Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Best Quotes of the Week – April 10, 2021

“Enough prayers.  Time for some action.”

President Joe Biden, announcing new gun control measures

Calling gun violence in the U.S. an “international embarrassment”, Biden has directed the Justice Department to draft model legislation that would make it easier for states to pass gun control laws, meant to bar people from accessing firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or others.

“I heard the governor of South Dakota recently saying, ‘This isn’t infrastructure – it’s got money for pipes.’  Well, we believe that pipes are infrastructure, because you need water to live, and too many families now live with the threat of lead poisoning.”

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, regarding efforts by the Biden Administration to start rebuilding all features of the nation’s infrastructure

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Tweet of the Week – March 27, 2021


Sen. Mike Rounds

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Best Quotes of the Week – March 20, 2021

“The investigation is ongoing.  We don’t yet know, we’re not yet clear about the motive.  But I do want to say to our Asian-American community that we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people.  But knowing the increasing level of hate crime against our Asian-American — our brothers and sisters — we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”

Vice-President Kamala Harris, regarding a series of shootings in the Atlanta, Georgia area that seemed to target people of Asian extraction

“Your president and your party and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other country that you want, but you don’t have to do it by putting a bull’s-eyes on the back of Asian Americans across this country, on our grandparents, on our kids.  This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community to find solutions and we will not let you take our voice away from us.”

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), responding to comments by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), during hearings about attacks on Asian-Americans (See “Worst Quotes of the Week – March 20, 2021” below.)

“Every other living former president – or most of them, not all of them – has participated in public campaigns.  They did not need an engraved invitation to do so.  So, [Donald Trump] may decide he should do that.  If so, great.  But there are a lot of different ways to engage, to reach out to ensure that people of a range of political support and backing know the vaccine is safe and effective.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, responding to a reporter’s question if President Joe Biden would appreciate former President Donald Trump join COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, along with other former Chief Executives

Psaki also stated, “Well, if former President Trump woke up tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the campaign, of the vaccine, certainly we’d support that.”

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Tweets of the Week – March 13, 2021

Rep. Lauren Boebert

Jacob Soboroff

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Worst Quotes of the Week – March 13, 2021

President Trump with Republican National Convention Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and Michigan Republican Party Cochair Terry Bowman in 2019. Photo by Max Elram

“If you donate to our Save America PAC at (DonaldJTrumpDOTcom), you are helping the America First movement and doing it right. We will WIN, and we will WIN BIG! Our Country is being destroyed by the Democrats!”

Former President Donald Trump, pleading for donations to his new political action committee

“The RNC, NRSC and NRCC are grateful for President Trump’s support, both past and future. Through his powerful agenda, we were able to break fundraising records and elect Republicans up and down the ballot. Together, we look forward to working with President Trump to retake our congressional majorities and deliver results for the American people.”

Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC); Sen. Rick Scott, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC); and Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), responding to Trump’s pitch above

“Everything in this bill is rotten to the core.  This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), about HR1, also known as For the People Act of 2021, which would expand voting rights

“There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans.  Democrats value as many people as possible voting and they’re willing to risk fraud.  Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote – but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”

Rep. John Kavanaugh (R-AZ), on new proposals in the Arizona State Legislature supposedly designed to strengthen protections against voter fraud

“Pregnant women are going to fight our wars.  It’s a mockery of the U.S. military.  While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, ‘more feminine’ – whatever ‘feminine’ means anymore, since men and women no longer exist.”

Tucker Carlson, criticizing new uniform designs for pregnant female military personnel

Carlson’s lament has drawn sharp rebuke from military veterans, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) who lost both of her lower legs while serving as a combat pilot in Iraq in 2004.  Duckworth tweeted this about Carlson.

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Best Quotes of the Week – March 13, 2021

“I believe this… historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people of this nation – working people, middle class folks, people that built the country – a fighting chance.  I’m going to have a lot more to say about that tonight and the next couple days.”

President Joe Biden, upon signing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

“ … Conspiracy theories should have no place in the Christian life. As people who claim to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should not risk our public witness for political fantasies. We should denounce any movement that spreads false information.”

Seth Brown, in response to social media posts by Luke Coffee, former actor and conspiracy proponent, who took part in the January 6 Capitol Hill riots

Brown works with North Carolina-based Biblical Recorder and has written extensively for Southern Baptists about QAnon.

“In societies with bigger differences between rich and poor, women are less enfranchised and have less power, resources, and prestige than women in societies where those differences are smaller.”

Kate Pickett, British epidemiologist and Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of New York, in “Fissures That Tear Us Apart and Pressures That Weigh Us All Down”, Social Europe, 03/08/21

“In Austin, we’re committed to saving lives, period.  If state officials don’t want to do their jobs protecting people from the virus, then we will.”

