Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

‘Drowning Our Democracy’: US Billionaires Have Pumped Nearly $900,000,000 Into Midterms

“Billionaires represent 0.000002% of the American population, but they’re responsible for 7.4% of all political donations so far this cycle,” according to Americans for Tax Fairness.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 11-3-2022 by Common Dreams

Peter Thiel speaking with attendees at the 2022 Converge Tech Summit at The Waste Management Phoenix Open at the Skybar at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

With under a week until the U.S. midterm elections, Americans for Tax Fairness revealed Thursday that billionaires have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns this cycle, largely to benefit Republican candidates.

“A torrent of billionaire cash is drowning our democracy,” declared Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF). “Money talks when it comes to influencing candidates and winning elections, and the loudest voices by far are billionaires pushing for lower taxes so they can accumulate even greater wealth and have even more power and influence.” Continue reading

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Marches on US Main Streets Center Poor Voters’ Demands Ahead of Midterms

“The priorities of poor and low-income people are on the ballot this election—from healthcare to living wages to social programs that lift the load of poverty and much more,” said Poor People’s Campaign co-chair Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 10-15-2022 by Common Dreams

The Poor People’s Campaign organized get-out-the-vote marches across the United States, including in Westminster, Maryland, on October 15, 2022. (Photo: Maryland Poor People’s Campaign/Twitter)

Less than a month before Election Day, low-income people and allies came together across the United States on Saturday as part of a get-out-the-vote push by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

The campaign aims to reach at least five million people by the midterm elections next month, spreading the word that “if we ever needed to vote for democracy and justice, we sure do need to vote now!” However, the effort also has a message for politicians. Continue reading

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‘A True Danger to the Public Post Office’: DeJoy Moves to Consolidate USPS Facilities

“How many post offices will be closed?” asked one union official. “How many clerks and drivers will lose jobs?”

By Jake Johnson  Published 8-27-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: C-SPAN

Postal union officials are sounding the alarm about the potentially damaging impacts of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s effort to consolidate post offices across the U.S. as part of his widely condemned 10-year plan to reshape the public mail agency.

Government Executive reported Friday that “more than 200 post offices and other U.S. Postal Service facilities are set to shed some of their operations as soon as this year as the mailing agency seeks to consolidate those functions at larger buildings, according to documents shared by management.” Continue reading

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Kids Born Near Fracking Sites 2-3 Times More Likely to Develop Leukemia: Study

Exposure to fracking and its effects is “a major public health concern,” said a study co-author.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 8-17-2022 by Common Dreams

An oil rig is couched between a field of celery and broccoli near Santa Maria, CA. Photo: Faces of Fracking/flickr/CC

Adding further evidence of the negative public health impacts associated with planet-heating fossil fuel pollution, new research published Wednesday found that children living in close proximity to fracking and other so-called “unconventional” drilling operations at birth face significantly higher chances of developing childhood leukemia than those not residing near such activity.

The peer-reviewed study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, examined the relationship between residential proximity to unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD) and risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood leukemia. Continue reading

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Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens ‘Future of Voting Rights’

“Buckle up,” implores one prominent legal scholar. “An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 6-30-2022 by Common Dreams

A rally to end gerrymandering outside the Supreme Court on 3/26/19. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC

As SCOTUS-watchers scrambled to stay abreast of a rush of rulings affecting climateimmigrationIndigenous rights, and other policy areas, the nation’s highest court on Thursday said it would hear oral arguments this October in a case involving a controversial legal theory that one advocacy group says is “threatening the future of voting rights.”

The case, Moore v. Harper, involves North Carolina’s congressional map, which was drawn by the Republican-controlled state Legislature and which the state Supreme Court struck down as racially discriminatory. Continue reading

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1,100+ Banned Books Across 26 States: Report Shows ‘Shocking’ Censorship

“What is happening in this country in terms of banning books in schools is unparalleled in its frequency, intensity, and success,” said the director of PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program.

By Jake Johnson  Published 4-8-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Enokson/flickr/CC

A report published Thursday by the free expression group PEN America details an “alarming” and unprecedented surge in book banning across the United States, with 86 school districts in 26 states prohibiting more than 1,100 titles in classrooms and libraries over just the past eight months.

Titled Banned in the USA, the report finds that districts representing 2,899 schools with a combined enrollment of more than 2 million students banned 1,145 unique book titles by 874 different authors, 198 illustrators, and nine translators between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Continue reading

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In ‘Momentous’ Ruling, Supreme Court Rejects GOP Voting Maps

While North Carolina and Pennsylvania will use evenly-split electoral maps for the midterm elections, the court’s right-wing majority appeared eager to rule further on whether state courts can reject partisan maps.

By Julia Conley.  Published 3-8-2022 by Common Dreams

A rally to end gerrymandering outside the Supreme Court on 3/26/19. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC

Voting rights advocates in North Carolina and Pennsylvania celebrated a victory late Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected district maps that had been approved by Republican-led state legislatures and that critics said would give the GOP an unfair advantage in the midterm elections.

The ruling will allow voters in the two states “to vote in free and fair congressional elections this year,” Stanton Jones, an attorney who represented voting rights groups that challenged North Carolina’s gerrymandered map, told the New York Times. Continue reading

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‘Egregious’: Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: “The fight’s not over yet, folks.”

By Julia Conley Published 1-28-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: ABC

A sweeping Pennsylvania voting rights law that won praise from across the political spectrum when it was passed in 2019 was struck down by a state court Friday after Republican lawmakers—several of whom had voted for the law—claimed it unlawfully helped President Joe Biden to win the state in 2020.

The conservative-leaning Commonwealth Court ruled 3-2 that Act 77 is unconstitutional, reasoning that an 1838 amendment to the state constitution says Pennsylvanians must vote in person on Election Day unless they meet certain criteria. The rule must be overturned by the adoption of a new amendment, said the court. Continue reading

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Political rage: America survived a decade of anger in the 18th century – but can it now?

Protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting a whiskey tax during George Washington’s presidency.
Archive Photos/Getty Images

Maurizio Valsania, Università di Torino

Americans have an anger problem.

People rage at each other. They are angry at public officials for shutting down parts of society. Or for the opposite reason because they aren’t doing enough to curb the virus. Democrats vent their rage at Republicans. And Republicans treat Democrats not as opponents, but as enemies.

Meanwhile, the American founders are being literally taken off of their pedestals in a rejection of the history they represent. And, of course, a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in early 2021, trying to disrupt that most fundamental of U.S. institutions, the peaceful transfer of presidential power. Continue reading

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The erosion of Roe v. Wade and abortion access didn’t begin in Texas or Mississippi – it started in Pennsylvania in 1992

Demonstrators in Austin march at the Texas State Capitol in just one of many rallies held across the U.S. to protest the state’s new abortion law.
Montinique Monroe/Getty Images News via Getty Images

Alison Gash, University of Oregon

Abortion rights are more vulnerable to Supreme Court reversal now than at any time since the court legalized the procedure in its landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade.

The court is set to weigh in on abortion restrictions from at least two states this term. The first is a Texas law effectively outlawing abortions after six weeks. The second is a Mississippi law barring abortions after 15 weeks.

On Oct. 22, 2021, the Supreme Court upheld a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling allowing the Texas law to go into effect while the case is being litigated. Continue reading

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