Gabrielle Giffords

The REAL Issues Of 2012 That Are Being Ignored In The Presidential Campaign

If one follows the Presidential campaign of 2012, one would think that ONLY the economy matters.

YES, the economy matters, but the newest jobs report demonstrates that this nation is on the mend, and that over the next Presidential term, the economy will recover, with some experts saying that up to 12 million jobs will be created, whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins the White House on Tuesday.

Others would say the danger of Iran is the major issue, but even on that, it is clear that both Obama and Romney would react similarly to an actual Iranian attack on Israel or any other part of the Middle East.

So the REAL issues are not the economy or Iran!

Instead, they are the following, although ignored in campaign rhetoric:

Climate Change or Global Warming—the reality of it, as demonstrated yet again by Hurricane Sandy, and the need to take the lead in moving away from oil and coal as the major energy resources. But, of course, Republicans and conservatives deny the reality of this threat, and the oil and coal industries do everything they can to protect themselves at the expense of the nation in the long run.

Gun Violence—as demonstrated by what happened so many times in the past few years, including Tucson, Arizona in 2011 to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; the mass murders in the Aurora, Colorado movie complex in 2012; the constant murders in cities such as Chicago, often ignored because the victims are African Americans; and so many other cases. And again, the Republicans and conservatives fight any type of gun control, and allow the National Rifle Association to hold America hostage.

Education—the dire need to promote more people attending and graduating four year colleges and universities. Many would say that having a four year degree does not guarantee that one gets the job he wants or needs. While that is true, the unemployment figures make clear that those with a four year degree or more have an unemployment rate under FOUR percent, while those with less education or dropping out of school have an unemployment rate of TWELVE percent! Is there any evidence other than this to convince parents and children of the urgency of getting an education through a four year degree? And besides, there are intangibles other than just getting a degree for a job, such as improving one’s basic skills of reading, writing, and speaking, and improving one’s mind and knowledge; making one a better person in social situations and parent situations; and raising people up from ignorance, conspiracy theory beliefs, and over reliance on religious doctrine, which unfortunately makes many people unwilling to reason for themselves, and just accept gospel as absolute fact. And of course, Republicans and conservatives argue against extra funding and assistance for education, and would prefer to lean on organized religion to “control” the masses, keep them ignorant, and willing, therefore, to accept ideas without questioning or challenge!

The Supreme Court—not understood by many for the important role it plays, and will continue to play, and the urgency of having a President who will select nominees who wish to look to the future, and not the past, and prevent regression politically, socially, and economically back to the Gilded Age and the 1920s. The Republicans and conservatives and Mitt Romney want more Antonin Scalias, Clarence Thomases, and Samuel Alitos, to insure that we go backward for the next 30 years! So the election of Barack Obama is urgent for the future of constitutional law and the preservation of the advancements of the Earl Warren and Warren Burger Supreme Courts.

These issues mentioned above SHOULD be understood before people, who have not voted before Tuesday, vote for our next President, and the best decision for any sane individual is to vote for the candidate who represents a willingness to deal with the future, President Barack Obama!

Aurora, Colorado Massacre DEMANDS Action On Gun Control Measures, Despite National Rifle Association Lobbying!

The horrible tragedy, the massacre at the multiplex Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado this morning, needs to be treated as a wake up call for campaigning for strict gun control laws, similar to the Brady Bill passed under Bill Clinton, and ended under George W. Bush a decade later.

This should be an issue to unite Democrats and Republicans, but Democrats are afraid to promote gun control, as they lost control of Congress to the Republicans in 1994, with the Brady Bill being part of the reason.

Many Republicans and conservatives have the paranoid feeling that Barack Obama wishes to take away their gun rights under their interpretation of the Second Amendment.

The point is that no one is trying to say that ownership or purchase of guns should be banned, as that is impossible to accomplish, even if one wished to do that.

But after the Columbine Massacre in Colorado in 1999, the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011, and now this event, the worst total of victims ever in American history, it is essential to take some steps on gun control.

