State Rep. Bill Chumley (R-Woodruff) and state Rep. Mike Burns (R-Taylors) pre-filed a bill last month that would establish a commission to design an African-American Confederate veterans monument, reported The State.
The bill would also require public schools to teach the contributions of black people toward the Confederate cause, and Chumley said his proposal had already accomplished his goal even as historians undermine its intent.
“We are all learning a lot,” Chumley said. “The purpose of the bill is education.”
The State reviewed pension records from 1923 that show three blacks claimed armed service in South Carolina units under the Confederacy, with two of them confirmed as cooks or servants and none for armed service.
“In all my years of research, I can say I have seen no documentation of black South Carolina soldiers fighting for the Confederacy,” said historian Walter Edgar, the longtime director of the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies. “In fact, when secession came, the state turned down free (blacks) who wanted to volunteer because they didn’t want armed persons of color.
Edgar, who wrote a history of the state, said any black person who served in a Confederate unit in South Carolina was either a slave or an unpaid laborer working against his will.
South Carolina forbid blacks from carrying weapons during most of the Civil War out of fear of a slave revolt, but the Confederacy did allow black soldiers in the final months of the doomed rebellion.
State Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Columbia), a black Democrat, and state Sen. Greg Gregory (R-Columbia), a white Republican, filed a separate proposal to memorialize Robert Smalls, who hijacked a Confederate supply ship in 1862 and turned it over to the Union.
He went on to become a state legislator and five-term congressman.
If the monument is built, it would be the first on Statehouse grounds to honor an individual African-American.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) on Wednesday formally filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
According to a statement, Sherman and Rep. Al Green (D-TX) are filing for impeachment over what they believe is obstruction of justice in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, as well as revelations from the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.
“Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President,” the statement reads. “Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country.”
“Filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road,” Sherman adds. “But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually—many, many months from now—Republicans will join the impeachment effort.”
Sherman has indicated that he may invoke the “privileged motion” of impeachment filing — a parliamentary rule that requires the entire House to vote regardless of whether the House Judiciary Committee chooses to take it up.
“I would hope that the Article, once submitted, would receive expeditious consideration by the Judiciary Committee. However, if it becomes clear that such consideration is not forthcoming, I (after consultation with colleagues and leadership) will make a privileged motion that the entire House of Representatives immediately debate the Article,” he wrote.
Manly (not) Republicans have made it legal for “hunters” in Alaska to kill hibernating bears in their caves, as well as courageously slaughter wold puppies in their dens. All with submachine guns. And in the case of wolves, safely ensconced in their helicopters. Yeah, out chickenshit two toots little Johnson wee-publicans are too cowardly to face bears and wolves which are awake or on their own ground, even armed with M-16’s and AK 47s!
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday, which rolled back Alaska’s ban on killing the vulnerable bears, along with wolf cubs in dens. It also allows for hunters to target the animals from helicopters.
The Republican-sponsored legislation impacts 76.8 million acres of federally protected national preserves across Alaska.
Murkowski called it “bad for Alaska, bad for hunters, bad for our native peoples, bad for America,” and a “direct attack on states’ rights.”
In Sullivan’s argument, the lawmaker said the change was for Alaskans “who value hunting as a deep part of their culture.”
The Humane Society of the United States condemned the rollback.
“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,” said Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle in a statement. “If the Senate and president concur, we’ll see wolf families killed in their dens [and] bears chased down by planes.”
The ferocious wolf cub can now be gunned down in their dens
“We have to recognize this is not about the little polar bears, the little grizzly bears or wolves on television, this is about the state’s right to manage — not allowing the federal government to do so,” Young said in testimony in February. “We want to be able to take and manage our fish and game for the sustainable yield — so that our fish and game will be there forever.”
Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said killing predators in such a “cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous.”
“Senate Republicans have shown just how mean-spirited and petty they are with today’s vote,” he said in a statement following the passed measure in March.
If the CBC is serious about opposing the Chumph – then I have one more suggestion – Play the Lee Atwater Republican game against them.
