16 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of February 1

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

25 comments

  1. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Going back to “normal” after fascism is the biggest mistake America can make

    Going back to “normal” after fascism is the biggest mistake America can make

    When societies collapse into fascism, it tells us something. That they were broken in three deep and enduring ways: economically, socially, and politically, and that is how fascism came to pass. The old normal, in other words, was what paved the way for fascism. To press for a return to normal, therefore, is to simply create the likelihood that fascism will simply fester and erupt all over again — at the slightest opportunity.

    18 votes
  2. Omnicrola
    Link
    Senate Passes Budget Resolution; Vice President Harris Breaks Tie Holy shit, in legislative terms this is like operating at FTL speeds. The new Congress taking actual steps within it's first few...

    Senate Passes Budget Resolution; Vice President Harris Breaks Tie

    The House must now pass the same version of the budget measure before lawmakers can begin writing the final relief package. That vote may come later Friday.

    Holy shit, in legislative terms this is like operating at FTL speeds. The new Congress taking actual steps within it's first few weeks to address the problems that have been literally killing people for almost a year. And all it took was getting the cheeto out and telling the Republicans to STFU and go sit in the corner.

    I'm not bitter though

    9 votes
  3. stu2b50
    Link
    Manchin will support Democrats' reconciliation bill, allowing COVID relief to move forward without GOP This is huge. Just about everything except $15 minimum wage* can be passed through...

    Manchin will support Democrats' reconciliation bill, allowing COVID relief to move forward without GOP

    This is huge. Just about everything except $15 minimum wage* can be passed through reconciliation, so most of the 1.9 trillion will go through.

    * I mean in a somewhat weird way, because the Senate is the most sovereign body over its own affairs. So technically it's up to the Parliamentarian to decide what's budgetary and what's not, but of course a majority can simply fire the Parliamentarian, but then again they could also just remove the fillibuster with a simple majority anyway

    This is something that everyone who voted in Georgia and across the country accomplished. Votes matter!

    8 votes
  4. [11]
    suspended
    Link
    Biden’s Approval Rating Is Trump’s in Reverse An Emboldened Extremist Wing Flexes Its Power in a Leaderless G.O.P. Spurred By The Capital Riot, Thousands Of Republicans Drop Out Of GOP ‘She is...
    7 votes
    1. [3]
      joplin
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I was just reading the 3rd one about Republicans dropping out of the party. They quote a bunch of things that make it sound like people are leaving in droves. And while I'm sure they don't usually...

      I was just reading the 3rd one about Republicans dropping out of the party. They quote a bunch of things that make it sound like people are leaving in droves. And while I'm sure they don't usually see this much loss at one time, it still only amounts to a fraction of a percent, unfortunately. I hope it makes a difference, and I wish it spelled the end of the Republican party, but for all the handwringing in the article, I bet by the time the next election rolls around, most of these people will have forgotten what happened or how they felt and fall back into their old patterns. I really really hope I'm wrong.

      Regarding the 4th one, this kind of cracks me up:

      state Republicans now worry Greene will emerge as the face of the GOP, tainting the entire ticket with a stamp of conspiracy theory and extremism

      Isn't it a little late for that? The party spent years attracting and then catering to those people, so, yeah, you reap what you sow.

      16 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        The heart of that third story is two paragraphs. It seems like a blip that’s worth mentioning but of unclear significance:

        The heart of that third story is two paragraphs. It seems like a blip that’s worth mentioning but of unclear significance:

        In the week from Jan. 6 through Jan. 12, about 4,600 Republicans changed their party status in Colorado, according to a CPR News analysis. There was no comparable effect with any other party. CPR News was able to contact dozens of them by tracking changes in the state's voter file.

        The number of people changing parties spiked immediately after the Capitol breach. The same phenomenon is playing out nationwide. News outlets documented about 6,000 defections from the party in North Carolina, 10,000 in Pennsylvania and 5,000 in Arizona.

        6 votes
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Yeah, my mother-in-law, who had identified as a proud Republican her entire life re-registered as an independent to not be associated with them anymore.

          Yeah, my mother-in-law, who had identified as a proud Republican her entire life re-registered as an independent to not be associated with them anymore.

          3 votes
    2. [6]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      From the Georgia link: I understand the sentiment here, but if we've learned one single thing from the last 4 years, it's that you can be as deranged and conspiracy-minded as you want and it will...

      From the Georgia link:

      “The Democrats would never throw her out. They want her to be the definition of what a Republican is. They’re gonna give her every opportunity to speak and be heard and look crazy — like what came out Wednesday, the Jewish space laser to start fires. I mean, I don't know how far down the rabbit hole you go.”

