Archive | Power to the People

The best way to stop Trump

Moral Monday rally in Harrisburg 9.12.16

Is at the local level. Joy Reid is exactly right, the important organizing has to happen on the local level, especially with the upcoming state races in 2018.

But those waiting for the Republican-dominated Congress to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act will wait in vain. Better to get cracking on the 36 governor’s races, in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and Florida; even Arizona and Texas; plus the two contests in 2017, in Virginia and New Jersey, plus the many secretaries of state up for election too. Because the party that holds the governor’s mansion and the office of secretary of state holds the key to elections—to whether provisional ballots are counted or tossed; whether and how voter ID laws are enacted and enforced; and whether polling places and working machines will be fairly distributed or doled out on the basis of partisan advantage.

Republicans have made it clear that wherever they hold the reigns of state power, they will do almost anything to limit the right of Democratic-leaning populations to vote. After January 20, who’s to stop them? Certainly not a Justice Department headed by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and fellow activists in the state have shown progressives the meaning of hope. They succeeded in 2016 where the Clinton campaign failed—tossing out the governor (though Republican Pat McCrory is still refusing to concede), flipping the attorney generals’ office and putting a black justice on the state’s Supreme Court. This may yet enable Democrats to rescue healthcare and voting rights in the state.

Defeating McCrory also opens to the door to vetoing ugly legislation like HB-2, which not only assaulted the dignity of trans citizens, it cost the state billions of dollars in revenue from the NBA and other businesses and organizations who shunned the state, while also eviscerating the right of municipalities to raise their minimum wage.

Governors and state legislators hold the power to protect and defend public schools from Betsy De Vos-style privatization; state colleges and teachers unions from Scott Walker-style defunding and attacks on their pensions and healthcare; and public and sacred Native American land from the federal, taxpayer-funded giveaways to drillers, frackers and developers that are surely coming under Trump. They will be the first line of defense in fighting climate change and are the decision-makers on whether their state will accept or reject federal funds for building high-speed rail and green energy production, and the jobs that come with them.
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Bernie Sanders Officially Endorses Hillary Clinton For President At NH Rally

#2SetsOfLaws #PoliticalPrivilege #SocialistDoctrine3Peat The Lack of integrity continues, Bernie Sanders campaigning for Hillary R Clinton promoting one of the most corrupt Political figures of our modern times. The DNC willing to promote a incompetent ca

If there was any bitterness left between the two candidates, you’d never have known it as Bernie Sanders took the stage and spoke for almost thirty minutes in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and wholeheartedly endorsed Hillary Clinton for the president of the United States. He opened by discussing his own highly successful campaign that has energized millions… Continue Reading →

New rule will raise income

Again ... #workneverends #overtime #mac #k.atj

Not for contractors, of course, but for a lot of people:

The Obama administration will unveil a new rule Wednesday that would make millions of middle-income workers eligible for overtime pay, a move that delivers a long-sought victory for labor groups.

The regulations, which were last updated more than a decade ago, would let full-time salaried employees earn overtime if they make up to $47,476 a year, more than double the current threshold of $23,660 a year. The Labor Department estimates that the rule would boost the pockets of 4.2 million additional workers.

The move caps a long-running effort by the Obama administration to aid low- and middle-income workers whose paychecks have not budged much in the last few decades, even as the top earners in America have seen their compensation soar. The last update to the rules came in 2004, and Wednesday’s announcement is the third update to the salary threshold for overtime regulations in 40 years.

“Along with health care reform this is one of the most important measures that the Obama administration has implemented to help middle-wage workers,” said Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden and a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

About 35 percent of full-time salaried employees will be eligible for time and a half when they work extra hours under the new rule, up significantly from the 7 percent who qualify under the current threshold, according to the Labor Department.

Justice wins sometimes

The headline should read “a night when citizens stood up.” It’s also seen as a major win for Black Lives Matter, as former Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor Michael O’Malley won the Democratic nomination for County Prosecutor in the Cleveland area, and Kim Foxx won the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney Tuesday night, Prosecutors in… Continue Reading →

Um, yeah

From the 2013 #SOTU: "Heroes like @RepJohnLewis, Dr. King, and countless others sacrificed so that all of our voices could be heard." —President Obama on one of his personal heroes, civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis. Here he is photographed listening to

I may have written about this before, making the point that going to a march doesn’t make someone a civil rights “activist.” Yes, people supported those causes — but those marches were also social events. (Kids today go to the mall, we used to go to marches.) Everyone used to go!

