Mid-Terms 2022 — Vote Him OUT!!!

Madison Cawthorn is one of the sleaziest Republicans in the House of Representatives, though he does have a lot of competition for that title.  At only 26 years of age, he is the youngest member of Congress, and also among the cockiest.  I have an ever-growing list of those members of Congress who deserve to be ousted, who are not interested in the success of the nation and its people, but only their own quest for power and money, and Mr. Cawthorn is near the top of the list.

Cawthorn is known for indulging in conspiracy theories and for his incendiary rhetoric, but not noted for hard work or seriousness of purpose when it comes to legislating.  He has said he intends to use his position to be a messenger rather than a legislator, writing to his colleagues, “I have built my staff around comms rather than legislation.”  Funny, I thought his job as a member of the House of Representatives was to legislate.

It is his rhetoric that may keep him from returning to Congress next year, however, for he had a documented role in the events of January 6th, 2021 and many North Carolina voters are petitioning to bar him from seeking re-election.  In a complaint filed with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, a group of North Carolina voters—represented by a team of legal experts that includes attorneys from the advocacy group Free Speech For People and former justices of the state Supreme Court—argue that Cawthorn is ineligible for public office under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Disqualification Clause.

“The coordinated and violent January 6 attack on the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential vote was an insurrection against the United States,” Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech For People, said in a statement. “The Constitution disqualifies from public office any elected officials who aided that insurrection.”

“As set forth in our complaint, the publicly available evidence, including Rep. Cawthorn’s own statements and reports that he or his office coordinated with the January 6 organizers, establish reasonable suspicion that Rep. Cawthorn aided the insurrection, thereby disqualifying him from federal office,” Fein added. “We look forward to asking him about his involvement under oath.”

In the short year that Cawthorn has held a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, he has been controversial and has come under fire more than a few times …

  • Before Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021, Cawthorn addressed the crowd and said, “this crowd has some fight.” He voted not to certify the Electoral College results in Congress and called Republicans who voted to certify the results “spineless cowards”. He later attempted to blame the attempted coup on a “Democratic machine of agitators strategically placed inside of this group”, amid intensifying calls for his resignation for his part in stoking the riots.
  • On February 13, 2021, Transportation Security Administration agents at the Asheville Regional Airport discovered an unloaded Glock 9mm handgun and loaded magazine in Cawthorn’s carry-on bag. The gun and ammunition were confiscated and stored by airport police.
  • In late February 2021, Cawthorn and a dozen other Republican House members skipped votes and enlisted others to vote for them, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But he and the other members were actually attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was held at the same time as their absences. In response, the Campaign for Accountability, an ethics watchdog group, filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics and requested an investigation into Cawthorn and the other lawmakers.
  • At an August 2021 Macon County, North Carolina Republican Party event, Cawthorn said: “if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place—and it’s bloodshed.”
  • In October 2021, Cawthorn said, “our culture today is trying to completely de-masculate [sic] all of the young men”, because “they don’t want people who are going to stand up”. He issued a call to mothers, who he said are the “most vicious” conservatives: “If you are raising a young man, please raise them to be a monster”. In November 2021, Cawthorn accused politicians of “trying to make everyone genderless, sexless, and just absolutely Godless”, and declared that Americans “want our culture back, and if you want to stand in the way that, we will run you over.”
  • Cawthorn reacted to the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse by offering Rittenhouse an internship, saying, “You have a right to defend yourself, so be armed, be dangerous and be moral”.
  • Over the past two years, at least 20 women have come forward and accused Cawthorn of sexual misconduct and sexual assault … where there is so much smoke, there’s bound to be a fire somewhere.

Seriously, is this the sort of person you want making the laws under which we must all live?  Is this the person whose salary you will spend your hard-earned tax dollars to support?  I think not.  Let us hope that the voters of North Carolina are successful in their case to bar Cawthorn from running for re-election this year, or failing that, that the people in his North Carolina district have enough sense not to return him to the halls of Congress!


