Friday Talking Points -- Stop Jim Crow 2.0!

[ Posted Friday, March 19th, 2021 – 17:52 UTC ]

Before we get to the other events of the week, we have to comment on one particular political fight that is heating up to a surprising degree. Both sides of the aisle see this fight in fairly existential terms, so it's an important one across the board. But what is rather surprising is that, this time around, Democrats seem to be ready and willing to fight for their beliefs, they appear to have both the much higher moral ground and the support of the public, and they also have a devastating bumpersticker slogan for what they are fighting so hard to prevent. For Democrats, that (sadly) is rather surprising, all around. In bumpersticker terms, the Democrats' position might be summed up as: "Stop Jim Crow 2.0!"

Senator Raphael Warnock, in his first-ever speech from the Senate floor, did a better job explaining this by using just a few more words: "We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights and voter access unlike anything we have seen since the Jim Crow era. This is Jim Crow in new clothes." (More on him and his remarkable speech, a little later in the program.)

A series of dominoes are in the process of falling right now, all across the country. Of course, this isn't really anything new, it is merely the continuation of Republican efforts for the past 20 or 30 years to make voting as difficult and as onerous a process as possible. Some of these efforts are just generally annoying to all, but many of them are targeted specifically to suppress Democratic votes. That's the real goal in all of this. A full generation ago, the Republicans looked at the demographic trends of not just the country as a whole but of a lot of their own red states, and they didn't much like what they saw. More and more Latinos, seemingly everywhere. More and more Asian-Americans. More Black people moving back to the South. This was long before the suburbs began trending Democratic, as well.

At this point, the Republicans could have decided to soften their political message and develop new policies designed to actually address some of the concerns of these voting blocs, but they didn't. They instead essentially gave up on the idea of appealing to minorities altogether and determined that the best way to stay in power was to make it as hard as possible for everyone but their own voters to cast their ballot. Sometimes, as mentioned, these have gone too far and made it difficult for even Republican voters. A good case in point is mail-in voting, which used to be championed by the GOP (since their older voters loved it so much) in places like Florida and Georgia. But now that Donald Trump has successfully demonized it, all of a sudden Republican politicians are limiting mail-in voting as well, even though they may be shooting themselves in the foot by doing so.

That's the backdrop -- the continuing effort at the state level to make it as hard as possible for Democratic-leaning groups of voters to vote. But these efforts were largely successful because they were rather piecemeal and local. The national news might occasionally mention them, and the wonky numbers guys on election night would be sure to have some offhand remarks about it, but it really wasn't that big a deal to the inside-the-Beltway punditocracy. To put this another way, television news loved to show videos of insanely long lines at polling places (no matter where they happened), but they absolutely refused to connect any dots by explaining to the public precisely why those long lines existed. They also would usually fail to mention that the long lines were almost always in precincts with heavy concentrations of voters of color. By design. To put this another way: you didn't see a long line of Karens out in the 'burbs in any of those videos, did you?

Think this is overstated? Here are the facts: in precincts where more than 90 percent of registered voters are minorities, the average minimum wait time to vote in America is 51 minutes. In precincts where the numbers are flipped (where White voters are at 90 percent or above), the average wait time is only six minutes. There's some White privilege and institutional racism for you. Textbook example, in fact.

Because there was no concerted national outcry about all these incremental changes Republicans were making, they were able to get most of them passed into law (at least, in red states where they controlled the legislature). Then came Donald Trump.

Trump made xenophobia a core part of his political persona. He rode racism and demagoguery all through his first term in office, stoking the fires whenever a distraction was needed. When he lost the 2020 election, he bundled his racism and xenophobia into the Big Lie he was already ready to deploy: that the election had somehow been stolen from him. It was rigged. There was massive election fraud and voter fraud, and that's the only reason he hadn't won.

Republican politicians (most of them) felt they had no choice, and backed up Trump's Big Lie to the hilt. By doing so, they helped fan the flames of resentment among Trump's base. Which they now are attempting to use as an excuse to suppress the vote even further: "Many people question the integrity of our election process, so obviously we need to fix it." This is ridiculous, since the only reason so many people are questioning anything is that Trump and the Republicans lied to them about it. There never was any evidence. There never were any facts to support their conspiratorial claims. The fraud they decried just did not exist and never has.

But that hasn't mattered to them. Instead, it has sparked an absolute frenzy of new voter suppression attempts. In numbers you've probably already heard by now, Republicans have introduced over 250 bills in a whopping 43 state legislatures to make it harder and harder for people to vote. In the 21st century. When it should be getting easier, not harder.

We now have the evidence for what happens when you make voting easier. Last year -- even in the midst of a deadly pandemic -- the voter participation rate was the highest it has been in a century. Due to the pandemic, most states instituted emergency measures which made voting much easier for all. And the voters responded by voting in record numbers. Because it was easier to do so.

