The Continental Divide

2DAE690D-23F7-43BD-A08C-8F1E1D04FCCEAmerica continues to be a nation divided, and with yesterday’s midterm elections, it now has a Congress divided.

The good news is that, despite gerrymandering that heavily favors Republican candidates in GOP-controlled states, voter suppression efforts, and a series of “glitches” with voting machines, Democrats have regained control of the US House of Representatives, a body that more closely reflects the will of the American people.

But Republicans strengthened their thin majority in the US Senate. For the record, Democratic Senatorial candidates across the board amassed about nine million more votes than did Republican candidates, but because there are more red states than blue ones, and because, with the exception of states like Texas and Florida, most Republican strongholds are more rural states, Republicans held the Senate.

Of course, our demented, clueless president, in another delusional tweet, has claimed victory in “this great Midterm Election,” and calls anything that contradicts his assessment “FAKE NEWS.”C0F69BD4-2741-4685-A3A1-96A3668DC9D9So it wasn’t the “blue tsunami” many Democrats were hoping for, but at least the Republican stranglehold in Congress has been busted.

Unfortunately, confirming nominations for the Supreme Court and other federal judgeships is exclusively the purview of the Senate, so we can expect a continued movement to the far right with respect to the judiciary.

That said, I’m hoping that the Democratic House will impose some checks and balances on Donald Trump, will be more aggressive when it comes to supporting Mueller in his investigations to the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump and Russia, and will take steps to insure future election integrity, will protect healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and will restore critical environmental protections.

In other words, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Misguided

D17F8EA2-3E74-4521-B0DE-B975836A6F9ARepublicans in Congress have lost their minds.

In a bill that would be popular only among hardcore right-wingers and, of course, the NRA, Republicans in the House of Representatives could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

Republicans say the provision, euphemistically called the Hearing Protection Act, doesn’t really silence the sound of gunfire. It only diminishes it enough, supporters say, to shield hunters and recreational shooters from hearing damage.

One Republican congressman explained, “It isn’t a silencer because it still makes sound, but what it does is cuts the percentage of the noise down to make shooting sports a little nicer for people’s hearing.”

So do ear plugs.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “popular.”