Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

UN Report Shows 11,000 Children Killed or Maimed in This US-Backed War

“Ultimately,” said the UNICEF chief, “only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 12-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: UNDP Yemen

After launching an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid for children in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund on Monday released a report showing that more than 11,000 young people have been killed or injured in the U.S.-backed conflict, where a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out attacks since 2015.

The true death toll of children is likely far higher, said the agency, commonly known as UNICEF, as millions face hunger and disease. Continue reading

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Amid Eli Lilly-Twitter Fiasco, Groups Call for End to Insulin Price Gouging

“The fake Eli Lilly account was right. Insulin should be free.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 11-14-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Brian J. Matis/flickr/CC

Dozens of progressive advocacy groups marked World Diabetes Day on Monday by urging Congress to pass legislation that would ensure people in the United States have access to the insulin on which their survival depends and prevent Big Pharma from price gouging on the lifesaving medicine.

In a letter addressed to Senate and House leaders, Public Citizen, T1International, and more than 50 other organizations wrote: “World Diabetes Day marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin and famously sold its patent for $1 and stated, ‘Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.’ Despite its discovery more than 100 years ago and the generosity of Banting and the co-inventors, many people living in the United States still struggle to afford access to the insulin they need.” Continue reading

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‘A Brazil of Hope’ as Leftist Lula Defeats Far-Right Bolsonaro in Presidential Runoff

The Workers’ Party candidate, who completed a remarkable political comeback less than three years removed from a prison cell, tweeted one word following his win: “Democracy.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 10-30-2022 by Common Dreams

Brazilian President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Photo: Daya Laxmi Shrestha/Twitter

“A huge blow against fascistic politics and a huge victory for decency and sanity.”

That’s how RootsAction director Norman Solomon described Brazilian President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Sunday presidential runoff victory against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, the culmination of a most remarkable political comeback for a man who was languishing behind bars just three years ago.

With 99% of votes counted via an electronic system that tallies final results in a matter of hours—and which was repeatedly aspersed by Bolsonaro in an effort to cast doubt on the election’s veracity—da Silva led the incumbent by more than two million ballots, or nearly two percentage points. Continue reading

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GOP Threatens to Hold Economy Hostage to Slash Climate Investments

“If Republicans take over Congress, they plan to hold the government hostage and ransom our future,” said one climate advocate.

By Jake Johnson  Published 10-25-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CNN

In addition to threatening cuts to Social Security and Medicare, congressional Republicans are reportedly plotting to use the debt ceiling and an end-of-year clash over government funding to target popular climate investments approved in August as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that “while some Republicans do favor brinkmanship over Medicare and Social Security… some aides and analysts think the GOP may be more likely to demand changes to other Democratic priorities.” Continue reading

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‘Believe Him,’ Say Critics, as McCarthy Signals GOP Plan to Attack Social Security, Medicare

“The future of Social Security and Medicare is on the ballot this November,” said one advocate. “Republicans, led by Kevin McCarthy, are united in a plot to reach into our pockets and steal our money.”

By Julia Conley  Published 10-18-2022 by Common Dreams

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Progressives on Tuesday warned that U.S. voters should take House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans at their word when they threaten to enact cuts to Social Security and Medicare despite the cost-of-living crisis that already has Americans struggling to afford healthcare and other essentials.

In an interview with Punchbowl News Tuesday, the California Republican outlined plans to use the expected fight over the raising of the debt ceiling next year as leverage to pass several austerity policies and block additional aid for Ukraine, as well as blocking pandemic-related spending. Continue reading

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15,000 Minnesota Nurses Launch Historic Strike to Put ‘Patients Before Profits’

“We feel like this is the only thing we can do,” said one nurse. “Hospitals tell us it’s our fault, but we’ve been actively involved and getting nowhere.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 9-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: TakeAction Minnesota/Twitter

About 15,000 nurses in Minnesota walked off the job on Monday for a historic three-day strike after months of failed contract negotiations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) last month voted overwhelmingly in support of what the union says is the “largest private sector nurses strike in U.S. history.”

Nurses with MNA argue that hospital executives who make millions of dollars per year “refuse solutions to short-staffing, retention, and better patient care.” Continue reading

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America is in the middle of a labor mobilization moment – with self-organizers at Starbucks, Amazon, Trader Joe’s and Chipotle behind the union drive

A revised movement on the backs of young workers?
Calla Kessler for The Washington Post via Getty Images

 

John Logan, San Francisco State University

Labor Day 2022 comes smack bang in the middle of what is increasingly looking like a pivotal year in the history of American unions.

The summer has seen a steady stream of workforce mobilizations. Employees at Trader Joe’s locations in Massachusetts and Minneapolis both voted to unionize. Meanwhile, restaurant chain Chipotle saw the first of its stores unionize, following a vote by workers at an outlet in Lansing, Michigan. Continue reading

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98 Million in US Skipped Treatment or Cut Back on Essentials to Pay for Healthcare This Year

“People have been making trade-offs to pay for healthcare for years. Inflation has only made things worse as people are also now struggling with the high price of gas, food, and electricity,” said the president of West Health, which conducted the new poll with Gallup.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-5-2022 by Common Dreams

As inflation hit a 40-year high this year, nearly 100 million Americans skipped care or cut back on necessities to cover the rising cost of medical treatment in a nation infamous for its for-profit system, according to polling results released this week.