Pass a Law which allows anyone convicted of a minor drug or other crime to have the choice of joining the military for 4 years, or going to prison to serve their sentence. Make it applicable at the State and Federal Court level, which I think you can do because of a tweak in the law concerning the Military. Should such such prisoner serve their Military term and receive an Honorable Discharge then the should receive all the benefits accrued by their service, as well as a full restoral of any Voting Rights they may have lost, both while doing their service, and after. Their criminal record should be expunged.
Should the commit a crime while serving, then they are subject to any Military Justice that applies and penalties, as well as after serving those penalties, the will have to serve whatever time they were original sentenced to minus time thy have served in the active Military.
Politically this should be easy to defend. And very difficult for Republicans to defeat.
What it accomplishes is a couple of things which are important.
It short circuits the school to jail pipeline.
It kneecaps the private prison system
It opens up training a job opportunities for youth
The Military experience will definitely install some discipline
It provides a pipeline for education where none existed before
And even better from my view in fighting the Chump Reich
It increases the number of minorities in the Military, which…Prevents the Chumph from using the Military against Minorities
Trains young folks in self-defense methods and how to use guns to defend their neighborhoods from Trump racist thugs
It gets some of the hardheads off the street an into something productive
Now – the Rethugs are going to use every dirty trick in the book to fuck over minorities, You – the CBC, need to be their Achilles heel.
The poor must prove they’re clean before they can receive benefits from the government. Why not hold the rich to the same standard?
Ever since the earliest days of government benefits, when social workers would inspect the homes of welfare recipients for cleanliness, the poor have been asked to prove their worth in order to receive help from the state.
Now, a Wisconsin Congresswoman is asking: Shouldn’t the wealthy have to prove their worth for all the government benefits they receive, too?
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) is introducing the Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016, which would require drug testing for all tax filers claiming itemized deductions totaling over $150,000. Moore’s bill would require those with the higher itemized deductions to submit a clear drug test to the IRS or take the standard deduction, which is lower. The bill is intended to highlight the fact that it’s not just the poor who receive aid, even if they’re the ones asked to prove their standing. Aid to the wealthy comes mostly in the form of tax breaks, which allow them to keep money that they would otherwise be required by law to pay to the government.
“We don’t drug test wealthy CEOs who receive federal subsidies for their private jets, nor do we force judges or public officials to prove their sobriety to earn their paychecks,” Eric Harris, a spokesperson for Moore told me. “Attaching special demands to government aid exclusively targets our country’s most vulnerable individuals and families.”
The number of government tests and requirements for poor people receiving government aid has grown in recent years. Utah in 2012 passed a law requiring drug testing for recipients for Temporary Aid to Needy Families, Alabama passed a similar law in 2014, and Arkansas followed in 2015. Other states, including Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Kansas require drug testing if “reasonable suspicion” exists.
These drug tests target people with almost no income who, in the case of states such as Arkansas, receive as little as $204 a month. And the drug tests hardly ever turn up positive. In 2014 Governor Rick Snyder signed a law in Michiganimplementing a pilot program to drug test welfare recipients in three counties; none of the people in the pilot program have tested positive for drugs.
Middle-class and wealthy Americans may not be getting housing vouchers, but they are getting tax deductions, which come when people itemize their taxes rather than take the standard deduction. Itemizing taxes isn’t worth it unless you’ve spent more on tax-deductible items (including mortgage interest, charitable giving, and also the odd luxury item, such as a yacht) than the standard deduction, which was $12,600 this year for a married household filing jointly. According to one report, more than 95 percent of tax filers making over $200,000 itemized their deductions in 2011, compared to just 13 percent of those with incomes of $50,000 or less….Read the Rest Here…
Nathan Deal sides with corporations and gay-rights advocates who objected to the legislation backed by conservative evangelicals.
As an expansive religious-liberty bill moved through Georgia’s Republican-dominated state legislature this winter, Governor Nathan Deal found himself caught in a pitched battle over gay rights, with conservative evangelicals on one side and major corporations on the other.
