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RiverLover

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

The War on Solar

The War on Solar
October 26, 2015
By Sara Gutterman, Co-founder & CEO, Green Builder Media

Fossil fuel interests are waging a shady war on solar through backroom transactions and bootleg deals. How long will they be able to rig the game? Eighty-four percent of US voters are in favor of “taking action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy”, but major fossil fuel interests don’t care as long as their profits are at stake.

A recent report by the Environment America exposed 12 special interest groups that are waging aggressive anti-solar campaigns in states across the country to quell the exponential growth that the solar industry has recently been experiencing.

....The report highlights specific organizations that have worked hard to hinder the proliferation of solar in the US, including:

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade group that represents US investor-owned electric utilities, launched the current wave of anti-solar advocacy with a 2012 conference warning utilities of the challenges solar energy posed to their traditional profit centers. Since then, EEI has worked with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on model legislation to repeal state renewable electricity standards and ran an anti-solar public relations campaign in Arizona.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provides utility and fossil fuel interests with access to state legislatures, and its anti-net metering policy resolution has inspired legislation in states like Washington and Utah.

The Koch brothers have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits. One Koch front group, 60 Plus, ran a TV and internet anti-net metering campaign in Arizona. The Koch-funded campaign organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP) carries out anti-solar energy organizing efforts. In Florida and Georgia, AFP has run misinformation campaigns against net metering and other solar policies.

The Heartland Institute, a think tank with backing from the fossil fuel industry, helped draft the language for ALEC’s “Electricity Freedom Act,” and has spread misleading information about the impacts of solar energy.

The Consumer Energy Alliance is a Houston-based front group for the fossil fuel industry, representing fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell Oil. In Wisconsin in 2013, CEA submitted 2,500 dubious signatures in support of a utility rate case to increase costs for solar customers.

As part of its campaign to discourage rooftop solar power, Arizona Public Service, the biggest utility in Arizona, has funneled money through nonprofit groups in order to fund anti-net metering advertisements and has been accused of improperly cultivating influence with the state commission that regulates utilities.

Duke Energy, the largest utility in the US, has positioned itself through investments in utility-scale solar plants to be seen as a champion of solar energy – all while spending millions on campaign contributions to keep anti-solar politicians in office in Florida and lobbying against third party solar agreements in North Carolina.

American Electric Power (AEP) has backed anti-solar campaigns in states including Ohio and West Virginia. In West Virginia, AEP successfully lobbied for a bill to limit the net metering cap to 3 percent of utility peak demand.

In Utah and Nevada, subsidiaries of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy are running active campaigns to halt the growth of solar power. In Nevada, subsidiary NV Energy has lobbied to prevent the raising of Nevada’s net metering cap. With Nevada solar power on track to reach the cap limit in early 2016, a stagnant cap could damage the state solar power industry.

The Salt River Project, a public utility in Arizona, passed perhaps the most damaging anti-solar provision in the country: a demand charge for solar customers that will increase utility bills by an average of $50 per month, which has all but killed the growth of rooftop solar in the utility’s territory. The passage of the fee was based in part on an internal SRP analysis that was criticized for failing to account for solar energy’s value to the grid and to the environment.

In Ohio, FirstEnergy led the fight to make Ohio the first state in the country to freeze its renewable energy standard – resulting in annual private investment in Ohio solar energy dropping by more than $100 million. FirstEnergy has also sustained a series of regulatory attacks against Ohio net metering policy.

We Energies, Wisconsin’s largest utility, has submitted a nearly continuous stream of proposals to the Wisconsin Public Services Commission (PSC) to halt the growth of solar, including proposals to limit net metering and to impose surcharges on solar owners.


.....Rather than innovating new business models through which they can capitalize on the inevitable future of renewable energy and leverage a smart grid that enables distributed sources of energy, these entities are grasping onto obsolete paradigms that ultimately do each and every one of us a disservice.......

http://www.energymanagertoday.com/the-war-on-solar-0117313/

http://www.greenbuildermedia.com/green-builder-media-new-posts

http://www.environmentamerica.org/

Pro-war, pro-wall street, pro-big oil, pro-big ag....but in the past 2 yrs she has come around on

gay marriage.

