When Elizabeth Warren proposed a Thomas Piketty-style wealth tax (2% annually on family fortunes over $50m, 1% more on fortunes over $1b), she ballparked the returns at $1.9-2.75t over the first ten years. Read the rest
This hearing was wild.
First the FBI witness tried to say I was wrong. I tried to be generous + give benefit of doubt, but then we checked. I wasn’t.
Violence by Muslims is routinely treated as “terrorism,” White Supremacist violence isn’t.
Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook. https://t.co/RCjp4687by
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
Representative Ocasio-Cortez continues to hold folks accountable, asking the questions we all wish our politicians would. Read the rest
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
Last year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez successfully challenged establishment Dem Joe Crowley for his seat in the Bronx; now Crowley works as a lobbyist, skirting the restrictions on lobbying by Congress by styling himself a "strategic consultant." Read the rest
Tiffany Cabán is a 31 year old, Democratic Socialist, queer, Latinx public defender in New York City, who is running a grassroots campaign for the District Attorney's office in Queens; she's secured backing from the Democratic Socialists of America and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 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
Back in 1995, Newt Gingrich defunded the Office of Technology Assessment, a low-cost, high-yield body that provided neutral, evidence-based assessments of technology to lawmakers so they could avoid making stupid blunders when it came to tech. 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
Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Big Tech, a thoroughly excellent idea with many devils in the details: AOC backs her play: "Facebook as a basic communications platform while also selling ads and also being a surveillance platform. Those functions should be broken up, but how that gets levied and how that gets approached is what we need to take a fine-tooth comb at." Read the rest
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
New York City's just-passed Climate Mobilization Act rolls up six climate-mitigation laws that comprehensively remake the city's approach to climate change (it's colloquially known as the Green New York Deal). Read the rest
Late last month, Rep. Andy Barr [R-KY] "invited" Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit the coal miners in his Appalachian district, by way of rebuttal to her brilliant response to the charge that the Green New Deal was a rich, city-person's luxury, taking no account of working, poor and rural people. 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
In 2009, the IRS created a Global High Wealth Industry Group to audit the super-wealthy, staffing it with skilled lawyers and accountants who could unravel the webs of "trusts, foundations, limited liability companies, complex partnerships and overseas operations" that were used to hide the income of the super-rich from the tax-collector. 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