On Monday, he sided with big business by announcing he would veto legislation that he said could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gay people. “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith based community in Georgia of which my family and I are a part of for all of our lives,” Deal, a Republican, said at a news conference declaring his decision. “Our actions on H.B. 757 are not just about protecting the faith-based community or providing a business-friendly climate for job growth in Georgia. This is about the character of our State and the character of its people.”
Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side-by-side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way.
The governor’s rejection of the bill is the latest twist in a war over religious liberty and gay rights that has played out in conservative states during the nine months since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Public outcries followed similar efforts last year in Indiana and Arkansas to pass legislation that would allow pastors and vendors to cite religious objections in denying services to gay couples.
The Georgia version, which was itself viewed as a compromise designed to win broader support, would not only have allowed faith-based groups to deny “social, educational, and charitable services” to people based on their religious beliefs—but in some cases, would also have preserved their right to fire people for the same reason. A corporate coalition that included Disney, Time Warner, and other major employers threatened to boycott the state if Deal signed the legislation into law. The NFL hinted the law could affect its decision to hold a future Super Bowl in Atlanta.
In announcing his veto, Deal acknowledged threats by interests on both sides, but he said they were not a determining factor in his decision.
Some of those in the religious community who support this bill have resorted to insults that question my moral convictions and my character. Some within the business community who oppose this bill have resorted to threats of withdrawing jobs from our state. I do not respond well to insults or threats. The people of Georgia deserve a leader who will made sound judgments based on solid reasons that are not inflamed by emotion. That is what I intend to do.
Deal was reelected to a second term as governor in 2014 and cannot run for a third, so electoral considerations may have been less of a factor for him than for other Republican governors facing similar decisions….More…
A U.S. senator from Utah who put a hold on a bill to provide federal aid to Flint, Michigan, amid its water crisis said Friday he did so because the federal money is unneeded.
“The state of Michigan has an enormous budget surplus this year and a large rainy-day fund, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars,” Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, said in a statement Friday.
“Gov. [Rick] Snyder has requested $200 million of that from the state legislature for Flint this year. Relief and repair efforts are already in the works,” Lee said. “The people and policymakers of Michigan right now have all the government resources they need to fix the problem.”
The residents of the city of nearly 100,000 were exposed to lead poisoning when the city switched water sources in a bid to save money. Lead poisoning can destroy brain tissue and cause irreversible developmental problems in children.
The $220 million bill would provide funds to help Flint and cities like it fix and replace lead pipes, as well as prevent and address lead poisoning.
Lee’s “hold” on the bill only stops the speedy consideration of a bill, and can be bypassed procedurally.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a key sponsor of the bill, said she was surprised and disappointed that Lee would hold up a bipartisan measure that would “help communities across the country, including in his home state of Utah.” She said if Lee is opposed, he should vote against the bill rather than try and hold it up
Lee accused lawmakers of “political grandstanding” and of using the water crisis in Flint to send federal dollars to their home states.
As introduced, the legislation would provide $100 million in “drinking water state revolving funds” available to any state with a drinking water emergency; provide $70 million to back water infrastructure loans; and provide $50 million to prevent and address lead poisoning.
Prior to the Georgia State Senate passing a “religious freedom” bill designed to offer protections to people who oppose same-sex marriage, a black lawmaker was stunned when one of the authors behind the bill blithely dismissed the fact that it would also protect the Ku Klux Klan.
The Georgia First Amendment Defense Act was sponsored by GOP Sen. Greg Kirk, who was asked on the floor of the senate by black State Senator Emanuel Jones, if he understood the implications of the bill he authored.
“We’re all familiar with the terms KKK, meaning the hate organization Ku Klux Klan,” Jones asked Kirk.
“I’ve read about them, yes,” Kirk responded.
“Some of my heritage have done a lot more than just read about them,” Jones bluntly stated. “My concern is, couldn’t that organization — if they chose to do — so identify themselves as ‘faith based’?,” Jones asked, referring to the hate group which has a history of calling itself faith-based.
Stating that he was “not an attorney,” Kirk conceded, “I guess they could, Senator,” before adding, “I’m not sure.”
“So there’s nothing in your legislation that would stop them, is that correct?” Jones pressed.
“That’s right,” Kirk said.
“Does that present a problem for you, Senator?,” Jones continued.
Kirk paused before conceding, “No.”
The white senator then added “I’ve read about those groups [but the bill] certainly isn’t directed towards them, it’s directed towards churches, towards ministers, and towards organizations that provide adoptions and organizations that provide help to the homeless, and so forth. It’s for equal protection as well.”
Continuing to ramble, Kirk bizarrely used the dancers accompanying singer Beyonce at the Super Bowl to point out that the Black Panthers would also be protected.
“I guess that’d be kind of a similar group that we’re talking about, and I guess they could fall under this as well,” he explained.
Another Progressive standing up for her beliefs -Texas Democrat Senator Wendy Davis staged an 11 hour filibuster last night bringing the Rethugly Senate to it’s knees in trying to pass the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation in the country…
So…When we’ve got folks with this kind of grit willing to stand up against Rethugly evil…
WTF can’t President Obama and Senator Harry Reid kick some Rethugly ass?
They can start by filling every single Federal Court Judicial vacancy, and dropping the nuclear option on Rethugly intransigence tying up the judicial appointments.
Rep Gwen Moore recounts her own history of sexual abuse in floor speech in support of approval of Violence Against Women Act. Why does she have to do something that painful to force Republicans to do right?
As part of her floor speech pushing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on Wednesday, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.) told the story of her own history of being sexually assaulted during her childhood and then raped as a young woman.
“Violence against women is as American as apple pie,” she told colleagues. “I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience. Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life, up to and including being a child repeatedly sexually assaulted, up to and including being an adult who’s been raped.”
The VAWA has been met with some resistance from Republicans. The bill would renew grants to U.S. domestic violence prevention and survivor support programs, would increase availability of legal assistance to victims and would extend assistance to battered undocumented immigrants and same-sex couples.
The House Judiciary Committee’s lack of support for the bill, Moore said, brought up terrible memories for her “of having boys sit in a locker room and sort of bet that I, the egg-head, couldn’t be had,” she said.
“And then the appointed boy, when he saw that I wasn’t going to be so willing, completed a date-rape and then took my underwear to display it to the rest of the boys,” she continued. “I mean, this is what American women are facing.”
Since Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have not allowed Democrats to bring up the VAWA as a standalone bill, Democrats tried to attach it to the vote on the GOP budget proposal on Wednesday afternoon. But Republicans voted unanimously to end debate on the budget bill before Democrats could do so.
While some Senate Republicans have pledged their support for reauthorizing the VAWA, others said the bill touches on too many controversial subjects, which distract from the bill’s purpose of protecting battered women. For instance, that it creates avenues for battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas and extends domestic violence protections to same-sex couples makes it tough for some conservatives to support.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who opposed the latest version last month in the judiciary committee, told The New York Times that he thinks Democrats have politicized the bill on purpose to make the GOP look anti-women.
“I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” he said. “You think that’s possible? You think they might have put things in there we couldn’t support, that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?”
Yesterday, the Senate introduced a bill that would ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement.
The End Racial Profiling Act of 2011, sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin, D. Md., would forbid any law enforcement agency in the United States from “relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion…except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links a person of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion to an identified criminal incident or scheme.” The bill also requires law enforcement agencies to collect data on routine and spontaneous investigatory activities and authorizes the Department of Justice to provide funds for training on the proper and improper use of race, ethnicity, national origin and religion in policing.
Civil rights groups have long supported legislation banning racial profiling based not only on its discriminatory nature but on the fact that it simply doesn’t work and wastes precious law enforcement resources.
“Racial profiling robs people of their dignity, undermines the integrity of our criminal justice system, and instills fear and distrust among members of targeted communities,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “We know from experience that this is the wrong approach. Racial profiling makes us all less safe, by distracting law enforcement from the pursuit of individuals who pose serious threats to security.”
Research has consistently found that despite its ineffectiveness racial profiling is pervasive. A September 2010 Rights Working Group report, which was based on six public hearings held around the country, found that the use of racial profiling is pervasive. And a June 2009 report by Rights Working Group and the American Civil Liberties Union found that African-American and Latino drivers are more than twice as likely to be stopped, searched, or arrested by law enforcement officers as White drivers.
