Internet users are pledging to vote out lawmakers in 2018 if they do not support Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore FCC rules. Net neutrality advocates have hit an important milestone and are gaining ground in Congress. A Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality has hit the 30 sign-ons from Senators needed to force a vote on the Senate floor. The CRA allows Congress to overturn the FCC’s decision, which has generated widespread bipartisan backlash, with a simple majority vote in the Senate and House, which is increasingly within reach with several Republicans already publicly criticizing the FCC’s move.
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By Brian Sonenstein for Shadow Proof - Journalist Jared Ware interviewed people incarcerated at McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina regarding the ongoing crisis there for a special edition of Beyond Prisons. McCormick has been on lockdown for weeks. At the end of September, incarcerated people reported officials were withholding drinking water and engaging in excessive force after a water main broke outside the facility. For three days, people on the inside reported they did not have drinkable water. This caused tensions in the facility to boil over into multiple incidents, which were met with more repression by prison staff. Incarcerated people feel staff are intentionally trying to provoke them to justify worsening brutality and repressive conditions. One man was reportedly shot with rubber bullets multiple times after leaving the shower. He has been transferred to another facility after he was taken the prison’s medical center. On Monday, October 30, advocates reported people had briefly taken over the restrictive housing unit and set fires before returning to their cells. Few news outlets have covered the crisis from the perspective of people on the inside, instead relying exclusively on reports from corrections officials, who claim the violence was a product of unruly prisoners and staff shortages. This claim has been used to justify the lockdown as well as the presence of riot squads and officers from nearby prisons.
By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit for Everyone - At the start of the August congressional recess, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he will introduce a senate bill this September “to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.” Since the election, the movement for improved Medicare for all, has been urging Sanders to introduce a companion to John Conyers’ HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which currently has a record 117 co-sponsors in the House and is considered the gold standard by the movement. Recent reports are that Sanders’ bill falls far short of HR 676 in fundamental ways. In fact, Sanders’ bill is a multi-payer system not a single payer system. His bill reportedly would allow private insurers to compete with the public system, allow the wealthy to buy their way out of the public system and allow investor-owned health facilities to continue to profit while providing more expensive and lower quality health care. As a leader in the Democratic Party in the Senate, Sanders is trying to walk the line between listening to the concerns of his constituency, which overwhelmingly favors single payer health care, and protecting his fellow Democrats, whose campaigns are financed by the medical industrial complex.
By Janine Jackson for FAIR. The August 14 New York Times reported that the threat by Donald Trump to use the US military against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has brought together Latin American leaders, divided on other things, in opposition to US intervention. Along the way, reporter Nicholas Casey cites a regional expert who says, “An often ugly history of US interventions is vividly remembered in Latin America — even as we in the US have forgotten.” Which the Times followed thus: Under President Barack Obama, however, Washington aimed to get past the conflicts by building wider consensus over regional disputes. In 2009, after the Honduran military removed the leftist president Manuel Zelaya from power in a midnight coup, the United States joined other countries in trying to broker—albeit unsuccessfully—a deal for his return. There’s a word for that kind of statement, and the word is “lie.”
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. On July 12, 2017, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced legislation, called the BRINK Act, to increase sanctions against North Korea (DPRK). This time they are targeting banks and companies that do business with North Korea, including businesses in China. The sanctions are in response to unproven allegations that North Korea has the capability of reaching the United States with a missile. In fact, Russia sent information to the United Nations after North Korea tested a missile on July 4, 2017, showing that it was a mid-range, and not an inter-continental, missile. Sanctions will escalate tension with North Korea, as well as China and China’s close ally, Russia. Rather than punishment and threats, which have created insecurity that has predictably led to North Korea building weapons to protect itself, US policy should be seeking de-escalation, reduction of tensions and stability in the region.
By Margaret Flowers. It's time to fight for a solution to the ongoing healthcare crisis in the United States. We are spending twice as much per person each year on health care than most other industrialized nations, enough to provide comprehensive high quality health care to everyone. HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act has 112 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, a record number since it was first introduced in 2003. HR 676 is a gold standard framework for a national health insurance. A Senate version of the bill is needed in order to put us in a strong position to achieve a high quality healthcare system. Although Senator Sanders campaigned heavily on Medicare for All, he back-tracked last fall after the election and said that he would not introduce a single payer bill. Activists urged him to change his mind and Senator Sanders did agree to introduce a Medicare for All bill, but it falls short of HR 676 in critical areas
By Popular Resistance. On May 18, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai formally introduced a proposal to end net neutrality. He plans to rush the process through this summer while people are on vacation and less likely to notice. This is a critical time to take action. We won the fight for net neutrality in 2015 in part because millions of people submitted comments to the FCC in favor of reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This means that neither the government nor the Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, can control where people go on the Internet. Title II treats the Internet like a utility - for example, electric companies can only provide electricity to your home, they can't tell you what you can and cannot plug in.
