fresh voices from the front lines of change







Border Deal At Brink

Is the border wall deal in danger of falling apart? Politico: "Late last night, we started getting text messages that the border security deal was unraveling a bit as senior aides and lawmakers were drafting it. It seems as if the deal was announced a bit too early. They agreed on the big issues in principle, but as they put pen to paper, there were both critical issues and ancillary issues that were not yet solved. It's unclear how serious these problems are at this point. And, fair warning: These deals oftentimes fall apart a few times before they come back together. These problems might very well be solved. The difference is the government shuts down the day after tomorrow, and the House had wanted to vote on this deal this evening."

Dems Propose High-Capacity Gun Restictions

Democrats propose high-capacity gun magazine ban. CNN: "After a year without any significant gun legislation passed by Congress since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida, Democrats introduced a bill banning high-capacity gun magazines Tuesday, as the one-year anniversary of the massacre nears. The Democratic legislation, cosponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, would ban any magazine that exceeds 10 rounds of ammunition. The legislation, which has been dubbed the "Keep Americans Safe Act," currently has no Republican cosponsors, one of many obstacles that would stand in the way of it advancing. During a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the Democratic legislators described the bill as one step in a process of passing individual gun control measures instead of a big comprehensive package. "Guns become doubly and triply deadly in these massacres because of these high-capacity magazines," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. "And so if we take one simple step in approving this prohibition, we can literally save lives. There is no more simple, straightforward way to save lives from gun violence than to ban these high-capacity magazines." On an issue that has consistently failed to advance in Congress and that many Democrats from more moderate or conservative districts don't want to vote on, the proposal marks a significant development."

AOC, Pressley Protest For TPS Protections

Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley join protest for permanent TPS protections. ThinkProgress: "Hundreds of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and their allies braved cold, rainy weather to gather in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, to demand that the Trump administration take action on a path to citizenship for members of their community. Chanting “The people united will never be defeated” and “We are immigrants, not criminals,” demonstrators filled Lafayette Park, steps from the White House. Some spoke of their contributions to the country. 'We don’t ask anything from anybody,' Jose Palma, a 21-year resident of the United States and TPS holder from El Salvador, told the crowd in Spanish. 'We are not criminals […]. I work in industrial construction. My hands build tall, important buildings. We just want permanent residency.' Joining the demonstrators were two progressive members of the congressional freshman class, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Both women represent diverse communities and have constituents that could lose the lives they’ve built for themselves over the last few decades if they lose their TPS protections and are forced to leave the country. 'I will continue to fight so that the people who built this country will stay in this country,' Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd, wearing a TPS Alliance beanie. 'From Nepal to Honduras, the United States has made a promise that this country will be a safe haven.'"

Amazon May Give Up Some NY Incentives

An uncertain future for corporate tax breaks. Axios: "n the fall of 2017, Amazon made itself a fêted hero to towns and cities across the United States, celebrated for promising to create 50,000 new jobs paying some $100,000 a year in a lucky place that would host the company's second headquarters. Today, though, Amazon may be forced to give up at least some of the $3 billion in concessions it was granted in November to create some 25,000 jobs in New York City — or build its HQ2 somewhere else. Amazon is staring down a crisis of reputation: Its HQ2 search, launched in an era of public support verging on adulation, is now caught up in a very different epoch of popular unhappiness with the unchecked power of wealthy companies. Why it matters: The stink against bigness is spreading, with scholars, lawmakers and grassroots organizers decrying the same Big Tech companies that were once considered 21st century champions."

Trump Wants Socialism For The Rich, Capitalism For The Rest Of Us

Trump wants socialism for the rich, brutal capitalism for the rest of us. Common Dreams: "To the conservative mind, the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive. Yet that's exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are promoting for the rich. “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways. Since he was elected, GM has got more than $600 million in federal contracts plus $500 million in tax breaks. Some of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22m in total compensation in 2017 alone. But GM employees are subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019. To the conservative mind, the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive. Yet that’s exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are promoting for the rich. Meanwhile, most Americans are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in which they’re working harder but getting nowhere, and have less security than ever. They need thicker safety nets and deserve a bigger piece of the economic pie. If you want to call this socialism, fine. I call it fair."

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