Dear liberals, 

There’s a reason why presidents stopped writing letters to each other like this and it has nothing to do with Trump. 

George H.W. Bush wrote this letter to Bill Clinton at a time when the Democratic Party was about pro-business centrism and sought to remedy inefficiencies in the market through market-based government action. Today, the Democratic Party is run by Alinskyite radicals, who rather than take constructive market-based bipartisan action, are more inclined to use executive power to scrap what’s left of the market. 

Bill Clinton cut taxes on capital gains allowing the middle class to take back more of their income from investments, upheld law and order by signing the 1993 crime bill and supporting the thin blue line, and implemented welfare reforms by working with a Republican Congress. 

Barack Obama has raised taxes, betrayed the thin blue line and undermined fait in law enforcement nation-wide, and has refused to come to the negotiating table, even when Republicans have the largest majority since the Civil War.

Get the difference? 

hufflepirate  asked:

Did you know that Obama just signed a bipartisan bill (which passed Congress in a landslide) requiring all federal buildings to have baby changing tables that can be accessed by parents of any gender? It doesn't require changing tables in every bathroom or equal numbers in men's and women's rooms but it DOES require that everyone have access to at least one and that it be clearly labelled with signage about where to go for that in every restroom. 1/2

I don’t really mean that as part of the MRA conversation, I mostly just think it’s really cool and I’m excited about it. I’ve thought that should be a thing for years. If something like that could be done for other places that aren’t federal buildings I’d be about that, too. 2/2

I didn’t know that, but that’s super cool! That’s a really positive step and I hope it’s implemented well. Yay Obama <3

House introduces bipartisan bill to repeal the terrible Patriot Act

How hilariously poetic would it be to force Obama to veto a repeal of the Patriot Act, one of the worst legislative offenses of the Bush administration? 

from the great Julie Borowski writing over at FreedomWorks:

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) have introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act that would end the NSA’s unconstitutional domestic spying. I can say without hesitation: this bill is the real deal.

“The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state,” said Rep. Massie. “Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans. I am proud to co-sponsor Congressman Pocan’s bill and look forward to working with him on this issue.”

Congress has introduced a handful of NSA reform bills over the past few years. Due to public disapproval of NSA spying, there is significant political pressure to “do something” about it. Most of these reform bills, however, would do practically nothing to rein in warrantless spying. Civil liberties experts say that most of these bills contain loopholes that would allow the invasive practices to continue.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a bill like the Surveillance State Repeal Act. It’s bold and effective. Specifically, here is what the bill would do:

  1. Repeals the Patriot Act (which contains the provision that allows for the bulk collection of metadata from U.S. citizens).
  2. Repeals the FISA Amendments Act (which contains provisions allowing for the government to monitor emails).
  3. It would extend judges’ terms on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and technical and legal experts to advise on technical issues raised during proceedings.
  4. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law and issue an annual report.
  5. Ban the federal government from mandating that the manufacturer of an electronic device must install spy software.
  6. Gives people a proper channel to report illegal activity in their department.
  7. Says that no information related to a U.S. person may be acquired without a valid warrant based on probable cause—including under Executive Order 12333.
  8. Retains tools that are useful to law enforcement such as not requiring a new warrant if the suspect switches devices in an attempt to break surveillance.
  9. Protects intelligence collection practices involving foreign targets for the purpose of investigating weapons of mass destruction.

read the rest

Supposedly, Democrats have been against the Patriot Act since its passage (and rightfully so).  However, since Obama’s inauguration, he has not only used the Patriot Act to abuse the privacy rights of innocent American citizens, he’s expanded the scope of the Patriot Act to leave virtually no electronic communication private.
Congress under pressure from left and right to 'demilitarize' police

(The Hill) Groups on the left and right are uniting behind calls to end what they say is the rise of a “militarized” police force in the United States.

They say the controversial police tactics seen this week in Ferguson, Mo., are not isolated to the St. Louis County Police Department and warn the rise of heavily armed law enforcement agencies has become an imminent threat to civil liberties.

“What we’re seeing today in Ferguson is a reflection of the excessive militarization of police that has been happening in towns across America for decades,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU is aligned with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and groups on the right who are calling for an end to a controversial Defense Department program that supplies local police departments with surplus military equipment, such as armored tanks, machine guns and tear gas.

According to the Defense Logistics Agency, more than $4 billion in discounted military equipment has been sold to local police departments since the 1990s.

A rare moment of broad bipartisan agreement. We’ll see if it translates into action.

The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Today in 1964, LBJ signed the Wilderness Act, protecting more than 9 million acres of land.

In his signing speech the President praised the bipartisan work in getting the bill passed: 

“I think it is significant that these steps have broad support not just from the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party, both parties in the Congress. For example, the wilderness bill has been before the Congress since 1957, but it passed this year 73 to 12 in the Senate, and 373 to 1 in the House. So it seems to me that this reflects a new and a strong national consensus to look ahead, and, more than that, to plan ahead; better still, to move ahead.”

Attendees at the ceremony included some of those Congressional leaders, and many leaders of nonprofit groups who had worked alongside them. LBJ signed the bill outdoors, in the Rose Garden–naturally!

-from the LBJ Library
Obama Signs Bill Guaranteeing New Rights For Rape Victims
It will be the first time the term “sexual assault survivor” appears in federal code.
By Tyler Kingkade

President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday creating a “bill of rights” for victims of sexual assault nationwide.

The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act was inspired by Amanda Nguyen, a woman who told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, her story about having to scramble every six months to prevent police from destroying her rape kit.

“Amidst the partisan bickering and gridlock in Congress, this law demonstrates that citizens can still effect positive change and that bipartisan progress is still possible,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Sexual assault remains one of the most underreported crimes and I hope that these basic rights will encourage more survivors to come forward and pursue justice.”

The new law gives survivors the right to a free medical forensic examination, often referred to as a rape kit, and ensures that the kit is preserved at least until the statute of limitations expires. If an agency wants to dispose of a rape kit, it must provide written notice to the victim at least 60 days in advance, and then continue to preserve the kit if requested by the survivor.

It also requires law enforcement agencies to provide information to survivors about support services and to provide the policies governing their rape kit in writing.

“At the heart of this is a deep belief of equality under the law and making sure that when survivors do choose to engage with the justice system that they are met with something that is fair,” Nguyen told BuzzFeed News.

Nguyen, 24, reported her assault to police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2014 while she was a student at Harvard University. The state required that untested rape kits be stored for only six months, even though the statute of limitations for the crime of rape is 15 years in Massachusetts. After learning how to ensure that her kit was not destroyed, Nguyen started a nonprofit called Rise to lobby on behalf of rape victims. She also began working with Shaheen on federal legislation.

The legislation sailed through unanimously in the Senate and the House of Representatives, following public backing from House Speaker Paul Ryan. It will be the first time the term “sexual assault survivor” appears in federal code, according to Shaheen’s office.

In addition to the new rights for survivors, the law also calls for a working group run by the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of health and human services to develop and disseminate to local agencies the best practices for preservation of forensic evidence and treatment of survivors. The working group is tasked with collecting feedback from advocacy groups, “particularly representatives of underserved or ethnic minority communities.”

“Half of the battle was getting these civil rights codified, the other half is making sure there is implementation on the ground and enforcement of these rights,” Nguyen said.

The working group was given two years to submit a report to Congress with findings and recommended actions.

Nguyen said her group, Rise, will continue working on reforms at the state level to improve how sexual assaults are handled by law enforcement.