The ‘Freedom Caucus’

Ever notice that these people give their BS all these patriotic sounding titles….like the ‘Fair Tax Act’, Freedom Caucus and none of them have anything patriotic attached to it in reality.

For this post I want to write about the ultra-conserv caucus within the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus……

The group, which includes many veterans of the Tea Party movement, was formed in January with the declared aim of pushing the House GOP leadership rightward on certain fiscal and social issues. More broadly, the caucus wants power shifted away from the leadership to the rank-and-file (by, for instance, giving committees more leeway on which bills to move forward and allowing more amendments to come to floor votes).

Unlike the plethora of caucuses and committees – which range from the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs to the House GOP Study Group – the Freedom Caucus does not officially disclose who belongs to it (aside from its nine founding members), though various unofficial lists have circulated. Membership is by invitation only, and meetings are not public.

The caucus originated during the mid-January 2015 Republican congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  According to founding member Mick Mulvaney, “that was the first time we got together and decided we were a group, and not just a bunch of pissed-off guys”.  Nine conservative Republican members of the House began planning a new congressional caucus separate from the Republican Study Committee and apart from the House Republican Conference. The founding members who constituted the first board of directors for the new caucus were Republican representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Justin Amash of Michigan, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Mulvaney of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

(wikipedia.org)

Like the forerunner of the group, the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus never intended to lead only to disrupt.

At the beginning of this month, the House endured the longest contest to elect a speaker in 164 years. Rep. Kevin McCarthy ultimately was elected speaker, but only after he made several concessions to a small but influential faction of dissenting conservative Republicans. Though not every member of the Freedom Caucus — a far-right coalition of Republican lawmakers — voted against McCarthy, nearly every member who did oppose him was a member of the Freedom Caucus.

That commonality has drawn renewed attention to the Freedom Caucus and its role within Congress. Despite being a minority in the House, the Freedom Caucus has repeatedly punched above its weight and effected genuine change in the chamber. Powerful political factions are as old as American politics, and in most ways, the Freedom Caucus is just a continuation of that tradition. But in a few key ways, its members are doing something different: voting as a bloc, willing to go against their own party’s leadership and to gum up the works to make a statement. Those differences have allowed the Freedom Caucus to exercise influence over the better part of the past decade — and are why it’s only just getting started.

Modern congressional caucuses emerged in the last century, though less formal organizations of like-minded members have existed in Congress since the start, according to Ruth Bloch Rubin, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and the author of “Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the U.S. Congress.” During the Progressive Era in the early 20th century, a group of insurgent Republicans worked alongside Democrats to strip away some of the powers that had been consolidated by the speaker. In the 1960s and ’70s, the left-leaning Democratic Study Group worked to push through civil rights legislation (along with, later, the Congressional Black Caucus), against bitter opposition from conservative Southern Democrats.

Typically, such influential intraparty factions emerge only when parties find themselves especially divided, Bloch Rubin said. “It’s usually because there’s enough of a cleavage within the party that these sort of factions have enough members and the distance between one faction and a competitor faction within the same party is enough that it warrants this kind of organizational work,” she said.

The Freedom Caucus Was Designed To Disrupt

This caucus was designed to be a distraction from the silliness of the GOP….they are there to disrupt and play political games not to govern.

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Poverty–Oh SNAP!

There are a few programs that try to help the poor with their struggle with hunger….one of those programs is the SNAP.

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.

Now that the Repubs are in control of most state houses there is a movement to end this program….

Republicans in the Iowa House introduced legislation this month that would impose a slew of fresh restrictions on the kinds of food people can purchase using SNAP benefits, sparking outrage among local groups who say the measure would exacerbate hunger in the GOP-dominated state.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), an interfaith group that operates the largest food pantry network in Iowa, noted in a statement earlier this week that if the bill passes, “Iowans could no longer use their SNAP benefits to purchase meat, nuts, and seeds; flour, butter, cooking oil, soup, canned fruits, and vegetables; frozen prepared foods, snack foods, herbs, spices—not even salt or pepper.”

“This is a punitive policy that will do nothing to improve the health and nutrition of Iowans, but rather be a detriment,” the group said.

The Iowa Hunger Coalition (IHC) also condemned the bill, voicing opposition to its proposed food restrictions as well as new asset limits that would make it more difficult for families to qualify for SNAP, a program funded by the federal government and administered by states.

