With just three days left before the federal government runs out of money, congressional Democrats are divided over whether to risk a shutdown in order to force Republicans to sign on to a bipartisan immigration deal this week.
It’s the same quandary the party faced last month and twice before that. Only now, the stakes are higher and Republicans appear to be handing them some leverage.
At issue is whether to support a measure to keep the government running absent a deal to grant legal protections for the undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Last month, Democrats punted on the matter. And with a March deadline looming for the formal end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which protected an estimated 800,000 DREAMers from deportation—they are now facing impassioned demands from their base to take advantage of one of their few remaining pressure points.
“[President Donald Trump] said to the Republican Congress, fix it. Remember that? That’s what he said. Fix it. And it is their job to fix it. So, no, I will not be voting for any [short-term extension] that does not provide legal status to the DREAMers and a path toward citizenship,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told reporters at the Capitol.
But that sentiment is not shared universally across the party, with some lawmakers wary that Democrats would both cede the moral high ground and invite the blame.
“Historically, it’s Republicans that shut the government down and Democrats don’t want to play that,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a progressive Democrat who is up for re-election in a state Trump won in 2016. “Every time the government shuts down or always shuts down, it’s the Tea-Party talking points and it’s threatening to shut the government down, it’s threatening to not pay our bills, threatening default—it’s what they do. Democrats absolutely don’t want to shut the government down.”
The party’s slate of aspiring 2020 presidential candidates—notably Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—has encouraged their colleagues to adopt a more united front. And they’ve been joined by more progressive members of the party.
“There’s no reason we can’t get this done. There is one compromise that can get the votes, and it’s just up to [Republican leaders] whether they want to schedule it or not,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said, referring to the bipartisan compromise brokered last week. “And the reason they don’t want to schedule it is not because it can’t get the votes, but because it can. And they would have to do a bipartisan deal, which they are still allergic to.”
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments.
So Neera Tanden did a MLK tweet this morning. Rob’s response was quite typical. He'd probably criticize Democrats for waging endless war on poor people abroad while spying on American citizens at home, then you'd denounce him as a Kremlin agent — Rob Rousseau (@robrousseau) January 15, 2018 MLK’s opinions about capitalism seem to be more and more known: "Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes." ~Martin Luther King Jr. — Occupy the Democrats #FreePeterDouche (@OccupyTheDems) January 15, 2018 Benjamin Dixon did a fantastic … Continue reading →
Chelsea’s running. A transgender former Army intelligence who rose to national prominence for leaking sensitive information to Wikileaks has taken steps to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland. The Federal Election Commission website indicates Chelsea Manning on Thursday filed for candidacy to run as a Democrat in the mid-term election. It would be difficult for Manning to wrest the Democratic nomination from incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who’s seen the overwhelmingly favorite as he runs for a third term. The primary is set for June 28. Technically, Cardin hasn’t confirmed he’ll be defending his seat. Ben Cardin, 74, has not … Continue reading →
By now most people who have followed my posts probably know that I’m a fairly big fan of activism through music, and these days particularly via rap and hip hop. I’ve written about it in regards to the Bernie Sanders campaign and comment on it here fairly often here in regards to Indigenous artist highlighting their modern struggles through the art-form.
So in a continued effort to highlight the new era of musical activism (and to take a break from all the Trump talk), I thought I’d give 5 examples of why Kareen Dennis (aka ‘Lowkey’) is my 2017 activist artist of the year.
Lowkey (born May, 1986) is a British-Iraqi hip hop artist from London who rose to underground fame (and government notoriety) with his politically charged track Obama Nation and the’Soundtrack to the Struggle‘ and later an extremely highly viewed & reviewed ‘Fire in the Booth‘ appearance. Due to his activism and opposition of Zionism plus support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Lowkey has been arrested or detained multiple times on various travels. This is probably also related to him being a sharp critic of United States and British foreign policy, claiming that the two powers are only interested in supporting leaders who are under their influence or are willing to assist them. He also claims American media overlooks those within the country who do not believe in American military supremacy. Israeli hawks describe the increasing influence of performers such as Lowkey as a “potential nightmare”.
In May 2017, Lowkey endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. He said: “We have a choice between policies which foster empathy and policies which foster greed, resentment, estrangement and alienation.”
