Tag Archives: Democratic Party (United States)

What does Social Security mean to you?


In one of the first acts of this session of Congress, House Republicans adopted a rule that manufactured a crisis in Social Security. Their hope is to use a manmade catastrophe in the Social Security Disability program as a Trojan horse for their attacks on Social Security as a whole.

We’re not going to let them win. Social Security has served our nation in good stead for nearly 80 years. It works, and it will continue to work so long as Republicans don’t break this sacred promise.

I want to tell my Republican colleagues exactly what an end to Social Security would mean to the American people. Help me by sharing your stories — click this link, and tell me how Social Security helps your family.

Thanks,

Ed

Fighting for Homeless Veterans in Washington State …have things improved


 

 

 

Fighting for Homeless Veterans in Washington State

Last week, I stood with fellow Democratic Senators to discuss how the Republicans’ reckless spending proposal would cut 10,000 housing vouchers that would bring homeless veterans off the streets and into supportive housing. We owe it to our veterans to provide them with the resources and support they need to put a roof over their heads. And this is just one more example of the Republicans putting politics and ideology over families, communities, and even those who have served our nation.

Read more >> http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=42ad7aa4-526c-4510-9460-f62f575451f7&ContentType_id=0b98dc1b-dd08-4df2-adac-21f6ae03beed&Group_id=97a054dd-8a74-4cd0-8771-fbc3be733874

Watch the press conference >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc9AA9ZMLy0&tracker=False

“Veterans housing program targeted”” – The Olympian http://www.theolympian.com/2011/03/11/1574690/veterans-housing-program-targeted.html

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Contrasting Republican and Democratic Budget Proposals: Reckless Cuts VS. Sensible Solutions

Last week, I spoke on the Senate floor to contrast the Republican and Democratic spending proposals currently being debated in the Senate. I am extremely disappointed that Republicans who came into office promising to work with us on helping our economy, have proposed an extreme budget that would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, devastate workers and small business across the country, and threaten our fragile economic recovery. The Democrats offered a plan to cut spending responsibly, while continuing to make the investments we need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors.

Read More >> http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=b9ac68c2-765c-46c3-ad59-9759a3ccc35a&ContentType_id=0b98dc1b-dd08-4df2-adac-21f6ae03beed&Group_id=97a054dd-8a74-4cd0-8771-fbc3be733874

Watch video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDujvIW0o20

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Standing Up for Washington State Veterans’ Caregivers

Earlier this month, I pointedly questioned Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki about the VA’s decision to limit a critical benefit for the caregivers of severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The VA’s decision, which cuts back stipends for those who have left careers behind to care for their injured loved ones, ignores the will of Congress in passing the caregivers law last year.

Read more http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=84fd8f92-b8c0-49d1-9a1e-f76af17839b8&ContentType_id=0b98dc1b-dd08-4df2-adac-21f6ae03beed&Group_id=97a054dd-8a74-4cd0-8771-fbc3be733874%5C,

 and watch the hearing >> http://veterans.senate.gov/hearings.cfm?action=release.display&release_id=5ee43015-815c-4f30-a682-7fa0115ebb63

Families of severely wounded veterans still waiting for help” – The News Tribune

“VA blasted for limits on caregiver benefits” – Army Times

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Working to Lower Tariffs on Washington State Farmers and Growers

I was encouraged by the announcement made by President Barack Obama and President of Mexico Felipe Calderón earlier this month that they had reached an agreement on a path forward for resolving the cross-border trucking dispute and ending the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. The Mexican government has committed to suspending 50% of the tariffs once a final rule is published and an agreement is signed. The other 50% of the tariffs will be suspended when the program commences. While this agreement is absolutely encouraging, I am deeply disappointed that the Mexican government has refused to immediately lift the tariffs that are devastating Washington state farmers and growers.

