OOPS–The Dark Money Folks Learn Conservatives Hate Dark Money Too!

For the most part, the only people who favour allowing the wealthy to buy elections are … the wealthy. And, of course, the politicians who sell their souls downriver for those billionaire’s dollars. Our friend Annie has an eye-opening post on the topic that I think you will find quite interesting … and anger-inducing as well. Thank you, Annie!

annieasksyou...

Image by Aidan Bartos @bartos; found via unsplash.com

“Unfortunately, we’ve found that [inhibiting billionaires from buying elections] is a winning message, for both the general public and also conservatives. It was most persuasive, convincing, riled them up the most.”

The speaker is Kyle McKenzie, research director for Stand Together, a nonprofit advocacy group run by the right-wing oil billionaire Charles Koch. McKenzie was presenting survey findings at a meeting held on January 8—two days after it became clear the Democrats had gained control of the Senate.

Other meeting participants included long-time tax opponent Grover Norquist and two prominent Republican staff members: Caleb Hays is general counsel to Republicans on the House Administration Committee; Steve Donaldson is a policy adviser to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McKenzie’s findings were not what these folks hoped to hear.

Jane Mayer, a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, somehow acquired this remarkable tape…

View original post 1,144 more words

From The Mind Of Filosofa

Today I have so many thoughts on a variety of topics rattling around in my old head that I thought I’d share some of them with you.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still reeling from all the shootings last week and over the weekend.  So many things have gone wrong in this country over the past 4+ years, some I fear will never be reparable, such as the gun culture, but not only that.  I was watching a clip a few days ago of Congressman Jim Jordan literally browbeating Dr. Anthony Fauci, accusing him of “robbing Americans of their civil liberties”, yelling at him, interrupting him, gesticulating wildly, and demanding an exact date when people could stop wearing masks, stop social distancing, etc.  My thoughts were that this is not the way a professional lawmaker behaves!  Finally, Representative Maxine Waters told Jordan to “shut your mouth”, which I found very appropriate under the circumstances, but now the most unqualified member of Congress, Marjorie Greene, has made a motion to have Ms. Waters expelled from Congress for what she said to Jordan.  This, my friends, is just one example of the lack of intelligence and professionalism in certain of today’s members of Congress.

Then, I saw a question posed by a friend on Twitter:  Why do people who refuse the vaccine because they believe their god will protect them, think they must own a gun?  Think about that one for a few minutes.

This country has many problems today, perhaps more than at any other time in its history, and the gun culture is in the top five.  Worse yet, as long as a vast majority of congressional republicans are in the pockets of the gun lobby, ie NRA, this isn’t going to change.  They will obfuscate even policies that 80% of the people in this country support, in order to keep their donors happy.  This is not what we elect and pay these people for, and we are being cheated on a daily basis.  I have readers from all over the world, and those who are outside the U.S. are appalled by our gun culture.  Remember when the former guy called certain countries “shithole countries”?  Well, that’s how the U.S. is coming to be viewed around the globe.

There are those who would say that immigration and the economy are our biggest challenges today, but in my book, we have far greater problems.

Also in my top five is racism … and other forms of bigotry such as those who are intolerant of the LGBT community, those who believe men are superior to women, those who would demand that everyone follow their religion and that laws reflect their own beliefs and biases.  The blatant racism we see in police departments across the country is intolerable!  What’s worse is that it’s always been like this … we just didn’t see it.  The internet has placed such things under a large microscope, and we are just now awakening to the horrors that Black people have been living with … forever.

Then there’s our response … or lack thereof … to climate change in recent years.  Sure, there are many of us here who do our best to respect the environment, planting bee-friendly flowers, turning our thermostats down, driving less and driving fuel-efficient vehicles, but there are those who selfishly refuse to be inconvenienced.  Just yesterday I read an article by a woman who said we should support the fossil fuel industry, should not have re-joined the Paris Climate Accords, and basically argued that climate change is a hoax.  It seems to me that half the people in this country believe that way, are unwilling to make lifestyle changes in order to preserve this planet for their own grandchildren.

The majority of Republicans still believe the Big Lie, that the former guy won the 2020 election, despite all evidence to the contrary.  As long as that many people are that ignorant, they will continue voting for people like Marjorie Greene, Mitch McConnell, Jim Jordan and others who are intent on destroying what few democratic principles are left in this nation today.  And the votes of the few will outnumber the votes of the majority if the states are allowed to continue creating legislation that disenfranchises Blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the elderly, and the young.  If they have their way, our government will be elected only by white people of privilege.  The rest of us will become second-class citizens without a voice.

