11 May 2016

WHITE PEOPLE FLIP THE FUCK OUT IF YOU SAY

1600 by Jeff Hess

The time has long gone by for the consideration, debate on and passage of Rep. John Conyers HB 40.

Previously…

11 May 2016

ANOTHER CLEVELAND $1 BILLION BOONDOGGLE

1400 by Roldo Bartimole

roldo chart 160511a

How desperate in the early 2000s was the Cleveland Establishment to get a new convention center and thus shoot for the 2016 Republican Convention?

As desperate as anyone could possibly be. Mouth-wateringly.

However, to squeeze out new revenue for a convention center—atop the huge mounds of money already spent on sports venues—posed a problem. Even for our Big Boys. How to get the dough.
They wanted it so badly. And not from themselves, of course.

How can we add another tax, the corporate leaders had to ask themselves. Certainly not by going to the voters.

It would take the skill of making a pool table shot that slams one ball that clinks another that bumps a third, then caroms off a fourth. And finally goes in the pocket.

Clumsy maybe. But a score.

You may remember that Tim Hagan with thoughtless Jimmy Dimora came to the rescue with an added sales tax—the most regressive tax of them all—in 2007 Continue Reading »

11 May 2016

BERNIE WINS MY FATHER’S STATE: WEST VIRGINIA…

1300 by Jeff Hess

Dan Roberts and Ben Jacobs, reporting in Bernie Sanders takes West Virginia for The Guardian, write:

A defiant Bernie Sanders refused to go gently into the night on Tuesday with another last-minute primary win over Hillary Clinton that comes despite her commanding lead in the national race for delegates.

In a fundraising email sent out soon after polls closed, the leftwing senator hailed his victory in West Virginia and said: “Every vote we earn and every delegate we secure sends an unmistakable message about the values we share, the country’s support for the ideas of our campaign, and a rejection of Donald Trump and his values.”

He added: “There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country. But I believe that it is not enough to just reject Trump – this is an opportunity to define a progressive vision for America.

“Voters agree: just today, three new polls showed that we are the best campaign to defeat Trump.”

Yes he is.

bernie beats trump 160511

11 May 2016

WALMART WEDNESDAY FOR 11 MAY…

1200 by Jeff Hess

It’s been a busy week in Wally World: the Universe’s source of cheap plastic crap from China. On The Writing On The Wal—the blog USA Today says should be on its readers’ radar—I continue my singular work dedicated to drawing back the curtain on the Bentonvile Behemoth’s corporate disinformation and other flackery.

MR. MCMILLON: OPEN THOSE DOORS… The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union wants transparency when Walmart hauls in non-union (i.e. all Walmart) employees for disciplinary hearings that result from worker strikes. Given… Keep reading…

WALMART GETTING AHEAD OF TRUMP’S WALL…? Much of the news concerning Americans not living in the United States of late has been focused on the Republican obsession illegal immigration: Donald Trump and the mythical idea that a Game-Of-Thrones… Keep reading…

WALMART: AMERICA’S TOWN SQUARE… Senator Ben Sasse’s (R-Neb.)—whose name sounds strangely like Benghazi—Facebook Manifesto/Anti-Trump rant isn’t all that interesting. The reaction of the headline writer at The Guardian, however, caught… Keep reading…

TARGET IS RIGHT ON TRANS CUSTOMERS… Let Walmart know that you think Target (and others) are right in not discriminating against transgender customers’ use of their bathrooms and that you support Target’s stance by informing Walmart headquarters… Keep reading…

ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO ALWAYS PAY CASH… One of the ways that thieves exploit the electronic economy is by using simple devices that look like ATM/Debit card readers at cash machines and retail checkout card readers to collect both account… Keep reading…

WALMART GREETERS MAKING A COMEBACK… When Sam Walton instituted the practice of hiring, often kindly and retired, people to stand at the doors of his stores and greet people, he found a way to take the most impersonal edifices imaginable—a big… Keep reading…

VOLUNTARILY EAT FOOD FROM WALMART…? I’ll say up front that Tim Worstall has found a better way to make a living with his journalistic skills than I have. He managed to turn his blogging skills into a regular gig for Forbes while there are moths circling… Keep reading…

