Sunday, July 13, 2014

Democratic Party's Divide on Education Policy + Teachers Unions

Democratic Party’s Divide on Education Policy gets Worse
Jeff Bryant
Political pundits who try to tamp down talk of divisions within the Democratic Party must not be paying any attention to education policy.
For quite some time, close observers of the nation’s education policy have been calling attention to the fault lines between education progressives in the Democratic Party and Third Way-style centrists, such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Democrats for Education Reform, who lean toward a market-based, econometric philosophy for public education governance.
As Furman University education professor Paul Thomas recently wrote for Alternet, “While the Obama administration has cultivated the appearance of hope and change, its education policies are essentially slightly revised or greatly intensified versions of accountability reform begun under Ronald Reagan.”
But the Democratic Party’s divergence from real progressive values for governing our schools mostly went unnoticed in major media outlets until recently when a few light bulbs went off among political observers. Writing for Slate, Matt Yglesias noticed, “Education reform, not ‘populism’ divides Democrats.” Then, Connor Williams of the New America Foundation saw the light and explained for The New Republic, “In 2016, Democrats have good reason to run against Obama’s education record.”
Now, Jonathan Chait has penned a piece for New York Magazine, “Teachers Unions Turn Against Democrats,” in which he postulates that a “backlash” to President Obama’s education policies, energized by education historian Diane Ravitch, could lead to an alliance between teachers unions and, gulp, Republicans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

California bill to Overturn Citizens United on Governor's Desk

Overturn Citizens United Act passed the Senate and Assembly!
— SB 1272 now on Governor's Desk

In a fitting victory for Independence Day, SB 1272, the Overturn Citizens United Act, passed the Senate on the last legislative session before the 4th of July.  It's now on its way to Governor Brown's desk for him to sign!

SB 1272 would put a measure on this November's ballot letting Californians demand that Congress pass a U.S. Constitutional amendment that overturns its terrible Citizens United decision and that says once and for all that corporations aren't people, and money isn't speech.

Now it goes to Governor Brown's desk.  So far he hasn't committed to signing it.

This legislative victory happened only because we all worked together.  The author of the bill, Senator Ted Lieu, and its sponsor Money Out Voters In have done a fabulous job pushing it forward.  The California Clean Money Action Fund has been happy to help.
for the national campaign see the post below. 

Amendment to overturn Citizens United

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Activists against corporate corruption of politics declare victory

Dolores Huerta. 

California activists protesting money in politics declare victory 

by Dan Bacher 

After 5 more people were arrested in the State Capitol Rotunda in Sacramento at a sit in Thursday night, activists from the group 99Rise on July 3 announced the end of their twelve-day occupation and civil disobedience campaign to get the corporate money out politics. 

The unprecedented campaign resulted in 47 arrests, 2 legislative victories, and a private meeting with Governor’s Jerry Brown staff to discuss the corrupting influence of big money in politics, according to a statement from the group. 

"We're in a time when corporations have more rights and have a louder voice than the people, as proven by recent Supreme Court decisions and the inability to pass legislation limiting corporation campaign contributions," said Paulina Gonzalez of Oakland, who was one of the those arrested Thursday. "I am here to send the message that corporations aren't people and that money is not free speech. This is the People's House and we have to take back our democracy." 

Bernie Sanders Explains How Wall Street is Robbing You at the Pump This ...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freedom, Power, and the Conservative Mind

by Robert Reich.  On Monday the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that privately-owned corporations don’t have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the corporate owners’ religious beliefs.The owners of Hobby Lobby, the plaintiffs in the case, were always free to practice their religion. The Court bestowed religious freedom on their corporation as well – a leap of logic as absurd as giving corporations freedom of speech. Corporations aren’t people.
The deeper problem is the Court’s obliviousness to the growing imbalance of economic power between corporations and real people. By giving companies the right not offer employees contraceptive services otherwise mandated by law, the Court ignored the rights of employees to receive those services.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Neo Cons want us to go to war again. - Bill Moyers

Bush's Toxic Legacy in Iraq

Peter Bergen
June 16, 2014
The Bush administration presided over the rise of precisely what it had said was one of the key goals of the Iraq War to destroy: a safe haven for al Qaeda in the heart of the Arab world.

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter injured in clashes with members of ISIS lies in a hospital in Irbil on June 18., ,
(CNN) -- ISIS, the brutal insurgent/terrorist group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq, has seized much of western and northern Iraq and even threatens towns not far from Baghdad.
From where did ISIS spring? One of George W. Bush's most toxic legacies is the introduction of al Qaeda into Iraq, which is the ISIS mother ship.
If this wasn't so tragic it would be supremely ironic, because before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, top Bush officials were insisting that there was an al Qaeda-Iraq axis of evil. Their claims that Saddam Hussein's men were training members of al Qaeda how to make weapons of mass destruction seemed to be one of the most compelling rationales for the impending war.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

March for Democracy

Take Action Saturday in Sacramento

Host: Lawrence A.

Where: Fruitridge Community Center on Fruitridge 

When: Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

What: Please join this community meeting with the legendary civil rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Dolores Huerta. We will identify how money in politics is harming our community and what we can do about it. This event will be hosted by the California March for Democracy as they walk through South Sacramento on their 480-mile journey from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Come hear why our walkers have been walking since May 17th and what they, and we, can accomplish. This is an opportunity to a part of history! 

Can you join us in Sacramento on Saturday?