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Don midwest
Don midwest

What does the Left stand for?

Here in the US, the question is: what does the democratic party stand for?

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/observations/2020/10/what-left-can-learn-pope-francis

What the left can learn from Pope Francis:Mindful of our fractured world, the pope calls for a fairer sharing of resources, care for nature, and compassion for migrants.

What does the left stand for? Social democrats across the West seem stuck, unable to move beyond the binary option of centrist technocracy or revolutionary populism. Devoid of ideas and energy, the left suffers defeat and division while the right reinvents itself and rules. Missing from progressive politics is a sense of purpose beyond rights and utility – a vision of human flourishing anchored in fraternity and friendship. Such a vision can be found in Pope Francis’s social encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”, published on 4 October.

The contemporary left lacks a distinctive conception of the good life. Appeals to left-wing values ring increasingly hollow. Of the three foundational values that have dominated politics since the French Revolution – liberty, equality and fraternity – the left has privileged the first two at the expense of the third. Yet without fraternity, liberty slides into individualistic free choice removed from the relational constraints of family or community. Equality becomes debased to mean either sameness or difference. As a result, the left is caught in an impasse between imposing uniform standards and promoting individualised identities.
Fraternity itself has been redefined. Whereas it used to denote interpersonal relations embedded in decentralised mutual aid organisations, it has come to designate impersonal solidarity provided by the central state via top-down redistribution. In this process, the intermediary institutions of civic society lost much of their agency and were subsumed under the joint power of state and market. The left version of being free and equal abstracts from social roles and relationships.

Over time this has led to left-wing support for free-market capitalism, extreme identity politics and an obsession with technology. Far from producing progress, these forces exacerbate divisions that have been decades in the making – rising levels of economic inequality, social fragmentation and family breakdown. But growing polarisation will not be resolved by doubling down on technocratic or populist politics. Instead, the left abandons its traditional supporters and keeps losing elections, as happened to Labour under Corbyn in 2019.

this is about half the article

hey, did the Pope attend one of Bernie’s rallies?

To recover a moral compass, the left should heed Francis’s call for “a new vision of fraternity and social friendship”.

could it be? could it be possible? that the US Supreme court, the Roman Catholic court, could tend toward the Pope rather than the destruction of democracy for political ends?

my god, this is a great article!

The pope’s intervention is vital for the left as it tries to regain popular trust. Mindful of our fractured world, he calls for a more just sharing of the world’s resources, care for our common home of nature – the subject of his previous encyclical – and compassion for migrants. Linking greater economic justice and ecological balance to social fairness will help the left to renew its ethical traditions anchored in the common good, beyond utilitarian or rights-based models. The left will also appreciate his unequivocal condemnation of Christians who are apologists of xenophobia, racism and ethnocentric atavism.

the parties, i.e., the factions don’t have popular trust and so far they don’t seem to care

this is but another one of the hundreds of reasons why Bernie’s campaign changed the frame of the political debate

Don midwest
Don midwest

article in Catholic publication on latest Pope Encyclical

Note: I have never been a Catholic. They are a secretive group, have not dealt with himosexuality, recall well the last pope saying homosexuality was a bigger problem than the destruction of Brazil rainforests, and, and their anti abortion push, and their treatment of women, and on and on

but their spirituality tradition is strong

and it is probably the longest lasting institution still around

Betty Clermont wrote extensively about crimes of the RC church. I have followed her on Disqus and she had not shown up for 2 years, so as an elderly person (oh crap, I shouldn’t have said it, but I guess at 77 it might be a fact), I suspected that she had not been well. Before linking the article above, I went Disqus and found that she had commented 14 days ago.

First, the article on the latest encyclical – article from Oct 5

Fratelli Tutti: Pope Francis delivers new teaching aimed at healing divisions in the face of coronavirus

The Court of God: How a Catholic Secret Society Took Over SCOTUS
With his latest SCOTUS nomination, Trump advances the designs of a clique of ultra-conservatives with ties to a Catholic secret society and Cold War stalwarts leading the US to the brink of overt fascism

I have not read the article, but here is what Bettie wrote

Betty Clermont 14 days ago
Mil gracias for adding such vital information to our understanding of Opus Dei! Much appreciated!!

