Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Look!  No Handshakes!

U.S. Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick received a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal on December 6.

This past Tuesday, December 6, the Capitol Hill Police officers who battled enraged mobs on January 6, 2021 received Congressional Gold Medals – the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress to individuals and institutions for distinguished achievements and contributions.  They certainly deserve them.

Among the recipients was the late Brian Sicknick, an Air Force veteran whose family accepted on his behalf.  Sicknick suffered a stroke amidst the chaos of January 6 and died the next day.  But something curious happened on Tuesday.

Sicknick’s family refused to shake hands with leaders of the Republican Party – Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy.  It wasn’t because they’re die-hard Democrats (what are often called “yellow dog” Democrats in Texas; meaning someone would rather vote for a yellow dog than a Republican) and certainly not merely to cause a ruckus.  To them it was a matter of “integrity”.

Integrity is an attribute that has been lacking in American politics for decades.  What little of it remained in Washington in January of 2017 was obliterated by Donald Trump and his supporters.  Like many Americans Sicknick’s family is disgusted with the GOP leadership as a whole; particularly their failure (unwillingness) to stand up to Trump and call out his repulsive behavior.  Trump’s disrespect for entire groups of people, discombobulated verbiage and other incendiary acts culminated in the horror of January 6 – a truly unprecedented event in American history.

While it may seem petty, even childish, on their part, I’m glad the Sicknicks decided not to be painfully polite and shake the hands of McConnell and McCarthy.  Craig Sicknick, one of Brian’s brothers, expressed no qualms about his family’s decision.  “I really do not hold respect for people who have no integrity,” he said.  “Which is what – this is not a partisan issue, this is an integrity issue. They took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.  And when somebody challenges it, like Trump, they do nothing.  Their silence is deafening.  Or worse they keep perpetrating the same policies and lies that caused the insurrection to happen.”

Previously McConnell has condemned Trump’s actions, but McCarthy has visited the former president at his Mar-a-Lago estate several times over the past year.  Conservatives frequently criticized former President Bill Clinton for his varied sexual indiscretions and even tried to remove him from office for one such liaison.  But, when Trump arrived on the scene with his third wife and a slew of even more reprehensible follies, they suddenly seemed to enter a forgiving state of mind.  Moreover, they let Trump reconfigure the entire Republican Party into a circus of hate and violence.

It’s also worth noting that 21 Republicans voted against granting any of those officers Congressional Gold Medals last year.  One, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, explained that he was bothered by the use of the term “insurrectionists” to describe the rioters.

“I think if we call that an insurrection, it could have a bearing on their case that I don’t think would be good,” Massie said, later adding, “If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan, without sticking that in there.”

Partisan?  Really?  Hearing Republicans complain about partisanship is like hearing a drug addict complain about a friend’s alcoholism.

Integrity does matter.  The Capitol Hill police officers displayed it unrelentingly on January 6.  We need more of it across the world.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – July 30, 2022

“Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, to President Joe Biden, regarding Taiwan’s independence

The comment comes after news that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan soon.

“This is why we have always fought: We are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed race.”

Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, who is scheduled to speak in Dallas next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, urging his fellow Europeans not to marry non-White immigrants

Orbán also appeared to make light of the Nazi Holocaust while discussing plans to reduce natural-gas demand in Europe: “I do not see how it will be enforced – although, as I understand it, the past shows us German know-how on that.”

“You degenerate pagans and atheists and non-believers went way too far with the COVID nonsense, with shutting down our churches and forcing our kids to be masked, and forcing us to get vaccinated with some mystery goop in order to keep our jobs and provide for our families.  You pushed us too far, and now we’re going to take dominion of this country, of our culture, of news, of entertainment, of technology, of education, of everything for the glory of Jesus Christ, our king. It’s just that simple.”

Andrew Torba, a far-right Christian nationalist preacher, in a speech supporting fellow right-wing nationalist Doug Mastriano

“Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 09/11 unfortunately, and they should have.”

Former President Donald Trump, as his country club prepare to host several officials from Saudi Arabia for a golf tournament

Trump’s Bedminster Club is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.  Several families of 9/11 victims have expressed outrage over the event.  Of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, 15 were from Saudi Arabia.

