Despite bipartisan opposition, the Bush administration is going ahead with approval of a Dubai corporation's takeover of the company that operates six of the biggest ports on the East Coast. Bush threatened to veto any legislation to block Dubai Ports World (DP World), which proposes to pay $6.8 bln to buy Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation, a British company that operates the ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. Democrats and Republicans have proposed legislation to block foreign companies from owning port facilities, but shipping officials note that the shipping business went global more than a decade ago and foreign-based companies already control more than 30% of US port terminals. While the Coast Guard and other local and federal agencies are responsible for port security, there is concern that the Bush administration has failed to fund it. The president of the American Association of Port Authorities in February complained that the $708 million allotted for maritime security over the past four years amounted to only one-fifth of what the port authorities had identified as needed to properly secure the ports, the Christian Science Monitor reported 2/22. The chairman of DP World is a sultan who works for the crown prince of Dubai, one of seven sheikdoms that form the United Arab Emirates. The UAE was one of the few governments that formally recognized the Taliban. Freewheeling Dubai, commercial hub of the UAE, was a major transit and money transfer center for al-Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks and al Qaeda operatives are still believed to use Dubai as a logistical base, even as the UAE has made high-profile arrests, passed an anti-money laundering law, and imposed monitoring procedures on charity organizations within its borders. "This sale will create an unacceptable risk to the security of our ports," Sen. Hilary R. Clinton, joined by Sens Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez and Barbara Boxer said in a letter 2/21. Republican governors of New York and Maryland raised the threat of legal action to void contracts at ports in New York City and Baltimore. David Sirota wrote 2/21 that Bush was approving the Dubai deal to enable a free trade deal with UAE.
IF IT'S SUNDAY, TV'S CONSERVATIVE: Media Matters for America (mediamatters.org) conducted an analysis of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous, CBS's Face the Nation and NBC's Meet the Press, classifying each of the nearly 7,000 guests on the talk shows from Bill Clinton's second term, George W. Bush's first term and 2005 as either Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive or neutral. It found the balance between Democrats/progressives and Republicans/conservatives was roughly equal during Clinton's second term, with a slight edge toward Republicans/conservatives: 52% of the ideologically identifiable guests were from the right, and 48% were from the left. But in Bush's first term, Republicans/ conservatives held a dramatic advantage, outnumbering Democrats/progressives by 58% to 42%. In 2005, the figures were an identical 58% to 42%. Counting only elected officials and administration representatives, Democrats had a small advantage during Clinton's second term: 53% to 45%. In Bush's first term, however, the Republican advantage was 61% to 39 percent &emdash; nearly three times as large. In both the Clinton and Bush administrations, conservative journalists were far more likely to appear on the Sunday shows than were progressive journalists. In Clinton's second term, 61% of the ideologically identifiable journalists were conservative; in Bush's first term, that figure rose to 69%. And the study didn't even count Fox News.
ACLU STILL WORKING ON PATRIOT CLEANUP: The American Civil Liberties Union pledged to continue to work with bipartisan allies &emdash; from across the political spectrum &emdash; to reform the anti-terrorism law passed in haste immediately after 9/11. The Senate is expected to renew the PATRIOT Act without making the most needed changes to protect freedom and privacy, after passing a related bill that would make a few changes to the conference report passed by the House last December. The current bill would make explicit the right to counsel and the right to challenge an order under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act (access to personal records), but does not expressly provide a right to challenge an order for being unreasonable or trampling on privileged communications between attorneys and their clients or doctors and their patients. Many other PATRIOT Act powers would remain in the law, without key modifications. The ACLU continues to be concerned about the lack of changes to the "sneak and peek" search warrant power &emdash; the vast majority of which are being used in routine criminal investigations &emdash; and other provisions. More than 400 communities nationwide, including seven states, have passed pro-civil liberties resolutions calling for meaningful changes to be made to the PATRIOT Act. Lawmakers flatly rejected the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act," the so-called "PATRIOT Act 2," as well as the unwarranted proposals by the administration last year to create vastly expanded FBI subpoena powers without any court approval at all. See aclu.org and bordc.org.
