Martin Luther King Jr., his dream has stalled.

             50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. incredible speech, civil rights seems to have hit a wall. It is not the will of the majority that has become a stumbling block, but the will of a small but growing group of zealots. These zealots are intentionally stalling American progress, for the sake of power.

Today there are some elected leaders who are just as bigoted as those that fought the 1965 Civil Rights Act. Rand Paul said he supports it, but owners of restaurants and stores should not be forced to serve people they don’t wish to. That statement makes you think he wants to head back towards segregation. The Republican Party supports voter restriction laws that intentionally target minorities. They call themselves purists and Constitutionalists. So do they want the 3/5s law back in place or to take away a womens right to vote.

The Voter I.D. laws a especially focused on minorities in larger cities. These are places where people do not normally drive, therefore many do not have photo I.D.s. A Republican official in Pennsylvania said it would ensure Republicans would win Pennsylvania. Their hopes were that it would remove about 800,000 urban votes. President Obama won Pennsylvania by about 800,000 votes, give or take a few. So in order to regain power they are willing to wipe out 50 years of progress for a group of people treated horribly by the white majority.

Democrats have not fought nearly hard enough to keep MLK’S dream alive. It is a fight that they cannot lose. It destroys progress from a half century in the time it takes to write a bill. Why would anyone sacrafice the rights of the people they represent to be in power? Aren’t we supposed to be the shining example of Democracy for the world to see. We are the example for them to follow. But this is how we treat our own. If they are allowed to remove these rights from people who fought so hard to get them, what will stop them from taking mine because I don’t make enough money. Corporate Feudalism is not our system of government, we are a Democracy by all the people, not just the chosen few.

Martin Luther King Jr. speech was an incredible example of the true American spirit. In the 50 years since we have seen some of his dream come true. We have our first African-American President, an African-American Attorney General and segregation has d gone to the history books. But the last 5 years alone show the shaky ground upon which the Civil Rights fight stands. A Conservative agenda has tried to gut everything that so many have worked so hard for. I hope to see MLKs dream a reality in my lifetime, but our progress seems to have been ground to a halt. I hope my children see the dream come to fruition.

Arming Syrian rebels is an iffy proposition.

                 President Obama with the support of many Senatorsand Representatives has decided to arm the Syrian rebels. Of course according to some Republicans he is not doing enough. Yet there is bipartisan opposition to increasing U.S. involvement in the conflict. Once again a difficult decision for President Obama is made worse by the polarization in Congress.

The Syrian rebels record with handling the Humanitarian Aid we have sent them is spotty, to say the least. The food, medicine and other lifesaving supplies often face long delays because of political rivalries between rebel factions. One shipment was held up for 2 weeks over whose label should be attached to the goods. Planes filled with supplies have landed in neighboring countries with no trucks at the landing sights to move the goods into Syria. Funds the U.S. was prepared to provide to an opposition political office were rejected. Do we know who the wespons are really going to go to?

Despite this being nothing new, it is getting increased scrutiny because of the decision to send weapons to the Syrian rebels. Though the administration has not publicly said what they were going to do, Secretary of State John Kerry held 2 classified briefings with members of Congress. Obviously this is not something that should be released to the press because of Russian and Chineese dissent.

No details emerged about the type of weapons to be sent. The lack of clarity has caused problems for the warmongering right wing and the left who are against it. Republicans didn’t want any military in Libya, so President Obama effectively helped overthrow a dictator without any American lives lost. Senator John McCain believes we need to put American lives at risk, despite his party’s resistance to a Veterans Jobs Bill, to take out the Syrian air assets. While Senator Tom Udall, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Chris Murphy abd Senator Rand Paul introduced a measure to prohibit the President from using any money to increase U.S. involvement. Specifically it bans the Pentagon, CIA and othet itellegence services from funding military, paramilitary or covert operations in Syria.

We can all agree something needs to be done about tg e Syrian rebellion. Obviously what needs to be done is a contentious issue. For the people in that country and the region itself something has to be done. But any action taken we lead to consequences. No action leads to more deaths and more doubt about America’s place in the world. Military action can lead to involvement from Russia and China. There is no easy or right decision, but I believe we have the right man and staff in the White House to make the best decision possible.