And to have Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, promote the insanity that if some of the people in the theater had had weapons, they could have stopped the massacre, forgetting that several people opening up fire in a theater would have led to innocent victims being killed by those “heroes”, who might very well be shooting at each other, in the midst of the chaos, is no contribution, but Gohmert is infamous for insane, reckless statements.

This is as insane as to say that it should be alright for students and faculty to have guns on campuses, or to carry weapons into a bar, where drunken patrons could begin shooting!

A level of sanity and stability needs to be addressed by President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in a way to bring about some legislation to cut down the level of violence, which right now makes America the most violent society in the world, with about 10,000 gun victims annually.

Gabrielle Giffords Leaving Congress: Hopefully Temporary Exit

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, victim of an assassination attempt in Tucson just over a year ago, has made a miraculous recovery, and has been an inspiration to everyone of every political persuasion.

Absent for the past year while recovering, and only returning to vote once, the Congresswoman has now decided that she needs more time to recover from her wounds, so she is resigning from her seat to allow her district to have a full time member representing them.

This is a courageous and principled stand, but it causes sadness among fans of Giffords, who wonder if she will ever return to Congress.

While no one can truly know the future, the odds seem excellent that in a few years, being more fully recovered in every way, that Giffords will come back and run for public office again. A key event to consider will be Senator John McCain’s seat in 2016, when McCain will be 80 years old, and supposedly, will decide to retire, making for an open Senate seat.

But meanwhile, full recovery is the emphasis, and the future will come on its own. Meanwhile, only the best can be wished for this wonderful woman, the best example of what we should wish for in American politics and its future!

The Amazing Recovery Of Gabrielle Giffords

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head in an assassination attempt in Tucson on January 8, has made a miraculous recovery in the ten months since that tragedy.

Having to relearn language and how to walk, and so many other things that we all take for granted, Giffords has become one of the small ten percent of people shot in the brain to recover and function.

Giffords has gone through intense therapy, and with the support of her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and her mother, and the blessings and good will of millions of people in Arizona and elsewhere, she is now on the road to an inspirational recovery.

A special on ABC’s 20-20 with Diane Sawyer traced her steps toward recovery, and brought tears to the author’s eyes, in thankfulness and, at the same time, wonderment, at how Giffords has survived.

Giffords will have to decide by May whether she chooses to run for another term as a Congresswoman, and the nation will be praying for greater recovery efforts that will convince her to continue her stellar public career!

A Profile In Courage: Gabrielle Giffords Comes Back To Congress After Assassination Attempt!

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in Tucson in January, made an heroic return to the House of Representatives tonight to cast her vote for the Debt Ceiling bill.

It was a dramatic moment, one of the few where there was bipartisan cheering and applauding, and there was not a dry eye in the chamber or by those watching at home, including the author.

Gabrielle Giffords is a true profile in courage, a miracle case of how a person shot in the head, under some circumstances, can recover and function even just seven months after the tragic event.

IF only the unity she brought to the House of Representatives briefly could carry over, but of course, that sadly is NOT going to happen!

The Amazing Recovery Of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords!

One of the most pleasant developments of recent times is the publication today of the first photographs of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona since the attempted assassination in Tucson in early January by a crazed gunman, Jared Loughner.

The fact that Giffords has even survived being shot in the head is astounding in itself, and while there is much therapy still needed, it is clear that Giffords is successfully recovering from the grievous wounds she suffered.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the head of the Democratic National Committee, and a close personal friend, reported today that Giffords is able to speak in full sentences and have real conversations.

Considering what she has been through, her recovery is a miracle, and she looks extremely attractive, much as she did before her unfortunate confrontation with a near death experience!

We can all unite in saluting her recovery as one of those rare bright moments to be celebrated by all Americans, no matter their political persuasion!

The Multi Tasking President In His Prime: One Week In Barack Obama’s Presidency

Everyone knows that the American Presidency is a tremendous burden, with the occupant of the Oval Office having to deal with so many issues and problems at the same time, that he MUST be able to multi task with great skill.

So is the case of Barack Obama, who in one week, did the following:

1. Had Hawaii issue his official Certificate of Live Birth to silence his critics, which now have dropped dramatically, according to public opinion polls.

