I am totally perplexed by Republicans who advocate amnesty for those who entered the U.S. illegally. We Republicans are supposed to be the party of law and order, a party that stands on clearly defined principles. Let's cut through the pompous rhetoric: The issue of amnesty is only about cheap labor. All the other arguments are merely background noise.
With the national unemployment rate just under eight percent, how can you argue that illegals are doing jobs that Americans refuse to do? With all the unemployed engineers (partly because of the shutdown of NASA's Space Shuttle program), how do you justify increasing the number of H-1B visas? The special visa allows companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for up to six years. How can six years still be considered temporary?
How do you explain to a kid in Virginia that he or she has to pay out-of-state tuition to attend the University of Maryland while a student in the country illegally is allowed to pay in-state tuition? Why should someone in the country illegally be able to obtain a benefit that even an American citizen can't have? Aren't these Republicans supporting discrimination against American citizens in their lust of the Hispanic voter?
Above the Law's Elie Mystal doesn't think that affirmative action supporters need to hyperventilate over Tuesday's Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action—which upheld Michigan's ban on race-conscious admissions policies at state colleges—because, he writes, the justices, in fact, "didn't rule that affirmative action is unconstitutional."
And indeed, they didn't—not this time, anyway.
Short term, all the court said was that it didn't violate 14th Amendment equal protection when Michigan voters did away with race-conscious admissions.
Nearly sixty years have passed since the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, which prohibited Southern states from segregating schools by race.
The Court's decision in Brown sparked a disruption of white supremacy and Jim Crow in the South and forced the federal government to pass civil and voting rights legislation.
However, a new report by the Economic Policy Institute makes the argument that while the 1954 Supreme Court decision did achieve the goal of raising awareness about the inherent segregation and unfairness in the separate but equal concept, it has failed miserably at its central mission: to desegregate schools in the United States.
The news cycle April 14th was filled with reports of the murders of three people in Overland Park, Kansas. That these killings occurred during a time of religious observation, the Jewish celebration of Passover, and the killer may have targeted victims for their religious faith or presumed faith makes the loss of life even more reprehensible.
That a grandfather and his grandson could be shot down in the streets says something about the sickness of this society, the prevalence and continued cancer of hatred and an unhealthy and deadly obsession with guns and solving problems or disputes with violence.
Such activity is woven into the history of this nation and America cannot deny that her history is bathed in blood and oppression from the slaughter of the Native peoples to the April 13th killing of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood.
As 21st Century employers continue to seek a highly-trained workforce, the marketable value of a college education has never been higher. At the same time, the rising costs of a college education force growing numbers of families and students to seek federal financial aid.
In FY 2012, according to the Department of Education (DOE), federal student aid programs provided about $142 billion in grants and loans to 15 million students. Although a large portion of these funds are paid directly towards tuition, many students also receive a portion of their aid to cover the costs of textbooks or living expenses. To facilitate these direct student payments, many colleges have partnered with financial firms that provide debit cards and/or bank accounts.
These disbursement products can serve as a revenue opportunity for colleges; but they may not be the best deal for students.
Big talk this week is the leaked sex tape between "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" stars Mimi and Nikko. If you haven't heard about this or at least heard, seen or read a "shower rod" joke in the past few days, you must be living underneath a rock...a very large one.
Admittedly, I've been spending a little time under that rock myself. I have never watched an episode of the show. Before this week I couldn't have picked Mimi or Nikko out of a line up. However, I know them both quite well now. Possibly more than I'd really like.
OK, first off, it's not really a sex tape; it's a "DVD." A sex tape is a video between two people that is meant to be kept private. This was a production with a professional cameraman that was made for retail. Ever since Kim Kardashian made the spotlight for a "sex tape" there seems to be never-ending quests for 15 minutes of fame...or the extending of it, that is.
Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion.
People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reasons to reduce government spending. But in this case they're wrong. We need to boost the government's investment in R&D, not slash it.
Let's begin with the federal government's record, which is nothing short of impressive: