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WATCH: This Viral Video of Ocasio-Cortez Explaining “Fundamentally Broken” US Democracy Has Been Viewed More Than 16 Million Times

8 Feb

Lawmaker “exposes just how much ‘bad guys’ can get away with”
byAndrea Germanos, staff writer

 

 

In a critique of campaign finance laws that has now gone viral, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) this week showed how the United States has “a system that is fundamentally broken” due to the pervasive influence of corporate money that infects every aspect of the nation’s democracy.
The take-down—which took just under 5 minutes—occurred Wednesday during a hearing held by the House Oversight Committee. To make her point, she played “a lightning round game” with the watchdogs on the panel, including Common Cause’s Karen Hobert Flynn, CREW’s Walter Shaub, and Brennan Center for Justice’s Mehrbani Spitzer.
With her creative attack, said Common Cause, the freshman lawmaker “exposes just how much ‘bad guys’ can get away with under the shameful state of our campaign finance laws.”

 

 

Reacting to her comments, Ocasio-Cortez’s policy advisor Dan Riffle said, “This was all her. She did this on the fly. She is very good at this, folks.”
Actor Ken Olin, meanwhile, mused, “No wonder the right is terrified of her. It’s not her politics, it’s her intelligence. She’s fierce, she’s focused, she’s real, and she’s got lots of time to rock their world.”

 

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Demanding Lawmakers Forge ‘Path Away From Climate Suicide,’ Groups Kick Off Green New Deal Push

5 Feb

“We have no time to lose in the fight to avoid irrevocable climate chaos.”
by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

GND

A coalition of progressive groups has launched a week of action to demand a progressive Green New Deal from federal lawmakers.

 

Building on the grassroots momentum that has thrust the Green New Deal onto a national stage, a coalition of progressive groups on Monday launched a week of action to demand climate leadership from federal lawmakers, calling for a plan to fully phase out fossil fuels and rapidly reform industries that produce massive amounts of planet-warming emissions while also promoting economic justice.

“To take action on climate change at the scale of the crisis, we need a Green New Deal,” declared May Boeve, executive director of 350.org. “It’s time for all progressive lawmakers to take real climate action and support a massive federal investment to bring health, safety, and justice to people and the planet.”
The Green New Deal desired by climate campaigners and a growing cohort of Democrats in Congress, led by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), would pair sweeping policies to cut emissions, including a transition to 100 percent renewable energy, with programs to create jobs.

“It’s time for all progressive lawmakers to take real climate action and support a massive federal investment to bring health, safety, and justice to people and the planet.”
—May Boeve, 350.org

 

 

Janet Redman, climate and energy director at Greenpeace USA, urged legislators to “cement a turning point for our nation by ensuring that policies addressing the climate crisis also advance racial, economic, and gender equity while phasing out polluting fossil fuels starting with the communities already experiencing coal, oil, and gas pollution.”

Joshua Emerson Smith@jemersmith  .@350 kicks off a national week of action to support the #greennewdeal. Activist rally outside the office of @RepJuanVargas Monday as part of the effort. 4 11:11 AM – Feb 4, 2019 See Joshua Emerson Smith’s other Tweets

The week of action—which will feature hundreds of events throughout the country—comes amid reports that Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are working on a legislative proposal that could be ready as soon as mid-week. Specifically, the week of action organizers want a deal that will:
Halt all new fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure and subsidies, and transitions power generation to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 or sooner;
Rapidly decarbonize the agriculture and transportation sectors, and expand access to public transportation;
Ensure a fair and just transition, led by impacted workers and communities, including low-income and communities of color, without relying on corporate schemes or market-based mechanisms;
Uphold indigenous rights; and
Pass a national jobs guarantee, creating good jobs with collective bargaining and family-sustaining wages.
As Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, put it: “We have no time to lose in the fight to avoid irrevocable climate chaos. We need to ensure that the Green New Deal is sufficiently aggressive to meet the challenge.”

We need a #GreenNewDeal that:
Halts all new fossil fuel projects
Transitions to 100% renewable energy
Decarbonizes ag & transportation
Ensures a just transition led by impacted communities
Upholds Indigenous rights
Has a green jobs guarantee
https://
actionnetwork.org/event_campaign
s/demand-real-climate-leadership-from-our-new-congress
… pic.twitter.com/jvOU4h19OD 9:01 AM – Feb 4, 2019

“As Western wildfires rage and the Midwest freezes, Americans are thirsty for climate action,” said Climate Hawks Vote president RL Miller, pointing out that some new members of Congress were elected in November partly because of their bold positions on climate policy.
The Trump administration, meanwhile, continues to downplay or ignore the dangers of the human-induced climate crisis and pursue a deregulatory agenda that critics charge serves polluting industries at the expense of the public and the planet.

