Nancy Pelosi Endorses Illinois Congressman Who is Against Gay Rights and Abortion

Rep. Dan Lipinski’s is a Democratic representative for Illinois, and is currently serving his 7th term in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district. Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District has been represented by Dan Lipinski for 13 years.

The 3rd district has traditionally leaned from the moderate to conservative side, but has steadily become more progressive. In fact, in 2016 they supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. And that move leftward has produced a progressive challenger to the centrist Lipinski.


Where is Illinois 3rd district?

This largely suburban, Democratic-leaning district reaches roughly from the southwest edge of the city, to the southwestern suburbs (parts of Western Springs and Burbank) and down to northeastern Will County (Lockport).


Lipinski however did fail to receive an endorsement from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other elected Democrats have voiced support behind his opponent, Marie Newman.

Marie Newman is a progressive running for Illinois 3rd district, and her campaign has been fueled by the progressive anger at Lipinski’s opposition to reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and Obamacare. However, his views apparently aren’t enough for Nancy Pelosi to not throw her support behind him. Once again proving to do anything to protect establishment politics from being hurt by Progressives.

On Thursday, less than three weeks before the March 20 primary, Lipinski did pick up one notable supporter: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.



Pelosi has continued to show greater tolerance for Blue Dog Democrats than others in her caucus have. Since the 2016 elections, Progressives have criticized the DCCC for refusing to apply a reproductive rights litmus test to 2018 candidates, which it never has, yet Pelosi insisted there was room in the party for anti-abortion candidates. “This is the Democratic Party, this is not a rubber-stamp party,” she told the Washington Post.

So instead of throwing her support behind a progressive candidate that stands for something her party’s majority supports, she throws her support behind a man who has continuously voted against her as minority leader. Pelosi’s time may be running to an end as well, as she is facing a rising progressive candidate in California.


Featured photo via NYT

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Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Il used fake Brazilian passports

According to Reuters, the current leader of North Korea and his father used ilegal documents, which had been obtained from the Brazilian embassy in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 1996. With them, both members of the Kim family applied for visas to European countries during the 1990s. According to the documents, Kim Jong Un traveled under the name of Josef Pwag, who would have been born in Sao Paulo in 1983, and Kim Jong Il would have been known as Ijong Tchoi.

The news agency, which published the photocopy of the two passports, supposedly received this information from unnamed European secret services. This same source claims that this discovery “proves the desire of the Kim family to travel” and it also “points out the family’s efforts to build an escape route”. It also suggests that these documents could have been used to visit Brazil, Japan and Hong Kong.

It was already known that the governing family of North Korea had illegally obtained passports, but no real evidence had been found until now. Calls to the North Korean embassy in Brasilia didn’t receive an answer, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brasil confirmed that it was studying the case.

Social Media platforms see a new competitor, Vero

Theres a new but not so new app taking over social media and thats Vero. Vero was originally released back in 2015, but has spiked on Apple’s App Store, jumping to the top trending spot and becoming a phenomenon out of virtually nowhere.

Apple says the spike started around February 18th after members of the Cosplay and Tattoo community joined and pushed for the app after recent algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram that has suppressed and deleted their posts. So far, the app has been downloaded more then 500,000 times, according to the Google Play Store. Numbers for iOS downloads aren’t available.



Vero’s feed is built around what your connections post and isn’t manipulated with algorithms, meaning you’ll get a true view of what your friends are posting. But it also means that if you have one friend who happens to be a particularly prolific poster, and we all know one, they’ll likely eat up your entire feed.

With the recent activity in the app Vero and friends were thrown off by the demand in the application. The only errors people are currently experiencing are server issues due to increased downloads. But all things have their bugs at the start and Vero should be given the chances to flourish as a new platform for independent voices.

If you’re tired of the advertising on social media, thats no worry over on Vero. Vero is a subscription based application. The company has said that the first million users will be able to sign up for free, and will be releasing information about pricing within the upcoming weeks.

Vero also allows you to categorize your friends into different categories: Close Friend, Friend and Acquaintance. Vero says that this allows users to better customize which audiences can see their posts.

