Saturday, April 15, 2017

FOR PROGRESSIVES -- TIME FOR A NEW PARTY? And if so, HOW do we do it?

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1st,

Remember  Our  History ...

           
       






    Then, as Progressivism faded in America -- from the     
  1970s to just recently, 
                                       
                                       this happened . . .



  
... Combined with this:




Dear America,
That's what you get with a weak, uninvolved Progressive/left party in this country, to fight for the interests of middle class and working people.



               But more recently, we have seen ...









HOW CAN WE FORM A NEW PROGRESSIVE PARTY 
IN AMERICA?

It is a tough fact to have to face, but it
appears the Democratic Party may not be reformable.

Many important recent signs point to The Party being under the full command and 
control of the major corporate donors. 

Most of the Party's elites and "bigwigs" are unable to even
imagine NOT taking a steady stream of corporate donations, to which they have
become reliant. Also, many Democratic
Party insiders have substantial careers and salaries which they do not want
to endanger by refusing to accept those corporate donations.

Money has enslaved the Democratic Party, and its grip is so powerful as

to be terminal. It seems permanent.

Furthermore, the philosophy of the Party has shifted steadily and considerably,

TO THE RIGHT, since the Clinton-dominated early 90s and after, resulting in
the "pro-money" corporate-friendly, and very non-populist "Centrism" that
characterizes the Party now. Basically, it's still corporatism, but merely with a
friendlier face than the GOP.

Long-time Democrats whose policy-stands are more in tune with traditional

Democratic Party values along the lines of the "New-Deal" (i.e. pre-1990s)
pro-social-contract views, have been largely silenced and pushed aside
over the last 20+ years. 

Still, this sizeable group is routinely expected to go-along and vote obediently 
for what is now an economically Neoliberal (i.e."Reaganesque") mainstream party, 
perpetually based on the issue-avoiding campaign principle 
of
"the other party [and Trump] is so much worse" ---- A strategy which is now 
being seen by increasing numbers of voters as undesirable and out-of-touch
with the needs of struggling middle class/working people.

The impact of Bernie Sander's Populist, and very issue-driven 2016 campaign has 

clarified the Democratic Party's failings in a big way. 

Since Trump's election, the mainstream Democratic party is now
in a full "FAIL" mode, in the eyes of many Americans, clinging obstinately
to old "Centrist"/Clintonian economic ideas, while using
Bernie Sanders as a "fig-leaf" in order to entice voters -- A tactic that
seems profoundly hollow and phony to many sincere Progressives.

                        Progressives protest against anti-Bernie misdeeds by 
                        Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Democratic Convention, August, 2016.


For Progressives, the time to pull-out of the Party
may be close at hand. 

The mainstream party seems unretrievable, at this point.


It will be scary at first.

Starting a new party will be very difficult, but it must be done, and
AMERICA NEEDS IT. The GOP provides no answers for working
and middle class Americans, except divisiveness and distraction, 
as the GOP has basically been a corporate party 
since the 1920s of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, and continues to be,
tea-party distractions notwithstanding.

That is why the LOSS of the Democratic Party as a "people's party" 

that sticks up for the middle class, working people and the poor, 
is such a serious one for America. 

A huge political vacuum has been left -- A big empty space where
organized Progressivism should be. And in policy terms, 
America needs Progressivism, very badly.

A new Progressive Party would fill the vacuum, and give The People

a viable voice once more in the din of America's
big-money-dominated politics.

As currently composed, the mainstream Democratic Party is literally 

not allowed by its biggest donors 
to push for things like Single-Payer healthcare, or
strengthening SS or Medicare, or even restoring Glass-Steagall rules 
on banking.

The current Democratic party can never work to put real

restraints on banks and corporations, because it depends on banking
and corporate donations so much.

Indeed, in January, in the face of the oncoming Trump administration, the Party

had a chance to show its support for the middle class, and throw-down the gauntlet to Trump's GOP,
by making prescription drugs more affordable (via getting them from Canada, as per the Bernie Sanders/Amy Klobuchar measure).

Shockingly, 13 Democratic Senators crossed-the-aisle to vote the measure DOWN.


That was a clearly negative sign for watchers of the Democratic Party, and a failure

of huge, even historic, proportions ---- Everybody could see openly 
that the Democratic Party,
had a very key moment of showing its true identity. 

Basically, The Party 
****was being more responsive to its DONOR$ than 
the voters  it says it seeks to attract****.

The Party's clear and shocking hypocrisy was exposed, for all to see.


In yet another ominous move, the election of DNC-mainstreamer/Clintonite Tom Perez 

as Party Chair (over Progressive Keith Ellison), 
was obviously swayed by  party insiders (Obama & some big donors), 
which spoke eloquently to those with a Populist-Progressive leaning.

To the Public, The Party literally said:

"There will be no populism allowed in the Democratic Party, whenever any
important decisions are made. We are a loyal Capitalist party. That is all."

There are other examples (including behind-the-scenes DNC "shenanigans" to hurt Bernie Sanders 
during the nomination process last Spring,  as leaks revealed). 

Also, recent and open Party hostility 
to strong Progressive Democrats like Alan Grayson, Nina Turner 
and Tulsi Gabbard, feeds this perception further.

Clear-eyed observers get the message at this point:

In this party, Progressives are for decoration 
and fundraising only -- Not for actual POLICY input or political power. 

The Democratic Party belongs to Big Money now. 


And Big Money is not letting go of its prize.


