Author Archives: Mark Gruenberg

Fight over public-supported Build Back Better plan heats up

WASHINGTON—As Congress returned to D.C. the week of Nov. 15, the continuing war over President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda—an agenda that would enact the large expansion of the social safety net the U.S. has needed for years—heated up. Continue reading

Biden agenda squeezed as corporate Democrats strip down Build Back Better

BALTIMORE—Once again, Democrats are negotiating with themselves as President Joe Biden, realizing that so-called “moderate” Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona remain obstinate in opposition to key elements of his agenda, is giving ground. But he also vows to keep trying to attain those goals. Continue reading

Malevolent Mitch drives U.S. democracy into a ditch

“Malevolent Mitch” McConnell—Senate Republican leader from Kentucky—is driving U.S. democracy into the ditch of history. Of course, he’s got a lot of help. Continue reading

Biden, unions, progressives condemn GOP defeat of voting rights

WASHINGTON— President Biden, the AFL-CIO, top unions, and key progressives condemned Senate Republicans’ defeat—again—of key legislation to protect voting rights and stop voter repression measures running rampant in Republican-run states from coast to coast. Continue reading

Congress must reclaim its constitutional authority to subpoena witnesses

Nothing in the Constitution says the legislative branch must go to the administrative or judicial branches to compel testimony.

WASHINGTON—In the continuing congressional investigation of the Trumpite invaders and their Jan. 6 coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, one big stick lawmakers should be wielding is their power to compel compliance with subpoenas for documents and witnesses—and hold malefactors who, in criminal contempt of Congress, don’t obey. Continue reading

Women’s marches Saturday to slam Texas abortion ban

WASHINGTON—Four and a half years ago, half a million people—mostly women sporting pink knitted hats—descended on Washington, D.C., to show loudly and clearly they stood against misogynist GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump and for a woman’s reproductive choice. Millions more joined them nationwide. Now expect them again. Continue reading

So-called Dem ‘moderates’ sabotage Medicare power to bargain drug prices

WASHINGTON—Three so-called House Democratic moderates, two of whom have received thousands of dollars in campaign cash from Big Pharma, voted last week to sabotage Medicare’s power to bargain drug prices down. Continue reading

California unions cheer big Newsom win

SACRAMENTO—With one exception, California unions, which went all-out to defeat a right-wing recall campaign/coup attempt against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, cheered the landslide vote against his ouster. And their foot soldiers and ground game were a big reason for Newsom’s runaway. Continue reading

In final speech, Trumka said labor’s fighting for democracy under siege

LAS VEGAS (PAI)—In what turned out to be his final address to a union crowd, the late AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared organized labor is fighting not just for itself, but for “democracy, which has been under siege.” Continue reading

Coronavirus surge again exposes U.S. for-profit health care ‘system’

WASHINGTON—The new surge in positive coronavirus cases, caused by the viral plague’s Delta variant and a slow-down in the vaccination rate, is again exposing the fatal—literally—flaws in the U.S.’s profit-oriented health care “system,” critics say. Continue reading

Palestinian workers in Israel, West Bank launch general strike

Palestinians in both Israel and the West Bank declared a general strike Tuesday against the Israeli Netanyahu government’s escalation of aircraft bombing runs on Gaza, and the mounting death toll, now exceeding 219, including 59 children, among its inhabitants. Continue reading

News Guild fights to save newspapers from vulture capitalists

CHICAGO—The Chicago News Guild plans a mass rally for May 15 to publicize its campaign to save the Chicago Tribune and allied papers from the predatory private venture fund, Alden Global Capital. The rally will be at Freedom Center, 560 West Grand Ave. Continue reading

Supreme Court tackles student free speech in social media age

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court’s nine justices descended recently from their legal ivory tower, so to speak, to tackle a free speech case important to at least 50 million students—and their schools and parents, too. Continue reading

Impeachment: 57-43 Senate majority—but not enough—votes to convict Trump

WASHINGTON—A bipartisan 57-43 margin, the biggest bipartisan majority ever, voted to convict the impeached former president, Donald Trump, of inciting insurrection. But conviction needed 67 votes, so the former president escaped conviction on that sole impeachment count. Continue reading

Biden makes it official: No Keystone XL oil pipeline

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden’s made it official Wednesday. He yanked, effective immediately, the federal construction license for the remaining section of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta through the U.S. Continue reading

Tump’s COVID policy a crime against the people

For the first time, a non-partisan report has cataloged, all in one place, the federal government’s weak, disjointed, leaderless defense against the coronavirus. Continue reading

Bank refusal and lawsuit may trump Trump drilling in wildlife refuge

On drilling in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge, banks, like broken clocks, get it right once every so often.

