Poor Peoples Campaign Protests All Over US Ignored by Media

The Poor Peoples Campaign, a young movement, has already gotten an audience in Congress and has been holding protests around the US. The anti-poverty, anti-racism effort takes its name from the initiative launched 50 years ago by Martin Luther King and cut short by his assassination, and is now led by Reverends William Barber and Liz Theoharis> However, it is currently in the “first they ignore you” phase of protest as far as major press outlets concerned.

We’ll do what we can to remedy that.

The Poor Peoples Campaign website describes how it has enlisted tens of thousands in over 30 states, documenting their suffering and using that information to develop a broad-based critique and a program, which they call a “Declaration of Fundamental Rights and Poor People’s Moral Agenda.” Their issues include racism, such as the erosion of voting rights, poverty and inequality, and ecological devastation, such as lack of access to affordable water. For instance, in Jefferson County, where sewer charges for a family easily run to a few hundred dollars a month, low income families often have to choose between having water or electricity.

The last issue is “National Morality,” where they take on fundamentalists and libertarians. For instance:

In the history of this country, moral justifications have been offered for the genocide and forced removal of indigenous people from their lands, slavery, resisting the Brown v. Board of Education school segregation case and opposing the Roe v. Wade abortion case. Today, religious extremists focus on issues like prayer in school, abortion, and gun rights that distort the national moral narrative.

This distorted narrative became integral to the well-funded libertarian movement to redefine “liberty” as freedom from government. In 2016, Franklin Graham invested $10 million of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s money in his 2016 Decision America Tour to each state house in the country. Billed as “nonpartisan” prayer rallies, these gatherings framed the “moral crisis” as a decision between progressive atheist values and God. After the election, Graham called Trump’s victory an answer to prayer.

Huffington Post did cover the Congressional hearing earlier this week:

At the congressional hearing, convened by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), members of the House and Senate listened to leaders of and participants in the Poor People’s Campaign, a new movement co-led by the Rev. William Barber against poverty and racism in America. About half a dozen lawmakers attended, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Among those who testified were Pamela Rush from Alabama, who spoke in tears of her struggles living in a mobile home with two kids and open sewage in their yard, and Christopher Olive, a 27-year-old veteran from Washington state, who said he started taking opiates for pain relief for pancreatitis — which led to homelessness and a 10-year bout with opioid addiction….

Sanders responded after people’s testimonies, saying, “How did this happen?”

“I’ll tell you exactly,” he continued. “Because most of the members here in Congress are not here to represent you all but to represent billionaires who fund their campaigns. That’s how.” …

Warren kicked off the hearing Tuesday afternoon by reading statistics on the state of poverty in America, including that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults don’t have $400 in savings to cover an unexpected emergency. Cummings pointed out that 40 million Americans are living in poverty.

“All the while, corporate profits in America are skyrocketing,” Warren said. “It is a moral crisis.”

Lee Camp also featured some of the protests in a segment on Wednesday:

The Topeka campaign that Camp mentioned has been underway for five weeks. From the Topeka Capitol-Journal:

Monday’s rally centered on wages, income inequality, education and child welfare. The burden of low wages coupled with cuts to social services hurts working families who struggle to support children, said Topeka Unitarian-Universalist pastor Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, who led the rally and was later arrested. She was critical of the growing number of children in foster care. Neglect, either physical or lack of supervision, was the dominant reason children were placed in foster care, she said.

“And we know why that is, right? Because we’re not getting paid enough,” she said relating the child welfare to the rally’s larger theme of financial stability for families.

Oglesby-Dunegan was also critical of move to hire unlicensed staff to assist in child protection cases and called for higher wages for social workers.

The movement is also finding allies. Again from the Capitol-Journal account:

The topic of stagnant wages hit home for Luke Domme and Brent Hall, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union, which represents Frito-Lay employees. Union workers at the plant picketed Saturday in front of the Topeka facility and plan additional demonstrations Tuesday ahead of contract negotiations later this week.

Union officials say Frito-Lay’s wages combined with rising insurance coasts place workers in a hole. In the last three-year contract, which expired in September, workers received a 1 percent bonus for years one and two, which was $600 to $800 for most workers, and then a 1 percent wage increase the third year. The proposed contract for the next three years, which the BCTWGM union workers rejected in April, also proposed bonuses and a 1 percent wage increase.

