The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is harshly criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) potential alternative to the DREAM Act — an idea that has yet to be proposed in a bill, but has provided the Republican Party with a perceived method for appeasing Latino voters — because Rubio won’t support a full path to citizenship. Without providing a path to citizenship and access to higher education for qualified undocumented youth, the USCCB believes that young immigrants will be “at risk of living as second class citizens in our society.”
The USCCB has supported the DREAM Act for the past several years, and a new action alert on the Justice for Immigrants section of its website reinforces this position by urging Catholics to pressure their legislators to pass the DREAM Act immediately. In the text of the action alert, the Bishops have some choice words for Sen. Rubio’s expressed opposition to passing the DREAM Act in its entirety:
The changes to the DREAM Act offered by Sen. Rubio would create a permanent underclass of people who would be unable to receive the benefits and protections as American citizens. The U.S. Catholic bishops firmly believe that DREAM Act eligible youth should have an opportunity to earn their citizenship.
While Sen. Rubio is to be commended for engaging in the issue of bringing a segment of the undocumented population out of the shadows, the current version of the DREAM Act is a better legislative vehicle than the any of the proposed alternatives. [The DREAM Act] is a thoughtful and sensible solution to the difficulties faced by many undocumented young immigrants who live in our communities and attend U.S. high schools, both respecting their human dignity and upholding our ideals of American citizenship.
Another Florida Republican, Rep. David Rivera, has also introduced an alternative to the DREAM Act — however, Rep. Rivera’s bill also fails to live up to the Catholic Bishop’s standards, since it severely complicates and limits the path to citizenship for young immigrants. As the Bishops point out, “Senator Rubio’s and Representative Rivera’s proposals would not serve the best interest of our nation. The vast majority of DREAM-eligible youth are, for practical purposes, Americans.”
Yup. Hopefully, she'll still be okay, with antibiotic still doing its work. Sigh. She's so sweet, she even was quiet and docile at the vet's office. I don't like to think about her not being around.
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Sheldon Adelson wants to buy your democracy (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)Conservative billionaires aren't even pretending anymore.
Billionaire conservative casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped keep Newt Gingrich?s failed presidential campaign alive during the Republican primaries, is giving $10 million to the super PAC supporting the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Karl Rove is expecting to raise at least $300 million, and expect hundreds of millions more to flow to Romney's Super PAC and other allied groups. They have already outspent us 4-1 through June. Did Justice Kennedy really think this wouldn't happen when he wrote that corporate spending in elections "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption"? Our democracy is now for sale to the highest bidder. If that's not corruption, then what is?
Not that money is everything, as we saw last night in the special election in Arizona's 8th congressional district, or as we've seen in the Ohio Senate race where Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown has weathered millions in negative advertising surprisingly well. (And since I wrote that post, the Super PAC tally is now $10 million, and Brown is still holding strong.)
But money has incredible power in our politics, and without the help of our own gazillionaires, the GOP machine will have the ability to put their finger on the scale?from the presidential race all the way down to school boards.
Meanwhile, our billionaires aren't stepping forward to counter this flood of outside money. But what if our billionaires could help shut down that conservative money spigot? Here's how:
Announce that liberal billionaires will match conservative Super PAC spending on a 1:1 ratio.
Hear me out.
The Sheldon Adelsons of the GOP are dumping in tens of millions because they want to drown out progressives from the airwaves. And as long as races like Wisconsin show that our side isn't playing fire with fire, they're emboldened to maintain or even increase their high level of engagement (in other words, write bigger and bigger checks to Karl Rove).
But if suddenly their dollars are cancelled out by ours, the impact of their expenditures is lessened and their motivation to keep spending big is eroded. Why spend money trying to buy an election when your money isn't providing your team with a competitive advantage?
So that's my theory. The counterargument is that we'd have an arms race, like the old U.S.-U.S.S.R. nuclear arms buildup. But I figure that when it comes to writing personal checks, those billionaires would opt for writing fewer of them. They didn't get rich by throwing money away needlessly.
Of course it's easy for me to gamble with someone else's money. But the alternative is too depressing to consider. Our money people need to pony up, so why not do so in a way that could potentially demotivate the other side?
The Gold Report: Last February, you forecast that stocks would rebound in 2012. What signs indicate that’s about to happen?
