Rift Between Sanders & AOC
Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sander's campaign manager Faiz Shakir is reportedly peeved over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's neglect to sufficiently mention Sanders' name as she was campaigning on his behalf while he was tied up at Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate.
Ocasio-Cortez brushed aside Shakir's complaints, saying "revolution is not about egotistic self-aggrandizement. It's about being right on the issues. Socialism is for the masses. Individuals don't matter. The collective does."
"In terms of ideology, she is, of course, correct," Shakir said. "However, we need to have voters select the name of the person they want to be their president. It is not enough to recapitulate our grievances against capitalism. Repeating the candidate's name on the campaign trail is essential to informing voters who will carry out the socialist program. In this regard AOC fell short."
US Oil Production Undermines OPEC
Last year, oil production on federally owned land topped one billion barrels. This is up by 29% over the peak quantity produced during any year of the Obama Administration. Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior Casey Hammond credited President Trump for the increase, saying that "opening up land that President Obama had put off limits has led to the United States becoming the world's foremost energy supplier. This has lowered prices, boosted our economy and weakened the oil cartel."
Former Vice-President Joe Biden pounced on this accomplishment, calling it "a wrong turn. We need to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. President Obama understood that in order to do this prices had to be high enough to deter people from consuming energy. The economic boom unleashed by Trump's policies on energy, taxes, and regulations have derailed the fundamental transformation Obama had in mind—less energy consumption, slower economic growth, and more modest standards of living for Americans."
"Trump has foolishly flaunted his America first agenda," Biden added. "This antagonizes other nations who were looking forward to the greater equality that President Obama had promised them. That's why we need a president like me to replace him. I am the guy who can take this country down a peg or two, reassure the rest of the world that we're just an average run-of-the-mill country so they have nothing to fear from us, and, thereby, promote more lasting peace."
In related news, Biden vowed "to put a stop to the extreme loss of ice in Antarctica by issuing an emergency Executive Order to begin immediate shipments of some of those giant fans like they have near Palm Springs to cool the place down. I will also authorize immediate entry into the United States for any Antarcticans whose igloos are destroyed by the melting ice."
Buttigieg & Klobuchar Spar Over Pro-Lifers
Surging Democratic presidential candidates former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn) staked out different positions concerning whether individuals opposed to abortion could be good Democrats.
Buttigieg asserted that "the Bible tells us that life begins with breath. As long as the baby can be prevented from breathing no transgression occurs from aborting its birth. The platform of the Democratic Party conforms to this Biblical guideline by favoring the right of every woman to have an abortion if she wants one. A person who opposes this very fundamental human right isn't really a Democrat. Allowing such a person inside the Party makes about as much sense as allowing an Independent to run for our Party's presidential nomination."
Klobuchar disagreed, saying "I believe we are a 'big tent' Party. Of course our policy will always be 100% supportive toward a woman's right to an abortion. However, I see no reason why pro-life individuals should be barred as long as they don't publicly oppose the Party's stance. Winning elections requires effort. Every dollar, every phone call, every door-to-door visit helps. It would be foolish for us to refuse to take their donations of time and money. If they provide this help their person opinions don't matter."
Meanwhile, former Vice-President Joe Biden inadvertently endorsed Pete Buttigieg for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, saying "this guy has honor, he has courage, he's smart as hell, clean and a good looking guy." These words were reminiscent of those he used to endorse Barack Obama after his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination failed in 2008. Reminded of this, Biden pointed out that "being VP isn't a bad gig. Not too much is expected of you. You get to travel to exotic places, make new friends, and pursue business opportunities that aren't available to average schmos. Heck, I'd re-up for that as Pete's number two guy."
DNC Bends Rules for Bloomberg
Even though the late-entry Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, doesn't meet the Party's donor criteria for participating in the debates, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has decided to waive the requirements "for now."
"I know that some will say that changing the rules at this late date is unfair to other candidates who have met all criteria and to other candidates who have been excluded for not meeting the criteria," Perez admitted. "In my defense I ask Party members to just look at the sorry field of candidates we have left. We've got a communist leading the pack, a callow small-town mayor in second place, an addlepated former vice-president, a forked-tongued Indian impersonator, and a senator nobody's ever heard of. As the head of the DNC I can't sit by and allow the Party to go down in flames if one of these weak reeds tries to go head-to-head with Trump."