So say if you don’t want your acquaintances seeing photos of you partying last weekend, then you can simply set the privacy to ‘Close Friends’ and ‘Friends’. Your connections won’t see how you categorize them however, so theres no worry on offending anyone.

Another thing people worry about online is privacy. Facebook takes a lot of information and really doesn’t say why or where it goes. The company is also very open with the kind of personal information it collects and why.

Vero users can create posts ranging from photos, links and music, to movies and TV shows, books and places. You can also create collections of those items based on what you follow.

Many social media sites have popped up and been trendy for a bit and then disappears to the bottom of the app stores. The question is, will people who voice frustration with current socialism media networks support the switch and deactivate their Facebook accounts.

Only time will tell us that answer.


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Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons, and… Sanders?

Sanders Dynasty.png

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Dynasties are something that never seem to disappear, no matter what form of government any nation has. From the era of autocratic rule in ancient times, where the elites hand-picked their leaders among themselves, to the days of absolutist monarchy by handing down the crown, and now during the age of democracy in the United States. The curtains have closed on the three most influential and powerful dynasties; Kennedy, Bush, and Clinton families. Their time in the spotlight has come to an end. With John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy being assassinated, the Bushes in retirement, and last plausible Clinton presidential-hopeful having lost the 2016 election… who’s next? The Sanders family is.

As of February 27th, Bernie Sander’s stepdaughter and son are officially running for elected offices. His son, Levi Sanders, is running for the congressional seat in New Hampshire’s 1st District, eager to replace the retiring Democratic Representative, Carol Shea-Porter. Levi has made his platform and agenda clear: Medicare-for-All, free tuition at public universities, and higher minimum wage. However, Levi Sanders is running as a Democrat, unlike his father.

Image result for levi sanders

Image: (https://www.earnthenecklace.com/levi-sanders-wiki-who-is-bernie-sanders-son-why-is-he-running-for-congress/)

His stepdaughter, Carina Driscoll, is running for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Sound familiar? It should, that’s where Bernie’s political career began. She is running on an equally progressive platform, although, as an Independent. She is looking to unseat the incumbent Democratic Mayor.

Image result for carina driscoll

Image: (https://www.carinaformayor.com/)

For the first time, in possibly a very long time, we have a family in the political spotlight with crystal clear dreams of helping the American people, actual progressive goals. We don’t have a family embroiled in scandals, a family embroiled in war profiteering, corporate/Wall St. ties, or fear-mongering. We have a family with a set of values. American values. These are two individuals that should be watched closely, because they could very well be future Presidential contenders. They’re both beginning their political careers on the right path, and of course, with the advantage of substantial name recognition.

Many of us; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, know Bernie Sanders will probably run for President again in 2020. There are rumors flying around that Joe Biden will run too, for he’s met with old staffers and advisors, and those rumors include him serving for one term. The idea is to let his running mate take over, and give us another 8 years of a Democrat, totaling at 12. I see why he wants to do that, and why he’d only stay on for one term, but I highly doubt Bernie Sanders will be his running mate, or Elizabeth Warren. It’s boiled down to who’s really fit for the job? Who has the foresight, judgement, and experience? Who do we need now?

Age has been a big player in determining if a man or woman is fit to lead the nation. Do they have the energy? Do they have the stamina? The fact is, our greatest progressive champions, with considerable influence in the federal government, are older individuals. Bernie Sanders will be 79 on Inauguration Day 2021, and Elizabeth Warren will be 71 (Joe Biden will also be 79). I completely understand that it’s likely Joe Biden’s dream to become President, and in no way am I promoting the idea of not pursuing your dream. But there’s a time and place for everything, and at this stage in American politics, I don’t think this country can last longer on bits and crumbs of incremental change.

