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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 11, 2018, 02:13:54 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 04, 2018, 02:56:08 pm »

With Superdelegate Reform, is the Democratic Party Now Democratic?  ???
July 3, 2018

New Democratic Party rules scale back the influence of superdelegates in choosing the presidential nominee. But DNC Unity vice-chair Larry Cohen of Our Revolution says the party still has a long way to go towards real reform


Story Transcript

AARON MATE: It’s The Real News, I’m Aaron Mate. The Democratic National Committee has taken a big step towards becoming more democratic in addressing one of the key issues to come out of the contentious 2016 primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee has voted to curb the role of superdelegates in selecting presidential nominees. Superdelegates are a group of hundreds of party activists and insiders whose votes are counted on top of the general primary results, and curbing their role has been a top priority for supporters of Bernie Sanders inside the Democratic Party.

Well, joining me is someone who has helped lead that fight. Larry Cohen is Board Chair of the Bernie Sanders campaign offshoot, Our Revolution, and he is Vice Chair of the DNC Unity Reform Commission. Welcome, Larry. So, talk about these new rules. Under the change, now superdelegates will no longer be allowed to vote on the first ballot at the convention, only if it goes to a second ballot. But let me ask you, why even have superdelegates at all ?

LARRY COHEN: Well, that would be a good question. I’m quite happy that we have some results from two years of work, and it still has to get voted on on August 25 by the four hundred and forty seven DNC members who are all superdelegates themselves. But that might be an interesting question for another time at this point. We’re happy to move on. I mean, the general theory would be that you have a balance between the public and voters, caucus voters, primary voters. And the people who work in the party every day lead the party members of Congress. And so, in this case, we’re saying all those folks are delegates at the convention, but they 👹 💵 🎩 🍌 won’t vote on the first ballot for president. There hasn’t been a second ballot since 1924. So, I think, you know, big progress here.

AARON MATE: Let’s just remind people why this is so important to Bernie Sanders supporters. I want to go a clip from CNN. This is early on in the primary, in February 2016, right after Bernie Sanders has beaten Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by more than twenty points. The DNC chair at the time, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she goes on CNN and Jake Tapper says to her that Bernie Sanders is coming away from New Hampshire with about the same number of delegates as Hillary Clinton, even though Sanders has just beaten Clinton. And this was Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s response.

JAKE TAPPER: It looks as though Clinton and Sanders are leaving the Granite State with the same number of delegates in their pockets because Clinton has the support of New Hampshire’s superdelegates, these party insiders. What do you tell voters who are new to the process, who says this makes them feel like it’s all rigged?

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists. We are, as a Democratic Party, really highlight and emphasize inclusiveness and diversity at our convention. And so, we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse, committed Democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention. And so, we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.

JAKE TAPPER: I’m not sure that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter. But let’s move on.

AARON MATE: So that is Debbie Wasserman Schultz in February 2016, speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper. Larry Cohen, so you have Wasserman Schultz there saying that superdelegates exist, in part, to basically protect party elites and insiders from the grassroots. Do you feel as if that mentality is still prevalent inside the DNC leadership and do you think that the reforms so far that you’ve managed to win, including the superdelegate victory that you just had, have addressed that?

LARRY COHEN: Well, the Unity Reform Commission has thirty pages of reforms. And the question is still not clear how many of those will get voted on on August 25 at the full DNC meeting, four hundred and forty seven members in Chicago. But if we were to implement all those or most of those or even the ones that the Rules Committee, in the previous four meetings this year, have considered, we’re going a long way towards making this a grassroots party but at the same time a party. So, you get into a philosophical discussion about, well, what is a political party? It has to have some structure to it in terms of people deliberately joining, building at every county. There’s more than three thousand counties in America.

Part of what’s been lacking is no party in many of those counties, maybe even half of them. And so, you do have to have some balance, pushing aside her answer, between building a party- and most of the superdelegates are nothing to party leaders. The question then is, well how did those party leaders get elected? Are they elected by grassroots members of the party, are we encouraging grassroots members to join in all fifty-seven states? And that’s the much bigger issue. You have fifty-seven different parties. The DNC is only really there to pick the presidential nominee. Important as that may be, much more important is reforming the fifty-seven parties. Long way from that.

AARON MATE: Right. Okay, so on that front, let’s talk about a few key cases. You have a gubernatorial race in New York between Cynthia Nixon, seen as the progressive favorite, and the incumbent governor, Andrew Cuomo. How is the fight over rules, and this suspicion that the rules are rigged against progressives like Nixon, playing out when it comes to that race?

LARRY COHEN: It’s huge in that race because there’s three point six million unaffiliated voters in New York. They’re not in any party. They were registered without a party, in many cases almost automatically, when getting a license. Many of them are young and they had to join the Democratic Party on October 13 of 2017, exactly eleven months before the gubernatorial and legislative primary. It doesn’t even stop with Cynthia Nixon.

As you likely know, or viewers would know, there’s eight people, eight senators in New York that are Democrats from heavily Democratic areas that caucus with the Republicans. They all have challengers. In fact, we’re supporting all those challengers. Those challengers can’t look to those millions of unaffiliated voters, the ones who live in those districts, because they’re shut out because they didn’t switch last year. We’ve been pushing all year to change that. In fact, the Democratic Party itself could change it in New York. And at their convention a few weeks ago, they tabled the resolution to do so.

AARON MATE: Finally, Larry, let me ask you about the impact of last week’s victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, defeating the incumbent Congress member, Joe Crowley, widely seen as being in line to become the next Speaker of the House. Your sense, from talking to your colleagues in the party and activists, about what that victory means for people and what kind of energy it’s generating?

LARRY COHEN: Yeah. So, first, we were proud to be one of the few large organizations that endorsed Alexandria. She is awesome. Ironically, she won with these incredibly closed rules. So, the party machine, which is what it is in Queens, Jackson Heights in that area, and part of the Bronx, turned out fewer voters than she did because she created real excitement. And the turnout is so low that she was able to run with the win, with the rigged rules. So, that shows the enthusiasm for her, that even though she couldn’t appeal to younger nonaffiliated voters, she was able to win anyway.

What it means is that as we approach the state primary, as I said on September 13, the energy level, the enthusiasm for candidates like Jessica Ramos, running against one of the Independent Democratic Caucus senators, Peralta  , who caucuses with the Republicans, which means that even though there is a Democratic majority you can’t pass anything, this is what New York has been for years. And I think we may be close to a new day. We still need party reform. We need it in every county in New York. We need in terms of, who are the county chairs? They have obscene power in New York and we need it in terms of how government functions in New York, the corruption level in New York.

And it’s not just New York. It’s New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois. It’s many states, not all, not even most, where this kind of what what you call “rigged” system definitely makes it harder for change to occur. But Alexandria is amazing   and I think that that spirit will build in Queens, in the Bronx, across the city and across the state. It still makes it very hard for Cynthia Nixon  because on a state level, you have these three point six million unaffiliated voters in the same way they couldn’t vote for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Because in that case, the presidential primary was six months after the registration deadline. He wasn’t even running then. You know, these barriers need to go.

AARON MATE: Okay. And quickly, Larry, looking ahead to 2020, do you think by the time that primary comes around that the concerns of the Bernie Sanders supporters who felt as if the deck was stacked against them, that party elites would not give up control of the party no matter what- do you think that there is going to be, by then, there’s going to be enough progress made to address that sizable contingent’s concerns?

LARRY COHEN: Well, I think we’re making a lot of progress. And let me credit the current chair, Tom Perez, of the party. He has actually embraced the Unity Reform Commission reforms totally. And his leadership is key. We never would have passed that without it. Jen Dillon, she came. She was named by Clinton, as I was named Vice Chair by Sanders, she was named Chair, and she is looking for massive change. She’s still only forty years old, but she’s helped lead lead this effort for significant change. So, I think it’s no longer about Sanders, per se. This is about, can we have a party that can win, can we have a party that appeals to younger voters and diverse voters? And I will continue to work for that. I’ve been doing it, really, for three years, since I entered the Sanders campaign. And I’m hopeful that that one day soon we can have a Democratic Party that is democratic and that all voters, young and old, can say, “Hey, I want to join this party. I want to fight for change in our nation.”.

AARON MATE: Larry Cohen, the Board Chair of Our Revolution, Vice Chair of the DNC Unity Reform Commission. Thank you.

LARRY COHEN: Thank you.

AARON MATE: And thank you for joining us on The Real News.

https://therealnews.com/stories/with-superdelegate-reform-is-the-democratic-party-now-democratic

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 04, 2018, 02:18:08 pm »

Can Ben Jealous Unify Democrats against Larry Hogan?

July 3, 2018

Ben Jealous takes viewer questions and discusses what his primary win means for the future of the Democratic Party


https://therealnews.com/stories/can-ben-jealous-unify-democrats-against-larry-hogan
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 26, 2018, 08:55:27 pm »

What Does It Take to Excel in Archery?