To be secure or not to be secure, make up your mind.

               After the Boston Marathon Bombing the media was complaining that we should have known something. How could the CIA have known anything if there were no phone taps? Obviously the government doesn’t listen to calls or this tragedy would have been prevented. Republicans are hypocrites who helped create the Patriot Act, but now they don’t like it. Rand Paul wants to file a civil suit, well I want to file one against him for every person that died of gun violence since he helped vote down the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill.

I am sick of the hypocritical nature of our society and government. They want something done, find o ut something is being done and throw a hissy fit. Republicans stop creating scandals and create jobs. Help our economy instead of hindering it and the rich have gotten enough breaks, close the Tax Loopholes and get Tax Reform done. It will help with our National Debt you claim to be so concerned about.

Why are Republicans killing Immigration Reform? They want to deport kids who were brought here illegally by their parents. How is that their fault? What happened to Republicans engaging Latinos, trying to work with them to gain their votes. Just more Republican lies, if you aren’t giving them money you are not important. They are the party of NO, lies and manufacturing scandals. If they cannot win or buy victory they will try anything to get rid of you.

So the government is tracking our phone data, who cares. How is that violating Civil Rights? I have read the 4th Amendment and as long as a court says it is ok, it is legal. Democrats need to stick with President Obama, that is the only way the American people will see improvement. The polarization of this country is sick and most comes from the right. If you want to secede, do it, no federal money for you. Red states get a lot more government aid then Blue states. So buh-bye crazies.

Darrell Issa throws a fit about Susan Rice appointment.

Darrell Issa has garnered headlines again. He has thrown a fit about President Obama appointing Susan Rice as a National Security Adviser. Issa called her a liar, scandalous and unfit to hold any appointment because her Sunday talk show talking points were wrong. Now that all the information is out, we know it wasn’t her fault.

Representative Issa should think before he speaks. If lying on Sunday talk shows makes you unfit for appointments, Issa should step down immediately. Ambassador Pickering assisted in the investigation into Benghazi, yet he was not invited to testify and Issa refused to let him testify. Pickering called Issa a liar when he went on the Sunday shows saying Pickering refused to testify. Issa thought Benghazi was going to be his shining moment, it obviously wasn’t. Republicans got so desperate they doctored the Benghazi emails to make the administration look guilty.

Issa wasn’t the only nut bag to come out against Susan Rice. Karl Rove said it was President Obama shoving it in Republicans faces. He alsovquestioned her honesty.Jason Chaffetz said ” She used her good name to try to convince the American people of this bogus story. She has to take some responsibility for that, the President is obviously not holding her accountable. Its what is so troubling about the entire Benghazi incident, people are getting promoted for a job poorly done.” Rand Paul said the President has been struggling to regain the moral authority to lead the nation. This doesnt really encourage anyone to reappoint or promote the person eho was guilty of misleading us on the Benghazi tragedy. I can’t imagine that we woukd keep Ambassador Rice in any significant position, much less promoting her to an important position. How are they going to have the authority to have people believe what they are saying when he is promoting someone who directly and deliberately midlead the public on Benghazi? The Benghazi tragedy is not going to go away until we have some answers. Why the elaborate coverup?

Will the Republican party ever stop and think before they speak? All these scandals that have been manufactured into bigger non issues. Why is President Obama evil to them? Why do they refer to him as a bad man? Whenever Democrats get the majority the Republicans wheels fall off. They wanted to impeach him 7 weeks into his first term. This is why Republicans can’t win an election without gerrymandering or voter suppression. Another day and some more Republican crazy.

Memorial Day, for those who give their lives.

                 Memorial Day is supposed to be in rememberance of those who gafe their lives for our freedom. Every conflict we have been involved in, brave soldiers gave their lives to preserve our freedoms. But is a day enough? We reserve the right to debate and speak freely, but without these heroes putting themselves in harms way, we have none of these freedoms.

