The Watering Hole; Thursday March 12 2015; Elections Have Consequences

The Congressional election in November 2014 was, in effect, a massive Republican landslide that gave the GOP a numerical majority in the Senate and expanded their majority in the House. The only virtue is that the Senate is controlled only by a simple majority and NOT by a filibuster-proof majority which would imply deadly consequences.

Here in Colorado, the liberal-progressive Senator Mark Udall (son of last century’s Arizona liberal-progressive Rep. Morris Udall) was defeated by a relatively unknown former Colorado (4th district, rural/eastern Colorado) Congressman, Cory (not Chauncy) Gardner. Gardner was a typical right wing candidate. He was anti-abortion and pro- “personhood”; he voted 50 times in the House to repeal the ACA; he supported the proposed secession by five rural Colorado Counties along with their goal of forming a 51st state that would be free of left wing politics; he was financially supported by the Tea Party and was at one time designated the tenth most conservative Republican in the House. Gardner managed to defeat Udall in the 2014 mid-term, an election which saw low voter turnout both nationwide as well as in Colorado — where the voter turnout was the lowest in 70 years.

The Senate reconvened in January, and ever since I’ve been following its (predicted) inaction, and in the process have communicated with my new Senator on issues which deeply concern me, all via appropriate petitions issued by groups to whom I pay special attention. I do this for two reasons: (1) to add one more voice to said issues, and (2) to see what response, if any, I might get from Senator Gardner.

Following are text excerpts from four Gardner replies [all highlights and underlines my own], each sent via (staff-generated) email, on issues concerning wildlife protection (specifically wolves), land preservation (specifically via the Antiquities Act), the Netanyahu-Iran issue, and the Cotton ‘open letter’ to the Iranian government. Note that Gardner’s right wing political philosophy as well as his presumed legislative priorities are clearly evident and in plain view for all to see and read.

February 13 2015; Subject: Wolf Protection

“Colorado has been blessed with great natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife, including occasional populations of wolves. Wolves are rarely found in Colorado and according to the Division of Wildlife, these animals are most likely to be seen in the western part of the state.

“While avoiding extinction is important, it is also necessary to take into account agricultural losses that may impact working families as a result of predatory wolves in residential areas. At present, no legislation concerning wolves has been brought to the Senate floor for a vote in the 114th Congress.”  [According to Defenders of Wildlife, “Recently, two bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to strip wolves in four states, including Wyoming, of any protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).” It’s on its way, i.o.w.]

March 9 2015; Subject: Antiquities Act

“On January 21, 2015, Senator Mike Crapo introduced S. 228, the National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act. This legislation would limit the President’s ability to designate national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and make any such designation subject to Congressional approval. Additionally, S. 228 would require the state in which the monument is to be located to pass legislation authorizing the monument. This legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, on which I sit.

“The Antiquities Act has been used in Colorado to protect and preserve some historically significant places. Still, I am extremely skeptical of unilateral action by the President and believe that the American people deserve to be involved in determining what landmarks are most in need of protection.”

March 9 2015; Subject: Netanyahu and Iran

“On January 21, 2015, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on March 3, 2015. I attended the speech with many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I am a strong supporter of Israel. Israel is one of our strongest friends and allies, and our only democratic ally in an extremely volatile area of the world. As Israel faces continued threats from hostile nations, such as Iran, it is imperative that the United States support Israel in its right to self-defense and preservation.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized the threat that a nuclear Iran would pose to Israel and America, and made it clear that any deal that gives the Iranian regime a path to nuclear weapons is unacceptable. His clear-headed analysis of Iran as the world’s leading sponsor of terror dedicated to the destruction of Israel and America provides crucial context for ongoing negotiations. The United States must make the safety and security of our ally Israel a top priority of our foreign policy. We cannot allow the tentacles of terror the appearance of an opportunity to do harm to America and its allies.”

March 11 2015; Iran, and Cotton’s letter:

“(. . .) The leaders of Iran’s regime, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, need to know that no deal with the United States will be considered permanent without the approval of the Congress which is why I joined 46 other United States Senators in signing an open letter to the leaders of Iran regarding negotiations with the United States about their nuclear program. . . . The American people, through their representatives in Congress, will reject any deal that does not completely eliminate the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“I believe that Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and additional action may be required to stop the progression of its nuclear program. On January 27, 2015, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced S. 269, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015. I am a cosponsor of this legislation . . . It is imperative that we do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and from becoming nuclear-capable. We must also continue to provide all the support we can toward Israel. Standing by Israel is one of my top priorities in Congress.”

I’m sure I could write a series of multi-page rants on each of the topics listed above, and in the process point out the fallacies implicit that are invariably supported (even cheered) by the far right fascist movement in America. I’ll save those rants for another day, however, and simply restate here the thesis which should be of common knowledge: Elections do, indeed, have consequences. And when the far right political movement gains legislative control, the consequences quickly become SERIOUS. The far right political movement is, of course, the Reagan-inspired GOP that has today become concerned ONLY with acquisition of money and power, and in result cares NOTHING about the environment, about wildlife, about land preservation, even about historically-established international protocol.  it’s the political movement that invariably sees war and combat as the ONLY solution to international disagreement, even as it leaves no stone unturned in its attempts to discredit or destroy the entire of its constitutionally loyal and “We the people” -oriented opposition. Oh, and if I read Gardner correctly, even Israel is of higher priority than (most of) Amurka. Right?

As Herr Gardner has so effectively illustrated, he is indeed one of ‘them’ and will undoubtedly work fervently — and, when the moment demands, seditiously — to thwart anything that is people- or environment-oriented, while at the same time he’ll surely work tirelessly to further enrich the already rich by any and all means possible, including yet another needless war. And “standing by Israel,” of course.

OPEN THREAD

57 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday March 12 2015; Elections Have Consequences

    • I suppose that Miss Lindsey would totally support Obama marching armed military forces into the Senate chamber and insist this Senate pass certain legislation.

    • I wonder how Butters would feel if Obama were to send the military into the Senate to, say, arrest and haul away the 47 seditionists who signed that stupid letter? I’m sure, based on his remarks, that he’d support his own self being sent to the slammer. Right, Butters?

    • No prollem here. Lindsay Graham(Cracker (CSA), isn’t going to get even a faint sniffing of the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office (not that he wouldn’t really enjoy that, though..).
      Not when he fails in ConLaw 101 on separation of powers…

    • Gosh, I hope they don’t accidentally sign anything else dangerous in their hurry to get out of town. DC got about 4.5 inches. Everything was back to normal by Friday.

  1. “necessary to take into account agricultural losses that may impact working families as a result of predatory wolves in residential areas. ”

    Whaa?
    How much agricultural activity is going on in residential areas where wolves are running wild eating your children?

    • I wondered about that one as well. The only logical conclusion is that them wolves out thar in the country, when they get sick of eating all the farmer’s corn will then head into towns and eat all the stuff in the gardens. Something like that. Ain’t no other thesis that makes any sense of it.

      Trying to “think” like a wingnut. It ain’t easy.

    • Wolf went after my friend’s goat in Granite Falls a few weeks ago… wolf only got a piece of the ear but then the goat died 5 days later of shock and internal bleeding :-(….

      • I’m guessing it was a lone wolf and the goat fought back somehow? When there’s more than one wolf involved, and when they decide which critter they’re going to eat, the critter is most often doomed right then and there. But if all the wolf managed was a piece of ear, it had to be alone and something scared it off before it got the job done.

        In this part of Colorado there are no wolves, but we have an abundance of cougars, also a few dogs that are allowed to run loose. Mostly they go after the geese at the lake, also the occasional racoon. There were some people here a few years back that had a one-horned goat. It lost the other one in a scuffle with either a cougar or a big dog, can’t remember which, but would guess cougar. This time of year when there’s lots of muddy ground from melted snow, there are cougar tracks all over the place, including our back yard. I’ve never seen one though.

        Bottom line: carnivores will be carnivores. That includes people, of course.

        • Yes it was just the one, only one set of tracks. Bigger than her Newfy’s pawprint… and between the Newfy, the BC and her 12 gauge…. the wolf preferred discretion…

            • Some of the ‘concerned citizens’ around town were telling her she couldn’t shoot an endangered species her response was that as long as her 5 year old girl played outside on her property, then wolfie could consider himself ‘endangered if he came onto the property’.

              BTW neighbours and friends weighed in and she now has 10 goats with 1 or 2 more on the way.

