“The search of former president Trump’s home is a very serious matter. We do not know what evidence the FBI was seeking at Mar-a-Lago, but we do know that obtaining a search warrant requires a judge to have determined there is probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime at the location being searched, and is unprecedented in the case of a former U.S. president. We also know that the National Archives discovered months ago that the former president mishandled classified documents by removing them from the White House to his Florida home, and that there have been numerous reports of his mishandling classified material while in office. The bottom line is this: tonight’s news reaffirms that in our American democracy, no one is above the law. That includes Donald Trump, even if his behavior often suggests he believes otherwise.”
About People For the American Way People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: HERE.
The following statement can be attributed to said Emiliana Guereca, Executive Director, Women’s March Action:
“The right wing has taken over the Supreme Court and women’s rights are being decimated. Today’s decision led by an extreme right majority on the nation’s highest Court will set women, and us all, back decades.
Women and our allies – who make up the majority of the country — will not stand idly by and watch our rights stripped from us without recourse. We will fight back. We will take to the streets in red to show the blood they have on their hands.
The work is already underway and will continue to put a stop to the draconian rollback of our rights and freedoms.
Come November, we will elect pro-reproductive rights candidates across the country and bring us back to 21st Century America, when a woman has the freedom to make decisions over her own body and life.
This decision puts the next generation and those to come at grave risk. We have failed our daughters and granddaughters. We will continue to take to the streets and to the polls to fight for our bodily autonomy.
Today’s decision is perhaps the starkest reminder that the small, extreme few can control the many. We must defend our Democracy and not allow them to take anything more away from us.”
OZY Fest brings together the game-changers and change-makers who are ahead of their time and worthy of yours for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas. The festival has previously been held in New York City’s Central Park with guests including John Legend, Trevor Noah, Issa Rae, Padma Lakshmi and Joe Biden, and has been described as “TED meets Coachella” and “New York’s answer to SXSW” for its unmatched blend of thought leadership and entertainment.
The virtual festival will be streamed live, with two simultaneous virtual stages between 5pm and 9pm ET offering a combination of live music and comedy performance, thought leadership, and interactive programming. VIP tickets are available for purchase allowing access to exclusive interactive virtual offerings. OZY Fest’s partnership with new live social media platform Clubhouse will break new ground, employing the app’s private chat functionality to host VIP meet-and-greets in an intimate audio-only setting.
“We are so excited to be bringing OZY Fest back,” says OZY COO and co-founder Samir Rao. “Virtual events and festivals have been hit and miss over the trying past year, but OZY Fest is going to take things to the next level, with the most interactive virtual experience of all time. OZY Fest won’t disappoint if you’re as tired of Zoom as we are.”
The theme of OZY Fest 2021 is “Reset America,” with organizers saying that it hopes to host conversations to reimagine how democracy, racial justice, education and more should work in the 21st century. OZY Media is partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to provide free access to all current students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and to donate proceeds from VIP ticket sales to UNCF. UNCF CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax, is featured among OZY Fest headliners.
“It’s a privilege to be partnering with UNCF to make an impact with OZY Fest this year,” says Carlos Watson, OZY CEO and co-founder, and host of The Carlos Watson Show. “I have said before that the 2020s will be the new 1960s, and OZY will play its role in facilitating some of the most important conversations about where we turn next as a society.”
OZY Fest is brought to you by Chevrolet and American Family Insurance. It is produced by OZY Media in partnership with YouTube, Twitter, Clubhouse and iHeartRadio.
For a full list of headliners and information about how to register for tickets or purchase VIP passes, head to OZY Fest.
A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on the U.S. Senate to include a temporary emergency stimulus in its next pandemic relief package. The proposal would unlock $200 billion in charitable funds to assist charities overwhelmed by the pandemic, with updates to the laws governing private foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs). The proposal would release more of the estimated $1.2 trillion they currently hold by increasing required distributions to 10 percent annually for three years.
