Another Slaughter, More Prayers, and Still No Action

Twenty-six people are dead and 20 wounded, mowed down in a Texas church by a shooter armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle. What is the response? More of the same: thoughts, prayers, and political attacks on those who dare to suggest that access to deadly assault weapons must be curtailed. Here is a sample of what our leaders are saying:

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy: “My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something,”

Kellyanne Conway: “The rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn’t help the victims, and it’s disrespectful to the dead.”

President Trump: “This isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.”

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal  summed  up my views when he said, “None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American.  As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.

“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself — how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents?”

When will we ever learn?

Why the Hell Do We Continue to Allow This to Happen?

Five years ago twenty children and six adults were massacred in the presumed safety their Newtown, Connecticut schoolroom. Since that December 2012 disaster, the United States has experienced more than 1,500 mass shootings (defined as shootings in a public place in which four or more people––not counting gang or drug violence­­–– were killed). In those massacres more than 1,700 people were killed and 6,000 wounded. Continue reading “Why the Hell Do We Continue to Allow This to Happen?”

Is “Trumpism” the New Normal for American Politics?

Donald Trump—either by clever design or by bizarre circumstances— could become the centerpiece of American politics for at least the next two elections.

How can this be? His positive poll numbers are in the 30s and he seems to alienate more and more people every day with his erratic policy-by-tweet method of governing. In fact, according to a September 27 Quinnipiac poll, 56% of American voters do not think he is “fit to serve as president” and 59% say “he is not honest.” Continue reading “Is “Trumpism” the New Normal for American Politics?”

Trump’s DACA Decision: Cruel but Usual Punishment from the Far Right

President Donald Trump has decided to punish between 700,000 and 800,000 young men and women. Punish them for what? Well, for having brown skin and for obeying their parents. Yesterday’s action by the president was so cruel and specious that he lacked the courage to announce it himself.

Handoff to the AG

Instead, he left it to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man whose words and actions throughout his career paint the picture of a public servant who is not inclined to value anyone but those who are white and native-born.

Sessions, seemingly with great delight, proclaimed, “The Department of Justice has advised the president and the Department of Homeland Security that the Department of Homeland Security should begin an orderly lawful wind down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program…”

Continue reading “Trump’s DACA Decision: Cruel but Usual Punishment from the Far Right”

President Trump’s DACA Decision: A Statement from Barack Obama

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.

“They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

“It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future.

Continue reading “President Trump’s DACA Decision: A Statement from Barack Obama”