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Democrats are Running Out of TimeThe political window of...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 5:02am in

Democrats are Running Out of Time
The political window of opportunity for Joe Biden and Democrats to deliver on their promises to the American people and pass the legislation the country needs, could close at any time. 

We must understand how rare it is that the Senate and the House and the presidency are all under the control of the Democratic Party.

That’s happened in only 4 of the past 28 years

The Democrats’ current Senate majority would end with the shift of a single seat from Democrats to the Republicans. That could happen even during this session of Congress. In 27 of the 38 Congresses since World War II, the party in control of the Senate has changed during the session.

Not to be morbid, but we also need to consider that this Senate has six Democratic senators, over the age of 70, who are from states where a Republican governor would be free to replace them with a Republican should a vacancy occur.

Five other Democratic senators are from states in which a Democratic vacancy would go unfilled for months until a special election was held to fill the seat — which itself would hand the G.O.P. control of the Senate at least until that special election.

It would be foolish to count on the Democrats increasing their numbers in the Senate or the House in the midterm elections of 2022. The president’s party rarely, if ever, picks up more seats during midterm elections. The last time a Democratic president has not lost Democratic seats in Congress in his first midterm election was 1934.

Meanwhile, state Republicans — who, not incidentally, control a majority of state governments — are proposing an avalanche of bills to make it harder for likely Democratic constituencies to vote, including people of color, young people, and low-income people. Some states, like Georgia, have already put these voter suppression measures into place.

And with these state Republicans in control of the upcoming once-in-a-decade redistricting process, we could see even more gerrymandering in these states — meaning an even greater likelihood that Republicans gain ground in the House.

If Joe Biden and the Democrats are going to accomplish what a majority of Americans want them to — such as raising the minimum wage, expanding health care, strengthening unions, raising taxes on big corporations and the wealthy, providing free public higher education, and strengthening voting rights with the For the People Act — they’ve got to get it done, now. 

That means Democrats have to get rid of the Senate filibuster and stop worrying about bipartisanship. 

The window of opportunity is already tiny. And it’s closing fast.

Whistleblowers: Plenary Panel with Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, moderated by Amy Goodman

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/05/2021 - 3:17am in

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An historic conversation between Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, moderated by the award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman.

Economic Update: Capitalism vs. Democracy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/05/2021 - 12:33am in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

ANOTHER NOW: Why a science fiction novel on the alternatives to capitalism we could have had today? – Festival of Debate

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 09/05/2021 - 6:40pm in

In conversation with Sara Hill, Festival of Debate, Sheffield
Imagine a world with no banks. No stock market. No tech giants. No billionaires. Imagine if Occupy and Extinction Rebellion actually won.
ANOTHER NOW, my political science fiction novel, examines what such a world would look like through the eyes of three characters: Iris, a disillusioned Marxist-Feminist. Eva, a former banker neoliberal economics professor. And Costa, a brilliant techie who, now, struggles to keep Big Tech’s hands off his technologies.
In this discussion, Sara and I explored what a contemporary postcapitalist world might be like, how immune patriarchy and racism might prove to the death of capitalism, the role of markets in postcapitalist society and, last but not least, how far we are prepared to go to democratise our economic sphere.

The post ANOTHER NOW: Why a science fiction novel on the alternatives to capitalism we could have had today? – Festival of Debate appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Domains21: Hope on the Airwaves – the #ds106radio Sunday Special

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/05/2021 - 3:50am in

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More OERxDomains21 goodness, and this time with an extra shot of ds106radio awesome.

To quote a blog post titled “Hope on the Airwaves:#ds106radio Sunday Special” by Maren Deepwell from more than a year ago at the height of the pandemic:

Like many others, I have been enjoying tuning in to the online radio ’emergency broadcast’ listening to familiar voices and some that are quickly becoming familiar, sharing stories of coping under lock down, facing uncertainty, sharing loneliness and lack of freedoms.

