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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 166,966

Journal Archives

A Texas judge just blocked Biden's 100-day pause on deportations

A Texas judge just blocked Biden’s 100-day pause on deportations
The state of Texas had challenged the policy, claiming that it violates an immigration enforcement agreement brokered in the Trump administration’s waning days.
By Nicole Narea@nicolenarea Updated Jan 26, 2021, 3:13pm EST

A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s attempt to pause deportations for 100 days, marking the new administration’s first major defeat on immigration policy.

US District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order preventing the administration from stopping deportations for a period of 14 days. Though the moratorium on deportations could still go into effect once Tipton issues a final ruling, he said the administration likely did not sufficiently explain the reasoning behind the policy change and may have violated federal immigration law requiring that a noncitizen be removed from the US within 90 days of being ordered deported by an immigration judge.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who is currently under investigation for bribery, abuse of office, and other potential crimes — is leading the legal challenge to the policy, arguing that it violates an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that the state signed shortly before former President Donald Trump left office.

The agreement demands that DHS provide 180 days' notice and consult with Texas before implementing certain changes to immigration policy. Legal experts say it is likely illegal and that an outgoing administration should not be able to enter into a contract with a political ally to obstruct the policy goals of the incoming administration.

But Tipton on Tuesday said further investigation is necessary to determine whether the agreement is enforceable.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 05:03 PM (5 replies)

Pentagon Restricted D.C. Guard Commander Before Riot

Sounds premeditated.


Pentagon Restricted D.C. Guard Commander Before Riot
January 26, 2021 at 11:45 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“The commander of the D.C. National Guard said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, requiring higher level sign-off to respond that cost time as the events that day spiraled out of control,” the Washington Post reports.

“Local commanders typically have the power to take military action on their own to save lives or prevent significant property damage in an urgent situation when there isn’t enough time to obtain approval from headquarters.”

“But Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, said the Pentagon essentially took that power and other authorities away from him ahead of a pro-Trump protest on Jan. 6. That meant he couldn’t immediately roll out troops when he received a panicked phone call from the Capitol Police chief warning that rioters were about to enter the U.S. Capitol.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 02:26 PM (5 replies)

Kayleigh McEnany Heads to Fox News

Shocked I am not.


Kayleigh McEnany Heads to Fox News
January 26, 2021 at 12:05 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

“Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest official to take advantage of the revolving door between Fox News and the Trump administration,” according to her termination financial disclosure report.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 02:23 PM (11 replies)

Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Unmasked Man


Portland Mayor Pepper Sprays Unmasked Man
January 26, 2021 at 11:01 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler (D) told the Oregonian that he was forced to shoot pepper spray directly into the eyes of a member of the public on Sunday night when he was approached by a man who wasn’t wearing a mask.

Said Wheeler: “I clearly informed him that he needed to back off. He did not do so I informed him that I was carrying pepper spray and that I would use it if he did not back off. He remained at close distance, I pulled out my pepper spray and I sprayed him in the eyes.”

Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 11:08 AM (10 replies)

The Senate Has Used the Filibuster to Block Civil Rights Bills for Decades....Ditch It.

Seems like we can be our own worst enemy.


2 hours ago
The Senate Has Used the Filibuster to Block Civil Rights Bills for Decades. That’s Another Reason for Dems to Ditch It.
If Democrats want to get anything done, they’ll have to get rid of this “Jim Crow relic” first
Kara Voght, ReporterBio


On matters of democracy reform, protecting the filibuster allows Republicans to hold onto their grasp of political power by blocking likely Democratic voters. Passing Merkley’s bill and the House’s voting rights bill, another top Democratic priority, would safeguard rights for the historically disenfranchised—most notably, Black Americans. In statehouses where Republicans retain control, lawmakers are already busy crafting tightened voting restrictions to dampen the chance Democratic candidates could succeed in future elections. Merkley says his Republican colleagues have told him McConnell has forbidden GOP senators from backing his bill.

That’s why Merkley sees ending the modern-day filibuster and his party’s proposed democracy reforms as two sides of the same coin. “You have this incredibly racist history of voter suppression, systemic discrimination,” he says, “and you have the filibuster deeply associated with systemic racism, as well.” Passing those bills would rectify “this tilt of power toward predominantly white conservatives in our system,” adds Adam Jentleson, who worked as an aide to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and recently published a book calling for filibuster reform. “The sequencing is important because you can’t do any of the other things unless you do filibuster reform.”

