Bullying and death threats by Jim Jordan (R-OH) supporters were part of the pressure campaign to members of their own Republican party to push him closer to the Speaker of the House. It did more harm than good.
It was implied that Congress was to do the third round of voting today, Thursday October 19, 2023. Republican nominee Jim Jordan is not backing down from being the nominee for Speaker, even though the threats have reportedly turned more members against the Congressman. With doing only one voting session per day and skipping Wednesday all together, the urgency to get things done doesn’t seem to be a priority.
The texts sent to non-Jim Jordan voters came from supporters within their own party, and the Capitol Police has been investigating the origins of these texts. A few of the texts were shared with the media to illustrate the severity of the attempts to flip votes.
It is one thing to target Congress members, but targeting family members is way out of line. “The wife of Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska has begun sleeping with a loaded gun after receiving increasingly menacing anonymous calls and texts.”
The infighting continues as have the threats, pushing votes away from Jordan and the Congressmen and women were not having it. In fact, they were pretty clear about being even less likely to vote for him, and the attempts were publicized via many distribution channels. Miller-Meeks (R-IA) sent out the following press release regarding the bullying.
Jim Jordan Lost Support in Round Two
Despite continuing to lose votes and making matters worse, Jordan believes he can change that. Here is the summary of the second round of voting:
Have any of these Republican Congress men and women consulted with their constituents about how they would like to be represented? Jim Jordan was not well liked by most Republican voters, especially the ones who are the traditional conservatives and moderates. If anyone is up for re-election in 2024, these Jim Jordan backers may be in for a rude awakening.
The third round of voting for Speaker of the House is set to resume Friday, October 20th at 10AM Eastern Time.
Here are some links to YouTube livestreams that have broadcasted the voting live:
Round 1: Jeffries (D) – 212, Jordan (R) 200, Other (R) – 20
It has been about two weeks since Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed as Speaker of the House, leaving Congress unable to get any work done until someone can meet the threshold of 217 votes. As of this first round, no one secured the required 217 votes.
How did we get here?
January 7, 2023 – McCarthybecame Speaker of the House in January after voting for 15 rounds due to a handful of Republicans with demands that included a change to the House rules that allowed any one member of the House to call for a motion to remove the Speaker at any time for any reason. After initially nominating and voting for Donald Trump for Speaker, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) leveraged his strong holdout to get McCarthy to adopt this rule to earn his (and a handful of other Republican representatives) vote, leading to the win for McCarthy.
Here is a quick recap of the events around McCarthy’s vote into power:
September 30, 2023 – With a government shutdown just one day away, McCarthy put forward a bipartisan deal to keep the government running for 45 more days (through a temporary spending bill known as a CR, or Continuing Resolution). This allowed active-duty military troops to get paid, air travel to remain at status quo, and keep food on the table for millions of families. With no Speaker, it has been two weeks and no progress has been made to meet the 45 day government shutdown deadline extension that sealed the fate of McCarthy’s speakership.
Gaetz warned McCarthy that he would file a motion to vacate the Speaker, calling for his removal if he decided to work with Democrats to ensure a Continuing Resolution. Gaetz followed through with his threat and called for the vote to remove McCarthy two days after the bipartisan bill to avoid a government shutdown was signed. With such a slim majority and only a simple majority required for the motion to vacate to happen, McCarthy ultimately lost the uphill battle after all Democrats and 8 Republicans voted to remove him. The Republicans were reportedly furious and tensions ran so high that the House was adjourned for a number of days to give time for everyone to calm down.
Where are we now?
Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) were the two candidates within the Republican party that were voted on behind closed doors, with Scalise winning the majority vote 111-99 over Jordan. Scalise announced his nomination on October 11. By October 12, Scalise withdrew his candidacy, paving the way for Jim Jordan to be the official nominee for the Republicans.
212 Democrats are 100% united behind Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), so it is the “Hard No” Republicans that are under scrutiny to see how they will vote. For round 1, 20 Republicans voted for an alternative candidate simply to not vote for Jordan.
To become Speaker of the House in this particular session, someone needs to earn 217 votes. After round one, Jeffries (D) received 212 votes and Jordan (R) received 200. Only five more votes for Jeffries are needed for a historic win for a Democratic Speaker of the House while the Republicans hold the majority. Jim Jordan can only afford to lose 4 votes, and he has lost 20.
