• Bernie Sanders Is Not Done Fighting | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/bernie-sanders-is-not-done-fighting

    Longer-term, obviously, what I am trying to do is to bring people together to defeat Trump and to elect Biden. It is no great secret that Joe Biden and I have very serious political differences, but, at this particular moment in history, what is most important is to defeat Trump, who, as you implied a moment ago, is literally a threat to American democracy, and is moving this country not only in a dangerous way but in an authoritarian way, as well. Trump has got to be defeated and, in a variety of ways, I intend to play an active role in that process.

    Thirdly, it is not good enough just to elect Joe Biden. We’ve got to continue the movement in this country for transformative change, and to understand that we are way, way, way behind many other industrialized countries in providing for the needs of working families. So the fight continues for a Medicare for All single-payer program, and that becomes especially obvious when you have seen in recent months millions of people losing their jobs. They’re also losing their health care because, under our system, health care is an employee benefit not a human right. So I’m going to continue that fight, and, no question, we are gaining momentum at the grass roots. And on and on it goes.

    I think one of the myths that is being exploited right now is that I hear my Republican colleagues talk about, Well, you know, yes, this pandemic has been devastating, but, a few months ago, we had this great economy. This really great economy. I don’t know how you have this “great economy” when half of your people are living paycheck to paycheck. And what we are seeing right now, the great economic message of today, is that, when you live paycheck to paycheck and you miss a few paychecks, a few weeks of work, your family is suddenly now in economic desperation. Literally. Struggling to put food on the table and pay the rent.

    So we’ve got to rethink. If there is anything that I hope we achieve in the midst of this unprecedented moment in American history, it’s that we use this moment to rethink, as I have said before, some of the basic tenets and institutions of American society, and learn from this pandemic and economic collapse so that we move this country in a very, very different direction.

    Oh, obviously, I support what Chomsky is saying. It is very easy for somebody to stand up and say, truthfully, “I disagree with what Joe Biden stands for, his politics are much too conservative.” I get that. I share that view. But not to understand what it would mean to this country, and to our children and to our grandchildren—I have seven grandchildren—and what it will mean to this planet in terms of climate change if Trump is reëlected is, to me, to miss the most important point that has to be made. Trump cannot be reëlected. And what we have got to do, if you are unhappy with Biden’s politics, if you disagree with Biden’s politics—and I certainly do—then the fight has got to take place, starting today, to make sure that he moves in as progressive a way as possible, that his Administration is as progressive as possible.

    That’s what our task is. It is not to allow Donald Trump to be reëlected and to see the destruction of American democracy and the destruction of this planet.

    I think everybody knows that the police murder of George Floyd is part of a very, very long pattern, and, because of groups like Black Lives Matter and the A.C.L.U. and others, we have been discussing those murders a lot more in recent years than we have in the past, when it was really quite common practice. So this has gone on for decades, and I think the major transformation that’s coming now is a result of cell phones and video cameras. People are seeing what’s actually happening, which was not the case decades ago. But this has gone on, and it’s got to end.

    Question : In that letter to Schumer, you got some pushback from some of your supporters for a proposal to give better resources to police departments. [The letter argued for “ensuring that the resources are available to pay wages that will attract the top tier officers.”] The criticism was that a lot of people in the progressive movement now are calling for defunding or abolishing the police. Do you—

    Do I think we should not have police departments in America? No, I don’t. There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments. What you need are—I didn’t call for more money for police departments. I called for police departments that have well-educated, well-trained, well-paid professionals. And, too often around this country right now, you have police officers who take the job at very low payment, don’t have much education, don’t have much training—and I want to change that. I also called for the transformation of police departments into—understanding that many police departments and cops deal every day with issues of mental illness, deal with issues of addiction, and all kinds of issues which should be dealt with by mental-health professionals or others, and not just by police officers.

    I think we want to redefine what police departments do, give them the support they need to make their jobs better defined. So I do believe that we need well-trained, well-educated, and well-paid professionals in police departments. Anyone who thinks that we should abolish all police departments in America, I don’t agree.

    I have done more live-streamed town meetings on Medicare for All than all of corporate television has done. We have done two or three wonderful panel discussions viewed by millions of people on why we need to move to Medicare for All. That’s more than CBS has done, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN. They don’t do it. How many programs have we seen about income and wealth inequality and the morality of three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society? You don’t see it. So it’s not what they did to my campaign. Of course, I knew that that was going to happen. They came up with every line that they could. One of them was, Bernie can’t beat Trump, which, I thought then, and I think now, we were probably in the strongest position to beat Trump. Or, Bernie’s this, or Bernie’s that, or whatever—“Bernie bros”—whatever the line was. Nothing surprised me. We knew that that would happen. We knew that our Medicare for All proposal would be opposed by the health-care industry, and they and others spent millions of dollars in super-PACs lying about what I’m trying to do. Did that surprise me? No. Did the role of MSNBC or the media in general surprise me? No, it didn’t. That is the establishment that we have taken on, and that is why we have worked so hard to try to build an alternative media. I’m proud of the fact that we have a lot more viewers and followers on social media and live streams than many other Democrats do. But we worked hard at that, and we do that because I believe strongly that we need an alternative vehicle, an alternative media, to talk about the ideas that impact working society, because it’s very naïve to believe that the corporate media will do that.

    We planted very powerful seeds, and those seeds are going to grow, and you’re seeing them out on the streets of America today. So I say to people who have been supportive of my campaigns that the fight has just begun, and, as I mentioned when I suspended the campaign, the campaign ends, but the struggle continues. And anybody who knows anything about history—whether it’s workers’ rights, whether it’s civil rights, whether it’s women’s rights, whether it’s gay rights, whether it’s environmental rights—understands that change does not happen overnight. It really does not. It changes when political consciousness changes; it changes when millions of people get involved in the process and take to the streets. That’s how change takes place. And we are in the moment when I believe that in fact is going to happen.

    #Bernie_Sanders #Politique_USA

  • Opinion | Mike Bloomberg Is Hacking Your Attention - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/opinion/mike-bloomberg-campaign.html

    Un excellent papier sur ce qu’est réellement l’économie de l’attention : se moquer du message, occuper l’espace. La politique devrait être le contraire.... ouuups, en disant cela, je fais tellement vieux jeu, voire vingtième siècle.

    Mike Bloomberg and his presidential campaign respect the fundamental equation governing the modern internet: Shamelessness and conflict equal attention. And attention equals power.

    Since declaring his campaign late last fall, the former New York City mayor has used his billions to outspend his competition in an attempt to hack the country’s attention. It seems to be working — this column is yet more proof.

    There are his ubiquitous television, YouTube and Facebook ads. There are his tweets, many of which are weird enough to generate the right amount of viral confusion or are pugnacious enough toward Donald Trump to provoke the ire of the presidential Twitter feed. Then there are the influencers. Starting this week the Bloomberg campaign enlisted the help of a number of popular meme-makers to create sponsored Instagram content for the candidate. The rollout was extremely effective, generating substantial praise and disdain. The ratio doesn’t really matter — what matters is that people were talking about Mr. Bloomberg, a candidate who skipped Iowa and New Hampshire and is nonetheless a top-tier contender for the Democratic nomination.

    These Extremely Online tactics fit the larger ethos of the Bloomberg campaign, which feels like a control group experiment for a study positing, “What if you ran a presidential campaign so optimized for efficiency and reach that you cut the human element of campaigning altogether?” As my newsroom colleague Matt Flegenheimer wrote in January, Mr. Bloomberg is not really playing chess, “he is more accurately working to bury the board with a gusher of cash so overpowering that everyone forgets how the game was always played in the first place.”

