Thursday, July 19, 2018

U.S. Public Approves of Socialism !

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
American socialism is having one hot summer. In New York, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, running as a Democratic Socialist, upset Rep. Joe Crowley, favored to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats, in the Democratic primary. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, running in the September primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has proclaimed herself a Democratic Socialist too.
Its numbers surging in the wake of Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning victory, the Democratic Socialists of America now claims 45,000 members. That’s a nine-fold increase over the 5,000 members (myself included) it had before Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders began his presidential run in 2015.
Connected to but distinct from the socialist surge, leading Democrats, not just from the party’s left but from its center as well — particularly if they have presidential aspirations — are embracing social Democratic policies. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has co-sponsored Sanders’ bill to supplant our unaffordable hodgepodge of a healthcare system with Medicare for all; so have her previously centrist colleagues, New Jersey’s Cory Booker and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, who also have endorsed Sanders’ proposal for a governmental full-employment program. Of the 57 Democrats who have won congressional primaries in swing districts and will challenge Republican incumbents this November, according to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, 33 support Medicare for all.
By running in Democratic primaries, candidates like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have made it easy for vote for them.

Democratic Socialist Grow

Democratic Socialists of America grow to 42,000

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

Opinion | Why Won;t Donald Trump Speak for America? - The New York Times

Opinion | Why Wont Donald Trump Speak for America? - The New York Times

What is democratic socialism

Trump and Putin

In Helsinki, the GOP War on the Enemy Within Reached Its Logical Conclusion. When the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed, the American Right was faced with a conundrum. For most of the 20th century, it had defined itself by its anti-communism, the sole idea on which all wings of the disparate conservative community could agree. Moreover, anti-communism gave the Republicans a handy club with which to beat Democrats, since they could always attack the Democrats for being either soft on communism or, since Democrats believed in a mixed economy, being closet communists themselves. Then as now, Republicans were seldom deterred by an absence of evidence.
But with the 1991-1992 dissolution of the Soviet Union, the barbarians were no longer at the gate. The immediate beneficiary of this brave new world was presidential candidate Bill Clinton, whom the Republicans couldn’t attack, in the sudden absence of communism, for being soft on communism. There was still China, of course, but Republicans in those days and for some time thereafter liked China as a place where American corporations could do business.
Over the past quarter-century, however, Republicans have risen to the occasion: They have invented an enemy within whose purported terrors still drive GOP voters to the polls. The process began right after the Commies disappeared, in the 1992 Republican primaries, when Pat Buchanan proclaimed a culture war on liberals, minorities, and modernity itself—that is, on his fellow Americans. By 1994, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh were singing from the same foul hymnal, and one year later Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes came along to swell the chorus. From that time forth, the Republican mantra was established: The enemy was here; the enemy was modernity; the enemy was the Democrats.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Saving Our Democracy

The greatest experiment in democracy in human history is now being run like a gangster-state. And so we protest, not because we want to spend our days this way, but because now we have to spend our days this way. We protest in the same way the brave rescue teams in Thailand have repeatedly dived into the dangerous waters of the flooded cave, not because they relish danger but because to do otherwise would be a moral failing.
In the eruption of protests this past month, outside federal buildings in cities large and small around the country, along the border, at detention facilities, there are at last the stirrings of redemption. There is a moral outrage percolating now throughout this great land, a sense that, with the taking of the children, with the stealing of the Supreme Court, with the destruction of environmental regulations and the rolling back of 60 years of civil rights advances, everything is on the line.

In ever-increasing numbers, and with ever-increasing urgency, as our own political flood waters rise, so we will keep protesting, keep fighting, keep pushing back, until bit by bit we redeem this wondrous democracy from rule by thugs.
Sasha Abramsky is a Sacramento writer who teaches at UC Davis. His latest book is “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.” He can be reached at

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Democratic Socialism and the Democratic Party

Mehdi Hasan
July 6, 2018
The Intercept 
The modern, liberal, progressive America so cherished by Democratic Party elites might not exist today — were it not for socialists!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during a press conference at the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center on February 21, 2018, in San Francisco., Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

IS DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM now in the “ascendant” in the Democratic Party? That was the question posed by a reporter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week, in the wake of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shock primary victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District.

And Pelosi’s response? “No.”

Elaborating a bit, she qualified that “it’s ascendant in that district perhaps. But I don’t accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans. So let me reject that right now.”