Time for Progressives to either give up on politics in America (not an option), or "buck-up" 
and start a new party.


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THE  NEW  PROGRESSIVE PARTY

                  

Basic principles of the Party, plus fundraisng, will be based

on the Bernie Sanders model.


General Policy Directive:
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The Party MUST BE what it appears to be, with no hidden agendas or
"private positions"----All policies and party positions must be PUBLIC.

This is a PEOPLE'S party.

Anyone is invited to join the effort,
on behalf of issue-agreement or general philosophical consensus.

Transparency is key. Funding, meetings and documents must all be PUBLIC.


Opaqueness/secrecy is the enemy, and is to be avoided.


Although, at this point, there is no one Progressive Platform,

The list below represents simply a general, "ballpark", progressive consensus on
today's prominent issues.


THE POLICIES:


                                   Policies For The People are the real Gold




--Restoration of Pre-Reagan-era tax rates for earners from 
   $400,000 per year and UP.

--Corporate tax rate of at least 35%/year, NO LESS, enforced
   with some current deductions removed.

--PENALTIES ADDED, and NO SPECIAL TAX BREAKS ANYMORE, 
   for foreign-earned corporate profits held overseas.    
   
--Raising the tax on Investment Income, so that the tax-rates
   on Investment Income and Labor Income are equal.

--Raise the base-rate payroll tax (max amount that can be taxed) for 

   Social Security from the present $127K, to $300K.

-- Single-Payer Healthcare (including vision and dental).

-- Strengthened and expanded Social Security/pension system.

-- Free Public Education thru Community College.

-- Lowered costs for 4-year colleges/student loans available 
    at 1% MAX interest rate.

-- MAJOR, ONGOING national infrastucture programs (with possible re- 
    establishment of voluntary CCC/WPA-like programs 
    to employ citizens and re-build the country).

-- Strong support of Public Resources (parks, forest reserves, 
    roads, bridges, etc), and general opposition to privatization of these 
    resources.

-- Sensible regulations of Financial Sector (i.e. Re-instatement of 
    Glass-Steagal and some other key regulations).

--Ending the revolving door between industry and government jobs,
   by imposing a 7-year minimum period between moving from   
   Government job to a specifically regulated industry, or
   vice-versa.

-- The placing of the National Reserve Bank under Public control 
    needs to be PUBLICALLY  considered and discussed, 
    and possibly enacted.

-- Establishment of a basic, stable, Public Banking System, 
    on state and federal levels.

-- Support for full restoration, and enforcement of, Net Neutrality, 
    in all aspects.

-- Significant cuts and REFORM/updating in military expenditures, 
    across-the-board, with "insider" profiteering being especially 
    condemned, severely penalized and eliminated. 
    A 25% cut in ALL Military expenditures should be sought.

-- An immediate end to all use of drones for assassination/attack, 
    unless it occurs in a country the US Congress has officially 
    declared War against. 

-- Cutbacks in US bases around the world, both in number and size of 
    bases, by at least 50%. This could be accomplished by using base- 
    closures as bargaining chips in multi-lateral Treaties.

-- Opposition to building a new generation of micro-nuclear weapons  (cost: $1-$2Trillion), 
   as proposed during the Obama administration.

-- Peace talks with ALL major countries, with the goal
    of international stability via multinational treaties and agreements,
    wherever possible. Multilateral Weapons reduction should 
    be pursued.

-- Multi-lateral Nuclear Arms reduction must be pursued, involving 
    every nation possessing nuclear weapons.

-- Opposition to any and all privatization of the US Postal Service.

-- Full and active support for Gay Marriage and LGBT rights in all areas.

-- Full support for Abortion rights.

-- Full and active support for labor unions and trade unions.

-- Aggressive opposition to vote-suppression in America, 
    whether done via caging methods
   such as "Interstate Cross-check", closing polling places in partisanly- 
   selected areas, or partisanly-manipulated ID requirements 
   or gerrymandering.

-- Support for the re-establishing and enforcement of 
   the full and ENTIRE Voting Rights Act.

-- Support and PROMOTE the idea of using **hand-counted 
   PAPER-BALLOTS** in all
   Federal elections, 
   counted under witnesses from BOTH PARTIES, with
   **no computers or electronic tabulation** used in the process.

-- Unequivocal opposition to the Citizens United ruling, 
   supporting its full repeal, as soon as possible.

-- Support for Public Financing of all campaigns for Public Office.

-- Review and reform of US small-business regulations, 
   with simplification and clarity
   being the goals; 
   Some additional tax breaks given, where possible, to 
   SMALL BUSINESSES ONLY.

-- Promotion of cooperative (i.e. employee-owned) 
    businesses (small & medium-sized, esp), across-the-country.

-- Any multinational TRADE DEALS MUST henceforth include full           
    monetization
    of social/environmental costs as well as private companies' 
    profits and loss.

-- Full opposition to, and support for total and 
    complete cancellation of, the ISDS 
    provisions of NAFTA, and in ANY OTHER TRADE DEAL 
    or Treaty they should appear, to protect National Sovereignty.

-- An immediate end to Public School privatization- i.e. Prohibition of
    ALL Public School monies going to for-profit schools, whether in
    the form of charter schools, vouchers, or similar.

-- Promotion of renewable-energy sources and 
    related "green" technology thru tax credits and other means.

-- Full Federal legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana.

