It’s ba-a-a-a-ck! Another sneak attack on health care! The Republicans first attempt at legislation after coming to power in Congress was to try to engineer a tax give-away to the top 1% by masquerading it as a Repeal & Replace of Obamacare. When that failed they just shifted to directly drafting legislation to implement their tax cut for the super rich, attempting to pass it off as “tax reform” and a middle-class tax cut. Now, in an effort to find yet more sources of funds to deliver those tax cuts, Senate Republicans are calling for an end to the individual mandate component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Essentially this will drive premiums up for those who would still be able to afford it and make health insurance unaffordable for about 13 million people, thus “saving” the government about 338 billion over the next 10 years. Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s All In and Senator Ron Wyden break it down. [Read more…]
An necessary element to having more women in elected office is the need to have women run for office. A critical step in making that happen is identifying and overcoming barriers that discourage women from running for office. One barrier is the disproportional amount of hateful and misogynistic personal online attacks. Here’s a video that sheds light on some non-partisan work being done on that front. More information on this project here. [Read more…]
Q: What do Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov and offshore islands have in common? A: The Paradise Papers. Here is Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman speaking with Frederik Obermaier, investigative reporter for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and co-author of the Paradise Papers. Frederik discusses the techniques and consequences of the offshoring of wealth, and names some names of figures discovered as complicit. Among the names are two of the current administration’s cabinet: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
On a somber note, Obermaier notes that this type of reporting is not without risk. A colleague, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was part of the team working on the Panama Papers—an earlier much more limited release of records from the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca—was murdered in a bomb blast in early October. Her reporting had focused on the corruption of Maltese officials revealed in the Panama Papers and she had reported receiving death threats fifteen days before the fatal explosion. [Read more…]
Words have no meaning without context. Once stated, it seems obvious, but in certain situations this truism appears to be forgotten. During a Family Action Network event with Evanston Township High School while on tour for his newest book, We Were Eight Years In Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to a question from the audience on the issues of the use of the N-word. With examples he reminds us of how we know the importance of context to be true. In his low-key conversational delivery he then extends the analysis to explain the contexts at play in the use of this hot-button vocabulary item. [Read more…]
Randy Rainbow may not have the answer, but he certainly knows how to ask the question! Here is his Sound of Music inspired “How do you solve a problem like Korea?” It’s apparent that even after (or should that be because of?) this week’s diplomatic tour, the problem is still unresolved. Aaargh! [Read more…]
Kurt Vonnegut’s experience of surviving the fire-bombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war provided a fundamental component of the raw material for his novel “Slaughterhouse Five”. In this video Vonnegut reads a passage from the novel accompanied by remarkable imagery using archival footage in an unconventional way and suggests how Vonnegut may have longed for that history to have been rewritten.
(BTW, today, November 11th, is Vonnegut’s birthday) [Read more…]
Lee Carter’s campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates 50th district was successful, defeating Jackson Miller, the Republican incumbent who is serving as the current House Majority Whip. Running as a Democrat, but in the mold of Bernie Sanders, Marine veteran Lee identifies as a Democratic Socialist.
What does that mean? For Lee, he echoes Sander’s explanation: “It means I believe in strong unions, health care for everybody, and an end to discrimination”. In this campaign the issues also included single-payer health care and getting money out of politics, issues which very much resonate with the Democratic base. Those issues resonated strongly enough to get out 11,360 votes for Lee to 9,510 for Miller. [Read more…]
With the imminent expiration of DACA in March 2018, the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties have initiated a campaign, “CA is my home”, to pressure key California representatives to actively support the House bipartisan Dream Act and pass the bill by December 2017. The key representative for the San Diego area is Darrell Issa. In the last election Issa lost to his opponent, Doug Applegate, by about 7 percentage points in San Diego County. It was the Orange County voters that tipped the total in his favor, allowing him to retain his seat. Issa should be feeling vulnerable. [Read more…]
Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock share a bit of “Welcome to My World” with SNL cast members representing stunned HRC supporters after last year’s historic election night returns. [Read more…]
Samantha Bee released this segment about the relationship between mass shootings and domestic violence four days before the latest mass shooting at a Texas church which left 26 people dead and another 20 wounded.
She didn’t know that the shooter, 26 year old Devin Kelley “beat his wife, cracked his toddler stepson’s skull and was kicked out of the military. He drove away friends, drew attention from the police and abused his dog.” [Read more…]
“A Night at the Garden” contains archival footage of a 1939 “Pro-America Rally” held by the German-American Bund, in conjunction with demagogue Father Charles Coughlin’s Christian Front. An almost capacity crowd of 20,000 was in attendance that night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The main speaker is Hitler knock-off Fritz Kuhn, a naturalized German immigrant and head of the Bund. [Read more…]
The human voice as instrument …
The second selection of this NPR Tiny Desk Concert performance is Rinde Eckert’s “Cesca’s View” which incorporates yodeling as a vocal technique. This a capella performance by the women of “Roomful of Teeth” expands the limited association of that technique from strictly Alpen herders to the vocal repertoire in general.