fresh voices from the front lines of change

Democracy

Health

Climate

Housing

Education

Rural

MORNING MESSAGE

Holly Otterbein

People’s Action Endorses Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has won the endorsement of People’s Action, a coalition of 40 progressive groups that said it represents more than 1 million members in key early-voting states and others across the country. The nod is a triumph for the Vermont senator in the competition with Elizabeth Warren to become the leading left-wing candidate in the presidential primary. “We were really struck by the fact that for the last few decades, this guy has been able to see through the haze of a neoliberal worldview that has affected so many parts of American life,” said George Goehl, national director of People’s Action. “We also think he’s uniquely positioned to win. He’s already stitched together a multiracial, urban, rural, multi-generational campaign.” Sanders’ rollout of his housing plan, which calls for building almost 10 million affordable housing units as well as national rent control, was a turning point, Goehl said. The nod from People’s Action is the latest in a string of progressive endorsements nabbed by Sanders in recent months. People’s Action has a presence in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and Super Tuesday states, including in rural areas. “People’s Action is one of the great grassroots organizations in this country,” said Sanders in a video that will be released after the endorsement is announced. “I am just so proud and excited to have the endorsement of People’s Action because they understand what I understand: That at the end of the day, the only way we make real change in this country is through grassroots activism.”

Read more in Politico

Trump Impeached

Trump impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. NYT: “The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors and face removal by the Senate. On a day of constitutional consequence and raging partisan tension, the votes on the two articles of impeachment fell largely along party lines, after a bitter debate that stretched into the evening and reflected the deep polarization gripping American politics in the Trump era. Only two Democrats opposed the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of corruptly using the levers of government to solicit election assistance from Ukraine in the form of investigations to discredit his Democratic political rivals. Republicans were united in opposition. It passed 230 to 197, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveling the vote to a close from the House rostrum. On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, a third Democrat joined Republicans in opposition. The vote was 229 to 198. The impeachment votes set the stage for a historic trial beginning early next year in the Senate, which will have final say — 10 months before Mr. Trump faces re-election — on whether to acquit the 45th president or convict and remove him from office. The timing was uncertain, after Ms. Pelosi suggested late Wednesday that she might wait to send the articles to the Senate, holding them out as leverage in a negotiation on the terms of a trial.”

Pelosi May Delay Senate Impeachment Trial

Pelosi says House may withhold impeachment articles, delaying Senate trial. WaPo: “Moments after a historic vote to impeach President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House could at least temporarily withhold the articles from the Senate — a decision, she suggested, that could depend on how the other chamber chooses to conduct its trial on Trump’s removal. ‘We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side,’ she said, referring to the House “managers” who present the case for removal to the Senate. ‘So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us. So hopefully it will be fair. And when we see what that is, we’ll send our managers.’ The comments came as a group of House Democrats pushed Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other leaders to withhold the articles — a notion that has gained traction among some on the political left as a way of potentially forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to conduct a trial on more favorable terms for Democrats. And if no agreement is reached, some have argued, the trial could be delayed indefinitely, denying Trump an expected acquittal. Pelosi would not answer questions about whether she was entertaining an indefinite hold on the articles — one that could prevent a trial from taking place before the next presidential election.”

Court Voids Key Part Of Obamacare

Court voids Obamacare mandate — but not the whole law. Politico: “A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down Obamacare’s individual mandate in a decision that immediately thrusts the health care law to the forefront of the 2020 elections. However, the appeals court ruling largely ducked the central question of whether the rest of the Affordable Care Act remained valid after Congress removed the penalty for not having health insurance. The three-judge panel instead sent the case back to a Texas federal judge, who previously threw out the entire law, to reconsider how much of Obamacare could survive. The high-stakes ruling keeps the legal threat to Obamacare alive while reducing the likelihood the Supreme Court could render a final verdict on the law before the next elections. Still, the appeals court’s decision could renew pressure on President Donald Trump and Republicans to explain how they will preserve insurance protections for preexisting conditions after failing to agree on an Obamacare replacement for years. The latest challenge to Obamacare was brought by more than a dozen Republican-led states that argued the law is no longer constitutional after Congress jettisoned the individual mandate penalty in the 2017 Republican tax package. The mandate was originally upheld by the Supreme Court seven years ago as a legitimate use of congressional taxing power — and without that penalty, the states argued, the entire law should fall. Democratic-led states heading Obamacare’s legal defense said they would challenge the appeals court ruling directly to the Supreme Court, calling for a quicker resolution on the law’s fate.”

Obama’s Economic Recovery Wasted By Trump

‘We squandered a major economic recovery’: Harvard professor. Yahoo Finance: “The nation wasted the major economic recovery, according to a new report by Harvard Business School on U.S. competitiveness. ‘We had this wonderful recovery. It could have given us the chance to take some significant resources and devote them to some of our well-known challenges, like infrastructure or health care…none of that happened. Instead, we squandered a major economic recovery and didn’t use it to make things better,’ said Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, a co-author of the study. The business community’s role in politics has made a significant contribution to Washington’s dysfunction, according to HBS’s report. The majority of the business leaders surveyed said businesses’ overall engagement worsened the political system by advancing policies that benefited special interests. The report lays out the different ways in which businesses engage in politics today. The $6 billion spent annually on lobbying is just one facet; others include spending on elections and ballot initiatives, efforts to influence employees’ votes and donations, and adding former government officials to companies’ payrolls.”

Trump Declares War On Women, Dishwashers

Trump says he’s heard from women about inefficient dishwashers. NBC: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday night again addressed the plumbing issues of Americans, telling a crowd at a Michigan rally that ‘women tell me’ about how they have to repeatedly run their dishwashers. The comments in Battle Creek came hours after the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. At the rally, the president said that dishwashers don’t work as well as they once did, blaming regulations. ‘Remember the dishwasher? You’d press it, boom! There’d be like an explosion. Five minutes later you open it up, the steam pours out,’ he said. ‘Now you press it 12 times. Women tell me …’ the president said. ‘You know, they give you four drops of water.’ Though he didn’t offer any specifics, Trump appeared to say that his administration had adopted new regulations for the appliances. The Department of Energy has said that it will move forward with a rule-making change that would exempt new dishwashers from previous energy-efficiency standards, MarketWatch reported in late November. The White House has touted the rolling back or elimination of regulations as among Trump’s achievements while in office.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Spread The Word!

Share this post with your networks.