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Obama’s gun control plan ignores the excesses of US arms industry

gun-control-cartoonAt least 430 people have been killed and more than 1,200 others injured in 338 mass shootings in the United States so far this year. An estimated 400,000 Americans have been shot and killed since 9/11….

[President Obama’s] focus on the plight of shooting victims, however noble, exposes another, less discussed form of national numbness. The United States’ arms trade with countries that violate the human rights of their citizens is a major contributor to the armed violence that has gripped the Middle East, especially since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Read the editorial in Al Jazeera by Farhad Mirza, November 24, 2015

Sorry, Governors: The Decision To Let In Refugees Isn’t Really Up To You

usConstitutionA wave of governors rattled their sabers Monday in response to the Paris terrorist attacks, vowing to block Syrian refugees from settling within their states. But those threats rest on shaky legal ground.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed that the Constitution vests the federal government — and not the states — with “power over immigration, naturalization and deportation.”

Read the article in the Huffington Post by Christian Farias and Elise Foley, November 18, 2015

Republicans’ Playbook on Women Gets Even Scarier

abortionLast week, Ted Cruz promoted the endorsement of Troy Newman, an anti-choice leader who has gone so far as to say that a perfectly biblical society would execute its abortion providers.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Ted Cruz is so thrilled that someone who wants abortion providers to be killed is supporting him that he actually sent out a press release to celebrate the endorsement. Is that what this Republican primary has come to? Presidential candidates applauding — not denouncing — these radically extreme positions?

Read the editorial in the Huffington Post by Kathleen Turner, November 24, 2015

Texas Is Gaming The Clock In The Fight Over Obama’s Immigration Plan

3-wanted-immigrant-labor-framingThe clock is ticking on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, and Texas seems to know it.

The state on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to file court papers in its dispute with the federal government over the president’s deportation relief programs — a move that may delay a ruling in the case until after Obama leaves office.

Read the article in the Huffington Post by Lawrence Hurley and Cristian Farias, November 23, 2015

States of Fear

fear-cartoon-quoteFear is toxic to a democracy. Fear divides. Fear overreacts. Fear discriminates. It’s a lesson we’ve learned throughout our history, from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II to the post-9/11 Patriot Act. And now in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, we’re relearning that lesson again as some of our leaders put forth proposals that would undermine our commitment to a free, pluralistic, compassionate, and open society.

Read the editorial in the Huffington Post by Anthony D. Romero, November 22, 2015

We Are All Muslims Now

fearIgnorance allows fear to grow. In the absence of knowledge of the Quran’s message of peace, acceptance, community and charity, fear fills the void in politics and elsewhere. If self-described Islamic State militants kill time and again in the name of Islam — if they declare a “caliphate” in the ancient tradition — it takes a sense of history and proportion to know that they’re lying.

We can’t abdicate the responsibility for this education to the politicians.

Read the editorial on Huffington Post by Howard Fineman, November 19, 2015

Higher voter turnout could limit the far right

switch-offSean McElwee focuses on differences in opinion between voters and nonvoters who identified as Republican. He began by examining the three areas of federal spending that most closely relate to the government’s role in the social safety net: Social Security, child care and subsidies for the poor. Each question asks respondents whether they want to increase, decrease or keep the same funding for each. The results are amazing!

Read the article in Al Jazeera by Sean McElwee, November 16, 2015

Look At These Photos Before You Say We Can’t Take In Syrian Refugees

A Syrian man walks amid destruction in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 10, 2013. The United States is mulling ways to step up support for the Syrian opposition, a top US official said, as US Secretary of State John Kerry and G8 ministers were to meet rebel leaders. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF        (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
A Syrian man walks amid destruction in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 10, 2013.   DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

French authorities are still piecing together information about the terrorist operation that killed at least 129 and wounded hundreds more in Paris last week, but on Monday, a number of American politicians said they’d heard enough to make one immediate conclusion: There’s no place for Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Look at these photos to see what we would be abandoning these refugees to face.  Are we that calloused?

Private sector jobs soar under ‘Obamacare’

annoy-a-republicanAt this week’s debate for the Republican presidential candidates, Carly Fiorina, who’s dabbled at times with demonstrably false talking points, proudly declared, “Obamacare isn’t helping anyone.” Even for her, it was unsettling to hear Fiorina deny the existence of tens of millions of Americans who’ve benefited from the Affordable Care Act.
But aside from the garden-variety nonsense, the debate’s audience also heard a more specific claim from Marco Rubio: “[W]e have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people.” To which the reality-based community responded, “We do?”
Read the editorial on the Maddow Blog by Steve Benen, November 12, 2015

GOP advocates a whole new (and far worse) approach to U.S. infrastructure

city roadIt didn’t generate a lot of attention, but the House did something entirely unexpected last week: it actually passed an important bill without a lot of drama. The nation’s Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of money on Nov. 20, pushing Congress to do something before the infrastructure deadline, and in his first tangible victory, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) advanced a six-year package, carrying a $340 billion price tag.
The final vote was surprisingly lopsided: 363 to 64. Most of the opponents were far-right lawmakers, but they didn’t come close to derailing the bill. The Ryan honeymoon is apparently real.
Read the editorial on the Maddow Blog  by Steve Benen, November 12, 2015

Ohio Becomes Latest State To Vote Down Gerrymandering

gerrymanderingOn November 3, Ohio voters approved by a margin of 71% to 29% a constitutional amendment that will greatly reduce, or even eliminate, the gerrymandering of state legislative districts beginning in 2021.

Ratification of Issue 1 by the voters followed its approval by bipartisan votes of 28-1 in the Ohio State Senate and 81-7 in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Read the article in the Huffington Post by Richard Gunther, November 4, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Aren’t Actually Supposed to Try to Make Things Worse, Right?

TxStateCapitolThe state excels at creating solutions in search of problems, making life more difficult for the most marginalized Texans.

Government by the people, for the people. That’s kind of the foundation of this whole democracy thing, isn’t it? The four or five of us who are able to bother with it shuffle on over to the polls every couple of years to elect some folks who are at least supposed to try not to burn this whole place down. Even in Texas, we at least deserve the expectation, however naive, that our elected officials aren’t actively trying to make things worse, right?

Read the editorial in The Texas Observer by Andrea Grimes, October 30, 2015

On Foreign Policy, Bernie Sanders Is the Democrat and Hillary Clinton Is a Republican

hilary-clinton-bernieWhen evaluating the two choices for Democratic nominee, it’s important to emphasize that voters will decide upon the next Commander in Chief. I state exactly why I’m only voting for Bernie Sanders in this YouTube segment, primarily because the next president will have monumental choices to make in terms of foreign policy. Because the presidency in this era of American history has more power to wage war than ever before, it’s imperative that our Democratic nominee act more like a Democrat, than a Republican, on the topic of foreign policy.

Read the editorial on Huffington Post by H.A. Goodman, October 30, 2015

783,938 is not just a number; it’s a shame

Cartoon by Nick Crusade

Try counting to 783,938. Who has time for that, right? Besides, 783,938 is just a number — it and every number between one and it. So who cares?

We all should. That’s the number of uninsured children in Texas, according to analysis by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. And it should be unacceptable to all Texans. Except that, for purely political reasons, it’s not.

Read the editorial in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, October 30, 2015