Domme said the union stood in solidarity with the Poor People’s Campaign on wages and was critical of companies who receive tax benefits without raising wages.

As Camp indicates, the Kentucky, Washington D.C, and Michigan protest were also Poor Peoples Campaign initiatives. While the movement has an extensive list of demand, including free higher education and a debt jubilee, the local protests appear to focus on subsets of issues that are hot buttons for that community. Moreover, the leaders recognize that this is a campaign, and being able to have meaningful-sized rallies on a regular basis sends a message that these citizens will no longer be ignored.

I hope readers will send information about events in their communities so we can include them in Links and Water Cooler.

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68 comments

  1. JBird

    They’re being ignored? How shocked I am at this. I am just appalled, and surprised, by our press’ failure to cover our fellow American citizens petitioning our duly elected representatives for redress of their suffering.

    Hey, doesn’t anyone not know that the Pope is Catholic?

    My apologies for the sarcasm. I have known people in the business for decades and for decades I have seen the fairly diverse news media (usually) covering the news become our Free Press™️, the purveyors of quality bull$&@# news and information needed to properly mindscrew inform my fellow American citizens. To see what was, imperfect as it was, and see it become what it is, is bitter, even nauseating to me; that’s when I am not silently raging. I can not say how I truly think and feel about this. Oh well.

    Reply
  2. vlade

    Methinks Warren is aiming for presidency 2020 – and I’d not be surprised if she selected Sanders as VP.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Aren’t there fairly well attested rumours around that they are considering a joint bid?

      I would have thought though that it would be the other way around – Sanders for Pres, with Warren as VP. He has a much higher profile nationally with regular people. As Yves posted out during the last election, Warren is well known to people who follow politics and east coasters, but has no real wider profile, and would face resistance due to her upper middle class elite type vibe (Trump really hit her hard with his ‘Pocahontas’ jibe, even I thought that was funny). Sanders has a far better common touch.

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      1. ambrit

        I agree about the composition of such a ticket. Sanders fills the “Elder Statesman” role well while Warren still has years left to politic. Second, the role of Veep will be a ‘seasoning’ for Warren. A higher national profile for her can be engineered, and a public and political base can be developed and solidified. Given his age, Sanders may want only one term as President. Having Warren as a semi-protege would be of benefit to both.
        That both come under fire from the Left, (whatever that is today,) is merely a result of the fact that, absent a ‘real’ revolution, change in America comes gradually, when it does come. That’s why the fact that the organizers of this campaign accept that it is a longer term project is for the best.
        On a related note, the response from the ‘Official’ governing elites when this campaign moves on from the “first they ignore you” stage will set the tone for later developments. There is a momentum in this society now, informed not by exceptionalist optimism, but by the fear and dread of falling back from the plateau the mass of people reached in the fifties and sixties.

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          1. ambrit

            And here I was, thinking that she was a lot younger than him. She does seem to have a good public image going on.

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            1. oh

              I wonder why people are so age conscious for someone running for office? After all, the President sets policy and his appointees carry it out, similar to a CEO of any corporation.

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          2. ex-PFC Chuck

            Sanders turns 77 in September. When you’re in your 70s eight years can mean a lot. Take it from someone who is older than both of them.

            Reply
      2. vlade

        While I agree that Sanders/Warren would be a better combo (amongst others it would potentially allow up to 16 years of presidency..), it has IMO a few large issues/risks:
        – Sanders is not getting any younger, at the time of 2020 elections he will be 79. He’s healty right now, but at this age, anything can happen – and pretty quick, especially given the stress of campaigning.
        – the establishment Dems would be IMO marginally less likely inclined to sabotage Warren (especially if she threw the “I’m woman” card at them, since it’s the one HRC is still banging on). Even marginal effort could make a difference
        – it’s hard to predict Trump, and what will be on in three years. But it’s not impossible that he would have more than a realistic chance of re-election. If Sanders is beaten (even narrowly, and remember that it will be Trump this time who will have the whole state machinery supporting him – and one thing I believe we can say of him is that he has even less scruples in getting his own than HRC), that will be used by DNC and establishment Dems to claim that it’s his policies that killed it.

