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blm's Journal
blm's Journal
January 28, 2023

In reference to McGonigal and question: Why now?

Joohn Choe:

["Thanks _____, I read the Snyder thread yesterday. What is coming out on McGonigal and Deripaska is what we were relatively certain was there, (even though his role with Deripaska was not known specifically to us) and the fact that it is coming out now is what I was hoping for when I wrote about the need for a counterintelligence investigation of the Freedom Caucus and MAGA leadership after the election.

Its happening because a faction of the national security establishment is terrified of these types being on these Committees and having top security clearance, and their stated intent to blind US intelligence. So they are blowing it up now, escalating. Plus these guys are threatening to cut off the aid to Ukraine, openly repeating Kremlin talking points about Ukraine's government, calling for "peace" by pushing partition. So, the combo of the McGonigal scandal, and the NY Times thing on Durham/Trump is all being brought out now. It's funny how everyone is describing these revelations as "suspicious." It's intelligence warfare and the things coming out now have been sitting in the icebox all along waiting for the right moment to be taken out. Where there's ice, there was water."]

I might add that the media has not helped with their crappy coverage. They have misrepresented the removal of Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee as GOP revenge demanded by Trump loyalists for the Impeachments in which he played a lead role. The big picture which is not addressed is that Schiff got his start as a Federal prosecutor who investigated the Russian Mafia, money laundering and is as knowledgeable about Putin's intelligence warfare operations as anyone alive. His removal is part of the Russian operation to blind and misdirect US intelligence on their behalf, to further their full array of asymmetric warfare. It's not a petty "revenge tour" performance to make Trump happy. It's designed to protect Trump and the GOP MAGA leadership who participated in January 6th, and further Putin's geo-strategic goals.

Aside from the obvious, why remove Schiff and try to defund the FBI, and why put Trump's eyes and ears, MTG on the Homeland Security Committee? Because they are planning new and more dangerous January 6 type events, in DC and elsewhere. Historically, white supremacists infiltrate law enforcement for the explicit purpose of getting early warning and sounding alarms if the Feds or others are headed their way. They are continuing an old tactic with their Committee appointments, in this case picking white supremacists who also happen to be on Putin's team.

Why do you think GOP/Trump favorite Cory Mills from Florida brought in and distributed in Congress defused grenades yesterday? For the same reason their first actions after the swearing in were to remove the magnetometers from the entrance. It was a probe, a dry run meant to test the Capitol's security readiness/response. Anyone honest and qualified with a background in security will tell you it should be treated as just that, not a stunt.

January 6, 2023

Cool WaPost piece on Biden WH running with Warren's progressive agenda.

Joe Biden is in the Oval Office. So are Elizabeth Warren’s ideas.

From a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus to an attempted mass forgiveness of student loans, the Democrats’ agenda over the past two years has been much more progressive compared with 2009-2010, the last time the party controlled both Congress and the White House. A lot of factors and people drove that leftward shift, the most important being Joe Biden, who won the presidency and made these policies happen. But other than Biden, the politician most responsible for this new and improved Democratic governance is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).

Warren created a wide-ranging progressive agenda, built support for it across the party and the country, and helped fill the government and outside groups with allies who are helping her push it forward. That is an impressive trifecta, particularly considering that Warren not only isn’t the president but also isn’t the Democratic leader of either house of Congress or even the chair of a major committee.

Many Biden administration policies are versions of ideas Warren pushed either in her Senate office or her 2020 presidential campaign: a minimum 15 percent tax that higher-earning corporations must pay based on the profits they report to shareholders; the loan cancellation; a crackdown on mergers of big companies in the same industry; an “industrial policy” aimed at producing microchips and other modern economic necessities in the United States rather than abroad; abortions being conducted in veterans hospitals in states where they are otherwise limited; the sale of hearing aids over the counter without a prescription; the appointments of more public interest lawyers and fewer corporate attorneys to federal judgeships.