Alternate plans have been discussed, but there is no clear alternative to Jim Jordan. In the days after McCarthy was ousted, moderate Republicans and hard-no Republicans were near 50 against Jordan, but after today’s vote, it was clear that there were plenty who caved to the pressure.
Let’s see how round two shapes up.
To watch these sessions live, here are some sources on YouTube to check out:
As of September 29, 2:00 pm Central Time, the government shutdown is actually possible. Politicians, experts, strategists, and professors are among those who have been providing different examples of what the shutdown will look like. From unpaid TSA personnel to 19,000 unpaid border agents, this government shutdown isn’t as irrelevant as people may think. Below is a partial list of how we the people will be affected (with sources) by reporting the plans that might be implemented.
Cybersecurity and Physical Security Support to the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure: CISA would also be forced to suspend both physical and cybersecurity assessments for government and industry partners. Perhaps more cyberattacks are in the works now that this deadline is looming and the government shutdown has worldwide coverage.
Disruptions to Air Transportation from Multiple Sides: If you have flights to catch, get ready for some “significant delays” if the government shutdown happens. On average, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens 2.5 million passengers every day. There is already a pilot and air traffic controller shortage so if the government shuts down there will be fewer people to work these positions. If they are given the opportunity to continue working they would be required to continue working, but without pay.
“CBP agents and officers working at over 300 ports of entry and protecting more than 6,000 miles of border under challenging circumstances would be required to continue performing their vital missions without pay.” This includes issues like securing borders, seizing fentanyl,combating child exploitation,and arresting human traffickers.
About 1.3 Million Active-Duty Service Members Will Serve Without Pay: With the government shutdown, all military personnel will continue in a normal duty status regardless of their affiliation with excepted or non-excepted activities until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service.
Hardship for Nearly 40,000 Active Military Personnel: The U.S. Coast Guard may not even be paid for their unpaid work unless a specific appropriation is passed. They are also unique in that they are not allowed to apply for unemployment benefits either. This is not the case for the other military branches. Additionally, unlike civilian employees, they are not able to file for interim support such as unemployment benefits to supplement their income until an appropriation is passed.
Small Business Administration (SBA) to stop processing new business loans for small businesses:
Each weekday the government is shut down, and small business loan applications will be halted, which may cause small business owners to turn to high-interest, price-gouging non-government loans.
Pro-Life? Not After Birth: The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program serves about 50% of babies born in this country and is at risk. Head Start, which supports education for 3- and 4-year-olds across the country, and women and children who count on WIC would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters, with a federal contingency fund drying up after just a few days and many states left with limited WIC funds to operate the program.
Senior citizens may have a hard time getting food too: Meals on Wheels, which brings food to elderly people many of whom can’t drive or go to the store on their own, could also get interrupted.
What is the hold up? The Republicans are demanding that their specific budget cut proposal pass. Members of Congress indicate that this 8% budget cut proposed will result in:
800 fewer Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers
50,000 pounds of cocaine, more than 300 pounds of fentanyl, more than 700 pounds of heroin, and more than 6,000 pounds of methamphetamine let into our country due to cuts to CBP
110,000 children would lose access to Head Start slots
65,000 children would lose access to childcare
60,000 seniors would be robbed of nutrition services like Meals on Wheels
2.1 million women, infants, and children would be waitlisted for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Up to 40,000 fewer teachers, aides, or other key staff across the country, affecting 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students and 7.5 million students with disabilities
Nearly 70 fewer Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, who are often some of the first federal law enforcement on the scene of a mass shooting to help local law enforcement identify at-large shooters—and 13 furlough days for ATF’s entire workforce
4,000 fewer rail safety inspection days next year alone, with nearly 11,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States more than 3 times
145 fewer members of local law enforcement due to cuts at the Department of Justice
Nearly 300,000 households—including 20,000 veterans and 90,000 seniors—would lose housing choice vouchers, putting them at greater risk of homelessness
A roughly $500 reduction to the maximum Pell Grant for 6.6 million students
4,000 fewer FBI personnel, including agents who investigate crimes
250,000 American workers would be denied job training and employment services—resulting in 35,000 fewer workers gaining the opportunity of a Registered Apprenticeship
50,000 workers would lose an average of $1,000 in back wages they are owed
People applying for disability benefits would have to wait 2 months longer
A government shutdown should not be a bargaining chip. The congress members still get paid a pretty nice $174,000 salary so they don’t necessarily feel the impact. Maybe it is time to include Congress in one of these categories where if the government shuts down they also have to work for free. Otherwise, there is no urgency to get things done on time, and these elected officials end up harming their constituents and their livelihoods.
