New York cancels Democratic presidential primary

Cathy (Team Bernie)
Apr 29, 12:20 PM EDT

Dear Mike,

Thank you for reaching out. On Monday April 27, Bernie 2020 Senior Advisor Jeff Weaver issued the following statement after the New York State Board of Elections moved to cancel the state’s presidential primary:

“Today’s decision by the State of New York Board of Elections is an outrage, a blow to American democracy, and must be overturned by the DNC. Just last week Vice President Biden warned the American people that President Trump could use the current crisis as an excuse to postpone the November election. Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York state.

While we understood that we did not have the votes to win the Democratic nomination our campaign was suspended, not ended, because people in every state should have the right to express their preference. What the Board of Elections is ignoring is that the primary process not only leads to a nominee but also the selection of delegates which helps determine the platform and rules of the Democratic Party.

No one asked New York to cancel the election. The DNC didn’t request it. The Biden campaign didn’t request it. And our campaign communicated that we wanted to remain on the ballot. Given that the primary is months away, the proper response must be to make the election safe – such as going to all vote by mail – rather than to eliminating people’s right to vote completely.

New York has clearly violated its approved delegate selection plan. If this is not remedied, New York should lose all its delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention and there should be a broader review by the Democratic Party of New York’s checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement.”
Thanks again for your support and being part of this movement, and we hope you are staying safe.

In solidarity,Cathy
Team Bernie
Mike Zonta
Apr 28, 12:01 PM EDT

I’m contributing to Our Revolution now.  But Bernie should un-suspend his campaign and suspend his endorsement of Joe Biden.  Especially after what the New York Democrats did in removing Bernie from the ballot.  If Joe fails as the prospective nominee, which it more and more looks like will happen, then Bernie needs as many delegates as he can get.
Mike  ZontaSF Berniecrats

Andrew Yang SUING New York over Cancelled Democratic Primary

Christo Aivalis We have breaking news that Andrew Yang is suing New York state after the New York State Board of Elections cancelled the Democratic Primary, removing people like Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders from the ballot. Even if Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, cancelling the primary is an attack on Democracy, disrespects supporters of other campaigns, and will have effects on down ballot races, likely hurting progressive challengers to incumbents. I don’t always agree with Yang, but he is 100% right to take this stand

COVID-19 Fallout Threatens “Long-term Survivability” of Big Oil

April 27, 2020 by Oil Change International

The days of private pockets being filled endlessly by black gold are gone.

by Andy Rowell

 6 Comments

It makes no logical sense to carry on investing in a product that is collectively killing us—but that is what oil investors knowingly do. (Photo: Pete Markham)

It makes no logical sense to carry on investing in a product that is collectively killing us—but that is what oil investors knowingly do. (Photo: Pete Markham)

It is nearly one hundred years to the day since the late British Prime Minister, Lloyd George said: “Oil profits seem to find their way by some invisible pipeline into private pockets.”

In the century that has followed, the oil industry has been a sure safe bet for many investors to fill their private pockets, despite the public cost of that investment.

Until this year, many private investors still bet big on big oil, despite decades of evidence that our petrol-addiction was causing climate change. It makes no logical sense to carry on investing in a product that is collectively killing us—but that is what oil investors knowingly do.

And even as our climate crisis has grown, the private pockets grew wealthier. For the likes of the Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch, they funded or disseminated climate denial in order to get even richer.

In normal times, today would have seen a major youth strike for the climate with millions of people taking to the streets across the world to demand radical climate action and a just transition towards renewables. They want a livable future.

Many of those activists are protesting but doing so at home as they are in lockdown. Hundreds of millions of us remain at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And every day we do, the future of the oil industry becomes more uncertain and less secure.

Big oil companies have dominated the century since Lloyd George and have collectively misled and lied to us for decades on climate change.

Big oil companies have dominated the century since Lloyd George and have collectively misled and lied to us for decades on climate change. Yet even now, they want us to believe they are central to the climate fight that is to come in the years to come.

