Tuesday Newsday [4.23.13]

So much is happening in the world of headlines that I have neither the space nor the emotional strength to digest it all. The tone of the country is somber and heavy, but it is not without glimpses of hope. I have chosen just a few articles, in hopes of balancing the intense weight. Please take the time to read up on a few issues that are actively shaping the moral and political, and literal climate of our country. _____________________________________________________

U.S. HOSPITALS ARE DEPORTING UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WHILE THEY ARE INCAPACITATED IN THEIR HOSPITAL BEDS

I am sorry to put such a disturbing article first on the list, but country is currently perpetrating (or at least ignoring, depending on your view) one of the most repulsive and flagrant human rights violations in the world. It has been happening for years, and we are just learning about it. Please, if you read nothing else, take a moment to read the Huffington Post article about this atrocity.

FRENCH PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND ADOPTION BY SAME-SEX COUPLES

Read the BBC article here. Gotta mix the good news with the bad, you know?

NEW ECONOMIC REPORT SHOWS WEALTH OF RICHEST 7% SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED, WEALTH OF REMAINING 93% DECREASED

According to a new report by the Pew Research Center, since the U.S. economy officially emerged from the recession in 2009, the net worth of the richest 7% of Americans has increased by 28%, while the net worth of the “other” 93% has decreased by 4%. Read the L.A. Times report here.

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There are only 3 articles. Please read them. This stuff is important. The two greatest wastes of potential are uninformed minds and unread news.

Westin

 

Tuesday Newsday [4.9.13]: Margaritas, Margaret Thatcher, and Mitch McConnell

Happy Tuesday!

What do alcoholic beverages, the Iron Lady, and the senior senator from Kentucky all have in common?

They are all in this week’s issue of Tuesday Newsday! Let’s check it out.

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The Alcohol

Some California lawmakers want to extend the state’s last call law from 2am to 4am. It has already encountered intense opposition from some lawmakers and local law enforcement, citing new added dangerous and burdens on the police force. The bill has, however, sparked serious excitement from some bar owners, potential tourists, and this guy:

He loves politics.

He loves politics.

If passed, this legislation could significantly alter precedent for last calls around the country. Read the Houston Chronicle’s article here.

The Iron Lady

"Love her or hate her, she transformed Britain."

“Love her or hate her, she transformed Britain.”

 

 

 

In case you haven’t heard, Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of
Great Britain, died this week. Thatcher was simultaneously one of the most
loved and hated political figures in British politics–which is saying a lot.
Read the TIMES article about her here.

The Senator from Kentucky

Mother Jones, the independent news organization responsible for releasing footage of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s infamous speech in which he called 47% of Americans “dependent,” has released audio of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) and his staff in a campaign strategy meeting, in which they discussed how to squelch the potential candidacy of Ashley Judd in the 2014 midterm senate election. McConnell, pictured here:

The senior senator from Kentucky

The senior senator from Kentucky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, no. Pictured here:

Uncanny.

Uncanny.

 

 

is recorded with his staff discussing how to best frame Judd as poorly as possible, discussing her mental health history and religious views and how to best use them in political campaigning. The McConnell campaign has responded by demanding an FBI investigation of how Mother Jones acquired the recording, accusing the organization of “watergate-style tactics.”

Read the original Mother Jones article here.

 

 

 

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Thanks for reading! Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday Newsday [3.26.13]: A prayer.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about Proposition 8 in California, the gay marriage ban. Tomorrow, it is hearing arguments about the Defense of Marriage Act. For many of our friends, neighbors, and strangers, this is the most important two days in the history of the United States Supreme Court.

In Tuesday Newsdays, I usually try to maintain a pretty consistent neutrality, and just give you the news. I also believe there is a time when neutrality is evil. Now is one of those times. Below is the prayer I am earnestly praying every minute of the next 48 hours. I would implore you to pray something similar. I place no stock in my own words, but I place all trust in the power of passionate, love-driven prayer. Join me. Use my words or write your own. Pray.

Faith, Hope, and Love (the greatest of which is love),

Westin
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A prayer for Tuesday, March 26, 2013 and Wednesday, March 27, 2013:

Holy creator of every person, emotion, and action, hear our earnest plea. Hear the cries of those we have oppressed, feel the pain of those we have bullied. Weep over the heartbreak of those whose love we have denied. Cower with those we have broken, shriek with those we have driven to rage.

Today, bless the tongues and minds of those arguing to end the oppression of your creatures. Speak through them in the most literal way. Let them think your thoughts. Make a lawyer your prophet.

