Tidbits - Nov. 19, 2020 - Reader Comments: 2020 elections analysis; a Biden Administration; Use of Latinx; Star Trek; China; cookbooks; Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health; Resources; Announcements; more....
Re: Biden Wins, But Now the Hard Part Begins (Mike Arney)
Re: The New US: While Calling Out Trump White Women (Ted Cloak; Carol Hanisch; Monthly Review)
Re: Initial Analysis of 2020 Exit Polls (Timothy; Bob Wing; Jose G. Perez)
Carry Out -- cartoon by Mike Luckovich
Re: America Rejoins the World? (Carole Kronberg)
Regime Change -- cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Use of Latinx (Rep. Edwin Vargas)
Re: Our Vaccine Infrastructure Needs a Radical Overhaul (Sonia Collins)
Re: Unions Disagree over Biden's Labor Secretary Pick (Claire O'Connor)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery's Trans Representation Is Both Groundbreaking and Heartbreaking (David Nandram; Arturo Garcia-Costas; Maurice Kessler)
Cold War Reenactors -- cartoon by Dave Coverly
Re: China and Portside coverage of China (Stephen McClure)
Re: 12 women whose cookbooks across 400 years helped shape modern Western cooking (American Heritage)
Re: Will Trump's Last Fight be Against Howard Zinn? (Leonard J. Lehrman)
Inaugural Episode of Black Work Talk Podcast Has Launched (Steven Pitts and Organizing Upgrade)
New Report - BILLIONAIRE WEALTH VS. COMMUNITY HEALTH - Protecting Essential Workers from Pandemic Profiteers (Institute for Policy Studies)
What Comes Next For Climate in NY State...and how you can get involved! - November 20 (Peoples Climate Movement - NY)
Webinar on 1987 Chicago 8 film - November 20 (Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee)
Where do we go from Here? Preparing our Movements for the Next Four Years - Progressive Strategy Conference - December 5 & 6 (Massachusetts Peace Action)
Register Now for Medicare for All Strategy Conference on January 23-24 (Labor Campaign for Single Payer)
The slogan "defund the police" was used as a hammer on Republican opponents, both progressives who uttered it and centrists who never said it. In really blue areas, Democrats (and I suppose independents) could campaign on it and still win. In dicier areas, a much tougher lift. If you disagree with that one, convince me that a massive chunk of voters are not conservative, horribly inconsistent, etc. Explain why the GOP has controlled the U.S. Senate for some time, why it might (depending on Georgia run-offs) into the future, why the Democrats lost House seats, why the Republicans control most state governments. (Please attempt to do this without lecturing me on if only social democrats ran in every race, we would have a U.S. version of Sweden tomorrow.)
The concepts behind "Defund the Police" are sound. To reorganize the functions of the police; to assign certain functions to other departments of city, county and state government; to acknowledge that cutting funds to other city departments shouldn't happen without cutting funds to police; to protest an endless stream of police killings that nearly never result in prosecutions; etc.
However, if you think "Defund the Police" is a popular slogan with the masses (and not the relatively fewer numbers of activists), I don't think you get out enough. For example, while doing GOTV at early and day-off voting, I didn't hear anyone talk favorably about that slogan except activists. On the other hand, I heard some voters (and uninfranchised neighbors who drink and smoke reefer openly in my neighborhood every day) talk about how "stupid" the slogan is. (Their words, not mine.) All of this GOTV work was done in high crime areas of the Bronx.
The non-activist people are the ones we are trying to move. Those people think it means what it sounds like: take the money away from the cops. (Hell, I've seen "abolish the police" signs at demonstrations.) Maybe in privileged areas, or in privileged brains, it is romantic and attractive. In neighborhoods of high crime, I don't hear people say they don't want cops around. Even though they and I are totally opposed to police violence, police beatings, etc. The masses in hard neighborhoods understand the reality of the situation on the ground today. No cops, more than likely increases in crime (that disproportionately hurt the multi-racial working class and, in general, nationally oppressed people). In the suburbs, the slogan is used by Republicans to keep as many voters away from being anti-GOP as possible. There are mixed results, and reality is very complex—no behavior is based on one thing.
The slogan is the work of anarchist-minded people, idealistic in the philosophical sense. Sorry, but consciousness does not determine social being. It is the other way around.
If a slogan is attractive only to activists but not to the masses of people who are not activists, then I think we should agree that the slogan is not a good one. Don't activists want to reach the general population? Or are we satisfied if we only speak to each other.
