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Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2018, 02:50 PM
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Biden and Beto Boosted GOP Candidates in 2018. That's Disqualifying.

[ Eric Levitz, the author of the article, has some good arguments with links to his sources. I'm not posting this as flame-bait but rather in hopes of getting some enlightenment by discussion here. ]

Biden and Beto Boosted GOP Candidates in 2018. That’s Disqualifying.

By Eric Levitz
Jan 23, 2019

George Will has been a reactionary for longer than Beto O’Rourke has been alive. Will was an adviser to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, climate change denier, and fierce opponent of Social Security. His hatred of progressivism is so deep and comprehensive, he may be the only nationally syndicated columnist who has called for the abolition of both the minimum wage and denim pants.

But last summer, Will advised his readers to “vote against the GOP this November” — no matter where they lived.

[ ... ]

Will was not the only lifelong conservative to render this verdict. Max Boot, a neoconservative intellectual who once decried Brown v. Board of Education as an attack on the Constitution — and opposition to the Iraq War as mindless isolationism — wrote in October 2018, “Vote against all Republicans. Every single one.”

Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke refused to endorse this advice.

[ ... ]

By boosting Hurd, and spurning Ortiz Jones, O’Rourke did not put “country before party”; he put himself before both.

[ ... ]

Biden declined to endorse the Democratic candidate Matt Longjohn in his race to oust Upton from Congress. Instead, “uncle Joe” vouched not only for Upton’s bipartisan credentials, but painted him as a champion of the sick and infirm — despite the fact that the Michigan Republican played a lead role in trying to pass legislation that would have thrown 20 million Americans off of health insurance.

Upton ultimately won his race by less than 5 percentage points.

[ ... ]

Bipartisan overtures will never persuade congressional Republicans to vote against the interests of fossil fuel companies, or back dramatic expansions in public health insurance, or dismantle election laws that give their coalition wildly disproportionate power. Only a unified, Democratic government — that is willing to ruthlessly prioritize ideological goals over bipartisan comity — will have any chance of overcoming our legislative system’s copious veto points, and passing anything resembling a proportionate response to our nation’s climate, health-care, and democratic crises into law.

[ ... ]

[ Much more at the link (title above). Lots of supporting links within the article. ]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Jan 26, 2019, 04:48 PM (18 replies)

prototypical GOPer

His views are straight out of the 'free market' book of lies. The mythical self-regulating free market works only if all consumers are fully informed, presumably by magic. One need look no further than the tobacco industry to see how consumers cannot become fully informed in the face of concentrated power, greed, and wealth, and in fact are deliberately misinformed in the quest to further concentrate same.

Consumers must rely on the power they wield collectively through government because individually we are overwhelmed by large business. Deregulation should be done only where the particular regulation is found to be worse than its absence. Unregulated business leads to the barbarianism of the beginning of the Industrial Age.

Multi-national corporations are not elected to govern, yet they have the power to alter government. If society is to be shaped for people, then the people must constrain the ravenous beast of their own industry.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Jan 26, 2019, 02:00 AM (2 replies)

Speaker Pelosi: #WheresMitch?!

From: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/12319-2/



January 23, 2019

33 days into the Trump-shutdown, and as hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans are set to miss their second paycheck this week, one person with the power to put a bill on the President’s desk to re-open government has been conspicuously missing in action.

In 2014, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shutdowns.” But now, as we face another senseless Trump Shutdown, endangering our national security and forcing workers to struggle to feed their families and pay their bills, McConnell is busy keeping government closed.

Editorial boards and op-eds across the country, including a few in McConnell’s beloved Kentucky, have condemned his abdication and complicity in Trump-shutdown:

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell is the reason we still have a shutdown

“Trump may have caused the government shutdown, but the Senate majority leader is the reason it’s still closed.”

