TRP News – Progressive News & Info – Weekly Digest – March 23, 2015

This week’s topics are the federal budget, the election in Israel, Tom Cotton and Godwin’s Law, the Loretta Lynch nomination and the human trafficking bill.


Bibi’s Ugly Win Will Harm Israel

Bibi and Likud might be in for a rude shock at the United Nations. On Tuesday, moderate Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN that it was “hard to imagine” there would be no consequences from Netanyahu’s new one-state views.

Bibi has placed all his chips on the Republican Congress, which has no say over how the U.S. votes in the U.N. Schiff—who often reflects the view of the White House—hinted that the Obama administration might consider selectively lifting the American veto in the Security Council that has protected Israel for more than six decades.

While the U.S. will no doubt continue to veto the most obnoxious U.N. resolutions, others (like those based on comments of U.S. officials about the need for a two-state solution) are now more likely to pass with the tacit support of the U.S., opening a new chapter in international pressure on Israel.

Beset by European boycotts, rebuked by international tribunals, estranged from the president of the United States—it’s not a pretty picture of the fate of America’s closest ally in the region.

But that might be the fallout from the most bruising and consequential Israeli election in many years.

>>Read Original Article – The Daily Beast.


 

Why bother voting in city elections? Here’s why

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Do people blow off voting because they think nothing will change, or does nothing change because so many people don’t bother to vote?

California, and Los Angeles in particular, are not alone in recording appalling voter turnout numbers. It’s happening in many parts of the United States, particularly in big cities. And in fairness, there weren’t exactly any political heavyweights to draw attention to Los Angeles’ primary election this time.

But when 9 out of 10 registered voters skip an election in a service-deficient city with a projected budget deficit of $160 million, and several thousand votes are enough to win a City Council seat in a metropolis of 4 million people, why even bother with elections?

Why not just have public employee labor unions and developers each appoint a handful of council members and call it a day?

10 years later, L.A.’s skid row remains an urban dystopia

Oh, wait a minute. That’s already happening.

When I stood on a downtown Los Angeles street the day after the election, trying almost in vain to find anyone who had voted, I heard all the usual excuses for sitting this one out.

Some people didn’t know there was an election.

Some were too busy to vote or miffed because they were asked to vote so often.

Some abstained because they hadn’t bothered to research issues or candidates.

And some thought voting is a waste of time because campaign promises die quick deaths, special interests rule and the system is rigged.

Yeah, it is rigged, especially since the diabolical U.S. Supreme Court decision making it even easier for money to corrupt the process. But I think we’re too quick to give cynical non-voters a pass, as if their can’t-be-bothered attitude is a badge of honor. Is it really cynicism, or is it ignorance, apathy or good old-fashioned laziness?

>>Read Original Article.


 

TRP News – Progressive News & Information – Weekly News Digest

This week we have updates on the Iranian nuclear negotiations and the Tom Cotton letter, Medicaid funding to the states, the Clinton emails, and another edition of “Why Vote?” – red versus blue states and policy versus popularity, and why you should not vote third party.


TRP News – Progressive News & Information – March 9, 2015

TRP News with James Andre. This week we have updates on the Supreme Court Affordable Care Act case and ISIS, a discussion of U.S. financial aid to Israel, and I try to answer the question ‘Why vote?’


 

LINKS

ISIS
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-rules-revealed-foosballs-fine-ak-47s-women-leaving-not-n316026
http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/07/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-isis/

ISRAEL
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-27/israel-lobbies-for-more-missile-defense-funds-than-obama-sought

SCOTUS
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/02/obamacare-supreme-court_n_6783894.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_interpretation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_intent

DISPUTED SECTION of the ACA
‘SEC. 36B. REFUNDABLE CREDIT FOR COVERAGE UNDER A QUALIFIED HEALTH PLAN.

‘(a) In General- In the case of an applicable taxpayer, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle for any taxable year an amount equal to the premium assistance credit amount of the taxpayer for the taxable year.

