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USA Watch Thread

America USA Politics Military Wars Science Information News Economy Geopolitics

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#1
Pisiu369

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If there is one for Russian, Syria and China. There should be one for America.



#2
Sciencerocks

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Yep, America is going to be the most hated nation on earth by this time next year.


  • As We Rise likes this

To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#3
Sciencerocks

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This tune is a good one for this thread


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#4
caltrek

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Because the Our Revolution folks already have a thread of their own, I thought I would put this article here regarding what some of the more not-so-revolutionary moderates will be up to in the Age of Trump.

 

The Ideological Reasons Why Democrats Have Neglected Local Politics

 

 

Extract:

 

After making it to the top, Barack Obama is looking down. In October, the outgoing president signaled that he will focus on state-level politics when he leaves office. This promise took on new urgency after the election, which left Republicans in control of 32 statehouses and 33 governor’s mansions, not to mention both chambers of Congress and the White House. “One of the big suggestions that I have for Democrats as I leave … is how do we do more of that ground-up building?” the president told NPR in December. “What I’m interested in is just developing a whole new generation of talent.”

 

Obama seems to be taking part in the larger process of soul searching among Democrats. “I wonder, sometimes, whether the Democratic Party has contributed to [a decline in local politics] by making the president and the federal government the fulcrum of so much, and suggesting that we can solve these problems from the top down,” said David Axelrod, the former senior Obama administration advisor, during a recent panel discussion at the University of Chicago. “Democrats have ceded a lot of statehouses and legislatures. Congress has been gridlocked. And the notion has been: What can the president do with the power that he has to try and create some progressive action? It just puts a lot of weight on the presidency, when maybe we have to be a bit more innovative.” 

 

These explanations are not primarily philosophical. They’re about winning. In the face of painful electoral losses, Democrats are rediscovering the strategic case for activism at the state and local level. Yet there are deep historical and ideological reasons why the party has tended to focus on the federal government as a means of making policy. An ideological shift would be much more important, and is more unlikely, than a strategic one.

As Democrats move to focus on state and local politics in 2017, this distinction between ideology and strategy will be important to watch…ultimately, it will show what Democratic leaders really believe about people’s proper role in their government.

lead_960.jpg?1483451049

Republicans won control of the Iowa Senate in the 2016 election, giving the party a majority in both chambers of the statehouse.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5
caltrek

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Speaking of not-so-revolutionary, but still impressive...

 

Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative Staffs Up

 

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/01/11/speaking-vetting-appointmentschan-zuckerberg-initiative-staffs/

 

 

As if the advocacy landscape weren’t weird enough, yesterday, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative—worth more than $40 billion if the commitment made by the couple holds true—announced that they have appointed David Plouffe, a board member at Uber who managed Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, as its president of policy and advocacy. Presumably, he will staff a planned public policy advisory board made up of former government officials and other experts in education, science, communications, and advocacy.

 

Leading that board on a voluntary basis will be Kenneth Mehlman, a former Republican National Committee chair who managed President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign and is now at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a private equity firm where, among other things, he handles the company’s responsible investment portfolio.

 

 Additionally, James H. Shelton III, a former deputy secretary of the Department of Education, will guide the organization’s work in education, and Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist formerly of Rockefeller University and an expert on worm behavior, will be its president of science.

 

…Readers should remember that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a for-profit limited liability company (LLC), and as such has a lower transparency level than many other philanthropic institutions. Statements of further obfuscation coming from a highly connected team made up of political elites may concern you.

 

Mr. Zuckerberg said in the interview, “Our government, at the federal and state level, spends 50 times more on treating people who are sick than we spend finding cures so that people don’t get sick in the first place. That’s a thing that I think needs to shift, and the only way to do that is through advocacy.”

That’s a statement that actually makes some sense. Still, the oligarchic smell to all this may be absolutely terrifying to some who find value in the essential concept of democracy.—Ruth McCambridge

Chan-Zuckerberg.jpg

 

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing $3B over the next decade to cure diseases. /

 Nicki Dugan Pogue


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6
caltrek

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March Against Department of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos in Her Home Town

 

http://www.dailykos....ds-expectations

 

Introduction:

 

A little over a week ago, one lone person in Holland, Michigan was fed up enough about the Betsy DeVos nomination for Secretary of Education that she decided to organize a protest.  She put together a private Facebook page for a march through downtown.  She never figured that the march would galvanize so many locals who have seen first hand the education policy that she is putting forth and how it would actually make the education system crumble.