That is what the Republicans are so scared of. People voting. More people voting because it is easier. It terrifies them, which is why the backlash is so pronounced and so egregious. They decided to use the circular logic that since their voters are questioning voting integrity because of the Big Lie, there is simply no better time to hustle through as many restrictions as possible. And sometimes they're even caught being honest about what they're up to, as this recent quote from an Arizona Republican politician proves:

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.

Got that? Everybody shouldn't be voting. That's the Republican position in a nutshell. Only the votes from their voters should count.

This overreach, however, has now made the backlash on the other side just as fierce. Because Democrats are not going to take this one lying down. They are fighting back with the heaviest artillery possible, they are proposing sweeping changes to how the federal government and the states interact when it comes to voting, and they seemingly are not going to take "no" for an answer. This could even be the issue that (at least slightly) gets rid of the Senate filibuster -- that's how important it is, now.

And as we said, Democrats are pretty solidly united and pretty determined that the time is now to end all this dangerous GOP nonsense at the state level -- forever. Two voters' rights bills have already made it through the House: the "For The People Act" and a revival of the Voting Rights Act posthumously named for Civil Rights icon John Lewis. If both were to be signed into law, it would be the biggest change in American elections since 18-year-olds got the right to vote. It may in fact wind up being the biggest institutional change in American elections since Reconstruction.

And for once, Democrats are not only fighting back, they are fighting back with foundational changes to the system which would prevent state-level Republicans from systematically disenfranchising millions of voters they didn't like.

Even more astonishingly, so far it seems to be working. The media has taken note. Late-night comics are talking about it. Democrats are all singing from the same talking-point songbook. The mere fact that most readers will have already recognized the figure "over 250 new laws in 43 states" proves that this issue has broken through into the American political consciousness in a way it simply has not, previously.

Which means that maybe -- just maybe, mind you -- at least some of it will come to pass. And we mean "come to pass" literally -- get passed by the Senate and arrive on Joe Biden's desk for the first time. If this does happen, both it and the American Rescue Plan will indeed cement Biden's legacy as the most transformational president since Lyndon B. Johnson on the issues of poverty and voting rights. That's how big a deal this could be.

In fact, this could be such a big deal it's all we're going to focus on in this week's introduction. This is going to be historic, no matter what happens, so Democrats need to push the issue as much as they can over the next few months. And so far, we have to say, they've been doing a pretty good job of doing so.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We've got a number of Honorable Mention awards to hand out this week before we get to the main presentation.

President Joe Biden deserves credit for two things this week: reaching his stated goal of delivering 100 million vaccine shots in his first hundred days in office -- on Day 58. That's pretty impressive, you've got to admit.

Biden also deserves credit for launching his "Help Is Here" tour to inform the public (especially in swing states) of all the good things contained within the American Rescue Plan law. It's not just the $1,400 checks, which not only Biden but his entire administration have been doing their best to inform the public about.

Bernie Sanders also deserves some credit for a rhetorical question he asked during a hearing. Rhetorically, since Jeff Bezos declined the invitation to show up. Bernie asked Bezos (in absentia): "Mr. Bezos, you are worth $182 billion... you're the wealthiest person in the world. Why are you doing everything in your power to stop your workers in Bessemer, Alabama, from joining a union?" Good question, Bernie. Wish he had been there to answer that one.

Our final two Honorable Mention awards go to Representatives Grace Meng and Ted Lieu. The House held a hearing this week on the growing problem of violence against Asian-Americans (which, please note, was planned before the horrific shootings in Atlanta). Republican Chip Roy tried to hijack the hearing and began airing his views of all sorts of idiocy unrelated to the subject at hand, and both Meng and Lieu schooled him on just how offensive his remarks were.

Here are some of Roy's comments (note: what follows was taken from multiple media sources, so we are not certain the quotes are in the right order):

My concern about this hearing is that it seems to want to venture into the policing of rhetoric in a free society, free speech, and away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys.

. . .

We shouldn't be worried about having committee members of Congress policing our rhetoric because some evildoers do engage in some evil activity as has occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. Because when we start policing free speech, we're doing the very thing that we're condemning when you condemn what the Chinese Communist Party does to their country. Who decides what is hate? Who decides what kind of speech deserves policing?... I think the Chinese Communist Party, running the country of China, I think they're the bad guys.

. . .

We believe in justice. There's old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree. You know, we take justice very seriously, and we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys. That's what we believe.

So Roy took the opportunity of a hearing on violence against Asian-Americans to... threaten to raise a posse and hang some members of the Chinese Communist Party? It's hard to tell, really, what passes for a train of thought in his head.

Representative Meng's reaction has been the most prominently featured, because of how emotional she got in her attempt to explain why Roy's comments are so counterproductive (as she chastises him directly):

Your president, your party and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other countries that you want, but you don't have to do it by putting a bull's eye on the back of Asian-Americans across the 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.

