Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Meanwhile On The Other Side Of The Ponds

While the Republicans in the House debate the definition of a woman, the Welsh just expanded the definition of a woman.
Welsh government plans to redefine women to include transgender females
Leaked gender Bill proposals face a backlash from UK Government and rights groups
The Telegraph
By Charles Hymas,
29 October 2023

The Welsh government is to redefine women to include transgender females under planned new laws.

The proposal was revealed on Sunday in a leaked draft of its Gender Quotas Bill which proposes that half the candidates in any list to be members of the Senedd must be women.

For the purposes of the proposed legislation this includes transgender women, the report stated

The definition further stated that transgender meant “a person who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning [their] sex to female by changing physiological or other attributes of sex”.

It also stated that a constituency returning officer could not challenge or make any inquiry in relation to a statement made by a candidate.


Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, has long argued that he believes “transgender women are women”.
Of course the conservatives are hoping made!
“Firstly, it undermines the rights of half of the population of Wales. Secondly, they are hijacking legislation that should benefit women and increase female participation in public life in order to embed a toxic and misogynist ideology,” she said.

“Thirdly, they don’t have the legal powers to push this through anyway and are making a calculated risk that no one will oppose them.

“We are putting the Welsh Government on notice. Women will organise to fight this attack on our rights. This is a first step towards full self-ID in law.
The typical right-wing dribble.

And on the other side of the western really great pond…
Japan's Supreme Court has ruled that an existing requirement for sterilization surgery for people who seek to legally change their gender is unconstitutional.

The unanimous decision on Wednesday by the court's 15-judge Grand Bench is being hailed by campaigners as a landmark for LGBTQ+ rights in Japan. But as the Supreme Court sent the plaintiff's case back to a high court for further examination, her fate remains unclear.

The plaintiff, identified only as a transgender woman "under 50," had sought to legally change gender in her family registry from assigned male at birth to female. But her request was subsequently denied by lower courts, because she did not undergo sterilization surgery required under Japanese law.

In her complaint, the plaintiff argued the sterilization procedure would impose a physical and economic burden on her, and would deprive her of constitutional rights to pursue happiness and be free from discrimination. Her lawyer argued that her reproductive abilities had already been in "extreme decline" following years of hormone therapy.

Legal gender change in Japan requires a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, being at least 18 years of age, being unmarried and having no underage children.

It also requires the person to have no functional reproductive glands. And it requires that the person's genitals resemble "those of the opposite gender."
I didn’t know how restrictive Japanese laws were, this is a good step but it looks like a lot more work will be needed there!

Yeah Unions!

Did you hear GM has a tentative settled with the UAW!

Strikes settle on 2023…
Teamsters Union and UPS: July 25, 2023
UAW and Ford: September 14, 2023
Writers Guild of America (WGA): September 27, 2023
UAW and Stellantis: October 28, 2023
UAW and GM struck a tentative deal on Monday: October 30, 2023

Still ongoing…
SAG-AFTRA, is still in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

All my life I was exempt employee… in other words management. But when there were votes on joining the for my employees I supported them as much as I could.

When I look back in the post-WWII years what stands out is that all my neighbors had a house, or many of them had boats or a vacation home… they had disposable income and money in the bank.

I asked Google’s Bard: "Compare disposable income between the 1960s and 2010s?"
It's answer in part was,
However, it is important to note that the distribution of disposable income has also changed significantly over this time period. In the 1960s, the top 1% of earners received about 10% of all disposable income, while the bottom 20% of earners received about 4% of all disposable income. By 2020, the top 1% of earners received about 20% of all disposable income, while the bottom 20% of earners received about 3% of all disposable income.
What brought about this change… I believe it was President Reagan and the Republican party.

Once again I asked Bard: "How has the average wage increase between the employees and the CEOs change from 1980 until now?"

Its answer in part was,
The average wage increase for employees has lagged far behind the average wage increase for CEOs since 1980. According to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation has increased by 1,460% since 1978, while the typical worker's compensation has increased by just 18.1% during the same period. This means that CEOs are now paid about 399 times more than the typical worker, up from just 21 times more in 1965.


Another factor that has contributed to the rising CEO-to-worker pay ratio is the decline of unions. Unions have traditionally played a key role in negotiating for higher wages and better benefits for workers. However, union membership rates have declined sharply in recent decades, which has weakened the bargaining power of workers.
Why has union membership declined? Republican states started passing “Right to Work” laws that decimated the unions.

Again, Bard: “What is the difference between average hourly wages in right to work states and non-right to work states?”
According to the Economic Policy Institute, average hourly wages in right-to-work states are about 3.1% lower than in non-right-to-work states, after controlling for other factors that can influence wages, such as demographics, occupation, and industry. This means that the average worker in a right-to-work state earns about $1,558 less per year than the average worker in a non-right-to-work state.

There are a few possible explanations for this difference in wages. One possibility is that right-to-work laws weaken unions, which can lead to lower wages for workers. Unions help workers negotiate for higher wages and better benefits, and they also help to enforce labor contracts. Without unions, workers have less bargaining power and are more likely to accept lower wages.

Another possibility is that right-to-work laws attract businesses that are looking to pay lower wages. Businesses may be drawn to right-to-work states because they know that they will be able to find workers who are willing to work for lower wages, even if they are not unionized.

Finally, it is also possible that right-to-work laws are associated with other factors that contribute to lower wages, such as lower levels of education and lower costs of living. However, research has shown that the difference in wages between right-to-work and non-right-to-work states persists even after controlling for these factors.

Overall, the evidence suggests that right-to-work laws are associated with lower wages for workers. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the weakening of unions and the attraction of businesses that are looking to pay lower wages.
Back in the 60s you could see boats and campers in driveways. People went out and bought new color televisions which cost an arm (According to Bard: In today's dollars, a color TV in 1960 would cost around $5,003.01) and a leg back then. People bought new stoves and refrigerators! That is what disposable income the ability to buy items that are not related to housing, food, and clothing.

My mother raised me and my brother while my father worked and he earned enough to buy a vacation home.

Now people are scraping by even with multiple jobs. Maybe these victories will renew interest in the unions.

Yeah, What Else Is New?

He’s a Republican so they are trying to force us back in the closet and he’s is the head bozo.
Donald Trump pledges to defund schools teaching critical race theory and ‘transgender insanity’
Former US president Donald Trump has pledged to defund schools teaching critical race theory and “transgender insanity” if he is re-elected in 2024.
Pink News
By Emily Chudy
October 30, 2023

At a rally in Sioux City in Iowa, Donald Trump – who has previously promised to reinstate his cruel trans military ban if elected – claimed he would clamp down on race and LGBTQ+ education in schools.

“I will also sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content on our children,” he said on stage.

The former president has previously spoken about his opposition to teaching about race in schools, calling race education “toxic propaganda” in a previous speech.

