Eric Holder’s Complex Legacy: Voting Rights Advocate, Enemy of Press Freedom, Friend of Wall Street

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his plan to resign Thursday after nearly six years as head of the Justice Department. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund hailed Holder as one of the finest attorneys general in the nation’s history in part for his role in transforming the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and his leadership on voting rights.

But, he and others within our government decided not to hold corporations responsible along with what would be justly, prosecuting them for the financial crash in 2008. These corporations became immune to righteous justice when it came to corruption against the people, majority with the mortgage crisis with black & brown people. Also, the should-be crimes with shipping jobs overseas with countries who have no labor laws for the sake of cheap labor.

Not to mention war and the crimes in which the U.S. government and it’s soldiers commit.

With two black men at the top, there still were and is no changes when it comes to race, sex and class equality in the United States.

Title & Video Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/26/eric_holders_complex_legacy_voting_rights

Ferguson, Missouri Protests Continue

Protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri for the 10th night. Protesters are calling for the arrest of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who shot the unarmed teenager six times, including twice in the head. According to the New York Times, Attorney General Eric Holder and top Justice Department officials are weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation to look at Ferguson’s police practices at large. At least 11 journalists have been detained while covering the protests sparked by the shooting of Brown.

President Obama addressed the issue of journalists being detained while doing their jobs and has stated:

“I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events before investigations are completed. Because, although these are, you know, issues of local jurisdiction — you know, the DOJ works for me,” Obama told reporters on Monday. “And then when they’re conducting an investigation, I’ve got to make sure that I don’t look like I’m putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other.”

Some feel that President Obama should have more to say, he should have more to say when it comes to the mistreating of black men and the journalists who report on these issues.

“This President knows better than most what happens in poor communities that have been antagonized historically by the hostile relationship between black people and the police department,” Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“It is not enough for him to come on national television and pretend there is a false moral equivalency between police people who are armed and black people who are vulnerable constantly to this. He needs to use his bully pulpit to step up and articulate this as a vision,” Dyson said.

CNN political commentator and Morehouse College African-American studies professor Marc Lamont Hill wrote in an op-ed for CNN.com that Obama has “placed the highest priority” on people remaining calm.

“While this may seem reasonable on its face, particularly against the backdrop of rioting and looting, his words failed to acknowledge the legitimacy of black anger,” Hill said.

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Student Loan Debt $1.2 Trillion

Student Loan Debt $1.2 Trillion

Americans now owe more money on student loans than credit cards. Obama’s executive order will cap loan payments for millions of people at 10 percent of monthly income – a so-called “Pay As You Earn” model.

President Obama: “So we’re announcing steps that will open up “Pay As You Earn” to nearly 5 million more Americans. That’s the first action we’re taking today. The second action is to renegotiate contracts with private companies like Sallie Mae that service our student loans. And we’re going to make it clear that these companies are in the business of helping students, not just collecting payments, and they owe young people the customer service, and support, and financial flexibility that they deserve.”

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/10/headlines#6106

Such a hard choice to either go to college and take on a debt you will more than likely be paying back for the rest of your life, or take a chance and go straight into the work force – hopefully to climb the ladder of success.

College is not for everyone, I chose not to go but my sister did. She has completed a bachelor’s degree with one year completed of a master’s program at USC and she is already in debt around $60,000.00
I did not want that debt, but for those who want a higher education via a degree have the hard choice of going into debt at the cost of what should be free to them.

Instead of our government making education free – paid by tax dollars. The education system is a privatized money making machine. Instead of giving breaks to student, the United States government gives tax breaks to major corporations.

How backwards and how dumb is this government? – If you have a society of educated working people, the taxes they pay into helps the economy – not break it.

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Uruguay Legalizes National Market for Marijuana

Uruguay Legalizes National Market for Marijuana

Uruguay has become the first country to legalize a national market for the growth and sale of marijuana. The Uruguayan Senate approved a historic measure on Tuesday that will allow registered citizens to purchase up to 40 grams a month from licensed pharmacies and grow plants in their own homes. Hundreds of people celebrated the vote outside the Uruguayuan Senate.

