Donald Trump took a question at a New Hampshire town hall meeting today that was eerily reminiscent of John McCain’s town hall with the supporter who thought Obama was a Muslim. Suffice it to say, he had a different answer for her than McCain did. The woman asked a question about Homeland Security and jobs. “Why… Continue Reading →
New Study Shows What Americans Think About Our Racial Divide…And Who Republicans Blame A study released on Monday by the Pew Research Center offers keen – and often disheartening – insight into how Americans perceive race across the country in 2016, where racism is believed to exist and the impact that President Barack Obama has had… Continue Reading →
Embed from Getty Images You always look at Ivanka Trump and wonder how she sprang from her father’s fetid and probably stumpy penis: she is really elegant and classy and has a low throaty voice and doesn’t talk like a particularly dull 11-year-old. She makes Donald Trump look, if not good, somehow, somewhat, better. So here… Continue Reading →
Don’t let your friends vote for Republican governors and legislators:
Not a single welfare recipient or applicant has tested positive for banned drugs in a Michigan pilot program, part of the growing practice of screening beneficiaries of government assistance for drug abuse.
The program, which ends on 30 September, may face renewed scrutiny in the wake of Wisconsin congresswoman Gwen Moore’s proposed legislation to force taxpayers with more than $150,000 of itemized deductions to submit to the IRS a clear drug test. Under the legislation, applicants who refuse the test would be required to take the significantly lower standard deduction when filing their taxes.
Moore’s office said drug-testing welfare recipients and applicants is “blatantly unacceptable” and pushes a stereotype that impoverished individuals are more susceptible to substance abuse than other, wealthier individuals who are beneficiaries of government programs.
— PhillyVoice (@thephillyvoice) June 22, 2016
Here’s one of those anonymously-sourced bitch pieces Politico so loves to do, and this one is about Wall Streeters warning Hillary Clinton not to pick Elizabeth Warren for VP:
Most big donors don’t want Warren on the ticket because she is the most accomplished anti-Wall Street populist in the Democratic Party. But many also think her presence would drive a potential Clinton administration too far to the left, poison relations with the private sector from the start and ultimately be damaging to the economy.
A constant theme that emerged in the interviews is that executives in the financial industry believe the first 100 days of a Clinton administration could feature potential deal making with Republicans, who are likely to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives.
The dream deal for Wall Street would be a combination of targeted infrastructure spending that appeals mostly to Democrats and corporate and international tax reform that could bring Republicans along. The fear is that Warren would make such a deal more difficult.
“Clinton is going to face a divided government unless there is a total tsunami,” said one moderate Washington Democrat with close ties to the banking industry. “What you want in a vice president is someone who can negotiate for you on the Hill, someone like Joe Biden. And that is not a Warren strength.”
All of the donors and senior Democrats interviewed for this story demanded that their names not be used both because they were not authorized to speak about the Clinton campaign’s internal deliberations and because they feared Warren’s wrath.
“There is no upside to my talking to you on the record,” one big donor said. “Either I piss off the Clinton campaign or I piss off Warren, or both.”
An independent federal report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) found that the trade agreement between 12 countries would have only modest benefits to the U.S. economy and job growth. The report was mandated by US law as a final step before President Obama could send legislature to Congress for a vote.
The highly anticipated report, conducted by the US International Trade Commission, was revealed on Wednesday. It predicted that by 2032 the TPP would likely increase the national income by $57.3 billion a year, just 0.23% more than what it would be without the trade pact.
This falls short of what private studies had projected would be an increase of over $100 billion annually, including a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which in January of this year estimated an increase of $131 billion in annual real income by 2030.
While the report projected US exports would increase, imports would grow at a faster rate with free trade partners in Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Job growth would also be modest in the US with a projected addition of 128,000 jobs by the 15th year of the TPP’s implementation, which is only 0.07% greater than baseline estimates.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, notes the unreliability of these types of projections because of their inability to account for future currency fluctuations and exchange rates.
Top White House trade representative, Michael Froman, who finalized the TPP at the end of last year, emphasized that the International Trade Commission report did not acknowledge the non-tariff benefits including measures to help American firms protect intellectual property, solidify more free and open Internet commerce and reduce the red tape and competition from state-subsidized foreign competitors.
“There has been tremendous focus on the impact on manufacturing,” said Joel Nied, the chairman of the Transactional Group of Price Benowitz, a US law firm that focuses on international business transactions, “but the agreement will have a profound impact on intellectual property protection issues for US companies as well.”
