President Barack Obama’s recent speech to a group of African students inspired some concise criticism about dictators, civil rights abuses, false security, and the powerful language of fear.
President Barack Obama did not give his regular public address to the nation this week; in his place was Francine Wheeler, whose six-year-old child was brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School four months ago. The grieving parent used the national broadcast to express why she believes that the United States must implement common sense gun safety reforms.
On the same day that the US Justice Department was fighting for the right to indefinitely detain and imprison its own citizens without charge or trial, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the government, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, participated in a panel discussion in opposition to the NDAA. Hedges explains the frightening legal similarities between the infamous Bush torture memos and Obama’s white paper leak attempting to justify our government’s secret extrajudicial drone killings of US citizens.
“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”
This week California released its first ever hydraulic fracturing regulations, and the Obama administration also announced plans to expand two Northern California marine sanctuaries, extending the protected areas from Monterey Bay all the way to the picturesque Mendocino coast. The larger oceanic sanctuary will permanently ban oil drilling along more than 50 miles of Northern California seashore, while the proposed fracking rules will help to protect the region’s water supply and fragile environment.
Rachel Maddow eloquently described the tremendous impact of our recent election this week, although some clueless conservative politicians still seem determined to continue living in their own clumsily constructed bubble of denial. In this powerful video clip, she clearly explains the extensive national election consequences.
So much of the language in political debates just sounds like nonsense bloviating. Many candidates repeatedly do not even attempt to answer questions, instead spewing only meaningless phrases and empty irrelevant soundbites. For me, the most bizarrely accurate analysis of the last presidential debate was provided by Bad Lip Reading. Their nonsensical imagined debate script somehow perfectly captures the truly absurd essence of contrived election campaign theater.
While commenting on the 2012 presidential race in the Maddow Blog recently, Steven Benen suggested that in this election season it now seems that “maybe you can just make stuff up”. From fictional tales of spastic tubes and forcible legitimate rape, many strange lies and bizarre falsehoods have continued to spew out of the Republican Party propaganda machine. In today’s installment of “maybe you can just make stuff up”, we look at an entertainer who appears intent upon dividing our nation.
Just as newly christened potential vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told his supporters that he was “thrilled to be a part of America’s comeback team”, the Obama campaign released another endearing nickname for the political duo: “The Go Back Team”. It is inexplicable why these Republicans keep desperately clinging to the belief that the miserably failed trickle down economics fraud that already drove our country off a cliff is still somehow a viable solution.
The sound of Mitt Romney trying to sing actually causes me such physical pain that my teeth become numb. Perhaps this is why this recent political ad for Obama’s campaign is so effective. Juxtaposed with audio of the warbling billionaire butchering America the Beautiful is information detailing all of the jobs that Romney slashed and outsourced while running Bain Capital, as well as his copious investments in secret offshore tax shelters.
On Friday June 15th, the Obama Administration announced the much awaited new EPA standards on soot and fine particulate matter. After being strong-armed by an 11 state lawsuit and a court deadline, the EPA reduced the amount of pollution that is considered ‘safe’ from industrial and power plant soot emissions from 15, to the lower maximum of 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic foot. Black soot causes health and environmental problems, as well as asthma, strokes, high blood pressure, acute bronchitis, heart disease, lung cancer and premature death.
Rachel Maddow explained that political policy is far more important than the personal views of elected officials when it comes to civil rights — President Clinton may have personally supported gay rights, but he also signed the backward “Defense of Marriage Act” and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” legislation into law. Maddow highlights President Obama’s leadership concerning marriage equality in helping to secure rights for queer citizens, as well as also shifting our country’s public opinion on this important issue.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey, 1 in 10 veterans under 65 do not have health insurance and do not use the Veterans Affairs Care. In response to the study, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working in collaboration with the Urban Institute, have released a report analyzing the relationship between insurance and veterans, as well as how the Affordable Health Care Act would impact this population.
An Obama-appointed federal judge, Katherine Forrest, has just ruled that the administration’s indefinite detention provisions are indeed unconstitutional, and violate our Fifth Amendment right to due process. The NDAA statute was found to be so incredibly vague that it is nearly impossible to know what specific behavior could potentially subject one to indefinite secret military detention.