Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Reality Check: AT THE END OF THIS HATED WAR, WE NEED TRUTH

The Reality Check: AT THE END OF THIS HATED WAR, WE NEED TRUTH: AT THE END OF THIS HATED WAR, WE NEED TRUTH By David Bacon Foreign Policy in Focus | August 30, 2021 https://fpif.org/at-the-end-of-this-hat...

Saturday, August 21, 2021

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Did you know there’s an important election taking place in California right now? Registered voters started receiving their mail ballots for California’s Special election this week and I’m asking you to join me in voting NO on the recall.

 

Your ballot will ask two questions which will have a big impact on California’s future. Here’s the breakdown and our recommendations for voting in this election.

 

1️⃣ Question 1 will ask voters: Do you want to recall the current Governor, Gavin Newsom?

Recommended answer: ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ  Vote NO  ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ

 

2️⃣ Question 2 will ask voters: If the majority of voters decide to recall the governor, WHO Should replace him and become the next governor (from a list of 46 candidates)? 

Recommended answer: ๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„  Leave blank ๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„

 

The last day to cast your vote is 9/14. You can return your ballot in person at a vote center, at a drop box or by mail (as long as it is postmarked by 9/14). 

This election is a clear choice between two Californias. We can choose a stronger California — one where we build on the progress we’ve made or we can choose a California where a small handful of politicians try to divide us all while they protect their own power and the profits of the wealthy corporate billionaires who fund their campaigns. 

The choice is clear. I hope you’ll join me in voting NO on this recall. Complete your ballot and return it as soon as possible. Once you complete your ballot help us make calls to voters using the button below!

 

Together,

 

Victor Suarez, Million Voters Project Action Fund

Who is MVP?

Friday, August 20, 2021

Progressive Caucus on Afghanistan

 

'Twenty Years of War Have Failed': Progressive Caucus Urges US Diplomacy With Taliban

"War and conflict never produce peace and stability. Violence and militarism, even when cloaked in the language of humanitarianism, are fundamentally at odds with human flourishing and opportunity."

Jake Johnson

Common Dreams

 

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Condemning U.S. military action in Afghanistan as an abject and deadly failure, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday pressed the Biden administration to engage in diplomacy with the emerging Taliban government and provide as much humanitarian aid as possible to the countless civilians devastated by the past two decades of war.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the CPC, reiterated her caucus’ support for the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as the Biden administration faces criticism from Republicans and members of his own party over how the exit has unfolded.

“We continue to maintain, as the White House clearly does, that even after spending $1 trillion, sending hundreds of thousands of troops into Afghanistan over 20 years, and losing 2,300 American lives, the United States could not have averted this outcome without an endless military presence,” Jayapal said in a statement, referring to the former U.S.-backed Afghan regime’s rapid fall to the Taliban, which took control of the capital of Kabul over the weekend and is currently in talks to form a new government.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Jayapal noted, is “overwhelmingly supported by the American people, with recent polling showing 70% of the country, with bipartisan majorities, supported his plan to withdraw all troops by September 11, 2021.”

“Despite this consensus, congressional Republicans have disingenuously chosen to play politics at this moment,” the Washington Democrat said. “Republican administrations began the war in Afghanistan, controlled it for 12 of the past 20 years, and initiated the peace process with the Taliban last year that led to an agreement for a U.S. withdrawal. They should participate in the needed examination of why 20 years of war have failed, rather than playing the blame game. Our focus now must be on the human beings on the receiving end of this policy.”

With millions of Afghans internally displaced and in need of humanitarian aid — and as thousands, including many women and children, attempt to flee the country — the CPC is calling on the Biden administration to “go farther” and “work faster” in its efforts to provide assistance to desperate civilians.

“The United States must ensure refugee processing moves forward without bureaucratic delay, and with special allowances recognizing the difficulty for people to leave Afghanistan,” said Jayapal. “In addition to the State Department’s work to expedite Special Immigrant Visas, we must also expand these visas and grant Temporary Protected Status to Afghans residing in the United States. We must increase humanitarian aid to support civilians who fled to Kabul and provincial capitals and are without shelter, food, medical assistance, or vaccines.”

“Finally, we urge the Biden administration to continue engaging diplomatically with the Taliban and regional actors to avoid further bloodshed, protect human rights, and avoid mass migration and instability,” Jayapal added. “This means cooperating with aid agencies, the United Nations, and neighboring countries with an interest in a positive outcome, including Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey.”

The U.S. shuttered its embassy in Kabul as the Taliban closed in on Afghan capital over the weekend, and the Biden administration is currently in the process of evacuating American diplomats from the country as it moves to end the disastrous — but, for some, immensely profitable — twenty-year occupation.

While U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during abriefing Tuesday that the Biden administration intends to pursue diplomacy and a “political settlement” in Afghanistan despite the withdrawal of embassy staff, he warned that the U.S. — in partnership with the international community — could impose “significant costs” on the Taliban government if it “does not respect the basic rights of its people,” a reference to possible economic sanctions.

