fresh voices from the front lines of change








Robert Borosage

In Search of a Green New Foreign Policy

As the 2020 presidential campaign gears up, progressives are forcing a serious and necessary reassessment of foreign policy. Just as they have clashed with the establishment over domestic issues, left-leaning candidates dispute both the "indispensable nation" fantasies of the liberal internationalists and President Donald Trump’s "America first" nativism. Though elaboration of a progressive foreign-policy alternative is still in its early stages, some lawmakers give reason for hope. Progressive candidates can expose Trump’s broken promise to end "stupid wars," while his bellicose advisers Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams scheme to enmesh us in a conflict with Iran or regime change in Venezuela. They can expose his global trade renegotiations as offering more sound than light. His embrace of more military spending and more tax cuts for the rich has simply trampled the promise to put America first. Exposing Trump’s foreign-policy grift is not only an opportunity; it’s a necessity. Progressives must address "America First" as the scam that it is and indict Trump’s dereliction of duty in the face of the world’s greatest danger. If they do, the evolving progressive agenda will help arm Democrats for the 2020 fight.

California Dems Back #NoMiddleGround

#NoMiddleGround goes viral as California Dems urge no compromise on Medicare for All, Reproductive Rights, and Bold Climate Agenda. Common Dreams: "Inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders's speech at the California Democratic Convention in California—in which the 2020 contender took a thinly veiled shot at fellow White House hopeful Joe Biden's centrist policy approach—progressives made the Twitter hashtag #NoMiddleGround go viral on Sunday in an effort to make clear that there can be no compromises when it comes to confronting the global climate crisis, providing healthcare to all as a right, and battling inequality. 'We have got to make it clear that when the future of the planet is at stake, there is no 'middle ground,'' Sanders said, in a clear reference to Biden's reported middle-of-the-road climate agenda. 'We will take on the fossil fuel industry and transform our energy system. When it comes to healthcare, there is no middle ground," Sanders continued. "When it comes to abortion, there is no middle ground. When it comes to mass shootings and the fact that 40,000 people were killed last year with guns, no middle ground.'"

Trump's Two-Front Trade War

Donald Trump’s two-front trade war just took a turn for the worse. ThinkProgress: "The Trump administration escalated its trade war with Beijing on Saturday as it began collecting higher tariffs on many Chinese goods arriving at U.S. ports, amid warnings from domestic manufacturers and retailers that the resulting higher prices will be pass directly to American consumers. U.S. officials began collecting 25% tariffs on many Chinese goods arriving in the U.S. on Saturday morning, the latest round in a series of tit-for-tat trade skirmishes between the world’s two largest economies. Trump announced last month that tariffs on $200 billion of goods arriving from China would rise from 10% to 25% and pledged to put levies on another $325 billion of Chinese imports at some point in the future. Meanwhile, the administration this week began threatening Mexico with tariffs, in an unusual gambit using international trade as a bargaining chip to force greater cooperation with the president’s stalled immigration policies. The double whammy of tariffs on China and Mexico raised the ire of investors, who expressed fears that Trump’s fiscal policies risk plunging the country into a downturn. Stocks finished down Friday after Trump’s announced threat on Thursday against Mexican goods shook Wall Street trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 335 points, or 1.4%, ending the day and week at 24,815."

Impeachment Debate Heats Up

Dems hope Pelosi’s resistance to impeachment will crack in June. Politico: "For the House’s growing impeachment caucus, June is shaping up to be the most critical month to make their case to a reluctant Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A month packed with subpoena fights, hearings on obstruction of justice and legal battles over Trump’s financial records is certain to provide fresh ammunition to grow the pro-impeachment ranks. 'The temperature’s rising, the plot is thickening. It’s hard for me to imagine Congress certainly leaving for the August recess without some closure on this,' said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who supports impeachment. 'The Hamlet act is, I think, wearing thin, and it’s becoming untenable and intellectually strange.' But Democrats eager to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump fear they’re running out of time to persuade Pelosi to change course before presidential politics consumes Washington. The House returns from a weeklong recess on Monday a few days after special counsel Robert Mueller ratcheted up pressure on lawmakers by emphasizing that Congress is the venue for holding a law-breaking president accountable. Mueller’s words — the first he uttered since the start of his two-year investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia and potential presidential obstruction — prompted a wave of House Democrats to endorse an impeachment inquiry."

Booker Takes Stand On Gun Violence

Booker makes clear how he differs from Biden on gun licensing. CNN: "New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker had a response Sunday for former Vice President Joe Biden after his 2020 competitor expressed some skepticism earlier this week about Booker's proposal for a federal gun licensing system. 'There are states that have done this that have seen precipitous drops in gun violence,' Booker said Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union. 'We need to start looking at the things that work.' Speaking on the heels of a recent mass shooting at Virginia Beach that left a dozen dead, Booker said his previously announced set of gun control proposals would lower gun violence in the US overall and his call for a federal licensing system will take on the high level of gun violence in America."

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