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Monthly Archives: July 2021


Apparently, it’s a trait of elected officials not to live up to the reputation we have thought they had. They seem to mis speak with regularity as opposed to telling the voters what is happening not what they (the electeds) think we want to hear. They have mastered the craft of “artful” dodging of questions with unrelated answers that cause us to go “what”? It seems that the GOP has adopted the “TOTUS” speak with a vengeance against the TRUTH that is seen by millions while tacitly implying that we should not believe our eyes but believe their outright misinformation about the former guy and his massively incompetent tenure which was used to cover their own mis deeds. I would like to think that the people we elected entered the office with “good” intentions however in this age of mass communication “that ship has sailed”. It is quite odd that Congressional members who were under attack on January 6 are against investigating that assault and even denying it because the “former guy” lied about it, calling it a friendly gathering that resulted in broken windows, trashed Congressional offices, several deaths and numerous injuries. All of this on live TV yet what we saw is not what we saw according to a group of less than truthful Congressional members. So it appears that we have elected a group of liars who assume(*) that we wouldn’t notice the lies and overlook them.

  • Assume- “Makes an ass out of you and me”
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By Christa Sgobba | March 4, 2019

Cleaning up your diet can come with unpleasant side effects like gas and bloating. Here’s how to deal with them.

foods that can upset stomach

Feeling lousy after eating a bunch of junk food isn’t surprising. But serious discomfort after downing a perfectly healthy, plant-based meal? That may make you wonder: Is eating healthy even worth it?

The answer is yes. But when you start trying to clean up your diet, your body might need an adjustment period before it feels noticeably better.

“Some healthy foods may cause uncomfortable side effects—everything from bloating to belching to abdominal pain to diarrhea,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet.

This is especially true as your body gets used to eating more of them. But before you toss them aside, there’s a silver lining: In most cases, there are simple things you can do to help your body adjust. And you’ll be glad you did. These foods come with some serious health benefits.

From better-known culprits like beans and legumes to some surprising suspects like certain fruits and flavor boosters, here’s why some healthy foods mess with your gut—and how to sidestep the discomfort.

1. Beans and Lentils

Beans, lentils, and other legumes are some of the most heart-friendly foods you can eat.

After analyzing data on nearly 200,000 participants, Harvard researchers discovered people who ate four 100-gram servings of legumes per week were 14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and other types of ischemic heart disease than those who ate less.

As most people know, legumes are rich in fiber, Gans says. Just one half-cup serving of black beans, for instance, packs in eight grams. For people 51 and older, that’s more than one-third of the daily recommended fiber intake for women (21 grams) and more than one-fourth of the daily recommended fiber intake for men (30 grams), according to the National Academy of Medicine.

This helps keep you feeling full longer, but it may also lead to some uncomfortable gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, like gas or bloating, she says.

It’s due in part to a compound called oligosaccharides, a resistant starch that passes through your GI system undigested until it hits the large intestine. When it gets there, the good bacteria in your gut start working to break it down, Gans explains.

“When it does that, the fermentation starts, which can give us gas and bloating,” she says.

How to ease your discomfort:

If you haven’t been eating a lot of fiber, gradually increase your intake to help your body adjust to the demands of breaking it down, Gans says.

Try adding just one serving or so—one half-cup of cooked beans—every few days to give your gut time to get used to the addition. And be sure to drink plenty of water to minimize digestive stress.

Soaking dried beans in water before you cook them can also help remove some of those indigestible sugars that cause flatulence, Gans says. If you plan ahead, cover your beans with two to three inches of cool, clean water. Set aside at room temperature for eight hours or overnight, and drain well.

Or try this quick soak technique: Put beans into a large pot, and cover with two to three inches of cool, clean water. Bring to a boil then boil briskly for two to three minutes. Cover and set aside off of the heat for one hour, and drain well.

2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts

When researchers from Japan tracked 88,000 people for 17 years, they discovered those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables were less likely to die from any cause during the study period than those who ate the least.Also of Interest

That’s a compelling reason to load up on the crunchy veggies, but resist the urge to add too many too fast. Like legumes, cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of fiber that aren’t broken down until they reach your large intestine.

The compounds at play with cruciferous vegetables are raffinose—a type of oligosaccharide—and hydrogen sulfide. When the bacteria in your gut start working to break down the compounds, they end up producing gas as a byproduct.

