About TRP

The Rational Progressive is a publication focused on progressive news and issues. Focused forward and focused on the facts, we avoid demons and demagogues.



by James Andre

  • The fight against the Right is over. The Left lost.

    The Guardian just out with a story connecting Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Billionaire Robert Mercer, and the Brexit campaign that is severing England from the EU. This is a frightening, but not surprising, story that adds to a growing list of facts that demonstrate the existence and operation of a shrinking number of geopolitical players whose power is growing… Read more… 

  • Trump raised more money from small donors than Clinton and Sanders combined. America has a problem.

      The Campaign Finance Institute just released an analysis of FEC filings for the 2016 election. You may remember Bernie Sanders bragging about the money he was raking in from small donors at an average of $27 each. Well, Hillary Clinton beat him in small donations. And Trump beat them both - combined. Not only did Trump raise more small… Read more… 

  • Think About This – Monday 8/8/16

    Here are a few things to think about this week when you are talking politics and policy: • The world grows more peaceful and prosperous everyday. Violence and warfare have been declining since World War II. • Respect for civil and human rights in the U.S. is growing greater every day. More police are wearing cameras, and more are being… Read more… 

  • Haters, Whine All You Want. Hillary’s Nomination Is Unprecedented.

    I just wanted to write a quick note to Hillary supporters with some info for when you hear haters complaining that Hillary is not the first woman to run for president. That is true, however:   • The Clinton campaign is not making that claim. Maybe some in the media have. • Hillary is the first woman to win the… Read more… 


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Progressivism

Progressivism is not an ideology at all, but an attitude towards the world of politics that is far less black-and-white than conservatism or liberalism, breaking free from the false and divisive dichotomy of liberal vs. conservative that has dominated American politics for too long.

Progressives aren't simply liberals; progressives see the world for what it is, accept it as ever-changing and dynamic, and choose the best course of action in line with decidedly American values.

-From an article on Alternet.org by Andrew Garib

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The fight against the Right is over. The Left lost.

US billionaire Robert Mercer

The Guardian just out with a story connecting Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Billionaire Robert Mercer, and the Brexit campaign that is severing England from the EU.

This is a frightening, but not surprising, story that adds to a growing list of facts that demonstrate the existence and operation of a shrinking number of geopolitical players whose power is growing exponentially. Almost to a man, these players are well known for their fascistic and egocentric tendencies.

If there is one point I could drive home to the fractious middle and left, it is this: for all intents and purposes, the rapacity of the Right has taken over. They have won. Their independence and depth of control over events in the world is unparalleled.

That is why I say time and again we have no time and should have no tolerance for purity tests. We must vote for the best outcomes, not the best personalities. Otherwise we are literally lining ourselves up in front of the firing squad.

In 2016 the best choice was Hillary Clinton. Even if you think she is another of this type of self-interested corporatist, we know from her actions that our outcomes with her would have been better. At this point that is all that matters.

NEVER vote for the guy that tells you you can play a rigged game and beat the house. For fuck’s sake take a look around. Casinos and state lotteries explicitly explain the terrible odds and they take in billions. Trump did the same thing.

Betting on revolution against a house that controls the guns, fuel, food, and water is about the most asinine and useless thing you can do. It is no longer 1776 or 1861. Today’s despots have private jets and boots on the ground.


 

 

 

Where Does the Islamic State Get Its Weapons?

The new data were collected by a three-year-old, London-based group called Conflict Armament Research, which sends investigators to conflict zones to identify the types and origins of weaponry. Its latest report, financed by the European Union, lists the origins of more than 1,700 cartridges collected in July and August in northern Iraq and northern Syria by investigators working alongside Kurdish forces that had fought IS.

The cartridges they found after four battles were manufactured for machine and submachine guns, rifles, and pistols. One Soviet-manufactured cartridge dated from 1945, a grim testament to the long-lasting impacts of weapons production.

Manufacturers in Russia and the former Soviet Union made a total of 492 of the recovered shells, according to the report. Russia has been a major arms supplier to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, whose forces also have been battling the Islamic State.

The presence of such weapons in IS’s hands makes clear that its fighters seized substantial stocks not only from Iraqi troops, but from Syrian troops as well. Another 26 of the recovered shells were made in Iran, an ally of Assad’s, and 18 were made in Syria itself, the report states.

