On Women’s Rights And The ERA

Women’s rights … it has taken us centuries to have the right to own property, to marry who we choose, to divorce him if it doesn’t work out, to VOTE, to earn equal pay for equal work, to have the right to make our own decisions in matters pertaining to our bodies.  What may have taken centuries to build, has taken very little time to destroy.  Two cases caught my eye in the news yesterday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has ruled that Texas may prohibit a common second-trimester abortion procedure.  Isn’t it funny that people claim they have control over their body when it comes to getting vaccinated or wearing masks, but when it comes to we women having control over our body for something as life-changing as pregnancy, the Courts will decide what we can or cannot do?  I think, in order to avoid being seen as sexist, or a double standard, the Courts should immediately order every person over the age of 12 to be vaccinated!

Out in California, one of the most progressive states in the union, Larry Elder is one of the candidates hoping to unseat Governor Gavin Newsom next month.  Elder is, apparently, a misogynist, or as we used to call them, a male chauvinist pig.  It is illegal to ask a female employee when or if she plans to become pregnant.  Mr. Elder, however, sees no reason for that law.  He says …

“Are there legitimate business reasons for a venture capitalist to ask a female entrepreneur whether & when she intends to have children? Hell, yes. I’m not quite sure why it’s the govt’s business to intrude on it.”

What a guy, eh?  Now, seems to me that if he supports asking women that question, it would also be only fair to ask male employees and applicants when and if they plan to sire a child, and how many?

Why do we have to keep fighting the same old battles?  The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1787, yet it would be 133 years later, in 1920, before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, ensuring women the right to vote.  And it would be 1984 before the State of Mississippi finally ratified the 19th Amendment, granting women in that state the right to vote.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal.  And ever since, religious groups have been trying to get it overturned.  This isn’t about, as they will try to tell you, “right to life”, for the proponents in favour of overturning Roe don’t care about life.  They largely support the death penalty, they hunt to kill, most own guns … no, it isn’t about the right to life, it is about controlling women, it is about taking back women’s rights.

In 1923 the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced. It says, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”  Today, nearly 100 years later, the Equal Rights Amendment still has not been passed by Congress!!!  Can anybody explain this one to me?

Phyllis Schlafly … you remember that witch, right … campaigned against the ERA saying that the measure would lead to gender-neutral bathrooms, same-sex marriage, and women in military combat, among other things.  😱  Oh horrors!  Every single one of those things came to pass anyway and our nation is a better place because of it!  Take that, Ms. Schlafly!!!

By 1977, only 35 states had ratified the ERA. Though Congress voted to extend the ratification deadline by an additional three years, no new states signed on. Complicating matters further, lawmakers in five states — Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky, and South Dakota — voted to rescind their earlier support.

Tell me again that this isn’t very much a man’s world!  We women, in their minds, serve at their pleasure.  Period.

Accomplishments After 206 Days …

Today, I would like to thank Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson for reminding us of the positive things that have happened since January 20th.  Yes, we have much to worry about, such as the For the People Act, gerrymandering, voter suppression, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, racism in both police and populace, the end of the eviction moratorium, but … to have been in office only 206 days, President Biden and the U.S. Congress have actually accomplished a lot!  There’s still a lot of work to be done, but let’s take heart in what has already been done.


Maybe it’s time for doubting Democrats to press pause on the angst

Opinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

Yesterday at 4:01 p.m. EDT

It’s time to entertain the possibility that President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually know what they’re doing and are really good at their jobs.

Their fellow Democrats seem to have doubts, because, well, Democrats always have doubts. Dwelling on worst-case scenarios is somehow wired into the party’s DNA. Every victory must have some downside; every step forward must lead toward some potential pitfall. If worrying had been an Olympic sport in Tokyo, Democrats would have swept gold, silver and bronze.

This angst is richly nourished by voluminous news media analysis and commentary adhering to the convention of anticipating what might go wrong. What if progressives in the House won’t swallow hard and vote for the “hard infrastructure” bill passed by the Senate? What if House moderates insist on a quick vote on the Senate measure and threaten to withhold their votes on the budget with its huge “human infrastructure” spending? What if an asteroid strikes before Biden can sign these transformational pieces of legislation into law?

Let me suggest that Democrats squelch their inner Eeyore for just a moment to appreciate, and celebrate, what their party has accomplished.

There was no way, said the conventional wisdom, that Schumer (D-N.Y.) was going to get Republicans to support any kind of meaningful infrastructure bill. There was no way the bipartisan gang of senators trying to craft a compromise measure would succeed. There was no way Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would allow anything on infrastructure to pass, thus giving Biden a win. There was no way more than a handful of Republican senators would defy all the threats streaming from Mar-a-Lago and collaborate with Democrats on anything.

