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‘March For Our Lives’ Draws National Attention To Gun Violence And The Spineless Politicians Owned By The NRA

March 24, 2018

The message from millions of Americans who marched coast-to-coast had one message today about the politicians bought by the NRA who fail to pass gun control legislation.

“Vote them out! Vote them out!”

That was the message of those who rallied and chanted throughout the afternoon in city after city.  Those voices were referring to members of Congress who have resisted calls to enact sweeping gun control legislation.

The message was harsh for the Republicans who can not get away from the teat of the NRA.    Over-and-over today demonstrators questioned Republican efforts to address their concerns about gun violence and mass shootings.  The quick headline attempts by the GOP aimed at funding for safety and training programs for teachers was seen for what it is.  Plain and simple such fluff is superficial.  Everyone knows that such tepid efforts are simply to make the GOP look good, but at the end of the day there is no meat to their aims.

What everyone can agree on–and did today nationwide–is that people need to vote out Republicans and cast ballots for candidates who are not paid to lick the boots of the NRA.

In Madison nearly 3,000 gathered and the line that stands out as powerful and perfectly stated came from 15-year-old marcher Gia Hailu. “My peers are dying because of poor gun ownership laws.”

In Green Bay Ellie Roth, an organizer for that march said, “We’re all about common sense gun reform, we want stricter background checks, to raise the age to own a gun, we also want to make sure that people don’t have access to military grade assault weapons.”

The Wausau march was where 15-year-old Emily Sanders joined with others concerned about the gun violence in the nation. She doesn’t remember a time in her life where there weren’t school shootings in the news.  “I remember going to school for the next week and feeling sick to my stomach that the same thing was going to happen at my school.  How did this happen again? We just saw Las Vegas back in the fall and we shouldn’t be seeing it now, applied to a school.”

“Master Of The Senate” Is Masterful Treatment Of LBJ’s Senate Years

March 24, 2018

On the day of the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics the first page of Robert Caro’s Master Of The Senate was turned in this home.  This afternoon I finished the 1,200 page read—the third in a five-volume series of heavily detailed and brilliantly written works about one of the most intriguing and frustrating politicians in our nation’s history.

I will be the first to admit this book is not for everyone.  One must first have a love of history, and an equal dose of love for politics to even pick up the work.  But for those who have such interests the result of going paragraph by paragraph through the chapters is nothing short of a joyous excursion.  This is not one of those reads where a weekend curled up on the sofa will not suffice to finish the book.  Caro has spent more time researching and writing about LBJ than the Texan politician lived it.  And Caro makes sure that his solid research is placed vividly into each volume.

The third volume covers LBJ’s twelve years, from 1949 through 1960, when he held powerful sway in the United States Senate.  As in his other books, Caro, in telling the story of LBJ, also immerses the reader into many other narratives–in this case the history of the most august and revered body in politics, and also the life story of Senator and racist, Richard Russell.  There is also the deep backgrounds of Senators Frank Church and Hubert Humphrey which provide insight into the events told in this book.

Caro weaves in rich detail how the senate–through the filibuster–was an obstacle for decades of desperately needed liberal legislation.   But then Caro also masterfully shows how LBJ used his  brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness to change the dynamics of the senate.  LBJ, in breathtaking speed for a body that was used to stodginess and seniority, becomes the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.  Once the power was in his hands Caro describes in almost hour-by-hour detail how LBJ seduced both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives to pass the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction.

Legislative power written about brilliantly.  If this arouses one stirring of curiosity then make the plunge into page one—and enjoy the journey.



Did Mrs. Harding Poison Her Husband, President Harding, Over Illicit Sexual Affairs?

March 24, 2018

As the nation prepares for the bombshell interview of Stormy Daniels on 60 Minutes this weekend my mind went back into the pages of history.  We know Donald Trump hates to have his torrid sexual romps and wife cheating made into headlines or full-out investigations.  But one has to ponder what does the First Lady think about all these other women?

With that question in mind I thought back to another First Lady and what was rumored at the time of her husband’s death.

At 7:20 p.m. on the evening of Aug. 2, 1923, a terrible event of national importance occurred in the presidential suite of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel.  President Warren G. Harding’s wife, Florence, was reading the “Saturday Evening Post” to him. The article in question was about Mr. Harding and appeared to please him because he was last heard to utter, “That’s good, go on.” Immediately thereafter, he shuddered and dropped dead onto his bed.


Mrs. Harding refused all entreaties to allow the doctors to conduct an autopsy and instead ordered that her husband be embalmed shortly after his death.

And more Hmmmm…

Harding was a cad and womanizer. His clandestine love affairs were well known and the rumor of the birth of an illegitimate child was also talked about in Washington.   Harding had brought shame onto his family.

So rumors swirled that Florence had poisoned Warren and then hid the evidence by making sure there was no autopsy.  That rumor, being powerful, continues to circulate about Harding’s memory to the present day.

Trump Plays To Under-Educated Base On Transgender Military Ban

March 23, 2018

Trump will be creating all sorts of news over the next 48 hours in an attempt to take the public’s eye away from his cash for whore pay-off problems.  They seem to piling up like used cord-wood.

Donald Trump issued orders to ban transgender troops who require surgery or significant medical treatment from serving in the military except in select cases — following through on a controversial pledge last year that has been under review by the Pentagon and is being fought out in the courts.

The memorandum, which drew swift condemnation from gender rights groups, states that while the secretary of defense and other executive branch officials will have some latitude in implementing the policy, “persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — including individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under limited circumstances.”

Just recall that at one point they were doing this type of thing to gay men and women.  We over-came the bigotry.  In years to come history will show this news tonight as just another bump on the highway to social progress.  Liberals always win these wars—battles are just a way to keep people focused and determined.  And then there is victory—like same-sex marriage.  

Is This What Trump Meant When He Said We Would Be Winning So Much We Would Grow Weary Of It?

March 23, 2018

“First Amendment Defense Act” Is Shameful Legislation Aimed To Promote Anti-Gay Agenda

March 23, 2018

It has a name which makes one say, well, that must be something to stand up for.  But in reality the bill which was introduced this year in the U.S. Senate called the “First Amendment Defense Act” is something which needs to be strangled in it’s cradle.   The measure introduced by Senator Lee seeks to permit discrimination by individuals, many businesses, and non-profit organizations against same-sex couples, single parents and unmarried couples.

How such a lofty sounding bill can have such un-American results is simply par for the course when it comes to the place on the political spectrum from which Lee hails.    Lee, after all, wishes to strip the Constitution of the 14th Amendment and has said the Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage was “unfortunate”.

Senator Lee

To further attempt to wage attacks on gay men and women, Lee, along with 21 Senate Republicans, are pushing for this heinous bill which would bar the federal government from ameliorating discrimination against same-sex couples, single parents, and unmarried couples when an entity evokes a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction.  That is simply unconscionable.

That is of the same stripe that Southern racists wished to employ in keeping lunch counters and drinking fountains for ‘Whites Only”.

Since all us pay through taxes –as an example–for the food inspectors to bakeries, and for the streets and sanitation pick-up and countless other aspects of making sure a business can open and operate under the laws and ordinances, it then follows that a business can not discriminate on who can or can not make a purchase.

But under this hate-filled proposal individuals, and many businesses and non-profit organizations using taxpayer funds could openly violate non-discrimination policies or refuse to serve same-sex couples. As long as they claimed their actions are based on their belief about marriage, the government would have little recourse.

How about Lee and his ilk find a good history book about civil rights legislation, pour some coffee—-oh, not you Lee—(that is another quirk about him that baffles)–and discover what you all are very clearly in need of knowing.

What these 21 senators are not aware of are the laws and orders which would be undermined with this bill.  Just a few are offered here.

Executive Order 11,246 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development states that shelters receiving HUD grants must not discriminate against same-sex married couples.

The Violence Against Women Act provides explicit protections from discrimination against LGBTQ beneficiaries.

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act grants a statutory right to 12 weeks of leave for personal illness or care-giving – including caring for a spouse. The Department of Labor has made clear that these rights extend to same-sex married couples regardless of where they live.

Haters among the far-right need to feel the full weight of educated and determined Americans.   The burying of this bill, by whatever senate procedure is needed, must be done.

Planned Parenthood Funding Update

March 23, 2018

In spite of the GOP controlling all levers of power in Washington comes this news.

The stopgap omnibus funding bill passed and signed into law by Trump continues federal funding of Planned Parenthood. We all can be glad that there is more bluster than bite in what many Republicans say and do. The GOP base likes to hear one thing but national considerations must always. at the end of the day, rule.

Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million each year from American taxpayers and provides countless needed services for women and families.

As it should.

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