Category Archives: Sedition Watch

A Pre-Autopsy of the Senate Gun Package: Not half a loaf; not half a slice; a few crumbs at best. So pass it already.

COMMENT: The restrained Associated Press headline on its story reads “Senate negotiators announce a deal on guns, breaking logjam.”

The Raleigh NC News & Observer called it (more accurately, I think) an OUTLINE of [a] gun violence agreement.” The story’s lead paragraph dubbed it a FRAMEWORK.” [Emphasis added.]
The AP article, by Alan Fram, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Updated June 12, 2022, also acknowledged that:

> “The proposal falls far short of tougher steps long sought by President Joe Biden . . . .” And it was at best a
> “limited breakthrough offering modest gun curbs . . . .” Further,
> Leaders HOPE to push any agreement into law rapidly — they HOPE this month — before the political momentum fades that has been stirred by the recent mass shootings . . . .” [Emphasis added.] But

> “Participants cautioned that FINAL DETAILS and LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE REMAIN TO BE COMPLETED, meaning FRESH DISPUTES AND DELAYS might emerge.” [Emphasis added.]

Senate bargainers announced a bipartisan framework Sunday responding to last month’s mass shootings, a noteworthy though limited breakthrough offering modest gun curbs and bolstered efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.

The proposal falls far short of tougher steps long sought by President Joe Biden and many Democrats. Even so, the accord was embraced by Biden and enactment would signal a significant turnabout after years of gun massacres that have yielded little but stalemate in Congress.

Leaders hope to push any agreement into law rapidly — they hope this month — before the political momentum fades that has been stirred by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Participants cautioned that final details and legislative language remain to be completed, meaning fresh disputes and delays might emerge.

Participants cautioned that final details and legislative language remain to be completed, meaning fresh disputes and delays might emerge.

North Carolina’s Republican senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, were among 20 senators, including 10 Republicans, who released a statement calling for passage. That is potentially crucial because the biggest obstacle to enacting the measure is probably in the 50-50 Senate, where at least 10 GOP votes will be needed to attain the usual 60-vote threshold for approval.

“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” the lawmakers said.

The group, led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., and North Carolina’s Tillis produced the agreement after two weeks of closed-door talks.

COMMENT: A MORE ACCURATE SUBHEADING: WHAT the “framework” MIGHT Do; Further comments follow the AP article’s summary of the “outlined” potential provisions:

AP: – The compromise would make the juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks. The suspects who killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo and 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde were both 18, and many perpetrators of recent years’ mass shootings have been young.

— The agreement would offer money to states to enact and put in place “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, plus funds to bolster school safety and mental health programs.

— Some people who informally sell guns for profit would be required to obtain federal dealers’ licenses, which means they would have to conduct background checks of buyers.

“Right now we have people who are practically dealers, but they’re kind of viewed as hobbyists or various other categories,” Tillis told McClatchy last week as he disclosed details of the package he was negotiating with Murphy, Sinema and Cornyn.

— Convicted domestic abusers who do not live with a former partner, such as estranged ex-boyfriends, would be barred from buying firearms, and it would be a crime for a person to legally purchase a weapon for someone who would not qualify for ownership.

Congressional aides said billions of dollars would be spent expanding the number of community mental health centers and suicide prevention programs.

Continue reading A Pre-Autopsy of the Senate Gun Package: Not half a loaf; not half a slice; a few crumbs at best. So pass it already.

Ukraine: Death Sentences & An International Food Crisis

AP News: In Wake of Ukraine Invasion, global food crisis looms

June 8, 2022
The consequences of the war are being felt far beyond Eastern Europe because shipments of Ukrainian grain are bottled up inside the country, driving up the price of food.

Ukraine, long known as the “bread basket of Europe,” is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but much of that flow has been halted by the war and a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. An estimated 22 million tons of grain remains in Ukraine. The failure to ship it out is endangering the food supply in many developing countries, especially in Africa.

Russia expressed support Wednesday for a U.N. plan to create a safe corridor at sea that would allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments. The plan, among other things, calls for Ukraine to remove mines from the waters near the Black Sea port of Odesa.

But Russia is insisting that it be allowed to check incoming vessels for weapons. And Ukraine has expressed fear that clearing the mines could enable Russia to attack the coast. Ukrainian officials said the Kremlin’s assurances that it wouldn’t do that cannot be trusted. Continue reading Ukraine: Death Sentences & An International Food Crisis

Fox News Vs. the January 6 Hearing

Washington Post: Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 hearing. It did something worse.

By Philip Bump
 — June 10, 2022

Fox News didn’t need to announce that it wasn’t going to cover Thursday night’s prime-time hearing from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The network has been all-but-completely ignoring the subject for 17 months; skipping this hearing was a continuation of a pattern, not a break from one. . . .

When 8 p.m. Eastern rolled around, though, it became clear that the network wasn’t simply going to not cover the hearing. Instead, it began more than two hours of commercial-free rebuttal. It didn’t simply cover other things, it focused almost entirely on the hearing as though it was former president Donald Trump’s defense team — without, of course, showing its audience the prosecution’s case. Continue reading Fox News Vs. the January 6 Hearing

Reading “On Tyranny,” and Getting Ready

I picked up Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny the other day. I had read excerpts from it; this time it was cover to cover.

It’s concise; reading only took a little over an hour. But it was more than worth it.

In fact, I’d say it was necessary for me.

I needed to read it because I’m persuaded that local and state governance in much of the United States is approaching, or even sliding off the cliff into an abyss of authoritarianism. Our runaway Supreme Court appears ready to give the whole country a major shove, starting with reproductive rights and following up with blows to many other of our remaining liberties. Continue reading Reading “On Tyranny,” and Getting Ready

Quote of the Weekend: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries vs. Clarence Thomas

Democrat Hakeem Jeffries calls out Clarence Thomas

David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement — May 12, 2022

Democratic House Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) delivered an impassioned speech Wednesday, telling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas he should “have a conversation” with his spouse.

The far-right activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas reportedly had a months-long text conversation with then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, vehemently urging him to have the 2020 presidential election overturned.

Last Friday Justice Thomas complained in a speech to a group of judges and attorneys from the 11th Circuit, “We can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want.” He was referring to the majority of Americans who want the Court to uphold the 49-year-old decision in Roe v. Wade, supporting a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

“If Justice Thomas really wants to deal with bullying in America, or this problem of people supposedly unwilling to accept outcomes that they don’t like, I’ve got some advice for Justice Thomas: start in your own home, have a conversation with Ginni Thomas,” Congressman Jeffries said.

“She refused to accept the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Why? Because she didn’t like the outcome,” Jeffries reminded the House. “So instead, she tried to steal the election, overthrow the United States government, and install a tyrant. That’s bullying. That’s being unwilling to accept an outcome because you don’t like the results, because the former twice impeached so-called President of the United States of America lost legitimately to Joe Biden.”

“How did she respond? Instead, she said, the Bidens should face a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, on trumped-up charges of sedition. You’ve got to be kidding me.”


When news broke in March of the text exchanges between Thomas and Meadows, Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern, said: “Ginni Thomas urged Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 election by any means necessary—while her husband was ruling on cases attempting to overturn the election.”

Congressman Jeffries, considered by many to be Democrats’ next Speaker of the House after Nancy Pelosi, was far from done with the Supreme Court Justice.

“And lastly, let me ask this question of brother Thomas:

Why are you such a hater?

Hate on civil rights.

Hate on women’s rights.

Hate on reproductive rights.

Hate on voting rights.

Hate on marital rights.

Hate on equal protection under the law.

Hate on liberty and justice for all.

Hate on free and fair elections.

Why are you such a hater?”

“And you think you can get away with it – escape public scrutiny. Because you think that shamelessness is your superpower? Here’s a newsflash from the House Judiciary Committee,” he said while being interrupted. “Truth pressed to the ground will rise again. And truth will be your kryptonite.”

A video version of Jeffries’ speech is here.