Thursday, December 31, 2015

Washington Post Fires Harold Meyerson

Peter Dreier 
Harold Meyerson
Fred Hiatt, the Washington Post's editorial page editor, has fired columnist Harold Meyerson, one of the nation's finest journalists and perhaps the only self-proclaimed socialist to write a weekly column for a major American newspaper during the past decade or two.  ( see post below) 
At a time when America is experiencing an upsurge of progressive organizing and activism -- from Occupy Wall Street, to Black Lives Matter, to the growing movement among low-wage workers demanding higher minimum wages, to Bernie Sanders' campaign for president -- we need a regular columnist who can explain what's going on, why it's happening, and what it means. 
More than any other columnist for a major U.S. newspaper, Meyerson provided ongoing coverage and incisive analysis of the nation's labor movement and other progressive causes as well as the changing economy and the increasing aggressiveness of big business in American politics. He was one of the few columnists in the country who knew labor leaders and grassroots activists by name, and who could write sympathetically and knowledgeably about working people's experiences in their workplaces and communities. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Rich Get Richer

Harold Meyerson
“Follow the money,” “Deep Throat” famously tells Bob Woodward, hot on the trail of The Post’s most celebrated story, in the film “All the President’s Men.” In more recent decades, following the money has yielded a tale quite as calamitous as Watergate: the evisceration of the American middle class at the hands of the American rich.
A Pew Research Center study released in December documents this shift. In 1970, middle-income households claimed 62 percent of all personal income, while upper-income households received 29 percent. In 2014, the share going to middle-income households had declined to 43 percent, while that going to the top had soared to 49 percent. (While many on the right insist that the poor are somehow draining the middle class’s pocketbooks, that malignant myth is completely belied by Pew’s figures.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

antiracismdsa: Dreamer Speaking for Bernie Sanders

antiracismdsa: Dreamer Speaking for Bernie Sanders: Begin at 7;19

Organizers Seek $15 Hour Wage in Sacramento

Allen Young
A group of community organizers on Monday formally launched a $15 hourly minimum wage ballot measure in Sacramento. The group, known as Raise the Wage Sacramento, must now collect signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
"We will take our ballot initiative and shop it for endorsements" to fund and operate a campaign, said Tamie Dramer, chair of Organize Sacramento, a group affiliated with Raise the Wage Sacramento.

The initiative would override the city's $12.50 minimum wage ordinance passed in October, starting with a minimum wage of $11.50 in 2017 and rising to $15 in 2020, with inflation adjustments thereafter. It would also provide workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Protesters Rally Against Western States Petroleum Association, Oil Caucus



by Dan Bacher 

On December 10, 350 Sacramento and Rootskeeper.org co-sponsored a Day of Action in Sacramento with the theme "How the Grinches Stole Climate Justice." 

The event, held on the last day of the Paris Climate Talks, started with a rally by over 40 people on the West Steps of the Capitol. The Raging Grannies opened and closed the march with their songs against fracking and Big Oil. 

Speakers at the rally included Chris Brown of Sacramento 350, Jessica Wohlander from the Rootskeeper, Valarie Martin of Californians for Green Energy and others. I spoke about the power of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) in California. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bernie Sanders Knocks Donald Trump's Scapegoating Strategy | MSNBC



Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president, talks with Rachel Maddow about Republican front-runner Donald Trump's extreme views on Muslims in America, and what Trump's supporters are attracted to in him as a candidate.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tell the Networks- Cover Bernie



We all knew that the corporate media wouldn't give Bernie a fair shake. The classic quote is "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". But we had no idea the numbers would be this ridiculously unfair. 

On evening news programs this year, Trump's insane ramblings garnered 234 minutes. Bernie? 10 minutes. That's not a typo. 234 to 10!

So it's time for all of us Bernie supporters to lend our voices to the fight. The good news is it will only take a couple of minutes of your time. See the multiple means for contacting ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening news programs below. That's where we'll start.

Now, let's get to work. Find east-to-use contact links below. Use them and let us know what you've done, by reporting to mikefox@pdamerica.org. Explain that basic journalistic principles require that they report on Bernie fairly and comprehensively. 

You can mention that Bernie has more supporters than Trump according to the consensus numbers from national opinion polls, attendance at rallies, and total number of donors.

Or that he is far ahead of where then-Senator Obama was in both the polls and total fundraising at this time in the 2008 cycle. 

