD HABITS...

Apr 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] On the day before Easter, PEZ Candy USA had to cancel its annual egg hunt in Orange, Connecticut. Adults rushed the fields where the eggs and candy had been put out, pushing aside and trampling the little ones in a mad scramble to grab the goodies for their own children. Noses bled, tears were shed and next time — if there is one — PEZ will have to have lots of security guards on hand to keep the grown-ups from behaving like idiots.The debacle kind of reminded me of this year’s election. As this grim electoral season cycles on, I sometimes think we’re all living in Ghostbusters II, with that river of ugly pink slime coursing underneath our feet, violently reacting to our collective negativity and hate and making them worse. The decline in the level of discourse...

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TIME TO GROW UP INTO A LIVING EARTH ECONOMY...

Apr 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The current political chaos in the United States is a product of the failure of our economic system to fulfill the promise of the American dream: That each new generation will enjoy abundance beyond that of their parents. What most people experience instead is increasing insecurity and declining opportunity. People know something is badly wrong. Uncertain as to what or why, they are desperate for answers. Who is responsible? What can we do? Our current situation is ripe for the blame game. Blame immigrants. Blame Obama. Or blame scofflaw bankers. Years ago when I was a business school student, our professors taught us that a recurring problem is a symptom of a system failure. Don’t focus on treating the symptom, they told us, step back and look upstream to identify the source. A...

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ELIZABETH WARREN’S BIG WIN: THE NEW, MUCH-NEEDED RULE THAT COULD REIN IN WALL STREET SLIME...

Apr 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A new Labor Department requirement is giant victory for consumer advocates over Wall Street and financial advisers Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg   SALON.COM   Are you in the market for some good news? While everyone is being told to follow the excitement of the 2016 campaign to the exclusion of all else, out of the spotlight but not far away, the Obama administration is calmly trying to enact lasting progressive change. In the Labor Department earlier this month, consumer advocates won a big battle, as the vast middle class was “gifted” with a new requirement being placed on the financial services industry. As Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren explained, a glaring conflict of interest has been resolved in the favor of people saving for retirement. No longer can investment advisers recommend funds to their...

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The Deviant Campaign Style of Donald Trump Is Now a Topic of Academic Scrutiny...

Apr 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Donald Trump’s campaign tactics are being studied by a host of academic entities. By Marlena Fitzpatrick García / AlterNet   Donald Trump’s surge to the front of the Republican primary contest isn’t just a major theme across the media landscape—it’s exploded into academia, triggering a new course of study for scholars and students: Trump studies. Researchers from many fields of study—history, political science, psychology, sociology, rhetoric—are finding themselves hooked on Trump’s astonishing popularity and experimental candidacy, which is breaking the parameters of conventional wisdom about how American politics and society work. “It’s a gift of sorts,” said DePaul law professor Terry Smith, who uses Trump to bolster his research on a range of civil rights issues. “We weren’t going to get the same thing from Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton or any of the...

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WHAT GOP NEW YORKERS JUST VOTED FOR: TORTURE, SYRIA INTERVENTION AND THE MURDER OF INNOCENTS...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] War & Peace Republican New Yorkers signed up for Trump’s plans of repealing the First and Eighth Amendments — rights that shape American beliefs. By Juan Cole |BILL MOYERS & COMPANY Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks after winning the New York state primary on April 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at Truthdig. In the wake of his big win in New York, I want to push back once more against the normalization of Trump as a legitimate presidential candidate, given his policy positions. Let us remember what the Republicans of New York voted for: (There are hardly any Republicans in New York City, so it can be spared the shame). Here is what the Republicans of New York voted for: Torture I wrote...

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BILL MOYERS: CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM — IT’S NOT JUST LIBERALS ANYMORE...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] BILL MOYERS & COMPANY Democracy & Government   Bill sits down with former Bush administration lawyer Richard Painter to discuss why conservatives should care about the influence of money in politics — and how they can fight to get it out. April 20, 2016       When I first met Richard Painter some months ago, I thought he must be the loneliest man in the Republican Party. He’s a conservative, and, of course, I’m not. But he believes, as I do, that there’s too much money in politics. Political insiders know Richard Painter well as President George W. Bush’s White House counselor and chief ethical advisor. He’s now teaching law at the University of Minnesota, and he’s causing heads to turn with a book advocating that we reduce the power of big...

