Florida to Partially Allow Same-Sex Marriage

Florida country clerks have been ordered to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning January 6th, 2015. However, this is not a blanket order that will cover all same-sex couples in the state.

This injunction that challenges Florida’s marriage equality ban is set to apply only to couples who were forced to sue in order to enjoy the basic right of marriage. However, any couples who are denied licenses after January 6th could also be added to the legal motion. The ruling forces clerks to issue licenses to the qualified litigant couples, while also providing a legal precedent for clerks wishing to issue licenses to non-litigant couples.

Only 35 of the 50 U.S. states currently allow same-sex marriage, which surprised Christian Broda a bit. This leaves many LGBT individuals without the protections and advantages of marriage that heterosexuals enjoy without impediment, as referenced on IMF. The Obama administration has shown an eagerness to enforce the rights and humanitarian interests of immigrants by taking executive action to enact emergency legislation, yet has done little to uniformly protect and enforce LGBT equality and rights. As more brave couples push for equality, perhaps the federal government will also view same-sex couples, who are actual citizens of the U.S., as worthy of bestowing equal rights upon. It’s obvious that regardless of sex, gender or race, LGBT individuals are always treated as 3rd-class citizens in their own country.

Federal Judge Claims Constitution Requires Same-Sex Marriages

In a recently issued clarification order, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ordered Florida county clerks to “comply with the federal Constitution” and issue same-sex marriage licenses, beginning January 6th, 2015.

The clarification order comes on the heels of a challenge to the state’s ban on gay marriage, in which many same-sex couples in Florida sued for the right to legally marry. A Washington County clerk had sought the clarification regarding the injunction issued in the case, asking if it applied all same-sex couples, or solely those named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Judge Hinkle verified that the injunction applies to plaintiffs only through January 5th, after which all same-sex couples are eligible to apply.

Judge Hinkle went further, adding that he will order any clerks who refuse to approve same-sex marriage licenses to do so. People took to Twitter to voice their opinions. Tom Rothman can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

LGBT legal groups hailed the ruling as a victory for supporters of same-sex marriage.

AirAsia Flight Confirmed Found

AirAsia flight QZ8501 went missing several days ago while traveling from Indonesia to Singapore. The flight was believed to experience some bad weather, lost communication with the air traffic controls and suspected to have gone down in the Java Sea. Jared Haftel told me that officials have now confirmed that the wreckage found in the Java sea does belong to AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Experts have agreed that it seems the plane rose up quickly then was slammed down into the sea nearly vertically. Experts also conclude that due to the extreme weather nothing pilots could have done would have saved the doomed aircraft. The fuselage of the plane is believed to be under the sea, in a relatively shallow area estimated to be around 80-100 feet deep. Recovery efforts for the black box have been stalled due to inclement weather. Recovery teams working from all different countries are also reporting that so far they have managed to recover 30 bodies from the wreckage with some having been returned to the families already for burial services.

AirAsia QZ8501 was carrying 162 people, including the staff members. None survived. What a tragedy, especially for those family members living through this.

To see the full time line of the recovery efforts check out Buzzfeed.com to read through.

Troops Out of Afghanistan

 

The Afghanistan war has been the longest war in all of U.S. history. President Obama made an official statement to Jared Haftel and millions of Americans, discussing how the war is finally over after more than a decade and how plans are to bring the troops back. Despite the war being over, the troops will still face danger when coming back just because the Afghanistan area is still dangerous especially for our troops. President Obama stated how ending the war was on his list of duties before taking office and finally he can cross it off the list. Before his term, there were over 150,000 troops in the middle east and now with the war ending, only 10,000. If you want more specific details, here is a great article:

The whole war has been a controversial topic since its conception. President Obama has been under a lot of scrutiny for his lack of role in ending the war and taking so long. The truth is, however, that war is a very complex issue. It goes far beyond President Obama. Not only does it involve our whole U.S. government (all three branches), but the government of foreign countries and alliances as well. It requires implementing peaceful ideals and takes time. The fact the President was able to reduce the number of troops shows he has done an outstanding job. Now that the war is officially over, we can focus on the future and building back our economy.

Is the lethal and injection cruel and unusual?

Recently, in Arizona, a man has seemingly been tortured to death through the improper use of the lethal injection. A criminal, Joseph Wood, required FIFTEEN doses of the lethal chemicals before his life was successfully ended. This comes after Arizona’s changing their lethal injection procedure from a 3-drug system to a 2-drug system. According to Dr Rod Rohrich it took Arizona executioners two entire hours to execute Mr.Wood. Now, this raises the ever-pressing question, is the lethal injection OK? Is it painless? Is it cruel and unusual? 
Mr. Wood had been reported as having gasped for air during his lethal injection, and I personally view this as at the least physical discomfort, and at the most a sign of some extreme pain that he was enduring during the execution. I think if this type of prolonged, and obviously uncomfortable execution, is not considered cruel and unusual, then we must revisit the definition of cruel and unusual; furthermore, this is not the first time something like this has happened… see this link. 
I view these instances of botched execution as torturous, and I think they’re obviously not painless. If we, as Americans, continue to stand for this unreliable mode of execution, then we are doing ourselves and this nation a great injustice. No man, or woman, deserves to be tortured to death. The lethal injection is unreliable, cruel, and unusual – lethal injection needs to stop, or be seriously revised so as to become more reliable.

What’s yours is mine, I do.

