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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Journal Archives

Right-wing pundits are convulsing over one line in Biden's speech


Right-wing pundits are convulsing over one line in Biden's speech
Mark Sumner
Daily Kos Staff
Saturday May 01, 2021 · 10:48 AM EDT

In his speech to a joint session of Congress earlier this week, President Joe Biden called for a series of programs to rescue the economy, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, and help workers and families reach new levels of success. But a large number of pundits apparently heard none of that, because they were so enraged by one of Biden’s opening lines, they could make it no further.

As I stand here tonight—just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration, 100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis.

The worst pandemic in a century.

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.

Some Republicans have determinedly nitpicked the seriousness of the pandemic’s threat to the economy, but it’s really that last line that popped a lot of pressure valves. Because accepting the idea that we’ve just been through the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War” means accepting that the assault on the Capitol was not a “peaceful protest,” that it was not “patriots knocking on the Capitol,” and not just a visit from people who “cared more” about the election. It was an attempted coup—an effort to overthrow a democratic election that featured would-be-assassins out to capture and kill high officials, including Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi.

The insurgency was an insurgency. But Republicans can’t accept that, because to do so would mean admitting they’re on the wrong side of democracy, justice, and history.


Accepting the real impact of Jan. 6 would mean acknowledging the singular nature of the event. This wasn’t an assault by an outside power, off-keel gunman, or even a collection of underground extremists. This was an assault on democracy that was nourished and fed, right out in the open, by the highest levels of the Republican Party. It was the biggest threat to our democracy because, unlike any other moment, it very well could have succeeded. Forgetting for a moment how incomparable the events actually are, neither 9/11 or Pearl Harbor was an essential threat to American democracy. The Jan. 6 insurrection was.

The second reason that the right (and pseudo-left Greenwald) are so focused on this line is that they hope to prevent people from looking too much at the rest of Biden’s speech. And it was a helluva speech. It’s filled with not just promises, but promise. It defines a decade’s worth of projects that could undo four decades of sloth. It’s ambitious. It’s progressive. It’s good. Go read it again.

That leads directly to the final reason that the right keeps pointing at this line: They have no plan. That’s not quite true, of course. They do have a plan to limit the ability of Americans to cast votes. They do have a plan to keep up the attacks on trans youth. They do have a plan to vote against everything Biden proposes, while complaining that makes him “not bipartisan.” They do have a plan to keep using the word “socialism” as if it’s a magical charm.

They just don’t have any plan to do a single thing positive for the American people. The party of outrage has nothing but outrage left. And even that is looking very small.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat May 1, 2021, 12:05 PM (43 replies)

Michael Cohen: Rudy Giuliani Will "Absolutely" Rat Out Ivanka, Don Jr., and Trump to Save Himself


Levin Report
Michael Cohen: Rudy Giuliani Will “Absolutely” Rat Out Ivanka, Don Jr., and Trump to Save Himself
According to his ex-lawyer, Donald Trump should be very, very afraid.
By Bess Levin
April 30, 2021

Ask Rudy Giuliani, or his son, Andrew, if the former mayor of New York City is in legal trouble at the moment, and you’ll undoubtedly get an eye-bulging, hands-flailing response that Donald Trump’s personal attorney has done nothing wrong in his life and that the only person who should be worried about his legal exposure is Hunter Biden. Obviously, that is not true at all given that (1) Giuliani’s multiyear quest to dig up dirt on the president‘s son uncovered nothing, and (2) experts say Rudy is very much in trouble. Calling Wednesday‘s raid on Giuliani‘s apartment and office an “extremely significant” escalation of the federal investigation into his Ukraine dealings, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said this week that there is a strong chance the former New York City mayor will be charged. At that point, prison could be in his future.

All of which makes Michael Cohen, who was once in a very similar situation, think Giuliani is “absolutely” going to turn on Trump to save himself. Appearing on CNN on Thursday, the ex-president’s former “fixer,” who was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion and campaign-finance violations, predicted that Rudy is sweating profusely at the moment, and despite whatever he and his son claim, knows that he’s in trouble. Why? For starters, he ran the Southern District of New York, which is currently investigating him, from 1983 to 1989 and knows what kind of power it holds. “There’s no doubt that he’s nervous…. And it’s rightfully so that he’s nervous, because he knows the power of the SDNY is unlimited, and they use that power,” Cohen told Alisyn Camerota. Noting that Giuliani likely “has no interest in going to prison and spending the golden years of his life behind bars,” Cohen said, “Do I think Rudy will give up Donald in a heartbeat? Absolutely. He certainly doesn’t want to follow my path down into a 36-month sentence.”

