It’s January 6th. Do you know where our democracy is Headed?

Aug. 28, 1963 — Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech

Good Day Sky Dancers!

When I started this blog as a file cabinet for my writing else blog, I knew I’d commemorate days of celebration and sadness.  We’ve had both and other highly emotional anniversaries. For me, it’s the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall. For JJ, it’s undoubtedly September 11th.  For BB, it’s likely the day of the Boston Marathon bombing. Most of us remember the assassination of JFK, RFK, and MLK.  We have memories of Watergate. Then, there are those passed on from our grandparents and parents, like the bombing of Pearl Harbor. We have days to commemorate our War dead and those who fought for our democracy and preservation of the Union, and for the abolition of slavery.

Today is the second anniversary of the January 6th insurrection. Everything dealing with that day and events before, after, and surrounding it stands out as the day a violent minority decided they’d prefer a tyrant to the democratic republic left to us by those who formed the country and those who have ensured we expand the dream of liberty and justice for all.

Abraham Lincoln gave his speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery before this crowd on November 19, 1863, at Gettysburg.

Today, one-third of our government is gridlocked because of that same obnoxious and toxic group of insurrectionists.  This is happening even while our Justice System deals with the illegal acts from 2 years ago. States have made it harder for some people to vote in between events.  We’ve also seen women declared incapable of making their own reproductive healthcare decisions. We’ve seen military-style weapons turn on children, grocery shoppers, and places built by the GLBTQ community as safe spaces. Anti-semitism is part of daily conversation.  And, we have the return of Book Banning. ” More censorship. Florida No. 1 in prison book-bans. Even books about ‘Star Trek’ and flowers”  This commentary is by Scott Maxwell, writing for the Orlando Sentinal.

It’s hard to keep track of all the things that have been banned and censored here in the “Free State of Florida” — from middle school math books to live entertainment.

But some of the most-banned commodities in the Sunshine State are the books allowed in prisons.

As the Orlando Sentinel’s Amanda Rabines recently reported, Florida’s prison system is a leading book-banner, restricting everything from issues of The Economist magazine to “Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cookbook.”

And when the researchers from The Marshall Project, a nonprofit focused on the U.S. justice system, describe Florida as a leading book-banner, they mean leading by a country mile.

In Georgia, they banned 28 books. In Kansas, it was 99.

In Florida, the number was 20,200.

Florida’s goal seems to be to keep incarcerated people bored and uneducated — a dangerous combination for correctional guards while prisoners are still behind bars, and for the public if and when they’re ever released.

Unless you believe society is better off when prisoners are prohibited from reading books like “How to Draw and Paint Flowers”?

The biggest question remains how resilient our institutions of governance are?  It took decades to deal with Jim Crow laws in the South after the end of reconstruction.  It took decades to extend access to voting beyond the original white, rich male landowners.  It also took decades and a constitutional amendment to make the US Senate a democratically elected body.

Enemy troops did not storm our Capitol during the Civil War.  We have a law that prevents insurrectionists from running for office.  How can we deal with those holding public positions today if we can’t even block modern insurrectionists from the highest positions in the country?  How is it that Trump can run for the office of President again?

Today, “Biden to honor January 6 democracy defenders in capstone to a split-screen week.” This is from CNN Politics, as reported by Phil Mattingly and Betsy Klein.

President Joe Biden on Friday will commemorate the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol – the day he’s called “one of the darkest periods of our nation’s history” – as he seeks to elevate the law enforcement and election officials that held firm against the most serious effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power in US history.

In a week defined by dramatic contrasts between a White House at work and a House Republican majority in chaos, Friday’s event will serve as an almost visceral coda. It will give Biden the opportunity to highlight the extremist risk to the nation and its politics that he sees as still very real – even as signs that the fever driven by his predecessor has started to break in concrete ways. That risk, in the view of some White House officials, will serve as a literal, if unintentional, split screen to Biden’s remarks.

Officials say Biden doesn’t plan to directly address the chaos on the House floor that has blocked Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy from the speakership the last four days. But the connection is unmistakable.

Many in the House commemorated the occasion with a moment of silence. We’re now back to live coverage of the next vote, where we will not have a congress or a Speaker of the House who is second in line to the Presidency.  Will today change anything?

Texas Governor John Connally adjusts his tie (foreground) as President and Mrs. Kennedy, in a pink outfit, settled in rear seats, prepared for motorcade into the city from the airport, Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

Representative Clyburn is giving a heartfelt speech on “liberty, justice, and freedom” for all.  He’s the Representative putting Jeffries’s name up for Speaker right now. He’s speaking about two years ago and the abnormal number of votes being held this week.  “America is great because she is good.  If America ceases to be good, she will not be great.”

And Gaetz just nominated Jim Jordan. His speech was so vitriolic that some members walked out on it. Boebert is nominating Hearn of Oklahoma.  They evidently attended a meeting last night. “House members blocking McCarthy speaker bid meet at offices of ex-Trump chief Mark Meadows.”  This is reported by John Ward.

Several Republican House members fighting to stop Rep. Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker of the House met Friday morning at the offices of the Conservative Partnership Institute, an organization run by Mark Meadows and Jim DeMint.

Meadows, a former Republican congressman from North Carolina, was chief of staff to former President Donald Trump and played a central role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He joined CPI as senior partner in January 2021, a few weeks after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, on Jan. 6.

There just was one switch to McCarthy.  It was from Dan Bishop of South Carolina.  And now a second.

I’m opening this post now so we can be live.

March 17, 1973 — “Burst of Joy” Sal Veder, In this Pulitzer Prize–winning picture, released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, as he returns home from the Vietnam War.

Here are some other suggested reads:

Alayna Treene / Axios: House Democrats connect Jan. 6 to GOP’s speakership fight

Alan Feuer / New York Times Judge Rules for Justice Dept. in Dispute With Trump Over Documents Search

Bloomberg: Trump Special Counsel Probe Adds Two Anti-Corruption Prosecutors

Jose Pagliery / The Daily Beast: How Trump’s Missing Call Logs Could Become His Nixon Tapes

CNN: Two years after US Capitol attack, investigation into Trump and insurrection enters new phase