Tag Archives: Chuck Schumer.

In ‘Toothless PR Stunt,’ Supreme Court Publishes Ethics Code With No Enforcement Mechanisms

“This unenforceable public relations document serves absolutely no purpose other than to permit the media to revert to pretending that our unaccountable and unethical Supreme Court retains legitimacy,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 11-13-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

In the wake of a series of high-profile scandals surrounding the relationship between right-wing justices and billionaires, the U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it had formally adopted a new Code of Conduct.

The 14-page code is based on requirements for lower court judges, and most of the rules it outlines are not new, the court said. Watchdog groups have been widely critical of the new document, which does not stipulate how the conduct it promotes will be enforced, with the Revolving Door Project labeling it a “toothless PR stunt.”

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$10 Trillion in Added US Debt Since 2001 Shows ‘Bush and Trump Tax Cuts Broke Our Modern Tax Structure’

“In their blind loyalty to their mega-donors, Republicans’ fixation on giant tax cuts for billionaires has created a revenue problem that is driving up our national debt,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in response to new Treasury Department figures.

By Jon Queally. Published 10-21-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: White House Archives

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday released new figures related to the 2023 budget that showed a troubling drop in the nation’s tax revenue compared to GDP—a measure which fell to 16.5% despite a growing economy—and an annual deficit increase that essentially doubled from the previous year.

“After record U.S. government spending in 2020 and 2021” due to programs related to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, the Washington Post reports, “the deficit dropped from close to $3 trillion to close to $1 trillion in 2022. But rather than continue to fall to its pre-pandemic levels, the deficit unexpectedly jumped this year to roughly $2 trillion.”

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Memo Exposes Renewable Energy Trade Group’s Close Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry

“Despite its name, American Clean Power is yet another fossil fuel lobbying group trying to trick people into believing its greenwashing,” said one campaigner. “Any political leader who claims to care about the planet’s future should shun this organization.”

By Kenny Stancil. Published 4-20-2023 by Common Dreams

​American Clean Power CEO Jason Grumet and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) at Clean Power on the Hill on April 18 2023. Photo: ​American Clean Power/Twitter

The American Clean Power Association has been billed as “the nation’s top renewable energy trade group,” but lurking beneath its green luster is a dirty reality.

That’s according to the Revolving Door Project, which published a memo on Thursday to expose what is calls ACP’s “close ties to the fossil fuel industry and an ‘all of the above’ energy agenda that allows for massive new fossil fuel development and environmental damage, as long as clean energy also benefits.”

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Experts Demand ‘Pause’ on Spread of Artificial Intelligence Until Regulations Imposed

“Businesses are deploying potentially dangerous AI tools faster than their harms can be understood or mitigated,” Public Citizen warns. “History offers no reason to believe that corporations can self-regulate away the known risks.”

By Kenny Stancil. Published 4-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Image: Mike MacKenzie/flickr/CC

“Until meaningful government safeguards are in place to protect the public from the harms of generative AI, we need a pause.”

So says a report on the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) published Tuesday by Public Citizen. Titled Sorry in Advance! Rapid Rush to Deploy Generative AI Risks a Wide Array of Automated Harms, the analysis by researchers Rick Claypool and Cheyenne Hunt aims to “reframe the conversation around generative AI to ensure that the public and policymakers have a say in how these new technologies might upend our lives.”

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Tom Cotton Blocks Senate PRESS Act Designed to Protect Journalists

“Sen. Cotton’s hostility to press freedoms demonstrates exactly why these protections are needed,” said one advocate, calling for inclusion of the bill in an end-of-year spending package.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 12-14-2022 by Common Dreams

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton on Wednesday blocked the passage of a House-approved bipartisan bill that’s been heralded by advocates as “the most important free press legislation in modern times.”

