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
The Islamic State group’s ranks have been pared back by international and local military action in Iraq and Syria to their lowest level since Washington began monitoring the group, a senior US official said Tuesday.
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:
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.
“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?
PPO, unfortunately, the political use of hatred, broadcast so shrill and constantly is like a match to the powder keg that a mentally disturbed person is. They become crazed by the inundation, whipped up by the dishonest manipulation of insecurities, frustrations and fears and act out on them.
The parallel between Orlando and the assassination of Jo Cox is inescapable, mentally damaged people can and will be driven to do horrible things when hatred is legitimized around them.
And add the mix of a group like ISIS, dedicated to use the mentally ill as an army to kill innocents in free countries, we can’t afford to keep the status quo.
Imagine how many people might be dead now if that gunman had an assault rifle instead of a homemade gun? And imagine how many human beings would be alive in Orlando today had that murderer not been able to buy a weapon of war.
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.
PPO, that is such an elegant and simple solution. Ban ammunition for assault weapons. That would have a huge impact.
But no doubt, the loons would either make their own ammo or build an underground network for black market ammo. So the best forst thing we could do is what you propose and that should be followed up with putting back in place what used to prevent mass shootings, an assault weapons ban.
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:
THE NRA IS ARMING U.S. TERRORISTS
PPO, yep, it is a fact and I sure wish some deep pockets Progressive or anti-gun group would just air that statement in a barrage of commercials and help bring down the NRA and their power as well as kick the door wide open for passage of gun control bills.
THE NRA IS ARMING TERRORISTS.
I’ve heard from Congresspeople on the news that ISIS makes a point of broadcasting to devotees that they should use all the loopholes the NRA keeps open for buying weapons to kill Americans.
It’s not hyperbole, the info is out there that the NRA is indeed arming terrorists. They are traitors to this nation and need to be exposed broadly as such.
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.
jj, the GOP’s main weapon against the major issues hurting America is indeed silence. They just want to distract from such things, using lies and straw men arguments, bigotry and partisanship.
Yet the problems in the country only grow.
Yes, I agree that the NRA and the Repub pols they own all support and literally empower mass killers to keep killing. The NRA wants an America where everyone is afraid of being killed in any public place so they buy more guns. And the Repubs are afraid that the NRA will finance a primary opponent against them if they stand up to them so they don’t.
Repubicans try to swagger as tough guys but the cowards can’t stand up to the NRA, Trump, etc. Cowards.
The NRA always says that any Democratic President wants to “take away our guns”. That’s an old song they always sing when they don’t have a puppet of theirs in the WH.
Hopefully, when the SCOTUS gets it’s moderate/liberal majority back next year (Trump can’t win), they can strike down Scalia’s Heller decision that wrongly claimed the 2nd Amendment gave the right to guns to individuals.
The 2nd Amendment clearly refers to the right to have guns as part of “a well regulated militia”. If the SCOTUS reverts back to the proper definition, maybe we can start to have laws that roll back ownership of guns to a far more sensible and civilized place.
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)
Also, I think the whole nation sees through the dishonesty of Repubs and their lame talking point trying to rule out gun control, “This isn’t about guns, it’s about terrorism.”
Right, the biggest mass shooting in American history isn’t about shooting anything. If the terrorist didn’t have a gun and couldn’t shoot all those people, it still would’ve turned out just the same?
We can’t stop lunatics from trying to go out and kill a group of people. The only thing we can control is what he has in his hands when he goes out there and that’s the only thing that will save lives and make a difference.
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?
Great comment, Kalima!
I am very glad Obama shot down that BS meme about saying, “Radical Islam!” somehow magically melts ISIS like The Wicked Witch. I’d guess they tested that in focus groups and found it hurt Obama so they kept repeating it…but when exposed to the light of reason, it looks so damn stupid.