As the Washington Post reported Tuesday, the Biden administration has frozen “Afghan government reserves held in U.S. bank accounts, blocking the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars held in U.S. institutions.”

The move prompted concern that the administration may be planning additional economic measures that could hinder the flow of badly needed humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, where an estimated18 million people are in dire need of assistance.

Adam Smith, who served on the National Security Council during the Obama administration, told the Post that “it could be cataclysmic for Afghanistan if the administration does not handle the sanctions issue deftly.”

“This is a potentially serious humanitarian issue that I am hoping people in our government are thinking long and hard about,” Smith said.

In a statement earlier this week, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) — the CPC whip and a Somali refugee — said that U.S. has an “obligation” to help redress the humanitarian crises stemming from “the fundamental failures of our Afghanistan policy over the course of many decades and four presidencies.”

“Of course, the tragedy did not begin in the last couple of weeks. The hard truth about America’s longest war is that for 20 years, we made promises we couldn’t keep,” said Omar. “The simple fact is that prolonging a war indefinitely would not have delivered a stable, peaceful Afghanistan. I agree with President Biden: an endless American military occupation of Afghanistan was unacceptable. “

“War and conflict never produce peace and stability,” Omar added. “Violence and militarism, even when cloaked in the language of humanitarianism, are fundamentally at odds with human flourishing and opportunity. Violence only produces trauma, trauma that can turn into anger, vengefulness, and a continuing cycle of violence. That must be a lesson as we deal with conflicts around the world.”


Common Dreams

 

 

Altercation: How Low Can They Go? The Media’s Afghan Coverage

Altercation: How Low Can They Go? The Media’s Afghan Coverage: To assess the withdrawal, mainstream media go to the ‘experts’ who were wrong or lied about the war for the past 20 years.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Special Election _ Defeat the Recall

 

Image

 

Did you know there’s an important election taking place in California right now? Registered voters started receiving their mail ballots for California’s Special election this week and I’m asking you to join me in voting NO on the recall.

 

Your ballot will ask two questions which will have a big impact on California’s future. Here’s the breakdown and our recommendations for voting in this election.

 

1️⃣ Question 1 will ask voters: Do you want to recall the current Governor, Gavin Newsom?

Recommended answer: ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ  Vote NO  ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ

 

2️⃣ Question 2 will ask voters: If the majority of voters decide to recall the governor, WHO Should replace him and become the next governor (from a list of 46 candidates)? 

Recommended answer: ๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„  Leave blank ๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„๐Ÿ“„

 

The last day to cast your vote is 9/14. You can return your ballot in person at a vote center, at a drop box or by mail (as long as it is postmarked by 9/14). 

This election is a clear choice between two Californias. We can choose a stronger California — one where we build on the progress we’ve made or we can choose a California where a small handful of politicians try to divide us all while they protect their own power and the profits of the wealthy corporate billionaires who fund their campaigns. 

The choice is clear. I hope you’ll join me in voting NO on this recall. Complete your ballot and return it as soon as possible. Once you complete your ballot help us make calls to voters using the button below!

 

Together,

 

Victor Suarez, Million Voters Project Action Fund

Who is MVP?

Ad paid for by Million Voter Project Action Fund Committee to Oppose Newsom Recall.  Committee major funding from CHIRLA Action Fund, Wayne Jordan and Eva Grove.

Funding details at http://fppc.ca.gov

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Vaccination Mandates: Not Just Good Policy, Also Good Politics

Vaccination Mandates: Not Just Good Policy, Also Good Politics: Today on TAP: Public opinion increasingly supports vaccine and mask mandates..

Three Republicans seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday they are vaccinated themselves, but would roll back his requirements that school employees and health care workers get vaccines against COVID-19 if they are elected governor next month.

They also agreed that they would not require masks to be worn in California public schools.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he would allow local officials to institute such mandates if they chose.


Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article253556674.html?#storylink=cpy

Monday, August 16, 2021

Voter Turn Out is the Key to Beat the Recall

Organizing Upgrade


By Irene Rojas-Carroll and Marcy Rein


It seemed like a nuisance election a few weeks ago. Now the vote on whether to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom looms as a more serious threat to the past 20 years of democratic gains in the state. The recall spotlights some sides of California politics that progressives need to keep reckoning with – and puts an urgent and unglamorous task in our path for the next month.


“Everything is at stake,” said Irene Kao, executive director of Courage California. Noting that a successful recall would give California a Republican governor, Kao said, “It will threaten any progressive gains made on the environment, immigration, criminal justice reform, and many other issues. Additionally, a Republican governor would make appointments in the case of any statewide office vacancies, including a Senate seat that would turn control of the Senate to Republicans.”

The 2003 recall, which booted Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, offers a cautionary tale. Gov. Schwarzenegger made massive cuts to health care, education and social services in the name of balancing the budget. He vetoed stricter pollution controls and pro-worker bills, like the extension of overtime pay for farmworkers.

