Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

George Santos (R, NY-3)

January 24, 2023

The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

Republican Congressman George Santos (AKA Anthony Zabrovsky, Anthony Devolder, George Devolder and Kitara Ravache) of New York’s 3th District is now a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (because he lied about developing carbon capture technology), and the House Committee on Small Business (because he lied about his business experience). At least he’s not on the Ethics Committee.

If you’re keeping score at home, George Santos lied about his: high school, college, ever going to college, volleyball prowess, grad school, religion, race, family history, work history, finances, owning 13 real estate properties, knee replacements, his yacht brokerage, appearing on Hanna Montana, developing carbon capture technology, film acting, losing employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting, getting mugged, being a drag queen, having a brain tumor, running a pet rescue charity, past marital status, getting COVID, and his own mother’s death. More is sure to come.

But as Jon Stewart observes: “The thing we have to be careful of, and I always caution myself on this and I ran into this trouble with Trump, is we cannot mistake absurdity for lack of danger, because it takes people with no shame to do shameful things.”

How did he get elected in the first place? By telling Democratic and Republican voters in his district what each wanted to hear. As Bill Maher puts it: “He is the first one to realize that since we are all in our hermetically sealed media bubbles, now you can pretend to be everything to voters in both parties.”

The Republican majority is so slim that GOP members are reluctant to pressure Mr. Santos into resigning from the House. His district could easily elect a Democrat to replace him, so he’ll stay until the federal, state, Nassau County, Queens, and/or Brazilian courts catch up with him.

More:

“Rep. George Santos Appears to Have Ripped Off His Former Boss’s Resume in Crafting His Backstory,” Virginia Chamlee, People

“George Santos’ backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch,” Clare Hymes and Graham Kates, CBS News

“Another Santos Money Mystery: He Struck a Curious Business Deal With a Veteran GOP Operative,” Noah Lanard and David Corn, Mother Jones

“Campaigns Linked To Santos Left Donors Feeling Ripped Off After Questionable Credit Card Charges,” Hunter Walker and Josh Kovensky, TPM

Update:

“Scientists Welcome ‘Astronaut,’ ‘Nobel Winner’ George Santos To House Science Committee,” Chris D’Angelo, HuffPost

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Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Download a copy hereNote: Politifact hasn’t yet fact-checked George Santo’s statements. Maybe it’s too overwhelming.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

January 17, 2023

The Honorable George Santos (R, NY-3)

Outside of Hollywood, you’d think doing business with someone who is using an assumed name would raise concerns, but it didn’t. As a result, George Santos, AKA Anthony Zabrovsky, Anthony Devolder, Kitara Ravache, and George Devolder (of dubious investment firm Harbor City Capital) is now the newly-sworn-in Republican Congressman representing New York’s 3th District.

After he was elected, Rep. Devolder Zabrovsky Ravache Santos admitted to embellishing his résumé, but it’s all embellishment, no résumé. He lied about his: high school, college, ever going to college, volleyball prowess, grad school, religion, family history, work history, finances, owning 13 real estate properties, developing carbon capture technology, losing employees in the Pulse nightclub shooting, running a pet rescue charity, past marital status, and his own mother’s death. Other dirty shoes will probably drop.

George Santos makes Herschel Walker look like the very soul of probity. He should be an embarrassment to Congressional Republicans, but they are noted for lack of shame, and their majority is so slim they’re reluctant to pressure Mr. Santos into resigning from the House. His district could easily elect a Democrat to replace him, so he’ll stay until the federal, state, Nassau County, Queens, and/or Brazilian courts catch up with him.

Months before the election, some of George Santos’ falsehoods were uncovered by the local North Shore Leader newspaper, and some lies were known to Republican consultants. These red flags were ignored in the heat of the campaign.

New York Magazine calls George Santos “The Luckiest Liar in Politics.” If you want to congratulate him on his fabrication-based good fortune, send cards to: The Honorable George Santos, 1117 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC, 20515-3203 or call him at 202-225-3335.

Constituent well-wishers may prefer to contact his District Office in Queens: 242-09 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston, NY 11363 (phone 718-631-0400).

Rep. Santos doesn’t have a public email address, but his Chief of Staff does.

Want George Santos to attend your new waste disposal service’s ribbon-cutting or your nephew’s bar mitzvah? Use this handy contact form.

Update:

George Santos has been appointed to two House committees. He will sit on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (because he lied about developing carbon capture technology), and the House Committee on Small Business (because he lied about his business experience).