Or that Bernie received endorsements from unions and grassroots advocacy organizations including the Communications Workers of America, Democracy for America, National Nurses United, and the Working Families Party.

Will Voters Elect a Fascist ?

Will US Voters Elect a Fascist as President ?

Robert Kutner
It appears that nothing Donald Trump says deflates his standing in the polls. The more outlandish his comments, the more his support grows.
The Washington Post recently reported on a focus group conducted by arch-Republican strategist Frank Luntz with 29 Trump supporters. Literally no argument Luntz could devise shook their faith in Trump -- but only reinforced it.

America has been a sitting duck for a figure like Trump for a long time. The combination of a deeply eroding democracy, the downward mobility of white men other than the top ten percent, and the fusion of shallow media celebrity with politics -- all this has created tinder as vulnerable to conflagration as a brittle forest after years of drought.
Combine these conditions with a real threat of terrorism that is bewilderingly complex, and the right celebrity bully -- and you have a perfect storm for an American Caesar.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Creamer: Dems Must Unite Against New Effort to End Unions | Democratic Strategist

Creamer: Dems Must Unite Against New Effort to End Unions | Democratic Strategist

Bernie Watch Parties

Did you see last week's headline? "Report: ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted 81 Minutes to Trump, One Minute to Sanders."
The big networks, controlled by a handful of large corporations, have largely ignored Bernie's record breaking campaign. At the same time, they are serving up wall-to-wall coverage of Donald Trump's racist and xenophobic rantings.
Saturday's debate gives Bernie an all-too-rare opportunity to get his message directly out to American voters via national television. And fellow Bernie supporters are gathering to watch together at an event near you:

News Shows Give 234 minutes to Trump, 10 Minutes to Sanders

A new report finds the flagship news programs at major networks NBC, CBS and ABC have dedicated 234 minutes this year to stories about Donald Trump—compared to just 10 minutes for Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The gap comes despite Trump and Sanders often having similar levels of support in primary polls. The Tyndall Report found ABC’s World News Tonight, for example, has devoted 81 minutes to Trump campaign stories—and less than one minute to Sanders, for the entire year.

So it's time for all of us Bernie supporters to lend our voices to the fight. The good news is it will only take a couple of minutes of your time. See the multiple means for contacting ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening news programs below. That's where we'll start.

Now, let's get to work. Find east-to-use contact links below. Use them and let us know what you've done, by reporting to mikefox@pdamerica.org. Explain that basic journalistic principles require that they report on Bernie fairly and comprehensively. 

antiracismdsa: College Protests- Worthwhile Causes

antiracismdsa: College Protests- Worthwhile Causes: by Jimmy  Franco, Sr The deep-seated anger that caused the recent outbreak of student protests at colleges across the country has be...

Monday, December 14, 2015

US Funds for Climate Change

U.S. Fund to Fight Global Climate Change Is Less Than Annual Payout to a Single For-Profit College

Last week, at a critical point in the Paris negotiations on global climate change, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States would commit $800 million annually to help developing nations adapt to a warming climate and move to cleaner energy. $800 million doubled the prior U.S. pledge, and the announcement may have helped seal the deal. $800 million is a great deal of money. But it is actually less than U.S. taxpayers provided in the past year to each of five major for-profit college companies -- all of which have been under investigation in recent years by federal and state law enforcement agencies for deceiving their students, lying to government regulators, and other abuses.

Robert Reich : The Investments of the 158

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wall Street Journal Covers DSA

BOLIVAR, Pa.—Sen. Bernie Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, and when voters scan the Web to see what that means, the trail often leads to a band of about 6,500 leftists pining for relevance in a country that has long deemed “socialism” a dirty word.
Since he entered the race in May, the Democratic Socialists of America have seen monthly new members spiking two and three times the levels of a year before. 
Nearly 10,000 people visited the group’s website the day of the Democratic debate in Las Vegas in October—more than six times the usual number.
Photo by Reid Jenkins
“This is a gift from the socialist gods,” Joseph Schwartz, a Temple University professor and a vice chairman of the Democratic Socialists, said at the group’s biennial national convention in Pennsylvania last month. About 120 people showed up—a 33% jump that members attribute to Mr. Sanders’s candidacy.
For much of their 33-year history, Democratic Socialists have had little to celebrate. Capitalism has endured. Mainstream campaigns don’t always want them around.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Donald Trump and the Republican Party's 2016 Death Spiral