Who is she kidding? Ocasio-Cortez, a “Democratic giant slayer” (New York Times) who “rocked the political world” (CBS News), is now a household name. From the pages of Vogue to the studios of ABC’s “The View” and CBS’s “Late Show,” the Democrats’ newest star has been eloquently explaining — and detoxifying — democratic socialism to millions of apolitical Americans. “No person should be too poor to live,” she toldStephen Colbert, to cheers and applause, when asked to define her ideology.

Then there’s Bernie Sanders. Who’d have imagined that a self-proclaimed democratic socialist from the state of Vermont, who was pilloried for going on “honeymoon” to the Soviet Union, would become the most popular politician in the United States?

If socialism isn’t “ascendant” in her party, why did 16 Democratic senators join with Sanders in September 2017 to introduce his Medicare For All Act, a bill “enthusiastically” endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America? Lest we forget, only four years earlier, Sanders introduced a similar bill in the Senate that had zero Democratic co-sponsors.

Here are a couple of other questions for Pelosi to consider: If socialism isn’t “ascendent” in her party, why did nearly six in 10 Democratic primary voters in 2016 say it has a “positive impact on society” and four in 10 Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa describe themselves as socialists? Why did the New York Times publish a piece in April that was headlined, “‘Yes, I’m Running as a Socialist.’ Why Candidates Are Embracing the Label in 2018”?

Of course, this isn’t socialism of the totalitarian or even Marxist variety. Even by European standards, it’s pretty tame: Neither Sanders nor Ocasio-Cortez is echoing British Labour Party leader and proud socialist Jeremy Corbyn’s call for the nationalization of public utilities. “Many socialist candidates sound less like revolutionaries and more like traditional Democrats,” acknowledged the New York Times. “They want single-payer health care, a higher minimum wage, and greater protections for unions.” (Although Ocasio-Cortez did pay homage to Corbyn in her viral campaign ad, intoning that “a New York for the many is possible,” a phrase Corbyn himself borrowed from Percy Shelley.)

Nevertheless, leading Democrats have, for many decades now, run a mile from the socialist label. “We’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is,” Pelosi told a CNN town hall audience last year, when confronted by a student who asked her if the Democrats “could move farther left to a more populist message.” An anxious Barack Obama once called a reporterwho had asked him whether he was a socialist to say it was “hard … to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question.” Hillary Clinton recently complained that her embrace of the label “capitalist” during the campaign “probably” hurt her in the 2016 campaign among Democrats.

Yet the modern, liberal, progressive America that is so cherished by Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic Party elites might not exist today — were it not for socialists!

TAKE THE NEW Deal. “FDR’s borrowing of ideas about Social Security, unemployment compensation, jobs programs and agricultural assistance from the Socialists was sufficient to pull voters who had rejected the Democrats in 1932 into the New Deal Coalition that would sweep the congressional elections of 1934 and reelect the president with … the largest Electoral College win in the history of two-party politics,” writesJohn Nichols in his book “The S Word: A Short History of an American Tradition…Socialism.” Elsewhere, Nichols cites a 1954 New York Times profile of Norman Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, which described him as having made “a great contribution in pioneering ideas that have now won the support of both major parties,” including “Social Security, public housing, public power developments, legal protection for collective bargaining and other attributes of the welfare state.”

How about the war on poverty?

In 1962, socialist intellectual Michael Harrington — who would later go on to found the Democratic Socialists of America — published “The Other America: Poverty in the United States” and it became an instant classic. “Among the book’s readers, reputedly, was John F. Kennedy, who in the fall of 1963 began thinking about proposing anti­poverty legislation,” wrote Harrington’s biographer Maurice Isserman. “After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson took up the issue, calling in his 1964 State of the Union address for an ‘unconditional war on poverty.’ Sargent Shriver headed the task force charged with drawing up the legislation, and invited Harrington to Washington as a consultant.”

Then there is the civil rights struggle.

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, was organized by proud democratic socialists Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph. King himself would later remark that “something is wrong … with capitalism” and “there must be a better distribution of wealth.” “Maybe,” he suggested, “America must move toward a democratic socialism.”

Go beyond politics, too.

“It’s kind of ironic,” Nate Silver once remarked, “American sports are socialist.” Consider the NFL, which operates a strict salary cap for players, while also ensuring that each NFL team receives an equal share of the league’s revenue from TV deals. To quote Art Modell, the late owner of the Cleveland Browns, the league is run by “a bunch of fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist on football.”