I could continue with what I charge is the not-well-thought-out slogan of "abolish prisons," but I know I have already put much of the Portside (and other website) readers into shock with my opposition to the slogan "Defund the Police." Not the concepts behind it, simply the unfortunate choice of the slogan that has been generated to encapsulate the concepts.
P.S. Rashida Tlaib won the seat from Brenda Jones, not John Conyers (though it is all the same district).
I'm sure there are many white women and men who fit Eisenstein's description. We've seen them in action at Trump rallies over and over again.
But I think we should try to find out how many working class people who wouldn't be caught dead at a Trump rally held their noses and voted for him because they reasoned, correctly, that Biden would prioritize fighting the pandemic, which would mean closing workplaces, while Trump would keep the economy open.
They chose keeping their job, their home, and food on the table. Losing those things was/is a clear and present danger; catching the virus was/is not (until it is). They obviously couldn't trust government to help again in time. I'm asking for research, not making an assertion. But if there were such voters I think it would be hard to blame them.
This article contains one glaring error that makes assumptions so common in almost all mass and Left media election commentary: some 57% of white women did NOT vote for Trump. 57% of white women WHO VOTED did. About a third of people did not vote at all. Trump received a ballot from less than half of a third of eligible voters.
There is no acknowledgement here of the grim choice that the Democrats put on the ballot. Biden may be superficially "nicer" than Trump, but Biden too has been accused of sexually assaulting women, which was quickly swept under the rug after the Party bigwigs determined that he would be the candidate. He threw Anita Hill under the bus. He was an architect of the racist 1994 Crime Bill and helped lead many a war charges that killed and displaced millions. He participated in the deportation policies on the Southern border. He's importantly also a Wall Street man.
But hey, it's easier to call out white women as racists than to put the responsibility for the mess where it belongs. That racism played a big role and white women were a part of the problem cannot be denied, but what about the rest of it?
Zillah Eisenstein, author, most recently, of Abolitionist Socialist Feminism: Radicalizing the Next Revolution, has, in the wake of the presidential election, written “The New US: While Calling Out Trump White Women” for Portside, a leftist news aggregator and alternative communication medium.
“2020 had the largest voting electorate in the US in decades and maybe ever—and it was disproportionately Black and Brown and LatinX and Asian and Indigenous and young. This happened in spite of attempts at voter suppression. Voters of color massively increased their share of the voting public and many of them are militantly anti-racist. Get used to this new US…. Stop centering white people—the white part of the working class, and white women Trump voters. There are so many other newer faces to see and they are already here…”
Read Zillah’s article at Portside
Are these exit polls adjusted for the disproportionate Republicans voting in person?
The exit polls are adjusted for mail, early and day of voting. Votes have been coming in since I wrote the piece so in fact the polls may have been adjusted since then.
The "unadjusted exit poll" myth
There's a myth floating around that exit polls can provide a check on election results. That would be true --in theory!-- if the poll were a random sample of voters. But they are not.
How do I know? I was the lead exit poll producer for CNN en Español election coverage for 11 national election cycles, from 1990 to 2010 inclusive. And since then I've continued doing election and exit poll coverage. And I know exit polls are incredibly imprecise.
For the exit poll to be used as a verification of results, it would need to be a random sample where every voter had an equal chance of being polled.
But the only voters polled in exit polls are those at a few voting locations, for the national presidential exit poll, usually a little over 100 (I read somewhere this year it was 115, and that sounds about right).
Yes, it is a random sample of voters at each of those locations, but the locations themselves are selected by the pollster to tick various demographic boxes.
And the problems multiply from there. Typically, you will have less than 100 respondents for each location. More than half the people that you ask don't fill out the questionnaire. The poll taker notes the apparent age, race/ethnicity and gender of each person asked to take the poll but who refused.
So if you asked 100 people to take the poll and half did, 30 Blacks and 20 whites, but those who refused were 40 Blacks and 10 whites, that needs to be taken into account. And when you get the vote from that one polling place, you give different weights to the answers based on one candidate's results (or --in theory at least-- a blend of candidates).
The exercise is not meant to give you results but a portrait of the electorate that produced those results. How well does it work?
Terribly, and the absolute worst during my tenure were results for Latinos. For example, in the 2004 exit poll we had Bush winning 44% of that vote nationally and a 57% majority of the Latino vote in the South. The people who picked voting locations to poll did not realize that they hugely over-represented Cubans in the five heavily Latino polling sites they chose.
These problems appear to have continued. The exit poll had Latino vote at around 15 million in 2016, but it was actually about 12.6 million.
