fresh voices from the front lines of change







OMB Promotes Military Spending, Civilian Cutbacks

OMB’s Mulvaney tells civilian agencies to stop spending. AlterNet: “The Trump budget for fiscal 2018, which begins in less than three months, proposed a $54 billion increase in what is already the world’s largest military budget… Mulvaney’s memo asserts that spending much more on the military and on Homeland Security, which has been tasked with rounding up and deporting as many noncitizens as possible, will spur economic growth. The description of what is worthwhile makes no mention of law enforcement except for immigration. No mention is made of the benefits of other policing. Trump’s OMB ‘looks forward to collaboratively working with agencies to help deliver the fiscal restraint necessary to achieve 3% economic growth over time,’ Mulvaney wrote.”

Moving Forward On Health Care

New poll shows nation moving left on healthcare, embracing Medicare for All. Common Dreams: “A new poll published on Thursday finds that a growing majority of the public is “shifting toward the political left” on healthcare and expressing support for a system that ensures coverage for all. The poll, conducted by the Associated Press in partnership with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, shows that 62 percent of public believes it is “the federal government’s responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage.”

It’s time for Democrats to stop defending Obamacare and start replacing it. BuzzFeed: “Liberals and leftists have spent the last few months fighting a rearguard battle to protect the Obamacare status quo against attacks from the right. But after the death of Republican efforts to overhaul the health care system, opposition forces should shift their focus to what’s next. Preserving Obamacare is not enough. The time has come for universal health care through a single public health insurer that covers everyone in the country.”

Team Trump used Obamacare money to run PR effort against it. Daily Beast: “The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it. The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.”

Court Blocks Sanctuary City Rollback

Judge refuses to remove block on Trump sanctuary city order. Reuters: “A U.S. judge on Thursday refused to revisit a court order that blocks President Donald Trump’s administration from carrying out a policy designed to threaten the granting of federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities. U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco ruled that a recent memo from the Justice Department that appeared to narrow the scope of Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities did not remove the need for a court-ordered injunction.

Team Trump’s Stumbles

Trump asks legal team about power to pardon aides, family, himself. Slate: “Trump himself has asked his legal team about his own power to pardon not just aides and family members, but also himself. This is the first explicit mention of Trump’s pardoning capacity and it should be noted it comes just days before Jared Kushner is set to testify before a closed-door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as the scheduled appearances of Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort.”

Trump officially nominates climate-denying conservative talk radio host as USDA’s top scientist. ThinkProgress: “Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign adviser and one-time conservative talk radio host, has no background in the hard sciences, nor any policy experience with food or agriculture. Still, that did not stop President Donald Trump from officially nominating Clovis to the position of the United States Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary of research, education, and economics, the agency’s top science position.”

Trump resorts seek visas for foreign workers. NPR: “The Trump Organization is asking the federal government for special visas to hire scores of foreign workers for two of President Trump’s private clubs in Florida… the request for foreign workers comes in the middle of ‘Made in America’ week at the White House. Trump, who has had his own line of ties manufactured overseas, says he wants U.S. companies to focus this week on ways to create more opportunities for American labor.”

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Budget Austerity Treats Public-School Parents Like Criminals. Jeff Bryant: “In the current environment of forced scarcity, public-school parents are not only treated like criminals in education budget battles, they end up picking up more of the cost of this public service, too.”

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