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        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’ve never thought Sanders and Warren made sense as a ticket. They are both from the Northeast. This will hurt them big time in a lot of the rest of the country. And they are both old.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            It might be that, given the “hard times” America is now and probably will be experiencing that an ‘older’ politician will have the “Experienced Elder” effect to their advantage. The “Young Turk” persona that Obama ran on and then abandoned has been tarnished by his betrayals. America voted for the smooth talking younger politico who promised “hope and change” and got burned as a result. In ’16 both candidates were seen as ‘voices of experience.’ Absent something transformative, the same dynamic will determine the ’20 race.

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            1. expat2uruguay

              I’d have to disagree. I feel like all of the guys in Congress are so old, and it’s so very wrong. I’m almost 55 myself, but I’m sick of being represented by people that are older, far older, then the people they purport to represent. I think Age is a factor in misrepresentation. Younger people are needed to represent the younger people that have to face the consequences of the decisions of the previous generations

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              1. Livius Drusus

                I don’t think age matters that much anymore. Trump is older than Warren and he is still very popular with the Republican base (including young and old Republicans) and might even win in 2020. Sanders is very popular with young voters despite his advanced age.

                I don’t think age matters that much when it comes to representation. Haven’t the Democrats been trying to win elections lately with young, professional types with only mixed success? I know there is this idea that the Democrats need their own Justin Trudeau but we already tried that with Obama and look at where that got us.

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          2. vlade

            My impression was that Sanders, while from NE, is quite well liked in the South, and the black/hispanic vote.

            My knowledge of the current US politics is quite marginal past the major players, so I have no idea whether there’s any comparable non-NE politician…

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            1. johnnygl

              Sanders may be able to make a dent down south, and obviously he needs to prove a lot based on the primaries of 2016.

              As far as the general, i think he can swing states in the Rockies and Great Plains that are usually deep red. No one ever talks about that sort of possibility, but the electoral map is more volatile than it used to be.

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              1. Elizabeth Burton

                In his book about the election, Our Revolution, Sanders explains that he and his campaign people had to make a choice between spending limited cash in the Southern states and going after post-Super Tuesday states, the consensus was that Clinton’s level of name recognition in the South gave her enough of an advantage they were better off spending their money elsewhere. In retrospect, he seemed to regret that decision.

                It’s quite a good read for anyone tired of Clintonite whinging who wants to know what Sanders was actually thinking at the time. And the second half outlines his policy positions in excellent detail. Of course, he didn’t do a book tour where people had to pay a couple hundred dollars to get in, so I suspect a lot of people don’t even know he has that book. And is working on another.

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          3. johnnygl

            Yves, you suggested she’s best utilized as treas. sec. I think that was right. For the veep slot, you need someone who can do back-slapping, deal-making and also rough arm-twisting. Warren isn’t that type.

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          4. funemployed

            I don’t disagree, Yves, though I do think a Sanders/Warren ticket would blow a Clinton/Kaine equivalent out of the water in terms of running a strong general election campaign (a low bar indeed, I know). I also have a hard time seeing either Sanders or Warren comfortably settling into the VP role, as both would have to sacrifice real power for a mostly ceremonial role (and neither is young enough to be planning decades ahead).

            That said, my money’s on a Sanders/Warren ticket anyhow. Here’s why (puts on speculation hat):
            1) I assume that Warren wanted to run in 2016 but got the Biden treatment and decided to defer to the Clinton machine. I don’t think she wants to make that mistake again.
            2) I assume that both Warren and Sanders know that running against each other in the dem primaries would likely lead to results like 30% Sanders, 25% Warren, 40% Biden/Harris/other neolib in knock-off in progressive clothing, which neither wants (unless Warren has totally sold out and is willing to do this for TPTB – a definite possibility, though I hope an unlikely one).
            3) I assume Sanders fully intends to run in 2020, and will not be dissuaded.
            4) Sanders will turn 87 in 2028.

            So, if my assumptions are correct (especially that Warren has presidential aspirations), they are at an impasse, and both know that that’s the case, and their people are quietly discussing this fact. By sitting out the primary and endorsing Bernie early and often, Warren could greatly increase his chances of winning. But why would she? Well, if offered VP (especially with assurances of an actual meaningful role – like LBJ wanted from bobby and jack), she would have a chance to not only improve her standing for 2024 or 2028, but also a very real chance of becoming pres prior to that given Bernie’s lack of youngness.