People mostly want to use state-wide exit polls to check on results in a particular state. But they have the same problems as the national exit poll.
Jose G. Perez
November 15, 2020
Thanks for this! I feel "briefed!"
November 13, 2020
I just want to reiterate that the term Latinx is viewed by many of us in the Latino/Hispanic community as an insulting and bigoted term. We realize that some members of the progressive community believe that the term is "woke" and respectful but it is not. The term did not originate at the grassroots level bit is being imposed from outside of our community. Most of our people are unfamiliar and initially puzzled when confronted with the term and ultimately find it insulting.
Rep. Edwin Vargas (D) Connecticut House of Representatives
We keep spending money on war and on increasing the wealth of billionaires. Meanwhile I see rust everywhere, both literally and figuratively. Over and over and in so many fields we need to prioritize spending and organization to support a better life for the majority.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
(posting on Portside Labor)
Remember those former lovers who paid attention to you only when you had something they wanted. You remember. Weren't available when you needed them. Ever loving when they wanted to borrow your car or have a home cooked meal. Remember your confusion? Remember how you didn't want to believe it and remember when you finally had to trust your suspicions and gave up the innocent suspicion.
Well Lefties. BIden begged for our support. He promised a new world was coming if only we would lend him our car. BUT he is prepared to only deliver a moderate right democrat as Labor Secretary. Remember those days of promise. This is what he is prepared to deliver. Epiphany all over again.
(posting on Portside Culture)
The show has lost it’s way
- Too political
- Bland story line
- Need writers with talent and imagination
- Maybe they should review the original
- But not to copy
- To inspire
- Oh for originality
- But will never be anything but political
- Will not watch
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
David Nandram Are you serious? You don't think that the utopian vision of Star Trek was always inherently political? Fans like you make me SMH...
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
Oh, for fans who actually remember the context in which TOS was created. Or how often Roddenberry himself described the show as a way to air politically-relevant stories that the network wouldn't otherwise allow.
Or when 1966 southerners complained that the show was too political because they had all these minorities on the Bridge.
Thanks for the laughs, David.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
July 4, 2011
I must say that Portside has been doing a better job of presenting Chinese mainstream political thought as of late. But, Portside readers might be interested in the developing situation related to the transition period. The Pompeo State Department issued a particularly troubling white paper on China. Global times posted a response.
I think American progressives need to be aware of the precariousness of the situation, given that the Trumpists are unpredictable. https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1207185.shtml
Since I live in Wuhan, I would like to let you know that life is back to normal, the pandemic is contained, social distancing is relaxed, and classrooms and restaurants are full. The Chinese economy is recovering as the USA tops 250,000 deaths with out of control community spread. The Communist Party of China demonstrated strong leadership despite missteps early on in the pandemic, unlike the political leaderships in the USA who seem incapable of governing.
US leaders have placed their entire faith in a magic bullet vaccine with a dubious infrastructure for mass immunizations. They have completely bungled the basic public health measures and appear to be completely inept at mobilizing civil society to enforce masking and social distancing standards through social pressure rather than policing.
(posting on Portside Culture)
Anne Willan weaves culinary history, writing and teaching into her fascinating new book, Women in the Kitchen.
I and so many others will be forever in Howard Zinn's debt, for his inspiring my research and works on
But Donald Trump is right in one respect. Any conscientious study of American history would make students feel ashamed - of our ever having elected someone like him!
Leonard J. Lehrman
By Bianca Agustin, Chuck Collins, Jonathan Heller, Sara Myklebust, Omar Ocampo
There are few stories more sordid than the surging wealth gains of the world’s billionaire class during a pandemic when so many have lost their lives, health, and livelihoods.
A handful of billionaires and corporations have seen their wealth surge to record levels, in part as a result of their monopoly status and opportunism during the pandemic.
For example, Walmart, Target, and Amazon benefited from their monopoly positions in the economy, with these three retailers considered “essential” while their retail competitors were shut down. But the success of these businesses hasn’t translated into better pay or safer working conditions for the employees showing up to work in a pandemic.
Meanwhile, private equity firms have bought up essential businesses in the health care, grocery, and pet care industries, only to aggressively cut costs, skimp on worker safety, and load companies up with debt to boost their own profits.
Hundreds of thousands of essential workers employed by these companies have remained vulnerable and exposed. These frontline workers risk their lives every day to do the work that increases already obscene corporate wealth.
This report focuses on a list of 12 emblematic bad actors. We call them the Delinquent Dozen — corporations that should do significantly more to protect their workers as their owners and executives continue to reap billions.
