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Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

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A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports.

The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals, pro-lifers and religious groups.

U.S. Congressional leaders did take initial steps to overturn the D.C. law, but their measures did not pass in time.

Here’s more from the report:

Under the federal Home Rule Act, a disapproval resolution passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president within 30 legislative days would have blocked the law from taking effect.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted Monday to send a disapproval resolution to the House floor, but it never received a vote. A corresponding Senate resolution did not make it out of committee. …

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Congress can still neutralize the Death with Dignity Act by cutting off its funding through the appropriations process.

Supporters describe the law as “death with dignity” and say it only applies to terminally ill adult patients.

“The advocacy of D.C. residents and local officials is what won this victory,” said Jessica Grennan, spokeswoman for the euthanasia group Compassion and Choices, in a statement. “Democracy conquered the personal mindsets of paternalistic politicians whose opinions should not get in the way of people getting the medical relief they want and need.”

Opponents, however, say the law opens up a wide door for abuse of the elderly and those with disabilities.

“The Act is a recipe for elder abuse, it applies to persons who have years or decades to live and purported oversight is a sham,” said attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, in a release earlier this month.

Dore said the new law allows a patient’s heir who could financially benefit from their death to participate in requesting the lethal drugs. She said the law also does not require a doctor or any other unbiased witnesses to be present when the patient takes the drugs.

“But, it gets worse,” Dore continued. “The death certificate is required to list a medical condition as the cause of death, which prevents prosecution. The official cause of death is a medical condition (not murder) as a matter of law. For perpetrators, the death certificate is a ‘stay out of jail free card.’”

Many in the D.C. African American community also oppose the new law. As the Washington Post reported previously, D.C. residents are worried that the law will threaten the lives of poor and elderly residents, especially minorities.

“Because of Jim Crow laws . . . we didn’t have the opportunity to have the same jobs, to have the same insurance, the same retirement benefits,” community activist Leona Redmond told the news outlet. “It’s really aimed at old black people. It really is.”

Redmond, who worked to oppose the law, said they fear that, through the legislation, politicians will continue to make cost cuts a higher priority than healthcare for the poor and elderly.

In states where doctor-prescribed suicide is legal, sick people are being denied medical treatment coverage and offered assisted suicide instead. Most recently, Stephanie Packer, a California wife and mother of four who was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, said her insurance company refused to cover the cost of her medical treatment.

When Packer asked her insurance company if it would cover doctor-prescribed suicide, the company told her, “Yes, we do provide that to our patients, and you would only have to pay $1.20 for the medication.”

Patients in Oregon reported similar experiences. The D.C. bill is modeled after the Oregon doctor-prescribed suicide law.

No DC Suicide, a coalition of groups opposed to the legislation, also has concerns. The group said the new law does not require patients to have a mental health screening, even though studies have found that depression is a key factor in suicide cases.

Read more @ LifeNews

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Obama’s return: Good or bad for Democrats?

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two years out of the White House, former President Barack Obama is facing another political test.

To the delight of many Democrats, he’s stepped back into the fray that former presidents often try to avoid, campaigning for Democratic candidates ahead of the midterms and blasting the political culture of the Trump era. He attracted a large, adoring crowd this past week in Ohio and will be in Pennsylvania on Friday campaigning for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

But Obama’s return poses challenges for both the former president and his party. For one, Obama has struggled to turn admiration for him into votes when he’s not on the ballot. Democrats lost significant ground in the 2010 and 2014 midterms and his enthusiastic campaigning for Hillary Clinton didn’t carry her across the finish line in 2016. Perhaps more importantly, Obama’s public re-entry into politics could serve as a motivating factor for Republicans, potentially handing the GOP a gift at a time when they face an uphill battle to maintain their grip on Congress.

“This is perfect for us,” said Rep. Lou Barletta, the Republican challenging Casey for the Senate seat. “It will energize Republicans as a reminder.”

The former president will also “energize those blue-collar Democrats who worried about their jobs under Obama and went out to vote for Donald Trump,” Barletta added.

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Donald Trump Conveniently Ignores Anniversary of One of America’s Worst Acts of Terror

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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Three days before a national tragedy would shake the entire world, on September 8, 2001, George Bush issued a proclamation recognizing one of the darkest hours in American history. On September 15, 2013, Barack Obama’s White House sent out an official statement recognizing the same solemn day.

George W. Bush’s Proclamation 7460 reads, in part:

As a Nation, we celebrate those achievements and look forward to new challenges. At the same time, we also recognize that racism still exists in America.

One of the darkest days for the cause of civil rights was September 15, 1963, when a bomb exploded in the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The blast ended the lives of four young African-American girls, and ultimately demonstrated the tragic human costs of bigotry and intolerance.

Barack Obama’s Statement from the President on the 50th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Al, reads:

Today, we remember Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley who were killed 50 years ago in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. That horrific day in Birmingham, Alabama quickly became a defining moment for the Civil Rights Movement. It galvanized Americans all across the country to stand up for equality and broadened support for a movement that would eventually lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Earlier this year, I was honored to meet with family members of those four precious little girls as America posthumously awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.

Read me full story at The Root

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Digital African American consumers drive change

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NEW YORK: Digital savvy African American consumers have embraced technology to such an extent that they are having an unprecedented impact on the economy, culture and wider society, a new study suggests.

According to research firm Nielsen, African Americans participate more than other ethnic groups in the US when it comes to video and audio streaming, gaming and smartphone ownership.

In addition, they over-index against non-Hispanic white Americans for spend per capita on a variety of grocery and non-grocery categories, as well as enjoying learning or reading about technology or electronic products.

The Nielsen report, entitled From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers, forms part of the company’s ongoing Diverse Intelligence Series, which focuses on the digital lives of multicultural consumers.

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