The Latest – Your Berning Week

The Latest Cover Photo.png

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Today, February 11th, in The Latest – Your Berning Week we cover the biggest stories including North-South Korean relations, ramifications of Donald Trump’s words and behavior, Congress’ dance of shutdowns, Democrats’ lack of vision, DACA and the American Dream, and some domestic issues. You can read the full articles to find more information on the Berning Media Network homepage.

 

Monday, February 5th

  • Israel makes announcement that they will be working to push out all African migrants that have found their way into the country.
  • Israel began sending out notices of deportation to migrants specifically from Sudan and Eritrea.

This seems to be a decision coming out of some piece of fiction, where all of a sudden the country you were about to call home decided that you and all your people have to get out. Israel, however, is not shy on making controversial and morally questionable acts, such as their continuous war with Palestine and the oppression of the free press within its borders.

The war against ISIS in the Middle East has triggered a lot of migration over the past few years, and Israel has every right to make its own decisions on how to handle such a large flow of immigration. These are people who are fleeing their native countries for a reason. It’s not to cast a burden on you or Israel, it’s so they can do more than survive. So they can live. Accommodations should be made, negotiations with other neighboring countries, a compromise and a plan on how to help these people. After all, Israel has had a role in fueling much of these conflicts in the region.

 

Tuesday, February 6th

  • The birth rate in the United States has been on a steady decline, what’s the reason? Climate change could be one of those factors that branches out into smaller causes that has been affecting us.
  • Global temperatures have been increasing, with the five hottest years recorded being in the past decade. 2017 was so far the hottest.

 

Each year is hotter than the previous, is that something to take note of? Yes, it is. Climate change isn’t something you either believe in or don’t, it’s more about understanding science. It isn’t some religion, it isn’t a mystic legend, it is reality. The planet is going through changes; stronger storms, colder winters, hotter summers, etc. because of human activity.

In December 1952, London had seen some of the worst fog ever recorded. Then Prime Minister Winston Churchill called it an act of god, saying sometimes the sun shines and sometimes it doesn’t. The fog got worse as the days went on, which lasted for five days total. Now, back then, industry ran on burning coal, and the Prime Minister would not shut down the coal plants. When he saw it wasn’t getting any better, he eventually did, and what happened? Is London still drenched in a toxic fog? No.

We need to make choices now so that things don’t get so horrible down the road, for our children, their children, and so on. It just boggles my mind on how we as humans have to wait until the worst possible moment to take action on something. Fog begins to kill people, then we close the coal power plants. 58 people die from shooting in Las Vegas, then we talk about banning just parts of assault weapons (bump-stock ban introduced in Congress but failed). It’s a trend that needs to be stopped. People shouldn’t have to die or get hurt for you to suddenly realize action needs to be taken.

 

Wednesday, February 7th

  • House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for just over eight hours on House floor, urging House Speaker Paul Ryan allow a debate on DACA, to include it in the budget bill.
  • The Senate had passed its own version of the Senate bill, but DACA wasn’t included in it.

 

In the House of Representatives, the budget bill passed 240 – 186, 73 of which were Democrats. Do the math, if those 73 Democrats voted against it, it would’ve stopped the budget bill. It would have been 167 for the bill, and 259 against. I understand we have some moderate Democrats, and some Democrats that don’t want to be blamed for shutting down the government, but they surely lost some dignity. To them, and most Republicans, it became “us vs. them”, Americans vs. immigrants. If the argument boils down to that reason, you’ve failed as a member of Congress, and as an American entirely.

We as a nation fail at our goal of promoting the American dream when we cast aside people who are trying to make a life for themselves and their family here, just like most of our grandparents and ancestors have done. These are people who grew up in this nation only know the United States as their home, there’s no need to strip away their protection, no need to tell them to leave, and absolutely no need to deny them their dreams.

