Closing Thought–05Apr21

After a weekend of shootings then calls for better laws that could help calm the situation down have gotten louder.

Biden has issued the call to action…..

Democrats and outside groups are praising the $5 billion for community violence prevention programs tucked into the president’s massive infrastructure package, which was unveiled Wednesday and is likely to get the next big legislative push on Capitol Hill.

But they say more must be done.

House Democrats this week urged Biden to take executive action to subject concealed assault-style weapons to more federal regulation. And others raised pressure on Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to promptly schedule votes on two bills the lower chamber passed last month to expand background checks.

“The extraordinary investment proposed by the Biden-Harris administration would save countless lives in communities that are most affected by gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “To meaningfully reduce gun violence, we have to both close the loopholes in our gun laws and invest in proven solutions. Congress should move quickly on both tracks to deliver the results the public deserves.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/546267-gun-control-advocates-applaud-biden-funding-plan-but-say-more-must-be-done

Personally I think we need more…..but this is a start that most likely fizzle in the Senate if it makes it that far.

Something needs doing…..but it is probably way too late for any actual reform.

Here is a closing thought within the closing thought…..part of the insurrection of 06 January were the militia known as the Oath Keepers….you know them they are the ones that carry AR-15s and body armor….if they are convicted of a felon they will no longer be able to own a firearm…..what will they do when they cannot wear the penis on their chest?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Centrists–The Brake Of Progess

The news keeps telling us about the ‘centrist’ that are searching for bi-partisanship…..my question is why?

For decades there has been no cooperation between the parties other than a few cases that is hailed as good……and yet nothing changes….so how good was the cooperation?

I have made my thoughts on Centrists known here on IST….

 
 
We have a new president with a progressive agenda (that title is debatable)…..and the Centrists are working to defeat anything he may try….especially on the taxation thing…..
 
Biden has an ambitious infrastructure plan….of course the Repubs in the Senate will fight any progress of this bill….
President Joe Biden set about convincing America it needs his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, deputizing a five-member “jobs Cabinet” to help in the effort. But the difficulty of his task was made clear as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vowed to oppose the plan “every step of the way,” per the AP. Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said he personally likes Biden and they’ve been friends a long time. But the president will get no cooperation from the GOP, which objects to the corporate tax increases in the plan and says they would hurt America’s ability to compete in a global economy. “We have some big philosophical differences, and that’s going to make it more and more difficult for us to reach bipartisan agreements,” the Republican leader said
This Biden plan is a jobs creator and yet Dems, those Centrists, will be a wrench in the works because they want tax cuts for the rich….

A small but potentially influential group of House Democrats on Tuesday threatened to oppose an emerging climate and infrastructure package if it does not restore a tax deduction that overwhelmingly benefited the richest households in the country.

The state and local tax (SALT) deduction was capped at $10,000 as part of the 2017 Republican tax-cut legislation, a change that prompted outcry from centrist blue-state House Democrats who represent the higher-income, higher-tax areas that were disproportionately impacted by the limit. The House voted to suspend the cap in 2019—a move opposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other prominent progressives—but the effort died in the then-Republican Senate.

Now, with Democrats in control of the upper chamber, several lawmakers are using their leverage in the narrowly Democratic House to try to force a full repeal of the SALT cap into upcoming legislation. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimates that 62% of the benefits of repeal would go to the richest 1%.

In a joint statement late Tuesday afternoon, Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) declared that they “will not accept any changes to the tax code that do not restore the SALT deduction and put fairness back into the system.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/31/centrist-democrats-panned-demanding-revival-major-tax-break-rich

Once again these ‘moderates’ are protecting the rich and the country be damned.

Then there is the Senate Dems, especially Joe Manchin, who is a so-called Centrists that will also block his parties plans to protect the rich…..

Senate Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus to band together to pass bills that don’t have any GOP support. So, in theory at least, any senator could constantly force the party to bend to their will.

In reality, though, only Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is using that power. He’s already blocked President Biden’s nominee to run the White House Office of Management and Budget, and he forced congressional Democrats to make changes to the economic stimulus bill before he would provide his needed “yea” vote. Manchin is also opposing proposals embraced by the Biden administration and most congressional Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and to mandate background checks for nearly all gun sales.

Why Joe Manchin Is So Willing And Able To Block His Party’s Goals

Just another example of just how badly the system is broken.

Only a handful in Congress are pushing for progress….the rest are trying to preserve the status quo….to protect the rich and the country is only a secondary thought.

This country will forever be locked in this downward spiral as long as these political cowards hold the power to put the brakes on progress.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Race Is On

It has been reported that 47 or our 50 states has some form or another of voter restriction bills on the table…..

The race is on to suppress as much vote as possible…..

Even though the 2020 election is over, many Republicans are still holding onto the “Big Lie,” or the baseless claim that voter fraud cost former President Donald Trump the presidential election. Trump has managed to not only persuade his base that the election was “stolen,” but now many state legislators are using it as a justification to restrict voting rights. Over the last few months, a bevy of bills have been introduced at the state level that — if passed — could make it harder for millions of Americans to cast their ballots. 

