Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What Have We Become? (The Collapse of the Big Tent)

What have we become? Do we like what we see when we look in the mirror, America? Why don't we like what we see? Our guest blogger takes a look at the history behind why our country hates looking in the mirror nowadays. Perhaps there's a way out of this collapsing big tent?

The Collapse of the Big Tent
by Coast Watcher

The term big tent, first used in 1975 refers to “a widely inclusive composition or character that allows people of differing backgrounds, opinions, and interests to be members of a group or organization (such as a political party).” (Source: Merriam-Webster)

The Democratic Party is fond of using the term. Although it may stem from 1975, the concept of an all-inclusive party harks back to the glory days of the 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

After the disastrous Republican administrations of the 1920s, feelings ran strong against the selfish, greedy, generally corrupt or plain inept mainstream parties. The Republican government caused the Wall Street Crash of 1929 following years of corrupt practices which led to economic depression, mass unemployment and penury for millions of Americans. The Democrats were still viewed with suspicion after Woodrow Wilson broke his solemn promise not to involve the United States in WWI. All told, the burgeoning Socialist movement that had made great strides in the United States during the first three decades of the twentieth century promised a better way of doing things.

This frankly terrified the patrician class and Big Businessmen such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts who could see the prospect of a Soviet-style revolution on the horizon if they didn’t act quickly enough.

Roosevelt’s canny promise and shaping of a New Deal coalition united various

unions, minorities, left-leaning voting blocs and interest groups that effectively made the Democratic Party the majority party for thirty years. Even the brief interregnum of Eisenhower’s presidency doesn’t count against this record since Eisenhower himself was pro-New Deal. The coalition effectively channeled the Socialist movement into a safer, more manageable course. What most people seem to forget is the fact that Roosevelt, although a progressive by the standards of his time, was also a patrician–one of those with the most to lose in the event of a Socialist government taking power.

The New Deal coalition began to fall apart in 1968 due to bitter factionalism engendered by the election of that year. Following Carter’s troubled single term in office, Reagan’s presidency took more steam out of the Democratic Party’s engine.

In the 1980s, after a period of navel-gazing spent during their time in the political wilderness, the Democratic Party decided it liked the old adage "if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em" –only they went a step further. The party motto became "if you can’t beat ‘em, become like ‘em." The neoliberal Third Way policies eventually bore fruit in Clinton’s two terms in office, a presidency that showed few progressive values.

The same applies to the Obama administration. Although he put forward a piece of legislation of genuine use to the American people in the shape of the Affordable Care Act, Obama did little to force it through against the reactionary Republicans. He allowed the GOP to include the clause requiring citizens to buy health insurance or face a fine, something introduced with the specific intent of making the ACA toxic to the American voter. (The GOP knew they could rely on the typical short memory of voters to forget they were responsible for the clause, so a future Republican government could repeal the hated piece of legislation – and gain kudos for doing so). Obama also failed to introduce much else in the way of progressive policies beyond a few token environmental protections.

Democratic talk of a big tent was becoming alarmingly familiar as the party dealt with what amounted to a case of “values” shock—the post-election impression that Democrats keep losing because they have lost touch with mainstream American values.  Peter J. Boyer, New Yorker, November 14, 2005
Thrilled as they may still be with their victory, many Democrats are now realizing that … their future depends on a tricky proposition: actually becoming the centrist, big-tent party they've spent two years claiming to be.  Jonathan Darman, et al., Newsweek, November 20, 2006
We have big arguments within the party because we got a big tent…    Barack Obama, quoted in Rolling Stone, October 14, 2010

So, it seems the Democratic Party persists in claiming it has a big tent capable of including many other political-Left viewpoints, but it’s manifestly obvious the DNC is doing little, if anything, to prove it. They actually are the centrist, big-tent party steered by a neoliberal faction. The Democrats recently removed all the progressives on DNC committees. We see their frequent attempts to promote candidates for the 2020 election they think will be acceptable to progressives, yet even a cursory analysis exposes the candidates’ deep corporate neoliberal ties. The New Deal coalition remains the model that party activists seek to replicate, yet the neoliberal faction wants to retain the total control over the course such a coalition will steer as it has done for the past

thirty-plus years.