            • Yup so far… mind you now there are 10-12 goats there and the 5-year old…

    • I often wonder why there is no discussion or recognition of the Unitary Executive thesis that was considered the norm in both the Reagan and GWB administrations, but is never mentioned since Obama was first elected. During the W.Bush administration, *the phrase ‘unitary executive’ was a code word for a doctrine that favored nearly unlimited executive power.* Today, Obama’s rather simple executive orders on immigration are seen as almost a dictatorial overreach, and how dare Obama negotiate with Iran without inviting the wingnut Congress to oversee!

      Republicans and the media seem to have really short memories. I wonder why that is?

      • I was able to work the words “Unitary Executive” into my poem “The Craving.” I didn’t think it was possible, but I found a spot where it would fit in and flow nicely.🙂

  2. Today is the 88th anniversary of my Mom’s birth! The woman was amazing – wonderful sense of humor, master gardener, seamstress extraordinaire, outspoken on social issues, above all, a magnificent person who raised 10 children!
    She died, unexpectedly, in 1989. Mom had often stated she wanted to be rolled off the GG bridge so that she could feed the fish that fed her in life. Well, we couldn’t figure out a way to do that, we attempted to a whole body sea drop three miles out. Unfortunately, that had been banned two years prior. Her ashes were scattered out in the Pacific…

    • Clearly a special person. You come from good stock, as some like to say.

      In two days my dad — best friend I ever had — will turn 110, So let the celebrations begin!

    • You must miss her, she sounds wonderful. I hope my children speak half that well of me.

      • They will, OIMF!

        Has the snow melted? Will your acreage withstand all the snow?
        Wishing you a delightful spring (when it finally arrives in the east)

    • “The woman was amazing – wonderful sense of humor, master gardener, seamstress extraordinaire, outspoken on social issues, above all, a magnificent person who raised 10 children!”

      That was my Mom right up until you got to the 10 kids.

      We never forget. 🙂

  3. So, a couple of drunk Secret Service agents drove their car through an active bomb investigation:
    “About 10:25 that night, a Pennsylvania woman hopped out of her car at the southeast entrance of the White House on 15th Street NW and threw a package wrapped in a green shirt at the security post. She yelled at a police officer: “It’s a bomb,” according to a police report obtained by The Post.
    Police quickly secured the area with tape and called an explosives inspection team to check the package for potential explosive materials or other dangers.
    But shortly before 11 p.m., the two high-ranking Secret Service agents returning from a work party at a Chinatown bar about eight blocks from the White House drove their government car through the crime scene. According to people familiar with the incident, they drove through police tape and then hit a temporary barricade, using the car to push aside some barrels. An agency official said Thursday that the car was not damaged.”
    from WaPo

    • The SS is far from the protectors of the White House occupants.
      Too many incidences involving ineptness.

  4. QOTD, courtesy of Tom Cotton (Wingnut-AR)”

    “The Founding Fathers insisted that Congress have the power to ensure that no president, whoever he or she may be, can make a binding international agreement, especially one about nuclear weapons, with the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.”

    Those founders were on top of everything!

      • They didn’t. Jefferson made sure of that via multi-national diplomacy and negotiations. Everyone thought the pirates were less than a year away from having them, but thanks to Jefferson and all the economic sanctions they were convinced to drop the project. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce worked miracles, even though some of the dumb and dumbers called it the Amityville horror.

        Fortunately for Jefferson and for Amurka, Tom Cotton was still nothing but a gleam in his great great great grandfather’s eye.

    • (hmm, link doesn’t link)

      Firefighters unmoved by Ted Cruz broadside on Obamacare

      One applause line after another – when he’s addressing a friendly group of conservatives – drew dead silence Tuesday morning at the International Association of Firefighters Legislative Conference and Presidential Forum.

      • IIRC, methane, though shorter lived in the atmosphere, is what, 100 times? as good as CO2 when it comes to holding atmospheric heat.

        I suggest sending James Inhofe to Siberia with a cigarette lighter — and a full set of instructions, of course, on exactly when to light it..

    • That’s a hoot! If only the Iranians had actually written it — who knows but what they may have demolished the GOP for a few decades, maybe more!

      We could use patriots like around here that these days.😉

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