-- Reform of government, at local, state and Federal levels, 
    via INCREASED TRANSPARENCY of daily functions, 
    and mandatory speedy disclosure of all functional 
    gov't documents and records.
    Also, increased public scrutiny/availability of public budgets, 
    records and contract negotiations, 
    especially via timely ONLINE availability 
    to The Public.

-- Federal tax (5%?) on ALL US retail-sold processed foods, 
    household toxins, alcohol and tobacco products, all firearms 
    and ammunition, and all sports equipment that involves a projectile 
    or striking instrument ---- Revenue to be used to help finance
    a Federal Single-Payer Healthcare system  (AKA "Medicare For All").


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Fundraising:
-----------------------

On Principle:

****All donors give $$ because they agree with the philosophy of the party, and
not because they seek any kind of special favors or policies individually.****

FACT: $100-200 million in PUBLIC donations, minimum, will be needed just to start the party.

More will be needed later. Probably much more.

Many donations will be needed, UP-FRONT, to get things started.

Small donations are actively sought, on the Bernie Sanders model.

The national leadership of the party is key-----They will be in charge of the early decisions
of how and where to spend the initial moneys needed to establish the party,
and solidifying early priorities.

NO corporate or banking/financial-sector money can be accepted. EVER.

ALL monies collected as well as ALL party expenditures, must be
promptly posted online for public perusal, ALWAYS.
NO SECRET DONORS, EVER.

Unprecedented TRANSPARENCY of all fundraising and all other
party operations must be observed from the start,
and on a permanent basis henceforth.


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WHO might join, or at least ally with, a new Progressive Party?


 ----THE PROGRESSIVE TALENT BASE ----

As this post will show,
THERE IS A LOT OF PROGRESSIVE TALENT IN AMERICA TO HELP
WITH THE FORMING OF A NEW PROGRESSIVE PARTY.

A treasure-trove of Progressive talent is waiting to be freed-up for ACTION



PROMINENT PROGRESSIVES 
FOR A NEW PROGRESSIVE PARTY ----


1ST LIST:


POLITICIANS  (currently serving or retired/possible candidates/possible political advisors.

This is by no means a complete list, as some significant figures may have been overlooked.


The list includes present officeholders, former officeholders and recent candidates.

All have a distinct progressive leaning. However, each person must be studied
individually in order to be certain of the person's stance on a *specific issue*.

Some of these people are independent right now, and could join a new Progressive Party

right away. Others are Democratic Party members who might possibly be enticed to leave
the party over time, in order to run for office for the new party.

Still others are career Democrats who cannot be expected to leave the party, but may be

dependable cross-party allies on specific issues. Forming alliances with like-minded Democrats
should be an early goal of any new Progressive party.

REALITY-CHECK:

****No new party could expect to sweep into office with many Congresspeople and Senators coming in right away. 
While a few Federal seats might be challengeable/attainable soon, the new party
would focus much early attention on local office-holders in communities and cities
around the country.****

Alliances and various progressive "power-blocks" (to fight for legislation) could be formed across 
the 2 parties (the new  progressive party 
and Democratic party). If the Democratic Party resists and
even decides to FIGHT the new Progressive party, an exodus OUT of 
the Democratic party (and INTO the new progressive party) 
could be triggered, strengthening the new party even more.

In any case, it would behoove the Democratic Party to avoid hostility with, or 

great separation from,
the new Progressives, lest they damage themselves further.

****A BIG part of the reason for forming the new party would be to pressure the Democratic Party to move back to the left policywise, at least somewhat.****

1ST LIST:

Senator Bernie Sanders
Rep Tulsi Gabbard
Mayor Bill DeBlasio of NYC
Zephyr Teachout (NY candidate)
Former Rep Alan Grayson, Dena Grayson (wife, also ran for congress)
Nina Turner (former Ohio State Senator)
Rep Keith Ellison
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Al Franken
Tim Canova (Florida Candidate)
Senator Sherrod Brown (congressman), and wife (Connie Schultz-never
been a candidate, yet, but experienced in media and politics)
Senator Kamala Harris
Rep Sheila Jackson Lee
Rep John Conyers
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Senator Edward "Ed" Markey
Senator Chris Van Hollen
Damiel Hernandez Jr. (Arizona House Of Reps member)
Xavier Becerra (CA State Attorney-General)
Rep Karen Bass
Gavin Newsom (CA Lieutenant Governor)
Former Senator Russ Feingold
Former Rep John Hall (New York politician, Ret.)
Elliot Spitzer (former NY State Attorney General)
Kshama Sawant (Seattle City Council Member & Socialist)
Rep Kirsten Gillibrand
Eric Schneiderman (NY State Attorney General)
Rep Tim Ryan
Rep Judy Chu
Rep Joseph Kennedy III
Senator Jeff Merkley
Rep Elijah Cummings
Rep Jan Schakowsky
Rep Peter Welch
Lucy Flores (former Nevada state Assemby member)
Preston Picus (Independent CA candidate)
Kevin Stine (Oregon)
Alex Law (NJ candidate)
Rep Raul Grijalva
Rep Ro Khanna (CA)
Jill Stein (Green Party candidate)
Gloria La Riva (socialist candidate)
Rep Barbara Lee
Kate Brown (Oregon Gov)
Rep Pramila Jayapal
Brad Lander (NYC Council Member)
Sheila Kuehl (Los Angeles County Supervisor)
Jimmy Gomez (CA State Assembly member)
Dr. Margaret Flowers (Green candidate, Maryland)-Also on Activists list.
Kweisi Mfume (former US Rep from Maryland)
Tom Fiegen (former member of Iowa Senate)
Bao Nguyen (former mayor in Orange County, also congressional candidate, CA)
Krystal Ball (reporter, candidate)
Cynthia McKinney (former 6-term Congressperson, Georgia)

THEIR FACES AND WORDS ...
























