Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Fighting Back: “Democrats recommit to opening up opportunity and advancing equality for all Americans.”

 
 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on Black History Month, which began on February 1st.

Pelosi Statement on Black History Month

“Each Black History Month, Americans celebrate the proud heritage and innumerable contributions that African Americans have made to our nation. We honor the generations of African Americans who have enriched our society, pay tribute to the tireless activists who have fought to fulfill the promise of America, and recognize the new generation of leaders who have transformed the Congress and our country with their vision and values.

“Yet today, barriers to social and economic justice and access to equal opportunity continue to undermine the success and prosperity of communities of color. In the face of these persistent obstacles, the new Democratic Majority is working to build a future of progress and possibility for all Americans. We are acting to advance fair elections and combat the shameful, brazen efforts to erect barriers to the ballot box for communities of color. We are standing up against the rhetoric of hate and violence that is inflicting pain, heartbreak and division in our communities, and insisting on the truth that Black Lives Matter. And we are pushing forward a bold, ambitious agenda For The People to make good on the promise of the American Dream for everyone by lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, raising wages by rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure, and strengthening our democracy by ensuring that our government works for the public interest, not the special interests.

This Black History Month, we recommit to opening up opportunity and advancing equality for all Americans. To do so, we take strength and inspiration from the legacy of those who came before us and the courage of our heroes, like Congressman John Lewis, who reminds us that ‘there are still forces in America that want to divide us…But we’ve made too much progress to stop or to pull back. We must go forward.’ Guided by countless leaders, advocates and patriotic Americans we will keep moving toward a future of progress and justice for all.”

No Democratic Party Weekly Address was available at publication time.
(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

An Escape to Orcas Island in the Salish Sea

A view from atop Turtleback mountain looking southwest across West Sound in the foreground, San Juan Channel and San Juan Island In the upper photo is the Strait of Juan De Fuca with fog (the white strip) and  the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic Mountains. To the west ( right side) behind San Juan Island is Vancouver island and Victoria BC.

 

My brother who belongs to a time share condo-resort group treated us to a week at Deer Harbor Resort on Orcas Island in mid January. As some of you might know, this is not far from our home in Bellingham, less than 20 miles as the crow flies. However, after an hour’s drive along the coast and another hour’s ferry ride through scenic islands, we could have been a thousand miles away.

 

And we really lucked out on the weather for mid January – mostly sunny with just a bit of rain at night.

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago that lies between the north western coast of WA state and Vancouver Island within the Salish Sea. On the map below Orcas Island is the horseshoe shaped one in the upper center of the map. You can see part of Vancouver Island with Victoria in the lower left side. Bellingham and Bellingham Bay where we live are on the upper right.

Deer Harbor where we stayed is the smallish inlet on the lower left side of the island, just west of West Sound

Tuesday in Mooseville – The Many Tentacles of Christian Libertarianism 1/29/19

 

From “The Common Objects of the Sea Shore, including hints for an aquarium,” 1860.  Nothing to do with the topic, but I needed an illustration with tentacles.

  Several months ago, I mentioned in a comment that the story about the addition of the words, “under God” to the pledge of allegiance was more nuanced and more detailed than most of us know; it’s a story that starts well before the Eisenhower years. I’ve been wanting to do a post about the topic ever since, but it’s a difficult topic to write about, because it’s so far-ranging and over so many decades. In his book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America, author Kevin Kruse spends the first 64 pages laying out the groundwork before even getting to the 1950s, so I knew one post would be either too superficial or insufficient. I needed to find the right “hook”; today this tweet gave me the impetus to start:


When Individual 1 tweets about religion in America, it’s obvious that it doesn’t come from a deep, faith-based place, and that’s true of so much of the public religiosity in our country…and has been for decades. Today I’m writing about one of the groups that masked their politics with religion and helped bring about the rise of the “Religious” Right and the myth of the Christian nation.

Fighting Back: “Democrats will never allow Republicans to use the harm of a government shutdown as a negotiating tactic.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Ted Lieu of California. He discussed the escalating safety and economic threat caused by the Republican Party’s senseless government shutdown.

Rep. Lieu:

“It’s pretty simple how we got here. In fact, it’s all captured on videotape. Last month, Trump told the American people, quote, ‘I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.’ End quote.

“No President of the United States should ever be proud of shutting down our government. But Trump carried out his threat to shut down government. And he was enabled by Republicans in the House and the Senate.

“This shutdown started during a time of unified Republican control of the federal government: the White House, the Senate, and the House. Democrats inherited this shutdown from Republicans.”[…]

“Now, how do we stop Trump and the Republicans from continuing to inflict harm on the American people? The Democratic position has been straightforward, consistent, and reasonable: Re-open government. Negotiate a deal.

Democrats will never allow Trump and the Republicans to use the harm of a government shutdown as a negotiating tactic. Because if we do, then Trump will do this any time he has a policy disagreement with Congress. […]

“The truth is, the shutdown is not about protecting our border, it’s about Trump’s failed campaign promise. He promised Mexico will pay for his wall. He has been unable to get Mexico to pay for his wall, so he decided to take the mantle and proudly shut down our government. That is wrong, and the American people know it.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Rant and a Reminder 1/22/19

Yelling at a young black family moving into an all-white development near Philadelphia; 1963.

This isn’t what I planned to write about, but I remain distressed and disgusted by the actions of the Covington Catholic group, especially as directed at Nathan Phillips. I typically don’t write about Native issues, because I know enough to know that I don’t know enough. But I do know about Whiteness, and the Covington Catholic students gave us a full display of its ugly side…and maybe its only side.

I’ve seen the first video that went viral and viewed a good portion of the longer one that some are claiming (unbelievably, to me) is exculpatory. I’ve seen the argument being made that Mr. Phillips was the aggressor; that by virtue of being an adult, he was perceived as threatening and the smirk was really a smile, being used to “diffuse” the situation. I’ve read that yes, the boys were in the wrong, and they just need to spend some time with Native Americans; maybe a mission trip to a reservation could be arranged? I’ve seen comments that it’s really the adults who are to blame: the parents; the chaperones; the teachers; the priests; the school administrators. I’ve noticed some touting the viewpoint that it was just a moment in time, and we (adults) don’t want to do anything too harsh that may ruin his (Nicholas Sandmann’s) life forever.

And all I can say is, “Bullshit.”

Fighting Back: “As Dr. King said, ‘the time is always right to do what is right.’ Republicans, end this shutdown.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Amy Klobuchar asking (in Minnesota Nice!) for the Republicans to come back to the bargaining table and stop holding the hard-working people of America hostage.

(As the longest federal government shutdown in American history continues, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address. In the address, Klobuchar describes the harm that the nearly month-long shutdown has been inflicting on Americans across the country, and calls on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to take up bipartisan House-passed legislation, which Senate Republicans previously have supported, that would reopen the government.)

“This weekend, we are on the verge of what soon will be a month-long government shutdown, and it’s the longest and most senseless shutdown in American history. That’s nearly a month of hundreds of thousands of workers not getting paid. That’s nearly a month of everything from air safety to medical advancement being undermined. Nearly a month of unnecessary anxiety and unwarranted chaos.

“This past week, the President declared he’ll “never back down” from his decision to shut down the government until he gets what he wants.

“We ask the President to come back to the table, and to stop holding the hard-working people of America hostage by requiring them to pay ransom to reopen their government. Especially after we already passed bills to reopen the government and to help secure our borders.[…]

“In this week of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we remember the words of Dr. King: ‘the time is always right to do what is right.’”

“Now is the time to do what is right Mr. President. End this shutdown and put hard-working Americans back to work.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

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)