Tag: 109th Congress

Disgusted…

Disgusted…

Emailed moments ago:

To Congressman Steny Hoyer:

I am disappointed to discover that my elected representative, a man I have supported virtually since I moved down to Maryland in 1986, has voted to support H.Res. 579.

It is exclusive, inappropriate, and a violation of the separation of church and state so important to our founding fathers, to recognize religious holidays in this way.

I sing Christmas carols with the rest of my friends and in a little over one week we will be opening Christmas presents in my house under our tree, but we will also be lighting a menorah for the first day of Hanukkah, and we have respect in this house for other holidays we don’t observe.

It saddens me to hear that the U.S. Congress continues to take on the responsibilities for managing our treatment of religious freedom.

Let the language be inclusive of all holidays (Yule, Kwaanza and the rest), and you will make this voting citizen much happier.

We have so much else to fix in our country, but this has to be the focus of actual debate on the floor?

For shame.

(See the resolution…)

Rep. Dingell said it best:

Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell), the Dean of the House.
(Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. DINGELL. Madam Speaker, I have a little poem.

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House,
no bills were passed `bout which Fox News could grouse.
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
so vacations in St. Barts soon should be near.
Katrina kids were all nestled snug in motel beds,
while visions of school and home danced in their heads.
In Iraq, our soldiers need supplies and a plan,
and nuclear weapons are being built in Iran.
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell.
Americans feared we were in a fast track to ….. well.
Wait, we need a distraction, something divisive and wily,
a fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly.
We will pretend Christmas is under attack,
hold a vote to save it, then pat ourselves on the back.
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger,
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger.
This time of year, we see Christmas everywhere we go,
From churches to homes to schools and, yes, even Costco.
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy
when this is the season to unite us with joy.
At Christmastime, we’re taught to unite.
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight.
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter and those right-wing blogs.
You should sit back and relax, have a few egg nogs.
‘Tis the holiday season; enjoy it a pinch.
With all our real problems, do we really need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues, I say with delight,
a Merry Christmas to all, and to Bill O’Reilly, happy holidays.
Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.

* Yeah, I know I misspelled Kwanzaa – it’s the thought that counts, I believe. I’m just sorry I didn’t see the resolution before it was voted on. I hate locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.

Not as riled as I ought to be, but…

Not as riled as I ought to be, but…

TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP HARRIET MIERS

Faced with growing opposition even from their own, the Republican National Committee and the White House held a joint mobilizing conference call to rally their most reactionary supporters behind Harriet Miers, their “get out of conviction on appeal” free card. The point was to assure them that her votes on the Supreme Court were already predetermined. Here is a typically chilling quote from the transcript of that sesssion:

“He and she [the president and Miers] both understand that if she were to get on the court, and she were to rule in ways that are contrary to the way the president would want her to approach her role as a justice, it would be a deep personal betrayal, and would be perceived as such both by him and by her.”

This is absolutely nothing more than a patently crony nomination, and is perceived by even its proponents as exactly that and being sold as such. It is a matter of the utmost urgency that you communicate to your senators that this nomination is not worthy of any consideration at all on that basis alone. As if our members of Congress had not sold the people so far down the river already, do we really need ANOTHER hardcore administration loyalist on our Supreme Court?

We all know how much the reactionaries love their talking points. Here are ours:

1) NO BUSH CRONY EVEN DESERVES A HEARING

Have we not seen the disaster wrought by installation of hardcore administration cronies in positions of the highest responsibility? Must our Supreme Court go the way of New Orleans? There are many jobs in this world where you have to qualify to even GET a job interview. Surely a seat on our Supreme Court is one of them. Some say they need to hear what she has to say. That is just more of the same surrender babble, and is based on two false premises, that we don’t ALREADY know where Miers stands, and that she will disclose anything meaningful under examination. There is nothing coming but another Roberts’ style stonewall, and for all those reasons we say NO HEARING.

2) THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DEMAND A MODERATE

It’s time to fight for what we really want on principle. It’s time for those who would presume to represent us to take up that fight. And the American people will tolerate NO MORE extremist far right appointees to our Supreme Court. Every day Bush’s popularity rating sinks to a new record low. It is only his totally corrupt party caucus, now with a temporary majority in the House of Representatives, that has prevented the initiation of impeachment proceedings already for his incompetence and malfeasance. We the people demand that any further nominees be no worse than true MODERATES. That’s our position and we’re sticking to it.

AND SPEAK OUT FOR REAL ELECTION REFORM

Is there anybody who would want to be elected by cheating? Then why should not everybody want to support real voting reform, so we can make sure all votes are always counted accurately and reliably. Rush Holt has introduced a bill (HR 550) which would make sure that’s what happens from now on.

