As 2013 begins, President Obama and Senate Democrats hope to, at last, push forward real immigration reform. The New York Times reports: “Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.” According to the Times, it is very possible the President will be discussing this more at his upcoming State of the Union address.
The results of the 2012 election could not have been clearer. The American people have spoken and many call for immigration legislation. According to THINKPROGRESS , a staggering 75 percent of Latinos voted for President Obama’s re-election sending a strong message to the GOP: Now is the time for immigration reform.
After all, Immigration Rights groups helped push forward Obama’s re-election efforts. Many horrified at the Tea Party’s tough stance on illegal immigration and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s suggestions of “self-deport.” The Tea Party is so out of touch, prominent Republican party members speak out against their own party. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Colin Powell have “called out the contemporary GOP on its borderline xenophobia” and strongly proposed significant changes if they ever wanted the support of one the country’s fastest-growing demographics.
Tea Party Republican’s can no longer ignore the new American voter. Despite previous failures and immigration debacles in Congress, the President pledges he will not back down on comprehensive immigration reform. Stand up with us, DFA will be actively following immigration reform as it develops this year and we strongly hope to see a resolution.
The NRA has recently been trying pretty hard to boost its image in the media. Have they finally realized that majority of Americans don't agree with their hardline stance on gun safety measures? After talking with Vice President Biden last week, the NRA has come out in mutual favor of the prosecution of those who lie to get around the mandatory background checks one goes through when buying a gun. Though it's nice to hear them actually discuss somewhat reasonably for once, it's hardly a concession to say "Okay, go ahead and prosecute the people who are already breaking the law." We should prosecute those people, but they have already been denied the guns for lying, so that measure will do nothing to reduce the number of guns out there. The NRA sneaks have made it seem like they're conceding, but they are not. Nice try.
In an another attempt to brush up their image and maybe appeal to a younger crowd, the NRA has recently release an app, NRA: Practice Range. It's a mobile device gaming app where you shoot at stuff with a variety of guns, and you can upgrade to bigger guns if you buy them. It's all targets and skeets, but at the 'Indoor Range' in the game, the targets look suspiciously like coffins with bulls-eyes on the head and heart areas:
That's fairly standard for a shooting range, but the app was also initially promoted as "ages 4+"... to start the youngins in early. It's an interesting form of media for the NRA to choose, since one of their talking points after the Sandy Hook shooting just one month ago was that violence in video games is to blame for our violent society. As the good people over at ThinkProgress point out, the NRA has been hypocritical in this way before. They criticized movie violence as another reason for the violence in America, but made this special glorifying the guns used (by both good guys and bad guys, of course) in Hollywood movies. Check it out:
How much hypocrisy can we take from the NRA? Though media violence is worth analyzing, the easy access to guns in our society makes it easier for people to kill more people more quickly. The NRA might succeed in blocking meaningful legislation if we let them play these games of media attention with us. Do you think something real needs to be done about the access to dangerous firearms? Sign our petition to pass an assault weapons ban and tell Congress we want them to get those firearms off the streets.
In 2012 we all heard the outrageous ideology of former Rep. Todd Akin on “legitimate rape.” And now another GOP leader is talking about “legitimate rape” and concludes Akin was “partly right.”
After the elections, one would think the Republican party members would open their eyes. Well, 2013 isn’t off to the freshest start concerning women’s health. Today at an event breakfast, Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia essentially endorsed Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” opinions: “I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true.”
Gingrey went on to say, “We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Dink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.”
As if things couldn’t get more bizarre, Gingrey continued by defending Akin’s “theory” that women who claim to be raped are often lying.
Gingrey: “Look, in a legitimate rape situation—and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15 year old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey I was raped.’
And because things couldn’t get any worse, Gingrey finished with this: “Mourdock basically said, ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God.” Thanks, Rep. Gingrey. If a woman is raped I suppose God just intended for her to bear and raise and love the child of her rapist.
