Republicans seem to be hoping that President Obama will negotiate with himself until they are satisfied.
February 26, 2013
February 22, 2013
The N.R.A. and gun-rights advocates are quick to use the Constitution to defend unfettered access to even the most lethal firearms. But before the Constitution there was the Declaration of Independence, which asserts that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights, including those of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It continues, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted..." It is time now for government to protect our right to life from the threat of gun violence. It is time for politicians to put this right on the same pedestal they afford the right to bear arms. It is time for them to heed Supreme Court Justice Scalia, who said, "like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." [...] Common sense regulation is urgently needed to protect the lives of Americans in their places of work, houses of worship, shopping centers, movie theaters, parks and schools. [...] But little is going to change unless concerned citizens speak out and demand action from politicians.
February 21, 2013
That tempting seafood delight glistening on the ice at the market, or sizzling at the restaurant table in its aromatic jacket of garlic and ginger? It may not be at all what you think, or indeed even close, according to a big new study of fish bought and genetically tested in 12 parts of the country — in restaurants, markets and sushi bars — by a nonprofit ocean protection group, Oceana. In the 120 samples labeled red snapper and bought for testing nationwide, for example, 28 different species of fish were found, including 17 that were not even in the snapper family, according to the study, which was released Thursday. The study also contained surprises about where consumers were most likely to be misled — sushi bars topped the list in every city studied — while grocery stores were most likely to be selling fish honestly. Restaurants ranked in the middle.
February 17, 2013
The gap between aspiration and reality could hardly be wider. Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity. Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere. But not for at least a quarter of a century. Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches stories were not a deliberate hoax, but given how they’ve lulled us into a sense of complacency, they might as well have been. It’s not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top. Economic mobility in the United States is lower than in most of Europe and lower than in all of Scandinavia.
February 16, 2013
February 12, 2013
February 10, 2013
It is so refreshingly wonderful to think that what was once unthinkable could become a possibility – a bill to comprehensively reform our broken immigration system. Even the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing last Tuesday, where there was a willingness to legalize the 10+ million undocumented population, when in the past the tunnel vision mindset of the GOP controlled House was to find ways to either deport them or make it hard for them to remain in the US. The fault line of contention in the debate is whether to grant a pathway to citizenship or not for those who will be able to legalize their status. Many House GOP leaders have stated that they would rather find a middle ground between deporting the undocumented people and providing them with citizenship, which is obviously being opposed by advocates for immigration reform. Even the Obama White House is opposed to this. For instance, Raul Labrador, a rising GOP leader from Idaho in the House has said that he would vote for providing legal status to the undocumented, but not a green card, which would provide a path to citizenship. The rationale for this is that those who have not” played by the rules” should not be rewarded with a quick path to citizenship. But the underlying motive for denying a path to citizenship is the fear that these new citizens will vote against the Republican party. On the other hand, Jose Garcia, a Democrat from Florida believes that not providing a path to citizenship would create an underclass in the US, which is not in keeping with American values. He also cites the examples of the French and German systems where immigrants are not allowed to become French or German, and this has resulted in the kind of social unrest in those countries that we have not seen in the US. It is worth noting that the heavyweight Republican from California, Darrell Issa, has recently backed a path to citizenship. He stated, "Ultimately, if you're allowed to remain in this country permanently, in almost all cases, there should be a path to citizenship. That is what Abraham Lincoln would have said. That's what the Republican Party stands for."