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Supreme Court Rules Against Kentucky Clerk in Gay Marriage Case


The U.S. Supreme Court has just said it will not place a stay on a ruling by U.S. District Court judge David Bunning that ordered Davis to issue licenses to married couples regardless of gender. On Friday, Davis's attorneys had asked the Court to intervene, saying forcing her to issue licenses to same-sex couples is a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Davis' attorneys told Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan that Davis is "a devout Christian" who "has faithfully and devotedly served the public in the Rowan County clerk’s office for nearly thirty years." They said she is seeking "asylum for her conscience," and should the Court refuse her request for an emergency stay of Judge Bunning's ruling, "then elected officials have no real religious freedom when they take public office." 
Justice Kagan chose to send the request to the full court. Davis would have had to have at least three justices agree to hear her request, but it was denied, indicating there were not.

Her attorneys, in a stunning choice of words, also claimed the Supreme Court's decision in  Obergefell, "demands that she either fall in line (her conscience be damned) or leave office (her livelihood and job for three-decades in the clerk’s office be damned)."




The Last Word 08-31-15




THE LAST WORD
Europe’s migrant crisis has received a lot of attention as of late, with every day seemingly bringing another dark development. But there’s another attention-worthy humanitarian crisis that people should be talking about. The number of migrants reaching Europe are very few compared with the nearly 4 million Syrians who have fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, creating the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation. The aid group World Vision raised $8 million in just two weeks for Nepal earthquake victims, but have only received $2.7 million in donations throughout the past four years for Syrian refugees. Richard Stearns, the organization’s president, said the crisis is “mind numbing for the American people. They look at the Middle East, they say, ‘This is crazy. They’re all attacking each other. We don’t understand it.’ It’s like a tangled ball of yarn, and they tune it out.” There’s no hashtag, viral video or breaking news notification about the crisis; it’s our responsibility to contribute our attention, time and resources to address a devastating problem.

CONVERSATION STARTERS 08-31-15



CONVERSATION STARTERS
The U.N. is using virtual reality to make the rich and powerful feel empathyMotherboard
Why millennials are ditching Tinder to hook up on RedditMic
9 things I’ve learned about marriage from being a couples therapistVox
I thought turning off notifications would make me happier, but it drove me crazyMic
Buying organic vegetables at the grocery store is actually a waste of your moneyQuartz
Why the University of Maryland University College is getting rid of all textbooksMic
Prisons should be a lot more like nursing homesMarshall Project

Today In One Quote 08-31-15



"And yes, as you probably could have guessed, I have decided in 2020 to run for president." 
In a rambling speech at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, Kanye West accepted the video vanguard award from Taylor Swift and proceeded to call out the VMAs for exploiting artists for ratings, talk the sweet joys of marijuana and announce some unbelievable news

TODAY'S TALKING POINTS 08-31-15



TODAY'S TALKING POINTS
Thai police arrested a man over the Bangkok bombing. A 28-year-old foreigner, who may be part of a people-smuggling gang, was taken into custody after police raided his apartment and found bomb-making materials similar to those used in the Aug. 17 bombing of the Erawan Shrine, which killed 20 and injured more than 120. Police have awarded themselves $84,000 to motivate officers who are still on the hunt for others who may have been involved in the attack.
Al Jazeera journalists were sentenced to three years in an Egyptian jail. Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste are facing jail time on charges of aiding a terrorist organization, but on Saturday the judge only mentioned the issue of broadcasting video footage that “contained false news” with the intention of harming the country. The trial, which has widely been described as a sham, has sparked international outcry and calls for their acquittal.
  • Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who represented Fahmy, said the verdict “sends a message that journalists can be locked up for simply doing their job.” Despite her work on this and several other landmark cases, she’s still being referred to as an “actor’s wife.”
The U.S. is developing sanctions against China over hacks. The move comes after the security breach at the Office of Personnel Management that exposed the sensitive information of more than 22 million current and former government employees. The U.S. hasn't actually decided to issue the sanctions yet — they're unprecedented and would make the U.S.' relationship with China a bit more tense.
Donald Trump’s still surging in the polls. The bombastic businessman is still leading the Republican race as Hillary Clinton slips among Democrats.
    • A Quinnipiac University poll revealed “arrogant” is the word voters think of most when they think Trump, but Sarah Palin only had kind things to say about the Republican frontrunner when she interviewed him Friday night.
     
