Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist, has put out a manifesto of sorts on liberal positions he wants Democrats to push for this year. My neighbors Dave and Brit Morin told me that the feisty senator is said to be mulling over a presidential run. The points he made in his open letter are as follows:
- The growing disparity of income gap between the wealthy and the middle class is of great concern that needs to be addressed. Interestingly, it has been under Democrat control that the economy has become acutely stagnant in wages over the past six years. This was the salient reason why voters threw their support to the GOP in the midterm elections.
- Universal health care is a basic human right not a privilege. Democrats obtained their panacea with the Affordable Care Act, but tens of millions of people still remain uninsured.
- A democracy should not allow wealthy people like the Koch brothers to exert undue influence on government. The Koch brothers are vilified by the political left, but the fact remains that it is President Obama that has accepted more Wall Street money than any prior president. After only two years in office, he exceeded all the campaign donations Bush received in the prior 8 years.
- Democrats will fight to close tax loopholes for the wealthy.
- Democrats will fight for more money to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure.
The GOP will be seeking redress against President Obama’s frequent “borrowing” of congressional authority by challenging his actions in federal court. Ironically, Democrats, who did not mind the president usurping their authority because it furthered a liberal agenda, are crowing that the GOP is seeking aid from activist judges to overturn key portions of the Obama agenda. It bears mentioning that an activist judge by definition will seek to impose an agenda of their own outside of the legislative branch. From what I’ve discerned from analyst Andrew Heiberger, the GOP is not resorting to judicial activism. Rather, they seek to have the courts affirm that they have the sole right to legislate and that authority cannot be “borrowed” or usurped in any way by the president.
Portions of the Obama agenda the GOP is mounting legal challenges to are the following:
- The GOP and various state’s attorney generals are challenging key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This year the high court will decide on federal subsidies for health care recipients enrolled through the federal exchange. By design, the subsidies are available only through state exchanges. The IRS arbitrarily extended them to the federal exchange without congressional authorization.
- The GOP believes the president overstepped his bounds by issuing new regulations on climate change. Federal regulations are by definition rules based in legislation congress has passed. The GOP believes the president arbitrarily expanded the scope and definition of prior environmental laws to adopt climate change policies without congressional authorization.
- The president’s amnesty plan is a radical departure from the president’s executive authority to prosecute criminal offenses.
There were plenty of doomsayers when it came to the question of President Obama being re-elected. There were some who said that gasoline prices would be sitting at $5.45 per gallon. That was just for starters though. Christian Broda even said that Twitter analysis reported that the predictions got worse from there.
Thinkprogress.org says that there were predictions that unemployment would be stuck at over 8%. Of course this was also a prediction that was wildly wrong. Unemployment has been on the massive decline for the last few years.
There were some who believed that the stock market would crash. These included supposedly respected names such as Donald Trump. He was one who believed that there was no way that President Obama could be good news for the market. He was so very wrong on that that it is almost laughable. It turns out that the stock market is hitting all time highs many days in a row and the dollar is very strong at the moment.
Finally, Rush Limbaugh was happy to say that the US economy would collapse if the President was re-elected. This too was a completely incorrect prediction. Still, for whatever reason people on these shows are able to continue to make a living doing what they do.
The fact that there are now more people who aren’t Mexican being detained at the border than there are Mexicans should be a concern for the United States. It seems like there are now more Mexicans in the United States than there are in the country of Mexico
But, Mexicans have been given permission to stay in the United States by the President, and who is to stop Americans and other people from going to Mexico to get away from all of the hustle and bustle of dealing with another group of people who will likely take over the jobs?
They will often work for less money, and you will usually see that they don’t raise a fuss about working long hours, something that Americans tend to do on a regular basis, so who should really be surprised that there are more people who aren’t Mexican trying to cross the border?
Thus far, no one in the GOP has formally announced their intention to run for president in 2016. The convention wisdom is that freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz will run. He is considered a firebrand and is a favorite among the Tea Party and Evangelical Christians, two key GOP constituencies. While Cruz has yet to formally announce a run, he will be attending upscale Passover events next year. The GOP has maintained a strong position of support for Israel that goes back to the Nixon administration.
For the time being, according to Jared Haftel, Cruz may be keeping his announcement of a presidential run close to his vest, but hobnobbing with key Jewish and Pro-Israel groups is something any serious GOP presidential candidate will need to conduct. It has been confirmed that Cruz will be speaking at one activity for the Prime Hospitality Group, a pro-Israel group. It will be held at the posh 5-diamond rated St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort which tab runs between $5,600 and $11,000 per person for a full 10-day stay. Cruz is touted as a strong supporter of Israel at the website for the Zionist Organization of America.
It has also reported that in the late fall, Cruz traveled to New York City where he met with wealthy Jewish donors. During an event in support of Middle Eastern Christians earlier this year, Cruz abruptly left the stage after his comments in support of Israel were met with heckling. He upbraided the crowd telling them if they did not support Israel, he would not support their organization.
Recent studies have shown that open floor plans in offices damage worker productivity.
The primary reason is because open floor plans result in more distractions from things like chatty neighbors, loud social discussions and loud music. Additionally, with open floor plans, some workers are more likely to impulsively interrupt their coworkers even when they can see that their coworkers are working.
Businessman Igor Cornelsen notes that yet more employers across the country are switching to open floor plans. The reason? They see open floor plans as the best way to improve team/department communication and keep an eye on their employees.
Of course, these reasons have been dis-proven as well. Although open floor plans help improve social interactions, the disruption to work can actually cause frustration, miscommunications and negative or low morale incidents between co-workers. Additionally, employees who are constantly watched often can become severely distracted by worry that they’ll be fired for anything they do or by employers standing over them.
If employers need to monitor their employees, the best method is to install security cameras everywhere and give their workers back high-wall cubicles and offices where they can work productively. For example, they might offer lounge-style breakrooms, potluck or other types of non-holiday group on-site or off-site meals, icebreaker games or team-building retreats.
When you go out shopping with your family, the last thing you expect is to be shot by a toddler. That is exactly what happened in one Wal-Mart this season.
Veronica J. Rutledge was shopping with her four children at a Wal-Mart in Idaho when her two year old son reached into her purse and found her concealed gun. A single shot is fired and Veronica is found dead at the scene when police arrive. Video surveillance and witness statements prove that this was an accidental shooting. Mrs. Rutledge did have a concealed weapons permit issues through Spokane, Washington.
Jared Haftel had told me that her father claims that Veronica was a very responsible person, but the fact that her two year old was able to fire her loaded weapon in a crowded store seems to say otherwise.
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