To Jentleson, the fate of the filibuster is a matter of political survival for Democrats, too. From his perch in Reid’s office, he had a front-row seat to the ways McConnell thwarted Obama’s agenda, then turned around and blamed Democrats for inaction. The tactic cost Democrats seats in both chambers of Congress over those election cycles. Jentleson says there’s tremendous political risk in “getting strung along” by Republican lawmakers only to end up with “small-ball deals” that fail to meet the country’s dire moment. “Bipartisanship is a worthy goal,” Jentleson tells me, “but delivering results to save this country has to be the ultimate goal.”

So how do Merkley and his fellow filibuster detractors prevail with their colleagues who still resist filibuster reform? The path, Merkley says, is probably to get caught trying to get 60 votes on top agenda items, then watch Republicans block them. If Biden’s coronavirus package fails, Merkley predicts, it will “move people’s hearts” to not allow McConnell a veto “that may cost tens or thousands or 100,000 people in this country their lives.” The same goes for his party’s democracy reform bill. “If it comes down to an issue as fundamental as the right to vote and Republicans block it,” Merkley says, “I think that would have a significant impact as well.”

That impact would have to be significant. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who told the Hill last summer he was intrigued by Merkley’s pitch on filibuster reform, remains opposed to ending the practice. So too, does Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), whose spokesperson told the Washington Post this week that the senator is not only “against eliminating the filibuster,” but also “not open to changing her mind” on the matter. Optimists on the side of filibuster reform hope the moderate Democrats might be open to less extreme reforms than total abolition. One picking up steam is something Sen. Bernie Sanders floated during his presidential campaign: Expanding what’s allowed under budget reconciliation by overriding guidance from the Senate parliamentarian.

In the progressive imagination, abolishing the filibuster crosses a threshold toward more ambitious structural reforms. For the party’s left flank, the proposed democracy and voting rights bills are the baseline. Granting statehood for Washington, DC, abolishing the electoral college, expanding the numbers of seats on the Supreme Court, and enacting a ranked-choice voting system would be necessary steps to rebalance the scales against the tyranny of minority rule. Legislation has been introduced to address each impediment, but not all Democrats are on board with big moves. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently told the Atlantic that the votes for DC or Puerto Rico statehood aren’t there, even if the filibuster is abolished (even though the House passed a bill to grant DC statehood last year). For now, Democrats’ debate on the future of the filibuster delays facing up to the divisions that remain within their caucus.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 08:20 AM (10 replies)

Biden: Trump Impeachment Trial 'Has to Happen'


Biden: Trump Impeachment Trial ‘Has to Happen’
Danika Fears, Breaking News Editor
Published Jan. 25, 2021 7:51PM ET

President Joe Biden on Monday told CNN that former President Trump’s second impeachment trial “has to happen.” He added that while the proceeding could throw a wrench in Cabinet confirmation hearings and his agenda, there would be “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.” As for getting the required two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict Trump, Biden was not hopeful. “The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn’t changed that much,” he told CNN. House managers on Monday evening delivered a single article of impeachment, accusing Trump of inciting an insurrection, to the Senate. The trial, Trump’s second, is expected to begin the week of Feb. 8.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Jan 26, 2021, 07:42 AM (0 replies)

Eugene Robinson: Democrats won power. Now, they need to use it.

Democrats won power. Now, they need to use it.
Opinion by
Eugene Robinson
Jan. 25, 2021 at 4:37 p.m. EST

Democrats worked long and hard to win power. Now, for the good of the country and the world, they need to use it — with determination and without fear.

Republican calls for President Biden and the Democratic majorities in Congress to settle for half-measures in the name of “unity” would be laughable if they weren’t so insulting. The GOP’s definition of unity would require not doing anything the GOP opposes. To accept that would be a betrayal of the citizens who voted in record numbers — some of them braving a deadly pandemic in the process — to put the Democratic Party in charge.

A better way to seek unity is to vigorously pursue policies that have broad public support — and that begin to clean up the shambles the Biden administration inherits. Democrats may have slim majorities, but they have been given a mandate to lead. They need to remember the past four years when Republicans controlled the White House and Senate. The GOP grandly pronounced that “elections have consequences” and treated the Democratic minority like a doormat.

