Sunday, April 28, 2019

Biden: My Time?

Another Earth Day has come and gone, but here we are in the US way behind the rest of the world on generating power from the sun and wind. Why do we seem to be in a permanent state of denial?

More denial: Bernie  Sanders is leading in the polls--he's even popular among Republicans as the following video shows. If this is the case, why is the DNC trying to throw a wrench in the works? Coast Watcher gives his insights on  the real reasons behind Joe Biden's stepping into the race.

Biden: My Time?
by Coast Watcher

On Thursday April 25 former Vice President Joe Biden finally came out and announced his candidacy for president. In many ways this was expected. His fan base in the so-called Democratic Party has long agitated for him to step up to the plate. They admire Biden "warts and all"—and my, doesn’t he have some warts!

Biden’s record is a long and shameful one for someone who supposedly espouses democratic values. Right-winger Biden has never met a war he didn’t like. He has voted for all American military interventions since beginning his Washington DC career as senator for Delaware in 1972. He was instrumental in helping draw up the iniquitous Patriot Act that followed 9/11. 

He readily accepts donations from Big Business. After stating that he would not accept corporate cash donations, Biden’s first fund raising event in Philadelphia was held at the private home of David Cohen, a Comcast executive known for cutting big checks for the Republican Party. Could the connection between the two faces of the Establishment be any clearer? Also present was Steven Cozen, founder and chairman of the union-busting law firm Cozen O’Connor, an obvious indicator of Biden’s contempt for the average worker. (It only matches his outspoken contempt for the Millennial generation.) One wonders why organized labor is so ready to leap on the Biden bandwagon. 

Incidentally, this cozy little event was a $2,800 a plate meal—hardly chump change for the average American. All this, and we haven’t even begun to list Biden’s history of sexual harassment of women of all ages!

In 1974 Biden went on record as saying he thought Roe vs. Wade "went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body." During Bill Clinton’s administration Biden supported and voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which did immense harm to the cause of LGBTQ+ rights. Twenty eight years ago, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, George Bush Sr.’s nominee to the Supreme Court. During the hearings, black law professor Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment. In response Biden and the all-white male committee virtually crucified Hill, subjecting her to an extremely embarrassing and detailed examination which reeked of racism and sexual bigotry.

On the same day Biden announced his candidacy, in an obvious attempt to head off trouble before it starts, he issued an apology in a telephone call to Professor Hill. She rejected it, saying in a statement: "I cannot be satisfied by (Biden) simply saying, 'I’m sorry for what happened to you.'" There’s absolutely no evidence that Biden is genuinely contrite for his behavior toward Hill and all other women who have said he has harassed them, either during, before or after this troubling behavior.

His supporters tout Joe Biden as running for the presidency in order to defeat Trump. Not so. For all intents and purposes, his sole purpose in standing for election as president in 2020 is to defeat Bernie Sanders, who has consistently led all other candidates in the polls, much as he did during the 2016 campaign. 

Sanders once more is faced with getting the shaft from the so-called "Democratic" Party. Their corporate handlers (Wall Street banksters and the military-industrialists) want anyone but a popular progressive candidate as president. These moneyed elitists don't want time and energy wasted on improving the quality of life for the vast majority of Americans. Who cares about a free college education or Medicare For All when you're a billionaire? Bernie Sanders and his kind are not wanted and need to be eliminated before more voters wake up to how rigged the voting process truly is.

Claims from the Sanders’ camp that the DNC has reformed and reduced the powers of super delegates are far from reassuring. If Biden wins the nomination (and after the example shown by the nomination of Clinton during the scandalous Democratic convention of 2016, it’s pretty much a given), then once again American voters in 2020 will be facing an identical slate from the the two major parties. Their choice essentially will be between voting for one serial woman groper over another. 

Trump or Biden--it’ll be business as usual and with virtually the same policies. The United States will continue to ignore the needs of its poorer citizens. Infrastructure will continue to crumble. The US will still meddle in the affairs of foreign countries with bombings and drone strikes across the Middle East and Africa, murdering thousands of innocents yearly. The only real difference would be that we'd have replaced the current clownish incumbent in the White House with "Uncle Joe," a smooth-talking, experienced politician eager to please his wealthy donors. That's a vast improvement, right?

Related articles and video:

BIO: Coast Watcher isn't too optimistic that the DNC has learned its lesson from the 2016 election. He advises that you share this piece with every voter you know and keep them awake until Election Day 2020. 

