Human Rights

Working People vs. Trump: The First 100 Days

Jobs With Justice - 6 hours 44 min ago

Ever since FDR passed 15 major pieces of New Deal legislation during his first 100 days in office, presidents have been measured by their effectiveness within the same time frame. President Trump thought the benchmark so important that he signed a “contract” saying what he would accomplish during those hundred days.

Trump promised to get many things done, especially for the benefit of profitable corporate elites at the expense of the rest of us. Even before he pushed out his contract, working men and women, and their allies across the country have banded together to stand up to Trump’s extreme proposals.

The first fight started when Trump selected CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder to be his Secretary of Labor in December 2016. The now-former head of the Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s chains spent most of his career undermining the people who work for him, humiliating women, and fighting against fair wages, family sustaining jobs. Working people, fast-food and restaurant workers, women’s rights organizations, civil rights advocates, labor rights groups campaigned to oppose, and ultimately defeat, Puzder.

Our campaign demonstrated the power of our movements in pushing back against this administration’s dangerous agenda. Even Andrew Puzder, the only Trump cabinet secretary nominee to withdraw, credited “the Left” for his loss.

This defeat had ripple effects. It took Trump until his 98th day in office to appoint a Secretary of Labor. As newly-confirmed Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta heads to that cabinet seat, workers’ rights activists who opposed his confirmation have put him on notice. We will be watching him to make it clear that when he has to choose between protecting working people and implementing the Trump agenda, it is his duty to protect working people.

Trump hasn’t turned his attention to appointing a Deputy Secretary of Labor, new members of the National Labor Relations Board, or other key officials who could make workplaces worse once in office. Trump has only made one nomination to the lower courts despite more than 100 vacancies. By not filling out these posts, Despite Trump’s pre-election promise to overturn Obama-era regulations that hold corporations accountable for creating safe, sustainable, and family-supporting workplaces, many still remain on the books.

We also won another big victory against the Trump administration by forcing congressional Republicans to withdraw the corporate American Health Care Act. The GOP’s boardroom bailout plan would have decimated Medicare, repealed much of the Affordable Care Act, and stripped insurance coverage from nearly 30 million Americans.

A deluge of protests erupted in response. And even when legislators hid in the shadows instead of listening to their constituents, community groups organized town hall meetings in their place, providing a platform so working people could make their voices loud and clear in opposition to this destructive bill. As a result, Trump broke one of his major promises for his first 100 days: that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

That is not to say that there haven’t been setbacks. Most strikingly, Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court despite Gorsuch’s clear pro-corporate agenda. Working people fought hard against Gorsuch, and Trump and his Senate allies had to break constitutional norms and Senate rules to get his nominee on the Court.

Furthermore, the delays caused by stopping Puzder and resisting the rest of the Trump agenda have been a double-edged sword. The administration passively unravels rules on the books by not enforcing them. For instance, the Trump administration has not withdrawn the overtime rule, which, if implemented, would give a raise to millions of Americans. But the administration hasn’t decided whether to continue to defend the overtime rule, which a federal judge put on hold after corporations sought to tie up the rule in the courts.

Similarly, Trump has yet to withdraw a rule requiring Wall Street investment professionals to put the welfare of retirement savers ahead of their sales commissions. But the Labor Department just delayed its implementation, while industry lobbyists seek to eliminate it altogether. The Trump administration also delayed the date in which companies have to comply with limiting the exposure of working people to cancer-causing silica dust The AFL-CIO estimates that 160 people could die as a result of the delay.

Overall, working people withstood the period when a president is at his or her most powerful. There is still a long way to go in the president’s term, and Trump will get his share of wins. However, even with politicians beholden to corporate CEOs controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, working families have stood together and stopped critical parts of the Trump agenda.

Categories: Human Rights

The Time to Fix Presidential Primaries is Now, Not in 2020. Here’s How.

Brennan Center - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 18:28
The Time to Fix Presidential Primaries is Now, Not in 2020. Here’s How.Walter ShapiroApril 27, 2017

At The Washington Post, Walter Shapiro argues that both parties' presidential nomination systems are ripe for reform.

Categories: Human Rights

Red Flags as Trump Team Dodges on Tax Plan's Impact on Middle Class

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:28
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Members of President Donald Trump's team are having a hard time defending his new tax plan and, when asked directly if it will benefit the middle class, have exhibited a pattern of strategic avoidance.

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America"Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin repeatedly ducked when asked if the tax overhaul would benefit middle class families.

Categories: Human Rights

Getting Old Yet? GOP Votes Again to Protect Trump and Obscure Truth

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:02
Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Once again, House Republicans voted to shield President Donald Trump from public accountability, rejecting the latest effort to force the president to release his tax returns and White House visitor logs.

