Support the Paris Agreement, the Earth, and American Leadership.

Donald Trump has withdrawn from the 2016 Paris Agreement that were designed to reduce and/or mitigate pollutants in the atmosphere. 195 other countries, including China, signed onto this pact. The exit of the US could be detrimental to that pact and cause China, one of the chief polluters in the world, to also bow out of the historic concessions they made in 2015. This was a multilateral agreement made for the good of all the earth and its inhabitants. Trump is now poised to withdraw for the benefit of a few thousand.

Trump is making good on a promise to the dying coal industry at the expense of the world and American credibility abroad. In a supposed effort to save coal jobs that is being praised by the Attorneys General of nine coal producing states, Trump does nothing but prolong the inevitable. With sources such as fossil fuels and natural gas as well as new mining technology, the coal industry simply cannot compete. Were Republicans not dependent on constituents in coal country, they would talk about letting it die in the name of capitalism. Instead, they need to maintain their base at the expense of the world.

The whole point of the agreement was to keep the global temperature down. It was self-regulated, that is every individual state would be responsible of meeting their own agreed targets of emissions. The effects of rising global temperatures cannot be disputed; we are experiencing more than simply a bad year for weather. The constant fluctuations in global temperature, specifically the rising temperature to three degrees Celsius, affects weather patterns the world over causing droughts, floods, massive storms, and other natural disasters. The $100 billion a year pledged to efforts reducing global temperature levels is a pittance when you consider that the US spent about $60 billion in the immediate aftermath of Katrina and about another $60 billion after Sandy and a total of $110 billion for all of 2012. If the US is going to spend about as much on clean up as it would on prevention, then the most cost effective measure is to put more money into prevention.

The Trump plan seems to be akin to solving the problem of inadequate body armor with increased recruitment; sure it costs the same and loses more lives, but at least you can keep the coal industry’s 76,000–that is fewer employees than Arby’s–jobs afloat. This is even more an egregious fidelity to partisan pandering when you consider that jobs in the renewable energy sector not only continue to grow beyond the approximately 3 million it is now, but are predicted to shrink if the US leaves the agreement.

In Virginia, the solar power industry has gained significant traction. Major power companies are adding more and more jobs to economy, as much as 50,000 over the next 10 years. Additionally, the rise of solar energy could save customers of just one Virginia power company approximately $1.5 billion and lead to less reliance on oil and natural gas extraction to meet our energy needs.

So to save a dying industry, Trump is willing to sacrifice even more American jobs in a fast growing and profitable area of the energy sector, and hurt our image and interests abroad.

When China becomes a world leader in pollution to environmental conservation in one move, then the leadership of the US has been sorely affected. While in the agreement, we have the ability to influence it from within and work for our interests. Outside of the agreement, we join Syrian and Nicaragua–the former could not due to Civil War and the latter would not because the agreement had no punitive measures for non-compliance–and allow China, the world’s largest polluter and second largest economy, to dominate the conversation. This will also affect US trade as the accords would dictate the economic activity of literally every country we trade with, except Nicaragua. Add the fact that China would be dominating the conversations concerning the agreement in the future, and the US opens yet another way that China can undermine US economic interests. If China’s influence is not worrying, then Russia’s should be. Even if you want to argue that China has no interest in undermining the US economy, Russia certainly does. With the Russians party to the accord and the US absent, they can pressure our European allies into situations that could even undermine the strength of NATO. The US cannot abandon her allies, militarily or economically. Instead, the US needs to provide quality leadership in environmental protection that only the largest economy and second largest polluter can provide. Such leadership can undermine Chinese and Russian efforts to strong arm our allies in Europe and the Pacific, ensuring that the US stands by her word and stands by her friends.

President Trump has deliberated on this issue and failed miserably. There are people in his cabinet who support the agreement. There are people in Congress, Democrat and Republican, who support the agreement. Make your voices heard, for American workers, for American leadership, and for the Earth!

College Tuition Kills! Reduce the Cost Now!

Skyrocketing rates of college tuition constitute a major problem which threaten to damage the American economy as well as impose an onerous financial burden on the majority of American citizens. Urgent public action is necessary to reverse this trend and to mitigate the extent of the damage it will cause.

