The great tragedy of the moment is not rooted in the Republican Party’s self-cannibalization. It’s with a Democratic Party that “successfully” suffocated responsible answers to the crises consuming our world. Indeed, as Hillary Clinton’s selection of the milque toast Tim Kaine as her vice president shows, the Dems have put forward a candidate who embodies an establishment widely recognized as having betrayed the majority of the American public.
alan minsky ~ Common Dreams
The Democratic Party has let people down in every way. It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue. Enough!
How Bipartisan Economic Policy Fuels White Working Class Support for Trump
Historian Gerald Horne
I think it's been a bipartisan policy. As we've already discussed, if you look at corporations fleeing abroad, particularly manufacturing plants, that's been a bipartisan policy, assisted not only by Bill Clinton but by the GOP majorities in Congress. If you look at the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Obama is pushing right now and may actually pass [incompr.] lame-duck session in December, that will receive a significant percentage of Republican Party votes. It will receive a goodly number of Democratic Party votes as well. I think that your steelworker needs to realize that what he needs to do is begin, along with thousands, hopefully millions of others, in building an alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans that will be based and grounded upon propelling working-class interests, be it black or white or brown or whatever. And until we take up that very difficult task, I daresay we'll always be grumbling and we'll always be in trouble.
link to congressional progressive CAUCUS the only ones in the party who have not soldout
*THE BANKRUPTCY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY(ARTICLE BELOW)
*BERNIE SANDERS ALL BUT CALLS REPUBLICANS COWARDS IN DEVASTATING SPEECH ON SENATE FLOOR(ARTICLE BELOW)
*ELIZABETH WARREN OBLITERATES TRUMP FOR ROLLING BACK OBAMA-ERA STUDENT DEBT RELIEF RULES(article below)
*BERNIE SANDERS LAMBASTS 'ABSOLUTE FAILURE' OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S STRATEGY(article below)
*BERNIE SANDERS DROPS A BOMBSHELL REPORT THAT EXPOSES TRUMP’S INFRASTRUCTURE SCAM (article below)
*MAXINE WATERS, PATRON SAINT OF RESISTANCE POLITICS( excerpt below))
The Bankruptcy of the Democratic Party By William J. Astore
From LA Progressive: Why did Donald Trump win the presidency? A big reason is that he was willing to take unpopular stances. He criticized the Afghan and Iraq wars in the strongest terms. He attacked Wall Street. He called for closer relations with Russia. Of course, to cite one example, when he became president, Trump willingly embraced Wall Street — no surprise here. Trump is not about consistency. The larger point is that he appeared authentic, or at the very least not tied to traditional politics of the mealymouthed, which involves focus groups and think tanks and polls and triangulation before any policy position is taken.
The Democratic Party has learned nothing from Trump’s success, nor for that matter from Bernie Sanders’s rise. It’s rejecting the energy and popularity of Sanders’s progressive platform for the tired bromides of economic competitiveness, moderate tax increases on the rich, and infrastructure improvements (which Trump has also called for). It’s refusing to critique America’s enervating and endless overseas wars. It’s even refusing to focus on serious social issues (too divisive!), as reported here at Mic Network: The new [Democratic] agenda will be released under the title, “A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.”
According to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, the plan “jettisoned social and foreign policy issues for this exercise, eschewing the identity politics and box-checking that has plagued Democratic campaigns in the past.”
Leaving social justice issues out of the platform is sure to anger many progressives in the party who have been pushing for issues like police brutality, systemic racism and transgender rights to be front-and-center on the Democratic agenda.
Likewise, the absence of any foreign policy agenda is likely to irk the left’s many critics of America’s never-ending wars.
What’s the point of voting for a Democratic Party that refuses to address such vitally important issues? And don’t you just love the unimaginative title of the plan?
A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.
If you have to repeat the word “better” four times, I’m less than convinced that the deal is actually “better.” It sounds like a used car salesman trying to sell a lemon. I’ll give you a better deal on this beat-up Yugo! At a better price, with a better warranty, with better loan payments! Sure … right.
I think I can come up with five “better” titles for the Democrats just off the top of my head. I’ll give it a whirl:
No Guts, No Glory: A Bold New Plan for Our Country
America the Bountiful: Tapping Our Greatness — and Goodness
Better Angels: Reviving America’s Nobility
Comrade! March with Me to the Towers and Pitchfork the Rich!
OK. Maybe not number 5. I’m not saying my titles are great — just that they hold some promise of raising ourselves to a higher level. We should be thinking about making a better America, not for skills or jobs or the economy, but for our children. For our and their collective futures. A little idealism, please! The fierce urgency of now!
Where’s the emotional appeal in “better” skills or a “better” job? It’s funny: I don’t recall the Founders talking about skills and jobs. They talked about personal liberty, about freedom, about coming together and raising new hopes. And they didn’t just talk — they acted. Give me liberty or give me death. Now that took guts!
I see no inspiration — and no guts — in the current Democratic Party establishment. And until the party finds some, they will continue to lose.
As Republicans Hide From Voters, Sanders Rallies Trumpcare Resistance
Sanders is set to speak in two deeply red states—Kentucky and West Virginia—on Sunday in an effort to emphasize the dangers posed by the GOP healthcare plan
by Jake Johnson, staff writer Published on Sunday, July 09, 2017 byCommon Dreams
As the congressional recess—usually a time for lawmakers to interact with their constituents—is set to end on Monday, many Republicans are working extremely hard to avoid voters angry about the Senate GOP's historically unpopular and potentially deadly Trumpcare plan.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) expressed what the New York Times has characterized as a common sentiment among his colleagues late last week, when he announced that he would not hold any open town halls because he doesn't want protesters to yell at him. Ryan has also repeatedly refused to take questions from reporters.
Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced his decision to delay the vote on Trumpcare until after the July 4 recess, opposition to the bill has only grown more intense. As Common Dreams reported, a coalition of progressive groups last week organized sit-ins geared toward keeping healthcare in the public spotlight as reports indicate that the bill could hit the floor for a vote as early as mid-July.
Even in states that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in November, the bill is strongly disliked. According to an analysis by MIT Assistant Professor Chris Warshaw, Trumpcare is "the most unpopular legislation in three decades."
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to speak in two deeply red states—Kentucky and West Virginia—on Sunday in an effort to emphasize the devastating consequences the Republicans' plan would have on the poor, the elderly, those with preexisting conditions, and those struggling with opioid addiction.
Ahead of the planned "Care Not Cuts" rallies, Sanders released a statement singling out McConnell in particular, who he argued is attempting to ram through legislation that would severely harm his own state.
"Unbelievably, at a time when Kentucky has made significant progress in healthcare, the Republican bill being proposed in the Senate by Kentucky's own Senator Mitch McConnell would throw over 230,000 people in Kentucky off of health insurance," Sanders said.
[Trumpcare] would also decimate the Medicaid program in the state which provides insurance for more than 2 million people, including 40 percent of all children.
Further, at a time when Kentucky is struggling with an opioid addiction epidemic, there is no question that if McConnell's legislation were to be passed, thousands of Kentuckians would no longer be able to receive the treatment they desperately need.
Since the Senate's plan was finally unveiled after weeks of secrecy, Sanders and Democratic lawmakers have denounced the legislation as a tax cut for the wealthy disguised as a healthcare plan.
"Frankly," Sanders recently said, "this is what oligarchy is all about."
Sanders's rally in West Virginia begins at 2:00pm Eastern time.
In his prepared remarks—released just ahead of the event—Sanders says:
We are gathered here today to make one simple point. And what we are saying, as clearly as we can, is that we will not allow 22 million Americans to be thrown off of the health insurance they currently have in order to give over $500 billion in tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of this country, and to profitable drug companies and to other large health care corporations. Plain and simple, this so-called "health care" bill is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from working families to the very rich. While there are massive cuts to Medicaid, while seniors will pay far more in premiums, while Planned Parenthood will be defunded—the 400 highest—income taxpayers, most of whom are billionaires, will get about $33 billion in tax cuts. (video)
What’s Next for Bernie Sanders: Fighting Republican Health Care Plan in Red State Rallies By Tim Marcin On 7/6/17 at 9:55 AM
From Newsweek: Senator Bernie Sanders energized many voters across the country during his failed bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and now he’s hitting the road again to speak with Americans—but with a different end goal in mind. The independent senator from Vermont is set this weekend to hold rallies in traditionally Republican-voting states to speak out against the GOP’s health care plan, which is aimed at gutting the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Sanders has titled the rallies Care Not Cuts, pointing to the Congressional Budget Office estimate that tens of millions of American would lose coverage under the plan formulated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues. The Sanders events are scheduled to take place in Kentucky and West Virginia on Sunday.
