Religious Freedom Or Persecution?

Religious freedom … now there’s a term that has almost unlimited definitions.  My own, and one that I believe is in synch with that of the Founding Fathers back in 1787, is that each person has the freedom to believe in and practice his/her religion without interference from the government.  But today, there are those who define it as having the freedom to declare that their beliefs are the only correct ones and that every person should be forced to follow their religion and believe as they do.  Well, that ain’t how it works, and if you study history, you will see that this line of thinking has led to many of the wars that have been fought throughout past centuries. 

The United States is a secular nation.  This means that government and laws are not based on any religion and do not favour any one religion over others.  Many today seem to want to call this a “Christian nation”, but that is so wrong it makes my teeth hurt.  This is not a Christian nation, for we have a most diverse population that includes Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Jains, atheists, agnostics, and more.  Each person, regardless of religious beliefs, has the exact same rights and responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution.

Religious freedom means the right to practice and believe any or no religion.  It does NOT mean one religion has the right to impose their views on others.  Period.  Every religion on earth has its biases, and in the U.S. those biases have led to discrimination against others such as the LGBT community and women.  Today, there is a bill working its way through Congress called the Do No Harm Act.  Our friend Nan has written an excellent post about this bill, so rather than re-invent the wheel, I will let her tell you about it … thank you, Nan!

Nan’s Notebook: Religious Freedom

This bill, if passed, would not take away anyone’s rights to observe their religion as they wish, but rather it would restore the civil rights of all, would make it illegal to discriminate based on religious beliefs.  It’s really so simple.

Your Rights Are On The Chopping Block

Today, the Supreme Court is hearing a case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, that could determine what becomes of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The case could give state legislatures a green light to change voting laws, making it more difficult for some, notably non-whites and the poor, to vote.  Currently, some 43 states have more than 250 bills pending that would make it harder for Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor to vote in future elections.  The right to vote is the only thing, the single thing, that separates this nation from third-world dictatorships.  It is the only voice we have that carries any weight.  And now, they are trying to take that away from us.  Charles M. Blow’s column in Sunday’s Washington Post should be required reading for every Justice sitting on the Court today, and every lawmaker in Congress and state legislatures.


Voter Suppression Is Grand Larceny

We are watching another theft of power.

Charles BlowCharles M. Blow

By Charles M. Blow

Opinion Columnist

Feb. 28, 2021

In 1890, Mississippi became one of the first states in the country to call a constitutional convention for the express purpose of writing white supremacy into the DNA of the state.

At the time, a majority of the registered voters in the state were Black men.

The lone Black delegate to the convention, Isaiah Montgomery, participated in openly suppressing the voting eligibility of most of those Black men, in the hope that this would reduce the terror, intimidation and hostility that white supremacists aimed at Black people.

The committee on which he sat went even further. As he said at the convention:

“As a further precaution to secure unquestioned white supremacy the committee have fixed an arbitrary appointment of the state, which fixes the legislative branch of the government at 130 members and the senatorial branch at 45 members.” The majority of the seats in both branches were “from white constituencies.”

Speaking to the Black people he was disenfranchising, Montgomery said:

“I wish to tell them that the sacrifice has been made to restore confidence, the great missing link between the two races, to restore honesty and purity to the ballot-box and to confer the great boon of political liberty upon the Commonwealth of Mississippi.”

That sacrifice backfired horribly, as states across the South followed the Mississippi example, suppressing the Black vote, and Jim Crow reigned.

That same sort of language is being used today to prevent people from voting, because when it comes to voter suppression, ignoble intentions are always draped in noble language. Those who seek to impede others from voting, in some cases to strip them of the right, often say that they are doing so to ensure the sanctity, integrity or purity of the vote.

However, when the truth is laid bare, the defilement against which they rail is the voting power of the racial minority, the young — in their eyes, naïve and liberally indoctrinated — and the dyed-in-the-wool Democrats.

In early February, a Brennan Center for Justice report detailed:

“Thus far this year, thirty-three states have introduced, prefiled, or carried over 165 bills to restrict voting access. These proposals primarily seek to: (1) limit mail voting access; (2) impose stricter voter ID requirements; (3) slash voter registration opportunities; and (4) enable more aggressive voter roll purges. These bills are an unmistakable response to the unfounded and dangerous lies about fraud that followed the 2020 election.”

On Feb. 24, the center updated its account to reveal that “as of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, prefiled, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states.”

But it is the coded language that harkens to the post-Reconstruction era racism that strikes me.