Through the Sequester we have taken away the military tuition assistance program. Instead of armoring our military vehicles the way we were supposed the Republican led House cut the budget and gave them cheaper protection. Our soldiers take the brunt of the action, then get treated like pariahs. It is a shame that these brave men and women are treated like this.

The back log at the VA ua particularly disturbing. The President, Republicans and Democrats all talk as if they will do something about it, but nothing gets done. Although on most issues the President has done pretty well by the military. Republicans and their austerity methods are hurting the military spouses and families. Soldiers families were losing their homes while overseas. He helped them, with the aid of Democrats in the House and Senate.

If anyone thinks that this is hiw these people should be treated, you are as mad as Rand Paul. These people do things most people are unwilling to do. For that they deserve better. A CEO at a multi-billion dollar company makes more than these heroes. They rob our country blind and put these soldiers families out of their homes. Our soldiers recieve a paycheck, a slap on the back and good luck with you and yours. If we do not eventually correct this we will not have a military worth joining. Please honor our soldiers and their sacrafices. Think of those whose mother and father didn’t come home and say a prayer or pour some beer on the ground in tribute. Without them you would not have your freedom to drink that beer. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.

Apple avoids taxes, yet asks Congress to lower the Corporate Tax Rate.

                  Apple CEO Tim Cook argued for Corporate Tax Reform on Capitol Hill. The irony of that is a recent report claiming the company is avoiding paying taxes on billions of dollars in profits. The U.S. based software giant is hiding $102 billion in tax havens overseas. This allows the company to pay near zero global tax rate on that money, according to a report from the left leaning, Citizens for Tax Justice.

                     Cook was to testify on behalf of Apple as part of a Senate Committee hearing targeting companies that move money overseas in an effort to lower their tax bills. Cook told th Washington Post that he plans to ask Congress to lower the corporate tax rate on overseas profits companies bring back home. Large U.S. based multinational companies currently have $1.9 trillion stashed offshore.

Apple wanted to tell the Senate it doesn’t use gimmicks to avoid paying taxes. Like moving intellectual property to tax havens. Apple’s 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Apple would pay a U.S. tax rate of 34.5% if it brought its offshore profits back to the U.S. Because the U.S. tax code gives companies credit for paying taxes abroad. This 34.5% figure is proof that Apple is not paying very much in taxes to other countries, according to the CTJ.

Cook defended Apples use of tax havens , saying that Apple pays all of the taxes they owe and not only do they comply with tax laws, but comply also with the spirit of the laws. Senator Carl Levin said that Apple wants people to focus on the U.S. taxes the company paid, not on the issue of the billions they have not paid. He also said Appke employs offshore tax strategies whose purpose is tax avoidance. He also said that Apple used loopholes to avoid paying $9 billion in U.S. taxes in 2012.

The hearing was called to air accusations that Apple has created a web of offshore entities to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Other large companies do so as well but Apple was the focus og the Senate probe. Apple denied any wrongdoing and said the company was one of the U.S. highest tax payers, paying $6 billion last year. Cook wants to simplify the U.S. corporate tax code so it would allow capital to flow back to the U.S., knowing full well Apple may pay more in taxes.

Senator John Mccain said that Apple avoided paying taxes on $44 billion in income, saying they are one of tge biggest tax avoiders in tge U.S. Senator Rand Paul said that Apple was dealing with an awful tax code. President Obama has long argued that the tax code is tilted against companies that want to create jobs in America, while rewarding companies for shipping jobs and profits overseas. There seems to be a fracture in the Republican party, which has been showing more recently. While Democrats lauded praise upon Senator Levin for his statements. Get thectax avoiders and we begin closing Our national deficit. If not nothing will change and the gridlock will become bankruptcy.

Rand Paul’s blatant lie about stance on Civil Rights Act.

            During a recent appearence at Howard huiUniversity, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) made misleading claims about his past support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He said, ” I’very never wavered in my support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act. The dispute, if there is one, has always been about how much of a remedy should come under federal or state or private purview.” But that is completely untrue. During a 2010 interview with Rachel Narrow, then Senate candidate Paul came under fire for a series of comments he made criticizing the Civil Eights Act.