We keep enabling Dems who act like rethugs, we will keep getting the same thing. But the Dems like to talk liberal when they're campaigning. That's always nice. Its not so nice when afterwards, when they're in office & they're doing all to help big business & screwing us over while making excuses, is when its not so nice. And its getting old.

We needed that change Obama talked about in 08 & the country went crazy for. We still do.

Al Gore: Optimist?

Al Gore: Optimist?
by Michael Grunwald
Politico

In a Miami conference center the size of a football field, 1,200 climate activists are getting ready to watch a slide show....

...Snip....

.....The former vice president still begins and ends his presentation with photos of the earth from space, iconic reminders of what’s at stake. He still lectures in that much-mocked wooden style, with sporadic flashes of passion detectable more by changes in volume than delivery. The big difference in the updated version of the slide show is that a decade ago, Gore mostly warned about what could happen. Now he shows what’s already happening.



It’s scary stuff, and it’s supposed to be. Some of it is visually scary, like a downpour that looks like an airborne tidal wave descending on Tucson, Arizona, or a helicopter rescuing residents of an apartment complex floating down a Japanese street. Some of it is intellectually scary, like charts illustrating how 14 of the 15 hottest years ever recorded have been recorded since 2000, how extremely hot days have become 100 times more common in just three decades, how climate change is driving unprecedented droughts, floods, wildfires and mudslides. Gore constantly updates his presentation: At least a dozen of his slides in Miami were from the previous few months, including news footage of Biscayne Bay flooding local streets the previous night.

...Big huge Snip...worth reading at link....

....IT’S DEPRESSING STUFF, and Gore knows it. In fact, before he began his presentation, he warned the trainees that when they delivered their own versions, they would have to work within a time budget, for obvious reasons; a complexity budget, because there are only so many tough concepts an audience can digest; and a “hope budget,” because audiences also have limited tolerance for doom and gloom.

“Despair is paralyzing,” he told the crowd. “When people feel like there’s no hope—well, might as well party on; let’s not worry about the problem. We need to deliver the message that we’re winning. The hope is real. It’s not a forced smile.”

Gore gives his audiences plenty of reasons to hope—the decline of coal in the U.S., the global solar boom, the upcoming climate talks in Paris, the vocal support of Pope Francis. He cites Wall Street reports on how clean energy is getting cheaper than coal in much of the world. He notes that Costa Rica was powered entirely by renewables for 100 straight days, and that Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican who is a top United Nations official, was a graduate of his slide-show training.

At times, though, his smile seemed a bit forced. I told him later that I think of him as a glass-half-empty guy. On the campaign trail, it always looked like his handlers had to remind him 10 times a day that America loves optimists, and after his wrenching defeat in 2000, he seemed even more like a missionary who was spreading the gospel because he knew it was the right thing to do even though he doubted the heathen would get the message. But he told me no, he’s very much an optimist. I mentioned the hope budget, and he said that’s just a tactic for building political will because unrelenting bad news can create a feeling of futility.

“That doesn’t mean I’m prone to that feeling,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I’m not vulnerable to that.”

A moment later, though, he revised and extended his remarks.

“I guess I would modify that slightly,” he said. “Anyone who works on the climate issue has an internal dialogue, the struggle between hope and despair. All my colleagues struggle with that. But I’ve always come down on the side of hope.”...

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/10/al-gore-optimist-000295


Click here to read the author's full interview with Al Gore.

I thought this article & Gore's words was so apropos for our group here. We have a struggle it seems with that concept of hopelessness vs hope. I'll always fall on the side of hope. We have to at least try. Mother Nature is extremely resilient.




Its safer in Europe where Monsanto hasn't bought off as many politicians & university profs.

EU Nations Ban GMOs

In addition to the glyphosate backlash, Monsanto has had to deal with several EU countries who have said no to the company's GM crops. A new European Union law signed in March allows individual member countries to be excluded from any GM cultivation approval request. European opposition to GMOs has been strong: Unlike in the Americas and Asia, where GMO crops are widely grown, only Monsanto's pest-resistant MON810, a GMO maize, is grown in Europe. Several nations have taken advantage of the new exclusion law: Scotland, Germany, Latvia, Greece, France and recently, Northern Ireland, have all invoked it.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/monsanto-suffers-several-2015-setbacks




A Harvard Kennedy School professor wrote a widely disseminated policy paper last year in support of genetically modified organisms at the behest of seed giant Monsanto, without disclosing his connection, e-mails show.

