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New Poor People’s Campaign Kicks Off 40 Days Of Protest

New Poor People’s Campaign echoes MLK in 1968, LA Times: “Hundreds of poor and low-wage workers, clergy and activists were arrested Monday outside the U.S. Capitol and at statehouses across the country as they kick-started a revival of the Poor People’s Campaign — the civil disobedience movement founded 50 years ago by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The 40 days of planned protests and other activities, organizers said, are intended to highlight the issues of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the societal cost of America’s military buildup. The idea is to lift poor people to the top of the nation’s agenda, disrupting the mainstream political conversation and jolting lawmakers, pundits and the 24-hour news cycle dominated by the Trump administration. A looming question, as organizers pledge to usher in one of the largest waves of nonviolent direct action in U.S. history, is whether the campaign’s message will gain traction.”

Primary Battles In PA, NB, ID, OR

Every May 15 primary election you should know about, briefly explained. Vox: “For national Democrats, the stakes are by far the highest in Pennsylvania — where some of Democrats’ best House pickup opportunities in the country will be on the ballot this fall, along with a governorship and US Senate seat they’ll have to defend. Idaho and Oregon, then, have competitive Republican primaries for governor, while Nebraska has one key US House seat Democrats are targeting, and one of the few Republican-held US Senate seats that will be on the ballot this fall.”

Left Challengers Take On Democratic Politics-As-Usual

A Democratic spring: 12 Left challengers take on the party establishment in 2018. In These Times: “The Left has sprouted an independent electoral infrastructure, including the formation of new groups like Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, Indivisible and Brand New Congress; the invigoration of existing political organizations like the Working Families Party; and a shift toward greater electoral engagement by groups like People’s Action and the Democratic Socialists of America. Another trend, propelled by Trump’s grotesque misogyny and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, is a surge in the number of women running for office. As of mid-April, 331 women had filed to run, easily beating the old record of 298, set in 2012. Of those, Democrats outnumber Republicans 248 to 83.”

EPA Cut Off Chemical Pollution Study

White House, EPA headed off chemical pollution study. Politico: “Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a “public relations nightmare,” newly disclosed emails reveal. The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails.”

DeVos Slashes Investigations Of Fraud By For-Profit Colleges

DeVos is sabotaging the Education Department’s investigation of for-profit colleges. NYT: “Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees. The unwinding of the team has effectively killed investigations into possibly fraudulent activities at several large for-profit colleges where top hires of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, had previously worked. During the final months of the Obama administration, the team had expanded to include a dozen or so lawyers and investigators who were looking into advertising, recruitment practices and job placement claims at several institutions, including DeVry Education Group. The investigation into DeVry ground to a halt early last year. Later, in the summer, Ms. DeVos named Julian Schmoke, a former dean at DeVry, as the team’s new supervisor.”

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