Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Fighting Back: “We need to return the power back to the American people”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Andy Kim from New Jersey speaking about H.R.1 – the For The People Act – an historic reform package to restore the promise of our nation’s democracy and return the power to the people.

(Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, the Congressman highlighted the passage of H.R.1, the For The People Act, an historic reform package to restore the promise of our nation’s democracy, end the culture of corruption in Washington, and reduce the role of money in politics to return the power back to the American people.)

“Our nation needs a government of service.

“It was this sense of service that founded our nation and built the extraordinary institutions of democracy that we have been entrusted to protect. That is the oath that we swore.

“But as we look at the stagnation and gridlock, we must be honest with ourselves that these institutions have been weakened. That we do not have the quality of public service that the American people deserve.

“The tide of dark money and special interests eroded our pillars and caused many in this country, my neighbors included, to feel that our government is no longer focused on serving the people. […]

A government for the people requires a government of the people.

“We must help more Americans to participate in their democracy. We need to work to remove barriers to voting, encourage more Americans to step up and run for office, urge them to vote and to engage with their elected representatives.

“We need to stop gerrymandering from diluting the voice of the people, to make our system fairer and more just.

We need a government the understands that the core unit of our democracy is the citizen, not the dollar sign.

“H.R. 1 represents a bold effort to do just that.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Thursday in Mooseville – Unholy Alliances: DeMille and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3/7/19

Ten Commandments Monument from the grounds of the Texas State Capitol. Austin, Texas. Photograph by J. Williams. (Aug. 26, 2002)

“How can ‘Christians’ support the current pResident?” is a question we’ve all heard over and over again. I, however, think it’s the wrong question, or at least a question that is asked without benefit of a particular type of historical background. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to provide some of that background through stories of past and current “unholy alliances” with the hope that they point to a path for recognizing the tactics used, re-centering conversations, and reclaiming our right to weigh in on issues of morality (whether defined as “Christian” or not).

Barbara Jordan: Sharing and shaping our future

Barbara Jordan was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Texas and the first African-American elected to her state’s senate.

Rep. Barbara Jordan was not only a trailblazer but a great American and a great advocate for both small d and big D Democratic principles.

Speeches can contain words to live by, words that call us to action for an important cause and words that connect to our deepest feelings about fairness and compassion.

Fighting Back: “The question we’ll be asked – what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact?”

 
 

This past week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, made a strong closing statement following a hearing into the blatant criminality of Donald J. Trump – as a businessman, as a candidate, as the leader of the Republican Party, and as the Republicans’ president.

(From MSNBC: In an emotional statement addressing Michael Cohen and the chamber, Rep. Elijah Cummings offers closing thoughts after about eight hours of questions and testimony.)

The greatest gift that [we] can give to our children, is making sure we give them a democracy that is intact. A democracy better than the one we came upon. And I’m hoping that, the things you said today will help us again to get back there. […]

I’m hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want, and that we should be passing on our children so they can do better than what we did.[…]

When we’re dancing with the angels, the question we’ll be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?

Fighting Back: “Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Lucy McBath from Georgia and explains the work she and House Democrats are doing to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.

(Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia shared her family’s tragic story of gun violence and explained the work she and House Democrats are doing to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.)

“This coming week, H.R.8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 will come to Floor of the House for a vote. This historic, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation will ensure background checks for all gun sales, including unlicensed gun dealers.

“The overwhelming, bipartisan support for universal background checks symbolizes the power of advocacy and the incredible power of the survivors, family members and students who have shared their stories as they advocate for commonsense gun safety solutions and demand that we act to address gun violence.

House Democrats are taking action to make sure our communities and our nation are safer.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Slaveholders-in-Chief Cont’d 2/19/19

A former slave of U.S. President Andrew Jackson (probably Betty Jackson) and two of her great-grandchildren; 1867

After Denise’s tour-de-force of a post on Sunday (if you haven’t already, be sure to read it here: I refuse to honor George Washington, and ‘founders’ who enslaved and sold human beings ), my efforts seem meager by comparison. But that’s never stopped me before, and I think it’s important to continue the litany of shame that is as much a part of our national heritage as all the mythology we’ve created about the Founders and their successors. Here then are the final six slaveholding presidents.

Fighting Back: “Democrats will defend Congress’ constitutional authorities.”

 
 

 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued this press release regarding the Republican Party’s president declaring a national emergency:

The President’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation. This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.

“The President’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution. The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.

“This issue transcends partisan politics and goes to the core of the Founders’ conception for America, which commands Congress to limit an overreaching executive. The President’s emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our Founders’ vision.

“We call upon our Republican colleagues to join us to defend the Constitution. Just as both parties honored our oath to protect the American people by passing the conference committee bill, the Congress on a bipartisan basis must honor the Constitution by defending our system of checks and balances.

“The President is not above the law. The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution.”

Newspaper reactions to the national “emergency” declaration are here.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Slaveholders-in-Chief 2/12/19

First paragraph of James T. Callender’s newspaper editorial, titled “The President Again,” which first exposed the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, one of Jefferson’s teenaged slaves. (September 1, 1802)

Today’s post is prompted by Dee’s observation that we celebrate Presidents’ Day with no mention of the fact that twelve of them were slaveholders. It occurred to me that I wasn’t sure which twelve those were, beyond the Virginians, Washington and Jefferson. In a just world, we would know the names of those held in bondage and their stories and those of their descendants. With the exception of Sally Hemings and her children, those names are mostly lost, but we can name the presidents. And we can remember our history as it truly is. (Six presidents this week; the last six next week.)

Fighting Back: “Democrats will always stand up for the truth.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Barbara Lee of California speaking about Black History Month and the work being done on the For The People agenda.

(Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Congresswoman Lee marked Black History Month and highlighted Democrats’ For The People agenda.)

“James Baldwin used to say: ‘I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.’ Leaving the House Chambers on Tuesday after the State of the Union, these words echoed in my head.

“We cannot believe what [the Republican’s president] says, because we see what he has done.

“So let me be clear: we will stand up for the truth. We have seen what he has done. And we will stand up for the American people – and for justice, for righteousness, and for truth. […]

Our agenda was written For the People, for all the people.

“It is an agenda built on radical truth, on the understanding that every American will benefit from fairer elections, lower health care costs, and higher wages. […]

“When African American women die in childbirth at nearly four times the rate of white mothers – there is more work to be done.

“When every day, across the nation, our neighbors, classmates, our loved ones are gunned down in senseless acts of violence – there is more work to be done.

“When children are once again snatched from their mothers’ arms as they come to our country – there is more work to be done.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – The Many Tentacles of Christian Libertarianism, Part Two 2/5/19

Last week, I wrote about the early history of the Spiritual Mobilization organization, a group whose activities were largely limited to pamphleteering. Although Spiritual Mobilization at one point sent tracts to more than 70,000 pastors across the United States, in 1944, only 400 ministers were formally affiliated with the group. With the influx of corporate funding and the addition of staff with one foot in the corporate world, the focus would shift to actively enlisting spiritual leaders in communities (although Spiritual Mobilization was overwhelmingly Protestant Christian, Jewish and Catholic leaders were a small portion of their ranks) to join with the corporate financial backers in defeating the New Deal. (Source material is One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin Kruse, unless otherwise stated.)