Author Archives: Jake Johnson

Study shows Medicare for All could save us $600 billion annually on paperwork and other ‘useless bureaucracy’

‘Industry wants you to think universal healthcare is too expensive. In reality, it's our current system that's a wasteful, unsustainable disaster.’

Insurers and healthcare providers in the United States spent a staggering $812 billion on paperwork and other administrative burdens in 2017 alone, bureaucratic costs that could be dramatically reduced by switching to a single-payer system like Medicare for All. Continue reading

Sanders and Warren demand McConnell hold full and fair impeachment trial for ‘most corrupt president in our history’

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two of the leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, joined grassroots progressives Wednesday night in demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hold a “full and fair trial” following the House’s historic vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Continue reading

‘A national disgrace’: Trump proposes Social Security change that could end disability benefits for hundreds of thousands

‘Donald Trump and his advisers know that this will kill people, and they do not care. Every current and future Social Security beneficiary must band together to defeat this horrific proposal, or else all of our earned benefits will be next.’

Activists are working to raise public awareness and outrage over a little-noticed Trump administration proposal that could strip life-saving disability benefits from hundreds of thousands of people by further complicating the way the Social Security Administration determines who is eligible for payments. Continue reading

Robert Reich makes case for why Sanders or Warren—’not some billionaire-backed milquetoast moderate’—offer best chance to beat Trump

‘These two have most of the grassroots energy, most of the enthusiasm, and most of the ideas that are critical for winning in 2020.’

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich released a video last Tuesday explaining his case for why Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren pose a far better chance of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020 than “some billionaire-backed milquetoast moderate.” Continue reading

‘He is planning to rig the impeachment trial’: McConnell vows ‘total coordination’ with Trump on Senate process

‘The jury—Senate Republicans—are going to coordinate with the defendant—Donald Trump—on how exactly the kangaroo court is going to be run.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News Thursday night that while he has “no choice” but to hold a trial if the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, that does not mean the process will be in any way impartial. Continue reading

‘What cruelty looks like’: Trump finalizes plan to strip food aid from 750,000 low-income people by 2020

‘When it came to tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, Trump felt the nation's finances were firm enough to give up more than $1,500,000,000,000. When it's time to spend a fraction of that to help poor people eat, that's when the well has supposedly run dry.’

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it has finalized a plan to tighten punitive work requirements for food stamp recipients, a move that would strip nutrition assistance from an estimated 750,000 low-income people by mid-2020. Continue reading

Report details how Social Security has become rigged for the wealthy while leaving behind those it was designed to help

‘The program's become less progressive,’ said Jim Roosevelt, a former Social Security Administration official and grandson of FDR.

The benefits of Social Security, a program designed to help vulnerable and low-income people, have since the 1980s become increasingly skewed toward the wealthy due to demographic shifts and soaring inequality, according to a new report. Continue reading

‘We Need Medicare for All’: Progressives condemn Bezos decision to shift more health insurance costs onto Washington Post staffers

‘Just one more example of why employer-based healthcare is not stable and not just. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in America, gets to decide on a whim whether Washington Post employees get to see a doctor or not.’

The Washington Post, owned by world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, is reportedly moving most of its staff onto what one Post journalist described as “high-deductible health insurance plans that shift significant costs and risks onto employees,” a decision Medicare for All proponents highlighted as a prime example of the instability and injustice of the employer-sponsored healthcare system that is frequently praised by centrist Democratic presidential candidates. Continue reading

Assange lawyer decries ‘legally unprecedented’ assault on journalism as judge denies request to delay US extradition hearing

‘This is part of an avowed war on whistleblowers to include investigative journalists and publishers.’

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday warned of potentially devastating consequences for journalism around the world after a British judge denied Assange’s request to delay his U.S. extradition hearing in February. Continue reading

For supporting Medicare for All, Biden accuses Sanders and Warren of ‘playing Trump’s game and trying to con the American people’

Biden's attack comes as he is falling in the polls and being heavily outraised by his more progressive 2020 rivals

Speaking to reporters during a campaign event in Ohio last Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden accused Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—his two top rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—of “playing Trump’s game and trying to con the American people” by supporting Medicare for All. Continue reading

‘All the way up to POTUS’: Ousted ambassador to Ukraine names Trump in testimony over smear campaign led by Giuliani

‘This is why Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn't want former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to tell her story to the American people.’

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told House impeachment investigators during a closed-door session Friday that President Donald Trump pressured the State Department to oust her after a “concerted campaign” of attacks led by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Continue reading

‘Shameful’: Trump aiming to gut rules that prevent corporate offshore tax dodging

‘The same administration that tried to cut food stamps to save money wants to make it easier for companies to avoid paying taxes by hiding their profits offshore.’

The Trump administration is reportedly considering gutting regulations designed to prevent corporations from shifting profits overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, a move Democratic lawmakers and progressives condemned as yet another effort by the White House to enrich large companies at the expense of workers. Continue reading

‘Stunning rebuke to predatory Wall Street megabanks’ as California Gov. signs law allowing creation of public banks

‘The people of California just went up against the most powerful corporate lobby in the country—and won.’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law historic legislation that would allow the state’s cities and counties to establish public banks as an alternative to private financial institutions, a move advocates hailed as a “stunning rebuke to the predatory Wall Street megabanks that crashed the global economy in 2007-08.” Continue reading

‘Be ready to fight like hell,’ say Internet defenders as court upholds FCC repeal of net neutrality

‘Big Cable's lobbyists will use this as an excuse to swarm Washington, D.C. The internet must come together once more to beat back corruption and defend our online freedom.’

Digital rights advocates said the public must “be ready to fight like hell” to save the open internet from telecom attacks after a federal appeals court on Tuesday largely upheld the FCC’s 2017 repeal of net neutrality. Continue reading

Whistleblower’s lawyers say Trump has endangered their client as president publicly threatens ‘big consequences’

‘Threats against a whistleblower are not only illegal, but also indicative of a cover-up.’

Lawyers representing the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader warned in a letter over the weekend that Trump has put the safety of their client at risk by describing the anonymous individual as a traitor and issuing open threats of retaliation. Continue reading

Trump condemned for moving to ‘roll back the clock’ on women’s rights as letter exposes attempt to form anti-abortion UN coalition

"It's not just abortion that they care about, they care about women's ability to exercise autonomy over their bodies and about denying them critical access to the services they need."

Global women’s rights advocates raised alarm Monday after a leaked letter showed the Trump administration is pressuring U.N. member nations to join an international anti-abortion coalition. Continue reading

‘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