Category Archives: Politics

Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.

He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.

He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.

He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.

Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.

May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.

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Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism Book Review

In our politically and socially divided world, the easy thing to do is to do nothing and let someone else step on the soapbox. It is far more difficult to get on that soapbox and do what right, even in the face of massive opposition.

Two years ago, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was the badly needed wake up call that America needed. We may think that racism and prejudice is a thing of the past. But that day proved that it is still alive and well in the United States.

Terry McAuliffe was then Governor of Virginia. In his new book, Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism, the former Governor writes about the time before, during and after the rally. He is candid about his frustration with the bureaucracy of the city government, his belief that the rally should not have happened and the steps he took after the rally to prevent another unnecessary loss of life.

I wish there were more politicians like former Governor McAuliffe. He saw the coming storm in the distance and did what he had to do. It was not easy what he did, but did what he could to stand up for democracy and against those who would use hate to further a destructive agenda.

I recommend it.

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I Blame You, Mr. President

When boiled down to a simple job description, the job of the President of the United States is to protect and serve the American people. Their job is not to serve and protect wealth donors/lobbyists or a specific group of citizens.

And yet, this President has done both.

His openly racist comments and double talk about the continuing gun violence has led to an epidemic of massacres in this country. Yesterday, the list of mass shootings in the United States added two more communities to this gruesome and bloody list: Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

At this point, I am ready to throw my hands up the air. It is well beyond frustrating that some of our elected politicians (you know who included) continue to look the other way or give lip service to this continuing crisis. Will it get to the point that we will have to go through airport level security every time we leave our homes?

Personally, I blame you know who. The accused gunmen were Caucasian men who used racist rhetoric and beliefs as a reason for their actions. It does not help that you know who has openly expressed racists beliefs without being checked by those who can check him. It also does not help that he has given lip service to those who have experienced gun violence while supporting the NRA.

I don’t want to have to go through airport style security every I have leave my home. But at this point, it feels like that may be the only option. That is, unless some of our elected politicians grow a pair and fight for the citizens who were elected to represent them.

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I Agree With AOC On Many Things, But Not About Israel

Anyone who knows me (or has read this blog) knows that as politics go, I am fairly liberal. But that does not mean that I agree 100% of the time with liberal politicians.

Earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was a guest on the Ebro in the Morning radio talk show. When the topic of Israel came up, she said somethings that I completely disagree with.

Before I go further, I need to make one thing clear. There is a stark difference between criticizing a government/country because of the governmental policies and criticizing the government/country because of the religious or cultural identity of said government/country.

I agree with AOC on many things, but not about Israel. Instead of being the intelligent woman that I know she is and replying thoughtfully, she just repeated the same lies that have unfortunately become part of our political rhetoric.

Israel is one of America’s greatest ally, especially in the Middle East. We should not be cutting of our nose to spite our face because of lies and half truths.

We have, as we all know, a Presidential election coming up next fall. Israel will be one of the many topics that will come up during the election season. The Democrats, as a political party, will need everything in their arsenal to oust you know who from office. In speaking as she did, AOC has given the Republicans an edge, especially with Jewish voters. If she is as committed to the Democratic party as she says she is, I would suggest that next time, she does her homework before publicly speaking about Israel as she did.

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Thoughts On Second Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the second night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is not the golden child that she was after the previous debate. She was and still a strong contender. However, it was clear that the other nominees had her in their cross hairs, especially Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
  • Speaking of Representative Gabbard, it felt like she was grasping at straws. While I can’t speak of Senator’s Harris’s record while she was Attorney General in California, I can’t see Representative Gabbard being the Democratic nominee next fall.
  • There were more than enough one liners to go around.
  • The polls may say that for Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance to win the election. However, given that the polls leading up the 2016 elections said that Hillary Clinton was slated to win, I don’t exactly trust the numbers. In regards to last night, Vice President Biden was still not as on top of his game as he could have been. He was evasive at some points and used his former boss, President Obama as a crutch one too many times for my liking.
  • And finally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proved once again why he should not be President. Called out for the fallout from the Eric Garner trial and the lead paint poisoning in NYCHA buildings, he was evasive and put his two cents where they were not wanted.

Readers, those are my thoughts. What did you think of last night? Has your opinion changed about any specific candidate or have you already made up your mind as to whom you will be voting for?

 

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Thoughts On the First Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the first night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • As much as I would like to say that Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) will be our first Jewish-American President, I don’t think he will be the nominee. From my perspective, his plan can best be summed up as a Monet. He didn’t do anything for me during the 2016 Presidential Election and does not do anything for me now. But, he did have the best one-liners.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said nothing new or different than she has said before. This round of debates are do or die for the candidates. While the Senator had many good talking points, nothing she said inspired me.
  • Marianne Williamson surprised me. I didn’t think much of her during the previous debate. But last night, she sounded like a candidate who might have a shot winning the nomination. However, her limited political experience bothers me. Not that there is anything wrong with a political newbie, but given the lack of previous political experience of you know who, I would feel more comfortable with a candidate who has at least some experience in government.
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) stood out. I read her as a centrist Democrat who is able to walk the fine line of holding true to the ideals of the party while appealing to all Americans. I honestly believe that the ideal Democratic candidate to go against you know who is a centrist Democrat whose appeal goes well beyond the party’s base.
  • I don’t agree that immigrants whose status is labelled illegal should just be handed health insurance. Let them pay in, either out of their own pockets or via taxes and enroll in one of the government insurances. I’ve spoken on past posts about my immigrant forebears. They came to this country for the same reasons more than a century ago for the same reason that immigrants are coming today. My forebears did not ask for a handout. They only asked for an opportunity, which what they were given. We should be giving these immigrants the same opportunities that past generations of immigrants were given.