Rep. Gingrey now claims his comments were misconstrued. However, with quotes and reports such as these it’s clear what his message and meaning was. It’s no surprise too that Gingrey has a “staunchly anti-choice voting record,” according to CNN. Yet the most frightening part of all of this is that Gingrey is an Ob-gyn and the co-chair of GOP’s Doctor Caucus. Apparently, House Republicans have still not gotten the message—
There’s a good reason why former Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock were NOT re-elected to the House. The American people have spoken and we will not accept a politician who believes in “legitimate rape” of any kind. American women will not stand for leaders who do not take women’s health and safety seriously. We at DFA endorse candidates who support women’s rights. Let us know what your concerns are about Republican leadership and women’s health. Make a stand for women's health and safety, join us here .
Across the nation, Americans are coming together and uniting for gun safety laws. Now more than 300 University and College Presidents have signed an open letter urging US Congress to act and end gun violence.
The letter began in Georgia, after college president Lawrence Schall of Oglethorpe University had a sleepless night over the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, “I was just sort of haunted by the challenge of the president when he said this is America and we can do better.”
According to NPR, the open letter includes: “a ban on guns on college campuses, ending the so-called gun show loophole, a ban on military-style assault weapons and implementing consumer safety standards around gun purchases.” In addition, University President, M. Lee Pelton of Emerson College as written letter pushing for more gun safety as well. And College Presidents are not alone, the Association of American Universities is also working on public statement for gun safety on campuses.
All the support pushes forward the ultimate message: America needs to put an end to gun violence and the time has to be now. No one will ever forget the devastating massacre at a Virginia Tech campus in 2007—it is inconceivable that seven years later, Congress has yet to put gun safety on the agenda. The National Rifle Association can no longer dominate Congress. As Vice President Biden meets the NRA today, he promises swift action. If Congress will not act, the Executive powers will. The University Presidents’ letter states: “As educators and parents, we come together to ask our elected representatives to act collectively on behalf of our children by enacting rational gun safety measures… We urge both our President and Congress to take action on gun control now.”
As for this recent grad, I’m proud to count my University’s President among the signees.
Let your voice be heard, sign our petition here . Give a shout out to your home university while you’re at it and join the millions of Americans against gun violence.
UPDATE January 16th.
Make that 301.
This afternoon President Obama signed 23 executive orders to fight gun violence and strongly urged Congress to do more. Obama promised to "put everything I've got into this," however, he acknowledged that "pundits and politicians" will fight his proposals and claim he's waging an "all-out assault on liberty." He called upon citizen's to push forward: "The only way we can change is if the American people demand it." The president ends his remarks by saying "let's do the right thing ... for them and for this country that we love so much."
Just because the election is over doesn’t mean the Tea Party Republican Congress’ War on Women is. Newly elected Arkansas Tea Partier Tom Cotton appeared this week on the conservative Laura Ingraham radio show to discuss women and the military. As we know from the Mitt Romney’s 47% comments, you never know what a Republican will say when amongst their own. In this case Cotton claims that women should be barred from infantry work because their “nature” makes them inferior soldiers.
Tom Cotton’s Harvard education obviously has had no impact on his views of gender capabilities. According to Think Progress Cotton stated “To have women serving in infantry, through, could impair the mission-essential tasks of those units. And that’s been proven in study after study, it’s nature, upper body strength, and physical movements, and speed, and endurance, and so forth.”
Obviously Rep Cotton is sticking to the outdated-biologically driven gender research that validated women staying at home, taking care of children and not voting. Why doesn’t the congressman look at some other studies? Like perhaps the study that states that women in NATO’s frontlines caused “no significant problems” and performed better than their male peers. Oh right, because The Tea Party Congress chooses its facts, it doesn’t find them.
What Cotton also completely ignores is that the current standard of the military prevents women from rising as quickly in the ranks as their male counterparts. If women aren’t even given the opportunity to participate fully, we may never have a truly equal military.
However, this isn’t the first outrageous comment coming from Freshman Congressman Cotton. Recently Cotton claimed that the 9/11 attacks could have been orchestrated by Iraq. Looks like we’ve found our replacement for Tea Party front man Allen West. Join us to help make sure Cotton suffers the same fate as West, and stay up to date on our efforts to oust the Tea Party majority in 2014.
In closing, lets all take a moment to be pleased that Rick Santorum is not our president: