HR1 For the People Act
Protecting and expanding voting rights and election security:
Automatic voter registration
Online voter registration
Same day voter registration
Make election day a federal holiday
Voting rights restoration to people with prior felony convictions
Expand early voting and simplify absentee voting
Prohibit voter purges that kick eligible voters off the registration rolls
Enhance election security with increase support for a paper-based voting system and more oversight over election vendors
End partisan gerrymandering by established independent redistricting commissions
Prohibit providing false information about the elections process that discourage voting and other deceptive practices
Reduce the influence of big money in our politics:
Require secret money organizations that spend money in elections to disclose their donors
Upgrade online political spending transparency rules to ensure voters know who is paying for the advertisements they see
Create a small donor-focused public financing matching system so candidates for congress aren’t just reliant on big money donors to fund their campaigns and set their priorities
Strengthen oversight rules to ensure those who break our campaign finance laws are held accountable
Overhaul the federal election commission to enforce campaign finance law
Prohibit the use of shell companies to funnel foreign money in u.S. Election
Require government contractors to disclose their political spending
Ensure an ethical government accountable to the people:
Slow the revolving door between government officials and lobbyists
Expand conflict of interest law
Ban members of congress from serving on corporate boards
Require presidents to publicly disclose their tax returns
Overhaul the office of government ethics to ensure stronger enforcement of ethics rules
Require members of the U.S. Supreme court abide by a judicial code of ethics
“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” is a song James Brown recorded in a New York City studio in 1966, and, whether you like it or not, you can make the case that he’s right. Walking down the city streets, young women get harassed in ways that tell them that this is not their world, their city, their street; that their freedom of movement and association is liable to be undermined at any time; and that a lot of strangers expect obedience and attention from them. “Smile,” a man orders you, and that’s a concise way to say that he owns you; he’s the boss; you do as you’re told; your face is there to serve his life, not express your own. He’s someone; you’re no one.
Rebecca Solnit’s idea (at least she was part of this project)
Art is an illusion. We live with lots of illusions, but art is a fraud. So declares this film. And these cabrones know fraud. “Si quiere tener exito, miente.” (If you want to be successful, lie! How very au currant)
Mr. Moral Mondays. Carrying on with the Poor People’s Movement, an inheritor of MLKs struggle and moral power. Has a thoughtful editorial in the Washington Post today about Virginia’s original sin and its entrenched white supremacy all brought to the fore, yet again, this week.
Even here, in Charlottesville. She has as much reason to be here as those Confederate traitors who never even set foot in this little city. Ideally, she would be depicted in her power and diminutiveness, her feminine fierceness, her peircing intelligence and her cutting eye-rolling splendor. Yes my german friends have much to criticize but from my point of view … from the current American point of view …
Best not sit with your back to me in the future, orange one.
Can you believe these assholes? This one next to me and that one right there!
Think I jinxed poor Governor Northam. As did many in this area I voted for his more progressive opponent, a local hero Tom Perriello but alas, the southern accented more good ol boy-ish Northam, a former Republican, won. Yet today, as a result of an extreme right wing ratf*cking and an often bot-driven/magnified social media blitz, that dude is teetering on the precipice of political character assassination. He grew up in the casual racism of America, that existed then and of course exists now but for Democrats and progressives any vestige of such is disqualifying. For Republicans, not a bug but a feature, of course. Look at what is in the Whitesonly House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Always been fascinated by writing systems, and languages. This is Ge’ez, which is a writing system of the Semitic type, and a pretty much dead liturgical language. However, the alphabet lives on in the Ethiopian tongues - of which there are several, with a small majority being Amharic. (think I’ve got these facts right but I may not . . . )
Washington DC has the largest number of Ethiopians outside of the country itself, and our favorite restaurants there are Ethiopian (Chercher, Kerem - which is Eritrean, actually). We enjoy the warm hospitality which is characteristic of the culture. Would love to visit Ethiopia one day.