According to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., roughly 229,500 people—including 80,160 children—are facing food insecurity in Iowa.

The details of the new legislation—which is sponsored by 39 Iowa House Republicans, including Speaker Pat Grassley—were met with national anger.

“This is so profoundly cruel and petty,” said Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the progressive advocacy group Indivisible.

Sarah Bowen, a sociologist who studies food and inequality, noted in a tweet on Thursday that “Republicans have tried to destroy SNAP for years,” animated by the lie that “SNAP recipients are all stocking up on lobster and steak.”

“This is the most ridiculous proposal I’ve seen though,” Bowen added. “No chicken or ground beef. No chili beans. No American cheese?!”

SNAP recipients are already limited in what they can purchase at the grocery store using their benefits, but Iowa Republicans are seeking to dramatically expand those restrictions.

As Todd Dorman of the Iowa Gazetteexplained in a column on Thursday, the legislation “would require the Department of Health and Human Services to seek a federal waiver allowing Iowa to scrap an already restrictive federal list of approved foods and replace it with a list of food available to recipients of aid to Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC.”

“The bill would also, for the first time, create an asset test, limiting household assets to $2,750 or $4,250 if one member of the household is over 60. It exempts just one vehicle, potentially making households with two cars ineligible,” Dorman wrote. “Beyond all of that draconian wisdom, the bill would force recipients to jump through far more regulatory hoops to become eligible and stay on SNAP, wrapping recipients tightly in red tape and likely costing the state millions more to administer the program.”

Only two groups support the bill,” Dorman added. “One is the Florida-based Opportunity Solutions Project, which sends its minions across the country to cut holes in the social safety net and oppose policies such as Medicaid expansion. The group is part of a web of conservative think tanks and bill mills bankrolled by rich donors who think if you just make poor people hungry and sick enough, they’ll utilize their bootstraps.”

(commondreams.org.

Read on….https://www.businessinsider.com/iowa-republicans-bill-ban-snap-recipients-meat-sliced-cheese-2023-1

How long will it be before this kind of cruelty expands into other red controlled Houses?

And yet they get votes from the very people they are screwing….where’s the logic in that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Capital Riot Has Consequences

I have reported on the fines and penalties handed out by the courts on those that participated in the 06 January insurrection…..and now there is a new consequence possible.

Democratic lawmakers in a handful of states are trying to send a message two years after the violent attack on the US Capitol: Those who engage in an attempted overthrow of the government shouldn’t be allowed to run it. New York, Connecticut, and Virginia are among states where proposed legislation would prohibit anyone convicted of participating in an insurrection from holding public office or a position of public trust, such as becoming a police officer, per the AP. While the bills vary in scope, their aim is similar. “If you’ve tried to take down our government through violent means, in no way should you be part of it,” New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal said.

  • New York: Hoylman-Sigal is sponsoring a bill that would bar people convicted of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding civil office, meaning they would not be able to serve as a judge or member of the Legislature.
  • Virginia: A state lawmaker introduced a bill this month, on the second anniversary of the Capitol riot, that would prohibit anyone convicted of a felony related to an attempted insurrection or riot from serving in positions of public trust—including those involving policymaking, law enforcement, safety, education, or health.
  • Connecticut: A proposed bill would prohibit people convicted of sedition, rebellion, insurrection or a felony related to one of those acts from running for or holding public office. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, who introduced the measure, said he wants the legislation eventually to bar them from holding state or municipal jobs.

Some Republicans say the legislation is unnecessary. In New York, Republican Assemblyman Will Barclay, the minority leader, called the bill there a “political statement,” saying it is “more political than it is a concern about public policy.” He said existing rules already apply to people in certain positions who are convicted of crimes and that those laws “should be sufficient.” The legislation is another example of how the Capitol riot has become a political Rorschach test in the country.

Stellar ideas in my book…..there has to be consequences for their actions….this should include anyone convicted of any charge pertaining to the riot.

Is there more news about the others involved?

More “Oath Keepers’ learn their fate….