It’s now obvious the big tent has rotted and is falling over. The three-ring-circus show that is the Democratic Party is winding down as the acts fall out with the neoliberal management and each other. The left-leaning groups, the progressives, even stalwart Democrats who’ve supported their party through thick and thin for decades, are leaving the show. They see little – if any – difference to the rival show put on by the GOP.

There are some, like Senator Bernie Sanders, who think the big tent may be saved. They cling to the idea of a New Deal coalition and seek to replicate the successes of the original. Perhaps they may succeed, but it looks increasingly likely that the coalition will never reform. Few on the political Left want anything to do with the Democrats after what transpired during the 2016 primaries. Perhaps another coalition of the Left will form without the Democrats, and the steady progress toward a Socialist state on the Scandinavian pattern that was interrupted in the 1930s will resume. The Democratic Party’s big tent will be allowed to fall down, leaving only ghostly applause for what once was.

Jimmy Dore points out the how the big tent is fighting against progressives.

BIO: Coast Watcher studies American history and tries to spot the good patterns repeating themselves, but he's a realist. He's hoping America will turn around and make a future to believe in soon.

The first national health care town hall (over 1 million views and counting) was not broadcast by mainstream media but on three digital outlets. Here's the video in case you missed it or want to share it with a friend. Lots of good information.

From Friends of the Earth:

Tell your Senators: Kick Clovis out of the USDA!
Good news! Michael Dourson -- a Monsanto hack -- just stepped down from his job at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Last year, Donald Trump nominated Dourson to run the Office of Chemical Safety Prevention and Pollution. Pressure from people like you forced Dourson to withdraw his nomination. But EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hired him as a senior advisor anyway. Now, months later, he’s leaving that position.

But Dourson wasn’t the only failed Trump nominee to be given a job in the Trump administration. Sam Clovis -- a conservative talk radio host with no scientific background -- is currently serving as a senior advisor at the USDA. Clovis was forced to withdraw his nomination to lead the agency’s science program in November.

This is the second time Trump has gone around the nomination process and given his Big Ag friends jobs that they’re completely unqualified for. Congress could hold Trump accountable -- but we need your help to push it to act!
Tell your Senators: Stop Trump from filling his government with Big Ag cronies!

Clovis says the science on climate change is “junk science” and has made it clear that he will not prioritize climate science at the USDA. But farmers and the agriculture industry are on the front lines of both the effects and causes of climate change. We need science-based leadership to help farmers respond to climate threats.

What’s more, Clovis has a well-documented record of homophobic, racist, misogynistic and anti-science rants as a former radio show host. He called progressives “race traders and race traitors." He’s vocally against fair wages for working people. And he vehemently opposes civil rights protections for the LGBT community.

This is someone who shouldn’t be in any sort of leadership position -- let alone serving as a key advisor on federal programs to protect our food system! Trump likely gave him the job as a reward for his role on his campaign.
Tell your Senators: Kick Sam Clovis out of the USDA!

Thanks to a groundswell of public pressure -- including more than half a million comments from Friends of the Earth members like you -- we stopped Clovis from getting a Senate-confirmed job at the USDA.

This shows that when you speak up, you can push the Senate to act and hold the Trump administration accountable.

We can’t let Trump undermine our critical food programs by staffing his government with anti-science extremists. We need your help to get Sam Clovis out of the USDA once and for all.

Tell Congress: No anti-science extremists leading key USDA programs!

Standing with you,
Lisa Archer,
Food and technology program director,
Friends of the Earth

Also from Friends of the Earth:

Big Ag and the Trump administration are attacking organic farming.
In an outrageous assault on organic agriculture, Trump’s USDA is moving fast to kill protections for livestock on organic farms.

This attempt to roll back the standard is the biggest attack on organic agriculture in almost twenty years.  

Congress could step up and stop the USDA’s attack on organic standards. But we need your help to push it to act!

