Letitia James and Fani Willis may be the Ones Who Save Us From You Know Who

It has been said that where there is smoke, there is fire. If that is true, there has been smoke coming out of a famous NYC building owned by you know who for a very long time.

Earlier this week, New York state Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against he who shall not be named, and his three eldest children. In short, it claims that their namesake organization and its leadership have been committing financial fraud as a standard business model for years.

Of course, his response was a racist slur. Which we have learned over the years is par for the course.

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has pulled together a grand jury investigation. The purpose is to determine if he and his supporters violated state laws in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Starts at 1:15

As pointed out in yesterday’s episode of the podcast The New Abnormal (which starts at 5:19), both James and Willis are African American women. I think it speaks to where this country is going politically. These women understand that if they don’t stand up for what is right and the rule of law, there is a chance that no one will.

The only way to shut down a bully is to beat them at their own game. The former President is a bully. Until it is made crystal clear that he and his cronies are not above the law, they will continue to act with impunity.

DeSantis and Abbott Should be Charged With Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is both a crime against humanity and a crime in the United States. At the same time, it is not against the law to ask for asylum in this nation. Immigration has been the backbone of this country since its founding. And yet, there are some who want to restrict who can enter the US.

Over the last few weeks, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have been using tax dollars to ship South American migrants to blue states. Not knowing where they were going, they were expecting that jobs were waiting for them when they reached their final destination. Instead, the locations they arrived in (New York City for the migrants sent from Texas and Martha’s Vineyard for the migrants sent from Florida), the local officials were not aware or prepared for the new arrivals. As of this past weekend, NYC is looking at the possibility of taking legal action against Abbott.

This goes back to what we all know. Serious reform of our immigration policy is necessary. The most recent change was a decade ago with DACA. While DACA was a huge step forward, it does not solve the overall issue. The problem is made worse by our current political climate, which has at best led to mostly partisan legislation and at worst, created a deadlock that cannot be overcome.

I think the answer to the question should be yes. They have broken the law and like anyone who has been accused of a crime, should have their day in court. But only time will tell if this comes to pass.

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P.S.: A woman who was among the over 10,000 migrants bused from Texas to New York killed herself on Monday. Abbott has blood on his hands.

The Flooding and Water Crisis in Jackson is a Warning That We Ignore at Our Peril

Water is the most precious and vital resource on Earth. Without it, all life ceases to exist. It is also extremely powerful and can both take life and give life.

In Mississippi, the recent flood in Jackson is more than just a flood. It is a warning that we cannot ignore. As the rain continued to fall and an important pump at the local water treatment plant failed, residents were surrounded by water, and ironically, unable to use it for bathing, drinking, or cooking.

Halfway across the world, another flood in Pakistan has killed 1400 people, disrupted the lives of those who survived, and has created losses that are estimated to be worth $30 billion dollars.

Regardless of whether excessive and repeated flooding occurs in Jackson, Pakistan, or any other place in the world, we cannot pretend that it is not happening. Climate change is real. Wars are fought over water.

I’m not usually a pessimist. But in this case, it’s hard not to be. How many more chances will Mother Nature give us before she destroys the world as we know it to be?

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Thoughts On President Biden’s Speech

There is a reason why the Presidential pulpit is called the bully pulpit. It gives whoever is in the position a unique spotlight and opportunity to speak to the nation as they wish to.

On Thursday, President Biden gave a speech, calling out the right-wing Republicans and the MAGA believers. While praising Republicans who are willing to work with their Democrat colleagues, he was not afraid to speak directly to those who are ready and willing to destroy this country based on lies.

Some said that he went too far. I disagree. Without pushing the envelope over the edge, he told the country the truth about our potential future. Unless we do everything in our power to secure our democracy, the prospects for our nation to continue on the path set by the founders look pretty bleak.

Among the many issues that have been created and/or magnified is the claim of election fraud. It started, as we all know back in 2020 and continues to this day. What makes it worse is that it has trickled down the political pipeline. Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake made the following statement about the results of her primary election and the possible outcome of the general election:

“If we don’t win, there’s some cheating going on. And we already know that.”

