Politics

Call Congressional Reps Susan Davis and Scott Peters – Urge Them to Avoid Trump’s Inauguration

January 18, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Hey San Diegans – now is the time to call – or email or text – the two remaining Democratic Congressional Representatives of our area who have not made a commitment to either avoid or boycott Trump’s inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20th.

Rep. Juan Vargas said yesterday that he was not attending the event and instead would be in his community praying with constituents. Fourteen members of California’s Democratic delegation are not attending.

Nearly sixty Congressional Representatives – all Democrats – and no senators – have gone on the record declaring their support for John Lewis by not attending the spectacle.

Come inside for contact info

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Chelsea Manning

January 18, 2017 by Source

President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked American military and diplomatic activities in 2010, and who had become a cause celebre over those years. This act likely saved her life.

According to the New York Times:

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From the Women’s March on Washington: Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles

January 18, 2017 by Source

OVERVIEW & PURPOSE

The Women’s March on Washington is a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation’s capital on January 21, 2017, to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.

Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. As Dr. King said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

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A Little Bit of Aristotle’s Philosophy for the Ethically Challenged GOP

January 18, 2017 by Ernie McCray

EthicallyBy Ernie McCray

Aristotle was of the belief that “Achieving good character is a process of clearing away the obstacles that stand in the way of the full efficacy of the soul.”

He came up with such an ethical notion somewhere between 384-322 B.C.E. And here we are, as a nation, in the 21st Century, facing GOP powers-that-be in Washington D.C. who, instead of seeking ways to ethically tend to our society’s political and social needs, choose to do whatever they desire whenever they please.

“To hell with the rules,” is their operating policy.

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Protests, Boycotts, Walk-Outs and Possible Impeachment Face Trump as his Inauguration Approaches

January 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

President-elect Trump faces a barrage of opposition as he gets set to be inaugurated this Friday, January 20th.

Protests, boycotts, school walk-outs and possible impeachment will engulf the least-popular president-elect in American history as he takes the oath of office.

Over a half-dozen national networks are mobilizing to protest the inauguration, while on the day after, on the 21st, a massive women-led march in Washington DC promises to be the largest protest that the Capitol has witnessed in years.

Students are organizing school walk-outs across the country.

And a boycott of the inauguration by Congressional representatives has now reached 52 Democratic lawmakers who have pledged to forego the event.

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Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

January 17, 2017 by Source
Thumbnail image for Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

By Carlos Batara

As the new year dawns, most of us need to reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively.

Unfortunately, far too many of those active in immigration circles are caught in the “feel sorry for myself” moment. With a new president, one who has articulated strong law enforcement measures, about to take office, the “doom and gloom” sentiments of immigrants and their advocates are deafening.

Yet, stop for a moment and reflect back to 2009 and 2013. What has really changed in immigration law since that time? In the majority of cases, my office helps immigrants under the same rules that existed back then.

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“How Do I Explain to My Grandchildren that a Dis-Honest Man Is About to Take Over the Country?”

January 16, 2017 by Judi Curry

For the life of me I cannot understand why there is still going to be an inauguration later this week. The papers regaled us this past weekend – and practically every day – with more and more dishonesty emanating from the President-Elect. The fact checkers are on overload, checking the lies that are being told and yet nothing – absolutely nothing – is being done to prevent this monster from ruining our country.

If you haven’t been following the news, here are just a few samples:

That report dated January 10th, 2017 has also been posted on the FEC official website and is available for public consumption.

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Where Do We Go From Here? – Lessons from Martin Luther King Heading Into the Trump Era

January 16, 2017 by Jim Miller

“A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Strength to Love

By Jim Miller

A few years ago, I made use of this space on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to discuss my favorite speech of his, “Where Do We Go From Here?” and ponder its relevance to the present:

When dealing with the issue of poverty, King notes that, “We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

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A Dozen-Plus Opportunities in San Diego to Protest Trump’s Inauguration

January 14, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

San Diego gets it. Lots of us are unhappy with the incoming administration.

There are community gatherings. There are rallies. There are protest marches. There are teach-ins. There are press conferences. There is art. There are even dance parties.

People from all walks of life find are finding ways to express their displeasure with the incoming administration. Check out the calendar below for events over the next ten days or so. Events related to the inauguration include the Trump/NOPE graphic.

Americans don’t think much of the President-elect’s transition performance, according to a Gallup poll released this week. It’s historically bad with 51% of those surveyed disapproving, as opposed to 12% (Obama/2009), 25% (Bush/2001) and Clinton (18%/1993).