Representative Lieu was just as outraged, but his emotions took a different tack (Lieu served in the Air Force):

It's not about policing speech. I served in active duty, so you can say whatever you want on the First Amendment. You can say racist, stupid stuff if you want. But I'm asking you to please stop using racist terms like "kung flu" or "Wuhan virus" or other ethnic identifiers and describe them as a virus. I am not a virus.

Democrats in general are doing a much better job at regaining their sense of moral outrage and righteousness, and these two examples shone through this week. Confront racism directly, and immediately!

Which leads us to our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Expressing moral righteousness is second nature to one of Georgia's new senators. Raphael Warnock excels in this regard, since he is also the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. You may recognize the name of this church. It has had five senior pastors since its founding. One of them was the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. Those are the shoes Warnock has already been filling, before he even got to the Senate.

Warnock gave his first-ever floor speech this week, and it was one for the history books. It's only a little over 20 minutes long, and we strongly encourage everyone to watch the whole video, because it is well worth your time.

Warnock rose to speak in favor of the two voting-rights bills the House has passed and the Senate is awaiting action on. He made the case for both of them, and pretty much dared Republicans to come up with a reason not to support it. He pointed out the last time the Voting Rights Act was updated, during George W. Bush's time in office, the vote in the Senate was 98 to zero. And he did not mince his words at all:

Some politicians did not approve of the choice made by the majority of voters in a hard-fought election in which each side got the chance to make its case to the voters. And, rather than adjusting their agenda and changing their message, they are busy trying to change the rules. We are witnessing right now a massive and unabashed assault on voting rights and voter access unlike anything we have seen since the Jim Crow era.

This is Jim Crow in new clothes.

He then detailed what is in the two bills and explained why Democrats needed to jettison the filibuster, if that's what it was going to take to get them passed:

I stand before you saying that this issue -- access to voting and pre-empting politicians' efforts to restrict voting -- is so fundamental to our democracy that it is too important to be held hostage by a Senate rule, especially one historically used to restrict the expansion of basic rights.

It is a contradiction to say we must protect minority rights in the Senate while refusing to protect minority rights in the society.

Nobody can make a moral high-road case like a preacher, to state the blindingly obvious. Indeed, when he finished speaking, he received an incredibly-rare standing ovation.

For his debut speech on the Senate floor, we hereby award this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to Raphael Warnock. We fully expect him to emerge as one of the prime movers behind the effort to get these two bills passed.

Or, to put it another way: Ladies and gentlemen, we are watching a new political Civil Rights icon take his place in the pantheon, in real time.

[Congratulate Senator Raphael Warnock on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Before we get to the main award, we have one personally-distasteful (Dis-)Honorable Mention award, for our very own Senator Dianne Feinstein -- for sticking her oar in just to muddy the waters a little more.

This week, she apparently threw in her lot with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, by saying she is "hesitant" about voting to get rid of the filibuster. We've been saying for a very long time that DiFi simply does not represent the voters in her state very well at all, and this is just another prime example of why we feel this way. C'mon, DiFi, it's time to retire. Pretty please?


We have to say, we are handing out the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week on short notice. Plus, the source is The Daily Beast, so we're a little skeptical about what precisely is going on.

Even so, if the facts do prove to be true, then President Joe Biden deserves this week's MDDOTW, for letting his inner drug warrior out a little too much. Here's the story:

Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The policy has even affected staffers whose marijuana use was exclusive to one of the 14 states -- and the District of Columbia -- where cannabis is legal. Sources familiar with the matter also said a number of young staffers were either put on probation or canned because they revealed past marijuana use in an official document they filled out as part of the lengthy background check for a position in the Biden White House.

In some cases, staffers were informally told by transition higher-ups ahead of formally joining the administration that they would likely overlook some past marijuana use, only to be asked later to resign.

"There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers -- rather, ex-staffers," one former White House staffer affected by the policy told The Daily Beast. "I was asked to resign."

"Nothing was ever explained" on the calls, they added, which were led by White House Director of Management and Administration Anne Filipic. "The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained."

The White House claims "only five" people were actually fired. But they haven't admitted how many didn't get offered the job in the first place, either.

It would have been one thing if this had just happened. But to have it happen after being told (essentially) that it wouldn't is more than just a little disappointing. The world has changed. The War On Weed barely even exists anymore. Tens of millions of Americans can go buy marijuana down at the local store, as easy as they'd buy a six-pack of beer. And yet people are still getting fired for past use, even in states where it was legal at the time.

Now, Biden himself likely didn't have anything to do with these personnel decisions, to be fair. But also to be fair, he could have. Deciding who gets what security clearance is ultimately the job of the president. Donald Trump handed top secret clearances out like candy to members of his family and his henchmen who couldn't clear the normal process. So Biden could have overruled these decisions -- but didn't.

So, as things stand (who knows whether media attention will cause an abrupt change in policy?), we have to hand this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Joe Biden. C'mon, Joe, the days of "Just say no" are long over. You can do better than this.

[Contact President Joe Biden on the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 610 (3/19/21)

OK, we didn't know where else to put this, so we have an anniversary to celebrate and a very hard question for Joe Biden: Where is our promised new First Cat?

Hrrmph. We've had lots of news about Biden's doggies, but where is the newly-adopted cat that Joe promised Dr. Jill on the campaign trail? We were reminded of this glaring lack because a reader reminded us that 27 years ago on this very day, the following photo of the White House press briefing room's podium ran in the media -- which was quite possibly the best First Cat photo ever taken.


"You there, in the back... you have a question?"

You're welcome.

Socks Clinton will live forever in that photo.

OK, on to new business. Our talking points are a rather mixed bag this week, but we saved an amusing one to end on. Enjoy, and use responsibly, as always.


   Way to go, Joe

I have no idea who came up with this line, but it's fantastic. Joe Biden started using it last weekend, before his Help Is Here tour even kicked off, and it's one of those political slogans like "A chicken in every pot" that will be remembered long after the specifics of the American Rescue Plan package have been forgotten. That's our guess, anyway. It's short, it's sweet, and it's to the point. Here is Biden, explaining the main benefits of his first big legislative victory, in a slogan that could easily fit on a bumpersticker:

Shots in arms, money in pockets.


   Jim Crow 2.0

With all due deference to Raphael Warnock's "Jim Crow in new clothes," we think this one is even snappier. Plus, it even rhymes!

"The Republican Party is now engaged in a massive effort to make it harder for everyone -- Democrats in particular -- to cast their ballot in every election. I've taken to calling this 'Jim Crow 2.0,' because that's precisely what it is. In over four-fifths of the state legislatures, Republicans have filed bills that they say are to prevent voter fraud, but are really just naked attempts at preventing as many people of color from voting as possible. In Georgia, they want to limit early voting on Sundays. Why? What is so special about Sundays? Do they actually think more voter fraud happens on this one day of the week? Or could it be because that's when African-American church congregations have traditionally held their 'souls to the polls' voter drives? How in the world do Republicans explain that one? Or any of their measures -- and there are dozens of them out there -- which limit early voting. How is that supposed to limit voter fraud? Does this non-existent voter fraud only happen when citizens are allowed a certain number of days (or more) to cast their ballot, but when the early voting periods are shorter it somehow magically goes away? How can banning handing a bottle of water to a voter in line to vote change voter fraud in any way, shape, or form? They have no answers, because the truth is painfully obvious. There is no widespread voter fraud, period. It is an excuse, built on Trump's Big Lie, to pass laws making it harder and harder for people to vote. People of color, in particular. Which is why it is nothing short of Jim Crow 2.0. But you know what? The voters have started paying attention, and the Republicans have gotten so radical that they are now affecting their own voters. Jim Crow 2.0 may turn around a bite the Republican Party on the backside, folks. One can only hope."


   So, Mitch, what exactly would be different?

Mitch McConnell threw a little hissy fit on the Senate floor this week.

"Mitch McConnell outright threatened Democrats on the Senate floor, should they have the temerity to abolish the filibuster in order to get some things done. He darkly warned that he would then cause 'a completely scorched-earth Senate' which could get nothing done because of Republican intransigence, obstructionism, and willingness to always put party over country. This left me to wonder -- what, exactly, would be different about this scorched-earth Senate from the way Republicans have acted for the past entire decade? As Stephen Colbert so aptly put it, McConnell is threatening: 'if you do this, Mitch McConnell will continue to be Mitch McConnell.' And, seriously, how does Mitch think the public is going to react to his scorched-earth tactics? It will just further cement the impression that Democrats want to get things done, while all Republicans can do is blow everything up."


   Spare me, please

Democrats really need to start extracting their pound of political flesh for disgraceful stuff like this.

"This week, 12 Republicans in the House voted against giving Congressional Gold Medals to the brave police forces who were forced to put their lives on the line on January 6, to protect the members of Congress from a literal lynch mob who were shouting 'Hang Mike Pence' as they invaded the United States Capitol. This is disgraceful, and there is no possible explanation for not honoring those who were defending all of Congress from murder and mayhem. But that's the Republican Party these days. I never want to hear a Republican sanctimoniously talk about his or her support for law and order or the police ever again unless they preface such statements by denouncing these 12 members of their own party. They all should be ashamed of themselves -- if there are any Republicans left who are still capable of feeling shame, that is. I have my doubts."


   Also, let's call out the racism

On this one, Democrats are doing a better job of calling a racist a racist.

"A Republican in the Senate this week astonishingly said about the insurrectionists who murdered a federal officer and injured over 100 other cops the following disgusting denial of the truth: 'I knew these were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law.' Seriously, that's how Ron Johnson described a violent armed mob who killed, maimed, and injured over 100 brave cops. And then he heaped some racism on top of this, by stating he wasn't afraid of a mob that wanted to string the vice president up by a rope, but that he would have been scared if it had been Black Lives Matter protesters. When a mob is White, they can do no wrong, in Senator Johnson's mind, but when they're Black, they're guilty before the fact. Once again -- every Republican who ever says anything about supporting the police who hasn't denounced Ron Johnson's racism previously is nothing short of a flaming hypocrite."