WALMART HAS ANOTHER ASK FOR VENDORS… When Walmart needs to slash costs the Bentonvile Behemoth turns first to the serfs who till the fields vendors that supply product for the company’s shelves. Why divert any of the stockholders’ profits… Keep reading…

WALMART OUT SHINES THE HEAVENS… I attended Colorado State University back in 1975 and I have fond memories of the brilliant night skies once you got away from the light pollution of Fort Collins. Seeing those stars gets more difficult with each… Keep reading…

IF ONLY WALMART CONTROLLED THE MESSAGE… The wet dream of any individual in the public arena, or any corporation desirous of only good press, is to own a media outlet that people trust: think NBC and General Electric or Rupert Murdoch and Fox… Keep reading…

Previously…

11 May 2016

THIS IS ONE COST OF USING WORD PROCESSORS…

0700 by Jeff Hess

I’m old enough to have learned to write on a manual typewriter and remember the experience of retyping whole pages when I reworked a draft. Few people—possibly the better writers, I don’t know—still engage in this kind of second- or third-pass at a manuscript. The rest of us edit on the screen and only change the words we’re focused on. Perhaps we ought not to do that so much.

[John Cage] said that it’s a very good idea that after you write a little bit, stop and then copy it. Because while you’re copying it you thinking about it, and it’s giving you other ideas. And that the way I work. And it’s marvelous, just wonderful, the relationship between working and copying. —Morton Feldman (1926-1987), page 15..

From Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry.

Found in my electronic chapbook.

10 May 2016

LISTEN TO ELANOR, MAGGIE AND MARGARET…

0600 by Jeff Hess

I never met Elanor Roosevelt. I trust that she was a wise woman who spoke and wrote much that arose from that wisdom. I’m confident, however, that she never said: Do one thing every day that scares you.

I did meet Maggie Kuhn once while I was attending Ohio University and I am equally confident that she did say: Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind–even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. (There’s another famous (disputed) quote by another famous woman I also find germane here.)

The quotes attributed to all three women, however, are all about actions over words. In the second decade of the 21st century we need much more of the former and much less of the latter as The Yes Men opined in Technology supports movements. But only risk-takers make political change for The Guardian:

Technology has always been instrumental to movements for social and political change, but recently, it’s been getting too much credit for the success of those movements.

People talk about how Egypt’s revolution was due to Facebook, or how none of today’s activism (Ferguson, the Keystone XL protests, Occupy) would be successful without social media. That’s all hogwash. Hosni Mubarak had no reason to fear a website, only what people might do when they stopped looking at it; shutting down Facebook only got people into the streets that much faster.

Electronic technologies can be important and useful, but they’re never revolutionary in themselves. Like engravings, the printing press or other technologies that have appeared over the centuries, electronic media do help activists get the word out. Even “clicktivism” – tweeting, liking, or adding your email to online petitions, which is ultimately just a much less impactful version of writing to your congressperson – has its place. But policy shifts and paradigm shifts require more than a click. Even Wikileaks and Anonymous,which put technology to truly revolutionary uses, have garnered the most attention when people like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have stepped out of the shadows, willingly or not.

We all hide in some shadow, some more than others. What’s casting your shadow?

9 May 2016

FREUD WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS STORY…

1600 by Jeff Hess

What follows stands alone in my experience as the most odd writing ritual I have yet learned of. I suppose there are stranger rites out there, but I have my doubts.

…Standing naked at his hotel-hotel room window, Wolfe found that his weariness had suddenly evaporate and that he was eager to write again. Returning to the table he wrote until dawn with, he recalled, amazing speed, ease and sureness. Looking back, Wolfe tried to figure out what had prompted the sudden change—and realized that, at the window, he had been unconsciously fondling his genitals, a habit from childhood that, while not exactly sexual (his penis remained limp and unaroused, he noted in a letter to his editor), fostered such a good male feeling that it had stoked his creative energies. From then on, Wolfe regularly used this method to inspire his writing sessions, dreamily exploring his male configuration until the sensuous elements in every domain of life became more immediate, real and beautiful. —Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), page 9.

From Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry.

Found in my electronic chapbook.

9 May 2016

THE DANGERS OF MORNING-SHOW SCIENCE…

0300 by Jeff Hess

[Update at 1307 on 12 May: As is to be suspected, Mano Singham perfectly expands on Oliver’s piece in Misunderstanding and misrepresenting science.

