Progressive Briefing for Tuesday, August 28

Student loan watchdog quits, progressives launch campaign against Kavanaugh, air pollution harms cognitive performance, and more.

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Student loan watchdog quits, says Trump administration ‘turned its back’ on borrowers

The federal official in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lending practices has stepped down.

In a scathing resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until now was the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says current leadership “has turned its back on young people and their financial futures.” The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the bureau’s acting director.

In the letter, obtained by NPR, Frotman accuses Mulvaney and the Trump administration of undermining the CFPB and its ability to protect student borrowers.

Sanders applauds ‘courageous’ workers for standing up to Disney World and winning $15 minimum wage

Progressive coalition pressures Senate Democrats demanding their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh

The pressure is on as a coalition of progressive organizations launched a campaign to pressure Senate Democrats to unite to #StopKavanaugh. “Whip the Vote” is aiming their campaign at two-dozen Democrats who have yet committed to opposing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s far-right Supreme Court pick.

The coalition, which includes progressive organizations Demand Justice, Indivisble, Move On, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ultraviolet Action, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, Daily Kos, Credo and Color of Change, lists each senator’s stance, whether it be support, lean support or opposed on its website, WhiptheVote.org.

Air pollution exposure harms cognitive performance, study finds

Researchers investigating the effects of air pollution conducted math and verbal tests over the course of multiple years on more than 25,000 people in 162 Chinese counties. They matched those results with pollution conditions at the time of each test, and found sobering results.

In paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists found that pollution is linked to a significant decline in cognition, and that the impact increases with age.

The findings underscore the need for China to clean up the air, says study co-author Xi Chen, a professor of health policy and economics at the Yale School of Public Health.

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