I WANT TO TAKE TODAY TO LOOK AT THE NEWS AT ALL LEVELS AND SHOUT OUT TO GET OUT AND FIGHT THIS TAKEOVER OF THE PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO CONTROL PUBLIC POLICY AND HOLD CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE.
Undocumented workers in Maryland and Baltimore work under some of the most repressive conditions of wage theft and workplace abuse.....all labor laws unenforced and fear of being reported as undocumented if they shout out too loudly about what is happening to them every day in Maryland and especially in Baltimore. This is a neo-liberal state doing this to the poor and disenfranchised. Obama and O'Malley are neo-liberals and this Immigration Bill is market-based....meaning it is completely about how to maximize corporate profits on the backs of labor.
The convoluted path to citizenship that is immerging will not be attainable by most immigrants...only those coming in on high-end VISAs will be able to reach this citizenship goal for the most part. Meanwhile people from developing worlds will flood an economy with 25% unemployment and domestic grads from STEM among the unemployed.
Why are they doing this? Global markets need foreign workers to work as Americans overseas. Third world workers are used to working for sweat shop wages and having no Rule of Law protecting them....that is the reason for this Immigration Bill. EXPLOITATION OF LABOR.
Why would anyone encourage the President to circumvent the 3 branch check on Executive power to inact this law? Well, TPP basically ends the Constitution and these democratic institutions so why not get started say these people!
President holds trump card on immigration Obama can expand Deferred Action without congressional approval — and should do so if Congress fails to act
By Nelson Peacock 6:00 a.m. EDT, August 5, 2013 Baltimore Sun
President Barack Obama is tantalizingly close to passing comprehensive immigration reform, a legacy achievement. The Senate has provided a bipartisan bill, and the House is working on reform. The key issues are border security and a legal pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million who are here illegally.
The political reasons for the House to negotiate a deal are many. A recent Gallup poll showed that 87 percent of Americans support comprehensive reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. Moreover, growing numbers of Latino voters in key states turned out in historic numbers for Mr. Obama in last year's election, which strongly suggests that, in the long run, Republicans need to address this constituency or continue to lose votes.
However, Speaker John A. Boehner, the Republicans' point man in the House, doesn't have the luxury of operating in the long term. The conservative bloc of House Republicans is digging in against reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, and with what promises to be a bloody spending fight with Democrats looming, the speaker needs to strengthen his position with his conference.
It's no wonder the speaker has instructed his committee chairmen to send up smaller, incremental bills for consideration, with a final decision on the path forward to come this fall.
Regardless of what Mr. Boehner and the committee chairmen come up with, most of the millions of unauthorized immigrants here now will almost surely stay, because it is expensive and time-consuming to deport them. The immigration enforcement system is currently funded to deport roughly 400,000 immigrants a year, funding that's unlikely to increase in difficult budgetary times, and it can take years to get many cases in front of immigration judges.
In part for those reasons, the Department of Homeland Security does not treat all deportations equally. In recent years, the agency has expanded its use of prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement, focusing on recent border crossings and public safety threats. Today, deportations of immigrants with strong connections to the U.S. are unlikely.
Indeed, prosecutorial discretion is a guiding principle of this administration's immigration enforcement policy. With it, the administration has moved immigration enforcement from an ad hoc system in which individuals are removed indiscriminately to one that prioritizes criminals, recent border crossers and fugitives. In 2012, 96 percent of all removals were based on these priorities. Opponents of the policy call it amnesty, but with limited resources, it's obvious why an agency charged with protecting the homeland is focusing its deportation efforts on national security and public safety.
For Mr. Obama, expanding prosecutorial discretion in deportations has been good policy and politics. It might just be the trump card he needs to bring House Republicans to the negotiating table.
Last summer, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which established the first program in which a subset of those here illegally could come forward and register with the government. If you were brought here as a child, are currently in school or the military and have no criminal record, you can get protection from deportation and you can petition for work authorization.
This program, aimed at so-called Dreamers, triggered a wave of enthusiasm in the Latino community, and many political analysts believe it helped the president weather 50 percent disapproval ratings last summer and win a historic 75 percent of the Latino vote in November. Nearly 520,000 people have received relief under this program since it was announced.
Now the president should turn again to this playbook and expand the program to other sympathetic categories of immigrants, such as those with a longtime presence in the United States or those with U.S.-citizen family members. The legal parameters and operational protocols have been established, and because this program, like the original Deferred Action program, would be funded from immigrants' fees, it would not require a congressional appropriation. An expanded Deferred Action program could be up and running within weeks.
