|Progressive Calendar 11.08.12 /3||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 13:23:18 -0800 (PST)|
*P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.08.12* 1. Post-elec talk/eat 11.08 5:30pm 2. No to drones! 11.08 7pm 3. Midstream reading 11.08 7:30pm 4. Ralph Nader - On a progressive civic agenda 5. Glenn Greenwald - From liberal victory to disempowerment in six easy steps 6. John Nichols - For Obama, a bigger win than for Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Bush or Bush 7. ed - bumpersticker --------1 of 7-------- From: Sarah Martin Post-elec talk/eat 11.08 5:30pm Post-Election Discussion & Potluck Thursday, November 8th 5:30 - 7pm 4200 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis Recovering from the election? Come together as WAMM members and supporters to discuss what should be next for the peace movement. What does this election mean for the peace movement? What do we want to push for with the next president? This will be an informal discussion. Please bring a dish to share. You are also invited to stay afterwards for Brian Terrell, sponsored by the WAMM Ground All Drones Committee, who will speak on “Punishing Free Speech and Letting Murder Off the Hook, Justice Denied in Missouri” as he prepares to serve 6 months in federal prison for his non-violent protest of drone warfare --------2 of 7-------- From: WAMM No to drones! 11.08 7pm Presentation by Brian Terrell: “No to Drones!” Thursday, November 8, 7:00 p.m. Cedar Center, 4200 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis. Brian is a Catholic Worker based in Maloy, Iowa, and co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. He was convicted in U.S. District Court, Jefferson City, Missouri, and sentenced to a 6-month prison term on October 11th for trespassing at Whiteman Air Force Base, one of the stateside bases where Predator drones are remotely operated to fly the skies over Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brian will begin his sentence on November 30. Brian will talk about drones, their impact on innocent people, and why he was willing to risk arrest and imprisonment to protest their use. Sponsored by: WAMM’s Ground All Drones Committee, and the Twin Cities Peace Campaign (TCPC). FFI: Call WAMM at 612-827-5364. --------3 of 7-------- From: ed Midstream reading 11.08 7:30pm Midstream Reading Series When: Thursday November 8, 7:30–8:30pm. Where: Blue Moon building, corner of 39th and (3820) East Lake. Upstairs. Entrance just west of the Blue Moon coffee house; up the stairs and to the left. Not wheel-chair accessible. Plentiful street parking. Best to arrive 10-20 minutes early to get coffee and food/dessert from the Blue Moon, and to be seated by 7:30 so we can begin on time. And, the venue will easily hold about 30; after that, standing or floor-sitting room only. The early bird gets the seat. Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators: Edward Eubanks Jean Miriam Larson Barry Blumenfeld Trish Stachelski Edward Eubanks St. Paul based humor writer who's work stretches from political satire and commentary to children's books and bawdy limericks. Wrote for first on-line humor magazine, Zip Beep, and was a regular fixture on 80's BBS scene. Has written 2 unpublished novels, The Eye of God and The Christmas Song. Lifelong Democrat with masochistic bent and an uncommon appreciation of the insanity defense. Jean Miriam Larson Jean Miriam Larson’s book of poems and sketches, The Superior Life, is for lovers of wilderness, especially the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior’s north shore. Her poems, interviews, and essays have appeared on W.W.Norton’s PoemsOutloud web journal, in Midway Journal, the journal Rock, Paper, Scissors, and The Park Bugle as well as in performances with TalkingImageConnection and Three Dances. She graduated with an MFA in writing from Hamline University’s Graduate School of Liberal Studies. Jean’s book is available at Micawber’s Book Shop, Drury Lane Books, Solbakken Resort and Lutsen Resort, or at www.SuperiorLifePoetry.com . Barry Blumenfeld Barry Blumenfeld has had poems and stories on web sites such as LIEF and Exquisite Corpse. His novel "O, Sinners" is available as an e-book for 99 cents at Amazon, Smashwords, and on iTunes. He's seeking a print publisher for it. Barry is a New York City transplant--the husband of a daughter of St. Paul. Trish Stachelski Trish Stachelski grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and traveled to South America to fulfill a dream of seeing the Galapagos tortoises. She is a poet, singer and teacher. Her cd of original songs in English and Spanish is "Hola, Tortuga." Her blog is longfellowfarmer.com "Urban Nature Notes." Before and after: The Blue Moon, downstairs, has coffee, sandwiches, desserts. Merlin’s Rest, a bar/restaurant 3 blocks west, has a full bar, good food, a late hours kitchen, some outside seating For further information: David Shove shove001 [at] umn.edu 651-636-5672 --------4 of 7-------- On a Progressive Civic Agenda by Ralph Nader Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Common Dreams The “democracy gap” in our politics and elections spells a deep sense of powerlessness by people who drop out, do not vote, or listlessly