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Romano: The moral corruption of Florida politicians

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Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay (FL) Times]

  • A lot of it has to do with districts that are drawn in a way that favors one party over another. A lot of it has to do with voters who do not pay attention and give elected officials a free pass.
  • It’s ugly. It’s corrupt. It’s Florida.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

 

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: It's not just Florida that's corrupt. This exact same story could've been written about any state in the country. Only the faces are different.

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March 1, 2018 | In times like these, you often hear Florida’s Legislature described as tone-deaf. I’m sorry, but that’s a sadly charitable portrayal.

Calling lawmakers tone-deaf implies they don’t understand the current mood surrounding them. I think they fully understand it. They just choose to ignore it.

Take a moment to consider what’s happened in recent days.

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times  Columnist

Full story … 

Related:


https://philoforchange.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/fear_anthony-frieda1.jpg?w=720[Credit: Anthony Frieda.]

America’s Descent Into Madness, Henry Giroux, Counterpunch

  • America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. – John le Carré
  • The Politics of Cruelty
  • The Corporation as Psychopath

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Help expand your impact by forwarding this story to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.


 

'Anti-Trump Rhetoric Not Enough': Bold, Progressive Agenda Demanded for 2018

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"Empty platitudes and anti-Trump rhetoric is not enough to win seats in Congress," said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). (Photo: Molly Adams/Flickr/cc)

  • "We must act together. And we must act strategically. 2018 is the year the people fight back like never before."
  • Related: We Need More Than a 'Not Trump' Strategy for Real Change

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Trump%20Fatigue.jpgMonday, January 01, 2018 | As Republicans and President Donald Trump turn toward the new year with destruction on their minds, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined a chorus of voices in expressing the urgent need to reach beyond merely resisting the right's agenda and articulate an inspiring alternative that will sweep progressives into positions of power.

"Here is a New Year's resolution I hope you will share with me," Sanders wrote on Twitter just before midnight on Sunday. "In 2018, we will not only intensify the struggle against Trumpism, we will increase our efforts to spread the progressive vision in every corner of the land."

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/authors/johnson.jpg?itok=Xrr2HegA Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

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Related:

We Need More Than a 'Not Trump' Strategy for Real Change, Paul Street, Truthdig

From the cover of "US Politics in an Age of Uncertainty: Essays on a New Reality." (Haymarket Books)

A new book of essays by leading political analysts delves into the social and historical forces that produced our 45th presidency.
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Broad Coalition of National Election Reform Groups Unite to Challenge Two-Party Duopoly

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Institutional political barriers including closed primaries, partisan gerrymandering, a contrived “two-sided” media, and party-friendly campaign finance rules are just the tip of the institutional iceberg that props up the failing duopoly …

Jim Jonas, Independent Voter Network

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Jan 22, 2018 | To focus the combined strengths, skills, and experience of some of the nation’s leading election reform organizations toward increasing voter participation and electoral competition, a prominent group of nonpartisan political reform leaders have formed the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers.

Founding members include representatives from the Bridge Alliance, Independent Voter Project, the Chamberlain Project, FairVote Action, Open Primaries, the Centrist Project, California Forward, and Let Colorado Vote.

Jim Jonas, interim executive director of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers

Full story … 

Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 2 of 5

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  • The Series: As the country approaches the 50th anniversary of one of the most controversial, volatile, and important years in our country’s history, We the People of the United States of America find ourselves facing many of the same issues that led us to the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War, screams of “the whole world is watching” at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the floor of the Ambassador Hotel, and Black fists being raised in the air at the Mexico Summer Olympics. So much has changed, true. We’ve come so far, but in a lot of ways, we’re right back where we started and even further behind.
  • Part 2: There will continue to be a vilification of certain demographics of U.S. and world citizens, but a new and surprising bad guy — excuse me, girl — and battleground may be making its appearance on the political stage.

John Fisher, Medium

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https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*C1dLOT0d33qrqjwyNY7HZg.jpeg Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in protest on the victory stand during the 1968 Olympics. Photo: Bettmann / Getty Images

Dec 19, 2017 | The year 1968 marks a decisive moment in history when the American people were split apart — maybe irreparably — along stratified political lines.

Enemies were created on both sides, and the war rages to this day. One person, however, played a major part in creating this political, cultural conflict, and a new battle may have already begun.
Political protest marred his first term in office. Police brutality was a major issue, as was gun control. Rallies on state university campuses turned violent, even deadly. Protests by athletes brought attention — unwelcome attention, in the minds of some — to the oppression and discrimination that still corrupted the United States even after a revolutionary period of hope and change.

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/c/100/100/1*-ADGrYIbqY29NX_74xROyw@2x.jpeg John Fisher: I’m sorry if you’re in a rush. Don’t let me hold you up or intervene or interrupt …

Full story … 

Previously in This Series:

Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 1 of 5
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Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 3 - Trump has put anti-immigrant campaign promises into action

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A woman holds a child during an immigration rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sept. 26. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 3: Trump does seem to be making an effort to intensify his immigration policies. On Oct. 8, he released a list of priorities that include hiring more ICE agents, cracking down on visa overstays and sanctuary cities, building a border wall, facilitating deportation of unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers, and shifting to a "merit-based" immigration system.
  • Related: Demanding a Clean DACA Bill, Now!

