U.S. Politics

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LA
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This panel will explore why progressive third party candidates for lower level offices (such as city council and state representative) rarely win elections and how they might win them more often. These offices commonly serve as a springboard to higher level, high profile offices (such as mayor, governor, and Congressperson). Thus, for progressive third parties, winning lower level races more frequently may be a necessary first step to truly competing for local, state and national power. There is relatively little scholarship or writing on this subject. Most literature on the problems of progressive third parties focuses on well known, extreme institutional obstacles that exist at higher electoral levels, where it is virtually impossible to win. However, such tremendous barriers donѓ??t exist in many races for lower level office. Here, ballot and financial requirements are much less stringent; the ѓ??spoilerѓ?ќ effect operates less often because many lower level races involve only one major party opponent; and overt media bias is less important because media coverage of these races is comparatively infrequent. In sum, it is unclear why progressive third party candidates donѓ??t win lower level elections more often and how this can be changed. The presentations on this panel will address that mystery. Presenters will include both those who've studied the problem and those who have relevant experience as progressive third party candidates at the grassroots level.

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LA
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From his perch at City Hall and with the aid of both imperial wealth and an often imperious personality, Mayor Bloomberg has pushed a vision for the city that has charmed the chattering classes and confounded critics. What is the Bloomberg legacy and what progressive possibilities exist in the most unequal city in America? A conversation based on a special issue of The Nation. Featuring Doug Henwood, Kim Phillips-Fine, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Josh Freeman and The Nation's Executive Editor, Betsy Reed.

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LA
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Congressional oversight is the hallmark of democratic accountability, and the assassination of President Kennedy marked the nullification of democracy. Senator Feinstein's recent revelations about CIA's most recent violations of separation of powers and subversion of congressional oversight
demonstrates history repeating itself, and confirms it is no aberration. The publication of the Warren Report in Sep 1964 marked the onset of a steep decline of trust in American institutions, a mistrust that continues to corrode American politics. We now know the last official investigation into the President's assassination by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979 was infiltrated and subverted by CIA, and that irreconcilable conflicts of interest were kept secret from the Committee. Lack of transparency and withholding government records undermines faith in government and Democracy itself. Thousands of pages of JFK Assassination-related documents, intended to have been released decades ago, remain withheld by CIA, and a major focus of this panel will be to expedite their release. Public pressure to declassify these 50-plus year old documents is desperately needed. The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), founded in 1984, is a non-profit organization comprised of leading lawyers, scientists, doctors and historians, and is dedicated to this effort. We request the help of the public.

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LA
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American patriotic culture has often stifled, if not outright suppressed, radical voices and movements. The left, as a tradition of political critique problematizing American assumptions about history, identity, and community, has been especially vulnerable to the charge of anti-Americanism. Moreover, many of the left’s most important intellectual and political traditions—transcendentalism, anarchism, Marxism, and cosmopolitanism—offer criticisms of nation-state centered forms of democratic politics, and at least implicitly encourage dissent from patriotism. And yet, American radicals have always sought to reconstruct patriotism to deepen American democracy, often with considerable success: many of the ideas and institutions now considered unproblematic features “the American way” began as radical notions purveyed by a reviled left. Thus, a perennial challenge for left politics has been to simultaneously engage and subvert the ideology of Americanism. In this panel, we invite activists, educators, artists, and critics, all of whose work uniquely opens up spaces for challenging American national identity, to explore with us the historical, theoretical, and political dimensions of the left’s entanglement with American nationhood.

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LA
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This workshop will be conducted by the newly formed Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA, an organization composed of journalists, attorneys, researchers, medical professionals, forensic pathologists, and others dedicate to investigating major political assassinations in the United States, and applying pressure through persuasion and legal action to promote an end to government secrecy with respect to these cases and substitute a new policy favoring transparency. This includes a commitment by the National Archives, other government agencies, and Congress to enforce the provisions of the "JFK Records Act" requiring expedited declassification of the more than 100,000 pages of JFK assassination-related records that remain classified more than 50 years after the assassination. Expert presenters (to be announced) will address the state of the evidence, the role of the media, and our Freedom of Information (FOIA)law suits regarding the JFK and other politicasl assassinations.

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LA
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What is the historical role of social democracy? Will his supporters be herded into voting for Hilary or will they find another alternative?