scharrison's blog

The myth of the "do-nothing" Democratic Congress

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It's not only a lie, the irony is overwhelming:

For months, President Donald Trump has fired off tweet missives accusing House Democrats of “getting nothing done in Congress,” and being consumed with impeachment.

Trump may want to look to the Republican-controlled Senate instead. Democrats in the House have been passing bills at a rapid clip; as of November 15, the House has passed nearly 400 bills, not including resolutions. But the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee estimates 80 percent of those bill have hit a snag in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prioritizing confirming judges over passing bills.

This has been bothering me for some time now, but it's starting to creep into conversations between Democrats, which is a bad sign the propaganda is working. Paraphrased from a recent Facebook comment: "They need to go ahead and take the Impeachment vote now, so they can get back to doing what they're supposed to, or voters will punish Dems for not getting things accomplished." I didn't feel like correcting that person (I should have), and the only push-back I saw was, "Impeachment is important!" And for you anti-establishment progressive purists out there, pay close attention to this (please):

Black Friday corporate equality product guide

The 2019 Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign:

This year, 571 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, meeting new and higher benchmarks -- including a record number offering transgender-inclusive health care policies -- in the most comprehensive assessment of workplace LGBTQ inclusion in the 17-year history of the report.

More than 170 top businesses -- including 110 that have earned top scores on the CEI -- are also corporate supporters on the Equality Act, critically important bipartisan legislation that would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation's civil rights laws. The LGBTQ community is not explicitly protected by federal non-discrimination law, but these companies are bridging that gap for their employees and their families.

You can read the entire report here, and I'm going to drop an extensive list of companies below the fold. Keep in mind, many of the companies listed have other issues with which you may be concerned (like DuPont and Monsanto), so don't take this as an outright endorsement of them. But they still deserve to be recognized for LGBTQ equality efforts, and you will have to decide if they pass your test:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This needs to be shoved into the faces of Trump supporters on a regular basis:

And Thom Tillis owns it, too.

The Trump Effect: When you're in trouble, make a deal!

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It's just another form of bribery:

“We are going to be doing a major middle income tax cut if we take back the House, and we will be talking about that sometime later,” he said earlier this month. Democrats now run the House, while Republicans control the Senate.

The new cut, the president said, would be “mostly devoted to middle income who have really been big beneficiaries of the (last tax cut) that we did which was the largest in the history of our country.”

Of course that second thing is a lie, which should be obvious to his target audience. Unfortunately, their capacity for detecting the truth is strained, to say the least. But it's the first sentence that is just one more example of Trump's complete lack of ethics: He's trying to bribe voters to rid him of the Democrats who are now Impeaching him. I'm not "reading between the lines" there, it's obvious. So now your question is, "Steve, the Impeachment process will be long over by November 2020, how can the two be connected?" Public opinion polls are being done every other day about Impeachment, and public opinion will alter the behavior of Congress, if it's strong enough.

Party over Country: The NC GOP's views on Impeachment

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Looking into the face of corruption and blinking:

"Honestly I'm trying to figure out what we've learned from these hearings," offered Brent Woodcox, a Raleigh attorney and special counsel to Republicans in the North Carolina Senate.

"I mean we already saw the transcript of the phone call. Rudy Giuliani's already been out there in the New York Times saying that he's been trying to investigate the Bidens. Trump essentially admitted to what he did," Woodcox added.

As an attorney Brent surely knows how critical it is to get evidence on the record, and direct testimony from witnesses. He's right that Trump has already condemned himself, but in the absence of him resigning as President, the process must be followed. What Brent is actually trying to do is "normalize" Trump's behavior, to imply that bribery and coercion are not really Impeachable offenses:

Education funding is turning the tide for Democrats

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The GOP's misleading propaganda is losing its luster:

Democrats won elections for governor in both Kentucky and Louisiana. In Virginia, which has a Democratic governor, Democrats won control of both chambers in the legislature for the first time in more than two decades. It’s too much to say that recent elections in the South turned only on education; rather, education fit into the package of factors that led to Democratic victories, which relied heavily on a strong turnout in major cities and on gains against Republicans in suburbs.

Bolding mine, because suburban voters hold the key in both state-wide elections, and in apportioned districts (federal and state). Urban voters are solidly blue while rural voters are strongly red, but the suburban vote is a huge enigma. Well-educated, middle-middle to upper-middle, suburbia also boasts a surprising number of registered Democrats. That doesn't guarantee their vote (trust me), but outreach can generate a positive response. You can also trust me when I say, the GOP spends a lot of time and money blowing smoke up suburban voters' arses. Back to the teachers:

Environmental Injustice: 15 advocates arrested outside Gov mansion

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One person's economic gain is another person's health problem:

The state is failing low-income communities with large African-American and Native American populations by allowing polluting industries to concentrate in their counties, a group of residents said Wednesday as they demanded that an environmental justice advisory board do more to advocate for them.

Opponents of Enviva, a company that produces wood pellets by the ton for export, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, coal ash disposal sites, and industrial agriculture said the DEQ is watching out for industries and not the people who live near those operations.

Environmental justice issues have plagued minority communities since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and very few improvements have been made to this day. Government has, for the most part, ignored the formula industry uses in site selection (cheap land, powerless people). And in many cases has actually taken an active role in the unfair process, via zoning and permitting practices. While I do support both Governor Cooper and Michael Regan, I also support this message:

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