            So if I’m the Warren camp, I think agreeing to support Sanders in exchange for VP is probably the best shot at not only the presidency (eventually probably), but being a part of the biggest political shift in the US since Reagan. If I’m in the Sanders camp, Warren is the biggest threat to a primary victory (and not unlikely presidency) in 2020. Time will tell though, I guess…

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            1. oh

              Your points are well taken, I happen to think that Bernie is the only politician and candidate who stands for the economic 90% and is not shy to criticize the rich. If we let this opportunity go, because of trivial reasons, we’ll all swirl faster into the drain.

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    2. Peter

      Odd, considering that she pretty much stabbed him in the back by refusing to endorse him – and then by jumping so eagerly behind Hillary.

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      1. Anon

        Her nonsupport of Bernie didn’t sit well with me either. But when I thought it over, she was really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

        Remember your Madeline Albright “special place in Hades” stuff, and consider Warren looking at the prospect of being condemned as anti-feminist if she didn’t support Hillary. Consider also that Hillary was considered a prohibitive favorite at the time she had to make the call, and figure Warren had every reason to believe she was staring down the barrel of complete ostracism from the new President if she didn’t support her. She tried for a long time to play it neutral, which itself was (correctly) construed as tacit support for Sanders, but her profile was already so high that she couldn’t sustain that non-position indefinitely.

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      2. Elizabeth Burton

        You have to keep in mind that the consensus was Clinton was a shoo-in. The Democrats fully believed she would be the next president. For a member of Congress to actively oppose her would have destroyed any hope that member might have of getting any support from the Oval Office for legislation introduced—they’re all well aware of the Clintons’ ability to hold a grudge.

        The simple fact is the DNC decided they were going to coronate Clinton, and shot themselves in both knees and their collective a$$e$. Giving us Donald Trump, who likely isn’t doing any more damage than a Clinton White House would have but isn’t being all smiling and soothing and polite while he does it.

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      3. Kathleen T Smith

        I don’t believe Elizabeth Warren anymore — she is controlled opposition and a distraction. We need an end to corporate welfare and have free markets again. People need to work not be given free stuff, this country has generations of families that don’t work — this is not an answer to what is wrong. The entire system is wrong. Don’t steal from one side to give to the other and then have the other side steal it back again — need new system. Eliminate tax free foundations to begin with, make lobbying illegal, limit all representative terms and have more than a two party system would be a good start.

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    3. Kathleen T Smith

      Warren And Sanders are owned actors they will not help the people. Why did Elizabeth Warren back Hillary Clinton over Bernie????? Why has Bernie taken no legal action when it is a known fact that the DNC rigged the democratic primary for Clinton???? It does not MATTER who is in office if they are owned by the establishment and these two are no different. Waste of time — people want something different than stop playing the bankers rigged game, stop buying shit you don’t need. Start public boycotts on Walmart and demand that their employees get paid enough so they are not on food stamps. People need to start standing up for one another. You don’t need corrupt Unions (and we know they are, let’s be real) – we need Americans standing up for other Americans by boycotting companies and making demands for their workers.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    I don’t know how you can say that the Poor Peoples Campaign is not being covered in the media. I just went to Google News and set it for the US and found this covered by such major publications as the Sacramento Bee, WDRB, Vermont Public Radio, the Tennesean, Salisbury Post, the Jackson Clarion Ledger and even the Montgomery Advertiser. It’s all there.
    What interests me is how this is covered by social media such as Facebook and if people find that certain posts suddenly do not meet ‘community standards’. Maybe they might find themselves banned for a week for ‘spamming’ by talking about upcoming events. If certain posts are deemed political ads, Facebook’s new policies apparently now demand that people supply their home address, both sides of their driver’s license (unredacted) and their Social Security number.
    With the modern media, there is a distinct chill in the air.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Those are all secondary media outlets in the US. The local media is shrinking. Of your list, the Sacramento Bee is probably the most important and it has a daily circulation of 122,000. The circulation of the Tennessean is 95,000 and of the Montgomery Advertiser is 46,000.

      By contrast, Naked Capitalism’s weekday page views are in the 40,000 to 50,000 range and we have 250,000 to 330,000 unique viewers per month. That exaggerates our audience, since someone who reads us on their phone and a desktop get counted as 2 viewers. But you can safely take 60% of that number and guesstimate that we have 150,000 to 200,000 readers a month.

