Steve Early’s Refinery Town is a compelling read on multiple levels. It paints an interesting portrait of Richmond, CA (pop. 110,000), a Bay Area city that is home to a massive Chevron refinery. It also works as a journalistic deep dive into contemporary municipal politics, with a cast of reformers and establishment actors clashing over approaches to problems in a city wracked by disinvestment, toxic waste, corruption, and crime.
In November 2016, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) won a majority on the City Council, overcoming massive campaign funding for their opponents by Chevron. Continue reading →
Jill Stein blew $3.5 million failing to even come close to winning 5% of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election — as predicted — but she has a new scampaign: election integrity. In a few days, she raised over $3 million for vote recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan fueled by baseless rumors that Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in these states had something to do with hacking. Continue reading →
Last month, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was roundly condemned for surreptitiously substituting a neutral pro-peace Syria statement on her campaign’s website in place of her original pro-war criminal position without a word of explanation.
Now, the URL linking to her original statement no longer seamlessly re-directs to her new statement but has been restored — but without its original incriminating text. Instead, there is the following statement: Continue reading →
On October 5, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein removed her previous statement on Syria (“Stein Opposes Obama’s Troops on the Ground in Syria”) and put in its place a very different statement (“Jill Stein on Syria”). Visitors to the previous statement‘s URL do not encounter an error notice but are seamlessly redirected to the new statement.
It is as if her first Syria statement never happened.
If Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wins 5% of the popular vote in the 2016 election, the party will be eligible for millions of dollars in federal matching funds for a 2020 presidential campaign. The Green Party has strategically justified every fringe/spoiler presidential campaigns it has run since 1996 in part by talking up the possibility of winning 5% of the popular vote. What the Green Party has never done is develop a hard-headed assessment of whether it is even possible for their candidates to reach the 5% threshold despite failing to do so five presidential cycles in a row.
In the U.S. we elect a president every four years and during these election years, the people have a higher interest in all things political because while our representative system is far from perfect, the people do have some say over picking our rulers. Chris Hedges is being overly cynical when he says “We do not live in a functioning democracy, and we have to stop pretending that we do.” We aren’t living under totalitarian rule yet. We can still put people up for election and win seats with real power.
Unfortunately, people power has not been developed to the point were we can elect a progressive person to the highest office in the land. For over 160 years, only the two capitalist parties have had the clout to do that. The vote count of 470,000 for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012 was a good starting point but it was still less than 1% of the vote. This year there is tremendous dissatisfaction with the status quote so she is likely to do much better as she is now polling between 3%-4%, but there is no doubt that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will win the election. Continue reading →