Categories: Human Rights

'We Reject Politics of Fear': Groups Urge Congress to Build Schools, Not Wall

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:47
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Categories: Human Rights

Trump’s Unconstitutional Assault on the Judiciary

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:36
Robert Reich

One way dictators take over democracies is by threatening the independence of a nation’s courts. Donald Trump is doing just this. 

Connect the following dots:

1. In January, Trump blasted a federal judge for staying his travel ban. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he tweeted.

Categories: Human Rights

The U.S. Military Moves Deeper into Africa

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:44
Nick Turse

General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy.  “I would just say, they are on the ground.  They are trying to influence the action,” commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa.  “We watch what they do with great concern.”

Categories: Human Rights

McKibben Says, Whether In or Out of Paris, the 'Task is Full-On Resistance' to Trump

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:25
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Regardless of whether President Donald Trump withdraws the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the environmental movement is calling for "full-on resistance" to the host of backwards, polluting policies that have already become a hallmark of the new administration.

Categories: Human Rights

Killing Net Neutrality Is a Critical Goal in Trump's Campaign Against Free Speech

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:23
Joseph Torres

The president’s appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, unveiled his plan to kill Net Neutrality at a closed-door FreedomWorks-sponsored event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Categories: Human Rights

Trump’s First 100 Days are Marred by an Aggressive Anti-Worker Agenda

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:13
Economic Policy Institute

Read the report on »

In a new report, EPI experts examine President Trump’s actions in his first 100 days analyzes their impact on the nation’s working people and on our economy.

Categories: Human Rights

RESIST DAY #98: What You Can Do Today

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:09
Common Dreams staff

Resistance in your community, across the country, and around the globe

Categories: Human Rights

Climate Movement to May Day Strikers: "We've Got Your Back"

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:06
Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Just as labor leaders are standing firmly behind this Saturday's national climate mobilization, the environmental movement has declared its support for workers who plan to strike as part of Monday's May Day demonstrations.

Categories: Human Rights

This Is What It Will Look Like When New Orleans, New York City, and Mar-A-Lago Disappear Under Rising Seas

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:05
Nika Knight, staff writer

A new report shows that many previous estimates of global sea level rise by 2100 were far too conservative, the Washington Post reported Thursday, and the research comes as new maps and graphics from Climate Central vividly show how disastrous that flooding will be for U.S. cities.

Categories: Human Rights

100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050: Senators Introduce 'Most Ambitious' Climate Plan Ever

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 14:01
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J.

Categories: Human Rights

Yemen: Effective Humanitarian Aid Depends on a Peace Accord

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:58
René Wadlow

The United Nations (UN) together with the governments of Sweden and Switzerland which have often led humanitarian issues in the UN system held a high-level pledging conference in Geneva on April 25, 2017 to again draw attention to the deepening humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen, currently the largest food security emergency in the world. Some 60% of the population are in a food-insecure situation.

Categories: Human Rights

The Shame of Killing Innocent People

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:52
Kathy Kelly

On April 26th, 2017, in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the Saudi-led coalition which has been waging war in Yemen for the past two years dropped leaflets informing Hodeidah’s residents of an impending attack.  One leaflet read:

“Our forces of legitimacy are heading to liberate Hodeidah and end the suffering of our gracious Yemeni people. Join your legitimate government in favor of the free and happy Yemen.”

And another:

Categories: Human Rights

Why Are Leftists Targeting Troll Columnists Like Ann Coulter Instead of Institutions?

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:33
Conor Friedersdorf

California is at the center of the ongoing, nationwide conflict over free speech on college campuses. The latest installment: After Ann Coulter was invited, and then disinvited, to speak at UC Berkeley, university administrators tried to placate the conservative polemicist by rescheduling the event.

Categories: Human Rights

Puerto Rico Oversight Board Meets as Bankruptcy Deadline Approaches

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:16
Jubilee USA Network

Puerto Rico's oversight board meets on April 28th in New York and could authorize a bankruptcy process for the debt ridden island.

Categories: Human Rights

100% Clean Energy Bill Launched by Senators and Movement Leaders

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 11:15

Ahead of the Peoples Climate March, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Ed Markey stood beside movement leaders to introduce legislation that will completely phase out fossil fuel use by 2050. The “100 by ‘50 Act” outlines a bold plan to support workers and to prioritize low-income communities while replacing oil, coal and gas with clean energy sources like wind and solar.

Categories: Human Rights

For First Time Ever, Majority of House Dems Support 'Medicare-for-All' Bill

Common Dreams - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 10:57
Nika Knight, staff writer

As President Donald Trump and the GOP attempt once again to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a much crueler bill, House Democrats are pushing in the total opposite direction: as of Thursday, a record 104 have signed on to co-sponsor a Medicare-for-All bill.

Categories: Human Rights