“They were teaching people to hate our country, and I’m not going to allow that to happen,” he said about anti-bias training that taught federal employees about issues like white privilege.
Notice how he blames us for demanding our rights!
Donald Trump has ramped up discussion on trans issues and anti-trans policy pledges since his bid to be re-elected in 2024, with the former president claiming that Republican voters care more about restricting trans rights than cutting taxes.
And the Republican party is in lock-step with him.

The Republicans are true to form
GOP reps slam new Merchant Marine Academy transgender policy: ‘Far-left’s social experiments’
New York Post
By Caitlin Doornbos    
October 29, 2023

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wants answers from the Merchant Marine Academy after the Long Island institution implemented a new policy allowing midshipmen undergoing gender transitions to seek exemptions from their military service requirement.

The policy, effective Oct. 13, is meant to set up procedures for the admission and education of transgender students and those “transitioning while enrolled at the academy so as to remove barriers for those with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender.”

Banks, who chairs the House Anti-Woke Caucus, led a congressional letter to the academy on Friday raising concerns.

“Our service academies are critical institutions for the security of our nation, not laboratories for the far-left’s social experiments,” he exclusively told The Post. “Forcing radical gender ideology on the young men and women who want to serve their country is dangerous and wrong.”
“House Anti-Woke Caucus” Wait! What? They have a caucus supporting bigotry and discrimiantion? Figures.
The policy was developed in response to President Biden’s 2021 executive order requiring all federal agencies “to ensure compliance with the stated policy of preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” according to the document.
The Democrats giveth and the Republicans taketh away.

My dilemma… I wish… I wish, that there wasn’t so much violence and hate in today’s environment. Every time you look at the news there has been a mass shooting, an anti-LGBTQ demonstration for a drag event.

Both sides living in an “Echo Chamber,” I am part of it with my blog. I know that and I admit it.

Is our Echo Chamber any different from theirs?

I think you just have to look at Lewiston Maine to answer that question. Their Echo Chamber causes violence. Our Echo Chamber is defensive, reporting on the violence done to us.

Still I feel that I have to report on all the stuff that is being done to us. The legislation, the threats, the protests with armed protesters, the lies, and the rhetoric against us. But to remain silent is even harder.

I leave you this morning with something you heard thousands of times.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Monday, October 30, 2023

We Are A Game Now To Them.

The State Superintendent Ryan Walters calls a “Game!” Totally condescending of us.
By: Kaylee Olivas
October 26, 2023

The State Board of Education unanimously passed an emergency rule in September prohibiting school districts from changing student gender records, and the State Superintendent doubled down Thursday saying he will not play the “transgender game.”

During the September 28 Board of Education meeting, the Board moved on general provisions for student records. With the Governor’s support, it went into effect October 5.

On the agenda for the Board’s October meeting were requests from Moore Public Schools and Cushing Public Schools to alter students’ gender records.
And that set them off! Nothing but derogatory comments about trans students.
However, State Superintendent Ryan Walters sees it as a culture war.

“I believe we’ve got to continue to stand in line in the way, I would say, of these radical leftist Biden judges that are sitting here trying to dictate this to our schools,” said Supt. Walters. “I think this is a great opportunity to show the districts – look, we’re absolutely going to stand for common sense. We’re going to stand against this. We’re not going to do the transgender game of back and forth, back and forth. We’ll be clear on this and stand with common sense and Oklahomans. We’re not going to allow the intimidation of our schools.”
It is a battle between those that want to send us back to the 1950s and those who are moving forward.
Enid News & Eagle 
By Nuria Martinez-Keel Oklahoma Voice
October 28, 2023

The Oklahoma State Board of Education last week denied two requests to change students’ gender markers on school records.

The requests came from Cushing Public Schools and Moore Public Schools. A student in each district obtained a court order from district judges to change their gender markers on all records.

Although State Superintendent Ryan Walters said there is no legal precedent for these requests, an attorney representing both students said the board’s decision Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, contradicts previous state Supreme Court decisions, attorney general opinions and the state Constitution.
The law means nothing to them! They are in power and they will do it their way no matter what the law says!
“Ryan Walters pays no respect to the law and does not care for the well-being of Oklahoma students and their families,” Payton said in a statement. “We will see you in court.”


Education Department general counsel Bryan Cleveland said the Cushing student’s court order from a Payne County judge was almost an exact copy of the Moore student’s. He called the rulings “activist judge orders” that have no basis in state statute.
They put the archaic beliefs from the 1950s before the Constitution!

Right now I am getting out of class I was a guest lecturer at a university in New Haven, the professors turns her class over to me and I do a lecture our culture.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

It Has Begun! Two More Years Of Oppression.

It didn’t take too long for the House to start their anti-LGBTQ+ legislation! The Republicans were bragging that they passed a bill on spending the very first day of the new Speaker... but the devil is in the details. On their first day the House Equality Caucus reported…
“License to Discriminate” Riders – Sec. 607

This rider creates a license for people and organizations—including those receiving taxpayer funds—to discriminate against LGBTQI+ people under the guise of religious liberty, and it prevents the federal government from adequately responding. For example, it prohibits the federal government from reducing or terminating a federal contract or grant with an organization that discriminates against LGBTQI+ people if the organization justifies their discrimination based on the belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. For example:

If a regional economic development commission, like the Appalachian Regional Commission, funded an organization that discriminates against same-sex couples, the regional commission would not be able to terminate the grant.

DEI EO Riders – Sec. 606

This rider prohibits funds appropriated by the bill from being made available to implement, administer, apply, enforce, or carry out:
  • Executive Order No. 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”
  • Executive Order No. 14035, “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce;” and
  • Executive Order No. 14091, “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government”
All these Executive Orders are LGBTQI-inclusive.
This is only the first day of a two year battle until election day.
Johnson did not become more moderate in Congress
Washington Blade
By Christopher Kane
October 27, 2023

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) defended his extremist anti-LGBTQ views on Thursday, telling Fox News, ‘I am a Bible believing Christian,” adding, “go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it — that’s my worldview.”

The Washington Post, in an article published on Thursday that chronicles the congressman’s “campaign against gay rights” throughout his career, reported that one of his aides directed the paper to a Facebook post written by Johnson last year in which he “argued that ‘biblical beliefs’ were inseparable from ‘public affairs.'”

After the little-known evangelical Southern Baptist Republican politician was elevated on Wednesday to become his party’s highest-ranking elected official, second in line to the presidency, details about his far-right, socially conservative views began to emerge.

CNN uncovered editorials written by Johnson from 2003 to 2005 in which he argued for the criminalization of gay sex, called homosexuality an “inherently unnatural” and “dangerous lifestyle,” and said marriage equality poses a threat to “our entire democratic system” — warning that “polyg-amists, polyamorists, pedophiles and others will be next in line to claim equal protection.”
And he is only two people away from the presidency!!!