From Progress America

Donald Trump isn’t shy about his disdain for the press. All he wants is for our independent media to turn into a GOP-aligned propaganda network, like Fox News. When that doesn’t happen, he calls the media the “Enemy of the People.”
The Trump Administration’s abuse of the press goes further than words--right now, reporters investigating the family separation crisis are being harassed in pursuit of the truth. 

We rely on journalists to tell the truth about what’s going on in the country. The House Oversight Committee must take action to ensure that the press can operate free of harassment by the Trump Administration.

ADD YOUR NAME: Congress must hold the Trump administration accountable for these unconstitutional actions to suppress press freedom!

From Trump’s decades of tax fraud, to the family separation crisis, to Russian interference in the election, to his cabinet’s many scandals/crimes, it’s no surprise that Trump doesn’t like the press.

But the solution isn’t trampling on the constitution--it’s respecting the elected office he holds in the first place!

ADD YOUR NAME: Congress must hold the Trump administration accountable for these unconstitutional actions to suppress press freedom!

Thank you,

Mike Phelan
Progress America
From Move to Amend:

May 28th is going to be a BIG DAY for democracy as Move to Amend supporters will take to Congressional offices across the country and tell them now is the time to support the We the People Amendment to end corporate rule.

And the best part is, YOU CAN JOIN US!
Here is all that's needed:

  • You, and some friends, or your community group if you already belong to one -- organize a demostration/press conference at the nearest office of your member of Congress.
>> Click here to find your Representative if you don't know or if you're not familiar with where their offices are (click their name to go to their website and check their office locations, depending on the size of your district there might be a couple).

  • Invite 3-5 community organizations to speak at your demonstration about how the issues they work on connect with corporate rule and how ending corporate constitutional rights will help "Free the People" they work to protect.
>> Ask the groups to pass a resolution of support in advance that you can bring into the meeting with your Congressperson (MTA National will provide a template)

  • Schedule a meeting with your Congressperson or their staff (Reps should be back home in their District the week of May 28) to happen right after your demonstration/press conference.
>> Plan to go into the meeting with 4-5 other folks from the event and together request they co-sponsor the We the People Amendment (HJR48).

  • Share what happened to reach more people!
>> MTA National will provide a template press release and tips for taking photos and recording the event to help spread the word on social media to folks who were not in attendance.

Sign up to Free the People and let us know you want to organize an action for May 28 in your community.

Amending the Constitution to end corporate rule and big money in politics requires a massive democracy movement. We’ve been building this movement for 10 years -- with thousands of endorsements and 800 communities that have passed resolutions and ballot measures, this year is the year we ask every member of Congress, which side are they on? We the People? Or Corporate Rule?

Help us demand answers and #FreeThePeople!
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Move to Amend National Director

P.S.: Organize an action with your friends and #FreeThePeople this May 28 with Move to Amend.

From Friends of the Earth:
Good news! It’s being reported that Trump’s Department of the Interior has decided to table its efforts to hand over nearly all of our oceans to Big Oil.

This is a huge victory for our marine wildlife, coastal communities across the country, and climate. And it happened in part thanks to massive public opposition to the plan from people like you.

But Interior Secretary Bernhardt is already floating the idea of reviving the plan after the 2020 election. So we need you to urge the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management -- the agency responsible for this plan -- to scrap it for good!

Trump and Bernhardt were forced to walk back the plan after coming under pressure from even Republican elected officials in coastal states. The governors of Florida and South Carolina listened to their constituents and came out against it due to the devastating impact it could have on their states’ beaches and tourism-driven economies.

After all, new drilling would threaten fishing, tourism, and the livelihoods of millions of Americans in coastal communities. The only benefits would go to Big Oil executives.

Every day we delay the plan is another day that our marine life and coastal communities are protected. So we need your help to keep the pressure on.

Trump tried to put Big Oil’s profits ahead of the people who live in coastal communities nationwide. Many of these communities depend on fishing and tourism for a healthy economy. 

What’s worse, Trump was doing this to help his friends in the oil industry. He even picked an Interior Secretary to lead the effort -- David Bernhardt -- who is a former fossil fuel industry lobbyist.

Our ocean ecosystems and coastal communities are more important than Big Oil’s profits. Public pressure is working to delay and stop Trump from causing the next ecological disaster in our oceans. We’re so close to a major victory for our environment -- but we can’t let up the pressure now.

Standing with you,
Hallie Templeton,
Senior oceans campaigner,
Friends of the Earth

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Do Not Repeat These Errors!