The last point I’d like to make on this subject is that the budget bill also includes a provision raising the debt ceiling and military budget. You can check the live debt clock at USDebtClock.org and see our national debt clocking in at $20.6 trillion. As mentioned the budget bill increases domestic and military spending by about $300 billion, distributed between non-defense and the Pentagon. Are we currently under attack? Is our army severely depleted of soldiers? No and no. Of course, the United States needs a strong military, but we do not need one with a budget that exceeds the next six nations’. It’s time to focus on reducing our debt, and spending tax-payer money on the tax-payers; infrastructure, health care, education, environmental conservation, etc.

 

Thursday, February 8th

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on charges of corruption, including bribery.
  • According to “Netanyahu to Face Indictment for Corruption Charges” by Patrick Vinson, Israeli police authorities, such as the General Commissioner of Israel’s police force, recommended the indictment on the Prime Minister due to accepting bribes in the form of campaign contributions.

 

Israel has been in the media spotlight recently, with their entangling mess with Palestine and clashes with free press, and it’s good to see their chief executive being held accountable. The problems going on in Israel won’t disappear just because one man might be removed from office, but it’s a step in the right direction.

 

Friday, February 9th

  • US government shuts down for a second time in 2018 due to the Senate vote on the budget bill being held up by Senator Rand Paul. In order to commence a vote, the Senate needs a unanimous agreement to table the debate, and one man thought he could bring the entire government to a screeching halt.
  • The shutdown only lasted a few hours as eventually the Senate passed the budget bill in the early hours of the morning.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren was one of the few Democrats that didn’t vote for it, stating it was geared towards helping working people yet it completely left out provisions to protect DACA recipients. Some of the others who didn’t vote for it were Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand (the usual 2020 Democratic presidential contenders).

 

Saturday, February 10th

  • The past year, 2017, has seen a large increase in the number of immigration arrests, about 30%.
  • Berning Media article titled “Immigration Arrests up by 30% New Report Finds” gives details on a following report done by the Pew Research Center. “Pew Research Center, a think-tank, said on Thursday that a total of 143,470 people were held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials last year – up 30 percent compared with 2016. ‘The surge began after President Donald Trump took office in late January [2017],’ the Centre, which analysed ICE statistics on administrative arrests, said in a statement.”

 

Donald Trump’s idea of “bringing back law and order” isn’t a totally baseless claim, and seems to be taking an effect on law enforcement. His plans on re-securing our borders has been met with substantial approval from his own supporters and many Republicans. Many would argue on how they should go about doing so, but his bluntness is appreciated by conservatives, some who have been hiding their resentment of our immigration system for quite some time.

Could it be that Trump’s unapologetic and erratic word choice and behavior are helping us keep control on criminal activity linked with illegal immigration? Maybe it is, and just like with everything else political in this country, most people can only deal with extremes. People are being arrested, yet the way to truly solve illegal immigration is to remove protections from kids who grew up here by were brought over illegally. We don’t have enough money for the government, so we’re going to cut Social Security and the corporate tax rate down to 20%. See what I’m talking about?

 

Sunday, February 11th

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent his sister, Kim Yo Jong to South Korea to personally invite South Korean President Moon Jae-In to Pyongyang.
  • This is the first meeting in over a decade, and could signal the beginning of the end of a multi-decade long hatred between the two countries. As reported in an article on Berning Media Network, “Kim Jong Un Invites South Korean President to Meet in Pyongyang” the two countries are participating in the Winter Olympics under the same flag.

Where’s Donald Trump now? Where’s the man who said diplomacy wasn’t working, and that only military intervention could solve the issue of North Korea’s radical behavior and actions? The biggest thing to be aware about is that North Korea wants attention. Kim Jong Un wants to be recognized as a legitimate leader, leading a legitimately powerful country. Throughout recent history, the way to achieve that status of international prestige is to obtain nuclear weapons. However, Kim Jong Un may be realizing that acting erratically and spontaneously is not the way to proceed with being recognized at the table. And who knows, he probably doesn’t want to be associated with Donald Trump, and had a change of heart. This is something to keep a close eye on, especially since we have an overly emotional man as commander-in-chief.

 

Sources:
https://berningmedianetwork.com/2018/02/05/israel-issues-deportation-notices-to-african-migrants/
https://berningmedianetwork.com/2018/02/08/netanyahu-to-be-indicted-on-corruption-charges/
https://berningmedianetwork.com/2018/02/09/united-states-government-shuts-down-overnight-again/

Nancy Pelosi Speaks for Over 7 Hours on House Floor … for DACA

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Giovanni LoPiccolo

As of early February 7th, 2018, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget bill that would keep the United States government funded for the next two years. Just like all pieces of legislation, they must be passed in both houses, and the Democratic Minority Leader isn’t keen on letting it get through to the President’s desk. The Californian Democrat, and former Speaker of the House, has been speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives Chamber for the past seven hours… and counting. For what? For DACA.

In the Senate version of the budget bill, DACA wasn’t included at all, so how is this even bipartisan? The American people have made it clear time and time again that DACA is non-negotiable. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer doesn’t seem to comprehend that, yet this establishment Democrat does. So, what exactly is Nancy Pelosi doing? I was surprised to hear this, since she’s one of the most moderate and capitalist of the Democrats. She even said at a town hall to a student’s question on more progressive policies that America is a capitalist society, not a democratic socialist one.

Some may say she’s being an opportunist, but I think she’s slowly but surely morphing into what the Democratic Party should be. The Democratic Party lately hasn’t had a legitimate platform and goal, their only goal for the past year and a half has been to resist Trump. I believe, that Nancy Pelosi is slowly joining the Elizabeth Warren-wing (the progressive wing) of the Democratic Party. We need more than just a anti-Trump card in this game.

Minority Leader Pelosi understands that if she doesn’t change her views and agenda she will be booted out of office. California is one of the most progressive states in the US, and she can’t remain a centrist forever. She’s showing that she’s actually making an effort to do something that is in line with her constituents, and the rest of us as progressives and liberals. Whether she or other establishment Democrats realize it or not, this country will be going more leftward on the political spectrum.

She represents the old era of the Democratic Party, and maybe is trying to become the face of the new era of politics. She won’t, but I surely applaud her effort in speaking up for the roughly 700,000 undocumented individuals who are protected by DACA, and the 1.1 million who haven’t applied for DACA protections. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that there’s someone with significant influence in the House that is speaking up for, at least some of, the issues we care about.

We don’t know exactly what sort of compromise the Minority House Leader will make with the Republicans on immigration and DACA if she manages to get a debate, but we can say for sure that the Democratic Party is fracturing. Half of it is doing what it’s supposed to do, and the other half is bending the knee to the Republican Party. It’s as if we are on the verge of having a multi-party system within the two parties… but that’s a discussion for another time.

The Latest – Your Berning Week

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Giovanni LoPiccolo

Today, February 4th, in The Latest – Your Berning Week, we cover the biggest incidents and headlines of the week. There’s much to be aware about and discuss as we continue to fight for what we believe is right. As usual, our focus is on the 45th President, also known as our bigot-in-chief. You can find the full articles on the Berning Media Network website for more information on the subjects.

 

Tuesday, January 30th

  • Donald Trump gives his first State of the Union address, trying to promote a message of unity and “America First”. He receives much praise from Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and much of the Republican caucus present in the House chamber.
  • Democrats during the speech remain stone-faced and emotionless as those around them applaud POTUS. Some members of the Black Caucus wore shawls or scarves dousing patterns/designs native to some of the African countries that Trump called “shithole countries”.
  • An article by Berning Media founder, Patrick Vinson, also details that the US had begun accepting refugees and migrants from the eleven nations once banned, “Meanwhile officials would not confirm which of the 11 countries were subject of the announcement, at the end of 2016, higher-security screening was put in place for Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”

