|The intent with this page is to collect ideas (from a variety of writers and periodicals) on a progressive movement. (Where other writers and periodicals concentrate on individual issues, links to those sources—but not articles—may be provided.) Books (other than reviews) and other one-off documents are listed on the Resources page.
Many of these articles will contain links to previous, sometimes more elaborate discussions of the topics that may provide greater understanding.
The most recent articles are at the top. When an older article is added, it will be in reverse chronological order (lower down on this page) but temporarily marked "NEW!" so that you can spot it. In case an article might be removed from the original source, an "archived" copy may be saved on this website, with a link from this page.
[Below] "The answer is frighteningly simple: greed."
"Why child labor in America is skyrocketing." By Robert Reich, Nation of Change, May 19, 2023
[Below] MEDICARE: "Once corporations privatize every inch of the public provision of health care, we may never get Medicare back."
"How Medicare Advantage Could Kill Medicare." By Ady BarkanTwitter, The Nation, May 17, 2023
[Below] GEORGIA; K-12 EDUCATION: "Wordsmiths who set professional standards for public school educators are ready to cross words like 'diverse' out of teacher-speak and insert 'different.' It’s all in service of making Georgia's schoolchildren a bit less 'woke' or whatever. Other words that could be on the way out of classrooms include 'equity' and 'inclusiveness.' See the strike-through text yourself as the Georgia Professional Standards Commission considers changes to the rules for educator preparation. The DEI backlash continues three years after social justice protests over violent deaths of Black people drew the ire of conservative-Americans."
"Georgia K-12 panel could soon erase 'woke' words like 'diverse' from training rules." By Ross Williams, Georgia Recorder, April 28, 2023
[Below] GEORGIA; ABORTION: "Abortion rights activists notched a short-term victory Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to continue to allow access to the abortion drug mifepristone as a lawsuit over its approval continues, but Georgians on both sides of the issue expect the uncertain situation to continue to evolve....
"Abortion access in Georgia in uncertain state; Ga., Fla., D.C. courts weigh bans." By Ross Williams, Georgia Recorder, April 25, 2023
[Below] RURAL AREAS: "The Office of Budget and Management will release a new list of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties based on data from the 2020 Census, which is likely to toss formerly growing rural areas into metropolitan counties."
"Is Rural America Struggling? It Depends on How You Define ‘Rural’." By Sarah Melotte, The Daily Yonder, April 6, 2023
[Below] ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI); SOCIAL MEDIA; PROPAGANDA: Anyone who accepts as reality images of supposedly real public figures or controversial events posted on social media is probably being deceived. Unless there are responsible editors (as in major print and TV media) subject to the consequences of posting fake images, the images are increasingly likely to be fake (AI-generated). Authoritarians (and trolls and Trump-like figures in the USA) have a propaganda gold mine. This should be the death of "We're-not-responsible-for-what-our-users-post" social media companies—but in a world in thrall to the emotion of sensationalism, it's unlikely.
"How a tiny company with few rules is making fake images go mainstream." By Isaac Stanley-Becker and Drew Harwell, Washington Post, March 30, 2023
NEW![Below] "As lawmakers streamed out of the [Republican House] leadership office late last year, many emerged with mixed reactions to the meeting. But one common observation emerged: McCarthy had intentionally brought in representatives from each of the Republicans'’ five ideological caucuses, reminiscent of how 'the five families' in 'The Godfather' met to strategize in an effort to keep the peace.
"Meet 'the five families' that wield power in McCarthy's House majority." By Adrian Blanco, Marianna Sotomayor and Hannah Dormido, Washington Post, March 24, 2023
[Below] "Republicans now control most of the House seats in districts where the median income trails the national level of nearly $65,000 annually."
"How Working-Class White Voters Became the GOP’s Foundation." By Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic, March 24, 2023
[Below] "An interview with Michael Walzer on The Struggle for a Decent Politics[: On 'Liberal' as an Adjective]" (also here).
"Liberal Commitments." By Timothy Shenk, Dissent, March 21, 2023
[Below] "As he gears up his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump has released a series of videos outlining the policies and priorities he would bring to office. It’s a very Trumpian approach to the standard practice of candidates outlining their platforms; the video format both replaces complexity with duration and gives Trump a chance to adorn his bullet points with overheated rhetoric....
"Trump escalates his white-nationalist doomerism." Analysis by Philip Bump, Washington Post, March 17, 2023
[Below] SOCIAL SECURITY: This article is one opinion on how to secure Social Security for a longer term.
"Opinion: Social Security needs fixing. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be painful." By the Editorial Board, Washington Post, March 16, 2023
[Below] MESSAGING; REPUBLICANS: "Many of the declared and potential Republican hopefuls feature rhetoric focused on existential dangers and demonizing Democrats."
"Much of the 2024 GOP field focuses on dark, apocalyptic themes." By Ashley Parker, Washington Post, March 16, 2023
[Below] "WOKE": "The collective Republican brain has been so pickled by the 24-7 racist agitprop of Fox News and the MAGA media that everything is viewed through the prism of race. Just like everything looks like a nail to a hammer, everything is about race to a bigot.
"The GOP's Woke Capitalism BS Explained." By Dan Pfeiffer, The Message Box, March 16, 2023
NEW! [Below] SUPREME COURT: "With the decidedly conservative Supreme Court on the precipice of issuing another series of rulings, there is a distinct trend among the majority justices to rely upon a doctrine that has lurked in the shadows to tamp down on government programs that help the general public.
"Supreme Court conservatives using once-obscure doctrine to 'hamstring' government." By Tom Boggioni, RawStory, March 13, 2023
[Below] ABORTION; HEALTHCARE "The outcome of this case could have ramifications for access to medication abortion throughout the country, including in states where abortion is legal and protected. For the first time, the court is being asked to essentially overturn the approval of a drug, in this case one that has been safely used by more than 5.6 million people since it was approved in 2000 with a long record of safety and effectiveness...."
"Legal Challenges to the FDA Approval of Medication Abortion Pills." By Laurie Sobel, Alina Salganicoff, and Mabel Felix, KFF, March 13, 2023
[Below] DEMOCRACY: "It’s one of the most toxic and corrosive memes the GOP is pushing today, that’s now being used to minimize the importance of universal, free, and fair elections.
"Why Republicans are pushing one of their most toxic and corrosive memes." By Thom Hartmann, RawStory, March 13, 2023
[Below] STUDENT DEBT: "It starts with generational wealth."
"Sonia Sotomayor Just Nailed the Problem With the Student Debt Cancellation Challenge." By Hannah Levintova, Mother Jones, March 8, 2023[Below] IMMIGRATION: "Republicans have figured out how to have it both ways [on immigration]. They get cheap labor for their big business buddies, while stoking the hate and fear of their white racist base, claiming that Democrats are responsible for increasing numbers of undocumented or 'illegal' immigrants living and working in the United States.....
"But it’s not poor people coming here in search of safety or a better life who are impacting our labor markets (and, frankly, it’s a small impact): it’s the companies that hire them.
"And those same companies then fund Republican politicians who pushed under-the-radar social media ads at African Americans and blue-collar whites in 2016 and the last election saying that Democrats wanted Hispanic 'illegals' to come in to 'replace them' and take their jobs.
"America, it turns out, doesn’t have an 'illegal immigrant' problem: we have an 'illegal employer' problem.
"Which is why every single effort by Democrats to engage Republicans on 'comprehensive immigration reform' runs into a brick wall: the GOP wants things just as they are...."
"The GOP's grand con job." By Thom Hartmann, RawStory, March 2, 2023
[Below] MEDICARE ADVANTAGE; PRIVATIZATION: "The seven largest for-profit insurance companies in the U.S. have seen their combined revenues from taxpayer-backed programs grow 500% over the past decade."
"Report Shows Big Insurance Profiting Massively From Medicare Privatization." By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, February 28, 2023
[Below] ABORTION; COURTS; SUPREME COURT: "Anti-abortion groups orchestrated their legal challenge to wind up before far-right Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk."
"The Shadow Medical Community Behind the Attempt to Ban Medication Abortion." By Jordan Smith, The Intercept, February 28, 2023
NEW! [Below] RURAL AREAS: "From 'Flyover Country' to 'The Heartland,' public perceptions of rural America are based on political rhetoric rather than data."
"Rural America Isn’t What You Think." By Bryce Oates, barnraisingmedia.com, February 27, 2023
NEW! REPUBLICANS: [Below] "House Republicans are gearing up a new round of attacks on federal workers. And while some of the specific attacks are following in Donald Trump’s footsteps, the basic goal is a longstanding Republican one: break the government, so that you can attack the government as broken....
"The GOP goal of breaking the government is in motion again with House attacks on federal workers." By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, February 27, 2023
NEW! [Below] "Texts prove Fox hosts knowingly lied about the 2020 election — here's why they won't lose viewers."
"Fox News texts reveal the truth: The Big Lie was a con — that the viewers were in on." By Amanda Marcotte, Salon, February 21, 2023
NEW! [Below] "The bait of school vouchers—and the switch to strangling public education."
"Robbing From the Poor to Educate the Rich." By Jack Schneider and Jennifer C. Berkshire, The Nation, February 13, 2023
NEW! [Below] VOTER SUPPRESSION: "While Democrats celebrate an averted crisis, the GOP campaign to quell and marginalize Black voters has only continued."
"It’s No Coincidence That the Midterms Turned the Blackest Parts of America Red." By Clarence Lusane, The Nation, February 7, 2023
[Below] "...[T]his time Republicans aren’t making coherent demands. It’s completely unclear what, if anything, they want in exchange for not blowing up the economy. At this point they’re blackmailers without a cause....
Opinion: "Republicans and Debt: Blackmailers Without a Cause." By Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 2, 2023
[Below] MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: "In an effort to crack down on the misleading practices of Medicare Advantage providers, Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan, Ro Khanna, and Jan Schakowsky reintroduced legislation Tuesday that would ban private insurers from using the 'Medicare' label in the names of their health plans.
