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Tuesday in Mooseville – Steve King (R[acist]) IA-04 Answers His Own Question and Doesn’t Even Know It 1/15/19

White fragility on display.

 

Iowa Rep. Steve King is facing criticism after he defended white nationalism and white supremacy in an interview. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said to The New York Times. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” (bolding mine) Iowa Rep. Steve King under fire for remark on white nationalism and white supremacy

I haven’t read the full NYT interview, because I avoid the NYT like the plague. So when the news of Rep. King’s abhorrent comments came out, I initially only heard about the first part of his comment and not about the second half, bolded above. When I finally did, it was a full-blown smack-my-head moment. It is obvious to me, and to anyone not invested in white nationalism, that the reason he (and most of us) learned about the merits of “our” history in the classroom is because our country is built on the existence and promotion of white supremacy. In previous years (especially pre-2008), much of the language and goals were coded, but it wasn’t always that way any more than it is now. Perhaps Rep. King would have benefited from reading some of the primary sources which make explicit the embrace of white supremacy as a guiding principle. I doubt knowing history — unprotected, unhidden, and unvarnished — would stop Rep. King from being an out-and-proud racist at this point, but one can hope for others.

Fighting Back: “Quit holding the paychecks of 800,000 government workers hostage!”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Scott Peters of San Diego discussing the real crises caused by Trump’s demand for an “impossible wall”.

(Rep. Scott Peters discusses Democrats’ support for smart, effective border security solutions and calls on President Trump and Senator McConnell to re-open government now.)

“The one truth the President did state is that there is a crisis at the border.

“There is a humanitarian crisis created by him.

“It’s a crisis when the President threatens to shut down the nation’s legal immigration and asylum process over a border wall that is really just a campaign gimmick.

“It a crisis when the President spends 72 million of your tax dollars to send our military to the border to confront a threat that didn’t exist, like he did in November, as a political stunt to rally the base.

“It’s a crisis when this Administration is allowing women and children – babies – to be dumped on American streets in the middle of the night with nothing more than the clothes on their back, without food, money, health screenings, or plans to get them to their destinations.

“And there is a crisis, when a government shutdown means that 800,000 federal workers are denied a paycheck this week, and now can’t pay their mortgage or rent, student loans, or medical expenses, hurting their credit rating because our President won’t budge on his impossible wall.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Speaker Pelosi: “Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream.”

On Thursday, January 3, 2019, Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Article I checks and balances, restored – #ForThePeople.

(Speaker Pelosi: “The Floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions.”)

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi:

We enter this new Congress with a sense of great hope and confidence for the future, and deep humility and prayerfulness in the face of the challenges ahead.

Our nation is at an historic moment. Two months ago, the American people spoke, and demanded a new dawn.

They called upon the beauty of our Constitution: our system of checks and balances that protects our democracy, remembering that the legislative branch is Article I: the first branch of government, co-equal to the presidency and judiciary.

They want a Congress that delivers results for the people, opening up opportunity and lifting up their lives.

[Sound of child crying]

We are hearing the voice of the future there. Beautiful.

When our new Members take the oath, our Congress will be refreshed, and our democracy will be strengthened by their optimism, idealism and patriotism of this transformative Freshman class. Congratulations to all of you in the Freshman class.

Working together, we will redeem the promise of the American Dream for every family, advancing progress for every community.

In the past two years, the American people have spoken. Tens of thousands of public events were held. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out. Millions of calls were made. Countless families – even sick little children, our Little Lobbyists, our Little Lobbyists – bravely came forward to tell their stories. And they made a big difference.

Now, the Floor of this House must be America’s Town Hall: where the people will see our debates, and where their voices will be heard and affect our decisions. Transparency will be the order of the day.

And as Mr. [Hakeem] Jeffries, our distinguished Chairman, said, we will follow our mandate, For The People!

Fighting Back: “The Democratic Majority will make restoring our democracy a top priority “

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman-elect Joe Neguse (D-CO). He discusses HR 1, a bold reform package to restore the promise of our democracy – a government of, by and for the people.

(Representative-Elect Joe Neguse from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.)

“The Democratic Majority will make restoring our democracy a top priority with the passage of HR 1. This bill will begin to clean up the mess in Washington, D.C. by doing three critical things: securing our elections, reducing the power of special interests in political campaigns, and increasing ethical standards for our elected officials.

HR 1 will be the bedrock of everything we do in the next two years, reminding us that when it works, the United States of America has the best form of government ever invented. We can do big things. We can be bold in our ideas and bold in our solutions. We can take bold action to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices, raise paychecks, end gun violence, rebuild our infrastructure and fight climate change.

But we know that first we have to restore trust, faith, transparency, and hope in our government, and remind Americans that this government truly belongs to all of us. The Democratic Majority is going to do just that, and HR 1 is the first step in that process.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: Giant orange toddler in the White House shuts down the government.