A federal jury on Monday convicted four members of the Oath Keepers militia of seditious conspiracy, deciding they’d plotted to use force to keep former President Donald Trump in office. Roberto Minuta, 38; Joseph Hackett, 52; David Moerschel, 45; and Edward Vallejo, 64, also were found guilty of obstructing and conspiring to obstruct lawmakers and Congress in general, the Washington Post reports. “They claimed to wrap themselves in the Constitution, but they trampled it,” said prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler in the trial’s closing arguments. “They ignored the will of the people” while having “the audacity to claim to be oath-keepers.”

The four men’s case was split from the trial of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, and others because of limited space in the courtroom. In November, Rhodes also was found guilty of seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors said these four ranked lower in the far-right militia group than those in the other trial, more like troops than organizers. Hackett and Moerschel forced their way into the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with a dozen others, the government said. Minuta came behind them with another group that fought officers inside, and Vallejo, an Army veteran, stayed with a stash of guns in a hotel in Virginia. Prosecutors said he repeatedly texted fellow conspirators that he was ready to join them at the Capitol but received no response.

When officers pushed Minuta and others out of the building, prosecutors said, he shouted “All that’s left is the Second Amendment!” The Oath Keepers met for dinner after the riot at an Olive Garden in Virginia and began planning their next move, per the Post. But they scattered, one member said, when they heard federal agents were looking for them. The jury deliberated for about 15 hours over three days before returning its verdict Monday, per the New York Times. Hackett and Moerschel were acquitted of damaging Capitol doors. US District Judge Amit Mehta allowed all four to await sentencing while under house arrest.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

SCOTUS Update

The Supreme Court will be putting together their agenda and a couple of the issues that could make the docket….

The Supreme Court could change the way the internet is governed next month. It will hear two cases that will challenge Section 230. Section 230 is a part of the Communications Decency Act. This act determines the rules for regulating online speech. This hearing is the first time the Supreme Court has dealt with a case fighting the 1996 act. But if the plaintiffs win, they could change how the internet is operated and used. 

Both cases being tried in front of the supreme court involve using various social media platforms by terrorists. The court will decide if the owners of these social media platforms did enough to block terrorists from using their services to spread their message and recruit new members. The social media site, Youtube, is the main focus of this trial to see if they are protected under Section 230 for the algorithmic recommendation of content. 

The first case was filed by the parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Paris on November 2015. Her family believes that Youtube’s algorithms push ISIS videos into people’s scope by recommending them in the suggested videos section of their platform. It is well known that many terrorist groups, including ISIS, use YouTube to recruit members to their organization from the western world. 

One Supreme Court Ruling Could Change The Internet Entirely

The next update is one that seems to be in every agenda….something religious….

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear Groff v. DeJoy, a case that could give religious conservatives an unprecedented new ability to dictate how their workplaces operate, and which workplace rules they will refuse to follow.

Yet Groff is also likely to overrule a previous Supreme Court decision that treated the interests of religious employees far more dismissively than federal law suggests that these workers should be treated.

The case, in other words, presents genuinely tricky questions about the limits of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs. But those questions will be resolved by a Supreme Court that has shown an extraordinary willingness to bend the law in ways that benefit Christian-identified conservatives.

That could lead to a scenario in which the Court announces a new legal rule that disrupts the workplace — and that potentially places far too many burdens on non-religious employees.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/23559038/supreme-court-groff-dejoy-religion-twa-hardison-workplace

I have doubt that these paleo-conserv judges will do the wrong thing.

Finally remember that famous leak of a draft of the ruling on Rowe v Wade and the ensuing investigation into that leak?

Someone is likely breathing a sigh of relief. The Supreme Court said Thursday that it can’t figure out who leaked the bombshell draft opinion of the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. “It is not possible to determine the identity of any individual who may have disclosed the document or how the draft opinion ended up with Politico,” says the court’s unsigned report, per the Washington Post. “No one confessed to publicly disclosing the document and none of the available forensic and other evidence provided a basis for identifying any individual as the source of the document.”

A separate report by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley notes that nearly 100 court staffers were interviewed and all presented the it-wasn’t-me defense, reports NBC News. The investigation into the unprecedented leak eight months ago is not over, but the tone of the two reports suggests little hope of a breakthrough. “Investigators continue to review and process some electronic data that has been collected and a few other inquiries remain pending,” wrote Curley. “To the extent that additional investigation yields new evidence or leads, the investigators will pursue them.” Curley added that it’s unlikely anyone hacked the court’s computer system.

