A Plea For Responsibility

The following is the text of a letter written by Senate Majority Leader Charles (Chuck) Schumer to the head of Fox ‘News’ network.  I fully concur with all that Senator Schumer says and I hope that somewhere under his greed, Mr. Rupert Murdoch has at least a shred of a conscience.  Murdoch and his Fox network are complicit in the murders of 10 people last weekend in Buffalo, New York, as well as countless others in recent years.  Free speech is one thing, but when it is not accompanied by responsibility and accountability, it can destroy lives, destroy a nation.


Dear Mr. Rupert Murdoch et al.:

I write to urge you to immediately cease the reckless amplification of the so-called “Great Replacement” theory on your network’s broadcasts.  Proponents of this white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theory believe that a complicit or cooperative class of elites are advancing a plot designed to undermine the political power and culture of white Americans.  For years, these types of beliefs have existed at the fringes of American life.  However, this pernicious theory, which has no basis in fact, has been injected into the mainstream thanks in large part to a dangerous level of amplification by your network and its anchors.

A recent AP poll found that nearly one third of American adults believe that a group of people is trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.  That same poll found that your viewers are nearly three times more likely to believe in Replacement Theory than other networks.  This should come as no surprise, given the central role these themes have played in your network’s programming in recent years.  A recent New York Times investigation found that Tucker Carlson alone amplified this dangerous and unfounded theory in more than 400 episodes of his show.

I urge you to take into consideration the very real impacts of the dangerous rhetoric being broadcast on your network on a nightly basis.  In 2018, a white man who killed 11 worshipers in a Pittsburgh synagogue blamed Jews for allowing immigrant “invaders” into the United States.  In 2019, a white man who expressed anger over “the Hispanic invasion of Texas” killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart and later told the police he had sought to kill Mexicans.  And just days ago in Buffalo, a white man killed 10 people in a supermarket on the city’s predominantly Black east side.  In a manifesto posted online, the individual responsible for this heinous murder wrote that the shoppers there came from a culture that sought to “ethnically replace my own people.”

These incidents alone, to say nothing of the many more which have occurred in recent years, have led to dozens of lives being lost and countless others irreversibly impacted.  The devastation and despair that families and communities feel in the wake of these incidents cannot be overstated.  For instance, my constituents in east Buffalo who will be forced to relive this tragic event every single time they visit the supermarket for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk.  It is on their behalf, and on behalf of the residents in communities in Pittsburgh, El Paso, and cities around the country who bear the consequences of this hateful ideology that I write you.

While it was good to see the Wall Street Journal Editorial board write that “Politicians and media figures have an obligation to condemn … such conspiratorial notions as ‘white replacement theory’”, words of condemnation are hardly enough.  To this end, I implore you to immediately cease all dissemination of false white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theories on your network.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

CC: Tucker Carlson

The Week’s Best Cartoons 4/23

I thought this would be a good time to take a look at TokyoSand’s weekly political cartoon post and see what cool ‘toons she’s found for us.  Naturally, the central topic of discussion is Ron DeSantis and his ban on fact-based education, his retributive action against Disney that will harm the people of Florida far more than it will harm Disney, but there were a few other topics as well.  I especially liked the one about Tucker Carlson!  Thank you, TS, for all your hard week finding the best of the bunch!


Here are some of the great editorial cartoons I saw this week. A lot of cartoonists were focused on the, well, fascism coming out of Florida.

 

See all the ‘toons at TokyoSand’s Political Charge!

Wise Words From A … Republican?

It’s easy to become immune to the rantings and ramblings of one political party complaining about the words and actions of another.  Liberals, myself included, opined last week during the senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the ludicrous questions that were asked by senators on the right side of the aisle, and insinuations snidely made by the likes of Marsha Blackburn, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and others.  The selection of a Supreme Court justice should not hinge on petty partisan politics nor on personal grudges, racism, or other forms of bigotry.  So, when a man of intellect and a member of the Republican Party critiques the behaviour of those in his party, perhaps it’s time for the party members to sit up and take note.