Demonstrator: “Today is a historic day, not only for Uruguay, but for all the world. Uruguay is the first country to regulate the marijuana market. There is a wager now, and social organizations will continue working for this to be efficient. But today, above all, is a day of celebration, as you can see from the people outside of the legislative palace.”

The law will take effect in Uruguay early next year

Source: http://www.democracynow.org

Hopefully this has a ripple effect on other countries like the United States in the near future. Governments should know that if you legalize this PLANT, you can tax it. And with taxes, comes money to put back into communities which is a good thing.

This whole war on drugs has been a way for the United States patriarchal and racist system to imprison black, brown and poor white class. It’s time for a change, like our President Obama repeated in his first campaign for presidency. How about some action Mr. President!

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Pardoning Turkeys, Not People? Obama Urged to Reverse Lowest Clemency Rate of Modern Presidency

Via http://www.democracynow.org

As President Obama continued a recent tradition of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys just ahead of Thanksgiving, critics pointed out that he has shown less mercy toward human beings deserving of clemency. Despite the administration’s recent talk of reforming the criminal justice system, Obama has granted the fewest pardons of any modern president. During his presidency, Obama has pardoned 10 turkeys, while he has pardoned or commuted the sentences of only 39 people. According to an analysis last year by ProPublica, which studied applications for pardons processed by the Justice Department, Obama has granted clemency to just 2 percent of applicants. Of the 39 pardons Obama has granted, just 11 have been for people convicted of drug crimes. We are joined by Anthony Papa, an artist, writer and noted advocate against the war on drugs, who was himself imprisoned for many years until he was granted executive clemency. Papa is co-founder of the Mothers of the New York Disappeared and is the author of “15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom.”

OUR BELOVED BLACK PRESIDENT IS A PUPPET FOR THE WHITE POWER…. IT SEEMS HE HAS NO CARE FOR HIS OWN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN LIFE SENTENCES FOR SMALL CRIMES. WHEN WILL WE TRULY HAVE A PRESIDENT FOR THE PEOPLE…?

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Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

If President Obama and his party didn’t even try to deliver on their 2008 campaign promise of a minimum wage hike when they had the White House and both houses of Congress on lockdown in 2010 and 2011, what does their sudden rediscovery of the minimum wage mean now, when they know they can move nothing through Congress? Are they and their sheepdogs, the so-called “progressive Democrats” just yanking our chain again?

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

As a presidential candidate back in 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama promised to ram a hike in the minimum wage through Congress by 2011. Like the president’s promises to renegotiate NAFTA and enact labor law reforms to make union organizing possible again, it wasn’t one of those high profile pledges he repeated at every opportunity in front of every audience. He didn’t have to, that’s not the way it works.

If you’re a right-leaning Democrat nowadays, here’s how it works: you make those kinds of promises before small audiences of labor and poor folks. From that point, it’s the job of your sheepdogs, the Democrat “progressives” campaigning for you to keep the herd of your base voters in line by putting those words in your mouth a lot more often, and with a lot more emphasis than you actually place upon them. Promises are promises, after all, and promises made by the wealthy and powerful to the poor and powerless are worth exactly nothing.

Inevitably, once in office the corporate Democrat (is there any other kind?) breaks his or her promise to his poor and apart from their votes which they’ve already given away, powerless constituents. At this point, his other sheepdogs, the “pragmatic” Democrats wisely bark at the herd about how naïve and foolish they are, that they don’t really understand how politics works, that this one president or mayor or whatever can’t save them or change the world, or do much anything really.

With President Obama’s popularity at an all time low, the president has rediscovered that something like 80% of the US favor not just a significantly higher minimum wage, but a minimum wage indexed to some kind of cost of living formula. Even a big majority of Republican voters are in favor of this. So the president has muttered his traditional few words about the minimum wage, and from MSNBC to Huffington Post to labor and the nonprofits, the chorus of presidential sheepdogs are baying – the president cares, the Democrats care, they want to raise the minimum wage, but the evil Republicans will want to thwart them….

