Tom Perez Pledges to Repair and Unite Democrats
TIME – Newly elected Democratic national chairman Tom Perez pledged on Sunday to unite a fractured party, rebuild at all levels from “school board to the Senate” and reach out to chunks of rural America left feeling forgotten in the 2016 election.
Speaking in television interviews, Perez indicated that an important first step was joining with vanquished rival Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who agreed at Perez’s invitation to serve as the Democratic National Committee’s deputy chairman. Perez said the two would work hard to put out an affirmative party message while opposing President Donald Trump’s policies, adding that he and Ellison were already getting a “good kick” that Trump was stirred to tweet that the DNC election was “rigged.
We No Longer Have Three Branches of Government
Político – For more than a dozen years, teaching government classes to graduate students at Harvard and Princeton, I filled my students’ heads with facts that no longer seem to be true. They have become “alternate facts,” or perhaps just outdated ones.
It has been my habit to begin each semester by slowly taking students through the Constitution, each article and section in turn, emphasizing not only each provision but why it was included. Fundamental to the constitutional process, I taught, was the unique delineation of authority and responsibility: the separation of powers that so cleanly distinguished American government from those that had gone before it. There were three branches, independent of each other, with varied duties and roughly equal. The greater power—overtaxing, spending, deciding whether to go to war, confirming members of the president’s Cabinet and justices of the Supreme Court—had been placed in the Congress, I said, because while the Founders had created a republic, they also added a sprinkling of democracy: The people would choose who would do the actual governing.
Crowdfunding A Century-old Fight for Voting Rights
The Atlantic – Rodney Cruz was born an American citizen. He did a tour in Iraq during 10 years in the Army, and was wounded on the battlefield three times, eventually suffering a traumatic brain injury. His enlistment followed in the footsteps of many of his relatives, an unbroken line of military service. Five successive generations of his family have put their lives on the line for the country, but like four million other Americans in the U.S. territories, Cruz, as a resident of Guam, is constitutionally barred from voting in federal elections.
But with some help from a brand-new legal platform, Cruz intends to change that.
As the founder of the Iraq-Afghanistan Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific, Cruz is one of the lead plaintiffs in the Segovia v. Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners’ case, a lawsuit seeking to challenge the prohibition on residents of U.S. territories voting in federal elections. The suit is one of several recent legal challenges around the issue of voting rights, sovereignty, and citizenship in the U.S. territories.
Republicans Showing Their Hand on ACA
CW – Late last week, Politico released a leaked 105-page draft bill defining the House Republican plan to repeal/replace/repair/re-whatever the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. The draft legislation was dated February 10, so likely it’s already out of date, though it is the best indication yet of their rapidly evolving intentions and fits with many of their prior recent proposals. So a big GOP move is getting close, and it’s not good. What’s important?
First, the ACA’s generous coverage expansion (for many, not all) through Medicaid expansion and private insurance subsidies would be drastically curtailed, leaving most of the 22 million who got either form of coverage without an affordable option.
When Congressman Didn’t Show, Texans Found a Replacement
Houston Chronicle – When their congressman didn’t show for a town hall meeting, a group of residents in the Texas Panhandle found a stand-in for him.
Constituents of U.S. Rep. Joedy Arrington made a cardboard cutout of the freshman Republican. Then, they held the meeting.
The meeting on Saturday at Texas Tech in Lubbock drew about 100 people. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal described the crowd as primarily Lubbock area Democrats, some elected officials and a handful of Arrington supporters.