Michael Gerson is a well-respected journalist and a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush … he is also a staunch conservative.  I don’t often agree with Gerson’s views, but I respect him for putting thought into his opinions rather than simply spouting from emotion in his column for The Washington Post.  One of his OpEd pieces last week caught my eye and I thought I would share it with you today, for his thoughts mirror my own — that the Republican Party is in need of a major overhaul …


The Jackson confirmation hearings show a Republican Party in decay

By Michael Gerson

Columnist

March 24, 2022 at 1:51 p.m. EDT

If the Senate’s current exercise of Supreme Court advice and consent needed a title, it might be “The puzzlement of Judge Jackson.”

When Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has fielded a question about the influence of critical race theory on children or has been asked, for the record, to define a woman, she has often reacted with a puzzled pause before offering a measured response. What must she be thinking? Should she advocate for sleeping infants rather than woke ones (a populist cause if ever there was one)? How current are Republican senators on their sex ed? Should she start with the birds and the bees?

Jackson’s performance during her confirmation hearing this week has been impressive for its restraint and general grace. But the deliberations of the Senate Judiciary Committee might be remembered for her understandable confusion about topics that make complete sense only among movement conservatives. On the evidence of Jackson’s most tenacious questioners, this is now what it takes to win prominence in the modern GOP: a quiver full of culture-war attacks and a stout willingness to look foolish in public.

It is sad and sobering to have seen the decline of the Supreme Court nomination process firsthand. I worked in the Senate in the 1980s and 1990s. When I wrote the floor statement of my conservative Republican boss, Sen. Dan Coats, supporting Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination, we were applying an older tradition of confirmation that looked mainly at disqualifications. Did the nominee lack integrity, impartiality or a judicial temperament? Had he or she violated any ethical or professional standards? The power of appointing Supreme Court justices was generally thought to reside in the executive branch. The president was given wide latitude. The Senate acted as a filter of unfitness.

In the post-Robert Bork era — after a lot of mutual recrimination and a period of adjustment and (sometimes) inconsistency — this undoubtedly changed. The focus of conservatives turned to judicial philosophy, particularly the constraints of originalism and textualism. This was the ascent of ideology, in which Republicans grew very comfortable criticizing judicial overreach. Everyone knew the real game was Roe v. Wade. But the standard of public judgment was provided by the Federalist Society. (Rather slyly, Jackson defused this debate during her hearing. “I am focusing on original public meaning because I’m constrained to interpret the text,” she said. This “adherence to the text is a constraint on my authority.”)

What we have seen among Republican senators this time around — with a few notable exceptions — is a departure from what preceded it. And it says far more about the state of the GOP than it does about the views of the nominee.

Jackson’s main Republican questioners are not focused on qualifications, temperament or even judicial theory. Their clear objective has been to trip up the nominee by asking about the latest Republican culture-war debates. It is surprising to me how little Republicans have emphasized judicial theory. For now, the culture war is all.

This is not just change; it is decay. Republicans have gone from arguing about the intent of the Founders to reproducing the night’s lineup of questions from Tucker Carlson.

This has, no doubt, been favorable to the judge’s confirmation. In the comparison of intellectual seriousness, Jackson is the clear winner. She is a responsible judge of moderate temperament, as well as an admirable human being, who will often do liberal things on the high court. What else could Republicans expect in this circumstance?

The GOP performance is particularly disturbing because it is not the direct result of incitement by Donald Trump. The former president does not lack for provocation. As a district court judge, Jackson joined in decisions that limited executive privilege. “Stated simply,” she wrote in November of 2019, “the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings. … This means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.”

No one has issued a more direct assault on the philosophic basis of Trumpism — that one former president should effectively be king. But Trump has said next to nothing about the Jackson nomination. Instead, he talks endlessly about the illegitimacy of the 2020 election. So the approach among the senators is moving on its own power and momentum within the Republican Party.

The MAGA world now has animating manias beyond Trump’s immediate priorities. The circus in the Senate is how ambitious elected Republicans understand the avenue to influence — with or without Trump’s direction. And they are probably reading the base of the GOP correctly. The problem, as usual, is deeper and greater than Trump. The shallowness and cynicism of the nomination process may well be previewing our political future.