    • Chris Christie may have one-upped Trump’s statement on illegal immigrantsSaturday when he said he would track immigrants like FedEx packages: “We let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them. We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in.”
Oliver Sacks and Wes Craven died. Renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, 82, the author of books like, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat," died Sunday hours before legendary horror filmmaker Wes Craven, who haunted your dreams through A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, died at 76.
President Barack Obama heads to Alaska to talk climate change. The president heads north the same day diplomats gather for a conference on global warming (paywall).
  • As leaders talk about ways to curb emissions to protect the planet, Italian energy group Eni is celebrating its discovery of one of the world's largest natural gas fields off of Egypt's coast.

Republican Candidates Address Donald Trump and Volatility in Polls





Republican Candidates Address Donald Trump and Volatility in Polls  As the summer of Donald J. Trump winds down, some of the real estate mogul’s rivals took to the Sunday political talk shows, discussing plans for emerging from Mr. Trump’s shadow in the Republican field.

 Scott Walker The Wisconsin governor denied that his campaign has been forced to shift course by the potency of Mr. Trump’s candidacy.  “For us, I think the biggest spark for us is getting the message out that now’s not the time to put in place someone who hasn’t been tested before,” Mr. Walker told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Chris Christie As his own campaign struggles to take hold, the New Jersey governor told Fox News Sunday that he plans to be on the main stage for the second Republican debate Sept. 16 in Simi Valley, Calif., even though several polls show he no longer ranks in the top 10 of the Republican field.  Mr. Christie said he was not discouraged by recent polling, recalling how he was heavily outspent in his campaign for governor six years ago. “I’ve been an underdog for my entire political career,” he said.

 Bobby Jindal The Louisiana governor appeared on two programs, marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He said the legacy of Katrina was proof that “American people love each other.”  “These last 10 years have shown the resilience of the American people,” Mr. Jindal told ABC’s “This Week.” He said his state was prepared for future hurricanes: “Our levies are stronger than they’ve ever been before, but we must not become complacent.”

Wow, Jeb Bush just lost three of his top fundraisers - they quit!


As of August 25, The New York Times editorial board was calling him a “forlorn candidate,” and by Friday, August 28, Bush was telling a crowd that Trump “is a guy that’s the front-runner, he should be treated like the front-runner.”
Bad as they were, things just got worse, with Politico reporting Saturday that “Three top Jeb Bush fundraisers abruptly parted ways with his presidential campaign on Friday, amid internal personality conflicts and questions about the strength of his candidacy.”


Three top Jeb Bush staff members quit his presidential campaign on Friday, POLITICO has learned.

Kris Money, Trey McCarley, and Debbie Aleksander — have said that  quit the campaign and were still working with Bush's super PAC, Right to Rise Super PAC. 


The departures came at a time of uncertainty for Bush. While he has had massive success raising money for his Super PAC, he is overseeing an official campaign that has many more staffers but far less money. Earlier this week, the New York Times revealed that it had taken steps to rein in some of its spending and had gone so far as to cut some employee salaries. 

And POLITICO reported one Bush fundraiser expressed concerns about the slowing pace of the campaign’s fundraising after Bush’s shaky debate performance.

 Meredith O’Rourke – one of Florida’s top Republican fundraisers who briefly worked for Chris Christie’s campaign in May but left it in July. O’Rourke, who wouldn’t comment, helped Gov. Rick Scott raise about $100 million for his 2014 reelection campaign and also works for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who’s likely to run for governor in 2018.
One source attributed the departures to personality conflicts in the campaign. Some identified Bush's finance director, Heather Larrison, as a shouter with whom it’s difficult to work. She wouldn’t comment. Others singled out Money as a problem due to what they describe as his haughtiness and his heavy-handed donate-or-else attitude with potential contributors.
Frontrunner Donald Trump seized on the POLITICO report Saturday morning and took a shot at his rival on Twitter: “Wow, Jeb Bush just lost three of his top fundraisers - they quit!”






Aleksander, Money and McCarley have deep and longstanding ties to Florida’s GOP power structure. Aleksander has been a member in good standing of Bush’s operation since he was governor. Money is close with former House Speaker Will Weatherford, McCarley’s part of Commissioner Adam Putnam’s political team along with O’Rourke.

.