The older I get, the more reminders I see that Maya Angelou was right: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Take the new House speaker, Mike Johnson, for instance.

He’s been showing who he is since 1998, when he graduated from law school and started going after the LGBTQ+ community every chance he could. And I’m not just talking about trying to stop same-sex marriage, because let’s face it, many progressives were against it back then as well. But Johnson was extreme by comparison — advocating for laws that banned two adults from having consensual sex in their own home.

So, to anyone who considers themselves an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, know this: Same-sex marriage and other protections are not safe.
We have two more years of hell to go through!

Not only do we have states passing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation but now we have a House that is going to be trying to sneak in every anti-LGBTQ bills that they can tying them to must pass legislation.

Now get a load of where the new Speaker is going to speak!
By Madison Hall
October 26, 2023

Newly-elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is scheduled to speak next year at a Christian anti-transgender conference held at a life-size recreation of Noah's Ark.

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House voted as a bloc to promote Johnson to the speakership role after several weeks of the chamber attempting to function without a speaker following former Speaker Kevin McCarthy's surprising ouster.


According to the website of Answers for Genesis, a Christian apologetics ministry that runs a Creation Museum and a full-scale version of Noah's Ark from the biblical story, the organization currently plans for Johnson and his wife, Kelly, to speak at its "Reclaim: Answers for Women 2024 Weekday Conference" on April 3rd. 


The event's online page says that the central theme of the event is to fight back against the "cultural war on women" and the growing acceptance of transgender women in the US. Only women are allowed to attend the event, where they will "learn how to reclaim God's good design for women and overcome the war on women that threatens to overtake us," according to the event's page.

Do you remember the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade? The court said that it was up to the states to determine is they want to ban abortion, and the Republicans hailed it as a major decision of "State's Right" well...
Some influential conservative groups interpreted those remarks as a call to action, while others said it reflects a basic political reality in Washington.
By Alice Ollstein and Meredith Lee 
October 27, 2023

House Speaker Mike Johnson’s anti-abortion bona fides are undisputed, but Thursday night he downplayed the chance of action on a federal abortion ban during an interview with Sean Hannity, asserting there are more pressing issues facing his caucus.

“There is no national consensus” on abortion, he said in his first prime-time interview.

It was a stark turn for a congressman who has pushed several bills to restrict abortion nationwide and indicative of the competing pressures of his new role — including keeping control of the House.

Still, abortion opponents’ hopes for Johnson remain high.
Hey wait a minute! What ever happened to “States Rights”? And “There is no national consensus” however every time it was put on a ballot a women's right to choose won!
“He’s the speaker now, he’s not a dictator, and he has to work with a very diverse Republican caucus,” said Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, who said he’s been in close touch with Johnson in the leadup to his election and since he won the gavel. “But I can assure you that he’s going to work with the Congress to continue to advance the sanctity of human life. I have no question on that whatsoever.”


“Abortion is a federal issue. He knows that as well as anybody,” said Kristi Hamrick, the chief policy strategist for Students for Life, who noted that Johnson has an “A+” rating on the group’s legislative scorecard. “So I would not interpret [the interview] as meaning there’s nothing coming. I would interpret that as meaning we need to get to work.”
The two faced Republicans are all for states rights until they are in control then all of a sudden they are trying to pass a national law! They lie through their teeth! So one thing to get elected and then do another.

So Tell Me What Is Wrong


With listening to what we say about our gender.

No body should have surgery done on them without their consent… Period.

No one should tell us what we can do with our bodies.

These conservatives think they know what is right for us and I include doctors in that group. They say that god doesn't make mistakes and I say they are right, he only experiments with us to make improvements.

On CBS Sunday Morning this morning,
Living an intersex life
According to statistics cited by the U.N., .05 to 1.7 percent of the world's population is intersex, defined as having external or internal sexual organs that are not clearly male or female. As a matter of course, doctors in the past performed surgery on babies, ostensibly so that they would live a "normal" life. Correspondent Erin Moriarty talks with Pidgeon Pagonis (who was born looking female on the outside but also with testes and XY chromosomes) about Pagonis' memoir, "Nobody Needs to Know"; with professor Elizabeth Reis, author of "Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex"; and with urologist Dr. Ilene Wong, who believes the medical community has failed intersex patients.
What do you call surgery with only a 40 percent success rate?

The very same politicians who are say (Falsely) trans children are too young to have surgery but these politicians are out there praising surgery on month old babies!

These Republican politicians want to define a man and a women as having  XY chromosomes for a male and XX chromosomes which will leave millions of intersex people in limbo. The Republicans think gender is only determined by chromosomes and ignore conditions like Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, Swyer syndrome, 46, XY disorder, or chimera and hormonal AIS, Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Alpha-5-reductase deficiency.

In their fear of us they rush ahead with these half baked ideas that affects not only us  but all those who are different from them.

So tell me what is wrong with waiting for a child to be old enough for them to make an informed consent. What is wrong with letting a child explore their gender? But these right-wing Republicans want everything to fit nice little orderly boxes. It is the Republican form of OCD everything has to have its place and it drives them bonkers when something is different.


So sit back and watch this segment of CBS Sunday Morning.

Don’t They Have It Backward?

Didn’t Jesus say something about feeding the poor and helping them?
The Evangelicals Calling for War on Poor People
A new, antisocial strain of the prosperity gospel is making its way into pulpits and breeding new hostility toward the least fortunate Americans.
The New Republic
By Elle Hardy
October 23, 2023

A God who does his best work in the dark hours is integral to the story of American evangelical Christianity. The stuff of country music songs and conversions in roadside motels, Jesus tends to come to people at their lowest and loneliest. The only problem is that some of God’s most pernicious modern apostles understand this all too well. At a time when fewer and fewer believers are going to church, it is consumption, in these dark times, that illuminates a deeply antisocial shift in evangelical Christian beliefs.

Chief among the new doctrines is the idea that God rewards “seeding”—that is, the “sowing” of financial donations to churches, or favored online preachers—with a material harvest in return. The prosperity gospel might sound as old-fashioned—and feel as familiar—as a preacher in a three-piece suit, but a new and cynical version is making a comeback across ministries both old and new; among people who go to church and those who get their faith online.
The new religion “I got mine! S**w you!”
A recent survey by Lifeway Research found that 52 percent of American churchgoing Protestants say their church teaches God will bless them if they give more money to their church and charities. That figure is up from 38 percent of churchgoers in 2017. It’s an almighty leap, according to Lifeway’s executive director, Scott McConnell, who attributes the shift to the pandemic. The Covid-19 years, he says, had a real effect on the way many believers see the relationship between their faith and their personal finances. “Both positively and negatively,” he told The New Republic; “there was a lot of frustration just on the financial side.” Whether people “were out of money, or they couldn’t really spend the money they had on what they wanted,” largely in the form of stimulus checks, “they didn’t feel very prosperous.”
Boy! They got them hook, line, and sinker!

