Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Flashback 1933: When Arkansas Went Bust. At one point, the state’s treasurer reported that Arkansas’s general revenue fund showed a balance of $4.62... and by 1933, Arkansas could not make its bond payments.
Economic democracy would be complemented in the political sphere by a new system that combined an overhauled form of representative democracy (our current system) with direct democracy, a system in which individuals participate directly in the making of political decisions that affect them. In this system, the Senate (an extremely unrepresentative political body in which states with very small populations have the same level of representation as the most populous states) would be abolished, and a system of proportional representation would be established so that Congress actually reflects the political will of the electorate. A democratic socialist government would also implement new referenda and recall mechanisms to hold elected officials accountable during their tenure in office, and a vast system of local participatory institutions would be set up to ensure individuals had a direct voice in political decision-making beyond the ballot box. These institutions would include citizen boards for various government services, program councils (at the national, state and local levels) for those who receive government services, and municipal and state-level citizen assemblies that would be open to all and would be tasked with making budget decisions (much like participatory budgeting processes currently in use around the world today). Finally, individual civil and political rights (freedom of speech, assembly, the right to vote, etc.), which are currently routinely violated, would be strengthened, and public resources would be devoted to the development of a genuinely free press and a democratically administered mass media.No word yet from DSA supporters Comrade Bernie Sanders, Comrade John Conyers, and Comrade Jan Schakowsky. Since the small states can't be denied equal voting rights in the U.S. Senate: how does the DSA think this will come about ?
ABC: State Dept access given to Clinton Foundation donors 'precisely what she said she would not do'
For people as misunderstood as the Arab LGBT community, association with the U.S. government can be problematic. https://t.co/RKxjJf4QgY— Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs) August 23, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has surged to a 5-point lead over democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania as per the poll conducted by CEPEX Center for Excellence in Project Execution, on Friday (19th Aug 2016).It's just one poll.
Trump leads Clinton 41.9 percent to 36.5 percent, with 21.5 percent voters undecided. Trump’s lead is just inside the margin of error and marks the first time that the Republican candidate is catching up in the traditional stronghold state of the democratic party.
The survey contacted around 1,000 registered voters. Results are estimated to be accurate within 7.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. According to CEPEX analysis, the error percentage is high due to the results obtained from just one day of polling. Subsequent polling would be required to reduce the error percentage.
While it is noteworthy that Trump is making headway in this battleground state, the undecided voters hold the key to the eventual outcome on Nov 8.
Citing Donald Trump's controversial call to his supporters to challenge voters at the polls, a leading civil rights group is urging international election monitors to beef up their efforts to observe this November's U.S. presidential contest.No word yet on this story from Chicago's Democrat party precinct captains .
It's the latest reflection of deep concern among voting rights advocates about potential voter intimidation and suppression this fall.
In a letter sent Saturday, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights asked the Warsaw, Poland-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to "greatly expand" its U.S. election monitoring program.
Boy, 8, killed in grenade attack in Sweden in a vendetta within the Somali community-- multiculturalism works!
Boy, 8, killed in grenade attack in Sweden in a vendetta within the Somali community-- multiculturalism works! https://t.co/enZAmYVUbL— Rothbardian (@Sebastian_JKT) August 23, 2016
Consultant Raised Cash for Hillary Clinton, Used Access to Seek Meeting for Coal Giant, Emails Reveal
In 2009, when St. Louis-based coal company Peabody Energy was aiming for rapid expansion into Mongolia, China, and other international markets, it sought an audience with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss its global vision.Some people go into to politics because it is their best shot of making money.
In April of that year, an official with Peabody reached out to the State Department to request a formal meeting. The request was denied, so Peabody leaned on its lobbying team to intervene on the issue. In June, two months after Peabody’s formal request, Joyce Aboussie, a political consultant working for Peabody, wrote to Clinton aide Huma Abedin to ask that Clinton meet with Peabody executives as a personal favor.
“Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months,” Aboussie wrote. “It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s,” she added.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials have ignored 63 financial management recommendations from Congress’ investigative arm since 2012 and only half-heartedly followed many more, resulting in the $43 billion agency’s books to be all but useless.Government and corruption : imagine that. If this was a private sector corporation, we'd he'd about how it needs to be shut down.
Things have gotten so bad at HUD so rapidly, that auditors who found only one “material weakness” in the department’s accounting in 2012 found nine in 2015, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published Monday.
Housing Secretary Julian Castro, who has been at HUD’s helm during much of its slide into financial disrepair, was prominently mentioned prior to the Democratic National Convention as a potential running-mate for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has struggled to resolve persistent management challenges, in part because it has not consistently incorporated requirements and key practices identified by GAO to help ensure effective management into its operations,” GAO said. “In addition, HUD’s past remedial actions were not always effective because they were not sustained.”
Tenure laws that provide job security for 277,000 California schoolteachers were preserved Monday when a divided state Supreme Court rejected a challenge by opponents who said the laws shielded incompetent instructors and harmed low-income and minority students.The foundation of government schools: special privilege for the suppliers. No word yet on this story from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who sent their children to private schools.
The 4-3 vote was a victory for teachers and their unions, who argued that tenure was essential to protect teachers from arbitrary and politically motivated firings and that there was no evidence the job-security laws have damaged public education in California.
“When teachers feel protected, they can stand up for their students,” said Eric Heins, president of the state’s largest teachers’ union, the California Teachers Association. “It’s a good day for students and for educators.”
Opponents said they would keep pressing for changes in the laws.
“Californians will continue to demand that the state address the massive and inexcusable inequality in access to quality teachers in our public schools,” said David Welch, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who funded the suit by nine students. He said the court case had cast “a much-needed spotlight on these shameful laws and the enormous harm they inflict on thousands of children every year.”
The court’s vote left intact an appellate ruling that upheld the tenure laws after a Los Angeles judge struck them down. In an unprecedented 2014 ruling, the judge found that teacher tenure and seniority rules violated students’ right to an equal education.
In a separate 4-3 vote Monday, the Supreme Court also refused to take up the issue of school funding in California, which ranks near the bottom of the states in educational spending and test scores.
Teachers’ groups and school district officials argued that state education spending was so low that it violated the California Constitution’s guarantee of a public education, and required the courts to step in, as courts in many other states have done. But the justices denied review of an appellate court decision that said the Constitution does not give students the right to an education of any particular level of quality or funding.