Best Liberal News Sites
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- Sanders warns Dems not to waste time catering to obstructionist GOPby Common Dreams on April 11, 2021
Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Saturday that amid the immediate emergencies of climate change, Covid-19, mass unemployment, and homelessness, congressional Democrats cannot afford to dampen their infrastructure ambitions in the hopes of winning support from obstructionist Republicans."The time is now to go forward," Sanders (I-Vt.) told the Washington Post. "This country faces enormous crises that have got to be addressed right now. When you have half a million people who are homeless, I'm not going to slow down.""When the scientists tell us we have five or six years before there will be irreparable damage done because of climate change," the Vermont senator added, "I'm not going to slow down."Sanders' remarks came as the Democratic leadership is weighing how to proceed with the roughly $2.3 trillion infrastructure package President Joe Biden unveiled last month, a proposal that will serve as a starting point for congressional negotiations. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she hopes to pass infrastructure legislation by July.But unified Republican opposition to the package and growing complaints from conservative deficit scolds within the Democratic caucus are threatening to impede work on the package that progressives hope to transform into a sprawling bill that deals with a wide range of priorities, from climate to affordable housing to prescription drug prices.On Monday, the Senate parliamentarian gave Democrats a green light to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process for additional spending legislation this year, granting the party the option to move ahead with an infrastructure measure without Republican support.Sanders told the Post that he is preparing to use the reconciliation tool, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has not publicly committed to that strategy as the Biden administration continues to hold out hope for a bipartisan compromise. With the legislative filibuster in place, Senate Democrats would need the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass an infrastructure bill through regular order."The president believes that there's a path forward to get... this American Jobs Plan passed with bipartisan support," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday briefing. "That's why he's going to invite Democrats and Republicans here. That's why he's going to hear from them on their ideas that they've already put forward."But progressive lawmakers have cautioned the Biden administration against weakening an infrastructure package they believe is already insufficient in a likely futile effort to win over Republican lawmakers, who unanimously voted against a broadly popular $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package last month."Let's not water down a bill for a party that's not actually interested in bipartisanship or wait for Republicans to have some awakening on climate change," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said earlier this month. "Let's move with the urgency and boldness that this moment calls for."In a report released Thursday, Adam Hersh of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mark Paul of the New College of Florida argued that under-spending in response to the current crises risks long-term damage to the economy and the climate—a warning progressives cited as all the more reason to quickly push ahead with an ambitious recovery package. Now is the time to go BIG. https://t.co/XxV61PAdzR — Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal)1617986825.0 In an appearance on MSNBC Saturday, Sanders said that Republican lawmakers are "probably not" going to accept arguments in support of big spending on climate solutions, core infrastructure, caregiving, and more."They live in their world, and their world will be trying to obstruct as much as possible what Biden and many of us in the Congress are trying to do," Sanders said, arguing that the GOP's top priority is "trying to divide us up by stressing xenophobia, racism, [and] making it harder for people to vote." [email protected] "It's a compelling argument [on infrastructure]. Are any Republicans going to buy that argument that yo… https://t.co/i3FihDwCOO — People for Bernie (@People for Bernie)1618063388.0 "Our job," Sanders said, "is to rally the American people around an agenda that works for workers and the middle class, who have been neglected for so many years. It is the right thing to do policy-wise, it is the right thing to do politically."
- Insurrectionist experiences 'shock' over being held with people accused of 'inner city crimes'by Aldous Pennyfarthing on April 11, 2021
I've never seen so many snowflakes in my life, and I grew up in Wisconsin.It's still mind-boggling that so many Trumpaloompas thought they could storm the U.S. Capitol, openly engage in a violent insurrection, and then grab some Arby's on the way home and chill with a box of Fiddle Faddle while the rest of us totally forgot about this picayune kerfuffle.It's almost as if white people have been conditioned to think they have nothing to fear from the law.Rachel Weiner is a reporter for The Washington Post who has the latest on one of the foot soldiers in Donald J. Trump's Jan. 6 Bumblefuck Putsch: Webster has a "sparkling record" with the NYPD which led to "the lofty assignment of protecting the mayor," attorne… https://t.co/REYQB3M5za — Rachel Weiner (@Rachel Weiner)1617974626.0(He's not in D.C., where riot detainees are in a separate wing, causing friction on both sides -- like others arres… https://t.co/Bt1nvNNnxa — Rachel Weiner (@Rachel Weiner)1617974681.0 For the nontweeters: Lawyer for Tommy Webster, retired NYPD cop accused of beating an MPD officer with flagpole on #J6, says his client is in a "dormitory setting" with people serving time for "inner-city crimes" - "for a middle aged guy whose never been arrested before this has been a shock for him"Webster has a "sparkling record" with the NYPD which led to "the lofty assignment of protecting the mayor," attorney says - but if he won't be released he wants him moved back to jail in upstate New York(He's not in D.C., where riot detainees are in a separate wing, causing friction on both sides -- like others arrested elsewhere he's been moved around the country on the way to D.C.) I hope that somewhere within the pages of Joe Biden's omnibus infrastructure bill is an earmark for trillions of tiny violin-fabricating nanobots, because I don't think modern science can possibly shrink them down any further. And there's a huge demand, let me tell you.Oh, and "inner city crimes," eh? What the fuck does this look like? Oh, that's not what they meant by "inner city"? Yeah, I know. We all know.I've pretty much had it with the "aw, shucks, these are good folks who got a little too rambunctious" shtick. Does Webster think he deserves to await trial in the exclusive white's-only insurrectionists' suite? By the way, here's what this model citizen allegedly did on Jan. 6, according to CBSN New York: As CBS2's Dick Brennan reports, 54-year-old Thomas Webster is a former NYPD officer and Marine, but authorities say on Jan. 6, during the Capitol riot, he was "like a junkyard dog, teeth bared, fists clenched."Prosecutors say that he "attacked a police officer with an aluminum pole and ripped off his protective gear and gas mask, causing the officer to choke." What a prince.Yeah, maybe he shouldn't be held with poor inner city Black men who await trial on petty, low-level drug offenses. He'll scare the shit out of them.
