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Your Vote is the Last Line of Defense Against One-Party Control

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The bottom line of Adam Serwer’s The Guardrails Have Failed is: “As for Kavanaugh, every opinion he writes, every decision he joins, and every day he sits on the bench will be tainted with illegitimacy.” Senators who represent a shrinking portion of the population confirmed a justice more Americans oppose than support. He was nominated by a president for whom most of the electorate did not vote. Republican control of the three branches of government is countermajoritarian. With the guardrails of separated powers broken, the last remaining defense for American democracy and the rule of law is the electorate itself.

Since April 8, 2017, when Neil Gorsuch became Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States Government has been controlled by one political party. Why is this important?

In his Oct. 15, 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on separation of powers, Justice Antonin Scalia tells us: The real constitution of the Soviet Union, that constitution did not prevent the centralization of power in one person or in one party. And when that happens, the game is over, the Bill of Rights is just what our Framers would call a “parchment guarantee.”

Unless the Republican party ceases to control the legislative branch of the U.S. government in January, 2019, centralization of power will continue in one party, the Republican Party, for another 24 months, and if Donald Trump has his way, that centralization of power will be in one person.

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Action by Voters from Six Key States Could Stop the Tax Scam

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The American Sustainable Business Council’s Senior Tax Analyst, John O'Neill asks supporters to immediately target the following seven “on the fence” Republican Senators a very close vote, on the vitally important tax bill with long-term repercussions:

Sen. James Lankford (R, OK) – Concerned about the federal debt.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R, WI) – Concerned that the tax bill does too little to help small business.

Sen. Susan Collins (R, ME) – Concerned about the wealthy getting most benefit.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R, AZ) – Concerned about how the bill will affect the sick and grow the debt.

Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) – Concerned that the bill’s not following regular order and does too much for the rich.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R, FL) and Sen. Mike Lee (R, UT) – Concerned that the tax bill does too little for working families while cutting the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

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The Top 10 Percent Must Pay Their Share in Taxes

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

As the top 10 perent now owns 77 percent of U.S. wealth, the lion's share of defense spending to protect their wealth has ballooned, with defense appropriation reaching $700 billion. This is $81 billion greater than last year, defying “sequestration” spending caps set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Among the top two priorities of the super donor class are free trade and robust defense spending, with this spending appearing to be the third rail for these super donors as the Senate votes 89 to 9 for the Pentagon bill. In addition, 45 has back-peddled on his campaign promise to label China a currency manipulator in the name of national security. This panders to the super donor class by prioritizing both of their highly valued issues.

At a time when most Americans feel less safe because of lack of adequate gun-control and climate change denial in the beltway, we have 45 proposing huge tax cuts for himself, his family and the top 10 percent. With ever-increasing wealth inequity and related defense spending, combined with tax-cuts for the rich, the rational response is a wealth tax on the top percenters to pay for the lion's share of defense spending, which goes toward protecting their assets worldwide.                                                            

We often hear the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes, but without specific rationale. With defense spending viewed as protecting assets, as well as life and limb, it is easy to justify a specific tax on the top percenters for the huge cost of protecting their assets here and abroad.

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Neil Gorsuch Unacceptable for Supreme Court

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Bill Haschke’s Neil Gorsuch is the wrong choice for U.S. Supreme Court provides an historical framework for the U.S. Senate to reject confirm Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court

Our founding fathers knew that only government could protect the rights of all citizens, because it would be large enough to challenge all other economic powers who wanted to exploit peoples’ rights for their own greedy pursuit of wealth and power. The declaration states “…that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Declaration of Independence informs us of exactly what governments should be, whom they serve and the values that should be applied to form valid governments; it codified the natural rights of man. After our “slavery issue” was resolved, the court began interpreting the constitution more in the light of the Declaration of Independence, in keeping with the exceptional ideals put forth in our founding document.

However, since January 7, 1972 when Justices Powell and Rehnquist were sworn-in, the SCOTUS began ignoring the Declaration of Independence with more and more power over our elections, and therefore our government, being granted to powerful economic interest, including corporations, culminating with the Citizens United case.

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Term Limit Supreme Court Justices

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Washington Post article Why it’s time to get serious about Supreme Court term limits focuses on the politicization resulting from the open SCOTUS seat after Antonin Scalia's death and that nearly every other country in the world subjects their high court justices to limited terms or mandatory retirement ages.

There is widespread support for term limits among the general public. In 2015, two-thirds of Americans supported a 10-year term limit on Supreme Court justices, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll. Only 17 percent said they supported life tenure. Sixty-six percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans supported the proposal - a strong, and rare, show of bipartisanship.

"The Constitution was written at a time when life tenure meant living into your 50s because that's what life expectancy was," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, author of two books on the Supreme Court, has noted. "Thirty-year tenures are not what the framers had in mind."

Term Limits would mean a court that more accurately reflects the changes and judgments of the society.

Forcing Trump to make recess appointments would create SCOTUS term limits of as short as less than one year, thereby putting the proverbial “gun to the head” of the establishment to seriously consider a constitutional amendment which is necessary for supreme court justice term limits.


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Eliminate Closed Primaries

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Our political parties left to their exclusionary desires get to set the agendas which all American voters must live with during the general election process. Is there little wonder that the United States has such low voter turnout rates and low trust in Congress? One antidote to the stranglehold the political parties have over Democracy is to open the primaries. Please click the petition Incoming Chairs of the DNC & RNC: Open the Primaries, NOW!

A patchwork of restrictive registration rules prevented 26.3 million independent voters from participating in the Presidential Primaries/Caucuses in 2016. The same restrictive rules prevented millions more registered Democrats and Republicans from voting for the candidate of their choice. Voters from New York to Arizona, whose tax dollars fund the primary process -- were denied the right to fully participate. It’s not hard to understand why voter turnout has hit a 20-year low, and 70% of all Americans now support open primaries.

