Macon Telegraph (blog)Hispanic population boom will reshape Texas politics, but question is whenDallas Morning NewsThe hope in this year's election for Texas Democrats, still stuck in the unrelenting freeze-out of every state office, was watching...
A federal appeals court panel on Monday considered Arizona’s stringent abortion ban, which has the distinction of being the most restrictive in the nation because it criminalizes almost all abortions after just 20 weeks.
An example of how dysfunctional the right wing has become, and how very anti-women.
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said Sunday on a call with volunteers that restoring Glass-Steagall, the depression-era finance rule that prevented banks from becoming “too big to fail,” would be among the top three Wall Street reforms on her agenda if voters elect her to the Senate.
Warren, a Harvard professor who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) after the global financial crash of 2008, mentioned the depression-era rule in a response to a volunteer who asked, “What can we do to hold Wall Street accountable and keep [a collapse] from happening again?”
“We fought [the fight for Dodd-Frank] out in the open, to try and get financial reforms passed,” she said. “We finally got the consumer agency in place and got some reforms, and then after Dodd-Frank had passed they went back to the regulatory commissions. They were supposed to write regulations… I thought the fight was over. I thought that the good guys had won. But it turned out the lobbyists, the big financial institutions just decided to move the fight into the shadows.”
Warren said that what’s happened since is a case study in how Congress seems to function all too often: “They have been lobbying the regulators to try to weaken the rules, to put loopholes in them, to try to delay them and try to get rid of them outright,” she lamented. [MORE]
It looks like we finally know the reason why Republicans are refusing to fund FEMA, the federal agency that responds to natural disasters. Former Republican Governor Jeb Bush is set to lead a newly formed FOR-PROFIT natural disaster response company.
A Pennsylvania House bill seeks to limit the amount of TANF assistance that low-income women receive based on the amount of children they give birth to while covered under the program.
Despite the fact that low-income women who give birth to children would logically need increased assistance to care for their larger family, Pennsylvania lawmakers - State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R) - don't want their state's welfare program to provide additional benefits for that newborn. If a woman gives birth to a child who was conceived from rape, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her welfare benefits aren't slashed, but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser's identity to the police. [MORE]
Last time we checked, America was a nation founded by and for the people, not political corporate interests. To take the pricetags off our politicians, we need to take a stand against Citizens United....
It's not news that special-interest money is increasingly making it harder for our representatives to hear or care what We the People have to say. What IS news is that we've just helped create a BIG step in remedying this growing problem.
Coffee Party Austin has joined a new coalition of pro-democracy groups called Texans United to Amend in creating anonline petition that asks local government entities to pass resolutions in support of a constitutional amendment. We urge you to click here to sign the petition which states:
"I urge my local government to pass a resolution that seeks an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that only human beings, not corporations, unions, or similar entities, are entitled to constitutional rights."
Please sign the petition, forward this email to at least two Texans and ask them to sign the petition themselves and pass it on to other Texans. You can also help by sharing the petition on Facebook using the link on the confirmation page.
Polls show that the vast majority of Americans are very concerned about the largely unregulated and unlimited amounts of money used to influence local, state and national elections, so you can expect a receptive audience.
Coffee Party Austin and the Texas United to Amend coalition invite you to join the growing movement that will change our electoral system by signing the petition now.
I feel pretty strongly about this whole SuperPAC thing, about the way that money in politics has so dramatically bastardized the election process.
Long ago it was "one person/one vote," but now it seems to be "one dollar/one vote."
According to this NPR video (full credit where credit is due), it's not even that anymore... Seems that I'm worth over $5.00 because I live in New Hamphsire. Only Nevada's denizens are worth more than I am and, if you're in California, you're worth pretty much nothin'.
What purposeful political acts created and sustained the huge gap between the super-rich and the rest of America?
by Troy Oxford and Lauren Feeney, Moyers & Company
In recent years, the rich have seen their wealth grow dramatically while the poor and middle class have basically flatlined. It’s no accident, argue Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their book Winner-Take-All Politics. The infographic below, which draws from Hacker and Pierson’s book, explains how our politicians — on both sides of the aisle — fell under the spell of corporate dollars and re-engineered our economic system to favor the wealthy. The dark green line shows the income trajectory for the top 1 percent since 1970, while the light green line shows the bottom 90 percent. Click the orange triangles to learn about critical turning points that helped create the skewed system we have today.
Two plans, added to the Obama health law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program, will be offered in every state.
The national plans will compete directly with other private insurers and may have some significant advantages, including a federal seal of approval. Premiums and benefits for the multistate insurance plans will be negotiated by the United States Office of Personnel Management, the agency that arranges health benefits for federal employees.
In a conference call with reporters today, Sen. Bernie Sanders alerted the American people to the Republican (with some Democrat support) plan to reduce the deficit by cutting veterans benefits.
Sen, Sanders told reporters, “We do not honor our disabled veterans by cutting their benefits. In my view in this country means anything it means we keep the promises we make to the people who put their lives on the line to defend us.”
The political-science evidence is clear on this: There’s no such thing as an election mandate. There’s only what a president is able to get done with the Congress the American people gave him.
But few politicians agree. And so the days and weeks after elections are heavy with arguments about who has a mandate, and for what. The latest debate is about whether President Obama, who ran a campaign explicitly promising to raise taxes on high earners and who beat a candidate explicitly promising to refuse any and all tax increases, has a mandate to raise taxes.
Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t. “Listen, our majority is going to get reelected,” he said the day before the election. “We’ll have as much of a mandate as he [President Obama] will … to not raise taxes.”
Boehner’s logic is, on its face, sound. House Republicans have been as clear in their opposition to new taxes on the rich as Obama has been in his support for them. And House Republicans were reelected. They have as much right to claim a popular mandate as the president does.
Or they would if they’d actually won more votes. But they didn’t. House Republicans did the equivalent of winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. [MORE]
Citizens United v. FEC gave corporations unlimited ability to spend money on elections, so long as these attempts to buy elections did not involve direct contributions to a candidate. Shortly thereafter, a lower court ushered in the era of super PACs.
To date, however, the courts have left federal limits on contributions directly to candidates or political parties largely unmolested. Under federal law, individual donations to candidates are limited to $2,500 per candidate, per election, and total contributions to candidates, political party committees and similar organizations are limited to $117,000 every two years. Thus, GOP billionaire Sheldon Adelson can currently give tens of millions of dollars to groups trying to elect Republicans that are separate from the Republican Party, but there remains a cap on how much he can give the GOP directly.
A lawsuit brought by the Republican National Committee now wants to eliminate most of these modest restrictions on election buying, and eliminate the $117,000 cap on donations by people like Adelson.
Moreover, because of a federal law that requires the Supreme Court to hear certain campaign finance cases, the Supreme Court is now almost certain to take the case — potentially handing the Republican Party their biggest Supreme Court victory since Citizens United.
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