House GOP To Waste MORE Time And Money With Silly Investigation Into House Democrats

by Rika Christensen – When House Democrats staged a 26-hour sit-in to protest the House’s refusal to take up anything having to do with gun legislation, most people probably didn’t expect the GOP to throw a tantrum, and then take their balls and go home. However, after the humiliation of the latest fruitless Benghazi panel, you’d think that they’d be a little more skittish about launching more investigations that are politically motivated. You’d be wrong. They’re about to do it again. House GOP leaders are looking at launching a frivolous investigation, this time into the House Democrats who were involved in last month’s sit-in, to determine whether they should be punished for it. Republicans just can’t get past the idea that something is only American, is only patriotic, if they agree with it. Very little is more patriotic than civil disobedience, and that’s what the sit-in was. Republicans weren’t so quick...

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House Rules Committee Chair Says Democrats Should Be Investigated For Gun Control Sit-In

by KIRA LERNER – The Republican chair of the House Rules Committee is calling for an investigation into whether Democrats violated any House rules when they staged a 25-hour sit-in last week to demand that the body consider gun-related legislation after the Orlando shooting. U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said on a Texas news program Sunday that Democrats should be “held accountable” for the sit-in, which was led by Democratic Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA). Lewis and close to 170 of his colleagues held the floor for most of Wednesday and into Thursday to demand a vote on legislation to ban people on the “terrorist watch list” from purchasing firearms. The House members took turns telling personal stories about gun violence, chanting and singing, and calling on their colleagues to hold a formal debate on the bill before the July 4 break. “There was a complete lack...

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Don’t Fret: The House Democrats’ Sit-in on Gun Violence is a Genius Move—and it’s Already Working

by David Nir – House Democrats began a historic sit-in on the floor of Congress Wednesday, with the stated aim of forcing Republican Speaker Paul Ryan to bring two measures to curb gun violence up for a vote: one bill to expand background checks for gun buyers, and another to prevent anyone on the government’s terrorism watch list from purchasing guns. But the sit-in’s true goal is something entirely different: to showcase the Republican Party’s refusal to pass reasonable gun safety legislation, thereby damaging the GOP’s standing with voters and helping Democrats win back Congress—when then they’ll be able to actually pass new gun regulations. Democrats know that Ryan won’t capitulate. He’ll simply never allow the minority to dictate what bills get voted on in the House. And even if he did permit a vote, the proposals would never win a majority. We just saw this happen in the Senate, where...

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Read Gabby Giffords’ Beautiful Letter In Solidarity With Democratic Sit-In

by Ryan Denson – When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2011, Congress refused to act. Knowing it could happen to any of them at any time wasn’t enough to spar action. When 20 children were killed in their classrooms at Sandy Hook in 2012, Congress did nothing. Knowing their own kids could be next, they still decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Then Orlando happened. The worst mass shooting in American history, and still no action from the GOP-controlled Congress. So Democrats decided to do a classic sit-in. Walk in, sit down, and refuse to leave until something, anything, was done to curb America’s gun violence epidemic. Dozens of Democratic lawmakers are standing their ground on the House floor and refuse to budge, even as the House adjourns for a weeks long recess. Giffords, who is no longer a member of Congress, has written an open letter of solidarity with her former...

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Harvard Students Launch Open-Ended Sit-In Demanding Full Divestment From Fossil Fuels

Direct action timed to kick off ‘Global Divestment Day’ protests around the world by Sarah Lazare – Dozens of students on Thursday morning launched a sit-in at Harvard University to demand that the institution divest its $36.4 billion endowment—the largest college nest egg in the world—from fossil fuel companies, in step with a global movement to de-fund and de-legitimize the industries driving global warming. At the time of publication, over 30 students were still occupying Massachusetts Hall, which houses administrative offices, including that of President Drew Faust. Jasmine Opie, member of Divest Harvard, told Common Dreams over the phone that the direct action is “open-ended” and students are prepared to stay the night. The mood at the protest is “excited and enthusiastic,” said Opie, despite the administration’s refusal, so far, to engage in meaningful and transparent discussions with demonstrators. The protest is timed to coincide with Global Divestment Day on Friday...

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