Posts from Terrance Heath

A McCarthy Moment for Donald Trump — And The GOP

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Donald Trump’s response to a well deserved rebuke form the parents of a Muslim-American war hero should lead Republicans to ask whether their candidate has, at long last, no sense of decency.

It was a moment that shook the Democratic convention. With his wife Ghazala by his side, 65-year-old immigration lawyer, Khizr Khan, of Charlotte, Va., delivered the stinging rebuke that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has had coming since the moment he kicked of his presidential bid with an attack on immigrants, and called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. The Khans mere presence on the stage, with the image of their son Humayun — a posthumously decorated Army captain, killed by suicide bomber in Iraq 12 years ago — looming on the screen above them was an effective repudiation of Trump’s rhetoric.

Then, with no written speech nor the guidance of the Teleprompter, Kahn spoke from the heart about his family’s emigration from the United Arab Emirates in 1980, and his memories of a son who sacrifice his life in the service of his country. Khan then delivered a blistering response to Trump’s xenophobic, fear mongering rhetoric. “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” he demanded. “Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

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Progressive Activists Deliver Tax Return Petitions To Trump Tower

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

More than 400,000 Americans signed a petition calling on Donald Trump to release his tax returns. On Tuesday, progressive activists delivered those signatures to Trump Tower.

Progressive activists showed up at Donald Trump’s doorstep on Tuesday with a simple demand for Trump: Release your tax returns. It’s a pretty simple request, and not all that unusual. For the last 40 years, every major presidential nominee has done it. In 2012, Trump even went on Fox News to prod Mitt Romney to release his returns, saying “Mitt has to get this returns out.” Hillary Clinton released forms for every year going back to 1977 — 39 years.

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Progressive Groups Announce National Doorstep Convention

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, thousands of progressive volunteers are going door-to-door to counter politics of hate, and build support for economic and racial justice.

As Republicans gather to nominate their candidate for president, major progressive organizations will conduct a National Doorstep Convention, on July 15 – 17. Thousands of volunteers in more than 20 states and 29 cities will go door-to-door, to have conversations with voters, urging them to reject the politics of hate sown by Donald Trump and the GOP. Volunteers aim to talk with more than half-a million people over three days. The National Doorstep Convention is part of a multi-racial, nationwide push that includes the Center for Community Change Action, People’s Action, MoveOn.org, and scores of state-based groups.

The National Doorstep Convention will counter the division sown by Trump and the GOP, by reaching out to white working-class voters and urging them to oppose Trump’s hate-fueled agenda, and support a progressive economic agenda. “We believe the National Doorstep Convention is an important step in the democratic process; that the best way to make progress is for neighbors to have conversations with neighbors,” said LeeAnn Hall, co-executive director of People’s Action. “We can’t solve serious problems with more division and more hate,” Hall added. “We need to move a real economic agenda that takes power away from corporations and the wealthy elite, and puts it back in the hands of working people.”

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A Lifeboat In A Loan Shark-Infested Economy

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed new rules to rein in payday lenders and their outrageous fees. Now, the CFPB needs to take the next step to protect Americans from these corporate loan sharks.

People’s Action is calling on the CFPB to take action. Sign the petition, and tell the CFPB to close the debt trap by only letting payday lenders make a loan when they are sure the borrower can afford to pay it back.

Once upon a time, when the financially desperate couldn’t get help from traditional sources and institutions — due to poor credit or lack of collateral — they sought out loan sharks; unlicensed lenders, who charged exorbitant fees, and charged penalties in the form of threats, intimidation, and broken bones. Like their oceangoing namesake, these predators relied on their innate ability to sense distress to find their prey, and showed little mercy to anyone they put the bite on. Usually connected to organized crime, they frequented the dark back alleys of finance.

Today, loan sharks have gone corporate, and they’re easy to find. They’ve gone legit, and set up storefronts in American neighborhoods across the country. In some neighborhoods, they’re more ubiquitous than banks. They’re called “payday lenders,” because they typically require borrowers to write a check dated for their next payday. The lender cashes the check on that payday, before the borrower can pay for necessities and other expenses. Payday loans cause about 50 percent of borrowers to be hit with overdraft fees, as a result of lenders’ automatic withdrawals; 42 percent had their accounts closed by their banks, when their payments failed due to lack of money in their accounts.

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Crooked Donald Trump

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has called Donald Trump “a loser” who made his money by “cheating people with scams.” A look into Trump University’s records, as well as Trump’s other business deals suggests that Warren was right on the money.

A reunion of Trump University alumni is most likely to take place in a courtroom, and unlikely to be a happy occasion. Founded in 2005, and defunct by 2011, Trump University promised to teach students the real estate “secrets” that supposedly made Donald J. Trump a billionaire mogul, for anywhere rom $1,500 to $35,000. That promise turned out to be worth about as much Trump’s promise to be a “self-funding” candidate.

When I started writing about Trump last year, Trump University was in the headlines. In August of 2013, New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman filed a $40 million lawsuit on behalf of 5,000 people, charging Trump University with “persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct.” Two years later, Trump’s newly announced candidacy for president had renewed interested in Trump U. Schneiderman’s lawsuit, which is still pending and won’t see the inside of a courtroom before the election.

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What Will Local Control Hypocrisy Cost The GOP in North Carolina?

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson is often credited with saying, “The government closest to the people serves them best.” Republicans in North Carolina — and elsewhere — think they know better.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, “the government closest to the people” approved Ordinance 7056, prohibiting discrimination against LGBT citizens in public accommodations and allowing transgender people to use public restrooms appropriate to their gender identity. One year prior, the ordinance failed in a 6 – 5 vote. This year is passed in a 7 – 4 vote. Two new city council members at large, elected in November, supported the ordinance.

It sounds like local democracy in action. Advocates for the ordinance kept working to persuade voters and candidates to support it, and managed to elect two more city council members who voted for it. Like over 180 cities and counties, “the government closest to the people” of Charlotte decided they were best served by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Tell the Senate: Do Your Job. Give Merrick Garland a Hearing and a Vote.

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Tell the Senate: Do Your Job. Give Merrick Garland a Hearing and a Vote.

Republicans love to complain about people who get money from the government and refuse to work. That is, unless they’re doing so, by refusing to consider the president’s Supreme Court Nominee.

Tell U.S. senators to do their jobs, and give President Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, a timely hearing and an up-or-down vote to confirm or reject him.

As Jim Hightower writes, American taxpayers might justifiably ask why we should keep paying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s salary. The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s body wasn’t even cold before McConnell announced that the Senate would not even consider a successor nominated by President Barack Obama. As justification, McConnell created from thin air a brand new precedent that president’s don’t get to name new justices to the Court in the last year in office .

That bald-faced lie would have annoyed Scalia, who would no doubt point out that the Constitution just doesn’t say that. It says that the president “shall” nominate a Justice to the Court as part of his job. There’s no exception for the last year of a president’s term. Even Scalia would admit that the drafters of the Constitution would have thought “lame duck” referred to a member of the waterfowl family Anatidae with a bum leg.

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Why Trump Can’t Disavow David Duke And the GOP Can’t Disavow Trump

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Donald Trump can’t disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke for the same reason the Republican party can’t disavow his candidacy — and it could splinter the GOP vote in 2016.

A new Democracy Corp likely voter survey of Republican base voters reveals the foundational values holding together the Republican base, as well as the fissures that threaten to splinter the GOP’s voting coalition in this election cycle. The survey finds that Moderates — who are solidly pro-choice, and done with the “culture wars” — make up about 31 percent of the GOP base. A significant percentage of them could break with the GOP, and possibly even vote Democratic, if Donald Trump is the nominee.

The survey paints a picture of a party united by fears about Democratic governance, immigration, and racial diversity. That’s not hard to believe. The GOP spent decades masterfully playing on the racial fears and anxieties of white working-class voters, and paving the way for a candidate just like Donald Trump.

This weekend, white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke announced his support for Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump. Without formally endorsing “the Donald,” Duke said on his radio program that he supports Trump. Duke asked his listeners to , “get off your duff … call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer. They’re screaming for volunteers.” He warned that a vote against trump would be a “treason to your heritage.”

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How Democrats Should Have Answered Gwen Ifill’s Question on Race

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

With one question, moderator Gwen Ifill flipped the script on race relations in America during the last Democratic presidential debate. Now, Democrats must learn how to answer it.

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff of PBS made history at the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just by showing up. After all, they were the first all-female team to host a major presidential debate. Then veteran PBS journalist Ifill turned the conventional narrative on race relations on its head.

Moderator: When we talk about race in this country, we always talk about African Americans, people of color. I want to talk about white people, okay.

White people. I know.

Many people will be surprised to find out that we are sitting in one of the most racially polarized metropolitan areas in the country. By the middle of this century the nation is going to be majority nonwhite. Our public schools are already there. If working class white Americans are about to be outnumbered, are already underemployed in many cases, and one study found they are dying sooner, don’t they have a reason to be resentful, Secretary Clinton?

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Ted Cruz Won The Iowa Caucuses. Here’s What He Wants To Do To America.

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

From the moment he launched his presidential bid, conventional wisdom said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wouldn’t even get close to becoming president. This week Cruz won the Iowa Caucuses, and got a little closer to the White House. Here’s why that should scare you.

Ted Cruz's - Caricature

Image via Donkey Hotey @ Flickr.

Cruz’s win surprised a lot of people, especially (former?) frontrunner Donald Trump. It’s tempting to breathe a sigh of relief, and count Cruz’s win as the beginning of the end of Trump’s candidacy. But let’s not kid ourselves. Cruz is every bit as bad as Trump — if not worse. Let’s take a moment to remember what Ted Cruz wants to do to America.

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Stronger Together

Stronger Together