In March, The Leadership Conference released a report that documents how the consensus to end racial profiling has evaporated since 9/11, and how the use of racial profiling has expanded in the context of counterterrorism; fighting drug trafficking and other “street-level” crimes; and in efforts to enforce immigration laws, and called on Congress to pass ERPA.
4 PM yesterday the Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate pulled a parliamentary trick to pass a bill outlawing most Unions collective bargaining. Thousands, if not tens of thousands of angry protesters descended on the Capitol building last night and this morning shutting it down…
Thousands of protesters rushed to the state Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors, as word spread of hastily called votes on Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial bill limiting collective bargaining rights for public workers.
The Capitol overnight crowd had gone mostly silent by 2:15 a.m. Thursday after a nearly continuous stream of protest songs, drumming and the occasional bagpiping since about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Protesters on the ground floor of the state Capitol rotunda led others in Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Our Land” just after 2 a.m. then joined about 200 others snoozing in sleeping bags along the Capitol walls.
Outside the Assembly chambers, about 50 protesters were sleeping and planned to remain until the body takes up the Senate’s amended budget-repair bill, scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday. Police and protesters continued to get along, with no incidents reported and no arrests.
The US Senate Thursday passed a bill providing billions of dollars in aid and tax benefits to small businesses, handing a victory to President Barack Obama in his bid to rekindle economic growth.
The bill, which had been held up for weeks by Republicans using procedural tactics, passed by a vote of 61 to 38.
Two Republican senators, George Voinovich and George LeMieux, joined the Democratic majority in voting for the bill, which most Republicans argued was yet another government-sponsored bailout.
Obama thanked the Senate for “finally passing” a bill held up by months of “partisan delay.”
“It’s going to make a difference in millions of small business owners across the country, who are going to benefit from tax breaks and additional lending, so companies have capital to grow and hire, and this is really welcome news.”
The measure would provide 30 billion dollars in loans for small businesses and another 12 billion in tax breaks including investment credits.
The president and Democrats argued that the measure could help spur up to 500,000 jobs.
Arizona senator Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, said the bill would help the economy by offering “tax relief and greater access to capital” for small businesses.
“This timely support for small businesses, which is fully paid-for and won’t add one dime to the deficit, should create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he said.
The House of Representatives, which adopted a similar measure in June, is expected to pass the Senate version of the bill to send to the president.
Obama this week welcomed the end of the stalemate on the bill, although he took a dig at Republicans, accusing them of staging a “months-long partisan blockade.”
The epitome of stupid-shit brought to you Republicans (And Joltin Joe Lieberman) is a bill to deny American Citizenship to terrorists.
Somebody please explain to me why some terrorist wannabe, who is willing to blow up a damn airplane at 35,000 feet – with his ass going down with everyone else…
Give’s a rat’s ass about being an American Citizen?
I mean…Is this bill going to to apply to our own home grown right wing whack jobs…
Or those with just “A-Rab” sentimentality? I mean – is there an exception for whackjobs who blow up Government Building and Day Care Centers?
And if we do deport our own home grown right wing crazies, unlike Islamic fundamentalists who could find pleasant waterfront homes and new occupations in mayhem in Somalia – WTF wants them?
“Let me get this straight Billy-Bob, you got your dumb, white ass tossed out of the wealthiest country in the world, because you didn’t want to pay taxes… Which are lower than the next 17 richest countries? Which all, BTW happen to be socialized! You better get used to living a country with a brown or black face as President, because your dumb ass is not coming here to cause trouble…”
I’m beginning to think the best way to win the “War on Terror”…
Is to ship them our dumb-assed Republicans (and “Independent”).
A bipartisan group of legislators on Thursday introduced legislation in Congress to strip citizenship from any American found to be involved in terrorism.
If the Terrorist Expatriation Act passes, an American would lose citizenship if found to have provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization — as designated by the secretary of state — or participated in actions against the United States.
Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, co-sponsored the bill. An identical bill is being introduced in the House by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pennsylvania, and Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »