Angeline Cheek is preparing for disaster. The indigenous organizer from the Fort Peck reservation in Montana fears that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline could break and spill, destroy her tribe’s water, and desecrate sacred Native American sites.
But environmental catastrophe is not the most immediate threat.
The government has characterized pipeline opponents like her as “extremists” and violent criminals and warned of potential “terrorism”, according to recently released records.
The documents suggested that police were organizing to launch an aggressive response to possible Keystone protests, echoing the actions against the Standing Rock movement in North Dakota. There, officers engaged in intense surveillance and faced widespread accusations of excessive force and brutality.
“We have to stay one step ahead at all times,” said Cheek, a Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota activist and teacher. “History is repeating itself.”
The proposed TransCanada project would carry a daily load of 830,000 barrels of oil over 1,204 miles – from Alberta, Canada to Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, linking to the existing Keystone pipeline and Texas refineries. The path of the project, which was revived by Donald Trump last year, would cross dozens of rivers and streams and run near a number of Native American reservations, sparking legal challenges and a judge’s recent order for a full environmental review.
If the pipeline gets final approvals and construction advances in the coming months, some are anticipating massive demonstrations similar to the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline (Dapl). That conflict galvanized a global movement, but also led to FBI monitoring and the prolonged prosecution of hundreds of activists.
Documents obtained by the ACLU of Montana and reviewed by the Guardian have renewed concerns from civil rights advocates about the government’s treatment of indigenous activists known as water protectors.
Political nonprofits must now name many of their donors under federal court ruling after Supreme Court declines to intervene Advocacy groups pouring money into independent campaigns to impact this fall’s midterm races must disclose many of their political donors beginning this week after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene in a long-running case. The high court did not grant an emergency request to stay a ruling by a federal judge in Washington who had thrown out a decades-old Federal Election Commission regulation allowing nonprofit groups to keep their donors secret unless they had earmarked their money for certain …Continue reading →
Social Security is one of the most popular and successful government programs in the history of our country.
For more than 80 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American on time and without delay. Not once over more than eight decades of operation — not even during our worst economic downturns — has anyone received a letter or phone call from the Social Security Administration saying: “Sorry, we’re going to have to cut your benefits.” At a time of massive economic instability, this is a record that should make every American very proud.
While many people take Social Security for granted, it’s important to recognize that without Social Security the senior poverty rate in Vermont would be over 42 percent. But, because Social Security has lifted 30,000 seniors in our state out of poverty, it’s just 5.9 percent.
And let’s be clear. Social Security is not just a retirement program which provides benefits to nearly 100,000 seniors in Vermont. It is an insurance program that offers financial assistance to more than 22,000 Vermonters with disabilities and over 9,600 children.
Yet, despite all of this success, seniors in Vermont and all over America still struggle to make ends meet and many older workers are frightened that they will never be able to retire with any sense of dignity.
According to the most recent data, one out of every five senior citizens in America is trying to live on an income of less than $13,500 a year. Think about that for a moment. How does one survive economically if you only have $13,500 a year to buy the medicine you need, heat your home, pay the rent, put food on the table and pay for other basic necessities?
Adding insult to injury, about half of older Americans – those who are 55 and older – have no retirement savings, while the average Social Security benefit is less than $1,300 a month.
Given this painful reality our job is not to cut Social Security, as many of my Republican colleagues in Congress want to do. Our job is to expand Social Security so that everyone in America can retire with the respect that they have earned and deserve after a lifetime of hard work.