Monsanto not only suggested the topic to professor Calestous Juma. It went so far as to provide a summary of what the paper could say and a suggested headline. The company then connected the professor with a marketing company to pump it out over the Internet as part of Monsanto’s strategy to win over the public and lawmakers, according to e-mails obtained through a public records request.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/10/01/harvard-professor-failed-disclose-monsanto-connection-paper-touting-gmos/lLJipJQmI5WKS6RAgQbnrN/story.html

Sherrod Brown's OpEd on Fixing Our Broken Tax Code (Its GOOD) - Add your voice!

Fixing a broken tax code
by Sherrod Brown

As a Cleveland Indians fan, I have grown used to saying “wait until next year.”

But as a legislator, this saying infuriates me – particularly when it comes to our tax system. Our tax code is so broken that it creates incentives for multinational corporations to move jobs and profits overseas – profits they’d like to return to the U.S. and revenue that our Treasury needs.

But as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I’ve seen targeted Democratic and Republican tax reform efforts stifled due to the hope of comprehensive tax reform in the future, a future that is always way over the horizon.

In baseball, hope can triumph over reason. But as policymakers, we have an obligation to act when opportunity presents itself, rather than wait for next season.

And right now there is a political opportunity to solve two of America’s pressing economic problems at the same time.


Over the past several months, I worked with Democrats and Republicans on a special International Tax Reform Working Group to explore challenges facing our international tax system.

In our current system, nobody wins. American corporations can legally shift profits overseas to avoid taxes in the U.S.

Not only does this deprive our tax base of needed revenue, but it also prevents these same corporations from accessing profits to invest in the U.S. or return money to shareholders. Meanwhile, foreign companies that are able to access American companies’ overseas cash threaten to take over U.S. corporations.

At the same time, our trust fund for infrastructure projects is nearly empty.

Our roads, bridges, rail lines, and ports are in need of critical repairs to ensure that American commuters can efficiently get to work and that American businesses can transport and sell their products. For years now we have needed a long-term highway bill with increased investment, but have been forced to settle for the lowest political denominator of short-term, flat-funded patches.

Later today at the Cleveland City Club, I’ll outline a bipartisan path forward. Earlier this month, our International Tax Working released a bipartisan framework to reform international taxes and generate needed revenue to pay for long-term and robust infrastructure improvements. At the same time, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, began similar discussions with the White House.

Here’s how reform would work: we would create a new, simplified international corporate system that eliminates incentives to offshore profits.

First, the new system would allow corporations to pay taxes in the country in which they were earned.

Second, we would eliminate tax havens by creating a county-by-county global minimum tax. This means that if a company is manufacturing products in a foreign nation for sale in a foreign country, they would pay nearly all of their tax to that foreign country and then be free to use their profits as they see fit. But if a company is moving profits to a tax haven and generates little economic activity in that nation, than it would owe the U.S. the minimum tax immediately.

Third, the new system should include robust incentives to locate R&D jobs and manufacturing in the U.S.


This new system would allow corporations to make investments driven by economics – and not tax arbitrage – while introducing new rules to prevent them from using debt structuring to hide profits generated in the US. Finally, this new system would allow the return of nearly two trillion dollars in profits stranded overseas through a one-time tax. That tax would be used to fund a long-term transportation bill at the increased levels our country needs.

We know that a reasonable tax on locked-out, overseas funds is enough to pay for pressing infrastructure needs across our country. In my home state of Ohio, the Brent Spence Bridge – which connects Ohio and Kentucky and moves goods totaling 4 percent of our GDP each year – has been described as “dangerous” and “obsolete.” There are similar “Brent Spences” around the entire nation that also need repair now.

With a pressing deadline to shore up our infrastructure trust fund, now is the time to act. Reforming our international tax system provides us with an opportunity to increase global competitiveness while investing in infrastructure. We cannot wait until “next season.” After all, as any Indians fan knows, next season has been “just around the corner” for 67 years.

Co-Sign Sherrod's Letter


Please add your voice!

We are NOT the United States of Corporations. Let's remind them!