                When asked if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act, Paul responded ” I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense in ended discrimination in all public domains. I am in favor of that.” The interviewer said But? Paul responded ” You had to ask but. I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners- I abhor racism l. I think its bad business to ever exclude anybody from your resturant, but at the same time, u do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination in anything that gets public funding. That’s what most of the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind.”

                   When Maddow pressed Paul on the issue, he said he agreed with most parts of the Civil Rights Act. But that get opposed Title II, the section that made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race. Paul said he would have tried to change the bill if he was in office at the time. Senator Paul has never reappeared on the Rachel Maddow Show, saying it was a political mistake.

                 Paul devoted almost none of his speech at the historically black college to explaining the GOPs on again, off again relationship with African American voters over the last 50 years. He spent most of the speech arguing that Republicans have always been the party of civil rights. His lecture focused mostly on the period before 1964. This is when the GOP began championing the States rights arguements of the southern whites. Paul repeatedly reminded the audience that Democrats passed Jim Crow laws in the south and that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Also illustrating that the first black legislators and the founders of the NAACP were Republicans.

          Paul also had a bit of an awkward time reaching out to Latino voters in a speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce last month. This was only a day after the GOP released it s “autopsy report” recommending that they need to do better with minorities. He had a moment like this at Howard Uniblversity as well. When hectried to call out the crowd for not knowing enough about black history.

              I believe that you either support something or you dont. I don’t know if abortion would very right for me, but I am a man and it is their right to choose, so I support their right. But Senator Paul’s issue is emblamatic of the Republican partys problem. They say what they mean and then hope people forget they said it. They seem to forget about Google and Binge. Your comments are only a few keystrokes away.


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Do we really have a spending problem?

                  Republicans have been insisting that U.S. has a major spending problem. They have been saying that through the whole economic recovery, in fact their obstructionist tactics have even been said to slow down the recovery. House Republicans offer a budget that contains Draconian levels of spending cuts to domestic spending, some Republicans including Rand Paul asked for larger spending cuts.

                According to the CBO, excluding wars and disaster relief funding, Americas discretionary spending has grown at a slower rate than inflation since 2097 and now makes up a smaller share of the economy that it did before the Great Recession. CBO Director Dough Elmenforf wrote; Excluding appropriations for those purposes, discretionary budget authority rose from $892 billion in 2007 to $987 billion in 2013, an increase of about 11%. During that period,  prices (as measured by the CPI for urban consumers) rose by 13%, a nominal GDP increased by 16%. As a result, discretionary appropriations, based on the House passed appropriations for 2013 and excluding funds for overseas contingency operations and hurricane relief- declined by 2.2% in real (inflation adjusted) terms between 2007-2013 and dropped from 6.4% of GDP to 6.2% of GDP over that period.

               Spending levels have plateaued in recent years as Washington has focused on spending and debt reduction. That as I  said earlier has hampered our recovery from the recession. Government spending has typically driven recoveries in the past, this time spending cuts have, of course, hamstrung  our recovery. Further spending cuts to programs that help Americans stay on their feet would only exacerbate the problem. With low borrowing costs and high unemployment, the U.S. has a chance to make investments to help boost growth, therefore creating more jobs. Instead Republicans are focused on spending and a manufacturer debt crisis.

              Despite the hand wringing from conservatives and media types about the federal debts and defecits, any research will make it clear that Americas problem isn’t that the government is spending too much. Rather, it is the government isn’t spending enough. Investments into infrastructure, education, teachers, public workers and other programs could boost the economy. Instead by cutting spending Washington turned its full attention to spending cuts and the results had been dire. Republicans clamor for austerity,  even if it is predictable to anyone who has read about the plight of the European economy over the last few years, where austerity is king.

              The only way to truly balance the budget is to have a balanced plan with spending cuts and increased revenue I.e taxes. Democrats and Patty Murray offered such a plan which was meant with conservative disdain. Our current course may not very as bad as Republicans say.

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Lochner v. New York

               This one of those post that you get a little more than you expect while writing it. I have heard about it recently and decided to see what it was all about. Being that I am not in law school it never truly crossed my radar. But here is some of what I learned. I hope it clears this up a little or enlightens you as it did me.

               Lochner v. New York is widely viewed as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history. It is taught in law schools along side upholding segregation and permitting Japaneese detention camps. Even Robert Bork, who claimed women werent discriminated against anymore, called it an abomination, that it is the quintessence of judicial usurpation of power.

                Lochner fabricated a so called right to contract in order to strike down a New York law preventing bakery owners from overworking bakers. It had implications for any law trying to protect workers. Lochner established that any law that limits any contract between employer and employee is constitutionally suspect. Lochner essentially placed any law benefitting workers on constitutionally weak footing. It also concludes that the Constitution prohibits states from interfering with most employment contracts because the right to buy and sell labor is a fundamental freedom protected by th 14th Amendment. The “right to contact” it invented does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

              The court admitted that while in certain circumstances states may legitimately regulate certain contracts through their police powers. The baking industry, unlike the mining industry, was not an unhealthy trade. Therefore it was not legally subject to regulation.

              For the next 32 years federal courts used Lochner to overturn numerous laws attempting to regulate various aspects of business, employment and property interests. During this period, referred to as the Lochner era, public sentiment strongly supported the idea that government should minimally interfere with the new industrial capatalistic market, an idea known as laissez-faire economics. Following the stock market crash of 1929 FDR began to establish a social and economic reform program based on a series of new federal laws. The court using the Lochner decision consistently overturned the laws much to the dismay of the public and President.

              Finally in 1937 the court embraced Holmes dissent in Lochner. In the case of West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parish in letting stand a Washington law setting a minimum wage for women, the court ruled that freedom to contract was not unlimited. For the rest if the 20th century government was given the freedom to regulate workplace and other economic affairs. So technicall the law was overturned in 1937.

              Rand Paul cited this in his 13 hour filubuster as a wonderful law. This law gave employers the right to treat employees however they wanted. That is not a good way for a leader to look at a law that is widely considered one of the worst in American history. As I read this I started to realize similarities between what happened then and what Republicans are trying to do now. That is scary, I realize conservatism is a means of living in the past, but this is ridiculus. I believe the Constitution is a progressive document as well as us breaking from a world power like England was progressive. Progress moves us forward, that is what the American experiment needs.

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Rand Paul and his 13 hour talking filibuster.

             Rand Paul pulled a talking filbuster stunt yesterday. Yes, it did last 13 hours, yes he was passionate. But did he do it for the reason he said? He is filibustering a presidential nomination because of the controversial drone strike policy. This is a subject that should be debated, just as many others that the Republican party refuses to debate. But what really motivated Rand Paul to do this?

           During the Bush administration the Republican party said that it was unconstitutional to hold up presidential nominations. Yet move ahead a few years and they are guilty of doing it.  It is not hard to establish that Rand Paul does like to stand alone. He is a libertarian and they believe a person should rely on one self and no one else. Personally I find that thought disturbing because we have all relied on someone else at one time or another. Or maybe I have an over simplified idea of it.

               Anyway I find it odd that he supports infinite detention of civilians and legal permanent residents, but doesnt want hellfir missiles to fall on you. Which by the way drones dont carry. So in Rand Pauls opinion it is illegal to kill a citizen, but it is legal to unconstitutionally imprison them. If you are going to use the Constitution as an arguement you have to be consistent. You have to support tge WHOLE CONSTITUTION not just the parts that work for you. This is just another area where Republicans fall short.

             Furthermore, how does Rand Paul support not killing, yet support imprisoning you unconstitutionally, but then isvwilling to watch kids die or suffer because of lack of health care. The Sequester, which he supports, will limit funding for CHIP, SNAP and other programs that effect children and the elderly. This a very inconsistent congressman.

              This was more political grandstanding from a party that almost single handedly caused the government gridlock. But once again they abuse government procedure to attack the president. So to all of you applauding Mr. Pauls filibuster, you yourselves have been cornholed.

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