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Political Cartoon of the Week – July 16, 2022

Jimmy Margulies

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Best Quotes of the Week – July 16, 2022

“When you go to places like a crisis pregnancy center, they advocate for women to have the babies and put them up for adoption instead. So more Black babies, especially Black boys, will end up in foster. So more black children will likely be living their lives in the foster care system, which is setting them up for generational trauma and systemic challenges.”

Qiana Arnold, Dallas-based Afiya Center, on the disproportionate effect of Roe’s fall will have on poor communities

“In no uncertain terms, we are reinforcing that we expect providers to continue offering these services, and that federal law preempts state abortion bans when needed for emergency care.  Under the law, no matter where you live, women have the right to emergency care — including abortion care.”

Xavier Becerra, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, announcing an Executive Order to protect reproductive health care access

“Keep protesting. Keep making your point. It’s critically important.”

President Joe Biden, stating that he’s considering declaring abortion a public health care emergency

“Look, when public officials go into public life, we should expect two things. One, you should always be free from violence, harassment, and intimidation. And two, you’re never going to be free from criticism or peaceful protests, people exercising their First Amendment rights. That’s what happened in this case.”

Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary, responding to FOX News’ Mike Emanuel about a Tweet Buttigieg’s husband had sent about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Chasten Buttigieg had commented about Kavanaugh’s abrupt departure from a restaurant recently to avoid protestors.

“[T]here seems to be a deficit in your understanding of reproductive health. In fact, I want the record to reflect that according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, treatment for ectopic pregnancy requires ending a non-viable pregnancy.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, to Erin Morrow Hawley, wife of Rep. Josh Hawley, over the issue of ectopic pregnancies

Erin Morrow Hawley is senior counsel for the right-wing Alliance Defending Freedom.  Pressley asked Hawley to provide a percentage of ectopic pregnancies that can be carried to term.  Hawley correctly responded with “zero”, but insisted that saving the life of the parent in instances where the ectopic pregnancy ruptures is not “abortion.”

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Political Cartoon of the Week – July 9, 2022

Randall Enos

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Most Outrageous Quote of the Week – July 9, 2022

“Fittingly, Biden awarded his presidential medals to fellow losers, Biles and Rapinoe.”

Jenna Ellis, criticizing President Joe Biden for awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe

An attorney and right-wing news commentator, Ellis is a devout Trump supporter and 2020 election denier.

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Political Cartoon of the Week – May 21, 2022

Khalil Bendib

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Best Quote of the Week – April 9, 2022

“I think — you know, a lot of my friends are registered Republicans living out there.  They think that too.  I mean, it’s just so outrageous.  That $2 trillion tax cut, the last guy — what was his name?  Anyway, the last guy…I forgot it.  He never showed up for the inauguration, but anyway.”

President Joe Biden, at North America’s Building Trades Unions Legislative Conference

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Video of the Week – February 26, 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson remarks on her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Best Quotes of the Week – February 26, 2022

“There’s no Team America for Trump.  Not once did I see him do anything to put America first. Not once. Not for a single second.”

Fiona Hill, former Senior Director for Europe and Russia at the United States National Security Council, about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis and her belief that former President Donald Trump exacerbated the tension

“All this did was say to Russia that Ukraine was a playground,” Hill added, noting Trump’s admiration for Putin and his disapproval of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She also highlighted Trump’s longstanding pushback against Ukraine as he relentlessly tried to obtain incriminating information on President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  The controversy surrounding Ukraine was a major component of Trump’s first impeachment trial.

“[O]nly Donald Trump could stand in that way. Only Donald Trump and what he says and how he says it could prevent Republicans from winning the majority.  If he makes this about November of 2020 or January of 2021, that could cost the Republicans the Senate.”

Frank Luntz, Republican pollster, stating the Republican Party could regain control of both houses of congress during this year’s midterm elections, if Donald Trump doesn’t interfere

Luntz also said, “If you look at the polling data, and you do the focus groups, you talk to independents as I have done.  I find it difficult to see any other conclusion than Republicans winning control of the House and winning control of the Senate in November.  Now a lot of stuff can change.  And I know that we don’t know what’s going to happen in Ukraine.  But Republicans should win both of those based on what’s happening right now and what we know is going to happen in the coming months.”

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