Fifty Years After King’s Dream Speech, Nullification Keeps on Marching

By: Saturday August 24, 2013 9:00 am

Each time I read or hear Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a different piece leaps out at me. Today, as we come to the fiftieth anniversary of that speech, it’s this:

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

The language of nullification — the thought that state laws can trump federal laws — is still a part of our national lexicon, despite the fact that the Nullifiers lost the Civil War. Indeed, here in Missouri, it’s become a very large part of the state political conversation.

 

Why the “Natural-Born Citizen” Clause for President Needs to Go

By: Thursday August 22, 2013 5:45 am

While the news of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) renouncing his Canadian citizenship to bolster his case that he is truly a “natural-born citizen” is funny, the actual source of the issue is no laughing matter.

Tom Friedman: No Sixth Amendment for You

By: Wednesday August 14, 2013 5:36 pm

Every time I come across a Tom Friedman column, I ask myself, “Could this guy get any stupider?” And every time, he manages to find a way.

Members of Congress Denied Information About NSA

By: Monday August 5, 2013 6:40 am

Contrary to the many assurances given by the Obama Administration and officials within the intelligence community that Congress was fully informed of the NSA spying programs revealed by Edward Snowden, letters obtained by the Guardian reveal members of Congress are being denied basic information about the NSA.

U.S. Spying on Americans: Unpopular and Unlikely to End

By: Saturday July 13, 2013 11:40 am

Two recent stories have made for an interesting juxtaposition. First, the map of America’s intelligence underworld had some important contours filled in last Sunday with the New York Times’ report on the secret body of law that it called “almost a parallel Supreme Court.” Then on Wednesday a Quinnipiac poll showed a substantial increase in support of civil liberties. Taken together they might suggest a new dynamic in how the federal government relates to Americans on these issues.

Secret Laws Govern NSA

By: Monday July 8, 2013 6:40 am

Nothing exemplifies an open society like secret laws. According to a report by the New York Times, an entire new body of law has been created, in secret, to govern the NSA’s operations. The FISA court, under dubious pretexts, has rewritten the Fourth Amendment.

Waiting With Pride, Dignity, and Hope

By: Saturday June 15, 2013 9:03 am

Several times in the next two weeks, the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States will file into their ornate Washington DC courtroom at 10AM, and issue their judgments on a variety of major cases that have been under consideration during the past 9 months, including Hollingsworth v Perry (Prop 8) and US v Windsor (DOMA). SCOTUS watchers have been parsing the legal filings by both sides. Scholars have been dissecting the oral arguments, to see which points of law seem to be at the center of these cases. Pundits have been predicting how the court might rule for months. Soon, the opinion will be released, and the follow-up analysis will begin.

Meanwhile, we wait.

And for many, that waiting is done with increasingly powerful pride.

NSA Swaps Information on You With Private Companies for More Information on You

By: Friday June 14, 2013 8:55 am

Freedom isn’t free. The National Security Agency along with the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies of the U.S. government has been swapping information with private companies. In exchange for private companies giving the intelligence agencies information on their users, the private companies receive access to classified intelligence.

The New Effort to Get Our Rights Back: Move Over Citizens United

By: Thursday June 13, 2013 4:50 pm

Remember way back in 2010 when we thought our democracy was lost when our political system turned bribery into an expression free speech? Remember how mad we were about the Citizens United ruling? Well, move over Citizens United. We want our basic rights back.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lori Wallach, The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority

By: Sunday June 9, 2013 1:59 pm

You think trade is complicated, technical, boring, so you tune out and don’t pay attention to the issue… And then BANG, you’re told they are moving the facility where you work out of the country and you are going to be laid off, but if you want your severance and the chance to collect unemployment you have to train your replacement. Not long after that, in other factories and offices everyone is told to accept wage and benefit cuts or they’ll move that facility out of the country, too.

Six months later you look around and your downtown locally-owned storefronts are getting boarded up one at a time because the private-equity-owned chains that circle the town carry all that cheap stuff from China and they buy at such a large scale that no small business can compete.

After a year you finally land a job! The job is you have to dress up like a duck and stand on a corner waving a sign.

These are the things that all of this arguing about trade is about. Welcome to the new America.

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