This is the game they are playing. If they win, everything is fine. If they lose, it was not because the majority of voters went for the other candidate. This is not the reaction of a mature adult who understands that you cannot get what you want whenever you want it. This is a tantrum taken by a spoiled child who cannot bear to be told no.

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We have two choices come November. We can either protect our future and our children’s future by keeping the American democracy alive. Or, we can give in to big babies, fascists, and wannabe autocrats. The choice is ours, I only hope we can make the right one.

American Morning is a Must-See Short Film

School shootings have unfortunately become a standard headline in America these days.

American Morning, is a short film written, starring, and produced by Stephen Dexter. It is the story of Connor Mathis, a music teacher who survived a school shooting and was able to save all but one of his students. Two years after the fact, Connor is living with his father (played by Richard Schiff) and still reeling from the consequences of his actions. Plagued by nightmares and grief, he decides to make a statement when he sees that those in power are doing nothing.

My first reaction was wow. The mental health aspects of living through an event of this nature are so in your face that it is impossible to ignore. The choice he makes (which I will not give away, just watch to the end), speaks to the helplessness that I think many of us feel.

If you are not heartbroken and blown away by this short film, then I don’t know what to say.

We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible Book Review

The core of any democracy is not just the right to vote. It is that every voice and every vote is counted, regardless of the specific details of the person who stepped into the ballot box.

We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible, by Texas Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke was published just a few weeks ago.

O’Rourke does more than advocate for the idea that without voting rights, our nation would crumble. He tells the story of Dr. Lawrence Aaron Nixon. Dr. Nixon was the son of a formerly enslaved man and an early civil rights activist. Weaving throughout the history of the state (and his experience speaking to voters), he shares the narratives of others who have also stood up for free and fair elections.

I enjoyed this book. With his usual eloquence, openness, and direct nature, he is challenging the reader to stand up for this nation and our future. While having an eye for what might come, O’Rourke is looking to the past and lessons learned from the mistakes of our forebears.

Every once in a while, there comes a book that is so essential that it becomes a required read for every American and everyone who believes in democratic values. This book is one of them. Speaking from the heart, he reminds the reader that there is still time to avoid the precipice ahead. That is if we heed the warning signs.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also argue that it is one of the best books of the year.

We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible is available wherever books are sold.

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Dispatches From the Right: Kari Lake on Feminism, Louisiana Woman Denied Abortion, and Texas Mother Rips Book Bans

The nature of the American democracy is made up of two different political parties who at the end of the day, can hopefully come to a compromise. These days “hopefully” is wishful thinking and “compromise” is a dirty word, depending on who you speak to.

Last week, Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake made the following statement:

“Women are not equal to men. We don’t want to be equal to them”.

I have a problem with this statement. If women are not equal to men, then we are inferior. Therefore Ms. Lake hasn’t got a chance in you know where to win her election. The person who becomes Arizona’s next Governor will automatically be a male. This type of thinking drives me insane. The women take advantage of feminist achievements when it suits them, but they also bash it when it suits them. They can’t have it both ways. We are equal to our male counterparts, or we are meant to be barefoot and pregnant without any rights.

Last week, in Louisiana, Nancy Davis was denied an abortion. As of when the news hit the press, she was 15 weeks pregnant and told that her fetus was nonviable. Due to the draconian and far too vague anti-abortion law, she will have to travel out of state to have the procedure. I can only imagine that being told that the fetus is nonviable is hard enough. The last thing I would wish on anyone in that position is to be told that they have to carry a pregnancy to term because of legislation crafted by non-medical professionals who may be forcing their religious beliefs on others.

And finally, in Texas, Adrienne Quinn Martin stood in front of her local school board and basically told them to shove their book-banning ideas where the sun doesn’t shine.

My favorite part of her speech is as follows:

“Your personal religious beliefs, people in this room and on this board, should not have an effect on my child’s education either. Our school are not to be used for personal political agendas and our children are here for education, not religious indoctrination,” she told the room as she looked various board members and attendees directly in the eye.

“I implore the board to put an end to attempts to appease these extremists. Focus on retaining staff, providing excellent public education and a safe and welcoming learning space for all students. The speakers speaking about what great Christians they are? Great. Go tell your pastor. Our schools are not your church.

