35 GOP Senators Who Voted Against A Bipartisan Jan 6th Commission

05/28/21 will be memorialized in History textbooks, as one of the most shameful days in U.S. Senate history, as 35 Republican Senators voted to kill via filibuster, a bill to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate what led to the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, aka DC insurrection. The final vote tally was 54 yeas, 35 nays, with 11 Senators not voting. 60 yea votes were needed to overcome the filibuster.

The violent insurrection by former President Trump’s supporters on Jan 6th, was an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the results of the electoral college, officially making Joseph R. Biden Jr the 46th President of the United States. During the violent insurrection, most of which played out on live TV, sitting members of Congress could be seen frightened for their lives, and being ushered into safety by Capitol Police officers. Five people lost their lives that day, including one Capitol Police officer, and many others had to be rushed to local DC hospitals with serious injuries.

January 6th 2021 will go down in history as one the lowest points in American democracy for several reasons, chief among them, the fact that it shattered America’s towering reputation around the world, as the only country where a peaceful transition of power was a guarantee, following every presidential election. On January 6th, the world watched with disbelief, on live TV, as violent Trump supporters fought to prevent the transition of power to the 2020 presidential election winner, Joe Biden.

Given the seriousness of the events that transpired on January 6th, any reasonable person would have expected U.S. Senators to vote overwhelmingly(all 100 of them) in support of establishing a bipartisan investigative commission, as has happened in previous national tragedies like the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Instead, 35 GOP Senators, out of fear of upsetting former President Trump, found a way to vote against such a commission–a total shame.

Because this is one of the most shameful votes in U.S. Senate history, It is only fair that the names and faces of the said GOP Senators be memorialized for future generations. Below is a handy list of the 35 Senators.

Bottom line folks, something is seriously wrong when sitting members of the United States Senate, whose very lives were threatened on January 6th, filibuster the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the incident, simply because they are afraid to upset former President Trump, whose election fraud lies led to the incident. It is not only the epitome of political cowardice, but a total dereliction of their oaths as U.S. Senators, to defend the U.S. Constitution. It also inevitably raises the question as to whether the 35 GOP Senators are trying to cover up their direct or indirect involvement with the violent 6th insurrection.

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Rep Gaetz Says Republicans Have An Obligation To Use Second Amendment For An Armed Rebellion

Just four months after the horrific January 6th insurrection in Washington DC by violent Trump supporters, Congressman Matt Gaetz(R-FL) was in Dalton, Georgia (5/27/21) telling a crowd of supporters that the second amendment was meant for armed rebellion and importantly, that they(Republicans), “have an obligation to use it”. If this is not a direct incitement to violent insurrection by the sitting Congressman, I don’t know what is.

In the clip which was played on CNN’s NewDay with Brianna Keilar, Rep Gaetz can be heard telling the crowd, “We have a second amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it…The second amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.” There’s absolutely no other way any reasonable person can interpret this, other than a direct incitement to an armed rebellion against the government by Rep Gaetz.

This is a very serious issue, and must be treated as such by the powers that be, given the fact that it comes only four months after DC insurrection, an armed rebellion that came shockingly close to success. Rep Gaetz’s comments also deserve further scrutiny because unlike many other Republicans who initially distanced themselves from former President Trump after DC insurrection, he and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, in whose district Gaetz was speaking, fully embraced Trump even after the incident, and have since projected themselves as Trump’s trusted lieutenants nationally. As a result, Trump’s supporters regard public statements by Reps Gaetz and Greene as direct messages from the former President–a call to action if you will.

Any reasonable person looking at the GOP’s reaction to the events that transpired on January 6th, and since then, is left with a very troubling picture as to where the party, and quite frankly the country, is headed. Trump’s lies about election fraud led to an armed insurrection on Jan 6th. Congressional Republicans chose not to impeach him for that. Trump is still pushing the same dangerous lies. Some Republican members of Congress have since conjured up revisionist theories as to what really happened on January 6th(just a bunch of tourists etc), to excuse their continued support for Trump.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have embarked on voter suppression laws targeting areas/voters they deem anti-Trump and importantly, made it possible for state legislatures to overturn elections in case of unfavorable outcomes. All this is being done against the backdrop of Trump teasing another run for President in 2024, meaning the said state legislatures are setting the stage for overturning the elections in case Trump loses. The sham election recount in Arizona is also setting the stage to overturn future election results that don’t go in Trump’s favor. States like Texas are passing reckless gun laws that make it possible for just about anybody to bear arms. Hmm, coincidence? How does this fit into Rep Gaetz’s rebellion rhetoric? Remember, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a super Trumper too.

