Presidency Beyond Recognition in Comparison to its Founding Days…

collage.png

Giovanni LoPiccolo

President Trump “certainly believes he has the power” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller III, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press conference on April 10th, 2018 (reported by CNN). This is yet another one of the Trump’s Administration’s methods in trying to undermine the legitimacy and importance of Robert Mueller, and his investigation into money-laundering and possible Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 election. It is no alternative fact that President’s can fire special counsels, as they can do so by ordering the Attorney General to (in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation – smart move, Jeff).

If the President of the United States fires an investigator who is investigating the possibility of money laundering, collusion, bribery, or even treason, that is a big signal. Obviously, he is trying to hide something from being revealed. Right now, Donald Trump is just ever so closely inching towards doing just that. He has continuously barraged the Justice Department on Twitter, and has berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions on numerous occasions.

He is obstructing justice without blatantly crossing the line. We now have an executive branch with the ability to stop investigations of itself, an executive branch that can go to war without an approving Congressional declaration, and a White House that can undermine justice and simultaneously hide within the drapes of executive privilege.

Can the Presidency be controlled? Or is the nation barreling towards an authoritarian government where its elected body of representatives can’t keep up with their original constitutional duties of checks and balances? This current moment in American history will be remembered and referred to as a crossroads of its destiny. Will we allow such a demagogue undermine our republic, our democratic values, and our justice system?

I believe that with the Presidency of Donald Trump, we need more regulations on who can run for President. If we can’t change the Constitution via amendments, then we can turn to our states to legislate and craft specific requirements on how you can get on the national ballot and earn that state’s electoral votes. Of course, these are just suggestions, they are opinions.

1. First, whoever is running for President and Vice President should release his or her tax returns. Maryland was the first state to require this, by passing a law in early March 2018 that requires Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to show their tax returns. Donald Trump hasn’t paid taxes in about 18 years, yet he complains some companies (Amazon) don’t pay enough in taxes, and passed a corporate tax cut… he finessed all of you who bought into that scheme.

2. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates must take a mental health exam from three different, independent, doctors (not your personal physician), and be deemed stable and sane to be on the ballot. Remember when Donald Trump claimed that a woman like Hillary Clinton would be too emotional to be President? That’s pretty interesting because almost everyday I get a CNN alert about something stupid Trump says or does, complaining about something or someone.

3. Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates must have held political office for at least four years to be on the national ballot. Teenagers need tens of hours of driving practice to get their drivers licenses. Most careers today require you have a high school diploma. Why is it that to hold the highest office in the United States, all you need is to be 35, a naturalized citizen, and have to have lived 14 years in the country?

One of the biggest battles between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016 was who had more experience? Both have been in government for decades, yet did different things. They were both qualified in their own right, yet here we have a TV reality star billionaire representing the 99%. Just doesn’t make sense. So, spend some time in lower levels of government, get your hands dirty, work with the people. Get a taste of what its like to lead, and we’ll see if you’re ready to move up in the chain.

4. Give Congress back its power of war/peace-making, and when to use nuclear weapons. Recently, Bernie Sanders introduced a bill called the War Powers Resolution to rein in the Presidency, and get out of the war in Yemen. It didn’t pass. The fear of letting Congress decide when to go to war is that there’s too many people to make a swift and quick decision. It would take more than an hour to get 535 members on Capitol Hill, not enough time to respond to an incoming nuclear warhead.

One solution could give that power of nuclear bomb usage and war-making to the Armed Services Committee of the Senate. The Senate Armed Services Committee has fourteen members, composed of senators from both political parties. Within the fourteen member committee are seven subcommittees, smaller groups tasked with more specific agendas; such as the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Subcommittee on Personnel, and Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. One potential subcommittee could be the Subcommittee of Nuclear Action/Response, whose sole responsibility is when, where, and how to use nuclear weapons.

 

 

We should be aware by now that the Electoral College, which was a system to prevent the election of demagogues, has failed. We should be aware by now that the US has gotten itself into a myriad of crises and military conflicts that are lasting years, because of Presidents’ choices. We should be aware by now that if a man with significant wealth, and a talent in appealing to your anger/frustration, can become the world’s most powerful leader. A man that can wipe his own, dirtied, slate clean…

 

 

Sources:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-president-tax-returns-20180305-story.html
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/10/politics/robert-mueller-donald-trump-white-house/index.html
You can read more about the Senate Committees here:
https://www.senate.gov/general/committee_membership/committee_memberships_SSAS.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2nd Amendment – “Relic of the 18th Century…” – Says Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens. Repeal It.