 

Trends in Tuition Rates

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rise in college tuition costs greatly outstripped inflation in the economy as a whole over the past 10 years. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the general cost of living in the United States, based on the price of commonly purchased goods such as housing and groceries, and thus a rough benchmark for the income needed to support oneself. From January 2006 until July 2016, the CPI as a whole rose by 21%. In the same time period, the CPI for college tuition rose by 63%, meaning that college costs have been increasing at three times the rate as other goods within the economy.

 

Why It Matters

These trends are negative, and potentially ruinous, for several reasons. We will address three of these reasons below: personal finances, educational achievement, and the health of the overall economy.

 

Personal Finances

According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the U.S. rose from $46,326 in 2005 to $56,516 in 2015. In roughly the same time period as college tuition costs rose by 63%, nominal household income only increased by 22%, closely tracking the CPI as a whole. Put simply, the cost of college is growing three times as quickly as the median American household’s ability to pay for it. If this trend continues, a great number of American citizens who could have afforded an education in the past will find it to be prohibitively expensive and drop out of the system.

 

Educational Achievement

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate enrollment increased by 37 percent between 2000 and 2010, funding the considerable and costly expansion under way at many universities. However, between 2010 and 2014, enrollment decreased by 4 percent. Many observers fear that we have a higher education “bubble” which will burst soon because of the ever increasing costs and decreasing benefits for students entering into an oversaturated higher education market. The dropping enrollment numbers could be one of the first signs for the impending collapse. The health of the nation depends on having slow, steady increases in college enrollment over time as population increases rather than a perpetual boom-bust cycle which leaves some generations well off and others jobless, skill-less, and uneducated. Preventing bubbles of rapidly increasing education costs is the primary means to achieve this goal.

 

Health of the Economy

Widely respected, non-partisan sources such as the Brookings Institute and U.S. Treasury Department assert that having a highly educated workforce is vital to the well-being of an economy. Not only does quality education spur economic growth as a whole but it leads to lower unemployment and greater wealth for a nation’s hard-working citizens. Out-of-control costs in the form of rapidly rising tuition and fees threaten to damage our economy by making a higher education inaccessible to a large part of the populace. An unskilled, uneducated workforce makes for a dreary economy and hard times for businesses and workers alike.

 

The Next Step

In order to keep our economy strong, our businesses thriving, our higher education system respected world-wide, our future workforce skilled and unencumbered by onerous levels of debt, and our citizens free to pursue any profession or occupation which suits their interests and personal strengths regardless of socioeconomic class, it is necessary to curb the soaring costs which characterize today’s higher education market. The American Solidarity Party is committed to enacting common-sense policies which will assist those already encumbered by debt to thrive in our economy as well as to keep college costs down in the future. By doing so, we can ensure a better and brighter future for all Americans.

Statement Concerning Gov. McAuliffe’s Veto of HB 2264

Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a key piece of legislation: a bill that would prevent the Virginia Department of Health from providing funds to clinics that provide abortion services to women who are not covered by Medicaid and redirecting those funds to community health clinics. The governor’s rationale was the women should be given quality health care. In an event comprised mainly of his pro-abortion donors from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and Progress Virginia, Gov. McAuliffe makes to major assumptions.

The first is that abortion is health care. The American Solidarity Party of Virginia is committed to providing quality health care, but we fundamentally disagree that abortion is contributes to health. The very act of abortion is to destroy human life and often has negative, long term affects on the mother who undergoes the procedure. To call this destruction of life health care is a clever deception to mask what is truly being accomplished. What this is truly is Gov. McAuliffe defending his donors’s bottom lines.

The second assumption is that Planned Parenthood contributes meaningfully to the overall health of Virginians. It is absurd to say that women’s health is in jeopardy when Planned Parenthood has only five clinics in Virginia and then only in highly populated areas. They do not extend to impoverished rural areas and focus almost exclusively on city centers. In contrast, there are over 60 free clinics offering the STD testing and other screenings often touted to justify state fund going to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. If Virginians are concerned with how their tax money is invested, the various free clinics and hospitals in the Commonwealth provide more services over a greater area to more people than Planned Parenthood. Indeed, that was the part of the bill that the governor does not discuss: the reallocation of those funds to clinics that serve more than those who want an abortion.

Therefore, it is clear that this is veto is intended to protect abortion and the governor’s donors, not the health of women. We call upon Gov. McAuliffe to reconsider his decision and the Virginia General Assembly to override the governor’s veto in order to provide quality health care to Virginians all across the Commonwealth and reducing the human rights travesty of abortion.

