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New GOP congressman makes disturbing comments about trying to convert Jews: 'They are very difficult'

November 16, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

GOP congressman-elect Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has quickly made a name for himself in many ways. At 25, he’s just become one of the youngest Americans ever elected to Congress.

During the campaign Cawthorn was accused of being anti-Semitic and supportive of Adolf Hitler after an Instagram post was uncovered showing not only has he visited “The vacation house of the Führer,” as he wrote, in Germany, but he gloated about it, saying it had been on his bucket list.

Now Cawthorn is once again under fire, and unsurprisingly it’s about comments he made about Jewish people in an interview with Jewish Insider.

A devout Christian, Cawthorn bragged that he personally has tried to convert Jews to Christianity. He confessed that while he has been successful converting “a lot” of Jews, but not those who are devout.

He seems to believe, as Jewish Insider reports, that it is his duty as a Christian to convert as many people as possible. He also suggests that “culturally Jewish people” are not real Jews.

Cawthorn says he tried “unsuccessfully” to convert Jews but then adds, “I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people.”

“But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way.”

Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel writes, “Cawthorn expressed a similar sentiment during a July 2019 sermon at a church in Highlands, North Carolina.“If you have Jewish blood running through your veins today,” he told the crowd, mulling on a chapter from the Gospel of Mark, “this might not mean as much to you, but for someone like me, who’s a gentile, this means a lot.”

He’s once again under fire.

…read more


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Trump is condemning thousands more to death as he holds his party hostage

November 16, 2020 in Blogs

By Heather Digby Parton

Last summer, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota welcomed bikers from across the country to the annual rally in the town of Sturgis. Hundreds of thousands showed up and they partied like there was no tomorrow. Noem, a rising Republican star, didn’t cancel the state fair and refused to issue much guidance on how to avoid spreading COVID-19. As the state’s caseload rose quickly throughout the fall, Noem spent $5 million of federal COVID relief money creating ads to encourage tourism.

She has rejected all advice from the CDC and has made it clear that she will defy any mandates coming from the new administration as well. She says she leaves it up to her people to do what’s best for their families because she values freedom. Apparently, she believes these people should have the freedom to infect innocent bystanders as well.

Tomorrow has arrived. The state is now considered to be one of the worst COVID hotspots in the world and hospitals are in a desperate situation. Over the weekend a South Dakota nurse wrote this disturbing dispatch on Twitter:

I have a night off from the hospital. As I’m on my couch with my dog I can’t help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that “stuff” because they don’t have COViD because it’s not real. Yes. This really happens.

I’m sure it does. Here are some Americans who simply refuse to take the threat seriously, even when a family member has succumbed to the virus:

Noem is already being mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024 or beyond, which makes sense. She is one of Donald Trump’s natural heirs, even using his patented lies and happy-talk approach to the virus, telling lawmakers recently that “in South Dakota, we didn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and the results have been incredible.” Incredible yes. Incredibly horrific.

What she’s done to her state, Trump and the Republican Party are …read more


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Here are 7 ways President-elect Biden will have the power to improve health care

November 16, 2020 in Blogs

By The Conversation

by Simon F. Haeder, Penn State

President-elect Joe Biden has plenty of work ahead of him; reining in the out-of-control pandemic tops the list, and beyond that, there are significant challenges on health care in general.

Unquestionably, the incoming administration also faces limitations. Twelve years ago, Barack Obama had a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate. This time, that will not be the case, and many progressive dreams, like “Medicare for All,” are far out of reach. Even Biden’s modest goal to expand the Affordable Care Act via a public option will likely fall on Mitch McConnell’s deaf ears.

As a professor of public policy analyzing the political landscape, I believe big, transformational reforms are unlikely in the next few years, particularly given the contentious aftermath to the presidential election. But Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris can make changes in seven smaller but important policy issues that will improve the lives of millions of Americans. Some of these the Biden administration can achieve on its own via regulations and other administrative actions. Others require bipartisan cooperation, but Republicans might come on board if it suits them politically.

1. Taking Executive Action

To shore up the Affordable Care Act, Biden has a number of administrative policy tools that reverse course on many actions taken by the Trump administration. In some instances, he can take executive action; he will not need Congress to cooperate.

To lower the uninsured rate, Biden can expand enrollment periods for the ACA marketplaces. He can also refocus on advertising, outreach and enrollment efforts. The Trump administration virtually eliminated this type of funding with significant implications for enrollment. He can also move to strike regulations that weaken the marketplace. Dozens more seemingly small technical changes to regulations can cumulatively have a considerable impact.

2. Expanding Medicaid coverage

The ACA was passed with the intent that states would broaden coverage for the uninsured by expanding Medicaid; most Republican states balked. Biden may have a way around that; he can encourage states to expand their Medicaid programs via the Section 1115 waivers. With those waivers, states may temporarily disregard certain Medicaid requirements to test innovations.

Under President Obama, some Republican states traded Medicaid expansion for smaller premiums or health-behavior incentives. Now work incentives and potentially work requirements may be on the table.
While these requirements certainly make individual enrollment …read more


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Trump 2024: Could a fallen president really make a comeback?

November 16, 2020 in Blogs

By The Conversation

by Robert Speel, Penn State

American author F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “there are no second acts in American lives.”

Yet it’s already assumed Donald Trump will go on to a next act in one form or another.

Will he start his own media company? Serve as a GOP kingmaker?

There are even rumblings that he will decide to run again for president in 2024. Having served only one term, he is constitutionally eligible to try for another.

If he does decide to run again – and if he wins – he’ll be in rare company.

Only one American president has lost reelection and then won back his office: Grover Cleveland. In the American elections course that I teach, students learn details about the long-term political impacts of these comeback efforts, most of which are exercises in futility.

‘Gone to the White House, ha ha ha’

The late 19th-century political environment resembled today’s in many ways: tight polarized elections, strong regional patterns in national voting, relatively high voter turnout and negative campaigning.

Cleveland, a Democrat, had been governor of New York for less than two years when his party nominated him for president in 1884. As governor, he had gained a reputation for fighting Tammany Hall corruption in New York City.

During the 1884 campaign, in which Cleveland ran against Republican James Blaine, a scandal erupted when a New York woman named Maria Halpin accused Cleveland of raping and impregnating her. She was eventually institutionalized and forced to give up her child for adoption. Cleveland disputed some of the details of the story, and his supporters countered jeers of “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?” with chants of “Gone to the White House, ha ha ha.”

Cleveland ended up winning the national popular vote by a slim margin – 48.85% to 48.28% – and won 219 electoral votes to Blaine’s 182. Cleveland’s base of support was in the South and in his home state of New York, while Blaine did well in the rest of the North. Voter turnout was high, estimated at 77.5% of the voting-age population.

During Cleveland’s term, tariffs became a divisive partisan issue in American politics. Republicans favored higher tariffs to protect Northern manufacturing interests, while Democrats like Cleveland generally wanted lower tariffs to help the South’s agricultural export-oriented interests and to lower prices for consumers.

Cleveland’s comeback

When Cleveland ran for …read more


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'His bloodlust is rising up': Report warns Trump is looking for 'vengeance'

November 16, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

When presidents are voted out of office — whether it’s Gerald R. Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 or George H.W. Bush in 1992 — they typically lick their wounds, give a concession speech and go about telling the winner what they will need to know after being sworn in as president. But President Donald Trump has yet to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, preposterously claiming that he was robbed of reelection by widespread voter fraud.

And journalist Sonam Sheth, in a Business Insider article published this week, emphasizes that Trump’s spitefulness is raising national security concerns.

Business Insider, Sheth explains, interviewed some “national security veterans” to get an idea of what to possibly expect from Trump during this lame-duck period. One of them was Bob Deitz, former general counsel for the National Security Agency.

Deitz told Business Insider, “One worries that a person like Trump, who’s pissed off at the world and sitting there sucking his thumb and feeling sorry for himself, will wake up at 3 in the morning and tweet something that could be really destabilizing. There’s also the concern that he might just — and he’s been trying to do this — declassify information about Russia because of his vendetta over the Mueller investigation.”

According to Deitz, “Trump seems to wake up every day with a kind of anxiety or hatred. He didn’t get reelected; so, he’s in vengeance mode. His bloodlust is rising up. And he’ll go after people like (FBI Director Christopher) Wray and (CIA Director) Gina Haspel.”

Former CIA operative Glenn Carle told Business Insider that he is more worried about what Trump will do in the weeks ahead than he is about Trump refusing to leave the White House on January 20.

“In both a proactive and reactive sense, there are many things, including within the intelligence community, that could be significantly delayed even with an acting leader there to replace the person who’s been fired, no question,” Carle explained. “If the quarterback disappears, you can still run an offense, but how well you’re going to do it is questionable.”

A former U.S. Department of Justice official, interviewed on condition of anonymity, warned that from a national security standpoint, Trump could cause a lot of problems before leaving office.

That ex-DOJ official explained, “In terms of damage that can be wrought, if Donald Trump wants to make some really atrocious choices as …read more


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When Margaret Thatcher Crushed a British Miners’ Strike

November 16, 2020 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

The ‘Iron Lady’ earned her reputation for toughness when coal miners called a nationwide strike in 1984.

As Margaret Thatcher took office as Britain’s first female prime minister in May 1979, she confronted a nation mired in economic recession.

Businesses were failing, and inflation and unemployment were rising. Thatcher immediately set out to turn the economic situation around, according to her firm belief in the independence of the individual from the state and limited government interference in the economy. Her goal when she took office, she later said, was to turn Britain from a “dependent to a self-reliant society, from a give-it-to-me to a do-it-yourself nation.”

To do this, Thatcher focused on privatizing state-owned industries—such as steel and coal—that relied heavily on government subsidies, as well as curbing the power of Britain’s trade unions. In the 1970s, strikes called by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had caused widespread fuel shortages and brought the country to a screeching halt. Thatcher had seen how the effects of the strikes had taken down the government of the last Conservative prime minister, Edward Heath, and was determined to avoid the same fate.

On the other side of the looming battle over coal was Arthur Scargill, who became president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1981. As leader of the Yorkshire miners during the national strike in 1974, he helped pioneer more radical labor organization tactics (such as sending picketers to specific plants to halt transportation of coal) that made that strike such a success.

The Strike Begins

Miners and Labor Party Young Socialists protest during British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s visit to London Docklands, on April 13, 1984. Signs of strikers read “Save the Pits!” and “Maggie Thatcher Job Snatcher.”

On March 6, 1984, the National Coal Board announced its plan to cut the nation’s coal output by 4 million tons, in an effort to stem a $340 million annual loss. At the time, Britain had 170 working collieries, commonly known as pits, which employed more than 190,000 people. Scargill and the NUM estimated the board’s plan would mean the closure of 20 pits and the loss of some 20,000 jobs.

The same day the plan was announced, miners at a colliery in South Yorkshire walked out on the job. Scargill used this as an opportunity to call a nationwide strike against the planned pit closures. Controversially, …read more