Official Misconduct Charges Filed Against Extremist KY County Clerk Kim Davis


From the Lexington, KY CBS affiliate:
The Rowan County Attorney’s Office said on Friday that it has referred to the Attorney General’s Office a charge of official misconduct against Davis. A release from the county attorneys office says Kentucky Bar Association “Rules of the Supreme Court of Kentucky prohibit the Rowan County Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Davis” because they are involved in current litigation with Davis.
“Typically, the attorney general’s office refers conflict cases to a prosecutor from another county,” the release says.
The release says Rowan County Government and the Rowan County Attorney’s Office cannot take any other action against Kim Davis.
“Kentucky state government is the only entity that can move to have Kim Davis removed as Rowan County Clerk,” the release says.
A spokeswoman for the attorney generals office told WKYT they are looking into the matter.
According to Morehead News:
Official misconduct in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable with imprisonment not to exceed 12 months and fines of $500.
Official misconduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a potential punishment of up to 90 days imprisonment and fines of $250.
The charge must be tried in court before a designation of first or second degree is placed upon it.
Now how fast or to what extent Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conwat will move on this is the next question.
Earlier this month this website Back2Stonewall.com reached out to Kentucky Attorney General’s office to inquire if Jack Conway would be filing contempt charges against Ms. Davis for her refusal to issue licenses and the Statehouse switchboard operator replied that “Mr. Conway sent out an email this morning saying that he would not get involved in this case”
Davis’ who is being represented by the ant-gay law group the Liberty Counsel has filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court Friday, asking that they delay the mandate to issue licenses until her appeal is finished, a process that could stretch for months.

A Special Letter to the President showing support for the Iran Deal from members of the DNC