The country owes this person a debt of gratitude for the leak….it help show just how corrupt and uncaring these judicial slugs are towards the rights of the American people.

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Repubs Show Their True Colors

You heard and even may have voted for the GOP because of those lame promises and now there are a few incidents in state legislatures that show the true colors of the policies of the Republicans.

Take Missouri for an example.

Legislators in the Missouri House of Representatives sparred on Wednesday over a Republican amendment to regulate what types of clothing women lawmakers should be permitted to wear while at work.

House Resolution 11 was cleared by the GOP-dominated Consent and House Procedure Committee. And while it has not yet been submitted to the Missouri State Senate, passionate arguments have burbled from assemblymembers on both sides of the political aisle.

State Representative Raychel Proudie (D-53rd District), for example, lambasted the proposal as inherently absurd, overtly sexist, and unworthy of consideration:

I want you all to pay particular attention, because there’s going to be times on this floor where there are things that should not require debate and comment. I contend that these are one of these things. There are times to have your name said, to be recognized, to be called upon. This is not one of those things. There are some very serious things that are in this rule package that I think we should be debating, but instead, we are fighting again for women’s right to choose something. And this time is how she covers herself and the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion, because – again, this isn’t a shot – it’s inappropriate to wear sequins before five o’clock telling me that I can’t wear a crispy, good St. John sweater if it has too many buttons. I spend $1200 on a suit, and I can’t wear it in the people’s House because someone who doesn’t have the range tells me that it’s inappropriate.

https://www.alternet.org/you-brought-this-floor-lady/

Typical example of the backwards thinking of the GOP.

Let’s move on to North Carolina….

It’s been almost seven years since North Carolina Republican lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory hastily concocted and enacted House Bill 2 – the infamous “bathroom bill.” It targeted transgender people for ignorant, mean-spirited and altogether absurd discrimination, while simultaneously making the state the target of numerous boycotts and countless late-night TV one-liners.

The bill was later repealed but its legacy – as an embarrassment to be forgotten as quickly as possible for most people, and as a proud rallying point for the state’s religious right fringe (and reactionary culture warriors everywhere), lingers on. Across the country, efforts to make life harder for transgender people, and even to criminalize efforts to provide them medically necessary healthcare, continue apace. North Carolina state Treasurer Dale Folwell has been an especially avid and energetic devotee of this brand of discrimination.

Now, however, one of the chief architects of the HB 2 disaster, state House Speaker Tim Moore, is back with a new and very different – but equally absurd – kind of bathroom bill, or to be more precise, bathroom rule. And this one too appears to have been fueled by the never-sated demands of right-wing social crusaders.

https://www.rawstory.com/north-carolina-bathroom-bill/

More insanity instead of reality….

Then there is the idiot in New Jersey and his view on books….

A freshman lawmaker from Wyoming has already begun efforts to remove LGBTQ+ books for youth from both school and public libraries in the state.

Republican Rep.-elect Jeanette Ward has introduced House Bill 87, which expands the definition of “child pornography” to mean “any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, cartoon, drawing, computer or computer generated image or picture, whether or not made or produced by electronic, mechanical or other means, or any other form of depiction of explicit sexual conduct.”

The bill also repeals a law that gives exemptions for those who “possess or disseminate obscene material” for activities related to schools, universities, colleges, museums, and public libraries.

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/republican-wants-expand-definition-child-pornography-make-easier-ban-lgbtq-books/

My final report is from Texas (go figure)….

A Texas Republican wants to make foods containing material from aborted human fetuses “clearly and conspicuously labeled” — even though such products do not exist.

The proposed law, authored by state Sen. Bob Hall, says food and medicine would have to be labeled if it contained or was manufactured with human fetal tissue or if it was the product of research that used such tissue. The bill defines human fetal tissue as “tissue, cells, or organs obtained from an aborted unborn child.”

“Unfortunately, many Texans are unknowingly consuming products that either contain human fetal parts or were developed using human fetal parts,” read a statement from Hall’s office. “While some may not be bothered by this, there are many Texans with religious or moral beliefs that would oppose consumption or use of these products.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the sale of foods containing human tissue.

