Category Archives: Social Justice

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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Bipartisan Group of Senators Announces Deal to Ban Stock Trading in Congress

“If you want to serve in Congress, don’t come here to serve your portfolio, come here to serve the people,” said a Democrat leading the effort.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Senator Jeff Merkley/X

A small, bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Wednesday announced a proposal to ban trading of individual stocks by members of Congress and certain of their immediate family members, drawing praise from watchdog groups.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) brought forth the bill, which would tighten rules on holdings of individual stocks and establish what Merkley described as “huge” penalties for noncompliance—the equivalent of a member’s monthly salary, or 10% of the value of the improper investment, whichever is greater.

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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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Led by Left Coalition, French Election Shows ‘How You Defeat the Far Right’

France’s left-of-center parties held off a far-right advance in the country’s parliamentary elections by building a progressive platform and forming strategic alliances, their supporters say.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Supporters of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) part of The Nouveau Front Populaire coalition, celebrate the election results. Screenshot: CNN

Political figures from across the world congratulated France’s left-of-center coalition following parliamentary elections on Sunday in which it gained the most seats of any group, outperforming the far-right party that many feared would take control of the National Assembly, in what The Washington Post called “one of the greatest political upsets in recent French history.”

In the second and final round of voting, the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) won roughly 180 out of the 577 seats in the assembly, far from a majority but more than President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition, which won about 160, or Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which won about 140 or 145.

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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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‘Monumental’: Advocates Applaud Federal Rule to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat

The administration has established that “every worker in America has the right to shade, water, and rest while working in temperatures that could kill them,” a labor leader said.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-2-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: FOX13 Now

Labor advocates celebrated on Tuesday following the Biden administration’s announcement of a proposed rule to protect workers from extreme heat—the first national workplace heat safety standard.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor, published the rule, which the administration says would protect about 36 million indoor and outdoor employees from heat-related injuries and illnesses. It follows similar regulations that five states have approved in recent years.

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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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‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Very Dangerous,’ Hurricane Beryl Explodes Into Category 4 Storm

“The climate crisis is here. This is an emergency. Politicians need to start acting like it.”

By Jon Queally. Published 6-30-2024 by Common Dreams

A satellite image of Hurricane Beryl as churns toward the southeast Caribbean on Sunday, June 20, 2024. (Image: NOAA)

Meteorologists, climate campaigners, and extreme weather experts expressed shock and horror Sunday as Hurricane Beryl exploded into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm as it headed into the warm waters of the southern Caribbean with a level of intensification characterized as unprecedented.

The National Hurricane Center on Sunday morning called it a “very dangerous situation” due to “potentially catastrophic hurricane-force winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves” for the numerous mainland and island nations in Beryl’s path.

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‘Unfathomably Cruel’: Billionaire-Backed Justices Rule in Favor of Criminalizing Homelessness

“Maybe the right-wing justices could empathize with the most vulnerable Americans if they spent less time jet-setting on luxury vacations on their wealthy benefactors’ dime,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles over the freeway in 2021. Photo: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/CC

“SCOTUS just criminalized homelessness.”

So said numerous legal experts and advocates for the unhoused Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority ruled that local governments can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, regardless of whether municipalities are able to offer them shelter space.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the justices ruled in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson that officials can criminalize sleeping and camping on public property including parks, even when housing options are unavailable or unaffordable.

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