Senate Steps-Up | Perspective

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SENATE SECURES 30th CO-SPONSOR

The senate secured the required 30th co-sponsor Monday to reverse the recent net neutrality repeal by the FCC.

In light of Trump’s apparent indifference to the checks and balances of the three branches of government, which were established by our founding fathers to restrain each branch from having more power than it was designed to have, Trump’s continuous forceful over-reaching has been stymied.

This first feat of the new year, the first morning Senate was back in session, was accomplished when Senator Claire Mccaskill added her name to the list.

Net neutrality was a major notch in Obama’s belt of achievements. It guaranteed equal access to all internet content without “favoring or blocking particular products and websites.”

Citizens in countries such as Iran and North Korea, those run by dictators, are blocked from most internet content that we take for granted including social media. Additionally, citizens suffer through painfully slow connection speeds in oppressed countries. Under Trump, the FCC was directed to repeal the Net Neutrality protections, resulting in large corporations being able to limit consumer access to all content.

“‘We’ve reached the magic number of 30 to secure a vote on the Senate floor, and that number will only continue to climb,’ Markey said in a statement Monday. ‘Republicans are faced with a choice — be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.’”

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STATES

A panel of federal judges has ruled North Carolina’s U.S. congressional GOP-drawn districts are overly partisan and thus unconstitutional. No more elections can take place using the old maps. Gerrymandering will also be reviewed by the Supreme Court in 2018. Many states will likely follow North Carolina’s lead.

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ENVIRONMENT

The warming air and seas across the globe, brought on by climate change, is turning 99% of the sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean female. “…the sex of the sea turtle is determined by the heat of the sand incubating their eggs.” The relationship between the number of females to males is now extremely mismatched. There are other temperature dependent species who’ll be similarly impacted.

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HEALTH

Many health conscious professionals believe there are natural alternatives for the most prescribed drugs. This because we’ve been on earth several millenniums and it’s only recently in the past few decades that pharamacutucals have been the primary go-to solution for most medical conditions. Medication is quick and easy and we don’t have to make too many changes in our lifestyle. However, side-effects can be a serious liability, which result in many new conditions.

Here are natural remedies for several of the top ten medical conditions: pain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure.

 

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Russia Investigation | Perspective

BlogNmbrsRUSSIA INVESTIGATION

On December 1, 2017 Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak following Trump’s election. This significant event in Robert Mueller’s investigation timeline indicates the investigation is intensifying and that other indictments are imminent, and/or may already exist but are sealed. Flynn has agreed to be a cooperating witness in the Trump/Russia collusion investigation signaling he has proven to Mueller’s team his information can take down a big fish, and that there was/is Trump/Russian collusion.

The potential big fish that may now be in the crosshairs are: son Donald Trump Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump, Jeff Sessions and more.

Numerous GOP leaders have stated that Trump asked them to end the Trump/Russia collusion Investigation dating back to the beginning of the year.

In light of the significant success of the Mueller investigation, and the investigation’s forward momentum, the GOP Trump loyalists appear to have moved aggressively to thwart Mueller’s progress, and to vigorously discredit Mueller and his team.

This boiling point will stretch on for a painfully long period of time. Expect a tumultuous beginning to the new year. It seems GOP loyalists will attempt an all-out assault on the Mueller investigation using an octopus strategy: endless trolls commenting on news articles & posting on social media; undercutting the investigators on Mueller’s team; eroding confidence in Mueller; placing judges in key courts who can impede the investigation, some of which aren’t qualified to be judges; blocking discovery; creating attention grabbing and time-consuming diversions; firing Mueller; starting World War III.

In the meantime, if interested in learning more about how these investigations work, check out The Assets on Netflix. This stunning series about CIA traitor Aldrich Ames who sold U.S. secrets to Russian during the cold war, and was responsible for the deaths of 10 “assets,” is an eye-opener into how intricate a small, simple “find the mole” investigation is, how many hoops investigators have to jump through, how laborious it is to unearth the right kind of evidence to win in court, and how long investigations can take (the Ames investigation took 7 years). Trump/Russia collusion is exponentially more complicated.

Be prepared for a bumpy ride. But recognize the mission of GOP Trump loyalists when you read the headlines, and remember the vast majority of U.S. citizens are incredibly thankful for the handwork and dedication of Mueller and his team. They’re on a treacherous uphill battle on the “right side of history,” rising to the intense challenge they’ve been saddled with in pursuit of preserving our democracy and its coveted ideals.

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STATES

Our Constitution contains numerous checks & balances to protect U.S. citizens from the abuse of power. One of the most potent checks on an over-reaching federal government is state authority. There have been a significant number of states who’ve stepped-up to lead the way in pushing-back against Trump’s unilateral and divisive Executive Orders and decisions that are in sharp conflict with American principles.