At a press conference yesterday announcing the Congressional Black Caucus PAC’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ civil rights movement work:

Q.: This one in particular is for congressman John Lewis. You were obviously a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Obviously Senator Sanders was involved in civil rights work in the Chicago area in the private sector. What do you say on his previous work on civil rights and —

REP. JOHN LEWIS: — well to be very frank I don’t want to cut you off but I never saw him. I never met him. I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years — from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the March on Washington and the March to Selma to Montgomery and directed the voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.

Alabama to comply with National Voter Registration Act… Sort of…

After becoming law in 1993, the state of Alabama has come to an agreement with the Justice Department to bring the state into compliance with the NVRA…

On Friday morning, the Alabama and the federal Justice Department reached an agreement to bring the state in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), a law passed in 1993 requiring states to make it easier and more convenient for residents to register to vote. The Justice Department had threatened to sue Alabama earlier this year over “widespread non-compliance” with the law, citing evidence the state was not giving residents who visited the state’s DMVs the opportunity to register, and state offices were not sending in the registrations they did collect to election authorities. The state says they will spend up to a million dollars to fix the problem…

Secretary of State John Merrill and other Alabama Republicans have insisted that the DMV closures will have no impact on residents’ right to vote — arguing that each county will still have one Board of Registrar’s office and most will get a visit from a mobile unit giving out free voter IDs. Yet these mobile units stop in only one location in each county, and are open for just two hours at a time. Voters without IDs, who cannot drive and may have full-time jobs, could have difficulty accessing this service. In all of 2015 to date, only a handful of voters have obtained an ID this way. In 2014, hundreds of otherwise eligible voters were disenfranchised because they lacked the proper identification under the new law.

After a local and national outcry against the DMV closures, the state offered to keep them open just one day per month. Civil rights groups and low-income residents say this is far from adequate for true accessibility, and have called on the Justice Department to investigate whether residents’ constitutional rights are being violated.

A study of voter access released earlier this year ranked Alabama last in the nation in compliance with the NVRA, giving the state an F grade in accessibility and a D- in representation.

Voter suppression is just sport to many in power in Alabama. I doubt this will change much.

 

 

 

American Action Network takes a jab at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau …

This ad, sponsored by the American Action Network, was aired during the debate the other night attacking Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…

The Kremlin styled ad tries to communicate that the CFBP is harmful to consumers because there are more protections for consumers from financial institutions and things related to Communism or Stalin or something…

The commercial paints the CFPB as a Kremlin-like bureaucratic nightmare, with Warren as the Stalinesque figure barring regular Americans from collecting loans. Warren’s face is plastered on a giant red banner in the background, alongside that of CFPB director Richard Cordray. The Soviet imagery is not subtle.

“They call it CFPB,” the ad’s narrator ominously intones. “Washington’s latest regulatory agency, designed to interfere with your personal financial decisions: that car loan you needed, your mortgage, that personal loan. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, those who need help the most are denied.”

I guess this can go on the right wing list of government entities to be hated, along with red cups…

But, honestly, here are some things people may not realize the CFPB does to help the average consumer…

Mortgage lenders can no longer push you into a high-priced loan: Until recently, lenders were allowed to direct borrowers toward high-interest loans, which are more profitable for lenders, even if they qualified for a lower-cost mortgage—a practice that helped lead to the financial crisis. In early 2013, the CFPB issued a rule that effectively ends this conflict of interest…

Fly-by-night financial players will be held accountable: Part of the CFPB’s mandate is to oversee debt collectors, payday lenders, and other under-regulated financial institutions that profit off low-income Americans. The bureau is preparing new restrictions on debt collectors, and considering new regs on payday loan industry. In the meantime, the bureau is cracking down on bad actors individually…

Folks scammed by credit card companies get refunds: In October 2012, the CFPB ordered three American Express subsidiaries to pay 250,000 customers $85 million for illegal practices including misleading credit card offerings, age discrimination, and excessive late fees. This past September, the CFPB ordered JPMorgan Chase to refund $309 million to more than 2.1 million Americans for charging them for identity theft and fraud monitoring services they didn’t ask for.

In addition, there are protection for members of the military, student loan holders, and the CFPB has a consumer help center to answer questions.

Where do the Swedes get the idea

Autumn

That workers should be well treated?

Sweden is moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier.

Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, which said the aim was to get more done in a shorter amount of time and ensure people had the energy to enjoy their private lives.

Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time.

Filimundus, an app developer based in the capital Stockholm, introduced the six-hour day last year.

“The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think,” Linus Feldt, the company’s CEO told Fast Company.

“To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge. In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work.”

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