Yet here we are. Nineteen Republicans — including McConnell — joined every Senate Democrat in approving $1 trillion worth of desperately needed infrastructure spending. Included are not just funds to fix roads and bridges, but also big money to provide broadband Internet to Americans who can’t afford it; upgrade the power grid in ways that facilitate the switch to renewable energy; and create a coast-to-coast network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

Okay, but there was no way (according to the conventionally wise) that the whole Senate Democratic caucus, from Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the left to Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) on the right, would agree on a budget framework. Yet they did, and the massive $3.5 trillion resolution — which Democrats can pass through the reconciliation process, without GOP votes — addresses all the party’s major spending priorities, including the urgent need to address climate change.

Well, said worrywarts, there was absolutely, positively no way that the creaking, dysfunctional Senate could possibly do both those things — infrastructure and the budget — at the same time, as Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats were demanding. Yet, again, that is precisely what Schumer accomplished. Done and done.

So now we’re hearing that the hard part actually lies ahead, because Pelosi will inevitably face an uprising by her progressives, her moderates or both. Indeed, this could happen. But I would submit that Pelosi’s record demonstrates she knows a lot more about how to get the House to do what she needs than any of the Cassandras predicting her certain failure.

I would also submit that Democrats in both chambers are acting quite pragmatically, regardless of what they might be saying. Sanders’s first hope was for $6 trillion; he settled for $3.5 trillion. Manchin now says even that smaller amount is too much — but he voted for it anyway. Progressives in the House are vocal in their demands — they pushed Biden into extending the eviction moratorium — but thus far, at least, they have given Pelosi their votes when it counted.

Democrats should realize that if you add in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which gives unprecedented support to low- and middle-income families with children, Biden is steering the most progressive sea change in U.S. governance in half a century. And he, Schumer and Pelosi are doing this with a 50-50 Senate and just a single-digit majority in the House. I, for one, am impressed.

All right, if you must worry about something, worry about voting rights. Schumer is now working with Manchin, Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and a few other senators to draw up a voting rights bill the whole Senate Democratic caucus will support. There may come a point when Manchin has to decide whether to let the Republican minority filibuster — and kill — a measure he himself wrote. He could make the wrong choice.

But for now, Democrats, give yourself at least a few days to admire all that is being accomplished. For a change, take yes for an answer.

Note to readers:  I was unable to respond to your comments yesterday, for I was very much under the weather.  After 12 hours of sleep, I’m about 50% better today, and I will try to get to all your comments, but if I am not able to, I apologize.

Republicans Must Not Be Allowed to Retake the House

Mid-term elections are just fifteen months away … or, to phrase it another way, mid-term elections are fifteen months away, approximately 450 days, and a lot can happen in fifteen months.  In all my history as a political animal, I’ve never put a lot of importance on the “party”, but more on the individual.  Today, though, that has all changed as we are in the age of uber-partisanship and the values of the two parties are miles apart.  From where I stand, the Republican Party shoots itself in the foot a little more every day, but I also understand that not everyone shares my viewpoint.  However, I think that in the midterms in some 450 days, it will be the end of this nation as we know it if the Republican Party manages to capture a majority in both chambers of Congress.  And folks … it could happen.  Every day they lie through their teeth to voters who may not be inclined to seek the truth, but find it easier to believe what they are told by the likes of Kevin McCarthy, Louie Gohmert, Mitch McConnell and others who long ago sold their consciences.

Our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge has written a post showing just one reason that the Republicans cannot be allowed to re-take majority roles in Congress.  I strongly urge you to read her post and give this some thought …


Republicans Must Not Be Allowed to Retake the House

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Republicans don’t deserve to govern.

Last night, reports surfaced that Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was at an event, raising money for the midterms, where he riled up the crowd by saying he wanted them to watch Nancy Pelosi hand him the Speaker’s gavel after they won the midterms. He followed up by saying, “It will be hard not to hit her with it.”

Read that again.

The top Republican in the House chose to casually suggest violence against the female Speaker of the House because he knew that’s what his supporters and voters want to hear. This, after Trump supporters specifically sought out Pelosi during the January 6th insurrection.

… Read more of this post

Snarky Snippets Volume 100+

Some days my head simply spins on its axis (my neck) trying to keep up with everything happening in the nation, the world today.  There are days that I can pick a topic, focus, and write a relatively coherent post on a single topic.  Other days, however, I simply cannot gain that level of focus that is requisite, so instead I toss out a few snippets, usually snarky ones.  Today is such a day.  The week is topsy-turvy and my mind is spinning at somewhere around 136 rpm (revolutions per minute).  Thus, today I give you another episode of Snarky Snippets …


Will Congress find their conscience, or will millions be living on the streets soon?