    This is certainly true from a media buying standpoint. Mr. Bloomberg has blanketed the airwaves with television and radio ads, spending over $250 million since beginning his campaign in November. Online, his campaign is even more prolific — NBC News calculated that he’s spent more than $1 million a day on average during the past two weeks on Facebook. He’s spent so much that marketers suggest the flood of ads might be driving up prices for the Trump campaign and taking eyeballs away from the president’s own buckshot campaign to own voters’ news feeds.

    At the heart of these tactics is a genuine shamelessness that fits perfectly not just with politics but also the internet at large. Mr. Bloomberg is unapologetic about — and unafraid to hide — the money he’s spending. That transactional approach is an excellent match for online influencer culture, where young internet celebrities aren’t often overly particular about accepting good money to endorse suspect products. In the Instagram meme influencers, the former mayor seems to have found a kindred spirit of attention economy capitalists. “I would be down — bread is bread,” a teenager who runs the meme page @BigDadWhip, told The Times’s Taylor Lorenz when asked about posting sponsored content on behalf of the candidate.

    On Twitter, where some Democratic hopefuls have adopted a “they go low, we go high” mentality, Bloombergians have instead opted to wade into the mud and wrestle with Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed. The strategy plays up controversy at every available opportunity to generate attention.

    After news broke that the president mocked Mr. Bloomberg’s height in a Super Bowl interview with Sean Hannity, the Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Julie Wood fired back with a Trumpian line of her own: “The president is lying. He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.”
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    The back and forth generated a medium-size controversy and news cycle of its own, the subtext of which was Mr. Bloomberg as a worthy sparring partner for Mr. Trump. Tweets and cable chyrons flashed with the former mayor’s name. Earned media. Mission accomplished.

    the (sad) way you can tell bloomberg’s reply-to-trump twitter strategy is working is that crypto dudes are trying to draft off the engagement in replies (we’re all gonna die) pic.twitter.com/SqH7gcJGl7
    — Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) February 13, 2020

    What the Bloomberg campaign seems to have bought into is that, when you lean into the potent combination of content creation and shamelessness, any reaction it provokes is a good reaction. This strategy provides a certain amount of freedom to a candidate when you don’t care what people think of you — as long as they’re thinking of you.

    Take Mr. Bloomberg’s brazen spending, which has prompted claims that he’s an oligarch trying to bypass democracy by buying the presidency. Plenty of candidates would get defensive at such speculation. Mr. Bloomberg is unfazed. Who cares?! At least he’s in the conversation. More than that, the conversation is now centered around the idea that he could very well win.

    The whole thing sounds Trumpian because it is. The Trump campaign was unabashed in 2016 and beyond about its plan to “flood the zone” with garbage or ragebait. The strategy worked in part because it engaged and energized his base. And, as Sean Illing detailed recently at Vox, it exploited a media ecosystem that is built to give attention to lies (in order to debunk them) and outlandishness (because it’s entertaining or newsworthy).

    What remains to be seen is how Mr. Bloomberg will handle criticism in the fight for attention. The president could punch back at critics — high or low — since he’s unencumbered by either shame or decency. Trump supporters love him because cruelty is the point. But Mr. Bloomberg won’t be able to mock critics of his beloved stop-and-frisk policies (for which he recently apologized), for instance. Unlike Mr. Trump, there are lines Mr. Bloomberg will most likely not cross.

    Other Democratic candidates have tried to apply Mr. Trump’s media hacking lessons — “I would be lying if I said I hadn’t studied some of his approach with the media and what worked, what didn’t work,” Lis Smith, a top adviser to Pete Buttigieg, recently admitted. But few are able to replicate the tactics. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez runs a similar playbook online, but hers is far more genuine — the product of being a millennial who is innately very good at social media and who also happens to be a congresswoman.

    The Bloomberg campaign is far less organic. This week’s Instagram meme campaign is a great example. Though it was a shameless attempt on behalf of the 77-year-old billionaire to buy off teenage influencers, the campaign perfectly exploited attention by being inscrutable. “It’s the most successful ad that I’ve ever posted,” one of the influencers told The Times. “I think a lot of it came from people being confused whether or not it was real.”

    Release some memes. Sow some light chaos in the timeline. Send reporters on a wild-goose chase. Meanwhile, this happens:

    THE MEME GODS OF INSTAGRAM

    Just 263 days until the election, folks. pic.twitter.com/ndD8z53Fq9
    — Brandon Wall (@Walldo) February 13, 2020

    Who cares about inorganic motives if the attention they generate is very organic?

    The strategy is, as we’re seeing, politically effective. Just ask Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor. Mr. Patrick and Mr. Bloomberg announced their campaigns around the same time. They have fairly comparable records of governing. One struggled to raise money, chose not to engage and faded into the depths of obscurity. The other, the one with the war chest and shamelessness, is still in the race.

    Attention is like television airtime in a battleground state: There’s a finite amount of it. For Democrats whose prime interest is defeating Donald Trump at all costs, this is exciting. But the strategy is also deeply cynical, exhausting and potentially damaging for those of us left to consume it. For citizens looking for a movement or big, structural change or even just a genuine vision for the future of the country, the strategy is disheartening — just another brazen attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator instincts of the internet that leaves a sinking feeling that shameless memes, Twitter dunks and toxic screaming into the algorithmic void have become politics as usual.

    Or maybe it’s always been this way. After all, what is politics if not a long, well-funded attempt at hacking people’s attention?

    #Economie_attention #Michael_Bloomberg #Politique_USA

  • Michael Bloomberg running for president, launches 2020 campaign with multimillion-dollar ad blitz - CBS News
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-bloomberg-running-for-president-launching-2020-campaign-with-multimillion-dollar-ad-blitz/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=77622444

    A minute-long advertisement began airing Sunday in certain markets across the country, part of a campaign set to top $34 million and run through at least December 3, according to federal disclosure reports.

    “He could have just been the middle class kid who made good but Mike Bloomberg became the guy who did good,” the ad’s announcer says. “After building a business that created thousands of jobs, he took charge of a city still reeling from 9/11. A three-term mayor who helped bring it back from the ashes, bringing jobs and thousands of affordable housing units with it. After witnessing the terrible toll of gun violence, he helped create a movement to protect families across America and stood up to the coal lobby and this administration to protect this planet from climate change.”

    The ad says he will seek to “restore faith in the dream that defines us where the wealthy will pay more in taxes and the middle class get their fair share. Everyone without health insurance can get it, and everyone who likes theirs, keep it.” It ends with a tagline: “Jobs creator. Leader. Problem solver.”

    Une vidéo qui ne dit rien sur le fond, mais qui signale qu’avec des poches pleines, il va pouvoir mener campagne sans se prononcer sur rien.
    https://mycmag.kantarmediana.com/kmicmagvidbin2/pres_bloomberg_did_good_60.mp4

    #Politique_USA #Démocrates #Michael_Bloomberg #Publicité_politique

  • Le socialisme étatsunien et la « gauche du possible ». Entretien avec Bhaskar Sunkara | Le Club de Mediapart
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/saintupery/blog/170619/le-socialisme-etatsunien-et-la-gauche-du-possible-entretien-avec-bha

    Dans un entretien à la fois très fouillé et très pédagogique avec le bimensuel de gauche latino-américain Nueva Sociedad, Bhaskar Sunkara, co-fondateur et directeur de Jacobin, la revue-phare de la nouvelle gauche socialiste aux États-Unis, éclaire les lecteurs étrangers sur la trajectoire, les acquis, les limites et les paradoxes de la vague progressiste émergente dans son pays

    Un entretien long et passionnant pour mieux comprendre le renouveau de l’opposition de gauche aux Etats-Unis.

    #Politique #Etats_Unis #Politique_USA

  • The Democratic Electorate on Twitter Is Not the Actual Democratic Electorate - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/08/upshot/democratic-electorate-twitter-real-life.html

    Une étude intéressante sur la différence entre l’expression des Democrates (tendance « progressiste ») et la réalité Démocrate.

