Tag Archives | Democrats

The “99% Spring”: Co-Opting Occupy or Helping Spread its Message?

Jake Olzen writes on Alternet:

Next month, activists and organizers across the country are planning to train 100,000 people in nonviolent direct action for what they call The 99% Spring. But despite borrowing one or two of the Occupy movement’s favorite slogans, The 99% Spring hasn’t been called for by any general assembly.

Rather, this massive and controversial effort is coming from the institutional left — a diverse coalition of labor unions, environmental and economic justice groups, community organizations and trainers’ alliances. While some celebrate what appears to be a mainstreaming of resistance thanks to Occupy, others are crying co-option.

“This spring we rise!” write 99% Spring organizers in a letter to “America.” “We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.

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Phil Donahue on America’s War Fever (Video)

On Piers Morgan Tonight of all places, Phil Donahue (who was kicked off MSNBC for being too anti-war in the wake of 9/11), speaks about the Bizarro world our political leaders live in when it comes to honest discussion about how America goes to war. (Side note: checking out the book Donahue references War Made Easy by Norman Solomon is enlightening.) Discussion starts around 35 seconds into this clip.
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Donations To Third Parties Skyrocketing

Do you think people believe that they only have two choices in regards to governance? Break free from the ketchup-vs.-mustard political paradigm, and reach for the tangy BBQ sauce of third parties. Via Parapolitical:

The current issue of Ballot Access News reports a nearly 300-percent increase in individual giving to third parties in the United States during Q1/Q2 2011 versus the same time period in 2010. The data is based on state income tax returns from the thirteen states that let taxpayers designate a donation to their favorite political party. By comparison, the Democrat Party registered only a 2.4-percent bump in giving, while the Republican Party saw a 2.6-percent decline.

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Political Game Playing Promotes Partisanship Through Polarization

Fox_News_Channel's_Your_World_studio

Fox News studio. Photo: Inside Cable News (CC)

Grrrrrrrr.

You can almost hear the growling in the background as the masters of attack politics go into action, virtually every hour on the hour, on the Fox News Channel. The issues they focus on are carefully selected by top executives and then broken down into highly politicized message points.

Their dominant emotion is annoyance, as expressed in sarcasm and scowling. Contempt is the underlying attitude.

The other side is usually not just wrong but plain stupid, almost unbelievable in its soft-headed naivete and distance from reality

A “what do you expect” question invariably tops off the argument which always ends with the Fox host a winner and the Democrat or social critic a loser on every level.

Standing on a podium, driven by self-righteous certainty, the finger pointers view the people they talk about, and talk down to, as below the intelligence threshold of people even worth arguing with.… Read the rest

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Kucinich Wants to Impeach Obama For Libyan Strike

Impeach ObamaJohn Bresnahan & Jonathan Allen write in the Politico:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.

Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.

Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn’t object when President Barack Obama told them of his plan for American participation in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone during a White House Situation Room meeting on Friday, sources told POLITICO.

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DNC RIP: 1848 – February 16, 2011

“There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Trumka and McEntee

Trumka and McEntee

Well, almost . . . I’m not too confident about defeating Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s junta in the near term. In fact I’m detecting a growing rumble that suggests the earth is about to crack open within the next week and swallow the Madison Uprising whole. However, two other points seem equally clear to me:

1.) If it does, it will likely drag the DNC to Hell along with it

2.) The DNC’s demise may not be all that great a loss for Richard Trumka and Jerry McEntee — or the American people.

Madness

I’m only one lone blogger, an overfed garden gnome with a bad haircut.  I can’t possibly hope to convey to those outside of Wisconsin the full brutal glory and incendiary bolts of sheer lunacy roiling through the state right now.  In part because I have heretofore lacked the resources and the contacts to be at the epicenter and in greater part because the whole awesome mess is so overwhelming that I think it’d be beyond the capability of a dedicated full-time team of bloggers to bring home the sublime scale of the thing.… Read the rest

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Rachel Maddow Reveals the Hidden Truth Behind the Wisconsin Protests (Video)

WisconsinSays Rachel Maddow:
Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year. I am not kidding. I’m quoting their own version of the congressional budget office, the state’s own nonpartisan assess the state’s finances agency. That agency said the month that the new Republican governor of Wisconsin was sworn in, last month, that the state was on track to have a $120 million budget surplus this year. So then why exactly does Wisconsin look like this right now? Why is there a revolt in the American Midwest tonight? The main headline that you are seeing right now about this remarkable thing — look at these images — this remarkable thing that’s going on in the American Midwest, the headlines you are seeing about this are mostly wrong, because what’s going on right now in the American Midwest is about Republicans versus Democrats. It is about politics. It is about who wins the next election and the elections after that. That’s what’s going on right now in Wisconsin. This is about the survival of the Democratic Party. There are parts of the story that actually don’t make any sense unless you understand that. What’s happening in Wisconsin right now is not about a budget. This is about elections. This is about the Republican Party going after the institutions that make it possible for Democrats to win elections in America.
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Democrats Vote Against Patriot Act Extentions, Then Bash Republicans Over Their Defeat

U.S. Great Seal Obverse

Check out these two news reports. Hypocrisy, politics, or both?

Simmi Aujla reports in the Politico:

Top House Democrats pounced on Republicans’ mishandling of a routine vote Tuesday evening, which caused a bill to extend provisions of the Patriot Act go down in defeat.

The Democrats said Wednesday morning that the failed vote is a sign that Republican leaders aren’t prepared to handle the practical difficulties of governing.

“I don’t think they’ve found their center yet,” Democratic Caucus conference chair Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said. “It seems they’re coming apart at the seams.”

Rank-and-file Republicans threw off Republican leaders’ plans for the measure, which was expected to pass easily, when a large enough number bucked their party and voted no. The measure fell short of the two-thirds vote it needed by 13 votes.

But Greg Sargent reports in the Washington Post:

Yesterday, a vote on reauthorizing three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed after most Democrats and a few Republicans voted against it.

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