But there is a growing realization that as much as we are used to seeing the BPs, Shellsm and Exxons of this world, just because they dominated the last one hundred years, they will not dominate the next one hundred. Indeed, they may not make the end of this decade.

As the Financial Times reports today, “Big Oil faces new reality where ‘everything has changed.’” The paper reports that the “situation is dire.” Due to the pandemic, and the result drop in oil demand, “the international oil marker, Brent crude, has plunged nearly 70 percent since January. Shares in Shell, BP, France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and ExxonMobil of the US have fallen about 40 percent, with Chevron down 30 percent”.

That means that since the beginning of the year those private pockets have lost 40 percent of their investment value in companies such as Shell, BP, and Exxon. For institutional investors, whose holdings probably run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, that is a catastrophic collapse in their portfolio investment.

Right now the industry can’t even keep its spending plans on track and is burning cash in its own pockets before it can hand anything to the pockets of investors. Already the companies have had to announce $50 billion in cost-cutting measures, which Reuters puts at about 23 percent.

The energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie told the FT that the biggest US and European oil and gas companies could “burn through $175bn of cash if oil prices remain low and Brent crude averages $38 a barrel over the next two years.”

Many investors will be eyeing the first quarter company reports which have started to be published and see what kind of dividend the oil companies will pay out to keep their investors happy. The old saying goes that big oil was always a safe bet.

Nick Stansbury, head of commodity research at Legal & General Investment Management, told the FT: “For investors, Big Oil has been able to transform an unbelievably volatile commodity into a smooth return.” This smooth return is everything. As Reuters reports it remains “the most important incentive for shareholders worth more than $40 billion combined last year.”

But those days have gone. The signs are not good. ENI has just reported its first-year results and profits are down 94 percent. It is not alone, either.

The Financial Times adds that coronavirus has now forced the oil companies to “make trade-offs unthinkable just two months ago as they slash capital spending and operational costs, suspend share buyback programmes, delay project approvals, issue debt and secure new credit lines. Most majors until now have pulled out the stops to preserve their dividend—but Norway’s Equinor on Thursday became the first to cut its payouts.”

All the other companies face the same conundrum—keep their staff happy and employed, or keep their investors happy by giving big dividends. Increasingly, the industry will not be able to do both.

As the FT points out: “Industry executives say the biggest companies may face the dilemma of which to cut first—jobs or dividends—In a depressed market, the biggest western majors will struggle to earn enough to meet their dividend targets.”

If the companies cannot pay their dividends they risk losing the confidence of investors already under intense pressure from the climate divestment movement. To many investors and shareholders the dividend is everything. As one investor website says, the dividend “is the last bond of trust between the sector and investors.”

And if Big Oil is forced to break that once unbreakable bond, it really is in deep trouble. The outlook is so bleak for big oil that for companies, “this crisis is not just about short-term financial stability,” Colin Smith, analyst at Panmure Gordon tells the Financial Times “It’s a matter of long-term survivability.”

Yesterday, BP Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Looney admitted: “This remains a brutal business environment.” And all the indications are that it will remain so for a long while.

The days of private pockets being filled endlessly by black gold are gone. As the industry scrabbles for survival nor should there be any public bailout for Big Oil as Oil Change International has recently outlined in a briefing paper.

https://admin.commondreams.org/author/andy-rowell

Andy Rowell is a staff blogger for Oil Change International in addition to working as a freelance writer and investigative journalist who specializes in environmental, health and lobbying issues. Follow him on Twitter: @andy_rowell

© 2020 Oil Change International

‘Democracy is Dead,’ Declare Sanders Supporters After Bernie Taken Off New York Ballot

April 27, 2020 by Common Dreams

The decision was made by the New York Board of Elections, one of whom described holding the primary as a frivolous “beauty contest” for the Vermont lawmaker’s supporters.

by Eoin Higgins, staff writer

 143 Comments

New York state supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here at a rally in Queens last year, are angered over a decision to remove his name from the primary election ballot.