      Until a major city paper like the Los Angeles Times or the Chicago Tribune or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or USA Today, or one of the big wire services, or a major TV network takes notice, the political impact will be limited. But these local campaigns are making allies, plus once national outlets start recognizing that the Poor Peoples Campaign is sprouting groups all over the US and its rallies (hopefully) get bigger, it will start looking like a national force.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        maybe it’s better if it percolates in the shadows like that.
        I’m remembering the coordinated takedown of Occupy…
        and in the spirit of a good defense, I think it’s a good thing that this isn’t just young people, it’s parents and grandparents. If that aspect continues, while the hyphae grow through the grass roots, it will harder to send in the storm troopers.It seems to have those kinds of legs.
        All this hinges on media coverage, of course…whether corpmedia or virally.(confiscating phones is analogous to media blackouts like this.)

        as i’ve said, there’s a hunger for this kind of thing, even in the hinterlands, if my experience can be generalised.
        My neighbors aren’t quite ready for the more forthright language of the PPC, but they’re getting there, for sure.
        I’m very pleased that this is out there.

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      2. Danny

        Depends on your frame, Yves. I live in Lexington, KY, and the protests are being covered here. If you live in this state, then the Lexington Herald Leader (or Louisville Courier Journal) is your NY TImes.

        Politics is local, and local papers are covering it. These regional papers are way more important than the NY Times or those other nat’l outlets you mention, which are subordinate to our lives in flyover country.

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      3. 3.14e-9

        Yves, does PBS Newshour count? They reported on it two weeks ago. The segment was nearly 10 minutes long — major coverage, by TV standards. After a couple of minutes of historical context, the rest of the segment was an interview of Rev. Barber by Judy Woodruff. He was impressive. I immediately thought of sending you the link, but got distracted. So sorry for not getting out ahead of this one.

        Here’s the link to the video and a transcript (although it’s faster to read transcripts, do watch the video, if you have time. The transcript doesn’t do it justice).

        https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/poor-peoples-campaign-asks-america-to-face-the-injustices-keeping-millions-in-poverty

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      4. John Zelnicker

        @Yves Smith
        June 14, 2018 at 4:48 am
        ——
        Somehow I missed this post yesterday. The Poor People’s Campaign has been working with the United Public Service Workers association of sanitation workers in Mobile to bring their grievances to the attention of the public and to try to get some fair treatment from the city. There is also the implicit threat of privatizing trash and garbage pickup.

        Lately, the trash has been piling up and although the sanitation department is 30% below full staffing, the mayor is trying to blame the weather or holidays for falling behind. And the racism is obvious. The mostly white fire and police got a $5,000 bonus last year while the sanitation workers, who are mostly black, got a $250 bonus.

        The local organizing committee of the DSA (it’s not a full chapter yet) has been working closely with the PPC to bring people out to the rallies at City Hall, as well as to events in Montgomery.

        Two local TV stations covered the press conference at City Hall on June 7:

        http://www.wkrg.com/news/mobile-county/trashed-workers-want-more-money-more-respect/1225532960

        http://mynbc15.com/news/local/sanitation-workers-talk-city-trash-trouble

        Second tier media, no doubt, but every little bit helps.

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    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      The PPC has been rolled out in a fairly organized way and partnered with multiple progressive organizations, including the White Coats Brigade, medical providers who support single payer. HOPE and PNHP have been all over this since before it started. PPC is pushing out daily calls to action via text, email, FB, and Twitter. They have held simultaneous events on successive Mondays in 30 state capitols. Since I’ve been involved with M4A, my FB feed is full of reports from pages I follow and “friends” about these events. They likely get more coverage on social media than MSM, but of course that’s siloed.

      Reply
    3. SimonGirty

      Here, yet again we’re constantly awaiting Amy Goodman’s total dissappearance, along with any nascent community access channels, across the country? First they came for… The Yuppie liberals who formerly “supported” these outlets (at least to that point, where they could co-opt them into non-profits) are coming to realize, ah, er… they’re SURROUNDED by deplorables. All it’s going to take is Trump’s successful triggering his constantly sought-after long hot summer, for the 10% to realize, perhaps subliminally, that their Teslas, Q7s & 7 Series makes them targets? Soon, the NRA ads will be selling MTAR-21s to the Whole Foods set. iPhones, Facebook and Chrome SEO coarse, working class reality down the memory hole. Raccoon videos and celebrity meltdowns supplant bad shit, invisible all about us. Specious obliviousness is NYC’s most precious commodity to those who never look up.

