The total annual salaries for the 435 members of the House of Representatives is $76,300,300.  That’s just the salary, not including benefits, travel, and other perks, and not including all their staff!  When you add it all up, the total budget for the House of Representatives is $1.715 billion!  We the Taxpayers are the ones who pay these salaries.  Now, mind you, I don’t begrudge them their pay and relative to what the average corporate executive earns in a year, House members’ salaries are actually less.  But what I do mind is paying for people to do a job that they are not doing, but instead are spending their time and our money on pointless, stupid time-wasting games.

As the Republican Party leadership makes plans for their next session beginning January 3rd, 2023, we hear that their sole intent will be to impeach President Biden … multiple times if possible … for grounds as yet undetermined.  They play to spend their entire first year doing nothing but running investigations into every aspect of the Biden administration, including the president’s family members, looking for evidence of … what???

These are just a few of the ‘investigations’ they are plotting:

  • They will seek to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, not for misdeeds but because they are displeased that the Biden administration’s immigration policies are more humane than the Trump administration’s.

  • They’re planning to probe the alleged “politicization” of the Justice Department, claiming it is a hotbed of leftists and Democratic partisans. Additionally, they plan an investigation into what they claim is the ‘mistreatment’ of the January 6th insurrectionists.  Say WHAT???

  • They intend to investigate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with the goal of gutting the IRS budget. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provided funding for additional IRS staffing to pursue tax fraud by corporations and the wealthy, but the Republicans want to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • They say they plan to waste even more time and resources “investigating” the source of Covid, claiming that there was some vast ‘conspiracy’ involving none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, responsible for the virus. They say they want to see Fauci imprisoned, or perhaps even executed for his alleged ‘crimes’.

  • And of course they plan to make President Biden’s son, Hunter, the subject of some massive investigation into his emails, his computer, his sexual relationships, and probably the brand of socks he wears! Funny the double standard here … Trump’s children were involved in a number of unsavory things, but not once was an investigation launched into their shenanigans.  In fact, they were given high-level security clearances against the recommendations of the White House personnel security office at Trump’s behest.

These are but a few of the pseudo-investigations that Kevin McCarthy, Marge Greene and others are rubbing their hands together and salivating over launching.  The end goal, as I mentioned, is to impeach President Biden.  Why?  Because he’s not a Republican, because he won the 2020 election, because he’s a man of conscience and integrity, unlike most of the Republicans.  And there may well be yet another reason … because Donald Trump asked ordered them to.

Now, we can shrug it off, for it’s unlikely with the slim majority the Republicans will have in the House that they will succeed in impeaching the president.  Surely there are at least a few who would be uncomfortable with such a dramatic and ludicrous move.  And even if they succeeded in impeachment, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the Senate would convict him.  But it is still important because it is a denigration of our entire government, turning the United States Congress into a circus act.  In my mind, at least, it signals the beginning of the end of a democratic system.  The Republicans are obviously not interested in earning their keep, in providing good governance, but are only interested in domination.  Then again, maybe part of the scheme is to deflect attention from their own crimes and those of their ‘leader’, Donald Trump.

What makes me furious is that the Republicans have absolutely no plan for policy-making or for legislating, which is what we hired them to do!  Their sole focus is going to be on trying to bring down the Biden administration and block any and all legislation proposed by the Democrats.  And for this … for this we are going to pay them $76,300,300!!!  I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damned tired of paying hard-earned tax dollars and getting absolutely nothing in return!  I’d far rather my tax dollars go to help improve the lot in life of people who are struggling just to survive in this world than the already-wealthy bozos the Republicans have shoved into Congress!

How Dems Should Tackle Economic Issues

Our dear friend Gronda has returned!!! I don’t know about you all, but I’ve missed her so very much! And after her hiatus, she is primed and ready to go, her usual fiery self, as her post today shows us! Let’s listen to Gronda telling us what the Democrats need to do to get the attention of the people in the coming three weeks.

