Morning Joe: Who Will Have The Better Legacy, Bush Or Obama?

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough recently said that historians would put together George W. Bush and Barack Obama over their inability to successfully manage the government.

Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk disagrees.

Secular Talk video.

Is A U.S. Catholic Group Going ‘Liberal?’

According to the right-wing publication Breitbart, the Sisters of Mercy of Silver Spring, Maryland, have released a 2014 midterm election guide that urges voters to favor candidates who support amnesty, climate change, gun control, and Pentagon budget cuts.

The election guide states:

“As sisters, associates, companions, co-workers, students, volunteers and friends of the Sisters of Mercy, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to vote for those candidates who share our concern for people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education; candidates who share the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns of Earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism and women. While this is not a presidential election year, the voice of Mercy is needed to inject compassion into conversations on policy and on national priorities during Senate, congressional, state and local races that will shape our nation for years to come.

“We are called to vote for those who are equally scandalized by these ills and who have a vision for addressing them,” the Sisters write. “And we are called to help shape that vision.”

The nuns’ election guide is geared to “U.S. residents,” rather than “U.S. citizens,” and it features a series of questions that the nuns say “will help those U.S. residents listen to candidates with an ear attuned to the Sisters of Mercy’s over-arching mission.”

The Sisters’ questions address how candidates address the “need for poverty reduction programs,” or welfare programs, what they refer to as “the wealth gap,” and the federal minimum wage. They also emphasize the Obama administration’s talking point that 8 million people have enrolled in the healthcare exchanges created by the new law.

Regarding climate change, the Sisters of Mercy suggest voters should note whether candidates speak about the issue with “urgency.”

“How will the candidates work with the world community to address climate change, the impact of mining, the loss of important ecosystems and biodiversity, and the human right to safe food, safe water and sanitation?” the nuns ask.

According to Breitbart, “the Sisters list as a ‘fact’ in their guide:”

“Climate change is already affecting the American people in far-reaching ways. Certain types of extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense, including prolonged periods of heat, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. In addition, warming is causing sea level to rise and glaciers and Arctic sea ice to melt, and oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide. These and other aspects of climate change are disrupting people’s lives and damaging some sectors of our economy (2014 National Climate Assessment).”

Writing that their order recognizes “an urgent duty and challenge to stand in solidarity with immigrants seeking fullness of life,” the Sisters are critical of what they believe to be “President Obama’s record mass deportations…”

Colorado: Free Marijuana For Vets?

Veterans in Colorado can now add free marijuana to their list of service benefits. The organization Grow4Vets, a Denver-based nonprofit that provides “alternative” treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury, is having a pot giveaway Saturday in Denver.

Veterans who signed up before noon Friday will receive more than $200 worth of cannabis products, according to the company’s website. Those who miss the RSVP deadline can pay $20 at the door in exchange for $100 worth of weed.

“Operation Grow4Vets events put cannabis in the hands of veterans who need it most,” the organization’s founder and executive director Roger Martin told ABC7 News Denver. “Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause.”

The organization’s objective is more noble than simply introducing veterans to a better high – its mission, the founders say, is to reduce the “staggering” number of vets in the U.S. who die from suicide and prescription drug overdose.

Every day in the U.S., 22 veterans commit suicide, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. The suicide rate for veterans is twice as much as the civilian rate, a sobering statistic that underscores the need to better treat veteran PTSD.

While the country moves forward with marijuana legalization, the VA cannot recommend medical weed to veterans. However, vets can take advantage of medical marijuana programs in states where medical weed is legal, but only if they do not disclose their marijuana use to the VA. Telling the VA could mean losing their prescription narcotic painkillers, according to USA Today.

But legalizing weed does not mean that a state has become entirely weed friendly. The marijuana industry in Colorado has started a campaign to de-stigmatize marijuana use after industry leaders perceived some unfriendly criticism.

The campaign is aimed at promoting moderate and safe consumption of marijuana products and educating the public about what they see as misinformation about pot. “So far, every campaign designed to educate the public about marijuana has relied on fear-mongering and insulting marijuana users,” Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s biggest pot-policy advocacy group, told CBS Denver.

Pope Comments On ISIS Violence in Iraq

 

PopeFrancis1Pope Francis has expressed outrage at the violence aimed at religious minorities in Iraq, where fleeing children have died of thirst, and said his emissary to the region would leave Monday.

In a strongly worded message during his traditional Sunday blessing, Francis said the news from Iraq “leaves us in disbelief.”

He cited “the thousands of people, including Christians, who have been brutally forced from their homes, children who have died from thirst during the escape and women who have been seized.”

The pope urged the international community to find a political solution “to stop these crimes.”

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Vatican’s ambassador in Baghdad during the Iraqi war, will travel to Iraq to show solidarity with Christians, who are targeted by Islamic State militants for conversion or killing.