Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Destructo

Donald Trump has perfected the swagger and boast of a professional wrestler.

While a guy like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is full of fake bluster and brashness for the sake of TV ratings, Donald Trump is the real McCoy: A reckless bully.  

That violent, provocative behavior makes Trump far too dangerous to get anywhere near nuclear codes. For Americans who want peace and security, not war, this man is too risky to inhabit the White House.   

That’s what 50 former national security officials whose careers span more than four decades said in a letter last week. They are Republicans. They include a former director of the CIA, the first director of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of homeland security. They warned Trump would be treacherous as president.  

And that was before Trump suggested in a speech last week that “Second Amendment” supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected so she can’t nominate judges to the Supreme Court. 

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Working Families Party Endorses Clinton

Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

By a 68 percent-32 percent margin, members of The Working Families Party, a labor-backed progressive organization in seven states and D.C., voted on August 16 to endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president.

In doing so, it followed the same trajectory of other progressive activists who originally backed her top primary foe, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt. He too has endorsed Clinton.

Just before the nationwide balloting closed, late in the week of August 12, the Communications Workers – the largest of the five unions that backed Sanders during the primaries – e-mailed a letter urging its members to join WFP and back the pro-Clinton move.

Not only did WFP members agree, so did its board, said national director Dan Cantor.

But he also said the party would hold Clinton accountable for her campaign stands, and that it would also concentrate on electing down-ballot progressives to help push its program and hold her feet to its fire.

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Trump’s Estate Tax: An Aristocrat’s Gift to His Friends and Family

Richard Eskow

Richard Eskow Writer, Host, "The Breakdown;" Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

“There is a myth out there that…at heart, he’s really on the side of the little guy,” Hillary Clinton said recently of Donald Trump. “Don’t believe it.”

I agree. But I’ve never liked using the phrase “little guy” to describe America’s working men and women. A lot of people in this country are managing to survive against pretty long odds, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment in my book.

I have nothing against anybody who was born rich. But if anybody is a “little guy” in this story, it’s Trump himself — and I’m not just talking about his hands. It takes a little heart to be born into such wealth and yet be filled with such self-regard and selfishness. It takes a little heart to want so much for himself and so little for others, to bring out the worst in our neighbors and be so cruel to the strangers at our door. Come to think of it, maybe we should call this spoiled child of privilege a “little prince.”

Trump’s empathy seems to extend only as far as his aristocratic peers, for they—and only they—will directly benefit from his economic policies. His tax breaks for rich people and corporations have received a lot of attention. But his call to repeal the estate tax is even more precisely targeted toward his fellow princes and princesses, the other children of billionaires and mega-millionaires.

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Federal Court Slashes ‘Golden Week’ Of Early Voting In Ohio

Alice Ollstein Political Reporter, Think Progress

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a crushing ruling on Tuesday for Ohio’s Democratic Party, which has been fighting to restore early voting days in the crucial swing state ahead of this November’s election.

A federal district court ordered the state in May to restore the early voting days eliminated over the last few years by the Republican-controlled legislature, calling the cuts “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.” Tuesday’s 2–1 appellate court ruling overturns that decision, and will allow Ohio to cut what is known as “Golden Week” — the time when residents can register and vote on the same day.

The two judges on the panel who ruled for Ohio’s early voting cuts — both George W. Bush appointees — said they did so because courts should give deference to states in deciding how to run their elections instead of being “micromanagers.” They argued that even without Golden Week, Ohio’s early voting policy is “really quite generous,” and said the cuts pose “no such infringement” on the “fundamental right to vote.”

Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch dissented, calling her colleagues’ fears of micromanaging “unfounded and antiquated.” Stranch, who was appointed by President Obama, said that voting is such a basic right that it deserves extra attention from the courts. The early voting cut, she argued, “imposes a disproportionate burden on African Americans” and is “linked to social and historical conditions of discrimination that diminish the ability of African Americans to participate in the political process.”

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Making Themselves a Laughing Stock

Making Themselves a Laughing Stock

Union Matters

A Great Time to Be Rich

The richest 10 percent of families held more than three-quarters of America’s wealth in 2013, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The entire bottom half, on the other hand, held just one percent.

More simply, the rich continue to get richer, while the poor drown in debt.

Wealth inequality, like income inequality, is a marker of economic health—or ill health. Greater inequality is directly tied to higher rates of poverty, disparate educational outcomes, and lower social mobility—the ability for someone who is born into poverty to earn enough to leave it.

This obviously hurts the people who struggle every day just to make ends meet, but it also leaves the entire economy more unstable and vulnerable to financial crises like the Great Recession.

Household wealth is calculated by totaling assets like real estate, stocks and bank deposits and then subtracting non-mortgage debt like credit card balances, auto loans, and student loans.

Total wealth in the United States doubled between 1989 and 2013, but nearly all the gains went to the people in the top 10 percent, according to the CBO report.

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