Posted tagged ‘Republican’

Barack Obama’s Inauguration: Stories From The Mall

January 20, 2009
Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

Millions on the national mall awaiting the inauguration of President Obama.

(Washington D.C.) – Today I along with a few other College Democrats joined the millions of Americans from every state stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Within 5 feet were people from Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, Kentucky and a multitude of other states. Even more impressive were the people from the Bahamas and the Netherlands.

Every race, color and creed was visible on the mall. After arriving around 1am there were plenty of people who were rich, poor, tired and eventually just a huddled mass. All of them telling us how they came with friends from South Africa and as far away as Australia. Everyone sharing stories about how Barack Obama’s election has personally touched them in a way no election ever has.

Singing songs together in unity to stay warm, loudly cheering for President Obama when he appeared on the jumbotron and quietly listening to pastor Rick Warren when he spoke to everyone.

Whether you were there in person, saw it at home on your television, saw it online at work, or listened to it on the radio this was a moment for the history books. From Los Angeles to New York to the forgotten corners of the world everyone will remember this moment. What did you make of this moment?

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After Guantanamo… part 2

December 14, 2008

This is part two of a two part series on Guantanamo Bay. The first part can be found here.

Previously we answered the question about where detainees who are set free can go. Now we address the rest of the detainees….

So what about the rest of the detainees? Well most of them will face trails under the plans being crafted by the Obama administration. The Bush administration has set up military tribunals for the detainees.

Various organizations such as the ACLU and Amnesty International have cited these tribunals as unfair. Recently the ACLU released a letter about the tribunals.

“Many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve,”

Many are asking to give the detainees fair trials with Constitutional rights, the same rights anyone on American soil is entitled to. There is opposition to the plan to give the detainees trials in the US. One of those is Senate Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn, (R-TX) said it is a “colossal mistake to treat terrorism as a mere crime.”

Human Rights First which recently met with the transition team issued a statement saying since the attacks of 9/11 there have been 107 successful prosecutions of international terrorism cases in the federal courts, compared with three convictions in military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.

President-Elect Obama will no doubt have to address this issue very early on in his presidency. Many have cited the unfair treatment of prisoners as a violation of human rights and some have even resigned their positions in protest of the treatment.

Many inside the current administration are hoping Obama will keep the camp open after reading some of the classified information he now has access to. Will it happen? (more…)

After Guantanamo…

December 13, 2008

This is part one of a two part series covering the future of Guantánamo Bay.

(NEW YORK) Guantánamo Bay is a bay located in Guantánamo Province at the south-eastern end of Cuba. Most people however know the bay by the U.S. Naval base there. The land granted to the United States was granted to them in the terms of the Cuban-American treaty of 1903 which effectively leases the land indefinitely to the United States. Currently the United States leases the land for $4,085 annually.

In the American controlled Guantánamo Bay Naval Base are more than ships, barracks and an airfield. There are various food franchises owned by the Department of the Navy. There’s a Taco Bell, Subway, KFC, A&W, pubs, bowling allies, and even Cuba’s first and only McDonald’s.

Guantanamo Bay inmates upon arrival

Guantanamo Bay inmates upon arrival

The base is best known for the now infamous Guantánamo Bay Naval Base Detention Camp, where many detainees are held.

There has been controversy time and time again regarding the base. From the treatment of inmates, to the conditions they’re held in, to the ages of them.

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of closing down the Detention Camp. He will not be closing down the base itself as the base is vital to the Navy’s interests and is a key strategic location in the Caribbean. The closing of the detention center on the base he has said is one of his top priorities.

There are very few, if any people who are against shutting down the detention center. But there’s a question which looms large and seems to have gone unnoticed by the media. What happens after the Detention center at Guantánamo Bay is closed?
(more…)

Auto Loan stopped by Republicans

December 11, 2008

Republicans would not let the auto companies get the no interest bridge loan which they need to keep their workers. Minority Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has annouced opposition for the bill. He and other republicans want more concessiosn from the UAW.

They believe the American workers don’t deserve to earn as much as they currently do. These lawmakers want these workers to earn as much as workers for the Japanese companies of Nissan, Toyota and Honda do.

Senator McConnell does not believe the idea of a car czar with the ability to take back the money if the car makers don’t live up to their end of the bargains is strong enough.

