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Bill Day | American Blood / media.cagle.com

Bill Day | American Blood / media.cagle.com

 

The Democrats’ New Fake Populism

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It’s doubtful that many people have been fooled by the “left turn” of the Democratic Party. But on a deeper level the politics of “lesser evilism” still haunts labor and community groups, and keeping these groups within the orbit of the Democratic Party is the ultimate purpose of this new, more radical speechifying. Until these groups organize themselves independently and create their own working class political party, the above politics of “populist” farce is guaranteed to continue. 

Shamus Cooke, Workers Action

May 30, 2014 | It would have been hilarious were it not so nauseating. One could only watch the “New Populism” conference with pity-induced discomfort, as stale Democratic politicians did their awkward best to adjust themselves to the fad of “populism.”

A boring litany of Democratic politicians — or those closely associated — gave bland speeches that aroused little enthusiasm among a very friendly audience of Washington D.C. politicos. It felt like an amateur recital in front of family and friends, in the hopes that practicing populism with an audience would better prepare them for the real thing.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action.

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Veteran Affairs scandal in context

  • Budget cuts to the VA amid war profiteering by corporations and politicians

  • Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA

Liberation Radio

episode-thumbnails/veterans-affairs-medical-center.jpg June 16, 2014 | Mike Prysner of March Forward! investigates the Veterans Affairs corruption story that has rocked the country, and looks at budget cuts to the VA amid war profiteering by corporations and politicians.

Mike Prysner is an American political activist. He is the co-founder of March Forward!, an organization of active-duty members of the US military and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict that encourages current active duty service personnel to resist deployment.

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Related:

Here's The Simple Reason Congress Hasn't Fixed The VA, Ryan Grim, Huffington PostPolitics%20Banner.jpg

  • The VA is low priority: the Senate vets committee had the second lowest budget to spend on staff and other expenses -- just a few thousand dollars more than the Committee on Indian Affairs. It is also one of the few, if not the only panel, without its own press operation. And it's such an afterthought that the Senate lets a socialist run it. (We kid, but it is chaired by Vermont independent Bernie Sanders.)
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

 

 

Focus on Power Plant Rule's Health Benefits Could Build Wider Support Among Public

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  • Public health is one of the few climate change storylines that engages different types of Americans.
  • Acting On Climate

Andrea Vittorio, Bloomberg BNA

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Thursday, June 12, 2014 | The Obama administration's emphasis on the public health benefits of its first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for existing power plants may help make climate change resonate with more Americans—which could build support for the controversial rule.

Communications research suggests that educating the public on the health impacts of climate change and the benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions could be key to convincing a wider range of Americans to support the power plant rule and other climate policies.

shutterstock_116526892.jpg Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com 

Andrea Vittorio covers sustainability issues for Bloomberg BNA.

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Related:

Acting On Climate, Center for American Progress Action Fund 

  • The new EPA rule is a huge step for public health and for our children’s futures. The companies that oppose this rule are desperate, dirty, and in denial. They were wrong in 1970 when we passed the Clean Air Act; they were wrong in 1990 when we took steps to stop acid rain; and they are wrong now.
  • The Impact Of The New Climate Protection Proposal, By The Numbers

 

Beyond the war on science: Why the right embraces ignorance as a virtue

  • Current efforts to nullify abortion coverage in Ohio and elsewhere can all be traced back to the Bush White House
  • Totally Nuts
  • Age of Ignorance

Amanda Marcotte,  Alternet

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george_w_bush-620x412.jpg George W. Bush 

Friday, Jun 13, 2014 | Spouting off about stuff you know nothing about is traditionally considered unwise. But as the Republican war on science intensifies, ignorance has started to become not only less of a handicap, but a point of pride. In the face of expertise and facts, being belligerently ignorant—and offended that anyone dare suggest ignorance is less desirable than knowledge—has become the go-to position for many conservative politicians and pundits. Sadly, it’s a strategy that’s working, making it harder every day for liberals to argue the value of evidence and reason over wishful thinking and unblinking prejudice.

The strategy of holding out ignorance to be the equivalent of expertise and simply daring your opponents to try to do anything about it was epitomized recently in the Ohio legislature. Republican state legislator John Becker introduced a bill that would ban all insurance plans in the state from covering abortion. It was a horribly misogynist and intrusive bill, but Becker didn’t stop at just trying to outlaw abortion coverage. He also insisted that IUDs, the most effective contraception available, be outlawed from insurance coverage. His reasoning was that he believes IUDs cause abortion, because he believes they work by killing fertilized eggs.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and journalist. She's published two books and blogs regularly at Pandagon, RH Reality Check and Slate's Double X.

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Related:

Totally Nuts, Mankh (Walter E. Harris III), Axis of Logic

  • Let's not try to figure out everything at once / It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky --The National, from their song “Fake Empire”
  • America dumbs down

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Age of Ignorance, Charles Simic, New York Review of Books

  • What we have in this country is the rebellion of dull minds against the intellect. That’s why they love politicians who rail against teachers indoctrinating children against their parents’ values and resent the ones who show ability to think seriously and independently. Despite their bravado, these fools can always be counted on to vote against their self-interest. 
  • Human Stupidity Is Destroying the World
  • George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left

 

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