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What Would YOU Do If You Were Elected To Congress?

North Georgia's three-toed Republican beast, Marjorie Traitor Greene is a full-time troll, with nothing better to do in Congress (literally-- a bipartisan majority of her colleagues voted to kick her off all her committees) than spread QAnon crap. And since Kevin McCarthy is afraid of her, she fasces no disciplinary action for her behavior at all. In fact, quite the contrary. Other Republican members-- even beyond, Gaetz, Cawthorn, Boebert, Gosar and Miller-- follow her religiously. This morning, writing for Rolling Stone, Ryan Bort reported that her deranged obsession with pedophilia is causing her to melt down over KBJ's SCOTUS confirmation and Disney. He noted that another GOP crackpot, rabid Tennessee homophobe Senator Marsha Blackburn pestered KBJ with a nonsense question during the confirmation hearings by asking her how she defines a woman. "It’s a ludicrous question," wrote Bort, "and the Supreme Court nominee was right to decline to answer it. 'I’m not a biologist,' Jackson said during the hearing. The exchange threw right-wing media and bigoted Republican lawmakers into a tizzy, just as Blackburn intended. Rep. Marjorie Traitor Greene, one such bigoted Republican lawmaker, attacked Jackson over the weekend while offering her own definition of a woman. 'We are a creation of God. We came from Adam’s rib. God created us with his hands,' Greene, who is also very much not a biologist, said at a Georgia Republican Assembly event. 'We are the weaker sex, but we are our husband’s wife.'"

"Jackson’s bipartisan confirmation later this week is all but assured, " he wrote, "as three Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have all said they will be voting to confirm the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Greene tweeted Monday night that those three senators, and in effect all 50 Democratic senators, are 'pro-pedophile.'"

The idea that Jackson is sympathetic to pedophiles is a conspiracy theory popularized by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), based in bad faith on Jackson straying from sentencing guidelines in some child pornography cases. Straying from such guidelines is not uncommon, and as Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) pointed out on Monday, Hawley has voted to confirm conservative judges who strayed from such guidelines in similar cases. The argument, which is animating the Republican opposition to Jackson’s confirmation, is so absurd that event the conservative National Review described it as “meritless to the point of demagoguery.”
The idea that Democrats are pedophiles is just too juicy to resist for conspiracy-loving Republicans like Greene. Many of them are now trying to accuse Disney of preying on children because of the company’s opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in certain grade levels of the state’s public schools. Some Republicans, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson, have claimed those who oppose the bill are doing so because they want to “groom” young children. Disney is no exception here, and Greene has been going after the company with more gusto than just about anyone.
“The immoral, disgusting, evil left is attacking our children,” Greene said recently. “They are child predators. I’m not kidding you. Look at what is happening at Disney right now. Disney wants to completely take your children and they want to indoctrinate them into sexual, immoral filth.”
“It’s hard to believe that Disney, Walt Disney, the Walt Disney Company, would be the very place that this is happening,” Greene told Alex Jones last week in an Infowars interview teased with the tagline: “We Must Stop Child Predators From Sexualizing Our Kids.”
“This is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, a place where innocence is celebrated, but it seems to be the place where innocence is actually under attack,” Greene continued, adding that Disney must “pay a serious price.”

In light of all the Traitor Greene's and Boebert's and Cawthorn's first years in the House, I asked some prominent candidates running for Congress this cycle how they hope to spend their freshman terms. The first to respond was Melanie D'Arrigo, the progressive challenger for the open seat on Long Island. "Every single day of your freshman year," she told me, "you have to make the word 'representative,' have real meaning and demonstrate that you are deserving of your district's trust to fight for the policies and funding that will protect and uplift your communities. This means supporting bills, pledging support and building coalitions to make your agenda a reality. It also means making your work transparent and collaborative with constituents so they can have confidence that their interests are properly represented. In Congress, you are there to do the work. Full stop." Please consider contributing to D'Arrigo's campaign here.