I’m not advocating payback for payback’s sake, tempting as that might be, but just being realistic. Look at where we are: More than 400,000 Americans have died from covid-19 — a higher number than any other nation. There has been such chaos in the rollout of lifesaving vaccines that the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t been able to find out how many doses are available or where they might be. We’re in a “K-shaped” recovery from the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. The wealthy are seeing their stock portfolios soar while the poor and working class face hunger and fear. Calls for a reckoning on racial justice have gone unanswered and there were ridiculous Trump-era energy policies that ignored the existential crisis of climate change.

So yes, President Biden, if Republicans won’t help, you should continue to do as much as you can through executive action. And yes, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate should be prepared to abolish the filibuster — and should pull the trigger sooner rather than later if Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) continues to block the chamber from even getting organized to do its work.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 25, 2021, 08:14 PM (15 replies)

What GOP Retirements Mean For The 2022 Senate Map


What GOP Retirements Mean For The 2022 Senate Map
January 25, 2021 at 4:08 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

FiveThirtyEight: “It’s only January 2021, but three Republican senators have already announced their intentions to retire in 2022. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina said back in 2016 that his current term would be his last, and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania revealed last October that he would not run for reelection either. Then, on Monday morning, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio joined them, saying in a statement that ‘It has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy.'”

“These retirements could be a helpful development for Democrats, too, as they provide the party with potential openings on what was already a decently favorable Senate map for them. Although the Senate’s rural bias still makes the chamber advantageous to Republicans overall, the 2022 Senate map doesn’t force Democrats to compete on red turf nearly as much as the 2020 map or killer 2018 map did. In fact, no Democratic senators are running for reelection in states won by former President Donald Trump in 2020, while Republicans are defending two seats in states won by President Biden: the open seat in Pennsylvania and Sen. Ron Johnson’s seat in Wisconsin. (To make matters worse for Republicans, Johnson is considering retirement as well.)
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 25, 2021, 04:23 PM (2 replies)

The Whole Republican Party Is on Trial


The Whole Republican Party Is on Trial
January 25, 2021 at 4:05 pm EST By Taegan Goddard

Max Boot: “When the impeachment proceedings begin in the Senate, it will not be just Donald Trump in the dock. The entire Republican Party will be on trial. And there is every reason to believe that the GOP will fail this test — as it failed every other during the past four years.”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 25, 2021, 04:21 PM (17 replies)

Already in a ditch, Josh Hawley finds a shovel, keeps digging

Already in a ditch, Josh Hawley finds a shovel, keeps digging
How would Josh Hawley repair his standing and reputation? An answer has come into focus: he's decided not to try.
Jan. 25, 2021, 10:00 AM EST
By Steve Benen


Hawley has been denounced by former allies; some donors want their money back; businesses don't want anything to do with him; the Missouri Republican faces multiple calls that he resign in disgrace; and seven of his Senate colleagues filed an ethics complaint against him last week.

It was far from clear how, exactly, the senator might take steps to repair his standing and reputation. In recent days, an answer has come into focus: Hawley has decided not to try.

When he challenged the legitimacy of Joe Biden's Electoral College win in the Senate and voted to reject the results of the election in Arizona and Pennsylvania, Hawley explained Friday, he merely "gave voice" to Missourians who were concerned about allegations of fraud. "I was very clear from the beginning that I was never attempting to overturn the election," he said.

I wish that were true. It's not. Mother Jones' Tim Murphy published ample evidence that discredits the Republican senator's defense, but of particular interest was a Fox News interview on Jan. 4 -- two days before the deadly insurrectionist riot -- in which Bret Baier asked Hawley whether he believed Donald Trump would remain president on Inauguration Day 2021.

"Well, Bret, it depends on what happens on Wednesday," Hawley said, referring to the day in which Congress was scheduled to formally certify Joe Biden's victory.

In other words, as recently as three weeks ago, the Missouri Republican was telling a national television audience the outcome of the election was still in doubt. Whether Trump remained in power -- whether the election would be overturned -- would "depend on" the events of Jan. 6.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Jan 25, 2021, 12:26 PM (12 replies)
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