This report was produced by Bargaining for the Common Good, the Institute for Policy Studies, and United for Respect. Published in partnership with Action Center on Race and the Economy, Americans for Financial Reform, Jobs with Justice, New York Communities for Change, Step Up Louisiana, and Working Washington.
Read more here: https://ips-dc.org/billionaire-wealth-vs-community-health/
Institute for Policy Studies
1301 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
Stop the Economic Attack Against the Shinnecock Nation
The State of NY has brought a lawsuit against the Shinnecock Nation on Long Island. If successful, this lawsuit would cut off the Nation’s efforts to engage in economic development designed to meet basic housing, education, and food needs of its tribal members. A call for support in this struggle against the lawsuit has gone out, and as an organization committed to climate justice, PCM-NY understands how important it is to stand with Indigenous communities fighting for their survival.
To learn more about this struggle, and for information about how you can help, click here.
NY Renews -- Statewide conversation
Friday, November 20 - 12 noon
While the election is behind us we all know there are tremendous challenges and lots of work as we look ahead. The fight for climate, jobs and justice is far from over!
The Peoples Climate Movement-NY is part of NY Renews, the statewide coalition that led the efforts to win passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in Albany last year. And now NY Renews is working to pass the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA), a law that would raise upwards of $15 billion every year to build a just transition in New York State.
We urge you to join the NY Renews statewide conversation on Friday to discuss what this moment means for our fight for climate justice, and to share how you can get involved in winning climate victories in this state. Register here.
The Work to Protect Staten Island Wetlands Continues
In case you have not seen these yet, we encourage you to take a look at a recent article in the NY Times about the struggle on Staten Island to protect wetlands, which are critically important to protecting people and their homes during storm surges.
Georgia Election - How You Can Help
One more critical piece in this year’s election process is the Georgia Senate run-offs. If you want to help ensure the success of voter registration and engagement of Black, Latino and Asian voters in GA then we encourage you to donate to The New Georgia Project. This is a non-partisan, Black women-led organization that registered hundreds of thousands of voters before November 3 and is hard at work registering more. They can use all the support we can give them!
119 West 23rd Street , Suite 900
New York, NY 10011
"Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8" -- a webinar to discuss the film by Jeremy Kagan
Friday, November 20, 5 p.m. ET
VPCC is inviting you to attend a discussion of a film made in 1987 but still very timely. Dramatization of courtroom testimony is mixed with interviews of the defendants themselves. Use of "Chicago 8" in the title reflects the greater attention to Bobby Seale's experience. "Conspiracy" is as artistically powerful but historically more accurate than Aaron Sorkin's new Netflix film so could be a better educational resource.
- Jon Wiener, author of "Conspiracy in the Streets"
- Jeremy Kagan, film director and producer
- Stuart Ball, attorney, defense team assistant to Lennie Weinglass
- Bobby Seale, defendant
- Carl Lumbly, actor (Bobby Seale)
- Lee Weiner, defendant
- Corinna Fales, unindicted co-conspirator
- Michael Lembeck, actor (Abbie Hoffman)
The evolving full program and bios will be available here including a link to registration.
Or you can register directly here.
Before the webinar, please watch the Chicago 8 Conspiracy film. It can be viewed at no cost by the Vimeo link on Kagan's informative web site here.
* Sally Benson * David Cortright * Jay Craven * Susan Hammond * Rick Hind * Doug Hostetter * Susanne Jackson * Frank Joyce * Steven Ladd * Paul Lauter * Jack Malinowski * John McAuliff * Terry Provance * Brewster Rhoads *
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
64 Jean Court
Riverhead, NY 11901
After the Biden/Harris election victory it will be important for the Massachusetts peace, climate, and racial and economic justice movements to come together to assess the new conditions. We will require sustained, collaborative and strategic action if we are to meet the challenge that now stares us in the face.
Our virtual gathering on December 5-6 will bring together key activists to consider “where do we go from here” with as much organic collaboration as possible. On the 5th we will hear from and have the opportunity to question a wide variety of speakers, and we will hold two breakout sessions with over 20 topics to be announced soon. On the morning of the 6th we will reconvene for a Continuations Plenary.
The United States is in the midst of multiple crises that have exposed the fault lines of injustice and inequality as never before. The election results have reshaped the terrain for responding to these crises and seizing the opportunities they present.
The Pandemic – The critical need for a competent, coordinated national response to COVID-19 is paramount. We must control the pandemic before a safe and equitable recovery can begin, as a first step toward a well resourced public health system to prepare to avoid future pandemics.