Over the past two years, I have pressured the Obama Administration to work with the Mexican government to remove retaliatory tariffs on Washington state farmers and growers. Earlier this year, I praised an announcement by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood that the Administration would be moving forward with a proposal to negotiate an end to Mexican tariffs on agricultural products. I criticized the Mexican government’s response to this proposal when they refused to make any changes to the list of products affected by the tariffs. Their newest agreement is a step in the right direction and I will continue calling on the Mexican government to immediately drop these harmful tariffs.

http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=NewsReleases&ContentRecord_id=a2aa1596-544f-46f4-ba8f-d37ec06c049b&ContentType_id=0b98dc1b-dd08-4df2-adac-21f6ae03beed&Group_id=97a054dd-8a74-4cd0-8771-fbc3be733874

“Mexico tariffs on ag products may end” – Yakima Herald-Republic >> http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/03/03/mexico-tariffs-may-end

To comment: http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe

FDR had something to say about voting


Franklin D. Roosevelt once said

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

Feminism …


by The Thinker-Writer January 31, 2010
 The belief that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. These people can be either male or female human beings, although the ideology is commonly (and perhaps falsely) associated mainly with women.The basic idea of Feminism revolves around the principle that just because human bodies are designed to perform certain procreative functions, biological elements need not dictate intellectual and social functions, capabilities, and rights.Feminism also, by its nature, embraces the belief that all people are entitled to freedom and liberty within reason–including equal civil rights–and that discrimination should not be made based on gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, culture, or lifestyle. Feminists–and all persons interested in civil equality and intellectuality–are dedicated to fighting the ignorance that says people are controlled by and limited to their biology.
Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. However, you should still hold the door for a feminist; this is known as respect or politeness and need have nothing whatever to do with gender discrimination.
by The Thinker-Writer January 31, 2010
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So, why did I go to urban dictionary for the definition of Feminism?

beaseedforchangestickersGREENI got my Cosmo in the mail and while the fashions are fun some gaudy others worthy of a second look or two most are out of my price and age range, but when I see hair and beauty products well now that is a whole different response entirely. As I was thumbing through one of many magazines, which is another bad habit, an article about feminism popped up and yes folks are questioning Beyoncé among others with headlines such as … “Can you be Sexy and a Feminist” or as Cosmo asks, “Can you be a Sexy Feminist? It was a quick read and in all honesty I don’t spend a whole lot of my time dissecting labels, but I will say that being a feminist used to be defined as a woman who didn’t appreciate men some said they despised them. We were advised to always question the roles of men & women, demand equal access to education, hard core feminist suggested being a companion, forget about being happily married least we acquiesce simply because we are women. I don’t subscribe to hating on men, I like men on several levels, that includes my dad, my kids father, my son and a couple of boss’ who happened to be male. As a side note on a political level, Republican men are the bane of our existence in my opinion. When it comes to being an active participant, I have to admit, I too, have danced to fabulous music with either or both having misogynistic and chauvinistic words. It’s definitely not something I used to think about while dancing, but I have gotten upset when it became clear what is being said; generally this kind of talk would get a whole different response if these words were being exchanged through a conversation.   However, it does appear that the word feminism and or being a feminist in this 21st society is ever changing ever evolving to being about a belief in equality and the rights of everyone in all its forms and genders. I see the urban dictionary as being a place not only run by a younger group of folks but who use it and research the “stuff” they post. I admit to not referring to the urban dictionary that much,but found the post in the process of searching what younger folks felt about the comments on who is or can be a feminist, it caught my eye.  As you read on, Cosmo asked stars like lady gaga, lana del rey and taylor swift just to name a few, but when Pharrell was asked he stated, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to be (a feminist). I’m a man, but I do support feminists.”

Anyway, an article worth reading in Cosmo September 2014 ~~ Nativegrl77

What do you think? Is being a feminist gender specific?

 

African Americans 15th Amendment and SCOTUS


www.crf-usa.org

Following the Civil War, Radical Republicans in Congress introduced a series of laws and constitutional amendments to try to secure civil and political rights for black people. This wing of the Republican Party was called “radical” because of its strong stance on these and other issues. The right that provoked the greatest controversy, especially in the North, concerned black male suffrage: the right of the black man to vote.

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In 1867, Congress passed a law requiring the former Confederate states to include black male suffrage in their new state constitutions. Ironically, even though African American men began voting in the South after 1867, the majority of Northern states continued to deny them this basic right.

In the North, the Republican’s once-huge voter majority over the Democratic Party was declining. Radical Republican leaders feared that they might lose control of Congress to the Democrats.

One solution to this problem called for including the black man’s vote in all Northern states. Republicans assumed the new black voters would vote Republican just as their brothers were doing in the South. By increasing its voters in the North and South, the Republican Party could then maintain its stronghold in Congress.

The Republicans, however, faced an incredible dilemma. The idea of blacks voting was not popular in the North. In fact, several Northern states had recently voted against black male suffrage.

In May 1868, the Republicans held their presidential nominating convention in Chicago and chose Ulysses S. Grant as their candidate. The Republicans agreed that African-American male suffrage continued to be a requirement for the Southern states, but decided that the Northern states should settle this issue for themselves.

Grant was victorious in the election of 1868, but this popular general won by a surprisingly slim margin. It was clear to Republican leaders that if they were to remain in power, their party needed the votes of black men in the North.

The 15th Amendment

When the new year began in 1869, the Republicans were ready to introduce a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the black man’s right to vote. For two months, Congress considered the proposed amendment. Several versions of the amendment were submitted, debated, rejected and then reconsidered in both the House and Senate.

Finally, at the end of February 1869, Congress approved a compromise amendment that did not even specifically mention the black man:

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Once approved by the required two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, the 15th Amendment had to be ratified by 28, or three-fourths, of the states. Due to the reconstruction laws, black male suffrage already existed in 11 Southern states. Since almost all of these states were controlled by Republican reconstruction governments, they could be counted on to ratify the 15th Amendment. Supporters of the 15th Amendment needed only 17 of the remaining 26 Northern and Western states in order to succeed. At this time, just nine of these states allowed the black man to vote. The struggle for and against ratification hung on what blacks and other political interests would do.

The Blacks

Only days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox in April, 1865, black abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. In his speech, Douglass explained why the black man wanted the right to vote “in every state of the Union”:

It is said that we are ignorant; admit it. But if we know enough to be hung, we know enough to vote. If the Negro knows enough to pay taxes to support government, he knows enough to vote; taxation and representation should go together. If he knows enough to shoulder a musket and fight for the flag for the government, he knows enough to vote ….What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice.

While Congress debated the 15th Amendment early in 1869, 150 black men from 17 states assembled for a convention in Washington, D.C. This was the first national meeting of black Americans in the history of the United States. Frederick Douglass was elected president of the convention.

The delegates praised the Republicans in Congress for passing the reconstruction laws and congratulated General Grant on his election to the White House. They also pledged their continued support of the Republican Party.

Those attending the convention also spent time meeting with members of Congress, encouraging them to pass a strong amendment guaranteeing black male suffrage nationwide. When the meeting adjourned, the delegates were confident that a new era of democracy for the black man was about to begin.

bhm15thamendmentcelebrationsm
A poster celebrates the passage of the 15th Amendment. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Democrats

The Democrats realized they were fighting for political survival. They feared ratification of the 15th Amendment would automatically create some 170,000 loyal black Republican voters in the North and West.

In debates over the amendment, Democrats argued against the ratification by claiming that the 15th Amendment restricted the states’ rights to run their own elections. The Democrats also charged the Republicans with breaking their promise of allowing the states, outside the South, to decide for themselves whether to grant black male suffrage. Democrat leaders cited the low level of literacy in the black population and they predicted black voters would be easily swayed by false promises and outright bribery.