Call now! Tell your Senators you OPPOSE the USDA’s attempt to kill the organic animal welfare rule!

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule provides animals on organic farms with real outdoor access, ample space to move around, and protection from unnecessary physical alterations. 

Most organic farmers already meet these standards. The rule would ensure that everyone using the organic label lives up to the humane conditions that consumers expect from organic. The rule is overwhelmingly supported by organic farmers, consumers, and animal advocates.

Tell your Senators: Don’t let the USDA eliminate protections for organic livestock!

The organic label was born out of a public outcry for a healthier, safer and more transparent food system. The Senate needs to hear loud and clear that the American people want healthy, organic food from animals who were treated with dignity and respect -- not more giveaways to Big Ag.

Call your Senators and ask them to stop Trump’s attack on organic agriculture!

Standing with you,
Dr. Kendra Klein,
Staff Scientist,
Friends of the Earth

From the Sierra Club:

We can't let this happen on our watch.

This month, the Trump administration proposed opening 90% of US waters to offshore drilling between 2019 and 2024. That's right -- if this plan becomes law, the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Eastern Gulf coasts will all be in the hands of Big Oil. That means oil rigs from Maine to Louisiana, and from Alaska down to California. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is collecting comments on this catastrophic new five-year plan. We have until March 9 to tell them how unpopular and short-sighted this plan is.
While they attempt to hand our coasts over to oil companies, Trump and his buddies are also rushing to dismantle safety regulations that were enacted after the Deepwater Horizon spill.1 And on New Year's Day, Congress also failed to renew a longstanding oil tax that funds cleanup efforts for oil spills.2
It almost sounds too sinister to be true -- they want to open 90% of our coasts to drilling but won't enforce basic safety standards or fund programs to clean up the inevitable spills. 

Tell BOEM that the people have spoken -- no drilling off our coasts!
Thanks for all you do to protect our coasts,
Lena Moffitt
Senior Director, Our Wild America Campaign
Sierra Club 

1. Eilperin, Juliet and Grandoni, Dino. "Trump administration to overhaul safety-monitoring rules for offshore drilling" The Washington Post. 12/28/18.
2. Eilperin, Juliet and Grandoni, Dino. "Without fanfare, oil companies just received a tax break on New Year's Day" The Washington Post. 1/5/18.


Win Without War

Before you keep reading: This one is sickening.

Okay. Ready for this?

The Pentagon funded forces engaged in child sexual assault and other “gross violations of human rights” in Afghanistan — to the tune of 71 billion dollars.
Appalling doesn’t begin to describe it. But in the deafening chaos of the Trump era, even a story as awful as this might slip through the cracks if we don’t speak up. So it’s up to us make this story huge.

Tell Congress: Immediately halt appropriations to Afghan security forces until the Pentagon proves that no American tax dollars will fund human rights violations.

But wait — it gets worse. The Pentagon knew, this whole time. They also knew that a highly specific law prohibits exactly this situation: Congress has made it illegal for the Department of Defense to assist foreign security forces if they have credible evidence that human rights are being violated. But instead of stepping in, the Pentagon dug up a shady legal loophole to dodge accountability and claim they are in the clear.

Let that one sink in for a minute. The Pentagon’s response to clear evidence of human rights violations was: How can we cover our behinds?

The muck and mire of America’s failed war in Afghanistan just keep getting deeper. And it's clear that the Pentagon isn't about to solve their own fiasco. But Congress created the watchdog agency that dug up this story, and Congress passed the laws that should make this behavior 100% illegal. Now, we need to make Congress shut the loophole and shut down American support for these human rights abuses. 

Sign now: Congress must not send another penny to Afghan security forces while these gross human rights violations continue.

Thank you for working for peace,
Cassandra, Stephen, Amy, and the Win Without War team


Happy birthday in Palestinian Arabic is “kul sana wa inti salmeh,” which literally translates something like, “May you be safe this year and every year.” 
We’re hoping Ahed Tamimi’s next year, and every year after, is safer than this one. Her birthday is January 31st, and this year, her 17th, she’ll be celebrating it in prison. 

Click here to send Ahed a message of support and solidarity on her birthday.

Ahed’s story of slapping an armed soldier after the IDF tried to enter her family’s home on December 15 is but one small incident during an entire young life controlled by military occupation. 

Earlier that day, a soldier shot Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin Mohammed in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, which required risky surgery to remove. Three years ago, soldiers shot her mother Nariman in the leg. Two years before that, soldiers shot and killed her uncle Rushdi. The year before that it was another cousin, Mustafa, who died from a high-velocity tear gas canister to the face point-blank. This is an incomplete list.

So who is on trial? Ahed. A young girl the same age as my daughter, who is sitting behind bars facing a sentence of 10 years for defending herself and her family. 

Let her know that you won’t let Israel put yet another child behind bars and make her disappear. That you’ll be thinking about her on Wednesday— and next week when her trial begins.

Send Ahed a birthday card that honors her life and her brave act of resistance.

 "Kul sana wa inti salmeh ya Ahed!
Sending you love and solidarity on your 17th birthday, Ahed.
We stand with you and with all Palestinian prisoners.
Thank you for your bravery and steadfastness, and happy birthday!"
Ahed isn’t the first child to be locked up in Israeli military detention and she won’t be the last—until we pressure Israel to change. 

By standing up for Ahed, we are standing up for the approximately 350 reported children currently in Israel’s military detention— for the approximately 700 Palestinian children Israel arrests and prosecutes every year. Ahed herself, when she had a chance to talk with her father, told him “to make a campaign for all the women and children in prison.”

Ahed, her family, and all the nonviolent resisters in her village of Nabi Salih, are heroes in my book. They endure tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, home invasions, arrests, and tragedy after tragedy. 

To ensure a safer year— a safer world— for Ahed and all Palestinian children, we must continue to work towards ending these many decades of military occupation. And we will continue to push for the legislation introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Detention of Palestinian Children Act, to prevent the use of U.S. tax dollars for the Israeli military’s ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children. 

Today, please join me in saluting Ahed and wishing her a happy birthday, and a safer, happier, more peaceful future.
I know it’s getting closer.

Communications Strategist


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Is It Possible For The Left To Unite?

I Rise, Toledo--Unity March 2018
words and photos by C.A. Matthews

It's been a tough year, but it's also been a productive one for many progressive groups. The second annual "Unity March" in Toledo, Ohio, organized by the YWCA was a success. Even with dense fog earlier in the day and a misty rain all afternoon, there was a good turnout. The march began at the "Toledo Loves Love" wall and continued down Adams Street to historic Trinity Episcopal Church.

Dozens of progressive organizations held a resource fair at the march's end, and Food Not Bombs provided delicious food for all.  There were groups concerned about health care (Ohio SPAN), women's reproductive rights (Planned Parenthood), gender rights (U.R.G.E.), racial justice (BLM) and political activism (Move To Amend and gerrymandering reform). Petitions were passed around and signed, pamphlets and brochures shared, and new members recruited.
No matter what the mainstream media says about the Left, there seems to be more agreement than discord among diverse groups, at least locally. And perhaps that's all that is really needed--cooperation at the local level. It's where most of our everyday governance come from and where we can make the most immediate impact.
Take courage from these happy marchers. They're taking action to protect their best interests and make the world a better place for all. Do likewise and encourage others to join you in your work. It's always better together.

Is It Possible For The Left To Unite?
by C.A. Matthews

Is it possible for the Left to unite and defeat the powers of corporatism, a.k.a. fascism? 

It's a question that haunts many progressives, and I'm no exception. For every successful "unity event" I've witnessed, I've also experienced a catty remark  from someone whose opinion boils down to  "It's my way or the highway." In other words, not everyone wants to build a future to believe in if it's not done in a manner they feel is best. They'd rather we all suffer together if they can't see their vision come to pass with their chosen candidate or through their particular plan of action. Selfish but true.

