Sunday, October 21, 2018

Violence and hate, that's The Proud Boys in a nutshell

  On October 12, members of the hate group Proud Boys and at least three ultranationalist skinheads attacked protesters outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City.

  By the following Monday, NYPD announced it had enough evidence to charge nine of them.

  Even a few seconds of footage of the attack makes it clear why. In one video, an assailant in a group of at least 15 people kicks a person curled in the fetal position, yelling “Faggot!”

Saturday, October 20, 2018

How banks slid into the payday lending business

  Meet the new payday loan. It looks a lot like the old payday loan.

  Under the Obama administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau attempted to rein in abusive payday lending, by, among other measures, forcing lenders to ensure borrowers had the means to pay back their loans. The Trump administration, under interim CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney, is looking to roll back those rules and give payday lenders, who as an industry donated significant amounts of money to Mulvaney when he was a congressman, more room to operate. A high-profile rule proffered by the CFPB to govern payday loans is under review, and Mulvaney’s CFPB has also dropped cases the bureau had previously pursued against payday lenders.

Friday, October 19, 2018

We should protest proposed restrictions on White House protests

  The White House.

  To the world, it’s the image of the United States.

  To Americans, it’s the “us” in U.S. — and the universally recognized metaphor for the president and the administration behind him.

  And for at least 100 years, it’s been the prime spot for demonstrators focused on many of society’s most important issues — war and peace, abortion and gun rights, health care policies and more.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse - The Shorty Price story

  Since this is Alabama vs. Tennessee week and we have a governor’s race in three weeks, allow me to share the story of Shorty Price.

  Alabama has had its share of what I call “run for the fun of it” candidates. The most colorful of all these perennial “also ran” candidates was Ralph “Shorty” Price. He ran for governor every time. His slogan was “Smoke Tampa Nugget cigars, drink Budweiser beer and vote for Shorty Price.”

  In one of Shorty’s campaigns for governor, his campaign speech contained this line, “If elected governor, I will reduce the governor’s tenure from four to two years. If you can’t steal enough to last you the rest of your life in two years, you ain’t got enough sense to have the office in the first place.”  He would use recycled campaign signs to save money, and he rarely garnered two percent of the votes in any campaign.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Seven implications of protectionism

  In a speech on the campaign trail in 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said about Hillary Clinton and trade,

    Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she supported one terrible deal after another, from NAFTA, to China to South Korea. It doesn’t matter. No matter where she went, the American worker was hurt and you’ll be hurt worse than ever before if she becomes president of the United States. That I can tell you.

  He then promised that a Trump administration would “end that war by getting a fair deal for the American people and the American worker.” “The era of economic surrender will finally be over,” he said. “You’re not going to see it anymore.”

  Donald Trump has now done what he accused Hillary Clinton of doing: He has unleashed a trade war.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Michael Josephson: The illusion of success

  Reach for the stars. Pursue goals beyond your grasp. These are good life strategies. We never know how much we can accomplish until we try.

  But what happens when we’re told we must reach the stars or suffer consequences?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Trump's unwitting devotion to socialism

  Donald Trump and, unfortunately, many of his conservative followers, are absolutely clueless when it comes to socialism. You couldn’t find a better example of this phenomenon than a Trump op-ed that was published in USA Today recently. In fact, Trump’s op-ed is a perfect demonstration of the life of the lie that has come to afflict the entire conservative movement.

  In his op-ed, Trump takes Democrats to task for supporting “Medicare for All,” which would essentially be a full-fledged socialist healthcare system. He says that this shows that Democrats are committed to turning the United States into another Venezuela, a country in chaos, crisis, poverty, and violence owing to its socialist economic system.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ben Carson wants HUD to stop fighting housing segregation

  Today, a child born to a low-income family and raised in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans will have beaten the odds if they live past age 67. They can also expect to make just $20,000 a year by the time they reach their thirties.

  Just a 20-minute drive away, in the Uptown/Carrollton neighborhoods near Tulane and Loyola Universities, that same child could expect to live 20 years longer and take home roughly $53,000 more in annual salary.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How you vote In November could decide whether you get to vote on a lottery

  The lottery has been talked about for decades in Alabama. There’s no question that the voters support it, but the Alabama Legislature has failed to pass a bill that would let the people vote.

  Two years ago, the lottery almost made it through the legislative process before it died in the Senate. But now the lottery is getting new attention after the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives told the press that a lottery would be on the legislature’s agenda next year.

  There’s no question that the lottery could do a lot of good for our state. The most recent estimates are that a lottery could bring in $332 million a year, and that kind of money could solve a lot of problems.

Friday, October 12, 2018

How to prepare for Russia’s October surprise

  Russia is in the business of mind control.

  They’re not doing it through sinister headgear, satellite interference, or dream invasion like in Inception, though.

  Instead, Russia seeks to control the minds of Americans through something we all have and spend arguably too much time on - social media.

  This isn’t news to many of us. For years we’ve heard how Russia infiltrated Facebook and Twitter in an effort to divide our nation during the 2016 election. It seems, however, that Russia’s interference in our last presidential election wasn’t a “one-and-done” deal.