Also felt a little smug, as a northerner and New Yorker, about the Civil War and its legacy. Everyone should go to the National Museum of African American History in DC. Everyone. And there are lots of books to read, I can post some.
This is my proposed timeline to be made into an exhibit, to be located in Charlottesville’s park - it gives context to the statues. And to the ground one is standing on, reading it.
Virginia’s politics are maddeningly decorous, hidebound and controlled by reactionaries who hang onto their majority by the thinnest margin. Fortunately we have a bomb governor, the kindly pediatrician - right out of central casting - gentle, straight-talkin’ slight southern accented - though apparently his elbows are sharp which I guess is necessary in the viper’s nest of the statehouse. Charlottesville’s truly admirable representative, Delegate Toscano, has proposed that localities be allowed control of burdensome monuments from the past that afflict many town squares in the Commonwealth, most glaringly the gaudy, large, KKK sponsored 1920s era monuments to various confederates like we have here. Remembering the news from a year and half ago, the city’s proposed re-location of these bronze and stone tumors ostensibly brought the drek of the right wing to our yard, resulting in the deadly riot and politically motivated, even approved attack on our small city.
Well, the GOP controlled reps in Richmond care not and though they are for Smaller Government! Individual Rights! not in this case. OR if you are a woman of childbearing age - don’t get me started - Charlottesville (area) is also the home of Transvaginal Rob Bell - SO
1. militias remain welcome to march around with their machine guns in our town - yours, too if you are in the Old Dominion and
2. Gotta keep the monuments to racial hatred
When we moved here 20+ years ago, I was appalled but almost amused by the presence of these statues. They seemed moldy and fusty, forgotten relics. It did eventually become clear that a small subset of kooks revered this polished up history of the civil war and its despicable relics. From time to time random weirdos appear in the nearby park which has one of these monstrous statues, often playing dress up and saluting the monument and calling out God Bless You in the most aggressive way I’ve ever been blessed (and I have experienced God Bless You, or I’ll Pray For You in very hostile ways - it’s somewhat like ‘Bless Your Heart’ It can go one of two ways and usually not the nice way). Oh yes and of course, they are armed.
It took the ‘election’ of Trump to really bring them out from under their rocks.
I often think that if the Heller Decision had happened a decade earlier, I would not have moved here. Of that I am sure. We seemed to be in a generally progressive era, still, in the mid-1990s. lolz.
This is all a giant caption to my proposal, one of many from our community, students at UVA and surely others, for how to address one of the most loathsome of these statues, particularly because it is located in a central, elevated spot in one of main downtown parks, one I walk through every gahdamn day.
Edited to add - WELL! don’t things happen fast and probably Governor Northam a. is not as nice as I was thinking and b. will soon be former former governor but the good news is c. Justin Fairfax, Lt Governor will be governor - yay! So, Northam’s bad judgement as a young person, wearing blackface/KKK robes was terrible bad taste but WHAT DOES IT TELL YOU ABOUT VIRGINIA?? Good, this may force him out YET we have to continue to live with these f*cking KKK statues??? We have got LONG way to go in Va
As one of the original ratf*ckers from Watergate gets that 6:00 am knock on the door from the FBI I will pay tribute to some truth speakers, brilliant journalist Anne Applebaum and legendary chess player/clear eyed pessimist and so very Russian Garry Kasparov (pessimists tend to be more realistic, avoid the bumptious optimists; they are trying to sell you something, material or conceptual)
Edited to add more badass women working for our collective futures, and for the first time one merits a second appearance here, Nancy Gahdamn Pelosi. What a boss.
Finished The History of White People, recommend it and thought of what Robert Sapolsky can tell us about primate groups and their political machinations. The males of Tribe A are threatened by usurper males from Tribe B and so on. It starts there and apparently will never end.
But now to gloat about Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax scheme, her presidential campaign and how she brings some plain talking on a smarter level to the dialog.