It is obvious to me that this nation is on a downhill path and the only hope for the future is for people to become educated about reality, to stop believing the myths and conspiracy theories that fill the airwaves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on such places as Fox ‘News’, Twitter and Facebook.  Unless people wake up and learn to separate fact from fantasy, I don’t even want to think about what the U.S. will be twenty years from now.  Fortunately, I won’t be here to see it, but my daughter and granddaughter will, and millions of other people will have to live with the ‘legacy’ we are leaving them.

The Ugly Face Of ‘Nationalism’

I could have been quite content to never hear the name “Marjorie Taylor Greene” again for as long as I live.  However, yesterday she flew face-first onto my radar and aroused such disgust that I truly wished for the opportunity for my fist to meet her face.  She and two others, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona and Louie Gohmert of Texas (both of whom have crossed my radar before) have started a new House caucus that they are calling the “America First Caucus”.  Just the name itself raised my hackles … you’ll remember the former guy using that terminology many times, and I find it to be an arrogant, bigoted term.

So, to start with, just what is a ‘caucus’?  Congressional caucuses are voluntary groups made up of lawmakers seeking to advance certain policy agendas. While the groups operate outside of the formal congressional legislative structure, many, such as the ignoble House Freedom Caucus, have found success influencing debate and amplifying their voices.  There are at least a hundred caucuses in the House, most consisting of only 2-3 members, some only having a single member, and typically promoting a single idea, such as the “Arts Caucus” or the “House Specialty Crops Caucus” … yes, I’m serious!  But some, like the aforementioned House Freedom Caucus, have a hundred or more members and a broad agenda.

The 7-page document outlining the “America First Caucus” policy agenda begins …

“The America First Caucus (AFC) exists to promote Congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation. The North Star of any policy proposal will be that which serves the American people, and any consequential analysis of policy platforms must be based on this first principle.

As this implies a degree of ideological flexibility, a certain intellectual boldness is needed amongst members of the AFC to follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.”

There is racist, bigoted language throughout the document.  In a section on immigration, the document describes the United States as a place with “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and argues that “societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country.”

The document calls to suspend all immigration, saying such pauses are “absolutely essential in assimilating the new arrivals and weeding out those who could not or refused to abandon their old loyalties and plunge head-first into mainstream American society.”

On infrastructure, the caucus calls for the construction of roads, bridges and buildings that reflect “the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture, whereby public infrastructure must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom.” 

I strongly urge you to read the document, for it is filled with racist, bigoted rhetoric.  Interestingly, a few other congressional Republicans weren’t too happy with it, either.  Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose ideology is typically far to the right of center, said …

“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles.”

GOP conference chairperson Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking House Republican, responded with …

“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate.”

Democratic Representative Ted Lieu’s response was spot on …

“As an immigrant, I served on active duty in the US military to defend your right to say stupid stuff. What makes America great is that we don’t judge you based on bloodline, we look at your character.”

Last February, the House voted to remove Ms. Greene from her committee assignments based on her promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories, so she has had virtually nothing to do (yet We the People pay her $174,000 per year), and this caucus is presumably the result.  Trouble is that what Ms. Greene fails to understand is first that this is a nation of immigrants … immigrants from all over the world, not just “Anglo-Saxon” countries.  Second, she needs to understand that this is the 21st century, not the 18th.  We are all in this world together … air travel, the Internet, and other technologies have shrunken the globe and what one nation does can easily affect every other nation on the planet.  In the sections on the environment and energy, the document reads …

“The America First Caucus supports conservation of the environment and our national lands for the benefit of our nation. Having said that, we should not cripple our country’s manufacturing sector through agreements such as the Paris Climate Accords. We oppose the globalist, vague, and irrelevant policies being pushed under the guise of combating climate change.

While it is vital to preserve our environment, we should not use it as an impetus to destroy the energy industry that hires millions of hard-working Americans. Our elected officials should stand proudly with America’s struggling coal country against job-killing regulations, and welcome the ongoing shift towards clean coal. In addition, the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines will promote North American energy independence …”

Ms. Greene literally has zero qualifications to be in Congress, and even fewer qualifications to opine on things of which she has no knowledge.  Her ‘caucus’ is based solely on emotions, personal opinions, and uneducated views.  I had hoped that the people of her district in Georgia would vote her out next year and rid us of this terrible disease, but reportedly, she is raking in the campaign donations, so perhaps that dream is dead.