This is not the Warren presidency, but it’s certainly a Warren-infused presidency.


December 9, 2022

Elizabeth Warren - Good update and info on student debt issue

There’ve been a lot of headlines about student debt cancellation lately, so I thought I’d help sort through the noise, give an update on where things stand right now, and talk about what comes next.

Millions and millions of Americans have qualified to have up to $20,000 of student debt canceled. They’ve submitted applications, they’ve been approved by the Biden administration, and their debt would already have been canceled — except Republican officials are tying up the plan in court.

Let’s be clear: The Biden administration has the legal authority to cancel student debt. Period. President Obama has used his power this way. President Trump has used his power this way. President Biden has already used his power this way.

Any judge who makes decisions based on the rule of law will give student debt cancellation their seal of approval. A few Republican-appointed judges have played politics, sided with the GOP, and blocked the plan. But the Supreme Court will take up the case in February, on an accelerated timeline — and there’s no legitimate reason they shouldn’t uphold the law and allow these debts to be canceled.

In the meantime, President Biden has extended the pause on student loan payments into 2023 — so no one will have to make payments on debt that should have already been canceled by now.

And I don’t want to lose sight of the human consequences of student debt cancellation:

*Half of Latinos with student debt will see their balances drop down to zero.
*Same for 45 percent of Black Americans with student debt.
*Nearly 90 percent of the relief will go to people making less than $75,000 a year.
*About 40 percent of people with student loan debt don’t have a four-year college diploma — people like barbers, nail technicians, truck drivers, and sheet metal workers. Hardworking Americans who need a government on their side.

Now, talk about a perfect example of the difference between Democrats and Republicans. A Democratic president took historic action to put money in the hands of tens of millions of working-class and middle-class Americans. And Republican elected officials sued to block it, because they’d rather look out for big corporate loan servicers.

But it’s not just that the GOP wants Washington at the beck and call of corporate interests. It’s also that they believe causing economic pain is good politics for them, as long as Democrats are in power and could get blamed for it at the ballot box. That’s why they demanded damaging budget cuts under President Obama. That’s why they’re threatening to crash the global economy by not raising the debt ceiling next year. They’re playing politics with people’s lives to scramble for some electoral advantage. And it’s shameful.

In the meantime, while we fight them in court on broad cancellation, there are still new student loan policies coming into place that will make a real difference — policies that I’ve been fighting for for years:

People who’ve been cheated by for-profit colleges are getting automatic loan forgiveness.
So are people with permanent disabilities.
Public servants like teachers, nurses, and firefighters have had a new chance to get their debts canceled through a revamped, detangled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
And the administration just rolled out new rules allowing people to cancel their student debt through the bankruptcy process.
I’m going to keep fighting to make sure student debt relief goes through, put higher education within reach for every family, and put our government on the side of working people.

November 16, 2022

Elizabeth Warren framing the fight for Dems and for Biden's re-election.

Elizabeth Warren: Democrats Just Held the Senate. Here’s What We Do Next.

President Biden presided over the best midterm elections for the party in the White House in 20 years — despite Washington insiders predicting that Democrats would be wiped out.

Donald Trump did his party no favors with his preening and support for downright awful candidates who lost. Nevertheless, this electoral success belongs to Mr. Biden, who ignored ivory-tower economists and out-of-touch pundits claiming that bold action to help families was bad politics. Instead, Mr. Biden delivered significant economic progress for working people.

Voters rewarded Democrats for protecting the lives and livelihoods of struggling families in a pandemic; modernizing infrastructure, not just talking about it; allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices; capping insulin costs for older Americans; making tax-dodging corporations pay up on billions in profit; lowering carbon emissions and reducing utility bills; and canceling student debt for over 40 million Americans.