“Nonprofits need emergency help right now. Millions of nonprofit jobs have been lost, one-third of them in health care. Up to 120,000 nonprofits are shutting down completely,” said Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation that committed to spend 20 percent of its own endowment in 2020. “We urge Congress to enact an Emergency Charity Stimulus to force philanthropies to increase their support for nonprofit organizations – immediately, urgently, and temporarily, to allow time for deployment of a vaccine and economic recovery.”
“We are collectively facing the most dire moment that many of us have seen in our lifetimes, and it is likely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the challenges that await us as a society and a planet,” said Aileen Getty, founder and president of the Aileen Getty Foundation and granddaughter of billionaire J. Paul Getty.
“While some foundations and donors are stepping up at this moment, others continue to treat the five percent payout as a ceiling not a floor,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies. ““Donors have already taken the tax break for these contributions. Congress needs to raise the bar for those donors who haven’t figured out this is no time to sit on your treasure.”
Led by the Charity Reform Initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies, Patriotic Millionaires, and the Wallace Global Fund, the groups first proposed the idea in May with a letter to Congress. The letter has now been signed by almost 800 philanthropists and leaders of foundations as well as several thousand nonprofit leaders and staff.
The proposal calls for a temporary doubling of private foundation payout from 5 percent to 10 percent for three years and would establish a similar 10 percent payout for donor-advised funds (DAFs) that currently have no mandate.
Researchers at the Institute for Policy Studies estimate these policies would unleash an estimated $200 billion in additional charity funds over three years, with no additional cost to taxpayers. The independent nonprofit sector is part of the front-line response to the pandemic and other natural disasters. The sector employs 12 million workers or more than 10 percent of the private workforce.
Prominent signers of the letter include: Scott Wallace, Wallace Global Fund (PA); Abigail Disney (NY); Aileen Getty, Aileen Getty Foundation (CA), Sara Miller, Miranda Family Fund (NY), Rory Kennedy (CA), Ning Mosberger-Tang (CO); Catherine Gund, George Gund Foundation (NY); Mary Mountcastle, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (NC); Anna Fink, Amalgamated Charitable; Ellen Friedman, Compton Fund (CA); Jerry Hirsch, Lodestar Foundation (AZ); Morris Pearl (NY); and Stephen Prince (TN).
About the Charity Reform Initiative
The Charity Reform Initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies aims to modernize the rules governing philanthropy to increase the flow of resources to the nonprofit independent sector and protect the integrity of the tax system.
About the Patriotic Millionaires
The Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a more stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system.
About the Wallace Global Fund
The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to support people-powered movements to advance democracy and rights and to fight for a healthy planet.
BookMaker.eu released odds on whether President Trump will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden and the public vehemently disagreed with their prediction. “Initially we priced President Trump at a 1/2 (-200) favorite to attend. Meaning you had to wager $2 to win $1 on Trump attending,” said Head Political Trader Angus Hamm. “The public did not share our belief in Trump adhering to tradition and we were buried in bets against Trump attending to the point where the odds shot up to 1/3 (-300) that Trump will not attend.”
Will Donald Trump attend the inauguration of Joe Biden?
Yes- 5/2 (+250) No- 1/3 (-300)
Since 1985, BookMaker.eu has earned its reputation as “Where The Line Originates” among professional and recreations sports bettors by always paying and never kicking out winners. Widely-recognized by oddsmakers worldwide as the principal market mover in North American betting markets, BookMaker.eu is the industry authority and a leading media source for betting information on sports, entertainment, and political betting markets.
Joe Biden’s election victory is one for working families throughout this country.
It brings with it a renewed sense of optimism that they will once again have their voices heard in the revered Oval Office. As we celebrate this victory, we know there is much work to be done, and we, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), look forward to working with the Biden administration to reestablish and further the interests of all working Americans.
Earlier this year, a survey of OPEIU members—the first-ever of its kind in our union’s history—showed a strong majority of us support the election of Biden as the forty-sixth president of the United States. OPEIU members throughout the country worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the election to help get out the vote for Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris.
The democratic ticket is one of hope. Biden and Harris recognize the power of unions and worker organization. They promise that, as a part of their plan as leaders of the U.S., that they will “grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve.”
His specific plan for doing is outlined on his website. Among his talking points, he swears to check the abuse of corporate power, encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining, and ensure that workers are “treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.”
“This is a historic day for working people. Not only has our members’ work to oust an anti-worker president come to fruition, but working people now have someone in the White House who will strive to protect America’s working families, not just the wealthy and powerful, and help bring our nation back together to heal after four years of divisiveness,” said OPEIU President Richard Lanigan.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump has not protected workers. After the benefits of the CARES Act expired in July, which allotted citizens who filed for unemployment an extra $600 per month, Trump opposed its extension, leaving citizens without fiscal support from the government.
“Though we anticipate a wave of last-ditch legal challenges from the Trump campaign, our union will move forward knowing working people’s needs and struggles will be considered as President-elect Biden begins to assemble his cabinet,” he continued.
Trump has so far brought almost a dozen cases to smaller courts in Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgie, calling into question the validity of ballots and calling for the count to stop. Trump has made clear that he wants to take the election to the Supreme Court where it will determine a winner. But, according to the Associated Press, the margins with which Biden won the race make it difficult for Trump to build a case for himself.
“We congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,” he concluded. “Working people across the country, especially OPEIU members, are looking forward to fighting side-by-side as we confront the biggest issues facing our country today: the COVID crisis, the attack on workers’ rights, economic inequality, racial justice and climate change.”
Biden and Harris won the popular vote and the Electoral College, securing, as of now, more than 74 million popular votes and 279 electoral votes, and counting. The AP called the election for Biden today.
OPEIU stands ready to work with the Biden administration to expand workers’ rights, make billionaires pay their fair share, combat inequality in all its forms, and undertake the difficult but necessary work required to protect our planet for future generations.
The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) represents more than 103,000 working people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Representing employees in nonprofit organizations, credit unions, hospitals, insurance agencies, colleges and universities, hotels, administrative offices and more, OPEIU is committed to advancing economic justice for working people no matter their occupation.
Professional organizations and guilds affiliated with OPEIU are a diverse group that includes podiatrists, registered nurses, teachers, Minor League Baseball umpires, and helicopter pilots.
The first female, black and South Asian Vice President-elect.
A new movement is taking over social media as pro-democracy activists try to spread a boycott of the new Disney film Mulan.
Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 original film hit Disney’s streaming service Disney+ this weekend. On top of the monthly subscription fee, those wanting to see Mulan would have to pay $29.99 to unlock it.
Social media users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand called for movie fans and Disney lovers to avoid the new film because of comments from Liu Yifei, who plays the titular Mulan.
In Aug. 2019, Liu expressed via Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that she supported Hong Kong police. The comments came amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Liu was met with instant backlash, but now that her movie is available to stream, the widespread boycott seems to have intensified.
Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, has been particularly outspoken regarding the situation. He asked everyone who believes in human rights to boycott the film.
He also retweeted multiple tweets from other activists. One of which was from Twitter user Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, who linked a story about the boycott from The Guardian.
“Not while the true Mulans are suffering in the darkness of a Chinese jail,” the tweet said.
Mulan currently sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but 55% among audience members. It had a production budget of $200 million.
Laura Bassett is co-founder of the Save Journalism Project. She was formerly a senior culture and politics reporter at HuffPost before being laid off in 2019. She currently writes for GQ Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and other publications. Along with John Stanton, she began the Save Journalism project after losing her job, when she became interested in why so many great news publishers were beginning to go under and having to lay off staff.