The States Where Efforts To Restrict Voting Are Escalating

The state that has made the news as the worst of the worst is Georgia…..they even went so far as to make it illegal to give food or water to people waiting in line to vote….but why is Georgia such a big deal?

From November 2020 to January 2021, the story of the state of Georgia was pro-Democratic: Democratic candidates for president and the U.S. Senate all won. But more importantly, it was pro-democratic. Joe Biden, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won in part because of aggressive efforts by grassroots groups in the state to increase the number of people who voted compared with past Georgia elections. Two of the state’s top Republican elected officials, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, rejected a major push from then-President Trump and other Republicans to effectively overturn the results of the state’s presidential election because Biden had won. The events in Georgia, along with a similar rejection of Trump’s false fraud claims in Arizona by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, were perhaps the clearest examples of how America’s democratic systems had held firm and prevented Trump from cheating his way to a second term.

A lot has changed since then.

Why Georgia’s New Voting Law Is Such A Big Deal

The House has passed a sweeping reform of voting rights entitled HR1…..interested?

Then read it for yourself…..https://my.lwv.org/california/diablo-valley/article/summary-hr-1-people-act

Now the Senate controlled by Dem has enter a long shot bid for voter rights….

In a long-shot bid to enact voting reform on a federal level, Senate Democrats will introduce their version of the For the People Act, a comprehensive voting reform and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: In the aftermath of the 2020 election, states across the U.S. are considering voting restrictions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will hold a press conference Thursday to announce the S1 legislation.

The state of play: The House passed the companion bill For the People Act (H.R. 1) on March 4. The Senate proposal looks virtually similar and would include:

  • The bill would allow universal same-day voting registration and automatic registration for Americans age 18 and up.
    • It would also prohibit the purging of voter rolls and allow every voter to cast votes by mail.
    • It would also provide at least 15 days of early voting to Americans nationwide.

    The bill will also offer campaign finance reform, and would require super PACs and issue advocacy groups to disclose donors contributing more than $10,000.

    • The bill’s ethics components would require the president and vice president to publicly disclose their tax returns.
    • It will also prohibit members of Congress from serving on the boards of for-profit entities.

https://www.axios.com/senate-for-people-act-voting-reform-anti-corruption-94291b80-3961-4bae-978d-1aa4e3f15d65.html

At least the much hated Dems are trying to preserve our right to voter without restricting our access…..

Time for ALL Americans to wake up and watch the slow deterioration of our rights….it is begin with the only way our voices can be heard…..the vote.

Do not sleep through this assault…..for it will not stop there.

I urge you to stand out now……or this will not stop with one right….all are in danger.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine Vs Russia

The situation in Ukraine has not been in the news as of late…….it was all consuming when the forces of pro-Russia Ukraine fought with the Ukrainian forces……but lately the media has had so much more on their plate and pushed it back to the back burner.

But recently there has been a developing situation that could soon lead to a start-up to a deadly conflict once again…..

The U.S. military believes a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, seen as “concerning” on Tuesday, is likely a training exercise. But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine’s Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russia’s president has acknowledged an “escalation of armed confrontation” in the region.

Training exercises were always a possible explanation for the buildup, but a U.S. defense official told CBS News that the locations and types of units seen on the ground didn’t line up with what the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced last month.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-troops-ukraine-border-concerning-united-states/

The war of words……

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was worried by the situation in eastern Ukraine, fearing the Ukrainian side could do something that would restart a civil war there.

President Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday accused Ukraine of provoking armed confrontation with pro-Russian separatists and failing to honour earlier agreements over its wartorn east, during a telephone call with France and Germany’s leaders.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-military-putin-kremlin-idUSKBN2BN1FQ

Not to worry the US may be dragged into this conflict as well……

Numerous statements by Ukrainian and Russian officials reported this Easter Sunday bode ill for hopes of diminishing tensions in Eastern Ukraine. Growing indications of impending intervention by the Pentagon and NATO make the situation yet more grim. U.S. European Command has raised its Ukraine watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis, the highest level, according to Stars and Stripes.

The past few days have witnessed a phone conversation between President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and a similar exchange between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his, Defense Minister Andrii Taran. In both instances the American officials assured their Ukrainian allies of American support not only in their steadily mounting conflict with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass in what was formerly Eastern Ukraine, but with its war of words, and veiled words of war, with Russia which borders the two republics.

The deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, evoked the death of the child to warn the NATO and European Union nations in Europe that their silence on the Ukrainian government’s resumption of shelling in the Donbass is providing the Kiev government carte blanche to continue and to escalate the current conflict into a prelude to all-our war. A war, moreover, on the Russian border, one that it’s difficult to imagine Moscow being able to stand aloof from for long. His words included, “Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] was conducted and a six-year-old child died,” and he bemoaned the fact that “there is no word about this” from Ukraine’s and Russia’s partners in the Normandy Contact Group, France and Germany. (The Normandy Format was established in 2014 when fighting in the Donbass erupted in order to deescalate the conflict and reach a peaceful settlement between its participants.)

(antiwar.com)

Smells like more interventionism to me.

This is one of those situation that is flying under the radar for now……but it should be monitored and attempts made to calm any events that could lead to more fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”