Of course, those committed to defeating reform would trot out the tired criticism that the president doesn't enforce the laws on the books. They conveniently forget that both parties share the blame for the current system, and they ignore the record-low estimates of border crossing attempts and the record-high number of deportations. (A recent Pew Hispanic Center analysis found net migration from Mexico has fallen to zero in recent years.) Nothing the administration does would change their minds.
It is a near-certainty that expansion of prosecutorial discretion will occur if the House defeats all reform efforts or the House and Senate can't reach an agreement. Perhaps the president can force negotiations by reminding critics that, in the absence of real reform, a president — any party's president — still has to govern. For Mr. Boehner and the House GOP, the alternative to negotiating would be expanding "amnesty" without any of the security and business enhancements that the Republicans want and the nation desperately needs.
If the president acts boldly, he might be able to wrest a bill from Congress that could establish his legacy and, more important, secure the real immigration policy changes this country needs.
Nelson Peacock is a vice president with Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington and the former assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Do you know that one of the biggest issues for student loan holders is that the Department of Education is now run by credit collection agencies..Wall Street on steroids .. as they work to force people to get out of default and then manipulate the fees so as to send people back into default. Each time you are brought out of default these Wall Street credit collection agencies tack as much as $3,000 to these student loans making these bills skyrocket. It is worst than pay day loans. THIS IS THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOLKS!
We all know that the unemployment caused by massive corporate fraud has sent many student loan holders into this situation. So paying higher interest is just the tip of the iceberg. Neo-liberals like Clinton and Obama..and all Congressional leaders have allowed Rule of Law be suspended and the public is being preyed upon from all sectors. That is the problem.
The solution is to first stop outsourcing public agencies. Rebuild white collar criminal agencies and bring back all of the for-profit education fraud..at a trillion dollars and climbing if these student loan frauds are added. Then, pour all that fraud recovered back into public education and financial aid that is low interest and awarded for sound reasons as was the policies before the Dept of Education was privatized..just like Freddie and the FHA. Good public agencies ruined by privatizing!
Congress reaches student loan deal that lowers rates for borrowers But new formula can bring higher rates later
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun 10:37 p.m. EDT, August 2, 2013
With the start of classes just weeks away, Maryland financial aid directors sighed with relief that Congress has finally reached an agreement on student loan interest rates that will lower costs for borrowers this academic year.
"We have been getting calls from students," said Zhanna Goltser, director of financial aid at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore. "It's great that it will save money for students who are borrowing now."
"Now" is the key word. Under a new formula created by lawmakers, the rate on certain federal loans could go up significantly in a few years.
A gridlocked Congress failed to meet a July 1 deadline on expiring rates, resulting in the interest on new subsidized Stafford loans doubling to 6.8 percent. Subsidized means that Uncle Sam pays the interest on the loan while the borrower is in college.
But under bipartisan legislation that passed its final congressional hurdle last week, the rate for all Stafford loans as well as PLUS loans used by parents and graduate students will be tied to the market. Given today's low interest rates, students and parents will enjoy reduced interest rates for the time being.
"It's an interest rate increase masqueraded as a decrease," warned Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Edvisors.com, a network of websites on college admissions and financial aid.
As the economy continues to improve and interest rates rise, families in a few years could be paying substantially more to borrow from the government, he said.
Under the legislation, the interest rate on Stafford and PLUS loans will be a combination of the yield on a 10-year Treasury note and a flat rate, depending on the type of loan. Congress also added caps to limit how high rates can go.
The rate on Stafford loans for undergraduates will be the yield on the 10-year Treasury plus 2.05 percent, not to exceed 8.25 percent. Interest on Stafford loans for graduate students will be the Treasury yield plus 3.6 percent, but no more than 9.5 percent. The PLUS loan rate will be the Treasury yield plus 4.6 percent, with a cap of 10.5 percent.
Each year, the rate for new loans will go up and down with the Treasury yield. But once a loan is taken out, the interest rate is fixed for the entire term.
The president is expected to sign the bill. The legislation is retroactive, so the formula will be in effect for loans made since July. The new rates for this year will be 3.86 percent for undergraduate Stafford loans, 5.41 percent for graduate Stafford loans and 6.41 percent for PLUS loans, aid officials said.
That is significantly less than borrowers would be paying if a deal hadn't been brokered. Without the legislation, the rate would have been 6.8 percent on all Stafford loans and 7.9 percent for PLUS loans.
