Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Herrera Beutler: GOP Latina Congresswomen Not Afraid to Chart Her Own Course

Regardless of party, if a lawmaker stands up for truth and democracy, I respect them.

The one thing that stands out about Herrera Beutler, a Republican Latina member of the House, is she's not afraid to enter uncharted waters to do the right thing.

She's unique for a lot of reasons. She's not a grandstanding puppet pledged to protect Trump despite how corrupt he is.

Trump minions were unable to intimidate her when she voted to impeach Trump the second time around. She, and nine other, "renegade" GOP House members broke from the pack and voted against Trump.

That vote was a moment of truth for Beutler.

It landed her in the GOP leader's office, and incurred the wrath of Trump who promised to campaign against her (and the other nine) when they're up for re-election.

That moment of truth hasn't faded yet, as she continues to be in the limelight for revealing damaging details about Trump's phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

Here's the thing about Beutler; she's spent 12 years in the House steering clear of controversary. She's never been a flamethrower.

However, what little allegiance she gave Trump evaporated after the Big Lie and the Capitol riot. 

In doing so she may have become a potential prototype for how to cross Trump and survive in the party. It remains to be seen.

One thing is for sure, she's not afraid to chart her own course and stand up for the Constitution and truth.

In a recent interview with Politico, Beutler was asked, if she lost her seat for standing up for what she believed was right would it be worth her defiance?

Her reply, "If it means making sure our party thrives and continues to defend those ideals that I think are enshrined in the Constitution, then it's worth it. It's so worth it."

Kudos.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Why Don't We Know How Officer Sicknick Died Yet?

When the first reports about the Trump-inspired coup attempt at the US Capitol came in we heard a Capitol Hill Police Officer, Brian Sicknick, was killed.

The early reports suggested he died after being struck with a fire extinguisher. Not true. Since then his cause of death has become a mystery.

According to Sicknick's brother, Ken Sicknick, the family had been informed he suffered a stroke resulting from a blood clot. 

Ken Sicknick said his brother told him in a text message sent before he collapsed that he had been hit with bear spray wielded by rioters.

Thus far two men have been charged with assaulting Officer Sicknick. Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios were arrested Sunday.

Arrest papers stated that both men used bear spray on Sicknick and two other officers.  But - and this is a big but -   neither have been charged with his murder.

Why?

The authorities investigating the case have been mute as to what the real cause of death was. The rumor mill in Washington D.C. claims Sicknick died from "chemical exposure."

Still, there has been no definitive cause of his death two months later. His death has been a secret long enough.

Someone is preventing the whole story from coming out for reasons unknown. There had to have been an autopsy report. So why not release that?

Sicknick's family was told one thing that may, or may not, have been true. The troubling part is the family may have been lied to. Why else would the story not be released to the public?

Hopefully, time will reveal what really happened so we can put Brian Sicknick's death behind us.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Trump is Kicking His Followers Under The Bus

A recent poll showed that half of Trump's supporters have indicated they aren't going to get the vaccine against the coronavirus.

The reason why is both pathetic and sad. 

Trumplicans tend to ignore reality in favor of Trump's alternate universe. Even when their lives are at stake.

Thanks to our former president, getting a vaccine has become a political statement. 

In a twist of irony, Trump got the shot in private. He didn't want his loyal minions to see that he was a hypocrite and supercharging a pandemic for political gain.

In other words, Trump is throwing his minions under the bus. There's no other way to describe what he's doing.

In a time when healthcare officials are cautiously advising people that the pandemic has slowed down - less cases and deaths - but to not let their guard down and to continue safety measures, Trump's vaccine stance stands in the way of defeating the virus.

The worst part of what Trump has done is indoctrinating his cult followers against science and facts. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A 'Painful Filibuster' May Open the Door to Biden's Legislation Agenda

I like the idea of  a "painful filibuster."

Since 1975 the filibuster has given the minority in Congress a way to obstruct all legislation introduced by the majority.

That may change soon

When Sen. Joe Manchin, a blue dog Democrat, said he was open to introducing a "painful" addition to the filibuster, Democrats saw a game-changing opportunity to remake the Senate and lift a key obstacle to a progressive agenda.

Manchin, the most outspoken Democratic supporter of the filibuster, has decided to soften the political maneuver, but not do away with it entirely.

What does a "painful" filibuster look like?

The idea is to test obstructing senators by forcing them to talk in order to halt legislation.

This move would end the filibuster as it currently exists, while still allowing a determined minority to slow down or scuttle bills.

It would also enable a resolute majority to outlast them. The only way this can happen is if all 50 democratic senators, plus VP Harris, unify behind the change.

And Manchin says he's onboard.

Under the current rules the majority has to find 60 votes or the bill stalls. 

The proposed change would require a group of 41 senators to hold the floor and take turns talking incessantly - to air their grievances with the legislation being considered.

One of two things will happen:

The majority party will lose its nerve and pull the bill, or the number of senators will fall under 41 and enable the majority to advance the bill with a three-fifths majority. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer summed up the proposed move to AP, "All I can tell you is we need big, bold action. And we have to figure out the best way to do it."

One thing is for sure, the Democrats have to sidestep the Republican's obstruction or no more important bills will be passed.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Is It Finally Time For Common Sense Gun Controls? House Passes 2 Bills To Close Loopholes

In a sure sign of the shifting political landscape in America the issue of gun control has resurfaced.

To that end the U.S. House of Representatives passed a pair of gun control laws yesterday after years of failed attempts.

Summary

**The first measure passed the House 227-203 with support from eight Republicans.

It's designed to close a long-standing loophole in gun laws by expanding background checks to those purchasing weapons over the internet, at gun shows and certain private transactions.

**The second bill passed 219-210 with two Republicans supporting it. 

It gives authorities 10 business days for federal background checks to be completed before a gun sale can be licensed. Currently it's three days.

When these bills arrive in the Senate they're going to face a bitter battle with no guarantees of being passed.

Republicans will quickly claim that Biden is coming to take their guns away. Even the financially crippled NRA (whose currently fighting in court to dissolve the organization) will fundraise off the coming GOP propaganda.

The current construct in the Senate - 50-50 - doesn't bode well, especially because it can't be done through the reconciliation process that was used to pass the American Relief Bill.

My question; is this the right time, or is just another attempt doomed to failure?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"Pillow Boy" Mike Lindell's Efforts To Discredit 2020 Election Are Pathetic

Most of the conservative public crazies have moved on from "election fraud" narratives to other conspiracies.

But not the infamous Pillow Boy, Mike Lindell, however. 

Being a Trump devotee has paid off for his business beyond his wildest crack dreams. 

Despite being sued by Dominion (a computer company) for $1.2 billion dollars for defamation and outright lies about the company, Lindell continues to pursue the "loser route" of election fraud.

Keeping Trump's Big Lie alive has earned the Pillow Boy a legion of Trumplicans who are steadily buying his pillows - probably more of a political statement than one about quality.

To that end, Lindell held an event yesterday where he was the featured speaker at a election fraud rally. The event was organized by "We the People AZ Alliance," a group seeking to repeal the 2020 election results in Arizona.

Despite advertising the event would be held at Queen Creek Botanical Gardens in Arizona, it was actually held at "Pecan Lake" and not their property. Par for the course, I'd say.

Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and right-wing personalities Mindy Robinson and Matt Couch, also spoke at the "Mike Lindell Election Integrity Faith and Freedom" gathering.

While the election trolls howled their grievances under a full moon, the rest of America had moved on.  

It appears that Lindell's loser marketing strategy is going to continue until the court locks him up - and throws the key away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Long Overdue: Houses Passes American Rescue Plan Act

The relief that millions of Americans have been praying for is here.

This morning the House passed the 1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill in a partisan vote.

Every Republicans stubbornly opposed the bill despite polls that show overwhelming support. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released today showed that 75 percent of all Americans want it.

As usual Republicans tried to make a circus out of the proceedings, starting with Marjorie Taylor Green who called for adjournment ... again, after pulling the stunt repeatedly to slow down the proceedings. Over 40 Republicans voted against her this time.

That was just the opening salvo from a party twisting in the wind over helping Americans recover from the pandemic.

The irony is when Biden signs it into law FRIDAY, Republicans will be the first in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new/old businesses - puffing out their chests like they did something positive.

