Activate News: On Activate Radio.

Activate News: On Activate Radio

Recently, we’ve begun producing news that airs through the day and overnight at the top of the hour on Activate Radio. It’s a quick run through the weather and a few news stories. It’s added a lot of framework to build upon for the morning and daytime hours. We do have the ability to add breaking news stories throughout the day. This also takes us a step towards live coverage of breaking news.

It also creates another opportunity for people to participate in Activate Radio. To share their expertise in relevant areas. It’s news for the people and by the people.

If you are interested in participating in Activate News in some way, we will be announcing a meeting soon that will take place online. In order to participate, you will need to have the ability to use video-conferencing.

We are building a radio station that is free of corporate or financial constraints. 

-Stay Tuned-






Biden Health Adviser Has a Plan to Get Pandemic Under Control and Revive Economy: Pay People to Stay Home for 4-6 Weeks 

Biden Health Adviser Has a Plan to Get Pandemic Under Control and Revive Economy: Pay People to Stay Home for 4-6 Weeks

The government “could pay for a package right now” to cover economic losses—making it possible to curb Covid-19 transmission without increasing the financial suffering associated with shutting down commerce, said epidemiologist Michael Osterholm.

By Kenny Stancil

A nationwide lockdown of four to six weeks would help contain the coronavirus pandemic and need not cause economic hardship, according to Dr. Michael Osterholm, a top health adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, who said that paying people to stay home would limit the spread of Covid-19 in the United States and put the country on track for a smoother recovery.

“History will judge us harshly if we miss this life- and economy-saving opportunity to get it right this time.”
—Michael Osterholm and Neel Kashkari

In an interview with CNBC earlier this week, Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, acknowledged that people have clashing interpretations of the meaning and consequences of a “lockdown.”

Part of the problem, the epidemiologist explained, is that public health and economic health have been pitted against each other, the implication being that too many people view far-reaching interventions to get the pandemic under control as economically harmful.

“It’s a false notion to keep the economy going versus Covid,” Osterholm said. “When Covid is running out of control, the economy is going to be suffering mightily. So the things we have to do to get Covid under control will ultimately affect the economy in a positive way.”

“Look no further than Asia, which has done a remarkable job of bringing these cases under control, and look what’s happening to their economy,” he added. 

On Wednesday, Osterholm told Yahoo! Finance that “we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, state, [and] county governments.”

The federal government “could do all of that,” he noted, and if it did, “then we could lock down for four to six weeks.” 

“And if we did that, we could drive the numbers down, like they’ve done in Asia, like they did in New Zealand and Australia,” said Osterholm. “And then, we could really watch ourselves, cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year, and bringing back the economy long before that.”

The alternative—continuing with the inadequate and haphazard measures that characterize the status quo—ensures that the U.S. will remain on a bleak trajectory, public health officials say.

As Common Dreams reported Wednesday, the coronavirus crisis is entering an extremely dangerous phase that has some epidemiologists worried about whether the U.S. has a sufficient number of mobile morgues.


Yet, at precisely the moment when the ongoing catastrophe warrants a stronger, more effective response, President Donald Trump is engaging in what journalist David Dayen on Wednesday called “the world’s worst coup attempt.” 

By hampering Biden’s ability to get a head start on facilitating a well-coordinated response to the Covid-19 emergency and its economic fallout, Dayen explained, Trump is relegating even more Americans to “death and suffering.”

“The next three to four months are going to be, by far, the darkest of the pandemic,” Osterholm told CNBC earlier this week. 

“What America has to understand is that we are about to enter Covid hell. It is happening,” said Osterholm. “I don’t think America quite gets this yet. This is going to get much worse.”

“This is not to scare people out of their wits,” he added. “It’s to scare people into their wits… We can basically limit the contacts we have with people, [which] will dramatically impact our risk of getting this disease.”

To save thousands of lives and the economy, however, Osterholm stressed on Wednesday that a comprehensive and stringent lockdown is necessary.

He referred to a New York Times op-ed, co-authored in August with Minneapolis Federal Reserve president Neel Kashkari, in which they argued that the U.S. “reopened too quickly.”

“To successfully drive down our case rate to less than one per 100,000 people per day, we should mandate sheltering in place for everyone but the truly essential workers,” wrote Osterholm and Kashkari. “We have the resources to support those who have been laid off… Congress should be aggressive in supporting people who’ve lost jobs because of Covid-19.”

“There is no trade-off between health and the economy,” they noted. “Both require aggressively getting control of the virus.”

“History,” Osterholm and Kashkari added, “will judge us harshly if we miss this life- and economy-saving opportunity to get it right this time.”

Source: Biden Health Adviser Has a Plan to Get Pandemic Under Control and Revive Economy: Pay People to Stay Home for 4-6 Weeks | Common Dreams News





‘Banking for the People’: Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez Unveil Bill to Foster Creation of Public Banks Across US

Banking for the People’: Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez Unveil Bill to Foster Creation of Public Banks Across US

“It’s time for an option that works for the people and not solely privatized profits.”

By Jessica Corbett

“It’s long past time to open doors for people who have been systematically shut out and provide a better option for those grappling with the costs of simply trying to participate in an economy they have every right to—but has been rigged against them.”

That’s according to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a handful of other progressives in Congress introduced legislation on Friday they say “would provide a much-needed financial lifeline to states and municipalities, as well as unbanked and underbanked residents, that have been left in dire straits by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Specifically, as a joint statement from the congresswomen explains, the Public Banking Act (pdf) would enable “the creation of state and locally administered public banks by establishing the Public Bank Grant program administered by the secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board which would provide grants for the formation, chartering, and capitalization of public banks.”

“We spent $30 trillion in the global crisis from 2007-2009 propping up financial institutions that held the country hostage for their reckless behavior. Only $8 trillion dollars has been committed thus far in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tlaib noted. “These banks have been, are, and will continue to depend on the public dollar. It is time for this relationship to be reciprocated and have the banks work for the people and not solely privatized profits wreaking havoc on communities of color.”

In addition to allowing the Treasury secretary and the Fed’s board to give grants to public banks for “bank formation, capitalization, developing financial market infrastructure, supporter operations, covering unexpected losses, and more without the requirement to provide matching funds,” the bill:

  • Allows the Federal Reserve to charter and grant membership to public banks, and in conjunction with the appropriate federal agencies, establish a separate regulatory scheme with respect to these.
  • Establishes public banking incubator program to provide technical assistance to public member banks to develop technologies, practices, and data that promote public welfare.
  • Establishes new liquidity and credit facilities at the Federal Reserve to provide direct federal support to state and local public banks and their communities;
  • Prohibits investment in fossil fuel projects.

Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez argue that public banks not only would benefit city and state governments and aspiring entrepreneurs due to lower interest rates and fees, but also could result in broader community benefits by, for example, funding public infrastructure projects. Ocasio-Cortez called their legislation “monumental.”

“Public banks are uniquely able to address the economic inequality and structural racism exacerbated by the banking industry’s discriminatory policies and predatory practices,” she said. “The creation of public banks will also facilitate the use of public resources to construct a myriad of public goods including affordable housing and local renewable energy projects. Public banks empower states and municipalities to establish new channels of public investment to help solve systemic crises.”

The other half of the Squad—Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)—and Reps. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-Ill.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Al Green (D-Texas), Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) are backing the bill, as are 29 outside groups.

Organizations supporting the measure include the California Public Banking Alliance (CBPA), Take on Wall Street, Americans for Financial Reform, Beneficial State Foundation, Communications Workers of America, Friends of the Earth, Food & Water Action, Americans for Financial Reform, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Popular Democracy, Community Change, Farm Aid, Institute for Policy Studies, Jobs With Justice, NJ Citizen Action, Oil Change International, Oil Change International, People’s Action, Strong Economy for All, UNITE HERE, Working Families Party, Democracy Collaborative, ACRE, and Public Citizen.

Climate Justice Alliance policy coordinator Anthony Rogers-Wright expressed excitement that “our values regarding the need for a rapid Fossil Fuel phaseout” are represented in the bill, highlighting evidence that economically, “Big Oil is in big trouble and the people don’t want the money they keep in their banks utilized to bailout or finance an industry that’s killing people and planet.”

Take on Wall Street campaign director Porter McConnell explained that her group supports the Public Banking Act “because public banks can create jobs and boost the local economy, save cities and states money, and lend counter-cyclically to blunt the impact of Wall Street booms and busts.”

“As we learned recently from the Paycheck Protection Program, when you pay big Wall Street banks to provide public goods, they inevitably reward themselves and their friends at the expense of white, Black, and brown working families,” McConnell said, referencing the business loan program established in March by Congress’ last Covid-19 relief measure. “We deserve a financial system for working families, not the big banks.”

Source: ‘Banking for the People’: Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez Unveil Bill to Foster Creation of Public Banks Across US | Common Dreams News