Here's a great opportunity for outreach...

"Let's party like it's 1933!!" (h/t WaPo) - promoted by hesterprynne

Here is a group of Trump voters, expressing their economic insecurity and deep frustration at being forcibly compelled to listen to NPR. I would have thought that the inability to change their radio dial to “AM” would have been because of the grievous injuries done to their hands by liberal enemies of the working class, but gee those right hands they are raising seem pretty healthy.

Water Cannons turned on water protectors in 25 degree weather tonight [11/20/16]

Meanwhile...in North Dakota. Anybody remember this happening to the Bundy's? - promoted by hesterprynne

BREAKING STORY 11/20/16: STATEMENT FROM DALLAS GOLDTOOTH WHO PROVIDED THIS PHOTO: “Water protectors are done with the military-style barricades. We are done with the flood lights and the armored military trucks. We are are done with it!

So thats why tonight, water protectors decided to take a first peaceful step and remove the burned out vehicles that police put in place on Oct 27th to block our access heading north on hwy 1806. It was to open up the road so in the daylight the world can see the face of militarized law enforcement and state oppression. This is at the “back water bridge” north of the Oceti Sakowin camp.

Police in response are using a water cannon, tear gas and concussion grenades on the crowd!!

Its 25 degrees Fahrenheit and they are using a f**king water cannon!

Prayers and energy to our water protectors! #NoDAPL #KeepItInTheGround ”
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Water Cannons turned on Water Protectors in 25 degree wweather

Helping Hungry Families this Thanksgiving

Congressman McGovern is marching today and tomorrow, and we can help (I just did) - promoted by hesterprynne

On Monday, November 21st, I’ll be kicking off the 7th annual  “Monte’s March,” a 43-mile two-day walk as part of his anti-hunger push in Western Massachusetts. Every year I look forward to this march as our communities come together to increase awareness about hunger and help Massachusetts families in need this Thanksgiving.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, there are many Massachusetts families who are struggling just to put food on the table. To bring our communities together and raise awareness to help families in need, we’ll be kicking off the seventh annual Monte’s March, the longest-yet at 43 miles across Western Massachusetts. Hunger is something that touches families across the Commonwealth, but together, we can help to ensure that every family has access to the healthy meals they need this holiday season.

Last year’s march raised $150,000 and helped provide more than 450,000 meals to families in need!

Joining us for the full 43 miles will be the founder of Monte’s March, WRSI The River radio host Monte Belmonte, as well as Andrew Morehouse, the Executive Director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Also joining part of the march will be Congressmen Richard Neal and Joe Kennedy IIIState Rep. Aaron VegaState Rep-Elect Solomon Goldstein-Rose; students from Holyoke Community CollegeGreenfield Community College and The Greenfield Center School; and local mayors, and other community leaders.

This year’s hunger walk will be the longest yet at 43 miles, starting on Monday with stops in SpringfieldChicopeeHolyoke, and Northampton. The walk will finish on Tuesday with stops in HadleyAmherstSunderland, and Greenfield. Throughout the march, you can listen live at 93.9 The River. Click here for more information about the march.

Help us spread the word!

OVERVIEW:

WHAT: Monte’s March, a 43-mile anti-hunger march across Western Massachusetts

WHEN: Monday 11/21 at 7:00AM

WHERE: March Starts at Friends of The Homeless. 755 Worthington St., Springfield

  • The march continues Monday with stops in ChicopeeHolyoke, and Northampton
  • On Tuesday 11/22 with stops in HadleyAmherstSunderland, and ending in Greenfield
  • Full info below:

FULL SCHEDULE:

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21st

  • 7:00 am – Depart from Friends of The Homeless. 755 Worthington St. Springfield
  • 8:30 am – Arrive at Chicopee City Limits
  • 9:00 am – Arrive in Chicopee Falls
  • 10:00 am – Arrive in Downtown Holyoke
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm – Finish first day, walking down Northampton Street to Northampton
  • 6:30 pm – Fundraising event at The Northampton Brewery, 11 Brewster Ct, Northampton
  • Note: Throughout the day, the march will be joined by Holyoke Community College students

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd

  • 6:00 am – Depart Northampton Office, 94 Pleasant Street.
  • 7:00 am – Arrival at Route 9 in Hadley near Mi Tierra
  • 8:00 am – Arrival at Whole Foods in Hadley
  • 9:15 am – Arrival in Downtown Amherst
  • 10:30 am – Arrival at Amherst Survival Center
  • 12:00 pm – Arrival in Downtown Sunderland
  • 1:15 pm – Arrival at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle for Lunch
  • 2:30 pm Arrival at Route 5 & 10 north joined by students from Greenfield Community College and The Greenfield Center School
  • 5:00 pm: Arrival in Greenfield
  • 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm: Completion of march at Seymour The Pub, 5 Bank Row, Greenfield.