Republican Senators, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY), are today(05/28/21) set to kill an effort to establish a bipartisan commission to look into what led to the January 6th DC insurrection, and coming up with ways to prevent it from ever happening again. Is Senator McConnell afraid that the commission will show that DC insurrection was not as “fringe” as establishment Republicans want the public to believe? Was he personally involved behind the scenes? These are questions the public needs to start asking, and asking loudly, because something is off-kilter with the current GOP, and it’s continued dalliance with insurrectionist Trump. Simply put, “fringe” Reps Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene may not be that fringe after all, as CNN host Brianna Keilar pointed out.

Bottom line folks, we must never forget the fact that we simply got lucky on January 6th. Everything that has happened with Trump’s GOP since January 6th, leads any reasonable person to conclude that Jan 6th was just a trial run, and if we don’t remain vigilant, we are definitely headed towards another one, this time, successful .

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Trump-Tied Dark Money Group Brags About Drafting Voter Suppression Laws

Heritage Action’s Executive Director Jessica Anderson addressing a group meeting

A leaked video obtained by Mother Jones, shows the shocking extent to which a Trump-tied dark money group, Heritage Action For America, is secretly engineering the recent spate of voter suppression laws in Republican-led states. This bombshell revelation, even though not quite surprising, should be a call to action for voting rights activists nationwide, and a reminder to Congressional Democrats, of the dire need for passage of HR1-For The People Act.

In the leaked video, Jessica Anderson, a former Trump administration official and now Executive Director of Heritage Action For America, can be heard talking to a group of donors in Tucson Arizona in late April, and admitting to conduct that leaves absolutely no doubt to any reasonable person, that her group is engineering the voter suppression laws currently springing up in Republican states across the country. She is essentially bragging to the donors about how Heritage Action is drafting voter suppression laws currently being enacted by Republican-led state legislatures.

She can be heard telling the donors, “Iowa is the first state we[Heritage Action] got to work in, and we did it quickly, and we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.”(see video at 1:05). No reasonable person presented with Jessica Anderson’s “nobody noticed” remarks, can ever conclude that Heritage Action went into Iowa with a mission other than sneaking through a voter suppression law.

Other alarming statements by Jessica Anderson to the GOP donors include;

“At the end of the day, the bill that Governor[Brian] Kemp signed, and the Georgia legislature marshalled through had eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” (see video at 1:11)

“We are working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf, give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from the bottom up, type of vibe.” (see video at 1:32). This is by far, the most damning part of Jessica Anderson’s presentation. She basically admits that Heritage Action is writing voter suppression laws for the states, and faking their grassroots appeal.

It also bears pointing out that this same Trump-tied dark money group, is also in the forefront of lobbying Congressional Republicans into blocking the HR1-For The People Act, currently being pushed by Congressional Democrats, which among other things, seeks to vastly expand voting rights for all Americans.

Bottom line folks, it appears Heritage Action is the vehicle Trump Republicans are using to push their voter suppression laws targeting minority voters. Voting rights activists in Texas and other emerging purple states, where the voting rights battle is already red hot, must come up with effective strategies to confront Heritage Action and other such right wing anti-democracy groups. Yours Truly is not an attorney, but is reasonable enough to know that some of the statements Jessica Anderson made to the GOP donors, can be very useful in federal lawsuits against these Republican voter suppression laws.

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GOP’s Deficit Arguments Have Become So Ridiculous, They’re Laughable–LITERALLY!!

Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, laughs at Sen Roy Blunt’s ridiculous response to a question about deficits (4/4/2021)

Senator Roy Blunt(R-MO) appeared on Fox News Sunday (4/4/2021) where host Chris Wallace asked him a direct question as to whether Republicans had lost all credibility regarding deficits, given the way they allowed spending to balloon under Trump, even before the covid-19 pandemic. Host Chris Wallace was basically asking Senator Blunt why the public should take GOP’s opposition to President Biden’s infrastructure proposal seriously, given their spending habits under Trump.

Chris Wallace asked Sen Blunt: “During the Trump presidency, even before the pandemic, the national debt increased by more than $3 trillion, and in 2017, every Republican in the Senate including you, voted for the big Trump tax cuts, which cut revenue by almost one and half trillion dollars, so I guess the question is….hasn’t the Republican Party lost credibility on this issue?”