Toledoans for Safe Water organizer Markie Miller addressed the Interactive Dialogue of the United Nations General Assembly on Harmony with Nature during the commemoration of International Mother Earth Day, April 22. Here what she had to say about the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and Rights of Nature in general:

Markie demonstrates how We the People can't afford to sit on the sidelines and let another algal bloom disaster happen again. Our guest blogger Bern Notice points out even more American history we dare not repeat.

An Open Letter to the Democrats — Do Not Repeat the Errors of 2016 

by Bern Notice

The 2020 election is in full swing. The field is being filled with contenders with large national profiles, and with others without as much name recognition. Having a great number of people in the election is a good thing as it presents an array of options which were limited in 2016.

Choice is truly a wonderful thing as long as those choices are respected. That is the great concern that should be on everyone’s mind as we progress through the 2020 electoral cycle. The whole point of democracy — which is the root of the word “Democrat” — is found in its definition:

Definition of democracy
: government by the people especially : rule of the majority
: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
: a political unit that has a democratic government
3 capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the U.S. from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy — C. M. Roberts
: the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges
Reference: Merriam-Webster

In short, the will of the common people is the source of political power and authority. It is their vote and support which grants you the ability to be an arbiter of justice or a writer of laws. Without their support, that power and authority is lost. It is their consent to your laws that gives you any authority over the masses.

For those reasons, it is imperative that the will of the people is obeyed. When that will is undermined, it is no longer a democracyand that is when tyranny and revolutions begin.

If you are wondering what the point is for explaining this, I will make it plain. The DNC and their shenanigans in 2016 directly led to Donald Trump becoming President of the United States. If the DNC is perceived as tipping of the balance toward any candidate, it can alienate supporters of other candidates.

If the outcome of the election is determined by the voters and perceived to be done without bias of the power brokers in the DNC, I think even the weakest Democratic candidate can beat Donald Trump this election. The progressives and liberals would coalesce around that candidate and put a Democrat in the White House.

Before we get too deep into the weeds, lets get this out of the way now: 2016 is over and done with. There is no changing it. We have the results we have, and there is no changing that fact. There is no point in re-litigating it. That being said, there is value in learning from the mistakes of that year so they aren’t repeated.

The perception of the DNC trying to help the Clinton campaign may have been the difference between a Clinton presidency and a Trump presidency. Some would quickly argue that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and the antiquated electoral college system is what put Trump in office. This is true.

It is also true that the Electoral College is the system we currently elect our presidents under. It is also arguable that there was a sufficient margin of Sanders voters who voted for Trump in 2016 to have affected the results in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Reference: Here’s How Many Bernie Sanders Supporters Ultimately Voted For Trump — NPR

Reference: MSNBC’s Morning Joe

The problem isn’t solely that they voted for Trump, but also the fact that a great number of Sanders supporters thought they were screwed in the primary by the DNC. It’s not as though they were thinking this in a vacuum. They had reason for it. Even corporate news networks noticed it.

Then there’s Donna Brazile, DNC chair, who said explicitly that the primary “wasn’t rigged” but mentions the memorandum between the DNC and the Clinton Campaign that “prevented the DNC from running it’s own operation”.

Reference: ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos

Whether it is called rigged or not, just the perception of the DNC having a clear preference was enough for certain individuals to vote for Trump, Jill Stein or stay home. According to FiveThirtyEight, the number of voters who voted for Jill Stein account for more than the victory margin in certain key states that many expected Clinton to win.
harry (Harry Enten, senior political writer): The case, as far as I see it, is twofold: First, the number of votes cast for Stein in the three states that proved to be pivotal (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) exceeded Trump’s margin of victory over Clinton.
Jill Stein is now officially the Ralph Nader of 2016.
Stein votes/Trump margin:
MI: 51,463/10,704
PA: 49,678/46,765
WI: 31,006/22,177
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 1, 2016
Reference: FiveThirtyEight — Jill Stein: Democratic Spoiler Or Scapegoat?
Is this to say that all of these voters who defected to Stein or Trump would have voted for Clinton? (Editor's note: Most Green Party supporters do not automatically vote for the Democrat over the Republican when there is a Green on the ballot, so calling Stein a "spoiler" is inaccurate and denigrates the important place third parties play in American politics.) No, of course not. You can try to mitigate your losses by simply staying out of the fray and letting the voters decide for themselves who will represent them.

As long as the election is run fairly, it doesn’t matter which candidate wins, Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Yang… They are all substantially better than leaving Trump in power. They will likely get the support across the board.

