At Colorado Pols, Jason Saltzman writes—Gardner Claims He’s “Consistently” Opposed Government Shutdowns, But He Backed One In 2013:
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is trying to sound like a good-government crusader, saying on Twitter that he’s “consistently been against government shutdowns,” and specifying on KOA’s Colorado’s Morning News that “it’s a position I’ve taken since 2013, opposing the shutdown then.”
At the Orange Juice Blog of California, Greg Diamond writes—ADEMS Weekend! DO We Hold Politicians Accountable – or NOT?
The underlying dynamic in the [California Democratic Party] right now, especially in the wake of the removal of Eric Bauman from the Chair’s position, is one in which elected officials and their sponsors are engineering a power grab to reduce the number of delegate spots available to the general public and increase the number that owe fealty to the politicians themselves and won’t get in the way of their continuing to block reforms on behalf of their big donors. That sounds harsh, so I’ll explain.
The third-party/leftist criticism of the Democratic Party is [that it] acts towards leftist reformists like the Peanuts characters Lucy Van Pelt does to Charlie Brown: Lucy would tee up the football for Charlie — promising that this time she would not pull it away and leave him swinging his leg at empty space and falling onto his back. In other words, they say that Democrats are tricking activists into voting for them with pretty promises, but that they will always find a way to lose, even if it means “taking a fall,” and will only go through the motions of supporting reform so long as they can ensure that it won’t lead to actual reform of the sort that would piss off big donors.
The argument is more progressive reform legislation was sent to the Governor’s desk during Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration than happened in Jerry Brown’s, because they couldn’t be sure that Brown would veto it. Hence, critics say, we hear lots of talk in favor of Medicare for All, rent control, alternative energy, etc., but something — a committee chair, moderates, the Assembly Speaker or Senate Majority Leader, the Governor, the courts (due to a foreseeable design flaw), or even inexplicable baton drops — will always get in the way of actually enacting legislation, despite almost all Democrats seeming to want those popular progressive results.
There’s truth — too much of it — in this. […] But for a sizeable portion of the party, that’s not true. Some leaders actually do want reform — though the elected party leaders are expected to punish them if they get out of line. As a result, the only way to progress is to elect an actual reformist majority in both legislative houses who will appoint committee chairs, etc., who won’t undercut reform. The CDP, with its almost-automatic endorsement of incumbents — and, frankly, rigging challenges against them to fail — no matter what they act like, gets in the way of that.
At Blog for Arizona, AZ BlueMeanie writes—Get Me Roger Stone!
I have wanted to see long-time GOP ratfucker Roger Stone in prison since his Watergate days. That a creature so vile and devoid of any human decency has been allowed to practice his dark arts freely for so long with impunity is a blot on the American justice system.
But my faith has been restored this morning! Roger Stone Arrested in Mueller Investigation Into Trump Campaign:
Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was charged as part of the special counsel investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks, the organization behind the release of thousands of stolen Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign, in an indictment unsealed Friday.
Mr. Stone was charged with seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering, according to the special counsel’s office.
Read the Stone Indictment (.pdf). […]
At Juanita Jean’s of Texas, Juanita Jean Herownself writes—Let’s Talk Sacrifice With a Member of the Trump Family:
Do you know who Lara Trump is? That’s Eric’s wife. She’s married to the Alfredo of the Trump Crime Family, which is some social circles is … oh hell, it’s laughable in any damn social circle.
So, Lara reaches out the federal workers who have jobs but no paycheck. She tells them to quit damn whining.
“We get that this is unfair to you, but this is so much bigger than any one person. It is a little bit of pain, but it’s going to be for the future of our country and their children and their grandchildren and generations after that will thank them for their sacrifice right now.”
Yeah, a woman in a pair of $4,000 shoes telling a Coast Guard wife that having no food, rent, diapers, or money to fill her gas tank that she is making a “small sacrifice,” probably won’t work. It’ll probably just piss them off.
Honey, Honey, Honey, this is not bigger than one person. It is exactly the size of one person. And although that person is small and petty, the sacrifice others are making is huge. So, shuddup, you patronizing privileged punk.
At Blue Jersey, Rosi Efthim writes—Tail between his legs, and still spitting threats, Donald Trump skunks into the Rose Garden:
Making an announcement in the Rose Garden moments ago, Pres. Trump announced a deal to reopen the federal government. For just 3 weeks. This comes just days after Trump lost a game of chicken with Speaker Nancy Pelosi over whether he would be allowed to enter the House chamber to give his State of the Union Address (he lost that game), and comes just one day after he vowed that Republicans would not “cave” on his demands for funding a wall on our southern border.
The government will be reopened for just 3 weeks – a continuation of the funding of the government as it’s beenfunded – there is no new money for Trump’s wall in this temporary agreement. So, on February 15th, if there’s still no agreement from Congress to fund his wall, Trump is still threatening to plunge the country into a state of emergency.
In his speech, Trump claimed to have sympathy for the federal workers his actions in the longest federal government shutdown in history; sympathy his actions suggest is a lie. He also attempted to suggest that federal workers agree somehow with his notions that there is a security crisis where American meets Mexico. Again, Trump claimed the “crisis” at the border was human trafficking, sex crimes, murder, drugs and abuse of women and children, and not the manufactured crisis of unpaid federal workers, including at the border, and the inhumane separating of families and losing track of helpless children.
At The Progressive Pulse of North Carolina, writes—UNC interim President: Silent Sam should not return to original site:
In his first UNC Board of Governors meeting as interim president of the UNC system, William Roper tackled some of UNC’s thorniest issues – including the future of the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue.
“Although I was not supportive of the way the monument was taken down in August, my personal position is we should not be putting the monument back on McCorkle Place,” Roper said in a press conference after Friday’s board meeting.
Though Roper didn’t say whether that would preclude the statue from returning anywhere on the Chapel Hill campus, simply saying it should not return to its original site may be enough to ruffle some feathers on the board. Several members have insisted the statue, toppled by protesters in August, must be returned to its original place at the heart of the campus.
UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt ordered the base of the statue removed earlier this month, just before she surprised the board by announcing her resignation. Several members of the board – including Chairman Harry Smith – said Folt overstepped her authority by giving that order. Others have suggested she broke a 2015 law on the preservation of such monuments.
Interim UNC President William Roper and UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith during Friday’s meeting of the board.
The board voted Friday to give Roper the authority to begin negotiating Folt’s exit package. He is already looking for an interim chancellor and is meeting with students and faculty to get input.
At the Alliance for a Better Utah, Lauren Simpson writes—Utah’s congressional delegation should put first things first:
In some circumstances, compromise is tossed about as a milquetoast solution to problems that can be solved far more simply. This record-breaking shutdown is one of those circumstances. It is a triage situation, and it deserves focused, immediate action. Allowing federal employees to feed their families should not require a compromise, because a federal shutdown is not an appropriate catalyst to nail out the details on multi-billion-dollar border security investments.
Good compromises require political willpower, but they also require clear heads. Long-term decisions should not be made in the midst of the crisis. When your house catches on fire, that is not the opportune moment to gather everyone to the table to decide what to do about the broken refrigerator. First, you put out the fire. Then you can get to work on important things that need fixing. Touting a broad compromise as the preferred solution during the heat of a crisis demonstrates a fundamental inability to prioritize in our congressional delegation.
In most cases, the truth may lie somewhere in the middle of two opposing viewpoints. But in the case of a house fire — regardless of who started that fire — the fault lies with whichever side holds the hose and then puts additional conditions on when and how the fire may be put out. The House has now voted six times to reopen the government, and Rep. Ben McAdams, the delegation’s only Democrat, is the only Utah representative who has voted in favor. Reps. Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and John Curtis have each voted six times against Utah workers getting paid. They also voted against funding the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, the express purpose of which was to “give time to come to an agreement about the border wall without continuing the shutdown.” They want a compromise in name, but not in substance. They want a hurried and a hostage compromise, a compromise born of desperation, not bipartisanship.
This feels like a replay of our federal delegation’s response to the family separation crisis last summer. Rather than supporting a bill that would simply have ended the horrific practice of separating children from their parents, our representatives bemoaned the situation, then voted for complicated bills that would have dramatically restructured our immigration law. Compassionate immigration reform is urgently needed in our county, but it is not more urgent than keeping families together.
A staffer at Blue Virginia writes—SHAME: VA Democrats Denounce House Republicans for Blocking ERA:
This morning, capping off what has been weeks full of partisan political games, House Republicans on the Privileges and Elections Committee – led by Delegate Mark Cole – refused to hear a number of resolutions that would have advanced the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to a full vote on the floor of the House of Delegates this 400th General Assembly session.
In failing to live up to their colleagues in the Senate, House Republicans denied the Commonwealth of the historical opportunity to be the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – a measure 81% of Virginia voters say they support.
From Del. Margaret Ransone, Republican Chair of the House Privileges and Elections Subcommittee #1, shouting down an ERA advocate from the dais for “shaking her head,” claiming ERA supporters believe women are “not worthy,” to holding a last-minute, hastily called 7:30AM subcommittee meeting to even hear resolutions on the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, House Republicans have not given the ERA and their advocates a fair shout since the session convened on January 9th.
“House Republicans today chose discrimination over equality. This fight is not over. Whether it is next week, next month, or next year after we beat these equality-obstructing House Republicans in November — Virginia WILL ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.” – Jake Rubenstein, DPVA Communications Director
At Bleeding Heartland of Iowas, Laura Belin writes—Iowa House Republicans are making a mistake:
Every Iowa House Republican will likely vote on January 28 to dismiss Democrat Kayla Koether’s contest of the House district 55 election. She trails State Representative Michael Bergan by nine votes according to certified results, but 29 absentee ballots that voters in Winneshiek County mailed on time remain uncounted.
Although Republicans on a special House election contest committee insist “there exists no legal authority to open and count the twenty-nine ballots in question,” they are wrong about the law. Dismissing the contest without allowing Koether to call witnesses, take depositions, or have the ballots opened will open the door to judicial review.
It’s also terrible politics. […]
Republicans are not required to care about how voters marked disputed Winneshiek County ballots. They could decide later not to add the totals for Bergan and Koether to the certified numbers. But the law is clear: parties contesting an election have the right to have the ballots opened. Koether should have been allowed to summon Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines (who has custody of the ballots) to Des Moines, so the envelopes could be opened and considered in an open proceeding.