Tag: Organizing

Tweet of the Day

cheerily walking into the HOA meeting with this handy guide pic.twitter.com/wHXYx4xVtb

— womanfredo tafuri (@mcmansionhell) July 1, 2020

As an FYI, the section reproduced by the tweeter is from a World War II vintage OSS manual on sabotage, specifically,  sections 11 and 12 of the OSS’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual.

Using this at a HOA meeting is the most appropriate use of the dark arts ever.

I Would Suggest Changing Your Name to Rectal Bleeding, or Pedophile, or Alex Jones

It appears that, because of the poor reputation of their members, American Cable Association changing its name to America’s Communications Association

Kind of like when Comcast became Xfinity, or when Blackwater became Xe became Academi, or when Nazis became the Alt-Right.

When your behavior is so reprehensible that you have to change your name, perhaps you should be looking at something more substantial than just changing the optics:

Cable lobbyists don’t want to be called cable lobbyists anymore. The nation’s top two cable industry lobby groups have both dropped the word “cable” from their names. But the lobby groups’ core mission—the fight against regulation of cable networks—remains unchanged.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) got things started in 2016 when it renamed itself NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, keeping the initialism but dropping the words it stood for. The group was also known as the National Cable Television Association between 1968 and 2001.

The American Cable Association (ACA) is the nation’s other major cable lobby. While NCTA represents the biggest companies like Comcast and Charter, the ACA represents small and mid-size cable operators. Today, the ACA announced that it is now called America’s Communications Association or “ACA Connects,” though the ACA’s website still uses the americancable.org domain name.

Seriously, there is a reason that everyone hates your clients .

God: 1 – Man Who Thinks that He is God: 0

Specifically, I am referring to Jeff Bezos.

It appears that Amazon has been forced into private negotiations in Minnesota, because they were f%$#ing with the state mandated prayer breaks for its Somali immigrant workers.

Normally, immigrants tend to be less demanding, and harder to organize, because they remember how things were back home, but when you try to go after their religion  ……… BOOM!!!

Soon after Hibaq Mohamed immigrated to Minneapolis from Kenya, where she had been living as a refugee, in 2016 she got a job at a new Amazon warehouse near the city. At first, she enjoyed packing boxes for delivery to consumers.

But over time, she said, Amazon required her and her co-workers to pack at a faster rate, at least 230 items an hour, up from 160. Ms. Mohamed, who is Muslim, said that Amazon let her take paid breaks to pray, as required by state law, but that her managers had told her that she still needed to keep pace.

“There is just pressure,” Ms. Mohamed, 24, said. “The people they don’t fire worry one day they will be fired.”

Ms. Mohamed and scores of East African colleagues, many of them, like her, born in Somalia, responded in an unusual way for Amazon workers: They organized to complain.

Now, tied together by a close cultural connection and empowered by a tight labor market, they appear to be the first known group in the United States to get Amazon management to negotiate.


Last week, Amazon offered some compromises at its facilities in the Minneapolis area. The company said it would require a general manager and a Somali-speaking manager to agree on any firings related to productivity rates, designate a manager to respond to individual complaints within five days and meet with workers quarterly.

Jeff Bezos’ tears are sweet.

Doing the Grunt Work

Chicago DSA is running members for Local School Councils! We are looking for poll watchers and phone bankers.

Poll watchers will be at schools to observe to make sure the elections are running correctly and fairly, and track voting commitments.

— Chicago DSA 🌹 (@ChicagoCityDSA) April 12, 2018

What you see here is a tweet that went out to Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members.

It is also a very good example of the sort of drudge work that needs to be done, and needs to be managed, in order for a political group to achieve success.

You don’t see a lot of small political groups doing this.

In fact, mainstream Democrats (I cannot speak to the ways of the Republicans) tend to let this slide an awful lot too, but this is precisely the sort of unglamorous, and quite frankly boring work that has to be done for a political movement to succeed.

I am not sure why the DSA seems to get this, and other groups (**cough** Green Party **Cough**) seem to have a phobia of pounding the proverbial payment, but it is one more reason to support the DSA.

They get the sh%$ done that needs to get done.

Today, I Wrote the Quote of the Day

At the Stellar Parthenon BBS, we are having a discussion about 2020, and there was a difference of opinion.

Basically, it came down to a bunch of us saying that the Democratic Party is f%$#ed up, and before the Presidential campaign begins in earnest, we need to correct the fundamentally dysfunctional structure and culture of the party before going there.

On the other side was one guy, who was shouting for all the “Bernie Bros” to shut up.

It went around and around, and finally said that his position was about:

Who would be the best general for the Polish cavalry, when they are still charging Panzers on horse back, is like the bite of a dog into a stone; it is a stupidity.

That whole dog/bone thing was actually from Friedrich Nietzsche, but the analogy was mine.

I know, it ain’t deathless prose, but it’s as close as I’ll ever get.

The Democratic Party Leadership Has a Message for the Base

As one wit so trenchantly noted, “The progressives needed to receive some kind of gesture. And they have received one: an enormous middle finger.”

Another poerson called this, “a suicide note,” for the party.

Keith Ellison lost the race for head of the DNC to Tom Perez:

The Democratic National Committee was bracing for a backlash if Thomas Perez won its chairmanship, and it got one. In the AmericasMart meeting room where Perez defeated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), nine protesters from Democracy Rising carried out the protest — chants of “party of the people, not big money” as Perez and outgoing interim DNC chair Donna Brazile gritted their teeth. Writers on the left, including Nathan J. Robinson, Matt Bruenig and Corey Robin, were quick to ask whether the Democratic establishment had a death wish.

