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Phoenix Republicans Condemn G.O.P.-Ordered Vote Review and ‘Insane Lies’
By Michael Wines from NYT U.S. https://ift.tt/33T8gt7 Leaders in Maricopa County, Ariz., are hitting back at Donald J. Trump and fellow party members in the State Senate over a review of the county’s ballots. https://ift.tt/33T8gt7
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GOP House leader dragged after trying to slam Biden for needing 5 hours of sleep a night. - Smart News
GOP House leader dragged after trying to slam Biden for needing 5 hours of sleep a night. – Smart News
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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Monday urged Congress to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in an effort to demonstrate bipartisan support for the protection of voting rights.
In a letter to congressional leaders on Monday, Manchin and Murkowski said that voting rights should not become a partisan issue.
“Inaction is not an option. Congress must come together – just as we have done time and again – to reaffirm our longstanding bipartisan commitment to free, accessible, and secure elections for all,” Manchin and Murkowski wrote. “We urge you to join us in calling for the bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act through regular order. We can do this. We must do this.”
Manchin and Murkowski do not reference the new voting rights bill, S. 1 — the “For The People Act” that passed in the House and recently underwent a contentious markup in the Senate — in their letter, but instead hyped the reauthorization of the VRA, a less ambitious legislative move...
The Voting Rights Act has not been reauthorized since 2006. The Supreme Court, however, gutted the law when it ruled that the formula set by Congress to determine whether state and local governments were required to get prior approval by the Justice Department for voting and election changes was outdated.
Manchin and Murkowski’s letter comes amid Democrats’ push for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would require states with a recent record of voting rights discrimination to get approval on a federal level before changes to election laws are implemented.
The letter also comes as Manchin faces backlash from progressives for being the only member of the Democratic caucus who did not support the “For the People Act,” a sweeping bill that would expand ballot access. The Democratic-led House passed the bill without GOP support in March.
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Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday said Texas would cut off emergency federal unemployment benefits that provide $300 in weekly payments starting June 26.
“The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” Abbott said, noting that the number of job openings in the state was on par with the number of people receiving benefits.
The announcement means Texas soon will join more than a dozen other GOP-led states in scaling back some level of federal emergency benefits, such as the $300 top-up and a program making benefits available to gig economy workers and self-employed Americans.
But unlike many of the early GOP states to announce benefit cutoffs, Texas has an unemployment rate that is higher than the 6.1 percent national average. At 6.9 percent, the Lone Star state has the 12th highest rate in the nation.
The emergency benefits, which were reinstated in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by President Biden, are set to last until the first week of September in participating states.
Republicans have argued that the jobless benefits are disincentivizing unemployed individuals from going back to work and fueling labor shortages. Democrats reject those arguments.
"These workers are not just losing $300 extra per week. Many are losing everything, and their incomes will be zero," said Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who championed the additional benefits, said in a statement.
"Of course, Republicans are only cutting off economic relief to jobless workers—not businesses—showing this is all about politics and sticking it to struggling families," he added.
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It’s good that Republicans such as former president George W. Bush, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) have made clear that they oppose former president Donald Trump because of his anti-democratic and racist behavior. But their warnings about the danger of Trump-style politics to American democracy aren’t being matched with commensurate actions.
What’s stopping them from doing more? Identity politics.
At this point, the best — and probably only — way to stop Trumpism would be for a significant share of Republicans to align with the Democratic Party, at least temporarily. But here’s the problem: For many Trump-skeptical Republicans, both elite and rank-and-file, being a Republican, and definitely not a Democrat, is a part of their personal identity. And so far, too few have been willing to prioritize the health of the country over this attachment.
I’m pretty sure that people such as Bush, Cheney and Romney know that the pre-Trump Republican Party isn’t coming back. They can see that the GOP of 2021 is less about keeping the government small than, say, making it harder for Democratic-leaning Americans to vote and stopping Americans from learning about the lingering effects of slavery.
But none of them are taking steps that will effectively challenge Trumpism. After being ousted from her House leadership post, Cheney plans to raise money and campaign for anti-Trump Republicans in GOP primaries. That isn’t going to work, because most rank-and-file GOP voters back Trump-ish policies and rhetoric, including the “big lie.” Still, Cheney’s strategy isn’t as cowardly as voting for Condoleezza Rice in 2020 (Bush), saying you won’t vote for Trump but not endorsing Joe Biden (Romney) or voting for Trump and then complaining about him on your book tour (former House speaker John A. Boehner).