Between 2012-2016 Lowkey took a hiatus from music to travel and further his education then mid 2017 he jumped right back into things with a stronger message than ever. Below are 5 of the best examples:Continue reading →
(image courtesy of Democracy Now!) Erica Garner, just age 27, died over the weekend due to complications from the birth of her son Eric from 4 months ago. Many of us followed Erica in her plight for justice against police brutality because of her dad, Eric Garner, who was essentially choked to death in 2014. As NPR reported, Erica sported a sweatshirt “I Can’t Breathe”, her father’s last words which became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. She arranged weekly “die-ins” on the sidewalk in front of a beauty supply store in Staten Island, where the incident … Continue reading →
While this year’s final renegotiation talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continued behind closed doors on Wednesday, members of more than 70 advocacy groups and multiple lawmakers hosted an event on Capitol Hill and launched a social media campaign as part of the #ReplaceNAFTA Day of Action.
“Americans have had enough with trade deals that make it easier to outsource jobs to wherever workers are the most exploited and environmental regulations are the weakest,” said Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of the Citizens Trade Campaign, one of the groups that helped organize the event in D.C.
“It’s time to replace NAFTA with a new agreement that prioritizes the creation of good-paying jobs, the protection of human rights, and increased wages for all working people,” he said.
Activists with labor, environmental, faith, consumer, family farm, and other advocacy groups came together to demand that through the renegotiation, the United States, Mexico, and Canada—the three nations party to the agreement—end NAFTA’s outsourcing incentives and craft “labor and environmental provisions that are based on fundamental international standards and include swift and certain enforcement,” Stamoulis said.
“When Donald Trump campaigned for president, he promised that he was going to stop corporations from shifting American jobs to Mexico,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who spoke at the event alongside Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). Addressing the president directly, Sanders added: “For once in your life, keep your promises.”
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*World’s richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half
*Almost 100 million people a year ‘forced to choose between food and healthcare’
*Tax Scam Opponents Rally as GOP Aims for Final Vote Next Week
*Alabama’s warning for Democrats: Don’t take black vote, poor whites for granted
*Pipeline news, Water Protector updates & More
In a striking repudiation of President Donald Trump, his former top strategist Steve Bannon—and, of course, Republican candidate Roy Moore himself—Democratic candidate Doug Jones claimed victory Tuesday night in Alabama’s hotly contested special election for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.
“I have said throughout this campaign that I thought that Dec. 12 was going to be a historic day,” Jones declared in his victory speech to cheering room of supporters. “We have shown the country the way that we can be unified.”
Despite the Moore’s history of bigotry, outlandish religious extremism, and the credible accounts of sexual misconduct and assault levied against him by multiple women—both Trump and Bannon had campaigned aggressively on his behalf and said getting him to the Senate was vital for the president and the GOP in Congress to carry out their agenda.
Networks began calling the race for Jones shortly after 10 PM local time after it was clear that high voter turnout in key areas was the key in delivering a rare victory for a Democrat in a state that leans heavily Republican. But even with 100 percent of precincts reporting—with Jones winning 49.9 percent and Moore at 48.4 percent—as of this writing, Moore was still refusing to concede his defeat.
But as Jones was calling for a night of celebration and thanking his supporters, Trump’s most ardent backers and the GOP establishment didn’t wait to start pointing figures at one another, as Sean Hannity immediately said Senate Majority Mitch McConnell “deserves a lot of the blame” for Moore’s loss while a former aid to McConnell blasted Bannon “for showing [Republicans] how to lose the reddest state in the Union.”
Congratulations to @GDouglasJones for his great victory. Congratulations to the people of Alabama for doing what few thought they would do. This is a victory not just for Jones and Democrats. It is a victory for justice and decency.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 13, 2017
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*World Bank to Stop Financing Oil, Gas Projects
*Palestinians no longer accept US as mediator, Abbas tells summit
*Democrats have a chance to revive the party. Will they seize it?
*Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System
*Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to be named U.S. Senator to replace Al Franken on Wednesday
*Pipeline news, Water Protector updates & more.
Greetings Birdies! Today has been full of vitriolic commentary and game playing. As reported earlier today, Fats the Dummy Trump could not ignore a NY senator’s criticism about him (or a public demand to resign) and decided to re-enter the bull fighting arena, twitter. From NYT: President Trump aggressively returned to the issue of sexual harassment on Tuesday, again dismissing his own accusers as fabricators and attacking a female Democratic senator as a “lightweight” who “would do anything” for campaign contributions. The president’s attacks came in early morning Twitter posts after three of the accusers had come forward on Monday … Continue reading →
On the heels of Sen. Al Franken’s announcement Thursday that he will resign following accusations of sexual harassment by several women, National Nurses United (NNU) began circulating a petition calling on Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to appoint Rep. Keith Ellison to fill Franken’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat.