To recap: The most popular politician in the United States today is a socialist; the most admired American of the 20th century had a soft spot for socialism; and the most popular sport in the country is basically a “government-sanctioned socialist utopia.” So much for socialism, then, being somehow un-American or some sort of foreign import.

It is also worth noting that while the “s-word” may still bother a majority of Americans, especially older Americans, socialist policies are pretty popular across the board — including with plenty of Republicans. Writing for New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, and citing a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Eric Levitz points out that “a majority of voters in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania would all support a socialist takeover of the health-insurance industry (so long as you didn’t put the idea to them in those terms).” He also observes that the “most radical economic policy on Ocasio-Cortez’s platform — a federal job guarantee — meanwhile, actually polls quite well in ‘flyover country.’”

So, what is Pelosi so afraid of? The way in which Republicans have turned “socialist” into a smear and a slur? Who cares? They’ve done the same to “liberal” — yet that hasn’t stopped Pelosi from identifying herself as one.

At the very minimum, even if the House minority leader doesn’t agree with the chair of the Democratic National Committee that democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez represents “the future of our party,” she should stop being so defensive. Perhaps Pelosi could learn a lesson from President Harry Truman. The conservative Democrat and proud Cold Warrior was dubbed — yes, you guessed it — a “socialist” by his GOP opponents in 1950. “Out of the great progress of this country, out of our great advances in achieving a better life for all, out of our rise to world leadership, the Republican leaders have learned nothing,” responded a defiant Truman. “Confronted by the great record of this country, and the tremendous promise of its future, all they do is croak, ‘socialism.’”

Mehdi Hasan is an award-winning British columnist, broadcaster, and author based in Washington, D.C. He is the host of The Intercept podcast “Deconstructed” and also hosts “UpFront” on Al Jazeera English. He has interviewed, among others, Edward Snowden, Hamid Karzai, Ehud Olmert, and Gen. Michael Flynn. He is also the author of two books — a biography of former U.K. Labor Party leader Ed Miliband and an e-book on the financial crisis and austerity economics. Mehdi has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and the Times of London, among others, and is the former political director of the Huffington Post U.K. and a contributing editor to the New Statesman. He has been included in the annual list of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world and named as one of the 100 most influential Britons on Twitter.

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Where Are the Children ?

Donde están Los Niños ?

Thank you!  All who participated in the  Families Belong Together marches across the nation. Thank you for showing up!  It is a tremendous statement. 
Having worked in the immigration fight for years, this is a peak moment.  It is humbling to see the millions and the families uniting to find the children taken by ICE.  Thank you for standing with the immigrants’ rights movements.  
See Bee video.

It was a reminder that, for all the chaos and cruelty of those in power, a massive and growing movement exists in every corner of the nation that still believes in fundamental decency. It was a reminder that—at the ultimate wellspring of power in the American political system—the core values of we, the people blaze, undiminished, indivisible.
The horror that so many of us feel about the devastating policies of our government won't go away due to a march. But we are here, we are ready to fight, and we won't go away. This administration hopes to crush our will to resist. Today, we made clear that they will fail. 
In the days ahead, we'll be sharing more actions we, together, can take next to build upon this momentum, end these terrorizing and traumatizing policies, hold abusers accountable, and reunite families. Our movement needs to:
  • Keep up the heat on decision-makers everywhere. We'll organize more in-person actions to create pressure to reunite families, close family prisons, and end indefinite detention—working with Indivisible, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other organizations.
  • Hold corporations accountable for profiting off this system—companies such as Wells Fargo must be held accountable for their role in funding family separation infrastructure.
  • Rein in the excesses of the brutal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers who are terrorizing communities and tearing apart families across the country.
And we need to make sure everyone who is eligible registers to vote—a critical way to get involved with all the issues that matter to all our communities and families. 

More on all of that soon. Watch your email for opportunities to take action, or join MoveOn's SMS list to get text messages with alerts about clear, impactful actions by texting FAMILY to 668366. 

