The Republicans’ Rhetoric of Hate and Fear

    by Walter Brasch   Fear, laced with paranoia, is driving the American response against allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. President Obama has said he would accept 10,000 refugees, all of them subjected to intense scrutiny before being admitted to the country. France, with a population about one-fifth that of the United States, despite the worst attack on its soil since World War II, will accept 30,000 refugees. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told the Senate, “We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS because some politician doesn’t like their religion.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), a Jew, said the nation should “not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia,” and … Continue reading

President Obama Rejects The Keystone XL Pipeline Deal on Secretary of State’s Determination

The Keystone XL pipeline deal is no more! This is a huge environmental win for America… I applaud Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline deal. Via the Department of State, Secretary of State Kerry’s Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Determination: John Kerry Secretary of State Washington, DC November 6, 2015 After a thorough review of the record, including extensive analysis conducted by the State Department, I have determined that the national interest of the United States would be best served by denying TransCanada a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama agrees with this determination and the eight federal agencies consulted under Executive Order 13337 have accepted it. Executive Order 13337 delegates to … Continue reading

The Boss Who Fought for the Working Class

  by Walter Brasch   He was born into poverty in New Hampshire in 1811. His father was a struggling farmer. His mother did most of the other chores. He was a brilliant student, but the family often moved, looking for a better life—a couple of times so the father could avoid being put into debtor’s prison. At the age of 15, he dropped out of school and became a printer’s apprentice, sending much of his wages to help his family. For several years, he worked as an apprentice and then as a printer, his hands covered by ink, his body ingesting the chemicals of that ink. He worked hard, saved money, helped others achieve their political dreams, became the … Continue reading

Hillary Lays Out Vision for Economy

In her first major policy speech today since announcing her candidacy for president, Hillary Clinton put higher wages for low-income workers at the heart of her economic policy outline saying “I believe we have to build a growth-and-fairness economy.” Hillary also spoke out about the rise in corporate profits, taking a jab at big industry, as she said, “Corporate profits are at near-record highs and Americans are working as hard as ever but paychecks have barely budged in real terms.” Clinton also took on Wall Street today in her speech saying, “Too many of our major financial institutions are still too complex and too risky and the problems are not limited to the big banks that get all the headlines.” Clinton warned … Continue reading

A Gig Isn’t A Job

The middle class is eroding. A real full-time job is a thing of the past for many working Americans. The part-time, freelance gig has replaced the full-time job and that has created shrinkage in the middle-class and income insecurity has become the norm for too many people. While some people might like having a little more free time, the average worker depending on freelance and gig type work has a hard time making ends meet on a regular basis. For many of these people they don’t know when or if they will find a gig. Many people feel that the economic crisis we faced a few years ago simply has not been addressed in a way that can facilitate real change … Continue reading

Bush Dynasty Aids Jeb

The Bush family dynasty has proved to be far more fruitful for Jeb Bush than the Clinton fund raising machine was for Hillary in the last quarter. And Jeb’s haul makes Bernie Sanders’ donations for the fundraising quarter look like a few pennies littering the street. The Bush family compound up in Kennebunk, Maine was recently the scene of an old fashioned Sunday sort of fundraising affair complete with an old fashioned trolley, burgers and lobster rolls. In a quote to the NYT, lobbyist Dirk Van Dongen likened the Bush compound in Kennebunkport to the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. Indeed, Jeb Bush’s haul was record breaking: […] Mr. Bush’s campaign and super PAC announced that they had amassed more money, and more quickly, … Continue reading

Three Commandments for Every State Capitol

    by Walter Brasch   The Oklahoma Supreme Court this past week ordered the legislature and the executive branch to remove a six-foot tall Ten Commandments granite monument from the front of the state house. The monument was placed there in January and is a direct violation of the First Amendment. The response by dozens of legislators, most of whom may be illiterate about the Constitution, was to call for the impeachment of the justices. The state’s attorney general who, presumably, took Constitutional Law in college, said he would appeal the decision. He, and many legislators, are also thinking of repealing the part of the state constitution that prohibits the use of public funds for religious purposes. The only … Continue reading

A Journey to Mississippi

In the summer of 1994 when I was 15 years old my father and I went down to Mississippi to visit my uncle and his daughter; a cousin of mine I had only seen in photos. I was excited and at the same time scared out of my mind to go to Mississippi. I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. My father’s side of the family is from a small southern town in Alabama called Marion. I went to several family reunions in Alabama and had a great time. The people were nice and acted as if they knew me my whole life. Mississippi however, was a whole other animal in my mind. I had heard the story of … Continue reading