Mass media have cast the initiators of this year’s recall as a motley crew of Q-Anons, anti-vaxxers and the like, and foregrounded Newsom’s handling of the pandemic. But the language of the recall petitionitself reflects the racist, anti-immigrant politics that have run long run amok in California—as in the anti-Chinese riots and the Modoc Wars of the 1870s. The petition says, for example, “Laws he [Newsom] has endorsed favor foreign nationals in our country illegally over that of our own citizens.”

In the 1990s, Californians passed referendums stigmatizing undocumented immigrants (Prop. 187, 1994), banning affirmative action in public employment and education (Prop. 209, 1996) and nearly ending bilingual education (Prop. 227, 1998).
PURPLE CALIFORNIA

These attacks spurred mass mobilizations, followed by deep electoral organizing in the targeted communities. California has had a Democratic governor and legislature for 10 years. “But we’re a much more purple state than people realize,” said Bay Rising Action Executive Director Kimi Lee. “We have pockets of deep, deep blue in the Bay Area, for instance, but if you go even 10 miles inland you start finding more Trump voters. And there are more people registered ‘declined to state’ than Republican,” she said.

That ups the threat built into the nature of the recall election. Small number of voters can oust an official who was elected with much broader support. Signatures from a sliver of the electorate – 12% of the people who voted in the election that brought the governor to office – are needed to file a recall petition. The election will take place at an off-time – mail-in balloting goes from August 16th to September 14th. There will be some voting centers where people can cast votes in person, but no go-to-the-precincts Election Day. The right is far more excited about this election; Courage California calls it an “enthusiasm gap.”

The attempt to recall Gov. Newsom is another manifestation of the disruptive, minority-rule politics being practiced by the right wing. Other progressive elected officials are facing recalls as well – notably San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascรณn, and Riverside City Council member Gaby Placencia. These are the same politics on display in the spate of voter suppression laws being passed around the country, the flagrant gerrymandering of congressional districts, and denial of the presidential election results.

“The recall’s biggest supporters are the same people who want to take away our right to vote, turn back the clock on civil rights, deny climate change is real and put the massive profits of wealthy corporate billionaires over working people,” said Jung Hee Choi, Deputy Director of PowerCA Action.

Courage California and the Million Voters Project Action Fund are anchoring a loose statewide coalition that’s mobilizing in defense of the governor, adding their efforts to those of the California Democratic Party and the governor himself. The Million Voters Project Action Fund connects the political action arms of seven grassroots groups organizing young people, working people, immigrants and communities of color across the state; they include PowerCA Action, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California (CHIRLA) Action Fund, and AAPIs For Civic Empowerment Education Fund.

The California Labor Federation is also scaffolding vigorous canvassing and phone banking efforts by labor councils around the state.
KEEP THE ROAD TO PROGRESS OPEN

“Newsom has always been a moderate Democrat, but we’ve seen some important gains under his administration and the recall puts our communities at serious risk,” Lee said. During his term, Newsom has signed off on legislation expanding Medi-Cal protections to undocumented immigrants, putting an eviction moratorium in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and supplementing federal pandemic unemployment benefits. Neither these nor many other progressive bills would be safe from the veto pen of a Republican governor. Newsom also was the first governor to issue a public health emergency order in 2020 in response to the pandemic, and has continued to implement aggressive public health measures. And during the 2020 election cycle, he ordered that absentee ballots be mailed to all Californians.

As in last year’s presidential election, we need to pull together and show up for a moderate Democrat so we can keep organizing for the changes our communities so badly need. “At stake is not just whether Governor Newsom keeps his job, but whether we keep making progress toward a California that cares for all of us no matter what we look like or where we came from,” said Choi. “By voting NO on the recall we are saying we want to keep expanding health care for all, expand rent protections so people can keep a roof over their heads, and keep protecting essential workers and immigrants.”

The Republicans are pinning their hopes in part on the fractures in the Democrats’ base. Turning out as much of that base as possible will be the key to keeping the governor in office.

Act now to make sure your vote counts and our voices are heard on September 14:
Register to vote, check your voter registration, and/or sign up to get election reminders.
Learn more about the recall, and what’s at stake.
Spread the word to your family and friends to register and turn out for the election now, by forwarding this article and sharing our social media posts using #VoteSept14, #YourPowerYourVote, #2021CARecall


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Choosing Democracy: Oppose the Anti Immigrant California Recall

Choosing Democracy: Oppose the Anti Immigrant California Recall:   Oppose the California Recall  by Duane Campbell  The  California recall vote scheduled for Sept 14, is powered by a partisan, Republican c...

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Friday, August 6, 2021

Choosing Democracy: The Olympic Refugee Team

Choosing Democracy: The Olympic Refugee Team:   It's beautiful that there's an Olympic team for 82 million displaced people. But have we accepted mass displacement as the new nor...