Remind your 9 creatures in black robes they are yours. Make them feel your passion, your love, and your righteous anger. Overwhelm them.

Forgive us, Holy Creator, for we have sinned. We have sinned in action and in neglect. We have perpetrated sin, we have ignored sin, and we have committed hamas against your people. Stop us.

Change this country. Change our hearts. Change our laws. Feel the pain and hope of your creatures whose love is under discussion, and hear the rallying cries of their allies.

Show us what love looks like in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Tuesday Newsday [3.19.13]

Happy Tuesday!!!

I hope you all had WONDERFUL spring breaks! I thought that because I spent my spring break out of cell phone range, the world would stop. Turns out, I was wrong. So, let’s get informed!

6 things you should know/6 articles you should read:

1) The new gun safety bill in the U.S. senate will NOT include an assault weapons ban, much to the dismay of senator Dianne Feinstein. And many other people.

2) Testimony continues today against New York’s stop-and-frisk laws. Testimony is getting personal.

3) Depending how you interpret his speech, Senator Rand Paul may or may not have suggested he supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in the United States.

4) Two girls were charged with intimidating a witness in the Stubenville case. Twitter comments have resulted in jail time.

5) A study presented to the American Heart Association blames sugary drinks for 25,000 deaths of adult in the United States.

6) Did you know the government has free access to your e-mail? Congress is looking at updating the law.

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Thanks for reading! Have a great week.
Westin

Tuesday Newsday [11.27.12]

I don’t know about you, but I spent my Thanksgiving break cooking, not reading news articles. So let’s get caught up, shall we?

Local News

A train from Chicago to Omaha? That would be fun.

The Douglas County Election Commissioner is in some hot water. Read about it here. 

ConAgra has made another aquisition, this time to the tune of $5 billion.

 

National News

Alexander Lukashenko refers to himself as “the last dictator of Europe.” Read the Reuters interview here.

Susan Rice, the leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, is being harshly criticized by a few senators, lead by John McCain.

Mohammed Morsi has granted himself sweeping powers in Egypt, and it has resulted in massive protests in Tahrir square

4 veterans are suing the U.S. military over the policies prohibiting women from ground combat. Read about it here.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, half of young people with HIV/AIDS aren’t aware they are infected.

The fiscal cliff debate rages on. The clock is, literally, ticking.

__________________________________________

-Westin

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Tuesday Newsday [11.13.12]

Happy Tuesday!

Political ads are no longer airing on television (thank goodness), but there is still so much happening around our nation! Let’s check it out.

Local News

The OPPD is proposing a 6.8% price increase for electricity in Omaha, mostly to pay for the re-starting of Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. This will be the 14th consecutive year of price increases, and is the second-highest increase in those 14 years. Is the tax increase worth it?

An Omaha police officer was suspended and removed from the motorcycle unit after his attendance at a charity motorcycle rally resulted in pictures of topless women wearing his helmet. The officer, who is Hispanic, is suing the police department, claiming that he was not responsible for the pictures, and that he is being punished more severely than non-Hispanic officers charged with similar offenses. Read both accounts of the pictures, and let us know what you think.

National News

The affair of General David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA, has become an issue of national concern, and could have very real consequences for all of us. 

Now that the elections are over, the America’s political lens is focusing specifically on the fiscal cliff, and it sounds like the debate is going to be here for a while. What is the fiscal cliff, you ask? Good question! It’s pretty much this.

The FDA has asked congress to increase its authority over compounding pharmacies following a deadly meningitis outbreak from a compounded steroid.

President Obama is looking for a new Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Susan Rice, the U.S. delegate to the UN, and Senator John Kerry are rumored to be the frontrunners. Their confirmation could be tricky.

The American public, at least the portion of it that shops at Macy’s, is demanding Macy’s drop Trump from their new advertising campaign. Mostly because they think he’s an idiot.

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I hope you enjoy, I hope you were not one of the people photographed on the motorcycle, and I hope you are starting to believe me that politics is important, and about more than just elections.
Peace.
Westin

Tuesday Newsday-Election Day [11.6.2012]

In national news, Barack Obama is has been elected to be our President again for the next four years. All our congratulations and prayers as he gets back to work.

In local news, Republican Deb Fischer beat Democrat Bob Kerrey for Democrat Ben Nelson’s seat. And, Representative Lee Terry once again keeps his spot as representative for Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district, though Democrat John Ewing rose to the challenge.

It was a big day in the news. Please remember that your civic duties and privileges do not end today!