    Mais l’article propose une version figée de la politique, négligeant les effets d’entraînement. En particulier, il est intéressant de voir l’exemple cité des progressistes qui n’ont pas pu accéder à l’élection en perdant les primaires... devant des candidat(e)s qui au final ont perdu l’élection présidentielle.

    Mais ce soit disant « réalisme » existe partout, qui plonge les pays vers le centre... alors même que cela n’offre aucune garantie de changement, voir même de résultat positif aux élections (yes, l’exemple turs du mois passé est un contrepoint intéressant... rien n’est jamais bianire en politique).

    Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly perceived as dominated by its “woke” left wing. But the views of Democrats on social media often bear little resemblance to those of the wider Democratic electorate.

    The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project. This latter group has the numbers to decide the Democratic presidential nomination in favor of a relatively moderate establishment favorite, as it has often done in the past.

    #Politique_USA

  • ‘Siding with Big Pharma’ : Republicans warn CEOs not to cooperate with Democrats’ drug price probe – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/04/siding-with-big-pharma-republicans-warn-ceos-not-to-cooperate-with-democra

    Jusqu’où iront les Républicains US en tordant les déclarations et en absolvant d’avance les Big Pharma. La bataille politique ne porte plus sur les projets, mais sur les détournements du langage. Ce ne sont plus les « petites phrases », mais les « extraits de phrases utilisés pour faire dire l’inverse ». Ce phénomène est grave. Il est un symptôme de la fin des Lumières... du mauvais côté (il y a des critiques à faire aux Lumières, mais pas celles portant sur le Tribunal de la raison et le développement d’une connaissance appuyées sur les faits).

    As Democrats on the House Oversight Committee attempt to investigate soaring drug prices in the U.S., Republicans are warning the CEOs of some of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies against cooperating with the probe.

    Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), leaders of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, sent letters (pdf) to a dozen drug company CEOs “warning that information they provide to the committee could be leaked to the public by Democratic chair Elijah Cummings in an effort to tank their stock prices,” Buzzfeed reported Monday.

    Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, launched his investigation in January with a request for “information and communications on price increases, investments in research and development, and corporate strategies to preserve market share and pricing power” from pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, and others.

    In their letters to the same pharmaceutical companies, Jordan and Meadows suggested that Cummings is attempting to obtain information that “would likely harm the competitiveness of your company if disclosed publicly.”

    “While we cannot speculate about Chairman Cummings’s motives, we believe the committee should not pursue an investigation to ‘impact… stock prices with regard to drugs’—especially when there is bipartisan interest in real oversight of rising prescription drug prices,” the Republicans wrote in their letters, dated April 5.

    As Buzzfeed notes, Jordan and Meadows’ claims rest on an out-of-context quote from Cummings:

    The [Republicans’] letter quotes Cummings as saying of his drug team: “If you follow the headlines, we have already seen the impact they have had… on stock prices with regard to drugs. I mean, it has been astronomical.” The letter omits the rest of the sentence: “saving the taxpayers money.”

    In the edited quote, Cummings seems to be bragging about an “astronomical” impact on drug company stocks. In the context of his statements before and after, he seems to be saying the “astronomical” impact is on taxpayer savings, which justify giving his committee more resources. A minute later he says: “Whatever you all give us, we will give it back in savings by rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse.”

    In a statement to Buzzfeed, Cummings said Jordan—the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee—”is on the absolute wrong side here.”

    “He would rather protect drug company ‘stock prices’ than the interests of the American people,” Cummings added.

    Economist and University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich expressed agreement with Cummings, tweeting of the two Republicans, “Once again, they’re siding with Big Pharma at the expense of the American people.”

    #Big_pharma #Politique_USA #Langage

  • Robert Reich: Here’s everything you need to know about the new economy – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/04/robert-reich-heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-economy

    The biggest economic story of our times isn’t about supply and demand. It’s about institutions and politics. It’s about power.

    The median annual earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers in 1979, in today’s dollars, was $43,680. The median earnings in 2018 was $45,708. If between 1979 and 2018, the American economy almost tripled in size, so where did the gains go? Most went to the top.

    Now this is broadly known, but there is less certainty about why.

    1. The Conventional View

    Conventional wisdom attributes the widening economic divide to globalization and technological change – the “inevitable” result of the invisible hand of the so-called “free market.”

    Simply put, as the American economy merged with the rest of the globe, American workers had to compete with foreign workers willing to toil for a fraction of American wages. And as technology advanced, American workers also had to compete with software and robots that were cheaper to employ than Americans.

    So, according to this conventional view, the only realistic way to raise the wages of most Americans is to give them more and better education and job training, so they can become more competitive. They can thereby overcome the so-called “skills gap” that keeps them from taking the jobs of the future – jobs and opportunities generated by new technologies.

    2. A Deeper View of the American Political Economy

    The conventional story isn’t completely wrong, and education and training are important. But the conventional view leaves out some of the largest and most important changes, and therefore overlooks the most important solutions.

    To understand what really happened, it’s critical to understand that there is no “free market” in nature. The term “free market” suggests outcomes are objectively fair and that any “intervention” in the free market is somehow “unnatural.” But in reality, markets cannot exist without people constructing them. Markets depend on rules, and rules come out of legislatures, executive agencies, and courts. The biggest political change over the last four decades is the overwhelming dominance of big money in politics – influencing what those rules are to be.

    3. The Decline of Countervailing Power

    Now, go back to the first three decades after World War II – a period that coupled the greatest economic expansion the world has ever seen with the creation of the largest middle class the world has ever witnessed. The great economic thinker John Kenneth Galbraith asked at the time: Why is capitalism working so well for so many?

    His answer was as surprising as it was obvious: American capitalism contained hidden pools of what he called “countervailing power” that offset the power of large corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy: labor unions, state and local banks, farm cooperatives, and small retail chains, for example. All of these sources of countervailing power had been fostered by the New Deal. They balanced the American economic system.

    But since the late 1970s, these sources of countervailing power have been decimated, leading to an unbalanced system and producing widening economic inequality and stagnating wages. The result has become a vicious cycle in which big money – emanating from big corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy – determine the rules of the economic game, and those rules generate more money at the top.

    Consider, for example, the ever-expanding tax cuts or loopholes for large corporations, the financial sector, and the wealthy. Contrast them with increases in payroll taxes for average workers.

    Or look at the bank and corporate bailouts but little or no help for homeowners caught in the downdraft of the Great Recession.

    Finally, look at the increasing barriers to labor unions, such as the proliferation of so-called “right-to-work” laws and the simultaneous erosion of antitrust and the emergence of large concentrations of corporate power.

    The public knows the game is rigged, which is why almost all the political energy is now anti-establishment. This is a big reason why Trump won the 2016 election. Authoritarian populists through history have used anger and directed it at racial and ethnic minorities and foreigners.

    It’s also a big reason why the only alternative to authoritarian populism is progressive populism – countervailing the moneyed interests with a democracy that reorganizes the market to benefit the many rather than a small group at the top.

    How do we build a new countervailing power and move toward a new progressive economics?

    4. Economics and Political Power

    The choice isn’t between a free market and government. The question is who has the power to organize the market, and for whom.

    Stagnant wages, job insecurity, widening inequality, and mounting wealth at the top are the result of political choices. The system is rigged and must be un-rigged.

    Conventional economics posits that the most important goals are efficiency and economic growth. But policies can be “efficient” by making the rich even wealthier as long as no one else is worse off – and that won’t remedy what’s happened. Economic growth is meaningless if the gains from growth keep going to the top and nothing trickles down.

    Stop assuming that all that’s needed is better education and job training. Sure, Americans need access to better schools and skills, but the basic problem isn’t simply a “skills gap.” It’s a market that’s organized to push more income and wealth toward the top, rather than distribute it broadly.