A much more useful approach would be for these Republicans to formally break with the GOP and announce that they will back Democratic candidates. If you prioritize preserving democracy above all (and you should), it shouldn’t be a hard choice to back a small-d democrat, even one who is a liberal Democrat. Our electoral structure is set up for two parties, so it’s just a waste of time to talk much about third-party efforts. The best way to force a party to reform itself is to crush it in successive elections.
And there is a real opportunity for that. Polls suggest that around 20 percent of Republican voters are wary of the Trumpian direction of the party. That’s about 9 percent of the electorate overall. If that 9 percent strategically aligned with the Democrats, it would put the Democrats at around 60 percent of the national vote — enough to turn states such as Florida and North Carolina blue while boosting the party toward victory in Ohio and Texas, too.
I suspect Bush, Cheney, Romney and other anti-Trump Republicans know that is the best strategy. But identity politics is getting in the way.
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Trumpism Is Republicanism
Republicans have been trying to disenfranchise as many of their political opponents as they can for decades. They are just seizing the opportunity that Dear Leader has provided to really crank up the distrust in the system so they can degrade the system even more. Until everyone understands what the game is on this, they are are going to get away with it.
Disenfranchising the Democratic Party is their electoral strategy. It’s been their strategy for years. Trump heard all the chatter about “voter fraud” and used it for his own purposes but he didn’t come up with it on his own any more than he came up with “Make America Great Again.” His entire agenda piggybacked on various things he heard from talk radio and added a couple of his own eccentric obsessions like trade wars and hammering NATO. Voter fraud was one of them and it fit his purposes perfectly.
Trumpism is Republicanism. They are all in. I’m sure they wish that the Dear Leader of their anti-democratic, autocratic, corrupt “movement” was someone with a little bit more finesse but I’m sure they also realize that his crude, ignorant, bullying style is actually the reason so many voters love him so much.
Trump gets their voters out and they are working hard to make sure the Democrats cannot do the same. That’s the only way they can win. They just don’t have the numbers and they know it.
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When House Republicans ousted Congresswoman Liz Cheney from her leadership post, it spoke to the direction of the Republican Party in at least one specific way: what should happen to those who publicly break with former President Donald Trump? So, we surveyed the nation's self-identified Republicans to learn what they thought of the week's events. They still very much want their party to show loyalty to Mr. Trump and adhere to the idea that President Biden didn't legitimately win.
Their views on Cheney, in turn, now reflect those wishes.
Eighty percent of Republicans who'd heard about the vote agree with Cheney's removal — they feel she was off-message, unsupportive of Mr. Trump, and that she's wrong about the 2020 presidential election. To a third of them, and most particularly for those who place the highest importance on loyalty, Cheney's removal also shows "disloyalty will be punished."
"Disloyalty will be punished." That is a perfectly normal and rational expectation to have and is definitely not the latest sign that the GOP has degenerated into a fascist personality cult!
Those Republicans opposed to her removal — just a fifth of the party right now — say it's mainly because there's room for different views in the party, not all need support Mr. Trump and this was a distraction. But when we look down the line to any potential electoral impact, theirs might be even more limited: this group is also less likely to report voting in Republican primaries.
Republicans say that Mr. Trump himself represents their views just as well as they think the party does; it's a personal connection to him we've seen for years. Today, loyalty also means they specifically want the party to follow more of the former president's examples across a range of items, including economics, issues of race and immigration, how to treat the media, using power and leadership, generally...
Almost half — and especially, for those who believe Mr. Biden didn't legitimately win — think changing the voting process, rather than messaging, is more important.
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Rudy Giuliani is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it any more. In a screaming 17-page letter to US District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken, Rudy and his lawyers demand that the court put off the review of materials seized during the April 28 raid of his home and office so that these legal eagles can first litigate the secret warrants that allowed the government to seize his electronic communications from Apple and Google in 2019. Careful with that link, kids, the spittle fairly rises off the page to baptize you with bile!
In a show of DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO I AM that would make Meghan McCain blush, Giuliani howls at length about the injustice of a man of his stature being treated like a common criminal.
