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SPLASH! News for February 24, 2017

Dive Into the News of the Day

Photo Credit: Kiran Opal

SPLASH! News

Michael Moore endorses Ellison for DNC Chair

CNN – Moore, who endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, but then switched his support to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said to “just do what the old guard wants” would send a negative message to young voters.

Moore went on to lay out why he believes Ellison is the best suited to lead the DNC.

“He’s from the Midwest,” Moore said. “Before he was a congressman in Minnesota, he helped turn Minnesota from what was then a red state into a blue state. He did political neighborhood organizing in the state of Minnesota. We need an organizer who is going to bring people out and turn this party around.”

The Wrong Way to Rebuild the Democratic Party

Político – As Democrats and Progressives rebuild for the Trump era, they need a bold vision and a new strategy. Now is not the time to re-litigate the fractious intraparty fights of years past. Instead, they need to rally around new leaders who offer a truly transformative way forward.
During the 2016 primaries, Democrats had a choice between an establishment candidate campaigning on her hard-won experience and insider credentials, or a liberal populist buoyed by a sea of small-dollar donors calling for big change. Democrats went with the status-quo candidate and experienced a general-election loss that grows more devastating with each day of the Trump presidency.

Vulnerable Dems Lay Low as Town Hall Angst Rages

ABC News – From Montana to West Virginia, the nation’s most vulnerable Senate Democrats are avoiding town hall meetings as their Republican counterparts get pummeled by an energized electorate frustrated with President Donald Trump’s early agenda.

Some Democrats prefer to connect with constituents over the telephone or social media. Others are meeting voters in controlled environments with limited opportunities to ask questions. But few of the 10 Democratic senators facing re-election next year in states carried by Trump have scheduled in-person town hall meetings during this week’s congressional recess.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill declined an invitation to attend a town hall organized by a group called Kansas City Indivisible this weekend, deciding to send a staff member in her place. The two-term senator, up for re-election next year in a state Trump won by nearly 19 percentage points, is scheduled to chat with voters next week on Facebook Live.

GOP Obamacare Plan Would Cover Fewer People; Blowback Grows

Bloomberg – Republican lawmakers expect that their Obamacare replacement will result in fewer Americans covered by health insurance, a fact that’s likely to increase blowback amid growing support for the program.

New details of the plan are beginning to emerge, described by lawmakers and their aides. While still being worked out, it would do away with the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all Americans have health coverage or pay a fine, and replace it with rules that let people choose not to buy insurance, instead paying higher premiums or penalties if they need it later. The result would be fewer people covered, said Republican lawmakers.

Transgender Teen Pushes Ahead With Supreme Court Case

TIME – Both the transgender teen who sued to use a boys’ bathroom and the Virginia school board that won’t let him still want the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling in their ongoing dispute, even after the Trump administration retreated from an Obama-era policy on bathroom use.
The big issue for both sides is whether the main federal law barring sex discrimination in education protects high school senior Gavin Grimm and other transgender students

Trump’s Housing Policies Will Hit the Poor – and Middle America

The Guardian – If 2016 was characterized by political shocks and a yearning for a past that never existed, 2017 looks to be the year when politicians who promised to protect the interests of the ordinary household show their true colours, and reveal themselves to be part of, and only interested in, the elite.

In the US, housing looks set to suffer under Donald Trump’s flailing administration due to wilful neglect of core issues as well as unforeseen side effects of other policies.

One of the first things Trump did on becoming US president was to make a huge number of middle-income families considerably worse off. One of Barack Obama’s final decisions before leaving the White House was to cut Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance premiums by 0.25%, saving the average household about $500 (£400) a year if they have a mortgage. The effect was immediate: total mortgage applications fell 3.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In addition, there was a 13% drop in FHA applications – a direct result of the Trump administration reversing Obama’s cut in FHA premiums just hours after the inauguration. This affects mainly lower-income families making their first steps from renting to home ownership: $500 may seem like a small amount to some, but in many cases, it is the difference between meeting a mortgage payment and not.

Futures Drop Along With Oil Prices

Reuters – Oil prices fell after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing the market is still struggling to ease oversupply. [O/R]

Gain in crude prices helped U.S. stocks edge higher on Thursday as did a renewed pledge by Trump to bring back jobs to the United States.

Trump’s promises of tax reforms, a reduction in regulation and increased infrastructure spending, has helped spur equities to record highs. The S&P 500 is up more than 10 percent since the election. The Dow notched a record high for a tenth straight session on Thursday, its longest such streak since 1987.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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New DNC Leaders To Be Selected This Weekend

SPLASH! News for February 24, 2017