fresh voices from the front lines of change







Election 2016

Bernie Sanders Admits ‘It Doesn’t Appear’ That He’ll Be the Nominee: New York Times: “Senator Bernie Sanders came one step closer to accepting defeat on Wednesday, telling C-SPAN in an hourlong interview that he most likely would not be the Democratic presidential nominee. … ‘It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee, so I’m not going to be determining the scope of the convention,’ Mr. Sanders said, adding that he has reached no agreement to endorse Mrs. Clinton but has been negotiating with her campaign. ‘What our job is now is to have her listen to what millions of people in this country who supported me want to see happen. We’ll see how that evolves.’”

Sen. Bernie Sanders spells out what he and his supporters want:: “As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want. And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening. … What do we want? We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life. As Lincoln put it at Gettysburg, we want a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is what we want, and that is what we will continue fighting for.”

Hedrick Smith writes that the untold story of Campaign 2016 is in grass roots movements for political reform: “ The untold story of Campaign 2016 is that political reform is on the move in grass roots America. Not just Bernie Sanders’s trumpet call for a political revolution, but the practical drive for specific reforms by citizen movements pressing ballot initiatives and lawsuits against Citizens United, partisan gerrymandering and dark money. With Congress gridlocked, the initiative on reform has shifted to the states. And the infectious spark of insurgency has spread to such unlikely conservative bastions as Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska and South Dakota. Already this year, 16 states have become reform battlegrounds.”

House Democrats’ In Historic Gun Control Sit-In

Democrats Continue Gun Control Sit-In as Paul Ryan Adjourns House. NBC News: “ A revolt in the House of Representatives turned raucous overnight, with protesting Democrats shouting down Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempts to restore order during a gun-control protest that stretched into its 20th hour. Earlier, Republicans branded the move as a publicity stunt before summarily adjourning the chamber until after the Fourth of July. The stunning and unruly scenes were broadcast live to the world from Democrats’ cellphones, feeds which were picked up by C-SPAN after Republicans shut down the network’s cameras.”

C-SPAN Uses Social Media Feeds to Cover Protest. ABC News: “The House of Representative finally adjourned until July 5th after sit-in protests by Democrats halted business in Congress for more than 17 hours. Despite the decision to end the legislative session, more than a dozen Democratic members, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), were still protesting on the House floor as of this morning. It’s unclear exactly how Democrats will proceed with their efforts to bring up a vote on gun control. The unprecedented demonstrations – which was broadcast live through C-span and social media across the country – started Wednesday morning and ended around 3:15 a.m. ET Thursday.”

Bill Moyers writes that civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has stood up for human dignity once again: “Once again the Republican leaders of Congress have been revealed for what they are: useful stooges of the gun merchants who would sell to anyone — from the mentally ill to a terrorist-in-waiting to a lurking mass murderer. And the Republican Party once again has shown itself an enabler of death, the enemy of life, a threat to the republic itself. Today, John Lewis said, ‘The time is always right to do right. Our time is now.’ The heroism on the Pettus Bridge turned the tide against the inhumanity of segregation. Today’s protest in the House of Representatives just might mark the beginning of the end of the gun industry’s grip on American life and liberty.”

Marriage Equality One Year Later

Same-sex marriages in U.S. up, domestic partnerships down: Gallup. Reuters: “Nearly half of gay and lesbian couples living together in the United States are married a year after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, according to a Gallup study released on Wednesday. The percentage of married cohabiting same-sex couples, as opposed to couples living together but not married, rose to 49 percent from 38 percent before the ruling, Gallup said. Gallup estimates about 123,000 same-sex American couples married in the past year, with a higher number of the unions taking place in states that already had legalized same-sex marriages.”

Same-sex couples spend $1 billion on weddings in one year. MarketWatch: “Same-sex couples have been on a wedding bonanza over the last year. Wedding bells have been ringing since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriages in June 2015, and same-sex couples have spent over $1.3 billion on their weddings, according to a report by Gary Gates, the recently retired distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute at UCLA. Gates analyzed a survey of 11,600 same-sex couples carried out by the Gallup polling firm and a survey of spending released this month of over 1,400 same-sex couples by WeddingWire, an online marketplace connecting couples and merchants. ”

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