      Reply
      1. Big Tap

        I know she’s gone from FiOS in Philadelphia. It was on channel 35 (PBS). Last year channel 35 got lots of money from somewhere for a digital upgrade (so they said). Thing is channel 35 also had as a “must carry” channel RT America. After the ‘upgrade’ RT was gone and the new channel 35 carries mainly non- English programming. No more Democracy Now. I think this upgrade’s actual purpose was to rid FiOS of RT America which they wanted to do but couldn’t due to it’s ‘must carry’ status. They found a work around.

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        1. SimonGirty

          Verizon disappeared Amy? Go figure? (I’d been SO proud of Pennsylvania, lately!) She’s been all over several recent stories, so pertinent to Philadelphia. Best to watch online, I’m guessing petitioning no longer works? Once folks realize they have to string together their own cans to rebuild the internet (like ANY other shit-hole 3rd world kleptocracy) perhaps our betters will CGI some algorithm, if only to collect our IP/ DNS, so they can round us all up, sell us Chinese EV luxury crossovers or “organic” Cuban and Iranian hippy grub? https://www.democracynow.org/donate

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          1. GF

            Democracy Now has a Roku Channel with closed captions and HD. Roku also has a Tiny Desk Concert channel that has a chronological order of shows back to the very first one almost exactly 10 years ago.

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            1. SimonGirty

              Damn, THANK you! Maybe, now I’ll finally be able to catch Amy with Noam, Chris Hedges, Arundhati Roy, Mark Ames and Naomi Klein… to cheer us up about the impending end times!

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    4. DHG

      I told Facebook to shove off right after the election of DT. Never posted anything on it, knew I was the product and anything I gave em was for sale. I would never give them this information on demand.

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    5. sharonsj

      I’m pretty sure nothing was on the TV national news I watch MSNBC and CNN every morning, then switch to Democracy Now. I don’t recall seeing one damn thing about the PPM on either MSNBC or CNN; only Democracy Now covered it in person. My local news said nothing either. Sometimes the TV media is so infuriating I end up watching “Too Cute!” on Animal Planet for 15 minutes so I can calm down.

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      1. SimonGirty

        Shuckins… we check HERE, then watch Ms Amy, once sufficiently caffeinated to handle the truth? Amy might be ignoring the Wikileaks story, the Intercept story and the Democrats throwing the election story but, those are just tin-hat conspiracy fake newstropes, after all?

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  4. drumlin woodchuckles

    Sanders and Warren could both run through the primaries. Or they could tag-team it. Sanders could run in some primaries and Warren could run in other primaries . . . to increase the chances that each of them get quite a lot of voted-for delegates. If either one can conquer the nomination, he or she will choose the other one as his/her running mate.

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    1. ambrit

      The potential stumbling block here is how savagely the DNC opposes the two. Sadly, the way the DNC sabotaged the Sanders campaign in 2016 looks to be the template going forward. 2020 might see the splintering of the formal Democrat Party. I look to see a Sanders and or Warren Reform Democrat faction and a Clintonista “Bull Moose” style Democrat rump organization.
      Speculating freely, and donning my designer Tin Foil Chapeau, I can see Hillary Clinton, if she really is ill enough, being ‘martyred’ by some “Lone Gunmen” so as to set up Chelsea as the Restorer of the Faith, Protector of the Faithful, and Official Spokesmodel of the Neo-liberal Dispensation. (Hillary won’t have to ‘agree’ to it, or even know. “Events” will proceed at their ‘own pace.’ It will be spun as ‘fate.’ The Cult of Saint Hillary of Little Rock will then combine the forces of Politics and Saecular Religion.)

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      1. johnnygl

        Part of me thinks that dems are realizing they can’t stop bernie 2020, so they’re prepared to smash the ‘blue wave’ to bits to make sure sanders either loses in the general election or can’t govern if he wins.

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      1. Mike Mc

        My money is on a Kirsten Gillibrand / Tulsi Gabbard ticket to unify the Sanders/Obama-Clinton wings and present an all women ticket to pull every last possible woman’s vote.

        Then again I’m a die hard Berniecrat and thus, a hopeless optimist with entirely too much faith in A) the Democratic Party; B) the American voting public; and the good ol’ US of A.

