Trump’s response to Puerto Rico

Trump’s response to Puerto Rico has been heavily criticized by both sides of the aisle. While there are not many things that Democrats and Republicans agree on, one of them is that Trump has handled the situation poorly. Not much action has been taken yet, with Trump and his administration claiming that it is too hard to reach Puerto Rico or that there are too many obstacles to helping. However, most people claim that these are simply excuses. Trump’s recent visit to Puerto Rico has also been disappointing, with him staying shorter than expected and making what most consider to be derogatory remarks at the citizens there. However, those that defend Trump argue that aid has been and will be given to Puerto Rico.

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Opinion piece: We need to talk about gun control

Gun control laws are necessary in this country. This was evident after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, and after Pulse. It is evident once again after Las Vegas. And yet, the odds that something will actually happen are close to zero. The same frustrating sequence of events happens every time a tragedy like this happens. Everyone offers thoughts and prayers for victims and families, insisting it is not time to politicize the event. Then, everyone moves on slowly. When the “mandatory mourning period” is over, the issue is no longer salient, or there is another pressing problem that needs taking care of. This is the incredibly effective tool of the Right to stay away from gun control laws that are clearly needed.

The problem is, there is no legitimate reason not to implement gun control laws. There are lots of rights that are restricted for the good of the general public. For example, free speech is limited when it comes to obscene things that could upset other people. Rights do not stay intact when they interfere with the wellbeing of the general public. There is no reason why the second amendment should be exempt from this, except the Right and groups like the NRA seem to think that any intervention into gun ownership is a gross violation of our rights as Americans. The common misunderstanding is that the reform many call for is not complete abolishment of guns, just limiting of who can purchase a gun, making the purchasing period longer, and banning the purchase of things such as high powered assault rifled. This is reasonable. Longer waiting periods and more thorough mental health assessments are necessary and not harmful, and no one needs a high powered assault rifle for anything except to, oh right, hurt people. Every claim by gun enthusiasts about why those death machines are necessary are easily debunked by statistics and common sense.

We need reform, and we need it now. Anyone who refuses to let that happen has blood on their hands. There have already been hundreds of shootings this year. I urge our policymakers: do not let it continue.

Image Credits: NYT

 

Opinion piece: an open letter to Trump about Puerto Rico

Trump:

I didn’t really think your response to Puerto Rico could get worse than your embarrassing barrage of accusatory tweets towards Puerto Ricans, but I was, as oft happens with this particular administration, once again proven wrong. In case you didn’t know, the Constitution states that it is the federal government’s responsibility to provide for the general welfare. This means stepping in to help people when there are problems they cannot fix themselves. The humanitarian crisis created by the hurricanes is one example of this. It is your job to help.

Between praising your own administration for its relief efforts (which, in Puerto Rico, have been almost non-existent) and calling Puerto Ricans lazy, your visit to the island was, quite frankly, a disaster. Tip: saying that Hurricane Katrina was worse than Irma and Maria does nothing to alleviate the situation, and actually makes it worse. There are 3.4 million people without food and water, and almost 100% of the island is without electricity. Millions of lives have been permanently altered by this destruction, and it is incredibly offensive to imply that the people of Puerto Rico are in some way not deserving of help because 1,800+ people did not die as a result.

As if the negative PR you would have received with that alone wouldn’t have been enough, you also saw fit to throw paper towels at residents as if they were animals. Nice job. So, all in all, maybe your photo-op visit didn’t go as well as planned. Between mistaking the representative of the Air Force and the Coast Guard and discrediting the local government’s response (when it is clear that they have done more than you have to help), the visit seemed like a slap in the face.

Thank you, Donald Trump, for once again making it very clear that the Trump Administration sees its most vulnerable citizens as second class and undeserving of help. We get the message.

Thanks,

A (perpetually) disappointed American.

Image Credits: Vox

Statistic Credits: Salon

Murphy pressured woman to get an abortion

Recent text messages that have come out suggest that Congressman Tim Murphy urged a woman to have an abortion. Tim Murphy is a Republican Representative from Pennsylvania. This news is particularly alarming to the public as Murphy has expressly stated his pro-life ideology on social media and publicly before. The woman he pressured to abort the baby is one he was allegedly having an affair with, according to the text messages acquired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Although his affair is not news, having confessed to it in September, these newfound messages have left many to call Murphy a hypocrite when his official Facebook account posted pro-life propaganda and as he co-sponsored the 20 week abortion ban. When the woman he was having an affair with made her criticism public, Murphy responded by stating that all Facebook posts were made by his staff and that he was not personally aligned with that ideology.

 

Image Credits: CNN

Lawmakers respond to Las Vegas

Many were shocked and horrified at the large shooting that recently occurred in Las Vegas. Lawmakers are no exception. One on side, some believe it is too early to make any decisive call in response to the attacks, or that politicizing the tragedy is morally reprehensible. This response is mostly seen from right-wing groups and people. The White House is included in this group, as they issued a statement saying that, while they are keeping victims and their families in their prayers, it is too soon to talk about gun limits or other kinds of policy responses.

On the other side, many from the left side of the aisle are using the tragedy to call for action on gun control. They believe that this action is one that has been repeated throughout history, and that it cannot be allowed to continue. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Kamala Harris are two that have emphasized the need for gun control following this event, stating that these tragedies have happened too often to respond with inaction.

Image Credits: ABC News

National anthem protests surge

There has recently been an upsurge of public protests during the national anthem where people, most noticeably NFL players, kneel as the anthem is sung. This issue first became prevalent when Colin Kaepernick began doing it, receiving much criticism in the process. Now, it other players from various teams have followed his lead. These protests increased exponentially after Donald Trump made derogatory comments towards those that had been kneeling, which upset people and players alike.

Critics of the protests argue that it kneeling during the anthem is an act of disrespect towards the flag, the anthem, the soldiers that fight for this country, and everything that the United States of America stands for. Supporters claim that the protest is not meant to demean the flag or the soldiers. Instead, it is a call for attention, a reminder to the country that, taking into account racism in America and matters such as police brutality, this country is not equally free for everyone. It is, they say, a plea to make this country great for all of its people.

Image credits: Sports Illustrated

Trump and Dems collaborate to keep the government running

A deal struck by Democrats and Donald Trump will keep the government open for three more months. The deal, which was proposed by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, raises the federal debt ceiling, thereby allowing continued government expenditure until the issue of government funding is revisited in December. If the federal debt ceiling had not been raised, there would have been a government shutdown where government workers and entities could not function without any funding. This deal was packaged along with a substantial disaster aid package designated to help relief and recovery efforts in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Many Republicans are shocked that Trump cut the deal, especially since substantially raising federal spending for short-term periods of time typically goes against conservative standpoints.

 

Image Source: CNN