Hey Democrats, Do We Want to Save Medicare, or No

Strongly guessing that the whole delegation will be against. But no harm in pushing. Thanks Miles. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

Congressional Republicans are gearing up to not only strip health care from the 20 million Americans who get it through Obamacare – they’ve announced plans to kill Medicare as well.

You may hear reporters calling it “phasing out,” “privatization,” or most cowardly, “reform,” but let’s be 100% clear: Medicare is government-guaranteed, single-payer health care. Writing retirees a check and saying “good luck finding private insurance, hope this covers it” is neither of those.

Talking Points Memo has been rallying Democrats against the plan. Not only is it terrible policy, it’s terrible politics for Republicans. Voters skew older anyway, but midterm voters skew really old. Democrats shouldn’t just fight this defensively – they should be out front educating voters about how Republicans are trying to destroy one of the most effective and popular programs the government has ever given them.

TPM has been asking readers to call their members of Congress to ask if they oppose the Republican plan to kill Medicare. Here are the results for Massachusetts:

AGAINST PHASING OUT MEDICARE UNDER RYAN PLAN

  • Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called his office
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called her office
  • Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called his office
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), according to a TPM reader who called her office

“We’ll Get Back To You:” Dozens of TPM readers attempted to contact their representatives and senators in response to Josh’s recent post on the threats of a Medicare phase-out. A surprising number of congressional offices appeared unaware of the proposal or appeared to have no prepared response to Ryan’s Medicare agenda. Listed below are the Congress members whose offices were caught unaware, or claimed they would pass on constituents’ concerns, aggregated from TPM reader email submissions:

  • Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA)
  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA)
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)

Not listed by TPM (which means no readers in their districts have called them) are Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Richard Neal and Rep. Niki Tsongas.

Have you called your member of Congress? If so, let us know the response you got in comments. (Find your member & their contact info here.)

 

Local media fail on the insanity of Mike Flynn

The news of Trump selecting Gen. Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor came in last night. I woke up this morning, and from WGBH radio news I simply heard that Flynn was:

  1. From Rhode Island!
  2. A registered Democrat!
  3. A “harsh critic” of Obama’s foreign policy!

And from the Boston Globe/AP, we learn from the headline: “Michael Flynn’s reputation: Astute intelligence pro, straight talker”.

Well really.

This is contained within the AP article, but you know, just take this at face value. Just reporting!

And in August, he spoke at an event in Dallas for the anti-Islamist group Act for America, saying that Islam ‘‘is a political ideology’’ and that it ‘‘definitely hides behind being a religion.’’

This is incredibly dangerous. He will have the ear of the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

The media — especially here in Boston — need to keep an eye on what actually matters. This was a failure by two august institutions.

The State Earned Income Tax Credit: R.I.P?

(How Trumpism might play out in Massachusetts. One of a probably lengthy series.) 

Governor Charlie Baker, back from a meeting of the Republican Governors Association, held a press conference yesterday to offer his first extended remarks after the presidential election.

If, like Attorney General Maura Healey, you were hoping for a forceful denunciation of the presence of a white nationalist in the West Wing, you were disappointed: Governor Baker is willing to hold the record open for more evidence against Steve Bannon before issuing a judgment.  On most other subjects Baker took refuge in the comparatively comforting words of Mike Pence (!), who called for a “very deliberate and significant dialogue,” yada-yada.

Baker’s strategy of not confronting the President-elect was, if not courageous, probably fiscally prudent. After all, more than one-quarter of revenue for the state’s annual budget ($39 billion this year) comes from federal reimbursements. Much of that federal funding supports our universal health care plan. That health care money was on a track to expire, but fortunately four days before the election, the Baker administration was able to secure a commitment from the Obama administration to provide nearly $60 billion over the next five years. Good news for sure — although it’s quite alarming that the feds’ promise is now reliant on a president who in the past has considered defaulting on the nation’s debt as a nifty solution to budgetary problems.

Health care is not the only program under threat from Trump administration policies. Our state Earned Income Tax Credit Program, which helps more than 400,000 families in Massachusetts who earn $50,000 or less, is, as a practical matter, in jeopardy as well. Governor Baker is a big supporter of the state EITC, and an increase to that program (the first in 16 years) was one of his first year policy successes. The state EITC program is still a modest one even with the increase (the average benefit will rise to $500 per family this year), but it’s nevertheless a step toward reducing income inequality, a disorder that Massachusetts suffers from in the extreme.

