Category Archives: Politics

Hoyer Joins 150 Dems to Create Independent Commission to Investigate Russian Interference

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined today with more than 150 House Democrats as cosponsors of legislation being introduced by House Intelligence Subcommittee on the Central Intelligence Agency Ranking Member Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to create an independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“The magnitude of Russian interference in our recent election demands an independent investigative commission, and today I am joining with more than 150 of my House colleagues in cosponsoring legislation to establish such a body,” Whip Hoyer said. “ That the ranking members of every House committee are cosponsoring this legislation underscores the broad recognition that there needs to be an independent body that is solely focused on investigating Russia’s attempts to undermine our democracy and erode trust in our institutions, without the other workload and competing issues being handled by existing committees. The American people deserve a full and thorough accounting of Russia’s activities, and I hope my Republican colleagues will support this effort.”

The Swalwell-Cummings bill, originally introduced last month in the 114th Congress, would establish a body similar to the 9/11 Commission and has broad support from former senior defense and intelligence officials.

Hoyer Remarks During House Democrats Conference Call to Discuss ACA

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders on a conference call to discuss the Affordable Care Act this afternoon. Below is a transcript of his opening remarks and his responses during the question and answer portion of the call:

“Thank you very much, Leader. I appreciate your convening this call and including our leadership on there; the three committees are so relevant to what the Republicans are trying to do.
“Six years ago, January 2011, the Republicans took over the House and have tried to repeal, immediately, the Affordable Care Act ever since.

“Of course, if the ACA were to be repealed, not only as it was pointed out, would tens of millions of Americans lose their coverage – tens of millions of others would see their health care costs skyrocket. I know that Mr. [Richard] Neal, Mr. [Frank] Pallone, and Mr. [Bobby] Scott are going to speak to that.

“According to the Tax Policy Center, repealing the ACA would significantly raise taxes for around seven million Americans, who would lose their tax credits to purchase insurance through the marketplace—a devastating effect for them.

“And according to the Brookings Institution, repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase premiums by 20 percent or more. That’s a startling figure, and Republicans, I’m sure, won’t speak to that.

“Republicans’ so-called ‘repeal-and-delay’ plan is code for ‘repeal-without-an-alterative.’ Again, six years demanding immediate repeal and no alternative to replace it.

“The truth is, they don’t have one, and their plan is simply to turn back the clock. ‘Make American unhealthy again’ perhaps.

“I heard recently through social media from a woman whose family was able to save more than $1,200 a month, and that’s a month, in other words almost $15,000 a year, because of the availability of the health insurance marketplace.

“Another wrote to tell me that the ACA made it possible for her to sign up for coverage for the first time in years since she lost her job. Her name was Ann and her employer-based insurance lapsed when she lost her job, and when she needed to be hospitalized this spring for three days, having coverage, she says ‘saved her life.’

“Democrats will not sit idly by and watch the Affordable Care Act be dismantled and tens of millions lose their insurance and protections. And the challenge and risk it will put Medicaid and Medicare to as well. But importantly, it will increase the premiums of almost every American for the insurance they have now through their employers.

“We’re going to fight as hard as ever to protect the ACA and make sure hardworking Americans, and their families, are not forced to choose between paying for health care and paying for heat in their home, paying for food, and other absolutely essential items.

“Thank you, Leader, again, and I look forward to hearing from Mr. Neal, who is the new Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee.”
***

“We believe that was a very essential piece of legislation that was passed to the benefit of all Americans, including those who have employer-based insurance. The fact is that we should have been working for the past years to make sure that it works as best as it possibly can because health care coverage is not an option for all Americans. So yes, it’s a priority for us from that perspective. There are many other priorities, which the Leader just mentioned and which we will pay attention to as well.”

“Let me make three quick points. We are defending a policy that over 2.8 million Americans supported the candidate who wanted this than supported the candidate who won. The candidate didn’t win. It doesn’t mean that Trump is not going to be president, but it does mean that more Americans voted for this policy than voted against it. Number two, there was an interesting story that was written, I think it was about a Kentucky community that voted, like 80 percent for Trump. And they interviewed a number of people, and one woman in particular said, ‘Oh I don’t expect anybody to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I’m on that Act and it’s absolutely essential for me and my family.’ So I think that in our defense, a lot of people are going to be looking at this and saying, ‘Gee I didn’t really think they meant that,’ any more than they want to see Social Security privatized or voucherized. They may have voted for Trump, but if they try to do either one of those things, they are going to say to themselves, ‘That’s not what I meant.’ That’s exactly what happened in 1995, as [Newt] Gingrich and company shut down the government. The American people said, ‘that’s not what I meant.’ And after that, we picked up seats, as you recall. So we are defending a policy that we believe the majority of the American public believes is an important benefit for them and their families, to make America stronger and their families stronger.”

“Let me add that this a very cynical political approach, ‘repeal-and-delay.’ It’s essentially an admission that what they’ve been trying to do for the last six years will be very detrimental and will not only have extraordinarily adverse health effects on the American people, but also a very adverse political effect when the American people see the result of repeal. So what they are cynically saying is even after the [20]18 election, or after the 2020 election we will have it go into effect, so they do not have to bear the political responsibility of the consequences of their act. And I think it is a very politically cynical strategy on their part, and an absolute admission that they no alternative.”

Tenor of the Times in Alexandria (and elsewhere) – May 25,1889

From the leading newspaper of the city, The Alexandria Gazette, one day after the dedication of the confederate monument on May 24,1889.

“Ex-President Cleveland is a civil service reformer; so is President Harrison. And yet the former appointed negroes to office, not for honesty and competency, but “to recognize the colored element of the country’s population,” and the latter has appointed his brother to office, because “his plans of  life were broken up by the war.”  Charlatans in the olden times used to smile when they passed each other on the streets. The two conspicuous personages referred to, don’t do so, but that is probably because they never pass each other, and then, too, it is said Mr. Harrison never smiles, and his predecessor, only in the presence of those bound to him by hooks of favors.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 63, Number 168, 5 July 1862

Senator Hale [John P. Hale of New Hampshire] in answering a remark of Mr. Sumner [Charles Sumner of Massachusetts], reflecting upon his refusal to vote aye upon an amendment making Negro testimony admissible, said that he had long labored for that object, but that if incorporated in a law it would be rendered nugatory by the present Supreme Court, and he therefore regarded such action as utterly futile. He preferred to abolish the Court altogether.

Longworth Feeds Confederate Families

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 63, Number 155, 19 June 1862

“It is stated that Nicholas Longworth [Longworth House Office Building used by the U.S. House of Representatives is named for him], the Cincinnati millionaire, has contributed $500 to feed the families of Confederate soldiers at the South.”


Longworth later married the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, and became Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Voter Suppression — Nothing New

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Picture_of_Charles_Brantley_Aycock.jpg

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 102, Number 14, 16 January 1901

Governor Aycock of North Carolina says that while the good of all the people of his state depends upon restricting negro suffrage to the intelligent members of that race and to those of them who have some material interest in the welfare of the State, it is just as requisite and necessary to secure that race all their natural and legal rights, and to treat them kindly and make all proper allowances for the delinquencies. And he is right.


From Wikipedia page of Charles Brantley Aycock:

In 1898 and 1900, Aycock was prominent in the Democratic Party’s “white supremacy” Solid South campaigns.[1] Aycock’s involvement with the Wilmington insurrection of 1898 is chronicled in official state commission report. “Planned violence to suppress the African American and Republican communities grew into unplanned bloodshed. The frenzy over white supremacy victory, incessantly repeated by orators such as Alfred Moore Waddelland Charles Aycock simply could not be quieted after an overwhelming and somewhat anticlimactic election victory.”[2] Aycock was reportedly not present in Wilmington the day of the insurrection.

In 1900, Aycock was elected Governor over Republican Spencer B. Adams,[3] as part of a sweeping Democratic victory which included a suffrage amendment. Aycock was a supporter of the amendment and campaigned on the issue.[4]

Indeed it has become the fashion among Republicans and Populists to assert the unfitness of the negro to rule, but when they use the word rule, they confine it to holding office. When we say that the negro is unfit to rule we carry it one step further and convey the correct idea when we declare that he is unfit to vote. To do this we must disfranchise the negro. This movement comes from the people. Politicians have been afraid of it and have hesitated, but the great mass of white men in the State are now demanding and have demanded that the matter be settled once and for all. To do so is both desirable and necessary – desirable because it sets the white man free to move along faster than he can go when retarded by the slower movement of the negro.

— Charles Aycock, Address Accepting the Democratic Nomination for Governor, April 11, 1900 [5]

Racism in the Alexandria Gazette, Part 338

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 274, 23 November 1888

One of the negroes who were retained in office in Washington by the present administration in order to show that the colored element of the country should be recognized has been convicted of attempted outrage and robbery. Another one who was appointed to office in the same city for the same purpose is now under trial for robbing the mail. Negro recognition by a democratic administration did not have as satisfactory results as were anticipated by those who were so ignorant of negro character as to adopt such a silly idea.