Category: American Politics

Democrats May Tie Disaster Relief to Raising Debt Ceiling, Putting GOP in a Bind | The Smirking Chimp

If the pieces fall together just so, and the debt ceiling is added to a bill that keeps the government running and assists those in distress from the storm, Republicans will find themselves in a tremendous bind. “The combination would present a triple threat,” reports Politico, “daring GOP lawmakers to go on record in opposition to aid for disaster-hit communities, staving off a debt default that could throw financial markets into chaos and preventing a government shutdown.” Some will no doubt shrink at the idea of playing political hardball with money meant to help storm victims, but it is precisely that brand of ruthless certitude that has allowed Republicans to run (or stall) the country as a minority party for the third Democratic presidential administration in a row. There’s no doubt that disaster relief will pass one way or another, and in the meantime, doing this puts the Republicans on record for voting to basically burn the country down to the stumps. That seems to be what a lot of elected GOP officials want, but it isn’t likely to play well come ballot-casting time.

Source: Democrats May Tie Disaster Relief to Raising Debt Ceiling, Putting GOP in a Bind | The Smirking Chimp

Right-wing commentators insult police officers who testified at January 6 committee hearing | Media Matters for America

image — January 6 committee — officers testifying

But a significant portion of right-wing media personalities responded by attacking the officers for their testimonies and insulting them on personal levels. For example, after Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn described how a crowd of rioters had yelled racial insults against him — something that Dunn, who is Black, said he had never experienced before while in uniform — The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Dunn had made his claim “without evidence.” Just to be clear, Dunn was describing an event that occurred directly to him on January 6 — but Davis instead questioned whether “left-wing politics might have influenced his claims today.”

Source: Right-wing commentators insult police officers who testified at January 6 committee hearing | Media Matters for America

‘Which Side Are You On?’: Poor People’s Campaign Pressures US Senate on Democracy and Justice | Common Dreams News

Participants hold "Don't Filibuster" banners during the Poor People's Campaign news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on July 12, 2021, to announce a season of nonviolent direct action. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Beginning with a “massive national call-in to every U.S. senator,” the Poor People’s Campaign on Monday launched a monthlong campaign to push Congress to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster, pass the For the People Act, restore the gutted Voting Rights Act, and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour—progressive goals that have been thwarted by a combination of Republican obstructionism and Democratic acquiescence.

Source: ‘Which Side Are You On?’: Poor People’s Campaign Pressures US Senate on Democracy and Justice | Common Dreams News

Ending the Filibuster Is About Defending Democracy

By virtually any metric, the United States Senate is one of the most undemocratic legislative bodies in the advanced capitalist world. Given the geographic distribution of America’s population, the majority living in nine states wields a mere eighteen votes to the minority’s eighty-two: a balance of forces so disproportionate, most citizens of other countries would probably find it incomprehensible. In no other country could a jurisdiction the size of California (home to nearly 40 million people) possess the same legislative clout as Wyoming (home to less than 600,000). The Senate, in fact, is not so much undemocratic as it is antidemocratic — its design acting as a check on majority rule by default.

Source: Ending the Filibuster Is About Defending Democracy

America on the knife’s edge: Will the next year determine the fate of democracy? | Salon.com

main article image

There are so many paradoxes to America’s current state of political dysfunction that no one could possibly list them all. The party that has embraced the task of trying to save democracy at the last moment, however awkwardly and incompletely — and however poisoned by its own internal contradictions — won, but very nearly lost. The party that has gone about 94 percent of the way into white nationalism and primitive fascism lost, primarily because of its contaminated figurehead — but could not possibly have come so close to winning without him. As for the massive question of whether liberal democracy can be saved, let’s put a pin in that one, as we say these days. As Pankaj Mishra points out repeatedly in his recent collection of essays, “Bland Fanatics,” Western-style liberalism had a perhaps-fatal flaw built into it from the beginning: Its expansion of human rights and representative democracy and the “free market” and whatever other noble and purportedly universal principles were always dependent on exploiting less powerful nations elsewhere in the world, first to extract raw materials and human capital, and then to serve as captive export markets.

Source: America on the knife’s edge: Will the next year determine the fate of democracy? | Salon.com

COVID-19 cases rise as states ease restrictions; CDC director warns of “impending doom” | Salon.com

main article image

At the same time, Republican governors in states from Texas and Mississippi to Alabama and West Virginia have been loosening or eliminating COVID-19 restrictions in response to declining COVID-19 numbers. Earlier this month Walensky urged policymakers to be mindful that Americans would not be truly safe until as many people are vaccinated as possible, adding that the rise of variants could “complete lose” the gains made so far in defeating the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases rise as states ease restrictions; CDC director warns of “impending doom” | Salon.com

America now has its own Green Zone, as Trumpian Fascism erects Racist Red Zone

America now has its own Green Zone in downtown Washington, D.C., where the Mall is closed, the city is locked down, and protective fencing has gone up around the Capitol. You only need a Green Zone, a safe small space completely under the control of the government, if the rest of the country is a Red Zone.

America now has its own Green Zone, as Trumpian Fascism erects Racist Red Zone

6 January 2021: America’s new ‘day of infamy’

Where were you on the 6.1.2021?

Political unrest within the White House led to a domestic terrorism event some in the media have compared to the attack on Pearl Harbour, writes Dr Lee Duffield.

6 January 2021: America’s new ‘day of infamy’

Trump admitted a “new administration” is coming into office. QAnon supporters claim he’s staying in office anyways. | Media Matters for America

Trump QAnon

Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory claimed that a video of President Donald Trump admitting his presidency is ending is actually a sign that he will stay in office. In reality, it’s more of a sign that the community is dedicated to its delusion of a Trump second term in office regardless of the facts.

Trump admitted a “new administration” is coming into office. QAnon supporters claim he’s staying in office anyways. | Media Matters for America

Project Veritas’ last-ditch effort to fearmonger about Georgia voter fraud targets the homeless | Media Matters for America

James O'Keefe 1/5/2020

Discredited right-wing video producer James O’Keefe and his organization Project Veritas have released a new video spreading voter fraud conspiracy theories by targeting some of the most vulnerable Americans and their right to vote. The two-minute video from January 4 fearmongers about homelessness advocacy groups in Georgia allowing unhoused people to use the groups’ mailing addresses for voter registration in the lead-up to Tuesday’s Senate runoff election in the state. O’Keefe’s group is known for infiltrating progressive organizations and campaigns and secretly recording people connected to them, then heavily editing the footage to suggest wrongdoing.

Project Veritas’ last-ditch effort to fearmonger about Georgia voter fraud targets the homeless | Media Matters for America

House Progressives and #Forcethevote: A New Way in American Politics, Part One – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Progressive are you?

To recap: Pelosi blocks the bill and the Progressives stick to their guns, she loses her Speakership. She lets it come to a vote and it dies, this exposes the corporatist wing of the party. It comes to a vote, it passes but dies in the Senate, the corporatists there are exposed. It passes both Houses of Congress, Joe Biden has already said he will veto it. Biden and the entire political establishment of both parties would thereby be exposed as the corrupt tools of oligarchy we have long suspected they were.

House Progressives and #Forcethevote: A New Way in American Politics, Part One – » The Australian Independent Media Network

‘I can’t stand it’: American expats in Australia on the agony of watching the US election campaign | Australia news | The Guardian

The US president, Donald Trump, arrives at the final presidential debate on Friday

Between 200,000 to 300,000 US citizens live in Australia, where interest in the upcoming election has soared

‘I can’t stand it’: American expats in Australia on the agony of watching the US election campaign | Australia news | The Guardian

Why the Government’s Hunt for the Migrant Poor Is a Perfect Distraction From the Real Problems of Our Time | The Smirking Chimp

Investigator Harry Markopolos accused GE of engaging in accounting fraud worth $US38 billion.

Anything but the REAL facts on the Economy of the USA. It’s just about defending Trump and neutralising REAL change.

Anything REAL is forbidden like real data on GE, Climate, Health  Education Guns and Racism. All about FAKE victimisation of a divided America not the union of Multiculturalism. (ODT)

via Why the Government’s Hunt for the Migrant Poor Is a Perfect Distraction From the Real Problems of Our Time | The Smirking Chimp

A group of Republican politicians are in hiding — and US police have been sent to track them down – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A poster made in support of Republican politicians who walked out of the Oregon Capitol.

They get paid for this service (ODT)

They get This is important, because while the Democrats have an 18 to 12 majority in the chamber, there must be 20 members present for a quorum — meaning nothing can be done until at least two members return.