Typically when a president is elected by the Electoral College rather than the majority vote, an attempt to bridge the political divide and build bipartisan support is made. But this hasn’t happened with the Trump administration. Keep your eyes on states like New York, Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and more who’ve taken action against Trump and his controversial policies. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is leading the way in opposition. His most recent legal action is that of suing the FCC over it’s move to end Net Neutrality.

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ENVIRONMENT

Paradoxically, corporations do NOT feel the need to protect American waterways, air and soil unless regulated. The vast majority of corporations govern themselves by their desire to make money no matter what the impact on the environment and human health. Toxins damage human DNA, creating permanent health effects that will be passed on forever without any recourse for the injured parties.

The best way to protect ourselves is lobby our STATE legislators. Most states have environmental nonprofits. Some are national nonprofits with local chapters. Join an organization to strengthen state lobbying efforts. EPA Scott Pruitt has been tasked to end environmental protection, so there’s no hope on this front. Sate legislators are the solution.

States can establish their own environmental protection standards when determining if drinking water is safe. The EPA may set a standard of 70 parts per trillion, but a state like New Jersey has a much more rigorous standard of 14 parts per trillion. Recently in North Carolina, Duke researchers found that drinking water in Carey, NC has PFOS and PFOA chemicals at 27 parts per trillion. Below EPA standards, but above some state standards, and a big increase from a previous reading of 5.6 parts per trillion. It’s understandable why residents of Carey are alarmed. The EPA is NOT going to help protect them. Connecting with state legislators to adjust the state environmental standards to align with those states that have the strongest protection policies is the path forward in strengthening health safety.

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HEALTH

The most effective way to stay heathy and minimize healthcare costs is build a strong immune system. A strong immune system doesn’t need to cost very much. It’s about having disciplined daily habits:

    • at least 7 hours of sleep each night , eye shields provide deeper sleep which restores the immune system much faster and easier
    • Vigorous walking each day, ideally 8,000 steps
    • 1 clove of garlic every morning: just press into an inch of water in 8 oz mug, microwave for 35 seconds, add a splash of cold water, chug. Chase with favorite morning beverage. It tastes terrible, but you drink it so fast you won’t care. Garlic traces back 3,000 years. Used by ancient Egyptians to stay healthy and strong while building the pyramids.

 

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The Electoral College

One of the most resounding objections against the GOP in 2017 has to be: “Party over Country!”

The majority of us were consistently stunned with GOP decision-making that appeared to malign the country while benefitting the party.

The never-ending daunting issues, challenges, and conflicts created major turmoil and unrest for the majority of us who did not vote for trump. With trump’s popularity plummeting following an endless stream of extreme Executive Orders, and without any attempt by trump to invite the majority into the conversation and find bipartisan solutions, we need to dig deeper into the Electoral College process and strengthen this particular check & balance to prevent this type of hostile takeover from happening again.

A year ago, the public conversation was focused on the Electoral College. Electors cast their votes in their states the first Monday following the second Tuesday of December (tomorrow, a year ago). So a year ago today, a tidal wave of news headlines called on the Electoral College to vote their conscience rather than along party lines. Millions of us believed that if they did it would likely upend trump’s apparent win (despite trump’s losing the majority of votes in the national election on November 8, 2016).

But even this didn’t work.

I was recently reminded that when James Madison and the Continental Convention created the Electoral College in 1787, there were no political parties in the United States. Initially, our founders believed that despite the many differences that existed amongst the public — this because of varied backgrounds, education, local landscapes, religions, professions — the public all shared similar moral principles, so we would use our principles and common sense when voting. (Jefferson phrased it, “many different opinions, but all the same principles.”) Our founder never envisioned we’d devolve into a binary system for electing a president.

Back when those who formed the Continental Convention were vigorously debating the concepts to include in the Constitution, (Madison explained to Jefferson in a letter how daunting this huge monster challenge was, “To adjust the clashing pretensions of the large and small States. Each of these objects was pregnant with difficulties. The whole of them together formed a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it. Adding to these considerations the natural diversity of human opinions on all new and complicated subjects, it is impossible to consider the degree of concord which ultimately prevailed as less than a miracle.”), the founders eventually envisioned that there might be five strong candidates that would rise to the top and become contenders for the two most important posts: president and vice-president.

So with no political parties, and with the founders hoping for a strong five candidates to emerge and become the presidential contenders, would the Electoral College as it was intended have netted the same result as the broken binary 2016 Electoral College?

I honestly don’t believe it would have.

I therefore have 3 takeaways from the past 12 months:
(1) It’s time to rethink this binary system that results in party allegiance over national best-interest.

(2) If the party system was redesigned (following the Blue wave in 2018 which we desperately need, I’m a registered Independent so this is my Independent perspective), then we could correct the broken Electoral College check & balance.

(3) And let’s simultaneously correct the representation-denying issue of gerrymandering that is another negative outcome of the two party political system we’ve devolved into, enabling millions of Americans to finally have a voice in Congress that has long been blocked. Ω

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