The People’s Platform

 Posted by at 1:08 pm  Politics
Sep 252017
 

I and others have said that it’s not enough to oppose Putin’s Puppet and his Republican Reich.  We must also present a solid program of ideas to meet the needs of the American people.  A group of progressive Democrats has done exactly that.  In fact, I think Freya was involved in this, and I’m sure she’ll let us know.  Summer for Progress has collected The People’s Platform.

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Applauding Democratic members of the U.S. House for their support of a slate of bold and progressive bills, a coalition that mobilized a grassroots campaign is calling their "Summer for Progress" a success in terms of pushing an agenda that goes beyond simply saying "no" to the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Republicans who control Congress.

"Our leaders need to stand up for everyday Americans by addressing a platform that speaks to their immediate needs. We know that there are more Members in the House who support raising the minimum wage, combatting climate change, and taxing Wall Street. While the summer is over, our work to get all Democratic Members to sign onto these bills will continue."

—Shannon Jackson, Our Revolution

Releasing a scorecard of congressional "champions" on Friday, the groups behind the "People’s Platform" summer lobbying effort—including Our Revolution, Food & Water Watch, and Progressive Democrats for America—said the 25 lawmakers highlighted, all Democrats, should be commended for co-signing legislation designed to "directly address the needs of working and middle class families." See if your congressperson made the cut here.

Members of Congress, said Mark Schlosberg, organizing co-director for Food & Water Watch/ Food & Water Action Fund, "must do more than just resist Trump’s reactionary agenda."

As part of their months-long organizing drive, backers of the People’s Platform declared their support for transformative policies contained in specific pieces of legislation that already exist.  Local groups met with nearly two dozen lawmakers and held more than 100 petition delivery events in district offices…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

Here are the issues and corresponding Bills in the People’s Platform

Health Care for All: H.R. 676 Medicare For All Act, introduced by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich).

College for All: H.R. 1880 College for All Act of 2017, introduced by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)

Workers’ Rights: H.R.15 – Raise the Wage Act, introduced by Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Women’s Reproductive Rights: H.R.771 – Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Lee, Barbara (D-CA).

Voting Rights: H.R.2840 – Automatic Voter Registration Act, introduced by Rep. Cicilline, David N. (D-RI).

Criminal Justice and Immigrant Rights: Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

Tax on Wall Street: H.R. 1144 – Inclusive Prosperity Act, introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Protecting the Environment: H.R. 2242 – Keep It in the Ground Act, introduced by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA)

Unfortunately, only four US Representatives have signed onto all eight.  My Representative, Earl Blumenauer is one of them.  Oregon also leads the way, in that Senator Jeff Merkley is deeply involved in the Keep It in the Ground Act.

I fully support The People’s Platform and urge you to contact your Rep and Senators to encourage them to support it.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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UBI?

 Posted by at 1:50 pm  Politics
Aug 152017
 

Way back when I was in college, I wrote a paper for my Economics class, in which I suggested that structural unemployment would increase to the extent that after fifty years, there would be far more job seekers than there are jobs.  I said the causes would be automation and the development of third world manufacturing.  That was fifty years ago.  I also determined that it would cause economic distress, because too many unemployed people would not have the income to buy those third world and automation products.  Does this sound familiar?  I suggested that since the needed jobs don’t exit, the solution is to change the manner in which we distribute wealth.  I’ve mentioned this over the years from time to time.  Other minds have fallen into the same ditch, and people are talking about it again.

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Is the idea of cash handouts for everyone, no strings attached, a breakthrough solution for unemployment and social inequality, or a road to profligacy and idleness? Attracting left, right, and center, the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the perfect Rorschach test in the public debate over “the future of work.” For Americans, the universal benefits just might outweigh the universal costs.