Hopefully this article will be irrelevant soon! Congress – do your best.
As political turmoil ensues, name-calling is getting increasingly…convoluted. The definitions of words like “fascist” or “socialist” are thrown around quite a bit, but in many cases, the true meaning of the term is misunderstood or misinterpreted.
These words are the go-to insults to hurl at the other side, regardless of whether they are being used correctly. So what do all these terms actually mean? Here are some examples of the recent rhetoric and topics of discussion that need some clarity.
Words, phrases, and theories that can help in any political conversation
Democracy– Not to be completely associated with “Democrats”. Whether you identify as a Democrat or Republican, the US form of government is commonly called a Democracy in which the leaders are chosen by the people.
Merriam-Webster defines democracy as a. a government by the people especially: rule of the majority, or b. a government in which the supreme power isvested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
“The First Amendment only protects your speech from government censorship. It applies to federal, state, and local government actors. This is a broad category that includes not only lawmakers and elected officials, but also public schools and universities, courts, and police officers. It does not include private citizens, businesses, and organizations.“
Private companies can’t be forced to publish or broadcast opinions they don’t agree with.
Private businesses can fire someone for expressing political views
Telling a group of people to go commit violence, making threats, knowingly spreading lies, obscenity, defamation – will likely have consequences that could result in lawsuits of millions of dollars.
Here is a short summary of Democracy vs Fascism before diving into Socialism:
Fascism vs Socialism (Fascists and Socialists)
Fascism – A single individual is in control of everything, including the conduct of the people, society, and industries in the country. Private ownership is restrictive, and there is no freedom of speech for anyone. Fascism aims to strengthen the nation in prosperity rather than the people of the nation.
Socialism – Public welfare is the priority of Socialism, with the eradication of poverty as the driver of this form of government. The Powers are owned by the people and control is decentralized and distributed among the states. There is a strong focus on balancing the social classes.
Comparing Fascism and Socialism
WallStreetMojo summarises the differences between Fascism and Socialism in a few charts below.
Fascism vs. Socialism – A Comparison Infographic
What about Communism?
Now that socialism and fascism have been compared, let’s throw communism into the mix for comparison as well.
Communism vs. Fascism – A Comparison Infographic
The more you know
There are surely plenty more forms of government across the world that were not covered here, but at least for now, Fascism, Communism, and Socialism appear to be the insults most often used in a verbal argument regarding the “left” and the “right”. At least now you can be sure you are using the right term to describe the type of political affiliation just in case you may actually be complementing them instead of trying to intentionally hurt them. So instead, be nice out there and all just get along.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s historical data, the federal minimum wage in 2012 was $7.25 per hour. In 2022, the federal minimum wage has not changed. $7.25 per hour isn’t enough to buy a meal at many fast-food restaurants. $7.25 per hour. That’s $58 for an 8-hour day, $290 per week, or $1,300 monthly. At minimum wage, an individual earns about $15,000 a year before taxes. Members of Congressand the Senatemake $174,000 per year.
Childcare and annual earnings leave no money to survive and provide
As a quick comparison, according to the U.S. Department of Labor National Database of Childcare Prices, the first year of childcarefor infants in 2022 ranges from an estimated $8,310 for small counties to $17,171 for large counties. If there is a worst-case scenario, a full-time job at $7.25 per hour is not enough income for childcare for an entire year. This does not include rent, electricity, food, phone, and everything else needed to live.
National federal minimum wages
Minimum wages are set at the federal level and state levels, but not all states have their own laws about minimum wage. Arguably, employers on average probably pay higher than minimum wage, but sometimes just barely. Having two or three jobs is necessary to survive.
Why tipping your server makes a difference
For those in the service industry, tips are the main source of income. In Texas, if you are tipped at least $30 (thirty) per month, your employer is only required to pay $2.13 per hour. Texas Law Help’s websitestates that “If you earn less than $5.12 per hour in tips in a work week, your employer must make up the difference so that you receive $7.25 per hour in that work week.” Hopefully, most businesses are paying more than $7.25 per hour, but the costs of everything else – rent, food, tuition, childcare – has definitely increased over ten years.
One of the most interesting ways to analyze currency exchange rates across the world is using the cost of a Mcdonald’s Big Mac in different countries, known to economists as the Big Mac Index. How much did a Big Mac cost 10 years ago? In the US, a Big Mac in 2012 cost $4.26, and $5.15 in 2022 – an increase of about 21% which equates to less than $1, but an increase nonetheless.