Gronda Morin

If Dems want to maintain their majority status in the US Congress in 2023, they cannot cede winning the debate on US economic issues to GOP MAGA candidates. 

There’re 2 things that Dems can do to successfully tackle economic issues head on. First Dems can start by trusting the intelligence of even GOP MAGA voters. No, Dems won’t move the needle by much, but any movement can make a difference in close elections. The second major argument is that if GOP prevail in winning majority power in US House and Senate, US economy including inflation will probably be made worse.

Just look at what happened in 2022 when a conservative UK politician enacted a favorite right-wing solution to any economic problem, widespread tax cuts which was the catalyst for a major financial meltdown. As per a 10/17/2022 Reuters report, “Under the new policy, most of (former PM) Truss’s 45 billion…

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Party Of “Law & Order”??? 🤣

The Republican Party has long claimed to be the party of “law and order”.  I have a little problem with that claim, given their behaviour and rhetoric of late.  Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons I think it is a joke that they still attempt to lay claim to that title.

  • The biggest threat to law and order today is posed by people toting guns, by guns in the hands of people who should never be within a mile of a firearm. And yet, Republicans steadfastly refuse to legislate any form of gun regulations.  They refuse to even talk about a ban on military-style assault weapons that can mow down 30-40 people within a minute.  They refuse to put common sense gun laws into effect that would ensure expanded background checks, keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence abusers, make licensing and testing mandatory requirements, and more.  Most crimes … apart from white collar crimes … are committed with guns!  Doesn’t it make sense to regulate and limit them?  Apparently not to the party of ‘law and order’!
  • The unofficial ‘head’ of the Republican Party today is the former president Donald Trump who himself has a long history of breaking the law in the areas of tax evasion, civil rights violations, refusing to pay contractors for work done, employment violations, and more. And yet, the Republican Party bows to his will, supports him wholeheartedly, and plans to escort him back into the Oval Office in 2025.  And most recently, Republicans are outraged that the FBI executed a lawful search warrant in order to retrieve highly classified documents that Trump literally stole from the White House, stole from We the People.  How is that “tough on crime”?
  • After the January 6th insurrection/attempted coup which was extremely violent and resulted in multiple deaths and more than 100 injuries to the very law enforcement officers the Republicans supposedly support, the Party whitewashed the events of that day, even though the extreme violence had been recorded by many on video. Republican members of Congress referred to it as a “normal tourist visit”, and said the rioters were simply exercising their right to free speech.  Last February, the Republican Party officially passed a resolution declaring that the events of that day were “Legitimate Political Discourse”.  They refer to the rioters who have been charged as “political prisoners”.  Even the two minority leaders in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Kevin McCarthy, who spoke strongly against Trump and his role in the attempted coup initially, have now turned 180°, supporting Trump and echoing the ‘party line’.
  • Some in the party are calling for defunding or even abolishing the FBI, primarily because of the search of Trump’s home to retrieve the aforementioned documents. Others have called for abolishing all federal law agencies!
  • Certain Republican legislators have not-too-obscurely incited violence among the masses, with Lindsey Graham saying there would be “riots in the streets if Trump is prosecuted” and Trump himself saying that “Mitch McConnell has a death wish” for Mitch’s participation in an agreement to fund the government through December. Seems to me that the party of law and order would NOT be inciting … law-breaking and disorder!!!

So no, my friends, the Republican Party can no longer lay claim to being the “Law and Order Party” … in fact, they are so far from it that it would be a joke, except there is nothing funny about it.  Their claim to be “tough on crime” is convoluted and selective.  For example, an unarmed Black man having inadvertently attempted to pay for groceries with a counterfeit bill can be brutally murdered by white police officers and that is ‘law and order’ by the Republican’s definition.  But one of their own can do far worse … can incite a riot where lives are lost, and that’s naught more than ‘legitimate civil discourse’ and nobody should pay the price.