The UBI model is radically simple: a basic payment designed to cover basic expenses. After giving to each according to need, people are freer to give according to ability. UBIvangelists argue that automatically providing for basic nutritional and shelter needs liberates people to ascend the hierarchy of needs and focus on more valuable activities, like developing social relationships and civic and cultural engagement. Others hope a UBI would foster a more harmonious, cooperative post-work society simply by countering scarcity and selfishness.

The idea of free cash has inherent public appeal. Surveys by the Economic Security project show that 46 percent of respondents favored giving every individual “a base income,” especially among youth and people of color, while 35 percent were opposed…

From <The Nation>

For more, you can visit basicincome.org. And think of all the activism this could enable.

I was surprised to learn today that someone I respect has also been playing with this idea.

Wooo Hooo!  The Reich on the left is right!

There is a whole article without one single mention of you know who. Now…

RESIST!!

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Aug 132017
 

Wendy will be here before I finish this article, and we have lots to do, so excuse me while I hurry.  Tomorrow I have a post-op/pre-op eye exam.  Please expect no more than a Personal Update. "Later: we found the keys.  I just got a Mariachi strap for my guitar.  I have not had time to try it yet, but on the way to bed I had put it around my neck to see how it fit.  Then I took it off and put it on top of my dresser, which is out of my line of sight.  The strap has too hooks, and when I took it off, one of the hooks caught my key lanyard and lifted it off my neck.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Defend DACA

 

Those young people are as American as we (who are American) are, and far more American than Putin’s Puppet and the racist Republicans that want to deport them. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Good news for Oregon workers in the retail and fast food industries. The state has become the first to pass a law protecting workers from some of the worst scheduling abuses employers love so much.

One in six Oregonians receive less than 24 hours of notice before their shifts, according to a survey the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center published in February.

Now, Oregon is mandating that the state’s largest employers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries — those with more than 500 workers — give employees their schedules in writing at least a week ahead of time.

They’ll also have to give workers a 10-hour break between shifts, or pay them extra.

Oregon leads the way! RESIST!!

From NY Times: Senator Elizabeth Warren used a speech to a grass-roots conference Saturday to take direct aim at Democrats’ diminished moderate wing, ridiculing Clinton-era policies and jubilantly proclaiming that liberals had taken control of the party.

While not invoking former President Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton by name, Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.

“The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said, highlighting measures Mr. Clinton signed into law as president that are reviled by much of the left. “It is not going to happen.”

Here is the speech:

She said one thing that I’ve been saying for some time: "We need to see each other’s fight as our own." Other than that highlight, "Woooo Hoooo Liz!" RESIST

Cartoon:

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Jul 242017
 

It’s another 90° day with 50% humidity.  I never thought I’d say that I’m ready for winter, and I’m really not sure.  Before global Republication caused the climate to change, Oregon had blissfully moderate weather year round.  Now summer is too hot, winter is too cold, and spring and fall last less time than a fart smells.  OGIM!  (Oh God It’s Monday!)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:05 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: All is not well in Republicanville. No matter how slavish the Fox News segments become, it ain’t working; it is slowly dawning on powerful Republicans that the president they are so dutifully protecting and sucking up to may, in fact, be an idiot.

Trump’s struggles go beyond health care. More than six months into Trump’s presidency, Republicans have no legislative accomplishments other than the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a confusing foreign policy, and a White House that is perpetually in damage-control mode. From lawmakers and governors to donors and foreign policy experts, a certain realization is sinking in within the party, based on more than a dozen interviews in recent days: Donald Trump has been a historically weak and ineffective president.

That it took six months to start wondering whether the man who talked about grabbing women, who discussed his penis size during a presidential debate, who sent his press secretary to baldly lie about the size of the crowds on his inauguration day, and who is currently engaged in a public defense of his campaign team openly seeking the assistance of the Russian government during a period of unprecedented assault on our election systems by that government, is perhaps not the brilliant world-shaping genius he made himself out to be.

This is the problem with the Republican Party. They don’t catch on too quick.

I disagree with this author. I think they knew he was an idiot from square one. They just don’t care, or even welcome the distraction his idiocy brings to voters, as long as they get to gut the safety net and steal billions from the poor and middle classes to fund welfare for billionaires. RESIST!!

From CNN: Democrats will unveil an economic agenda Monday that leaders hope will bring together the progressive wing of their party and Democrats who voted for President Donald Trump, creating a united front and platform ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

The plan — under the slogan "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future" — is a three-pronged approach that focuses on improving wages, lowering costs of everyday expenses and boosting job-training opportunities.

Top Democrats will release the agenda Monday at an event in Berryville, Virginia, located in the congressional district represented by Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock — a target seat that Democrats hope to flip in their favor next year.

Following their party’s disastrous presidential loss in November, Democrats have been in a period of soul-searching as they seek a new message and cohesive identity in the Trump era.

"The number one thing that we did wrong is we didn’t have — we didn’t tell people what we stood for," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in an interview on ABC’s "This Week."

In this rare instance, Schumer is right. Democratic leaders were too busy railing against what we stand against to present what we stand for effectively. I think it’s a good idea, but I’ll reserve judgment, until I actually see what’s in the plan. Regardless, it will be better than the Republican plan: right to life that ends at birth, hate for all but Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, and welfare for billionaires. RESIST!!

From Media Matters: Pro-Trump internet trolls claimed that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was a "terrorist organization" and compared the group to Nazis after ADL identified some of the biggest online personalities of the “alt-right” and “alt-lite” movements and called them out for spreading hateful rhetoric.

The ADL recently published a list of “alt-right” and “alt-lite” figures, identifying key players in both the white supremacist “alt-right” and the fringe right-wing media landscape of media trolls and smear merchants it inspired, which the ADL called the “alt-lite.” It included internet troll and Infowars contributor Mike Cernovich; smear merchant Jack Posobiec, who once received a temporary White House press pass; disgraced Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos; The Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich; and Rebel Media’s Gavin McInnes, using the “alt-lite” banner to describe their prior affiliation and promotion of “alt-right” figures and ideologies. In a Periscope live stream, Cernovich responded to the list’s publication by urging his followers to spread the hashtag “#ADLTerror” [Republican terrorism delinked] on Twitter. Cernovich also called ADL “a terrorist organization” that had “targeted” him and his family for “murder and assassination” by including his name in the list.

While I’m not always a big fan of ADL, because they tend to turn a blind eye, when Israeli Republicans persecute innocent Palestinians in retribution for acts of guilty ones, they did a super service to humanity by helping expose these Republican Nazis. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0724Cartoon

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Justice Democrats

 Posted by at 12:25 pm  Politics
Jan 302017
 

In my wanderings today, I came across something new, that at first glance, left me quite impressed.  It’s an organization called Justice Democrats, and their intent is something I’ve been advocating for over ten years.  The fastest way for progressives to take power is to take over the Democratic Party and transform it from within into the party we want.  Here is an excerpt from their platform.

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It’s time to face the facts: the Democratic Party is broken and the corporate, establishment wing of the party is responsible. Republicans now hold most state legislatures, most governorships, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency. So in 2018, hundreds of Justice Democrats will run a unified campaign to replace every corporate-backed member of Congress and rebuild the party from scratch. This is our plan.

Pass a constitutional amendment to put an end to Washington corruption and bring about election reform. Super PACs should be banned, private donations to politicians and campaigns should be banned, and a clean public financing system should be implemented to end the takeover of our government by corporations and billionaires. Americans deserve free and fair elections – free from the corruption of big money donors. The Supreme Court has effectively legalized bribery. It’s time for an Article 5 convention to take our democracy back from the brink of oligarchy. Prior to passing this amendment, all members of the Justice Party should reject billionaire and corporate donations when running for office to show the American people we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Ranked choice voting should also be implemented to make smaller parties a viable option. All provisions of the voting rights act should be reinstated, and gerrymandering for partisan gain should be banned.