NYT Editorial Board
The marches taking place across the country this weekend are really about the soul of America. Forcibly separating children from their parents is not about “deterrence,” or the legal technicalities of law, or illegal immigration, or anything else President Trump has claimed to justify his latest and most odious outrage. It’s about “Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation,” to borrow from the Declaration of Independence.
No, the United States does not have clean hands: It has tolerated many inequities and atrocities throughout its history, toward Native Americans, blacks, Japanese and women, among others. Yet against that is the tradition in American law, culture and practice to defend the weak, to welcome the other, to give refuge to the oppressed and to refuse to acquiesce when a government acts against basic dictates of conscience.
The Trump administration has committed a gross offense. It is the duty of every decent American to demand that it promptly reunite these children with their parents.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Demonstration Against ICE- June 30-Sacramento

Seeing thousands of immigrant families torn apart, I am devastated and beyond furious.
A new Trump administration policy has been separating children—including babies younger than a year old—from their parents at our border, and detaining them in cages and tent cities. It is cruel and appalling, and it is our moral obligation to demand that it stops.
Even now that Trump is feeling pressure, he's not solving anything, as there is no plan to reunite the thousands of kids who have already been taken from their parents. And instead of stopping the imprisoning of children, he's proposing locking kids up with their families in cages for indefinite spans of time. I have visited the inside of a "detention" center, and make no mistake, they are prisons in which families and children are treated like criminals for fleeing life-threatening situations and seeking asylum.
I just gave birth to my first child four weeks ago. When I hold him in my arms, my heart breaks with the weight of my love for him, and I can’t help but imagine the devastation these parents and their terrified children are going through. As a parent, I can’t help but feel a responsibility to speak out against this horrifying situation. As an American, I know it is my duty to condemn these dehumanizing actions and demand that this never happen in our country, on our watch.
Many of us feel this pain and call to action so deeply—which is why hundreds of thousands of us are preparing to take to the streets at more than 600 events around the country next weekend to declare Families Belong Together.
Have you ever read about a moment of crisis in history and wondered how people could let something so evil happen? This is one of those moments. We have to speak up. The Trump administration chooses to brutally punish families like this. It’s immoral, it’s wrong, and we can force them to stop.
We're seeing that our outrage is working. But this crisis is far from over. Now's the time to declare that these brutal policies must end, families must be treated with dignity, and the monsters who created these policies deserve to be held accountable.
Families come to the U.S. seeking a better life than was possible for them in the country they came from. Can you imagine living in such a dangerous and untenable situation, that your best option is to subject your family to a harrowing and life-threatening journey, only to arrive in a new country and have your child ripped from your arms with no indication of whether you’ll ever see them again? Can you imagine your terrified and confused child imprisoned by themselves?
MoveOn, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the ACLU, and others, are calling for June 30 to be a Families Belong Together national day of action. More and more Americans are mobilizing, and we need you to join us.
In solidarity,
—America Ferrera

Sacramento Rally.  10 AM.  ICE Administration Building.  650 Capitol Mall.
Organized by Move On, ACLU, and many more.
Endorsed by Sacramento Progressive Alliance
Democratic Socialists of America,  and more


But we won't allow it to continue. On June 30, we're rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to permanently end the separation of kids from their parents. End family internment camps. End the "zero-humanity" policy that created this crisis. And reunify the children with their parents.
Trump and his administration have been systematically criminalizing immigration and immigrants, from revoking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to ramping up intimidating ICE tactics. 
Join us on June 30 to send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: Families Belong Together! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sacramento Demonstration Agains ICE- today

LACLAA ( Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement)  organized a  noisy and dynamic demonstration today at the ICE offices in Sacramento to oppose the policies of jailing children and to slow down ICE.  Photos, videos, and sound recordings contributed to the scene.

Desiree Rojas

Desiree Rojas, Sacramento LACLA President pointed to large photos and said we have now seen children put into dog kennels.  We have seen ICE Separate families. And, we must resist. 
“We will fight for the children !  We will fight back against ICE !” 
LACLAA , a part of the AFL-CIO, has been organized and active in Sacramento since 1982 and was particularly active in the anti NAFTA efforts and in organizing annual Cesar Chavez marches. 

Local residents of the Japanese Citizens League,  who had themselves been incarcerated in 1942 in the Japanese Incarceration told of their stories.  And, how the incarceration haunted them for decades.

Fabrizio Sasso, Executive Secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council  described today’s effort as a part of the battle for Freedom and Democracy. 

Duane Campbell (DSA) the Co Chair of the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of Democratic Socialists of America told the crowd of some 200 of the DSA campaign to Abolish ICE.  

“This issue before us is one of human decency.  Under the Trump Administration ICE has developed a new policy of deliberately separating families of immigrants and refugees.  They are separating parents from their children as a form of collective punishment.    We have seen the photos. We know what is happening! 
Now they claim to have changed  the policy and they will keep the children with the families—in jail!