Stamford Workers Show How to Transform Our Unions and Rebuild the Labor Movement
Truth Out – February 11, 2018 – Andrew Tillett-Saks
To organize the non-union Hilton Stamford, instead of relying on paid staff organizers, the union turned to rank-and-file members from nearby union workplaces… Rather than simply riding along as sidekicks to a staff organizer, the volunteer rank-and-file organizers led the organizing visits and held responsibility (“turf,” in organizing parlance) for meeting weekly with non-union Hilton organizing contacts… The rank-and-file union members easily built trusting connections with the non-union workers who came from similar backgrounds, did the exact same work every day and often even lived in the same neighborhoods.
A Pentagon budget like none before: $700 billion
AP News – February 10, 2018 – Robert Burns and Richard Lardner
The extra money is not targeted at countering a new enemy or a singular threat like al-Qaida extremists or the former Soviet Union. Instead the infusion is being sold as a fix for a broader set of problems, including a deficit of training, a need for more hi-tech missile defenses, and the start of a complete recapitalization of the nuclear weapons arsenal.
Life in the Gaza Strip — a cauldron of deficit, despair and desperation
Los Angeles Times – February 8, 2018 – Ann M. Simmons
Palestinian lives are being manipulated and played with in order to compel them to succumb to a political reality of Israeli dominance, which they refuse…
EPA Head Scott Pruitt Says Global Warming May Help “Humans Flourish”
Mother Jones – February 8, 2018 – Oliver Milman
“As the evidence becomes ever more compelling that climate change is real and human-caused, the forces of denial turn to other specious arguments, like ‘it will be good for us’,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University.
Trump Budget Offers Stark Vision
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – February 12, 2018 – Robert Greenstein
A President’s budget reflects his vision for America. From that perspective, President Trump’s vision is stark, with the most affluent individuals and powerful corporations accumulating more wealth — and wielding more power, and facing fewer limits, to treat workers and consumers as they choose — while tens of millions of struggling Americans must reduce their already modest standards of living… This budget would widen inequality, worsen poverty and hardship, and further divide the country. With it, the President essentially calls on us to ignore what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” — and instead to enter a new Gilded Age.
From ‘Liberal Media’ to ‘Fake News’
The American Prospect – February 12, 2018 – Todd Gitlin
What Politifact means by “fake news” is “fabricated content that intentionally masquerades as news coverage of actual events.” By contrast, “Instead of fabricated content, Trump uses the term to describe news coverage that is unsympathetic to his administration and his performance, even when the news reports are accurate.”… By any of these measures, the public that swallows the accusation that unwelcome reports are “fake” is substantial. They are comfortable with their certainties, impervious to disagreement, fortified to bypass or eviscerate any naysayers.
Trump the Con-Artist Is at It Again
Reader Supported News – Robert Reich’s Facebook Page – Februry 12, 2018
Now that Trump and the Republicans have enacted a huge tax cut for corporations and the rich, there’s no money left. Trump won’t admit this, but he plans to get money for his big infrastructure plan from (1) higher state and local taxes on average working people and the poor, (2) higher gas taxes paid mostly by average working people and the poor, (3) tolls on highways and bridges also paid by average working people and the poor, but which will go into the pockets of private investors, and (4) cuts in public services, that will hurt average working people and the poor.
Arizona is denying female inmates pads and tampons, then punishing them for blood-stained pants
The Daily Kos – February 9, 2018 – Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza
Last year, the Federal Bureau of Prisons issued a memo making access to pads, tampons, and panty liners free of cost for federal female inmates. Problem is, most incarcerated women are in state prisons and local jails. Just 10 percent of female inmates were affected by the federal policy change. State-level progress has been slow, in part because of lawmakers’—predominantly male lawmakers, it seems—reluctance to address issues surrounding menstruation.
Trump Proposes Eliminating Federal Funding for PBS, NPR
The Hill – February 12, 2018 – Joe Concha
President Trump’s newly proposed budget includes a proposal to end federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), part of a package that includes $300 billion in new spending overall. CPB provides federal funding for PBS and National Public Radio stations.
A new market for old and ugly fruit and vegetables takes shape
The Economist – January 11, 2018
Far too much ends up wasted… Slowly, ideas on better ways to run one of the world’s oldest markets, the trade in food, are bearing fruit.
The Latest Devious Republican Attack On Social Security
Common Dreams – February 13, 2018 – Nancy Altman and Linda Benesch
We are the wealthiest country in the world at the wealthiest moment in our history. The United States of America can afford tuition-free public college, paid family leave (as well as medical and caregiving leave, which Shapiro and Biggs do not mention), and expanded Social Security benefits. We just need to require the wealthiest among us to contribute their fair share.