HATCH&emdash;LIAR OR MORON? Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told a group in Utah on 2/18: "Nobody denies that [Saddam Hussein] was supporting al-Qaeda Well, I shouldn't say nobody. Nobody with brains," according to the St. George, Utah, Daily Spectrum. But ThinkProgress.org noted that the bipartisan 9/11 commission found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.
Also, Hussein was heard on tapes during the 1990s telling his aides that he tried to warn Americans and British governments of the possibility of terrorist use of WMDs, but he added that Iraq would never do such a thing. "This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq," Hussein said, according to ABC News (2/15), which received copies of 12 hours of tapes from an FBI translator who said the US government is wrong to keep these tapes and others found in Hussein's offices secret from the public.
DEM VETS NEED SUPPORT: Some 56 Democratic veterans are running for Congress this year, with many of them running against entrenched chicken-hawk Republicans, but the Boston Globe reported 2/9 that several candidates complained that they have received only lukewarm support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party's apparatus to recruit and promote promising House candidates. The vets, 40 of whom gathered in Washington, D.C., on 2/8 to promote military values within the Democratic Party, said the DCCC has embraced only those candidates taking on obviously vulnerable incumbents. They complained that the party isn't capitalizing on their military credentials.
The vets attended a 2/8 fundraiser for Band of Brothers, a PAC dedicated to electing Democratic veterans to Congress (see bandofbrothers2006.org, phone 804-263-0717). Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), who lost three limbs while serving in Vietnam, views his fellow Democratic veterans as defenders of the American faith. "The time has come for people like yourselves to put our country right again."
The Hill, a Capitol Hill paper, also reported 2/14 that the vets are having a hard time raising the money they need to run a viable campaign. "A number of veterans, when becoming politically active, have a learning curve," said Sam Rodriguez, political director of California's Democratic Party. "You have to be disciplined in raising and knowing how to raise money."
MANY SUPPORTERS OF PAUL HACKETT reacted angrily when that Iraq veteran abruptly withdrew from the Democratic primary race for the US Senate in Ohio on 2/14, blaming party officials for favoring US Rep. Sherrod Brown. Hackett said Democratic leaders first recruited him for the race, then prodded him to withdraw and pressed donors not to contribute to his campaign after Brown joined the race. In a written statement, Hackett alluded to "behind-the-scenes machinations ... intended to hurt my campaign." Allies said those machinations included a "whisper campaign" that Hackett had committed war crimes in Iraq &emdash; rumors that Hackett has since blasted as an "absolute falsehood and lie." Speaking that same day on Ed Schultz's radio show, Hackett played down the hard feelings and said he quit the race because he could not raise the money to get his message out. "If I can't come up with the money, the message is going to be shaped for me," he said.
Hackett, who served in Iraq as a major with the US Marines, nearly won a special election in the 2nd Congressional District in southeast Ohio last year with the party's support. But his Senate race failed to get traction against Brown, a well-known and well-funded progressive congressman who had helped Hackett's congressional campaign. On 2/20 Hackett announced that he was joining the board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America PAC to help Iraq or Afghanistan veterans run for office. "As a candidate for the House and Senate, I got a crash course in party politics that wasn't always pretty," Hackett said in a news release. "IAVA PAC represents the best hope to get early institutional support to others who face the same challenges I did. I want to be sure that they do not suffer the same fate that I did, by helping them build campaigns that can run strongly without party support." He later told Schultz he made the right decision in withdrawing the race and left open the possibility he would help Brown in the general election. "I don't have to like the man. I just have to like what the man stands for," he said.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported 2/18 that some of Hackett's former campaign aides said that some of the very strengths that made many Democrats see star potential in the tall, handsome, blunt-talking Marine major &emdash; his independence, his irreverence, his disdain for politics as usual &emdash; also made it particularly hard for Hackett to adjust to the demands of running for Senate.
