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‘Stunning rebuke to predatory Wall Street megabanks’ as California Gov. Newsom signs law allowing creation of public banks

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“The people of California just went up against the most powerful corporate lobby in the country—and won.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law historic legislation that would allow the state’s cities and counties to establish public banks as an alternative to private financial institutions, a move advocates hailed as a “stunning rebuke to the predatory Wall Street megabanks that crashed the global economy in 2007-08.”

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“Now is our moment in history to lead the nation by re-envisioning finance and recapturing our money to benefit our local communities by building a new system that works for the greater good.”
—Trinity Tran, Public Bank LA

Trinity Tran, co-founder of Public Bank LA, said Newsom’s decision to sign the Public Banking Act (A.B. 857) despite fervent opposition from the state’s business lobby “is a testament to the power of grassroots organizing.”

“The people of California just went up against the most powerful corporate lobby in the country—and won,” Tran said in a statement. “Now is our moment in history to lead the nation by re-envisioning finance and recapturing our money to benefit our local communities by building a new system that works for the greater good.”

The Public Banking Act—which was backed by a diverse coalition of labor unions, climate justice groups, and civil rights organizations—makes California the second state in the U.S. after North Dakota to allow the creation of public banks.

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As the Los Angeles Times reported:

Public banks are intended to use public funds to let local jurisdictions provide capital at interest rates below those charged by commercial banks. The loans could be used for businesses, affordable housing, infrastructure, and municipal projects, among other things.

Proponents say public banks can pursue those projects and support local communities’ needs while being free of the pressure to obtain higher profits and shareholder returns faced by commercial banks. Support for public banks also has grown since the financial crisis a decade ago and since Wells Fargo & Co. was embroiled in a slew of customer-abuse scandals in recent years.

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The new law sets into motion a pilot program allowing 10 public bank charters in the state over seven years. “These banks can invest in local projects like affordable housing, small businesses, resilient infrastructure, and clean energy, giving communities a voice in their own economic futures,” said the California Public Banking Alliance.

Sushil Jacob, senior economic justice attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, said the law represents the “first step toward repairing communities that were immensely harmed by the 2008 recession, especially communities of color.”

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“Today, California’s communities of color remain disproportionately harmed by Wall Street’s predatory practices,” said Jacob. “Public banks can make all of our communities whole with equitable lending and non-extractive investing.”

In a column for Common Dreams earlier this year, Ellen Brown, founder of the Public Banking Institute, applauded states like California and Washington for pursuing legislation to create state-level public banking systems and said their passage could prove a game-changer for the nation’s economy.

“The implications are huge,” Brown wrote at the time. “A century after the very successful Bank of North Dakota proved the model, the time has finally come to apply it across the country.”

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‘Money hungry mannequin’ Ivanka Trump buried for her taxpayer-funded ‘field trip’ to India with her dad

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Ivanka Trump was hammered on Twitter for posting pictures of her trip to India where she praised the "grandeur" of the Taj Mahal -- with herself featured front and center before it.

Donald Trump's daughter, whose job at the White House has been ill-defined for three years, has taken to using her Twitter feed to promote herself (usually via photos or video clips) as she travels the world, presumably representing the U.S. Monday morning's tweet was no exception, with the two pictures accompanied by, "The grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal is awe inspiring!" followed by emojis of the American flag and India's flag.

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Bill Barr’s former classmates: AG has long been motivated by ruthless ambition and ‘fascist’ instincts

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Attorney General William Barr recently expressed frustration over President Donald Trump’s interference in the criminal case of veteran GOP operative Roger Stone, who on February 20, was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison on charges ranging from jury tampering to lying to Congress. But journalist Adrian Feinberg, in an article for the Independent, expresses great skepticism over the possibility that any real tension is developing between Trump and Barr — whose authoritarian leanings, according to Feinberg, make him make him a perfect attorney general for the president.

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The Postal Service fired 44,000 workers for getting injured while delivering and processing your mail

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One night in 2009, Madelaine Sattlefield lifted an 80-pound tray of letters carefully sorted by Missouri ZIP code. She had done this task thousands of times in nine years, but on this night, her arm seared with pain and went limp by her side. The tray crashed and sent envelopes cascading around her. She could barely move but immediately worried about what an injury might mean for her job.

“Anxiety had kicked in. I was like, what are they going to say, what are they going to do?” Sattlefield said.

Within months, the U.S. Postal Service fired her, one of about 44,000 employees who were either fired or left their jobs under pressure over five years in a program that “targeted” employees with work-related injuries, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A commission ruling on the class action complaint also found that the Postal Service discriminated against an additional 15,130 injured workers by changing their work duties or accommodations, and unlawfully disclosed the private medical information of injured workers across the country.

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