Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Barbra Boxer: Calls for Abolishing the Electoral College

It’s not surprise that the Electoral College has been under scrutiny, post election. Retiring Democratic California Senator Barbara Boxer filed legislation to abolish the Electoral College that propelled Donald Trump into the Presidency.

Most are calling into question the purpose of the Electoral College – finally understanding what it is - because of the controversy that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. I’m sure most Americans that were not knowledgeable about politics assumed that when you vote for a candidate, it’s tallied at that and left at that. “When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed two million votes, and is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama….this is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the Presidency. ”[1]

Rightfully acknowledged by Barbra Boxer, the abolishment of the Electoral College is the correct thing to do. In an attempt to give the rural countries a larger role in the primaries, they have also neglected the votes of larger states. Just because California, New York and Texas have large populations doesn’t mean they should be tallied in Electoral numbers. Every eligible voter should be counted and not be considered part of a blue or red state.
“One person, one vote” is exactly what we preach but don’t enact. I’m not going to blame the Conservative Republicans for the idea of the Electoral College – although I’m entitled too – because we should be focused on how to get rid of this map that is supposed to help accurately represent the other states, when all it does is wrongfully depict the ideals of Americans.

We on the West Coast have all been frustrated over the fact that Trump became our President. But the part that bothers me the most, as I’m sure it bothers others too, is that Clinton technically won. The democrats don’t need to “rethink” how to speak to the American people again, they have been doing it since 1992 – except one of George Bush’s terms. With Bill Clinton in the house, then Al Gore (who should have been in the house and won the popular vote in Americans as well, via Bush v. Gore) Barrack Obama and lastly Hillary Clinton, were all Democrats who won the Presidency. More American’s had voted for them, than the opposing party – now tell me why you would need to add a system that also “counts” the votes of rural America.

To make this clear, I would have no hesitation voting for a Republican President. However, when you have these candidates representing Congress – who are clearly corrupt and traditional in their approaches toward abortion, filibusters, gay marriage, climate change, jobs that aren’t involved with natural gases, and so on – they are not appealing to the new generation.

Educating Americans is our only hope to avoiding these issues. We need to start making climate change a priority, implementing the ideals of today’s norms while also, and most importantly, abolishing the damn electoral College.
And if we don’t get rid of this system by the next Presidency, then my Australian dual citizen title will come in handy.

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-election-day/close-no-cigar-what-do-losing-presidential-candidates-do-next-n673901

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What the Trump Presidency Means for the Supreme Court Vacancy

Donald J. Trump has just become the President-elect of the United States. Now that’s something I never thought I would say.

Before I congratulate America on nominating an eloquent, deserving, trustworthy, demagogue in President Trump, we must not forget that his triumph vindicates Republican senators – who have filibustered President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee in Merrick Garland – and as a result, will almost certainly lead to conservative(s) nominees. Yes, there is a possibility for Trump to elect more than 1 Supreme Court Justice. 

The Roberts Court should be so lucky. With the looming cloud of old age, Trump may be choosing more than just the successor of Antonin Scalia – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83 and Justice Stephen G. Breyer is 78. Excluding the possibility that they take their personal health seriously, what is the likelihood of Breyer and Ginsburg – especially Ginsburg – making it through the next 4 years? As rhetorical as the question is, my answer is; “likely not for at least 1 of them.”

With Trump in office, we can assume that the Supreme Court will be back in full strength; tilting toward the right and keeping the progressive Justices to a bare minimum, while ultimately, cementing the Courts conservative legacy. But the ramifications of Trump appointing Supreme Court Justice(s) may result in severe negative outcomes – affecting landmark cases and previously set precedent over the last century. One being abortion.

Trump’s been widely acknowledged as a populist and demagogue – The man was a registered Democrat up to 3 years ago. And although I do believe half his ideals and stances on policies were spewed words that merely served to tap into the declining middle class (will never be fully implemented) he did say that it is a woman’s fault if she is raped and impregnated and deserves to be punished. I don’t know what kind of totalitarian government he thinks he is part of, but I’m going to call it what it is – that’s just blatantly stupid. Regardless as to whether Trump is as heavily right-winging as he claims to be, he will have to follow through on at least some of his promises – one being a conservative Justice who can be the deciding factor in overturning Roe. V Wade.