The Toledo Blade reported 2/20 on research on Brown's congressional voting record by a Hackett campaign worker who criticized Brown's votes to cut spy funding before the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks as "toxic in today's political environment." Brown's campaign responded that keeping American safe is Brown's top priority, and said the congressman opposed the Iraq war because he knew it would divert resources from homeland security. Brown has worked to strengthen ports, railways, and local emergency responders.
W'S DEMS GET PRIMARY CHALLENGERS: Two of George W. Bush's favorite Democrats, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, have drawn primary challenges. Ned Lamont, a cable TV executive, has formed an exploratory committee to map out a campaign against Lieberman, who is seeking a fourth term. In a 2/19 New York Times profile Lamont is described as "a mince-no-words, unreconstructed left-of-center liberal who said he strongly believed that Sen. Lieberman had drifted far to the right and had become too cozy with the White House, and that when it come to the people who put the senator in office, fallen way of out touch." He said he was moved to run for the Senate after reading an op-ed column Lieberman wrote in the Wall Street Journal last November, supporting the president's "stay the course" strategy in Iraq. He has held local offices in Greenwich, Conn. The primary is 8/8.
Cuellar, who won over the conservative "Club for Growth" but alienated progressives when he voted to restrict bankruptcy and class-action lawsuits in federal courts, faces a rematch with former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, who narrowly lost by 58 votes in the 2004 primary after his district was radically redrawn as part of Tom DeLay's gerrymandering. Cuellar is the "No. 1 primary target" of the United Steelworkers of America, the San Antonio Express-News reported 2/11, and every other AFL-CIO affiliate is involved in the race, according to the San Antonio AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. Cuellar was one of 15 Democrats who voted for the Central America Free Trade Agreement last July. The measure passed by 2 votes. The Texas primary election is 3/7.
IMMIGRATION BILL MOVES: Action is expected soon on a Senate version of an immigration bill that could make it a felony to assist an undocumented alien. The House passed a bill by Reps. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Peter King, R-N.Y., that among other things allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens; criminalizing immigration violations, which could criminalize the work of churches and refugee organizations who help immigrants; remove judicial review of visa revocations; and expands the authority of the Border Patrol to expedite removal of immigration violators without a hearing. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is expected to unveil his bill in early March.
WINGERS LAUNCH IRAQ PR CAMPAIGN: The right-wing Progress for America Voter Fund (PFA) has started airing TV ads claiming that US presence in Iraq is essential to winning the war on terror. The 60-second spots feature war vets saying the US presence in Iraq is essential to winning the war on terror, the National Journal's Hotline reported 2/10. In one ad, Lt. Col. Bob Stephenson, a reservist who spent five months in Iraq, says, "You'd never know it from the news reports, but our enemy in Iraq is al-Qaeda, the same terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, the same terrorists from the first World Trade Center bombing, the USS Cole, Madrid, London and many more."
But a former Marine intelligence officer, Andrew Borene, who served in 2003 combat operations in Iraq and is now running for the state Senate as a Democrat in Minnesota, responded that the al-Qaeda affiliate forms a relatively small part of the Iraq insurgency. "The mismanaged war in Iraq has already done enough damage to our progress in the war on terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq is a civil conflict that is far more complicated than al Qaeda alone," Borene said. Depending on the success of the Minnesota campaign, Hotline reported, PFA might expand the ads, websites and events to other states.
GA. REPS TARGET IMMIGRANTS: The Georgia House on 2/14 approved a bill to impose a 5% fee on undocumented aliens who wire money back home to their families, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The "Illegal Immigration Fee Act" passed 106 to 60, with strong Republican support. Supporters billed it as an effort to recoup some of what state government spends on health care for illegal immigrants. Rep. Al Williams of Midway was one of several Democrats to denounce the bill as punishing those who are struggling to make a living and "good enough to pick our onions, gather our straw, wash our dishes. You cannot be a persecutor of the least of God's people, and convince your people back home you love the Lord."
Others note that immigrants do pay taxes. The Cato Institute and National Immigration Forum issued a report by Julian L. Simon in December 1995 that found "illegal aliens" contribute about as much to the public coffers in taxes as they receive in benefits. Data suggest that the undocumented pay about 46% as much in taxes as do natives, but use about 45% as much in services, he wrote in "Immigration: The Demograpic & Economic Facts" (see cato.org). The New York Times reported 4/5/05 that illegal immigrant workers in the US provide Social Security with a $7-billion-a-year subsidy and Medicare with $1.5 billion a year for benefits they likely will never collect.
WHITE HOUSE RESISTS SPY OVERSIGHT: White House officials managed to get Republican congressional leaders to back off on their threats to review the administration's warrantless-surveillance program for the time being, but some Republicans still cling to the archaic notion that Congress has a role in oversight of the national security apparatus. After senior White House officials, including Counsel Harriet Miers, Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Vice President Cheney, lobbied Republicans to hold off on Intelligence Committee hearings, Sen. Olympia Snow, R-Maine, and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., reportedly told Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., that they would support the motion of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., to start a broad inquiry into the NSA program. Instead, Roberts arranged for the committee to adjourn until March 7. Sen. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also said on 2/19 he believed there was now a "bipartisan consensus" to have broader Congressional and judicial review of the program. Other Senate committees considering inquiries of the NSA program include Judiciary and Homeland Security. George W. Bush, defending his executive order in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, said he believed that he had to take extraordinary steps in a time of war. "Unfortunately, we're having this discussion," he said of the debate over wiretapping. "It's too bad, because guess who listens to the discussion: the enemy."
TORTURED DEPORTEE CAN'T SUE: A federal judge on 2/17 tossed out a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Syrian-born Canadian man who was seized by US officials during a layover at JFK Airport in New York and deported to Syria, where the man claims he was tortured, the AP reported. Maher Arar sued the US in 2004, challenging the US policy of "extraordinary rendition" &emdash; the policy of transferring foreign terror suspects to third countries without court approval. Judge David Trager said as a non-citizen Arar had no grounds in a US court to claim his constitutional rights were violated, even though the judge wrote that "Arar's claim that he faced a likelihood of torture in Syria is supported by US State Department reports on Syria's human rights practices." Arar said he was tortured and held for more than a year before being released without charge.
FEDS: PUT DUKE IN STIR: Federal prosecutors recommended that disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for his "stunning betrayal of the public trust," the AP reported 2/17. "Cunningham used his status as a war hero to get into Congress, and then he used his congressional office to get rich," prosecutors wrote in the 35-page memorandum. "For the better part of a decade, Cunningham, in effect, erected a 'for sale' sign upon our nation's capital." Cunningham, 64, quit Congress last year after pleading guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and others in exchange for defense contracts and other favors. The bribes include a Rolls-Royce, homes and antique furnishings, including a 19th Century Louis-Phillipe commode, as well as use of a 42-foot yacht, the Duke-Stir. When one of Cunningham's staffers asked him about the purchase of a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban from a defense contractor for $10,000, according to the memo, Cunningham slammed his hand on his desk twice and said "Stay the (expletive) out of my business."
SANTORUM'S FRIENDS: The American Prospect wondered how US Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., the point man for GOP ethics in the Senate, was able to afford a home in the fashionable Shenstone Farm estates in Loudon County, Va., outside Washington, D.C., on his salary of $162,100. Will Bunch reported in the Prospect's March 2005 issue that America's Foundation, a political action committee Santorum controls, appears to pay for at least some of the senator's exurban lifestyle. The house, valued at $757,000, was refinanced in 2002 by a private bank, Philadelphia Trust, whose executives are big Santorum supporters, contributing $24,000 to his PAC and re-election campaigns. (Santorum also keeps a house in Penn Hills, near Pittsburgh, valued at $106,000.) See Prospect.org.