More quotes from the people on the 
First List:


"In 2013 Citigroup had profits of $6.4 billion in the United States. 
They paid no federal income tax and, in fact, 
received a rebate from the IRS of $260 million. 
That same year,  J.P. Morgan had $17.2 billion in profits in the U.S. 
They also paid no federal income tax. 
Do you think it's time for tax reform?"
--Bernie Sanders

"The only way change happens is when people become more significantly involved 
in the political process."
--Bernie Sanders

"Americans' right to free speech should not be proportionate to their bank accounts."
--Bernie Sanders

"Democracy is one person, one vote and a full discussion of the issues 
that affect us. 
Oligarchy is billionaires buying elections, voter suppression and a concentrated 
corporate media determining what we see, hear and read."
--Bernie Sanders

"Let us wage a moral and political war against war itself, so that we can cut 
military spending and use that money for human needs."
--Bernie Sanders

"To be honest with you, I worry about concentration of ownership in media, 
where you have a 
handful of media conglomerates largely controlling what we see, hear and read."
--Bernie Sanders

“The question is: Where do you stand on issues of war and peace? Do you believe 
in more unilateral military intervention? Did we learn the lessons of Iraq 
and Libya and that we should not be engaged? I wish the Democratic Party would 
speak to the substance of that issue.”
--Ro Khanna

"If Republicans eliminate Medicare, America will become a country in which you 
can never retire - and once you physically can no longer work, you are 
desperately poor until you die.” 
--Al Franken

"Most Americans don't think about antitrust law when they look at their cable bill,
flip channels on TV, or worry about what their favorite website knows about them. 
But they should.” 
--Al Franken

"There's an appeal to the American sense of exceptionalism, that we're morally 
superior, as way to not be self-critical. I think that's a bit dangerous.” 
--Al Franken

"It is distressing to me that we live in an age in which we still must fight to protect 
our civil rights as Americans - In which a hate crime perpetrated against someone based their 
sexual orientation can go unpunished, and in which discrimination is being written into our laws."
--John Conyers

"In this most powerful nation in the world, lack of access to health care should not force 
local and state governments, 
companies and workers into bankruptcy, while causing unnecessary 
illness and hospitalization."
--John Conyers


"Progressive economic policies lead to a sustainable economy."
--Keith Ellison


"Republicans profess to be against deficits, but they are experts at creating and 
exacerbating deficits." 
--Keith Ellison

"Big government conservatives are spending trillions and wasting billions. 
Republicans are no longer the party of fiscal conservancy, but the party 
of runaway spending and corruption."
--Sherrod Brown

"It is time to do what Teddy Roosevelt did: pick up the 
antitrust stick again. The stick has collected some dust, 
but the laws are still on the books."
--Sen. Elizabeth Warren

"This country isn't working for working people. It's working only for people at 

the top. That's not the American dream. That's the American nightmare."
--Elizabeth Warren

"When conservatives talk about opportunity, they mean opportunities for the rich 

to get richer, for the powerful to get more powerful."
--Elizabeth Warren

"Kids can't see us bombing, and then listen to us 

talking about getting guns out of the schools. 
How can we tell them to solve problems without violence?"
--Barbara Lee

"Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits are unacceptable, 

and they shouldn't be put on the table by Democrats for any reason."
--Russ Feingold

"It's shameful that the elites basically have one-and-a-half political parties. 

Working class men and women have zero parties - or they have half a party. 
That's exactly what progressives are upset about."
--Nina Turner

"Flint [Michigan] was the canary in the coal mine. There are 3,000 other 
 municipalities in the US that have higher lead levels than Flynt."
--Nina Turner

“We need to incorporate that age-old concept of redemption into the work that we do 
in the criminal justice system in California.” 
--Kamala Harris

"The big banks that were "too big to fail" back in 2008 

are even bigger and more powerful today. No one has 
been held accountable"
--Tulsi Gabbard

"The interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya, that were propagated 

as necessary to 
relieve human suffering, have in fact increased human suffering in those countries 
many times over."
--Tulsi Gabbard

"Students are suffering under incredibly high tuitions and high student loan interest rates. 

They graduate from school, and they're having a very difficult time finding a job. They don't 
feel as though there are honest leaders who are listening to them, and who will be a 
part of the solution."
Tulsi Gabbard

"The American people deserve to see and know of the evidence and the facts before 

authorizing the continuation of this destructive, counterproductive, 
illegal regime change war" (re: Syria, April, 2017).
--Tulsi Gabbard 

(Re: Trump's missile attack on Syria, April, 2017) ...

"It made me sad and it made me angry to see that President Trump took this reckless action without really considering, frankly, the dire consequences." 
--Tulsi Gabbard

"I believe transparency in government is key to restoring our nations faith 

in its elected leaders."
--Kirsten Gillibrand

"I find Bobby Kennedy's short campaign for president so inspiring because his 

rhetoric identified what America can be like if we care about each other." 
--Tim Ryan

"Trump is president of the United States. We can't blame our voters. 

We [Democratic Party] clearly did something terribly wrong." 
--Tim Ryan

"Telling the truth is imperative in this age of propaganda."