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        1. SimonGirty

          Kirsten & Tulsi SPEAK with each other? Me, I was hoping for some DCCC mud-rasslin’ reality shows, as the midterms approached. Sam Elliot could moderate, George Miller cage matches?

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  5. lyman alpha blob

    …workers received a 1 percent bonus for years one and two, which was $600 to $800 for most workers…

    $600 or $800 is 1% of $60,000 or $80,000 dollars. That actually isn’t bad. I can’t imagine the cost of living in Topeka is all that high. Are Topeka potato chip factories really paying that much?

    I suspect that either there is an error in the reporting, or the sentence could have been written better. Is it a 1% bonus on two years worth of salary? Because otherwise pumping out cheese puffs in Topeka is looking fairly lucrative, at least compared to a lot of other McJobs.

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  6. johnnygl

    In Boston, the other day, they blocked off Congress St in the financial district. It was only a few dozen people and I wasn’t sure what was going on and there seemed to be a decent number of SEIU shirts around, so i figured it was something they were doing. Now I realize it was probably connected to the Poor People’s Campaign.

    Not sure about the permitting to block a major city street but the cops were there and the whole thing was pretty relaxed.

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  7. John

    Why would corporate oligarchy in its communication/propaganda departments offer anything but distraction, confusion and lies? We need some form of the fairness doctrine reimposed. It was instituted in1949 after seeing how the Nazis used German media. It is naive and foolish to trust that the corporate oligarchs will do the right thing.

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  8. DorothyT

    Rev. William Barber, co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign, was the most powerful speaker at the Democratic convention. We in NYC have been fortunate to see him frequently, especially during his previous tenure at the noted Union Theological Seminary.

    The Poor People’s Campaign is national so check to see when and where they have an event in your region. Rev. Barber has been dedicated to the hard work of regional organizing, beginning in North Carolina where he is a pastor and former head of the state NAACP. His Moral Monday campaign grew over the years in NC to be embraced by citizens of all colors and creeds. This is courage — by all who take part in this movement.

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  9. Will Shetterly

    Putting anti-racism first is a tactical error. King knew better. In ’67, he said, “In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike.”

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    1. Darius

      Racism is the lynchpin of the US class structure. You can’t underpay the working class without enforcing a despised underclass based on skin color. Fredrick Douglass understood this. I heard Barber preach on it last Sunday. Race and class are inseparable in the US. It’s the tool to get the working class to slit its own throat.

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  10. Darius

    Poverty and race are inseparable in the US. Racism is the tool to get the working class to slit its own throat.

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  11. Scott1

    New bill in the NC Legislature to further limit the voting days, along with 12 hour days for the 10 days left. It is from the North Carolina environment where arises Rev. Barber. Gopsay limits on the Governor’s executive powers are unexpected and amount to a limit on expectations of what it would mean to have a Democratic & liberal State leader.

    Congressman David Price can tell you what the Deficit Lies mean. Gentlemanly Gopsay tell him they want to improve peoples situations in life with education and infrastructure but the Treasury doesn’t have enough money to help them out of their lives of “food insecurity” and the desperation that creates. “It’s a shame.” they say.
    But they signed the Grover Norquist Pledge. Nothing can be done.
    That they will betray the oath of office to satisfy the ambitions of lobbyist ideologues, and get away with it, is disgusting.

    It was interesting that the Poor Peoples Campaign as reported here to not be getting coverage in MSM turned hard towards questions of who the Democrats will support for President. I’d like to know exactly what “Ticket” the Poor Peoples Campaign would support.

    The US has a two party system and the Democratic Party is weak because it is dominated by the Clinton Unit. Clearly the Party must be taken over, since it will be a time waster to try and get the offices infrastructure established for a Poor Peoples Socialist Democrats Party.

    Thing about Sanders is that he could have won in 2016. Tulsi Gabbard made a stand for him and would have been a fine VP at that stage of her political career. Warren is competition for him.

    As we roll like tumbleweeds in a hard hot wind 2020 will come.
    I hope by then the whole of the general population will understand how their Treasury is denied to them and why they are never to be paid enough to get out of debt peonage.

    The other day I nominated Warren Mosler for President. From the readership here the candidacy of Warren Mosler & Stephanie Kelton ought strike some bells. “Poor No More” could be their slogan since they know where the power is, in the Treasury.

    Will be a lot easier to give the poor the leg up and and holds so they are not trapped in wage slavery or jail for crimes of poverty, if you know where the money is to pay for education and infrastructure.

