Why Attorney General Pick Jeff Sessions Is So Controversial
The Real World |  Source: ibtimes.com

Why Attorney General Pick Jeff Sessions Is So Controversial

He doesn't support the Voting Rights Act, for one.

Today marks the day that confirmation hearings begin for President-Elect Trump's attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions. This is a big deal, with sitting senators Cory Booker and John Lewis testifying against him. With their testimony, it is the first time in history sitting senators will testify against another sitting senator for a Cabinet position.

This is why Jeff Sessions is so controversial and why senators are creating history to stop him from getting confirmed.

He called the Voting Rights Act a piece of "intrusive legislation".
This is a big deal. All the Voting Rights Act does is protect an American's right to vote, specifically a minority American's right to vote. In calling it "intrusive legislation", he showed that he does not believe that all Americans deserve the right to vote, especially minority Americans.

The right to vote is a constitutional right protected by the Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. It's very telling that Jeff Sessions doesn't really support the Voting Act, which, in a way, turns into him not really supporting the Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution either.

He prosecuted civil rights activists for registering black voters.
This is another big deal. Albert Turner was a civil rights activist that, after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, became known as "Mr. Voter Registration" for all his work in helping African Americans get registered to vote.

In 1985, when Jeff Sessions was the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, he charged Turner, his wife and a fellow activist Spencer Hogue with 29 counts of mail fraud, altering absentee ballots, and conspiracy to vote more than once.

This case and Turner and Hogue are known as the Marion Three. A not guilty verdict was the outcome of this case, but the fact that Jeff Sessions willing tried to convict civil rights activists for registering voters is concerning for obvious reasons.

Voted to defund Planned Parenthood and against the "Violence Against Women Act".
As a college student, Planned Parenthood is one of the best resources for health screenings, birth control and STD testing. Jeff Sessions voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

Voting to defund Planned Parenthood isn't too controversial, as numerous politicians voted with him, however it isn't a good thing that he treats women's health with such little regard.

In another strike against women, Sessions voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which was changed to include gay men, lesbians, and undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse.

Even if Sessions disagreed with the LGBT and immigrant inclusion included in this bill, the entire bill is to protect domestic abuse victims, which Sessions voted against.

He doesn't think Stop-and-Frisk is racist.
Stop and frisk was controversial because of the disproportionate number of blacks and latinos being targeted - 87 percent of stop and frisk targets were blacks or latinos. A federal judge acknowledged that when she ruled it unconstitutional in 2013.

Jeff Sessions - along with Donald Trump - still believes that stop and frisk is not unconstitutional, that it is in fact constitutional. This is troubling because stop and frisk was racial profiling. It targeted blacks and latinos considerably more than whites.

It doesn't bode well when the nominee for attorney general stands and supports a racist procedure that was ruled unconstitutional.

Jeff Sessions is a very controversial pick for Trump's attorney general. His record, his views, and his standings are very conservative and troubling for the whole of America. The fact that sitting senators will create history in order to testify against him speaks volumes.

And all of this culminates into why Jeff Sessions isn't the best pick for attorney general and why it is so controversial that he is.

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The Real World |  Source: thelibertarianrepublic.com

Fantasy Congress Could Be a Thing Again

Drafting senators and lawmakers instead of quarterbacks and receivers.

Right now, many sports fans are enthralled and heavily into their fantasy football leagues, trying to figure out how to ensure playoff contention in the second half of the season (or at least how to not finish in last). Meanwhile, fantasy baseball is a month into its offseason, and fantasy hockey and basketball are just getting underway.

But there are people out there who don't care about how many points Eli Manning puts up for them or how many yards the Denver Broncos' defense holds its opposition to. These people are more interested than others in the upcoming election, are heavily invested in domestic and foreign policies and can somehow name every person in the Senate and House of Representatives.

And between 2006 and 2009, there was something for these people: fantasy congress.


The creators of fantasy congress weren't people who had been in the fantasy sports world since the pre-internet days. It was created by four Claremont McKenna College students in 2006. That's right, people our age 10 years ago created a game on their own that received coverage from the likes of the New York Times and NPR.


Now, as someone who didn't play fantasy sports until college (yes, go ahead, call me lame), I wasn't around to play any of fantasy congress -- the website shut down in 2009. So, gameplay explanation is based solely on research alone.

Just like at the start of any fantasy sports season, you'd draft. It's just instead of drafting players, you would draft those in Congress.


You couldn't just draft anyone, however, as you needed to choose four senators and 12 representatives. More specifically, you needed to draft members who have different levels of seniority. In the words of one of the student creators, Andrew Lee, "You can't choose everybody on your team as a John McCain. You have to think of the sleeper picks, people like Bob Jindal."


SOURCE: FOX26Houston.com

So how did you score in fantasy congress? Mainly it came from the legislation process. A player earned five points for introducing a bill, 25 if it passed the House or Senate and 50 points if it was signed into law. Eventually, scoring also came from things such as voting attendance, mentions in the news and even the ability to cross party lines when voting was tight. And of course, if your politicians weren't doing you any good, or got into yet another political scandal, you can always make a change, including trades and free agency.

There were no head-to-head competitions, it was more rotisserie style, with the points all added up at the end of the week. The league winner was the one with the most points at the end of the season.


So, would you try fantasy congress if it were ever to come back? For me, I'm not sure -- I'll admit I'm not as big on politics as I am on sports. But I'm always willing to try new things, and for non-sports fans, it would be an opportunity to get in on the "fantasy fun."