For instance, the drive to reform the Democratic Party from within. Groups such as Our Revolution and Justice Democrats have done their best to whip up support and increase progressive membership in the party. However, the same corporate-owned politicos remain entrenched in the highest positions, and they don't act like they're open to progressive newcomers in their ranks. The more things change, the more things seem to stay the same in the DNC. 
Still, you can't fault people for trying. It's better to say you tried and failed than you never gave the Dems a chance to reform themselves. But is it worth it to continue spending time, energy and resources to change a party that doesn't want to change? Can the Left unite around a party that wants to remain on good terms with their corporate paymasters? Wouldn't it be better to unite around the progressive ideals that Bernie Sanders and the Greens have espoused and wave good-bye to the DNC? Wouldn't it possibly be better to start a whole new party, a people's party?

For every progressive you meet, you'll get a different answer to these questions. So, we might as well agree to disagree on how we view the effectiveness of trying to reform an establishment party. Once we acknowledge that we hold slightly different takes on what it means to be a progressive, then we can build a coalition to work on the major building blocks of that future we all believe in--universal health care, free education from daycare through college, environmental protections, the development of clean energy sources, taking big money out of politics, among others. 

If everyone on the Left side of the political spectrum focuses on tackling these issues one by one, and puts all posturing aside, then we will be strong enough to create a united front against the fascists. We will have the power to put them out of business once and for all. 

It is possible to unite the Left. Anyone who fights against that unity is on the other side. Don't listen to them. Unite anyway. We have important work to do.

Look what happens when we work together...
From the Hightower LowDown--Ordinary People Working Together to Win Elections:

Beanstock's World takes a look at the advantages of voting on paper ballots and how it could strengthen democracy:

Why we need to work together, now more than ever:
Inequality Is Killing America's Children

Democracy is under attack in Ohio! Read on to learn more:

House JointResolution 5 (HJR 5), introduced in fall 2017 in both houses of the Ohio General Assembly, would dramatically change the already-difficult process to amend the Ohio Constitution and is stealthily making its way through the Ohio General Assembly.

Make no mistake, this is a direct attempt to thwart direct democracy by the people of Ohio. It is an attempt to make sure that only the state legislature has the power and ability to pass laws that WE must follow. It is an effort to make sure the people cannot propose legislation that the general assembly refuses to pass OR repeal legislation that the people find unjust or oppressive. Remember the people repealed SB5 in 2011.
This is a direct attack on the constitutional check and balance that the people of Ohio have over the state legislature. Here are the highlights (or lowlights) of this proposal:
·         Raise from 10% to 12.5% the number of petition signatures of Ohio’s registered voters (in the last gubernatorial election) to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. Based on turnout for the 2014 election for governor, about 318,000 valid signatures presently are needed to put an issue on the ballot, but the 12.5% requirement would raise the total by 79,000 additional signatures, to about 394,000 valid signatures.
·         Raise from a simple majority (50% + 1 vote) to 60% the total number of votes required to pass an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, or to pass a law proposed by the people. In 2017, about 1,600,000 people voted on the victim’s rights constitutional amendment, and 50% + 1 votes, roughly 800,000, would suffice to pass it. The proposed 60% super-majority requirement would make it necessary for 150,000 to 170,000 additional votes to pass a constitutional amendment or a new statute proposed by the people. Instead of about 800,000 votes, nearly 1,000,000 votes would be required. Funny how this 60% rule doesn’t apply to candidate elections to office.

·         Raise from 3% to 3.75% the number of registered voters’ signatures to propose legislation to the Ohio General Assembly, an increase of about 24,000 signatures. Currently about 94,000 valid signatures are needed. The proposed change would increase the requirement to about 118,000. The proposed legislation would require, first, obtaining an additional 3.75%, instead of the current 3%, of registered voter signatures, followed by a vote by a 60% super-majority.
·         Prohibit payment of any compensation to a petition circulator for gathering signatures. 