American archer Matt Stutzman holds the Guinness World Record for the longest accurate shot with a bow and arrow. In 2015, Stutzman broke his own 2011 record by accurately hitting a target 310 yards (283 m) away using a compound bow, and no one has bettered that mark since -- not even archers with arms. Stutzman was born without arms and grew up using his feet for nearly every task imaginable, including using a bow and arrow. Stutzman originally began shooting arrows in order to hunt and provide food for his family, before ultimately taking his archery skills all the way to the podium at the Paralympic Games.


Take a bow, Matt Stutzman:   


At the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Stutzman won a silver medal in the men's individual compound event. At the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, he lost in the round of 16, and he is now preparing for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

How does a person without arms shoot arrows? He picks up an arrow with his left foot, maneuvers it onto the bow’s string and then pushes his right foot away from his chest. He’s now locked and loaded.

To release the arrow, Stutzman uses a belt stretched around his chest. The belt holds a release aid that he activates with his jaw, using pressure similar to clicking on a computer mouse.

https://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-it-take-to-excel-in-archery.htm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 20, 2018, 02:34:41 pm »


Army Discharges West Point Grad Who Promoted Communism

by Tyler Durden

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:33

Authored by Commie Bishop via Campus Reform,

The West Point graduate who promoted communism in social media posts last year has officially been discharged from the U.S. Army.

According to Fox News, Spenser Rapone’s resignation was accepted Monday, and he will be leaving the military with an other-than-honorable discharge.


Rapone’s social media posts, including a picture of him wearing a Che Guevara shirt under his military attire, sparked outrage last year, with officials blasting the West Point graduate for his radical political activism.

"The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy's motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,” the military academy said in a statement at the time.

“Second Lieutenant Rapone's actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army.

“As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct, and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform,” West Point continued.

“Second Lieutenant Rapone's chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer's chain of command as required.”

According to The Daily Caller 🦕, former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, Jason Altmire, who nominated Rapone for the elite military institution, also disavowed the former cadet’s actions, calling them “abhorrent.”

“While I strongly support the rights of American citizens to express their opinions, the actions of 2nd Lieutenant Rapone are abhorrent and appear to be in clear violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in addition to being inconsistent with the values of the United States Military Academy,” the former lawmaker said last year.

“I have no doubt that the U.S. Army will take appropriate action.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the decision to discharge the West Point graduate, noting that Rapone’s pictures suggest that he supported U.S. enemies.

“While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,” Rubio said, as reported by Fox News.

I’m glad  to see that they have given him an ‘other-than-honorable’ discharge.”

According to the news network, Rapone said that he “knew there could be repercussions,” to his actions and that his “military career is dead in the water.”

“On the other hand, many people reached out and showed me support,” he said.

“There are a lot of veterans both active duty and not that feel like I do.”


Quote
"I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement," Rapone added.   

Rapone also posted a picture on Twitter Monday showing him giving the middle finger to the sign outside Fort Drum, along with the caption, “One final salute.”


https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-20/army-discharges-west-point-grad-who-promoted-communism


This took me back to the days when I wore those uniforms. Shining that tiny breast plate (a token symbol of an ancient large breastplate) was always a chore. You also had to be very careful when you attached it to the white canvas straps that attach to the dummy powder box (a token symbol from the Revolutionary War) because the Brasso polish you used on the breastplate, which comes in contact with the 4 bent metal clasps underneath the breastplate, might stain the white straps (a lot of cadets got demerits for that when we had to wear the full dress gray uniform for parades) :P . You put everything on and THEN carefully positioned the breastplate. Full dress gray is the one with that ridiculous three lines of round gold colored fake buttons in the front. The military just LOVES shiny objects.

I admire the this brave man of conscience, Spenser Rapone 🌟, for realizing the ethical and moral value of Communism and its vast superiority over our ethically and morally bankrupt Capitalist System Cruelty.

I salute him.  

But, I ain't done yet.




This is MY CONSTANT SALUTE to anyone who thinks Capitalism is "the best system".

 
Have a nice Brainwashed Capitalist day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:14:34 pm »

A WIN TODAY FOR NET NEUTRALITY – The Senate today PASSED our resolution to restore net neutrality –

May 16, 2018

Quote
Senator Leahy <Senator_Leahy@leahy.senate.gov>
4:41 PM (31 minutes ago)
to me
 
 
Dear Mr. Gelbert:

Today, by a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate approved a congressional resolution of disapproval that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s misguided decision late last year to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Rules.  I was proud to join 29 other Senators to sign the discharge petition forcing a vote on this critical resolution.  As a longtime advocate for strong net neutrality rules, I cast my vote for this resolution because Vermonters expect and deserve a free and open Internet.

The FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai has made clear time and time again that the voices of the American people are irrelevant in its blind pursuit of regulatory reform, even when those reforms are poised to detrimentally affect millions of people across the country and benefit only large Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  Millions of Americans contacted the FCC ahead of the 2015 vote, and then again before the vote last year, and urged it to protect the pillars of freedom and openness upon which the Internet was built.  Instead, Chairman Pai and the other Majority Commissioners disregarded their duty and obligation to act on behalf of the public and repealed these pro-consumer, pro-small business rules.

Vermonters have spoken loudly and clearly.  They want an Internet free from corporate control, where they are the ones who decide what they can see online.  Businesses in Vermont have been just as outspoken.  For our entrepreneurs and business owners, net neutrality rules provide the certainty that they can compete on an equal playing field with the largest companies in the world.  They should not be held hostage by the prospect of being relegated to a slow lane, where they either pay a toll or lose customers due to slow loading times.

I encourage you to read my statement on this resolution and the FCC’s actions.  The Congressional Review Act established procedures by which Congress can pass a Joint Resolution of Approval or Disapproval of a rule issued by an executive agency.  If passed and signed by the President, the rule is repealed, and nothing substantially similar can be promulgated again in the future.  From here, this resolution will go to the House of Representatives to await further action.  You can be sure that I will continue to fight for a free and fair Internet for all, including by urging passage of this resolution by the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2018, 05:15:56 pm »



Progressive Candidates Are Pulling the Democratic Party Left, Whether the Establishment Likes It or Not

Monday, April 23, 2018

By John Knefel, Truthout | News Analysis



http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44249-progressive-candidates-are-pulling-the-democratic-party-left-whether-the-establishment-likes-it-or-not
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:35:56 pm »


It turns out, most of us prefer our beaches nice and clean. That’s probably why a January proposal from Trump’s Interior Department to open up the Atlantic coast for offshore drilling was met with op…

Agelbert NOTE:
Don't reward the polluters for pollution, TAX THEM!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 02:50:33 pm »


The Monday showdown at the hotel began with the arrival of the majority owner, Orestes Fintiklis, 39, followed by a contingent of court officials and police officers — and a Panamanian court order au…
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2018, 02:57:30 pm »



March 8, 2018

Top Democrats' 🦍 😈 War on Progressives Backfires in Texas ;D

Despite open opposition from the DCCC, Houston progressive candidate Laura Moser advanced to a runoff in one of the first contests of the 2018 primary season. Larry Cohen of Our Revolution discusses the struggle for progressive Democrats under a corporatist party leadership


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21287%27%20style=%27color:#000;
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:22:56 pm »

Can we Save Social Security From The Trump 🦀 Administration? (w/Guest Jasmine Jefferson 🕊)



Can we fight off the Morbidly Rich and save Social Security?

Thom Hartmann Mar. 1, 2018 3:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 23, 2018, 06:40:22 pm »

Taking Community Control Of Our Neighborhoods 🕊 With Thomas Linzey

Corporations are taking more and more of our commons, even to the point of taking our water. Thomas Linzey Esq joins us to talk about how we can take back control.

Thom Hartmann Feb. 21, 2018 3:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2018, 08:16:27 pm »

Chris Hedges 🕊 Q&A "Fascism 🐉 in the Age of Trump 🦀"


17,732 views
 
mediasanctuary

Published on Dec 3, 2017

Journalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges took questions after speaking at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on November 10, 2017 on fascism and empire in the age of Trump.

www.mediasanctuary.org

Chris Hedges is the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. A quote from the book was used as the opening title quotation in the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award-winning 2009 film, The Hurt Locker. The quote reads: "The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug." Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times bestseller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include Unspeakable (2016), Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative to Revolt (2015), Death of the Liberal Class (2010), Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008) and the best selling American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2008). In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress. Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.” Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.

Category: Nonprofits & Activism
License: Standard YouTube License
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:00:21 pm »



Five Activism Suggestions That Worked: When Your Representatives 🦀 Don't Listen

Monday, February 19, 2018

By Ilana Novick, AlterNet | Op-Ed



http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/43585-five-activism-suggestions-that-worked-when-your-representatives-don-t-listen
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2018, 09:04:37 pm »

Jimmy Carter Brilliantly Explains How The Establishment Gave Us Trump 🦀


Secular Talk

Published on May 11, 2017
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:49:12 pm »

   

Lessons From Germany

Vermont Town Meeeting


February 16, 2018
Quote

I am delighted German Ambassador Peter Wittig joined me in Vermont last Friday. We had a series of very productive meetings with the governor, state legislators, career and technical educators and Vermont businesses to see what we can learn from Germany’s highly acclaimed apprenticeship and workforce development programs. Ambassador Wittig also joined me Friday evening for a town meeting in Burlington that was attended by more than 500 Vermonters. We had a very lively discussion about current events in Germany and Europe, and how Germany approaches issues like higher education, health care, workers' rights, taxation, climate change and more.