Which, of course, would be an unfortunate turn of events for the ex-president who is already facing all kinds of legal trouble, not to mention potentially bad news for his children. “What’s ironic here,” Cohen told Camerota, “is the fact that these tactics of the Southern District of New York, in terms of bullying you into a plea deal, were created by Rudy Giuliani going back 30 years ago. And it’s just ironic that the tactics that he created for that office are now going to be employed against him, in terms of making him plead guilty and, certainly, at the least, turning over information about Jared, Ivanka, about Don Jr., about Donald himself, about all of these individuals in that garbage can orbit of Donald Trump.” He added that one cannot even imagine the trove of shadiness the Feds may uncover as a result of seizing Giuliani‘s electronic devices:


Asked if he thinks Donald Trump is scared about what may come out of the Rudy situation, Cohen said there was no question the ex-president is currently soiling himself. “He was afraid even when they raided my home and my law office,” Cohen said. “Because Donald Trump cares about only one person, and I say it all the time. He cares about only himself. So, he doesn’t care that they raided Rudy’s home. He doesn’t care that they raided Rudy’s law office. What is it going to do to affect me, is all that he’s thinking right now. What did stupid Rudy do? What did stupid Rudy write? What sort of text messages or emails? What sort of stupid things was Rudy up to that’s now going to implicate me? Because Donald knows he has enough trouble right now between Tish James and the attorney general’s office, as well as Cy Vance and the district attorney’s office here in New York…. He knows that he has all sorts of legal issues. He didn’t need more. That’s one thing I can assure you. He definitely didn’t need more. And Rudy is going to be, you know, a treasure trove. In all fairness, Merrick Garland is like Santa Claus, and Rudy’s devices are going to be like the presents that are waiting for you on Christmas day…. And what do I think? I think Rudy knows that he has trouble. I think Donald understands that Rudy will provide whatever information that he has to the SDNY.“

Asked if he thought his dad would, indeed, throw Trump under the bus to save himself, Andrew Giuliani gave a…not entirely convincing answer before changing the subject to—you guessed it—Hunter Biden.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:14 PM (23 replies)

Merrick Garland rapidly erasing Trump effect at Justice Department

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy
Merrick Garland rapidly erasing Trump effect at Justice Department
Zachary Basu

Attorney General Merrick Garland is quickly negating the Trump administration’s law enforcement legacy, dismaying conservatives with a burst of aggressive reversals and new policies.

Why it matters: As a former prosecutor and respected federal judge, Garland's devotion to the rule of law has always been core to his identity. That reputation has taken on new importance in his first 50 days on the job, after four years of allegations that Trump's DOJ was improperly politicized.

Attorney General Bill Barr played a central role in the Trump administration's most high-profile controversies, from undermining the Russia investigation to intervening in the cases of indicted Trump associates to ordering the forcible clearing of protesters in Lafayette Square Park.

DOJ's broad authority also overlaps with many of the issues at the top of President Biden's agenda, including restoring faith in government, promoting racial justice and police reform, and curbing gun violence.


Other major steps taken in Garland's first 50 days include:

"Pattern or practice" investigations into the Minneapolis and Louisville police departments, following the deaths last year of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

A 30-day "expedited review" into how DOJ can better prosecute and track hate crimes amid a surge in violence against Asian Americans.

