fresh voices from the front lines of change








George Goehl

Trump’s Reelection Strategy: Pit Us Against Each Other

You would think after a white nationalist murdered 22 people and injured dozens more in El Paso, Donald Trump would lay off the hate, even just for a moment. Apparently he’s not capable. Or not willing.
Whether it’s immigration raids, cutbacks on legal immigration, or attacking women of color in Congress, Trump is doubling down on division. Clearly the Trump campaign is planning to stir up new levels of anti-immigrant sentiment as a path to re-election. This strategy takes advantage of the fact that many Americans are experiencing economic decline. In large parts of the country, gone is the sense that our children will do better than we did. Instead, people are asking: “Who’s fighting for us?” It’s a valid question. For the last 40 years, leading Democrats have failed to directly name who was responsible for that decline — big corporations hijacking our government, rigging the system, and creating the biggest gap between the rich and everyone else in American history. That vacuum has left space for other side to blame immigration for the end of good jobs with solid benefits and health care. Sadly, that sets off a race to the bottom that benefits the most abusive corporations — and hurts the rest of us. Instead of taking the bait, we should come toward each other. If we unite to take on the real cause of economic decline — a corporate class intent on becoming ridiculously rich at the expense of the rest of us — we have the power to create the change we so desperately need. Then we can begin to bring back good jobs, expand affordable and quality health care, protect our air and water, and so much more.

Trump Bumbles Through G7 Summit

Trump's rocky weekend in France dashes hopes of China trade truce. CNN: "President Donald Trump -- irritable and inconsistent on the world stage -- raised, then swiftly dashed, hopes for an easing of his fast worsening trade war with China that is threatening the global economy. The G7 summit in France unfolded in the now familiar manner of Trump's foreign trips. The United States, once the fulcrum of the Western alliance, was isolated. Foreign leaders who once looked to the US for direction largely tried not to antagonize a volatile American President. And Trump battled with the media, reacted furiously to any criticism of his performance and left whip lashed aides scrambling to explain his public comments. The President's reversals and recriminations over the weekend recalled a wild day in Washington on Friday when his fury at Beijing's decision to hit back at his tariff assaults sent stock markets into turmoil and triggered extreme concern about a worsening standoff with China. At one stunning moment on Sunday, Trump seemed to indicate he regretted his trade duel with China in comments that rocketed around the world amid concern about its economic impact. 'I have second thoughts about everything,' he said, leaving critics to hope the President was trying to make himself political room to deescalate the showdown. But Trump, who hates to look like he's being backed into a corner or is climbing down, then sent out his aides to say that on the contrary, his only regret was not being tougher on China."

Trump Allies Target Journalists

Trump allies target journalists over coverage deemed hostile to White House. NYT: "A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists. It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting. Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations. The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects."

Racist Arpaio Wants His Old Job Back

Ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, pardoned by Trump, wants his old job back. NBC: "Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, announced that he's running for his old job on Sunday, exactly two years after President Donald Trump pardoned him for a federal contempt-of-court conviction. 'Watch out world! We are back!' Arpaio, 87, said in a statement in which he promised to reinstate the extreme measures that made him famous, like housing immigrants in outdoor tents in the 100-degrees-plus temperatures of the Phoenix area. Arpaio reveled in his reputation as America's toughest sheriff, which led him to be the target of several civil rights lawsuits. He boasted that: He forced inmates to wear pink underwear. He fed inmates only twice a day with a bland log called "Nutraloaf," which other prisons serve as a disciplinary measure. He subjected inmates to an in-house radio station that played patriotic music and opera for 20 hours a week. He called the station KJOE. In 2008 and 2010, a federal judge ruled that Arpaio's jails violated the constitutional rights of inmates when it came to medical care. He was reported to have responded to the complaints by saying, ]It's 120 degrees in Iraq, and the soldiers are living in tents, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.' Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, on Sunday called Arpaio a 'racist' who should 'never hold public office again.' 'When Joe Arpaio talks about 'those who break the law,' he should be referring to himself,' Soler said, adding: 'President Trump might've pardoned him, but those who had families and communities destroyed by his unlawful tactics have not.'"

G7 Drafts Amazon Aid Plan

Amazon fires: G7 leaders close to agreeing plan to help. BBC: "agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday a deal to provide 'technical and financial help' was close. Leaders from the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Canada continue their meeting in the seaside town of Biarritz on Monday. It comes amid international tension over record fires burning in Brazil. Critics have accused Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, of 'green lighting' the Amazon's destruction through anti-environmental rhetoric and a lack of action on deforestation violations. The severity of the fires, and his government's response, has prompted global outcry and protests. President Macron last week described the fires as an 'international crisis' and pushed for them to be prioritised at the G7 summit this weekend. On Sunday he said the leaders are 'all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible.'"

DNC Kills Plan For Climate Forum

While the world is on fire, DNC kills resolution for climate forum. Truthout: "The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to strike down a resolution that would have allowed for a multi-candidate climate forum. 'Tom Perez just killed the #ClimateDebate,' the youth-led Sunrise Movement said on its Facebook page, referring to the DNC chair. Resolution 4 was seen as a compromise from a resolution calling for a presidential primary climate debate, as groups including Sunrise had demanded. That resolution was voted down Thursday at the San Francisco meeting by the DNC’s Resolutions Committee, prompting outrage. Sunrise claimed a 'partial victory' when Resolution 4, which would have allowed for a 'multi-candidate issue-specific forum with the candidates appearing on the same state, engaging one another in discussion,' passed Thursday. 'We passed a resolution supporting this multi-candidate discussion and party leaders overturned it,' said DNC voting member James J. Zogby in a statement Saturday. 'The Democratic Party is supposed to be bottom up, not top down.' Progressive strategist Dante Atkins shared results of Saturday’s vote on Twitter, and opined that the decision was a mistake for the party and Perez."

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