Dr. Margaret Flowers

"One of the greatest drivers of poor health is wealth inequality."

--Dr. Margaret Flowers

"We believe that nonviolence is essential."

--Dr. Margaret Flowers

"My whole life in politics as a state legislator and in Congress has been about 

strengthening the middle class.”  
--Peter Welch


"If deliberate distortion of reality by corporate media could be effectively 
prosecuted in the United States, the entire industry would be behind bars."
--Cynthia McKinney

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2ND LIST:

ECONOMIC and political experts, analysts and possible ADVISORS.

All have progressive reputations, to some, or in many cases, a considerable, degree.

Some are activists and/or authors. Some are former government or business insiders. 
All have proven to be superb analysts, with valuable perspectives 
in their areas of expertise, and have done vital, insightful work.


Michael Hudson (economist)
Dean Baker  (economist/analyst)
James K. Galbraith (economist)
Joseph Stiglitz (economist)
Robert Reich    (economist)
Richard D Wolff (economist)
Michael Albert
Alan Blinder
Ralph Nader (activist, change-agent)
Paul Krugman    (economist)
William Greider (journalist)
Ellen Brown (author)
Andy Stern (former SEIU Leader)
Richard Trumka (President of the AFL-CIO)
Dr. Margaret Flowers (author, activist, also on candidates list)
Barbara Ehrenreich  (author)
Richard C. Cook
Lori Wallach (trade expert)
William K. Black
Alan Tonelson
Mark Alan Weisbrot (economist, journalist)
Mike Lofgren
David Dayen (reporter, analyst)
Kevin Zeese  (reporter, analyst)
Melinda St. Louis (trade expert)
Medea Benjamin (activist, author)
Nomi Prins  (author on Wall St issues)
Eric Liu  (former Dem party consultant)
Jim Stanford (Canadian)
J. K. Gibson-Graham
Andrew Kliman
Kevin Phillips (also on media list)
Mark Blyth (British author and analyst, lives in US)


THEIR FACES AND WORDS ...

 














More quotes from the people on the 
2nd (Economics) List:

"Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies."
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the  best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money 
 doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that 
 their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late."
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"American inequality didn't just happen. It was created."
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"The problem is a lot of what is called economics is not economics. 
  It is more ideology or religion."
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"They [free market policies] were never based on solid empirical and theoretical foundations."
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"Much of America’s inequality is the result of market distortions, with incentives  directed not at creating new wealth but at taking it from others.” 
--Joseph E Stiglitz

"If you want to see where Trump is moving, look at what the United States neoliberals advised Russia to do after 1991, 
when they promised to create an ideal economy. 
Russia was under the impression that the neoliberal advisors were 
going to make Russia as rich as the United States. 
What they really did was create a kleptocracy that was virtually tax-free."
--Michael Hudson

"You didn’t think Goldman Sachs was staffing Trump's administration without 
getting something out of the deal, did you?"
--RJ Eskow

"In America, we debate everything except capitalism. If there's an institution 
in your society that's above criticism, you're giving it a free pass to 
indulge all of its weaknesses and darker tendencies."
--Richard D. Wolff

"The more successful capitalists are in cutting their wage costs, the less money 
workers will have to buy back what those same capitalists produce. 
It's a contradiction."
--Richard D. Wolff

"Moving to a cooperatively organized enterprise is one of the best ways to really 
do something about unequal distribution of wealth."
--Richard D. Wolff

“Raising the average income tax for the top income percentile to 43.5 percent 
from 22.4 percent, the level of 2007, would raise revenue by 3 percent of GDP, 
which is enough to close the US structural deficit while still leaving very high 
earners with more after-tax income than they would have had under Nixon.” 
--Mark Blyth

"Austerity [as an ECONOMIC POLICY] doesn't work, period."
--Mark Blyth

"Alan Greenspan will go down in history as the person who has done more damage to 
the U.S. economy and society that anyone who was not a foreign enemy. In fact 
the destruction he wreaked through his incompetence would also exceed the 
damage caused by almost all would-be enemies as well."
--Dean Baker

"While the Very Serious People [i.e. people in power] debate whether 
people who earn $250,000 a year are actually rich 
when it comes to restoring the tax rates of the 1990s, they somehow think 
that seniors with incomes under $30,000 a year must sacrifice to 
balance the budget. There is a logic here, but it ain’t pretty."
--Dean Baker

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================================================================


3RD LIST:

Foreign Policy (Advisors, appointees, etc)

Many of these people have served in Government at high levels, and are known as truth-tellers.

Others have proven themselves to be world-class analysts. Some are whistle-blowers.
All have at least some important inclinations in foreign policy which are 
in relative harmony with Progressive values.


Col. Andrew Bacevich (former Military high Officer, Historian)
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (former Military high  Officer)
Richard A. Clarke  (former State Dept Security Chief)
Russ Feingold (former Senator, also on Politicans list)
Ray McGovern (ex-CIA)
Bill Binney   (ex-CIA)
John Perkins  (ex-corporate operative, author, whistleblower)
Dennis Kucinich (former Rep)
Rep Nina L. Hachigian
Stephen F. Cohen
Janis Karpinski (retired General)
Bunnatine Greenhouse (gov't whistleblower)
Wesley Clark (former Commander)
Jim Webb (former Senator)
Ron Paul (gop libertarian)
Rand Paul (gop libertarian)
Kenneth Roth
Scott Ritter (UN Weapons Inspector)
Benjamin R. Barber
Molly Sinclair McCartney
RJ Eskow (reporter)
Michael Parenti
Phyllis Bennis (author, analyst)
Mark Danner (author)
Medea Benjamin (activist/author, also on Economic and Activist lists)


THEIR FACES AND WORDS ...
