The current eviction moratorium, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who have fallen behind on their rent, is set to expire tomorrow.  This means, in a nutshell, that millions of people could be without a home soon … millions, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions, the majority of them children.  It was hoped that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would extend the moratorium, given the new surge in cases due to the Delta variant (and the anti-vaxxers), but last month, when the Supreme Court upheld the current moratorium, they also made it clear that it could not be extended again except by an act of Congress.

President Biden called on Congress to act “without delay” to extend the eviction moratorium. Biden’s request prompted House and Senate Democrats to begin exploring whether they could rally enough votes to approve the new protections for renters. It remains unclear if Congress has the time and support to act ahead of the current July 31st deadline.

I have very little doubt that the members of the House of Representatives will rally and manage to vote ‘yea’ on a hastily prepared bill that will keep millions of people sheltered.  However, once such a bill reaches the Senate, possibly even sometime today, it will almost certainly go into the “Dead Bills” bin along with the For the People Act and probably hundreds of other pieces of legislation that the senate Republicans, along with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are holding up in a game of roulette.  Let’s hope I’m wrong, for with the current heat wave that is affecting some 20 states at the moment, this is no time to be living on the streets.


The Four Stooges … or the Four Gs

Yesterday, Representatives Matt Gaetz (the sex trafficker), Margie Greene (QAnon member in good standing), Paul Gosar (white supremacist extraordinaire), and Louie Gohmert (the idiot in too many ways to count), went to the D.C. Department of Corrections (where they should all be standing on the other side) in an attempt to visit some of the prisoners who have been arrested in connection with their role in attacking Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  They were turned away by jail officials.  The Four Gs claimed they were there to inspect the treatment of suspects.  Funny, isn’t it, that at least tens of thousands pass through the prison system each year, yet these three never came to check on those people.

Now, I may have a suspicious mind, but given that the four were accompanied by cameras from right-wing news organizations, I have a sneaking hunch that this was intended as a photo op, as an excuse to rile the masses yet again, as they surely knew they couldn’t just waltz in and visit with the prisoners of their choice.

When told that they were “obstructing entrance into this facility,” Gohmert responded …

“We’re the people that vote on whether or not to fund you, at what level, and we’re trespassing?”

WHOA … can we say ‘abuse of power’ or throwing one’s weight around?  For the record, Congress has ZERO influence, for the D.C. Detention Center is not a federal facility and is fully funded by Washington, D.C. taxpayers.

The action at the jail was the group’s second this week, after they barged into the Justice Department on Tuesday trying to ask questions about the detention of January 6th suspects awaiting trial and whether any were being held in solitary confinement. Gosar called them “political prisoners” who are being “persecuted” and unjustly punished.  Oh wait … pobrecitos … were they not the ones dressed like maniacal cavemen carrying clubs, bear spray, and other weapons on that fateful day?  Were they not the ones that scaled the outer walls of the Capitol, beat police officers, broke windows to gain access, and caused millions of dollars in damage to OUR property?  Excuse me, perhaps I’m thinking of a different bunch of bozos.

Gohmert seemed to be the spokesperson for the bunch and said …

“The supervisor came down and was standing right here and turned her back on me. The other one said she won’t talk anymore and that we’re trespassers. We’re in totalitarian, Marxist territory here. This is the way third-world people get treated.”

Get a life, Louie!!!

And of course, ol’ Margie also feigned indignance …

“We suspect there is a two-tier justice system in the United States, for Trump supporters that are charged for Jan. 6 and catch-and-release for BLM rioters.”

Yeah, that’s right, Margie … when a cop pulls a person over, the first question out of his mouth is to ask whether the person is a trumpeter or not … if he is, then he is carted off to the Gulag, never to be seen or heard from again.  Sheesh, but how did we manage to get so many dumbasses in Congress this time ‘round???  And four of ‘em whose surname starts with ‘G’.  One media outlet, The Hill, referred to them as the ‘seditious four’ … sounds about right to me.


A dangerous thing to say

One of the Four G’s, Margie Greene, made a very dangerous statement when speaking to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women last week.  First, she told the group that President Biden “is going to be sending one of his police state friends to your door,” referring to the volunteers the president has mentioned sending to rural areas to help people better understand and have access to the vaccination.  But the worst part was when she told them …

“We all love our Second Amendment rights, and we don’t like the federal government coming on our property to tell us what to do. You have HIPAA rights and you do not have to tell your medical information and you can tell them to get off your front porch and get off your front lawn.”