 

Because this was a quickly organized protest, of course there was no way to get a permit and all the people needed to stay on the sidewalk.  From 11:00 to 1:00 today over 1500 protesters from the area came to express our displeasure.  Except for the bitter cold, a good time was had by all.  I ran into many colleagues, friends, and classmates who all came out happy and focused to sabotage this nomination.

 

There was a little media by the local Fox affiliate and the Holland Sentinel.  More media may publish later as there was the local PBS affiliate and at least one other TV station with cameras.  We were disappointed at the lack of response since there was time to deploy reporters from the other stations.

20170128_123638.jpg?1485628359

 

There were great signs at the march. See link provided above for more.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#7
Mike the average

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I honestly can't believe how much and how quick this has all happened in just a few weeks of Trump.  

 

Asian hate, Islam immigration blocks, Mexican Wall, Asia/PAcific trade in tatters.  This really changes things.   This is like watching a Rob Zombie movie adaptation of some of Ron Pauls half credible ideas gone totally wrong.

 

I have been protesting the need for us allies to still follow everything USA does.  He's making it real easy now for the allies to finally question US decision making.  Of all leaders, Trump is actually stupid enough to think of Putin as an ally and would side with the USA.   In a world where the rest of Asia is now on the move.  Trump in his childish imagination probably thinks if he can get Russia on his side, he can control China by force.   Im sure no Russian forgets how Hitler played Russia just the same.  

 

I think the world is now less likely to get to WW3, because USA has lost its way.   I used to think India, Phillipines and Japan would all provide USA both moral and military support.   South-East Asia will power on with China and S. Korea.  USAs broke ally Japan will fall further into economic abyss.    Japan wont recieve much love from Trump and the rest of Asia would never trust Japan with anything with all their wrongdoings in WW2.

 

Soon foreign investment will begin to pull out of the USA, i don't know what madness this will bring. 


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'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#8
Mike the average

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With todays complete humiliation of Aussie prime minister by Trump, im now sure the NZ pm quit because he couldnt deal with him.

I wonder how nato/UN talks are going to go.
'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#9
caltrek

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I wonder how nato/UN talks are going to go.

 

Probably the way Vladimir Putin wants them to go.  

 

/sarcasm


  • Maximus likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#10
caltrek

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I put this here as a more appropriate place than my Our Revolution thread.  It is hardly an indicator of revolutionary times to come.  Still, another Kennedy in public office might be a good thing. I suppose you have to be of my generation to appreciate Robert F. Kennedy.  Toward the end of his life, he was truly a breakthrough public figure. He was willing to study poverty up close and personal in a way that no other politician that I know of before or since.  Of course, there is no guarantee that his son has that trait. 

 

Robert F. Kennedy's Son Announces Bid for Illinois Governor

 

http://www.msn.com/e...ID=ansmsnnews11

 

Introduction

 

CHICAGO — Chris Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday he will run for Illinois governor in 2018, bringing the instant name recognition of his family's political legacy to what's expected to be a sharply contested race to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

The Democratic businessman said Illinois is heading "in the wrong direction." In an email and video sent to supporters, he talked up history of service and said he wants to "restore the American dream to the people of this state."

 

"Today, I am announcing my run for Governor because I love Illinois, but we have never been in worse shape," he said. "We don't need incremental improvement — we need fundamental change in state government."

 

Kennedy, 53, is the eighth of 11 children of Ethel Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general who represented New York in the Senate and was assassinated in 1968 while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. He is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.

 

His campaign video featured footage of his parents and other family members, and Kennedy told The Associated Press he believes Illinois voters "remember fondly the service to this country of the Kennedy family."

 

 

 

 

u-professor-tenure.jpg

 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Illinois, Chris Kennedy speaks to board members during an University of Illinois Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 in Springfield Ill.

 (SETH PERLMAN/AP)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#11
Yuli Ban

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"Another Kennedy in office"

 

Ehh.... I dunno. While I appreciate the legacy of the Kennedys, we just got out of an election cycle where it literally began with us being told it would probably come down to another Bush and another Clinton. These legacy-candidates aren't necessarily new (look back to the Roosevelts and even further back to the Adams), but I feel we just need new faces. Otherwise it just starts feeling like America really does have an aristocracy.