Tuesday Newsday [10.30.12]

What’s that? You are hungry? For INFORMATION?

LET’S EAT!

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Local News

Speaking of yesterday’s Monday Meditation on American pride, Nebraska high schools are changing their curriculum, and there is some heated debate over whether climate change and “American exceptionalism” ought to be included. Check it out here.

The Nebraska U.S. Senate race is more closely contested than ever. Bob Kerrey has pulled within 2-3 percentage points of Deb Fischer. Read the Omaha World-Herald’s take on why.

Whether you support Kerrey, Fischer, or neither, Steve Martin’s endorsement of Bob Kerrey is easily the best political ad of the year.

Mayor Jim Suttle wants to revamp the rules concerning the release of violent inmates.

National News

Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast yesterday, and did some serious damage.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford are at each other’s throats in the aftermath of Sandy.

Governor Christie, formerly one of President Obama’s biggest critics, has been heaping praise on the President for his handling of the crisis, and has been praising FEMA’s response to the hurricane. Nobody saw that coming.

Most Americans now believe in science! Progress.

The American Academy of Pediatrics officially endorses embryonic stem cell research, but with restrictions.
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It is officially 1 week until the election. Politics certainly does not encompass everything, but everything is in some way related to politics. I encourage you all to inform your upcoming vote with not only political articles and ads, but also with science, health, and ethics. These decisions matter, and the votes you cast affect the news stories you read.

Have a great week.

-Westin

Tuesday Newsday [10.9.12]

Happy Midterms Tuesday!

I know you feel swamped, but there is still so much happening all around us!
Take a little study break and glance around at some of these links to see what’s
happenin’.

Omaha News

The ability to be bipartisan has become a central issue in the Kerrey-Fischer race,
which can be tricky since Nebraska does not have a partisan legislature. Read your
weekly Kerrey-Fischer update here!

Apparently Omaha burglars are defying stereotypes, many choosing to rob houses
during the day.Yikes.

National News

Protestants are no longer the majority in the U.S. A pretty significant fact for
social, religious, and political life in the country.

Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court will undertake the case of an applicant to the
University of Texas who says her application was rejected because she is white.
The decision has the potential for either serious consequences for the university,
or the elimination of affirmative action. Read about it here!

Four states will soon be voting on initiatives about marriage. Hopefully the importance
of this doesn’t need any explanation.

Vote-by-mail is a common method of casting your ballot. Even though this author seems
opposed to it, he also addresses that is is fast, simple, and safe.

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Thanks for taking the time to stay informed about what’s happening
around us. Last week I skyped with my friend Vera in Belarus, where they just had another
rigged election, thus electing their “president” for another consecutive term despite his being in
power since the fall of the U.S.S.R. It was a great reminder for me to not take this democratic
process for granted. What’s worse than political ads delaying our YouTube videos? Not being able to vote in a fair election.
If you want a tool to help us re-appreciate our immense political freedom, take this citizenship test
and see if you are “worthy” of voting. Of course, if you were born here, you get an automatic A.

Good luck this week!

-Westin

Tuesday Newsday [9.18.12]

What’s that? You want to be informed human beings?
WELL OKAY.

Local News

Conservative groups are really upset about recent anti-LGBT discrimination laws passed by the city council. They want a public vote to overturn the decision. The World-Herald doesn’t have anything I can find yet, but here are two obscure links to the story. I won’t vouch for their journalistic quality, but they might give a nice summary:

http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/conservative-group-wants-public-vote-on-omahas-lgbt-non-discrimination-ordinance.html
http://aksarbent.blogspot.com/2012/09/omaha-liberty-project-will-petition-to.html

Your weekly Kerrey-Fischer article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120914/us-nebraska-senate/

National News

Update on the teacher’s strike in Chicago—perhaps there is an end in sight.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-usa-chicago-schools-idUSBRE88E0IV20120918

The Romney campaign is struggling with some unfortunate videos released. In this one, he says peace in the Middle East is unrealistic because the Palestinians don’t want it.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-usa-campaign-idUSBRE88G19620120918

Todd Akin is refusing to withdraw from the Missouri Senate campaign, to the dismay of some and the joy of others. The withdrawal deadline is quickly approaching, and there is some disagreement over what the polls in Missouri actually say.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/todd-akin-to-claire-mccaskill-you-should-drop-out/

READ THIS. Children may soon have 3 parents.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9546214/Three-parent-baby-fertility-technique-could-be-made-legal.html

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring about the world around you.

-Westin