Those are my opinions. Readers, what do you think? What moment or quote stood out to you from last night?

P.S. Did anyone else notice that everyone on stage last night was Caucasian? All of the nominees of color are debating tonight.

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Alienating Voters is Not the Way to Win the 2020 Presidential Election

It’s not exactly a secret that we have a Presidential election coming up next fall. There are, as of now, more than twenty Democrats who would like nothing more than to dethrone you know who.

That being said, it would behoove you know who not to alienate voters.

His latest Twitter attack against citizens and politicians of color is against Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland).

Yesterday, he stated the following on Twitter about Representative Cumming’s district: “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

There are some who hesitate to call you know who a racist. If it looks like a racist, swims like a racist, and quacks like a racist, then it probably is a racist. The problem is that there are too many who will either make excuses for his racist comments or brush them off.

I have two major issues with those who either make excuses or brush them off. The first issue is that this man represents America to the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter what the average American believes or does not believe, when one thinks of America, they think of the President. The second issue is that we, as a culture and a country are working to make up for the way we have treated citizens of color in the past. Instead of bringing us into the future, you know who is dragging us back to the past.

If I had one piece of advice for you know who, I would say that it is unwise to alienate voters. We, as voters, have a long memory and do not forget what our political leaders have said and/or done, especially when we walk up to the ballot box.

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A Sign of the Times: Border Patrol Targets American Citizens

The general idea of law enforcement is to protect the average citizen and ensure that the those who are breaking the law are removed from society. Their job is not target and/or arrest someone because of his or her religion, cultural background or family history.

When it comes to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, their job is specifically to protect our borders. Their job is not to harass citizens.

Back in February, Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez, two Latina-Americans who live in Montana were stopped by border patrol and asked to show ID. They were stopped not because they were suspected of committing a crime. They were stopped because they were speaking Spanish. Both women are American citizens. There is a lawsuit pending against the officer who stopped them.

Last month, 18 year old Francisco Erwin Galicia, an American citizen and a Dallas native, was detained by immigration officials for a month before he was released. He stopped and arrested along with his younger brother. Mr. Galicia was released but his younger brother was eventually sent to Mexico and is residing with his grandmother.

This is not the United States that I know and love. We do not treat immigrants (or anyone else for that matter) like animals and second class citizens. We should not target American citizens and send them to another country because we assume that based on their mother tongue and/or surname, that they are not citizens.

It’s time to stop this madness before we ruin everything that is good about America and the American democracy.

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Congrats Puerto Rico

The essence of any real democracy is that the voice and the vote of the average person on the street is just as important as the voice and the vote of the politician or the member of the 1%.

Puerto Rico has been through a lot in the last few years. But this week, the people who call this island home proved that democracy works. Ricardo Rosselló finally agreed to step down after nearly 1000 pages of texts containing homophobic, misogynistic and profanity laden conversations were leaked to the public.

As I see it, this is a sign of hope. Democracy still exists in this world. The average citizen still has a voice and is not afraid to use it, especially when they disagree with those who they hired (i.e. elected) to run the country.

I hope that same voice comes through next fall and kicks you know who out of office.

Congrats to the people of Puerto Rico. May they inspire all of us to fight for our rights and speak up when we know that our political leaders are not doing what they should be doing.

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Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Book Review

We all want to achieve the American dream in one form or another. The question is, how far does one go to achieve the American dream without crossing moral and/or legal boundaries?

Journalist Vicky Ward’s new book, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, tells the dangerous story of how Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are on their way to unchecked power and wealth.

She starts with her subject’s early years. We all know about Ivanka’s childhood, but the story of Jared’s early years and his family history may be unknown to some readers. His paternal grandparents, Joseph and Rae Kushner survived the Holocaust with a zeal that few survivors had then or have now. Their youngest son (Jared’s father), Charles Kushner, was found guilty in the early 2000’s of financial crimes and witness tampering.

Both Jared and Ivanka grew up in very comfortable surroundings. When you know who was unfortunately elected President in 2016, they followed him to Washington D.C. Instead of being the “adults in the room”, they are using their access to the corridors of power and to the powerful for their own needs.

This book is well done and a must read. What scares me is that if these allegations are true, there is no one to stop Jared and Ivanka throwing away everything this country stands for so they will head of the pack. The other thing that scares me is that someone with antisemitic beliefs would easily be able paint any member of the Jewish faith with a broad brush because of Jared’s image, history and access to the wealthy and powerful.

I recommend it.

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