Am I a taxpayer whose taxes help to fund public schools? Yes. But I am not a parent or a teacher. Nor do I have a degree in education. Therefore, I will let those who interact with students on a constant basis make the decisions that are best for our children’s education.

This is the state of our political system these days. We have two choices: let the extremists on the right change this nation or fight for everything we hold dear.

I Don’t Know if 10-20K is Enough in Terms of Student Loan Forgiveness

For generations, we have been told that the only way to get ahead in life is to earn a college degree. While there is a certain amount of truth in that statement, the other truth is that college is getting more expensive by the day.

Earlier today, President Biden announced a plan for reducing college debt for earners making less than $125K annually. The details are as follows:

Borrowers who hold loans with the Department of Education and make less than $125,000 a year are eligible for up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they received Pell Grants, which are given to students from low- and middle-income families. Individuals who make less than $125,000 a year but did not receive Pell Grants are eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness.

Of course, the Republicans are losing their minds. G-d forbid that a politician (especially POTUS) would do something for the American people instead of themselves. This hypocrisy is disturbing given the fact that many of them accepted forgivable PPP loans during the pandemic.

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Though this is a campaign promise fulfilled (and could help the Democrats in the upcoming Midterms), I don’t know if 10-20K is enough to relieve the financial burden for some people. I understand that it was a compromise, as does Biden, but I have to question if it helps Americans who have triple digits in student loan debt.

“I understand not everything I’m announcing is going to make everybody happy,” Biden said. “Some think it’s too much — I find it interesting how some of my Republican friends who voted for those tax cuts think we shouldn’t be helping these folks. Some think it’s too little, but I believe my plan is responsible and fair. It focuses the benefit of middle-class and working families, it helps both current and future borrowers and it’ll fix a badly broken system.”

The truth is that relieving 10-20K is better than nothing. But I still think that it could have been a little higher.

Liz Cheney’s Loss Was Inevitable. She Maybe The One Person Standing Between the Republicans and the American Democracy

Elections are more than votes for a specific political office and the person who has won the race. They represent the values of the voters and the politicians who are running for that specific position.

Last week, Liz Cheney lost the primary vote for her congressional seat. The margins between Cheney and her opponent were not small.

What I find revealing and scary is that Cheney only lost because she is a vocal opponent of he who shall not be named. Unlike her chickenshit colleagues, she has the backbone to say the quiet part out loud. It does not matter that in the past, she voted consistently with her party. The sole deciding factor was her stance on you know who.

I hate to say it, but Cheney may be one of the few individuals on the right who is able to save our nation and our democracy from her fellow Republicans. Unfortunately, she is one of only a few who stands by her beliefs, and more importantly, will hopefully be able to hold onto their seat.

I won’t go as far as to call her a hero. But in standing up for the country and our ideals, she proves that the American spirit is alive and well. Even when some have twisted that spirit to fit their own perspective.

 “Stand for what is right. Even if it means standing alone.” — Suzy Kassem

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t: The Florida Teenager Who Will be Forced to Give Birth

Being a parent, especially when your children are young is an all-consuming task. It requires one to be financially stable as well as emotionally and physically present. While I would love to say that every adult is able to materially and emotionally able to care for their children, the truth is that some are not.

Last week, in Florida (because of course it’s Florida), a court told a teenage girl that she cannot have an abortion. This girl is an orphan and is without the support system that other young ladies in her situation have. Though she clearly stated that she is not ready to be a mother, the court decided that she was too immature to make the decision herself.

Let me make sure I understand this. A young girl, who is a ward of the state because she is without family, is told to have the child. Even though she clearly stated that she is unable to care for said child. This means, that when she or he is born, the cycle of poverty and relying on the government will potentially be repeated for another generation.

This is the bullshit that the pro-life movement propagates. They are all about the 9 months of pregnancy. But after the birth, the parent(s) are their own. They then complain that precious tax dollars are being given to Americans who are not pulling their weight. If this girl would be allowed to make the decision about her body and her future, then she would be able to one day stand on her own two feet and not be a “burden”.

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