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Hair-Trigger Alert: On Bombs, Guns, and the Failure of America

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:36
Robert C. Koehler

I feel the finger on the trigger. I also feel it on the button.

“Dear President Obama,” the letter begins. It goes on to remind him of something he said in his 2008 presidential campaign: “Keeping nuclear weapons ready to launch on a moment’s notice is a dangerous relic of the Cold War. Such policies increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.”

Here’s What We Want

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:04
Bernie Sanders

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

Liberal Elites Hate the Left

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 05:38
Jake Johnson

In 2013, President Obama, speaking at a fundraiser in Medina, Washington — home to a small community of wealthy donors — expressed a sentiment that has become all too common among Democratic Party liberals.

Today, John Lewis Stood Up for Human Dignity Once Again

Thu, 06/23/2016 - 05:22
Bill Moyers, Michael Winship

On March 7, 1965, 25-year-old John Lewis, already a veteran of the Freedom Rides, Mississippi’s Freedom Summer and Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, walked ahead of 600 civil rights activists as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on the first leg of what was meant to be a peaceful march for voting rights.

US Bombing Syrian Troops Would Be Illegal

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:34
Marjorie Cohn

In an internal “dissent channel cable,” 51 State Department officers called for “targeted military strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a proposal that President Barack Obama has thus far resisted. However, were he to accept the cable’s advice, he would risk a dangerous – possibly catastrophic – confrontation with Russia. And, such a use of military force in Syria would violate U.S. and international law.

The Return of Lesser Evilism

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:22
Matt Taibbi

Jonathan Chait of New York magazine wrote a column about Ralph Nader earlier this week that uses some interesting language. Noting that it's now been 16 years since Nader ran for president and garnered enough dissenting votes to help elect George W. Bush, he wrote (emphasis mine):

Brexit Anyone? Why the US Should Care About Thursday’s Vote in the UK

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:05
Padraig Reidy

The murder of a Labour Party member of Parliament, Jo Cox, just a week before Britain’s referendum on its membership in the European Union, stunned the entire nation, briefly suspending an increasingly shrill national debate as the “Leave” and “Remain” campaigns attempted to recalibrate their messages and soften their tone.

As Quietly as Possible, the Government is Renewing Its Assault on Your Privacy

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:29
Trevor Timm

With their dangerous crusade for an anti-encryption bill in Congress all but dead (for now), the FBI and US justice department are now engaged in a multi-pronged attack on all sorts of other privacy rights – this time, with much less public scrutiny.

Why I’m In: Pushing for Lexit Won’t Help Migrants or the Working Class

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:16
Ewa Jasiewicz

Brexit or 'taking back our country' from European elites will only hand it over to domestic ones and turbo-charge their bonfire of union rights. Our labour will become more 'flexible' and we will be more fucked over.

Why Mining Corporations Love Trade Deals

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 08:47
Ben Beachy

From the salmon-spawning waters of Alaska to the cloud forests of Ecuador, communities are standing up to mining projects that threaten their health, environment, and livelihoods.

But mining corporations are fighting back with a powerful tool buried in trade and investment agreements: the ability to go to private, unaccountable tribunals and sue governments that act to protect communities from mining.

Chicago People’s Summit Is About Keeping Hope Alive

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 08:38
Tanner Jean-Louis

“This political revolution started before Bernie Sanders got here, and it will continue after his campaign.”

Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, delivered these words to some 3,000 attendees at the People’s Summit, a gathering in Chicago this past weekend of student organizations, civic groups, and unions allied with the Sanders campaign.

ISIS Must Love Trump

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 08:26
Peter Certo

As the sun set over New York on June 12, hundreds of Muslims gathered in Hudson River Park to break their Ramadan fast together.

Iftar, the evening Ramadan meal, is often a joyous celebration of faith and family. But the mood that Sunday was solemn: That morning, news had broken of the ghastly massacre of LGBTQ revelers at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

A lone Muslim had allegedly perpetrated the attack. Here by the Hudson, over 200 knelt in prayer.

The TPP “Lame Duck” Push Insults Democracy

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 06:00
Dave Johnson

In the United States “We the People” are supposed to have a say in how we are governed, right? So shouldn’t we have a say in how we are governed?

Democratic Clash Over Palestine Signals Changing Party

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 05:56
Rania Khalek

Allies of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred at the Democratic platform drafting committee’s first round of hearings on 9 June over the issue of Palestinian freedom and Israel.

The clashes point to deeper struggles over Israel taking place within the party.

Sanders’ backers called for elevating Palestinian rights and acknowledging Israel’s military occupation in the party’s general election platform.

Jo Cox's Message to the World: We Have #MoreInCommon

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 05:53
Winnie Byanyima

The murder of British MP Jo Cox last week has jolted the world into looking at itself anew. Today, social movements will hold remembrance events to Jo in many cities across the world.

Why Brexit Would Be terrible for Our Campaigns for Trade, Food, Energy and Migration Justice

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 05:47
Alex Scrivener

The latest polls show that the referendum battle is very close and leaving the EU could be a real possibility. While we’re critical of the way the EU currently works, we think it’s very important we stay in.

Over the past few days, we have looked at how Brexit could affect our social justice campaigns in the UK and beyond. The frightening truth is that many of our struggles for a better world would be much more difficult if we were to leave the EU.

Democrats’ War on Due Process and Terrorist Fearmongering Long Predate Orlando

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 05:29
Glenn Greenwald

Before the bodies were removed from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last week, Democrats began eagerly exploiting that atrocity to demand a new, secret “terrorist watchlist”: something that was once the domestic centerpiece of the Bush/Cheney war-on-terror mentality.

Let Orlando Drive Us to Action, not Fear

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:55
Lucas Johnson

As the debate and the raw emotion of June 12 subsides and the discussion moves into a second week, I find myself still reeling. I am not among those grieving the personal loss. My family and friends in Orlando are safe and the depth of my gratitude reflects this haunting and pronounced awareness that it might not have been so. That life must not be taken for granted. The grim reality that the news that shook mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters from their sleep last Sunday could have been mine.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Brexit, Extortion, and the Path to Reform

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 10:56
Mark Weisbrot

There is a Mafia-like quality to the threats emanating from EU officials, who are acknowledged to be contemplating how much punishment they can mete out to the U.K. if the people should dare to vote the wrong way. "Vote remain, and nobody gets hurt," so to speak. Or, as The New York Times headline yesterday put it, "E.U. Countries Warn Britain on 'Brexit': You'll Pay if You Leave Us."

California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 10:44
Rhea Suh

For years, some have claimed that we can’t fight climate change without nuclear power, because shutting down nuclear plants would mean burning more fossil fuels to generate replacement electricity.

That’s wrong, of course, and now we have the proof.