Open Thread: Waiting on the Morning After the Night Before

… Republicans moved to adjourn immediately after the Zika vote to shut down a round-the-clock sit-in by Democrats demanding votes on gun-control bills. Democrats denounced the GOP plan as “cowardly” and stayed on the floor to demand votes on bills to strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns…

Thanks to Adam, y’all have a clean thread just below where all the things that are not #NoBillNoBreak can be discussed. The sensible people — even the ones on PDT — have mostly gone to bed, and I have very few functioning brain cells left after enduring (another) round of dental work. So I’m gonna dump a bunch of stuff here, put most of it below the fold for speed of reloading, and let Betty or Richard update as necessary come the morning.

Meanwhile, the shorter: All praise to Rep. John Lewis, my personal Rep. Katherine Clark (who asked Rep. Lewis about tactics & timing), and all the Democrats who remembered Joe Hill’s injunction — Don’t mourn, organize!

The Washington Post has an explanation here of why House members had to sit in instead of filibustering. The GOP are still stuck between the rock of NRA dollars and the hard place of primary challenger ads. If they allow a (purely ceremonial) vote to keep individuals on the no-fly list from buying guns (NoFlyNoBuy) the NRA will do its considerable best to unseat them, and if they don’t allow it, their next opponent will remind everybody that Rep. GOPer is in favor of letting ISIS terrorists buy semi-automatics. And of course a tiny minority of Democratic supporters, or at least leftists who might theoretically vote for a Democrat someday if only we weren’t all hopelessly compromised, are having a hissy fit because this particular bill is kinda stupid (agreed) and only bad people care about “optics”. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.

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Late Night Open Thread: The Sit-In Continues

My personal Rep, who’s done good replacing Ed Markey when he moved to the Senate:

It ain’t bragging when you’re sharing a leadership role with Rep. John Lewis.

TIL (today I learned) that my senior senator and my favorite Blogmaster share a birthday!

Open Thread: Hypocrite Grifter Applauds Hypocrite Grifter

Thing about dealing with Lord Short Fingers — as so many people have said — there just isn’t enough space to cover all the venality/stupidity/cupidity/dishonesty. He’s like one of those low-on-the-food-pyramid animals whose go-to defense, when captured, is to spray shit in all directions…

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Would You Take Nutritional Advice from a GOP Pig Castrator?

GOP freshman senator Joni Ernst continues her party’s august record of dealing with the important issues. Forget about climate change, a Supreme Court vacancy, and the blood of dozens fresh in Orlando: the real threat to our lives and democracy is Meatless Monday. A couple of weeks back, she introduced federal legislation that would stop the Department of Defense from spending any money on it or any program designed to reduce meat consumption by U.S. military personnel.

Ernst is from Iowa, Gestation Crate Hellhole of the U.S., so one could argue that she’s just looking after her constituents’ interests. But that’s not what she said in an emailed statement. What she said was—I’m paraphrasing a bit–“OMG WHERE WILL OUR SOLDIERZ GET THEIR PROTEINZ?!?11!?”

It’s an incredibly stupid argument to make in 2016.

Take it away, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, sponsor of Meatless Monday:

Recently, freshman U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) threatened to legislate the removal of Meatless Monday from military menus, suggesting that soldiers and military personnel would not be able to meet protein needs if they cut out meat one day a week. The senator is misinformed about human nutrition, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines (DGAC) and the Meatless Monday campaign.

The 2015 DGAC recommend that for people who consume 2,000 calories per day, the ideal amount of “protein equivalent foods” to consume daily is 5.5 ounces. Protein equivalents include beef, pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, eggs, tofu and soy products, beans, legumes and nuts. According to the Dietary Guidelines, which are revised every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, protein needs can be adequately met with a variety of foods, including plant-based proteins such as the above-mentioned tofu, soy, beans, legumes and nuts.

It is more than feasible for a person to remove meat from his or her diet one day a week and still easily meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendations for protein….Furthermore, removing meat one day a week will actually help Americans meet additional components of the Guidelines, particularly recommendations for increased vegetable consumption and a reduction in saturated fats.

They conclude: “Observing Meatless Monday in Department of Defense dining facilities could improve the health and well-being of our soldiers, and it has the potential to contribute to reduced food costs and fewer environmental and climate impacts.”

Ernst–a real charmer who boasted during her campaign of castrating baby piglets and promised to “make ’em squeal” in Washington–is obviously happy to sell out the health of the soldiers she claims to care so much about for the benefit of her pig-torturing constituents. And she’s no doubt basking in the attention her little amendment has generated. But even if she succeeds in getting it passed, the meat industry is fighting a losing battle. Meat consumption (other than chicken) has been on a decline for years in the U.S., a trend that will continue and accelerate.

PS – Not Just Related But Yuge: Yesterday, The Guardian reported on a plan by China to cut meat consumption by 50% for public health, ecological (land degradation), and climate reasons.

Open Thread: Return of the Cruz-ifiction Candidate

With the Democrats openly rebelling against the NRA (and the GOP candidate flailing on all fronts), a call went out in search of a New Hope. And guess who happened to be waiting by the phone…

From the Hill, yesterday:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended a confidential dinner with more than 20 top conservatives on Tuesday night to plan his comeback as a movement leader in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

The dinner was at the Virginia home of conservative activist Brent Bozell, and the agenda was to plot Cruz’s future and the future of the conservative movement.

The undertone of the dinner was about how to position Cruz for a future tilt at the presidency and to spearhead the conservative movement from his seat in the Senate, those in attendance said.

Dining with Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, were some of the most powerful figures in the conservative movement.

The spectrum of economic, national security and social conservatives seated at the table included Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, National Rifle Association board member and former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, sources confirmed…

Many of the leaders at the dinner want Cruz to run for president again, and they are viewing Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 run as similar to Reagan’s failed attempt in 1976 to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Gerald Ford…

Reagan gave the grifting bigots of the “Moral Majority” a comfy seat at the top table, back in the day when AIDS was still a mysterious new “gay plague”. And as far as these good Christianists are concerned, it’s not as though the Orlando massacre involved, you know, actual American people — just pawns of the devil
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