Greg Casar, Austin, Texas City Councilman, responding to Gov. Abbott’s order rescinding mandatory mask-wearing in public

The Governor’s new order went into effect March 10, but the City of Austin plans to retain a mask mandate for the immediate future.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – March 6, 2021

“The Biden administration must stop importing COVID into our country.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, regarding President Biden’s new immigration policy

“It was unfortunate, very unfortunate, that somehow the government was not able to manage those children in a way that they could be reunited properly.  It turned out to be more of a problem than I think any of us imagined it would be.”

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, about family separation in immigration policy during the Trump administration

“The idea that for fur boy with the red, white, and blue and some of the other nuts in there were some sort of coordinated – it’s just a bunch of idiots, and some of them criminals … to the naked eye, it didn’t look coordinated.”

Laura Ingraham, dismissing claims by FBI Director Christopher Wray that the January 6 attacks on Capitol Hill were planned

Wray testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this week about the riots.

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A Letter of Faith

A Trump supporter carries a Bible outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press)

Earlier this week more than 500 evangelical Christian faith leaders composed a letter denouncing “radicalized Christian nationalism” that many of the January 6 rioters used to descend upon the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to undermine certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th President.  The statement is bold in its condemnation by actually calling out names of various entities now deemed as hate groups. This is the letter in its entirety:

Sign on: Evangelical Leaders Statement Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the January 6th Insurrection

Evangelical Leaders Statement
Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the Insurrection January 6

As leaders in the broad evangelical community, we recognize and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6.

We recognize the damage done by radicalized Christian Nationalism in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities.

We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are “blessed by God” and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.
While we come from varied backgrounds and political stances, we stand together against the perversion of the Christian faith as we saw on January 6, 2021. We also stand against the theology and the conditions that led to the insurrection.

Over the centuries, there are moments when the Church, the trans-national Body of Christ-followers, has seen distortions of the faith that warranted a response. In ages past, the Church has responded by holding emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of the Christian faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that spirit that we unite our voices to declare that there is a version of American nationalism that is trying to camouflage itself as Christianity –  and it is a heretical version of our faith.

Just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith, we feel the urgent need to denounce this violent mutation of our faith. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a threat to our democracy, but it is also a threat to orthodox Christian faith. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” As leaders in the Church, we do not agree on everything, but we can agree on this – Christians should live in a way that honors Jesus, and reminds the world of Him.

As Jesus himself said, “They will know that you are my disciples by the way you love” (John 13:35). No Christian can defend the unChristlike behavior of those who committed the violence on January 6. Not only was it anti-democratic, but it was also anti-Christian.

On January 6 we saw the flags claiming Trump’s name, calling for violence, and raising the name of Jesus. We saw images of a police officer being beaten with an American flag and another being crushed in a doorway. We know an officer was murdered in the act of insurrection. We witnessed the cross and the gallow being erected. We saw and heard the prayer the insurrectionists prayed from the Senate desk in Jesus’ name. Many of us recognized the content, the structure, and the style of that prayer as matching our own churches and faith.

But we reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government.

We have witnessed the rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ for its validity in the past, including the deadly actions in Charlottesville in 2017. We join our voices to condemn it publicly and theologically.

We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin. But we also want to celebrate the long tradition of prophetic Christian witness in this nation that has challenged white supremacy and violent Christian nationalism. Though the KKK in the South claimed the symbol of a Christain cross, prophetic Black Christians formed and discipled children in Birmingham, Alabama who led a nonviolent witness in the face of dogs and firehoses. Though an appeal to “biblical values” has been used to demonize immigrants, undocumented Christians in America today have led a movement that insists upon the dignity and full humanity of all undocumented people. There is a powerful Christian witness for the common good in our past and in our present. White evangelicals in America can grow in faithfulness by following this cloud of witnesses, including the many white freedom-fighters who risked their lives standing up for love in the face of violence and hatred.

We urge all pastors, ministers, and priests to boldly make it clear that a commitment to Jesus Christ is incompatible with calls to violence, support of white Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and all religious and racial prejudice.

Just as it was tragically inconsistent for Christians in the 20th Century to support the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi ideology, it is unthinkable for Christians to support the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters, America Firsters, and similar groups.

We urge faith leaders to engage pastorally with those who support or sympathize with these groups, and make it clear that our churches are not neutral about these matters: we are on the side of democracy, equality for all people, anti-racism, and the common good of all people.

Instead of seeing the United States as God’s chosen nation we thank God for the church around the world that calls people of all races, tongues and nations to the knowledge and love of God. Instead of seeing any particular political leader or party as divinely appointed, we believe in the prophetic and pastoral ministry of the church to all political leaders and parties. Instead of power through violence, we believe in and seek to imitate the powerful, servant love practiced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our faith will not allow us to remain silent at such a time as this. We are also aware that our world needs more than a statement right now… we need action.

Every one of the signers of this declaration is committed to taking concrete steps to put flesh on our words. We will combat bad theology with better theology. We will resist fear with love. We will tell the truth about our nation’s history.

We will seek to repair and heal the wounds of the past. We will seek racial justice on a personal, ecclesial, and systemic level. We will support organizations led by people of color. We will listen to and amplify the voices of people of faith who have been marginalized by the colonizing force of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism.

We will do our best to be faithful to Jesus, and to those Christ called “the least of these.”

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The Texas state capital building in Austin

The memo was clear.  Everyone should make a concerted effort to get into the office, no matter what the weather is like.  That included winter storms.  It was the mid-1990s, and the manager of the department where I worked in a bank in downtown Dallas insisted that business was paramount.  This was seemingly light years before the Internet and telecommuting became dependable and functional.  And every time ice and snow paralyzed the Dallas / Fort Worth metropolitan area I managed to make it into work.  One week day I awoke to sleet falling outside of my apartment bedroom window; it was about 4 in the morning.  I knew the weather would only worsen, so I shut off my alarm clock and readied for work.  Travel time from my far North Dallas abode into downtown took almost 2 hours by navigating ice-laden streets.  When I arrived just before 8 a.m., I literally had to turn on the lights in the department.

When I went to work for an engineering company shortly after the turn of the century, I ended up back in downtown Dallas, laboring on a contract for a government agency.  I learned quickly the federal outfit had a phobia of snow and ice.  They’d literally shut down when snow began descending upon the city.  As contractors, my colleagues and I had to vacate the premises as well.  One afternoon a monstrous rainstorm attacked, and – in a faux frenzy – I asked loudly if we had to leave the building.  Rain, I declared, was just liquid snow.  No such luck.  We had to continue laboring over our strained keyboards.  Everyone laughed.

Last weekend Winter Storm Uri catapulted into North America from the Pacific, generating ice storms that blanketed the state of Texas this week and inducing an even more paralyzing effect: our power grid shut down.  Literally millions of people have lived without power (and in some cases, without water) since this past weekend.  As of this moment, most homes have their power back.  But a lack of water is now the problem.  Meanwhile, the number of deaths in Texas related to the event has risenDallas-Fort Worth International Airport led the world in the number of flight cancellations this week.

This has been a cataclysm of unimaginable proportions.  I have experienced a slew of serious weather events and witnessed plenty of incidents of government incompetence, but I have NEVER seen anything like this!

What has occurred here in Texas this week is a prime example of the ineptness of conservative ideology and intense deregulation.  Texas is an energy island; producing its own energy and relying upon no one else.  The exception is far West Texas, where El Paso and its immediate surrounding communities experienced the same weather event, yet had no power outages.  That strong sense of independence and individual reliability looks great in political campaigns, but doesn’t always turn out well in real life.  Since the mid-1990s, Texas has had the habit of electing the biggest morons to public office.  And they’ve come to dominate state government.  Texas conservatives have done more to protect gun rights than basic human rights.

Now many of those same conservatives who always espouse the concept of personal responsibility are pointing their gnarly fingers at everyone and everything except themselves and their own disjointed attitudes.  Even though President Joe Biden approved emergency relief for Texas, some Republicans are accusing him of indifference.  They somehow missed Ted Cruz running off to Cancun, México this week because his kids wanted to go.  Governor Greg Abbott has blamed green energy and the Green New Deal for the crisis.  Green energy, however, only makes up about 10% of energy sources in Texas, and the Green New Deal hasn’t even gone into effect yet.  But they’re liberal programs, so of course, Republicans consider them demonic and will trash their mere presence whenever they get the chance.  Abbott also blames the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for mishandling the event, but still hasn’t looked in the mirror.

A ceiling fan in a Dallas apartment building sprouted icicles.

This debacle points to the vulnerability of modern societies that have come to rely upon optic fibers and wires; a weakness that would both appall and humor our hardy ancestors.  In March of 1888, a massive winter storm assaulted the Northeastern U.S., downing power lines and disabling even modest commutes in the region’s largest cities.  People in rural areas, however, lived through the storm and its effects without much trouble.  They were accustomed to such weather anyway and prepared for it.

Preparedness – the word of 2021.

Consider this irony.  Earlier on Thursday, the 18th, NASA was able to land a vehicle on Mars.  The endeavor cost millions of dollars and is an epic triumph in the name of science and technology.  But we can’t get power and water to millions of human beings here in Texas – on planet Earth – for several days.

That’s not just sad; it’s unbelievably outrageous.

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Best Quotes of the Week – February 6, 2021

“When we defend equal rights of the people the world over, of women and girls, of LGBTQ individuals, indigenous communities and people with disabilities, the people of every ethnic background and religion, we also ensure that those rights are protected for our own children here in America.”

President Joe Biden, upon issuing a memorandum to protect LGBTQ rights as part of a human rights agenda for the United States

“There were a lot more Republican leaders, and their constituents, who attempted to push back then than there are now.  To a large extent, the people who have inherited the Birch legacy today, I think, are more empowered [and] more visible within the Republican Party.  There is much less criticism; there is much less of an effort to drum them out; there is a much greater fear of antagonizing them.  They are the so-called Republican base.”

Matthew Dallek, political historian at George Washington University and author of an upcoming history of the John Birch Society, on the growing acceptance of extremism in the Republican Party

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