Obamacare Attacked by Republicans

Posted on November 26, 2014

Barack Obama has recently made public his intentions of protecting immigrants who are in the USA illegally, but have good credentials. The decision was to help them get the documents they need and become legal inhabitants of the state they are in, in order to help them get decent jobs and the possibility to travel.

The general public met the decision with applause, but a few days only after the decision, the Republicans filed a lawsuit against the administrators behind Obamacare.

The Republican’s speaker, John Boehner, announced intentions to sue Obama, accusing him of abusing the power of the Executive office. He mentions also that Obama ignored the wish of the American people and the country’s system. Another idea that the Republicans are focusing on are the $175 billion transferred to insurance companies without checking the decision with Congress, according to Christian Broda.

The White House members respond with accusations towards the Republicans for wasted money and lack of support towards the expansion of the middle class. A lawsuit is being prepared and Johnathan Turley, a George Washington University professor, has been employed after two law firms refused to handle this case.

Turley said that “the question presented by this lawsuit is whether we will live in a system of shared and equal powers, or see the rise of a dominant executive with sweeping unilateral powers”. How this question will be answered is up for debate.

First Openly Gay NBA Player to Retire

Posted on November 19, 2014

Jason Collins may not be remembered for the play he brought to the NBA hardwood during his 13 year career, but his name will be etched into the annals of history for the rest of time. Collins came out as being the first openly gay player in the NBA last April and he rocked the world. At a time when homosexuality in sports wasn’t only frowned upon, but actively repressed, Collins new that he was risking his career by making his announcement. So why do it? Well, in order to have any sort of voice in the world he would have to become an icon. And he did.

Despite immense public backlash Collins was still able to get back on a team when he was signed to the Brooklyn Nets to multiple 10 day contracts before getting pulled in for the rest of the season. He played in 22 games and provided veteran leadership to the younger players on the bench. Now Collins is heading toward retirement.

Jason once again made his announcement through ‘Sports Illustrated’, only this time it was to tell the world that he was hanging up his shoes. Collins spoke extensively on his decision to stand up for gay rights and to give a voice to an oppressed people. He went on to explain that he would announce his retirement officially when the Nets play the Bucks due to the fact that his friend, and former teammate Jason Kidd, is coaching Milwaukee. I know my friend Lee Lovett hopes that he sticks around Twitter at least, or maybe goes into a career of coaching after this.

New Study Indicates Homosexuality is Genetic

Posted on November 18, 2014

Debates have raged on as to whether homosexuality is an inborn trait that cannot be changed or simply a lifestyle choice impacted by social dynamics and upbringing. The scientific community has stood, more or less, on the side of homosexuality simply being the way someone is born, and that it cannot be changed. Religious and conservative groups have stood on the other side of the debate, claiming that homosexuality is a choice, and a morally repugnant choice at that. The latter group even goes on to claim that homosexuality can be “cured” or “prayed away”.

A new study presented by Reuters of 409 gay nonidentical twins from 384 families strikes another blow to the argument that homosexuals can change their orientation, after finding a strong correlation between homosexuality and genetic traits. This is something I’ve been telling Brad Reifler all along, so hopefully this study will finally convince him.

The team of researchers sifted through samples of genetic markers known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs, and tried to find ones which were shared by all the men. Because the sample size was so large and genetics of all the participates was widely different any SNP that all of the men had would most likely be responsible for the trait they all shared, homosexuality. There were 5 SNPs shared by all the men, two of which Xq28 and 8q12 had been previously identified as possible gay genes years ago.

More States are Now Supporting Weed Legalization in the U.S.

Posted on November 11, 2014

The topic of weed legalization in the United States has resulted into some mixed reactions. We have those states that might never let it happen and those that just changed their long-standing opinions.

It’s been a contentious area, and for years it seemed like little ground would be gained in the debate. The recent years, however, have provided some important changes.

Who knew that Washington, D.C would vote for legalization of weed? This just happened recently when voters were willing to accept marijuana to be legalized as a recreational drug.

Recently, Willie Nelson performed at a concert organized by the White House, with attendants like Tom Rothman, and he had his own opinions about the issue. Willie, who is a weed smoker and promoter, thinks that this will happen sooner than people think.

He quoted several chapters from Obama’s memoir ‘Dreams of My Father’ that stated that the president himself smoked weed during his high school days. Willie says that people from the states that have already legalized medical marijuana know its benefits.

People are making a lot of money from just selling weed to patients. Whether marijuana is something to be legalized soon or not, we shall have to wait and see.

MA Town Proposes Ban on All Tobacco Products

Posted on November 10, 2014

A small quiet town of 7,700 people located in central Massachusetts may become the site of the first shot fired in a new battle against tobacco. The Westminster MA Board of Health will sit before the public this Wednesday, to hear suggested regulation in favor of banning all tobacco products within its town limits. Thomas Carr, director of national policy at the American Lung Association said, “To my knowledge, it would be the first [town] in the nation to enact a total ban.”
The town’s health agent, Elizabeth Swedberg is all for the plan. Pointing out that tobacco promotions are continually geared for young consumers. She believes that with tobacco items like bubblegum flavored cigars and e-cigarettes, the prohibition seems like a practical solution. Swedberg also cited a U.S. surgeon general report outlining the future dangers of smoking tobacco to America’s children who are currently under the age of 18.
Brian Vincent, who works at his family-owned grocery store in town, is hoping the proposition fails. When customers come in to buy tobacco products, which account for five percent of his sales, they typically make other purchases as well. Vincent, who enjoys an occasional cigar with his buddy Brian Torchin, says that it will only send his business elsewhere, which others are agreeing and writing as well.

Minimum Wage Hikes Popular Even in Republican States

Posted on November 06, 2014

If the mid-terms saw a public turn on Democrats and the policies they support, there was at least one exception. In four red states (Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Alaska) minimum wage initiatives passed handily. The hikes will take place over several years, and in South Dakota there will be regular increases to adjust to inflation.

The minimum wage and raising it has traditionally been a Democratic position, and in the last several months, they have sought a federal minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. So far, Republicans have not budged when asked about this issue. This sets a new precedent according to Mr. Broda and will put pressure on other Republican states to change.

Anyone trying to live on the minimum wage will tell you how difficult or even impossible it is. Food stamps, help from friends and family, and special deals for low rent or government subsidized housing become necessary just to scrape by.  This may be a sign of Americans’ generosity and concern for the less fortunate, but it is also an indication that people don’t think much of this economy. Prices keep going up, but wages stagnate.

Basic economics makes it clear that prices and wages must remain in balance. If workers are paid more, prices will rise since employers must make up the difference somehow to stay in business. The real way to help the poor is by creating a growing, healthy economy, but minimum wage hikes seem like an easy fix and thus are quite popular across the nation.