Ms. Greene’s ideology, such as it is, would close us off from the rest of the world, make this nation isolated and shielded from new ideas, cultural sharing, and protection of neighbors and allies.  And it would disenfranchise nearly half of the people in this nation.  There is no place in this country for the type of hateful ‘nationalism’ (another word I deplore) that Ms. Greene and her cohorts are proposing.  NONE!

Same Tune They’ve Been Playin’ Forever

Fox ‘News’ has some of the slimiest people in the industry working for them … ol’ Rupert Murdoch sure does know how to pick ‘em.  The only credible journalist at Fox is Chris Wallace, son of the long-esteemed Mike Wallace, and I often wonder why he doesn’t get a job at a more reputable network.  Among the worst of the lot is Tucker Carlson, a man who would argue with a tin can if it were marked “Democrat” or contained lima beans.

Charles M. Blow has written an editorial for the New York Times that I think bears reading if you want to try to understand the current white supremacist movement by the Republican Party to disenfranchise Black, Hispanic, Asian and immigrant voters.  The current push is nothing new, merely an upgrade of what white supremacists have always tried to do.


Tucker Carlson and White Replacement

This racist theory is rooted in white supremacist panic.

Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

On Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson caused an uproar by promoting the racist, anti-Semitic, patriarchal and conspiratorial “white replacement theory.” Also known as the “great replacement theory,” it stands on the premise that nonwhite immigrants are being imported (sometimes the Jewish community is accused of orchestrating this) to replace white people and white voters. The theory is also an inherent chastisement of white women for having a lower birthrate than nonwhite women.

As Carlson put it:

“I know that the left and all the gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters, from the third world. But, they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening, actually. Let’s just say it: That’s true.”

Carlson continued, “Every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.”

The whole statement is problematic. First, what is the third world? This label originated as a way to categorize countries that didn’t align with Western countries or the former Soviet bloc. It’s now often used to describe poor countries, or developing countries, and by extension, mostly nonwhite majority countries.

When Carlson worries about immigrants from the third world, he is talking about Hispanic, Asian and Black people who he worries will outnumber “current” voters. Current voters, in this formulation, are the white people who make up the majority of the American electorate.

Second, and revealingly, he is admitting that Republicans do not and will not appeal to new citizens who are immigrants.

But although white replacement theory is a conspiracy theory, the fact that the percentage of voters who are white in America is shrinking as a percentage of all voters is not. Neither is the fact that white supremacists are panicked about this.

White supremacists in this country have long worried about being replaced by people, specifically voters, who are not white. In the post-Civil War era, before the current immigrant wave from predominantly nonwhite countries, most of that anxiety in America centered on Black people.

Judge Solomon Calhoon of Mississippi wrote in 1890 of the two decades of Black suffrage following the Civil War, “Negro suffrage is an evil.”

Calhoon worried that white voters had been replaced, or outnumbered, by Black ones, writing: “Shall the ballot remain as now adjusted, the whole country in the meantime taking the chances of the rapid increase of the blacks, and leaving, in the meantime, the whites as they now are in those localities where they are outnumbered?”

Calhoon would go on to become the president of the state’s constitutional convention that year, a convention called with the explicit intention of codifying white supremacy and suppressing the Black vote. States across the South would follow the Mississippi example, calling constitutional conventions of their own, until Jim Crow was the law of the South.

The combination of Jim Crow voter suppression laws and the migration of millions of Black people out of the South during the Great Migration diluted the Black vote, distributing it across more states, and virtually guaranteed that white voters would not be outnumbered by Black ones in any state. The fear of “Black domination” dissipated.

Indeed, as extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was being debated in 1969, The New York Times made note of the fact that Attorney General John Mitchell, a proponent of a competing bill, was well aware that even if all the unregistered Black people in the South were registered, their voting power still couldn’t overcome the “present white conservative tide” in the South. As The Times added, “In fact, Mr. Mitchell is known to believe that Negro registration benefits the Republicans because it drives the Southern whites out of the Democratic Party.”

A reporter at the time asked an aide of a Republican representative, “What has happened to the party of Lincoln?” The aide responded, “It has put on a Confederate uniform.”

But now, in addition to Black voters voting overwhelmingly Democratic, there is a wave of nonwhite immigrants who also lean Democratic. And tremendous energy is being exerted not only by white supremacists in the general population, but also Republican office holders, to attack immigrants, curtail immigration, disenfranchise Black and brown voters and assail abortion rights.