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the “leader” of the Senate Democrats. Something something “this shall not stand!”, says man with no power and questionable negotiating skills.

(Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Delivers Weekly Democratic Address)

“This may have been the most chaotic week of what’s undoubtedly the most chaotic presidency ever… All of this turmoil is causing chaos in the markets, chaos abroad, and it’s making the United States less prosperous and less secure. And to top it all off, President Trump has thrown a temper tantrum and now has us careening towards a Trump shutdown over Christmas,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “[T]here are several ways for President Trump and Congressional Republicans to avoid a shutdown over Christmas. But there is only one way that we will have a Trump shutdown: if President Trump clings to his position for an unnecessary, ineffective, taxpayer-funded border wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Benjamin Tillman (1847-1918) in Pictures and Words 12/18/18

 

Benjamin Tillman, 1910

Last week, one of the correct answers in the game version of Primary Sources was Benjamin Tillman. His name was familiar to me as “some late 1800s politician dude,” but beyond that, I remembered very little. Working on the assumption that I was not alone in a vague remembrance, I decided to shine the spotlight on him this week. I’m not going to provide his overall biography; Wikipedia has a very detailed rundown for those who are interested (Benjamin Tillman). Instead, I’m going to provide pictures of his legacy, interspersed with his own words and words of academics.

Fighting Back: “Democrats understand that we have an obligation to keep our government funded.”

 
 

  The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA40) and emphasized Democrats’ commitment preventing a #TrumpShutdown.

(Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California emphasized Democrats’ commitment to work For The People and prevent a Trump Government Shutdown.)

“Appropriators understand we have a critical responsibility that transcends politics: to keep our government funded, so it can serve the needs of the American people.

“Unfortunately, House Republicans and the President have – once again – walked away from that responsibility. Due to their obstruction and failure to govern, Republicans are driving our nation to the brink of another disastrous government shutdown – at a time of great economic uncertainty, and right in the middle of the holiday season.[…]

Democrats have presented the President* with options to keep the government open. It’s President Trump’s choice to keep government open, or to shut the government down – and the American People are waiting for his response.

“And if Republicans do steer our nation into a Trump Shutdown, we will swiftly pass the remaining appropriations bills with a CR for Homeland Security to re-open the government.

“On Election Day, the American people spoke, and demanded a government that would work for them.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Americans expect their elected leaders to set aside partisan division and do what’s right for their country.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon: “Congress must commit to taking up the bipartisan legislation that would defend the Mueller investigation against partisan attacks.”

(Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Delivers Weekly Democratic Address)

“Americans expect their elected leaders to set aside partisan division and do what’s right for their country. Congress must commit to taking up the bipartisan legislation that would defend the Mueller investigation against partisan attacks.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Democrats will deliver on policies that will make life better for all of us”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman-elect Katie Hill from California.

(In this week’s address, Congresswoman-elect Katie Hill discussed House Democrats’ plans for H.R. 1 of the 116th Congress, a bold reform package to restore the promise of our democracy – a government of, by and for the people.)

“As the majority and as Democrats, we know that before anything else can happen, we have to repair the trust between people and our government.

“With that as the priority, under the Democratic Majority, H.R. 1 of the 116th Congress will be a bill that focuses on giving power back to people, not corporations or special interests.

“For most of the incoming representatives-elect, we ran for office so we could come to Washington to make the communities we represent the priority, and stop playing politics with their lives.

“That means removing voting obstacles, so that every vote and every voice is heard. That means passing true ethics and accountability reform, so that public servants honor the public trust and Washington stops being run by insider influence and starts working for the people again. That also means finally ending the dominance of big money in our politics and limiting the stronghold of corporations and special interests.

“H.R.1 addresses some of our toughest battles. It will establish automatic voter registration, strengthen the Voting Rights Act and put an end to partisan gerrymandering. H.R.1 also works to limit undue influence of big money by mandating more transparency and disclosure of political donations, fighting back against Citizen’s United, and creating a new 21st-century campaign finance system that empowers ordinary Americans.


(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: William Howard Russell On the Civil War (Finally, Final!) 11/27/18

Caricature of the war correspondent William Howard Russell (1821-1907), from the magazine Punch, October 8, 1881. Artwork by Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910)

Reading the last four letters reprinted by Project Gutenberg (The Civil War in America, by William Howard Russell) was a soul-draining, but necessary, reminder that this is indeed who we are. What these letters show me is that without directly confronting our history, we will repeat our mistakes. Without recognizing the role of myth in the way our history is taught, we will not learn or grow. The good news is that as long as photos of young girls in tears after being tear-gassed shock us; as long as news of the death of yet another African-American man at the hands of police anger us; as long as we are willing to stand up and speak out, we have a chance. Who we are is not who we have to be.

(Today’s quotes provided without commentary; the parallels are so obvious that commentary seems superfluous.)