  James Zogby, the co-chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee, prepared a letter expressing support for Obama and the Iran deal. The letter gained signatures from an overwhelming majority of DNC members, Zogby said.
“We wanted to show support for the president,” he told the Post. “We found that the best way to show support was a letter that members would sign on to, and the overwhelming majority of DNC members signed onto the letter. This is the President Obama we elected in 2008 who said, ‘I choose diplomacy over conflict,’ and he did it.”
 The Democratic National Committee, circulated a "Special Letter to the President" wherein we asked our DNC colleagues to sign the letter supporting President Barack Obama's leadership in negotiating an agreement that would place strict limits on Iran's nuclear program.
10 years ago this weekend, we nominated Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. During that 2008 campaign, then-Senator Obama had promised to choose diplomacy and engagement over conflict in pursuing American foreign policy objectives. Now, by working with the P5+1 (the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany), to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama has helped to fulfill that pledge. Promise made; promise delivered.
A majority of our DNC colleagues joined us in co-signing our letter of support. In just a few hours, the two of us and a handful of allies collected signatures from over 160 DNC members, with endorsements continuing to come in.
We are proud to stand with our president and delighted to that so many others have joined us.
-------------------------------------------------
A Special Letter to the President from members of the Democratic National Committee.
We strongly support the courageous leadership you have demonstrated in choosing diplomacy and negotiations over conflict. We believe that the completion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated between P5+1 (the Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany) and Iran to place strict limits on Iran's nuclear program is an important victory for diplomacy. We recognize that there are some who in good faith have expressed reservations with elements of the JCPOA but we believe that you and key members of your Administration have effectively and respectfully responded to these concerns. We, therefore, join you in supporting the JCPOA as the best way forward to secure our nation, our allies, and world peace.
Signed
Dr. James Zogby, DC
Christine Pelosi, CA
Donna Brazile, DNC Vice Chair, DC
Raymond Buckley, DNC Vice Chair, NH
Maria Elena Durazo, DNC Vice Chair, CA
Andrew Tobias, DNC Treasurer, DC
Henry R. Muñoz III, DNC National Finance Chair, TX
Mike Wenstrup, AK
Casey Steinau, AK
Kimberly Metcalfe, AK
Ian N. Olson, AK
Hon. Nancy Worley, AL
Rev. Randy Kelley, AL
William Roe, AZ
Danica Oparnica, AZ
Vincent Insalaco, AR
Hon. Joyce Elliot, AR
Hon. Lottie Shackelford, AR
John Burton, CA
Alexandra Gallardo Rooker, CA
Steven K. Alari, CA
Shawn Bagley, CA
Rachel Binah, CA
Becca Doten, CA
Jess Durfee, CA
Mary Ellen Early, CA
Alice A. Huffman, CA
Aleita J. Huguenin, CA
Bob Mulholland, CA
Garry S. Shay, CA
Keith Umemoto, CA
Hon. Maxine Waters, CA
Hon. Rosalind Wyman, CA
Maria Echaveste, CA
Matt Johnson, CA
Mattie McFadden Lawson, CA
Hon. Hilda Solis, CA
Pat Hobbs, CA
Anthony Graves, CO
Blanca O'Leary, CO
John W. Olsen, CT
Karen Kirkpatrick-Valentine, DE
Katie Solon, Dems Abroad
Kenneth Sherman, Dems Abroad
John Eastwood, Dems Abroad
Dr Stanley Grossman, Dems Abroad
Sandra Loridans, Dems Abroad
Gary Suwannarat, Dems Abroad
Hon. Anita Bonds, DC
Ed Potillo, DC
MaryEva Candon, DC
Hon. Arrington Dixon, DC
Rev. Leah Daughtry, DC
Earl Fowlkes, Jr., DC
Sunita Leeds, DC
Tefere Gebre, DC
Harold Ickes, DC
Lorraine C. Miller, DC
Minyon Moore, DC
Steve Regenstreif, DC
Max Richtman, DC
Bel Leong-Hong, DC
Alan Clendenin, FL
Richard Boyland, FL
Nancy Jacobson, FL
Marian Williams, FL
Nikema Williams, GA
Wendy Davis, GA
Sally Rosser, GA
QIQDavid Worley, GA
Hon. Rory Respicio, Guam
Jadine Nielsen, HI
Jan Bauer, IA
Bert Marley, ID
Jeanne Buell, ID
Carolyn Boyce, ID
Pete Gertonson, ID
John Keller, IL
Karen Yarborough, IL
Hon. Iris Martinez, IL
Hon.t Carol Ronen, IL
Teresa Garcia Krusor, KS
William Roy, KS
Hon. Karen Carter Peterson, LA
Ben L. Jeffers, LA
Deborah Langhoff, LA
Hon. Arthur Morrell, LA
Debra Kozikowski, MA
Gus Bickford, MA
Kate Donahue, MA
David M. O'Brien, MA
James Roosevelt, Jr., MA
D. Bruce Poole, MD
Glenard S. Middleton, MD
Hon, Greg Pecoraro, MD
Dr Maggie Allen, ME
Hon. Debbie Dingell, MI
Barry Goodman, MI
Virgie M. Rollins, MI
Ken Martin, MN
Marge Hoffa, MN
Nancy Schumacher, MN
Lori Sellner, MN
Rick Stafford, MN
Dr. Doug Brooks, MO
Hon. Sly James, MO
Brian Wahby, MO
Johnnie Patton, MS
Jean Lemire Dahlman, MT
Hon. Pat Cotham, NC
Jake Quinn, NC
Akilah Ensley, NC
Renee Pfenning, ND
Hon. Martha Fuller Clark, NH
Kathleen Sullivan, NH
Jane Dowdell, NH
John Currie, NJ
Reni Erdos, NJ
Marcia Marley, NJ
Barbra Casbar Siperstein, NJ
Debra Haaland, NM
Joni Marie Gutierrez, NM
Erin Bilbray, NV
Stuart H. Appelbaum, NY
Hon. Herman Farrell, Jr., NY
Ralph Dawson, NY
Jay Jacobs, NY
Sarah Kovner, NY
David Pepper, OH
Jocelyn Bucaro, OH
Hon. Isabel Framer, OH
Karen Packer, OR
Laura Calvo, OH
Lupita Maurer, OR
Penny Gerber, PA
Hon. Kenneth McClintock, PR
Liza M. Ortiz, PR
Kaye Lingle Koonce, SC
Hon. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, SC
Don Fowler, SC
Ann Tornberg, SD
Joe Lowe, SD
Hon. Nick Nemec, SD
Sharon Stroschein, SD
Will Cheek, TN
Hon. William Owen, TN
Hon. Glen Maxey, TX
Rafael Anchia, TX
Montserrat Garibay, TX
Peter Corroon, UT
Hon. Tim Jerman, VT
Richard Cassidy, VT
Cecil Benjamin, VI
Fred Hudson, VA
Sandra W. Brandt, VA
Frank Leone, VA
Alice Germond, VA
Janice Griffin, VA
Jaxon Ravens, WA
Ed Cote, WA
Sharon Mast, WA
David McDonald, WA
Juanita Luiz, WA
Rion Ramirez, WA
Pat Maroney, WV
Jason Rae, WI
Ana Cuprill, WY
Hon. Mike Gireau, WY

Next week, Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Wasserman Schultz’s heavily Jewish district to sell the Iran deal to constituents in that area.
An increasing number of congressional Democrats are coming out in support of the agreement in recent weeks.