I’ve seen hypocrisy throughout my entire life, from small instances to large ones, but I have NEVER seen hypocrisy to the extent the Republican Party of the 21st century practices it.  The examples above are but a few of the many I could come up with, but they are the most glaring.  They don’t even bother to try to hide their hypocrisy any longer … it’s right out there for everyone to see.  Make no mistake … the are the party of Wealth and of Bigotry, but they are NOT the party of law and order!

GOP Cruelty Pleases Their Constituents

“Divide et impera” … Julius Caesar, circa a long time ago. In English, it is “Divide and conquer”. Control. A disunited people are far less likely to rise up and oppose a dictator or other authoritarian. Keep them hatin’. Our friend Jeff is angry and so am I …

On The Fence Voters

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it. As it is presently constituted, the GOP represents a small minority of people in this country who think being cruel to people is a virtue.

We all know about the disgraced former president. We’ve seen the hatred he spewed as president and now as a private citizen. He is the standard-bearer for this type of behavior. He’s got a group in Congress who continue to support him no matter what. And, if he’s indicted, we know that support would continue. Many of those same GOP politicians mirror the personality of their dear leader, who relishes every chance he gets to insult and lie with impunity.

And they wouldn’t do it were it not for millions of people in this country who love every minute of it. And they do not cross the former president because they know the death threats and intimidation…

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From Filosofa’s Bouncing Mind

Some days my mind manages to stay focused, but then other days it just bounces all over the place.  Yesterday was one such day, and I found myself musing ‘n pondering on a number of topics, so let me just throw a few of them out there for your perusal.

Education …

There is so much to learn that no human being could possibly learn it all in one lifetime.  Children only go to school for approximately nine months out of the year, so that leaves the responsibility of teaching them on the shoulders of parents for three months out of every year.  But most parents either send them out to play when the weather is nice or plunk them down in front of the television (affectionately and appropriately nicknamed the ‘boob tube’) on cold or rainy days.  So that means our children must rely on public schools for their access to knowledge … knowledge that will help them grow into functional adults who contribute to society.

But wait!  Today, public schools in many states are being denied the right to teach children well by the states!  Books from which they learn so many things are being banned by state governments!  Teachers are being forbidden to discuss so many things it makes my head spin!  By cherry-picking the parts of history, the state authorities want them to learn and leaving out the rest, we are teaching them lies, teaching them fairy tales.  They are given to believe that this nation has always been one of goodwill, that the ‘generous’ plantation owners in the south helped Black people when they first arrived on the continent by giving them jobs, food, and shelter.  And later, those generous white people even gave Black people their very own drinking fountains and schools!  How … utterly … ludicrous.

Education should be the great equalizer, giving poor children and rich the equal opportunities to succeed as adults, but it is doing the exact opposite.  Children in progressive states where children are taught the good, the bad, and the ugly have a much better chance of success in the world than those in Florida who grow up not even realizing that they are not ‘bad’ for the feelings they may have.  In other states, they are lied to and grow up believing that the KKK was a charitable organization or that the South actually won the Civil War, but generously conceded in order to restore peace throughout the nation.

Job qualifications …

A few days ago I wrote about the large number of very unqualified people running for office this year on the Republican ticket.  People such as Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz, J.D. Vance, Marge Greene and many more have virtually zero qualifications for a seat in Congress, and yet … their names will be on the ballot in November.  Fellow-blogging buddy Professor Taboo posted a comment to that post with a few pertinent examples that stuck in my mind …

  • If you were to take a transcontinental flight around the world in an Airbus A380 or a Boeing 747-8, would you do it with a school bus driver and school-crossing officers as your pilots and flight-crew?
  • If you were being deployed into real-life combat in the middle of a warzone, and your commander handed you a slingshot as your weapon and his/her only experience in military leadership, tactics, & weaponry was 2-hours playing WW1 video-wargame “Isonzo,” how would you like your chances of survival? Or…
  • If you needed your new, sophisticated natural gas-lines installed in your large, gourmet, $300k home kitchen, would you call a taxi-driver to do it?