It is important to note that the US-led pact does not include China. Obama stated that the TPP is critical to securing US economic interests in Asia. The Pacific partnership includes Canada, Australia, Mexico, Singapore, Chile, Peru, New Zealand and Brunei, binding economies that constitute nearly 40% of global economic production.
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In our professional, as well as social lives, we have encountered a variety of restrooms around town. In courthouses, they are more likely to be clearly marked “Women” or “Men.” At smaller establishments around the city where real estate is at a premium, sometimes we are lucky to find a vaguely marked unisex lavatory behind a rickety door.
Despite a variety of restroom options, the one thing we are unlikely to encounter is an awkward or dangerous encounter with a transgender person. However, with the brewing controversy in North Carolina over the constitutional right of the state to dictate who shall use which restroom, you would think a bathroom break is one of the world’s most dangerous endeavors.
In 1977, Washington, D.C. adopted the Human Rights Act to make policy on a variety of equality issues. It did not include transgender persons…until 2006. Ten years ago, the city added a chapter titled “Compliance Rules and Regulations Regarding Gender Identity.” Chaos did not ensue in public restrooms despite a policy to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom of their choice.
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At the end of April, United States District Judge Thomas Schroeder ruled that North Carolina’s voter ID law will remain a part of the law and continue on for subsequent elections. This law, passed in 2013, gets rid of same-day registration voting, says that voters must provide a photo-ID in order to vote at the precinct, and eliminates out-of-precinct voting.
Proponents of this bill say that it helps curb voting fraud and is a positive for the state of North Carolina. Detractors, mainly Democrats, say that this voter law will keep minorities from voting at higher rates and should be seen as discriminatory.
Judge Schroeder’s April decision overruled a suit filed by the North Carolina NAACP chapter and the United States Department of Justice, which claimed this law was unconstitutional and was unfairly targeting minority groups. Since that overrule, North Carolina’s NAACP chapter has filed another suit which will be give its day in court on June 21, 2016.
Political leaders across both sides of the aisle are very despondent about the attention being given to North Carolina concerning these voter ID lawsuits.
Republicans feel that there is simply not enough empirical data that show minority voters being negatively affected. Judge Schroeder was quoted as saying that, “there was no clear evidence of disenfranchisement from this legislation,” although he did concede that North Carolina has a discriminatory past that could not be brushed under the rug.
Democrats feel that these type of discriminatory laws and practices are giving the American people a negative outlook on the state of North Carolina and are sending the wrong message to states looking to enact similar laws.
Republicans are also claiming that North Carolina’s voter ID laws are surprisingly liberal compared to the twenty-two states across the country who have voter laws on the books. They say that if a person does not have an ID to vote, they can vote absentee and then their vote will be counted.
However, Democrats and members of the North Carolina Legislature are concerned that these laws are negatively attacking poorer minorities and college students who either don’t have proper registration, have little or no access to transportation, or are living in a place that is far away from their registered polling center.
Although some may be uncomfortable with “outsiders” voting in North Carolina, because they have little interest in local political elections, proponents of overturning the voter ID laws say that these stricter laws will negatively affect the amount of college students who are eligible or even willing to take the time to vote.
Defense Attorney Koria Stanton commented, “If the higher courts do not get involved and the voting requirements stay the same and become in effect in the fall, it could have a huge impact on the November presidential election. Requiring a photo ID to vote disproportionately affects minorities, and individuals who have not registered at least 45 days in advance will not have the opportunity to vote.
The basis of these laws appear to be decent at first glance, but when you take into account the number of minorities and members of the lower-income electorate who claim to be negatively affected, it seems that a recalibration is needed in order to both encourage voter turn-out, and have clear-and-concise voter registration practices.
If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all.
What Congress, or the next president, should not do is forbid individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms.
President Barack Obama does not appear to be discomfited by this possibility. Indeed, he seems to have decided that tethering gun control to the watch list is a wise use of his remaining political capital. Last week, before the Pulse massacre, he made another appeal to ban gun sales to those on the watch list, which has gained viral traction in the wake of Sunday’s attack. “I got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun,” the president said. “This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer. And if he wants to walk in to a gun store or a gun show right now and buy as much—as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.”
This rhetoric may sound persuasive. But the deeper problem is that virtually anyone who wants to commit a mass shooting can easily obtain a gun designed for the battlefield. In the gun safety debate, the terror watch list is largely a distraction.