It’s similar to what you might feel after eating beans or legumes, but there’s one key difference: The sulfur compounds produced during the breakdown of cruciferous vegetables are responsible for the particularly potent-smelling flatulence you may experience after eating. Dining partners beware.

How to ease your discomfort:

As with beans and legumes, it’s best to gradually increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables, starting with one half-cup serving of cooked vegetables every few days, Gans advises.

Also, some people find relief from cooking cruciferous vegetables rather than eating them raw, she says.

Steam broccoli or cauliflower for a simple, nutritious side dish. Or try Brussels sprouts in recipes from this seven-day meal plan.

3. High-Fructose Fruits: Apples, Watermelon, and Grapes

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth in the healthiest way possible, fresh fruit can’t be beat.

It may even help safeguard your heart. A 2016 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found people who ate fruit daily were 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who didn’t eat it as frequently.

But for some people, the effects of certain fruits might not be so sweet. Apples, watermelon, and grapes are all high in a type of sugar called fructose. Many people have a fructose intolerance or sensitivity, meaning their body has a hard time digesting this sugar.

The result? “One of the biggest symptoms is diarrhea, but you can also have gas and abdominal pain,” Gans says.

If you have difficulty digesting fructose, chances are it’s not a new thing—but you may not have made the connection that fructose is what’s actually causing the GI distress.

“Many people might have just thought for years that a certain fruit just doesn’t agree with them,” Gans says.

How to ease your discomfort:

Unlike legumes and cruciferous vegetables, gradually adding high-fructose fruits to your diet probably won’t make a difference, Gans says. If certain fruits cause symptoms, you may have to avoid them.

But that doesn’t mean you should cut all fruit from your diet. Instead, opt for lower-fructose options, like berries, oranges, or cantaloupe and honeydew melons.

It’s also a good idea to keep a food journal to track what kind of fruit you’re eating and the side effects you experience, Gans suggests. You may find that certain high-fructose fruits affect you more than others.

4. Dairy

We’ve all heard milk does a body good. And it’s true, particularly for your bones. A study in Osteoporosis International found each additional glass of milk per day was linked to an 8 percent lower risk of hip fractures in men and women over 50.CONNECT

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But you might’ve noticed some not-so-pleasant side effects after eating dairy that were absent in your youth.

“As people get older, they can become lactose intolerant, even if they were previously able to handle milk and cheese,” says Yamini Natarajan, M.D., an assistant professor of gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine.

When you’re lactose intolerant, your small intestine doesn’t make enough lactase—the enzyme that breaks down the milk sugar lactose—to digest dairy. As a result, you can experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal pain within a few hours after eating, Dr. Natarajan says.

How to ease your discomfort:

Hard cheeses are typically easier to digest than milk. But if you don’t want to give up your liquid bone booster, opt for lactose-free versions such as Lactaid or Fairlife ultra-filtered milk, Gans says.

Another option: Take a lactase supplement before eating dairy. This gives your body a boost of the enzyme to help break down the milk sugar.

If you’re turned off by dairy for any reason, be sure to include nondairy sources of calcium in your diet, such as broccoli, canned sardines with soft bones, or calcium-fortified cereals.

5. Alliums: Onions, Garlic, Chives, and Shallots

If you’re watching your weight, you’ve likely heard that swapping high-calorie condiments and sauces for things like garlic, onion, and chives is a smart way to flavor your foods. But your stomach may disagree.

Similar to other items on this list, allium foods contain oligosaccharides, which can lead to gas and bloating as the bacteria in your large intestines work to break them down, Gans says.

How to ease your discomfort:

Some people find relief from cooking garlic and onions rather than eating them raw. If that doesn’t help or you regularly experience discomfort from these foods, even in very small quantities, you might be dealing with an allium intolerance or sensitivity.

In that case, your body can’t break down the oligosaccharides. Instead, those oligosaccharides sit in your GI tract and ferment, causing bloating, gas, and discomfort. The best solution may be to avoid allium foods.

But there are other ways to add flavor without extra calories, salt, and sugar. Try one or more of these easy herb and spice mixes.

When to Call the Doctor

If you try these tips but continue to experience GI discomfort, give your doctor a call. Your doctor can determine if you’re dealing with a food intolerance or sensitivity—or a different digestive problem.

Your doctor may recommend trying an elimination diet: You’ll eliminate and then reintroduce specific foods to your diet to help pinpoint the cause of your GI issues.

Another reason to call your doctor: If you experience non-GI issues, such as itching, hives, or swelling. These may be signs of a food allergy, which is different from a food intolerance or sensitivity. If you experience signs of a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis—wheezing, throat or chest tightness, or trouble breathing—seek medical help right away.

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The modern political system has devolved into systemic power brokering and self interest. The electeds have put party interests and backing over service to the voters and the country. Voters have ONE job, vet anyone running for office, the first time or for retention. Billions of dollars are spent to gain or retain an office that pays under 200 thousand dollars annually yet the people we elected leave the job millionaires and sometimes Billionaires. How does this happen? The cause is that the morals and ethics of the people we elect being bought by financial entities with agendas that which impact ALL citizens no matter their social status. An ironic comparative comes to mind when thinking about this. In 1933 Adolph Hitler came to power and proceeded to dominate the country while building a war machine to take over the world. In 2016 Donald J. Trump won the presidential election and proceeded to act in similar ways as Hitler with the backing of the “new” GOP which is powered by the ultra conservative “right”. Now we have a GOP that denies the attack on the capital much like the “former Guy” while slow walking to snail pacing legislation that is designed to put the country back on track financially and health wise. The GOP is concerned as they say that the deficit is ballooning to non viable limits. The economic community has shown time after time that this is not true. Each time a reasonable and rational solution is offered the TGOP (TOTUS Party) spews more disinformation which by the way has created more harm to the public and slowed the control of the current pandemic. There is no way to overcome this other than listening to the experts and paying particular attention to the loudest government voices (which are often less than truthful).

Clay Bennett Comic Strip for July 27, 2021
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July 19, 20217:29 AM ET

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gloria Richardson, then the head of the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee, pushes a National Guardsman’s bayonet aside as she moves among a crowd of African Americans to convince them to disperse in Cambridge, Md., in 1963. Richardson, whose determination not to back down while protesting racial inequality, died Thursday in New York, according to her family. She was 99.

AP

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gloria Richardson, an influential yet largely unsung civil rights pioneer whose determination not to back down while protesting racial inequality was captured in a photograph as she pushed away the bayonet of a National Guardsman, has died. She was 99.

Tya Young, her granddaughter, said Richardson died in her sleep Thursday in New York City and had not been ill. Young said while her grandmother was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, she didn’t seek praise or recognition.

“She did it because it needed to be done, and she was born a leader,” Young said.

Richardson was the first woman to lead a prolonged grassroots civil rights movement outside the Deep South. In 1962, she helped organized and led the Cambridge Movement on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with sit-ins to desegregate restaurants, bowling alleys and movie theaters in protests that marked an early part of the Black Power movement.

“I say that the Cambridge Movement was the soil in which Richardson planted a seed of Black power and nurtured its growth,” said Joseph R. Fitzgerald, who wrote a 2018 biography on Richardson titled “The Struggle is Eternal: Gloria Richardson and Black Liberation.”

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Richardson became the leader of demonstrations over bread and butter economic issues like jobs, health care access and sufficient housing.

“Everything that the Black Lives Matter movement is working at right now is a continuation of what the Cambridge Movement was doing,” Fitzgerald said.

In pursuit of these goals, Richardson advocated for the right of Black people to defend themselves when attacked.

“Richardson always supported the use of nonviolent direct action during protests, but once the protests were over and if Black people were attacked by whites she fully supported their right to defend themselves,” Fitzgerald said.

Masked National Guardsman with their bayonets held at the ready surround the jeep of Brig. Gen. George Gelson, head of the guard unit, as Stanley Branche, chairman of the Committee for Freedom Now, left, and Gloria Richardson, second from left, stands beside him in Cambridge, Md., in 1964.

William Smith/AP

She began fighting for civil rights as a student

Richardson was born in Baltimore and later lived in Cambridge in Maryland’s Dorchester County — the same county where Harriet Tubman was born. She entered Howard University when she was 16. During her years in Washington, she began to protest segregation at a drug store.

In 1962, Richardson attended the meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Atlanta and later joined the board.

In the summer of 1963, after peaceful sit-ins turned violent in Cambridge, Gov. J. Millard Tawes declared martial law. When Cambridge Mayor Calvin Mowbray asked Richardson to halt the demonstrations in exchange for an end to the arrests of Black protesters, Richardson declined to do so. On June 11, rioting by white supremacists erupted and Tawes called in the National Guard.