The next-biggest country of origin for IS’s weapons was China. Of the cartridges recovered from Islamic State forces 445 came from China.

The third-highest supplier was the United States, with 323 cartridges, the report said. Some of these shells, meant for M16A4 assault rifleswere made at the U.S. Army’s munitions factory in Independence, Missouri, according to the report.

Source: Where Does the Islamic State Get Its Weapons?


 

Iraqi forces seize most of Fallujah from ISIS

Iraqi special forces swept into Fallujah on Friday, recapturing most of the city as the Islamic State terror group’s grip crumbled after weeks of fighting.

Thousands of trapped residents took advantage of the militants’ retreat to flee, some swimming across the Euphrates River to safety.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said it was “too early to tell” if Iraqi forces control all of the city. “There is still some fighting to be done.”

Carter said the U.S. military supported the Iraqi forces with advise and air support.

As many as 42,000 people have left Fallujah since the military operation against Fallujah began in late May, according to the United Nations. The Iraqi operation to retake Ramadi left that city largely in ruins. The city once was home to nearly half a million people, but the violence forced most of them to flee.

Read Full Article: Iraqi forces seize most of Fallujah from ISIS | Fox News

 

Hillary Clinton full CNN interview

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Hillary Clinton discusses EgyptAir, the war on terror, and Donald Trump with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

 

Number of pregnant women with Zika in U.S. triples, CDC says

Dr. Margaret Honein, chief of the CDC’s birth defects branch, said the agency is aware of “less than a dozen” babies or fetuses who have suffered the consequences of Zika infection, which can include devastating neurological birth defects. However, she emphasized that most of the 157 pregnancies are ongoing, so it’s not known how many babies will suffer.
“The CDC’s top priority in the Zika response is protecting pregnant women and their fetuses,” Honein said.
Not a single person is known to have contracted Zika from a mosquito bite in the U.S. They’ve gotten it while traveling to a country where Zika is endemic, or they’ve contracted it sexually from a male partner who’s traveled to one of those areas.
Just this week, the CDC’s website reported that there 48 pregnant women with Zika in the U.S.

Read Full Article => Number of pregnant women with Zika in U.S. triples, CDC says – CNN.com

Idyllic Thai island Koh Tachai closed indefinitely due to damage from tourism

Tunya Nethithammakul, director general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, told CNN Tuesday that the island had been closed to visitors “indefinitely,” due to the severe deterioration of its ecosystem.

The problems included litter and food waste, gasoline from tour boats leaching into the water and damage to coral, he said, adding that overwhelming numbers of tourists were to blame.

Read Full Article=> Idyllic Thai island Koh Tachai closed indefinitely due to damage from tourism – CNN.com

Sanders Begins His Death Spiral

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Coming off what may be a record week in the history of fact checking, Bernie goes for a blow out.

In less than a week, Sanders has garnered 10 pinocchios from the Washington Post and a ‘false’ and ‘mostly false’ from Politifact. In just 5 days.

But that wasn’t good enough for Sanders. He decided to continue the death spiral with more lies by surrogates, and a huge whopper today about being invited to the Vatican by the pope.

Sanders earlier on Friday said, “this is an invitation from the Vatican, from a pope that I have enormous respect for in term of the level of consciousness that he’s raising on the need to have morality in our economy.”

Turns out, the pope has nothing to do with the invitation. In fact, the President of the organization hosting the event hadn’t been contacted about the visit at all, and Sanders may actually have asked for the invitation:

“The president of the academy organizing this event has not been contacted with monumental discourtesy,” she said, referring to herself. Sanders “made the first move two or three days ago,” Archer said.  “His use of it is clearly a pretext. There are just 20 academics and there will be nothing of policy relevance.”

The actual official who extended the invitation declined to say who made the first contact, Sanders or the Academy hosting the conference.

And the office of the Pope quickly issued a statement to set the record straight:

Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, said Sanders had been invited “not by the pope but by the pontifical academy of social sciences.”

Getting desperate for a meaningful win, and wanting to make sure the donations keep pouring in, Sanders is flailing around to try and change the discussion about his losing campaign and litany of lies. Unfortunately, his solution is to make the lies bigger and more outrageous. Looks like a great way to run a presidency, doesn’t it? If you can lie about the Pope, lying about something like weapons of mass destruction would be child’s play.

