School House Rock – The Seedy Underbelly

Photo image of the national capitol - Capitol Hill at night

by Paul Hamlin   School House Rock Remember the “School House Rock” on how a bill becomes a law?  It was a part of my childhood and it is how many of us were introduced to the function of our legislators and legislation.  In case you are not of my generation take a look here:  Well, it turns out there was some missing information in “School House Rock”, and it is obviously devastating to some of us.  The writing of a bill and its passage into law, is much more…

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Casualties Of Trump’s Trade War Begin To Emerge

Tariffs Ahead graphic

By Lynda Bryant-Work Trade War casualties pile up … “As we learned after President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff at the     outset of the Great Depression, vibrant international trade is a key component to  economic recovery; hindering trade is a recipe for disaster.” -Asa Hutchinson Trump tariff casualties attributable to Donald Trump’s insistence on amping up the trade war he promised his voters, are beginning to surface as the economy bleeds jobs and prices begin rising. Industries that use steel and lumber are being hit with higher costs effecting…

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Superhero Or Supervillian: Is There Really A Difference?

Save the Rat White House meme featuring Superman with a banner reading "Save The Rat"

by Lynda Bryant-Work “It’s the superhero problem. Superpowers make everything personal. Batman versus Joker. Fantastic Four versus Galactus. The Big G might be the Devourer of Worlds, but in the end he’s just a dude. Beat him and the problem goes away. But the real problems aren’t like that. You can’t solve them by hitting them. The real supervillains were people in suits who met in rooms and decided things. Destroy one and another would take their place.”  Ian McDonald It is called “Superhero Politics.” Convince a fan base that someone is…

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2018’s Mass School Shootings – 29 Deaths That Failed To Move A Nation

Sky cam view of Santa Fe High School with law enforcement and first responder vehicles staging response to Friday's mass shooting on campus

by Tony Wyman No matter what I write, no matter how much I plead with readers that we not allow the deaths in Texas yesterday to be in vain by allowing our discussion of the problem of school shootings to degrade into a pointless, futile shouting match over the Second Amendment, that is likely what will happen. Because we care more about guns – loving them or hating them – than we do about kids. I suppose that isn’t really a fair statement.  Outside of the most deranged and extreme…

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Second Amendment Isn’t About Guns

Second Amendment graphic

By Lynda Bryant-Work   “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty …. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” Mass, Rep. Elbridge Gerry, I Annals of Congress 750, August 17, 1789. “The Second Amendment.” For those who grew up in America, they have heard those words spoken with feeling – forceful and direct. Both advocates…

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The Privacy Crisis – The Perfect Excuse To Restrict Freedom of the Press

by Oletta Branstiter Are you a “media influencer”?  If so, the U.S. government is very interested in your online activities. The Department of Homeland Security needs a private contractor to provide “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.” in order to “identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.” from Forbes.com Hmmm. Couldn’t anything be considered a “particular event”? Haven’t we all become “bloggers”?  According to the Forbes article, “the United…

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Omnibus Spending Bills Avoid Meaningful Debate and Solutions

photo of American flag laid out flat and stacks of $100 bills piled on top of it

by Lynda Bryant-Work The passage of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill as signed yesterday by Donald Trump represents a shortcut to everything that is wrong with Washington, D.C. By avoiding any semblance of the regular order budget process in favor of funding by crisis and failing to perform an important function: oversight. Congress opted instead for wasteful, inefficient and inappropriate funding of tens of billions of dollars in additional funding, with no meaningful reforms. In the simplest of terms, the omnibus is a spending bill that collects ALL the appropriation…

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Can Donald Trump Rely On His Shrinking Base To Carry Him Through The 2018 Mid Terms?

by Richard Cameron   National Compass has been periodically examining the health of Donald Trump’s presidency, by looking at the ‘medical charts’ – a variety of national polls revealing approval ratings.  What we have discovered here in January 2018, a full year into Trump’s first term, should be ringing warning alarms for his party. Here, we will review some comparable numbers ranging from election day 2016 and contrasting them with what Americans think at the moment. The top line numbers are disconcerting to any administration that is witnessing them. In…

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The Trump $700 Billion Pentagon Budget – Sustainable, Or A Risk To Our Empire?

by Richard Cameron Donald Trump, a few days ago, signed a $696 billion dollar defense package, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  During the signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room, Trump commented, “Today with the signing of this defense bill, we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might.” Trump acknowledged the reality that Congress still must appropriate the funds. “Now Congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense sequester and passing a clean appropriations bill. I think it’s going to happen. We need our military; it’s…

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GOP Hits Speed Bump On Tax Reform But The Donor Class Is Impatient For A Win

photo of Palm Beach mansion with lagoon sized pool

by Richard Cameron The GOP House missed the target date for public release of their tax ‘reform’ plan yesterday, but claim that the plan will see the light of day on Thursday. Reportedly, the reason behind the re-scheduling, which may well see further delays, is that there is disagreement within the ranks about who wins and who loses and to what extent.  They may not frame it in those terms, but there is one other certainty besides death and taxes and that is that all tax plans, by nature and…

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