"'End the scam': Democrats unveil bill to change name of 'Medicare Advantage.'" By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, February 1, 2023
NEW! [Below] RACISM; ANTI-BLACK BIAS: "The Conversation asked Rashad Shabazz, a geographer and scholar of African American studies at Arizona State University, to explore the societal conditions in which Black police officers could brutalize another Black man." (Tyre Nichols case)
"Black police officers aren’t colorblind – they’re infected by the same anti-Black bias as American society and police in general." By Rashad Shabazz, The Conversation, January 30, 2023
[Below] "Kelcy Warren, a Texas billionaire whose fortune derives from gas and propane pipelines, is suing former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke for defamation, because O'Rourke publicly criticized a million dollar donation Warren made to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, in 2021....
"Billionaire's Lawsuit Against O'Rourke May Stifle Criticism of Money in Politics." By Andy Lee Roth & Steve Macek, Truthout, January 28, 2023[Below] MESSAGING; HISPANIC VOTERS; MEDIA, RADIO: "...But the Hispanic vote is up for grabs: they represent the second largest and fastest growing demographic group in the country at 13.3 percent of the 2020 electorate (Blacks were 12.5 percent, whites 66.7 percent) and, as conservative Spanish-language radio proliferates, they’re shifting to the right....
"Now, wealthy partisans aligned with the GOP are going for that Hispanic vote in a big, big way. They intend to use the same tools that have turned state after state reliably red since the 1980s: radio and television....
"Red states are red in large part because their media infrastructure is exclusively Republican-friendly. There’s not a single progressive radio or TV station of consequence in any red state in America....
"Which brings us to the ceiling that’s about to fall in on Democratic candidates.
"Natalie Allison is reporting for Politico that a new Spanish-language radio network is both going nationwide and expanding into television, expecting to be the Spanish version of Fox News in time for the 2024 election...."
Opinion: "A media ceiling is about to fall in on Democrats." By Thom Hartmann, RawStory, January 26, 2023
[Below] SOCIAL SECURITY: ""The Republicans are so committed to cutting Social Security and Medicare that they are willing to crash the economy."
"The GOP Grabs the Third Rail(s) of American Politics." By Dan Pfeiffer, Message Box, January 26, 2023
NEW! [Below] RELIGION IN POLITICS; CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM: "How an extreme transformation in American religion poses an existential threat to our democracy."
"The Rise of Spirit Warriors on the Christian Right." By Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, January 23, 2023
[Below] "Not raising the debt limit would guarantee a recession."
"The debt limit is the world’s highest-stakes horoscope." By Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute, January 23, 2023
[Below] LABOR; UNIONS: "Black women nearing retirement age who work in the fast food and home care industries have helped pave the way for the Union of Southern Service Workers."
"Black Women Spearhead a New Southern Union." By Tina Vasquez, Truthdig, January 19, 2023
[Below] VOTE SUPPRESSION: "Why are America’s plutocrats funding efforts to weaken our democracy and replace it with plutocracy and oligarchy? Is it just about money? Or is there something much deeper that most Americans rarely even consider?
"New report details why wealthy people really oppose democracy." Thom Hartmann, AlterNet, January 19, 2023
[Below] "Social Security payroll taxes are not collected on earnings over a set cap. In 2021, this cap was $142,800, so workers making more than this enjoyed the benefit of zero Social Security taxes on all earnings in excess of this cap.
"A record share of earnings was not subject to Social Security taxes in 2021." By Josh Bivens and Elise Gould, Economic Policy Institute, January 17, 2023
[Below] LABOR; UNIONS; SUPREME COURT: "Conservative corporate lobbying groups are leaning on the government’s most minoritarian branch to deal a massive blow to the working class."
"Corporations Are Pushing The Supreme Court To Crush Unions." By Julia Rock, The Lever, January 16, 2023
[Below] "...publishing a new strategic guide this week: A Practical Guide to Defeating MAGA (PDF). Democracy reform and any good, substantive legislation is off the table for [2023-2024] -- the MAGAs in the House will veto it. But we have the presidency. We have the senate. And we have a historically weak opposition. We’ve got opportunities, and we have a pathway to more."
"A Practical Guide to Defeating MAGA." By Indivisible, January 8, 2023
[Below] POWELL MEMO; CORPORATIONS: "Powell’s memo argued that the American economic system was 'under broad attack' from consumer, labor, and environmental groups."
"How the corporate takeover of American politics began." By Robert Reich, Nation of Change, December 16, 2022
[Below] GEORGIA ELECTON 2022: "A one-million-vote nose-dive in turnout was well-concealed by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp to cover up the effects of 'Jim Crow 2.O' at the launch of his presidential campaign."
"Record Turnout in Georgia?? MY A**!" By Greg Palast for Truthdig, December 14, 2022
[Below] EDUCATION; SCHOOL BOARDS: "The far right built an elaborate new infrastructure for attacking public education in the run-up to the midterms."
"The Right Has Expanded Its Dark Money Strategy for Dominating School Boards." By Alyssa Bowen, Truthout, December 9, 2022
[Below] "It should alarm Democrats that these midterm contenders delivered big wins for the GOP, all without moderating their MAGA identity."
"How Right-Wing Candidates of Color Delivered the House to Republicans." By Daniel Martinez HoSang, Joe Lowndes; The New Republic, December 9, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "Earlier today, SCOTUS held oral argument in Moore v. Harper, the case about the independent state legislature theory."
"Headed Toward a Middle Ground? Today’s Argument in Moore v. Harper." By Marc Elias, Democracy Docket, December 7, 2022
[Below] FASCISM: "A century of attempts to define and whitewash Fascism."
"What Is Fascism?" By Ruth Ben-Ghiat, lucid.substack.com, December 7, 2022
NEW! [Below] DEMOCRACY: "Fixing gerrymandering isn’t enough to build an equitable, multiracial society. We need dialogue."
"Representative Democracy Got Us Into This Mess. Participatory Democracy Can Get Us Out." By Celina Su, The New Republic, December 5, 2022
NEW! [Below] RURAL AREAS: "The Rural Urban Bridge Initiative invites liberals and progressives to think differently, talk differently and act differently in order to understand the causes of the rural-urban divide and then do something to repair it. We develop political, economic and communications strategies that build bridges and serve the common interests of working and middle class Americans."
"Can Democrats Succeed in Rural America?" Rural Urban Bridge Initiative, November 2022
[Below] MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: "Insurance giants are exploiting Medicare Advantage—a corporate-managed program that threatens to result in the complete privatization of traditional Medicare—to capture billions of dollars in extra profits, Saturday reporting by The New York Times confirmed.
"'Straight up fraud': Data confirms private insurers are stealing billions." By Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams, October 10, 2022
[Below] REPUBLICANS: "Hershel Walker’s abortion hypocrisy is a hot mess, but that’s only the smallest part of the story: the GOP actually has a template for what they’re attempting to pull off in the election this fall and 'morality' has nothing to do with it.
"Everything else is just a show: The only two things the GOP fights for." By Thom Hartmann, RawStory, October 7, 2022
NEW! CRIME: [Below] "Over the past two years, violent crime across the United States plunged to its lowest level in decades. The Justice Department said so on September 20. Bet you hadn’t heard that....
"Conservatives are lying about crime." Idealog, Public Leadership Institute, October 5, 2022
[Below] PRICE OF OIL: "The Biden administration and Congress faced new pressure Wednesday to reinstate a ban on U.S. gasoline exports after the Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to slash oil production by two million barrels a day to boost prices, a move that drew outrage from the White House and some congressional Democrats....
"US Should Respond to OPEC by Reinstating Oil Export Ban, Says Green Group." By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, October 5, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING; POLLING: "Our polling suggests winning themes."
"Will Democratic Leaders Get Their Message Right?" By Stanley B. Greenberg, The American Prospect, September 30, 2022
NEW! [Below] "Billionaires are not made by rugged individuals. They're made by policy failures. And a system that rewards wealth over work."
"The truth behind 'self-made' billionaires." By Robert Reich, Naton of Change, September 27, 2022
[Below] RURAL AREAS; EDUCATION: "The Republican Party has won rural America by fanning the flames of the culture war. But by taking a match to public schools, it may have finally gone too far."
"It Isn't Populist to Defund Rural Schools." By Jennifer C. Berkshire and Jack Schneider, The Nation, September 20, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING; LANGUAGE: "Since it’s election season, you’re probably reading a ton of stories about Politician X appealing to Voting Bloc Y with Z-ish rhetoric. Journalists, political strategists and even politicians themselves deliver much of this information in a kind of code — terms and phrases that show up only in coverage of politics. Here’s a guide to the election-speak — and a plea to move on from it."
Opinion: "What we really mean when we say ‘woke,’ ‘elites’ and other politically fraught terms." By Perry Bacon Jr., Washington Post, September 19, 2022
[Below] IMMIGRATION: "If you watch GOP campaign ads or observe the recent antics of Republican governors, you might think nothing is more important to Republicans than overhauling U.S. immigration policy. This is their priority and their passion, so naturally they have a concrete plan that they will implement once they have the ability to do so.
Opinion: "Forget the cruel stunts. What should we actually do about immigration?" By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, September 19, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING: "Republicans have been running circles around Democrats for decades. But finally the right has handed them a potent weapon. Will they recognize it and use it?"
"Is This When Democrats Finally Learn How to Message?" By Michael Sokolove, The New Republic, September 15, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING: "A president who understood the power of memes was able to send thousands of people into battle against democracy itself."
"How Memes Led to an Insurrection." By Joan Donovan, Emily Dreyfuss, and Brian Friedberg; The Atlantic, September 13, 2022
[Below] MONEY IN POLITICS: "Right wing billionaires are spending limitless money to force their fringe political agendas on the rest of us."
"Leonard Leo's Dark Money Network Threatens Democracy." By Kyle Herrig, The Progressive, September 8, 2022
NEW! [Below] "...People have two lives: material and spiritual. Modern liberalism is ill-equipped to make people's lives spiritually better. But it can make people's lives materially better—with better wages and health care, less fear of financial crisis, better roads, a faster internet, and more. If liberalism can deliver those things, I believe it can cobble together an electoral coalition that can win most of the time. But we can't do it solely by citing statistics. We—more precisely, elected Democrats, because they're the ones who have the megaphone—can win by tying economic policies to the larger ideas that Americans care most deeply about: democracy and freedom....
