Progressive Hub Roundup

Last week we wrote of the high drama surrounding passage of the Infrastructure Bill and Build Back Better, the two parts of the signature spending legislation that Biden and most Democrats are fighting for in various forms. The high drama remains in force, but there are reasons to think that how Democrats fund their campaigns will make such scenarios less likely in the future.

As always, we keep our eyes on the less visible side of politics — items that might be overlooked in the rush of a nonstop news cycle. Here are some of’s highlighted stories and actions in recent days:

progressive news roundup

Senators, Who Should Be Regulating Big Tech, Hold Millions in Stocks

This comes from Sludge, a publication that covers political corruption. With the massive Facebook Papers leak, and tech CEOs visiting Capitol Hill this week for a purported grilling, Congress might be getting serious about regulating Big Tech. But, a cursory look under the hood reveals that senators in both parties are shoring up their portfolios with major tech stock holdings. Whether Congress has the political will to enact major regulatory tech reforms remains to be seen, but with millions in personal wealth on the line, we’re not holding our breath for these lawmakers to act.

Climate Emergency Includes the Threat of Nuclear Winter

Next week, world leaders are gathering in Scotland for the COP26 climate conference. On the one hand, it’s good and important that the world is focusing on the horrific threat posed by our current carbon trajectory. On the other, even the bulk of the climate movement is acting as though the threat of nuclear war has diminished. It hasn’t. In fact, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been moving the “Doomsday Clock” ever closer to cataclysmic midnight; the symbolic hands are now merely 100 seconds from midnight, in contrast to six minutes a decade ago.

Question of Labor Militancy Looms Large In Teamsters Election

For the first time in 25 years, Teamsters rank-and-file members are being presented with a ballot that does not have the name of James P. Hoffa, son of Jimmy Hoffa (the Teamsters president whose history and links to organized crime were depicted in Martin Scorsese’s 2019 dramatic biopic, The Irishman). Notwithstanding the recent resurgence of strike activity — resulting in this month being called “Striketober” — labor relations between the Teamsters and UPS are a bellwether for much of the labor movement.

Norway Breaks With NATO, Attending Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Meeting

This is big news for anyone interested in reducing military spending and, perhaps, the threat of nuclear war. Norway last week became the first Nato state — and first nuclear weapon complicit state– to commit to participating at the First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The commitment was included in the government’s coalition agreement, released on October 13. The move by Norway breaks the hard line against the TPNW that Nato had sought to impose on its member states, and opens the doors for others in the alliance to follow suit.

Biden Administration Sabotaging Dialogue in Venezuela

Precisely how the United States engages in empire is often hard to see until after the dust settles. But with the Biden administration actively sabotaging talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, we can see the continuity of imperial policy even when a Democrat replaces a Republican in the White House. Paying close attention will be important for getting ready to oppose U.S. government efforts to foment or support a coup in Venezuela.

The Big Lie in Rahm Emanuel’s Senate Testimony

Jeff Cohen analyzes how the press gave cover to Rahm Emanuel when covering his confirmation hearing. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) deserves credit for questioning Emanuel about what he knew as Chicago’s mayor about the police murder of 17-year-old African American Laquan McDonald — and when he knew it. The Senate hearing marked the seventh anniversary of the 2014 killing, to the day. One thing we know for sure is that Emanuel was dishonest about the release of that video, and he recycled some of those lies — under oath — at his hearing. #RejectRahm