“There are no conditions under which the FDA would consider human fetal tissue to be safe or legal for human or animal consumption,” an agency spokesperson wrote in an email to HuffPost.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/texas-republican-wants-food-made-of-aborted-fetuses-labeled_n_63c7232ae4b07c0c7df8904b

Another one of those lame ass conspiracies that only an idiot would embrace….but then this country is full of those types.

As you can see these have nothing to do with the promises made….and yet they are re-electable….what?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Today Is The Day!

Hold your breathe for today is going to be interesting….or even comical….either way the theater will be massive…..

Today’s a milestone day for the Treasury Department, though it’s one it had hoped wouldn’t arrive. Thursday marks when the United States is expected to hit its $31.4 trillion debt cap, a borrowing limit set by Congress that means Treasury will now have to get creative with other ways to pay the nation’s bills. Per the New York Times, the development is expected to set off a contentious debt-ceiling fight between Democrats, who want to lift the cap, and Republicans, who say no way unless President Biden OKs significant spending cuts. “At a moment of heightened partisanship and divided government, it is … a warning of the entrenched partisan battles that are set to dominate Washington in the months to come, and that could end in economic shock,” the paper notes. More on what’s ahead:

  • A feud that may ‘cross the Rubicon’: That’s how Axios paints the “fraught and perilous” debate, in which it anticipates neither side will do much negotiating. That’s not good news when the US is perched on the precipice of a recession. The outlet notes it could also be “an avatar of what some have argued is a US democracy that’s become increasingly polarized, ungovernable, incapable of tackling major challenges—and could be on the verge of outright destabilization.”
  • What it means for Americans: CNN notes that “every American could feel the pain” of what’s to come, and USA Today delves further into the ways the debt-ceiling fight could impact our finances, from how it will affect tax refunds and 401(k) accounts to what it means for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • What it means for investors: The New York Times offers its take on where to put your money during such turbulent times. One takeaway: Sticking with stocks and bonds over the long haul will probably serve you well.
  • Looking to the past for precedent: CNN takes a look back at other debt standoffs, including in 1995, when the debt was a mere $4.9 trillion. NPR, meanwhile, talks to two key players during the 2011 debt-ceiling impasse—Jason Furman, an economic adviser to then-President Obama, and Rohit Kumar, an adviser to Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican that year—to see if there are lessons to be gleaned.
  • But this isn’t 2011: Participants in a roundtable discussion at the Times note that things are very different than they were a decade ago—including “a worrying trend of edging closer and closer to red lines because lawmakers think there’s political benefit and that there won’t actually be consequences.” In other words, it’s become a high-stakes game of chicken that could have far-reaching repercussions.

Let the games begin!

House GOP will inflict as much pain as they can on Americans…..

Thursday, January 19, 2023 as the day the United States is likely to reach its debt limit, although she has also said that she can keep the federal government open through June by resorting to “extraordinary measures.” Yellen has stressed that the sooner Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Republicans can reach some type of agreement on the debt ceiling, the better. But the two major parties appear to be at a stalemate in the House, where Freedom Caucus and Tea Party Republicans are demanding major spending cuts and Democrats are maintaining that vital programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should not be on the chopping block.

Meanwhile, countless economists are warning that if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations, the results would be disastrous economically and trigger a painful recession. Liberal economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column, has warned that House Republicans are happy to risk a financial calamity in the hope of butchering Social Security and Medicare. And Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes has argued that House Republicans aren’t being “fiscally conservative” when they play “chicken” with the U.S. economy and risk a default on the United States’ debt obligations — they’re being reckless and irresponsible.

https://www.alternet.org/debt-ceiling-2659280721/

May I suggest that you invest in some Vaseline and just bend over….for the Repubs are coming.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

House Sets It’s Priorities

A new Congress, a new GOP lead House and a new speaker…..and now the majority, GOP, sets its priorities for the new Congress session……

Is it fiscal policies….nope

It mostly centers around the Orange man from Florida….Donald Trump.

Republicans knew better than to make their biggest messaging bill a public display of affection for moneyed criminals. But Trump currently faces both legal and political trouble from his long and storied history of tax fraud. Shortly after the House vote, the Trump Organization’s former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, was sentenced to prison time for his role in Trump’s tax evasion schemes. While Weisselberg’s stiff sentence likely reflects his willingness to take the fall for Trump’s crimes, as Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center lawyer Steven Rosenthal told Mother Jones this week, the Trump tax returns released by House Democrats in December make clear that’s not the only tax trouble Trump still faces. He’s never gotten nailed for any of his likely tax cheating because Trump “overwhelmed” the under-resourced IRS. In other words, the Biden law is designed to catch lawbreakers of precisely the Trump variety. So consider this first bill of the House GOP majority — which will thankfully go nowhere — as a love letter to their favorite crooked ex-president. 

For instance, one of the first changes McCarthy pushed through the House involved a series of rules meant to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body empowered to investigate complaints about members of Congress. It’s no mystery why this is a top priority for so many Republicans in Congress. Multiple GOP members have been under suspicion for the role they played in the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, and four were referred to the (now also defanged) House Ethics Committee by the Jan. 6 select committee last year. The Office of Congressional Ethics isn’t under Republican control, which means there’s a very real chance it could have found evidence of sedition-related crimes. Now, effectively disempowered, it may not get the chance.

(salon.com)

Then there are those impeachments of Trump and McCarthy has made it known his thoughts.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Thursday that he would consider expunging one or both of former President Trump’s impeachments.

“I would understand why members would want to bring that forward,” McCarthy said in response to a question at a press conference on Thursday, before listing off several other key priorities for House Republicans. 

“But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it,” he added.

In the last Congress, a group of more than 30 House Republicans led by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) put forward a resolution to expunge Trump’s impeachment in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The resolution was supported by the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).

A smaller group, again led by Mullin, also introduced a resolution to expunge Trump’s December 2019 impeachment for allegedly attempting to withhold military aid from Ukraine in an effort to pressure the country to investigate the business dealings of President Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump in both impeachments, after failing to reach the two-thirds majority required to convict him.

(thehill.com)

Was there any doubt in the direction that McCarthy and the rest of the slugs in the GOP would travel?

Not for me

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18Jan23

Illinois has become another state in the Union to make history…..they have banned a lethal obsession of its citizens….

Illinois on Tuesday became the latest U.S. state to ban the sale or possession of assault weapons.

Just hours after the legislation’s passage in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” into law during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Springfield. Supporters, some of whom were gun violence survivors, erupted with applause and cheers as the governor presented the signed document.

The new law bans assault weapons, including some semiautomatic firearms, along with high-capacity magazines and rapid-firing devices.

“For a long time now, I and many other leaders in the Illinois General Assembly have prioritized getting the most dangerous weapons off our state’s streets,” Pritzker said in a statement Tuesday. “Today, honoring the commitment we made, we passed one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the nation, one I will be proud to sign.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden “commends the leadership of Illinois … and the numerous advocates, survivors, and elected officials whose tireless efforts turned the pain of Highland Park and other acts of gun violence into meaningful action on behalf of all Illinoisans.”

Nine U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C., now prohibit the sale or possession of military-style weapons, driven largely by deadly mass shootings in their communities.

For Illinois, the ban came six months after a gunman wielding a semiautomatic rifle shot and killed seven people at a 4th of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

“No Illinoisan, no matter their zip code, should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be the next in an ever-growing list of victims of mass shootings,” the governor said. “However, for too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshipping, at celebrations or in their own front yards. This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state a safer place for all.”

(abc news)

Will this trend continue or will this just be a flash in the pan?

Will SCOTUS intervene?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

And So It Begins

WE have a new GOP controlled House and that means we will hear all about the deficit and the need for a smaller government….they will use the tighten the belt attitude….

So let’s look at the first few days of the Repub controlled House on monetary issues

While the House was deciding to choose a speaker and the drama that came…..money was wasted.

Members of Congress collected more than $800,000 in salary during the chamber’s protracted speaker fight — during a period when they technically were not members.

The pols officially become members of Congress — leaving behind the title of Rep.-Elect — when they are sworn in by the Speaker of the House. The event usually takes place on Jan. 3, the Constitutionally mandated start of each new Congress.

Even re-elected incumbents must be sworn back in every two years for their “member” status to be current.

But because Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to clinch the votes to become Speaker until the early morning hours of Jan. 7 — a delay not seen since before the Civil War — members of Congress swiped four days of payment before they were actually sworn-in as members.

https://nypost.com/2023/01/14/congress-pocketed-813k-during-freedom-caucus-speaker-revolt/

So since they were not officially employed why would they get paid?

