2 a.m. Nov 3, 2020. Not sure what woke me up. With my mind racing, it’s obvious I will not be getting back to sleep. I had dragged myself up the stairs to my bed a few hours ago, exhausted in body and spirit. I head back down those stairs and boot up my computer.

It’s 5 a.m Eastern time. I’m searching for reports of more shenanigans to disrupt the election. My trepidation comes from a history of being wrong on some crucial elections. I thought there was no way Nixon would win reelection. My favorite election slogan comes from that time…”Why change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Vote for Nixon in ’72”. Somehow he was able to pull it off.

In 2004, I was wrong again. “There’s no way in Hell that George W. could win”, I thought. It took a seriously flawed decision by the Supreme’s to get him into office in 2000 and W’s flaws had shown through in the period since. At the end of his Presidency, he had become well known as the worst President in history. George W. has since had a reprieve, knowing Resident 45 had surpassed him in that rank.

Republicans have known for a long time that the only way they can retain power is by subterfuge. When Obama was elected in 2008, Mitch McConnel made it his goal to make Obama a one term President. He did everything he could to not pass any legislation President Obama and Democrats put forth. He would not allow any legislation to come up for a vote in the Senate. This was not governing, it was obstruction of governing for the sole purpose of remaining in power.

Republicans also realized that control of state legislatures was crucial if they were to remain in power. They focused a lot of energy and dollars to take control of states so they would be able to control the redistricting of house seats. This attempt paid off well. Republicans were able to maintain power through gerrymandering. Even though they lost the popular vote, often by large margins, they were able to control more seats of power. Republicans, to this day, don’t care about what citizens want, they only want to remain in power and are willing to go to extremes to do so.

THE ONLY WAY REPUBLICANS CAN MAINTAIN POWER IS BY SUPPRESSING THE VOTING RIGHTS OF OTHERS.

Even though, after packing the courts with Conservative judges, many Republican attempts at suppressing votes has been thwarted. Like their attempt to throw out 127,000 votes in Harris County Texas because voters chose to drop off ballets in a drive up. There are so many lawsuits brought by Republicans in an attempt to not hear what their citizens want that some of those cases are being lost by voting rights advocates.

This keeps me awake.

So here I am, at 4 a.m. now, watching…

We Have a Role In Choosing Leadership of the DNC

[This is a draft. Due to the time sensitive nature, I’m posting it as is. I’ll update as best I can before the elections. ]

Help Choose The DNC Leadership Committee. You do have a voice in this.

February 25, 2017 marks the date that Democratic Party Central Committee members vote for leadership positions of the DNC. This includes the Chair, the five Vice Chairs, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and a National Finance Chair.

Why is this important? DNC Leadership has a lot to do with who we get to vote on in the primaries, how campaign dollars will be spent, which races the DNC considers important, and the issue of super-delegates. With the level of activism taking place and the number of grassroots organizations involved, it’s very important that the DNC taps into and supports grassroots activism. We Need Progressive Leaders.

Each of us can help make those choices by calling or emailing your choices to the voting members of the DNC in your state. Find out who those members of your state Democratic Party are by contacting the Political Organizing Coordinator of our state. Voting is Saturday Feb 25, so make those calls as soon as possible.

This needs to go national. Each state will have a vote. Copy and paste this post to get the widest circulation.

DNC Chair Candidates:

There was a debate by candidates for DNC Chair Wednesday, Feb 22 on CNN Debate.

You can also watch the earlier DNC Future Forums to hear what the candidates had to say at https://www.democrats.org/page/dnc-future-forum-livestream

Along with my personal choices, I will be telling each voting member from my state that I strongly believe the DNC needs to choose progressive, non-establishment leaders or they will see large numbers of voters walk away from the Democratic Party.

People now realize this country can NOT continue down the neo-liberal path we’ve been on. The Democratic Party and the Democratic candidates must stop taking corporate money. This will no longer be tolerated by voters.

The DNC needs to spend money and effort at the grassroots level instead of focusing on the higher level campaigns and drastically cut t.v. advertising. Focus on state legislatures to help stop the onslaught of ALEC designed bills that continue to chip away at the well-being of the people. Mobilize people and Democratic candidates will win. Support them and give them modern tools to use.