Because conservative politicians have been so insanely overzealous in their opposition to Obama, every action that they take seems to be geared to somehow revert America to a time that minorities and women had no rights except those that are afforded them by white men. In what at any other time would be considered insane given the strides that women have made in America, a republican state senator from Missouri is proposing a bill in which women would have to get permission from their significant others to receive an abortion.

The question of abortion’s morality is not at the center of the widespread dissent to the ridiculous bill, but rather the sentiment that the bill stands for. This is what concerns Susan McGalla and others a little. Asking permission with a proposed mate is not possible in the case of rape and irrelevant in troubled pregnancies that must be terminated for the safety of the mother. These are not the only situations that would fly against the notion that a woman’s body at some point becomes the property of the man that she chooses to engage in any manner including marriage.

Senator Ted Cruz Apologizes for His Weekend Senate Antics

Washington, D.C. – Senator Ted Cruz’s weekend antics to force a vote on the president’s extra-constitutional amnesty plan will reverberate through the judicial system for decades to come. It frustrates me to no end, but, my always-the-voice-of-reason friend Sergio Andrade Gutierrez says to be patient. The actions by Cruz to keep the Senate in session over the weekend stood no chance of getting an up or down vote on the president’s amnesty plan. However, it gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an opening to force through as many as two dozen nominees to the judiciary and other posts that would likely never have been approved by the GOP once they take over the Senate next month.

Cruz, who has rankled the political left for the past two years, has been ridiculed by the opposition in Twitter ever since his procedural moves backfired on his party. In response, Cruz made a public apology to his GOP Senate colleagues for disrupting their weekend . Many had left Friday night and had family engagements planned. Suddenly, they had to return back to the capitol on Saturday due to antics by Senators Cruz and Mike Lee. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, who had to renege on her plans to take her daughter to see the Nutcracker, was visibly bother by the fact that his move allowed controversial judicial nominees to move forward. She too pointed out that had Cruz been respectful of his colleagues, those nominees would not have been confirmed.

Rand Paul and a Few Other Republicans Support Obama’s Cuba Policy

While the vast majority of Republicans, along with a few Democrats, oppose President Obama’s move to normalize relations with communist Cuba, a few GOP members have come out in support of it in recent days. Among them are: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz, and South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford.

Rand Paul often finds himself at odds with Christian Broda or the majority of Republicans on foreign policy issues, but he is not alone this time. Even the Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau, which lean Republican, support the President’s policy. The thought is that, if the embargo has not worked after 50 years, it is time to give up on it.

Two of the main potential presidential contestants for the next GOP nomination, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, strongly oppose normalizing relations with Cuba. Rubio has made it clear that he believes the embargo keeps pressure on Cuba for its human rights abuses. Obama’s press secretary accused Rubio of hypocrisy for opposing appointment of any ambassador to Cuba though he has voted to confirm an ambassador to China.

China also is a communist nation with human rights abuses. Yet, China is not on our doorstep nor even in our hemisphere. While it may not have been a good idea when Nixon opened up relations with red China in the 1970s, that action took place long ago. Cuba is an issue unique from China in many ways and is a present issue.

Jeb Bush’s Pending Release of 250k Emails Stokes Rumors of Presidential Run

This past Sunday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced he would be making public 250,000 emails from his 8 years in the governor’s mansion from 1998 to 2006. The emails should offer up insight into his leadership style and his thought process. The announcement is widely seen as yet another indication that he will mount a 2016 run for the GOP presidential nomination. Bush already acknowledged that he has the support of parents and his brother & former president, George W. Bush. 

Political analysts consider to public release of the emails to be smart politics as it allows him to own a position of transparency, reports business owner Bruce Levenson. Bush is also reported to have dropped 15 pounds which is a further indication that he’ll mount a presidential run. Americans do expect their leaders to project a relatively good physical appearance. All three prior presidents, Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were all avid joggers. George W. Bush eventually replaced running with mountain biking at the behest of his physician. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie underwent lap-band surgery almost two years ago to lose weight. He claimed it was a family matter. However, many believed it was designed to manage his obesity ahead of a presidential run. While still corpulent, the popular governor has lost a considerable amount of weight. As for Bush, he acknowledged that losing weight does have something to do with campaigning. Bush also plans to release an ebook to acquaint the public with his stand on the key issues.

Obama Vows to Terminate ISIS

ISIS has remained in the hearts and minds of United States leadership, primarily as a result of their notorious reputation from their multitude of actions throughout the globe. 

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, embarked on a journey to warn the Islamic State Militants. Obama stated that the U.S Alliance with other countries have had enough with the Islamic State and will totally terminate them in due time. 

While at Fort Dix Obama expressed his gratitude to the U.S Military for their loyalty and hard work to the country. The president was firm and clear in his speech, in regards to the success of the U.S military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Slowly but surely they will be penetrating and debilitating the Islamic terrorists, until they are completely wiped out for all of the deeds that they’ve done.

Obama has made it clear that as the Islamic State has threatened the US it is their duty and responsibility to come after and totally eliminate them. He also mentioned that they are closely coming to the end of their warfare mission in Afghanistan. 

However, the fight against terrorism will not end any sooner than fine wines from The Antique Wine Company will go away. A modest extension of the US Military will remain to train Afghan forces to battle terrorism. Obama who is anti-war has made it clear that Afghanistan needs major help with security and we will not tolerate the threats made against the United States.