fresh voices from the front lines of change







Adieu, L’Amerique

Trump departs for eight-day trip to Middle East and Europe. NPR:  “President Trump will try to leave his troubles behind as he departs on the first foreign trip of his presidency… Trump is visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, and it isn’t a coincidence. His advisers say he wanted to visit these three major religious centers to deliver a message of unity in the fight against terrorism… Europeans will make a big push to convince Trump that they are not getting credit for all the things they are doing to contribute to the (NATO) alliance… Trump will also meet the new French President Emmanuel Macron. Although Trump didn’t explicitly endorse his opponent Marine Le Pen, he clearly had an affinity for her nationalist ideas.”

CEOs of Dow, JPMorgan join Trump on Saudi trip. MLive: “Trump… will be joined by Dow Chemical Co. CEO and Chairman Andrew N. Liveris… Also expected to be there are Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Michael Corbat of Citigroup, James Gorman of Morgan Stanley, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and John Rice of General Electric… The Dow Chemical Co. and two other pesticide makers are pushing the Trump administration to “set aside” the findings of federal scientists who say organophosphates are harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. In addition, Dow wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite the president’s inaugural festivities.”

Payback Time

The Trump administration is trying to trick people into thinking it’s cracking down on Wall Street. Business Insider: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat in front of the Senate banking committee on Thursday… Mnuchin continually said the administration supported a ’21st-century Glass-Steagall’ — except for the Depression-era law’s defining aspect. “We do think there are potential things we could look at around regulation, but we do not support separation of banks and investment banks,” Mnuchin said.”

Rick Perry’s debut at Energy has been a bonanza for corporations and the Koch Brothers. Alternet: “As head of the Department of Energy—an agency he wanted to eliminate during his 2012 presidential bid… Perry seems to be welcoming climate-change deniers into his fold… At least three staffers from conservative, anti-clean energy think tanks now have roles in the Energy Department. This comes after Thomas Pyle, a former Koch Industries lobbyist, ran Trump’s transition team for the department.”

FCC votes to start rolling back landmark net neutrality rules. WaPo: “The move highlights the uphill battle for Democrats and consumer advocates, who say that weaker rules could allow Internet service providers to abuse their position as gatekeepers between customers and the rest of the Internet. The current net neutrality rules make it illegal for Internet service providers to block or slow down websites for consumers.”

What’s at stake in Trump’s push to rewrite NAFTA. WaPo: “The Trump administration on Thursday announced plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada – a move that could shake up business across the continent. U.S. and other companies… worry that their operations will be thrown into disarray by a major NAFTA rewrite — or if Trump follows through on threats to pull out of the deal altogether and impose big tariffs on Mexican imports.”

‘Unconscionable’ Wisconsin sheriff takes DHS job without Senate confirmation. Common Dreams: “Clarke told a Milwaukee radio show that he would be appointed as assistant secretary in the Office of Partnership and Engagement, where he will pressure local police departments to enforce President Donald Trump’s tough immigration rules. The post does not require Senate confirmation. His announcement comes just a month after a grand jury recommended charges against several staff members at one of Clarke’s Milwaukee jails, where an inmate with bipolar disorder died after he was deprived of water for a week.”

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Warren Skewers Mnuchin for Doublespeak on Breaking Up Banks. Lauren McCauley: “Calling his comments and attempted explanations both “bizarre” and “crazy,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a hearing on Thursday for backtracking on repeated promises by the Trump administration that it would support breaking up the big banks.”

Five Reasons Why Krasner Won. Lev Hirschhorn: “Larry Krasner was declared the winner of the Democratic Primary for District Attorney of Philadelphia. At his victory speech, the community organizers and activists who formed the backbone of his campaign cheered as Krasner said ‘this is not about a person… this is now and will always be about every person.’So what can progressives learn from Krasner’s win? Below are five reasons behind the victory; five lessons for organizing and winning in today’s political climate.”

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