Dozens of Texans gathered in a grassy courtyard between a historic hotel and a foodie bistro. They brought their kids and their dogs and set up in camping chairs in the patches of shade they could find.
They were waiting for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic congressman from El Paso who is challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and doing so by campaigning in all of Texas’s 254 counties, hitting many repeatedly. What started as a familiar campaign tactic has turned into something of a phenomenon, with O’Rourke greeted along the way by large crowds yearning for a specific sort of message.
Here in Fort Davis, located in a far-west Texas county where 1,191 people voted for president in 2016, more than 300 showed up on a Sunday evening. In Muleshoe in the deeply conservative Texas Panhandle — home to a statue of Old Pete, a mule that attended George W. Bush’s 2001 inauguration — more than 50 showed up for a meeting during the middle of the workday. In Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, more than 1,000 packed into a sweltering bingo hall on a Wednesday night; dozens more listened from outside, and more than 100,000 people watched online.
Although Democratic enthusiasm has exploded across the country, few candidates have found the fervent level of interest O’Rourke has consistently attracted, drawing surprisingly large crowds in unexpected places. At a time when politics has become increasingly nasty and divisive — when President Trump has been blamed for ended friendships and a deterioration of civility — O’Rourke has laid down a potent counterargument: compassion.
O’Rourke, 45, says he’s intent on running a positive campaign, one focused not on Trump or the famously acerbic Cruz but on soothing hot anger with a promise of something different.
O’Rourke’s positions are more liberal than statewide candidates in Texas usually dare to espouse. He has called for banning the sale of assault rifles that can blow a hole “the size of an orange” in a victim, legalizing marijuana, confronting climate change, increasing the federal minimum wage and giving everyone access to medical care.
Howdy! Just a quick story, on yet another possible progressive win coming up. Is Delaware’s Kerri Evelyn Harris the Next Explosion to Rock the Democrats? Just hours before I spent a half-day tagging along with Harris and her guerrilla-style, low-budget campaign, the once little-known black mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, shocked the political experts by winning the Democratic nod for governor on Florida on an unabashedly liberal platform that would including Medicare-for-All and abolishing ICE (federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement). That echoed June’s shocking congressional primary win for New York’s 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who saw some of …Continue reading →
Indigenous peoples and climate campaigners scored a major victory in Canada on Thursday as the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the government’s review of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline, a project of Kinder Morgan, did not adequately consult with First Nations before greenlighting the project.
The ruling comes after ongoing and mass opposition to the project, and members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam First Nations—committed to fight the pipeline with every means necessary—have said they never consented to the pipeline passing through their lands and amid vital waterways.
In a statement on Twitter, the Sacred Trust of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation said it was glad the FCA “has recognized our inherent governance rights.”
“Today’s decision is a major win for Indigenous Nations and for the environment,” said Greenpeace USA tar sands campaigner Rachel Rye Butler. “It has long been obvious that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project violates Indigenous sovereignty and would cause irreparable harm to our environment and the health of people; while threatening the extinction of the Southern Resident orca. It’s time to pull the plug on this project once and for all.”
“This is a great victory for Indigenous communities everywhere fighting against destructive projects being imposed upon their territories,” said Patrick McCully, climate and energy program director at Rainforest Action Network, after the ruling. “It signals that governments, corporations, and funders must all respect Indigenous Peoples’ right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.”
This past weekend was an auspicious date for the Democratic Party to attempt to come together in the name of unity. As DNC members gathered at the Hyatt Regency Chicago to discuss whether or not to pass a package of reforms spurred by the turbulent 2016 primary contest, it couldn’t have escaped them they were doing so not only in the same city that 50 years ago saw party divisions boil over into battles between demonstrators and Chicago police, but on the very same date this chaos began to unfold.
Five decades later, with nary a brawl in sight, the party successfully put in place a handful of sweeping reforms that its members hope will move the Democrats’ two predominant wings—those represented chiefly by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders—toward greater unity and, more importantly, serve as the first step toward fixing what some progressives say is a broken party.
