Dave Johnson

Trump Nominates ‘Alligator’ Clayton To Run SEC

Saying on the campaign trail that Wall Street banks and hedge funds are “getting away with murder,” President Trump promised voters he would “drain the swamp” and “reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.” He was playing on the public’s sentiment that Washington is a swamp of Wall Street and corporate interests, connected insiders who feed off of taxpayers. Trump’s “closing argument” television ad explained exactly who his villains were.

Continue Reading...
Lois Gibbs

America Can’t Afford Another Gorsuch in Government

Anne Gorsuch, the mother of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, was my worst nightmare. In 1982, when I first confronted her about toxic contamination in Times Beach, Missouri, she led the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Ronald Reagan. Anne stepped down a few months later after she refused to hand over documents that would have revealed the EPA’s mishandling of the $1.6 billion Superfund for toxic cleanups. She said she would rather go to jail than release these documents. In doing so, she broke the law, and became the first U.S. agency director in history to be cited for contempt of Congress. When his mother resigned, Neil was a 15-year-old sophomore and star debater at Washington, D.C.’s elite, Jesuit-run Georgetown Prep. Neil was upset with his mother, she later wrote, saying, “You should never have resigned. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Continue Reading...
Dave Johnson

Trump Promised Bigly Infrastructure, His Budget Cuts It

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to spend $1 trillion to modernize America’s infrastructure. There were no specifics. As economist Brad DeLong put it, Trump only offered “plans to have plans.” Now Trump has released a budget outline, and the plans to have plans turned out to be a plan to have no plan at all. Trump’s “America First” budget delivers the opposite of his campaign promises, and it should come as no surprise that when it comes to infrastructure, the rubber doesn’t meet the road. Transportation Funding Gutted Trump’s budget guts transportation infrastructure funding, eliminating funding for many popular programs like mass transit funding for cities, Amtrak long-distance trains, and rural air service. It forces privatization of the Air Traffic Control system.

Continue Reading...
LeeAnn Hall

Health Care Victory Paves Way for Redoubled Resistance

On Thursday, People’s Action was pulling out all the stops to defeat Republicans’ plan to repeal health care on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and preparing to take the fight to the Senate. Come Friday, we celebrated a stunning victory for community organizing, and the popular resistance organizers have stoked since the election. Now, we are gearing up for the fight ahead. Following last November’s Presidential election, People’s Action and our member and affiliate organizations – many of which had fought for passage of the ACA through the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) campaign – came together to strategize. By December, the HCAN coalition had reconvened, determined to protect what we’d won seven years ago, accepting that we’d have to wage a defensive fight on our way to winning health care for all.

Continue Reading...
Miles Mogulescu

Blocking Gorsuch Matters Now More Than Ever

Trump and the Republicans are doing so many things so fast to hurt ordinary Americans, it’s hard for the resistance movement to keep up. But nothing is more consequential than Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which was fast-tracked to the president’s desk by the Koch Brothers-backed Federalist Society. Gorsuch’s nomination is the latest assault in The Federalist’s successful 30-year campaign to stack the judiciary with right-wing judges and shape the law to favor corporations over workers. While Senators come and go, the 49-year-old Gorsuch could serve on the Court for thirty or forty years, deeply distorting the law. Grassroots efforts have just struck a resounding blow to Trump’s devastating agenda, by forcing House Republicans to withdraw their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Continue Reading...
Robert Borosage

Democrats Should Focus More on Jobs, Less on Russia

When FBI Director James Comey informed the House Intelligence Committee of the ongoing FBI investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia, Democrats reacted like hounds provided the scent of a rabbit. Off the pack went, baying at the sun, eager to run down the rabbit hole. MoveOn called on Congress to stop all “appointments and legislation until the American people learn the full truth about Trump and Russia.” Other progressive networks scrambled to echo MoveOn. Senator Elizabeth Warren joined minority leader Chuck Schumer to argue for suspending any vote on the Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination until the investigation is completed. Another group circulated a petition suggesting that citizens disobey all laws or regulations passed since Trump took office until the investigation was completed.

Continue Reading...
Rafael Diaz

Grassroots Power Stalls Trumpcare

March 23rd, the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), turned into a better day for the people of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, than it was for House Speaker Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump, and our congressman, Rep. Lloyd Smucker. While the politicians in Washington were scuttling the vote on their disastrous health care repeal plan, more than two hundred of us gathered in Penn Square to demand health care for all in an event organized by Keystone Progress, Lancaster Stands Up, and LCDC Rapid Response Team for Healthcare. We were both celebratory and defiant, knowing we’d stopped the House from voting away our health care, for at least for one day. But we also know Congress will soon be back to trade our lives for a tax break for the richest two percent of the country. And we’ll be fighting for them every step of the way, demanding health care for all of us.

