Posts Tagged ‘ politics ’

Jailed for $280: The Return of Debtors’ Prisons

I just came across this article and I could not believe my eyes. People that have life threatening/debilitating illnesses and injuries, the unemployed and the mentally ill are being put in DEBTOR’S PRISON for not being able to pay. The big banks can’t pay and they get a loan from the tax payers…. This simply makes no sense! The federal government can’t pay up so why the hell aren’t all of our representatives being thrown in jail??

By Alain Sherter | CBS MoneyWatch

How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn’t pay a medical bill — one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn’t owe. “She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,” The Associated Press reports. “But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs.”

Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff’s deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.

Under the law, debtors aren’t arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing “contempt of court” in connection with a creditor lawsuit. That loophole has lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives concerned enough to pass a bill in March that would make it illegal to send residents of the state to jail if they can’t pay a debt. The measure awaits action in the senate.

“Creditors have been manipulating the court system to extract money from the unemployed, veterans, even seniors who rely solely on their benefits to get by each month,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last month in a statement voicing support for the legislation. “Too many people have been thrown in jail simply because they’re too poor to pay their debts. We cannot allow these illegal abuses to continue.”

Debt collectors typically avoid filing suit against debtors, a representative with the Illinois Collectors Association tells the AP. “A consumer that has been arrested or jailed can’t pay a debt. We want to work with consumers to resolve issues,” he said.

Yet Illinois isn’t the only state where residents get locked up for owing money. A 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union that focused on only five states — Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington — found that people were being jailed at “increasingly alarming rates” over legal debts. Cases ranged from a woman who was arrested four separate times for failing to pay $251 in fines and court costs related to a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction, to a mentally ill juvenile jailed by a judge over a previous conviction for stealing school supplies.

According to the ACLU: “The sad truth is that debtors’ prisons are flourishing today, more than two decades after the Supreme Court prohibited imprisoning those who are too poor to pay their legal debts. In this era of shrinking budgets, state and local governments have turned aggressively to using the threat and reality of imprisonment to squeeze revenue out of the poorest defendants who appear in their courts.”

Some states also apply “poverty penalties,” including late fees, payment plan fees, and interest when people are unable to pay all their debts at once, according to a report by the New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender.

“Many states are imposing new and often onerous ‘user fees’ on individuals with criminal convictions,” the authors of the Brennan Center report wrote. “Yet far from being easy money, these fees impose severe — and often hidden — costs on communities, taxpayers, and indigent people convicted of crimes. They create new paths to prison for those unable to pay their debts and make it harder to find employment and housing as well to meet child-support obligations.”

Such practices, heightened in recent years by the effects of the recession, amount to criminalizing poverty, say critics in urging federal authorities to intervene. “More people are unemployed, more people are struggling financially, and more creditors are trying to get their debt paid,” Madigan told the AP.

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1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed

I was just reading an article on how employers need people that are more educated. So let me get this straight…. College grads apparently aren’t even educated enough for employers because if they were then we wouldn’t be seeing this headline!

By HOPE YEN | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there’s strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor’s degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.

Taking underemployment into consideration, the job prospects for bachelor’s degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade.

“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.

Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.

Bledsoe, currently making just above minimum wage, says he got financial help from his parents to help pay off student loans. He is now mulling whether to go to graduate school, seeing few other options to advance his career. “There is not much out there, it seems,” he said.

His situation highlights a widening but little-discussed labor problem. Perhaps more than ever, the choices that young adults make earlier in life — level of schooling, academic field and training, where to attend college, how to pay for it — are having long-lasting financial impact.

“You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” says Harvard economist Richard Freeman, noting the growing risk of a debt bubble with total U.S. student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. “If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college.”

Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University who analyzed the numbers, said many people with a bachelor’s degree face a double whammy of rising tuition and poor job outcomes. “Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college,” he said, emphasizing that when it comes to jobs, a college major can make all the difference. “We’re going to need a lot better job growth and connections to the labor market, otherwise college debt will grow.”

By region, the Mountain West was most likely to have young college graduates jobless or underemployed — roughly 3 in 5. It was followed by the more rural southeastern U.S., including Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Pacific region, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, also was high on the list.

On the other end of the scale, the southern U.S., anchored by Texas, was most likely to have young college graduates in higher-skill jobs.

The figures are based on an analysis of 2011 Current Population Survey data by Northeastern University researchers and supplemented with material from Paul Harrington, an economist at Drexel University, and the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. They rely on Labor Department assessments of the level of education required to do the job in 900-plus U.S. occupations, which were used to calculate the shares of young adults with bachelor’s degrees who were “underemployed.”

About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.

Out of the 1.5 million who languished in the job market, about half were underemployed, an increase from the previous year.

Broken down by occupation, young college graduates were heavily represented in jobs that require a high school diploma or less.

