fresh voices from the front lines of change







Rural Communities Step Up For Immigrant Families

Why it's time to show more compassion for immigrant families. Des Moines Register: "The Trump administration says that ICE is supposed to target criminals and violent offenders. But we’re not seeing violent criminals being removed from our towns. We’re seeing mothers, fathers and families being targeted, detained by ICE, and deported for no other reason than traveling thousands of miles and risking their lives to work and give their families a better, safer life. We have abandoned our basic values and don’t want to deal with it. That is wrong. No Iowan should hide from this issue. It’s time to demonstrate compassion in the heartland so we can change minds and form policies that keep families whole and thriving no matter where they come from, their color, or language they speak."

Court Orders Changes To Stop Abuse Of Migrant Children

Federal court orders broad changes in how US detains and treats migrant children. CNN: "A federal court judge in California on Monday ordered the US government to make immediate changes to how it treats undocumented immigrant children it has placed in secure facilities. The court's orders ranged from very specific demands, such as to get informed consent or a court order before giving children psychotropic medications at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas, to sweeping orders requiring the government to stop imposing conditions that have led to months of delays before it releases minors to parents or relatives. CNN previously reported on the wide-ranging abuses at Shiloh and other facilities described by children in sworn declaration in the case that led to Monday's order. These included cases of children being forcibly medicated, assaulted, and restrained for long periods of time, among other allegations. In her ruling, US District Court Judge Dolly Gee agreed that the government had violated terms of a high-profile settlement, reached in 1997, that dictates how children are treated within the system run by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)."

Trump Threatens Shutdown Over Border Wall

Trump’s shutdown threat upends congressional GOP plan to fund government. WaPo: "President Trump is threatening chaos to win concessions from Congress on his immigration demands, disrupting Republican leaders’ carefully scripted plan to avoid a politically disastrous government shutdown just weeks before the midterm elections. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) have laid out a strategy to fund more than half of federal agencies by Sept. 30, punting some of the more contentious fights — such as money for Trump’s long-sought U.S.-Mexico border wall — until after the elections. But the president’s conflicting signals — encouraging in private, hard-line in public — call into question whether the GOP leaders’ plan will succeed. 'If we don’t get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown,' Trump said Monday."

Mnuchin Pushes New $100b Tax Cut For Rich

Trump administration mulls a unilateral tax cut for the rich. NYT: "The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The Treasury Department could change the definition of 'cost' for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells. 'If it can’t get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we’ll consider that,' Mr. Mnuchin said, emphasizing that he had not concluded whether the Treasury Department had the authority to act alone."

Single Payer Health Saves Trillions, Kochs Admit

Kochs find "Medicare For All" would cut spending and raise wages Whoops. The Intercept: "A new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is making headlines for projecting that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 'Medicare for All' bill is estimated to cost $32.6 trillion — a number that’s entirely in line with 2016 projections, and is literally old news. But what the Associated Press headline fails to announce is a much more sanguine update: The report, by Senior Research Strategist Charles Blahous, found that under Sanders’s plan, overall health costs would go down, and wages would go up... the report actually yields a wealth of good news for advocates of Sanders’s plan — a remarkable conclusion, given that Blahous is a former Bush administration economist working at a prominent conservative think tank. Blahous’s paper, titled 'The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System,' estimates total national health expenditures. Even though his cost-saving estimates are more conservative than others, he acknowledges that Sanders’s 'Medicare for All' plan would yield a $482 billion reduction in health care spending, and over $1.5 trillion in administrative savings, for a total of $2 trillion less in overall health care expenditures between 2022 and 2031, compared to current spending."

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