Death by Fracking



Published: October 20, 2015 | Authors: Chris Hedges | Truthdig | Op-Ed

DENVER—The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline. Fracking, which involves putting chemicals into potable water and then injecting millions of gallons of the solution into the earth at high pressure to extract oil and gas, has become one of the primary engines, along with the animal agriculture industry, for accelerating global warming and climate change.

The Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers who are profiting from this cycle of destruction will—once clean water is scarce and crop yields decline, once temperatures soar and cities disappear under the sea, once droughts and famines ripple across the globe, once mass migrations begin—surely profit from the next round of destruction. Collective suicide is a good business, at least until it is complete. It is a pity most of us will not be around to see the power elite go down.

I met recently in Denver with three of the country’s leading anti-fracking activists: Gustavo Aguirre Jr. of KEEN (Kern Environmental Enforcement Network) in California; Kandi Mossett with the Indigenous Environmental Network and from the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state because of hydraulic fracturing; and Shane Davis, a longtime campaigner against fracking and the founder of fractivist.org, a data mining organization that exposes what fracking corporations are doing in communities around the country.

The activists are waging a war against a corporate state that is deaf and blind to the rights of its citizens and the imperative to protect the ecosystem....

........big SNIP........

There is a low-level insurgency, in many of the sacrifice zones and elsewhere, against the corporations that carry out destruction and plunder, including fracking. This is an insurgency worth joining. It is a battle far more important than the charade of presidential elections. Real change will come only from below. It will come from those participating in efforts such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the anti-fracking movement and the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It will come from radical organizations that organize outside the system and physically impede corporate destruction. It will come through open revolt.

Our fate as a species will be determined on these lonely and difficult battlegrounds.

The fracking industry, bolstered by the security and surveillance state, has devoted tremendous resources to monitoring, demonizing and criminalizing anti-fracking activists. Activists are followed, harassed, arrested and defamed in corporate-funded propaganda campaigns even as their communities see their drinking water poisoned, air polluted, greater earthquake activity, the dumping of radioactive waste on their land, and farm animals sickened, born with birth defects and killed by drinking contaminated water.

The oil and gas industry, often backed by state governments, routinely sues communities that have asserted their democratic rights to ban fracking.....

..................“A lot of people around me have cancer,” said Mossett. “I’m a cancer survivor. It has become something that is normal for us. It comes in all forms—bone cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer, amongst others. Even before the fracking began we had seven coal-fired power plants in North Dakota. Every inch of our over 11,000 miles of rivers, lakes and streams are already contaminated with mercury. Then fracking started to take off around 2006. People, at first, had no clue what was coming. Infrastructure started to be built. We got water towers through the rural water department. Many saw this as positive. A brand new bridge was built over Lake Sakakawea.”

But once the infrastructure was in place it became apparent that it had been built to facilitate the extraction of oil by fracking, not improve the lives of those on North Dakota’s reservations.

....Cancer rages like a plague across the reservations............................

Please read full article here~
http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/death_by_fracking_20151018

This is SUCH an important article.

Thank you Chris Hedges!!

May it be spread far & wide....

How Monsanto Took Control of Our Food System - graph



http://ecowatch.com/2015/08/26/monsanto-control-food-system/


This puts it all in perspective! I didn't know a lot of this history. Like what happened in 2003 in Alabama...hope some of you find it as interesting & eye-opening as I do!

We need to stop this monster.

Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution: Climate Change, Connectivity & a Unifying Global Purpose

Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution: Climate Change, Connectivity and a Unifying Global Purpose
Arianna Huffington
Oct 20, 2015

In his 2009 book "The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis," Jeremy Rifkin posed one of the defining questions of our time: in a hyper-connected world, what is the goal of all that unprecedented technological connectivity? "Seven billion individual connections," he wrote, "absent any overall unifying purpose, seem a colossal waste of human energy."

Now, I'm delighted that The WorldPost is featuring a new series by Rifkin exploring how the possibilities of an even more connected world can lead to solutions to one of our greatest crises: climate change.

With 2015 widely predicted to supersede 2014 as the hottest year on record, the topic's relevance and timeliness are obvious. According to analysis by Climate Central, "13 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 2000 and ... the odds of that happening randomly without the boost of global warming is 1 in 27 million."



