Empty House

In the wake of the Orlando attack at the Pulse nightclub, Republicans in Congress had one decisive response to another horrible mass shooting. It was a swift and collective action that came without hesitation…they went silent.

Ordinarily, the offer of Republican politicians to shut all of their mouths for a moment would be quite appreciated but when the nation is experiencing an epidemic of mass shootings, nowadays they’re occurring around once every day, there could be no more offensive response to the ongoing slaughter of innocent Americans except applause.

So while our nation’s NRA approved gun laws allow even people on The Terrorist Watch List, people who are considered so possibly dangerous that they aren’t allowed to board planes, to buy as many military assault rifles and as much ammunition as they can afford, Republicans break their silence on restricting the sale of weapons of mass murder to suspected terrorists to condemn President Obama for not doing anything to prevent these frequent mass shootings.

Any informed person knows that Obama has been using drone strikes, military attacks, electronic and human surveillance, military collaboration with other countries, etc. to attack ISIL and it has been working.

Iraq says Islamic State control shrinks to 14 percent of its territory

Iraq said on Wednesday its U.S.-backed military campaign against Islamic State had retaken around two-thirds of the territory seized by the militants in their lightning sweep across the country’s north and west in 2014.

“Daesh’s presence in Iraqi cities and provinces has declined. After occupying 40 percent of Iraqi territory, now only 14 percent remains,” government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said in a televised statement, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.


Isis revenue drops nearly a third after loss of territory shrinks tax base

Islamic State’s revenues have dropped about 30% since mid-2015, forcing the group to introduce a range of new taxes, a research group has said.

“In mid-2015, the Islamic State’s overall monthly revenue was around $80m,” said Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst at IHS, which issues regular reports on Isis-controlled territory.

“As of March 2016, the Islamic State’s monthly revenue dropped to $56m,” Carlino said.

An IHS report also said oil production in areas controlled by Isis jihadists was 21,000 barrels a day, down from 33,000 barrels a day.


Isis ranks have been pared back to lowest level since 2014


Of course you’ll never hear about reality on Fox News, from Republican politicians or Donald Trump though you will hear from them that if only Pres. Obama would say the magic words, “Radical Islamic Extremists” and click his heels together three times, ISIL would vanish in a puff of smoke.

And in its own way, this GOP harping on what words Obama “needs” to say to prove he’s an enemy of ISIL and wants to defeat them, is also a way of Republicans maintaining silence on what’s really happening in the war against ISIL.

We had a moment of silence as well when Obama went to the GOP-controlled Congress to get a vote on authorizing military action against ISIL.

When it comes to explaining how they intend to replace the ACA after repealing it, there too is a Republican moment of silence.

When you really think about it, on most issues that are most affecting Americans, whether it’s institutionalized racism, economic inequality, Climate Change, the ongoing plague of mass shootings, etc., all that Republican legislators…who are in a position to do something and pass laws that address severe issues…offer the nation are moments of silence. And part of that silence is because for most of the year, they are not even at The Capitol to break the silence (if an issue falls in The Congress and there’s no one there to hear it, did it actually occur?).

House Republicans set a 2016 schedule of only 111 work days and are such workaholics that they even added one more day on for the year to make it 112. They take two full months of vacation over the summer, rarely work more than 2-3 weeks consecutively and in those weeks, only work 3-4 days. And how many hours do they work on average in those rare weeks when they do work? They only put in around 18 hours in the week. Congress is a part time job which may be why so many Congressmen seem to be working other jobs on the side (for deep pocket donors).

Much of the rest of their time is spent on fundraising for their campaigns which is a bit perverse, they spend more of their year trying to get money to get re-elected than working once they are.

Here’s what The House’s calendar for 2016 looks like:

House Calendar 2016



Working for the people is exhausting…if you’re in charge of scheduling flights and vacations for politicians.

No wonder Republicans are so accustomed to moments of silence, they aren’t even assembled to speak and do their jobs for 2/3 of the year.

Combining the practical amount of silence in the Capitol with the Republican policy of silence on the most important issues facing the nation, it’s no wonder that so many Americans feel their voices aren’t being heard…they never hear an acknowledgement, just silence.

It is ironic that the most offensive loudmouths in the GOP can become so silent when faced with a real issue. As we’ve seen with Trump, they can be earsplittingly obnoxious on manufactured, bogus issues railed against in the name of politics but when faced with real issues where Americans are suffering and being killed, all they have to offer is another moment of silence.

One can only hope that Americans have had enough of the Republicans’ silences and speak out against them very loudly this November in polling booths across the nation.

Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
8 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
pinkpantherozjjgravitasNirekKalimaAdLib Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

“When you encourage rage you cannot then feign surprise when people become enraged. You cannot turn around and say, ‘Mate, you weren’t supposed to take it so seriously. It’s just a game, just a ploy, a strategy for winning votes.’”

