You are browsing the archive for 2021 February 15.

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'Completely unhinged': Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan try to blame Nancy Pelosi for the Capitol attack

February 15, 2021 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

Four Republican members of Congress, including Ohio’s Jim Jordan and California’s Devin Nunes, on Presidents’ Day sent Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a three-page letter effectively blaming her for the deadly January 6 insurrection, urging her to end “this political charade.”

The sum of their letter, that the speaker – and not then-President Donald Trump – is responsible for the events of January 6 flies in the face of a mountain of facts, including those presented during last week’s impeachment trial. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly agreed with at least seven other Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 independents, that Trump was responsible for the deadly riot.

Jordan and Nunes have been among Trump’s most ardent supporters. Trump awarded both Congressmen the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Pelosi on Monday announced she is forming a 9/11 style congressional commission to “investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the January 6 insurrection.

The “political charade” remark was co-opted from a speech Pelosi gave after the November election, urging Republicans to admit defeat and end their “political charade.”

Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill issued a response to the Jordan-Nunes letter:

“Clearly, these Members are trying to deflect responsibility for the Capitol attack from Donald Trump,” Hammill told Forbes. “We look forward to these Ranking Members asking these same questions of former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Here’s the Jordan-Nunes letter, followed by a few reactions from political experts:

The attempt to blame Pelosi started last week:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'Beyond ridiculous': Fact-checker gets scorched for claiming Trump had a national vaccine plan

February 15, 2021 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

The fact checkers at Politifact are being criticized after claiming Vice President Kamala Harris was “wrong” when she said the Trump administration had no national plan or strategy to distribute the coronavirus vaccine.

As many on social media pointed out, Politifact wrongly edited her remarks, and her remarks were not wrong at all.

Here’s what the Vice President told Axios: “There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations, we were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out.”

Here’s what Politifact did:

Clearly, the VP said “we were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out.”

Nothing about that claim was wrong. She didn’t even name the Trump administration, which she easily could have.

But more importantly, Politifact claimed sending vaccines to whatever address the states designated and then letting them figure everything else out qualifies as a “national strategy or plan” is, many felt, ridiculous.

Take a look:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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These conservatives are convinced Trump's grip on the GOP will fade — here's why

February 15, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial ended in an acquittal when the majority of Republican senators refused to convict him. The “guilty” votes included seven Republicans and all 50 Senate Democrats, which was still ten votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction.

Some of Trump’s devotees in the right-wing media have been claiming that the former president has once again triumphed over a “partisan witch hunt,” but two conservative opinion pieces — one by the Wall Street journal’s editorial board, the other by Washington Post columnist George Will — stress that Trump’s acquittal was far from a total vindication and that he will not win a second term in 2024.

Trump was facing an article of impeachment for “incitement for insurrection” because of his actions on Jan. 6, when a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol Building. Rep. Jamie Raskin and other Democratic impeachment managers presented extensive evidence that Trump encouraged the mob; Trump’s impeachment lawyers claimed that he never asked the rioters to resort to violence and urged them to be nonviolent.

WSJ’s editorial board notes, “Seven Republicans joined every Democrat in the most bipartisan conviction vote in history. While short of the 67 votes needed to convict, most Republicans didn’t defend Mr. Trump’s words or actions on Jan. 6 or his attempts to overturn the election. As we’ve written before, Mr. Trump’s behavior was inexcusable and will mar his legacy for all time. That was the essence of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s post-trial remarks.”

Although Senate Minority Leader McConnell voted “not guilty,” he was vehemently critical of Trump when the trial concluded. McConnell’s issue with the trial wasn’t the case that Raskin and other Democrats presented against the former president; rather, McConnell made a procedural argument, saying that it was unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial for a former president.

“The GOP leader voted against conviction but explicitly because he said the Constitution reserves the impeachment power only for presidents while in office,” the WSJ’s editorial board explains. “Scholars disagree on this point, and there are good arguments on both sides.”

Regardless, the editorial board notes that McConnell was “lacerating” in his criticism of Trump and emphasizes that the former president will not be winning a second term in 2024.