In Georgia, which went for a Democrat for the first time since Bill Clinton in 1992 and just elected two Democratic senators — one Black and one Jewish — there have been a raft of proposed voter restrictions. As State Representative Barry Fleming, a Republican and chair of the newly formed Special Committee on Election Integrity, put it recently, according to The Washington Post, “Our due diligence in this legislature [is] to constantly update our laws to try to protect the sanctity of the vote.”

Kelly Loeffler, who lost her Senate bid in the state, has launched a voter organization because, as she said, “for too many in our state, the importance — and even the sanctity of their vote — is in question.” She continued, “That’s why we’re rolling up our sleeves to register conservative-leaning voters who have been overlooked, to regularly engage more communities, and to strengthen election integrity across our state.”

Senator Rick Scott and other Republicans on Feb. 25 introduced the Save Democracy Act in what they said was an effort to “restore confidence in our elections.”

Jessica Anderson of the conservative lobbying organization Heritage Action for America said of the legislation: “I applaud Senator Scott for putting forward common-sense, targeted reforms to help protect the integrity of our federal elections and the sanctity of the vote. The Save Democracy Act will protect against fraud and restore American’s confidence in our election systems while respecting the state’s sovereignty.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is pushing a slate of restrictive voter laws that would make it harder for Democrats to win in the state. On his website, the announcement read this way: “Today, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed new measures to safeguard the sanctity of Florida elections. The Governor’s announcement reaffirms his commitment to the integrity of every vote and the importance of transparency in Florida elections.”

They can use all manner of euphemism to make it sound honorable, but it is not. This is an electoral fleecing in plain sight, one targeting people of color. We are watching another of history’s racist robberies. It’s grand larceny and, as usual, what is being stolen is power.

We The People Lose Again! Thanks, Senators!

There was, for a time, a brief glimmer of hope that the federal minimum wage rate would be raised to a living wage of $15 per hour.  That hope has now had a stake driven through its heart and is DOA – Dead On Arrival.  Why?  I could offer up a lot of reasons, such as the Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, has deemed it isn’t appropriate to tie the minimum wage to the coronavirus relief bill, but the bottom line is that it won’t fly because … the Republicans in Congress don’t want it to.

Note that some 75% of the people in this nation do want the minimum wage rate increased, and that includes 62% of Republican voters.  Also note that it has remained stagnant since 2009, twelve long years, while inflation has not.  But, of late, the Republicans in Congress do not choose to represent their constituents, the people of this country, but rather their wealthy donors, most of whom are corporate bigwigs who, quite simply, don’t want to be forced to pay their employees more than the $7.25 some of them now pay.  Here’s another way of looking at it:  If the minimum wage rate had been increased by only 65 cents each year since 2009, it would now be over $15 per hour.  Just 65 cents per year!

Still, with a tied Senate, and the tiebreaker being Vice President Kamala Harris, one might foolishly think that any piece of legislation raising the minimum wage, could be passed.  And it could, but for one little word:  filibuster.

A brief explanation of what the filibuster is:

Senators have two options when they seek to vote on a measure or motion. Most often, the majority leader (or another senator) seeks “unanimous consent,” asking if any of the 100 senators objects to ending debate and moving to a vote. If no objection is heard, the Senate proceeds to a vote. If the majority leader can’t secure the consent of all 100 senators, the leader (or another senator) typically files a cloture motion, which then requires 60 votes to adopt. If fewer than 60 senators—a supermajority of the chamber—support cloture, that’s when we often say that a measure has been filibustered. 

Senators who are against the bill being considered, but know their views are not shared by a simple majority, will refuse to end debate simply to force a filibuster, or a supermajority requirement for passage of the motion.  Rarely will you see a situation in an equally divided Senate where 60 of the 100 will agree on any damn thing!  But there are options, as New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie explains in his recent newsletter …


jamelle-bouie

The Senate has bound itself with fake restraints

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

I know I am more than a little obsessed with the Senate filibuster. But my preoccupation is not without reason. I think the filibuster — or to be precise, the de facto supermajority requirement for legislation in the Senate — is both bad on the merits and a symbol of the sclerotic dysfunction of our Congress.

In the face of multiple, overlapping crises — and at least one long-term existential crisis — our elected officials refuse to act, much less take steps that would give them freedom of movement in the legislature. Instead, they hide behind rules and procedure, as if they are powerless to change both.

All of this is apropos of the news that the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, has ruled a proposed federal minimum wage hike as non-germane to the Covid relief reconciliation bill. Her ruling is not binding, but Vice President Kamala Harris, who also serves as president of the Senate, will abide by it. This means that if the Senate wants to increase the minimum wage, it will have to do so through ordinary legislation, making it subject to the supermajority requirement.

That means it isn’t going to happen, at least not anytime soon, but the point I want to make is that these are fake constraints. The Senate determines whether it will abide by the parliamentarian, and the Senate decides whether it wants to operate by supermajority. The Senate, and its Democratic members in particular, are handcuffing themselves and reneging on their promise to millions of American workers.

That Democrats are doing it to maintain their fragile coalition — to keep Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema from sinking the entire package — is only a testament to how these fake constraints render the entire process of lawmaking a farce. I would rather the Senate take a simple up or down vote, and for individual lawmakers to show where they stand, than listen to some of the most powerful people in the country explain why they are bound by rules they could change at any time, for any reason at all.

Related to this, I want to share this 2010 Connecticut Law Review article titled “The Unconstitutionality of the Filibuster,” by the congressional scholar Josh Chafetz. The key point is this: A Constitution written in the name of “We the people” is necessarily one that cannot abide a supermajority requirement for the ordinary business of lawmaking. Here’s Chafetz:

The mere fact that our Constitution has some anti-majoritarian elements should not serve as a bootstrap by which any anti-majoritarian device is made constitutionally legitimate. … Rather than use some deviations from majoritarianism to justify still others, we should take note of the essential popular sovereignty foundations of our Constitution and insist that, in such a polity, minority veto cannot be piled atop minority veto indefinitely. The Constitution — our higher law — specifies certain deviations from majoritarianism. But the exceptions should not be allowed to swallow the rule, nor should antimajoritarian devices in higher law be used to justify antimajoritarian devices in ordinary law.

We can have a supermajority requirement for legislation or we can have meaningful self-government. We can’t have both.

Lost Values …

The time has come, say the Republicans in Congress, to put the impeachment behind us and move on.  In one sense, I agree.  It is more relevant to study the positive changes President Biden is making, to look to the future which we can do now that we have a president who is intelligent, who will honour his oath of office, and who genuinely cares about the people of this country.

However, there are a few loose ends that still demand our attention, lest we make the same mistakes in the future that we made in the recent past.  One of those things, perhaps the one that most bothers me, is what the acquittal and related events say about nearly half of this nation, nearly half of Congress – the Republican Party, aka GOP.  The acquittal becomes, at this point, secondary to the fact that the Republican Party and likely the voters on that side of the aisle, are busily censuring the 10 members of the House of Representatives who voted with conscience to impeach, and the 7 senators who voted, again with conscience, to convict.  It speaks volumes about the values, or lack thereof, of the Republican Party as a whole, and what we can expect from them in the future.  The values of the Republican Party … what an oxymoron that is.

Our friend Keith has written a letter to the editor of his local paper expressing his views on the plans of the party to censure those 17 people who had the courage to do the right thing, to uphold their oaths to We the People.  Please take a look at Keith’s letter, and he invites you to adapt and use it if you wish, as I plan to do.

It is my sincere hope that the people in this nation, the voters, will remember that when push came to shove, the majority of the Republicans in Congress shredded their copy of the Constitution and instead pursued a course of action that will have ramifications well into the future.  Future presidents who have an axe to grind will not hesitate to commit heinous abuses of power in their last weeks in office, knowing that the precedent has been set, that they will not be punished for their actions, even if people die as a result.  At some point, will a president more successfully stage a coup such as the one that ultimately failed on January 6th, taking unearned power and turning this nation into an autocracy?  I don’t know, but I suspect at some point it could happen.

At present, I am less concerned about Donald Trump running for office again in 2024 than I am about future attacks occurring around the country by those domestic terrorists, Trump’s ardent, conscienceless followers egged on by Trump and others such as Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, et al.  I suspect that Trump will be dealt with in the coming year or two, but his reckless, ignorant base will remain … a can of worms has been opened that will not simply disappear.  This, then, is what the Republicans in Congress have wrought and if their party goes down the tubes as a result, then good enough.

Meanwhile, we should thank and applaud those 17 Republicans who put the nation ahead of their personal fortunes, who had the courage to tell the truth, that what Donald Trump did was unthinkable, and that he must pay the price for his actions.  These people deserve a medal, not censure!  If the Republican Party has a future, it lies with people like Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Liz Cheney, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, and the others who still remember their oath, who still have a conscience.

Three former Republican Senators say the former president should face accountability

It is good to know that the Republican Party still has at least a few members who haven’t sold their conscience downriver. Our friend Keith tells us of three such men and their reasons for believing that Donald Trump must be convicted of impeachment charges. Now, if only they could inspire others to find their conscience and do the right thing for the nation … Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following opinion was written by three former Republican Senators, David Durenberger, Larry Pressler and Gordon Humphrey as reported by CNN called “3 former GOP senators: Trump should not escape accountability on a technicality” Most of the opinion can be found below, but a link follows at the bottom.

“Former president Donald Trump incited an insurrection and has faced little consequence for it so far. As such, senators must take on their constitutional duty to sit as impartial jurors in the impeachment trial, regardless of any lingering concerns — unfounded we believe — that the process is unconstitutional.

When the House of Representatives voted to impeach then-President Trump on January 13, by abipartisan vote of 232 to 197, those voting to impeach knew it was unlikely that the Senate would be able to hold a full trial before Trump left office. However, both Democratic and Republican members of…

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A Letter to a Republican Senator

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will begin on Tuesday.  Currently, it does not appear that the requisite 2/3 supermajority will vote to convict Trump, despite overwhelming evidence that he inspired and incited the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.  If this be the case, if he is acquitted and therefore allowed to run for office again, then justice will not have been served.  More importantly, it would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents and at some point, perhaps sooner than later, the people of the United States will lose their freedoms to a power-hungry dictator.

It was with this dark thought in mind that I composed the following letter to the Republican senator from my state, Rob Portman.  I know that a single letter from me will not change his mind, but I’m hoping he hears many voices telling him to please vote to convict, and that at the end of the day, he will follow his conscience.  Feel free to copy, alter, and use this letter if you feel so inclined.


Dear Senator Portman,

I write to you today regarding the upcoming impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  You are one of 100 people who will decide the ultimate fate of this nation, and I want to be sure you understand the seriousness of your role next week. 

While I have not seen the evidence that will be presented to the full Senate next week, I have read enough to know that there is sufficient evidence that many of Donald Trump’s actions over the two months after the November 6th election were the run-up, setting the stage for what happened on January 6th.  He claimed voter fraud before the first vote was cast, he filed hundreds of lawsuits sans evidence, he riled his base with claims that he “won bigly” and that there was “massive voter fraud”.  When lawsuits were thrown out of court, recounts taken, and the election certified for Joe Biden, he claimed the election had been ‘stolen’ from him.

I know, and you know, that Joe Biden is the rightful President of the United States.  While Trump received more votes than I would have expected, 81 million of us rejected his erratic, inept, and incompetent ‘leadership’, especially in light of his bungling response to the pandemic that has taken so many lives of our loved ones.  More to the point, there is sufficient evidence that he replaced Pentagon personnel in order to slow the response to the attack on the Capitol that he knew was coming, for he had incited it.  He called on his followers to ‘fight’, and then watched from the safety of the White House, with a grin on his face and his son’s girlfriend dancing in the background, as our voices were very nearly snuffed out. 

The events of January 6th were not only an attack on you, Senator, and on all your fellow members of Congress, but on We the People, the voters, the citizens, the taxpayers who support your policies and pay your salaries. 

I realize you will not run for re-election in 2022, so perhaps the fate of the nation does not matter much to you.  But for ten years now, we have paid your salary out of our own hard-earned income, and in return, we ask that you support those things that are in our best interest, such as ensuring that no future president can ever act as unconscionably as Donald Trump has and expect to go unpunished.

Although I often disagree with your views, I know that you are a decent man with a conscience.  You have two choices … you can follow your conscience and vote to convict Donald Trump on the charge of inciting a coup to overthrow a fair and honest election, or you can play to the party line, even though in your heart you know it is wrong.  Which will it be, Senator?  Will you do the right thing and sleep with a clear conscience at night, or will you put the Republican Party’s interests above those of the people you represent?

If you and your fellow senators vote to acquit Donald Trump, he will have the opportunity to rise from the ashes and destroy this nation as we know it.  He is not a president, never was, and is not a believer in democratic principles, but rather would install himself as king given the chance.  If that happens, the responsibility will fall squarely on your shoulders and those of your fellow senators.  The choice is yours, Senator Portman … please think long and hard, and choose wisely.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, independent voter, taxpayer

KILL The 2nd Amendment!