The publication The Economist explains: “The Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP). The Big Mac index has become a global standard, included in several economic textbooks and the subject of dozens of academic studies.”
The point is, Big Macs are about $1 more expensive now than they were 10 years ago, but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not changed. Childcare costs as much as a full-time job and we need to change that. It is time for both federal and state to raise this so people can actually afford to live.
McDonald’s provided the costs of the Big Mac over time, and The Economist created the index using data from McDonald’s across the world and with different currencies. The methodology can be found here. The data generated by The Economist are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Putting all of the data together, the chart takes a look at each state’s minimum wage in 2012 vs. 2022. The hourly wage data was taken directly from theU.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Divisions. The two horizontal lines show the cost of the Big Mac in 2012 and 2022, over the ten years. In 2023, there are 18 states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, SD, and WA) that currently have scheduled annual adjustments for their minimum wages based on varying formulas. Most of these increases occur around January 1st. Individuals should consult the relevant state labor offices for information on the particular formula used to adjust the state minimum wage.
Don’t forget to check out BigTimeFresh.com for more content and listen to the Big Time Fresh Podcast!
Trigger Warning: The subject matter that is referenced in this article may cause distress or discomfort with topics around child trauma, abuse, neglect, assault, and other potentially uncomfortable information.
There seem to be a few justifications that the “pro-life without exceptions” lawmakers like to use on a regular basis: Abortion is murder. Pro-choice somehow equates to child abuse. It can be argued that their laws by their own logic make pro-life lawmakers guilty of their own hypocrisy.
For example, when a mother is literally dying but she cannot get a medical abortion due to the “no exceptions for the life of the mother” clause mandated by the government. Then, if the mother does die because she was not given the abortion she needed for her life, the baby also dies.
The pro-life argument does not stand once the child is born, as illustrated by the spending cuts enacted by the states with the bans. This could mean that if the state concludes that the mother is not fit to raise the child, they go to foster care where trafficking is not rare.
Forcing young girls to deliver a baby that their bodies can’tsafely handle and then have that child get taken away by Child Protective Services because they don’t have the means to care for the child financially because they aren’t even old enough to have a job makes no sense. All the while suffering mental health trauma that will go untreated because it is unaffordable. Like in Texas, where “Texas officials celebrated end of abortion rights after cutting Medicaid extension”.
I’m about to jump into some data on how foster care and adoption currently operate. Before I get into the data and the details, it is worth mentioning the following:
Not all unplanned pregnancies end in giving the baby up for adoption.
Not all unplanned pregnancies are a burden and a strong support system -families, pastors, friends, neighbors – can provide a healthy, happy upbringing full of love.
About 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage which can often require a medical abortion.
Adoption services have the best intentions and make every effort to evaluate the home life of the parent(s) to ensure the child has a stable and loving family.
Not all foster care situations are the same, and children adopted from foster care can be just as wonderful and well-adjusted as any child.
The role of Child Protective Services can be very effective in providing a stable life for children.
As with anything published online, one instance or example does not represent the entire population of the subject discussed.
Anything that is hyperlinked will take you to where the data was sourced.
The children are not illegal immigrants. White, Black, and Hispanic children make up the majority of the foster care population.
There are some sarcasm and opinion-based comments.
For anything you read with biased or one-sided opinions, it is good to fact-check from reputable sources if the source itself if biased.
The goal of this article is to provide a different point of view to start the conversation. Never attack anyone personally for their beliefs online or in person. Opposing views are welcome, just be polite.
If someone is looking for a child to adopt, there are official websites that have the profiles of the children needing permanent homes. Potential parents can use the online database where you can handpick the children based on a profile of characteristics and pictures. It is heartbreaking to think that a child would be adopted only if they have the exact criteria parents are looking for. Unless I’m misinterpreting the system, if you don’t like the child you can return him or her to foster care. This is a scenario where it just is what it is, and it is the norm. Personally, I have no clue how to suggest otherwise so I don’t want to attack the system.
Meanwhile, the state of Texas is abusing the abused.
US District Judge Janis Jack has been presiding on the class action representing the children of Texas and the infringement on their 14th amendment rights via a lawsuit against the Abbott administration for the last 11 years.
The Department of Family and Protective Services is overwhelmed in the lone star state so foster homes are at capacity and cannot accept placements of children legally or safely. The children stay with the CPS workers in motels, offices, churches, and other unlicensed facilities which has led to increased cases of sexual abuse, children going missing and children going hungry in the care of the state. During and after Covid-19, many foster care facilities closed either due to cost or failed inspection that proved the existing foster care facilities to be unsafe and illegal.
