Posts tagged government

Move to Amend's Response to the Senate Vote on SJR 19

The hubbub created by Washington insiders and political operatives around SJR 19 was little more than a sideshow to divert our attention, before an election, from the appalling records of both major parties on economic, environmental, and social justice issues.

“We the people” have seen our human rights shrink, along with dwindling economic opportunities and environmental desecration, while “corporate personhood” and “money as speech” have flourished under both party’s leadership.

Help Move to Amend build an independent grassroots democracy movement! Please spread the word and ask your friends to join Move to Amend.

SJR 19 failed to receive the necessary 60 votes in the Senate yesterday. It was never the magic pill to right the wrongs wrought on our Democratic Republic. The bill did not address the root of the rot infecting our democracy: Corporate Personhood.

There was a silver lining for the Democrats, who score a win (even though the bill was destined to fail) by associating their Party with campaign finance reform — right before an election.

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Our democracy is in crisis; SJR 19 and the proposal to overturn Citizens United merely addressed a symptom of our diseased democracy, but left the cause of the disease — large corporations wielding Constitutional rights — untreated.

Help Move to Amend pass the We the People Amendment! Share this link with everyone you know!

Move to Amend is the only grassroots organization building a real amendment movement in all 50 states to pass an amendment that actually solves our root problems by ending corporate Constitutional rights and money as speech.

For months DC non-profits have been raising money around SJR 19, a bill they knew was doomed to failure from the start. Move to Amend has a strategy to win and is doing everything possible, within our means, to pass the We the People Amendment, but we are nowhere near as well funded as the DC groups.

While Congressional Approval Remains at Historic Lows, Millions Remain Locked Out of Primaries | IVN.us

While many Americans disapprove of the institution as a whole, a large number are barred from participating in primary elections. States with closed primaries only allow voters registered to a specific party to decide who appears on the general election ballot.

Closed primaries combined with the two parties’ control of overwhelming amounts of resources have contributed to a 2014 primary election cycle that is more ceremonial than democratic.

Nationally, voter turnout in primary elections is near non-existent. It’s not necessarily because people don’t care; not caring, more often than not is a symptom, not a cause, of being disenfranchised. Sometimes it’s because they are not allowed (i.e. independent voters in closed primary states) and other times it’s because the primaries are uncontested (see the case of New York below).

No matter the causes, the fact of the matter is a very small minority of Americans get to decide who shows up on the November ballots.

Please Amend SJR19 to Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights!

To the Co-Sponsors of Senate Joint Resolution 19:

Thank you for standing up against big money and special interests in co-sponsoring SJR 19, but it doesn’t go far enough.

For the past four years the Movement to Amend the Constitution has been clear: We must both abolish corporate constitutional rights AND get big money out of politics.

Don’t advocate for an amendment that only goes part way!

Please AMEND SJR 19 to include this language:

"The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable."

Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up.

This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.

Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.

Please amend SJR 19 to eliminate corporate personhood to put We the People in the driver’s seat of our government.

msnbc:

arimelber:

Talking to Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker before our interview about their juvenile justice bill.

Interview: http://www.msnbc.com/the-cycle/watch/sen-paul-and-booker-in-first-live-interview-313662019613

 #Bipartisanship

Notice how MSNBC didn’t really give a damn about the bill that Paul and Booker were talking about covering this whole interview? The subject didn’t matter — all they cared about was the 2010 interview that Rand Paul had with Rachel Maddow.

Maddow takes it upon herself to mount a defense of calling out Rand for speaking the indefensible 3 years ago for over 10 minutes. Afterward Lawrence O’Donnell had Ari Melber who talked about his get. The content wasn’t the Paul/Booker bill but the man bites dog nature of the bipartisan action in The Senate. All of it was informative about MSNBC’s editorial priorities.

MSNBC presents social justice priorities as long as the content is compelling to keep eyeballs’ or ears’ attention. It would seem that on Thursday Phil Griffin and/or his minions did not find the plight of those placed in a lower caste in our nation by the penal industrial complex a more compelling story than the Libertarianish reasoning (read white mansplaining how theories trump real world consequences of the practice of those theories) which they have on tape and will play over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over not as a practice of ideological principle but as an exercise of an ephemeral primacy and power of the fourth estate.

In the end, The REDEEM Act gets as much sunlight as a perp walk from the back door of the precinct to the paddy wagon parked half-a-block away. Those left to wear a scarlet letter for life after after being convicted for carrying some junk get just a little more than nothing because they don’t watch MSNBC, they won’t even pick up the phone to call their federal representative not just because they don’t watch MSNBC (and who in poverty can afford the 2nd tier of cable services in the USA?) but also because they don’t participate in the system. Perhaps some are lead by the charlatans of mass media rather than those who one needs a longer attention span to understand. So it is left to those who see the wisdom of something like the REDEEM Act and participate in electoral politics despite the diminished effectiveness of such conduct to carry the ball to their elected officials.

Who knows why, but last week Phil Griffin didn’t put himself inside that intersection of that diagram; for that reason, the poor ex-cons loose.

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.
What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.

 (via Extremist lunatics are ruining Congress — and a new report says it’s our fault - Salon.com)Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.
For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.
Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.

What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.


Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.

For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.

Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Senate Any Amendment Must Include Corporate Personhood! | Move to Amend
Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.
Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:
Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.
Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.
The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
Fill out this form to send a message to the authors of SJR19 — let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Senate Any Amendment Must Include Corporate Personhood! | Move to Amend

Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.

Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:

  1. Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
  2. Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.

Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.

Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.

The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”

Fill out this form to send a message to the authors of SJR19 — let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment.

Stop the Utility Power Grab

Community Choice energy programs empower local communities to take control of decision-making about the sources and cost of their electrical power. Not-for-profit, democratically controlled Community Choice energy programs enable local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating green jobs and stimulating the local economy. These programs are dedicated to reducing consumer electricity demand, providing competitive electricity rates and maximizing the amount of renewable energy in their mix.

In California, Community Choice was made possible by state legislation enacted in 2002. Marin and Sonoma Counties were the first to establish Community Choice programs in 2010 and 2014 respectively. Other counties are currently considering establishing Community Choice programs, including Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey, among others.

In 2008, PG&E spent millions trying (unsuccessfully) to discourage Marin residents from choosing Marin Clean Energy. In 2010, PG&E spent $46 million on an unsuccessful ballot initiative (Prop 16) to change the California Constitution to require a two-thirds majority of voters to establish a Community Choice program. The voters spoke, but PG&E is still trying to kill off Community Choice and preserve its monopoly.

AB 2145 would effectively prevent Community Choice programs from operating anywhere in California. If this bill passes, Californians will be stuck with their dirty energy monopoly utility.

AB 2145 represents a backwards step for California. Don’t let utilities derail our clean energy future!

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

The NSA’s decision to keep the bug secret in pursuit of national security interests threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government’s top computer experts.

Approximately nine out of every 10 deportees are from either Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. Asylum requests from these four countries have increased dramatically in the last six years, according to data obtained by Fusion from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The United Nations attributes the increase in part to violence related to the drug trade and gangs. Forty-one of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities are now in Latin America, according a study published by Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, a Mexican NGO.

But very few citizens from these countries are actually awarded asylum. The U.S. government granted only 126 Mexican citizens asylum in 2012, despite receiving over 9,000 requests that year. In contrast, almost half of Chinese citizens and two thirds of Cameroonian citizens who applied were granted asylum 2012. Less than eight percent of asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras successfully received asylum in the same period.

That’s it right there; this another reason is why I say the U.S. immigration system and laws are broken and out of date

This is not what they told us in grade school.

This is not what they told us in grade school.