Quick Hits

Sean “Baghdad Bob” is on my TV screen telling me Gorsuch is supremely well qualified to be a Supreme.  Whoa, the Hobby Lobby man? Corporations are people? There are some serious questions surrounding this nominee. And, then there’s the Stolen Seat issue to resolve.  Indeed, his nomination should receive the same consideration as Merrick Garland.  Exactly the same.

Here’s a thought for #45:  It’s usually a good idea to measure one’s words while engaged in diplomatic relations lest people have to scramble thereafter with the diplomatic equivalent of paper toweling to clean up the mess.  #Australia #Mexico

Senator Dean Heller says he will vote in favor of the confirmation of Billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  #sad because her whole school choice crusade doesn’t address the issues for rural Nevada children for whom there is a necessity to support the only schools in place — the public ones.

About that attack in Yemen. The rationale from the White House podium continues to be kill them there before they kill us here, a highly generalized statement which almost precludes criticism.  However, each raid that results in significant civilian losses adds fodder to the propaganda efforts of our enemies. Think First?

We repudiate the Iran deal? Then the Iranians go back to enriching uranium at their pleasure, without restraint. Why should they not? This is fraught with implications for world security, none of which seem positive.

And yes, Frederick Douglass is still dead.

 

 

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Amodei votes to make oil corporation corruption easier

On February 1, 2017 Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) cast two ill considered votes. He voted Yes on HJ Res 41, to eliminate the requirement that oil and energy companies report their payments to foreign governments.  Think about this for a second, while African and other nations around the world are trying to root out corruption, the US House has approved allowing these corporations to hide their payments to foreign governments.  (Vote 73)

Also on February 1, 2017, Representative Amodei voted to scrap a rule preventing the pollution of streams by coal extraction companies. HJ Res 38, vote 71. Thus much for concern about clean drinking water in these regions, about polluted streams’ impact on wildlife, and the effect of pollution on recreational use (hunting and fishing) and tourist attraction.

Representatives Kihuen, Titus, Rosen, voted against these two pieces of Republican legislation.

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America Last

It would never have occurred to me to use the slogan “America First” in front of my parents, it would have conjured up images of London being bombed while Americans like Charles Lindbergh called for the appeasement of Hitler. It would have brought to mind Lindbergh’s infamous Des Moines speech.

Perhaps if it weren’t 2105 days since the incumbent promised to release his tax returns we might know the source of his wealth, how much he owes, and to whom he is indebted, to whom we are offering appeasement.

If there is nothing to the charges in the Trumpster dossier regarding Russia, then why are the Russians behaving as though it has merit? Arrests? Reported deaths…with no cause stated? Again, Malcolm Nance’s question needs to be answered. Sooner, rather than later when America comes last.

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We must not defend the indefensible

44 years ago President Richard Nixon indulged in the Watergate era Saturday Night Massacre. What the current president has done firing Deputy AG Sally Yates isn’t exactly analogous but it’s too close for comfort.

Cabinet officers take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not an oath swearing fealty to a Dear Leader.  There’s no reason a president should appoint people with whom there’s a fundamental difference of opinion, but sometimes there’s a reason to have someone acting as a hand brake on proposals which are indefensible.

We can tell when something is indefensible when the White House Press secretary is reduced to arguing that a five year old boy must be detained for extreme vetting, because you just never know who might be a terrorist…

We may also wonder what questions a person should ask a five year old to determine their political orientation?

A BBC  news broadcast interviewed several supporters of the Muslim ban, and to a person they professed to believe the ban necessary to make us safe. One woman opined that she understood not all Muslims are terrorists, but she wanted to feel safe at her shopping center.

Apparently she doesn’t comprehend the idea that waltzing along to the themes adopted by real Islamic radicals, and thereby handing them a trove of propaganda material, makes us less safe. Not that intelligence and military experts have been pressing this point repeatedly.

I’d place part of the blame for the lady’s insecurity at the feet of sensationalist broadcasts which are quick to call Terrorist for any assault done by Muslims, but to categorize white nationalist perpetrators as lone wolf demented souls suffering from mental illnesses.  They are domestic homegrown terrorists, and the sooner we acknowledge them as such the better.  Fox News efforts to call the white nationalist Canadian killer a Morrocan to the contrary.

Again, we cannot be the land of the free until we become home of the brave.

 

 

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Quick History Lesson: The Voyage of the St Louis

It seems appropriate right now to present a very brief history lesson.  The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has a succinct review of the voyage of the St Louis. Please take a moment to follow the link to refresh the memory of the consequences of ill-advised discriminatory policies.

Make no mistake, all administration Gaslighting to the contrary, the executive order is a Muslim ban. The order only affects immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations. The president admitted during a broadcast interview that Christians would be given preferential treatment. In the words of the old saw, it looks like a duck, waddled like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Supporters of the ban interviewed by the BBC repeated their fears of living in perilous times, and repeated the talking point that the president was trying to “keep us safe,” all evidence to the contrary.

We cannot be the land of the free unless we are the home of the brave.

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Let’s See, How Many Ways to be Outraged?

One blustery executive order and we have —

Demonstrations at major US airports,

The possibility that the UK Parliament will be debating whether to put a ban on the US president’s state visit,

The detention of a five year old child,

Backlash from the Iranian government which is supporting Shia militias fighting IS in Iraq,

Expressions of dismay and confusion from our allies in the Middle East,

The disrespect and cruelty shown to men who courageously worked as translators for our military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan,

The violence done to our values, our security, and our national reputation.

There is a reason the US executive is powerful, there is power in significant actions taken with professionals advice and legal expertise. There is oppression when power is defined by self satisfying self serving bravado.  #Resist.

 

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GOP on Steroids

Here we go. The first challenge to the administration’s nasty little deluge of executive orders has been initially successful and we’ll get to see how the formidable Department of Injustice will try to argue that the Muslim ban isn’t capricious and arbitrary and a denial of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion, not to mention the separation of church and state.

The incumbent appears unsure of what executive orders actually are. What they are not are glorified press releases for the purpose of publicizing the completion of campaign promises.  They require discussion, review, legal opinions, and adult consideration — qualities usually lacking when they’re being drafted, printed, and signed for the purpose of propaganda not policy.

This barrage of orders does set the stage for an administration of classic incompetence, and one that will cling to the old Republican themes of yester-year:

  • Activist judges will overturn the will of the people.  Conveniently forgetting that judicial activism was responsible for the decision in Citizens United.
  • Election integrity, which is shorthand for vote suppression.
  • Tax cuts cure everything.  Too bad this doesn’t include cancer, the impact of automation, and male pattern baldness.
  • Freedom good, regulations bad. Including, one presumes those protecting drinking water, requiring food sanitation, and preventing banks and financial institutions from ripping off their customers.

To those who argue that this isn’t the Grand Old Party of blessed memory, I’d assert that, indeed, it is. It’s the old GOP on steroids.

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