Panorama_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_Building_at_Dusk

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired from the nation’s highest court in 2010, recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, which was published on March 27th, calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. This is perhaps the most controversial topic in America, and even more interesting to note that former Justice Stevens is a lifelong Republican.

The year is 1789, and the Constitution of the United States replaces the Articles of Confederation. The closely knit alliance of states had now become a true nation with a proper central government; a single military, headed by a President, led by a two-housed Congress, and kept in check by a Supreme Court. Just a few years prior, from 1786 to 1787, farmers were able to hold the state of Massachusetts hostage; dubbed Shays Rebellion.

Prior to the implementation of the Constitution, the United States had no unitary armed forces. Each state had their own militias, as allowed by the very weak and state-centered Articles of Confederation. Farmers who turned into protestors didn’t want the state to enforce the collection of taxes and took matters into their own hands. This was just one of the last straws for the constitutional framers, who have come to realization that the current system wasn’t working.

Then comes the Constitution, and with it, the Bill of Rights. The second, being the right to bear arms. This comes just years after the American Revolution. The fear of England’s vengeance lingered in the mind of every American… being once again oppressed by a non-democratic, totalitarian, authoritarian figure. That was over two hundred years ago, and that fear has been dead for a long time.

Guns can be used for hunting. Guns can be used to defend your property. But in no world should citizens have guns meant to maim and kill human beings. That is something we must address, as for just mentioning the repeal of the 2nd Amendment would cause a disastrous infighting in the United States, between conservatives and liberals. We are not at risk of being oppressed or having every single right taken away by the federal government. We are not at risk of being ruled by a totalitarian dictator. We are not at risk of losing our right to vote. And our states are not at risk of losing their already self-delegated autonomy.

The United States Congress isn’t coming after you, or after your right to vote, your right to protest peacefully, your right to freedom of religion, or your right of freedom of the press, etc. (That does not mean that there aren’t any flaws with our current system). The federal government is too busy giving us what we need to survive and thrive; running water, electricity, roads, hospitals for the sick, housing for the homeless, schools for our children, and so on. We all pay taxes, together, to use that money for all of our benefit. And before the Constitution, it was different, very different.

Political scholar Joseph Zimmerman wrote a book called Contemporary American Federalism, and details in its chapter 2 – Establishment of the Federal System, “…Congress was handicapped in carrying out its responsibilities by five major defects in the articles [Articles of Confederation] that made Congress largely an advisory body. First, Congress lacked the power to levy taxes and was dependent for revenue on funds supplied to the treasury by the states…

A federal government without any real power could not even collect taxes to ensure the establishment of necessities, so could you imagine if we were still in that system? We can’t remain engaged in a system built out of fear of what could happen. We need a system that is built on what the people need. We, the people, need protection from homicidal people’s ability to obtaining an assault rifle. We, the people, need to live in a country where we aren’t afraid to send our kids to school because of the possibility of a mass shooting. We don’t need guns to protect ourselves from the federal government, we aren’t their enemy. We put our leaders into office, and we hold them accountable. This obsession with guns must come to an end.

So, what direction do we go in now? Could the 2nd Amendment be repealed? Well, the way to repeal an amendment is to implement another constitutional amendment overriding it. The way to get a constitutional amendment is for two-thirds of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate to pass it. Then, three-fourths of the states have to affirm it. So, instead of going to the comments sections of every social media platform and attacking one another on this issue, we get our leaders to start it up. If we really want to make change, let’s get our representatives in Congress to vote on such a resolution. If it somehow gets through Congress, each state should hold a referendum on whether to affirm or reject the proposal. That way, we can truly determine if this is what America wants and needs.

 

 

Sources:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/27/politics/john-paul-stevens-second-amendment/index.html
Zimmerman, Joseph Francis, 1928 – Contemporary American Federalism : the growth of national power / Joseph F. Zimmerman

 

 

Italy: Impossible to Govern?

Italy.png

Giovanni LoPiccolo

Holding a national election on March 4th, the Republic of Italy still does not have a government. Currently being led by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of the Democratic Party, the election failed to yield any party to reach the 40% threshold necessary to form a government. This is the same land that once was home to a Republic and Empire which stood for 500 plus years, so what’s happening?

Since the end of World War II, Italy has had over sixty governments. That’s just not healthy. No government has had the time to properly settle and let its programs take effect, and give substantial results. The closest to that happening was actually from the currently leading party; Partito Democratico, Democratic Party, which its programs have been helping the economy recover slowly.

The biggest parties in Italy are the following:

  • 5 Stelle – Five Star Movement: Populist party with no allegiances to a specific side of the political spectrum, second place in March 4th election. Led by Luigi Di Maio. (Mainly compose of left-wing/progressive candidates and politicians).
  • Lega Nord – Northern League (or the League as its been called recently): Right wing party led by Matteo Salvini, and garnered the most votes of any party in the March 4th election, roughly 37%.
  • Forza Italia – Go Italy: Center-right wing party led by former Prime Minister, and tax fraud convict, Silvio Berlusconi.
  • Partito Democratico (PD)- Democratic Party: Once led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a center-left party (they resemble corporate/establishment Democrats here in the US).

This election was one filled with pure anger at the establishment system in Italy, both at Berlusconi’s party and the PD. Over the past few years, due to European Union mandates, Italy has seen an enormous influx of migrants from Northern Africa, and it has become the most contentious issue. Mix that with poverty and unemployment in the southern regions of the country, resentment towards unproductive politicians, and decades of political stalemate, it gives us an equally displeasing result.

5 Star doesn’t want to make a coalition government with other parties to form a government, nor does PD. Berlusconi has a coalition with the League, but it isn’t enough to have a majority. So, if the Italians want a functioning government, 5 Star would have to make a coalition with either the League or PD. Now, the League has had its instances of racism, so the populist 5 Star shouldn’t really make a deal with them. The PD claims that the 5 Star is not suitable to lead, yet they are so close to governing. It’s a big mess, and makes one wonder how could they fix this.

This is possibly one of the biggest downsides to a multi-party system government. You have too many bickering ideologies and people who think they are right and their method is what will lead to a prosperous government. As we’ve seen in Germany, it took Chancellor Angela Merkel six months to form a coalition to begin governing. Yes, in the US, our two parties are corrupt and shut out a lot of differing voices, but at least we have a government that can easily be replaced if it isn’t working out well (every four years).

If the Italian parties can’t form a coalition, one of the last solutions is to call for another election. That would most likely split the vote even more and cause people not to vote out of sheer anger with the system. What can be done?

Italy is known for corruption, sadly enough, and many of the politicians who are corrupt blame the problems on the EU. That includes Brussels (the EU capital) and Germany (since Germany has the strongest economy in Europe and basically is its de facto leader in the bloc). But, maybe, the EU should be making more decisions for Italy. The European Union leadership is not flawless in any regard, they need to look at each member state differently and place regulations and mandates according to their current situation. Perhaps encourage neighboring nations to take in more refugees, instead of having Italy take on the most.

We suddenly run into the argument that “Well, Italy is a sovereign nation and shouldn’t give up its sovereignty.” Yes, it shouldn’t. However, let’s not forget that for the past sixty years that country has not shown any significant progress, is drowning in debt (132% of its GDP, according to Eurostat), and is saddled with corruption. The idea of the European Union was to form a community based on progress through teamwork and enfranchising all nations of Europe, and that comes with a cost. Being a part of a community means looking out for one another, and that goes for a continental community as well.

 

We know that with every issue there isn’t just one reason to why it happened in the first place. Letting Europe make more decisions for Italy isn’t going to magically give it a functioning government. As mentioned above, the PD’s programs and policies have been leading to the economy growing, slowly but surely. The debt is still climbing, being the second most indebted country in Europe, after Greece.

gdp

Multi-party systems are better for democracies, they give us more choices, but the proportional system currently being used in Italy isn’t working. Nobody is willing to work together because of their preconceived notions of one another (the PD and 5 Star). Like in the US, we’ve run into the issue of people thinking that this way is the only way. 5 Star will need the PD if it wants to create a better Italy, they’re the closest parties on the political spectrum. Like here in the US, our Democratic Party is broken into two wings, yet when standing together can do some pretty good things. Things like; passing the Affordable Care Act in 2010, preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, enacting the Dodd-Frank banking regulations after the Great Recession, and so forth. These are the small building blocks we need to make it even better. Single-payer and a progressive taxation system could come next, once Trump is gone.

The point is 5 Star is going to have to work with PD if it wants to begin laying groundwork for its agenda. The PD’s slow recovery programs and 5 Star’s progressive plans can yield good results for the Italian people. Patience is key. You don’t see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren demanding the Democratic Party follow their every word, no, they still spread their messages of being progressive yet also work with the tools they have in front of them.

 

Sources:
Graph: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43247500

 

 

 

The Latest – Your Berning Week

Giovanni LoPiccolo

The Trump Administration continues on its path of absolute chaos and loss of direction, Elizabeth Warren on her future, gun control battles, new CIA Director nominee’s shady history, and more to catch up on with The Latest – Your Berning Week. You can read more about the following issues on the Berning Media Network homepage!

 

Sunday, March 11th

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts states she’s not running for President, specifying that right now she’s running for re-election for her Senate seat, and is continuing to fight for the everyday, hard-working, Americans.

 

Elizabeth Warren is one of a few progressives that is constantly reminded that there’s yet another Presidential election coming up, not even halfway through the current term, and it seems she’s given an answer to shut the media up. It is frustrating when people speculate a lot about something as heavy as running for the head of state of the most powerful nation in the world, which comes with much responsibility. All she did was solidify her path ahead of her, working to make America fairer for the rest of us, and deliver justice to the 1% that have too much wealth. Elizabeth Warren is most likely going to win a second term as Senator of Massachusetts. She did not explicitly say that in 2020 she will not run for President.

 

Tuesday, March 13th

  • Rex Tillerson has been fired from his position as Secretary of State, which was announced on Twitter by Donald Trump.

 

This is another example of why the Trump Administration is unstable, dangerous, and erratic. There is chaos. Turnover rate in the White House is significantly higher than Trump’s predecessors, and is not a good sign. With each passing day, Trump is feeling more and more pressure. We have the Russia investigation by Robert Mueller, the media, and Stormy Daniels’ presence, of course. Rex Tillerson is no saint, he was the head of Exxon Mobil and clearly a person who looks for profit first, however, he was possibly the most steady-minded individual in the Trump Administration. Tillerson brought stability to the White House and even reassurance to other world leaders whenever Trump would say something out of line. With Tillerson gone, it will be difficult to say how the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will go…

 

Wednesday, March 14th

  • Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner rejected a common sense gun control legislation that would require gun dealers to have licenses.

 

Here we have yet another example of a politician who’s in the bloodied palms of the NRA. When it comes to shootings and guns, Republicans just can’t seem to grasp how these horrors continue to plague our society. However, if there’s any other incident, let’s say a dog put into an overhead bin on an airplane, then we know exactly what the problem is. It’s just infuriating and disappointing at the same time how motivated by money many people are. It’s a disappointing aspect of humanity, that many of us place materialistic things above morality.

 

Thursday, March 15th

  • Sister of the Charleston shooter, Morgan Roof, brought weapons to school the day of national school walk-out, which was for gun-control awareness.

 

The eighteen year old Morgan Roof had pepper spray, a knife, and marijuana in her backpack upon being arrested. This is a clear signal that there are still many twisted minds among our youth. Not only due to mental illness, but also due to not having access to proper psychiatric treatment and therapy. This girl’s brother, Dylann Roof, shot up a church in Charleston, and most likely did not process it appropriately. There are many factors in why these shootings happen in the first place, and is headed by the fact we have weapons that shouldn’t be in the hands of people, as well as people who shouldn’t have any guns at all due to their personal issues. Such as having a history of mental illness, depression, domestic violence, any form of abuse or violence for that matter.

 

Friday, March 16th

  • Gina Haspel has been nominated by President Trump to lead the CIA, due to Rex Tillerson’s firing, and current CIA Director Mike Pompeo being nominated for the position of Secretary of State. She’s been a part of the CIA during George W. Bush’s tenure, and oversaw inhumane interrogation tactics: torture.