    Stop aiming to “redistribute” from richer to poorer after the market has distributed income. Instead, change the organization of the market so that a fair pre-distribution occurs inside it.

    Stop thinking that the goal is only to create more jobs. America’s real jobs crisis is a scarcity of good jobs.

    The American economy cannot generate widespread prosperity without a large and growing middle class whose spending fuels the economy.

    5. Building a Multi-racial, Multi-ethnic, Coalition of the Middle Class, Working Class, and Poor.

    Don’t let the moneyed interests divide and conquer along racial and gender lines. Racism and sexism are very real issues within our economic system, and they are often exploited to keep us from realizing the power we can have when we stand together. All are disempowered by the moneyed interests, and all have a stake in rebuilding countervailing power.

    6. Offering a Compelling Set of Ideas about What Should be Done with Countervailing Power.

    For example:

    — A guaranteed basic income so no one is impoverished,

    — A guaranteed job so everyone can get ahead,

    — A progressive wealth tax to pay for these and other basics,

    — Stronger unions so workers have more bargaining power,

    — New forms of corporate organization so workers have more voice,

    – A Green New Deal so workers can get better jobs while fighting climate change.

    — Reinvigorated antitrust so concentrations of economic power are broken up,

    — Election finance reforms to get big money out of politics and end the revolving door,

    — Voting reforms so votes cannot be suppressed.

    7. Building the leadership for this new countervailing power.

    You can help lead the way. You can be a leader of this movement. How?

    For one, you can run for office – in your community, say, city council or school board. Or run for state office. Or even national office.

    Don’t be intimidated by politics. We need good people to run. And don’t worry that you’ll be beholden to a handful of rich donors. These days, smaller donors are more active than ever.

    So, what’s the secret? Tell it like it is and be yourself. And then, as I’ve said, talk about economics in terms of political power and understand the 7 principles. Build countervailing power through a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition. And offer a compelling set of ideas about what can and should be done.

    But you don’t need to hold formal office to be a leader.

    You can be a leader by organizing and mobilizing people: Your co-workers – to form a union. Your friends and neighbors – to push for better roads and schools, and fairer local taxes. People at your church or synagogue or mosque – to demand better treatment of the poor, the elderly, children, immigrants. You can link your group up with other groups pursuing similar ends, and create a movement. That’s how we got the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. How we got marriage equality. It’s how we get good people elected.

    The key to organizing and mobilizing is creating a leadership team, and then reaching out systematically to others, giving them tasks and responsibilities, starting small and gaining a few victories so people can feel their power, and then growing from there.

    You’ll need to be patient and steadfast. Keep people together and focused. And be careful not to burn out. Organizing and mobilizing is hard, but once organized and mobilized, there’s no end to what people can accomplish.

    You can also be a leader by uncovering critical information, fighting lies, spreading the truth. Core responsibilities of leadership are revealing the facts about widening inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – and uncovering their consequences.

    A century ago they were called “muckrakers.” More recently, investigative reporters. I’m talking about courageous journalists who speak truth to power.

    But this form of leadership isn’t limited to reporters. It includes whistleblowers, who alert the public to abuses of power. And here courage is also required because when you blow the whistle on the powerful, the powerful sometimes strike back.

    This form of leadership also includes researchers, who dig up new sources of data and analyze them in ways that enlighten and motivate.

    In other words, there isn’t just one path to leadership. Whether you seek formal authority by running and gaining public office, or you organize and mobilize people into being effective advocates, or you discover and spread the truth – you are creating and developing countervailing power to spread the gains of the economy and strengthen our democracy.

    These are worthy and noble objectives. They are worth your time. They can be worth a lifetime.

    #Robert_Reich #Politique_USA #Economie #Indignez_vous

  • Google employees are lining up to trash Google’s AI ethics council - MIT Technology Review
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613253/googles-ai-council-faces-blowback-over-a-conservative-member

    un élément intéressant et à prendre en compte : les deux personnes visées sont également les deux seules femmes de ce comité d’experts. Choisies stratégiquement par Google pour faire jouer l’avantage genre, ou cibles plus évidentes des protestataires parce que femmes ?

    En tout cas, la place que la Heritage Foundation (droite dure et néo-management) prend dans l’espace mental des Etats-Unis, notamment dans le domaine technologique, est à suivre de près.

    Almost a thousand Google staff, academic researchers, and other tech industry figures have signed a letter protesting the makeup of an independent council that Google created to guide the ethics of its AI projects.
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    The search giant announced the creation of the council last week at EmTech Digital, MIT Technology Review’s event in San Francisco. Known as the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC), it has eight members including economists, philosophers, policymakers, and technologists with expertise in issues like algorithmic bias. It is meant to hold four meetings a year, starting this month, and write reports designed to provide feedback on projects at the company that use artificial intelligence.

    But two of those members proved controversial. One, Dyan Gibbens, is CEO of Trumbull, a company that develops autonomous systems for the defense industry—a contentious choice given that thousands of Google employees protested the company’s decision to supply the US Air Force with AI for drone imaging. The greatest outrage, though, has come over the inclusion of Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that opposes regulating carbon emissions, takes a hard line on immigration, and has argued against the protection of LGBTQ rights.

    One member of the council, Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in digital privacy issues, announced on March 30th that he wouldn’t be taking up the role. “While I’m devoted to research grappling with key ethical issues of fairness, rights & inclusion in AI, I don’t believe this is the right forum for me to engage in this important work," he tweeted.

    The creation of ATEAC—and the inclusion of Gibbens and James—may in fact have been designed to appease Google’s right-wing critics. At roughly the same time the council was announced, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, was meeting with President Donald Trump. Trump later tweeted: “He stated strongly that he is totally committed to the U.S. Military, not the Chinese Military. [We] also discussed political fairness and various things that Google can do for our Country. Meeting ended very well!”

    But one Google employee involved with drafting the protest letter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that James is more than just a conservative voice on the council. “She is a reactionary who denies trans people exist, who endorses radically anti-immigrant positions, and endorses anti-climate-change, anti-science positions.”

    Some noted AI algorithms can reinforce biases already seen in society; some have been shown to misidentify transgender people, for example. In that context, “the fact that [James] was included is pretty shocking,” the employee said. “These technologies are shaping our social institutions, our lives, and access to resources. When AI fails, it doesn’t fail for rich white men working at tech companies. It fails for exactly the populations that the Heritage Foundation’s policies are already aiming to harm.”

    Messages posted to a Google internal communications platform criticized the appointment of James especially. According to one post, earlier reported by the Verge and confirmed by the employee, James “doesn’t deserve a Google-legitimized platform, and certainly doesn’t belong in any conversation about how Google tech should be applied to the world.”

    As of 5:30 pm US Eastern time today the public letter, posted to Medium, had been signed by 855 Google employees and 143 other people, including a number of prominent academics. “Not only are James’ views counter to Google’s stated values,” the letter states, “but they are directly counter to the project of ensuring that the development and application of AI prioritizes justice over profit. Such a project should instead place representatives from vulnerable communities at the center of decision-making.”

    #Google #Intelligence_artificielle #Ethique #Politique_USA

  • What Really Makes a Difference in Vaccination Rates? - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/upshot/vaccination-social-media-state-policies.html

    Social media companies face increasing scrutiny for amplifying fringe anti-vaccine sentiment amid measles outbreaks in several states like Washington. In response, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest recently made headlines by announcing initiatives to reduce vaccine misinformation on their platforms.

    But the focus on anti-vaccine content on social media can obscure the most important factor in whether children get vaccinated: the rules in their home states, which are being revisited in legislative debates across the country that have received far less attention.

