Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

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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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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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

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UFOs Come to Congress

May 19, 2022

UFOs Are Coming to Congress

At Tuesday’s Congressional UFO hearings, we were stunned to learn that UFOs are actually … UAPs, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. Gasp. And UAPs are … unidentified! Just like the name says. The mind boggles.

The subcommittee also met in closed session, so there may be terrestrial counterintelligence aspects to some of the UAP sightings.

More:

“Congress dives into UFOs, but no signs of extraterrestrials,” Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press

“Out-of-this-world revelations in short supply at US Congress briefing on UFOs,” Adam Gabbatt,The Guardian

“The military’s UFO database now has info from about 400 reported incidents,” Christopher Dean Hopkins and Giles Snyder, NPR

“UFOs are real, and they have abducted Elise Stefanik,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

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‘I’m Just a Bill, 2021’

October 6, 2021

Politico updates Schoolhouse Rock‘s 1976 explanation of the march of federal legislation. No wonder schools don’t teach Civics anymore.

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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

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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

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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

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‘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

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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

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