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Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

What I find most disheartening is that, if previous shootings serves as a precedent for what political response might happen, there will be no change at all.

I find it particularly disappointing the lack of engagement when it comes to gun control or even discussing the Second Amendment. It’s as if it is a taboo to speak of either. Conservatives cry out, “Think of the kids! Don’t politicize this issue!” when that’s exactly what needs to be done. 

The lack of seriousness when it comes to discussing these issues are exactly why the U.S. is barely getting itself together when it comes to the fiscal cliff, or grander questions of America’s place in the world. The political discourse on the Second Amendment is just symptomatic to the greater problems facing America, and it’s unfortunate that 20 first graders and 6 adults had to die because nothing will likely happen.

Source: The New York Times
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The No Agenda Myth

Ignore the jaded pundits. If you don’t know what to expect from the presidential candidates, you haven’t been paying attention.

"An “agenda” is at best a rough guide to what a president will do, given the constraints imposed by Congress, curveballs pitched by fate, and what presidents learn on the job. Presidents surprise you, and surprise themselves. Obama really meant to close Guantánamo; he lost that one. I think he intended to reform immigration until other priorities took his energy. Libya was certainly not high on his 2008 agenda.

[…]

We don’t elect agendas, we don’t elect platforms, we don’t even elect parties to the presidency. This is not a referendum or a ballot initiative. Indeed, we are skeptical of agendas. If either candidate had announced in his final weeks some grandiose initiative of the kind the pundits prescribe, we’d have mocked it as October-surprise gimmickry, a sign of desperation. We elect the human being we trust to have our best interests in mind. We choose a direction, a disposition, a set of instincts and convictions and competencies.

[…]

When voters tell pundits, and pundits tell us, that they are frustrated that the candidates lack an agenda, they are just saying they wish we could foretell the future. If we could do that, a lot of pundits would be out of business.”

Source: The New York Times
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getdowngetfunky:

“You know how you look at homeless people? You know what I mean. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but you see them and and you usually look right through them. When you look at them you probably feel a little disgusted. Maybe more than a little. You don’t understand why they’re homeless. You assume its their fault. You hear them and only hear begging, you assume if you give them spare change they will just spend it all on drugs.

This is how Mitt Romney sees you.”

Source: xoxogetdowngetfunky
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nyt-agenda:

By MICHAEL COOPER
Just who are the people “dependent upon government” that Mitt Romney was talking about in the video surreptitiously recorded at a May fund-raiser? This graphic, from an article in February by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff, shows that the share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007.

nyt-agenda:

By MICHAEL COOPER

Just who are the people “dependent upon government” that Mitt Romney was talking about in the video surreptitiously recorded at a May fund-raiser? This graphic, from an article in February by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff, shows that the share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007.

Source: nyt-agenda
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Obama campaign opposing Ryan budget at state level
JULIE PACE, ap.org

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s cam­paign is launch­ing state-specific efforts to tar­get ele­ments of Paul Ryan’s aus­tere bud­get pro­pos­als, expand­ing beyond its oppo­si­tion to the Repub­li­can vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date…

Romney is whining because he’s being portrayed as an outsourcer, and that Ryan’s budget was gutted by a scalpel knife. You want to talk about issues? Don’t just whine, blame Obamacare and not offer real, alternative solutions. The Obama campaign has framed the issues: you can’t trust a businessman with no solid record (except agreeing with Obama about the health care mandate), a policy wonk whose budget would leave millions vulnerable, and both having questionable ethics. Their foreign policy would destabilize America’s role in the world, let alone sparking or allowing conflict to rage through the Middle East. Those are the issues and America is beginning to realize the implications of a Romney/Ryan administration making the difficult decisions. Indeed, the only one that has talked about the issues is the Obama campaign.

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fortyfivewords:

Haha the Will McAvoy twitter parody is so great. #newsroom (Taken with Instagram)

Source: fortyfivewords
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vileagepress:

Over the last week I’ve read, rather skimmed, (you can only read so much forced disgust for a television show and its creator that suggest a departure from the status quo) widely-read  blogs, articles, and one Rush Limbaugh that seethes with hate and accuses Aaron Sorkin of sexism, and in one instance, his show just not being fun:

“‘The Newsroom’ is just not fun, and maybe that is because Sorkin is no longer having fun. Perhaps he’s too busy being angry at the world (with a hard-to-miss focus on women).” Glynnis MacNicol, Capitol New York.

I’d be pissed too if I penned one of the most quoted lines in recent cinema (A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”), my political drama, The West Wing, had won multiple Emmys (9 in it’s first season, and places 4th in most Emmy awards won of all time), I’d won an Academy Award for The Social Network, I’d never created a bad television series, I was, likely, the most prolific writer on television, wealthy, and famous for work I was passionate about. I’d be “mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” And in my fury, I’d create a television series about a resurrection of values in journalism.

“Why, reality television is “pollution!” exclaims Will, before launching in to the first of many tedious (and increasingly hostile) lectures about why people (or, in Sorkin’s world, women) who watch reality shows and parlay in gossip are “destroying civilization” (he actually says this) and why reality stars deserve their privacy.” Glynnis MacNicol, Capitol New York.

If this were Sorkin’s first major production and he didn’t have a slew of previous television shows, movies and plays, one could maybe get away with unsubstantiated claims of misogyny, but watch The West Wing, watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, watch Sports Night or Charlie Wilson’s War. Why is The Newsroom the first sign of Sorkin’s deep-seeded hatred of women? You don’t just wake up sexist. Why is The Newsroom, his first show that truly indicts the media and the way it covers the news, why is it suddenly now that we’re seeing Sorkin’s true colors? Because, we’re not. These claims of Sorkin’s contempt for his audience and his malice toward women are just as ridiculous as Rush Limbaugh’s claims that “Liberal Hollywood” would use the Batman villain, Bane, as a means to shine a negative light on Mitt Romney and the inconsistencies surrounding his tenure at Bain Capital.

Will McAvoy, flawed though he may be, and all of us are, inspires a change that we the people want to see in the Media. He represents Edward R. Murrow, taking on the powers that be, not just on the Hill, but in the same trenches of journalism for which he’s employed. It’s a declaration to those who bring us the news and those who affect what’s brought to us. We don’t want to be herded, we want to Shepard ourselves, and it’s damn impossible when what we’re shown keeps the sheep sheep and the wolves in shepard’s clothing.

We’re not the brain-dead masses. We’re the misinformed, and we deserve better.

Source: vileagepress
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Re: Quebec student leader takes protest on road as CFS looks to create ‘democratic strike movement’ in Ontario - Lasia Kretzel, National Post, July 11 2012

Uh oh. Here we go again.

The UTSU/CFS fiasco has begun early this year. 

The Student Strike Training Program as proposed by “University of Toronto” (Come on now. They really mean UTSU, an organization that realistically represents barely 5% of the school population.) is extremely alarming:

"The workshops include “creating and/or radicalizing student associations,” and methods of “enforcing strikes.”"

For all the debate around the concept of unions and their role in society, student unions do not belong in a role as the central representative governing organization for university students. With 10% turnout in elections, and only half of those voting for the incumbent slate, their actions regarding advocacy, protests and monetary donations (remember the $30,000?) are misrepresentative of their constituents. 

And so begins another year of UTSU/CFS conflict. Only somehow, I feel as if Ned Stark was right, “Winter is coming.”

Courtesy of Jonathan Scott

Source: news.nationalpost.com
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"In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."

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Amy Howe from the Supreme Court of the United States’ liveblog as the historic decision was announced

HOORAH FOR THE UNITED STATES. This is a big step forward.