Note to Readers:  Between now and the November mid-term elections, I will be occasionally writing a post about various members of Congress who, for one reason or another, I believe should be voted out or voted in, depending on their qualifications for the office.  This is the first of many!

Just Two Snarky Snippets

I could write at least 50 snarky snippets tonight, for my mood is dark, but in the interest of not steaming up my glasses any more than they already are, I’ll settle for two …


Bye-Bye Mr. Saul

Sometimes you have to look at things and just laugh.  Take, for example, the case of this man …

Andrew Saul was the Trump-appointed Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, fired on Friday by President Joe Biden.  First, Saul was asked to resign … a request which he refused.  Then, left with no other choice, the President terminated his employment.  You’re still waiting for the funny part, right?  The funny part is that Saul refuses to leave!  He claims his term lasts until January 2025, that he is “term-protected”, and he plans to be at work on Monday morning.  In the words of the late, great Forest Gump … “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Typically, the position of head of an independent agency such as the U.S. Postal Service or the Social Security Administration is protected from a change in administration, but in this case, both a recent Supreme Court ruling, followed by a Justice Department memo affirmed the President’s authority to terminate Mr. Saul’s employment.  According to a statement issued by the White House …

“Since taking office, Commissioner Saul has undermined and politicized Social Security disability benefits, terminated the agency’s telework policy that was utilized by up to 25 percent of the agency’s workforce, not repaired SSA’s relationships with relevant Federal employee unions including in the context of COVID-19 workplace safety planning, reduced due process protections for benefits appeals hearings, and taken other actions that run contrary to the mission of the agency and the President’s policy agenda.”

A wealthy former women’s apparel executive and prominent Republican donor, Saul, 74 — who served on the board of a conservative think tank that has called for cuts to Social Security benefits — had overseen one of the biggest operations in the federal government since his 2019 Senate confirmation. The Social Security Administration pays out more than $1 trillion a year to about 64 million beneficiaries (yours truly is one of those), who include seniors, the disabled and low-income Americans.

Now what in this man’s past qualified him to head the Social Security Administration … selling clothes to women somehow doesn’t get it in my mind!  And to add insult to injury, he was known for calling for cuts in Social Security!  I spent a lifetime paying into Social Security so that now, in my post-employment days, I could have a bit of income — not enough to live on, but it helps.  I’ll be damned if I want some bozo who sold panties and bras for a living controlling my hard-earned retirement income!

Much like the aforementioned DeJoy, Saul was not initially hired to promote and enhance the work of the agency he was charged with overseeing, but rather was tasked with that agency’s destruction.  I hope that on Monday Mr. Saul finds his computer access cut off, Metro Police waiting to escort him off the property, and his paycheck stopped.  Oh … Saul’s response to his firing?

“I quite frankly feel I’m doing an excellent job there.”  🤣🤣🤣

I hope Louis DeJoy is next.


CPAC Again???

There is yet another Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) taking place in Dallas this weekend.  No wonder the Republican Party hasn’t got the time to actually do their jobs, for they are always busy preparing for and attending these ‘conferences’ where nothing is ever accomplished except tooting their own horns and airing their grievances.

The ‘star’ of the show on Friday seems to have been Representative Madison Cawthorn, a genuine nutcase from the word ‘go’.  He has a theory about President Biden’s plan to have volunteers go door-to-door offering information and assistance to people about the COVID vaccine.  Says ol’ Madison …

“Think about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that massive of a thing.  And then think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door to door and take your guns. They could go door to door and take your Bibles.”

If only.  I honestly don’t know where the Republican Party finds these nuts … they must be shaking the trees really hard.

A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

A number of things are flitting across my radar tonight … nothing very major, just little things. Overall, I am enjoying the professionalism that is coming from the Biden administration.  No hateful tweets, no ‘breaking news’ parroting what the prez has said/tweeted/eaten in the past 30 minutes.  We once again have intelligence and compassion in the White House and I am comforted by that.  But, of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t find something about which to snark!

Some Republicans have sense!

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, though I lean strongly toward the ideology of the Democratic Party and if I didn’t prefer my Independent status, I would almost certainly register as a Democrat.  In fact, I’ve strongly considered doing so, but … I really don’t want the bombardment of emails and phone calls that any political party subjects its registrants to.  That said, I have absolutely no use for the ideologies of today’s Republican Party, for they seem to be aligned with conspiracy theories and policies that place profit over people and that are largely bigoted in so many ways.  I do, however, subscribe to one Republican newsletter that I find has merit and has led me to believe that there are still at least a few sane heads in the Republican Party.

The newsletter is published by Sarah Longwell of Republicans for The Rule of Law, and while quite often I only give it a cursory glance, yesterday’s had something that I found very satisfying.

Today, we launched a new $1 million campaign to support the 17 courageous Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach and convict Trump. We are putting TV ads and billboards in their home states and districts, thanking them for doing the right thing.

It’s hard to overstate the risk many of these men and women took when they voted to hold Trump accountable. Most are already facing attacks from Trump and his supporters, and many will have to deal with well-funded primary challengers when they run for reelection.

The only way to protect our democracy is to engage voters directly, and this new campaign does just that.

Now is the time to stick up for all Republicans who did the right thing, whether they’re retiring this year or facing the fight for their political lives in the next. Now is the time to let America know that we refuse to cede the Republican Party to Trump and Trumpism.

Sarah Longwell

Executive Director, Republican Accountability Project

Here are a few of the billboards they have erected around the country …

And one of the 30-second television ads …

If the GOP has a future, and I find that very much in doubt at this stage, its future lies with these men and women who do not put party loyalty above their Oaths of Office, do not pander to the wealthy and criminals in the party at the expense of the people of this nation.  Thumbs up to this group of conscionable and conscientious Republicans!


How the hell did he get here?

cawthorn-2Madison Cawthorn is his name, and he is only 25 years of age … younger than my granddaughter … yet he is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of North Carolina.  Cawthorn is the youngest person to serve in Congress since Jed Johnson, Jr., who served a single term from 1965-1967.  I think that perhaps Mr. Cawthorn won on a sympathy vote – due to an auto accident, he is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair – for he damn sure didn’t win on intellect.

Just a few of Cawthorn’s faux pas …

  • In 2017, Cawthorn posted an Instagram picture of his visit to Adolf Hitler’s vacation residence Eagle’s Nest, which he said had been on his “bucket list for awhile”. In the post, he called Hitler Führer, a German term meaning “leader”. When he came under fire for the post during his 2020 campaign, he deleted it.
  • During his election bid, Cawthorn’s campaign created an attack website which criticized journalist Tom Fiedler, who had produced investigative pieces on Cawthorn and had written favorably about his opponent. The website accused Fiedler of leaving academia “to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.” 🤨
  • Before Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, Cawthorn addressed the crowd and said, “this crowd has some fight.” He voted not to certify the Electoral College results in Congress and called Republicans who voted to certify the results “spineless cowards”.

I’ve known some pretty sharp 25-year-olds in my day, but this kid is not among them.  There have been a number of allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Cawthorn, though none have filed charges so far.

His latest episode of lunacy, though, came today when he saw a tweet saying that the Vatican is requiring all personnel to receive the vaccine or lose their jobs …

cawthorn

So, apparently he isn’t quite clear on what the Vatican is, or thinks that somehow the U.S. has jurisdiction over it.  Not criminal, of course, but foolish and it shows his lack of understanding, lack of education, and lack of being mature enough to hold a seat in Congress, the lawmaking branch of our government.  Frighteningly, he serves on the House Committee on Education and Labour.  We surely do not need him helping to shape our policies on education!

Like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, I suspect young Cawthorn will be a single-term representative, so perhaps he should be thinking about what he’d like to do with the rest of his life.

What Keeps Us Divided …

A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a fight between two young black men.  The Democrat walks over, tries to separate the two young men and asks what the problem is, then he tries to get them both to calm down and discuss this reasonably.  The Republican, on the other hand, says, “Let me get my gun!”

