Reparations?

Closing Thought–26Jun19 (Happy Birthday To Me)……

We are having a debate about the possibility of reparations for savagery of slavery…..this debate in Congress was a big thing in the media…..for a couple of weeks and then it died down as the Dem debates came around.

The hearings in Congress on the reparations thingy…..

The topic of reparations for slavery is headed to Capitol Hill for its first hearing in more than a decade, with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover set to testify before a House panel next Wednesday. The hearing’s stated purpose: “to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community, and the path to restorative justice.” The June 19 date of the hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties coincides with Juneteenth, a cultural holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved blacks in America, per the AP. Ex-Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the longtime sponsor of House Resolution 40, first proposed the measure calling for a study of reparations in 1989. Conyers reintroduced the bill every session until his resignation in 2017.

Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the resolution’s new sponsor, introduced it earlier this year and pushed for the hearing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in February she supports a reparations study, a topic that hasn’t been the subject of a House hearing since 2007. Reparations had been a fringe issue until Coates’ 2014 essay in the Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” thrust the topic back into the national discourse. Lethal Weapon star Glover has spoken in favor of the issue for years. The reparations debate became part of the 2020 presidential race early, as several Democratic primary candidates signaled their support for compensating slaves’ descendants, though not in a traditional sense of direct payouts to black Americans. Most have been vague on specifics, offering policies addressing economic inequality that could disproportionately benefit blacks .

Now reparations are not the focal point of this post just a little background…..what I want to show is just how out of damn touch the GOP truly has become……and to do that all I need is for the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell to open his mouth…..

When asked about reparations for slavery on the eve of a House hearing on the issue, McConnell said reparations “for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible,” were not a good idea. Besides, he suggested acts, such as electing Barack Obama president, could be considered a form of compensation.

“We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, elected an African American president,” McConnell said. “I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.”

(USA Today)

If you have nothing intelligent to say or to add then throw Obama into the conversation…..(pathetic political BS)……

Do I need to add anything?

That was probably the most moronic statement uttered by a GOP leader.

Advertisements

Love–Duncan Hunter Style

There are times that politicians show their human side and succumb to the primal needs….Gary Hart comes to mind….. even those accusations against our current standing president……and then there is California’s Duncan Hunter…..seems he got caught with his fingers in the campaign pie to pay for his love travels…..

US Rep. Duncan Hunter of California illegally used campaign money to finance romantic flings with lobbyists and congressional aides, spending thousands of dollars on meals, cocktails, and vacations, federal prosecutors say. A government court filing Monday detailed allegations about the married Republican congressman’s affairs with five women following an indictment last year charging Hunter and his wife with misspending more than $200,000 in campaign funds on trips and other personal expenses, the AP reports. Margaret Hunter, who served as the six-term congressman’s campaign chairwoman, pleaded guilty this month to one count of corruption and agreed to testify against her husband.

In the new motion, prosecutors reconstructed Rep. Hunter’s alleged clandestine lifestyle, providing times when he arrived for and left liaisons and listing a range of expenses he represented as campaign-related activity, such as paying for dates with a woman who had become his lover shortly after she started working in his office. He used his campaign treasury for even seemingly incidental purchases—a $7 beer at a hotel bar while on a ski trip with one of the women, and an Uber ride after a liaison with another lobbyist in October 2015. The government’s filing suggested that Hunter tapped into campaign funds because he had no other money to finance his romantic relationships. During a weekend ski trip with a lobbyist, his personal bank account had a negative balance and he had been hit with $33 fees six times for overdrawing the account, prosecutors said

Yet another turn…..it is rumored that his attorneys will ask for the trial to be moved to a district that voted for Trump.  This guy even threw his son under the bus and accused him of taking money (not for sex like his father but for vid games)…looks like his wife threw him under the bus…..what a great loving family.

It is bad enough that the GOP wants to pick who their voters are with gerrymandering and now they want to decide who gets justice and who does not.