Victory, Then Tragedy

Despite Democratic opposition, the Republicans steadily won ratification victories throughout 1869. Ironically, it was a Southern state, Georgia that clinched the ratification of the 15th Amendment on February 2, 1870.

On March 30, President Grant officially proclaimed the 15th Amendment as part of the Constitution. Washington and many other American cities celebrated. More than 10,000 blacks paraded through Baltimore. In a speech on May 5, 1870, Frederick Douglass rejoiced. “What a country — fortunate in its institutions, in its 15th Amendment, in its future.”

The jubilation over victory did not last long. While Republicans acquired loyal black voters in the North, the South was an entirely different matter. The Ku Klux Klan and other violent racist groups intimidated black men who tried to vote, or who had voted, by burning their homes, churches and schools, even by resorting to murder.

When the election for president in 1876 ended with a dispute over electoral votes, the Republicans made a deal with the Southern Democrats. First, the Southerners agreed to support Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes for president. In turn, the Republicans promised to withdraw troops from the South and abandon federal enforcement of black’s rights, including the right to vote.

Within a few years, the Southern state governments required blacks to pay voting taxes, pass literacy tests and endure many other unfair restrictions on their right to vote. In Mississippi, 67 percent of the black adult men were registered to vote in 1867; by 1892 only 4 percent were registered. The political deal to secure Hayes as president rendered the 15th Amendment meaningless. Another 75 years passed before black voting rights were again enforced in the South.

For Discussion and Writing

  1. What was the “Republican dilemma” in 1868?
  2. During the ratification of the 15th Amendment, women’s suffrage leaders were told that it was “the Negro’s hour.” What did this mean? How did Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony respond to this argument? Do you think they did the right thing? Why or why not?

For Further Reading

Douglass, Frederick. Frederick Douglass; selections from his writings, edited, with an introduction, by Philip S. Foner. New York International Press, 1964.

Gillette, William. The Right to Vote: Politics and Passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1965.


A C T I V I T Y


Voting Rights Convention

In this activity, you will have a chance to re create history by going back to the year 1868 to participate in a voting rights convention. You will be assigned to a group that had a particular viewpoint on voting rights in 1868. Your group and four others at the convention will write a voting rights amendment to recommend to Congress. In this way, your class will have the opportunity to improve upon the original 15th Amendment that was passed by Congress early in 1869. For the purposes of this activity, it does not matter what your own sex or race is when you are assigned to one of the convention groups listed below.

Voting Rights Convention Groups: Republicans, Blacks, Abolitionists, Woman Suffragists, Democrats

  1. At random, assign each student to one of the five groups listed above.
  2. You should first re read the section of the article relating to your group (For example, Republicans should read “The Republican Dilemma.”)
  3. Next, discuss with your group what you think your purpose should be at this voting rights convention. For example, is your group in favor of a voting rights amendment? If so, what should it include? Write your purpose on a sheet of paper and have your teacher check it.
  4. Now re read the section titled, “The 15th Amendment.” If you are a member of the “Blacks” or “Abolitionists” also re-read the last section, “Victory, Then Tragedy.”
  5. With the other members of your group, write your own voting rights amendment. Remember to pay attention to the views and purpose of your group at this convention. You can use the wording of the actual 15th Amendment as a guide, but try to change or improve it from your group’s point of view.
  6. All the amendments written at the convention should now be put on the board. Each group with a proposed amendment should explain it to the entire convention. Members of other groups may ask questions or argue against it at this time.
  7. Finally, the convention members should vote on which voting rights amendment to recommend to Congress. However, the rules of the convention require that in order for an amendment to be recommended, two thirds of the convention members must approve it. If none of the proposed amendments receives at least two thirds of the convention votes, the group members should try to negotiate a compromise amendment that will attract the support of the other groups.
  8. After completing this activity, contrast your convention’s amendment with the original 15th Amendment. How are they different? Is the convention amendment better? Why? If the convention amendment had been ratified in 1870, would it have made any difference to black voters, women or other groups in American society?

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