“It’s time for the Senate Republicans to show up and do the job they were elected to do,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said.

via A group of Republican politicians are in hiding — and US police have been sent to track them down – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In Latest Sign That Trump Team Has Given Up on Denying Collusion, Giuliani Admits Purpose of Trump Tower Meeting

Rudy Giuliani doubled down on President Donald Trump's earlier statement that members of Trump's campaign did, in fact, meet with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in the hopes of obtaining negative information about Hillary Clinton in 2016. (Photo: @MeetThePress/Twitter)

The president’s lawyer’s comments came weeks after Trump himself tweeted that his campaign staff made an attempt to gather information from a Kremlin-linked lawyer about Hillary Clinton

via In Latest Sign That Trump Team Has Given Up on Denying Collusion, Giuliani Admits Purpose of Trump Tower Meeting

Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’ – Truthdig

“Corporations routinely sacrifice the lives of some of their customers to increase profits, and we are all better off because they do,” according to a textbook that the billionaire industrialist is spending millions to push on public schools.

Source: Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’ – Truthdig

“They see themselves as heroes. Instead people are saying they’re manipulating American politics”: Jane Mayer on the method behind the Koch brothers’ brilliant madness – Salon.com

Jane Mayer, author of “Dark Money,” tells Salon how billionaires funded the radical right, remade American politics

Source: “They see themselves as heroes. Instead people are saying they’re manipulating American politics”: Jane Mayer on the method behind the Koch brothers’ brilliant madness – Salon.com

The Rise of the American-Muslim Totalitarian State

Muslim-Americans are living in a totalitarian police state with worsening harassment, profiling, and surveillance. The United States’ government may claim liberty and justice for all; however, in p…

Source: The Rise of the American-Muslim Totalitarian State

Forensic Analysis Shows the Real Planned Parenthood Scandal Is the Videos Themselves | The Nation

On Tuesday, the Center for Medical Progress—an anti-abortion group that has little to do with actual medicine—released the eighth in its series of undercover videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood officials have profited from illegal sales of fetal tissue.

Source: Forensic Analysis Shows the Real Planned Parenthood Scandal Is the Videos Themselves | The Nation

Ted Cruz’s Biggest Liability Is Probably His Constant Lying

Politicians lie. It’s almost non-controversial; elected officials are advocates who want to show themselves and their causes in the best possible light. Nobody tells the whole truth.

Senator Ted Cruz wants you to think he is different: the video he released Monday morning ahead of his presidential campaign announcement was titled “Time for truth.” Those were also the first words he spoke at Liberty University after making his official announcement.

If Cruz is different, however, it’s because of how boldly he claims things that aren’t even remotely true. His vacations from reality take on a gleeful exuberance, like a college freshman on his first trip to Daytona.

Cruz told a CPAC crowd, for example, that Democrats issued an ominous threat to the Catholic Church: “Change your religious beliefs or we’ll use our power in the federal government to shut down your charities and your hospitals.” Politifact naturally deemed this “both incorrect and ridiculous.”

A quick survey of some other Cruz gems:

  • Cruz said ISIS is “right now crucifying Christians in Iraq, literally nailing Christians to trees.” It wasn’t, and Cruz wasn’t able to offer any evidence.
  • Cruz described a “strong bipartisan majority” in the House that voted to repeal Obamacare. Two Democrats joined the Republicans.
  • He bluntly claimed that “the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws, almost without exception … have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates.” This is not true.
  • In recent weeks, Cruz has been using some variation of this line: “There are 110,000 agents at the IRS. We need to put a padlock on that building and take every one of those 110,000 agents and put them on our southern border.” The IRS doesn’t have 110,000 employees, let alone agents. (There are 14,000).

This may read as an oppo-dump of misstatements from a guy who’s now running for president. But anyone who has followed Cruz’s career knows it’s the tip of the iceberg—he frequently just seems to be free-associating conservative grievances with “facts” pulled from nowhere.

In some ways this is a huge asset for Cruz: he is clearly trying to establish himself as not only the most right-wing presidential candidate, but the truth-teller who isn’t afraid to say what conservatives know to be right. (They got that e-mail forward about it, after all!)

Combined with his aggressive play for evangelical voters, in this way Cruz is not unlike the Michele Bachmann of years past—except with a much better political resume and a bigger bankroll.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

Of course, the last image many people have of Bachmann is being chased down a hallway by CNN’s Dana Bash in the final days of her congressional career; Bash wanted to confront Bachmann over the thoroughly ludicrous claim that Obama was spending $1.4 billion on personal expenses each year. It wasn’t the first time the mainstream media made hay with Bachmann. Even normally credulous reporters just couldn’t resist the easy layup.

One wonders if Cruz, too, might eventually see his truthiness turn into a liability. Speaking at CPAC is one thing, but standing on the national stage seeking to be president is another.