About the sponsor of this resolution:

State Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) released the following statement regarding the announcement of the potential initiative constitutional amendment for the adult consumption of recreational marijuana:

"The initiative constitutional amendment proposed today is yet another ill-conceived ballot initiative with dishonest intentions, amplifying the need to pass House Joint Resolution 5, which I introduced recently. This is another proposal attempting to use the Ohio Constitution as a means for a special interest to make a profit at the expense of the taxpayers of Ohio, a gross misuse of our democratic process. HJR 5 would preserve the integrity of our state’s founding document and prevent moneyed special interest groups from buying our ballot. Today’s proposal is exactly what I am trying to stop with HJR 5. We must pass HJR 5 to stop this additional attempt for a moneyed special interest to hijack our ballot and buy their way into the Ohio Constitution.”

This misleading statement is appalling for many reasons—
·         Representative Antani wants to make it more difficult for the people to have a check on a state legislature that is bought and paid for by corporate special interests, while he presents the amendment as being in the best interests of the people.
·         Representative Antani has received campaign money from First Energy, Dayton Power and Light, Nisource, the Automobile Dealers Association and other corporate interests. He, like most of our elected officials, are beholden to and represent the interests of corporations over the interests of the people of Ohio.
·         If Representative Antani was serious about special interests hijacking our ballots and buying our Constitution, then he would be sponsoring legislation limiting corporate lobbyist donations to issues and candidates. He would be proposing a Fair Elections constitutional amendment along the lines of what Youngstown tried to get on their local ballot, until the state blocked it. http://www.protectyoungstown.org/fair-elections.html
·         If this is so important to protect the people, why, without any public debate, is this being proposed for the May 8 ballot in Ohio?
·         If this proposal gets on the ballot, it will only need 50% + 1 to become a law that will limit and stifle democracy forever after to a “super majority” of 60%.
We the people of Ohio cannot continue to allow a corrupt state legislature to slowly take away the people’s voice in governing decisions. Our democratic rights are being sabotaged, and we the people must say NO and say it loudly. We must support initiatives and organizations that are attempting to reverse this corporate state agenda and put democracy back in the hands of the people who will be affected by the laws that are passed. We must recognize that we the people are following laws written by and for corporations, and work to reverse this so that we the people are writing laws that corporations must follow.

The OHCRN is proposing two constitutional amendments to do just that. The Ohio Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum for Counties and Township Amendment. Visit our website at http://ohcommunityrights.org/projects/statewide-constitutional-change/ to read both proposals full text and contact us to find out how you can help.

Join us in the effort to “legalize” and protect democracy by the people in Ohio.

Tish O'Dell

CELDF Ohio Organizer

OHCRN State Coordinator, www.ohiocrn.org

 Tree Media presents We the People 2.0 – The Second American Revolution, a film featuring the new democracy movement building across the United States. 

Support OHCRN. Make your contribution today.  Thank you!


 Donald Trump has made a political career out of demonizing people like me.
He announced his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, criminals and drug dealers. Just last week, he called Haiti and nations in Africa “shithole countries,” saying we should accept more immigrants from Norway instead. 

Beyond these racist words, Trump and his administration are rapidly advancing hateful policies. The day before his “shithole countries” comment, ICE raided more than a hundred 7-Eleven stories across the country. 

Faced with Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s relentless attacks on immigrants of color, it may be tempting to give up. To let their words define me and my family.
But I choose hope. I’m in this fight because, like my mother, I have hope that the power of the people will change our country. 

My name is America Reyes. I’m a Mexican immigrant who migrated to the US when I was 5 years old. I’m a leader with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, a People’s Action member organization. 

My parents brought me here with a dream. They wanted a better life for me. Just like them, I work every day to fulfill my dreams and thrive without fear of deportation again. I’ve been an active community member advocating for immigrant communities. I hope to become a lawyer and a judge one day. I want to have the power to carry justice forward and to continue the legacy of generations before me.
I also want to set an example for my younger sisters — I want them to know that we can win when we fight for our dignity. And I fight for a clean Dream Act to honor the fights my parents have gone through to be able to dream. 

Every day, about 122 young people like me lose their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. That means there are over a hundred youth each day at risk of being torn from their families and the country they call home. 

This is a moment of crisis for my family, as it is for so many families across the nation. 

I fear for how my younger sisters will feel being torn apart from their big sister. I worry for how my parents will fare having their daughter stolen from them. 

