Posts Tagged ‘government’

‘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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Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 18, 2021

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned a Poor People’s Campaign for May 1968 to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, affordable housing, and education for poor adults and children, an Economic Bill of Rights. The effort was to involve poor people of all races from all parts of the country, urban and rural, but the historical roots of racial economic disparity could not be ignored:

“At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest, which meant that it was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor.

But not only did they give the land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms.

Not only that, today many of these people are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies not to farm, and they are the very people telling the black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington DC on March 31, 1968 (full text here).

Related:

“Four ways Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to battle inequality,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

“MLK called out income inequality,” James C. Harrington, Houston Chronicle

“American Dream Deferred: Wealth of Richest 400 Equals that of Nation’s 44 Million African Americans,” David Harris-Gershon,Tikkun Daily

“For women, economic justice a civil rights issue,” Maya L. Harris,CNN

“Martin Luther King’s Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income,” Matthew Yglesias, Slate

“Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Solution to Poverty,” Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic

“Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations Overlook His Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism,” Zaid Jilani, The Intercept

“How the 1% profit off of racial economic inequality,” Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins, Guardian

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Top image: Library of Congress.

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Trump’s Christmas Message to the Troops: F*ck You.

December 23, 2020
Trump's Christmas Message to the Troops: F*ck You.

High School Cadet Capt. Trump. Thank you for your service.

Before leaving for holiday R&R at Mar-a-Lago, bone spur survivor and U.S. Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump vetoed the Defense Bill because it didn’t defend him from being called out on Twitter. The bill would have provided pay raises to U.S. Armed Forces members. Mr. Trump also objected to removing names of previous violators of constitutional oaths from military installations, apparently fearing it would keep the Pentagon from naming Space Force facilities after himself.

More:

“Trump Vetoes Annual Defense Policy Bill, Including Military Pay Raise,” Kevin Freking, AP via Military.com

“Trump Vetoes Defense Bill, Defends Confederate Bases Over Troops’ Pay,” Arya Hodjat, Daily Beast

“Trump vetoes $741 billion defense bill over his completely unrelated spat with social-media companies and against the wishes of top Republicans,” John Haltiwanger, Business Insider

“Trump vetoes $740B defense bill, citing ‘failure to terminate’ Section 230,” Kate Cox, Ars Technica

“Trump vetoes $740bn US military bill over clause to rename bases honoring Confederates,” Griffin Connolly, The Independent

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Top image: Cadet Capt. Trump’s high school picture. Download a copy here.

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Two and a Half Months to Inaugurate a New President?

December 7, 2020

The U.S. presidential election is on the first Tuesday in November. The winner is sworn in at noon on January 20th (or 21st). Does it really have to take two and a half months to swear in a new president? Madeline Marshall and Jen Kirby explain. A Vox video.

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There’s No 2020 Republican Platform. There’s Just Trump.

August 26, 2020

There's No 2020 Republican Platform. There's Just Trump.

On Sunday the 2020 Republican National Committee announced that the 2020 GOP presidential campaign will not have a political platform, just a pledge of fealty to Donald Trump. Perhaps the Republican Party should now be called a Cult of Personality Disorder.

More:

“The GOP Has No Party Platform. Literally.” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“GOP Will Not Write a 2020 Platform, Pledges Undying Trump Support Instead,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Why Republicans didn’t write a platform for their convention this year,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

“It’s official: Trump is the GOP. And the GOP is Trump.” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“The Trump MAGA-verse consumes the RNC,” Tina Nguyen, Politico

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Image (“Trump Triumphalism at 2020 RNC, after an 1885 Varanasi painting”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mitch McConnell Faces the COVID-19 Crisis By Going On Vacation

August 14, 2020
Mitch McConnell Faces the COVID-19 Crisis By Going On Vacation

Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street SE, Washington DC

On Thusday, the Senate Republican leadership decided to go on their paid summer vacation, euhemistically called “August Recess,” without agreeing on a new COVID-19 relief bill.

“”If the speaker of the House and the minority leader of the Senate decide to finally let another rescue package move forward for workers and for families, it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than scheduled,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

The reality is that any senator, including the roughly 20 members of McConnell’s own conference who are of the belief that enough action has already been taken to respond to the pandemic’s economic consequences, could block action before Labor Day.”

— “Senate breaks for August recess with no coronavirus deal in sight,” Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

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

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Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

August 3, 2020
Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

Government Lizard People: seeing is believing.

President Donald Trump retweeted Houston physician Stella Immanuel last week, a fellow fancier of debunked “miracle coronavirus cure” hydroxychloroquine. The good doctor also believes there are Lizard People among us:

“In a 2015 video, Immanuel, who leads a religious group called Fire Power Ministries, said: ‘There are people ruling this nation that are not even human,’ describing them as ‘reptilian spirits’ who are ‘half human, half ET.'”

— “Aliens and ‘reptilians’: US viral video doctor’s odd beliefs,” France 24

That explains why Trump spokes-creatures like Stephen Miller focus our fears on ethnic minorities to distract us from their own space alien invasion.

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Image (“Government infested by Reptilians!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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How to impeach a president

October 3, 2019

Impeachment: Liz Scheltens, Carlos Waters, and Nicholas Garbaty of Vox explain it all to you.

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Berlusconi’s Back. Europe Shrugs.

July 5, 2019

Berlusconi's Back. Europe Shrugs.

Billionaire octagenarian, former football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, forced out of the Italian Senate over his 2013 tax-fraud conviction, has started serving as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Madonna Mia!

More:

“Forget the tax fraud and sex scandals. Italy’s Berlusconi is back.” Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post

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Image (“Pasha Berlusconi and His Harem, after François Gabriel Lepaulle”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

June 13, 2019
Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

   GUILTY OF SERIAL HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to the White House on Thursday recommending that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway “be removed from federal service” for repeatedly using her official position for political purposes, violations of the Hatch Act:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” responded Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves. The OSC does not have legal authority to remove a presidential appointee like Ms. Conway, but would have booted a career federal official long before this point. OSC had reprimanded Ms. Kelly over ethics concerns starting in 2017, and for multiple Hatch Act violations in 2018 and 2019. The Special Counsel of OSC is Trump-nominated investigator Henry Kerner. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Hatch Act violation compliants to the OSC rose 30 percent.

Attention lawyers: How many public ethics violations does an attorney need to commit before she’s disbarred?

More:

“Special counsel: Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, should be removed,” Nicholas Sakelaris, UPI

“Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

“Federal agency recommends that Kellyanne Conway be removed from service,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act,” Felicia Sonmez, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations,” John Wagner and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Nobody Will Need To Respect The Rule Of Law After The Trump Administration,” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

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

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