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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 03:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

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Read President Obama's Open Letter to America's Hardworking Men and Women


Help wanted: Phony populism doesn’t feed the family

"This was supposed to be the election in which the interests of the non-elite finally got a hearing. We still have two months to make it happen."

Source: Washington Post, by E. J. Dionne

You would have thought that Labor Day 2016 would bring us a serious conversation about lifting the incomes of American workers and expanding their opportunities for advancement.


But this is not the discussion we are having. Instead, we are enduring an attack-fest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Their strategies are entirely rational. Voters are understandably skeptical about politicians getting anything done, and both candidates know they have a better chance of encouraging negative votes than securing a positive mandate.


The truth is that Clinton has offered many more serious policy proposals for raising workers’ incomes than Trump has. Her website is full of ideas on expanding profit-sharing, a “Make it in America” initiative to promote manufacturing, and plans on family leave, child care, cutting student debt and much more.


Well worth more attention is the “10-20-30” initiative from Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.). He would mandate that at least 10 percent of spending on federal programs go to counties where at least 20 percent of the population has lived below the poverty line for 30 years or more. Clinton has endorsed it, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis)  has spoken favorably about it.


Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/phony-populism-doesnt-feed-the-family/2016/09/04/067ff4c6-7142-11e6-8365-b19e428a975e_story.html?utm_term=.1c4b47f073c7

What the Blue State Democrats do for the Red State Democrats!

Source: al.com, by Brit Blalock

A female presidential candidate offers encouragement to little girls with big dreams

Back in 2008, I graduated from college and moved into my first "grown up" apartment with a few friends. The complex we settled on was in a suburb just south of Birmingham and not far from the university we'd attended. That year, my roommate Caroline and I followed the presidential election very closely—holding debate watching parties, making T-shirts and doing our very best to stay informed. The financial crisis had begun, and we were desperate to be involved in its resolution as brand-new members of the American workforce.

On the night that Barack Obama won the presidency, we heard loud cheering coming from outside in the parking lot. We poked our heads out the door of our first floor unit and realized that a large group of our black neighbors had started celebrating the victory in the central area of the complex. We were desperate to join in on the festivities, feeling like it had been a true triumph for the country.

As we walked out of our apartment and into the open space, I felt a distinct communal pause from our neighbors. In that pause, I sensed a horrible weight. I felt the fear that some of them might have had—that maybe these two white women were coming to quiet them or to complain about the noise. I didn't know many of them well; I'd mostly just greeted them in passing throughout my handful of months living in the complex. I stopped momentarily to consider if joining in with their revelry was appropriate. I was worried that my presence could be viewed as intrusive. But I thought of my own personal joy at the outcome of the election, and I couldn't help but step forward into the gathering with arms held high and voice raised in jubilation.

The group took Caroline and I in both graciously and enthusiastically. Although we couldn't comprehend what that win felt like as black Americans, we understood the weight of the moment in history, and we were one in spirit with their excitement. I think about that night in November often. I consider how fortunate I was to have lived in that very instant and to have been a part of such joy with near strangers.

Why have I written to tell you this story today? Because, like many women in this country, I spent a girlhood dreaming of becoming the president of the United States. When people asked me what I wanted to be "when I grew up," the answer came easily. I dreamed of naive but heartfelt ways that I could help people and make America a better place for everyone. My parents fostered these aspirations and never insinuated that future obstacles would be insurmountable.

Somewhere along the line of my adolescence, though, I stopped believing. I looked at how difficult it was for women around me to rise to the top—my talented mother included—and I felt deeply discouraged. Even though enormous advances in equality had been made, it seemed like the odds were still stacked against me and the other women I knew and loved.

Now the possibility of having a female president is real. Very real. And in my opinion, she's also the most prepared person to lead our nation, regardless of her sex/gender. Let me be clear by saying that I don't think people should vote for Hillary just because she's a woman, nor am I saying the election of the first black American and the election of the first female American are the same experience.

What I am saying is this: If I am fortunate enough to witness the day that Hillary Clinton is victorious, I will once again run into the streets with my hands in the air. I will cheer and likely weep. And I will feel, once again, like this country has been made better.


This Is What It Will Take to End Mass Incarceration

sheshe2! For reminding us - "All politics is local."

Source: Slate, by Leon Neyfakh

The New York Times published an important, eye-opening story Friday that decisively identifies the driving forces of mass incarceration in America: overzealous local prosecutors and judges in conservative rural counties who continue to believe that throwing people in prison for drugs is a good idea.


These three paragraphs from the Times story explain the depths of the nation’s criminal justice problem:

The stark disparities in how counties punish crime show the limits of recent state and federal changes to reduce the number of inmates. Far from Washington and state capitals, county prosecutors and judges continue to wield great power over who goes to prison and for how long. And many of them have no interest in reducing the prison population.

