News Roundup – Syria, Austerity, Immigration Reform

Syrian chemical attack

Last night, President Barack Obama presented his case against the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad. In my opinion, the case is pretty clear. The Syrian government used chemical weapons against their own people. Then, to cover up their atrocities, they then shelled those exact same neighborhoods for three days straight. Then, they let UN weapons inspectors to come in with the hope that they would find nothing. Or at least, they would find nothing conclusive. The one thing that this whole ordeal has clearly shown us is the dysfunction of the Republican Party. On one hand, there are some of the Republican Party that have been yelling, as loudly as they possibly could, that a limited, targeted, surgical strike was not enough. We needed more. (Invade Syria?) Then, there are those who wanted immediate airstrikes. They didn’t even want President Obama to ask Congress for anything. They stated, clearly, that Obama had the authority and he was scared to use it. Finally, you had a group of Republicans who are calling Obama a warmonger. In my opinion, all of these extremes simply miss the point. I think the idea of Syria giving up their chemical weapons is a good one. Unfortunately, the implementation of actually getting them to give up their chemical weapons is going to be extremely difficult. For a second, it seemed that Russia was going to play a constructive role in the peaceful turnover of Syrian chemical weapons to the international community. Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to squash all that. The Russian president took to the New York Times. Not only is he falsely suggesting that the United Nations was founded so that we can start war only by consensus. That’s garbage. The United Nations was started to give Russia and the United States cover if they needed it. He even suggested that the rebels may have unleashed the chemical weapons. If, President Al Assad does not comply, we need to unleash the cruise missiles.

Once again, we have overwhelming data that this austerity program that has been shoved down our throats, doesn’t work. The fact that the economy is in a funk right now, is evidence that austerity doesn’t work. We should not believe that further cutbacks would’ve been helpful. This is exactly what happened in England. They are in a terrible funk from an economic standpoint. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, austerity doesn’t work.

Remember when Senator Marco Rubio was going to ride immigration reform into the White House? Yep, I can remember that too. It was just a couple months ago. That was then and now immigration reform is dead. Yes something lukewarm and not all that helpful did pass the Senate but it is officially dead in the House. This should be no surprise. The dysfunction that is the House of Representatives has to be seen to be understood. The Republican Party is at war with itself. I wish I could tell you that there at war with themselves over one issue but it isn’t. They were at war with themselves overtones of issues. Basically, as I see it, the Republican Party are asking, begging, the Democrats to beat them over the head with immigration reform. You simply can’t keep 10 million, 11 million or 12 million people who were here in no man’s land. We cannot deport them. We have to figure out a way to get them citizenship. For some Republicans, any path to citizenship is unacceptable. It’ll be unacceptable today and it will be really unacceptable tomorrow and the day after. As we sit and watch Republicans alienate a large group of Americans, all I can do is smile.

It appears the Securities and Exchange Commission actually really tried to figure out a way to put executives of Lehman Brothers behind bars. For some reason, it just didn’t happen.

A cool new van Gogh painting was unveiled in Amsterdam earlier this week. Who says the perseverance doesn’t pay off. The owners of this painting presented it to several different quote experts” over the last couple of decades and everybody said it was a fake. Now, there’s overwhelming evidence that it is indeed a van Gogh.

Apple announces two new iPhones. I’m not all that impressed.

Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida. Some are actually whining that she didn’t do it right. She swam too fast at one spot. As a question whether she drafted some boat. A 64-year-old woman swam 110 miles in open water. She swam for 53 hours. Celebrate.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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