Friday, October 19, 2018

Progressive Briefing for Thursday, October 4

#MeToo unites against Kavanaugh, more proof Trump EPA 'working for coal millionaires', Sanders introduces bill to break up nation's largest Wall Street banks, and more.

Image credit: Zach D. Roberts/NationofChange

‘They want to undo the #Metoo Movement:’ The people unite against Kavanaugh

Earlier Wednesday evening 750 women and men gathered in front of the steps of the Supreme Court building to voice their concerns about the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the life long position as a justice. Three hundred similar gatherings took place across the country – according to the organizers – including a wide number of groups like the Women’s March, ACLU and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

More proof Trump EPA ‘working for coal millionaires’ as EPA plan to weaken mercury regulations revealed

A new proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would weaken a rule regulating toxic pollutants–including mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants—by eliminating government mandates that currently allow regulators to look at the health and environmental costs stemming from industrial waste and emissions.

The agency is proposing a major change to an Obama-era rule which states that when the government considers the cost of compliance with a regulation of a toxic chemical such as mercury, which has been found to harm the nervous systems of children and fetuses, it must also consider the “co-benefits” of the rule. As the New York Times reported Monday:

Under the mercury program, the economic benefits of those health effects, known as “co-benefits,” helped to provide a legal and economic justification for the cost to industry of the regulation. For example, as the nation’s power plants have complied with [the] rule by installing technology to reduce emissions of mercury, they also created the side benefit of reducing pollution of soot and nitrogen oxide, pollutants linked to asthma and lung disease.

Trump pick to run Social Security allegedly impersonated police officer to avoid trespassing charge

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing Tuesday morning on President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul, a former vice chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Like other Trump nominees, Saul has no background in the field he was chosen to lead. He did, however, serve on the board of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a right-wing think tank whose visiting fellows include Charles Murray, a race scientist who has argued that white people are intellectually superior to Black and Latinx individuals, and Abigail Thernstrom, political scientist who believes that affirmative action programs set Black children up for failure and that race barriers in America were eliminated when President Barack Obama was elected.

Bernie Sanders introduces legislation that would break up ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation to break up “too big to fail” financial institutions whose failure could be catastrophic to Americans and the economy.

The Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act would break up large banks such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and others that have a “total exposure of more than 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP),” Common Dreams reported.The legislation would break up six of the United States’ largest banks including other large non-bank financial corporations such as Prudential and AIG.

Help save creatures great and small on World Animal Day

On World Animal Day, we celebrate all the furry, scaly, winged and finned creatures that inhabit our planet.

On this international day of action, participants aim to “raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe,” according to organizers at the UK-based charity Naturewatch Foundation. The occasion was first celebrated in 1925 and is observed annually on Oct. 4.

Roughly 1,000 World Animal Day events, including educational workshops, adoptions, marches and fundraisers, will be held across 100 countries. Folks around the world are also making pledges, such as using cruelty-free products or going vegetarian or vegan to help make a positive difference.

‘Incredible’ win for more than 300,000 migrants as federal judge blocks Trump from ending temporary protected status

A federal judge on Wednesday delivered an “incredible” win for immigrant rights advocates and beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), blocking the Trump administration from ending protections for more than 300,000 people from El SalvadorHaitiNicaragua, and Sudan who live in the United States.

San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen concluded in his 43-page ruling (pdf) that the TPS holders from those four countries and their children – including many who were born in the United States – would “suffer irreparable harm and great hardship” absent the court’s temporary injunction.

 

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