Update:

Politico has more:

“How did this come about?” co-host Mika Brzezinski said of the invitation. “It was an invitation from the Vatican,” Sanders replied.

But the invitation was actually made by Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the pontifical academy, an autonomous institution that receives some funding from the Holy See but is not officially part of it.


source: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-04-08/sanders-accused-of-discourtesy-in-seeking-vatican-invitation
4/7  Three Pinocchios : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/04/07/sanderss-incorrect-claim-that-clinton-called-him-not-qualified-for-the-presidency/
4/6 False : http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/apr/06/bernie-s/bernie-sanders-has-released-few-tax-returns-compar/

4/5  Four Pinocchios : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/04/05/bernie-sanderss-false-claim-that-he-has-released-his-full-federal-tax-returns/
4/4  Mostly False : http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/apr/04/bernie-s/bernie-sanders-says-wall-street-tax-would-pay-his-/
4/3  Three Pinocchios : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/04/02/fact-checking-the-clinton-sanders-spat-over-big-oil-contributions/


 

American women aren’t voting for Hillary Clinton? Seriously?

All in all, 90 people have served in America’s top two jobs.  All were men. All but one were white men. Not a single one was a woman.

Now, for the second time in her life, Hillary Clinton is poised to break the ultimate female-proof glass ceiling, above which, if you are a believer, there is only the Almighty. With all due respect to current heads of state such as Germany’s Angela Merkel and Brazil’s Dilma Rouseff or even legendary past leaders such as Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi or Margaret Thatcher, in terms of clout, authority and dominance of the world stage, a female president of the United States is in a league of her own. If Clinton would be elected president she could automatically be listed, alongside Queen Victoria and Catherine the Great, as one of the most powerful women in history.

Clinton’s election as president wouldn’t solve all the problems of lingering inequality between men and women, but it would show that these could be solved. The impact of her election would reflect on the entire system, up and down and sideways, eventually eroding many of the conscious or subconscious barriers that still exist. A Clinton presidency could provide powerful inspiration for American women and girls, and, perhaps more profoundly, for women around the world, including countries in which her election would be considered blasphemy. Imagine the impact on women in Iran or Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan or Indonesia  – not to mention certain sectors of Israel – when their national leaders would be left with no choice but to deal, if not to curry favor, with the woman who leads America.

Read Full Article => American women aren’t voting for Hillary Clinton? Seriously? – Opinion


 

Confiscations, Deportations, and Vague Promises: Europe Asylum Policy Shifts Again 

Thousands of refugee children across Europe are still waiting to find out how a new UK government pledge on immigration rules will actually alter their lives — as other countries across the continent also struggle with the influx of migrants and refugees that is showing no signs of slowing.

In Sweden, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman announced that as many as 80,000 migrants may be deported over the next few years if their asylum claims are rejected. Ygeman said that around 45 percent of 2015’s record 163,000 asylum seekers would likely be made to leave.

Thursday also saw a Dutch strategy aimed at tackling the migrant crisis put forward by Labour party leader Diederik Samsom, which suggested the European Union (EU) should begin sending sea arrivals back to Turkey from Greece. In return, the EU would pledge to take between 150,000 and 250,000 refugees each year directly from Turkey — much less than the 1 million that arrived to Europe by sea in 2015.

This proposal reportedly has the support of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, but its implementation would depend on Turkey being considered a safe country for refugees — which most of the EU does not currently agree it is. In a statement, Amnesty International called the plan “morally bankrupt.”

Last Tuesday saw Denmark adopt a law allowing the seizure of migrants’ personal belongings. Possessions including watches, mobile phones, and computers can be taken as a contribution to the expenses of keeping them.

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei shut down an art exhibition in Copenhagen in protest at the legislation. “It made me feel very angry,” he said.

READ FULL ARTICLE => Confiscations, Deportations, and Vague Promises: Europe Asylum Policy Shifts Again | VICE News


 

They terrorized my daughters and killed my baby. That’s why we’re Syrian refugees.

Editor’s note: Linda J. and her family are Syrian refugees who made their way from Damascus to Baltimore. She worked with a caseworker and a translator from the International Rescue Committee, the nonprofit agency that helped them resettle here, to tell her family’s story of asylum. The Washington Post agreed that she could abbreviate her last name and omit other identifying details to protect family members in Damascus from persecution.

