Post-Newtown, Mental Health Advocates Have Their Say, Too

Even as the debate over gun control captures the spotlight in discussions over the response to last month’s massacre of children in Newtown, Conn., mental health advocates also are working hard to press for their reforms, as well. Michael Fitzpatrick , executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) met Wednesday with Vice President Biden’s task force on gun control, along with other leaders of the mental health community, urging action to strengthen and expand mental health care services. Biden has been leading the administration’s efforts to fashion a response to the Newtown shooting, the victims of which mostly were young children. NAMI calls itself the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for … Continue reading

Eric Holder Hero, Not Villain, Sen. Leahy Says

He may be facing a contempt-of-Congress vote next week in the House of Representatives, but Attorney General Eric Holder deserves praise — not contempt, according to one prominent Senate leader who oversees federal law enforcement. The full House is expected to vote next week on whether to find Holder in contempt of Congress for the Obama administration decision to invoke executive privilege to withhold some documents related to the controversial former Justice Department program “Fast And Furious.” A House committee dominated by Republicans voted on party lines Wednesday to find Holder in contempt. The administration invoked executive privilege for the first time in declining to offer some documents related to the so-called Mexico “gun-walking” program begun under the Bush administration. … Continue reading

The Jackbooting of the Fraidy Cats (with video)

But three (and perhaps now FOUR) prank phone calls, no matter WHO made them — your granny or Charlie Manson, it doesn’t matter — are NOT cause for a national wave of fear, nor are they a legitimate news story… Continue reading

Voter ID Laws: Could They Backfire?

Although Democrats and progressives worry that a net of restrictive state-level voter ID laws could prevent millions of Democratic-leaning voters from casting ballots this fall, the national outcry against these new measures could at least blunt their effect. Indeed, have these laws — usually enacted in states controlled by Republican governors and state legislators — sparked such attention and outrage that they could actually backfire? The threat that these laws could deny the right to vote to so many Americans has prompted such a large-scale grassroots mobilization aimed at ensuring all voters have access to the polls that voters may be more, not less, motivated and prepared to enter the voting booth come Election Day than they might otherwise have … Continue reading

Advocates Call ‘Paltry’ Bank Deal Just The Beginning For Wronged Homeowners

Critics of the fraud committed by the nation’s largest banks in the so-called “robo-signing” scandal are calling Thursday’s settlement deal just the first step in achieving justice for wronged U.S. homeowners. State and federal officials announced the $26 billion settlement over the banks’ fraudulent foreclosure practices which led to wrongful foreclosures nationwide. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder led the announcement at a Washington news conference and says the settlement will be a step in “righting the wrongs that led to our nation’s housing-market collapse and economic crisis.” About 1 million families will see some reduction in their mortgages, while another 750,000 homeowners who were wrongly foreclosed on will receive $2,000 checks, according to the terms of the settlement. Critics, however, … Continue reading