Tag Archives: U.S. Capitol
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Abortion-rights and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
It has been one dream of conservatives for decades: overturning Roe vs. Wade. The landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision guaranteed women the right to abortion, in accordance with the 9th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Now that goal has been achieved: earlier today, June 24, the Court has overturned Roe; thus gutting nearly a half century of reproductive freedom for women in the U.S.
It’s a stunning move and it’s left abortion supporters shell-shocked. It doesn’t seem to matter that the majority of Americans support abortion to some extent. Six justices on the Supreme Court have decided they don’t like the concept of abortion, so no woman should have access to it and no one should help a woman burdened with a crisis pregnancy. It is the first time in U.S. history that a constitutional right has been granted and then rescinded.
Social and religious conservatives are ecstatic about this decision. Although the Roe decision startled many people in 1973, the ruling didn’t really become an issue until the 1980s; when the evangelical Christian movement started to make its intrusive presence known. They saw the election of Ronald Reagan as assurance that abortion would be outlawed in the U.S.
At least 26 states were ready to outlaw abortion under most circumstances, should Roe be overturned. Now that it has, they are moving towards the annihilation. Last year the legislature in my home state of Texas passed the so-called “Heartbeat Act”, which bans abortion after 6 weeks (before many women know they’re pregnant) and only allows it in cases where the mother’s life is endangered. That means rape and incest victims will be forced to carry their pregnancies to term. Any woman (or girl) who obtains an abortion and/or anyone who assists in that procedure could face up to $10,000 in statutory damages and face prison time. Noticeably it doesn’t say anything about prosecuting men who rape women or girls.
The overturning of Roe perhaps will be one of Donald Trump’s greatest legacies, aside from his dismal handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. But it won’t so much be his legacy as it will be that of right-wing extremists – the people who loudly proclaim to cherish personal liberty and freedom, but in practice, mean it only for themselves. Everyone else’s personal liberty – that is, people who aren’t exactly like them – is somehow subjective.
Abortion opponents are now presenting – as they always have – what they consider viable solutions to the dilemma of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies; quick fixes that are ridiculously quaint and utopian. They recommend creating a society where every child comes into the world loved and respected; that women always have a safe and effective way to carry out their undesired pregnancies. It’s tantamount to beauty pageant contestants expressing their wish for the blind to see and the lame to walk. It’s wonderfully idealistic, yet extraordinarily delusional. Such answers to some of life’s most complex issues are typical of the conservative mindset: simple and unencumbered. That’s why I always say my brain is too big to be conservative.
In the 49 years since Roe was passed, it’s estimated that some 60 million abortions have taken place in the United States. Abortion adversaries groan that it means some 60 million children never got a chance to grow up and have fulfilling lives. But millions of children have come into the world under the best of circumstances and have never lived fulfilling lives. The future is always uncertain, and occasionally things go awry in families.
It’s also possible that those estimated 60 million children could have been subjected to abuse and neglect. Children who come into the world unwanted often end up being unloved. I have to wonder if abortion opponents are going to dish out any additional cash to help support all those children. It’s easy for them to lounge in their ivory towers – the way religious leaders often do – and bestow well wishes upon troubled souls. Good intentions don’t pay diaper and formula bills; they don’t provide housing and education; they don’t deal with the daily angst of raising children. They’re glossy words that lack substance, unless solid and concrete action is taken to make those lives better.
Liberals and moderates are already concerned that other Supreme Court decisions are at risk, such as Griswold and Lawrence. Even Brown and Loving may come under similar attack. As part of his decision to overturn Roe, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” referring to decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage respectively.
Remember, the original Roe decision developed under the auspices of the right to privacy and equal protection under the law. Those are essential and undeniable features of a truly democratic society. Stripping any particular group of basic human rights isn’t a sign of a moral culture, as many social conservatives would have us believe. It’s more emblematic of a totalitarian world; a universe where a handful of people have blessed themselves with the power to decide what is and what is not appropriate for everyone else.
If abortion opponents think this Dobbs decision will end abortion in the United States once and forever, they are mistaken. After the initial shock has worn off (which is already happening), people will begin to fight back and find ways around it. Whether right-wing extremists like it or not, abortion will happen. There will always be women who find themselves in very difficult situations and feel they must end a pregnancy. It’s been happening for centuries and it will continue happening, even though a band of self-righteous elitists demand otherwise.
Just wait for it. They’ve awoken a giant.
“What we have is kids not only being indoctrinated but groomed, in a very real sense, by people who are, whether they know it or not, sexual predators. Are they abusing the kids physically? No, I don’t think so. But they are abusing them mentally and using sex to do so.”
Mamet added, “This has always been the problem with education. Teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia.”
“I had to do something to gain his respect.”
Dustin Thompson, a January 6 rioter, during testimony about his actions
Thompson said he believed Trump sent him to attack on U.S. Capitol and thwart certification of the 2020 elections. He also stated that he had been laid off from his job as an exterminator at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and – feeling “isolated” and “stuck at home” – eventually “fell down the rabbit hole” of online conspiracy theories.
On Friday, February 4, the Republican National Committee voted overwhelmingly to censure two of its own: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for their participation in a Democrat-led panel investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill insurrection. The RNC declared – as it has always maintained – that the individuals participating in the riot were “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” Immediately after various news outfits began reporting news of the resolution, the RNC tried to clarify itself by stating they weren’t referring to the deadly attack on the Capitol.
Gosh, what else is there to talk about with that day’s events?
It’s become obvious the 21st century Republican Party won’t tolerate any kind of conscientious objectors – even if they are 100% right in their actions. The RNC has continually repeated the fake narrative that the January 6 insurrectionists were merely Capitol Hill “tourists” – who just happened to arrive bearing various assault weapons and stormed into the building like zombies invading a meat-packing plant.