All districts and counties in all states should get support. One thing that has become very clear to me is that each area has a number of Progressives. Many feel isolated and abandoned and don’t speak up because they think they are alone. They become vocal and active once they realize they aren’t alone. I’ve seen it over and over. Reach out to them.

Thanks to this election, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring about real change. Big change, not incremental. People were inspired by Bernie. People are aghast at what the current administration is doing. Both of those forces have woken people to the fact that we need to participate in this experiment we call the U.S.A. Don’t blow this by electing moderate, establishment leadership.

The voting members of the Oregon DNC delegation will be the three recently elected DNC delegates:

Tanya Shively – (541) 929-6498 dnc1@dpo.org
Travis Martin, dnc2@dpo.org
Matt Keating, (541) 515-3819 dnc3@dpo.org

The chair, Frank Dixon, (503) 224-8200 chair@dpo.org
The first vice-chair, Karen Packer, (503) 628-3820 vicechair1@dpo.org

And three of our statewide elected Democrats:
Governor Kate Brown, (503) 378-4582
Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, 503-986-1200 Rep.TinaKotek@state.or.us
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, (503) 481-6078

Candidate Information:

Sally Boynton Brown

Our party can’t afford to spend the next two years having an ideological debate on whether we are liberals or moderates. The Democratic Party has always represented the people and now more than ever we must blow the walls off our tent so everyone feels welcome.

On Nov. 8th, 50 percent of American voters stayed home.

It’s time to have an organizational conversation on how we become a resilient, innovative Party for the 21st century. Our most important mission is to inspire all Americans to participate fully in democracy and clear all barriers that stand between Americans and their right to cast a ballot. As your next DNC chair, I will lead the insurgency against the forces that threaten the country we love.

I am accessible, responsive, and an action-oriented professional who people trust. I have a unique skillset that joins high level strategic thinking with day-to-day operational execution.

For the last decade, saving our American democracy has been my personal mission. As DNC Chair, I will strive to involve everyone in the political process. Voting is just the beginning step to ensuring our government is of, by and for the people.

Sally Boynton Brown on Ballotpedia

Sally Boynton Brown on Wikipedia

My take: Sally Boynton Brown is likely to inspire the younger generation. From a statement she made about her role, she demonstrates that she gets that she is a privileged white woman and that she can help give reasons for POC to feel listened to by the Democratic Party and not just a group of voters the DNC can count on to vote Democratic. That same statement, unfortunately, caused a lot of backlash from whites.

My job is to listen and be a voice, and my job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt. My job is to shut other white people down when they want to say ‘Oh no I’m not prejudiced, I’m a Democrat, I’m accepting.’ My job is to make sure that they get that they have privilege and until we shut our mouths and we listen to those people who don’t and we lift our people up so that we all have equity in this country, so that we’re all fighting alongside each other, so that we’re all on the same page and we clearly get where we’re going, we’re not going to break through this.

Pete For DNC

Also likely to inspire the younger generation. A Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature from Harvard.

Elected at the age of 29, he is America’s youngest mayor of a city with over 100,000 residents. In 2013, he was named national Mayor of the Year by GovFresh.com, sharing the honor with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and was called “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of” by the Washington Post. An officer in U.S. Navy Reserve, Buttigieg took a leave of absence to serve in Afghanistan during a seven-month deployment in 2014, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg Wikipedia

My Take. Very articulate and educated. Need to delve further into Pete’s values and thoughts about the direction of the DNC. Howard Dean just endorsed Pete Buttigieg.