Hearing House GOP members talk about the high cost of the bill reminds me of last year when there was no problem with racking up several trillion dollars for bills to help the economy. It was even a bipartisan effort, unlike this relief bill.

It was vomit-worthy watching Republicans making false claims, like the country will go bankrupt if the bill passes. The shameless hypocrisy the Republicans are using is a stain on the House of Representatives.

The good news is the bill passed, and it'll just be a matter of days before relief for all Americans is felt.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Regeneration: What Do Trumplicans and Two Species of Sea Slugs Have in Common?

Researchers recently discovered that two species of sea slugs can regrow hearts and whole bodies, even after removing their own heads!

That information made me immediately think of the Republican Trumplican Party. The similarities are obvious.

Apparently these two special species of sea slugs cut off the own heads (for reasons still not known) and the separated head grows a new body.

When Trump was voted out of office he was decapitated as the party head. The GOP was thrown into chaos.

What emerged is Trump's attempt to grow a body back and regain his once unlimited power. Holed up like a hermit crab in Florida, he's busy plotting a new attack on our republic.

Meanwhile the severed body politic, divided between Republicans and Trumplicans, has been thrashing around in search of a direction. 

Elements have already joined with Trump in an effort to regenerate his political body. Time will tell whether he'll continue to be a threat to democracy.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Georgia Is On Trump's Mind... For Good Reason

The possibility of Trump being indicted for racketeering, and other crimes, is growing every day.

Recent News 

Georgia prosecutors investigating if Trump interfered with the state's election, just added a lawyer with expertise in racketeering.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who launched the investigation, announced she's hired John Floyd.

Floyd is no run-of-the-mill prosecutor. According to Reuters, he wrote the guide on prosecuting racketeering cases. That's not good news for Donny.

Throw in other possible charges like soliciting election fraud, making false statements to government bodies (and to put a cherry on it) violating his oath of office, and you can see Trump has good reason to be thinking about Georgia.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

An Easy Question: Which Political Party Is Dedicated To Voter Suppression?

Republicans don't want all Americans to vote because they know the majority would vote against them.

The co-opted GOP, aka the Party of Trump, has pulled out all the stops this year to make sure the next election will disenfranchise minorities who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

That's no secret, by the way. One Arizona Republican lawyer admitted as much; "We won't win if the majority of voters have access to the system."

In any other era such blatant public corruption would have meet obstacles; with the exception of the Jim Crow years.

As of February, GOP state legislators in 43 states have introduced 250 bills with restrictive voting provisions.

The Democrats are fighting back however.

Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order expanding voter access in what the White House calls an "initial step in it's efforts to protect the right to vote and ensure all eligible citizens can freely participate in the electoral process."

The next step is passing HR1, a sweeping ethics and election package aimed at ensuring voting rights. The House has already passed it and it's on the way to the Senate.

President Biden also called on Congress to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013 and advocated rights and access.

It won't be easy. The Republicans arededicated to their task and prepared to obstruct every move towards voter equality.

It's a simple and clear narrative - the only way Republicans can win is by cheating.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Shaman's Story: Iconic Rioter Interviewed on Online Edition of '60 Minutes'

The TV show 60 Minutes is featuring the profile of a very sick man whose become famous for being involved in the Jan.6 coup attempt.

One of the most iconic figures during the Capitol Hill assault was a wacko wearing horns and carrying a spear. His name is Jacob Chansley.

It was an interview that should never have happened.

The lawyer for the horned shaman is in hot water with a federal judge after facilitating an interview with 60 Minutes that violated federal rules.

U.S. District Court judge Royce Lamberth dressed down Al Watkins for using his privileges as a lawyer to arrange the interview for the online edition of 60 Minutes.

The main topic was Chansley's request to be released prior to his trial. The odds don't look too good for that happening now.

I wonder if the 60 Minutes producer was aware that Chansley's lawyer was violating federal rules?

I suspect the producer of the popular Sunday show knew it was a hinckey setup, but that it would bring dynamite ratings. Of course, that's all that mattered.

The show must go on.

Sunday Sacraments: Wine, Peyote, Cannabis, and Holy Water

A divine sip of wine is one way to worship God. According to Christians " alcohol is a gift from God that makes life more joyous,"...