    #Médias_sociaux #Fake_news #Vaccins #Politique_USA #Vaccination

  • Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s guest says the country is ‘in a civil war’ — and people should ‘buy guns’ – Alternet.org
    https://www.alternet.org/2019/02/fox-news-host-laura-ingrahams-guest-says-the-country-is-in-a-civil-war-and

    Georges Washington, réveille-toi, ils sont devenus fous...

    On a disturbing episode of Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s “The Laura Ingraham Show Podcast” Thursday, guest Joe diGenova echoed the calls of some of the darkest parts of the far-right movement in the United States.

    “We are in a civil war in this country,” diGenova, as first pointed out by Media Matters for America. “There’s two standards of justice, one for Democrats one for Republicans. The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left — they hate Republicans, they hate Trump. So the suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future in this country is over. It’s not going to be. It’s going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do two things — I vote and I buy guns.”

    #Politique_USA

  • ’It’s Pretty Cool He Was in a Band’ : Texas Republicans’ Attempt to Shame Beta O’Rourke for Punk Rock Past Hilariously Backfires | Alternet
    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/its-pretty-cool-he-was-band-texas-republicans-attempt-shame-beta-orourke-p

    Trop fun : quand le Parti Républicain essaie de décrédibiliser un candidat démocrate du Texas en expliquant qu’il était membre d’un groupe de punk... voilà que cela se retourne contre lui. ne série d’exemple de Tweets trop drôles.

    The Texas Republican Party tried to shame Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke on Twitter for his unconventional past — but it hilariously backfired.

    The 45-year-old O’Rourke played bass in the alternative band Foss, which released a pair of albums on Western Breed Records and toured the U.S. and Canada in the mid-1990s, and he has openly discussed his arrests on misdemeanor charges during that same period.

    O’Rourke was charged in 1995 with burglary for jumping a fence at the University of Texas at El Paso and in 1998 with driving under the influence, but he was not convicted of either charge and has publicly addressed his arrests when asked.

    #Politique_USA #Twitter #E_reputation

  • Opinion | The New Socialists - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/opinion/sunday/what-socialism-looks-like-in-2018.html

    Throughout most of American history, the idea of socialism has been a hopeless, often vaguely defined dream. So distant were its prospects at midcentury that the best definition Irving Howe and Lewis Coser, editors of the socialist periodical Dissent, could come up with in 1954 was this: “Socialism is the name of our desire.”

    That may be changing. Public support for socialism is growing. Self-identified socialists like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are making inroads into the Democratic Party, which the political analyst Kevin Phillips once called the “second-most enthusiastic capitalist party” in the world. Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the country, is skyrocketing, especially among young people.

    What explains this irruption? And what do we mean, in 2018, when we talk about “socialism”?

    Another part of the story is less accidental. Since the 1970s, American liberals have taken a right turn on the economy. They used to champion workers and unions, high taxes, redistribution, regulation and public services. Now they lionize billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, deregulate wherever possible, steer clear of unions except at election time and at least until recently, fight over how much to cut most people’s taxes.

    Liberals, of course, argue that they are merely using market-friendly tools like tax cuts and deregulation to achieve things like equitable growth, expanded health care and social justice — the same ends they always have pursued. For decades, left-leaning voters have gone along with that answer, even if they didn’t like the results, for lack of an alternative.

    It took Mr. Sanders to convince them that if tax credits and insurance exchanges are the best liberals have to offer to men and women struggling to make stagnating wages pay for bills that skyrocket and debt that never dissipates, maybe socialism is worth a try.

    Like the great transformative presidents, today’s socialist candidates reach beyond the parties to target a malignant social form: for Abraham Lincoln, it was the slavocracy; for Franklin Roosevelt, it was the economic royalists. The great realigners understood that any transformation of society requires a confrontation not just with the opposition but also with the political economy that underpins both parties. That’s why realigners so often opt for a language that neither party speaks. For Lincoln in the 1850s, confronting the Whigs and the Democrats, that language was free labor. For leftists in the 2010s, confronting the Republicans and the Democrats, it’s socialism.

    To critics in the mainstream and further to the left, that language can seem slippery. With their talk of Medicare for All or increasing the minimum wage, these socialist candidates sound like New Deal or Great Society liberals. There’s not much discussion, yet, of classic socialist tenets like worker control or collective ownership of the means of production.

    #Politique_USA #Bernie_Sanders #Alexandria_Ocasio_Cortez #Rashida_Tlaib

  • Scholar Warns We Could Be Headed for a ’Violent Conflict’ Between Republicans and Democrats | Alternet
    https://www.alternet.org/scholar-warns-we-could-be-headed-violent-conflict-between-republicans-and-

    How did America become so divided? Why has political polarization become so extreme? In what ways have political parties become like sports teams where winning is all that matters and the common good is unimportant? Can American democracy to survive Donald Trump amid the rise of a conservative movement that views Democrats and liberals as an “un-American” enemy?

    In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Lilliana Mason. She is a assistant professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the author of the new book “Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.”

    He really pointed to a group of people who were feeling vulnerable and condescended to and made fun of and said, “You guys are losers, right? We’re all losers, we are losing all the time.” Then he said, “But I’m going to make you winners, I’m going to make us win again.” So it was this almost perfect message delivered to a group of people who were ready to hear a message like that, and were committed to defeating the Democrats because the other party is so socially “other” from them. Ultimately, Donald Trump tapped into a dynamic that has been developing over the last few decades in America.

    But there are now such strong partisans that will do almost anything just for their political team to win. As I said earlier, this is partly because when our party “wins,” our racial group and our religious group and our other cultural and social identities “win” too. The victory of our political party is taking up more and more of what I describe as “self-esteem real estate.” Every part of us is involved now in the outcome of the election. So when our party loses, it hurts a lot more than it did before, because we used to have other meaningful identities.

    In the United States, historically, there were conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. You don’t have them anymore. This means the loss feels much worse and the victory feels much better. So we end up approaching our elections in a way that’s very much like a sports game where we don’t actually care what the team does after they win. That’s the whole thing that you wanted and you’re happy and excited and you cheer. But you don’t follow the team around and ask them what they’re going to do next in order to make your life better. Having Trump be like a performer enhances that sports-like competition, and it really reduces the attention that people pay to what government is actually doing.

    In American society and politics at large, where we have much powerful identities, people are willing to give up a lot in order to get a win. The stronger the identity, the more they’re willing to give up. So when we see people who are essentially willing to give away democracy for their partisan win, there is perhaps no better example of the power of identity. This is extremely dangerous for democracy because it creates this rift between partisans where no one wants to cooperate or compromise, ever. We’re not only seeing democratic norms erode but we’re also losing the ability to functionally govern. The greater good is no longer of interest to many Americans. The only thing that we care about is whether or not we get the victory and after that nothing really matters.

    But if you look at partisan feelings towards the groups that make up the other side — for example, this would be whites, Christians, evangelicals, police and men for Republicans. For Democrats this would include gays and lesbians, blacks, Hispanics and activists, among a long list of people.

    What we found is that Democrats don’t dislike the groups that make up the Republican Party as much as Republicans dislike the groups that make up the Democratic Party. This helps to explain why there is so much anger from Republicans, because every group associated with the Democratic Party is a groups they do not like. Because of the nature of the respective parties, Democrats practice tolerance a lot more than Republicans are forced to practice it.

    #Politique_USA #Politique_identitaire

  • Opinion | The Pragmatic Left Is Winning - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/opinion/columnists/left-sanders-ocasio-cortez-primaries.html

    On Tuesday, Rashida Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won her primary in Michigan, and she is now overwhelmingly likely to become the first Muslim woman in Congress. In a referendum, people in Missouri voted 2 to 1 to overturn an anti-union “right to work” law passed by the Republican legislature. In an upset, Wesley Bell, a progressive city councilman from Ferguson, Mo., effectively ousted the longtime St. Louis County prosecutor, who many civil rights activists say mishandled the investigation into the police shooting of Michael Brown, the African-American teenager whose 2014 killing set off riots.