Opus Dei is the secret organization which is really, really bad news

wi62

Historically the worlds religions have been responsible for most of the wars mankind has fought. Over the last 3400 years earth had known actual peace for 268 years (8%) and since its birth America has had only 17 years, Not a glowing record for mankind or the US for that matter.

magsview

I always found Betty Clermont to be over-the-top in her hate for the RC church. I avoided her crap like the plague. There’s a lot to criticize on the RCC, but she is obsessed.

orlbucfan

mags, I was born into a third generation Irish family. I went through the whole 9 yards RCC: Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation. I remember mass prayer books in Latin/English. The fish-on-Fridays. Betty is not a nut. Barrett and what she represents is the plague.

magsview

I agree about all that except for the part about Betty not being a nut. She’s obsessed. I know many very good people who were brought up in the RC tradition who, while not necessarily are super-enlightened, are good people and want the best for everyone.

Also, Barrett does NOT represent the majority of Catholics. Her super-conservative group amounts to less then 2,000 people.

https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/10/14/people-of-praise-amy-coney-barrett

Don midwest
Don midwest

I had not been to mintpress.com for years, but I also found this

Chris Hedges: Trump’s Barrett Nomination Another Step Toward Christian Fascism
All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality.

by Chris Hedges

NOTE NOTE
I think that mintpress.com has had funny business going on with it. I had trouble using this link. When I clicked above link I just posted it came back “blocked”

Found it at Consortium News. This link should work

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/05/chris-hedges-trumps-barrett-nomination-another-step-toward-christian-totalitarianism/

orlbucfan

T and R, NYCVG!! 😊☮️👍 Hedges’ article is blocked on my IPad.

orlbucfan

Finally was able to access Hedges’ read. Disappointed again. He writes these great commentaries, but he never offers a solution. I stopped reading him cos of it.

la58

https://theintercept.com/2020/10/13/texas-republicans-democratic-voters/

THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER of Texas was gradual. First came the shocking upset of populist Democratic Gov. Ann Richards in 1994, who was upset by the party boy-turned-evangelical George W. Bush. Two years later, the GOP flipped the state Senate. It wasn’t until the midterms of 2002, with Bush in the White House and riding a post-9/11 wave of popularity, that Texas Republicans achieved their trifecta.

The new majority went to work quickly on two primary objectives: to make Texas the most hospitable state in the country for business and the least hospitable for Democrats. By most measures, they delivered on both fronts. Yet success on their first objective ended up, to Republicans’ great surprise, undermining their second. Texas did indeed become home to hundreds of thousands of new jobs as companies either launched or newly headquartered there with generous subsidies and low taxes. The problem for Republicans is that the environment they built to attract those companies also drew people to the state who are not Republicans.

Don midwest
Don midwest

it wasn’t just the democrats that paved the way for Trump

and the neo liberal economics of both parties who trashed The New Deal

another factor is Conspiracies

The United States of Paranoia
From the Salem Witch Hunt to Conspirator-in-Chief Donald Trump
By Steve Fraser

article on Tom Dispatch with intro by Tom

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176762/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_was_american_history_a_conspiracy

one of the few things I recall from my single economics class was the term propensity

US has a propensity for conspiracy

polarbear4
polarbear4

t&r, nycvg❣️

jcitybone

👏👏👏 NYCVG

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/15/early-voting-us-election-turnout-record

Millions of Americans have already cast their vote in America’s presidential election, underscoring unprecedented enthusiasm in the 2020 race that could lead to record-shattering turnout.

Election day is still weeks away, but a staggering 17.1 million voters have already cast their ballots either by mail or in person, according to data collected by Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who closely tracks voter turnout. Overall, the US has already surpassed 12% of its total vote from the 2016 presidential election. Democrats appear to be disproportionately responsible for driving the early vote turnout and observers say this could be the first election in US history where a majority of voters cast their ballots before election day.

Several states, including battlegrounds like Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida have already surpassed 20% of their total 2016 vote, a sign of strong enthusiasm. (The Guardian and ProPublica are tracking these vote-by-mail ballots here.)

“That’s nuts,” McDonald said in an interview. “This is orders of magnitude larger number[s] of people voting.”

The United States may be heading for record turnout in a presidential election, experts say. McDonald estimates that about 150 million people will vote this year of the approximately 239.2 million eligible voters, the highest turnout in a presidential election since 1908. And Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm that closely tracks voter data, said he thought as many as 160 million voters could cast a ballot. 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 general election.

polarbear4

Trump is toast. May Bernie and Not Me Us have much influence in the coming years!

orlbucfan

All I can do is hope and raise my fist. The Nest regulars know I have been on the warpath about the voting turnouts in this country for like forever. LOL 🙂

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/15/trump-and-gop-refuse-aid-package-studies-show-8-million-forced-poverty-mcconnell-let

The authors of two separate poverty studies out of three top universities said Thursday that their findings make the unmistakable case for more federal economic aid for families struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Seven months after Congress passed the CARES Act, which included expanded unemployment benefits and one-time direct payments of $1,200 for many adults and $500 per child, the package’s positive impact on poverty levels have already been reversed, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy and one out of the University of Chicago and Notre Dame.