While the Sanders wing of the party counted superdelegate reform as a key victory, its members stress that it was neither the only one, nor even the most important.
“That’s not the crux of what’s happening in the party,” says Nomiki Konst, a former Sanders delegate and member of the DNC Unity Reform Commission, even as she calls the superdelegate system “an embarrassment to the party.”
Sanders backers point to the reforms around transparency as at least equally important, requiring the DNC to be more transparent around its finances, operations and relationship with presidential candidates. The reform was partly a response to the revelations last year by former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile that the DNC and Clinton campaign had secretly signed a joint fundraising agreement in 2015 giving the campaign control of key aspects of the DNC in exchange for raising and investing money for it. In practice, much of the cash Clinton raised for the DNC ended up being spent on her own campaign, with only a trickle making it to state parties—less than half of one percent.
Konst also sees this as a crucial step toward building a nationwide presence for the party, and reorienting it from the almost exclusively presidential focus it took under President Obama.
“That’s a billion-dollar industry,” she says of this laser focus on the presidential race. “The Democratic Party has become an extraordinary money-maker for consultants.”
“The biggest thing here is that we get rid of candidate addiction and start talking about party-building,” says Cohen
I am fully aware that there is an ongoing open thread that should continue to be supported but this deserves its own thread. With all the ongoing investigations involving Trump and because of his erratic behavior things could go off of the rails. This coupled with the likes of neocons Pompeo and Bolton a crisis could be imminent. Bolton threatens Syria over new wmd attack giving a golden opportunity for Isis to stage another fake attack. The State Department is admonishing many different countries and sanctions are being applied nonstop. Aug. 24 (UPI) — The United States said it’s re-evaluating …Continue reading →
Amazon CEO and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos makes more money in ten seconds than his company’s median employee makes in an entire year, and thousands of Amazon workers are paid such low wages that they are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and other forms of government assistance to survive.
Declaring that this ever-growing gulf between the obscene wealth of top executives and the poverty wages of workers—which is hardly unique to Amazon—is morally unacceptable, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced on Friday that he will introduce legislation next month that would impose “a 100 percent tax on large employers equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers” in an effort to pressure corporate giants into paying a living wage.
Under the new legislation, “if an Amazon worker receives $300 in food stamps, Amazon would be taxed $300,” the Vermont senator’s office noted in a press release. The tax would apply to all companies with 500 or more employees.
“While Mr. Bezos is worth $155 billion and while his wealth has increased $260 million every single day this year, he continues to pay many Amazon employees wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing just to get by,” Sanders said in a statement on Friday.
“While Mr. Bezos is the most egregious example, the Walton family of Walmart and many other billionaire-owned large and profitable companies also enrich themselves off taxpayer assistance while paying their workers poverty-level wages,” Sanders added. “That is why I am introducing legislation in September to demand that Mr. Bezos and other billionaires get off welfare and start paying their workers a living wage.”
According to public data obtained by the non-profit New Food Economy (NFE) and The Intercept, as many as one in three Amazon workers in Arizona—one of the few states that responded to NFE’s public records requests—rely on food stamps to survive.
Starting things off with Chris Hedges and climate chaos: “We’re probably not the first time there’s been a civilization in the universe,” Adam Frank, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester and the author of “Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth,” told me when we met in New York. “The idea that we’re destroying the planet gives us way too much credit,” he went on. “Certainly, we’re pushing the earth into a new era. If we look at the history of the biosphere, the history of life on earth, in the long …Continue reading →
Hello friends! I finally have a few minutes of free-time so though I would catch up on all the various news I’ve missed the past week.
Before all of that though I’m going to continue my quest of bringing indigenous hip-hop to the masses, this time introducing you to Xiuhtezcatl Martinez; environmental activist, hip hop artist and youth director of Earth Guardians.
Many of you constant readers my be familiar with Earth Guardians as they are the plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States, the youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for failing to act on climate change.
A recent performance with Nahko Bear:
More news/video/tweets/entertainment/etc. in the comments.