WHOA NELLIE!  This is a lawmaker, a member of Congress, advising people to get their guns out … this is incitement to violence, plain and simple!  In my book, that statement alone is grounds for her immediate expulsion from Congress.  Mr. Kevin McCarthy damn well better take action … it is long past due.

Snarky Snippets Are Baaaaack!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a snarky snippets post, though in truth almost all of my posts contain an element of snark!  Anyway … I have just a couple of short ones for you this afternoon …


Killing us softly with …

The big news yesterday was that the U.S. has seen a significant drop in life expectancy … the biggest decrease since WWII.  My first thought was … “Well duh.  625,000+ people dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – what do you expect?”  And certainly, the pandemic has played a role in the decline in life expectancy, but it isn’t the only culprit.  Turns out that the ever-expanding income disparity is one of the biggest culprits, and it has been bringing down life expectancy rates for a few years now, even before the pandemic.

During the second half of the 2010s, life expectancy fell on a sustained basis for the first time since the fighting of World War II killed several hundred thousand Americans.

It’s hard to imagine a more alarming sign of a society’s well-being than an inability to keep its citizens alive. While some of the reasons are mysterious, others are fairly clear. American society has become far more unequal than it used to be, and the recent increases in mortality are concentrated among working-class Americans, especially those without a four-year college degree.

For many, daily life lacks the structure, status and meaning that it once had, as the Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have explained. Many people feel less of a connection to an employer, a labor union, a church or community groups. They are less likely to be married. They are more likely to endure chronic pain and to report being unhappy.

These trends have led to a surge of “deaths of despair” (a phrase that Case and Deaton coined), from drugs, alcohol and suicide. Other health problems, including diabetes and strokes, have also surged among the working class. Notably, the class gaps in life expectancy seem to be starker in the U.S. than in most other rich countries.

Covid has also caused sharp increases in racial inequality. As a Times article on the new report explains:

From 2019 to 2020, Hispanic people experienced the greatest drop in life expectancy — three years — and Black Americans saw a decrease of 2.9 years. White Americans experienced the smallest decline, of 1.2 years.

Covid has also killed more men than women, Case and Deaton pointed out, increasing the mortality gap between the sexes, after years in which it had mostly been shrinking. Life expectancy was 5.7 years longer for women last year, up from 5.1 years in 2019. The gap had fallen to a low of 4.8 years in the early 2010s.

The bottom line: Covid has both worsened and exposed a crisis in health inequality. But that crisis existed before Covid and will continue to exist when the pandemic is over – if it ever is.


Spot on!!!

You all know my feelings on rich bastards wasting their money on not-so-cheap thrills like building a rocket ship and flying to the edge of space for no other reason that they can afford to do it.  The latest was Jeff Bezos, and frankly I’m so disgusted with this ‘man’ and his lack of compassion, lack of humility, that I am seriously considering canceling my Amazon account permanently.  Anyway … talk show host Gayle King got the best of him in my view yesterday when she spoke with Bezos on CBS This Morning and she asked him …

“All of you keep saying this is not a competition, and I find that so hard to believe because you’re all type A personalities. Don’t you want to be first? It really to you isn’t a game of whose is bigger? Honestly, it really isn’t?”

I nearly choked with laughter!  Penis-envy run amok!


Filiwhat?  Filiwho?  Filihow?

President Biden made an appearance here in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday and at the end of the day he participated in a CNN Town Hall along with Don Lemon.  When asked about the filibuster and whether it should be killed off in the Senate, he was far less forceful than I would have liked.

“There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

WTF???  Nothing at all is getting done now!!!  The Senate Republicans have all but killed the For the People Act, the infrastructure bill, and anything else that might be on the table with their damned filibuster!  Joe did say he wouldn’t mind seeing it altered to the ways of yore, when senators actually had to stand on the floor of the Senate and expound for hours, but let’s face it … the Republicans have enough hot air in them to ramble and rant for days without coming up for air!


Moscow Mitch said WHAT???

You may have noticed that a number of Republicans have been urging people in this country to get the Covid vaccine this week … people like Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and even Fox’ Sean Hannity.  I note we haven’t heard the positive take from the absolutely disgusting Tucker Carlson, but then he marches to the beat of a different drummer, so don’t hold your breath.

I’m not sure what triggered the Republicans’ sudden faux concern for people, but hopefully their constituents listen to them, for as long as we continue to have some 30% of the nation refusing to be vaccinated, we are NOT going to end the pandemic.  Period.  One of my favourite late-night comedians has a humorous take on the newly-discovered consciences that I think will give you a chuckle or two. This is, in my opinion, one of the best Colbert has done!

My Worst Nightmare

Many things bother me at the moment:  Those who are actively rejecting the COVID vaccine; the determined obstruction by the Republican Party in Congress; climate change and those who refuse to so much as lift a finger to help reverse decades of man-made damage; wealthy people not paying their fair share in taxes; the ignorance of those who still believe in the former guy’s Big Lie, and the list goes on … and on.  However, the one thing that is keeping me awake nights, is bothering me more than any other single issue in this nation, that has made me contemplate seeking a new country to call home, is the current push for voter suppression and the fact that Congress and the Courts are doing NOTHING to stop states from attempting to move this nation back to the days of Jim Crow.

If you share my concerns, I hope you’ll take a minute to read Charles Blow’s latest column regarding voting rights … or should I say lack thereof …


Welcome to Jim Crow 2.0

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

In the wake of the Civil War, liberals in the North went about establishing Reconstruction, passing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, greatly expanding the rights of Black people in America, and putting severe restrictions on Southern states before they could be readmitted to the Union.

But of course, the Northern liberals soon grew impatient with and tired of dealing with Reconstruction and the racial issues in the South. At the same time, racial terror was regaining strength in the region.

After Reconstruction was allowed to fail, the last remaining federal troops — who had helped protect Black people from the terrorists — were withdrawn from the South. Even though there was a large percentage of Black voters in many of these states — and Black voters were the majority in some — the terrorists were able to significantly reduce that voter participation through intimidation and violence.

In Mississippi, where Black voters were the overwhelming majority, this suppression succeeded well enough that in 1890 the state called a constitutional convention to write white supremacy into the DNA of the state and to restrict the Black vote.

Only one Black delegate was invited to the convention.

When Mississippi established its Jim Crow Constitution, it didn’t submit it to the public for a vote. Instead, it simply declared that “This Constitution, adopted by the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, shall be in force and effect from and after this the first day of November, A.D. 1890.”

If it had gone before the people, Black voters would have surely voted it down.

Because the Constitution was not put before the voters, there was some question about its validity, but that was put to rest in 1892, when, as The New York Times reported, “The Supreme Court today settled the point, which was made in a contested election case, holding that the Constitutional Convention was the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people, and that it was competent for it to put into effect the new Constitution without submission to be voted on.”

Without the courts or Congress stepping in to protect voter rights, Mississippi served as the shining beacon of a way forward, and state after state in the South followed, copying the Mississippi example and calling state constitutional conventions of their own, establishing Jim Crow in the South.

The racist South may have fallen in defeat in the Civil War, but it rose in victory in the ballot war.

Once Jim Crow was established, Washington was in no hurry to dismantle it. Liberals simply worked around it. For decades, they simply accommodated Southern racists so as not to offend them and to retain the possibility of earning their votes.

Black voters in the region, disenfranchised and therefore disempowered, were essentially written out of the political calculus.

It would take more than seven decades before Congress would fully restore voting rights for Black people in the South. So, a 30-year-old Black voter in Mississippi who was disenfranchised in 1890 very likely died never having cast another ballot.

These voter suppression efforts were so effective and so emboldening that they even led to a movement — though unsuccessful — to repeal the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed Black men the right to vote.

In 1903, Representative John S. Williams of Mississippi, a proponent of the repeal, called the 15th Amendment “one of the greatest crimes in political history.”

Fast forward to the present, when Donald Trump is calling his election loss “the greatest fraud in the history of our country from an electoral standpoint,” in part because it was made possible by the votes of Black and brown people.

Most of Trump history was a failure and embarrassment, but one of its great ignoble successes is that it is ushering in Jim Crow 2.0.

Just as in the 1890s, the courts and Congress are not doing much to stop the march of voter suppression. In 1890, Benjamin Harrison, a business-minded liberal who believed in Black people’s right to vote, was in office. He endorsed the federal elections bill that would protect Black people from raging voter suppression in the South.

The bill passed in the House but languished and died in the Senate — even though liberals controlled both chambers — in part because those liberals were more focused on other issues.

Then, as The Washington Post reported, around the time of the Mississippi constitutional convention, “African Americans from 40 counties in Mississippi had protested to President Benjamin Harrison, but he declined to intervene.”

President Biden hasn’t declined to intervene, but he has dragged his feet and not used the full force of the bully pulpit and still hasn’t given a full-throated endorsement of ending the filibuster to protect voting rights.

America is having a déjà vu moment, reliving in real time a horrendous history of more than a century ago, and it is impossible to understand how Democrats in Washington don’t see that.