New York state supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here at a rally in Queens last year, are angered over a decision to remove his name from the primary election ballot. (Photo: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders were enraged on Monday after New York’s Board of Elections voted to remove the Vermont lawmaker’s name from the state’s presidential primary ballot in the election scheduled for June—a move described by campaign advisor Jeff Weaver as “a blow to American democracy” that the Democratic National Committee should reverse.

“No one asked New York to cancel the election,” Weaver said in a statement. “The DNC didn’t request it. The Biden campaign didn’t request it. And our campaign communicated that we wanted to remain on the ballot.”

Weaver added that the move was part of a pattern on the part of New York to strip voting rights from its citizens and should be treated as such. 

“New York has clearly violated its approved delegate selection plan,” said Weaver. “If this is not remedied, New York should lose all its delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention and there should be a broader review by the Democratic Party of New York’s checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement.”

As Common Dreams reported, Monday’s decision to remove Sanders from the ballot was framed by board co-chair Douglas Kellner and commissioner Andrew Spano—the two Democratic officials on the board in charge of making the call—as a public health concern. 

“What the Sanders supporters want is essentially a beauty contest that given the situation with the public health emergency that exists now seems to be unnecessary and indeed frivolous,” Kellner said Monday during the board’s meeting. 

Progressives were quick to point out that the move is guaranteed to harm the prospects of insurgent Democratic candidates challenging established, more conservative incumbents. 

“Strong suspicion that the cancellation of the Dem primary, while it has the side effect of harming this bid to get Bernie delegates to the convention, is really about protecting threatened Dem incumbents challenged from the left by giving voters less reason to turn out,” tweeted journalist David Dayen.

Lindsey Boylan, who is running to replace Rep. Jerry Nadler in New York’s 10th District, said the concerns over the disease appeared to her to be incredibly selective. 

“None of this makes sense,” Boylan tweeted.

Supporters of Sanders in New York, with the opportunity of voting for Sanders and adding to his delegate count and influence over the party platform taken away, were incensed. 

Jewish Currents editor David Klion said the decision was part of a pattern of behavior from the party’s establishment toward its left flank.

“Letting Bernie supporters mail in our ballots would be a cost-free way to make some of us feel the tiniest bit more at peace with the way things have worked out,” Klion tweeted, “so of course Democrats instead have instead engineered a colossal wave of ill will toward the party and its nominee.”

Brooklyn-based activist Linda Sarsour, meanwhile, was enraged.

“I am livid.” said Sarsour. “Democracy is dead but my spirits won’t be.”

The bad will generated by the move, said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a prominent surrogate for Sanders during his now-suspended run for the White House, will ultimately backfire. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Democratic Party leadership need to understand that in order to reach the progressive wing of the party, “unity isn’t a feeling, it’s a process.”

“Undemocratic, unilateral decisions that disenfranchise millions of progressive voters and volunteers is extremely destructive to the process of unifying the party for November,” she continued. “Dems must take this seriously. This is the wrong call.”

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BREAKING: New York Kicks Bernie Off Primary Ballot

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Two women Corroborate Tara Reade Claims Against Joe Biden; Biden must DROP OUT

Christo Aivalis After this weekend’s news that Tara Reade’s mother called Larry King Live in 1993 to complain about Joe Biden, Rich McHugh of Business Insider has reported of two new women who are confirming Tara Reade’s story. Lorraine Sanchez and Lynda LaCasse both knew Tara Reade in the 1990s, and both confirm that what she is saying now is what she has said all along. As I have noted before, all this means that Joe Biden MUST Drop Out See This story: https://www.businessinsider.com/forme…

Citizens Assemblies – Do They Work!?