By signing the petition Incoming Chairs of the DNC & RNC: Open the Primaries, NOW! you are sending a message to new DNC and RNC Chairs to break with the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was the poster-chair for closed primaries in every state!

U.S. Trade and Tax Policies Conspire to Stymie U.S. Manufacturing

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In Global economic forces conspire to stymie U.S. manufacturing, Brookings’ David Dollar contends that job loss in manufacturing derives primarily from technological change, not from trade. If this were truly the sole cause, why have virtually all our trading partner been able to better deal with these technological changes and avoid the increasing trade deficit that the U.S. political elite have inflicted on America’s working class?

The answer is our trading partners have domestic friendly trade and tax policies that enable them to better deal with the technological changes that have occurred.

Donald Trump achieved his Electoral College victory, in no small part, by vilifying the United States’ increasing trade deficit, just as progressives have for decade. The appointment of Dr. Peter Navarro to head the White House National Trade Council, which is welcomed by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard and other American labor leaders, is intended to reshape U.S. Trade Policy to promote domestic production and job creation, rather than as a foreign policy tool as it has been in the past.

Progressives should be on the lookout for and support Navarro’s initiatives to mitigate currency manipulation, border taxes on U.S. exports by our trading partners and tax benefits to corporations that incentivize the offshoring of U.S. jobs.

Expect both the mainstream media and think tanks like Brookings to be critical of Dr. Peter Navarro’s initiatives, since they can’t help being influenced by their advertisers and donors, who have been beneficiaries of the U.S. trade deficit.

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Democracy for America Should Endorse Keith Ellison to Lead DNC

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The DNC needs Leadership that understands the causes of the “Learned Helplessness” that has resulted in ineffective Democratic voter turnout in the mid-terms, the primaries and now in the 2016 General Election.

From 1934 thru 1978 Republican losses in mid-term elections averaged 28% and 79% more than Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate, respectively. Beginning in 1982 Democratic losses averaged 152% and 140% more than Republican losses in the U.S. House and Senate, respectively.

It was in 1982 that the DNC instituted the Superdelegate Scheme and ever since Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters have failed to turnout in mid-term elections in effective numbers. The Superdelegate Scheme appears to give Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters a case of “Learned Helplessness.”

AFL-CIO’s Endorsement of Keith Ellison to Lead DNC

VOTE NOW: Who should Democracy for America endorse for DNC Chair?

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Appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court Now

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

President Obama is petitioned in We the People Appoint Garland Now (Senate Has Waived Its Rights) to act now and make his Supreme Court appointment as a recess appointment, since the Senate’s inaction is a waiver of it right to consent. The legal basis for this petition is outlined in the Washington Post Op-Ed Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing.

Right-wing obstructionists are desperately trying to dissuade Americans from signing this petition by questioning the legal grounds of the waiver of rights argument, but their bias on this issue is indisputable.

Even though the We the People Appoint Garland Now (Senate Has Waived Its Rights) petition has the minimum 100,000 signatures to get an official update from the White House within 60 days, please sign the petition anyway, to communicate to the White House the urgency of this matter to the American People.

A 2016 SCOTUS recess appointment by President Obama should be effective through the end of the 115th Congress ending January 3, 2019 and will, in all likelihood, result in a case brought before our current eight member Supreme Court. The waiver of rights and other legal arguments including prior Supreme Court rulings on the substance over form doctrine can be put forth when and if this case is heard.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz' Failed Leadership Facilitated Passage of Fast-Track

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Sept. 21, 2014 article Dems turn on Wasserman Schultz reports that the perception of critics is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.

The 2014 mid-term election resulted in a loss of 13 Democratic House seats and 9 Democratic Senate seats. As disconcerting as this appeared to the Obama White House, the Republican representatives and Senators who gained these seats more than provided President Obama with the margin of victory necessary to pass Fast Track in June 2015, which improved his chances to get  the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal passed. 

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Union Matters

The Call for a General Strike

Richard Cucarese

Richard Cucarese Rapid Response Coordinator, USW Local 4889

It’s been only a few weeks since Labor pushed back against the longest, most punishing government shutdown in recent history, but sadly, over the jubilant cheers of victory, the ominous drumbeats of Congress warring in the trenches could be heard again, leaving 800,00 AFGE members pondering if they’ll be furloughed once more.

President Trump’s decided that the ‘Wall to Nowhere’ will be the hill to die on in this inane battle of attrition, government workers livelihoods be damned.  Keeping this in mind, the ominous question should be how much longer will it be before Trump and the entitled imperialists of D.C. realpolitik turn their sights towards millions of American workers, over 40% of whom, according to CBS News data, are one missed paycheck away from poverty?

As we suffer under the grim reality of decades long wage stagnation, no calls for a realistic minimum wage increase to keep the One Percent’s vulture bankers from our doors, nor a social program of Medicare For All, easing the burden of burgeoning medical costs overrunning the populous meager discretionary incomes, the powers that be seem more than willing to shutter government again, leaving scores unemployed, airport safety and security in perilous shape and costing the taxpayers $3 billion to do so.

And while Congress apparently shows no guilt spending an inconceivable $1.45 trillion dollars for 2018/19, to voluntarily spill blood in every conceivable corner of the globe promoting crony capitalism, strong armed acquisition of natural resources and the continuation of imperialistic follies, the long suffering American worker is left sifting through the rubble, limping through countless miles of crumbling infrastructure, closed factories, failing schools, bankrupting college loan payments, mass shootings and scores of broken dreams, leading to shortened life expectancy, drug overdoses and suicides.

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Let's Talk About Wealth

Let's Talk About Wealth