Levi Sanders and Carina Driscoll have a unique figure in their lives to look up to, and I’m sure they do 100%. They have a man who’s honest and radiates integrity that is the head of their family. Based on a first impression, I believe they are just as honest as Bernie Sanders. We as Americans are infatuated with celebrities, having a person or family to look up to. It’s what keeps the monarchy of England going, it is a symbol for all families to aspire to be. In America, we don’t have that, so we clung onto the closest thing we could get. The Kennedys, Bushes, and Clintons (with the last two, for the wrong reasons).

If Bernie Sanders becomes the 46th President of the United States, the Sanders family will be that next dynasty. They have a core set of values that majority Americans agree with. Values that center on embracing diversity, eradicating income inequality, establishing progressive taxation, health care as a right for all, and not drowning in student debt for going to college. A Sanders Administration would prioritize compassion and strength, something not seen by most presidencies. And with the family members of the most popular politician in America running for office, we know that this will be an “unofficial dynasty”. There is no intention of Bernie Sanders dictating the campaigns of his son or stepdaughter, as he mentions in a short section in an article by NPR, it is their campaign, their own agendas.

What do you think? If Levi Sanders and Carina Driscoll win their respective races, do you think they’ll aspire more and follow the steps of Bernie? Can the country afford another political dynasty? Or is this an exception?

 

 

This is the article by NPR on which Bernie comments on his son’s decision to run for Congress:
https://www.npr.org/2018/02/27/589279597/bernie-sanders-political-dynasty-senators-son-stepdaughter-run-for-office

State Department launches $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation

On Monday the State Department announced that a deal had been signed with the Pentagon to move $40 million from the Defense Department’s coffers to bolster the Global Engagement Center. The effort was ordered by Congress last summer in response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and to counter Russian efforts to impact U.S. politics that continue to this day, but was awaiting funding from the Defense Department.

The new money that was transferred will be used, in part, to supply grants to civil society groups, media providers, academic institutions, private companies and other organizations that are working on projects to counter disinformation for the United States government.

The department said that it also plans to award an initial $5 million in grants from the so-called Information Access Fund. This fund will receive $1 million in initial seed money from the State Department’s public diplomacy coffers in order to get off the ground quickly, the department said.

The State Department’s first step to combatting Russia’s information operations is essentially to crowdsource how to do it. The Kremlin reportedly uses a range of methods, ranging from publishing inaccurate or misleading articles to employing people to create fake and automated social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media to sow confusion and discord in the U.S.

The U.S. intelligence community has publicly accused Russia of using cyberattacks and disinformation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to sow discord, damage former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and help elect now-President Trump.

All the evidence available at the time shows no signs that the online information being pushed could have swayed our election. They claim that these bots and pages were pushing anti-Hillary propaganda when so was the rest of the actual American population who opposed her establishment politics.

This hunt for other countries interfering in our elections while the CIA and friends topple regimes that stand in the way of United States policies. This has became a new red scare and they’re using the excuse of online Russian interference to suppress independent voices.

The Russia gate story didn’t start until after the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, and claimed she new about it and warned Sanders. Yet his campaign has stated that he was told very little on the matter and has sense publicly said the HRC campaign should have shared more details while campaigning.

But they didn’t, because Hillary Clinton thought she had the election in the bag so much that she skipped needed states to win the election. So what happens when you lose because you don’t understand the electoral college, you blame the Russians.

The revelation has gripped Washington for more than a year now, as Mueller presses forward with his investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Dynegy Inc. facing suit for toxic waste from its ash pits leaking into a popular Illinois river

A new report shows that toxic waste from coal ash pits in southern Illinois is leaking into the Vermilion River, Illinois most scenic & traveled river. These pits are from a now closed Power Station that was owned by Dynegy Inc.

Back in January Prairie Rivers Network announced, citing problems documented in the Houston-based company’s own internal reports, that it plans to file a suit against Dynegy for repeatedly violating an Obama-era regulation, the Clean Water Act. The group said it decided to challenge the company on its own because federal and state regulators have failed to address well-known hazards at the shuttered plant near Oakwood, about 25 miles east of Urbana.



Pictures from the groups report showed orange colored goo around the river beds at the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River as it meanders just past the former Vermilion Power Station, which was a coal-fired facility built back in the 1950s by Illinois Power and later purchased by Dynegy.

In 2011 just shortly before Dynegy decided to close its plant, it deposited more than 3.3 million yards of ash next to the river. In comparison that would roughly be able to fill up the Empire State Building over 2 times.

Testing by Dynegy and the Prairie Rivers Network shows the multicolored waste oozing into the waterways contain dangerous levels of heavy metals found in coal ash, including arsenic, chromium, iron, lead and manganese.



Back in 2012, Dynegy Inc. was cited by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for water pollution violations at the site. The case is still currently open in the court system.

The company has suggested it could solve the problem in Vermilion County by capping the waste pits to prevent rain and snowmelt from washing coal ash into the water.

But in a November report by Dynegy that they sent to state regulators, it estimated that the normal flow of the Middle Fork is eroding the river banks by up to 3 feet each year, making it even more likely that the toxic slurry would be exposed below the proposed caps in their plan.



The coal ash pits at the Vermilion Power Plant are called “legacy” ash pits, which are excluded from the protections of EPA’s federal coal ash rule because the power plant retired before the rule went into effect in 2015. Environmental groups, including Earthjustice and Prairie Rivers Network, have argued in a lawsuit pending before the federal appeals court in D.C. that EPA should not have left legacy pits out of the rule.

Even absent strong federal protections for legacy coal ash sites, however, Dynegy still must comply with environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, which prohibits discharges of pollutants into rivers such as the Middle Fork without a proper permit or that violate Illinois health and environmental standards.

Just a mile away from the closed plant is an entrance to the river where kayakers and rafters go to see the scenic route every summer. This 74.8 mile stretch of river was protected back in 1989 under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers act, which was put in place to protect dozens of endangered species living in the water and surrounding woodlands.

This is sure to be a dragged out battle once again being a fight between the corporations and protecting the environment around.


Featured photo via Prairie Rivers Network Report

Corporate Democrat Diane Feinstein Loses California Democratic Party endorsement

Diane Feinstein being one of the most known faces in California Politics, but on Sunday Senator Feinstein failed to get her state party’s endorsement. She has been in Senate since 1992 and has recently came under fire from the progressives in the Democratic party.

In convention balloting results released Sunday State Sen. Kevin de Leon lead Feinstein 54% to 37%, according the California Democratic Party. Neither candidate met the threshold of 60% , which required for the party’s endorsement.

These recent numbers continue to show the push for the Democratic party to go further left instead of center like the party has been heading to gain more votes. Feinstein has always been a little to the right of where the party’s activists are.

Now, in her final campaign, Feinstein is once again at odds with progressives in the party, despite her efforts to move left by more strongly opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda.

A recent move by Feinstein that could have pushed away her voters could be when she said that the Senate Appropriations Committee, which she currently sits on, would never approve $25 billion for Trump’s wall along the Mexico border. But just minutes later, de León’s team sent texts noting that Feinstein had just voted for exactly that as part of the “Common Sense Coalition” immigration plan that failed to get through the Senate.

This bill would not only have provided a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, people in the U.S. illegally who were brought here as children, but it also included $25 billion for the wall.

So its another repeat of the public and private opinions by an elected official. The easy way to avoid this happening is to not vote people in who are paid to have two views.

Her opponent made it very clear at the states convention, that they won’t have to wonder or dig to find out where he stands. de León reminded the crowd that his opponent hasn’t always been a reliable liberal. “Democrats, you’ll never have to guess where I stand,” de León said before noting that he has championed issues such as raising the minimum wage, single-payer health care and the environment.

He also noted that Feinstein once urged Democrats to rally around Donald Trump, and said that she believed he could be “a good president” if he was willing to “learn and change.” “I’m running for US Senate because the days of Democrats biding our time, biding our talk, are over,” de León said. “Leadership comes from human audacity, not from congressional seniority.”

It will be an uphill battle for de León since he failed to get the parties endorsement, but it should shone light on the rest of the Democratic party that people are done supporting career politicians that continue to have two sides.