And I know it would help me learn more about the men and women making decisions in this country, and consequently, make me care more. In fact, when fantasy congress first popped up, it was praised for that. With as big of an election as 2016 is presenting us, maybe it would be an opportune time for this to make a comeback.

After all, as Lee said to the Times, "If as many people knew about Congress as knew about football, baseball and basketball, we'd all be more educated."


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The Real World |  Source: YouTube.com

The Simpsons Take On the Election

Homer's choice is just what you thought.

It was only a matter of time before cartoons started to get involved in this year's election, and, of course, The Simpsons were the ones to give their opinion (they've seen quite a few elections).

Shots were fired at both Hillary and Trump, but Homer and Marge made it pretty clear who has their vote this year, with a little dig at the DNC for Homer's decision. Check out the video above!

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The Real World |  Source: golocalpdx.com

What's Your Ideology? (Quiz)

Where do you fall on the spectrum?

Ideology quizzes are great for learning where you fall on the political spectrum. While they are not 100 percent correct, and voting is and should be much more in depth, this quiz is a great way to find out where you stand, and how you feel on policies.

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The Real World |  Source: thenextweb.com

Trump Hosted a Reddit AMA

Conveniently during the DNC...

I hate to say it, but I have to give Trump credit for getting more young people involved in the election by hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) last night, which is where anonymous members of the Reddit community can field questions to the celebrities (or in this case, politicians) who participate in the AMA.

To say this Reddit forum was a sophisticated interaction with voters would be far too kind.

To be fair, there were set rules and comments monitored for racism... but they also banned "Dissenters or SJWs," aka "Social Justice Warriors"- an offensive name for people with progressive views.

The rules also mandated any Bernie fans wishing to be involved "MUST Assimilate", providing a link to The Reformed BernieBots Guide on Assimilation. Considering Trump is trying to gain Bernie supporters, the bluntness was pretty shocking. To give you a taste:

"The Trump Train may have no breaks, but it does have rules. The rule is: YOU MUST ASSIMILATE!! This is not a merge, this is you joining us. We will not change our culture. You must change yourself."

Talk about welcoming! The Guide proceeded to be extremely explicit and derogatory of the former democratic candidate, and Trump himself said in one AMA response that Bernie "has given up on his revolution," a far cry from the truth. To any former Bernie fans: I truly question your choice in switching to Trump.


Typically, Reddit prides itself on allowing an "open forum for the free exchange of ideas," but Trump's AMA allowed users to censor "unwanted comments". Olivia Nuzzi of The Daily Beast asked about releasing tax returns, and within 15 minutes, her post was deleted. Because who needs the First Amendment anyway, amirite Trump?

Your chances of actually speaking to "the-realDonaldTrump" were limited, for he only responded to twelve of the 24,000 questions. Therein lies the convenience of Reddit- Trump could pick the "best" questions and provide some real, filtered answers (unlike his normally brash on-air responses).

Even if he had provided decent answers, it was incredibly difficult to follow given the unnecessary commentary from Reddit users, primarily MAGA (Make America Great Again) and ludicrous commentary digging at Democrats and Hillary. I will say I got a kick reading this one user's angry chicken nugget fiasco.

In regards to Trump's response, yes, these are important issues for young voters, but a brief explanation of his plans to reform the education system and create these "millions of new jobs" would've been nice.

As much as he "trumped" up the AMA to be a "HUGE" event, it was pretty lackluster. Yes, I'm biased, but for someone who went to Wharton, you'd think he could come up with a more sufficient answer to "Mr. Trump, what is your plan for reducing or removing the influence of money on politics?" than "Keeping Crooked Hillary Clinton out of the White House!" Also, can you be any more original than just repeatedly calling Hillary "crooked"? Talk about sad!

Ultimately, if you didn't make it to the Reddit AMA, you did yourself a favor. Here's to hoping that regardless of your views, you decided to be a more informed voter!

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The Real World |  Source: LiliyaArt

What to Know About Trump's Congressional Address Tonight

It's going to be interesting.

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump will be giving an address to the joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. ET. This address will be his first to Congress, and will definitely be one to watch.

Here's some things to know and watch for as you follow along.

It Technically Isn't a State of the Union Address
This address is not a State of the Union address, but it's like one. A State of the Union address traditionally happens after the first year in office when the President can reflect back on things he's done so far in office. This address will be about President Trump's plans going forward into his first year as president.

Trump Will Talk More About His Plans
This address will happen after President Trump released his budget proposal, one that wants to increase the military budget and cut funding for the EPA and the State Department. According to CNN, Trump will most likely talk about his policies, policies that include the travel ban, repealing Obamacare, and his foreign policy.

Address Theme is "Renewal of the American Spirit"
Yes, this will be the theme of the address, according to a White House senior administration official. This theme points to perhaps an optimistic speech from President Trump, one that focuses on the future of America and how President Trump aims to "Make America Great Again", especially after these first few months and polls that report 53 percent of Americans are unhappy with President Trump so far.

Democrats Won't Boycott, But Plan On Bringing Guests
According to The Hill, Democrats won't be boycotting this address to the joint session, but instead plan on bringing guests that are or will be affected by President Trump's policies. Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) plans on being a Muslim doctor from Pakistan and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) is bringing an immigration attorney who works with mostly Middle Eastern clients. Three other Democrats are planning on bringing undocumented immigrants with work permits a protecting them from deportation under an Obama-era program.