Monday, January 16, 2023

MLK; Saving the Soul of America


We have posted the piece by Maurice Isserman on MLK on our blog. 

You can read the piece and the valuable videos at the Democratic Left site.  We thank Democratic Left for sharing this with us.



MLK: Saving the Soul of America





On Martin Luther King Day, leftists remember that his heart was with democratic socialists, mainstream writers talk about his dream and today’s realities, and rightwingers contort themselves to claim something of his legacy. Even if you;re a person who knows nothing about King, you’ve probably heard about his “I have a dream” speech and may even have read it or listened to it in school. Chances are that you’re less familiar with another speech, the one that, as Maurice Isserman asserts, “changed the conversation,” about the war in Vietnam and in doing so helped change the mind of an entire country. Delivered from the pulpit at the Riverside Church in Manhattan a year before he was assassinated, this sermon helped turn the tide of public opinion. As we honor King’s life, let’s remember the power of moral witness. Below is Isserman’s column from the Democratic Left series on events that changed our national conversation.–Eds.

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an impassioned speech at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. In eloquence and power, it matched the one he gave at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Unlike that earlier (and better remembered) effort, his topic was not civil rights but the war in Vietnam, an ever-escalating conflict that had killed nearly 20,000 American servicemen since 1963, along with hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, North and South, military and civilian.


With video. 

We thank Democratic Left for this post and link.

About Maurice Isserman

Maurice Isserman, a founding member of DSA, a member of North Star, and is the author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington, and the foreword to the 50th Anniversary edition of The Other America.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Trump is Not Our Biggest Problem

Trump Is Not Our Biggest Problem: It’s the Open Fascism He Has Unleashed

The American media needs to call this movement what it is, fascism, and demand accountability and answers from the thousands of Republican politicians nationwide who refuse to repudiate it.

December 15, 2022 Thom Hartmann  MEDIUM

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio.,photo: MSNBC

Reporters for TPM obtained text messages between Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (formerly a Tea Party congressman) and 34 Republican members of Congress advocating stragegies to end democracy in America by keeping Trump in office after he lost the 2020 election.

For example, South Carolina's Republican Congressman Ralph Norman texted Meadows:

"Mark, in seeing what's happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of no return in saving our Republic !! Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!"



Monday, December 12, 2022

Rail workers deserve Sick Leave

 Rail Workers deserve sick leave. 


We have heard terrible and tragic stories from rail workers who have been penalized for spending the day in the hospital with their sick children. A locomotive engineer, who, out of fear of being fired, was forced to skip his doctor’s appointment after experiencing unusual symptoms, suffered a heart attack and died in an engine room just weeks later. There is absolutely no reason why these workers should have to deal with these conditions in the richest country in the history of the world. 

Over 115,000 rail workers in this country are looking to you to guarantee them the dignity at work they deserve and to ensure that our rail system is safe for its workers and for millions of Americans who cross rail tracks every day. Through Executive Order, agency rulemaking, and any other applicable authority, we ask that you take quick and decisive action to guarantee these workers paid sick leave. 

We look forward to working with you to make this a reality. Sincerely, 

Bernard Sanders United States Senator 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Member of Congress 

Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. Member of Congress 

Donald M. Payne, Jr. Member of Congress 

Rashida Tlaib Member of Congress 

And 20 more.  Sacramento area Congress persons have not signed.  Contact your congressperson. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

All workers deserve paid leave

 After a period of silence, progressive members of Congress began to push back Tuesday as President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders moved ahead with plans to approve legislation that would prevent a nationwide rail strike by forcing workers to accept a contract deal without any paid sick days.

The president's endorsement of congressional action—and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) subsequent vowto swiftly bring legislation to the floor—sparked a furious response from rank-and-file rail union members, a majority of whom voted to reject the White House-brokered contract agreement that Biden and lawmakers are now trying to impose on workers, denying them the right to strike and stripping them of any leverage to negotiate a better deal.

As of this writing, a relatively small number of Democrats in Congress have publicly spoken out about the White House's position and the fast-approaching vote on rail legislation. Pelosi, who has described the Democratic Party as "the party of workers and workers' rights," told reporters on Tuesday that a bill could hit the floor as early as 9:00 am ET Wednesday.

It's unclear whether progressive House members will mount an effort to improve the tentative agreement by adding paid sick days—a central, longstanding demand of rail workers. Pelosi said the bill will seek to impose the tentative contract agreement "with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms."

"Last year, the rail industry made a record-breaking $20 billion in profits. They can afford to give their workers paid sick leave," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) wrote on social media Tuesday. "The rail industry must put the quality of life of their employees over profits. I stand with rail workers."

Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), who lost her Democratic primary race in June, tweeted Tuesday that "paid leave should be the bare minimum."

"Good Lord, this is the U.S., not a third world country," Newman wrote. "Paid leave has to be part of the deal. Period."

Another Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) member, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), asked, "Why wouldn't the rail companies just allow workers to have paid sick days?"

Read more;


Friday, November 4, 2022

This is the most consequential mid-term election in our lifetime. It’s about making sure that women can control their own bodies. It’s about combating climate change. Yes. It’s about whether we retain the foundations of American democracy. 

But, at a time when the very rich are getting richer while millions of working class families are falling behind, it’s also about the economy. Do we create an economy that works for all, or just wealthy campaign contributors and the 1%. 

Please take a few minutes to read an op-ed I wrote that appeared on the FOX website today. Thanks. - Bernie

Fox News Logo

OPINION · Published November 4, 2022 2:00am EDT

Our economic crisis isn’t inflation, it’s corporate greed and the GOP will only make that worse

Corporate greed is at a 70-year high and oil companies are buying back stock, not lowering prices

By Sen. Bernie Sanders

As we enter the final week of the midterm election, voters are expressing deep concern about the state of the economy and inflation. They should.

Today, we live in an economy in which the billionaires are getting much richer while working families fall further behind. Unbelievably, while 60 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, we now have more income and wealth inequality than we have ever had in the history of our country – with three multi-billionaires owning more wealth than the bottom half of Americans. While employers squeeze workers and their unions for cuts to health care and other benefits, the CEOs of major corporations now make nearly 400 times more than their average employees – the largest employer-worker gap in our history.

During this campaign, my Republican colleagues talk a lot about inflation, and they are right to do so. Over the last year, Americans have become sick and tired of paying outrageously high prices for food, gas, health care, prescription drugs, housing and other necessities. 

Unfortunately, most Republicans completely ignore the underlying causes of inflation and the few "solutions" they do offer would make a bad situation even worse.

Yes. During this political season it is easy to blame President Joe Biden and Democrats for inflation. But that’s just not accurate.

Let’s be clear. Inflation is not unique to America. It is an international crisis. In the European Union, inflation is nearly 11 percent. In Germany, it is 11.6 percent. In the United Kingdom it is 10.1 percent. In Ireland, it’s 9.6 percent. In America, it’s 8.2 percent, much too high, but lower than it is throughout much of Europe.

The truth is that inflation is, to a significant extent, caused by the ongoing global pandemic, the break in international supply chains and the horrific war in Ukraine. But there is another major reason for inflation that too few people talk about. And that is the unprecedented level of corporate greed that we are now seeing.

According to a recent study, nearly 54 percent of the rise in inflation is directly attributable to the astronomical increase in corporate profit margins. In America today, while the working class struggles to put food on the table, fill up their gas tanks and heat their homes, corporate profits are at a 70-year high.

If you want to know why you are paying $4, $5, $6 for a gallon of gas, you should know that the profits of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell skyrocketed by 169 percent so far this year to $125 billion. These four huge oil companies are spending over $73 billion not to reduce gas prices at the pump but to buy back their own stock and increase dividends to their wealthy stockholders.

If you are wondering why you are paying 43 percent more for an airline ticket this year, you should know that profits are up 186 percent at American Airlines and 99 percent at United Airlines in the third quarter to nearly $1.5 billion. Yes. These are the same companies that received taxpayer assistance of more than $20 billion during the pandemic while cutting 6,400 jobs.

If you are wondering why global food prices skyrocketed by over 33 percent last year and are expected to go up another 23 percent this year, you should know that billionaires in the global food and agri-business industry became $382 billion richer during the pandemic. 

If you are wondering why we continue to pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, you should know that Pfizer has increased its profits by 42 percent so far this year to $26.4 billion. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Choosing Democracy: Elections: Which Side Are You On ?

Choosing Democracy: Elections: Which Side Are You On ?: We’re one week out from this election, and it comes down to recognizing who is on our side. Ask yourself: Who are the candidates trying to s...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Angela Ashby's Campaign Lies

 Angelique Ashby Campaign Lies


Angelique Ashby is running for California State Senate as a Democrat. 

Her campaign literature is variously signed by her  and others by the California Association of Realtors, and other business groups.

Each of her pieces that I have received say, in one form or another,

Her opponent supports a government run health system that forces seniors off Medicare. This is a lie.  In another piece, the campaign says her opponent will force seniors off Medicare Again- False.


What they are talking about.?

There has been a sustained effort for over six years to pass legislation to create a Single Payer Health Care system, often called Health Care for All.  Such as system is not government run.

It is more like the Canadian system.  In fact Medicare itself is a single payer system. Her opponent has supported this effort. 

It is regretful that candidate Ashby distorts these important issues rather than accurately describe the real choices on medical care.  This kind of abuse of the truth has been popularized by the Trump campaign. It should not be promoted by Democrats.

Bernie Sanders on Medicare.

Expanding Medicare

Today, millions of seniors are unable to afford the outrageous cost of dental care, hearing aids or prescription eyeglasses. Most Democrats believe we need to expand Medicare to cover these essential health care services. Not a single Republican member of Congress agrees. Further there are many Republicans in the House and the Senate who support massive cuts to Medicare.

Universal Health Care

At a time when 85 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured, most Democrats believe that the U.S. should do what every other major country does and guarantee health care for all. Not a single Republican in Washington agrees. The last time Republicans controlled the Senate they came within one vote of throwing up to 32 million Americans off of their health insurance by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Which Side Are You On ?

Monday, October 24, 2022

A Memo to Democrats

A Memo to Democrats: We will win this election if we convince voters we care about their economic well-being.