- Here's why Democrats have reason to hope for 2022by Daily Kos on April 11, 2021
The Republican Party, this year more than any other since I've been covering politics, has become a fascination for me. While some readers here say it's all business as usual, it seems anything but to me. Sure, the underlying motivators of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-LGBTQ hate, and amassing wealth and power have been and continue to be driving forces for the party and are simply more transparent than ever.But on the other hand, Republicans' roadmap to obtaining power is perhaps more murky than at any point in my lifetime. When Mitch McConnell comes out and starts threatening American corporations, a sea change is at hand. In fact, what seems to have happened since Donald Trump receded from the national stage is that congressional Republicans and some state officials have had to effectively become him in order to keep his base voters engaged—or should we say, enraged. So now, just like Trump threatened companies that angered him, McConnell is doing the same. And just like Trump swindled his base voters into donating gobs of money to him, House Republicans are now running the same scam. Perhaps even more telling, House Republicans are essentially presenting those donor solicitations as if they are coming from Trump himself. (Of course, Trump also relaunched his own fundraising operation this week complete with "Don't Blame Me — I Voted for Trump" swag. Not a joke. So now Trump's base will be getting fleeced from multiple directions.)But it's a stunning turn of events—the party that once kowtowed to corporate America is now publicly jeering at them. That schism will only deepen as Republicans grow increasingly and more glaringly out of step with the culture of young, diverse, upwardly mobile consumers American businesses hope to cultivate. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers are only getting more brazen and dug into their anti-culture politics. As I noted yesterday, Georgia's Republican House Speaker, David Ralston, defended the punitive measures they were targeting at their corporate detractors like this, "You don't feed a dog that bites your hand."Ralph Reed, evangelical fire-breather and perennial GOP strategist, said the performative bellicosity had become the single most animating feature for Republican voters, describing it as a "virtue.""It has become the overarching virtue Republicans look for in their leaders," Reed told the New York Times.But the description of the GOP and its base that really brought it home for me this week came from Jonathan V. Last at The Bulwark. "Republican voters—a group distinct from Conservatism Inc.—no longer have any concrete outcomes that they want from government," he wrote. "What they have, instead, is a lifestyle brand."That to me, is the best summation possible of the hollowed out, defunct, and unmoored Republican Party—it's no longer a political party, it's a lifestyle brand.The questions I'm left with are: just how enticing will that newfangled lifestyle brand be to Trumpers; and can it appeal to the voters who still harbor a fondness for the political party they formerly belonged to? Because for all sorts of reasons, it's hard to imagine that Trump voters alone—even if they turn out readily in 2022, and it's a big if—will be enough to bring home big wins for Republibrand in the midterms.There's already been signs of dissatisfaction within the GOP ranks since last November, though it's impossible to know exactly what to make of them. Identification with the Republican Party appears to have taken at least somewhat of a hit since last November and the Capitol attack, in particular, though it's not clear how significant or meaningful that hit is.Bottom line—somebody's unhappy but it's hard to tell exactly who, how unhappy they are, and what that will mean for GOP turnout in the midterms. That said, there's nothing ideal about having a base that's a moving target and having almost zero data other than November 2020 to guide your turnout calculations. Perhaps the biggest problem for Republibrand lawmakers is that they are courting two groups of voters that seem to be stylistically at odds with each other: angry Trumpers and suburbanites. I continue to be skeptical of the notion that the brass-knuckle tactics that have become a "virtue" for much of the GOP base hold nearly as much appeal in the more mild-mannered American suburbs, where people seem generally more inclined to want to work their jobs, spend time with family, and carve out a "comfortable" existence. Those folks typically want a growth economy that grows with their family, not a war on Major League Baseball at all costs or attacks on American businesses that interferes with their bottom lines. What suburbanites want is a measure of predictability so they can plan for the future with some measure of confidence that the world as they know it today won't be radically and fundamentally different from the world tomorrow. And nothing