The revocation of a Trump-era policy that restricted federal funding for "sanctuary cities."
Responsibility for five of the six executive actions on gun control ordered by Biden.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 01:14 PM (19 replies)

Rep. Lieu Calls for Rep. Gaetz's Removal From Judiciary Committee After Daily Beast Expos


Rep. Lieu Calls for Rep. Gaetz’s Removal From Judiciary Committee After Daily Beast Exposé
Blake Montgomery, Reporter/Editor
Published Apr. 29, 2021 11:07PM ET

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) called for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to face consequences Thursday night after The Daily Beast published a report on a confession letter written by a longtime associate claiming Gaetz repeatedly paid women for sex, including a 17-year-old. Tagging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Lieu wrote, “Dear @GOPLeader: Please remove Rep Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee immediately. The Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice that is investigating Rep Gaetz, including allegedly for sex crimes with a minor. This is an untenable conflict of interest.” Lieu has repeatedly called for Gaetz to be booted from the committee since the allegations against him first became public. Gaetz was appointed to the committee at the start of the 115th Congress in 2017. The Florida Republican is under federal investigation for potential sex trafficking. He has not been charged with a crime, and he has denied the allegations against him.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 09:09 AM (6 replies)

After Railing Against Science, Trump Wants To Be Remembered As 'The Father Of The Vaccine'

Yeabut, how many did he kill?

After Railing Against Science, Trump Wants To Be Remembered As ‘The Father Of The Vaccine’
By Zoë Richards
April 29, 2021 9:57 a.m.

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday called himself “the father of the vaccine,” and declared that his administration had saved “tens of millions of lives” in its efforts to push for the quick development of COVID-19 shots.

“They’re very ungracious people,” Trump said of the Biden administration during a Fox Business interview on Thursday morning, bemoaning what he believed was undue credit attributed to his successor for the coronavirus vaccine’s development. “I did the vaccine.”

“If I weren’t president — the vaccine — you wouldn’t have a vaccine for five years, three to five years would be the minimum,” Trump continued. “I got it done in less than nine months. And that’s only because of me.”

The comments from an embittered former president striving to claim enduring relevance in the sector of public health which he spent months undermining come on the heels of President Joe Biden on Wednesday addressing a joint session of Congress, touting his administration’s successful vaccine rollout.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:01 AM (31 replies)

David Corn: The First 100 Days: How Joe Biden Is Giving Big Government a Big Shot in the Arm


7 hours ago
The First 100 Days: How Joe Biden Is Giving Big Government a Big Shot in the Arm
He is demonstrating that bold federal action is not just effective—it’s essential.
David Corn


Biden, as many have noted, has spent his first 100 days as president acting in a bolder and more progressive manner than might have been expected. He has proposed three huge packages of pandemic relief, economic stimulus, infrastructure development, and expanded social programs that total about $6 trillion. These proposals seek to expand government action to confront the consequences of the pandemic, income inequality, persistent poverty, crumbling infrastructure, systematic racial and gender inequities, stagnant wages, and more.

His American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March, increased unemployment assistance and included tax credits that are projected to raise millions of children out of poverty. His proposed American Jobs Plan, which made “infrastructure week” a real thing, would rebuild 20,000 miles of road, repair bridges, eliminate lead pipes from the nation’s water supplies, expand broadband, and finance a shift to cleaner energy sources—and create millions of jobs. In his speech to Congress, Biden boasted this is the “largest jobs plan since World War II.”

The American Families Plan Biden proposed in that speech aims to establish universal pre-school education and provide all American students two years of free community college. It also expands access to child care, enhances Obamacare, and mandates paid family and medical leave. And to pay for all of his new initiatives, Biden has not been shy in proposing tax hikes that only hit the well-off and corporations. He also wants $80 billion to revive and build out the IRS so it can capture about $800 billion from tax cheats.

Whether Biden anticipated this when he began his third run for the presidency, his message is now clear: This is the moment for government to go big. And that does mean taxing the wealthy more so these priorities can be sufficiently financed. This is the approach that Republicans and right-wingers have traditionally denounced as socialism and big-government-running-amok. And in recent weeks they have started revving those engines. Hours before Biden’s Wednesday night address, the Republican Party zapped out a fundraising email exclaiming that Biden’s address shows he has “fully embraced the radical socialist left of the Democrat Party.” After the speech, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), delivering the Republican response, decried Biden’s plans as “big-government waste” and dismissed them as “Washington schemes and socialist dreams.”


