fresh voices from the front lines of change








Bill Bianchi

The AMA Stops Us From Getting Health Care

The American Medical Association needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Because we smell something bad, and it’s you: The way you keep Americans from getting health care is rotten to the core. AMA, you can’t fool me, and the millions like me who now know who you really are what you stand for. We demand you step out of the way of Medicare For All, which is the health care we want and need. You’d think the nation’s largest association of doctors – whose stated goal is to 'the betterment of public health' – would want patients to get care. But the AMA has opposed every major effort to expand health access since 1917. That’s why I’ll be standing with People’s Action, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus and the Illinois Single Payer Coalition in protest when the AMA meets in Chicago this weekend. We demand that you and the other members of the Partnership For America’s Health Care step out of the way of Medicare For All. We are going to win care for every American, with or without you."

GOP Lied About Racial Gerrymandering, Too

A dead man’s secret files again prove Republicans lied in court — this time about gerrymandering. ThinkProgress: "North Carolina Republicans were lying to a federal judge when they claimed they were unable to fix the state’s racially gerrymandered legislative map in time for a special election, a new court filing alleged Thursday. In 2017, a judge in the case ordered the special elections so that new legislative boundaries could be drawn. A subsequent court ruling delayed the vote, which allowed the GOP to hold onto its super-majority in the legislature for an additional year. Republican legislators also told the court that race had not been a factor when they drew up the unconstitutional map — a statement that newly discovered documents showed to be false. The documents were part of a treasure trove of data found on four hard drives and 18 thumb drives containing more than 75,000 files that once belonged to deceased Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller. Those hard drives — which Hofeller’s daughter discovered and are now in the possession of the advocacy group Common Cause — also revealed that the President Donald Trump’s administration was not truthful about its motivation in adding a citizenship question to the upcoming U.S. Census."

Trump Barrels Towards Tariff Wall

President jacks up tariff pressure on Mexico as he lays out China levy timeline. MarketWatch: "President Donald Trump on Thursday kept up pressure on Mexico over immigration and tariffs as talks continued in Washington, and said he was looking at deciding on extra levies on Chinese goods at the end of the month. Trump said he’d be 'very happy' to go ahead with the tariffs he’s threatened on Mexican goods — but told reporters 'something pretty dramatic could happen' as talks resumed at the White House. 'We’re having a great talk with Mexico. We’ll see what happens,' Trump said in Shannon, Ireland, as he was preparing to depart for a ceremony in France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican imports beginning Monday unless the country does more to stop the flow of migrants from Central America toward the U.S. border. An administration official said staff-level meetings would continue at the White House Thursday afternoon. The tariffs are scheduled to begin at 5% but rise gradually to 25% in October."

McConnell Blocks $15 Wage Vote

Sanders demands McConnell allow Senate vote to raise 'absurdly low' Federal minimum wage. Common Dreams: "Arguing that "millions of Americans are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages while almost half of all new income goes to the top one percent," Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded Thursday that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allow the Senate to vote on the Raise the Wage Act of 2019. 'The time is long overdue to raise the federal minimum wage, which is currently at the absurdly low level of $7.25 an hour, to a living wage—$15 an hour,' Sanders declared in a letter to McConnell. 'People who work 40 hours a week should not be forced to live in poverty.' Sanders pointed out that the bill is poised for a floor vote in the House after being favorably discharged by a key committee, and several states—including Connecticut, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York—already have enacted similar local measures. Noting that workers nationwide 'have experienced 40 years of wage stagnation and roughly 40 percent of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency,' the senator wrote."

Kochs Unveil 2020 Strategy

Koch network floats backing Democrats in revamp of influence operation. Politico: "The Koch network is shaking up how it tries to influence Washington heading into 2020, starting with plans to spend money to reelect lawmakers from either party who back its issues and are facing primary challenges. Once a pro-Republican electoral powerhouse, the network that was long led by Charles and David Koch has made major changes to the way it operates in recent years, focusing more on policy and philanthropy and even renaming itself Stand Together to reflect its less political tone. As part of this transition, Americans for Prosperity, the policy and political arm of the network, is retooling for the 2020 election cycle. Some — but definitely not all — of the group’s policy plans may intrigue Democrats. For instance, one of the Koch network's top priorities is extending protection to Dreamers; its stance on that issue has sometimes been met with pushback from its own donors. Under its new approach, the network says it will help defend incumbent lawmakers in primaries, encouraging lawmakers to be less risk-averse and work together on Koch-backed policies."

Trump Finally Releases Disaster Aid He Opposed

Trump takes credit for Puerto Rico emergency aid he fought for weeks. ThinkProgress: "President Donald Trump falsely claimed credit for rescuing Puerto Rico on Thursday, after signing a bipartisan disaster relief bill passed by Congress earlier in the week, a version of which he tried to reject previously. After weeks of working to stop aid to the U.S. territory, which was devastated by multiple hurricanes two years ago, Trump finally agreed to sign the deal after bipartisan congressional leaders reached an agreement to move the legislation with or without his support. 'Just signed Disaster Aid Bill to help Americans who have been hit by recent catastrophic storms,' he tweeted. 'So important for our GREAT American farmers and ranchers. Help for GA, FL, IA, NE, NC, and CA. Puerto Rico should love President Trump. Without me, they would have been shut out!'"

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