fresh voices from the front lines of change







Health Options

Are Democrats becoming the single-payer party? NYT: “At rallies and in town hall meetings, and in a collection of blue-state legislatures, liberal Democrats have pressed lawmakers, with growing impatience, to support the creation of a single-payer system, in which the state or federal government would supplant private health insurance with a program of public coverage. ”

California passes single-payer health care proposal, but it’s already facing an uphill battle. Salon: “The California state Senate passed a single-payer health care proposal on Thursday, but the bill has a long road ahead and the state must still determine how to bear the costs… If the bill comes into is ever made into law, California would become the first state in the U.S. to enact universal health care coverage.”

Obama unwittingly handed Trump a weapon to cripple health law. NYT: “Obama administration officials knew they were on shaky ground in spending billions of dollars on health insurance subsidies without clear authority. But they did not think a long-shot court challenge by House Republicans was cause for deep concern… the uncertain status of the cost-sharing payments now looms as the biggest threat to the stability of the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.”

Bridges and Tunnels

Trump plans week-long focus on infrastructure, starting with privatizing air traffic control. WaPo: “President Trump will seek to put a spotlight on his vows to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system and spur $1 trillion in new investment in roads, waterways and other infrastructure with a week-long series of events… Trump’s plans next week also include a trip to the Ohio River, where it separates Ohio and Kentucky, to talk about the importance of waterways… the president will also welcome a bipartisan group of mayors and governors to Washington to discuss the topic and venture to the Transportation Department to talk about roads and railways.”

Free Speech?

Pro-Trump “free speech” rally In Portland is a flash point between opposing groups. NPR: “Portland is one of the West Coast’s most liberal cities. But the murders last week really changed the atmosphere here. The suspect in the murders had attended Gibson’s last rally. And during his arraignment this week, he sort of parroted language that the alt-right uses shouting free speech or die and death to anti-fascists. And so that made this particularly sensitive.”

White House tells federal agencies to ignore information requests from Democrats, FOIA. Politico: “Hill Democrats are outraged by a new Trump administration policy to ignore information requests from members and senators unless they come from committee or subcommittee chairman… This effort is sometimes being aided by Republicans on Capitol Hill, or undertaken at their behest. For instance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has asked federal agencies to refuse to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests designed to find out what data his panel is seeking from those agencies.”

Hope Springs

Voter suppression just had a bad night in Texas. ThinkProgress: “Texas could have fought for their 2011 law in the Supreme Court, and there’s a very good chance that the state would have won. Instead, the state elected to take a partial loss rather than pushing on for a full victory. It’s unclear whether it will retain that posture if the Supreme Court eventually does legalize new forms of voter suppression. For the time being, however, Texas’ efforts to suppress the vote are hobbled, if not entirely dead.”

ACLU sues South Carolina county for arresting and jailing people too poor to pay court fines. Daily KOS: “Thursday’s lawsuit, filed on behalf of five indigent plaintiffs… alleges that Lexington County has been engaging in the equivalent of modern-day “debtors’ prison” practices: issuing arrest warrants for people who are unable to pay court fees or court-ordered fines for minor infractions like parking tickets, and jailing them without offering them lawyers or determining whether they have the ability to pay in the first place.”

More from

Is Britain Also Feeling the Bern? Bob Borosage: “Bernie Sanders is in England for sold-out speaking engagements to boost Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s candidate for prime minister in the snap election scheduled for June 8. Corbyn is surging in British polls, and running a populist campaign that pledges radical economic reform. What Corbyn and Sanders’s surge – and the victory of Donald Trump on the right – demonstrate is that people in large numbers are looking for and open to bold alternatives, even ones that challenge the shibboleths about big government and the genius of markets.”

Workers Want a Green Economy, Not a Dirty Environment. Leo Gerard: “From terrible experience, Pittsburghers know about pollution. Before the city’s renaissance, the streetlights Downtown frequently glowed at noon to illuminate sidewalks through the darkness of smoke and soot belched from mills… The streetlights never switch on at noon in Pittsburgh anymore. The Cuyahoga River now supports fish that live only in clean water. But the United States remains the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas polluter; it has an obligation to lead the world in combating climate change. Great leaders don’t shirk responsibility.”

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