Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake's announcement this week that he will not seek re-election was met with mixed signals from both sides of the aisle. It is usually harder to defeat an incumbent. Therefore an open senate or house seat is usually seen as a great opportunity. However, in this case, the now-presumed GOP nominee, Kelli Ward,is an extreme candidate with a strong anti-choice record. Her candidacy will no doubt, energize supporters that thrive on messages of hate and divisiveness. The Democrats will have a more difficult time winning this seat.
This week President Trump spoke to the Family Research Council's (FRC) Values Voter Summit. The FRC has been described as the most powerful and influential political organization on the evangelical far right. The Summit's gathering was an opportunity to engage the extreme religious right's mission "to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong," according to the group's website.
First Hurricane Harvey arrived, then Hurricane Irma, and then the forest fires in Northern California. But this was still not enough proof for President Donald Trump that climate change is human-made and quickly throwing our world into crisis. On Tuesday, he rescinded the carbon emission rule that President Obama established to help stem global warming.
The emission regulations, a cornerstone of Obama's environmental policy, would have reduced emissions from U.S. power plants twenty-five percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and thirty percent below those levels by 2030.
We woke up the morning of Nov. 9, 2016 having elected Donald Trump as our nation's 45th President. There was deep shock then, and there is deep shock now. At that pivotal moment, our country changed in ways that we still struggle to understand.
Trump won because only 58 percent of eligible voters participated in the election; and he won because people thought he wouldn't win. Complacency and apathy were the big enemy. According to the Pew Research group, the U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout.
It was an emotional week.
Houston's cleanup from Hurricane Harvey barely started when Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida. Rebuilding physically and emotionally will be slow and painful. It has already been one of the most intense hurricane seasons in recorded history and the season isn't expected to end until November. Evidence continues to mount that these catastrophic events are not coincidental, but explicitly due to climate change.
Each one of us has a story to tell about a parent, grandparent or great grandparent that landed on the shores of this country in hopes of building a better life. Many sought refuge from political and religious persecution. They worked hard, struggled and persevered, always striving for the American dream. In the process, our immigrant relatives helped to build our country.They went to school, got better jobs, purchased homes, and started businesses. They were not very different from today's DREAMERs.
JAC's thoughts are with our members in Texas, the Jewish community and all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. At times like this, we all come together to offer assistance to those in need. The heroic efforts by citizens and first responders have been inspiring. The recovery will be long and painful and will require federal and private assistance.
For one brief moment on Monday our country found something to smile about and unite behind -- the solar eclipse. It was a bipartisan moment when Democrats and Republicans marveled at the moon covering the sun. We were all inspired at this event which was completely out of human control. But that awe-inspiring moment quickly passed, and then the memories of Charlottesville immediately returned.
It was an emotional week as the country waited to see the fate of their healthcare. Americans woke up this morning to the news that the 'skinny' repeal had failed and, for now, the ACA will remain in place, reassuring millions of people that they will continue to have access to coverage and critical health services for themselves and their families.
Every day there is more devastating news about the impact the GOP's healthcare plan will have on all of us. It feels like the healthcare debate has been going on forever. We all have a bit of battle fatigue. But our hard work is paying off.