The enemy identified

we-have-met-the-enemy1

We have met the enemy and he is us–Pogo (Walt Kelly)

What I’m looking at is the perpetrator.–Rep. Tom Reed

Wayne LaPierre, Claudia Tenney, Tom Reed, and other NRA apologists sing the same song. Guns aren’t the problem; more guns and especially more powerful guns are the solution. Guns in churches, guns in schools, guns in theaters would make us safe. We could all be safe if the enemy were overcome. The enemy is identified as:

  • Democrats
  • Liberals
  • Elites
  • Socialists
  • Opportunists
  • Media
  • Crazy people

If you disagree with the NRA’s agenda, which of the above are you?

 

 

 

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Posted in Gun Violence, Reed's Views | 12 Comments

Are Assault Weapon Bans Constitutional?

Last fall I was leading a discussion at our local library about the proposed NYS Constitutional Convention. After we have been talking for a while, I made a statement that if there is a Constitutional Convention, whatever they change in Albany will not affect our rights in the Federal Constitution. A woman automatically reacted and said, “That’s not true.” I was stunned. She then said, “We have the SAFE Act and that’s unconstitutional.” I’m sure she didn’t believe me when told her that the SAFE Act had never been declared unconstitutional. I left it at that, since the purpose of the meeting was to talk about the pros and cons of approving the Convention in November.

Many like the woman in the discussion have heard that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional. She has heard it at SCOPE Rallies and from our own Congressman, an attorney.  They don’t make that decision. Courts do.

I could have said that the SAFE Act has been reviewed twice in Federal Courts, and twice in New York State Courts. The Courts declared some parts of it not proper ( ie the seven bullet limit) but upheld the SAFE Act. Matter of fact the United States Supreme Court decided not to look at the SAFE Act, and a similar law from Connecticut.

 

We need to remember that the 2008 Supreme Court decision Heller v District of Columbia declared that hand guns could not be banned,  but that regulation of gun ownership was compatible with the Second Amendment. Justice Scalia said, “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms.  We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’”

Although we do not have federal laws against assault weapons, the following states, and the District of Columbia, do. Those laws have not been declared unconstitutional.

 

Assault Weapons Bans

Also, local municipalities the District of Columbia, Illinois (Chicago and Cook County), Indiana (Gary and East Chicago), and Massachusetts (Boston) have banned or restricted the possession of assault weapons.

The chart and above statement is from this Wikipedia article.

Earlier NewNY23rd articles on the legality of the SAFE Act:

New Year Eves SAFE Act Surprise

 NYS Supreme Court rules in favor of the SAFE Act 

SAFE Act approved by Federal Appeals Court

 

Posted in Gun Violence, Rights, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Again!

This article was submitted by Lee Marcus of Arkport.

America is the country where children are routinely shot dead in school.

Woke now?

I’ll tell you who’s woke. Steve Bannon. Last week, Bannon announced that what we’re seeing today is the end of patriarchy, and it’s going to be bigger than the tea party movement!

He’s right about the patriarchy, even if the comparison to the tea party is hilarious. Any movement in the direction of equality between the sexes is, of course, a threat to patriarchy. You can pick your moment in modern history: was it 1848, when American women (settlers), (inspired by the power, dignity, and true equality of the women of the Haudenosaunee nation) met in Seneca Falls to introduce the Declaration of Sentiments and demand the right to vote; or in 1920, when we finally got it? Was it the 1970s, when women met in CR (consciousness raising) groups and again took the revolutionary step of comparing notes about the lives we were living, turning that into a sweeping liberation movement? Or was it in the aftermath of the 2016 election, when American women saw a presidential candidate more qualified than any other in modern memory defeated by one less qualified than, not only any candidate in history, but arguably any average child. Pick your moment when you think the patriarchy began to falter.

But Bannon was talking about the MeToo movement. For him, the idea that women’s bodies are no longer up for grabs just rocks his world. It’s even more revolutionary than white supremacists walking around with tea bags dangling from their headbands and spouting anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, anti-education, anti-free press, anti-voter … you get my meaning. It’s big.

