9 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of February 22

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.

18 comments

  1. [7]
    dubteedub
    (edited )
    Link
    A few good recent pieces from Vanity Fair's Levin report. Republicans can’t believe democrats don’t want to work with them just because of the guns and the death threats and the crackpot...

    A few good recent pieces from Vanity Fair's Levin report.

    I think these articles are exemplary of my views on the GOP as it is today. I feel like we as a nation are not talking enough about how absolutely unhinged Republican politicians (especially at the state level), and GOP supporters more generally, are.

    I think that a lot of folks want more unity with the Democrats and GOP and I just don't understand how that can even be on the table when Republicans are separated from reality in their own media bubble, ingrained in conspiracy theories, and regularly calling for violence against their political enemies.

    8 votes
    1. [6]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      There's many forms of "unity", not all of which involve giving a voice to the Greens of the world. For example, the tit-for-tat response to the events in Texas (as compared to what happened with...

      There's many forms of "unity", not all of which involve giving a voice to the Greens of the world. For example, the tit-for-tat response to the events in Texas (as compared to what happened with the California wildfires) would be a lot of snide remarks, dunking on Texas, "Texas deserves this", "How's succession going for you", jokingly(?) threatening to refuse federal aid because the state didn't vote for you, etc.

      Of course, some of those are absurd, and others may be deserved - but the "unity" route would be to just give out the federal aid because there are Americans in trouble and that's what the federal government is for, no Twitter or press dunks included. And personally I think it's the right move that the current administration did not do any of that, even though the Texas GOP deserves some dunking. It's just not productive.


      On the other hand, reducing the stimulus from 1.9T to 600b (the proposed plan from what's left of the "moderate" GOP bloc) for no other reason than to pass a bipartisan bill, I think, would be a poor decision, and those aren't even the unhinged members of the GOP. Which thankfully is not happening.


      In terms of a "national" conversation, the issue is that much of the nation believes and supports the unhinged members of the GOP more than the hinged ones. You can't have a national conversation on why the GOP has gone off the deep end if the nation has gone off the deepend.

      I have no idea why, but I mean QAnon is gaining popularity IN FRANCE, so clearly there is great deal of appeal... somewhere.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        I am going to preface this by saying I am absolutely not an expert in anything but rocks and I have no standing to make a declaration like this but: We are at a point in society where a...

        I have no idea why, but I mean QAnon is gaining popularity IN FRANCE, so clearly there is great deal of appeal... somewhere.

        I am going to preface this by saying I am absolutely not an expert in anything but rocks and I have no standing to make a declaration like this but:

        We are at a point in society where a significantly large population are disenfranchised and lost. People are are jobless and/or without purpose. Another segment, even if working, have bullshit unfulfilling make-work jobs. We hate to admit it, because we prefer the fiction that we would all be creative butterflies pursuing a multitude of hobbies if we didn't need to work, but the truth is most people aren't creative, and don't have hobbies that can keep them busy for life. Labour gives us something to do, something to focus our minds on. Labour keeps us focussed on something productive.

        While I don't personally believe this is a capitalist problem (settle down commies), we have collectively allowed capitalism to run rampant to its very extremes. There is less and less money (or reward) going to the bottom 99% of us while more and more is concentrated in the hands of less than a thousand people. Labour is rapidly transitioning to either automation or simply being consolidated (those still with jobs performing more and more tasks to cover their laid of employees). Despite this there is no movement to prepare for the new status quo, no attempt.by our leaders to prepare us or help transition into this new reality.

        So people are lost, desperate, have no means to occupy their time/minds. Conspiracies like QAnon, movements like Trumpism, I would argue movements like dar leftism/tanky-ism, violent movements like Boogaloo, etc., offer these people the illusion of mattering in the world. It gives them a project to focus on and occupy their minds.

        I would argue, without providing links to actually back up my claims, the last time we saw a situation similar to now, would be the 30's when desperate Americans (and populations world wide) fled the center for the extremes. Americans were joining the Nazi Party and the CPUSA in droves for exactly the same reasons as today. No occupation, no wealth, no future.

