Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier teaches politics and chairs the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His latest book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).

Recent Articles

The Feisty Group That Exposed Wells Fargo’s Wrongdoing

The whistleblowing heroes are the bank’s employees who formed the Committee for Better Banks—not that you’d know this from the media’s coverage.

DW labs Incorporated/Shutterstock
DW labs Incorporated/Shutterstock F ront-page stories in Tuesday’s New York Times, Wall Street Journal , and Los Angeles Times revealed that Wells Fargo’s board would be slashing $75 million in compensation from two former top executives whom it blamed for the bank’s scandal over fraudulent accounts. But missing from these three papers’ stories—and from similar stories in other major print and broadcast news outlets—was the feisty group of bank employees that initially exposed the wrongdoing: the Committee for Better Banks . A report issued Monday by a four-person committee of Wells Fargo’s board determined that John G. Stumpf (the former CEO) and Carrie L. Tolstedt (the former head of community banking)—both of whom were ousted last year—were primarily responsible for pressuring low-level employees to create and foist two million unwanted bank and credit card accounts on unsuspecting customers. To penalize the two former executives, it demanded a “clawback”—the forced return of pay...

Trump Doesn’t Have the Balls

The president declines to throw out baseball’s ceremonial first pitch on Monday and face a certain barrage of boos.

AP Photo/Frank Eltman
AP Photo/Frank Eltman Autographed baseballs signed by Democratic and Republican presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and their running mates Tim Kaine and Mike Spence. P resident Donald Trump likes to wear baseball caps adorned with the words “Make America Great Again” across the front. But offered a chance to wear a real major league baseball cap in a real baseball stadium next week, Trump balked. In yet another break from tradition, Trump declined an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first ball at the Washington Nationals’ opening day game next Monday. On Tuesday, Politico reported that Trump was “in talks” with the team to toss the first ball, but hours later the White House claimed that Trump had a “scheduling conflict,” without providing any information about why he’s skipping this ritual. A more likely explanation is that Trump feared that he’d be greeted with a deafening chorus of boos as soon as he stepped into Nationals Park. Last November, 91...

Anti-Trump Suburbanites Force New Jersey Republican to Think Again on Health-Care Bill

Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen's defection signals the power of the anti-Trump grassroots movement—and the vulnerability of many suburban Republicans.

(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen T here’s no story that better illustrates the power of the growing anti-Trump grassroots resistance movement than Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen’s about-face on the president’s health-care bill. Frelinghuysen’s defection was a major victory for a new liberal grassroots movement that sprung up in his affluent New Jersey district soon after Donald Trump’s surprise November victory, and pressured him to change his vote. As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Frelinghuysen is a key member of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team. The New Jersey Republican has been an important ally on the president’s policy initiatives. Like other party stalwarts, he repeatedly pledged to support Trump and Ryan’s Obamacare “repeal and replace” bill. But just hours before Ryan scheduled a vote on their American Health Care Act last Friday, Frelinghuysen threw the administration a curveball. Calling the legislation “...

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