More quotes from the people on the 
3rd (Foreign & Military Policy) List:


"The mainstream Democratic Party is as militarized as the 
mainstream Republican Party."
--Andrew Bacevich

"I began to appreciate that authentic truth is never simple and that any version 
of truth handed down from on high-whether by presidents, prime ministers, 
or archbishops-is inherently suspect.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"The folly and hubris of the policy makers who heedlessly thrust the nation into 
an ill-defined and open-ended 'global war on terror' without the foggiest notion 
of what victory would look like, how it would be won, and what it might cost 
approached standards hitherto achieved only by slightly mad German warlords.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"Call it habit or conditioning or socialization: The citizens of the United States 
have essentially forfeited any capacity to ask first-order questions about 
the fundamentals of national security policy.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"In its quest to control an unruly world, the Pentagon—acting in the name of the 
American people—slices and dices that world into smaller 
and smaller segments, 
while neglecting to assess the actual costs and benefits of the persistent 
meddling that it terms engagement. In this way, the regionalization of 
U.S. military policy serves to perpetuate sterile thinking.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"Although always careful to embroider his speeches with 
inspirational homilies and testimonials 
to old-fashioned virtues, [President] Reagan mainly indulged 
American self-indulgence.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"American democracy works such that the divide between rich and poor 
grows ever  wider. 
In America, the winners control an ever-increasing percentage of the 
nation’s wealth. To be a member of the upper class is to have privileges, 
among them ensuring that it’s someone else’s kid who is getting shot at in Iraq 
or Afghanistan.”
--Andrew J. Bacevich

"War is inherently poisonous, giving rise to all sorts of 
problematic consequences, 
and that military power is something that democracies ought to treat gingerly.” 
--Andrew J. Bacevich

“We are the death merchant of the world.”
--Lawrence Wilkerson

"I think Smedley Butler (author of "War Is A Racket") was onto something.”
 [like Butler]"I am tired of “the corporate interests that we go abroad 
to slay monsters for.”
--Lawrence Wilkerson

"Today, the military-industrial complex  is much more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be.” 
--Lawrence Wilkerson

“In many respects it is now private interests that benefit most from our use of 
military force. Whether it’s private security contractors, that 
are still all over Iraq or Afghanistan, or it’s the bigger-known defense 
contractors, like the number one in the world, Lockheed Martin.”
--Lawrence Wilkerson

"The GOP has scores of racists. Under Richard Nixon’s blessing, the GOP took 
advantage of disgruntled Democrats in the South. They are still there and 
their children are there. This is very much known in the party. 
This was a conscious strategy."
--Lawrence Wilkerson

"The NSA's vision statement is: keep the problem going so the money 
keeps flowing."
--William Binney

"I think if you're looking for a pure expression of evil, torture is 
a pretty good candidate."
--Mark Danner


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4TH LIST:

Press and MEDIA consultant/advisors (at least for the short-term in 
the early stages of the new party),  authors and helpful activists. 
Many of these people have valuable expertise and
background on a range of issues.

Brilliant Progressive authors, reporters, investigators, activists, bloggers, and analysts on many topics, such as media, 
political analysis, breakdown of political corruption, voting/election lssues,
foreign policy, The Law, social issues, Technology, Environmental issues,
economics, historical perspective, etc.

If utilized as consultants, they could prove a valuable resource for establishing and articulating
a clear vision for a new party. They could break-down and clarify the essential issues the party
needs to run on.

They could help with fore-seeing problems and obstacles in the political arena, in addition to
formulating smart strategies and effective tactics, as well as the clearest possible messaging
on progressive issues.


Thomas Frank (author, political analyst)
Dr. Cornel West (acivist/author)
James Risen
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Bill Moyers (news veteran)
Robert Scheer (journalist)
Thom Hartmann (journalist)
Stephen F. Cohen (also on foreign policy list)
Jane Mayer (journalist, author)
Kevin Gosztola
Jeremy Scahill (journalist, investigator)
John Dickerson
Cenk Uygur (journalist)
Brad Friedman (master media blogger and voting/election expert)
Greg Palast (investigative reporter)
Norman Solomon (journalist, activist, congressional candidate)
Robert Parry (journalist)
Mike Papantonio (Attorney, Journalist)
Eddie Glaude (author, analyst)
Marcy Wheeler (journalist, analyst)
Lee Fang (journalist)
Mark Crispin Miller (author, activist)
Robert Parry (journalist)
David Talbot (author, analyst)
Sonali Kolhatkar (journalist)
Jim Hightower
Dave Lindorff
Phil Donahue
Krystal Ball (reporter, candidate)
David Neiwert (author, blogger)
Max Blumenthal
Kevin Phillips (also on Ecomonmic list)
Dylan Ratigan (journalist, author)
Ed Schultz
Todd Gitlin  (author, analyst)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (former sportstar, writer, social critic)
Oliver Stone (filmmaker, documentarian)
Michael Moore (documentarian filmmaker)
Naomi Klein (Canadian author)


THEIR FACES AND WORDS ...













More quotes from the people on the 
4th (Media & Press) List:


"Conservatism is not a doctrine of contentment. Not a doctrine for the satisfied 
and the smug. It's a politics that's at war with the world."
--Thomas Frank

"What is at stake in the debate over health care is more than the mere crafting 
of policy. The issue is now the identity of the Democratic Party."
--Thomas Frank

"Bad government is the natural product of rule by those who believe government is bad." 
--Thomas Frank

"Corruption is uniquely reprehensible in a democracy because it violates the 
system's first principle, which we all learned back in the sunshiny days of 
elementary school: that the government exist to serve the public, not 
particular companies or individuals or even elected officials."
--Thomas Frank

"If you view life as a gold rush, you're going to end up worshipping a golden calf." 
--Cornel West

"I am concerned about how to reverse the process by which a fundamentalist right 
and a corporate elite were able to seize power in the United States."
--Todd Gitlin


"Right now, we have no possibility of politics because we have a one-party state."

--Todd Gitlin

"Some fine day, Democrats may figure out how to get on the right side of the 

value divide - how to define America as a place of the common good and not 
a playground of the strong."
--Todd Gitlin

"If ISIS represents Islam, then the KKK represents Christianity."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"I'm not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as 

much time in the library as they do on the basketball court."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Our profound laziness and unyielding arrogance as voters have allowed our system 

to become polluted by hucksters, egomaniacs, dimwits and mack-daddy pimps 
willing to rent out their stable of votes."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The root of all evil in this world is not the love of money but the addiction to 

illogical thinking. Because with emotion-based decision-making comes the 
perpetuation of ignorance."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Patriotism sometimes means fighting on a foreign battlefield, but it also means 

fighting on the domestic battlefield, arming ourselves with information, 
basic-training ourselves to think logically for what best serves the ideals of 
the Constitution —- and not just for putting money in our pockets or 
advancing a biased agenda."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"It’s a cruel irony to many African Americans that the very system oppressing them 

is exploiting their culture for profit."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"The existence of racism in America isn’t an opinion. It’s a quantifiable fact.

The problem is that the longer we continue to deny the problem of racism exists, 
the longer it takes to solve it."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"On issue after issue, the polls - and these are not snapshot polls; these are 
polls over a consistent period of time - show that most Americans share what one 
could call core liberal or progressive values: investment in health care and 
education over tax cuts; fair trade over free trade; corporate accountability 
over deregulation; environmental protection over laissez-faire policies; 
defending Social Security and Medicare over privatizing them; raising the 
minimum wage over eliminating it. The country prefers progressive alternatives 
to the failed policies of the conservative right."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"Obamacare is benefiting Trump supporters."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"I'm surprised John Lewis didn't invoke the suppression of voting rights in this 

election [2016]. I still think it's one of the most underreported stories."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"John Lewis did more in one day on The Edmund Pettus Bridge than Donald Trump ever 

will do to make America great again."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"I would say one thing people need to do - and his is how Roosevelt's New Deal 

began - let us go back to cities and states where we can, build emblematic 
progressive reforms, like the Fight For 15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, 
things that improve the conditions of people's lives and that drive them 
into a national message."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"It's now time to organize and move forward. It's time for deep thinking, and a 

reformation of the Democratic Party."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"I am concerned that Donald Trump walks into the White House a walking conflict 

of interest in violation of the Emoluments Clause of The Constitution, and the 
Stock Act. It is important to investigate whether there are financial levers, 
not just Russia - China, the Emirates, wherever. Because he will never make America 
great again - I don't believe he ever will, but he certainly will not do so 
if he's beholden, too."
--Katrina vanden Heuvel

"I do believe that the conservatives continue to fuel racism by 
their policies that attack minorities in this country and try to keep the 
working folk down."
--Ed Schultz

“We can see in FDR a model for a Democratic Party that truly lives up to 
  being the People’s Party.” 
--Krystal Ball

“Legislators don’t have enough sense to think for themselves - they let 
ALEC [corporate lobbyists] do it.”
– Mike Papantonio 

"While it is important to cover the news, it is more important to uncover 
the news. As one of my mentors said, 'News is what people want to keep hidden; 
everything else is publicity.' ”
--Bill Moyers

"There is every reason to be suspicious of every election."
--Brad Friedman

"No matter what you do, people will try to game elections. There's just too much 
at stake for people to not want to try to do that. That’s why you need a system 
that is as transparent as possible because people are going to try to game it."
--Brad Friedman

"The failure of the media to do their job helped lead to wars where thousands 
are dead for absolutely no reason that anyone can identify today.”
--Brad Friedman

"Science is basically an inoculation against charlatans."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

"No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain 
clueless throughout their lives. "
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Most religious people in America fully embrace science. So the argument that 
religion has some issue with science applies to a small fraction of those who 
declare that they are religious. They just happen to be a very vocal fraction, 
so you got the impression that there are more of them than there actually is." 
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

"I said that if an alien came to visit, I'd be embarrassed to tell them that we 
fight wars to pull fossil fuels out of the ground to run our transportation. 
They'd be like, 'What?'" 
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Northrop Grumman are among the other 
firms that have offered special financial rewards to executives who leave 
to enter government."
--Lee Fang

"So-called 'Public-Private Partnerships' [in infrastructure projects] are 
controversial -- as privatized toll roads, parking meters, water projects, 
and other infrastructure deals end up costing government entities more over the 
long term as costs balloon over time, and in many cases, private operators are 
awarded handsome profits by charging consumers increasingly inflated fees."
--Lee Fang

“Just as nuclear fuel will always be reactive, people will always be greedy. 
We need to enforce rules to balance natural greed with capital requirements 
so that greed can create productive risk taking and competition and not 
short-term extraction, otherwise known as theft.” 
--Dylan Ratigan

“You can only solve what you have the courage to see. By learning, you are 
helping America to begin to conduct itself differently.” 
--Dylan Ratigan

"Afghanistan did not just become the Soviet Union’s Vietnam; today it is also the 
United States’ Vietnam. Perhaps Afghanistan should supersede Vietnam to become the 
new definition of a failed and protracted war."
--Sonali Kolhatkar

"As an immigrant I was born and raised in an Arab Muslim country, 
my mom’s Catholic, my dad’s born Hindu but his father was a communist, my 
first boyfriend was Muslim, I almost married a Pakistani, now my husband’s 
a white guy from Boston. I live in a diverse neighborhood. That’s 
who I’ve always wanted to be."
--Sonali Kolhatkar

"We do not want too much power in the hands of one person anyway, ever. 
Collective action is what is really empowering for everybody and what is just. 
And so, nobody should take the whole weight of their world on their shoulders. 
Everybody should take a little piece."
--Sonali Kolhatkar

"It is hugely ironic that the U.S. government is currently dominated by 
conservative Republicans, even as the majority of the country identifies 
with progressive political positions."
--Sonali Kolhatkar

"The conservative political strategy, perfected over eight years of President 
Obama’s tenure, seems to be to pound as ferociously as possible on many 
arenas of government that work for the public good."
--Sonali Kolhatkar

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5TH LIST:

ACTIVISTS/Organizers on various issues (jobs & labor, Unions, environment, social Justice, economic issues, DAPL, etc):

Rev. William J. Barber II
Lucas Benitez
Deepak Bhargava
Patricia Castellanos
Teresa Cheng
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
Leah Fried
Armando Robles
Dr. Margaret Flowers
Medea Benjamin (also on Economic and Foreign Policy lists)
George Goehl
Sarita Gupta
Kandi Mossett
Ai-Jen Poo
Angelica Salas
Daniel R. Schlademan
Amy Schur
Michelle Alexander
Benjamin Jealous
Marshall Ganz
Jimmy Briggs
Winona LaDuke
Jasilyn Charger


THEIR FACES AND WORDS ...

















A progressive poster from Australia reminds us what is true everywhere



More quotes from the people on the 
5th (Activists & Organizers) List:


"The United States differs from other nations in allowing investor-owned corporations 
to profit (from healthcare) at the expense of human suffering and lives."
-Dr. Margaret Flowers

"There is no safe way to frack."
--Dr. Margaret Flowers

"The basic technique of fracking - pumping chemical-filled water deep underground - 
poisons aquifers and the air."
-Dr. Margaret Flowers

"Underneath cuts to Medicare and Medicaid is a dangerous trend of increasing 
privatization of health care in the U.S."
Dr. Margaret Flowers

"We have now spent 1 TRILLION dollars waging the drug war since it began. 
Those funds could have been used for education, jobs and drug 
treatment in the communities that needed it most. We could have used those 
funds for our collective well being. Instead those dollars paved the way 
for the destruction of countless lives, families, and dreams."
--Michelle Alexander

"A lot of our work is about culture change. How do we actually have the “kitchen table” 
conversation about the issues of care, and caregivers?"
--Sarita Gupta

“The slaves didn’t get out of slavery by first figuring out how to get out. They got out by 
first knowing they needed to get out.” 
--Rev. Dr. William Barber I

“In my heart, I’m troubled and I’m worried about the way faith is cynically used by some 
to serve hate, fear, racism, and greed.
Jesus, a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, called us to preach good news to the poor, 
the broken, and the bruised and all those who are made to feel unaccepted.”
--Rev. Dr. William Barber I


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Some suggested TALKING POINTS:

1. *TAXES*
 
   Taxes are not evil or bad, unless they are unfairly collected and/or distributed, 
   or spent wastefully or on insider preferences.
   
    The general public has been saturation-propagandized against sensible thinking  
    on this issue for years, by countless politicians as well as various forms 
    of corporate-media.

   The wealthy have not payed their fair share of US taxes for decades. This has resulted in 
   the loss of the tax base, expanded during the New Deal, 
   but eroded by excessive tax cuts down thru
   the years, that supported and maded possible the large US middle class we now see 
   vanishing before our eyes.

   America needs a new-millenium version of The New Deal, to restore and save America's
   great middle class.

   There should be no increases in income or payroll taxes for the middle class 
   or lower-income people,
   although some CONSUMPTION taxes need to be added, to help finance things like 
   a Single-Payer healthcare system, and free community college.

   America has had several large bursts of major tax-cuts in its recent history (JFK 
   60s, Reagan 80s,  GW Bush in early 2000s), 
  and most non-wealthy people HATE the way the US economy is going,
   in many areas. If tax cuts were really so beneficial, then why is this so? Why are US debts
   and deficits so large? Why has so much wealth been shipped into overseas 
   investments that favor
   so few at the expense of so many? Low-tax/tax-cut policy has solved none 
   of these problems, and has likely even exacerbated some of them.

   SMART & FAIR taxation is the answer, with a *more graduated income tax* being key.

2. Shifting from Obamacare to SINGLE-PAYER HC ...
    (pictorial meme)




3. Add your own!







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