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Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#12
Alislaws

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I think the main problem with the last election was that Clinton's "legacy" meant she was selected as the democrats candidate long before the first primary votes were cast. As you said people were told who it would come down to. 

 

If Chris actually wins the democratic nomination at some point in an open race where the people are allowed to choose between a selection of different candidates, then he'd be in a much stronger position than Hillary was. 

 

Of course if Trump's presidency is a huge success, In future elections it may be difficult for anyone who is seen as a career politician to win the white house. 



#13
caltrek

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Kansas' Fiscal Implosion 

 

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/sam-brownback-kansas-tax-cuts-donald-trump

 

Abstract:

 

An ambitious effort by a Republican governor to drastically cut his state's taxes is crumbling—and that's a bad omen for Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress who are hoping to slash tax rates at the national level.

 

Shortly after he became governor of Kansas in 2011, Sam Brownback went to work on rewriting the state's tax code. Together with the Republican-dominated legislature, he eliminated the top income tax bracket, lowered everyone else's income tax rate, and created a loophole that allowed some business owners to pay no state income taxes at all.

Brownback sold the cuts as a way to jolt the Kansas economy to life, promising major job growth thanks to the lower tax rates. To pass these tax measures, Brownback worked to replace moderate Republicans in the legislature who opposed his ideas with true-believer conservatives. He helped knock off nine moderate Republican incumbents, and the effort paid off when his tax reform passed in 2012.

 

But instead of the miracle growth that Brownback promised, the tax cuts have left a widening crater in the state budget. State economic growth has lagged behind the national pace, and job growth has stagnated. Lawmakers have been left scrambling each year to pass unpleasant spending cuts when tax revenue comes in below expected levels, leading to contentious fights in the legislature and state courts over reduced public school funding. When the state legislature convened last month, it faced a $320 million budget shortfall that needed to be closed before the end of the current fiscal year in June—and a projected additional $500 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.

 

…By now, it's clear that Brownback's tax experiment hasn't produced the growth he promised. But that hasn't put an end to Republican efforts to replicate it on the national level. In December, Brownback suggested to the Wall Street Journal that Kansas' tax reforms could offer a model for Trump. And on Thursday morning, Brownback is scheduled to speak—almost certainly about his taxation model—at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, on a panel titled "How Governors are Reclaiming America's Promise."

brownback_1.jpeg

 

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers his annual State of the State address on the floor of of the Kansas House of Representatives in January.

 Bo Rader/TNS/ZUMA


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#14
caltrek

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Arizona Republicans Just Voted to Make ALL Protests Illegal

 

http://azcapitoltime...wn-on-protests/

 

 

Extract:

 

Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

 

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

 

But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated. And what’s worse, said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is that the person who may have broken a window, triggering the claim there was a riot, might actually not be a member of the group but someone from the other side.

 

Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, acknowledged that sometimes what’s planned as a peaceful demonstration can go south.

 

...Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

anti-trump-protest-WEB.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#15
caltrek

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Donna Brazile’s emotional farewell to Democratic National Committee

 

https://www.yahoo.co...-230913753.html

 

Introduction:

 

ATLANTA — Party leaders sought to inspire hundreds of delegates at the annual winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee on Friday, trying out different messages for the party going forward, after its staggering losses in 2016.

 

Saturday morning, the DNC will vote on its next chair, and there’s currently a close race between former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

Donna Brazile, who took over as interim DNC chair after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ouster last July, launched into an emotional defense of the party and urged delegates to be unified.

 

“I am grateful that both Hillary and Bernie stood by us as this party was hacked by a foreign, hostile, military intelligence unit,” Brazile nearly shouted, as the members clapped.

 

She said DNC staff came to work every day, even after receiving death threats due to the hacking and posting of the organization’s internal emails on WikiLeaks, which showed some staffers appearing to push for Hillary Clinton’s victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary. Later, a hack of Clinton’s campaign chair’s email showed that Brazile tipped off the campaign about an upcoming CNN debate question.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#16
caltrek

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DNC Chair Candidates Spar on Future of Party as Race Tightens

 

https://www.yahoo.co...-114611990.html

 

Introduction:

 

The two most prominent candidates to lead the Democratic Party appeared to agree with each other on most of the issues in a CNN debate Wednesday night, while outsider candidates and the moderators needled them about how sharply the party should focus on President Donald Trump and whether sitting Democratic officeholders should be primaried in 2018.

 

The two frontrunners for the race, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, both vowed to remain neutral if sitting Democrats are challenged by more liberal candidates in 2018 and also stuck closely to a message of economic empowerment aimed at making Democrats more appealing to “working people.”

 

Though the race between Perez and Ellison has been portrayed as a proxy war between the establishment and progressive wings of the struggling party, both men sounded remarkably similar notes during Wednesday’s debate — insisting that Democrats primarily need an economic message and that the DNC must build a reputation for fairness and transparency to win elections going forward.

 

Perez said he would “let the process run its course” if sitting Democrats are challenged in 2018 by candidates to their left, while Ellison said he would remain “neutral.”

 

But underdog candidate Jaime Harrison, the South Carolina state chair, sharply disagreed. “If Democrats want to be in a permanent minority let’s spend all of our time fighting each other,” Harrison said, garnering applause from the audience of DNC members. “We have to fight against Republicans, we can’t fight each other.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#17
caltrek

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Tom Perez Narrowly Defeats Keith Ellison for DNC Chair

 

https://www.thenatio...-for-dnc-chair/

 

Extract:

 

Tom Perez, the former Obama administration secretary of labor, was elected Saturday to chair a Democratic National Committee that must rapidly renew the party after a devastating 2016 election cycle that saw Republicans take control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government and most statehouses.

 

 …Perez won the chairmanship by a narrow margin on the second ballot. The Atlanta gathering where the vote was held featured much talk about unity, but also recalled genuine divisions over how the Democratic Party should proceed. A strong backer of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Perez beat Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a key backer of Bernie Sanders in that race, by just 35 votes out of 435 cast.

 

The new chair made an immediate unity move by announcing that he wanted Ellison to serve as deputy chair of the DNC. DNC members approved the designation by acclamation

 

Ellison addressed the crowd, saying, “We don’t have the luxury, folks, to walk out of this room divided…. we’ve got earnest and sincere work to do.” Perez gave every indication that he heard the Minnesotan.

 

…In his final speech to the 447 DNC members, Perez spoke about the need for “culture change” at the DNC, which is indeed necessary, but was short on specifics. Ellison was far more focused. He spoke about relying on small donations rather than big money to build a mass party, and about the need to link the “demonstration energy” of the resistance to Trump with the “electoral energy” of the party in 2018 and 2020.

Ellison_Perez_rtr_img.jpg?scale=896&comp

 

Newly elected Assistant Democratic National Chair Keith Ellison and newly elected Democratic National Chair Tom Perez speak with the press during the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 25, 2017. 

(Reuters / Chris Berry)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#18
caltrek

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The End of the Libertarian Dream?

 

http://www.politico....rump-era-214847

 

Abstract:

 

In campaigning for the presidency, Trump frequently sang from the same hymnal as libertarian primary rival Senator Rand Paul, warning against regime change and nation-building abroad, decrying the allied invasions of Iraq and Libya (never mind that Trump initially supported both), and promising to disengage from a self-immolating Middle East while re-evaluating American involvement in NATO. The election of an ideologically unmoored reality-TV star was startling to many libertarians, but at least it suggested some progress in their struggle with the GOP’s interventionist wing. “The silver lining is that Trump proved you can win the Republican nomination, and the presidency, by criticizing neoconservative foreign policy,” says David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.

 

“I think the McCain-Graham wing of the party is withering,” (Republican Congressman) Amash tells me in his office, referring to South Carolina’s hawkish senator. “It was dominant 10 or 15 years ago on foreign policy matters and surveillance and other things. But today, it’s a rather weak force compared to a decade ago in D.C. And it’s almost nonexistent at home.”

 

And yet, Trump also pledged to oversee a massive military buildup. He threatened to “bomb the shit out of” the Islamic State; suggested killing the families of terrorists; expressed an interest in seizing Iraq’s sovereign oil; advocated the return of torture; and, in his inaugural address, declared he would eradicate Islamist terrorism “from the face of the Earth.” When I mention all this, Amash bursts out laughing. “Not exactly a libertarian philosophy,” I say. “No,” he shakes his head. “It’s not.”