‘(b) Premium Assistance Credit Amount- For purposes of this section–

‘(1) IN GENERAL- The term ‘premium assistance credit amount’ means, with respect to any taxable year, the sum of the premium assistance amounts determined under paragraph (2) with respect to all coverage months of the taxpayer occurring during the taxable year.

‘(2) PREMIUM ASSISTANCE AMOUNT- The premium assistance amount determined under this subsection with respect to any coverage month is the amount equal to the lesser of–

‘(A) the monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or

‘(B) the excess (if any) of–

‘(i) the adjusted monthly premium for such month for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan with respect to the taxpayer, over

‘(ii) an amount equal to 1/12 of the product of the applicable percentage and the taxpayer’s household income for the taxable year.


Why Netanyahu’s speech didn’t do his American allies any favors

Netanyahu argues that if the U.S. walked away, Iran would eventually capitulate on everything; the “better deal” he imagined is one in which Iran does everything short of dismantling its government. He had nothing to say about why this might happen if we weren’t negotiating, other than that we should “keep up the pressure.” That’s his alternative: Do nothing, and instead of just going ahead and developing nuclear weapons, Iran will see the light and completely reverse everything it’s been doing.

To call that position “absurd” is too kind. You don’t have to be some kind of foreign policy whiz to grasp that there’s something weird about arguing that 1) Iran is a nation run by genocidal maniacs; 2) they want nuclear weapons so they can annihilate Israel; and 3) the best way to stop this is to abandon negotiations to limit their nuclear program and just wait to see what they do. But that’s the position Netanyahu and his supporters in the Republican Party are now committed to.

>>Read original article – The Washington Post.


 

TRP News – Progressive News – Episode 1

 

 

TRP News with James Andre. First episode of the series, I hope you enjoy!

In this episode we discuss the FCC ruling, the history of ISIS and what we are doing in regards to them, The current supreme court session, Netanyahu’s speech, and the DHS funding fight.

Topics: FCC, ISIS, SCOTUS, BIBI, DHS


LINKS
FCC
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2890097/the-fccs-net-neutrality-ruling-5-things-you-need-to-know.html
http://blog.level3.com/open-internet/observations-internet-middleman/
http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-strong-sustainable-rules-protect-open-internet
ISIS
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29052144
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/-sp-isis-the-inside-story
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant
http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/isis-fast-facts/
SCOTUS
http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/argument-preview-now-the-third-leg-of-the-health-care-stool/#more-225531
http://supremecourtreview.com/default/calendar/


 

TRP News – Progressive News – Introduction

 

 Introduction to TRP News with James Andre, a production of the United States of America Rational Progressive Party. A short discussion of what the series is about and what it means to be a “Progressive.”


 LINKS

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2013/03/22/1761431/what-it-means-to-be-a-progressive-a-manifesto/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/whats-the-difference-betw_b_9140.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism


 

Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good

By now, you’ve heard of the crater on the Yamal Peninsula. It’s the one that suddenly appeared, yawning nearly 100 feet in diameter, and made several rounds in the global viral media machine. The adjectives most often used to describe it: giant, mysterious, curious. Scientists were subsequently “baffled.” Locals were “mystified.” There were whispers that aliens were responsible. Nearby residents peddled theories of “bright flashes” and “celestial bodies.”)

There’s now a substantiated theory about what created the crater. And the news isn’t so good.

It may be methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen ground. According to a recent Nature article, “air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane — up to 9.6% — in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia.

>>Read the original article – The Washington Post.


 

F.C.C. Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Classifying Broadband Internet Service as a Utility

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes.

Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the F.C.C. was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers” and preserve the Internet’s role as a “core of free expression and democratic principles.”

The new rules, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept.

Explaining the reason for the regulation, Mr. Wheeler, a Democrat, said that Internet access was “too important to let broadband providers be the ones making the rules.”

>>Read Full Article – NYTimes.com.