One of the surest ways of preventing a Black person from voting is to prevent them from living. As The Times reported in 1970, Leander Perez, a man who had been a judge and prosecutor and “led the last stand against integration” in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish, once famously linked Black birth control to racial dominance, stating: “The best way to hate a [expletive] is to hate him before he’s born.”

I would even argue that the bizarre obsession with trans people is also rooted in part in white anxiety over reproduction.

The architects of whiteness in America drew the definition so narrowly that it rendered it fragile, unsustainable, and in constant need of defense. Replacement of the white majority in this country by a more multiracial, multicultural majority is inevitable. So is white supremacist panic over it.

The States Racing to Copy Georgia

Our friend TokyoSand reminds us that Georgia isn’t the only state that has passed a restrictive voting law this year.  Some 43 states are working on or have already passed voting laws that will strictly restrict voting by minorities, the poor, the elderly and the young.  In other words, they only want fat, old men to vote!  Read Tokyo’s post to learn which states are coming up on Georgia’s heels …


The States Racing to Copy Georgia

I’m happy that the media is covering the travesty that is the new Georgia law that restricts all kinds of voting rights for its citizens. But, that coverage is drowning out other, similarly important stories.

First and foremost, the media barely covered the Iowa governor signing a voter suppression bill a few weeks before the Georgia bill was signed. The Republicans in the state House and state Senate pushed their bill through, using the tired, old GOP talking point that it was all about “guarding against voter fraud,” even as they admitted that “Iowa has no history of election irregularities and that November’s election saw record turnout with no hint of problems in the state.”

Continue reading …The States Racing to Copy Georgia

The Week’s Best Cartoons 4/3

Once again, TokyoSand has found the best selection of political cartoons from the hundreds out there.  This week’s biggest topics have been Matt Gaetz (who, in my book, deserves to be consigned to the annals of idiocy and forgotten), the trial of Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd, and the horrendous voter suppression bill signed into law in Georgia by Governor Kemp.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work putting these weekly cartoon posts together!

See All The ‘Toons!

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I have only two snippets tonight … one is great news, the other a horrid example of man’s inhumanity to man.  One warms my heart, the other breaks it.


Let me begin with the good …

While Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was signing a bill into law that would effectively disenfranchise over half the population of Georgia so that they will find it almost impossible to vote in next year’s election, just two states to the north, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was preparing to sign into law a bill that does the exact opposite … ensures that every person over the age of 18 is able to vote.

The Voting Rights Act of Virginia aims to eliminate voter suppression and intimidation in the state. Virginia is the first state to enact its own version of the federal Voting Rights Act, while 43 other states are working diligently to keep minorities and the poor away from the polls.  Says the governor …

“At a time when voting rights are under attack across our country, Virginia is expanding access to the ballot box, not restricting it. With the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, our Commonwealth is creating a model for how states can provide comprehensive voter protections that strengthen democracy and the integrity of our elections. I am proud to support this historic legislation, and I urge Congress to follow Virginia’s example.”

The legislation would require local election officials to get feedback through public comment or pre-approval from the attorney general’s office in order to make any changes in voting regulations, according to a release from Northam’s office.

It also requires that local election officials provide voting materials in foreign languages as needed. Individuals who experience voter suppression will also be allowed to sue, where any civil penalties awarded will go toward a newly established Voter Education and Outreach Fund.

The bill comes after Northam restored voting rights to 69,000 former felons through executive action earlier this month.  I realize this is a controversial topic, but in my view, the former felon has paid his dues with a prison sentence, and once he gets out, he is a taxpayer and a citizen just like you or me.  If he’s going to pay taxes in this country, then he must have a voice, a vote.

My hat is off to the Virginia State Legislature and to Governor Ralph Northam for doing everything they can to protect the U.S. Constitution and the people of Virginia.  THIS is a fine example of democratic principles at work.


Now for the bad and the ugly …

Byong Choi died on February 24th at the age of 83 as a result of bone marrow tuberculosis.  He had been a hard-working accountant and restauranteur in Orange Country, California for most of his life.  Due to coronavirus restrictions, his funeral was delayed until March 19th.

The following Monday, Byong Choi’s wife, Yong, 82, received a handwritten, cursive letter at her Leisure World Seal Beach retirement community home postmarked the same date as the funeral …

Read that letter again, please … go ahead, I’ll wait.  What do you feel when you read those hate-filled words?  Broken-hearted?  Enraged?  I felt both, as I’m sure most people with an ounce of human kindness did.

The Seal Beach Police Department in the county has launched an investigation into what it calls an anti-Asian hate crime, but I have doubts the letter-writer will be caught, and if he or she is, they’ll get naught more than a slap on the wrist.  I have no doubt that this was written by one of those white people with a false sense of entitlement who believes their ugly white skin makes them somehow superior, more deserving.

This letter came just days after the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, where 8 people were murdered, six of them women of Asian descent.  And why … why all of a sudden have fat white people taken a dislike to those of Asian heritage?  Because one person called the coronavirus the “China virus” and the “Kung Flu”, thinking he was being cute or funny.  What he did with those words were to set off a chain of events that has targeted Asian-Americans such as the Choi family, the women in Atlanta, and many others.  What he did was criminal.

People … read the damn words on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty …

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And yet today, hate crimes against those of Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent are at an all-time high.  Those people are vilified by a portion of the country’s white population.  Why?  What the hell makes them think they are better than the rest of us?  I regret to inform you that the United States is no longer the nation it once was, is no longer a port in the stormy sea for those seeking asylum or refuge.  It is time we send the Statue of Liberty back to France, for we no longer deserve it.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/27

As she does each week, TokyoSand scoured the internet for the best of last week’s political cartoons.  Needless to say, mass shootings and guns led the way, followed by the attempts to overthrow the right of We the People to vote, to have a say in our government, who runs it and how.  These days I wish I had some shred of artistic talent, for I would love to be able to opine in a ‘toon!  But alas, a cracked egg shell is about the extent of my talents!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-5

See All The ‘Toons!

There Can Be No Compromise On Voting Rights!

Every person 18 years of age or older has the right to vote in the United States.  Per the Fourteenth Amendment, states will lose their congressional representation …

“… When the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime.”

Since 1787 when the Constitution was first amended, we have passed laws to include women “inhabitants” and to lower the legal voting age to 18 instead of 21.

In the Fifteenth Amendment, the right to vote is not to be …

 “… denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

So, what part of this do the legislatures in 43 states not understand?  What part of this do the Republicans in Congress not understand?  They have allegedly read the damn Constitution … with the exception of some like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Greene, who cannot read!  It’s as plain as the noses on their pocky faces!  Everybody over the age of 18 has the right to vote!  Read that again!  Better yet, perhaps Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia needs to read the Constitution before he opens his mouth again!

There are two bills that have passed the House of Representatives and are now awaiting consideration in the Senate.  S1 and S4 are about voting rights.  We should not need new federal laws to give us the right to vote … WE ALREADY HAVE THAT RIGHT!!!  But, sadly, the states, particularly those in the South and those run by Republican governments, are passing bills willy nilly that would rob us of those rights.

Manchin says that any legislation on voting rights must have the support of the Republican senators … WHY???  They aren’t about to support our right to vote because they know damn well, they have even stated, that if everybody can vote, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning another election.  They aren’t going to compromise, they want to dominate the discussion, the landscape.  They want only white, Christian male voters, if the truth be known.  They don’t want Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, or really even women voting.  They don’t want college kids voting.  The majority of people in this nation would not vote for a Republican today if they offered … a Krispy Kreme Donut!

The State of Georgia just shoved through demonic voter suppression legislation.  The bill passed both chambers of the legislature in the span of a few hours before Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law yesterday evening.  The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.  WTF???  You’re going to make is such that they will be forced to stand in lines for HOURS to vote, yet they cannot be provided with life-sustaining WATER???  What a bastard!

Voting rights advocates say the state’s rapid-fire action — and plans in other Republican-controlled states to pass restrictions of their own — underscores the need for federal legislation to set a national baseline for voting rules.  In my book, the only ‘rules’ should be that the person be 18 or older.  Nothing else matters!  I may not have two forms of photo ID … in fact, I don’t.  It doesn’t matter!  I pay taxes, I’ve lived here all my life … I have the right to cast my vote.  If I don’t, then I no longer wish to live in this hellhole!  If my Black friends Rob & Aundrea or my Muslim friends Ali & Maha don’t have the right to vote, then why are they bothering to pay taxes to support a government that has robbed them of their voice?

I am fortunate to live in a state where it is relatively easy to vote by mail and where voting laws are not being altered, but for the majority of people in this country, it will be harder to vote in the next election unless S1 & S4 are passed by the Senate.  That is the goal of the Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures around the nation.  Are we going to let them get by with it?  I certainly hope not, for the sake of this nation that has already seen far too many of our rights go down the tubes.

Funny, isn’t it, that the fools on the hill will go ballistic over “protecting gun rights”, but they don’t give a royal f*ck about our voices, our rights to participate in our own government – the one that we fund!!!