They fit right in with the new Republican party!

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday 9: Spooky Scary Skeletons

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!
Unfamiliar with this week's featured song? Hear it here.
1) In this song, Andrew Gold sings that these skeletons send shivers down his spine. Do you often involuntarily shudder or shiver?
2) While they appear frightening, these skeletons are harmless and only want to socialize with us mortals. Can you think of something -- or someone -- that intimidated you at first but that you were more comfortable with as you became more familiar?
Yes, she was a feisty women and a legend, she was know all over the state for her and they want to build a memorial for her work. But once you got to know her you would see her big heart and I had the honor to sit on committees with her and do training with her at homeless shelters.

3) The video for this song was originally created in 1929. Skeleton Dance was a short movie produced and directed by Walt Disney himself. In 2006, Disney Studios paired Gold's song with this animation for a Halloween DVD. Do you have any DVDs that you watch seasonally (every Halloween, every Thanksgiving, every Christmas, etc.)?
DVDs… that is so old fashion! Nope.
4) You may not realize it, but you likely already know one of Andrew Gold's songs. He wrote "Thank You for Being a Friend," the theme to TV's Golden Girls. Blanche, Dorothy, Rose or Sophia: Which is your favorite?
Um… I never watched it.

These questions will help us get into the Halloween spirit ....

5) Introduced in the 1880s, candy corn was originally called Chicken Feed. It was developed by a candy manufacturer who gave it the orange/white color and special name to differentiate it from jelly beans. Do you like candy corn (a) all year around or (b) at Halloween only or (c) never?
I did when I was seven but now at 75 all I see is too much sugar and cavities.

6) What candy will trick-or-treaters get when they show up at your front door?
None… They are all for me. (Not really I have very little chocolate in the house, I do have some but they are for rewards on being good. (Good is defined as anything I want it to mean.)

7) Halloween was a 1978 movie by John Carpenter about Michael Myers, who kills while wearing a ghostly mask. In the original movie, the mask used was a $2 Captain Kirk mask, painted white. Both Halloween and Star Trek are successful franchises of more than a dozen movies. Have you seen more of Michael Myers or Captain Kirk?
I am a fan of the early Star Trek movies and shows.

8) In 2022, a survey of California schoolchildren revealed that Buzz Lightyear was the top pick of Halloween costume. When you were little, did you prefer to dress up for Halloween as a hero, like Buzz, or a scary monster?
What was on hand… digging though the stuff in the attic looking for something.
9) Some long-time White House employees claim they have seen Abraham Lincoln's ghost wandering the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Have you ever seen a ghost?
Nope. I don’t believe in them… when you are dead, you’re dead end of story. 

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

I used to drive my brother bonkers with this song.

Friday, October 27, 2023

I Think That Is True For All Of Us.

We don’t want to make history we just want to live our lives in peace.
Sarah McBride doesn’t want to be known for making history
The Hill
By Brooke Migdon
October 25, 2023

Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride, the front-runner in a three-way Democratic primary race to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), would make history if elected as the first openly transgender person to serve in Congress. But that isn’t what she wants to be known for.

“My hope is that we get to a world where it’s no longer newsworthy that people like me are in politics or get elected to public office,” McBride, 33, told The Hill in a recent interview.

McBride as a state senator co-sponsored successful legislation to expand mental health care resources in Delaware public schools, significantly reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and bolster gun control laws. She spearheaded an effort to create a statewide paid medical and family leave program during last year’s legislative session, drawing on her experience as a caregiver to her late husband Andrew Cray, who died of oral cancer in 2014.
I think we all just want to be ourselves, without any adjectives to describe us.
Townsend said McBride’s gender identity, which has earned her national attention, is not top of mind for her colleagues or constituents back home.

“So many people focus on the sort of celebrity aspect of what Sarah brings to the table, but to know that there she is thinking about a very local constituent services issue or a Delaware-specific legislative issue, that’s really the hidden gem,” he said.

McBride is also something of a peacemaker in the state Legislature, and she has brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass landmark legislation.
That is a great achievement! It says a lot about the Delaware legislature, just look at Montana state lawmaker Zooey Zephyr banned from House floor for speaking the truth that the Republicans didn’t want to here.
“I do believe that my Republican colleagues have increasingly been able to see me as the multidimensional human being that I am — that we all are,” McBride said. “What that moment reflects is so much more than a single policy that was being passed. What that moment reflects is my Republican colleagues seeing very clearly that the issue of LGBTQ rights that we’re debating in that moment was not some abstract issue, but rather an issue that touched and impacted a person they knew.”
What do you think the House’s Freedom Caucus would do if there is a trans Congress member? But the  Delaware Republicans are able to work together with her.
“I’m not naive to the challenges, but I’m running because at a certain point we have to run into the fire; we’ve got to elect folks who know how to roll up their sleeves, dive into the details, work with people who might disagree with them on every other issue with the one right before them, and actually deliver results,” she said.
Activist are a lot like firemen… we run toward trouble. When we see injustice we want to correct it.
A September poll showed McBride leading her primary opponents, Delaware State Housing Authority Director Eugene Young and state Treasurer Colleen Davis, by a large margin.
Maybe, just maybe we will see a trans person who is elected to Congress in 2024.

See, You Can't Please Everyone

And it's all right now
I learned my lesson well
See, you can't please everyone
So you got to please yourself
Lot-da-da (lot-da-da-da)
And it's all right now, yeah
I learned my lesson well
You see, you can't please everyone
Garden Party By Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson wrote that song when in October 1971, Nelson played at a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City with greats like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Bobby Rydell. When Ricky Nelson played his new songs he got booed, from that the song was written, "Garden Party," was written which told the story of his experience at Madison Square Garden.

Well the Scholastic Book Fair wanted to please everyone and they found out that caused a lot of “Boos” you see when they held their book fairs across the country they faced a different laws in different states about books on LGBTQ+ and Black history topics… so they took the easy was out, segregation. 
Scholastic backtracks, saying it will stop separating diverse books for fairs in 2024
By Rachel Treisman
October 25, 2023

Scholastic is reversing course, saying it will no longer separate diverse stories for school book fairs after weeks of mounting backlash from educators and authors.

The educational company, which both publishes and distributes books, waded into hot water last month after it confirmed that it was changing its policy for its middle school book fair offerings.

It said it was putting most of the titles dealing with race, gender and sexuality into their own collection, and allowing schools to decide whether to order it, as they would with any display.