Also, I too was annoyed when the MSM did what they always do on an actual Breaking News story and regurgitated whatever they heard, stating it as fact. The story on this lunatic isn’t clear yet, he seems to have been deranged since he was a child, might have had gay leanings that would’ve caused a real internal conflict in his warped mind and may have been just an angry, hateful misfit who looked to ISIS and Al Qaeda among other outlets for his inner sociopathy.
Some things are complex and when the MSM reduces them down into simple rumors that are often misleading and just plain wrong, it literally hurts our nation.
The bottom line on Repubs is that they throw as much grit as they can in the eyes of the public and media to blind them to the reality that their ultimate goal is to prevent government from helping Americans…who aren’t in the 1%. The details of what they say on each issue are irrelevant, all they are trying to do is prevent progress and improvement of the standard of living in the nation.
“No” by any other name…is still just “no”.
I do think that the way to describe AR-15 and similar assault rifles is “Weapons of War”. When branded that way and in context, protested as, “Terrorists and even American citizens in general should not be able to buy weapons of war,” is a more powerful argument than just calling them assault rifles or guns. It does seem that we may have reached a boiling point on legislation, now that terrorists are exploiting the NRA’s AR-15 Murder Giveaways!
Great selection of Steve “Douche” King’s, “Who Would Jesus Hate?” garbage.
I think most people know that religion is used by awful people as a refuge and hiding place to keep spewing hatred but truly religious people, as I’ve seen today commemorating the 1 year anniversary of the shooting in the Charleston, SC church, have no resemblance to these mentally deformed outcasts.
Gotta love how O’Donnell just pounds King into the ground though!
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.
KT, you make one of the most powerful points against the Repub’s bigotry, why don’t they also insist that the fundamentalist Christians who commit murder against abortion doctors, LGBT or minorities be labeled, “Radical Christian Extremists”? If simply saying three words outlaw will prevent crazed people from killing others, why not do that when it comes to Christians?
Of course we know the reason.
We’re the only country that allows anyone, even terrorists, to by weapons of war made for mass killing and somehow, we’re the only country where mass killings are a daily event.
Hmm…as opposed to saying three magic words, doesn’t the cause and effect seem pretty obvious.
As you say, we’re not going to be able to prevent crazies from killing innocent people. Even if everyone was armed, an attacker always has the element of surprise on his/her side so an act can’t be prevented and with multiple people shooting wildly, it could cause more deaths anyway.
Assault weapons need to be banned as they used to be. We had far less mass murders when that was the case and now that it isn’t, we’re setting new records in mass murder.
I can only see one way of accomplishing this. People have to vote against any politician with a positive rating from the NRA. Obviously, that won’t work in bloood red states but in swing states and blue states, any NRA backed politician needs to go and voters should make it clear in polling and interviews that gun control was a major reason for them voting against an incumbent who’s in bed with the NRA.
Indeed, anyone who thinks they need a military weapon designed to kill many people on a battlefield in their possession, automatically disqualifies themselves from being of sound mind to own one.
That last paragraph really nails it, AdLib.
A sort of positive and functional flip of the old “Catch-22.” (Which was — for younger readers — if you’re sane enough to apply for a mental health discharge from the military in war time, you don’t qualify for one.)
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.
Hey Kes, thanks so much!
The star rating function is working for me, perhaps your browser just needs to be restarted? In any case, your props are received and very appreciated!
I wonder if you’ve just discovered Trump’s ideal VP pick, Sgt. Schultz!
I heard that today McConnell refused to answer any questions about Trump, other Repubs were dodging reporters…the moment of silence continues.
But when Repubs remain silent as the nominee of their party froths at the mouth about our President being a traitor supporting terrorists and a billion Muslims all being complicit in the actions of any one of them, they become tarred with the same brush.
A few Repubs have shown a sliver of principle in vowing not to support Trump, as the other GOP party leaders stay behind Trump despite his bigotry, treasonous behavior and con man tactics. The GOP is dead and is being populated now by The Living Dead.
Led by Scott (The Original) Walker.