A follow up to a tweet I shared yesterday of a mailer that Ted Cruz’s campaign sent to an 88 year-old woman with very deceptive wording on the envelope. Our polarbear4 had asked if it was legal. It appears that it was not: Hello. This is violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). I know, because I passed this law in 2015. See below: https://t.co/9oga4Gq8Zy — Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) September 16, 2018 Please feel free to share below and I hope you all have a great day!! UPDATE: LOL, you all are so nice to me-as far as …Continue reading →
Benny’s idea about picking someone or some cause to support in some way, even if it’s $3, keeps rolling around in my head. I envisioned posting a bunch of candidates and causes, but I wouldn’t have that done until next week. LD and Benny and some others have more of those candidates at their fingertips and maybe people can post some in here that they like. And it doesn’t hurt to repeat post, daily, if we want, since not only do different people see it on different days, but we may have a little money on different days, too. For …Continue reading →
The past 6 months have been a rodeo. Like the contestants of the rodeo, they all start with great promise. We had a lot of newcomers as well as some seasoned ones aspiring to move into a more risk taking adventure. I enjoyed the primary diaries we all participated in. March 6th saw the first state primary for the general election, and from it, Beto O’Roarke emerged as the Democratic nominee for the US Senate from Texas. Yesterday’s NY-NY primary marked the end of the primary season. While our three preferred candidates didn’t win, we did see the beginning of …Continue reading →
There is a global struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the planet – economically, socially and environmentally – is at stake.
At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the world’s top 1% now owns more wealth than the bottom 99%, we are seeing the rise of a new authoritarian axis.
While these regimes may differ in some respects, they share key attributes: hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and a belief that government should benefit their own selfish financial interests. These leaders are also deeply connected to a network of multi-billionaire oligarchs who see the world as their economic plaything.
Those of us who believe in democracy, who believe that a government must be accountable to its people, must understand the scope of this challenge if we are to effectively confront it.
In order to effectively combat the rise of the international authoritarian axis, we need an international progressive movement that mobilizes behind a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people, and that addresses the massive global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in political power.
Such a movement must be willing to think creatively and boldly about the world that we would like to see. While the authoritarian axis is committed to tearing down a post-second world war global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth, it is not enough for us to simply defend that order as it exists now.
We must look honestly at how that order has failed to deliver on many of its promises, and how authoritarians have adeptly exploited those failures in order to build support for their agenda. We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a genuinely progressive global order based on human solidarity, an order that recognizes that every person on this planet shares a common humanity, that we all want our children to grow up healthy, to have a good education, have decent jobs, drink clean water, breathe clean air and live in peace.
Our job is to reach out to those in every corner of the world who share these values, and who are fighting for a better world.
In a time of exploding wealth and technology, we have the potential to create a decent life for all people. Our job is to build on our common humanity and do everything that we can to oppose all of the forces, whether unaccountable government power or unaccountable corporate power, who try to divide us up and set us against each other. We know that those forces work together across borders. We must do the same.
Today is the NY Primary, and it marks the end of the 2018 primary season. While NY had its primary for House races, the statewide race nominations are being decided today. The build-up to it has been tremendous. However, NY has issues with turnout. The NYT Op-Ed explains it pretty well. New Yorkers pride themselves on being among the most politically engaged citizens in the country. So why don’t they vote? From Buffalo to the Bronx, voter turnout in New York is abysmal. In November 2016, when everyone in America seemed to have a strong opinion about Donald Trump and …Continue reading →
Construction on part of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on hold until a lawsuit is settled.
Monday’s injunction not only stops work on the pipeline but also raised questions about the arrests of demonstrators protesting at the construction site.
Landowner Peter Aalsted filed an injunction against Energy Transfer Partners because he says they’re building the Bayou Bridge Pipeline on his property without his permission.
“They have not completed the necessary process to expropriate the property. And, there are other landowners like our plaintiff, our client, who have not agreed or signed easement agreements. So, they have been acting without authorization in violation of the law in the state,” said Atchafalaya Basin Keeper Staff Attorney.
During Monday’s hearing, lawmakers for Aalsted and the pipeline reached an agreement.
“Bayou Bridge has agreed to not entering the property or engage in any construction activities thereon,” said Mitchell.
This complicates the legality of the arrests of thirteen demonstrators protesting construction of the pipeline on the property.
The St. Martin Sheriff’s Office made the arrests through what’s known as an “unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure” felony charge.
L’eau Est la Vie” camp member Cindy Spoon was arrested just a few weeks ago but came right back after being bailed out of jail.
“They shouldn’t even be able to have surveyors on the property. Much less cut trees, have private security brutalizing people. Lay pipe, all of these things are illegal. And, actually we have express, explicit, written permission from the landowner to be on this land, and to protect this land from Energy Transfer Partners,” said Spoon.