Extinction Rebellion CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLIES TRAINING WEBINAR – Learning from the past A Citizens’ Assembly is a randomly selected cross-section of a society, that are taught balanced, factual and expert information by a range of professionals, specifically on the subject of Climate Change. This ‘jury’ then makes recommendations on the advice to mitigate worst effects of climate change, which the government by law have to put into practice. This webinar build on the theme and asks – “Do citizens’ assemblies actually work?”, “What are they best used for?”, and “How do we avoid past mistakes?” Get answers to these questions and more from experts TODAY at 18:30 UTC. With Professor Graham Smith and Dr Clodagh Harris. To our audience on social media – please post questions for the panel in the comments. Find out more about our #ThirdDemand for a #CitizensAssembly here: https://xrcitizensassembly.uk/

Bernie Sanders in the Age of Coronavirus: We Need Him Now More Than Ever

March 26, 2020 by Common Dreams

Does anyone here seriously believe we’d be hearing a loud call for party unity if it were Bernie Sanders leading in the delegate count?

by Tom Gallagher

 21 Comments

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks to supporters at an Immigration Town Hall in San Ysidro, California on December 20, 2019. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks to supporters at an Immigration Town Hall in San Ysidro, California on December 20, 2019. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders threw his hat in the 2016 Democratic presidential ring in order to wage a campaign highlighting the need for a universal national health insurance system and, more broadly, a government run in the interest of the common person, rather than the melange of billionaires, mega-corporations, and their campaign donors and political action committees that currently dominate. In 2020, with the entire presidential primary process halted by a pandemic that profoundly challenges the nation’s health care system—and the entire economic system—you don’t have to like Sanders’ chances of actually winning the nomination to recognize that his campaign message has never been more to the point.

Can Sanders somehow recover from the very effective unity effort on the part of his Democratic Party opposition? Can he come from behind and catch Joe Biden? Well, we do know that in 2016 candidate Sanders famously did the unprecedented—and previously assumed impossible—many times over. He introduced the idea of democratic socialism to mainstream politics, rejected corporate backing, raised previously unimaginable amounts of money from people who—for the most part—didn’t have all that much of it. And, oh yes, he did this as the longest serving independent in congressional history.

“Does anyone here seriously believe we’d be hearing a loud call for party unity if it were Bernie Sanders leading in the delegate count? Or would the story of the moment instead be the mainstream/establishment machinations to thwart him at the convention?”

But we also know that thus far in 2020, it has been the opposition—which you might call the party’s “mainstream” or “establishment,” depending on where you stand—rather than Sanders, that has notably accomplished the unprecedented, with a three-day unity tsunami that saw three of five major contenders withdrawing in favor of the one remaining who was not named Sanders. How badly did these folks not want Sanders to be the nominee? Enough for Michael Bloomberg—who had just spent a billion dollars on his own presidential campaign in only three months—to drop that effort and sign on to the anti-Sanders program. Granted, this was not Bloomberg’s last billion, but still you would have to say that this was definitely one billionaire who really doesn’t want to see Bernie Sanders become president.

This move proved quite successful, with Biden handily winning the March 17th primaries (with Ohio postponed and Illinois participation cut by a quarter) before the whole shebang went on hold, leaving him leading Sanders in delegates 1215-909, with another 93 pledged to candidates now supporting Biden, and 83 to Elizabeth Warren. And 1751 yet to be elected.

But so far as the unprecedented goes, it has been nature that has set the pace this time around, with the unprecedented coronavirus hiatus, which has started a race of another kind—the disaster capitalism feeding frenzy. Even before the Senate as a whole got into motion, four U.S. Senators—Republicans Kelly Loeffler (GA), James Inhofe (OK), Richard Burr (NC), and Democrat Dianne Feinstein (CA), a Biden endorser—had set personal examples for the rest of us, so far as not relying solely on government assistance, by taking the personal initiative in avoiding financial harm by selling off hundreds of thousands of dollars of their stocks following an administration briefing on the impact of coronavirus.

And, by the way, we will all be assured that we can and must take comparable steps of personal responsibility. For instance, even as I wrote this article, Barron’s magazine was kind enough to post me a Facebook ad on the “18 Stocks to Buy Amid the Coronavirus Carnage, According to Barron’s Roundtable Experts,” along with the kicker: “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.” (And no hand sanitizer necessary for this shopping, either.) Of course, disaster capitalism’s real financial killings aren’t marketed to Sanders donors. They’ll come out of the $500 billion slated to go to American corporations in the government stimulus package. Corporate lobbyists will likely do the heavy lifting there—that is unless we can somehow thwart business as usual in D.C.