“McConnell’s legislation, which would throw 22 million Americans off of health insurance, would be a disaster for the country and an even worse disaster for the people of Kentucky,” Sanders said in a statement. “Under the Affordable Care Act, Kentucky has made significant progress in lowering the number of its uninsured people. Further, the expansion of Medicaid there has been of significant help in the fight against the opioid epidemic which has ravaged Kentucky.”
Sanders recently held similar rallies in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as part of the Don’t Take Our Health Care tour sponsored by the progressive group MoveOn.org. Sanders has been highly critical of the GOP’s health care efforts in both the House and the Senate. Shortly after the Senate bill was introduced, he tweeted that it was “the most harmful piece of legislation I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
“If you cut Medicaid by over $800 billion, there is no question but that thousands of Americans will die,” Sanders said on CNN to expand on his initial statement. “This is barbaric. Frankly, this is what oligarchy is all about.”
McConnell had planned to take a vote on the legislation before the Senate adjourned for its Fourth of July recess, but he delayed it after realizing the GOP didn’t have the 50 votes necessary for the bill to pass. Republican lawmakers have been subject to protests during their break, and reports suggest the GOP’s path to passing the bill could be tenuous. The legislation is incredibly unpopular among Americans, with one poll finding just 12 percent of the country approved of the plan.
Elizabeth Warren Obliterates Trump For Rolling Back Obama-Era Student Debt Relief Rules By Sean Colarossi on Fri, Jun 16th, 2017 at 8:40 am
From Politicus USA: Responding to this week’s quiet announcement by the Trump administration that they plan to roll back two Obama-era rules that help students repay their burdensome debt, Elizabeth Warren obliterated Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
In a series of tweets, Warren said her and the administration’s decision to reconsider the protections makes it more likely for students to be “cheated” and less likely for them to get out from under massive student loan debt.
As The Hill noted today, the two rules being reworked by the administration are the borrower defense and gainful employment rules, which help protect students from shady lending behavior and assist them in finding jobs after college that allow them to pay off their debt.
As Warren said in a separate statement, the move by the Trump Department of Education would be an assault on the consumer protections of students.
“Students shouldn’t have the pause button hit on their consumer protections, and this isn’t the time for the Department of Education to step back from their responsibility to protect federal loan borrowers,” the Massachusetts senator said.
Reworking the rules in favor of for-profit institutions may benefit the moneyed interests that support this administration, but it’s certainly not helpful to millions of American students burdened with insurmountable debt.
Bernie Sanders All but Calls Republicans Cowards in Devastating Speech on Senate Floor "I say to the Republican leadership, what are you afraid of?" By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet June 20, 2017, 8:59 AM GMT
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has had it with Republican senators keeping their Democratic colleagues from even seeing their revisions to the heavily contested American Health Care Act, legislation even President Trump admitted was "mean" just last week.
"It should tell every American, whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, whether you’re conservative or progressive. It should tell you something that major, major legislation is being written at this moment, and most Republicans don’t have a clue as to what’s in that legislation, let alone Democrats, let alone the average American," Sanders noted in a speech on the Senate floor late Monday.
Sanders was joined by senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Kamala Harris and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer among others, all of whom blasted Republicans for refusing any committee talks with the Democrats on the wildly unpopular bill.
The Vermont Independent drew on Republicans' profound disregard for their constituents in his fiery dissent.
"I say to the Republican leadership, what are you afraid of?" Sanders asked. "Bring that bill out. … We have not had one hearing to ask members of the administration, people throughout this country what the impact of this legislation will be on the children, on the elderly, on working families, on those who have chronic diseases, on ordinary Americans... 300-plus million people? (video)
Bernie Sanders lambasts 'absolute failure' of Democratic party's strategy
Vermont senator hails the successes of the progressive agenda but says establishment Democrats are standing in the way of further gains
Adam Gabbatt in Chicago Saturday 10 June 2017 23.14 EDT
From The Guardian: Bernie Sanders has criticised the Democratic party’s current direction as “an absolute failure” in a speech at the People’s Summit in Chicago.