Scholastic said the change was aimed at helping districts navigate the book bans that have proliferated across the country. They said such laws — either pending or enacted in more than 30 states — create "an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted."
But as Ricky Nelson learned, you can’t please everyone.
But their solution was quickly slammed by many educators and authors, who accused the company of caving to censorship. Many said on social media and online petitions that they wished it would take a stronger stand against such legislation and offer the books anyway.
But then they dug their hole deeper…
The backlash further picked up steam after Scholastic issued a statement on October 13 explaining their decision. Racial justice and free speech advocacy groups slammed Scholastic for making diversity optional, accusing it of caving to the small but vocal minority of Americans who support book bans and depriving students of important stories and perspectives.
There is no one solution fits all.

The Washington Post said…
But the decision met with sharp criticism from educators, authors and advocacy groups concerned about censorship in schools. Among the 64 titles in the optional collection were ones related to prominent Americans and U.S. history, including “Justice Ketanji,” a biography of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson; “Because of You, John Lewis,” a story book about an activist’s friendship with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); “I Am Ruby Bridges” by the activist herself; and “Change Sings,” a picture book by poet and activist Amanda Gorman.
I remember my mother giving me money to buy books at the school book fair. It was amazing walking through the room with all these books!
“Because I was that little 8, 9-year-old kid saving up every single penny I had all year so I could go to the book fair — not to buy any book, but to finally buy a book with characters and voices that looked like me and sounded like me as a Black girl with a speech impediment.”

More than 1,500 authors and illustrators signed a petition last week calling on Scholastic to end the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” program, decrying the segregation of diverse titles as “harmful and wrong.”
Can you imagine what that little Black girl felt when she saw the books about Blacks segregated in section by themselves?
“We recognize and acknowledge the pain caused, and that we have broken the trust of some of our publishing community, customers, friends, trusted partners, and staff,” Berger wrote. “And we also recognize that we will now need to regain that trust.”
Publisher Weekly wrote,
Scholastic has responded to accusations of censorship at its book fairs stemming from the creation of a new diverse stories offering, called "Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice," which librarians and school officials hosting fairs must decide whether to offer or not.

In a statement late last week, Scholastic said that it created the collection for U.S. elementary school book fairs as a way to continue providing diverse books, as a number of states and localities pursue legislation or other policies around content selection that could put librarians and school officials in jeopardy.

“There is now enacted or pending legislation in more than 30 U.S. states prohibiting certain kinds of books from being in schools—mostly LGBTQIA+ titles and books that engage with the presence of racism in our country," the company said late last week. "Because Scholastic Book Fairs are invited into schools, where books can be purchased by kids on their own, these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”

Critics, however, have pointed out that many of the books in the Share Every Story collection are not controversial. Furthermore, it is unclear what, if any penalties, librarians or school officials might face for marketing titles with diverse representation in a book fair setting.
I don’t fault Scholastic Book Fair they are faced with bigotry around the country and they have to navigate around the laws in different states, and the untested legal grounds became a quagmire.

The New York Times said,
Among the books included on the list were biographies of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Supreme Court and the civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis; a novel about a Lakota girl; and a picture book about different family types, including families with adoptive or same-sex parents.

The list of the separated titles was called the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” catalog. Book fair organizers have had the ability to opt out of all or some of those titles.

But after Scholastic publicly acknowledged the new, separate catalog this month, the company was pilloried in many quarters, with critics saying Scholastic was accommodating censorship.
The Times article goes on to write…
Jennifer Jenkins, a member of the Brevard County School Board, in Central Florida, said she would prefer that Scholastic and other publishers refuse to do business in Florida.

“Ultimately, the residents of the state would realize how detrimental this is to their students,” she said, “and those impacts would show up at the ballot box.”
But is that even the right decision to make? Is there even a right decision to make, will all them be challenged? By not holding the fair they are denying the children the access to books.

Scholastic Book Fair was just trying to navigate the best they could, I feel no matter what they did they would have been criticized. It is uncharted waters. It is the Republican politicians that created this quagmire.

In their head strong rush to appeases their evangelical base they didn’t think of all the ramifications of their laws. They didn’t think about the First Amendment, they didn’t think about the racism, they didn’t about the bigotry… they were on a mission from god! They had the sword of justice on their side.

The Republicans were “Blinded by the Light” and were wrapped up in the flag, god, and apple pie. They believe that they are saving the children. No I don’t blame the Scholastic Book Fair, I blame the MAGA Republicans. They created all this for just one thing… power!

Update Nov. 14, 2023 @ 8 AM

Moms for Liberty got wacked in the elections!
By Kaylee Olivas
November 14, 2023

The Moms for Liberty Oklahoma chapter is requesting a change of book fair vendors because of “radical viewpoints and sexual ideologies” being pushed in reading material.

In a Moms for Liberty Oklahoma press release from Friday the group said, “It has become undeniable that a regularly occurring conduit for inappropriate books into schools across Oklahoma is through Scholastic, particularly through their book fairs.”

The parent led advocacy group claims several Scholastic books violate Oklahoma law.

“Scholastic, a once trusted company that happens to be one of the top publishers of children’s books, now appears largely focused on indoctrinating youth with radical viewpoints and sexual ideologies from a very young age at an increasingly rapid rate,” a Moms for Liberty Oklahoma press release reads.
Now the elections on Tuesday November 7 Moms for Liberty lost big in the elections being rejected big time by the voters (I wrote about it here.).
Defense of Democracy Oklahoma Chair, Bailee Tyler told KFOR her initial response to the Moms for Liberty press release was “here we go again.”

Moms for Liberty’s press release explains it’s a parent’s right to visit the library and the book fair to oversee what kids may be exposed to. However, parents are already allowed, and encouraged to visit the Scholastic school book fair, according to the publisher’s website.

“It’s just another thing they come up with to fight and make a fuss and to continue their attack on public education,” said Tyler. “Scholastic book fairs are ran by parents. Typically, parents sit down and pick out the books with their children. What is happening that they’re seeing that we’re not?”
The New Republic wrote;
But on Tuesday, voters across the country pushed back on the Moms for Liberty agenda. The organization endorsed more than 130 candidates across the country, and the vast majority of them lost—with some failing to get more than single-digit support.

All four Moms for Liberty-backed candidates in Minnesota lost, as did all four in Washington state. The group endorsed 19 candidates for school boards in New Jersey, but only four won.
But it seems like MoL still think they are on a mission from god. 

KFOR goes on to write,
News 4 reached out to Moms for Liberty early Monday morning for an interview about specific examples of indoctrination.

“I haven’t heard anything back yet so we will be unable to meet your deadline,” said a Moms for Liberty media representative an hour after our deadline.
I don’t think that they will ever hear back from MoL.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Too Close To Home


The horrors of all these mass murders is spreading far and wide!

We have to stop this nightmare by voting!

It all started with Reagan’s Supreme Court. Ever since the formation of this country there were limits on gun ownership. Ever since then the Republicans have strip what sanity we had left from gun control.
They have allowed open weapon carry in New York City, the courts through out the country have strip protections that we had in place. Until we are now where we are today, with multiple mass murder every day. As of today, October 26, 2023, there have been over 560 mass shootings in the United States this year.

The tragedy in Lewiston has struck close to home. My nephew’s in-laws grandson is going to Bates college in Lewiston… he is okay! But not before the worrying. The worrying of all the parents of the children there, the worrying of parents in Lewiston about their children, the worrying of a nation… are we next? The next time we go to a mall? The next time we go to a concert, the next time we walk out of the house.

This is all because of the Republicans! They don’t care about the mass murders, they want the votes of the gun nuts. They want the votes of the guys who want to walk around with assault weapons on their shoulder. In Florida you do not even need a permit to carry! I was at the supermarket when a guy was shopping with a pistol strapped to his waist like he is Wyatt Earp waiting to do battle with cattle rustlers.
And of course from the Republicans... The Fox News reported,
In early tests [Testing his leadership], Johnson headed to the White House for a classified briefing and said earlier in the day that “prayer is appropriate” as a response to the mass shootings in Maine.

“This is a dark time in America,” Johnson said at the Capitol on his first full day as speaker.

“We’re really, really hopeful and prayerful,” he said about the Maine shootings. “Prayer is appropriate at a time like this, that the evil can end and the senseless violence can stop.”
You know where you can shove those "Prays."

The numbers speak the truth.

In deaths per 100,000 by guns which states are the safest, and which states have the most gun deaths per 100,000
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the states with the lowest gun death rates per 100,000 in 2021 were:

Massachusetts (3.4)
Hawaii (4.8)
New Jersey (5.2)
New York (5.4)
Rhode Island (5.6)
The states with the highest gun death rates per 100,000 in 2021 were:

Mississippi (28.6)
Louisiana (26.3)
Wyoming (25.9)
Missouri (23.9)
Alabama (23.6)
It is important to note that these rates include all gun deaths, including homicides, suicides, and accidents.

Connecticut comes at #6 with 6.1 per 100,000.
The numbers tell the story, gun laws prevent deaths from guns!
This from the Advocate:
The suspect in a Maine mass shooting, Robert Card, has been revealed to hold extremist right-wing views, particularly against the transgender community.

The massacre, which began on Wednesday evening shortly before 7 p.m., has left 18 dead and 13 injured, according to a briefing from the state’s Democratic governor, Janet Mills.

An arrest warrant has now been issued, charging Card, 40, with eight counts of murder, a figure expected to rise as more victims are identified.

Card has retweeted far-right figures and their transphobic views, according to news site Heavy.

Card’s digital activity on X showcases his support for damaging narratives propagated by right-wing personalities Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. Following a separate mass shooting incident in Nashville in March, Carlson posted inflammatory remarks on X, formerly known as Twitter.
For trans people every time we step out the door it is an act of trust, trust the we will be coming home that night.


If You Can’t Win Cheat.

That’s the Republican motto…
North Carolina Republicans Are About to Win Their War Against Democracy
Conservatives are locking in an outrageous partisan gerrymander—and locking out nearly half of the state’s voters.
New Republic
By Matt Ford
October 26, 2023

Republicans in North Carolina are poised to wipe out the prospect of competitive legislative elections in their state for the rest of the decade. A state Senate committee voted on Monday to advance a new set of maps for congressional and state legislative districts. Since North Carolina’s governor can’t veto redistricting plans, all that’s left is for final votes in the state House of Representatives and state Senate.

In theory, North Carolina is a purple state where no political party has an inherent advantage. This is especially true in statewide races. Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by only a 1.34 percent margin in 2020. During that same election, North Carolinians also elected multiple Democrats to the state’s executive branch, including Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein. Recent U.S. Senate contests have been closely fought.

The same can’t be said for legislative races in North Carolina. Thanks to more than a decade of extreme partisan gerrymandering, Republicans have an ironclad grip on the state legislature. That dominance has allowed them to effectively decide most of the state’s legislative races, both for the state Assembly and for Congress, before voters even cast a ballot. But with this latest move, the Tar Heel State is poised to slip even further away from what could fairly be called “representative government.”
We see this in not only North Carolina but in Republican states through out the United States. They are rigging the elections by gerrymandering the voting district. The Supreme Court has been looking the other way except when the gerrymandering was based on race. Stacking the political deck is okay just don’t do it because of race.

The way to break this hold on the elections is VOTE! They have a 5 or 6 percent advantage in the voting booths but we can overcome it if we get people out to vote! They make it harder but not impossible.

A comment on Yahoo says it best...
Politicians picking their voters instead of voters picking their Politicians, always works in favor of the GOP. 

Enough Is Enough

There was an article in yesterday’s CT NewsJunkie about students getting disconnected from school, one of the things they mentioned was cellphones in the classrooms. So that got me thinking…
Cellphone Bans in School Are Back. How Far Will They Go?
More schools are moving to limit or outright ban the use of cellphones inside and outside the classroom. What do educators have to say?
NEA Today
By Tim Walker
February 3, 2023

Key Takeaways
  •     According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2020, cellphone bans were in place in 76% of U.S. schools.
  •     Some districts and schools have much broader restrictions on cellphones than others. However, struggles with student behavior and mental health have prompted many schools to restrict access to the devices.
  •     Research shows that cellphones are a major distraction in classrooms. But some experts, concerned about the impact on school culture, urge leaders not to implement overly restrictive policies.
I attended grad school for 2007 until 2011 and I saw first hand how cellphones are used in class.
Patrick Danz did not enter the teaching profession to police cellphones in his classroom. He began his career in 2007, just as phones and social media began to tighten their grip on consumers and teenagers. So, while he expected new technologies to be a part of his classroom, he didn’t anticipate being in constant competition with them for students’ attention.

“This is a battle throughout the day,” Danz says. “And it’s exhausting.”
Heads down thumbs wiggling.
If he could, Danz would ban cellphones school-lwide [sic] -—that is, forbid students from using them during instructional hours. If every classroom had the same rule, he believes the policy would be more enforceable and effective.

That's a step more districts and schools are taking. Cellphone bans in school never went away, but prior to the pandemic, resistance had begun to subside. Current trends, however, suggest that newfound patience with the devices is quickly fading.
You could tell that they were texting, one would be looking down at their lap and then look up at another student when they look at their lap.
By 2020, however, the percentage of schools with cellphone bans had jumped to 77 percent, according to recently-released data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

The scope of these bans varies, along with the rationale. School leaders who have instituted more expansive restrictions (including outside the classroom) believe a cell phone-free environment will lead to less incidents of cyberbullying, improve attendance, and reduce time on social media (and associated mental health problems). The most often-cited reason is to improve engagement in class.
They spent thousands of dollars on tuition and they are passing texts back and forth!!!

