Author: Daniel Loeb

T-Shirt sold at Netroots Nation calling for people to “Resist Racism, Sexism, Zionism, …” The Netroots conference has met annually since 2006, and serves as a think-tank for progressive political activists and bloggers especially from the Daily Kos for which the conference was originally known as Yearly Kos. Last week was the first time it was held in Philadelphia, so I decide to give it a try and connect with fellow progressives, strategize on issues of common interest, and learn about various Presidential candidates. Instead, I was frustrated by the idealogical purity required by many participants. Judaism has informed my…

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Dear Brave Members of the U.S. Armed Services, I am writing to express my regret for the thoughtless edict sent out by our “Twitter-in-Chief” banning transgender service members (after expressing support for the LGBT community during the campaign). Trump’s ban is an inexcusable, un-American expression of hate. It simply does not reflect the values of our country. I join the vast majority of Americans who are eternally indebted to you for the daily sacrifices you make to keep us safe. Transgender troops are especially brave because you not only risk enemy fire like other service members, but you also face…

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Dear Sen. Toomey: Last night, after the defeat of a series of ill-considered, clandestine plans to overtun the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Now it might be appropriate to ask what are their ideas. It would be interesting to see what they suggest as the way forward.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) deplaning in Maine to applause after voting against the repeal of the ACA. Photo: BLCKDGRD’s Twitter Page. Indeed, a willingness to listen to bipartisan solutions is long overdue. We need to build on the gains in insurance coverage we have already seen by repairing the…

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Does the United States actually have political prisoners? Green states do not disenfranchise. Yellow states only disenfranchise those who are actually in prison. Purple states also disenfranchise felons who are out on parole. Red states disenfranchise prisoners who are on parole or probation. Orange states restrict the rights of some to vote even after they have completed their sentences. (Source: The Sentencing Project) Probably not by the strict definition of the term: people incarcerated for their political beliefs. But there are millions of American citizens in the criminal justice system who are pawns in our political system. The criminalization of…

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The inaugurations of Donald Trump, 2017 (left) and Barrack Obama, 2009 (right). Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer’s first press conference centered on “alternative facts” about the attendance at Trump’s inauguration. There is no crime in having a sparsely attended inauguration. Lyndon B. Johnson had only 27 people on hand, including himself, yet that was sufficient for him to lead our country. Indeed Trump had a decent attendance at his inauguration by historical standards. However, to claim that this inauguration was the most well attended in history is simply counter-factual. Attendance was only one-third of Obama’s first inauguration. In fact, Clinton’s…

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So much of the America I had taken for granted as recently as last week has disappeared. President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” feels increasingly appropriate, leading many Americans wonder if Trump will really remain President for four years of will one of the many scandals swirling around him lead to his impeachment, or if Trump’s erratic behavior and plummeting popularity will lead his cabinet to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. Breaking Faith With Iraq Last week our country was a trusted partner in the Middle East. We led the international community by example, obeying international…

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Two executive orders were issued tonight. The first basically prohibits all government agencies from implementing any rules. They can send nothing to the Office of the Federal Register. Remember, while Congress passes laws, it’s the agencies that implement them, and they do so via regulations sent to OFR for public review and comment and then implementation. (Full memo after the jump.) The second order basically allows Ben Carson to do anything possible to prevent the ACA from functioning. Again, full text after the jump. Welcome to North Korea — they are dismantling the Federal government, just like they said they…

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Notes with audio (PDF) (23MB) Notes without audio (PDF) (608kB) Audio only: http://pjv2.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DemocracyForum.m4a (22MB) Brochure at http://www.jspan.org/content/jspan-presents-american-democracy-challenged Photos:

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Anne Frank in 1941 (left) tried to escape Naziism but was denied refugee status. A terrified 4-year old girl (right) is among Syrians seeking refugee status. Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill 289-137 making it virtually impossible for Syrian refugees to get asylum in the United States and escape slaughter at the hands of ISIL. Many of our parents and grandparents were German refugees seeking asylum in America while isolationists in America used the logic of fear to turned Jews away. If “Never Again” is not to be a mere slogan, the Jewish community needs to stand up…

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Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District Pennsylvania is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. Under Republican control, the Pennsylvania legislature crammed as many Democrats as possible into a small number of districts in the redistricting following the 2010 census. Accordingly, in the following Congressional election, despite winning the support of a majority of voters statewide, the Democrats lost a seat leaving themselves with only 5 seats while the Republicans retained 13 seats. Pennsylvania State Senator Lisa Boscola (D) State Senator Lisa Boscola and her eight cosponsors have reintroduced bipartisan legislation which they hope will take partisanship and politics out…

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