Do you think it’s possible for white men (and the remaining obedient women) to do something other than spew hate and shoot bullets? Where is the male counterpart to the Haudenosaunee woman in this story, the role model of male decency, fairness, and “good mind?” Because it’s all too obvious that we’re raising white men for a world of privilege and entitlement that does not exist, and when they get old enough to realize this, they go haywire. Fundamentalism/pornography/domestic violence/pedophilia. Undermining everything America has stood for with last-ditch efforts like the tea party, a regular smorgasbord of politicized hatred. Fantasizing about going down in a blaze of bullets and taking a dozen or so innocents with them. How long before one of them decides to shoot the moon and take us all, all of humanity, with him?

The group that Americans and people all over the world have to fear is white men. If you want to dispute that, consider this: how many Muslim men with explosives in their shoes does it take to make us all take off our shoes in the airport? One. What percentage of all rapes need to be by Latinos before we commit to building a $33 billion wall to keep them out? 9%? So let me ask you, how many mass murders will it take before we are able to identify the demographic group responsible? If the unhinged actions of one Muslim can be used to smear 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, why are the deaths of thousands of innocents not enough to even whisper the words “white male?” Have you ever heard a broadcaster say those words?

In 1963, Betty Friedan published a book called The Feminine Mystique, which codified exactly how femininity had been distorted to keep women powerless. Fast-forward 50 years. We’re way ready for The Masculine Mystique. Isn’t there a single male writer who can figure out what’s going on with white men? Why are they killing innocent people in numbers that make the combined casualties of all of our wars pale by comparison? Women may think we know the answer, but that’s not going to help. Men need men to figure this out, man up, and solve it.

Posted in # me too | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

We have learned more about propaganda

bot

The special counsel detailed how a Russian effort to widen divisions in American society launched in 2014 morphed into active support for the candidacy of Donald Trump.–David A. Graham, The Atlantic

The indictment filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller details how the Russian government sought to interfere in the 2016 election. This sheds light on posts seen on Tom Reed’s facebook page which may reflect Russian Propaganda. Subjects brought up include:

  • Support for a nativist immigration policy
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Second Amendment
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Abortion
  • Religious intolerance
  • Voter ID
  • Depreciate Trump’s rivals (Cruz, Rubio) and supporting Clinton’s rivals (Sanders, Stein).
  • Discourage voting
  • Promote dissension by promoting both sides of controversial issues (Second Amendment, Planned Parenthood, Abortion)

Surprisingly, White House officials were among those echoing Russian propaganda. When people echo this propaganda, they aren’t necessarily Russians or their dupes, but one might well be suspicious.

Note: I don’t believe a “constituent badge” on a facebook post is a sure sign that it was posted by a person or that the person is a constituent. Such things are easy to fake.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/mueller-roadmap/553604/

Posted in 2016, 2018, Campaign Finances, Constituents, Political | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Infrastructure

reedtown-hall

Our Greatest Threat is our National Debt.–Rep. Tom Reed

This fake proposal  (Trump’s) will not address the serious infrastructure needs facing this country, so our potholed roads will get worse, our bridges and transit systems will become more dangerous, and our tolls will become higher. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

 

Rep. Tom Reed/Problem Solvers President Trump Reference
We must fulfill our duty
to provide stable, long-term funding … while also encouraging innovative financing …
generate $1.5 trillion (actually, Federal funding would be cut and no new money appropriated) Problem Solvers/The Hill
Congress must also cut red tape and stop gridlock when it prevents projects from moving forward in as expedient a manner as possible … streamline the permitting process down to two years
We need a national
commitment to ensure that every American can connect to the internet, and that commitment needs to be on the
same order as our country’s commitment to rural electrification in the 1930s.
invest in rural infrastructure projects
advance workforce training.

 

 

  • Local matching funds could come from sales or property taxes or user fees.–Bart Jansen, USA Today
  • Lawmakers seem more interested in rural broadband than potholes.
  • Surprisingly, the Problem Solvers hint at support for increasing the tax on gasoline (called gas user fee), long opposed by Rep. Tom Reed.
  • Interestingly, Rural Electrification was often done by Rural Electric Cooperatives, part of “The New Deal,” disparaged by some as socialism.