Things That Make Me Scratch My Head 🤷

The U.S. has a LOT of problems right now:  our democratic principles were very nearly shredded on January 6th 2021;  racism and homophobia are on the rise as is violent behaviour; the gun culture is out of control with more than 2 million guns being sold in a single month; there is zero cooperation between the two sides of the congressional aisle, thus NOTHING is being accomplished for We the People; hatred is on the rise in our society with people attacking store clerks, airline personnel and each other for no good reason; a pandemic is killing around 2,000 people in this country per day; Putin is threatening to start a new World War with his troop buildup on Russia’s border with Ukraine; and the list goes on.  But guess what the hot topic today is among some?  Cartoon character Minnie Mouse’s new attire.  Yep, you heard me right …

Welcome to the 21st Century, Minnie!!!  In honor of its 30-year anniversary, Disneyland Paris announced that Minnie would be getting a new fit for the occasion. Stella McCartney has designed an ink blue patterned pantsuit to be worn by the individual playing the character at the park during the festivities, and Candace Owen’s right-wing heart is terribly bent out of shape because of it, saying from her stand on Fox …

“This is why people don’t take these people seriously. They’re trying to destroy fabrics of our society pretending that there’s issues.”

Um … excuse me, but I really don’t understand what the problem is.  A cartoon character changes clothes and that is destroying the “fabrics of our society”???  Perhaps I’m a bit slow, but … what does it matter and how the Sam Hell does it affect the “fabrics of our society”?  What is destroying our society is people who have zero tolerance for those who don’t look, act, or think in precisely the same way they do!

Along similar lines, Fox host Tucker Carlson stated on air last week that the famed M&Ms characters were being made less sexy to the point that “you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them.”  So what, Tuck?  I wouldn’t have a drink with you if I were dying of thirst!


And in other news …

For those who may not have noticed, we have a pandemic going on … been going on for two years now.  Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, may not have gotten that memo, however.  A couple of weeks ago, the Pope made the following comments when speaking to an audience …

“We see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats … Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children. Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is the reality. And this denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity. And in this way civilization becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood and motherhood. And our homeland suffers, as it does not have children.”

Now, although I am not religious and have no affiliation with any religious organization, I once respected Pope Francis, felt he was on the path to make positive changes within the Catholic church.  But his statement is quite simply one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, especially given the timing!  We are not only in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly six million people worldwide, but we are experiencing the devastation of the environment that is causing shortages of food and potable water, not to mention breathable air.  If people are choosing to adopt a puppy, kitten or even an aardvark rather than contribute to the overpopulation of the planet, then give them a thumb-up instead of shaming them!  We do NOT need more people on Planet Earth, but there are thousands, maybe millions of pets in shelters who DO need a good home!

Filosofa’s Mind Is Bouncy

There was much in yesterday’s news that I could, perhaps should, be writing about.  There was the Supreme Court decision to uphold Arizona’s voter suppression laws, Bill Cosby’s sentence being overturned, even though he has admitted his guilt, Trump organization along with CFO Weisselberg being charged with running a 15-year tax scam, and some other important stories.  However, as I seem to have a very bouncy mind today that cannot focus on one thing for more than 15 seconds, I instead have for you few fleeting thoughts on this, that, and the other from the bouncing mind of Filosofa …


“He’s not just a pig, he’s stupid!”

That was ol’ Tucker Carlson’s rant after hearing that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that he believes the military should be well-read and should learn about the past history of the U.S., including its dark, racist parts, in order to better understand where we are today and why.

So, here’s a talk show host who thinks he is smarter and somehow more educated than the well-respected, highest ranking military officer in the country, a man with not one but two Master’s degrees?  Tucker … in a battle of wits with General Milley, he would wipe the floor with you, then throw you to the dogs.

Why is it that so-called conservatives are so easily reduced to spitting insults and name-calling?  Have they not got the education and intellect, the vocabulary to actually carry on a conversation?  F*** Tucker Carlson … most all advertisers have pulled out of his program … it’s time to send him packing before he infects even more of the right wing.  And let him take his equally ignorant counterpart, Laura Ingraham, with him.


One week ago yesterday, the Florida condo Champlain Towers South collapsed into rubble.  A few survivors were found in the rubble on the first day, but after 8 days, there is no longer any hope that the 145 people still unaccounted for will be found alive.  None.  You don’t survive that and live for 8 days in this …

And yet, officials continue to call it a ‘search and rescue’ operation.  No, they are only looking now for dead bodies … this is now a recovery operation, nothing more.  Why prolong the agony of family members, telling them there is hope for their loved ones when there isn’t so much as a shred of hope of finding life in that mess?  It is cruel and heartless.  Thus far, 18 people are confirmed dead, and in my mind the death toll stands at 163.  Be kind, stop lying to the families so that they can stop holding their breath.