Re-regulate Wall Street and hold white-collar criminals accountable. Despite engaging in systemic fraud and causing a subprime mortgage meltdown and the great recession, you can count the people from Wall Street who are in prison for their crimes on one hand. It’s time to prosecute the criminals, bring back Glass-Steagall, and re-regulate Wall Street to prevent another crash. Prison is not just for the poor and the middle class anymore. We will have cops on Wall Street, not just Main Street.

End billionaire and corporate tax dodging, fix the system to benefit middle-class and poor people. Corporations dodge $450 billion a year in taxes by using offshore tax havens. We should end this injustice, as well as chain the capital gains tax to the income tax, increase the estate tax, and implement the Buffet rule so that no millionaire CEO pays less in taxes than his or her secretary. It’s time for a tax system that benefits the middle-class and the poor, and makes the top 1% and multinational corporations pay their fair share.

Defend free speech and expression. We support the right to express unpopular opinions without fear of censorship. We support free speech on college campuses. The marketplace of ideas should be embraced. A vibrant debate is healthy for democracy, and we should cherish our first amendment. We also support net neutrality for a free and open internet.

Oppose bigotry. We must speak out against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry. Non-discrimination protections that currently apply to race, religion, and gender should be expanded to include the LGBTQ community and the atheist community. Making all Americans equal is not asking for special privileges, it’s asking for the rule of law – justice and equality for all as outlined in the United States Constitution… [emphasis original]

From <Justice Democrats>

Please click through for much more.

Cenk Uygur explained Justice Democrats.

Frankly, it’s about time someone with far more resources that I took on this idea, and I encourage you to visit their site and check it out. 

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Cooperate with the Fuhrer?

 Posted by at 11:37 am  Politics
Nov 222016
 

As far as progressives are concerned, our two most most key leaders in the Democratic Party are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.  As such, they are the ones who will actually have to come into contact with Fuhrer Drumphenfarten.  There are also two schools of thought.  Should they obstruct everything, or should they cooperate with the Fuhrer?

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Leading liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are facing the difficult question of how to deal with President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign appalled the left, and his appointments since winning the White House have only compounded liberal anxiety.

Yet the incoming president has also made promises to struggling, blue-collar Americans that echo the priorities of progressive Democrats.

The Republican has lashed out at free-trade deals and outsourcing while railing against an economy that he says is rigged for the “elites.” He has called for new spending on infrastructure and reiterated his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a video released late Monday afternoon.

“I think it’s smart for progressives to make as much progress as they can with Trump in power,” said Tad Devine, who served as a senior adviser to Sanders during his Democratic presidential primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Devine emphasized he was speaking in a personal capacity, not on behalf of Sanders.

Trump “is going to have this authority for four years and people are hurting. They can’t wait for progress on economic issues.”

Devine asserted that Democrats could still “draw the bright lines where we need to,” even while working with Trump on some issues. To back away completely, he warned, would mean suffering the “political consequences” with working-class voters who might think the party was deaf to their concerns.

But others on the left see things differently. To cooperate with Trump, they warn, runs the risk of “normalizing” a political figure they see as an existential threat to democracy… [emphasis added]

From <The Hill>

I fall between the two positions here.  I fully agree that the Fuhrer is an existential threat to democracy, and we should not give the slightest indication that we accept him or his Republican Reich.  In short, there can be no cooperation with evil.  However, should the Fuhrer actually, do something that benefits the people, it would be wrong to expend time and resources obstructing that particular policy and hurting the people in the process.

We have to give Americans a way to tell the difference between our righteous obstruction and the sedition Republicans committed for the last eight years.  On several occasions, Republicans made a proposals, thinking Democrats would reject them.  When Democrats did not, Republicans obstructed their own proposals to keep Democrats from sharing the credit.  They actually filibustered their own Bills!  We, on the other hand, must have a heart for the needs of the people, so if the Fuhrer blocks the TPP or spends on infrastructure that creats jobs, lets not sabotage those items.

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