Just wondering.

Then there is the ‘secretive’ pay raise…..

In one of their final acts in power, House Democrats secretly passed through a rule change that will see lawmakers in the lower chamber get a $34,000 pay raise. 

The new rule, proposed by Democrats on the House Administration Committee, allows House members to be reimbursed for the cost of lodging, food and travel while on official business in Washington DC.

It was tucked into the House’s internal rules, rather than in annual spending bills, and therefore was not debated on the House floor, according to the New York Times. 

In fact many rank-and-file House members did not even find out about the change until Tuesday, just two weeks after former Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a similar pay raise for House staffers.

Advocates say the new raise is necessary to increase the pool of people who could afford to serve in Congress, but Republicans say the ‘clandestine’ rule should have been up for public debate.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11630687/Secret-rule-change-House-lawmakers-34-000-PAY-BUMP.html

Good start to address the deficit….but not to worry they plan to send even more cash to Ukraine…..

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine less than one year ago, Congress has approved more than $113 billion of aid and military assistance to support the Ukrainian government and allied nations. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 omnibus appropriations package included an additional $47.3 billion of emergency funding to provide humanitarian, military, and economic assistance to Ukraine on top of the $65.8 billion of funding already approved in three other emergency funding packages enacted by Congress.

Of the $113 billion approved in 2022, about three-fifths ($67 billion) has been allocated toward defense needs and the remaining two-fifths ($46 billion) to nondefense concerns such as general Ukrainian government aid, economic support, and aid for refugee resettlement. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided cost estimates of the four funding packages at the time each was passed. In total, CBO estimated that $6.6 billion of the $113 billion would be spent in FY 2022 and another $37.7 billion in FY 2023. Furthermore, CBO estimated more than half of the approved funds would be spent by the end of FY 2024 and more than three-fourths by the end of FY 2026.

To date, the Biden Administration has sent Ukraine roughly $26 billion of direct military aid, mainly in the form of military hardware, training, and supplies.

https://www.crfb.org/blogs/congress-approved-113-billion-aid-ukraine-2022

A good start to help lessen the deficit….a typical start once the GOP has control.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego eergo scribo”

The Resurrection Of “COINTELPRO”

Keeping with the protest angle…..

Back in my younger days I was a victim of the federal government’s master plan, COINTELPRO.

I tried to let my readers know a little of the history of the 1960-70s…..

The program never truly went away…..but is being resurrected to the point of the protests of the past.

Elon Musk has opened the floodgates to expose the FBI’s latest war on Americans’ freedom of speech.  The FBI massively intervened to pressure Twitter to suppress accounts and tweets from individuals the FBI disapproved, including parody accounts.  The FBI and other federal agencies also browbeat Facebook, Instagram, and many other tech companies.

Thus far, most of the American media has ignored or downplayed the story, known as the Twitter Files. Since many of the individuals who the FBI got squelched were pro-Trump, the violation of their rights is a non-issue – or a cause for quiet celebration.  At this point, it is difficult to know whether the scant reaction to the Twitter Files is the result of political bias, collective amnesia, or simply a total ignorance of American history.

The history of the FBI provides perhaps the best guide to the abuses that may be now occurring. From 1956 to 1971, the FBI carried out “a secret war against those citizens it considers threats to the established order,” a 1976 Senate report noted. The FBI’s Operation COINTELPRO involved thousands of covert operations to incite street warfare between violent groups, to get people fired, to portray innocent people as government informants, to destroy activists’ marriages, and to cripple or destroy left-wing, black, communist, white racist, and anti-war organizations.  The FBI let no corner of American life escape its vigilance; it even worked to expose and discredit “communists who are secretly operating in legitimate organizations and employments, such as the Young Men’s Christian Association and Boy Scouts.”

While many people are aware of how the FBI hounded Martin Luther King, Jr., and pressured him to commit suicide, that was not even the tip of the iceberg of the FBI’s racial persecution. Almost any black organization could be targeted for illegal wiretaps. One black leader was monitored largely because he had “recommended the possession of firearms by members for their self-protection.” At that time, some southern police departments and sheriffs were notorious for attacking blacks who stood up for their civil rights.

FBI Cointelpro is Back and Worse Than Ever

Keep this in mind when you decide to enter into the world of protests.  Big Brother is watching!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”