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/373357-white-house-to-propose-15-trillion-infrastructure-proposal

https://reed.house.gov/uploadedfiles/psc_infrastructure_report.pdf

http://www.thv11.com/news/nation-world/trump-unveils-15-trillion-infrastructure-plan-proposes-cuts-to-other-federal-programs/517450218

Posted in Congress, Political, Reed's Views, Trump | Tagged | Leave a comment

Can you believe it?

believe it.jpgAstounding facts:

  • Dozens of high-level Trump Administration officials still working with temporary security clearances after one year.
  • Trump campaign still under investigation for collusion and obstruction with no end in sight.
  • Secrets made public for political purposes against the advice of intelligence agencies.
  • Trump appointees Sessions, Rosenstein, and others demeaned by President Trump.
  • President Trump won’t read briefings; insists on oral reports.
  • President Trump reportedly acts on information from TV news he favors.
  • President Trump stoops to trading insults with the North Korean dictator.
  • President Trump demands appointees put loyalty before duty.
  • President Trump still tweeting recklessly.
  • President Trump accuses Democrats of disloyalty for not applauding his remarks.
  • Trump Administration cites “alternative facts.”
  • Wars in Levant, Afghanistan recklessly reinvigorated.
  • Department of Justice attacking state laws, sanctuary cities.
  • ICE officers dragging people out of their homes for deportation.
  • President Trump’s public lies reportedly over a thousand in the first year.
  • Little or no action to prevent future Russian interference in our elections.
  • FBI attacked by the Trump Administration for partisan bias.
  • President Trump involved in sex scandal.
  • Ignoring emoluments clause, President Trump and family shamelessly profiting from public office.
  • President Trump failed to release tax return as promised.
  • Republicans pass budget busting tax cuts.
  • Republicans back budget busting budget.
  • President Trump still insisting on something he can call a wall.
  • Doomsday clock moved closer to midnight.

How can this be the new normal?

Readers, please add more astounding facts to the list.

Posted in Trump | 4 Comments

Three more bad bills

headacheRep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) writes about three bad bills considered and passed by the House this week:

Note: the three boldface bill titles are tounge-in-cheek.

The End to Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 772, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act. This legislation amends nutritional disclosure requirements mandated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Under that law, restaurants with 20 or more locations must disclose how many calories are in their menu items. H.R. 772 delays this requirement and gives restaurants more flexibility in how they comply with it. If an establishment primarily receives orders from customers online or over the phone, the legislation exempts them from posting calorie counts in their facility. Instead, they only have to make the information available online.

Lose the Freedom to Make a Fair Mortgage Choice Act

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 1153, the Mortgage Choice Act. With this legislation, House Republicans are once again attempting to weaken the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under Dodd-Frank mortgage lenders are required to assess whether a borrower has the ability to pay back the loans they are requesting. This is called the “ability to repay” rule. That rule also caps points and fees on mortgage add-on products such as title insurance and escrow fees, limiting them to no more than 3% of the amount being borrowed. H.R. 1153 would lift the cap on title companies and other service providers that are affiliated with the mortgage lender, taking us back to the crisis days when countless homebuyers fell victim to high fees generated through steering and collusion. This bill is a giant step backwards for homebuyers.

The Let’s Incentivize Banks to Take on More Debt Act

On Thursday the House considered H.R. 4771, the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act. This legislation directs the Federal Reserve Board to raise the small bank holding company threshold from $1 billion to $3 billion. This is the amount of debt a bank is allowed to take on. The threshold was just increased from $500 million to $1 billion in 2014 and there has not been enough time to fully assess the impact of that change on the industry. Tripling the threshold to $3 billion will lead to banks taking on more debt. It could also lead to more bank consolidation, with smaller community banks being taken over by larger institutions because now they can carry more debt.

While we may have been distracted by the budget debate, Republicans voted overwhelmingly for all three of these bills, all of which may reflect indiscriminate animosity to regulations.

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll056.xml

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll064.xml

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll066.xml

 

 

 

Posted in Congress, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments