Here we are, mere days into a new year. On the first day of 2017 there were already 264 incidents of gun violence in the U.S. -- with at least 64 people killed and 146 injured. As of January 5 those numbers rose to 500 shootings, 113 deaths and 288 injuries. If, like me, you had hopes that, if Hillary Clinton became president, we might at last see some much-needed, long-overdue gun control in the U.S. we can certainly forget about it now. Not with Donald Trump as president.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: I think Americans have a lot to be concerned about unless, among other things, they don't care about their freedom to choose and their basic human rights. Have you been paying attention to Donald Trump's nominees? Do you know what they believe in and stand for? I have been keeping up with his picks and their platforms. And let me tell you, unless I was an affluent, white, heterosexual, conservative Christian man, I'd be more than a little nervous.
Does anyone really believe he (Trump) gives a damn? That he's in it for anything other than his ego, the good of his brand, his businesses, investments and, lest we forget, his wallet? Does anyone really think he'll last the full four years? That he won't break precedent for the umpteenth time, get bored or fed up or both, and become the first president ever to willingly resign before his first term is up? Or do something so egregious, or illegal, he'll get impeached?
The down-ballot race going on right now isn't getting the attention it deserves. Not good, because the stakes are very, very high. So unless voters want the next four years to look like the last eight, they better show up at voting booths and pay as much attention to the bottom of the ballot as they do to the top.
There's not much time left for applications -- the August 4th deadline is not far off, and you need to get letters of recommendation together, as well as the usual paperwork -- but I urge you to think hard about who YOU think would make a great addition to the Senate and get applications in ahead of the deadline.
To Canadian eyes, there is something both familiar and strange about the controversy surrounding President Obama's authority to name a replacement for Antonin Scalia. The issue is familiar because, last year, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Russell Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada only 6 weeks before the federal election (having announced that he would do so a few days before Parliament was dissolved). Examining both cases can help us learn key differences between our two governments.