When a person says something that turns out to be damaging, some might tell that person to “engage brain before mouth.” Everyone at some point in their life says something they wish they could take back.
In Richard Mourdock’s case, many would say that is what he must have thought when he made a comment about pregnancy and rape. It is a comment that many Republicans are now backing away from the Republican Senate candidate from Indiana and has raised concerns that this could become a problem for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In fairness to Mourdock and his supporters, the damaging comment that was made was actually twisted around from its’ original intention. The problem for the GOP is that this is another candidate that has put the Republicans on defense and causing voters to reassess what their Republican party stands for.
One can surmise that it would be best for GOP candidates to do their best to refrain from making any comments when it comes to abortion and how it might relate to those who become pregnant through being raped. Now it may sound like I am losing my objectivity by focusing on the GOP only but Mourdock is just one example of how this topic has become toxic for the Republicans.
Going back to 2010, you may recall the trouble Sharron Angle got herself into when asked about if she supported abortion involving women who became pregnant through incest or rape. According to Angle, she opposed abortion because “God has a plan” and also suggested, albeit indirectly, that any pregnant rape victims should “turn a lemon situation into lemonade.” Many who followed closely that Senate race felt that her comments ended up contributing to her downfall.
In August of this year, Republican Todd Akin said during an interview about rape that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” and block pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.” Though he apologized for making the comment, his own party treated him like a Leper and though pressured from them to drop out of the race decided not to step down.
Also in the same month, Pennsylvania’s Tom Smith spoke about his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy and likened it to conception through rape. Before seeming to qualify his defense, he said “No, no, no. Put yourself in a father’s position,” he said. “Yes, I mean it is similar.” Smith also explained eventually that “It’s life. I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.”
On Tuesday, during a debate against Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly, Mourdock was asked if he felt that abortion should be allowed in cases dealing with incest and rape. He said, “I struggled with myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen.” When the debate was over, Mourdock tried to clarify his remark by saying how horrible a thing like rape is and that he believes the act itself is not part of a divine plan.
“God creates life, and that was my point,” Mourdock said in a statement. “God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does.”
However, this did not stop Democrats from saying how insensitive the comment is and that this is evidence of an extreme view on women’s rights and abortion. Also, that presidential nominee Mitt Romney had made an ad in supporting Mourdock this week.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said in a statement following the debate that “Richard Mourdock’s rape comments are outrageous and demeaning to women. Unfortunately, they’ve become part and parcel of the modern Republican Party’s platform toward women’s health, as Congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan have worked to outlaw all abortions and even narrow the definition of rape.”
Even Romney’s campaign distanced itself immediately from what Mourdock said and that they did not reflect its candidate’s views meaning Romney is against abortion but supports exceptions in cases involving incest and rape.
Though Democrats and many of the GOP are trying to distance themselves from Mourdock, he does have the support of others despite what he said. The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List group not only backs his characterization and support his candidacy in an email but also accuses his opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly, of twisting his words.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote Wednesday morning that “Richard Mourdock said that life is always a gift from God, and we couldn’t agree more. To report his statement as an endorsement of rape is either willfully ignorant or malicious.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, also came to the defense of the Republican candidate by saying, “Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even [Democratic opponent] Joe Donnelly – believe that life is a gift from God,” Cornyn said. “To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.”
Once again, the GOP has found themselves on the defense because of damaging comments made by one of their own. Though many have quickly decided to distance themselves from the Republican candidate, some have decided to continue their support of his character as well as his candidacy.
One has to wonder if this will not only hurt his chances come Election Day but Mitt Romney’s as well. Both Smith and Alkin are trailing in their races to unseat both incumbent Democrats. So far, Mourdock had a five-point lead over his opponent in the most recent Rasmussen poll.
However, according to an internal survey commissioned by Donnelly, it showed the Democrat leading Mourdock, 40-38. Will this latest incident hurt the Republican candidate’s chance for a victory or will the Democrats attack on Mourdock backfire and actually gain support come Election Day? What do you think?
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US-China Trade War Plaguing Tech Industries
As news about the never-ending trade war between the United States and China began to emerge last week, there’s only one thing that’s sure: it’s not going to be good news. As the tension escalates between the two countries, the latest on the trade talks would most likely affect you.
Apparently, the United States has decided to raise tariffs on over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. That’s a significant leap from the previous 10% to 25%. In obvious retaliation, China has also decided to impose tariffs on over $60 billion on U.S. goods starting June 1. Moreover, another $300 billion could be subjected to higher tariffs from China as early as July. According to the list released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, it will include a large majority of imports from China. Bluntly, covering nearly all products that the U.S. buy.
