fresh voices from the front lines of change








Leo Gerard

How Big Corporations Take Your Tax Dollars

Big corporations claim to hate socialism if it means Medicare for All, but they sure as hell love socialism when it’s welfare for them. Sixty profitable corporations paid no federal taxes in 2018, twice the number that typically paid nothing in the years before the 2017 tax breaks took effect. In fact, it’s worse than that. Fifty-seven of these corporations demanded rebates from the government – which means taxpayers like you and me paid them to exist. These are corporations on the dole. Amazon, the online marketplace, made nearly $11 billion last year and instead of paying the current, low 21 percent corporate tax rate on that income, it demanded that taxpayers give it $129 million. Which they did. It wasn’t a rebate since Amazon paid no taxes. It was a big fat, gift withdrawn involuntarily from workers’ pockets, wrapped in a fuzzy, flocked Amazon smiley bag, and deposited directly into corporate coffers. This is perverse wealth transfer, from the poor and middle class to the rich and corporations. And taxpayers didn’t even get Amazon Prime in exchange.

Trump Stonewalls Congressional Subpoenas

Trump says he is opposed to White House aides testifying to Congress, deepening power struggle with Hill. WaPo: "President Trump on Tuesday said he is opposed to current and former White House aides providing testimony to congressional panels in the wake of the special counsel report, intensifying a power struggle between his administration and House Democrats. Trump said that complying with congressional requests was unnecessary after the White House cooperated with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference and the president’s own conduct in office. The White House made it clear that it plans to broadly defy requests for information from Capitol Hill, moving the two branches of government closer to a constitutional collision. On Tuesday, two White House officials said the administration plans to fight a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for former White House counsel Donald McGahn by asserting executive privilege over his testimony. Separately, the administration directed a former White House official not to comply with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee, prompting the panel to move to hold him in contempt of Congress. And the Treasury Department defied a second demand from House Democrats to turn over six years of President Trump’s tax returns. Taken together, the moves mark a dramatic escalation of tensions between the president and congressional Democrats — deepening a fight that may ultimately be resolved only by a protracted court battle."

IA's Longest-Serving Republican Leaves Party Over Trump

‘If this is the new normal, I want no part of it’: IA GOP Rep. dumps Trump. WaPo: "owa’s longest-serving Republican legislator, state Rep. Andy McKean, ditched the GOP on Tuesday as he offered a searing renunciation of President Trump, saying he could no longer support Trump as the party’s standard-bearer because of his “unacceptable behavior” and 'reckless spending.' McKean revealed he would join the Democratic Party, a decision he described as 'very difficult' after spending nearly a half-century as a registered Republican and 26 years in the legislature. But ultimately, he said, 'I feel as a Republican that I need to be able to support the standard-bearer of our party.' And 'unfortunately,' he said, he could not bring himself to support Trump. 'Unacceptable behavior should be called out for what it is,' he said during the news conference at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines, 'and Americans of all parties should insist on something far better in the leader of their country and the free world.'"

Trump Considered Sending Kids To Guantanamo

Trump reportedly considered detaining kids at Guantanamo. Common Dreams: "The Trump administration earlier this year reportedly considered detaining migrant children at Guantánamo Bay, the 17-year-old U.S. prison in Cuba that human rights advocates have condemned as a horrific stain on American history. 'The idea of incarcerating children at Guantánamo should send chills down the spine of anyone with a conscience,' Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) tweeted Tuesday. 'This is what happens when our president is so racist that he sees migrant children as an 'invasion' and not vulnerable children to be protected.' The Trump administration's proposal was first reported by the New York Times, which explained that Guantánamo 'has a dormitory facility that has been used in the past to hold asylum-seekers.' Officials with the Department of Homeland Security "examined" the plan earlier this year, the Times reported. According to the Times: 'While there were no 'immediate' plans to house migrant children at Guantánamo Bay, the Defense Department is attempting to identify military bases that might be used for that purpose.'"

Candidates Make Case For Reparations

The case for African American reparations, explained. The Conversation: "For the first time, most major Democratic presidential contenders are talking about whether the U.S. government should consider paying reparations to the descendants of African Americans who were enslaved and suffered from large-scale racial discrimination. At least three of these candidates, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, support the creation of a commission that would study the impact of slavery and the Jim Crow discrimination against black Americans that continued after emancipation. The commission would make recommendations about how to compensate black Americans for those injustices. The question of whether the U.S. government should compensate the descendants of enslaved and oppressed African Americans has never gotten this much attention. Even former President Barack Obama deflected this concept while he was in the White House. Now, this issue appears to be gaining traction."

Kushner To Unveil New Immigration Plan

Jared Kushner's "neutral" immigration plan. Axios: "In his private briefings on his yet-to-be-released immigration plan, Jared Kushner has told people his plan will be "neutral" on immigration numbers, multiple administration and Hill sources familiar with the proposal tell Axios. By neutral, Kushner says he means it will neither raise nor lower the overall number of legal immigrants coming into the U.S. Kushner has told Axios' sources, which includes a handful of Republican lawmakers, that he wants the plan to increase the numbers of high-skilled immigrants entering the U.S. and to decrease the number of immigrants coming based on their family ties. Kushner plans to turn his proposal into legislation and he told TIME’s Brian Bennett on Tuesday that he would present the plan to President Trump in the coming days. Kushner is describing a broad plan — covering legal and illegal immigration, addressing asylum laws, seasonal guest worker programs for farmers and the hotel industry, interior enforcement and border security. Most Republicans on the Hill have no idea what’s in the plan, and our sources that have been briefed, both in the administration and on Capitol Hill, still have only a vague idea of what the final plan will entail."

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