Under President Donald Trump’s watch, noted Liz Butler from Friends of the Earth, “carbon emissions have spiraled out of control, communities are suffering through devastating wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts, and Indigenous people are continuously denied their ancestral lands and rights.”
Thanks to the administration’s ongoing support for fossil fuels, Oil Change International’s David Turnbull warned that “our country is on the cusp of one of the largest bursts in dangerous oil and gas drilling ever seen, at precisely the time that we need to be moving full steam ahead in the opposite direction.”
As Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, concluded, “With an unhinged climate denier in the White House, it’s on Congress to chart a path away from climate suicide.”
Some members of Congress seem to be up for that challenge. While green groups kicked off actions on Monday—targeting Democratic leaders in the U.S. House—Axios reported that Ocasio-Cortez is circulating a “dear colleague” letter to solicit more co-sponsors for the measure, which calls for a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II.”
Current co-sponsors, according to the outlet, include Democratic Reps. Brendan Boyle (Penn.), Joaquin Castro (Texas), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Joe Neguse (Colo.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.).

 

“We have no time to lose in the fight to avoid irrevocable climate chaos. We need to ensure that the Green New Deal is sufficiently aggressive to meet the challenge.”
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office is circulating a “dear colleague” memo seeking more initial co-sponsors for a Green New Deal, which is slated to be introduced as early as this week
https://www.
axios.com/green-new-deal
-house-resolution-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-9bca3bd8-3932-43e8-87c9-caf2011ed533.html?stream=top-stories&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=limstream
…The first lawmakers lining up behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution
It’s slated to be introduced as early as this week.
axios.com

Published on
Monday, February 04, 2019
by Common Dreams

 

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March for Our Lives – ‘The fight for their lives’ – NationofChange

26 Mar

 

While President Trump golfed in Florida, 800,000 Americans descended on the nation’s Capitol to demand change in this county’s gun laws.

If you were watching from home, you likely saw the aerial shots of hundreds of thousands of people, not marching so much, but standing and listening to the words of students. The March for Our Lives stopped being a march even before the official starting time of noon – there were simply too many people to move.

Across the country and the world, millions marched in solidarity with the kids that survived the Parkland shooting. They were all united behind the premise that Emma Gonzalez spoke of in her incredible six minute and twenty second long speech that included the words: “Fight for your lives, before it’s someone else’s job.”

Samantha Fuentes spoke in memory of her friend, Nicholas Dworet, that couldn’t be there to speak as he was murdered in front of her at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

“Today is his birthday, I’d like to sing together Happy Birthday…” And after a countdown from Samantha much of the crowd started singing to him, many people holding each other and crying (personally I didn’t break down during this moment, but now I write this through a waterfall of tears). It was the moments like this that truthfully personalized it for a lot of people in the crowd, as they watched on jumbotrons, blocks away from the actual stage.

Gwenevere Abriel is the parent of one of the kids that were in the school on that fateful day. She was standing outside of the packed Pennsylvania Ave march route with her family, where it was a bit quieter. I asked her what she hoped would come out of this day.

She told me, “When they see this on television, they’ll say ok, me too. Now maybe I have the courage to go out, I can represent my core values, I won’t be alone, I have momentum with a large group of people… That’s my hope.”

 

 

The march was large enough that it stretched all the way past Trump’s Hotel, which is where I met up with Juliet and her mom who were holding signs in front of one of the gated entrances to the building.

Juliet’s sign simply read “2020 Voter.” If you’re a Republican or Democrat for that matter who takes money from the NRA, her sign was probably one of the ones that might give you shivers. As she was already decided that she was prepared “to be able to vote against people who want to vote for guns.”

Juliet’s simple message echoed that of the signs and voices of other people that I talked to: “Our right to live is more important than their right to have a gun.”

As an aside, no one that I spoke to at the march was calling for confiscation, and not only because it’s a ridiculous proposition when you consider the practicalities.

You never know what a single event like this one will do. Whether it will change the conversation or just be another big story that fizzles out as the reality and difficulty of actually making change beats down on you. For every Black Lives Matter or Women’s March there’s a hundred Impeachment March’s or even Science March’s, neither of which really has shown much organization outside of the actual event.

But the March For Our Lives has a different feel to me.

I’ve been covering the ‘protest’ movements in America for going on 20 years now (my God I’m old). To me, the March for Our Lives has all the pinnings of a lasting movement. If the adults just let the kids do their thing, then it just might succeed…

Now we all just need to figure out how to be good allies and not grumpy, cynical old people.

 

 

 

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Source: March for Our Lives – ‘The fight for their lives’ – NationofChange

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