While this was said by a correspondent in ‘The Spectator’ about the assassination of MP Jo Cox in England, doesn’t it ring true for the US as well?

Do you even get it, Donald? Or, for that matter, give a rat’s arse?


It doesn’t take genius to reduce the impact of Assault type weapons on civilians, and it wouldn’t dent their precious if moronic religious fervor for the 2nd. Amendment.

It is quite simple.
Develop ammunition to fit the guns with a fraction of the devastating power of the military strength ammo, so they can be used for target shooting, ‘hunting’ fun parks and the like. Another plus would be that, if used in a human shooting situation, they would cause less severe injury.

Ban the sale of Military-grade ammo except for law enforcement and the military. Huge fines if a civilian is found with the higher-powered ammo. Win for the ammo companies – they can run 2 production lines, one of which is cheaper than the other and make insane profits from the NRA goons.
It would also give Law enforcement a definite edge in a SWAT scenario.
Kindly forward to your local Congressional or Senatorial coward to debate.


No more half measures, in my opinion. America just has too many unstable people, ready to snap. Unfortunately, it’s always a small percentage of people who ruin things for everybody else. It’s past time to say, NO MORE!
No civilian needs anything more than a bolt action rifle, a 6 shot revolver or a shotgun. We could outlaw all other types of semi-auto weapons, including handguns and still keep the 2nd amendment in tact.
Nowhere in that amendment does it mention anything about semi-auto or full auto weaponry. Of course not, because when it was written, there were no such weapons. I would like to add, that we no longer need civilian militias, which is one huge reason why the 2nd was adopted.


GOP, please respond to the allegation in certain parts of the media that:




I’m waiting.


Silence is the GOP’s greatest weapon … the only weapon they have left, since they have no intelligence, strategy, charisma, or even a positive message of any use. Make America Great Again? If that’s what you think just remember: the GOP have been making the Federal Laws going back beyond Dubya and extending toward the end of the Clinton years. And the GOP-controlled states are a mess, awash in ignorance, textbooks that replace real facts with GOP propaganda, spotty access to voting and health care.
But god forbid we do anything to prevent every citizen from purchasing all the guns and ammo they can fit on their credit card.
I strongly suspect that the GOP are secretly in favor of all these shootings, as gun violence is the only method to which they don’t object for controlling the size of the population. Contraception? No. Abortion? Definitely not. Health care? Not unless you’re rich.
Abject poverty and murder, that’s all that’s left: the GOP version of “natural selection”.
Just had a thought. When GOP was skeered that Obama would take their guns away from them, perhaps that was a Freudian slip: maybe America should take away its citizens’ guns. Repeal the Second Amendment, or, if possible, rewrite it so that it actually makes sense. As currently written, the Second Amendment exists only as a free pass for gun manufacturers to make a mint off of instruments of death. A law like this has no place in our nation’s Constitution, as it only exists to fuel an industry that is responsible for the deaths of our citizens. Rifles are okay: good for hunting but too big and cumbersome to use for causing trouble in the city. Australia banned its citizens from having guns and it worked out okay for them.
Being without guns a problem for you? Learn Kung Fu. Take up archery. Or get a big knife.
Another good one, Adlib (I almost don’t need to read the by-line to know that it is you).


Hey jj! I do think we should ban all semi-auto firearms for civilian use. The real issue here is, for me, weapons that make it easy to kill en masse. Most of the mass shooters who have been stopped, were stopped when they tried to reload. Nobody is going to just hang around and let a homicidal maniac reload. They’re either going to run, or fight the shooter.

We’re never going to stop, or even accurately predict when a nut case is going to snap and start killing people. Maybe we will in some far off future, but certainly not in any foreseeable future.

We can do this and still keep the 2nd amendment in tact. There are millions of responsible gun owners in America, but they get drowned out by the NRA and the media.

We’ll never completely end gun violence, but we sure can reduce the number of casualties.


Ad, I believe that they use the moment of silence and changing the subject to Obama not saying certain words to distract from the issue of automatic weapons being sold to anyone, even people on the terrorist list. Like you say they are owned by the NRA.

Excellent article, as always.


Excellent point, Nirek. I wonder when the GOP will insist that the President labels killers as

Radical Atheist (Christopher Harper-Mercer Umpqua Oregon) or
Radical Evangelist ( Robert Dear Colorado Springs PPC) or
Radical Lutheran ( Dylann Storm Roof, Charleston SC) or
Radical Catholic ( Elliot Rodger,Santa Barbara, Ca.) or
Radical Buddhist (Aaron Alexis Washington Navy Yard)


A really great article, AdLib.

It’s amazing that these same republicans can however speak in droves when it comes to blaming the President. If I see one more article about Obama being afraid to use the term “radical Islam”, and that these two words would miraculously stop these attacks, I think I will tear my hair out.

