Memorial Day: A Day to Remember those who fell in Battle for our Country

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Today, we remember and pay tribute to those who died in battle. This is a tradition started by freed slaves after the Civil War. It’s had some controversy because there were and still are dead-enders on the confederate side of history. This year has been filled with examples where we have been treated with an obvious need of history being rewritten or forgotten or replaced with lies.

We lost Capitol Police officers defending the halls and grounds of Congress this year. This adds to our already bloody, war-filled history. Just this last week we saw the Republicans vote to deny and continue to try to rewrite history. Republican officials are trying to rewrite history and the sacred terms of democracy in every red state in the country.  This term Louisiana was treated to a diatribe by the Representative who was serving as the head of the education committee.  He insisted that there were good things about slavery as he was attempting to ensure critical race theory couldn’t be taught in classes across the state.  This reminds me of Mississippi and its adherence to “the confederate memorial day”. The state refused to acknowledge the federal holiday right into this century.

However, this kind of thing remains front in my mind while I honor those fallen Capitol Police officers as part of our war dead.

 

Fortunately, and I believe only for the moment, this battle has gone to our courts. Truthtelling Republicans believe it likely to happen again.  This is from VOX: A bipartisan January 6 commission is probably dead. Democrats have a backup plan. A House committee could be less vulnerable to GOP obstruction.” Will have any chance to learn more about the insurrection?

Such a committee would differ from the proposed bipartisan commission in several key ways, but it could still take steps to ensure accountability for those involved in the insurrection. Notably, a select committee would be composed of members of Congress rather than outside experts, and the subpoena power would function differently — but, crucially, it could also be created with only a simple majority vote in the House.

At the same time, a select committee could cast an inescapable partisan shadow over the investigation — and the failure of the independent commission bill underscores the alarming depths of Republican fealty to the Big Lie.

Several Democratic members of the House have publicly voiced their support for the backup plan, which follows the defeat on Friday of the bipartisan commission bill in a 54-35 vote. The bill would have needed 60 votes to bypass the controversial Senate filibuster.

For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hasn’t publicly declared her next move. But in a statement released after Senate Republicans successfully filibustered the bipartisan commission bill on Friday, Pelosi pledged that “Democrats will proceed to find the truth.”

“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate,” she said. “Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe.”

So, let’s check this headline out from HuffPo: Trump’s Ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Calls For Myanmar-Type Coup In U.S.“It should happen,” Flynn declared of the violent, deadly military coup at a wild QAnon conference in Dallas for “patriots.”

Avowed QAnon disciple and confessed felon retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has called for a Myanmar-like military coup in America.

“It should happen,” Donald Trump’s former national security adviser said in an astonishing declaration at a QAnon conference Sunday.

Myanmar’s military violently seized control of the country from its civilian government in late January, detained democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and top party members, and killed more than 700 protesters as of early this month. The military justified its action by claiming unproven “election fraud.”

Flynn presented his dark vision of a military coup and dictatorship in the U.S. in response to a question from the audience at the conference.

″I wanna know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?” an unidentified member of the audience asked Flynn, though he pronounced the nation as “Minnimar.”

“No reason,” Flynn responded to wild screams of approval. “It should happen.”

This should give us all pause.  It also means the best way of remembering and honoring our war dead is to ensure our folks in uniform do not have to face another group of insurrectionists.  Everyone needs to call out the “Big Lie” including republicans.  Everyone needs to ensure Liberty and Justice is for all including Republicans.  Everyone needs to fight to protect the myriad of civil rights protected by the right to privacy to include Republicans.

Today is a good day to consider what duties we all have as citizens as well as remembering those who died to fight for them.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

I actually have this sheet music as well as the 78.  My grandfather was in charge of the War Bond programs for the Kansas City Federal Reserve District so we also have the same for “Any Bonds Today?” which was popular during World War 2.  Today was the day my family picnicked in some very small cemeteries in some very small towns in Kansas and Missouri and cleaned the family plots and memorials.  We took Decoration Day seriously having had family serve in every war since the Revolutionary War and all of them on the right side of the Civil War itself.  We have a lot to be thankful for to include those freed slaves who started the entire day of memory.


Sunday Reads: Red Hats

Another Sunday…and more cartoons from Calle.com:

Cartoons from AAEC

The Purging of the Republican Party - by Angelo Lopez
Who’s Your Lifestyle Guru?
05292021 Memorial Day

Now some tweeters:

I wanted to stay away from disturbing news, but that can’t be done.

This is an open thread.


Monday Reads: Just Plain Tired Reads

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I’m going to really cop out on you today because I’m exhausted and I need to finish my grades. A good deal of the reason for the exhaustion is the hell realm that’s been my street lately. The Tourists are back and they’ve joined in with the local colony of hipsters to search out every nuisance business and event in the area and wander around like lost toddlers.

A 3 day a week rave in the Navy yard with its dusk to dawn thumpa thumpa music and skateboarding and skating while breaking and entering, trespassing, and noise ordinance violating has driven me to call the police and I’m calling the mayor and my city council member next. Last week I found myself hoping that the Chinese space rocket would take out the entire Navy base and a few other select buildings in the area. The Desk Sargent at the local precinct keeps telling me I’m not the only sleep-deprived local asking for help with the noise and zoning violations going on around here. (Yes we have laws here!)

You can’t sit on your porch during Tourist infestations because they assume you’re just a Disneyland like freebie for them invading your neighborhood so they can ask you dumb questions like “where’s the nearest Applebees”? It came from an elderly couple so I told them out by the airport–which is true–but I really wanted to say something like Topeka, Kansas. I suggest you visit there instead. If it was one of these colonizers I’d suggest the middle of Lake Ponchartrain during Hurricane Season.

So, the entire night, 911 call and all came to a blaring stop when we had one of the largest Formosan Termite swarms that I’d ever experienced. It seems Jerky Hipsters, Ugly American Tourists, and Colonizers can’t tolerate the little beasts. It was so bad that a few found a crack in my bedroom window and headed towards my desk lamp. I pulled the window down immediately followed by the black-out shades in my bedroom I installed to save my life from the Air BNB invaders at the AirBnbs on both sides of me.

If you stay every use an AirBnb I’m pretty sure I can’t talk to you ever again. You have no idea how miserable it makes the lives of locals all over the planet. Stay in a damn hotel or any of the lovely motor Inns out by the Airport! Thank you very much!

So … the Onion sent me the perfect article for me to post for this Open thread.

Enticing potential bookers with the apartment’s best features, a New Orleans Airbnb reportedly touted Monday its location in the heart of the city’s historic Airbnb quarter. “Located mere steps from a wide array of other Airbnbs, this apartment is the perfect spot for a couple or two friends to explore the sights and sounds of the Big Easy’s iconic Airbnb district,” read the listing in part, adding that the apartment was located on the top floor of a beautiful gut-rehabbed building dating all the way back to 2009. “A private and spacious apartment located right where a 1852 Creole cottage used to be, our year-round rental offers incredible views of dozens of other Airbnbs with a long and storied tradition of hosting bachelorette parties and boys’ weekends. Upon your arrival, you’ll find we’ve even made a little walking tour of all the best short-term rentals dotting the Airbnb Quarter, or you can strike out on your own, and who knows? While you’re out getting coffee and beignets, you might even find yourself stumbling upon some of the oldest Airbnbs in the city.” The apartment listing also touted the benefits of staying near the colorful local community, encouraging customers to experience firsthand New Orleans’ famous Instacart and UberEats delivery drivers.

They forgot to add you can have fun treating the locals like your private concierge and ensuring every neighborhood bar now has conversations worthy of the Applebee’s in Topeka, Kansas.

Note: No Termites were hurt during this particular snark session where I whine about the worst business models ever necessary because no one can make a real living at anything else.

You may discuss amongst yourselves or completely change the topic.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Coke and a Child

Good morning, I guess the memes make themselves up nowadays.

Cartoons from Cagle.com

All this mask freedom…is a bit premature…

The fat lady hasn’t even started to warm up, she won’t be singing anytime soon.

I thought Benji was out? Or would be out soon?

Meanwhile in Mississippi:

There is a new case of police brutality…this one is torture.

Remember the name Jamal Sutherland…because he will become the next George Floyd.

I tried to watch the video, but I could not. My disgust is overwhelming and I am seriously thinking about going to Charleston to March in the protest.

I’m ending this with a few nice things:

This is an open thread.


Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

President Biden is going to have a press conference this afternoon, and I wish someone would ask him why around 30,000,000 people on Social Security, disability, veterans, and railroad pensions haven’t gotten their stimulus payments yet. Furthermore, why hasn’t he fired two Trump holdovers at the Social Security Administration who are holding up the payments and who are trying to destroy Social Security?

HuffPost: Democrats Say Agency Run By Trump Holdover Is Delaying Stimulus Checks.

Millions of disabled and retired Americans are still waiting for their $1,400 stimulus payments because of a holdup at the Social Security Administration, House Democrats said Wednesday.

Social Security hasn’t handed over payment information that the Internal Revenue Service needs to send the coronavirus relief checks to nearly 30 million people receiving retirement or disability benefits, Democrats said.

“We understand that these beneficiaries are waiting because the Social Security Administration has not sent the necessary payment files to the Internal Revenue Service,” House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a letter to Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul.

Several Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), had previously urged President Joe Biden to fire Saul, a Donald Trump appointee whose term doesn’t expire until 2025. Biden has hesitated to do so even though he’s fired other Trump holdovers in other agencies before their terms have ended.

The IRS has sent more than 127 million payments so far. Neal and other members of his committee earlier this week asked Social Security and the IRS to explain the delayed payments to Social Security beneficiaries.

In Wednesday’s letter, Democrats said they became “aware that the IRS asked SSA to start sending payment files two weeks before the American Rescue Plan became law on March 11, 2021” ― and that Social Security still hasn’t provided the information.

People in these categories are the poorest of the poor, including Social Security recipients who don’t have enough income to file tax returns.

Yahoo News: Trump-appointed Social Security Administration officials test Biden’s ability to forge new agenda.

President Biden is facing increasing pressure to remove two Social Security Administration officials appointed by his Republican predecessor, a standoff that could test the limits of his ability to undo Donald Trump’s legacy.

The brewing controversy surrounds Andrew Saul and David Black, the agency’s commissioner and deputy commissioner, whom Trump appointed to fixed-term positions that don’t end until 2025. As term appointees, they can’t be removed by Biden except for cause, but unions and Capitol Hill alike are demanding that Biden find a way to remove them, accusing them of creating a toxic work environment, contributing to low morale due to staff cuts, and sidelining the agency’s administrative law judges.

The continued presence of the Trump appointees underscores the difficulties the Biden administration faces when trying to roll back some of the previous administration’s efforts to reshape the federal government. While traditional political appointees must resign or face being fired when a new administration comes in, presidents are also able to install fixed-term employees to boards and other government positions that can outlast their administration.

Saul, a New York businessman and Republican donor, and Black, a former Bush administration staffer, have been in their positions since 2019. According to critics, the two officials have engaged in “no-holds-barred union busting” and eliminated the agency’s pre-pandemic telework program, forcing over 10,000 employees to commute to work — a rule change that continues despite the onset of COVID-19. (That did not apply to Saul, who reportedly continued to work from home as thousands of his employees commuted during the onset of the pandemic.)

There’s more at the Yahoo News link.

As we all know, there’s another Trump holdover working as quickly as he can to destroy the Post Office.

The Washington Post: USPS chief DeJoy cuts post office hours, lengthens delivery times in new 10-year plan.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday unveiled the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation, part of a 10-year plan that includes longer first-class delivery windows, reduced post office hours and higher postage prices.

DeJoy presented his long-awaited strategic vision for the U.S. Postal Service during a Tuesday webinar. Portions of the initiative already made public have raised alarms from postal advocates, who say they could further erode agency performance. Mailing industry officials warn that substantial service cuts could drive away business and worsen its already battered finances.

Louis DeJoy

But DeJoy has cited the need for austerity to ensure more consistent delivery and rein in losses. The agency is weighed down by $188.4 billion in liabilities, and DeJoy told a House panel last month that he expects the Postal Service to lose $160 billion over the next 10 years. Without the plan, Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Ron Bloom said, the agency’s future was “profoundly threatened.”

DeJoy’s plan to make up that projected shortfall largely depends on Congress repealing a retiree health care pre-funding mandate and allowing postal workers to enroll in Medicare. The agency also will ask President Biden to order a review of how much the Postal Service should have paid into its pension funds, and credit the mail agency with any overpayments.

DeJoy projected these steps would save the agency $58 billion over the next decade, and the agency could make up the rest through postage rate increases ($44 billion in new revenue), “self-help” cost cutting in mail processing, transportation and administrative efficiencies ($34 billion), and revenue from package volume and price increases ($24 billion).

USA Today has an interesting piece on Biden by Paul Brandus: Biden is using FDR as his role model. He’s made the no-drama Obama era look wild.

Presidents get to decorate the Oval Office any way they want, and it’s usually telling. Joe Biden for example, requested that five portraits be hung around the fireplace. There’s George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and one of the greatest Americans who never became president: Alexander Hamilton.

And in the middle of this esteemed group is a fifth portrait in a place of honor over the fireplace: Franklin D. Roosevelt. Biden, who will be the last president who lived during FDR’s momentous era, deeply admires our 32nd president, and it shows in both his style and way of governing.

No president since Roosevelt inherited the kind of mess that confronted Biden, and he has responded as FDR did: By throwing big money at problems. The ink on the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan is barely dry, and now the White House is set to unveil a $3 trillion infrastructure plan.

There’s also talk of reforming the biggest federal program of all: Social Security, which Roosevelt launched in 1935, and which is now paying out more cash than it’s bringing in. In Washington, the word “reform” is usually a code word for more spending.

Hmmm….I hope that will involve lifting the cap on the payroll tax so that rich people have to contribute more to Social Security and Medicare.

Biden’s style — specifically how he communicates with the American people — is also a page from the FDR playbook. Two months into his presidency, he has been surprisingly disciplined and economical with his words and appearances. The verbal gaffes that dogged him throughout his long career in Washington are nowhere to be seen. I’m sure he’ll make a boo-boo eventually (he’s Joe Biden, after all) but after four years of a president who lied about everything, a gaffe on Biden’s part these days will be seen as an honest mistake, humanizing, even charming to a certain degree.

Roosevelt is remembered for his famous Fireside Chats. Forgotten, however, is how infrequently he gave them. During his 12 years in office — bookended by America’s greatest  20th century crises, the Great Depression and World War II — he took to the airwaves just 30 times. Just two or three times a year. The rarity of his appearances amped up the drama and attention when he did speak.

But, unlike Biden so far, FDR gave lots of press conferences, Brandus writes. He recommends that Biden make his first formal appearance before the D.C. press corps as boring as possible.

The news media is trying to gin up the drama for this, and Biden will certainly be asked about tough issues that already are challenging his smooth operation — including immigration problems at the southern border and the mass shootings in the Atlanta area and Boulder, Colorado. But he knows this and will be prepared.

If Biden’s lucky, his first news conference will be a dull affair. It will also likely be a rare one. Why? Here’s the deal. With platforms like Twitter, Facebook and all the rest at their fingertips, modern-day presidents need reporters and the press less than ever. We saw this during the campaign, when Biden gave individual interviews but rarely held news conferences. The pandemic was a good excuse to pull back even further.

In other news, There’s been an attempted copycat supermarket shooting in Georgia; fortunately it was short-circuited.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Man took 6 guns, body armor into Publix at Atlantic Station, cops say.

Just two days after a mass shooting left 10 people dead at a Colorado supermarket, Atlanta police arrested a 22-year-old man who walked into a Publix at Atlantic Station with six guns and body armor.

Police were called to the grocery store on Atlantic Drive just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and met with a manager who told them a man came in with a rifle and headed straight toward a bathroom, authorities said.

“A witness observed the male and alerted store management, who then notified police,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Anthony Grant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Officers at the scene spotted the man leaving the bathroom and quickly took him into custody. According to police, his weapons included two long guns and four pistols, all of which were concealed.

Police identified the man as Rico Marley. He was booked into the Fulton County Jail on multiple charges of criminal attempt to commit a felony and weapons possession. Marley is scheduled for a first appearance before a judge Thursday morning.

Remember the elderly Asian woman who fought back against her attacker in San Francisco? She’s in the news again.

NPR: Asian Grandmother Who Smacked Her Attacker With A Board Donates Nearly $1 Million.

Xiao Zhen Xie, the 75-year-old woman who was punched by a white man in San Francisco — and then fought back by smacking him with a board — will not keep the nearly $1 million that has been donated for her medical expenses. Her grandson says Xie insists on donating the money to help defuse racism against the Asian American community.

“She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than Her,” John Chen wrote in an update on the fundraising site GoFundMe.

Xiao Zhen Xie, 75, is recovering after she was punched by a man in San Francisco. Her family says that despite being hurt, she fought back to defend herself.
Dennis O’Donnell/Screenshot by NPR

Xie was attacked on San Francisco’s Market Street last Wednesday, the morning after six women of Asian descent were killed in a shooting rampage in the Atlanta area — the worst incident in a broader spike in incidents that have targeted the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Xie, who is originally from China, had been waiting to cross the street when she was suddenly hit in the face. San Francisco Police say the suspect, Steven Jenkins, punched Xie minutes after he assaulted an 83-year-old Asian man. The suspect was being chased by a security guard when he hit Xie.

In the moment, her instinct was to fight back, her family told TV station KPIX. They said that Xie, while badly hurt, responded by grabbing a wooden board and hitting the man.

Jenkins, 39, was left with a bloody mouth and is facing charges of assault and elder abuse.

I’ll end with this argument that violence against women is a hate crime. Click the link to read the article at The Atlantic.

As always, this is an open thread. What’s on your mind today?