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Kavanaugh Faces New Allegations, Dems Demand Delay

Senate Judiciary panel’s top Democrat calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing after new allegation. WaPo: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called late Sunday for a delay in further consideration of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct. ‘I am writing to request an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh,’ Feinstein (Calif.) wrote in a letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee’s chairman. Her letter came after the New Yorker magazine reported that Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, said he exposed himself at a party when they were both first-year students. Ramirez, who told the magazine that they both had been drinking at the time of the incident, acknowledged some gaps in her memory but said she remembered another student shouting Kavanaugh’s name. ‘I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,’ Ramirez said.”

National Walkout To Stop Kavanaugh Nomination

Nationwide walkout planned to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors as Ford reaches tentative deal to testify. Common Dreams: “Women and men across the country are planning a national walkout on Monday afternoon in a show of solidarity with sexual assault survivors, as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify regarding her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. More than three dozen progressive organizations—including NARAL Pro-Choice America, CREDO, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund—announced the event late Saturday, calling on survivors and allies to wear black on Monday and to walk out of their workplaces, schools, and homes at 1:00pm EST. Supporters will also be posting photos of their participation online with the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors. ‘Dr. Blasey Ford has bravely come forward with her story of sexual assault at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, despite knowing this will come at great cost to her life and her family,’ said NARAL in a statement. ‘Her willingness to testify in the face of relentless bullying, victim-blaming, and unfair Committee process by Republicans is yet another symbol of her courage and her willingness to speak her truth. She is not alone. Allies want her to know they have her back.’ By Sunday morning, more than 5,000 people had pledged to join the walkout as supporters spread the word on social media.”

WH Wants To Curb Legal Immigration

Trump’s dramatic new plan to label immigrants a ‘public charge.’ ThinkProgress: “Immigrants who utilize virtually all public benefits risk jeopardizing their ability to stay in the country under new rules announced by the Trump administration. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require immigration caseworkers to take into account a number of additional factors in considering applications for immigration visas (like work visas or family-based visas) or green cards (permanent residency). Immigrants who opt to use such benefits — even for U.S. citizen children — would be compelled to stop using the programs or risk being considered a ‘public charge,’ deeming them unqualified for legal residency. While this rule wouldn’t apply to immigrants who already have permanent residency, immigration advocates worry that many will forgo public benefits, like Section 8 housing or food assistance, out of fear of losing their status. The new rule, which was unveiled on Saturday, is part of a larger White House effort to reduce documented immigration, which the administration has not been able to push through Congress. By penalizing immigrant families for using public services under an obscure, century-old provision, the Trump administration is circumventing Congress to effectively cut work- and family-based immigration.”

The Grassroots Call To Ban Gerrymandering

A grassroots call to ban gerrymandering. The Atlantic: “Voters Not Politicians’ efforts have pushed Michigan, a swing state that swung to Donald Trump in 2016, to the forefront of the national movement to fight gerrymandering, the manipulation of election maps for partisan advantage. Michigan is the largest of four states voting in November on proposed changes to how voting districts are drawn after each census. A win in Michigan, one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation, could be a turning point for the growing effort to end partisan redistricting one state at a time. It won’t be easy. But Voters Not Politicians’ volunteer army, led by Fahey, has already taken its effort farther than the state’s political insiders thought possible. The crowd-sourced campaign held 33 town hall meetings in 33 days, wrote a ballot proposal to give redistricting powers to a citizens’ commission, and fanned out across Michigan with clipboards and petitions in hand. Last fall, Voters Not Politicians volunteers collected 425,000 petition signatures in four months to secure a spot on Michigan’s ballot—a rare feat, usually accomplished only by hiring paid signature gatherers. This fall they’re tackling a new set of challenges to redeploy their canvassers to get out the vote, fundraise for TV ads, explain a complex proposal, channel Democrats’ anger against Michigan’s Republican gerrymander, and convince Republicans to support their proposal as a swamp-draining reform. Despite the group’s pledge not to work for any party’s advantage, conservative opponents have already tried to label the campaign a stalking-horse for Democrats’ ambitions. But polls show it’s winning support across the political spectrum.”

Trump Wants Tax Cuts To Be Permanent

Trump Tax Plan 2.0 cements the worst economic policy in a generation. Truthout: “Hot on the heels of last year’s once-in-a-generation tax changes, House Republicans are pushing a new, extended plan to double down on their previous efforts, which primarily awarded tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy. The focus this time is on making permanent some individual tax provisions that were left temporary in the 2017 law. Like their predecessors from tax plan 1.0, these provisions disproportionately reward the richest 1 percent of Americans, and add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit while emptying public coffers. In a time of ever-worsening economic inequality, tax plan 2.0 reads as a resounding failure to bring about real solutions and doubles down on some of the worst policy decisions in a generation. Due to arcane Senate procedure and previous laws targeted at reducing the debt, proponents of the first tax plan had to limit its effects on the deficit after 10 years. Their solution was to have individual tax cuts – the same cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy – ‘sunset,’ or automatically end, before the 10-year mark, so that they could no longer contribute to projections of the deficit. Making the tax cuts temporary was never a desired policy goal for its proponents, though. The core of tax plan 2.0 is to make these cuts permanent.”

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