"Economics, Democracy, and Freedom: It’s All One Argument." By Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, September 6, 2022
[Below] "President Biden took office faced with the enormous task of reversing the harmful antiworker policies implemented by President Trump. Over the last two years, the Biden administration has largely halted, withdrawn, or reversed the Trump administration’s procorporate, anti-worker agenda while simultaneously implementing policies that set higher standards for workers and their families.
Report: "President Biden's first 18 months: Assessing the Biden administration's record for workers." By Margaret Poydock, Ihna Mangundayao, Adewale A. Maye, Celine McNicholas, and Andrea Sanchez-Tercero; Economic Policy Institute, August 25, 2022
[Below] "The success of Reagan’s attacks on California public colleges inspired conservative politicians across the U.S....
"The Origin of Student Debt: Reagan Adviser Warned Free College Would Create a Dangerous 'Educated Proletariat.'" By Jon Schwarz, The Intercept, August 25, 2022
[Below] "The conservative campaign against education is many things. As a political matter, it’s about intensifying the culture war so moral panic drives Republican votes. As a policy matter, its long-term goals include dismantling public education. As a personal matter, it’s often motivated by fear that the American system of education is a threat to people’s children — that the wrong ideas, even ideas themselves, are impossibly dangerous.
Opinion: "Conservatives think education is a threat. They’re right." By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, August 25, 2022
[Below] "Long before the racist backlash, critical race theory was a useful tool — for explaining racist backlash."
Interview: "Beyond the right-wing panic: Why 'critical race theory' actually matters." By Paul Rosenberg, Salon, August 13, 2022
[Below] FAMILIES: "The federal government is pretty good at handling the unique problems of seniors. Why don't we do the same for parents and kids?"
"Raising Young Kids in America Has Become Hell, and the Government Should Finally Acknowledge That." By Cassandra Robertson, Tara McGuinness, Monée Fields-White, The New Republic, August 11, 2022
NEW! [Behind] LEGISLATION: "While the bill that just survived the Senate is a whittled-down version of the Build Back Better Act, it still puts the Democratic party on a promising new path."
"Yes, the Inflation Reduction Act Is a Big Effing Deal." By Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, August 8, 2022
[Below] WHITE NATIONALISM: "As a cultural anthropologist who has studied these movements for over a decade, I know that membership in these organizations is not limited to the attempted violent overthrow of the government and poses an ongoing threat, as seen in massacres carried out by young men radicalized by this movement.
"Fueled by virtually unrestricted social media access, white nationalism is on the rise and attracting violent young white men." By Sophie Bjork-James, The Conversation, August 2, 2022
[Below] CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: "Right-wing groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Convention of States have been ramping up their campaigns in recent years to force the first constitutional convention since 1787 as a way to sidestep Congress and radically rewrite the Constitution, often using populist rhetoric about the need for people to take back control from big government and politicians, according to a new exposé by Insider.
"Voters Have No Role to Play in the Right’s Vision of a Constitutional Convention." By ExposedByCMD Editors, The Center for Media and Democracy, July 31st, 2022
[Below] POLLING: "Almost half of U.S. adults (46%) say the federal government does too little to address issues affecting parents, while a slim majority (54%) say the government does too little to address issues facing children. Asked what more the government should do to support parents and children, Americans frequently mention forms of social or direct financial support, though Democrats and Republicans often offer different suggestions."
"Partisans tend to cite different ideas for what more the government should do for parents and children." By Gabriel Borelli and Amina Dunn, Pew Research Center, July 29, 2022
[Below] "Groundwork is a new political advocacy organization focused on something a little different. Our mission is to invest in hyperlocal community organizing in regions of the country that Democrats and progressives tend to overlook. We focus on the Deep South, the Plains and Appalachia, and our current state portfolio includes Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia — with big plans to expand in the years ahead."
"The Real Battlegrounds." By Joe Kennedy III, Democracy Docket, July 29, 2022
NEW! [Below] On Thursday, July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on House Administration held a hearing about the fringe independent state legislature (ISL) theory that could upend American elections. The U.S. Supreme Court will review this theory during the upcoming term when it decides the North Carolina redistricting case Moore v. Harper. The witnesses were unanimous in their testimony that the theory has no basis in the U.S. Constitution or U.S. history and is dangerous for our democracy.
"What Happened in the U.S. House Committee Hearing on the Independent State Legislature Theory." Democracy Docket, July 28, 2022
NEW! [Below] SUPREME COURT: The "independent state legislature" theory "underpins a major legal strategy in Trump's attempted coup: the argument that state legislatures can substitute their own judgment of who should be president in place of the person chosen by a majority of voters....
"The most dangerous upcoming Supreme Court decision you never heard of." By Robert Reich, July 25, 2022
NEW! [Below] Here is the new ERA Resolution from the national NOW conference on July 22-24, 2022, written by a NOW President and lawyer, that was adopted. Additionally, the Resolution addresses the Roe v Wade decision and acknowledges the vote roadblock of the filibuster.
"National Organization for Women Equal Rights Amendment Resolution." July 24, 2022
NEW! [Below] "Former President Trump’s top allies are preparing to radically reshape the federal government if he is re-elected, purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his 'America First' ideology, people involved in the discussions tell Axios.
"A radical plan for Trump's second term." By Jonathan Swan, axios.com, July 22, 2022
[Below] MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION: "As The Lever reported in April, President Joe Biden’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded a Medicare privatization scheme launched under former President Donald Trump. That program, which is currently referred to as ACO REACH, involuntarily assigns Medicare patients to private health plans operated by for-profit companies, like One Medical subsidiary Iora Health.
"Amazon Joins The Medicare Privatization Spree." By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Lever, July 22, 2022
[Below] "'As the century draws to a close, both major villains have perished, fascism with a bang, communism with a whimper,' the eminent historian (and one-time White House adviser) Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., wrote in Foreign Affairs in 1997. But the democratic world's 'triumphalism' obscured the precarity of its victory. 'Democracy has survived . . . by the skin of its teeth,' Schlesinger warned. 'It will not enjoy a free ride through the century to come.'
"Has Democracy a Future?" By Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997, re-published July 9, 2022
[Below] ABORTION; HISTORY: "As a medical procedure, abortion was widespread in Colonial and 18th-century America. By using more or less safe techniques, midwives and medical practitioners performed many types of operations on their patients. The woman could easily die, of course; but when she sought an abortion, no social, legal or religious force would have blocked her.
"Abortion decision cherry-picks history – when the US Constitution was ratified, women had much more autonomy over abortion decisions than during 19th century." By Maurizio Valsania, The Conversation, July 6, 2022
[Below] YOUNG VOTERS; ABORTION: "New polling suggests that the Supreme Court's recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade has the potential to drive a pro-choice majority to the polls, perhaps saving both houses of Congress for the Democrats and defying the normal loss of seats in a midterm, even in the face of Joe Biden's erosion of support, which has been especially among younger voters. This makes some sense in term of Teen Vogue's 'Mid-Term Vibe Check,' conducted by Change Research, which showed that younger voters trusted Democrats over Republicans on abortion rights by a 31-point margin (52% to 21%), and also found 73% support for protecting abortion rights. Higher turnout among these voters could very well make the difference in November."
"Younger voters agree with Democrats — but don't trust them. Here's how to fix that." By Paul Rosenberg, Salon, July 2, 2022
NEW! [Below] SUPREME COURT: "This dubious legal theory could have dramatic consequences for elections."
"The 'Independent State Legislature Theory,' Explained."By Ethan Herenstein and Thomas Wolf, Brennan Center for Justice, Last Updated June 30, 2022
NEW! ABORTION: [Below] "Some advocacy groups and their allies are crafting legislative language that could be adopted in Republican-led state capitals."
"Antiabortion lawmakers want to block patients from crossing state lines." By Caroline Kitchener and Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, Updated June 30, 2022
[Below] "As Georgia’s six-week abortion ban moves toward possible implementation later this month, listen out for Democratic arguments that the Georgia Constitution still has privacy protections that would protect abortion access for women, even if the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not."
"Opinion: Heed Georgia Constitution on abortion." By Anthony Michael Kreis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 30, 2022
NEW! [Below] SUPREME COURT: "Alito's opinion completely elides the significance of the 14th Amendment, which was explicitly designed to address the particular horrors of slavery, including the right of individuals to determine whether, with whom, and when to form a family."
"In Overturning Roe, Radical Supreme Court Declares War on the 14th Amendment." By Jordan Smith, The Intercept, June 24 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "The Court's originalist justification for striking down a New York gun law is more than capricious—it relies on a fundamentally anti-democratic historical record that deliberately excludes women and people of color."
"The Supreme Court's Selective Memory." By Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, June 24, 2022
[Below] "In striking down the New York law, Justice Clarence Thomas’s six-justice majority purported to rely on history, albeit a very selective reading of history. The opinion rather frenetically plucks examples out of the often contradictory morass of history to make its point, all while claiming to be simply relying on the original public meaning of the amendment....
Opinion: "The most dangerous gun ruling in history, at the worst possible time." By Michael Waldman, Washington Post, June 23, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "The Supreme Court’s 6-to-3 decision striking down New York’s licensing requirements for handguns is not nearly as broad as some are characterizing it. But the convoluted reasoning behind the ruling is perhaps more dishonest than even the court’s worst critics imagine.
Opinion: "The Supreme Court's gun ruling is bad, but not for the reasons you might think." By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, June 23, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "A secret donor network helped create the high court’s conservative supermajority and toxic caseload — and we’re about to witness the devastating results."
"Dark Money Went In, Supreme Court Rulings Are Coming Out." By Andrew Perez & Aditi Ramaswami, The Lever, Jun 23, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING: "...alternating issues make driving a coherent narrative impossible – particularly in an information environment defined by an overabundance of content and a scarcity of attention. This all presents quite the paradox: if Democrats talk about everything, voters will likely hear nothing; but if we don’t talk about everything, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable and letting the Republicans off the hook.