By Popular Resistance. Tell Ajit Pai to protect net neutrality. In 2014 the people fought the Giant Telecoms to win reclassification of the Internet as a common carrier under the Obama administration. This success gave us Net Neutrality - everyone can go wherever they want on the Internet. Now, under the Trump administration, the new chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, is moving quickly to take net neutrality away! He plans to start that process on May 18 unless we stop him. Send him an email now!
By Staff of Oakland Institute - The Enabling the Business of Agriculture index is used to promote pro-corporate agricultural reforms around the world. In the seed sector, it rewards countries that implement intellectual property rights (IPRs) to allow companies to profit from the use of their seeds by farmers. The EBA also benchmarks how easy it is for the private sector to produce and register seeds, to access genetic resources in national seed banks, and to achieve predominant representation in the committees deciding to introduce new seed varieties in countries. While the Bank claims to encourage “smart and balanced policies,” the Enabling the Business of Agriculture index largely ignores farmer-managed seed systems, which provide 80 to 90% of farmers’ seed supply in developing countries and are key to preserving agro-biodiversity and fostering resilience against climate and economic shocks.
By Marguerite Reardon for CNET. Pai often goes out of his way to be nice. He's the kind of person who remembers co-workers' birthdays or your kids' first names. It doesn't matter if you're a congressman from California or the parking attendant at the lot near the FCC's headquarters, Pai offers a folksy and sincere greeting to all. He always has a kind word for colleagues, even when they stand on the opposite side of the aisles. "He made the chairman's life miserable," said Gigi Sohn, a former adviser to the previous head, Tom Wheeler, in reference to their constant ideological clashes. "But I like him. Everyone likes him." This nice guy is no pushover, though. The 44-year-old chairman has already introduced a number of programs and steered the FCC in a different direction from his predecessor. And he's still gearing up for his biggest move: the takedown of many of the regulations that protect net neutrality, the concept that all internet traffic must be treated as equal.
By Popular Resistance. On January 23, 2017, President Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This action was taken because of the work of activists across the U. S. who care about a variety of issues that would be impacted by the TPP. It was the people working together in broad coalitions that made the TPP so politically toxic that politicians ran away from it. People have the power to bring transformational change. It is time to end the failed model of trade and demand a new era of globalization that strengthens protections of workers, families, communities and the planet rather than protecting corporate profits.
By Popular Resistance. Between now and the inauguration on January 20, use this simple tool to write a letter to the editor about the importance of people taking action to change the political culture in the United States from one that serves the wealthy to one that works for all of us. We are calling for No Honeymoon for the next administration and Congress. Let people in your community know that there is a growing movement in the United States for economic, racial and environmental justice and peace. It’s time for us to rise together to make it so!
By Omar Scott Antar. We Refuse To Be Enemies is a coalition of Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Connecticut, committed to peace and justice, and particularly focused on the Middle East. The NYPD-CIA, in their highly politicized, discriminatory, and illegal operations, target not only Muslims, but also left-wing activists. Because Ivanka M. Trump, daughter and advisor of President-elect Donald J. Trump, is on board of the NYC Police Foundation (page 124 of 128), the NYPD’s slush fund, which finances the NYPD-CIA’s International Liaison Programs (ILPs), it is little wonder Trump approves of and extols the NYPD-CIA and its abusive former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Donald Trump also calls for explicit profiling of Muslims, approvingly citing the NYPD-CIA programs and less free foreign countries, such as France and Israel.
By Friends of the Earth. Our environment and food system are in trouble. Bayer the Bee-Slayer and Monsanto the Butterfly-Killer made a deal to merge into one huge corporation. And there are two other Big Ag mega-mergers on deck: Dow and DuPont, and Syngenta and ChemChina. These companies are poised to control even more of our food system. They’ll be able to fight even harder to protect their profits at the expense of pollinators and the planet -- unless you stop them! Monsanto already possesses a 97 percent share for soybean traits and a 75 percent share for corn traits. If Monsanto merges would Bayer, it would create the biggest seed and pesticide company in the world -- giving it unprecedented control over our food supply.
By Veterans For Peace. At 9:58 (EST) organizers lost total contact with the Zaytouna-Oliva. The US embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted. We do not know where our friends are. It is important to know that this happened in international waters and it is not only illegal but sets a bad precedent in giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli. Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat, a member of Veterans For Peace and on our Advisory Board. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire.