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Are Republicans the Party of Death ?

Generally, the Republican response to any mass shooting is that it is ‘too soon’ to talk about it, our ‘thoughts and prayers’ go out to victims, and then to stop anybody who tries to do something useful. Of course, this is just my opinion based on years of observation. They blocked legislation after Newtown, CT. They did nothing after Sutherland Springs, TX or Las Vegas NV. They seem ready to do nothing again. Are Republicans the Party of Death ?
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Guns for the mentally ill: Is Senator Grassley a hypocrite ?

Senator Chuck Grassley seems to be a hypocrite on the subject of guns for the mentally ill.  After the recent tragic school shooing in Florida, he was asked to comment and Senator Grassley said:

It seems to be common for a lot of these shootings, in fact almost all of the shootings, is the mental state of the people. And we have not done a very good job of making sure that people that have mental reasons for not being able to handle a gun getting their name into the FBI files and we need to concentrate on that.

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Are Republicans ashamed ?

President Trump is busy attacking the FBI and Justice Department. Republicans used to believe in the rule of law. Are Republicans ashamed ? If not, why not?

Our intelligence agencies agreed with a high degree of certainty that Russia interfered in our 2016 election (.https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf ).

President Trump denies this. In some cases he says he knows better because he is very smart. I tend to think he has other motivations. Donald Trump’s denial is called the “2017 Lie of the Year” by Politifact .

WikiPedia has a long article on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections for those who would like to review this and some more recent develpments in the investigations.

Recently, the President and some of his allies in Congress and on Fox news have been busy attacking the FBI and Justice Department. As President Trump says “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves”.

Of course he seems to be thinking of those in leadership at the FBI and Justice Department but I think it is the Republicans who refuse to stand-up to this attack on the rule of law who should be ashamed.

We have heard objections from Senator John McCain and Gov. John Kasich. I may have missed a few others but I’ve heard few Republican objections or even mild disagreements.

In the words of Senator McCain:

The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.

So where are the the Repubican politicians? Do they still believe in the rule of law? Are Republicans ashamed ?

Republican blackmail

Is Republican blackmail too strong a way to describe the current negotiation to avoid a government shutdown? I don’t think so. Here’s why.

Just last month a deal was made to avoid a shutdown with another continuing resolution, the third continuing resolution for the fiscal year which just began October 1, less than 4 months ago. Continue reading

Republicans don’t want a debate on net neutrality

Why do Republicans fear a debate?

When it was apparent that the disasterous party-line FCC ruling which eliminated net neutrality was coming, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY18) introduced H.R.4585 – the Save Net Neutrality Act of 2017.

It was promply bottled-up in commitee. A few days ago the Democrats tried to forcent to have a floor debate on the bill which was voted down by the Republicans.

Why do Republicans fear a debate? Why do they not want freedom of choice?

Seven words you cannot say

Back when the Retired Guy was much younger, the comedian George Carlin told us about seven words he could not say on TV. The seven words were considered “dirty” and too vulgar for broadcast over the airwaves of the United States. A few years earlier the comedian Lenny Bruce had been arrested for using these words (and 2 more) in a public performance. See Seven dirty words on Wikipedia for more detail.
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PA SB 3, the anti-choice forces are back

The anti-choice forces are again trying to restrict abortion rights with PA SB 3.

Not much has changed except they are trying again. Read something new and what I had to say about this when they tried in February.

Reverse Robin Hoods of the Senate

It seems we have quite a few reverse Robin Hoods in the US Senate.

Remember Robin Hood. Rob from the rich and give to the poor. But that was back in the old days.

Modern Republicans are trying to rob from the poor and give to the rich. The Congresssional Budget Office (CBO) report is out on their tax bill and it confirms this.
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Net Neutrality is almost gone

Net neutrality, it’s not just for nerds.  It sounds like kind of a technical thing but most of us should care.

Why? Freedom of choice is the short answer. And by that I mean our choice. Not the choice forced on us by the company that provides our internet service.
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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

The full title is “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes “ .  Adam Rutherford is hardly a household name at least here in the US. But I hope it will be a name that people looking for good science writing will remember.
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Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way

I just ran across this article. It is a few days old but seems to capture the essence of the GOP congress: Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way.

The full title is The Republican tax bill is moving through Congress at light speed and the subtitle is
The GOP’s playbook: Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way. It was published in Vox a few days ago and is specifically about tax plans but does capture the general GOP approach in this Congress.

We have previously seen a similar approach fail on healthcare. My hope is that it fails again. i would like to see tax reform but I believe this is an important issue and deserves a full debate on the merits of various measures. Move slowly enough to consider the facts and possible consequences of your actions.

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