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Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

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  Of Blue Dogs and Pink Jellyfish
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HEALTH-INDUSTRY CARE:

Of Blue Dogs and Pink Jellyfish

by Dave Lindorff
Friday, 31 July 2009

Progressives should develop a spine and vote against any bill that doesn't have a single-payer plan such as the one being put forward today by Rep. John Conyers. We can't continue paying double per capita compared to developed countries with better health care.

What’s the difference between a Blue Dog Democrat and a progressive Democrat? One is a vertebrate with a spine and a willingness to bite. The other is a jellyfish with no spine and no teeth.

This difference has been glaringly apparent in the current fight over health care reform.

The Blue Dogs in House and Senate have been giving the progressive Democrats an object lesson in how a small group in Congress can get its way. They have threatened to withhold their support for the Obama Administration’s key policy objective of a health reform package, and have managed, with just a handful of votes between them, to remove almost all progressive content from that legislation by threatening to walk if they don’t get their way.

Compare that to the progressives—a much larger faction within the Democratic Party majority in both houses. There are plenty of articles currently circulating in the media talking about progressive rage and dissatisfaction, both among progressives at large, and among progressives in Congress, over the bills that are emerging in committees in both the House and Senate—bills that are gutting any reference to a genuine so-called “public option” government insurance plan that would actually compete with and challenge private insurance companies, and that have studiously avoided having anything to do with a single-payer approach, bills that call for actually cutting back on Medicare, the wildly successful single-payer program that since 1965 has been providing health care for the elderly and the disabled. But none of the dissatisfied progressive Democrats in Congress, and only a few of the progressive political organizations operating outside of Congress, have threatened to bolt and oppose the sell-out legislation that is being produced in Congress, or to stop supporting those Democrats in Congress who are caving in to the pressure from the health industry lobbies. And certainly none of those progressive groups have told the president that he will no longer have their support if he doesn’t insist on a much bolder and progressive health reform bill.

Given the power that the small Blue Dog Democratic Caucus has demonstrated by threatening to rebel and vote against a health reform bill, just imagine the power that Progressive Caucus would have if it were to collectively threaten a “No” vote. Just imagine the different path that health reform legislation would be taking in Congress today if progressive organizations like trade unions, netroots organizations, and others were to tell President Obama that they would withhold their backing in 2010 from any member of Congress who didn’t vote for a single-payer plan, or that he could no longer count on their support in 2012 if he failed to push for single-payer today.

This is the lesson of the current disaster of health reform in Congress, and it is just the latest chapter in the failed history of progressive Democratic politics.

It’s fine to work to elect progressives to Congress, and to send a Democrat, progressive or not, to the White House, given that there is no chance for progressive change while Republicans are in charge, and given the institutional obstacles and the fratricidal internal conflicts that prevent the rise of a viable Third Party alternative, but progressive voters and progressive organizations have forgotten the lesson of the Civil Rights and Anti-Indochina War movements. That lesson is that elections are only a small first step, and that only mass movements operating outside of Washington and outside of electoral politics—mass movements that threaten the Democrats who are currently in power—can produce progressive change.

The power of the Blue Dogs in Congress is derived from the fact that despite their small number, they are numerous enough that, if they stick together, they can derail a progressive reform bill.

But imagine how much more powerful the progressive caucus in House and Senate would be if it took the same tack.

Progressives in Congress, if they developed spines and teeth and ceased being jellyfish, could threaten to vote against every bill offered by those same Blue Dogs, unless they supported real health reform—that is, a single-payer plan such as the one being put forward today by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). If they were backed up by progressive grass roots organizations that let it be known that support would end for any Democrat not backing single-payer reform, we could have that reform.

Instead, we have jellyfish on the left, and both the president and the Democrats in Congress, know that they can ignore the left, because it will support them no matter what they do.

Note: Today is the day that Congress will vote on Rep. Conyers’ single-payer bill (HR 676). For information on how to join in the fight for Single Payer, go to AfterDowningStreet.org or PNHP.org


Dave Lindorff in Washington

About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.



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This story was published on July 31, 2009.
 

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