Which brings us back to the presidential race again and the not unexpected call for Sanders too to step aside for Joe Biden. Which in turn brings us to our first question for the reader: Does anyone here seriously believe we’d be hearing a loud call for party unity if it were Bernie Sanders leading in the delegate count? Or would the story of the moment instead be the mainstream/establishment machinations to thwart him at the convention?

The logic behind the withdrawal call is clear and simple—the other candidates put aside their own ambition and united behind Super Tuesday’s big winner, so why not Sanders? The answer is also clear, although you’ll seldom find it addressed in the major news media. The candidates who dropped out did so in favor of another who shared their basic presuppositions, e.g., that we shouldn’t immediately try to extend health insurance to everyone currently uninsured, but only some portion of them; that the relationship between government and the nation’s powerful corporate interests does not require major overhaul; that our foreign policy is basically on the right track; that fracking should not be banned, etc. Sanders and his supporters are running a campaign that at its heart contests those presuppositions.

So while it may be a logical proposition for the other candidates to throw in the towel when they decide they won’t be able to grab the ring themselves, it does not follow for Sanders, particularly when 43 percent of the primary electorate has yet to vote. The primaries of New Jersey, New Mexico, District of Columbia, Montana, and South Dakota were originally scheduled for June 2, and Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have rescheduled for that date, with others postponed to an even later time. In announcing the changes, governors have spoken of protecting their states voters’ “constitutional right to vote.” Presumably they also have some right to cast a meaningful vote. And certainly when a campaign challenges the status quo and conventional wisdom, while winning remains the main goal, it isn’t everything—as it is when the campaign aims to answer only the question of “Who?” and not also “What?”

Some will grant that, yes, the Sanders message is important and, yes, the Biden campaign should adopt some of it, but maintain that it’s no longer appropriate for Democratic candidates to argue publicly. These things should be dealt with in the party platform. Unfortunately, as a past member of the Democratic National Platform Committee, I can assure you that while contesting the content of the platform is a worthy endeavor, a candidate actively campaigning on, for instance, universal health care coverage will be immeasurably more helpful to the cause than the issue’s inclusion in the generally unread and ignored platform.

And back to that unprecedented coronavirus crisis. The rationale of the Sanders campaign has always been that Donald Trump should not be allowed win another term in the White House by painting the Democrats as the business-in-Washington-as-usual party. Which leads me to my second question for the reader: With a half trillion dollar corporate give-away in the offing, does anyone here really believe that Joe Biden is the candidate to challenge the Wall Street way of doing business—either in perception or reality?

Sanders does seem to have now sloughed off the invitation to go home and decided to carry on. Remember that a principal reason for presidential candidates dropping out of the race has generally been the inability to continue to raise money. Final question: Does anyone here not think that Sanders supporters will continue to fund the race?

If the candidate is willing, huzzah! We’re in it to the end.

Tom Gallagher

Tom Gallagher is a former Massachusetts State Representative and the author of ‘The Primary Route: How the 99% Take On the Military Industrial Complex.’ He lives in San Francisco. He can be reached at TGTGTGTGTG@aol.com.

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Progressives Tell Joe Biden How He Can Win Their Vote | NowThis

NowThis News ‘We need you to champion the bold ideas that have galvanized our generation and given us hope’ — These youth activists are sending Joe Biden a direct message before the 2020 general election. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: https://go.nowth.is/KnowThis In US news and current events today, Former Vice President Joe Biden has secured his place as the Democratic party’s nominee for president in the 2020 election. After progressive democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders announced the end of his 2020 campaign many of his supporters have had to decide if they’ll now back up Biden. Youth activists joined together from across the nation to collaborate on a letter addressed to the Former Vice President — hear their moving letter to VP Joe Biden in this video here.

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