Louisville Courier-Journal Op-Ed: McConnell, stop sitting on your hands. End this government shutdown

“The Kentucky Republican is not lending his expertise to help Trump negotiate a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He’s acting like a disinterested backbencher more concerned about whether he’ll be out of the office in time for happy hour at Johnny’s Half Shell.”

Washington Post: Mitch McConnell could end the shutdown. But he’s sitting this one out.

“Maybe McConnell doesn’t want his members to have to choose between bucking Trump and opening the government, given Trump still enjoys high approval rating within the party. Or maybe McConnell simply doesn’t feel like using up his own political capital on this one.”

Louisville Courier-Journal Op-Ed: Yarmuth: McConnell has ceded all power to Trump in government shutdown

“The Senate Majority Leader, usually a critical player in resolving Congressional deadlocks, has been missing in action in the current government shutdown debate. More than that, he has essentially ceded legislative power to the president when he said that he would not allow a Senate vote on any bill he wasn’t sure the president would sign into law.”

Lexington Herald Leader Editorial: Mitch McConnell should do the obvious right thing, reopen the government

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sits on his hands, afraid of Trump’s wrath and voters, even though McConnell could end the government shutdown by allowing the Senate to vote on a spending plan and then overriding any Trump veto.”

Washington Post Op-Ed: Does Mitch McConnell know he’s part of the first branch of government?

“A self-respecting Senate majority leader previously would not declare his own impotence, nor turn over the job of legislating to the White House. Pelosi is right: Congress is a coequal branch and its job is to fund the government. You have to wonder why Republicans want the Senate majority if they are nothing more than supplicants to the president and bystanders in governance… McConnell’s do-nothing strategy is not only a constitutional outrage but politically deadly for his members.”

Baltimore Sun Editorial: The shutdown is now a record. End it, Mitch McConnell

“Missing in action is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He could do more than speculate on ways to reopen government, he could call on his members to approve stop-gap funding and take the ‘hostage’ out of the equation.”

Vice Op-Ed: The Shutdown Is Mitch McConnell’s Fault

“But even if it feels like Trump is holding the government hostage to get his wall, he can’t do it alone—Republicans, and in particular Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, could restore what passes for normality in this era any time they wanted to.”

McConnell and Senate Republicans should join Democrats in taking action to stop holding workers hostage and re-open government to meet the needs of the American people.

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Jan 23, 2019, 02:03 PM (10 replies)

Pelosi Statement on Senate Vote on House-Passed Bill to Re-Open Government

Pelosi Statement on Senate Vote on House-Passed Bill to Re-Open Government

January 22, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Pelosi issued this statement in advance of scheduled Senate votes, first on the President’s unacceptable, radical immigration and border demands, and the second, on legislation to re-open the government with a House-passed package consisting of a continuing resolution through February 8 in addition to the disaster supplemental legislation:

“On Thursday, the Senate will have the opportunity to put a bipartisan bill on the President’s desk to re-open government and end this senseless shutdown.

“Families across the nation have been suffering under the shutdown for more than a month. There is no excuse for Senate Republicans not to pass this legislation, which contains the funding proposal that they have already supported.

“Senate Republicans need to re-open government, not continue their complicity in the Trump Shutdown with a vote for the President’s unacceptable border and immigration schemes that only increase the chaos and suffering at the border.

“The Senate GOP and President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, and re-open government immediately.”

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Jan 22, 2019, 08:26 PM (20 replies)

Trump Admin's Sloppy Wet Sanctions Kiss For Oleg Deripaska Sloppier, Wetter Than We Knew!

From Wonkette:

Trump Admin's Sloppy Wet Sanctions Kiss For Oleg Deripaska Sloppier, Wetter Than We Knew!

By Evan Hurst
January 22, 2019

There is very surprising news about the Trump Treasury Department's decision to lift sanctions on companies controlled by Russian oligarch/former Paul Manafort boss/likely election ratfucker Oleg Deripaska, a move all Democrats except Bernie Sanders hated, along with a surprising number of Republicans in Nancy Pelosi's House and 11 Republicans in the Senate. While we already knew that it was pretty good for Deripaska in an incognito kind of way, you'll be shocked to learn that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's big wet kiss for Deripaska is even wetter and more XXX than previously understood!