Think about this one for a minute:

More than 2 million guns were sold in January, an 80% jump and the second-highest monthly total on record.

According to The Washington Post, the surge is in line with the record pace set in 2020: Nearly 23 million firearms were bought, representing a 64 percent jump from the previous year.

gun-stats

Said one Florida resident who tried to buy ammunition for his semi-automatic but found the gun stores had sold out …

“With the lockdown and a president who is saying things like ‘gun reform,’ there’s a fear within the gun community and people that are responsible gun owners that they’re going to be made into felons just by nature of law.”

gun-stats-by-state

According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) …

It’s common for gun sales to jump when a Democrat takes over the White House. In January 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term, the total number of firearm background checks registered through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 1.2 million. That was a record at the time and a nearly 29 percent jump from January 2008.

In January 2017, when Trump was inaugurated, more than 2 million background checks were recorded, a 20 percent drop from 2016.

Biden pledged during his campaign to reinstate a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also proposed a buyback program for assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that would require owners to sell them to the federal government or register them under the National Firearms Act.

In three individual weeks in January, there was a record number of background checks, climbing into the top five spots since the FBI began tracking in 1998.

Why … just WHY does the average Joe need an assault weapon that can kill or maim dozens of people within a minute?  Would somebody please explain this to me, for I frankly think it is utterly stupid, and I know for a fact that more innocent people have been killed by lunatics with assault rifles than have been saved by a non-law enforcement individual with an assault rifle.  NOBODY outside of law enforcement or the military needs one.  In 1994, a ten-year ban on assault weapons was judiciously passed by Congress, but at the end of ten years, the damn fools said it ‘violated people’s constitutional rights’, and it has, despite multiple efforts, never been re-implemented.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, firearm stocks spiked in the days leading up to the January 6th domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol and on Congress, inspired by Donald Trump and his witless minions.   I have seen enough pictures of those bozos with their assault weapons storming the Capitol to literally make me ill.

Today is February 4th, and already just this year there have already been 24 mass shootings in the U.S.  But that’s only mass shootings, involving multiple victims.  In total, there have been 3,976 deaths due to guns, and 3,026 injuries.  Take a look at this chart by the Gun Violence Archive

gun-violence-archive

I have a few thoughts on all of this …

  • Personally, I hate guns and would very much like to see a total repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  The Founding Fathers never … NEVER intended every person in the nation to own multiple assault weapons that could shred numerous people within a minute.  No, the intent was to form local militias that would have the right to own guns in case of something akin to a coup or hostile takeover.  The 2nd Amendment, like the 1st Amendment, has been so abused that if any one of the framers of the Constitution were to return to earth and see what is happening, he would be horrified.

  • I think that for the most part, those who feel a need to own a gun and carry it with them to the grocery store, restaurant, bookstore, etc., are cowards. If they think it makes them appear strong or macho, they are very much mistaken. I chuckle and roll my eyes when I see a man with a gun stuck in his belt, and then I leave the store, but not before informing a staff member that there is a man with a gun, that I am leaving because of this, and that I am not purchasing anything at this time.

  • Guns and gun owners are in the top five biggest problems with the United States today. How many parents will go to sleep tonight with a loaded gun somewhere that their child can access? How many school shootings will this year bring?  How many women will be killed by their significant other or husband because dinner was late and he was in a foul temper?  How many crazed people will go into a mall or other public venue with a chip on their shoulder and just start shooting for any or no reason?

  • Anybody who is an advocate of the 2nd Amendment and who is against any reasonable gun legislation is the problem … the biggest problem … in this nation.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy into that old NRA slogan about a ‘good guy with a gun’, for in my mind, if that ‘guy’ is toting a gun, he is NOT a ‘good’ guy.  I have zero tolerance for guns, they are not allowed in my home, and I refuse to occupy the same building as a person who is ‘packing heat’.  The good people of this nation, those who value their children’s and grandchildren’s lives over their ‘right’ to own a weapon, need to make it clear to all — Congress, state legislatures, gun owners, and anyone who has the power to make changes — that we will not continue to live in a nation populated by gun nuts.  Period.

A Few Tidbits …

R.I.P. Tom Moore

Tom-MooreI start today’s post on a sad note.  You’ll remember that I’ve written about Captain Tom Moore, the UK veteran raised tens of millions of pounds for Britain’s health workers by walking 100 laps of his garden last spring.  Sadly, he died this morning after being treated for pneumonia and then testing positive for the coronavirus last month. 