PRIVACY GUARDIAN ABSENT: The good news is that the White House has a board to look after privacy and civil liberties in the fight against terrorism. The bad news, Richard Schmitt reported in the 2/20 Los Angeles Times, is that the board has never met. Initially proposed by the bipartisan commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was created by the intelligence overhaul that President Bush signed into law in December 2004. Foot-dragging, debate over its budget and powers, and concern over the qualifications of some of its members &emdash; one was treasurer of Bush's first campaign for Texas governor &emdash; has kept the board from doing a single day of work. On 2/16, after months of delay, the Senate Judiciary Committee took a first step toward setting up the fledgling watchdog, approving the two lawyers Bush nominated to lead the panel. But it may take months before the board is up and running and doing much serious work.
FREEDOM DANISH. Matt Yglesias notes at Prospect.org that he's seen plenty of stories about Iranian bakeries ditching the "Danish" in favor of "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed," complete with the obligatory reference to America's own "freedom fries" incident. "What I'm not sure people realize is that, in the House of Representatives at least, those fried potato thingies are still being called freedom fries. France, meanwhile, is pissed about Iran's nuclear program, so perhaps it's time to cut them a break. Alternatively, we could redub Atomic Fireballs 'Iranian Fireballs' or some such thing."
SENATE AIDE'S SPOUSE GETS WINDFALL: Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, USA Today reported 2/16. Specter used "earmarking" 13 times to set aside $48.7 million for six clients represented by lobbyist Michael Herson and the firm he co-founded, American Defense International. The clients paid Herson's firm nearly $1.5 million in fees since 2002, federal lobbying records show. Herson's wife, Vicki Siegel Herson, is Specter's legislative assistant for appropriations. Specter said he did not know the earmarks were going to clients of Siegel's husband. Earmarks are a way for powerful members of Congress to specify how federal money must be spent. They played a role in recent scandals, including the bribery conviction of former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif.
MD. GOV WARY OF E-VOTE: Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich called for paper receipts for Maryland's voting machines, saying he has lost confidence in the state's ability to hold fair and secure elections this fall, the Baltimore Sun reported 2/16. In a letter to the State Board of Elections, Ehrlich (R) said he is concerned about the dispute over Diebold Elections Systems' electronic voting machines in other states, which use technology similar to that of Maryland's touch-screen voting equipment. Democrats criticized Ehrlich's apparent shift on the paper-receipt issue, noting that he vetoed a bill last year that would have studied the option. Maryland bought $55.6 mln worth of ATM-like machines in 2003 despite warnings of security flaws. Since then, Diebold has come under increased scrutiny as an elections supervisor in Leon County, Fla., announced that his jurisdiction would no longer use the company's machines after computer experts manipulated votes. Soon afterward, California elections officials ordered testing of that state's Diebold voting machines.
CHALLENGE GM ALFALFA: A lawsuit filed in federal court 2/16 challenges the federal government's approval of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa. The suit on behalf of farmers, ranchers and consumers calls the US Department of Agriculture's decision to release the alfalfa, genetically modified by Monsanto to resist Roundup herbicide, a threat to the livelihoods of farmers and a risk to the environment. The suit contends release of GM alfalfa would ultimately prevent farmers from growing conventional and organic varieties and endanger export markets. The Center for Food Safety filed the lawsuit in Northern California on behalf of itself, the Western Organization of Resource Councils (a group of farmers, ranchers and consumers), Dakota Resource Council, the National Family Farm Coalition, Cornucopia Institute, Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides, and two individual alfalfa seed producers. See worc.org.
DANGEROUS CAFTA LIAISONS: Thirty US reps whose votes led to the narrow passage of the controversial Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) last year have since received a total of $2.8 mln in campaign cash from CAFTA supporters, according to a new report, "Dangerous CAFTA Liaisons," released 2/14 by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. The report tracks the political consequences for the "CAFTA 30" &emdash; representatives from both political parties who were deemed the most improbable, unacceptable and inexplicable votes for the agreement, which passed with 2 votes to spare. Many of them are attracting primary opponents, including 12-term incumbent Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., who reversed his announced opposition to CAFTA to vote for it. See Tradewatch.org.