2. Toured Alabama and other states that were victims of the worst tornado destruction in decades, and was praised for the quick federal response to the natural disaster, as compared to Hurricane Katrina uncer President George W. Bush

3. Traveled to Florida to witness the Space Shuttle launch, which was unfortunately delayed, but also to visit Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounded in an assassination attempt in January, who was there to witness her husband, Mark Kelly, the captain of the shuttle crew, begin the space mission.

4. Performed great standup comedy at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, including teasing of Donald Trump, who has been bad mouthing Obama for the past month, including on the “birther” controversy.

5. All of that week, and even earlier, Obama was planning the raid on the compound in Pakistan to eliminate the Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, the most daring action by a President in many decades!

And in the past week since, Obama has also visited the site of Ground Zero and commiserated with the families of victims of the World Trade Center, and also visited the Navy SEALS who were engaged in the most delicate operation possible, the attack on the Bin Laden compound and retrieval of the body of Bin Laden after he was killed.

This period of the last week of April and first week of May, a two week period, will go down in history as one of the most momentous periods in the history of the nation!

The 30th Anniversary Of The Attempted Assassination Of Ronald Reagan: A Time To Reconsider Stronger Gun Control Laws!

Today, March 30, thirty years ago, after only ten weeks in office, President Ronald Reagan was subjected to an assassination attempt by John Hinckley.

Reagan was seriously wounded, and without the wonders of modern medicine, would have died after what would have been the second shortest term of a President in American history, only surpassed by William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia from cold weather conditions on Inauguration Day, exactly one month after he became President in 1841.

Reagan is also the only President ever shot who would recover from his wounds, although former President Theodore Roosevelt, shot while campaigning for election as a Progressive in 1912 after his time in office, also recovered from his wounds.

Reagan’s shooting demonstrated the chaos and anarchy that can happen for a period of time after such a tragic event, with no one really sure who was in charge in the moments after the assassination, due to Vice President George H W Bush traveling overseas at the time, and Secretary of State Alexander Haig claiming he was in charge, when actually Speaker of the House Thomas (Tip) O’Neill technically was next in line, but Bush able to act from afar, not having to be present in the nation to be in charge.

Press Secretary James Brady suffered much greater wounds than Reagan, who fully recovered, although some wonder if he suffered mental damage that led to his later Alzheimers diagnosis after leaving the Presidency. But Brady suffered major brain damage, was paralyzed and forced to spend his life in a wheelchair, and even today, speaks in a distorted manner. But his wife, Sarah, is a true example of a loyal wife, who has stuck through thick and thin with her husband, an example of true love!

The Brady Bill for gun control finally resulted in the Clinton Administration, but was not renewed ten years later during the Bush Administration, and we have seen the dangers of lack of gun control, with the recent attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona in January.

We need President Obama to speak up on this issue in a much more forceful manner, and of course, we know that the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party will fight any attempt at gun control, but this is a moral cause, and the memory today of how we almost lost our 40th President thirty years ago today should sustain us in this fight!

Disappointments With Barack Obama: Guns, Labor, And Bradley Manning

President Obama is overwhelmed with one problem after another, and with no break in stress and tension, as the world and the nation seem to be going from one problem to another.

Already, we have seen four major issues arise in 2011, which are bound to be among the top ten news stories of the year: the guns issue, after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in January; the uprisings in the Middle East, particularly Egypt and now Libya, leading to American involvement with NATO, the UN, and the Arab League, and Obama’s decision to intervene militarily against Moammar Gaddafi; the Wisconsin battle over organized labor, which has spread to other states as well; and the disastrous Japanese earthquake, ensuing tsunami, and the nuclear power plants emergency that followed those natural events.

So the ability of Barack Obama to do and say everything that one might feel he should, is, of course, unrealistic, but still there are three key issues that need to be addressed at some point soon by our President.

The first is to take strong leadership on the issue of the need for some greater regulation of guns, as since the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, and the killing of six others and wounding of thirteen, we have seen the murder by gun of close to 3,000 people. If this is not a national crisis, and with the additional murders of young black youths that we see in Chicago and elsewhere, then what is? It is hard to fight the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association, but the President MUST not sit on the sidelines as gun violence escalates, and the growing danger of political assassination of himself, or some other office holder grows by leaps and bounds as the economy continues to create a crisis atmosphere in regards to jobs and housing.

