fresh voices from the front lines of change








Michaela Lovegood

Whose Lives Matter? Our Lives Matter

Twenty years ago, I was a director of youth programs in the Chicago Housing Authority. I ran an afterschool, GED and job training programs for Black youth living in the city’s public housing. In the three years that I ran these programs, there were four times when I supported young poor, Black women in their choice to get abortions. Two of those pregnancies were the results of rape – one was by a family member. Under the oppressive laws now being pushed through state legislatures, these procedures may soon become illegal. Right-wing legislators – and even our president – crow about protecting the “right to life.” But the color and gender of that life affects its value in our society. What value do we place on a young Black woman’s future, or any girl or woman’s future? On her dignity, her sanity and her reputation in her community? Legislators have no authority over women’s bodies. Most of us know that; many of us embody that. Now, as voters and activists, we are in a position where we can do something about it. We have to do something about it. Whether or not you agree with abortion, no other person should have the right to determine what happens to your body or even to the life inside of your body against your will or agency.

House Passes DREAM Act

House passes latest DREAM Act, hoping to place millions of immigrants on path to citizenship. CBS: "With a handful of Republican votes, House Democrats passed the latest version of the DREAM Act, an ambitious expansion of a nearly two-decades-long legislative effort that would place millions of young undocumented immigrants and immigrants with temporary status on a pathway to U.S. citizenship. The Democratic-led chamber approved the sweeping immigration bill, dubbed the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, by a vote of 237 to 187, sending the legislation to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is unlikely to consider it. The White House has also issued a veto threat against the measure. Seven Republicans in the House joined 230 Democrats in voting for the bill. No Democrats voted against the measure."

Trade War Costs Consumers

Whatever Trump gave you in tax cuts he’s taking away with his trade war. LA Times: "President Trump’s 2017 tax legislation cut the tax bills of most middle-class wage earners in 2018 — a fact that the president and his allies in Congress have been trumpeting ever since. Nonpartisan estimates show that the bottom 80% of taxpayers by income received, on average, about $795. But that money wasn’t in anyone’s wallet for long. Their pockets were being picked by other Trump policies. One big swindle is a result of the president’s trade war. A new analysis published May 23 showed that tariffs on goods from China essentially negated any savings from the 2017 tax cuts — and that was without even accounting for the 5% tariffs he’s threatened to slap on goods from Mexico starting Monday. Tariffs lead to higher prices, so they wind up being paid by consumers like a hidden tax. Study after study published by economists this year has confirmed that the new tariff payments coming into the U.S. Treasury are ultimately coming from the pocketbooks of Americans, not anyone in China. Even if U.S. consumers buy domestic products, they still wind up paying more; higher prices on imported goods allow U.S. manufacturers to raise their own prices."

Warren's Plan To Reboot U.S. Manufacturing & Jobs

Elizabeth Warren presents plan to bolster American workers and manufacturing. Common Dreams: "Warren’s proposal does nothing less than turn inside out the globalist assumptions pursued by the past several administrations, Democrat and Republican alike. Where they have pursued more globalization of commerce as an end in itself (and as a profit center for U.S.-based multinational corporations and banks), Warren’s goal is to bring production and good jobs home. She knits it all together with a coherent plan, beginning with a new Department of Economic Development 'with the sole responsibility to create and defend quality, sustainable American jobs.' The new Department will replace the Commerce Department, subsume other agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office, and include research and development programs, worker training programs, and export and trade authorities like the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The new Department will have a single goal: creating and defending good American jobs. Globalization didn’t just happen, Warren points out. America chose to pursue a trade policy that prioritized the interests of capital over the interests of American workers. Germany, for example, chose a different path and participated in international trade while at the same time robustly—and successfully—supporting its domestic industries and its workers. Warren proposes that every tool of American national policy be directed towards the goals of reclaiming domestic industry and producing good jobs for American workers. This, in her phrase, is the essence of economic patriotism and is the opposite of what most American-based banks and corporations do."

Biden Borrows Coal Industry Language

Biden borrows coal industry language, Warren responds to Green New Deal. Salon: "It's a tale of two very different Democratic climate change plans: Former Vice President Joe Biden's new plan includes coal industry talking points, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new plan channels the spirit of the Green New Deal. Biden's 2020 presidential campaign immediately faced controversy after language from his climate change and education policy proposals was found to be unusually similar to that in other sources. The Washington Post reports: 'Joe Biden’s presidential campaign lifted language without credit, at times word for word, when crafting its education and climate plans, incidents the campaign acknowledged and said were inadvertent.' The parallels between Biden's language and that of a coal industry group are particularly noteworthy, given how the former vice president has been criticized as insufficiently progressive on the issue of combatting climate change. CREDO's Josh Nelson drew attention to this Tuesday, when he studied Biden's climate change plan and discovered the language about carbon capture sequestration seemed to mirror that used by the Carbon Capture Coalition, a group which includes Arch Coal, Peabody Energy and Shell. The parallel language included both the Biden campaign and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions’ Carbon Capture Coalition describing the technology as a 'widely available, cost-effective and rapidly scalable solution to reduce carbon emissions to meet mid-century climate goals.'"

Trump Claims US Is 'Clean" On Climate Change

Donald Trump tells Prince Charles US has 'clean climate'. The Guardian: "Prince Charles spent 75 minutes longer than scheduled trying to convince Donald Trump of the dangers of global heating, but the president still insisted the US was “clean” and blamed other nations for the crisis. Trump told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Wednesday he had been due to meet the Prince of Wales for 15 minutes during his state visit, but the discussion went on for 90 minutes – during which the prince did 'most of the talking.' Trump said: 'He is really into climate change and I think that’s great. What he really wants and what he really feels warmly about is the future. He wants to make sure future generations have climate that is good climate, as opposed to a disaster, and I agree.' But Trump said he pushed back at the suggestion the US should do more. He said: 'I did say, ‘Well, the United States right now has among the cleanest climates there are based on all statistics.’ And it’s even getting better because I agree with that we want the best water, the cleanest water. It’s crystal clean, has to be crystal clean clear.'"

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