 

Donald Trump gives yet another falsely unifying speech where he paints himself as the next Ronald Reagan, the master of words, yet comes off just as a bigger liar and narcissist. Like Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kamala Harris mentioned in regards to our growing economy, Trump has Obama to thank. In a few years, or perhaps even months, due to the tax cuts, that surge in the stock market will begin to dive. We’ve seen in the late 80s and early 90s that taxes had to be raised again because we couldn’t afford the Reagan-style tax cuts, and then in the 2000s, our economy crashed thanks to George W. Bush’s tax cuts and reckless agenda.

These Republicans don’t seem to comprehend history, or know anything about it. Wait, no they probably do, but their corporate donors stuff their pockets with endless amounts of donations to keep their moral compass off.

 

Wednesday, January 31st

  • Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of the 4th District in South Carolina, serving since 2011, announced he will not be seeking another term. This may not surprise some, but add it with the numerous other Republicans that announced their retirement and it’s a big deal.
  • 34 Republicans in the House of Representatives and so far 3 Republicans in the Senate will not be seeking re-election in the 2018 midterm. According to a short article by Bloomberg, “All Signs Point to Big Democratic Wings in 2018”, reported that Democrats only need to retake 24 seats to gain majority in the House.

 

This is great news for Democrats and progressives, we are just yet another step closer to taking power away from the devastating and destructive establishment/radicalized Republicans. Of course, not all of those 34 up-for-grabs seats will be in districts where Democrats could easily win, but it’s better than nothing at this point. The fact so many Republicans are announcing their early retirement from Congress is a sign, they know what’s going to happen in 2018. They know the American people are insanely infuriated and fed up with the Trump Administration and Trump policies. The swamp wasn’t drained, it was pumped with even more sewage and garbage that is suffocating and drowning the everyday American.

Once in a lifetime tax bonus is nice, but what’s that $1,000 or even $4,000 compared to free health-care, where some premiums reach in the tens of thousands of dollars? Or free public four year universities, where current tuition rates can keep a student in debt for the next three decades? Or how about that neighborhood hospital getting that needed renovation and refurbishment in tech, or the roads and bridges that need repair? These are all things we as a community need, what we as a country need. Face it, that extra thousand dollars in your bank account isn’t going to last, I know it wouldn’t for me.

 

Thursday, February 1st

  • San Francisco announces they will drop thousands of marijuana convictions, thanks to the city’s new legalization law. Some of these convictions date as far back as 1975.

This came to me as a total surprise, I wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen… especially in this time period. Yes, we’ve become a more progressively aware and “woke” country, but we’re still behind from where we should be. To know an entire city is ready to toss aside convictions is unbelievable, and it’s just the beginning. Our current Attorney General, is set on destroying marijuana. He claims it is harmful and causes more deaths, killings, and violence, than other substances, like cocaine. He is a backwards-thinking man, supported by a backwards-thinking White House. It is purely evident now that we have a voice in this constitutional republic. Your vote does matter, and now it’s time we take it to the next level. County, then state, and soon enough, nationally. This is how we win, one battle at a time.

 

Friday, February 2nd

  • March 5th is the last day of DACA’s life, if Congress can’t come up with a plan on how to keep it running, via a budget bill on immigration. So far, Democrats have not come up with a compromise with Republicans, and vice versa.
  • As usual, Donald Trump goes to Twitter to fling out accusations as if he’s still some TV celebrity trying to be heard. He correctly assumes that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, will be to blame.

But, House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be to blame too. Enough of the partisan silent treatments, these two sides need to sit down and talk. Removing DACA is not an option, and our Democratic congressional leaders need to make that clear. There are almost 800,000 young individuals that will be at risk of deportation, people who grew up in this country, people who haven’t done anything wrong. They were brought here by their parents, you know why? Because their parents, like all parents, want their child to live a successful, thriving, and beautiful life. And where? The United States of America. People look up to the United States, and it’s time conservatives and Republicans stop degrading immigrants because it damages our image and reputation.

It makes America look like a shithole country, honestly. When you proclaim that we need to “make America white again” is a complete disregard on the very foundations of our nation. It is a slap in the face to our founding fathers (who weren’t perfect at all) but they had a legitimate idea. An idea to create a nation to free themselves and others from the pain of some form of oppression. They wanted and want people to free themselves from the oppressor of poverty, the oppressor of a non-representative government, oppressor of gang violence and crime cartels, oppressor of rising unemployment.

Go ahead and cry out that liberals are going to ruin this country by bringing in violence and terrorism. An in reality, you’ll find yourself screaming in the mirror… for fundamentalist/extremist, Christian-claiming, white Americans have done that to America themselves.

 

Saturday, February 3rd

  • “In the fourth quarter of 2017 Google posted $32.3 billion in sales, making the companies total annual revenue $110 billion. They also took a $9.9 billion charge because of the Republican tax bill that was signed into law last month. The charge is due to a one-time tax on foreign earnings.” – from Berning Media Founder Patrick Vinson’s article Google Joins $100 Billion Club.

What we’re seeing here is just the beginning of the effects of our grand tax plan crafted and passed by the Republicans. The scales continue to weigh in favor of the rich; individuals, households, corporations, etc. Google is a big enough corporation, linked with rumors that they manipulate searches to feed internet-users certain stories and bits of information. This company only continues to grow, and our government should keep an eye on it. A Republican-controlled Congress will not monitor corporations or companies, for we will have to wait until Democrats take back control to institute any forms of regulations.

Regulations in the sense of preventing such a large company from  merging with others, perhaps like with Facebook. America doesn’t need super-massive entities that control the internet, we need a free internet filled with different voices and companies. Net Neutrality needs to be reinstated, and we can only hope for a Democratic landslide in 2018 for that to happen.

 

Follow Berning Media to keep up to date on the biggest news stories and incidents, and you can expect a The Latest – Your Berning Week article every Sunday.

 

 

Sources:
https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_U.S._Congress_incumbents_who_are_not_running_for_re-election_in_2018

The Latest – Your Berning Week

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Welcome to The Latest – Your Berning Week, where we give you the biggest stories and incidents of the week in a small briefing and some perspective/opinions on the issue. You can read the full articles on the official Berning Media Network website for more information.

 

Sunday, January 21st

  • United States government enters third day in shutdown.
  • Republicans and Donald Trump attempt to shift blame onto Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, trying to make “Schumer Shutdown” a thing.
  • Hundreds of thousands of men and women gather once again in momentous Women’s Marches around the country.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the blame-game being started by both the Republicans and Democrats, but we can surely say that it is Donald Trump’s fault. President Trump has not made any indication that he’s willing to make a deal or compromise. His efforts on including border wall funding and immigration solutions in such a compromise are nonexistent. He wants to be seen as the man who brought together all peoples, but is doing the direct opposite. No surprise here. To the Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer has some explaining to do on his willingness to give up on DACA. Seems that we should have a new Minority Leader in the Senate, since this man truly does not represent the needs of the Democratic Party, which is trying to move more left lately (Thanks to Bernie Sanders and a few others).

In regard to the Women’s Marches, it’s a sign of hope and a beacon of light in this dark era we continue to wander around in. The Trump Administration is trying to pick us off one by one, by race, creed, sexual orientation, etc., but it won’t happen. It’s good to see that there are still hundreds of thousands, and even millions of us, that are against this reactionary agenda and Administration.

 

Monday, January 22nd

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Aly Raisman confronts US Olympic team doctor, Larry Nassar on being sexually assaulted. Ms. Raisman also confronted the US Olympic Committee for allowing such behavior and assault to persist for years on end.
  • Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Israel is met with substantial protests by Palestinian Leaders.

