Where the poor and rich really spend their money

15 Apr

Lawmakers in several states are urging limits on how welfare recipients use public benefits, suggesting that the poor are buying things like lobster, filet mignon, vacations aboard cruise ships and visits to psychics. It’s an open question whether the problem these proposals aim to solve actually exists, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics just helpfully released new data on how the poor — and the rich — spend their money.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/14/where-the-poor-and-rich-spend-really-spend-their-money/?tid=sm_fb

Florida’s tactic to avoid same-sex marriages

7 Jan

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/01/05/3607850/florida-courthouse-weddings/

14 counties in Florida ban courthouse marriages as a response to a new marriage equality law.

Noam Chomsky on Israel-Palestine Oct 2014

29 Nov

In U.N. Speech, Noam Chomsky Blasts United States for Supporting Israel, Blocking Palestinian State
This is from Democracy Now. Speech and transcript at:
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/11/27/in_un_speech_noam_chomsky_blasts

Executive orders

21 Nov

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/every-presidents-executive-actions-in-one-chart/

Every President’s Executive Orders In One Chart

1:41 PMNOV 20 By DHRUMIL MEHTA

President Obama is due to announce an executive action Thursday, one that will change the legal status of millions of immigrants and is likely to be remembered as a major effort to change the country’s immigration system. The action would reportedly allow up to 4 million undocumented immigrants legal work status, and an additional 1 million protection from deportation. It would be one of the most wide-reaching executive actions in history.

That has made Republicans furious. The New York Times has a good roundup of the reaction, including quotes from Sens. John Cornyn (“I believe his unilateral action, which is unconstitutional and illegal, will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform”) and Tom Coburn (“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation”). The spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner has called the president “Emperor Obama,” implying that the executive action is an unlawful decree, and Sen. Ted Cruz said on Fox News that “the president is behaving in an unprecedented way.”

If it’s unprecedented, it’s because of the scope of the executive action, not the executive action itself. For decades, executive orders have been a fairly common tool for U.S. presidents. We looked at data from the American Presidency Project and found that the use of executive orders peaked in the era of the New Deal (FDR set the record) and has been on the decline since. In the past 100 years, Democrats have used them more than Republicans. Here’s every president’s tally per year that he served in office.

Maternity leave in the US compared to other nations

19 Nov

The US is one of very few nations in the world that do not have paid maternity leave. The site below gives a great summary in three minutes.

Blacks Less Likely To Sell Drugs, Much More Likely To Be Arrested For It: Study

2 Oct

The chart shows that arrests of African-Americans for violent and property crimes have gone down since 1980 but drug related arrests have skyrocketed. Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for selling drugs and 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for possessing them, Brookings Institute found.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/01/black-people-arrest_n_5914566.html

Welfare testing

9 Aug

Here’s What Happened When Tennessee Decided to Drug Test Its Welfare Recipients

http://mic.com/articles/95794/here-s-what-happened-when-tennessee-decided-to-drug-test-its-welfare-recipients?utm_source=policymicFB&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social

This article mentions Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida’s use of drug testing welfare recipients. Florida’s program was eliminated as a violation of the fourth amendment http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/court-upholds-injunction-on-drug-testing-florida-welfare-recipients/1276670.

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