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Journal Archives

Alan Keyes: Gay Marriage Ruling A 'Just Cause For War'

Joining other Religious Right activists who warn that the Supreme Court will spark a civil war if the it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, Alan Keyes writes in WorldNetDaily today that a ruling in favor of gay rights will “be just cause for war.”

Keyes claims that such a decision “will be an attack on the very foundation of constitutional government, of by and for the people of the United States” that, “like the Dred Scott decision that heralded the onset of the first Civil War,” will “bring the nation to the brink” and represent “a high crime and misdemeanor that effectively dissolves the just bonds of government between and among the states, and among the individuals who compose the people of the United States.”

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/alan-keyes-gay-marriage-ruling-just-cause-war

The American super rich think $26 million is too little for one heir

Merrill Lynch’s private banking group is looking out for its clients’ financial interests, so it published a white paper (PDF) on inheritance titled “How much should I give to my family? The risks and rewards of giving”.

It’s mostly tips on minimizing your tax exposure and instilling financial responsibility in younger generations—”stewardship” is a recurring theme. But for those of us who probably won’t need such tips, there’s still plenty to gawk at. One section uses a survey to break down some of the social parameters around figuring out the appropriate amount to leave, with super-wealthy families eager to strike the right balance between $26 million and $63 million.

But size isn’t the only factor here. The money needs to be spent wisely as well:
The rising generation tends to have a greater sense of ownership of family money when they’re included in family discussions about wealth and develop financial literacy over time. In turn, they’re more likely to view distributions as a privilege and themselves as stewards of wealth, rather than just inheritors.

On the other hand, consider the grandchild who thinks of her grandfather’s monthly distributions as her paycheck. Because of a sense of entitlement to family wealth, an heir like her may be less likely to utilize the money thoughtfully.
Great fortunes are hard to build, but easy to lose.


Wisconsin Republicans Look To Keep Shellfish, Spices, Pasta Sauce Away From Families On Food Stamps

Low-income Wisconsin families won’t be able to buy shellfish with food stamps, and will have a much harder time getting basics like dried beans, pasta sauce, and cooking spices into their kitchens, under the latest state-level Republican proposal to tighten the government’s grip on the poor.

A bill proposed by state Rep. Robert Brooks (R) would ban stores from accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards for lobster, shrimp, and any other form of shellfish, and set a long list of additional rules for the first two-thirds of a recipient’s monthly spending. Lawmakers held a committee hearing Thursday on the bill, which would require a federal waiver to implement.

An average of 420,000 households received SNAP each month in Wisconsin in 2014. The average recipient household got $220 per month from the program last year. Brooks’ restrictions would apply to all but $72.60 per month for the average household affected. And even that amount could not be spent on any form of shellfish.

Next to other recent state-level SNAP restrictions, Brooks’ bill looks like an attempt at compromise. It mandates that at least two-thirds of a recipients food stamps be spent on designated categories of food, and leaves the last third unrestricted. Republicans in other states have sought outright prohibitions rather than Brooks’ partial, ratio-based ban. Brooks says he has resisted calls from colleagues to add steak to the list of banned foods. The ban on shellfish is more moderate than a ban on all seafood proposed by one Missouri lawmaker earlier this year, meaning that cheap sources of protein like canned tuna would still be unrestricted for Wisconsin’s poorest families.


Republicans- the party of evil lemmings

Bernie Sanders' Views On Climate Change Force Other Politicians To Acknowledge Its Reality

In January, Republicans had no choice but to confront the reality of climate change, because of Bernie Sanders. When the Senate was in the midst of talks about the Keystone XL pipeline, Sanders introduced a “sense of Congress” resolution that would have simply acknowledged that climate change was, in fact, real and needed to be addressed. Now that Sanders has officially announced his run for the Democratic presidential nomination, January’s incident is bound to be a repeat occurrence.

In fact, Sanders’ call for climate change understanding ties in with one of his campaigns most fundamental underpinnings: getting money out of politics. According to Sanders, one of the biggest impediments to addressing climate change is money’s central role in politics. At the 2014 New York City People’s Climate March, Sanders called Republicans out for denying climate change because of their indebtedness to “Big Energy money and the Koch brothers.”

[President Obama] can and should do more. But the major impediment right now is not Obama, it is the Republican Party. We have to call them out on this. We don’t do it enough. These are people who do not even acknowledge the scientific reality because they are beholden to Big Energy Money and the Koch brothers.

Sanders clearly isn’t afraid to call them out. In fact, that’s one of the goals on which he is centering his campaign. According to The New York Times, one of Sanders’ key concerns in running for president is addressing climate change, and his record thus far as a senator reflects that concern. In a recent ranking of U.S. senators based on their climate activism, Sanders scored high. Aside from his work to call out climate change deniers, Sanders has also stood up for other climate-related issues, such as championing solar power.



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest




May 1

Friday TOON Roundup 2 - We have a primary

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Injustice, Poverty and Despair cannot be ignored

Mike Luckovich Toon- All In Favor….

xpost from GD: Bernie Sanders Has Already Taken More Press Questions Than Hillary Clinton


The Character Assassination Of Freddie Gray

On Wednesday, the Washington Post obtained a Baltimore Police Department document, which states that a prisoner in the vehicle transporting Freddie Gray heard Gray “banging against the walls” and “intentionally trying to injure himself.” The Post was given permission to publish the information, provided that the name of the witness remained anonymous, yet the newly-released details counter previous reports about the events leading up to Gray’s death. What is consistent, however, is police departments’ selective release of information that paints people injured or killed by police in a bad light — and mainstream media’s decision to buy into it.

Since Gray’s death, BPD’s missteps in arresting him have been well-documented. In widely-publicized videos of the arrest, Gray yells in pain as three officers drag him to their van. They refused to give Gray, an asthmatic, an inhaler. They didn’t put his seatbelt on. And sometime between his arrest and hospital admission, Gray??s voice box was crushed and his spinal cord severed.

But of all the documents compiled during the course of BPD’s investigation, the one given to the Washington Post offers a different narrative: that Gray injured himself. That document minimizes officer responsibility for the 25-year-old’s death, and it’s emblematic of a larger police strategy to deflect blame.

In some instances, officers make false claims that are eventually disproved. Before video of Officer Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott in the back surfaced, North Charleston police claimed Scott grabbed Slager’s Taser and attempted to use it. The Cleveland Police Department said Tamir Rice was sitting at a table, was told multiple times to put his hands up, and reached for his gun before officers shot and killed him. Video later disproved the department’s claims.

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