 Keith Ellison favorite of the Bernie branch

Tom Perez favorite of Establisment branch

Sam Ronan Popular with Progressives. Interview of Sam Ronan by Caitlin Johnstone

Jaime Harrison

Jehmu Greene

Peter Peckarsky

Robert Vincent Brannum

 

Approximately 447 members serve on the National Committee. The membership is composed of the following general categories:

  • State-elected Members: Most DNC members are elected by a Democratic Party process held in each state and territory. Two hundred members are apportioned among the states (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) based on population and Democratic voting strength – with each state receiving at least two members. (The allocations range from two members in a number of states to 19 in California.) Additional members are apportioned to Democrats Abroad, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad.
  • State Chairs and Vice Chairs: Each State Party’s Chair and Vice Chair (technically, the highest ranking officer of the opposite sex of the Chair) are automatically recognized as DNC members.
  • Representatives of Democratic Elected Officials and Affiliated Organizations: The National Committee includes representative Democratic officials from various levels of elected office including: U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Governors, Mayors, State Legislators, Municipal and County Officials, etc. In addition, Democratic organizations such as the College Democrats, Young Democrats, and National Federation of Democratic Women have representatives on the DNC.
  • At-Large Members: To help ensure Democratic constituencies have appropriate representation within the Party organization, the National Committee members elect an additional group of members (75) who serve in an “At-Large” capacity.
How are members of the Democratic National Committee selected?

Each state Democratic Party has its own rules for selecting its DNC members. Some members are elected on the ballot as part of the state’s Democratic primary, and in other states the members are elected by the State Democratic Committee or the State Convention.

How long is a DNC member’s term of office?

Democratic National Committee members from the states and territories are elected every four years during the presidential election year. They begin serving upon the adjournment of the National Convention, and serve until the adjournment of the next National Convention.

What is the role and responsibility of a DNC member?

DNC members are Party leaders and activists within their communities and at various levels of the Party. As such, they serve as an important liaison between the National Party, its constituencies, and state and local Democrats. Members attend and participate at DNC meetings and share their political expertise with the National organization and each other. Members also play an important role in recruiting and training other Democratic activists to work on behalf of Democratic candidates and Democratic legislative proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Active in Local Political Parties

The year 2016 has been one for the record books. I wonder what historians will have to say about this year. We’ve all lived it, so there’s no need for me to go over it with you. I am thankful for Election 2016. Not happy, mind you, but thankful. This election season has finally caused people to wake up. Millions are filled with energy and realizing that it is up to each one of us to regain control of this country. We The People are the one’s with the power. We just need to accept it and do something with that power.

There are many ways to channel all the energy people are feeling. Many groups are gaining a lot of members and donations since Nov 8. There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of new groups springing up to help people participate in this democratic experiment called the United States of America. It doesn’t feel very united right now, but we do have the ability to fix that.

I have never felt so strongly compelled to lend my voice and energy to this revolution. It truly is a revolution. No longer are people willing to put up with our government being controlled my monied interests. We’ve all seen the damage this has caused. Enough is enough. It’s time to overthrow that paradigm and begin focusing on forming a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

The Constitution gives that right to We The People, but, because we’ve been easily lolled to sleep, we’ve managed to give that power away.

I’ve been on an adventure the past few weeks. One part of that adventure has been joining many groups that are wanting to bring about change. I’ve seen a recurring sentiment in most. People are begging for ways to do something beyond donating dollars to causes.

A quick and easy way to channel this energy that’s boiling over is to start participating in local government. There’s a few ways, but at the moment, it’s urgent to get involved in your local Democratic Parties. It’s easy, as I’ll explain below.

The reason it’s crucial now is because the Democratic Party is choosing who will lead it for the next two years. Filling those positions with progressive voices will make a big difference during that time. These elections are going on now and for the next few weeks.

For more information about the importance, see this article from the Seattle Weekly:

Bernie Supporters Seem to Be Staging a Revolt in the Washington Democratic Party

Bernie Supporters Seem to Be Staging a Revolt in the Washington Democratic Party

To find out what’s happening in your area, do a Facebook search for your city, county and state Democratic Party. Their Facebook page will likely tell when the next meetings are and link to their website, where you will find more information.

See what you can find out about the Party structure and who the candidates are for these positions. Have questions ready for the candidates. Consider becoming a committee member, which will give you the ability to vote for state party members and give you a role in providing direction for your local party.

Let your friends know and search around for any local group that wants to participate. There’s been a multitude of groups that have formed recently. Search Facebook and local papers for them. Help others become involved. You’ll be amazed at how easy this will be. Millions of people are looking for ways to get active.

Becoming active in the local party will give you some skills so you can take the next step, if you choose – running for elected office. Whether the local school board, city council or other positions that affect your community.