“Mr. Trump may run again, but he won’t win another national election,” the WSJ’s editorial board writes. “He …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump left his party in tatters — and Biden is poised to change America

February 15, 2021 in Blogs

By Robert Reich’s Blog

While most of official Washington has been consumed with the Senate impeachment trial, another part of Washington is preparing the most far-ranging changes in American social policy in a generation.

Congress is moving ahead with Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which expands health care and unemployment benefits, and contains one of the most ambitious efforts to reduce child poverty since the New Deal. Right behind it is Biden’s plan for infrastructure and jobs.

The juxtaposition of Trump’s impeachment trial and Biden’s ambitious plans is no coincidence.

Trump left Republicans badly fractured and on the defensive. The Republican Party is imploding. Since January 6th, growing numbers of Republicans have deserted it. State and county committees are becoming wackier by the day. Big business no longer has a home in the crackpot GOP.

Republican infighting has created a political void into which Democrats are stepping with far-reaching reforms. Biden and the Democrats, who now control the White House and both houses of Congress, are responding boldly to the largest social and economic crisis since Great Depression.

Importantly, they are now free to disregard conservative canards that have hobbled America’s ability to respond to public needs ever since Ronald Reagan convinced the nation that big government was the problem.

The first is the supposed omnipresent danger of inflation and the accompanying worry that public spending can easily overheat the economy.

Rubbish. Inflation hasn’t reared its head in years, not even during the roaring job market of 2018 and 2019. “Overheating” may no longer even be a problem for globalized, high-tech economies whose goods and services are so easily replaceable.

Biden’s ambitious plans are worth the small risk, in any event. If you hadn’t noticed, the American economy is becoming more unequal by the day. Bringing it to a boil may be the only way to lift the wages of the bottom half. The hope is that record low interest rates and vast public spending generate enough demand that employers will need to raise wages to find the workers they need.

A few Democratic economists who should know better are sounding the false alarm about inflation, but Biden is wisely ignoring them. So should Democrats in Congress.

Another conservative bromide is that a larger national debt crowds out private investment and slows growth. This view hamstrung the Clinton and Obama administrations as deficit hawks warned against public spending unaccompanied by tax increases to pay for it. (I still have some old injuries …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How to dismantle the GOP cult

February 15, 2021 in Blogs

By Robert Reich’s Blog

I keep hearing that Joe Biden has to govern from the “center.” He has no choice, they say, because he has razor-thin majorities in Congress and the Republican Party has moved to the right.

Rubbish. First, there is no “center” between the reality-based world and the conspiracy-fueled, hate-filled world of today’s Republican Party. Second, the problems the country is facing cannot be solved with milquetoast, centrist solutions – they demand immediate, bold action.

I’ve been in or around politics for 50 years. I’ve served several Democratic presidents who have needed Republican votes. But the Republicans now in Congress are nothing like those I’ve dealt with.

Today’s Republican Party is a cult.

93 percent of House Republicans voted against impeaching Trump for inciting an insurrection, and Senate Republicans refuse to convict him. This is after Trump’s insurrection threatened even their own lives.

The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are facing backlash from their colleagues, with some even calling to remove Liz Cheney from her leadership position.

But hardly any have condemned the vile conspiracy theories spouted by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has claimed that the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings were “false flags” and that the deadly California wildfires were sparked by a Jewish space laser, among other wild lies.

All of this marks the culmination of the GOP’s growing lunacy over the last four years. With Trump at its head, the Republican Party has embraced blatant white supremacy, and now inhabits a counterfactual wonderland of lies and conspiracies.

Even by mid-January, polls show three out of four Republicans don’t think Biden won legitimately. 45 percent support the storming of the Capitol; 57 percent say Trump should be the Republican candidate in 2024.

And a growing fringe – including some Republicans in Congress – openly talk of redressing grievances through violence.

With this Republican Party, Biden cannot be a “centrist.”

Instead, he must deliver bold change for the American people, refusing to compromise with violent Trumpism. Barring Trump from ever holding public office again. Expelling Trump’s co-conspirators from Congress.

Don’t listen to people claiming this would be a “distraction” from Biden’s agenda. There is no healing without accountability. If we let …read more

Source: ALTERNET