SDUSA Endorsement of Representative- elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Resolution on Establishing a House Select Committee to Plan a Green New Deal

SDUSA Endorsement of Representative- elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Resolution on Establishing a House Select Committee to Plan a Green New Deal

Social Democrats USA does not approve of the House Democratic Leaderships rejection of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to establish a House Select Committee to Plan a Green New Deal.  Instead, they are reviving a mostly toothless House Select Committee on the Environment.  The reasons why SDUSA supports the creation of this stronger Select Committee is summarized in the statement below that was approved by the SD National Committee at their last meeting.

The resolution introduced by Representative Ocasio-Cortez to establish a House Select Committee to plan a Green New Deal is one of the most significant social, economic and ecological proposals to be advanced in decades. The National Committee of Social Democrats USA endorses the resolution and urges the new Democratic- controlled House of Representatives to approve it as soon as possible.

For decades demagogues have profited by frightening the working people of the country into believing that environmental progress can only be made at a cost of the loss of jobs and lower standards of living. Now, when untrammeled corporate greed has caused a climate crisis around the world, everyone, regardless of circumstances, is in danger from the massive assault on our common environment. At the same time the economic, social and political conditions of the great majority have become worse. Inequality of income and wealth is at levels not seen since the advent of the original New Deal. As usual in an unrestricted capitalist economy, the last recession was solved by placing the burden on the backs of working people, at a cost of millions of jobs and homes.

Medical outcomes are worse than in other developed countries and costs are higher. Millions of young people are crippled by student debt, and childhood poverty continues to climb. It is past time to take the approach of the Ocasio-Cortez resolution: a comprehensive, planned approach to the crises we face, an approach that recognizes the interdependence of the environment, the society and the economy.

It’s time for social democracy.

Massachusetts Social Democrats Will Sponsor Forum for Progressives

Massachusetts Social Democrats will sponsor a forum on November 28th on the topic of “What’s Ahead for Massachusetts Progressives?” Outstanding speakers include State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Jeff Ballinger (the SDUSA endorsed candidate for Congress) and Benjamin Bloomenthal (former candidate for State Representative). The speakers are expected to discuss challenges to progressives in the MA State Legislature, the Congress and the Democratic Party. The meeting will be held at Christ Church, Zero Garden Street (near Harvard Square), Cambridge, MA and will begin at 7:30 PM.

Nobody Is Above the Law—Mueller Protection Rapid Response

BREAKING: PROTESTS CALLED FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 5 PM LOCAL TIME
Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller’s boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it. The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice. We will update this page as the situation develops.

Donald Trump just crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation pursuing criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal and cover-up.

Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we’ve got to get Congress to stop him.

We’re mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.

Please make note of the date, time, and description below to confirm that the host is able to organize the event on such short notice! In general, rallies are suggested to begin @ 5 PM local time. But individual local events may vary—please confirm details on your event page.

Once you sign up, make sure to invite friends to join you at the event!

Note: If you choose to attend an event, you agree to engage in nonviolent, peaceful action, to act lawfully, and to strive to de-escalate any potential confrontations with those who may disagree with our values.

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Did Green spoiler toss Arizona senate race to Republicans?

According to provisional Arizona U.S. senate election results from the Associated Press, Republican Martha McSally got 49.3% of the vote, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema got 48.4% and Green candidate Angela Green got 2.2%–more than twice the difference between the two major candidates. Socialist Currents warned about a possible Green Party spoiler effect in ten races, including this one, three days before the election. Green announced she was withdrawing from the race on Nov. 1, when a vast number of votes had already been cast. According to the Washington Post, it was too late to remove her name from the ballot. CBS News’ Fin Gomez reports that “Arizona’s tight Senate race likely will not be called until later this week, since there are over 1 million outstanding early voting ballots that still must be counted.”

Hate Crime Visits Pittsburgh, again.

April 28, 2000. I’m sitting in the lobby of the Gatwick Airport Hilton having a cup of coffee with colleagues. It’s early morning— it would be early afternoon back in my hometown of Pittsburgh. A co-worker walks over to me and says, “you need to call home right now”. I looked puzzled. She continued, “someone just shot up your synagogue. I just saw it on CNN”. What she heard was very much true. A white supremacist named Richard Baumhammers had gone on a shooting spree, driving to various locations around the city and killing people— a Jew, an African-American, two Indian-Americans, and two Vietnamese-Americans. On his very methodical and mapped out tour, he took time to stop at our little shul in the Borough of Carnegie and shoot out all the plate glass windows in the building entrance. No one was in the shul at that time of day. (Note: I prefer to use the Yiddish word “shul” instead of “synagogue”)

I have always held an opinion that this kind of crime was not really predictable or preventable (Baumhammers used a hand gun and had no prior interactions with police). To me they were like lightning striking. These horrific events were random in nature, occurring at various places around the country at various intervals. They’re horrific when they visit your doorstep, but you have no choice but to deal with it and move on. I subsequently argued against locking down the shul during services or having an armed guard. I’ve never wanted to live in a cage or avoid public life out of fear. After all, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. But. But. But. In just the past week we’ve had pipe bombs sent to 14 people including two former presidents, two African-Americans were murdered for no other reason than they were black, and 11 Jews were murdered here in Pittsburgh at Tree of Life Congregation. (Tree of Life is in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, not in my borough). White nationalist violence now clearly has a green light from President Trump and the Republican Party is solidly behind him. I’m afraid the violence is just getting started. Because the Tree of Life shooting occurred just two days ago, I don’t have a coherent message about what I expect in the future (other than more building security). But here are some thoughts that were going through my head this weekend.

  1. The shooter, Robert Bowers, didn’t just pick Tree of Life at random. He got the name from HIAS’ list of congregations participating in a special program to welcome and assist refugees. In one of his online postings, Bowers actually thanked HIAS for giving him a list of targets. HIAS is an old organization that does noble work. Living nearby to me are a young couple with a small child who are Syrian Kurd refugees. They are grateful to be here in America. I am a donor to HIAS and will continue to be.

2. Leaders of our neighboring Muslim community reached out to me immediately after the shooting. I value their friendship and camaraderie. Pittsburgh Muslims and Jews have a mutually supportive relationship. That might seem strange to some, but there are a lot of white supremacists in Western Pennsylvania. Jews and Muslims have learned to look after each other. Watch this clip to the end.

3. Too many Jews are under the impression they are white. Can we just stop that please? Just stop. If you know your history, then you know that “whiteness” was invented by the klan to establish the white power structure that we still live with today. Jews are not included, no matter how white your skin may appear. Robert Bowers obviously doesn’t think you’re white; that should be a clue.

4. Trump says he’s coming to Pittsburgh. I’m not sure that a white nationalist president will be welcome at a Jewish funeral. And Israeli PM Netanyahu says he’s sending Naftali Bennett to Pittsburgh as an outreach. I don’t think Israeli Trumpsters are any more welcome than Trump himself. But we’ll see.

5. The Tree of Life shooting reminded us that if you see news reports like, “active shooter. officers down. suspect under arrest.”, that means the shooter is white. Brown or black people do not survive shooting a police officer.

In peace and solidarity.