Joe Manchin calls for ‘compromise’.  Well, we’ve been compromising for ages now … on healthcare, on education, on wasteful military spending, on foreign affairs, on just about everything.  There is no room for compromise on voting rights … there is no wiggle room at all.  We all get to vote!  Understand that, Republicans???

Yes, Now IS The Right Time!

Whenever we have a mass shooting in this country, the first thing out of the politicians mouths is “thoughts and prayers”.  Useless, meaningless, but it makes them appear to be empathetic and compassionate.  Then, following on the heels of those thoughts and prayers, in response to the inevitable hue and cry for stricter gun regulations, their response is that “now is not the time …”  YES, NOW is precisely the time!  What better time, for Pete’s Sake, and since we now seem to average a mass shooting per day, when IS the time to talk about regulating guns?

Take a look at the chart from the past week or so from the Gun Violence Archive. In the week between March 16th, the date of the Atlanta shootings that killed 8, and March 22nd, the date of the Boulder shooting that killed 10, there were eleven mass shootings killing a total of 27 people and injuring 38.  Think about that one, folks … think long and hard about it.  And yet, Congress will not pass a ban on assault weapons, will not even pass stricter background checks!  Not today, not tomorrow, not next week when the nation sits, glued to their televisions, watching footage of the latest shooting.  In total, there have been 104 mass shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of the year, and 9.656 people have died in the U.S. as a result of guns in just the first 83 days of 2021.  That’s an average of 116 preventable deaths per day!

Gun laws highlight one of the numerous differences between congressional Republicans and Democrats.  Typically, it is the Democrats in Congress who are for banning the sale of assault weapons, implementing more widespread background checks, limiting the number of guns a person can own, and banning guns from those who have been convicted of domestic abuse.  The Republicans, on the other hand, want no part of any of the above.

But the latest excuse on the part of Republican lawmakers for not enacting stricter gun legislation is astounding.  Some on the Hill claim that gun restrictions are … racist!  According to Buzzfeed …

GOP senators on Tuesday framed gun control as part of a long and racist history of restricting the rights of minority groups during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence. While they still put forward traditional arguments that gun laws infringe on Second Amendment rights and punish law-abiding gun owners, much of their questions to witnesses focused on minority communities needing guns to protect themselves.

“Very often, inevitably in American history but even prior to American history, we’ve seen it’s rarely the empowered, very rarely the wealthy or those with political connections to the government, who have their rights interfered with,” said Republican Sen. Mike Lee.

Chris Cheng, a witness invited by Senate Republicans and a sports shooter who won the season four championship of the History Channel show Top Shot, related gun control to a historic pattern of infringing on minority rights that included the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. “We need to defend ourselves,” he said.

And now I’ve heard it all … every possible excuse in the book to allow unlimited killing machines in the hands of every man, woman and child.  Over the past several years, it has been the GOP who have shown themselves to be the most racist … remember how Senator Ron Johnson wasn’t afraid of the domestic terrorists who attacked Congress on January 6th, but if they had been Black, then he said he would have been afraid.  But wait … there’s more.

In South Carolina, state senator Tom Corbin has a proposal to make sure no federal law can ever seize guns — make everyone over 17 who can legally own a gun a member of a militia.  South Carolina’s constitution allows the governor to call up an “unorganized militia” of any “able bodied male citizens” between ages 18 and 45. State Sen. Tom Corbin’s proposal would automatically expand membership to everyone who is over 17 and could own a gun.

Supporters of the bill said if everyone is a member of a militia, then they all fall under the opening clause of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that starts “A well regulated Militia.” That way a federal law restricting weapons would not apply in South Carolina since almost all residents would be in the unorganized militia.

James Madison, who initially proposed the 2nd Amendment, would surely be aghast at how it has been interpreted ever since the inception of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1871.

The wide disparity between Republicans and Democrats’ views on gun legislation all but ensures that, once again, nothing will be done.  The majority of people in this country support stronger gun laws, are tired of seeing people killed time and time again, yet the politicos aren’t listening to their constituents.  Senator Mitt Romney of Utah has received $13,647,676 from the NRA, and nearly every Republican member of Congress has accepted NRA donations and … has an A-rating with the NRA, while nearly every Democrat has an F-rating.  Does that tell you something?

NRA-gradesI can’t even ask you to write or call them on this, for it won’t change their minds.  What I do ask is that you vote the bastards out next time you head to the polls!  Choose representatives and senators who put our lives ahead of their own profits.

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