The tax overhaul that Trump is proposing is especially generous to the wealthy and especially hard on lower-income families, including those who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. His plan would entirely eliminate the head of household filing status and the deduction for dependents, both of which help to reduce the tax burden owed by EITC families.

The Trump tax proposals, to take just one example from the Tax Policy Institute, would increase the federal tax bill of a couple with four children making $50,000 a year from $210 to $1090. That result would swallow the benefit of the family’s state EITC several times over.We’re looking, in other words, at the prospect of a state EITC program that in many cases no longer helps low-income families directly but instead simply goes to help to pay their (newly-increased) share of federal taxes. How many things are wrong with that picture?

Senate President Stan Rosenberg Post-Election Statement on Behalf of the Massachusetts Senate

Thoughts from Senate President Rosenberg. Thanks for posting here - promoted by hesterprynne

Over the last week I have heard many heart-wrenching stories about children and adults expressing their sadness and fear based on the results of the national election. It is natural to feel sad and disappointed when your candidate doesn’t win. It is not typical though, in our country, to feel fearful at the end of an election. But because of the repeated expression of bigoted views about women, racial minorities, people of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities, many people are fearful about the future.

While bigoted words and incivility in public discourse are out of line in and of themselves, the greater threat is that they may create a false belief that now there is license to do something even worse in our communities and in our public policy: commit bigoted deeds.

The election is over, and as Americans have done for centuries we must unite and move together into the future. As we do so, the members of the Massachusetts State Senate want to be clear. Our unshakable support for the civil rights and civil liberties of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts drives our commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity, safety, and the well-being of all who live in and visit Massachusetts, including those who were targets during the Presidential campaign.

We pledge to use the power invested in us by the voters and our Constitution to pursue and protect policies consistent with the fundamental principles of our country. Our Constitution was based upon the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which states in Article I:

“All people are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties… Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin.”

The standing laws of the Commonwealth reflect our founding principles of liberty and equality, inclusion, and respect for diversity. As a Commonwealth, we maintain a deep commitment not just to ourselves and to our families, but to others. To those who feel threatened by recent events, be assured that our belief remains steadfast: everyone is entitled to the same rights and protections, and we will stand by your side to uphold the law.

As elected officials in Massachusetts, we are mindful of the long legacy of state and nation building from the earliest days with President John Adams to modern times with President John F. Kennedy. The actions we undertake here as a Commonwealth are consistent with our values. Our actions today may well resonate throughout our country as they have in the past. As President Kennedy said about our legislature when he spoke to a joint session on the eve of his inaugural in 1961:

“Its leaders have shaped our destiny long before the great republic was born. Its principles have guided our footsteps in times of crisis as well as in times of calm. Its democratic institutions – including this historic body – have served as beacon lights for other nations as well as our sister states. For what Pericles said to the Athenians has long been true of this Commonwealth: ‘We do not imitate—for we are a model to others.’”

We will continue to provide leadership and will strive to maintain our place in history as a beacon of light, keeping the fundamental principles upon which our Commonwealth was founded as vital and alive today and moving together into the future as they have ever been. We urge President-elect Trump, and all people of good will, to fulfill our country’s commitment to open-minded, compassionate, and fair government, and to respect and serve the diversity of all of humanity. That is who we are in Massachusetts, and who we are in all of America.

A Rising Tide of Economic Growth

With the coming withdrawal of a Trump administration from any help whatsoever to combat climate change, it's time for MA to play to its strengths -- global awareness and scientific ingenuity -- and show the way forward. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

In the children’s story The Emperor’s New Clothes¸ we are introduced to a monarch who parades around in the nude as if nothing is wrong. No one dares say anything, until one child voices the obvious. As The King Tide made a return to flood Boston’s waterfront this week, it is a reminder that we cannot afford to be silent. We must be the child and voice the obvious: climate change is real, and presents a serious threat to Boston’s future. And with that threat, comes opportunity.

The King Tide is just one symptom of the impact of climate change on our city. When it came to Boston Harbor in October the tides were predicted to be 12.2 to 12.3 feet high. They ended up being about 12.8 feet high. A report released earlier this year by The Boston Research Advisory Group details the perils we face if we do not move quickly to address the dangers brought on by climate change. By 2050, The King Tide could be our normal tide and in the worst-case scenario, sea levels could rise more than 10 feet by the end of the century. This would be more than enough to submerge Downtown Boston. The report goes on to details threats beyond the tide, pointing out that in the past century, temperatures in the Northeast have risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a potential to increase over 10 degrees in the next century. By 2070 we could exceed 90 degrees for 90 days a year, as opposed to the average of 11 days a year we have now.

