The Real Swamp Report No. 4: Gillum Dominates the First Debate
BRYAN ADELINE FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Sunday night witnessed the first of two debates between Gillum and DeSantis. Taking place in Orlando, hosted by Jake Tapper on CNN, it was a tightly packed, fast-paced one hour joust that had both candidates coming out swinging hard at each other. The difference is that Gillum was cool and comfortable at his podium while it seemed most of the time that DeSantis might crush his own teeth at any moment from nervously grinding them so hard.
To Fight Moneyed Interests, Let's Use Ballot Initiatives to Write Our Own Laws
JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
If you despair that a mysterious plague of incurable political knuckleheadism has swept our country, turning previously progressive white working-class people into mindless Trump worshippers, check out "The Promise of a Progressive Populist Movement" (PeoplesAction.org/the-promise-of-a-progressive-populist-movement). This report is the work of People's Action, a multiracial, grassroots coalition. This year, its volunteers knocked on more than 5,000 doors, had nearly 2,500 phone conversations and visited scores of local events and churches in "Trump Country" — dozens of rural counties in 10 swing states including Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin that went for the yellow-haired corporatist in 2016. The door-knockers simply had open conversations asking folks in economically distressed rural communities what mattered to them politically. The most common initial response was, "No one's ever asked me before."
Teaching Nonviolence Brings Breath of Fresh Air in Afghanistan
DR HAKIM FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Grade 12th Afghan student Jamila Omary asked, "Do you have any plans to arm yourselves, because of the threats and dangers you have faced?" Iqbal Khyber answered, "No. Though it is easy to buy weapons today, arming ourselves will worsen the war. Weapons will make us less secure." What a breath of fresh air in the stench of war-as-usual!
Technologies Can Be Key in Helping to Reform Democracy
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DANIEL G. NEWMAN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
During the last few years, an explosion of new political technology projects has sought to help candidate campaigns. From micro-targeting and advanced analytics, to new strategies for canvassing and fundraising, technology is now “disrupting” politics – for better and for worse. For those of us seeking to reform our broken democracy, some of these new political technologies can be a powerful force for good, if used in the service of reform campaigns.
Campaigns focused on changes like reforming the role of money in politics, ending gerrymandering, and automatic voter registration can benefit from tapping into several key campaign tools now commonly available.
Democracy reform campaigns tend to share some common characteristics. First, they require a greater than average amount of explanation to voters. For example, redistricting reform, ranked choice voting and public funding of election campaigns all take more than a sound bite to explain.
The Confirmation of Kavanaugh Exemplifies Inequality in the US
T.D. DUFF FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." —John F. Kennedy.
We are living in a very important revolutionary moment. The disastrous lie of the economic and political experiment that cravenly attempted to construct human behavior around the diabolical dictates of global free trade has failed. The promised prosperity of trickle-down, supply-side economics has been exposed as a fraud. A minute global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth, while the illicitly-greased wheels of unfettered corporate capitalism plunders resources, exploits unorganized wage labor and creates easily-manipulated and corrupt governments that disregard the common good to serve only corporate profit.
No mechanism seems to exist to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault. We are left with the structures of power and the courts that have surrendered to corporate control. The citizen, as witnessed now by Christine Blasey Ford's brave testimony during the Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, has become irrelevant. We can participate in creatively choreographed elections, but the depraved demands of corporations and banks take precedence.
Big Brother on Steroids: China's All-Encompassing "Social Credit" System
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
What you are about to read is not taken from a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, an edge-of-your-seat Alfred Hitchcock mystery film, or the prescient warnings of George Orwell. The story about how the Chinese government is stage-managing the use of social media makes Orwell's Big Brother almost seem like a down-to-earth guy.
Groundbreaking Youth Climate Lawsuit Against US Government Can Proceed
LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
A federal judge on Monday rejected the Trump administration's last-ditch efforts to derail a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit brought by 21 youth plaintiffs, preserving the trial start date of Oct. 29 in Eugene, Oregon.
In a 62-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken denied yet another attempt from the federal government to throw out Juliana v. United States, which was first filed in 2015.
The judge largely rejected the government's arguments but granted the administration's motion to dismiss President Donald Trump as a defendant.
Power Cut to 60,000 in Northern California to Prevent Wildfires
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OLIVIA ROSANE OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Major California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) shut off power to 60,000 Northern California residents Sunday night in an attempt to reduce the risk of wildfires sparking from hot, dry windy weather, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday.
A total of 100,000 people were warned their power might be cut off due to wind speeds of 60 miles per hour and gusts of 70 miles per hour increasing the risk of electrical fires.
"The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is PG&E's top priority," PG&E's senior vice president of electric operations Pat Hogan told the Huffington Post. "We know how much our customers rely on electric service and only considered temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety, and as a last resort during extreme weather conditions."
The communities covered by the blackout were about 42,0000 customers in El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties in the Sierra Foothills and 17,483 customers in parts of Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties, CNN reported.
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives for War-Weary Voters
JEFF COHEN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Chants of "No More War" from delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention gave voice to sentiments that still resonate through the base of the party and the broad U.S. public, notably in communities with higher rates of military sacrifice. While Trump's 2016 victories in swing states may well have been aided by his posing as a foe of protracted war, his administration's Mideast policies have largely exposed that masquerade. Unfortunately, the weak and confused positions of Democratic leaders on endless war and bloated military spending offer little alternative to war-weary voters.
Undercover Cops Use Facebook to Track Political Protesters
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Here's another item that should shake you to your Facebook-questioning core: According to NBC News' John Schuppe, "Police officers around the country, in departments large and small, working for federal, state and local agencies, use undercover Facebook accounts to watch protesters, track gang members, lure child predators and snare thieves, according to court records, police trainers and officers themselves."