The problem with this of course, is that whenever Democrats are in charge of Congress, they never try to raise the minimum wage. It’s a promise they make to get elected, and something you never hear about again until they’re safely in the minority again and need something to blame the evil Republicans for blocking. Let’s be clear, evil Republicans did not block efforts by President Obama or Congressional Democrats to raise the minimum wage in 2010 and 2011, when they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. During that time, there were no bills introduced to raise the minimum wage. There were no presidential speeches or off the cuff presidential remarks mentioning raising the minimum wage. There was no pressure from the White House or Democrat leadership in the House or Senate to raise the minimum wage, despite the importance placed upon the president’s promise by his sheepdogs, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party.

Leading Democrats have always known that overwhelming majorities of Democrat voters want an increase in the minimum wage. But it’s a campaign issue, and Democrats only campaign differently than Republicans, not govern differently.

It’s worth noting that the first lady, Michelle Obama has devoted lots of time to shilling for Wal-Mart, the largest and most ruthless low-wage employer in the country. Even Fortune magazine claims Wal-Mart could substantially raise wages and benefits across the board without its shareholders taking much of a hit. But Democrat sheepdogs at MSNBC and labor won’t touch the First Lady. They bark only at the evil Republicans who won’t pass a “jobs bill” or a minimum wage hike or stop questioning the president’s birth certificate.

Under the people-proof and democracy-proof matrix we call politics in these United States of America, the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly support jacking the minimum wage doesn’t mean that elected Democrats will really even try, like the O’Jays said, to Give the People What They Want. It’s just a signal for the progressive sheepdogs to start barking again, a chain with which to herd us back into line, to circle the wagons again around the White House.

It’s just more progressive white noise from our black president.

Source: http://www.blackagendareport.com

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“These Drones Attack Us and the Whole World is Silent”: New Film Exposes Secret U.S. War

Source: http://www.democracynow.org

A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. Today we air extended clips from the new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” and speak to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with attack survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, who was killed by a drone just days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, “Living Under Drones.”

This drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes last week. The identity of the victims has not been confirmed, but Pakistani intelligence officials say they are suspected militants, as is generally the claim with U.S. drone attacks. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism says at least 400 civilians have been killed by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. But in a twist Wednesday, the Pakistani government significantly downgraded its official estimate of civilian casualties. Previous reports have detailed the Pakistani government’s extensive cooperation with drone strikes. Today’s attack came as members of a Pakistani family are in the United States calling for an end to drone strikes which they say are killing innocent people.

One year ago, a 67-year-old Pakistani woman was killed by an alleged U.S. drone while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren on October 24, 2012. The United States has never acknowledged killing her or any other drone strike victims in Pakistan, always claiming that it is militants locked in the crosshairs. This week, her son and two of her grandchildren traveled to Washington, D.C., to became the first drone victims to testify before members of Congress — even though only five Democrats appeared at the hearing. Live in studio, we speak to Rafiq Rehman and his two children, nine-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair, both of whom were injured in the strike. “I don’t understand why this happened to me. I have done nothing wrong,” Zubair says. “What I would like to say to the American people is to please tell your government to end these drones because it is disrupting our lives.”

See her story @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE2O0q6rynQ

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A Drone Warrior’s Torment: Ex-Air Force Pilot Brandon Bryant on His Trauma from Remote Killing

The United States uses drones in war, and their impact, through the eyes of one of the first U.S. drone operators to speak out. Former U.S. Air Force pilot Brandon Bryant served as a sensor operator for the Predator program from 2007 to 2011, manning the camera on the unmanned aerial vehicles that carried out attacks overseas. After he left the active duty in the Air Force, he was presented with a certificate that credited his squadron for 1,626 kills. In total, Bryant says he was involved in seven missions in which his Predator fired a missile at a human target, and about 13 people died in those strikes — actions he says left him traumatized. “The clinical definition of PTSD is an anxiety disorder associated with witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event,” Bryant says. “Think how you would feel if you were part of something that you felt violated the Constitution.”

http://www.democracynow.org

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ObamaCare

ObamaCare

• ObamaCare, Obama Care, and health care reform are all the same thing. The official name for “ObamaCare” is the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (or ACA for short), a bill signed into law to reform the health care industry by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

• ObamaCare’s goal is give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the U.S.