"Families will be happier with this tied to the market just like any other [loan] they would have taken out," said Dana Kennedy, director of financial aid at St. John's College in Annapolis. And this way, students and parents will know each year what the interest rate will be, rather than waiting for an act of Congress, she added.
Some parents recently advised their children not to sign loan papers until Congress decided on a rate, Kennedy added. They feared that borrowers could be locked into a higher rate by signing early, though lawmakers were expected to make the rates retroactive to July 1.
"We're pleased that students are going to see some relief this current school year," said Tom McDermott, director of student financial services at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Still, the caps are on the "high side," said McDermott, who hopes Congress will revisit the issue.
McDermott said he's concerned that if federal loan rates climb significantly, students and families might switch to private loans that do not offer the same protections and benefits as the government. And some aid experts predict that higher rates are ahead.
"We don't see it as a cause for celebration," said Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access & Success in California. "The cost to families over the 10 years would be more than if Congress did nothing."
The legislation is projected to generate $715 million in added revenue for the government over the next decade as rates rise, Asher said. And that's on top of the $184 billion profit the loan program was already expected to see over that time, she said.
Asher predicts that parents will be paying more than the current 7.9 percent on PLUS loans by 2016, and undergraduates will borrow at a rate higher than today's 6.8 percent on Stafford loans by 2017.
This commenter is absolutely right but at the same time he does not identify the problem with this troop drawndown; we have more private military contractors then civilian troops and it is only civilian troops coming home! Obama states he is bringing the troops home; he is not telling us that during his term he and Hillary have placed the privatization of the US military on steroids and that 'bringing the troops home' means primarily those civilian troops. Who needs them when you are going with drone attacks/special forces assaults in undeclared war all over the world!
Think that is going to send jihadists into overdrive? You betcha. The threat to embassies and US citizens all around the world is just the beginning as the fight against naked capitalism taking over Muslim societies heats up.
Jihadists aren't the only ones against these policies. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE US AND EUROPE ARE AGAINST THEM AS WELL! Maybe not the few thousand of the world's 1% promoting these policies. Why do Americans not shout loudly as they are in Europe and around the world against this criminal, corrupt, and crippling foreign policy? We have Greenspan/Clinton/Bush people filling all media outlets with propaganda that makes N Korea's Great Leader and his media look downright democratic. Food filling the grocery stores of North Korea/drones not killing innocent people...same thing!
Bring the troops home from Afghanistan — and everywhere else
With the recent commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, isn't it about time to think about a troop withdrawal plan? And by the way, VE Day was 68 years ago, so why do we still have troops in Europe?
Let's leave Europe to the Europeans, Korea to the Koreans, Iraq to the Iraqis and Afghanistan to the Afghans.
Dave Reich, Perry Hall
Below you see a private non-profit called CREDO. It is a business who sets itself up as a public interest company B-Corp/501-C4 so it gets tax breaks. I join their petition signing protests myself as they ask for your name, address, and email in exchange for petitioning an issue.....WE ARE THE PROGRESSIVE CORPORATION HELPING CITIZENS AGAINST CORPORATE OVERREACH. I have shouted that most of these 'progressive' organizations are simply getting your personal information to use for marketing and now we see they are using the money to support political candidates who are neo-liberal and corrupt......not labor and justice candidates. Whether MoveOn or Credo......many of these pundits/organizations are neo-liberals in liberal disguise.
LIBERALS LIKE MCGOVERN WORKED TO HOLD CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE AND ADVANCE WORKERS/PEOPLE'S RIGHTS. NEO-LIBERALS DO THE OPPOSITE...THEY WORK FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT AGAINST LABOR AND JUSTICE.
We may need to use these groups because they currently have the power of voice....but do not believe all that they tell you!
Comment on the article below:
IF MUDCAT IS WORKING FOR A GREAT BIG FAT CRIMINAL OF A CORPORATE POL LIKE GANSLER IN MARYLAND ......CREDO IS A NEO-LIBERAL, NOT A LIBERAL ORGANIZATION!
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has hired a new campaign manager, about a month before he plans to formally announce his campaign for governor. Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold said in an interview Friday he got the job this week. (Source:NBC.com) Here is why this is a good thing. "Mudcat" sounds like he knows how to play my game. Trash me all you want but I got criminal charges against politicians.
Liberal super PAC: Calling Republicans racist more effective than criticizing policy
1:08 AM 09/14/2012 inShare1 3 Alex PappasPolitical Reporter
A top official at a liberal super PAC with the goal of eradicating tea partiers from Congress is telling activists that it’s more effective to label Republicans as racists than criticize their policies.