Charles Oliver: I had expected that the money from the European version of quantitative easing would start to get into circulation and, with the continuing debasement of currencies, be very positive for gold and other asset classes. However, I miscalculated how weak the banks of Europe actually are; most have very weak balance sheets. Indeed, they took most of that money to try and prop themselves up and keep afloat.
Having said that, I maintain my long-term thesis, … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: Euro Debt Crisis is Good for Gold and Silver: Sprott Money Manager Charles Oliver
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Another way to make it to the convention...
The competition is open to all students, from ages 16 to 28, in any field of study, anywhere in the world. New York Times photographer, Tyler Hicks will determine the winner. Submit your entry today!
All entries must be submitted in digital format through our online entry form. To enter, read the Official Rules, go to our online entry form and follow the step-by-step directions on that page. Submit an original photograph, taken by you, that captures the spirit of the Competition challenge question(s): “What does democracy or tyranny look like?” or, “What does justice or injustice look like?” (“Photograph”). Include a title for the Photograph, a written description (500 characters or less) of the “moment” captured and how it reflects what democracy/tyranny/justice/injustice means to you (“Description”), the location where the Photograph was taken, and the names of any persons in the Photograph (if known).
Your entry must comply with the following requirements (the “Entry Requirements”):
- All photograph submissions must be 5 megabytes or smaller, must be in JPEG or JPG format, and must be at least 1,600 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,600 pixels tall (if a vertical image).
- Photographs cannot be enhanced or altered and should be a representative image of a moment that reflects on the theme of the competition.
- Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud. When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close up of another person’s art.
- The Photograph and the Description, each in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Competition entrant. By entering the Competition, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted Photograph and Description are original works created solely by the entrant and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Photograph or the Description.
- No signature, stamp or other identifying mark is allowed anywhere on the entry.
- Though you retain copyright in each image submitted, the digital image file(s) submitted will not be returned or acknowledged.
- Obscene, provocative, or otherwise objectionable content will not be considered, and such determination is solely at the discretion of Sponsor.
- Each entrant may submit up to ten (10) Photographs and accompanying Descriptions.
The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as described in the Official Rules.
All entries must be submitted and received by Saturday June 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm EDT. Proof of submission is not proof of receipt.
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When JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon appeared earlier today before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, he wasn't exactly an unfamiliar face to the members or they to him. He and JPMorgan Chase PACs have been generous contributors to committee senators in both parties. So when he said in response to a question from Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker that "we?ll do whatever you want, we?ll even get apartments down here" to consult with Congress on financial regulations, it was hard not to wonder why he didn't just offer to move into one of the senators' spare bedrooms.
Matters only got moderately testy in the two-hour hearing when Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) pushed Dimon a bit:
Merkley: In 2008 and 2009, your company benefited from half a trillion in low-cost federal loans, $25 billion in TARP loans, of TARP funds. Untold billions indirectly through the bailout of AIG that helped address your massive exposure in repurchase agreements and derivatives. With all of that in mind, wouldn't JPMorgan have gone down without the massive federal intervention, both directly and indirectly in 2008 or 2009?
Dimon: I think you were misinformed and I think that misinformation is leading to a lot of the problems we're having today. JPMorgan took TARP because we were asked to by the Secretary of Treasury of the United States of America with the FDIC in the room, head of the New York Fed, Tim Geithner, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. We did not at that point need TARP. We were asked to because we were told, I think correctly so that if the nine banks there, and some may have needed it, take this TARP we can get it to all these other banks and stop the system from going down.
Merkley: I'm going to cut you...
Dimon: It is not that we did not borrow from the Federal Reserve, except when they asked us to. They said please use these facilities to make it easier for other...
Merkley: We would all like to be asked...
Dimon: And we were not bailed out by AIG, OK? If AIG itself?we would have had a direct loss of maybe $1 billion or $2 billion when AIG went down. And we would have been okay.
Merkley: Then you have a difference of opinion with many analysts in the situation who felt that AIG bailout did benefit you enormously. And I'm not [having that argument] with you now, sir.
Dimon: They're factually wrong.
Merkley: This is not your hearing. I'm asking you to respond to questions and I also only have five minutes. So, let's agree to disagree. But I think that many analysts have reached the conclusion that if you had applied that Old Testament justice in 2008-2009, JPMorgan would have gone down and you would have been out of a job. And it goes to the enormous frustration on how many companies in the history of the planet have been offered a half a trillion dollars in low interest loans? Not many.
But the basic concept behind the Volcker firewall is that banks are in the lending business, not in the hedge fund business. And do you share that kind of basic philosophical orientation?
Dimon: We are not in the hedge fund business. [...]
Here are the facts. We have $350bn of assets in CIO. The average rating is AA-plus. The average maturity has a duration of three years, not 20 or 30. The average yield is 2.7%. Those characteristics are of a very conservative portfolio. One of the other Senators mentioned ... in addition to that, we have $150bn sitting in central banks around the world. The other Senator just pointed out that we don't make enough loans, less loans to deposits is considered conservative, not aggressive.
Merkley: So you would disagree...
Dimon: In this other area, yes I?there's a legitimate complaint.
Merkley: Okay. So David Olsen, former head of credit trading said, "We want to ramp up the ability to generate profit for the firm. This is Jamie's new vision for the company." But you would fundamentally disagree that that was your instruction in building the CIO unit?
Dimon: I don't believe everything I read. I hope you don't either.
Merkley: You disagree?
Dimon: I don't know what he means.
Highlights from the rest of the hearing in which Dimon apologized for losing $2 billion of shareholders' dollars in risky trading:
? Dimon also apologized for his earlier description of the losses as a "tempest in a teapot," saying "I was dead wrong" but maintained that he was misinformed about the scale of losses at the time.Since Dimon thinks JPMorgan will seek to recover compensation from senior executives responsible for the trading losses, and since he admits the buck stops with him, one wonders how many of the 21.5 million bucks in bonuses he made in 2011 he will cough up.
? Senior executives responsible for the CIO's $2 billion trading loss face having their bonuses and share options deducted, Dimon told the committee: "It's likely that there will be clawbacks."
? Describing his own role in establishing the bank's unit that caused the losses, Dimon said: "We made a mistake. I'm absolutely responsible. The buck stops with me."
? Questioned on the role the proposed Volcker Rule would have played in stopping JPMorgan from the loss-making trades, Dimon conceded that it was "possible" such a rule may have helped. [...]
? Dimon later admitted that he had been informed of the change to the risk management model in the loss-making unit: "I was copied on a memo that said there was a change in the VAR model. I paid no attention to it."
Iran has agreed to discuss proposals to limit its uranium enrichment at talks in the next week in Moscow over its nuclear program, according to European Union officials. Meanwhile, the US Senate keeps erecting preconditions to futher talks.[...]
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So Mitt Romney accuses the president of being out of touch ... and the Obama campaign responds with this hilarious minute-long highlight reel from the vast library of Mitt Romneybot out-of-touchisms, including "corporations are people, my friend," "I like firing people," and "I'm also unemployed."
Taking Bieber to task: [...]
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Color me not shocked that Karl Rove was back on Fox again, hoping that the country has collective amnesia as to just how destructive his former boss' reign was to our nation's economy and attempting to blame the cliff the economy was falling off of when they left office on the man unfortunate enough to have to try to clean up after him: Fox's Rove Joins Fox Colleagues In Falsely Blaming Obama For Decline In Net Worth From 2007-10.
As they noted, add Rove to the list at Fox pushing the same line: Surprise! Fox Hosts Blame Obama For Americans' Declining Net Worth:
The Federal Reserve released a study this week showing that Americans' net worth fell dramatically between 2007-10. However, while reporting on the study, Fox News hosts falsely claimed the decline occurred during the "last three years," even though it's clear the decline began two years before President Obama took office.
Heaven forbid Hannity or Rove would let any of those pesky things called facts get in the way of their talking points. Just before this portion of Rove's interview, Hannity was actually allowing the guy who was responsible for the AG scandal and the Plame leak carp about the Obama administration and these latest accusations of national security leaks coming from them. Rove's hypocrisy meter has long ago pegged off the charts and shattered. If he had a new one this Tuesday evening, he'd have shattered it again.
Since Rove won't appear anywhere but Fox, I don't expect anyone will confront him with this chart any time soon which shows that median net worth of families in America was plunging on his and his boss' watch due to the housing bubble bursting, and it was a plunge President Obama inherited.