Tag Archives: Congress

The Only Way to Honor MLK is to Continue on the Path He Started

These days, it’s easy to reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His “I Have a Dream” speech is iconic and universal.

The problem, as I see it, is that there are too many today who give lip service to his legacy. Specifically to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. On paper, some (ahem, Republicans) will state emphatically that they are for voting rights and protecting the right to vote. In reality, they are constricting the access to the polls for certain populations, knowing that these groups have by a wide margin, have supported their opponents.

When the Supreme Court agreed via Shelby County v. Holder that two sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were unconstitutional, it opened the door to the dangerous situation that our nation is presently in. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would not only strengthen its predecessor but would also hopefully prevent another Shelby County vs. Holder. The issue is that this nation and this Congress is too fractured to protect the ideals that we claim to hold near and dear.

The only way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and memory is to continue where he left off. Though the ground that has been gained is tremendous, the reality is that there are many battles ahead of us.

P.S. Dr. King was also outspoken about antisemitism, a fact that I wish that was not lost to history.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

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In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP Book Review

Just as in life, there are lessons to be learned in politics. Both the 2016 Presidential election and the 2020 Presidential election, were if nothing else, an eye-opening experience.

In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP, by David M. Drucker, was published last month. With you know who finally out of power (thank G-d), the question among members of the GOP is who will replace him? Will it be someone who is a die-hard and will potentially repeat the last four years? Or will it be another person who is a little more particular about the policy decisions they make?

If nothing else, this is a playbook for the 2022 Midterm elections, the 2024 Presidential election, and beyond. This book should be a must-read for every Democrat, both on the individual level and at the highest levels of power. If they are to retain control of both branches of Congress and the White House, they must not only know the other side inside out, but come together. Only then will the rule of law and some version of decency return to this nation.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Is Anyone Truly Surprised That the New Voting Legislation was Blocked in Congress?

It’s easy to talk about the importance of voting in a political election. We all know how important this single decision is. But for all of the talk, the action from certain segments of our society does not match the words coming out of their mouths.

Last week, a bill went through Congress which would have allowed for same-day voter registration and designated Election Day as a national holiday. The bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, was rejected by Republicans in the Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell stated the following for the party’s reasons as the following:

“It is my hope and anticipation that none of us will vote for this latest iteration of Democratic efforts to take over how every American votes all over the country,”

This is bull shit. Rejecting the bill is not about protecting voting rights. It is ensuring that certain people who vote a certain way will if not outright be prevented from entering the ballot box, will have as many hurdles thrown in front of them as possible. While they give lip service about protecting our rights, it is really about staying in power. Instead of listening to what we, the public, want and need, McConnell and his party are more concerned with their careers and serving their 1% donors.

It’s no wonder that this country is going down the drain.

Jersey Shore Bullshit GIF by Jersey Shore Family Vacation - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence Book Review

In 1991, when Anita Hill testified that that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, it was nothing short of earth shattering. Instead of letting the shame destroy her or pretend that it never happened, she took her case to Congress. This brave choice opened the door for victims of similar acts to get justice and ensure that the perpetrators got what they deserved.

Dr. Hill’s new book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence, was published in September. Building on her very personal history of experiencing gender violence, she explores such subjects such as bullying, rape, the constant threat to the LGBTQ community, and the mind blowing comparison to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. In speaking openly about such topics that are often buried under the rug or not taken seriously, she is challenging the reader to speak up, speak out, and ensure that these injustices are finally given the spotlight they should have received a long time ago.

This book is nothing short of mind blowing. If there was ever a fire lit under our collective behinds, this book is the match. Thirty years ago, Dr. Hill opened the door, broke barriers, and inspired multiple generations of activists to stand on her impressive shoulders. She got the ball rolling, it is now up to us to finish the job.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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How Anyone Could Not Believe That Jan 6 Happened is Beyond Me

A political election, regardless whether it is on the local, state, or national level should be a simple process. The people vote and the winner takes office.

This should have happened back in January without any sort of trouble. But as we all know, trouble was in the form of you know and riots in Washington D.C. that happened in January 6th. Last week, the January 6th commission met for the first time.

As I was listening to the hearings, I found myself getting angry. Things like this do not happen in the United States. They happen in countries where democracy is on the brink of breakage. It only takes one final crack to replace it with a dictatorship or autocracy. What the police officers spoke of their experience that day, it was as I was there in person. The experience and description of that day was so clear, it was as if I was listening to scripted drama and not first person testimony in front of Congress.