Despite global inflation, progressive policies helped Americans counter high costs and created well-paying jobs. Unemployment is at an astonishing 3.7 percent, and the economy is growing. Unlike in recent Democratic administrations, the scope and aggressiveness of Mr. Biden’s policies were not arbitrarily limited by a desire to demonstrate “independence” from progressive Democrats or to play nice with giant corporations. And name-calling from Fox News commentators and financial news analysts did not shake this Democratic administration’s resolve to help working families.

For each of the president’s decisions, the punditry was relentless, but the American people — Democrats, independents and Republicans — validated the president’s agenda with their votes. Passing the American Rescue Plan coincided with the president’s highest approval ratings. The national media heralded passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as the best stretch of the Biden presidency and his approval ratings jumped. The president’s leadership on issues from student debt relief to long-awaited climate action helped motivate young people to vote in near record numbers.

Democrats delivered a lot, but we can do more to make Americans’ lives better. A few lobbyist-friendly Democrats in our own party blocked much of the president’s agenda for working families. They torpedoed the president’s plan to reverse the Trump tax giveaways. They blocked proposals to cut skyrocketing housing and child care costs. They thwarted efforts to fight corruption, end gerrymandering, defend democracy and protect abortion rights. If these Democrats had listened to voters instead of special interests, we would be in an even stronger electoral position today because we would have delivered even more for Americans.

Americans understand that the economic well-being of families is inextricably linked to democracy and to individual rights, even if too many cable news gurus do not. A majority of Americans know that abortion is a kitchen-table issue that is central to both health and economic security, not a distraction. Americans understand that prices are rising in part because of corporate greed, and want a government on their side. Tuesday’s results confirmed those views: across America, every ballot initiative to protect abortion rights passed, along with many proposals to tax the wealthy and put money in workers’ pockets.

The so-called experts who called Democrats’ messaging incoherent were just plain wrong — and candidates who ignored their advice won. John Fetterman embraced populist economic policies and called out corporate greed, and won. Raphael Warnock took a central role in urging the president to cancel student debt, and is strongly positioned to win in Georgia. Many Democratic candidates leaned hard into protecting abortion rights and democracy while also aggressively supporting popular economic plans.

The president’s critics remain unchastened by the election results. Lobbyists are already calling for Democrats to pass unpopular policies and to help their wealthy clients avoid taxes. Some in Washington are back to insisting that “responsible government” requires responding to voters’ rejection of Republican extremism by holding hands with the extremists. Nonsense.

If Republicans take the House, their majority will be stacked with election deniers who have embraced one overriding goal: the restoration of Donald Trump as president in 2024. They believe economic chaos weakens President Biden, so they are itching to use their leverage to hurt working families. This is the same strategy Republicans used after the 2010 midterms when they set off a debt-ceiling crisis, then demanded family-crushing austerity.

Democrats should fight back by making this lame-duck session of Congress the most productive in decades. We can start by lifting the debt ceiling now to block Republicans from taking our economy hostage next year. Democrats must then continue delivering for families. Where we can pursue legislative action, we should fight aggressively. When Republicans try to obstruct such action and the president can act by executive authority, he must. Most of all, the Democrats should be aggressive in putting Republicans on the defensive, pressing hard on why they are blocking much-needed initiatives to help Americans.

Continuing to reduce inflation and putting money in people’s pockets, expanding the work force through affordable child care, lowering housing costs by increasing supply, raising taxes on the superwealthy, tackling corporate price gouging — this is not a progressive wish list.

It’s the unfinished business of the Biden agenda, and the way to help families and win elections.

The 2022 midterms proved that Democrats can beat Republican extremism. Instead of capitulating to election deniers, we should keep fighting for working families — because when we fight for working people, we win.

November 14, 2022

Elizabeth Warren frames it simply for media:

“Ivory-tower economists and out-of-touch pundits warned Joe Biden to go slow and small. But he didn’t listen. Under his leadership, Democrats delivered significant progress for working people. And he presided over the best midterms for the party in the White House in 20 years.”

November 5, 2022

Any DUers in Katie Porter's district?

