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By Jeff Cohen
What an exciting trip I just took up and down the beautiful North Coast of California. But I wasn’t on vacation. Nor harvesting pot. I was campaigning for my buddy Norman Solomon for Congress.
Over the years, Norman and I have written hundreds of columns and three books together. He cofounded FAIR with me.
Today he’s building an amazing, grassroots campaign – more a movement than just a congressional campaign. Call it “Occupy Congress.” If he can win in 2012, he’ll be unbeatable forever in that progressive district . . . another powerful Bernie Sanders or Barbara Lee in Congress.
Norman’s got one need above all else right now: MONEY. He needs it this month. Please send anything you can.
Catch Rocky on Rachel Maddow Show at 9:40 tonight.
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Disgusted with what he calls the corrupting influence of corporate money and militarism in politics, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is launching a new national political party and will likely be its presidential nominee.
“The end game is changing public policy in the interest of the people of this country. It’s changing our government,” Anderson said. “This is about taking on the two corporatist, militarist parties and in the process bringing the people of this country together so they can see that their interests, by and large, are really aligned.”
Anderson said he will likely be a candidate for the presidential nomination for the new party — which is yet to be named. He said the formation of the party will be announced next week “and shortly thereafter, I’ll be announcing my candidacy.” He has already started filling out paperwork for a presidential exploratory committee.
Once the announcement is made, he said a major effort to get on the ballot will start soon in all 50 states. The focus will first be on Mississippi and Vermont, which have a Jan. 1 deadline, but a relatively low bar to get on the ballot, Anderson said.
Illegitimate Egyptian Elections - by Stephen Lendman
Last February, Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship ended. Another one replaced him. Egypt's military holds absolute power.
Authoritarian dominance is unchallenged. Elections are more theater than real. Egypt's multi-round complex process complicates them further. So do logistics. Understanding what to do is daunting.
By Dave Lindorff
What a devilishly sneaky guy that Jose Danial Ortega Saavedra is!
Why this president of Nicaragua, and former leader of the Sandinista rebels in their successful 1979 overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, in order to win re-election this fall, as he appears to have done, according to the New York Times, “shrewdly adopted policies aimed at pleasing his base of poor and working-class Nicaraguans, including supplying them with government-donated food”!
Why of all the nerve! What a crook and a scheister! Imagine catering to the needs of the poor in order to win an election. How low can a politician stoop?
Our campaign for Congress has climbed into second place. The presumed frontrunner keeps socking away corporate cash -- he recently had a PAC fundraiser just a few blocks from the Capitol -- while I refuse to take a single dollar of corporate PAC money.
Our strength is at the grassroots. At the same time, we need more resources to get our message out: No to Wall Street power. Democracy not "corporatocracy." Healthcare not warfare. A sustainable future.
Can you pitch in?
I'd sure appreciate whatever you can do. To contribute, or for background info, please click here.
Thanks a lot --
P.S. -- Can I win? The latest polling results say YES. But I need your help!
By John Grant
By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Tuesday’s most important vote is the repeal of Ohio’s vicious anti-labor Issue 2.
Polls show the repeal winning by 20% or more. But will it---like the 2004 presidential election---be stolen by a 1% intent on crushing working people and stealing huge sums of money?
Like Wisconsin’s millionaire assault on the bargaining rights of public unions, the thoroughly bought Ohio legislature has passed a draconian law aimed at crippling the organizing ability of working people.
The attack has the loud, persistent support of Wall Street’s hand-picked Governor John Kasich, who made millions as a Foxist commentator and Lehman bond dealer. Among other things, Kasich helped pawn $400 million in Lehman’s junk bonds onto the Ohio teacher’s pension fund, making him a multi-millionaire. Control of that money would be directly affected by the outcome of this referendum.
Lately, the phrase "public servants" has struck me as ironic, not because government officials fail to serve the public, but because much of the public serves them. The public is the servants. Activist groups and individuals devote themselves to bettering the fortunes of political parties or politicians, at the expense of pressuring government officials to represent public demands.
Nobody favors eliminating elections, and nobody favors eliminating activism. But there are those who cannot see how prioritizing money-marinated, gerrymandered, cable-news-controlled, unverifiable elections will reverse the train wreck in progress. And there are those who cannot see what it would mean to engage in activism that wasn't aimed at promoting electoral victories.
Putin in 2012 - by Stephen Lendman
Currently he's United Russia's Prime Minister, serving with President Dmitry Medvedev.
From May 7, 2000 - May 7, 2008, he was Russia's second President, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, a man known for destructive "shock therapy" that created shocking levels of poverty and social inequality.
Progressive leaders led by Ralph Nader and Cornel West unveiled a proposal today to challenge President Obama in the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries in 2012.
The proposal, which has been endorsed by over 45 distinguished leaders, seeks to have a slate of six candidates run against President Obama, each representing a field in which Obama has never clearly staked a progressive claim or where he has drifted toward the corporatist right.
“Without debates by challengers inside the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries, the liberal/majoritarian agenda will be muted and ignored,” said Ralph Nader.
“The one-man Democratic primaries will be dull, repetitive, and draining of both voter enthusiasm and real bright lines between the two parties that excite voters,” Nader said.
By Charles M. Young
Is Smartphone Technology the Future of US Elections?
ScienceDaily (Sep. 13, 2011) — With more and more Americans upgrading to smartphones, and as smartphone capabilities continue to improve, even the U.S. government is considering innovative ways to harness this advancing technology. Human factors/ergonomics researchers have evaluated the potential benefits of using smartphones to enable online voting in future U.S. elections and will present their findings at the upcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here's a way to make this work within a Democratic Primary or in the general election of 2012.
