‘Lobbyists Are Here. Goldman Sachs Is Here. Where’s Labor? Activists?’ Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez Pull Back Curtain on Corporate-Sponsored Freshman Orientation
“One of the best parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s arrival in D.C. as a new leader is that she notices, and is revolted by, the corrupt, corporatist rituals that are so embedded in D.C. culture that most politicians and journalists barely notice them.”
By: Jake Johnson
Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly “bipartisan” orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard’s Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that—contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.
“Our ‘bipartisan’ congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. “Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where’s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”
Right now Freshman members of Congress are at a “Bipartisan” orientation w/ briefings on issues.
Invited panelists offer insights to inform new Congressmembers‘ views as they prepare to legislate.
# of Corporate CEOs we’ve listened to here: 4
# of Labor leaders: 0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 6, 2018
Tlaib, for her part, called attention to a speech by Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs president who left his post as President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser earlier this year.
According to Tlaib, Cohn condescendingly told the freshman members, “You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played.”
“No, Gary,” Tlaib responded, “you don’t know what’s coming—a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits.”
Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: "You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played."
No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits. https://t.co/ZLML2qzAW6
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 6, 2018
Journalists and progressives were quick to praise both Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib for their commitment to transparency and their willingness to offer the public a behind-the-scenes look at the corporate-dominated event that typically goes entirely undiscussed by members of Congress and the press.
“One of the best parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s arrival in D.C. as a new leader is that she notices, and is revolted by, the corrupt, corporatist rituals that are so embedded in D.C. culture that most politicians and journalists barely notice them, let alone find them objectionable or odd,” noted The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald.
Others echoed Greenwald’s praise of Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, both of whom rejected corporate PAC during their campaigns and ran on platforms demanding bold progressive change:
AOC's twitter feed gives a fantastic insight into the entire process, and makes you realize how disconnected we usually are from what our reps are up to. Transparency is a great thing. https://t.co/QrXZcuaEWo
— Josh Olson (@joshuarolson) December 6, 2018
I cannot say enough how inspiring and illuminating it is to watch these women heading to the Hill and immediately puncturing gaping holes in the gilded, ossified norms that have prevented Congress from working for the people. https://t.co/KHiKTAMxfu
— Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant) December 6, 2018
“Democratic leadership signs off on these events,” observed Huffington Post reporter Zach Carter. “The new class isn’t having it.”
According to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP), which is hosting the orientation, the event is designed to give newly elected members of Congress “insights on governing from former elected office holders, current and former senior White House and administration officials, diplomats, economists, business leaders, lobbyists, and academics.”
Below is a list of speakers who are participating in the event. Conspicuously absent, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, are any representatives of organized labor, environmental groups, other public interest advocates, or anyone who could reasonably be considered a progressive:
- Hon. Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, former Secretary of Labor and Director of the Peace Corps
- Hon. Ash Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs
- Hon. Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans, IOP Visiting Fellow
- Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
- Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
- Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
- Gary Cohn, former Director of the National Economic Council
- Douglas Elmendorf, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School
- David Gergen, former Presidential adviser, Public Service Professor of Public Leadership, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
- Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & JohnsonThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Choosing #PeoplesOrientation, Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez Protest Right-Wing Backed Event for New Members of Congress
“I was sent to Washington to fight, alongside all of my colleagues—to save and to improve lives,” declares Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley
By Jessica Corbett
A group of progressives elected to the U.S. House in November came together for a #PeoplesOrientation rally on Tuesday night, skipping out on a speech by Elaine Chao—the Trump administration’s transportation secretary and wife of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—at an orientation for new members of Congress.
“I was not sent to Washington to play nice.”
—Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley
While many incoming lawmakers participated in the supposedly bipartisan conference hosted by Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute for Politics and co-sponsored by the corporate think tank American Enterprise Institute, a group of high-profile progressives joined Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) at the outdoor event, organized by the Center for Popular Democracy and Boston-area Medicare-for-All advocates.
As Boston Globe columnist Nestor Ramos put it, “Some of the left’s rising stars—the first real glimmer of hope for progressive causes in about two years—staked out a strategy that doesn’t sound much like the bend-over-backwards-for-bipartisanship, please-sir-may-I-have-another Democrats who might as well have Republican footprints tattooed on their necks.”
Democratic representatives-elect who attended the rally included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Andy Levin (Mich.), Lori Trahan (Mass.), Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).
New House members Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Lori Trahan speak outside freshman orientation at the Harvard Kennedy School with state Representative-elect Liz Miranda #mapoli pic.twitter.com/MXg1rA3SoE
— Stephanie Murray (@StephMurr_Jour) December 4, 2018
Gathered in the cold on Tuesday night outside the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, Pressley reportedly told a crowd of students and activists, “I was not sent to Washington to play nice.”