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Watch: Trump Supporters Threaten Potential Armed Insurrection at Contested GOP Convention...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Election 2016 Trump says there will be riots if he is denied the nomination, a warning his supporters echo in this video. By Rebecca Carroll / AlterNet We went to the April 20 Donald Trump rally in Ocean City, Maryland, to ask Trump’s supporters how they would react if he did not receive the nomination at a contested Republican National Convention. Many told us they were prepared to wage an armed insurrection against the powers that be, or what one Trump fan called “a civil war.” Take a look. Rebecca Carroll is a journalist in Washington, DC....

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ENOUGH WITH THE HILLARY CULT: HER ADMIRERS IGNORE REALITY, DREAM OF WORSHIPPING A QUEEN...

Apr 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Clinton voters overlook money lust, shadowy surrogates, sociopathic policy shifts, horrific overseas record. Why? Camille Paglia   SALON.COM What is it with the Hillary cult? As a lifelong Democrat who will be enthusiastically voting for Bernie Sanders in next week’s Pennsylvania primary, I have trouble understanding the fuzzy rosy filter through which Hillary fans see their champion. So much must be overlooked or discounted—from Hillary’s compulsive money-lust and her brazen indifference to normal rules to her conspiratorial use of shadowy surrogates and her sociopathic shape-shifting in policy positions for momentary expedience. Hillary’s breathtaking lack of concrete achievements or even minimal initiatives over her long public career doesn’t faze her admirers a whit. They have a religious conviction of her essential goodness and blame her blank track record on diabolical sexist obstructionists. When at...

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WE NEED A NEW AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT...

Apr 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   (Photo:Thomas Hawk)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT What remains endlessly hinted at about the 2016 presidential race, but not fully articulated, is that something enormous — bigger than politics, bigger than America itself, perhaps — is trembling and kicking just below the surface, struggling to emerge. I have a name to suggest for this hypothetical phenomenon: the New Enlightenment. Nothing less than that seems adequate. There are millions of midwives at the ready — angry, despairing citizens — desperately hoping to assist in the birthing process . . . by being part of the Bernie Sanders campaign. I say this with full cognizance of the flawed, compromised nature of politics in general and the Democratic Party in particular. The political process is a stew of money and competing interests, power, compromise,...

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‘DAYS OF REVOLT’: CHRIS HEDGES AND JOSH FOX ON HOLDING ONTO OUR HUMANITY AMID CLIMATE CHANGE...

Apr 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG “Days of Revolt” With Earth Day just three days away, it’s fitting that this week’s episode of “Days of Revolt” focuses on the environment. In the interview below, Chris Hedges talks with filmmaker Josh Fox about his emotional new documentary, “How To Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.” Although they discuss the bare numbers and legislative failures associated with rising temperatures, Fox also explains that “the point of the film was not to tell people what they already know, which is a lot of this, but then to say, ‘What do we do now?’ and ‘How do we move through this?’ ” At a time when many are searching for answers in the face of devastating predictions about the planet, Fox has a surprisingly uplifting message....

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NOAM CHOMSKY ON ORGANIZING FOR A NEXT SYSTEM...

Apr 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Staff, The Next System Project | Interview “The human species is now at a point where it has to make choices that are going to determine whether decent survival is even possible,” says Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Syracuse Peace Council / Flickr) Philosopher, linguist, and social critic Noam Chomsky recently spoke about his experiences in campus activism and his vision of a just society to help inaugurate the Next System Project’s ambitious new teach-ins initiative taking place across the country. An initial signatory to the Next System statement, Chomsky explores the connections between culture, mass movements, and economic experiments — which in “mutually reinforcing” interaction, may build toward a next system more quickly than you may think. Next System Project: As the Next System Project engages in dozens of university campus-based teach-ins...

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CAPITALISM OR SOCIALISM? THERE’S AN EVEN BETTER OPTION...

Apr 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Democracy & Government Bernie Sanders’ popular campaign suggests that many Americans aren’t afraid of socialism anymore. But real democracy is an even better alternative to capitalism. By David Korten | April 18, 2016 (Photo: flickr / CC 2.0) This post originally appeared at Yes! Magazine. Politics and polling data reveal a remarkable shift in American attitudes toward socialism. More Democrats now view socialism favorably (42 percent) than unfavorably (34 percent). Among young adults, socialism does even better with a 43 percent favorable view vs. only 26 percent unfavorable. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has surprised the establishment with the strength of his campaign. He is especially popular among millennials, the generation positioned to define America’s future. So is the United States turning to socialism? Proponents of capitalism assure us we...

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HUMANITY’S FUTURE — FRAGILE OR HYPERCONNECTED, OR BOTH?...

Apr 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Geography By Andrew C. Revkin Photo How the lower 48 states could be realigned into seven mega-regions (larger).Credit Sources: Joel Kotkin​ (boundaries and names of 7 mega-regions)​; Forbes Magazine​; Regional Plan Association; Census Bureau; ​United States​ High Speed Rail Association; Clare Trainor/University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography Laboratory. In an Op-Ed article this weekend, Parag Khanna, a Singapore-based analyst of geopolitical and economic trends, proposes a shift in the United States from state-focused policies and politics to regional planning:  States will continue to have an important political and regulatory function to fill. But the next president has to move beyond platitudes and implement a serious policy of leveraging new infrastructure investment from home and abroad and backing the shift toward a new urban political economy built around transportation engineering, alternative energy, digital technology and other advanced sectors....

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WHAT’S FUELING THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN...

Apr 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Hillary Clinton couldn’t help but be spitting mad at the Greenpeace activist who confronted her about the money her campaign has taken from the fossil fuel industry, asking the candidate if she would pledge to reject such money in the future.”I don’t have — I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies,” the Democratic frontrunner snapped, pointing her finger at activist Eva Resnick-Day. “I am so sick. I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me!” But who’s doing the lying? *** At a time when ice in the Antarctic is melting at an accelerated rate due to climate change, prompting new warnings about a rise of the earth’s oceans by more than three feet by the end of the century, the issue of fossil fuels and climate...

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On Israel, Sanders Is Right (And Clinton Knows It)...

Apr 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Election 2016 What a surprise to hear a Jewish candidate for president speak so courageously about the country where he worked on a kibbutz as a young man. By Joe Conason / AlterNet August 21, 2015 – Columbia S.C: Bernie Sanders speaks about inequality, poverty, and justice system reform to a full crowd at the Medallion Center in Columbia S.C. Photo Credit: Crush Rush/Shutterstock The most significant moment of the Democratic primary debate in Brooklyn — and perhaps any presidential debate this season — came when Bernie Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton over her refusal to criticize Israel’s excessive use of force against the Palestinians in Gaza. For the first time in memory, a major American political figure insisted publicly that the Jewish state and its leaders are “not always right” — and that...

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Why Hillary and Bernie’s New York Debate Was the Most Aggressive Clash Yet...

Apr 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The two candidates offer distinct visions of change. By Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet Photo Credit: www.facebook.com Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton showed their most surly and aggressive sides yet in Thursday’s debate in advance of next week’s delegate-rich New York primary, underscoring sizeable differences in two distinctly different visions for America. Neither held back with criticizing inconsistencies or citing shortcomings in each other’s stances on more than a dozen issues, underscoring that New Yorkers will be choosing between very different aspirations and theories of change on Tuesday. The voters’ decision will be crucial, because 291 delegates are at stake, and the resulting allocation could alter perceptions about the strength of Hillary’s candidacy, despite her large delegate lead over Sanders. Seen broadly, the candidates ressurrected the sparring seen in recent weeks. They argued over who...

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COULD SANDERS’ SOCIAL JUSTICE IDEAS REALLY WORK? TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PLACES...

Apr 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Could Sanders’ Social Justice Ideas Really Work? Take a Look at These Places   By Fran Korten, YES! Magazine | Film Review In an election year, we hear endless promises of what our politicians will do to help the people. But are the ideas we’re hearing from Bernie Sanders and others — like Medicare for all, free college tuition, paid family leave — just slogans to pander to voters suffering under stagnating wages and burdensome debt? Could those ideas ever actually take hold? If you want to see what a people-first agenda looks like in action, check out Michael Moore’s latest movie Where to Invade Next. Moore plants a flag in one country after another to “claim their good ideas.” In the process we meet a lot of people who are truly enjoying life....

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Is the 1% Really the Problem?

Apr 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Economy Unpack the numbers on America’s highest earners and there’s a stark division between the well-off and the dangerously affluent. By Lynn Stuart Parramore / AlterNet Photo Credit: Suzanne Tucker/ Shutterstock.com “We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan, but is it distracting our attention from a sinister reality? There’s strong evidence that it’s not the 1 percent you should worry about—it’s the 0.1 percent. That decimal point makes a big difference. Over the last decade, a gigantic share of America’s income and wealth gains has flowed to this group, the wealthiest one out of 1,000 households. These are the wildly exotic and rapidly growing plants in our economic hothouse. Their habits and approaches to life are far divorced from the rest of us, and if we let them, they will soon...

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HOW CORPORATE INVERSIONS AND CONGRESSIONAL GRIDLOCK GOT BEAT...

Apr 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Money & Politics You don’t necessarily have to pass a bill to get something done in Washington. How Pfizer’s attempt to offshore its profits got stymied. By David Cay Johnston | BILL MOYERS.COM Flags of US drug giant Pfizer, along with those of France and the European Union outside a factory in Amboise, France. (Photo: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images) Thousands of bills are introduced in Congress each year that never get a hearing in committee. But now and then, introducing a bill that addresses just a small part of a big problem (an opaque, overly complex and unfair tax code), with the full knowledge that it’s going nowhere, can achieve political, policy and practical success. America has experienced multiple waves of inversions, starting as far back at 1993, when Texas cosmetics maker Helen of Troy,...

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WE’RE SPEEDING TOWARD A CLIMATE CHANGE CATASTROPHE — AND THAT MAKES 2016 THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN A GENERATION...

Apr 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] How the U.S. confronts climate change will shape the world for generations; neither Clinton nor Trump seems to care Phil Torres  SALON.COM   Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton) Before dropping out of the presidential race last month, Marco Rubio repeatedly declared that the 2016 presidential election is “the most important in a generation.” Such language is, of course, not uncommon to hear during election seasons. Politicians have been assuring the public for decades that the “next election” will be more significant than ever before, and that if the opposition party wins, the consequences will be catastrophic. As Rubio once stated in overtly apocalyptic language, “if we don’t get this election right, there may be no turning back for America.” As it happens, I think Rubio is right. But not for...

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WHILE THEY WERE SHOUTING — A BOTANIST’S LAMENT ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS...

Apr 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  By Andrew C. Revkin   Photo Clockwise from top left, Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas during campaign events.Credit Left, Eric Thayer for The New York Times; Top right, Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times; Bottom right, Max Whittaker for The New York Times Peter H. Raven, a lifelong prober and defender of biological diversity and president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, just distributed a note placing this year’s surreally unpredictable presidential race (watch in virtual “surreality” here) in the broader context of consequential environmental and social trends that perpetually seem to hide in plain sight. He starts with a retro-feeling reflection by Adlai Stevenson and then links to an essay he just wrote for Environmental Health News, which is reposted here:...

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Paul Krugman Is Not Making Much Sense...

Apr 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] He needs a reality check. His screed against Sanders in the NY Times misses the boat completely. By Michael Bader, DMH / AlterNet Photo Credit: By Prolineserver (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons Paul Krugman has been a voice in the wilderness for liberals for decades.  But when he issues screeds in the Times against Bernie Sanders’ alleged lack of policy credentials and Sanders’ “petulant self-righteous” followers, he misses the boat completely. Krugman needs a reality check:  Wonkish policy details about economic reform are irrelevant.  Sanders isn’t an economist.   Neither is Clinton.  As president, his economic initiatives will have more to do with whom he surrounds himself, not with whether or not he gets it exactly right about the role of the “big banks” in the 2007 Great Recession. And Sanders is right enough.  Big banks, with...

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