The New York Times got its paws on a "binding confidential agreement signed by both sides" that suggests Deripaska got off sweet in this deal. Seriously, are you VERY SHOCKED right now?

First, though, a quick review!

[ ... ]

Now, the new stuff!

We quote the New York Times:

The deal contains provisions that free [Deripaska] from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while leaving him and his allies with majority ownership of his most important company, the document shows. [...]

It shows that the sanctions relief deal will allow Mr. Deripaska to wipe out potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in debt by transferring some of his shares to VTB, a Russian government-owned bank under limited United States sanctions that had lent him large sums of money.

The confidential document, titled "Terms of Removal," also shows that the agreement would leave allies of Mr. Deripaska and the Kremlin with significant stakes in his companies.

Awwww, how nice! And strangely right in line with Wonkette's analysis from weeks ago! (Wonkette = smart.) We didn't know about the part about Oleg Deripaska getting out from under "hundreds of millions of dollars in debt," though. That seems like a nice bonus! (It is debt he owes to VTB bank.)

[ ... more ]

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Jan 22, 2019, 04:52 PM (4 replies)

The Government Shutdown Is Threatening the Lives of Your Favorite Ocean Animals

The Government Shutdown Is Threatening the Lives of Your Favorite Ocean Animals

“There’s just nobody there” to help save endangered marine animals—from whales to dolphins to turtles.

Jackie Flynn Mogensen January 22, 2019

On January 10, during the third week of the ongoing government shutdown, a dead sperm whale carcass was spotted floating about a mile off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Tiger sharks had reportedly already discovered the carcass and were feeding on its partially-dismembered body. The carcass later washed up on the beach, and a little more than 24 hours after it was first spotted, local and federal authorities towed the whale 15 miles away from the coast, where it attracted a 20-foot-long great white shark. By Thursday, the carcass had drifted back to the shallows off the coast—only to be illegally climbed on by local swimmers, who also reportedly removed its teeth. Forty-eight hours later, officials towed the whale out to sea once more.

It, of course, was a far from ideal situation, and one that was compounded by the intransigence in Washington—specifically the removal of funding for the primary federal agency tasked with handling marine mammal crises, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The sperm whale is an endangered species, so removing the carcass required a federal permit. Under a functioning government, that process can happen in a matter of hours. “Normally, NOAA would take the action of getting that carcass as far away from the beaches and people and tourism as possible,” Addie Haughey, associate director of government relations at Ocean Conservancy, a DC-based nonprofit ocean conservation group that works with NOAA, tells Mother Jones. “But they, because of the furloughs, were deterred in being able to do that quickly.” A NOAA spokesperson admitted in an interview with Motherboard that the process was in fact somewhat delayed: “The situation is impacted by the partial government shutdown,” the spokesperson said the day after the carcass was discovered. “NOAA personnel will be limited in number and in the extent of work they are able to do at this time.”

[ ... ]

Like many government agencies focused on wildlife and the environment—including the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service—much of NOAA’s staff is operating under severe strain. About 55 percent has been furloughed, a NOAA spokesperson tells Mother Jones.

[ ... ]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Jan 22, 2019, 04:32 PM (2 replies)

David Corn: Yes, there was collusion

Yes, There Was Collusion. Look at the Manafort Case

A load of evidence is hiding in plain sight.

David Corn January 22, 2019

For years now, Donald Trump has been screeching “No collusion!” It’s been a hollow cry, because throughout the 2016 campaign (and afterward as president), Trump aided and abetted Vladimir Putin’s attack on a US election by echoing Moscow’s disinformation that the Kremlin had not intervened. And, of course, Trump’s three top advisers—campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr.—met in June 2016 with a Russian emissary after being told she would bring them dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of a secret Russian government operation to help Trump. But the argument for direct collusion—that is, Trump or his aides privately collaborating with a Russian-related person or entity for a nefarious purpose—has become stronger with recent filings in the case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against Manafort. Information disclosed by these documents, coupled with previous revelations, makes it seem that Manafort was indeed actively conniving with Russian forces while he was directing Trump’s presidential effort.