Joe Palermo 
Donald Trump, the Republican Party's frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination, is now promising if he's elected to close down Mosques, track Muslims with a database, and stop them from entering the country. Is anybody surprised at this point that Trump would take anti-Muslim xenophobia to a whole new level?
In his most brazen statement to date Trump demanded "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice," he said. "We, have, no, choice!" His remarks received a thunderous ovation at a rally in Nuremberg, South Carolina. 
Rachel Maddow suggests that Trump might be intentionally going over the cliff to get himself ejected from the Republican Party to open up the field to another less extreme candidate who would have a better chance of winning the general election. But who exactly from the Republican National Committee or the Republican-controlled Congress is going to step up to jettison Trump? Reince Priebus? Paul Ryan? Mitch McConnell? Mitt Romney? There's no indication that the RNC or any prominent Republican figure can hit the brakes on the Trump clown car.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Choosing Democracy: Donald Trump is Dangerous to Democracy

Choosing Democracy: Donald Trump is Dangerous to Democracy: Sacramento Bee Editorial Board.  Dec. 6, 2015. It is supreme irony that Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make Americ...

Climate Marches World Wide Being Ignored by Mainstream Media

Over 3,000 people from a coalition of over 100 labor, environmental, faith, and social justice groups held a march and rally Saturday, November 21, 2015 to demand a legally binding global agreement to implement “rapid, effective and just” responses to climate change at the 2015 UN Conference of Parties in Paris (AKA COP21). 

The Northern California Climate Mobilization started with a gathering at 10:30 am at Lake Merritt Amphitheatre in Oakland, followed by a march at noon to Oscar Grant Plaza at 14th St. and Broadway. 

The march was led by indigenous leaders holding a colorful array of signs proclaiming, “Defend the Earth,” Leave It In The Ground,” “Despierta – Awake,” “Idle No More” and other slogans. 

The marchers included Bay Area frontline communities at risk from threats that include highly toxic and lethally volatile “bomb trains” carrying fracked crude and dirty tar sands to the 5 Bay Area refineries, and dirty coal shipped through the Ports of Oakland and Richmond. Marchers came in buses from Sacramento, Sonoma County and other areas. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fighting Back Against a Rising Tide of Nativism

Dylan Roof
“Fighting Back Against the Rising Tide of Nativist and Racist Reaction”
A statement by the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

November 30, 2015

The Democratic Socialists of America call on all progressives across the United States to join together in a broad coalition against the rising tide of racist and nativist politics in the United States. The nativist fear-mongering by one Democratic and 27 Republican governors about the alleged threat posed to U.S. residents by Syrian refugees (themselves often fleeing ISIL violence) and undocumented immigrants obscures the true violent threat to our collective security: nativist, racist and misogynist terrorism. 
Recent tragedies have shown all too clearly the state of crisis in which we find ourselves. The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting illustrates how right-wing hostility to women’s rights makes those providing and seeking reproductive services targets for murder. The shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis by white supremacists demonstrates that anyone doing work around racial justice must now expect and prepare for a violent racist response. And in Chicago, recent revelations of a year-long cover-up by city officials of the blatant police murder of Laquan McDonald add yet another chapter to the shameful history of police terror against African Americans and other communities of color. Meanwhile, ongoing harassment of individuals and groups who appear to be Muslim or immigrants goes under-reported in the press, as do attacks on mosques and Black churches. 
Robert Deer 

Over the past decade, heavily armed and mostly white men have killed or injured close to 1,000 individuals in politically-motivated shootings and other mass killings. These are not isolated incidents. They are encouraged by a rhetorical climate produced by right-wing politicians and media personalities who blame immigrants, poor African Americans and foreign countries for the decline in white working-class standards of living. Donald Trump is a perfect example: for him, the barriers to America’s “greatness” are Mexican immigrants, Muslim terrorists, Black protesters, China’s economic and military power and American leaders too weak to oppose them. This nativist politics diverts attention from the 1% — the capitalist class —that long ago declared war on working-class and poor people of all races. This politics is not the fault only of the Republican leaders who espouse it, but also of Democrats like Barack Obama and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose “free trade” and austerity policies contribute to the declining standards of working-class communities. This utter failure to put forward convincing ways to explain and solve the crisis leaves a vacuum that racists easily fill.