Newsflash:
Issues End Wars and Occupations, Redirect Funding Economic and Social Justice What a Victory: How a $40 Million Attack on the Middle Class Went Up in Smoke
Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:37

What a Victory: How a $40 Million Attack on the Middle Class Went Up in Smoke

Written by  Mary Bottari | PR Watch

It’s debt ceiling time, and the United States economy is once again on the brink, held hostage by extremists hell-bent on forcing cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Oh, wait. That was last year. In 2014, for the first time in three years, the vote to extend the nation’s debt ceiling did not bring the United States to the brink of default in a high-stakes game of slash and burn.

Last week, the House voted to raise the government’s borrowing limit until March 2015 without any conditions. In fact, if the Speaker had his way, he would have tied the vote to the repeal of cuts to military retirement pensions. The Senate concurred, sending a clean debt ceiling bill to the President’s desk.

It was a striking turnaround for the forces of austerity. One of the biggest losers? The Campaign to Fix the Debt, the $40 million astroturf austerity group, financed by Pete Peterson and other Wall Street bigwigs, and fronted by Maya MacGuineas, Erskine Bowles, and Alan Simpson.

Call it Alan Simpson’s last harrumph.

Fix the Debt Pushes America Towards the Fiscal Cliff
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

In July of 2012, Fix the Debt was launched with a patriotic flair. It set a July 4, 2013 deadline for steep budget cuts along the lines of the $4 trillion Simpson-Bowles plan. The austerity crowd had already succeeded in rigging the game, creating a December 31, 2012 “fiscal cliff” that would trigger automatic cuts without a bipartisan deal. Now they were poised to take advantage of that deadline and other standoffs to secure a “Grand Bargain.”

The idea was that Democrats were supposed to trade cuts to earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare for a bit more tax revenue from the Republican side. The President, who had created and backed the Simpson-Bowles commission, appeared willing to make a deal.

With a stalled economy and public sentiment decidedly against cuts to the popular lifesaving programs, Fix the Debt gathered the big guns. Over 100 CEOs were named to a council, and many contributed to the $40 million budget. Fix the Debt execs descended on the White House and the Capitol building. The nightly news was filled with images of CEOs like Honeywell’s David Cote stepping up to the mic to opine about the need for belt-tightening and shared sacrifice.

To show “grassroots” momentum, Fix the Debt hired PR firms, had them stand up phony state chapters, bankrolled the stunts of a youth group, The Can Kicks Back – which donned a foam tin can suit (the AmeriCAN) for cute videos – and hyped slanted numbers about “generational inequality.” America was going to rise up, they said, and they were going to get 10 million people to sign petitions.

The goal, as Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen so helpfully let slip, was to create an "artificial crisis" to get Congress to act.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fiscal cliff. Real people fought back.

Astroturf Gets Mowed
Grassroots groups were in no mood for advice from Fix the Debt CEOs, like Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein, who somberly explained to CBS News in November 2012 that Americans had to “lower their expectations,” the retirement age had to be raised, and “entitlement programs have to be slowed down and contained.”

Bernie Sanders hit the roof, taking to the floor to denounce Blankfein for what he called his unbelievable arrogance, given the role the big banks played in collapsing the economy and skyrocketing the deficit. Days later, protesters descended upon a Fix the Debt event for the first time, chanting loudly and rattling a senior presenter from the Heritage Foundation. Burke Stansbury from the Campaign for Community Change took a punch from the Heritage hysteric, and the throwdown was on.

Dozens of small groups jumped into the fray – including Social Security Works, Institute for Policy Studies, Campaign for America’s Future, Public Accountability Initiative, and more – pulling back the curtain on the tax cutting agenda of the group and its leadership council, which was riddled with undisclosed conflicts of interest.

In February, The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy partnered on a front-page, five article packageand an online resource platform (PetersonPyramid.org) exposing Pete Peterson’s history of deficit histrionics, of bankrolling puppet populists, and his lousy economic theories. Fix the Debt’s spokesman called to complain, prompting one of the funnier exchanges between a PR flack and a reporter in recent memory.

Grassroots groups surged into action to call out the CEOs with platinum-plated pensions who wanted to cut Social Security, targeting state-level Fix the Debt leaders. In Iowa, co-chair Dr. Andrea McGuire, former Congressman Dave Nagel, and State Rep. Bruce Hunter all resigned under pressure from the community group Iowa CCI. Michigan also lost its co-chair Jocelyn Benson. Virginia State Senator Ken Plum chose to pull his name, along with Juan Cotto of Washington State, and many more.