In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).

According to government projections released last month, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position — teachers, college professors and accountants. Most job openings are in professions such as retail sales, fast food and truck driving, jobs which aren’t easily replaced by computers.

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National Movement Launched To Impeach Obama

Well it’s about time! The man can’t produce any real documents to even show he exists, let alone should be president!

The five core reasons why Obama should be impeached

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Thursday, April 12, 2012

A new national movement has been launched to impeach President Obama based around five core issues which clearly demonstrate how Obama has flagrantly violated the Constitution.

The campaign, backed by director, producer, actor and writer Sean Stone, is a follow-up to North Carolina Republican Walter Jones’ efforts to bring the administration to account for launching unconstitutional wars without the authorization of Congress. Jones’ recently introduced resolution states that such actions represent “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”

The five core reasons for impeachment proceedings to be launched can be summarized as follows;

1) Despite promising otherwise, Barack Obama committed U.S. military resources to overthrow Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi without any kind of congressional authorization whatsoever and without citing any evidence that Libya under Gaddafi was a threat to the security of the United States. Furthermore, Obama brazenly undermined the power of Congress by insisting his authority came from the United Nations Security Council and that Congressional approval was not necessary. “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” Obama churlishly remarked.

2) On New Years Eve 2011, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act which includes provisions that permit the abduction and military detention without trial of U.S. citizens. Despite Obama claiming he would not use the provisions to incarcerate U.S. citizens, it was his administration that specifically demanded these powers be included in the final NDAA bill.

3) The passage of the Obamacare bill, under which Americans will be forced to buy health insurance, is clearly anathema to the Constitution. “The individual mandate is unprecedented and exceeds Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. If it is allowed to stand, Congress will be able to impose any kind of economic mandate as part of any kind of national regulatory scheme,” writes Ilya Shapiro, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

4) Obama’s role in the economic looting of America since he took office is unprecedented. Specifically, Obama violated the Constitution’s Takings and Due Process Clauses when he bullied the secured creditors of automaker Chrysler into accepting 30 cents on the dollar while politically connected labor unions and preferential others received better deals.

5) Finally, Obama’s use of signing statements shows his desire to continue in the vein of George W. Bush and rule by executive fiat. This is a direct violation of Article II of the Constitution.

You can support this effort to get political momentum behind starting the impeachment process against Obama by forwarding this article and video to your network on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and every other platform of communication.

If the makers of Kony 2012 can receive international viral coverage for putting out a film that was little more than a veiled call for another unconstitutional invasion, this call to impeach Obama deserves equal attention.

Read further information about the reasons why Obama should be impeached here.

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McCain calls for U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria

Wow. Honestly it’s incredible for me to think about the atrocities taking place in the US right now (GMO chemical foods, BPA poisoning, FEMA death camps, TSA molesters, abuse of protestors etc…). Thinking of that, I’m shocked that McCain doesn’t wish to bomb the US!

The US government points their finger at other countries and says”They beat their people, torture them and kill them, they are bad!”; maybe they need to look at where the other four fingers are pointing back at.The US government “takes out” the leader of any country that tries to stand up for itself against the US tyranny. The US wants all the oil, all the money and all the power; if your country gets in their way you better watch out!

Olivier Knox | The Ticket

aying “the time has come for a new policy” in Syria, veteran Republican Senator John McCain called Monday for U.S.-led airstrikes on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in an effort to protect civilians from a bloody year-long crackdown by the regime. John McCain - Angry Old Man

“The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad’s forces,” McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“To be clear: This will require the United States to suppress enemy air defense in at least part of the country,” said McCain, who has repeatedly called in recent weeks and months for a stepped-up U.S. effort to protect Syrian civilians.

Assad has waged a year-long, deadly crackdown on opposition to his regime, drawing fierce criticism from Washington and other world powers, though Moscow and Beijing blocked a UN Security Council resolution aimed at halting the bloodshed.

The White House has sharply criticized Russia and China, but has resisted calls to arm the Syrian opposition as premature.

McCain said “the ultimate goal of airstrikes” would be “to establish and defend safe havens in Syria” where Assad’s outgunned opponents “can organize and plan their political and military activities” and points for the delivery of humanitarian and military aid “including weapons and ammunition, body armor and other personal protective equipment, tactical intelligence, secure communications equipment, food and water, and medical supplies.

“After a year of bloodshed, the crisis in Syria has reached a decisive moment,” McCain said. “Increasingly, the question for U.S. policy is not whether foreign forces will intervene militarily in Syria. We can be confident that Syria’s neighbors will do so eventually, if they have not already.”

“Some kind of intervention will happen, with us or without us. So the real question for U.S. policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial to the Syrian people, and to us. I believe we must,” the Arizona Republican said.

