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McCain’s Brain Cancer Draws Renewed Attention to Possible Agent Orange Connection

Charles Ornstein and Mike Hixenbaugh
ProPublica and Houston Chronicle
McCain’s diagnosis comes as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is under increased pressure to broaden who’s eligible for Agent Orange-related compensation. News of his illness has prompted Amy Jones and others to call on the VA to study a possible connection between their loved ones’ Agent Orange exposure and glioblastoma.

The Crisis in Venezuela The Left and Venezuela

Claudio Katz
The Bullet
The situation in Venezuela is dramatic but this does not explain the centrality of the country in all the news reports. Situations of greater seriousness in other countries are totally ignored by the same media. In Colombia, since the beginning of the year, 46 social movement leaders have been assassinated and in the last 14 months 120 have perished. More terrifying is the scene in Mexico. Every day some journalist is added to the long list of students, teachers . . .

A Brief History of American Health Reform

Colin Gordon
In order to win universal health care, we have to understand what — and who — we're up against. In health care, private providers and private financing mechanisms were well ensconced long before any meaningful public intervention. The stakes are very high and, historically, a diverse array of private health interests have spent lavishly on political campaigns, and haunted congressional hearings and anterooms.

Hire Power: Los Angeles Employment Program Breaks New Ground

Bobbi Murray
Capital & Main
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center was founded seven years ago to increase access to quality jobs for African-Americans. Rather than focusing solely on job training, the Center is working to connect people with actual jobs through programs like the LA Local Hire program.

The Big Lie About California’s Housing Crisis

Deepa Varma, San Francisco Tenants Union
San Francisco Examiner
As California stands at the height of the worst housing crisis the state has ever seen, hundreds of tenants across multiple cities are taking matters into their own hands by confronting corporate landlords to demand a freeze on rent increases. The tenants and organizations leading this are part of a new, broad-based coalition, Housing Now!, to fight for the repeal of the statewide restrictions on rent control - established by the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Transgender Liberation Won't Be Found in the Military

Sydney Roberts
Contrary to the rhetoric dominating the news cycle right now, trans liberation doesn't look like gender non-conforming bodies in military uniforms killing civilians overseas. It doesn't include rallying for entrenchment into the military-industrial complex that furthers the imperialist aims of the United States, or assimilating in hopes that a country that has never cared for trans lives will begin to.

Many Bridges, One River: Organizing for Justice in Vietnamese-American Communities

Thuan Nguyen and Vy Nguyen, Editors
Asian Studies Center UCLA
Many Bridges, One River is the first published collection of interviews with organizers and activists who have been working in Vietnamese American communities throughout the United States, starting in the 1970s. These interviews document the strategies and lessons learned in the fight for social justice and progressive social change by Vietnamese Americans with powerful insights dealing with red-baiting, inter-generational differences and sustainable activism.

Is Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil All That Virginal?

Brian Barth
Modern Farmer
Olive oil fraud abounds: some producers blend cheap nut, seed, or other vegetable oils with just enough olive oil to lend the look, taste, and aroma of the real thing. Other perpetrators dilute extra-virgin olive oil with lower-grade olive oil, or mislabel lesser olive oil as extra-virgin. Last, though not nearly as appalling, packers intentionally mislabel the country of origin.

Census Challenges Jeopardize Efforts Towards Greater Equity in the South

Allie Yee
Facing South
Should anything go awry with the 2020 count, it could have political implications affecting how voting districts are drawn or how language minorities can access the ballot. Important funding decisions are also driven by Census data. Nationwide, nearly $600 billion in federal funding is allocated to states based on Census numbers, according to a recent report by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy. Southern states receive $179.2 billion of that total.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

Valerie Wilson, Janelle Jones, Kayla Blado, and Elise Gould
Economic Policy Institute
July 31st is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how long into 2017 an African American woman would have to work in order to be paid the same wages as her white male counterpart was paid last year.