The 1860 election

The last time this country was as divided as it is right now, it was the monetary interests of the tiny minority that owned slaves that decided the two sides needed to settle the Constitutional question of chattel slavery on the battlefield. Today it is a tiny minority of “Right to Work” billionaires who would, in many cases, be happy to employ slave laborers, who are driving a zero-sum culture/legal war to decide the fate of our long experiment in balancing the privileges of our wealthiest and “majoritarian tyranny”.

In 1860, Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln was excluded from the ballot in every state that would soon secede from the Union and prepare for The War of Northern Aggression excluded A candidate must circulate a petition to get on the ballot and the future Confederacy would not cotton to such traitors in their midst, so candidate Lincoln had no public advocates and few signatures down south. He was therefore legally left off of the ballot in 1/3 of the then 33 states.

When he won a plurality of the vote anyway (there were four candidates) and a majority of the Electoral College, the slaveholders had enough, Lincoln was illegitimate, their states quickly began to secede and prepare for a violent struggle against the tyrant Lincoln.

Today reasonable Republicans, like 88 year-old Chuck Grassley (running for reelection, because why the fuck not?), took only five or six weeks to freely acknowledge that Biden won the election on November 3, 2020. It took him only a day to denounce the MAGA riot, rioter rage fueled by a long-promoted, many times debunked lie, that brought business in the Capitol to a halt. Of course, once he said these self-evident things he got on board with the mastermind of the Big Lie and voted in a bloc to block an investigation into the January 6 MAGA riot, and anything else Biden and his party try to do. That’s politics!

But make no mistake these “Second Amendment, fuck the lazy poor and don’t let them kill their unborn, no need for a living wage, keep our borders closed, climate catastrophe skeptical, no budget for enforcing tax laws against the rich, partisan state legislatures not courts decide national election outcomes” motherfuckers are determined to see blood in the streets, come hell, high water or even criminal prosecutions of the conspirators most hell-bent on installing a permanent one-party oligarchy.

One such conspirator, contemnor [1] Sloppy Steve Bannon, is publically calling for a gigantic army of “shock troops” (storm troopers) for the next round of political violence, exercising his First Amendment right to talk the ugliest possible shit.



Contempt of Congress


Congress has the authority to hold a person in contempt if the person’s conduct or action obstructs the proceedings of Congress or, more usually, an inquiry by a committee of Congress.

Contempt of Congress is defined in statute, 2 U.S.C.A. § 192, enacted in 1938, which states that any person who is summoned before Congress who “willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry” shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a maximum $1,000 fine and 12 month imprisonment.

Before a Congressional witness may be convicted of contempt, it must be established that the matter under investigation is a subject which Congress has constitutional power to legislate.

Generally, the same Constitutional rights against self-incrimination that apply in a judicial setting apply when one is testifying before Congress.

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