Budgets reflect priorities. As a nation we often state that our priorities begin and end with the health, safety and well-being of citizens, especially our children as they are represent the future of the country. Education is part of ensuring well-being, and a well-educated populace enables the nation to compete globally among developing countries that are rapidly advancing their social agendas that are supported, in large part, by their technological developments.… [Read more]
Yesterday, after much intense debate, the Senate struck a deal to expanding background checks for gun buyers. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), both of whom are strong traditional allies of the National Rifle Association, revealed a compromise to close the gun show loophole.
According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:
“Unfortunately, current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers, which account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States.… [Read more]
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed away. The Baroness, who died today at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, was the longest serving PM of the 20th century having served from 1975 to 1990, was a leader of the Conservative Party, and was Great Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister.
A woman of humble beginnings, Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter who became a chemist and then an attorney before entering politics.… [Read more]
Hungry children are less likely to develop properly and they are far less likely to be able to pay attention and focus on educational pursuits. So, given how pervasive hunger is for children in this nation, doesn’t it seem all the more incredible that children would be forced to throw out school lunches because of an inability to pay?… [Read more]
Birth control and its impact is back in the news. A battle has been ongoing for over a decade about who should have access to the morning after pill, and under what terms and circumstances should the pill be available. As of now, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn, New York, has issued a ruling that the United States government must make the morning-after pill available over the counter for all ages.… [Read more]
President Obama’s salary and pension may be exempt from sequestered cuts but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the same cut that other federal employees are being subjected to due to budget sequestration. Today, it was announced that the POTUS plans to return 5% of his $400,000 annual salary in response to and in support of federal workers who are going to be furloughed.… [Read more]
The state of Mississippi made news recently when its governor, Dewey Phillip Bryant, selected Ms. Terri Herring to fill a vacant slot in its Board of Health. Normally, appointments by governors don’t gain much attention and, on its face, some may think that selecting a woman for a health department position in a state where health concerns loom large due to the alarming rate of obesity and its 6th-place rank in terms of teen pregnancies – but this particular woman has her own agenda.… [Read more]
A few near-miraculous events have taken place today. This April 1st is one for the history books!
The War on Women has been declared over. The men of the Republican party, joined by a few blue dog Democrats and Republican women, announced that they realised that unless they begin attending medical school in droves, any woman’s uterus is none of their business.… [Read more]
Today, Easter Sunday, is the day when many around the world celebrate resurrection, the miraculous return to life of Jesus Christ. Whether or not one is a believer, the story is interesting and presents many lessons from which we can learn about the power of change and belief. Like many people, I enjoy finding a lesson in stories; learning from events in others’ lives fosters growth and development.… [Read more]
Today, the Environmental Defense Fund relayed some information that should make all of us breathe a little easier:
The EPA has just announced historic new standards to reduce soot, smog and other dangerous pollution that spews from the tailpipes of our cars and trucks.
With every breath, these standards will deliver cleaner, healthier air to the lungs of millions of Americans, producing billions of dollars of public health benefits every year.… [Read more]
A few days ago, the issue of earned sick days for workers was in the news. Its was noted that, for example, more than a million residents of New York who do not have paid sick days and that suffering an illness means losing out on a pay check at best and a job at worst. … [Read more]
1. a person or thing that is disgusting
2. an action that is vicious, vile, etc.
3. intense loathing
It’s clear that many on the right view President Obama as an abomination worthy of disdain — but is it possible that what the electorate is witnessing is their fear that the extremist ideology touted by the right continues to lose support?… [Read more]
Much progress towards full LGBT rights was achieved last year; marriage equality was won in several states, bringing the total to nine (Maryland, Iowa, Maine, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia). Additionally, a hate crimes law was enacted, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ended and, for the first time ever, a sitting President stated his full support for marriage equality and instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was enacted in 1996.… [Read more]
Legacies. If or when elected officials think about how their constituents will remember them once they’re out of office, what thoughts cross their minds? Do they think about how they could have left their jurisdictions better than they found them? Do they give thought to how they could have reached back a little bit more to help those who were most in need of their support?… [Read more]
Here’s a sobering thought as we pass the mid-way point of Women’s History Month: we’re still too far apart in closing the gender wage gap.
Even with moves toward equalizing pay between men and women, and the passage of the Lily Ledbetter Act requiring equal pay, men still make almost 20% more than women in nearly all industries.… [Read more]
President Obama continues to fill out his second-term team, adding to the recent confirmations of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and CIA Director John Brennan. Today, Thomas E. Perez, currently an Assistant Attorney General heading the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice has been nominated by the president to take over as the United States Secretary of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.… [Read more]
“If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in his prison cell . . . to write a letter to the Supreme Court . . . the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed. But Gideon did write that letter, the Court did look into his case .… [Read more]