Inflation rose to 9.1% in June—and healthcare inflation was at 4.5%—when Gallup and West Health asked people across the country how they had handled higher healthcare costs over the past six months. Continue reading

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Yemen Truce Extension Applauded Amid Demands That US End Support for Saudi-Led War

“Not only was United States involvement in this brutal war unauthorized to begin with, but it is a crucial point of leverage to ensure that the Saudis and their allies remain at the negotiating table these next two months,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley  Published 8-2-2022 by Common Dreams

Yemeni children play in the rubble of buildings destroyed in an air raid. Photo: Peter Biro/flickr/CC

Anti-war campaigners on Tuesday applauded news that the United Nations-brokered truce in Yemen had been extended for another two months and called on U.S. lawmakers to help ensure more permanent peace by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution.

Both the Saudi-led military coalition, which receives backing from the U.S. government, and the Houthis have been accused of violating the four-month ceasefire, but anti-war groups and civilians report that access to fuel and freedom of movement since the United Nations brokered the truce in April have helped people return to some semblance of normalcy, as reports of civilian casualties have dropped. Continue reading

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On 13th Anniversary of Last Minimum Wage Hike, Dems Urged to Raise ‘Deplorable’ $7.25 Floor

“They must immediately raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Our country cannot afford to reach a 14th anniversary of $7.25.”

By Jake Johnson  Published 7-24-2022 by Common Dreams

NYC Rally and March to raise the minimum wage on 4-15-2015. Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/CC

Marking the 13-year anniversary of the last federal minimum wage increase in the U.S.—a meager boost from $5.15 to $7.25 in 2009—progressive campaigners on Sunday urged congressional Democrats to make another push to raise the national pay floor as inflation continues to diminish workers’ purchasing power.

“Today is a sad anniversary in the United States,” said Morris Pearl, chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group that advocates progressive economic policy. “For 13 years now, Congress has failed to act to raise the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage. Lawmakers have turned their backs on America’s tens of millions of low-wage workers and revealed themselves to be beholden to the short-sighted interests of some of their ultra-rich donors.”

According to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the real value of the federal minimum wage is currently at its lowest point in nearly seven decades amid record-high inflation, which spurred a decrease in real average hourly earnings between June 2021 and June 2022 as corporate profits soared.

“Last July marked the longest period without a minimum wage increase since Congress established the federal minimum wage in 1938,” EPI noted, “and continued inaction on the federal minimum wage over the past year has only further eroded the minimum wage’s value.”

In 2021, Senate Democrats stripped a proposed $15 federal minimum wage from their coronavirus relief package on the advice of the chamber’s parliamentarian, an unelected official tasked with offering non-binding opinions on whether legislation complies with Senate rules.

Eight Senate Democrats joined Republicans in voting down Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) last-ditch attempt to reinclude the provision, which was approved by the House.

Amid more than a decade of federal inaction, states and localities across the U.S. have raised their hourly wage floors in response to pressure from the grassroots Fight for $15 movement.

But $7.25 an hour remains the prevailing minimum wage in 20 states. The tipped subminimum wage is still $3 an hour or lower in 22 states.

Had the federal minimum wage risen at the same rate as Wall Street bonuses, it would now be $61.75 an hour instead of $7.25. If the minimum wage had kept pace with worker productivity since 1968, it would have been around $23 an hour last year.

“Regressive politicians across this country have kept our wages down for years,” Fight for $15 wrote in a Twitter post. “That’s why it’s important that we get at least $15/hour federal minimum wage. That way no one gets left behind.”

Morris of the Patriotic Millionaires said Sunday that “$7.25 was already inadequate back in 2009 when the minimum wage was last raised, but now it is downright deplorable.”

“Since 2009, workers have endured the Great Recession, a worldwide pandemic, historic inflation, and massive changes in the cost of living,” Pearl added. “And what have they gotten in return? A minimum wage that is worth 27% less than its 2009 value, one that now isn’t enough to afford even a single-bedroom apartment in 93% of the country.”

“In the face of rapidly rising costs for American families, Congress must act to raise wages for the tens of millions of workers who are struggling just to get by. They must immediately raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. Our country cannot afford to reach a 14th anniversary of $7.25.”

And if congressional Democrats can’t muster “the political will” to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour—a move that would boost the incomes of more than 30 million people across the country—”then the president must act,” said Pearl.

“When President Biden came into office, he raised the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $15,” he pointed out. “Given the rising cost of living, he should now raise the minimum wage for federal contractors even higher, to no less than $20 an hour. This move will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, prove to voters that Democrats care about working people, and provide a strong example to spur Congressional Democrats to action.”

“The president,” Pearl added, “is supposed to be the leader of our country—it’s time for Biden to lead on this critical issue.”

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
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