Ideally, what President Trump is trying to achieve with the on-going trade war is to pressure China into accepting a deal that would be more beneficial or, at least, less exploitative to American businesses whose manufacturers and resources come from China.
In a series of tweets that Trump has sent out to Twitter this week, he seems to consistently point out that Tariffs are actually a good thing and that the U.S. will gain more in the long run, that is if China will still refuse to accept the deal has previously been offered.
In a tweet, he claims that this year’s “good” first quarter was significantly aided by tariffs from China. That may be true, coming from an economic perspective. However, he seems to have sugarcoated the issue quite too much. The effects of U.S.-China trade wars and tariffs are consequential and definitely not a harmless battle.
In this next string of tweets, Trump seems to have completely been alluded by the idea that China will, in fact, give in to the terms set by the U.S. and that if they won’t, China is still on the losing end because U.S. companies could easily move out of China and source other resources in neighboring countries in Asia such as Vietnam. Better yet, U.S. companies can move their businesses back to provide more jobs for the American people.
But what Trump claims are easier said than done. As of the moment, most U.S. companies rely on China for manufacturing and resources. Particularly, companies like Apple would need to pay much less with Chinese employees compared to the U.S.
Moreover, tech companies source materials such as steel from China, which is vital in phone or tablet making, to name a few. In other words, having a manufacturing house in China would be more cost-effective for U.S. companies because they wouldn’t need to pay for tariffs of moving resources from one country to the other.
Specifically, companies like Apple are the ones at the front to absorb the impact of the latest set of tariffs since tech companies manufacture most of their consumer goods in China. In this case, Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and MacsBooks. So in a couple of months, if you’re looking to buy a Mac charger, expect to pay a few dollars more.
In numbers, Apple had its biggest drop of the year in the stock market since President Trump started to tweet about China tariffs last May 5. It fell 5.8% at $185 and lost almost 12% of its market value. This means a significant $120 billion loss for its shareholders.
In relation to President Trump’s tweet above, tech companies aren’t the only ones who will suffer the latest tariff adjustments. Most of the U.S. farm and produce exports mainly go to China to meet their large demand. However, by increasing tariffs on these products, the Chinese would most likely be forced to buy less or, worse, to source goods outside the U.S.
The trade game that two of the most powerful economies in the world may be a power play between who will give in to whom but the fact still exists that its effects directly affects its citizens. It’s true that the United States may earn from the upsurge of tariff implementations on China but the ones who are really paying are American households and businesses.
Michael Cohen: President Trump’s Loyal Lawyer and ‘Fixer’ to Serve a Three-year Sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York.
President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen has now checked into the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, for a three-year sentence.
The ex-lawyer arranged hush payments for the two women who claimed to have sexual encounters with President Donald Trump. He also had been lying in Congress and had done several financial crimes.
Cohen, serving as Trump’s fixer, said that he still has more secrets to reveal about Trump as reporters outside his residence in Manhattan were ambushing him before being driven to Otisville. There is still much to be brought into the light and the right time will come for all these hidden truths are to be revealed to the world, he added.
According to surveys, Otisville is included in America’s top 10 “cushiest” prisons as it is known to cater to Jewish offenders with a touch of services of a rabbi and a kosher kitchen. This reality that Cohen will be taking for the next three years of his life will be a total change of lifestyle from the limelight that he used to have from following and being the president’s backbone in Congress and his career. But unlike any other person who gets into prison, there shall be no special treatment for the ex-lawyer.
Some former celebrities also share cells in the Federal Correctional Institution. He might be seeing Michael Sorrentino who is currently in an eight-month sentence for tax fraud, Billy McFarland who is serving a six-year sentence because of a $26 million fraud, Darren Sharper who is sentenced for drugging and raping women and is now serving for 20 years. And lastly, Dean Skelos, former New York Senate Majority Leader jailed for four years for corruption.
Serving prison is an irony to Cohen’s profession, but as for him, it is the only way that the truth may be out and justice will be served. He is sold out to clear his name as he also blames himself for helping the United States in compromise. As time went by, his loyalty to the president has blinded him from the core truth of why he was in the position to serve the country. He said in an interview that it had led him to choose the “path of darkness over light.”
He emphasized that this country is full of injustice and lies, fear of hatred from foreigners or strangers or what he calls the president has—xenophobia. He hopes that after his three-year sentence, he will be reunited with his family and friends in this country that is actually “united” rather than doing things just for the show will all the pretentions and lies.
