Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Samantha Bee Kills the Filibuster

June 23, 2021

The pernicious Senate filibuster is clogging the arteries of democracy. Smantha Bee suggests ways to ream it out.

Related:

“The Fake History of the Filibuster Won’t Die,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

_____________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-xda

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

 

DC Statehood Bill Passes the House

April 23, 2021

DC Statehood Bill Passes the House

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed legislation to make the District of Columbia the nation’s 51st state. If passed, the 712,000 Americans in DC would have voting represention in Congress. Washingtonians paid $27.5 billion in federal taxes last year, so you’d think, what with that No-Taxation-Without Representation thing, Senate passage of the bill would be a slam-dunk. Nope.

More:

“The 5 dumbest GOP arguments against D.C. statehood,” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“Steve Scalise’s Ignorant, Racist Case Against D.C. Statehood,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

_____________________
Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-x2b

Image ( DC neighborhood 4th of July Parade) 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.

 

Democrats Focus on Marjorie Taylor Greene like a ‘Jewish Space Laser’

February 1, 2021

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14), the congresswoman from QAnon, has denied the reality of the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings, so naturally her fellow Republicans have put her on the House Education Committee. She also also thinks California’s wildfires were caused by secret Jewish space lasers, so maybe Republicans will put her on the Forestry Subcommittee, too. Democrats, appalled by this and her other conspiracy beliefs about 9/11 and international Zionist plots, and her rabid racism and Islamophobia, are calling for a vote to expell Ms. Taylor Greene from the House. This is milder treatment than the congresswoman has suggested for Democrats: execution.

Ms. Taylor Greene

More:

“Parents of Sandy Hook victims slam Taylor Greene’s appointment to Education Committee,” Lexi Lonas, The Hill

“GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Laser,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“How Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, promoter of QAnon’s baseless theories, rose with support from key Republicans,” Michael Kranish, Reis Thebault and Stephanie McCrummen, Washington Post

“The Republican establishment’s long dalliance with the conspiracist right,” Zack Beauchamp, Vox

“QAnon Fears That Greene’s Obsession with Jewish Space Lasers Is Distracting Her from Battling Baby-Eating Cannibals,’ Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Update:

“McConnell says ‘loony lies’ spread by Marjorie Taylor Greene are a ‘cancer’ on G.O.P.,” Catie Edmondson, New York Times

________________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wBY

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

‘Filibuster’ Means That Losers Rule the Senate.

January 27, 2021

“Filibuster” (from the Dutch word for “pirate” or “freebooter”) is a parliamentary rule the U.S. Senate adopted by accident. These days it has nothing to do with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Alvin Chang explains how the filibuster broke the Senate. A Vox video.

More:

“Make the Filibuster Difficult Again,” Burt Neuborne and Erwin Chemerinsky, New York Times

“What is the Senate filibuster, and what would it take to eliminate it?” Molly E. Reynolds, The Brookings Institution

“All the Lies They Told Us About the Filibuster,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

________________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wBQ

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

The Trump Coup: It’s Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

January 8, 2021

The Trump Coup: It's Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

Clearly, the chief instigator of the rioting mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol was one Donald John Trump, who summoned the mob with a December 20th tweet (“Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”) and gave them their marching orders on the day of the insurrection, inciting the riot.

 It’s Coming From Inside the House! And Senate.

Terrorist Trump had allies, and some of them were already inside the Capitol, blocking the purely ceremonial recognition of the presidential election results, a rite required by the Constitution, which usually takes two hours. The falsehood-spewing, Trump-abetting obstructionists seeking to overturn the will of the electorate, all Republican members of the Senate and House, helped incite the MAGA mobs. Their names can be found here. Chief among them were Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who used their unconstitutional, unconscionable ploy to send out fundraising emails at the very time mobs were vandalizing the Capitol building.

While some of these congressional coup plotters have already faced loss of political donors and publishing contracts, Congress itself needs to act. Tepid measures like censure seem inadequate; perhaps expulsion under Article I, Section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution, expulsion from the Senate and House, should be invoked, since precedents have concerned disloyalty to the United States and its Constitution.

But of course, of these 147 insurrectionists, all but two (Byron Donalds and Burgess Owens) are White, so they may escape any punishment whatsoever, just like all but a handful of the Capitol-desecrating MAGA mob and its Instigator-in Chief.

More:

“Never Forget the Names of These Republicans Attempting a Coup,” Tom Friedman, New York Times

“The Disgrace on Capitol Hill,” Wall Street Journal

“The Republicans Have an Insurrectionist Caucus,” Jordan Weissmann, Slate

“Here Are The Republicans Who Objected To The Electoral College Count : Insurrection At The Capitol,” Barbara Sprunt, NPR News

“The long list of Republicans who voted to reject election results,” Alvin Chang, The Guardian

Updates:

“Some GOPers Blame Colleagues’ Anti-Democracy Scheme For Fueling Capitol Riots,” Summer Concepcion, Talking Points Memo

“Lawmakers who voted against Biden are denounced back home,” Jeffrey Collin, Associated Press

“Letters signed by House Republicans objecting to election results,” Jesse Byrnes, The Hill

___________________

Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wrO

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.

Trump Turns MAGA Mobs Loose on Congress; Shots Fired

January 6, 2021

Trump Turns MAGA Mobs Loose on Congress; Shots Fired

Lame Duck President Donald Trump addressed his followers on the Ellipse this afternoon. “After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you,” he said. They walked, but he didn’t, probably because of his bone spurs. He continued:

“We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness.”

“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

They marched, but not peacefully, and certainly not patriotically. They resisted Capitol Police, broke into the U.S. Capitol Building, even disrupting the congressional coup plotters working on Trump’s behalf, looting and vandalizing the House and Senate chambers and offices. Tear gas was deployed in the Capitol Rotunda, and at least one rioter has been shot.

The National Guard has been activated, and the DC mayor has declared a 6PM curfew. As of 4PM the President, clearly the instigator of this historic national disgrace, has not called off his MAGA dogs.

On Tuesday, Washingtonian‘s Andrew Beaujon noted that some Trump worshippers had been plotting a Capitol break-in online, but none of us really expected it to happen. We should have.

Updates:

“Trump Justifies Violence at Capitol: These ‘Things’ Happen When No One Recognizes My ‘Sacred Landslide,’” Blake Montgomery, Daily Beast

“Capitol has seen violence over 220 years, but not like this,” Jerry Schwartz, Associated Press

“Every Trump Loyalist Is Complicit in the President’s Incitement of Sedition,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Twitter locks Trump out over election fraud tweets amid Capitol siege,” Ina Fried, Axios

“Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr. Are in Furious Damage Control Mode Following Capitol Hill Siege,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

“Democrats, Republicans blame Trump for inciting ‘coup’ as mob storms Capitol,” Colby Itkowitz and Paulina Firozi, Washington Post

Solicitation to commit a crime of violence – 18 U.S. Code § 373

“Republican AGs group sent robocalls urging protesters to the Capitol. GOP officials now insist they didn’t know about it.” Andrea Salcedo, Washington Post

“Guns, Brass Knuckles, Homemade Napalm: Read Some of the Documents From Arrests After the Capitol Riot,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

“‘Trump said I could’: One possible legal defense for accused rioters,” Teri Kanefield and Mark Reichel, Washington Post

“US Capitol Building Riot: Justice Dept. Pursues at Least 150 Suspects,” Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Who were they? Records reveal Trump fans who stormed Capitol,” Michael Biesecker,
Michael Kunzelman, Gillian Flaccus, and Jim Mustian, Associated Press

“‘Trump said I could’: One possible legal defense for accused rioters,” Teri Kanefield and Mark Reichel, Washington Post

“MAGA Civil War shirts, a Camp Auschwitz hoodie, and other extremist merchandise was on full display at the Capitol riot,” Hilary George-Parkin, Vox

“QAnon reshaped Trump’s party and radicalized believers. The Capitol siege may just be the start.” Drew Harwell, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Razzan Nakhlawi, and Craig Timberg, Washington Post

“Using A Pseudonym, This QAnon Believer Raised $40,000 To Send People To The DC Riot,” Craig Silverman and Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News

“‘I Answered the Call of My President’: Rioters Say Trump Urged Them On,” Alan Feuer and Nicole Hong, New York Times

“Texas woman who stormed Capitol says she was following Trump’s orders,” Lauren Aratani and Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“Alabama Man Charged in Capitol Riot Said He Was Following Instructions From Alex Jones: Affidavit,” Arya Hodjat, Daily Beast

________________________
Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wr1

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.