That’s the threat. Here’s the opportunity: the Massachusetts economy stands to reap significant rewards from tackling the challenges of climate change. By harnessing the power of our world-renowned innovation community, we have already begun to benefit. The clean energy sector here in the Commonwealth is already responsible for creating over 98,000 jobs, 6,400 companies, and $11billion in investments. With further investments in solar, wind, hydroelectricity, energy storage, and energy efficiency, we can help reduce our carbon emissions while simultaneously creating jobs and growing our economy. Those benefits are on top of money saved from lower costs on energy, and reducing the financial risks of climate-related natural disasters.

The King Tide is here to tell us that the Emperor has no clothes. This summer’s drought, superstorm Sandy, and the many other extreme events we have seen in recent years are all delivering the same message. The impacts of climate change are too severe for us to continue to pretend we are not seeing the obvious. Meanwhile, the chance to further the game-changing, innovative, and ambitious work in the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector is what we should be striving for. Let’s be the child: call out climate change, and reap the benefits of action.

Sebastian Zapata

Program Director

The Alliance for Business Leadership

Theda Skocpol calls out Bernie Sanders

She’s right, of course: Bernie, while admirable in many ways, couldn’t even win a majority of Democrats.

To the Editor:

Frankly, Bernie Sanders’ told-you-so message is graceless. It adopts his lone-wolf moralistic tone to suggest that he would have beaten Donald Trump. Mr. Sanders did not attract broad working-class support in the primaries: His base was overwhelmingly restricted to white liberals, especially in the cities and college towns.

Mr. Sanders’ refusal to concede in a timely way as Hillary Clinton won many millions more votes and his constant harping that she was “corrupt” furthered Mr. Trump’s message and contributed to the con man’s catastrophic victory. Mr. Sanders has much to apologize for and nothing to justify dumping on others.

He would make a terrible new major-domo for the Democratic Party.

THEDA SKOCPOL

Cambridge, Mass.

The writer is a professor of government and sociology at Harvard.

Deval Patrick's take on the election

Impressive as always. - promoted by Bob_Neer

No further comment from me – just copied and pasted from Facebook:

A message from former Governor Deval Patrick on the presidential election:

Dear Friends,

I spent election night in a hotel room at the Detroit airport, dozing fitfully and awaking on Wednesday morning to breathless reports of the outcome. I thought I was dreaming.

I’m still absorbing the result. My coping drifts between ignoring the news “analyses” to obsessing over them. Many of you have asked for my reflections and insights. The truth is I’m still trying to understand.

I am sad, disturbed, embarrassed — but not surprised. I have always believed that Candidate Trump was emphatically “on trend” – globally, where intolerance and bully style leadership are on the rise; nationally, where wealth worship is epidemic and reality TV has turned a lack of decorum into entertainment; and even in the Republican Party, where Trump just said out loud what they’ve been saying in code for years. The pearl clutching of establishment Republicans always seemed a little hollow to me. Notice how many of the Party’s leaders came home in the end.

Surprised or not, we lost the election. The question “why” has been the subject of lots of commentary by better-qualified observers than me. As odious as Trump’s behavior and many of his positions may be, he spoke to voters and not at them or over them. And he made many feel heard. Meanwhile we seem to be running against something rather than for something.

Like it or not, the Trump campaign must be credited for giving voice to the yearnings and anxiety of working people. Not just whites, though that seemed to be the target of his message. The displacement and frustration and voicelessness of working people in all corners of the country are real. If we care about those realties in the lives of our fellow citizens, we ought to be glad that someone stood up for them.

So why is that I am so uneasy?

It’s not just that the messenger was a pretender, with no record of empathy and no regard for truth. Insincerity in politics is not new.

It’s not just that white working class voters placed their confidence in a party whose policies have significantly contributed to their predicament, rather than the Democratic Party, which calls itself the champion of just such voters. That’s more than a bitter irony but a profound reminder to us of how important it is for Democrats to stand for what we say we believe.