"Unfortunately for Giuliani, and even more unfortunately for the attorney-client privilege and executive deliberation privilege, and the public's perception that those privileges are real, the SDNY simply chose to treat a distinguished lawyer as if he was the head of a drug cartel or a terrorist, in order to create maximum prejudicial coverage of both Giuliani, and his most well known client – the former President of the United States," huffs the man who pioneered the use of the perp walk for accused white collar criminals.
There's the requisite noise about Hunter Biden's laptop, along with an attempt to prove that Giuliani wasn't lobbying on behalf of foreign agents from Ukraine, by repeatedly referring to all the times Giuliani approached United States government officials to lobby them about Ukraine. Which may or may not be exactly the PWN he thinks it is.
How could Rudy be lobbying on behalf of foreigners when he marched right in the front door of the State Department and tried to get our ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, fired in accordance with Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko's wishes? And what about Rudy's cooperation with deputy US Attorney Scott Brady in the Western District of Pennsylvania, whom Bill Barr seems to have assigned to babysit the president's lawyer as he drove around in a cul-de-sac spinning his wheels about Ukraine?
Reading this rancid pile of goat entrails, Giuliani seems to be claiming that the government lied to the judge who approved the initial application for a secret warrant for his communications. As proof, Rudy cites the years-long campaign he coordinated with shady Ukrainian figures who are now on the Treasury Department's sanctions list for efforts to interfere with the 2020 election.
It's a bold strategy, Cotton!
The histrionics continue at length, with Giuliani demanding to know whether the judge who approved the April 28 warrant was told that Bill Barr and his successor Jeffrey Rosen blocked earlier efforts by SDNY to conduct similar searches, as if internal DOJ deliberations are something prosecutors are obliged to disclose.
Then the guy whose pals at the New York FBI field office sure did seem to be leaking a raft of shit about Hillary Clinton to him in the lead-up to the 2016 election accuses SDNY of leaking to Rep. Adam Schiff — arrest this man for the murder of irony! — and demands that the underlying affidavits for the first warrant be released so that he can test this theory. (Please don't waste a lot of time trying to make that make sense.)
Rudy Giuliani, the same man who defied a House subpoena and refused to answer any questions about his work in Ukraine -- because PRIVILEGE! -- insists that all the government had to do was ask him if he was lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and he'd have told them anything that wasn't privileged.
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President Joe Biden has been compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson and has even been called the "Anti-Reagan."
But there's another legendary political character that people should cite to explain why Biden's governing approach during his first 100 days in office is such a radical break from the past.
That character is a Black woman of indeterminate age who has 12 Social Security cards, mooches on benefits from four fake dead husbands and collects welfare payments under 80 bogus names while getting food stamps.
She is, of course, the infamous Welfare Queen.
That's how Ronald Reagan described her when he introduced the character during a presidential campaign rally nearly half a century ago. Reporters investigating Reagan's 1976 Welfare Queen story concluded that it wasn't quite true. Though never mentioning a name or race, Reagan had exaggerated the abuses of an actual Black woman in Chicago.
It didn't matter, though, if the story was more fiction than fact. The Welfare Queen embodied the GOP's belief that sending government aid to the poor would backfire because freeloaders -- hint, Black people -- will invariably splurge that money on steak and lobster.
The Welfare Queen became the political equivalent of a horror movie villain. Democratic leaders didn't have a counter story that could stop it. It spread the myth that most Black and poor people were lazy cheaters looking for a handout instead of a hand up. The story was so influential that even Democratic presidents became leery of pushing Big Government solutions to help low-income people of color.
But Biden is now boldly going where no contemporary Democratic president has gone before, and he's destroying one of the GOP's most effective political attacks in the process.
The heart of Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda is three massive plans that would use huge sums of government money to help working families, including people of color. The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March, includes direct cash payments to struggling families. Two other plans would rebuild the country's infrastructure and expand tax credits to help working families and make education more affordable.
What's fascinating is how Republicans have responded. It's not what they've said: that Biden is a "radical" and a "socialist" and his proposals are a "sloppy liberal wish list."
It's what they haven't said that's revealing. They haven't successfully deployed any Welfare-Queen-like stories about people of color mooching off pandemic aid to turn a critical mass of White voters against Biden's plans. If there have been such attacks, they haven't gained traction.
"[The Republicans] don't have a coherent pushback," James Carville told the Daily Beast in a recent interview, describing three right-wing lines of attack against the President. "It's all CBS: cancel culture, the border and senility."
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