THE DANGERS OF MORNING-SHOW SCIENCE…

8 May 2016

BAD FOR AMERICA, DAMN GOOD FOR CBS

1000 by Jeff Hess

I am of a generation of journalists who, in the wake of The Pentagon Papers and Watergate, saw our profession as a noble calling, a tradition that comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable. There’s not much of that left, especially at the organizations reduced to small parts of vast global consortia driven by profit, profit and profit. As Ralph Nader discusses in The Need for Progressive Voices:

In 1961, President Kennedy’s Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minow described television as “a vast wasteland.” Perhaps nothing demonstrates that better these days than the rise of Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate; now the presumptive Republican nominee. Trump’s boisterous carnival barker persona has dominated the airwaves for the entirety of the 2016 election cycle, eclipsing what precious little time remained for the serious issues that affect millions of Americans. CBS president Leslie Moonves recently pulled no punches about the Trump phenomenon, saying it “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Trump is a symptom of a larger problem?profit-driven commercial television has put a stranglehold on our public discourse, highlighting personalized controversy, street (not greater suite) carnage and celebrity entertainment fare over serious matters. The media industry reshaped our precious public commons into a fortress of exclusion that blocks dissenting, innovative and majoritarian viewpoints on matters that address society’s most basic needs. One thing is clear?something’s gotta give.

Agreed. Just what has to give, however, will be a matter of a fight that Nader believes will begin in a little more than two weeks.

On May 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th 2016 at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. a large gathering of civil society will take place to challenge the entrenched power of the corporate/political complex. The event is called Breaking Through Power. This “Civic Mobilization” will involve thousands of people at Constitution Hall and around the country and connect long-available knowledge to long-neglected action for the necessities and aspirations of people from all backgrounds.

May 24th will be dedicated solely to challenging mainstream media, bringing together authors, documentary filmmakers, reporters, columnists, musicians, poets and editorial cartoonists who will demonstrate the need for higher standards on television and radio, and in print and on the web . Some participants on that day will be: Phil Donahue, Laura Flanders, Eugene Jarecki, Patti Smith, Mark Green, Matt Wuerker and many others.

The major mobilizing action on May 24th will be to create a new advocacy organization called “Voices.” The purpose of Voices is simple?to push for enlarging and enhancing space for serious content in all forms of media. “Voices” will be staffed by public interest lawyers, writers, and traditional and social media specialists. “Voices” will advance long-neglected standards in the 1934 Communications Act which contains the imperative that broadcasters meet “the public interest, necessity and convenience” and other laws under the jurisdiction of the FCC. The Voices staff will make the case for much more air-time on TV and radio and space in print publications for a multitude of subject matter, issues and activities that are now excluded or censored routinely as a result of a business-model of maximum profit above all else.

There is a ground swell of youthful enthusiasm in politics that has not been seen in my lifetime since the 1968 campaign of an earlier anti-war, progressive Democrat: Wisconsin Senator Eugene McCarthy. The present political revolution began, I think, in the Occupy Wall Street movement and has found new energy in the campaign to make Bernie Sanders the next President of the United States.

Nader see’s an opportunity to expand the conversation beyond Bernie. I think he’s right.

8 May 2016

HILLARY HAS THE BEST SUPPORTERS SHE CAN BUY…

0820 by Jeff Hess

Ghost writers are par for the course in politics. Politicians (with the exception, to the best of my knowledge, of President Jimmy Carter) don’t have the time, inclination or skills to write much more than a memo.

So, this news that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed used a lobbyist to pen his attack on Bernie Sanders before the Georgia primary, doesn’t surprise me. (The comments on the piece, however, are blowing up over the faux column.)Still a story, is a story as Lee Fang relates for The Intercept in Atlanta Mayor’s Column Ripping Bernie Sanders Drafted by Lobbyist, Emails Show.

A few days before the Georgia primary, influential Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed published a column on CNN.com praising Hillary Clinton and ripping her opponent, Bernie Sanders. Reed attacked Sanders as being out of step with Democrats on gun policy, and accused him of elevating a “one-issue platform” that ignores the plight of the “single mother riding two buses to her second job.”

But emails released from Reed’s office indicate that the column, which pilloried Sanders as out of touch with the poor, was primarily written by a corporate lobbyist, and was edited by Correct the Record, one of several pro-Clinton Super PACs.

Anne Torres, the mayor’s director of communications, told The Intercept this week that the column was not written by the mayor, but by Tharon Johnson, a former Reed adviser who now works as a lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Honda, and MGM Resorts, among other clients. The column’s revisions by staffers from Correct the Record are documented in the emails.

Johnson, Torres told us, is a “capable writer,” who managed Reed’s first campaign. Reed “provided verbal edits and feedback to Tharon, but other than that, no one from my office or the mayor’s office wrote this op-ed,” Torres said.

Did Reed believe all that was written in his name? Of course he did. I liken this to the number of people who, when asked to write letters of recommendations for students or others, reply by saying “write the recommendation and I’ll sign it.” Just another case of intellectual laziness.

8 May 2016

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY…*

0800 by Jeff Hess

zits mom's day 160509

Motherly love/situational amnesia is the only reason the human race lasted past the first birth.

*Yes, Mother’s Day, not Mothers (or Mothers’) Day.

8 May 2016

BREAK FREE: AUSTRALIA…

0500 by Jeff Hess

break free 160508

We’re halfway into the two weeks designated by 350.org for civil disobedience and political actions demanding nations take direct actions to prevent a global meltdown from the burning of fossil fuels. Citizens of Australia took actions in Newcastle as reported by Helen Davidson, writing for The Guardian, in Dozens arrested as anti-fossil fuel protesters join Australian coal blockade

Police have arrested 66 people in anti-fossil fuel protests in the Newcastle, home to Australia’s biggest coal export port.

Hundreds of kayaks and boats blocked the entrance to Newcastle harbour in an attempt to stop coal ships from leaving or entering. Another group blocked train tracks used to transport coal on the Sandgate Bridge in the city’s north west.

The protests are part of several anti-fossil fuel actions happening across 12 countries.

Organisers estimate more than 1,000 people attended the protest in Newcastle, which lies approximately 160km north of Sydney, on Sunday, calling for the government to take action on climate change and wind down the use of fossil fuels.

The Break Free From Fossil Fuels group said it was targeting “some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects on the face of the planet”.

In a not surprising twist, the day of action may prove to be a boon for the Australian Green Party.

The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, who attended the Sunday protest, and said the Coalition government was holding Australia back from making the transition to “a new 21st century clean economy”.

“We stand as Greens with the community on the first day of an election campaign, where you’ll see the two old parties, standing with vested interests saying let’s continue to dig coal out of the ground, to pollute the atmosphere, to make dangerous global warming worse, to lose the Great Barrier Reef, to lose that precious wilderness we all so dearly love, and to hold us back from making that transition that we as a country so desperately need to make.”

Di Natale said the Greens had never been in better shape for an election campaign.

Voters in the United States are also talking more about the Greens here. Many of the supporters of Bernie Sander’s bid for the Democratic Party are already thinking ahead to what they might do if Bernie is denied the nomination. Options include a write-in-campaign or voting for Jill Stein (where my vote went in 2012).

Previously in The Guardian emails… and Keep Carbon In The Ground…

7 May 2016

OK, WHAT YOU GOIN’ TO DO NOW, ASSHOLES…?

0400 by Jeff Hess

First out of the race (11 September 2015) Rick Perry (his speechwriter, actually) on 22 July 2015 opined about Donald Trump:

…America has been blessed for more than 200 years with magnanimous leadership in the presidency, individuals who were raised beyond their personal limitations to steer the nation through war, depression and disaster to a better future for all Americans.

Each one of these leaders have been repairers of the breach, such as Lincoln who—at the height of the Civil War—insisted on the completion of the Capitol Dome. He meant the world to know our Union endured. And showed it in acts small and large.

Here was a president who ordered hundreds of thousands of men to war, and ultimately, to their deaths.

And yet, once he had won the war and freed the slaves, after so much blood had been spilled, he set out to bind the wounds of the nation, declaring “malice toward none, with charity for all.”

Lincoln was a healing force who rose above great differences to preserve our union. He was a repairer of the breach.

