Author Archives: ew

About ew

ew came of age during the winddown to the Vietnam War, and like many other Americans, as soon there wasn't an issue that didn't affect him personally, he became indifferent. This gradually changed during the Reagan and Bush I years, continued through the Clinton years and finally came to a head with the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. He works as a freelance consultant/tester for various music hardware and software companies, and lives in Minnesota.

Lawmakers Move to Bar Foreign-Owned Corporations From Spending on US Elections

A new bill “closes a glaring loophole opened up by the Supreme’s Court disastrous Citizens United decision which allows U.S. companies primarily owned by foreign entities to funnel money into our elections,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in several major U.S. companies including Uber. Such companies have been allowed to spend freely on elections since 2010, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen United. Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced bills to the U.S. Senate and House seeking to ban corporations that are at least 5% foreign-owned from federal elections spending, drawing praise from advocacy groups.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act to the Senate and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) reintroduced the same bill to the House, with each version gaining co-sponsorship by progressive lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

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‘All of Our Tricks Worked’: Spoof ExxonMobil Ad Nails Just How Easy It’s Been for Big Oil

“Do you have any idea how easy it is to get you off our backs with a little bullsh*t about your responsibilities to the planet?”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 7-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Exxon Knew – Divest rally at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX on May 25, 2016 . Photo: 350 .org/flickr/CC

A new parody ExxonMobil advertisement released Tuesday by a group founded by Adam McKay—the Academy Award-winning writer and director of the blockbuster doomsday climate comedy Don’t Look Up—mocks humanity for letting Big Oil get away with causing one of the biggest existential threats of all time.

“There’s a world we all want to live in again. A world where the air is pure and crisp and clean and fills your lungs with joy. A world where you can drink water from any river or creek and your house will still be there tomorrow if it rains,” the narrator of Yellow Dot Studio’s latest parody video says in the two-minute clip. “Here at Exxon, we believe in that world, and we’re working hard to make sure that our customers believe that we believe in that world.”

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With Attention on Presidential Contest, GOP Goes on Austerity Rampage

One leading Democrat warned Republicans’ spending proposals would “demolish public education” and “let corporate price gouging run rampant.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

With much of the public’s attention on the looming presidential election and high-stakes jockeying over who will take on Donald Trump in November, congressional Republicans in recent weeks have provided a stark look at their plans for federal spending should their party win back control of the presidency and the Senate.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins in October, is currently underway, with congressional committees engaging in government funding debates that are likely to continue beyond the November elections.

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Kansas Supreme Court Affirms Abortion Rights, Strikes Down Restrictions

“This is an immense victory for the health, safety, and dignity of people in Kansas and the entire Midwestern region, where millions have been cut off from abortion access,” said one advocate.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Women’s March in Topeka, KS, 2017. Photo: mmrogne/flickr/CC

Reproductive rights defenders on Friday cheered a pair of Kansas Supreme Court decisions reaffirming the right to abortion and striking down various restrictions—rulings expected to impact people beyond the Midwestern state, given how many patients must now travel for care.

“The state devoted much of its brief to inviting us to reverse our earlier ruling in this case that the Kansas Constitution protects a right to abortion. We decline the invitation,” Justice Eric Rosen wrote in the decision against Senate Bill 95, which outlawed a common abortion procedure for second-trimester pregnancies called dilation and evacuation (D&E).

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Arizonans Submit Over Double the Signatures Needed for Abortion Ballot Measure

“The enthusiasm we’ve seen from Arizona voters for this constitutional amendment is unprecedented, and we’re ready to stand with them through Election Day and restore the reproductive freedom they deserve.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 7-3-2024 by Common Dreams

Arizona for Abortion Access held a press conference about signature collection on July 3, 2024. (Photo: Arizona for Abortion Access/X)

Campaigners on Wednesday turned in 823,685 signatures—more than double the 383,923 required—to the Arizona secretary of state’s office to get a proposed state constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the November ballot.

“What we’re turning in is a show of strength of the campaign, but also strength of the issue of protecting abortion,” said Chris Love, a spokesperson for Arizona for Abortion Access. “And I’m confident that we will obviously appear on the ballot, but more importantly, I’m confident that we’ll win in November.”

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Planned Parenthood Warns House GOP Appropriations Bills Attack Global Health

The “slate of dangerous and unpopular provisions” includes “eliminating the Title X family planning program and reinstating the Trump-era expanded global gag rule.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-1-2024 by Common Dreams

A Planned Parenthood exam room. Photo: Planned Parenthood

As the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives uses the appropriations process to promote the GOP agenda ahead of the November elections, Planned Parenthood Action Fund on Monday highlighted how the spending bills attack health within and beyond the United States.

“Once again, anti-abortion rights politicians in Congress are manipulating the federal appropriations process to push for a recycled slate of dangerous and unpopular provisions to block access to sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country and around the world,” states the new PPFA memo.

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‘Gift to Corporate Greed’: Dire Warnings as Supreme Court Scraps Chevron Doctrine

“Make no mistake—more people will get sick, injured, or die as a result of today’s decision,” said one advocate.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

The Supreme Court. Photo: Public Domain

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority delivered corporate polluters, anti-abortion campaigners, and other right-wing interests a major victory Friday by overturning the so-called Chevron doctrine, a deeply engrained legal precedent whose demise could spell disaster for public health and the climate.

The high court’s 6-3 ruling along ideological lines in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce significantly constrains the regulatory authority of federal agencies tasked with crafting rules on a range of critical matters, from worker protection to the climate to drug safety.

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Supreme Court Puts Countless ‘Lives at Risk’ by Ruling Against Clean Air

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has abandoned any pretense of neutrality in cases involving environmental regulations,” an expert said.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-27-2024 by Common Dreams

The John E. Amos Power Plant is a three-unit coal-fired power plant in West Virginia
owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). Photo: Cathy/flickr/CC

Health and environmental groups decried a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Thursday that suspended an air pollution rule with far-reaching implications set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The justices ruled 5-4 in Ohio v. EPA to nullify the rule, designed to protect people in states downwind from smog-forming pollution, until the case can be decided on its merits in federal court, siding with the industrial polluters and upwind states who’d petitioned them to do so.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Blocks First US Religious Public Charter School

One coalition said the ruling “safeguards public education and upholds the separation of religion and government.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-25-2024 by Common Dreams

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School on June 25, 2024. Photo: Brian J. Matis/CC

Faith leaders, parents, and educators on Tuesday applauded the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling against the establishment of the first U.S. taxpayer-funded religious charter school—which was widely seen as a test case for Christian nationalists’ broader efforts to break down the barrier between church and state as well as further undermine public education.

The court’s decision against St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Catholic Charter School came in a case filed last October by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. Unlike some fellow Republicans, he argued that the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s approval of the online institution violated the state and federal constitutions.

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Sotomayor: Ruling Against Foreign Spouses Will ‘Most Heavily’ Harm Same-Sex Couples

“The majority’s failure to respect the right to marriage in this country consigns U.S. citizens to rely on the fickle grace of other countries’ immigration laws.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-21-2024 by Common Dreams

United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking to attendees at the John P. Frank Memorial Lecture at Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. in 2017. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned Friday that her right-wing colleagues’ finding that American citizens have no right to have their foreign spouses admitted to the United States will disproportionately harm same-sex couples—and could foreshadow a future reversal of federal LGBTQ+ marriage equality.

The justices ruled 6-3 along ideological lines in Department of State v. Muñoz that Sandra Muñoz, a civil rights attorney and U.S. citizen, “does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country.”

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