“I was sent to Washington to fight, alongside all of my colleagues—to save and to improve lives,” she said, pointing to the significant wealth gap in the district she will soon represent and vowing to pursue the bold policies on which she ran, including legislation to strengthen gun control, mitigate the climate crisis, and implement Medicare for All.
.@AyannaPressley speaks outside AEI-backed conference for new members about the stark health inequities in a district that includes Harvard but also impoverished areas like Roxbury. pic.twitter.com/oatRoEw4C4
— Daniel Marans (@danielmarans) December 4, 2018
“I have no illusions about how hard it is to craft a forward-facing, lifesaving policy while we are fighting this administration at every corner,” Pressley added. “The people that elected me are looking for progress.”
“We refuse to put hope and aspiration and values on a shelf,” she declared. “This is why the Democrats won. This is why we’re in the majority,” noting that Democrats succeeded in flipping the House in the November midterms.
“I have no illusions about how hard it is to craft a forward-facing, lifesaving policy while we are fighting this administration at every corner.”
“I am so thankful that Ayanna is taking up this fight, because God knows we need it,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd on Tuesday. “We need to shake this nation awake.”
The New Yorker, whose primary upset against a top Democratic Party leader earlier this year immediately drew a national spotlight, also showed up for some Wednesday events planned by the Center for Popular Democracy, which has dubbed its collection of actions at Harvard this week the #PeoplesOrientation.
We’re out here with @Ocasio2018 to tell @Harvard to DIVEST and STOP USING HEDGEFUNDS THAT PROFIT From THE PAIN OF PUERTO RICANS! #PeoplesOrientation #PeopleBeforeProfits #PeopleOverProfits pic.twitter.com/natz6Ve3uq
— CPD Action (@CPDAction) December 5, 2018
For one event on Wednesday morning, activists delivered to Harvard’s president a letter demanding that the university divest from a hedge fund that is driving austerity and privatization in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Congress members are shown the true debts of greed at #PeoplesOrientation as students & activists deliver letter to @Harvard, demanding it divests from Baupost a hedge fund that owns millions in debt & is forcing Puerto Rico to struggle to rebuild. #cancelthedebt pic.twitter.com/CL7KJuETg4
— CPD Action (@CPDAction) December 5, 2018
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Talking Hendrix Goes A Little Bit Country with Charles Parker
This Friday Night On www.activatemedia.org
Even though host Ed Wrobleski is a well rounded music afficianado he is finally spreading his wings and getting a variety of musicians, singers and songwriters starting with Charles Parker and Chris Turner, .
Charles Parker has been a full time working Musician for over 20 years
Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland he portrays Paul Stanly in the group Cold Gin which is one of the Top 2 Kiss Tribute Bands in the World Recognized by Kiss themselves.
Charles Parker has owned 2 bar/ Nightclubs
Booked many major concerts including the Maryland State Fair
His New single independently written, “Say Goodbye” will be released in January 2019
His current single “Party Girls” was written by Charles and released to Country radio in April 2018 #73 MusicRow Country Breakout Chart
For up to the minute and current news on Charles go to his official website:
Chris Turner is a singer/songwriter from Ninety Six, SC and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Chris made his way
to Nashville in May 2010. ” Driving in on I-24, I can remember saying to myself, That’s a big town with a lot of people – where do I start”? Chris would soon learn that Nashville is the biggest, smallest town in the country. “Nashville is a town where everyone knows everyone. I was told early on be careful, because you never know who you are talking to.” Playing small restaurants and coffee shops with his guitar Chris started his journey. “I can remember performing in a cafe north of
town for two hours for two people. I made three dollars in tips that night. I still carry those three dollars in my guitar case to remind me of my first gig in town and how much of a reality check it was”. Since arriving in Nashville, Chris has cut two records “American Fighter” and “What I’m Talkin Bout”. Chris’ 3rd project the “American Made” EP is set to be
released August 2018 with his lead-off single from the project “If You Drink”. Chris’ highly energetic show has earned him opportunities to open for such acts as Aaron Tippin, Darryl Worley, Craig Campbell, Trent Tomlinson, Bucky Covington, Will Champlain, And Tracy Lawrence to name a few.
This is Wrobleski’s second show with country artists, first show was back in May with singer/songwriter Kim Richey, which turned out to be pretty well recieved by his listeners, not to mention that we all also know that Jimi hendrix was not just blues, jazz fusion, psychedelic rock…no no he was an all around accomplished well rounded musician so it is only right to have a little bit of eclectic flavor of all music genres in the show.
So don’t forget to tune-in on Friday night from 7-8 p.m. on:
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