There is no reason to believe that this round of voter suppression is the end of those efforts, and every reason to dread that any successful implementation of them would serve as an accelerant of further suppressive efforts.

Voter suppression is like an invasive weed. Either snatch it up by the root at the first sign of a sprig or it will spread, unchecked, and consume the whole garden.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a country that robs half of its people of the right to participate in government, the right to make their voices heard.

What if…

Last night, I read Brosephus’ latest post shortly before going to bed — warning: do NOT make this post your bedtime reading! Brosephus paints a chilling scenario, one that ten years ago I would have laughed off as fiction, but one that today … I’m no longer laughing. We must do everything in our power to ensure that there is no possibility of this happening, and the first step is to protect voting rights … hear that, Congress???

The Mind of Brosephus

Screenshot of the WSBTV app @ 3:21pm 7/11/21

After watching the GOP evolve (devolve depending on your perspective) into a hard right authoritarian party, I’ve convinced myself there are two types of conservatives. There are the puppeteers consisting of groups like the Federalist Society, Fox News and others. Then, there are the puppets which is basically everyone else. This specific grouping is a topic for another post, but kinda relevant to the scenario that just popped into my head.

While sitting on my back deck and enjoying a summer breeze, I logged into the app pictured above, and that’s the image that greeted me. Notice the top 3 stories AND the red banner? Yeah, I did to. That got the gears in my head to spinning at about 12,000rpm, well beyond the redline of 10,000rpm. *(Just glad that I didn’t burn my brain down in the process…)

Anyway, travel with…

View original post 746 more words

Governance??? I Think Not!

If you step back for a minute or two … take a few deep breaths and ponder the news stories of the past week … you cannot help but conclude that this nation is in one heck of a mess, thanks almost exclusively to the Republican Party, formerly known as the GOP that once stood for ‘Grand’ Old Party.  Never in my 70 years have I seen so much blatant corruption, so much complete disregard for the well-being of this nation and its people as I’m seeing today.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in a single story, or a few particular stories, that you literally cannot see the forest for the trees, but once you step back and look from a distance, you cannot help being horrified at the bloody mess we are in.

Just a few examples …

  • Republicans have attempted to shift the blame for the January 6th attempted insurrection/coup to such groups as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, neither of which were on the scene, neither of which would be caught dead wearing the maga gear and painted bodies that the insurrectionists wore.
  • One freshman House member, also a follower of the conspiracy theory group QAnon, continually compares the mask mandate and push to get the nation vaccinated with Hitler and the Holocaust!
  • Not one single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan Act, aka the Coronavirus Relief Bill in March, however they have all been more than willing to take credit when they are among their constituents.
  • The entire Republican Party has defended the filibuster … an outdated act that has been used more often than not to protect white supremacy.
  • The Republicans in Congress have done their level best to attempt to stifle any bipartisan investigation into the events and origins of January 6th, and even members of Congress who were frightened for their lives and condemned the insurrectionists on that day, have now claimed it was nothing more than a few tourists.
  • The majority of Republicans still claim to believe the Big Lie, despite every shred of evidence supporting President Biden’s win in November 2020.

And those are just a few.  But what set me off tonight was a Republican House member Charles Eugene Roy, aka Chip Roy.  This ‘man’ has been in Congress since January 2019 which, in my book, is about 30 months too long!  Roy is a Republican and a Texan who served as chief of staff to Senator Ted Cruz, which should tell you most of what you need to know.  He’s done a number of stupid things since taking office, but the one I focus on today is a statement caught on tape in which he said …

“Nobody knows what anybody’s gonna do right now. That’s the thing, this is the problem. I actually say, ‘Thank the Lord, 18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done.’ That’s what we want.  Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022, and then get in there and lead. I do not apologize one bit for pushing back against the leftist mob that seeks to destroy America from within. I am proud of this country, not embarrassed by it and I will obstruct the agenda of those that are with everything I’ve got.”

There is not a doubt in my mind that Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and a host of other congressional Republicans have said the exact same thing, but just didn’t happen to get caught on tape.  So this, my friends, is the Republican Party platform:  obstruct and obfuscate.  Ensure that President Biden gets no legislation passed.  Ensure that the Democrats’ policies are dead on arrival.  Ensure that the people of this nation get no benefit from such things as an increase in the minimum wage, infrastructure repairs & renovations, lower prescription prices, gun regulations that will save lives, expanded early childhood education, environmental regulations to counter climate change, or any other damn thing that might help We the People, that might make this nation a better place for us all!  This isn’t governance, this is game playing … with our LIVES!