about the new Republibrand inspires confidence and stability. Probably the best case study to date in how the new Republibrand will play in the suburbs during the midterms comes from the suburban vote in Georgia both last fall and in the January Senate runoffs. In one instance, Trump is on that ticket and, in the next instance, Trump isn't. So we get to measure that difference. As an added bonus, both Republican candidates doubled down on Trumpism as they fought to win their runoffs. Sen. Kelly Loeffler went all in on racism, and Sen. David Perdue became the Trump mini-me of grift, notching a new stock-trading scandal almost weekly. Perdue also just decided to skip out on his debates with Democratic rival Jon Ossoff and he did so with impunity. In other words, both GOP candidates behaved about about as we can imagine many Republican candidates will in 2022. Meanwhile, the Democrats ran like they were part of a political party, promising policy solutions aimed at meeting the needs of their constituents. One of their biggest promises, in fact, was passing a new coronavirus relief package that would include $2,000 direct payments. In the runoffs, Ossoff ultimately defeated Perdue by just over a percentage point, 50.6% – 49.4%; while Democrat Raphael Warnock triumphed over Loeffler beat Loeffler by 2 points, 51% – 49%. But let's use Ossoff as an example since he was the squeaker. In the general election, Joe Biden's win was powered by the shift among voters in the suburbs, college graduates, and high-income earners, according to turnout data from the New York Times. Here's how they shifted from 2016 to 2020: High-income earners: +7 points more DemocraticMajority college graduates: +6 points more DemocraticSuburban: +6 points more DemocraticBiden won the state 49.5% - 49.2%. Ossoff ran a touch behind Biden, losing to Perdue 47.9% – 49.7%. It was good enough to force the runoff, but also left Perdue with a reasonable opening to win reelection. But the two Democratic Senate candidates prevailed in January based mostly on two factors: increased Black turnout in both suburban and rural counties, and depressed Trump turnout. Suburban voters of all races, particularly those surrounding Atlanta, helped contribute to those wins, though the biggest demographic shift in turnout was among Black voters specifically. But for our purposes, the Republican Senators didn't fare much better among suburban voters in January without Trump on the ticket and, in fact, mostly fared worse. In suburban Cobb County, for instance, Ossoff ran +10.54 ahead of Perdue (53.96-43.42) in the general election but did even better in the January runoffs, running +12.08 (56.04-43.96) ahead of Perdue. The same was true for the largely suburban counties of Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Henry—Ossoff won with a bigger margin than in November. So if the Georgia Senate runoffs are any gauge, Republibrand didn't pan out so well for the GOP in suburban America, even as voter turnout among Trumpers sank. In truth, it's nearly impossible to know how all this will play out in the 2022 midterms. But the GOP brand is evolving and its base will necessarily evolve too. There's just no way Republicans can continue down this path of radical transformation without it having electoral consequences for their base. It's a fascinating turn of events given that just several months ago GOP lawmakers in Washington had a chance to abandon Trump. Now they are doing their level best to embody him and recreate the electoral magic that cost them the House, the Senate, and the White House. It seems nothing short of desperate, but they have also concluded it's their last best option.
- 'I don’t think it's fair': Matt Gaetz associate abruptly steps down from lobbying firmby David Edwards on April 11, 2021
A longtime associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has resigned his position at a prestigious lobbying firm amid the allegations of sex trafficking that are scandalizing the congressman. WKMG reported that Chris Dorworth stepped down from Ballard Partners on Friday. He had been with the firm since losing his Florida House seat in 2012. "The current political climate is nasty, and I told Brian I don't think its fair for the recent media storm to take away from their missions," Dorworth explained in a tweet on Friday, referring to Brian Ballard, president of the lobbying firm. Dorworth's biography and photo have since been scrubbed from the Ballard Partners website. In a tweet last year, Gaetz and Dorworth were seen in a photo with Joel Greenberg, who is facing sex trafficking and dozens of other federal charges. He is expected to enter into a plea deal, his attorney has said. @mattgaetz and @ChrisDorworth duckface and all. #WhiteHouse https://t.co/oIAzfXgkCh — Joel Greenberg (@Joel Greenberg)1561185277.0 Intelligence analyst Eric Garland pointed out that Ballard has been former President Donald Trump's "lobbyist of choice in Florida."
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