“However, it is not clear that the present policy can succeed. If Assad manages to cling to power — or even if he manages to sustain his slaughter for months to come, with all of the human and geopolitical costs that entails — it would be a strategic and moral defeat for the United States. We cannot, we must not, allow this to happen,” McCain said.

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Mitt Romney Confronted On NDAA; Secret Service Tells Reporter ‘Out Now’

I suppose THIS is why Mitt Romney needed to be granted Secret Service protection, right? I’d love to know why our tax dollars are being used to protect this moron…. He should be paying for his own damn security. Oh and his answer is great, we need the NDAA to maintain military superiority; really? What in God’s name is he talking about?? Sounds to me like he doesn’t even know what the NDAA is!

Robert Wanek
RobertWanekReports.com
March 3, 2012

The fact Mitt couldn’t address a short question about the NDAA and the Patriot Act is telling enough. I certainly don’t want a president whose Secret Service detail removes voters who voice their opinions, this is still America and dissent should be considered patriotism.

Mitt Romney clearly aims to aid the bankers looting of the taxpayer. He favors central banking over free markets, and meddles in the economy by supporting bailouts over bankruptcy. This man may seem well rounded in the economic department but he works for Wall Street and receives the same support as Mr. Obama from the same banks. A vote for Romney in 2012 is a vote for the status quo, the big banks, and likely higher taxes as well.

The TSA Is Coming To A Highway Near You

It’s terrible to think the people that are molesting us are not truly trained and are given a “badge” simply as a show of power.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Forbes.com
March 1, 2012

One of the great honors of my service to Tennessee is having the opportunity to represent Ft. Campbell which is home to the storied 101st Airborne, the 5th Special Forces Group and the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment which piloted Navy SEAL Team Six during the raid on Osama Bin Laden. TSA screener

Each soldier who calls Ft. Campbell home has gone through some of the most intensive training on the planet which pushed their minds and bodies to their physical limits. In the end, those who make the cut have earned the right to be part of our United States military, are honored to wear its uniform, and are serving on the frontlines in the fight against global terrorism.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our nation’s Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) who Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano contends are our nation’s last line of defense in fighting domestic terrorism. Unlike “hell week” which faces potential Navy SEALs, becoming a TSO requires a basic level of classroom and on the job training. In many cases this rigorous training is less severe than the requirements of becoming a security guard in most states.

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Obama Birth Certificate Maybe Forged, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says

Go Sheriff Joe! I knew he’s been investigating the Obama birth certificate issue but we now have the selective service issue as well. Who would have thought it? Sheriff Joe has my support on this! I corrected all the typing errors in the article…..

ABC NewsBy BEN FORER | ABC News – Thu, Mar 1, 2012

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.,said today that he and his investigators have evidence that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. He also raised questions about the authenticity of Obama’s selective service registration, though critics quickly accused him of pandering for votes.

OBAMA-BIRTH-CERTIFICATE-LONG-FORM

OBAMA-BIRTH-CERTIFICATE-LONG-FORM

“We believe probable cause exists indicating that forgery and fraud may have been committed, not only in President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, but more disturbing evidence suggests that another fraud may have been committed regarding his selected service registration card,” Arpaio, 79, said at a press conference. “Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic.”

The findings come after a six month investigation by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, a group of volunteers, many of whom have backgrounds in law enforcement.

“My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in a paper format as claimed by the White House,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio’s investigators said the issue they are most concerned with is that the “date stamp and registrar’s stamp appear to have been imported from unknown outside sources.”

Arpaio said he decided to undertake the investigation last August after members of the Tea Party asked him to do so. However, some critics say the tough-talking Arizona sheriff is using it as a way to distract from his own legal problems as he seeks a sixth term in office.

“You say I need this to get elected? Are you kidding me? I’ve been elected five times. I don’t need this,” he was quoted by The Associated Press as saying in response.

Arpaio faces a federal grand jury investigation on criminal abuse-of-power allegations; the Justice Department has accused him of racial profiling Latinos. And there has been an accusation that hundreds of sex-crime cases were inadequately investigated by his department.

Obama’s birth certificate has been called into question many times during his political career and last April the White House released copies of it in an attempt to quiet conspiracy theorists after Dondald Trump questioned whether the president was born in the U.S. as the Constitution requires.

In response to Arpaio’s press conference today, Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the Obama campaign, tweeted a link to watch the live feed of Arpaio’s announcement. The link actually led to the theme song from “The X-Files,” a TV show that played heavily on conspiracy theories.

Coincidentally, Arpaio’s press conference also came on the same day Obama’s campaign unveiled its new Facebook timeline. At the very bottom of the page it reads “Born on August 4, 1961. Made in the USA.” The post is accompanied by a photo of a coffee mug with Obama’s birth certificate on it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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