I love the broadcasts, partly because they remind me every day that there is nothing ‘business as usual’ about this time. That it’s completely OK not to function or cope or be able to even get up in the morning.

The radio also reminds me of how resilient human beings are. It gives me a sense of how hard everyone is working, fighting, trying. There’s hope on the airwaves.

In this session Brian Lamb talks to Anne Marie Scott, Tannis Morgan, and Maren Deepwell about their weekly web radio show, which provided a much needed space for coping with a global pandemic by forging community, building friendships, and baking in a whole lotta fun—all of which are essential elements to how we can remain sane while we live and learn on the web.

The Republican Rebrand, ExposedThe Republican Party is trying to...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/05/2021 - 6:10am in

The Republican Rebrand, ExposedThe Republican Party is trying to rebrand itself as the party of the working class.Rubbish. Republicans can spout off all the catchy slogans about blue jeans and beer they want, but actions speak louder than words. But let’s look at what they’re actually doing.

Did they vote for the American Rescue Plan? No. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for stimulus checks and extra unemployment benefits needed by millions of American workers.

So what have they voted for? Well, every single one of them voted for Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy and corporations, of which 83 percent of the benefits go to the richest 1 percent over a decade. 

They claimed corporations would use the savings from the tax cut to invest in their workers. In reality, corporations used their tax savings to buy back shares of their own stock in order to boost share values. And some corporations then fired large portions of their workforce. Not very pro-worker, if you ask me.

Have they voted for any taxes on the wealthy? No. Quite the opposite. Republicans refuse to tax the rich. They’ve even been trying to get rid of the estate tax, which only applies to estates worth at least $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 million for married couples. Working class my foot.

Have they backed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which a majority of Americans favor? No. Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage even though it would give 32 million workers a raise. That’s about a fifth of the entire U.S. workforce.

Do they support unions, which empower workers to get better pay and benefits? No again. To the contrary: Republicans have enacted right-to-work laws in 28 states, decimating unions’ bargaining power and enabling businesses to exploit their workers. 

And when it comes to strengthening labor laws, only five out of 211 Republicans voted for the PRO Act in the House – the toughest labor law legislation in a generation. 

How about the historic union drive at the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon warehouse, which Joe Biden and almost all Democrats have strongly backed? Just one Republican spoke out in support. All others have been dead silent.

What about backing regulations that keep workers safe? Nope. In fact, they didn’t bat an eye when Trump rolled back child labor protections, undid worker safeguards from exposure to cancerous radiation, and gutted measures that shield workers from wage theft.

Do they support overtime? No. They allowed Trump to eliminate overtime for 8 million workers, and continue to repeat the corporate lie about “job-killing regulations.”

What about expanding access to healthcare to all working people? Not a chance. Republicans at the state level have blocked Medicaid expansion and enacted Medicaid work requirements, while Republicans in Congress have tried for years to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. If they succeeded, they would have stripped healthcare away from more than 20 million working Americans.

So don’t fall for the Republican Party’s “working class” rebrand. It’s a cruel hoax. The GOP doesn’t give a fig about working people. It is, and always will be, the party of big business and billionaires.

ΣΚΛΗΡΟ ΜΑΡΚΑΡΙΣΜΑ, Επεισόδιο 3ο: Η Μαριάννα Πυργιώτη ανακρίνει τον Γιάνη Βαρουφάκη

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/05/2021 - 11:46pm in

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Στο τρίτο «Σκληρό Μαρκάρισμα» ο γραμματέας του ΜέΡΑ25 Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης απαντάει χωρίς περιστροφές στα ερωτήματα της δημοσιογράφου Μαριάνας Πυργιώτη και αναλύει θέματα της επικαιρότητας με αναφορές σε πρόσωπα και παραδείγματα.