More:

“Keeping track of all of NY Rep.-elect George Santos’ lies, from his education to charity falsehoods,” Bruce Golding, New York Post

“Rep. George Santos Appears to Have Ripped Off His Former Boss’s Resume in Crafting His Backstory,” Virginia Chamlee, People

“George Santos’ backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch,” Clare Hymes and Graham Kates, CBS News

“Another Santos Money Mystery: He Struck a Curious Business Deal With a Veteran GOP Operative,” Noah Lanard and David Corn, Mother Jones

“Campaigns Linked To Santos Left Donors Feeling Ripped Off After Questionable Credit Card Charges,” Hunter Walker and Josh Kovensky, TPM

 

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Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Download a copy hereNote: Politifact hasn’t yet fact-checked George Santo’s statements. Maybe it’s too overwhelming.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

January 12, 2023

Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

The careening clown car of the House Republican majority has finally put Kevin McCarthy behind the wheel as Speaker, so the comedy ends, and the tragedy begins. Politico’s Jesús Rodríguez likens Rep. McCarthy’s positon to various Shakespearian princes, but it’s really really closer to Marlowe or Goethe; not Hamlet or Macbeth but Faustus. Mr. McCarthy has clearly made a secret pact with the Devil.

The 55-page House Rules Package is evil enough, but it turns out there’s a secret 3-page addendum that the GOP majority passed, sight unseen. Was it written it blood? Probably. It lists McCarthy’s specific concessions to the MAGA Freedom Caucus terrorists who spent a week blocking his speakership.

What’s in the secret addendum? No GOP rep will even concede that it exists; that’s the first rule of far-right fight club.

If Kevin McCarthy won’t live up to its unspecified terms, the Feedom Caucus cabal won’t steal his soul, but they’ll call a snap vote and remove him as Speaker. For Mr. McCarthy, that will be Hell enough.

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Image (based on paraphrase of UT football coach Darrell Royal) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Protections

November 30, 2022

Congress Considers Same-Sex Marriage Protections

The US Senate voted 61-36 to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, protecting same-sex marriage nationwide. Twelve Senate Republicans joined Democrats in the vote. The bill will be sent to the House, where it is expected to easily pass before it is sent to President Biden’s desk.

The bill was crafted in response to a Supreme Court opinion by Clarence Thomas questioning the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges precedent, which legalized same-sex marriage. A July 2022 Gallup poll found that 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage.

More:

“Senate passes bill to protect same-sex marriage,” Andrew Solender,” Axios

“Senate passes protections for same-sex marriages,” Michael Macagnone, Roll Call

“U.S. Senate passes bill to protect same-sex, interracial marriage,” Sheri Walsh, UPI

“Respect for Marriage Act: Senate passes same-sex marriage bill,” BBC News

“Senate passes landmark protections for same-sex marriage,” Al Weaver, The Hill

“Landmark same-sex marriage bill wins Senate passage,” Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

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Image (“The Wedding Couple, after Abbot Handerson Thayer and Richard E. Miller”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bannon Behind Bars?

October 19, 2022

Bannon Behind Bars?

Update: Steve Bannon has been setenced to 4 months in prison. He will appeal.

The Department of Justice indicted Trump creature and fascist-fancier Steve Bannon for Contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena compelling his testimony before the January 6th Select Committee. He was convicted back in July. The DOJ has recommended that he receive a six-month prison sentence and a $200,000 fine.

Mr. Bannon dodged the slammer after his previous indictment — for money laundering and conspiracy in defrauding donors to a charity — when he was pardoned by then-president Trump as he was exiting the White House. Unindicted co-conspirator Trump himself was recently subpoenaed by that same Congressional Committee.

More:

“Steve Bannon: justice department urges six-month prison term in contempt case,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“DOJ seeks 6-month prison sentence for Steve Bannon,” Erin Doherty, Axios

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Image (“Bannon Behind Bars”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Alaskans Reject Sarah Palin

September 2, 2022

Alaskans Reject Sarah Palin
In a special election to fill Alaska’s congressional seat for the remainder of this term, MAGA proto-Trump Sarah Palin — former Miss Wasilla, ex-sportscaster, once part-time Temp-Governor of Alaska, losing GOP Vice Presidential candidate, cancelled reality TV star, Arizona homeowner, Masked Singer, and failed Fox News commentator — lost to pro-fish Democrat Mary Peltola. Ms. Peltola, a former Orutsararmuit Native Council Tribal Court Judge, served 5 terms in Alaska’s state legislature.  A Yup’ik woman from the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, she will be the first Native Alaskan to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Sarah Palin has an opportunity to lose to Mary Peltola again in November, in the election for a full U.S. congressional term.