GOP'ER COMPARES STEM CELLS, HOLOCAUST: Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a rising star in Republican circles as a candidate for the US Senate, was forced to apologize 2/10 for telling a Baltimore Jewish group that stem cell research could be comparable to Nazi medical testing on Jews during World War II. In 2/9 remarks to about 35 Jewish leaders and other guests, Steele said, "Look, you, of all folks, know what happens when people decide they want to experiment on human beings, when they want to take your life and use it as a tool." Arthur C. Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said Jews "absolutely reject any comparisons between ethical and lifesaving medical research and the horrors committed by the Nazis in their evil drive to create a master race." One of his potential Democratic rivals, US Rep. Ben Cardin, said Steele has it backwards. "This is not about experimenting on humans. It is about saving lives. We should let scientists, not politicians, make decisions about these issues."
ANTI-GLOBALIZATION SPEAKER DENIED ENTRY: Jose Bove, a French farmer and prominent protester against genetically modified food and agricultural "free trade," has been denied entry into the US, Reuters reported 2/9. Bove, who was invited to speak at a conference on globalization at Cornell University's Global Labor Institute, arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport with a valid US entry visa on 2/8 but was detained for several hours and later returned to Paris, according to William Kramer, a spokesman for the conference. He said calls to the US Immigration Department and to the Department of Homeland Security failed to secure an explanation. Dr. Sean Sweeney, director of Cornell's Global Labor Institute, told the conference's opening session, "This speaks volumes about where the United States is in terms of free speech." Bove rose to fame in the late 1990s for denouncing globalization and junk food, and spent six weeks in jail in early 2003 for smashing up a McDonald's restaurant. He was sentenced to four months in prison in November for destroying a field of genetically modified corn in southern France.
HEAVY HAND, QUICK EXITS AT IMMIGRATION: Officials of the Department of Homeland Security have acknowledged that intensified efforts to keep out terrorists since the 9/11 attacks have sometimes led to the heavy-handed treatment of foreigners whose only offense was an inadvertent paperwork error or being caught in a bureaucratic tangle, Nina Bernstein wrote in the 2/10 New York Times. Immigration officials have been trying to deport a second grader in Manhattan over the protests of his American mother ever since he returned from a brief visit to his native Canada without the right visa two years ago. An Irish professor of literature invited to teach at the University of Pennsylvania in January was handcuffed at the Philadelphia airport, strip-searched, jailed overnight and sent back to Europe to correct an omission in his travel papers. Seven Tibetan monks were visiting Omaha two weeks ago when their church sponsor abruptly withdrew its support; their religious visas were revoked and a dozen immigration officers in riot gear showed up to arrest them. Low-level gatekeepers and prosecutors in the customs and immigration system are using their growing discretionary power over travelers who pose no security risk, despite memos issued in 2004 and 2005 that encouraged immigration officers to use discretion and legal shortcuts to resolve such cases quickly, saving resources for more important tasks and showing the world a more welcoming face.
BATTLE FOR THE STATES: Progressives should follow the example of conservatives who followed a long-term strategy of pursuing policies at the state level, the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) recommends in a report titled "Forget D.C.&emdash;The Battle Is In the States." It appears in the March 2005 In These Times magazine. PLAN also rolled out its new website and blog at progressivestates.org to serve as the "virtual" war room in the fight for the states. "For the past 30 years, conservatives of different stripes have had their efforts clearly coordinated with a long-term strategy in mind," said Nathan Newman, PLAN's policy director and author of the report. "The resulting policies in the states &emdash; whether handouts to corporations, wedge issues to pit progressives against each other, or structural plans to weaken progressive institutions &emdash; are not an accident, but the result of years of engineering by powerful interests." The report offers a set of policy solutions that progressives can advance to help America's families and to help stop the corporate conservative movement in its tracks. Among the solutions are minimum wage increases, paid family leave and clean energy policies that fight global warming while creating jobs in America.