As you can tell I am in favor of a ban, back in undergraduate school the new tech product was calculators… the haves and have nots. The have nots, were using their slide rulers to calculate the answers on a quizzes. The haves punched in the numbers and got an answer. The haves also had calculators that you could store equations on them. That was when the profs said enough! The gap between the haves and have nots got to be too great.

Now it is the smartphone where you can text another student for the answers and the schools are saying enough again.

On Monday I am going to be a guest lecturer in a college class and I am will to bet that at least one student will be texting during the class.

What are your thoughts?

More on the election of Rep. Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House.
Dems Turn Mike Johnson’s First Viral Moment Into Anti-GOP Ad

Democrats are testing whether a moment when Republicans shouted down a reporter for asking about Mike Johnson’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election will have a political impact.
The Daily Beast
By Riley Rogerson
October 26, 2023

When House Republicans held an impromptu press conference late Tuesday night to celebrate coalescing around their new speaker nominee, they were in no mood to answer tough questions—or even the obvious one.

So when ABC reporter Rachel Scott asked Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)—the speaker nominee who has now been elevated to the speakership—about his leading efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Republicans were having none of it.

They drowned out the reporter with boos. Johnson said “next question.” And Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) told the reporter to “shut up!”

Now, a D.C.-based advocacy group, Courage For America, is seizing on the moment to attack Republicans and quickly define the new speaker.

And here is the ad!

In another HuffPost article,
New Speaker Mike Johnson’s Long History With The Religious Right
Come for the Noah's Ark theme park, stay for the relentless efforts to strip women's and LGBTQ+ rights.
By Jennifer Bendery
October 25, 2023

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson’s path in Republican politics began with a yearslong role as the senior attorney and national spokesperson for a group on the religious right dedicated to dismantling LGBTQ+ freedoms and outlawing abortion.

Johnson worked for that organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, for eight years, from 2002 to 2010, before serving a brief stint as a Louisiana state legislator and then heading to Congress in 2017. He first became a known entity in his state in the late 1990s when he and his wife went on national television as the face of Louisiana’s new marriage covenant laws, which made it harder to get a divorce.

The social conservative causes that have fueled Johnson’s rise, many of which are deeply unpopular with the American public, are already worrisome to Democrats who fear that Johnson — who downplayed the concept of the separation of church and state as recently as April — may try to use the power of the speakership to advance his extreme views.
The future is not looking good at all!
Opinion | The Harsh Truth Behind the Republicans’ Speaker Crisis
Mike Johnson’s victory doesn’t solve the House GOP’s big problem.
By Rich Lowry
October 26, 2023

It always had to be Mike Johnson.

The Louisiana Republican has come out of nowhere to ascend to the speaker of the House, a job that people spend their entire adult lives aspiring to, but that Johnson picked up like a stray nickel.

Chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee is usually the stepping-stone to, well, some other lower-rung of the House leadership, yet Johnson has somehow leveraged the position to become second in the line of succession to the president of the United States.

Johnson is a talented man, and perhaps will prove an adept speaker, despite his lack of experience with a political, legislative and fundraising challenge at this level. Regardless, the dirty secret of the GOP speaker fight was that the stakes were always fairly low, since there are limits to what any leader can do with a slender majority in one chamber of Congress when a Democrat occupies the White House.

November 13th is just two weeks away and the House has to pass the budget or the government shuts down!
Some within the party’s right flank have developed a mode of operating that is almost hostile to affecting legislative outputs as a matter of principle. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and his compatriots didn’t help Rep. Kevin McCarthy pass a Republican-supported spending bill as a shutdown loomed, then slammed him for — what else was he supposed to do? — going to Democrats.


Another factor is the rise of the cult of the outsider. This is a phenomenon in the culture more broadly; people tend to be shaped by institutions less than they once were and be most comfortable in a posture of opposition and defiance. In Republican politics, Donald Trump is the prime example — he was president of the United States but still often sounded like a powerless critic of his own administration.

My predictions!
  • First, that the government is going to shutdown because the Republicans will put riders on it blocking funding of Ukraine.
  • Second, we are going to to see a national anti-abortion bills.
  • Third, we are going to anti-trans bills
  • Fourth we are going to see an anti-marriage equality bill.
  • Fifth, we are going to see more pro-Trump input.
  • Sixth, we are going to see a budget axe chopping away at the "safety net" programs like WIC, Head Start, SNAP.

Update: 11:15 AM

CNN reports...

 Indeed, the nomination speech that New York Rep. Elise Stefanik gave for Johnson was pure red meat for the party. She accused the left of wanting to stop paying for police, being weak on defense and undermining the values of the nation. She railed against President Joe Biden’s “radical, failed, far-left Democrat policies” on energy and warned that the government had been “illegally weaponized” against “we the people.” For comparison, Speaker Tip O’Neill in 1984 condemned as the “lowest thing” he had seen in his career in Congress the attacks on the patriotism of Democrats leveled by then-Georgia Rep. Newt Gingrich and his allies on televised House proceedings when Democrats weren’t present to respond. That was child’s play compared to Stefanik’s words. 

On almost every issue, Johnson is hard right. He has been a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. He has been at the forefront of opposing reproductive rights. He opposed funding for Ukraine. He wants to deregulate the economy, cut taxes and deny the very real problems facing our climate. He supported “expunging” former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment and has questioned the Justice Department for how it has handled investigations into Hunter Biden. 

Some thoughts from yesterday:
A friend posted something on Facebook that got me thinking:

    The new Speaker was anointed by Trump.
    The House is in lock step and are taking orders from Trump who doesn't hold public office.
    The new Speaker is an election denier.

What she posted was a question, is this setting up for a coup in 2024 if the election doesn't go Trump way?

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Well, Well, Well They Did It.

[News Flash!]
After something like three weeks the Republicans finally elected a Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson. Who?

You know, one of the ones who claims Trump won the election!
GOP speaker nominee Mike Johnson played a key role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election
Johnson, the latest Republican nominee for House speaker, led an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 victory in four battleground states.
NBC News
By Summer Concepcion
October 25, 2023

Well before he was elected as House speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., played a key role in efforts by then-President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the 2020 election.

Johnson, who served as the GOP caucus vice chair and is an ally of Trump, led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 House Republicans in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate the 2020 election results in four swing states won by Biden: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The lawsuit, filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, called on the Supreme Court to delay the electoral vote in the four states in order for investigations on voting issues to continue amid Trump’s refusal to concede his loss. It alleged that the four states changed voting rules without their legislatures’ express approval before the 2020 election.
Yahoo News reported that…
In the spring of 2022, Rep. Mike Johnson started a podcast with his wife, Kelly Johnson, who calls herself a “pastoral counselor.”

