The current president is rolling back overtime rules

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the Trump administration will not be following through with Obama’s revisions of overtime for salaried employees.

“In 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) attempted to strengthen overtime regulations for working people. The updated overtime pay rule would have raised the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 in 2016, and by 2020 it would have automatically increased to around $51,000. That rule would have benefitted 13.5 million working people―making 4.6 million newly eligible to receive the overtime pay they deserve, and strengthening the rights of 8.9 million more. “

I received a newsletter about this with a request to send letters (emails) to the Department of labor.

“The 2016 rule, which was held up in court3 following a challenge by business trade associations and Republican-led states, would have increased the overtime salary threshold to $913 per week, or $47,476 for a full-year worker, from its current level of $455 per week, or $23,660 for a full-year worker. It would also have indexed the threshold to wage growth on a triennial basis; under the 2016 rule, the threshold would have increased to roughly $51,000 on January 1, 2020.”

What this tells one is that the rich in congress and the business trade associations want to keep paying some middle class employees without overtime. Yes, work more than 40 hours per week without overtime time pay!

link, https://www.epi.org/publication/trump-overtime-proposal-april-update/

Thoughts on the Mueller Report release and the 2020 Presidential Campaigns

The Mueller report came out and the Attorney General Barr summarized it as an exoneration of Trump. Now the US congress (the House) is attempting to get the unredacted report. There are attorneys who say that Trump did attempt obstruction and that this is against the law. I do rather agree, that at this point in time an attempt for impeachment may not be worthwhile so close to the next presidential election. On the other hand, if the dems do not pursue impeachment, Trump may be emboldened.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/cummings-trump-will-be-emboldened-if-democrats-do-nothing/ar-BBW9tif?li=BBnb7Kz

It has been reported that Trump’s approval rating went down after the release of the Mueller report. Trump has been ranting in tweets against the report.

There are many democratic contenders vying for the democratic nomination. I do believe that some of those campaigners fit in with my middle class party movement. My book is in the last stage of editing and I think it will be published soon. I hope to get endorsements from several middle class and perhaps from a few well-known people.

Gerrymandering

The Supreme Court will be starting arguments in cases from N. Carolina and in Maryland, in March/April 2019. This is a suggested platform point in my political movement/party. I contend that gerrymandering should be removed from the partisan process.  There are many who argue that the only way to do this is to have non-elected commissions draw the maps.

The constitution states one vote for one person. Our founding fathers did not have the intent for elected officials to have a right to map the districts so that their party has an extreme advantage to be elected, I would say.  Therefore, gerrymandering of weirdly shaped districts to get more elected from either party (Republican or Democrat) goes against this premise. 

I am just throwing out this idea. What if the US was mapped in a grid, square system?

It is time for more reasonably minded supreme court justices. It is said that the conservatives at the current time want to leave things as they are. So, where are supreme court justices who really wish to uphold the tenets of our constitution?

Justices have “dodged the issue of gerrymandering for decades, gridlocked over whether it is even possible to distinguish acceptably partisan maps from unconstitutional ones.”

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. worried aloud last year that creating a legal standard to identify partisan gerrymanders would turn the court into a sort of electoral kingmaker.” link, Times Article below.

I wonder if Roberts understands that it is the supreme court’s responsibility to uphold the constitution, not to dodge straightening out the “unfairness” of gerrymandering. In Ohio, the vote was put on the ballot and the people of Ohio voted to remove gerrymandering, as of 2021.

Under the Ohio law, “Under its provisions, drawing new district boundaries must entail as few splits of counties, municipalities and townships as possible. Preference must be given to the preservation of large counties and municipalities.”

links:

CNN discussion by Don Lemon with professor Higgins and the author Joan Biskupic, who wrote a book about Chief Justice Roberts

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ohio-gerrymandering_us_563a5c76e4b0411d306f487e

 

 

 

the founding fathers said separation of church from state but SCOTUS is not always abiding

In recent years, the Supreme Court has made many decisions that do not adhere to the constitution. “But, in recent years, conservatives have contrived various means to obtain access to government money for religious entities, such as schools, and the lawyers representing them are receiving an ever more sympathetic hearing at the Court.” This is from an article written by Jeffrey Toobin.

Charter schools are a big example of tax money going to some religious based charter schools. Devos, education secretary, under Trump is pushing this agenda as we speak. More reasonable decisions are needed in the Supreme Court and by those working in our government. The middle class party that I promote wants more reasonably-minded people to be elected, and of course justices that understand and follow the US constitution.

link

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-supreme-court-is-quietly-changing-the-status-of-religion-in-american-life

Free speech of Americans, pressed to sign pledges not to support Palestinians, boycott of Israel

It has been reported that Americans have been pressed to sign pledges against supporting the Boycotts against Israel (in support of occupied Palestine). A teacher in Texas lost her job for failing to sign the pledge.

The ACLU is fighting against these actions infringing American’s civil liberties, but with little success.  Apparently,  It is said that a strong pro-Israel lobby is behind the pledges. The past precedent case, of the right to participate in political boycotts was clearly established by the Supreme Court in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, a 1982 decision holding that the First Amendment protected an NAACP-organized boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi to protest ongoing racial segregation and inequality.

It argued that a “non-violent, politically motivated boycott” was political speech and protected. 

Governor Cuomo of New York made a blanket policy that all contractors who did not support Israel would not be contracted with. Approximately 28 states are allowing this pledge.

This is quite unbelievable in our country which has a free speech amendment that people can be forced to sign such pledges or lose their jobs or not get jobs nor get contracts. What is very weird about this is that Americans who have no clear boycott ideas are presented with paperwork (pledgeing against BDS).

Rand Paul has joined the democrats to block the anti-BDS movement.

defintion of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (also known as BDS) is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets what the campaign describes as Israel’s “obligations under international law “, defined as withdrawal from the occupied territories, removal of the separation barrier in the West Bank, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and “respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties “.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/americans-have-a-right-to-boycott-even-when-its-wrong/

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/257546

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/rights-protesters/laws-targeting-israel-boycotts-fail-again-court

 

 
https://www.democracynow.org/2018/12/18/meet_the_texas_speech_pathologist_who

Oversight on the Trump administration Jan-Feb 2019

The House of Representatives is vigorously pursuing investigations on Trump. One is the security clearance of Jared Kushner who lied on his first form and then took many weeks or months to turn in new forms with all of his foreign contacts. Elijah Cummings is overseeing this investigation.

Will a new federal government shut down happen? We shall see. It is apparent that Trump continues to not want to negotiate but spoke double-talk in the state of the union speech. He talked about unity. Actions speak louder than words. I say.