   Um, no, sorry, we're not going to do that

"A Florida man..."

"One of Florida's senators, Republican Rick Scott, made a rather outlandish plea recently, after the passage of the American Rescue Plan. Because it was a Democratic idea, Scott called on Republican governors everywhere to just refuse all the relief money for their states. In protest of adding to the national debt, or some other idiotic reason. This week, Florida's Republican governor declined to follow Scott's advice. Ron DeSantis replied to Scott: 'It doesn't make any sense.' That's putting it politely. Rick Scott shows how deep the whole 'put party before country' thing goes, these days, among some Republicans. It's not just 'country' in other words, it's now 'put party before my own state.' Remind me again, how do such people keep getting elected?"


   Snarky, snarky!

The punditocracy in Washington has been all a-tizzy these past few weeks, because President Joe Biden hasn't given his first official press conference yet. The White House has pointed out that: (1) he has been talking to the press the whole time, in different venues; and (2) he's been kind of busy, you know? But the best response came from Zac Petkanas, a former senior advisor to both Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. His tweet was priceless, so we had to end on it today.

**Husband & wife sit down at the kitchen table**

H: "So we just got $2,800."

W: "And we got a vaccine faster than expected."

H: "Right, and our kids' school just got money to reopen faster."

W: "But I can't shake the feeling that Biden isn't holding enough press conferences."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


73 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Stop Jim Crow 2.0!”

  1. [1] 
    andygaus wrote:

    During the Obama administration, Biden committed a salubrious gaffe by endorsing gay marriage before Obama was ready to come out with such a policy. Kamala Harris needs to perform the same service for Biden by "accidentally" blurting out something that's a little too much in favor of legalizing cannabis.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    It is a contradiction to say we must protect minority rights in the Senate while refusing to protect minority rights in the society.


  3. [3] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Yup, on Sen. Warnock. Yup on most of the rest, referring to the Dems' increasing ability to call out GOP racism and sheer madness.

    Nope, on this:

    "...if the facts do prove to be true, then President Joe Biden deserves this week's MDDOTW"

    If? If??? Most Disappointing Democrat, when in the same column you tip your hat to him on matters of performance (press conferences vs. getting stuff done) and style (snappy political slogan).

    I don't get the marijuana thing in the White House either - not fired, just told to work remotely? - and I guess maybe we should wait until "IF" goes away and we know what this is really about.

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Yeah, that mddotw was a bit shruggy. I say as yet another allegation of sexual misconduct comes in against my governor, while dead nursing home patients stay firmly in the background, and CPB is STILL making life hell for undocumented families.

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    [5] as a NY Jets fan i'd settle for a super bowl - the last one was before i was alive, so hopefully the next will be sometime before i'm dead.

    [6-7] almost as good a strategy as 5 - and about as likely to succeed as lance armstrong playing linebacker for the NY Knicks in the FA Cup.

    bake up and get edible.


  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    too late, i already have two young boys with jets pajamas. what word aren't you allowed to use, mountain fracking? i hear that's all the rage in kentucky. maybe wayne gretzky and dale earnhardt could win the kentucky derby, if wayne gretzky were the name of a horse owned by dale earnhardt. and you'll be the winning jockey before you succeed in convincing CW to give you any free publicity beyond whatever derisive attention you have here in the peanut gallery.

    in any case, the VP will play whatever role the president asks her to, even if it goes against her prosecutorial instincts on drug enforcement.


  7. [7] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    For a while now, I've noticed a troubling pattern in the 'most impressive' and 'most disappointing' portion of the FTP columns. I've refrained from commenting on, but this week's awards provide the clearest evidence of it.

    * A couple of weeks ago, Stacey Abrams denounced the voter suppression effort by state legislatures as "New Jim-Crow" laws. This didn't merit a mention in any FTP. This week Chris awards MIDOW to Senator Warnock for using the same language.

    * Sen. Feinstein is 'disappointing' by expressing an opinion about ending the filibuster. (I'm shocked that Chris isn't even miffed that Ms Feinstein announced she has no intention of resigning!)

    * A few weeks ago, 8 Democrats voted against Sen. Sanders' logic-defying amendment to include $15-per-hour minimum wage in the COVID relief bill. Only one, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, warranted Chris' attention.

    * Rep. Jared Golden, Democrat from Maine, voted AGAINST the COVID-19 relief package. This week, he was one of only two Democratic votes against gun control legislation. Chris isn't even mildly disappointed.

    * California continues to be the leader in the deadly game of COVID-19. This isn't even on Chris' radar, as evidenced by the number of weekly FTPs without a single word.

    * This week, the petition to recall Gov. Newsom was submitted with a sufficient number of Californians expressing THEIR disappointment to ensure that appears before the voters. There is stunning silence from Chris.

  8. [8] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    A few pieces of historic legislation were agile enough to get themselves passed - as we saw in last week's FTPs, Chris believes Nancy Pelosi nor any House Democrat is even breaking a sweat since January.

  9. [9] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'The House passed the American Dream and Promise Act in a 228-197 vote, with nine Republicans voting in favor. The bill would provide a path to citizenship for the 2.5 million young undocumented migrants known as “Dreamers,” as well as the 400,000 immigrants living in the country with temporary protected status, or TPS.

    The chamber later approved a second bill, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, in a 247-174 vote. Thirty Republicans voted to approve the bill and one Democrat ? Rep. Jared Golden of Maine ? voted no.'

  10. [10] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'The House moved on Wednesday to renew the Violence Against Women Act, adding firearm restrictions for convicted domestic abusers and other new provisions to a landmark law that has helped combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking but expired in 2019.
    The House’s 244-to-172 vote was bipartisan, with 29 Republicans joining united Democrats to approve the bill.'

  11. [11] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'The House voted 222-204 on Wednesday in another attempt to eliminate a deadline passed in 1982 that has prevented the Equal Rights Amendment from becoming part of the Constitution.
    The Equal Rights Amendment still has not been enshrined in the Constitution, and the American women still face inequality under the law and, therefore, in their lives," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a floor speech on Wednesday.'

  12. [12] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    More nominees were approved by the Democratically-controlled Senate. Ironically, Chris found worthy of MIDOW when Biden announced her nomination, but this week doesn't think she's worthy of mention.

  13. [13] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'The Senate voted 51-40 Monday to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in the Biden administration's ambitious efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

    Her confirmation is as symbolic as it is historic. For much of its history, the Interior Department was used as a tool of oppression against America's Indigenous peoples. In addition to managing the country's public lands, endangered species and natural resources, the department is also responsible for the government-to-government relations between the U.S. and Native American tribes.'

  14. [14] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'Becerra, the son of Mexican immigrants, is the first Latino HHS secretary.
    The vote was 50 to 49. Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins joined Senate Democrats in favor of the nomination. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono did not vote.

    During the confirmation process, Becerra stressed his upbringing, his father's recent passing and his efforts for expanding health care access as California's attorney general and a 24-year Congressman representing a Los Angeles-based district

    The vast majority of Senate Republicans opposed Becerra's nomination over his support for abortion rights and his lack of a background as a health care professional.'

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    just to clarify your meaning, do you think perhaps there's some latent sexism in the impressive and disappointing selections?


    chris's "generous donor" could well have been michale. even those who most strongly disapprove of his comments can't rightly claim that he brought nothing of value to this community. nancy pelosi, much less likely. could it have been don harris? well, let's not presume THAT far...


  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    wrong. he's providing his own point of view. CW's point of view tends to support democrats, and that's their good fortune. however, he's not doing it for them, he's doing it for himself.

    that's what blogs are for, putting one's own views out there. giving public suppport to other people's views who strongly disagree with you, not so much.


  17. [17] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    If, and I mean in a purely hypothetical if, CW wrote about OD, I and I think most commenters here would expect him to respectfully and politely trash your idea, being reality based and all. And some of us in the comments would certainly fill in any flaws that CW happened to miss.

    So the question is why are you so desperate for any press over good press? What does bad press buy you?

  18. [18] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    As far as any of you filling in anything that CW might miss- what are you waiting for?

    Been there, done that.

    If you could have pointed out real flaws instead of your fantasies you would have done it already.

    Been there done that ad nauseam...

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don [28]

    That's what the comments are for and part of the responsibility that comes with having a blog in order to maintain integrity and live up to the mission statement on THIS blog.

    perhaps you haven't READ the mission statement?

    This blog's purpose is to present to the public one man's view of politics.

    there's plenty more mission statement, but nothing that appears to assign him responsibility of any sort for thinking your statements are worth addressing. he promises to "respect your viewpoint -- whatever it may be -- in your comments, and to take your viewpoint seriously."

    where you're concerned, he's already done that to a much larger extent than anybody else here would. it clearly upsets you that the process hasn't turned out the way you'd like it to, nor the way you believe it ought to. but that's just the way the pie crumbles. griping about it won't change the outcome.

    CW often gives his point of view on things he may not agree with and explains why he disagrees.

    the only reason he includes points of view he disagrees with is for the purpose of dissuading others from supporting such views. since you're already doing such a fine job of that yourself, there's clearly no need for him to step in.


  20. [20] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    If you could have pointed out real flaws instead of your fantasies you would have done it already.

    REAL FLAWS???. No one has pointed out One Demand’s REAL FLAWS?!?!

    OMG! So you claiming One Demand is a non-profit organization when it is not does not count as a flaw to you? The fact that you want people to pledge to only vote for small donor only candidates, but then you say that it is not a big deal that you have no candidates that people can actually support doesn’t seem like a flaw to you?

    How many supporters I have has no bearing on the idea and whether it is valid and can happen. That is just a moosepoop excuse.

    Don, you are like some early 1900’s inventor who, after the Wright brothers were credited with creating the first successful flying machine, goes around claiming that you had come up with a much better flying machine that in theory is far superior to the Wright’s aircraft. And you are angered by people pointing to the film of your 20 wing aircraft collapsing and not getting off the ground as proof that it was not a well thought out idea. You only want to talk about how good your idea sounded before it was ever put to the test!

    “But in THEORY, my idea is far a superior concept and everyone says so!”

    As explained many times previously it doesn't matter how candidates are listed in on the site as participants as One Demand is designed to start with voters working together to put pressure on the candidates to participate.

    You have nothing to offer anyone! Your success relies on you being able to get millions of registered voters who do not vote to suddenly decide to get active with voting, but you have not bothered to tell anyone how you are going to pull that major feat off! One Demand does not inspire anyone. You do not inspire anyone.

    Oh, I know! Since One Demand does not have any candidates for anyone to support with their votes, you can claim that every NON-VOTE that never is cast is actually a vote in support of One Demand! You can claim that all registered voters who did not vote in an election did so in solidarity to you...and who can prove you are wrong???

    You are asking folks to only vote for your candidates to send both parties a message, but you have no candidates for people to support! That is a MAJOR FLAW!

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    NOT griping would ABSOLUTELY be more likely to change your situation for the better.

    "covering things the rest of the media doesn't," doesn't mean CW has signed up to give a feature interview to every tinfoil-hat crackpot who shows up at his doorstep claiming to have seen a unicorn farting rainbows. whether or not you fit that particular description is a matter of opinion, but given that it's an opinion shared by most people who've been reading your posts for the past five years, it's not as if there isn't some concurrent validity to it.

    and at the rate you're going, you'll soon be red-carded and every comment you ever made here will be gone, except presumably the ones others have quoted. so not only will you not have CW's blog for a forum, all of the thousands of comments you've made already will also be erased.

    plus, pie is yummy and just plain fun, so it does you no good whatsoever to denigrate such a rich and storied institution.

    you keep calling the rest of us trolls, but in terms of consequences your opinion doesn't matter, while CW's opinion does matter. try to get THAT reality through your skull.


  22. [22] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    This was ridiculous as he had ignored honey. Once you ignore the honey you have no basis to complain about the vinegar.

    But if you mix the two, you get the base for a sweet and sour sauce. Sweet and sour sauces are tasty...

  23. [23] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    But look at the good side, we are almost to petulant and thus the cycle will be complete...

  24. [24] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    This is getting bad. If one decides to ignore a monomaniacal poster / troll in this comments thread, plus those who respond to him, one finds there is now very little actual commenting worth reading on Chris Weigant's posts.

    Kind of like when another monomaniacal poster / troll DOMINATED THESE THREADS, to the average politics fan's dismay and disgust.

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And thus the cycle of a comments section ebbs and flows. Sometimes you must leave only to come back at the next low tide...

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    or suck it up and enjoy chris's articles.

  27. [27] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    An article[] about the relationship between knights and police as it relates to current events in London from a historian.

    Maybe lathered on a bit thick but the history is interesting.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, hey, my, my ... it's the Bashi and Don show!!!


    I think I'll put the both of you in charge of the festivities Sunday evening. You see, I won't be able to make it to the party until very, very late and so, I'm sure you guys will do a bang up job! Ahem. :)

  29. [29] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Oops, I forgot this one.
    This confirmation has special resonance this week, don't you think? Impressive, I'd say.
    'Every present senator voted to approve Tai in the 98-0 vote, a first for a Biden nominee, reflecting broad bipartisan support for the former head trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee.
    Tai, 46, enters the administration as the first Asian American in Biden’s Cabinet and the first woman of color to hold the trade representative post.'

  30. [30] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    For those of you keeping track, 20 of 23 Biden nominees have now been confirmed by the U S Senate.
    Only Labor, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Office of Management and Budget are unfilled, according to Politico.
    Does that make Sen. Schumer worthy of mention?

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As if ...

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    true, but not in the way you think.


    as apt a mission statement as any i suppose.


    I am not doing anything wrong. CW was wrong when he called me a troll and gave me the yellow card.

    again, a series of opinions that refuses to acknowledge the reality of your situation. when you are red-carded, you can continue to believe that you are right and CW is wrong, but you'll still be banned from the site and erased from its memory. you are of course free to continue on that path, but your belief will not change your destination.

    best of luck with that.

    p.s. if you learned to bake pie instead, you'd have everything you have now, plus pie.

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i didn't realize you required further explanation. true, whether or not i say something has no bearing whatsoever on its accuracy. there exists a physical world outside our opinions.

    You did not dispute that I tried being nice, warned Kick, was warned by Kick, then was yellow carded by CW for not being nice.

    ah, because i didn't say something also doesn't make it true. being "nice" has nothing to do with why CW yellow-carded you. he carded you for gender slurs and spamming the forum without contributing anything of value (as CW defines said things, NOT as YOU define them).

    you are of course entitled to continue thinking he was wrong about all of that, but your opinions didn't change the fact that you were temporarily banned, and it won't change a permanent ban if that occurs.