      I understand the sentiment here, but if we've learned one single thing from the last 4 years, it's that you can be as deranged and conspiracy-minded as you want and it will have absolutely zero effect if you have already captured people's "loyalty". By the rationale of "people will reject crazy", Trump should have been laughed off the stage and ignored about 5 minutes after he descended that escalator. But he wasn't. Why would we assume that will happen to MTG?

      Also this was a pretty great quote:

      “MTG is the AOC of the GOP. But as much as I hate to say it, AOC is nowhere as crazy as this,” Cowan said. “I’m a neurosurgeon. I diagnose crazy every day. It took five minutes talking to her to realize there were bats in the attic. And then we saw she had skeletons in the closet.”

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. bkimmel
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah, AOC is definitely not crazy. Bad for the Democratic party at-large? It's hard to tell. I think there's some support she pulls back from the fringe that might otherwise fracture into Green...

          Yeah, AOC is definitely not crazy. Bad for the Democratic party at-large? It's hard to tell. I think there's some support she pulls back from the fringe that might otherwise fracture into Green party, etc. ... There's a lot more she does that scares off independents and others who would otherwise find the GOP distasteful, but don't fancy the notion of waiting in Soviet bread lines or turning more of their lives over to the DMV. "Defund the police" was a stupid stupid slogan that cost us 7-10 seats in the House at least and that came from her corner of the party. On balance, I think she might be a net negative and cares more about grandstanding than serving her constituents... I know at one point she didn't even have a district office, which is basically a tacit admission that "I'm just here to be on Twitter". Compiled on top of the fact that the member she knocked off was a super prolific Dem fundraiser who bolstered fundraising for other Dems in tough districts across the country, whereas she basically raises money to spend against Dems and replace them with Socialist candidates that get slaughtered in the general... Don't get me started. She may be God's gift to the GOP. But crazy? No.

          Edit: I'll add that AOC does seem to do her homework for her committee assignments/hearings which a lot of members don't and that is certainly laudable.

          We can only hope that MTG will act as the same kind of free radical, attacking moderate Republicans and fundraising for her Space Laser Crew... But I'm not holding my breath. The real corporate handlers of the GOP will only allow this breakdown of discipline to go so far before they step in.

          10 votes
        2. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          Not crazy, but occasionally says things that seem poorly researched or don't make sense. That's true of plenty of politicians, though. Most recently, she called for a hearing about RobinHood. A...

          Not crazy, but occasionally says things that seem poorly researched or don't make sense. That's true of plenty of politicians, though.

          Most recently, she called for a hearing about RobinHood. A lot of people (including many other politicians) got upset, but you'd think she (and they) would have asked a financial expert what this is about before saying it's "unacceptable?"

          4 votes
          1. pvik
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Now a days, if I read that a CEO of some company is being called for a congressional hearing, I just chalk it up to political theater. Nothing meaningful is going to come out of it. I think...

            Now a days, if I read that a CEO of some company is being called for a congressional hearing, I just chalk it up to political theater. Nothing meaningful is going to come out of it.

            I think pushing for things like financial transaction tax and other regulatory oversight would be a lot more helpful than this congressional hearing, but those don't create catchy headlines for the news agencies and allow for politicians to get soundbites in the news where they sound like they are fighting for the common folks.

            4 votes
          2. [2]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              Yes, you are right, I was skimming. But to go the other way and over-analyze a tweet: This seems like a case of us readers deciding what we want to pay attention to? The blunt, uncompromising...

              Yes, you are right, I was skimming. But to go the other way and over-analyze a tweet:

              This seems like a case of us readers deciding what we want to pay attention to? The blunt, uncompromising opening? (It sounds strong!) Or the rest of the tweet? (Reasonable!) I guess I fell for that.

              You could focus on blunt opening for positive or negative reasons, depending on how you feel about AOC, what you think of Robinhood, and whether you think a lot of people being unable to bet on a fad stock is all that bad.

              Then in the followup tweet, it seems she is particularly concerned about retail investors being unable to sell, which would indeed be a big problem, though I don’t think it happened? In the first tweet, she is talking about purchases.

              To me it comes across as thinking out loud about the problem in public. Maybe the followup is in response to feedback?

              1 vote
        3. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          I think it's important to take this within the framework of someone deeper within the Republican ecosystem. To them, AOC is the head of the "loony left", truly bizarre in every way. From that...

          I think it's important to take this within the framework of someone deeper within the Republican ecosystem. To them, AOC is the head of the "loony left", truly bizarre in every way. From that perspective, to frame someone as even more detached from reality is to basically call them more evil than Hitler. It sounds outright silly from our perspective, but in-group, it parses as a legitimate (if hyperbolic) comparison.

          1 vote
  5. Deimos
    Link
    Pete Buttigieg has been confirmed as secretary of transportation, making him both the youngest person to head that department as well as the first ever openly gay Cabinet member.