I still believe a large percentage of Americans just don’t realize that the events of that day meet the true definition of a terrorist attack. If the mob had contained anyone other than a bunch of angry, self-righteous White people, right-wing extremists would be quick to denounce it as a true domestic terrorist attack and begin demanding criminal prosecution of everyone involved. But since that gang was supporting their man, Donald Trump – the biggest dumbass ever to occupy the White House – they’re getting their priorities confused…again.
I also wonder if most Americans truly recognize the January 6, 2021 insurrection as the clear threat to democracy it really was. Watching that day’s events unfold, I kept thinking, ‘Is this the United States? Is this really happening here?’
We’re accustomed to witnessing that kind of brutality and violence in foreign countries. That shit happens in Pakistan or Peru – not in the U.S.! But it did happen in the U.S. It happened here – in a nation that has claimed for some 200 years it is the beacon of democracy on planet Earth. In a country that has the oldest national constitution of any developed sovereign state.
I find it equally appalling – but not surprising – that the RNC has censured Cheney and Kinzinger for their efforts to learn the truth about the January 6 riot and prosecute those who participated in it. Cheney, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, and Kinzinger, a military veteran, each represent the truest of public servants – individuals committed to the values of integrity and moral decency. They understand the actual severity of the January 6 mutiny; that the participants weren’t “tourists” trying to comprehend the machinations of the American political system. They were rioters – terrorists. And for their probity, they are being reprimanded by their leaders and constituents.
That says quite a bit about a political party. It says a lot about that particular squadron of stewardship. But it would say even more about a society that seems to ignore the calamity of January 6, 2021 and treat ensuing investigations as mundane political business.
“I saw a large group and made a joke. Sadly when Democrats see the same they demonize my family for a year straight.”
The group, whose members donned traditional yarmulkes, was meeting with Rep. Tom Suozzi. Boebert’s remark came just days after a hostage-taking ordeal at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.
“And the solution is as simple as the problem. Here’s the solution, stop putting up with it. Say no. No, you can’t smoke meth in the park. You’re not allowed to crap on the sidewalk. Pull up your pants and get the hell out of here. Go somewhere with lower standards. Head for a place where politicians don’t care about their people, because we do care and that’s why we’re hauling your tent to a landfill and cutting off your checks today. You are a drug addict. Get a job or leave. This is our city, you are not allowed to wreck it; you didn’t build it.”
Tucker Carlson, suggesting how to deal with homeless people
This is Sen. Ted Cruz giving something of a mea culpa to talk show screed Tucker Carlson over the senator’s frequent description of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill insurrection as a terrorist attack. It’s obvious Cruz is terrified of faux journalist Carlson who always gives the same expression a puppy does when it tries to understand what you’re saying. Of course, puppies are way cuter – and often far more intelligent – than Carlson on his best day.
“The establishment will never love you, Ted. You know, you can bend over and bend a knee for them, but they’re just not going to love you.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, to Sen. Ted Cruz for calling the events of January 6, 2021 a terrorist attack
“Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine, I’ll show America we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, reacting to Twitter suspending her account for repeated violations of their COVID-19 misinformation policy
“More of you voted in that election than have ever voted in all of American history. Over 150 million Americans went to the polls and voted that day. In a pandemic. Some at great risk to their lives. They should be applauded, not attacked.”
President Joe Biden, during a speech on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol
“To think that the violent protesters who attacked the Capitol, our seat of democracy, on January 6 was just tourists looking at statues – it’s insane that anyone could watch that on television and believe that’s what happened.”
“But we have to – we have to acknowledge the reality of what happened that day. And what’s challenging for us is that we are both victims and witnesses to the crime on our country.”
“They’re trying to rig the system to stay in office as long as they can, try to suppress the vote to make it harder – especially for Black and brown communities to vote in Texas – and we’re not going to let them. We’re going to fight back. We’re going to say no, and we’re going to show up.”
Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, during a rally for federal voting rights legislation in front of the Texas Capitol
“Tucker Carlson didn’t serve. His biggest achievement is having nine lives in the world of cable news. Making a bowtie famous, and getting away with promoting conspiracy theories, night after night after night.”
Brianna Keilar, responding to Tucker Carlson’s criticism of Gen. Mark Milley, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and noting the FOX News host didn’t serve in the U.S. military
Keilar added, “That isn’t just a dog whistle. It’s a white whistle…He is white rage!”
“I want to understand White rage, and I’m White. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find out.”
Gen. Mark Milley, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the January 6 Capitol Hill riots and the U.S. military’s efforts to push for more diverse and inclusive standards
Conservative critics have painted the new military policies as Marxist and generally anti-American.
“To have to see these people every day, and they don’t have our back. Something as simple as just trying to find out what happened, so that it doesn’t happen again, because my fear is this was the tip of the iceberg. You have a lot of people that are radicalized, that this is exactly what they wanted to do. And it’s – by there being no accountability – it’s emboldening them.”
“‘Patriotic education’ isn’t education; it’s propaganda. And it’s honestly not that patriotic to raise the next generation on whitewashed, simpleminded half-truths just because it makes you feel good.”
The measure, House Bill 2497, earned bipartisan support this session, passing the House by a vote of 124 to 19, and 22 to 9 in the Senate. It establishes a panel of nine political appointees tasked with educating about Texas history, whose work will mostly be found in informational pamphlets given to Texans receiving driver’s licenses. The committee will “promote awareness” of Texas’ past as it relates to “the history of prosperity and democratic freedom in this state,” according to the bill.