Chip Roy should give back the $435,000 that he has thus far been paid as a member of the House of Representatives, for he represents NONE of us!  Frankly, we should demand a return of his salary and a few hundred others who have done not one damn thing for this country other than stir up trouble, encourage racism, and take bribes in the form of campaign donations from rich corporations.

I’ve noted on more than one occasion that the Republican Party does not appear to have a platform, no policies, no ideology other than to obstruct and criticize the Democrats.  Mr. Roy’s words simply support what I’ve said … there IS NO policy, there is NOTHING of substance within the Republican Party.  They are, as I’ve also said, the party of “NO” and nothing more.  The only thing they seem to stand for is turning this nation from what was once a democratic republic into an autocratic plutocracy, and they’re doing a damn fine job of it!  Voter suppression seems to be at the top of their list, for unless they suppress our votes, the votes of women, of the poor, of Blacks and Hispanics, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning an election.  So, nearly every single state in the nation is pushing through voter suppression laws and last week the Supreme Court effectively tore down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and gave the ignominious Republican Party a ‘thumbs up’.

Democrats damn well better get their act together and come up with some truly great humanitarian policies and some equally great candidates for office.  Only one seat in the Senate and 5 seats in the House of Representatives must be flipped in order to give the Republicans a majority in both chambers of Congress.  WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN!

Give Him The Boot

First, I would like to start by saying I hope all my Florida friends are safe as Hurricane Elsa made landfall in Florida just a few hours ago.  Keep safe and well, my friends.

I took a day-and-a-half off from my blog, from the news, just mostly read and played games with the family, in order to try to clear my head from the past several years when it seems that I have been on a non-stop rant about one thing or another.  I came back to ye olde blog with renewed energy … well, I had it for Jolly Monday on Tuesday, at least.  And then I read of the gun deaths over the holiday weekend and that pretty much shot any degree of tranquility I had managed to achieve.  And then today, I see this tweet from a U.S. Representative from my own state, a Republican and an asshole, Jim Jordan:

“Democrats made the Fourth of July controversial. Republicans just love America.”

Not wishing to be thrown back in Twitter jail just yet, I tempered my response …

“HA HA HA HA HA … You are soooo funny, Mr. Jordan!  No, you don’t love the country, you don’t even give a royal f*ck about the people here.  You just love money, guns, and power.  I hope you are voted OUT!!!!”

A bit of background for some who may not be as familiar with Mr. Jordan …

He has been in the U.S. Congress since 2007, and is a founding member of the unconscionably conservative House Freedom Caucus.  He was a close buddy of the former guy, which should tell you all you need to know, and the former guy awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a private ceremony just days before leaving office in January.  On what grounds, or for what heroic deed the medal was awarded escapes me, for Jordan … is not a good person.  The only reason I can figure is that Jordan was one of eight House lawmakers who were part of Trump’s defense team in his Senate impeachment trial last year.  Perhaps in Trump’s mind, that qualifies Jordan … in my mind, it just makes him an even bigger jerk than he was before.

But let’s go back a bit in Mr. Jordan’s history.  From 1987 until 1995, Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach with Ohio State University’s wrestling program.  During that time, Dr. Richard Strauss was the team physician.  Turns out that Dr. Strauss was sexually abusing the boys on the team, and … wait for it … Jim Jordan was well aware of it!

Ohio State opened an independent investigation in 2018 … thirteen years after Dr. Strauss had died by his own hand.  During the course of the investigation, at least eight wrestlers/students came forward and said that they had complained to Jordan, but he did nothing.  One of the students, Dunyasha Yetts, said in testimony …

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him!”

None of the students accused Jordan of committing sexual assault, however four former wrestlers named him as a defendant in a lawsuit against the university.  Jordan refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss. He described his accusers as “pawns in a political plot” and said he did not even hear any locker room talk about Strauss or sexual abuse at OSU. In response to Jordan’s denials, one of the students, Mike DiSabato said, “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Take it all for what it’s worth, but to me … where there is so much smoke, there is a fire, and eight students claiming they told Jordan of the abuse at the hands of the doctor constitutes a great deal of smoke!

And then … he went to Washington.  A step up from being a wrestling coach, being responsible for making the laws that directly affect some 330 million people, and indirectly affect the entire globe.  One of his first moves was to use the Freedom Caucus to shove then-Speaker of the House John Boehner out of his position.  Another was to bring the equally corrupt and ignoble Warren Davidson into the House.  Thus far, in my book, Jordan is batting 0.  He is not “for the people”, he is for lining his own pockets, for increasing his own power, and will support anything that plays into those two goals.