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Of course CW did not yellow card me for not being nice. Where did you get that from?

    from post [56] where you wrote it.

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Again you did not dispute that I was being nice, warned Kick, was warned by Kick and then was yellow carded by CW for not being nice.

    really? is that all you took away? ok, i hereby dispute the assertion, whatever it is.

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    okay, here goes. you got yellow-carded for, among various and sundry other things, repeatedly calling kick a "f*cktard little c*nt" (without the asterisks), and wrote "YOU, however, either need to see a shrink or do the world a favor and visit a Dr. Kevorkian..".

    even after being repeatedly warned by CW not to, you continued to use those and other such words, claimed that such words were perfectly warranted by kick's behavior, and incongruously claimed that CW was in the wrong and kick should have been carded instead, essentially for calling you a "deranged little man" and quoting your own words back to you as evidence that you had consciously chosen to "turn troll" (direct quote).

    that's why. again, i think i've conclusively demonstrated that CW's reason for carding you had nothing to do with

    "being nice, warned Kick, was warned by Kick and then was yellow carded by CW for not being nice."

    when i say "whatever that means," i'm quite confident that my failure to understand (how that was your takeaway from being yellow-carded) was not due to my lack of intellect. i'm also quite confident that i won't be carded for having the temerity to quote you back to yourself.

    however, if you'd like to make that request of CW, feel free. i'm sure he'll respect your viewpoint and take it seriously. he's certainly gone above and beyond to meet that self-imposed obligation where you're concerned. more power to him.


  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    reading that thread from last april was actually quite instructive.

    do you think don realizes i'm probably the last person left on this entire blog who in spite of everything is still seriously trying to help him avoid the conclusion toward which he's currently heading?

    and, umm... when does the music start again?


  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so liz, what's our topic?

  39. [39] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I'm not really a listen to music on youtube kind of guy, but I'll leave you with some Opera Blobs... []

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, it seems that the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party has begun.

    Welcome, everyone! And, don't be shy - post your favourite tunes, what are you listening to today?

    Since we didn't decide on a theme for this week and since I'm in a definite Vancouver classic rock band frame of mind, I'd like to share a favourite Chilliwack tune, Midnight ... beautifully melodic in a soothing sort of way, just the thing to mellow out after a trying day ...

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's a Chilliwack tune you may all have heard, once or twice ...

    My Girl (Gone, gone, gone)

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    that's wonderful! and so's this:

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As a side project of Chilliwack, the Headpins formed, to make a long story short ...

    Here's a Headpins set with Darby Mills - and if this doesn't get ya going, nothing will ...

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Way to go to balance things out, Joshua - very nice!

  46. [46] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sticking with Vancouver's very own, my favourite Bryan Adams tune is Lonely Nights, co-written with his songwriting partner, Jim Vallance, Prism's original drummer!

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Payolas - Eyes of a Stranger

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We're here for a good time, not a long time!


  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, I'll end with the first climate apocalypse song, off Prism's debut and self-titled album (1977) ...

    O-o-oh, come on! Take Me To The Kaptin

    Have a great night, everyone!

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    so liz, what's our topic?

    Let's make sure we pick one for next week!

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How about immigration songs?

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    sure, why not ...

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Aren't they all?

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    some more than others

  57. [57] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    John M from Ct. wrote:

    This is getting bad. If one decides to ignore a monomaniacal poster / troll in this comments thread, plus those who respond to him, one finds there is now very little actual commenting worth reading on Chris Weigant's posts.

    Kind of like when another monomaniacal poster / troll DOMINATED THESE THREADS, to the average politics fan's dismay and disgust.

    Chris? You okay with Don's crap?

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i'd wager don gets one more formal warning before CW issues a K.I.T.A.

    hopefully don learns to rein himself in, both so he doesn't get red-carded and also so he ceases to be a distraction from the movement for pie-based voting.


  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You get what you give.

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    more than rarely

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    what you get ? what you give

    unless you're born into money or title.

  63. [63] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    hm, guess the less than or equal to sign doesn't compute.

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What should be out theme for the next Sunday night?

  66. [66] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Immigration/ emigration/ give us your tired, etc.

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I see.

    Okay, so, why don't we broaden the theme just a little bit and say that the tunes this Sunday night will have an immigration theme to them or be by an artist not from North America.

    Sound good?

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


  70. [70] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    imported people OR imported music.

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes! See ya Sunday night!

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, the imported people will have to sing something or dance, right?

    I mean it is the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party!

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone who is new to this site has their first comment witheld for moderation purposes.

    Henceforth, however, their comments should post immediately!

    Just a little FYI for the newcomers, especially those interested in being part of the fun every Sunday evening at the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party. Which is always found on the Friday Talking Points column whether this signature column is posted on the usual Friday or on the rare Saturday ...

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