The answer is not that the Democratic Party Establishment has a death wish, but rather that they were following the Iron Law of Organizations Institutions, which states that power WITHIN an organization will be pursued at the even at the expense of the power OF that organization.

In another calculated f%$# you directed at the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, the DNC also voted down a ban on corporate and lobbyist donations, becase they just had to twist the f%$#ing knife.

The best summary of what happened is this:

Before this gets turned into another thing where the establishment Democrats posture as the reasonable adults victimized by the assaults of those left-wing baddies, let’s just be very clear about what happened here. It was the establishment wing that decided to recruit and then stand up a candidate in order to fight an internal battle against the left faction of the party. It was the establishment wing that then dumped massive piles of opposition research on one of their own party members. And it was the establishment wing that did all of this in the shadow of Trump, sowing disunity in order to contest a position whose leadership they insist does not really matter.

It should be noted that in terms of publicly stated positions, there was not a whole lot of difference between Perez and Ellison, but there is one that was VERY important, though it is sort of inside baseball.

Specifically, Perez expressly eschewed putting some distance between the DNC and the multi-million dollar consultants strip mining the party:

The DNC is going through an existential crisis, being at its weakest state since 1920.  This is not the Democrats’ first existential crisis, though. In 2005 the DNC members were at war with national consultants who they claimed were sucking up the resources of the party. It was that year when Vermont Governor Howard Dean won and enacted his 50 state strategy. But it came with a fight over resources, contracts and state funding. And while the 2017 DNC elections have been billed as the Bernie vs. Hillary or the progressives vs. establishment fight, it is actually the 2005 fight over funding, on steroids.

It’s become a common statement over the past few months: The Democrats have raised more money than ever and lost more seats than ever (1,000+ seats nationwide since 2009). They had an elaborate convention, beautifully crafted marketing, what was praised as the most sophisticated data operation to date and teams of veteran campaign strategists working in what was supposed to be the easiest Presidential race in recent history. But around 9:45pm ET on Nov 8, it was clear that the house of cards was on the verge of collapse. And that by the next day, the DNC would have to not just answer how they lost the Presidency and so many other races, but: Where did all that money go?

Former Chair Candidate, NH State Chairman Ray Buckley broke the news during the Phoenix DNC forum that as an executive member he had never seen the budget — and that most leaders at the DNC, as well as all of the members, had no idea where the record amount of money raised was being spent. When the DNC Chair candidates debated over whether the party should accept lobbyist money (which was banned under Obama’s administration), Buckley stated “the question should not be about whether we need the lobbyist money, but rather where we’ve spent all this money we’ve raised.”


Several DNC members have privately disclosed that they received calls on behalf of Tom Perez from Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, a partner of Precision Strategies and former Executive Director of the DNC when the OFA was housed within it. Dillon is also a Co-Chair of the upcoming Unity Commission, forged out of the 2016 rules committee. The goal of the Unity commission is to set the DNC’s new rules.

Members have repeatedly discussed the frustration with the conflicts of interests within the Democratic party. For Dillon — whose firm received $571,573 from HFA and $593,397 from the DNC, totaling almost $1.2 million — having a seat as a co-chair of the DNC’s rules committee, raises red flags.

One DNC member voting for Mayor Pete Buttigieg stated, “When a firm with a large contract with the DNC co-chairs the new rules committee and makes calls on behalf of a DNC candidate, you can’t help but wonder whether Perez’s interests lie with the DNC members or if he’s cut a deal to keep the contract with Precision.”


Today, it is openly acknowledged by many members that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were running an operation together. In fact, it doesn’t take much research beyond FEC filings to see that six of the top major consulting firms had simultaneous contracts with the DNC and HRC — collectively earning over $335 million since 2015. (This does not include SuperPACs.)

One firm, GMMB earned $236.3 million from HFA and $5.3 from the DNC in 2016. Joel Benenson, a pollster and strategist who frequents cable news, collected $4.1m from HFA while simultaneously earning $3.3 million from the DNC. Perkins Coie law firm collected $3.8 million from the DNC, $481,979 from the Convention fund and $1.8 million from HFA in 2016.

And, it would be irresponsible of me to not note that by a simple glimpse of FEC filings, former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and some of her senior staffers remained on payroll with the DNC until December, well past she resigned on July 25, 2016.

What does this all mean? The DNC, which lacks an open budget, has been allocating dozens multi-million dollar contracts without accountability from its members and leadership. The money, of course, did not go into state parties and organizing, and the majority of members I’ve interviewed expresses resentment and frustration.

But as we approach the DNC vote on Saturday, the question over conflicts of interests remaining in the party, is a priority. When I asked Sec. Tom Perez during an interview whether he’d ban conflicts of interests, he answered “The people I talk to want to build a Democratic party that works for everyone…. We have a big tent in the Democratic party.” Secretary Perez, a civil rights attorney surely knows that conflicts of interests would be alarming when presented in a court room. How can a party that condemns Trump’s vast conflicts continue to allow those with millions of dollars in consulting contracts with the national party be in leadership positions at the DNC and/or be voting members. Who controls whom?


At a time when the Democratic party is hemorrhaging members nationally and experienced eight years of crushing losses, many are questioning how a few consulting firms could continue their lobbying for national contracts. Some answer: just raise more money to send to the states. But it’s not just that these national contracts are expensive, it’s that the consultants’ track records are horrifying.

(emphasis mine)

Corrupt AND incompetent is a toxic brew, and I’m depressed enough to consider going to a Democratic Socialists of America meeting.