What a pathetic party that allows this sort of crime to continue in its ranks.

Closing Thought–17Jun19

Something we hear very little about these days, with all the election and legal wrangling to news of our War on Terror……believe it or not we are still trying to counter terrorism across the world………and as a law the president must inform Congress of our efforts as a national security thing…..

The text of the letter sent by President to the Congress outlining the US military efforts across the world……

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed United States combat-equipped forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/text-letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-president-pro-tempore-senate-6/

This is a good idea but my question is…what about the troops in Central Asia….are they not armed and ready for combat?

Closing Thought–03Jun19

The big stories on the MSM this past weekend was Trump on Brexit…..royal protocol…..Liverpool wins…..Trump’s mouth in England……and this is American media……but a story that needed attention was overlooked for some dribble that informs NO one.

I read a report over the weekend that I had to re-read again and again…..ever read something that you thought could be extreme stupid or very arrogant?

I had one of those thoughts about something a Congressman had to say……

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, said he probably killed “hundreds of civilians” while serving as an artillery officer in Fallujah.

His comments were made public Monday on the latest episode of the podcast “Zero Blog Thirty.”

“I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians,” he said. “Probably killed women and children if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?”

Hunter recalled this story in response to a question about the actions of Navy SEAL Edward R. Gallagher who is on trial in San Diego accused of war crimes including shooting at civilians. Gallagher has pleaded not guilty.

During the podcast, Hunter was asked specifically about one of the individuals Gallagher is accused of killing, a teenage ISIS fighter. According to prosecutors, the SEAL stabbed the teen who was brought in for medical treatment.

“I frankly don’t care if he was killed,” Hunter said. “I just don’t care.”

The Congressman added that he has seen photos and videos from the Gallagher case and has talked to other SEALS who served with him who say they don’t believe the charges. Hunter also said Gallagher should be given a break and that the ISIS fighter he is accused of killing was going to die anyway.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/may/30/congressman-hunter-says-he-probably-killed-hundred/

https://shareblue.com/duncan-hunter-brags-killing-hundreds-women-children/

Did this “person” just admit to being a war criminal?  Or he just stupid? Could he be lying to impress? Or maybe thinks he is above the law as most arrogant pricks believe.

Personally, I believe only a moron would admit to killing “hundreds” of civilians.  This macho chest thumping is typical……there is NOTHING macho about war….but few realize that fact.  Plus this macho d/bag just admitted to being a war criminal.

My grandfather gave me some good advice…”Never start your mouth until your brain is in gear”……I pass it on to Mr. Hunter.

News Update:  As of 03Jun19 there is nothing in the news about this confession…..

COWARDS!

The armed conflict in Yemen has been raging and the Saudis have with their allies destroyed most of the country and displaced millions to the point of starvation with disease running rampant…..

Back in February I wrote that the Congress was about to do something bold to cease US support for the Saudis genocide of the Yemanis…..

In no place is congressional action more urgent than in Yemen, where approximately half of the population—nearly 14 million people—remain on the brink of starvation due to the war and the ensuing economic collapse in the country. Although congressional pressure caused the Trump administration to finally call for an end to the war last October and cut off U.S. refueling support in November, the United States remains intimately involved in the Saudi- and UAE-led military operations in the country.

 
The Congress passed the bill and it has gone to Trump for his veto….which he did (did the Saudis pay for that veto?).  Now the bill goes back to the Congress for an attempt at an override of the veto.
 
The M-IC will use all its muscle to see that the override attempt is a failure……Pompeo voiced his contempt for the bill…..
With the Senate planning this week to “process” President Trump’s veto of the War Powers Act challenge to the Yemen War, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the reins to try to defend US involvement in Yemen as in America’s best interest.

Pompeo’s argument centered on the idea that the US was obliged to help Saudi Arabia defend itself from retaliatory fights, now that the Saudis had launched a war and provoked that retaliation.