The title of the first episode was “Can America Be Saved?”

That question is familiar to many American evangelicals. It shows how Johnson, the new speaker of the House, is a product of conservative evangelicalism and Deep South Republican political culture.


Johnson worked for the Alliance Defense Fund, which is now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ADF was founded in 1994 by some of the leading figures of the Religious Right, including James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ.

ADF touts itself as working to defend the rights of conservative Christians to express their views on matters of sexuality and religion, which has gained it a reputation for advocating for discrimination against sexual minorities. It also has worked to limit or even ban abortion and access to contraception.
You do know what that means?
Pro-Evangelical Christians

NBC went on to write,
As rioters were overtaking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Johnson told Fox News in an interview that there was "nothing unusual" about Republican lawmakers' objections to the Electoral College certification and that "there’ve been many objections over the years.”

“I’m here as one of the advocates on the Republican side, stating our concerns about this election and the allegations of fraud and the irregularity and all that," he said.
It is going to be a long rocky road to the 2024.

Update: 4:00 PM
Bloomberg reported...
Who Chose the New House Speaker: Republicans or Trump?
The House GOP is only an embarrassment if you are under the mistaken impression that it’s there to serve the national interest. Emphatically, it is not.
By Francis Wilkinson

The chaos of October has brought the House GOP back to where it began: Some guy is once again Speaker of the House. His name is, for now, Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, not that it matters. If Donald Trump tells him to change it, as when Trump ordered Republican Party chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel to drop the “Romney” from her moniker, Mike Johnson will become Speaker Sammy Skeever or Mike Maloney.

Unlike previous Speaker candidates in recent weeks, such as Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, Johnson has gone to the trouble of acquiring some actual policies to inform his cultural reaction. Not that the policies matter, either. No one, least of all Republicans, thinks that the GOP is capable of legislating. If all goes well, the party that has organized itself around Trump’s voluble lies and seething rage will keep the government open and fund whatever the White House and Senate work out. If all doesn’t go well, the House GOP, having recommitted itself to lawlessness and deceit, will precipitate another existential crisis for American democracy.

More than anything, the great GOP Speaker fiasco of 2023 has been a lengthy tribute to the godlike supremacy of the MAGA king. “ MAGA is ascendant,” far right radical Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida told podcaster Steve Bannon. In that, it mirrors the degrading GOP presidential primary, in which candidates run, sort of, for an office that has already been assigned. Trump, after all, has already picked the party’s presidential nominee. He more or less picked the Speaker, too.
The new Republican party... the party of Trumpism.
Every Republican action now is shaped by Trumpism and the political desperation and cultural panic that birther-ed it. The entire GOP presidential field flits in and out of Trump’s giant shadow. The new Speaker will have to pledge fealty to the full panoply of Trumpist depravity. As Trump’s legal peril comes increasingly into focus – crimes, already well documented, are now being admitted by various Trump thugs – the job of servicing the MAGA king will grow more complex and demanding.

Update: 5:00PM

In Jezebel they write:
Despite his almost zero name recognition, Johnson is pretty terrifying. It shouldn’t be lost on us that Emmer lost the Speakership largely because too many Freedom Caucus members deplored his vote for same-sex marriage. By contrast, Johnson is an anti-LGBTQ hardliner who introduced the federal version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill to prohibit references to queer identity in schools last year. In an unsubtle swipe at Johnson’s record, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), who’s openly gay, said “Happy anniversary to my wife” as she cast her vote for Speaker for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Twitter called Johnson “an extremist.” Tellingly, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) celebrated Johnson’s nomination, claiming the switch from McCarthy to Johnson “shows the ascendance of this movement.”


In his remarks, not only does Johnson claim Roe “gave constitutional cover to the elective killing of unborn children,” but he rails against the imagined economic detriments of abortion, pushing his caucus’ outlandish claim that by depleting a hypothetical workforce, abortion has defunded social security: “Think about the implications of that on the economy. We’re all struggling here to cover the bases of social security and Medicare and Medicaid and all the rest,” Johnson says. “If we had all those able-bodied workers in the economy we wouldn’t be going upside down and toppling over like this... Roe was a terrible corruption.” Mind you, social security and health care have been gutted in the last several years by Republican lawmakers, not people who choose to end a pregnancy.
This does not bode well for us.

“If we had all those able-bodied workers..." The only thing is that once they are born the Republicans throw them out on to the street to fend for themselves. They have cut WIC, SNAP, and the other safety net programs. 

Update: 5:30 PM

Johnson — a close friend of Jordan, who was also backed by Trump — was among the most right-wing candidates to seek the speakership. He voted against certifying the 2020 election, against legalizing same-sex marriage, and against more aid to the Ukrainian war effort. He also opposed the continuing resolution that wound up costing McCarthy his job, though he voted to retain McCarthy as speaker. Johnson was also a member of the legal team defending Trump in House impeachment hearings, and he played a key role in helping organize legal challenges to the 2020 election results.

Update 8:30 PM

“I want to thank my dedicated wife of almost 25 years, Kelly. She’s not here, we couldn’t get a flight in time. This happened sort of suddenly,” Johnson said.

“She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out,” Johnson smirked.

“We all are,” he added.
Kelly Lary - Kelly graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1995. After her teaching career, she transitioned to lecturing on family-related issues and is also a licensed Pastoral

Kelly founded Onward Christian Counseling Services, an organization which aims to "provide confidential, biblically-based individual, marriage and family counseling to the people of
Northwest Louisiana."

Her biography on the organization's website states, "Kelly is also known by many for her personal testimony of deliverance through extraordinary trials, including her recovery from a
broken neck in a 2007 car accident and other serious health challenges."

The biography also notes that Kelly is a "leader in the pro-family movement.

Update:6:30 AM Thursday
Some thoughts:
A friend posted something on Facebook that got me thinking:
  • The new Speaker was anointed by Trump.
  • The House is in lock step and are taking orders from Trump who doesn't hold public office.
  • The new Speaker is an election denier.
What she posted was a question, is this setting up for a coup in 2024 if the election doesn't go Trump way?

AP News wrote:
By Nicholas Riccardi
October 26, 2023

The new leader of one of the chambers of Congress that will certify the winner of next year’s presidential election helped spearhead the attempt to overturn the last one, raising alarms that Republicans could try to subvert the will of the voters if they remain in power despite safeguards enacted after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.


“This has been about one thing,” Rep. Pete Aguilar said. “This has been about who can appease Donald Trump. House Republicans have put their names behind someone who has been called the most important architect of the electoral college objections.”


Noting the speaker’s role in “the peaceful transfer of power” between presidential administrations, Lydgate warned, “When those in power don’t take our democracy and the will of the people seriously, it can have dire consequences.”