Author Archives: Jake Johnson

‘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

Despite right-wing fearmongering, experts say now is the time to expand Social Security

As corporate media outlets predictably trumpeted the right-wing narrative that Social Security is in dire financial straits after the Social Security Trustees’ annual report was released on Tuesday, advocacy groups and experts were quick to denounce the fearmongering and correct the record, arguing that the new analysis shows the program is “stronger than ever.” Continue reading

This is what it sounds like when a very powerful Democrat tries to force a progressive out of a primary fight

‘They squash progressive candidates,’ said Levi Tillemann, a Democratic candidate in Colorado, who was urged by Rep. Steny Hoyer and the DCCC to end his campaign

People have long known these kinds of conversations take place, but rarely is the regular voter allowed to hear exactly how it goes down. Continue reading

NYT editor insists the paper has no ideology . . . except being ‘pro-capitalism’

According to the newly leaked transcript of a New York Times staff meeting last year, editorial page editor James Bennet wants his employees and the public to believe that the paper of record is dedicated to open debate, not committed to any particular ideology, and opposed to “simply assert[ing] that we know what the right answers are.” Oh, except when it comes to one small matter: capitalism. Continue reading

Demanding ‘fundamental restructuring of the economy,’ progressives embrace bold new agenda

Arguing that only a positive and truly transformative economic agenda will be sufficient to overcome the Republican congressional majority and President Donald Trump, scores of progressive leaders this week endorsed a bold 11-point platform that calls for Medicare for All, tough Wall Street regulation, and a ban on corporate money in elections. Continue reading

‘Some may freeze to death’: Sanders confronts Mulvaney over Trump Budget that would kill ‘tens of thousands’

The Vermont senator demanded that the White House budget chief explain "the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires" while slashing the safety net

Just 24 hours after denouncing President Donald Trump’s newly-unveiled budget as “morally bankrupt,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took full advantage of his chance to grill Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney directly during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, calling the White House’s 2019 blueprint “the budget of the Koch brothers” and arguing thousands would die if the plan became law. Continue reading

McConnell is happy about tax cuts, but even happier about stuffing judiciary with right-wingers

The Senate majority leader loves giving tax cuts to the rich, but not as much as he loves stacking the courts with right-wing extremists

Even while riding the high of his party’s dead-of-night tax victory, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still wouldn’t call the GOP’s $1.5 trillion “gift to the rich” the crowning achievement of his career. That honor, McConnell told Bloomberg in an interview, remains with “Neil Gorsuch and the changes we’re making in the circuit courts.” Continue reading

In ‘blow to American consumers,’ Trump-appointed judge sides with Trump on CFPB

"Who knows what deep damage Mulvaney will do until the D.C. Circuit can right this wrong."

A Trump-appointed federal judge delivered a “blow to American consumers” on Tuesday by denying Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) deputy director Leandra English’s request for a temporary restraining order, which would have prevented Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney from becoming the CFPB’s acting director. Continue reading

‘Worse than one could imagine’: Commissioner decries FCC chair’s attack on net neutrality

In an effort to combat the “mountain of lies” FCC chair Ajit Pai has deployed to justify his newly released plan to kill net neutrality, Democratic FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn unveiled a fact sheet (pdf) on Wednesday aimed at helping Americans understand that Pai’s proposals are “worse than one could imagine” and highlighting their life-or-death implications for the open The fact sheet, an easily digestible two pages in length, runs through a series of commonly asked and frequently confusing questions surrounding net neutrality: what it is, why it’s important, and how Pai’s plan would affect the web. Continue reading

Three richest Americans now own more wealth than bottom half of us combined: report

"The elite ranks of our billionaire class continue to pull apart from the rest of us," a new Institute for Policy study analysis finds

In the United States, the 400 richest individuals now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the population and the three richest own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent, while pervasive poverty means one in five households have zero or negative net worth. Continue reading

Fears of radiation leak soar after North Korea nuclear site collapse kills 200

The disaster is believed to have resulted from Pyongyang's hydrogen bomb test, which sparked earthquakes and landslides

Experts are issuing urgent warnings of a possible radiation leak following the collapse of a tunnel at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an accident that reportedly killed at least 200 people. Continue reading

Flying under radar of Trump chaos, GOP set to confirm slew of ‘extremist’ judges

‘These nominees' collective records reveal the disturbing truth that this administration does not just tolerate radical anti-equality views among its judicial nominees, but requires them.’

In an under-discussed push to “reshape the courts in Donald Trump’s image for decades to come,” the Senate this week is quietly gearing up to confirm a slew of federal judges who critics say have records littered with “breathtaking hostility toward civil rights and equal justice.” Continue reading