“I am proud of the fact that we send more people to jail than other counties,” Aaron Negangard, the elected prosecutor in Dearborn County, said last year. “That’s how we keep it safe here.”

He added in an interview: “My constituents are the people who decide whether I keep doing my job. The governor can’t make me. The legislature can’t make me.”

That quote underscores just how much power and autonomy county prosecutors have. It also identifies the one way that ordinary Americans can exert pressure on them: by voting. Unfortunately, most people don’t pay much attention to prosecutor elections, and know little about how to evaluate the candidates. As a result, incumbents like Negangard almost always get reelected.


Read it all at: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/09/02/to_end_mass_incarceration_it_ll_require_the_buy_in_of_prosecutors.html

7 straight minutes of Hillary Clinton connecting

ABC runs the NCAA Football table today!

First, #3 Oklahoma takes on #15 Houston.

Then, #5 LSU goes to Lambeau Field to play Wisconsin!

Tonight - #1 Alabama meets #20 USC - at Dallas Cowboy's stadium in Texas!

Who needs a remote?

Oh, yeah. #2 Clemson goes to unranked Auburn in late game. ESPN. Some might be interested.

Note: Monday night on ESPN! One more good one! #11 Ole Miss and #4 Florida State.

What an opening week for College Football!

"The Mālama of Our Blue Planet"

Barack Obama is truly, "A man for all seasons."

By Nainoa Thompson, Navigator - The White House Medium Channel

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, I’ve spent the better part of my life dedicated to the ocean that surrounds me. This is why President Obama’s recent expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Sanctuary off the coast of northern Hawaii, means so much to me.


On long voyages, surrounded by the vast blue ocean, we come face to face with the Hawaiian concept of “mālama ” — or “caretaking.” My ancestors learned long ago that if they took care of their canoe and each other, they would arrive safely at their destination. On islands, as on the canoe, we care for each other and our resources, and work together to protect that which is sacred and fragile — our Island Earth.


As I sail around the world, I’ve gotten a glimpse of what can happen to special places if they are not protected. Initiatives like the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument help us perpetuate and build upon more than a hundred years of protection efforts by thousands of people in our community and around the globe. Thanks to their work to advocate for protection of this area’s cultural and ecological resources and thanks to President Obama, Papahānaumokuākea will become the largest marine protected area on earth. This is a step in the right direction at this crucial time for Island Earth.


Join me in celebrating the work of those who stand for and work to mālama our precious honua, who are caring for our Island Earth. And I’ll hope you’ll take the time to watch the President’s remarks on conservation from the Midway Atoll.

Aloha Pumehana.

President Barack Obama visits Turtle Beach on Midway Atoll, Sept. 1, 2016:


House GOP leaders consider rebuking Dems for gun sit-in

Source: The Hill, by Cristina Marcos

House GOP leaders are considering a resolution to rebuke Democrats for their late June sit-in to call for gun control legislation.

GOP leadership aides told The Hill that discussions are underway about how to punish Democrats for their nearly 26-hour occupation of the House floor, and no final decision has been made at this point.


Democrats who took part in the sit-in have dismissed warnings that they might be punished for breaking House rules. They defended their decision to call attention to what they saw as inaction on gun safety measures after the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

"They want to pick this fight and say the American people shouldn't hear this stuff, that we're like the Politburo, the Chinese communist party?” Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who was among the lawmakers live-streaming the event, told The Hill at the time. “If you want people to calm down, there's a better way than fighting a stupid battle over rules.”

The House has been out of session since July 14, about three weeks after the sit-in.

Read it all at: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/294359-house-gop-leaders-weigh-vote-rebuking-dems-sit-in

Tropical storm warnings for Mid-Atlantic coast: ‘Life-threatening’ coastal inundation feared


Tropical Storm Hermine has the potential to inflict serious damage and “life-threatening” hazards to the Mid-Atlantic coast this Labor Day holiday weekend. Significant beach erosion, dangerous surf, damaging winds, torrential rain and major coastal flooding are all possible.

Bryan Norcross, hurricane specialist at the The Weather Channel, warned that Hermine could morph into a “freak-show storm.”

“The meteorology is simple enough,” Norcross wrote. “Over the Carolinas, Hermine will begin to get some of its energy from the jet stream, which has dipped down to yank it up the east coast. When it heads back over the ocean, it will be energized by both the warm water and the jet-stream winds. That means a strengthening storm will head north.”

He continued: “Then the freak show starts. That jet stream dip abandons the storm as it sits off the Delmarva or New Jersey coast over ocean water that is dramatically warmer then normal. So this huge orphan circulation sits and spins and pushes ocean water into the bays, sounds, and rivers in the Mid-Atlantic. And it does not let it out.”

SEC Football is here!

It's getting interesting already - Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt!

Saturday night primetime: #1 Alabama vs #20 USC!

On a lighter note, Auburn plays #2 Clemson.

It's going to be a great Saturday night of SEC (Alabama) football !!!

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