With these examples, Biden and the Democrats are well positioned to champion and advance the argument for big government. (They know not to call it socialism.) In the past year, government has been a huge part of the solution to the deadly crisis and the massive problems the nation has confronted. And the 46th president, by competently overseeing the vaccination program, has given the case for government a big shot in the arm.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 29, 2021, 04:37 PM (0 replies)

Hundreds of 'Jeopardy!' Players Demand Apology for Contestant's Alleged 'White Power' Symbol


Hundreds of ‘Jeopardy!’ Players Demand Apology for Contestant’s Alleged ‘White Power’ Symbol
Jamie Ross, News Correspondent
Published Apr. 29, 2021 5:46AM ET

Hundreds of former Jeopardy! players have put their names to a furious open letter demanding an apology after a new contestant appeared to flash a hand gesture used by white supremacists earlier this week. On Tuesday's episode, contestant Kelly Donohue arranged his hand in a way that looked similar to the upside-down “OK” sign adopted by some racists. The open letter, signed by more than 500 former contestants, said that, whether Donohue made the sign with bad intentions or not, it shouldn’t have made it to air and they are now asking for “a statement and a disavowal” from the show’s production team. However, in a now-deleted Facebook post, Donohue said there has been a misunderstanding and that he raised three fingers to show that he was a three-day winner, as he did with two fingers and one finger to mark his earlier victories. “There wasn’t a hidden agenda or any malice behind it,” he said, according to Vice. Representatives for Jeopardy! haven’t officially commented on the controversy.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 29, 2021, 07:08 AM (59 replies)

GOP response to Biden address credits Trump on COVID-19 success

This is when I changed the channel, lying sos. Credit them with killing people.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy
GOP response to Biden address credits Trump on COVID-19 success
Ursula Perano

Sen. Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) response to President Biden's joint address to Congress on Wednesday argued that former President Trump deserves credit for the current administration's victories, including on COVID-19.

Why it matters: Biden's joint address was his most significant attempt yet to sell members of Congress on his policy priorities. Scott's response offered no concessions.

"This administration inherited a tide that had already turned," Scott said. "The coronavirus is on the run. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines..."

"Our best future will not come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams," Scott said, adding, "It will come from you — the American people."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 29, 2021, 07:01 AM (2 replies)

D.C. Cop Assaulted by MAGA Mob Blasts 'Whitewashing' of Capitol Riots


D.C. Cop Assaulted by MAGA Mob Blasts ‘Whitewashing’ of Capitol Riots
Justin Baragona, Contributing Editor
Published Apr. 27, 2021 11:43PM ET

During an intense CNN interview on Tuesday night, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone recounted the horrific violence he experienced at the hands of Capitol insurrectionists on Jan. 6. Fanone, who suffered a heart attack after he was beaten and tased by rioters, expressed disappointment that Trump supporters have tried to memory hole the events of that day.

“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” Fanone told CNN anchor Don Lemon. Asked to react to conservatives who have painted the rioters as peaceful protesters, Fanone said that rhetoric was “dangerous,” adding that he “experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me to accomplish their goal.”

Fanone found himself needing to pause and collect himself throughout the lengthy interview, apologizing for getting emotional. “I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades,” he starkly noted.

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 28, 2021, 08:48 AM (14 replies)

Boy Calls Child Protective Services After Catching Parents Watching Tucker Carlson

Boy Calls Child Protective Services After Catching Parents Watching Tucker Carlson
By James Schlarmann
April 27, 2021

SMITHVILLE, GEORGIA — Two parents are in custody, and authorities in their small Georgia berg aren’t sure exactly what the next stop in the process will be, according to several sources close to the situation. At approximately 8:30pm last night, police responded to a call placed by Child Protective Services, asking them to investigate a report sent to them by a child, whose name is being withheld as he is a minor.

“We took the call from CPS last evening, and two of our officers were sent to look into the report,” Deputy Sgt. Miguel Montoya told reporters this morning. “When they arrived, they found a young boy, who told them he had been the one to report his parents. Apparently, he caught them watching Tucker Carlson’s show, and turned them in.”

Apparently, the boy was afraid that if his parents watched Carlson’s Fox News program, they’d “end up angry, rabid racists” and might participate in a failed coup attempt, or embarrass him in public by shouting at people for wearing masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I don’t want to live in a house with white supremacist morons who don’t understand something simple like wearing a mask to protect others,” the boy was quoted as telling officers when they arrived on the scene. “So whether you take me out of here, or you take them somewhere, I don’t care. I just worry about their overall mental health if they keep watching Tucker’s nightly klan rallies.”


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 28, 2021, 08:39 AM (7 replies)
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