.........For all the promise and possibility of official gatherings, much of the change we need will come from outside the halls of power. This is where technological advances and innovations, including the Internet of Things, are especially important. Rifkin sees tremendous potential in this aspect of increased connectivity: "For the first time in history," he writes, "the entire human race can collaborate directly with one another, democratizing economic life." Advances in digital connectivity, renewable energy sources and smart transportation are allowing us to responsibly shift the way we see the world and our place in it.

Rifkin labels all this the "Third Industrial Revolution" because, "to grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history."

In the coming weeks, our series will outline the path ahead for the realization of this Third Industrial Revolution.

Full article~
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/third-industrial-revolution_b_8337742.html



Excerpt from the first in the 4 part series~


Jeremy Rifkin
Author, 'The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism'

How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy
Posted: 10/20/2015



...........Now, a new economic paradigm is emerging that is going to dramatically change the way we organize economic life on the planet. The European Union is embarking on a bold new course to create a high-tech 21st century smart green digital economy, making Europe potentially the most productive commercial space in the world and the most ecologically sustainable society on Earth.

The plan is called Digital Europe. The EU vision of a green digital economy is now being embraced by China and other developing nations around the world.

The digitalization of Europe involves much more than providing universal broadband, free Wi-Fi and a flow of big data. The digital economy will revolutionize every commercial sector, disrupt the workings of virtually every industry, bring with it unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions of people back to work, democratize economic life and create a more sustainable low-carbon society to mitigate climate change. Equally important, this new economic narrative is being accompanied by a new biosphere consciousness, as the human race begins to perceive the Earth as its indivisible community. We are each beginning to take on our responsibilities as stewards of the planetary ecosystems that sustain all of life.

To grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history. Every great economic paradigm requires three elements, each of which interacts with the other to enable the system to operate as a whole: new communication technologies to more efficiently manage economic activity; new sources of energy to more efficiently power economic activity; and new modes of transportation to more efficiently move economic activity.

In the 19th century, steam-powered printing and the telegraph, abundant coal and locomotives on national rail systems gave rise to the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, centralized electricity, the telephone, radio and television, cheap oil and internal combustion vehicles on national road systems converged to create an infrastructure for the Second Industrial Revolution....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-rifkin/third-industrial-revolution-green-economy_b_8286142.html


ETA: Meant to add this link~

http://www.digitaleurope.org/

Join a "This Changes Everything" screening near you!

There may be one coming up close to where you live very soon. I just got this notice from 350.org, and the screening is this Tues pm, Oct 20th. Not much notice, but maybe some of you might having more time to plan for it? They want people going out to theaters to see it....let the world know in ticket sales that people give a damn. (Its only 5 bucks at my local theater.)

But you can also watch it online starting October 20th, it will be available on iTunes.

Here's a map of the US, just enter your zip to find out if it will be in a theater near you~
http://350.org/tce/?akid=8049.984204.fLXyq1&rd=1&t=4

It looks REALLY good~



Synopsis:

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.


I'm so grateful that creative, motivated people put this film together. Even if it sucks (it won't tho!), it will get more heads out of the sand & wake more people up to what is at stake here. And what is possible.

Here's a talk by Naomi Klein on the subject~



It goes without saying, we are all grateful to her!!! (or we should be)

April '14: "Hillary Clinton and the Future Failure of Progressive Hope and Change"

Why a run by the undeclared frontrunner demands upending the corporate wing of the Democratic Party
by John Atcheson
Common Dreams

..........And yes, gender equality is a critical issue, but don’t hold your breath looking for progress from Hillary. She’s likely to do as much for women, as Barack Obama has done for African Americans – which is to say damn little, other than a better brand of rhetoric.

So before we proceed with her coronation, maybe it’s time to think back to the 2004 campaign, and the early days of Barack Obama’s candidacy and Presidency.

Remember “hope and change?” At the time, few thought to ask what exactly we were hoping for and what exactly we were changing to.

And of course, what we got was a great slogan, better speeches, very little change and even less hope.