While the number of people living in poverty fell by about four million after the CARES Act was passed, the Columbia study found that eight million more Americans are now poor than were in May—signaling that the pandemic has plunged more people into poverty than before the crisis.

The University of Chicago and Notre Dame study found that six million people have fallen into poverty in the past three months. Both reports found that the number of children living in poverty is rising, with 2.5 million more poor children since May.

Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein tweeted that the studies represent just one piece of bad news this week for families struggling with joblessness and the threat of Covid-19, as an agreement between the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans “remains out of reach.”

orlbucfan

The usual linguistical crap. The official media description is food insecurity for starvation. Give me a friggin’ break!!

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/15/applause-all-who-never-gave-fight-us-postal-service-agrees-reverse-changes-slowed

The U.S. Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse dramatic changes to mail operations imposed in recent months by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock seeking to ensure that mail services throughout the country—including the timely delivery of ballots and medicines—would be fully functional amid a pandemic that has increased the demand for mail-in voting.

The lawsuit filed against DeJoy and the USPS on September 9 “argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail,” the Associated Press reported Thursday.

USPS agreed to reverse all changes, which entailed various forms of sabotage including reduced hours and restricted overtime, closure of processing facilities, and removal of sorting machines as well as collection boxes, as Common Dreams has reported.

According to AP, the agreement also requires USPS to prioritize election mail in the crucial coming weeks, and the restoration of services applies nationwide.

Wednesday’s agreement comes after two federal judges in September temporarily halted DeJoy’s policy changes, largely granting a request made by 14 states for a court order blocking the postmaster general’s actions.

As Common Dreams reported last month, Judge Stanley Bastian of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington described DeJoy’s efforts as a “politically motivated attack” on the USPS that was part of “an intentional effort” by the Trump administration to “disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections.”

Since “72% of the decommissioned high-speed mail sorting machines… were located in counties where Hillary Clinton received the most votes in 2016,” Bastian argued that the White House was engaging in targeted “voter disenfranchisement.”

polarbear4

TY!

jcitybone

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/14/us/politics/stock-market-coronavirus-trump.html

On the afternoon of Feb. 24, President Trump declared on Twitter that the coronavirus was “very much under control” in the United States, one of numerous rosy statements that he and his advisers made at the time about the worsening epidemic. He even added an observation for investors: “Stock market starting to look very good to me!”

But hours earlier, senior members of the president’s economic team, privately addressing board members of the conservative Hoover Institution, were less confident. Tomas J. Philipson, a senior economic adviser to the president, told the group he could not yet estimate the effects of the virus on the American economy. To some in the group, the implication was that an outbreak could prove worse than Mr. Philipson and other Trump administration advisers were signaling in public at the time.

The next day, board members — many of them Republican donors — got another taste of government uncertainty from Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council. Hours after he had boasted on CNBC that the virus was contained in the United States and “it’s pretty close to airtight,” Mr. Kudlow delivered a more ambiguous private message. He asserted that the virus was “contained in the U.S., to date, but now we just don’t know,” according to a document describing the sessions obtained by The New York Times.

The document, written by a hedge fund consultant who attended the three-day gathering of Hoover’s board, was stark. “What struck me,” the consultant wrote, was that nearly every official he heard from raised the virus “as a point of concern, totally unprovoked.”

The consultant’s assessment quickly spread through parts of the investment world. U.S. stocks were already spiraling because of a warning from a federal public health official that the virus was likely to spread, but traders spotted the immediate significance: The president’s aides appeared to be giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a potentially impactful contagion at a time when Mr. Trump was publicly insisting that the threat was nonexistent.

Interviews with eight people who either received copies of the memo or were briefed on aspects of it as it spread among investors in New York and elsewhere provide a glimpse of how elite traders had access to information from the administration that helped them gain financial advantage during a chaotic three days when global markets were teetering.

jcitybone

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/15/finance-202-goldmach-sachs-profits-surge-main-street-struggles-complicating-trump-pitch/?utm_campaign=wp_the_finance_202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_finance202&utm_source=reddit.com

President Trump closed his 2016 campaign with a pledge to even the economic scales for workers by bringing the financial industry to heel. Now as he tries to make an economic argument for his reelection, workers are bearing the brunt of his botched pandemic response while Goldman Sachs reports zooming profits.

Four years ago, a two-minute ad summed up his populist pitch. Over a series of images of Wall Street — and then-Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — Trump blasted a “global power structure” that “robbed our working class” and “put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

Fast forward, and Goldman Sachs is enjoying the best of times. The Wall Street giant reported Wednesday its third-quarter profit doubled over the same period last year — to $3.62 billion — as its rivals also continued raking in profits. The result comes amid an ongoing economic crisis that has doubled the unemployment rate and left the most vulnerable facing rising food insecurity, evictions and other hardships as Washington negotiators all but fold on efforts to extend emergency relief.

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/15/what-right-wing-extremism-all-about-sanders-slams-barrett-refusing-say-if-social

In keeping with her evasive answers on other key issues—from voting rights to reproductive rights to climate change—President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Wednesday refused to say whether she believes Social Security and Medicare are constitutional, prompting progressive advocacy groups and lawmakers to warn the judge’s confirmation could pose an existential threat to the programs.

“Social Security has been law of the land for 85 years, Medicare for 55,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in response to Barrett’s comments. “Tens of millions are dependent upon these programs for retirement security and healthcare. And Judge Barrett doesn’t know if they are constitutional. Really? That’s what right-wing extremism is all about.”

orlbucfan

Even Alito, Thomas, Roberts and Kavanaugh pause over privatizing SS, Medicare not so much. Barrett is just a female dork who worked for Scalia. Scalia had his private reservations over SS. He and RBG were buds. They had a few beliefs in common. Let’s see what Byedone does when he wins this election in a landslide.

jcitybone

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/democrats-climate-fracking-debate/

To be clear, this isn’t about one politician or one debate. The exchange matters because it’s indicative of a defensive crouch that Democrats have trapped ourselves in for years, and one from which we’re just starting to emerge. Gone are the days of 2008 and 2012, when President Obama avoided talking about climate change for as long as possible, convinced the issue was a losing one. The politics have shifted; now, it’s clear climate is a top issue not only for the Democratic base, but also one with the ability to persuade undecided and independent voters. Biden’s campaign understands this, which is why they’ve become the first presidential campaign in history to air a general election TV ad on climate change, and why Biden proactively did a major policy speech on the issue as wildfires were burning across the West Coast.

Still, if Democrats are serious about not just winning this election but next year’s legislative fight too, we need to shake off every bit of that historical crouch. We need to question old political truisms—is it really true that you can’t win Pennsylvania without being for fracking? Are voters really incapable of understanding that the cost of inaction is higher than the price tag of a climate bill? We have to embrace the fact that this is winning, fertile ground for us—and we have the bad guys over a barrel. Overwhelming majorities of Americans see it as a win-win to create millions of unionized jobs that build prosperity for all, while transitioning to the clean energy economy of the future. If we keep the focus of the climate debate there, we’ll prevent civilizational collapse. And we’ll probably win some elections, too.

orlbucfan

What’s with the ‘we’ crap? I’ve opposed climate destruction since I was a teenager.

polarbear4

destruction of all you hold dear v. some pain with real, deep offers of training for whatever else they want. like the coal miners in VA happy in renewable jobs–yes, they exist!

like wars and the MIC, we must leave behind the “certainty” that death is necessary for jobs. Death of people in far off lands. death of gaia, death death death money money money. it doesn’t have to be this way. i may have to dementer again if it looks like we have a chance at stacking the party with progressives. lol

jcitybone

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/10/13/Pandemic-related-job-cuts-have-led-146M-in-US-to-lose-insurance/5371602596275/

Up to 7.7 million U.S. workers lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, and 6.9 million of their dependents also lost coverage, a new study finds.

Workers in manufacturing, retail, accommodation and food services were especially hard-hit by job losses, but unequally impacted by losses in insurance coverage.

Manufacturing accounted for 12% of unemployed workers in June. But because the sector has one of the highest rates of employer-sponsored coverage at 66%, it accounted for a bigger loss of jobs with insurance — 18% — and 19% of potential coverage loss when dependents are included.

Nearly 3.3 million workers in accommodation and food services had lost their jobs as of June — 30% of the industry’s workforce. But only 25% of workers in the sector had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. Seven percent lost jobs with employer-provided coverage.