Harry Reid will soon call the Senate to a vote and we will see how this goes.

Judge Rules for St. John’s Students

December 3, 2008

At yesterday’s hearing, in which 5 students from St. John’s University were subpoenaed by the Republican Party to validate their voter registration, Justice Kevin J. Kerrigan of State Supreme Court stated that the subpoenas were nothing more than a nuisance and ordered that they be dismissed. He told the students that they had no obligation to present any materials, and he asked them to leave the courtroom and return to their studies.

We applaud Justice Kerrigan’s ruling on this issue. This has been a distraction to students who were simply exercising their right to vote. These are not criminals who have illegally voted or violated election law; these are college students who took time to cast their ballots in a historic election.

Thankfully reason prevailed as the Republican Party shamefully attempted to intimidate first time voters. College students were unfairly targeted because Republicans saw them as an easy target. They attempted to take students to court for fulfilling their civic duty. The College Democrats Chapter at St. John’s University will always fight to keep anyone from being intimidated into silence.

Republicans vs Students

December 2, 2008

Here in SD-11 the Republican party has it out for the students of St. John’s University. After challenging the votes of some voters in the district (as is usual for elections) the Republican party is challenging the votes of students here.

Senator Frank (the tank) Padavan has subpoenaed a handful of students at St. John’s.

The New York Times reports:

“Republican lawyers have challenged the votes of students, mostly from St. John’s University, saying that they filled out affidavit ballots with addresses that were not their permanent residences. In the paper ballot count, Mr. Padavan is leading by about 600 votes, but about 1,000 more ballots remained to be counted and the validity of an additional 2,000 must still be reviewed.

While the challenges and subpoenas have angered students, who are being forced to appear during exams, they underscore the high stakes attached to winning the Senate seat in Queens.”

The Republican party has gone out of its way to hassle students who were excited to vote in an election for the first time in decades.

Yesterday, I spoke with a classmate of mine who was recently featured in the Times article who was incensed that the Republican party has challenged her vote in court not only forcing her to prove she voted legally, but the fact that it’s during the final exams.

I’m glad this race is finally getting the attention from bigger media outlets it deserves. From what I know, students are upset but will show in court. I ask you, don’t let this discourage you from voting in the future. Do not let anyone take away your right to vote. I leave you with a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson.

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

Lets break down this wall of injustice.

Republicans angry at Palin

October 29, 2008

So it seems in the waning days of this race to the White House Republicans are split over what should happen to Sarah Palin if they fail to capture the White House.

This is a debate which is getting public at times as we’re hearing from her aides saying “she is going rogue.” “A civil war that is simmering will break out into the open if McCain loses, and the party will have to decide what they want to be in the post-Reagan world,” said Gloria Borger, a political analyst for CNN.

Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Sarah Palin

Now some out there may say, this is just the Democrats trying to spread vicious rumors and pick apart the Republican party. I ask you to just look at Palin rallies and McCain rallies. John McCain is not filling up the places he’s speaking at. This is the man who is the Republican choice for the White House and that is not at all a good sign when his VP is getting more people than him.

When John McCain was asked about problems with his running mate he said “when two mavericks join up, we don’t agree on everything, but that’s a lot of fun.”

We’ve been hearing McCain aides calling her a “diva” and describing her as “going rogue” A top republican David Frum who worked in the Bush White House said “There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.”

Frum goes on to say

Gov. Sarah Palin connected with neither independents nor women. She did, however, ignite the Republican base, which has come to support her passionately. And so, in this last month, the McCain campaign has Palinized itself to make the most of its last asset. To fire up the Republican base, the McCain team has hit at Barack Obama as an alien, a radical and a socialist.

Sure enough, the base has responded. After months and months of wan enthusiasm among Republicans, these last weeks have at last energized the core of the party. But there’s a downside: The very same campaign strategy that has belatedly mobilized the Republican core has alienated and offended the great national middle, which was the only place where the 2008 election could have been won.

It seems the Republican party has finally gone over the edge. If the Republican party nominates her for a future run, she will get all of the Republican base, I guarantee it. She might destroy others in the primaries, however when facing independents and democrats even moderate republicans would rather stay at home than vote for the extremist candidate.