        QAnon is just barely veiled fascism. And like any extremist ideology it gives the lost a raison d'etre. It's growing in France (and Canada, and probably the entire western world) because the problems Americans are facing are found world wide right now. Even if QAnon is quashed some new movement or cult will take it's place. This will continue until we fix the structural problem.

        9 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          The 99% thing doesn’t seem like the right way to talk about the severe inequality we have? There are a lot of well-off people out there, many millions, enough to give a significant boost to the...

          The 99% thing doesn’t seem like the right way to talk about the severe inequality we have? There are a lot of well-off people out there, many millions, enough to give a significant boost to the construction industry and bid up real estate in some places as they changed what they spend money on during the pandemic. Office workers who switched to working at home might be unhappy about it, but they’re still making money. Retirees are probably doing as well as before, better if they had investments.

          2 votes
      2. [3]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        I am not sure where you are coming from here. I am talking about U.S. politics and the Democrats here are not at all on the same track as the Greens. Did you miss the huge amount of snide comments...

        There's many forms of "unity", not all of which involve giving a voice to the Greens of the world.

        I am not sure where you are coming from here. I am talking about U.S. politics and the Democrats here are not at all on the same track as the Greens.

        For example, the tit-for-tat response to the events in Texas (as compared to what happened with the California wildfires) would be a lot of snide remarks

        Did you miss the huge amount of snide comments by Republican politicians about California during the wildfires and power shutoffs? Ted Cruz himself was one of the leading folks in that movement, which is now coming to bite him in the ass. Not to mention that Cruz also voted against relief efforts for New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy damage there.

        2 votes
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          By "Green" I mean Majorie Taylor Green. I know people call her MTG but I like Magic the Gathering too much to sully that acronym. No, which is why I said "tit-for-tat". There was a lot of dunking...

          I am talking about U.S. politics and the Democrats here are not at all on the same track as the Greens.

          By "Green" I mean Majorie Taylor Green. I know people call her MTG but I like Magic the Gathering too much to sully that acronym.

          Did you miss the huge amount of snide comments by Republican politicians about California during the wildfires and power shutoffs?

          No, which is why I said "tit-for-tat". There was a lot of dunking on Democrats during the wildfires, including from the Presidency. Trump even threatened to not give aid, implicitly because California was full of Democrats who did not vote for him. Even when aid was approved, there was some FUD because it was then rescinded, then approved again, and it included much "lol you deserve this".

          Hence it's very tempting to want a new administration to deal it back, and that decision is where, at least I think, the talk of "unity or not" is in play. But Dunkin' should be left to Donuts, Twitter, and the media. I think it is good that the presidency take more a stately approach and simply do what it should - give aid to its citizens, even the ones that think Biden is a pedophilic satanist.

          That's not to say that there shouldn't be dunking - but it should not come from the federal government, who, while only elected by half, does represent the whole, at least ostensibly.

          10 votes
        2. Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          I think they ment "Greens" as in "people like Marjorie Taylor Green".

          I think they ment "Greens" as in "people like Marjorie Taylor Green".

          4 votes
  2. Icarus
    (edited )
    Link
    2/22 Updates: The House is expected to vote on the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill by Friday or Saturday. The biggest issue with the bill is going to be the minimum wage increase. Bernie Sanders...

    2/22 Updates:

    The House is expected to vote on the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill by Friday or Saturday. The biggest issue with the bill is going to be the minimum wage increase. Bernie Sanders is putting out some pressure on the Parliamentarian to allow this in the bill citing that repealing the individual mandate from the ACA was approved in the past for reconciliation. The House has a five-seat cushion to pass the bill, so if six democrats have a problem with the package, it could get canned. Look to Republicans to see if any jump ship and vote with the Democrats, allowing Joe Biden to claim the COVID relief bill is bi-partisan. In the Senate, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are opposed to raising the minimum wage, and a single no vote will completely upend this package.

    On Biden's cabinet side, it appears that Neera Tanden will not be confirmed for OMB. Joe Manchin isn't voting for her and it appears that neither will the Republican moderate caucus. Susan Collins and Mitt Romeny have already said no to her. Potential alternative picks are Gene Sperling, Ann O'Leary, and Shalanda Young.

    Other cabinet officials in the process of confirmation:

    • Linda Thomas-Freenfield for UN Ambassador - sometime next week after a cloture vote today.
    • Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary - Tuesday, the 23rd
    • Merrick Garland for Attorney General - soon
    • Xavier Becerra for HHS - testifying before the HELP Committee on Tuesday and Finance Committee on Wednesday
    • Deb Haaland for Interion - goes before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday

    Nancy Pelosi has introduced some structuring around the 1/6 Commission. Democrats would get 7 appointments determined by Congressional leaders and the White House, Republicans would 4. Joe Biden would appoint the chair who will have subpoena power. The panel would disband at the end of 2021. Republicans hate this idea so be prepared for this to change.


    Other random updates:

    Supreme Court won’t take up challenge to Pennsylvania presidential election results

    Here’s What’s Next in the Trump Taxes Investigation

    Texas officials block electricity providers from sending bills, disconnecting utilities for nonpayment

    Iran Curbs Nuclear Inspectors, but Appears to Leave Space for a Deal

    Biden deprioritizes the Middle East

    Beyond 100M: Biden team aiming for bigger vaccine numbers

    7 votes
  3. dubteedub
    Link
    From the Washington Post Editorial Board: Republicans’ war on democracy is ramping up

    From the Washington Post Editorial Board:

    REPUBLICANS’ WAR on democracy is gaining steam. Unable to persuade a majority of voters to vote for their presidential standard-bearer or Senate candidates in some key races, many have decided that instead of trying to compete in a free and fair vote they will make the contest less free and less fair. Republican state lawmakers are introducing voter-suppression bills all over the country. But ground zero is Georgia, where former president Donald Trump and two Republican Senate incumbents unexpectedly lost.

    Two monstrous election bills emerged in the Georgia state legislature this week. One, in the state Senate, would end no-excuse absentee voting. Only Georgians who meet specific criteria, such as being over 65, could cast mail-in ballots. Even if they have a valid excuse, the bill would require voters to find witnesses to sign their absentee ballots, and voters would have to attach photocopies of their IDs, making the process vastly more difficult.

    Georgia Republicans were not previously so wary of mail-in voting, perhaps in part because older and rural voters tend to use it. Other states run their elections almost entirely by mail with a high degree of security. There was no substantial fraud in the 2020 vote, in Georgia or elsewhere, implicating either mail-in ballots or in-person voting. The difference is that Democrats embraced absentee balloting in 2020, avoiding polling places because of coronavirus concerns. Suddenly, Republicans are determined to roll back a proven, reliable and increasingly popular voting option.

    7 votes
  4. stu2b50
    Link
    https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1364227842003767297?s=20 Despite the source saying "this wasn't related to his decision", c'mon, David Purdue does not suddenly become tired of public life...

    Perdue had dinner with and played a long round of golf with Trump last week. It did not go well. Two ppl briefed on the meetings said Trump was very focused on McConnell and Kemp and retribution. One person close to Perdue says that wasn’t related to his decision.

    The person close to Perdue says ultimately he and his wife couldn’t get comfortable with another campaign.

    https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1364227842003767297?s=20

    Despite the source saying "this wasn't related to his decision", c'mon, David Purdue does not suddenly become tired of public life without something forcing his hand.

    I would generally say this is bad for the GOP chances at the Warnock seat in 2022, but then again it's very possible there would be a bloody primary which may be even worse. But apriori, Purdue would be a great candidate for the traditional midterm backlash "joe bidan is too liberal!" message as a very well known, long serving Georgian politician, but it seems that the Trump part of the party is decidely not going for a "I'm normal again, hey suburbs I'll lower your taxes" midterm message.

    4 votes
  5. dubteedub
    Link
    Not at all shocking, but the woman who stole Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the 1/6 insurrection is a neo-nazi affiliated with the white supremacist domestic terror group Atomwaffen. Woman Accused...

    Not at all shocking, but the woman who stole Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the 1/6 insurrection is a neo-nazi affiliated with the white supremacist domestic terror group Atomwaffen.

    However, Bellingcat has since received information that suggests that Williams was more than just a Trump supporter caught up in the maelstrom. She is somebody who posted racist and Anti-Semitic content as well as filmed a video that appears openly pro-Nazi and promotes accelerationism (speeding up the collapse of society) as a pathway towards establishing a genocidal white supremacist state.

    4 votes
  6. Kuromantis
    Link
    Equality Act with LGBTQ protections passes House, faces uncertain future in Senate Lawmakers passed the legislation on a 224-206, mostly party-line vote. Three Republicans voted with all Democrats.

    Equality Act with LGBTQ protections passes House, faces uncertain future in Senate

    Lawmakers passed the legislation on a 224-206, mostly party-line vote. Three Republicans voted with all Democrats.

    The bill is one of President Joe Biden's top legislative priorities, one he wants passed in his first 100 days in office.

    The legislation amends civil rights laws including the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion and national origin, to include protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. It also would prohibit such discrimination in public places, on transportation and in government-funded programs.

    The House passed a similar version of the bill in May 2019, but it died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. Eight Republicans voted for it in 2019, though no Republicans co-sponsored this year's version of the legislation.

    The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democratic caucus members, with Vice President Kamala Harris in a tiebreaking role. It would need at least 10 Republicans to vote with all Democrats to advance the bill past a key procedural obstacle called the filibuster.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would use his powers as majority leader to put the bill on the floor and would dare Republicans to vote against it, though he declined to say when he would bring the legislation up in the Senate.

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    Kuromantis
    Link
    Democrats Are Split Over How Much The Party And American Democracy Itself Are In Danger

    Democrats Are Split Over How Much The Party And American Democracy Itself Are In Danger

    Facing a Republican Party with a growing anti-democratic contingent, Democrats are debating what to do — to bolster their party and, in the view of some in the party, American democracy itself. At the heart of the discussion is how much structural reform do the nation’s governmental and electoral systems need.

    Camp No. 1: We are in a Democratic and democratic emergency.

    Ideas: Persuade Justice Stephen Breyer to retire as soon as possible and quickly confirm his replacement; get rid of the filibuster; with the filibuster out of the way, pass structural reform legislation, such as an updated Voting Rights Act, a raft of electoral reforms (H.R. 1), statehood for Washington, D.C., and an expansion of the Supreme Court by adding four new justices, as well as creating additional judgeships at the lower court levels.

    Camp No. 2: Maybe there’s an emergency, maybe not; either way, just do popular stuff.

    Ideas: Get rid of the filibuster to pass popular legislation such as a new Voting Rights Act (H.R. 1), expanded background checks on gun purchases and an increased minimum wage.

    Camp No. 3: We can and should work with Republicans.

    Key figures: Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

    Ideas: Keep the filibuster in place and get more legislation passed on a bipartisan basis.

    4 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I am fully in Camp 1 here. I think that Republicans are an existential threat to our government and we should do everything possible to fix the deep structural issues of our Democracy. Especially...

      I am fully in Camp 1 here. I think that Republicans are an existential threat to our government and we should do everything possible to fix the deep structural issues of our Democracy. Especially with the onslaught of bills being forced through by Republican state legislatures right now to limit voting, a new Voting Rights Act is critical right now to ensure that all citizens have the right and ability to vote in a fair election.

      5 votes
  8. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Fact-check from Politifact: No, the snow isn’t government-generated.

    Fact-check from Politifact: No, the snow isn’t government-generated.

    The users posit various explanations for this phenomenon: "fake snow," alien technology, a simulated reality, and a massive government conspiracy.

    3 votes
  9. nukeman
    Link
    Anyone catch Biden’s speech? Heard it on NPR, short and sweet, very moving. I could hear genuine emotion in his voice.

    Anyone catch Biden’s speech? Heard it on NPR, short and sweet, very moving. I could hear genuine emotion in his voice.

    1 vote