Nobody can just announce that they are running in the general election as a candidate of the people, of peace, of justice, of decency, because all the corporate media would want to talk about was Spoilerdom.
And running instead in only non-swing-states, or asking voters in swing states to swap their votes with people in non-swing-states, would lead to only that same conversation about Spoilers and the mechanics of theatrical electioneering.
Here's a simple proposal. I'm sure it's too much to ask for, but I'm asking anyway. Let's set aside a single month, say the month of April, following each federal election, and for that single month behave like the citizens and elected officials of a normal representative republic.
In 1960 Martin Luther King supported Kennedy instead of Nixon
Then he marched in the streets of Birmingham to pass the Civil Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.
In 1964 Martin Luther King supported Johnson instead of Goldwater
to prevent America from going backwards.
Then he marched in Selma to pass the Voting Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.
For Dr. King there was no conflict between voting strategically
to prevent the triumph of reaction and leading a nonviolent mass movement
to pressure a president to achieve profound social change.
When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped weak presidents become stronger.
When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped good presidents become great.
Rev. Jessie Jackson Jr. at the evening reception of the joint AFL-CIO/Martin Luther King Center conference on Jobs, Justice and the American Dream.
The Democratic Strategist
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump
Rick Perry: Extremist White America's Evangelical Hope - by Stephen Lendman
Consider the unpalatable 2012 options, a choice between:
-- a so far unopposed lawless/crime boss/militarist/pro-war/anti-populist president; and
Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, right. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.
Other recent news includes claims by both major parties of irregularities in last week’s Wisconsin state senate recall elections. In a pattern familiar nationally, Democrats suspect vote hiding by a partisan GOP elections supervisor and Republicans allege illegal inducements by Democrats to encourage voting. Elsewhere, Fox News played up a report about how a county judge in Nevada called the community-organizing group ACORN “reprehensible” on Aug. 10 and ordered a $5,000 fine for the defunct group because it paid a bonus to workers who registered voters.
60min had a replay of an earlier report on corporate tax havens last night.
Which now raises even more questions especially related to this now infamous remark and backed up by many of like minded ideology:
Followed quickly by this:
"Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."
Which people and where, are these corporate profits trickled down too?
While they renounce their corporate citizenship to dodge the corporate U.S. tax rates they stay on the trading boards of Wall Street as U.S. to be invested in.
“Somebody should challenge Obama, there’s no question about it. He is what he is, and it’s not what we want,” former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “I’d be happy to do it, but it takes money. Without enough money to be heard, you come off as somewhat foolish.”
Gravel said he will challenge Obama if there is sufficient financial backing.
“If [supporters] would put up $1 million, I probably would run. And that would at least fund enough activity to get a message out,” Gravel said.
California Democratic Party May Dump Its Progressive Caucus for Proposing a Primary Challenge to Obama
On July 30th the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party passed a resolution proposing that a primary challenge be offered to Obama next year. The Progressive Caucus's certification expired at the same time, and while other caucuses were routinely recertified that day by the state party, the Progressive Caucus (I'm told by its chair, Karen Bernal) would not have been, had a vote been held. So the recertification was tabled, and the Progressive Caucus is in limbo. It no longer exists, but it may yet continue existing.
I asked Karen Bernal about the resolution and the response to it on Sunday. Here's that audio: mp3.
Here's the resolution:
RESOLUTION in SUPPORT of a POSSIBLE 2012 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CHALLENGE
Passed July 30, 2011
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party recognizes the challenge presented by President Obama’s negotiating away Democratic Party principles to extremist Republicans, we are challenged by President Obama in the following ways:
• His unilateral closed-door budget offer to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which endangers the New Deal and War on Poverty safety nets.
• His determination to escalate U.S. militarism through illegal secret CIA drone attacks and unauthorized wars.
• His willingness to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and bail out big banks without ending the foreclosure crisis that displaces American working families.
• His insistence on pushing a health insurance bill which enriches private insurance companies while ignoring growing support for single-payer health care or robust public options.
• His continuance of President Bush’s assault on civil liberties with an extension of the repressive Patriot Act.
• His failure to restore due process, including the protection of whistleblowers and habeas corpus.
• His numerous failures to adhere to international law.
• The continuing practice of nationwide FBI raids of anti-war progressive protestors.
• His decision to increase the arrests and deportations of undocumented workers.
• His facilitation of the privatizing of the public sphere, which includes education and housing, among others.
• His disregard of his promises to the Labor movement.
• His failure to adequately protect the environment and adequately address climate change.
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party recognizes the historical significance of the Eugene McCarthy/Robert F. Kennedy anti-war challenge to President Lyndon Johnson. The challenge followed President Johnson’s decision to escalate U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, betraying his campaign promise to end a war that polarized America. Similarly, we recognize the danger and betrayal that the current “Grand Bargain” represents to the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signature gift to all Americans, Social Security and the New Deal, a point of pride for all Democrats.
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party is committed to the understanding that an interest in a 2012 Democratic presidential primary challenge will not interfere with President Obama’s ability to govern and not limit his ability to do so in ways that include invoking Constitutional options, we recognize that this will, in fact, raise debate on important issues without risking the ability to mobilize and energize the base of the Democratic Party to elect a triumphant leader to counter the far-right agenda.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, to make our views heard, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party will begin the process of contacting other Democratic organizations, Democratic Party members and public organizations that share our views on the issues and which seek to alter the course of history by exploring other steps to effect a necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama.
PS: You can help primary Obama here: http://stophoping.org
"Obama’s high command has even studied President Bush’s 2004 takedown of Sen. John F. Kerry, a senior campaign adviser told POLITICO, for clues on how a president with middling approval ratings can defeat a challenger."
With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.
Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.