Trump’s Robin – in VP Mike Pence – has made his stance on issues like Gay Rights and Abortion very clear, while vocally stating his dissatisfaction with the ruling in Roe. V Wade. Although Trump himself may not be, his cabinet can be a great force in influencing their anti-gay, pro-corporate, pro-abortion policy agenda, resulting in turning back a 100 years of legislation; And appointing more than 1 Justice onto the Supreme Court gives them their best chance to do so.

The Supreme Court already has its 4 progressives and 4 conservatives (1 being Kennedy, the swing vote). When Scalia’s vacancy is addressed, the conservatives will have a 5-4 advantage, which the Courts are no strangers to. However, if any tragedies occur as far as our senior liberal members are involved, the dynamics of the Court will be at stake, with the left wing going to be at a considerable disadvantage – possibly resulting in a 7-2 ideology split.
In other words, no liberal stance on any of the ongoing cases or previously set cases in our country’s history will have a chance in being seriously considered – is it too early to wave goodbye to the progressive America we were so close in expanding?

I may be a little premature and pessimistic, but nonetheless, there is a forcefully paved road toward conservatism – if the Senate had just let sitting President appoint his Justice of choice, as is his right to do so, this would not be a great concern. However, the Republican’s and their agenda to impose their ideals on all people, in any way they seem fit, has especially surfaced throughout the primaries.

In the short term, the Supreme Court is poised to return to their conventional norms: leaning right, divided heavily, while constantly challenging previously set precedent. The appointing of a Supreme Court Justice to take the spot of the late Antonin Scalia, as well as possibly replacing liberal members of the Supreme Court, can result in a catastrophe – disregarding the liberal voice of America.

The aphorism of the Supreme Court is “equal justice under law.” But with a consistently right leaning panel, it seems to be more “do as we say, not as we do.” Donald Trump’s election represents the lost liberal opportunity and the instilling of fear for what comes next for our Supreme Court. 

Americans, now more than ever, should be heavily involved in their government’s decision-making in the political sector to avoid turning the block back more than they have. The voice of many Americans is in jeopardy if Trump’s appointees are influenced by his cabinet, while also having the possibility of electing more than 1 Justice during his term.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is Turkey’s President Erdogan Involved with ISIS?

Speculation over the last few years has linked Turkey with ISIS – where the country and its President have discreetly provided ISIS with assistance in the form of weaponry, training, finances and so on. Although many have dismissed the evidence, I find new evidence to be irrefutable – Erdogan’s daughter and her involvement with ISIS.

Most recent evidence has found Sumeyye Erdogan, the daughter of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the lead nurse at a hospital that attends to injured ISIS members, on the exact territory that ISIS occupies.

“A London-educated scion of wealthy family and the eldest daughter of totalitarian President Erdogan, Sumeyye Erdogan, more than once announced her intention to be dispatched to Mosul, Iraq’s once second-biggest city and ISIL’s stronghold to do relief works as a volunteer which drew public ire and vast condemnation from Turkey’s opposition parties. Moreover, the Turkish opposition parties accuse the administration of Recep Tayyip Erdogan of seeking diligently to hide the truth concerning numerous financial malfeasances Erdogan son, Bilal Erdogan, is involved.”[1]

The constant denial of ties to ISIS by Turkish elites and party members seems to only fuel the speculation of their involvement. Erdogan’s hatred for Shiite Muslims – him being a conservative Sunni - has made the rumors and speculation of his ties to ISIS worth a second look. ISIS, and their attempt to radicalize their conservative Sunni ideology, are also considering Shiite Muslims the enemy and wrongful interpreters of the Quran. As a result, Erdogan, in his cynical way, has assisted in anyway for ISIS to discreetly exterminate the Shiites in the region. [2] Not only have these speculations been documented but have restricted Turkey from achieving prioritized goals. 

Issues and speculation like this are the reason why Turkey has also not been considered to be part of the European Union – something Turkey has wanted for a long time. Not only would it give their economy and currency value a boost, but would establish them as an anti-corrupt state – something that many countries in the EU have a hard time in believing. Their history of discrimination against minorities – and even women – suppressing their journalists and media figures, having a tyrannical President in Erdogan and his corrupt campaign with rumored involvement with ISIS have all led to the inevitable.

Turkey and their governmental elites should be investigated more thoroughly as their tyrannical characteristics have surfaced and continued to surface for quite some time. If the United States continues to back Turkey, they should probe at the government’s track record for discrimination as well as their involvement with ISIS. If they truly want to destroy the terrorist group and continue to impose their force as the leaders of the free world, they need to get to the bottom of these accusations involving their ally’s.