Statement from the ASP National Committee on SCOTUS Nominee

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—The American Solidarity Party (ASP) today responded to the nomination, by President Trump of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court:

The American Solidarity Party expresses its hope that the Senate confirmation process for Judge Gorsuch will be thorough and fair, and draw attention to critical issues enshrined in our party’s platform. It is our hope that the upcoming Senate hearings furnish the American people with a full picture of Judge Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy.

A key issue of concern to the party, and a growing majority of Americans, is the right to life. The ASP believes that life should be protected from conception until natural death, constitutionally, statutorily, and judicially. For any potential Supreme Court Justice, this demands a recognition of the flawed and unconstitutional nature of past rulings which have undermined this most basic right, especially the fateful Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. This also requires, at a bare minimum, recognizing that many existing and pending laws protecting pre-natal life at both the state and federal level are constitutionally valid and in service to the common good. In this context, too, the party reiterates its platform commitments to seeking an end to capital punishment; a legal prohibition against euthanasia and assisted suicide; a ban on gestational surrogacy contracts; and special attention and care for women, the elderly, immigrants, and other vulnerable persons.

Religious freedom rights, which are enshrined in our Constitution as a “right to free exercise” and not merely “freedom of worship” are also a significant concern to the party. The Constitution clearly protects our right to live by our religious convictions, both within our halls of worship and in the larger world outside them. This matter will be especially critical as it will come before the court in cases dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as in connection with immigration policy, national defense, Native American tribal claims, and other fields of law.

The party recognizes the importance of judicial restraint, and the need to maintain a firm separation of powers and robust checks and balances within our government.  Nevertheless, it is also the case that the courts are often one of the only avenues through which the politically powerless, the economically or socially disadvantaged, or otherwise marginalized citizens may have their voice heard and their rights secured. We hope, therefore, that Judge Gorsuch will express his commitment to protecting civil rights for all citizens, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Additional critical questions that the Supreme Court will almost certainly address in the coming years, and about which it will be necessary to gauge Judge Gorsuch’s views, include:

  • Free assembly and expression rights, including the right to protest and demonstrate;

  • Rights of workers to be free from discrimination in the workplace, to organize and form association in pursuit of their mutual interests, and to safeguard high standards of safety and health in the workplace;

  • Criminal justice rights;

  • Voter rights;

  • Limitations on executive power;

It is crucial that Judge Gorsuch is questioned substantively regarding all these concerns by the Senate so that citizens can contact their legislators and engage meaningfully in the process of consent for an appointee to the highest judicial office. On Judge Gorsuch’s part, we hope that he will give the American people assurance of his commitment not only to upholding and defending the Constitution, but also to serving true justice and the common good.

January: Right to Life Month

From the State Committee:

January 22nd marks the 43rd anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  In affirming the intrinsic dignity of all human life, the American Solidarity Party observes January as Right to Life Month.

We mourn for the children lost to abortion.  We stand with the mothers harmed, physically and psychologically, by abortion.

Although America is deeply divided on the question of abortion, a wide range of Americans – from religious sisters to secularists – recognize that life begins at conception, and if we are to be a decent and humane society, we must protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

While working and praying to overturn Roe v. Wade, ASP is also committed to addressing the wider cultural forces which drive some women to choose abortion.  Thus, we support universal healthcare, expanded maternity leave, and other supports for families, including single parents.  Recognizing that life must be protected at all stages, ASP embraces a consistent life ethic which also includes caring for the poor and refugees, the elderly, and the disabled.

We encourage ASP members and all people of good will to support an ethic of life, human dignity, and an end to abortion. Whether or not you attend the March for Life on January 27th, please prayerfully consider how you can offer your support of time, treasure, and talent to speak out for the voiceless and aid the vulnerable.

Why caring for refugees is a pro-life issue — Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

The American Solidarity Party of Virginia supports a generous refugee policy. The current crisis is a call to wealthier nations to protect the lives of the vulnerable during these times of upheval and war.

NPR reports that in 2016 alone, 4,600 people have drowned in the Mediterranean sea trying to reach the shores of Europe. For the past four months, a young Canadian family/emergency physician named Dr. Sarah Giles has been working with ith Doctors Without Borders on a search and rescue boat to help those who attempt the journey.…

via Why caring for refugees is a pro-life issue — Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Listen to Mike Maturen’s Interview with Christian Humanist!

