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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,497

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Fact check: Breaking down spending in the COVID-19 relief bill

Republicans are arguing that less than 10 percent of the bill is pandemic related based on the fact that this is the rough figure that goes to direct containment measures such as vaccines and testing, which is a pretty narrow definition of what is related to the pandemic. To the contrary, an analysis by a nonpartisan group found that about 85% of the bill is related to the coronavirus pandemic.


About 22% of the total bill comes from the $422 billion set aside for $1,400-per-person stimulus checks. Another 13% ($246 billion) is for extending additional unemployment funding of $400 a week.

A combined 12% is going to:

Subsidized COBRA for laid-off workers.
Affordable Care Act subsidies for the next two years.
Expanded nutrition assistance to replace school lunch programs during the pandemic.
Funding for testing and contact tracing.
Disaster Relief Fund increases and covering COVID-19-related funeral expenses.
Grants to airlines and contractors to freeze layoffs through September.
Defense Production Act funding for medical supplies.
Grants for restaurants and bars that have lost revenue in the pandemic.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance grants of up to $10,000 per business.

Another $519 billion – 27% of the total – is going to state and local governments and schools, much of which will make up losses related to the pandemic and help schools reopen. Republicans note much of the school funding, however, won’t be spent immediately.

If the government and school aid is included in this category, about 85% of the American Rescue Plan is pandemic-related, according to a breakdown by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Why Poor, Non-Slaveholding White Southerners Fought In The Civil War

Most confederate soldiers in the civil war did not personally own slaves. Indeed, the existence of slavery helped to depress the wages of poor whites in the pre-Civil War South. With low wages and few schools, southern whites suffered a much lower land ownership rate and a far lower literacy rate than northern whites. So, why did poor Southern whites support secession from the United States prior to the civil war?

As the article below and quoted source material illustrates, racism not only oppresses the objects of racism, but it oppresses working class whites as well. With the funding and proliferation of racist, right wing media outlets like OANN, Newsmax and Fox News, we continue to see the use of racism as the ultimate con job on the working class.

Trump represents a modern example of this con job, a rich white male who literally lives in a country club whose biggest accomplishment is a tax cut to folks likes himself, yet he draws much of his support from working class whites whose benefits and health care he has repeatedly sought to cut.


As a Southerner with ancestors who fought for the Confederacy, I have been intrigued with the question of why my ancestors felt compelled to leave the United States and set up their own country. What brought the American experiment to that extreme juncture?

The short answer, of course, is Abraham Lincoln’s election as president of the United States. What concerned Southerners most about Lincoln’s election was his opposition to the expansion of slavery into the territories; Southern politicians were clear about that. If new states could not be slave states, went the argument, then it was only a matter of time before the South’s clout in Congress would fade, abolitionists would be ascendant, and the South’s “peculiar institution” – the right to own human beings as property – would be in peril.

It is easy to understand why slave owners would be concerned about the threat, real or imagined, that Lincoln posed to slavery. But what about those Southerners who did not own slaves? Why would they risk their livelihoods by leaving the United States and pledging allegiance to a new nation grounded in the proposition that all men are not created equal, a nation established to preserve a type of property that they did not own?

* * *
Non-slaveholders, a plantation owner predicted, were also in danger. “It will be to the non-slaveholder, equally with the largest slaveholder, the obliteration of caste and the deprivation of important privileges,” he cautioned. “The color of the white man is now, in the South, a title of nobility in his relations as to the negro,” he reminded his readers. “In the Southern slaveholding States, where menial and degrading offices are turned over to be per formed exclusively by the Negro slave, the status and color of the black race becomes the badge of inferiority, and the poorest non-slaveholder may rejoice with the richest of his brethren of the white race, in the distinction of his color. He may be poor, it is true; but there is no point upon which he is so justly proud and sensitive as his privilege of caste; and there is nothing which he would resent with more fierce indignation than the attempt of the Abolitionist to emancipate the slaves and elevate the Negroes to an equality with himself and his family.

Axios (Oct 2020): Russia eyes far-right U.S. social media networks

Is it any wonder that after Twitter and Facebook and other media outlets started to police disinformation operations on mainstream platforms, that Russia targeted alternative platforms favored by the far right, such as Gab and Parler. Likewise, Parler was used to organize the insurrection and riots this week. Yet, for all their talk about patriotism, watch Republicans like Devin Nunes rush to the defense of parler despite this weeks riots.


The Russian troll farm central to Moscow's 2016 U.S. election interference campaign appears to be behind a new operation targeting U.S. voters on Gab and Parler, social media platforms favored by the far right.

Why it matters: The shift by Russia's Internet Research Agency to more marginal platforms may signal that the techniques and strategies that paid off for Russia in 2016 are seeing declining returns. If Moscow is trying to influence a broad swath of U.S. voters, being relegated to platforms unknown to 99% of Americans simply won’t get the job done.

Driving the news: The move to Gab and Parler was documented in a report from social media analytics firm Graphika and an accompanying Reuters investigation late last week. This is Russia's first known use of these platforms.

Details: The fake network described by Graphika revolved around an ostensibly Europe-based website called the Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens (NAEBC).
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