When I first saw this headline in the Associated Press (AP) …

Venomous snake captured in North Carolina capital

I thought … oh, goodie, they’ve finally captured and arrested Madison Cawthorn … or Richard Burr … or Thom Tillis!  But no, this was just an innocent snake, aka a reptile of the suborder Serpentes.

Just a venomous zebra-cobra snake.  Frankly, I think he heard about all the other snakes in the North Carolina legislature and figured he should go visit some of his family!  I’d rather cozy up to the zebra-cobra than any of the aforementioned human snakes!  They are far less lethal, less venomous to a much greater number of people than the human snakes!


And on the upside … yesterday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal executions, reversing the former guy’s reinstatement of the death penalty in federal cases.  Sadly, it will not bring back the lives of …

  • Daniel Lewis Lee
  • Wesley Ira Purkey
  • Dustin Lee Honken
  • Lezmond Charles Mitchell
  • Keith Dwayne Nelson
  • William Emmett LeCroy
  • Christopher Andre Vialva
  • Orlando Cordia Hall
  • Brandon Bernard
  • Alfred Bourgeois
  • Lisa Montgomery
  • Cory Johnson
  • Dustin John Higgs
  • John Gardner
  • Donnie Lance
  • Abel Ochoa
  • Nicholas Todd Sutton
  • Nathaniel Woods
  • Walter Barton
  • Billy Joe Wardlow

All were executed after the federal death penalty was reinstated in 2019 after a 16-year hiatus.  Of the twenty, 9 were executed in Texas, 3 each in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, 2 in Florida.  Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Thumbs up to AG Garland for ending federal executions.  Now if only we could convince the 24 states who still practice executions to follow suit.  Texas seems to really enjoy killing people, for in the past 45 years, they have led the pack in killing and I mean by a LOT …

Top Ten State executions since 1976

  1. Texas (538)
  2. Oklahoma (113)
  3. Virginia (113)
  4. Florida (99)
  5. Missouri (92)
  6. Georgia (76)
  7. Alabama (62)
  8. Ohio (56)
  9. North Carolina (43)
  10. South Carolina (43)

Way to go, Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Dan Crenshaw, Louie Gohmert, Ronny Jackson, et al.


Okay, my mind is still bouncing, so I think I’ll take it out for a walk now. 

Note to politicians (and so-called news people) – STOP THE NAME CALLING AND LABELING

Our friend Keith tends to be more even-tempered than I am, and his voice is always the voice of reason. With that said, I am sharing Keith’s post from earlier today, for he makes excellent points that our governing bodies, the media, and even we bloggers should consider. Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The United States and the world have a lot of problems that need elected officials to address. The problems are multi-faceted in causes, so they require holistic thinking, educated and civil discussion and multi-faceted solutions. Our problems are hard enough to solve when we focus on the facts and issues, but nigh impossible when we listen to name calling and labelling as a substitute for discourse.

So, politicians, here is a simple piece of advice. If you cannot understand the first paragraph, and what you need to do, please resign. We don’t need people who decide not to add value and name call opponents. That is not civil discourse, that is childish playground talk. If you cannot add value with your commentary, please keep your thoughts to yourself. At least this citizen will not be listening to you, nor should others. That includes all politicians, not just the ones who…

View original post 256 more words

Laughable Lies

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the ignorance perpetuated by the Republicans and their megaphone, Fox News.  The lunacy is incredible and laughable, but what’s not quite as funny is that some 40% of the people in this nation don’t bother to assess what they hear, don’t take a minute to look for some facts to back up the opinions of the Republicans and their minions.  Perhaps the Republican Party would do better, have a bit of legitimacy, if they spent more time on developing a platform and less time on making up lies and conspiracy theories.  Anyway … Paul Krugman, writing for the New York Times, has written a piece mostly about the latest lie/fallacy/made-up story by Republicans attempting to discredit President Biden, and it’s well worth the read.


Beer, Brussels Sprouts, Bernie Madoff and Today’s G.O.P.

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

On Friday Larry Kudlow, who was Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, told Fox News viewers that Joe Biden’s climate plans would force Americans to stop eating meat. On July 4, he declared, you’d have to “throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled brussels sprouts.”

Kudlow’s remarks raise several questions. What, exactly, does he think beer is made from? Also, doesn’t he know that grilled brussels sprouts are, in fact, delicious?

More important, why would anyone believe this assertion about Biden’s plans, or expect anyone else to believe it? Why were Kudlow’s claims echoed by many Republicans, from Donald Trump Jr., to members of Congress, to the governor of Texas?

To answer this question, it helps to think about Bernie Madoff, the infamous fraudster who died April 14. Seriously.

About Biden and burgers: The administration has, in fact, said nothing at all about changing America’s diet. Furthermore, anything along those lines would be very much at odds with Biden’s whole approach to climate change, which is to rely much more on carrots than on sticks, to provide positive incentives to invest in low-emission technologies rather than discouraging emissions with taxes or regulations.

Whether that approach will prove sufficient is debatable, but it is the approach the administration is taking, and telling people to stop eating meat would be completely out of character.

So where is this coming from? Kudlow took his cues from a sleazy article in The Daily Mail, a right-wing British tabloid. The article didn’t actually assert that Biden is proposing to restrict meat consumption; instead, it offered a series of speculations about what might happen. Among other things it took the most extreme scenario from a University of Michigan study of how reduced meat consumption could affect greenhouse gas emissions — a study released in January 2020 that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Biden plans. The Daily Mail also used a deceptive graphic to make it seem as if this was an actual administration proposal.

American right-wing pundits and politicians then ran with it. Did they actually believe the nonsense they were spouting? Well, Kudlow’s apparent belief that beer is made with meat is arguably a point in his favor, an indication that he’s genuinely clueless rather than merely cynical.

What’s clear, however, is that neither Kudlow nor other Republicans touting an imaginary war on meat saw any need to check out their story, felt any concern that their audience — Fox News viewers, Republican voters — would find the claim that Joe Biden is coming for their red meat implausible.

Why not? That’s where Bernie Madoff comes in.

The revelations about Madoff’s immense Ponzi scheme and how he pulled it off introduced many of us to the concept of affinity fraud: scams that prey upon people by exploiting a sense of shared identity. Madoff defrauded wealthy Jews by convincing them that he was just like them.

A similar approach has long been an essential part of the Republican political strategy. As the party’s economic policies have become ever more elitist, ever more tilted toward the interests of the wealthy, it has sought to cover its tracks by running candidates who seem like regular guys you’d like to have a (meat-based?) beer with.

The flip side of this strategy is a continual attempt by the G.O.P. to convince voters that Democrats, who represent a much more diverse set of voters than Republicans, aren’t people like them; call it disaffinity fraud.

The goal is to portray Democrats as woke feminist vegetarians who don’t share the values of Real Americans. Hence the right’s obsessive focus on “cancel culture” and Democratic women of color, and the continual assertions that the white male senior citizen who leads the party is somehow a passive puppet.

Right-wing media are pushing this narrative nonstop. According to a Morning Consult poll last month, more Republicans said they’d heard “a lot” about the move to withdraw some Dr. Seuss books than said the same about Biden’s huge Covid-19 relief bill.

It doesn’t matter that Joe Biden isn’t actually trying to ban hamburgers or — to take another false claim right-wing pundits and politicians keep repeating — that he hasn’t “taken down” the border with Mexico. Republicans have pretty much given up even trying to make a case against Biden’s actual policies, let alone proposing serious policies themselves.

Instead, it’s all smears. Democrats, declared Kudlow, are “ideological zealots who don’t care one whit about America’s well-being.” That’s pretty rich coming from a man famed for his unwavering commitment to the doctrine that cutting taxes on the wealthy solves all problems, no matter how often his predictions fail.

But never mind; the point is that Kudlow and others consider it OK to throw out wild claims about what Democrats are up to, because those are the kinds of things woke liberals would do, aren’t they?

Will the public go along? The Biden administration thinks not, betting it can overcome the power of affinity fraud with policies that offer real benefits to working Americans. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that this strategy will work.

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.

A Little Bit Of Snark In Da Snippets

I still haven’t run out of things to be snarky about and it isn’t looking like I will anytime soon!  I am greatly relieved to have a real president, one whose tweets are few and are always positive, never whiny or ranty.  I am happy to wake in the morning knowing that we haven’t likely started a war somewhere.  And I’m pleased with Joe Biden’s performance as president these past 30+ days.  However, the racists still exist and many of the loudest ones languish in Congress, so yes, I still have my snarky cap on!


Oust DeJoy!

louis-dejoyThe United States Postal Service (USPS) is in the news again this week as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is testifying before Congress about the dire failures of the postal service to meet the nation’s needs.  The mail … at least important mail … has been so slow that the Pony Express could have delivered it faster (funny how the junk mail and advertisements always get through, though), but then DeJoy was hired for one reason only:  to slow the mail to a snail’s pace prior to last November’s election in order to interfere with our mail-in ballots arriving in a timely manner.  He succeeded in slowing the mail, but we managed to get our ballots in on time despite his efforts to lose or delay them.

Democrats in Congress have called for his resignation, his ouster, and I fully agree.  He did not come to the job with any relevant experience, and he did not come with the intention of helping us, only of harming us.  But DeJoy says he has a plan that he will unveil soon, to restore the USPS.  Details of his plan thus far are sketchy, but what we do know is that he plans to slow the mail (what, it isn’t already slow enough???), while charging us more (what, $80 to mail a bloomin’ package isn’t already too high???) to mail letters and packages.  This, in and of itself, is unacceptable, but add to it the fact that with higher postal rates, the Consumer Price Index will leap skyward as companies are forced to pay more for the shipping of materials and finished products, and will naturally pass their increased cost on to We the Consumers.

It’s a lose/lose situation for We the People, and the only winner would be Mr. DeJoy himself who would get to keep his job … not that he needs it, with a net worth of $110 million.  Unfortunately, as I have written before, President Biden does not have the ability to directly fire Mr. DeJoy, but he can fill the vacant seats on the Board of Governors that does have the ability to fire DeJoy.  The USPS needs a strong leader who understands the workings of the organization and whose goal would be to restructure it for maximum efficiency while restoring customer service.  DeJoy ain’t that person!


Stephen Miller rears his ugly head … again

I’m told that I shouldn’t consider republicans to be racists, but I go by the old adage if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.  That said, I do know a few republicans who aren’t racist, so I stop short of saying “all”.  I’ve long said that the biggest appeal of the former guy to republicans was the fact that he created in their minds a supreme danger of all immigrants and promised that ‘he alone’ could and would fix the problem.  As a result, thousands of children were taken from their parents, put in cages, denied basic healthcare and hygiene, and often were abused in a variety of ways by those in charge of their welfare.  As a result, those seeking asylum from life-threatening situations were denied entry into the country.  As a result, billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted constructing a few miles of a hideous ‘wall’ at the southern border that would serve no purpose.

President Trump Speaks On Immigration With 'Angel Families'

Stephen Miller

President Biden is attempting to repair the U.S. immigration policy, but the GOP is not onboard with his vision.  Thus, they have hired America’s chief racist, Stephen Miller, along with two other supreme racists, Tom Homan and Mark Morgan, to advise the conservative House members as they organize their opposition to Biden’s planned changes as laid out in his recently unveiled blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Miller, you may remember, was largely the architect for the hateful separation policy that brought so much grief to so many, especially children.

The meeting between Miller, Homan, Morgan, and House Republicans was organized by the 147-member Republican Study Committee, a group of traditionalist conservative lawmakers that also has met recently with other officials from the former administration, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Fox News host Tucker Carlson.  WTF does Tucker Carlson have to do with any of this, other than he is a racist to the very core?

The recently unveiled Biden bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and incorporates many provisions supported by Republicans in the past as well as by business groups today.  The chief argument by republicans seems to be that it leaves out funding to complete the ridiculous ‘wall’ at the southern border … a wall which has been proven unworkable and uber-costly by numerous experts.  The U.S. is currently in debt to the tune of some $27.9 trillion, and people around the nation are starving, are in danger of losing their homes, so we damn sure don’t need to spend billions of dollars on a white elephant that benefits nobody!

Republicans who would consult and listen to Stephen Miller cannot deny their racism, for Miller is the very definition of the term white supremacist.  But, it seems they are determined to attempt to block anything and everything that President Biden tries to do, simply because … because he isn’t a republican.  Not much other reason, when you peel away the layers of excuses.

liz-cheneyInterestingly, Representative Liz Cheney, one of ten republicans in the House who voted to impeach the former guy and who has taken considerable flack from the Republican Party as a result, gave a speech yesterday at the Reagan Institute in Washington, where she said …

“It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy. You certainly saw anti-Semitism, you saw the symbols of Holocaust denial, for example, at the Capitol that day. You saw a Confederate flag being carried through the Rotunda. And I think we as Republicans in particular have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”

I would hope that most people in the Republican Party would listen to Ms. Cheney rather than Mr. Miller and Tucker Carlson, but … sigh … I know the reality is not what I would wish.  The GOP is greatly diminished, and it’s due to the racism and people like the former guy and Stephen Miller, among others.

toon-1

Prove Me Wrong — PLEASE!

Joe Biden has promised to do everything in his power to heal the wounds that divide the people of this nation, to bring unity where there is only separation and hate.  I fully believe he will try, but we all have to do our part … he cannot do it alone.  And today, it seems to me that nearly half the nation does not want unity, though they claim they do.  Perhaps they are defining ‘unity’ as everyone bending to their own views.

In an early morning text from a friend, there was this …

“… the “new” President call 74 MILLION Americans…. white suprematists. He’s off to a great start. Unity? I think not a chance in hell now.”

And that was only the beginning.  Senator Rand Paul said in a morning interview with Fox News …

“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo. Calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book. Calling us people who don’t tell the truth.  ‘And going forward we’re not going to have manufactured or manipulated truth.’ That’s another way of saying ‘All of my opponents manufacture or manipulate the truth and are liars.’”

And speaking of Fox, ol’ Tucker Carlson just had to throw a bucket of fuel on the fire, saying …

“Now that we’re waging war on white supremacists. Can somebody tell us in very clear language what a white supremacist is? Biden has now declared war. So, we should know specifically and precisely who exactly he has declared war on. We have a right to know that innocent people could be hurt in this war. They usually are.”

Joe Biden offered an olive branch, and some republicans are determined to destroy it rather than accept it.  It’s almost as if they take great pleasure from the current atmosphere of hate and divisiveness.  Biden wasn’t looping Republicans generally in with white supremacists and extremists. Carlson is doing that. Paul is doing that.

I’m sure there is a large contingent of republicans who are hopeful that Biden can, in fact, lessen the tensions, find common ground on the issues that divide us, and helps us find the path to mutual respect, but they aren’t speaking loudly enough, if at all.  The only republican voices I’m hearing are those who aren’t even willing to give peace a chance.

From an OpEd by Philip Bump writing for The Washington Post …

It’s important to note that this is clearly not what Biden was talking about. He was talking about the rise of white nationalist extremism and violence of the sort that has been manifested occasionally in recent years and which the Department of Homeland Security (under Trump) identified as the most significant terrorism threat in the country. He was talking about the sort of extremism that contributed to what happened at the Capitol.

There is some undercurrent of sympathy among Republicans generally for what happened there. Most Americans reject the mob’s actions in storming the Capitol, though, as a Washington Post-ABC News poll found, 15 percent of Republicans at least somewhat support the storming of the Capitol itself. A HuffPost-YouGov poll taken shortly after the attack found that most Republicans viewed the mob’s actions as being mostly right or simply having gone too far in pursuit of a valid point.

I remember a time when being a republican or a democrat was not a divisive feature.  Sure, there have always been ideological differences – hence the reason for two distinct political parties.  But it wasn’t the thing that defined us, as it appears to be today.  This nation is split in half, though not by any physical boundaries, but rather by prejudice and intolerance.  President Joe Biden wants to start to put us back together, but it can only work if people on both sides of the issues are willing to make it work.  Taking his words, twisting them to mean something entirely different, then spewing hateful remarks is not the answer, people!

I call on every person, whether democrat, republican, or independent, to give Joe a chance, for Pete’s sake!  Within twelve hours of him taking his Oath of Office, people were already denigrating and swearing that they would not even listen to his actual words, would not be open to trying to help make his attempts at healing the Great Divide work.  Do these people actually crave violence, want a damn civil war?  I’ve said many times in the last four years that this is no longer a country I recognize.  I was hoping that would change under a President Biden, but it can only change if we all want it to.  Do we still have any shared values in this country?  Today, I have my doubts.  PLEASE prove me wrong!