On top of that poor argument for an obligation, Pompeo relied on what the administration seems to believe is the most compelling argument, even if it is wholly based on a lie. He argued that the whole war was Iran’s fault, and not intervening would make Iran happy.

This was the argument Saudi Arabia successfully used to sucker the US into this war, though to be fair that didn’t take much effort. The Iran never had more than tentative links to the Shi’ite Houthi movement, and that they’re not even the same type of Shi’ites, was lost on the administration, and Pompeo seems to hope it will also be lost on the Senate.

Pompeo’s argument is effectively that the US has blundered so deeply into a foolish war they have to keep plugging away, and to the extent we can fool ourselves into thinking we’re somehow sticking it to Iran we might feel a little better about all the harm we’re doing to Yemen.
 
(antiwar.com)
The Saudi money is well spent……the COWARDS in the Senate has failed to override……
Calls to reassert Congressional authority over US war-making failed to muster enough votes to override President Trump’s veto of the Yemen War Powers resolution, which demanded Trump withdraw US involvement from the unauthorized war. The vote was 53-45, short of the two-thirds majority needed to override.

Opposition to the war was driven by the war crimes being committed by the US-backed Saudis, and the Saudi assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, which had some in Congress questioning the US backing them in a war.

The Trump Administration argued variously that Yemen didn’t count as a war, that Trump had unilateral authority on the war, and that the war in Yemen would be bad for Iran and therefore in America’s interests.

Though none of these arguments stood up to close scrutiny, the Republican leadership in the Senate broadly echoed them. Ultimately, this was still enough to keep the veto from being overridden.
 
(antiwar.com)
Time for the money the Saudis are spreading around like peanut butter come to light….and the cowards that accept the bribes step out of the shadows.
 
And those “bribes” turn into money cash in support of this war…..

Michael Knights, Ken Pollack, and Barbara Walter make an unpersuasive case that the U.S. should increase its support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen:

True peace in Yemen will remain elusive unless both sides accept that they have nothing to gain from more fighting. We are not there yet. To get there will require not cutting off U.S. support for Saudi Arabia but threatening to doube down on it unless the Houthis honor their commitments to the UN and are ready to disgorge most of their initial conquests. If Washington is serious about ending the war, it must come to terms with this uncomfortable fact.

The “fact” mentioned here is not a fact at all. It is an unfounded opinion offered in support of a truly reprehensible policy idea. Trying to get the Houthis to “disgorge most of their initial conquests” is what the Saudi coalition has been trying and failing to do for more than four years. Threatening to increase U.S. support to the coalition isn’t going to change this, and actually increasing U.S. military assistance to an indefensible war is an unacceptable option that would only serve to escalate and prolong the conflict.

 
The US support of the Saudi’s war is costing more than money.
 
It needs to cease!
 
Turn The Page!
 

Changing Of The Guard?

In 2018 the House reverted back to the Dems and in that election more women and Millennials were elected and they came to Congress with one plan to do the work of the people who elected them.

While they set about making their mark they were told by the “Old Guard” to be silent and keep their heads down…..they did not take that advice. And now the Old Guard is running scared and are doing all they can to make these Congresspeople as least effective as possible.

Come let’s be honest these old farts Dems are as conserv as the GOP all their noise made in contrary is just political theater knowing full well that their opposition will not be taken seriously and the status quo will remain….that means you will be crapped on as usual.

Starting with Clinton, Bubba not Hil, the Dems have drifted into conservatism and remained there…there has been lots of talk about change….but really? What has changed within the DNC? Obama may talk a good game but policies remained in the conserv vane…and yet he is seen as a progressive.

As a true progressive I despise the use of the term used to describe anyone in the DNC…the new brand is embracing true progressivism over the conserv BS from the past…..the country will win in the end.

These freshmen Congresspeople are giving the American people what they have had so little of in the past…a voice in their future.

I am so tired of these pundits on TV that make 6 figures or more telling the American people what they need and what they want.  These people have NO idea what an average family wants or needs……but yet they bad mouth the so-called Left populism…..

The considerable advances that the labor movements made in the period 1945–1978 (known as “The Golden Age of Capitalism”), and the considerable expansion of social, labor, and political rights that these movements achieved on both sides of the North Atlantic (North America and Western Europe), generated a response from the economic and financial establishments—as well as from the political and media establishments which they influence enormously—that had an extensive impact. These establishments developed the anti-labor movement policies, known internationally as neoliberal policies, that significantly reduced the powers of labor and weakened the rights that had been won over the previous decades.

The data speaks for itself: labor income fell as a percentage of GDP in most of these countries at the cost of a large increase in capital income from the 1980s until now (see my book Ataque a la democracia y al bienestar. Crítica al pensamiento económico dominante. Anagrama, 2015).

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/26/why-left-wing-populism-is-not-enough/

I worries me when I see so-called unions come out in favor of the conservatism of Biden and most other Dem candidates…..unions NO longer represent the worker in the manner they were intended to in the past. (a post in waiting?)

The DNC needs a sharp turn to the Left…….we have had at least 3 decades of big money party politics….those days need to go away and stay away.

There are way too many “centrists” in this field of Dem candidates……these are the cowards from the past time for them to do what they can to help the changing of the guard…..

Democratic centrists — or you can call them New Democrats or moderates or “pragmatic progressives” or whatever label you choose — have had quite an impressive run in national politics. They have won seven consecutive Democratic presidential nominations (or perhaps eight, depending on how you classify Michael Dukakis), and then went on to win the popular vote in six of those general elections. This stretch of relative success came after Republicans had won five of six presidential elections between 1968 and 1988.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/a-new-role-for-democratic-centrists-helping-the-left-win.html

I have never liked Centrists…..pick a path a stay on it…the center of the road is a dangerous place….especially for the nation.

Change the guard and move the nation forward…we have had enogh back peddling.

Against Bicameralism

We hear all the time about the Congress and how the two houses are dysfunctional……there is an answer to this chaos……

I wrote many years ago that I thought that my state should go to a unicameral system of representation…..it would save money and loosen up the legislative process from the standstill it suffers from every session.

As distinct from bicameral or even tricameral legislatures, unicameral legislatures meet and vote in a single chamber. The traditional justification of unicameralism is that it is cheaper, more efficient, and more responsive than bicameralism. The appeal of a single-chamber legislature increases in periods of legislative gridlock, making unicameralism a relevant alternative to bicameral representation, which excels at representing different social classes or geographic areas. Below, the fit between unicameral representation and responsive government is explored, first, by assessing the use of unicameralism in 2016, and then by outlining the basic merits and demerits of unicameral legislatures. The Anglo-American tradition of unicameralism is then surveyed. The discussion concludes with a brief overview of Nebraska’s single-chamber legislature.

For the lazy……

My regulars know that I am  history buff and that I try to educate my visitors on this country as well as other subjects….and in the beginning during the fight for the Constitution that were people that did not agree with Madison on the need for a bicameral system of representation.

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51 that “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” Madison discussed the separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the additional division of the legislative branch into two chambers, and how their design can create a political invisible hand by which “the private interest of every individual may be a centinel over the public rights.”

I don’t know whether Madison employed the word “centinel” in this sentence to jab at the Antifederalist writer Centinel, who several months before lambasted the idea that separation-of-power systems can be designed to generate public virtue from the interaction of self-interested politicians. Perhaps. Contrary to Madison’s argument, however, for Centinel, only engaged and attentive citizens can keep politicians in line, not institutional designs that ostensibly create self-enforcing constitutional systems. There is no invisible hand for Centinel, at least not in politics.

https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/12/07/centinels-argument-against-bicameralism/

In my case the attempt that I tried to have a bill on the change from bicameral to unicameral was a non-starter…..I never thought I would be successful but at least I was hoping for some discussion…the “good old boys” shot me down and shot me down hard.

I still believe my state and the country would be better off with a unicameral system….

Thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!