vote for the ‘least worst’ every four years and then wonder why after every cycle the ‘least worst’ gets worse. People need to be “Expert Voters” and “Expert Citizens.” The important work of our democracy does not end on election day, rather it begins anew once the votes are counted. A civic agenda that starts to end the corporate domination of our country should: * End ballot access obstructionism * Open up the Presidential debates * Public financing of campaigns * Raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour * Adopt single payer national health insurance * Launch a nationwide public works and repair program * Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget * Retire nuclear power, expand Renewable Energy to deal with climate change * Crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare * Adopt a carbon pollution tax and end tax escapes for corporations and the wealthy * Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East * Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law * Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax * End corporate personhood * Defend, Restore and Strengthen the Civil Justice System Ralph Nader Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel). --------5 of 7-------- >From Liberal Victory to Disempowerment in Six Easy Steps Obama and Progressives: What Will Liberals Do with Their Big Election Victory? by Glenn Greenwald Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by The Guardian The greatest and most enduring significance of Tuesday night's election results will likely not be the re-election of Barack Obama, but rather what the outcome reflects about the American electorate. It was not merely Democrats, but liberalism, which was triumphant.Elizabeth Warren during an election night rally after defeating Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race. To begin with, it is hard to overstate just how crippled America's right-wing is. Although it was masked by their aberrational win in 2010, the GOP has now been not merely defeated, but crushed, in three out of the last four elections: in 2006 (when they lost control of the House and Senate), 2008 (when Obama won easily and Democrats expanded their margins of control), and now 2012. The horrendous political legacy of George Bush and Dick Cheney continues to sink the GOP, and demographic realities – how toxic the American Right is to the very groups that are now becoming America's majority – makes it difficult to envision how this will change any time soon. Meanwhile, new laws to legalize both same-sex marriage and marijuana use were enacted in multiple states with little controversy, an unthinkable result even a few years ago, while Obama's late-term embrace of same-sex marriage seems to have resulted only in political benefit with no political harm. Democrats were sent to the Senate by deeply red states such as Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, along with genuinely progressive candidates on domestic issues, including Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, who became the first openly gay person elected to the Senate. As a cherry on the liberal cake, two of the most loathed right-wing House members – Rep Joe Walsh of Illinois and Allen West of Florida – were removed from office. So the delirium of liberals this morning is understandable: the night could scarcely have gone better for them. By all rights, they should expect to be a more powerful force in Washington. But what are they going to get from it? Will they wield more political power? Will their political values and agenda command more respect? Unless the disempowering pattern into which they have voluntarily locked themselves changes, the answer to those questions is almost certainly "no". Consider the very first controversial issue Obama is likely to manage, even before the glow of his victory dims, literally within the next couple of weeks. It is widely expected - including by liberals - that Obama intends (again) to pursue a so-called "Grand Bargain" with the GOP: a deficit- and debt-cutting agreement whereby the GOP agrees to some very modest tax increases on the rich in exchange for substantial cuts to entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare, the crown legislative jewels of American liberalism. Indeed, Obama already sought in his first term to implement sizable cuts to those programs, but liberals were saved only by GOP recalcitrance to compromise on taxes. In light of their drubbing last night, they are likely to be marginally if not substantially more flexible, which means that such a deal is more possible than ever. In other words, the political leader in whose triumph liberals are today ecstatically basking is likely to target their most cherished government policies within a matter of weeks, even days. With their newly minted power, will they have any ability, or even will, to stop him? If history is any indication, this is how this "fight" will proceed: STEP ONE: Liberals will declare that cutting social security and Medicare benefits – including raising the eligibility age or introducing "means-testing" – are absolutely unacceptable, that they will never support any bill that does so no matter what other provisions it contains, that they will wage war on Democrats if they try. STEP TWO: As the deal gets negotiated and takes shape, progressive pundits in Washington, with Obama officials persuasively whispering in their ear, will begin to argue that the proposed cuts are really not that bad, that they are modest and acceptable, that they are even necessary to save the programs from greater cuts or even dismantlement. STEP THREE: Many progressives – ones who are not persuaded that these cuts are less than draconian or defensible on the merits – will nonetheless begin to view them with resignation and acquiescence on pragmatic grounds. Obama has no real choice, they will insist, because he must reach a deal with the crazy, evil GOP to save the economy from crippling harm, and the only way he can do so is by agreeing to entitlement cuts. It is a pragmatic necessity, they will insist, and anyone who refuses to support it is being a purist, unreasonably blind to political realities, recklessly willing to blow up Obama's second term before it even begins. STEP FOUR: The few liberal holdouts, who continue to vehemently oppose any bill that cuts social security and Medicare, will be isolated and marginalized, excluded from the key meetings where these matters are being negotiated, confined to a few MSNBC appearances where they explain their inconsequential opposition. STEP FIVE: Once a deal is announced, and everyone from Obama to Harry Reid and the DNC are behind it, any progressives still vocally angry about it and insisting on its defeat will be castigated as ideologues and purists, compared to the Tea Party for their refusal to compromise, and scorned (by compliant progressives) as fringe Far Left malcontents. STEP SIX: Once the deal is enacted with bipartisan support and Obama signs it in a ceremony, standing in front of his new Treasury Secretary, the supreme corporatist Erskine Bowles, where he touts the virtues of bipartisanship and making "tough choices", any progressives still complaining will be told that it is time to move on. Any who do not will be constantly reminded that there is an Extremely Important Election coming – the 2014 midterm – where it will be Absolutely Vital that Democrats hold onto the Senate and that they take over the House. Any progressive, still infuriated by cuts to social security and Medicare, who still refuses to get meekly in line behind the Party will be told that they are jeopardizing the Party's chances for winning that Vital Election and – as a result of their opposition - are helping Mitch McConnell take over control of the Senate and John Boehner retain control of the House. And so it goes. That is the standard pattern of self-disempowerment used by American liberals to render themselves impotent and powerless in Washington, not just on economic issues but the full panoply of political disputes, from ongoing militarism, military spending and war policies to civil liberties assaults, new cabinet appointments, immigration policy, and virtually everything else likely to arise in the second term. Indeed, nobody takes STEP ONE in that depressing ritual even a little bit seriously. Nobody believes the declarations of progressives about what is "unacceptable", about what their "red lines" are, about how they will refuse to go along with what they are given if it contains what they declare intolerable. That's because STEPS TWO THROUGH SIX always follow, and until that pattern is broken, STEP ONE will continue to be viewed as a trivial joke. With last night's results, one can choose to see things two ways: (1) emboldened by their success and the obvious movement of the electorate in their direction, liberals will resolve that this time things will be different, that their willingness to be Good Partisan Soldiers depends upon their core values not being ignored and stomped on, or (2) inebriated with love and gratitude for Obama for having vanquished the evil Republican villains, they will follow their beloved superhero wherever he goes with even more loyalty than before. One does not need to be Nate Silver to be able to use the available historical data to see which of those two courses is the far more likely one. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited Glenn Greenwald Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian. A former constitutional lawyer, he was until 2012 a contributing writer at Salon. His most recent book is, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. His other books include: Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism. --------6 of 7-------- Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by The Nation For Obama, a Bigger Win Than for Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Bush or Bush by John Nichols U.S. President Barack Obama, who won a second term in office by defeating Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, addresses supporters during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)It wasn't even close. That's the unexpected result of the November 6 election. And President Obama and his supporters must wrap their heads around this new reality -- just as their Republican rivals are going to have to adjust to it. After a very long, very hard campaign that began the night of the 2010 “Republican wave” election, a campaign defined by unprecedented spending and take-no-prisoners debate strategies, Barack Obama was reelected president. And he did so with an ease that allowed him to claim what even his supporters dared not imagine until a little after 11 p.m. on the night of his last election: a credible, national win. “We’re not as divided as our politics suggest,” Obama told the crowd at his victory party in Chicago. And he was on to something. Despite a brief delay by Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and the commentators on Fox News, Obama claimed his victory on election night not the next day, as Richard Nixon did in 1960, or even later, as George Bush in 2000. And it was a real victory. Obama did not have to deal with the challenge of an Electoral College win combined with a popular-vote loss -- as even some of his most ardent supporters feared might be the case.. By the time Romney conceded at 1 a.m., Obama had a 250,000 popular-vote lead, and it grew to roughly two million by dawn. He was on track to win a majority of states and more than 300 Electoral Votes – at least 303 and, with the right result in Florida, 332. Obama's win was at least the equal of John Kennedy's in 1960 (303 electoral votes), bigger than Richard Nixon's in 1968 (303 electoral votes), bigger than Jimmy Carter's in 1976 (297 electoral votes), bigger than George W. Bush's in 2000 (271 electoral votes and a popular vote loss). And, significantly, bigger than George W. Bush in 2004, when Obama's predecessor won just 286 electoral votes, and faced serious challenges to the result in the state that put him across the 270 line: Ohio Never mind, Bush claimed a broad mandate. “When you win, there is… a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view," Bush said. "And that's what I intend to tell Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let's work." Bush told reporters: "I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." When Bush tried to spend his capital “reforming” Social Security, he failed. Obama would be wise to avoid making the same mistake. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid do not need to be “reformed.” They need to be strengthened and expanded. The president could spend some of his capital on that project. But he ought not stop there. As he embarks upon the second term that not all presidents are given, Obama would do well to take the counsel of National Nurses United executive direector Rose Ann DeMoro, who said after the election, “The President and Congress should stand with the people who elected them and reject any cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, strengthen Medicare by expanding it to cover everyone, and insist that Wall Street begin to repay our nation for the damage it caused our economy with a small tax on Wall Street speculation, the Robin Hood tax.” That reference to the Robin Hood tax is worthy of note. President Obama ought to get serious, in his second term, about finding the revenues to pay for the strengthening and expanding of necessary programs: ideally by taxing the wealthy as they were in the days of America’s greatest economic expansion, and also by imposing that “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions. But Obama's first task should be to fix the broken political system that imposes so many burdens on America democracy. In his victory speech, Obama referenced the long lines in which Americans waited to vote for him and declared: “By the way, we need to fix that.” That’s good. The need of democratic renewal is great after an unnecessarily crude political campaign that was, as Obama acknowledged, frequently “small… and silly.” The place to begin is with a project he mentioned just before the Democratic National Convention: amending the constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. "Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)," the president wrote, in response to a question about the court decision to allow corporations to spend as freely as they choose to influence elections. "Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change." Seeking to amend the constitution to reform our election system is an ambitious endeavor, especially for a president who has just beaten the combined power of Karl Rove and his billionaire boys club. But it is a necessary endeavor. And a president who has been comfortably reelected ought not think small. He should “spend his capital” on projects worthy of the trust Americans have afforded him. © 2012 The Nation John Nichols John Nichols is Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. His most recent book is The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition. A co-founder of the media reform organization Free Press, Nichols is co-author with Robert W. McChesney of The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again and Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy. Nichols' other books include: Dick: The Man Who is President and The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. --------7 of 7-------- --------------------------------- BEHEAD MONSANTO --------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shove Trove
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