While the city was still under National Guard presence, Richardson met with U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to negotiate what became informally known as the “Treaty of Cambridge.” It ordered equal access to public accommodations in Cambridge in return for a one-year moratorium on demonstrations.

Richardson was a signatory to the treaty, but she had never agreed to end the demonstrations. It was only the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that began to resolve issues at the local level.

She was one of the nation’s leading female civil rights’ activists and inspired younger activists who went on to protest racial inequality in the late 1960s and into the 1970s.

Her role as a leader in the movement didn’t last long

Richardson was on the stage at the pivotal March on Washington in 1963 as one of six women listed as “fighters for freedom” on the program. However, she was only allowed to say “hello” before the microphone was taken.

The male-centric Black Power movement and the fact that Richardson’s leadership in Cambridge lasted about three years may have obscured how influential she was, but Fitzgerald said she was well-known in Black America.

“She was only active for approximately three years, but during that time she was literally front and center in a high-stakes Black liberation campaign, and she’s being threatened,” Fitzgerald said. “She’s got white supremacist terrorists threatening her, calling her house, threatening her with her life.”

Richardson resigned from Cambridge, Maryland, Nonviolent Action Committee in the summer of 1964. Divorced from her first husband, she married photographer Frank Dandridge and moved to New York where she worked a variety of jobs, including the National Council for Negro Women.

She is survived by her daughters, Donna Orange and Tamara Richardson, and granddaughters Young and Michelle Price.

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Heather Digby Parton  5 hrs ago


What the far-right’s charge to remove Pelosi could mean for Kevin McCarthyHasbro whistleblower suspended for revealing company’s critical race…

Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell are posing for a picture: Donald Trump; Kevin McCarthy; Marjorie Taylor-Greene; Mitch McConnell© Provided by Salon Donald Trump; Kevin McCarthy; Marjorie Taylor-Greene; Mitch McConnell

Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Mitch McConnell Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan, the most beloved president of the modern Republican Party (before Donald J. Trump, anyway) had a very famous saying:

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help. “

It was a clever comment that the leaders of the conservative movement never took seriously, of course. The Republicans were always big boosters of first responders, cops and the military who are generally the ones who literally say “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” But the anti-government sentiment worked well for the wealthy benefactors who paid these politicians handsomely to keep their taxes low and regulations scarce.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533

They also used that message to persuade voters that the government was trying to oppress them with everything from creeping communism to affirmative action and women’s rights. In other words, everything these people already hated was blamed on Big Government by the very people who ran it. The subtext of much of this was race, of course, as the cynical conservatives managed to convince people that the government was doling out handouts to the “undeserving” (and I think you know who they were talking about) in the form of welfare, while the hard-working Real Americans were paying the freight and getting the shaft.

Over time they were able to demagogue the issue so thoroughly that average Republicans routinely voted against their own interests out of a reflexive hostility to anything the government tried to do (other than wage war, which they loved.) When the financial crisis hit in 2007 and the government was required to intervene or risk the whole economic system going into free fall, it was clear just how successful they had been.

Almost immediately, a rebellion against the government helping “irresponsible” homeowners became the rallying cry of the anti-government right and the Tea Party was born. The GOP knew that government intervention was necessary but they made sure that the banks and the wealthy were taken care of while forcing everything else to be done on the cheap. The result was a very slow recovery and long-term damage to the average American household, which worked out well for them politically and further discredited government in the minds of many Americans.

The Obamacare wars flowed naturally from that, with half the country hysterical at the idea the government was going to choose their doctors and decide who lives or dies. Their fears were stoked by right-wing politicians who suspected that the program might work and restore people’s faith in the government to deliver needed benefits. Then where would they be?

There were dozens of conspiracy theories floating around from “death panels” to implanted microchips, to a giant government database that was going to house every personal piece of health information on every American. All of this inane resistance was fueled by the right’s decades-long anti-government propaganda campaign.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

Fast forward to 2020 and the first global pandemic in a hundred years with an incompetent narcissist in charge. Between his ineptitude and self-serving desire to pretend that the crisis didn’t exist and the years of mistrust in the government, the U.S. ended up with an epic disaster and half the population refusing to acknowledge it existed. Today, we’re facing a situation in which tens of millions of people are refusing vaccines because they believe in daft conspiracy theories or are convinced the government is lying to them even in the face of over 600,000 deaths.

Throughout all this, most Republican officials have either been actively hostile to medical experts and their advice or they have been strangely passive, simply shrugging their shoulders as if this is just a normal part of life and everyone just needs to buck up. They refused to wear masks and social distance, they’ve egged on protesters and encouraged the right-wing media, which has been feeding snake oil, lies and conspiracy theories to their voters since the pandemic began.

Fox News has been particularly egregious in its objectively pro-COVID propaganda. Their headliners Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity have all taken slightly different approaches. Carlson has gone with his patented dark conspiracy-mongering, playing off of the right’s new “Deep State” narrative to suggest that the government is forcing people to take vaccines against their will and that the shots are killing people. Ingraham has been an inveterate pusher of quacks and bogus cures while blaming it all on immigrants as usual while Hannity has been playing both sides, telling people to take the virus seriously in one breath and skepticism in the other. (One suspects this relates to his close relationship with Donald Trump, who similarly twists himself into a pretzel on this subject, wanting credit for the vaccines but being unable to buck the conspiracy addled anti-vax sentiment of his followers.)

Most of the rest of the right-wing media have followed the same trends — at least until this week.

Suddenly, we have been seeing members of Fox News breaking with their stars and making heartfelt PSA’s exhorting people to get the vaccines, something we’ve never seen before: Watch the latest video at foxnews.com. Newsmax CEO, and friend of Trump, Chris Ruddy wrote a glowing op-ed complimenting President Biden on his vaccine program. One of the House leaders, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La, a vaccine holdout, very ostentatiously got vaccinated and told anyone who’d listen that they should do it as well. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis actually went out and urged his constituents to get vaccinated now that his state is being overrun with COVID. Again.

The question on everyone’s mind is, “What happened?”

Obviously, it’s tied to the new surge of cases as the highly transmissible Delta variant runs through the population of unvaccinated people who are, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, heavily tilted toward Republicans. As of the end of last month, 86% of Democrats had at least one shot compared to 52% of Republicans. And it’s not getting any better.

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Have they seen polling indicating that they are losing ground with their own voters over their lack on engagement? Are they suddenly worried that their base is going to die and leave them short of needed votes? It’s hard to say. But I think MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was on to something when he suggested that they had thought they could stick with the base and its anti-vax, anti-Big Government attitude about this (continuing to reap the rewards that brings to them politically) and let Joe Biden’s administration do the heavy lifting of getting their states vaccinated — at which point they would swoop in and say what a terrible job he did. (This works for them every time a GOP administration leaves the country in shambles and the Democrats have to clean up their mess.)

The problem is that the virus is spreading, restrictions have been lifted and the Republican base is refusing to save itself. The anti-government chickens have finally come home to roost — and they’re killing Republicans. 

