Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Richard Cohen: Donald Trump, poll watchers and voter fraud

  The strangest presidential campaign is getting even stranger.

  Donald Trump has recently raised the specter of massive voter fraud, saying that he could lose in Pennsylvania only if “in certain sections of the state they cheat.” And he’s proposed a remedy: volunteer poll watchers.

  It’s a remedy that’s now being trumpeted by white supremacists and far-right conspiracy theorists.

  The great irony here is that we have far more to fear from efforts to combat voter fraud, including the potential for an army of Trump poll watchers, than we do from any actual voter fraud.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sam Fulwood III: Police gone wild

  The U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of police misconduct in Baltimore is 163 pages of horror reading.

  Almost Kafkaesque—albeit in a dry, statistic-laden prose—the report details how Baltimore’s nearly 3,000-member police force acts like an occupying military force in some unruly wilderness. The feds wasted no time in getting to the point—indeed, in the opening paragraph of the executive summary, the investigators “[conclude] that there is reasonable cause to believe that [the Baltimore Police Department] engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law.”

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1523: How do we lift our children?

  How do we lift our children? In everything I try to do, my most important mission is to lift our children. I saw our children lifted in a special way last weekend. Before I get to this special lifting, I want to lay the foundation by sharing a family experience that lifted my children.

  When my children were growing up, we would drive to far-off places so they could go along and learn. As we traveled, we shared stories from our life experiences. Among my children’s favorites were the stories of struggle about my growing up. They would ask me over and over again to tell some of the same stories of struggle.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Craig Ford: Debt is the real reason for the special legislative session

  The Alabama Legislature returned to Montgomery this week for what may end up being only the first of more special legislative sessions.

  Gov. Robert Bentley said the purpose for this legislative session was to vote on a lottery to fund Medicaid and other general fund proposals.

  While the lottery is being debated in the Senate, the Alabama House of Representatives is debating how to spend $850 million from the BP oil spill settlement.

  But the devil is always in the details, and what these bills are really about is debt.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Michael Josephson: Rebuilding your life and reputation

  Larry wrote me the following letter: “I’ve been a small businessman for almost 23 years in a business where people lie, cheat, and steal. I’m sorry to say I became one of them. In the short term it may have helped, but long term it came back to haunt me. There’s no amount of success that’s worth it. I am now 48 years old. I have lost my good name; my values and my ethics have been destroyed. Is there any way I will ever be able to restore my reputation and lead a life of integrity?”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rhetoric vs. Reality: Paid family and medical leave

  Access to comprehensive paid family and medical leave strengthens all American families because everyone potentially needs to take off from work at some point to recover from an illness, care for a family member, or welcome a new child. But the United States is the world’s only advanced economy that does not guarantee some form of paid leave for workers. The result is that only 12 percent of private-sector workers in the United States have paid family and medical leave. In most American families, all the parents in the home are employed, meaning there is no full-time stay-at-home caregiver, and the majority of American families rely on a female breadwinner or co-breadwinner. Paid family and medical leave policies are already working across the United States, as cities, states, and individual employers embrace them. But without a national solution, millions of workers and their families are left out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Will the running mates matter?

  Political experts and historians have consistently chronicled the fact that vice presidential choices have no significant effect on the outcome of the presidential race.

  However, this has been a very unconventional presidential political year. My assessment is that the selection of Mike Pence by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s choosing Tim Kaine were extremely wise and helpful decisions. If for nothing else, I believe that Pence insures Indiana for the GOP and Kaine sews up the pivotal swing state of Virginia for Hillary. They are both very popular in their home states and are capable and stable choices.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Jacob G. Hornberger: The military base dole

  During my recent visit to my hometown of Laredo, Texas, as I was heading out of town toward Corpus Christi, I passed by the former site of Laredo Air Force Base. Serving as a training base for new pilots, the base was a prominent part of Laredo life when I was growing up.

  During that time, public officials and much of the citizenry were scared to death that the base might close. Like many people on the dole and like many other American communities with military bases, Laredoans were convinced that without LAFB, the city would die.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ending the pass-through tax loophole for Big Business

  In 2012, more than 100,000 big U.S. businesses managed to shelter billions of dollars of income in a single tax haven and pay no corporate income tax on it.

  This tax haven is not Panama, Switzerland, or the Cayman Islands. In fact, it cannot even be found on a map—rather, it exists in the pages of the U.S. tax code. These businesses—with revenue of more than $10 million each—managed to pay no U.S. corporate income tax by pretending to be small businesses and thus saved their wealthy owners billions of dollars.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Laurence M. Vance: Prohibition is alive and well

  The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution that instituted Prohibition was proposed by Congress in December 1917, ratified by the requisite number of states in January 1919, and took effect in January 1920.

  The first and relevant section of the Amendment reads:

       After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.