The situation was similar in the retail sector. Retail workers represented 10% of pre-pandemic employment and 14% of unemployed workers in June. But only 4 in 10 retail workers had employer-sponsored insurance before the pandemic. They accounted for 12% of lost jobs with employer-sponsored insurance and 11% of potential loss including dependents.

jcitybone

https://inthesetimes.com/article/justice-democrats-2020-squad-house-movement-election

The Squad Is Growing: A New Crew of Left Challengers Is Bringing Movement Politics to Congress

But if the left-most flank of House Democ­rats dou­bles its mem­ber­ship in 2021, it does so in a very dif­fer­ent world than exist­ed dur­ing pri­ma­ry sea­son. Months into a pan­dem­ic, nation­wide upris­ings for racial jus­tice and crises in evic­tions and unem­ploy­ment, the expand­ing Squad is tak­ing pow­er at a tumul­tuous moment — one that demands unabashed pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics more than ever. As Grim tells it, the small-but-grow­ing left flank already has had a dis­pro­por­tion­ate impact on Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. ​“With­out them, you don’t have a Green New Deal — that sim­ply wouldn’t exist,” Grim says by phone. ​“And giv­en that the Green­land ice sheet is melt­ing and Cal­i­for­nia is turn­ing into ash­es … they’re at least giv­ing Democ­rats the pos­si­bil­i­ty of com­ing up with some mea­sure of a solu­tion that meets the scale of the problem.”

This pro­gres­sive upsurge has pres­sured oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic elect­ed offi­cials to adopt more left-lean­ing posi­tions—par­tic­u­lar­ly com­pared with the party’s pre­vi­ous stan­dard-bear­ers. In 2016, Sanders famous­ly fought intran­si­gent Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty lead­er­ship to include a $15 min­i­mum wage in the par­ty plat­form, after Clin­ton argued $12 was enough; by 2019, 206 of 235 House Democ­rats vot­ed for a $15 wage bill. In 2018, 58% of run­ning Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates sup­port­ed sin­gle-pay­er health­care, com­pared with only 27% in 2010. Arguably, Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joe Biden is run­ning on a more left-wing plat­form than Clin­ton did just four years ago, includ­ing more exten­sive pub­lic fund­ing for health­care and cli­mate change mitigation.

Just five days ahead of her March 17 primary, Marie Newman made a necessary but distressing campaign decision. Because of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, Newman pulled more than 1,000 volunteers off of door-knocking and in-person get-out-the-vote efforts, reassigning them instead to phone banking and texting. It was nerve-racking for the campaign, which relied heavily on canvassing in Illinois’ 3rd District in southwest Chicagoland.

For Alexan­dra Rojas, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Jus­tice Democ­rats, this evo­lu­tion is a proof of con­cept that a for­mi­da­ble left pri­ma­ry strat­e­gy can change the par­ty not only by replac­ing mem­bers but just by threat­en­ing to. ​“I know, for a fact, [Sen­ate minor­i­ty leader] Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) would not be endors­ing the THRIVE Agen­da along­side dozens of oth­er pro­gres­sive groups if it wasn’t for fear of a pri­ma­ry chal­lenge,” Rojas says. THRIVE is a pro­posed stim­u­lus pack­age cen­ter­ing invest­ments in com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, curb­ing cli­mate change and cre­at­ing union jobs. ​“This move­ment is pow­er­ful enough to get him and oth­ers out of office,” she says.

Sean McEl­wee, co-founder of polling firm Data for Progress, argues that even los­ing pri­ma­ry chal­lenges — like the 2020 cam­paign of pro­gres­sive May­or Alex Morse against incum­bent Rep. Richie Neal (D‑Mass.) — can have a pos­i­tive effect. ​“Hav­ing two mil­lion spent against you in a pri­ma­ry chal­lenge is an unpleas­ant expe­ri­ence and a lot of [incum­bents] would seek to reduce the pain of that,” McEl­wee says.

If Morse runs again, as he has sug­gest­ed he will, he would be in good com­pa­ny: New­man and Bush won their rematch­es against incum­bents, hav­ing more name recog­ni­tion and strength­ened coali­tions. More­over, McEl­wee notes, redis­trict­ing stands to make incum­bents more vul­ner­a­ble than usu­al in the next cycle as their vot­ing bases shift, open­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for challengers.

If the move­ment has proven strong enough to knock out incum­bents, it also has proven capa­ble of pro­tect­ing favored law­mak­ers. Tlaib, Omar and Oca­sio-Cortez hand­i­ly beat their pri­ma­ry chal­lengers this year, despite breath­less news reports that their seats were in per­il. Press­ley ran unop­posed. In Mass­a­chu­setts, Sen. Ed Markey — a Demo­c­rat who’s recent­ly tak­en on more pro­gres­sive posi­tions, includ­ing co-spon­sor­ing the Green New Deal—eas­i­ly fend­ed off a pri­ma­ry chal­lenge from mod­er­ate Rep. Joe Kennedy III. That race began with polls show­ing Markey down 14 points in a state where a Kennedy had nev­er lost but end­ed in a 10-point vic­to­ry for Markey, thanks in large part to ener­getic sup­port from pro­gres­sive groups, includ­ing more than a mil­lion phone calls made by the Sun­rise Move­ment. ​“Our allies worked their ass­es off to make that hap­pen,” Rojas says. ​“That was impor­tant to show incum­bents that if you lean into the pro­gres­sive move­ment, we are pow­er­ful enough to have your back if you have ours.”

Still, even if Biden defeats Trump and the Democ­rats retake the Sen­ate, pass­ing a Green New Deal or Medicare for All will remain a tall order in Con­gress, where the sta­tus quo reigns supreme. As the fight over the vacan­cy cre­at­ed by the death of Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg illus­trates, Democ­rats already have their hands full sim­ply beat­ing back pow­er grabs from the Right.

Ulti­mate­ly, a pow­er­ful left flank in Con­gress is only as strong as the move­ment it’s behold­en to — and that pow­er can’t be built through elec­tions alone. The grow­ing Squad plans to lever­age their ties to move­ment pol­i­tics—such as Black Lives Mat­ter and labor orga­niz­ing — and, like Sanders, have used their plat­forms to encour­age turnout at protests and pick­et lines.

Move­ment politi­cians under­stand that real change comes from peo­ple demand­ing it in the streets. And accord­ing to Rojas, these new faces in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic coali­tion are stick­ing around. ​“The base of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is increas­ing­ly look­ing like Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, Jamaal Bow­man, Cori Bush and Ayan­na Press­ley,” Rojas says. ​“If we want to build the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty of the future, you’ve got to embrace the future. And I think that’s what these pri­maries are show­ing. In many ways, I think they’re inevitable.”

polarbear4

🎃👻🎃ty

jcitybone

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-iowa-rally-flooding-nobel-prize-nominations-1076063/

If you’ve been sleeping through the pandemic and are still under the impression Donald Trump cares one iota about the welfare of the Americans he represents, the president on Wednesday night offered up a pristine, one-minute encapsulation of exactly where his priorities lie. Speaking to a crowd of Iowans, Trump ranted about how the flooding that has ravaged communities across the state has been sucking up air time that should be going to issues that actually matter, like his Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

jcitybone

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/opinion/america-global-power.html

The next president, whoever he is, will not determine the future of America’s role in the world. Joe Biden does not recognize there is a problem. President Trump has no answers.

Three decades into the “post-Cold War era,” still named for what preceded it, the United States possesses no widely shared, deeply felt purpose for vast global power. America’s armed dominance today occupies a position similar to that of liberal immigration, free trade or private health insurance a decade ago. Taken for granted by political elites, it is nonetheless ripe for challenge beneath the surface.

One source of challenge comes from recent experience: America’s wars have projected mayhem across the greater Middle East and brought militarized violence home to American streets. Another source is prospective: As both liberals and conservatives rack up debt, they will face pressure to cut the gargantuan, trillion-plus sum lavished annually on national security.

But the most profound challenge is rooted deep in the past. If many Americans no longer understand why their country should police the world, it is for good reason: U.S. military supremacy has outlived its original purpose.

jcitybone

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/15/dr-fauci-says-letting-the-coronavirus-spread-to-achieve-herd-immunity-is-nonsense-and-dangerous.html

Letting the coronavirus rip through the U.S. population unchecked to infect as many people as possible to achieve so-called “herd immunity” would cause a lot of unnecessary deaths and the idea is “nonsense” and “dangerous,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said Thursday.

“I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said when asked about whether herd immunity is a viable strategy for the U.S. to adopt. “If you let infections rip as it were and say, ‘Let everybody get infected that’s going to be able to get infected and then we’ll have herd immunity.’ Quite frankly that is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous,” Fauci told Yahoo! News.