In March, just for fun, Social Security Works Washington entered its “Just Scrap the Cap” pro-Social Security video in a Peterson-funded film contest and won first prize! (Check it out here).

In April, legislative and community leaders including Sanders, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Mark Pocan, Terry O’Neill of NOW, and more rallied in front of the White House to push the President to leave Social Security cuts out of his budget. When Obama included “chained CPI” cuts, groups redoubled their effort to get him to change his mind.

For good measure, economists at U-Mass Amherst made headlines around the world by uncovering coding errors and other problems with the seminal Rogoff-Reinhart study, which purportedly provided the empirical evidence that austerity led to growth.

In May, Fix the Debt organized a spontaneous “ flash mob,” sending reporters and activists scurrying to interview participants who proved to be paid dancers ($65 for the day), not at all interested in cutting Social Security.

In June, the Institute for Policy Studies released another damning report, “ Pirates of the Caribbean,” showing that Fix the Debt member firms stood to gain as much as $173 billion if Congress adopted their proposal for a territorial tax system, a tax break which would only increase the debt.

Patriots celebrated when Fix the Debt missed its July 4th deadline for a bad budget deal.

In August, National People’s Action kicked off the “CEO Summer” (Corporate Evil Outing) in 15 cities and towns. TakeAction Minnesota dropped a huge banner across from a Fix the Debt gathering. Clergy in Chicago, IIRON, and ONE Northside targeted General Electric for its failure to pay taxes and urged Senator Dick Durbin to stiffen his spine and do more to support Social Security. Vocal New York descended on the home of Verizon board member Hugh Price, calling on Verizon to pay its taxes and stop lobbying for harmful budget cuts.

In October, the AFL-CIO pulled out all the stops. President Richard Trumka warned: "No politician … I don’t care the political party … will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it. This warning goes double for Democrats. We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career.”

Meanwhile, The Can Kicks Back launched a bus tour of college campuses. They wheeled out in a vehicle produced by German automaker BMW, ingeniously dubbed the “AmeriVAN.” As part of the tour, the group collected tin cans. America’s youth were so underwhelmed that, according to published emails, the pricey project “ generated 800 cans through our national tour at a cost of about $3,000/can." Priceless.

By this point, the Netroots were fully engaged with Fix the Debt. When the group staged its first Twitter Q&A, it was royally trolled by knowledgeable critics, including one who asked, “Global warming will reduce the availability of ice floes to push the elderly out to sea, does Fix the Debt support a carbon tax?” A merry pirate prankster named Alex Lawson confronted the foam “can man” at a Can Kicks Back press conference. "Aaar!" he said. "Fix the debt, but let me keep my corporate booty!”

In November, Congressional leaders went on offense. Sens. Tom Harking and Sherrod Brown introduced a bill to strengthen Social Security. Elizabeth Warren took to the floor to declare that the tide had changed. Unions rallied their members to flood Congress with calls, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Move On, and others gathered millions of signatures (whereas, at 360,000, Fix the Debt fell far short of its 10 million goal).

In a major embarrassment, the anonymous @DeficitHacks caught Fix the Debt ghostwriting bogus op-eds for students in newspapers across the country, prompting scathing edits from offended newspapers and a Krugman piece, “ Fix Fix Fix the Debt Debt Debt.”

In December, the Ryan-Murrray bipartisan budget deal was signed. Press singled out Fix the Debt as one of the “biggest losers” of the deal, which largely left Social Security and Medicare untouched. Fix the Debt “ spent at least $43 million to influence the conversation. Its reward: bupkis,” wrote Slate’s David Weigel.

State of the Union Reversal
In January 2014, the President made only cursory mention of the deficit in his State of the Union address. At one point, he boasted that it had been cut in half; at another, he suggested that immigration reform would reduce it even further. This was a far cry from the January 2013 State of the Union, when President Obama gave deficit reduction top billing.

Maya MacGuineas, who raked in a $370,419 salary at the height of the campaign, was left grasping for straws. The debt, she says, “is slated to continue to grow unsustainably later this decade.”

Fix the Debt had failed in its quest for a Grand Bargain. Now, as they shed staff and pack up their talking points and tin cans, Politico reports that The Can Kicks Back is in debt and waiting for a new Daddy Warbucks to rescue it.

There is no doubt that the Peterson Youth will be back and McGuineas will continue her crusade at the Peterson-funded Center for a Responsible Budget, but in the meantime the fight to strengthen Social Security is on and that is something Americans can really get excited about. According to the latest polling, 74% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats want to strengthen the program without cutting benefits.

The question now is will President Obama recognize this turning point as he puts the finishing touches on his new budget, and will Democrats abandon austerity talking points and focus on a real growth agenda that begins with an expansion of the programs that aid and grow America’s middle class?