"Let's face it, the 'grassroots' ploy hasn't produced a credible array of potential presidents," Perez continued. "Mayor Bloomberg has money. In politics money talks. More specifically, Bloomberg's money was crucial in helping the Party buy controlling interest in the Virginia legislature in the 2018 elections. He's said he will spend whatever it takes of his multibillion dollar fortune to defeat Trump. That sounds like a more viable strategy than limping along with tiny donations from millions of ordinary people."
According to the new debate rules, Bloomberg will be allowed to participate via pre-recorded campaign ads that will be played whenever a debate moderator calls on the candidate to respond to a question. Perez explained that "Michael told me that the amount of money he has to spend far outdistances the amount of time he is willing to spend on this campaign. He assures me that he will check in on the debates from his home in Bermuda if he is not too busy when they air."
Warren Boasts About Taking Half a Bank Account
This week, fading presidential aspirant Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) boasted of receiving half of a low-income supporter's total wealth to carry on her fight for the nomination. The "half" consisted of $3 out of a net worth of $6.
To many it seemed a callous act to take so much from someone who had so little. Warren didn't see it that way. "In a way, it's like buying a lottery ticket," she contended. "If I'm elected I'm going to cancel her college debt. That's thousands of dollars in return for her $3 donation."
"It's also a model for the kind of social justice system I'm trying to bring to our country," she added. "In a just society everyone gives whatever they have to the collective. In return, the collective gives each person what she or he needs. All the anxiety and fretting over what is and isn't affordable will be erased. If the government deems you need something and are worthy of having it, it will be given to you. Likewise, if your skills and efforts are needed to accomplish a goal the government is trying to fulfill, you will be assigned to accomplish this goal. No one will have to look for work. Work will be assigned based on ability. Alienation and loneliness will be abolished. All of humanity will toil for the common good."
Nadler Warns Barr
This week House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr warning him "to not go too far with this whole Ukrainian thing" and "to stop listening to Giuliani."
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani claims to have witnesses and evidence implicating the Obama White House in a covert attempt to use US government resources in an illegal operation to undermine the 2016 Trump campaign. "The great irony of the whole 'Russian collusion' accusation against Donald Trump is that it was President Obama, the FBI, and CIA that were colluding against Trump," Guiliani said. "That's the truth and the American people deserve to hear it."
Thus far, Barr doesn't seem to be moved by Nadler's entreaties. "Sure, I'll look at the information Giuliani has turned over to the DOJ. I'll look at whatever evidence anyone turns over. Whether any of it will lead to any prosecutions or indictments can't be determined until I thoroughly examine it."
Unsettled by Barr's response, Nadler pointed out that "this thing is bigger than whether the Bidens engaged in any untoward actions. A lot of important people are concerned about where this is headed. This includes former Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Mitt Romney, Bill and Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and billionaire activist George Soros. I'm not sure Barr appreciates the potential consequences of carrying this investigation any further. Remember what happened to Jeffrey Epstein."
Competing Climate Change Approaches
Two radically different approaches for how to mitigate the potential negative impacts of climate change have been advanced recently. On the left we have The Ahuman Manifesto—a tract authored by Patricia MacCormack, a professor of continental philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom. The Professor argues for human extinction as the best solution to the perils of climate change.
"My interest in feminism and queer theory led me by a process of logical deduction to the conclusion that the human race must be exterminated in order to save the planet for other species," she said. "Humankind is currently enslaved by capitalism. Killing people frees them from this slavery. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were on the right track. By murdering millions they bravely paved the way for my theory to evolve. Many people are surprised by my book's joyful and radical compassion for living creatures."
On the right, we have Republicans in the House of Representatives introducing legislation giving tax-incentives for planting trees. Rep. Garret Graves (LA) called this legislation "a fact-based, realistic approach. Instead of wrecking our economy and generating more poverty and suffering by penalizing energy production, why not offset carbon emissions by feeding them to trees? Trees absorb CO2 and turn it into wood. This wood can be used to build housing, furniture, and other long-lasting implements that are beautiful and useful. In the process we also get more forests."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) harshly criticized the bill, saying "it does nothing about the most severe threat to the climate: Donald Trump. Rather than directly face this threat, Republicans are trying to push painless solutions to averting climate catastrophe. I say, 'no pain, no gain.' People must be taught a lesson. In this regard, I think Professor MacCormack's approach is closer to what I believe the ultimate answer to climate change will have to be."