A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a group of Black Lives Matter protestors holding signs.  The Democrat walks on by, nods to them and gives them a thumbs-up.  The Republican says, “Let me get my gun!”

There are many philosophical and ideological differences between the two major parties in the U.S. – there always have been – but some of the biggest are exemplified in the examples above:  the gun culture, propensity to violence, and racism.

Republican politicos seem to think that appearing in ads with guns, threatening violence, is the way to win votes and influence people.  A few examples …

  • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was rarely shown in campaign ads without a firearm, including one of him pointing it at his daughter’s boyfriend.  Notice the arsenal behind him in the first picture, and the guns all around the room in the second.kemp-gunkemp-gun-Jake
  • Also in Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Greene is an avid supporter of QAnon, the conspiracy theorist group, and also an avid proponent of assault weapons.  Her campaign ads include pictures of herself holding a gun, and also one of herself in a threatening pose in front of an image of several democratic members of Congress known as ‘the Squad’.     marjory-taylor-greeneMarjorie-Taylor-Greene
  • Madison Cawthorn is a 24-year-old running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina. Madison, partially paralyzed from a car accident 6 years ago, has already been accused of sexual assault by several young women.  He, too, has posted campaign pictures of himself with an assault weapon and enough ammunition to take out a small city.madison_img_2

I am told that this is to make them appear ‘tough’, but in my book it makes them appear to be cowards, for only a coward, a person afraid of something all the time, feels a need to carry a gun.  I’ve managed for 69 years without ever picking up a firearm, have even faced down a gun twice, and still never felt a need to own one.

Another thing that separates the two parties is the attempt to eliminate the opposition in unsavory ways.  I cannot recall a story about someone plotting to kill a republican candidate or official, but the attempts on democrats of late has been astounding.  It seems that republicans are far more in favour of solving their problems with violence than democrats.

Remember Cesar Sayoc who in 2018 sent pipe bombs through the mail to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as  Representative Maxine Waters, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former Attorney General Eric Holder, two former intelligence chiefs (ex-CIA Director John Brennan and ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper), two billionaire Democratic donors and activists (George Soros and Tom Steyer), and actor Robert De Niro, as well as CNN’s world headquarters?  Each of these individuals are democrats — not a single republican.

And just this month the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered plots to kill the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and to kidnap the democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.  Funny, but I haven’t heard of any plots to kill Mitch McConnell, or kidnap Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

And lastly, let’s talk a bit about racism as it is viewed by the two parties.  According to a 2019 PEW Research study, a majority of Americans (56%) say Trump has made race relations worse; just 15% say he has made progress toward improving race relations, while 13% say he has tried but failed to make progress and 14% say he hasn’t addressed this issue.

Not surprisingly, assessments of Trump’s handling of race relations differ considerably along partisan lines. Democrats overwhelmingly say Trump has made race relations worse (84%), including large shares of black (79%) and white (86%) Democrats. Views are more divided among Republicans. About a third of Republicans (34%) say Trump has improved race relations and 25% say he has tried but failed to make progress; 19% of Republicans say he hasn’t addressed the issue, while only 20% say he has made race relations worse.

But what really shines a light on the differences in the way members of the two parties view race and racism is the acceptance or denial that racism even exists in the U.S.  This chart tells the story …

PEW-race

There are many principles and ideas that divide the two parties, and until we find ways to narrow those divisions, to work together, to understand each other and to find common ground, we cannot begin to heal this nation.  We look to the leadership of the nation, our elected officials, to find that common ground, to stop the hating, the violence, and to ensure that every person in this country has an equal opportunity, that guns are regulated in such a way to ensure the public safety, and that violence is strongly discouraged.  For the past four years, the ‘leader’ of our government has encouraged violence, racism, and the gun culture, and this simply must stop, for we are on the brink of becoming a third-rate nation if it doesn’t.

Think about these things when you go to the polls in nine days.  Think about the sort of country you wish to live in, and how best to achieve that.  Donald Trump claimed he would “make America great again” … well, he has done the exact opposite and made this a far less desirable country to live in than it once was.  Again, I ask only that you think about these things.