What bothers me is that instead of seeing it for what is was and acting on the facts, most Republicans are diluting the facts to save their skins. Rep Clyde from Georgia labeled that day as a “tourist visit“. I’ve been the D.C. a number of times over the years. I hit the usual touristy spots. But I did not storm the Capitol bulding because I was not happy with the direction that the country is going.

The thing we also have to remember is that Everyone in that building had a target on their back that day. I can only imagine what might have happened if the rioters had gotten their way. It is an picture I dare not even consider.

The footage is there. We all watched it. We saw the danger and the chaos. The question is, are we will to put the partisan b*llshit aside and make sure it does not happen again? Or, do we let the fear of a minority and their used car salesman, orange colored leader dictate the course of American history?

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Juneteenth is the Newest Federal American Holiday

The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

This week, the arc of justice finally reached it’s mark this week. President Biden officially designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As others have pointed out (which I agree with), as important this proclamation is, it must be backed up by laws up holding equality and shutting down of institutional racism in every fact of our society.

The fact is that African-Americans have built this country. Instead of thanking them and giving greater opportunities, we have degraded them, dehumanized them, and denied the most basic of rights that we claim is due to every American.

In a move that surprised no one, several members of Congress, who are all male, Caucasian, and Republican, voted no. Thankfully, a majority knew and understood how vitally important it is to at least try to reach the ideals written in our founding documents.

This is just a step in the road to real equality, but it is huge and if nothing else, a day to be proud of.

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The Lincoln Project on Memorial Day and the January 6th Commission

January 6th, 2021, was a day that will forever part of American history. Those of us above a certain age will forever remember where we were and who we were that day.

Nearly 6 months after the fact, a bi-partisan commission is being put together to figure out what happened and more importantly, what went wrong. As expected, while some members of Congress understand the importance this commission, others (cough, Republicans, cough) have shot down the idea.

Today, as we all know, is Memorial Day. Instead of remembering those who have given up everything to protect this country and everything she represents, they are as usual more concerned with saving their own skins and brown nosing you know who.

The Lincoln Project is far more eloquent and knowledgeable on this topic than I am. I will end this post with their latest video because a picture is always worth a thousand words.

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How is Marjorie Taylor Greene Still in Congress?

The idea of becoming a lawmaker to represent and speak for the voters in your area is a noble one. But not everyone who is elected is worthy of the job they have been hired to do by their constituents.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been in Congress for only a short time. But in that short time, she has become a controversial figure. Being a vocal supporter of you know who and QAnon might have been enough, but it was not. She has claimed that the Parkland and Newtown shootings were staged, has advocated for the murders of Democratic leaders, and blamed the recent wildfires on Jewish space lasers.

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has stated that he will talk to Representative Taylor Greene about her statements. It will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. She will likely keep her seat on the education committee and be allowed to continue to spew the poisonous lies that are coming out of her mouth.

A slap on the wrist and is the last thing this woman needs. She is entitled to her opinions, as we all are. However, there is a distinct line between one’s cultural/political perspective and making the type of statements she is making. She must be expelled from Congress if we are move on from the chaos and darkness of the last four years.

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$600? Really Congress?

At some point in the future, the Covid-19 virus will be a thing of the past. But that does not mean that the economic and financial side effects will also fade into the background.

After months of back and forth, the second stimulus bill is finally on the way to being passed. Among the terms of the bill, Americans will receive a check for $600.

Now granted, there will also be another $300 added to the unemployment checks. But $600 is still pitiful, regardless of how the news is spun.

There are millions of Americans who are either just barely treading the financial waters or they have drowned completely. $600, if they’re lucky may only be good for a month or two.

What bothers me more than anything else is that the only reason the bill passed both houses is that Christmas is coming up at the end of the week. If there was no deadline, who knows how long we would have had to wait?

I wish that, for once, those in the halls of power would remember who they are responsible to and who pays their salaries. But until that day comes, the partisan b*llshit and the constant back and forth will continue on.

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RIP John Lewis

In tough times, it is easy to hang back and pretend as if everything is normal. It is much harder to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis passed away yesterday. He was 80 years old.

Born in 1940 to sharecropper parents in Alabama, segregation was part and parcel of the world he grew up in. In the early 1960’s, he joined the Civil Rights movement and was one of the original Freedom Riders. Twenty five years later, he was elected to Congress. On both sides of the political aisle, he was one of the most respected men to have walked through the halls of power.

If there was ever a textbook definition of an American hero, John Lewis’s picture would be front and center. He knew what he believed in and fought for those beliefs, even when victory seemed nearly impossible. As both a Civil Rights leader and a member of Congress, he taught all of what strength and courage look like.

May his memory be a blessing and an inspiration to us all.

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