fresh voices from the front lines of change








George Goehl

Why – And How – We Endorsed Bernie Sanders

People’s Action has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.  We are proud of this choice, and of his values. We are also proud of the deep process that led us to this decision. It reflects our commitment to radical democracy, so every voice can be heard. We are inspired by civil rights leader Bayard Rustin’s statement that, “If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.”  Democracy is, and always will be, a work in progress. This is true in our nation, and it is at People’s Action. We feel we have made the right call in endorsing Senator Sanders, as it strengthens and clarifies our commitment to the values he represents. It also strengthens People’s Action, and our ability to do democracy in ways we are just starting to grasp. We also feel even more sure that as we practice democracy as a means, we are more likely to get there in the end.

Impeachment Hangs On Handful Of Senate Votes

Three ways the end of the impeachment trial could play out. The Hill: "Friday will be a make-or-break moment in President Trump’s impeachment trial as Republicans try to bring the proceedings to a close. Senators will hold a crucial vote on whether to call new witnesses or compel documents as part of the Senate’s proceeding. Though Trump is all but guaranteed to be acquitted at the end of the trial, Friday’s vote is a turning point that will determine what comes next, including how long it will last. The Senate is expected to convene by 1 p.m. on Friday. Senators are warning that if Republicans successfully block witnesses, senators are likely to move quickly to Trump’s acquittal on Friday night or early Saturday. Before a vote on witnesses, both Trump’s legal team and House managers get up to two hours each to make their cases to the Senate, according to a resolution passed last week on the rules for the trial. What happens after that? Democrats must win over four GOP senators to win the witness vote, or three senators with the backing of Roberts, which would lengthen the trial. A move to acquit appears to be the most likely outcome, as the pool of potential Republican votes is quickly shrinking. One option that has sparked days of speculation around the Capitol is that the Senate’s vote could result in a 50-50 tie on the issue of calling witnesses."

SCOTUS Gives Green Light To Immigration Hardline

“Public Charge” ruling shows the Supreme court won’t save us from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. The Intercept: "Expanding the 'public charge' rule, rightly described as a 'wealth test' for immigrants, has long been on the Trump administration’s fascistic agenda wish list. The new policy — which would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain green cards if they use, or have ever used, public benefits, including food programs and Medicaid — constitutes a dramatic and draconian shift in immigration policy. After it was first announced last August, immigrant rights advocates and numerous states rushed to oppose the rule; lower courts upheld a national injunction against the cruel policy shift, which could see permanent residency status denied to even employed, documented immigrants who have used government assistance programs. The Supreme Court's party-line ruling in Trump's favor is just the latest reminder that righteous appeals to judicial checks and balances, and to a constitutional bulwark against Trumpian policy excess, come to a dead end in the nation’s highest court. As in the case of the so-called Muslim ban, and the decision to allow billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to go toward building the border wall, the Supreme Court has once again made painfully clear the limits of legal challenges to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda."

Trump Rolls Out Plan To Gut Medicaid

Trump pushes forward conservative transformation of Medicaid. Politico: "The Trump administration took a big step forward Thursday to let states convert a portion of Medicaid funding into block grants, a long-sought conservative overhaul of the safety net health care program that Democrats will wield as a political weapon during the election. The plan is the administration’s boldest step yet to curb Medicaid spending and shrink the program covering about 1 in 5 low-income Americans. But the move is inciting fierce opposition from Democrats who say it’s the latest evidence President Donald Trump is trying to sabotage health coverage. CMS Administrator Seema Verma, who’s crafted the politically sensitive and closely guarded plan for over a year, on Thursday encouraged state Medicaid directors to request budgeted federal payments to cover poor adults who enrolled through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in recent years. States who voluntarily cover adult populations outside of the Obamacare expansion could also receive capped funding. Capped Medicaid payments would represent a radical departure in how the 55-year-old program is financed. The federal government has long provided open-ended matching funds to states."

Acquittal Will Give Trump Imperial Powers

Donald Trump will be "acquitted" — and his quest to become emperor moves on. Salon: "When the president famously said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes, he wasn't kidding, at least when it comes to GOP officials. He has an iron grip on his party. From the first moment of the trial, it's been obvious that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's only organizing principle was to prevent the hearing of witnesses and get the trial over with as soon as possible. John Bolton's announcement that he was willing to testify before the Senate under subpoena presented a slight bump in the road, which McConnell finessed easily with his gambit to put off the issue until the end of the trial. When the New York Times reported that Bolton's testimony would directly implicate the president, McConnell put the squeeze on any wavering GOP senators and as of Thursday night, it appeared clear that there would not be enough votes to allow him to testify. House managers have presented a meticulous case showing that the president has abused his power, arguing that to fail to hold him accountable would make him a de facto king. At first, Trump's defense lawyers argued that he didn't do it or that he was just a selfless corruption crusader. But when former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz took the podium he basically stipulated to everything the House managers have said, arguing that nothing can be done about it because abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. Two days later he doubled down on that argument saying, 'If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.' In his mind, a president who believes it's in the nation's interest for him to be the president is free to do whatever will ensure his election."

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