 

Maria Benevento, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

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Nov 2, 2017 | To the alarm of immigrant rights groups, President Donald Trump has spent the first months of his presidency putting his anti-immigrant campaign promises into action.

"That rhetoric we were hearing in the election season has moved into actual policy," said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. "I think immigration is one of the most prominent policy areas of this administration and ... we're seeing public policy going in the wrong direction."

Maria Benevento is an NCR Bertelsen intern.

Full story … 

Previously in this Series:

Part 2 - The Trump presidency and Europe's dilemma

Part 1 - What has the GOP learned since Trump's election? 

Related:

Demanding a Clean DACA Bill, Now! Alvaro Huerta, LA Progressive

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  • While undocumented immigrants and their allies continue to organize against the racist Trump administration and complicit Republican leaders, Democratic leaders, who depend on the Latina/o vote, have failed miserably.
  • Related: Make a Call for Dreamers
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House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act; Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance

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  • Part 1: House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act
    • A House bill would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility.
  • Part 2: Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance
    • Attorney General Sessions is rescinding several guidance documents clarifying the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act

https://i1.wp.com/thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ada-bill.jpg?resize=1280%2C720px&ssl=1 People participate in the first annual Disability Pride Parade on July 12, 2015 in New York City. Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

A House bill would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility.

Casey Quinlan, Think Progress


Feb 15, 2018 | On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 225 to 192 in favor of a bill that would significantly weaken the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and let businesses off the hook for failing to provide accommodations for accessibility.

The ADA Education and Reform Act was introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), and was recently adopted in the House Judiciary Committee. It addresses the 1990 civil rights law that protects people with disabilities when it comes to employment; access to public entities, such as transportation; and accommodations to fully enjoy businesses, such as being able to go to a hotel without barriers to getting inside. The law allows people with disabilities to file lawsuits against businesses that don’t provide reasonable accommodations, but supporters of the ADA Education and Reform Act argue that it fuels “drive-by lawsuits.”

https://i2.wp.com/thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/casey.jpg?w=300&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C300px&ssl=1 Casey Quinlan is a policy reporter at ThinkProgress covering economic policy and civil rights issues.

Full story … 


Part 2: Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ds180104_sessions-668x418.jpg Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked numerous guidance documents including over a half dozen pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act and said more withdrawals may be forthcoming.(Ting Shen/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop
January 4, 2018 | Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’s rescinding more than two dozen guidance documents including several clarifying the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Among the 25 revoked documents are a number of ADA-related items dating as far back as 1995 offering guidance on everything from service animals to accessible building practices as well as a 2016 letter on employment of people with disabilities.

Michelle Diament is a seasoned journalist whose work has appeared in People, AARP, The Washington Post Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Gannett News Service. As the sibling of an adult with autism, Diament is no stranger to the world of disability issues.

Full story … 

 

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Agency-by-agency highlights of Trump's 2019 budget. Stark Vision of GOP Reality

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  • Part 1: President’s New Budget. Stark Vision of GOP Reality.
    • A massive increase in the military budget and war preparations comes at the expense of slashing all kinds of social programs.
  • Part 2: Agency-by-agency highlights of Trump's 2019 budget
    • Highlights from President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal year 2019, released Monday, Feb 12.

 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: President’s New Budget. Stark Vision of GOP Reality.

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The President's budget is a reflection of the administration's priorities. And this administration and their GOP co-horts in Congress want to slash over a trillion dollars with cuts to programs for some of the nation's most vulnerable. A massive increase in the military budget and war preparations comes at the expense of slashing all kinds of social programs.

Robert Greenstein; Ryan Koronowski; Brett Samuels; Fred Kaplan, Portside

February 15, 2018 |

• Trump Budget Offers Stark Vision We Cannot Afford to Ignore - Robert Greenstein (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

• Trump’s budget cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, breaking core campaign promise - Ryan Koronowski (Think Progress)

• The 22 agencies and programs Trump's budget would eliminate - Brett Samuels (The Hill)

• All Guns, No Butter - Trump’s budget is a return to the let-’er-rip era of defense spending - Fred Kaplan (Slate)

 

Full story … 

Part 2: Agency-by-agency highlights of Trump's 2019 budget

http://www.greanvillepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/26063070824_e941dbc3d9_b_trump-clinton-768x768.jpgHighlights from President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal year 2019, released Monday.

Associated Press  / New York Times

February 12, 2018 | International Space Station

The Trump administration wants NASA out of the International Space Station by 2025 and to have private businesses running the place instead.
Under Trump's 2019 proposed budget, U.S. government funding for the space station would end by 2025. The government would set aside $150 million to encourage commercial development.

Full story … 

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