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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The President's Executive Action On Gun Control & Gun Safety

From what I saw on C-SPAN earlier, it's clear that Barack Obama's absolutely infuriated with the inaction from Congress on the issue of gun violence. Even seeing him weep about it in front of the various families who suffered losses in the most recent mass shootings says a lot as to why he's right to take executive action where Congress failed to do so. The crisis of gun violence, especially mass shootings, has gotten way too out of hand that he needed to act.

The executive orders he issued would overhall the background checking system by streamlining it and would expand it to sales at gunshows and online. Not to mention it would update who would be considered a dealer, and increase enforcement against dealers who are operating without a license. Additionally, he's ordering the hiring of some 200 new ATF agents to enforce the laws on the books with the money already appropriated by Congress. As for the mental health aspect of it, we need to do more to end the stigmatization of mental illness and mental disabilities, and he's ordering an additionall $500 million in new funding for mental healthcare. You can read more on what the President plans to do on The White House's website. You can find it here.

Hearing what I did from the National Rifle Association, it comes as no surprise that the President managed to outsmart them and outmaneuver their GOP pawns in Congress. They can't do much more than throw a temper tantrum since they have no real means of rescinding the President's actions. Hearing other presidential candidates (such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz)  from the Republican Party promising to rescind them is no surprise either if they're elected to office. The good news is that on The Democrats' side, Bernie Sanders is promising to keep the order in place and enforce it. He's right to point out that the time for moral outrage over this senseless gun violence has long since passed. I found out about this from scanning through PoliticusUSA's website.

Sources:
White House - https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/01/04/live-updates-what-president-doing-keep-guns-out-wrong-hands
PoliticusUSA - http://www.politicususa.com/2016/01/05/bernie-sanders-vows-continue-obamas-executive-orders-guns-elected-president.html


Monday, January 4, 2016

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Could Lose Election For Democrats

The more I hear about The Democrats' ongoing internal troubles, the more I'm beginning to think that the current DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is setting the party up to lose the election in November. It's not hard to see why, with the debate schedule to the lax security around donor info makes me really uneasy about what other troubles could be plaguing the DNC. This does not inspire confidence, especially in the party that has great ideas. Furthermore, she is a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton, and does owe her career in Congress to the Clintons, but I'm getting concerned that she's putting that loyalty ahead of objectively monitoring the race. But as I've said numerous times on the blog as to why I think nominating Hillary is a mistake, the biggest reason being that she's uninspiring and too many base Democrats see her as being dishonest. If we don't get a new DNC chair, we're not going to see another Democratic President again once Barack Obama leaves office in a year. This would be the likely scenario should Hillary be nominated for President, as the nation as a whole would vote to elect Donald Trump as President (that would be bad news in more ways than anyone can imagine).

Furthermore, I don't understand Schultz's decision to contract out the maintenance of the Democrats' donor database out to the company NGP VAN, which apparently cannot hold secure donor information between various campaigns. Granted what Bernie Sanders' campaign did was horrifying, but it highlights the problem of contracting out that kind of work. It lead to lax security measures for holding on to people's private information. I have yet to hear anything coming out of an inquiry as to why this happened and how to prevent it. If I do, I'll share my thoughts on here.

Why we need to vote in November

I have to be clear on this, we as Democrats cannot stay home in 2016 like we did in 2014. Doing so is a God-send to the Republicans as they'll easily move to make sure we can't ever vote in our lifetimes. Granted, the ones I'm talking about are the ones in Congress and our state legislatures (those where they have the majority) and as governors of 31 states. Anyway, we need to be sure that they don't get the ability to change around voting laws at the Federal level. This is the biggest reason to make your voice heard, or otherwise you won't if the Koch Brothers manage to buy the election for the Republicans.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Thoughts On The Kennedy Center Honors

Man, the Kennedy Center Honors this year were spectacular. 5 new honorees inducted: George Lucas, Seiji Ozawa, Cicely Tyson, Carole King and Rita Moreno. The way that each honoree was inducted was just amazing.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Israel Choosing War Over Peace

I read an article in the Washington Post detailing the need to bring about greater scrutiny of Israeli charities operating here in America. Many of these charities are using their donated dollars to build more settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. By doing this, these charities are helping the Likud Government completely flout international law and are also helping to undercut the official US position on the settlements.

It's becoming clear that the Prime Minister of Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, has chosen war instead of making a sustainable peace with the Palestinians. To see this happening now is beyond infuriating. And it's not only Bibi, or these charities. Even members of our own Congress are repeatedly voting away our ability to conduct our own independent foreign policy. They've sworn an oath to protect and defend our Constitution and that's in addition to our sovereignty, but don't even bother telling that to the Republican Congress as they'll just simply ignore it.

The only way to force a change in Israel's behavior is for the American Jewish Community to start flexing its muscles. It's time for American Jews to start calling out Israel's lack of interest in peace and engaging in the BDS movement. It also means starting to promise law-makers of all levels that they won't get our vote unless they support the BDS movement. That means we need to get organizing and not let groups like AIPAC and the World Jewish Congress throw around the pathetic talking-point of speaking for all of us. We're not monolithic when it comes to Israel.

We American Jews have a responsibility for reining in our homeland when it's flown off the rails. It's time we started doing so, and let's take that conviction with us to the ballot box next November.

Friday, December 11, 2015

George Lopez Is Feeling The Bern

I was happy to have seen that George Lopez officially endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. Besides having mentioned his support for Bernie on Twitter, he made the case very clear that Donald Trump was bad news if elected President of the United States.
That was George's tweet of endorsement and support. All I can say is let's get the ball rolling to get the Bern into The White House in November 2016.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Donald Trump And The Disabled

It was a shameful day to hear Donald Trump making hateful commentary about a New York Times reporter who happened to have disabilities. As someone who has disabilities, I take very strong exception to Trump's comments.

I'm autistic (a developmental disorder/disability), and that won't change as long as I'm living. Life for me can be difficult at times, and overwhelming at others, but it's not 100% impossible. For me, I get overwhelmed from too much stimulation or from trying to overly control a lot of the disorder's symptoms. The worst for me is auditory over-stimulation, as it's difficult for me to process auditory information, especially at high speeds.

For me to have seen Trump's offensive commentary was a realization of how badly people with disabilities are stigmatized. It makes me also realize just how strongly he may push for the repeal of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would make life for people like myself much more difficult.

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