I am young woman with rights and dreams. And I deserve to see them through. 

Congress is negotiating the fate of 700,000 Dreamers this week. You can call 888-778-6856 and be directly connected to your member of Congress.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Please join me in making the dreams of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants come true. Call Congress today and demand they pass a clean DREAM Act. 


America Reyes
Leader Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and People’s Action

From Credo:

There is a massive new threat to fragile bee populations, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the power to stop it.
Syngenta, the Swiss-based agro-chemical rival to Monsanto, is seeking government approval to spray its bee-killing pesticide thiamethoxam on more than 165 million acres of American crop land.1

If the Scott Pruitt-led EPA under Donald Trump’s regime approves the company's application to apply massive amounts of this toxic pesticide on popular crops like wheat, barley, rice, alfalfa and potato, we could see even more dramatic and rapid declines of bee colonies. We must urge the EPA to deny Syngenta's application immediately.

Tell the EPA: No mass spraying of toxic, bee-killing pesticides. Click here to sign the petition.

In recent years, bee populations have plummeted significantly due in large part to the expanded use of bee-killing pesticides. More than 700 North American bee species are at risk for extinction, and in 2016-2017 alone, beekeepers lost 33 percent of their bees, yet the EPA has failed to take significant steps to limit pesticide use.2,3 In fact, just before Donald Trump took office, the EPA publicly acknowledged that neonic pesticides pose a significant risk to honeybees but backed away from a proposed rule to limit their use.4

Incredibly, this proposal by Syngenta to significantly ramp up its use of this toxic chemical on crop land fell on the very same day the EPA released a stunning new report detailing the dangers neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam pose to animal life, including birds of all sizes.5 This most recent EPA study comes on the heels of numerous studies detailing the risks neonics also pose to invertebrate aquatic life.

As Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program, put it:

"If the EPA grants Syngenta's wish, it will spur catastrophic declines of aquatic invertebrates and pollinator populations that are already in serious trouble."6
Activism to protect bee populations works. Hundreds of thousands of CREDO members have mobilized in recent years to pressure the EPA to restrict expansion of Monsanto's bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. But with Trump occupying the White House and Pruitt leading the EPA, we need to double down our efforts to keep these toxic pesticides from dramatically worsening the bee crisis.

Tell the EPA: No mass spraying of toxic, bee-killing pesticides. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for all you do.
Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

  1. Grace Guarnieri, "EPA Might Let Bee-Killing Pesticide Be Sprayed On 165M Acres of Farmland," Newsweek, Dec. 21, 2017.
  2. Justin Worland, "More than 700 North American Bee Species Are Headed Toward Extinction," TIME, March 2, 2017.
  3. University of Maryland, "American beekeepers lost 33 percent of bees in 2016-17," May 25, 2017.
  4. Center for Biological Diversity, "Same Day: EPA Acknowledges Proven Dangers of Bee-killing Pesticides But Refuses to Restrict Them," Jan. 12, 2017.
  5. Center for Biological Diversity, "EPA Considers Allowing Bee-Killing Pesticide to Be Sprayed on 165 Million Acres of U.S. Farmland," Dec. 19. 2017.
  6. Ibid.

From Social Security Works:
As all eyes are focused on a potential government shutdown, the Senate is attempting to sneak through Alex Azar. He’s Donald Trump’s new pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, the cabinet post that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. And he might be even worse than Trump’s first HHS Secretary, Tom Price.
Azar is the former president of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly USA. During his tenure, Eli Lilly more than tripled the price of life-saving insulin medication―protecting drug company profits over patient care.

Alex Azar is the definition of the “revolving door” in Washington. He used his time serving in George W. Bush’s Department of Health and Human Services to cater to big pharma’s whims, auditioning for a cushy corporate job. He then spent nearly a decade personally profiting off of an industry he once regulated. And now he wants back in at HHS.

At a time of skyrocketing drug prices, we need a health secretary who will take on the drug companies, not pad their pockets!

Thank you for taking action today.
Michael Phelan
Social Security Works