"Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day"
So often we catch people doing things wrong but really the best way to motivate people and to create a positive world view that gets people active is the catch people doing something right. Thom would like you to catch someone in your family, community or life doing something right.
The American Legislative Exchange Council has one heck of an agenda for 2014, and it all centers around one idea – profit over people. ALEC will meet this week in Washington, DC, for its “States and Nation Policy Summit.” The event is a closed-door conference headlined by Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Ron Johnson, where ALEC will push their “model legislation” for 2014.
The banksters could be forced to pay tens of billions of dollars more in settlements for crashing our economy. But, these fees are just a small fraction of the price that American taxpayers paid for the economic collapse.
On Black Friday, more than 1,500 protests took place at Walmart stores around our country. Organizers reported more than 100 arrests in civil disobedience actions. The events centered around Walmarts low wages, unethical treatment of workers, and their history of trying to prevent employees from forming unions.
Methane emissions in the South Central US are nearly five times higher than previously thought. According to a new study from Harvard University, there is way more methane being pumped into our atmosphere, and that means a much larger effect on climate change.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is pushing new legislation to prevent insurance companies from accepting subsidies under the healthcare law.
On Sunday, major world powers reached an agreement to scale back the Iranian nuclear program. In exchange, our nation and others will slightly lift some of the sanctions against Iran, but embargoes against Iranian banks and oil will remain in place. The interim deal was reached in Geneva, where the US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia crafted the diplomatic agreement.
Yesterday, majority rule finally returned to the U.S. Senate. After five years of Republican obstruction, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the so-called “nuclear option,” with 52 Democrats voting to reform the filibuster. Since President Obama took office, Republicans have used the filibuster more than any other time in our history.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that JPMorgan has agreed to a $13 billion dollar settlement over the fraudulent sale of mortgage backed securities. But, that settlement is a fraud in and of itself. Four billion dollars of that figure was actually part of a settlement announced a month earlier, and the rest can hardly be considered a penalty against the big bank.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued their first ruling of the term, refusing to block a new abortion law in Texas. That law imposes strict building standards on abortion clinics, blocks abortions after 20 weeks, and requires doctors that perform the procedures to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their facilities.
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