[1] http://awdnews.com/top-news/turkish-president%E2%80%99s-daughter-heads-a-covert-medical-corps-to-help-isis-injured-members,-reveals-a-disgruntled-nurse
[2] http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/07/21/erdogans-daughter-joins-isis/

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton: The Issue around Healthcare and Why She is Overly Qualified to be POTUS

I understand why there has been a lot of controversy about Hillary Clinton. Many use the arguments of Benghazi and her email scandal as a legitimate reason to avoid having her become the next President of the United States. Regardless of those admitted faults and wrong doings, it can’t POSSIBLY be worse than the things Trump has said and done. She may not be as likable as other figures in politics – while constantly being made a mockery of – her track record speaks for itself. Although many have demonized Hillary Clinton and pointed to the public why she should not be President, lets look into why she should be President.

Avoiding the immediate reaction of, “Anyone will be better than Trump” from the more sensible people, Hillary Clinton has been involved in Politics and Government for the last 3-4 decades. Constantly considered a “flip-flopper,” many do not realize that Clinton, during her time as a US Senator, Secretary of State and a First Lady, was able to make huge strides in politics – from imposing new forms of Health Care to negotiating legislations. During her 8-year tenure as a senator, Clinton has had her name, as a sponsor and cosponsor, on over 400 pieces of legislation.[1] Clinton has for many years been a great negotiator and has attempted to find common ground with every situation she has been in. Consistently mistaken for flip flopping – like in the topic of same-sex marriage – Clinton has had to negotiate with endorsers, institutions and political elites in order to get amendments passed. Before you attack her changing her perspective on these issues, why has no one brought up these flip flopping accusations on both Barrack Obama and Bernie Sanders? Yes, Bernie Sanders has flopped on the subject. Until 2009, neither 3 of those figures had publicly stated that they were for Same Sex Marriage. While Sanders generally opposed measures to ban gay marriage, he did not speak out in favor of it until 2009.[2] Sanders had not voted on amendments or tried to pass any pieces of legislation himself for the legalization of Gay Marriage – and neither did Obama. Why? Because they would have lost their favorability and quite possibly their jobs if they did. Many endorsers and elites that would otherwise be required for their reelections and political careers would have been lost. Remember, this is their job, not just a hobby.

The issue of Health care has always been a large and possibly a deciding factor in elections. It is safe to say that everyone liked Bernie Sanders for a handful of things - one being his stance on Universal Healthcare. However, what many Americans never understood is that Hillary Clinton was an advocate and supporter for Universal Healthcare during her 2008 Presidential Campaign. Clinton tried to explain to voters that her Healthcare plan made it a requirement for States to pay for insurance – meaning universal healthcare. During the primaries, Obama had attacked her Universal Healthcare by claiming that she was forcing everyone to buy insurance, even if they couldn’t afford it – which is ironic since that wasn’t the case and that’s exactly what Obama Care does. Unfortunately, Clinton’s universal healthcare didn’t work due a few reasons; one being how Congress was controlled by republicans. Who (1) hated that she drafted it, (2) hate big government, and (3) don't want to pay a penny more in taxes, or have the government pay for anything. They believed that health insurance should be an individual entity and not required by the state. Except the taxpayer ends up paying for it anyway if someone doesn't have coverage and gets sick. But at least with insurance you can prevent these diseases and treat them as opposed to having no insurance – going into a hospital and being treated for a huge surgery that is being paid by the taxpayer.

Video of Clinton speaking on her Healthcare in 2008:

Now, is it ethical to have “politics” in politics? That subject can be debated another day. However, we do need to realize that humans are the ones running our government, ones with their own biases. It is an extremely difficult task to have all of congress agree on the same pieces of legislation – which makes negotiating that much more important. Hillary Clinton has been heavily scrutinized throughout her life for issues that were not deserved. What she represents is progress as well as a great negotiator who the United States can benefit from. So for the “undecided voters” of this election, or the ones that are not entirely convinced with Hillary, you should consider all the facts surrounding her because she has represented progress that can be beneficial to our government.

[1] http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/09/only-3-of-clintons-400-pieces-of-legislation-became-law/
[2] http://time.com/4089946/bernie-sanders-gay-marriage/