 

A segment from Patrick Vinson’s article, Bush Administration Member Nominated for CIA Chief Has Dark Past with CIA Torture Sites, “Wells Dixon from the Center on Constitutional Rights said in a statement that “Gina Haspel disgraced herself by participating in the CIA torture program and the destruction of criminal evidence. We do not believe she should be director of the CIA. Rather, she should be in jail.”” Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, responded by saying that those who carried out these programs shouldn’t be chastised due to the results yielded (claiming it gave us intel on Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts).

That argument contradicts the idea that if you see something bad happening and you don’t intervene, you’re just as guilty. Whereas in this case, she’s overseeing the inhumane actions of the CIA! President Trump just keeps filling the swamp with more disgusting and abhorrent creatures upon each resignation or firing within his Administration.

 

Saturday, March 17th

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Director Andrew McCabe just a day he could receive his retirement benefits, including his pension, after over twenty years of service.

 

This is the second FBI Director to be fired from President Trump with no clear reason other than how the President is feeling. The Russia investigation is going places, Robert Mueller isn’t on a wild goose hunt, he is connecting the dots, slowly but surely. It isn’t all about collusion, obviously, there’s more to it. There are finances involved, and the FBI is onto it. Trump is yet again explicitly obstructing justice by firing this FBI Director. What more does the Republican Party need at this point to show that this man has done something illegal and is trying to hide it? Impeachment is definitely on the horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Senator: “My Party Might Not Deserve to Lead”

Related image
Giovanni LoPiccolo

Those are the words of Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, speaking at the National Press Club, who has lately been calling for a restoration of civility and humane behavior to American politics, as well as a reevaluation of support of President Donald Trump. The Senator from Arizona is one of the few moderates remaining in the Senate, as well as one the very few non-radical members of the Republican Party that has succumbed to extremism.

If we are going to cloister ourselves in the alternative truth of an erratic leader, if we are going to refuse to live in a world that everyone else lives in … then my party might not deserve to lead…” stated the Senator.

Jeff Flake is an open-minded individual who sees and understands that the words, actions, and behavior of this Republican President and Republican Congress are taking a toll on America’s values and even our stability as a nation. The Senator has decided not to run for re-election in 2018, opening a path for a Democrat to take his place.

Senator Flake even mentioned that his party seems to have a case of amnesia when it comes to all the issues our country has faced in modern history, and seemed to be happening all over again. Just in time for the Senate’s passing of the banking deregulation just a few days ago, about ten years after the Great Recession of 2008 (when the big banks had free reign). The Republican Party does, in fact, have amnesia, or more so selective memory.

The Reagan tax cuts in the 80s failed, as did the Bush tax cuts in the 2000s, which led to our 2008 recession in the first place. The real situation here is that these members of Congress pushing for tax cuts and deregulation of the financial industry aren’t stupid, they aren’t ignorant of the past, they are being paid by their corporate donors to do so. The rollback on major parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations (which were implemented after the 2008 crisis) was approved by 67 senators. Republicans only have a majority of 52 seats, clearly showing some Democrats voted for the bill as well.

Although Flake’s speech wasn’t directed at this bill deregulating the banks, or specific policies, it was more about the principles of the Republican Party. He’s stated, “Never has a party abandoned, fled its principles and deeply held beliefs so quickly as my party did in the face of the nativist juggernaut…We have become strangers to ourselves.” The Republican Party has fallen from its grace, fallen from a position of upholding fiscally conservative and traditional values. Becoming a party that divides, a party that chooses profit over people, and chooses the NRA over lives. And instead of condemning the racist and idiotic statements blatantly spoken by our President, they go along with it.

A big problem is institutionalism. The institutions of our federal government, specifically the legislative and executive have become far too intertwined. The party that has a President in power have become too complicit to what the President says or does. Yes, they have every right to pursue their agenda, but it’s become more about blind loyalty. Yes, a member of Congress may fear that if they go against the will of the President (of that same party) the party leadership will effectively ruin their career by supporting a challenger. However, if more Senators and Representatives spoke up, they can’t all be replaced.

We don’t know if Jeff Flake really has the courage, to criticize Trump and the GOP, or is just doing it because he knows his career in Congress is over. Far too many members of Congress have become servants of the Party, not servants of the people, which is what their job is. They are representatives, they are supposed to represent our views and ideals, not solely do what the Party commands. Senator Flake is right, we have become strangers to ourselves, all these problems are converging together to make a heaping mess for our country and our leaders choose not to deal with them.

 

 

 

Sources:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/15/politics/jeff-flake-criticizes-gop-trump/index.html
(Image) https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/03/politics/jeff-flake-axe-files-cnntv/

Elizabeth Warren: “I’m Not Running for President”

Warren.png

Giovanni LoPiccolo

“For the people of Massachusetts, and for the people across this country… This government is working better and better and better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top. I am in these fights, and I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That’s where I’m focused. That’s where I’m going to stay focused. I’m not running for president.” are the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts while on State of the Union on NBC with Chuck Todd.

Elizabeth Warren is one of the few highly qualified progressives who would have a true shot at winning the White House in 2020, and like many Senators, is up for re-election in 2018. She has been a law professor, specializing in bankruptcy law, for decades, and now a member of the Senate since 2013. Bernie Sanders, however, is most likely going to run. He continues to traverse the states spreading his message of a better America, a future to really believe in. This is a clear way to keep not only himself prevalent in Americans’ lives, but also the progressive message. And one more thing to remember, Elizabeth Warren has been doing the same thing. I do not think she said she’s not going to run for President in 2020, she’s making it clear what she’s doing right now.

Right after the 2016 Presidential election, Bernie Sanders was continuously asked if he would’ve won if he were the Democratic Nominee, and if he is going to run in 2020. Bernie became frustrated with the media asking these what-ifs, as they distracted us from the real issues. The 2016 election was nasty, it was filled with and hate on both sides, both the Democratic and Republican primaries. I personally think Elizabeth Warren is seeing how with each passing day, the more atrocities the Trump Administration commits, the more she is pressed on running for President. It is a way to ease people’s minds, of course, for this entire article itself is somewhat speculation.

Warren has a more important task ahead of her at the moment, securing her seat in 2018 so she can continue to do progressive work in Congress for another six years. If she loses the Senate seat in 2018, that makes her lose all her credibility, and even “electability”. I do not think she’s made up her mind on 2020, and right now is just telling the media to shut up about 2020. There’s too much going on in this country, too much suffering, inequality, anger, and neglect of the everyday citizen to constantly run stories of who might run for President. It would become an endless cycle, something the American people are tired of.

But what we’re really tired of is that millions of people still do not have health insurance, Republicans tried taking away health care from those who already have it, college can and will put you into debt, minimum wages are still $7.25 in some states, thousands of people die each year from preventable gun violence, the federal government is threatening to withhold funds to cities housing undocumented immigrants, the federal government is trying to ban Muslims… the list goes on. But, if Warren does decide to remain in the Senate by 2020, perhaps she can become the next head of the Democratic Party. Chuck Schumer is a career politician who’s been in office too long, and has not truly served the needs of the American people. And if worse comes to worst, Republicans maintain a Congressional majority in 2018 and 2020, we’ll need someone in the Senate to keep the Democrats on the right path.

Besides, we have the rest of the following to keep an eye out in the coming months; Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Nina Turner, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris. Of course, Warren is staying on this list, right after Bernie Sanders, what Senator goes around the country to talk about today’s issues if they weren’t trying to spread their name recognition and message?

 

 

The Latest – Your Berning Week

 collageGiovanni LoPiccolo

This week on The Latest – Your Berning Week, we discuss states’ actions on gun control, the opioid crisis, North Korea, discovering white supremacy in our schools, the EPA working on an agenda that contradicts its founding purposes, and more. You can find more information on many of these topics on the Berning Media Network homepage, as well as the full articles.

 

Monday, March 5th

  • Dayanna Volitich is a middle school teacher in Florida, and apparently has been running a white supremacist podcast, under the pseudo-name Tiania Dalichov. She proposed that Muslim terrorism will continue to occur until we eradicate Islam, according to our very own Berning Media article, Middle School Teacher in Florida Caught Running White nationalist Podcast by Patrick Vinson.