 

Aly Raisman is one of many women coming forward and grabbing the bulls by the horn, in a sense, in controlling how this fight goes. Women, and men too, need to support each other in standing up for one another because these disgusting individuals can’t go unpunished. Her ferocity with the US Olympic Committee is reassuring as well, for we those who sit by and watch the crime happen are just as guilty as those who committed it.

The Palestinians have every right to protest Mike Pence’s visit, since the man is just a pawn of Donald Trump’s agenda. The decision to name Jerusalem the irrefutable capital of Israel was a reckless and really an inappropriate thing to do. On one hand, the Jewish people have suffered immense pain throughout history and should be compensated. But, pushing out one population to fit in another is not right either. The US needs to take a position on helping both the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as punish them both for acting aggressively (economically through sanctions) towards each other. The end goal is to establish a home for both peoples, to establish peace in the region. Choosing a side, in this situation, doesn’t do anyone good. The Israeli government’s actions being taken to quell any independent news of the revolts and protests must be met with significant discipline.

 

Tuesday, January 23rd

  • School shooting takes place in a Kentucky high school, leaving two 15 year old students dead. Fourteen students were wounded, nine of which were shot directly, and the other five not injured by gunfire.
  • Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announces that shooter will be charged with murder and attempted murder.

This is an act of terror taking place in our homes far too often, and an act only responded with by “thoughts and prayers”. This excuse to answering to mass shootings has been overused, it’s disheartening and disappointing that our legislators aren’t taking further action on gun control. Democrats, liberals, and progressives don’t want to take away your guns! We want to ensure the safety of all people in every community, town, city, and state. We want to make sure that someone who isn’t stable, mentally or emotionally, shouldn’t have guns. Is it really that ridiculous to want to make sure crazy people don’t have guns? Come on, this isn’t about taking away our Second Amendment Right, it’s about bringing some sanity and safety.

 

Wednesday, January 24th

  • Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon becomes richest man in the world and reaches highest net-worth after the launch of Amazon Go.

Any real news here? Not really. Just another company head becoming even more wealthy as the rest of the nation and world loses out. The rest of us as in the 99%. Of course this coincides greatly with the GOP’s tax plan that is surely going to give Mr. Bezos even more money.

 

Thursday, January 25th

  • In a commune within the City of Milan, Italy, Pioltello, a devastating train crash leaving 3 confirmed dead and over 100 injured. The crash happened at the Pioltello Limito Station where two train cars derailed, causing the crash.

 

Friday, January 26th

  • Donald Trump joins numerous world leaders in Davos, Switzerland on a forum on economics. Promotes message of America First
  • Is met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel stating the following on such isolation, “Ever since the Roman Empire, ever since the Chinese Wall, we know that shutting ourselves off doesn’t help to protect your borders,” she said. “You also need good cooperation with your neighbors, you need good agreements, valid agreements that are respected.

Yet again, the real leader of the free world gives the Donald another important history lesson. Shutting yourself out does you no good. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently won a fourth term, showing that this woman knows what she’s doing and what she’s talking about. Her openness to welcoming fleeing refugees, maintaining social welfare policies and expanding them, and even keeping Vladimir Putin in place, are examples of what a true leader is like. Donald Trump is a mere child, he is overshadowed by a powerful woman who is the face of western democracy and the face of an inclusive global community. I’m completely fine with having Chancellor Merkel hold the mantle of Leader of the Free World, for our commander-in-chief neither shows it or deserves it.

 

 

 

Sources:
https://berningmedianetwork.com/
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/01/trump-inner-car-salesman-davos-speech
https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/22/headlines

 

 

 

 

82 vs. 18 to End Shutdown – The American Resistance now led by only 16 Senators

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Giovanni LoPiccolo

Darkness looms over the nation, the shadow of filthy rich oligarchs hangs low over all our heads, even those in the government. This darkness, this pure evil, is embodied and enshrined by the Republican Party. For one second of your life, do not think of your party affiliation. Conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, take a moment to be silent and think. Will Donald Trump give you free access to health-care like he promised on the campaign trail? Will moderate/establishment Democrats, similar to Hillary Clinton, give you, a hard working American, the right to attend a four year university tuition free? Will Senators like Chuck Schumer really protect the 700,000 plus young individuals that grew up in America? These are some of the questions we must ask ourselves when we think about who governs us… about who we pay to make the laws of the land. Donald Trump will not deliver, and Democrats like Hillary Clinton won’t either. So… the question is… who will? The American Resistance will.

On Monday, January 22nd, 2018, the United States Senate voted 82 to 18 to bring an end to the three day government shutdown which began on the previous Friday. The measure involved possibly ending protections for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which put over 700,000 young adults at risk for deportations. 82 Senators voted in favor of the bill, including most Democrats, and all but two Republicans. So, in a world where we pledged to fight the Trump Administration at every step, who didn’t sell us out?

Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Jon Tester of Montana, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California, and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

The Democratic Party is on the verge of collapse, because a large part of it is stuck. Stuck in bed with corporate donors and in a mindset of being able to break a pledge of protecting and serving the American people… especially the ones who need help the most. A raft is growing between what the Democratic Party should be, and what it actually us. A raft that is actually becoming an ever increasingly deepening chasm.

The Democratic Party, and DNC, want to be our champion, our savior and solution to the Trump Administration, but in reality; they’ve failed horribly in doing so. They aren’t deserving of our support anymore, and need to be either taken over or taken down.

Clearly our nation is hellbent on remaining as a two-party regime for the foreseeable future. Third-party candidates, unfortunately, don’t make it far in most elections, and once they’re sworn in, they’re alone. There are currently two independents in the United States Senate, and they caucus with the Democrats. Sure, there are moments where we get angry and want to just flip off the DNC for their obscene behavior in handling certain situations. Sure, there are moments where I want to change my party affiliation to Independent.

But I remind myself, what would happen if I did that? When it comes to voting, I’d be shut out too. I live in New York, and like many other states, we have closed primaries. If I become an Independent, I won’t be allowed to participate in the Democratic primary to give my support to someone who could really make change. Our goal is to infiltrate the Democratic Party, to take it over. We need to use what tools we have in front of us.

Just a handful of these 14 Democrats that I listed above are the leaders of the American Resistance. Perhaps the most dignified and most progressive of them all, Bernie Sanders, is our last hope at restoring true stability and bi-partisan compromise in our government. We don’t need anymore incremental nonsense, we need bold and direct change. If Donald Trump can, all of a sudden, decide to block immigrants coming from certain countries due to their religion… then we can establish Medicare for All. If Donald Trump can drop the corporate tax rate down to 20% from 35%, then we can tax Wall Street and the rich for what we really need.

We need new schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, better infrastructure. We need an immigration system that helps our newcomers, not punish them for trying to find a better life for their family and children. We need to have a minimum wage that brings you out of poverty for working 40+ hours a week. We need public universities funded by the government so we students aren’t crushed by debt for the next 20-30 years. Do you really expect the Republican Party or the Democratic Party to deliver on those things? I don’t. Only the American Resistance can.

What does America Need Now, Opportunist or Progressive?

 

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Giovanni LoPiccolo

 

On January 5th, 2018, the Daily Beast posted an article called “The Trouble with Kirsten Gillibrand”. Kirsten Gillibrand is the junior Senator from New York of the Democratic Party, and the problem with this article by the Daily Beast is not their targeting of a fellow New Yorker; it’s the message.

Kirsten Gillibrand is seen as a the prodigy and next Hillary Clinton, since Gillibrand took Clinton’s US Senate seat in 2009 after becoming Secretary of State to then-President Barack Obama. She’s been ridiculed and has taken punches, like many women have in politics. She was called chubby by a fellow senator after having a child, and just recently; Donald Trump tweeted about her, hinting she’d engage in sexual activity for campaign donations. It takes a lot of gut and gall to be a public official, especially one that is under constant besiege by the public.

This article bashes Gillibrand about her transparency in her actions, that she’s voted against every Trump Cabinet nominee, against the $700 billion dollar military budget proposal, one of the first senators to call upon Al Franken’s resignation, and so much more. What are people really expecting from our elected officials. People complain that they don’t do enough press briefings, engage with the communities about issues that are truly pertinent, or that they aren’t progressive enough… now, some are complaining she’s too transparent. I think, some people are asking for too much from these people. Although yes, of course, they need to be held accountable.

In 2013, John Oliver interviewed Kirsten Gillibrand about her ties to Wall Street (you can find the link to that article with quotes from the interview below), and pressed her on why she took in donations from big banks. He goes onto show that there’s a blurred line between where money and politics should be divided, and Gillibrand gives somewhat a generic answer about serving all the needs of New York. Now, she’s beginning to shy away from that.

I would say that Kirsten Gillibrand is an opportunist. She is trying to harness the energy growing from the left, thanks to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, a progressive surge that is waking up many Americans. In a country completely dominated by the Republican Party, we need to just accept the fact most Democrats in office may become opportunists. My message to my fellow progressive citizens: let them change, and if they aren’t becoming an opportunist; force them to. Our current mission is to purge the government of this radical right-wing extremism, and it isn’t going to happen overnight, or in one election cycle. Let’s make them more transparent to make sure they really are becoming progressive.

We need to support our Democrats, for now (emphasis on FOR NOW). They are the only people who can stop the Republican agenda at this stage. Our grassroots organizing and message worked in Alabama, where there the people elected a Democrat to the Senate for the first time in over twenty years. Doug Jones, proclaimed the winner of the special Senate election, is a moderate. He even stated that he could vote with Republicans on some issues. Yes, he said that. More specifically, he elaborates, “One of the problems in American politics right now, in my opinion, is that everybody thinks because you’re a member of one party or another, you’re going to vote a certain way,” he said. “And that should not be the case, should never be the case. I’m going to talk to people on both sides of the aisle, try to figure out what I think is in the best interest of my state and the country.” 

Doug Jones seems to have his heart in the right place, to heal the wounds that are hindering our country from moving forward. Getting things done in America doesn’t happen so fast. Our nation was founded in 1776. The Bill of Rights wasn’t ratified until 1791. Slavery wasn’t outlawed until 1863. Women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920. The Civil Rights Act wasn’t passed until 1964. You weren’t required to have health insurance until 2014. There is still a lot more to be done, many more hurdles to leap over, obstacles to overcome, and wars to win. The United States won’t become greater if we don’t listen to each other, if we don’t let ourselves learn about one another. And it certainly won’t become greater if we don’t work together. We need to pick which battles to fight to our greatest extent, rather than exasperate our energy and reputation.

Right now, we’ve been set back. We can’t jump from far right wing to progressive in every county, state, or federal election. Some places are more difficult than others to do so. The key is to continue informing the public of what’s going on, what we will lose because of the Republican/Trump government. We take whatever progressive we can get, even if they are an opportunist. If they are willing to change to maintain their office, then we keep voting for them. The moment they do something that betrays our trust, values, and morals, that’s it for them. A quick example: Elizabeth Warren was one of many Democrats who voted for the $700 billion military budget. I have no clue why, but we’re not going to let that slide. We will figure that out, she must explain her decision in doing that. And if she can’t, and when a better candidate comes around, we vote for him or her. As Bernie Sanders has said numerous times, political revolutions don’t happen overnight.

 

Sources:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/09/john-oliver-grills-kirsten-gillibrand-over-wall-st-donations_n_3729694.html
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/doug-jones-voting-republican-issues-article-1.3705350
Cover Art of Bernie Sanders by author: Giovanni LoPiccolo