The past few days I have been watching, out of sheer boredom, the HBO show, The Newsroom. Aaron Sorkin really put his best scene up front at the beginning of the pilot episode.
This isn’t about that, but it is always a good jumping off point.
In Season 2, the character of Neal Sampat, played by Dev Patel, notes the website domain name of OccupyWallStreet.org had been registered and the group was holding meetings in a park. So Neal goes to get in on the ground floor, only to find out reporters are not welcome.
It got me to thinking: How many people actually remember Occupy Wall Street? Yeah, they made a lot of noise 10 -plus years ago, but who really remembers them? The only reason I’m thinking about them now is because I watched this episode of The Newsroom.
The question is: what will we remember 10-plus years from now? One thing I’m sure we will remember is that our government didn’t do enough to slow the roll of global warming.
Some episode of The Damage Report had the announcers blasting Joe Biden — President Joe Biden — for not doing more to save the planet during this climate crisis. My question to all the Biden haters on the left: Exactly what do you think a president can do with the stroke of his executive action pen? “Well, he could lean on Senator Joe Manchin more.”
“Yes. Show everyone he is angry with Manchin and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
Would that push Manchin to let go of the filibuster to pass climate crisis legislation? Probably not. If the West Virginian wants to be the fly in the ointment, Senate rules allow him to do so.
Manchin is getting hit by members of his own caucus in Congress for being such a staunch supporter of the filibuster — and the fossil fuel industry. The filibuster is just the excuse Manchin needs to help block any climate crisis legislation that would have an impact on the oil and coal industries.
Time is running out for our planet and yet we still have to tolerate the likes of Senator Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema — and let’s not forget the vast majority of the GOP.
Instead of railing against Democratic Party legislators like them the far left needs to be promoting and supporting candidates that are running against incumbent Republicans and have little or no interest in keeping the filibuster. They should be helping Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona keep his seat in the Senate.
They should be supporting Democrat and former U.S. Marine Lucas Kunce to fill the U.S. Senate seat that is currently filled by Roy Blunt, who is about as conservative — as is radical — a politician as Missouri has to offer.
Who Lucas has to face in November, if he wins the nomination, is either one of two extremely Trump-engulfed candidates running on the Republican ticket. One is the former Governor, Eric Greitens and current Missouri AG Eric Schmidt.
Because of recent stories about his (alleged) domestic violence Greitens has fallen in the polls and is #3 behind Schmidt and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, both of whom are trying to out-Trump each other.
The far left can support Cheri Lynn Beasley in North Carolina who is running to fill the seat held by the retiring Richard Burr; and Tim Ryan, who is running against a Trump wannabe in Ohio, to fill the seat held by Rob Portman. The Republican running for Portman’s seat is one-time Trump hater who did about as abrupt a 180 flip-flop to become a Trumper and hopefully Ohio’s next Senator, .J.D. Vance.
Then there is Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman who is running against New Jersey resident, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who, besides not residing in Pennsylvania, has done some shady things on TV to sell some medical quackery. The only thing standing in Fetterman’s way is his health. Right before the primary he suffered a stroke. He appears to be fully recovered now, but we can expect the interloping New Jersey carpetbagger Dr. Oz to try and take advantage of that.
Fetterman has a great friend in E. Street Band guitarist and SiriusXM Radio host Stevie VZ — Little Steven Van Zant — Oh, let’s not forget LSVZ is also Tony Soprano’s consigliere Silvio Dante — anyway, Steven has this video for Dr. Oz.
NJ’s own @StevieVanZandt 🎸 has a VERY special message for Dr. Oz!!
So Dr. Oz just fuhgeddaboudit! pic.twitter.com/awlAeVcUeg
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 27, 2022
Then there is this advert:
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 28, 2022
So liberals — progressives — on the so-called “far left” might not consider congressman and senate hopeful Tim Ryan to be as ideologically pure as we prefer, but he’s a damn sight better than the MAGA flag waving alternative.
As progressives we need to find candidates that are either as progressive as we are, or are willing to support some of the same issues as progressives because those issues, like the child tax credits, student loan debt reform, pharmaceutical reforms, infrastructure to deal with the climate crisis, for many Democrats, liberals, progressives and people very centrist in their thinking, those are so-called “kitchen table issues.” There are probably some folks who consider themselves to be right wing or leaning right who consider those to be kitchen table issues.
Instead of tearing down the Democrats in Congress we don’t like, we need to be supporting progressive candidates running to flip seats from MAGA red to progressive blue.
Here’s a bright spot I learned just recently: former Army paratrooper (82ndAirborne) and entrepreneur, Wes Moore is the Democratic nominee to be the next governor of Maryland. As part of his agenda Moore wants to address the most urgent and existential issue of our time, the climate crisis. On his campaign page he writes, “The urgency of the climate crisis is here. We owe it to ourselves, our state, and our future generations to take bold actions now.” Moore then lays out his eight key policies to fight the climate crisis.”
Moore highlights what I consider to be more consequential than supporting the right politicians in Washington, D.C.: That is finding and supporting candidates like Wes Moore to flip state houses and state legislatures from MAGA red to progressive blue. We’re hearing about Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to be governor of Texas. The current Texas establishment has shown itself to be out of touch with average Texans, many of whom are asking why so many law enforcement officers stood around for over an hour while a killer with an AR-15 style assault weapon murdered 19 children and two teachers, or why they are paying such exorbitant energy prices for an electrical grid that was proven to be completely inadequate to meet the state’s needs.
Find and support candidates for local and state offices that reflect our progressive views. Progressives need to be disciplined about it, the same way the so-called conservatives have done for the past 40-plus years. We saw how they routinely control the political narrative around every election, how they dominate the debate with meaningless one-liners about culture war policies. While we, the progressives and moderate lefties, are telling voters about policies that are designed to help the middle class and poor, the GOP has been telling the voters about the “death tax,” and forced abortions and taxes going up to pay for abortions or that “huge” caravan of brown-skinned immigrants looking to enter the United States, allegedly illegally. In reality, asking for asylum is a human right, recognized by not only the United Nations, but the United States as well.
- As seen in a popular meme: “No one is illegal on stolen land.”
Of course the media falls in line with the narrative of melodrama and failed immigration policy. No one ever asks, “What has ‘failed’ about our immigration policies?”
I got curious and looked up immigration policy via think tanks. I looked at the thoughts from both the Brookings and CATO Institutes and you know what the Charles Koch-led CATO Institute said? A big reason our immigration policy is broken is because it is too restrictive. Immigrants have to wait too long to get visas and permanent residency. They have to wait too long just to enter to apply. In other words, our immigration policy is designed to turn people away and make criminals out of people trying to enter the United States.
As mentioned earlier, Beto O’Rourke is running to be the next governor of Texas. He had a town hall meeting with some Texas constituents and the question of immigration came up. Well first of all, immigration is a federal issue. There is very little individual states can do. But O’Rourke didn’t answer that way. He gave a soliloquy about immigration policies coming from Austin, the state capitol. Does he think having armed shooters patrolling the Rio Grande in swift boats, armed to the teeth with grenades, knives and AR-15s will save the day? No. O’Rourke has been pounding current Governor Greg Abbott about his “Operation Lone Star” that sent Texas National Guardsmen and women to rule the border. It appears that, not only does the operation do what it was intended to do, many of the men and women sent to the Texas border with Mexico weren’t getting paid properly, nor were they getting adequate health care, including mental health.
Like many other GOP politicians Abbott likes to roll his horse face out in front of cameras to act like a tough guy when it comes to culture war issues, like immigration. No matter how crazy and nonsensical his proposals are, Abbott looks like the tough guy savin’ Texans from … unarmed women and children, and men looking for work.
The point is it shouldn’t be hard to take the cudgel of immigration and beat every Republican over the head with it every other year as we go into elections. It doesn’t take a big name think tank to see how the GOP idea of immigration is not only bullshit, it’s racist.
“Oh! He went there!”
Yes, I did.
As one immigration non-profit, RAICES, pointed out, “Border Patrol has processed 10,000 Ukrainians in one week!” But, as we know, Ukrainians are different: They ain’t brown-skinned people.
Democrats — Progressives — need to organize the grassroots to get as many Democrats elected to local, state and federal offices. And remind the voters of just how racist the GOP has become in the last 12-15 years. Use video or Donald J. descending on his escalator and remind voters who the GOP overwhelmingly supports.
Then overturn local and state laws that make voting more difficult for people of color, students and the elderly — and remind voters the Democrats did that.
Democrats and progressives should campaign the way the GOP has for the past 40-plus years. All these liberals should excel at it because we have compassion, and now truth on our side.
One more thing: Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is in a toss-up race to hold onto her Senate seat. Help her remain in the Senate.
Progressive and liberal-leaning voters can donate to any liberal/progressive campaign they like by clicking on ActBlue. I have been using it for years to donate to the candidates and causes that are dear to me.
Can this generation of lawmakers be remembered as the ones that seriously tackled the climate crisis? That]s not a rhetorical question.
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UPDATE: As this was being prepared Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) completed a bill that will address some needs to fight the climate crisis, looming lapses in the Affordable Care Act, inflation and changes to prescription drug prices. It will be paid for by higher taxes and very wealthy individuals and corporations. As U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) recently said on All In With Chris Hayes, “The Earth is burning.”
In retaliation Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against bipartisan legislation that was meant to help veterans who had been exposed to the toxic fumes of burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq. How —why? — do so many of my fellow veterans think the GOP is looking out for their best interests? The last Republican who showed any real interest in the lives of active duty personnel and veterans was Ronald Reagan. As much as I disliked President Reagan he did increase the pay and benefits of both active duty military and veterans. Since then the GOP has been kicking service members and veterans in the teeth whenever possible.
Jon Stewart had this reaction:
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.