Congressional COVID-19 Relief Bill Revives 3-Martini Lunch

December 21, 2020

Congressional COVID-19 Relief Bill Revives 3-Martini Lunch

Lame-duck President and high-ticket eatery owner Donald Trump has called for restoring the 100% federal tax deduction on “3-Martini Lunch” business meals to aid the pandemic-pummeled restaurant industry, an action economists call completely ineffective. Nevertheless, in their eleventh-hour effort to pass another COVID-19 relief bill the ritzy-restaurant-running president will sign, the GOP put the 3-Martini Lunch on the menu, and democrats will just have to hold their noses and choke it down if they want coronavirus relief funding before the Christmas recess.

More:

“White House secures ‘three martini lunch’ tax deduction in draft of coronavirus relief package,” Jeff Stein, Washington Post

“Restoring The Three Martini Lunch Tax Deduction Won’t Feed The COVID-19 Economy,” Howard Gleckman, Tax Policy Center

“‘It’s unconscionable’: Outrage over the ‘three-martini lunch’ tax deduction in the new coronavirus aid deal,” Nicole Lyn Pesce, MarketWatch

“‘Three martini lunch’ tax break may not save many restaurants, advisors say,” Darla Mercado,. CNBC

“On ‘three-martini-lunch’ policy, Republicans get what they wanted,” Steve Benen, MSNBC

“‘Three-martini lunch’ tax break draws outrage. It also may fall short for restaurants.” Aimee Picchi, CBS News

“When Will Eating the Rich Also Be a Tax Deduction?” Esther Wang, Jezebel

Related:

“Dictionary.com weighs in as #LetThemEatCake trends over relief bill,” Justine Coleman, The Hill

___________________
Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wkp

Image (“Bacchus at Cocktail Hour, after Carvaggio”) 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.

Postmaster General Doesn’t Know What It Costs To Mail A Postcard

August 25, 2020

Postmaster General Doesn't Know What It Costs To Mail A Postcard

At a House Oversight Committee meeting on Monday, Rep. Katie Porter (D, CA-45) asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy what it costs to mail a postcard:

“‘I don’t know,’ he said.

When a surprised Porter shot back, ‘you don’t know the cost to mail a postcard,’ DeJoy laughed and confirmed, ‘I don’t.’ As Porter continued to ask some pricing questions, DeJoy admitted, ‘I know very little about postage stamps.’ He also said he doesn’t know the starting rate for USPS priority mail, and he couldn’t estimate how many people voted by mail in the last presidential election.”

— “Postmaster general admits he doesn’t know what it costs to mail a postcard,” Brendan Morrow, The Week

Someone please tell Mr. DeJoy that postcards mail for 35 cents.

More:

“Katie Porter Reveals Just How Little Louis DeJoy Knows About the Mail,” Abigail Weinberg, Mother Jones

__________________________
Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-vus

Images 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 Statehood

June 30, 2020

DC Statehood

On Friday the U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 232-180, approved legislation granting statehood to Washington, D.C. The District’s 700,000 citizens, who pay federal income taxes, do not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress. This bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the chief executive, would rectify that. In our current polarized political climate, those next two steps are unlikely to occur, but an election is looming.

The 51st state would still be known as Washington DC, but DC would stand for “Douglass Commonwealth,” in honor of long time resident Frederick Douglass, crusading abolitionist, orator, and publisher, who himself escaped from bondage. “District of Columbia” would refer to the area of monuments and federal buildings.

Washington DC has more residents than Wyoming and Vermont, and about the same population as North Dakota; each of those has a vote in the U.S. House and two in the Senate, and DC would get the same. The populations of Wyoming and North Dakota are about 90% White and Vermont is even whiter; DC is 46% African American. Perhaps that explains the Senate and White House reluctance to grant DC statehood. Every other excuse is just noise.

More:

“D.C. statehood approved by U.S. House for first time in history,” Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post

“In Historic Vote, House Approves Statehood for the District of Columbia,” Emily Cochrane, New York Times.

“In Historic First, The House Of Representatives Passes D.C. Statehood Bill,” Nathan Diller, DCist

“DC is closer to becoming a state now than it has ever been,” Ian Millhiser, Vox

“Six Colossally Stupid Arguments Against DC Statehood,” Jane Recker, Washingtonian

“Trump Is Exploiting D.C.’s Lack of Statehood,” Quinta Jurecic, The Atlantic

__________________
Short Link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-v3F

Image ( DC neighborhood 4th of July Parade) 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.

The Military Could Tip the Census Scales

June 8, 2020

How members of the active-duty military are counted in the 2020 Census could change the apportioned representation of states in congress, explains CQ Roll Call reporter Michael Macagnone.

______________

Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-uyC

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