And what is the word on the ground there?

Will redistricting have an effect?

October 22, 2022

I rarely post Steve Schmidt, but, PLEASE, DU, read this.

Kevin McCarthy was my friend. He betrayed the United States of America and his duty and obligations to the Constitutional Oath that he took.

His conduct over the Trump era has been abhorrent. McCarthy is cynical, dishonest, delusional and toxically transactional — sometimes all at once. He knew full well what was happening on January 6, 2021, because he helped light the fire. When it was over, he obstructed the investigation and accountability. He slandered the Capitol Police officers who risk their lives protecting him. He personally travelled to Mar-a-Lago and singularly gave Trump immunity from his seditious conduct and criminal behavior by appeasing it, rewarding it and encouraging it.

Kevin McCarthy is utterly unfit for national political leadership. He is deeply dishonest and a brazen liar who believes he is beyond scrutiny, accountability or rebuke. He is part of a conspiracy to permanently seize political power. He has made clear what his role will be in destabilizing the United States over the next two years in an attempt to create a crisis big enough to end democracy. He will revel in authoritarian executive orders and decrees around a crisis of his own making in early 2025.

First, Kevin McCarthy will embrace and empower extremism for the chance to be the Speaker of the House. Here is what Marjorie Taylor Greene, the most extreme and crazy politician in America, said about the power that will be hers when a MAGA/GOP majority controls Congress:
"I think that to be the best speaker of the House and to please the base, he [McCarthy] is going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway. And if he doesn't, they're going to be very unhappy about it," referring to GOP supporters. "I think that's the best way to read that. And that's not in any way a threat at all. I just think that's reality."

She is a toxic loon nut who is smart enough to know that McCarthy will serve at her pleasure. Extremists run extremist movements and Kevin McCarthy is a political extremist. The difference between McCarthy and MTG is cynicism. MTG is crazy, not cynical. McCarthy is cynical, not crazy. Together, they bundle both vices and multiply it exponentially when it combines with the MAGA/GOP conference. The conference is a hive of sedition, disordered personalities, sociopaths, Christian nationalists, and the clinically certifiable.

Second, Kevin McCarthy has committed the country to mayhem with his announcement foreshadowing his coming economic vandalism over the raising of the debt ceiling. It goes without saying that his threat to destabilize the global economy to please Fox News nihilists comes after his complete and abject silence as Trump immorally added $7 trillion to the national debt in four years — making him the biggest and most reckless spender in US history. The country will be hurled into an economic crisis at the edge of a recession by a MAGA Congress. The ability for politicians to turn a recession into a depression should not be underestimated. If anyone can do it, it will be the disgraceful trio of pathological liars who comprise team McCarthy: Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik.

Lastly, Kevin McCarthy has signaled that the MAGA conference will cut off weapons and funding for Ukraine in its life and death struggle for liberty against naked Russian aggression and war crimes. That decision will make the world profoundly more dangerous. It will also turn a war that the Ukrainians are winning into one in which American treachery will seal their fate. The war will spread to Moldova next. It will keep spreading, and the world will spiral towards danger.

The Russians have allied themselves with both the Saudis and Iranians. The MAGA conference, led by McCarthy and controlled by Trump/MTG, has allied themselves with the Iranian and Russians against Zelensky, Biden, Ukraine, the United States and NATO. That is the truth. It is incontestable and irrefutable. It is despicable and an affront to American values, decency and dignity.

Kevin McCarthy has basically asked for power to light a fire. Is that what Americans want?

Do the American people want economic calamity, war and chaos?

I don’t.

Kevin McCarthy broke somewhere along the way. It makes me sad. He was a fun guy with whom to hang out before he betrayed America. Now, all anyone should ever think about when they look at McCarthy is this: why did he become a domestic enemy of the US Constitution? Why did he sell out to Trump? Why was he so pathetic and weak at a moment of testing and crisis? Why wouldn’t he fight for America?

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