• The fact is ObamaCare does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. If you have health coverage you like, you can keep it.

• ObamaCare regulates some of the worst practices of the for-profit health care industry.

• Many of Obamacare’s numerous provisions have already been enacted. The rest of the program starts in 2013-2014 and continues to roll out until 2022. Over 100 million Americans have already benefited from the new health care law.

• ObamaCare offers a number of new rights and protections (but in no means limited to) requiring that all insurance plans cover preventive services and provide new essential health benefits, this includes everything from yearly check-ups, to maternity care, to mental health, to mammograms and colonoscopies, at no out-of-pocket costs.

• ObamaCare includes provisions that stop insurance companies from dropping you when you are sick or if you make an honest mistake on your application, prevent against gender discrimination, stop insurance companies from making unjustified rate hikes, do away with life-time and annual limits, and require all insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

In exchange for the new rights and protections most Americans must obtain health coverage by 2014, get an exemption, or pay a fee. • Open Enrollment in Your State’s marketplace is from Oct 1st, 2013 and closes March 31st, 2014.
https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/individual/

• The Defund ObamaCare movement in Congress has led to a Government Shutdown on October 1st, 2013: House Republicans won’t pass a budget unless it repeals and defunds parts of ObamaCare and Senate Democrats won’t pass a budget unless it doesn’t.

• Congress carefully designed ObamaCare so that it will not add to the budget deficit (in fact it cuts the deficit over a ten year period). The Republican budget actually relies on savings from ObamaCare including money from the Medical device tax and employer mandate (two key provisions that have been attached to the Senate passed funding bill for fiscal year 2014 by House Republicans).

• The Medical device industry profits off of sick people, more people with insurance means more money for Hip implants, MRI scanners and catheters. Like the tax on drug companies, the medical device tax is a fair tax on the sectors of the health care industry that will profit from the law. Since the tax applies equally to imported and domestically produced devices, and devices produced in the United States for export are tax-exempt. Industry analysts say innovation likely won’t be hurt either, nor will production costs.

• The claim that ObamaCare hurts small businesses is mostly untrue. Most small businesses will get access to cheaper health plans, get tax breaks and will not be responsible for the employer mandate. The requirement to insure employees means companies like McDonalds now have to provide health benefits to full-timers. Learn more about ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate.

• Although some companies have cut back employee hours to part-time status to avoid giving them benefits in anticipation of the 2015 employer mandate, companies like America’s largest employer Walmart have decided to embrace the law moving 35,000 part-time workers to full-time and covering them and their partners.

• Both the medical device tax and employer mandate help the majority of Americans without costing them anything and will result in millions of Uninsured working Americans getting health insurance.

• ObamaCare is a hot button political issue and both sides of the aisle will try to persuade you to be for or against it. Get THE FACTS on ObamaCare and American Health Care Reform.

• About 15% of Americans are uninsured, which is a little less than 50 million men, women and children.

• The primary reasons for Americans being uninsured are cost and job loss.

• Both the individual mandate and the health insurance marketplace only affect uninsured Americans.

• For the 85% of Americans with health coverage almost all of ObamaCare’s changes are already in place.

• 7 million Americans are projected to purchase private insurance on the marketplace this year.

• 9 million Americans are projected to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP (you can apply for Medicaid and CHIP through the marketplace).

• The number of uninsured has dropped every year since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

• The Congressional Budget Office is projecting the rate of uninsured will drop by 14 million people in 2014.

• The 101.5 million already enrolled in government health programs like Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP won’t need to use the marketplace.

• The 170.9 million already covered by employer insurance won’t need to use the marketplace.

• In 2010 16% of uninsured were full-time workers or their dependents.

• In 2010 only 53.8% of private sector firms offered health insurance.

• Poor working families are the most likely to be uninsured.

• The “employer mandate” means come 2015 larger employers will have to insure their full-time employees and their families.

• In 2013, the average annual total cost of employer-sponsored family coverage was $16,351, and the share of the premium paid by workers was 29%. Between 2003 and 2013, premiums have increased by 80%.

• Small businesses can now get better benefits, cost-assistance and better buying power to provide employee health insurance via the SHOP (part of their State’s Health Insurance Marketplace).

• The Fact is ObamaCare gives 47 million women access to preventive health services and makes it illegal to charge women different rates than men. Get more ObamaCare Women’s Health Services Facts

• ObamaCare gives seniors access to cheaper drugs, free preventive care, reforms Medicare Advantage, and closes the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole. The AARP agrees that costs won’t rise because of ObamaCare, if anything the improvements to the system will decrease the average cost of health care for seniors.

• 1 in 2 Americans have a “pre-existing” condition that they could be denied health insurance for. ObamaCare chips Away at pre-existing conditions until 2014 when there are no more pre-existing conditions for anyone, including high-risk customers. This means you can no longer be denied coverage or treatment or charged more for health status. Find out more about pre-existing conditions.

• ObamaCare expands Medicaid to over 15 million Americans who are below the 138% Federal Poverty Level.

• 54 million Americans with private health insurance now have access to preventive services with no cost sharing due to the new minimum standards of ObamaCare.

• ObamaCare doesn’t ration health care; it protects consumers from the health care rationing that insurance companies have been doing for ages.

• ObamaCare reduces the growth in healthcare spending. The current $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system costs almost $9k a year for every man, woman, and child.

SEE MORE FACTS AT:
http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-facts.php

California Health Exchange at:
https://www.coveredca.com/
or call 888-975-1142

TEA PARTY / CONSERVATIVES OBJECTION TO OBAMACARE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO THE AMERICAN POPULATION?
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/1/tea_party_forces_government_shutdown_with

The U.S. government has begun a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. Some 800,000 federal workers are to be furloughed, and more than a million others will be asked to work without pay. The shutdown was spearheaded by tea party Republicans who backed a House bill tying continued government funding to a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of a tax to pay for it. In addition to the furloughs, the shutdown will halt dozens of services provided by government agencies. We discuss the impact of a cutback in government services with Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy, whose latest article is “48 Ways a Government Shutdown Will Screw You Over.”

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Wal-Mart Workers Protest Nationwide; Dozens Arrested

Wal-Mart Workers Protest Nationwide; Dozens Arrested

Thousands of Wal-Mart workers joined a nationwide day of action in 15 cities Thursday, calling for Wal-Mart to provide a living wage, improve working conditions and end retaliation against employees who stand up for their rights. At least 24 people were arrested at actions in New York City and Los Angeles.

8.00 USD per hour (January 1, 2013) is the current minimum wage, which is a yearly Annual income of $16,640

How can one person, let along a family live off of that amount in a day in age where gas is extremely high, food is high of cost and let’s not get on being able to actually eat healthy…. All the unhealthy bad food is cheap, while healthy organic food hits too deep in a minimum wage earning persons pocket.

These corporations (And I say corporations due to politicians mostly consist of prior CEO’s of corps these days) don’t want to pay actual living wages – but want people to but their goods or services. I’m not economic specialist, but it does not take many brain cells to know the following –

The natural fluctuation of the economy between periods of expansion (growth) and contraction (recession). Factors such as gross domestic product (GDP), interest rates, levels of employment and consumer spending can help to determine the current stage of the economic cycle.

Does our government, states not know that if people actually make good money, they spend money. And what does that do? – It puts money back into the economy – it’s a cycle of make money, spend money. Its that easy!

When will our government think logically and assert humanity in their logic?