The reason I’m uneasy is that the Trump campaign also unleashed something dark. At the same time it gave voice to the voiceless worker, the Trump campaign gave voice, without hesitation or apology, to contempt: the contempt of black and brown people, the contempt of immigrants, the contempt of Muslims, the contempt of women. He acknowledged real anxieties and shortcomings, and then blamed them on “the other.” If, as some say, he has been speaking what’s on the minds of many Americans, how I am supposed to separate empathy for justifiable economic grievances from condemnation of and resistance to hate?

The answer for me is as it has always been for me: community. Community gets built one person at a time. The challenge in building community, whether in public or private life, is to let others in, to try to listen for what you may not want to hear. Lord knows, I am still working on that in my own life. But I think the effort matters, and I don’t think it means leaving one’s conscience behind. I met lots of people in the decade I spent in politics who told me they agreed with little I said or did, but who supported us anyway. I think it was because we took the time to try to hear them, adjusted where warranted, still stood up for what we believed — and still tried to govern for the greater good. And we tried never to give up on kindness.

I want to believe that lots of people – not all but many – voted for the President-elect not because of what he said but in spite of it. I want to believe that a big part of Trump’s support came from people who heard him say “Make America Great Again” and did not think about a time when women stayed home and African-Americans were second-class citizens. I wonder if what they thought about was a time when they could do business with a handshake; when they knew they could graduate from high school and find a good-paying job, buy a house and support a family in the town where they grew up; when they could walk outside and talk with and count on their neighbors; when we turned to each other and not on each other. These are the people who deserve the special attention and respect of government today. These are the people we tried to hear and to serve, the ones without lobbyists and connections. We can’t give up on them now just because their perceived champion was coarse and boorish.

I am not willing to declare myself in opposition to everything the Trump administration does before he even takes office. It was repugnant and unpatriotic for Mitch McConnell to do that to President-elect Obama, especially in an hour of national crisis, and I will not repeat the transgression. I will, as the kids say, “stay woke.” I will remain vigilant and informed. And I will listen, the way Louis Pasteur admonished the educated person always to listen, without losing my temper or my self-confidence.

If you’re uneasy like me, use it as fuel. Use it to involve yourself in local service, like our Project 351. Use it to speak (publicly and privately) and write on issues of economic and social justice, and how the fundamentally American values of equality, freedom, opportunity and fair play should inform what our policy choices should be and how we implement them. Use it to organize locally for local and state races, and to take the United States Senate and even the House in 2018. Use it to run for something yourself. Use it to remind yourself to stay in touch with what you know to be right, instead of what’s expedient or clever or conventional. Use it to stay connected to each other and to build community.

Keep the faith, friends. America remains a work in progress. It’s up to us, in the ways we can, to do the work.

Be well,

DLP

Let the Gubernatorial Race Begin!

Speculate away! - promoted by david

Two items on this front today from PoliticoMA:

Setti Warren, fresh off an announcement that he will not seek re-election as Newton’s Mayor has hired former MDP Chair John Walsh as a consultant.  Other names are mentioned at the end of the article.

Also, there is a link to a Globe article about an effort to draft John Kerry, who did serve as Lt. Governor 30+ years ago.

Candidates may start appearing as early as the 2017 caucuses, though that didn’t seem to help Joe Avellone.

Warren nails her theses to the Dems' church door

A powerful discussion. - promoted by Bob_Neer

We can insist all we want that Donald Trump won due to voter suppression and because he opened the floodgates of racism and misogyny. But the obsessive focus on those arguments puts us in danger of missing the real lesson to Democrats from the election.

Elizabeth Warren nailed it yesterday. The Democrats have offered no substantive alternatives to the Republicans on issue after issue, from globalization to health care. Even Obamacare was not “transformative.” We bailed out the banks, not homeowners in the financial crisis, and no one pushed to prosecute the Wall Street brokers who caused the crisis.

Most importantly, the Dems did nothing to save the vanishing middle class and offered little to induce minority voters to oppose Trump and vote for Clinton.  IMHO, contempt for the average citizen has become a hallmark of governance in both political parties, and it exists just as much in state government here in Massachusetts as it does in Washington.

I hope Warren keeps hammering this message home. It’s time to stop whining about Trump and start rethinking the role and purpose of government in America.

Government is not there to protect those with the most power and wealth, but to help those who are on the outside. It’s not there to enrich the professional classes who live off taxpayer money and then take it upon themselves to decide what is in everybody else’s best interest. (Btw, interesting article in the Harvard Business Revew of all places about the professional class hatred among Trump supporters.)

Whether it is a global trade deal that ships American jobs overseas, or a decision by a state legislator not to stand up for a constituent who has a grievance with the executive branch, government has lost sight of its real purpose.