Congressman Al Green is Serious About Trump Impeachment

New Orleans   Before you say anything, let me be clear. We’re big Al Green fans. Huge, simply, huge! Houston’s Democratic Congressman Al Green has been our go-to-guy for the last dozen years, whenever Local 100 United Labor Unions or ACORN needed help on anything, anytime. When there was a resolution in Congress to ban ACORN, Al Green wasn’t voting for it, even as many of our friends folded like cheap suits. When ACORN International wanted a delegation of Korean mayors and legislators to meet a Congressman, who do you think agreed to meet them? Al Green, that’s who. When Local 100 has a leadership conference anywhere within shouting of Houston, and sometimes even in New Orleans, who has keynoted unfailingly? Yes, Al Green. When we needed help to fight for better remittance policies and against payday lending, Green took our cause to the House Financial Services Committee. He brought us to his office to discuss a national living wage bill and an increase in the federal minimum wage. He represents Houston, but was born and raised in New Orleans. Don’t ever tell me that we don’t support Congressman Al Green.

So, were we surprised when Al Green took the floor of the House of Representatives and formally offered Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump? Heck no, he had told us last June in Houston that he was going to ask that Trump be impeached then. It was just a matter of time, and the time had obviously come. Al Green had had enough.

The Washington Post catches the weight and drama of Green’s move:

Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) came to the House floor at 12:13 p.m… to offer articles of impeachment under special House rules requiring a floor vote; he returned to the floor at 1:34 to force that vote. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a motion to table the resolution, which was adopted on a 364 to 58 vote. Every lawmaker who opposed the motion was a Democrat, as were four others who voted present.

The top two House Democrats both voted to table the resolution after coming out against Green’s effort shortly before the House voted.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a joint statement opposed Green’s push, though they stopped short of calling on Democrats to vote to kill it.

 

The leadership’s argument was to keep working hard to oppose Trump initiatives and to let the special counsel proceed with investigations into Russian collusion in Trump’s election. They had made the argument before, and Green was not to be dissuaded this time.

So, sure, it’s also not a surprise that he got beaten, but he got 57 other recorded votes besides his own for articles of impeachment, and that’s something, even if 12% is a long way from a majority. Don’t tell me that Mister Hypersensitive in the White House didn’t notice that as well. Win or lose, it’s not a good day in the West Wing when there’s a vote to impeach you for malfeasance in office.

Notice has been served, and, we know Congressman Al Green, so trust us, this is serious, and he’s not going away, so someone in the White House better straighten their act up and do it ASAP.

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Facebook Could be a Powerful Organizing Recruitment Tool, If We Could Afford

New Orleans   There was an intriguing and in some ways unsettling piece in the New York Times recently about the growing power of Facebook and friends called “The Ads That Know Everything” by Burt Helm. The title of the piece in the online version lowered the “fright” index by calling it “How Facebook’s Oracular Algorithm Determines the Fate of Start-Ups.” No matter how they cleaned it up, trust me, it’s both compelling and scary.

True enough, the story was centered around a couple of buddies who ended up taking a deep dive into Facebook to create a multi-million dollar business. The heart of the piece was about the power of the Facebook algorithm matched to the vast billions of people on its platform and its ability to match smaller and smaller subsets of like-minded people or characteristics to sell stuff. Much the same could be said for Google’s work, but a social network is a social network, and one that sells stuff between friends and followers is crack to businesses.

No news there, right? But, as the Russians, hate groups, the women’s march, and #MeToo have all shown, it is also a way to combine people in affinity groups, and as sales are to businesses, recruitment of new members or activists is to mobilizations and organizations. By the time I read the piece my partner, a veteran community organizer, had pockmarked the article with scores of underlined passages and notes.

No news there either, right? Many leads in opening new countries for ACORN International have begun when I’ve received a random Facebook message over the transom of my own page. Our British affiliate has excelled in using Facebook’s public and private groups to recruit new members, especially in the Bristol area where they immediately visit, and usually sign up, any new “likes” their site.

The interesting takeaway from the Times article was how quickly one could scale the organizing if an organization had the resources to do similar experiments with the recruitment pitches and was all over it like “white on rice.” In fact, I’m sure there are large nonprofits, especially among the deeper pocketed groups like Planned Parenthood or some of the enviros that have digital organizers who use similar strategies to recruit donors or perhaps members as well. If there were unions willing to recruit general membership in the United States like there are in some cases in the United Kingdom, they could still probably finance the ad buys and constant feeding capacity to identify and recruit new members. Political campaigns like those run by Sanders, Trump, and Clinton probably were all over this technology. I don’t know for a fact that any of them are doing so, but they certainly have the opportunity following the same trail-and-error methodology to build a mass base of support.

There’s a huge opportunity here to build a mass organization if one coupled social networking recruitment with a real program and direct action involvement to build power. It was hard to escape the conclusion as I read the article that it could be done, and even done globally, but it would take real vision and patience combined with very deep pockets ready to feed Facebook and its friends.

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Please enjoy Khruangbin’s Maria Tambien.

& All That We Are by Haneen.

Thanks to KABF.

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