Continue Reading...
Mark Trahant

Alaska, Montana & Indian Health Benefits Under Fire

The story of Alaska and Montana is not front and center in the health care debate in the House. But it should be. Montana does not get a vote. (The state does not currently have a member of Congress after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior.) And Alaska ends up with legislation that is by all measures, a raw deal. No state (and no pool of voters) will lose more under the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act than Alaska. Alaska only expanded Medicaid in 2016. But the program has been a success. As Chris Ashenbrenner wrote in the Anchorage Dispatch News: “Expansion is a bright spot in a dismal Alaska economy. Over 25,000 people now have health coverage at no cost to the state of Alaska.

Continue Reading...
LeeAnn Hall

We Have The Chance Now To Go Bold On Health Care – And Freedom – For All

The House of Representatives is slated to vote Thursday on a health care repeal bill that will gut the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. In legislative and human terms, passage of the bill would set us back not to 2009 but to 1964. But even if the Republicans succeed in repealing the health care law, they won’t be able to erase what may be one of the Affordable Care Act’s most important accomplishments: significant progress on the idea that all people should get health care. We can see this shift in the firestorm that People’s Action, our member organizations, and our allies have helped stoke nationwide in opposition to this legislation. “We value what has been given to us and do not want to see it disappear,” says Jay Johnson, the board president of People’s Action and a leader with Virginia Organizing.

Continue Reading...
Xoai Pham

GOP Health Bill Endangers the Lives of Trans People

We know the numbers: 14 million people will be pushed off their plans by next year, with that number rising to 24 million over a decade. The White House projects that number to be even higher: 26 million losing coverage over 10 years. What does this mean for marginalized groups like trans people in America? In health care as elsewhere, trans people are structurally disadvantaged by implicit biases and discriminatory practices that inflict material harm on their lives. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many trans people were denied health care – even if they could afford insurance – simply for being trans. The ACA introduced protections for trans people in America for the first time in history: Section 1557 of the ACA prevented trans people from being denied health care due to their gender identity or expression.

Continue Reading...
Jeff Bryant

Words That Hurt Our Public Schools, And Ones That Help

I want to start off today with a story about my mom. Trust me, I’ll eventually transition to talking about education. But my mom’s story illustrates how attitudes are affected by media and language. My mom was born in 1923 on the plains of North Dakota. Her dad, my grandfather was a farmer-rancher. Her mom, my grandmother, ran the house and brought in laundry, sewing, and other work from neighbors. But then commodity prices fell through the floor and the Great Depression hit. Then my grandfather’s farm blew away in the Dust Bowl. Talk about a perfect storm. With hardly any income of their own, my grandparents turned to the public sector, the government, for financial assistance.

Continue Reading...
Jordan Estevão

Communities Say: Trump Water Policies Make Us Sick!

March 22 is World Water Day. This day has been observed by the United Nations since 1993 to encourage governments and communities to tackle the water crisis around the world. Unfortunately, this water crisis affects us increasingly right here in the U.S., the richest country in the world. People’s Action affiliates joined Food and Water Watch in ten U.S. cities for World Water Day to demand that our representatives defend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and support Rep. John Conyers’ WATER Act, which would bring much-needed investment to protect safe water. These actions come in response to Republican plans to gut the EPA in the 2017 budget.

Continue Reading...
Alan Jenkins

Speaking Truth to Lies in the Trump Era

In an era of fake news, alternative facts, and downright lies, it’s a daily struggle to promote a positive, inclusive vision for our country that’s rooted in truth and justice. And when the loudest and most virulent falsehoods come from the highest levels of government, this challenge can feel overwhelming. Research and experience point to clear ways that advocates, journalists, and everyday people can overcome the fiction and get the real story out. Here are ten of them. Understand the Strategy Behind the Lie Political lies are not random. They each have a clear purpose. When pressure was growing for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after falsely telling Congress he’d had no contact with Russia during the campaign, President Trump tweeted, falsely, that President Obama surveilled Trump Tower during the campaign.

Continue Reading...
Richard Eskow

ALEC’s Push for a Constitutional Convention Reaches Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) wants a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and he wants a new constitutional convention to ratify it. A constitutional convention makes for a snappy hashtag, #ConCon. But, as GOP leaders in Idaho recently discovered, it is a dangerous and impractical idea that could result in a “runaway” convention and substantial rewrites to the U.S. Constitution. ALEC Politician Advances ALEC Idea Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, if 34 state legislatures “issue a call” for a constitutional convention, Congress must convene one. By some counts, the right-wing only needs six more states. Kapenga is a long-time member of the corporate-funded American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC).

Continue Reading...
Mary Green Swig | Steven L. Swig | Richard Eskow

Reaffirm Our National Community By Forgiving Student Debt

MARY GREEN SWIG STEVEN L. SWIG RICHARD ESKOW The election of 2016 forced us, like so many Americans, to reconsider much of what we imagined we knew about our country and our society. For example, only a few months ago there was a growing, nation-wide movement for tuition-free higher education. At the time, we proposed debt forgiveness for the many Americans – the figure now stands at 43 million – who carry the burden of student loans. Now, all three branches of government are under the control of ideologues who espouse a harsh and individualistic brand of conservatism.

Continue Reading...
Leo Gerard

Republican Budget Endangers Americans at Work and Home

After the president issued a budget to slash and burn environmental, labor and educational programs, the guy responsible for the thing, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, contended those financial massacres are the heart’s desire of the “steelworker in Ohio, the coal-mining family in West Virginia, the mother of two in Detroit.” Mulvaney asserted that members of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), coal miners and urban parents are eager to kill off Sesame Street’s Big Bird,  drink lead-laden water, to breathe cough-inducing air and to work among life-threatening dangers. This illustrates a complete lack of knowledge of the working and living conditions of huge swaths of Americans. Big Bird and Mister Rogers are way more popular than members of Congress. Americans would much rather pay their freight than the wages of politicians.

Continue Reading...
Miles Mogulescu

We Must Filibuster Gorsuch’s Federalist Society Agenda

You probably have a better chance of becoming a judge in China without being a Communist than you have of making it to the Supreme Court under Republicans without the support of the hard-right Federalist Society. Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee, has passed this test. His name reached the president via Federalist Society vice president Leonard Leo, who also led the campaigns to name John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the High Court. The Federalist Society may be the most powerful right-wing organization you’ve probably never heard of. Founded in 1982, they have been bankrolled by reactionary billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Richard Scaife to reshape the American judiciary to support their pro-corporate, anti-middle class agenda. The Federalist Society believes “the easiest way to change the law is to change the judges,” and they have been phenomenally successful in doing so.

Continue Reading...
Richard Eskow

Five Reasons Moderate Democrats Should Oppose Neil Gorsuch

After a contentious start to Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination hearings, Senate Democrats are struggling with what the New York Times calls “two options: Get out of the way or get run over.” But Democrats have a third option, one that should attract moderate “centrists” as well as more liberal senators: fight. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, received some criticism for introducing Gorsuch to the Senate. Bennet’s action was defensible: in normal times, it’s Senate protocol for senators to introduce nominees from their home state. Colorado’s other senator, Republican Cory Gardner, also introduced Gorsuch. But these are not normal times, and Democrats need to recognize that. Donald Trump, and the Republican Party in general, have succeeded by ignoring “normal” behavior and the protocols of the past.

Continue Reading...
Sam Pizzigati

The Return of the Railroad Robber Baron

Mirror, mirror on the boardroom wall, who’s the greediest CEO of them all? This spring, as always, that’s going to be a tough call. We have so many worthy candidates. How about, for instance, the outgoing CEO at Coca-Cola? Muhtar Kent will be stepping down as Coke’s chief exec the end of this April. But apparently he needed some extra incentive for his last full year on the job. In 2016, Coke upped his take-home by 20 percent — to $17.6 million. Not bad for a fellow whose company saw its earnings plunge 11 percent. And we certainly can’t overlook Bruce Broussard, the chief exec at the heath insurer Humana. In 2016, his pay more than tripled, soaring from $4.8 to $17 million. What did CEO Broussard do to deserve this princely little windfall? Hard to say. We do know that Humana’s pretax income plummeted 36 percent in 2016.

Continue Reading...
Lois Gibbs

Trump’s EPA Cuts: No One Will Protect Us

President Donald Trump’s deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency terrify me. They will gut the agency, removing protections for American families and our children. As I travel from one polluted community to the next, women weep as they hold their children, and explain how chemicals in their air, water or land have made their families sick. Local leaders describe how their city or town won’t help them, because it’s a company town, and no one will hold the polluter responsible. They go on to say their state agency isn’t much better. Their only recourse is the federal EPA. The EPA was designed to provide a safety net for these communities. But it has been hard enough for EPA to answer demand for their services across the nation, and to stretch their existing budgets.

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 552