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June 2024

90 Minutes That Shook The Liberals Awake

When these two frightening people descended into a bickering exchange concerning Biden’s golf handicap and Trump’s girth, I knew this first and probably last direct exchange between two incompetents contending for the world’s most powerful office was a lost cause. I lost 90 minutes of my time as it schussed down the chute. But never mind that. And never mind the media “analysts,” who rated the event like theater critics according to who turned in the best performance. The American people lost Wednesday night, and they lost big. And beyond Americans, the rest of the world lost, too.

Trump/Biden Debate Immigration: US Foreign Policy As A Driver Is Ignored

The contestants squared off in the first of the US presidential debates of 2024. Both wore identical white shirts and navy suits with American flag lapel pins. One wore a red tie; the other a blue one. There were other differences, but none quite so substantive. The immigration issue dominated the debate. The challenger claimed that the country was being menaced by immigrants – marauding hordes of rapists, murders, and mentally ill. They were the ruination of the nation. Social Security and Medicare were jeopardized by the alien element. Immigrants endangered the jobs of blacks and Hispanics.

Anti-War Organizers On The Pacific Coast Protest US Military Exercises

Anti-war activists with the international Cancel RIMPAC Campaign and the Resist NATO Coalition are organizing to protest the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise), the largest international maritime warfare exercise, taking place in Hawai’i, which is hosted by the United States Navy‘s Indo-Pacific Command, set to begin on June 27. Organizers are also opposing the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington, DC, which will take place from July 9 to 11. These two groups held a joint press conference to quick off future actions on June 26. Cancel RIMPAC is holding a week of action culminating in a People’s Summit and mobilizations in San Diego on June 29 and 30.

In Tehran, Gaza Rekindles The Revolution

One late January evening in Tehran, I watch Baba Saeed, my 87-year-old grandfather, listen to Israeli TV in the darkly lit living room that also serves as his library. As he hunches in his velvet armchair, the light absorbs him and turns his glossy white hair and his face a bluish-green. I sit beside him on the carpet. Above us on wooden shelves, Japanese dolls with long kimonos from my childhood stand with dusty cheeks. Here, probably Baba Saeed’s last house, objects mourn their own ruined decadence. On the screen, a man Baba Saeed’s age, Menashe Amir, broadcasts from Jerusalem in a deeply ominous, raspy voice, predicting Israel’s victory over the Iranian “political establishment.”

Israel Faces ‘Obliterating War’ If It Expands Aggression On Lebanon

The permanent mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN on 28 June warned that Israel faces an “obliterating war” that could see the “full involvement” of the Resistance Axis if it decides to expand the war against Lebanon. “Albeit Iran deems as psychological warfare the Zionist regime’s propaganda about intending to attack Lebanon, should it embark on full-scale military aggression, an obliterating war will ensue. All options, incl. the full involvement of all Resistance Fronts, are on the table,” the Iranian mission said via social media. The statement from the Islamic Republic came a few hours ahead of comments from Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who also called Israeli threats against his nation "a kind of psychological warfare."

Bolivia: A Coup Attempt With Winds From The North

It was not long before the legitimate Bolivian government of Luis Arce faced an attempted military coup led by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Juan José Zúñiga that it failed. The firm position of the president, the support of the workers’ organizations and the people, managed to stop the onslaught. Of great importance was the live coverage provided by Telesur, which at the same time as it offered live images, its correspondent and the studio announcers gave data and offered declarations from leaders and organizations of the world that rejected the coup. On Wednesday, June 26, while President Arce was meeting with his team in the Government House, the Murillo Square was invaded by hundreds of soldiers.

The Supreme Court Made Regulating Corporations Nearly Impossible

On June 28, the Supreme Court published its decision in the case Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. While the case has not attracted as much attention as some of the Court’s recent spate of controversial rulings, it revoked a long held precedent and will limit government agencies’ ability to do their jobs. Loper Bright deals with seemingly mundane questions of commercial fishing regulation. Current federal law requires fishing companies to allow National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) monitors to board their boats for regulatory purposes. The NMFS, however, has interpreted federal law to create a new rule requiring the industry to subsidize this monitoring at a cost of roughly $700 per day.