More:

“Peltola wins Alaska special election to fill Young’s House seat,” Jackie Wang and Kate Ackley, Roll Call

“Sarah Palin loses Alaska special election to Democrat Mary Peltola,” Deepa Shivaram, NPR News

“Democrat Mary Peltola tops Sarah Palin to win U.S. House special election in Alaska,” AP via The Guardian

“Wind in Democrats’ sails as Sarah Palin humbled in Alaska special election,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

“Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame for Their Alaskan Defeat,” Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

“Why Sarah Palin’s loss is a warning for the GOP,” David Siders, Politico

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Image (“Mad As Hell!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

August 1, 2022

Net Neutrality Bill: Broadband Internet Is An Essential Service

Last Thursday, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act, a bill to reclassify broadband Internet as an essential service and giving the FCC power to prohibit discriminatory practices like blocking and throttling certain lanes of internet traffic. The essential nature of broadband should be obvious to all, especially after COVID lockdown moved so much public sector, education, and business activity online.

In 2015, the FCC voted to regulate broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, ensuring utility-style regulation and non-discrimination rules, but this was reversed by Trump appointees in 2017.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act will secure a fairer, more accessible digital future by enshrining into federal law a common-sense value: everyone deserves access to affordable, high-speed internet service.” A United Nations report declared Internet access a human right in 2011.

The Congressional effort is being led by Rep. Doris Matsui (D, CA-6) and Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

More:

“Net neutrality bill unveiled to codify broadband Internet as essential service,” Darryl Coote, UPI

“Democrats revive the fight for net neutrality,” Makena Kelly, The Verge

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Image (“Blogger, after Vilhelm Hammershøi”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

DC NFL Team Moving to the French Riviera?

June 23, 2022

DC NFL Team Moving to the French Riviera?
Washington DC’s professional football team fled the District of Columbia back 1997 for a grand-new stadium in suburban Maryland. It’s pretty shabby now, and owner Daniel Snyder has been trying to get a sweetheart deal on a shiny new stadium in Maryland or Virginia, but locals aren’t eager to pony up. He’s now in Cannes, France, for a “business meeting.” Is he looking for a French stadium deal? After all, the Riviera has featured gladitorial sports before, in its ancient Roman amphitheaters.

On the other hand, Mr. Synder refused to testify before a U.S. Congressional committee about alleged financial and sexual irregularities with his team management, and he brought his 305-foot yacht and private jet to Cannes. Several non-extradition countries are only a short hop away across the Mediterranean.

Billionaire Dan Synder, long regarded as pro football’s worst owner, stubbornly retained the team’s former racist name until well into the 21st century, meddled in team coaching, and was long rumored to fiddle with the books and his female employees. There was an NFL investigation of the latter charges, but Mr. Snyder tampered with it, hence the Congressional investigation into his “workplace misconduct.” After the testimony no-show, the House Oversight and Reform Committee will issue a subpoena for Dan Snyder.

More:

“Commanders owner Dan Snyder interfered with NFL probe: House panel,” Emily Crane, NY Post

“Dan Snyder’s plane, yacht arrive in Cannes as attorney pushes back against Congressional committee,” Michael Phillips, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“4 Entirely Plausible Reasons Dan Snyder Is in Cannes Instead of Appearing Before Congress,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Angus King: Democracy is In Danger

October 25, 2021

Senator Angus King (Ind., Maine) addressed the U.S. Senate last Tuesday on behalf of the Freedom to Vote Act. Republicans later blocked consideration of the bill, but his words (above) deserve a hearing.

Excerpts:

“It’s important to remember that most failures of democracy started with legitimate elections, but once in office, the leader manipulated the electoral process to consolidate their hold on power, just as was attempted here last winter. And once power is seized, the control and reach of the modern surveillance state is truly terrifying. Ask the Uighurs in China, or members of the opposition in Russia, if you can find any alive.”

“Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, and Hungary are examples of the slide into authoritarianism just in our lifetimes; those countries still have elections, but they don’t mean much.

And what if the current wave of voter suppression legislation succeeds and keeps tens of thousands of people from voting, or what if in 2024 a partisan legislature in a swing state votes to override the election results and send its own set of electors to Congress? Then it won’t just be Republicans who distrust elections, and we will be left with a downward spiral toward a hollow shell of democracy, where only raw power prevails and its peaceful transfer becomes a distant memory.”

Read the full transcript here.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

House Votes to Condemn Trump’s Racist Tweets

July 17, 2019

House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Tweets

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn recent racist comments by President Donald J. Trump. Congressional rules prevented members from calling Mr. Trump a racist, but that shouldn’t stop you.

From H. RES. 489
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
July 15, 2019

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.

Read the whole resolution here.

Related:

“Trump’s Tweets So Clearly Racist It’s Spelled Out In Discrimination Law,” Matt Shuham, TalkingPointsMemo

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Image (“In Case You Forgot”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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