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Observations on “Gentrifying” Venice, California Have Lessons for Ocean Beach

January 13, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Back during the 1970s, a group of OBceans (although we didn’t call ourselves that then) were looking into whether OB could separate itself away from the City of San Diego and become an independent municipality of our own. We were so disgusted then at how Ocean Beach was being treated by the larger metropolis that engulfed us, that a viable alternative seemed to be to set up the community as its own city.

We looked around for other examples where people were itching to remove their neighborhoods from a large city – and we didn’t need to look far – as we found a similar movement up in the coastal community of Venice –

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San Diego Sierra Club Rallies Members to Oppose Trump Agenda – Sat. Jan. 14th

January 13, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

From Sierra Club

Sierra Club San Diego will rally members and supporters to oppose the Trump administration’s agenda of increased fossil fuel usage and to promote ways of securing a path to 100% clean energy in the San Diego region through Community Choice Energy. The event will provide the public with opportunities to voice their concerns and get involved in local efforts to resist the Trump administration.

3:00 PM, Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mission Valley Public Library
2133 Fenton Pkwy
San Diego, CA 92108

Background:

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Trump’s Goldman Sachs Connections

January 13, 2017 by John Lawrence

Restocking the Swamp

By John Lawrence

Treasury DepartmentTrump’s new pick for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, his top campaign fundraiser, was a Goldman Sachs executive. Mnuchin spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs where he became a partner.

He also worked for hedge fund manager George Soros, founded a hedge fund of his own and was the lead investor in IndyMac, a failed subprime lender that turned into a “foreclosure machine” during the housing crisis.

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Adios Chargers: Don’t Let the Door Hit You Where the Good Lord Split You

January 13, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

The San Diego Chargers are headed to Los Angeles. Halleluja!

“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles,” team owner Dean Spanos wrote in a press release and letter to season ticket holders. “Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.”

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Duncan Hunter Pulls a Trump-Like Distraction as He Pulled Down Award-Winning Painting

January 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It appears that our own Rep. Duncan Hunter has pulled a “Trump-like” distraction in order to manipulate the press away from something else that was embarrassing. It’s a case of Animal House.

Donald Trump has become infamous for making tweets or taking efforts to manipulate the press that are often distractions to more questionable or controversial elements of his campaign and transition. For instance, his press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 11th – the first in 6 months – was a distraction to embarrassing and controversial statements by his cabinet nominees, whose hearings were being held at the very same day in Congress.

And now Hunter has pulled a rabbit out of his Trump hat.

On Friday, Jan. 6th, Hunter pulled down an award-winning but controversial painting from a wall in a Capitol hallway. The painting depicts a street clash between police and protesters, most of whom are Black. The painting shows some police officers and protesters as animals.

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DA Dumanis Exonerates El Cajon Police Officer Who Killed Alfred Olango

January 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Bonnie Dumanis, the District Attorney for all of San Diego County, has just exonerated the El Cajon Police officer, Richard Gonsalves, who fatally shot Alfred Olango last September.

Olango was an unarmed African-American man whose death at the hands of police sparked large protests in the streets of the east county city. One of the demonstrations included a sit-down by hundreds of protesters on Broadway in El Cajon, non-violently confronting helmeted and baton-wielding sheriff’s deputies.

Dumanis declared at a news conference at the Hall of Justice:

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Homeless Advocates Plan Response Tonight To Mayor Faulconer’s 2017 State Of The City Address

January 12, 2017 by Source

By Women Occupy San Diego

Press Conference & Performance by the Voices of Our City Choir
THURSDAY, January 12, 2017, about 7:30-8:30pm (following Mayor’s State of the City)
Horton Plaza Park (Near 4th & E/across from the Balboa Theater)

After attending the Mayor’s 2017 State of the City address at the Balboa Theater, Women Occupy San Diego, Voices of Our City Choir and other concerned San Diegans will gather nearby to share reactions to what he proposes as solutions to homelessness.

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Trump’s First Press Conference in Nearly 6 Months Confirms His War on the Press

January 11, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

For the first time in nearly six months, today, January 11th, Donald Trump held a news conference. You remember news conferences, you know, those lop-sided but necessary events where politicians actually have to appear to answer questions from reporters. His last one had been on July 27th – almost half a year ago and none since his election.

During today’s 90 minute spectacle – which I dutifully watched – Trump actually answered some of the questions thrown at him by reporters.