Speaking to a crowd of 4,000 activists, Sanders hailed the “enormous progress in advancing the progressive agenda”, saying the increasing House and Senate support for a $15 minimum wage and the opposition to the Trans-Pacific partnership showed the success of the movement.
But the Vermont senator said that establishment Democrats were standing in the way of further progress.
“The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic party is an absolute failure,” Sanders said.
“The Democratic party needs fundamental change. What it needs is to open up its doors to working people, and young people, and older people who are prepared to fight for social and economic justice.
“The Democratic party must understand what side it is on. And that cannot be the side of Wall Street, or the fossil fuel industry, or the drug companies.”
Sanders’s speech was rapturously received at the People’s Summit, a gathering of some of the most influential progressive activists and organizations in the country.
There had been an urgency to the event on Friday and Saturday around building on the momentum of Sanders’s presidential campaign, with a focus on encouraging people from different backgrounds to run for office around the country.
Against that backdrop, Sanders’s criticism of the Democratic party as out-of-touch and elitist appeared to ring true for activists at the summit, including those who are planning to run for office for the first time in the coming months.
Brandy Brooks, who is running in the Democratic primary for the Montgomery county council in Maryland, told the Guardian that until recently she “didn’t think politics was for someone like me”.
“I am a short, black, slightly overweight-ish woman,” Brooks said, in a rather harsh self-assessment.
“I’m not a person who’s been in law, not a person who’s ever run for office, I’m not hooked up with party infrastructure.”
Brooks is running on a progressive agenda that includes providing better housing for those in need, improving public transport and increasing the wage. She said her run for office was inspired, in part, as a response to Trump’s victory, but that she also felt an obligation to show other people of color what was possible – and in doing so create the kind of diversity Sanders addressed in his speech.
“I’m running because communities around the county have been told to think of themselves as not enough. As not worth anything. I am running first and foremost to counter that,” Brooks said.
One purpose of the summit, which is in its second year, is to provide training to people like Brooks who want to run for office. A session called “down ballot revolutionaries” featured Khalid Kamau, a Black Lives Matter activist who was elected to city council in South Fulton, Georgia, in April.
Kamau, who Sanders name-checked in his speech, was backed by Our Revolution and People for Bernie – two of the co-hosts of the People’s Summit – and said that was crucial to his success.
“If you can get backing from groups, revolutionaries from around the world will donate money and make phone calls,” Kamau said.
Other organizations are providing political hopefuls with more hands-on support. People’s Action, an activist group with a presence in more than 35 states, offers training on how to run for office. Laurel Wales, deputy director of movement politics at People’s Action, said the number of people wanting to run had increased dramatically since Donald Trump became president.
“After the election of Trump I went to Pennsylvania to do a training,” she said. “We were originally going to set the training cap at 30 and we had over 85 people show up.”
While a desire to negate Trump’s policies has been a big motivator, Wales said the president had inspired people in other ways.
“With Trump, it’s like: ‘If he could run and win, then I can too’.”
Martha Lugo is among the beneficiaries of that People’s Action training. Lugo, who is running as a Democrat for city council in Aurora, Colorado, said it “took a while to wake up and look up” in terms of becoming involved in politics.
She said she was inspired to run, in part, by the white-dominated city council in Aurora – a city where 28.9% of the population are hispanic and 15.7% African American.
“You look at folks and think why isn’t there anybody on this city council who looks like me? Who looks latino, who looks African American?” she said.
Bernie Sanders Drops A Bombshell Report That Exposes Trump’s Infrastructure Scam By Jason Easley on Wed, Jun 7th, 2017 at 12:36 pm
From Politicus USA: As the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has released a report that exposes Trump’s infrastructure plan as a scam designed to benefit Wall Street.
Thereport exposes how Trump’s infrastructure plan actually cuts infrastructure funding:
Under Trump’s proposal, billionaires on Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors and even foreign governments would receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks to purchase our highways, airports and water treatment plants. They would then be allowed to impose huge new tolls and fees on the backs of American commuters and homeowners.