Link to original article from PR Watch

Read 8364 times Last modified on Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:58

End Wars and Occupations Articles

  • Why the Showdown with Islamic Extremists is the War the Pentagon Was Hoping For
    Why the Showdown with Islamic Extremists is the War the Pentagon Was Hoping For As the U.S. escalates its bombing campaign against ISIS (or IS or ISIL), U.S. officials seem to have found an enemy we can all love to hate and fear. ISIS beheads hostages, conducts brutal ethnic cleansing and has links to Al-Qaeda. DC power players have eagerly embraced a small war made to order to restore America's wounded military pride after the first Iraq debacle.
    Written on Monday, 29 September 2014 15:32 Read more...
  • Progressive Caucus: Congress Needs To Return And Vote On Expanded Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    Progressive Caucus: Congress Needs To Return And Vote On Expanded Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq

    WASHINGTON-Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison(D-MN) released the following statement today after Speaker Boehner told the New York Times that he prefers to not hold a vote authorizing action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other groups until next year.

    Written on Friday, 26 September 2014 14:36 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria
    Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

    Oakland, CA – In response to the airstrikes last night in Syria, Congresswoman Lee released this statement:

    "I am gravely concerned about the expansion of U.S. airstrikes into Syria and continuation of airstrikes in Iraq.

    It is clear we are rapidly becoming more involved in another war in the Middle East.

    President Obama has put together a strong international and regional coalition to address the ISIS threat. We must now leverage this regional coalition to achieve the political solution that will end this crisis. Only a political solution that respects the rights of all Iraqis and Syrians will ultimately dismantle ISIS.


    Written on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 22:47 Read more...
  • Win Without War Statement on American Military Action in Syria
    Win Without War Statement on American Military Action in Syria The United States has gone back to war in the Middle East. Tonight’s reported U.S. airstrikes in Syria were not to save those trapped on a mountain or to defend against a march on U.S. diplomatic personnel, but rather a clear escalation of American involvement in a regional conflict that the President himself says has no military solution.”
    Written on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 12:41 Read more...
  • Iraq/Syria Air Strikes and Arms Shipments Opponents Host Press Conference
    Iraq/Syria Air Strikes and Arms Shipments Opponents Host Press Conference

    Washington, DC -- Representatives from several organizations will gather at 11:30 am on Wednesday, September 17 at the House Triangle to respond to the President's plan to bomb Iraq and Syria. Speakers include Andrea Miller of Progressive Democrats of America, Stephen Miles of the coalition Win Without War, Ret. Colonel Ann Wright of Veterans for Peace, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, and Alli McCracken of the youth group No Future in War.

    Written on Thursday, 18 September 2014 16:31 Read more...
  • Progressive Caucus to Speaker Boehner: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars on Benghazi Committee
    Progressive Caucus to Speaker Boehner: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars on Benghazi Committee

    Washington, D.C.–Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) sent Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) a letter urging him to create a Select Committee on Income Inequality instead of spending as much as 3.3 million tax dollars on another investigation into Benghazi. An analysisfrom Think Progress shows the Republican-led House of Representatives is on track to spend more investigating Benghazi than it does on nine other House committees.

    Written on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:51 Read more...
  • Since 9-11 America's Insane Foreign Policy -- Continued Under Obama -- Has Killed a Million and Created ISIS
    Since 9-11 America's Insane Foreign Policy -- Continued Under Obama -- Has Killed a Million and Created ISIS Thirteen years ago, a draft dodger from Texas stood on a pile of rubble in New York City and promised, "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." Of course, the people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center could not hear anybody, as their remains were buried in the rubble beneath Bush's feet.
    Written on Saturday, 13 September 2014 14:45 Read more...
  • The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night
    The Speech on Diplomacy That Obama Should Have Given Last Night Too often in the United States—most especially since 9/11—we equate “doing something” with “doing something military.” George W. Bush gave a traumatized, near-paralyzed US public two options: we either go to war, or we let ‘em get away with it. Faced with that choice, it was hardly surprising that 88 percent or so of people in this country chose war.
    Written on Saturday, 13 September 2014 14:35 Read more...
  • On Matters of War, the President Can't Go it Alone
    On Matters of War, the President Can't Go it Alone With respect to the growing conflict with the insurgent Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), my message to the White House and to Speaker Boehner is clear. Further U.S. military escalation must not happen without the expressed approval of Congress. the Constitution is crystal clear: Only Congress shall have the power to declare war.
    Written on Thursday, 04 September 2014 11:56 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Coalition Calls for Authorization Vote Regarding Iraq
    Bipartisan Coalition Calls for Authorization Vote Regarding Iraq Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Walter Jones, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Jim McGovern sent a letter to Speaker Boehner calling for debate and vote on an authorization for the use of military force in Iraq when the House returns on September 8th.
    Written on Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:16 Read more...
  • Rep. Ellison Statement on the Announcement of an Open-Ended Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Hamas
    Rep. Ellison Statement on the Announcement of an Open-Ended Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Hamas

    MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after Israeli and Hamas officials announced they had agreed to an open-ended ceasefire.

