If the United States were to win their case against Standard & Poor's, it would mark the first time EVER anyone, institution, or company was held accountable for such a disastrous financial scandal. The United States government along with several states will sue Standard & Poor’s debt rating agency for giving high ratings to risky mortgage bonds bringing about the financial crisis and committing fraud. Trillions of dollars were lost and nearly 10 million people were put out of work as a result of S&P’s actions.
According to Attorney General Eric Holder, “Put simply, this alleged conduct is egregious (shockingly bad)—and it goes to the very heart of the recent financial crisis.” Representing the Obama administration, Holder is adamant that this case would be critical to all future financial dealings in US.
The biggest question moving forward is "why?" Why were Standard & Poor’s ratings so wrong? DFA certainly will be watching as this case moves forward. Let us know your thoughts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. What do you think about the government’s case against Standard & Poor's?
On Sunday, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre stumbled through an interview on FOX News with Chris Wallace. Most notably, LaPierre could not defend the defenseless NRA ad aimed at Obama's daughters (See the ad on previous DFA post here ). Host Wallace was very direct and would not let LaPierre gloss over the now infamous ad. Wallace to LaPierre: "That's ridiculous and you know it, sir!"
At Democracy for America we want to hear from you. Where do you stand on the new Immigration Reform? What are the most important aspects looking forward for Immigration?
The Senate's “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration proposal calls to expedite citizenship for young people brought here as children, path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. However, the plan also supports stricter enforcement for America’s borders—so less illegal immigrants will be able to enter the country in the first place. Sen. Schumer said of the plan, "We have a long way to go, but this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakthrough."
On Tuesday, President Obama gave a speech outlining his blueprint for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Many of the President’s major points reflected the bipartisan Senate effort—specifically, pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living here. Yet Obama also endorsed a provision that would allow for a foreign partner of a same-sex relationship be able to apply for a green card—the Senate plan does not include this.
Let us know what you think about the immigration overhaul! What's missing? What are your ideas? We want to hear from you, let us know in the comments.
Today in Washington hearings began with Gabby Giffords' brave opening words.
The Senate Judiciary Committee met to begin discussions on what the nation should do about gun violence. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband and co-founder of American For Responsible Solutions, Capt. Mark Kelly gave strong testimony in favor of gun safety. He stated clearly, that his wife and himself are “pro-gun ownership” but “anti-gun violence.” Kelly was consistent, calling upon lawmakers to implement background checks.
NRA CEO, Wayne LaPierre also appeared before the committee as well. Notably, he begrudgingly agreed to take the Sandy Hook Promise when asked by Senator Blumenthal of Conn. The promise had previously been taken by Giffords and Kelly to end gun violence, LaPierre wasn’t thrilled to be faced with such an oath. He would not urge NRA supporters to take it. It was certainly an uncomfortable moment for the CEO but one that spoke volumes about the NRA's disconnect with American families.
One of the most stand out quotes of the day came from James Johnson, Police Chief: “The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun in the first place is a background check.” Echoing Wayne LaPierre famed rhetoric about good guys with guns, Johnson favors gun violence prevention that begins before the purchasing.
Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont lead the hearings and at the close strongly urged lawmakers to write legislation to be presented next month. Democracy For America continues to support efforts for gun safety. Today’s hearings officially begin the move towards new gun safety legislation. Let’s get it right. As Gabby Giffords stated: "Too many children are dying. Too many children. We Must Do Something!"
For the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been allowed to expire. Last April the VAWA passed the Senate with a 68-31 vote. However, it was then blocked at the House—who were under Republican Tea Party leadership. This might sound vaguely familiar. The reason for this was because the provisions in the latest version of the bill would have expanded protection to gay victims and illegal immigrants as well as Native American victims of domestic abuse and violence.
According to New York Times, “the bill would provide services, like shelters and legal help, for victims of abuse regardless of their sexual orientation or immigration status.” And although the bill is strongly supported by both sides and has passed every five years since first introduced—GOP Tea Party House leaders are willing to turn a blind eye for no other reason than pure discrimination.
This week, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont reintroduced the updated Violence Against Women Act (that included extended protections for gay and illegal immigrant as well as Native American victims of domestic abuse and violence). Sen. Leahy calls it a ‘tragedy’ that such a bill has been cast aside and he plans to make sure it is put back in action. Nancy Pelosi said this was a “top priority.” It is in great irony that such a bill to protect domestic abuse victims is becoming a victim itself of a GOP Congress that does absolutely nothing. No surprise, Republican leaders have failed to say anything of this bill. However, ignoring VAWA will not make it go away. Women across country have shown they are a very aware of the issues in regard to their health and safety. Why would Republicans think this issue would be any different?
What do you think of the Republican leadership? DFA stands with Sen. Leahy and his commitment to progressive bills such as the Violence Against Women Act. We stand for efforts that protect all the victims of domestic abuse no matter racial background or sexual orientation.