We will be providing more guides in the near future, so stay tuned. We are just getting a few things up and running and ironing out the kinks. Just like all of you, we are looking forward to being apart of this movement.

 

Is the Dakota Access Decision Just a Smokescreen?

While I applaud the Obama administration for temporarily denying the permit for construction of the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, my cynical side is raising its hand telling me to, “Pay Attention”. The way this news is being presented is misleading.

An example is this statement from an article in the Huffington Post:

“Federal authorities have halted construction [sierraclub.org] of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline amid growing protests that were expected to draw some 2,000 U.S. military veterans. [huffingtonpost.com]

The Department of the Army has denied the final easement [army.mil] required for the $3.8 billion project to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, it announced Sunday.”

The pipeline has NOT been halted. The final easement has NOT been denied.

From Army will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing [army.mil] “Instead, it will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement to examine the impacts and explore alternative routes, it said.”

This statement by the Army Corps of Engineers is very likely a diversion. Explore alternative routes? Energy Transfer Partners has made it clear this route is the only route they plan to take. Dakota Access Pipeline operator lashes out at decision to halt construction [theverge.com]

An EIS is a welcomed move, but it’s something that should have taken place a long time ago. Oil company lawyers have found a way around the National Environmental Protection Act procedures intended protect our lands*. It appears to me that the Army Corp of Engineers has not put up much resistance to the use of these loopholes by Energy Transfer Partners; nor has this administration.

Publicity of #NoDAPL action and large numbers of vets showing up to protect the Water Protectors has caused Energy Transfer Partners and their minions to realize they’ve lost this battle and they can no longer continue operating in the way they have been – using abusive measures against indigenous people of a sovereign nation that had, so often in the past, been beat down.

This temporary pause by the Army Corp of Engineers is likely just a smokescreen.

This tactic has been tried before. Obama Administration’s Suspension of Contested Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Demonstrates Strength of Indigenous Climate Justice Movement [sierraclub.org] back in September comes to mind.  Don’t let this latest attempt at diverting attention succeed.

The #NoDAPL movement is at a cross roads. All of us must stay vigilant or the pipeline will not be stopped.

I’ve been politically involved and paying attention since the late 60’s. I’ve seen a lot of diversionary tactics and their results. When it’s obvious that your actions can no longer win this battle, what would you do if you wanted to see DAPL completed? How about make people think they won so they ‘move along, there’s nothing to see here’. This will likely cause dispersal of people at the camps and lessening of support. Publicity will also be easier to stifle.

One of the very promising results of this election is that millions of people have realized that they can no longer remain quiet against this kind of injustice. If a lot of people are fooled into allowing their focus to be diverted from DAPL, the narrative will change. Media can easily stop reporting on this issue. Gearing back up will take time, especially if the forces-that-be create more barricades for allies to gather. By that time, the pipeline will be completed and the Trump administration will be in control.

I really hope this won’t be the case here, but I have strong doubts. I feel it is imperative that we keep supporting the Standing Rock Sioux and maintain the momentum the Water Protectors have initiated until this is fully resolved.

Here are some ways you can help:

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund  [paypal.com]

Official Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe [gofundme.com]

Stay informed – Indian Country Today News  [indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com]

*I apologize for not having a source for this. I read this a few days ago but unable to find it. Perhaps an alert reader can help supply documentation.

Pausing

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been mostly focused on coming up with a way for people to help heal this country. One idea is to have people fact checking and debunking fake news.

A couple of days ago, I thought that I would be able to unveil my plan by tonight. I’ve had to take a pause. There’s been a major hiccup. As is the case with all plans to take over the universe, it’s become more complex.

The WaPo article, Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say caused a stir. It has a lot of very good information, but as I read further, checking what they were promoting, I became very uncomfortable. So I checked further.

Many thanks to Glen Greenwald and crew at the Intercept for picking up on my thoughts. I’ll let their article explain because they do a better job that I could. Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group

I still firmly believe that becoming active in debunking false posts is important. It’s just gotten a bit more complicated. Who do you believe anymore? Has the Washington Post become part of Russia’s propaganda arm? Talk about wanting to disrupt trust in our institutions. Shame on you WaPo.