"A Unified Dem Narrative for 2022." By Dan Pfeiffer, Message Box, June 21, 2022
NEW! [Below] "Progressive policies that help the working class are wildly popular with voters. Why are we letting Republicans and corporate Democrats dictate our agenda?"
"Democrats risk a crushing defeat this year. They must change course now." By Bernie Sanders, The Guardian, June 16, 2022
[Below] "One of the most thoughtful analyses of the role that narratives play specifically in Democratic political strategy, however, appears in Dr. Drew Westen's influential book The Political Brain. As Westen noted:
"...the basic extremist narrative is actually undergirded by three profoundly important subsidiary narratives that are nested within the larger narrative and which long pre-date the modern MAGA ideology. The central fact is that these subsidiary narratives are not inherently extremist and many working class people deeply identify with them while not accepting extremist views.
TDS Strategy Memo: "To Regain the Support of 'Culturally Traditional but Not Extremist' Working Class Voters Democrats Need to Understand the Compelling Political Narrative That Leads Them to Vote for the GOP." By Andrew Levison, The Democratic Strategist, June 16, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING:"When we talk about message framing, we’re aiming at a fairly narrow target because most Americans, both on the right and left, are not persuadable. Who is persuadable and what do they need to hear?
"Who’s persuadable in 2022?" Public Leadership Institute, June 15, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the counting of undated mail-in ballots in an undecided 2021 election for a Pennsylvania judgeship in a case that again revealed the tensions among the justices over voting rights....
"U.S. Supreme Court allows counting of undated mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania." By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters, June 9, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "What recourse do ordinary citizens have when federal agents violate their rights? After Wednesday, not much."
"The Supreme Court Keeps Chipping Away at Your Constitutional Rights." By Matt Ford, The New Republic, June 8, 2022
[Below] "It’s a question Dan Pfeiffer, the former Obama communications director and Pod Save America cohost, recalls getting many times. In his new book, Battling the Big Lie, Pfeiffer diagnoses the party’s messaging troubles—and calls for building a bigger megaphone."
"Why Do Democrats Suck at Messaging?" By Dan Pfeiffer, Vanity Fair, June 6, 2022
[Below] POLLING: "Black voters overwhelmingly support Democrats and still back Biden more than other groups. But that support has fallen, and fewer say the election matters than in 2020."
"Black voters' support for Biden has cooled, poll finds." By Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Scott Clement, Matthew Brown and Emily Guskin, Washington Post, June 4, 2022
[Below] I know, I know. The military calls the AR-15 by a different name, and the military version can select fully automatic. That is, if you hold the trigger down, it will keep firing until the clip is empty. The civilian version is semi-automatic so only fires as fast as you can keep pulling the trigger. The effect on live human bodies is the same.
"AR-15s Were Made to Explode Human Bodies. In Uvalde, the Bodies Belonged to Children." By Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, May 26 2022
[Below] GUNS: "Whenever there’s a mass shooting, conservatives mobilize all their powers of creativity to come up with explanations for gun violence that have nothing to do with guns themselves. Was it an inadequate mental health system? Schools with too many doors where a shooter could enter? Video games? Sugary drinks?
Opinion: "Conservatives' new scapegoat for mass shootings: 'Culture.'" By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, May 26, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT; GUNS: In 2008, conservatives led by Justice Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court rewrote the stated meaning of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to suit gun-lobby arguments.
"The Right-Wing Lie That’s Killing Our Children." By Jay Michaelson, Rolling Stone, May 24, 2022
[Below] ABORTION; SUPREME COURT: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still remembers the shock he felt when Donald Trump won the 2016 election. He also recalls what happened next.
"A 49-year crusade: Inside the movement to overturn Roe v. Wade." By Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Caroline Kitchener and Rachel Roubein, Washington Post, May 7, 2022
NEW! [Below] MESSAGING: "Here are two questions that Senate and House Democratic campaign committees should demand — through well-financed national and state ad campaigns, on broadcast network, cable news channels and social media — that Republicans answer, yes or no:
"Democrats can win the 2022 midterms by asking Republicans to answer two questions." By Lanny J. Davis, The Hill, May 6, 2022
[Below] ABORTION: "It’s time to take a page from the conservative playbook and bring a torrent of lawsuits against every state that passes a forced-birth mandate."
"3 Test Cases Progressives Should Bring in a Post-Roe World." By Elie Mystal, The Nation, May 5, 2022
[Below] ABORTION: "There is no mention of the procedure in a four-thousand-word document crafted by fifty-five men in 1787. This seems to be a surprise to Samuel Alito."
"Of Course the Constitution Has Nothing to Say About Abortion." By Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, May 4, 2022
[Below] ABORTION: "This figure significantly understates the role that corporate America has played in ending constitutional protections for abortion rights. First, it only includes 13 corporations and, even for that group, does not include PAC contributions donated directly to anti-abortion politicians. It does not include money donated to the NRSC, RSLC, and RGA by corporate trade organizations. It also excludes corporate support for anti-abortion non-profits like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society because those contributions do not have to be disclosed.
"These 13 corporations have spent $15 million supporting anti-abortion politicians since 2016." By Judd Legum and Rebecca Crosby, Popular Information, May 4, 2022
NEW! [Below] "As the 2022 and 2024 elections approach Democrats have responded to their declining working class support by proposing variations on one or another of two strategies that they have advocated ever since the 1970’s – to either (1) emphatically focus on 'kitchen-table issues' and offer ever more ambitious progressive economic programs and policies or (2) jettison unpopular positions on social, cultural and racial issues and reposition the party more toward the 'center.'
A TDS Strategy Report: "The Culturally Traditional but Non-extremist Working Class Voters: Who They Are, How They Think and What Democrats Must Understand to Regain their Support." By Andrew Levison, The Democratic Strategist, May 2, 2022
[Below] "...Biden surprised us all by resolving to govern in the spirit of FDR. His program of public investments and social supports was the boldest since Roosevelt. Better yet, it delivered concrete benefits to the very people who had been deserting Democrats for decades. The benefits were direct and easy to grasp. Biden was able to use the annual budget reconciliation process, which cannot be filibustered in the Senate, to enact the March 2021 emergency legislation titled the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA), which passed...on straight party-line votes....
"The Fate of American Democracy Rests on Bold Progressive Choices." By Robert Kuttner, Literary Hub, April 28, 2022
[Below] ELECTORAL COUNT ACT OF 1887: "...After watching 2020 unfold, some elected officials and election experts fear the Electoral Count Act could be exploited in ways that might give Trump or someone else a victory in 2024, whether they win enough votes or not. No laws even need be broken....
"Lawmakers worry 2020 will provide a blueprint for stealing a future election." By Peter Nicholas, NBC News, from AOL.com News, April 17, 2022
[Below] TRUST; SOCIAL MEDIA (DAMAGE): "Historically, civilizations have relied on shared blood, gods, and enemies to counteract the tendency to split apart as they grow. But what is it that holds together large and diverse secular democracies such as the United States and India, or, for that matter, modern Britain and France?
"Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid." By Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, April 11, 2022
[Below] MESSAGING: "Progressive activists generally know how to talk to each other. That’s what we do every day! But the language and approaches we use with each other don’t work on persuadable Americans."
"Five most common mistakes in political persuasion." Public Leadership Institute, April 6, 2022
NEW! [Below] "The pantheon of autocratic leaders includes a great many sexists, from Napoléon Bonaparte, who decriminalized the murder of unfaithful wives, to Benito Mussolini, who claimed that women 'never created anything.' And while the twentieth century saw improvements in women's equality in most parts of the world, the twenty-first is demonstrating that misogyny and authoritarianism are not just common comorbidities but mutually reinforcing ills. Throughout the last century, women's movements won the right to vote for women; expanded women's access to reproductive health care, education, and economic opportunity; and began to enshrine gender equality in domestic and international law—victories that corresponded with unprecedented waves of democratization in the postwar period. Yet in recent years, authoritarian leaders have launched a simultaneous assault on women's rights and democracy that threatens to roll back decades of progress on both fronts.
"Revenge of the Patriarchs: Why Autocrats Fear Women." By Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2022
[Below] RURAL AREAS: "There is no one-size-fits-all economic development strategy for rural communities. How can local leaders—including governments, businesses, and individuals—put rural regions on track to thrive?"
"Rural rising: Economic development strategies for America's heartland." By Mike Kerlin, Neil O’Farrell, Rachel Riley, and Rachel Schaff, McKinsey & Company, March 30, 2022
NEW! [Below] MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION: "A new Medicare privatization scheme developed under President Donald Trump and now being expanded under President Joe Biden is forcing hundreds of thousands of seniors onto new private Medicare plans without their consent.
"Seniors' Medicare Benefits Are Being Privatized Without Consent." By Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Lever, March 24, 2022
[Below] EXECUTIVE ORDERS; PROGRESSIVE GROUPS: "WASHINGTON — Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released its agenda for executive action from the Biden administration as part of its ongoing effort to deliver on the President's agenda.
"Congressional Progressive Caucus Issues Executive Action Agenda for Biden Administration." Congressional Progressive Caucus, March 17, 2022
[Below] UKRAINE: "Foreign leaders have addressed Congress before, including Churchill and Nelson Mandela. But they have never done it virtually from a war zone.
"Zelensky’s address to Congress, annotated." By Zachary B. Wolf, Curt Merrill and Ji Min Lee, CNN, March 16, 2022
[Below] LANGUAGE; MESSAGING: This article, like one posted earlier, references and discusses George Orwell's Politics and the English Language, which is linked at the same location.
"Putin's brazen manipulation of language is a perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak." By Mark Satta, The Conversation, March 14, 2022
[Below] OIL INDUSTRY: "It was a double-whammy for two of then-President Donald Trump’s biggest patrons, Vladimir Putin and American fossil-fuel billionaires and their industry: the price of oil was too damn low.
"Exposed: The Trump, Putin and Saudi connection to high gas prices." By Thom Hartmann, Raw Story, March 12, 2022
NEW! [Below] "...An outline of exactly such a legislative agenda was introduced two weeks ago — by the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). The sweeping plan caused a kerfuffle for a couple of days, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) stepped in to disavow it, the coverage died down and the issue faded.
