What is the True Debt Left to Our Grandchildren?
The United States Chamber of Commerce called the Climate and Energy Bill introduced by Senators Kerry and Lieberman “a work in progress… and too costly for business.” Not one Republican is willing to sign on. I find it apalling that business and Republicans fret about leaving a financial debt to our grandchildren, but they are not at all concerned about leaving them with poisonous air, dirty water, a planet slowly being destroyed by global warming.
Great Ideas have a Lasting Effect
Charlie Blow has an interesting perspective on the 2010 mid-term elections. In his column on The New York Times op-ed page, he wrote, “I am convinced that the right may win the day, but the left will win the age. That is because the right is running an intellectually bereft campaign of desperation and disenchantment, amplified by recession. Great recessions don’t last. Great ideas do.”
A Pragmatic Choice
President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court is predictably being pilloried by Republicans as they play to their far-right constituencies. Criticisms from the progressives, however, are short sighted. I sympathize with my fellow liberals’ desire to have a sharp and articulate voice on the left wing of the court, but I’d rather have a member who has the intellect and ability to forge a 5-4 majority decision on issues such as campaign finance reform. She is both a brilliant legal scholar, and an engaging personality. She just might be able to persuade Justice Anthony Kennedy to join what is now a four-person minority.
According to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 35 people are murdered daily by guns in America. This is the equivalent of a Virginia Tech massacre every day. “Yet” he said “while some criminals are busy evading background checks at gun shows, Congress continues to turn a blind eye to this glaring gap in our nation’s gun laws.”
That is because their eyes are filled with visions of high rankings from the National Rifle Association… and their hearts filled with fear of NRA opposition.
Ignoring this gap is very bad policy, but advocating the rights of terrorists to purchase guns is irresponsible and absurd. But that is what U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins did in a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Senator Frank Lautenberg sponsored a bill that would prohibit gun sales to people on the FBI terrorist watch list. That sounds to me like a no-brainer. But Graham opposed the bill, saying that “I think you’re going too far here…” and then he shifted his argument to his opposition to giving terrorists captured in the United States their Constitutional rights of a Miranda warning.
So, wrote Gail Collins in the New York Times, if you are on the FBI terrorist watch “the authorities can keep you from getting on a plane but not from purchasing an AK-47.” Graham said this was the case because “when the founders sat down and wrote the Constitution, they didn’t consider flying.” He really said that. He really did.
The consequences of this policy, according to Gail Collins is that “1,119 people on the watch list have been able to purchase weapons over the last six years. One of them bought 50 pounds of military grade explosives.”
I used to believe that Graham and Susan Collins were thoughtful people willing to put partisanship aside and do what is best for America. But the fact is, they are mere partisans eager to oppose and vilify proposals from the President of the United States and their Democratic colleagues, while marching in lock step with the NRA.
Message to Arizona from the Holy Bible
“You are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:19)
“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien.” (Exodus 22:21).
“The alien who resides among you shall be to you as the citizen among you.” (Leviticus 19:34)
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.” (Hebrews 13:2)
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19; Matthew 5,19, 22; Mark 12; Luke 10; Romans 13; James 2)
I don’t see a requirement that the alien referred to in these verses must be “legal”. How do those who hold fast to Leviticus as justification for marginalizing our GLBT brothers and sisters justify turning a blind eye to the Bible when dealing with aliens?