And it deserves to be amplified. This willingness to take it, to lead a revolution - and revelation, beginning in Beijing in 1995, when she first raised her voice to say the words you’ve heard many times throughout this conference: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”
When Hillary Clinton stood up in Beijing to speak that truth, her hosts were not the only ones who didn’t necessarily want to hear it. Some of her husband’s advisors also were nervous about the speech, fearful of upsetting relations with China. But she faced down the opposition at home and abroad, and her words continue to hearten women around the world and have reverberated down the decades.
As Warren Buffett famously observed, “…while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.” He was referring to the fact that capital gains earned by wealthy investors are taxed at a much lower rate than wages earned by workers. And while commissions paid to shoe salesmen and bonuses paid to bankers are taxed as ordinary income, the performance pay earned by private equity firm partners for managing an investment fund — so-called carried interest — is also taxed at the lower capital gains rate. This may be outrageous, but at least it’s legal.
The same cannot be said for the tax dodge used by private equity firm partners to convert the ordinary income they receive from their fixed management fees into additional capital gains. The partners at Bain Capital famously waived over $1 billion of management fees over a 10-year period, saving these partners, at a single firm, over $250 million of taxes on what was, essentially, their salary income.
When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different - today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.
It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.
Wait, it gets worse.
The US Senate voted 92-8 to pass HR 2, which has been known as the “doc fix” for Medicaid reimbursement rates, as well as many other health care provisions. HR 2 includes an alarmingly high increase in funding for the AOUM program, bringing its annual funding to $75 million. President Obama has already agreed to sign the bill, saying in a statement that he “would be proud to sign it into law.”
This compromise bill, however, also includes a two-year extension of Title V abstinence-only education, allocating significant federal funding to Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). Many CPCs lie to women about abortion and birth control and target women who are facing unplanned pregnancies and provide them with medical misinformation. AOUM curriculums rely heavily on shame and stigma, and have been proven to be unsuccessful at preventing unplanned pregnancy and the spread of STIs.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) wrote of the expansion of AOUM, stating that SIECUS is “incredibly disappointed by this wasteful increase and expansion of AOUM programs that are ineffective, stigmatizing, and fail to provide young people with the sexual health information, education, and skills they need throughout their life to make healthy and responsible decisions.”
The perfect illustration of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
This is a key point that’s often forgotten in the King v. Burwell discussion: the lawsuit shuts off subsidies, but it doesn’t touch the taxes and spending cuts that pay for those subsidies. Republicans in those states will still be paying the taxes and bearing the spending cuts needed to fund Obamacare. They just won’t be getting anything back.
In effect, the Republican plan to destroy Obamacare has become a plan in which red states subsidize Obamacare in blue states.
I’ll never understand why the voters in these states don’t get this and hold their representatives accountable.
The effects of the Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare are, of course, speculative: the ruling hasn’t happened yet, and probably will never happen. But the effects of the last SCOTUS ruling against Obamacare are very real: more than 20 Republican-led states have rejected the Medicaid expansion.
The result is about 5 million more Americans without insurance than there would be if those states had participated in the Medicaid expansion. And beyond that human toll lies a fiscal one: those states are forgoing about $37 billion in federal funds in 2016 alone, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Once again, they are paying for the Medicaid expansion but aren’t reaping any of the benefits. The uninsured are still showing up in emergency rooms and the costs are still being passed along to the insured.
Pay for the newly insured in other states and pay more for the uninsured in your state. Yeah, that makes plenty of sense.
What good is a right that our Police oppose?
Earlier this month, a video surfaced on social media of an incident involving Virginia teens pulled over by police for what initially seemed a routine traffic stop. The driver, Courtney Griffith, turned on her video camera as several Virginia Beach police officers pepper-sprayed and Tasered her 17-year-old friend, Brandon Wyne, while he sat in the back seat. Following her arrest, the police confiscated Griffith’s cellphone and deleted the video of the encounter, but she was able to recover the file and share it on social media.
