Federal convict and Trump crony Paul Manafort is to be held in solitary confinement at the notorious Riker's Island prison while he faces trial for fraud in a New York court (solitary confinement is standard procedure for high-profile prisoners); Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (whose district includes Riker's) publicly condemned the use of solitary confinement for any prisoner, including Manafort, adding that, "if people aren’t willing to apply principles evenly, no matter the person, then they aren’t fighting for criminal justice reform" and "a prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is." She concluded with "Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary." Read the rest
Gilead makes a drug called Truvada -- AKA Prep -- that was developed at US taxpayer expense, whose patents are held by the US government; Truvada is on track to eliminating the spread of HIV forever (people who are HIV positive but take Truvada are seemingly not infectious), but taking Truvada in the USA (where the patents haven't expired) is incredibly expensive, running $1,780/month, whereas in Australia, it's available as a generic for $8/month. Read the rest
The guy sure has a knack for compounding the maximum number of lies into one line. Read the rest
Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jointly introduced The Loan Shark Prevention Act, which will cap credit card interest rates at 15% (and closes the loopholes that lets credit card issuers exceed their stated APRs with the use of hidden fees) and which re-establishes American post-office banking. Read the rest
The Netflix doc Knock Down the House debuted at Sundance earlier this year, winning the Audience Award for U.S. Documentaries. Directed by Rachel Lears, it follows the midterm Congressional campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin.
Knock Down the House comes to Netflix May 1st.
First AOC gave a great speech about how the Green New Deal was good for workers, including coal workers; then she accepted GOP Rep Andy Barr's invite to visit the coal-miners in his Kentucky Appalachian district; then Barr disinvited him, citing her "incivility" in her response to the racist attacks on Rep Ilhan Omar; then it transpired that Barr has no coal mines in his district, but it doesn't matter, AOC is going anyway: "Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky, we are free to travel there. We hope to visit and have a town hall, listen to concerns of workers in Kentucky." Read the rest
The Intercept has just released "A Message From the Future," a short science fiction movie narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and drawn by Molly Crabapple, describing the coming "Green New Deal Decade," when Americans pulled together and found prosperity, stability, solidarity and full employment through a massive, nationwide effort to refit the country to be resilient to climate shocks and stem the tide of global climate change. Read the rest
After Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a blistering rebuttal to Rep Sean Duffy's [R-WI] charge that the Green New Deal and environmentalism were "elitist" concerns that ignored the needs of rural people, Congressional Coal Caucus member Rep. Andy Barr [R-KY] invited her to visit Appalachian coal-towns and "go underground" to talk to people in the mining industry. Read the rest
AOC's two minute speech in response to Rep Sean Duffy's [R-WI] characterization of environmental concerns as a matter for coastal elites is inspired and heartfelt, and entirely on point: the people at greatest risk from environmental degradation are the poorest and most vulnerable in society, and moreover Duffy -- a wealthy lawyer and TV commentator -- has no business lecturing AOC (a working class New Yorker who was working in a taco joint a year ago and got her first-ever health insurance plan when she was elected to Congress) on what is and isn't of concern to working people. Read the rest
During a talk at SXSW yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got an audience question about automation and jobs and answered by saying, "We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work. We should be excited by that. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem." Read the rest
Virtually everyone who's ever had the credit-rating system explained to them immediately understood that this was a complete scam: these companies that most of us have never heard of nonconsensually ingest gigantic mountains of data about you and your life and produce a numeric score that is nearly impossible to explain and extremely frustrating to alter, and that number is used to determine your access to work, rental accommodations, loans, mortgages and more. Read the rest
Congressional staffers are notoriously underpaid and the job is one of those high-pressure gigs for high-achieving 20-somethings that requires a second job to make ends meet, even as it demands 80-hour work-weeks. Read the rest
A "lobbyist for a major bank" told Reuters that they're afraid to meet with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who now sits on Congress's Financial Services Committee, because "anything you do or say can be used against you" -- the lobbyist likened meeting with AOC to "going in to talk to the FBI." Read the rest
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made some comments this week on the 'tax the rich' ideas making the rounds in America.
Taxing the rich is fine, he said in an interview with The Verge, and "more progressive" taxes on the ultra rich are okay.
Gates then went on to characterize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as an 'extreme' politician who is missing the point by focusing on targeting high income brackets. Read the rest
After the 2020 census, the nation's electoral districts will be redrawn and it's a widely accepted fact that New York City will lose a seat, despite its growth since the 2010 census. Read the rest
The Democrats have started hearings on HR1, a comprehensive anti-corruption and voting rights bill, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets to participate, which is great news for all of us. Read the rest