The best days of my life were in Syria. I was born and raised there. I married and reared my family in my country. My kids went to school, and my husband worked as a carpenter. I was a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom, and we owned furniture stores in Damascus. We shared everything with our neighbors and felt the love around our home. But in 2011, everything for my family and every family in Syria changed.

Peaceful protesters began asking for improvements from the government — basic things, fundamental rights. Among other things, they were calling for the release of political prisoners and for an end to the government’s corruption. My husband and I were not revolutionaries. We respected the role of the government in our lives, but we agreed that changes were needed and believed those changes could happen peacefully. Our family did not participate in the protests. We watched from our house.

The demonstrators were not terrorists. They didn’t carry weapons; they carried signs calling for a better life. I remember seeing people with olive branches and flowers, symbols of peace. So the government’s reaction came as a terrible surprise. Soldiers began using violence to silence the voice of the people, shooting them in the streets. A war between the people and the government had begun.

Read The Full Article => They terrorized my daughters and killed my baby. That’s why we’re Syrian refugees. – The Washington Post


 

Full Text of the Trans Pacific Partnership

USTRSeal

The full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement has been released. For all those complaining about how this is a secret deal, you’ve got a lot of dry reading ahead. Here’s the link:
TPP Full Text


 

Why Denmark isn’t the utopian fantasy Bernie Sanders describes

Sanders joins a long tradition of liberal politicians around the world who laud Denmark, Sweden and Norway (and sometimes Finland and Iceland, which aren’t technically part of Scandinavia) for their equality and prosperity. These northern European countries enjoy a reputation for being peaceful, egalitarian, progressive, liberal and educated, and having excellent furniture and crime novels, too. For whatever reason, Scandinavia countries just seem to do it better — an idea that supporters and critics label “Nordic exceptionalism.”

But how much truth is there in the popular idea of Nordic exceptionalism? Michael Booth, a British journalist, examines this question in detail in a recent book, “The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.” Booth, a U.K. native who has lived in Scandinavia for over a decade, plays the part of a cultural interpreter, examining, poking and prodding the reality of life in Nordic countries from every angle. Booth finds plenty to question in the rest of the world’s assumptions about the Nordic miracle, but also lots that we can learn from them.

Read Full Article => Why Denmark isn’t the utopian fantasy Bernie Sanders describes – The Washington Post


 

Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages

Despite the repeated claims by Gowdy that he is objective, the conclusions he will reach are already clear; he publicly stated them before the committee was formed in May 2014. In November 2012, Gowdy released a statement proclaiming as fact that the Obama administration “intentionally misled the American people” about the Benghazi attack. About a year later, in September 2013, he put out another press release in reference to Benghazi, stating, “If you can’t trust the information your government is giving you, how can you trust your government on any issue?” Eight months afterward, he was appointed to run the Benghazi committee, and in apparent disregard of his previous publicly issued conclusions, announced, “My goal is to conduct an inquiry that is rooted in fairness.”

But to fully understand how political this latest Benghazi investigation has become, look at the records. Since March, the committee has issued almost 30 press releases related to Clinton; only five have been put out on every other topic combined. Then there is the committee’s interim report from this past May. The word Obama—who cannot run for commander-in-chief again—is not mentioned. Neither is the word president. Or Ansar al-Sharia, the group suspected of engineering the attack. White House makes only 13 appearances. Imagine an investigation on 9/11 that did not mention Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or President Bush; that is what has been done with the Benghazi committee’s first public report.

It gets worse. The name Ahmed Abu Khatalla, the man arrested as the mastermind of the attack, shows up once. The word terrorist appears only 10 times. As for references to Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination? Those show up 36 times in just 13 pages, an astonishing number given that the word Benghazi appears only 38 times. But the winner for the most mentions is the 39 references to emails from Clinton and the State Department. Clinton and her emails are referenced 49 percent more than the location where the attack took place and 197 percent more than the word terrorist.

This rampant politicization of the Benghazi tragedy has delighted Republican voters in an offensive and inappropriate way, given that the issue is about the murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three other brave Americans killed in Benghazi. At a recent GOP rally I attended, a speaker declared herself to be “Benghazi truth-seeking” in the same sentence in which she referenced gun rights, abortion, illegal immigration and other top conservative political issues. Political lapel buttons for candidates were sold right alongside others referencing Benghazi.

Online stores for political merchandise have entire sections committed to Benghazi.