    So it was strange to see headlines in the following days arguing that the left wing of the Democratic Party had hit a wall. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s movement failed to deliver any stunners Tuesday night,” said CNN. “Down Goes Socialism,” announced Politico Magazine, despite the fact that Tlaib’s victory doubles the D.S.A.’s likely representation in Congress. “Socialist torchbearers flame out in key races, despite blitz by Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez,” said a Fox News headline.

    In part, this spin might just be the inevitable backlash to Ocasio-Cortez’s sudden celebrity. Her primary victory was thrilling and hard-earned, and she’s a charismatic and rousing spokeswoman for her values. But her overnight anointment as the new face of the Democratic Party has created absurdly outsize expectations of her power as kingmaker.

    In truth, there’s nothing surprising about left-wing candidates losing their primaries. The happy surprise is how many are winning. Unsexy as it sounds, the real story of progressive politics right now is the steady accumulation of victories — some small, some major — thanks to a welcome and unaccustomed outbreak of left-wing pragmatism.

    The new generation of left-wing activists, by contrast, is good at self-multiplication. The Democratic Socialists of America alone has done more to build left political power since the 2016 election than the Green Party did in the 18 years after Nader helped elect George W. Bush.

    Just as the Christian Right did in the 1990s, the new electoral left — which also includes groups like Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party — is trying to take over the Democratic Party from the ground up. These activists have, significantly, focused on races for prosecutor, which is a way to create immediate local criminal justice reform. (In Philadelphia, left-wing organizers last year helped elect civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner as district attorney. Among his reforms is the end of cash bail for many misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.)

    It’s true that several candidates endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders lost on Tuesday, including Abdul El-Sayed in Michigan’s gubernatorial primary and Brent Welder in a congressional primary in Kansas. But it’s testament to how far left the Democratic Party’s center of gravity has moved that the winners in those two races — Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Sharice Davids in Kansas — could be considered establishment.

    Whitmer supports a $15 minimum wage, marijuana legalization and statewide universal preschool. Davids, a Native American lesbian, former mixed martial arts fighter and lawyer, is running as a bad-ass feminist. One of her ads shows her training in a boxing gym. “It’s 2018, and women, Native Americans, gay people, the unemployed and underemployed have to fight like hell just to survive,” she says. “And it’s clear, Trump and the Republicans in Washington don’t give a damn.”

    It’s certainly true that Davids’s campaign put more emphasis on identity and representation, while Welder, a 2016 Sanders delegate, stressed populist economics. The Democratic Party will likely be weighing the precise balance between those progressive priorities for a long time. But the point is, they are all progressive priorities. After Davids’s victory, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her congratulations: “Your win is an incredible inspiration to so many, myself included.”

    #Politique_USA #Politique_identité

  • Elbert Howard, a Founder of the Black Panthers, Dies at 80 - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/26/obituaries/elbert-howard-a-founder-of-the-black-panthers-dies-at-80.html?emc=edit_th_1

    Elbert Howard, who was a founder of the Black Panther Party and, as its spokesman, in the thick of some of the most tumultuous events of the late 1960s and early ’70s — but who was most enthusiastic about its social-service and community-organizing work — died on Monday in Santa Rosa, Calif. He was 80.

    His wife, Carole Hyams, confirmed the death. She said he had been ill for some time but did not specify a cause.

    Mr. Howard, widely known as Big Man because of his linebacker’s build, did not have the high profile of the Panther leaders Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton or Eldridge Cleaver as the group, which was formed in Oakland, Calif., in 1966, went national and took on issues like police brutality and racial injustice.

    As the group’s deputy minister of information, Mr. Howard was often quoted when the more prominent party figures were on trial or in the news for other reasons. (The minister of information, Mr. Cleaver, was in exile overseas.)

    But in a 2004 interview with the website of the PBS documentary series “POV,” when Mr. Howard was asked to name something people did not appreciate about the Black Panthers, he replied:

    “People didn’t understand what our survival programs really meant: schoolchildren’s breakfasts, feeding the hungry. Those programs helped immediate problems. They were also organizing tools.

    “The Panthers themselves weren’t the only ones in those programs,” he continued. “We got the community involved, teaching them how to become self-reliant, whereas the government wouldn’t help with problems. It was about us helping ourselves.”

    #Black_Panthers #Politique_USA

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Historic Win and the Future of the Democratic Party | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/23/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-historic-win-and-the-future-of-the-democratic-p

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is twenty-eight. She was born in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx and lives there now, in a modest one-bedroom apartment. Parkchester was originally a planned community conceived by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was for decades segregated, predominantly Irish and Italian. Today, it’s largely African-American, Hispanic, and South Asian. Ocasio-Cortez comes from a Puerto Rican family in which the parents’ self-sacrifice has been rewarded by their daughter’s earnest striving, and, now, a historic achievement. Come November, Ocasio-Cortez is almost certain to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. As recently as ten months ago, she was waiting tables at a taco place near Union Square called Flats Fix. On June 26th, she pulled off a political upset in the Democratic primary for the Fourteenth Congressional District, soundly defeating the incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the most powerful politician in Queens County and the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

    We sat down at a table near the window. She allowed that she was getting worn down. “You’re speaking to me when I am still emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and logistically processing all of this,” she said. “The whole thing’s got me knocked a little flat.”

    With good reason. Not long ago, Ocasio-Cortez was mixing margaritas. Today, she is the embodiment of anti-corporate politics and a surge of female candidates in the midterm elections. “It’s a lot to carry,” she said. As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she was on the receiving end of Murdoch-media hysteria. The Post greeted her win with the headline “RED ALERT.” Sean Hannity pronounced her “downright scary.” And Ben Shapiro called her a member of the “howling at the moon” segment of the Democratic Party. On the anti-Trump right, Bret Stephens wrote in the Times that “Hugo Chávez was also a democratic socialist,” and warned that, in a national election, the likes of Ocasio-Cortez will be “political hemlock for the Democratic Party.” None of it seemed exactly real. When I asked her where she was going to live in D.C., her eyes widened in surprise, as if it had not occurred to her that she would no longer be spending most of her time in the Bronx. “Not a clue,” she said.

    One of her most effective strokes was a two-minute-long video, the creation of Naomi Burton and Nick Hayes, D.S.A. activists from Detroit, who started Means of Production, a media-production company, and set out looking for working-class-oriented campaigns. They learned about Ocasio-Cortez on Facebook and sent her a direct message on Twitter. For less than ten thousand dollars, they produced a soulful social-media-ready film that showed the candidate in her apartment, on a subway platform, in a bodega, talking with a pregnant woman, to kids selling cupcakes. All the while, in voice-over, she speaks directly to the viewer:

    Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office. I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family. . . . This race is about people versus money. We’ve got people, they’ve got money. It’s time we acknowledged that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn’t live here, doesn’t send his kids to our schools, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us. What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal-justice reform.

    The video went viral. Something was afoot.

    On Election Day, in a car on the way to the billiards hall where Ocasio-Cortez was going to watch the returns, some of her advisers were getting encouraging reports from polling places. Shut it down, she said. No more looking at phones, no more guessing: “Let’s see the vote.” That night, cameras captured her expression of shock as she watched the news: a thirteen-point landslide. She had no words. It was a moment of pure joy playing out live on television. Crowley gamely accepted the results and, with a pickup band behind him, took out his guitar and dedicated “Born to Run” to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For a man in six kinds of pain, he sang a creditable version.

    If the Murdoch press was predictably outraged, some establishment Democrats were wary, too. Nancy Pelosi dismissed the win as a local phenomenon. And, while her tone was curt and superior, her larger point was clear: in November, Democratic candidates, no matter what shade of blue, had to beat Republicans. Districts had to flip. At dinner, Ocasio-Cortez bristled at the establishment dismissals. She did not doubt that there were many factors in her win—her identity as a young woman, as a Latina, as a daughter of a working-class family—but she had also out-organized a party boss, hammered away at immigration and health-care issues, and brought out new voters. It was infuriating for her to listen to the condescension.