The Economic Crisis – The first action of the new administration should be the enactment of a major economic relief package responding to the economic needs manifested by the pandemic. We need an emergency Green New Deal public jobs and infrastructure program. No longer should your access to health care be dependent on what job you have; health care should be provided to all as a human right. We need to guarantee affordable housing, food security, child and family support and education as human rights and social goods.
Racial Injustice –The murder of George Floyd has sparked a nationwide movement against racist violence, police brutality and mass incarceration. We must fight with fierce urgency to end, repair and redress the centuries of institutionalized oppression of Black and Brown people that have plagued our history and poison our present.
Climate Change – As apocalyptic fires consume the West, hurricanes assault the South, and melting ice caps flood the coasts, the US must embrace the Green New Deal and the THRIVE Agenda NOW to save the planet before it is too late.
Endless War– We must re-define national security by promoting international cooperation, not endless warfare to defend a far-flung empire. We must reverse the new cold war with Russia and China and dismantle life-threatening nuclear weapons. We must redirect resources from the Pentagon and militarized police to combat actual threats to our security from extreme poverty, inequality, and climate disaster.
Political Polarization – We must address the explosive political polarization that will continue regardless of who wins the election – and consider any role we may be playing in that polarization. Our Movement must stand with the vast majority of people, represent their interests, and build a society based on truth, science, and justice.
This is a unique moment in history. From the ashes of disease, depression, dystopia and disaster, let us gather in December to take stock, join forces and build a powerful movement for radical yet winnable social transformation based on our shared vision of hope, justice, equity and peace.
Sponsors: Massachusetts Peace Action, 350 Mass, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, American Friends Service Committee – Northeast Office, Progressive Massachusetts, Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign, Progressive Democrats of America, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Boston Independent Drivers Guild, Our Revolution Massachusetts, Cambridge Residents Alliance, Peace Action Maine, Veterans for Peace/Smedley Butler Brigade, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston, and Boston DSA.
Massachusetts progressive organizations are invited to join as an endorser for a donation of $25 or more. Sign up to endorse.
Registration: $75 supporters, $20 general admission, $5 student/ low income. Register online now or mail a check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “Where do we Go from Here?” on the memo line. Information: email@example.com or 617-354-2169.
We will use Zoom breakout rooms during the conference. The ability to join the breakout group of your choice was introduced in Zoom version 5.3, so please upgrade your Zoom client software to version 5.3 or greater before the event. Follow Zoom instructions to upgrade your software.
With the defeat of Donald Trump, the Medicare for All movement enters a new era of opportunity - and resistance.
Please join us for the Online 2021 Medicare for All Strategy Conference on January 23-24 as we transition from defensively organizing for our basic rights and democracy to going on the offense for an equitable healthcare system!
Invited speakers include Rev. William Barber, incoming Reps Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush, returning Rep. Katie Porter and Medicare for All champion Rep. Pramila Jayapal. A panel of prominent national and local labor leaders will discuss the challenges of building labor support for Medicare for All under the Biden Administration.
Since the conference is 100% online this year, it's never been more accessible to attend. Early bird tickets are only $35 until December 18th (prices increase to $50 on December 19).
The "live" conference will take place during the weekend of January 23-24. During the preceding week, each evening we'll release pre-recorded panel discussions and presentations addressing key issues of our movement that you can watch any time.
We are all tired of Zoom. That's why we've worked hard to make this online event as participatory and interactive as possible.
Plenaries - To leave as much time as possible on Saturday and Sunday for workshops and networking, plenaries will be mostly pre-recorded and released on the weekdays leading up to the weekend.
Workshops - Workshops will consist of short presentations, with most of the hour dedicated to breakout sessions for discussion and reflection.
Networking - Both structured and unstructured networking opportunities will be available through caucuses, workshop breakouts, and Happy Hours hosted on the social networking platform Gather.
Workshop topics include:
- Powermapping to Organize Strategically
- Connecting with Racial Justice Organizations from the M4A Movement
- Unions: Fighting to Keep the Healthcare We Have While Working to Win the Healthcare We Need
- Organizing Frontline Workers
- Building Grassroots Labor Coalitions
- Medicare for All on the Ballot: What Would It Take to Win?
and much more!
Please register today so we can get a sense of how many people will be attending the conference in this brand new format! The early bird rate of $35 ends December 18th.
Labor Campaign for Single Payer
P.O Box 34262
Washington, DC 20043
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-314-2653