Opinion: "Yes, voters 'deserve to know' this GOP plan would raise taxes by $1 trillion." By Dana Milbank, Washington Post, March 11, 2022
[Below] OIL INDUSTRY: "The oil and gas industry won’t increase production because it’s enjoying the profits from high prices."
From the article:
"The U.S. Government Doesn't Control Domestic Oil Production. But It Should." By Amy Westervelt, The Intercept, March 11, 2022
[Below] POLLING: "It's become commonplace among observers of U.S. politics to decry partisan polarization in Congress. Indeed, a Pew Research Center analysis finds that, on average, Democrats and Republicans are farther apart ideologically today than at any time in the past 50 years.
"The polarization in today’s Congress has roots that go back decades." Pew Research Center, March 10, 2022
NEW! [Below] "...Whatever [the Republicans in Congress] do, they’ll have to show the base that they're sticking it to the libs and moving ahead with a conservative agenda.
Opinion: "Why the GOP agenda will grow even more extreme in the coming years." By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, March 8, 2022
[Below] "Even before the Ukraine war, Intelligence agencies have developed psychological profiles of Vladimir Putin. Is the Ukraine invasion a sign that the Russian President is mentally unwell, or is this just another case of a dictator holding onto power for far too long with a distorted view of history and reality?"
"The Intelligence Community's Assessment of Putin: Psychopath or Rational Leader?" By Yossi Melman, Haaretz (Israel), March 6, 2022
[Below] "Critics say the endorsements by the powerful lobby's new PAC endanger its declared bipartisanship and increase its association with the Republicans. AIPAC's reply: 'We are a single-issue organization focused on Israel.'"
"AIPAC's Endorsement List: Dozens of Republicans Who Deny Biden's Election Win." By Ben Samuels, Haaretz (Israel), March 6, 2022
[Below] FASCIST NETWORK?
"Rep. Paul Gosar's lengthy ties to White nationalists, pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years." By Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck, CNN, Updated March 6, 2022
NEW! [Below] "Historian Mary Elise Sarotte tells the inside story of the west's efforts to secure a post-cold-war settlement — and how Putin seized on missteps and Russian grievances to destroy it."
"Russia, Ukraine and the 30-year quest for a post-Soviet order." By Mary Elise Sarotte, Financial Times, February 25 2022
[Below] FINANCIAL SANCTIONS: "Corporate lobbyists thwarted measures that could strengthen sanctions against the Putin regime — and they were lobbying as the threat of war intensified."
"Biden's Ukraine Plans Face Wall Street Roadblock." By Julia Rock, David Sirota, The Daily Poster, February 24, 2022
[Below] POLLING: "More Americans say strengthening the economy should be a top policy priority for Biden and Congress to address this year than say the same about any other issue. Most U.S. adults (71%) identify this as a top concern, according to a Center survey conducted in January that asked about the importance of 18 policy priorities."
"Public's Top Priority for 2022: Strengthening the Nation's Economy." Pew Research Center, February 16, 2022
[Below] SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: "Saul Alinsky, the famed community organizer who wrote 'Rules for Radicals,' had a useful metaphor: For a revolution to be successful, he argued, it has to follow the three-act structure of a play. The first act establishes the characters and the plot, the second act sharpens the conflict, and in the third act, 'good and evil have their dramatic confrontation and resolution.' From women's suffrage to the midcentury civil rights struggle, movements mastered this narrative, leaving a permanent mark on society. But by the early 1970s, Alinsky had started to worry that overeager revolutionaries were jumping straight to that third act — a losing proposition.
"Radical Ideas Need Quiet Spaces." By Gal Beckerman, The New York Times, February 10, 2022
[Below] SUPREME COURT; RELIGION; CHURCH-STATE: "The newest Supreme Court Justice isn't just another conservative—she's the product of a Christian legal movement that is intent on remaking America."
From the article:
"Amy Coney Barrett's Long Game." By Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, February 7, 2022 (February 14 & 21, 2022 Issue)
[Below] EDUCATION; SCHOOL BOARDS: "As impassioned as people may be about issues like mask requirements, keeping schools open or confronting issues of race in the curriculum, running a school district is about much more than any one of those single issues. With that in mind, here are three actions that future school board candidates should be prepared to take."
"More than masks and critical race theory – 3 tasks you should be prepared to do before you run for school board." By Casey D. Cobb, The Conversation, January 18, 2022
[Below] LABOR; WAGES; WORKING CONDITIONS: "Pandemic supply chain disruptions are exacerbating a yearslong trucker shortage."
"Where have all the truck drivers gone?" By Jen Kirby, vox.com, January 2, 2022
[Below] "...Section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution:
"This 232-year-old power has never been used by Congress — but it could save the republic." By Thom Hartmann, Independent Media Institute, AlterNet, December 23, 2021
[Below] MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: "Benefytt Technologies has been shaking off lawsuits and regulators for years. It’s now peddling Medicare Advantage plans to seniors—where if someone picks a subpar plan, the results can be disastrous."
"The Troubled Insurance Sales Firm Behind Those Joe Namath Ads for Medicare Advantage." By Joanna Robin, The New Republic, December 13, 2021
[Below] "A federal judge ruled Thursday against motions to dismiss eight pending lawsuits against Georgia's new voting law.
"Judge denies attempts to dismiss lawsuits over Georgia voting law." By Mark Niesse, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 9, 2021
[Below] "After January 6, Peter Meijer thought he could help lead the Republican Party away from an abyss. Now he laughs at his own naïveté."
"What the GOP Does to Its Own Dissenters." By Tim Alberta, The Atlantic, December 7, 2021
[Below] "Georgia's 2021 municipal runoff elections saw dozens of progressives elected as new mayors, city council members and local officials in a wave that challenges the political narrative that only centrists can win in Southern battleground states, according to several organizers of voter outreach efforts....
"Progressives sweep 2021 municipal elections across Georgia." By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet, December 7, 2021
[Below] "A bipartisan panel of legal scholars examining possible changes to the Supreme Court voted unanimously Tuesday to submit to President Biden its final report, which describes public support for imposing term limits but 'profound disagreement' about adding justices....
"Biden's Supreme Court commission endorses final report noting bipartisan public support for term limits." By Ann E. Marimow, Washington Post, December 7, 2021
[Below] "January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election."
"Trump's Next Coup Has Already Begun." By Barton Gellman, The Atlantic, December 6, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "...All civil liberties are in danger. Roe’s death would signal a high court prepared to restore the power of states to discriminate against their residents, wrote historian Heather Cox Richardson. 'Make no mistake,' she said this week, 'it is not just reproductive rights that are under siege. If the Supreme Court returns power to the states to legislate as they wish, any right currently protected by the federal government is at risk....'
"The Supreme Court threatens to undermine the core of protection for American civil liberties." By John Stoehr, AlterNet, December 3, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "Do not mistake today’s lineup for a 3-3-3 court — three conservatives, three moderates, three liberals. There are three extremely conservative, extremely impatient justices — Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch — who would go to extraordinary lengths to undo some of the most entrenched constitutional doctrine....
"The Rule of Six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation." By Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, updated December 2, 2021
[Below] CONSERVATISM: "They hate the establishment. They want to destroy the system. Meet the illiberal upstarts trying to remake conservatism."
"The Radical Young Intellectuals Who Want to Take Over the American Right." By Sam Adler-Bell, The New Republic, December 2, 2021
[Below] "An emerging culture idolizes a twisted version of 'toughness' as the highest ideal and despises a false version of 'weakness' as the lowest vice."
"The New Right’s Strange and Dangerous Cult of Toughness." By David French, The Atlantic, December 1, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING: "Here are five economic messaging lessons learned the hard way from the Obama Era."
"Messaging Economic Progress to an Angry Public." By Dan Pfeiffer, Message Box, November 21, 2021
[Below] "But everything we thought we knew from the past said that while overheating the economy does lead to higher inflation, the effect is modest, at least in the short run.... And those rising wages aren’t the main driver of inflation; if they were, average wages wouldn’t be lagging consumer prices.
"Wonking out: Going beyond the inflation headlines." By Paul Krugman, New York Times, November 19, 2021
[Below] "One answer might be that expectations were so high that hopes were bound to be dashed."
"Why are Americans so unhappy with Joe Biden?" By Robert Reich, The Guardian, November 18, 2021
[Below] "We know that now, in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, the majority of Black residents live in the suburbs. Now the majority of immigrants live in the suburbs. Now the majority of Latinx and Asian Americans live there. But most news media, when they say 'suburban,' they mean 'white....'
"The suburbs are poorer and more diverse than we realize." By Jay Caspian Kang, New York Times, November 18, 2021
[Below] This is a detailed examination of the 2021 redistricting process and outcomes in Georgia. (Other states' results also are available on this website.)
Princeton Gerrymandering Project: Georgia (maps), November 17, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING; POLLING: "Partisan polarization remains the dominant, seemingly unalterable condition of American politics. Republicans and Democrats agree on very little – and when they do, it often is in the shared belief that they have little in common.
"Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology." Pew Research Center, November 9, 2021 (complete PDF report here, 125 pages, 169 with appendices)
[Below] "The bipartisan bill includes $550 billion in new investments in roads, bridges, broadband and more. It is widely expected to create a lot of jobs."
"What’s in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package." By Heather Long, Washington Post, November 5, 2021
[Below] "...Democrats ultimately worked out an arrangement that allowed for the adoption of the infrastructure bill in exchange for a pledge from moderates that they would hold a vote by November 15 [using the reconciliation process in the Senate], providing the spending plan does not add to the deficit, as Democrats have promised.
"Congress approves $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending measure to Biden for enactment." By Tony Romm, Marianna Sotomayor, and Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, November 5, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING: "Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin connected with parents, and Terry McAuliffe did not. This, not critical race theory, is what Democrats need to reflect on."
"Here’s How Democrats Need to Talk About Education." By Maya Wiley, The New Republic, November 5, 2021
[Below] "America’s unresolved racial identity crisis continues to define US politics."