Secondly, Obama had said during his Presidential campaign in 2008 that he would march with labor if there was ever a threat against the rights of workers, but he has hardly spoken up, and certainly has not gone to Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, or Florida to speak up on the issue and to confront the “Bully” GOP Governors, including most infamously, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Snyder, Mitch Daniels, or Rick Scott, who are destroying the rights of public employees, making them the scapegoat, as these governors favor the rich and the powerful, and set out to destroy collective bargaining. Obama will have to campaign on labor support in 2012, but he has been slow to react publicly with adequate words and actions!

Finally, there is the issue of Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing and disseminating Wikileaks information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who is being held in inhumane conditions in the military brig at Quantico Naval Base in Virginia, stripped naked, not allowed to sleep normally, kept in solitary confinement, being mentally destroyed, all on the basis of accusations, but not yet coming to trial.

President Obama made a reference to Manning when asked at a news conference, that he had been assured that what was being done with Manning was totally appropriate, but that is clearly the furthest from the truth. It is clear that his mistreatment is an outrage that the President needs to stop immediately, and it is a tremendous disappointment that he seems up to this point to be totally insensitive to what is happening to Manning.

Urgent action on all three matters is needed, and hopefully, the first will be to relieve Manning of his inhumane treatment NOW!

Mr. President, we believe in you, but you need to take immediate action on all three of the above matters!

Are Muslim Citizens Threats To Homeland Security? The Peter King Committee Hearings And The Real Threat To The Nation!

New York Republican Congressman Peter King, a member of the House since 1993, is the new Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and is about to conduct hearings on what he calls the Islamic threat to America presented by disloyal Muslims in American society.

King can certainly give several examples of Muslims in America who have been proved to be engaged in terrorist activities, fortunately stopped by excellent intelligence activities by cooperation between federal and state government officials. With the tragic exception of the Fort Hood massacre by a Muslim soldier, all of the attempts have been prevented.

But are we to say, for instance, that all community college students should be considered dangerous and worthy of investigation by the Homeland Security Committee, because of Jared Lee Loughner shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, which led to six deaths and thirteen wounded?

Are we to say that all white Christians who had been in the military should be investigated because of Timothy McVeigh blowing up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995, killing 168 people and wounding nearly a thousand people?

We cannot allow the Islamic haters in this country, many of them Christian fundamentalists, to anger and provoke good, law abiding Muslims, several million among us and growing, into hating the nation they willingly migrated to or have grown up in as citizens, to feel they are being persecuted or scapegoated, particularly when Muslim soldiers are fighting for us, and in many cases, have helped report and crack plots by the miniscule number of Muslims who have conspired against us!

What Peter King is doing is really the new McCarthyism, loose labeling people as Communists, and now substituting Muslims for Communists!

It is also important to point out that Peter King has a “skeleton” in his closet, his strong advocacy for the terrorist Irish Republican Army in its long war against British control of Northern Ireland. Can a person who supported terrorism actions against America’s strongest ally, Great Britain, be taken seriously when he claims to be fighting terrorism by promoting insecurity among law abiding Muslims, who are certainly over 99 percent of all Muslims?

And it should be pointed out that IF King really wishes to investigate terrorism threats, look to the hundreds of such groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, including neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, and Ku Klux Klansmen!

The number of such groups are at an all time high of 1,002, with many of them so called “Patriot” groups that have grown dramatically since Barack Obama became President, and believing that the federal government is the “enemy”!

And if one counts groups that go beyond just hate groups and Patriot groups to include nativist extremist groups which are a threat to ethnic, racial, religious and sexual orientation minorities, then the total is 2,145, a 40 percent increase from 2008-2009 and a 22 percent rise in 2009-2010!

Also realize that many Republican politicians and talk show hosts on radio and television use loose rhetoric, and are encouraging the paranoia and hate by their loose use of language!

So only when Peter King is willing to investigate and publicize the far greater threat from right wing hate groups would his committee be seen as doing something worthy of our support!