Read Full Article =>  Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages


 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – September 14, 2015

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – Kim Davis is back to work, Congress is back to work, and both are refusing to do their jobs. Dem primary features more of the same, migrant news, and an update on the situation in Gaza.

0:30 Kim Davis
6:14 Dem Primary
22:55 Congress
35:20 Migrants
46:39 Gaza

For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – August 31, 2015 – The Rational Progressive

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – The Democratic primary, The DNC summer meeting and that DNC Iran resolution, Planned Parenthood and another government shutdown, The killing of Deputy Goforth and the racist response, an update on ISIL, and migrant news

0:27 Dem Primary
7:50 DNC Iran resolution
14:03 Government Shutdown
17:08 Deputy Goforth
20:47 ISIL
23:48 Migrants

For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – August 24, 2015 – The Rational Progressive

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – can Sanders win the Democratic primary? Do Clinton’s emails really matter? What do you know about the Senate elections? Two states fail to draw legal voting district maps, migrants storm the Macedonian border, and the Koreas exchange artillery fire in the middle of a joint U.S. – South Korea military exercise.

0:24 Can Sanders Win
9:30 Clinton’s Emails
13:10 Senate Elections
16:45 Redistricting
18:35 Migrants*
22:19 Korea

*Israel grants of asylum for African migrants is 0.15%

For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – August 17, 2015

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – presidential hopefuls visit the Iowa state fair, Sanders distances himself from an apology and his African American outreach director, the Federal Reserve may be raising rates and progressives are pushing back, Warren and McCain want to bring back Glass-Steagall, several states cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood, and the lives of migrants are being determined by race, religion, and of course, money.

0:23 Iowa State Fair
2:00 Sanders Apology
6:09 Federal Reserve
12:09 Glass-Steagall
16:21 Planned Parenthood
19:06 Migrants
For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – August 10, 2015 – The Rational Progressive

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – the Jade Helm military exercise brings out the crazies, Potential Reid successor Senator Schumer bucks White House on Iran deal, voting rights on the 50th anniversary of the voting rights amendment, an update on the HIV outbreak in Indiana, the EPA accident polluting a Colorado river with heavy metals, Guantanamo may finally be closing, and Bernie Sanders, #blacklivesmatter, and the blatant racism of the “Left”.

0:27 Jade Helm 15
4:12 Iran Nuclear Deal
6:15 Voting Rights
9:14 Indiana HIV
10:55 Animas River Spill
12:52 Guantanamo
14:16 Black Lives Matter

For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – August 3, 2015 – The Rational Progressive

TRP News with James Andre.

This week – Sanders vs Clinton, smears and facing reality, the Iran deal is being reviewed by Congress and touted by Sec Kerry, Obama reveals new carbon emissions rules, the first of their kind in the nation, Fukushima takes steps forward in the clean up of the nuclear accident, and the establishment of an 8MW offshore wind plant, and in France migrants try to cross the channel tunnel into England, and Italy rescues more crossing the Mediterranean.

0:25 Clinton/Sanders
13:37 Iran Deal
15:44 Carbon Rules
17:26 Fukushima
21:00 Migrants
For audio only, stream or download here : https://archive.org/details/TRPNews


 

Genetically modified ‘jellyfish lamb’ accidentally hits French dinner plates

A judicial inquiry has been launched to find out how Rubis, a female lamb belonging to the French national institute for agricultural research (Inra) ended up on dinner plates.

Destined for animal research only, the lamb was sold to an abattoir in November 2014 along with unmodified sheep and then onto an unsuspecting customer, who has not been identified to date.

The sale and consumption of any genetically modified food products for humans is illegal in France.Rubis was the fruit of Inra’s so-called “green sheep” programme launched in 2009 to produce lambs genetically modified to contain a green fluorescent protein originating from a jellyfish.

The proteins make the skin transparent and give off a greenish glow when exposed to certain ultraviolet light. Typically, they are used to monitor the activity of altered genes, and in this case to monitor transplants for heart disease.

The lamb belonged to the Inra’s animal research unit, UECA, which sells its unmodified animals to a local abattoir but has strictly no right to sell GM animals.

An internal investigation into the huge slip-up suggests foul play on the part of an employee acting out of revenge after a dispute with a colleague.

Read Full Article: Genetically modified ‘jellyfish lamb’ accidentally hits French dinner plates – Telegraph