The situation is not being taken seriously by the Abbott administration.
For example, during COVID-19 1,000 beds were taken away when these facilities closed down with little warning and no backup plan. One of the solutions that Texas provided for foster care overcrowding was to spend about $ 2.1 million (in 2021) to move children out of state. The Abbott administration’s lack of competence and failed promises were all part of the Texas supreme court’s decision to hold them in contempt of court with a 355-page ruling: “M.D.; bnf STUKENBERG, et al, Plaintiffs, VS. GREG ABBOT, et al, Defendants” civil suit CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:11-CV-00084. In this 2020 ruling discussed above, the following steps have been addressed: “The Court finds Defendants to be in contempt of Remedial Orders 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 37, and B5”
To show how little progress was made, this is a statement from the same judge from 2015:
“In her scathing, 255-page ruling, Judge Jack reprimanded the state for running a system where children “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”
As reported earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a priority to have CPS remove children from their homes and added the classification of gender-transitioning procedures as child abuse.
Gov. Abbott piles on another group to weigh down the system that is actually in happy, healthy homes. Instead of focusing on the dangerous and traumatic situations, Governor Abbott’s priority is now taking focus away from those who need it by hunting down the trans kids in their happy homes.
“Investigating Gender-Transitioning Procedures As Child Abuse because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas,” reads the letter. “To protect Texas children from abuse, DFPS and all other state agencies must follow the law as explained in OAG Opinion No. KP-0401.”
– A press release from the office of Gov. Abbott
Abbott Administration is not able to use federal funds because they didn’t meet the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act.
It has been reported that Texas was projected to lose $17.4 million in federal support in 2022 and $25.6 million in 2023 because the state is not compliant with the Family First Prevention Services Act. No, there is nothing that can be blamed on the Biden administration. It was actually enacted in 2018 by President Trump with bi-partisan support to “strengthen America’s child welfare system by signing a historic Executive Order (EO) aimed at improving outcomes for children and families. This EO focuses on three key areas of action: improving partnerships, improving resources, and improving oversight”. Although this EO is currently in place, “DFPS is expecting a loss of $17.4 million in federal support in 2022 and $25.6 million in 2023 because Texas is not compliant with Family First, court documents showed.”
This is also worth noting:
“In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed sweeping reforms in response to the crisis of the state’s struggling child welfare system. The landmark reform known as community-based care decentralized the state’s foster care system by giving local private and nonprofit charities primary responsibility for caring for and managing the cases of children in foster care in their region. One year later, the Trump administration enacted the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), which seeks to shift the focus of child welfare toward preventing the removal of children into foster care. Although the effective date for the act was October 1, 2019, Texas elected to delay implementation until October 1, 2021.”
The foster care system in Texas is beyond broken. But requests for increased funding in the state are being granted to Operation Lone Star. Read the report on the Texas Family First Prevention Services Act plan that has quite a few sad realities here.
My message to lawmakers: Be prepared to explain to taxpayers, religious institutions, Medicaid programs, CHIP, food stamps, children taken away from their mothers from lack of funds to keep a roof over their heads at a $7.25/hour minimum wage, and how you treat the so-called “handouts” that you literally are the cause of and then determine how much you intend to value the life of the child.
Now that abortions are nearly totally illegal, the system is preparing for an influx of children to enter the foster care system from mothers who are too young to work, with no money to provide shelter, or some with no options at all. The mothers who had to endure the life “begins at conception” law will result in the state taking the child away to live a life of assault and trauma at the hands of those lawmakers.
A message to the brothers, boyfriends, uncles, friends, and fathers:
Every single person who is on the side of this version of “pro-life” women of reproductive rights should think about what they would do if any unspeakable things resulting in a pregnancy happened to their 12-year-old daughter. Or granddaughter or sister or friend or wife or grandmother. Not even the most wonderful, loving, knight in shining armor dad can save his princess from the government’s control of her body. All he can do is helplessly watch her suffer, because hundreds of old men in the government control her body, and he can’t do anything about it.
For the sources from this article, click on the hyperlinks above. To read more about the topic that is based on the laws:
For a long list of reports, court documents, contempt of court orders against Texas, and legislation that detail the actions taken on child welfare in Texas, click to visit the direct link to the list: childrensrights.org