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Tidbits - May 25, 2017 - Reader Comments: Impeachment - Differing reader responses; Gerrymandering Racial Segregation; White Working-Class Voters and Future of Progressive Politics; COSATU Bans Zuma from Speaking at its Events; and more...

Reader Comments: Time for Impeachment - Differing responses from Portside readers; Voting - Gerrymandering, and Racial Segregation - Today; White Working-Class Voters and the Future of Progressive Politics; Chelsea Manning is Free!; News from South Africa -- COSATU Bans Zuma from Speaking at its Events; Jewish Voice for Peace video - Israel Palestine Conflict 101; and more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Shorts - May 25, 2017,Portside
A number of Portside readers, in response to this post, have asked, When Will it Be Shown?
It is scheduled for broadcast on July 10, on WGBH and other PBS stations around the country.
Check schedule listings here
The Trump/Russia probe is currently under multiple investigations by:
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI),
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ),
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee,
  • The House Oversight Committee, and
  • The Senate and House Intelligence Committees.
This is unprecedented and historic considering that #45 and his administration are barely in their fourth month in office. How this will end is very worrisome and monumental when you think about it. I wonder if this should not go well for #45, would it be grounds to nullify and void his election?
Madeline Bigelow
No please! Pence is a worse psychopath than the clown boss...
Onell Gonzalez
gotta win congress first, and the democratic party sucks too hard to do that with the corporatists in charge. their approval ratings are dropping faster than trump's.
Jay Cryer
Premature, as usual.  Richard Reich called for an investigation AND impeachment.  I wrote back to him (he is really now another DNC shill) that we should do the investigation first.  Then we can decide, based on something definite, whether to impeach.  I don't know why these stupid Democrats have to rush into Pence for President.  Perhaps even worse.  Why cheapen an investigation by predicting the dire results?????
Larry Sherk
I don't understand why the anti-Trumps and Democrats are howling for Trump's impeachment. Are they blind to the fact that the vice president who will become president is a Tea party politically experienced leading ideologue. Surely chaos and confusion is better. the focus should be on grassroots campaigning to win Democratic majorities in the house and the Senate.
Nina Udovički
David Kimbrell
Go Andy, love his sense of humor. He baits his hook well and has snagged me more than once, great work,
Mike Liston
So funny but probably so true!!
Irma Pelletier Emond
He killed "truth" during the primary election campaign.
Samuel Leach
I don't think we'll have to much longer. I suspect our military and intelligence apparatus will remove him.
James Scott
The idea that Trump has that kind of influence over either the press or the American people is ludicrous.Everything he says should be discounted as idiotic and ignored.
Cynthia Drew
A study by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that Pennsylvania is one of the three worst states for gerrymandering Congressional seats. (The other two are Michigan and North Carolina.) The majority of Pennsylvanians vote to be represented in Congress by a Democrat, but what we get is 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats representing our state in the House of Representatives.
Alan Hart
"One person one vote" is terribly undermined by gerrymandering among other things. District lines are drawn by party officials. The most outrageous salamander shapes seem to be from Republican officials. I propose that the job of creating districts be taken out of partisan hands. Non-partisan committees at universities, for instance, could use many available math algorithms to draw the lines to create compact districts. Mathematics is not perfect but gets closer than the self-serving shenanigans of politicians.
Sonia Collins
SCOTUS just struck down NC gerrymandering.
Pat Reiersen
The Republicans lost the popular vote for President, and elected a president. The Democrats got far more votes in House elections than the Republicans, and the Republicans have a majority in the House. The Democrats got more votes in Senate races, and the GOP has a majority in the Senate. Of course they are helped in the latter by the fact that the Senate seats have nothing to do with population, so your vote in Wyoming counts for like six votes in California. So we are ruled by a minority. Funny, they don't govern in the interests of the majority of citizens. Wonder why?
Jack Radey
Getting out the VOTE is good.. Fixing the system is the only way Democrats will win.... Republicans have more schemes lined up for the next election and Dems need to nip them in the bud... Also the Cross Check program and gerrymandering needs to be sued out of existence...
Angela Holmes
Few people have seen the big picture of criminal justice in Philadelphia the way that Kevin Harden Jr. has seen it -- selling drugs on the street corners of West Philly and even wounded in a gun fight as a youth, then turning it all around, getting his law degree and spending a half dozen years in the district attorney's office under Seth Williams.
Now in private practice, the 31-year-old Harden spent his Election Day working for the man who promised to radically change that system, the veteran civil-rights attorney Lawrence Krasner.
"Larry understands that poor people get the short end of the stick," Harden told me by phone early last night from Election Court, where he was challenging campaign irregularities on his candidate's behalf. He cited Kranser's promise to end cash bail and not lock up non-violent arrestees who pose no apparent threat to the community. "He's going to be sensible -- to make sure his policies don't affect the poorest and most marginal communities."
