Al Sharpton launches hunger strike over Loretta Lynch vote; Republicans use abortion fight to block attorney general confirmation for Loretta Lynch; Hilary Clinton takes a firm stance on driver’s licenses for undocumented workers; Brazilian Model Gisele Bundchen takes her last cat walk in São Paulo; and GOP Presidential Contender Marco Rubio says he attended a gay wedding. All this and more, please follow the links below.
Every Thursday I post a miscellaneous blog/article/post that I’ve written in the past or an interview of an extraordinary individual.
This week’s Throwback Thursday edition: The IRS, A New Face to Jim Crow
I wrote this political report exactly one year ago today in lieu of the IRS scandal, which the IRS discriminated against multiple tea party groups in their struggle to gain “tax exemption” status. The purpose behind this was to educate my audience on how the same tactics used by the IRS (to discriminate against the Tea Party) also resembled the same tactics used against African Americans in their struggle to gain a crucial right from the U.S. Constitution: The Right To Vote. And how it took 100 years to gain this right, versus 2-4 years to gain “tax exemption” status from the IRS. We may come from different walks of life, but we all experience the same hardships
To read this post, click on the link below
Every week I write a political issue that affects YOU and the WORLD AROUND YOU.
On a cold Friday evening, May 10, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service admitted that it made “mistakes” in the last few years by targeting multiple tea party groups in their quest to obtain 501(c)(4) status or “tax-exemption” status. This is, by far, the biggest shock to have ever shook Washington and America.
It has been reported that approximately 75 groups were singled out because of their use of words like “tea party” or “patriot” in their tax documents. This information came to life when Lois Lerner, the woman responsible for overseeing tax-exempt groups, had a conference call with an unnamed source about certain complaints. And as a result, members of the Tea Party and conservatives alike were outraged–demanding explanations and justice from the both the White House and the Department of Justice.
The biggest demand came from House Speaker, John Boehner, who said “Who’s going to jail?” However, the biggest criticism came from Florida Senator Marco Rubio who called the President’s actions as “Third World tactics” in three different scandals: Benghazi, Department of Justice probe in the phone records of journalists, and this one (the IRS)–for targeting political opponents.
So, the reason why I titled this WPR (Weekly Political Report) as “A New Face to Jim Crow–The IRS” is that the same tactics used against the Tea Party resembles the same tactics used against African Americans in their struggle to gain a crucial right in the U.S. constitution: The Right to Vote. (which is still under attack today)
For those of you who may not know what is “Jim Crow,” it is a political maneuver used by politicians, after the Civil War, to disenfranchise African-Americans in the South (and in the North) from voting. Famous names such “The Grandfather Clause,” “English Proficiency Test,” etc. were used to prevent African-Americans from voting. It would not be until 1965, (100 years later) that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would grant African-Americans the right to vote.
Now in contrast to the “Jim Crow” scandal back in the 1860s, the IRS wanted names of donors, print outs of Facebook posts, minutes of board meetings, and ironically enough lists of books read, from tea party groups, in order to grant them “tax-exemption” status. But it would only take 2-4 years to gain “tax exemption” status versus 100 years to gain “the right to vote” status.
The point of issue in this “IRS scandal” as well as the “Voting Rights scandal” in the 1860s is this:
A group (or institution) intentionally targeted 2nd class citizens and denied them equal access to certain rights through means of harsh scrutiny.
I do not want to speculate that the IRS did this for financial gain or some political motive, but the fact of the matter is that the IRS did scrutinize a particular group based on their political affiliation.
Jay Carney, who is the White House Press Secretary, says that “The IRS is an independent agency with only two political appointees under the division of the Treasury Department.” And its job (defined by Rick Hansen, law professor at University of Ca–Irvine) is “to ensure that these groups (or any donor groups) are not primarily involved with any campaign-related activities.”
So not only has this scandal brought to light on what measures the IRS uses to approve “tax exemption” status but a forgotten history of the African American struggle–the fight for voting rights–which all U.S. citizens should recognize.
We may come from different walks of life, but we all experience the same hardships.
Political Implications after the “IRS scandal”:
1.) Heavy partisanship in the next budget talks,
2.) Furloughs in the federal sector
3.) 2014 election cycle
4.) Job training, after total makeover of IRS Procedures
“The IRS wants you to share everything” (Politico)
“IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups” (Politico)
“Following Tea Party Complaints, IRS Admits Mistakes” (CNN)
- Weekly Political Report: Operation Blowback – How Recent Boston Attacks and Gun Violence Are Changing The Political Landscape (princesdailyjournal.com)
- The Federal Fight For “Just” and “Unjust” Laws by Prince Sefa-Boakye
Every week I will write a political issue that affects you and the world on you.
This week: Immigration
“Immigration Today? or Immigration Tomorrow? Stay Tuned for the Next Episode..”
Who would have thought that “Immigration Reform” could be the number one hit drama reality series in American Politics? For 10 episodes Politicians were behind Immigration Reform, but now face impasse? What is going on with Immigration Reform that has been stopped in its tracks? We’ve been waiting for at least eight years for a comprehensive Immigration reform (especially now with conservative support) but it looks like it will be another re-run episode. So what is really going then?
Here are the some of the issues (or episodes I would say) that Congress are facing and what are making “Immigration Reform” the number one hit series in American Politics.
Ep. 1.: Pathway to Citizenship
Fact: There is an estimated 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants in America. Hurdle: accommodating 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants legal status. And so in this episode it’s not so much the philosophy of citizenship but how to accommodate all 11 million immigrants.
The prospects of a bipartisan immigration deal, improved dramatically when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups approved deal on working visas, but the real test will come after the Senate’s Gang of Eight reveals in FINE PRINT the entire reform package next week.