    “I’m twenty-eight years old, and I was elected on this super-idealistic platform,” she said. “Folks may want to take that away from me, but I won. When you hear ‘She won just for demographic reasons,’ or low turnout, or that I won because of all the white ‘Bernie bros’ in Astoria—maybe that all helped. But I smoked this race. I didn’t edge anybody out. I dominated. And I am going to own that.” The more complicated question was how she was going to own her identity as a democratic socialist.

    When Ocasio-Cortez is interviewed now, particularly by the establishment outlets, she is invariably asked about “the S-word,” socialism; sometimes the question is asked with a shiver of anxiety, as if she were suggesting that schoolchildren begin the day by singing the “Internationale” under a portrait of Enver Hoxha. When I asked her about her political heroes, though, there was no mention of anyone in the Marxist pantheon. She named Robert F. Kennedy. In college, reading his speeches—“that was my jam,” she said. R.F.K., at least in the last chapter of his life, his 1968 Presidential campaign, tried to forge a party coalition of workers, minorities, and the middle class.

    D.S.A., which was founded in 1982, is not a party but a dues-paying organization, and it has seen a bump in membership recently, from five thousand in 2016 to more than forty thousand today. The first co-chairs were Harrington and the author Barbara Ehrenreich. David Dinkins, the former mayor of New York, was a member of D.S.A. There’s no question that some members are Marxists in the traditional sense; some want to see the destruction of capitalism and the state ownership of factories, banks, and utilities. Jabari Brisport, a D.S.A. member from Brooklyn who recently ran, unsuccessfully, for City Council, told me that the group is “a big umbrella organization for left and leftish types, from Bernie-crats to hard-core Trotskyists.” Julia Salazar, a D.S.A. member in her mid-twenties who is running for the New York State Senate with the ardent support of Ocasio-Cortez, told Jacobin, a leftist quarterly, that a democratic socialist “recognizes the capitalist system as being inherently oppressive, and is actively working to dismantle it and to empower the working class and the marginalized in our society.”

    Ocasio-Cortez and, for the most part, the people around her speak largely in the language of Sanders. Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, and yet in the most extensive speech he ever gave on the theme—at Georgetown University, in November, 2015—he did not mention Debs. Rather, he focussed almost entirely on Franklin Roosevelt and the legacy of the New Deal. He said that he shared the vision that F.D.R. set out in his 1944 State of the Union speech, what Roosevelt called the Second Bill of Rights. Sanders pointed out that universal health care was “not a radical idea” and existed in countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, and Taiwan. “I don’t believe government should own the means of production,” he said, “but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.”

    Ocasio-Cortez and her circle focus less on the malefactions of the current Administration than on the endemic corruption of the American system, particularly the role of “dark money” in American politics and the lack of basic welfare provisions for the working classes and the poor. When they hear conservatives describe as a “socialist” Barack Obama—a man who, in their view, had failed to help the real victims of the financial crisis, while bailing out the banks—they tend to laugh ruefully. “I think the right did us a service calling Obama a socialist for eight years,” Saikat Chakrabarti, one of Ocasio-Cortez’s closest associates, said. “It inoculated us. But people focus on the labels when they are not sure what they mean. What people call socialism these days is Eisenhower Republicanism!”

    #Alexandria_Ocasio_Cortez #Politique_USA #My_heroin_for_now

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Message to the Democratic Party | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-message-to-the-democratic-party

    After winning the Democratic primary in New York’s Fourteenth Congressional District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now a national political figure. On Wednesday, she made a series of media appearances, including spots on CNN and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Later in the day, Stephen Colbert hailed her win, joking that when he was twenty-eight he got his first can opener. On Thursday, she appeared on Colbert’s show, and an article in the Times described her as “an instant political rock star.”

    Ocasio-Cortez deserves all the attention she’s getting, but it’s important not to focus only on her personal traits: her age, her gender, her ethnicity, and her inspiring life story. As she pointed out in her post-victory interviews, she ran on a platform that transcended these things. “Our campaign was focussed on just a laser-focussed message of economic, social, and racial dignity for working-class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx,” she told Mika Brzezinski, of “Morning Joe.”

    Listen to the speeches of Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio; or of Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor in Georgia; or of Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Ted Cruz in Texas; or of Conor Lamb, who won a special election in western Pennsylvania earlier this year; or of Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot who recently won the Democratic primary in New Jersey’s Republican-held Eleventh Congressional District. To be sure, these Democrats are attacking Trump and talking about immigration and the Supreme Court. But their main focus is on promoting social and economic empowerment for people living in their districts.

    That is the traditional Democratic Party message, and it is one that never grows old. Every so often, however, it needs to be renewed and adapted to new circumstances. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just demonstrated how to do this.

    #Politique_USA

  • Opinion | The Millennial Socialists Are Coming - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/opinion/democratic-socialists-progressive-democratic-party-trump.html

    In May, three young progressive women running for the state Legislature in Pennsylvania, each endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, won decisive primary victories over men heavily favored by the political establishment. Two of the women, Summer Lee, 30, and Sara Innamorato, 32, ousted incumbents, the distant cousins Dom Costa and Paul Costa, members of an iconic Pennsylvania political family.

    On Twitter, Trump has fantasized about a red wave that will sweep even more Republicans into power in November and reinforce his rule. But the real red wave may be democratic socialism’s growing political influence, especially among young people. “She really showed that you can run on these issues and win,” Maria Svart, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America, said about Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, which includes Medicare for All, abolishing the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and a federal jobs guarantee.

    The D.S.A., to which Ocasio-Cortez belongs, is the largest socialist organization in America. Its growth has exploded since the 2016 election — when, of course, avowed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic primary — from 7,000 members to more than 37,000. It’s an activist group rather than a political party, working with Democrats in the electoral realm while also agitating against injustice from the outside.

    Many of the D.S.A.’s goals, reflected in Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, are indistinguishable from those of progressive democrats. But if the D.S.A. is happy to work alongside liberals, its members are generally serious about the “socialist” part of democratic socialist. Its constitution envisions “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

    Talk of popular control of the means of production is anathema to many older Democrats, even very liberal ones. It plays a lot better with the young; one recent survey shows that 61 percent of Democrats between 18 and 34 view socialism positively. The combination of the Great Recession, the rising cost of education, the unreliability of health insurance and the growing precariousness of the workplace has left young people with gnawing material insecurity. They have no memory of the widespread failure of Communism, but the failures of capitalism are all around them.

    The D.S.A. alone neither claims nor deserves sole credit for the victories of candidates it endorses. Many groups came together behind Ocasio-Cortez, including the populist Brand New Congress and local chapters of the resistance group Indivisible. Nor was the D.S.A. the prime mover behind the Fiedler, Lee and Innamorato wins, though it helped in all of them.

    Indeed, while there’s a lot of talk about an ideological civil war among Democrats, on the ground, boundaries seem more fluid. In Pennsylvania recently, I met with moderate suburban resistance activists who’d volunteered for Innamorato, thrilled to support a young woman who could help revitalize the Democratic Party.

    alking to Cohen and others from the D.S.A.’s Pittsburgh chapter, which has more than 620 members, I was struck by the work they put into building community. On some days that public schools are closed, the D.S.A.’s socialist-feminist committee puts on all-day events with child care and free lunches. Like several other chapters, the Pittsburgh D.S.A. holds clinics where members change people’s burned-out car brake lights for free, helping them avoid unnecessary police run-ins while making inroads into the community. A local mechanic named Metal Mary helped train them.