Thomas Humphrey
Montana needs help from the National DEC. we need to win on The special election.
Zulma Velez-Estrada
(posting on Portside Labor)
The Democratic Party has taken the Organizer Labor movement for granted  
Tommy J Moore Sr.
All is well and done, but WHY are these white working class folks swayed by racism and hate when they can all see that corporate greed and other byproducts of out-of-control capitalism are the ONLY culprits for their economic ills? Are they ignorant or just don't care? Not a rhetorical question!
If the problem is that they do not realize how "the system" works and are distracted by the "blame the Mexican" rhetoric of the right, then their misplaced anxiety and blame could be redirected. HOWEVER, if the reasons why the latched to the racist and xenophobic rhetoric of the right is because they are responding to deep-seated cultural beliefs of White supremacy, beliefs that would remain in place even if their economic situation was resolved, then we have a deeper problem.
I believe that the latter is the more correct analysis: the CULTURE and upbringing of these people, not their economic "hardship", made them vote the way they did. In order to change their voting patterns, we need to reeducate them and de-Aryanize them, along the lines of Germany's de-Nazification after WW 2. We cannot have a vibrant multiethnic, multicultural society in which a significant sector of the population believes that some fellow citizens are inferior and undeserving.
We need to reach out to the reachable, but also be prepared to confront, shame and if necessary marginalize and punish those who are unwilling to believe in equality for all nor superiority for them.
In 1858 Lincoln stated that "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other." Those words remain true today
Francisco Gonzalez
Progressives will never get white working class again nativist sentiment and racism is what pushed them to gop. Until they stop being assholes we can't get them. These are people opposed to lgbt and minority rights"
Tiffany Miller
...It should also be noted that FAR MORE HIGHER INCOME WHITES than Lower income whites voted FOR Trump. The average earnings of a Trump voter were $72,000 (that's NOT "working-class" at all!) As a white working-class woman who's done anti-racism work for 40 years, I've other thoughts on this--but, a FB comment thread isn't enough space to go into it. Suffice it to say, INTESECTIONALITY MUST INCLUDE WHITE PEOPLE (based on class, gender, disability, ageism etc). As long as ONLY people of color are considered oppressed & "white privilege" is seen as UNIVERSAL, you won't reach many white working-class people. One correction: the post-WWII "re-education" in Germany you reference was called "De-NAZIFICATON".
Lydia Howell
"...the emerging field of working-class studies is settling on definitions of class that are rooted in the power relations established in production..."
Fucking hell, that's what Marx did and the fundamental distinction between capitalists and workers hasn't changed. And this article doesn't mention capitalists once!
Kyle Benson
Missed the memo that over 10 million US jobs are on the line if trump keeps being stupid on NAFTA. BUT none of his companies jobs are affected because he hires in Asia and Mexico. Even his US based jobs are mostly for foreigners because he is on the record saying there is not enough skilled laborers in the US. That you will more than likely not have health care and if you have a pre existing condition you are screwed. Sure hope the coal miners can live without healthcare.
Leslie Ward
The future is with Socialists and Greens 
Michael Smith
I'm glad that the term "working class" is being dusted off. Much better than middle class.
Rick Taves
Dispossessed middle-class whites are the future unstoppable Democratic coalition - just do the math. They are what John Edwards' lead adviser envisaged in his appeal based on a coalition of dispossessed middle-class whites in the heartland - later pirated by Trump, intentionally or not.
Matt Maggio
This post points out that it was Lewis Powell in 1971 who observed that universities and colleges were centers of progressive thought and winning the battle of ideas.He suggested right-wing think tanks and attempts by the right to buy their way into university administration and faculties.
Ellen Ross
Where is the analysis and commentary linking unemployment by way of race and ethnicity, for each state and the election results of November/2016?  What are the likely outcomes given marginal improvement between now and Nov./2019- for the mid-term elections?  Such an analysis would be useful.   Are you aware of the important work done by Cambridge Analytics for the Trump team prior to Nov/2016 and how it determined in part, the outcome?  In the view of some observers, Cambridge Analytics may have been THE critical factor determining the NOV./2016 outcome.  Finally, to what extent does this data demonstrate that systemic discrimination based on race is a key characteristic in American society?
Joe Grogan
(posting on Portside Labor)
Let's all hit-the-picketlines! And call ATT to stop f******* around and negotiate!
Leanna Noble
Baby's first picket in Kalispell, Montana
"In Iraq in 2009-10, life felt very cheap. It became overwhelming to see the sheer number of people suffering and dying, and the learned indifference to it by everybody around me, including the Iraqis themselves. That really changed my perspective on my life, and made me realize that speaking out about injustices is worth the risk."
Peace NOW.
EG Smith
A hero if there ever was one.
Morris Edward
Manning followed his conscience when he leaked all of that intel and he was probably right to do so, but he was a member of the armed forces at the time and subject to military law. If the military let this sort of thing go unpunished the whole system would break down. However, a thirty-five year sentence was Draconian and Pres. Obama was correct in reducing it.
Fred Davis
I hope it's a comfort to Chelsea that so many people are expressing their affection for her and their admiration for her courage. Be well. Stay safe.
Alan Roberts
Congratulations, Chelsea Manning. Gratitude.
Verna Brunet
That was a great article. SJG'a Mismeasure changed my life in ways I didn't even know was being challenged; youthful ignorance. His was a life well lived.
Mark Pickett
wonderful writer and speaker. miss him.
Jim Price
Leave the Native Americans and their land alone... GREED GREED GREED
Bernadette Zacirka
"Fourteen years have passed since the U.S. invaded Iraq and punched a hole in the oil heartlands of the Middle East. In the wake of that invasion, states have been crumbling or simply imploding and terror movements growing and spreading, while wars, ethnic slaughter, and all manner of atrocities have engulfed an ever-widening region. Millions of Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Yemenis, Libyans, and others have been uprooted, sent into exile in their own countries, or fled across borders to become refugees."
John Jernegan
(posting on Portside Labor)
'"Buy American" campaigns operate on the assumption that if you buy a product made in the United States, then the company making the profit off that sale is going to reinvest in good union jobs in the United States-but that is very rarely the case. The companies didn't agree to that partnership. They have instead used those profits to lobby for free-trade agreements that grease the skids for them to go overseas.'
Echoes of 1984, but above all of 9/11 and the 2016 elections in USA !!!
Moraima Arbona
(posting on Portside Culture)
Thanks for posting the article. I had just reread Capital in the 21st Century and, while Mr.Steinbaum points out the impact, or lack thereof, of the ideas in the book, i thought of this response to economists who decry the work as yet another 'sky is falling' reaction to capitalism. The first time i read the book i was a bit put off by Piketty referring to literature of the time from Austin to Balzac (well, okay, the range was greater than from A to B)but in the second reading i rather came to like the references and, with that thought in mind I'd like to tell a story: When my father came to the States in the 30's he couldn't believe the differences between here and Germany. He never could go fishing or hunting there because the access to water and hunting land there was privately owned, here there were vast areas open to the public to hunt and fish. Fast forward to today and we see the Cargills buying up land so they can have their own trout stream 20 miles long, the selling off of public lands to the rich and the reduction of estate taxes to ensure the wealthy can continue/grow their Estates. We have, as Piketty notes, seemingly given up on the idea that such power is not the American ideal. The concentration of wealth and power is the failure of capitalism.
Steve Krug
Close down that embassy. Switzerland can represent them.
Laura Berish
Why didn't American police stop these foreign terrorists from harming American citizens!?!?!? Damn trump !
Richard Hayes
What or who gave Erdogan the idea this would be OK?
Joanna Baker
African News Agency
May 23, 2017
photo credit: Reuters //
Following its call to President Jacob Zuma to step down, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday it has decided to bar Zuma from speaking at its events.
Some leaders of Cosatu felt that allowing Zuma to speak was "inconsistent with the call for him to step down", said Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.
"The one day special central executive meeting agreed with the position of the workers that the decision to allow comrade Jacob Zuma was not consistent with our position that we no longer trusted and supported his leadership," said Ntshalintshali.
"The meeting ultimately resolved that going forward, in respect of the workers' mandate and in line with resolution of the CEC that he step down, President Zuma will no longer be welcome to address Cosatu activities .
"This shall be communicated to the ANC [African National Congress], including engaging on its implications for our alliance," Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg following a special executive committee meeting.
The stance by the trade union federation's national executive committee comes after Zuma was booed at Cosatu's Workers Day celebrations in Bloemfontein in May.
Zuma was unable to address the crowds and speeches were subsequently cancelled on the day. It was the first time in the history of Cosatu that an ANC president was prevented from addressing a May Day rally.
Alliance partners Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) have publicly called on Zuma to resign, citing his leadership style and scandals such as Nkandla and rampant corruption, cronyism and factionalism burdening the governing party.
When asked whether Cosatu leaders and its members were in turn barred from events where Zuma would be taking part, Ntshalintshali said such events would be ANC events, not Zuma's.
"When the ANC invites us, it is not the President's invite to us. There will be other many activities where we will engage in policy matters . and we will go and take part in such activities."
He added that Cosatu sent an invite to the ANC to send its delegates to the Workers Day, and that it did not ask for Zuma specifically to attend.
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