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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!
For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video
"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.
Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.
Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.
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"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017
"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017
"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017
"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017
"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016
"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016
"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016
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Posted Jan. 11, 2017
When billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, he’ll be taking up residence at the White House as one of the most unpopular presidents in modern U.S. history. In addition to losing the popular vote to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by 2.8 million votes, Trump’s Electoral College victory of 306 votes ranks near the bottom, belonging somewhere between the lowest one-fourth and the lowest one-fifth of all Electoral College wins in the history of U.S. presidential elections.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that Trump will enter the presidency with a 37 percent favorable rating, vs. a majority of 51 percent of those polled who view the Republican unfavorably. When pollsters asked those surveyed whether they thought Trump's behavior since the election made them feel better or worse about him, 28 percent said they feel worse – with just 23 percent stating they feel better.
As Inauguration Day approaches, the media and much of the nation will be focused on the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Trump’s nominees to fill his new administration’s Cabinet. Major controversies have erupted over nominee’s history of racist views, conflicts of interest, climate change denial, support for the privatization of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and public education– as well as multiple Trump appointees who have worked for Goldman Sachs’ and who advocate for corporate and Wall Street deregulation. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future. Here, he examines the task of organizing effective opposition against the Trump-GOP agenda – and the Democratic Party's urgent need for new leadership and energy. [Rush transcript]
ROBERT BOROSAGE: Well, of course, the confirmation hearings – if Sen. Mitch McConnell, the leader of Republicans in Senate – has his way, they will come and go in a blink of eye. And his hope is to drive them through the hearings very quickly, without anybody noticing. While Democrats, I think, have to find ways to slow this down and to demand that people – the Americans – have a chance to get a good look at who these nominees are and the conflicts they bring with them. I think that's going to happen much more quickly than one would like.
Then we go into, right away, the reconciliation bill – the first bill, the first order of business, as Mike Pence puts it – will be the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, Obamacare. And here, Republicans I think, begin to unravel, because their promise is to repeal and replace the law, but they don't have anything to replace it with. And so they're now saying they're going to repeal it without replacing it, and wait two years, four years, to come up with a replacement, which will undoubtedly lead states and insurance companies and hospitals and doctors to begin to unravel the Act. People are going to start getting hurt immediately by this decision. And Democrats have to be stalwarts in opposing that and pointing out the folly – the utter kind of irresponsible and immoral folly involved in that.
But I think that bigger and harder task is to not just oppose the stupidity and the really criminal policies that we're going to face – whether it's tax cuts on the rich, or kind of total retreat from addressing climate change or the horrors that could well be visited on people of color and particularly on undocumented workers and Muslims. In addition to opposing this, and raising a different voice, it's really important it seems to me for Democrats, particularly progressives, to lay out big ideas that offer an alternative. It's important for people to understand it is a choice between truly reactionary and profoundly wrong policies, and big ideas that could provide basic rights for Americans – from health care, affordable health care, to affordable college, to full employment and to empowering workers to organize and win a fair share of the profits and productivity they're producing. All of those policies are possible, but they have to be argued out even as we oppose what's coming down the pike from Trump and company.
BETWEEN THE LINES: When you look at the Democratic party and the upcoming leadership contest – the main contenders being Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez to become the next Democratic National Committee chairman – do you see the Democrats going in the right direction? Both in terms of a strategy of grassroots organizing and coming up with the "vision thing" of not only opposing the Trump agenda, but as you said, really putting forth some bold new ideas that the country seems quite ready for, given the popularity of both Bernie Sanders and the fake populism of Donald Trump?
ROBERT BOROSAGE: Well, I think the election is a big choice for Democrat. Keith Ellison is an extraordinary candidate and he's made an extraordinary sacrifice by saying he would leave his congressional seat if he's elected to lead the party. And Ellison is remarkable because he has perfected in his own district the kind of grassroots organizing that keeps the party alive between elections and builds its strength and creates volunteers and creates energy so that it is not reliant on very big money and it's not compromised in the way that it has been.
And that's the model that he wants to take through the DNC and across the country and build in 50 states. He would be, I think, a consensus choice for the position except for two thing. One is, he supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries and while he worked very hard for Hillary once she won the nomination, he was a forceful advocate for Sanders and there are a lot of what you would call machine Democrats in the DNC who are resentful about the Sanders challenge and who, therefore, are skeptical about Keith's candidacy. And then I think President Obama wants to maintain his finger on the party even though he has - it has been disemboweled under his leadership. He was key to getting Perez to put his hat in the ring. Now Perez is a terrific Labor secretary and a remarkable man and leader. But he literally no political experience and no organizing in politics, unlike Ellison. And so he's really a placeholder for people who want the party to be what it has been, which is this mix of very big money on the one hand, and identity politics on the other without a real emphasis on populist economics and on building a grassroots base. So I think it's a big choice for Democrats when they come down to this election.
For more information, visit Campaign for America’s Future at ourfuture.org.