Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

The country’s two-tier economy that Merkel championed is creating more economic misery. When she leaves, will a “German Trump” be next?

How do you say, “dead woman walking” in German? Today, the answer to that question is “Angela Merkel” after the German leader announced that she would be seeking neither re-election as chancellor in 2021, nor re-election as head of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party later this year in December.

… But there’s another side to this story. However highly regarded, Chancellor Merkel has repeatedly led governments, coalition or otherwise, which championed the neoliberal dismantling of the country’s “social market economy,” especially in services. Her government also pushed and prodded the rest of the EU in a comparable direction. In Germany specifically, the end result has been the growth of a two-tiered economy, which has heightened economic insecurity, created declining living standards for much of the population, and exacerbated inequality. In other words, too little “social,” too much “market.”

Source: If Everything Is So ‘Wunderbar’ in Germany, Why Are the Voters So Unhappy?

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By Olivia Ward | March 13, 2017

She calls herself a humble scribbler, but when I read in a recent parody by Canadian journalist Olivia Ward about how Donald Trump reacted to allegations about “The Russian Connection” by ordering the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan to close …

…In a speech immediately ridiculed by Donald Trump, actress Meryl Streep told the Golden Globe audience, “we need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution.” Ironically, she called for supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, whose main mission, until now, has been campaigning for those in the dungeons and torture chambers of authoritarian regimes. “We’re gonna need them going forward,” she said, “and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”

But therein lies the nut graph, as editors like to call the crucial piece of the story. Because safeguarding the truth has never in living memory been more difficult in the democratic world…

Continue reading: Truth, Lies and Democracy: Journalism in the Age of Trump – BillMoyers.com

Yes, I made excuses. Why am I so willing to give the benefit of the doubt? It is because I know how critical it is to keep hope alive. I do not want to feed the bad wolf. Citizen engagement and faith in the system are essential ingredients for our survival. We cannot risk feeding cynicism.

Source: Trudeau Broke His Promises But Don’t Let Him Break Our Faith | Elizabeth May

“When Blankfein says that criticizing those who break the rules is dangerous to the economy, then he’s just repeating another variation of ‘too big to fail,’ ‘too big to jail,’ ‘too big even to prosecute,’” she said. “That tells you here we are, seven years after the crisis and these guys still don’t get it. Seven years. That crisis cost an estimated $14 trillion, it cost jobs, it cost homes, it cost retirement funds. And Lloyd Blankfein stands up and says ‘Don’t even criticize me, I ran a company that was right at the heart of some of the biggest financial frauds in history and made money off it, but don’t you dare criticize me.’ That’s his position? That’s why we need voters to get really engaged.”

Source: Election 2016: Elizabeth Warren Defends Bernie Sanders From Goldman Sachs Criticism

Justice Anthony Kennedy masterminded the Supreme Court’s decision to undo a century of public-interest regulation of campaign expenditures.

Source: The Man Who Drowned Democracy With ‘Sewer Money’ | Alternet

Equating the Sanders and Trump campaigns is meant to obscure their real political differences and defend the neoliberal consensus.
by

Source: Sanders Is Not Trump | Jacobin

…and gun control, and reduced prison sentences, and public transportation, and Bernie Sanders.
Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
by Lauren McCauley, staff writer
"As the largest generation in our nation’s history, we have the power to be the most influential force in electing our next president and our voices deserve to be an integral part of the conversation this election," said Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote. (Photo: University of Minnesota)

“As the largest generation in our nation’s history, we have the power to be the most influential force in electing our next president and our voices deserve to be an integral part of the conversation this election,” said Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote. (Photo: University of Minnesota)

Young folks, arguably, have the most at stake in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and could potentially hold significant sway over who gets elected. Given that, a new USA TODAY/ Rock the Vote poll out Monday revealed what the so-called “Millennial Agenda” might look like.

People between ages 18 and 34 overwhelmingly (80 percent) favor a rapid transition to clean or renewable energy by 2030 and by a ratio of more than 2-1 say the government should invest in more public transportation.

When asked to rank their top issues, the combined votes for “climate change” and “energy” placed first and foremost along with economic concerns, including jobs, minimum wage, and paid leave.

“If we don’t have a place to live, then it doesn’t really make sense to worry about anything else,” said 34-year-old Scott McGeary of Seattle.

Millennials also widely (2-1) see police violence against Black people as problem and 76 percent want the government to require police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. More than two-thirds agree that prison sentences for people convicted of non-violent crimes should be reduced.

What’s more, 82 percent of millennials want background checks for all gun purchases.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 the millennial generation, now numbering 75.3 million, surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation.

Yet despite the enormous potential of this voting bloc, the survey found that only 60 percent are planning to vote in the November presidential election, while only 30 and 40 percent say they’re likely to vote in the respective Republican and Democratic primaries.

If they do find their way to the polls, the survey found that young people are responding to Bernie Sanders’ call for “political revolution” with 46 percent of millennial Democrats and independents backing the Vermont senator compared with 35 percent for his chief rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, with 26 percent support from millennial Republicans and independents, has the lead among young conservatives, but those numbers are lower than national polls of GOP voters.

The poll was released in conjunction with the launch of One Nation, a content and event series organized by USA TODAY and Rock the Vote to inform young voters and encourage voter registration for 2016. The survey is the first of four that will be conducted in the months leading up to the presidential election.

“As the largest generation in our nation’s history, we have the power to be the most influential force in electing our next president and our voices deserve to be an integral part of the conversation this election,” said Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote.

Source: The Future is Bright: Millennial Voters Resoundingly Support Climate Action | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community