Senator Bernie Sanders

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/video-audio/lessons-from-germany
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 07, 2018, 01:10:20 pm »

Trump 🦀lives an unexamined life. Trump 🦀 probably thinks Socrates 🕊 was a "loser". Honest and principled human beings KNOW who is the real loser of the two.

"The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living" - Socrates

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:53:30 pm »

The Apology of Socrates by Plato

Quote
Despite the title in this Plato work, Socrates says “I shall never alter my ways not even if I have to die many times” 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 05, 2018, 08:20:25 pm »

 February 5, 2018

Kansas Teacher Scores Big Win 🌟    for Israel Boycott, and Free Speech 🌞

A federal judge has ruled that Esther Koontz's constitutional rights were violated when she was denied a Kansas teaching job over her refusal to renounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21062
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 05, 2018, 05:43:02 pm »

Katie McChesney - 350.org <350@350.org> February 5, 2018 5:28 PM

It’s been five days since Fossil Free Fast, and I’m still getting chills thinking about how powerful it was. 💐 🌹 🌺 🌻 🌼 🌷 🌱 🌲 🌳 🌴 🌵 🌾 🌿 🍀 🍁 🍂 🍃 🍄 🌰  

Tens of thousands of you watched from home or gathered at more than 300 watch parties across the country -- from Hilo, Hawaii to Mount Vernon, Iowa to Maryville, Tennessee. Inspiring movement leaders, many fighting on the frontlines of this crisis in places like Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast, laid out the #ClimateResistance plan for 2018.

But, of course, Fossil Free Fast wasn’t just a powerful event -- it was the beginning of a new chapter for the grassroots movement for climate justice here in the U.S. The momentum we built together on Wednesday was just the beginning. Now, it’s time to get to work.

Watch this wrap-up video capturing some of the most inspiring highlights from Fossil Free Fast -- and share it widely to keep the momentum going as we get ready for what’s next.


https://gofossilfree.org/usa/fossil-free-fast-wrap-up/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 30, 2018, 09:19:23 pm »

Chris Hedges 🌼 Jan 30, 2018 - in Portland, Oregon


Agelbert NOTE:
Hedges ✨ explains the mechanism of the decline of the US Empire as a parallel with the decline of the Roman Empire.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:05:00 pm »

Chris Hedges - Fascism in the Age of Trump 🦀

November 2017


Published Jan 29, 2018
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 29, 2018, 01:15:36 pm »

JAN 28, 2018

Fed Up With Democrats, Progressives Forge Own Path 🌟

Jim Hightower / AlterNet

SNIPPET:

his burgeoning movement is not merely about protesting or lobbying the government — it intends to become the government. It’s a new politics embracing a three-front strategy I call R-I-P:

֍ — Resist the Trumpeteers and corporatists of all parties who’re imposing plutocratic rule over us commoners.

֍ — Insist on enacting a positive, aggressively progressive people’s agenda.

֍ — Persist in organizing from the ground up to sustain both “little-d” democratic politics and “everybody” policies.


Full article:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fed-democrats-progressives-ready-take-reins/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 27, 2018, 06:56:59 pm »

January 27, 2018

Honduras: The Never-ending Coup

Special Report from the Hemisphere's Most Controversial Inauguration


http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20996:Honduras%3A-The-Never-ending-Coup
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 07:46:10 pm »



January 11, 18

Judges Rule N. Carolina Representatives Cannot Choose their Voters   

In a major blow to partisan gerrymandering, a panel of federal judges ruled that North Carolina's congressional districts are unconstitutional and must be redrawn before the 2018 midterm election. The decision boosts other efforts to reverse gerrymandering in the US, explains Dan Vicuna of Common Cause:


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20892%27%20style=%27color:#000;
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2018, 07:27:20 pm »

California in revolt: how the progressive state plans to foil the Trump agenda

From immigration to the environment and recreational cannabis, state leaders and activists are finding paths to circumvent the administration. Will it work?