Jordan is also a consummate liar, for in 2018 when asked by Anderson Cooper if he had ever heard the former guy tell a lie, he replied …

“I have not … nothing comes to mind. I don’t know that Trump has ever said something wrong that he needs to apologize for.”

He was one of the 139 representatives who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Congress, and to this day claims that the election was “stolen”.  He is against environmental regulations and against women’s rights.  I could go on and on, but really … need I say more?

Jordan does not represent my district, but I hope the people in his district have the good sense to give him the boot in the mid-term elections next year.  Meanwhile, I will be working tirelessly to try to convince the people of my own district to give Warren Davidson that same boot!  We do not need right-wing radicals who completely disregard the will of the people sitting in Congress taking up space, time, and money!

Bang!!! Bang!!!

A few of yesterday’s headlines …

  • At least 150 people fatally shot in more than 400 shootings over the Fourth of July weekendCNN
  • More than 90 shot in Chicago on Fourth of July weekendChicago Tribune
  • Shootings at two Indianapolis shopping malls over July 4 weekendWTHR News
  • Chicago weekend shootings: 92 shot, 16 fatally in Chicago since Friday nightChicago Sun-Times
  • At least 140 people died in shootings across the US over Fourth of July weekendBusiness Insider
  • At least 150 killed in nationwide shootings this July 4th weekend: dataNew York Post

There are more, but … you get the picture, right?  In case you don’t quite get it, let me paint it for you.  In the

Most of the

Think their right to own a

is greater than our right to

I’M SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF THIS, FOLKS!!!  Give the fucking guns up … throw them in the ocean for all I care but get them out of the hands of ordinary people who tend to be fools and idiots from time to time, and as my mother-in-law used to say, “Ain’t got no sense.”

Take your 2nd Amendment and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!  For that matter, you can put your guns there too!

{Filosofa takes 10 deep breaths}

Okay, let’s talk about this calmly now that I’ve gotten my fury out of my system.

Fact:  guns outnumber people in the United States

Fact:  humans sometimes get angry and act out of emotion rather than coherent thought

Fact:  guns kill people … or rather, people kill people WITH GUNS

Fact:  the 2nd Amendment does NOT guarantee that every person has the right to own a gun and carry it in public, nor does it address such things as automatic weapons that have the capacity to kill hundreds within minutes

Fact:  gun violence in the United States surpasses that of any other nation on earth

We can no longer feel safe going to the grocery store, much less a shopping mall on a holiday weekend.  We cannot feel safe in a movie theater, restaurant or bar.  We are not safe walking down the street, even in broad daylight.  We are not even safe in our own homes.  Something needs to change and it needs to change NOW!

Republican members of Congress, who are largely owned by the National Rifle Association (NRA), have long resisted even the most moderate legislation that would affect gun ownership, such as expanded background checks.  They have absolutely refused to even discuss a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 and AK-47.  I think the family of every single victim of gun violence from this point forward should file a federal suit against every Republican legislator who has naysaid gun legislation.

A favoured talking point of the NRA is that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Yes, but to the stupid who buy into that phrase, might I remind you that people kill people WITH GUNS!  Rare in the U.S. is the killing with fisticuffs or Swiss army knives.  Almost every damn murder is committed with … a gun!  Just how damn hard is it to understand that people who don’t have guns generally don’t kill?

Yes, I know I’m spitting in the wind, preaching to the choir, and the gun nuts will go on being just that … NUTS.  But I cannot be silent on this issue!  This is one of the three biggest issues that is threatening to destroy this nation from within, the other two being racism and money in politics.  And yes, I know that I’ve already said all of this before, more than a few times.  But PEOPLE!!!  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE GUNPOWDER!!!  It’s right outside your door!  Two of the fatalities this past weekend happened within a few miles of my home, likely a couple happened near you, too.  Our children are not safe in their classrooms, and we are not safe even in our workplaces.  How can the gun nuts even begin to justify this?  More to the point, how can our elected officials, men and women who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, justify taking bribes from the NRA and refusing to even discuss laws that might save lives?  Does anybody have an answer?  Hell no, for there is no logical answer.  It’s all about profit … profit for the gun industry, corporations such as Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Remington et al, and profit (money + power) for our not-so-illustrious elected officials whose salaries, I might remind you once again, WE PAY!

The right of a person to own a gun is about as far down on the priority list in my mind as anything could ever be.  And yet, it is the defining ‘right’ of far too many fools in this country.  The next holiday weekend will be the three-day Labour Day weekend, September 4th thru 6th.  Anybody want to make any bets how many of us will end up dead by guns at the end of that one?