    Democratic socialist chapters have constant streams of meetings and social events, creating an antidote to the isolation that’s epidemic in American life. “Everything is highly individualized, and it is isolating,” Svart said. “People are very, very lonely. Suicide rates have gone up astronomically. And we do create a community for folks.” This fusion of politics and communal life isn’t so different from what the Christian right has offered its adherents. Such social capital is something no amount of campaign spending can buy.

    #Politique_USA #Democratic_socialists_of_america

  • Opinion | Democrats Appealing to the Heart? Yes, Please - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/opinion/democratic-party-advertisements.html

    It is a longstanding stereotype that, when it comes to political combat, Democrats aim for the electorate’s head while Republicans aim for its gut. The emotional route tends to be discussed in largely negative terms, with Republicans accused of fearmongering on issues ranging from gay marriage to crime to immigration. There is maybe no more glaring case study of this than the 2016 matchup between Hillary Clinton, with her reputation as an overachieving wonk incapable of connecting with voters, and Donald Trump, with his know-nothing, visceral demagogy. Candidate Trump had few policy ideas and may have known less about how government works than any nominee in the history of the Republic. But he was, and is, a master at connecting — albeit on a dark, primordial level.

    But this trend goes beyond any specific contest. Reams have been written about how Democrats more often operate with an eye toward wooing voters with more rational, data-driven appeals. As Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of the 2005 book “The Political Brain,” has noted, “Democrats typically bombard voters with laundry lists of issues, facts, figures and policy positions, while Republicans offer them emotionally compelling appeals, whether to their values, principles or prejudices.” In that sense, there’s truth to the Republican attack line that Democrats are a bunch of know-it-all elitists who think they are so much smarter than “regular” Americans: Democratic politicians all too often convey the impression that, if only they could make the electorate understand the superiority of their policies, victory would follow.

    Except that most voters don’t vote on policy specifics. Despite fancying themselves rational creatures, people are often more influenced by tribal identification or the personal appeal of a candidate.

    Of course, this political stereotype, like all stereotypes, is an oversimplification — and one with notable exceptions. (Two words: Bill Clinton.) But it does suggest that Democrats could work a bit harder on their emotional savvy.

    #Politique_USA #Communication #Publicité_politique

  • Opinion | Local Girl Makes Good - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/opinion/sunday/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-maureen-dowd.html

    WASHINGTON — At dawn on the day after the election that rocked her world and her party, working on three hours of sleep, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez walked out of her Bronx apartment building.

    “A sanitation truck pulled up,” said the 28-year-old with the contagious smile and an energy that impressed even the dragon-energy president. “The driver reached out his arm to give me a high-five. What that moment tells me is what we did was right. We are touching the hearts of working people. Democrats should be getting high-fives from sanitation truck drivers — that is what should be happening in America.”

    It has been a heady few days for Ocasio-Cortez. After failed attempts during her campaign to get a Wikipedia page because she was deemed not notable enough, she now has one. After being told by her family when she was growing up that The New York Times was too expensive to buy and being told by her teachers that the paper was too advanced for her, now she keeps landing on the front page, a metamorphosis she calls “thrilling.”

    Her mother, a Puerto Rican native, flew in from her home in Florida for the last three days of the campaign. “I think she thought I was running for a City Council seat. She’s like, ‘O.K., that’s cute, go for it,’” Ocasio-Cortez said.

    But when reporters knocked on their door, the proud mother proffered that her daughter wants to be president.

    #Politique_USA

  • Bruce Springsteen Speaks Out About the “Disgracefully Inhumane and Un-American” Scenes at the Border | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/bruce-springsteen-speaks-out-about-the-disgracefully-inhumane-and-un-amer

    Springsteen has done his Broadway show, a tightly scripted narrative in words and song, a hundred and forty-six times, but, on Tuesday night, shaken by the scenes and sounds and images coming from the Texas-Mexico border, he briefly abandoned his script. He spoke in the voice of an American outraged, disgusted, bewildered by what is happening in his own country. Standing on a bare stage and under a simple spotlight, he said:

    I never believed that people come to my shows, or rock shows, to be told anything. But I do believe that they come to be reminded of things. To be reminded of who they are, at their most joyous, at their deepest, when life feels full. It’s a good place to get in touch with your heart and your spirit. To be amongst the crowd. And to be reminded of who we are and who we can be collectively. Music does those things pretty well sometimes, particularly these days, when some reminding of who we are and who we can be isn’t such a bad thing.

    That weekend of the March for Our Lives, we saw those young people in Washington, and citizens all around the world, remind us of what faith in America and real faith in American democracy looks and feels like. It was just encouraging to see all those people out on the street and all that righteous passion in the service of something good. And to see that passion was alive and well and still there at the center of the beating heart of our country.

    It was a good day, and a necessary day, because we are seeing things right now on our American borders that are so shockingly and disgracefully inhumane and un-American that it is simply enraging. And we have heard people in high position in the American government blaspheme in the name of God and country that it is a moral thing to assault the children amongst us. May God save our souls.

    There’s the beautiful quote by Dr. King that says the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Now, there have been many, many days of recent when you could certainly have an argument over that. But I’ve lived long enough to see that in action and to put some faith in it. But I’ve also lived long enough to know, that arc doesn’t bend on its own. It needs all of us leaning on it, nudging it in the right direction, day after day. You’ve gotta keep, keep leaning. I think it’s important to believe in those words, and to carry yourself, and to act accordingly.

    And, with that, Springsteen sang “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

    #Bruce_Springsteen #Migrants #Politique_USA

  • What Emma González Said Without Words at the March for Our Lives Rally - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/us/emma-gonzalez-march-for-our-lives.html

    Un terrible discours en silence.

    Emma González spoke for just under two minutes on Saturday before tens of thousands of demonstrators at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, describing the effects of gun violence in emotional detail and reciting the names of classmates who had been killed.

    Then she said nothing for four minutes and 26 seconds.

    Ms. González, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., has emerged as one of the most prominent faces among the student activists who have mobilized against gun violence after a shooting at their school last month that left 17 dead.

    #No_gun #Politique_USA

    • She stared straight ahead during her period of silence onstage, her sometimes watery eyes fixed in the distance. Then a timer went off.

      Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.

      Fight for your lives, before it’s someone else’s job,” she continued, and then walked offstage.

  • Haley : Vote With U.S. at U.N. or We’ll Cut Your Aid – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/15/haley-vote-with-u-s-at-u-n-or-well-cut-your-aid

    US. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is proposing a sweeping reassessment of U.S. foreign assistance with a view to punishing dozens of poor countries that vote against U.S. policies at the U.N., according to a confidential internal memo drafted by her staff.

    Une certaine conception de l’aide au développement !

    #Politique_Monde #Politique_USA #Aide_développement #Rétorsion #Palestine

  • Ces lycéens américains qui défient la NRA, le puissant lobby des armes
    http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2018/02/27/ces-lyceens-americains-qui-defient-la-nra-le-puissant-lobby-des-arme

    Des jeunes de 17 ans qui construisent un mouvement social... super !!!

    Unis, meurtris, mais bien décidés à ne pas se taire et à tenter de faire bouger les lignes sur un sujet ô combien sensible. Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Chris Grady, ces quatre jeunes américains, qui ont survécu à la tuerie dans le lycée Marjory Stoneman Douglas, à Parkland, en Floride, le 14 février, sont devenus, depuis quelques jours, les visages du combat contre les armes aux Etats-Unis.

    A la tête du mouvement #NeverAgain (#Plusjamaisça), ils espèrent forcer un changement de loi sur la détention des armes. Ils sont déjà parvenus à maintenir la fusillade – au cours de laquelle quatorze lycéens et trois enseignants du lycée sont morts – à la « une » des médias plus longtemps que pour les autres récents massacres aux Etats-Unis.

    #Armes #Politique_USA #Jeunesse