Archive for Patriot Acts

ICYMI: PoliticsNation on April 22

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From PoliticsNation

Case builds against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Former prosecutors Catherine Crier and Kelly Currie break down the charages against the 19-year-old accused of the Boston Marathon bombings.

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Happy Presidents’ Day: Read George Washington’s Farewell Address

Today our great country takes a day to remember all of the presidents who have led our country since its founding. In honor of George Washington’s birthday this Friday, the U.S. Senate will also read his farewell address. In this letter to “Friends and Citizens,” Washington warned that the forces of geographical sectionalism, political factionalism, and interference by foreign powers in the nation’s domestic affairs threatened the stability of the Republic. He urged Americans to subordinate sectional jealousies to common national interests.

Take some time either today or later this week to read Washington’s farewell address, and have a wonderful and joyous Presidents’ Day!

Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_Washington

Washington’s Farewell Address
1796

Friends and Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

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ICYMI: PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton

When you take anti-choice policies such as Ohio’s heartbeat legislation to their logical extremes, the rhetoric goes way beyond pro-choice or pro-life positions—it endangers the health and welfare of women. We’re not talking about saying “stupid things” (as Bobby Jindal so aptly phrased it), we’re talking about doctors literally allowing women to bleed to death due to fear of prosecution.

On Monday night’s PoliticsNation, I joined Reverend Al Sharpton and Irin Carmon of Salon.com to discuss this and other issues. What are your thoughts on anti-abortion legislation currently being discussed in numerous state legislatures? Watch the following clip from last night and share your thoughts.

Republicans in Ohio are reviving a heartbeat bill that would ban all abortions after 6 weeks. It would be the most restrictive ban on abortion in the US. Journalist Catherine Crier and Irin Carmon of Salon.com talk with Rev. Al Sharpton about why the GOP is pushing abortion bills despite voters' rejection of their platform.

From PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton

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ICYMI: Vox Populi with Sean Astin

On Thursday, I joined Sean Astin on his podcast Vox Populi to discuss the Joe Biden-Paul Ryan debate in Danville, Kentucky. Download the show here (conversation starts at the 40 minute mark) and don’t forget to subscribe to Sean’s podcast on iTunes!

Vox Populi is about Politics Politics Politics. Sean Astin tackles issues (some hot button topics) & connects them to the real world political environment in America. The show's got High Profile Guests, Questions from the Audience, Honorary Co-Hosts, Analysis, Micro Debates and high spirited, fast action Civic & Political Banter/Commentary.

Public Money Continues to Supplement the Building of Private Corporate Infrastructure

Our nation is still experiencing the after-effects of major economic crisis, and yet public money continues to supplement the building of private corporate infrastructure. Time and time again, our legislators and government officials have proven that they’re willing to put the interests of the public aside in order to appease big business by lowering tax rates, offering more tax breaks, and increasing corporate subsidies.

These government subsidies do not encourage economic growth as much as productive taxpayers do, and as a result, everything from Social Security to unemployment and welfare rolls is affected. As you’ll see in the following article, when it comes to competitive business privileges—tax breaks, subsidies, overt political power—individuals and small businesses might as well fugetaboutit.

Welfare queens may actually look more like giant corporations.

From The Huffington Post

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Modern “Conservatives” Are Quick to Impede Progress Without Offering a Different Course

The Republican Party I knew growing up was brimming with “progressive” visionaries who valued national investment in science technology and infrastructure—building, innovating, and investing, publicly and privately, in America’s future. Now, modern “conservatives” are quick to put the brakes on progress without offering a different course.

If they wish to revitalize the Republican Party, conservatives must be willing to strike a balance between free-market ideologies and traditional conservative principles. Balancing these interests does not mean confiscating and redistributing wealth or subsidizing people’s lives, but inequalities must be addressed. Your thoughts?

"In the polarized political conflict with liberalism, shrinking government has become the organizing conservative principle. Economic conservatives have the money and the institutions. They have taken control. Traditional conservatism has gone into eclipse. These days, speakers at Republican gatherings almost always use the language of market conservatism — getting government off our backs, enhancing economic freedom. Even Mitt Romney, who subscribes to a faith that knows a lot about social capital, relies exclusively on the language of market conservatism." David Brooks | New York Times

From The New York Times

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96 Percent of Americans Have Relied on Social Welfare Programs

In a 2008 national survey conducted at Cornell, 96 percent of Americans reported needing the assistance of federal social welfare programs at some point in their life. However, many government officials, especially Republican leaders, regularly insist upon deep cuts to services for most citizens while simultaneously defending tax breaks, subsidies, and overt political power for transnational corporations.

In its preamble, the Founders stated explicitly that our Constitution was established to promote the general welfare. Americans recognize the difference between ideological rhetoric and realistic solutions, and what they’re seeking is honest leadership that puts the welfare of citizens and our system of government above all else. Would you agree?

From The New York Times

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Ayn Rand’s Radical Defense of Economic Darwinism

Ayn Rand, the self-proclaimed radical and author of Atlas Shrugged was the ultimate purist, advocating uncontrolled, unregulated capitalism. She perverted Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” into her “virtue of selfishness” and defended an ugly dog-eat-dog economic Darwinism: The masses were servile and insignificant, government was invasive and usually malevolent.

Absolute objectivism, along with the rest of Rand’s arguments, may sway teens—a time when renegade individualism stirs the blood—but time and experience validates the social/political principles envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Adam Smith.

It was back in April when audio of Paul Ryan praising Ayn Rand first gained traction during a debate over the libertarian icon's influence on the conservative congressman. Paul Ryan dismissed the suggestion that he was fixated on the author an "urban legend." National Review ran an article called "Paul Ryan Isn't a Randian" aimed at "refuting the Left’s favorite charge against Paul Ryan." | Andrew Kaczynski, Buzzfeed

From Buzzfeed Politics

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Banks Should Be Banks, Not Investment Houses or Gambling Casinos

In response to unregulated financial malfeasance and the Crash of ’29, The Banking Reform Act of 1933 imposed rules to ensure banks were banks, not investment houses or gambling casinos. When the legislation was introduced, the American Bankers Association protested, saying the bill was “unsound, unscientific, unjust, and dangerous.”

Our current crisis is due in no small part to the weakening of these provisions in the 1980s and the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. When you hear banks and their political cronies screaming about regulations today, just remember, we’ve heard it all before. They were wrong in ’33 and they’re wrong now.

From Bloomberg

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Tax Cuts Do Not Increase Overall Revenues or Spur Domestic Business Investment and Job Growth

Cut taxes on the rich, so the argument goes, and this money will be reinvested at home. For those of you who have read Patriot Acts, we’ve been over this numerous times, but let me restate an empirical fact: Tax cuts for the wealthy do not increase overall revenues or spur domestic business investment and job growth.

A new longitudinal study compiles data from the last 65-years to find why tax cuts in and of themselves have never led to economic growth. In the past, the rich may have reinvested about a third of their tax savings in the US, but now, most of it goes into savings, personal spending, or overseas investments.

A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found that over the past 65 years, tax cuts for the rich have not led to economic growth and instead are linked to greater income inequality in the United States. | Bonnie Kavoussi, Huffington Post

From The Huffington Post

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