And if you need somebody to make laws that govern some 330 million people from all walks of life and across the entire economic spectrum, would you hire a football player, a gym trainer, a snake-oil salesman, or a fiction writer?  Thanks, Prof, for these great analogies!

Law & Order?

If the Republicans are the party of ‘law and order’ and if they are so concerned about ‘rising crime’, then why do they keep putting more and more guns into the hands of civilians where they can easily be used to commit … crimes?  (In case you’re a Republican, such things as murder are crimes.)  Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in May … what’s the Republican response?  “Oh, let’s put guns in teacher’s hands!  More guns will make our children safer!”  I’m sorry … I fail to see the logic here.

In a nation of 330 million people, there are over 400 million guns in the hands of civilians.  What is even more astounding is that only about 40% of U.S. households have one or more guns, so on average, each gun-owning household has not one, not two, but three guns. As we already know, some households have an arsenal while others have only a single gun, but to me these numbers are scary.

The majority of people in the U.S. support gun regulations!  63% overall support reimplementing a ban on assault weapons!  So, why don’t the politicians even allow the topic to come up for discussion?  Oh yeah … they are beholden to the gun industry … they are bought and paid for – lock, stock, and barrel.  This chart from a PEW Research poll last year shows the will of the people …

But sadly, the will of the people is irrelevant to politicians who have sold their soul downriver.  The Republican Party can no longer claim to be the party of “law and order” or to be “fighting crime”, for they are increasing the odds that each of us will be affected by gun violence at least once in our lives.

Who Are “We The People”?

The preamble to the United States Constitution reads …

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

But … just who are “We the People”?  Today, many of us consider that term to be all-inclusive … regardless of skin colour, sexual orientation, religion, gender, wealth, etc., but it wasn’t that way in the beginning, and today many in the Republican Party would like to narrow the definition of We the People to mean only white Christians, preferably wealthy ones.  Columnist Charles M. Blow, writing in the New York Times, has a more in-depth take on it …

The Republican Party Is the Anti-Democracy Party

Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist, 03 August 2022

The word “democracy” never appears in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.

However, democracy is central to the modern concept of America.

The founders seemed to prefer calling the burgeoning country a Republic rather than a democracy. Many were opposed to direct democracy and the possibility that demagogues could corrupt it or mob rule could overtake it. They instead designed a representative government in which “the people” would elect representatives who would make the laws and conduct the governance.

The problem, or course, was that their definition of “the people” was largely limited to wealthy white men, enslavers among them.

Over the years, America has expanded the definition of “the people” to include more Americans, but conservatives have resisted the expansion at every turn. And now, they are trying to drag the country backward, to pare down the ranks of those who can vote and to deny or invalidate elections in which voting populations, not yet pared down enough, deliver results with which they disagree.

We keep hearing people say that candidates, like some of the ones competing in Tuesday’s primaries, threaten our democracy. We heard during the Jan. 6 hearings about threats to our democracy. We have heard for years that Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy.

But it seems to me that we have to take a step back and realize that the current Republican Party has abandoned the idea of a full democracy.

Republicans want to revert the country to the way the founders conceived of it, when white men had outsize influence, when patriarchy prevailed, when white supremacy masqueraded as conventional wisdom.

Liberals often seem to me overly vexed by why Republicans don’t recognize the threat that Trump’s election denialism poses. The reason is clear to me: They have turned their backs on democracy.

For anti-democracy Republicans, Trump is an incredibly useful tool. His motivations are selfish and small, but the Republicans balking at full democracy have plans that are grand. They see themselves falling into a minority, so they want to devise a plan for minority rule.

And they are attacking the electoral process at every level to realize their goals.

By calling themselves traditionalist and constitutionalist, and by canonizing the flawed founders, they disguise their regression as preservation.

Conservatives now routinely make the point that America isn’t a democracy, but a Republic. The Heritage Foundation even published a report in 2020 entitled “America Is a Republic, Not a Democracy.” The report argued, “The contemporary efforts to weaken our republican customs and institutions in the name of greater equality thus run against the efforts by America’s Founders to defend our country from the potential excesses of democratic majorities,” and that the American system of government is “threatened by an egalitarianism that undermines the social, familial, religious, and economic distinctions and inequalities that undergird our political liberty.”

In their telling, the will of the majority itself seems to be a problem. I interpret this broadly: that a fuller democracy is, in the view of many conservatives, a disaster waiting to happen.

So we are seeing an epic clash playing out in America in which the parameters are not being fully, loudly delineated: The Democrats want a democracy; the Republicans don’t. The Republican Party is anti-democracy, post-democracy. While Democrats are screaming about a collapsing country, Republicans are already surveying the landscape of the America that will emerge from the wreckage.

George Thomas, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, argued in The Atlantic in 2020 that although the word “democracy” may not be in the Constitution, the spirit of it is. As he put it: “High-minded claims that we are not a democracy surreptitiously fuse republic with minority rule rather than popular government. Enabling sustained minority rule at the national level is not a feature of our constitutional design, but a perversion of it.”

Perversion, distortion and deceit now appear to be the spine of the Republican Party. It is no longer a party of ideas, but rather a party of atavism. It is a party frantically running down an ascending escalator.

The problem is that there is a real risk that the party will succeed in bringing the country down with it.

As Sue Halpern has written in The New Yorker, “The paradox of American democracy is that its survival is a choice; it persists solely at the discretion of an electorate that can, if it so wills, dismantle it.” Republicans are pushing the portion of the electorate they control to dismantle it.

What’s In Store? Ask Kevin …

The Republican Party, aka GOP, has a large number of highly UNqualified and horrible people in its ranks today.  Margie Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, J.D. Vance, Mehmet Oz, Doug Mastriano, to name just a few who are better suited to working in a circus than in politics.  Or is there even a difference anymore?  But these people are pests, more than anything.  That’s not to say they aren’t dangerous, for they are.  They have voices that are far too loud, far too obnoxious, and that seems to be what Republican voters care about today.  But the bigger dangers are those ‘leaders’ within the party, those whose power to affect what happens is greater than the rest.  Today, I want to talk about one such creature, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy represents California’s 23rd district, the most heavily Republican district in the state, and has done so since 2013.  Before that, he spent six years are the U.S. House representative for the 22nd district which, due to redistricting, is largely the same district he represents today.  McCarthy, unlike Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz, Margie Greene and so many others is not stupid, but rather cold and calculating.  McCarthy and many others believe that if the Republicans seize a majority in the House of Representatives next year, he will be made Speaker of the House, which would give him considerably more power than he has today, although contrary to what he seems to believe, it would not give him unlimited power.  And, there is a possibility that the party would name someone else to be Speaker, though that is up for debate.

I follow McCarthy on Twitter for the sole reason that he is a significant influence and I want to know his thoughts, his plans.  And frankly, I’m not liking what I’m hearing.  Take this tweet, for example …

“Think about this → Inflation is so high that if you’ve had a constant salary for the last year, it’s like you’ve worked more than a month without pay. This is what Washington Democrats took from you. This is the Pelosi Pay Cut.”

He fails to mention that Congress has stymied and blocked an increase in the federal minimum wage rate for over a decade, and therefore the $7.25 a minimum wage worker earns is worth $5.28 today.  That equates to $10,982.40 per year.  THIS, more than anything, is why people are struggling.  His claim about working more than a month without pay is, as my friend Brosephus calls it, bovine fecal matter, or bullshit.

Nearly every single one of McCarthy’s tweets is a put-down of Democrats or of President Biden … he presents no new ideas, no platform … his only ideas are to fault the Democrats for anything and everything, blame the President for whatever he sees wrong with the country, and swear to get ‘revenge’.  But let’s take a look … sift through the bovine fecal matter and see what, exactly, McCarthy (and others) plan to do if the Republicans should gain a majority in either or both chambers of Congress next year.

Here are a few of his ‘ideas’ …

  • Under Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives hasn’t held a single hearing on the origins of COVID-19. That’ll change next year when Republicans are in charge.
  • When Republicans take control, we’ll use the gavel to get answers. Republicans will investigate Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings. Republicans will hold China accountable for COVID19. Republicans will secure the border.
  • Gas prices are high because the Biden administration has made it harder to produce oil here at home. And now he is sending our emergency reserves to other countries like China. This is reckless and won’t solve the problem. We must produce more U.S. energy to lower prices.
  • This gas crisis was entirely predictable and preventable. But Democrats caved to the radical extremists in their party and doubled down on policies that hurt you. A Republican House majority will STOP the madness and put America FIRST.

So … he’s going to waste time and resources investigating the origins of Covid which, it is my understanding, has already been done, but apparently not to his satisfaction.  And he’s going to also waste time and resources investigating Hunter Biden … oh for Pete’s sake, let’s put Hunter Biden to bed!  Hunter is not the president and what he did or did not do is NOT a matter for Congress to investigate!

Gas prices … gas prices … gas prices!  It’s a selling point for the Republicans, because it affects everyone and affects the poorest the most.  However, gas prices are high because the oil industry used the supply chain issues as an excuse to raise their prices far more than their cost increased, which has given the oil companies record profits this year!  And while I might not have any problem with his idea of making the U.S. more energy self-sufficient, unfortunately McCarthy’s idea has nothing to do with renewable energy … nope, he is talking about oil and gas, further destruction of our already devastated environment.  Why?  Well, for one thing, he has already raised over $20 million in donations this year, much of it from the oil and gas industry.  Oh yes, he has a vested interest in pandering to those who are robbing the people of this nation blind!  And in some convoluted thought process, he also said, “We care about the environment, but we care about jobs more.”  Um … people won’t need the jobs before long if we don’t tend to the environment NOW!

McCarthy spoke at the America First Summit that headlined the former guy last week … here is part of what he said …

“I believe in this next election, this is a 50-year election. Never before are we going to feel this type of opportunity in a year of redistricting. We can lock in a conservative majority for the decade.”

There … he said it out loud … they have gerrymandered themselves into a position where they will dominate for the next 10 years.  I shudder at the very thought of it.

And his latest rant is in regard to the Inflation Reduction Act, which you’d think he would support, since all he does is whine about inflation, but nope.  He is falsely telling people it will raise their taxes … his goal obviously being to rile the masses … but the only ones who will see a tax increase are large corporations who are making billions and paying very minimal taxes.  Don’t you think it’s about damn time for the wealthy to start paying their share???  They’re robbing us at the grocery store, the gas station, and everywhere else, so … when do they start contributing to this nation that has been so good to them?  But, again, McCarthy looks to the source of his donations, his own wealth, and bends over.

McCarthy is only one of the many Republicans who would turn this nation into something ugly for the majority of us, but he is one with more power than most, and like most of the Republicans in Congress today, he has no conscience, no values, no integrity.  That’s a lethal combination, my friends.  And that is why we cannot afford to let the Republicans gain a majority in either the House or the Senate.  This may well be the most important election of our lifetime.

In Honour Of A Good Man

On January 6th, 2021, DC Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone was in service of his country, attempting to protect the U.S. Capitol and those who were within its walls as the Capitol was attacked by people attempting to destroy the government, destroy the nation, and hand our government over to a cruel wanna-be dictator.  Officer Fanone was dragged down the Capitol steps, beaten with pipes, stunned with a Taser and threatened with his own gun. He had a heart attack.

Officer Fanone joined the United States Capitol Police during the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. A few years later, he joined the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, remaining a member for approximately 20 years.

Officer Fanone survived his injuries, but due to physical and emotional injuries, he ultimately submitted his resignation and his last day on duty was December 31, 2021.  We the People of this nation owe a debt of gratitude to Officer Fanone that we can never fully repay.

Last Thursday, July 21st, Officer Fanone attended the televised hearing by the House select Committee investigating last year’s riot.