Cristina Garcia is running for an open seat on the other side of the country, southeast L.A. County. Her opponent is a long-time Republican activist pretending to be a conservative Democrat. "These days," she told me, "outrageous behavior and virtue signaling often border on hate speech or a high school rhetoric course. I think of Marjorie Taylor Green or Madison Cawthorn as the biggest offenders. But the Left can be susceptible to pounding their chest but not getting anything done. I hope to be the diametric opposite when in Congress. My focus will first earn significant committee assignments such as Natural Resources, Post Audits, and Oversight, Education, and Labor, where I can forward my EJ, Menstrual Equity, Government Transparency priorities. If I could make an impact on those issues and maybe pass a bill or two, I would consider that a great freshman year. Oh, and also telling Marjorie Taylor Green to shut her racist mouth would be kind of cool too." You can contribute to Cristina's campaign on the same page as Melanie's and Joaquin's.

Another Southern California progressive, San Diego challenger Joaquin Vazquez told me this morning that starting from his freshman year, he'll have an ambitious agenda covering issues from climate and housing, to healthcare and education for his constituents and neighbors. He listened a few that he wants to focus on in his first 2 years in the House:

On transportation: Top local priorities include working with local governments to seek funding for the expansion of our light rail trolley system. Specifically, into eastern parts of the district, connecting Spring Valley to Bonita, with one track branching off towards Plaza Bonita Mall and Interstate 5 freeway along the Sweetwater River Channel, and another track heading south to Otay Mesa. Coupled with this, I would seek funding for our public transportation system to be able to reduce fares, make it fare-free during non-peak hours, permanently fare-free for seniors, and make the current fare-free program that we have youth under 18 permanent. • On housing: I would seek to increase access for home buying by first time low income workers, by lowering the threshold requirements in first time homebuyers programs, such as requiring only a minimum of 1.5% (currently at 3% locally) of the purchasing price, and increase closing cost assistance grant funding for buyers earning under 80 AMI to 6% of the purchase price, not to exceed $20,000. I will work in partnership with local government officials to ensure that what we propose is attainable, but that it helps as many working-class families as possible to move from renting to owning a home. Even if this program is only implemented temporarily for a span of two years as an emergency effort to help uplift people from the impacts of COVID and the ongoing housing crisis. Additionally, I will advocate for rent control at the national level, to continue to push the overtone window and gain more national support for it. • On the environment: To start, I will seek to secure $600 million in funding that we need to finally clean up the Tijuana River Valley sewage seepage that has been contaminating our South Bay waters. As well as funding to conduct a comprehensive analysis on the impact of the shipbuilding industry on the working-class communities adjacent to it, which continue to be victims of environmental racism. This will include the consideration of moving, or even shutting down, any land areas where industry is currently on that has immediate health impacts on said communities. All with the goal of improving the quality of life for residents, by finding ways to invest in making their communities healthier, safer, and overall more livable. • On the economy: A major priority is increasing wages to livable ones, so that people no longer have to work two jobs or more to make ends meet. This will also include seeking to implement individual priorities from the Green New Deal that add jobs by way of investment into clean renewable energy sources, and industry transitions to products that are powered by such. Included in the latter, is funding for a local version of the civilian climate corps, to set an example and pave the way for a federally funded program. • On education: I seek to work with state and local governments to bring the very first polytechnic four year university to our working-class district. Currently all universities are located in northern affluent regions, forcing students into commutes of up to 2-3 hours. It's been time that we have a university in the South Bay. There is a lot of support for it locally already, and I look forward to making that happen during my first term. As per tuition, I will propose a tuition-free emergency effort for public colleges and universities due to the impact that the pandemic had on everyone. Whether that is achieved in my first term or later, the goal will be to do as much of the groundwork that first year to make it attainable as soon as possible, while using it as an example of what it can look like statewide, and nationwide. • On the border and immigration: I will push for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, but will double down on efforts to streamline border crossing for the transborder community that lives on both sides of the border, with American families that have been out priced and displaced to Mexico. These families find themselves sending their breadwinners and children to work and go to school everyday at 4AM sharp to have ample time for their, more or less, 5 hour commutes. We must do more to help the transborder community that continues to seem invisible in the eyes of our government, and I look forward to working with community groups, advocacy organizations, and local elected officials who are on the frontlines of this issue.
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