Category Archives: Mark Chou’s Take
Today is April 15. Not only is it my dog Buddy Chou’s birthday, but it is also Tax Day. It’s the day we forfeit our hard earned salaries for the better of our country. In return, we all get representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Well, most of us do. Residents of the District of Columbia do not get this right. That’s correct; DCers pay thousands of dollars in taxes each year but still get no representation in Congress. That is literally taxation without representation. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Hold up. Isn’t that what people in the 1700s had a huge problem with? They were paying their government yet did not get a vote in anything or anywhere. So, they fixed it. Yay! However, this concern still lingers in Washington D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from Washington, D.C., has taken it up as her job to get D.C. residents their right to a representative. “Defenders of the Constitution” believe residents of D.C. do not deserve this right because seats in Congress are reserved to representatives of states. Technically, Washington, D.C. is not a state. Is that a fair argument? I’m not buying it. They are paying taxes. They live in America. They deserve the right to have representation in Congress. Are residents of D.C. any less Americans than, say, Californians? Definitely not. (more…)
Today, the White House announced that the Obama administration has lifted travel, remittance, mail and business restrictions relating to the Communist nation of Cuba. This also means that Cuban-Americans will now be able to visit relatives and loved ones in their homeland.
According to ABC News (Jake Tapper reporting), the Obama administration will also “take steps to enhance the flow of information by allowing U.S. telecommunications networks to link the U.S. and Cuba; and will allow an expansion of humanitarian items that can be sent to the island.” This is overall good news. Bush put restrictions on flow of Americans and products between Cuba in 2004 in hopes that the country’s leader, Fidel Castro (pictured above) would cave into our requests. However, this never happened. Meanwhile, living conditions in Cuba got worse.
My good friend’s mother is from Cuba. She was scared to visit family in Cuba because she was concerned that her passport would be taken away in Cuba and would not be able to return to America. I talked to her recently, and she feels better about going to Cuba. She stressed the fact that now that humanitarian items are allowed to be shipped to the Cubans, conditions there will improve. She said she may even take a trip there in the near future despite her lingering concerns.
In a related story, Chuck Todd, NBC News’ Political Director, had a little bit of a back and forth with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs because of the fact that Gibbs delivered the news instead of President Obama. Todd felt that this kind of message should’ve come from the President who was in his White House office. Watch the video clip here.
Have you seen the picture of Bo Obama, the new First Dog? Can you get any more adorable?!? Also, The Washington Post posted the photo (see above) on their website of Barack and Bo running through the White House. That’s one lucky dog. To read more about Presidential Pets, check out The Daily Beast’s photo gallery here.
Last night President Obama did a White House first by hosting a Passover Seder dinner for the Jewish holiday. Isn’t it crazy to think that no President before him had ever done such a thing? Clinton didn’t. Neither Bush did. Obama was the FIRST. However, two of Obama’s highest profile Jewish staffers didn’t attend the Seder: Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Strategist David Axelrod. Anyway, that’s still pretty cool that Obama did that. He has been really goingo ut of his way to open up the White House to people of all backgrounds. It is also somewhat ironic that Obama was once accused of being a secret Muslim, and now he’s hosting a Jewish dinner. Let’s see what the Republicans say about him now. Keep it up, Barack. Shabbat Shalom!
The College Dems are dominating the Michigan Daily. This time it’s a great viewpoint from FreshDem Emily Ernst. Here’s what she had to say about PIDD:
April is Primary Immune Deficiency Awareness month. Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases are genetic disorders that cause some part of the immune system to function incorrectly, leaving people with these conditions extremely susceptible to illness. I am one of approximately 250,000 Americans diagnosed with one of these disorders.
PIDDs are life threatening when left untreated. For most people with the disease, a simple cold can turn into a severe sinus infection or pneumonia. The longer a person lives without being diagnosed, the greater the chances that the individual will die or suffer severe medical problems. People who live long enough to be diagnosed are put on a treatment called Immune Globulin therapy (IgG), which I have been receiving since I was three years old.
IgG is made out of human plasma, a blood component separated from the red and white blood cells. The body fights off diseases using many of the proteins found in plasma and, by taking regular injections of medications derived from plasma, those with the disorder are able to fight off diseases. Without this medicine, we would be almost constantly sick. My doctors determined I had an immune deficiency after I had contracted pneumonia three separate times by age three and had monthly sinus infections that I couldnâ€™t get rid of without antibiotics and steroids.