The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550)
(1) establishes a requirement for a voter verified paper ballot created for every vote cast;
(2) establishes a mandatory uniform national standard that states that the voter verified paper ballot — the only record verified by the voter rather than the voting machine — is the vote of record in the case of any inconsistency with electronic records;
(3) provides Federal funding to pay for implementation of voter verified paper balloting;
(4) requires a percentage of mandatory random audits in every state, and in each county, for every Federal election;
(5) prohibits use of undisclosed software, wireless communication devices, and internet connections in voting machines;
(6) is required to be fully implemented by 2006; and
(7) protects the accessibility mandates of the Help America Vote Act.

The one click action page above has now been fully dedicated to the message that we will not tolerate any more funny business in our elections. Vote now by sending a message to our members of Congress that we need these long overdue reforms, so that we will actually have a chance to really vote in the future.

“Make your blood boil, well I should say….”

“Make your blood boil, well I should say….”

And may I add, this is part of the reason why we switched cars this weekend, and why I’m making DH ride Metro again, as much as he hates commuting that way. Sure. I love macaroni and cheese as much as the next person, but I don’t want to eat it every day and that’s what I have to look forward to if the cost of gas and groceries doesn’t start nosediving soon. I can’t afford to go get a job of my own right now – my salary would be mostly eaten by the cost of a full time babysitter.

If DH has to go on another deployment for any length of time over 120 hours, we’re on his military salary and not his civillian job.

And I’m supposed to *support* this crap?

Give me a break!

If the Dems want to return to winning, they need to forget about labor, and welfare, and race. The truly unifying issue, and the logical job of government, is infrastructure. Building a strong America at home should now be job one. It’s a winning theme.

I am right there with you.

Right now, I’m not terribly proud of my own chosen party, but in my opinion it’s still better than the alternatives. If all the parties could ever get past the whole Them against Us approach, and simply concentrated on providing viable solutions to the problems we’re having in this country with pollution, education and economy, we’d be a whole lot better off. Almost (but not quite) makes me want to join the Reds (and I don’t mean the Republicans, either).

Oddly enough, I’m finding more and more that I align myself with Socialists rather than Democrats, but last I checked, the primary that mattered most didn’t include that particular party, and I still want a say in who’s running on my behalf. Maybe I should join the Republicans and angle them towards moderation instead of sticking with the Democrats.

Anyway, you have the right of it, all the way down. Build up the infrastructure and the education, health and welfare issues will fix themselves.

Take away that support, and the whole thing disintegrates into nothing more than anarchy.

“No Child Left Behind” my behind!

And see, here’s where we differ. I don’t think we need any parties at all. We just need folks to be interested in the people and not in themselves.

When the parties start serving the people instead of themselves, we’ll have a better way of doing things.

My personal preference would be to eliminate all the salaries for these fine folks who are representing us. We provide them with the same sort of housing they’re providing to the rest of the public housing crowd, give them three squares a day, on us. I’ll bet the quality of life for these folks would improve with lightning speed.

Another petition to sign…

Another petition to sign…

Doing what I can to pass on the word…

“Urgent – from the ACLU about the Patriot Act”

American Civil Liberties Union

Congress to vote on the Patriot Act next week
*********************************

Dear Friend,

Last week, nearly 50,000 people signed our petition calling on Congress to reform the Patriot Act.

We have just learned that, in a coordinated plan to quickly reauthorize the Patriot Act, Congress will vote next week on a bill to make the expiring parts of the act permanent, including those that give the government too much unchecked access to our medical, library, financial and other personal records.

If we don’t show our strength now, Congress will pass the Patriot Act reauthorization without the reforms we need to keep us safe and free.

Please sign our petition today, telling Congress it’s time to reform the Patriot Act.

The Bush Administration and some leaders in Congress are determined to make these powers permanent, and are even pressing for further expansions to this assault on our fundamental freedoms.

How do you feel about the government having easy access to your personal records? Information about the books you buy and borrow.  Access to your private medical and tax records. “Sneak and peek” warrants that allow searches without telling you until well after the fact.  Are you okay with this?

These are law enforcement powers granted in the flawed provisions of the Patriot Act, and Congress is preparing to vote to extend and broaden these dangerous powers and undermine our Constitution by making them permanent.

If you don’t think this is acceptable, join with thousands of others and let Congress know today.  Sign the petition.

Remind our leaders that last week’s horrifying bombings in London should not short-circuit a real debate over whether the Patriot Act’s powers actually and materially enhance our security, and whether the civil liberties of ordinary Americans are adequately protected, the test suggested by the bipartisan 9-11 Commission.

Please add your name to the petition, and we will deliver it to Congress as this crucial debate over our freedoms unfolds.

We already have nearly 50,000 signatures.  You can help us reach 100,000 by Friday so that we can ensure that Congress protects our most fundamental liberties.  After you’ve signed the petition, ask your friends to sign it, too.

Thank you for helping to keep America safe and free.

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

[Petition links are all dead, but the ACLU is alive and well, right here: https://action.aclu.org/]

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