"Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day"
Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people marched on Washington to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rev Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. During the event, called the “Realize the Dream March and Rally," civil rights leaders ranging from Reverend Al Sharpton to Martin Luther King III spoke to the crowd about the continued fight for equality, and focused heavily on voting rights.
President Obama is taking on the high cost of college. In a speech at the University of Buffalo on Thursday, the president called on state lawmakers to provide education subsidies, universities to stop raising fees, and Congress to make loan repayment more reasonable. President Obama said, “We have got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt.
Today, Army Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning came out as a transgender. She is asking everyone, including the press to refer to her as female. She said, "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.
On Wednesday, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The Court also reduced his rank to Private, stripped him of all pay, and issued him a dishonorable discharge. Manning will get credit for 1,294 days for time served.
This won't come as a surprise to many of you, but unless you are an bankster or a billionaire, you're not being represented in the United States Senate. According to a new study published in Political Research Quarterly, Senators in the last five Congresses have consistently voted to benefit their wealthy constituents. And, those votes virtually ignored the political will of everyone except those at the top.
It turns out that Republican obstructionism is quite costly for big business. A new report from the Huffington Post found that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce isn't getting much return for the $69.5 million dollars they invested in Republican candidates in the last two elections. In fact, Republicans have blocked many of the measures that the Chamber supports, and supported many efforts that the Chamber opposed.
It's not like we needed any more proof, but documents released by Edward Snowden show that the NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times every year. According to an internal NSA audit obtained by the Washington Post, there were nearly 3,000 incidents of unauthorized collection, storage, access to, or distribution of legally protected communications between 2011 and 2012 alone.
The bankers, billionaires, and wealthy elite are losing one of their favorite offshore tax havens. The Cayman Islands has finally agreed to cooperate with the U.S., and make it more difficult for the wealthy to stash money overseas. Officials in that nation have agreed to accept provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which will take effect in July of next year.
Most Americans may not know it by listening to Republicans, but reality shows that our deficit is shrinking. And, if you didn't know that, you're not alone. A new Google poll found that nearly half of Americans think that the deficit is actually increasing. During the first ten months of 2012, the government spent 973 billion dollars more than it took in.
Yet another key provision of Obamacare meant to protect consumers is being delayed - the Obama Administration is holding off on instituting out-of-pocket expense limits. That provision would have put a cap on the total amount an insurance company can charge individuals or families for deductibles, co-pays, and prescriptions.
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