    Pete Buttigieg has been confirmed as secretary of transportation, making him both the youngest person to head that department as well as the first ever openly gay Cabinet member.

    6 votes
  6. stu2b50
    Link
    Liz Cheney survives. I do not expect many to celebrate the continued political career of the Cheney dynasty heiress, but if that vote had passed - that the GOP House voted out one of their most...

    Liz Cheney survives. I do not expect many to celebrate the continued political career of the Cheney dynasty heiress, but if that vote had passed - that the GOP House voted out one of their most respected (in the GOP establishment that is) members because she voted for impeachment - it would mean that GOP has truly become nothing but the party of Trump and Qanon.

    6 votes
  7. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Kenosha County DA seeks arrest of Kyle Rittenhouse, higher bond Also related news from a few weeks ago: Kyle Rittenhouse prohibited from association with supremacists under modified bail...

    Kenosha County DA seeks arrest of Kyle Rittenhouse, higher bond

    Prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday, Feb. 3 for a new arrest warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse -- the Illinois teen charged with shooting three people, killing two of them, during an anti-police protest in Wisconsin after he apparently violated his bond conditions.

    The Kenosha County District Attorney's Office said it doesn't know where Rittenhouse is -- and that's a bond violation. The 18-year-old's legal team filed a response, saying he and his family are at a "Safe House" due to threats.

    Rittenhouse posted $2 million bond in November, listing his address as his family home in Antioch, Illinois. When detectives went to that address on Feb. 2, court documents show, it was found he has not lived there for months.

    The prosecutors' motion asks the court to increase Rittenhouse's bond by $200,000. Rittenhouse's legal team argues the move was all about safety and asked the district attorney to keep the "Safe House" address private. The court filing includes an email from Binger, responding in part: "Unless you can provide me with a specific, tangible and imminent threat (or threats) that would justify secrecy in this case, I am not willing to agree to redact your client's address from the public record.

    Also related news from a few weeks ago:
    Kyle Rittenhouse prohibited from association with supremacists under modified bail conditions

    Prosecutors had requested the modifications after Rittenhouse was seen drinking at a bar in the southeastern Wisconsin city of Mount Pleasant, about 25 miles south of Milwaukee, this month. The legal drinking age is 21, but in Wisconsin, Rittenhouse could legally drink alcohol because he was with his mother.

    According to WMTV, prosecutors wrote in their request that Rittenhouse also posed for a photo outside Pudgy's Pub with two men as they made the “OK” sign with their hands, a symbol used by white supremacists. Prosecutors also alleged five men at the tavern serenaded Rittenhouse with a song that has become the anthem of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group.


    And while not US news, some recent related news from Canada:
    Canada labels the Proud Boys, neo-Nazi groups as terrorists

    Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced today that the federal government will designate 13 groups as terrorist entities, adding some white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups to a list already populated with militant Islamist organizations.

    The federal government will now classify the Proud Boys (a neo-fascist organization with chapters in Canada and the U.S.), the Atomwaffen Division, AWD (a group that calls for acts of violence against racial, religious and ethnic groups), and the Base (another neo-Nazi organization that advocates for violence to incite a race war), as terrorist entities under the Criminal Code.

    The government considers these three groups, along with another new addition, the Russian Imperial Movement (a Russian paramilitary group with ties to neo-Nazi groups worldwide), as "ideologically motivated violent extremists."

    5 votes
  8. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Mitt Romney has a plan to give parents up to $15,000 a year, albeit without raising taxes on the rich and at the cost of other programs A mildly biased, but definitely elaborate article on...

    Mitt Romney has a plan to give parents up to $15,000 a year, albeit without raising taxes on the rich and at the cost of other programs

    A mildly biased, but definitely elaborate article on Romney's plan to fix child poverty.

    Romney’s plan would replace the child tax credit, currently worth up to $2,000 per child and restricted to parents with substantial income (it doesn’t fully kick in until you reach an income of over $11,000), with a flat monthly allowance paid out to all parents:

    Parents of kids ages 0 to 5 would get $350 per month, or $4,200 a year
    Parents of kids ages 6 to 17 would get $250 per month, or $3,000 a year

    Parents with multiple kids could get a maximum of $1,250 per month or $15,000 a year; that translates to five kids between the ages of 6 and 17. Very large families would be somewhat penalized, but many families with three or four kids will get the full benefit.

    If you’re a liberal reading this and wondering if there’s a catch, there is — but it’s not necessarily a huge one. Romney doesn’t want his plan to add to the deficit, and he wants to simplify the set of child-related benefits the government currently offers. So his plan would pay for the child allowance by eliminating a number of other programs, including some that mostly benefit the poor (more on those below).

    The upside of Romney’s plan being fully paid for, however, is that it would allow Congress to make the measure permanent under budget reconciliation rules, whereas the Biden proposal that relies on deficit funding is a temporary one-year measure.

    Romney’s proposal would eliminate:

    Head-of-household filing status, which gives income tax breaks to some single parents and caregivers)

    The child and dependent care tax credit, which offers tax breaks for parents paying for child care services so they can work

    The temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) welfare program, which replaced traditional “cash welfare” after the 1996 welfare reforms and is run as a state block grant

    The state and local tax deduction (SALT) in the income tax, which critics decry as regressive but also provides a subsidy for blue states with high income and property taxes

    Interesting proposal from him. I think it underscores how societies must have welfare to function without ignoring destitution or oppressing it out of view. This also the second time Romney has been the right-winger who actually proposed some pretty good policy.

    4 votes
  9. [2]
    streblo
    Link
    Newsmax bailing on pillow guy ranting about Dominion machines Presumably they just don't want to get sued but wow that is a fun interview to watch.

    Newsmax bailing on pillow guy ranting about Dominion machines

    Presumably they just don't want to get sued but wow that is a fun interview to watch.

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Steve Bannon recently seemed to have finally run out of patience with Rudy Giuliani for similar reasons too: 'You can't throw a charge out there like that' - Rudy Giuliani's explanation of the...

      Steve Bannon recently seemed to have finally run out of patience with Rudy Giuliani for similar reasons too:
      'You can't throw a charge out there like that' - Rudy Giuliani's explanation of the Capitol riot is too much for even Steve Bannon: 'God, you're killing me'

  10. [2]
    joplin
    Link
    John Matze, CEO of Parler, has been fired. It's interesting that he claims now to be in favor of deplatforming the extremists he spent the last year or more defending. You can forgive me if I...

    John Matze, CEO of Parler, has been fired. It's interesting that he claims now to be in favor of deplatforming the extremists he spent the last year or more defending. You can forgive me if I don't trust what he says. But the fact that he's saying it publicly could be good for getting other sites to moderate their behavior and users.

    3 votes
    1. stu2b50
      Link Parent
      You don't have to trust that he ethically believes in it. I wouldn't be surprised if he has realized how hard it is to run an online social network when you host content so abhorred by the entire...

      You can forgive me if I don't trust what he says.

      You don't have to trust that he ethically believes in it. I wouldn't be surprised if he has realized how hard it is to run an online social network when you host content so abhorred by the entire rest of the market that literally everyone refuses to work with you with a few exceptions (Epik). Just pragmatically, not deplatforming those groups makes it near impossible to generate revenue and even just run the site.

      3 votes
  11. Kuromantis
    Link
    Joe manchin is by no means the most dangerous senator to progressive reform A mildly interesting article on what senators could pose the biggest threat to Joe Biden's agenda and leftists in general.

    Joe manchin is by no means the most dangerous senator to progressive reform

    A mildly interesting article on what senators could pose the biggest threat to Joe Biden's agenda and leftists in general.

    There is now a new most powerful person in the United States: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. With the Senate evenly split, Manchin, a Democrat representing a state in which nearly 70 percent of the votes cast in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections went to Donald Trump, has the power to break a tied vote on almost any legislative business requiring a simple majority to pass. He can even decide which bills get to be passed with a simple majority.

    For some liberals, this is a disheartening prospect. Manchin voted “with Trump” more than any other Senate Democrat, opting to confirm two of the former president’s three Supreme Court nominees and even flirting with endorsing Trump’s reelection campaign. [...]

    Joe Manchin is, considering his circumstances, by no means the worst Democratic senator. He is quietly a semi-reliable partisan who opposed the GOP’s tax bill and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. And while he later suggested to the press that he would consider endorsing Trump, Manchin did vote to oust him in his first impeachment.

    This is just about how you would expect a good Democrat from West Virginia to act in our stupid and unrepresentative electoral system.

    The last time Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and White House, the key vote in the Senate was not a vulnerable senator from a state that overwhelmingly supported the previous Republican president; it was Joe Lieberman, from Connecticut. [...]

    The reason Lieberman could get away with this kind of behavior was because he was from a safe seat. (For more typical Democrats, that is. He himself was not very popular in Connecticut by the time he retired.)

    2 votes
  12. streblo
    Link
    One more shitty thing about MTG. As a Magic: The Gathering fan, Marjorie Taylor Greene is the worst thing to happen to my Twitter feed in years. I have to reread some tweets like three times...

    One more shitty thing about MTG. As a Magic: The Gathering fan, Marjorie Taylor Greene is the worst thing to happen to my Twitter feed in years. I have to reread some tweets like three times before my brain can understand them.

    8 votes