Politics A La Americana

Hi guys! Politics is both a hobby and a career for me. I recently attained my BA in Political Science from Boston University. I focused on on American domestic politics and American foreign affairs so this blog will mostly reflect that. My personal political beliefs run towards the more moderate/liberal side of things, depending on the topic. Please feel free to message me if you want to talk shop! I love this stuff way more than I should!


Ukraine peace talks produce deal on buffer zone

AP: Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the Moscow-backed rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reached a deal that creates a buffer zone to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants.

The negotiators also reached an agreement on the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries.

Follow updates on Breaking News.

Photo: Local resident Luba Zikova cries in front of her damaged house after shelling in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

That awkward moment when the House votes to give Obama authority to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels and forgets to define “moderate”.

The percentage of new female HIV cases nationwide which black women comprise. Forbes reports that HIV/AIDS is now the leading cause of death among black women age 25-34.

American healthcare is so bad for women of color it may violate the UN convention

(via micdotcom)

(via chicagotribune)



#ItsOnUs to stop sexual assault. Take the pledge to be part of the solution.

If you or a friend is a victim of sexual assault, there are resources out there to get help. You can chat anonymously with trained professionals at RAINN, and find support services in your area.

Take care of yourself and each other, Tumblr.


Who, what and where is ISIL? Explaining the ‘Islamic State’: The ragtag army occupying a huge Indiana-sized swath of Syria and Iraq is Al-Qaeda 2.0

The group known variously as ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) or simply Islamic State is, originally, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. But while it shares a similar ideological outlook, ISIL has adopted a different strategy from its predecessor. What distinguishes the new armed group is its capture and occupation of swaths of territory, stretching from the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, eastward beyond Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s war-torn hometown in Iraq.

Continue reading…

Photo from YouTube/ISIL

Written by Ben Piven


A man detained by police during a raid kneels on the ground in Sydney, in this still image taken from police handout video September 18, 2014. Intelligence showed that militants connected with Islamic State were planning to behead a member of the public in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday after hundreds of police raided homes in a sweeping counter-terrorism operation. More than 800 police were involved in the pre-dawn security operation in Sydney and Brisbane, described as the largest in Australian history. At least 15 people had been detained, police told a news conference.  cr: Australian Federal Police / Reuters



A hunger crisis is sweeping America’s universities. 

(via so-many-ways-to-be-beautiful)


TIME: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are launching a public awareness and education campaign aimed at preventing sexual violence on college campuses.

The campaign, called “It’s On Us,” will be aimed at changing the culture by inspiring every person on a college campus to take action, big or small, to prevent sexual assault.


Los Angeles Times: The NFL is entering into a long-term partnership to provide financial, operational and promotional support to two of the country’s leading services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, according to a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

In the two-page memo, which was distributed Thursday to the league’s 32 teams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell writes that starting this season “we will dedicate significant resources to raise awareness on the subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault, including support for victims.”

Follow this story on BreakingNews here.

While I particularly want to see the NFL do more to address its own culture of violence and abuse this is a good, tangible positive that will make a difference in the lives of many victims. The NFL still has a long way to go (I’m thinking a zero tolerance policy) but this action deserves its own applause. 


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

  • The United Nations took over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, previously led by the African Union. 
  • Amnesty International has uncovered the extensive and horrifying torture practices of Nigerian security forces. 
  • 5 UN peacekeepers were killed by a roadside bomb in Mali.
  • Egypt and Russia signed a preliminary arms deal worth $3.5 billion.
  • Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been released on bail.
  • Fighter jets from an unknown country carried out four airstrikes against militants near Libya’s capital.
  • ISIS released its third beheading video - this time of British aid worker David Haines, an RAF veteran working for the aid group Nonviolent Peaceforce. Here’s a brief profile of his life and work. The video then threatened the life of another captive Briton, a taxi driver named Alan Henning who was taken captive on his second aid convoy trip to Syria. 
  • Congress authorized arming and training the (non-ISIS) Syrian rebels.
  • President Obama and American military leadership show a split on ISIS strategy.
  • The three beheadings have drawn into debate the zero-concession policies of the US and UK. James Foley’s family have been deeply critical of the US government’s handling of their son’s case and treatment of the families of ISIS kidnapping victims. 
  • A second ISIS propaganda video featured another captive, British photojournalist John Cantlie in a mock newscast setting, wearing a prison-style jumpsuit and saying there will be more “programs” to follow.
  • The AFP will no longer accept work from freelance journalists in Syria.
  • France has ditched reference to the Islamic State or ISIS, instead opting for “Daesh,” as the extremist group is often referred to by Arabic speakers. 
  • Australia claims to have thwarted an ISIS attack on their soil. 
  • Christian Caryl comments on the incredible and underestimated power of collective rage in driving violent acts like those committed by ISIS.
  • "Al Qaeda denies decline, acknowledges ‘mistakes’ by its branches.”
  • A series of Friday car bombings in Baghdad have killed at least 17 people. Baghdad’s Thursday death toll was at least 45.
  • A new booming business in Baghdad defending people charged with terrorism offenses. 
  • Matthieu Aikins embeds with Syria’s first responders. 
  • 43 veteran members of the clandestine Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 are refusing to participate in reserve duty on moral grounds, based on the country’s treatment of Palestinians.
  • A deal has been reached between Israel and Palestine over reconstruction work in Gaza.
  • Serious fighting is ongoing in Yemen after weeks of continued unrest between Houthi rebels and Sunni militias. The Houthi have pushed into the capital city Sana’a and besieged a university known for Sunni radicalism.
  • Sharif Mobley, an American imprisoned in Yemen who has been missing inside the system for seven months, managed a phone call to his wife in which he alleged torture and said he feared for his life.
  • Politico goes deep inside the US’ first armed drone mission, in October of 2001, and the failed attempt to take out Mullah Omar.
  • Talks have stalled yet again between the sparring Afghan presidential candidates.
  • Palwasha Tokhi is the seventh Afghan journalist to be killed this year.
  • Muhammad Shakil Auj, the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was shot dead on his way to a reception at the Iranian Consulate.
  • A South Asian wing of Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and attempting to use it to attack US ships.
  • BBC journalists were attacked and had their equipment smashed while investigating the death of a Russian soldier. 
  • Popular Ukrainian football team Shakhtar Donetsk has been forced to relocate, along with other eastern teams, to Kiev for its matches because of fighting.
  • Ukrainian rebels says that new self-rule laws are not enough.
  • An intense border dispute at the India-China border in the Himalayas occurred while the two nation’s leaders met for a summit.
  • The CIA released a set of newly-declassified articles from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. 
  • The White House has said it sees legal justification for strikes against ISIS in both the 2001 authorization to fight Al Qaeda and the 2002 authorization of the Iraq War.

Photo: Zummar, Iraq. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS-controlled territory. Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters.

"Voters in Scotland decisively rejected independence from the United Kingdom in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union, but also appeared to open the way for a looser, more federal Britain.

With results tallied by early Friday from all 32 voting districts, the “no” campaign won 55.3 percent of the vote while the pro-independence side won 44.7 percent. The margin was greater than forecast by virtually all pre-election polls.” - The New York Times



(via nussian)


Rand Paul says he wants Muslims to do more to fight radical Islam: "I don’t want to see them sipping tea or at the discotheque in Cairo."

Its not like they’re already on the front lines. Oh wait..

  • The Kurdish Peshmerga have been holding out against ISIS since the collapse of the Iraqi army. x
  • Iran has boots on the ground and has for a while. x
  • Moderate Syrian rebels have been battling ISIS the longest. x
  • Saudi Arabia moved troops to the border in July. x

So while the US and other Western powers (UK, Australia, Germany, France and others) are performing humanitarian missions and surveillance and the US is conducting airstrikes, right now Muslim groups and countries are the only ones with soldiers actively fighting ISIL. Later today, more on why Rand Paul is an asshole.


h/t: David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement

(via so-many-ways-to-be-beautiful)