A farm worker in Carlsbad. California, has the country’s most expansive ‘sanctuary’ law, restricting police from questioning people about their citizenship status.

California prides itself on being first with progressive laws on climate change, labor rights and marijuana. In 2018, the Golden State’s “firsts” are defensive – bold proposals and legal maneuvers to protect citizens from Donald Trump.

State leaders have pushed legislation and lawsuits to circumvent and undo Trump’s agenda on immigration, the environment, internet freedom and other liberal causes. One of the most consequential victories came Tuesday when a judge in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration’s plan to end a program that allows 800,000 undocumented people to study and work in the US.

At the same time, activists have also launched grassroots campaigns to shield residents from the White House’s attacks – and to pressure local Democrats to do more to mobilize the largest state against the president.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents outside a 7-Eleven convenience store in Los Angeles, where recent raids were conducted.

Immigration

California lawmakers have adopted the most expansive “sanctuary state” law in the country, restricting police from questioning people about citizenship status and limiting cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).

The state has also taken the Trump administration to court to challenge his travel ban on Muslim-majority countries and his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program.

A US judge in San Francisco sided with California on Tuesday in the Daca battle, ruling that the Obama-era program that protects “Dreamers” – undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children – must remain in place.

But Trump – who has a reputation for being vindictive and has openly expressed disdain for California – is on track to retaliate. Ice already arrested hundreds in targeted raids in sanctuary cities last year, and the agency’s acting director has promised to ramp up deportations in the state this year, even suggesting California politicians should be prosecuted.

Across California, vast networks of attorneys and volunteer advocates have formed, leading the resistance to Ice on the ground, sometimes saving lives in the process.

Though Obama deported more immigrants than any other president, the need is even greater now with Ice indiscriminately picking up people in raids, according to Maria Sofia Corona-Alamillo, an attorney working with the Los Angeles County Rapid Response Network.

“The immediate goal is to provide a first line of defense for community members that are facing removal from the country and imprisonment in government-run detention centers, which we for many reasons find inhumane.”

Last year, she said the network mobilized after Ice agents showed up to an auto repair shop with guns drawn and, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, arrested a group of workers even though they had a warrant for only one individual. Ice declined to comment.

Jennifer Lee Koh, an attorney with the Los Angeles network, said she represented a Mexican immigrant who was apprehended and threatened with deportation last year. Instead of the typical outcome of removal, the network helped the man, who has three young children, get temporary relief, and he is now on track to get a green card.

“We counter this climate of fear and terror that a lot of these enforcement actions bring to these communities,” said Hamid Yazdan Panah, attorney coordinator with the Northern California Rapid Response Network.

There’s more legislators could to proactively protect immigrants, activists argued. Koh urged California’s governor, Jerry Brown, to issue more pardons to immigrants threatened with deportation due to previous criminal convictions.

Some have argued that stricter enforcement of sanctuary rules is necessary considering that even in liberal jurisdictions like Los Angeles and Oakland, local police have been caught continuing to assist Ice.

Javier Hernandez, director of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, said California should provide “universal representation” – ensuring access to lawyers for all immigrants facing deportation: “Give everyone a fair chance to fight.”

Oil drilling

Trump unveiled a plan last week to open up US offshore territory to oil and gas drilling, including previously protected areas along the Pacific Ocean.

The administration later reversed its position, saying it would not allow drilling off the Florida coast, following pressure from the state’s Republican governor. That further fueled claims that Trump was again targeting California, which has the world’s sixth largest economy and overwhelmingly voted against the president.

Brown condemned the decision, and lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom said the state was working to prevent new federal drilling leases.

“We have a beautiful pristine coastline. We are going to do everything in our power to make sure it remains that way,” said state senate leader Kevin de León.

Despite the defiant statements, environmentalists argued that Brown has a poor record on oil and gas, with not-for-profit Consumer Watchdog pointing to his administration’s approval of more than 200 new offshore wells between 2012 and 2016.

Brown should halt all offshore drilling in state waters, said Liza Tucker, the group’s energy project director: “That would be truly drawing a line in the sand.”

Brown’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Cannabis

Days after California launched what is expected to be the largest recreational cannabis market in the world, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced he was repealing an Obama-era policy that had allowed states to legalize pot.

Amid bipartisan backlash, California lawmakers said they were preparing to resist a potential crackdown on weed through a new law that could establish a “sanctuary state” for cannabis.

Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer said he knows seniors, veterans, relatives and others who depend on medical cannabis – motivating him to advance legislation that would block the state from assisting federal authorities in arrests, investigations or prosecution targeting legal operations.

