House Democrats sit-in against Republican pimps for the NRA

house dems sit-in

Rebellious Democrats shut down the House’s legislative work on Wednesday, staging a sit-in on the House floor and refusing to leave until they secured a vote on gun control measures before lawmakers’ weeklong break.

Exasperated Republicans were forced to recess while cutting off cameras that showed the protest. But in an unprecedented step, C-SPAN used live video feeds from one lawmaker’s Periscope account and another’s Facebook page to transmit words and images from the House chamber.

More than 200 Democrats led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis demanded a vote on measures to expand background checks and block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists in the aftermath of last week’s massacre in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub.

“No bill, no break,” shouted Democrats, who demanded that Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., keep the House in session through its planned break next week to vote on gun legislation.

Democrats accused Republicans of political cowardice by failing to schedule a vote.

“Are they more afraid than the children at Sandy Hook?” asked Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., referring to the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 elementary school children, in Newtown, Connecticut. “What is so scary about having a vote?”…

❝ Paul Ryan said blah, blah, blah.

Even though Republican pimps for the NRA are assured of funding and wardheeler support, they know the overwhelming majority of Americans – whether they belong to one of the two old parties or not – support modern legislation on weapons of war on our streets, background checks, up-to-date record-keeping. If they’re forced to record a vote, their constituents will literally have a chance to see their cowardice.

C-SPAN, a cable and satellite network that provides continual coverage of House and Senate floor proceedings, does not control the cameras. They’re run on authorization by legislative leaders.

Although the cameras were turned off Wednesday, lawmakers relied on social media to transmit video, using Facebook, Twitter and Periscope. C-SPAN broadcast live video streamed on Periscope and Facebook from lawmakers’ accounts. Democrats posted the Capitol’s main telephone number, which was overwhelmed, and urged constituents to call and request a vote. They also encouraged tweeting under the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak.

Joining the protest were more than a dozen Democratic senators, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who had waged a nearly 15-hour filibuster last week to force votes in the Senate on gun legislation.

National Rifle Association — Follow the money because that’s all they really care about

The National Rifle Association goes to great lengths (and spends a huge sum of money) to defend the right to bear arms. It is opposed to virtually every form of gun regulation, including restrictions on owning assault weapons, retention of databases of gun purchases, background checks on purchasers at gun shows and changes in the registration of firearms.

The NRA’s influence is felt not only through campaign contributions, but through millions of dollars in off-the-books spending on issue ads. Lobbying expenditures for the National Rifle Association regularly exceed $1.5 million, as the organization’s lobbyists frequently try to exert their influence over government agencies including members of Congress, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle

CONTRIBUTIONS
$974,152
ranks 239 of 12,337

LOBBYING
$3,360,000 (2014)
$3,410,000 (2013)
ranks 149 of 2,871 in 2014

OUTSIDE SPENDING
$27,024,618
ranks 10 of 138

RTFA for lots of links to details of the how and where these pricks get their money and spend their money.

Thanks, Papa Tom

There is nothing worse than a bigot with a gun

true

The attack on Orlando LGBT club Pulse on Saturday night was carried out – like so many mass shootings before it – with an assault rifle, of the “AR-15 type”. These weapons have the ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, spraying waves of hot lead and fire, giving the shooter the power to mete out death on an industrial scale.

The NRA and its supporters have fanatically lobbied to keep these weapons cheap, legal and easy to obtain, in spite of the fact that there is no sporting use for them. You can’t hunt deer with an assault rifle. Animal targets would vaporize if struck by a single round.

Their utility in stopping a home invasion is questionable, but this is true of all guns. According to the FBI, for every case of “justifiable homicide” with a firearm in the US – that’s to say, a self-defense shooting – there are 32 murders, suicides or accidental gun deaths. The overwhelming weight of evidence says that the high rate of gun ownership in this country makes us less safe, not more…

There are many people who insist they “need” a gun – particularly an assault weapon – to feel safe. But unless you are a marine in Fallujah or a Chicago SWAT cop, you don’t “need” anything of the sort. You want it, and not in any kind of reasonable way. It’s either because you’re a sociopath or you’re unreasonably afraid. Neither one of those states is a valid place from which to make the decision.