According to an audio recording obtained by The Daily Caller, Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold, the national campaign manager of the liberal CREDO super PAC, told a gathering of supporters in Aurora, Colo., on Sept. 8 that they’ve realized “policy did not move voters.”
He used Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King as an example.
“When we said that Steve King … is pro-life and believes in cutting Social Security and voted for the Ryan budget, no one cared,” Arnold said. “When we said Steve King’s a racist, Steve King believes that immigrants ought to be put in electric fences, people moved.”
“When you talk about the substance of a man’s character, people respond,” Arnold continued. “Believe it or not, that is not something politicians knew.”
CREDO super PAC, which did not immediately return a request for comment from The Daily Caller on Thursday, bills itself as a “political committee working to defeat ten of the most odious tea party members of Congress.”
Arnold made the comments while discussing the organization’s campaign against Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. The event at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse was billed as a gathering for “CREDO members and local activists to discuss our campaign to defeat Mike Coffman.”
Democratic candidate Joe Miklosi is challenging Coffman. Republicans reacted to Arnold’s comments by pouncing on Miklosi.
“The irony of this is that Miklosi repeatedly tries to paint Coffman as a radical, but he’s got a far, far left-wing group of crazies supporting him and helping his campaign,” said a Republican strategist familiar with the campaign. “Miklosi is masquerading as a moderate, but you can tell a lot about somebody by the company they keep.”
The super PAC’s strategy of trying to smear Republicans is evident with the nicknames they’ve given to the 10 members they are targeting this year: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is “Queen of Crazy,” Florida Rep. Allen West is “Beyond Crazy,” Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh is “America’s Most Offensive Congressman,” and Iowa Rep. Steve King is “Paranoid Bigot.”
“We want to stop people who have hijacked our community, who have hijacked the national platform and who are advocating policies and saying things in public that embarrass us,” Arnold said.
Judicial watch is a conservative group but the concerns as regards the suspension of Rule of Law and dismantling of our democratic system of checks and balances is real. All of these manipulated showdowns in Congress that lead to concessions killing all Americans is deliberate. Remember, the democrats had all 3 branches of government and a supermajority and failed to address all policy that now sits in gridlock doing nothing
“Obama’s unilateral actions are undermining our constitutional republic in ways that we have not seen, at least in recent American history,” Fitton said.
Opinion Judicial Watch head: Obama likes to play ‘catch me if you can’
By Ginni Thomas 9:23 PM 08/04/2013 inShare1 1
Fitton and company worked with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on ethics reform legislation and have filed over 100 lawsuits against the Obama administration to battle the stonewalling and corruption they find rampant in big government.
“Obama’s unilateral actions are undermining our constitutional republic in ways that we have not seen, at least in recent American history,” Fitton said. “We still have a Congress. We still have a judiciary that has the ability to reign in the government when it chooses, assuming the law allows, but Obama has taken on unilateral actions that have not been checked.”
Fitton says the Obama “way” is “catch me if you can.”
In this interview, Fitton discusses the scandals President Obama is now calling “phony” — Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, Solyndra and NSA surveillance. Fitton is not buying the dodge. He seeks facts, documents and proof.
Critical of congressional oversight that is not consistent or thorough, Fitton instead encourages citizen activism. He believes citizens often do not understand the tools available for them to hold local, state and federal officials accountable.
Fitton’s book, “The Corruption Chronicles,” details the scandals of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. The organization has also produced a movie, “The District of Corruption,” on AXS TV and this fall on HDNet Movies.
Do you know that all of what tax revenue generated from these Enterprise Zones are fenced into those communities...they do not help greater Baltimore. Tax base from Greater Baltimore is used to not only subsidize these Enterprise Zones now, but revenue is frozen into the future...ergo....paying Rain taxes, privatizing trash collection, crumbling schools and parks. It is not better to build on toxic land than allow it to simply be a green space....that is the Sustainable policy solution. Building a huge complex on toxic land when we know that global warming will raise the sea level as much as 10 inches in just a few decades means the public will be called to build sea walls to protect this complex and compromise the toxic containment, All for more poverty jobs that we all know are filled with wage theft and workplace abuse.
The development plan for a city filled with working class people would have been the real Enterprise Zone....one that builds small businesses with regional business owners so the grassroots would grow and create health communities. What we have is a handing off .....many will say a looting of our public assets in order to enrich a few and create more wealth inequity-style development. Please do not allow these 1% decide that the global corporations will control all business and consumption because this is what these policies move forward!