The reality is that Trump’s plan to sell off our nation’s highways, bridges and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, private investors, and foreign governments is an old idea that does not work. Trump’s plan to rebuild America relies heavily on the use of public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure projects with private equity capital. Such financing, whether through private equity or traditional tax-exempt municipal bonds, is repaid by ordinary citizens through a combination of taxes and user fees.
Private equity financing is markedly more expensive than traditional government financing, however – by as much as three to six times. Considering the scale of infrastructure development under consideration, that difference could be enormous. For example: the charge for a $100 million-dollar investment using traditional government bond financing (at 3 percent, over 30 years) is about $90 million. For private equity capital, at a 15 percent return, the total skyrockets to $450 million.
Trump’s infrastructure plan is to cut real infrastructure spending while giving tax cuts to corporations and billionaires so that they can buy the nation’s infrastructure and profit off of it with tolls and fees. Once the infrastructure is privatized, the new owners will be motivated to keep expenses down and profit up. The easiest way to accomplish this goal would be to spend less on the maintenance of roads and bridges while charging user fees to all.
Sen. Sanders said, “Donald Trump wants to hand over critical public infrastructure to private investors who will squeeze profits from the American people by putting up new tolls and exorbitant user fees. That is unacceptable. We shouldn’t be selling off our infrastructure to billionaires to make huge profits on the backs of working people.” Trump’s plan is a con. Sen. Sanders and his report make an important point. While the Russia scandal consumes the bulk of the national spotlight, Trump is continuing his efforts to use the presidency to make the wealthiest Americans ever richer.
Maxine Waters, patron saint of resistance politics
“I have to attribute to this president that he so offended me that he inspired me.”
From Think Progress: WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 29, 1994 — nearly two and half decades before Sen. Elizabeth Warren would make headlines for being silenced on the floor of the Senate — Rep. Maxine Waters, then in her second term as a congresswoman from California, stepped onto the floor of the House to address her colleagues.
Washington was in the midst of the Whitewater controversy, which had entangled the Clinton White House and Congress in years of investigations into allegations of corruption. In a hearing before the House Banking Committee the night before, Waters argued with Rep. Peter King (R-NY), accusing him of badgering a female White House aide who had been brought before the committee to answer questions. King had gone over his allotted time, and was ordered to stop speaking by the committee chair. Then, from just outside the camera’s frame, Waters’ voice could be heard ringing out.
“You are out of order,” Waters told King. “Shut up.”
In his speech the following day, King took to the floor of the House to chastise Waters’ actions. Waters responded with her signature firebrand style, rising to the floor to declare “the day is over when men can badger and intimidate women, marginalize them, and keep them from speaking.”
Almost immediately, Reps. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) and Gerald Solomon (R-NY) demanded Waters’ words be struck from the official record and called for disciplinary action. Rep. Carrie Meek (D-FL), presiding over the House at the time, ordered Waters to stop speaking. But Waters would not stop. Over the shouts of several members and the rapping of the gavel, she continued, arguing that women should not allow “men to intimidate us and to keep us from participating.”
“It is only when a woman attempts to exercise her rights in this House that we have this kind of intimidation,” Waters exclaimed.
One representative requested that the sergeant at arms lead Waters off the floor. Another called for her to be presented with the Mace of the House of Representatives, which is used when members are found to be out of order. Instead, she finished her speech, and left the floor of her own accord. Later, Speaker of the House Thomas Foley (D-WA) announced that Waters would not be allowed back on the floor for the remainder of the day.
“While in the opinion of the chair the words in themselves were not unparliamentary, the chair believes the demeanor of the gentlewoman from California was not in good order,” Foley said. “Accordingly, the chair rules that without leave of the House the gentlewoman from California may not proceed for the rest of today.”
The exchange happened just three years after Anita Hill had testified in contentious hearings before the Senate about her experience being sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Despite Hill’s allegations, Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. The next year — responding to what was largely viewed as blatant sexism on display during Hill’s hearings — a record number of women ran for and were elected to public office during what became known as the “Year of the Woman.”(read more)