If the DNC tips the scales again, or even appears to be doing it, then they are undermining the very process that they profess to care about. They would be undermining democracy. Period. It will alienate anyone who feels burned by it. Still, it seems as though certain members within the DNC do not want to let this play out.

'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum
WASHINGTON - When Leah Daughtry, a former Democratic Party official, addressed a closed-door gathering of about 100… from

Why does the DNC insist on doing this? This is how we got into this mess in the first place. Regardless of the candidate, this should not be how elections are decided. Make your case on the debate stage. If a candidate is not viable, the people should make that choice based on what they find out on the debate stage or on the news.

The power brokers within the party should not be trying to make that decision for them. That would be no better than the voter suppression that they rightly demonize the Republican party for. That would be the height of hypocrisy. In fact, it’s hard to accept the notion of “Any blue will do” when you go against the democratic principles your very own party is named after.

The power to decide elections should reside solely with the voters, not the power brokers within the party.

Let me be clear, this is not a argument for one candidate. It is an argument for any and all candidates who run for office, even ones I am not in favor of. Nor is this a request for a coronation. This is simply a request to allow the democratic process to take place organically. Live up to the meaning of your party name. Let the voters decide who wins without your influence.

If you ignore this, then you risk repeating the results of 2016 and giving Trump another term. None of us wants that— or at least, I hope we don’t.

  3. MSNBC youtube site, clip from Morning Joe “"
  4. This Week “"

Bio: Bern Notice is closely observing the candidates this election cycle, and he's reporting all the facts he can get his hands on. Visit his blog, Seeing through the B.S.,  today to learn more about the political personalities we'll be seeing more of in the coming year.


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by the U.K last week and the reaction coming from the Democratic Party is astonishing. Instead of opposing the Trump administration’s campaign to extradite him and criminalize journalism, the Democrats are debating whether they should drag Assange before a congressional committee, interrogate him on his connections to Trump, and use him to ignite a new round of Russiagate.

The world owes a huge debt of gratitude to Julian Assange. It’s thanks to him and WikiLeaks that we know that the 2016 American presidential election was rigged, not by Republicans and Russians, but by the Democratic Party.

Assange exposed war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, mass surveillance through our personal electronic devices, corruption spanning many governments with the State Department cables, and ensured that Snowden wouldn’t end up in a U.S. blacksite. He has publish documents pertaining to every country in the world, exposed governments and corporations alike, and has a perfect record of accuracy in his reporting. He has paid an enormous personal price to shine light on the crimes of the powerful, having been confined to a small room inside the Ecuadorian embassy in the U.K. for nearly seven years before his arrest.

Trump’s indictment of Assange is a dramatic escalation in the war on press freedoms that Bush and Obama waged. The government’s indictment charges Assange with receiving classified information without the proper security clearance and soliciting government secrets through his publishing platform WikiLeaks, activities that are both central and routine to investigative journalism. By that standard, every journalist and newspaper that reports on government secrets could be prosecuted.

The same Democrats who have spent three years consumed with righteous indignation over Trump’s attacks on the press are now cheering him on as he criminalizes journalism. Democratic Rep. Jim Himes from Connecticut, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the party might try to force Assange to testify on his connections to the president, in an apparent attempt to salvage the imploding Trump-Russia conspiracy. Other congressional Democrats said they might want to force him to bolster American counterintelligence.

Determined not to be outdone by Trump, the Democratic Party is on its own crusade against press freedoms. The DNC sued Wikileaks last year for publishing its emails in 2016. The ACLU and other civil liberties organizations consider the suit so damaging to press freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment that they called on the judge to dismiss the case, pointing out that it arbitrarily singles out Wikileaks among news outlets “for publishing truthful information that is unquestionably of public interest.”

In fact the threat to journalism is global. If Trump and the Democrats succeed in extraditing and prosecuting a foreign journalist for publishing U.S. government documents, it will set a precedent allowing governments around the world to extradite and imprison American journalists for reporting on their classified materials. Anytime a reporter at the Washington Post, New York Times and other U.S. publication covers leaks emerging from foreign governments, they would be at risk.

In December, the New York Times exposed Ecuador’s motivation for expelling Assange from the embassy after nearly seven years. Ecuador’s new neoliberal president sought to trade Assange to the U.S. for debt relief. It finalized the deal in February, receiving $10.2 billion in loans from the IMF, World Bank, and other U.S.-dominated financial institutions two months before handing Assange to the U.K.

