fresh voices from the front lines of change

Democracy

Health

Climate

Housing

Education

Rural

MORNING MESSAGE

Miles Mogulescu

Can Debate Moderators Stop Parroting GOP Talking Points?

At the first two Democratic debates, the moderators from NBC/MSNBC and CNN based their questions about health care on Republican and corporate talking points. They acted as if the issue most people care about is the future of private insurance companies, rather than the best way for all Americans to have good healthcare without going bankrupt. These debate moderators framed the healthcare debate as a question of “what Democrats will take away from people” – i.e., their current private insurance plans, if they have one – rather than what they will do to provide more people with better and comprehensive healthcare, whether in the form of single payer, a public option, or otherwise. By framing the question this way, Republicans hope to run in 2020 on the claim people will lose their healthcare under Democrats. This is a gaslit version of Democrats’ successful argument in the 2018 midterms, when they ran on the threat that Republicans would take away voters’ health care by abolishing the Affordable Care Act. Democrats’ claim was true. Republicans’ claim is false. The NBC, MSNBC and CNN debate moderators have created a fake debate about completely outlawing private insurance, which no Democratic candidate – left, right, or center – proposes to do. The rest of the mainstream media, which can often be lazy, has adopted this framing of abolishing private insurance or not as the biggest issue when it comes to healthcare. It only scares voters for no reason, and helps Trump’s reelection chances. Let’s hope tonight’s moderators from ABC and Univision for the third debate – this means you, George Stephanopoulos, Jorge Ramos, Linsey Davis, and David Muir – will ask more more honest questions which clarify the issues, instead of ginning up false controversy.

SCOTUS Backs Trump Asylum Curbs

Trump immigration plans: Supreme Court approves asylum curbs. BBC: “The US Supreme Court has allowed the government to severely limit the ability of migrants to claim asylum. The policy bars people arriving at the US southern border from seeking protection if they failed to do so in a country they passed through en route. Legal challenges continue but the ruling means for now it can be enforced nationwide. The plan will affect tens of thousands of Central American migrants who travel north, often on foot, through Mexico. The Trump administration unveiled the new asylum policy in July but it was almost immediately blocked from taking effect by a lower court ruling by a judge in San Francisco. Curbing migration levels has been a key goal of Donald Trump’s presidency and forms a major part of his bid for re-election in 2020. He hailed the Supreme Court’s decision as a major victory.”

CEOs Back Curbs On Gun Violence

145 CEOs sign a letter pleading with Congress to address gun violence. CNN: “145 business leaders have signed a letter demanding the US government take action on gun violence. Their plea, which follows the recent rash of mass shootings, is among Corporate America’s strongest statements yet against America’s gun violence epidemic. In a draft letter addressed to the Senate, the leaders demand that lawmakers “support common-sense gun laws” already passed by the House and that ‘doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable.’ It was first obtained by the New York Times. The group is pushing senators to pass a bill that requires background checks on all gun sales and red flag laws. The latter enables those who have seen warning signs (aka red flags) to seek a court order to intervene and temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to a firearm. That is a policy that President Trump has supported, however his plan on gun policy remains unclear. The business leaders say the proposals outlined in their letter are ‘bipartisan’ and ‘widely supported by the American public.'”

CA Approves Statewide Rent Control

California approves statewide rent control to ease housing crisis. NYT: “California lawmakers approved a statewide rent cap on Wednesday covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing crunch nationwide. The bill limits annual rent increases to 5 percent after inflation and offers new barriers to eviction, providing a bit of housing security in a state with the nation’s highest housing prices and a swelling homeless population. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has made tenant protection a priority in his first year in office, led negotiations to strengthen the legislation. He has said he would sign the bill, approved as part of a flurry of activity in the final week of the legislative session. The measure, affecting an estimated eight million residents of rental homes and apartments, was heavily pushed by tenants’ groups. In an indication of how dire housing problems have become, it also garnered the support of the California Business Roundtable, representing leading employers, and was unopposed by the state’s biggest landlords’ group. That dynamic reflected a momentous political swing. For a quarter-century, California law has sharply curbed the ability of localities to impose rent control. Now, the state itself has taken that step.”

Trump To Repeal EPA Water Rules

Administration finalizes repeal of 2015 water rule Trump called ‘destructive and horrible’. WaPo: “For years, the fight over how much power the federal government should have to regulate the wetlands and tributaries that feed into the nation’s largest rivers has played out across the country. In the halls of Washington and on sprawling farms and ranches, in courtrooms and corporate boardrooms, a legal tug of war has unfolded over a 2015 rule that gave the Environmental Protection Agency much broader authority over the nation’s waterways. Critics say the Obama rule gave the federal government far too much power; supporters countered it would prevent the loss of vast swaths of wetlands. Court rulings have temporarily blocked the regulation in 28 states, while keeping it in effect in 22 others. On Thursday, the Trump administration plans to scrap the Obama-era definition of what qualifies as ‘waters of the United States’ under the Clean Water Act, returning the country to standards put in place in 1986.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Spread The Word!

Share this post with your networks.