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Trump "Bad For Workers," Says AFL-CIO's Trumka

Labor leader hits Trump over lack of support for working class. Politico: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka came down hard on President Donald Trump on Sunday morning over what Trumka called a lack of progress in supporting America’s working class. 'We said when [Trump] was elected that when he did something good for workers, we’d support him. When he did something bad for workers, we’d oppose him,' Trumka said on 'Fox News Sunday.' At this point in his presidency, Trump has not done enough for America’s workers, Trumka said. In terms of the upcoming midterm elections and even the 2020 presidential election, Trumka said, 'It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about electing candidates who will protect the working people of this country.' However, he added that workers are ultimately more likely to see progress from Democrats because 'unfortunately, the reality is Democrats support working people more than Republicans.'"

Trump Wants New $100b Giveaway To Rich

Just hours after ordering pay cut for millions of public workers, Trump proposes $100 billion gift to richest 1 percent. Alternet: "Hours after he launched yet another "direct attack" on workers by canceling a modest pay raise for around two million federal employees, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday that he is considering a regressive and possibly illegal plan to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation. 'There are a lot of people that love it and some people that don't,' Trump said of the plan, which would disproportionately reward the top 0.01 percent of Americans. 'But I'm thinking about it very strongly.' Trump's Oval Office interview with Bloomberg came shortly after the president announced in a letter to congressional leaders that he is freezing a planned 2.1 percent pay increase for federal workers just ahead of Labor Day, claiming that 'federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.'"

Detained Immigrants Join National Prison Strike

Strike at an immigration detention center strengthens the national prison strike movement. ThinkProgress: "'It's all slavery,' an organizer said, comparing ICE detention centers and prison. Across the United States, prisoners are going on strike, and so are undocumented immigrants being held in detention centers. As of Friday, there were 62 people on strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Takoma, Washington, activists told ThinkProgress. On Saturday, organizers held a rally near the detention center, demanding an end to what they called retaliation by staff against the people held there. The demonstrations, which began on August 21 and will continue until September 9, have been held in prisons in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, Florida, and Texas, according to the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Some incarcerated people are refusing to work and others are refusing to eat. They have 10 national demands, including paying prisoners the prevailing wage in their state, better prison conditions, funding for more rehabilitation services, and rescinding the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which critics say made it harder for detained individuals to advocate for themselves."

Federal Judge Refuses TX Request To End DACA

Federal judge refuses to invalidate DACA. The Hill: "A federal judge in Texas on Friday denied the state's request to invalidate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying the state had waited too long to file the suit and the results of ending the program now could harm the public. The judge, however, did predict that a challenge to DACA will eventually be successful in front of the court, saying the program is likely illegal. 'The Court did not grant the preliminary injunction as it found that the States had delayed seeking this relief for years, that the balance of private interests fell in favor of the denial of the requested relief, and that implementing the relief at this point in time was contrary to the best interests of the public,' District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled. 'This Court found that injuries would occur to the Plaintiff States if the injunction was denied, but denied the injunction because it found that the injuries that would occur to the Government and the Defendant-Intervenors if the injunction were granted would be more profound and significant,' he added."

AZ Supreme Court Blocks School Funding

Arizona Supreme Court blocks ballot measure raising school funding. NYT: "In a major blow to the national protest movement against classroom budget cuts and stagnant teachers’ salaries, the Arizona Supreme Court blocked a ballot initiative Wednesday that would have increased taxes on the wealthy to help raise money for schools. Teachers, unions and activists have shifted their focus to the ballot box in recent months, after educators in six states walked out of their schools this year. Among their biggest targets was proudly libertarian Arizona, where proponents gathered far more signatures than the number necessary to put the tax initiative, called Invest in Education, on the ballot. The court said, however, that the wording of the proposition could have confused voters about the extent of the proposed tax increase, in part because of questions about whether taxpayers’ income levels would be adjusted for inflation. The measure would have raised $690 million annually for education. 'This is absolutely stunning, and it denies citizens and teachers what they fought so hard for — the opportunity to fund our students and schools,' Noah Karvelis, a music teacher and one of the leaders of the Arizona walkout, said in an email. 'Over 270,000 signatures were just thrown out by the court.' 'This is not the end of our fight, by any means,' he added."

'Incivility' Debate Masks U.S. Slide Into Authoritarianism

Are the politics of 'incivility' paving the road to an American fascism? Salon: "What happens to a democracy when justice loses its mooring as a democratic principle, and can no longer be a moral guidepost, let alone a central organizing principle of politics? What happens to rational debate, civic culture and the common good? There is more at issue in the discourse of 'incivility' than ideological obfuscation and a flight from social responsibility on the part of the dominant classes. There is the reality of Trump’s language of violence and hate, which labelling “uncivilized” will only serve to reproduce existing modes of domination and concentrated relations of power. Removed from the injuries of class, racism and sexism, among other issues, the discourse of incivility reduces politics to the realm of the personal and affective, while canceling out broader political issues such as the underlying conditions that might produce anger, or the dire effects of misguided resentment, or a passion grounded in the capacity to reason. Trump is reduced in this case to a rude clown rather than a dangerous authoritarian who now happens to be in control of the most powerful nation on the planet. As Benjamin DeMott has similarly pointed out, the discourse of incivility does not raise the crucial question of why American society is tipping over into the dark politics of authoritarianism. On the contrary, the question now asked is “Why has civility declined?” Tied to the privatized orbits of neoliberalism, this is a discourse that trades chiefly in promoting good manners, the virtues of moral uplift and praiseworthy character, all the while refusing to raise private troubles to the level of public issues. The elitist call to civility also risks collapsing the important difference between just anger and malevolent rancor, dismissing both as instances of faulty character and bad manners. America has become a country motivated less by indignation, which can be used to address the underlying social, political and economic causes of social discontent, than by a galloping culture of individualized resentment, which personalizes problems and tends to seek vengeance on those individuals and groups viewed as a threat to American society."

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Labor Day: 24 Hours When Workers Are Human. Leo Gerard: "Labor Day recognizes the humanity of workers. It commemorates their year-long efforts with time off dedicated relaxation, family, friends, and barbeques. There’s no holiday for robots, raw materials, or the energy that animates the machines of manufacturing. Because, of course, they’re not human. Somehow, though, business schools and the corporate executives they spit out have lumped workers together with robots and raw materials as “inputs,” as if laborers aren’t human. That makes it easier for CEOs in ungodly profitable corporations to deny workers raises. U.S. CEOs and shareholders can seize for themselves all the gains produced by faceless inputs. And that’s what they’ve done. Republicans gave corporations a massive tax break this year with the promise that executives would share those gains with workers, to the tune of $4,000 to $9,000 raises each. But corporations didn’t use that money for raises. Instead they bought back record amounts of their own stock, boosting the market to all-time highs, making the rich richer, while workers’ wages actually declined when inflation was factored in. This has been going on for decades, with workers’ wages flat since 1973. What this means to workers in the richest country in the world is that 23 percent of American households struggled to feed family members at some point last year."

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