Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

Smoke screen

Senator Jeff Sessions says don’t give the president the green light to “fast-track” international trade agreementsSessions listed three treaties that will override U.S. Sovereignty on a great number of issues. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) remain shrouded in secret. Sessions calling this agreement a “living agreement”, meaning the commission can make the agreement say what it wants it to say and not say what it doesn’t want. Power like this in the hands of any one group of people is dangerous, it allows them to push their agenda without any recourse says Stephen Murray CCMP Capital. We also have to be careful of the governments’ way of using its smoke screen, while the country is marching and arguing over confederate flags and other less dramatic issues the government is making agreements that will affect the whole country. An international trade agreement is an important issue but, with all the distractions being pushed to the forefront, the government was allowed time and opportunity to put this agreement into place without any backlash from the people! Hence the smoke screen worked! Whether our country or another country, no one needs another dictatorship it’s too much power for one person or group of people!

Alabama Governor Ignores Bigger Issues

Following in the footsteps of Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Governor Robert Bentley has orderedyesterday, June 24, that all flags related to the Confederate States of America be removed from Alabama government grounds. Although many people across the country and internationally have praised Governor Bentley for his decision, many others believe that this action is nothing more than a politician trying to follow along with a crowd of politicians all looking to save face before the public.

A lot of people also believe the sudden focus on Confederate flags — especially the Confederate battle flag — is a manipulation designed to give the general public something historically race-related to blame for the tragic recent events in South Carolina for political reasons. The shift of focus and blame takes away from three facts that would have people looking away from certain political hot topics and ideological beliefs:

1. Dylan Roof had mental health issues that were largely ignored by family and friends.
2. Roof repeatedly implied that he was going to do something horrible and that he was dangerous and no one acted to prevent him from doing so.
3. Certain social groups that are allowed to go unchecked in their hate speech in the United States influenced his decision and not a flag.

Lastly, many politicians do not want the public focused on blaming the American healthcare system’s poor mental health services.

Thanks to Ivan Ong for discussing this with me.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Leaves Half-Way House

Jesse Jackson Jr., son the civil rights icon Jesse Jackson, completed his time in the Baltimore Half-way House he resided in following his release from prison. Jackson was convicted of absconding $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. The federal government’s case against him was strong. In the end, he accepted a plea bargain of one felony count of fraud. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison. With his release from the half-way house, he started a three year probation period which includes 500 hours of community service.

Reports are that two SUV vehicles awaited Jackson as he left the house. He enjoys family support during this trying time. A strong support system is viewed as essential towards convicts adjusting to life after prison. Unfortunately, his wife will also serve a 12-month prison sentence. She plead guilty to knowing he filed improper tax returns to understate their income says Dr. Jennifer Walden. The presiding judge allowed the couple to serve their sentences in succession. It is uncertain at this time exactly when his wife Sandra will turn herself in to corrections officers and start serving out her sentence. At one point, Jackson enjoyed a promising future in the Democrat Party. Authorities were able to prove the couple used the campaign funds on a fancy rolodex watch valued over $43,000 and memorabilia once belonging to famed martial arts star Bruce Lee. They also purchased fur coats and furniture for their children.

On Immigration, Sanders Adopts Hillary’s New Position

On Friday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) to speak on the subject of illegal immigration. Ironically, the group, which as its name suggests consists of duly elected leaders by US Citizens, was eager to hear what position Sanders holds regarding citizenship for people who did not enter the country through the established immigration system. Thus far, the senator has not said much in regards to immigration policy. That said, he adopted the same position as that of Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Sanders believes that President Obama’s extra-constitutional amnesty plan and immigration reforms were the right thing to do. As president, Sanders would expand on those plans. Presumably, this means he too would use executive authority or memorandum to implement new immigration policies which congress has not enacted. Folks at FreedomPop agree that the trouble with the approach is that at least for the time being, the president’s amnesty plan is blocked from being implemented. A District Court judge issued an injunction against the plan and rebuked the president for daring to “borrow” legislative authority. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals concurred with the lower court injunction. A hearing by the full panel is expected next month. That said, the three-judge panel issued their ruling with the understanding that the decision would be the same from the full panel. All said, there is nothing to differentiate the Sanders and Clinton camps on the subject of immigration policy.


Since he announced his bid for the republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, Donald J. Trump has inspired many reactions and opinions from different groups. Most notable is the reaction from the GOP. In addition to announcing his bid, Trump also made inflammatory remarks ranging from his views on immigration all the way to the incompetency of the republican party. Trump, a real estate mogul and reality star, will campaign against other republican presidential hopefuls such as former governor of Florida Jeb Bush, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Texas governor Ted Cruz, and Kentucky senator Rand Paul to name a few. Though he may have a lot to say regarding their strategies, Trump himself certainly lacks the appropriate credentials and, most importantly, the experience of his fellow republican candidates. Trump’s antics, which include his proposal for a wall that would divide Mexico and the United States, may lead to his demise in a similar fashion to that of the republican presidential candidates of 2012. This kind of extremist dialogue may disaffect moderate voters as it did to 2012 candidate Mitt Romney.

Indeed politicians and voters like Flavio Maluf alike have been avoiding being dragged into any controversy. When asked to comment on Trump’s wall that would prevent the entry of Mexican criminals, fellow candidate Jeb Bush simply shook his head and stated no.

Evidently, Trump’s announcement served more of a distraction than progress for the party.