When King George III inquired what George Washington would do upon winning the war, he was told he would return to his Virginia farm.

To which the king responded, “if he were to do so, he would be the greatest man of his age.”

Thousands of years of history had informed the world that to the victor go the spoils, that conquering heroes seize power, and reign with impunity Continue Reading »

6 May 2016

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HAVE COFFEE WILL WRITE

1200 by Jeff Hess

So, I’ve found a little time to play with the code beneath Have Coffee Will Write using the WordPress widget Jetpack. The first bit I’ve changed is to add a subscribe function to the top of the sidebar. If you think getting email updates wouldn’t be too intrusive, give the subscription service a shot. You can cancel anytime. Thanks. JH

6 May 2016

SO, JUST WHO ARE THE 3 PERCENT…?

0500 by Jeff Hess

I’ve posted this video from Jimmy Kimmel elsewhere, but I think what Kimmel, and the very real scientist involved, have to say is bears repeating. Lack of unanimity is not the same as controversy. Right and wrong are not relative equals to be reported and decided upon, Facts are not convenient or inconvenient data points to be weighed and selected in support of a particular agenda; especially when the agenda is driven by greed.

John Abraham, reporting in Peabody coal’s contrarian scientist witnesses lose their court case for The Guardian writes:

In Minnesota, an administrative hearing resulted in a judicial recommendation that will have impacts across the country. It was a case argued mainly between environmental groups (such as Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and their clients Fresh Energy and the Sierra Club) and energy producers (such as the now-bankrupt coal company Peabody Energy) regarding what a reasonable social cost of carbon should be.

I was called as an expert witness in the case along with respected climate scientist Dr. Andrew Dessler. We were opposed by the well-known contrarians Drs. Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and William Happer (who has recently received attention related to his charged fees in the case). In full disclosure, Dr. Dessler and I were not paid for our work in the case. I recently wrote about the testimony and provided links to the testimonies submitted for the case. The judge’s recommendations and how they will impact energy decisions in the USA were the keys to this trial.

On April 15th, the Administrative Law Judge decided that the estimated cost of carbon pollution currently used in Minnesota is too low. New knowledge about how fast the climate is changing, how much it will change, and how it will affect societies and economies would be reflected in a larger carbon cost. This leads to a large increase in the estimated cost, from $0.44-4.53 per ton to $11-57 per ton. A summary of the ruling can be found here and the full report is available here.

How was this case won? Well certainly it helps to have science on your side. Without that, even the most expensive expert witnesses struggle. But Peabody’s scientists made errors that were easy to identify and point out to the Judge. Furthermore, the Judge was smart, quickly able to see through nonsense non-science.

More of us are developing the vital ability to do the same.

6 May 2016

REMEMBERING LAUGHING AT THE FALLEN…

0400 by Jeff Hess

Sadly, of course, the joke is on all of us…

6 May 2016

ALLOWING THE GOVERNMENT TO FUCK US AT WILL…

0300 by Jeff Hess

I graduated from Ohio University in 1984. The knowledge of the irony that I would do so in the year randomly made prophetic by George Orwell was not lost on me or my classmates. There was a certain badness inherent in earning our degrees in that particular year. We believed that we had come out of 1984—even though Ronald Reagan was President and likely to be re-elected that Fall—believing that we had dodged an existential bullet.

How young and foolish we were.

Edward Snowden, writing in ‘Governments can reduce our dignity to that of tagged animals’ for The Guardian expounds:

If harmfulness and authorisation make no difference, what explains the distinction between the permissible and the impermissible disclosure?

The answer is control. A leak is acceptable if it is not seen as a threat, as a challenge to the prerogatives of the institution. But if all the disparate components of the institution – not just its head but its hands and feet, every part of its body—must be assumed to have the same power to discuss matters of concern, that is an existential threat to the modern political monopoly of information control, particularly if we’re talking about disclosures of serious wrongdoing, fraudulent activity, unlawful activities. If you can’t guarantee that you alone can exploit the flow of controlled information, then the aggregation of all the world’s unmentionables—including your own—begins to look more like a liability than an asset.

When I read that paragraph I flashed back to 1980 when I returned to college after five years in the Navy. As I depressurized and re-acclimated to civilian life, I formed many of my understandings regarding feminism and one I remember most vividly was the trope that rape is not about sex; rape is about control. What Snowden is saying here is that the surveillance state is about the freedom, the power, to take even the illusion of control away from us, from We The People; to rape.

We don’t have to lie back and accept the inevitable. Snowden continues:

Official wrongdoing can catalyse all levels of insiders to reveal information, even at great risk to themselves, so long as they can be convinced that it is necessary to do so.

Reaching those individuals, helping them realise that their first allegiance as a public servant is to the public rather than to the government, is the challenge. That is a significant shift in cultural thinking for a government worker today.

I’ve argued that whistleblowers are elected by circumstance. It’s not a virtue of who you are or your background. It’s a question of what you are exposed to, what you witness. At that point, the question becomes: “Do you honestly believe that you have the capability to remediate the problem, to influence policy?” I would not encourage individuals to reveal information, even about wrongdoing, if they do not believe they can be effective in doing so, because the right moment can be as rare as the will to act.

This is simply a pragmatic, strategic consideration. Whistleblowers are outliers of probability, and if they are to be effective as a political force, it is critical that they maximise the amount of public good produced from scarce seed.

What, from Snowden’s particular perspective, must drive the outlier?

When you see that the programme or policy is inconsistent with the oaths and obligations that you’ve sworn to your society and yourself, then that oath and that obligation cannot be reconciled with the programme. To which do you owe a greater loyalty?

While those in control need to exert control and do so by fostering a general fear of some monster-in-the-closet they label terrorism, they too are afraid, terrified, of losing that control.

They recognise that even if we had a 9/11 attack every year, we would still be losing more people to car accidents and heart disease, and we don’t see the same expenditure of resources to respond to those more significant threats.

What it really comes down to is the reality that we have a political class that feels it must inoculate itself against allegations of weakness. Our politicians are more fearful of the politics of terrorism – of the charge that they do not take terrorism seriously—than they are of the crime itself.

How dire is the threat? Snowden continues:

Take, for instance, the holy grail of drone persistence, a capability that the US has been pursuing forever. The goal is to deploy solar-powered drones that can loiter in the air for weeks without coming down. Once you can do that, and you put any typical signals-collection device on the bottom of it to monitor, unblinkingly, the emanations of, for example, the different network addresses of every laptop, phone and iPod, you know not just where a particular device is in what city, but you know what apartment each device lives in, where it goes at any particular time, and by what route.

Once you know the devices, you know their owners. When you start doing this over several cities, you are tracking the movements not just of individuals but of whole populations.

We become tagged animals.

Snowden concludes:

The insiders at the highest levels of government have extraordinary capability, extraordinary resources, tremendous access to influence and a monopoly on violence, but in the final calculus there is but one figure that matters: the individual citizen.

And there are more of us than there are of them.

The final question, then, becomes: am I, are you, one of us or one of them?

5 May 2016

BERNIE SPEAKS ON POVERTY AMIDST BILLIONAIRES…

1200 by Jeff Hess

Bernie writes:

In the United States today, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, 47 million Americans are living in poverty.

Almost 22 percent of American children are poor and we have the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country on earth.

Let’s be clear. Living in poverty doesn’t just mean you don’t have enough money to buy a big screen TV, a fancy laptop, or the latest iPhone. It goes much deeper than that.

Living in poverty means you are less likely to have a good grocery store in your community selling healthy food. Far too often it means you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from. Living in poverty means you are less likely to have access to a doctor, dentist or mental health care provider. It means you have less access to public transportation, which makes it harder to find a job. It means you are less likely to have access to child care.

In the United States of America, poverty is often a death sentence.

Yesterday, I spoke about poverty in McDowell County, West Virginia — one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states in America. In 2014, over 35 percent of the residents in McDowell lived in poverty, including nearly half of the children. The roads are crumbling and only 6 percent of adults have a college education. Less than two-thirds have graduated high school. It has the lowest life expectancy for men in the entire nation. I hope you’ll watch part of my speech on poverty and share it with friends and family on social media.

Poverty is an issue we must address. In 2011, the American Journal of Public Health found that 130,000 people died in just one year alone as a result of poverty.

This is not an issue we can just sweep under the rug and hope it will go away. Because it won’t.

And when I talk about it being too late for establishment politics and economics, this is what I mean. When I talk about thinking big and outside the box, about rejecting incremental change, I am talking about the millions of Americans who live in poverty who have been tossed out, left behind, and abandoned by the rich and powerful. We need to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.

Here’s what we need to do:

  • 1. Rebuild our country’s crumbling infrastructure. A $1 trillion investment in our infrastructure will create at least 13 million jobs all over America – jobs that cannot be outsourced.
  • 2. We must rewrite our disastrous trade policies that enable corporate America to shut down plans in places like West Virginia and move them to Mexico, China, and other low-wage countries.
  • 3. We can create 1 million jobs for disadvantaged youths through legislation I introduced with Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.
  • 4. We need to increase the wages of at least 53 million American workers by raising the minimum wage from a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour.
  • 5. At a time when women workers earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, we need to sign the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. Equal pay for equal work.
  • 6. We need to make health care a right for every man, woman, and child through a Medicare for All single-payer system.
  • 7. We need to treat drug addiction like a mental health issue, not a criminal issue.
  • 8. We need to ensure every worker in this country has at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, two weeks of paid vacation, and one week of paid sick days.
  • 9. We need to impose a tax on Wall Street to make public colleges and universities tuition free while substantially reducing student debt.
  • 10. At a time when half of older workers have no retirement savings, we’re not going to cut Social Security, we’re going to expand it so people can retire with dignity and respect.

    No president can do all of these things alone. We need millions of Americans to begin to stand up and fight back and demand a government that represents all of us. That is the political revolution.

  • In solidarity,

    Bernie Sanders

    5 May 2016

    WE’VE BEGUN BREAKING FREE…

    0500 by Jeff Hess

    [Note: is Post No. 15,000 on Have Coffee Will Write.]

    break free 160505break free 160505b

    More…

    Jimmy Kimmel adds his two cents…

    4 May 2016

    BERNIE TAKES INDIANA…

    1300 by Jeff Hess

    Bernie writes:

    Moments ago [2133 on 3 May, JH] the news networks declared us the winner of yet another state – our 18th of the primary season: Indiana.

    For the past several weeks, the corporate media has counted us out of this election. The political and financial establishment of this country have been vocal in their desire for us to go away. To get in line.

    Today, the voters had another idea.

    Every victory we earn is extraordinarily important for our political revolution. Not just because of the delegates we earn, but because each win and all the work that goes into that effort sends an unmistakable message to the establishment of this country that we will never stop fighting for the values we share. I say we keep fighting. Are you with me?

    Adding one more contribution to our campaign sends a powerful message that we will fight for the values we share all the way through the Democratic convention and beyond.

    The next states up are West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon. They are all places we have a chance to do very well. I am in this fight through the Democratic convention. Thank you for adding your contribution and standing with me.

    In solidarity,
    Bernie Sanders

    Revolutionaries are a tough bunch…

    As Dan Roberts and Ben Jacobs, writing in Bernie Sanders pulls off shock victory over Hillary Clinton in Indiana for The Guardian report:

    Bernie Sanders threw a last-minute hurdle in front of Hillary Clinton’s march toward the Democratic party nomination on Tuesday by clinching a surprise victory in the Indiana primary.

    Despite trailing by an average of seven points in opinion polls and losing a string of bigger, more diverse states on the east coast, Sanders once again proved his appeal to disaffected midwest voters by pulling off his 18th victory of 2016, according to Associated Press projections.

    Sanders seemed on track to win a narrow majority of the 83 delegates on offer. With 93% reporting, Sanders had 52.7% of the vote to Clinton’s 47.3%.

    Sanders said: “The Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong. Maybe it’s over for the insiders and the party establishment, but the voters in Indiana had a different idea.”

    You tell’m Bernie.

    The Sanders campaign hopes that Indiana will mark one last turning point in a Democratic race characterised by a series of surprise comebacks that have prolonged Clinton’s otherwise relentless path toward the nomination.

    He is well placed to pull off similar wins in West Virginia on 10 May and Oregon on 17 May, before a final showdown next month in California, whose 546 delegates present the biggest prize of the contest.

    My $800 (so far) have been well spent: To the last primary, to the last vote: we fight, we fight, we fight, we fight, WE FIGHT, WE FIGHT…!

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