Αποσαφηνίζει ποιος είναι ο ρόλος του ΜέΡΑ25, πως έπρεπε να κινηθεί η ΕΕ εν καιρώ πανδημίας, μιλάει για το brexit και πως θα συμπεριφερόταν τώρα και ξεκαθαρίζει ότι είναι υπέρ μιας δημοκρατικής ομοσπονδίας. Ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης κάνει λόγο για το μεγάλο λάθος του Γιώργου Παπανδρέου, αναφέρεται στον τρόπο διακυβέρνησης του Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη, σχολιάζει το οικονομικό πρόγραμμα του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και απαριθμεί τα θέματα  για τα οποία δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει σημείο συμπόρευσης με την αξιωματική αντιπολίτευση.

Ο Γραμματέας του ΜέΡΑ25 αναλύει το θέμα της «κακής τράπεζας» ενώ δεν διστάζει να πει ότι μαθαίνει πιο πολλά πράγματα από τη διάψευση παρά από την επιβεβαίωση και αποκαλύπτει ποιον νυν και ποιον πρώην υπουργό εκτιμά για τη δουλειά του και την  πορεία του στο χώρο δράσης του.

The post ΣΚΛΗΡΟ ΜΑΡΚΑΡΙΣΜΑ, Επεισόδιο 3ο: Η Μαριάννα Πυργιώτη ανακρίνει τον Γιάνη Βαρουφάκη appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Economic Update: How US Capitalism Uses Nationalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 11:37pm in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

How to Stop Republicans from Stealing...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/04/2021 - 8:52am in

How to Stop Republicans from Stealing Elections

Republican-controlled state legislatures have introduced over 361 voter suppression bills in 47 states, and some states, like Georgia, have already enacted them into law. 

There’s only one way to stop this assault on our democracy. It’s called the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT, and the window for Congress to pass it is closing.

These Republican voter suppression bills are egregious —they shrink early voting periods, add onerous voter ID requirements, limit eligibility for mail-in ballots, ban ballot drop boxes and drive-through voting, and even make it a crime to give voters in line water.

The FOR THE PEOPLE ACT, on the other hand, would prevent these tactics and make it easier to vote. In addition, gerrymandering would be reduced and the power of small political donors would be amplified.

It could not come at a more critical time.

The Republican assault on our democracy is based on the lie that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Multiple recounts in battleground states like Georgia found nothing. Investigations by the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department found nothing. 61 out of 62 courts found nothing.

Republicans claim they’re just listening to the concerns of their voters and restoring “trust” in our elections. Rubbish. The real purpose of these restrictions is to hamper voting by Black people, people of color, young people, and lower-income Americans. 

After Black voters and organizers in Georgia flipped the state blue for the first time in decades, the GOP is pulling out all the stops to prevent the same from happening in other states. The situation is even more dire given the upcoming once-in-a-decade redistricting process, allowing Republican-controlled states to further gerrymander congressional districts.

Their assault on the right to vote is a coordinated, national strategy led by top party leaders and outside dark-money advocacy groups like the Heritage Foundation. That group is working directly with state legislatures to provide them with “model legislation” and gearing up to spend $24 million in eight states to advance these bills ahead of the midterms.

Unless the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT becomes law, these restrictive state bills will go into effect before the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, and entrench Republican power for  years to come. So it’s essential we protect voting rights now, while we still can. 

This is not a partisan fight. It’s a battle between forces that want to go backward to an era of Jim Crow, and the majority of Americans who want to build a more inclusive democracy.

Yet the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT faces an uphill battle in the Senate because of the archaic filibuster rule that requires a 60-vote supermajority to pass legislation.

The good news is Senate Democrats have the power to end the filibuster and thereby allow the FOR THE PEOPLE ACT to become law. It’s time for Democrats to unite on this, without hesitation. 

The stakes could not be higher. Simply put, it’s democracy or authoritarianism.

Economic Update: A Green Third Party for the US

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/04/2021 - 12:02am in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

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