Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday’s Briefing: GOP Pushes Forward With Big Tax Cuts for Rich; UC Grad Students Protest Republican Tax Hikes on Low-Income Students

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 10:18 AM

click to enlarge John McCain.
  • John McCain.

Stories you shouldn’t miss for Nov. 30, 2017:

1. The Republican-controlled Senate is moving quickly to adopt a sweeping plan that would cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, while raising taxes on tens of millions of middle-class families and low-income people, The New York Times$ reports. The GOP plan also appears to have just enough votes to pass the Senate after John McCain, R-Ariz., announced today that he would vote for it. The legislation would hit middle-class Californians especially hard, and the proposal would allow churches to engage in political activism and confer a new legal right for fetuses.

2. Hundreds of UC Berkeley grad students protested the GOP tax bill yesterday, because it includes a huge tax hike on low-income graduate students nationwide, reports Natalie Orenstein of Berkeleyside. The legislation would require Cal grad students to pay an extra $1,200 to $1,800 a year in taxes. “The proposed tax ‘threatens to return universities to a time when they were the exclusive purview of the leisured class,’ said Wendy Brown, professor of political science, at the rally.”

3. The GOP-controlled House is moving forward with legislation that would require California and other states with gun control restrictions to allow non-state residents to carry concealed weapons, reports Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle$. Republicans contend that allowing more people to carry guns will dissuade mass shootings. Law enforcement groups called the idea grossly misguided.

4. An Oakland city employee union — SEIU Local 1021 — has sued the city, alleging that it is violating its own charter by over relying on part-time workers, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. “‘Just like the fast food industry and WalMart, the city of Oakland, is splitting full-time jobs into part-time gigs,’ said Felipe Cuevas, president of SEIU Local 1021, Oakland chapter. ‘This means these employees get no benefits and no vacation, and have few rights if they are victims of retaliation or other management abuses.’”

5. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called on Congressman John Conyers, D-Michigan, to resign because of the numerous allegations of sexual assault against him, The New York Times$ reports. ‘“The allegations against Mr. Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible,’ Pelosi told reporters. ‘It is very sad. The brave women who came forward are owed justice. I pray for Congressman Conyers and his family and wish them well. However, Congressman Conyers should resign.’”

6. And Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, resigned today amid rape allegations, the LA Times$ reports. Yesterday, Matt Lauer, co-host of the Today show, and longtime radio host Garrison Keillor, were fired for sexual misconduct.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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