    “I am happy and relieved with yesterday’s ceasefire agreement,” Rep. Ellison said. “I call on all parties to comply with the agreement and refrain from further violence. It is time to move forward with negotiations and diplomacy that will ultimately end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Written on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 15:12 Read more...
  • Hamas and Israel Agree to Extended Gaza Cease-Fire
    Hamas and Israel Agree to Extended Gaza Cease-Fire

    GAZA CITY — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday reached a long-term cease-fire after seven weeks of fighting, according to officials on both sides, halting the longest, bloodiest battle either side has experienced in years — but without resolving many of the bigger issues underlying the conflict.

    Written on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 17:09 Read more...
  • $1.5 Trillion and Counting: What New Involvement in Iraq Means for Federal Spending
    $1.5 Trillion and Counting: What New Involvement in Iraq Means for Federal Spending As President Obama allows a trickle of troops back into Iraq and continues to ramp up air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Americans are wary about our role in a conflict most think we never should have started in the first place. Polls show that while Americans are divided on new airstrikes in Iraq, most people are against sending troops back. And while these strikes might seem targeted, mission creep is a very real threat in Iraq.
    Written on Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:22 Read more...
  • McGovern Demands Full Debate and Vote on Iraq
    McGovern Demands Full Debate and Vote on Iraq

    When Congress returns from recess on September 8, will they authorize the New Iraq War? That's the question some anti-war groups are asking their representatives now home in their districts. Rep. Jim McGovern is demanding "a full debate and a vote whether to authorize the war," which has been escalating during the Congressional absence.

    Written on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 22:10 Read more...
  • Congress Needs to Assert Checks and Balances on Any New Iraq Mission
    Congress Needs to Assert Checks and Balances on Any New Iraq Mission

    It is not a lack of sympathy with the historic and current circumstance of Iraq’s religious minorities—or of other persecuted peoples in that traumatized country—that leads some of the most humane and responsible members of Congress to say that President Obama must seek approval from the House and Senate before committing the United States military to a new Iraq mission.

    Written on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:38 Read more...
  • Against U.S. Escalation in Iraq
    Against U.S. Escalation in Iraq The Obama administration seems poised to bomb insurgent-controlled areas of Iraq in another escalation of the deepening quagmire.
    Written on Friday, 08 August 2014 13:25 Read more...
  • Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team
    Gaza Initiative - PDA End War & Occupation team

    PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) shares the horror of the world at the slaughter of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza. We condemn violence against civilians by all sides.

    Written on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 00:43 Read more...
  • Progressive Democrats of America Emergency Statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza
    Progressive Democrats of America Emergency Statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza

    Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) strongly endorses the statement of our Advisory Board Member Congresswoman Barbara Lee  who expressed grave concerns about the "violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza." We agree with Rep. Lee that, "this horrific violence does nothing to enhance the security of Israelis or Palestinians," and we join her calling for a diplomatic solution to ensure lasting security." Rep. Lee once again is the voice of reason saying, "We need strong diplomatic intervention by the US and regional partners to help establish an immediate ceasefire that allows for the negotiations of a permanent and peaceful settlement."

    Furthermore, we endorse our Advisory Board Member Congressman Keith Ellison's demand that Israel and Egypt end the Gaza blockade to achieve peace. 

    Written on Saturday, 02 August 2014 14:47 Read more...
  • End the Gaza Blockade to Achieve Peace
    End the Gaza Blockade to Achieve Peace It seems as though each day brings new horrors and heartbreaks in the Holy Land. More than 1,000 dead. Gazan children blown up on the beach. A U.N. shelter hit. Two-thirds of Israelis living in fear from indiscriminate rocket fire launched by Hamas.
    Written on Friday, 01 August 2014 13:42 Read more...
  • A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now
    A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now

    PDAers have, with the rest of the world, reacted with outrage and heartbreak to the violence in Israel and Gaza.  Board members like Medea Benjamin have worked for decades to bring attention to that area of the world, to its crying need for peace with justice. PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic Convention in opposition to the Iraq War, which was being silenced by “official” party leaders. Our Inside/Outside strategy brought street heat to the suites, opening up our political process to the nonviolent call of Dr. Martin Luther King: turn from perpetual war to meeting human need. Nonviolence grounds all our policy advocacy: Healthcare Not Warfare; Windmills Not Weapons.