A review of the Manafort timeline provides a clear picture:

[ ... see link ]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Jan 22, 2019, 04:23 PM (3 replies)

How the Trump-Pence attacks on health care are affecting people


Real people are facing real harm. Here's how the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on health care and reproductive rights are affecting people across the country.

The Trump-Pence administration is illegally trying to dismantle Title X, the nation's only program dedicated to affordable birth control.
4M people could lose affordable birth control
Read More

Trump reinstated and expanded the global gag rule, which denies lifesaving health care to women in developing countries.
>64 the number of countries where the gag rule is in effect
Read More

Medicaid, the nation's largest provider of reproductive health coverage, is repeatedly under attack.
13M women could lose health care coverage
Read More

The administration wants to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
2.4M people could lose access to birth control, cancer screenings, wellness exams, and more
Read More

The Trump-Pence administration is trying to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) guarantee of no copay birth control.
>62M women have benefitted from the ACA’s birth control coverage
Read More

The Department of Health and Human Services encourages health care providers to use their personal beliefs to deny patients basic health care.
61% of people surveyed don't believe health care workers should be allowed to impose their beliefs on others
Read More

Important health care information is quietly being removed from government resources.
135M monthly visits to HHS websites — including HHS.gov, CDC.gov and WomensHealth.gov
Read More

The administration illegally slashes funding for sex education programs and shifts toward abstinence-only programming.
>93% of parents say sex education in schools is extremely important
Read More

The Trump-Pence administration rescinds anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
>50% of LGBTQ people already report facing discrimination in health care.
Read More

The director of the refugee resettlement office has denied every known request for abortion from young undocumented women in his care.
420 pregnant minors were in the office’s custody
Read More

President Trump is rapidly filling the courts with conservative judges whose rulings could restrict our rights and freedoms for generations.
150 vacancies are in the federal courts, and Trump is filling them at record-breaking speed
Read More

The administration rolls back protections for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
1 in 5 women experience sexual assault or attempted assault while in college
Read More

See also, https://www.trackingtrump.org/key-players
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sun Jan 20, 2019, 09:44 AM (2 replies)

Democratic Weekly Address -- border security and infrastructure

Congressman Scott Peters -- expand legal gateways, worth 60,000 jobs and billions of dollars. On Trump, "he's lying".

Published 2019-01-11

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Jan 19, 2019, 07:00 PM (0 replies)

Pelosi Statement on Trump Speech

From https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/11919/

Pelosi Statement on Trump Speech

January 19, 2019

San Francisco — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement in advance of the President’s address:

“Democrats were hopeful that the President was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border.

“Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.

“Democrats support smart, effective border security solutions:

* Increased infrastructure investments at our ports of entry including additional ports and roads;
* Advanced technology to scan for drugs, weapons and contraband where the vast majority of drugs come in to our country and advanced technology to detect unauthorized crossings;
* More customs personnel including filling the more than 3,000 customs and border patrol vacancies; and
* More immigration judges.

“Next week, Democrats will pass a package of six bills agreed to by House and Senate negotiators and other legislation to re-open government so that we can fully negotiate on border security proposals.

“The President must sign these bills to re-open government immediately and stop holding the American people hostage with this senseless shutdown. Each day he prolongs this needless crisis, Coast Guardsmen, FBI agents, border patrol officers, TSA agents, and hundreds of thousands more workers are forced to live without knowing how they can feed their families or pay their bills.

“The President has taken pride in shutting down government. Now, he must take action to open up government.”

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Jan 19, 2019, 05:47 PM (38 replies)
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