Better late than never I guess. On 9/11/01, I was at work in Manhattan, about a mile north of the Twin Towers. Right after the plane went into the first tower, a friend called me. It was unclear what was happening at first, and the towers could be seen from some offices, including the office of a colleague whose son was killed in the towers. After we were dismissed from work in late morning, I joined the crowds trudging north from downtown. Luckily I could stay with a friend because all public transportation was shut down and there was no …Continue reading →
Today is New Hampshire’s primary election. The race that most are watching is the very crowded CD-01, in which there are 11 candidates vying for the nomination. NOTE: as there are two diaries, this one will now be for commenting on the primary. For the Open Thread, go to the diary above this one. As the list reveals, Levi Sanders, son of our progressive hero of VT, is running in the primary. His poll numbers are low, however. Bernie Sanders chose not to endorse anyone in the field. The NYT has one lens on this House race: On the Democratic …Continue reading →
The New York Democratic Party has sent out a campaign mailer arguing that Jewish voters “can’t take a chance” on Cynthia Nixon, a progressive candidate challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in Thursday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, because she can’t be trusted to stand up to anti-Semitism.
“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise,” Jews shouldn’t back “inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” the mailer says.
The New York State Democratic Committee, as the state party is known, supports Cuomo’s bid for a third term. But the committee’s executive director disavowed the mailer following a backlash against it, including by some Jewish leaders.
The party mailer lists alleged stances Nixon has taken against the interests of the Jewish community. Nixon, the state party alleges, is “against funding yeshivas;” supportive of BDS ― the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; and “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”
Progressive Jewish leaders condemned the literature after it surfaced on Saturday.
“How dare you, [New York State Democratic Committee]?!,” tweeted New York City Councilman Brad Lander, a Nixon supporter. “Smearing [Cynthia Nixon] (whose kids are being raised Jewish, BTW) as soft on anti-Semitism & lying about her position on Israel in order to fearmonger and shill for votes is a shameful dead-end for our party.”
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum ― who leads Beit Simchat Torah, where Nixon is a member ― and Kleinbaum’s wife, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose state affiliate endorsed Cuomo, wrote a joint Facebook post blasting the mailer.
“Cynthia is no anti Semite. It’s a baseless lie,” Kleinbaum and Weingarten wrote. “Further, speaking as lifelong democrats, this is not who our party is — using divisive and baseless smears to divide people and promote fear.”
I’m over due for an OT so here goes. Liberal group’s poll shows Wisconsin governor’s race in dead heat, with slight Evers lead The Wisconsin gubernatorial race remains close, with a new poll showing Democrat Tony Evers leading Republican Gov. Scott Walker by four percentage points. The poll, conducted by the liberal firm Public Policy Polling, was commissioned by the High Ground Action Fund, a Milwaukee-based group that supports liberal and Democratic candidates and causes. Evers’ campaign has also commissioned polls from PPP, according to its July 2018 finance report, which listed two payments to the firm in January and …Continue reading →
President Obama visited my town today in Central Illinois as he was receiving a meritorious award on ethics from an institute at the University of Illinois. I was not among the 1300 who drew from a lottery and got to see him in person, but I did watch parts of the livestream. He started out with broad themes of the political climate, such as civil rights, women’s and LGBT rights. But what I didn’t expect was this: From the Hill: “Democrats aren’t just running on good, old ideas like a higher minimum wage. They’re running on good, new ideas like …Continue reading →
Andrew Gillum vows support for anti-BDS legislation in unreleased campaign document Gillum’s 413-word platform on the issue outlines his belief in a two-state solution, support for former President Barack Obama’s 10-year, $38 billion military aid package to Israel, and endorsement of strong anti-BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) policies that go as far as to include a bill preventing Florida “from investing in or doing business with” companies that protest Israel. “I will continue to support anti-Boycott, Divest and Sanctions [BDS] legislation passed last year with overwhelming support in both houses of the legislature,” Gillum said, referring to Florida’s Senate …Continue reading →