    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 13:06 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:02 Read more...
  • SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza
    SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza The current military operations in Israel and the Gaza strip should disturb all people of faith. The only moral path to a solution between Israelis and Palestinians (Israeli Jewish/Muslim/Christian and Palestinian Muslim/Christian) will be dialogue and negotiation.
    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 22:36 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq

    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 20:06 Read more...
  • Against Intervention in Iraq
    Against Intervention in Iraq

    The stunning military advance into cities in northern and central Iraq by an Al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—backed by some of Iraq's Sunni tribal paramilitary forces and a militia tied to remnants of the deposed Baath party—compounds Iraq's long-running tragedy. 

    Written on Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners
    Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners

    According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the [Israeli Defense Force] ] IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.

    Written on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:43 Read more...
  • PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine
    PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine

    PDA Advisory Board members Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee joined 3 congressional colleagues--Reps. Jim Moran, Hank Johnson, and Alan Lowenthal--calling upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to "redouble" their efforts to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a cease-fire agreement. The full text of their letter is below, and a signed PDF can be found here.

    Written on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:35 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq
    Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq

    80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq

    Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 04 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!
    Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!


    Please act now! We need your Congress member's signature on the Lee-Rigell Letter opposing a military attack on Iraq. Consult the list (see below). If your member of Congress is not there, call the Congressional switchboard ASAP (before Close of Business July, 2nd) and ask them to sign on to the Lee-Rigell Letter. Republicans may be willing to sign on, so it's worth trying them as well. The Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer Monica Pham at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Written on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:19 Read more...
  • The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria
    The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria

    At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.

    On Thursday night, 182 Members of the House voted yes on Representative Barbara Lee's amendment defunding the use of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use Military Force. 

    Written on Friday, 20 June 2014 18:00 Read more...
  • BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq
    BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq

    Members of Congress want to send a clear message to Obama: They won’t stand for another war.

    After a recent string of insurgent attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern part of Iraq, President Obama told Congress on Monday night that he will order 275 troops to the country to protect American personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 

    Written on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:49 Read more...
  • Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'
    Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'

    Residents of Mosul and Samarra, and a spokesman for a militant group, speak about their experience of the latest conflict

    Written on Monday, 16 June 2014 11:08 Read more...
  • Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.
    Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.

    Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?

     

    Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015.  Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.


    Written on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:15 Read more...
  • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama
    93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

    During the Bush years, people all over the world were horrified by America's aggression, human rights abuses and militarism. By 2008, only one in three people around the world approved of the job performance of U.S. leaders. The election of President Obama broadcast his message of hope and change far beyond U.S. shores, and Gallup's 2009 U.S.-Global Leadership Project (USGLP) recorded a sharp rise in global public approval of U.S. leadership to 49 percent.

    Written on Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:44 Read more...
  • America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953
    America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami.  He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?"  The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C."  This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

    Written on Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:30 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

    Written on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:57 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:44 Read more...
  • 35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
    35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists

    The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.  

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:20 Read more...
  • We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror
    We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror

    America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

    Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:28 Read more...
  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers
    Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers

    The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:29 Read more...
  • Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations
     Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations

    MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:23 Read more...
  • No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks
    No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

    The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:16 Read more...
  • Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?
    Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?

    At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.

    Written on Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:49 Read more...
  • Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway
    Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway

    As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?

    End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?

    Written on Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing
    Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing

    Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:

    Written on Friday, 06 December 2013 17:29 Read more...
  • Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
    Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List' Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.
    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11 Read more...
  • US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq
    US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq

    Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.

    Written on Saturday, 09 November 2013 19:49 Read more...
  • The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy
    The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

    Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 02:20 Read more...
  • Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
    Reading Obama’s Iran Speech

    All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.

    Written on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:36 Read more...
  • Beating Swords Into Solar Panels
    Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

    A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.

    Written on Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:17 Read more...

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Email Your Senators and Representatives - Ask Them to Support Peace Legislation

There is no faster way to send a message to your Congress members than using our Email Advocacy Tool.

  1. Enter your Zip +4
  2. Use our letter or feel free to edit and create your own
  3. Choose an Advocacy Alert and have your letter sent directly to your Congress Member


Advocacy Alerts

Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria

Miriam Pemberton - Progressive Central

Building the Peace and Justice Movement

Miriam Pemberton - Swords into Ploughshares