Tag Archives: Corruption

Until 1968, presidential candidates were picked by party conventions – a process revived by Biden’s withdrawal from race

By Philip Klinkner, Hamilton College. Published 7-21-2024 by The Conversation

President Joe Biden address the crowd and nation during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. Photo: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/flickr/CC

Now that Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 presidential race and endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to be the nominee, it will ultimately be up to Democratic National Convention delegates to formally select a new nominee for their party. This will mark the first time in over 50 years that a major party nominee was selected outside of the democratic process of primaries and caucuses.

Many Democrats had already begun discussing how to replace Biden. They worried that having the convention delegates, the majority of whom were pledged at first to Biden, select the nominee would appear undemocratic and illegitimate.

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Student Loan Payments Paused for Millions Amid Court Fight Over Relief Plan

While praising the Biden administration’s move “to stave off this reckless attack from extremist politicians and judges,” advocates stressed that “broad-based debt cancellation is the only solution.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: The Prospect/CC

The Biden administration responded to an appellate court temporarily blocking one of its student debt relief programs by pausing payments for the 8 million borrowers already enrolled—a move welcomed by advocates, even as some called for further action.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona acknowledged in a statement that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against President Joe Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan “could have devastating consequences for millions of student loan borrowers crushed by unaffordable monthly payments if it remains in effect.”

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CFPB Aims to Protect Workers From Paycheck Advance Fees

“The CFPB’s actions will help workers know what they are getting with these products and prevent race-to-the-bottom business practices,” said the director of the bureau.

By Julia Conley. Published 7-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra. Screenshot: CNBC

With inflation rising in recent years, driven by corporate greed according to numerous analyses, the number of people in the U.S. who have relied on paycheck advance products has skyrocketed—but a rule introduced Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is aimed at ensuring that lenders who provide these products are transparent with financially struggling workers about the fees they can incur.

The CFPB proposed a rule clarifying that paycheck advances, sometimes marketed as “earned wage” products, are consumer loans and are therefore subject to the Truth in Lending Act.

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Targeting Corporate Landlords, Biden to Unveil National Rent Control Plan

“The rent is too damn high—and rent control is a real fix,” one group said, praising the proposal.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Rent control rally in Seattle, 2019. Photo: Seattle City Council/flickr/CC

As former U.S. President Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination and announced his running mate on Monday, Democratic President Joe Biden prepared to unveil a proposal that would cap annual rent increases at 5% for tenants of major landlords.

After Biden briefly previewed the proposal during a press conference last week, The Washington Post reported on the planned announcement Monday, citing three people familiar with the matter. The Associated Press separately confirmed the plan.

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Teamsters President Urged to Cancel Republican Convention Speech

One Teamsters official warned the union leader’s scheduled appearance “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien testified at a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) in 2023. Photo: Teamsters

Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien is facing mounting internal pressure to cancel his planned speech to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next week, with the union’s vice president at large accusing the labor leader of kowtowing to a viciously anti-worker party and a GOP presidential hopeful whose first four years in the White House were marked by open attacks on the labor movement.

John Palmer, the Teamsters’ vice president at large, wrote in an op-ed in New Politics earlier this week that O’Brien’s scheduled appearance at Donald Trump’s invitation “only normalizes and makes the most anti-union party and president I’ve seen in my lifetime seem palatable.”

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Failed US Military Pier Offered ‘Humanitarian Gloss’ as Israel Starved Gaza

“The entire operation was a failed exercise in public relations by the Biden administration,” said one observer.

By Brett Wilkins Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. troops prepare components of the Gaza aid pier on March 15, 2024. (Photo: United States Naval Institute)

After failing to re-anchor its “humanitarian pier” in Gaza, the Pentagon said Thursday that the much-ballyhooed project—which critics dismissed as a “public relations ploy” that did next to nothing to stop the deadly starvation spreading in the besieged Palestinian enclave—would shut down indefinitely.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said U.S. troops had failed to reconnect the floating Trident Pier to Gaza’s shore due to “technical and weather-related issues,” according to The Washington Post.

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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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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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