Immune deficients arenâ€™t the only people who benefit from plasma. The medications are also used to treat hemophilia, pediatric HIV, hepatitis, genetic lung disorders and, occasionally, animal bites. Even though so many different diseases are treated with plasma, people do not donate as much as they could. When plasma collection centers can’t collect enough, it causes extreme shortages of the medications, and people who have any of the previously mentioned conditions are unable to get the medicine they need to lead a normal life. During the last plasma shortage in the late 1990s, people I know were unable to get their IgG for extended periods of time and started to get sick frequently. I still received my medication throughout the entire shortage because I was given priority as a minor, but many others weren’t as lucky.
In recognition of Primary Immune Deficiency Awareness month, I would like to ask everyone to consider donating plasma. The nearest donation center is in Ypsilanti, but I encourage students to find donation centers in their hometowns. To find the donation center closest to you, go to www.donatingplasma.org. The website also gives additional information on the uses of plasma and the donation process.
I strongly encourage all of you to donate. You may be saving someoneâ€™s life, and you could grant a healthy, normal lifestyle to someone who wouldnâ€™t have one otherwise. Plasma is an enormous gift that recipients are extremely thankful for. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of the current plasma donors, and I hope many of you consider donating in the future.
No more Daily Dailies? Who cares. We are taking over the Daily itself!!!
On Wednesday, President Obama hosted an online town hall, the first of its kind. People were asked to submit their questions for Obama online. They could then vote for the questions they would like to see Obama answer. An approved list of the questions receiving the most votes was submitted to the forum’s moderator who then relayed the questions to President Obama. Obama answered all of the moderator’s questions, but also decided to take a question that was popular among the online voters but did make the final list. The query: With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals? O.K. Thinking that legalizing drugs may lead to a boost in our economy may be a little far fetched. However, I’m disappointed Obama never addressed how he felt about legalizing marijuana in general, set aside for economic boosting reasons. While many assume that the only people that would enjoy the legalization of marijuana would be stoner college hippies, there are still plenty of Americans that would greatly appreciate the medical benefits. My friend’s mother has multiple sclerosis; smoking marijuana would actually alleviate a lot of her pain. I hope Obama takes a stance on this issue could lead to many Americans to a higher level in life. To watch Obama answer the pot question, click here.
Barack Obama became the first sitting President to appear on a late night talk show. Jay Leno and Presient Obama disucssed important issues including the economic crisis, bailouts, and, of course, the First Puppy. However, I think Obama made a low-level remark concerning people with special needs. Jay asked Barack how his bowling skill was coming along. President Obama, “I bowled a 129… It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.” I get it; Obama was trying to make a joke that would appeal to his audience. This kind of line is very popular among male college students. But I expect more sophisticated and more appropriate zingers from my President. Obama has shown us all that he is a smart, thoughtful guy. This incident may have been a lapse in judgment, one that many Americans were able to witness. I’m confident Obama did not intend to hurt anyone. Though he did. According to several news sources, he was deeply sorry immediatly after the interview and called the chairman of the Special Olympics while he was on board Air Force One. But I think Obama made a low-level remark that offended people with special needs and their family members. I personally feel a connection to Special Olympics athletes after being a coach for three years. The Special Olympians I know are the most amazing people I have ever met; they all display true dedication and ambition. So next time you go on a talk show, Barack, continue to be funny but not at the expense of those who don’t deserve it.
Sorry about the nasty headline, but it’s true: Sanjay Gupta has removed himself for consideration for the position of Surgeon General. According to the Huffington Post (article here), the CNN Chief Medical Correspondent was concerned abou the paycuts he would be taking as well as the fact that he would have to report to two bosses. Seriously, Sanjay? Less money? It’s for the good of the country. And two bosses? Whoa…..scary. I hate to say it, Sanjay, but GET OVER YOURSELF. You are one of the Leaders and Best. Represent properly. And hail.
Everybody ready for some Republican bashing? Then what are we waiting for…DIG IN! So, these days people have been (finally!) realizing that Rush Limbaugh is the voice of the Republican party. Lame? I think so. But it’s true. Democrats got Obama. And the Republicans have Rush. Disparity? I think so too. Anyway, Rush is of the “Republican God” these days (does that hold any value?). If anyone says anything against him, they immediately have to retract their statements. Just today RNC Chair Steele had to apologize to Limbaugh after calling Rush’s radio program “ugly.” What harsh words, Chairman: ugly. But he HAD to take it back. If he didn’t, he would not get the support he needs from his party’s base. Those guys WORSHIP Rush. They don’t like it when anyone attacks him. I beg to ask, however, is he really so weak that he can’t even take a little jab? Whatever it is, I find it ridiculous that Rush can dish out criticism all the time, but once it goes the other way, foul is cried. Whatever happened to some civil disagreements? I guess those just don’t exist within the Republican party. Nor do intelligent representatives.