First of all I haven’t read anywhere that the investigation in Orlando has been completed, so calling this an extremist attack has yet to be concluded. From everything I have read so far, there are indications that Omar Mateen frequented gay bars and even tried to pick up men on a gay app. Even his own father had accused him of being gay according to a family source. Just because he pledged allegiance to Isis, doesn’t make it so. Either that, or he was a raving homophobe.His ex-wife also claimed that he was bipolar. I have a friend who is bipolar but is not violent.

Personally I believe that he had homosexual tendencies, felt ashamed as a Muslim, and took his anger out on the gay community, then called the police to make himself look important. The gop however hear “Muslim” “immigrant” and solve the case in an instant.

I see no reason for the President to say more than he said in his statement after the shooting, but hey, why not blame him so that the public doesn’t blame them for opposing gun control?

Like ostriches, they believe that if they hide their heads in the sand, no one will see or hear them, and in the case of gop politicians, forget that most of their nastiness and phobias, are recorded for all to see and hear. Now that is what I would call being stupid.

Quite a cushy job they have there so I think they should all be payed what they are worth. Judging by the hours they put in and the actual work they get done, $6 an hour sounds about right to me and if they don’t like that, let them fight for a minimum wage increase like everyone else.

Have the gop ever put forward a new plan to replace the legislation they want to repeal, except for offering people in dire medical situations coupons and potluck expensive insurance coverage?

All in all, and without much thought needed, the Republican Party has absolutely nothing to offer the majority of Anericans, and they seem to be the last ones to know.

After what trump said to demean the President, and paint all Muslims with the same brush, the length of time between the shooting and brief snippets from the gop “elites”, was as embarrassing and meaningless as a fart in a crowded W.C. at a train station.

That after sinking as low as any political party can, they still feel no shame and continue on the same path to further destruction totally oblivious to the image they project even when it will mean a devastating defeat is simply mind boggling.

The fact that any citizen can buy a weapon like the AR-15 with ammunition designed to inflict maximum tissue damage after it enters the body, is beyond any logical comprehension. All I can say is that I’m so grateful that I live in a country that bans gun ownership for private citizens, and requires strict regulations for issuing hunting licenses.

Yes we do have the occasional knife wielding maniac, but most of these people are mentally disturbed and have not received any or sufficient treatment. On average they happen every 3 to 4 years and not many times in a single day.

Day and Night.
Makes me wonder how long it took for this God fearing faux Christian to swallow his in-Christian anti-gay stance to admit that the gay community had been targeted? I expect him to go back to gay-bashing as soon as he wipes that pent up hate sweat from his face. For now the gay community “matters” because they were slaughtered and maimed by a madman, but as soon as the press furore dies down, they will be back to trying to make life as difficult as possible for them. Hypocrites down to the last one standing.

RWW News: Steve King: No Legal Protections for “Self-Professed Behavior” of LGBT People


Rep Steve King: Being Gay ‘Self-Professed’ Behavior, Not Protected


Rep. Steve King Says ‘We’re Sorry’ Gays Were Targeted In Orlando


Then for good measure, there was this, whatever this was. What this clip shows is the complaints against the President not being forceful enough on fighting terror, and not speaking those magic two words “radical Islam” is because the gop have pushed the idea the he’s not a Christian for almost 8 years, and still do to this day.

Lawrence O’Donnell Humiliates Rep Steve King on The Last Word: How Ignorant Are Republicans?



Hey Ad. Among republicans and gun nuts in general, it is always some other cause, or fault, other than the killing machines themselves. Blaming Muslim extremism is just another “squirrel,” that is a favorite of theirs, unless of course it’s a fanatical Christian fundie doing the shooting. Then it’s our failing mental health system (one that repubs would love to do away with, insurance wise), or PTSD or some other culprit other than the obscene proliferation of guns in our culture.

I readily admit that we’ll never be able to stop this sort of atrocity, 100%. Human beings are fallible and aggressive. That’s not going to change anytime soon, but we CAN do things, to take measures that will definitely reduce the number of casualties from these periods of madness. We have it within our power to ban all semi-auto weapons. To make backround checks more thorough, to improve our mental health care, and build systems of checks against people suspected of terrorist ties.
What we lack, as a society, and as a government, is the moral courage and intelligence in leadership that is necessary. We need to put our giant, collective foot down and say, enough is enough.
No civilian needs these killing machines. There is no valid reason for a civilian to have such devastating firepower at his/her disposal.
Of course the GOPers are not going to blame themselves or the NRA or even the guns. It’s always some other cause, or fault, with these morons.


AdLib, the little 10 star rating thingy wasn’t available (at least to me) but I did pass this one along on Facebook in hopes it will be widely read — as it really should be.

It’s as though the whole GOP has been possessed by the spirit of Sgt. Schultz of the old “Hogan’s Heroes” program.