Monthly Archives: May 2019

‘Explosive’ New Evidence Shows GOP ‘Weaponizing’ the 2020 Census With Citizenship Question to Rig Elections

A Republican redistricting strategist who died last year left behind documents that critics call a “smoking gun” in the right-wing effort to exploit the census for electoral advantage

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-30-2019

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in June about the legality of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. (Photo: @CensusCounts/Twitter)

Just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, previously undisclosed documents found on the hard drives of a deceased Republican operative offer “explosive” new evidence that the GOP fought for the question to create an electoral advantage for “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

Federal district judges in New York and California ruled earlier this year that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the next census violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The Supreme Court heard arguments in April and is expected to issue a ruling in June. Continue reading

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Group Demands to Know: Who at Trump’s EPA Decided to Slash Funds Used to Protect Children From Toxic Poisoning?

“This latest assault on children’s health is the opposite of what millions of Americans want, which is a safe environment for their kids.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-29-2019

The Environmental Working Group is demanding information about the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to no longer for children’s health centers, which have conducted “groundbreaking research.” (Photo: Isabelle Acatauassú Alves Almeida /flickr/cc)

Exactly what led President Donald Trump’s EPA to stop funding research centers tasked with probing environmental health threats to children?

One advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), wants answers.

EWG said in a press statement Wednesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents, including electronic records and minutes of meetings, about the decision. Continue reading

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‘Blatant Attempt to Politicize the Science’: Trump Reportedly Moving to End Long-Term Studies of Climate Crisis

“The Trump gang is attacking the scientific process itself in an attempt to prop up fossil fuel industries, delay inevitable action, and run the carbon bubble as long as it will last.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-28-2019

The Camp and Woolsey fires in California cost at least $9-13 billion in damage, according to a Christian Aid report published Thursday. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)

In what environmental experts warned could be President Donald Trump’s most dangerous assault on science yet, the White House is reportedly moving to end long-term assessments of the impacts of the climate crisis while pushing a polluter-friendly agenda that is making the planetary emergency worse.

As the New York Times reported late Monday, “the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously. Continue reading

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Senators Call for Disclosure of Perks and Fees Paid to Health Benefits Brokers

By Marshall Allen  Published 5-24-2019 by ProPublica

Health benefits brokers would have to reveal the fees and other enticements they’ve received from the insurance industry under bipartisan legislation proposed Thursday in the U.S. Senate.

The brokers are supposed to independently help employers select benefits for their workers. But a ProPublica investigation in February found that the insurance industry often uses undisclosed money and gifts to influence which plans the brokers favor. The payments and perks include healthy commissions, six-figure bonuses and exotic island vacations. Critics call the compensation a “classic conflict of interest” that drives up costs. Continue reading

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US Army Tweet Inadvertently Triggers Responses Revealing ‘Real, Painful, and Horrifying Human Costs of War’

“How has serving impacted you?” the Army asked. The responses poured in.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-26-2019

“This Memorial Day,” said Win Without War, “let us remember the real, painful, and horrifying human costs of war.” (Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/flickr/cc)

The U.S. Army may have gotten more than it bargained for when it recently asked on Twitter, “How has serving impacted you?”

The question, posed just before the nation officially marks Memorial Day, brought attention to “the real, painful, and horrifying human costs of war,” said advocacy group Win Without War. Continue reading

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Europe’s far-right bid to take back ‘Christian Europe’

Focus on Russian ‘interference’ risks ignoring the growing role of American religious conservatives in fuelling the far-right surge.

By Mary Fitzgerald. Published 5-24-2019 by openDemocracy

Handmaids outside a church in Verona, Italy 2019. | | Photo: Federica Delogu

“The Bible, borders and Brexit” will “make Europe great again”, declared Ed Martin to roaring applause. The Republican pundit who co-wrote ‘The Conservative Case for Trump’ was speaking at a global gathering of religious conservatives in Verona this March. Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, was a headline speaker.

Verona, Italy’s ancient ‘city of love’, is emblematic of how Europe is changing. It is now a stronghold for Salvini’s Lega party which, together with right-wing populists across the continent, is challenging the laws and social norms that have defined European life for decades. Continue reading

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New Data Reveals ‘Alarming Escalation’ of Threats Towards Abortion Facilities

“Anti-choice individuals and groups have been emboldened by the rhetoric of President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other elected officials.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-24-2019

“It is time for the demonizing of abortion providers and their patients to end,” said The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, interim president and CEO of NAF. (Photo: ACLU)

As reproductive rights face continued attacks on the state and federal levels, just-released data reveals an “alarming escalation” in violence and harassment aimed at abortion providers and those seeking their services.

The statistics (pdf), reflecting incidents in 2018, were released Friday by the National Abortion Federation (NAF). Continue reading

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‘What Could Be More Important?’: World Leaders, Media Ignore Biodiversity Report Detailing Mass Extinction Event Now Underway

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-23-2019

Scientists at the UN’s Intergovernmental Science‑Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a study showing that a million species are at risk for extinction earlier this month—but the report was largely ignored by the corporate news media. (Photo: Danny Perez Photography/flickr/cc)

Scientists at the United Nations’ intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species—but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Deutsche Welle reported Thursday that partially because the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released its report on what it called nature’s “unprecedented” decline on the same day that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their first child, news reports on the study’s grave implications were few and far between. Continue reading

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Over 1,351 Climate Strikes in 110 Countries Planned for Friday as Global Revolt Escalates

“Activism works. So act.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-21-2019

People in more than 100 countries are expected to take part in well over 1,000 strikes on Friday, May 24 to demand climate action from their governments. (Photo: @ExtinctionR/Twitter)

Two months after what was reportedly the largest international climate demonstration ever, young people around the world are expected to make history again on Friday with a second global climate strike.

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, who began the global movement in which students around the world have walked out of their classrooms on a weekly basis since last fall to demand climate action, reported Tuesday that at least 1,351 separate strikes are now scheduled to take place all over the world on Friday. Continue reading

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‘This Is Not A Drill’: Amid GOP Attack, Pro-Choice #StopTheBans Rallies Take Place Nationwide

“Now more than ever, we must unite against this unprecedented attack on our fundamental rights and freedoms…Because we are in the fight of our lives.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-21-2019

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue speaks at a #StopTheBans rally in Washington, D.C., aimed at ending the Republican Party’s attacks on abortion rights. (Photo: NARAL Pro-Choice America)

A week after the Alabama legislature sparked outrage that spread across the country with its approval of a near-total ban on abortion care in the state, reproductive rights advocates across the country are holding “Stop the Bans” rallies on Tuesday to demand that state Republican lawmakers end their attacks on abortion rights.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Women’s Law Center, and Planned Parenthood were among dozens of national groups that began planning a #StopTheBans Day of Action last week after extreme anti-choice laws were passed both in Alabama and Missouri. By Tuesday morning, more than 500 direct actions were planned in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Continue reading

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