    It is again as it was in the Gilded Age, Class War. Who wins matters a great deal. Who knows what life would be like if FDR had not been elected president for 4 terms. I’d say it was his Democracy we wanted then and want returned to us.

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  12. Michael C.

    I joined the protest in Columbus, Ohio. Little to no coverage of it. The main stream, corporate media learned how to deal with protest after the Iraq War–just ignore it since it doesn’t serve their interests.

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  13. JBird

    The US has a two party system and the Democratic Party is weak because it is dominated by the Clinton Unit. Clearly the Party must be taken over, since it will be a time waster to try and get the offices infrastructure established for a Poor Peoples Socialist Democrats Party.

    Two parties with one needing to be taken over? I could easily do a very paper or maybe even a serious dissertation on how the current “two parties” is really only the two wings of a single political party. Until about thirty years ago, American political parties were fairly diverse, broadly based parties representing most combinations of views. While the current two parties have some of the same elements for generations. Republicans always had a focus on business and infrastructure projects which was founding member, lawyer, and lobbyist Abraham Lincoln’s client based, but it was the party most responsible for ending slavery and was were supporters of black civil rights clustered; the Democratic Party always had its focus on agriculture, a weak federal government and/or states’ rights, which was due to its ancestral party founders, including Thomas Jefferson, dislike of the strong central government and supported smallish scale farmers.

    These were only focuses not requirements and both parties had economic elements that would be considered communist by modern Republicans and socialism by the Democrats, while in the past members of the KKK were perfectly happy in both parties. The current “split” is really about creating power by stripping away all that troublesome nuances, creating artificial social differences to attract the marks and economic ideologies that are very similar but are are masked by the different (simplified) social ideologies. This allows a focus on the grift, the con of the marks (that’s us) as a way to make a living by keeping the wealthy happy. However, unlike the past where the parties’ base was nuanced, broad, deep, and strong, the current parties support is of sand, with their strength an illusion. They both are having trouble because they are made of paste and paper and both need to change or replaced and are now losing the ability to keep the government functioning, forget about maintaining the grift.

    TL;DR: the current differences between the parties’ leadership and their supposed ideologies is slight, especially in economics, with the only real differences are in (some) civil rights, which means that they both will either have real change or complete replacement.

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  14. Sound of the Suburbs

    If policymakers discovered how the monetary system worked, we would all be a lot better off.

    https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/04/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13.53.09.png

    In 1980 we slipped into a dark age for the understanding of money, debt, the money supply and how banks work. After 1980, we started accumulating private sector debt in a way that doesn’t contribute to GDP and would eventually lead to a financial crisis in 2008 (the Minsky moment).

    Central banks have slowly been revealing how banks create money through bank credit, starting with the BoE in 2014.

    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

    We had been enjoying the money creation of an unsustainable debt fuelled boom up to 2008 in the same way as most of the other advanced economies. This Dark Age was global.

    Adair Turner has looked at the situation prior to the crisis where advanced economies were growing by 4 – 5%, but the debt was rising at 10 – 15%. This always was an unsustainable growth model; it had no long term future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCX3qPq0JDA

    Neoliberalism runs on debt and appeared to work because its neoclassical economists don’t even consider debt. Most of this debt went into real estate.

    Richard Werner was in Japan and saw their very stable, successful economy turn into a debt fuelled monster through real estate lending and they reached their Minsky moment in the early 1990s. He had all the clues to work out what had going wrong.

    The three types of lending:

    1) Into business and industry – gives a good return in GDP and doesn’t lead to inflation
    2) To consumers – leads to consumer price inflation
    3) Into real estate and financial speculation – leads to asset price inflation and gives a poor return in GDP and shows up in the graph of debt-to-GDP

    Neoliberalism didn’t allocate bank credit effectively; it should go to 1, but went to 3.

    Richard Werner explains.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC0G7pY4wRE&t=3s

    The lack of knowledge of private sector money creation is matched by the lack of knowledge of public sector money creation.

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been developing since the early 1990s and they have had plenty of time to understand the process of Government money creation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

    Governments create money and taxation is really just a mechanism to regulate the money supply and tune the economy. You don’t need to raise taxes for Government spending.

    As Warren Mosler points out in the video, the people we vote for are kept in the dark about public money creation.

    Let’s move out of the dark and into the light.

    Reply

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