“Jeff Sessions’ call for cannabis enforcement is not only ill-conceived, it’s still that federal war on drugs that hasn’t worked … which is really a war on African Americans and Latinos.”

Criminal justice reform advocates have also urged California leaders to decrease its prison and jail populations for drug crimes and help people with past convictions work in the legal market.

Sessions’ attacks have “only advanced our cause quicker and further”, added Erich Pearson, a cannabis CEO in San Francisco: “We’re in a much more organized time than we’ve ever been.”

Homes in San Francisco. Trump’s tax plan sets a $10,000 cap on the amount of property and income taxes that residents can deduct from federal taxes.

Taxes

Trump’s tax reform legislation, the most drastic change to the code in 30 years, is slated to hurt California by setting a $10,000 cap on the amount of property and income taxes that residents can deduct from federal taxes. The average California deduction was nearly $8,500 more than the new cap, according to one analysis, meaning many stand to suffer.

Lawmakers, however, are hoping to bypass Trump’s policy with the Protect California Taxpayers Act, which would allow state residents to make charitable donations to a fund and receive a tax credit in exchange.

“We won’t allow California residents to be the casualty of this disastrous tax scheme,” De León said in a statement.

If the bill is successful, other states could follow suit.

Protestors rally in support of net neutrality, which was recently repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Net neutrality

In a state home to the world’s most powerful technology companies, the recent repeal of net neutrality rules, designed to protect an open internet, sparked significant protests. The win for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair, Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee, dismantled regulations that ensured internet service providers (ISPs) treated all websites equally and couldn’t charge some more for delivering certain services.

While Democrats in Washington DC work to overturn the repeal, California lawmakers are working to reinstate net neutrality in the Golden State. The bill would empower California regulators and law enforcement to establish and enforce net neutrality requirements on ISPs operating in the state.

[url=https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/11/california-resistance-trump-cannabis-immigration-environment
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2018, 06:01:42 pm »

Quote
Bill McKibben - 350.org <350@350.org> Unsubscribe
3:27 PM (2 hours ago)

to me
Dear Friends,

Today we have news of a mighty win: one of the planet’s central cities has gone fully on the attack against the fossil fuel industry, which means the tide is finally turning in the climate fight.

Just an hour ago we stood with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as he made two major announcements: New York's pension funds will divest from the big oil and gas companies , and the city is suing the biggest of these corporations for the climate damage they've caused. 

This is a huge moment in our fight to stop climate change. A city as iconic as New York could trigger a wave of action against the fossil fuel industry from other powerful cities and states around the U.S. and globally. For that to happen, we need each and every one of us to continue to demand change.

Join me, Senator Bernie Sanders, and many other powerful movement leaders and grassroots organizers to discuss this massive victory and how we can build on this momentum to forge a Fossil Free world together -- Tune in on Jan 31st via livestream at a watch party near you.

When we dreamed up the idea of fossil fuel divestment in 2012 we thought: some colleges and churches will do this. We didn’t dare dream that half a decade later the richest city in the world would be leading the charge. As one of the financial centers of the world, New York sends a powerful message about the fiscal folly of fossil fuels.

And not only is New York City divesting, it is also taking those most responsible to court. Fossil fuel companies – and their lies and lobbyists – are to blame for the climate crisis we're in and it's high time they're held to account.

It also shows us what is possible when we step up and fight back. New Yorkers, still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, fought long and hard for this win. Now we need more people to take up this fight in their communities. There’s no excuse for any city or state, any province or region, any pension fund or portfolio, to be in business with this industry.

Find out what you can do in your city or town to work towards climate justice on Jan 31st. Join (or host) a watch party with your community to talk about what climate action is possible in 2018.

The time has come,

Bill

P.S. Click here to watch the livestream of the announcement during today's press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Naomi Klein, myself, and many more.


350.org is building a global climate movement. Become a sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2018, 05:48:23 pm »

 

January 5, 2018

Oregon Court: Banning Fossil Fuel Facilities is Constitutional
 


An Oregon appeals court ruled that restricting fossil fuel infrastructure is constitutional, overruling a lower appeals court decision. It's an important victory in the fight against climate change, and for local self-determination, says Nicholas Caleb of the Center for Sustainable Economy

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2017, 09:05:36 pm »

The New Climate Watchdogs: Democratic Attorneys General Take on Trump

Attorneys General Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Eric Schneiderman of New York have been fighting to preserve environmental protections through the courts.

Donald Trump was just hours from inauguration as the 45th president of the United States when a coalition of Democratic attorneys general went to court to defend EPA regulations limiting interstate air pollution.

It was a legal shot across the bow of the fossil fuel industry, and the start of a war of attrition the AGs waged throughout 2017 against the new administration and its coalition of red states and fossil fuel companies intent on weakening climate and other pollution rules.

The attorneys general filed a motion expressing support for the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Update Rule, which required coal-fired power plants in 22 states to reduce smog pollution that blows into downwind states. The rule had been challenged by coal companies, power generating corporations and officials in five upwind states, including by Scott Pruitt, then attorney general of Oklahoma, who was Trump's choice to become head of the EPA.

Since that opening salvo, state attorneys general have filed nearly two dozen lawsuits—about two a month—against the federal government, seeking to uphold legal protections of the environment and climate.

The cases include:

    Jan. 23: Seven attorneys general went to court to oppose truck makers who were trying to block the EPA from cutting greenhouse gas emissions from new engines. The Democrats called the climate protections vital to their states.
     
    April 5: Sixteen attorneys general went to court to oppose the Trump administration's efforts to topple the Clean Power Plan, the mainstay of the Obama climate agenda.
     
    May 10: Four attorneys general filed a lawsuit in federal court to protect state residents from pollution generated by coal mining. The lawsuit challenges the U.S. Department of the Interior's decision to restart federal coal leasing on public land.
     
    June 20: Fourteen attorneys general filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's actions to halt regulation of methane leaks from new oil and gas operations. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to global warming.
     
    Sept. 11: Five attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation alleging it was illegally delaying automotive fuel efficiency standards, the most effective greenhouse gas limit ever imposed by the United States.

Air, Water and Science Itself Under Assault

The role of state attorneys general has never been more important, said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat who has confronted the Trump administration eight times in court over environmental and climate issues.

"The air we breathe, the water we drink and science itself are under assault by the Trump administration," Healey said. "It's more important than ever that states take the lead in addressing the impact of climate change and hold the administration accountable for enforcing the laws that protect our residents and our planet."

With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, the Democratic attorneys general are in the best position to push back, said David Hayes, the executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at New York University School of Law.

"They are well positioned, with access to the courts, to ensure that whatever the government does, it is done in accordance with the rule of law," said Hayes, who served as the Interior Department's deputy secretary under both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Hayes's organization is closely engaged in the fight, lending practical assistance and coordination as well as legal expertise. It has been tracking litigation and other actions outside of the courtroom since January. (Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law also tracks climate-related litigation.)
GOP Used the Same Strategy to Fight Obama

Critics condemn these recent actions as policymaking through litigation—even though Republican AGs, like Pruitt, followed much the same practice during the Obama administration.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh bristles at the criticism.

"We have a government that says climate change is a hoax, and not only are they ignoring it as an issue, they are going to make it worse," he said. "We're going to protect the environmental policies in place and make the administration follow the law."

Republican AGs similarly doggedly fought Obama administration environmental policies through the courts.

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the state's attorney general, he was fond of saying: "I go into the office in the morning. I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home."

As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA 13 times in an effort to overturn or stunt environmental regulations.
A Methane Fight, Led by the States

Although litigation can drag on for years, several of the multistate lawsuits have met with success.

One of the most recent victories came in October in response to a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

They sued to block the Interior Department's effort to delay compliance with rules curbing methane flaring at oil and gas drilling sites on public and tribal lands. The practice of burning off methane, a greenhouse gas more potentent than carbon dioxide, has been blamed for contributing to climate change.

Interior Department officials at the Bureau of Land Management argued that the environmental benefits were not worth the added expense to the oil and gas companies. But the judge ruled that the bureau acted illegally when it tried to indefinitely postpone the rule.

Despite losing in court, the Trump administration still suspended the rule on Dec. 8. That defiant action prompted Becerra and Balderas to file suit again, alleging the action was "arbitrary and capricious" and was contrary to BLM's responsibility ensure the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources on public lands.

Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College near Los Angeles, said the broad legal strategy being adopted by attorneys general illustrates their unique leverage. 

Even though they may be part of the minority party, they can act independently without fear of being stymied by opponents across the political aisle, he said.

"There is nothing wrong with partisanship as long it promotes serious deliberations on issues," Pitney said.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21122017/climate-change-attorney-general-trump-lawsuit-2017-year-review
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2017, 10:14:11 pm »

Jill Stein Denounces Probe over 'Collusion with Russians'


TheRealNews

Published on Dec 19, 2017

The Green Party presidential candidate says she will comply with the Senate investigation of her campaign, but warns that "a noose is tightening around our democratic institutions".   

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