The hurdles to obtaining probationary legal status would be minimal: a small fine and a criminal background check–but the idea that illegal immigrants will be gaining easier access to citizenship than legal immigrants (that have waited in line for their citizenship) does paint a condescending image. However, no image is worse than seeing children being taken away from their parents.The Gang of Eight have already made it clear that they want to make it easy for all undocumented workers to get citizenship, however, it’s about accommodating all 11 million immigrants–in terms of legal permanent addresses.
Ep. 2.: Anger “Conservative Media” Management
It’s no surprise that Fox News, and conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh are notorious for shredding every proposed legislation from the White House and from the Democratic party. But now with new conservative support, in the Senate Gang of Eight, conservative talk show hosts must hold their tongues or face another let down in the Latino community. It’s not that they hate Latinos, they just don’t want to “show” or “express” that they do.
In other news, Facebook is pushing immigration reform into High Tech Gear. The 28 year-old billionaire Mark Zuckerberg will be joining religious leaders, agricultural workers, advocacy groups and law makers to stump for immigration reform. Facebook will be officially launching a bipartisan team early this month.
To Follow Facebook Story: Tech Immigration Push
Ep. 3: Businesses Barking up the Wrong Immigration Tree.
A deal has just been made between by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups: to provide visas for low-skilled workers. A deal which some to believe would clear a path for immigration reform in the Senate, but instead, business are already barking at it; and are ready to go full throttle to tear it down dooming yet again an impasse. Construction industries and several business lobbyists industries, are saying the following: “Deeply concerned” about the temporary worker program; the cap on construction visas is “simply unrealistic and destined to fail”; “guest worker program fails to provide sufficient number of visas to meet market demand”; “guest worker programs will make it harder to fill critical labor openings”; and “guest worker programs will make it impossible to secure the border.”
The two main issues that are coming from a lot of business are: employment verification and capping the overflow of foreign workers in the U.S.. Labor unions have already successfully lobbied to cap 200,000 low-skilled foreign workers. Even though this deal would cap 15,000 visas per year to construction occupations, construction groups are arguing that adding another cap would hurt the recovering construction economy–and that the cap should be based on market demand, since this industry employs 6 million workers.
Since I am not an expert on subject matter of economics, it’s really hard for me to determine what is the market demand for construction workers–to make this argument a valid one? However, Tamar Jacoby, a spokesman from ImmigrationWorks USA (a coalition of business groups) praised the efforts of this deal while at the same time pointed its problematic flaws: “The Republican Senators in the Gang of Eight did the best they could..but the deal was skewed by union demands…the program is too small.” Jacoby along with Steve Calderia (CEO of International Franchise Association) believe that a guest worker program that permits a market based supply of a lower-skill worker is essential. Without it no reform bill would exist.
Ep. 4: Congress: Welcome to the Congressional House of Pain
Where all legislative bills begin and end life, passing a comprehensive Immigration Reform bill through both the House and Senate will take every ounce of will-power and most importantly bipartisan tolerance, If America wants to do right with Latino-voting Community. In Congress, everyone seems to be on the same page on Immigration, but not everyone seems to be turning the page at the same time.
Marco Rubio–Florida Latino Republican, Member of the The Gang of Eight, and last hope for a bipartisan immigration deal–has expressed deep concerns of the immigration reform process, saying that he wishes to call for “extensive hearings on the soon-to-be-unveiled immigration bill.” In other words, Marco Rubio along with other prominent Republicans wishes to slow down than rush legal citizenship–more importantly the word “amnesty” offends a lot of Republicans.
“I think this is a very high risk operation and a very dangerous game,” said Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.), a leading critic of the effort. “I think that if we have a bill that includes amnesty for people who knowingly broke the law, there will be strong opposition, said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). “Just because you’re eligible to apply for a green card doesn’t mean you get it on that day.” says Sen. Marco Rubio. Democrats on the other hand wishes to see the process of Immigration Reform much faster.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy vowed to move swiftly on immigration legislation despite conservative cowardice. Leahy: “I have every intention of ensuring that debate and consideration of any future comprehensive immigration reform will be thorough..I will however remain mindful of the urgent need for us to actually get to the work of debating and considering amendments without unnecessary delay.” A slow down of the legislative process would undermine any bipartisanship to pass this bill–this has been going on since it was introduced in the Bush Administration years–however one thing still remains: Can Marco Rubio buy it or sell it?
Rubio is the lead actor in this episode, and he is the face of bipartisanship. He must decide whether to join the Senate group and unite to defeat controversial amendments or to side fellow conservatives who want to move the bill further to the right, even if it may upset the fragile bipartisan coalition. Not only that but the House must approve it. And they (which is the controlled Republican majority), have their own amendments in mind that they would like to see added onto the bill: undocumented immigrants must “plead guilty” to breaking immigration laws before even considering their legal status.
5.) Who’s gonna pick up the Check?
Every idea is great but who is going to finance it? Better yet who is going to pick up the check? American tax payer money or from thin air? The main argument of why not to push Immigration Reform too quickly is that it’s too costly. Here’s is what the mathematical equation would look like if immigration reform does pass into law:
11 million undocumented immigrants (X) the cost of one immigrant to receive English and civic training (X) the cost of one immigrant to gain access to Medicare and Obamacare benefits (+) Increase border security= $$$$$
The Center for immigration Studies, a major conservative critic of a comprehensive bill, released a study Tuesday predicting that the government would have to incur an average cost of $2,000 for each immigrant who would be brought into the system. Sen Jim DeMint (R-SC) plans to soon release cost estimates, arguing that federal benefits eventually given to millions of additional green card holders and citizens would worsen the country’s already dire fiscal situation.
These are the Episodes that are making Immigration Reform the number one hit drama series in American Politics Stay tuned next week, to see the unveiling of the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Reform package.