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July 21, 2021

Heather Cox Richardson

The story that grabbed headlines today was that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected two of the five people House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) chose to put on the House select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection. McCarthy immediately withdrew all of the five people he had appointed, accusing the Speaker of partisanship. But let’s call this like it is. The Republicans killed a bill to create a bipartisan select committee to investigate the insurrection. Then, when Pelosi set up a select committee instead on the exact same terms that Republicans had used to set up one of their many Benghazi committees, McCarthy tried to sabotage the process by naming as three of his five picks men who bought into former president Trump’s Big Lie and challenged the votes on the night of January 6. One of those men, Jim Jordan (R-OH), is known for disrupting hearings; another, Jim Banks (R-IN), after being selected to sit on the committee, said that Pelosi “created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda.” Banks has repeatedly tried to blame Pelosi for the response of the Capitol Police on January 6, when, in fact, it is overseen by a three-person Capitol Police Board. It is likely that McCarthy chose Jordan precisely to push Pelosi into rejecting him: McCarthy did not make Jordan the ranking member on the committee despite his seniority. Pelosi refused to accept Jordan and Banks but did accept Troy Nehls (R-TX), who also voted to challenge the results of the 2020 election. Nonetheless, McCarthy made a show of pulling all his appointees from the committee, saying “this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth.” But, of course, one of Pelosi’s own picks is Republican Liz Cheney (R-WY), who voted with Trump 92.9% of the time, but who recognizes the insurrection as one of the most dangerous threats to our democracy in our history. She responded today to McCarthy, her party’s leader, supporting Pelosi’s decision and telling reporters that the Speaker had “objected to two members and the rhetoric around this from the minority leader and from those two members has been disgraceful. This must be an investigation that is focused on facts, and the idea that any of this has become politicized is really unworthy of the office that we all hold and unworthy of our republic.” Cheney said she is “absolutely confident that we will have a nonpartisan investigation. “On January 13, of course, McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by [Trump] to accept his share of responsibility.” Now, six months later, Republicans have lined up behind the former president and are seeking to sabotage the investigation into the January 6 insurrection, clearly unhappy about what that investigation will reveal. In the Senate, a vote to advance the $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill failed today, but 11 Republicans eager to make the deal work delivered a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicating their intention to vote for such a bill once it is hammered out. Schumer has promised to bring the procedural process up again if it has the votes to pass. If Republicans refuse to join the measure, Democrats can simply fold it into the larger bill they’re hoping to pass through reconciliation without the Republican votes necessary to break a filibuster. McConnell has taken a stand against the Democrats’ infrastructure plans. In a speech on July 6, he focused on the larger package, saying: “The era of bipartisanship on this stuff is over….This is not going to be done on a bipartisan basis. This is going to be a hell of a fight over what this country ought to look like in the future and it’s going to unfold here in the next few weeks. I don’t think we’ve had a bigger difference of opinion between the two parties.” But many Republicans recognize that the infrastructure package is popular, and they would like to have their names on it rather than giving another win to the Democrats. Schumer has given them more time but has made it clear he will not let them run out the clock. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters today that no Republican senators will vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling when a deal cut two years ago to suspend the ceiling ends on July 31. McConnell wants to see spending cuts to bring down the deficit. (It is worth noting that the Republicans just demanded that funding to beef up the IRS to catch tax cheaters be stripped from the new infrastructure bill, although the commissioner of the IRS, Charles Rettig, estimates we lose $1 trillion a year in unpaid taxes.) During the Trump administration, Congress voted at least three times to raise the debt ceiling. Under Trump, the nation added $7.8 trillion to the national debt, about $23,500 for every person in the country. The bulk of this debt came before the coronavirus pandemic. Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which chopped the federal tax rate from 35% to 21%, hurt revenues at the same time that administration spending increased dramatically. And then the pandemic hit. Under Trump, the deficit rose 5.2%. The only presidents to raise it faster in their terms were George W. Bush, under whom the deficit rose 11.7% as he cut taxes and started two wars, and Abraham Lincoln, under whom it rose 9.4% as he paid for the Civil War. The Democrats are treating McConnell’s threat to shut down the government as political posturing. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “We expect Congress to act in a timely manner to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, as they did three times on a broad bipartisan basis during the last administration,” and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted: “We are not going to have a ‘big fight’ over the debt ceiling. We are just going to handle our business like grownups.” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) added: “We don’t bargain over the debt ceiling. We just do our jobs. And if you choose not to do your job, then you answer for the consequences. “The takeaway from today is that McConnell and McCarthy seem to have lost control of their caucus, while the Republicans’ posturing is increasingly out of step with the national mood. Pelosi called McCarthy’s bluff, Schumer warned his Republican colleagues that he will not let them sabotage Democratic priorities by running out the clock, and Democratic lawmakers are taking advantage of the erratic behavior of Republican lawmakers to suggest that they, the Democrats, are currently the only adults in the room.—-
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If Bitch McConnell and his minions have their way we will be back to pre civil war era voting restrictions for all non white voters. MA

July 17, 2021Heather Cox Richardson

A year ago tonight, Georgia Representative John Lewis passed away from pancreatic cancer at 80 years old. As a young adult, Lewis was a “troublemaker,” breaking the laws of his state: the laws upholding racial segregation. He organized voting registration drives and in 1960 was one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders, white and Black students traveling together from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans to challenge segregation. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” Lewis later recalled.An adherent of the philosophy of nonviolence, Lewis was beaten by mobs and arrested 24 times. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC—pronounced “snick”), he helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington where the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., told more than 200,000 people gathered at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial that he had a dream. Just 23 years old, Lewis spoke at the march. Two years later, as Lewis and 600 marchers hoping to register African American voters in Alabama stopped to pray at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, mounted police troopers charged the marchers, beating them with clubs and bullwhips. They fractured Lewis’s skull.To observers in 1965 reading the newspapers, Lewis was simply one of the lawbreaking protesters who were disrupting the “peace” of the South. But what seemed to be fruitless and dangerous protests were, in fact, changing minds. Shortly after the attack in Selma, President Lyndon Baines Johnson honored those changing ideas when he went on TV to support the marchers and call for Congress to pass a national voting rights bill. On August 6, 1965, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act authorizing federal supervision of voter registration in districts where African Americans were historically underrepresented.When Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, just 6.7 percent of Black voters in Mississippi were registered to vote. Two years later, almost 60% of them were. In 1986, those new Black voters helped to elect Lewis to Congress. He held the seat until he died, winning reelection 16 times.Now, just a year after Representative Lewis’s death, the voting rights for which he fought are under greater threat than they have been since 1965. After the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision of the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act by taking away Department of Justice supervision of election changes in states with a history of racial discrimination, Republican-dominated state legislatures began to enact measures that would cut down on minority voting.At Representative Lewis’s funeral, former President Barack Obama called for renewing the Voting Rights Act. “You want to honor John?” he said. “Let’s honor him by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for.” Instead, after the 2020 election, Republican-dominated legislatures ramped up their effort to skew the vote in their favor by limiting access to the ballot. As of mid-June 2021, 17 states had passed 28 laws making it harder to vote, while more bills continue to move forward.Then, on July 1, by a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court handed down Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, saying that the state of Arizona did not violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act when it passed laws that limited ballot delivery to voters, family members, or caregivers, or when it required election officials to throw out ballots that voters had cast in the wrong precincts by accident.The fact that voting restrictions affect racial or ethnic groups differently does not make them illegal, Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “The mere fact that there is some disparity in impact does not necessarily mean that a system is not equally open or that it does not give everyone an equal opportunity to vote.”Justice Elena Kagan wrote a blistering dissent, in which Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined. “If a single statute represents the best of America, it is the Voting Rights Act,” Kagan wrote, “It marries two great ideals: democracy and racial equality. And it dedicates our country to carrying them out.” She explained, “The Voting Rights Act is ambitious, in both goal and scope. When President Lyndon Johnson sent the bill to Congress, ten days after John Lewis led marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, he explained that it was “carefully drafted to meet its objective—the end of discrimination in voting in America.” It gave every citizen “the right to an equal opportunity to vote.”“Much of the Voting Rights Act’s success lay in its capacity to meet ever-new forms of discrimination,” Kagan wrote. Those interested in suppressing the vote have always offered “a non-racial rationalization” even for laws that were purposefully discriminatory. Poll taxes, elaborate registration regulations, and early poll closings were all designed to limit who could vote but were defended as ways to prevent fraud and corruption, even when there was no evidence that fraud or corruption was a problem. Kagan noted that the Arizona law permitting the state to throw out ballots cast in the wrong precinct invalidated twice as many ballots cast by Indigenous Americans, Black Americans, and Hispanic Americans as by whites.“The majority’s opinion mostly inhabits a law-free zone,” she wrote.Congress has been slow to protect voting rights. Although it renewed the Voting Rights Act by an overwhelming majority in 2006, that impulse has disappeared. In March 2021, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act on which Representative Lewis had worked, a sweeping measure that protects the right to vote, removes dark money from politics, and ends partisan gerrymandering. Republicans in the Senate killed the bill, and Democrats were unwilling to break the filibuster to pass it alone.An attempt simply to restore the provision of the Voting Rights Act gutted in 2013 has not yet been introduced, although it has been named: the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Only one Republican, Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, has signed on to the bill.  Yesterday, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH), was arrested with eight other protesters in the Hart Senate Office Building for demanding legislation to protect voting rights.After her arrest, Beatty tweeted: “You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me.”Last June, Representative Lewis told Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart that he was “inspired” by last summer’s peaceful protests in America and around the world against police violence. “It was so moving and so gratifying to see people from all over America and all over the world saying through their action, ‘I can do something. I can say something,’” Lewis told Capehart. “And they said something by marching and by speaking up and speaking out.”Capehart asked Lewis “what he would say to people who feel as though they have already been giving it their all but nothing seems to change.” Lewis answered: “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.”“Do not get lost in a sea of despair,” Lewis tweeted almost exactly a year before his death. “Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.”—-
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The past 4-6 years should be a wake up call to all of us, if we would pay attention. We have had a close shave with a near dictatorial leader whose sole objective while in office is to gratify and serve himself. WE still have the remains of his regime in the GOP congressional members who supported his “eccentricities” since they used it as a cover for their self serving activities which did nothing for the betterment of the voters (you know the people they swore to serve along with upholding the Constitution). The rise of right leaning to extreme right news sources have poisoned the media pool so that many of us can no longer identify the line between truth and fiction. There is always a way to get at the truth, that involves the simple act of reading and listening to several avenues of information because the truth is always there if we chose to see it. Right now the GOP is pushing hard against the massive spending bill which they attempt to employ the idea that our grandchildren’s futures are being “mortgaged”. All with no proof other than their stale party line which has for years brought no relief to voters if they are not big donors to the party. The 2017 “tax Reform” cost taxpayers 1.3 trillion dollars with no benefit to 90% of the taxpayers and in some cases pushing more people towards or even into poverty. Each time a person is pushed into poverty it costs the Government more money as they have to rely on public assistance to survive even while working a low to middle wage job. The actions of the current GOP can be likened to the post civil war era (reconstruction) which was supposed to reconcile the differences between the states and bring the country together. This failure was ignored and exacerbated by the ensuing leaders from Federal to local since it served their interests not the voters. Using an unspoken rule on race they created or allowed the rise of the haves and have-nots to a new level which exists today and is now become widely known. We have one job as the statement goes and that is to vote with intelligence in the hope of having that “more perfect Union” imagined 200 plus years ago.

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If you are a avid fan of the Star Wars franchise or if you are a casual observer, you will understand the comparison of the Current Congress especially the GOP which has by all and any means subverted the real heart of that party. In SW there is a SITH lord pulling strings from without and within, we have a parallel view right now with the outer rim of the party being manipulated by the former guy and internally being molded by Bitch McConnell and his minions in many states. The current state of politics are as bad and sometimes worse than pre civil war times yet mirroring the “reconstruction” era. The actions of this Congress especially the so called “conservatives are aimed at getting and keeping power for their own benefit not the people who elected them based on the promises made. Unfortunately as in so many instances the people who are pulled in by the sound bites and politispeak learn too late that they have been duped. The only solution is not always a matter of changing parties but more the fact of carefully examining who you vote for as a person, in other words their track record in private and political life. The Republic, Democracy or what ever you want to call our system of Government consists of the people and their votes not the people in office as many times we have no idea of their actions until we are hit by their results. This will be the case until we stop thinking in naïve terms about the politicians we’ve elected to serve US. Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in Congress bites us in the rear if we do not participate or pay attention to what they are saying or doing.

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The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, was a far-right political party in Germany active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of Nazism. Its precursor, the German Workers’ Party, existed from 1919 to 1920. Wikipedia.

The party of TOTUS is considered a Nationalist or Populist movement which each by definition is not inclusive of ALL citizens of the country. The definition of Nazi party above is merely to explain its definition. TOTUS has been called a populist meaning he resonated with many people not so much for a well-defined message but more of an assailing raging rhetoric that evinced cheers and agreement over perceived injustices by the then current government and previous ones. The underlying message for TOTUS was his perceived personal value in spite of his dearth of knowledge of administration. His rise was presaged by the outrageous actions and statements of former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin who campaigned in the same style with the same un substantiated statements and bravado that earned the cheers and support of many of the same people who eventually lined up behind TOTUS. In essence Sarah Palin cracked the “Populist” door open and TOTUS kicked it wide open! TOTUS took the worst of his own personal (fallacious) beliefs mainstream creating a more divided country not unlike the immediate post-civil war era.  And the pre-World War II German Republic (as constructed by Hitler). The worst of it is the support (overt and covert) by members of congress for their own ends, not for the country and people they swore an oath to protect and support. With the current GOP having a thin edge (not a majority) in the Congress we are in for another year of unsubstantiated claims that play into the beliefs and fears of TOTUS’ supporters whose support they need to remain in office. It is unfortunate that these base supporters are literally “cutting off their noses to spite their faces” by continuing to follow the political demagogues (aka Congress) who will all retire better than 5 to 6 of the average American families who follow and support them. The past has and always will dictate the present and possibly the future if we as voters do not watch our elected leaders closely. Those we have elected are not our friends , they are OUR Employees!

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