How did you first get interested in journalism and politics and have these always been passions of yours?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, but wasn’t sure what direction it would take. I was in a graduate program for English Literature in 2008, thinking I wanted to go on and do a Ph.D. when Obama first ran for president. I became kind of obsessed with the election and started blogging on the side, and then I realized I enjoyed doing my politics blog a lot more than I enjoyed sitting in a library writing research papers that only one or two people would read. So I applied for a reporting internship at HuffPost, and the rest is history!
Which are some of the biggest issues with modern journalism and how have they coincided with your career so far?
I think there are three big ones: Lack of diversity in newsrooms, the question of what objectivity in political journalism means in the age of Trump, and the financial/existential crisis facing the industry as a result of the digital age and big tech’s monopoly on ad revenue. The last one affected me the most directly, as I was laid off in 2019 after ten years at HuffPost. The site just wasn’t generating enough profits, having to compete with tech giants like Google and Facebook for ad money, and I lost my job along with scores of other journalists. I never expected to be freelancing for the first time, involuntarily, in the middle of my career, but it has proven to be a great exercise for my writing.
What have been the most valuable skills/pieces of knowledge that you have learned from working at HuffPost?
I never went to journalism school, so most of what I know about reporting I learned at HuffPost. I learned how to write a compelling lede and nut graf, how to draw interesting things out people in interviews, how to show both sides of an issue without necessarily drawing a moral equivalence between them. I learned how to build source relationships and hustle for scoops. And I developed a deeper knowledge of politics and my particular beat, which for a long time was women’s rights issues. I learned how to own up to mistakes immediately and correct them in a transparent way, how to accept constructive criticism, and how to tune out the internet trolls and harassment. All the basics!
What motivated you to co-found the Save Journalism Project and what made it special as an initial idea?
John Stanton, formerly of BuzzFeed, and I were laid off the same week in January of 2019. It was very unexpected for both of us: He was the Washington Bureau chief at the time, and I was a senior politics reporter. There seemed to be very little rhyme or reason to who was laid off that year; news outlets were forced to cut hundreds of staffers and had to make some really tough decisions. At the same time, local newspapers like the New Orleans Times-Picayune were going under entirely. We could see that our whole industry was facing a potentially fatal financial crisis, and we felt like if we didn’t fight for it ourselves, we didn’t know who would. So this project was born.
How can you and your teamwork with or against big tech companies to improve the integrity of news?
Big tech companies are the financial competitors to news publishers, and it isn’t a fair fight right now. They gobble up about two-thirds of the digital ad market, leaving very little money for the actual content creators and publishers from which they also profit. Right now, we are looking to Congress and federal and state antitrust regulators to conduct antitrust investigations into the big four– Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon–and hoping that when they see the devastating impact those companies are having on newspapers, they will break them up and/or regulate them and create a more even playing field.
In the era of fake news and heavy media bias, how can technology be used for the greater good in terms of addressing populations?
“Fake news” is a term the president has thrown at real news outlets because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. By and large, the news stories he calls “fake” are true and factual. But the internet does have an actual fake news problem, which is the disinformation that fringe activists and bad actors spread online, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. I think social media platforms have a massive responsibility to closely monitor and regulate the false propaganda raging through their sites, especially close to election time.
In your opinion, how do you see the future of journalism and how can the Save Journalism Project be a part of this future?
I don’t know what I see for the future of journalism because, especially since COVID, we are on an extremely troubling trajectory. What I hope to see in the future of journalism is a sustainable business model– one in which people are happy to pay for news, and one in which news publishers and magazines don’t have to compete with Google in a David and Goliath-type situation for ad money to survive. And ideally, newsrooms can stop firing and start re-hiring again, because so much talent has been lost in the past few years.
Why is it so important that our country defends the freedom of the press and how can this freedom lead to a more functional democracy?
We’re at the nexus of several historic national crises at the moment, including a deadly pandemic, so journalism–especially local journalism–has never been more important to get life-saving information across to the people and to hold powerful people and institutions to account. At the same time, we have a president attacking the press and encouraging violence against us, along with these devastating financial issues. Without a robust and thriving free press, no one is there to uncover corruption and expose the lies of politicians and inform the electorate and just, basically, keep people aware of what’s happening in their communities and the world at large. That in itself is a massive threat to democracy.
What kinds of opportunities do you have for people who may want to get more involved with the Save Journalism Project?
Please contact us! We’re looking for help raising money, we’re funding freelance stories on local news deserts, and we can always use the voices of other journalists who would like to fight with us to save this industry.
Do you have any clear goals or visions for expanding this Project’s influence, and if so, what are they?
Our primary focus and objective are on policymakers. We aim to get U.S. lawmakers and regulators to address the exploitation of the online marketplace by Google and Facebook which gives them an unfair advantage in the competition for digital advertising revenue. Antitrust regulators in Australia and the U.K. have begun to take these kinds of steps that are necessary and we are encouraged that their American counterparts appear to be on the verge of similar actions.
It is only after the distortions of the marketplace have been addressed that we can rebuild a sustainable business model for journalism in the digital age, particularly local news. Given our focus on policymakers, we are more supporters rather than drivers of changes in the industry. We do not favor any specific model for what kind of journalism industry emerges from these multiple ongoing crises, only that we believe it must include a viable method for news outlets to monetize their content through advertising.
W.E.B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States.
In this tour-de-force, Elvira Basevich examines this paradox by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our troubled age. She adroitly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’ critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles, from Black Lives Matter to the campaign for reparations for slavery. She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’ thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and Pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work.
This wonderful book vindicates the power of Du Bois’ thought to help transform a stubbornly unjust world. It is essential reading for racial justice activists as well as students of African American philosophy and political thought.
“Unique among books on Du Bois, Basevich originally and persuasively presents a liberal ideal of civic enfranchisement as the heart of Du Bois’ thought.”
Chike Jeffers, Dalhousie University
“A valuable and compelling addition to the literature on Du Bois. Both a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with his thought and an innovative interpretation that will hold the interest of experts, Basevich has achieved a remarkable feat—and produced an apt tribute to her subject.”
Bishop William J. Barber II, campaign co-chair and president of Repairers of the Breach, said the campaign seeks not merely a fasting from food, but also a national fasting from systemic racism, systemic poverty, the denial of health care and from other death-dealing policies.
“We must dedicate ourselves to breathing life into our Constitution and its promises and refuse to accept a civility that covers up injustice,” Bishop Barber said. “The very life of our democracy is at stake. Not the democracy that is, but the democracy that could be.”
The upheaval in the country has shown the power of social justice movements, said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“People across race, across geography, across age have seen that we cannot be silent anymore,” she said. “It is only when the people organize in radical and bold ways that we can build a society that actually takes care of the needs of the people.”
The campaign is asking people to stand still wherever they are at 5 p.m. , Monday, June 7, and be still and focus for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that an officer held his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him on Memorial Day. They will then be asked to read a litany that the campaign will share on social media.
After that, Rev. Barber will speak to the nation from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he is the minister.
People should also remember Ahmaud Abery, who was shot and killed by armed white men as he jogged in Georgia in February and Breonna Taylor, who died in March after she was shot eight times by police who used a battering ram to invade her apartment. As a sign that our collective repentance is real, people will also be invited to dedicate themselves to stay engaged, to vote, to hold elected officials accountable and to work for a moral agenda that addresses historic wrongs and policies that perpetuate inequality.
On Sunday, June 6, the campaign will hold a national interfaith service to recognize the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, especially poor and low-income workers. While President Trump wants to divert attention away from the pandemic and to his misinterpretation of protests in the streets, the Poor People’s Campaign will insist that the country doesn’t forget those who died.
The service will be co-led by Revs. Barber and Theoharis and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Imam Omar Suleiman and Valerie Kaur.
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