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BeckyDem's Journal
BeckyDem's Journal
September 21, 2018

NYT columnist Charles Blow defends Christine Blasey Ford with his own story


New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow defends Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, by sharing his own experience.
Source: CNN

September 20, 2018

John Legend Issues a Call to Action in Ad Launched by 14 Leading Social Justice Organizations

John Legend Issues a Call to Action in Ad Launched by 14 Leading Social Justice Organizations in Opposition to Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh


Read a pdf of our statement here.

Campaign Urges Senators to #StopKavanaugh

A diverse coalition of social justice organizations today unveiled a new digital ad featuring singer-songwriter actor John Legend that urges viewers to contact their senators and tell them to vote ‘no’ on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The organizations include the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, the Human Rights Campaign, Color of Change, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, Demos, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, UnidosUS, the National Urban League, and the Service Employees International Union.

The digital ad is being released as Kavanaugh’s nomination faces additional scrutiny because of credible sexual assault allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. These allegations underscore the costs of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s failure to thoroughly and impartially vet Kavanaugh’s entire record and background. Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote should be postponed until these allegations can be thoroughly investigated. His record on civil rights alone is enough to demand that, if Kavanaugh’s nomination is ever brought to a vote, Senators must vote no.

From the outset, leading national civil rights and social justice organizations have criticized Brett Kavanaugh’s hostile record on voting rights, reproductive health, worker’s rights, gun safety, LGBTQ rights, the protection of immigrants, and racial equality, as well as his maximalist views on executive power. For these reasons, social justice organizations have consistently opposed his nomination for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Now, amid allegations of sexual misconduct, it is utterly irresponsible for the Senate to continue its rush to confirm him.


September 18, 2018

If you can, please help Dem. Scholten beat out creep Congressman Steve King of Iowa.

Send donations, spare time to help if you can, lets help Scholten replace this bigoted piece of shit Steve King once and for all.

SIOUX CITY -- A poll released Monday shows U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, with a 10-point lead over Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten in Iowa's 4th Congressional District.

King, an eight-term incumbent, led Scholten, a first-time candidate, 41 percent to 31 percent in the online poll, which Emerson College conducted Sept. 6-8. Sixteen percent were undecided.

Data was collected using an interactive voice response system and an online panel. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percent.

Scholten insisted the poll is the latest sign his campaign is in "striking distance" of knocking off King in the heavily Republican district. In 2016, King defeated Democrat Kim Weaver by 22 points so being within 10 percent in a poll shows a "surge in momentum," Scholten said. https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/poll-shows-steve-king-with-lead-in-iowa-trace/article_583b28f2-9177-572d-9dbc-81cdd6ee8851.html

Donate to Scholten4Iowa

Help J.D. unseat the divisive and ineffective Steve King in Iowa's 4th Congressional District. J.D.'s commitment to the Democratic and Iowa values of hard work, integrity, and compassion are right for Iowa. Contribute today to help us send Steve King packing.


September 15, 2018

The 'adults' in the White House trying to save America from Trump are just as dangerous as he is

Trump is the worst thing to happen to the US since the Civil War, but miscalculating his strengths and weaknesses is not the way to deal with him

Patrick Cockburn

1 day ago

Before his election as president it was understandable that Donald Trump’s critics should have vastly underestimated his ability as a politician. It is much less excusable – and self-destructive to effective opposition to Trump – that they should go on underestimating him almost two years after his victory.

Every week there are more revelations showing the Trump administration to be chaotic, incompetent and corrupt. The latest are the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times in which one of his own senior officials’ claims to be working against him and Bob Woodward’s book portraying the White House as a sort of human zoo.

The media gleefully reports these bombshells in the hope that they will finally sink, or at least inflict serious damage, on the Good Ship Trump. This has been the pattern since he announced his presidential candidacy, but it never happens. Political commentators, overwhelmingly anti-Trump, express bafflement at his survival but, such is their loathing and contempt for him that they do not see that they are dealing with an exceptionally skilled politician.

His abilities may be instinctive or drawn from his vast experience as a showman on television. Priority goes to dominating the news agenda regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad. Day after day, hostile news outlets like The New York Times and CNN lead on stories about Trump to the exclusion of all else.


September 15, 2018

Barbara Lee Warned AUMF Would Create 'Open-Ended War.' And That's What Happened.

The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force has now been used to justify U.S. military efforts in more than 20 countries.

By Paul Blumenthal

POLITICS 09/14/2018 01:27 pm ET

When Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) cast the lone vote against the congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she warned the bill could signal the start of “an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.”

In the 17 years since, the United States has used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to justify wars, bombings, detentions and troop deployments in more than 20 different countries. The total number of countries surpassed 20 in 2017 when President Donald Trump told Congress that he had deployed 100 troops to Lebanon and that military personnel were deployed to Chad and Nigeria to support counterterrorism efforts. The most recent presidential message to Congress, sent in June, uses the authorization to justify ongoing military involvement in 17 different countries.

The AUMF was passed with Lee’s lone dissenting vote on Sept. 14, 2001, three days after terrorists from Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization crashed commercial airliners into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania killing more than 3,000 people.

The authorization has been interpreted by three successive presidential administrations to apply to supposed threats that have little-to-nothing to do with the al Qaeda organization that plotted and carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.


September 14, 2018

Steve Biko remembered 41 years after his death

13 Sep, 2018

JOHANNESBURG. – On this day, September 12, 1977, 41 years ago, Steve Bantu Biko died.

Shackled and naked, he died on a concrete floor at Pretoria Central Prison, having been tortured endlessly by the apartheid police.

The day before, after suffering a series of assaults that had caused – among others – severe head trauma, Biko was thrown into the back of a police van and driven almost 1 200km from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria.Jimmy Kruger, then minister of justice and the police, reacted to the news of Biko’s death: “It leaves me cold.”

Biko, born December 18, 1946, was three months shy of his 31st birthday.

Through the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), Biko was a highly influential anti-apartheid activist from the mid-1960s until his death. A collection of his writings, “I Write What I Like”, was published a year after his death.

The “father of the black consciousness movement” was yesterday remembered by role players from across the political spectrum.


September 10, 2018

As New York and London mayors, we call on all cities to divest from fossil fuels

Mon 10 Sep 2018 01.00 EDT
Last modified on Mon 10 Sep 2018 06.18 EDT

Together, the world’s urban centres can send a message to the fossil fuel industry: join us in tackling climate change

• Bill de Blasio is mayor of New York City and Sadiq Khan is mayor of London

This summer it seemed as if our two cities had changed places. London was hot and dry while New York had days and days of rain. According to leading scientists, the heatwave in Europe over recent months was made twice as likely by climate change resulting from human activity. There is also growing evidence of the link between climate change and the frequency of major floods, as well as the severity of hurricanes.

It’s clear that what we think of now as freak weather in our cities is likely to become the new normal, and that climate change poses a huge threat to the futures of our children, and many generations to come.

As mayors, we are not only committed to taking bold action to tackle climate change and to improve the lives of those we represent, but also to showing others the way. That’s why, ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in California, we are calling on other cities to stand with us to divest their assets from fossil fuel companies. Today we are announcing a new global initiative for cities on divestment and sustainable investment. Working through the C40 Climate Leadership Group, London and New York will co-chair the Cities Divest/Invest forum, a global network for cities that will not only enable us to share tools, knowledge and experiences, but also to advocate for action on divestment and green investment.


September 10, 2018

The E.P.A.'s Review of Mercury Rules Could Remake Its Methods for Valuing Human Life and Health

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman

Sept. 7, 2018

WASHINGTON — When writing environmental rules, one of the most important calculations involves weighing the financial costs against any gains in human life and health. The formulas are complex, but the bottom line is that reducing the emphasis on health makes it tougher to justify a rule.

Last week the Trump administration took a crucial step toward de-emphasizing the life and health benefits in this calculus when the Environmental Protection Agency said it would rethink a major regulation that restricts mercury emissions by coal-burning power plants.

The 2011 mercury rule — based on decades of research showing that mercury damages the brain, lungs and fetal health — is among the costliest but most effective clean-air policies put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. Utilities estimate they have spent $18 billion installing clean-air technology, and mercury pollution has fallen by nearly 70 percent.

Modifying the rule could have an impact far beyond any immediate concerns about the release of toxic mercury into the air and water. In fact, the re-evaluation fits into a far-reaching administration strategy to loosen environmental rules affecting countless other industries for years to come by adjusting the factors used to judge the benefits to human health that the rule has brought.


September 9, 2018

Sep 07, 2018 New Documents Indicate Kavanaugh Likely Committed Perjury

“How much perjury is too much perjury from a Supreme Court nominee?”

That was how one commentator responded to a flurry of new documents and emails released on Thursday by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that appear to show President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath during hearings for his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2004 and 2006.

In 2004—after a Senate sergeant-at-arms report found that Republican staffer Manuel Miranda had stolen confidential communications and documents from Democratic senators—Kavanaugh told the Senate that he never received “documents that appeared…to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members.”

But new emails made public by Leahy on Thursday appear to show that Kavanaugh “got 8 pages of material taken verbatim from [the Vermont senator’s] files, obviously written by Dem staff, labeled ‘not [for] distribution.” The stolen material detailed Democrats’ efforts to oppose President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees.


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