Yet, one thing was instantly and crystal clear – Trump is continuing his war on the press. This press conference confirmed it.

The much-anticipated presser, ostensibly held for Trump to explain how he is distancing himself from his businesses and conflicts of interest, got off with explosive start when VP-elect Mike Pence launched salvos at Buzzfeed News and CNN – because they had published reports of a controversial dossier that was supposedly included with Trump’s intelligence briefing held last Friday.

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Opinion: Five Reasons Why We Must Build a New Chargers’ Stadium

January 11, 2017 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Let’s cut to the chase. San Diego must have a new football stadium for five good reasons.

1. We have already solved the problem of homelessness.

The mayor has made it his priority this year; so that is fixed. Forget that the official count of those on the streets is now 8,700 — an increase of almost 3 percent from last year.

The city can and does just move them out of sight (so if you can’t see them, they don’t exist). Move them from downtown to Hillcrest. From Mission Hills canyons to the bridges and overhangs near Fuller Liquor and along the San Diego River. Ocean Beach doesn’t count because everyone there looks almost homeless.

No need to waste precious money on the homeless. Build a stadium. Let the homeless sleep in the old one.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Denounces Trump’s “Horrifying” Education Pick

January 11, 2017 by Source

Betsy DeVos

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

In a scathing memo sent Monday to Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined a growing chorus of opposition to the nominee, probing her past support for “privatizing and defunding K-12 education” as well as her “paper-thin record on higher education and student debt.”

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Big Questions Loom for Local San Diego Labor in 2017

January 10, 2017 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

2017 awaits us fierce as a tiger with major assaults looming on multiple fronts. As I have written here quite recently, it is not an overstatement to say that we face existential threats . With so many things to worry about in the near future, what should labor and progressives be focusing on in anticipation of the coming storm?

Let me start by saying that our first order of business should definitely not be whether you are with or against the imperiled San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council President.

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San Diegans Vote for Change in Democratic Assembly District Elections as Labor Council Infighting Continues

January 10, 2017 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Vote for Change in Democratic Assembly District Elections as Labor Council Infighting Continues

By Doug Porter

You wouldn’t know from reading the newspapers, but there were elections in California over the weekend. And, although the results aren’t finalized yet, it’s obvious something significant is going on in the state’s Democratic Party.

Although these changes (in the short term) amount to little more than a sea of new faces at the Dems state party convention, the significance of record turnouts, competing slates of candidates, and the openly stated desire for progressive ideals all should give us optimism for a new era in politics in the Golden State.

Locally, controversies arose in Oceanside and Chula Vista. The North County event seems to have been procedural; the South County occurrence reflects a deep division among organized labor groups threatening the unity Democrats will need in opposing the actions of the incoming administration.

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Councilman Alvarez: “I am disgusted by the allegations” About Sexual Harassment by Labor Leader

January 9, 2017 by Brent Beltran

sexual harassmentRespected Latinas Step Forward with Shocking Claims Against UFCW President Mickey Kasparian

By Brent E. Beltran /San Diego Free Press

On December 17, 2016 NBC 7 San Diego broke the news that former UFCW Local 135 organizer Sandy Naranjo had filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against UFCW President Mickey Kasparian.

A few days later on December 21 NBC 7 San Diego came out with another story on Kasparian. This time it was regarding allegations of sexual harassment filed by former employee Isabel Vasquez. Vasquez’s complaint was full of lurid details.

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San Diego Protests During Trump Inauguration Weekend

January 6, 2017 by Staff

There are now seven events being planned in response to the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump as President. They include 4 events on Friday, the 20th and two on the 21st. Plus there is a group of artists doing street theatre. And the folks who organized the “OB Sez No to Trump” rally late last year are attempting to mobilize an Ocean Beach contingent on both days.

PROTESTS ON JANUARY 20TH

Protest Inauguration Day and Fight Trump – San Diego Alliance for Justice
Friday, January 20, 10:30am
San Diego City College
1313 Park Blvd
For More Information

This is a call by to mobilize against the bigot, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, sexist, Trump and everything he stands for. On inauguration day the people of San Diego will unite and fight! We will send our message loud and clear to those at the top: We Reject the President Elect!

Daytime Rally: We gather at City College at 10:30am, speakers start at 11:00am. We march to the Federal Building to rally at 12:00 Noon!

Evening Rally: We join with allies from Unión del Barrio to protest at Chicano Park 5pm-9pm. There will be a march in a loop back to the park. A contingent will stay in the park during the march to welcome fellow protesters as they get off work.

