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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Trump to do away with Iranian nuclear deal

Having critiqued the Iranian nuclear deal since his 2016 campaign, President Trump announced on Thursday that the United States “must put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions.”

The accord between Iran, France, China, Russia, the UK and US was signed in 2016 under President Obama. Intended to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the deal allows for a limited amount of uranium enrichment for energy and research purposes.

Trump’s decision to eventually decertify the Iranian nuclear deal could be a precursor for the reimplementation of economic sanctions against Iran. Furthermore, such a move could alienate the other partners in the agreement, hindering multilateral relations.

President Trump is expected to deliver a speech elaborating further on his strategy concerning Iran and the Middle East sometime next week.

Russian Probe Continues as Senate Intelligence Committee Searches for Hints of Collusion

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) stated that the Intelligence Committee is continuing to search for any hint of evidence they could find.

The Intelligence Committee’s report clearly discusses Russia’s role in attempting to undermine the 2016 Presidential Election. Russia strived to spread false, negative stories of Secretary Hillary Clinton while promoting then Candidate Donald Trump.

According to Burr, over the past eight months the committee reviewed over 400,000 pages of transcripts of interviews with over 100 officials, reviewed 100,000 pages of classified documents, and has interviewed members of the Obama Administration Cabinet.

Burr noted that the issue of collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Government is still up for investigation. The committee also looked into the change of the GOP platform which softened its stance on Russia.

Inverstiagtors are examining Russia’s social media spread of ‘fake news’ on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

 

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

Secretary Tillerson denies resignation allegations

On Wednesday, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed speculation that he was considering resignation. Tillerson explained that he is committed to serving President Trump, never having pondered resignation.

The Secretary of State’s time in office has recently been surrounded by controversy, as President Trump has called for Tillerson to stop pursuing diplomacy with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

 

By telling Tillerson to essentially stop doing his job, President Trump is undermining the United States’ diplomatic potential.

Although Trump’s disregard for the State Department’s duties are meant to act as a projection of power, it ultimately lowers morale within the administration and is counterintuitive.

Cuban “Actively Considering” 2020 Presidential Run

Dallas Mavericks Owner and business mogul Mark Cuban is considering a 2020 run for president.

This statement was made on Bakari Sellers’ “The Viewpoint” and he went into further detail later on CNBC.

Cuban’s top concerns are healthcare, income inequality, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence. He doesn’t mind raising taxes on America’s wealthiest, like himself. He also believes that healthcare is a “right” all Americans deserve.

Cuban’s main reason for not tapping into the presidential race is his family. “90 percent chance he won’t run,” stated the businessman.

Cuban stated that his children have mixed feelings about a possible Candidate Cuban, but his wife is against it. He stated that if his wife changes her opinion, his chances of running for the Oval Office would increase.