Congress must vote on the deal by Sept. 17. The following describes how votes are likely to play out:
• When Congress returns on Sept. 8 from its August recess, debate will begin on a Republican-sponsored "resolution of disapproval" against the deal.
• In the Senate, Republicans must gather 60 votes to move the resolution forward under Senate procedural rules. If they can, they will then need a simple majority of 51 votes in the chamber to approve the resolution. It would pass, because Republicans control a majority of Senate seats and most have already come out against the agreement.
• There is no similar procedural barrier in the House. The resolution is expected to easily win approval there. Republicans hold 246 seats in the 435-seat House.
• If both chambers approve the resolution, it would go to Obama's desk for review. He has vowed to veto it.
• If he does so, opponents would then try to override the veto. This would take a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber. The Senate has 100 members; the House, 434, plus one vacant seat.
• Democrats could block an override in the Senate with 34 votes. So far, 31 senators have committed to voting in favor of the deal; 31 have said they will oppose it.
• In the House, if Republicans voted unanimously against the deal, they would need to get at least 44 Democrats to vote with them to override a veto.
• The Iran deal is not a treaty, so it does not need the two-thirds vote in the Senate to be ratified. The "resolution of disapproval" mechanism was included in a law Obama signed in May giving Congress the right to weigh in on the nuclear deal with Iran.

• If Congress were to pass a resolution of disapproval and override a veto, Obama would be barred from waiving most of the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. Proponents of the agreement say this would kill the deal.

Hillary Clinton delivered a show of force at DNC summer Meeting










Hillary Clinton delivered a show of force on Friday meant to make one thing abundantly clear to Democratic leaders, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden: She is the boss.
Coming off two weeks of breathless speculation about the vice president’s ambitions, Clinton now looks like she’s nearly locked up the support of party elites, something she critically failed to accomplish in 2008.


Clinton’s top aides — including campaign manager Robby Mook, political director Amanda Renteria, and top organizing official Marlon Marshall — worked party influencers at the Democrats’ candidate cattle-call here and at a private happy hour at the W Hotel bar on Thursday night, while trying to calm those with questions about the email controversy. Clinton too met with supporters privately on Thursday night.

And party officials gathered in the hotel’s hallways, conference rooms, and suites responded, delivering a level of enthusiasm for their wounded front-runner that demonstrated to would-be challengers how little space they have to pursue the Democratic establishment.

“This is really about how you put the numbers together to secure the nomination,” Clinton said Friday. “In 2008 I got a lot of votes, but I didn’t get enough delegates. So I think it’s understandable that my focus is going to be on delegates as well as votes this time.”

In a leak coinciding neatly with Clinton’s appearance in Minneapolis, Brooklyn told Bloomberg it has already secured commitments from more than 60 percent of the party’s superdelegates -- those officials and leaders whose support is not tied to primary or caucus tallies. The campaign also says it is briefing the unpledged delegates to firm up support.
It’s not a field-clearing advantage; superdelegates can change allegiances and Clinton was ahead in the delegate count early in the 2008 race too. But it’s significant if it holds.
Underscoring Clinton’s commanding position — and perhaps highlighting the disconnect between party officials and disaffected voters — the Sanders campaign appeared nearly an afterthought through the first two days of the DNC meeting, his supporters’ handwritten signs heavily outnumbered by Clinton t-shirts and bumper stickers until the candidate took the stage to loud cheers on Friday afternoon. Even the senator himself was received coolly at a reception of DNC members the previous night, according to people in the room.
“The DNC meeting in Minneapolis is Clinton country at the moment,” said Kate Gallego, a committee member from Arizona who said even her flight to Minnesota was overrun with Clinton buttons.

Evidence of her support was clear as her standard stump speech was treated by the fired-up audience as if it were a swing-state, general-election rally, interrupted by extended standing ovations.


American Federation of Teachers in the crowd to hear Secretary Clinton speak this morning



There are about 75 members of the American Federation of Teachers in the crowd to hear Secretary Clinton speak this morning. The AFT was the first union to endorse Clinton and our membership, as evidenced today, is very enthusiastic about Clinton's candidacy. As in past elections, the AFT's 1.6 million members will be a powerful organizing force behind our endorsed candidate. Leading up to November 2016, AFT members are expected to make more than 1 million phone calls and knock on more than 500,000 doors.

AFT President Randi Weingarten is also in attendance. Randi is a member of the DNC and of the rules and bylaws committee.

Comment from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

"Hillary Clinton knocked it out of the park today. Hands down, Hillary is the most qualified, most passionate candidate for our party's nomination for President of the United States. And she reminded an enthusiastic, packed crowd of that at the DNC. Hillary told us loud and clear that she will fight for everyday Americans every day. She has the resilience and tenacity to take on the issues that keep Americans up at night. She connected the dots for us. And she showed us that she is a true fighter. And there is nothing that the Republican attack machine - even with all their trumped up claims - can do to derail her. So, as Hillary said today, deal me in."

Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Speaks To DNC Leadership



“Every single one of our candidates believes to their core that middle class families are worth fighting for, and those still struggling to get there themselves. The next Democratic candidate – no matter who he or she may be – is committed to ensuring all Americans have a level playing field and a fair shot to get ahead. 

“The same cannot be said for the Republican Party.  Simply, they are out-of-touch, and their policies are outdated. They want to turn back the clock, to the failed policies of the past.  It doesn’t matter how many candidates Republicans have, because they’re all working from the same, old, tired Republican playbook of policies that hurt women, immigrants, and the middle class.  
“Last week Scott Walker came here to Minnesota and announced his so-called health care plan. I bet you can guess what it does:
  • Immediately takes away health care coverage from 19 million Americans;
  • Puts insurance companies back in control, allowing them to discriminate against women and make it harder to get insurance if you have a pre-existing condition;
  • Increases seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and preventive care; and
  • Cuts health funding for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children, pregnant women and others who depend on Medicaid.

“Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s the same Republican repeal plan they’ve been pushing for years.

“The Affordable Care Act has survived two Supreme Court cases, nearly sixty votes to repeal it in the House of Representatives, and a presidential election already. And 16 million Americans have insurance because of it!

“But every Republican running for President has pledged to repeal the law, taking that peace of mind away from millions of Americans.”


“Within the last month, we’ve celebrated the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid, and the 80th anniversary of Social Security!

“These programs represent a sacred promise between America and its people. Representing south Florida, I know first-hand how many older Americans rely on Medicare and Social Security so they can retire with the dignity they deserve.

“Democrats put these programs in place and we intend to keep our promise, and to strengthen it as well. But Republicans – they’re looking for any excuse they can to break that promise.

“Many Republicans, including Rand Paul and Chris Christie, have suggested raising the retirement age, pushing the prospect of a secure retirement further out of reach for many Americans. Jeb Bush supported his brother’s plan to partially privatize Social Security and ‘phase out’ Medicare, putting Americans at risk of losing their retirement savings with the ups and downs of Wall Street. And John Kasich suggested his plan would cut benefits for Baby Boomers – who are already nearing retirement age and counting on the Social Security benefits they’ve earned.

“The Republican field simply doesn’t know or worse doesn’t care about what keeps senior citizens and middle class families up in the middle of the night, and they never will.”


“Unfortunately, it seems like the only way we are talking about immigration reform in this country is in response to what Donald Trump says.  Trump launched his campaign with a slew of hateful rhetoric about Mexican immigrants, propelling him right to the top of the Republican polls.

“While some Republicans have tried to distance themselves from Trump’s hateful rhetoric, the fact is they endorse some of the same policies.

“For example – last week Trump launched a debate about whether we should deny children the American citizenship they are guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Republicans rushed to follow his lead – Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson all came out against birthright citizenship. Even Marco Rubio questioned it, and Jeb Bush called for greater enforcement against the U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, using a vile term to describe them that I won’t repeat here.

“That’s right; it’s their language and their policies that are offensive.”

...

“Over the next fifteen months, remember that contrast, and remember what’s at stake in this election.

“Will we as Democrats keep moving our nation forward, building on the success of middle class economics to help families get ahead?

“Or do we give Republicans a chance to turn back the clock to the failed policies of the past, undoing the progress we’ve fought so hard to achieve?”

THE LAST WORD 08-28-15

THE LAST WORD
The slaying of two journalists in Virginia on Wednesday that played out on live TV and, later, on the killer’s social media feeds, sent shockwaves through the journalism community, including us here at Mic. In response, some outlets got it right with their coverage, while others got it very wrong. In fact, according to Dan Rather, nearly everyone in the media is getting it wrong by not being tough enough on gun violence and supporting reform. Here are a few words on the subject, from a few that got it right: Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times contemplated what happens when murder goes viral (paywall), Joel Achenbach wrote for the Washington Post that this sort of horror has become the new normal, and Jaye Watson’s blog post discussed what every journalist was thinking. The situation has raised new questions: Is it ethical to watch murder caught on tape? It’s important to note that there actually aren’t perfect policies in place to keep this kind of video from hitting your social media feeds again.