Why Are We Still in Afghanistan?
Reader Supported News – February 14, 2018 – William Boardman
Because the American people have been systematically numbed emotionally and dumbed-down intellectually and mystified for so many decades that they are more angry with each other than the people who do them real harm? Any or all of the above?
Following member’s deportation, N.Y. Teamsters kick into action with ‘Know Your Rights’ workshops
The Daily Kos – Fevruary 13, 2018 – By Gabe Ortiz
Immediately following the deportation of one of its members last August, Teamsters Joint Council 16, “the umbrella group for 27 Teamsters locals in and around New York City,” declared itself a “sanctuary union,” saying it would “not voluntarily cooperate with federal agents in the prosecution or attempted deportation of Teamster members.” And since then, “across Long Island and throughout the city,” Teamsters are making good on their word.
“America’s Harvest Box” Captures the Trumpian Attitude Toward Poverty
The New Yorker – February 14 , 2018 – Sasha Abramsky
The Trump Administration’s reimagining of SNAP reduces food assistance to a humiliation ritual: recipients would take whatever they are given, in whatever condition they are given it, and would be expected to feel gratitude… SNAP is the single biggest reason why malnutrition has largely vanished from the United States. Trump’s “reform” package would reverse these achievements, ratcheting up the country’s misery index like few other public-policy changes of the past century.
Enough Defense, Declares Planned Parenthood, ‘We’re Going on Offense!’
Common Dreams – February 14, 2018 – Jessica Corbett, staff writer
Planned Parenthood has announced that it is going on the offensive in the ongoing fight to expand reproductive rights across the United States with a new “sweeping plan” to challenge the Trump administration as well as anti-choice activists and lawmakers by proposing policies to make sexual education more inclusive and increase access to healthcare such as birth control and abortion.
I’ve Reviewed Some Cruel Budgets. I’ve Never Seen Anything Crueler Than This.
Reader Supported News – Robert Reich’s Facebook Page – February 14, 2018
Trump has taken social Darwinism to a new level of absurdity.
The Ugly Hypocrisy of “Thoughts and Prayers”
From a Certain Point of View – February 15, 2018 – Laslo Boyd
Let me be very clear: despite the pious rhetoric, the defenders of absolute gun rights do not care at all about the continuing carnage in our schools, in our streets, in our places of leisure and in offices and factories. They mouth the words, but there is nothing behind them.
What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer
The New York Times – November 7, 2017 – Max Fisher and Josh Keller
The United States is one of only three countries, along with Mexico and Guatemala, that begin with the… assumption: that people have an inherent right to own guns.
Noam Chomsky: We’re on the Brink of Global Catastrophe
Alternet – February 7, 2018 – Brad Reed
“Go back to the 2016 election, the focus of attention is of course on the Trump victory,” he said. “However something else happened that was astonishing: Bernie Sanders, who came from nowhere, even used the scare word ‘socialist,’ had no support from private wealth… he might’ve won the election, and is now far and away the most respected political figure in the country.”
US wasting billions on nuclear bombs that serve no purpose and are security liability
The Guardian – February 15, 2018 – Julian Borger
The US is to spend billions of dollars upgrading 150 nuclear bombs positioned in Europe, although the weapons may be useless as a deterrent and a potentially catastrophic security liability, according to a new report by arms experts.
To Better Understand Segregation, Look at Social Networks
Next City – February 9, 2018 – Jen Kinney
In their new book “Cycle of Segregation: Social Processes and Residential Stratification”, Krysan and Crowder argue that the classic model ignores the role of social networks and the vast array of preconceptions people have before they even start their housing search. Decades of segregation have hardened the effects of all three forces, and shaped people’s knowledge of cities, so that Americans of different races start their searches from very different places.
Where Is The Outrage Over Civilians Being Killed In Our Name?
The Huffpost – February 15, 2018 – Mehlaqa Samdani
President Donald Trump’s racist remarks about people from “shithole countries” outraged Americans across the country. And yet, when innocent civilians are killed by U.S. drone strikes and aerial bombing campaigns in far-flung countries, nobody seems to notice. We as a nation, it seems, are more offended by racist rhetoric than we are by racist policies… For far too long, we have remained oblivious to the suffering of innocent civilians caused by our government. It is time we held our leaders and ourselves accountable for the mayhem committed in our name.
Not a Matter of If, But When
Portside – February 17,2018 – Shawn Hattingh
The danger derives from the reactions of the ruling classes and their states to the crisis of 2008. The paths they chose to follow to save and even further their own wealth in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis have paved the way for a future crash that could dwarf the one of a decade ago.