Here’s what Obama promised:

Shutting down Gitmo;
Ending warrantless wiretapping;
Ending foreign wars;
An end to trickle down economics;
Greater regulation of Wall Street and the financial sector;
A public option for health care;
Protecting social security, Medicaid and Medicare;
Serious action on climate change;
Greater equality in opportunity and more broadly shared prosperity …

Here’s what we got: An administration that set up Goldman Sachs south in the Treasury, doubled down on domestic spying; expanded a drone policy that creates between 40 to 60 new terrorists for every one it kills; health care reform that is better than the status quo, but which rewards corporate insurers as much or more than it does citizens; international trade agreements that favor corporate interests, while eviscerating domestic wages, scuttling environmental performance, and crippling US industrial infrastructure. It’s so bad, they’re trying to negotiate it in secret …

The list goes on and on, and so do the betrayals.

Apologists for the DLC branch of the Democratic Party will say Obama had no choice – he was constrained by Congress. But he practiced a brand of preemptive capitulation that meant we always ended up carrying corporate water, and satisfying military imperialists while ignoring or discounting citizens’ civil rights and welfare.

So now enter Hillary Clinton and the deluded Democrats who jones for her Presidency. Maybe it’s time to ask what, specifically, we will get; what we can hope for, and whether it will usher in changes Americans overwhelmingly want (more about this, in a bit).

And here’s the answer – If we nominate Hillary Clinton we will get another DLC Democrat who mouths progressive values during the campaign, then shifts to the right when (and if) elected. In short, citizens get no real choice.


The problem with this isn’t simply that it’s morally bankrupt; economically bad for 95% of Americans; bad for the economy in general; bad for the environment; bad for US competitiveness; and devastating for our children’s future climate – it’s ultimately bad politics, too.

Here’s the deal – the dirty little secret that plutocrats and corporatists in both Parties don’t want us to know: The vast majority of Americans favor progressive policies. Consider:

— 90% of the citizens support legislation requiring background checks for gun purchase, but Congress can’t pass one.

— 74% of Americans want to end subsidies to big oil – but there’s no chance of it happening;

— The majority of citizens favored allowing tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 to expire, but the best we could do is compromise on $400,000

— 70% of Americans consider climate change to be a high priority issue, yet Congress has taken no action;

— Some 80% of Americans favor shoring up Social Security even if it means higher taxes and a similar number support retaining Medicare as is, but we’ve twice offered cuts to both programs as part of a “grand bargain”;

— Or take this gem … more than 80% of Americans want to clamp down on Wall Street but the best we could get was weak-sister legislation that is being completely eviscerated as it is translated into regulations.

This list could be extended across a broad range of issues. The fact is, the people’s interests aren’t being represented in Washington and they won’t be if Hillary Clinton is elected. Her record is clear. She’s an ardent proponent of trade agreements; she’s consistently supported the interests of Wall Street over Main Street; she’s been hawkish on foreign policy; weak on civil protections; hawkish on the deficit (until very recently) and mum on many other issues that demand a progressive advocate.

Yes, she’s beginning to veer to the left in preparation for the primaries, but haven’t we had enough of this?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a candidate who actually represented the peoples’ interests tackle the usual corporatists who win the Democratic nominations? Not to mention the sycophantic Republicans who so obviously dance to the tunes of the likes of Addelson, the Koch Brothers and Wall Street?


The fact is we can wage and win a war for a progressive candidate, and we have potential candidates who speak for the people. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the Progressive Congressional Caucus – each offers common sense and popular alternatives to the corrosive forces of corporatism that is eroding our Democracy.

Corporate money can trump everything but the vote. In the age of the Internet, we can take over this Party. We can raise our own money and turn out our own candidates. We can bypass the bought and paid for media and reach people directly with a message they are dying to hear.

Doubt that? Think back to 2011, when income inequality was a non-issue, ignored by the media and candidates alike. Between September 2011 and October 2011, the Occupy movement erupted, making income inequality one of the main issues in the 2012 election.

We must occupy the Democratic Party. Yes, as constructed, it’s little more than Republican lite – answerable to corporate overlords. But we can change that. We can insist on candidates who represent the people.

Take a look at those polling numbers again – if we used the tools of the Internet to raise money and advocate popular progressives, we just might be able to beat back the plutocrats. It’s at least worth a try.

So let’s go for it. Let’s occupy the Democratic Party.

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. )

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/04/17/hillary-clinton-and-future-failure-progressive-hope-and-change


(Bold for emphasis is my own)

^^^^^^ This is pretty much what it is all about for me personally, and I suspect many others here. And it helps explain why we are so against this likely "Democratic" front runner.
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