The Senate had in recent days faced mounting pressure from journalists, press freedom groups, and others to follow the House’s lead and approve the Protect Reporters From Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act, spearheaded by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). Continue reading

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Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of ‘Game-Changing’ PRESS Act

“The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs,” explained one advocate.

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 12-7-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: AFGE/flickr/CC

Free press advocates this week urged people to contact Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office and ask the New York Democrat to pass legislation protecting journalists from government abuses during the closing days of the current Congress.

“The time between an election and the inauguration of a new Congress—or the lame-duck, as it is affectionately known—is ironically a time when things can happen on the Hill, in part because departing members don’t have to worry about reelection,” Emily Hockett, a Technology Press Freedom Project fellow, wrote for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Continue reading

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Inside the Democrats’ climate deal with the devil

The new climate package furthers the US’ most profligate pastimes: drilling oil and driving big cars

By Aaron White  Published 8-2-2022 by openDemocracy

Senator Joe Manchin Photo: Third Way Think Tank/flickr/CC

Last week, Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator whose decisive vote in the evenly split upper house has led some to brand him ‘President Manchin’, and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer surprised even the most clued-in political junkies by announcing support for a climate bill that had been declared dead just several weeks before.

The 725-page legislation seemed a brief respite from a summer of extreme weather – a brutal heatwave and flooding across the US – as well as soaring inflation, a cost of living crisis and radical Supreme Court rulings that overturned abortion rights and limited the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading

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Big Pharma Flooding Airwaves With Disinformation to Kill Drug Price Reform

“Powerful interest groups out there don’t want this legislation to succeed, so they’re pouring dark money into efforts to stop it,” said one Democratic senator.

By Jake Johnson  Published 7-29-2022 by Common Dreams

The group American Commitment is running ads in several states attacking Democrats’ plan to lower prescription drug prices. (Photo: Screengrab/American Commitment)

While its thousands of lobbyists work fervently on Capitol Hill, the pharmaceutical industry is flooding the airwaves in several states with deceptive ads in a last-ditch campaign to block Senate Democrats’ plan to curb the unchecked pricing power of drug corporations.

Included as part of a reconciliation package negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the proposal would require Medicare to negotiate the prices of a small number of drugs directly with pharmaceutical companies, which can currently drive up costs as they please—boosting their profits at the expense of patients. Continue reading

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Letting Medicare Negotiate Drug Prices Would Save US Nearly $290 Billion: CBO

“By empowering Medicare to directly negotiate prices for prescription drugs Congress can end the days of seniors missing lifesaving medications because they cannot afford them,” said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

By Jon Queally  Published 7-9-2022 by Common Dreams

The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that a pending proposal by Senate Democrats to allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices would yield nearly $290 billion in savings and new revenue over ten years of implementation, a predictable yet crucial finding as lawmakers try to revitalize a legislative deal in the coming weeks.

The Democratic effort to revitalize a broader reconciliation package that could be passed in the narrowly-split Senate without Republican votes is considered the best that can be achieved after Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema tanked the much larger Build Back Better plan—one that included sweeping climate provisions and other social investments—last year. Continue reading

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As Consumers Pay, Oil CEOs Refuse to Testify to Congress About Soaring Prices

“While Americans struggle with high gas prices, these companies are doing victory laps, showering their already wealthy executives and shareholders with billions in stock buybacks and bonus compensation,” said one watchdog group. “They should be ashamed.”

By Julia Conley  Pubished 3-29-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Joel Kramer/flickr/CC

As people across the United States face record-high gas prices—compounded by rising grocery bills and prices for other essentials—executives at three major oil companies are refusing to testify before Congress about what their firms could do to lessen the burden on U.S. households, leaving Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates to condemn the companies for profiting amid lower and middle-class people’s financial pain.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, had invited the CEOs of EOG Resources Inc., Devon Energy Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. to testify next week, only to be rebuffed Tuesday by the executives, who have personally profited off gas prices which averaged $4.24 per gallon on Monday. Continue reading

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