As he left the Capitol, a woman began following him, using her cell phone to record, followed Officer Fanone hurling questions …

“Are you a real police officer? Are you disappointed that you’re going to make men face years in jail because of your lies?”

Fanone, obviously feeling uncomfortable as a number of people were with the woman, turned around and began walking the other way, back toward the gates to the Capitol.  One man apparently stepped in front of the group of tormentors in an attempt to protect Officer Fanone, and ultimately the Capitol Police stepped in as he reached the gate.  You can see the brief video clip here

I have seen Officer Fanone on television, watched his testimony …

And I literally shed tears when I heard how he was harassed last Thursday.  He is one of the good ones, my friends, and he damn sure does NOT deserve to be treated in the manner this bitch (sorry, but I cannot think of her in any other way), and her friends treated him last week.

Is this what we, as a nation, have come to?  Michael Fanone, just for the record, was a Republican and voted for Donald Trump in 2016.  And yet, he was brutally and savagely attacked on January 6th, and then harassed a year-and-a-half later for … for testifying before a committee that is trying to get at the truth so that those guilty of attempting to overthrow this nation can be held accountable!  This man is as close as we get these days to a hero … and he has to put up with this crap from the people of this nation.  WHY???  He is being punished … for being a good man, an honest man, a caring man.

Damn, people, if this is what this nation is coming to, then maybe we don’t even deserve democracy!

Oh, and about those Republicans who claim they are so supportive of the police, who claim that the Republican Party is the party of ‘law and order’ … where is your support for an officer of the law who protected the lives of thousands of people within the Capitol on January 6th 2021?  Where is your praise for Michael Fanone, Eugene Goodman, Aquilino Gonell, Harry Dunn and the 140 others who literally saved our nation that day?  Where is the praise for Officer Brian Sicknick who was killed on that fateful day in service to his country?  Or … do you even remember the names Jeffrey Smith and Gunther Hashida who were so devastated that they took their own lives?  Huh?  I can’t hear you, Republicans???  Where’s all that ‘respect’ you claim to have for these officers?

That woman who followed Officer Fanone and heckled him … I’m sorry, folks, but anybody like that does not deserve to … to even be on this planet.

Pro-Birther Priorities

The claim of being “pro-life” becomes a complete hypocrisy in the case of the 10-year-old child who was raped, became pregnant, and could not have an abortion in her own state. The life of the young girl, a child, was not at all important to the “Pro-Lifers”. Is this case a chilling premonition of things to come? I hope not, but I’m afraid so. Clay Jones sums it up far better than I ever could …


Republicans’ first talking point after learning a ten-year-old girl had to cross state lines to get an abortion after being impregnated by a rapist was to say it wasn’t true.

A child was raped and impregnated. She couldn’t get an abortion in her home state of Ohio because the GOP in that state banned abortions after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. She was pregnant for six weeks and three days. So, she went to Indiana for the procedure. Republicans said this story was “too good to be true” for Democrats.

In saying the story was too good to be true, in that Democrats could use it politically against the GOP’s stupid backward knuckle-dragging cave-dwelling anti-women policies, Republicans were admitting that forcing a ten-year-old to give birth to her rapist’s baby is fucking horrible and an outrage. That’s the policy they support but they don’t want you…

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Some Food For Thought

I came across an OpEd written by David Brooks in the New York Times that I found to be both thoughtful and thought-provoking.  To be sure, Brooks is a conservative, but a far more moderate one than most these days.  He even supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, and is a vocal critic of Donald Trump.  While I don’t agree with everything he says, this is a speculative piece and he makes some valid points about where this nation is today and what path we may take in the next few years.  I think you’ll find it interesting … it certainly gave me some food for thought.

A 2024 Presidential Candidate Who Meets the Moment

By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

July 14, 2022

I’d like you to consider the possibility that the political changes that have rocked this country over the past six years will be nothing compared with the changes that will rock it over the next six. I’d like you to consider the possibility that we’re in some sort of prerevolutionary period — the kind of moment that often gives birth to something shocking and new.

Look at the conditions all around us:

First, Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the way things are going. Only 13 percent of voters say the country is on the right track, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll published this week.

Second, Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the leaders of both parties. Joe Biden has a 33 percent job approval rating among registered voters. About half of Republican voters want to move on from Donald Trump and find a new presidential candidate for 2024.

Third, inflation is soaring. Throughout history, inflationary periods have often been linked to political instability. As the economist Lionel Robbins wrote about Weimar Germany, inflation “destroyed the wealth of the more solid elements in German society; and it left behind a moral and economic disequilibrium, apt breeding ground for the disasters which have followed.”

Fourth, the generational turnover is coming. The boomer gerontocracy that now dominates power is bound to retire, leaving a vacuum for something new.

Fifth, Americans are detaching from the two political parties. Far more Americans consider themselves independents than consider themselves either Democrats or Republicans, and independents may be growing more distinct. And there’s some research that suggests independents are increasingly not just closeted members of the two main parties but also hold different beliefs, which put them between parties. Sixty-two percent of Americans believe a third party is needed.

Sixth, disgust with the current system is high. A majority of American voters believe that our system of government does not work, and 58 percent believe that our democracy needs major reforms or a complete overhaul. Nearly half of young adult voters believe voting does not affect how the government operates.

If these conditions persist, the 2024 presidential primaries could be wild. Sure, conventional candidates like the Republican Ron DeSantis or the Democrat Gavin Newsom may run for the nominations. But if the hunger for change is as strong as it is now, the climate will favor unconventional outsiders, the further outside the better. These sorts of oddball or unexpected candidates could set off a series of swings and disequilibriums that will make the existing party systems unstable.

Furthermore, if ever there was a moment ripe for a Ross Perot-like third candidate in the 2024 general election, this is that moment. There are efforts underway to prepare the way for a third candidate, and in this environment an outsider, with no ties to the status quo, who runs against the establishment and on the idea that we need to fundamentally fix the system — well, that person could wind up winning the presidency.

These conditions have already shaken up the stereotypes we used to use to think about politics. We used to think of the Democrats as the party of the economically disadvantaged. But college-educated metropolitan voters continue to flock to it and reshape it more and more each year. In the Times/Siena poll of registered voters, white college graduates wanted Democrats to control Congress by 57 to 36 percent. For the first time in the survey’s history, Democrats had a larger share of support among white college graduates than among nonwhite voters. These white voters are often motivated by social policy issues like abortion rights and gun regulation.

The Republicans used to be the party of business, but now they are emerging as a multiracial working-class party. In the Times/Siena poll, Hispanic voters were nearly evenly split about whether they favored Republicans or Democrats in the midterms. That may be overstating how much Hispanics have shifted, but it does seem as if the Republicans are genuinely becoming a working-class white-brown coalition. These voters care about the economy, the economy and the economy.

In other words, we now have an establishment progressive party and an anti-establishment conservative party. This isn’t normal.

If I were a cynical political operative who wanted to construct a presidential candidate perfectly suited for this moment, I’d start by making this candidate culturally conservative. I’d want the candidate to show by dress, speech and style that he or she is not part of the coastal educated establishment. I’d want the candidate to connect with middle- and working-class voters on values and to be full-throatedly patriotic.

Then I’d make the candidate economically center-left. I’d want to fuse the economic anxieties of the working-class Republicans with the economic anxieties of the Bernie Sanders young into one big riled populist package. College debt forgiveness. An aggressive home-building project to bring down prices. Whatever it took.

Then I’d have that candidate deliver one nonpartisan message: Everything is broken. Then he or she would offer a slew of institutional reforms to match the comprehensive institutional reforms the Progressive movement offered more than a century ago.

I guess I’m looking for a sort of modern Theodore Roosevelt. But heck, I don’t know. What’s coming down the pike is probably so unforeseeable that I don’t even have categories for it yet.