Racism and white supremacy in this country has never gone away, and many could argue it isn’t dwindling. Upon the election of Donald Trump as President, and even really when he was campaigning, he allowed the wretched and ill-spirited of this country to come out of the shadows. This President has allowed them to feel comfortable in their acts of hatred against our very own, as well as any non-white, non-straight, non-Christian individual. One of our many goals, to maintain the integrity of being American, is to condemn white supremacy and racism back into the cave it managed to crawl out of. Racists decry that the concept of political correctness is dictating their lives, and they’re just being honest – no, that’s being indecent.

 

Tuesday, March 6th

  • Florida State Senate passes gun control measures, including raising the age to buy a gun at 21, and also investing $400 million for mental health services.
  • North Korea willing to discuss “freezing nuclear assets”

This is a step in the right direction, and more recently it was announced that the Florida Governor signed the bill into law. For a state that gave its electoral votes to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, it is relieving to see them tackle gun control. This isn’t all that should be done, for that troubled individual can now wait until he’s 21 to buy an AR-15. Hint: the assault weapon itself is the problem.

The next small issue I have is the attention to mental health. Yes, attention to mental health is important, but it is not such a big factor in these mass shootings. The student who committed the shooting in Parkland, Florida was bullied throughout his high school career and was socially outcasted, it wasn’t about having a mental illness. He was a troubled child who needed someone to talk to. States need to invest in their schools more, invest in proper psychiatrists and therapists in schools, and invest in having many of them for each school. And if your argument is to arm teachers or have armed guards at schools; there was an armed sheriff at the high school in Parkland, and he didn’t go inside upon hearing gunshots.

In regard to North Korea freezing their nuclear assets, this is also a step in the right direction. At this point, North Korea wants the world to know they shouldn’t been seen as a joke, or just a rogue state. They have weapons capable of flattening cities and want to be taken seriously. If the US, or even Donald Trump, does meet with Kim Jong Un, it is imperative they do not come off as threatening and demanding. If Trump’s first thing he says to Kim Jong Un is to get rid of the nuclear program, the talks won’t go far. They need to develop a dialogue by listening to what they have to say, and go off of that.

 

Wednesday, March 7th

  • Former President Barack Obama’s Presidential Library raises property values in the south side of Chicago (has not been completed).

Barack Obama has his heart in the right place, for choosing his home city for his Presidential Library, but it’s having some negative repercussions on the community. I think, what we’re having here, is a situation where there are both positives and negatives to building the Obama Presidential Library in this location. And in this case, the positives outweigh the negatives. When I think of Presidential Libraries, I think of elite and untouchable buildings that represent the person whose been removed from society during their time as President. I can’t speak for everyone with my first thoughts. But what Obama is trying to do is take away that idea of being removed, or placed on a pedestal above everyone else. It’s more about honoring humble beginnings, and giving back to the community that helped you get to where you are.

 

Thursday, March 9th

  • President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree to meet sometime by May, which would be the first meeting between our two countries’ heads of state.

Kim Jong Un’s goal is to establish international recognition of his power and prestige through the development and success of a nuclear weapons program. Nations around the world, like the US, China, Russia, the UK, and France have become world powers not only because of their economies, but also because of their nuclear stockpile. Kim Jong Un believes he’ll receive a spot at the table as a significant and major world leader if he has nuclear weapons, and the North Korean state will be legitimized upon meeting with the US President. He’s agreed to stop missile testing during the meeting, which shows, he isn’t an erratic or entirely unstable man. Donald Trump will most likely praise himself for establishing a meeting, and also having Kim Jong Un cease the missile tests. There’s nothing we can really change about that, but we really know why Kim Jong Un really stopped. It wasn’t because of Trump’s “fire and fury” comments.

 

Friday, March 10th

  • Oregon Governor Kate Brown spoke on Capitol Hill for the Senate’s special hearing on the opioid crisis and instructed lawmakers to treat drug addicts as patients, not criminals.

Oregon once again shines and leads by showing the rest of the country how to tackle this crisis. The biggest problem we could make because of our ignorance or stereotyping on people who use opioids is that they are criminals, and should be thrown in jail or left to die. The last thing we need is a country that is gearing up to just throw you in a prison for having been prescribed a drug that you’ve become addicted to, or live in such impoverished conditions that the only way to make yourself feel better is to take said drug. For when someone falls over, you don’t kick dirt in their face, you help them up.