Baltimore Brew Stirring up News and Views in Baltimore Maryland
Monday, August, 5th, 2013 5
First it was a faint murmur of unease. Now it’s become a clamor for answers.
The $107 million tax increment subsidy proposed for Harbor Point is stirring up a normally somolent citizenry, which has been socked with rising water bills and cutbacks in fire protection and youth rec centers.
The latest evidence comes from a special meeting called for this Tuesday by the Fell’s Point Residents Association to revisit its endorsement of the luxury waterfront development and proposed regional headquarters of Exelon Corp.
The group had previously voted “not to oppose” the conceptual plan for Harbor Point, “but that was before many specific issues that need significant further discussion came to light,” Arthur Perschetz, association president, told The Brew in an interview today.
Too Much Public Subsidy
“The biggest concern by residents is that the city is dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars for a project that is basically a private development,” Perschetz said.
“Yes, it will produce some jobs,” he continued, “but it isn’t going to start paying anything back to the city [in the form of property taxes] until 2025. That’s what people are feeling – there’s too much subsidy for a site that the city itself says is one of the best locations on the East Coast.”
The group has invited Marco Greenberg, vice president for developer Michael Beatty, and Ronald Kreitner, director of Westside Renaissance, to “explain their viewpoints and answer our questions,” according to Perschetz.
Kreitner, a former director of the Maryland Office of Planning, is associated with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, who has signaled his opposition to the Harbor Point plan.
Greenberg has been a senior executive at both Struever Bros, Eccles & Rouse and John Paterakis’ H&S Properties Development, who jointly held a ground lease at Harbor Point before they were reportedly bought out by the Beatty group.
The use of $59.1 million to finance parks at the site – and an additional $21.6 million for a waterfront promenade – has stuck in the craw of association members, Perschetz said, especially when the city spends so little to improve existing public spaces and its major parks are in disrepair.
The group’s membership will take a fresh vote on Harbor Point on Tuesday – and a rejection could have a direct impact on the evolving political calculus of the project.
Considered a “shoo-in” when proposed two months ago by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the $107 million TIF subsidy has been vigorously questioned by Carl Stokes, chairman of the City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Record crowds attended two hearings before Stokes committee last month.
They included members of the Campaign for Fair Development, associated with the United Workers union, and residents from Perkins Homes, who accused the city of using their low-income demographics to secure a state “EZ” (Enterprise Zone) designation for Harbor Point that give the developer $88 million in tax breaks.
Earlier this week, a petition drive opposing the subsidies began circulating on the Internet.
Perkins Homes residents question tax subsidies to Harbor Point at a July 10 City Hall hearing. (Photo by Mark Reutter)
Councilman James B. Kraft, whose 1st District includes Fells Point and Harbor Point, says his support of the TIF subsidy – on top of the “EZ” tax break – is based on neighborhood support of the project. He publicly promised last month to vote on the project’s financing package according to the wishes of the community.
That vote may come as early as August 12.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young want to get the financing bill out of Stokes committee this week (a working session of the committee is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers).
TIF Needed ASAP
The Beatty group is under enormous pressure to secure the TIF package before the end of September, when his group is set to purchase the capped portion of the 27-acre site from Honeywell International, the present owner.
The Allied Chemical works was closed in 1985 in part because of its extensive pollution of the Inner Harbor. (Photo by John Horn)
The Harbor Point site was used as a chromium-ore reduction factory for more than a century.
It was closed by Allied Chemical in 1985 after environmental regulators determined that 62 pounds of cancer-causing chromium waste were being dumped into the harbor every day.
The site underwent a decade-long remediation to contain the chemical wastes buried under the factory. Allied first constructed a stone embankment around the three sides of the site that bordered on the harbor.
A three-foot-wide soil-bentonite hydraulic barrier was then extended more than 70 feet deep between the land and water, and a plastic-and-clay cap laid on top of the ground to seal off the contaminants.
Without TIF funds to finance the “public” portion of the development – which will be elevated on fill above the cap – the $1 billion project cannot move forward, according to Beatty.
Will Exelon Walk?
Exelon Corp. is the only announced tenant for the complex, projected to take 12 years to finish and create more than 3 million square feet of new office, retail and residential space.
There is growing worry in the developer’s camp that Exelon might back out of its commitment to the site if the City Council does not approve the TIF legislation in the very near future.
If that did happen, the company wouldn’t walk far.
Under a February 2012 agreement with the Maryland Public Service Commission that permitted its acquisition of Constellation Energy, Exelon pledged to build a new headquarters building in downtown Baltimore.