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Robert Reich on Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

"The biggest threats to American sovereignty are invisible digital dollars wired into U.S. election campaigns from abroad." -- Robert Reich

  Wrapping up my several days of again raising the alarm about the imperative to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizen's United (and what we can do about it), the last word for now must come from one of my heroes, progressive economist Robert Reich. Much lauded Reich has emerged as the best spokesperson prescribing the cure for what is wrong in the US. You can follow his think pieces ...

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More On Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

If people in the US agree on so much, why isn't anything getting done? This is a continuation of yesterday's $pecial Interest Government Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things. The stats are in Majorities of people in the US, Democrat, Republican, and Independent, agree to commons sense gun control (85%) and climate change action (including 65% who blame human activity). The majority object to a tax system supporting income inequality (60% want higher taxes for the rich and 82% want corporations to pay their fair share in taxes) and an economy rigged in favor of corporations (more than 70%). Including 80% ...

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$pecial Interest Government is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Despite much hand-wringing by presidential candidates bemoaning a divided US, we the people are in agreement on many issues, including what is undermining our democracy. Frances Moore Lappé and Giulio Caperchi, writing for BillMoyers.com outline it for us based on a 2014 study covering both blue and red states. Climate change. Americans’ concern about global warming is at an eight-year high, with a record 65 percent of us now blaming human activity for rising temperatures. Gun control. Eighty-five percent of Americans — including large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats — favor closing gun-sale loopholes by ...

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Action on Climate Change is a Matter of Life and Death

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Truth-Out again raising the alarm: "every second, one person is displaced by disaster." "In 2015 only, more than 19.2 million people fled disasters in 113 countries. Disasters displace three to ten times more people than conflict and war worldwide." (According to the Oslo-based Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reports) "We have never had so many complex and protracted humanitarian emergencies now happening simultaneously from West Africa all the way to Asia, with very few spots in between which do not have some issue. We have today 40 million forcibly displaced people and 20 million refugees, the greatest number of uprooted people since the ...

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NetrootsNation 2016 Wraps Up

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Reminder to everyone that this year and every year, Netroots Nation offers all of the keynote addresses and various workshops, via lifestream and video, for progressives who are unable to attend. I was lucky enough to be here all week, starting with the pre-conference NetrootsConnect LGBT. St. Louis is a troubled city trying to do better in a purple state. It struck me as a very southern city, in pace and overripe hospitality, but with a clearly liberal bent. All of the conference hotels were unionized. Here are some highlights with lots of links to full session videos. Thursday's opening plenary was revolutionary, a ...

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Who would you nominate for a US Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Photo by Pete Prodoehl Flickr/creativecommons

Nominations for the US Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be needed. A commission like this, used so successfully in South Africa and Germany, is something transactional justice lawyers and activists have been calling for as the only solution to the dilemma of racial unrest we are experiencing. These commissions are made up of stakeholders from all points-of-view who come together in a extra-judicial forum because they are not about punishment, just truth and reconciliation. It is through these commissions, and the whole of society's experience of them, that we can come together as a nation with a set ...

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Barney Frank Nails the First Amendment Defense Act

The suspect "First Amendment Defense Act" (FADA) that is floating through Congress sustained its most damning criticism yesterday from former House Representative Barney Frank. You can read his full statement here; or watch some video. The GOP-sponsored bill attempts, with its ridiculous title, to legislate the protection of executives at any entity receiving taxpayer funding (a business, school, hospital, non-profit organization, etc.) to lawfully discriminate against LGBT people, and unmarried heterosexual couples, based solely on their personally held religious views. Yeah, you read that right. Legalized discrimination. Frank served in Congress (1981-2013) and is openly gay and married. He eviscerated the bill as ...

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Chief Obstacle to Racial Reconciliation is the Religious Right

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The obstacles to a successful US Truth and Reconciliation Commission in this country can be found everywhere. A commission such as this is an extra-judcial forum available to all stakeholders to face the past and find solutions, together, as one nation, healing the wounds and lasting effects of racism. It's easy to find examples of these obstacles because we don't have to look farther than at the exact same gang of corporate outlaws perverting our Constitution wherever and whenever possible to advance their greed while denying science, equal rights, and, yeah, facts. An apt example is the new Noah's Ark attraction in Tennessee ...

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Our Existential Crisis

Writing for Salon.com, Andrew O'Hehir points with clarity at the escalating stakes in our "existential crisis . . . the new civil war over the nature of reality." Using The Civil War as a corollary, where both sides fought with conviction for "freedom" with completely different definitions of that word, Hehir writes, "We are an intensely divided country — in terms of race, culture and ideology, of course, but also in terms of basic facts and how to understand them." No doubt it’s overstating the case to say that America has a white reality and a black reality, which are ...

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Almost no words

I'm so worried about several of my friends. We're sitting here desperately waiting for the moment to come when an event or set of events will be the fusion of messenger and message necessary to create a multi-racial civilian movement fully intent on fixing what's wrong with the US. Will this horrible week do it? If you've been reading this blog, especially lately, you already know my thoughts on a solution. I posit that the only lasting remedy, and the only tool for transformative justice, is the establishment of a US Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Other countries, such South Africa, ...

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