 

There are areas, certainly, in which Trumpism and libertarianism will peacefully co-exist; school choice, as evidenced by Trump’s selection of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is one example. Deregulation is another. But by and large, they cannot be reconciled. Where libertarians champion the flow of people and capital across international borders, Trump aims to slow, or even stop, both. Where libertarians advocate drug legalization and criminal justice reform, Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, seek a return to law-and-order policies.


  • Yuli Ban likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#19
caltrek

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Since we do not have a Future of the Counterrevolution thread, I thought this was the most appropriate thread for this news item.

 

Republican Legislators Push for Cities to Be Treated as "Tenants of the State"

 

http://www.truth-out...ts-of-the-state

 

Introduction:

 

Right now, there are two bills filed in the Florida legislature that propose sweeping new restrictions on local governments. One (House Bill 17) would bar them from regulating "businesses, professions, and occupations," the other (SB 1158), would expressly preempt "the regulation of matters relating to commerce, trade, and labor." The broad language of the bills has local advocates up in arms and newspapers like the Naples Daily News asking whether "local regulations [are] a thing of the past." The legislative session to discuss and advance the bills began March 7.

 

Though egregious, what may be most noteworthy about the bills is how ordinary they actually are. Bills like them have become commonplace in the United States.

 

Local governments have become a battleground, and corporate interests seeking to dampen their influence have been proposing and passing bills like these for years. Countless local minimum wage hikes, worker protection bills, rent laws, police oversight initiatives, fossil fuel extraction bans and other progressive reforms have passed across the country since 2008. In Florida, local ordinances on wage theft, expanded paid leave, fracking, gun regulations and more have been central to the left's platform. Now more than ever, going local has become a key way to make gains and resist -- especially under Trump.

 

In response, corporate and right-wing interests have used their disproportionate (and often gerrymandered) control over state legislatures to pass "state preemption" bills like HB 17 and SB 1158 to quell local activism. Increasingly, the basic powers of local governments are becoming a keystone in the fight over a slew of issues, including the maintenance of democracy itself.

 

As "preemption" spreads and becomes all the more encompassing -- or in other words, as more states remove specific or broad powers from local governments -- it is beginning to smother basic elements of local democracy. "Home Rule," which exists to safeguard an assumption of power for local governments, is being silently reversed.

2017_0319city_.jpg

 

Right-wing corporate interests are pushing state legislatures to curtail the progressive power of city governments.

(Photo: Pixabay)

 

So much for the conservative support of "experimentation at the local level of government."  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#20
caltrek

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The DLC Lives: "Third Way" Democrats Are Trying to Push the Party Rightward

 

http://www.truth-out...party-rightward

 

Introduction:

 

Stringer Bell had a problem. On HBO's show "The Wire," the rather learned kingpin was concerned that the drugs his gang sold on the streets of West Baltimore were too weak, which jeopardized their control of the streets. So, in a memorable scene, Bell, who was taking economics courses at a community college, asked his instructor, "What are the options if you have an inferior product in an aggressive marketplace?" The instructor offered him some prescient advice, mentioning how WorldCom (now MCI Inc.) once faced a similar problem.

 

"The company was linked to one of the largest fraud cases in history," he said. "So, they decided to change the name."

 

Bell adopted the strategy. West Baltimore was soon flooded with the same inferior product, but with a slew of flashy new names

 

The world of politics and ideas is an especially aggressive marketplace. Here, so-called centrist "New Democrats" adopted a very similar approach. For many years, Democrats proudly associated themselves with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a powerful group founded in the 1980s that sought to build a Democratic Party "liberated"­ from labor and grounded in "support for free market and free trade economics ... an end to the politics of 'entitlement' [and] a rejection of affirmative action."

 

At the height of its power the DLC was the dominant force in the party, boasting President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as its acolytes. But like Bell's weak narcotics, the DLC, which supported the Iraq War and received money from the likes of the Koch Brothers, soon became a tainted brand. Long before 2011, when the organization dissolved, the DLC label hung around politicians like a scarlet letter. Even President Obama publicly distanced himself from the organization in 2004 as he ascended as a national figure.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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