War on Drugs

The leader of the Zetas Mexican drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino, was arrested by Mexican law enforcement on July 16, 2013, turning another page in the war on drugs. The Zetas are one of the largest and most violent drug trafficking groups in Mexico. In addition to drug trafficking, they engage in kidnapping, abduction and murders of Central American migrants on their way the United States, their main drug market. Continue reading “War on Drugs”

Voting Rights Act: Is the South More Racist than the North?

Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act has paid special attention to 9 states. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia have to get preapproval from the federal government before they make voting related changes. This includes changing polling places, having special elections, redrawing district lines and changing the date of a vote. Before any location in these states can proceed, they need to get the okay from Uncle Sam to make sure the changes aren’t racially motivated or disparaging. Continue reading “Voting Rights Act: Is the South More Racist than the North?”

Voting Rights Act Supreme Court Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional. The issue was the mandate that certain States and jurisdictions receive preclearance from the federal government before making any changes to their voting practices. This includes changing polling places, having special, elections, redrawing district lines, and changing the date of a vote. This ruling means that, for the time being, no jurisdictions will be required to get preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Continue reading “Voting Rights Act Supreme Court Ruling”

The Future of the Republican Party

This week the Grand Old Party released a comprehensive review of how it needs to improve in order to survive as a party. The paper explicitly says, “It is time to smartly change course, modernize the Party, and learn once again how to appeal to more people, including those who share some but not all of our conservative principles.” With the exception of immigration, however, the paper was devoid of any changes to the message. The proposals were largely cosmetic, ranging from which communities to address, what fundraising techniques to use, and which spokespeople to use. Nowhere does it address the largest stumbling block and ideological puzzle that plagues the party: government intervention in social issues. Continue reading “The Future of the Republican Party”

The Factions of the Republican Party

There are many philosophies flying under the Republican banner, some of which have come into conflict over recent issues. Some underlying principles, such as small government and personal responsibility, unite these groups. More often, however, these groups represent the various ideas that individuals combine to become their personal version of Republican. Continue reading “The Factions of the Republican Party”

The Executive in Chief

On President’s Day we celebrate the great leaders of our country, but what of the 2.5 million underlings (excluding military personnel, government contractors and government grantees) in the Executive Branch that make the president’s orders come to fruition? Whether they are presidential appointees or career bureaucrats, they are working hard making the rules and regulations that govern the country. Continue reading “The Executive in Chief”

Targeted Killings and U.S. Citizens

This week the Obama Administrations released a white paper from the Department of Justice outlining the legal justifications for killing a U.S. citizen suspected of being a terrorist. He also released more detailed classified document to the Senate Intelligence Committee, outlining the justification of the administration’s policy of targeting Americans overseas via drone attacks. CIA head nominee John O. Brennan is set to discuss this policy at his confirmation hearing. Continue reading “Targeted Killings and U.S. Citizens”

Social Security Disability Insurance is Running Out

The Senate has just released a report on fraud in the Social Security Disability Insurance Fund. The report is titled “How Some Legal, Medical, and Judicial Professionals Abused Social Security Disability Programs for the Country’s Most Vulnerable: A Case Study of the Conn Law Firm”. It describes how a Kentucky-based lawyer named Eric C. Conn allegedly set up a scheme involving administrative law judges and a set of friendly doctors. Conn got 1,800 cases approved between 2006 and 2010. Social security paid Conn’s firm more than $4.5 million in attorney fees. Continue reading “Social Security Disability Insurance is Running Out”

Selective Enforcement of the Law

Eric Holder’s speech on the enforcement of mandatory minimum sentences is the latest installment in a long line of ways the Obama administration has attempted to side step Congress. Holder asked the American Bar Association to use their prosecutorial discretion to reduce the frequency of filing charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes. This is a large diversion from the normal policy of prosecutors going for the highest provable offense. Continue reading “Selective Enforcement of the Law”