Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Proposed Bill Seeks To Outlaw Gender-Affirming Care

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Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Show (08/18/22) to discuss a new bill she is sponsoring, called Protect Children’s Innocence Act, which seeks to among other things, outlaw gender-affirming care. Rep Greene labeled such procedures “child abuse”.

Rep Greene told host Tucker Carlson (0:35):“When it comes to gender affirming care, which is really child abuse…this practice should never happen, it’s so disgusting and appalling, and it’s an embarrassment to our country.”

She went on to say (0:50): “I’m one of those that believes the Republican Party is only…worth deserving of the people’s vote if we are willing to stand up and stop horrific things like child abuse, and like so-called gender affirming care, which is really genital mutilation, it’s puberty blockers that cause chemical castration, teenage girls actually having their breasts chopped off, teenage boys being castrated. This needs to be illegal, and I’m introducing a bill called ‘Protect Children’s Innocence Act’, and it would create a law that would cause it to be a Class C felony for any person involved in so-called gender affirming care, that means genital mutilation surgery, that means hormones, that means puberty blockers, anything involving any youth under the age of 18, because these kids are too young to make these awful decisions that will affect them and will be permanent for the rest of their lives.”

Asked why her fellow House Republicans are not overwhelmingly supporting her bill, Rep Greene said(1:59): “You know, I should have every single Republican co-sponsor but unfortunately, I don’t yet, I only have five co-sponsors. I’m talking to all of my colleagues and urging them because…this is a referendum on the Republican Party. When we take back the majority if the American people elect us…we have a lot of work to do. Not only do we need to impeach [AG] Merrick Garland, we need to clean out the corrupt FBI, we need to hold the Democrats accountable and defund all of their climate garbage, 87,000 IRS army, but there is one thing that we have got to do, and we are not even a party worth deserving of the American people’s votes if we cannot protect children from this horrific child abuse, and create this to be a felony because this practice has to end…”

It will be interesting to see how Rep Greene’s colleagues in the House react to her bill, which has a potential of generating backlash among LGBTQ-friendly suburban voters, a few weeks away from the midterm elections.

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Senator Chris Murphy Wants U.S. Led Probe Into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

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Senator Chris Murphy(D-CT) appeared on MSNBC Prime(07/13/22) to discuss President Biden’s trip to the Middle East, and especially his trip to Saudi Arabia which has drawn condemnation, given Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s implication in Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder. During his interview , Senator Murphy also delved into another controversial topic, and that is, the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli troops.

An investigation conducted by the Israel government into Akleh’s killing concluded that IDF troops shot her by accident. Naturally, this conclusion has generated a lot of criticism from around the globe, and especially from press freedom advocates. Senator Murphy is calling for an independent U.S. led investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s death.

Asked by host Ali Velshi why it was important for the U.S. to conduct an independent investigation, Senator Murphy responded(video at 4:57):“Senator Murphy told host Ali Velshi(video at ):”First and foremost, any time an American dies overseas, we should apply the highest degree of scrutiny to make sure we get to the bottom of the story as to how an American citizen was killed, and in this case, given that it might have come at the hands of foreign security forces, that inquiry is even more important. We are simply asking that we do a thorough review that we are not confident the Israeli authorities have done themselves. So I think it’s important to get to the bottom of this even if the bottom involves some unsavory truths about what an important ally of the United States may have done, or elements of their security forces may have done to contribute to this American’s death.”

Bottom line folks, Israel has been, and remains America’s closest and dearest foreign ally. Ordinarily, Yours Truly would be inclined to accept Israel’s explanation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death at face value but where, as here, the death in question is of a U.S. citizen, Yours Truly has no choice but to agree with Senator Murphy, that the United States needs to conduct its independent investigation. however unpleasant the results may be. Israel and the United States will forever remain close friends, so there’s no harm in finding out the truth behind Shireen Abu Akleh’s death. The Biden administration owes her family the truth regarding the circumstances of her death overseas.

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Is It Time To Go To Non-Partisan Primaries To Address Growing Polarization?

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A segment on MSNBC’s 11th Hour w/ Stephanie Ruhle(06/22/22) delved into the very interesting discussion as to whether, given the staggering levels of polarization in the country, we should change adopt a non-partisan primary voting system. Ruhle’s guest Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, says this change, which is already in place in several states, notably Alaska, would incentivize candidates to look for support beyond their party affiliation thus making them more likely to seek bipartisan solutions to problems. Unite America is a national organization trying to bridge the growing partisan divide by supporting political reforms and candidates who put people over party.

Troiano told 11th Hour host Ruhle(video at 1:22):“I think we spend a lot of time focused on who we elect, not enough time focusing on how we elect, because it’s the systems of our elections that are really pushing our parties further and further apart, and I think our politicians, as a result, are much more polarized than we the people. We’re not seeing the types of solutions and bipartisan policy making in Congress as the American people want and deserve, and the core reason of that is because of our system of partisan primaries. In the last election, it was only 10% of Americans who elected 83% of Congress, because the vast majority of our elections are decided not in the general election in November, but in the primary election, and that problem is getting even worse this election cycle after the latest round of redistricting. We’re going to have the least competitive elections of our lifetime. It’s going to lead to the least accountable Congress of our lifetime. So if we want different outcomes out of Congress, we have to change the process, and fortunately, there’s a growing movement to do that at the state level all across the country.”

Below are some of United America‘s suggested reforms

Troiano singled out the primary system in Alaska as the “best example” of what should be emulated nationwide, if we are going to address the growing polarization problem. He said: “Senator[Lisa]Murkowski was one of the 14 Republicans who voted to advance the bipartisan gun legislation. She’s the only Republican up for election this year, and what’s notable is that this is the first time where the Senator doesn’t face a partisan primary. She’s standing for election in front of all Alaskan voters because in 2020, Alaskans adopted a ballot measure that replaced both parties primaries with a single non-partisan primary. So all the candidates compete in one election, all the voters get to participate on that ballot, the top four finishers go to the general election and through an instant runoff, whomever wins the majority of support gets elected, and so it gives voters more voice and choice in elections, and it incentivizes candidates and leaders to campaign and be responsive to the whole constituency, not just the 10% who may vote in a partisan primary. Now imagine if additional states were to adopt this reform, we can have dozens of our elected leaders in Congress finally being able to be responsive to the majority of Americans and not the political extremes.”

Troiano also said non-partisan primaries would encourage more people to throw their hats into the political ring without fear of being labeled “spoilers”, something he acknowledged, keeps a lot of otherwise good candidates from both parties, on the sidelines.

Bottom line folks, non-partisan primaries is a very interesting suggestion indeed, which Yours Truly hopes, will be given serious consideration given the crippling levels of polarization in our politics today. Simply put, when the likes of Boebert(CO) and MTG(GA) start showing up in Congress, then reasonable people will agree, that the selection system is surely broken!!

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Extreme Gerrymandering In Ohio Called Out

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CNN’s Reality Check w/John Avlon did a segment(11/19/21) featuring an extreme gerrymandering case currently playing out in Ohio. Back in 2018, Ohio voters overwhelmingly backed(75%) an amendment to the state’s constitution that would ensure redistricting was carried out in a bipartisan fashion. Ohio’s congressional district maps were to be drawn by a bipartisan 7-member redistricting commission. The idea behind a bipartisan redistricting commission was quite simple–to create competitive district maps which would in turn reduce political polarization. Basically, politicians will shy away from radical ideas/conduct if they know they can be easily beaten at the polls.

Well, it turns out Ohio Republicans have since reneged on their support for a bipartisan redistricting commission, and are now using the Republican-led state legislature to come up with an extremely gerrymandered map, one that will give them a 13-2 advantage in congressional seats(86%R-14%D), even though Trump’s 2020 win in Ohio was only 53%-45%. No reasonable person would ever conclude that Ohio is an 86R-14D state, yet this is exactly what the new congressional map being pushed by state Republicans attempts to achieve–a total fraud and willful disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters.

Even more repugnant is the way the Republican-led Ohio state legislature ended up being responsible for drawing the congressional maps. According to John Avlon, Republican members of the bipartisan redistricting commission simply refused to show up for duty, thereby crippling the commission because it was unable to convene meetings. With the bipartisan commission deliberately crippled, the redistricting job fell back to the partisan Ohio legislature, which drew the extremely gerrymandered map–a sad state of affairs indeed.

John Avlon said: “Ohio Republicans just decided to disregard the state constitution and the will of the voters. A seven-member redistricting commission had a month to work on a fair map, but Republican members refused to participate, and so the commission couldn’t convene. The power to draw the lines fell back to the Republican-controlled state assembly, who proceeded to do exactly what the constitutional amendment forbade. They cracked and packed minority communities, dividing counties and cities for their own partisan advantage. For example, Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, which voted for[President] Biden by a 16-point margin, will be divided into 3 congressional districts, with Black voters offset by White Republicans.”

This is just the latest example of how state Republicans are actively disenfranchising Democratic-leaning/minority voters while Democrats in Washington are still dithering over abolishing the filibuster, and coming up with a federal voting rights law. A federal voting rights law is the only solution to the rampant GOP gerrymandering.

Bottom line folks, time is of the essence. Democrats need to abolish the filibuster immediately and pass a federal voting rights law. The two Senate holdouts, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, must be confronted with this troubling Ohio gerrymandering case, and be forced to explain why a filibuster carve out for a federal voting legislation is not the appropriate way to go, given the dire circumstances.

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