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Listen to American Solidarity Party presidential candidate Mike Maturen talk about the roots of the party and his own personal life in his interview with Christian Humanist!

“In today’s episode, Coyle interviews Mike Maturen, the Presidential candidate for the American Solidarity Party. The Solidarity Party is an American Christian Democratic Party rooted in Catholic social teaching. The party seeks “to promote the common good and the material and spiritual welfare of all people, thereby raising consciousness of the Christian worldview.” Coyle asks Mr. Maturen about the Solidarity Party, his background, and his interests.”

Vote Jeopardizes the Health and Safety of Virginia Women

From the Virginia Catholic Conference that led efforts to oppose proposed measures undertaken by the Virginia Board of Health:

“The Virginia Board of Health capped a 12-hour meeting yesterday by voting to hollow out critical regulations for Virginia abortion clinics, placing the profits of the abortion industry above the health and safety of Virginia women. The board’s vote included dozens of votes on amendments never vetted with Virginians as required by state law, and came despite repeated warnings from medical experts about inadequate infection control standards, and concerns voiced by fellow board members that the board was exceeding its authority.

The Board, comprised of 15 members, all but 4 of whom were appointed by Governor McAuliffe, opted to weaken the very regulations that in March of this year allowed state health inspectors to uncover filthy conditions at a Fairfax abortion clinic reminiscent of the infamous Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors.” That inspection led the State Health Commissioner to suspend the clinic’s license indefinitely.

The Board passed originally proposed amendments that dealt primarily with construction standards, but it also passed additional amendments—first offered yesterday—thereby dramatically exceeding the scope of the original Notice of Intended Regulatory Action. Hence, in addition to weakening 22 different areas of the regulations, the Board acted illegally by passing amendments never before submitted for public comment. Among the most egregious amendments that threaten Virginia women:
The Board passed an amendment offered by member and former State Senator Mary-Margaret Whipple giving the Health Commissioner unprecedented authority to grant permanent waivers to the regulations without any explanation. This effectively allows the Health Commissioner to unilaterally ignore the regulations, including those that have uncovered unsanitary conditions in Virginia abortion clinics.

It repealed a regulation requiring abortion clinics to maintain an emergency transfer agreement with a local hospital in case a patient requires hospitalization after an abortion due to complications. This requirement is currently followed by all Virginia abortion clinics.

It repealed a regulation requiring abortion clinics to provide or refer to resources for post-abortion counseling, a regulation supported by none other than the abortion industry “regulatory” agency, the National Abortion Federation.

It struck all references to CDC Infection Prevention Guidelines, the standard adhered to by health care facilities across the nation.
The Board passed these and many other amendments weakening the regulations despite the objection of board members who repeatedly cautioned fellow members that the board was exceeding its regulatory authority.

During a two-hour comment period earlier in the day, several medical professionals, including OB/GYNs, nurses, and infectious disease specialists urged the Board to maintain basic clinical operating standards for abortion clinics. Their remarks were ignored and jeered at by pro-abortion forces.

Yesterday’s outcome proves that the health and safety of Virginia women is negotiable. The abortion industry, which contributed $2 million in campaign contributions to the current governor, was the clear and predetermined winner.

The next step in the process is a review of the approved amendments by both the Office of the Attorney General and the Governor. However, yesterday’s vote will likely lead to costly and lengthy litigation, further delaying protection for women who visit abortion centers.”

The American Solidarity Party opposes abortion but is opposes also the degradation of health code standards for one surgical and medical industry. This is political favoritism at the expense of women, many of them poor and struggling. Virginia abortion clinics have been found in the past to be unsanitary and unsafe by any standard. This is not pro-women; this is pro-abortion industry. The American Solidarity Party calls on all Virginians of good will to demand that the Governor and Attorney General support protections to women’s health and make these regulations stand.

Watch American Solidarity Party’s Mike Maturen in First Ever Presidential Debate!

 

Featured Image -- 34Americans are increasingly looking outside the two major parties for a new association to call home, disgusted with the corruption and radicalization of both parties. Tonight at 8pm Eastern Time, two presidential candidates from third parties will be debating each other: Joe Schriner, an independent, and Mike Maturen, the American Solidarity Party candidate. Tune in to see Mr. Maturen and Mr. Schriner talk about the issues actually facing Americans and get a breath of issue based air in a political climate of insults and vitriol.