As they say, the government along with politics will always be a dirty game, a messy place, and a messy life to protect the people and to make a nation “clean” (on the outside) for foreign countries. For Cohen, he has come to a point in his life where he has found the fine line of compromising and fighting for truth and justice for his fellowmen.
He has admitted that he was under the direction and coordination of the president to silence women who have been longing for justice from spilling the tea with his power and payments which he was found and pleaded guilty. He is also admitted to making falsification to Congress and lying about some details concerning the Trump Tower.
In February, Cohen publicly testified before the House Oversight Committee bringing with him evidences to implicate Trump, reimbursement check copies that he used signed by the president and his son, Donald Trump Jr. that were for the hush money.
He was in great dilemma of whether to serve the Trumps in loyalty as it was his duty to stand for them or to serve as a lawyer for who he pledged to be. Nevertheless, Cohen takes full responsibility for all the misconduct that he had done. It is now about telling the truth and that there is no turning back for him. If serving three years is the only solution to lift his mistakes, then he is more than ready and willing to do so.
Priest Slammed And Fined For Burning Harry Potter Books In Poland
A Catholic organization lead by priests was under fire after a set of photos of them burning things after a mass in the Polish town of Gdansk, Sunday. The post originated from a Facebook page that belongs to the “SMS from Heaven,” a Catholic Evangelical foundation set up to spread the Christian doctrine through mobile phone text messages.
In the post with the caption “We obey the Word,” the group was seen burning items that they deemed to violate the Christian faith which includes Harry Potter books, a Hello Kitty umbrella, some Hindu figurine, and an African mask.
The group responsible for the burning justified their actions by stating quotations from the Bible, specifically from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. The priests and other religious individuals in the burning event cited the passage that exhorts believers to destroy the enemies of God, including the passage “burn their idols in the fire.”
The viral photographs show priests carrying out a box of items as they parade towards the burning pit outside the church. The priests were also photographed as they say prayers at the hole as the said items were being burned.
The founder of the infamous organization is Father Rafal Jaroseiwicz. Fr. Jarosweiwicz said in a press statement that “that fact of burning books and other objects was unfortunate, but it was not irreverent to any social group or religion, nor was it aimed at the books as such or culture. If anyone took my action in this way, I would like to welcome him in this place to apologize.”
As if it justifies the action, the priest also said that his foundation has been distributing hundreds of thousands of books for free. He also noted that it was “unfortunate” that the burning was taken out of context because the participants of the retreat voluntarily brought the objects burned at the event.
“Unfortunate” and “shocking”
The Primate of Poland, Roman Catholic Church’s highest official in the country, condemned the act saying that it was “unfortunate” and “shocking.” He also said that books are not supposed to be burned but to be read and their contents should be discussed.
“The burning books reveals the illusory belief that removing in a spectacular way the bad or harmful spiritual contents, which – in the opinion of the organizers of the event – contain burned books or objects, at the same time will free their readers from infecting with harmful content,” the Church official added.
The Metropolitan of Gniezo also explains that “the road to freeing from what harms people is not destroying these or other books containing harmful spiritual content, but on the basis to lead, through critical thinking and openness to the grace of God, which certainly it was the content of retreats to reject what is harmful.”
The church leaders also warn that conversation will never be achieved by burning books. They said that the priests should show the faithfulness as the basis for a “critical assessment of what they read.”
It appears that the event did not just upset the heads of Church but also the Polish government following the apparent irresponsible burning of objects to get rid of everything that “brings bad power.” On April 3, the priests who took part in the burning event were fined by the municipal guards for violation of environmental laws.
“The person suspected of having committed the offense was asked by us to appear at the guard’s office and provide explanations. They presented themselves, made an explanation, admitted their guilt, and was fined,” explained Wojciech Siolkowski, a spokesperson from the City Guard of Gdansk.
However, many activists said that the punishment should not end at fining the priests involved in the event.
According to Zdzislaw Kuczma from Rybnicki Smog Alert, the burnt object has ink and plastic which causes the smoke to emit carcinogenic substances. They also said that they are not interested in the political context of the event, but only in the environmental implications of burning plastic and ink.
“The impulse was, as we saw in the pictures, children are near the campfire. Their health could have been compromised. In our opinion, a simple mandate is not enough […] It doesn’t matter if you are a priest or a construction worker,” he adds.
The environmental organization has sent the prosecutors office a notification regarding their suspicion of committing a crime against environmental protection through the event. Grazyna Wawryniuk from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdansk confirms that their office received the complaint on Tuesday.
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