Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We Know What's Happening

We Know What's Happening 
(You're Not Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes)
by Still Bernin'
I don't judge books by their covers, but I have come to a conclusion of a book's worthiness from a well-written review. Jeffrey St. Clair's review of Hillary Clinton's What Happened  gives me all I need to know about her latest excuse-making story:
...Hillary Clinton has never been able to conceal her contempt for her enemies, real and imagined. It’s one reason she’s never been a successful politician. Where others are supple, she is taut. Hillary is a prolific liar, but, unlike Bill, she is graceless and transparent as she spins her tall tales. She is also probably the nastiest political figure in America since Nixon. Yet she lacked Nixon’s Machiavellian genius for political manipulation. Hillary wears her menace on her face. She could never hide her aspiration for power; her desire to become a war criminal in the ranks of her mentor Henry Kissinger (symbolized by the laurels of a Nobel Peace Prize, naturally). 
Playing the "blame game" and heaping contempt on others is a waste of time and energy. Worst yet, it is a tactic those in power use to distract us from what's really happening in our world so they can get away with something underhandedly. (Read this excellent piece on "wedge issues" to see what I mean.) 

While many on the left argue over the content of  Clinton's narcissistic rantings, those who wish to inflict harm on us all have an open playing field to do so. The Graham-Cassidy Bill to repeal the A.C.A. didn't come about until this past week. Great timing. They coordinated their assaults on our sensibilities well, didn't they?
Who are "they"? The establishment "parties" of course. (Or are they really just one party? This video from Info Ghion argues they are one in the same.)  The Democrats did their part to distract us by having Clinton's whiny memoir released just at the last moment when the Republicans have the best chance of repealing Obamacare, since after September 30 it will take 60 senators to repeal it rather than just a simple majority. 

While progressives are distracted by Clinton's baseless attacks on Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, the Green Party and others, the corporate cash from Big Pharma and the Insurance Lobby will keep flowing into Congress while some wannabe Dem presidential hopefuls give lip service to Bernie's Medicare for All Act for added distraction. At the end of the day, the corporate Democrats and Republicans will get to keep their ill-gotten gains, and the chances of single payer, universal health care will evaporate once again in the hub-bub of dealing with Graham-Cassidy and Clinton's baldfaced lies. Mission accomplished.

The establishment thinks they got us trained well.  They want us to think they're not influenced by taking the lobbyists' money, but a recent study shows that politicians are very much influenced by taking corporate cash. We've been trained to settle for the "lesser of two evils" for so long that we never noticed we have a third option staring us in the face.

This third option is simply not to play their game. We  stop falling for their distractions and manipulations. The Dems want to browbeat progressives into submission by calling our leaders names and smearing us? We ignore them. Better yet, we throw our support full-time toward other progressive candidates/groups such as Green Party candidates running for federal, state and local offices and the Democratic Socialists of America. 

The Republicans want to get away with killing millions of Americans by taking away their access to health care? We expose them. We continue to call them out and label them as the mass murderers they are for even thinking of doing something so heinous. We don't reward their sociopathic and immoral behaviors by letting them off the hook. We keep shining the light on their manipulations until they're forced back into their dark caves.
After all, if Clinton truly was a progressive she would be using her energies to work hard for Medicare for All and other progressive issues rather than wasting our time with her self-centered, self-deluded distractions, right? We know what's happening, Hillary. We won't let you (and your corporate-owned establishment buddies on both sides of the aisle) pull the wool over our eyes again.

BIO:  Still Bernin' has had enough of the doublespeak of the establishment and won't stop pointing out how there's no such thing as a "lesser evil." There are just bad and good things in the world, right? Choose the greater good and reject the lesser evil!


We know what's happening--and we're ready to take action to make the world a better place. Here are some actions you can take this week:

From BoldProgressives.org:

15 Florida progressive groups with deep ties to local communities came together to form the Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund.
Can you make a tax-deductible $3 donation now to help victims in a way true to our progressive values?

Turn on images to see the Florida hurricane relief fund image.

These leading Florida progressive organizations have formed the Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund.


We need to protect our communities from toxic pollution!
Take Action! Tell your members of Congress to stand up for EPA funding.
Take action
Three weeks. Three climate change-fueled super storms. Our nation and the Caribbean are reeling from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria — which made landfall in Puerto Rico.

In the days after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, we saw a series of environmental catastrophes at dirty oil refineries and chemical plants. Amid the flooding and loss of human lives, there is widespread concern that residents and first responders are being exposed to hazardous pollution.1

The kicker? The Trump administration is now pushing for cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency — including shutting down an EPA lab in Houston!2 That’s why we’re joining with the organization Green for All in calling on Congress to stop these cuts.

Tell Congress: we need the EPA more than ever. Please don’t cut funds to protect our communities.

I can’t stress enough how much we need EPA protections and services right now. Harvey’s rains and winds forced the state of Texas to close down dozens of air pollution monitors, so there was no way to independently verify the level of pollutants that companies reported to release. After the storm, local air quality monitoring by Air Alliance Houston and the Environmental Defense Fund proved that a Valero oil refinery downplayed how much cancer-causing benzene was leaked into the air.3 We can’t let fossil fuel companies get away with this.

Petrochemical facilities in Texas released millions of pounds of chemicals into the air from “controlled” shutdown procedures and uncontrolled damage caused by the storm.4 13 Superfund sites were flooded and possibly leaked dangerous chemicals into surrounding communities.5 Elemental mercury, a liquid metal with a toxic vapor, was found dotting the soil by a landowner in Channelview, TX.6 An explosion at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas that forced the surrounding community to evacuate.7

And it’s not just about big climate-change fueled disasters. Communities living next to petrochemical facilities — often working class and people of color — have fought for decades against the pollution they live with everyday. Agencies like the EPA are needed to protect our air and drinking water all the time.
Please tell your members of Congress TODAY that we need the EPA more than ever. We will personally deliver your name to Congress next week.
Thank you for taking the time to contact your members of Congress and stand up for your community.


Sarah Rasmussen
Digital Director, Greenpeace USA


P.S. Now is not the time to cut funds protecting our communities from pollution! Tell your member of Congress to protect the EPA’s funding.
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/08/us/houston-hurricane-harvey-harzardous-chemicals.html
[2] http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/local/article/Houston-EPA-lab-set-to-close-12195927.php
[3] http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Private-air-quality-monitoring-detects-high-12203487.php
[4] http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/09/14/550472740/air-pollution-from-industry-plagues-houston-in-harveys-wake
[5] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-storm-harvey-superfund/harvey-floods-or-damages-13-texas-superfund-sites-epa-idUSKCN1BD0US
[6] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/science/harvey-superfund-mercury.html
[7] https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hurricane-harvey/harvey-danger-major-chemical-plant-near-houston-likely-explode-facility-n797581


From the Color of Change:

The State of Georgia is once again targeting people for helping Black voters exercise their freedom to vote. Secretary of State Brian Kemp recommended that Attorney General Christopher Carr charge fourteen canvassers with a felony facing up to ten years in prison and a one-hundred thousand dollar fine, for incorrect voter registration forms.1 There were just 53 allegedly false voter registration applications out of the more than 86,000 submitted by the New Georgia Project that year -- just 0.06% errors.
It is clear that Brian Kemp is using his office to score political points in his quest to become the next Governor of Georgia and attacking his potential opponent, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who founded the New Georgia Project and launched its voter registration efforts in 2014, in the process. This recommendation of charges represents a returning national trend of using the criminal justice system to intimidate Black voters from exercising our political voice and registering to vote. Attorney General Carr is up for election in 2018 and he needs to know that we’ll be watching if he uses his office to prosecute people working to help Black voters get to the polls.
Tell the State of Georgia: Enough is enough. Protect the freedom to vote. Do not charge the canvassers for helping our communities vote!
The New Georgia Project registered 86,000 new voters in 2014 alone. The reason the New Georgia Project has been targeted by Brian Kemp since its inception is because they are expanding the electorate increasing the number of Black voters, young voters and voters from other communities of colors in Georgia.2 Kemp is attacking these canvassers for taking on a role his office intentionally fails to do: register new voters. If Kemp’s office were actually interested in expanding the electorate and ensuring Black people, young people and communities of color were registered to vote, there would be no need for the New Georgia Project to run complicated and labor intensive voter registration drives for tens of thousands of new voters each year.
Brian Kemp and Republican support for the Pence-Kobach Commission, voter ID laws, racially biased gerrymandering and the proposal to reduce polling places in Black communities all point to a concerted effort to reduce our electoral power.3 We have seen the results of this national effort in the election of Donald Trump and House Republicans holding a majority despite receiving fewer votes during the election. We must now demand that the State of Georgia honor our freedom to vote and reject Brian Kemp's recommendation to prosecute canvassers for expanding access to the ballot.
The decision to move forward with charges is now in the hands of Attorney General Christopher Carr. We are calling on Attorney General Carr not to use the courts to suppress our votes and decline to pursue any charges against these canvassers. We must make him know that we will no longer allow our freedom to vote to remain under attack. Will you sign the petition?
Attorney General Carr: Voting is not a crime! Don't press charges against voter registration canvassers.
The fight for our access to the ballot has been fought since Reconstruction. We have won the fight to outlaw literacy tests and poll taxes but we still have to fight against the use of the law to keep us away from the ballot. Olivia Pearson, a grandmother and Douglas County Commissioner is scheduled to stand trial in Georgia soon for assisting Black voters.4 In Indiana, Mike Pence’s home state, canvassers are facing similar charges after State Police raided their headquarters this past fall. Republicans are using prosecution rather than persuasion as their primary tool to win elections.
The people of Georgia have fought long and hard to give everyone access to the ballot and we cannot allow Republicans like Brian Kemp to chip away at that with frivolous charges and racist policy. Instead of using his office to boost his political profile and target Black communities we need Election Officials who are serious about increasing civic participation. Instead of looking to publicize and prosecute canvassers 0.06% rate of applications with problems, Brian Kemp should focus on improving a voter turnout rate that sits at an average of 52.60% of voting age population, near the bottom nationwide.5
We have an opportunity to stop the criminalization of Black voting today! We can demand that Attorney General Carr not go along with this plot to target Black voters. We must make our voices heard now to protect our electoral power. Folks who are working to make sure we all have the power to exercise our freedom to vote should be protected. Attorney General Carr must not bring charges against these canvassers.
Until justice is real,
Sign the petition: no criminal charges for helping people vote!

-- Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Johnny, Kristen, Chad, and the Color Of Change team

1. "Georgia AG gets 53 forms in fraud probe of Stacey Abrams' voter registration group," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 09-20-2017
2. "Concern Over New-Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election," WABE, 7-14-17
3. "Fulton Voting Precincts Might Close In Black Neighborhoods," New York Post, 09-16-2017
4. "Racist Voter Suppression Revealed in a Small-Town Voter Fraud Trial," yes! magazine, 10-13-2017
5. 2016 November General Election Turnout Rates," United States Election Project,

From Sum of Us:

Myanmar’s military is using murder and mayhem to drive out hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims. France’s President Emmanuel Macron is calling it genocide.
The harrowing stories are all over the news.
But what the media rarely mentions is that governments all around the world are enabling it -- allowing arms companies to sell and profit from ethnic cleansing and even providing military training.
Under pressure governments are slowly waking up -- just days ago UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced an end to all training of and co-operation with the Myanmar military, until the violence stops.
If enough of us join the call for a global arms embargo we can make other governments -- and even the UN -- follow suit.
Please, will you take action now and join the call for a global arms embargo now?
The Myanmar military and militia groups are deliberately and systematically targeting the Rohingya Muslim population -- attempting to kill, injure, and remove an entire population.
This is ethnic cleansing.
In the words of one Rohingya man:
“The military attacked at 11am. They started shooting at houses and at people...When people fled, they burned the houses with bottles of petrol and rocket launchers... Now there are no homes in our area – all are burned completely.”
Our governments all around the world are responsible for letting this mass murder and forced displacement happen.
Earlier this year Myanmar’s military chief Min Aung Hlaing visited Germany and Austria on an arm's shopping trip.
Israeli companies are arming the military and one of them is even training forces in Rakhine state, where much of the violence is taking place.
The Israeli company TAR Ideal Concept have even posted pictures on their website of its staff teaching combat tactics and how to handle weapons.
This is all in spite of EU sanctions on Myanmar.
The UK has just announced its decision to stop training and co-operating with the Myanmar military.
Now we need to keep the momentum going, double down and put pressure on all our governments to enact a fully functioning global arms embargo on Myanmar.
The oppression of Rohingya Muslims at the hands of the Myanmar military has a long history. This most recent campaign of ethnic cleansing has brought it to the international media’s attention.
Now we know what is happening, it’s time we moved to action.
Rohingya activists and campaigners around the world have been working tirelessly to draw the world’s attention as the Myanmar military try to wipe out the Rohingya population.
Right now -- they need as many of us as possible to stand with them. Evil acts can only flourish when enough of us turn away.
Please, take action now and join the call for a global arms embargo.  

Thanks for all that you do,
Tricia, Eoin, Nabil, Sondhya, Anne and the team at SumOfUs

Myanmar: new footage reveals scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya  The Guardian, 14 September 2017
Britain to stop training Burmese military until Rohingya crisis is resolved The Telegraph, 20 September 2017


We haven't posted any C.R.A.P. Award recipients recently, but these 41  Democratic senators certainly should be "chatised rich arrogant politicians" for voting for endless war. Let them know today via phone/email/snail mail or office visit what you think of their actions.


  1. All well-orchestrated distractions from yet another attempt by the GOP to dismantle the ACA.

    1. I think the big fuss over #ImWithKap and #TakeAKnee is also the establishment causing a distraction to take our eyes away from what they're really trying to do--kill off Bernie's Medicare for All bill. If they keep us squabbling over little things, they win at the end of the day because a progressive agenda never gets passed. We've gotta stay focused on the important issues, folks!


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