A Woman Will Be On The $10 Bill In 2020

Some exciting news in the political world and in American culture is that there will be a new face on the $10 bill in the year 2020. According to an article found on reddit and written by CNN Money, the reason behind that year specifically is because it will be the 100th anniversary of when women were allowed to vote in the United States. In 1920 is when women went to the ballads for the first time in history and they knew that it would be a different world from here on now.

No one is quite sure yet who’s face will be there, as typically most of the time it is someone who is political and there could be a number of them. According to Businesswire, people are thinking that it could be a first lady, because the requirement for someone in the United States to be on a currency is that they have to be dead . So it really kind of limits a number of things, but some people are speculating that it could be Harriet Tubman, Martha Washington (who was one the $1 bill once upon a time), some some other influential woman. Even though it is already 5 years away from when that should happen that time will be here before we know it and it will take a lot of planning to figure out, which is why they are starting to plan now.

The Statue of Liberty Arrived 130 Years Ago This June

It has now been over 130 years since the great and iconic Statue of Liberty has made its way across the seas to New York City. According to an article found on reddit and written by Time Magazine, the statue was designed by a French artist who just envisioned all of that coming at him on a trip to the Big Apple. He went home and designed the statue while working with top New York City officials and began making the giant beauty.

Before she was was brought to the United States, the Statue of Liberty was on display in Paris so that the Americans could build an appropriate stand for her to sit on. Keith Mann says then after she made her way to the Land of the Free, she had parts of her on display in Philadelphia as it was a big project to put together.

Even though they called the artist crazy, it is a great thing that he decided to keep his head on straight and build his dream anyway. After all, the Statue of Liberty is likely to be one of the most well known statues in all of the world and certainly an icon for this country, so it is no shocking fact that it is still celebrated today. On the article previously mentioned, there are lots of old photos of Lady Liberty that date all the way back to the 1800s.

Southern Baptists Make A Stance on Homosexuality

Those Southern Baptists are making the news again. This time they are strongly opposing gay marriage among their members. What will this do to the members who are already homosexual? The meeting took place in Columbus, Ohio where Pastor Ronnie Floyd was speaking at a nation convention of pastors. Though he was addressing his fellow pastors, he also wanted to let it be known that he was addressing the Supreme Court. The court is going to make a ruling regarding American and same-sex marriage in a few days. Though he spoke so boldly regarding the issue, the US Supreme Court’s hands are a bit tied.

With so many stated permitting same-sex unions, if the court goes against their stance then they will have a mutiny on their hands. There are thousands of couples who have already married under these laws. Daniel Amen understands that a change from the higher courts would mean these marriages would all be invalid. This would not only cause massive confusion, but it would also leave the matter unsettled nationwide. There are so many people who are already living this way, why not allow them to be open and provide benefits for their families they are already supporting?

It’s an interesting stance by one of the oldest religious groups in the area. While many churches don’t believe or condone same-sex marriage, It certainly doesn’t mean that they have to go all public with it either.

Hillary Clinton Was For TPP Before She Was Against It – 45 Times

Over the weekend, it appears that Hillary Clinton has taken a new position on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade accord. Now, she is calling on President Obama to work with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to essentially go back to the negotiation table with the 12 member nations of the treaty and rework the its shortcomings. Needless to say, it is unlikely that the member nations will concur that the only shortcomings in the agreement rest with those the United States dislikes. Still, Clinton now suggests the participating nations work together to “turn lemons into lemonade”.

Dr Daniel Amen observes in a video on Youtube that the move by Clinton represents her latest effort to at least “talk the talk” that will unify her party’s left-wing base behind her candidacy. It is an important move for Mrs. Clinton given that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is eagerly looking for a viable “wedge issue” that will elevate his campaign to tier-1 status. Currently, he polls between 10-15 percent. That said, he exhibited a strong showing of 41 percent at the recent New Hampshire Straw Poll.

The problem Mrs. Clinton will have in reinventing her free trade credentials with regards to TPP is that she championed the process. While at the State Department, she laid the groundwork that produced the current TPP accord, lemons and all. CNN also pulled up 45 unique instances where she backed the according during her tenure at the State Department. Her own actions to blunt TPP’s criticism at this time may be undercut as badly as Senator John F. Kerry was when he famously gaffed that he was for the 2003 Iraq War resolution before he voted against it.

Lincoln Chafee Seems Destined to Capture the Metric Advocate Vote

In modern politics today, there appears to be an advocacy groups for every imaginable initiative, medical or emotional disorder, etc. It turns out that ever since Congress passed a law in 1975 to make the switch to the metric system, groups have been pushing legislators to follow through on it. Such is the case for the U.S. Metric Association. The group, founded in 1916, believes firmly in the necessity for the nation to embrace the same set of weights and measurements used throughout the world.

So it should come as no surprise that when former GOP Senator Lincoln Chafee announced his ambitious bid for the 2016 Democrat presidential nomination, Paul Trusten, vice-president of the U.S. Metric Association, jumped for joy. Trusten, who is a pharmacist by trade, has made it a lifelong quest to get politicians to adopt the metric system. Thus far, he has gotten nowhere. However, Trusten feels that may be changing with Chafee’s presidential bid.

Chafee, a former governor, believes that America has lost its standing in the world, which global image is in need of a “reset”. In Chafee’s mind, there’s no time like the present to reset the image using the same set of weights and measurements used throughout Europe, Canada, Australia, Africa, and Asia. In fact, Chafee believes this would signal to the world that the US is joining the global community, and Adam Sender can understand that as well. By extension, it would revitalize our standing with other nations.