Even though Chris Wallace’s question was specifically directed at GOP spending under Trump before the pandemic, Senator Blunt’s entire response focused on GOP’s actions after the pandemic. This was such a ridiculous dodge by Senator Blunt, that Chris Wallace burst out laughing, reiterating for the record, “I just want to make it clear. When I talked about the increase in debt during the Trump years, I did it purposely before the pandemic started.”

Bottom line folks, this should serve as a message to Democrats out there, freaking out about a “GOP Tsunami in 2022” brought about by some imaginary “deficits backlash” due to President Biden’s infrastructure plan. As Senator Blunt’s performance on Fox News Sunday clearly shows, Republicans have no legs to stand on when it comes to deficits, given their actions under Trump. Voters will treat such arguments in 2022 the same way host Chris Wallace did–laugh them off. Simply put, Democrats must go big and bold on infrastructure.

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Sen Lindsey Graham Hints Republicans May Impeach VP Kamala Harris If They Take Over The House

Senator Lindsey Graham on Fox News Sunday (02/14/2021)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox News Sunday on February 14th 2021 to talk about former President Trump’s acquittal by the U.S. Senate, which happened the preceding Saturday. Unsurprisingly, Sen Graham, second only to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as the staunchest Trumpers in the Senate, excused Trump’s conduct at his appearance on Fox News Sunday. Sen Graham however went a step further and told host Chris Wallace what he really came there to announce, and that is, should Republicans take back the House in 2022, they should immediately impeach VP Kamala Harris as payback for Trump’s latest impeachment.

Senator Graham said, I condemn what happened on January the 6th, but the process they[House Democrats] used to impeach this president[Trump] was an affront to rule of law…..We’ve opened pandora’s box to future presidents and if you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened pandora’s box and I’m sad for the country.” The full segment of Senator Graham’s interview is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Make no mistake about it, Senator Graham did not go on Fox News Sunday to throw out hypotheticals about future impeachments. He went there to instruct Republicans that if they take over the House in 2022, they must immediately initiate impeachment proceedings against VP Kamala Harris, to avenge his idol Trump. Sadly, this is what this once respected Senator from South Carolina has devolved to–an unabashed lackey for Trump. The same is true for Senator Ted Cruz, and God only knows what former President Trump has on them

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that Trump did not do all the damage to this country during his presidency by himself. At every turn, he benefited from willing abettors like Senators Graham, Ted Cruz and numerous other members of Congress.

Where, as here, Sen Graham throws out hints about a possible impeachment of VP Kamala Harris, the mainstream media and politicos in Washington should interpret it for what it is–a directive from Trump through his trusted lieutenant Lindsey Graham, for House Republicans to impeach Kamala Harris at their earliest opportunity, as payback Trump’s second impeachment. Simply put, the mainstream media and Washington politicos should quit being “surprised” by the actions of Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, and start treating their pronouncements about Trump, as direct instructions from him.

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A Handy List Of 43 GOP Senators Who Voted To Acquit Trump Of Inciting DC Insurrection

The U.S. Senate voted Saturday February 13th, to acquit former President Donald J. Trump of inciting the January 6th 2021 insurrection in Washington DC, which led to five deaths, including two Capitol police officers, and an interruption of a live joint session of Congress. The incident, which mostly played out on live TV, will forever remain one of the lowest points of American democracy because it shattered one of the globally revered cornerstones of American democracy–that regardless of who wins the election, one could always bet on a peaceful transfer of power.

While generally acknowledging that former President Trump did indeed incite the violent mob that descended upon the Capitol building as alleged in his House impeachment, 43 Republican Senators still voted to acquit him, hiding behind the jurisdictional argument that because Trump was no longer in office, the U.S. Senate had no jurisdiction over his trial. In other words, they acquitted Trump because they argued that because he had already left office, his entire Senate trial was unconstitutional–a very shaky legal argument.

It bears pointing out that Trump’s impeachment by the House for inciting DC insurrection happened on January 13 2021, while he was still in office. The House sent the impeachment papers a few days later to the U.S. Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. There was enough time for the Senate, then under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to commence a Senate trial while Trump was still in office. Instead, McConnell made sure there would be no Senate trial until after Trump’s term expired on Jan 20, 2021. So it’s quite disingenuous and insulting for Senator McConnell and his fellow Republicans who voted to acquit Trump, to now turn around and hide behind a jurisdictional loophole that they manufactured. The fact of the matter remains that Senate Republicans knew full well that Trump’s incitement of the DC riots was an impeachable offense, so they created the jurisdictional loophole they could hide behind, as they carried out their goal from the beginning–acquit Trump at all costs.

After the Senate vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement which correctly summed up the decision by Republican Senators to acquit Trump:“Today an overwhelming bipartisan vote to convict Donald Trump speaks to the courage of the United States Senate.  I salute the Republican Senators who voted their conscience and for our Country.  Other Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable for igniting a violent insurrection to cling to power will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history.”

Because we totally agree with Speaker Pelosi that the decision by these 43 GOP Senators to acquit Trump of inciting DC insurrection “will go down as one of the darkest days and most dishonorable acts in our nation’s history“, we have to do our traditional name and shame for the sake of future generations. When our children and grandchildren read in History textbooks, that a group of U.S. Senators decided to acquit a U.S. President, even after he incited an insurrection which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead, it is only fair that they also see the names and faces of the shameful U.S. Senators behind such a horrendous decision. Here’s a handy list of the 43 shameful GOP Senators.

Bottom line folks, as horrible as Trump’s acquittal verdict was to people who love democracy worldwide, there may be a silver lining where Democrats are concerned. Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that the increasing radicalization of the Republican party could provide an opening for Democrats to go after corporations that traditionally sponsor the GOP. A healthy two-party system is good for American democracy, but given everything we’ve witnessed so far with the GOP under Trump, it is debatable whether the GOP is even a political party anymore. This was true even before DC insurrection, but now it is totally impossible to ignore the issue. The radicalization within the GOP under Trump has gotten so bad, that some establishment Republicans are already mulling branching away to form a reasonable “center-right” party. As we approach the 2022 elections, Democrats should seriously pressure corporations that traditionally donate to Republicans, by asking them to justify their continued funding of a party that has basically devolved into a Trump cult. Maybe, just maybe, guilt tripping major corporations into starving Trump’s GOP of major $$$, especially after DC insurrection, is the best way of slapping the Party of Lincoln back to normalcy.

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Rep Liz Cheney:”We’ve Never Seen That Kind Of Assault By A POTUS On Another Branch Of Government”

In a refreshing display of resoluteness, a defiant Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY), fresh from a censure by her own party, and an effort to knock her off her House leadership position, today doubled down on Fox News Sunday, slamming former president Trump for the Jan 6th DC insurrection saying, “We’ve never seen that kind of assault by a president of the United States on another branch of government” adding, “That can never happen again.” Rep Cheney made it clear that she will not waver from her principled stance against the unfortunate events of January 6th, despite attacks from Trump and his allies.

This is especially refreshing given the fact that several prominent Republicans, who rightly expressed outrage after the events of January 6th, lately appear to be changing their stances out of fear of attacks by former president Trump and his allies. Rather than confronting the Jan 6th issue directly, and putting the blame squarely where it belongs–on Trump and his election fraud lies, prominent Republicans have resorted to deflecting the blame on Antifa and other leftist groups, on “liberal media bias”, or side-stepping the issue altogether by using the procedural argument that the impeachment of an ex-president is unconstitutional. It is very clear that even though Trump is no longer president, there is still great fear by prominent Republicans, many of whom tout their strong belief in freedom of speech, to criticize him, or his actions in public.

Rep Liz Cheney has remained steady in her denunciation of former president Trump for DC insurrection, despite taking a lot of heat from Trump himself, and his sycophants in the House, who moved to remove her from her leadership position. One of Trump’s biggest sycophants, Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even travelled to Rep Cheney’s Congressional district in Wyoming to whip up the Wyoming state GOP against Rep Cheney. You rarely see a sitting member of Congress travelling out of state, to go and campaign against a fellow member of Congress(same party) in their home district, because the two disagree on a political issue. The kind of outrageous conduct we witnessed from Trump sycophant Rep Gaetz, is what you’d expect in third-world dictatorships, where personality cults are prevalent, and not in an advanced democracy like the United States.

Also very importantly, Rep Liz Cheney reiterated on her Fox News Sunday appearance, that the events of January 6th were based on lies perpetrated by Trump and his allies, and that the public should not assume that the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate will be the end of accountability. She said, “I would also point out though Chris, that the Senate trial is a snapshot. There is a massive criminal investigation underway…..There will be many many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this [DC insurrection], and everyone who was involved.” This is a key point which is lost to many in the mainstream media, who look at Trump’s upcoming Senate trial as the be-all and end-all of the DC insurrection saga. As Rep Cheney correctly pointed out, it’s only beginning.

Bottom line folks, even though my political views don’t quite align with Rep Cheney’s, I will readily admit that I find her kind of political courage highly refreshing, especially in today’s polarized Washington. If our democracy is to survive Trumpism and it’s attendant QAnon nonsense, it will be because Republicans like Liz Cheney, who know better, looked Trump in the eye and told him, “Enough already. Knock it off!” The fence-straddling we’re witnessing from Ambassador Nikki Haley, Governor Kristi Noem, Senator Marco Rubio, and other leading Republicans rumored to be running for president in 2024, is appalling and quite frankly, makes them unfit to lead the United States, a beacon of democracy worldwide. Maybe Cheney2024 is the Party of Lincoln’s last hope for survival!!

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Handy List Of Iowa GOP State Senators Mad About Record Voter Participation Due To Mail-In Voting

Iowa witnessed record voter participation in its June 3rd primary elections as a result of a provision that allowed the secretary of state to mail absentee ballots to all registered voters due to the covid-19 pandemic. The noble goal of this provision was to save Iowa voters from going into crowded polling centers which would have increased their chances of contracting the virus. Given the ease and convenience of voting by mail, Iowans voted in record numbers, much to the delight of democracy lovers. Well, it turns out republicans were not happy with the record voter participation. They quickly moved in the Iowa state legislature to prevent universal voting by mail in the November elections–a clear cut effort at voter suppression.

On 6/10/2020 a bill that prohibits Iowa’s secretary of state from mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters for the November general elections passed the Iowa state senate by a vote of 30-19. Needless to say, all the 30 state senators who voted for this voter suppression bill were republicans. Because this is one of the most brazen acts of official voter suppression to date, we have no choice but to name and shame these 30 GOP state senators using our famous “handy list”.

Here’s a handy list of the 30 shameful Iowa GOP state senators who are mad that mail-in voting allowed record voter participation in the June primary elections, and are on a mission to prevent that from happening again this November.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. Where, as here, we witness such a brazen attempt at voter suppression by elected officials, we have no otherwise but to loudly call them out.

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GA Governor’s Former Campaign Manager Is A Lobbyist For Voting Machine Company Responsible For GA Voting Debacle

Tuesday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show(TRMS) featured a segment about the numerous problems voters experienced when trying to cast their ballots in Georgia’s primary elections. As usual, the voting problems were concentrated in democratic party strongholds–urban areas where minorities live. The Maddow segment however threw in an interesting tidbit into the story and that is, the lobbyist for the voting machine company(Dominion) at the center of Georgia’s primary voting debacle is none other than the former campaign manager for Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow specifically said, “An electronic voting machine company[Dominion Voting Systems] hired [Governor] Brian Kemp’s former campaign manager to be it’s lobbyist, and then the Brian Kemp administration in Georgia, hired that company to replace all of the voting machines in every city, town and county in Georgia, all in record time–literally record time. The state had this board of evaluators that was looking at the various companies who were trying to get that voting machine contract. This board of evaluators looked at the different bids from the different companies and what they were offering. They did not pick the company that Georgia ultimately went with. They picked a different company altogether. But no, the state administration instead decided they would go with the company that Brian Kemp’s campaign manager was the lobbyist for. The company had never had a job this big ever, in fact there has never been a bigger job in U.S. election history. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out last November, what Georgia was trying to roll out here, was the largest and fastest roll out of elections equipment in U.S. history.”

Maddow’s segment raises the prospect that the Tuesday primary election debacle we witnessed in Georgia may not have been the result of some random or unforeseeable technical difficulties but rather, a well orchestrated plan of voter suppression by Georgia Republicans. Governor Brian Kemp is no stranger to allegations of voter suppression. As a matter of fact Kemp has been a constant target of election integrity/security advocates like Jennifer Cohn for years.

This troubling revelation that Kemp’s former campaign manager is the lobbyist for the voting machine company at the center of Georgia’s voting debacle should be cause for a complete and thorough voter suppression investigation. We simply cannot afford to wait until the November general elections to be “surprised” by the same voting machine problems.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging on to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. What we witnessed in Georgia’s primary elections was just the latest example of GOP voter suppression but it definitely will not be the last. If we are going to have free and fair election this Fall, it is imperative that the mainstream media and members of congress take voter suppression allegations like the ones in Georgia very seriously. Simply put, Governor Kemp must not be allowed to orchestrate yet another voting “debacle” in November for GOP’s benefit.

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