WASHINGTON—Occasionally, the nation’s corporate capitalists—in this case, its six dominant banks—do something right. And their refusal to lend big oil any money to “Drill, baby, drill!” in former GOP Gov. Sarah Palin’s words, in the ecologically vital Arctic National Wildlife Refuge may stop lame-duck GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump’s last-minute scheme to let the oil giants do so. Continue reading

Unions back attempt to block Trump’s return to spoils system

WASHINGTON—A group of 40 Democratic senators has joined the House-led effort to block GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump’s return to the long-discredited and corrupt spoils system. Continue reading

Thousands protest Trump and DeJoy’s post office destruction

WASHINGTON—Augmented by progressives, notably from the group Our Revolution, thousands of Postal Workers, other unionists, and their supporters turned out from coast to coast on Nov. 17 to campaign against Trump Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s resumed destruction of the U.S. Postal Service. Continue reading

AFL-CIO: Deregulation, lack of health enforcement worsened coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON—The GOP Trump administration’s massive job safety and health deregulation and its lack of enforcement have worsened the toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., the AFL-CIO says. Continue reading

Trump wants the Supreme Court, not the people, to decide the election

WASHINGTON—When the U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term on the first Monday in October, the symbol of its most important looming development will not be an individual case but an empty chair draped in black. Continue reading

Trump and Barr make unconstitutional threat to withdraw funds from ‘anarchist jurisdictions’

Local and state leaders are blasting GOP White House occupant Donald Trump’s demand to yank federal dollars from New York, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.—cities Trump says are consumed by anarchy—as a campaign gimmick. Continue reading

Federal judge orders rollback of Trump and DeJoy USPS cuts

YAKIMA, Wash.—GOP President Donald Trump and his handpicked postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, deliberately disenfranchised voters nationwide through DeJoy’s mail slowdowns, machine removal, and other measures, a federal judge in Washington state ruled. In a blistering opinion, Judge Stanley Bastian ordered a national reversal of DeJoy’s moves. Continue reading

Postal worker leader Dimondstein says ‘mass movements’ are the key now

WASHINGTON—Saying “movements move Congress and politicians, and not the other way around,” Postal Workers President Mark Dimondstein is warning movement activists to be ready for a long, long haul, one that must continue even after Trump is hopefully dumped in November. Continue reading

Trump crony, Postmaster General DeJoy, lies under oath to Congress

WASHINGTON—Louis DeJoy, the Trump-named postmaster general who’s ordered his minions to yank out mailboxes and dismantle sorting machines—among other moves—once again denied he’s deliberately doing so to curb voting by mail this fall. Continue reading

Jobless crisis worsens: Army of the unemployed grows by more than 1.7 million

WASHINGTON—Actual initial claims for state and federal jobless benefits combined climbed to 1.44 million in the week ending August 15, the Labor Department reported. The adjusted figure, however, was 215,000 claims higher than that, all for state jobless benefits alone. Continue reading

Pelosi calls lawmakers back to stop Trump’s election and postal service sabotage

WASHINGTON—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. has called lawmakers back into session, despite the “virtual” Democratic National Convention, to stop GOP President Donald Trump’s multifaceted scheme to stop voting by mail by basically shutting down the U.S. Postal Service before the Nov. 3 election. Continue reading

Letter Carriers union files nationwide grievance against mail slowdown scheme

WASHINGTON—The Letter Carriers union has filed a national grievance, an unusual move, against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took over the agency, promptly fired 21-31 top staffers, and imposed shutdown actions and an overtime ban that slows the mail down. Continue reading

GOP maneuvers to block Heroes Act will bring the roof down

WASHINGTON—Unless Congress acts, acts fast, and acts the way the Democratic-run U.S. House wants it to act, millions of people will fall off a cliff—financially and otherwise—after Friday, July 31. Continue reading

Florida teachers sue state to stop unsafe school reopening plan

MIAMI—Saying Florida’s mandate to reopen brick-and-mortar schools despite the coronavirus pandemic endangers students, teachers, and everybody else, the state’s teachers’ union is suing the GOP-run government to stop Florida’s unsafe school reopening plan. Continue reading

Coronavirus surge worsens as Trump ignores the danger

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, already criminally absent, appears to be getting worse and the data confirm it. Continue reading

Back to work, or else: Trump administration tells states to pull unemployment benefits

WASHINGTON—GOP President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, Eugene Scalia, and his #2 who runs the agency that oversees jobless benefits want employers to report—and states to bar benefits from—workers who fear returning to their old jobs because their employers won’t protect them against the coronavirus. Continue reading