Jun
30
2015

Continuing the promise of America

On June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal across the entire United States.

The historic decision signals a “cultural and political shift, the likes of which we’ll never see again; the likes of which America has, literally, never seen before,” said Joe.

While it’s been an uphill battle for gay rights activists, polls have shown rising support for same-sex marriage. In a little over a decade, the percentage of people who support the legalization of same-sex marriage has increased from 30 percent to 59 percent, proving that it is an important issue no longer relegated to certain segments of the population. Americans of all walks of life are becoming more open and more accepting of differences that once seemed irreconcilable. In the last six years alone, support for same-sex marriage has grown by 19 percentage points among all Americans.

While only five people ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday, they clearly did so with the support of millions.

The evolution of Barack Obama

President Obama has been praised recently for his strong support of the historic change. But he wasn’t always as firm in his beliefs, or at least not as forthcoming about them.

In 2008, Obama defined marriage as “the union between a man and a woman,” an opinion he based on his faith. In 2010, the President affirmed his support in strong civil unions. His feelings on the matter were evolving, but slowly.

Then came Joe Biden.

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties, and quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that,” the Vice President said in a 2012 interview.

Biden allegedly took a lot of heat from the White House for his comments, but they forced the President to finally take the stance that David Axelrod  has argued Obama held all along – that “same-sex couples should be allowed to get married.”

The Supreme Court affirmed that belief on Friday. Now it’s the law.

What’s next for Republicans

Republicans are now scrambling to figure out a response to the ruling that won’t alienate their base along with the millions of Americans who support it. Importantly, those supporters include younger members of the Republican party, who want the federal government out of their lives as well as their bedrooms.

“That is one of the more interesting elements of this discussion,” said Mike Barnicle. “We can talk about what happened on the Court last week ad nauseam, but for most people under the age of 35 – Republican, Democrat – they’re saying to us, ‘what is the big deal?’”

Joe argued that the Republican Party today is where President Obama was three years ago. While some people might privately support same-sex marriage, they do not necessarily have the ability to extend that support into their political lives. The Party is, quite frankly, split on the issue.

“Some of the Republican candidates need to look at the evolution and the polls of late and get a sense that this is done,” argued Mika.

The debate is indeed finished, at least legally. What remains to be seen is whether it is relegated to a one-off decision, driven by the swift cultural changes that surround it, or whether the implications extend further, announcing a shift in the country’s political dynamic that extends far into the future.

Read the source article at msnbc.com

Jun
30
2015
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It’s poaching season in Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott is making an appeal to Connecticut businesses: Head south.

Scott has no qualms about his neighbor to the north. Connecticut is a beautiful place with wonderful people, but the fact remains that lawmakers are ruining the business climate there. “No customer is saying, ‘I’ll pay you more money for your product or service, because you pay higher taxes,'” argued Scott.

Florida, on the other hand, is a state committed to attracting companies and keeping them happy. They have lower taxes and less regulation. They’ve added 879,000 jobs in a little over four years with 300,000 current openings. Just last year, 250,000 people moved to the Sunshine State, giving Florida a growing workforce to fill those positions. They are second in the number of aerospace and aviation establishments, and third in tech companies.

“This state is on fire. We are really doing well,” said Scott.

But not so fast

Connecticut has sent a message to businesses over the past three years that they aren’t welcome. Is it too late to turn things around?

The tax issue is important, said Steve Ratner, and Connecticut has been really tough on taxes. But there’s a silver lining for residents like Joe who don’t want to see their state falter.

“I think the tide may be starting to turn. It feels like the pushback they got from GE, from Aetna, from the other big companies in Connecticut actually seems to have made a bit of a difference,” Steve added.

Read the source article at youtube.com

Jun
30
2015

Obamacare safe

President Obama’s signature healthcare law is here to stay, with the majority of the Supreme Court upholding current healthcare subsidies given under the Affordable Care Act.

“I will just say what Republicans have said about it. We’ve been done in again by a Republican appointee,” said Joe, referring to Chief Justice John Roberts who delivered the judgment and voted for Obamacare.

But Joe also thinks that despite Republican politicians saying they are shocked and saddened by the decision, they will also be relieved. “They’re going to go ‘thank god, we can talk about this on the campaign trail, but we don’t actually have to come up with an alternative’,” he said. The Republican Party, despite its protests to Obamacare, has not put forward a single comprehensive healthcare plan alternative.

Woven into the fabric

Phil Mattingly from Bloomberg Politics told Morning Joe that the longer this law stays in place, the longer it becomes part of the fabric of America. “Their long held belief inside the White House is that if this law is allowed to stay in place for a long period of time, it will become part of American life. It will become a central component of how people just live, and then acceptance will follow,” he said.

Joe believes this ruling has cemented President Obama’s legacy and is going go down as one of the most significant decisions over the past few decades. “It’s unlikely the Republicans will be able to wipe this out,” he said.

Read the source article at msnbc.com