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Protect San Diegans’ Obamacare – Call to Action!

January 6, 2017 by Anna Daniels

no obamacare repeal

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The 115th Congress convened for the first time earlier this week. After their disastrous behind closed doors attempt to gut the Office of Ethics went down in flames, they decided that it was time to concentrate on the number one priority–Repeal and Replace Obamacare.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare has been the Republican mantra since 2009. Their call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act is gratuitous, but it has kept the base hopeful if not happy. Repeal is infinitely easier than proposing a replacement and Republicans have nothing to offer in its place.

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War on the Poor Starts Soon

January 6, 2017 by John Lawrence

Seal of the U.S. Office of Management and BudgetBy John Lawrence

The Safety Net Will Soon be in Shreds

The Trump administration will take over in a couple weeks. Essential benefits for tens of millions of low-and moderate-income Americans are in danger of being phased out or canceled immediately.

These include the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid health-insurance program for the poor and further reduction of already squeezed funding for scores of other important programs serving the most vulnerable Americans such as rental vouchers for low-income families, programs to fight homelessness, job training, funding for poor school districts, Head Start for young children and Pell grants to help low-income students afford college.

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Trump Foes Issue Call to ‘Resist Fascism’ – Urge Millions to Rise Up

January 5, 2017 by Source

‘Millions must rise up in a resistance [to] stop the Trump/Pence regime before it starts!’

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

“No! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America!” the ad states. (Image: RefuseFascism.org)

Thousands of activists, journalists, scientists, entertainers, and other prominent voices took out a full-page call to action in the New York Times on Wednesday making clear their rejection of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence with the simple message: “No!”

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Just Say No! to Minimum Wage Surcharge on Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurant Bills

January 5, 2017 by Source

By John Loughlin

Restaurateurs make a political statement by adding a surcharge to ‘cover’ the cost of paying the poorest workers a higher wage.

The Union-Tribune article helpfully provides a list of restaurants to boycott as well as some to support.

Back in May 2016, David Cohn speaking at a CREW event:

“It is so easy to vote for that [minimum wage] increase, but it is going to really raise your cost of entertainment and spark a new round of inflation that we haven’t seen since the 1970s.”

He was reported as predicting that the results could lead to menu prices increasing a minimum of 30% over the next few years. From Jan 1, 2017 the Cohn Restaurant Group is adding a 3% surcharge to cover ‘mandated’ cost increases.

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Why Don’t OB and San Diego Restaurants Add ‘Free Market’ Surcharges to Customer Bills?

January 5, 2017 by Anna Daniels

High-end Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurants Poised to Add Surcharge for “government mandated” Costs to Business

By Anna Daniels

Over the past ten years consumers have absorbed higher costs at the check-out counter for all manner of goods. Remember when gasoline costs spiked and affected more than gas at the pump?

Everything from the potted plants at the local nursery to grocery items reflected an attendant price increase. Remember when the cost of coffee went up? What about the shortage of cheese and how that was reflected in higher consumer costs?

These consumer cost increases reflect everything from volatility in the commodity market to shortages caused by natural disasters to price fixing. We weren’t handed restaurant checks or grocery bills with a surcharge added for “free market” or “act of god” or “corporate greed.”

So why are some San Diego restaurants considering a surcharge on bills to cover the most recent “government mandated” wage hike which raises the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour?

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Russian Hacking and the 2016 Presidential Election

January 4, 2017 by Doug Porter

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Serious People are claiming that news accounts about Russian meddling in US elections are somehow equivalent to the Weapons of Mass Destruction stories peddled in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq. Or a liberal version of the group-think on the Trumpian right about millions of illegal aliens voting for Hillary Clinton.

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AARP’s Spineless Response to Social Security, Medicare Privatization Threat

January 4, 2017 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, recently sent a call to action letter to its members about the need to secure future Social Security benefits. That opening line should have generated a sigh of relief from AARP’s 37.8 million members over the age of 50 who have been following the rumblings from the new Republican Congress to privatize Medicare and Social Security.

Read a little further and you find out that AARP is not alerting us to the potential unraveling in 2017 of two wildly popular and essential components of our social safety net–but rather the potential insolvency of Social Security in 2034. Imagine that your house has been doused in gasoline and an arsonist is standing close by with a box of matches but you are being told that your problem is that you aren’t saving enough money to tent the place for termites seventeen years into the future.

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