Perhaps this moment will be a kind of tipping point where the US comes to its senses and starts placing some reasonable restrictions on the owning and trafficking of firearms. My hopes, however, are not high.

After Sandy Hook – when we as a nation heaved a deep, sad sigh over the deaths of an entire schoolroom full of children, then looked away and did nothing – I’ve come to see my countrymen’s gun obsession as an unreasoning dependency, like an alcoholic steadily drinking herself to death.

I would like to believe that we’ll learn something from this, but in truth, the thing I think we’re mostly likely to learn is that when we’re in public – especially in previously safe spaces like gay bars and churches – we need to keep one eye constantly on the nearest exit and always be ready to run.

David Ferguson’s opinion in The GUARDIAN is sad but true. I don’t expect many of our nation’s newspapers to publish anything like it. They are run by cowards. I expect most electronic media – from TV talking heads to online pulpits – will not publish anything like it. They are run by cowards. I expect most politicians, office-holders by virtue of being elected by American citizens – the overwhelming majority of whom support regulated vetting of gun purchases, an end to the sale of assault weapons – will lack the courage and foresight to echo David Ferguson’s good sense. They are cowards.

I have been a gun owner for over 60 years. I don’t hunt anymore. No longer any interest in target shooting. I still own 3 guns – none of which are assault rifles. I support a return to that ban in a heartbeat. I would stand in line to vote for restrictive regulation, oversight and licensing for all guns. I would welcome the debate over details and limits because limits are needed in this nation which would rather protect bigots with guns than ordinary unarmed citizens.

Coppers rate sovereign citizen sect of right-wing nutballs more dangerous than ISIS

For decades, in courthouses and government offices all across the US, people have been filing bizarrely worded pseudo-legal documents filled with strange symbols, secret coded language, and even bloody fingerprints in an effort to unlock secret bank accounts set up for them by the evil impostor government that runs this country.

These people call themselves “sovereign citizens,” and the complex symbolism they use in these documents offers a fascinating insight into the beliefs and practices of a fringe movement whose prominence in America has grown over the past few decades and whose ideology overlaps with that of many other, often more dangerous, far-right extremist movements in the US, including groups like the militia that recently took over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The sovereign citizens movement is a far-right anti-government extremist movement in the US that believes the government — at all levels, local, state, and federal — is illegitimate and has enslaved the American people.

Their belief system is complex and rooted in a series of bizarre conspiracy theories that hold that the original US government set up by the Founding Fathers has been replaced with an evil secret government that has sold all US citizens into slavery by using them as collateral against foreign debt.

As explained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, they believe the government creates a secret alternate identity for each American at birth and sets up a secret US Treasury account — sort of like a corporate “trust” — under that alternate identity. The US government funds these “corporate shell” accounts to the tune of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars…

Part of their proof is that birth certificates and other government documents, said to represent this scheme, put names in all capital letters. So whereas Jennifer Williams is the real person, JENNIFER WILLIAMS is the secret Treasury account…

According to the FBI, which considers this a domestic terrorist movement, “By declaring themselves ‘sovereign citizens,’ they believe that they are emancipated from the responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen, including paying taxes, possessing a state driver’s license, or obeying the law…”

These beliefs may be nutty, but the groups are quite serious. A 2014 survey asked US law enforcement officials to rank terrorist threats to the United States. They ranked sovereign citizens as the highest threat — with Islamic extremists coming in second.

I’m not wasting time or space detailing the crap dementia of these fools. RTFA if you want a cold, shuddery chuckle. Just understand, this level of paranoia is at the root of a number of run-ups to violence – with phony patriotic names – in this land.