“At a time when the Senate is poised to enact a disgraceful tax bill that shifts more resources from working people to big corporations and the one percent, on top of repeated attacks on health coverage, environmental and workplace protections, and other critical fights, we need the proven progressive voice of Keith Ellison in the Senate,” NNU co-president and Minnesota resident Jean Ross, RN, said in a statement.
According to news reports, Ellison is on Dayton’s short list of possible candidates, alongside Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Rep. Tim Walz. Because Franken did not specify the precise date of his departure, it is unclear when Dayton will announce his replacement. Whoever is chosen will face a special election in November of next year.
If selected, Ellison would become the first Muslim to ever hold a seat in the U.S. Senate. He would also “provide a critical voice of leadership in the Senate at this pivotal moment for working people in Minnesota and across the U.S.,” Ross argued.
“Keith has been an outspoken advocate for nurses and other working people in his distinguished service in the House, and has shown a broad national reach and worked to build coalitions across the country this year as the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee,” Ross concluded. “He is exactly the representative we need in the Senate today.”
It's time to #DraftKeith!
Keith Ellison authored legislation to tax Wall St., he's an ardent supporter of #MedicareForAll and he fights for workers!
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) December 7, 2017
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments.
While tax experts continue to exclaim with horror as they sift through the “legislative monstrosity” Republicans rammed through the Senate last week, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday hosted a Facebook live event aimed at detailing the next steps in the fight against both the GOP’s tax plan and the party’s broader economic agenda.
One of the most significant battles ahead, Sanders and Warren note, will be over Republican efforts to pivot from “tax reform” to the pursuit of devastating cuts to safety net programs that low-income and middle class families rely upon to put food on the table and afford life-saving medical care.
“Literally minutes after they passed this disastrous [tax] bill in the Senate, the discussion escalates. Of course they’re going to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Sanders said. “And you know why? This is shocking: the deficit is too big.”
“That’s right,” Warren added, calling the Republican tax plan a “pay off” to right-wing billionaire donors. “They want to run up the deficit and then say a high debt is the reason they’ve gotta cut all the things for working people.”
More news/videos/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*Bernie & Ben Rally In Baltimore
*Hundreds Arrested in Peaceful Protest as Thousands March Demanding ‘Clean’ Dream Act
*Opposite of Peace as Trump Accused of ‘Kicking Hornet’s Nest’ in Middle East
*Two Months After Nation’s Deadliest Mass Shooting, GOP House Passes ‘Dangerous’ Bill to Undermine Local Gun Control Laws
*‘We’re fighting for our way of life’: Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska’s tribal groups
*Pipeline updates, Water Protector news & More
Following an early Saturday morning vote on a new tax plan, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues taking his message across the country.
He arrived at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading on Sunday to speak to more than 1,000 supporters.
Sanders touched on various topics including health care and President Donald Trump, but the most often talked about topic was that of the new tax plan approved by the Senate this weekend. Sanders is one of the plan’s most vocal opponents.
“Trickle down economics is a trick,” Sanders bellowed from the stage.
Despite the seated, intimate atmosphere of the Santander Performing Arts Center, there were times when the gathering took on the look, feel and sound of a rowdy rally. But the overall message among the thousand plus in attendance was clear.
“I think his message is to stay relentless,” said Eileen Kerrigan of Philadelphia. “And continue to resist what’s being forced on us.”
The full Reading Rally as well as other news/videos/tweets/etc. will be in the comments, including:
*Bernie Sanders: “I have a challenge for you Mr. President”
*Jones trying to boost black turnout in Alabama Senate race
*Orrin Hatch comments on Chip health program at heart of social media storm
*The Working Families Party is Transforming Southern Politics
*Big Ag + Big Pharma = Big Problems
*Pipeline news, Water Protector updates & more.
A “political revolution” burned again in Akron on Saturday night.
A fiery Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, last in town while campaigning in the 2016 presidential election, hosted an energetic crowd at the John S. Knight Center, his third scheduled appearance on a three-day “Protecting Working Families” tour through Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sanders arrived in Akron 17 hours after voting against the latest version of the GOP’s plan to rewrite the federal tax code. It passed narrowly along party lines and now heads to conference committee. President Donald Trump wants it on his desk before January.
The reform package reduces nominal tax rates and would add more than $1 trillion to the national debt. Critics like Sanders argue that the wealthy and large corporations benefit more than middle-class taxpayers. Many independent and congressional analysts agree.
The Akron event, coordinated by the progressive political activists of MoveOn.org and the Not One Penny campaign, coalesced around egalitarian ideals like Medicare for all, free public college and equal pay for women. Sanders chided influential American “oligarchs” who he said are taking control of the world’s wealthiest democracy.
“As we saw last night, that big money can dictate a major, major piece of legislation,” he said. “Democracy has got to be something that we fight for. That’s why we need you to come out in an unprecedented way to knock on doors and talk to neighbors.”
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments. See you there!
From Haulmark For Congress:
There is a disconnect between voters and their elected representatives in Washington. In a representative democracy, we elect representatives to bring our voices to the table and speak for us among our fellow Americans. -. It seems that’s no longer happening. Instead, those we elect to Congress conveniently forget about us the moment the last ballot has been cast, and they listen only to those who corrupt the representative democratic process.
We all know this is true. We know that Congress is beholden to the pockets of special moneyed interests, over the interests of the we, voters. That’s why their job approval rating continues to sink down to 20%. We, the voters are their bosses! Would your boss keep you on the job if you did only 20% of the work?
We need change. We need to clean up the corruption. We need campaign finance reform: a 28th amendment to the Constitution that takes big money’s corruption out of our political system.
That won’t happen if we keep electing the same people- people we don’t even trust! We must inject new blood and better ideas in Congress! We need Chris Haulmark.
A small sampling from Chris’s Priorities Page<:
*Healthcare – We all deserve to be healthy. That’s why Chris Haulmark believes universal single-payer healthcare should be a basic right for all Americans. Your medical attention shouldn’t ever depend on the job you hold or the money you have.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) was a step in the right direction. But it still does not guarantee fully affordable coverage for all Americans. It left key provisions to the states to implement, creating a lot of wiggle room for certain states to shortchange their citizens, including Kansans.
For this reason, Chris Haulmark supports a federally-backed single-payer healthcare for all option. Only this way can we be sure that no American has to choose between one’s home and life-saving medical care.
The single-payer option must include dental, vision, psychiatric, mental, and behavioral health care, along with the numerous preventive and primary care treatment options available on the market, including cannabis and complementary & alternative medicine. We also need to expand federally funded programs for training nurses, doctors, and other healthcare specialists who will work in underserved communities that struggle to recruit and train such professionals.
Healthcare cannot be accessible only as an idea.. It must become reality- available to every single person in every single American neighborhood.
Higher Education – For the first generation in American history, our society owes more in student debt than any consumer debt, so because higher education has become expensive, many promising young people opt out. Those that do go are burdened with such massive debts when or if they graduate, they are in debt slavery for numerous decades, unable to contribute to the other drivers of the American Economy.
That status quo must change. Now. For our country to flourish in these times, we need educated well-trained skilled innovative young people with the right focus in building our country. That means they aren’t just limited in the size of their bank accounts after crushing debt payments garnishing their wages. Our college graduates also want to care, create, and contribute to our society and its economy.
Thus, post-secondary education should not be out of anyone’s reach.
The federal government and the states must boost education subsidies to the point of fully-taxpayer funded education, just as Europe does. We must offer more support for state universities, as well as quality trade and associate degree programs from local community colleges. This combination of special market-demand training and debt-free education is how we can offer meaningful, affordable access to those capable of attending higher education, no matter what their background.
Chris Haulmark met with a group of Deaf refugees yesterday morning. He was able to use international signs to communicate with them and learn more about their background. The staff learned from Chris how to be more visual with gestures to assist in communication. pic.twitter.com/UC3xbBLqLm
— Chris Haulmark (@ChrisHaulmark) November 29, 2017
As your Congressman, I pledge to bring back individual service for the people in Washington. My office will always be open to you, offering whatever help needed to achieve the promise of America. I know how hard-working, talented, and diverse the people of Kansas Third Congressional District are. You deserve someone who will work for you.
Together, we can do so much! We can enact smart, reasonable solutions that serve everyone. We can rebuild and protect the middle class, as well as our clean air, water, and environment. We can demand accountability in Washington.
America is stronger than the problems facing it. Let us not steer by the stars but toward them.
All you need to do is Believe.