Author Archives: Jake Johnson

‘Decades of progress are at stake’ as Trump reaches 150 lifetime judicial appointments and right-wing court takeover accelerates

‘Every network should be covering this. Trump's dangerous takeover of our courts will last a generation.’

The Republican-controlled Senate quietly confirmed four more of President Donald Trump’s lifetime federal judicial nominees on Wednesday, bringing the total number of conservative judges successfully appointed by the administration to over 150. Continue reading

‘Hell no,’ say progressives, after GOP Sen. Joni Ernst suggests cutting Social Security ‘behind closed doors’

‘No matter how hard you try to hide, the American people will be watching—and we won't let you cut our earned Social Security benefits.'

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa is under fire after telling a recent town hall audience that members of Congress should negotiate changes to Social Security “behind closed doors” in order to dodge scrutiny from the media and advocacy groups. Continue reading

‘Naked attack on the free press’: Trump allies reportedly raising $2 million for campaign to discredit journalists

‘Intimidating reporters to influence coverage is a tactic of dictators and has no place here,’ said Sen. Jeff Merkley

Right-wing operatives allied with President Donald Trump are attempting to raise at least $2 million to fund a campaign to discredit journalists and editors at major U.S. media outlets like the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, New York Times, and HuffPost. Continue reading

‘Sociopathic disregard for our future’: Trump EPA set to gut restrictions on planet-warming methane emissions

‘At a time when the federal government's job should be to help localities and states move faster toward cleaner energy and a cleaner economy, the government is walking off the field.’

Amid dire scientific warnings that the international community must act immediately to slash greenhouse gas emissions, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency was reportedly set to take another step in the opposite direction Thursday by unveiling a rule that would gut restrictions on the fossil fuel industry’s methane pollution. Continue reading

‘A death sentence’: Trump reportedly moving to deport kids with cancer, HIV, and other deadly illnesses

‘This is a new low for Trump. The administration is now literally deporting kids with cancer.

The Trump administration has reportedly ended a program which allowed immigrants with serious illnesses to temporarily remain in the U.S., a move by the White House that rights advocates decried as “a death sentence” for children receiving treatment for cancer, HIV, and other life-threatening diseases. Continue reading

Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry’s success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors. Continue reading

‘Their racist, anti-immigration crusade knows no bounds’: Trump White House tried to stop immigrant kids from attending public schools

Led by President Donald Trump’s xenophobic top adviser Stephen Miller, the White House reportedly spent months attempting to devise a way to stop undocumented immigrant children from attending public schools in the United States. Continue reading

Workers were reportedly ordered not to protest or show any ‘resistance’ at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Workers in attendance at President Donald Trump’s rally at a Shell plant in Pennsylvania on Tuesday were ordered not to protest or do “anything viewed as resistance” during the event. Continue reading

‘Disgusting and disturbing’: Trump guts Endangered Species Act in gift to big business

‘This administration seems set on damaging fragile ecosystems by prioritizing industry interests over science.’

Environmentalists denounced the Trump administration for crashing a “bulldozer” through the Endangered Species Act on Monday after the Interior Department finalized a series of rollbacks to the 46-year-old law that will further imperil hundreds of vulnerable animal and plant species while paving the way for business development projects. Continue reading

‘Degrading’ and ‘unconstitutional’: Trump reviewing rule that would allow drug testing for unemployment benefits

‘This type of futile and unconstitutional intrusion into people's privacy simply because they are out of work is unacceptable.’

The Trump White House is reportedly reviewing a Labor Department rule that would give states the power to force people to pass a drug test before they can receive unemployment benefits, ignoring protests that such screenings would amount to demeaning and unconstitutional invasions of privacy. Continue reading

‘Unconscionable’: Trump USDA proposes new rule to strip food stamps from over 3 million Americans

The proposal, said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, would ‘take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance.’

In a move critics denounced as the Trump administration’s latest effort to bypass Congress to attack low-income families, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday proposed a new rule that would strip food stamps from more than three million Americans. Continue reading

‘We need to ban fracking’: New analysis of 1,500 scientific studies details threat to health and climate

‘The data show that fracking impairs the health of people who live nearby, especially pregnant women, and swings a wrecking ball at the climate.’

A comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific studies, government reports, and media stories on the consequences of fracking released Wednesday found that the evidence overwhelmingly shows the drilling method poses a profound threat to public health and the climate. Continue reading

North Korea calls John Bolton a ‘war maniac’ who is ‘wrecking peace and security’ across the globe

‘After all, it will be fit to call Bolton not a security adviser striving for security but a security-destroying adviser.’

North Korea on Monday called U.S. national security adviser John Bolton a “war maniac” who is undermining global security and diplomacy after Bolton accused Pyongyang of violating international law with missile launches earlier this month. Continue reading

‘How will you pay for it?’ Bernie Sanders tackles key question on Medicare for All

‘Under every single one of these options the average American family will save thousands of dollars a year because it will no longer be writing large checks to private health insurance companies.’

Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ducking the key question constantly posed to Medicare for All supporters by journalists, fellow members of Congress, and critics: “How will you pay for it?” In a white paper (pdf) released last Wednesday, alongside the 2020 contender’s updated and improved Medicare for All legislation, Sanders’ office outlined a number of possible funding mechanisms for the comprehensive bill and detailed the enormous savings the U.S. would reap by transitioning to single-payer. Continue reading

‘Blatant violation of the First Amendment’: Public Citizen sues Betsy DeVos for censoring its website

"We've been highly critical of Betsy DeVos for putting students at the mercy of predatory for-profit colleges. We won't let her silence us."

Public Citizen sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday for allegedly blocking access to the consumer group’s website on her department’s guest Wi-Fi and internal networks. Continue reading

Trump to add ‘tasteless insult to injury’ by promoting fossil fuel deregulation in shadow of fatal chemical fire

‘It's no surprise that Trump is once again taking an action championed by climate deniers and fossil fuel companies.’

Just a week after a chemical plant explosion killed one worker and spewed thousands of pounds of dangerous pollutants into the air in Crosby, Texas, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to visit that city Wednesday to sign executive orders to speed up approval of pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Continue reading

‘Tax the rich. It’s just that simple’: US campaign aims to make wealthy pay their fair share

‘Taxing the rich isn't just good policy, it's good politics—and this campaign will prove that. Raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy is wildly popular.’

A coalition of over a dozen progressive advocacy groups launched a nationwide “Tax the Rich” campaign Wednesday with the goal of building a grassroots movement to unrig the tax code and make wealthy Americans pay their fair share. Continue reading

To ensure dignity for ‘most vulnerable’ among us, Bernie Sanders introduces bill to expand Social Security

‘Expanding Social Security as this legislation does is a solution to our looming retirement income crisis and to growing inequality between the wealthy and everyone else.’

In an effort to strengthen one of the nation’s most popular programs as the GOP pushes for cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and several congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced the Social Security Expansion Act to ensure that seniors can retire in dignity and “everyone with a disability can live with the security they need.” Continue reading

‘It’s a crisis alright’: Report details serious public health and safety risks of Trump shutdown

‘Corporate lawbreakers are going unpunished, safety inspections are being postponed, discrimination charges are going uninvestigated, polluters are not being held in check, financial fraudsters are not being policed.’

In addition to pushing thousands of low-wage workers to the brink of financial collapse and imperiling life-saving public programs like food stamps and Medicare, a Public Citizen report released on Wednesday found that the government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding is also placing crucial consumer, health, and safety protections at serious risk. Continue reading

‘Easy to pay for something that costs less’: New study shows Medicare for all would save us $5.1 trillion over ten years

BURLINGTON, VT—Confronting the question most commonly asked of the growing number of Americans who support replacing America’s uniquely inefficient and immoral for-profit healthcare system with Medicare for All—”How do we pay for it?”—a new paper released Friday by researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) shows that financing a single-payer system would actually be quite simple, given that it would cost significantly less than the status quo. Continue reading

Journalist James Risen: Trump is attacking free press ‘in a way we haven’t seen in modern American history’

Speaking from his years of experience being pursued by the Obama Justice Department for simply practicing journalism and refusing to reveal his confidential sources, Intercept reporter James Risen told The Hill on Monday that President Donald Trump is building on his predecessor’s war on the free press by “demagoguing” the media “in a way we haven’t seen in modern American history.” Continue reading

From poverty to student debt to gun violence to climate crisis, Trump’s America is seriously stressing people out

A new survey by the American Psychological Association found that 62 percent of Americans are stressed by the current political climate and 69 percent are anxious about the future

While deep anxiety about mass shootings, falling standards of living, inadequate pay, and lack of healthcare long predate the Trump era, a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) published on Tuesday found that President Donald Trump—with his bumbling incompetence, immense cruelty, and plutocratic economic agenda—has intensified the stress Americans feel about their financial situation, the U.S. political system, the climate crisis, and a variety of other issues facing the nation and the world. Continue reading

‘Disaster waiting to happen’ as Trump quietly approves massive oil drilling project in Arctic waters off Alaska coast

Ignoring once more the existential necessity of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and transitioning to a global energy system powered by renewable sources, the Trump administration on Wednesday delivered another major victory for Big Oil by quietly approving a Texas company’s plan to drill in federal Arctic waters six miles off the coast of Alaska. Continue reading

‘Seems like a pretty big deal’: Senate Democrats refer secret document about Brett Kavanaugh to FBI

Less than a day after The Intercept reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) received a letter that purportedly details an “incident” involving Trump Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh and “a woman while they were in high school,” Feinstein announced in a statement on Thursday that she has referred the secret document to the FBI. Continue reading

Just hours after ordering pay cut for millions of public workers, Trump proposes $100 billion gift to richest 1%

Hours after he launched yet another “direct attack” on workers by canceling a modest pay raise for around two million federal employees, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday that he is considering a regressive and possibly illegal plan to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation. Continue reading

Accusing Trump of ‘naked economic aggression,’ Iran urges UN high court to halt US sanctions

Amid reports of the “devastating” impact U.S. President Donald Trump’s newly reimposed sanctions are having on ordinary Iranians’ ability to afford basic necessities and life-saving medicines, Iran accused the U.S. of “naked economic aggression” before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday and called on the United Nations body to order the suspension of the penalties. Continue reading

In private meeting, Facebook exec warns news outlets to cooperate or end up dying in ‘hospice’

‘Anyone who does care about news needs to understand Facebook as a fundamental threat.’

During a closed-door and off-the-record meeting last week, top Facebook executive Campbell Brown reportedly warned news publishers that refusal to cooperate with the tech behemoth’s efforts to “revitalize journalism” will leave media outlets dying “like in a hospice.” Continue reading

‘Big win for the public’: The awful Tribune-Sinclair merger is dead

In a huge win for everyone concerned about the devastating effects corporate consolidation has on local media outlets and independent journalism, Tribune Media announced on Thursday that it is terminating its proposed $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group and suing the right-wing media giant for “breach of contract.” Continue reading

Koch-funded hit piece backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would save ‘whopping $2 trillion’ over ten years while covering everybody

If the billionaire Koch brothers really want to undermine the economic case for Medicare for All, they have a funny way of showing it. Continue reading

139 House Democrats join GOP to approve $717 billion in military spending

With the help of 139 Democrats, the House of Representatives on Thursday easily rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which—if it passes the Senate—will hand President Donald Trump $717 billion in military spending. Continue reading

White House reviewing plan by ‘deregulatory zealots’ to relax child labor laws

As part of its broad and relentless effort to roll back longstanding workplace safety regulations that have drastically reduced on-the-job injuries and deaths over the past several decades, President Donald Trump’s Department of Labor (DOL) has officially sent the White House a proposal to allow teenagers to “spend full days operating chainsaws and meat slicers and working in other dangerous occupations.” Continue reading

Israel’s solution to global condemnation of war crimes? Punish anyone who documents them

Israel’s right-wing government has apparently decided that the best way to stop global criticism of its flagrant human rights violations against the Palestinian people is not to stop committing them, but to silence and punish anyone who attempts to document its crimes. Continue reading