This will be a new feature at The South Lawn, where we give you links and news to get informed. It is a big world out there; know what’s happening in it with The South Lawn’s Morning Links.
- The Texas Tribune covers veterans health care in the Rio Grande Valley, and the effects that the recently-signed Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 will have on ease of access to care.
- Another story from The Texas Tribune focuses on the state’s efforts to wantonly disobey federal laws and regulations on carbon emissions from its power plants. Just one of many reasons why real change in needed in Austin.
- The Texas Observer covers a town hall held by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi). His focus on “not being angry Republicans” shows just how much American politics has become about posturing at the expense of policymaking.
- Congratulations to Arkansas! They are the, according to the Washington Post, the best state in the nation when it comes to implementing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Lesson in contrasts? Mississippi.
- A fascinating article at Plos One (hat tip to KnoxViews) projects the changes to the urban landscape in the Southeast over the next 50 years, and uses that to discuss the changes in climate and ecosystems that could result. Great article for the data nerds among us (like myself).
- The Bitter Southerner is the greatest, and I really cannot praise it enough.
- Jacobin has an epic piece on its website about International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the radical union of the West Coast that now faces pressure from business — and other labor unions. A must-read for anyone that cares about solidarity and how it is breaking down under capitalistic assault.
- The New York Times has a piece up about undocumented immigrants and the brutal work for little pay that they do in agriculture in Upstate New York (hat tip to On Labor). The constant focus on “securing the border” means that these individuals are always at the bottom of the pile when it comes to policymaking. This is not accidental, nor is it partisan.
- Laura Clawson writes at Daily Kos Labor about a pregnant woman who was fired from Wal-Mart because managers refused to reassign her to do work that would not make her sick. Remember what you are supporting with your dollars whenever you decide to believe the hype about “low, low prices”.
- Labor Notes has a primer on chanting at labor demonstrations, and how they can be most effective.
- Two pieces from Sarah Jaffe: one on the founding of the so-called Women’s Equality Party in New York, and another on the continued criminalization of Black women by reactionary political forces.
- Rania Khalek reports at Electronic Intifada on the sacking of two top officials at the College Democrats of America over their opposition to the Israeli bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip. I know that the CDA is filled with the kind of soulless political apparatchiks who will one day grow up and tell Democratic politicians that cutting welfare is good and standing unequivocally with working people is bad, but this is crossing a line even for them. I would say that those who signed off on this should be fired forthwith, but we all know that is never going to happen.
- A thought-provoking piece from Joe Fantauzzi on why the term “progressive” just is not an accurate descriptor for those who left-of-center views anymore. For what it’s worth, I typically use the term “progressive” to describe left-liberals; those who desire social equality and justice, but only within the orientates of the capitalist system. So, basically, center-left folks and social democrats. The term I use is “leftist”, as it accurately describes what I am: a non-sectarian socialist.
- All Fired Up In The Big Smoke has a great series on Toronto City Council races that folks should be looking out for in the upcoming municipal elections on October 27th. Just search for the “Challengers To Watch” series.
- You can find a great primer on the Canadian pensions battle at Political Eh-conomy.
- The Guardian has a piece up where Ed Miliband, the leader of the UK Labour Party, emphatically states that the party will not allow an independent Scotland to keep the pound Sterling. Between this, the zeal for further cuts to social welfare spending, and the hesitance of Miliband and the Labour national executive to put forth a real plan to renationalize the rail industry, I am not sure that the Labour Party would be much better than the current Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition.
- The Irish Times reports on a major Republican march in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and how it was largely peaceful due to the heavy presence of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It shows how much things have changed since The Troubles — and how much they remain the same.
- The BBC is reporting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won Turkey’s first election where the people directly select the President of the Republic, rather than electing parliamentarians to select the President for them. A once-promising government that has turned dictatorial of late, I shudder at what this means for the right to engage in popular demonstrations and free speech in Turkey.