Mr. Moore’s own words of optimism come back to us at this time …

“We will get through it in the end but it might take time, but at the end of the day we shall all be OK again… the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

Reading of Tom Moore’s death first thing this morning brought a tear to my eye.  He was one of the good people and will be long remembered.  Thank you, Captain Tom Moore, for a lifetime of being a good man … the world needs many more like you.  R.I.P.

tom-moore-graffiti


The price for a conscience …

Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming was one of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Donald Trump late last year, and now she is paying a high price.  The people of her state are turning against her, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be meeting with her this week, possibly planning to strip her of her committee assignments and her position as House Republican Conference Chair, the third highest ranking position in the House Republican leadership.

This is ridiculous!  The woman voted her conscience, saying that Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”   She also called his incitement “the greatest betrayal by a president of the United States of his office.” She was correct on both counts, and yet she is likely to be asked to apologize for both her words and her vote.  Why?  Because the entire Republican Party is populated by cowards who are afraid of the ‘man’ who is no longer in the Oval Office. 

I am not a fan of Liz Cheney, but she followed the dictates of her conscience, something the rest of the slime in the Republican Party cannot do because they traded their consciences for a box of Cracker Jacks long ago.  She does not deserve to be censured or otherwise punished, and the people of Wyoming need to wake up and realize that Trump was the biggest threat this nation was facing until just 13 days ago!


And on the other hand …

On the other hand, there is Marjorie Taylor Greene, the pistol-packing idiot from Georgia who now sits in the House of Representatives.  I’ve written before about Greene, so I don’t need to repeat what I’ve already said, but she, like Ms. Cheney, will be having a one-on-one meeting with Kevin McCarthy sometime this week for her racist comments, for supporting the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, for saying she wished death upon some of her fellow members of Congress, and other behaviours not acceptable for a member of Congress.

She is likely to receive a slap on the wrist for her horrendous words and actions, though she could lose her committee assignments.  While I definitely hope she loses her committee assignments, one of which is the Education & Labour Committee … she belongs nowhere near those who make decisions concerning our children’s education!  She would likely demand that firearms training be included in every school’s curriculum! 

If McCarthy doesn’t strip her of her committee assignments, the Democrats are likely to do so.  She sits on the following committees …

  • Judiciary
  • Education and Labor
  • Energy and Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Foreign Affairs
  • House Administration
  • Oversight and Reform
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Ways and Means

She has no relevant education or experience in any one of these areas, so I’m not sure where the logic in determining her assignments was. 

But what I would really like to see is her expulsion from Congress.  It can and should be done before she causes a disaster, either by shooting someone within the Capitol (she has said she would like to see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a bullet in her head), or by turning the House of Representatives into a three-ring circus. 

The United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, Clause 2) provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

It would, however, require 70 Republicans to find a conscience and vote to expel Ms. Greene, and we all know there aren’t 70 republicans with courage & conscience in the entire Congress.  Sigh.

The Filibuster, Explained

Many … perhaps most … do not quite understand what is meant by ‘filibuster’. Our friend Jeff’s post will clarify what, exactly, the filibuster is, its origins, and how it has most often been used. Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

There’s been much debate in recent years about the efficacy of the filibuster. The Republican Party has used the arcane process to block specific meaningful legislation that would have been beneficial to millions of Americans. To be clear, Democrats have also used the filibuster; blocking judges or presidential appointees, for example.

But it’s time to take a look at what the filibuster is, what are its origins, and what important legislation it has stopped from becoming law. A couple of things stand out. For one, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that mentions anything about the filibuster. It’s simply a Senate rule that’s been in place for nearly 200 years. Secondly, the process was born out of pure unadulterated racism — a mechanism that allowed the despicable practice of slavery to continue being used, mostly by wealthy white land owners in the South.

To take a deeper dive into…

View original post 1,219 more words

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Bye Trump, Hello Biden

While I always appreciate the talent of the political cartoonists, being able to comprehend a situation and relate it with few or no words, only drawings, of late I have found that rather than lighten my mood or make me smile, the political cartoons have been somewhat dark and depressing.  Well, they do reflect our reality, which has also been dark and depressing, so what should I expect, right?  But this week’s ‘toons are different … I actually smiled and found humour in them!  Gee … I wonder what’s changed?

As she does every Saturday, TokyoSand has searched the world over and found the best selection to bring to us.  Thank you, TS, for your hard work and diligence, and for your permission to share!

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See All The ‘Toons!