In 2016 the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had ruled that Assange was being held unlawfully without charge and called for his release. The Trump administration claims that Assange will be tried for a single count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, but it is merely giving Ecuador and the U.K. plausible deniability that Assange won’t be subjected to further human rights violations upon his extradition to the U.S. On Wednesday CNN reported that more charges are coming. He is likely to be charged with espionage the minute he is in U.S. custody.

Perhaps better than any of us, Julian Assange understands that the Democratic and Republican parties are extensions of Wall Street and the military industrial complex. They are committees of corporations, much like ALEC, where lobbyists come together to rule with a veneer of democratic legitimacy.

I’m proud that a few months after our movement began, Assange wrote this essay urging progressives to form a major new party in America, and echoing us on why it can and must be done. Here is a preview of what he said:
Powerful governments and corporations perpetrate the biggest crimes on the planet. They fear what Julian Assange and WikiLeaks represent: a world where reality is not filtered through their censors in the corporate media, where opinions are not warped by their prisms of interests.

They fear a world where we make up our own minds.

Here's to that world,

Nick Brana
Founder and National Director
Movement for a People’s Party

Monday, April 15, 2019

Women Power!

Sheena Barnes and Stefania Czech

Women Power! 
observations by C.A. Matthews 

It's exciting living in America in the year 2019, and it's not because we're never sure we won't wake up some morning to a giant mushroom cloud exploding over  the horizon because Trump has a tiny-handed finger resting on the nuke arsenal button. It's exciting because in the last two years we've seen a huge surge in progressive first-timers entering into the political arena both at the local and the national level. Here are some images and thoughts on two such women, both single moms, taking on the establishment and running for office to make changes for the better for both theirs and others' children.

Sheena Barnes is running for Toledo Public School (TPS) Board. She is raising three kids so she knows what's really going on in public schools and what should be happening to provide brighter outcomes for all Toledo public school students. Running for school board in a large city (over a quarter million residents) isn't as easy as you might think, but Sheena is up for the challenge. She first needs to secure 300 valid signatures in order to gain ballot access. It's imperative that she raise a war chest to promote herself in what will probably be a large field of already well-known (and better off financially) candidates.

 Stefania Czech like Sheena is also a single mom, living in subsidized housing
and attending school full-time. She's an activist with Toledoans for Safe Water, the group that brought forth the successful Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) citizens' initiative, and a college student studying environmental science. Stefania feels that Toledo City Council doesn't take the new law to protect drinking water seriously. The council current non-support of LEBOR in the face of lawsuits from Big Agriculture demonstrates how council members seem more intent on pleasing their corporate sponsors than their constituents. 

Stefania wasn't about to sit idly by and watch her young son's future be jeopardized by a future of toxic blue-green algal blooms on Lake Erie. She decided to run for city council, district 2, and unseat the current city council president, Matt Cherry. Mr. Cherry is known primarily as a trades union leader who voiced opposition to LEBOR. He isn't even particularly well-liked by members of his own party, the Lucas County Democratic Party, but he will be listed on the ballot as their "endorsed" candidate with a large war chest to fall back on. 

Can an activist-mom running as a Green-Independent take on an icon of the corrupt establishment? Stefania knows she can, but she also knows it's not going to be easy. Luckily she has another powerful young woman, Monika Perry, helping to run her campaign. Sheena's campaign manager is the power-filled Kwinlyn Tyler. Women power is found in all roles--from those running for office to those who work behind the scenes to bring these candidates to the public's eye.
Kwinlyn and Monika discuss their campaign strategies.

Some other instances of Women Power witnessed recently... 
 The right to freely access abortion health care is being denied in Ohio. Activists have taken to the streets once again to express their disgust with the government interfering with a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. Recently Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the 6-week abortion ban. The protests will continue. Pro-choice women have the power and the voice, and they're not going back to coat hangers in back alleys. Be sure to sign the link below to show your support.
Who do you know is a powerful woman in your life? What gives her that power? How do you support her in the fight for justice and equality? Let us know in the comments section. Power to the people--all peoples, of  all gender identities!




Add your name to the Declaration for Reproductive Freedom:


"We, the undersigned, pledge to build an Ohio where reproductive health and safety are guaranteed, where Ohioans from all walks of life have equal access to a full range of reproductive health care, and where we are united in our commitment to health equity for all Ohioans, to reproductive freedom, and to safe and legal abortion.


"As Ohioans, we believe in our right to make decisions about our own bodies, and we believe that reproductive rights are human rights."