Will America finally grant its workers First Amendment rights? The Constitution guarantees “freedom of speech,” the right to “peaceably assemble,” and the right to petition for “a redress of grievances.” Yet these civil rights are commonly denied to workers. Sure, we can say what we want, but we pay a high price to speak — often losing our jobs, health care, and benefits for our families. But we pay an even higher price for not speaking. In 2016, Kyaw Kyaw, 50, died on the job at Nishikawa Cooper, a manufacturer of auto parts in Fort Wayne, Indiana, leaving a grieving wife and family. More than 100 of his coworkers — refugees and freedom fighters who fled Myanmar’s oppression — subsequently petitioned corporate headquarters over issues of discrimination, health, and safety. Saw Eh Dah circulated the petition — and was then fired. Deaths like these often go ignored unless family members and fellow workers fight back. Still, the best they often receive is a modest legal settlement — and a demand to sign a non-disclosure agreement to silence them. This leaves other workers — and all of us — vulnerable.
Trump Diverts $3.2b From Pentagon To Border Wall
Trump administration diverts $3.6b from military Pto border wall. Politico: "The Trump administration has started the arduous process of canceling $3.6 billion in military construction projects to fund its plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Defense Secretary Mark Esper began notifying lawmakers Tuesday which projects will be canceled in their districts. Top Democrats immediately blasted the plan. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was among the first lawmakers to say his district will be impacted by the funding cuts, for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 'This decision will harm already planned, important projects intended to support our service members at military installations in New York, across the United States, and around the world,' Schumer said. 'It is a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country that President Trump is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build.'"
Trade War Escalates On Whims
Trump was so angry after China’s trade retaliation that he wanted to double tariffs. CNBC: "President Donald Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in a boiling trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources told CNBC. The president was outraged after he learned Aug. 23 that China had formalized plans to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on Sept. 1. His initial reaction, communicated to aides on a White House trade call held that day, was to suggest doubling existing tariffs, according to three people briefed on the matter. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer then enlisted multiple CEOs to call the president and warn him about the impact such a move would have on the stock market and the economy. He settled on a 5% hike in tariff rates on about $550 billion in Chinese products, which he announced in an Aug. 23 tweet after the market close. In the following days, both Mnuchin and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump’s only regret was not raising tariffs higher."
10 Counties May Decide 2020 Election
The 10 counties that will decide the 2020 election. The Hill: "Three years after a presidential election that came down to 77,000 votes in three Midwestern battlegrounds, Democrats and Republicans are eyeing a much larger battlefield ahead of the 2020 contests, one that stretches from the picturesque coastline of rural Maine to the high desert of Arizona. Both President Trump’s campaign and the Democrats vying to replace him are scrutinizing a political map in flux, one in which attitudes and alignments are shifting and new regions are coming into play.As many as a dozen states could be up for grabs next year as economic and international uncertainty pairs with a cauldron of domestic discontent in government. Interviews with two dozen strategists, political scientists and observers show the 10 counties across the country that will determine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The critical tipping points are as diverse as the American electorate. Some are suburban neighborhoods where both Trump and former President Obama won. Others are longtime Republican strongholds that show signs of slipping. Still others have voted Democratic since the New Deal, only to be broken by Trump’s historic campaign."
Global Climate Strike Set For Sept. 20
This climate strike is part of the disruption we need. Common Dreams: "Business as usual is what’s doing us in. We live on a planet that finds itself rather suddenly in the midst of an enormous physical crisis. Because we burn so much coal and gas and oil, the atmosphere of our world is changing rapidly, and that atmospheric change is producing record heat. That’s why it’s such good news that the climate movement has a new tactic. Pioneered last August by Greta Thunberg of Sweden, it involves disrupting business as usual. It began, of course, in schools: Within months, millions of young people around the world were striking for days at a time from their classes. Their logic was impeccable: If the institutions of our planet can’t be bothered to prepare for a world we can live in, why must we spend years preparing ourselves? If you break the social contract, why are we bound by it? And now those young people have asked the rest of us to join in. After the last great school strike in May, they asked adults to take part next time. The date is Sept. 20, and the location is absolutely everywhere. Big trade unions in South Africa and Germany are telling workers to take the day off. Ben and Jerry’s is closing down its headquarters (stock up in advance), and if you want to buy Lush cosmetics, you’re going to be out of luck. The largest rally will likely be in New York City, where the U.N. General Assembly begins debating climate change that week—but there will be gatherings in every state and every country. It will almost certainly be the biggest day of climate action in the planet’s history."