Archive for June, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare Subsidies

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

logoRev1Washington – A few hours ago, the Supreme Court upheld a key provision of Obamacare. In a 6-3 ruling, millions of Americans will continue to receive tax subsidies that basically allows them to afford health care. Opponents attempted to kill ObamaCare by dismantling a key provision that allows consumers to receive subsides. This is a major victory for President Obama and the American people. Americans will continue to be able to purchase affordable health care for themselves and their families.

After 50 votes, two Supreme Court rulings and the 2012 elections, a reasonable person would say it is time to move forward and work for the American people. But, Republican candidates for president are already making false and empty claims to continue the war against ObamaCare. New poll numbers show that the lies are beginning to loose its deceptive power to deceive as a growing majority of Americans support ObamaCare.

It is obvious that ObamaCare is working and lowering health care cost. As the truth continues to be exposed on the facts of ObamaCare, support for the idea will only grow.

Clinton Calls Out GOP on Voter Suppression

Friday, June 5th, 2015

559953_545779358786752_100427983_nTexas – Yesterday, in a major speech on voting rights, Hillary Clinton denounced Republican efforts on voter suppression. She laid out a far-reaching vision for expanding access to the ballot box for all Americans.

Clinton, the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, talked about voter suppression and called out by name several of her potential 2016 rivals for taking actions that restricted voter participation. She discussed Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie and their supporting/imposing restrictive voting policies. She said, “Republicans should stop fearmongering about a phantom epidemic of voter fraud.”

As demographic trends have shifted toward an increase in Democratic voting, Republican voter suppression tactics have increased in an effort to slow it down and/or stop it. Republicans have a long history of voter suppression tactics. As dark money bought elections putting Republicans in charge of state legislations, and in the face of losing five of the last six majorities in presidential elections, Republicans have used these victories to impose a variety of voter suppression laws.

Speaking at Texas Southern University in Houston, Clinton called for every American to be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. She also backs a nationwide standard of at least 20 days of early voting. She urged Congress to pass legislation strengthening the Voting Rights Act, which was gravely weakened by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling. And she slammed restrictive voter suppression laws imposed by the GOP in North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Texas, and Ohio.

Hillary said, “We have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what’s really going on in our country, because what is happening is a sweeping effort to dis-empower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.”
She continued by saying, “What is happening is a sweeping effort to dis-empower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.” Hillary Clinton put the GOP on notice that further efforts to make voter suppression will be used to motivate Democrats and increase Democratic turnout.

She is the first presidential candidate to discuss in detail the massive voter suppression/discrimination that has surged in “red” states since the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013.

Noting that approximately one third of all Americans aren’t registered to vote, Clinton called for sweeping modernization of the registration process – universal automatic voter registration, in which every citizen is automatically registered when they turn 18. Oregon passed such a law earlier this year, and several other states, including California, are considering doing the same.

Clinton said she believed, “this would have a profound impact on our elections and our democracy.”

She also called for 20 days of nationwide early voting; including evening and weekend voting should be implemented to help those who work or have family commitments.

North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio [all Republican-controlled states] have cut their early voting periods, North Carolina and Ohio have also eliminated same-day voter registration. And a third of all states (most in the south) offer no early voting at all.

Clinton also bashed the Supreme Court for weakening the Voting Rights Act. She said, “We need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person to vote than the right of a corporation to buy an election,”

Voting is the cornerstone of our nation’s democracy and voter suppression laws by Republicans are dismantling our nation’s democracy.

Key Provisions of Patriot Act Expire Today

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Patriot-ACTWASHINGTON — The government’s ability/authority to collect personal phone records in the hunt for terrorists expired at 12:01 a.m. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, blocked an extension of the program during an unusual Sunday session of the Senate.
The Senate had already signaled that it was ready to curtail the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program with new legislation that would shift the storage of telephone records from the government to the phone companies. The House overwhelmingly passed that bill last month. Senators voted, 77 to 17, on Sunday to take up the House bill.

Mr. McConnell, also of Kentucky, relented Sunday, setting up a final round of votes on Tuesday or Wednesday that will most likely send a compromise version of the House bill to President Obama for his signature. Even Mr. Paul, using the procedural weapon of an objection, will not be able to stop it.

“Little by little, we’ve allowed our freedom to slip away,” Mr. Paul said on floor.

The expiration of [un]patriotic authority demonstrates a profound shift in American attitudes since the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when national security ruled both parties. Fourteen years after that attack, Americans have finally awaken to privacy concerns stemming from both the vast expansion of communication collection systems.

Three key provisions of the Patriot Act have expired that will stop collection of newly created logs of Americans’ phone calls in bulk. No longer can the F.B.I. invoke the Patriot Act to obtain, for new investigations purposes, or wiretap orders that continue after a suspect changes phones, wiretap orders for a “lone wolf” terrorism suspect not linked to a group, or court orders to obtain business records relevant to an investigation.

The Justice Department may invoke a grandfather clause for ongoing investigations.

Democrats and the libertarian wing of the Republican Party used the shift in the national mood to end the program supported by Mitch McConnell and other chicken hawks. The moment also put Mitch at odds with Mr. Paul, whom he has endorsed for president.

Rand Paul’s effort clearly angered many of his Republican colleagues, who met without him an hour before the Senate began to vote Sunday night. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona said Mr. Paul was not fit for the White House job he seeks.

The USA Freedom Act will overhaul the Patriot Act and scale back the bulk collection of phone records revealed by Mr. Snowden. Under this bill, sweeps that had operated under the guise of so-called national security letters issued by the F.B.I. would end. All data will be stored by the phone companies and could be retrieved by intelligence agencies only after approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

President Obama have made dire warnings in recent days about the perils of letting the law expire and called for immediate approval of a surveillance bill passed by the House.