"Lessons From Virginia: You Can’t Ignore the Civil War." By Steve Phillips, The Nation, November 3, 2021
[Below] "Democrats worried about 2022 don’t need a crystal ball to understand what needs to be done. Supermajorities of Americans are already shouting their preferences: They want as much of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda as possible—and a Democratic Party willing to stand behind his ambitious and necessary promises. The worst thing that could possibly happen, then, is for the party’s conservatives to read McAuliffe’s loss as a sign that Americans are turned off by the Democratic agenda....
"Dear Moderates: The Left Isn't Why McAuliffe Lost Virginia." By Max Burns, Daily Beast, November 3, 2021
[Below] "This should be a wake-up call for Democrats: Give people something to vote for or watch yourselves become the very thing they resoundingly vote against."
"Left Coalition Says McAuliffe Campaign Was a 'Controlled Experiment for What Not to Do in 2022.'" By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, November 3, 2021
[Below] "For those pushing for changes in society on race and other issues, words matter. They can also muddle."
"BIPOC or POC? Equity or Equality? The Debate Over Language on the Left." By Amy Harmon, New York Times, November 1, 2021
[Below] "We (the public, journalists and some lawmakers) have focused more on the cost of the package than its contents — even though our society is all but starved of supports that other first-world nations take for granted....
Opinion: "Debate over which Democratic proposals to invest in shortchanges our needs." By Helaine Olen, Washington Post, October 18, 2021
[Below] "Sen. Joe Manchin III is very worried about the cost of passing President Biden's agenda. But what about the cost of not passing it?
Opinion: "Joe Manchin's ugly new demands expose the absurdity of arbitrary centrism." By Greg Sargent, Washington Post, October 18, 2021
[Below] FASCISM: "Fascism only took power in a few countries, but in interwar Europe every country had fascist movements, denouncing liberal democracies and attacking communists and Jews. Understanding their allure is just as relevant today."
Opinion: "The 'Thrill' of Fascism: Explaining the Brutality, Hatred and Powerful Appeal of the Radical Right." By Roland Clark, Haaretz, October 18, 2021
[Below] "For the life of me, I can't see how it helps middle-of-the-road Democrats in swing districts to do less to help beleaguered households with child-care and elder-care costs, or less to expand health coverage and to beef up Medicare benefits, or less to contain the obvious and dangerous warming of our planet.
Opinion: "Our system is biased against reform. Get used to it, Democrats." By E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, October 17, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "Expectations were low when President Biden appointed an ideologically diverse commission to consider reforms to the Supreme Court. Inherent in a commission composed of legal scholars is the desire to reach consensus and to avoid worsening partisan rancor. Ideally, we would have gotten recommendations such as 'Justices should not go to partisan settings to deny they are hacks,' or 'Nominees should not accuse an entire party of a conspiracy to prevent his confirmation.'
Opinion: "Biden's Supreme Court commission has good ideas. But the court's problems run deeper." By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, October 17, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "The draft report, while long on critiques of court-packing, failed to address the root of the high court's predicament—the confirmation process itself."
"The White House Report on Supreme Court Reform Made a Glaring Omission." By Matt Ford, The New Republic, October 15, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT: "If he wants the public to see the Court as apolitical, he should try meeting that standard himself."
"By Attacking Me, Justice Alito Proved My Point." By Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, October 12, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING: "...two bigger, related problems for Democrats. What we say doesn’t matter much...because our voters aren’t hearing it.
"Popular-ism and the Democratic Messaging Deficit." By Dan Pfeiffer, Messagebox, October 12, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING: "What Shor gets wrong
"Shor is mainly wrong about racism (which is to say, about electoral politics)." By Ian Haney Lopez, October 11, 2021
[Below] "NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2021, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day."
"A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples' Day, 2021." The White House, October 8, 2021
[Below] "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has released a sweeping report detailing how former President Donald Trump and a former high-ranking lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
"'Stunning distortion of DOJ’s authority': Here are 6 key findings in Senate Judiciary's report on Trump election interference." By Meaghan Ellis, AlterNet, October 7, 2021
[Below] STUDENT LOANS: "Including the borrowers eligible for immediate forgiveness under these actions, the Biden-Harris Administration has now approved more than $11.5 billion in loan cancellation for over 580,000 borrowers."
"U.S. Department of Education Announces Transformational Changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, Will Put Over 550,000 Public Service Workers Closer to Loan Forgiveness." U.S. Department of Education, October 6, 2021
"In certain situations, you can have your federal student loans forgiven, canceled, or discharged. Learn more about the types of forgiveness and whether you qualify due to your job or other circumstances.
[Below] "Many discussions of hope veer toward the saccharine, and speak to a desire for catharsis. Even the most jaded observers of world affairs can find it difficult not to catch their breath at the moment of suspense, hoping for good to triumph over evil and deliver a happy ending. For some, discussions of hope are attached to notions of a radical political vision for the future, while for others hope is a political slogan used to motivate the masses. Some people uphold hope as a form of liberal faith in progress, while for others still hope expresses faith in God and life after death.
"When hope is a hindrance: For Hannah Arendt, hope is a dangerous barrier to courageous action. In dark times, the miracle that saves the world is to act." By Samantha Rose Hill, Aeon essays, October 4, 2021
[Below] The savvy journalist’s view of politics is based in part on the assumption that ideologues are problematic — they’re inflexible, they’re impractical, they care more about purity than that most noble of objectives, Getting Things Done.
Opinion: "What if everything we think about centrists and ideologues is wrong?" By Paul Waldman, Washington Post, October 1, 2021
[Below] "At a time when communities who have long been silenced in the U.S. are finding their voices and learning to see themselves, the language of identity has become an important part of the conversation around social justice. This debate over naming and identity and what to call oneself is, in many ways, a generational rite of passage on the path to gaining greater political power."
"Different names, unifying power: Hispanic, Latino, Latinx." By Fola Onifade, democracyincolor.com, September 30, 2021
[Below] "African American burial grounds and remains have exposed deep conflicts over inheritance and representation."
From the article:
"When Black History Is Unearthed, Who Gets to Speak for the Dead?" By Jill Leport, The New Yorker, September 27, 2021
[Below] LATINOS: "But the difficult reality is that major social movements and powerful political alliances between ethnic groups do not arise simply because progressives wish that they would. They emerge because the very distinct historical experiences of different ethnic groups convince them to set aside their differences and work together in unity....
"Democrats: Let's Face Reality—The Term 'People of Color' Doesn't Describe a Political Coalition That Actually Exists." By Andrew Levison, The Democratic Strategist, September 23, 2021
[Below] HEALTHCARE: "For Scott Atlas, as for Republican governors like Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, Tate Reeves, and Kay Ivey, the human cost of our shredded public health system is a feature, not a bug."
"Herd Immunity: Covid Deaths Devouring the South Are No Accident." By Gregg Gonsalves, The Nation, September 22, 2021
[Below] "'This is an area where the distinction between a religious and ethical objection and a political and policy objection will get really fuzzy really quickly, and that’s going to put employers in a very difficult position,' says Jamie Prenkert, professor of business law at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington.
"Vaccine mandates: How sincere is a 'sincerely held belief'?" By Harry Bruinius, Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 2021
[Below] GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE: "...a new landmark study in The Lancet Planetary Health, released on a pre-publication basis on September 14, is the largest and most international-in-scope to demonstrate the immense psychological toll the climate crisis is wreaking on young people across the world. It is also the first study to suggest a link between the complex feelings related to ecological and climate crises — such as despair, hurt and grief — to a sense of anger, confusion or abandonment regarding government action, or inaction, in the face of the climate emergency, which is swiftly worsening before young people’s eyes.
"Youth Climate Anxiety Is Skyrocketing — and Government Inaction Is to Blame." By Leanna First-Arai, Truthout, September 16, 2021
[Below] "We are hurting, in the throes of a global health pandemic, a recessionary economy, and ongoing police and policy violence, 140 million poor and low-income individuals have been called to sacrifice more than we can afford to give up. This fact sheet provides just a handful of indicators of how people are suffering from these crises in Georgia and across the nation.
"Georgia and the COVID-19 Pandemic" (impact on poor and low-income people), The Poor People's Campaign, September 15, 2021
[Below] "After considering the For the People Act this past summer, Senator Joe Manchin, along with other key Senate Democrats, used the August recess to draft a long-awaited revision of the landmark voting rights bill.
"My Thoughts on Manchin's Compromise Bill." By Marc Elias, Democracy Docket, September 14, 2021
[Below] FREEDOM: "...the freedoms of those who would refuse vaccines or decline to wear masks when exercised, in effect, impinge on the freedoms of others.
"Biden, mandates and the other freedom — from the coronavirus." By Aaron Blake, Washington Post, September 13, 2021
"Isaiah Berlin: Two Concepts of Liberty." 1969 (archived copy)
[Below] "Medicare Advantage is a massive, trillion-dollar rip-off, of the federal government and of taxpayers, and of many of the people buying the so-called Advantage plans.
"It's time to end the Medicare Advantage scam." By Thom Hartmann, Independent Media Institute, September 10, 2021
[Below] "In the case of labor rights, the PRO Act, which stands for Protecting the Right to Organize, narrowly passed the House on a party-line vote, but has no chance of gaining 60 votes in the Senate as freestanding legislation. However, the rule that Congress passed on August 24, authorizing Congress to proceed with a reconciliation measure that could spend up to $3.5 trillion, also explicitly authorized several pro-union provisions, using Congress’s power to tax, spend, or levy fines....
"Voting Rights and Labor Rights: The Two Sleepers in Budget Reconciliation." By Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect, September 10, 2021
[Below] "Attorney General Merrick Garland has the power, under federal civil rights laws, to go after any vigilantes who employ the Texas law to seek bounties from abortion providers or others who help women obtain abortions....
Opinion: "What the Justice Department Should Do to Stop the Texas Abortion Law." By Laurence H. Tribe, The Washington Post, September 6, 2021
NEW! [Below] GEORGIA; RURAL AREAS: This document is based on data from the 2020 and 2010 Censuses.
Rural Georgia in Focus, University of Georgia, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, September 1, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, SHADOW DOCKET: "...the shadow docket is 'where the justices hand down largely unsigned short opinions without going through standard hearings, deliberations, and transparency.' Traditionally, it's mostly upholding lower court orders or emergency petitions that aren't especially controversial. But this court, controlled by Chief Justice John Roberts, has started to use the shadow docket to issue far-right rulings under the radar, avoiding the press coverage that more traditional rulings get...."
"The Supreme Court's latest salvo exposes the trick John Roberts has played on the country." By Amanda Marcotte, Salon, September 1, 2021
[Below] ABORTION: "A recent friend-of-the-court filing in that case [expected to be argued this fall at the U.S. Supreme Court, known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] implicitly claims that biology – and therefore biologists – can tell when human life begins. The filing then goes on to claim explicitly that a vast majority of biologists agree on which particular point in fetal development actually marks the beginning of a human life.
"When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology." Sahotra Sarkar, The Conversation, September 1, 2021
[Below] PSYCHOLOGY: This article is an interview with the author of a document listed earlier on this page. That document goes into more detail (than the article immediately below) on why the spread of false information; statements containing false, illogical or unlikely representations; and statements containing blatant falsehoods are perceived to give a group purveying them an advantage in inter-group conflicts.
"A social scientist's terrifying new theory: Fake news and conspiracy theories as an evolutionary strategy." By Paul Rosenberg, Salon, August 8, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, INDEPENDENT STATE LEGISLATURE DOCTRINE: "But there has been a subtle shift in how Trump and his allies have talked about the supposed 'rigging' of the 2020 election in a way that will make such claims more appealing to the conservative judges and politicians that held the line last time around. Come 2024, crass and boorish unsubstantiated claims of stealing are likely to give way to arcane legal arguments about the awesome power of state legislatures to run elections as they see fit. ...[E]xpect white-shoe lawyers with Federalist Society bona fides to argue next time about application of the 'independent state legislature' doctrine in an attempt to turn any Republican presidential defeat into victory....
"Trump Is Planning a Much More Respectable Coup Next Time." By Richard L. Hasen, Slate, August 7, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, INDEPENDENT STATE LEGISLATURE DOCTRINE: "Like many conservatives of her generation, Cleta Mitchell was galvanized by the disputed 2000 election, in which George W. Bush and Al Gore battled for weeks over the outcome in Florida. She repeatedly spoke out on behalf of Bush, who won the state by only five hundred and thirty-seven votes. A dispute over recounts ended up at the Supreme Court.
"The Big Money Behind the Big Lie." By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, August 2, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT EXPANSION: The article below also contains a chart of "The Worst Decisions of the Roberts Court."
"The day the Supreme Court showed its disturbing new face."; By Bill Blum, The Progressive, August 2, 2021 (Posted on AlterNet)
[Below] UNIONS: "Even if they don’t realize it, all workers protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) have rights. Workers have the right to form or join a union, to negotiate with employers over the terms and conditions for employment, and to be protected from being fired or demoted for attempting to unionize, having union discussions at work, or going on strike. Regardless of the workplace, when employees band together to unionize and fight for their rights, it can change the nature of an industry....
"Not sure if joining a union is right for you? Here are some things to consider." By Carolyn Copeland for Prism Reports, Daily Kos, July 23, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, VOTING RIGHTS: "The Supreme Court isn’t even pretending that it’s bound by legal texts in its voting rights cases."
"How America lost its commitment to the right to vote." By Ian Millhiser, Vox, July 21, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, VOTING RIGHTS: The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court has already spoken, in past decisions, as have some of his conservative colleagues. This author says that, essentially, they will support "states rights"—the right of states to suppress voting rights as they please—over equal voting rights. There IS a solution....
"The Democrats Are Bungling Voting Rights—but Not in the Way You Think." By Elie Mystal, The Nation, July 21, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING: "Political labels tell a story about politicians or constituent groups. Unfortunately, the media and even progressive activists often use the wrong label. The audience, as a result, gets the story wrong...."
"Don't Say Nationalist, Populist or Authoritarian." Public Leadership Institute, July 14, 2021
[Below] SUPREME COURT, VOTING RIGHTS: "Brnovich v. DNC is a bad opinion for voting rights. It’s also much better than could have been expected from a 6-3 conservative SCOTUS."
"The Supreme Court leaves the Voting Rights Act alive — but only barely." By Ian Millhiser, July 1, 2021
NEW! [Below] U.S. INDUSTRIAL POLICY: "Today, we're honored to welcome Brian Deese, the White House director of the National Economic Council, to provide special remarks on the administration's vision and plans on US industrial policy, a critical topic for the future of not only the American but also the global economy. From supply chains to semiconductors to manufacturing, this issue crosses borders and goes to the heart of the Atlantic Council's mission of shaping the global future together. We are proud that the GeoEconomics Center has been a leader on this issue since its launch last year under the capable leadership of its director, Josh Lipsky, and Deputy Director Julia Friedlander.
"Brian Deese on Biden's vision for 'a twenty-first-century American industrial strategy.'" By Atlantic Council, June 23, 2021
[Below] ECONOMICS, MILTON FRIEDMAN: "The famed economist’s theories were embraced by Beltway power brokers in both parties. Finally, a Democratic president is turning the page on a legacy of ruin."
"The End of Friedmanomics." By Zachary D. Carter, The New Republic, June 17, 2021
[Below] "A novel idea for House Democrats to thwart Joe Manchin: Sue the Senate all the way to the Supreme Court."
"Let’s Take the Filibuster to Court." By Thomas Geoghegan, The New Republic, June 14, 2021
[Below] LANGUAGE, MESSAGING: "After every election, Democrats seem to talk about how they failed to craft a clear message. So how about bombarding people with a new kind of campaign ad?"
"What does the Democratic Party stand for? What do voters think the Democratic Party stands for? How can Democrats communicate to voters that they actually do stand for things...?
"Here’s an Idea for Liberals: Propaganda." By Alex Pareene, The New Republic, June 12, 2021
[Below] "In the 2020 election cycle, the Latino electorate in the state of Georgia continued to grow with significant influence exponentially. This report’s analysis showcases that the Latino electorate became more politically and civically aware. Georgia’s electoral outcomes reflect this change. Based upon the statewide voter data file and the analysis on this report from March 5th, 2021, the Latino electorate now has 385,185 registered voters, representing 4.1% of Georgia's total voters....
"2020: The Georgia Latino Electorate Grows in Power." GALEO, June 10, 2021
[Below] "We, the undersigned, are scholars of democracy who have watched the recent deterioration of U.S. elections and liberal democracy with growing alarm. Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election. Collectively, these initiatives are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk."
"Statement of Concern: The Threats to American Democracy and the Need for National Voting and Election Administration Standards." New America, June 1, 2021
[Below] "People have been manipulated to think that beliefs needn’t change in response to evidence, making us more susceptible to conspiracy theories, science denial and extremism."
"The Cause of America’s Post-Truth Predicament." By Andy Normal, Scientific American, May 18, 2021
[Below] Is there a strategy for getting the For the People Act (S. 1) passed in the U.S. Senate, to make it effective for 2022 elections?
"A timeline for the For the People Act." Indivisible, May 15, 2021
[Below] CRITICAL RACE THEORY: "It's a concept that's been around for decades and that seeks to understand and address inequality and racism in the US. The term also has become politicized....
"What critical race theory is -- and isn't." By Faith Karimi, CNN, Updated Monday, May 10, 2021.
NEW! [Below] "The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from covering abortion services for people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It is a discriminatory policy that Congress has included in annual spending bills since 1976."
"The Hyde Amendment: A Discriminatory Ban on Insurance Coverage of Abortion." Guttmacher Institute, May 2021
[Below] LANGUAGE, MESSAGING: President Biden's remarks as prepared for delivery are below. This is the transcript provided by the White House. Also below are Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word copies of the speech, which you can mark up with appropriate software.
"Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President Biden — Address to a Joint Session of Congress." White House, April 28, 2021 (Adobe PDF copy archived here.) (Microsoft Word copy archived here.)
[Below] LANGUAGE, MESSAGING: "James Carville on the state of Democratic politics."
"Wokeness is a problem and we all know it." By Sean Illing, vox.com, April 27, 2021
[Below] "...Care work, too, is infrastructure, as many left-wing economists, organizers, and advocates have argued for years. Republicans seem to believe that physical infrastructure simply appears, as if a giant hand descends from the sky and builds a road by itself. Construction isn’t sorcery — people have to build things, and those people need other people to care for their children, teach them, and look after relatives while they’re building that road. There is no giant hand. There are no robots, either. Workers are human beings, with human requirements. Society cannot function without care work or the laborers who perform it. A collective good, care work is a collective responsibility too. The only question remaining is the law. Will it pay for care work, or not?...
"The GOP’s Barebones America." By Sarah Jones, Intelligencer, April 16, 2021
[Below] "The restrictions across the Northeast are relics of the urban Democratic machines, which preferred to mobilize their voters precinct by precinct on Election Day rather than give reformers a lengthier window to rally opposition. Democrats who have won election after election in states such as New York, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have had little incentive to change the rules that helped them win.
"The Blue States That Make It Hardest to Vote." By Russell Berman, The Atlantic, April 15, 2021
[Below] GEORGIA REDISTRICTING (GERRYMANDERING): "Later this year, Georgia’s General Assembly will convene for a special session to redraw the boundaries of the state’s legislative and congressional districts based on data from the 2020 census....
"Reporting Recipe: How To Be A Redistricting Watchdog." By Stephen Fowler, David Armstrong, and Isaiah Poritz , GPB News, April 15, 2021
[Below] LABOR: "Earlier today the National Labor Relations Board announced the results of the vote on whether workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., would join a union. The vote was 738 in favor to 1,798 against. It’s bad news, but it doesn’t mean workers in future Amazon campaigns won’t or can’t win. They can. The results were not surprising, however, for reasons that have more to do with the approach used in the campaign itself than any other factor....
"Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign." By Jane McAlevey, The Nation, April 9, 2021
[Below] RURAL AREAS: "With their opposition to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, Republicans are doubling down on a core bet they’ve made for his presidency: that the GOP can maintain support among its key constituencies while fighting programs that would provide those voters with tangible economic assistance." (rural voters)
"The GOP Is Voting Against Its Base." By Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic, April 9, 2021
[Below] "It’s become something of a trend in recent decades for Republicans, who don’t think government can work, to spend their years in power breaking it in order to fulfill their own prophecy; it then falls to Democrats to spend their years in power fixing what Republicans destroyed....
"Can Biden Fix the Courts That Trump Broke?" By Elie Mystal, The Nation, April 7, 2021
[Below] RURAL AREAS: "Economic Innovation Group think tank offers tools that introduce 'geographic inequality' into the national conversation and bring rural America’s economic distress to the forefront."
"Commentary: Which Think Tanks Think About Rural America?" By Joe Belden, The Daily Yonder, April 7, 2021
[Below] "Sectarian politics will only be defeated through a long-term commitment to equal dignity and rights for all people."
"Liberals Must Rebuild Their Intellectual Infrastructure." By John Halpin, March 31, 2021
[Below] "Biden has only months to enact change, and his legacy will be defined by whether he saved voting rights from Republican assault."
"The Most Important Thing Democrats Can Do With Their Power Is Protect the Vote." By Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, March 24, 2021
[Below] "Democrats did the work, Republicans didn’t—and that says a lot about the two parties."
"The Real Reason Republicans Couldn’t Kill Obamacare." By Jonathan Cohn, The Atlantic, March 22, 2021
[Below] "Like Lyndon B. Johnson, McConnell is a master of the Senate. But although Johnson often used his mastery to pass important bills, McConnell uses his to kill them—while simultaneously generating outrage that yields considerable benefits for his party. McConnell possesses a rare understanding of mass psychology and knows that the American political system is unusually opaque to voters. Not only does the United States have multiple branches and levels of government, but voters elect their representatives in Congress separately from the president.... In this complex system, determining who has done what can be like figuring out a mystery novel. The filibuster, an arcane procedure that prevents those who seem to be in charge from actually passing the legislation they want, only deepens the mystery.
"Why McConnell Gets Away With Filibustering." By Jacob S. Hacker (Political scientist at Yale) and Paul Pierson (Political scientist at UC Berkeley), March 21, 2021
[Below] "...you can't let the threat of possible future bad stuff prevent you from doing good stuff when you have the power to do it.... By any measure, Democrats will come out well ahead, because we are the party that wants to enact progressive change and Republicans are the party that wants to stop stuff. We simply have more things that we can get passed in the next two years that will move the ball down the field and provide us a lot of insurance against the bad things Republicans might possibly do in the future."
"Joe Manchin's filibuster demands might end up making Republican obstruction even worse." By Igor Derysh, Salon, March 20, 2021
[Below] "The filibuster is no cornerstone of senatorial greatness. It is an accident that has spun out of control."
"The Filibuster's Ugly History and Why It Must Be Scrapped." By Sean Wilentz, Rolling Stone, March 16, 2021
[Below] "The synecdoche problem is just this: when people consistently advocate for a particular group, they come to believe that they know what’s best for that group, can speak for that group, or just literally are that group. The constant advocacy creates a sense of identification that deludes the advocate. They become incapable of seeing that their point of view is not universally shared, or even broadly shared, by the people who make up that group...."
"the Synecdoche Problem." By Freddie deBoer, March 8, 2021
[Below] "...Four months after America last went to the polls, Democrats are still refining their autopsies of the 2020 race and already governing with an eye toward the 2022 midterms. Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Republicans are trying to figure out just how firm Donald Trump’s grip on their party really is — and debating whether that grip should be stronger or weaker.
"David Shor on Why Trump Was Good for the GOP and How Dems Can Win in 2022." By Eric Levitz, New York Magazine (Intelligencer), March 3, 2021
[Below] ORGANIZING. "Though Care in Action is not affiliated with Stacey Abrams, who has been widely credited with turning Georgia blue, its work is a direct extension of Democrats’ decade-long effort to reshape the state by organizing voters of color. 'What it takes to win in Georgia is a multiracial coalition,' says Rep. Nikema Williams, who served as Care in Action’s deputy director in 2018 and now holds the US House seat formerly held by Rep. John Lewis. And just as that coalition did not come together overnight, it also drew upon generations of organizing by Black domestic workers." (Care in Action; Ai-jen Poo; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Domestic Workers Union--NDWU)
"How a Legacy of Organizing Among Domestic Workers Helped Turn Georgia Blue." By Becca Andrews, Mother Jones, March-April 2021 issue
[Below] "Next Tuesday [March 2], the Supreme Court will hear two cases that could shred much of what remains of the right to be free from racial discrimination at the polls. The defendants’ arguments in two consolidated cases, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee, are some of the most aggressive attacks on the right to vote to reach the Supreme Court in the post-Jim Crow era....
"The Supreme Court is about to hear two cases that could destroy what remains of the Voting Rights Act." By Ian Millhiser, Vox, February 23, 2021
[Below] MESSAGING. "The evidence shows we all lose when society's overwhelmed by white resentment and win when we organize across our differences."
"Opinion: The Way Out of America's Zero-Sum Thinking on Race and Wealth." By Heather C. McGhee, New York Times, February 13, 2021
[Below] "These data underscore the extent to which black voters are not a monolith and cannot be assumed to belong to the Democrats simply on the basis of racial justice advocacy and rhetoric. In the end, the loyalty of black voters will likely depend on the ability of the Democrats to provide material improvements in their lives, particularly for those in working class and poor communities."
"The Black Vote Was Good But Not Great for the Democrats in 2020." By Ruy Teixeira, The Liberal Patriot, February 12, 2021
[Below] "It may take 10 years. Do it anyway."
"How to Turn Your Red State Blue." By Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo, New York Times, February 11, 2021
[Below] "... America has lacked a dominant party since the downfall of the New Deal coalition at the end of the 1960s; the partisan standoff has lasted longer than any such period in history and shows no sign of ending.
"How the Democratic Party Can Create a Majoritarian Coalition." By Michael Kazin, The New Republic, February 11, 2021 (archive copy)
[Below] "Former President Donald Trump has blamed the election results on unfounded claims of fraud and malfeasance. But at the top levels of his campaign, a detailed autopsy report that circulated among his political aides paints a far different — and more critical — portrait of what led to his defeat.
"Trump pollster's campaign autopsy paints damning picture of defeat." By Alex Isenstadt, POLITICO, February 1, 2021
[Below] LANGUAGE; MESSAGING: — "Seventy-five years later, Orwell’s basic criticisms of political writing remain valid. And the consequences of misused political language for democracy are growing as poor language helps to fuel declining trust, rising polarization, and partisan gridlock. Without agreement on what is going on in the country, or even how to describe it, Americans and their political leaders will face difficulties forging collective action to overcome our biggest challenges, most importantly on the pandemic and economic crisis.
"On the Uses and Abuses of Political Language." By John Halpin, The Liberal Patriot, February 1, 2021
"Politics and the English Language." By George Orwell, April 1946. (Another discussion of this essay is here.)
[Below] "Despite signs of growing support for unions, workers face formidable barriers to organizing and winning improvements in workplace standards, especially in Southern states. In his first days in office, President Biden took a number of steps advocated by union leaders, including personnel changes in key agencies and a handful of pro-labor executive orders.
"A new day for labor in the South?" By Chris Kromm, Facing South, January 29, 2021 (See also Resources—Progressive Legislation: Labor Unions - H.R.2474 - Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019).
[Below] "How to make the Senate functional without forcing Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin to go back on their word"
"Fine, Keep the Filibuster. Kill the 60-Vote Requirement Instead." By Alex Pareene, The New Republic, January 27, 2021
[Below] DISINFORMATION, MESSAGING — "...Together, these streams of disinformation have undermined trust in public-serving institutions and even our democracy as a whole.
"Defanging Disinformation: 6 Action Steps Nonprofits Can Take." By Jen Soriano, Hermelinda Cortés, and Joseph Phelan, NPQ (Nonprofit Quarterly), January 26, 2021
[Below] PSYCHOLOGY: "There are a few reasons conspiracy theories are so “sticky” once they’re in someone’s head. First, conspiracy theorists are far more likely to have a Manichaean worldview, meaning they interpret everything as a battle between good and evil. That makes it harder for dispassionate evidence-based arguments to break through....
"Opinion: Why is it so hard to deprogram Trumpian conspiracy theorists?" By Brian Klaas, Washington Post, January 25, 2021
[Below] "After Black voters propelled Joe Biden to the White House, the new president faces the dual challenges of reversing an economic downturn that has devastated communities of color while also addressing decades of racial economic disparity.
"The Trump economy left Black Americans behind. Here’s how they want Biden to narrow the gaps." By Tracy Jan, Washington Post, January 22, 2021
[Below] RURAL AREAS: "Rural communities provide much of the food and energy that fuel our lives. They are made up of people who, after decades of exploitative resource extraction and neglect, need strong connective infrastructure and opportunities to pursue regional prosperity. A lack of investment in broadband, schools, jobs, sustainable farms, hospitals, roads and even the U.S. Postal Service has increasingly driven rural voters to seek change from national politics. And this sharp hunger for change gave Trump’s promises to disrupt the status quo particular appeal in rural areas.
"5 ways Biden can help rural America thrive and bridge the rural-urban divide." By Ann Eisenberg, Jessica A. Shoemaker, Lisa R. Pruitt, The Conversation, January 21, 2021
[Below] SOCIAL MEDIA — "How Thousands of Americans Were Convinced to Storm the Capitol—and What Comes Next"
"The Insurrection Hiding in Plain Sight." By Renee DiResta and Alex Stamos, Foreign Affairs, January 14, 2021
[Below] SOCIAL MEDIA — How do we know what we "know"? Conventional media at least had editors who we could identify and complain to when they said something questionable. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), by current law, can't be held responsible for what's said by the millions of people using their platforms, and the platforms are interactive—their computer algorithms see what we're reading and direct us to similar material, amplifying what we've read whatever its quality or intent, to keep us "hooked."
"Banning Trump isn't Enough." By Dan Pfeiffer, The Message Box, January 10, 2021
May 28, 2023