In June 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police cannot search a person’s cellphone without a warrant. Authorities are investigating the Virginia Beach incident but it appears that the police violated both Griffith’s First Amendment right to record and her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable government searches and seizures.
The ruling builds on earlier efforts from Obama’s Department of Justice. In 2012, the DoJ intervened in a case before the U.S. District Court of Maryland with an unequivocal statement of support for an individual’s “First Amendment right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.”
“Officers violate citizens’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they seize and destroy such recordings without warrant or due process,” added the Department’s civil rights attorneys.
Nearly 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, during World War I. Turks by and large do not believe mass killings were planned.
CUNGUS, Turkey — The crumbling stone monastery, built into the hillside, stands as a forlorn monument to an awful past. So, too, does the decaying church on the other side of this mountain village. Farther out, a crevice is sliced into the earth, so deep that peering into it, one sees only blackness. Haunting for its history, it was there that a century ago, an untold number of Armenians were tossed to their deaths.
“They threw them in that hole, all the men,” said Vahit Sahin, 78, sitting at a cafe in the center of the village, reciting the stories that have passed through generations.
Mr. Sahin turned in his chair and pointed toward the monastery. “That side was Armenian.” He turned back. “This side was Muslim. At first, they were really friendly with each other.”
A hundred years ago, amid the upheaval of World War I, this village and countless others across eastern Anatolia became killing fields as the desperate leadership of the Ottoman Empire, having lost the Balkans and facing the prospect of losing its Arab territories as well, saw a threat closer to home.
Worried that the Christian Armenian population was planning to align with Russia, a primary enemy of the Ottoman Turks, officials embarked on what historians have called the first genocide of the 20th century: Nearly 1.5 million Armenians were killed, some in massacres like the one here, others in forced marches to the Syrian desert that left them starved to death.
The genocide was the greatest atrocity of the Great War. It also remains that conflict’s most bitterly contested legacy, having been met by the Turkish authorities with 100 years of silence and denial. For surviving Armenians and their descendants, the genocide became a central marker of their identity, the psychic wounds passed through generations.
“Armenians have passed one whole century, screaming to the world that this happened,” said Gaffur Turkay, whose grandfather, as a young boy, survived the genocide and was taken in by a Muslim family. Mr. Turkay, in recent years, after discovering his heritage, began identifying as an Armenian and converted to Christianity. “We want to be part of this country with our original identities, just as we were a century ago,” he said.
At first, I leaned toward keeping our kids vaccine-free. I thought the concern about vaccination made sense. There are countless reasons to distrust the pharmaceutical industry, and I didn’t want to put anything artificial or unnecessary in my child’s body. Least of all something questionable that protects from diseases that don’t even exist anywhere near us these days. Still, I felt a nagging responsibility to hear both sides of the argument (largely because I had my heart set on a “mother of the year” mug).
I decided facts were my friends. I couldn’t rely on word-of-mouth, friend-of-a-friend information. It was going to require actual research from vetted sources; I wanted the truth.
It wasn’t easy sifting through all the false and deceptive studies to find them, but now that I have, I feel compelled to share them with any of you who may be struggling with this tough choice.
Bush defends his unconstitutional use of state power to intervene in a private family dispute because doing the bidding of insane zealots like Randall Terry is just what governors are elected for…
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Friday once again defended his decision to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman whose death capped an intense national debate about ethics and politics, but also suggested that Medicare recipients should be required to outline end-of-life care plans before accepting the benefits.
“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he said in response to a questioner during a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast here Friday. “I stayed within the constitutional responsibilities or authority that I had. We changed the law first and then a year later it was ruled unconstitutional and then basically didn’t have the ability to do anything. The federal government then intervened and that was ruled unconstitutional. So, she starved to death.”
Diagnosed as in a persistent vegetative state, Schiavo, 41, died in April 2005 after a 15-year battle over her husband Michael’s decision to remove her feeding tube. Her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, fought to keep her alive, a move that prompted Bush, the Florida legislature and Congress to pass laws intervening on their behalf. The legal process stretched from Florida courts to the federal judicial system, but her feeding tube was ultimately ordered removed.