SCOTUS Overturns ‘Chevron’ Deference, Massive Transfer Of Power To Courts

The Supreme Court ruled along ideological lines on Friday to overturn a 40-year-old doctrine known as Chevron deference in a seismic decision that could see a major erosion of federal administrative rule in issues of public health, labor rights, environmental protection, food safety, and more. The Court ruled 6 to 3 in a pair of decisions that hands a massive amount of control over federal regulatory powers to the courts, overturning the doctrine that allowed federal agencies to have interpretive authority when there was any ambiguity in a law. Chevron deference allowed experts at federal agencies — as people better situated to make decisions on issues within their regulatory purview — to interpret statutes rather than judges.

Striking Nurses: ‘Patients Over Profits’

Portland, Oregon - Over 3,000 nurses from six Providence Corporation hospitals across Oregon completed a three-day strike on June 20, carrying signs saying, “Patients over profits.” Since December, the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) has been in negotiations with Providence for a contract that ensures safe staffing ratios, better hours, higher pay and improved health care benefits. The striking nurses shouted: “Heroes treated like zeros!” Providence, one of Oregon’s largest corporations, owns one-quarter of Oregon’s health care market. The yearly income of Providence CEOs has risen to $10 million.

The Goal Is To Attack A Movement

The Georgia Attorney General’s office appears to have made a major blunder in the ongoing prosecution of 61 Stop Cop City activists—one that could potentially cost the state its case altogether. According to a motion filed by attorneys for three defendants who run the nonprofit Atlanta Solidarity Fund (ASF), Georgia Deputy Attorney General John Fowler’s prosecutorial team has extensively and brazenly violated multiple defendants’ right to attorney-client privilege. This motion is just the most recent episode in the RICO case that has been denounced by activists and legal experts as a political prosecution intended to punish and intimidate those in the Stop Cop City movement.

Why Housing First Failed In Canada

Every day more Canadians are being pressed into homelessness. Shelters are overflowing. Tent cities are ubiquitous. Diseases more commonly associated with refugee camps have popped up with alarming frequency in inner-cities across the country. The numbers are devastating: up to 300,000 Canadians will experience homelessness this year—a substantial increase from the 235,000 who were homeless in 2016. Cities are scrambling to find solutions; sanctioned encampments, increased shelter capacity, forced removal by police. Nothing is working. It’s a crisis the federal government has been trying to solve.

Ensuring Low-Income Communities Get Their Share Of Green Energy

Low-income communities and people of color are more likely to live in areas affected by flooding, poor air quality, and extreme temperatures, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And, these negative effects of climate change are intensifying. To help find solutions, the Justice Climate Fund strives to ensure that the communities that need it most benefit from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a federal program providing billions of dollars from the EPA for clean energy and climate projects. The Justice Climate Fund is an initiative led by the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs and the Community Builders of Color Coalition, a national network of dozens of financial institutions and advocacy groups led by people of color.

Columbia University Hind’s Hall Defendants Reject Deals

We stand here today united by our action and the Palestinian cause. The state has attempted, once again, to divide us, dismissing some of our cases and offering others deals in accordance with their “outside agitator” narrative. As ever, we categorically reject this division as one drawn along arbitrary, classist lines meant to preserve the sanctity of Columbia University—not an institution “in the City of New York,” but always above and apart from it. All of us who took part in the liberation of Hind’s Hall were driven by the same necessity to escalate, to escalate for Gaza, to resist the savage genocide of our siblings in Palestine.

Gaza Blowback: A Crisis Of Conscience In The Military Can Impact Foreign Policy

The unprecedented live-streamed violence in Gaza has forced a crisis of conscience for many government employees. From the State Department to the military, individuals have taken rebellious action to remove themselves from participating in a blazingly obvious campaign of controlled famine and collective punishment. Tonight on State of Play, we interview two conscientious objectors from the United States Air Force and reflect on military retention rates, the recruiting crisis, and the lessening of military capacity due to increasingly unpopular foreign policy actions. Will the younger generation’s lack of jingoistic zeal be a potential brake for US belligerence?

A Foreigner’s Take: Elections In Iran Represent The True Spirit Of Democracy

Big posters of candidates running for Iran’s presidency have appeared on lampposts around the busiest corners of the capital city. There is a thrill and palpable excitement in the air. The upcoming presidential election has taken center stage in the country’s political discourse, with people engaged in animated discussions in bazaars, state-of-the-art malls, traditional tea shops, modern cafes, and around the carts of vegetable vendors where women buy “sabzikhordan.” As people discuss issues ranging from economic growth, relations with the West, the lifting of US sanctions, the crisis in West Asia, unemployment, etc., the presidential candidates have been busy campaigning to woo voters with blueprints of their policies if elected to office.
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